The Reality of Richard Armitage Rephrased

Esquire-Dec2013-3Despite how my post of the other day sounded, I believe Richard Armitage is an introvert, and in my opinion, most rabid fans are introverts as well. We love his ability to use his solitude to create these characters who touch us so deeply, and who make many of us get alone with ourselves and ask ourselves questions about why we may or may not do certain things in our lives. For me it was the creative urge which I had squelched for a long time.

But sadly there is confusion about the definition of introvert, and the Internet doesn’t help. Here’s what you get when you Google the word:

GoogleDefinitionofIntrovert

This one little slice of data has the ability to create so many misunderstandings and should be a lesson that when the Internet is wrong, it can be really wrong.

So what is an introvert?

A good definition and a little history of personality theories can be found here.

Obviously the most significant misconception is that introverts are shy. I am an introvert, and I’m married to an introvert, yet it’s been a long time since anyone accused us of being shy. SO and I are often in social settings due to his profession. and when we’re in that setting, we can almost look like the quintessential extraverts because we aren’t shy. However, we both desperately need alone time. and this can often be mistaken for selfishness. Whatever someone wants to think, I cannot always be in the presence of people or even mostly in the presence of people and neither can SO. Some of our closest friends have shaken their heads at how we are about getting alone, which means not only removing ourselves from the stimulation of other people but sometimes from each other. This allows each of us to process life. I call it stepping out of the fray. Frankly, if we had not both been introverts, I don’t think our marriage would have survived.

Given all of that, how am I surmising Richard Armitage is an introvert? He’s told us he is. Maybe he hasn’t said those words (or maybe he has and I missed it), but he’s made it plain that he spends copious amounts of time reading and more important, processing. Then there are his latent writer tendencies with the back stories for his characters. Add to that his own admission of sequestering himself at times from his cast mates. He’s also said he hates things like the red capret, and yet when you meet him one-on-one, he’s very at ease and charming. Introverts can much more easily handle an intimate meeting than a big crowd, which means it’s better to meet him one-on-one. I’ve observed him both ways and much prefer the latter. I’m not sure that can be said for most actors. Once the mask is off and no words are written for them, it seems most are a little dull.

It should be noted that someone’s degree of introversion is on a continuum, so that we’re not all the same.

For further information and a celebration of introverts, a great Ted Talk from Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

note: when I was younger and aggressively trying to make a mark in my profession, I was given the Myers-Briggs test. Actually, it was administered twice over the course of my tenure with a particular company, and I was an ENTJ both times. Years later I took the test again and was an INTJ, which I believe is closer to my true personality.

edit: I was actually an ENTJ and then an ENTP years ago. I think I knew at the time that I needed to be an extravert to get ahead where I was working, but I was NEVER comfortable with that. And yes, I’m curious about what personality Richard Armitage may be. I can speculate, but obviously I can’t fully know.

note: if you like the photo above of Richard Armitage, then buy the individual issue of Esquire UK that has the original, or better yet, subscribe to the magazine.

12 Comments

  1. Have you read her book? I’ve heard it’s really good.

  2. Jazzbaby,

    It’s on my to read list! I watched this Ted Talk probably a year ago and wanted to read it then.

  3. I have just been talking about this elsewhere, both in the fandom and online :-)
    I would never peg him as an extrovert, but I do think that he is shy since that is an expression of social anxiety (which he apparently has or had, to judge by his own accounts). Shyness might even be hereditary, although its expression will vary from person to person in the same family.

  4. As a fellow introvert, I totally agree with your assessment of “our” Richard…(hmmm…that’s probably one of the reasons I identify with him….)

    I especially like your little phrase: “stepping out of the fray”; which I personally need to do periodically as well…

    With such definitions as Google’s floating about it’s no wonder that there are so many misconceptions about our lot and that’s unfortunate.

  5. The internet these days seems to be full of introvert pride posts … or maybe I just see a lot of them because I’ve liked “Introverts are Awesome” on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/IntrovertsAreAwesome) and therefore keep seing articles about it. :)

    I did a test last night, which had me down as ISFP, which I got last time I did a test like that as well. (Used to be INFP before, I think.) The description included this bit:

    “On the other hand, ISFPs can also be incredibly competitive and react very badly to any form of criticism. That competitive nature often pushes ISFPs towards risky activities such as gambling or extreme sports – and they also tend to do quite well in those fields, mostly because they are so in touch with the physical environment.”

    Ehhh, while that has about ZERO to do with me (I try to avoid gambling and extreme sports? Yeah RIGHT), at least the extreme sports bit had me thinking of RA straight away. Here’s the page, for reference: http://www.16personalities.com/isfp-personality and if anyone wants to do the free test as well, you can click through from there. :)

  6. I have said as much myself publicly about how I feel the same – that I believe Richard to be more on an Introvert, as am I – as are we. However, I am also shy. I tell people that, and their usual response is, “No, not you. I don’t see that.” I am also an Extroverted Introvert, at least occasionally or when needed. The extroversion is a cover and I am not able to do it all the time. Sometimes I am completely incapable and have to just….well…go into a proverbial corner for a while.

    So the combination of Shy & Introvert basically is that you are both apprehensive about making contact with a person or persons and would also simply rather choose to have more private time to yourself. “Choose” is the operative word. He calls himself shy because he is. But I do not think he chooses privacy and time to himself out of any form of fear or apprehension, just out of the simple desire to be alone. We enjoy alone.

  7. i love him just as he is. I, too am introverted. We are all kindred spirits. I enjoy being alone. I enjoy being with friends.

  8. […] Armitage as introvert. […]

  9. […] talk this past week of introverts and the act of “being on” when in front of an […]

  10. Fabulous! Thanks for sharing this. It was an epiphany unto itself.

  11. …he is apparent INFP.

  12. I am an introvert and I would definitely say that he is an introvert because he has implied that he spends a lot of time alone. Plus he seems to have such an unassuming personality.


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