Introverts, Money, and Employment

What is money to an introvert?

For those in the main stream of society it defines every aspect of life.

For those who look inwards for meaning and exist outside of the larger society, it is just one part of life.

Money is a physical manifestation of social force, it is the lifeblood of society. A wad of cash is a solid chunk of aggregate human desire.

As such, one who is Subtle has an uneasy relationship with money. One receives money based on how much society desires what they have to offer. Money is a phenomenon that we can experience only in reference to a collective entity.
The dollar is a fiat currency based entirely on public confidence.
Thus the possession of wealth is in a way, a measure of popularity. It is a measure of how valuable each person is to everyone else.
To define oneself by money is thus to worship the desires of everyone else over one’s own desires. The old question goes “If you’re so smart, why aren’t you rich?”
This question is itself very revealing. The asker quite obviously perceives money to be the ultimate standard of validation and success. Clearly, it is implied, anyone with brains would put the acquisition of money before all else.

Those who look within are not likely to see the acquisition of wealth as the ultimate good, however. The importance of money for such people derives from a completely different purpose.

-One who is Loud strives for money as the supreme source of validation and social approval.

-On who is Subtle accumulates money to achieve independence from the whims of others.

Big houses and flashy cars are most important to those who let society define them. These possessions are tokens that flaunt society’s approval and esteem for all to see.

The true introvert is far more likely to see such things as superficial and a waste of time. The purpose of wealth is to obtain the ability to control one’s time, to pick and choose who one associates with, to be able to flout social conventions if desired. The principal use of money is not to increase one’s subordination to society but rather to sever one’s compulsory ties insofar as possible.

The hallmark of extroverted wealth is countless hours, even a lifetime spent accumulating as much money and as many tokens of social recognition as possible. Since society’s approval is the meaning of life, all hours are bent on obtaining it. One’s social relationships and self esteem are built upon it.
Without money such a person can hardly be considered to exist.
A fiat currency disappears the moment people stop believing in it. Likewise, those who have built their identity upon money are fiat people in a fiat society. The moment other people stop believing in their value, they will disappear.

To the introvert, money is meaningless if one sacrifices all their time and power while obtaining it. The purpose of money is to secure personal autonomy. I’ve found that a high proportion of extreme introverts have difficulty achieving steady employment. While most people are focused on simply ‘making a living’, one who is Subtle constantly strives to achieve the optimal balance between money and time.
Time is in fact more valuable than money. One can always make more money so long as one has time to make it. Time, however, is a non-renewable resource. We only have it in a discreet quantity that is steadily dwindling. True introverts, then, tend to cooperate with society insofar as is necessary to secure control over their time. In the hands of one who is Subtle, the very lifeblood of society is subverted into freedom from society.

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14 responses to “Introverts, Money, and Employment

  1. This is honestly such a fantastic blog you have here. I think so many of my anxieties are caused by my extrovert shadow, tormenting me about the fact that I’m an introvert. As an INTP, I then try frantically to try to find a logical “solution” to my “problem” of introversion. If you read my old blog posts, that’s pretty much all they are.

    • Thanks for your post. I too am an INTP and I am constantly in turmoil about why I I don’t value those things but think I “should”. What is your old blog? I’d be interested in reading them.

  2. I just want to drop a few lines to thank you for the invaluable insights. I am so glad I came across this blog. I am also an INTP, let alone a female, and I have been struggling with life, in general. So thank you!

  3. Wow, just chanced upon this site a few minutes ago. So well-written and insightful. As a corporate INFJ male in the rare position of potentially receiving a windfall from the job in a few years (and thus thinking heavily on same), the extent to which this “Introverts, Money, and Employment” section mirrors my daily thinking, humbles, in a way.

    Looking forward to reading the entire K of I site at my next opportunity.

    Nice work!

    • I’m still figuring out the answer myself. If there were any certainties, I would already have laid them out in this article. Fact is, the steady career is swiftly becoming a thing of the past that people in nursing homes will reminisce about. No one is safe. Competition is king in our saturated labor pool.

      My intuition tells me at least part of the answer lies in a community of outsiders. The underlying problem is that the surrounding society doesn’t value what we have to contribute. Even when we do have desirable skills, it’s hard to compete against the social pros, even if we’re better at the actual skill.

      A tight knit community of introverts could result in internal demand for services the larger society doesn’t value. If not that, introverts strategically helping one another could reduce each other’s reliance on money.
      Mexicans still have money left over to send home working jobs we aren’t willing to work because they know how to work together and pool their resources.

  4. While we, the introverts, might have a hard time out competing extroverts in salesmanship I think that there are methods that can work.

    1. Cooperating with connected extroverts. Most traditionally this would be family I suppose but you could also think of Bill Gates and Paul Allen or the 2 Steves of Apple.

    2. Use the somewhat paradoxical ability of most introverts to be outgoing when dealing with their passion and focus on the Why question (from Simon Sinek). This might not be the way to sell bulk good but otherwise its interesting.

    3. Focus on the internet and the ability to outsource work. Basically use the fact the money is less of a reward on its own and more of a practical need. Act like the coding shops in Eastern Europe, India and so forth.

    • Gluon the Ferengi at the holodeck gives the movie you linked to thumbs up!
      To most people history is about dates and facts.
      The rest understand it’s all about interpretations.
      And this was a fascinating interpretation.

      I’m critical of the film’s tendency to cast the ‘characters’ as good guy or bad guy along a single comparison of individual enterprise vs. empire.
      Bismarck as a ‘good guy’!!? Maybe in the sense that ‘Uncle Joe’ Stalin was a ‘good guy’ against Nazi Germany.

      Prussia was one of the greatest threats to the individual that ever existed. No country ever did more to mechanize humanity into an efficient, unthinking, aggressive collective with the mission of either engulfing or destroying all unlike minds. Here’s an interpretation: Hitler was a torchbearer of the Prussian legacy.

      I’ve certainly never thought of Theodore Roosevelt as a British stooge. Certainly, though, he was much more inclined towards outright acquisition of Empire than any other American president(except, perhaps, for James K. Polk.)

      FDR was one of the best presidents but certainly not quite the saint he’s portrayed as in the video. It was he who spoke to the American people of ‘Uncle Joe Stalin.’ Economic restrictions on Japan during his administration may very well have been intended to goad the Japanese Empire into war.
      Also consider: The tradition of massive social programs and gigantic government founded by FDR has become an oppressive, unsustainable burden in our own times. What began as a program to escape depression became a status quo.

      A last point: I’m intrigued enough by this video that I’ll have to look into some of its points. I wonder if the British Royal Family, Edward Albert really had so much influence!
      Even in Victoria’s time, she was a relative figurehead while Disraeli and Gladstone fought for real power in parliament.

  5. Well that video certainly has its flaws, but as you said, it’s all about interpretations.
    If you found this one to be intriguing, then you might like to Google the “Adam Curtis Collection” as well as G. Edward Griffin’s “The Capitalist Conspiracy” and “World Without Cancer”. There’s plenty of good material in these to tickle your curiosity button for quite some time.

    I don’t intend to turn your wonderful blog into a conspiracy theory parade, but there’s a series on Youtube called “The Arrivals” which is quite interesting. I’ve always considered modern Christian denominations as well as the Islamic ones to be pagan religions(no offense to anyone), but that aside, this movie did hit on some points which are hard to ignore.

    • No interpretation is without its flaws. Because all interpreters are flawed.
      Yet understanding different interpretations of the same thing has the potential to yield a wider understanding and bring one closer to the objective. The world taken as a whole starts to make a lot more sense.

      Rather than a distraction I see good recommendations from commenters as an addition to the content of the site.
      I don’t really see a tangential discourse here and there to be ‘off topic.’ I think it only showcases the introvert tendency to burrow obsessively into all realms of knowledge and provides other intros with some extra things to burrow into if there’s a lull between books.

      Thanks for contributing.

  6. Add another to the INTP’s that thinks the is a great article. It’s fits my perspective very well. I’m trying to become an inventor, which in and of itself is a more introverted line of work, and if I’m successful, I could free myself of putting up with a bull shit society. I’m currently in college, and I frustrates me every day to see all these cookie cutter copies of the same person walking around in the same clothes and puking the same words out or their mouths with the same fake-ass and empty headed tone of voice. Should I be so fortunate to make a good couple of million in a decades time (something that has actually been done by a few people I’ve met personally), I’m getting a truck and a yurt, and I’m getting the hell out of here to a nice no man’s land.

    • Oh my god! What you said here is exactly my thoughts throughout my years spent in university here in the Netherlands. Every fucking body is the same, brainwashed by mainstream media, have absolutely no opinion of his\her own whatsoever and basically does and says things that everybody else does and says. No tolerance for people of different culture and background, arrogant and ignorant. And I also came to the conclusion that in order to be able to free my self from this society I need to become financially indepedent in one way or another and buy myself a ticket to freedom. And the ironic thing is that to do that I must temporarily become one of them, sometimes I am afraid to lose my trueself in the proces

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