–I will say right now that there are several spoilers from The Office in this post. But come on, the show ended three years ago.–
While I was reading the book Quiet by Susan Cain last year, I was also watching a lot of The Office. Not only was I starting to evaluate people in the real world to guess/estimate their introvert/extrovert level, but I was doing the same with the characters on that show.
Just like in real life, some were obvious, and some were tough to determine. However, I think my favourite introvert example on The Office is Jim Halpert. Quite a master of his introversion, he copes with working in an open-plan office by escaping to chat with the receptionist, and pulling pranks on his desk mate.
I don’t know if his parents were introverts or understanding extroverts, but his big brothers are obvious extroverts who picked on him his whole life. I’m sure that because of them, Jim learned early on how to sharpen his wit, think on his feet, and deal with difficult extroverts overall. This becomes apparent when he deals with his co-workers, especially Dwight. My favourite example is when Dwight finds out that the Michael Scott Paper Company is broke. Dwight rushes to tell the boss, and Jim doesn’t hesitate to follow him. The way Jim so quickly comes up with things to say to discredit Dwight, so that Charles doesn’t believe him, just blows my mind.
Parties. It can be one of the most dreaded and draining things to an introvert. Jim not only attends and makes the best of it, but he’s figured out the best way to be at a party as little as possible while making sure people don’t realise it.
Though Jim isn’t an INFJ -T like I am (I’m pretty sure he’s an ISTP-A), and he’s a fictional character, I tend to see him as the “perfect” introvert. He has figured out pretty well how to survive and thrive in an extroverted world. He did very well as co-manager, for the short time he was one. He’s not afraid to go for his dreams, whether it be Pam, talking to David Wallace about being manager, or helping to start Athlead/Athleap. But, he also takes opportunities to leave the crowd.
This particular introvert may be fictional (though he reminds me almost exactly of someone I know in real life), but I think he’s an example of one type of “perfect” introvert — the kind that isn’t swayed or held back by the opinions and ways of the extroverted world.
Here’s to you, Jim. 🍻