I am an INTJ and pretty far on the scale of introversion.
I am frequently approached by others to either ask questions or obtain my help. I do enjoy helping others, particularly with computers or electronics questions. Not infrequently, I am asked for my opinion in the course of offering assistance. This usually has one of two outcomes:
- I think for several seconds trying to craft an answer that will be inoffensive, and the other person gets uncomfortable with the long pause.
- I respond with my honest opinion, not expecting a problem. And the other party calls me elitist or acts as if I was condescending.
At the local hackerspace, someone has an Arduino project that I help them with. They are then pleased that their gadget they made using a $10 computer board works. They ask me "Don't you think arduinos are great?" I answered, "No, not really. I would rather build a micro than buy one." The response was "Well, I guess you think my project is pretty stupid." I didn't and was very surprised to get this reaction.
An extroverted friend of mine is very involved in maker fair events and has asked me a couple of times to attend, which I declined. He then asks why. I am not really interested in going and say so. Another why query results. It takes me several seconds to respond, because I am thinking about why.
In the course of that time I remember:
- People asking me to help them come up with a new idea for what to build for a maker fair and thinking internally "That guy is building something to impress people instead of for the thrill of making something.
- People at the hackerspace broke tools because they did not have what they needed to do a job properly, but were nevertheless determined to get something done in time for a maker fair. No more than 10 seconds pass without my answering and he says, "Never mind the question, you elitist!"
Same guy sends me a link to a video where Adam Savage toured the makerspace at MIT. URL:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RaHMDNf56W4
He then bitterly complains about the professor at MIT being condescending to Adam Savage. He seemed very surprised that I did not think the prof was condescending. I told him my take was he probably was really enthusiastic that someone was interested in what he was working on instead of their eyes glazing over with boredom, and as result wanted to share what he knew. He rolls his eyes and said, "I should have expected that from you."
I am asked for help with a computer problem and invite this person to my apartment. As soon as they walk in the door they see that the living room is dominated by bookshelves, shelves of tools and parts and a couple of workbenches. She comments, "I see where you work, but where do you live?" I reply, "What are you talking about?" She replies, "Never mind"
Edit to narrrow focus and clarfiy due to comments: I am often genuinely puzzled by other peoples reactions to me. I do not feel like I am a snob, and am surprised that this was mentioned in the comments. What I am hoping for in an answer is to get a response that helps me: A) Better understand some of the confusing responses I receive. B) Have some idea how to behave a little differently to get along with others better. The first answer has already given me a helpful start in mentioning empathy. Eg. It did not occur to me that I was raining on the arduino guys enthusiasm.