Thought for the week: Introvert or Extrovert and Refueling
Some people prefer to be awake late into the night when most of the world (in their time zone) has gone to sleep. The noise of the day dwindles as last cars arrive home, eaten dinners are cleaned up and most are tucked into bed. Businesses have closed, phones rarely chime, responsibilities and expectations disappear. Those who prefer to rise early are greeted with new morning, with air that does not yet carry the exhales of others words, sighs, joys nor tears. For introverts who may find themselves drained after periods of time spent with people, these very late or early morning hours can be wonderful refueling opportunities.
Extroverts, on the other hand, will find themselves invigorated after time spent with others or in new places. The pulse others bring to the shared atmosphere can rejuvenate perspectives and energize creativity. Mutual activities and shared passions can also provide validation, a sense of belonging. There is a sense of true connectedness through interactions with others, their stories and celebrations.
Do you consider yourself an introvert or extrovert, pulled inward towards thoughts and ideas or pulled more outward towards people, objects or places? Is isn’t as black and white as it may seem. These terms became better known through the theories of Carl Jung and the Meyers Briggs Personality Test. They describe the attitudes with which people approach the world. Although these attitudes can vary within each of us depending on the situation or environment, there will be a more dominant presence of one over the other. A teacher, CEO or performer would appear to be extroverted, however those who refuel, rejuvenate and re-energize while alone are actually introverts.
It can be quite useful to identify which attitude seems to best describe you for a few reasons. Two I will mention are these: 1) for self care reasons – you want to be sure you are properly balancing how/where/with whom your time is spent to enable ample refueling opportunities – crucial to ongoing, day to day productivity, efficiency, personal satisfaction and harmony. 2) You will be more able to appreciate and honor your temperament. I have known a number of introverts who berate themselves for preferring to be home and/or with a few close friends rather than the life of the party. Similarly, I know extroverts who wish they could enjoy more alone time when, in reality, it isn’t in their nature to do so. Once they understood more of how their true nature guided their actions, they were able to work with their attitudes rather than against them.
The Meyer’s Briggs test provides multitudes of personalized information about your personality based on a series of questions and is organized in a very user friendly fashion. Here are two links, although there are many others: http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/. http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp.