In case you haven’t met me in person, I’m an extrovert. (Insert peels of laughter from my friends and family who are saying “ya think???”).
Two things I have had to work on in my life is:
- Understanding how others experience my extroversion and adjusting and
- Learning what introverts need and adjusting.
There are a couple of simple tests to tell you which camp you land in or if you land in the middle. The first is simply “How exhausted are you after a day, a few hours, with social interaction?” If you are truly an introvert this will tire you out. If you are an extrovert, like me, this will energize you (you’ll be ready for the next party).
The second test is to ask yourself when you really need to recharge your battery, what activity is most effective? An introvert usually needs quiet time, time alone, time with a book, etc. An extrovert efficiently gets recharged by time with friends, etc.
I get so charged by social engagements, even if I’m training people, that I can’t go to sleep for hours after. Sometimes this is funny, sometimes super annoying.
I remember delivering training with a colleague many years ago. At the end of a long first day I asked where she wanted to go for the evening she looked at me like I had 2 heads. Although she had to function all day like an extrovert to deliver training she was truly an introvert so it wiped her right out.
So, what are the implications?
It is important to know your own personality and plan to have your needs met. It is highly likely that some of your closest relationships are with people that are quite different from you, when it comes to this trait.
How can you acknowledge what you need while respecting what they need?
It feels to me like our culture in North America both caters to and idolizes the extrovert. They can be the life of the party. The ones that put other people at ease because they love to talk and can carry the conversation.
The introvert is much more likely to notice details and observe important things. It would be fun to talk about behavioural styles and personalities here but I really want to focus on understanding yourself and what your needs are.
Here are some questions to help you tune in to what you need and help you to actively ask for it:
When you have had a day filled with social interaction what do you need most?
When was the last time you hung out with your closest friends in ways that really ‘filled your tank’?
What does your life partner or best friend need to know about you in order to help your stress level?
What does your partner need that you do not need and how can you encourage him or her to meet that need?
Posted on Thu, August 25, 2016
by Marilyn Orr filed under