It seems like that time of the year when everything is happening all at once. You don’t need me to tell you that life can be absolutely exhausting. Even when we are doing the things we love (chasing our fire) there are bound to be things during the day that zap our energy so that we’re running on empty before we even know it.
Just like when you go on a road trip, even the best of cars need to be refueled every so often – otherwise (as they say here in the South) you just ain’t goin’ nowhere. So the question becomes,
Do you know what YOU need to re-energize?
One of the key concepts in understanding personality is looking at the way that a person gains and expends energy. We commonly refer to this as extroversion / introversion. You may have heard these terms in casual conversation, but sadly, they are often misused in stereotypical and inaccurate ways. Introverts are not shy and antisocial, and extroverts are not loud and obnoxious. (At least, not all of them.)
In truth, this dimension of personality boils down to one thing: where a person focuses his or her attention. Introverts are inwardly focused, while extroverts focus outwardly. Understanding more about your type preference will help you to know more about what you need to stay energized during the day to keep chasing your fire!
This week, I’ll explain more about Extroversion. As you read it, I want you to think about whether this type describes you. It might not sound like you at all, in which case you will likely be Introverted – which we’ll discuss next week. Remember that a person is rarely 100% introverted or extroverted, but most often some combination of both. Remember to check back next week to get the full picture!
If you are an Extrovert, you likely enjoy being surrounded by people. For you, the more really is the merrier. You enjoy interacting with large groups and you probably do not feel intimidated when meeting new people. In fact, it’s thrilling to you! The words, “social butterfly” describe you well. Generally, you are no mystery to others, as you are quick to share your thoughts and feelings. You are easy to get to know.
Nothing frustrates you more than being isolated from social interaction. If you were forced to sit in silence in a secluded place all day, you would probably tear your hair out in frustration. The lack of relational stimulation will slowly drain your energy and you will likely become desperate for company. You might soon reach for the telephone or log on to your favorite social networking sites. Being Extroverted means that you spend a lot of time in your external space, reaching out to those around you.
As an Extrovert, you probably spend a good deal of your day talking and you often take the lead on conversations. This is rather strategic, as Extroverts actually think by talking. In truth, your inner space may be somewhat of a mystery to you, so you’ve learned to make sense of how you feel or what you think by “talking it out.” Because you think retrospectively, sometimes the things you say come out all wrong without you meaning for them to. (The term “overs sharing” also comes to mind.)
Does this sound like you? If so, remember:
Extroverts need people. After devoting time to solitary tasks (i.e., working on the computer, listening to a lecture style presentation, or being alone in the office), make sure to seek others to re-energize you, even if you just peek out of your office door every now and then to make eye contact with another person. It is important for you to feel connected, because
Extroverts are energized by interacting with others and by expressing themselves verbally.
After a long day, retreating to a quiet space, watching television by yourself, or reading a book, will likely only make you more tired. Instead, seek out an activity with others. Whether it is an exercise class or a quick stop at your favorite coffee shop, seek opportunities to surround yourself with “warm bodies” and stimulating conversation.
Does this not sound like you? Don’t forget to check back next week for a discussion about Introversion.
Happy re-energizing, friends!
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Image courtesy of Jomphong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Filed under: Self Development
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