In my opinion, institutions in general appear to “celebrate” extroverts from school to corporate companies. Extroverts thrive off the energy from others whereas introverts gain energy from taking time out to gather their thoughts.
Extroverts tend to think far more than they speak. In the working environment, I mull over responses in my mind, by the time I am ready to bring it to the table, a colleague beats me to it!
I struggled at secondary school for a number of reasons, my introverted nature did not help matters at all. I preferred speaking to peers one on one and avoided being in large groups. There was a main bus stop where the cool pupils “hung out” and another bus stop further down in a quiet spot – guess which one I used?
As a teenager, I did not understand the concept of introvert and extrovert. I do recall wondering why I was different, why I preferred to read a book in the corner while my sister played with my cousins, why I did not like sudden loud noises or anything rowdy and why I was happy having only one or two friends. At one stage I attempted to be outgoing like a friend of mine. She was the life and soul of the party and people gravitated towards her. Let me tell you that it lasted for less than a week!
What I do find interesting is my children are extroverts, especially my daughter. She loves being the centre of attention and is friendly with many children at school, even those in other year groups. While I find their dramatics tiring, I am rather pleased they are more “out there” than I was as a child.
Just to throw this in – while I am introverted, I am also sociable and can come across as outgoing depending on the setting. When I am with you, I am truly with you. I engage and take a genuine interest in people. In fact I am intrigued by others and enjoy “people watching.”
I also take time out to recharge on a daily basis – see below for how;
1. I go to lunch alone whether I go for a walk (one has to keep trim) or I find a meeting room and bring my lunch and a magazine.
2. I spend the last hour at night alone to collect my thoughts and just be me. My husband likes to go to bed at a reasonable time while I am a night owl – jackpot!
3. At weekends, during the day I take myself off to my room or any room just for a short while.
4. I avoid making or receiving telephone calls on week day evenings unless it is an emergency or pre-arranged. I am more than happy to text at anytime as this does not require me engaging in a conversation.
I hope you find these tips useful. I look forward to hearing your views.
Are you an introvert?
How does this fit in with work, home life and other activities?