This is how I often felt and found myself needing to defend the fact that I want some quiet time.
Popular understanding of extraversion and introversion is that extraverts are outgoing, talkative, and energetic, whereas introverts are reserved and solitary.
I’ve lost count of the number of personality profiling tools I’ve used over the years. Each and every one had me pegged as an Introvert which without the full picture was rather confusing because I’m pretty outgoing and energetic. I like people around both at work and at home…but when I’ve had enough, I’ve had enough.
At some point in my youth I was described as moody, so that’s what I thought…..I like people until I become moody. It wasn’t until I understood the whole picture that I realised differently.
In its simplest form, Extraversion and Introversion can be described as how individuals re-energise themselves. So for me, I love people, I want them around some of the time AND some of the time I need peace and quiet.
Extraversion and introversion are typically viewed as a single continuum with Extraverts at one end and Introverts at the other. Carl Jung, and others offer the perspectives that we are all both but, with one more dominant than the other. That to me feels right, sometimes I am more introverted than others times. Understanding this has helped me to stop being a “moody” extravert.
Like many of you reading this post, I spent many years in shared or open plan offices and it’s only since understanding that as an introvert I need alone time, that I realise why I would sometimes get really grumpy and not be as productive as I could be. Now, when I’m faced with similar situations, I plug in an iPod with soft gentle music and try to forget who is around me. Or sometimes I just go off with my laptop and find a quiet corner to work in. My colleagues understand because I’ve explained it to them.
Wherever possible I try to explain to others what is going on. When I am at a busy all day event and I know that my energy level will be depleted by the number of people around me, I schedule myself a little alone time in the breaks. Depending on who I am with, I explain to them that I operate better after some alone time and sometimes the only available option to me is to hide out in the bathroom, whatever it takes I do, because in order to perform at my best, I need some headspace.
So, if like me, you have dominant introversion tendencies, respect yourself enough to take the time you need to refuel and don’t beat yourself up about whether others think you are Mad, Depressed or Anti-social, you know you are not. If you want them to understand, explain it to them, (or you could always forward this post).
Remember, in order to perform at your best, you need to do what is right for you.
Please tell me in the comments below how your introversion or extraversion tendencies show up and how you cope with them.