I consider myself to be an extroverted introvert.
I like people a lot and genuinely enjoy socialising. I get my energy in this way – though I do have a preference for smaller, more intimate socials as opposed to really big ones.
However, I need downtime. In fact, I need significant amounts of downtime to recover from people. Downtime for me = being home, being quiet, taking a nap, reading a book, vegging in front of the TV, lying in the sun etc. It is for this reason that I will only ever plan one social on a weekend and if I can’t get out of having just one, then I will make sure to schedule AT LEAST 2 hours of quiet time somewhere.
If I don’t have enough down time then I become frazzled and start to feel overwhelmed. I start to become tired and irritable. And it feels like I’m out of sync in a way.
My DH is exactly the same – thank goodness. In fact, he needs A LOT more downtime than me. This is one of the reasons why we will never go on holiday with other people – even for a weekend. Because if we want time-out then we want time-out. It’s a bit rude to take a time out when you are WITH people. Btw..we did try once to go on holiday with another couple and their child. We had a great time but after that long weekend, we needed another long weekend holiday to recover!
I do find that introverts get a lot of flack which really is so unnecessary. Fact is, they really just have different needs. They DO have strengths – GOOD strengths, but these strengths are often overlooked because they are not loud and bouncing off the walls. It’s kind of sad, really. It’s not wrong to be introverted, it’s just different. Don’t know why so many people (i.e. those who are not introverts) struggle with this so much.
Child1 is DEFINITELY extroverted. People love this. He NEEDS to have very regular contact with people. He is loud and talks all the time. Child2 is the opposite. He loves being alone and can entertain himself for hours. He talks when he feels like it and can easily go for days without saying a word.
Child2 enjoys being out and about but he doesn’t necessarily need people when he’s out and about. He’s really at his happiest when he has his Mommy and his Daddy and his Brother around. His favourite thing to do is just to go for a drive. Even just to buy bread at the cafe. He REALLY doesn’t need people. I find that many people (in my family especially) struggle with this which I guess can be an adjustment if you are used to a Child1. It really has never been an issue to my DH and I.
I have an extroverted friend who is BATTLING at the moment. She’s just moved home after being abroad for 10 years and has no job yet so is also out of routine which complicates things even more. She stays with her sister who is a homebody.
This is the story of her life on an average day:
Friend’s sister goes to work during the day.
Friend is home alone during the day. No people contact except for BBM and online friends. ALL DAY. Friend has tried to reach out to all her old friends but is battling. Everyone has changed and moved on – it has been 10 years already! No one is going out of their way for her or anything.
Friend’s sister comes home from work and wants to relax in front of the TV after dinner or maybe read her book or whatever. Friend’s sister essentially needs for her brain to go quiet and settle and she has her little routines to make this happen.
Friend (by now) is STARVED for conversation with real people by the time her sister comes home and literally bounces off the walls. Also, Friend wants to go out. To a restaurant, for a walk, to the beach. ANYTHING really. Friend really just wants to get out of the house. Can’t stop talking. Makes plans.
Friend’s sister feels overwhelmed and shuts down. They clash.
Friend can’t cope. Wants to go back overseas.
Fortunately Julia is the best person for Friend to talk to about the Friendship stuff (remember she’s been on her own friendship trip this year) but Julia simply has no answers about how she can manage her extroverted nature to avoid her poor sister going nuts!
Any ideas? What advice would you have for my friend wrt the extrovert/introvert issue?
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
If you are an extrovert, how do you keep it in check if you need to?
In fact, if you are extroverted, how do you cope with introverts, especially if you are forced to spend a lot of time with them?