2021-01-09 True Introvert

I’m pretty sure I mentioned yesterday my mood is volatile. You know yesterday was well rounded and satisfying and things were good but the day before that was kinda rotten and I found myself grumpy and exhausted. It’s not like anything big changed and this switch is pretty typical so I ask myself.. what gives? 

I think these swings might have something to do with demands on my time and my ability to get some quality “me” time. Sound selfish? Yes. But I’ve got my reasons. Mostly I think it’s because of the way that I was built. The part of human design that people talk about as personality traits like introvert and extrovert has everything to do with it.

The other day I was on a drive with my daughter and we were talking about her personality traits. She’s in the midst of evaluating profiles for roommates for her sophomore year at college. This, of course, requires self evaluation to fill out your own profile. She put down that she’s an introvert. I agree she is. But she talked about a conversation she had with her dad where he told her she was an extrovert.

I disagreed. She said he described her as being an extrovert around people she was comfortable with. I’m like, well duh. I countered that comfort level and the phenomenon of being talkative around your best peeps does not equate to being an extrovert. I think everyone can be outgoing when they feel a certain security. 

Being an introvert or extrovert isn’t dependent on how you are with other people, that’s just the easiest way to kind of tell, the behavior provides insight but isn’t really the defining factor. 

As I understand it (and I’m by no means an expert, but have been interested in the topic and have done research) the categorization is more based on where the individual derived their energy. Simply put, the extrovert gets energized by interaction with others and the introvert builds up their energy stores by being alone.

Flip the script and it stands to reason that the introvert would be depleted of energy after long sessions of interaction or not having the right quality time alone to recharge. 

In this way, I feel like my daughter is an introvert. And so am I. I also think Jim might be one of those self-professed introverts that’s actually an extrovert. He seems to thrive on interaction and gets more energized having lots of folks around. My son is definitely an introvert and my kids’ dad is definitely an extrovert. I digress.

The dynamic with my kids and I, when we lived alone, just the three of us was very much a situation where we were happy to be together for family time, to chat, play games, and watch shows, but then we’re glad to retreat to our own separate spaces to recharge. It worked.

It’s a bit different here. More people, always more going on, and less opportunity to retreat and recharge. And let me tell you that the pandemic does not help. It means all the other opportunities for those extroverts to get out into the world and get their fix are minimized and they end up needing more interaction at home. 

I also think the Covid just fucks everything up. Everyone is stressed and sort of depressed and just trying to figure out how to feel ok. I miss meeting people in person too, and that has nothing to do with my personality type. I just miss human interaction and conversation with different people. I think we’re all suffering from being just a little bit extra broken. Or a lot bit. 

Anyway so back to the being an introvert. I think some days this may be my problem. I mean, it’s not a problem but definitely plays into the mood I’m in and the puzzle I’ve now resolved to figure out. I think if I had more dedicated “me” time, it would improve my daytime fatigue and perhaps even improve my energy going into the evening of each day, instead of being “done done” and checked out by 9pm.

Of course it’s one thing to come to a conclusion and want to make a change and actually take steps toward improving, 

I said yesterday I think meditation might be part of the answer. I’ve since had advice from my friend Vis on a few apps to try and a Headspace series on Netflix to check out. I’m excited to get started. I’m hopeful. 

I also think that this is no different than anything else in life, that balance is key. And that change can be slow. I need to figure out where the “me” time fits into the routine and then form a good habit. It won’t work if it’s an afterthought that gets skipped everyday because something else is demanding attention.

This is part of the reason I’m backing off in my other goals. I’m not abandoning exercise, but instead will be devoting less time to it. Same with worrying about it (or healthy eating or productivity in general). I swear I spend more time and energy thinking about these things than actually doing anything about them. So why not let it go mentally and focus on the “here and now?” Good thought right??!! 

So that’s it today. Time to quit writing about it and just do it. 

It’s Saturday and I estimate I have about an hour before people start needing stuff. Gotta take advantage of that while I can. 

Cheers to the weekend! 

~Miss SugarCookie

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