I am an introvert. Technically, I am an INTJ. It surprises some people to learn that I am introverted. Here is the secret: I was trained to act an extrovert. This is not uncommon and the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking talks a lot about how this may not be a great thing.
The modern world is built around the idea of being extroverted. We are strongly encouraged to work in groups and open office spaces. We are seen as anti-social when we don’t want to go out and be around people. Many people confuse introversion with anxiety disorder. To be clear. You can be all three, but they are not the same thing. My need to go home, be alone, and recharge is how you know I am introverted. I can go out and be social without high anxiety, but I may have to bring knitting or a book. This is not because I am introverted. It is because I have the slightest social anxiety. Yes, I want to stay home, watch Netflix, and chill. That is not because I am anti-social. It is because I enjoy it. You are welcome to join me.
Since I didn’t do discussion questions for Blink on Monday, I am going to do a few here:
1. Based on the quiz in the book, do you think you’re an introvert, an extrovert, or an ambivert? Are you an introvert in some situations and an extrovert in others?
When am I extroverted? It’s more when I act extroverted. I can get up in front of a room full of students or people I don’t know and feed off the energy of the room to put on a presentation. I just have to go back to my office or some quiet space and recharge after. On days when I have to meet with 2 or 3 classes in one day often find me exhausted and needing the night off. In fact, these days I often don’t get the re-charge until the weekend. Then all I want to do is spend the weekend alone, in bed, with a book, and a puppy (who does not yet let me do this).
2. Quiet talks about “restorative niches,” the places introverts go or the things they do to recharge their batteries. What are your favorite restorative niches?
My favorite niche at work is my office. I close the door, put on my headphones, and just allow myself to re-charge. At home… well, it has been observed that my home is my restorative niche from the world. It really is and I think I enjoy living alone because of this. I don’t have to share this space with anyone. I can come home and feel my energy levels restore right away. I don’t ever want anyone to move in with me because I would have to share that space. Even with the friends who help me re-charge, there is still a moment when I need to be alone.
So, what about you. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? How can you tell? Do you need to be alone to recharge or do you need to be around people to recharge? Tell me in the comments.