Most of you, who have met me, would say no. I like being around people, like talking and do occasionally end up centre of attention with a good story… Well, well, what if it wasn’t as black and white as that?
Who here treasure time on your own? Thought so. And who here need downtime after lots of socialising? Thought so, too.
We are not one or the other. And there IS no right or wrong – even if society, the schooling system, workplaces with open offices and many other places make us believe being extroverted is the only thing that counts. It’s not as simple as “do you prefer partying or staying home alone?”. How social we are, may give a hint, but our preference is as much about how we motivate ourselves – do we get energy from others, from outside, or do we get our energy from within.
As always, there is value in diversity. Have you noticed, how the best conversation partners are often more introverted? They actually LISTEN, they aren’t too busy talking about themselves, and often they have a deep knowledge and understanding of lots of fascinating subjects.
I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by a lovely mix of people, moving in different bands of the scale of extro- and introversion. And as I’ve learnt to make things less about me (WHAT????? Yep….!!), and truly treasure connecting with one or two over a great conversation, compared to having a quick chat with everyone present, the world has been constantly expanding. Not always adding a comment, a suggestion, a story to top it – but simply listening: it’s great – have a go!
There is great literature around this, one is Susan Cain’s ‘The power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking’. Not a walk in the park, but great for those of you really interested. An easier way to explore and learn more, is noticing those around you, because great inspiration comes in many ways: I loved this quote on a PJ top: ‘My favourite party trick is not going’.
That says it all: humour, knowing what you prefer spending your time doing, and what not. We serve ourselves and those around us best by getting the balance right – of time on our own, time with others – and in a way that suits us.
So, have a go exploring your inner introvert this week – enjoy being thoughtful, observing, aware. And who knows, the world may start listening?