Am I an introvert, an extrovert, or both?
The idea of introvert and extrovert was introduced by psychologist Carl Jung to describe whether one’s energy was directed inwards or outwards. Extroverts are generally sociable, active and outgoing. They are also known to have a lower level of brain arousal, and therefore tend to seek stimulation. Introverts are generally quiet, reserved and thoughtful. Introverts are known to have a higher level of brain arousal, which gives them a tendency to shy away from over-stimulating environments. Though most of us tend toward one way or another, introversion and extroversion are on a continuum, and we can all display different personality characteristics at different times. For example, you might feel introverted when you’re giving a presentation to a group of strangers, but extroverted when you’re at home with your family.
How introverts recharge
Introverts get their energy from within themselves, and they can find interacting with people draining. When introverts find their time filled with people and activities, they can feel empty and exhausted. To recharge their batteries, introverts need to spend some time alone.
Some activities that are well-suited to introverts are:
• Artistic activities such as drawing, painting or writing
• Taking a bubble bath
How extroverts recharge
Extroverts get their energy from being around other people in busy environments, and can find being alone tiring. Some activities that revitalize extroverts are:
• Taking a class, such as yoga or cooking
• Attending or throwing social gatherings
• Going to see a local band
• Volunteering with a community group
Extroverts are generally sociable, active and outgoing. They are also known to have a lower level of brain arousal, and therefore tend to seek stimulation. Introverts are generally quiet, reserved and thoughtful. Introverts are said to have a higher level of brain arousal, which gives them a tendency to shy away from over-stimulating environments. Zuchter reminds us that while these are activities that introverts and extroverts find the most appealing, it’s also important not to overindulge our tendencies, and sometimes do the opposite of what we crave. So, an introvert who is spending all of his time ruminating might need to do something adventurous, like taking a road trip, and an extrovert who spends all of her time surrounded by people might make an effort to spend some time alone in meditation. There are many activities that any personality type can benefit from.
Anyone can recharge by:
• Going on a date with yourself
• Pampering yourself, getting a massage or having your energy worked on
• Making a collage or vision board
• Getting some exercise!
Zuchter suggests rock climbing as a great way to recharge, because you need to be completely focused. When he first went climbing, he says he wasn’t focused on anything except for climbing to the top. “When I got there, I wasn’t even aware of where I was (which was three storeys in the air).” Zuchter also stresses the responsibilities of companies to ensure their staff are getting the rest they need to be their best as people and as employees. There are many ways workplaces can do this, and in particular, he cites professional development days. These are common in the teaching profession and are a good example of something companies can do to give staff a break from routine, and an opportunity to sharpen their skills. He also recommends that businesses consider offering some coverage for personal development, such as seminars, workshops and books. Finally, Zuchter reminds us that the best approach is actually based in prevention. “If you spend your whole week making time for yourself then you won’t have as much of a need to unwind.” If we live with a healthy sense of balance, making sure we get what we need without overdoing it, we can capitalize on every opportunity to recharge.
By: JEN AMOS
SOURCES: FRIEDMAN, H. S. & SCHUSTACK, M. W. (1999). PERSONALITY, CLASSIS THEORIES AND MODERN RESEARCH. ALLYN & BACON.
Originally published in volume 11, issue 6 of Your Workplace magazine