Primary Food Part One and a Half: Extroverts and Introverts or the Introverts Survival Guide to the Holidays
Before I move on to intimate and romantic relationships, I'd like to write more about our social needs, both in our friendships and in our intimate lives.
Communication of our needs is an important skill and our needs with regard to the quantity and quality of time we spend with others can differ quite a bit.
As we move into the holidays, it can be the best time of the year for extroverts with all of the holiday parties and gatherings, or it can be an exhausting time of year that makes you want to crawl in bed and sleep for a week when they're over.
Are you an introvert or an extrovert?
Knowing the answer to this question is key to coming up with a strategy for getting through the holidays.
There are many common misconceptions about introverts and extroverts. The first definition that popped up in my search for the definition of an introvert was that an introvert was a shy, reticent person.
Sure, they can be shy, but many aren't. The word introvert comes from the Latin intro-, "inward" and vertere, "turning." A person who tends to turn inward mentally.
My preferred description is of an introvert being energized by time alone, whereas socializing with large groups of people takes energy.
If you're introvert, it doesn't mean you're a recluse!
Introverts need peace and quite to process, whereas extroverts generally like to talk there problems through. They like to have others help them look at all the angles.
What about extroverts? Are you a party animal?
Extrovert comes from the prefix extra- "outward, beyond" plus the Latin vertere, "to turn." Extroverts tend to focus outwards, into the world.
Extroverts are energized by being with people. Parties are fun, as is meeting new people.
Extroverts can also be shy.
As in most people traits, there is a range. We don't tend to be all one or the other.
One of my good friends is definitely an extrovert, but she also turns her thoughts inward, and is quite contemplative.
Are extroverts and introverts like oil and water? Do they mix?
I'm of the opinion that they mix quite well. As long as each has a healthy respect and understanding of the other!
I'm definitely an introvert. I like my alone time and don't care too much for small talk.
However, I'm really not shy. I talk to the grocery clerk when I'm checking out at the store, the farmers at the farmers market, the waiter or waitress at a restaurant. I regularly embarrass my teenage daughter.
I genuinely like people.
I actually make friends more quickly with extroverts.
I'm mostly happy to listen to them talk. I may get to know them more quickly than they get to know me.
Listening may be a skill extroverts need to work on more.
I still make friends with other introverts, I just know that it will take me longer.
Often the friendships with other introverts are deeper because we both have to make more of an effort.
These friendships are also more forgiving. If your friend moves away and as an introvert you don't like talking on the phone, you can go a long time between calls.
So where does that leave us?
How do we make sure we are all getting what we need during the holidays?
Introverts need to plan ahead of time and conserve their energy.
In a perfect world, we could just declare our position of introvertedness (I made that up) and stay home and sip tea and read novels during the holidays.
But, not only would we upset our less introverted friends, we would also miss out on a lot of fun!
I find that while it's hard to get out the door sometimes, I usually do have fun once I'm out.
If your significant other or your other close friends are more extroverted than you are, make a plan for the holiday season. Some events come up spur of the moment, but most are planned ahead of time.
Communication really is the key when it comes to balancing our social lives. It's not always easy, but you can do it with some forethought!
Where do you fall on the introvert - extrovert scale?
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Hi, I’m Crystal!