Are you an introvert or an extrovert? In high school and college, I would have laughed if you called me an introvert, but as I get older, I feel more and more comfortable being by myself. Part of this shift was reading several articles that described into/extroversion as less of a personality trait and more of our personal source of energy. According to this line of thinking:
Introverts gain energy by spending time alone. They find being around people, especially large groups, draining.
Extroverts energy comes from other people. They usually find that their energy levels drop if they spend too much time alone.
My switch from feeling more like an extrovert to a definite introvert has been a bit humbling. In fact, I used to tease my husband for having what I dubbed “loner tendencies.” Although Casey is outgoing and friendly, he gets an insane amount of pleasure out of sailing alone, or a solitary run, or a weekend completely to himself. He needs time after work to sit on the couch and watch a TV show – alone. He is totally energized by puttering around, working on his own projects, doing his own thing.
Recently though, my solitary habits have totally eclipsed his. Part of this likely has to do with the fact that I am no longer working outside of the home, but even more than that, I feel like my interest in being social has totally dropped. Sure, I love to chat with family and friends over the phone, and I love email trains and group text messages. But if I had to choose between going out with Casey’s coworkers or curling up with a book, nine times out of ten I choose the book.
I guess that means we are a good match – both of us need space and time alone. But it could also mean that we unintentionally isolate ourselves. It’s important for us to recognize the difference between being anti-social and simply needing to recharge.
So where do you stand on the spectrum? Anyone feel like they’ve shifted more in one way or another over the years or are you solidly exactly the same?