An old adage that rolls off the tongue, yet how well or often do we take its nurturing wisdom heart?
I’m a social introvert. That may seem like an oxymoron, but it’s not. I love alone time, I love people time, and I need both. Introversion is not synonymous with timidity or keeping to oneself, as popular culture often views it. Rather, people who are introverted tend to turn inward and focus on internal thoughts and feelings to re-energize and come back to their center. Their extroverted counterparts, on the other hand, tend to seek out external stimulation to re-energize and engage. Case in point: the next time you are at a holiday party or work event, take note of the people who actively mingle versus the small groups of two or three people chatting in a quiet corner of the room. Extroverts and introverts, respectively!
Introversion and extroversion are personality traits that fall on a spectrum and we are each born with an innate temperament that typically leans us more one way than the other. Where do you fall on the spectrum? Do you mingle with the many or talk more intimately with the few? Recognizing and honoring your inner introvert or extrovert is a first, important step to being true to yourself. Marti Olsen Laney, psychotherapist and author of The Introvert Advantage, said in a Mensa discussion, “It affects everything in your life.” I’ll add that it affects everything in your life in good and wonderful ways because being true to ourselves helps us to connect with others (and ourselves) in authentic and generative ways.
To thine own self be true… While often a challenge, is never a mistake.
To learn more about cultivating your inner introvert or extrovert, contact us at [email protected]
To learn more about where you fall on the introvert-extrovert spectrum: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/20/introverts-signs-am-i-introverted_n_3721431.html
Good Ted Talk on the power of introversion: http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts?language=en