That might be because, while those suggestions would be perfect for someone with a different temperament… they’re simply not suited to someone with your temperament.
There are many ways to recharge at the end of the day but understand that every way may not be the best way for you. Keep in mind that it’s possible that you may share a home with others who recharge in opposite ways from you.
How we get our energy is an interesting and important dimension of personality development. And just how much energy is required to cope with life throughout the day depends on our temperamental tendencies.
In other words, if making transitions, for instance, is a challenge for you, it requires more energy than it would for someone less sensitive to making transitions throughout the day or week.
When energy levels are low it’s more challenging to find the strength to behave ourselves. When energy levels are high we have more power to demonstrate our strengths.
We can describe how we get our energy in two ways – introversion and extraversion (NOT to be confused with the shy or outgoing personality, respectively)
Introverts get their energy by being alone or with one or two special people.
Extraverts draw their energy from others.
Knowing how you and each person in your home gets energy can really help you accommodate one another so every one has the energy to get along. One of the keys is accepting that either way is just as valid as the other.
For example, if you are someone who prefers inner reflection on your thoughts and ideas before sharing them with others, you are likely to be refreshed by spending time alone. And if you get it, you’ll find it much easier to cooperate with others and tolerate the unexpected events that come up each day with greater composure. If you don’t get it you may find you get snippy and easily frustrated.
Introverts are those babies that become overwhelmed in large family gatherings. The toddlers who talk to grandma and grandpa for a while and then “shut down”.
After a day at work, school or daycare, introverts are worn out by people and need a chance to energize by being alone. Interaction with people, especially those not close friends, at this point in time, severely depletes their energy. This is a good time of day for some solo activities.
It probably will be 9:00 pm before introverts are ready to share the highlights of their day.
You have to ask them questions in order to follow up on things.
They share their worries and concerns with you in bits and pieces. You have to listen well or you’ll miss them.
Extraverts, on the other hand, prefer to engage the world around them outside of their bodies by talking with people, sharing ideas and experiences.
In fact, if they don’t get the opportunity to talk they get crabby and demanding because they’re running out of steam. If they are allowed to recharge by being with other people they’re fine.
Extraverts tend to be the babies who demand to be held up so that they can look around and “talk” to those around them. They are the toddlers who jabber endlessly even if the words don’t make sense. They are the school-age kids who jump off the bus and immediately have to tell you about their day.
They need to share their ideas with you while they are fresh in their minds.
They follow you around the house demanding your ear, pulling energy from you. You may not even be able to go to the bathroom without them following along continuing their one-sided conversation.
They are people often surprised when you remind them you’d like a little privacy.
And all that said, remember… there really isn’t a right or wrong preference! Both have their strengths and their weaknesses. However, in our society, introverts are outnumbered three to one so it is frequently the introvert who is misunderstood and pressured to ‘shape up’.
These concepts were first described by Carl Jung, a Swiss psychologist, and are drawn from the theorty of Psychological Type. Jung suggested that human behavior could be classified into predictable categories or preferences.
Though more pairs are described, the introversion/extraversion preference is important for understanding how we get our energy. And since every family probably has a mix, identifying our types and understanding our differences can serve to help us experience more ‘downstream’ days.
In order to help you understand your own energy source, I’ve included a series of statements for you to consider. Check the ones you agree with… you’ll probably find yourself agreeing with some in both sections. That’s because we’re all capable of using both preferences but one is likely to predominate.
In order for this to reveal your TRUE energy source, please think carefully about which feels more comfortable to you…
Which would be your FIRST choice… not what you’ve been taught to choose, but which actually fits who you really are.
You may be surprised at the results. Many of us have been taught to repress our true preference to the point where we’ve almost lost touch with it. To keep energy high it’s important to know your most natural source.
IF YOU ARE AN EXTROVERT YOU PROBABLY:
___ want someone to talk to at the end of the day
___ answer a question immediately
___ want to invite friends over on Friday night
___ are comfortable repeating what was already said
___ like and need to hear others approval
___ start to invite a few friends over and suddenly it’s the whole neighborhood
___ find yourself telling your introverted child to get out of her room and call on some friends to play
___ talk through the solution to a problem with someone else
___ feel comfortable initiating a conversation
___ call for the baby-sitter
___ are comfortable sharing personal information with others
___ often leave a gathering wondering if you talked too much and failed to listen well enough
___ feel exhausted when you have spent too much time alone or only with young children
___ immediately share a new idea or experience and find energy and pleasure in the sharing
IF YOU ARE AN INTROVERT YOU PROBABLY:
___ sit down to read something or zone out in front of the TV after a hard day
___ will do anything, even clean toilets, if someone else will agree to call the sitter
___ can’t imagine wanting to invite a group over on Friday night
___ find being in a large group for an extended time to be exhausting
___ rarely share personal information, and then only with a few close friends. Even close friends are frequently surprised to learn something new about you
___ think before answering a question
___ frequently find extraverts asking you the same question twice because they don’t understand your pause for thought
___ prefer dinner with a few over a large gathering
___ find yourself hiding in the bathroom or a back bedroom at large family gatherings
___ solve a problem by thinking it through yourself before ever talking to anyone about it
___ get tired of telling extraverts what a wonderful job they’re doing and how much you appreciate them.
[from Mary Sheedy Kurcinka's Raising Your spirited Child]
Tally up your count and we’ll talk about ways to refill your energy tank in an upcoming post!