Where do you fall on the Myers Brigg test when it comes to being an introvert or extrovert? I’ve taken the test a few times and always fell in the introvert camp. There’s no question about it.
Introverts are often tagged as being very disinterested in being social. It’s something I believed for a long time. I thought my time as an introvert meant a life of few friends and the relationships I had were to be deep and life-long. It’s an idea that kept me from wanting to make more fruitful relationships because I figured, “Well, I have the friends I have, and what’s the point in making more?”
The past year or so I’ve taken an interest in meeting new people. A lot of it has to do with a desperate attempt to build connections of any sort. I want to develop intimate relationships with others—meaningful friendships. So I cast my net wide and am trying to say “yes” to more gatherings because one never knows who one might meet somewhere. If nothing else, I’ve met interesting people from all over the world who lead unique lives that can sometimes teach me things. That can be anything from a lead to a good restaurant or a new podcast to check out.
I’ve also started doing work where I interact more with the public and students. This may not always mean friendships with individuals. Yet I realize that when I’m interacting with others in a social manner, I often forget whatever is plaguing my thoughts at the time. When I’m focused on being social and learning about that other person, all thoughts of depression and loneliness will go away. I’m left with only that interaction and my interest in it and the other person.
So, my newfound social nature is born out of necessity (a desire to develop relationships and stave off loneliness). It's also born because I find it interesting to learn from others and form connections with them, even if they’re very brief.
Yet what causes me to remain an introvert is that I need solitude to recharge. I desire alone time to process my life and experiences. It’s where I’m renewed. But what has been appealing to me is to learn that being an introvert doesn’t mean I can’t be social or meet a lot of people. It doesn’t mean I can’t be charismatic. It only means that from time to time I need to be alone and recharge in that manner.
What about you? Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Where do you find you gain your energy? From people or away from people? Where is that line for you?
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This blog is an exploration of the subjects of belonging and loneliness. I also look at mental health issues. I seek to provide content to my readers that is informative and helpful. If you don't want to miss anything, sign up for my email list.