I’ve known for a long time that I am an extrovert. However, for a few years, I lacked the knowledge of how to utilize this dominant part of my personality to my advantage. For example, I was not aware that most extroverts often become more tired or down when they are alone. They can easily become bored and will then jump from one activity to the next, without any rhyme or reason.
No wonder there were so many times when I felt down after work. Those were usually the days when I wouldn’t talk and connect with my husband, as well as not socialize with friends that week. Many times, I allowed negative thoughts to dwell in my mind, instead of acknowledging that I needed to go outside and say “hello” to a neighbor. All the little things in life add up, and would have provided me with great release, if I had only identified the problem and the solution(s).
In today’s world, extroverts are typically more highly regarded. Whether it’s in the workforce or social scene, extroverts are definitely the ones running the party. It’ s important to note that we (I am including myself in the extroverted population) enjoy social conditions, as well as seek them out. This comes as second nature to an extrovert, while an introvert will—many times—struggle with even attending group functions, let alone looking for these opportunities.
The important point to remember regarding extroverts is not that they are usually very friendly and social. It is the fact that they receive energy from spending time with other people. Extroverts use up energy and then need to throw themselves back into what introverts find most draining—the social scene. While an extrovert may feel a bit tired going home after a party, the inner energy level has been increased, and therefore, ready to begin another day.
If you or someone you know (which is pretty much everyone) is an extrovert, check out these ideas on how to plan ahead and renew from the workday:
- Schedule at least one dinner or coffee date with a friend each week to catch up.
- Check out meet up groups (such as www.meetup.com) wherever you work or live, organized by interests, hobbies, careers, etc.
- Consider what type of charity you feel passionate about and join a board or committee to stay involved and meet new people.
- Start a book or film club with friends and acquaintances with similar values and interests.
- Bake some cookies and take over to a neighbor’s house to visit.
- Create boundaries at work so you can leave at a decent time each day, especially when you work long hours by yourself.
Keep in mind that extroverts still need time to rest and relax, just as introverts do. Many extroverts forget that and run themselves into the ground. There needs to be a good balance. One of the most important points is awareness. For example, if you’re at work, spending long hours on a solo project, and then begin to feel quite down, perhaps you need to seek out socialization in order to recharge.
If we can all become more aware of our personality traits and tendencies, then we will also recognize others’ more quickly. This will lead to better understanding, in general, as well as enhanced self-actualization.