Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Introvert Extrovert Conflict

For the majority of my adolescence, I assumed I was extroverted probably because my mom was and my subconscious just figured that was 'right'.  What I failed to notice was how introverted my dad was and how much more I identified with him on basic relationships with time and things.  As a result of my confusion, I've been made very aware of how often conflicts aren't really about what we're saying at the moment, but how we value and define elements in our life.

Take a few minutes and read through the definitions below. 

We all know that people are 'different', but how often do we think less of them, as though they don't really know how to live life well or the right way to act?  Or sometimes we assume others are choosing to be extroverted or introverted, and somehow place blame on another for not being conveniently like us.  

The easiest test of that I know is asking where a person gets their energy from.  For the typical extrovert, people soothe and energize them.  For the typical introvert, time alone (away from people) soothes and energizes them.  Our life is full of choices in behavior, but in where we obtain and lose energy, it seems to be a done deal largely set at birth.

What's the point?  The point is that these ideas are just a good illustrations of how differently we can be approaching something.  If I spend an entire weekend constantly with people - even if it's different people - I will be a zombie and the crankiness will be hard to contain come Sunday night.  Others (extroverts) forced to spend an entire weekend at home working by themselves will often find a similar scenario - deflated and grumpy - from a lack of interaction.  

Whether it's a spouse, your children, a group of friends or an organization, these differences can affect the dynamics very negatively if we don't keep some of this in mind.  It, of course, means there will need to be compromises, but just remember everyone needs to be energized sooner or later whatever that will take!

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