I see a common misconception in clinic regularly which causes people to push beyond their boundaries, and wonder why they are feeling exhausted. I call it the ‘Extroverted/Introverted Box Syndrome’ (and no, this is not a real diagnosed syndrome).
The people who are most likely to suffer this debilitating condition are those who:
- Display outwardly ‘extroverted’ behaviours, but in fact are ‘introverted’ by nature; or
- Are quiet and shy, displaying outwardly ‘introverted’ behaviours, but in fact are ‘extroverted’ in nature.
It becomes a condition due to their confusion on how best to care for themselves. This leads to break down in relationships, health deterioration, unhappiness and general apathy in life.
The solution is quite easy. We just need to get to the truth.
Extroverted and Introverted – Myth v Truth
Extroverted = highly outgoing
Introverted = shy and quiet
Extroverted = require energy from people to recharge.
Introverted = need alone time to recharge
The way a person engages in the world, does not necessarily mean they recharge their battery in the same way.
A person can be outgoing, the life-of-the-party, love attention, but needs quiet time and solace in their downtime to regain their energy. Another person can be quiet, reserved, happy to sit in the background, but requires people around in the downtime, to recharge their battery.
There are also people who are outgoing, life-of-the-party, love attention, who need need people around in their downtime to recharge. Also, there are quiet, reserved people who need alone time to recharge.
How we classify ‘Introversion’ and ‘Extroversion’ is not about expenditure of energy, it is about how we best recharge our energy.
It is up to us as individuals to recognise what recharges our battery, as the outside world may see it very differently. We need to put aside our misconception of how we think we ‘should’ act/be, and look at ourselves holistically. Go with nature and our natural tendencies. This will lead us on the best path towards health. We will get enjoyment from life, take care of ourselves, and have energy to do more.
When we know ourselves, we can teach our loved ones as well. This gives us an automatic back-up plan, or first-aid kit, for those highly stressful times when we can’t think ourselves. How good is it when your spouse just knows what to do!
Now you know the truth, it is your turn to examine your belief of yourself. Are you really ‘introverted’? or are you in fact ‘extroverted’?