Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Innie or Outie?

Following on from my last post, I’ve been reminded this week of the importance of the right kinds of time.

I am profoundly introverted, though you may not know it from meeting me. I’m not shy of meeting new people, in fact I enjoy it. At work I speak my mind in meetings, and I have no qualms about talking to an audience of 200 people. I even relish the opportunity and get a buzz out of it - providing the audience is friendly and the topic is something I know and care about.

What makes me introverted, though, is that all of these things exhaust the heck out of me.

That is the Jungian or Myers-Briggs view of introversion/extraversion. Where do you get your energy from? Extraverts are energized by interactions with others. That has the opposite effect on introverts, who are energized by their inner world.

My work involves almost non-stop interactions with people throughout the day. At the end of the day, and at the end of a working week, I depend on enough down time at the weekends to recharge my batteries.

Last weekend, my Division held an off-site all-staff conference. Non-stop networking - Yay! - then back to work Monday.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a fabulous weekend and a chance to hear perspectives from offices all across the province, but you can guess what this has done to my energy levels. I’m just about holding on by my fingernails until next weekend.

Time to retreat into my shell for a bit :)

So how about you? Are you an innie or an outie, or somewhere in-betweenie? Do writers naturally tend to be introverts? How do you cope with demands of life and work that conflict with your natural preferences?


  1. Hi Ian - I can 'hear' you needing some space, quiet time and generally just be able to be 'the botanist'! I do hate being completely swamped with people and things to do ...

    So I hope your nails survive til the end of the week - being on my own .. I can switch off - which I do ... equally I'm social and love being with people.

    Good luck - til recovery weekend comes around ... cheers Hilary

  2. I'm kind of a mix. It's funny, sometimes I'm energized by social events--but mostly if they're small group things or I'm speaking in front of a large group without having to worry about people approaching me afterwards. I can only handle one social endeavor a day--whether that's shopping, a live event, etc. If it goes more than 3 hours, I'm beyond exhausted--but we'll blame that on the lack of energy. I've been home schooling the kids for too many years.

  3. I can be either depending on the situation. I'm generally an extrovert but I don't need to be "on" all the time.

  4. Hilary, looking on the bright side - over half-way there :)

    Crystal, it's all a matter of balance. I was much more ready to be sociable evenings and weekends when my job was more heads-down solitary coding.

    Stephen, a lot of people are neither one extreme nor the other. I just happen to be way out at one end of the spectrum.

  5. You just described my hell ... working at a place where I have non-stop interactions all day long? *shudder*

    I would be balled up in a fetal position by now if I had just gone through a weekend and week like you've had. I hope you get to some major recharge time soon!

  6. David, made it to the weekend intact :)


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