I am an extrovert of all extroverts. I find energy when I am around people, I gravitate towards group situations, and I love having lots of friends. For me to thrive, people are at the center of almost everything. I feel most alive after meaningful conversations or interacting with others in a creative environment.
When I took the Myers-Briggs in college, our career counselor was shocked at how I much swung on the extrovert side and gave me a caution to make time for myself. I fled from those words for so much of my life and the last thing I wanted was alone time. I equated alone time with loneliness and surrounded myself with people day and night. As an extrovert, however, it is necessary to embrace alone time.
If you are an extrovert like me, it is time to reclaim alone time, in moderation, without running from it. Even though I love being in a high energy environment, fueled by people, it is unrealistic to expect this on a day to day basis. There are times and seasons of my life when I need to be okay with alone time and limiting social exposure.
As extroverts, we are so in tune with others and connecting with anyone and everyone, that we often lose track of keeping in touch with ourselves. Being alone gives us the unique opportunity to get to know ourselves, form self-identity, and practice the art of solitude. I know, I know it is a scary thought and practice, but a formative one at that.
Alone Among Others
If true alone time seems too daunting, I often find middle ground and go to a coffee shop or public library to read, write, and process. Simply being in the presence of others while taking intentional alone time feeds the best of both worlds.
I have a very challenging time sitting in my apartment alone. My extroverted self has a hard time sitting in complete silence. Getting outside for a walk, bike ride, or gardening gives a calming environment and space to be alone without sitting still in your apartment with nothing to do.
Just like any other part of life that doesn't come naturally, developing habits surrounding alone time can really set the tone for this space. I try to use my alone time intentionally and give myself grace within it. If I feel like doing yoga, I do yoga. If I want to journal, I pull out my journal and write. Alone time can look different for each person and doesn't have to mean sitting in a corner by yourself doing nothing, like I used to think.
Are you an introvert or extrovert?
What habits do you develop for alone time?
Labels: about me, Heart to Heart