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  • Autumn Quiles, LCSW

I'm an Introvert

I am an introvert. This surprises and, in some cases, flat-out shocks people who know me. So I clarify... though I am an introvert, I am absolutely not shy. I am outgoing, gregarious and very inclusive. How is this? How can I enjoy connecting with people, even on a large scale, with such joy and enthusiasm, yet still call myself an introvert?

Identifying ourselves as an introvert or extrovert is not related to how we connect to others. It's related to how we "power up" when we are depleted. Where we get our internal fuel to keep going. Where we get our mojo.

Extroverts get their mojo from other people. They are inspired and fueled by others... conversations and exchanges with other fuel them. They are energized in crowds and feel isolated when they spend too much time alone.

Introverts get their mojo from solitude and alone-time. They are inspired by introspection and intimate chats with close friends. They are self-aware and often independent. Crowds can overwhelm them with stimulation.

Susan Cain, an author and introvert, wrote about this in her book, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. She also made this fantastic TED talk and created these amazing illustrations about introverts.

This past week I have been inundated with stimulation... I have spent a lot of time with people I love, celebrating and connecting. I have been in large crowds with little or no down time. And, I am exhausted. So, I plan to dedicate a day or so to solitude and recharging.

Which one are you? An extrovert? Introvert? And what about your child? Do you and your child get your mojo from the same places? Or do you need different activities to recharge? Have you considered that your child may not recharge the same way? Is there a change that needs to be made to help your child recharge?

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