I’ve spoken many times about being an introvert (although many of you still can’t believe I am). I’ve also spoken about my daughters anxiety and how over the years I have been working with her on this. I’m pleased to say her anxiety hasn’t caused any eczema or alopecia for nearly a year (yay).
But what I have noticed in the last 12 months is that she isn’t just shy, she is an introverted child. As I have become more knowledgeable on this it has been fascinating to watch another introvert from the outside in. This week she has been on a weeks residential with school. Now schools are 100% set up for extroverts not introverts, but at least she can normally come home and be quiet after school. However, a weeks residential, sharing a dormitory with others, full packed itinerary for 5 days including evenings is completely different. Oh yes I knew she would come home not only tired but she would need to “recharge her batteries”.
Here are some characteristics of my introverted daughter
- She prefers her small group of close friends to big groups of children. She struggles in situations where there are larger groups so even birthday parties when younger made her uncomfortable. In fact she still doesn’t allow us to sing happy birthday as this makes her feel very embarrassed.
- When socialising with her friends at the weekend or after school, she will take herself off for 15 mins to watch TV or read. She in essence needs time out from her extroverted friends. (more on this later)
- She has a vivid imagination which comes out in stories she writes or playing with her dolls. But she does so behind closed doors. She doesn’t like anyone listening to her whilst she plays. In fact on a recent holiday she shared a room with her brother, we noticed towards the end of the holiday she was ratty. I realised it was because she didn’t have her own space to reflect, her brother is most definitely an extrovert! On holiday she would shut herself in the walk in closet to play, where she couldn’t be seen or heard.
- She thinks before she talks, and often will ask insightful questions about the world.
So how to introverts recharge their batteries?
Extroverts feed off others, being in loud social situations literally refuels them. Whereas for an introvert we need the opposite. Being in loud environments takes more out of an introvert than an extrovert. So although I can present on stage, run a training course, host an industry soiree and talk to my guests. I need quiet time after. So for my daughter when she arrives home from her trip, she will need the same. She will want to sit on the sofa and watch TV, cuddle with me and occasionally tell me a story, play quietly in her room.
She will want time to just recharge. Only then will she feel fuelled enough to tell me all the exciting things she has done.
Next time you see me on stage with complete confidence, just know that after I’ll be seeking some quiet solitude.
If you are an introvert and want to learn more how to use to your advantage in business then why not book one of my Consultancy Services?