Energies of Introverts & Extroverts

Would you consider yourself an Introvert or an Extrovert?  Depending on how you answer, this ultimately influences how you retain and expend emotional energy.  When someone comes to my office complaining of being burned out emotionally, one of the first things I try to determine is "How does this person get their energy to start with?" Depending on personality traits and how the person best likes to solve problems, this gives me valuable insight about how people use their energy.

 

For instance, introverts tend to process information and problem solve internally.  They draw their energy through privacy and personal space.  In stark contrast, extroverts process information externally and often solve problems best by vocalizing to others all of the possible solutions.  Having frequent connections with others emotionally lifts extroverts and energizes them.  

 

When we ignore these basic personality traits we create imbalance.  Moreover, when we ignore the differences in the personality traits of others we create misunderstanding and intolerance. For example, introverts who are not given the time and space they need have a difficult time processing information.  They are often accused of "shutting down" and "not expressing themselves" when in reality, they are not comfortable sharing information they haven't first thought through by themselves.  Extroverts are often misunderstood as well in their communications and their need to surround themselves with others for emotional support and well-being.

 

Corporate America has long used the Myers-Briggs Inventory to help employees determine their levels of Extroversion and Introversion, among other personality characteristics.  Individuals can access the inventory online as well - one source is www.psychcentral.com.