This post is part of a series, sharing my favourite products and discoveries from this last year. (You can find the first post here.) If you have any favourite ideas to contribute, please feel free to comment. Anyone who comments during this series over the next two weeks will have their name entered in a draw for an Amazon gift card. Let us know what you’re loving!
Today’s favourites are related to the post I shared yesterday on personality types. As I mentioned, I’m an introvert and I love my alone time!! But as a homeschooling mom of three kids, it can be hard to recharge, so today I’m going to share three things which have been really helpful this year. If you’re an extrovert, take notes, because you’re bound to have an introvert in your life who could benefit from these things, too!! (affiliate links included)
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking
This book has been showing up everywhere, and for good reason – it is AMAZING!! It’s such a good read for anyone, extrovert or introvert. It’s been crazy for me to read the ways in which our culture is built for extroverts. I’ve actually needed to read this book slowly, because I need to give my mind time to keep up with all the shifts that happen as I read it! I’m constantly recognizing ways in which I give in to pressures around me, or how I’m parenting my own little introvert in ways that aren’t helpful or healthy, but it’s just the way things have always been done.
Susan Cain has done a phenomenal job researching this book, and it is so well written. Her interviews are fascinating, and she questions many things we consider normal, but are really geared for extroverts, and make introverts miserable and uncomfortable. I keep realizing how much I’ve come to accept being uncomfortable! It’s hard for me to be honest and stand up for myself, and say no to things which don’t work well for my personality type. No, I’d rather not shake hands with complete strangers in church. (No offense!) No, I’d rather not answer my phone…like, ever. (I bet an introvert invented texting!) No, I’d rather not work with a group of people on anything I could just do it by myself.
As I shared in yesterday’s post, I truly love people, and I don’t like to be alone all the time. But there are certain interactions (small talk, gossip, strained conversation, etc.) that drain me quickly, while deeper conversations about topics which interest and inspire me are life-giving. It’s interesting to think of ways to recover from energy-sucking interactions, and add in more of the life-giving ones.
This book is great for introverts who want to find out what’s awesome about being an introvert, and for extroverts who need to grow in their appreciation for all that introverts are capable of, and why we need them to keep things balanced.
Best purchase of the year. All of my kids looooooove listening to music, but most of the time, I just want it to be quiet and peaceful. I don’t like multi-tasking, so my favourite time to listen to music is when no one else is around, and I don’t have to listen to people talking to me and listen to music.
We’ve struggled with my low noise threshold for years, but finally figured out that headphones would save the day for everybody. It’s been the best thing ever – I have my peace and quiet, and my kids take turns listening to as much music as their little hearts desire. They think it’s far more fun to listen to music with headphones than without, so it’s suddenly become a special treat, and great entertainment.
Podcast Episode: How Personality Types Manage Energy
I used to think being alone was enough to recharge me, but listening to this podcast episode was very eye-opening. There are 16 different personality types (take the test here), and each type recharges in a different way. Each one has it’s greatest area of strength, and when we utilize that strength, we are recharged. For me, that strength is thinking! Specifically, it’s thinking about how my day is going, noticing patterns in my kids’ behaviour, trying to think up solutions to make our home run better and keep everybody in a healthier place. When I have the chance to be alone, I make myself set aside the phone or the book or whatever would distract me, and I just think. At first it felt weird and like I should be doing something more productive, but it’s been amazing for me! I could think for hours. However, there are also times when I need to get out of my head, and so the best way for my type (INFJ) to balance out is to do something that physically connects me to the moment of enjoyment, like yoga, a walk, or a hot shower.
But that’s just my type. There’s a type that recharges by going back to a familiar book or movie, and a type that feels most rested when they’re learning, so listening to a podcast feels very restful. Extroverts feel energized and refreshed by different types of social interactions. There are many different ways to recharge, and it makes a lot of sense to get intentional about it. When we just blindly stumble along and do whatever feels good, we could be wasting valuable down time that’s not leaving us recharged. This episode is definitely worth listening to, for all personality types!!
Alright, let me hear it – what are your favourite ways to recharge? What gives you energy?
7 thoughts on “For the Love of Introverts”
I’m loving your posts on personality types! After reading your post yesterday Ernest and I had long conversations on the personality types in our family. Alliana so far types INFJ too, exactly like me. Ernest is an ISTJ. But the interesting one is Elijah, who types ENFP. He is the only E and the only P in our family so it has me curious about if we are helping him to recharge in the right ways because I think a lot of things that are most natural for the rest of us are not most natural for him. I will definitely be listening to that podcast you recommended!
I like to recharge with devotions, journaling, yoga, walking or jogging, art, and meditation. I find “thinking” an interesting thing because I find as an INFJ I can get way to lost in my thoughts and it leads to anxiety. So meditation is much better than letting my mind wander.
Soooo interesting!! You should definitely read MotherStyles, because it has a ton of really helpful, practical ideas on how to address different types within your family. I also found it fascinating when she explained that you can find out the personality of your family as a whole – the feeling your home will have as a result of the combination of types living there. You do this by adding up each letter type, and majority rules. Your family would be an INFJ family, so that means Ernest will be the only sensing/thinking type, and Elijah will be the only perceiving type. I loved getting some insight into how to utilize those unique gifts, and how to make the “oddball” members of the family not feel unappreciated, unfulfilled, or frustrated in any way. For example, Anika is our only thinker, so even though she’s a kid, Ben and I should try to include her in some of the decision-making. And Ben is the only perceiver, so he’s not going to do well with tons of structure or to-do lists. He’s motivated more by an inspiration board, where he feels freedom to pick and choose what he’ll tackle next, or he’ll gladly help me out with something if I ask in the moment, but making a list for him is a BAD IDEA!!!:)
I can totally relate to what you say about thinking leading to anxiety!! Usually that’s my cue to get out of my head, and balance it with my extrovert function of sensing – connecting with my physical world outside my head, which is where your exercise and art come in. I love it that you’re so intentional about what makes you feel recharged and balanced! I think it’s such a great gift for parents to pass on to their kids – the example of doing it well, and I know you also put a ton of effort into helping your kids find their outlets. So fantastic!!
Also, I am finally going to get that book “Quiet”! I have picked it up off the shelf dozens of times over the last few years but always ended up putting it back. After hearing your recommendation and knowing how similarity we type I definitely think this is a book I need to read!
Let me know how you like it! Such a good one!!
I need to have a few days a week where I don’t leave the house. These are not necessarily quiet days as there is always too many things to do, but knowing that I don’t have to see people other than my family or have to drive anywhere is what I need. I get very stressed if I see that I have to be somewhere everyday of the week. I also need a daily nap, I don’t know if this falls into a recharging category or if it simply a way for me to stay healthy with all that I deal with physically. Art and creating is also a big thing. If life is getting me down, I realize that I feel better if I can create something.
YES, I totally agree with needing to protect my days at home!! I also get quickly overwhelmed if I see my calendar packed full! And I’m a huge nap fan, as well!!:) I’m curious – what do you like to create? I’ve never purposely chosen to do art as a way of seeking balance, other than adult colouring books! I might have to explore that one…
I have started listening to the podcast you linked to in this post. It makes so much sense! I can’t wait to finish it. Thank you for sharing it.
As for creating, I was told once by my counsellor that while creating your brain can only focus on the creating and can’t focus on stress and anxiety at the same time! I knew that when I am the most stressed, I need to do some form of art. Now I know why. I have done crocheting, scrapbooking, drawing, and colouring books. I suppose creating new foods in my kitchen also counts. I don’t have a lot of time for the others, but since we need to eat, the kitchen seems to work. Taking a “normal” recipe and adapting it to our dietary needs can definitely take creativity! Even painting a new colour in the house or doing a home improvement project is creating something.