Are you an introvert or an extrovert? I recently read “The Introvert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Extrovert World” by Marti Laney. Very enlightening book…
I used to wonder why I would get so cranky and tired after spending time with people or at a function or work. According to Introvert Advantage “Introverts feel drained by having their physical space intruded upon. It takes energy for them to be around people even if they aren’t interacting with them. Children also need extra breaks during highly stimulating activities. In our Western Culture, where extroversion is valued and many activities for children are group experiences, it is extra important for introverted children to have time alone. Being in a bad mood is often a sign they need time out.” Not only children, but adults as well (like me!) I have noticed the need for time outs for me more as I get older.
I noticed this about James that when ever we went to a friend’s house, the park, or anywhere, after an hour or so, James would wonder off for some alone time. Once we were at a birthday party and he needed alone time, so he asked the mom if he could go in the back room and play. She didn’t understand and said he had to stay. A few minutes later he starts acting out, picking on the other kids, so we went home. So, now when we go to home school functions or other outings, we plan for being there only a certain period of time and leave before we get cranky.
Actually James has been like this from day one, he has never like noisy, crowded gatherings. His first Christmas, we had a big family gathering at my brother’s house. James was so cranky and crying so much, I spent most of the time in the back bedroom away from the noise. And I will tell you a secret, I actually didn’t mind too much, because the noise hurt my ears too and always made me very cranky. Once I read the book, I was able to understand, not only his reactions, but mine as well.
I discovered on my works days that if I listened to the radio on the drive home, I was so not ready to listen to my two guys blab to me about their day, I only wanted quiet. So that led to a rather cranky mom. So, rather than listen to the radio, I enjoy the silence and relax, I am ready to listen to my two men.
Father, on the other hand, is an extrovert and being with and talking to people recharges his batteries. Our business is perfect for him, because he gets to talk all day long. I receive many compliments from our customers that he is such an interesting, nice guy. They, in turn, love talking to him. So, on the days he is home with James, I know when I get home he will need to recharge his batteries.
I highly recommend reading “Introvert Advantage”. You may just discover a few things about yourself and family members and it just may help you improve your life.