Saturday, January 3, 2015

A Thing I Discovered

One major discovery I made in 2014 is that I'm not actually an extravert. Seriously. I've always sort of assumed I'm an extravert because I'm loud by nature. I'm loud and gregarious and I like people (for the most part). And, I'm typically comfortable speaking in public. 

I began to question my extravert-ness in 2013 when I was dealing with fatigue. I had a limited supply of energy and I began to crave time at home. Alone time was (and is) absolutely necessary.

Looking back, I've required alone time my entire life. (Clue?) As an adult I have to have a certain solitude before starting work. I say "have to" when what I mean is "require". 

For example, when I worked at the Big Bank in the Big Bank Building in the Big Town I started my day in the café. The café was often busy as people came in to pick up a muffin and a coffee to go. The tables behind the order bars were really there for the lunch crowd. But I found that if I took my muffin and tea to an out of the way table I had the quiet bliss I craved. The time and space to close my eyes as I savored the best pumpkin muffin in the world. It was the best muffin every. single. day. Sometimes friends and co-workers would spy me and ask to join. That was okay, but after they finished their muffin I would say, "I just need a minute. I'll be right up." And I did. I needed a minute to re-create the quiet moment that belonged to just me.

So, in early 2014, I worked with my friend Beth who is a life coach and a certified practitioner of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®). I've always just said "Myers-Briggs".  One of the great things about working with Beth is that along using the type "test", Beth uses interviewing with very specific questions to help hone in on your personalty type.
My own personal caveat to personalty assessments: when relying solely on your own answers to the bubble tests, sometimes you may get a "false positive". You unconsciously "trick" the test. That is, if you think you are an extravert you may answer questions "as an extravert". Okay, that may not happen to everyone...but has absolutely happened with me. I've found that if I take any assessments for work that I answer all in my "work" persona which is very different from my "private" persona.
The most memorable question Beth asked me was: "When you have a really horrible day, maybe at work, or your feelings are hurt, do you want to go out with friends or go home and be alone?"

Me: "Home." (and then I wanted to add...doesn't everyone?). Turns out that this is a specific way of "processing" and not everyone processes everything the same.

I know I've just stated the obvious but it's not cliché.

Having a better understanding of my natural ways of seeing the world and my natural ways of processing information and emotions has helped me have many "aha" moments. I'm still enjoying exploring this.


  1. This explains why we get along so well :-)

  2. And we have a similar sense of humor! :) You are just so much fun. !


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