Thursday, October 27, 2011


I am reading another parenting book.  Although parenting books often give me some insight into my child and his behavior, more often than not, the books leave me contemplating my own personality.  My current parenting read has a chapter discussing Introverts and Extroverts and how to identify your own energy source.  In the chapter there is sort of a worksheet to help you discover in which camp you fall.  You are supposed to count how many statements you agree with in each group.  The group with the most true statements indicates whether you draw energy from being with other people (Extrovert) or being alone (Introvert).

  • want to talk with someone at the end of a busy day
  • have an immediate answer for a question
  • want to invite friends over on Friday night.
  • are comfortable repeating something already said by someone else.
  • need and like to hear that others love you and like your work.
  • start to invite a few friends for dinner and realize you've invited the entire neighborhood.
  • find yourself telling your introverted child to get out of her room and call a few friends.
  • solve a problem my talking through the solution with someone else.
  • feel comfortable initiating a conversation.
  • call for the babysitter.
  • are comfortable revealing personal things about yourself.
  • frequently leave a party chastising yourself for talking too much and not listening.
  • enjoy and need to interact with other people and feel exhausted when you have spent too much time alone or only with young children.
  • immediately share a new idea or experience with someone and find joy and energy in the telling.
  • sit down with the newspaper or zone out in front of the television after a hard day.
  • will do anything, even clean the toilets, if someone else with agree to call the sitter.
  • can't imagine wanting to invite a group over on Friday night.
  • find being in a large group for an extended period of time exhausting.
  • share personal information only with those who are very close to you.  It may not be unusual for a long-term friend to exclaim, "I never knew that about you!"
  • think before answering a question, often berating yourself for not sharing an answer you knew.
  • frequently have extroverts ask you the same question twice because they interpret your pause to think as ignorance of the question.
  • prefer dinner with the family or one special friend, rather than with the whole neighborhood.
  • find yourself hiding in the bathroom or back bedroom at large family gatherings.
  • solve a problem by thinking it through yourself before ever talking about it with anyone else.
  • get tired of telling extroverts what a wonderful job they're doing and how much you love and appreciate them.
So, I did not complete this exercise prior to typing this up.  Turns out that I fall squarely in both camps.  Which, if I think about it, makes sense.  To my introvert friends, I seem to be more in the extrovert camp while to my extrovert friends, I am considered introverted.  I like to say that I am just a woman of mystery.

If I think of it solely as an energy source, I would have to say that I recharge my energy bank by being alone--which would classify me as being an Introvert.  It also explains my sudden and vehement reaction when Finn refuses to take a nap.  The rage and exhaustion is almost overpowering.  After reading this section of the book, I realized that nap time is really the only opportunity for me to recharge.  I NEED that time to regroup, rest, and recharge before I am on-call until bedtime (and beyond). 

This last Saturday, Mr. F. took Finn with him to run some errands.  For two hours or so, I had the house to myself for the first time in forever.  It was glorious.  I turned on some music and had a little dance party--something I haven't done in years.  When they came back, I was a new woman (for a little bit at least).  I might have to request more opportunities like that. 

So what about you?  Extrovert or Introvert?  Any surprises?


Jaimee said...

I got a lot out of that book. I'm really glad you're reading it as I think the more parents that read that book the better for everyone! I'll be curious to see if you and Finn end up in the spirited or spunky category. :) I'd also recommend reading The Highly Sensitive Child.

You and I are a lot alike in terms of intro- vs. extro-vertedness. I'm pretty much in the middle as well and recharge with alone time.

Melanie said...

I think, like you, my actions can fall into both categories, but I definitely get my energy from having frequent "me" time. Although I like an occasional Friday night out with a lot of people, more often than not I like to spend my weekends at home, reading, cooking, etc.

Retail Worker #48721093 said...

Look up Myers-Briggs. Fantastic personality indicator. You can probably find various forms of it in quiz form on the Internets. Maybe at

As for the introvert/extrovert question: introvert.


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