What gets you charged?

We’ve all heard of the differences between Introverts and Extraverts. Introverts are quiet, bookish librarian-types, while extraverts are loud, outgoing risk-takers. Each of us falls somewhere along that spectrum. You could argue that we are born one way or another, or that our childhood experiences impact our current personality. (I think that you have complete control over your personality, and that you can change it if you so desire, but that will be a topic for another day.)

Regardless of how you believe your personality came about, most people agree that there exist both introverts and extraverts. A friend of mine is studying psychology, and she recently explained the differences between these two personality types to me in a new way, which changed the way I see my own personality and how I react to different situations.

She explained that Extreme Introverts are perpetually over-stimulated.  They feel overwhelmed by large social situations, to the point where if they know that a wedding or party is coming up, they take time to mentally prepare themselves for the event and time afterward to recuperate. Extreme Extraverts, on the other hand, are perpetually under-stimulated.  They thrive in large social situations and feed off the energy of other people. When extreme extraverts are alone, they begin to feel drained.

This explanation led me to my current theory: people are like batteries. Extreme introverts feel “unplugged” when they find themselves in demanding social situations, but those same situations make extreme extraverts feel “plugged in.” Introverts need time to “recharge” before and after socially draining events, while extraverts feel “unplugged” when they are alone and without much social interaction.

For the record, my friend who explained this to me identifies herself as an extreme introvert, and me as an extreme extravert. We all fall somewhere along this scale, and it helps to identify where you are. When you know what part of the spectrum you belong to, you begin to know yourself better! You can better determine why certain activities leave you feeling charged or drained, and why you get along better or worse with certain others.

Where do you fall on the spectrum?

Kelli Lampkin

Kelli Lampkin is a writer, traveler, comedienne, and entrepreneur.

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