OCT
24
The Power of Quiet

This year I’ve managed to read only a handful of books and I’m not too proud to admit that approximately 16% of my reading list included the first installment of Fifty Shades of Grey. Reading has always been a form of escape for me, since I was a little girl devouring any book I could find. Launching into business of creating a business this year – I’m a freelance designer and consultant to wellness and lifestyle businesses then a blogger and writer – has demanded the loss of leisure time formerly given over to reading, extended workouts and “me time”. Balance is making a strong comeback in the home stretch of this year, part of which included our recent Mexico vacation. And along with vacation came picking the book to read while sipping drinks on the beach! I gravitate toward the well-being and self-help genre over fiction (sans the aforementioned moment of weakness with Grey). Vacation book of choice: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

The Introvert Personality | WELL in L.A.

“HI MY NAME IS INTROVERT.”

The book was a little long and a number of the author’s arguments were vague and a little too anecdotal for my taste, but I did get a few key takeaways. First you should know I am an INTJ. If you don’t know what that means please take this informal test and report back with your personality type (the real-deal paid version is found here). Frustrated and confused were my two primary emotions when I received the results of my first few professionally-administered Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test. Me, an “introvert”? The very word conjured up an image of nerdy, geeky antisocial person. A troll, if you will. I chaired 4 or 5 organizations, made frequent appearances for $5 drink nights at the bar and did far more flirting than studying at the library in college. How on earth could I possibly be an introvert?

The Introvert Personality | WELL in L.A.

SECRETLY, I’VE ALWAYS LOVED A GOOD BOOK OVER A NIGHT OUT.

I’ve taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator at least once a year since college and through graduate school as part of my psychology coursework. The results are the same every time. There are many of us hiding among you. Introverts pretending to be far more social than we would prefer to be. Part of being a solo business owner / freelancer requires attending events, growing my network to create more opportunities. And getting way outside of my comfort zone to the point it takes a physical toll I was previously unaware of. An example is organizing and hosting the Young Female Entrepreneur events. I love everything about orchestrating the events but I am physically exhausted the day following the event, no matter how much self-care I give myself as an introvert – clean diet, exercise and sleep – before and event. I “recover” by putting up auto-responders and turning my phone off the day following the event.

TURNING DOWN INVITES OUT ISN’T SOCIAL SUICIDE.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my first year of business is to respect my introverted nature. Your personality type – leaning more introverted or extroverted – is more about where you draw your biggest source of energy. Where you perform your best, have clarity and find the pace that keeps you happily humming along in life. I’m not here to fight who I am in this one short life. Reading Quiet was a wonderful reminder to embrace my strengths and acknowledge when it’s time to turn down volume on the “social noise” that comes with living in a city like L.A.

The Introvert Personality | WELL in L.A.

DO MORE OF WHAT YOU LOVE IN LIFE.

Instead of saying “yes” to every event that comes my way, I’m being more selective and limiting myself to one networking/social event during the week. I stick around my home on Fridays to recoup with tea or wine and a movie or book. There’s less pretending to be a social butterfly and more making time for solitude. Workouts where I can lose myself, cooking in the kitchen or sharing a bottle of wine with a few close friends instead of parties and club openings. In closing this long post I would ADORE getting to know where you fall on the introvert/extrovert spectrum. I have a hunch there are more than a few of my blog-reading and loving friends out there who secretly love their quiet time! And if this post gets very few responses at least this introvert was made happy sitting and writing to her heart’s content.

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10 Responses to The Power of Quiet

  1. mary beth says:

    ha, wow! i am the exact same way! i am exhausted if there’s too much going on. i need time alone to fill back up. and matt is the opposite! it’s an interesting balance. :)

    • erin m. says:

      I love the way you phrased it: : alone time to “fill back up”. And my partner is definitely more of the extrovert/ambivert, too. I think we end up with the people we need most in our lives for that reason. In fact, I’m convinced of it!

  2. Karen says:

    I have to pick up this book! What an interesting quiz too – not surprised with my results and lucky for me I have chosen the correct field of work !LOL I have found that at times I actually need to force myself to be more outgoing – especially when it comes to my children and their activities. Just because I am content being still on a sat. afternoon doesn’t mean that my boys are. Oh the things we do for our kids! Thanks for the great blog.

    K

    • erin m. says:

      Hi Karen! Thank you for the comment on balancing it out when you have a variety of types in your family – ambiverts, introverts and extroverts. I don’t have children yet, but I can only imagine that it will add a layer of complexity to finding the “me time” I crave as an introvert. Susan does address how to raise introverted children in “Quiet” but not the opposite end of that spectrum as you described, an introvert raising extroverted children.

      I might be seeking advice in 6-10 years… hope you’re ready!

  3. Vicki says:

    Hi back from another INTJ (except when I first took the “test” I nodded and said “yep. That’s me.” But INTJs do tend to want proof, so your reaction makes sense too. :-)

    It helps to think of Introvert (vs) Extravert not as a social thing but as an Energy thing. Introverts gain energy in quiet places (like at home with a book) and expend energy quickly around stimuli (like people!). Extraverts are the other way around.

    I like to say that Extraverts are solar-powered; they gain energy when they are out and about. Introverts are more like cell phones. They have to plug in at home to recharge. Some people (called “ambinverts”) have a longer-life rechargeable battery than the usual Introvert.

  4. katie devine says:

    i love this erin! it really resonated with me. i’m excited to spend a quiet night home this evening, celebrating the mixed introvert/extrovert that i am! thanks for the inspiration :)

  5. Kate says:

    So funny, I would have never known you were an introvert at heart!! You seem the opposite to me! Good work hiding it:) I myself am a huge introvert…seriously…it can be bad. I’m going to pick up this book this weekend to read on my trip! xoxoox

  6. Sophie says:

    I am the exact same (INTJ) :) I just took it again… I was a psych major at UCLA so I’ve taken it numerous times but low and behold, once again it’s confirmed :) I love my quiet time and always have. It’s my secret to being able to do so many things throughout the day with sanity, ease and grace. When I begin to feel ungrounded it’s 100% because I haven’t had enough me-time. I’ve been journaling since I was 8 years old and it’s been a way to hear my own voice and connect to my truest, best self. Thank you for sharing! This must be why we enjoy each other so much! :)

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