Not too long ago, I worked with a fellow nurse who asked me whether I was an introvert or extrovert. We had just politely introduced ourselves, so you can imagine my surprise to receive such a specific question. By the end of the shift she had me eagerly taking the Myers-Briggs personality assessment to determine my category. (*you can take your personality test here)
For our readership, who has been with me any amount of time, you might feel like that’d be an obvious result. Yes. I fall in the extrovert category, but surprisingly, I also have some introvert tendencies. I realized this years ago after reading Florence Littauer’s book, Personality Plus. Which is also where I learned about omitting every other story.
See, there are some personalities that feel we are blessing the company we keep by sharing all the fabulous stories that pop into our minds. But apparently, we’re actually wearing them out.
I know! How sad.
Nevertheless, I can see how this is true. Therefore, in the book, Littauer suggests, instead of telling every single story that pops in our minds, only share every other one. I believe she acknowledges the feeling of sadness we’ll experience for our friends missing out on such a good story, but they’ll never know what they missed. It’s better to leave a get together with everyone wanting another, rather than feeling they’ve just been overloaded with the current one.
Less is more kind of thing.
It’s for these exact experiences that I also learned about my introverted tendencies. I’ve learned that my extroverted personality may not only wear-out the people I’m around, it can wear me out as well. Which is the very reason I need time alone to disconnect and recharge.
I’ve become very mindful of creating downtime. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying “no productivity.” My downtime still has laundry to do, meals to make, bills to be paid, and children to be chauffeured. More specifically, my downtime means I’m intentional to unplug from people—the external relationships outside the walls of my home. (Disclaimer: not that I wouldn’t love to disconnect from some inside my home time-to-time too—did ya know we had teens in the house?!)
Over the last two decades I’ve read books, listened to speakers, completed assessments, and observed those around me, in order to gain a deeper understanding of how I’m wired, how to find balance in the way I’m geared, and how to utilize it in bringing value to others.
I’ve celebrated that there are indeed some wonderful qualities in me, but I recognize the benefit of continually working to improve the package.
It’s why we rearrange our furniture, replace our wardrobe, and upgrade our technology. It’s kind of like my new bottle of mousse. Pantene didn’t change the contents, they just updated the label. Same product. New packaging. A new label gives a new look and keep things fresh and current.
None of us want to be outdated. We desire to be relevant. We aim to offer something significant to those we rub shoulders with. However, we can’t accomplish that without pursuing a constant state of change—or as I like to call it, development.
We are continually changing, growing and developing into who we were called to be. And who we are called to be isn’t going to look the same today as it does in twenty years. Not only that, but the change might be made from an unpleasant process. Brandon just brought this up a few weeks ago on our drive into town discussing some difficulties we’ve faced in our family. He said, “Babe, I believe we are living our best life right now. And I believe in ten years from now, we’ll be living our best life then.”
The thing is, our best life we experience today, won’t be the same experience for our future. We have to be willing to continually change, even when what we see might not be so bad.
Our best life isn’t about not being bad, it’s about always being better.
Keeping that in mind, let’s be assured that along with the celebrations, the crummy moments alike, are creating something of great value within us.
May our attitudes be of anticipation – we are becoming more in 2019!
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 ESV