Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Reflections on Quiet

Place: Dave, Julie and Tucker's house

Drink: Coffee

Weather: Hot!

I'm reading a really interesting book about introverts called "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking" by Susan Cain.  It's a great book.

I've had many a conversation over the year about where I sit on the spectrum between extroversion and introversion and there is no doubt that I have a mix of characteristics that come from both of tendencies.    On tests I mostly come up with a slight preference in the extroversion direction and I think that is correct.  I do, however, have many tendencies and preferences that are in the introvert direction.  An obvious one of those is my preference for one-on-one style relating.

Reading Quiet, however, has led me to reflect about one of the ways in which I most definitely am up the extrovert end - the energy I gain from high stimulation.  One of the things that Cain is writing about in Quiet is the characteristic of introversion as highly reactive to stimulation and easily overwhelmed by it.  She's helpful in commenting on the fact that many people will be highly reactive to some form of stimulation but not others.  She's got me thinking though.

I love a highly stimulated life.  I love the energy that comes from having lots to do; the energy that comes from the lead up to a hyped event; the energy of lots of ideas; the energy of a busy environment with lots of people.  Except in specific environments like on retreat, I find low energy environments really hard work and they take energy away from me.

As I have sought to gain more balance in life, I've had less of the high stimulation in my life - time to re-engage some, limiting the negative sides of it.