Introvert or Extrovert...what is my label?

What fills you up?
Meaning what gives you your energy back? 
What activities support you in the whole rather than deplete you? 

Over Thanksgiving holiday, my mother and brother-in-law discussed the difference between an introvert and extrovert.  The typical view of the two is defined by how one interacts with the world around them. If you are vibrant, happy, and expressive, more than likely you are an extrovert. If you are to yourself, quiet, and not expressive, this would mean you are an introvert. When I shared with my mom that I saw myself as an introvert, she reacted in disagreement. Because most of my professional life – either in ballet or Yoga instruction – has demanded a performance component, she assumed I must be an extrovert.  Many of us define these personality types in others based upon what we see externally, not knowing the internal pressures that are churning away.

To me, knowing whether I am an introvert or extrovert has nothing to do with how I show up in my life to others. It is all about how I show up to myself. It is my best measure to know what I can do to support my mind, body, and soul. 

When you live mindfully, you can easily identify what activities in your life provide you with energy and which ones take energy away. As an introvert, being around people can create anxiety which usually drains me. I often feel the need to be alone and reconnect with myself for reinvigoration. An extrovert would be able to absorb the energies of others in a healthy way, not depleting their state of being. 

Is this to say you should never do what an extrovert does if you are an introvert (or vice versa)? Not to me. You can find great support for self-care by engaging differently than you normally would. If you’re an introvert, a good belly laugh with a friend is some of the best medicine for reconnecting to an energetically full place. Swinging on a swing alone and taking in nature is another fulfilling experience, even for an extrovert. 

Take the time to acknowledge your personality and consider this when you effect your self-care practice.