One of my brother-in-law’s absolute favorite topics to discuss is whether someone is an introvert or an extrovert. He especially loves to say that his brother, Chris, is an introvert, which is the opposite of what most people who know Chris would say. I guess the two of us are both in that bucket; we’re both fairly introverted, but most people who know us as outgoing, gregarious, friendly people would say we are definitely extroverted. I have a lot of extroverted qualities; I am fearless when it comes to meeting new people. I have zero problem going up to a stranger and introducing myself. I also frequently make conversations with strangers when I am alone, regardless of whether the other person initiates it or not. I’m just curious in that way, I suppose.
Well, I know for a fact that I am introverted because one of the most telltale signs that you are an introvert is that when you are around people you do not know well where you have to make an effort to get to know them, to dig deeper and peel away all those onion layers, you feel exhausted once the time is over. I had two nearly back-to-back customer meetings today in Boston, with two video meetings in between both, and I felt so tired after. I wanted nothing to do with anyone. I didn’t even really want to leave my hotel room other than to grab a quick dinner to go and bring it back to my room to eat in silence by myself. The meetings were productive, mind you; I got all the information I needed from these meetings. I shared what I outlined to share via my agenda. But when they were done, I was so happy.
These are the moments when you really do need time to yourself, when you’ve spent a lot of time socializing out of necessity, in this case, for business reasons, and need time to recharge. And the only way to recharge is to be alone, at ease in one’s aloneness and silence.