There is a group in our society and you may even be a part of it, that in some ways are living their best life right now. I am talking about those who are highly introverted. If you’re an extrovert you’ll probably be experiencing a very different type of isolation than those who are introverts.
This past week I have been recording episodes for a parenting podcast based on my Mum, Susanna’s book. Our co-host Jennie is one of the most highly extraverted people I know. The only time you see Jennie not excitedly engaged in conversation, is when she is walking to have her next animated conversation. When they say, opposites attract, Jennie and her hubby Jared took it very literally. This is because Jared is almost as introverted as Jenny is extraverted.
I don’t think it is over stating to say that Jen is always bubbly. During recording, Jen was sharing about the funk she has been waking up in lately while isolating with family and Jared’s deep seated joy caused by the same circumstances. This really highlighted to me how different types of stimulation have such varying outcomes on different individuals. Isolation presents a range of challenges, varying in degree and outcome depending on our natural personality and talents.
As a thought experiment, who would you rather hang out with in isolation? Someone like Bill Gates quiet, reserved, enjoys solitude OR would you prefer to hang out with someone like Oprah Winfrey loud, expressive, a people person. The more you are drawn to a Bill Gates like person the stronger your introversion is likely to be. And if you are more drawn to Oprah the stronger your extraversion.
More recent studies suggest that if you are drawn to both of these types of people you are classified as an Ambivert. According to experts, 30-60% of us make up this middle ground. So where do you fit on this spectrum?
Are there healthy choices you can make during isolation to meet your needs?
Can you also help meet the needs of your nearest and dearest that you are isolating with? Using this introvert/extrovert spectrum we can understand what yours and others needs are likely to be! One way we can be more specific and practical about this, is using Strength Finder domains.
As we explore what our Domains are we can have a much better understanding of what we need to be Stimulated, Motivated and Regenerated at work, at home and during isolation.
What are domains?
In Strengths development language, there are four categories of Natural Talent. I believe understanding our domains goes a long way in helping us understand our level and type of introversion or extraversion and therefore our needs.
The Four domains
Executing: Talents that enjoy getting tasks done
Influencing: Talents that enjoy influencing other people
Relationship Building: Talents that enjoy connecting with people
Strategic thinking: Talents that enjoy thinking about doing tasks better.
The extrovert domains (influencing and relationship building) require people
The introvert domains (executing and strategic thinking) require tasks or space to think about tasks.
Jenny and Jared’s domains are having a massive impact on their lives in isolation. Jen is getting very limited opportunities to use her talents so she is not stimulated, motivated or regenerated. This is why for Jenny, isolation feels like she is having the life sucked out of her because in some ways it is. On the other hand Jared is living his best life getting even more time and opportunity to use his talents. He is more motivated, stimulated and alive.
So, what do you think? Do you know what your dominant domains are? What are you doing to thrive in your domains in this season? How are you making sure that you and those you partner with are getting the opportunity to exercise their domains? Leave us a comment and let us know.
Ted Talk- The power of introverts- Susan Cain
Forbes 9 signs you are an Ambivert
Take the quiz