The other day at work I had an out of the ordinary ‘training’ session named ‘Insights’ which was essentially a way of looking at yourself and others and diagnosing what ‘type’ of personality you conform to and what type your colleagues do. You could say it was a bit like teaching your granny to suck eggs as we kind of all know what kind of person we are, but actually, it really made me think and accept certain things about myself. I am an introvert. I always have been, always will be. As the trainer said, we are born with certain traits within us and no amount of ‘nurture’ will change that (as evidenced by just how amazingly different any two siblings can be).
I have grown and changed and become more outspoken and less ‘shy’ with age – once you hit the big 4-0 (or even earlier) you just tend to stop being so bothered by what other people think or whether they like you. You understand that you can’t please all of the people and it’s different strokes, folks.
Having said that I know that I am still over-awed by certain situations. I used to wonder what it was about me that meant I had never felt like a true part of any friendship group of more than three people (myself included), but its obvious really – I’m not a ‘sunshine’ extraovert who can work the room, flitting social-butterfly stylee from one person to the next and acting as the keystone in everyone else’s arc. I find it hard to push myself forward into the limelight or be massively assertive. That’s frustrating because I can see so many benefits to becoming a self-confident person.
Another interesting point made at the session was the different ways in which different personality types choose to relax and re-energise. For an extraovert it is in seeking the company of others – even if only through long phone calls. For me it is being on my own, doing my thing whether it be reading, cooking, blogging or watching something on Netflix. It makes perfect sense to me that being in a big room (for example the venue for Britmums Live..) is something I will definitely enjoy and engage in but I will end the day feeling completely drained and need to seek the solace of solitude in order to get my mojo back.
We were reminded that all of us have all four elements on the wheel – the red “fiery” no bullshit leadership type, the yellow sunshine extrovert, the green (caring, down to earth, empathetic, sensitive) ones or the cool blue facts & figures, head leads heart people (the latter two being the introverts). We all have the ability to use any given colour on that scale when it’s called for but it will drain our energy a lot faster and leave us feeling wrung out.
It has also taught me a lot about how I am as a parent. I don’t get to come home from work and shut the world out to re-energise alone – I am, by necessity, expected to spend the following two or three hours interacting (in the very fullest sense of the word) with these little people I helped make. It has left me feeling frustrated and drained, I can admit that. But it makes sense. I know I will be sad when the children are less dependent on me and in turn need less cuddles and I stop hearing “you’re the best mummy in the world” on a regular basis, but I think for my personality type I might cope better as a person with the less needy years. Or maybe that is true of us all.
Anyhow I am now looking forward to the Britmums Live experience on Friday with both a huge amount of nerves and trepidation and a measured amount of excitement – but if you see me there, please be gentle!