I talked to an introvert today and asked how she was doing. “Fantastic!” was her answer. “I am so recharged!”
It turns out that she had a few days at home – alone – without her kids or partner for the first time in ages and it had done wonders for her spirit.
I think that introverts need to be truly alone to fully recharge. Time with others around – even 1:1 with someone special – is like recharging a phone in the car or through a portable battery. It works, but not as well as when it is plugged into the wall.
If you are an introvert, make arrangements so that you have some time truly alone on occasion. When I was working outside the home I spent my Thanksgivings in a three-day retreat of solitude. I needed that time to get through the end of the semester and the holidays, and even though I took a lot of grief for passing on the family holidays and friends’ feasts, I treasured every moment of that respite.
If you are an extrovert, do your introvert loved ones a favor and leave them alone for a few days – go out of town with your friends (and take the kids if you have them!). Everyone is much better off when the emotional batteries are fully recharged.