I was at a workshop recently, and the topic of introverts and extroverts emerged. I commented about my own introverted nature, and was met by surprise. Apparently I didn’t fit the image of an introvert that my new friends had in their minds.
Plenty of people in the United States are introverts. The figures vary, but currently it’s generally accepted that about half of the US population are introverted.
The term introvert was first introduced by Carl Jung. And interestingly, the notion of introversion and extroversion is not a matter of being completely one or the other. Personality types, like introversion and extroversion, are on a continuum, and all people have a mixture of both in their personalities.
In this article, I use the term “introvert” to describe someone who interacts with the world mostly in an introverted fashion, rather than an extroverted one, and vice versa for extroverts.
The definition of what extroversion and introversion mean is based upon on how an individual sees and reacts to events, objects, or people. Introverts spend a great deal of time monitoring how things impact their inner world. An outside event (or person or object) is described and examined in regards to how it affects them and their history, thoughts, emotions, and feelings. For example, if an introvert is watching kids play, they may be reminded of themselves when they were little, imagining how care free they felt. An extrovert might comment on how crazy kids dress these days.
In a similar way, introverts gain energy by focusing inward. After spending time around a group of people, introverts feel tired and depleted. It takes effort for them to socialize, and in order to feel more energized they may pull away from the outside world and spend time by themselves. Extroverts find spending time with groups of people or activities to be energizing, and solitude is taxing.
Many people, both extroverts and introverts, carry misconceptions about what it means to be an introvert. Here are four commonly held beliefs that are not accurate.
For many families, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Years are times for reunions, reconnecting, and enjoying one another.
Yet however great the celebrations are, holidays are stressful. Here are six tips for making your holidays as peaceful and stress-free as possible.
It’s fall here in the United States. For much of the country, this means darker skies, shorter days, and colder temperatures. For many people, the change in season can also mean an increase in depressive symptoms.
What is Seasonal Affective Disorder (aka SAD)?
SAD is a type of depression that occurs during a change in season, usually fall and winter. People who suffer from SAD have many of the same symptoms as those with depression: lack of energy, feelings of hopelessness, withdrawing from friends and family, weight gain, and not enjoying things that one used to enjoy.
How many people experience SAD?
Many people experience seasonal affective disorder. According to Dr. Norman Rosenthal, 6 percent of the people in the United States suffer from SAD 1. This does not include the number of people who experience a less severe form of seasonal depression – the winter blues. SAD is more common in the northern areas of the United States, and less common in areas of the south where there is more sunshine.
How is SAD treated?
There are several treatments for SAD. Like major depressive disorder, SAD can be treated with psychotherapy and medication. But SAD also responds very well to light therapy. Light therapy uses a full spectrum, intense light to help decrease depressive symptoms.
What is the difference between SAD and clinical depression?
People who experience SAD have the same symptoms as people with major depressive disorder. However, major depressive disorder is not limited to the darker days of fall and winter.
Tips for surviving SAD
Can you remember the last time you were happy?
Was it hours ago?
What was happening in your life at the time? What made you happy?
Happiness is a goal for many people. But there are different ideas floating around about what exactly makes people happy.
Benjamin Franklin famously said, “Never put off till tomorrow that which you can do today”. Procrastination is something everyone deals with.
So why do people procrastinate?
Some people procrastinate because of the intense adrenaline rush that comes from the stress of being pressed for time. It’s not unheard of for individuals to say that they do their best work when they are moments away from a deadline.
Others procrastinate because the task they face is unpleasant. A person’s better judgement might say that the 25 page paper should be started immediately. But then along comes other activities that are much more fun. Why clean the toilet when Dancing with the Stars is on? The temptation to avoid an unappealing task can be great.
There are people who procrastinate when they are afraid of an outcome. Children often do this when they get into trouble. They’re afraid of their parents’ reaction, and so hold off confessing as long as they can. Spouses have been known not to tell l their partners that they lost their job. Couples who are divorced or separated may hide this fact from their friends and family, waiting until ‘the right time’ to tell. This usually backfires, as you can imagine.
While some people feel like their procrastination is a part of who they are and they don’t wish to change this behavior, many others want to stop procrastinating. Here are some ideas to handle procrastination.
You inadvertently judged your own movement based not on what was truly happening, but on what your mind thought was happening.
Sometimes what we see, experience, and believe is not completely valid or true. Like an optical illusion where what the eye sees isn’t accurate, it can be difficult to gain a correct perspective at times.
Here are some questions to consider when trying to gain a better understanding of the accuracy of your experience.
No one ever said parenting was easy. And while starting a new school year can be exciting for kids, it can also be a time of worry and concern for parents.
Here are some tips for making the new school year a successful one.
Creativity is a characteristic prized in children. Did you ever create forts with sheets and a kitchen table, or play cops and robbers, house, or act out a TV show? Creativity is fun!
Children use their creativity to open up their minds, to learn and to enjoy themselves. Creativity is as basic and natural as breathing, and as useful as intellect.
Children create constantly, both with their hands and with their minds. They can look at a paperclip and imagine hundreds of uses, see dragons in the clouds, or invent invisible cars that fly.
But as people get older, the push for creativity diminishes. Creativity is often relegated to drawing, making music, or writing. People who don’t consider themselves artistic may falsely believe that they are not creative.
But creativity is much more than art. It is a part of nearly everything we do. And the more the creative brain is used, the stronger it becomes.
What if I ask you how your friends or family see you, would it be different?
What about if I ask you how you see yourself?
What about if I challenge you to describe to me how you really, honestly, truly are?
Just like a group of people can view the same painting and come away with very different impressions and feelings, people also view and judge each other in different ways. The challenge is to be able to separate the views of yourself, others and the truth.
My purpose here is encourage you to explore the difference between your self view, how you believe others see you and the real you. Although some people struggle with an inflated ego, more often the problem is that people discount the true and positive aspects of themselves.
They’re officially adults, and a whole new set of parenting challenges awaits.
The first years of adulthood – the early and mid twenties – are truly confusing and challenging to both adult children and their parents. Here are some things to keep in mind.