04.13.2016

Why acknowledging your limits is one of the most liberating things you can do.

I recently took a personality test as part of a course I was taking and it was so validating. There are a few things I’ve always known about myself – I’m an introvert, for starters. Small-talk is not my favorite. I need quiet time. I’m sensitive sometimes often. But in no way was I expecting a computer generated report to get me so accurately.

I’ve always been an introvert, but as Jen Hatmaker would say, I’m a “high functioning” introvert, or in other words, an extroverted introvert (did anyone else know this was a thing?!). In my professional life, I’m often called upon to be an extrovert – be it through team projects, networking, or my favorite…meetings. But at the end of the day, playing the “extroverted introvert” card is exhausting. Not to mention, it feels terribly inauthentic.

I have a number of extroverted friends, and there are oh-so-many things I love about these extroverted friends of mine. For starters, they’re extroverts. I love that about them! They can bring me out of my shell, and let’s be honest, I’m not a hermit. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I love a party or get-together once in awhile. My extroverted friends are entertaining and good conversationalists and can make me laugh until I can’t breathe, but one of the things I often hear when I decline an invitation to get together is this: “You’re SO busy.”

It’s ironic, this “You’re SO busy” response, because the truth is, while I’m busy, I’m not busy for the sake of being busy. This year especially, I’ve tried my hardest to be intentionally busy – to fill my time with things that fill my cup rather than things which drain my cup. And part of of being intentionally busy means saying no, which means that lately, I end up saying no more often than I say yes. I don’t like to pack my weekend full of 12 different commitments. Or 3! So if I already have 1 or 2 commitments on a weekend and get asked to meet for a playdate or coffee or a walk, I often have to graciously decline.

Acknowledging my social limits has been terrifically liberating – I have a lower threshold than some of my friends, and I’m 100% ok with that. Really and truly.

Disclosure: I’m guilty of committing to 12 (ok, maybe 5) different social events during a given weekend. I’m not immune to the over-committed and over-scheduled life. But I’m learning so much about who I am and what’s good for my soul – and something about knowing who you are at your core frees you from the guilt and struggle of saying “no” to the things that aren’t YOU.

Now that my girls are getting slightly older (it’s all relative when you have toddlers…at 2 and 4, they feel so old!), I’m finding more time to be quiet, to really listen to myself. Quiet time is like a cold cup of water on a hot day. We all need quiet once in awhile. Some of us need more of it than others, but we all need it. It clears space in our minds and hearts and allows us to more closely connect with one another and the extraordinary Creation around us. It helps us to be more patient and kind with one another.

And I think we can all agree that, introverted or extroverted, the world needs more connection, more patience, more kindness.

How do you find your quiet?

Acknowledging my social limits has been terrifically liberating – I have a lower threshold than some of my friends, and I'm 100% ok with that.

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About Erin

I’m a thirty-something, coffee-loving mom of two living in a funky neighborhood in Seattle….all while seeking a balance between keeping up and slowing down.

Comments

  1. YES! I am the same extroverted-introvert. I can go to the meetings and networking events, but then I need some time to myself to recharge. Good job taking care of yourself!

    • I feel the same way, Brittany! Having down time is oh-so important for us extroverted-introverts!

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