Hello Sexy Peeps!
As I’m gearing up to attend my first Beyond The Love conference and am busily preparing, packing and getting pumped up to be in the company of throngs of people, I have been getting quite introspective lately. As I have been dipping my toe back into dating life, I have been having a massive personal growth spurt coupled with major milestones of learning – such as interacting with different types of people. And I expect this massive learning to only increase at the awesome conference I am about to attend. And of course, I will share what I learn there with all of you. Because sharing! Sharing rocks!
Back in my corporate life as a manager and leader, I learned that I had to manage all sorts of different personality types. Each individual would thrive not only in different environments, but also under different management styles. In order to be an effective manager, I needed to learn how to lead and mentor in a way that each person could become their best self and best hear me and accept my leadership and guidance. As I am doing the dating dance now as a polyamorous woman, never before has this idea been clearer to me! In not only dating multiple people, but in relating and trying to form hopefully long-term, fulfilling, loving relationships with multiple people, I need to learn how to interact with different personality types! This is somewhat new territory! But so exciting!
My relationship work earlier seemed easier. I only had to learn to love and interact with two people (in terms of polyamorous, intimate relationships). My husband whom I get along with pretty much effortlessly (amazeballs and yay!). And my now ex-beau, whom I had to sometimes contort into acrobatic positions to get along with in the manner that I wanted. Ultimately, that was a stupid idea, but I sure did learn alot through that process too! I learned how to manage my emotions better such as jealousy and anger, how to deal with sometimes challenging metamours, how to better set boundaries, and the list goes on.
Awhile back a great friend suggested a book called Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. For whatever reason, some of my dates recently have been with self-proclaimed introverts. And I also got interviewed recently for a podcast that specializes in empowering “quiet” women. Although many would argue today that I am anything but “quiet”, I happened to be a painfully shy child who taught myself to be outgoing and squash my shy self down deep. I thought I had completely transformed myself into an extrovert. But recently at a conference this past summer that was created by a self-proclaimed introvert, I realized that I had been negating parts of my own personality in me: The Highly Sensitive (read: Introvert) part of my personality. When I took a little quiz in this book, it turns out I’m an ambivert – meaning split almost down the middle between introvert and extrovert. Makes sense. I’m also a Gemini, the sign of the twins, so I totally believe that I kind of morph from one to the other depending on the situation and even just how I’m feeling that day – where my headspace is at.
In both polyamory for sure as well as in just life, it is essential to become a self-expert. Absolutely imperative. So learning this about myself is just awesome. But it is also awesome to learn how to relate to others – such as on the various spectrum of introvert and extrovert. I’ve been kind of fascinated with this lately if you couldn’t tell. 🙂
OK, time for definitions:
Introvert – those who are drawn to the inner world of thought and feeling; those who recharge their batteries by being alone or in very small groups; prefer less stimulation and listening rather than talking
Extrovert – those who are drawn to the external life of people and events; those who recharge with socializing and being around many others; prefer more stimulation and talking rather than listening
And to be clear on another point, introverts are not necessarily shy. Shyness is the fear of social disapproval or humiliation, while introversion is a preference for environments that are not overstimulating. Shyness is inherently painful (which is why I actively taught myself how NOT to be shy as a child). Whereas introversion is not necessarily painful at all! – It is just a way of being.
So speaking of ways of being, I am learning to BE more accepting. I am learning to ALLOW people that I date to be who they are. To try my best not to push. Definitely not demand. And allow people the space that they need for whatever: for feelings to develop, for alone time, for them to date other people, for them to rock their day jobs. This polyamory stuff can be challenging! You have to work at it. Wow! Sometimes alot! I love to communicate and communicate some more! I’m learning to accept that some people are just not as chatty as I am all the time. And that’s totally OK. Down, girl. 🙂
As I’m leaning into the concept of acceptance and accepting both the state of things and other people’s quirks and personalities, I’ve been realizing that today is perfect already. All of it. All we ever have is right now. And right now is perfect. It’s gorgeous outside. There’s no rush. It’s all as it was meant to be. Beautiful already. That’s a nice thought. And as I date and meet people, I do my best to remember that I have what I need already. I always have. I am whole. I am complete. I have a vision for an intentional family. Special loved ones. Peeps to call my own. To love and cherish and celebrate. And that’s fine. We all have dreams that we are striving for. That’s what makes life worth living. That’s beautiful too.
With that, I’d like to share this awesome freaking song that I have been absolutely obsessed with today! This song makes my heart sing! Who’s with me!? Let’s dance! Kid President said he starts his day dancing! I dig that!
How about you? What makes your heart sing? Are you leaning into acceptance and love in your life? Do you self-identify as an introvert or extrovert? Do tell!
Wishing you peace, love and happiness,
(and thrilling, fun sex too!)
Dear Kitty, I haven’t read your blog for a while, but reading it today is inspiring.
Practising LOVE and Acceptance is the KEY to any relationship whatever you choose.
I am fascinated by the biology of personality.
The core difference between an introvert and an extrovert comes down to energy.
There have been tons of neuroscience studies conducted on E/I over the years, many of which show that the brains of introverts and extroverts really are different.
An extrovert is energized by social interaction; an introvert is exhausted by social interaction. As an extrovert if I go to long without social interaction I can become depressed but my daughter the introvert needs a great deal of alone time in order to feel her best mentally. That being said, I have noticed that as I have gotten older I enjoy and value my time alone. I think that as we mature we will fall closer to the middle of the continuum..
I thought this bit of research was interesting :
Several decades ago, German psychologist Hans Eysenck came up with a more biologically based model for E/I. According to Eysenck’s theory, the behaviors of introverts and extroverts are due to differences in cortical arousal (the speed and amount of the brain’s activity). Compared with extroverts, introverts have naturally high cortical arousal, and may process more information per second. This means, essentially, that if you put introverts into an environment with a lot of stimulation, such as a loud restaurant, they will quickly become overwhelmed or overloaded, causing them to sort of shut down to stop the influx of information. Because of this fact, introverts tend to avoid such active environments. Extroverts, on the other hand, are only minimally aroused, so they seek out highly stimulating environments to augment their arousal levels.
So next time you leave a party ask yourself if you feel like going home and sitting alone in a quiet room for the next several hours, if the answer is yes then you might be an introvert.
Wow, thank you so much for your in-depth contributions to this piece, Rebecca! This is all very valuable and food for thought. You rock! But we already knew that (those that know you well)!
Hi there, Colleen!
Thank you so much for your very kind words. They mean alot to me. Inspiring others is key to my overall mission. I am enjoying diving deeper into love and acceptance in my own life, as well as sharing that message with others any way that I can!