Well, I'm not talking about bellybuttons here today (God knows, I talk about them enough at home. Somehow the four year-old is under the impression that it's a potty word, and I'm sort of going along with it because he says 'bellybutton' instead of 'toilet' or 'poopy.' I can handle that in public), I'm talking about character. If you take the Myer's Brigg's personality profile, you will find that you fall squarely into one of two camps: Introvert or Extrovert (marked by either an I or a E accordingly). I'm gonna drop a bomb here, so hold on to your wigs and keys, I am an introvert. SHUT THE FRONT DOOR. I know. It's true. This wordy, won't shut up, quirky, character is an introvert.
According to the Myer's Brigg's evaluation, whether a person is an introvert or and extrovert has to do with where they get their energy. Introverts obtain gratification and energy from within, and extroverts from outside the self. By this definition, it is possible for a person to be gregarious and outgoing, and still an introvert. This is my "problem." Because I am an outgoing person, people automatically assume that I am an extrovert. It is equally possible for a person to be shy in social situations and a complete extrovert. According to research, there are more extroverts than introverts in our culture.
I have been thinking a lot about what it's like to be an introvert as a parent. I am prepared to make the official statement that any and all moments that I feel like a failure as a parent are directly attributed to the fact that I am an introvert. Introverts need more time than extroverts to be alone and recharge. Naturally, as a parent, those moments don't come with any dependable frequency. The nature of parenting is that you give and give with no promise of recharging. I am not saying that this is easy for an extrovert, I am saying that it's extremely difficult for an introvert.
What's the point of this? For me to lament about my introverted challenges as a parent? Nope. Really, no. It's only to say that the awareness of whether you are an introvert and an extrovert can lead to some self forgiveness around how you "are" or what you "need." We tend to judge ourselves as either "normal" or "not normal." I have beat myself up over this. I need time to myself, and that is not "normal" because "most people" don't need that.
Here's the deal: I'm all about forgiveness, I'm all about self awareness, and I'm really all about not being "normal."