Empty day > full day. + Are you an introvert?

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‘Lite’ version of Olympic curling

I love the English, they have a great sense of humour which I think we need after seeing some of the snowboard people being blown all over the place by gusty winds. Just imagine, you train for four years for something, you get two goes, and the second one is destroyed by circumstances over which you have no control. OK it is a dangerous sport but why not avoid it unnecessary denager by a slight postponement whilst the wind dies down. Alas the participants did not protest vigorously enough.

Office with a view – Glastonbury and blue sky

The day started with a blank sheet, the best way to start a day, so that I can choose everything that happens to me and one of the things was a very interesting exercise in public relations sent to me by the Men’s group of which I’m a member. I was very moved by the transparency and honesty of this communication which is a basic call to faith by a Dean in Bath which struck me due to its honesty and vision. Check it out and be inspired.

I can tell this is going to be a wild day. (quick exit to load up the washing machine). I was trawling and researching the Internet as I normally do and a very interesting article definitely had my name on. I feel part of me is extrovert but the greater part is introvert so I pinched part of  this article from Psychology Today.

An introvert and an extrovert walk into a bar. (No, this is not a joke.) It’s a Saturday night, and the place is packed. A cover band is rocking on stage, dozens of people are talking loudly over mugs of beer, and it’s loud.

The extrovert takes in the scene and gets excited. He sees opportunities everywhere — an attractive stranger at the bar, friends he can talk to, and the chance to cut loose and have fun. He walks straight up to his group of friends, slaps one of them a high five, and orders a beer.

The introvert sees the situation differently. He hangs back for a moment, looking around, taking everything in. Then, he walks quietly up to his group of friends and waits for one to acknowledge him before he speaks. He feels a bit overwhelmed, drowning in all the noise and activity, but he tells himself to relax: This is supposed to be fun.

And the introvert does have fun, for a while. He drinks a beer and catches up with a friend he hasn’t seen since college. He even dances when the band plays his favorite song. But it doesn’t last. Soon, the introvert grows tired. Not just “I could use a quick catnap” tired, but really tired. His brain has turned to mush. He has trouble spitting out sentences. His whole body feels physically fatigued.

He’s getting an introvert hangover.

He glances over at the extrovert, who is doing shots with a pair of women he apparently just met. The extrovert doesn’t show any signs of slowing down; in fact, he looks even more energized than when they arrived.

Why do introverts get more drained by socializing than extroverts?

Of course, this example is a generalization. Not every extrovert spends the weekend partying, and sometimes introverts live it up, too. We all act introverted at times and extroverted at others; according to Carl Jung, the founder of analytical psychology, there is no such thing as a “pure” introvert or extrovert. We all fall somewhere on a sliding scale.

And socializing is actually draining for everyone eventually, according to a recent study. Researchers found that after three hours after socializing, participants reported higher levels of fatigue. Surprisingly, these effects were found to be hold for both introverts and extroverts. This makes sense, because socializing expends energy: You have to talk, listen, and process what’s being said, among other things

It continues, and I’m sure you will take this excellent magazine and publication even more seriously. What I draw from it in particular is that there is no better or worse. We are just differently constructed and if for example we have stage fright or prefer small groups of people to larger groups, there is nothing “wrong” in that. It’s just that we function better in one environment rather than another.

one of the reasons I like Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, is that he brings a business like manner to church affairs. I love this quote;

“I want to start by saying just two simple sentences about the church. First, the church exists to worship God in Jesus Christ. Second, the Church exists to make new disciples of Jesus Christ. Everything else is decoration. Some of it may be very necessary, useful, or wonderful decoration – but it’s decoration”. 

Justin Welby

This is a very good principle which you can apply to virtually anything including family and business matters. For example “the most important thing in our family is the health and well-being of our children”. or ” the most important thing about my job is that I look forward to doing it”. I can say of myself, “I very much look forward to each day because no two days are the same, not to mention looking forward to writing this diary, The anticipation of what I am going to say never ceases to fascinate me”.

So far as I know, no one else has been inspired to write the diary because of my efforts but then the inspirer of this diary, Tony Benn wrote in his diary for himself. Samuel Pepys, had no intention when he wrote his work to inspire other people, he just did it because he was so minded and indeed I am so minded. It’s like painting a work of art. You normally don’t paint for someone else except commissions. You paint for yourself because it is within you.

*****

Today I had a chat with the person who gave his testimony last Saturday at the men’s group. We had been sent the film above “check it out and be inspired”.  I suggested we watch the film together and stop it when there was something to discuss. We managed to get through 1 min 28 seconds of the film in a conversation lasting one hour 20 min. We discussed the awkwardness and the lack of courage we both had about talking to others about our beliefs. I don’t think it helps an awful lot to go around saying to people “do you believe in God”. I think the better thing is to be someone with whom people feel comfortable with and with whom people can share their problems. In the context of such an open door, a topic of values or meaning may pop-up in which case that would be the opportunity to open the dialogue.  Putting your foot in a closed door is not a very good idea.

*****

After the talk on Saturday I ordered a book on that afternoon called “Tough Talk” from the behemoth Amazon which was about two very rough and tough people, one was a weightlifter, who abandoned a life of drugs and violence to follow the greater purpose in this case of becoming Christians. It is an easy read so I will try to finish most of it tonight. They go all over the world giving talks particularly to rough places such as prisons. I love reading ‘walking my talk’ type books. There are much more impressive than the theorising and ‘preaching’.

 

 

 

 

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