Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Solitude and Companions

"Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company." ~Author Unknown

I've been living this paradox lately. On the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (a survey that classifies one's personality), I test consistently as an Extrovert. Yet these days I crave alone time in large quantities. I also notice that I really dislike large groups. I used to get revved really high in group situations and now I shy from them.

I think these changes have something to do with working from home. I spend most of each working day alone, in my little corner office of my house. And I like it! I'm not distracted by hallway conversations. I'm not caught up (as much) in office politics. In short, I'm much more productive. And I've grown used to a quiet place and solitude.

The transition from this peaceful setting to a big, crowded world jars me. I'm out of practice for dealing with crowds, and I'm not sure I want to go back. I prefer a cup of tea with a friend or two rather than a party of wall-to-wall people. Occasionally, I do muster up the energy for "going out" and dealing with the press of human flesh, but mostly not. And that's OK.


AZ tea lover said...

There are cycles of our lives when we need the quiet time for a year or more, or sometimes just for a day or a month. Savor the idea that you don't "have to" be in crowds right now. Imagine how much harder the days would be if you had to be "on" when you really wanted to be quiet. When your quiet time has passed, you'll be excited again about being with people. Tea is a great way to reflect on the perfection of life's cycles.

Allison said...

I can relate completely. I am usually equally divided on Myers Briggs- partly extroverted, partly introverted. I can feel that in my fluxuating cravings for companionship and mingling or solitude and contemplation.

Cindy said...

That's interesting Steph, I would not have picked you as an extrovert, but more like you describe. Appreciating the peace of solitude is something that requires you to be at peace with yourself I find.

Partying is fun, but a little goes a long way for me.

Ana said...

I just made the same comments to my friend last night. He also has been feeling this way. This solitude spell is lasting over two weeks. I don't even want to return my family calls.
I am a clearly defined "E" on Myers Briggs and like Steph I also work from home and get energy from being around people. This week I wrote an article about the misunderstood "I" or Introverts based on MBTI on my blog - check it out at I just realized that I also need to write about the expectations of being an "E" Extrovert.
As I read Steph’s post I remembered an article I read some time back about the 12 signs of spiritual growth. It listed the need for solitude as being one of the 12 signs. And that's where I think I am right now. I will post that Spiritual Growth article on blog as soon as I find.

megan p said...

The last time I did the Myers-Briggs, I came out I/E NF P/J. It surprised because I had always assumed I was a clear-cut "E." I actually found it comforting and somewhat liberating to see the "I" there with the "E" and to be divided on the P/J section as well . . . a sort of reminder that no one can ever fit tidily into any particular category.