The Power of Personalities.

by jamesjohnson92

Okay, so here I am. I’m sat here on my bed, completely wiped out. Some of the other coaches are out on a night out and all I can think about is curling up on my bed, reading my book and listening to Ben Howard on a loop. I’m definitely the epitome of fun right now – I’m the guy every girl wants to be with, and the guy every one wants to be, right? It’s all strobe lights and techno over here.

 Let me set the scene for you though. I’ve just finished a run of soccer camps that have been going on since June, most of which have been full or double day camps. The heat is intense and most of the day I can be found doing this:

I know, you’ve got the worlds smallest violin playing for me right now. It’s not exactly work. There are those of you sat reading this who would literally steal your bosses Sandwich just to trade places with me. But you see, this isn’t my natural arena. Standing in front of crowds, being the life of the party, singing and dancing – these are things I enjoy doing, but not the things I am meant to do.

 It might come as a surprise to some of you, but I am an introvert. I work well with solitude. I enjoy my own company and I’m pretty well designed to just sit and read book, watch a movie or go walking with my headphones on. Being in front of people all day burns me out and it takes a while for me to be ready for Monday when I’m going to do it all again.

 Some of you are probably thinking something along these lines right now, ‘Public speaking and a bit of jumping around all day? Sign me up, right now.’ – You guys would most likely be known as extroverts.

Introversion and Extroversion are terms you’ve probably heard thrown around a lot. They go through phases of being the en vogue term to describe why somebody is who they are. You’ve probably already got some sort of slightly stereotyped idea of whom each type of person is. The introvert probably being the shy, quiet, reserved guy with a pocket protector and a penchant for Mine-craft. The extrovert being the jock-like character who is always talking to someone and tries to get you to the local dive bar after work on a Friday. Once we understand where we sit on the spectrum between the two, we can really take hold of our lives and understand how we work as people.

 It’s all about energy

Our lives are not always congruent with our temperaments and personalities. In the day-to-day we might find ourselves in different situations that don’t best suit us. You might be an extrovert who works in payroll and spends a lot of time on their own in an office, and you might be an introvert who has to host and entertain clients on a daily basis. Either of these things would be a drain on your energy, because they don’t fit with you as a person.

In order for us to lead awesome, fulfilled lives with copious amounts of energy we need to learn to harness ourselves and understand what works for us. You can try and hammer a nail with an inflatable hammer all you want, but the nails not going to go anywhere.  If we understand how we should allocate our down time, we can be much more productive, better and assertive people.

So, how should I spend my down time?

You need to spend it how you want to spend it. If you’re an introvert, you’ll find yourself drawn to a good book, a long walk or something that involves you being by yourself. Giving yourself time to think, sit back, relax and assess things.

If you’re an extrovert, you’ll find yourself drawn to people. Socialising, being around people and even spending some time in the spotlight will help you replenish and get back on track.

There are no right or wrong ways to spend your free time, but make sure what you do is what you want to do and not what you think you should do.

How do I find out?

There are a few ways to find out, but I’m going to narrow it down to two options here to keep it simple.

First off is a Myers-Briggs test. Some of you may have taken one of these as part of testing at your place of work, or at a psychological assessment. It’s kind of the litmus test for your personality, and it allocates you certain letters for your personality type, learning styles etc. This is the test I took to find out I was an Introvert and I found the data it gives you extremely useful. You can take this test here;

Another way is to take the test on Susan Cain’s website. Susan is a leader in the Introvert world and has written some great stuff – You should check out her book, The Quiet – and her website has a more informal test which puts you in an either or category. It’s less founded in the science and more in personal preferences. You can take that test here;

Now, time to take action

In our pursuit of awesome lives and living to the fullest, using this information to understand ourselves is high on our list. If you’re an introvert, listen to your quiet inner voice. If you’re an extrovert, go out and spend time with people – just don’t get arrested in the process. This information has made a world of difference to my life, and I’m sure it can only help you positively.