Myers Briggs, which is based on Jung’s theories, is a popular psychometric test that identifies your personality type, strengths and preferences. One of the things it measures is your level of extraversion or introversion. This is not about whether you are outgoing or shy but rather whether you get your energy from being around other people, or find more pleasure in your own company.
Although I have embraced my introverted side and find much more pleasure in my own company as I get older, there’s no question, when push comes to shove, I’m an unashamed extrovert!
I love being around other people, organising events or trips with family and friends, chatting in the pub with my mum friends, enjoying a good catch up with my parents and in-laws over a long lunch or dinner… the list goes on.
I realise that all my ‘I wish…’ moments during lockdown are around people, like ‘I wish I could see my best friend for a drink’ or ‘I wish I could go to London with my husband to see a show’.
In the first couple of weeks of lockdown I was quite happy being at home with the family. It gave us precious extra time to connect, spend more time eating together and playing games. In a way it felt like we were on holiday, although my husband and I continued to work (from home).
I also enjoyed the fact that lockdown forced me to slow down, meaning not only that I caught up on jobs around the house and garden, but also really began to appreciate the place I’m lucky enough to live in.
I’m still loving this time as a family, especially because my children are teenagers and I know they will soon be planning their own lives, away from our home. And, at the same time, I realise that I need more than them. I think this is especially true because both my children and husband are quite introvert and pretty good at entertaining themselves. In a way I envy them!
I am super grateful for technology, it’s been brilliant at helping me stay in touch with my loved ones. In fact I’ve spoken to my friends and family more in the last couple of months than I would usually!
Like many people we’ve worked hard to stay connected, including a Saturday night quiz with the in-laws, online Cards Against Humanity with friends and online Scrabble with my mum-in-law. It is all lovely but it’s just not the same. I’ve come to the realisation though that it just isn’t a substitute for catching up in real life, giving people a hug and having a completely natural conversation, without the screen getting in the way.
However, whenever I’m struggling a bit, I remind myself to be grateful for all the brilliant things I have in my life. We’re all healthy, we have enough space for everybody, my husband and I still have work, our kids still like being with us (most of the time!) and there are lovely spaces close to the house that I can walk in, making sure I get my daily exercise.
I know that I am fortunate but goodness me, those hugs and chats in real life with the people I love are going to be ace when lockdown lifts…
If you’re interested in finding out more about your personality you can complete this free test: https://www.16personalities.com/
Fresh Air Fridays are now running regular FREE 30 minute virtual drop-in groups to provide you with a safe space to destress and breathe again. You can find out more, including the session times, on our Breathing Space page.