Many of my friends are writers or artists and many of them are introverts. I’ve often wondered if it is a prerequisite to be introverted in order to be creative, but I haven’t done enough study of this to know the answer.
Being an introvert can be tiring. While being social and hanging out with other people can actually fuel extroverts, it’s the opposite for introverts. Because introverts spend so much time in their head, being social and engaging in small talk can be overwhelming and they need time alone to recharge.
I don’t think that I’m a true introvert. I’m more of an ambivert – somewhere in the middle. I love people. I love talking to people, being around them, helping them. But there are days when I am so talked out that if someone asks me a question I can’t even begin to answer it. In the past I haven’t been good at reading my own body/mind to know that I need down time. This is when I end up getting sick and my body tells me that I need to stay in bed. Nowadays, I know when I need to recharge and I’ll take myself away from everyone and read or sit in the bath for hours. At these times noise is especially irritating. I won’t have TV or radio on and prefer not to talk to anyone.
Knowing this about your nature will go a long way to you being able to pace yourself in daily life. If you are a creative person, too much in your head, you’ll have trouble getting to sleep and trouble functioning in social situations. Other people will misread this as you being difficult, moody or socially inept.
So how do you recharge? This will be different for everybody and will depend on you being an introvert of an extrovert. Here are some suggestions:
- Don’t get caught up in small talk
- Have time alone
- Catch up with small groups of close friends
- Go to a party
- Catch up with people on the phone
- Catch up with your group of friends
- Participate in a group dance class
If you have writer’s block, or trouble working on a creative pursuit, it could be because you need to reboot. What’s the first thing you do when your computer is playing up? Turn it off, then on again. Sometimes you need to do that for yourself. If a good night’s sleep isn’t enough (or you can’t switch off for a good night’s sleep) then you need to find some other way to do it.
Blaise van Hecke