Are you an E or an I?

If you have undertaken the Myers-Briggs personality test, probably the most recalled moniker of the 4 archetypes is E for Extrovert vs. I for Introvert. It seems to be the out-group separation that most people orient around.

In earlier years, I was Extra E; over the years I have reverted to the borderline. I like people and they energise me. I like going to the office every day, to catch the spirit of the team and the org. My idea and your feedback and her counter-argument and his “have you seen this?!” and their “Can anyone help with this?” is soul food for me. We stand on the shoulders of those around us. We co-create the best work we can do.

Still, I am happy as a pig in shit, at home, just hanging out with no social interaction. I can happily go 5 days on my own without ever being bored or lonely. On my own, I enter a different space of creativity and reflection. It is where I can concentrate on big-picture projects, more strategic or philosophical in nature. It is where I think about who I am and what I am supposed to be doing.
However, there are limits, and I know them.

Many years ago, travelling in China on my own, (before internet omnipresence!) I went at least a week without speaking a single word out loud. Everything was happening in my head, in a hyper elevated environment. I reached a limit of self-dialogue.

In this unprecedented time of #COVID19 isolation, it is useful to get to know that other part of you. If you already deeply associate with alone-ness (not loneliness), you will be ok, but what happens when we come out the other side of this? Keep your sociability muscle from atrophying.

For those who are more ‘out-and-about’ in nature, you will use your digital tools to good effect, of course. But consider how you get that tactile touch, that ‘feel the quality’ factor that is so easy IRL. Work harder to reach out, to connect, to act as a connector.

We are all in this together.

This Much We Know.

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