These I’s Tanks Are On E

One of the four axes in the famous Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is “introvert” (“I”) versus “extrovert” (“E”), which is more than just whether you are gregarious or shy, but perhaps even more so whether being with people energizes or drains you. Amy and I are both fairly strong “I’s,” and while we enjoy the company of people, after a while it can get tiring and we need some alone time to recharge. Thankfully, we know this about one another, and one of the ways we look out for one another is to make sure the other has this recharge time.

Lately, though, we’ve both needed it and haven’t had much oomph to help the other get it. Both of our jobs are very demanding, not only intellectually but also in terms of interacting with, listening to, and directing others. Those times are broken up only by our times at home, when we are in constant interaction with two very noisy and needy little people, who are our biggest delights but who are no different than anyone else in causing us to feel drained from the contact.

It’s been an extended season of lots of high-intensity socializing on the work and home fronts, and I think Amy and I are a bit dizzy from it. At times, we wonder aloud about jobs that are quieter and more self-contained, or kids who are the same. But do not mistake these observations as complaints: we love our jobs and our kids, and are thankful for everything. We’re just a little in need of some cave time.

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