So...in case you haven’t noticed yet, I have an inherent bias towards introversion.
A big part of this is because I am an introvert. My name is Kate and I am an Introvert.
There. I said it out loud.
I’m also not sure if my bias towards introversion is because of being an “older sister” or not (probably is), but one thing I do know about myself is that I definitely feel protective of those whose voices are under-represented.
Either way, I loooooove to talk about introversion and all the wonderful (and challenging) things that come along with having this preference.
But I found myself the other day, starting to wonder if I needed to give extroversion some air time as well. I mean, after all, it’s about making room for everybody, right?
So I thought that I would say a little something about extroversion and meditation. And no, I didn’t say that to be funny!
Here goes: you don’t have to be an introvert to do these things well.
Everyone has the capacity to engage in meditation and focusing practices, even extroverts.
As a mental health counselor, I have worked with many individuals who have been labeled ADHD or hyperactive and given mental health diagnoses reflecting this.
It saddens me that this happens because what I have found is that in cases where individuals are on tasks that interest them, most of these people are able to focus and complete the tasks.
They might not get to the end result in a “conventional” kind of way (sitting still and following through in a quiet, calm manner while keeping to themselves), but they DO get there.
Have you ever stopped and wondered about the possibility that someone who has been labeled “disruptive” or “ADHD” might just actually be an extrovert trapped in an introverted world?
(This is not to take away from the fact that some people just are disruptive regardless of MBTI preferences…)
But if you think about it, schools and many office settings are notoriously biased for introverted work styles: stay in your own space, work quietly by yourself, don’t disrupt others.
This sounds an awful lot like an introverted work environment. Which works great if you’re an introvert. Not so much if you have an extroverted preference.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach that is going to work equally effective for different personality types.
We need to take into consideration how to make room for all types of personality preferences when we’re setting up our work spaces, building teams, providing support and resources in schools. Including extroverts.
Sometimes, what you might call conflict or disruption might actually be a behavioral clue that the environment does not support the personality preference.
Rather than a flaw or character defect about someone.
And as far as meditation and focusing practices, what is true is that someone with a preference for extroversion will very likely need to be more “active” in their approach.
True extroverts might consider a walking meditation or chanting out loud. Drumming. Even singing and dancing can be powerful ways to meditate.
Any repetitive practice has the potential to become meditative in nature.
Extroverts also need to reframe their expectations for what focusing and meditation looks like for them.
There’s no one “right way” to meditate. And you also don’t have to be an introvert to do it well.
Instead, you can learn how to let your robust strengths shine through and do it your own way.
And that’s what I am here to help you do: help you find your own way to effectively share your gifts with the world.
The world needs you and what you have to offer. I promise.
If you’d like to chat more about this and how I can help, let’s talk.
I am grateful that you are a part of my community and I am here to support you however I can.
Stay safe and be well.
Kate is an INFJ-3 on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Enneagram.