I didn't know I was an introvert until about eight years ago. In high school and college, I was very social, liked to participate in class, and was actively engaged in many extracurricular activities. In general, I loved being around my friends and family as much as possible and certainly wouldnít have considered myself to be shy.
When I graduated college, I realized that as much as I like being around people, I recharge and find my solace on my own -Ė engaged in quiet time and reflection.
I enjoyed being around groups of people, but felt incredibly exhausted afterwards, and always had to re-group on my own. I learned then that being an introvert isnít always about being shy; itís how you refill your own energy and sense of being.
Are you re-charged and find your energy around people? Then you are likely an extrovert. If youíre like me, and are rejuvenated when engaged in reflection on your own, you are quite possibly an introvert.
Carl Jung, and other authors of the popular Myers-Briggs personality tests, suggest that everyone has both an introverted and extroverted side, but one is typically more dominant than the other. In reality, we all likely fall somewhere on the introverted-extroverted continuum.
Matching personality types to potential professions is not a new idea, but it's something I have always been fascinated by. My own Myers-Briggs personality type is INFJ. Based on my personality type, I am drawn by my intuitions and am a natural nurturer, but being around people all day can deplete me of my energy if Iím not careful.
Even though nursing is a passion of mine, and one of the aspects of my life Iím most proud of, I also need to be aware of my personality type, and allow for self-care and rejuvenation so that I can continue to do my job to the best of my abilities.
Healthcare providers know that as soon as you hit the floor, you are drawn into your patientsí and their familiesí lives Ė- in fact, itís one of my favorite parts of the job. The emotions they are dealing with are messy and complicated, and can range from pure joy to all-encompassing grief and conflict. To off-set this aspect of my job, spending quiet time both before and after nursing shifts has really helped me decompress from the dayís flurry.
Have you ever taken a Myers-Briggs personality test? What kind of impact does your own personality type have on your career choice?