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Tips for Introverts Who Love People Time

Tips for Introverts Who Love People Time

I am an outgoing introvert.

Oxymoron, you say?  Nope, you said wrong!  People frequently clump shyness and introversion together as the same thing, it’s not.  It was an ah-ha moment when I learned the actual definition of introversion.  It has nothing to do with shyness, which is a fear of social situations.

An introvert is someone who is introspective by nature.  Engaging in said introspection is what recharges an introvert. This is to say, being alone to sort through one’s conscious feelings and thoughts is imperative to the introverted person. Introverted folks need to be alone in order to feel sorted out, or recharged. Extended social time is draining to an introvert. When shit hits the fan an introverted person generally doesn’t say,”I need to call so and so now,” they say, “I need to be alone, bugger off!”

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There’s a range of introversion (like everything, ’tis a very gray world, not black and white), and some introverts would really prefer everyone bugger off most of the time.  Then there are people like me who adore people time, but get exhausted from it.  I love connecting with others.  I need to connect with others.  I adore talking story/shooting the shit.  I’ll get just as cranky if I go a couple days without decent conversation as I do if I don’t get my recharge time!  It’s a very careful balance, and one that perplexed me before I pinpointed exactly what was going on.

To sum up, folks on this area of the intro-extroversion scale need to have quality people time, just as much as we need to have quality no people time.  If either side weighs too heavily we feel “unsorted”.  Bajiggity.  I know that’s not a real word, but I find it perfect to describe the anxious-spazzy-emo-crankiness that I get from unbalanced people time expenditure.

Tips!  I’ve done some research on this topic, primarily by feeling awkward at social commitments, just to give fellow people-time loving introverts these tips:

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Figure out how much CaveTime (sorting out alone awesome time) you personally need.

For me it’s three good chunks (four-ish hours) a week, at least.  Any less and the bajiggity sets in.  I generally enjoy even more!

Make time for CaveTime.

Actually schedule it, and commit.  It can be hard if something comes up to be like, “oh, no, I have plans to hang out by myself”.  Remember that it’s more than that.  It’s what you need to recharge and maintain a balanced and pleasant mental landscape – it is important.  If you do need/want to do something else, reschedule CaveTime and make sure to fit it in later.

Make CaveTime plans.

How exactly are you going to spend your treasured alone time?  If the answer is “I dunno, dinner and hanging around the house”, that’s not good enough! What are you going to cook?  Are you going to watch a movie?  Pick out a really good one in advance.  Are you going to do something creative?  Get amped about whatever you’re making.  Will you hike?  Where?  Find new music?  How?  Pin it down.  Planning a proper night will help you commit to CaveTime, as well as making sure that you get the most out of it.

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Kick FOMO’s ass.

I used to have a serious case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out, it’s totally a real thing), I had a really hard time saying ‘no’ to invites. Then I’d wind up upset, wishing I was home with a paintbrush, or a notepad, or Netflix, or whatevs.  Now I say ‘maybe’.  Maybe is a magic word.

Pick your people time carefully

.  Check how you feel after spending time with someone or a group of people.  You will find some people to be more draining than others.  Choose people that you have a genuine connection with.  I wrote an article awhile ago about pros and cons of coupling and a few readers commented that they found partners that don’t even count as “people”!  Like, they can CaveTime with them there and still feel recharged!  That’s the big dream, huh?

Try going out alone.

I find that I often enjoy quality introspective time, as well as snippets of fun and interesting conversation when a book is my only partner in crime.

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Prepare for people-filled times.

Wedding weekend?  Vacay back home?  These things are a delightful nightmare for me.  I have a total blast, but don’t recharge for a few days, then all of a sudden I feel super-duper bajiggity, and wind up missing out on being present for some really great times.  Boooo. Recharge beforehand, make excuses to hang out solo at opportune times, and chill out CaveTime when the event’s over.

People time vs alone time is a topic to be figured out for everyone, even those strongly intro or extroverted.  As introvert-leaning I’m biased to say that we should all really take some time to think about what suits us – however, as someone interested in maintaining balance in life, maybe I oughta find someone to discuss this with…

Featured photo credit: Brittney Bush via flickr.com

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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