I’m swimming in a pool of “friendship” right now which is a nice departure from my normally-isolated writer days–tucked away in my office. I just spent a wonderful face-to-face week with my long-distance friend Sue from Minnesota. While Sue was here in Arizona, Laurie Wallin, my new social-networking friend, asked me to join her for Friendship Week on her Facebook page. Also, via email I’ve scheduled several friend-lunch dates. As a result, I’m reflecting on the multi-faceted God-gift calledfriendship.
INTROVERTS AND EXTROVERTS DO FRIENDSHIP
I believe introverts and extroverts approach friendship a little differently. It may be natural for us to believe that because we want a specific thing in our life or relationships that our friends must need the same.However through the years I noticed that’s not necessarily the case.
If you’re an extrovert, you probably enjoy group activities and team projects. You gain energy by being with other people and may easily share your current problem or success. When you’re forced to be alone for any length of time, it drains you. If you’re an introvert (as I am) you are probably refreshed by reflection, by being alone, or by enjoying one-on-one time. This doesn’t mean you wish to withdraw from society. It just takes you a little more energy to learn the skills to do what doesn’t come naturally.
WHO ARE YOU?
To help you determine your introvert/extravert tendencies, here’s a simple graph from a book I coauthored with Carol Travilla, titled The Intentional Woman. In the box below, choose the words or phrases that best describe what you prefer to do. Then mentally place an X on the line between the words extrovertand introvert at the point where you believe you register on the continuum between the two extremes.
I am recharged by:
Working with a team
Focusing on what is happening around me
Knowing what others are doing
I am recharged by:
Working alone or one-on-one
Focusing on what is happening withinme
Knowing the idea/motivation behind the action
No matter where you “land” on the continuum, you are cool! There’s absolutely nothing “wrong” with being an extrovert or an introvert. Life Coach Laurie Wallin (Living Power Life Coaching) wrote on her Facebook page during “Friendship Week” that knowing this allows her to give grace to herself and her friends in their relationships.
FREEDOM IN FRIENDSHIP
The relief-producing reality is your friend may not want or need what you want and you may not want or need want she wants. For example:
Some of us need to stop thinking and do,
while others need to stop doing and think.
Some need to stop asking and give, though
others need to cease giving and ask.
Some of us need to stop crying and smile,
yet others need to stop smiling and cry.
Some need to stop confronting and give in,
while others need to quit compromising and confront.
Some of us need to stop waiting and run,
Though others need to stop running and wait.
Some need to practice discipline and organize, yet others need to cease
structuring themselves into a box and relax.
How do you feel about all this? Sometimes “friendship” still baffles me. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Joan C. Webb
Writing, teaching, coaching to empower and set free.