Christmastime is here again. A time of families reunited over gifts, food, drink and song. Travelling distances, to multiple parties and dinners, spending time in close quarters. A time when friends and families get together.
A time of talking, talking and talking.
Oh so much talking.
And while the wine and good times makes the tongues of the extroverts move with ease and grace, you should think of the introverts, for they are all around you.
Under the extrovert spotlight, introverts are relatively easy to spot. Perhaps they are looking for an excuse to run a last minute errand to the convenience store or spending a couple extra minutes gathering firewood in the garage. Maybe they have retired to a corner to crack the spine on a new book they just got, or are playing with their new toys behind the closed door of their bedroom or a dark basement. Or they could be under your nose, smiling silently in a comfortable chair or intently focusing on the peas and mashed potatoes on their plate while conversations swirl around them.
It’s not that introverts hate the season – far from it. The holidays usually mean downtime, time to recharge, time to reflect. For an introvert, this can mean a lot of unpacking of memories and emotions as they go through the year that was. It can truly be satisfying to be alone with your thoughts, taking inventory of the great things
that have happened. Or shutting out said thoughts during quiet time with books, a hobby or a movie. Introverts aren’t being rude when they sulk in a corner or answer your questions with single words. It’s just that sometimes the season and all that comes with it can be a little too much and they need a break from it all.
For extroverts and introverts to get along during the holidays, a fine balance must be struck. It’s not about one personality being better than the other, but each side embracing and accepting the other. While it is important to share stories with one another around the dinner table, it’s also important to sit in silence late at night
and enjoy looking at the Christmas tree or watching the snowfall outside. While it’s important to go to parties and different relatives houses, it is also important to just go for a walk, with no destination in mind, just to hear the sound of crunching snow underneath your feet.
So, to my extroverted friends and family, I say, enjoy the holidays! Your energy makes the days joyous and bright. And to my introverted brothers and sisters, I say, enjoy the serenity that the season can bring but don’t spend so much time in your head that you miss all of the great things happening all around you.
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Author: Mark Medland
Mark Medland is a 40 something father of five who lives in Mississauga, Ontario. When he is not working at one of the big Canadian banks or raising his kids, he likes to cheer for the Habs and eat amazing food with his wife Vanessa.