I am taking another time out from editing my novel to begin thinking out load about identity. Today, as we walked along the sea, I got to thinking about about attitude, and how we all have an attitude that isn’t static. I think most of us can agree on that. With that said, I want to define attitude in Jungian psychology terms, that is the preference of one’s psyche towards either introversion or extroversion. Personally, I don’t care for the word preference and usually describe the tendency to shift towards one or the other as what happens when one is charging one’s system.
Some people need to retreat into quietness in order to recharge as being active in the outer world takes a lot of psychic energy. Others feel drained when out of interaction and need to get involved with others and/or the environment in order to recharge their energy levels. It is that simple. In Jungian psychology, we talk about extroversion as action oriented and introversion as thought oriented. By action, I don’t limit meaning to action with other people, but also with the environment – any task or activity that allows the ego to focus “out there” rather than “within one’s head.”
I am an introvert though many people over the years would never have guessed this fact as I have been very, very active in teaching, coaching and in public presentations. It looks as though I was born to be on the stage. And, I have to admit, that I feel comfortable whether it is leading a focus group, playing music on stage, or engaging young adults in seminar sessions. Yet in spite of appearances and my enjoyment, these activities cause a significant drain on my psyche and its energy levels. If I don’t take a time out, I burn out.
In those moments of time out, such as when I meditate, I can feel myself pulling back together. In those quiet times, I thrive and enjoy the quietness and the opportunity to listen to my inner voices where I can get a sense of who it is I am when all is said and done.