Following on from my article a couple of weeks ago (The World Is Built For Extroverts), this article looks at how we can find a balance between the time we spend alone and the time we spend with others.

None of us are purely introverted or extroverted, and we are all a unique combination of those two traits. Depending on the individual situation and circumstance we may sway more towards either of those behavioural types.

Becoming aware of our ingrained reactions to certain scenarios can help us take a more forward thinking and conscious role in how we approach similar situations in the future.

I’ll once again use myself as an example; I enjoy spending a great deal of time on my own with a large amount of control over the volume from external sources that I know may overwhelm my thinking. So with this preference in mind it would be easy for me to distance myself from a certain amount of human interaction. However even though I can spend a considerable length of time in what some may call “self imposed solitary confinement”, I do eventually find myself needing some level of communication or real world contact with at least one other person.

This awareness has helped me look after my mental well being, so I plan ahead of time when I can meet the people who are important to me.

I can only imagine what it may be like for someone who sits on the opposite end of this personality spectrum. Perhaps there is a similar point for an extrovert when their mental wellness becomes in need of some relative stillness and silence in order to maintain a healthy balance in the day to day existence. However I’m aware that some people who prefer a busy environment can find the quiet contemplation experience a little scary, as the practice of deep thinking and self reflection is not carried out on a regular basis. So if this is you then maybe give it a go by finding a quiet time, maybe just before you go to sleep or after you wake up, and spend a couple of minutes just getting used to taking notice of your thoughts. You can slowly increase the duration over time.

Whatever your individual preferences are in terms of alone time and social time, being aware of the need to find a balance of the two can be an effective way towards managing long term mental health.

If you’ve already found your balance between social and alone time, please let me know in the comments section, particularly if you’re predominantly an extrovert.

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For further assistance in maintaining good mental health, check out this webpage for 10 tips.

https://uhs.umich.edu/tenthings