Tuesday, 9 August 2016
Our social batteries
I started reading this book the other day. It is a book about how introverts need to stand out in today's day in age. I haven't read a lot of it yet but I get the impression that it is talking about the message that I want to get across and that is that today even if you are introverted that is nothing to be embarrassed about but sometimes you need to come out of your shell so to speak and become that situational extrovert.
The author also introduced something called the social battery, which is really interesting. He says that we all have the social battery and when it is full in each and everyone of us then we are indistinguishable as introverts and extroverts. However, as the evening goes on some people's batteries will go down faster than other people's.
Let me give you an example.
My friend who I have known since I was 11 years old now lives on the other side of the world however he does come and visit me here in Tokyo from time to time. I think that he has come here 7 or 8 times. Each time he comes he and I have a great time, pigging out on junk food, (although Mr. Donut choco old fashioned donut can not be considered junk food) hitting the bars, mid-afternoon karaoke and spending time in book shops.
Usually the highlight of the trips are the nights out and this is where the social battery can be seen in all it's glory.
My friend is very much an extrovert while I am on the opposite side of the spectrum. I'm a bit more introverted lets say.
Now, I like going out and about as much as the next person but my social battery runs out a lot faster than an extrovert. So my friend and I would hit the town and we would go to a few places and lets say by 2am my social battery is running low, I'm literally running on fumes while my extroverted friend's petrol tank is still three quarters full and he is going for it. Usually by 4am I'm asleep in the corner and he is just hitting his stride. It's like he has been to the petrol station and he has a full tank of gas.
I will then give him the key and tell him I'm going home. I'll be in bed at 4.30am and he will get home at 6am or 7am.
We have both enjoyed the night but each of us have our limit and that is OK.
How many times have you been out and you know you have reached your limit of social interaction and you decide to leave? You tell the extrovert of the group your plan and they react like it is the biggest affront to their social plans of the night. This is where things can get uncomfortable. If the introvert and extrovert knew how each other tick there would be no problem and everyone would get along.
We still things the way that we see the world. So an extrovert would think that everyone should be out dancing and drinking until sparrow's fart.
Once we all recognise that we each have our social battery then we can plan accordingly and we know that some people are not going to last the distance while others are going to last the distance and have it a long way away in their rearview mirrors.