You guys, what would we do without the ability to post all of our personality test results on social media? The days of yore, when we used to stay up late at sleepovers and take magazine quizzes whilst sitting in a circle atop our sleeping bags, are gone. Now, with a few clicks of the mouse, the Information Superhighway (LOL, I'm basically your nerdy-ass mom right now) can tell us anything we want to know about any facet of our personality, like what it means to be an extrovert, as well as things we would have been better off staying blissfully unaware of. Not sure about you guys, but I love knowing which "Disney Princess Dress I Should Wear While Eating A Specific Food That Represents My True Country Of Origin As The '80s Movie That Most Represents Me" plays in the background. I'm not sure how my identity even existed before I had access to that kind of information. (Am I kidding? Anyone's guess.)
That said, I hear that there are some personality assessments that are more reliable than others. Many of us know terms like “Type A” or “People Person” or “Extrovert.” Although, you don’t always need a fancy test to know which camp you’re in. Do you seek out people, and do you like going to parties with your squad? Do you actually have a squad, and does it have goals? Do you still think “YOLO” when making decisions (even though it’s 2016)? You might be an extrovert. Or do you laugh at the concept of FOMO, opting for chill situations over anything remotely un-chill, especially if it involves you talking to strangers? Do you take your time and think things through like the boss that you are? You're probably an introvert. As you can see, both are clearly great in their own ways.
While I’m technically only a “slight” extrovert (meaning I can sometimes swing into the introvert corner) I’ve been noticing this play out in my parenting in some pretty amazing ways. Allow me to share what makes extroverts such awesome parents:
We Seek Out New Experiences
Nothing like the adventure of a tiny human growing inside you and then bursting forth with the speed of a sleepy turtle in slow motion, am I right? Seriously, I imagine this trait shows itself in the form of asking myself “why not?” instead of “why?!” when my toddler points toward the big-kid slide at the park. Since he’s too small to go by himself, what choice do I have…?
Other People Give Us Energy
The idea of a new mom getting energy from others seems a bit backwards, since parenting a young kid or baby is pretty much characterized by what it takes out of you (especially for a breastfeeding mom since she is literally giving away her energy in the form of milk that her body created). However, this is one of the core traits of extroversion: We feel amped up after being around other people. This makes me super-appreciative for all the times my son has graciously woken up in the middle of the night to, um, share his energy with me. [Insert *The Eye-Roll Heard Round The World* here.]
We Pursue Leadership Opportunities
Extroverts like to know what’s going on, and we like to make things happen. I discovered this firsthand when I realized I liked camp counseling better than attending summer camp as a regular camper. Watch out, son: In a few years, I will be den mothering, PTA-chairing, softball coaching, and bake sale-ing all over the place. YOU CAN NOT ESCAPE ME.
We Have A Way With Words
Perhaps you’ve heard that extroverts like to talk? So far, this is my favorite thing about being an extrovert: I’ve found that if I'm talking to my child, then I’m paying attention to him and not things like Twitter or a magazine or Google Image results of Zac Efron. So, everyone wins. Except you, Zac. Sorry.
We're Pretty Good At Dealing With People
Sure, we all know that a cheerful attitude can be helpful for getting through classic parenting challenges like leaky diapers and tantrums, but what if you need to tell another parent on the playground to step off and stop letting their kiddo kick dirt at yours? You can catch more flies with honey, I hear.
We Like To Talk Out Our Problems
Thanks to extroversion, my husband knows more about the challenges of breastfeeding than he ever thought he would. And me? I’m feeling surprisingly light and airy about it, actually, since I was able to talk out my struggle-bus feelings.
When We Talk To People, They End Up Talking To Our Kids
I always thought it was because my kid was cute, but perhaps it’s just my extroversion that has led to all those strangers chatting it up with me and the little when we’re out and about. Either way, it leads to lots of cheerful faces smiling in his general direction, and there's nothing sad about that.