093 – Understanding Temperament in Recovery and Relationships: Extroverts and Introverts
Counselor Toolbox

 
 
00:00 / 53:42
 
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Temperament
Extroverts and Introverts
Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes PhD, LPC-MHSP, LMHC,
Executive Director, AllCEUs
Host, Counselor Toolbox

Continuing Education (CE) credits can be earned for this presentation at https://www.allceus.com/member/cart/index/product/id/615/c/

Objectives
~    Define temperament
~    Examine how knowing your temperament and the temperament of those around you can
~    Improve communication
~    Enhance relationships
~    Reduce stress
~    Explore in-depth the Extrovert/Introvert dimension
~    Identify potential conflicts
~    Examine potential ways to help people on opposite ends of the spectrum collaborate.
Temperament
~    A relatively stable set of traits referring to
~    Preferred environments
~    Learning and problem solving styles and methods
~    Ways of conceptualizing and approaching the world
~    Philosophical approach to the world
~    Time management
~    Temperament occurs along a complementary continuum
~    Neither end of the continuum is better or worse
~    Most people are somewhere in between each point
Temperament
~    As stress increases, people gravitate toward their preferred temperament dimensions
~    Additional stress and vulnerabilities can be through
~    Awareness of personal preferences (Prevent your stress)
~    Awareness of the preferences of those around you
~    Knowledge of how to create an environment supportive of individual preferences

Temperament—Life Approach
Extrovert
~    Are expansive and less passionate (well rounded)
~    Tend to focus on multiple things superficially
~    Might be thought of as lacking focus
~    May have 6 half-finished projects
~    Find it easy to transition between multiple activities
Introvert
~    Are intense and passionate (well versed)
~    Will focus on one thing through mastery
~    Might be thought of as being too self-involved
~    Usually get immersed in a project or topic sometimes to the exclusion of other activities (Family time, chores, etc…)

Interventions
~    Encourage each person to understand the other’s approach and avoid devaluing it
~    Encourage Introverts to set alarms or otherwise schedule in other activities (family/recovery) to avoid getting consumed
~    Sometimes Extroverts are hard to pin down—provide deadlines for specific tasks
~    Encourage partners to discuss their interests, goals (survey, mastery)
~    If it pertains to something like cleaning, recovery etc, clearly define what the goal is…observable, measurable, steps
Temperament—Social Support
Extrovert
~    Generally easy to get to know
~    Like meeting new people, have many friends
~    Know what is going on around them rather than inside them (chameleon-esque)
~    Tend to be very open and chatty
~    Since they think on their feet they often find reciprocal self-disclosure to be quite easy
Introvert
~    More difficult to get to know
~    Exert effort to meet new people, have a few close friends
~    Are more likely to know what is going on inside them than what is going on around them
~    Like to think before they speak which makes them seem more reserved
~    Often find connections with others during post-event processing
~    Encourage awareness of each other’s feelings in situations (excited vs. overwhelmed; bored vs. intensely fascinated)
~    Have each partner share what they need/want/envision as effective social support
~    Explore reasons for feelings of jealousy/inadequacy and normalize behavior
~    Extroverts may want feedback/support from multiple people
~    Introverts may always seek feedback/support and have intense discussions with one or two people
~    Extroverts do better in groups, draw energy from people
~    Introverts do better with introspective activities draw energy from personal grounding

Temperament–Communication
Extrovert
~    Would rather figure things out while they are talking
~    Are often considered good talkers
~    Often auditory learners

Introvert
~    Figure things out and THEN talk
~    Good listeners
~    Often visual learners

Interventions
~    Allow the extrovert to say their peace, validate understanding and allow the introvert 30 minutes to compile thoughts.
~    Extrovert writes down the problem, lets the introvert read the narrative, discussion ensues 30 minutes later
~    Understand your partner’s process and develop a system to allow them to work through it.
~    Extroverts will want to be clued in even if it had nothing to do with them
~    Introverts often want to hear about your day, but may forget to ask…so offer
~    Extroverts may need to verbally process their day to figure out what is going on inside themselves
~    Introverts in recovery may need external feedback for perspective

Temperament–Environment
Extrovert
~    Often enjoy background noise such as TV or radio
~    Often don’t mind clutter

Introvert
~    Prefer peace and quiet
~    Prefer organization

Interventions
~    Earplugs and headphones
~    Schedule “quite times”
~    Create “quiet spaces”
~    Develop your daytime/work schedule to conform to personal preferences
~    Add carpet and wall tapestries to absorb some of the noise
~    Be aware of your personal “stress times” and arrange your environment accordingly
~    Environmental stressors can be huge vulnerabilities

Temperament–Environment
Extrovert
~    Often do not mind interruptions
~    Transition easily between and among tasks
Introvert
~    Dislike interruptions
~    Have difficulty transitioning (Remember: Intense focus; deep sleep)

Interventions
~    Extroverts can handle interruptions while the Introvert is on an intensive task
~    Introverts need to be aware of time and time sucks
~    Introverts can handle “life” while the extrovert gets some things done.
~    Introverts need to schedule “focus time” around the needs of the family, recovery, wellness  (Recovery can pose unique challenges)
~    Kennel the dog & turn off the phone
~    Schedule appointments so they do not interrupt focus time.
~    Introverts can create a transition ritual

Summary
~    Each person is often a combination of some introverted and some extroverted characteristics
~    Knowing your own preferences can help you reduce your own vulnerabilities and stress
~    Knowing the preferences of your friends, family, coworkers can help you understand more about how to interact in harmony with them
~    Just like two people with depression may have different “symptoms,”  two extroverts may have different extrovert traits.
Summary
~    Quick Assessment
~    Do they/you talk it out or think then talk?
~    Are they/you “friends” with everyone or tend to stay with one or two people or alone?
~    Can they/you focus on one task for an extended period or do they need variety?
~    Do they/you prefer quiet or active environments?
~    What do you bring?
~    Who compliments your traits?

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