It’s important to keep growing and we grow in so many ways. Whether it’s interpersonally, professionally, or sometimes even physically. As I continue to grow and learn more about myself, these are the things that continuously come up that people should know about themselves. I cannot take any credit for these ideas but I can tell you why they are important for your own growth.
When we know these 3 things about ourselves, we can adjust our expectations accordingly. It helps us be better workers, friends, and partners.
1. Love Language
The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman explores how we give and receive love. This is important to know because it impacts our relationships. How we communicate our love to our partners and how they communicate it can at times cause miscommunication.
The 5 Love Languages are:
- Quality time: this language is all about giving the other person your undivided attention.
- Words of affirmation: this language is about using words to affirm other people
- Gifts: what makes a person feel most loved is to receive a gift.
- Acts of service: for these people, actions speak louder than words.
- Physical touch: for this person, nothing speaks more deeply than appropriate touch.
If I feel loved by spending quality time together but my partner feels loved with gifts, we have to make an effort to show them love based on how THEY feel loved not by how we do. So, it’s important to know how you feel loved but also how your partner, friends or children feel loved so you can make sure needs are being met.
The Four Tendencies is a book by Gretchen Rubin. It discusses the way that we manage internal and external expectations. I am a classic upholder which means that I meet internal and external expectations pretty well. If you know your tendency, you can create habits or change habits based on knowing your strengths and where you struggle. I listed the tendencies and linked them with one of my favorite shows (Parks and Recreation) to show you what it can look like.
- Upholders respond readily to outer and inner expectations ( think Leslie Knope)
- Questioners question all expectations; they’ll meet an expectation if they think it makes sense–essentially, they make all expectations into inner expectations (Think Ron Swanson)
- Obligers meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves (Think Jerry, Larry, Terry or Gary based on which season of Parks and Rec you are on)
- Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike (Think April Ludgate)
This is good for your relationships but also very helpful at work. Let’s say you are a manager who readily meets expectations but your employee is a questioner. Learning how to get that person to reach an expectation is going to be beneficial to both of you. If you are an obliger, having external accountability is going to be important for you to stick to expectations. On the other hand, a questioner needs to know why they should meet an expectation. If you learn to adjust how to approach these types of tendencies it can really help the way you live and interact with others. It can help create better habits for yourself and for others.
3. Introvert vs Extrovert
Being an introvert or extrovert is not about how you interact socially, which is a common misconception. It’s about where you get your energy or how you recharge. People often think I am 100% an extrovert, but I am actually an ambivert.
- Introverts (or those of us with introverted tendencies) tend to recharge by spending time alone. They lose energy from being around people for long periods of time, particularly large crowds.
- Extroverts, on the other hand, gain energy from other people. Extroverts actually find their energy is sapped when they spend too much time alone. They recharge by being social.
- Ambiverts have both extroverted and introverted tendencies. This means that they generally enjoy being around people, but after a long time, this will start to drain them. Similarly, they enjoy solitude and quiet, but not for too long. Ambiverts recharge their energy levels with a mixture of social interaction and alone time. (This is 100% me! I get stir crazy if I am alone too long but can also get burned out if I am too social. It’s important for me to have balance.)
It’s important to know if you are introverted or extraverted because it tells you how you need to recharge. For example: if your partner is an introvert where you are extraverted they might need alone time which has nothing to do with how much they like you. They just need to recharge alone and that’s okay. If you are the extrovert, you need to be more social to get recharged. It’s good to know this so you can adjust expectations accordingly. Leaving someone alone isn’t a sign that you don’t love them, to an introvert it can be a huge gift to have that alone time.
Think of it as more of a spectrum more than just one or the other. Knowing where you are on the spectrum can give you an idea of what your needs are as well as the needs of others.
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Hopefully, these 3 things help you figure out how to create habits, feel more loved, and figure out how to recharge!
About the Author
Fariha Newaz, LCPC, CADC is a therapist at our Edison Park location. Fariha works with adolescents, young adults, adults, and couples. Fariha’s specialties include depression, anxiety, substance use, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, multicultural concerns, and South Asians specific concerns. If you are interested in working with Fariha, send an email today!