If you are curious which camp you fall into, as many people are unsure, this post today hopefully will bring you some clarity! Neither extrovert nor introvert are better than the other; however both types face particular challenges that are worth noting. I’ll also be linking you to some pretty popular introvert and extrovert books on amazon.
The basic definition of extroversion is that you get your energy from being around people. You recharge by connecting with others. You may also have a tendency to act or speak before thinking things through. This is the camp I fall into; however, like many *shy* extroverts I can be choosy about the type of conversation I enter into. Talking about sports? For me that’s a *nope*. What items you found on sale today? Nah. The weather? Maybe. It’s a necessary evil. But are you…talking about what makes you tick? Your life’s passions? Funny stories from yesteryear? Planning a trip? Plotting to take down the establishment? Oh, I’m so there.
If you’re an introvert, you can also be a “social introvert”. This means that you are good with people, perhaps like meeting their needs, but ENOUGH is ENOUGH! At the end of the day, you recharge with quiet thoughts to yourself. You may even enjoy long car rides alone in order to process the day. Cuddling up with a good book is a favorite past time. After a weekend doing some solo self-care, you are ready to take on the world.
My hope is that you all will see that introversion and extroversion is not a black and white dichotomy. There is room for grey, and many of us fall somewhere in the middle. It’s a spectrum! Recently there has been a surge in the term “ambivert”. This term just means that you fall smack dab in the middle of being an introvert and an extrovert. Sometimes you are recharged by people, and sometimes you are recharged by quiet reflection and contemplation. My personal opinion is that if you get to know yourself well enough, you will be able to figure out your preference for either extroversion or introversion–even if it is just a slight preference over the other.
So tell me: where do YOU fall on the introversion/extroversion spectrum? Leave a comment below. Also, check out these great books on this topics from Amazon! If you end up purchasing a book, a portion of the proceeds will help me stay afloat during these pandemic times. Thank you!
Simply put, “schemas” can be referred to as “life traps”. Life traps are self-defeating patterns of thoughts, emotions, and behaviors that keep us stuck. Do we all have life traps? Yes, and here is why: none of us get out of childhood unscathed. Try as they may have, none of our parents ever peaked at perfection. We have all experienced trauma in our lives, believe it or not. Whether that be “trauma” with a lowercase “t”, “Trauma” with a capital “T”, or all caps “TRAUMA”, we have all had our needs neglected at some point or another, or terrible things have happened to us in varying degrees. The bottom line is, life traps are unfortunately easy to develop.
Life traps are easy to develop because when we are young, we need these 6 core emotional needs to be met in just the goldilocks right amount in order to thrive and become well-adjusted adults: basic safety, connection to others, autonomy, self-esteem, self-expression, and realistic limits. To the degree that the child is denied or given in excess any of these core needs, that is the degree to which he or she will struggle with a particular life trap. There are a variety of factors that influence if we get too little or too much of these core emotional needs. These factors can include mental illness of a parent, lack of structure, environmental disasters such as hurricanes, financial stressors, lack of education on the parents’ part, political unrest, and so on and so forth.
Regardless of whatever it may be that the child is lacking, one hundred percent of these factors are out of the child’s control; however, children are perceptive creatures. It is highly unlikely that a child perceives a traumatic event correctly. This is because when we are young, we tend to view things in black and white or simplified terms. For example, if a child’s parents get divorced, without proper and very delicate communication from the family regarding this divorce (the core emotional need of connection to others), the child may incorrectly assume that he or she was the cause of the divorce. They may have thoughts such as “Daddy left because I was hard to deal with”. This child will then take on undue shame and guilt, and develop what is known as the Defectiveness life trap. That child may be fearful of entering romantic or platonic relationships for fear that they may “screw them up” or that there is something fundamentally wrong with them. As an adult, the child with the dependence life trap will avoid intimacy for fear that their flaws are terrible; they believe that nobody could ever love them once their flaws were found out.
Conversely, another child experiencing the same situation of their parents divorcing may have a different reaction. This other child may develop the life trap known as the Abandonment life trap. Sufferers of this life trap tend to be preoccupied with keeping loved ones close to them. They may cling out of fear of being abandoned. Tragically, their clinging often drives people away, and the life trap becomes somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The negative reactions of others are the consequence of their clinging behavior, and thus the person continues to believe that they will always be abandoned.
It is often not until this person enters therapy that this life trap is exposed. More importantly, therapy gives this person the chance to experience an emotionally corrective relationship with the therapist. That is, the therapist responds in ways that help heal the original attachment wounds of the person. For example, if a client frantically and excessively e-mails their therapist for extra sessions, the therapist does not judge the client for this. The therapist has unconditional positive regard and care for the client. The client with the abandonment life trap picks up on this and learns that their needs for connection are good, and that others want to meet their needs. The therapist can then train the client on how to appropriately ask for their (very valid !) needs to be met.
At this point, you are probably wondering, “So what ARE the various life traps?! Which ones do I have?!” The answers to these questions are probably best answered between client and therapist, as life traps and how they manifest in your life can be quite complex to explain in this short amount of space. The answers to these questions are also going to be highly personal depending on the individual, which is why it is important to discuss in the “safe space” of therapy. I will list the names of the life traps here, but for more information, the book “Reinventing Your Life” by Dr. Klosko and Dr. Young is an extremely helpful start. Click the link at the bottom to purchase this book on Amazon! And now, without further ado, the 18 Life Traps in brief:
- Emotional Deprivation
- Social Isolation
- Vulnerability to Harm or Illness
- Enmeshment/Undeveloped Self
- Insufficient Self-Control
- Approval/Recognition Seeking
- Emotional Inhibition
- Unrelenting Standards/Hypercriticalness
CLICK HERE ^^^ to purchase Reinventing Your Life! A portion of the proceeds will go to Moore Vulnerability Counseling. Thank you!