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Stronger as an Introvert

So I often consider my strengths and weaknesses in the context of being an introvert. And I am severely introverted. I got 99/100 for the Introvert/Extrovert section on a Meyers-Briggs test. (As a comedic aside, my wife got 0% on the loneliness test. She keeps saying she doesn’t like being around people as she gets older, but I see her battery charge when she’s around people so much she can’t sleep.)

But here’s my point. When I do things with my introvert hat on, I’m stronger. My case in point might make it clearer: Last weekend I put in five bushes into our outdoor garden to replace some rose bushes that don’t like our clay soil.

This is an arduous process. My wife and I put in all twenty-three plants around our house when we first moved in. But we’ve gotten older. Her allergies are more severe (and this is a bad year) so I volunteered to put them in.

I got up early so I wouldn’t have to put on sunscreen, put on my headphones, and went to work. And it was easy. I don’t mean it wasn’t grueling, but I wasn’t suffering. I wasn’t in pain (I did take some Advil beforehand). I wasn’t praying for it all to end, half-assing it so I could get inside faster, like I usually do with yard work.

It was because I was alone. I didn’t have to worry about the kids or my wife, what they were saying, where they were, what they were doing, if they were trying to get my attention. I just listened to my podcast and dug my five holes with laser focus. And it didn’t take that long either. At least it didn’t seem that way.

And I know it was being alone that fueled me because as soon as someone came out, my mood immediately dropped. It didn’t matter why (to give me a drink of water)–just as soon as I saw them I lost my groove. It’s a wrong thought, but it’s true. I lost my strength, my mojo, my joy at working hard, as soon as someone came out. Before that it was just me and the dogs. Happily working without having to worry about anyone but myself.

So yeah, working alone not only helps remove distractions, it improves the work process.

Eric Juneau is a software engineer and novelist on his lunch breaks. In 2016, his first novel, Merm-8, was published by eTreasures. He lives in, was born in, and refuses to leave, Minnesota. You can find him talking about movies, video games, and Disney princesses at where he details his journey to become a capital A Author.

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