5 Ways an Extrovert Can Thrive

5 Ways an Extrovert Can Thrive

Extroverts often get a hard wrap. They are exuberant and outgoing, and when this is not managed it can leave other people (especially introverts!) feeling bulldozed and drained off all their energy. That being said, extroverts are movers and shakers; the life of the party and the welcoming arm to the new person who just walked through the door. As much as introverts don’t like to admit it (myself included), we need you. We need you to fill in the gaps of awkward conversation and to ask questions. We need you to invite us along to social events, so we have the opportunity to do life with other people. And we need you as friends, because as awesome as introverts are, we can’t manage other extroverts on our own.

When an extrovert is healthy, they are some of the truest and most honest friends you’ll come across. But unlike the introvert, their unhealthy tendencies can be harder to spot. Struggles, depleted energy and overwhelming emotion will be covered by their trademark exuberance, and unlike the introvert who will get lost in the thought process of the situation, an extrovert will become consumed in the rollercoaster of behaviour and noise that leads them to burn out.

As an extrovert it’s essential you take care of yourself. Here are 5 tips that will help you thrive.

  1. Have boundaries

When you’re the life of the party, people often assume that you’ll always be available and willing to help out. They will expect you to attend events or ask you to step into a leadership position because they know you can get the job done. True as that may be, it’s essential you know when to say “no.” While an extrovert gets their energy from being with people, they can still become exhausted, so prioritise the activities most important to you.

  1. Practice self awareness

Extroverts can leave a bad taste in the mouth of others when they lack self awareness. In this, they will over step the boundaries of conversation, volume (that’s a big one!), physical interaction and tone of voice. Remember, you don’t always come off the way you mean too, so observe people’s body language as you talk to them. Notice if they shut down and stop talking, if they shy away from touch, or if they make a quick exit. You don’t have to change your natural demeanour, but to cultivate healthy relationships you do need to practice a respect and awareness for the people around you.

  1. Have life giving relationships

As an extrovert, you have the tendency to give until there’s no energy left in the tank. In order to gain energy from other people, you need to make sure your relationships are life giving. Spend quality time with people who you can relax with, who understand you and who leave you feeling empowered. Some people drain us and others leave us feeling like we’re on top of the world, focus on the latter.

  1. Make time to switch off

While ‘quiet time’ can be pegged as an introverted activity, it is still essential for the wellbeing of an extrovert. Granted, you won’t need this as much as an introvert, but there are times when you will just need to be alone. Sit, write down your thoughts and make sense of what is going on around you, go for a jog or watch a movie. Don’t be afraid of the quiet, embrace it. After all, you can always go and spend time with friends after, right?

  1. Love yourself

An extrovert will often find their self-worth in the praise of others. People’s responses to you, their willingness to invite you to social events and even the level of attention they give you can all play a role in your self-esteem. Remember that while you crave time with people, they don’t dictate your self-worth. You can’t be “too extroverted” and you can’t be too quiet. You are just you, and as you take care of yourself you will find that the important people will be naturally drawn to you for who you are, not for what you can give to them.

Are you an extrovert? Do you want to thrive? Then here’s what you need to do: contact Colleen on 0434 337 245  for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how she can best help you, or press book now to book on the online diary.

How to Teach Your Teenager to Say ‘No’

How to Teach Your Teenager to Say ‘No’From family pressures and work commitments to relationship issues, it can be hard to say no. Over the past month we have talked about the importance of drawing your boundaries. From the practical “5 Ways To Say No” to a look at how our family of origin affects us in, “How Does Our Childhood Affect Our Ability To Say No?” we have explored about why so many of us struggle to utter the word “No.” Today we conclude our series by offering some insight in how to speak to your teenager about drawing boundaries. The adolescent years are filled with peer pressure and opportunities your young person may be unsure how to navigate. Here are some practical tips you can offer them as they learn how to say no.

When it comes to

Alcohol and drugs (when ALL your friends are doing it)

If the weight of peer pressure is heavy, make a point of letting at least one other friend know that you do not do drugs or alcohol, and ask them to support you should you need the back up. Anticipating the situation will allow you to feel prepared and more confident. You might like to write down all the reasons why you choose to say no and read them to a trusted friend. Practice in front of the mirror: Say quite firmly and deliberately, “No thanks, tonight I would really like to have …….” Notice how you feel as you say this.

When it comes to

Sex (when you're NOT ready but your partner is)

Your body is your own and ultimately no one else has the right or authority to demand or take sex without your permission. It can feel awkward or even scary to say ‘no,’ however doing this is your way of saying that you value and respect yourself. It is okay to say, “I’m not ready to have sex.” You do not have to apologise or feel guilty for a decision that is rightfully yours to make. You might like to reflect upon the fears you have around the consequences of saying no. Rejection and guilt are powerful because they are feelings experienced in your body. Recognise these feelings as they have the power to manipulate your integrity. If your partner is not ‘cool’ with your response, recognise that this is their issue, not yours.

When it comes to

Buying something totally ridiculous and expensive

Be firm with yourself. Remind yourself that the feeling of happiness you get from this initial purchase will disappear very quickly. This litmus test: Leave the item on the shelf, and give yourself a day or more to decide how much you really want and/or need the item. I have used this strategy numerous times and have discovered that I will forget about the item. If a friend is putting pressure on you to buy, a gentle but also firm and honest response like, “It is lovely however I have a budget, so I’ll give this a miss.”

When it comes to

Breaking up

I am not sure that there is ever an easy way to let someone down gently, because their feelings have been invested in the relationship just as yours have. However, being kind but honest and upfront is important to ensure that there is no miscommunication.

When it comes to

Over-commitment

Is there an easier way to say “no” to that extra class/social event/internship you just don't have time for without feeling SUPER-guilty? “I’m sorry. I can't do this right now” is a very valid and respectful response. If you are further pursued, reply that it doesn’t fit with your schedule, and change the subject. Many of us find it difficult to say no when we are put on the spot, so practice saying, “Let me go away and think about it and I will let you know.” This ensures that you are not pressured into saying ‘yes’ when you mean to say ‘no’ and you can prepare yourself beforehand. Remember that each time you say yes to someone or something else, you say no to you and your priorities.

When they won’t take no for an answer?

If someone won’t take no for an answer and you have repeated this, you have the choice of walking away from that relationship or possibly garnering additional support from another trusted friend to reinforce your ‘no’. Remember that another person’s unwillingness to accept your no does not make it invalid.

What are the benefits of learning to stand your ground and say no?

Every time you find the courage to say no it is like exercising a muscle that needs stretching and strengthening. It feels difficult and painful because your ‘no’ muscle is under-developed. You just need to give it time to get stronger so that it is easier to say and it will in time, providing that you practice. Over time you will

  • Feel stronger and more grounded.
  • Identify who you are, what you want and what makes you happy.
  • Be more confident to express your own opinions and be your own
  • Have more time to say ‘yes’ to the things that really make you happy
  • Reduce stress
  • Have more energy

Being able to identify your needs and be an advocate for your own needs is absolutely essential to your health and wellbeing as you age. Where a person fails to learn this skill in younger years, self- confidence disappears, unhappiness and feelings of stress and anxiety increases and the physical body becomes unwell in response.

Learning to say no is a life skill not to be minimised. Taking the time to start practicing it today is an investment not just for the present but also for your future health.

Do you struggle to say no? Maybe your teenager needs support as they figure out how to draw their own boundaries? Then here’s what you need to do; contact me on 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how I can best help you or press book now to book on my online diary.

5 Traits of a Healthy Relationship

We are all familiar with the strain we feel when we have a friend, family member or a spouse who is particularly demanding. When relationships are not cultivated in a healthy manner, they can leave us feeling physically drained and stressed. Emotionally, an unhealthy relationship can also lead to feelings of bitterness, anger and unforgiveness. It is common to assume that we must always be agreeable and generous in our relationships, but what happens when we are giving too much of these qualities and are receiving none of them back? A quality relationship must be worked at by both parties involved. Here are 5 traits marking a healthy relationship that is both life-giving and fulfilling to everyone involved.

1. Understanding

A healthy relationship will have both people feeling actively empathetic to each other. They will understand the stressors and scenarios that arise in each other’s lives and will cater to this. Therefore, if one person in unable to fulfil an obligation due to arising circumstances, the other will understand and can act as a support network during this period.

2. Forgiveness

Mistakes are made in every relationship and it is inevitable that people will hurt one another, even when they have the best intentions. When conflict comes up, both people actively forgive each other because they acknowledge that their friend has their best interests at heart. There will not be a condoning of the circumstances, but the opportunity to start afresh.

3. Boundaries

Even the closest relationships need down time and it is unhealthy to live in each other’s pockets 24/7. A good relationship is characterised by the ability of both parties to not only ask for help, but to say “no” when they are unable to give it. This may occur if a person needs their own quiet time, must invest in other important relationships, or if they find that the demands of the relationship are impacting their quality of life.

4. Community focused

While a healthy relationship will nurture and grow the bond between two people, it can become clique and fuelled by jealousy if both people limit their quality time to a singular person. A healthy relationship will accept the numerous people in each person’s life and will be understanding and inclusive of these relationships.

5. Honesty

Whether it is little annoyances or life changing scenarios, a healthy relationship is marked by the willingness of both people to talk about the situation and how it can be resolved. In this, both people will speak and listen with a loving intent, respecting the words of the other and discussing openly how this impacts each other’s lives.

Do you struggle to retain healthy boundaries in your relationships? Do you need the support of a professional to assist you in creating a healthy relationship with a significant other, relative or friend? Contact Colleen 0434 337 245 for a FREE 10 minute consultation. If you are ready to book an appointment with Colleen, click the icon BOOK ONLINE NOW and you will be taken to her online appointment calendar by following the prompts.

Relationship Issues: 3 principles to ensure strong, healthy boundaries

As a person who has had to put significant effort into learning the art of strong, healthy boundaries in relationship with others, I have considerable empathy for individuals who struggle to maintain their personal boundaries and suffer as a consequence. I was reminded about the devastating impact that an absence of boundaries can have, when my friend, Sally (not her real name) shared her story on Facebook. Sally consented for me to share her story and photos with you. I have called it:

Jasper’s Ultimate Challenge for the Vegie Patch.

Cusworth 4Sally recently relocated and has been spending her weekends blissfully re-designing the backyard. Being a ‘green thumb’, she was very excited to discover the ‘remains’ of a once thriving but alas, now very neglected vegetable garden. The image of fresh vegetables on the dining table spurred her in to action and in no time, there were ‘posts’ on Facebook displaying a vegetable garden par excellence.

 

Cusworth Fence 3However like in all good fairy tales there must be a villain. The villain of this story is a likeable fellow – ‘puppy dog’ eyes, a long tongue that needs no invitation to lick your face whenever possible, a hyperactive tale, 4 hairy legs and comes to the name ‘Jasper’. Jasper means well of course, but he does get bored when the family are out, so ‘sampling’ the veggie patch wasn’t such a drama – until Sally arrived home to be confronted with the mess.

 

Not to be deCusworth Fence 1feated, Operation Dog-Proof-Vegetables commenced. A boundary fence needed to be made, and so a visit to Geelong's recycle renovation yards gleaned a gate, ironwork and finials which would become the new boundary. Within a fortnight, the fence was standing, and order was restored to Sally’s beautiful vegetable garden. The End

Postscript – Fortunately, Jasper still survives thanks to a sturdy and impenetrable boundary.

Who is your Jasper?

Do you have a ‘Jasper’ in your life? Partner, parent, child, employer, work colleague, friend or other; ‘Jasper’ is friendly, energetic, warm, enthusiastic and has the potential to overwhelm you by their easy, optimistic, encouraging and often manipulative ways. Most ‘Jasper’s are not conscious of the methods by which they manipulate; however they are intent on your co-operation and involvement. ‘Jasper’ is not good at listening, frequently fails to understand the needs of others and does not like or hear the word ‘no’. As a result, you feel perpetually frustrated, resentful and exhausted.

What to do? We can take a ‘leaf’ from Sally’s book.

Here are 3 principles  to ensure strong, healthy boundaries:

1. Give up trying to reason with ‘Jasper’ and expecting him to understand. This rarely works, so why keep doing it?

2. Take responsibility for your personal boundaries. No one can build those boundaries for you, it is your work and you need to own it.

3. Access the resources and support you need to build your boundary. You don't have to do it alone.These may include:

Further reading: I recommend a book by Dr Henry Cloud called ‘Boundaries’.

Talking to a Professional Counsellor who is skilled to: – facilitate dialogue that will promote self-knowledge – challenge beliefs that have prevented you from keeping strong, healthy boundaries (such as guilt, fear and/or the need to please) – coach you around self-assertive skills – support you as you put your personal boundaries in place.

Journaling: Writing allows you to reflect process and integrate your experience. By getting in touch with your thoughts and feelings, you will promote personal awareness and insight and feel more empowered to build strong boundaries.

A Family Therapist or Family Counsellor who is trained to work with two or more people, may be a resource when ‘Jasper’ is willing to talk about your relationship and how to improve it.

It can be hard, challenging work if you have not had experience building a strong, healthy boundary however it will be worth the effort. You will feel less vulnerable, more safe, respected and in control of your life.

If you are experiencing difficulties in your couple relationship and/or other relationships and need direction and support to restore communication and strong, healthy boundaries, then here’s what you need to do contact me on 0434 337 245  for a FREE 10-minute phone consultation on how I can best help you or press book now to book on my online diary.