Apr 11

Extrovert’s and Grief; Yes Some Things are Different

A quick list to highlight the tough stuff about grieving for those on the extroverted end of the spectrum

 

 You know grief is challenging your extroverted nature when;

  • You are quiet or don’t make eye contact for more than 12 seconds and everyone around you is asking, “What’s wrong?

  • You desperately want to hang out with your friends, but no one is calling because they assume you want ‘alone time’ after your loss.

  • You decide to go out, because you know it will help your mood, then feel guilty you went out because maybe your friends are right, you should want alone time.  

  • When you decide to take some alone time with your grief it is so unusual that your friends and family panic that you have spiraled into a bottomless pit of despair.

  • Talking about your emotions and the person you love is helpful to you, but it makes the people around you SUPER uncomfortable.

  • You keep excessively busy doing things and spending time with other people, only to realize what looked like healthy coping was actually avoidance.

  • When your grief group ends you desperately want everyone to stay in touch and are shocked when not everyone is on board with a grief happy hour.

  • You share your feelings, memories, and grief all over social media.Some other people think it’s creepy.

  • People around you think you are fine because you are out and about. You know you’re not fine.

  • You were already a bit more impulsive than you introverted besties, and now you’re unbelievably close to quitting your job, selling your house and moving to Bora Bora.

  • You see someone reading ‘The Year of Magical Thinking’ on the subway and you can’t help but casually interrupt them to share that you read it too, right after your husband died.

  • People keep telling you that you need to take care of yourself and contemplate the deep impact of your loss, because they assume you can’t possibly be self-reflective or introspective.

So what can you do if you are an extrovert to help yourself?

  • Give yourself permission to go out and be with people.  It is not something to feel guilty about and can really help in your healing.

  • Plan for some alone time.  That may not always come as naturally, but time to write, journal, meditate, and be with your thoughts can be very important.  Carve out the time, even if it isn’t easy.

  • Tell your friends what you need.  What you perceive as them avoiding you may be them trying to give you space that they assume you want or need.  Let them know calls, texts, and get-togethers are appreciated.

  • Don’t fool yourself into thinking that keeping busy=healthy grief.

Adapted from http://www.whatsyourgrief.com/ written by Eleanor and Litsa

For more valuable information on grief and grieving visit http://www.whatsyourgrief.com/

 

 

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1 comment

    • Celeste Bethea-Coleman on April 12, 2016 at 5:26 pm
    • Reply

    Christine,

    This is great! This is going to be so helpful for me, when I start ministry. I am keeping this as a reference.

    Thank You

    Love Celeste

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