I am an introvert, those of you who know me might think this confusing as I am social and outgoing, but it is absolutely true, I’m an introvert in that I need time to myself in order to recharge. People often associate an introvert with someone who is quiet and contemplative, and while that may be true it is also true that introverts need time on their own to recharge, to get their mojo going, to be a happy balanced person – I am the latter type of introvert I am the type who needs time alone to recharge. Time alone now means time with just our immediate family, it also means time just for me alone from Marco and the kids.
I know a lot of people who don’t need time out – they are extroverted, they need other people to get their energy, and thrive when they are with others, often going from one social activity to another. If I’m honest extreme extroverts exhaust me, as much as I love the individual I can’t spend too much time with them before I feel drained and overwhelmed. I wasn’t always an introvert, since my mid 20’s I’ve noticed myself becoming more so, particularly after having children.
Don’t get me wrong I love people, I love making new friends and spending time with old friends, I love to catch up for a cuppa, I am up for a good chat, I love to learn how things have been for you and what makes you tick, your likes and dislikes, trials and joys. I enjoy small group catch ups more than large group events. But if I have too many days with people, without quiet times, I start to feel overwhelmed, and out of balance. It’s for that reason that we have a three night rule in our home. We picked it up from friends of ours James and Min. James once told us that ‘fish and friends go off after 3 nights’ and they started the ‘three night rule’ in their home – Visitors can stay for three nights after which they have to move on. It is the perfect amount of time for me and for the kids. Keeping our family in balance means I continue to be a good parent, when the time is too long I get out of balance.
Of course there are exceptions. If my beautiful Mum were alive I am sure she is someone who could stay for any length of time, as can Di Leedham or my Dad, and one or two others! But for the most part the three night rule serves us well.