Every Wednesday, I’ll post about multiple intelligences so we can better understand children and why they do what they do.

Being Intentional With Your Social Life

In Monday’s post, I wrote about needing to refill my emotional tank after a people-full and people-busy Christmas break. Doing so was essential to my self-security and ability to belong in healthy ways to others.

This same topic is relevant to multiple intelligences. You might be able to relate.

I’m people smart so I do most of my best thinking and problem solving when talking with others. Bouncing ideas back and forth and asking and answering questions are keys to my discovering new ideas and becoming more sure of their significance. Therefore, I often need to be with people.

But, because I’m an introvert by personality, I recharge when I’m alone, I knew I needed my space and quiet. Yet, I needed people, too.

What to do?

I was strategic, just as you can be. I turned down some social opportunities because they would have drained my emotional tank more without benefiting my thinking. That doesn’t mean I can’t think well in social settings. I can and do. But, I have to be fresh to do so. And, the social opportunities I chose to not attend weren’t going to be the type to stimulate my thinking in relevant ways.

I imagine some readers are laughing right now. You may not care if your thinking is relevant. That’s great – it’s how you’re designed. For me, especially when I’m fatigued and under deadlines as I have been, it’s wise to think of my priorities and consider how I’m designed.

I chose to be with people when it was purposeful and it would benefit my thinking. For example, I scheduled regular sessions with my trainer. It was just one-on-one time, with a few others in the gym, so it was low-key enough to not be overwhelming. And, I’ve known my trainer for a long time and feel emotionally safe with her. I knew that if I didn’t want to talk as much as normal, she’d understand.

I also chose to go to a friend’s for dinner because I’d get to see missionary friends serving in Senegal. I knew there would be about 20 people there, but I couldn’t not go. This was an easy decision because it was about honoring Marilyn and Gerald. It wouldn’t have mattered how I was feeling. Sometimes decisions are less about us and more about others. This was clearly one of those times. I’ve known Marilyn for years and she hosted me when I traveled to Senegal to serve others. I was glad I was in town so I could attend the dinner and it was marvelous to catch up.

Because most of the conversations at the dinner party were purposeful and targeted, the social event wasn’t as exhausting as others can be for my introverted self. The gathering had more of a people-smart feel to it because of our focused discussions.

How well do you know yourself? As you become more aware of how you feel during and after social encounters, you’ll be more confident of what to say “yes” to and what to say “no” to. Having some control is a great feeling.