Monday, February 9, 2009

Draining vs. Energizing, and one of my insecurities...

Last night, we attended a family party. I got home and caved. I ate a cinnamon roll. I won't go into how gooey, soft, and moist it was. I enjoyed every. last. bite. I also won't go into the guilt I felt afterwards. But what's done is done. I ate a cinnamon roll. Moving on, right? I'm still fasting from sugar until August...that was just one of my "exceptions." Hopefully the rest of my "exceptions" will be better planned!
ANYWAY, about the family party. I had a blast. We left, and I felt totally energized. I loved sitting, chatting with my cousins who I don't see very often. I really cared about what they had to say, and felt like they cared about me. Such a great feeling!

In general, I think I'm a pretty social person. I love people. I love talking to people. I love talking with my husband. I love talking with my good friends. I love talking to my family. I even love talking with my 2-year old. They energize me. I laugh. We each contribute to the conversation. We care what the other person has to say.

Occasionally, however, I'm in a social situation where I'm not exactly myself. This usually happens when I'm with a group of people who love to talk and talk and talk and talk, without stopping to catch their breath, listen for a response, grunt, nod, nothing. I totally clamp up. I don't say a word. I leave feeling drained. Drained from too much listening, and no contributing. (I sound like such a brat...sorry!)

Does this mean that I need attention? I'm not sure. I actually think I'm a pretty good listener. I just also like to be heard. I think we all do. And I don't think the non-listeners intentionally talk and talk and talk. But for some reason, when I'm with certain extroverted people (usually ones I don't know very well...I open up over time), I pretty much have to spit out whatever I have to say in response to what they said in about .05 seconds before they're on to the next topic. And if I'm in a group with several of these people? I can pretty much count on not even having those .05 seconds to say what I want to say.
I actually really do love extroverts. They make me laugh. They have lots of good things to say. I just can't compete, because (as much as I hate to admit it), I turn into shy, insecure Robyn. And, I'm a bit jealous...wishing I could be the one stealing the show! I just need to chime in. But I don't. And I hate that I don't!

Anyway, it's funny that NOT TALKING is a small example of something that drains me. I need to talk! Don't we all?

It's no secret that life as a mom is draining enough without added drainers. For this reason, I try (not always successfully) to complete at least a few energizing activities a day to help me find balance! Here are a few of both that come to mind...

  • not talking
  • big grocery shopping trips
  • spending money
  • shopping, in general, for more than an hour
  • getting kids ready to get out the door
  • making dinner
  • going anywhere with the kids by myself
  • potty-training
  • getting kids to eat!
  • watching the news
  • Sunday mornings (by the time we're off to church, I'm frazzled, and our house looks like a tornado hit!)
  • talking on the phone (I'm not a good phone-call returner)
  • my kids


  • talking
  • friends who care what I have to say!
  • friends I care about
  • spending money (I love it AND hate it! Probably depends on what I'm buying.)
  • eating a good meal
  • getting out of the house
  • going places with my kids AND husband
  • running
  • sunshine
  • singing
  • movies
  • church
  • reading
  • blogging (I get to say what I want, even if no one's listening!)
  • Saturday mornings
  • talking on the phone (love/hate again)
  • my kids
  • my husband
  • nap time
  • sleep
  • pedicures
  • massages
  • girl's night out
  • fit me pink!

I guess some draining activities have to be done in order to get to the energizing ones. What drains/energizes you? What situations make you feel unsure of yourself?

EDITED TO SAY: Tina made an excellent point! Some "draining" activities are the ones that make us feel the best. Church can be draining...but it is spiritually energizing. Big parties are draining. But seeing good friends fills us emotionally. And exercise can DEFINITELY be draining. But it feels so good when you've done it!


Michael said...

Long shopping trips with girls drain me. There's only so much waiting I can handle.

Tina said...

I think my "draining" list is the same as yours except that I think there are some positive "draining" experiences. What I mean is, I feel completely drained after church, especially if I have to do sharing time, and running around making sure the nursery is staffed, and all the "little" things are taken care of. Or a wedding day where you have the temple ceremony, pictures, luncheon and reception. I am physically and emotionally drained but very spiritually energized.
I was pretty tired after last nights family party mostly because I could be myself, as loud and obnoxious as I can be sometimes, and I know that people accept me for it. I hope I wasn't one of those that talks without breathing...hehehe. I have the "gift" of gab for sure! But I really enjoyed talking to everyone and seeing you all after SO long.
Anyway, my energized list is yours as well except that eating healthy makes me feel energized. Not just one good meal, but a whole day of good food that feeds my body, and doesn't drag it down.
Thanks Robyn, you are an inspiration!

Robyn said... are definitely NOT a draining person. And if the people in my singing group happen to read this, most of them aren't the "draining" ones either. Even all the loud ones! And I don't feel like that ALL of the time. I just had one experience where one girl was talking to me, and I responded. She kept talking as if I hadn't said anything! I repeated myself. She again kept talking, without acknowledging a thing! Social skills, anyone? Anyway, I just shut my mouth for the rest of the night, because she obviously was only hearing herself. Now THAT conversation was draining.

Christie said...

Yeah, the only thing I can't relate to (other than the desire to give up sugar) is the spending money thing. That is a therapeutic thing for me. I LOVE to spend money, even on groceries. Maybe it means I'm selfish and materialistic?


Erin said...

Ok. I get it, I'm the are just such a good listener! And you feel drained afterword because you ARE such a good listener. You feel like you need to respond with facial expressions, knodding, understanding scrunched brows and then surprised brows. It's really very exhausting. But you do a great job. I'm glad you can find balance and get energized too!

P.S. I am SO relieved to hear you ate the roll. It makes me feel just a smidge better about all the candy I consumed yesterday. It also makes me realize that you can eat a sweet here or there and still manage to look as awesome as you do!!! That's SWEET!!! :)