Confessions of an Introvert
We are better together
By Dennis Perrin, Prairies Director
Lately I’ve been living like an extrovert, even though I’m naturally an introvert. It’s been an interesting and fun experiment, and I’m happy to see how long it lasts. Given the last year and a half, maybe it’s a bit of my “new normal.”
For those not familiar with it, the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is one of many personality tests available to help us understand ourselves better. It consists of four letters, and the first letter basically shows how we reenergize. Introverts tend to reenergize by being alone and being quiet. Extroverts will reenergize by being around people. All of us are a combination of both of these qualities but will naturally prefer one over the other under normal circumstances.
My natural preference is as an introvert. It’s a very slight preference, but nothing refills my tank better than some music and a good book in a quiet room. The problem is that I’ve had an overdose of that for the last year and a half. The hidden extrovert within has been screaming to be let out for some time now.
With all restrictions lifted in Alberta as of July 1, I’ve had the pleasure of exercising my extroverted self for the better part of a month. I’ve been fortunate enough to attend a golf tournament, resume some meetings in person, attend receptions, and spend countless hours with other parents from my son’s baseball team. With the added confidence of being double vaxxed, I’m giving hugs and shaking hands and finding an energy within that I didn’t know I had lost. I’ve learned to love people and love being around them. I’m surprised at how much I missed this and am getting renewed joy and energy from all this human interaction. I’m not naïve enough to think the pandemic is in our rear-view mirror, but I’m certainly going to enjoy this while I have it.
When I reflect on this, I’m reminded more than ever that we need each other. We exist to live in community with one another. No matter what our personality type, none of us is designed to live in isolation from each other for months at a time. This pandemic has unfortunately divided us as societies more than ever before. If there is a time to come together and support each other (in spite of differing opinions on all sorts of issues), it’s now.
Unions, like CLAC, are in a unique position to create and sustain the community that we all need. Unions exist in the collective, which also forms community. Individual rights are extremely important, and yet these are best achieved in the context of community.
CLAC cares deeply about each of its members and does this largely by focusing on the workplace community. That community extends into families, neighbourhoods, cities, and towns. The more we come together to support each other, the better we can sustain the many things that attempt to divide us.