A restorative niche is place that one can go to recharge themselves. Dr. Brian Little, Harvard University Professor of Psychology, has coined the term ‘restorative niche’ to describe ‘the place you go when you want to return to your true self.’ I know that Susan Cain referred to this in her book Quiet which focused on introverts. However, restorative niches are also important for extroverts as well. When looking at myself and trying to understand whether or not I was an introvert or an extrovert I decided I was both! You would call someone like me an Ambivert. I don’t mind being in front of people presenting or being outgoing at a party, but I also need a lot of time alone so that I can have time to think and come back to center. I actually enjoy both of these times. Some people are more on one side than the other but we are all a mixture of both to some degree.
There is no such thing as a pure introvert or extrovert. Such a person would be in the lunatic asylum. —Carl G. Jung
You would think of an introvert as someone who tends to be quiet and shy and an extrovert as outgoing and the life of the party. I am sure you know several people that fall into one of these categories to some degree. What is interesting to me is how does an introvert or extrovert recharge them selves?
Introverts would tend to recharge themselves by time alone. Quiet time, reading, listening to music, meditating. Does this sound like you?
Extroverts would want to go out and be with people being social. If an extrovert spent their entire day in front of a computer they might need to go out with friends after work to restore them selves.
Some of the things I like to do to restore myself is meditate, read, listen to music or soak in a warm bath.
A client of mine was going on vacation with her family and she wanted to join in with all of the fun family activities; however, she also knew it might be too much for her. She needed to work in some alone time as well. We came up with an action plan where she would join in possibly in the morning and than take the afternoon to lie on the beach, put in her head phones, and read her magazines so she could restore herself. This worked perfectly for her. She came back and shared with me how wonderful her time was, how her family was so grateful for her participation, and how she managed her time so well.
I would love to hear how you restore yourself and if you see yourself as an introvert or an extrovert or somewhere in-between.