About 10 years ago, the Hubs and I were at a seminar and took the Myers-Briggs personality test. At the time, my results indicated that I was an extreme "E" (extrovert). I am wondering now if a person's personality is innate or if it can change over time.
This past weekend I had the rare opportunity to go out and celebrate a friend's birthday at a hip urban microbrewery. Let me preface this by saying I have not gone out at night much since the kids were born. Mostly due to the fact that my kids go to bed early and there's no one around to help babysit.
The Hubs usually ends up going to p.m. social gatherings and I stay home with the kids. I'm not much of a night person to begin with plus in the past few years I have been chronically exhausted and not very interested in going to social events. But this weekend, he offered to stay home with the kids so I could get out of the house and catch up with my old pals (many of which are still single or married without kids).
Here's the thing. When I got to the party, I felt stiff and awkward. I couldn't think of anything to talk about. I felt out of place and ended up outside the pub hanging out with two toddlers that were running around playing. I couldn't help but feel like I was squandering a rare opportunity to interact and reconnect with my friends.
What has happened to me? Is there such a thing as being out of practice being social? Have I lost my ability to connect with grown ups now that I am surrounded by children all day long? Have I just grown up? Gotten old? Or (GASP) become boring? Even worse, have I fallen victim to mommy-fication? You know, when you become one of those moms that can ONLY talk about their kids and offer nothing else to any conversation. I always vowed I would never become one of those parents that rely on their kids to provide a buffer and distraction in social situations.
It's bizarre to consider that I may now be more of an "I" (introvert) rather than an extrovert. I mean, socializing and making small talk has never been a problem for me. I'm not exactly shy. Heck, I was the social chairman of my sorority in college (don't judge!). In the past, being around people always animated and energized me. But nowadays I find myself feeling drained being around a crowd.
Can a person really change their true personality? Or is it just a matter of circumstances and life stage that has led me to prefer quieter gatherings and one on one conversations?