Ever reached the end of a conversation and been hit by the feeling that nothing you’ve said has been heard?
As a natural listener, with a leaning towards introversion, there’s only a handful of people with whom I feel comfortable expressing my deepest thoughts and feelings.
When the feeling of not being heard occurred recently, I took a philosophical stance. I reflected on my reaction to conversations often being steered away from what I’d love to express, to what the other person is keen to communicate instead.
As I pondered, clarity emerged.
At the time of the conversation, I was in a place in my menstrual cycle, my premenstruum, and I was hanging with my inner critic. The feelings bubbling up by the exchange, turned inwards on myself. I was irritated that I’d not been able to express my thoughts as eloquently as I’d wished.
It was also interesting to reflect on what happens when different personality types come together. Generally, the push to be heard will be that much stronger by an extrovert, than the natural inclination of someone more introverted.
Yet the NEED to be heard will be the same for both introverts and extroverts. And these needs will change with the menstrual cycle.
By nature, introverts are far better listeners than talkers. But. When an introverted person feels the need to share their thoughts, reaching the point of sharing may not be an easy process. Or at least perhaps not as easy as a natural extrovert.
I would consider myself an extroverted introvert – I enjoy solitude as much as company, having the need and desire for both. I’m fairly at ease presenting in front of people, yet mortally despise being in a situation where small talk is required.
What I realised is that the starkly changing needs over the course of my menstrual cycle, are guided more by the introverted side of my nature. But they are guided. Yet another way Menstrual Cycle Awareness can support your cycle experience.
From the perspective of an introvert, here’s a guide to how Menstrual Cycle Awareness can be holding container for your needs:
What does inner spring or pre-ovulation look like?
Sometimes child-like, playful, excitable, BUT also vulnerable, with the shadow side of spring being overexposure at a potentially tender time. You’re coming out of menstruation and depending on how you experience your bleed may govern how you enter Inner Spring. If you have had to push through, not able to listen to your body and psyche’s needs during menstruation, the pre-ovulation phase may be a struggle; possibly expanded under the microscope of introversion.
It’s a time in the cycle to begin to say YES. But what does that feel like to an introvert? Aren’t the new shoots of spring just that little more vulnerable?
Limiting the scope of YES may be the direction to take. The vulnerability may be more overreaching than for someone who feels more comfortable stepping into the gentle spring sun and saying yes with gusto!
This is archetypally the most exposing time of the cycle. The time of ovulation is classically our most vivacious, most flirtatious, and we may be at our most sensual.
Summer is the natural home of the extrovert. Does that make the shadow side of summer; too much exposure, even more shadowy for the introvert? What might that amount of exposure feel like to an introvert? It might be easier to voice opinions, express yourself and make that extra push to be heard. But. It will take less summer exposure for the introvert to tip over to the shadow side of being overwhelmed, and perhaps the need to retreat.
For the introvert, listening to your psyche’s needs are key to avoiding the summery overwhelm in the ovulation phase. Watch out for tell tale signs that it’s all becoming too much, so the need to retreat may be more measured, rather than feeling like a huge shove out of the sunlight.
How much self-awareness and self-acceptance does it take an introverted woman to sit happily with her introversion, in a world that is far more forgiving to the extrovert?
To add to the challenge, inner autumn, is the natural home of the inner critic. Oh wow! How much of a party in your psyche can your inner critic have when you’re being pulled inwards when generally we’re encouraged to do just the opposite.
So the battle begins…or…maybe it doesn’t have to be a battle. Inner autumn is actually a time to start saying NO. So do just that. Think twice about filling your diary with social events (not a natural past time of an innate introvert anyway!) A night out with your inner critic in tow, is quite frankly too much like painfully hard work for the more introverted amongst us.
Inner autumn is also a time of discernment. In those one-sided conversations, where there’s more listening than talking, you may offer your extroverted companion clarity. And if delivered skillfully, will totally cut through bullshit.
Once huge kindness the introvert can offer herself is to cut down on social media – Facebook/Instagram etc can push the comparison button far too hard.
With a whole heap of self-care, the time of menstruation may just be a place of deep solace for the introvert, being at home right in the middle of inner winter. You get to cosy up, seek peace and most joyously, solitude.
This phase truly is the time to say NO.
For the introvert, listening really hard to your psyche and soul needs is imperative. Do you need to go to that social engagement which might just sap you of your precious energy? Instead make plans with yourself, or no plans at all.
Rest, nurture and lay the path for rebirth after menstruation.
Resting during your bleed, especially for the introvert, gifts the psyche and soul a cushion for the remainder of the cycle.
Navigating yourself around your cycle as an introvert is staying in touch with your needs before they start yelling at you. Awareness of your own interaction with your levels of introversion is also key when you engage with Menstrual Cycle Awareness.
To create your own cycle blueprint, you can download a chart here for your cycle explorations.
*As a footnote, it turns out there’s a term for someone hanging somewhere between the introvert and the extrovert personality types – turns out I’m an ambivert!