June 8: Different Tips for Different Types of People

Every Wednesday, I’ll (try) to post up a Simple Living Tip, with an emphasis on tips that can be done while living a more traditional 9-to-5 life. 

It just occurred to me that my simple living tips tend to work better for introverts simply because I am one.  However, even I struggle with my own advice at times.  For example, an easy suggestion is to just say “no” to social invites.  Yet, sometimes I feel too isolated and this would definitely not work for extroverts or anyone who just loves a full social calendar.

A woman I know seems to have family gatherings every other weekend and it’s obvious stressful for her.    My normal advice would be to pick and choose events if she needs downtime. However, this probably won’t work for many reasons.  Family events are not something she can easily avoid, her children might spill the beans by accident, and she is somewhat of a social butterfly.   So I thought I would give dual advices for different situations:

1) Too many social engagements

Advice for introverts: Pick and choose, only go to those that are really important to you and decline the rest.  You don’t have to go to every wedding or kid birthday party. Lie if you have to (i.e. migraines, colds, allergies, bad back etc..)

Advice for extroverts:  There’s not much you can do here.  Just go to every event but try to keep things simple in other areas (i.e. have a standard dish you bring to every potluck or sign up to bring drinks or paper plates)

2) Too many gifts to buy

Advice for introverts: Even if you decline most invitations, you may still have to send a gift.  Either come up with a stash of good hostess / host gifts that many people will enjoy or embrace a reputation as a so-so gift giver.  If you do come up with the occasional “perfect” gift, all the better !  You can also opt out of gift exchanges altogether or do the “draw a name” approach, which works well for larger families.

Advice for extroverts:  Most likely, you enjoy getting and receiving good gifts. I would recommend buying an item immediately if you think of someone who might love it.   It may seem strange to buy a birthday gift for someone months ahead of time but trust me, when that special occasion arrives, you’ll be happy that you’re NOT scrambling to find a good gift.  Other possible simple life suggestion: Don’t wrap. Put everything in a nice paper gift bag.

3) Too much Social Networking

Advice for introverts:  Opt out. 

Advice for extroverts: Can’t stand the thought of not knowing where your friends and family are or what they’re doing? Keep your Facebook account but try checking in and updating less often. 

4) Too Many Hobbies

Advice for introverts:  Pick one, probably something like reading, gardening or yoga to re-connect with self. 

Advice for extroverts:  Pick one or two activities that combine your interests with social interaction. Take a class with your spouse.   Exercise with your best buddies.

5) Too Much To Do For Wedding (or Event Planning)

Advice for introverts:  Elope.  Don’t plan anything. If you do want to have a wedding, see below advice for extroverts.

Advice for extroverts:  Weddings deserve its own post but for now I’ll give some hints: Delegate, It’s no big deal, no one will remember the flower centerpiece.

If you’re extroverted but want to keep it simple, how do you manage? Is Simple Living more difficult for extroverts?


9 responses to “June 8: Different Tips for Different Types of People

  1. I don’t see why simple living should be difficult for extroverts. There are plenty of ways to live simply and socialise. Bartering would seem like the perfect solution. Extroverts can exchange goods and services and that would keep them connected to their community.

  2. JN – I don’t know.. Bartering seems like it would complicate my life! I can already imagine myself getting needlessly stressed over setting up the exchange, then meeting to do an exchange and return (of items) or finding the time to barter my service for another service. I am a total introvert!

  3. I kind of think everything in life is easier for extroverts (I am one of those freaks of nature, despite my meanness), simply because extrovert behavior is awarded. Or am I delusional in thinking that? But really–as J.N. noted, bartering. So much easier to do if you’re an extrovert. Haggling/negotiating–for anything. A raise, a better price, etc. Wait, is that really simpler? I guess I view all things frugal-related as simple, which they’re not. Hmm…

  4. CF — Yes, I think bartering is frugal, but frugal is not always the same as simple. I wrote about this twice before (my battle between fruality and simplicity) so I wrestle with my dual tendencies. Despite my introverted nature, I do love negotiating and debate. I guess I have some “fighting for rights” tendencies.


  5. True, extroverts have it easy! I have an extroverted side and an introverted side: socializing can be difficult of for me sometimes. And what is simple living, really? I mean, I think simple living takes more hard work than non simple living. Time was when I didn’t worry about what I ate or the products I used, but now I have to consider everything. Much more thought goes into simple living, doesn’t it? Or perhaps I’ve just had an intensive Monday…

  6. I guess I think of simple living as saving time or have more time to relax versus having an over-scheduled life. While on the other hand frugality is about saving money, which can often take a lot of time (example: playing the drugstore coupon game, comparison shopping, recycling etc..). I find the two are often in conflict with each other.

  7. I agree that my desire to simplify and my desire to save money often conflict. My solution right now is to prioritize saving time (i.e., simplifying), because right now, I have more money than time. There have been times in my life when the exact opposite was true, and I did things differently.

    I don’t think either way is “better”- just better for a given situation.

    To answer your original question- I am an extrovert, and I find that now that I have kids, I have to turn down some social invites or I’ll go insane. My husband and I struggle with this, though, and occasionally end up with overbooked weekends. Like last weekend.

  8. Cloud — Yes. Before kids, I often prioritize saving money over time. Now time is definitely more important and I rather save less or nothing than lose time.

  9. Um, I meant to say “rewarded” instead of awarded, but you get my drift.

    ANYWAY, I too have that pull between simplicity and frugality. So much of my frugal living ways is not simple. But then again, throwing money at it now only means that ultimately I’ll have to end up working longer, because I didn’t save that money. So, if I take the 30 year perspective, it’s not simpler. Or something. Mostly I just hate to work. Simple living or frugal living or both, I still hate to work. 😛

    Either way, I’m with Cloud. One is not better than the other. Same with extroverts and introverts! Which is why I do not understand why extroverted behavior seems more socially acceptable than introverted behavior. But that is another issue entirely. I will shut up now.

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