15 things about me

coffee-2179009_1920It’s been a slightly slower day and I’ve had a little bit of time to write. I wanted to share a fun post where you can get to know me a little better. Here are a few things about me. Most of these relate to me being introverted and highly sensitive. I’d love to find out more about you too, so feel free to share in the comments 🙂

1. I love people. But social time has to be in small increments or with people I value highly. I find group activities exhausting.

2. I need a lot of alone time to recharge after I’ve been socially active.

3. I crave emotional depth in my relationships.

4. I’m far better at writing things out than speaking. Writing lets me sort out my thoughts and feelings and I can take my time choosing the best words to convey my meaning.

5. What I say is a tiny percentage of what’s going on in my mind.

6. I tend to internalize stress. I’m working on improving, dance and workouts help a lot with stress relief.

7. It’s easy for me to view things from another person’s perspective. It’s frustrating to deal with those who can only see the world one way.

8. I’m very perceptive and have a good idea of how someone is feeling even if they don’t say anything.

9. I hold myself and others to incredibly high standards. But I’m working on this too, as it tends to create disappointment and frustration most of the time.

10. You know I’m comfortable with you if I act silly or sing in front of you.

11. I analyze everything. Literally everything.

12. Just because I’m quiet doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying myself. I just show it differently.

13. If you interrupt me and don’t apologize, I’ll assume you’re not interested in my thoughts. And I’ll be less likely to offer my opinions in the future (especially if its a recurring thing).

14. I care deeply about others, especially my family and close friends. I would do anything for them.

15. If I want to say something, I will. Don’t try to pressure me into speaking, it won’t work.

Hope you have a great weekend!

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On self discovery

ocean-1209762_1920I took the Enneagram test again (I’m a 2w1 if you’re curious). The results are pretty accurate, though I find myself more connected to the INFJ description. Both personality tests have made a big difference in how I perceive and understand myself. As a highly analytical person, I like being able to understand why I approach things a certain way.

As a result, I no longer view myself as a failure, unable to fit into society. I now see myself as a unique individual with much to offer. It’s created peace of mind and self acceptance where there was only self-doubt and insecurity before.

But while personality tests are incredible tools for self discovery, there’s also a flip-side. Early on, I would apply personality types to everything. I would make excuses for myself based on my INFJ status. “I don’t want to do that because I’m an introvert” or “I don’t really get along with that person because they’re so extroverted” are a couple of examples. While these comments may have been true, I was using my personality type to make excuses.

I know how damaging other people’s judgments can be (and it’s made me more aware of how I treat others). People see a quiet person and assume that’s all there is to them. But nothing could be farther from the truth. Yes, I’m quiet and reserved. But dig a little deeper and you’ll discover that my quietness is only a small part of what I have to offer.

That’s the same with everyone. Each individual in this world is incredibly complex. They’re full of amazing potential, unique characteristics and experiences, personal and emotional flaws, powerful strengths, beautiful ideas and dreams, and so much more. We just have to give them a chance to shine.

What do you think?

 

Quote of the day

Learning to thrive as a highly sensitive soul presents challenges. If you’re sensitive, you have likely accumulated years of training in trying to overcome the trait because you don’t ‘fit in’ with society. And yet being highly sensitive is a vital part of you. A first step toward thriving as a sensitive soul is to understand and accept your trait. Hear this now: There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. You are just different. As one of my clients says, being highly sensitive is both a gift and a responsibility.
-Jenna Avery

Musings on introversion & balance

snowy walkI recently read this post discussing the challenge of finding the balance between accepting your introversion while still remaining friendly and approachable. It’s a topic I’ve been thinking about for the last few months. Scratch that, probably for the last few years to be perfectly honest.

When I explain introversion to others (often awkwardly and with strange hand gestures) I like to approach it from the perspective of energy. In her book, The Introvert Advantage, Marti Olsen Laney describes introverts as rechargeable batteries while extroverts are like solar panels. I think it makes a lot of sense. Introverts start with a certain amount of energy at the start of each day. As we interact with people, our energy is drained. When we get the opportunity for alone time, that’s when we recharge. Extroverts on the other hand gain energy from being around people and will seek out socialization.

Introversion is not a negative behaviour that needs to be corrected. It is perfectly normal and comes with many gifts, even if they aren’t evident on the outside. Just think about it, what kind of apartment listing actively seeks out noisy tenants? None that I’ve seen. That’s one area where we can shine. Another misconception is that all introverts are shy, asocial, or have social anxiety. Introverts can definitely struggle with these things but extroverts do too. I love identifying as an introvert because it gives me a place to call home. A place I can grow from. Knowing that others share similar struggles makes me feel less alone.

But I’ve also caught myself over-simplifying things based on personality differences. I’ve thought to myself, “she did that because she’s extroverted” or “I don’t want to go because I’m an introvert”. Too often I’ve used my introversion as an excuse to not do things or to justify myself. But both introversion and extroversion are merely two different points along the same spectrum. No one is 100% introverted or extroverted. We’ve all got differing levels of both.

I’ve also come to the realization that introversion is merely one facet of personality. Yes, introversion affects how we view the world, but we also have our experiences, memories, upbringings, relationships, and passions that make us who we are too. The same goes for every other person in this world. And chances are, they’re dealing with a lot of their own problems and struggles. Theirs may not stem from existing in a society that devalues them for who they are. But they have their own burdens to bear.

So how do you find a balance? I know I need to take care of myself and I’ve been getting better at doing this. But I still feel as if I need to be more social. Is that my need for people kicking in? Or is it society’s view (ingrained in my mind) that being alone is a bad thing? Sometimes its difficult to tell. I really love spending time with people but it’s very easy to become burned out and miserable if I’m not careful.

Scheduling quiet time into my schedule has helped. Giving myself time to think about invitations before making a decision has helped. Explaining introversion to my close friends and family has helped. But I want to do more. I want to become more comfortable with myself while still pushing outside my comfort zone and growing as a person.

Do you have any suggestions or realizations of your own?

Image credit: “Walk Away” by Michał Koralewski is licensed under CC by 2.0

Quote of the day

Deep inside, she knew who she was, and that person was smart and kind and often even funny, but somehow her personality always got lost somewhere between her heart and her mouth, and she found herself saying the wrong thing or, more often, nothing at all.
-Julia Quinn

Quote of the day

All personality traits have their good side and their bad side. But for a long time, we’ve seen introversion only through its negative side and extroversion mostly through its positive side.
-Susan Cain