2.01.2015

Sibling Assignment #154: Please Understand Me

Brother Bill gave the assignment for this week. " Please reflect upon introversion....your own, your experience with introversion.....Carol posted about it...so we can all include what we've read.....whatever you'd like to do...but focus on introversion and your own experience as an introvert ." You can find his here and Carol's here.

In the mid-eighties I jumped on the self-help/personality tests/ please understand me bandwagon. My friend Tracy and I used to head to our favorite bookstore The Bookworm in Kennewick on a Saturday and the owners would laugh and point us to the self-help section. We always said it made us healthier just to stand in that section of the store.
 We had get-togethers where we took the Keirsey and Bates test then all analyzed each other. We even discussed the book Please Understand Me at book group! We found other personality tests to dig deeper into "who we were." I dusted off my old copy this morning with the stamp from The Bookworm still inside. I found test result sheets inside that family members had taken at some gathering. 

Why did we do this ? Some of us were searching and trying to figure out who we were. I was trying to be a person I really wasn't.  I wanted to be a ENFJ (Extrovert, Intuition, Feeling, Judging). Maybe there was a time in my life that I was that person. Not now.
Switch the E to I. I am an introvert that often is put in a world that requires extroversion. 
I am an introvert that thought the "cool kids" were the extroverts. I am an introvert that hung out with loud, gregarious extroverts and wanted to be just like them.

Slowly things began to change. I began spending much more time alone with reading, thinking, writing, and just being.  I didn't like to answer the phone. I would travel alone.
  When I was thrown into an extroverted role, I could do it and enjoyed it, but often paid the price. I was exhausted, and sometimes needed a long nap or quiet time to recuperate. 

For an introvert that leads a life away from required meetings, workshop presenting, inservices, teaching, speaking engagements, and required social gatherings, they don't understand how taxing it can be for an introvert placed in the position of doing all this. A wise counselor led me to the activities I enjoy now which include gardening, writing, photography, and creating to help me balance my life in an extroverted world.
These are all things I could do alone and stay the course until a task was done. It
helped my anxiety. It  pulled me out of depression.

I wanted to like health clubs, exercise classes, Superbowl parties with fifty people, a cruise,or a group camping adventure. I did it over and over in my younger days and would still do it, but know I would need down time afterwards. Now I am much more content watching the Superbowl with my husband today, walking alone or with him, camping together without too many other people, and enjoying silence every day as I wander around and snap photos.

One of the things that defines an introvert is the idea of having a smaller group of close friends rather than lots and lots of acquaintances. Now I understand why I surround myself with a group of people in which I have deep, lasting relationships.Please understand me. I am an introvert.

4 comments:

  1. From one introvert to another: Excellent!

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  2. Mary Ann1.2.15

    I hear you loud and clear! Like you I can be an extrovert, but I can't wait to return to quiet and solitude (or at least with limited companionship) in order to re-energize myself. That is when I am the happiest :)

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  3. Thanks for your comments.Thanks Sandie! Yes Mary Ann, I love quiet and solitude.

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  4. Ahhh...to be alone. So satisfying!

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