For the longest time, I worried about what was wrong with me. Any more than a few people together in a room and I feel nervous, anxious, out of place and stressed out. Many years ago, when at family events, I’d sneak off into a quiet room to be alone. I wasn’t being standoffish or rude- well, maybe to an observer, but deep inside an anxiety gripped me and the only thing I could do was to have a little time to calm down.
Many years ago, when at family events, I’d sneak off into a quiet room to be alone. I wasn’t being standoffish or rude- well, maybe to an observer, but deep inside an anxiety gripped me and the only thing I could do was to have a little time to calm down. Alone.
Many, many years later I took one of those personality tests, a Myers- Briggs. If you are not familiar with the test, here’s the official 411:
“The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is an introspective self-report questionnaire designed to indicate psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.
Isabel Briggs Myers created the sixteen personality types with the help of her mother, Katharine Briggs, and the theories of psychologist Carl Jung. Since then, much research has been done into how each type functions at work, at home, and in relationships.”
You can take the test here (click here) and figure out which personality traits you have. I think it’s very interesting to get a glimpse into what makes people tick.
I have taken the test numerous times at different points in my life and always come up with the same personality type which is an INFJ. It’s the rarest of all personalities, less than 1% of the population is an INFJ. It was illuminating, to say the least, to finally have my quirks validated. No, I’m not standoffish or weird.
No, I’m not standoffish or weird.
The draining and anxious feelings that sweep over me when I’m with more than a few people does not equate to me being rude, its the way I am wired. Other introverts will understand. Extroverts will not comprehend this because those outgoing types who enjoy being social actually get their energy from being with others.
I also know that I am what’s called a Highly Sensitive Person. There’s even a website dedicated to this type of personality.
Are you one?
Are you easily overwhelmed by such things as bright lights, strong smells, coarse fabrics, or sirens nearby? YES.
Do you get rattled when you have a lot to do in a short amount of time? Yes, I want to sit and cry.
Do you make a point of avoiding violent movies and TV shows? Our surround sound makes my insides want to explode.
Do you need to withdraw during busy days, into bed or a darkened room or some other place where you can have privacy and relief from the situation? Absolutely. My bed in my favorite place.
Do you make it a high priority to arrange your life to avoid upsetting or overwhelming situations? Yes. I cannot stand confrontation, bad feelings, negative talk, anger.
Do you notice or enjoy delicate or fine scents, tastes, sounds, or works of art? All the time.
Do you have a rich and complex inner life? I never stop thinking and find it hard to just relax.
When you were a child, did your parents or teachers see you as sensitive or shy? Always sensitive, typically on the verge of tears.
Here’s the site, you can take the quiz, but if any of the above questions having you nodding your head, you are probably highly sensitive too.
As I get older, I am understanding myself or at least trying to, and finally, I can conclude that just because I am a highly sensitive introvert, there is nothing profoundly wrong with me. I am often surrounded by extroverts who seem to breeze through life while I am in a dark corner overthinking every detail of my life.
It’s just so hard to feel so much, you know?
If this strikes a chord with you, I invite you to check out my Pinterest board, Empaths and Introverts where I have over four hundred pins letting us know we aren’t alone!