Have you ever taken the Myers-Briggs personality test? If so, do you know your letters? I’m an INFP. This means I am an introverted, intuitive, feeling, perceptive person (although my P switches to J, or judging, sometimes when I take the test).
I am soooo far off the introversion scale that I shouldn’t even be able to speak to another human being. Being surrounded by other people, engaging in small talk, not having my own space are painful for me. I start to hyperventilate and I get really irritable.
Yet I co-host a weekly radio show, PsychicTeachers, speaking to more than 50,000 people each week. I teach workshops, lead retreats, and offer intuitive readings and spiritual coaching to people from around the world. My facebook page, Witches of the Shore, is followed by nearly 10,000 people, and I interact with many of them on a daily basis. I’ve learned to survive in an extroverted world! I’m a darned good actress, and able to meet my introverted needs with some of the tips below.
I’m spending Thanksgiving week with 11, maybe 13, people, each of whom I love dearly. But I’ve already planned my escape routes when my ears feel assaulted, when there is too much bedlam and chaos, and when too many people pull me in various directions.
Here are some tips for you that I’m trying for me:
1. Extroverts will never understand your need to be alone. They will always think you’re moody, or angry. They don’t understand that interacting with people drains your emotional batteries (conversely, extroverts are recharged by interactions). Keep telling them. “I just need a little break to recharge. I’m not pissed off.”
2. Make your breaks away from the group short. You probably won’t be missed for short periods of time.
3. Find a kindred spirit. Maybe there is one other person in the group who would like to go for a quiet walk, or run away for coffee.
4. Take lots of showers. They can’t follow you to the bathroom and keep talking, can they?
5. Get up earlier than the group. Relish the quiet solitude of early morning. Or, if you’re a night owl, do the same late evening.
6. Offer to clean the kitchen. They’ll surely leave you alone!
7. Ask yourself what really matters. Can you be flexible enough to truly enjoy the company of your holiday companions for a few days? If so, great. If not, try the tips above. I hope these ideas help us both!
I got ISFJ. Read a book called “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” By Susan Cain. Explained it all nicely.
Wow – how wonderful to hear from you Cindee – I see via fb that you’re doing well and I’m so glad. Thanks for the book suggestions – will get it soon! Peace, Deb
I am also an INFJ…thanks for the tips…I also work in a busy environment but thankfully, I can listen to your podcast on my IPod…which I have learned so much. Learning to ground myself and surround myself with white light every day has really helped since I’m an Empath. I also ask Archangel Michael to place a blue bubble with mirrors around me to repel negativity and negative people which also really helps.
Good morning! I’m so glad my post was helpful to you! Thanks so much for listening to our podcast! Blessings, Deb
Ha ! — hyperventilate indeed …. used that exact word just today ! I too am an INFP. I grew up being thought of as alternately “shy”, “bitchy”, and “snobbish”. Add a highly empathic nature, and escape routes are as necessary as– well, as oxygen ! I need my “alone time” and peace to re-group, and re-draw boundaries. Showers are an awesome way not only to find time alone, but to wash off other people’s crap I sometimes pick up.
Hi Caroline – isn’t is nice to know you’re not alone! Thanks so much for your comment! Blessings, Deb
I am an ISFP. I have also adjusted reasonably well to living in an extrovert oriented world. So much that often people find it hard to believe that I am an introvert. I have even had people argue with me telling me that I am an extrovert. I love people, I’m good with people and im funny as hell, but at the end of the day people wear me out!!! Being alone in nature is the best way for me to recharge. Great post, Deb!
Thanks Betsy! Your description of yourself is exactly what I meant by “I’m a good actress.” I, too, can wear that funny face and appear outgoing, but at the end of the day, I’m worn out! Blessings, Deb
I am an INFJ. I feel your pain!! I work in an office building of more than 2,000 people and there are days where I just can’t be alone. There is always someone wanting something or stopping to talk. Some days I can handle it better than other days. Today is a rough day, I just want to crawl into a hole and be alone.
Thanks so much for your response! Breathe, and hang in there! Maybe a clear quartz on your desk or in your pocket would be helpful. When I worked with lots of people, I would use headphones as much as possible to drown out noise. Try that too! Blessings, Deb
Ohhhh how I relate and wow showers are wonderful. It is in the sharing and honesty that others can and will be understanding. And if not, hopefully they love us enough to simpley accept. And now you know why I so love washing dishes…..Have a very blessed thanksgiving and know even in those alone times….present of spirit is there!!!!
Thanks Linda for the reminder, and know that Spirit is always with you too – even when you wash my dishes! <3