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!