As I type this, I’ve been sitting at my desk in my room for over 3 hours, my favorite music playing, Tumblr open in one tab, various other social media and blog posts in others… I’m in my happy place. I haven’t been away from people for this long in I don’t know how long. It’s so refreshing–but at the same time, I feel guilty. My thoughts continue to drift to my family, the only other people around. Do they feel neglected? Am I being too reclusive? I’m not even being productive, so why am I shut up in my room?
Ah, the problems of being a people-pleaser and an introvert. It’s interesting how this works. Here I am recharged, more energized than I have been in a while, worrying about other people. I don’t even want to be around those other people… why am I worrying?
This clash of people-pleasing tendencies and introversion is what drives me to say I am an ambivert–someone who’s nearly equal parts intro- and extroverted. People make me happy, and so does being alone. But it’s not about happiness, I suppose. It’s about energy. Do I get energy from being around people? I honestly don’t know.
A friend of mine’s father told me it might be an ADD/ADHD thing: I can go to the mall for 5 hours with friends because they’re interesting and fun to be with, but I certainly couldn’t go to the mall for 5 hours with a few random people in my class. Unless they wanted to go to Thundermatch, the Apple store, and MPH (our local bookstore), and talk about Harry Potter and psychology, I’d be pretty bored and leave sooner. I don’t know about ADHD, but that’s definitely an important factor. But is my energy drained faster with random classmates, or do I just notice that I’m tired out of boredom?
Alas, the sad reality is that I’d probably stay with them just so they wouldn’t give me a funny look for leaving earlier than everyone else. The sad life of way-too-insecure me. I’m working on it, I promise.
All this to say: It’s important to set aside time for yourself, even if others give you funny looks for it.
To quote 16Personalities.com’s article about INFJs,
Their passion, poor patience for routine maintenance, tendency to present themselves as an ideal, and extreme privacy tend to leave INFJs with few options for letting off steam. People with this personality type are likely to exhaust themselves in short order if they don’t find a way to balance their ideals with the realities of day-to-day living.
People are often surprised when INFJs need to get away, because often they can be seen as extroverts. I love my friends and often seek out time with them. I also love to help people. 3-hour skype sessions with people who live across the world from me are actually a common occurrence as they still seek my advice. I don’t really mind–I love my friends, really. I just need to realize that taking time for myself is actually okay. It allows me to help others even more, actually. A happy, rested me means I can spend more energy on others.
Have you ever dealt with feeling like you needed to be alone but others expect you to be outgoing and energetic? Or is this just an #INFJproblem ? 😉