13 reasons why being an introvert is awesome.

introvertsurvival

1.  You don’t have to spend a fortune on presents.

2.  You read more than the average person.

3.   You tend to be educated beyond your schooling, because you read so much.

4.   People think of you as smart and/or deep.  Because you’re self-educated from all that reading.

5.   You project an aura of mystery.  This can be sexy.  (It can also be creepy).

6.   You stay out of drama, or at least you try to.

7.   You tend to be able to see more than one side of a situation  because you’re always observing other people and you think so much and give yourself time to reflect.

8.   You have more insight into yourself and others.

9.   You appreciate nature.  This extends to animals.   As an introvert, you feel more in tune with living things if they’re non-human.  Beautiful scenery inspires you.

10.  You’re probably artistic.  Or musical.  Or literary.

11.   Your friendships, being fewer, tend to be deep and close ones.

12.  Once you have chosen someone as a friend, they can count on a friend for life.

13.  It’s hard for you to be bored, because you’re so good at being entertained all by yourself without the help of others.

Introverts fear confrontation.

youre_fired

I came across this individual’s forum post on The Personality Cafe in a weird way. My article “Why Family Scapegoats Become Lifelong Victims,” (which has become my most viewed article ever and is still gaining momentum on the web), was linked to by this writer and there was an excerpt from their own post left in my comment folder. The blurb was intriguing enough that I decided to read it, and holy cow! It sounds like my own life story. In fact, I am going through this situation with a friend even as I write this. (If you’re a friend of mine reading this it’s not you–this “friend” doesn’t read my blog or even know I have one). I don’t want to be friends with this person anymore (who I suspect is a malignant narcissist who likes to “play” with me and make “jokes” at my expense) but instead of confronting them and telling them I want to end our friendship, I’m just avoiding this person, hoping they get the “hint.” I do that sort of thing all the time. Confrontation terrifies me, but what happens is my anger becomes seething resentment and has to come out eventually, so after weeks or months of pretending everything is fine, I’m likely to explode and say things I regret. It also comes out in other ways, like acting passive-aggressive. I’ve gotten better but it’s still a problem. Anyway, here is that article. The writer is an INFJ like me and wonders if this is common in INFJs. I’m also an Enneagram Type 4/5.

If we need to slap a psychiatric label on this sort of behavior, it’s a common symptom in people with Avoidant Personality Disorder and Covert Narcissism (which I still suspect I am, even though my therapist has said I’m only “on the spectrum” but not NPD). I think people with BPD are also guilty of this.

passive_aggression

Has anyone else had this problem in the “social environment”?

As of recently I have made a personal discovery about the origins of how and why I have a certain fear. And it also ties in with the Enneagram 4 labeled fear “that they have no identity or personal significance”. Generally, with “friends” (both close and acquaintance) I tend to hide away or become afraid of sharing my true thoughts and being completely honest with them if there’s a problem (unless they manage to hurt me to the extent that i just cut them off). I become fearful of their reaction before it even happens, so i withhold my thoughts and continue acting as if everything is okay. It’s not only the fear that they will be upset at my honesty, but the fear that I would also begin to hate myself afterwards as well. I didn’t realize there was a term for this as well (even though i knew it as a common term i never understood its meaning). And that term is “Shame”. And while shame is the major factor of why i feel guilt for wanting to speak out, as well as feeling it for not wanting to speak out, I had also come to realize this was also connected to my upbringing. I learned in the article mentioned below, that most scapegoats have high empathy and sensitivity at an early age, which causes them to absorb all of the projections of their parents, thus causing the birth of self hatred/possibly depression. It also informed me that as they continue to go into social relationships, that they will also absorb the projections of what other people think of them as well. For me this explains a helluva lot, of why i fear getting close to certain people and their impact on me if i either

A. Do something wrong.
Or
B. Be honest with them.

I’m personally terrified of being completely honest with someone i’m not sure of, as any kind of minor negative backlash towards me can cause me to go in a state of guilt for a long time. So instead I internalize everything that bothers me about them, and I simply play my part in this “friendship” until i have a reason to avoid them or doorslam. And this is different from constructive criticism, i’m talking about the consequences that may occur if they end up being hurt by my honesty. While their take of it may not be my problem afterward I still hold the shame of what I have done to another human being, even if it was the “right” thing to do rather than continue being dishonest with them and put on the fake persona. I fear hurting them..but I also fear hurting myself. It’s a double edged sword and the ending remains the same regardless of which way i act. I’m fearful of absorbing any new projections one might have of me (specifically negative) which has caused a spiral of paranoia in 2/3 of my friendships, even if they may not take it personal. And before I end this, I am not intentionally hurtful when i’m honest, as I still try to be polite and respectful of the person that i’m talking to. I am also aware that they can be positive in their response, but i’m practically crippled by my fear, especially because of social experiences that didn’t go well.

Read article on The Personality Cafe here.

A blog for the INFJ personality type.

infj

I just found a blog for INFJs today, called, simply enough, The INFJ Blog. INFJ happens to be my personality type.

INFJ is one of the rarest Myers-Briggs personality types. The letters stand for Introverted-iNtuitive-Feeling-Judging. (their opposites are Extroverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving). Here’s a good description of this personality type.

infj_cartoon

Making up anywhere from 1 to 3 percent of the population, INFJ is considered to be the rarest of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types. For this reason, INFJs often struggle with feeling different or weird, and so they often hide large parts of their personality from others, until they feel comfortable enough to reveal their true selves.

INFJs are introverts, and like any other introvert, they place a high value on alone time. They love spending time with those they are close too, but need just as much, if not more, time to themselves in order to ¨recharge¨. Even as introverts, INFJs have a strong love of people. They genuinely care about understanding others to the point that at times it can even become an obsession. Since INFJs know what it’s like to feel misunderstood, they spend a lot of time trying to really dissect the personalities of others and understand their true feelings and intentions. This often leads an INFJ to put the needs of close friends and family before their own. It is important for INFJs to spend just as much time paying attention to their own wants and needs in order to live a peaceful and happy existence.

Like other idealists, INFJs are imaginative, creative and dream of helping to make the world a better place. INFJs may at first impression come across as overly agreeable, but they have strong ideals and values, especially when it comes to helping others, and stubbornly stick to these values regardless of the person or situation. Others are usually shocked to see the side of the INFJ that comes out when their values are dismissed or questioned.

INFJs are known as the Counselor type, and it is no surprise that many INFJs choose counseling or a similar field as a career choice. INFJs are potentially the best type when it comes to helping others deal with their problems. Because of their extroverted feeling function, they are able to see the issue from the other persons perspective, but use their introverted intuition and thinking functions to separate themselves from the situation and guide the person down a healthier path. As introverts and feeling types, INFJs are great listeners and genuinely care about the concerns of others, which is a trait that makes them very appealing, and even if it is not their profession, INFJs often find themselves playing the Counselor role among friends, family, coworkers and sometimes even casual acquaintances.

INFJs are perfectionists and spend a lot of time thinking about how to make themselves and others better. In relationships, they are best matched with people who share their ideals and also strive for growth both personally and within the relationship. The ideal partner for an INFJ is someone who listens and makes effort to understand the INFJ and who also allows the INFJ to be their true selves without judgment or criticism.

Read more at The INFJ Blog.

I’m looking forward to reading more of the articles.

For further reading:
The 16 MBTI Personality Types: http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/the-16-mbti-types.htm

Some days I just want to crawl into a hole and make myself very small.

internet_fame

DISCLAIMER:
I feel like a disclaimer is needed, though the above photo should be enough of a disclaimer, because it says it all. Someone made a sarcastic remark about how I think I’m a celebrity because of this post, so I let their comment make me set this post to private, because I don’t have a thick skin and am too chicken to come out with a snappy or snarky comeback. I always think other people can get away with doing that, but I won’t be allowed to. It’s because of my past. I was never allowed to speak my mind or have a voice. Now I’ve internalized that and don’t allow myself a voice sometimes. I’m getting better but I’m not out of the woods yet.

In no way do I put myself in the same category as celebrities (who are just people who get wrinkles, have morning breath, and have to use the toilet sometimes like everyone else). I thought I made the distinction pretty clear. For someone who has felt like a nothing my entire life, and always been told I am nothing, and treated with disdain and disrespect, even by the people who were supposed to love me, a little thing like having 1,000 followers or having articles that get popular can seem like a huge deal. To a normal person with healthy self esteem and who felt loved and had a normal sense of belonging, such an achievement might seem like nothing, but to me, it’s a huge accomplishment. If people have an issue with this, and want to judge me for this, or think I’m saying I’m a celebrity, maybe they need to look in the mirror at themselves and stop being so judgmental. Nothing makes me more angry than being judged, especially by people who know next to nothing about me or what motivates me.

I’m tired of always feeling like I have to apologize just for existing. I’ve felt that way all my life.
So, here is that “offensive” article.

I think it would be hard to be famous. Imagine millions of people you never met and never will meet knowing everything about you, obsessing over every detail of your personal life, staring at your pictures, talking about you amongst themselves, worshipping you, hating you, carrying lunchboxes with your photo on them or wearing clothes or perfume with your name on them. Imagine going into a grocery store to buy some butter and finding your own mug plastered on every tabloid. Imagine total strangers walking up to you and addressing you by name and trying to touch you. No wonder celebrities hate the paparazzi. Sure, getting cameras shoved in your face comes with the territory of being famous/getting paid as if you’re a small nation (and should be accepted with grace under normal circumstances), but when a celebrity just has enough of the lack of privacy and punches a photographer in the face, I totally get it. Celebrities are only human, after all. They’re not “special” or somehow above the rest of humanity; they were just lucky or worked very hard or have a special gift to get where they are. Or they have a famous dad. *cough*The Kardashians*cough*

I’m far from famous, but lately this blog has gained enough visibility that I have “haters” and “fans.” I don’t want to be hated or worshipped; frankly I don’t think I deserve either. I’m just a regular and rather boring person who knows about a lot about something and knows how to write about it. I’m glad my blog is doing well. It feels good. It validates what I’m doing. It feels good to know that someone somewhere may find some help or hope through my words. It feels good when someone reblogs an article of mine or tells me something I said changed their life, or even just made their day a little better. It makes me feel like I have some purpose in this world, after years of believing I had no purpose other than to be an example to other people of how NOT to be. Someday I may achieve some level of notoriety if I write the book I want to write (and as of now, I have no earthly idea what sort of book I would write), or something incredible happens like The Huffington Post decides to pick up an article I wrote, or even if I ever get Freshly Pressed. More likely than not, I won’t be famous even then. I don’t really care either, because fame has never been something I strove for.

But there are still days when as a somewhat successful blogger (and by that I just mean this blog has grown steadily due to some fortuitous circumstances and a LOT of hard work on my part, not that I’m the new Opinionated Man or anything) I feel too naked and exposed. At these times I say to myself, “I’m not ready! Wait! This is too scary!” I feel that way right now.

When your blog starts becoming visible and coming up on page 1 or 2 in the search engines, sometimes certain articles you wrote suddenly get shared a lot or even go viral. If the article is one you’re proud of and worked hard on, it’s a great feeling. But sometimes an article you kind of wanted to get buried quickly and forgotten gets found anyway and starts gaining momentum. This isn’t really a bad thing. After all, if I really didn’t want an article to be read, I would have set it to “Private.” So sure, I suppose I wanted it to be read, but I didn’t want it to go viral either. So at this moment, I’m feeling a tad too exposed and naked for comfort. It’s silly to feel like this, but sometimes I just do. I’ve always been a reserved, shy kind of person (I’m textbook INFJ) and while I like a moderate amount of attention occasionally — just to make sure I still exist (how narcissistic of me) — I don’t want negative attention or an excessive amount of attention, whether negative or positive. I’ve always been uncomfortable being the focal point in any situation that involves more than two people. I’m easily embarrassed. I blush and stammer. I act weird and awkward. When I turned three, I cried when they sang Happy Birthday. This natural reticence is actually good, because it reassures me I’m not the raving narcissist I sometimes think I am (or God forbid, could be turning into).

So I have mixed feelings about having so much visibility right now. I know “Internet fame” is kind of a huge joke (visualize rolling eyes and knowing snickers), but I won’t lie–there are days I really do enjoy the attention. But not every day. Sometimes I just want to crawl into a hole and make myself very small. Sometimes I feel like I’m in one of those dreams where you’re walking down a street or into a classroom or something and suddenly realize you don’t have any clothes on. It’s a weird and surreal experience, knowing so many strangers, some in exotic places like Mongolia or Kenya, are reading words that once lived only within the shadowy recesses of my brain, and are having their own thoughts and reactions I will never be privy to. It’s like a tiny taste of what it might feel like to be famous, and while it has its moments, I don’t think I could ever really get used to it. It just ain’t in my nature.

My attitude really just depends on which article of mine is getting so many views, and what sort of mood I’m in. I’m not at all sure I would handle fame well if I ever write a book that becomes a bestseller (not that it’s likely to happen). I might want to show up at book signings wearing a paper bag over my head with eyeholes in it-or at least a pair of dark sunglasses. Or become a recluse like J. D. Salinger. Or contemptuous of fame like Kurt Cobain. Especially because most of the things I write about make me feel so vulnerable. From Day One, I made a commitment to be 100% candid at all times and to hold back nothing. I’ve probably only achieved about 95% Total Emotional Honesty (if you knew the other 5% you’d be hitting the “Escape Button” faster than I can type “Wait! Please let me explain!”), but I guess that’s close enough.

Writers are a weird and tortured lot, I can assure you of that. You wouldn’t want to be inside my head most of the time.

Introversion

As an INFJ with both Aspergers and Avoidant Personality Disorder I can sure relate to this!

that_awkward_moment

My crazy fantasies.

introvert_head

I have some crazy fantasies. As an INFJ Aspie with an extremely vivid imagination, for me these fantasies can be almost as real as reality itself, and that is really pretty cool. Some people, usually neurotypical extroverts, think it’s unhealthy to live inside my head so much. I disagree. If I enjoy these thoughts and they don’t interfere with day to day functioning, how is it unhealthy?

I won’t go into the details of my fantasy life but there are times I think there’s something wrong with me for having the kinds of thoughts I do and deriving so much pleasure from them.

anotherworld

I was telling a friend on FB tonight about the details of one fantasy. She doesn’t think I’m crazy but pretty normal. I just had to bounce this off someone else as a sort of reality check. I need to do that from time to time, just to make sure I’m not insane.

I think most of us, especially if we’re introverted, have our secret life we don’t want to talk about. It’s like having our own personal movie that we write, direct, cast and star in. These personal movies can make a rather humdrum, often irritating and sometimes depressing life seem more full and interesting.

The other great thing about having such an active inner fantasy life is it sometimes jumpstarts creative ideas, which can be transformed into actual, tangible things that can be shared with the whole world.

Aspie obsessions.

howmybrainworks

One of the most pervasive and common behaviors of people with Aspergers is their tendency to focus intensely on one or two narrow subjects at a time. Aspies become obsessed with a topic and when their knowledge about it is sated, they move on to the next obsession. This obsession could take the form of a hobby, an intense scientific or artistic interest, or an intellectual interest in something weird or obscure (Aspie obsessions aren’t usually about “normal” things), or even interest in a person.

I really hate it when people tell me they’re worried about me because of my obsessiveness. I know the concern is meant well and I appreciate it, but it makes me feel embarrassed and self conscious. It makes me question and second guess myself and makes me worry that other people might think I’m crazy. I’m really not that crazy. I have my share of mental issues (mostly caused by my abusers), but I’m not about to jump off a bridge or start raving about the FBI or thinking I’m Napoleon. I’m just an obsessive Aspie. I can’t help being this way, and for me, it’s perfectly normal. I’m comfortable with it. I wish neurotypicals could be comfortable with it too, and realize it’s not a bad thing or something to worry about.

I’ve always had a lot of obsessions, about a lot of things which have little to do with each other (though sometimes one can lead to another), and none of them have ever killed me. I mostly enjoy my obsessions as long as they last. My brain is wired differently than a neurotypical brain, so the way we think can seem alien, weird, or even crazy to someone who does not have Aspergers.

I’m also a Myers-Briggs INFJ (introverted-iNtuitive-feeling-judging) which means my normally intellectual obsessions sometimes take on an emotional aspect. I think that’s the part that bothers people. But again, this is normal for my INFJ personality type and I never let it get out of control. I developed a pretty good braking mechanism.

So please stop worrying about me. Concern over my grip on reality or whatever makes me feel crazier than any of my obsessions ever have.

I think all my followers and commenters are amazing people. Please don’t take this rant personally; it applies to people offline too. If you have said it to me I understand and appreciate your concern. I know you mean well, but please just stop worrying.

15 things that introverts will never tell you.

As a person with Aspergers, I can so relate to everything in this article, so I’m sharing it.

Not all introverts are Aspies but almost all Aspies are introverts. We’re not neurotypicals, so people need to get over it. I embrace my INFJ-ness.

15 Things That Introverts will Never Tell You

introvert

Introverts catch a lot of shit for being introverted. The whole world seems so enamored by extroverts – the people we know who just want to be around people all the time. While we introverts might not want that, it doesn’t mean we’re depressed or suicidal or anything wacky like that. There are some things you should know about us.

1. Small talk sucks.
We’re just not very good at it. We’re typically the big-thinking types. We like big ideas and theories. Small talk is uncomfortable. We don’t care about the weather or how your cat has been doing.

2. Being alone is fine.
Seriously, we’re doing okay, even if we hole up in our houses for a while. We don’t need other people for stimulation. We find that ourselves.

3. We aren’t rude or uptight.
We might seem like that at first, but get to know us. We’re still a fun bunch of friends, we just don’t always acclimate to unfamiliar settings and people so quickly.

4. Sometimes, we swing both ways.
We might be introverts, but sometimes we are just so the life of the party. We do this willingly when we’re up to it, but we can’t always keep that kind of energy going. If we throw a party, great! But give us some time to recover.

5. We have friends. And they like us! Probably.
People hear the word ‘introvert’ and think of the goth kid sitting alone at the food court. That’s a whole different thing entirely. We love having friends, and our friends love having us! We put in a conscious effort for people we think are worth it.

6. When with the right people, we feel safe.
Having the right people in our lives is amazing. we really give our best selves to the best people. We shine in the right company. But sometimes it takes a while to find those people.

7. We like to write things out.
Writing is easier than talking for us sometimes. Email is the best because it helps us get the thoughts out of our heads without being interrupted. Thinking about giving us a call? Try a text or email instead.

8. We’re super productive.
Sometimes at least. Usually in our alone time, we’re able to really rock and roll on projects that we need to finish. The solitude helps us, as we tend to be a bit more distractible than most.

9. If we don’t like you, you won’t know it.
It’s the truth of the matter. We hate conflict. So even if we don’t like you, we’ll still be nice. It’s a lot easier than being real with you. Especially if your feelings are inconsequential enough that confronting you on your bullshit isn’t even worth the time. Sorry. Well, not sorry.

10. Networking events suck.
Seriously. Is there a mailing list we need to opt out of? There are few things more uncomfortable than a networking party. Except maybe a dentist’s networking party that we’ve just been accidentally invited to.

11. We don’t like crowds.
Though I find that after a few beers, I can tolerate it. Introverts tend to get overstimulated easily, so big crowds aare tough to deal with.

12. Sorry, we probably weren’t listening to your story.
We care deeply about our friends, but people outside of that circle will have a tough time maintaining our attention. It’s not that we have ADD or anything like that, we just don’t really care about you. On the plus side, we won’t judge you, so feel free to tell us all the fucked up things you said to your ex.

13. Don’t make a fuss out of our birthdays.
For the longest time, I had a great deal of difficulty understanding why I hated my birthday so much. Everyone I ever knew would come out and party with me! But then I realized: that’s the problem! We don’t need to make a fuss out of our birthdays, so please don’t do it to us.

14. We don’t want to make a fuss out of your birthday.
We can quietly honor the annual birthday, right?

15. If we’ve chosen to be friends with you, appreciate it.
We value our alone time. If we see you often, it means that we really love you. Just don’t get too bummed out when we don’t hang for a week at a time sometimes.

Read more at http://higherperspective.com/2015/01/introverts.html#BtyOb4UjX41gG34c.99