I am all about learning about personalities, self-discovery, and understanding how to manage relationships with different personalities.
I have recently discovered that I am an ISFJ personality, which stands for introvert, sensing, feeling, judging type of personality. They are also considered the “Nurturer” which makes sense since I am also an enneagram 2, “Helper”.
Through reading books, articles, and researching about these types, I have discovered so much about myself! I find it so important to understand your identity and identifying your strengths and weaknesses as a person. Not only can you begin to thrive on those strengths, you can work on improving your weaknesses. The more I become comfortable with my identity, the more confident I become in who I am.
All of my life I have assumed I am an extrovert. I guess I have always assumed that because people peg me to be more talkative than shy, that I must be extroverted. When I think of introverts, I think of my boyfriend, Blaine. However, we are two completely different types of introverts. Blaine is shy in social situations and doesn’t talk very much, but he is always around friends, family, and other people all the time and never gets tired of it. I, on the other hand, am very talkative and engage in all conversations in social situations, but I enjoy being alone and would most likely choose to stay home alone rather than go hang out with a lot of people.
I have also discovered it is a lot more difficult for me to make “best friends” than it is for other people. I find that I need to make an emotional, deep connection with someone before I can really call someone a true friend. The problem is, I am reserved and protect myself until someone initiates that deeper connection. And as soon as I feel like I may not be accepted by that person or that we may not be completely compatible, I start to distance myself.
Though I am reserved in certain areas, I have well-developed people skills and robust social relationships. Both enneagram 2’s and ISFJ’s tend to overload themselves by trying to meet other’s needs without meeting their own. As a “Helper” I feel the need to put others before myself, so when I’m in social situations it can be draining when I feel as if my needs aren’t being met. I feel pressured to please, but I also feel my effort is not always reciprocated.
I am constantly trying to improve and develop as a person, and with that, it’s hard for me to stay committed to friendships/relationships that don’t help me grow as a person. I am continually on the move to get better in some way and grow, so if I don’t feel like I am being supported in that growth, then I am not committed to those people. If I don’t feel supported 100% or trust that I can rely on someone for anything, it’s hard for me to give that support back since it can be such a draining process for me. I find that my strongest friendships are those who value honest friendships that have a deeper meaning than just someone I can have fun with. I find value in those who talk about their lives, about their problems, and about their emotions. Introverts don’t get lonely if they don’t socialize with a lot of people, but we get lonely if we don’t have intimate interactions on a regular basis.
I thrive in small group settings, where I can be myself without feeling judged, where I don’t feel pressure to please, and where I know there are no specific requirements of me. I also love deep intellectual conversations that challenge me.
I enjoy my time alone. I enjoy being able to freely be whomever I want to be without feeling the pressures of pleasing people, entertaining, or being who they want me to be. It is emotionally and mentally exhausting for me to be around too many people for too long. My social interactions have an expiration date.
I love being in my environment, in my atmosphere. I value time to myself. I enjoy self-reflecting, journaling, and growing as an individual. I love to paint and take on a lot of projects that I can do on my own, in my own time, in my environment. I enjoy hanging out with me. I prefer to drive my car, being able to listen to my music, go where I want to go, leave when I want to leave. I enjoy running errands by myself; if I am with other people, I feel the pressure to not take too long or pressure to stay longer than I anticipated. I enjoy working alone; I usually have a plan and a thought process, and if others interfere, I can’t achieve it the way I see it being achieved.
I also love having a routine. I love waking up, having my coffee, and watching the Office or Friends while I get ready for my day. I love being home at 6:30 to watch the Wheel of Fortune, and then at 7:00 for whatever show I’m watching at the time whether that be The Voice, The Bachelor, or Texas Tech sports. I truly am an “old soul;” I love jigsaw puzzles, game shows, sudoku, doing crosswords, and doing things that challenge my mind.
Don’t get me wrong, I love being around people. I want to be invited to everything and to feel like I’m wanted, but I don’t want you to think that I don’t want to be around you just because I decline an invitation. I am fearful that I will no longer be invited if I decline enough invitations, but I truly cannot be my happiest and highest self if I don’t recharge. I know many people who are completely fine with being around others for hours and days at a time, but it’s just not me. I need people in my life that don’t take offense to my decline of an invitation but understand that I just need to recharge. Yet, many times, the need to please overcomes the need to recharge and spend some time alone. I hate hate HATE disappointing people, so I end up in situations I would usually not choose to be in, and in a mood that isn’t my best self. The more I put myself in those situations in order to not upset other people, the more drained I become.
The good thing about me is that you cannot talk to me for three weeks and then talk to me, and I’ll be fine and still care about you the way I did before. The bad thing is that I do that to people that don’t understand that sometimes I don’t feel like interacting with people. I’ve had several friendships that slowly fade away because of my preference for solitude. Though I grieve those friendships and wish they would continue, I also know that my need to spend quality time alone and recharge is important to me and I need people in my life who understand that. I enjoy my quiet time more than I like being surrounded by constant noise and distractions.
Recharging is a necessity. At times I may seem distant, anti-social, and a party pooper, but that’s because I need to recharge. The problem is there is no polite way of telling friends and family, “I love you but I need to be alone right now,” without the assumption that something is wrong or I don’t want to be with them. I cannot give when I am empty, and I cannot love if I have not given time to love myself. I need quality time alone before I can spend quality time with others.
My alone time comes with an expiration date also. When I’ve spent too much time alone, I feel antsy and need to go do something. Humans are made for connection; we cannot survive alone. Although I love my alone time, we all feel the need to be connected to one another. It is so important to find relationships that encourage your growth, your self care, and your happiness. Find those who understand you and accept you for it.
I’ve always been friends with people who are social all the time, and I’ve always felt like I didn’t fit in. I didn’t understand why I was so uncomfortable in certain situations, and why I never had the same attitude as everyone else in those situations. Through this process of understanding more about myself, I’ve learned that I am different.
One of my favorite bible verses is Psalms 139:14. ” I praise you because I am FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” He made us all so wonderful. In Jeremiah 1:5 the Word reads: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” We are perfectly made in him, and we should celebrate our differences. God loves us so much, and loves us the way He created us.
Fitting in, pleasing others, and doing what everyone wants me to do/expects me to do does not make me happy; it only gives me anxiety and brings my insecurities to center stage. Finding people who understand that I still love them even though I don’t want to be with them 24/7 is crucial to the formation of my friendships and relationships. In order to win me over, the situation has to be better than my solitude; it has to seem more comforting to me than my comfort zone.
I wrote this blog since I have discovered so much about myself during this self-isolation period, but also so others would get a better understanding of who I am. I’ve learned to accept that not everyone is going to love me or the way I choose self-care, but the Lord loves me and no human will ever be able to meet my deepest needs; only God can do that.
So, if you are reading this and you have any type of relationship with me, know that I LOVE YOU AND LOVE BEING AROUND YOU. I just love being alone, too.