Flashback: Introvert Qualities

  • You can always tell when someone is authentic and when they’re insincere.
  • Sometimes you are totally unaware of your surroundings; your outer world can be in complete chaos, but you don’t notice until someone or something finally attracts your attention. (ex. a loud crash)
  • If there are feelings of sadness, anxiety, or anger in the room, you can immediately feel it—no matter how large the room. (or how great a number of people)
  • When talking to people, you can immediately see past what they’re saying, and discern what they mean.
  • Hidden agendas are rarely (or never) hidden from you.
  • Both praise and criticism affect you the same way; you become embarrassed by the unsought attention.
  • It’s easy for you to uncover the insecurities and weaknesses of other people, and you can play on them whenever you feel attacked or cornered.
  • When you like someone, you become attached instantly and scare them off. (This occurs more in romantic relationships than friendships)
  • When someone betrays you, you forgive easily but are perfectly fine with never speaking to them again. (And you usually don’t)
  • Sometimes you withhold your true feelings and opinions from someone because you want to ‘protect’ them.
  • You hate conflict, and avoid it at all costs.
  • You comfortably slip into the role of mediator when others are in conflict because you can easily empathize with both sides. (See previous)
  • Once you’ve identified someone as insincere, it is difficult for you to take anything they say seriously—and you usually avoid talking to them altogether because their superficiality is off-putting.
  • You’re an open book. If you like someone, they know it; if you don’t like someone, they know it.
  • It is difficult for you to hide your feelings, and you spend a lot of time biting your tongue when something or someone upsets you. (Thankfully, that changes as you get older and your less dominant functions develop; by then you’ve gotten over your need to please others and will speak up when something is wrong)
  • You’re overly concerned with how you appear to others and what they think of you. (Again, this changes when introverted thinking becomes more pronounced—you won’t care at all then.)
  • You’re more idealistic than realistic.
  • Silence is rarely uncomfortable to you.
  • You feel the need to “fix” every-one’s problems.
  • You place your needs aside to help others, and they are more than happy to take advantage of that.
  • If you are a spiritual person, you notice that your intuition becomes stronger as you grow spiritually.
  • You’re excellent at making observations about others that they didn’t think anyone else noticed. (The usual response is dead silence)
  • Complete strangers confide their deepest secrets to you because you ‘seem like a nice person’ and you listen without judgment.

Off The Cuff Friday: Who Hasn’t Peed In A Bucket?


Dude, you’re a millionaire. Use the toilet.

Enough attention has already gone to this ridiculous story, so I’ll be brief. Nineteen year-olds occasionally do stupid things. (Ew, Right?) Sometimes they do stupid things on camera. While I would not have chosen to relieve myself in a mop bucket, I also think that this is probably the least fascinating non-news story I have heard in a while. (Let he who is without bathroom sin cast the first stone.)

Princess Smartypants.  In seven months of playing brain-training games on Lumosity, I went from being in the 20th percentile in my first month to the 98th percentile. In a crowd of 100 people in my age group, only two of them have higher scores than me. (Or two percent. Whatever, )

You’re racist? You’re fired.  Big Brother has not been relevant to me since Dr. Will won  the game back in the day. It is a show I will occasionally watch–if I can tolerate the houseguests. (Which I cannot, 97% of the time) Some of this year’s houseguests are the worst. Thanks to Gina-Marie and her “nigger-insurance” comment, and Aaryn’s (ugh. That spelling!) equal opportunity hatred of everyone, (particularly Helen, who is brilliant, and seems like a genuinely nice person, and Elissa who is winner Rachel Reilly’s sister, thus, hated by proxy) I cannot watch a full episode without feeling as though I have lost a bit of my soul. The worst thing about all of this is Aaryn’s annoying reaction when she was confronted by a fellow houseguest. Ugh. (Sidenote: Gina-Marie and Aaryn have both been sacked from their jobs, and spellcheck keeps trying to change Aaryn to ‘Aryan’. Mmm.Hm.)

I’m not perfect. Thank God! Perfection is exhausting. Perfect people cannot have any flaws. Perfect people cannot make mistakes. Perfect people cannot be wrong. For a person who strives for perfection, nothing he or she does is ever good enough. Nothing anyone does is ever good enough. I am going to concentrate on being excellent rather than perfect because I will never attain it in this lifetime. Perfection is for the birds. (And Jesus.)

I need to work on my delivery. My mother once told me that, if we were strangers, she would think that I was intimidating. When I asked her why, she replied, “It’s your demeanour. You always look as though you have no time for foolishness, and you are abrupt when speaking.” Mom and I both know that I am about as intimidating as a kitten, but the way I carry myself screams, “Mess with me, and you may get cut.” That said, I need to try to sound less snippy, and more pleasant. Today I was listening to a tribute to the wonderful Joni Mitchell, and in her new poem, ‘This Rain, This Rain’, this line stood out to me; “If I were nicer, less astute, Less compelled to spew the truth…”  

I’d be a lot nicer, but I would also be more reserved. (I’m an INFJ. I don’t need to be more reserved than I am today) Sometimes I cannot help but call things exactly as I see them. I learned a lot simply by speaking the truth out loud when others hesitated out of fear. When I lie, I lie about unimportant things. When I tell the truth to people, it’s like receiving a jackhammer to the skull. I may be abrupt and standoffish, but no one can say that they have no idea where I stand. (If they are unsure, they have not been paying attention)

This post is beginning to get a little “rambly”, so I’ll end it here.



Sharing Saturday: You Can’t Lie To Me!

Well…technically speaking, you could lie to me. However, I’d be able to tell–almost immediately, thus rendering your lies ineffective. I can’t explain how, apart from saying that, my natural inclination toward silence, introspection, and observing my surroundings help.

I recently began reading the book that inspired the title of this post, You Can’t Lie To Me by Janine Driver. The author, a former federal law enforcement investigator, is an expert in the field, and has helped catch many a bad guy (as well as teach millions of people) with her knowledge.

In the book, Driver mentioned that one of the things that will set a person who can easily detect dishonesty apart from a person who cannot is the sweet spot between trusting everyone, and trusting no one. Cynics are horrible lie detectors because they don’t trust anyone, so every person they encounter is suspicious. Obviously the people who trust everyone aren’t great either. And then there are the rest of us: the ones who fall somewhere in between.

Experience has taught me whom to trust and whom not to. I can detect lies because I do not automatically suspect anyone of lying. I give the benefit of the doubt until I am certain that the person is untruthful. If the lie is worth busting, I ask questions until the person tells the truth. (AKA, badgering the witness until the truth leaks out of his or her face!)  If not, I let it slide and remember it for next time. If a person has a pattern of dishonesty, he or she will never be trusted by me. (INFJ’s love noticing behavioral patterns, and using them to figure people out.) When I approach a person from a foundation of openness, the person can relax. When the person relaxes, I can observe what he or she looks like in a normal situation. Armed with the knowledge of how a person normally behaves, I can better discern when he or she is lying because attempts to conceal dishonesty upsets standard behaviors.

In other words, a person’s  actions give will always give them away. In this book, I also learned that most of our commonly held beliefs about lie detection are both true, and false. For example, some people can hold constant eye contact when they’re lying. Others avoid eye contact when they’re telling the truth. In some cases, eye contact is an excellent way to detect dishonesty. In other cases, it is not. The key is to find out what is normal for the person whom you suspect of lying. Any deviation from their norm is cause for further investigation.

I pay more attention to what a person does than I do to what he or she is saying. Non-verbal communication speaks volumes, but so does a person’s choice of words. Or his or her vocal patterns. If a person who normally is loud and boisterous becomes silent and withdrawn, something is up. If a person whose typical behavior toward me is cold, starts to be warm and friendly, something is up.

Lie detection, Driver says, should be about searching for the truth of the matter, rather than the lies. Question why you are searching for the truth (What’s in it for me? What does it solve?), and whether or not the outcome will be worth the risk. (I mean; it makes no sense to bust someone for lying about having a home in the Hampton’s, when that lie isn’t damaging to anyone else.)

I hate when people lie to me, but I am judicious about which lies to confront. Some of them aren’t worth the time it would take to investigate, but now I know exactly what to do if the need arises.

Anyway, this book is great. Janine Driver definitely knows what she’s talking about, and she does it in an accessible and fun way. I would not want to be in a room with her if I had something to hide. Then again, I would not want to be in a room with me if I had something to hide either.



6 Great Things About Being An Introvert

  1. To spend time with people is a preference rather than a necessity. This is one thing that is consistently misunderstood about introverts. We like to spend time with people, but in small doses. Generally, an introvert is so comfortable with his or her own company, that the need to engage other people isn’t necessary. (Don’t worry. We’ll let you know when it happens.) When we do want the company, we’re 100% committed.
  2. Listening to other people is a strength. I mean, a person who does not have much to say to begin with will be quiet and allow you to speak freely.
  3. We notice everything. Introverts are observers. Extroverts look for others to speak their truth. Introverts look for people to show their truth. As an introvert, I learn more about a person by what he or she is silent about, than I do from the words they have spoken. Introverts have mastered the art of non-verbal communication, and while a person’s words may be on target, his or her demeanor tells an entirely different story. (If a person thinks that he or she has us fooled, that is rarely–if ever–the case. We may not be able to call you, but you can guarantee that we have your number!)
  4. We are adaptable. In order to survive a world that caters to extroverts, introverts have had to learn how to override his or her personal comfort settings. For example, I hate small talk. I’m not a fan of insincere flattery, and I don’t understand the need to gossip because it is just meanness and speculation with no real purpose. However, I have learned to disregard some of the things that make me uncomfortable, to the point where they no longer annoy me. I may hate small talk, but working in retail taught me that I can have several meaningless conversations a day (which occasionally drift into more meaningful topics), without any adverse effects. Now I see gossip as a bonding experience (albeit, a destructive bonding experience) rather than a stupid way for envious and insecure people to feel better about themselves.
  5. It is easy for us to focus on tasks. I learned to screen out distractions from an early age. I grew up in a very large, very extroverted extended family. At first, it was difficult being “the quiet one”, but having to spend my afternoons in a loud, boisterous household has helped me fine-tune the ability to block out noise and commotion. (Sidenote: I’ve been playing brain-training games on Lumosity for 6 months. My best areas of cognitive function are Memory, Flexibility/Multi-Tasking, and Attention. All are inherent traits of introverted people) Distracted? Not unless I want to be.
  6. We love deep, soul-searching conversations.  Introverts may hate small talk, and the unimportant details of other people’s lives, but discussions that involve weightier topics, like politics, equality, and the meaning of life, are like pure gold. When you need a person to listen to you while you figure out what your life’s purpose is, ask an introvert. We love that stuff.

In a society where the phrase, “He kept to himself” is a euphemism for, “He was bat-crap insane”, introversion is greeted with suspicion. Since we don’t reveal much, people jump to their own conclusions about whom we are. If you really want to know what makes the introvert in your life tick, just ask. Be warned that the full answer may take years to reveal, that is, the introvert trusts you. If you are not a trusted ally, you will only be privy to the version of them that the introvert wants you to see, which brings me to my bonus great thing about introversion: Compartmentalization.


Erie ♥