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: Introverts Hate Happiness (and other stuff)

This is what is on my mind today:

Do introverts hate happiness?

I have been reading Introvert Power by Laurie Helgoe, for over a month now because I keep re-reading the passages that are relevant to me. (Most of them!) In one of the chapters, Helgoe writes that basically, introverted people are not moved by positive emotions.  Introverts find that extreme emotions such as happiness and anger are distracting, and prefer to neutrality. So we don’t hate happiness. We just like more controlled expressions of it.

Oh, Paula Deen.

This story will not go away. First, Deen came under fire for statements she made a deposition she made in a lawsuit against her and her brother. She admits to using the N-word, and a plan to hire only black male waiters for an event, with the purpose of them pretending to be slaves. (Or something to that effect.) First of all, I don’t know why everyone is surprised. The generation she grew up in wasn’t exactly the most minority friendly. Second, I don’t believe she is any more prejudiced than any of us. We all have our issues with people from different backgrounds. (I straight up flinched when I saw a woman wearing a full burqa once.) I don’t excuse her behaviour at all, but at the same time, it’s not a shock. She apologized. She’s lost her good name, her endorsements, and her TV show. Let’s move on.

NSA. Welp.

So, the U.S. government has been spying on its citizens. Knock me over with a feather. I’m pretty sure this has been happening for decades, if not centuries. I have heard people complain on and on about the government’s violation of their privacy. All while they check in their PHYSICAL LOCATIONS on Foursquare; They post their names, birthdays, work and educational backgrounds on Facebook; State opinions on Twitter; Keep all of their photos and documents in Dropbox, and take vacation photos using Instagram.

Yeah. It’s a shame when one has no privacy.

(Also, I believe that this was part of a plot in season 2 of Scandal. Only the surveillance program had a classy name, Thorngate. The episode is called “Hunting Season” If you’re interested.)

Keep your eyes on the prize.

I don’t get discouraged easily, but I do have perfectionist tendencies that rear their ugly heads every so often. If I cannot do a job well, I’d rather abandon it outright than finish it poorly. However, over the years, I have learned to override that voice in my head that says “give up”. I have never gained anything of value by quitting. Every year I experience what I refer to as a “gut-check”. If a bad situation that is beyond my control happens and I have to reevaluate my priorities: if I stubbornly refuse to give up while I maintain my composure, I take it as a sign that what I am working toward is important to me, and I persevere. If I can easily give it up without giving it a second thought, it is something that I need to change.

Get over yourself. Goodbye.

I am the first to admit that I’m a princess. I’m the youngest in my family. I’m the only girl, and I am tenacious when I want something to happen. I’m fortunate in the sense that, while I wanted to be spoiled with lots of toys and clothes as a kid, my parents spoiled me with love and lots of attention instead. As one can imagine, this did not prepare me well for the real world. (However, it did give me a nice lovey-dovey cushion to fall back on. My parents are awesome.) I had to learn that the bank, my boss, and the general public did not care that I was mommy and daddy’s special princess, and I do not receive special treatment.

If I wanted anything of substance, I had to work hard to get it–without tearing anyone else down. I learned to mind my own business. I learned to be respectful, whether the person was worthy of my respect or not. Most of all, I learned that my life is not just about me. In order to be a contributing member of society, I had to endure a painful procedure to remove my giant bobble-head from my behind.

In doing that, I found out that my life is not just about me, my family, and my interests. There is a whole world of people out there who are living their own lives with their own family, friends, and interests. I learned that my focus had to shift from being grabby and helping myself, to using what I have been blessed with to help other people. There’s a direct correlation between how unhappy a person is with how much of their life is spent focusing on his or her own needs and wants, to the exclusion of others. The bottom line: People who are content are helpful because they want others to feel the same way that they do. Selfish people are rarely content.

When you get over the need to be praised, coddled, and validated, you are on the first step toward growth. (It will take the rest of your life, just so you know.)



Let Your Freak Flag Fly High

I was a really bossy child. If you were one of the few kids I invited over to play, you were subject to my rules. I chose which games we played, the toys we played with, and who played with what. When we played “house” I was always the one in charge; If we were pretending to be siblings, I was the oldest sister; if we were parent and child, I was always the mother. I liked being in control and felt no shame in letting everyone around me know it.

That changed when I started elementary school.  Apparently, I was a little too unique for my classmates. I was singled out for speaking differently, I was picked on because I read all the time, I was too quiet, and kids got annoyed with me because I always raised my hand in class—and to add insult to injury— gave the correct answers.

I was made to feel ashamed of my confidence. To my peers it came across as me thinking I was “better than everyone else” and they never failed to let me know. All I was doing was being me, but that wasn’t good enough for them.

In an effort to gain their approval, I changed. I stopped raising my hand in class. I would pretend I didn’t know the answers to questions so the other kids wouldn’t think I was showing off, and I tried to speak their slang.

Sadly, the more I tried to fit in, the more I was ridiculed. As a result, I spent the next 15 years feeling insecure, depressed, and suicidal. Not only was I being pressured externally to conform, but internally as well. I thought there was something wrong with me because I didn’t want to be like everyone else but felt that I had to.

It wasn’t until I turned 25, (I’m ashamed to say it took that long) that I got sick enough to do something about it. I realized that I’d spent most of my life up to that point catering to other peoples’ vision of me. People thought I was meek and timid, so I acted meek and timid. Everyone thought I was flaunting my intelligence, so I played dumb so they wouldn’t feel insecure. I didn’t want to be seen as a stereo-typical “angry black woman” so I stifled all my dissenting opinions, and never stood up for myself. This was the polar-opposite of who I was as a child.

I decided that it wasn’t up to anyone else to define me. I believe in God, I believe He created me. In order to discover the real me I had to get to know Him. I spent more time reading my bible; I meditated more, prayed more, and got rid of self-destructive habits.

When my true character was revealed to me I rejoiced.  As it turns out, that assertive, confident, precocious 4 year-old is who I was supposed to be all along. But I was bullied into being timid, taught that it was shameful to be proud of being smart, all of my interests were ‘weird’, and my love of reading was ‘nerdy’.

I was scared into my shell by people who didn’t understand me. They were intimidated by my authority, so they made every effort to undermine it.

They almost succeeded.

Fortunately, that bold, bossy, confident 4 year-old has added 27 more years of wisdom and experience. I’m no longer intimidated by anyone. Actually, to quote one of my favourite literary heroines, “There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.”  –Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice

I value God’s opinion of me above anyone else’s. I am quiet, but I can talk endlessly about topics that interest me. I don’t engage in small talk to be polite because I don’t think it’s genuine. I can be the sweetest person you’ve ever met…or the meanest. I’m weak…and I’m strong. In the words of Marilyn Monroe, ‘If you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best’.

I have been given another chance to do things the right way and I’m not turning back.

And neither should you.

Don’t wait as long as I did to set things right. Always remember that you are valuable, you are loved, and you will find people who will accept you just the way you are. Don’t compromise who you are to fit in with people you don’t like. Surround yourself with people who will love and encourage you and never mind the rest. After all, the greatest insult to anyone who tries to diminish you is indifference.

Do yourself a favor and live the best life you possibly can, not because of your critics, but in spite of them.

Peace and Blessings 🙂