It’s been an odd month and I will be happy to leave it behind me. Sometimes I wish I could just hole myself up inside my own little world and peek out only when I feel like it. That’s the “I” coming out in my personality. The introvert. It’s also the coward. We were given the Myers Brigg’s personality test at work the other week. I found out that I’m in the 1 to 3% of the population that fits under the INFJ label. I’m not quite sure why management decided to bring in people to give us these tests, but I have to admit – it’s fascinating. Although I don’t like the thought of being boxed into a “one personality fits all” type thing – even if it is Myers-Briggs – I can’t help but be thankful for a little more incite as to why I possibly am the way I am.
Did you know that 75% of the population are extroverts? This astounds me! Almost everyone I know are introverts. Do introverts surround themselves with other introverts? I married an introvert. We are not talkers. Who carried the conversation when we first dated? I can’t remember. I do remember spending about 45 minutes with him on the phone almost every night, and we both hated talking on phones. We hated to end our “conversations”. We spend less than 10 minutes on the phone now – more accurately around 5 minutes. “Are you coming home for lunch? No, I have a meeting to take a personality test.” or “How was your day? Slow. I’m on my way home.” I absolutely hate talking on phones. I’d text all the time if I had a phone that was made for it. I feel like I’m on stage when I’m at work. I get to play the part of an extrovert. It’s comical. But I go home and I’m drained. People drain the energy out of me. I have realized the major reason why motherhood in those early years was so dang hard for me; I was forced to live outside the world in my head. All. The. Time. I love driving in the car by myself. I can think all I want to without any interruptions. It’s pure bliss. On the flip side, I love working. It has been an escape of sorts – my focus is the immediate need of the patient and doctor. There is no room for other thoughts. I have needed that these past 2 years.
Jason, the kids, and I were driving home from my parents’ house today. We passed a man who stood outside his house, the road passing it without much room for error. As we approached the man, I had a few fleeting thoughts. “This man is foolish to be standing where he is – doesn’t he realize we could kill him if he would take one step back?” and “Who in the world is he talking to? Oh, a lady on the porch. Is he taking orders from her or flirting? “ I did not hold a high opinion of him until we passed, after I saw his smile. That changed everything. I liked him. He was a friendly neighborly man. Jason asked me, after we had passed, “did you see his trach?” No. No I did not. I saw that he was a friendly man that was a bit old (though don’t ask me why I thought he was old, I can’t quite remember what he looked like). I did not see the tube sticking out of his neck. I wish I did. I wish I had that ability to notice those kinds of details. That gift would come in handy as a “nurse”. But I am not an “S”, I’m an “F”. I do not use my senses to observe the situation before me. I don’t notice that the person has yellow eyes from jaundice, is losing hair, or breathes too fast. What I notice is their nervousness, the shakiness in their voice, the fact that they are uncomfortable sitting in the big chair. I notice the sadness in their eyes. Not the color. In nursing school, we had to look at pictures that had a lot going on in them, memorize them in a matter of a minute or so, and then remember as much as we could without looking. I stunk at this game. Same thing with clinicals. I could not give a good nursing evaluation on a patient. After working almost 2 years as a medical assistant, I am getting much better. But it takes conscientious effort. Whereas sensing a person’s demeanor and attitude is almost immediate and second nature. I have learned that this is not a weakness, but a strength. And I am not alone. So don’t ask me if I had noticed you lost 20 pounds – I didn’t and I’m sorry. But I also didn’t notice you needed to lose 20 pounds in the first place.
Extrovert or Introvert? What are you? I bet most of my readers are introverts. Prove me wrong or prove me right – leave a comment and let me know. Oh, and google Myers Briggs personality test. You can take a short version for free. It may be silly boxing a person into a personality type, but it is kinda interesting. I don’t know why. It just is.