Just Another Personality

Box Me In And Call Me Insane

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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.


10 thoughts on “Box Me In And Call Me Insane

  1. I’m a weird one – I’m definitely an introvert, but I almost think I can pass as an extrovert if I need to. I love to be by myself, but I can mix with people if I need to. I do notice everything about everyone, though. I love, love, love studying people – especially when no one notices me! 🙂 weird, huh? 🙂

    1. I wonder if mixing with people energizes you or drains you (or both)? I think you’re not too weird – you and I have a friend in common that is an introvert at heart, but most people would peg her as an extrovert. You need to teach me the ins and outs of people watching. Maybe when we go to Gabriel Brothers! 🙂

  2. Hey Em. I can really relate. When I took the myers-briggs in college I was an INFP. I am learning alot about myself these days. I am seeing just how much of a feeler I am and becoming ok with it. I liked your post – and I don’t much like talking on the phone either.

    1. Well, I’ve been wanting to call you. But since we both hate phones… 🙂 I wish I could just blink and be in the same room with you! I almost was an INFP.

      I had to laugh at one of test result descriptions I read. It said that Jesus was an INFJ. What a hoot! Who knew Jesus was so limited! So, if you find yourself asking, WWJD – just ask me. (is that blasphemous?)

  3. ENFP…extravert extreme. I suspect you knew that:) I will be honest. I wish I was more of an I. They seem more wise, more deliberate and more controlled . sigh.

  4. fun and friendly? yes. confident and brave….well, you might need to ask another e about that. i sure am not. perhaps i appear that way? i don’t know but i am anything but confident. 🙂

    1. Hm. Maybe your enthusiasm conveys bravery and confidence. But I also think your actions do as well. Do I need to remind you all the things that you’ve been up to these past couple of years? Hmmm? Do I? Crazy girl. You are brave.

  5. hmm…yes well i guess one could assume that i am brave but if you knew how long it took me to finally step out and do these things and the shaking knees as i do them. well, it would not be your idea of brave…lol

    i am enthusiastic. it’s a trait i love and loathe at the same time:)

    and you not doing new crazy things?? seriously,..how different is your life now than it was 2 years ago?

    i guess i should add that the reason i view I’s as more confident and wise is that you quietly contemplate your decisions. you don’t have to yack to put 2 concise thoughts together for yourself:)

    1. no yacking, vocal wise. Yacking out the door thought wise. And the reason we can’t yack vocally? (well, me at least) – I can’t put into words exactly what’s going on inside the head. Head to voice is almost impossible. Head to hand (writing), is much better. That’s the reason why I get cranky if I don’t write. I need to yack. 🙂

      Well, maybe we can agree that confidence is not an “E” or an “I” thing. And neigher is bravery.

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