Sunday, September 26, 2010

Something different

     I usually write short stories or essays for my blog, but today I am going to try something different for a change, well....just to be different. I am going to write on one of my favorite topics, personalities, namely my own. What can I say other than I find my personality intriguing? I love learning and knowing what makes me tick. I like knowing that there is a reason I line the cans in the pantry up just so, and even though no one is going to see how straight the sofa pillows are, I straighten them before retiring for the night (or so my daughter says; I do it without realizing it.) I really do not think that most people stop to think about why they are the way they are, why they do the things they do. If they did, they would find out exactly how interesting they really are, or at the very least, understand why they do the things they do.
     For instance, as an introvert, I need what I refer to as “detox time” after being around a lot of people or noise for an extended amount of time. It took me half a lifetime to realize that because I am an introvert, quiet time is necessary for me to find my balance after being around chaos. It explains the unsettlingness that I always felt. Have you ever noticed how some small children get really rowdy and cranky when exposed to chaos, and others thrive on the noise. I would venture to say that those cranky children are your introverts and they need to detox. If we had only realized that our child just needed a little quiet time (and not the time-out we put them in) wouldn’t we have all been happier? Let me interject here that introvert does not necessarily mean shy.
     There is a wealth of information out there if we would only take the time to explore it. It would certainly make our lives a little easier, our friendships healthier, our children happier, and our spouses more understanding.
     When we are young, we find ourselves drawn to those naturally charismatic people around us who always seem to be holding court; they are funny, they never lack for something to say, and everyone loves them. I was no exception. I was a shy child and I wanted to be outgoing. I wanted to tell the joke and make everyone laugh.
     I think we are drawn to people who are the opposite of our own personalities because they have a quality that we think we lack, be it outgoingness, adventurous, or high energy; but as we mature, we realize that being able to settle down in a relationship with someone very much like ourselves is comforting. As I have grown up and matured, and I am speaking of my 40s and early 50s here, I have thoroughly indulged my passion for studying personality traits, especially my own. Exploring the different aspects of my personality has allowed me freedom from a self-imposed exile.
     The day that my now best friend entered my life did not seem any different from any other day. There were no balloons released into the blue sky. There were no trumpets sounding her arrival. In fact, it was just an ordinary day and she, an ordinary person. As time marched forward and we became better acquainted with each other, the more we each enjoyed each other’s company. Turns out, our personalities are so much alike that we can accurately predict what the other is thinking most of the time. Our thought patterns are so predictable to us now that a simple look (you are preaching to the choir sister) is sometimes enough to stop us mid-sentence with a giggle.
     We are both avid readers and if books were a meal, our tables would be overflowing with a bounty of nourishment. I crave knowledge and the written word as some people crave the caffeine in coffee. It is an addiction and it is wonderful to pick up the phone and go on and on about a book knowing the other person is not rolling their eyes or picking their nose in boredom.
     In this friendship, I have the freedom of being myself without fear of judgment; something I had yet to experience and in turn, we allow each other the freedom to express what is on our minds without worrying about repercussion. Others may take this very simple gesture for granted, but for some it is a long awaited luxury. We share a mutual respect for one another.
     I can try the normal person’s patience on a good day, but being friends with someone of a like personality enables me to be myself and to be accepted for who I am, quirks and all – and there ARE a lot of quirks that go along with being me. Long ago, I realized that my personality was a little bit different from those around me. I set out on a fascinating journey after taking a Myers-Briggs personality test many years ago and I have not looked back since. Personalities are intriguing, especially my own. Research taught me that my personality is unique (not common, meaning I am u-n-i-q-u-e.) What a day that was. I was finally free to embrace being different (and in my opinion, quite normal.)
     Being friends with a person of a like personality has opened my eyes to some of my “quirks” which may need a little “tweaking” (hence, work.) When someone is mirroring your behavior, it allows you to see yourself more clearly. Sometimes it is a good thing, sometimes, not so much (chuckling.)
     Predicting that same person’s behavior can be easy, and again, sometimes it is a good thing, sometimes not so much. I know my limits and consequently can recognize when I am pushing the limits of the other person.
     I actually think that being friends with a person of a like personality may be one of life's best lessons. It teaches tolerance for some of those not so good “quirks” we all have; although, I must admit that being married to someone who flies by the seat of their pants can be quite challenging to my plan and organize each minute of the day persona also. That is a story for another day.
     I think I will end here with this one aspect of my personality, but expect to see more on a topic that fascinates me. I am an introvert, more to come on that huge topic! Meanwhile, explore your own personality. I promise that you will not be disappointed!

2 comments:

  1. As a fellow introvert, I found this posting fascinating. You are spot on, girl! And you're right to think that exploring your own personality is worth the effort and VERY interesting. I loved the idea of having to detox after being around people or noise too long. ME TOO!!! It takes me forever to center after I've had people too close, too long. I thought I was just weird. Thanks for the insight.

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  2. It helps to know your limitations and know that your partner understands those limitations, especially when they are a people person and thrive on the chaos that we, as introverts, tend to shy away from. We have lots of "quirks" as Introverts and I plan on exploring the bulk of them! We always say, "we're normal, everyone else is different!"

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