Through the Looking Glass....
I consider myself to be pretty intelligent, extremely observant, and a fairly good judge of character - how did I miss this about myself?
With hindsight, I can look back and see all the obvious things that make sense now, but I haven't yet figured out whether it would have been a good or a bad thing to know when I was younger - I am mostly glad I think, that I pushed myself waaaaay out of my comfort zone, 'cos it just seemed like a thing that had to be done to keep up with everyone else.
If I'd had all the knowledge then that I have now, I think I would have become a(n even more) melancholy musician who couldn't 'conform' in any way.
I'm still not a sheep, but I live in conformity and harmony to a degree that works for me, and keeps me sane.. (and allows me to spend my life with an Extrovert!)
Reality is, until I came across Susan Cain's book 'Quiet', I'd genuinely never considered even vaguely that I might be an introvert.
It's like when you apply for a job with a company you've never heard of, and then you weirdly feel like you suddenly see their logo everywhere and wonder how you could have missed it....?
It just wasn't on my radar, so I didn't take anything in, until I read the book and then wondered how in all my years of self-awareness (I thought) and even studying psychology at one point - how.... did I miss this?
But miss it I did.
So I had lots of catching up to do, and I began with the book, and then the Ted Talk (over 30 million people have also watched it in case you haven't, or are skeptical)
It all came about by pure chance, when another friend I've known since my late teens had posted something like this link - may even have been this one I've attached below..
My initial reaction was surprise that she was even posting this, as she'd always seemed to be the life and soul of parties we'd been at, very social, loads of connections, and yet....
The more I read, the more I connected with and laughed at every single GIF.
Wait - what?
I realised what I was doing here (see open can below)....., but decided I was ready to explore.
So the research began (introverts often make great researchers...We love to make connections - contrary to popular belief!), and I found myself immersed for hours reading blogs and hearing other people telling stories which sounded just like me, and they were all....introverts...?!!
I read insatiably for weeks, and then started to feel confused when I started to realise there were different types of introvert...
I did a basic Myers Briggs test and started delving even deeper into
- understanding my personality,
- my reasons for doing, or not wanting to do things,
- why I'd struggled with certain jobs I'd had,
- or certain people I'd met....
Now you might think - "well, maybe you'd have been better not to know!", but the self-awareness I gained from the process was so beneficial, it literally changed my life.
I highly recommend it if you haven't done it already - even if you don't fully 'believe' it, or read any further on it, it can be such a great help into understanding why you struggle to get along with certain personality types in your life, and give you some real solutions and tips into how to interact better with them.
I am still learning, and I still struggle, but I would never go back to the days when I just thought 'I was different', 'I didn't fit in', or worse - when I tried to fit in, and it felt so uncomfortable, so false and so wrong for me...
I occasionally wonder what my life would have been like if I'd always known, but mostly I take pleasure in the understanding I have now, and that's why (finally) I decided to write this blog, so that others might pick up this information, maybe learn something about themselves, and if I help just one person feel better, it's been worth it. Plus I'm rediscovering my love for writing, so it's a win-win!
Later, I plan to talk about some of the things I now realised were just part of my personality, and not 'something wrong with me'...
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