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View Diary: UPDATED: Coming to Terms with Myself as an Introvert (246 comments)

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  •  As a kid, Dad told me to be extroverted ... (21+ / 0-)

    ... and like many introverts, I learned how to develop certain skills that are interpreted as being "friendly," "outgoing," "interested in others," etc.

    It's not that I'm unfriendly or disinterested in others -- I care a great deal.  But in our society, and in certain lines of work, it's important to demonstrate those things in specific ways.

    The first time I took a Myers-Briggs test, I answered the way I thought I was supposed to and naturally I was an E (along with three other letters I can't recall).  Fifteen years later I took it again, and I found myself saying, "Now, be honest.  Be real."  And I came out INFJ.

    Ever since I embraced my "I," I have felt so much more comfortable, both with myself and with others.

    It's great to be whatever you are.

    Amen.
    •  "Told you to be extroverted." (9+ / 0-)

      So many parents don't understand that that's pretty much like telling their kids to have dark hair when they're really blondes.  Or to be tall when they're not.

      It can really implant the shaming idea that there's something innately wrong with you -- that you should be other than what you are.

      •  Joni wrote: (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AJayne, niemann, RiveroftheWest

        "We've got to get ourselves back to the garden."

        We are born as who we are, have it beaten out of us by our families and society at a fairly young age, and spend a good deal of the rest of our lives trying to discover what was inside of us all along.

        Thi doesn't apply to everyone, of course.  Some are encouraged to be who they are and others never consider their true selves, let alone proceed along the path of discovery.

        •  I relate it also to the Buddha's "flower sermon". (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JBL55, RiveroftheWest

          If I recall right, there was once a big gathering waiting to hear Buddha give a talk.  He went before them ... and simply held up a flower.  Most people thought, "What th'...?" -- but one person simply nodded his head.  That person became his successor.

          The point:  It's not that tough.  Be like the flower.  The flower is just itself and doesn't try to be an oak tree, or a squirrel, or the boss of the garden.  Trust your own self's inner wisdom and follow it.

          It's when the flower is pressured by others to try to be a tree (because they live longer), or a shrubbery (because the make more money or whatever) ... and when it starts to believe it ... that's when problems start.

          You don't get an oak tree or shrubbery.  You just get a miserable depressed flower with low self-esteem.

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