I remember taking the Myers-Briggs type indicator test a few years ago (online, naturally) and it classified me as an INFP. This was when I was 14. I used to hate every inch of myself, and because of it, I repressed every desire I had to be surrounded by friends and to go outside and enjoy myself among other people. I knew in my heart I could be charismatic – I was told as much by strangers – and that I really wanted to be around lots of people but I didn’t trust myself to…look good. As an adult, well, a recently-turned 18 year old rather, it makes me really sad.
Not that there’s anything wrong with being an introvert – introverts are great people and I’m friends with some lovely introverts. But what’s wrong is suppressing something that’s a part of you.
I think it took until I was in grade 11 and when I made a lot of great friends in school and just generally opened up to the people around me that I felt less insecure. It was a long, hard process that involved feeling – very suddenly – horribly ill if I spent weekends by myself at home, but I grew into the extrovert I was always meant to be. And with it came a world of possibilities – I started joining clubs, being more confident in my talents, in what I could bring to the table. I got into debating and public speaking and that felt incredibly liberating. I never realized before then just how much I loved speaking and sharing ideas. I did it even as an “introvert,” yes, but knowing why you do something as opposed to just doing it instinctively are two totally different things. It’s a damn good feeling.
I stopped staring at the ground while I walked.
I looked around at people, made eye-contact, smiled. I observed people. I piped up to compliment strangers. I conversed with sales associates at stores. And I craved being around people. Soon, parties followed! Spur-of-the-moment dinner plans with friends. Trips to the beach. And I started sulking if I was at home for too many days at a stretch.
Okay, I don’t think that really warrants a past tense. I still sulk when I’m at home for too long at a stretch. Especially on weekends.
I don’t think it truly hit me how I had come into my own until I took the Myers-Briggs test again a year ago. And it’s really silly, but seeing that ENFP (well, 50% 50% perceiving/judging so it’s ENFJ too) made me realize the gravity of my transition.
This right here. That’s the person I’m meant to be, a people person, who aspires to be amiable and charismatic and charming.
And yet, it feels good knowing I still love doing the things I used to do as a 14 year old. I still get lost in books on my bed, I still like taking walks by myself with a steaming paper cup of coffee, I still like browsing online and I haven’t – and never will – give up the incredible friends I made in lieu of having many people to talk to at school. I continue to make friends online and offline and that’s how I like it.
This post is a bit disjointed, I know, but I’ve been bonding with myself today. Even an extrovert needs to recharge in the quiet of her own room – especially an extrovert.
(PS: Sorry for the scarceness! As observed before, there’s a strong correlation between how productive I have to be and how much I post on my blog. I’ll try and update more <3)