Once, less than a handful of years ago, I had a friend refer to me as the existentialist poster child. In his own way, I believe that he was both telling me I was too complicated for him and also to get out of my own head before i lost my way out.
Tonight I found myself telling someone I was a closet introvert, and I wasn’t surprised by her response. Like so many before her, it’s hard for her to believe that someone as loud, opinionated and independent as myself would think of themself as an introvert. So i figured I’d find the hard evidence to back up not only what I said to her, but also what i feel about myself [foreshadowing].
So multiple articles and tests later, here you go.
As far as I can tell, everything agrees that the dominant [read: what you observe] part of me is classifed as being made of extraverted intuition with introverted feeling. i know i know… what the heck does that mean, exactly?
The main way I live life is focused externally, where I process things through my intuition. Then, my next level if you will, is to deal with those things according to how I feel about them or how they fit into my personal value system. This may still seem a little dry, so let me add some fun parts into this and paint a really vivid picture, and you might see me.
The extroverted part is the warm, enthusiastic, loud laughing side of me, the part that Myers-Briggs says means i’m “typically very bright and full of potential” and i’m sure my mother would love to agree. MB says i live in a world of possibilities [which could insinuate that I live in a world of daydreams], can be very passionate or excited about things [which is true, but sometimes I feel like the things I get excited about… don’t matter?] and “potentially” this would lead to an ability to inspire and motivate others more than other types. Well…that’s saying a lot.
In addtion, this test says,
“ENFPs can talk their way in or out of anything; they love life, see it as a special gift, and strive to make the most out of it. ENFPs have an unusually broad range of skills and talents. They are good at most things which interest them. Project-oriented, they may go through several different careers during their lifetime. To onlookers, the ENFP may seem directionless and without purpose, but ENFPs are actually quite consistent, in that they have a strong sense of values which they live with throughout their lives. Everything that they do must be in line with their values.”
I’m sure, yet again, that my mother would agree I can talk my way out of things, and I’m sure a few people would say they have witnessed me talking my way into things. I call this “excellent BS skills.” For example, last week I was sent on an errand to meet some people to look at a space. I wasn’t told why this space was of interest and I was sort of left to assume why anyone wanted to use this space. But I walked in there, looked like I knew what was up and asked questions that made sense to why I thought I should be there. The ladies I met with were delighted, and I think I got free swag out of this adventure if I remember correctly.
I have family that hasn’t learned this trick of mine yet, and that’s fine. It could be they choose to ignore it or that I’m not as prone to use it on them… most likely the latter, which is why they probably do see me as “directionless and without purpose.” It’s probably that they just don’t care about the same things I care about, which i think is what this test means by “values.” In fact, I almost crave the need to feel that I am “living [my] life as [my] true Self” mostly because I, similar to others like myself “see meaning in everything, and are on a continuous quest to adapt their lives and values to achieve inner peace. They’re constantly aware and somewhat fearful of losing touch with themselves.”
Exactly… it starts to get a little longwinded here and doesn’t say anything you would really care about except about my being “intense.” This is true.
BUT THEN, in black and white this test confirms what I was trying to say all along! Right in the middle of all this only-interesting-to-me-paragraph, it states:
Unlike other Extraverted types, ENFPs need time alone to center themselves, and make sure they are moving in a direction which is in sync with their values. ENFPs who remain centered will usually be quite successful at their endeavors. Most ENFPs have great people skills. They are genuinely warm and interested in people, and place great importance on their inter-personal relationships. They have an exceptional ability to intuitively understand a person after a very short period of time, and use their intuition and flexibility to relate to others on their own level.
Basically, this paragraph is saying, yeah, Amy you do like to be social and loud and talk a lot. But in order to do it, you need alone time. AND THIS IS WHAT I FELT ALL ALONG. Anyone who knows me knows that once I get home, especially if my pajamas are already on [and they usually are within .34 seconds of me walking in the door], there’s no getting me back out again. I need chill time, me and my DVR time. Me and a good book love affair.
This also talks about intuition when it comes to people… which I would say is about 87 percent accurate. I would just like to make a similar and opposite statement to the end about “relating to others” - If I feel like someone is a jerk or a stupid girl [especially a stupid girl] soon after meeting them, I will pretty much transparently display the way I feel until someone convinces me that my feelings are unfounded [they usually aren’t].
So, that was a lot of words to say that I’ve confirmed a couple of things I already felt about myself. Basically that I am outgoing and like to talk and people generally enjoy me being that person; however, after being that outgoing, I have to go away and relax on my own so I can “recharge” and make sure I am still being true to me. And also that I get people pretty much as soon as I meet them.
A closet introvert.
I won’t go into all the rest, because believe me, there was a TON more. I’ll sum up the good parts - first, they said I probably suffer from muscle tension because I’m so sensitive to my environment and can’t relax [accurate]. Also, that I have a strong need for independence [that probably ties into the whole, every now and then I need to be alone thing]. Basically, the whole adjective laden sentence it gave me was: ENFPs are charming, ingenuous, risk-taking, sensitive, people-oriented individuals with capabilities ranging across a broad spectrum. They have many gifts which they will use to fulfill themselves and those near them, if they are able to remain centered and master the ability of following through.
Well. yeah. So in order to be the best me, I have to remain centered, which this renowned test has told me happens when I have me-time.
So the next time you call me [and you know who you are] and I tell you I’m napping or in my sweatpants or busy or what have you and can’t come out, and you’re bummed because you know I normally would… just think, no, Amy needs her time.
I mean, you don’t get the loud, laughing, crazy me without it.
I’m a closet introvert. You can call me whatever you want… the existentialist poster child, the boring girl on a tuesday night, or the life of the party on Friday. they are all true.
And I’m feeling pretty alright with that.
[In case you haven’t caught the fact that I use the word feeling a lot, Feeling is actually part of my acronym ENFP, and means I act according to how I feel, which is very, very, very true.]
If you read all of that, you either really love me or you are stalking me and I’ll know which one of those it was… so if you’re brave you can comment.