Thursday, February 27, 2014

Choosing People

I am an introvert. Pretty much a textbook one. My Myers-Briggs personality profile is INFJ. (Incidentally, that's the rarest all types... and I feel compelled to mention Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela were INFJs. :) ) When I was younger I had no interest in being an introvert as I, like a lot of people I think, incorrectly thought that being an introvert meant you were anti-social and didn't like being around people, while being an extrovert meant you were cool, outgoing and confident. As I got older I realized that those assessments weren't actually true. The best explanation I've ever gotten of introvert vs. extrovert, and the one that makes the most sense to me, is it is all about where you get your energy. Extroverts get their energy (could be called "recharging your batteries") from being around people and social interaction. Introverts, on the other hand, get their batteries recharged by being alone. So it really has nothing to do with how much or how little you like people, how outgoing or social you are, etc. It's about energy. And when I heard that definition that really clarified everything for me. There have been days in the past where I've gone to work all day, then straight to the dance studio where I taught for 3-4 hours and by the time I got home after 9 p.m. I was honestly in tears. I wasn't sad at all, it was just that I was so exhausted from being around people all day long. I need a certain amount of alone time every day in order to feel energized. Sometimes this is difficult, as if I'm gone all day long (some combination of work, dance, school, meetings and errands) and don't get home till late, I can't go straight to bed. I still need at least an hour to be alone and piddle away time reading blogs or whatever.

Since I learned this about myself a couple years ago, I always think ahead when making plans to see what alone time I can build in for myself. I  just know it is better for my overall mental, spiritual, emotional and  physical health to have that time. But sometimes I have to try really hard to be sure that I don't take it too
far.

Sometimes there are opportunities that arise to hang out with someone, take a class, etc. and it's realllllly hard for me to give up scheduled alone time for that. But the thing that's REALLY hard is when there is an opportunity to volunteer somewhere or do some sort of service for others. I really believe that our primary purpose here on earth is to be of service to others. Love God, love people. The Catechism even tells us that the purpose of life is to know, love and serve God in this life and be happy with Him in the next. I agree with all these things as they definitely make the most sense to make up a life well lived. The blog I mentioned the other day that I just started reading, Amy's, featured a post where Amy and some of her friends got together on a Saturday morning to paint a low-income preschool. Obviously, after working all week, there are a LOT of things people want to do on Saturday mornings - sleep, drink coffee, read the paper - that do not involve getting up at the crack of dawn and doing manual labor. But Amy notes that one of her friends concluded that if she wasn't there painting, she'd probably be at home vacuuming or something, and really, what is the better use of her time?

Considered "people" :) 
It seems to me that maybe the best gauge to use when making this kind of decision is what involves people. When choosing between two things, always choose people. If it's community service or some sort of volunteering, choose people for sure. If you mom asks you to go shopping with her, choose your mom. This doesn't mean you have to say yes to hanging out every time someone asks you, but when it comes to the important choices - choose people. We are here to serve, and as far as the people you love go, they will definitely not always be here. Sometimes when I'm petting Snicks the Bunny and I'm getting sort of tired and want to go to bed, I always pet him for at least another minute because I think to myself - when he's gone, I know that I will think I would do anything for just one more minute of him. So I need to take that minute now.

Choose people.


I'm doing 7 posts in 7 days with Jen over at Conversion Diary. 

1 comment:

  1. OK.. YES YES and YES. This is so me - I'm introvert through and through.. and I LOVE my "ME TIME". I have a hard time giving that time up sometimes, too.. I think because I feel like I so RARELY get it these days.. I have one friend who's pretty upset with me right now actually, because I have neglected her. I just CRAVE time to myself lately.. I need to do better about choosing PEOPLE.. so so true. I'm happy that I go to read this post today!

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