I frequently get caught up in the trap of trying to be all things to everyone. It's a lesson I have to re-learn over and over as I go through life because two competing aspects of my nature fight each other. Yes, it is exhausting but nothing has helped me cope with this more than learning through the Myers Briggs typology that I am an INFJ. I actually learned this years ago but didn't know what to do with it. I learned it before the internet existed and I could study it. Controversial and instantly dismissed by some, the Myers Briggs typology does not tell you everything about your personality, but it does describe your cognitive style which has a significant contribution to who you are, what you think and do, and it is particularly appealing to those of us who are a little bit atypical. There is good information and misinformation about Myers Briggs types on the internet. There are things meant only for entertainment purposes and should be taken with a large grain of salt.
I seek to connect with people, to help, to be of service, to interact regularly, and in most situations I can mimic the behaviour of an extrovert. I will do this because connecting with people is something I value highly.
But I am also very much an introvert, probably somewhere on the HSP (highly sensitive person) spectrum and I live with a chronic illness that is fatiguing. I put myself out there, and then I withdraw. I make too many friends and then cannot cope with what I expect myself to give them, so I panic and run away.
For what is probably close to 90% of the time, I want quiet, solitude, serenity and rest. I am not by any means a lazy person. I have a very active mind and a desire to be active doing many things, thought most of them are solitary. I forget to give to myself at the same level that I give to others and then suddenly realise that I have to and spend months in rehab mode.
I seek softness in my life the way a moth seeks a light. Although I have tried to make it otherwise, following my typical pattern of attempting to be bold and brash and strong in a visible way, to prove I am not dull, meek, or a pushover. Although sometimes I am a pushover. If I have decided you are worth it, I will bend over backwards to accommodate you at the cost of my own needs. I will lose myself and not realise it until I am literally floundering and panicking.
Finding my way back to wearing the right colours, soft and muted, de-saturated, and soft feeling clothing is amazingly empowering. As empowering as understanding all that I have come to understand about what it means to be an INFJ. My passion for neutral tones, which has developed intensely over the past few years, was not so much a need for no colour as the first signal I had to decrease the saturation. Turn down the volume. Is there anything more instantly relaxing for me than cuddling a soft taupe and grey kitten?
I am currently highly withdrawn. My partner, son and parents are my world and I haven't got time or energy for more than that. I make a brief appearance on Facebook once in awhile, an effort to indicate that I am still alive. I still struggle with guilt about that but am improving. I ask myself, why the guilt? Do I think so many people are so invested in my attention that if I withdraw it they suffer? No, I don't actually think that, but I do need to remind myself that I don't.