I’ve read a lot about the kaleidoscope universe of the different personalities, especially about the overrated dichotomy of extroverts and introverts, plus the ever magical ambiverts who glide through both extremes. However, I’m still bothered by the thought that introverts struggle with change. Being an introvert and an INFJ at that, I understand how over-stimulation pounds on our threshold as we wrestle to keep our wits together. But one thing about me bothers my personality-conscious friends and myself: I actually enjoy change.
I don’t know exactly when and how this seemingly masochistic tendency started but I would like to share my thoughts on why – after a brief moment of frustration – I got to enjoy a sudden shift.
I hate it when I start thinking too much again. Back then I thought I was depressed and paranoid. Knowing my personality type gave me a sense of liberty to control my tendencies and tame my thoughts. When I’m confronted with change, instead of dwelling too much on fears and doubts, I dwell on its being a natural occurrence in life.
However, there’s no denying that I’m still caught off-guard. My flesh still trembles. I still have sleepless nights and nightmares. But I guess I’m just fed up with the many changes that will eventually take place. Brushing off changes is totally not healthy, so I urge myself to analyze the situation with a clear mind. Would it be beneficial? If yes, then great! If not, then let’s turn the disadvantage into an advantage. It may sound so positive a mindset, but who says an introvert is overly pessimistic?
It’s a challenge.
As a perfectionist INFJ, changes always leave me annoyed and upset. However, the benefit I see in this is that I’m compelled to tame and overcome my overwhelming feelings. I’ve learned to maneuver myself through the situation and see if there’s something I can do about it. A few instances, I was able to stop certain changes from taking place, but in most cases, I’m really left with no choice but to ride along with it.
The aspect of change that I’ve learned to enjoy more is the challenge it entails. The discomfort we feel should be taken more positively by – drawing from our core strengths as introverts – discerning, observing and by listening to the people involved. Plus, I find it rewarding after I exhaust any means possible to overcome something on my own. I totally feel victorious and fulfilled even for just a moment.
It’s for self-improvement.
Not all changes are bad. Unpleasant changes may be consequences of our wrong decisions or maybe just another one of those that just love coming along our way. Whatever preceded the change, learning something out of it is the best we can do. The transition period can be painful and stressful but it definitely molded me into the better version of myself.
My ex-boyfriend and now-husband can attest to this, knowing how I hate it when changes are necessary even on our dates. It’s like I find it arduous to divert from our itinerary. One of the most challenging adjustments is when I had to take a break from college three times. With that, I had to adjust to three different batches of classmates. I can still remember how excruciating it was wrestling with myself just to make friends with my new batch-mates – not to mention the age gap issue. But now, we’re the closest of friends!
In the long run, I notice the pain and effort in adjusting to new surroundings lessened. Perhaps I’ve gotten used to loosening my grip on things, and it’s because of these changes that I learned to control what I can control: my attitude, mouth, thoughts and actions.
Oh, how venturing into the unknown scares the wits out of us! But who knows what the other side of the tunnel holds? It’s not only rainbows that can lead us to the treasure. It could be a roller-coaster heck of a ride, but if we dread it before it begins, then we can never appreciate the view, the thrill and the screams and laughter of the people around us.
The biggest change I got myself into recently was when I had to leave my job of six years and went for one that’s totally different from the previous. The nature of work is completely different from what I got used to. There were opportunities for me to go back to teaching, but I turned them down despite the promising offers. Call me crazy, but I did it to have a more varied work experience, a wider perspective, and here goes… to test my limits as an introvert.
I’m well aware that introverts thrive faster in routine and familiar settings and how we despise the feeling of groping in the dark, but most of the time, growth and new experiences call us out of our sanctuary called comfort zones.
The discovery of the various personality types has definitely made the world more fascinating as people continue to discover the key to their self-realization, leading them to where they’re destined (or rather intended) to be. However, life has a lot of surprises up its sleeves, making all those twists and turns and frankly, not all are amusing. I hope that with my story you’ll be more welcoming to changes – big or small, stressful or tolerable – and be more open to the perks and surprises in life.
Photo credits: Frank McKenna and Meiying Ng