Monday, May 12, 2014

Secrets from my Past 1

Everyone has a story to tell. Yes, even that quiet girl who always sits at the back of the classroom and never comes up and talks to you. I love to hear about peoples' pasts. The little things that they hold close, those favorite childhood memories, and the stories that hurt to be told. It is so much easier to understand people if you know their background. You can prevent so many hurts and misunderstandings if you know what their past has held.

Growing up I always thought of myself as being defective. I felt like I was not good enough, and never would be. No matter how hard I tried to be everything that I felt others wanted me to be, I could never succeed.

Freshman year of college. I was invited into the honors college and we went on a retreat before classes started. We had to take the Meyers-Briggs personality test. I was an INFP, but I had no clue what that meant. We had briefly studied this in psychology, but not enough for me to really understand it. The honors college had a psychologist come and talk to us about the results and what they meant. The entire hour lecture was filled with new revelations and ah-ha moments for me. Each of the four categories are based on a spectrum. Zero is the middle, and there are 30 points to either side of the scale. So if you scored 20 on extroversion, that would mean you were mostly extroverted, with occasional introvert tendencies. Most people have some tendencies from both sides.

I scored 30 out of 30 for introversion.

This didn't surprise me, but at this point I did not really know what exactly an introvert was. As the psychologist described each point, I began to realize for the first time in my life that I was normal. It was okay to feel the things that I was feeling. I wasn't deformed or backwards beyond hope. I was simply an introvert. For a long time, this was all I really understood about my personality. And it was enough. It was a start on the path to healing - to accepting myself. Realizing that there was nothing abnormal about me, and that no matter how hard I tried, I would never be able to change myself at my core. Do I have things I can improve? Of course. Each personality has their own weaknesses that they must strive to improve. But deep down, there is nothing inherently wrong with being an introvert. Extroverts are pretty cool, and this world is set up for them in many ways. But that doesn't mean it is are inherently better (or worse) to be an extrovert than an introvert. The sinful human heart can twist either one to be selfish and self-centered.

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