My personality never gave me a chance. Being an INTJ, the thing that most drives me to either sit in the corner peeling the skin off of my thigh or plot the bloody demise of innocent children is misunderstanding. And yet the way that I, as a soul, have been designed seems to make it nearly impossible to make my intentions understood. Perhaps an even greater finger-in-the-eye is that due to my many years of training on social interaction (AKA being around humans and having to survive in a society), I’ve come to function relatively smoothly in social situations, thereby giving people the wrong expectations.
The thing that often trips me up, I suppose, is that though, being an artist, I do have strong emotions and am aware of them, my decisions and behaviors are based on thoughts rather than feelings. This does not work out well sometimes.
Once, when I was living in Seoul, Korea, during a small group gathering, my close girlfriends and I were sharing our thoughts and feelings. We were really baring our souls and being vulnerable. One of the girls, a neighbor of mine, in fact, shared some honest fears, to which I was quite compassionate.
The typically 15 minute cab ride home lasted about 3 hours that evening. I was always taught, in counseling classes, to address the current issue, and not to form general conclusions. So if my friend was feeling insecure about how people feel toward her, doesn’t “people” include me?
It was time to be comforting. Some other people might not have thought to tell a friend how valuable she is. But I wasn’t going to be “some people”. That’s how we get people who go through life wondering if people love her.
So I began…
But then my feelings tried to fight my brain. “This is weird, you crazy woman!” they said. But my brain rebutted, “That’s what selfish feelers say, which prevents them from being kind and logical humanitarians. Shut up!”
I don’t know what I expected to happen. I think I thought that she might just say “thank you” and that we would stop for shaved ice on the way. Instead, the reality of the situation hit me like an angry woman with a dead fish in her hand. I’d made a monumental mistake and now I was, once again, the awkward girl in the group. How would I recover from this? What would make this right?
Thank God for socially capable people.