Incongruity

Some new shifts happening in life, as they tend to do. Something came up which was interesting to me.

After a set of surveys I had to take, I had a conversation with someone who was analyzing my results. Looking over my information, as well as my work history, he said, “Your results seem to be incongruous with the work you’ve done.”

In that one sentence, everything about the past fifteen years or so coalesced into something that made complete sense. The continuous shifting and searching I’ve done has been, at least in part, owing to a mismatch with where I’ve found work.

I think it’s a symptom of those who don’t really know me assigning certain characteristics to me that they believe I possess. For instance, many who I work with are surprised that I am introvert. I play that social part well, and have (and keep) many friends.

However, alone time and deep connections are what energize me. Large social interactions are often exhausting to me.

About three years ago I took the Myers-Brigg test for the first time. INFP. Now, I haven’t revisted those results in the past year or two. But at the time, it was enlightening. As was the conversation regarding my incongruity.

I guess the moral is to make sure you’re doing what you’re designed to do. Otherwise you’ll be emptying the tank, rather than keeping it full.

Opening up

A couple of days ago I posted a link to How Not to Be Boring. (Week’s Highlights May 17.)

It’s been sticking with me. As an INFP personality, with an unusually high dose of natural charisma, I’ve fought social conventions through most of my life (with varying levels of success as well as commitment). I can listen well. That’s one of my most valuable gifts, in my opinion – my ability to listen and be empathetic. It’s also emotionally exhausting at times, and there have been stretches of my life when I needed to retreat just to recharge my batteries – completely cutting myself off from family, friends, and many others.

Lidia Yuknavitch’s TED talk on being a misfit came to mind as well. I understand not fitting in, and I get fitting in as well. It’s a ledge we walk. Trying to be socially acceptable, while at the same time trying to be ourself.

I’m not boring. Sometimes I take too long to tell a story, or I harp on the innocuous details, and I feel attention waning. But that’s not me – that’s just my take on storytelling. The things I’ve done in my life aren’t boring, and some of them are completely ridiculous. Maybe one day they’ll all wind up here.