74. Introverted Tendencies

Fact of life: girls have periods; guys have semesters. They’re longer, more pronounced, and are harder to ignore.

Hi, I’m an introvert. An extreme one, at that. When I took my first official MBTI test in 2009, I found that while most people have some degree of extroverted tendencies, I have none. Zero. Nada. My introvert score was 35/35, and there was no room left for any extroversion in me.

(some weeks ago, the lecturer for my Organizational Behavior class said that the MBTI test is not reliable because it doesn’t allow room for middle grounds. Which is true if you only look at the end result, eg. INTP, ENFJ, etc., but not true if you’ve actually taken the test, which allows you to see the balance between your dichotomies)

I’m an introvert, but this does not mean that I am antisocial, or that I hate people. It just means that being around people drains my energy. It doesn’t matter if someone is just there minding their own business – their very physical presence (or even digital, as I have observed my reactions to communicating over instant messaging) sucks the energy out of me, and eventually, I’ll have to disappear off to somewhere just to be alone for a little while.

Since spending time with people is essentially spending energy for me, I like to spend my energy on people that I like. And when I run out of energy, it really doesn’t matter anymore how much I like you – I just cannot take any more human interaction. This cycle of energy depletion takes place daily, but it’s really connected to a bigger wheel. You know, like how in 24 hours you have night and day; and these nights and days are parts of seasons? It’s something like that.

So while my energy does refill and deplete on a day-to-day basis, there are entire semesters (see first line of post) where I am able to expend more energy than usual, and my willpower hits an all-time high; but what immediately follows is another entire semester when I need to hide away and just be alone, sometimes for days on end, to refill the energy that I had spend over the past weeks.

This probably varies from introvert to introvert, but within myself, I observe that these “semesters” usually lasts 6 weeks or so. My last “refilling” period took up most of August this year, so it makes sense that my energy levels were steadily working up to a peak over the course of September, leading up to some time earlier this week (probably Monday or Tuesday), when I actually felt my energy physically draining out of me.

(though it could also have something to do with the 9-hour video recording session last Wednesday)

So I’m just going to put this out there for everyone who is going to see me over the next few weeks: don’t worry, it’s not you; it’s me.

And I’ll see you all again sometime in November. And following that, Christmas.

Ciao.

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