On being an "innie"

My mom and I sat in the car waiting. I was young and I was upset, but I don't remember why. All I remember is looking over at her and asking, "Why am I so sensitive?"

I've known I was an introvert for a long time. I took the Myers-Briggs test in High School. The INFJ personality type fit me to a tee. I was ecstatic to put a name to my sometimes (seemingly) unusual behavior, but honestly, back then, I didn't really know what to actually do with this information.

For example, while I crave connection with others, too much connection can be exhausting, causing me to retreat into solitude (simply for the rest). While I do like to be outside exploring, traveling and seeking new adventures, I have to choose and plan carefully, otherwise, I can be way overstimulated and wear myself out. I also sometimes have a tendency to zone out (whoops). And I often get very nervous in social situations, although, this has gotten easier as I've gotten older.

I've fought these traits my entire adult life. I was kind of hoping that I would grow out of them and one day emerge as a shiny, bright extrovert.  

That hasn't happened. Obviously.

But I'm kind of glad. I'm starting to understand what this whole introversion thing is all about. I'm reading articles about introversion in the workplace and books like, The Introvert Advantage that my friend Colin (also an INFJ), loaned me. It's not all that bad. And I'm actually not that "weird." I just use and conserve energy in a certain way and my brain simply processes information in a different way than others.

And that's pretty much what my mom said to me in the car that day. After a long pause, (if my memory serves me) I remember her saying, "Some people just feel things differently. You just feel things differently."

I can't tell you what a relief that is for me to finally learn.

Are you an innie (an introvert)? What has the experience been like for you? Or are you an outtie (an extrovert)? What challenges have you experienced as an outtie? What's your experience been like?