Have you taken the MBTI? Apparently I’m an ESTJ (click here for my strengths & weaknesses), but I’m not a fan of large group settings unless I’m in the confines of my own home. I guess you can chalk that up to control. If you’re like me, you feel grounded at home – always on your feet, you always know what’s coming next. So naturally, you’ll invite the whole neighborhood under your roof. You’ll keep all the drinks full & find time to chat with every guest! Our weakness – being taken out of our safe zone.
We find safety in two’s. As soon as two becomes three, you automatically feel like the outcast. You get defensive, insecure & anxious – extremely anxious. So when you make plans outside of your safe zone, you keep your group small – so small that it’s just you plus one. When you have multiple friends, this becomes difficult. Someone feels left out or is upset. You find that those that really know you, understand this about you & are happy to “wait their turn” even though that’s not your ultimate goal…to make your friends take turns. It’s just how it works out or else you fall into a stupor of anxiety & it’s just not worth it for you or for them.
We don’t mix well with alcohol. Alcohol drains you. If it’s a group activity & alcohol is involved or you simply don’t know your drinking partner very well – you want out. It’s not personal. It’s necessary. Your serotonin is depleted & your wits aren’t about you, so it makes sense that you don’t play well with others in these situations. If you’re in your home though, in your safe place, you may act a bit out of character & enjoy more than one or two stiff drinks on occasion.
We still bite. You’re confrontational by nature, but it’s worse when things aren’t in your control. You bite, you lash out. You learn that it’s not worth putting yourself in these situations to please others. All you do is hurt the people you’re trying to please by choosing to join in. Again, those that know you understand that group outings are just not your thing. If you have to go, you have to have that one good friend by your side because safety is in two’s for you.
We have a tendency to please. You know better, but you keep putting yourself in those situations. Someone has told you that you’re being unfair, or that you need to do a better job of inviting everyone. So you feel the pull to please & you find yourself in another group, uncomfortable. You need to learn that this is better done in your safe place. Have those people over to your house, don’t feel obligated to plan something outside of your comfort zone. You’ll find it easier said than done, but your friends that really know you will help you through it.
We need to recharge. You’re not an introvert so you don’t recharge by being alone, but you’re not an a-typical extrovert either. You need camaraderie to recharge your batteries, you just don’t do it in a large group or social setting unless it’s in your safe zone. You have a get together or dinner at your house or you plan a brunch out with a friend (but not two).
We don’t play well with others. Cling to those that understand. It never hurts to try to let someone that doesn’t understand know what you’re going through, but if you can’t make that happen – it’s not you, it’s them. You have those few incredible friends that will get you through anything, it never hurts to have more, but be sure you’re valuing those friendships that have stood the test of time. They have lasted that long for a reason.
Take the time to get to know yourself. It’s okay to test the boundaries every once in a while, but have an escape strategy. Laying in bed the next day wondering what you did wrong instead of living life is never, ever worth it. If you find yourself here – drained, anxious & wondering how you let it happen again…get up & get moving. Afterall, you can’t live Health Full Time without working towards being happy.
To my friends that understand I’m a big ol’ ball of anxiety & that I can’t always meet the social norm – thank you. You’re the reason I can get up & get moving the next day.