Life of an Introvert.

I had a beautiful and spontaneous weekend at home (read: eating homemade meals, seeing The Vow, reading the morning paper, being treated like a princess).

But I was also made more aware of how self-driven I am when compared to my family.

I’m Introverted, Goal-Driven, and Deliberate.

They are sweet, relaxed, simple and uninhibited.

You might be able to guess where the disconnect lies. It doesn’t help that as an introvert; I’m also not the easiest to decipher. I don’t often talk through all my thought processes.

In my Leadership class this semester, we’ve been analyzing our different strengths in how we lead. But I’ve recognized that while my “strength” traits above sound fancy (read: high and mighty achiever) when juxtaposed with attending college, writing papers, working toward goals or thinking deeply on a wide variety of issues, they’re not necessarily the best formula for relationships.

As driven, thought-filled planner, I’m always more in tune with my own personal goals and ideas than my family’s — even when I have the best of intentions. I want to listen and help and be easy-going with Mom and Summer, but sometimes it seems like they have no direction, no executive plan, at all. And my critique of that is uninhibited.

I’ll give you an example.

I had a few readings and homework assignments to finish. Mom and I had discussed going to see The Vow together on Sunday. After church, we were deciding whether or not we wanted to see the movie and I began throwing out show times “1:30 or 2, or even 4:30?”

Mom: “Whenever is fine with me.”

Me: “Yeah, but realistically. When do you think is better?”

Mom: “Whenever.”

Me: “Are you doing anything beforehand?”

Mom: “Well, Summer wants to go to Target, so maybe we could just do that and then go to the movie.”

Me: “Well, what about my homework?”

Mom: “You tell me. Which time do you prefer?”

Me: “It’s not a matter of preference. I just want to know when we are actually going so I can plan out how long I have to do my work.”

Mom: “It’s whenever.”

Me: “Ugh, but you don’t understand. I need a plan.”

How silly it all sounds in print now.  But I think this reconstruction of our argument is an accurate reflection of how my introverted mind works. I need plans, and I need time to think by myself. I don’t go to Target unless I have a purpose or reason. I like to leverage my time for the greatest amount of achievement possible. This means that I deliberately think through every scenario until I know the right one. Then I act on that plan.

My parents aren’t that type (at least with day-to-day decisions) and so I understand I can be a demanding one.

This way of thinking is very selfish, self-centered and arrogant. Who says I get to dictate everyone’s plans based on my own goals (which I haven’t even verbalized)? Who says I get to demand that everyone set aside time for me to run 10 miles for my half-marathon training? Why can’t I just appreciate the company of my parents and enjoy the present for what it is?

I often need humbling.

And less goal-setting.

The life of an introvert isn’t always the fullest.


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