Types of personalities and Introversion

There are broadly two types of people in the world, introverts and extroverts. Also, there are Ambiverts who are considered to be a mixture of introvert and extrovert nature.
Understanding your personality type is crucial for understanding ‘Yourself’ better. I often wondered about certain behavior of mine which was not acceptable by my family, for example; avoiding social gatherings or not accepting sudden change in plans. This behavior of mine was often misunderstood for anger and being a mean rebel. My family tried to make me understand that being stone-cold distant from people won’t help me in the future and explained how relationships were needed to be maintained. I tried learning how to be interactive with people and relatives, but these interactions often left me feeling exhausted and craving solitude.
So, in order to find out why I had certain kind of responses to particular situations, I started searching on the internet about types of personalities and how understanding them is important for expressing yourself in the right ways to other people.
Sadly, in India, living in a socially tight bound cultural-religious country, you can either be an extrovert or pretend that you are an extrovert. Today in this post I want to brief you all about introverts and what goes on in their minds.
So, what exactly are introverts?
According to me, an introvert is someone who just enjoys his/her/their own company rather than being with other people. An introvert is often misunderstood to be shy and are forced to be a part of big gathering so that they can learn to interact with people. The truth is, introverts know how to interact with people, it’s just that that they don’t ‘want’ to be a part of these social gatherings.
The terms introversion and extraversion were introduced into psychology by Carl Jung.
An extrovert is often regarded as an outgoing-upfront person who likes being in company of many individuals. They like social interactions and can’t see themselves without their particular group of friends/ people. An introvert on the other hand is often thought of as a quiet, reserved, and thoughtful individual. They don’t seek out special attention or social engagements, as these events can leave introverts feeling exhausted and drained.
But the definition doesn’t completely explain what introverts are exactly like. Introversion is a spectrum with many more types of sub-categories.
According to psychologist, Jonathan Cheek, who teaches personality psychology at Wellesley College, there are 4 types of introverts — social, thinking, anxious and restrained. Cheek further argues that many introverts are actually a combination of all of the 4 types — instead of identifying as just one of the types.

  1. Social Introverts: These are the kind of individuals who love going out and at the same time tend to be more private about their feelings and thoughts. Even these outgoing introverts get emotionally drained at a certain point if they stay out with people for too long.
    They do prefer having few close friends they can depend on and share their thoughts with. They will be the most social when they are with the group of their closest friends.
  2. Thinking Introverts: Daydreamers fall into this category of introversion. They don’t mind socializing but even when socializing they can be often found to be lost in their own little world. Introspection is their strong suit and thus they are always in tune with their own feelings.
  3. Anxious Introverts: These are the individuals who keep replaying social encounters in their head, trying to derive possible ways in which they could have/ haven’t interacted with people. They are more like shy introverts and crave solitude even when they are with close friends.
  4. Restrained Introverts: These individuals get highly uncomfortable when they are rushed into situations, especially social ones. Restrained introverts are reserved, thoughtful and don’t like change. These individuals will do anything if they have planned for it far enough in advance. They love relaxing by themselves and find comfort in routine. If you are willing to make plans with a restrained introvert personality, make sure you give them ample of forewarning about the plans.

Apart form this classification of personalities there is one other classification too known as MBTI. MBTI or Myers–Briggs Type Indicator is an introspective self-report questionnaire indicating differing psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.
This type of classification comprises of 16 different types of personalities based on the combination of introversion or extraversion, sensing or intuition, thinking or feeling, judging or perceiving. One letter from each category is taken to produce a four-letter test result, like “INFJ” or “ENFP”.
Introverts can seem like hard people to deal with at first, but if you do have an introvert friend or family member, try and understand why they act in certain ways in particular situations. Chances are that these people are suffering more mentally and getting exhausted because they don’t want to hurt you by rejecting forced social interactions but also don’t want to drain themselves by accepting to be in one.
There are many online tests to figure out what kind of personality type you have. They might not always be accurate, so it’s better to first observe your own behavioral pattern and stay connected to yourself. With a little more searching and learning about yourself, you’ll eventually be able to figure out your own personality type and express your feelings in the right ways to other people.
Introverts especially go through a lot of trouble trying to explain people why they are the way they are. Note that not everybody will be willing to understand your point of view and few might not be able to understand even if you try, so, don’t stress over it much.
As correctly put by the famous INFJ (introverted, intuitive, feeling, and judging) Eleanor Roosevelt, “You wouldn’t worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do”.

The Hidden Beginning:

There’s a post on this blog titled ‘The Five Paws’, I wrote it for the four puppies who took birth at my home and stayed in our society with their mother.
After January, the viral season took over and our puppies started getting infected one by one. It was the deadly Parvo virus. One day we saw Caramel sitting under a car, she was looking very weak and wasn’t moving around. I searched on google only to find out that the sickness symptoms were being caused because of the Parvo virus infection. Caramel wasn’t eating anything and had bloody diarrhea along with vomiting. We rushed her to a private vet the same evening and got the medical attention required, the doctor strictly told us that giving just injections won’t heal the pup, she will be needing doses of IV-fluids at least twice in a day to get back to being normal.
We started her treatment a day after. I and my mom took Caramel to the private vet daily twice in a day. Each IV-fluid session was around 1 hour and we sat there near Caramel hoping for her to get fit and fine. She wasn’t allowed any oral food/ water until the diarrhea and vomiting had stopped. Meanwhile I saw that the other puppies were looking happy and fit and had no symptoms of this disease. This all started around 1st February 2021. It was not until 7th February that Coco and Burrito started showing symptoms of viral infection. Me and my family were calling up the ‘1962’ (helpline) Animal Care ambulance every day and had personally requested the doctor to come and save these puppies. We were giving Caramel the private treatment as she was the weakest one with maximum symptoms. We kept Caramel inside our house so her body temperature could get back to normal. Gradually it started becoming exhausting for us to travel and sit through the IV-fluid therapy every day, the puppy was vomiting and had diarrhea throughout the day in house. Also, the physical and mental stress with fear of losing these puppies had taken over our peace already.
The society and people around us contributed in manifesting more hatred and anger towards ‘Humanity’ in our hearts. The unwillingness of people to help these stray pups and fake affection was getting me on my nerves. Seeing Coco and Burrito also getting sick shattered our hopes of being able to save them all. Unfortunately, nobody offered to take out time for driving these puppies to the private clinic for treatment; not even the people who used to affectionately give food to these puppies every day. It was then that we decided to call up the Animal rescue people and asked them to take these puppies away and give them appropriate treatment. We tried calling every NGO in Vadodara working for Animal care, they denied us any help stating that they ‘don’t take in infected puppies and can’t provide any medical assistance’. I tried calling 1962 for a week but after that they also stopped coming as the regular doctor who used to come went on a mini vacation. Meanwhile on 8th Feb’s evening, Coco gave up the struggle and left us suddenly… Next day on 9th Feb even Nugget gave up and left us.
Coco and Nugget both had minimum symptoms, but they couldn’t bear the pain for even a single day. Burrito’s condition was not improving and we couldn’t keep Caramel and Burrito in the same house as Caramel was in a recovery phase. So, we gave burrito to our neighbors. Unfortunately, Burrito had eaten something or maybe he was given oral food/water; Burrito’s health deteriorated overnight. I and mom rushed the very morning to clinic with Burrito for her IV-fluid therapy. She was dehydrated and lethargic that day, but after getting the IV-fluid dose her health was looking a bit improved. It was afternoon time when I heard Burrito’s shaky voice and saw she was having trouble in breathing. Her hemoglobin levels were down and her gums had turned pale white. I knew what was coming next…
We lost Burrito on 15th Feb 2021 evening.
We were positive that Burrito would recover, her immunity was good too. Maybe all our efforts of saving Burrito went in vain just because we couldn’t keep her in the same house as Caramel. Maybe not everyone is capable of looking after a sick puppy even if they take the responsibility for it. Maybe it was all my fault….
It’s been just few days since everything felt like it was falling apart, but waking up each day to see the wiggling tail of Caramel with her hopeful eyes of getting food, well that’s something priceless.
Seeing Caramel’s health improving and she getting back to her normal behavior has given my family a lot of strength. We unknowingly did adopt a Puppy. Caramel is not allowed to roam freely outside until her vaccination is done, so me and my family is looking after her.
“Beginnings always hide themselves in ends”- Mike Posner
These ‘Endings’ turned out to be the ‘Beginning’ of me and family having a pet in our house. My mom and dad are getting more affectionate towards Caramel with each passing day. She sleeps with me on the couch and eats breakfast with us on table. She knows our routine and we know hers. She greets my elder sister and dad when they come back from their office.
Maybe my mind is twisted to always search for the best in worst circumstances, but this sure turned out to be the beginning of something me and family had never imagined.
There’s an animated movie titled “Over the Moon”, in this movie the lead character Fei-Fei loses her dear mother to a chronic illness at an early age. The whole movie revolves around how Fei-fei struggles adjusting in the new environment and goes through a roller coaster of emotions. She denies the loss of her mother and hates her father’s new found partner. This movie is a retelling of the classic Chinese myth ‘Moon goddess Chang’e who took a potion for immortality, causing her to become a goddess and ascended to the Moon without her lover Houyi, and still awaits for him there over the moon.’ Later on, Fei-Fei through the story of Change realizes that she never accepted losing her mother. Realizing that she must move on from her childhood tragedy, Fei-Fei tries to find love all around her. This allows Fei-Fei to accept her loved ones’ death.
Maybe writing this article was a way for me to finally accept deaths of Coco, Nugget and Burrito.
Losing a loved one brings unimaginable sorrow, but ignorance can’t always be bliss. Only ‘Acceptance’ can return you to the bliss in such circumstances.
There are times when life shows you what ‘Life’ is really about. No matter how many falls you suffer, no matter how many loved ones you lose, till your life goes on you’ll need to ‘move on’, just make sure to find that hidden Beginning when it all seems like it’s falling apart.

The Mountain’s Soul

We were there at the top of a mountain. About 1100 meters up from the ground. The whole world seemed so small and so did our problems. While walking and climbing up those mountains, all I did was tell myself that ‘ I can do this, believe it’. There were many who were exhausted, many who had already reached at the top (mostly our trekking trainers). But we all had one thing in common, we didn’t have the option to quit or retract. Once our feet had started in the direction of the mountain top, there was no going back. The path we climbed up; was the path we were going to climb down through.

A lot of things change when we stop giving ourselves ‘options’. “What really are options? And why do we give ourselves the privilege of having them?”, I asked myself.

I guess, ‘to avoid misery’. Maybe we give ourselves options so that we can give up on the tough road and chose the easier one, thus, giving up on believing that we can achieve the unimaginable.

Why is it that we always chose the safer path? Not just in physical endeavours, but even mentally. “This avoiding and running away from challenges, or grabbing onto the nearest safest option, are these what they call the survival instincts?”.

Innumerable questions clouded my mind as I pushed my feet towards the mountain top. It felt like the mountains were talking to me, they were rocky-gravelly and sandy. Each with a story of their own. Some were easy to be walked on, some weren’t. Some scared me to death and some allowed me to sit and get the much-needed rest.

As the volatile clouds of the clear sunny day provided us with minimum shade, the high-altitude breeze cooled us down. There was a different kind of ‘calm’ up above. We even had a doggo companion with us who joined us for the trek.

I couldn’t help but notice that fearlessness in the doggy’s eyes. He stood at the edge of the mountain and stared into the vast spread in-front of him. I was so scared to even go near the edge, and there the dog was sitting at the edge of a cliff, so fiercely. It was as if he had befriended the mountains! I wondered if I would ever be able to develop such kind of familiarity with the mountains and the wilderness. I believe some part of me did hypothetically wish to explore the wilderness more, but I had given myself the option of returning back to my normal life. And so, I did choose instantly, the safer, familiar path of returning back.

We all trekking buddies pushed our limits that day, we didn’t give up midway because we didn’t have any other option of returning. We were entirely dependent on our trainers, from guiding us all the way up to back down on the ground.

My mind somehow started corelating the twisted roads with my life. I wondered if my life was just like these roads.

These roads demand struggle, and the ones who can manage to walk easily are either the ones who have already travelled a similar path or had the physical strength and will power to push their limits.

Before this trekking camp, I could’ve had hardly imagined myself being able to reach the mountain top, but as quoted by the great Nelson Mandela in his 2001 speech, “IT ALWAYS SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE UNTIL IT’S DONE.”

Motivated Perception

How often have you seen ‘signs’ in real life? Have you ever wondered about how the song you thought about day before yesterday is playing on the Television a day later? Did you also try categorizing it as a sign or was it added to the box of ‘unexpected coincidences’?
Many times, it happens that we actually see, hear or feel what we wish to see, hear or feel. This phenomenon is called, ‘Motivated Perception’.
By definition, idea that we see what we want to see is called Motivated perception.
It’s similar to another concept — Motivated reasoning, where we come to conclusions, we’re predisposed to believe in.
Our belief system and perceptions about things are rooted in our Sub-consciousness. Our Sub-conscious mind is more in charge of our actions/ decisions than what we are actually aware of.
The communication between the subconscious and the conscious mind is bidirectional, that is the communication happens both ways. Every time when you have an idea, or an emotion, a memory or an image from the past, this is the subconscious mind communicating to your conscious mind.
Communicating thoughts from your conscious mind to your subconscious mind is difficult because it should be done with emotions. Only the thoughts that are conveyed with genuine emotions make it to the back of your mind. And only the thoughts that are backed up by a strong emotion stay there. Unfortunately, majority of these thoughts that are backed up at the back of your mind are negative thoughts. This mindset is also the result of how our brains are more developed and evolved through time in such a way that they notice and remember the negative things/thoughts/ people more.
A study also states that out of all the thoughts that we have in a day, 80% of them are negative thoughts. It is important for us to monitor these negative thoughts or emotions and put a pause on them then and there so that they don’t become a part of your subconscious mind later on.
In Indian Culture it’s said that we should always speak good of others and our own selves, as once in a day randomly the Goddess Saraswathi will fulfill what you said or wished for. There is story in other cultures too about the guardian angel that always follows you. When you say to yourself “my life is awful”, it writes down awful life. When you say “my job is boring”, it writes down boring job. And when you say “my body is ugly”, it writes down ugly body. And then it goes on and grants you all those wishes, because they are filled with strong emotions (sadness, disappointment, regret, self-loathing). That angel is your subconscious mind.
“Knowing that other people could truly be seeing things differently from us is a way of being able to better understand them and empathize with how they feel,” Yuan Chang Leong, a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley- neuroscience experiment in Nature Human Behavior.
We’re not always aware of our motivations and our expectations. This unawareness at times might lead to conflicts between our conscious and sub-conscious brain. The signs that you are believing in today might be just a mirage projected by your sub-consciousness which is guiding you towards a certain desire which you have unacknowledged motivation for. This is where our strong or weak ‘intuition’ comes in.
We all do see what we want to see and believe in what we want to believe. This doesn’t mean that we can never trust what we are believing in; this only means that every individual has already created a little world of their own just like you did. Disrupting that balance of the little world will never be accepted by the individual unless and until the individual really wants to or is trying to take your point of view into consideration.
Lastly, if you really wish to be the master of your sub-conscious mind, what better way to do that than Meditation.

Five Paws

Today I would like to share with you all a little story of me and my family finding happiness in Four little paws!
My family had shifted from our old house to a new one in August 2020. I myself am not a person who accepts change easily. I was reluctant for even going to a new place. But the circumstances were such that we had to relocate. After denying the new changes and crying over old memories we finally left our old home and shifted to a new one in the same city.
The day we arrived at our new home; I found a new friend. The new friend I had made is a doggo. She used to visit our house daily and sleep near the front door on our doormat. I guess, that doormat was her own little cozy bed. Me, mom-dad and my elder sister, we all were initially a little scared of the new doggo but as the time passed, we all became good friends. I named her Biscuit!
It was 2nd November 2020. Biscuit became a mommy and delivered four little puppies at our home. It was like a festival that day. I remember how my mom made a traditional Indian sweet dish for Biscuit and our neighbors were visiting to see these little cuties. We as a family had seen first time in our life four little newborn puppies and we were happier than ever before.
I named the puppies Burrito, Nugget, Caramel and Coco.
In my childhood, I always avoided going near dogs. For me Dogs just used to be a bunch of big scary animals that were somehow out to get me. There were two separate incidents when a dog came running at me and I tripped and fell down. I even used to get nightmares where dogs were chasing me and I wasn’t able to run fast even though I tried my best.
It was not until my graduation that I overcame the fear of dogs or cats. But becoming foster parents to these Four paws was something I could have had never imagined.
A lot has changed since 2nd November, 2020. All the four puppies are now almost 3 months old and have grown beautifully! They respond to their names and fight with each other on and off for food (obviously). Biscuit has stopped visiting the house frequently because her pups never let her sit in peace. She instead now sleeps in the parking lot of our society.
Here are some points I would really like to share with you all:

  • Dogs/ pets are the perfect friends you will ever find in your life!
  • You will experience another level of love and happiness towards another living being that you may not have had experienced before.
  • When a little doggo walks towards you with hope of being patted, it’s the best feeling in this world!
  • My family, even though being afraid of dogs, has now become a dog-lover family. In fact, my mom and dad are the ones who give breakfast to the puppies early in the morning.
  • Being with them reduces stress, anxiety, depression and increases the levels of your happiness hormones.
  • Not all changes are bad. ‘Changes’ might be scary initially, but you never know what beautiful blessing is awaiting you on the other side.
  • You can find your own happiness in anything you want, if you are willing to be happy.
    I guess, after all that denying for getting relocated, it was best thing that ever happened to us. We truly found abundant happiness, adventure and whole of lot of life with this family of five-doggo. Love a pet/ animal. Care for him/her and you will be astonished to see how healthy it is for yourself.
    [Note: If you are a Dog lover, you must watch “A dog’s Purpose”- A Dog’s Purpose is a 2017 American comedy-drama adventure film directed by Lasse Hallström and written by W. Bruce Cameron, Cathryn Michon, Audrey Wells, Maya Forbes, and Wally Wolodarsky, based on the 2010 novel of the same name by W. Bruce Cameron. Available on amazon prime]