In personal writing you have the right to remain silent. What is yours to process is private. In a world where lives are openly shared and viewed by others, how we are perceived is a coin toss. Whatever your opinion is about exposure, the journal remains a safe haven for most writers.
For me, when full sentences and long moods enter, poetry is brewing. I have the right to contemplate without exposing. The bliss of taking time to be meditative seems appropriate and necessary. As the caterpillar wraps itself into a cocoon so does the human spirit have a need to go within to morph. Then, time to emerge. Flit around. Socialize!
In June the Sonoran landscape holds the heat descending onto the desert floor. A certain quietude takes over when winter residents head back north. Early summer seems to be made for reading and reflecting. I’m in heaven, in the middle of a fantastic book, Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. Talk about a breath of fresh air; I love this book. It’s all about people and their social needs. Do you know your personality type?
In personality testing I’m right down the middle of the scale, leaning a bit more toward extroversion. Surprise. I’ve been called opinionated and sweet in the same sentence. The first one on the dance floor, I would be out there in front boppin’ til the last song. Yet I need long periods of solitude and have been that way since childhood. I don’t need the spotlight. Too much yak drives me nuts but I’m guilty of it myself at times. So what’s the point?
People do have personality styles according to enneagram systems. Testing equally as more of an investigator and loyalist type, I migrated from the peacemaker and caretaker. Fascinated by study, painting, and listening to music, the world of parties and events is secondary now. It changes.
Studies show that introversion and extroversion are real. It’s not that extroverts need people and love to party, or that introverts hug the walls and never go out. But it’s close. The point is more about how people process their feelings. Gender experts say women have to talk it out. Within 10 minutes of talking to a women you’ll know her life story and all about that mean comment her husband’s boss made to him on Friday. It would seem that men would rather have a root canal than talk about their feelings. Generally, they are more comfortable talking about the game scores, jumpshots or details of car parts. Usually the man will want to be validated over feeling judged in a relationship. Regardless of gender, here are some questions about personality style:
• Do you need lots of quite time alone to read?
• Do you thrive on excitement and challenge?
• Does the thought of staying home for more than 4 hours drive you nuts?
• Are you a listener or a talker?
• How do you deal with negative emotions?
• Do you thrive on deep meaningful conversations or lighthearted banter?
• Do you get right to the point or avoid confrontation to spare feelings?
• Are you authentic and blunt or worried about fitting in?
Experts say that writing about life is good for you. The immune system is strengthened by processing emotions. To find proof that it’s ok to do so is a big mood lifter for some quiet types.
Journal suggestion: Try writing in a public place about the most traumatic event in your life. How does it feel? Then, write in a quiet, serene place about the same topic.
Step two: What is your personality type? Take a personality test and see if you agree with the findings. Are you surprised or not?
Coming up: interviews with guest bloggers.