A New Year’s Self-Reflection: Three Things About Myself That I’d Like To Change in 2018

I’m pretty sure it’s required by law that any article on self-reflection requires a picture of a mirror at this point.
Source: Her Campus

Now that we’re well into 2018, I, like many people, am taking the time to look back at myself and my actions and attempt to do some self-improvement.

Of course, most people focus on the purely physical – exercising more, eating well, quitting smoking, etc. I don’t hear a whole lot about people resolving to fix perceived emotional or personality flaws. Which is why I’m identifying three things about my personality that I want to improve or completely fix by this time next year. Let’s start with what I feel is my biggest problem…

I’m too nice for my own good

I admit that I have a habit of letting people push me around and use me as a tool to get their work done. Honestly, I don’t mind helping and I actually enjoy it most days.

But the key word there is HELP. As in, to render assistance and aid to another. NOT, as many seem to think, shoulder the responsibility by my lonesome.

Let me put this in context; When I’m not writing every week (a strenuous mental practice as is), I work a 40-hour-a-week overnight job as a custodian at a highway rest stop. I care for both sides of the highway, do a lot of heavy lifting and cover 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) on foot nightly (thanks for the info, Fitbit). What’s more, I often forgo breaks just so I have enough time to get everything done right and the third shift schedule that works me on weekends keeps me from being with the people I care about.

Long story short, I am a very tired, extremely stressed out man who doesn’t have the time or energy to do all of your bull**** for you.

The good news is that I am getting better in this regard and calling out lazy people that just want me to work for them with no recompense. Like I said, I WANT to help; You just need to meet me halfway.

I don’t trust people who smile a lot

I’d like to think I’m not some miserable guy who harbors resentment against happy people. But, when I think about the state of the world, I often find myself thinking, “you can’t be THAT happy in THIS state and be a healthy, functioning human.”

Obviously, that’s not true and on a practical level, I know that. But when I see someone who seems to have a permanent ear-to-ear, Chesire Cat grin on their face, my first instinct is to assume that they A) have some kind of ulterior motive or B) have never had a real problem in their lives and completely devoid of critical thought.

See, I’m one of those people who wears his emotions on his sleeve. I don’t like to smile or laugh unless it’s something REALLY worth being happy about because my mind to busy being flood by other, more important thoughts. Call it the “Daria Morgendorffer school” of thought.

Basically, I need to teach myself that there is stuff worth being happy about and force myself to see it and let myself enjoy it once in a while. In the meantime, I’ll be content with kicking Markiplier’s ass in those Try Not To Laugh challenges of his (Note to self: using sarcasm self-deprecating humor to mask my joyless nature probably isn’t healthy either).

I overwhelm myself far too easily

If I’m being honest with myself, I have a quite the knack for both taking on multiple large projects and not being happy until I’ve finely detailed them to nigh perfection.

Now, some would argue that over-ambitiousness and perfectionism are admirable problems to have. But that doesn’t change the fact that they ARE problems. I stress myself out until I need to quit because I work something until I break (If you’ve been following for a while, you’ve seen me take stress leave on this blog quite a few times). I also put off doing some things because they aren’t EXACTLY like I want them to be (THAT would be the main reason why I haven’t started doing videos like I wanted to).

I need to force myself to only take things one-at-a-time and accept that some of them won’t be perfect immediately.

What I’m trying to say is that I want to cut down on the downtime this year and really push to get part of my evergrowing to-do list off the ground.


How To Care For Your Introvert

Part of the challenge that comes with introvert pairings.
Source: Meet the Introverts

With this last stretch of my college life coming to an end and my newly obtained knowledge in the psychology of personality, I felt the need to exercise that skill my talking about a common personality trait that, for some reason, still gets a lot more flack that it should and that I proudly flaunt.

Today, we will discuss introverted personalities and how to treat them respectably. Why? Because whether it’s your child, a parent, a sibling, a loved one, or just a close friend, they are human and deserve just as much love and care as you would want. As such, here is a list of things to keep in mind when dealing with an introvert.

Introversion Is NOT Shyness or Being Antisocial

You’d be surprised at how much we can say without talking.
Source: Blaine, Jr’s Blog

When identifying someone as an introvert, it’s important to not confuse their personality for shyness. Shyness would suggest a repulsion to social interaction and a desire to avoid it when unnecessary. An introverted person, on the other hand, relishes social interactions but is easily drained by them and can’t stand constant social movement without a break to digest it. This the main difference between introverts and extroverts; an extrovert goes to a party and builds momentum and energy over the evening while an introvert has to excuse themselves after 20 minutes to regain momentum and energy.

Also, NEVER call an introvert “antisocial.” Antisocial behavior is a serious mental condition that, as outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), results in “significant impairments in personality functioning manifest by impairments in self functioning… and impairments in interpersonal functioning.” One suffering from Antisocial Personality Disorder is typically egocentric, acts only on self-gratification regardless of circumstances, and lacks concern for others. Got that – introversion is a personality factor, antisocial behavior is a mental disorder.

Understand How Introverts Socialize

I had a witty observation about introversion to go here, but now I’m amused by the concept of literal satellite communication.
Source: Twist Your Thinking

As stated above, introverts have a very different way of engaging others from other personality types. To reiterate, introverts need to break off from intense social interactions occasionally to regather steam and internalize the thoughts and information they’ve gathered. Trying to keep pushing more info into their heads will just result in them getting frustrated and angry.

Also take note that when they do engage others, they tend to encourage the other to speak first, listen to what they have to say, and react rather than initiate contact. Never force an introvert to engage if they aren’t prepared; it will just result in them retreating back harder. Also, don’t force an introvert to make idle chit-chat or gossip; they only want to talk if they feel have something of substance to share.

Speaking of preparing, you may notice that introverts tend to take longer pauses between back and forth conversations. This is because they value silence as a chance to think about what they’ve heard and what they’ll say next. More often that not, an introvert will take time to internalize their thoughts prior to sharing them. Like the ents from Lord of the Rings, an introvert will never say anything that’s not worth taking a long time to say.

Recognizing The Things Introverts Hate

This is a legitimate fear of mine.
Source: Good.co

While it’s easy to make jokes at the things introverts hate, most of them are surprisingly spot on and accurate.

Introverts tend to hate being interrupted. They spent a good long time thinking about what they what to say to you and you stepping on their toes tends to translate as, “I don’t give a damn what you think.” When an Introvert speaks (be fair, when anyone speaks), wait your turn.

Telephones are a source of unease for introverts. There exists no real efficient and socially acceptable way to tell the other person you need a break without lying or sounding like a jerk. Most of this is due to the lack of body language that comes with phone conversations. Also, phones seem specifically designed for rapid fire exchanges which, as we have discussed, are not the introverts strong suit. If you must call an introvert, be mindful that they prefer to keep the exchange short and to crucial information – no gossip. Also, don’t be offended if they need to quit on you to recollect themselves; it’s just how they work.

Noise, however, is probably an introverts greatest enemy. Remember how they love to listen to others and need to internalize their own thoughts. Well, they can’t internalize if they’re busy listening. That’s right; it’s possible for an introvert to LITERALLY have things so loud they can’t hear themselves think. If an introvert says they need peace and quiet, they probably have a lot on their mind. Let them work it out first, THEN ask them what what was on their mind.

Hanging With Introverts Is Great!

Introverted people are actually really good to have around. Their methodical nature makes them great listeners when you have a problem.

An introvert, if handled well, can be a great friend… They just can’t be everybody’s friend all of the time.