A few years ago, I was reading a Myers-Briggs-themed essay on Thought Catalog called, “The Type Of Person You Will Go For According To Your Myers-Brigg Personality Type.” In a weird twist of fate, I get a link to this article maybe 2–3 times a year.
Anyways, I scroll towards INFJ and I read,
“Who you usually go for: No one, because everyone is going to hurt you. Even the ones you’re only mildly attached to, especially the ones you really really like. Once in a blue moon, you’ll meet someone who seems to have the potential to never screw you over. And you’ll put them on a pedestal until, eventually, they’ll let you down too.” — April Lee
What’s funny about this is that I never thought this was me. I mean, sure, I am constantly disappointed. That part is true, but I always kept trying. I never gave up. I could see the recurring traits in the girls I liked, I found the subconscious thoughts that would lead me towards those girls and I healed up and found myself liking different people. It’s been a constant course in self-correction. After all, if you’re choosing the wrong people, that’s on you.
However, lately I’ve been realizing that my strongest pillar in my life, my friendships, have started to become pretty shaky. This caused a wave of isolation and loneliness to slam into me. Fortunately, I can hold my breath, tread and swim. So I’m okay now.
Unfortunately, when I re-read this article, I got triggered. It might be the most delayed triggering of my life because I’ve read this article so many times before. But only now can I clearly see that everyone has let me down in some way. It might not have been their fault but it happened. I have surely disappointed some but I don’t think that I’ve been that bad.
My life truly feels like a lie.
The article continues,
“Who you should go for: The best friend. The one who has proven their trustworthiness by being there for you through everything. The one who will let you down unintentionally, every now and again, but stays by your side to stitch up the wounds. Someone who will finally make you believe in the whole “everyone is going to hurt you, you just have to find the ones worth suffering for” bullshit that you were struggling to accept before.”
This is one of those moments where one has to confess that people knew you better than you knew yourself. I wasn’t struggling to accept this aphorism. I flat out couldn’t understand it at best. At worst, I ignored it.
I would proudly say that not everyone has hurt me. But under closer inspection, what I find is that if you get close, you will burn me. If I hold you in a certain esteem, I don’t perceive things that you do as hurtful, even when they do. I unconsciously brush it under the rug.
It’s just like with my parents. They were at times, kind of shitty when I was younger. But they were my gods. When I got older and I remembered certain things and how they took their pain out on me, I got angry. They became painfully human and I started to lose respect for them.
This is what happens with girls as well. Once they do something egregious enough, it’s a wrap. And it’s always especially bad because I’ll give them the opportunity to do it at least one other time. It’s like, “Okay, now you know where I stand on this. Surely, you won’t do it again.” But they do. Now it has channelled itself into friendships. Just be close enough to me and do something that is really against my code a couple times; understand that there will be distance and few words.
Here’s the kicker: The reason people feel the most comfortable around me is because I’m able to see through everyone. I know what not to say, what not to do. I know when to do what and how to approach it. I know how to make people feel comfortable. The problem with this is that people, by and large, cannot read each other (well).
To be honest, I struggle to believe this. All the fucking dating coaches in the world teach men how to read body language. A woman’s intuition is frighteningly accurate. And yet, people can’t read people? But it’s probably true. After all, when the dude gets the girl he will still mess up. All he knows is how to get her, not how to keep her. After all, the girl still chooses the wrong guy.
You can’t learn how to read people unless you’ve been trained to do it or you lived in a household where you had to micromanage people’s emotions. I just so happen to have had both. I can probably empathize better than I can breathe. This is not me patting myself on the back. This is a good trait that is turned up too high. It’s too much of a good thing.
But why would I have it turned up so high? Because I use people to make myself feel good. I emotionally invest in relationships so as to feel secure, safe and loved. With my empathy sky-high, I will weigh your opinion over my own, I will ignore my feelings and I will prop you up as objectively right when I don’t even believe that morality is objective.
Now, one might say that this isn’t really empathy. It’s just neediness. Whatever you call it, it’s dysfunctional.
On the bright side, the realization is freeing. It led me to a thought that I’ve been low-key running from for I don’t even know how long: I should be the centre of my world.
Again, people will be like, “Duh.” But you have to understand. I was never able to generate happiness by myself. With people, with intimacy, I was always able to feel good, but also bad because they’re doing stuff that just didn’t jive with me.
Now I have the opportunity to cultivate the notion that I am the most important thing in my life. I mentioned this in a previous article. Now it’s even more obvious. I had always heard that no one’s gonna have your interest at heart so you need to ensure that you do it but I had witnessed the kindness of others and thought, okay well I guess I’ll wait until someone takes care of me.
Some have gotten close but to be honest, why leave that up to others when you could just do it yourself? I can see why I’ve been hard on myself. I have hundreds of differing opinions of how I should be that I weigh higher than my own. No wonder my identity always felt unstable.
I still stand by my statement that we are who we are because of others. However, when the identity is formed and you have an internal compass, don’t ignore it.
Since realizing this, it seems like I’ve found the freedom I’ve been looking for. Usually an epiphany makes me jump up and down in joy. This one just pissed me off. But at least I feel better about myself. At least I can be more authentic about how I feel and what I want to do. At least I won’t be blaming people for being themselves. At least I won’t be blinded to the fact that I’ve been letting people down too.
Anyways, I’ll be monitoring this. This is still very new for me.