I’m going to let you in on a little secret, I have a super power. I’m no Spiderman, Superman or Wonder Woman, but I think it does set me a part, it’s also one of my greatest weaknesses.
Drum roll, please. It’s connection. Don’t roll your eyes. I’m 100 percent serious.
Most of my life, I’ve been affirmed for how friendly, outgoing and fun I am, but after every encounter I felt something wrong with my body. Like, I needed to lock myself in a closet to get a minute to just breathe. Or when I didn’t feel like being friendly, outgoing or fun, I needed to check myself because clearly something was wrong.
Come to find out, nothing’s wrong with me. Well, at least in this context. I’m just a social introvert. SURPRISE!
Growing up, I always got into drama with friends. I wasn’t necessarily at the center of drama, but it followed me wherever I went. Actually, it’s more like I invited it wherever I went. And the majority of it was with my friends. They weren’t being good enough friends. I was excluded from whatever. She went and did this thing with her and not me. My mom would say that I was expecting too much from my friends. And I would roll my eyes and tell her that she just didn’t get it.
It wasn’t until the biggest breakup with a best friend in 2012 that I realized, maybe there was some truth to what my mom had been telling me all along and this breakup could have been prevented. Truly, on both sides, but a lot of the tension came from my unrealistic expectations of who she was in my life and what she did. I can clearly see where I went wrong and where my fault was in this breakup.
One of the characteristics of an ISFJ is our attention to detail. If you tell me something about yourself, it’s tucked away for safe keeping, almost for life. I can remember a lot of people’s birthdays, events that have happened in their life, etc. This helps me to create deeper connections with people. The more I learn about you, the better I can meet you where you are, help you feel safe with me, and boom we’re good friends.
I used to think this is how everyone functioned, that this was just part of being a best friend. Until I learned, very slowly I might add, it’s not. It’s how I function, it’s part of my super power and it’s also part of my greatest weakness–setting unrealistic expectations for everyone in my life.
I’ve spent the last few months uncovering more details about my super power through the Enneagram, and soon I’ll probably write about that experience, but I haven’t quite found those words, mostly because it’s a lot of heart work and looking at all the stuff (good, bad, and especially ugly) and accepting this is how God created me to be. But the way I can emotionally connect with someone is unique
But back to my super power.
There are moments where I have this great, meaningful conversation–that conversation tells me I’m cared for, I matter, and all I want to do is have another one. Or I randomly connected with someone and I felt seen, by whatever we had connected about, and I want to reconnect with that person. If I say it becomes an obsession, then you’ll label me as another crazy girl, but I’m not–it’s an impulse of my heart and I don’t always understand it. I start to second guess myself, not just in that interaction, but my entire being: Should I have disclosed that bit of information to them? What do they think of me now? Why am I overthinking this? Why are you this way? I get in this very dark and lonely place, that sometimes feels like I’ll never get out of it. Eventually, I can speak life into myself and see the good, but sometimes that takes a long time. I’ve learned to reach out to people when I’m in that spot. Every time, I take the risk of not being cared for and the majority of the time the person says the exact thing I need to hear.
I’ve been burned before, thinking I could reach out to someone and it didn’t go as planned, but that’s helped me to have grace for people who aren’t in a space to do or be that for someone, even someone like me. I’ve learned to keep reaching out to people, to keep being vulnerable, to keep being honest about what’s going on in my life.
Because even though I have a super power, I’m not perfect. Not by any means.
So here’s me, letting you in on this Samson like secret and also saying, “Be gracious with me.” Even though I have this super power, I don’t get it right every time. I drop the ball, when people reach out to me. I’m so focused on where I’m at, that I miss things. What I’m saying is that I’m human, and I bleed the same blood you do.
Whatever your super power might be, own it–the good and the bad, it’s what makes you, you. And honestly, that’s how you can live your best life.