HAPPY SAG DAY! Today the sun entered Sagittarius and all is right in your world, right?
This was a pre-Christmas post, but I suspect it will be useful right about now. After I ran my Grief and Loss group today on the topic of coping with family and loss during the holidays and reflected on my current family drama, I realized that sometimes we need to recalibrate our boundaries and love ourselves more, not less.
Enjoy this re-tread and feel free to comment.
I was ready to dive into an astrology article including Taylor Swift, but she will have to shake it off just a little bit longer. I am sensing a need to write about how to navigate the holiday season with fun and a lot less drama. I have wanted to write about INFJs and HSPs ( Highly Sensitive People) for a while, and this seems to be the perfect time.
Where is the INFJ in this picture?
He or she is probably in the basement or store bathroom with their hands over their ears! The INFJ personality is very sensitive, intuitive, headstrong, and idealistic. This archetype is also generally quite introverted, perfectionistic, and value-driven. I think the HSP personality is a derivative of the INF ( Introvert Intuitive Feeling) categories in the Myers Briggs system.
As a card-carrying member of both clubs, I can unequivocally say that this time of year can be difficult. While I am still carrying out my radical gratitude practice, I am also aware that taking practical steps towards improved self-care should not be brushed aside. Be grateful that you are swamped with party invitations, but don’t feel obligated to attend all of them.
Here are some helpful tips for INFJs and HSPs and the people who love them. Take them with copious grains of salt and discernment. You will know what works best for you.
1 – Goody – goody, my inner self replies. INFJs love lists, plans and calendars! We are not the most flexible people on the planet and can get stressed out with spontaneous or last-minute changes in plans. It is OK to decline an invitation or suggest a quiet get together after the holidays. Know your limits and respect them.
2 – If you are at a dinner or party with an INFJ or HSP and engage them in small talk or gossip, don’t be surprised if they tune you out or head for the nearest exit. We like to communicate, but we don’t do meaningless chat. Ask us about what we are reading or our favorite causes. Tell us about your hopes and dreams or your ideal travel destination. Don’t bore us with tales about The Housewives of Las Vegas or details on your brother’s latest get rich scheme.
3 – We get overstimulated quickly and crowds make us uneasy. I have learned to pick and choose my social activities wisely. If I find myself in a setting that is too loud or negative or just plain chaotic, I will seek out someone whose company I enjoy and strike up a conversation. If that isn’t possible, I will excuse myself and leave. I am not shy and can easily initiate conversations. INFJs and HSPs are not necessarily shy wallflowers. Where you fit on the continuum will determine how introverted and sensitive you are, and that is often subject to change. Introversion does not imply shyness anyway. It means that we are drained by people. We are energized by going within. I love interacting with people in real-time, but I need to have some control over my environment and know my limitations.
4 – If you notice you are overindulging in food or alcohol, it may be a sign that you are stuffing your emotions. I have coped with over-stimulation in the past by drinking way too much and I don’t really like to drink! Listen to the messages that your feelings deliver to you instead, and don’t behave in ways that don’t serve you. There is a difference between enjoying holiday treats and self-medicating. If you do not know the difference, get some support so that you can learn what works for you. Ask yourself if it is really worth it to alter your brain chemistry just to be in a room with people.
5 – Sensitive types often react to stress in a variety of ways. We are prone to migraines, digestive issues, and allergies. Some fragrances and noises trigger these reactions. Do not take it personally if we cannot be around your perfume or cigarette smoke or accompany you to a rave at the local warehouse. It isn’t you , it is us. Sensitivity is such a tremendous gift, but it comes with a price.
6 – In this hyper-consumerism culture, the pressure is high to buy, buy, buy. INFJs love to please our loved ones with unique, person-specific gifts. We delight in these details and remember that you adored that one-of- a- kind brooch while window shopping last July. Again, it is important to be kind to yourself. It really is okay if you cannot afford to buy everything for everyone all of the time. We can be so hard on ourselves and that self-criticism can be projected onto others when it gets out of hand. Let yourself off your self-imposed hook. If money is tight or time is limited, use your creativity instead. Bake, sew, knit, draw, or photograph personal tokens of holiday cheer. It really is the thought that counts at the end of the day. This is why I really prefer Thanksgiving!
7 – Last but not least, feed your soul. HSPs and INFJs really benefit from the following activities: walk in nature, meditate, pray, create art, visit places of beauty, do yoga, take frequent breaks from your routine to just BE, write, play an instrument, read… The more you love yourself, the better prepared you are to be in the world, but not of the world.
Please let me know if I forgot anything. Fellow INFJs and HSPs, I know you are out there!
image by wikiart.org, public domain