(You’ve got a home – Christa Wells)
So this week on one of the bible study facebook groups I am in, Holley Gerth (yes, the same Holley Gerth to whom I have looked up for years because she is so incredible) challenged everyone to identify how we are wired.
First: energy setting. So the options are one on one, one on few, or one on many. So we started out with a hard one. If you want to actually get me to let you in, your best chance for success is one on one. If you can find the key to unlock the things that I hide away inside, it makes me feel a lot better about myself…so in that way, one on one is great for me. Then there is one on few. As long as they are all people that I feel safe with, this is probably my favorite for more hangout type settings. Because I will be the first to admit that conversation is not where I am gifted, putting me in a group of people who will include me lets me be part of the conversation without ever needing to contribute more than the introductory return of a hello upon joining the group, and even that can be substituted for a smile or just a glance in someone’s direction…and then there is one on many. While for the most part I would label this as very not me, I have to admit that I have an inner desire to be surrounded with the lots and lots of people I love – but I know that while in this fantasy I absolutely love it, in reality even with my sense of inclusion and not wanting to leave anyone out, I know that huge groups of people are something that doesn’t make me feel good. The energy setting is something where if you spend a lot of time in other settings you’ll need to replace your energy, so I think overall I’d have to pick one on few. As much as I absolutely adore and really probably NEED one on one, the fact that one on one necessitates eventually using my words means that eventually it will require a recharge, so one on few is probably my choice…
Second: Is your style leading, partnering, or serving? At first I was torn…but after some thought I realized while I do have some strong traits of leadership and some traits of partnering, the way in which I lead and the way in which I partner is by serving. Even when not leading or partnering, I am happiest when I can find a way to serve. If you offer me a chance to help out, you will win your way into my heart.
Third: sensing views. Are you external – first looking around and asking how things are going, or internal – first thinking and asking how people are feeling? I think my nickname of Specks makes it pretty clear that I am not external in the sense of looking around. I often miss very obvious things that are right in front of my face because if it isn’t what I am focusing on I am probably not seeing it at all. It is nothing about my vision itself, but is about the way I am wired. On the other hand, I am a very concrete thinker, and am not likely to ask how someone is feeling, rather I will observe and find out what is going on and use those puzzle pieces to identify emotion words. I do the same thing for myself sometimes. So I decided between the two of them that internal is probably dominant because I am using thinking to identify feelings even if I am not directly asking feeling questions…well, I suppose a few times in my life I have asked feeling questions, but I quickly figured out that if I wanted to fit in and be “normal” I couldn’t ask in casual conversation whether people had been mad at me…
Next, are you an introvert or an extravert? Another hard one. Behaviorally I fall more into the category of introvert, but I think emotionally I really am primarily an extravert. I do not do well in large groups, but I do a lot better in small groups than completely alone. I long to be with people. I crave community. While I will go hide in a bathroom if I have to in order to escape a very large group after a while, I would actually love if someone else came with me. I don’t REALLY want to be alone in those situations – I just need to be away from the chaos of the large group. I think that is why when I think about being in the hospital I actually associate it with positive things. Sure, the reason you get admitted to the hospital is never a good thing, but although I am always learning in school how awful it is to be in a room with someone always sitting right outside checking if you need anything, that actually sounds pretty awesome to me…not sayin’ just sayin’. Obviously the being sick part would be super un-fun and negate the positives of the situation, but being in the hospital itself wouldn’t be so bad from my perspective. Although it could totally be a problem for me if I were assigned someone whose personality was like having a crowd around. There are some people in the world who in a group of 3-4 make the group feel like it has like 50 people in it, and that is not good for me. Some people say they like something because they can be a part of something bigger…I prefer to be a part of something that might be big but feels small and intimate. Sure, there might be a very large number of people on the welcome team at my church at school, but I am only on a team of about seven-ish people at a time which is a very manageable group.
Okay, fifth and last but not least: your sphere of need, practical, emotional, intellectual, or relational. At first I went to emotional, because I do feel drawn to rejoicing with those who rejoice and weeping with those who weep, but after a minute or so more thought, I quickly realized that while this is true, the way in which I do it is more with presence than with mirroring emotion and using my words. So my answer for this one is relational. Presence means a lot to me, and is what I would like to be able to give to other people. Really, it isn’t so much about having the right words to say, but about being there. Me and my friends silently sitting next to each other or working alongside each other is meaningful to me. It doesn’t matter if no words have been exchanged. I want the presence.
Also, completely unrelated to Holley’s activity aside from that both are videos, I was watching How to ADHD this morning while making some oatmeal for breakfast. Side note that I do not have a diagnosis of ADHD despite the fact that I have been teased extensively in school about having it. IDK. Sometimes I agree that there is a possibility, but a lot of the time I am not so sure and think perhaps the attention side of it is a lot more related to my anxiety and abuse history than a pure deficit of attention. Anyway, there was something in this particular video that I really related with. The video commented on how people with ADHD (“brains” as How to ADHD refers to them) are often highly sensitive and have low self-confidence. Brains focus in on the negative. For example, a large crowd might be giving a standing ovation, but the brain is so focused in on the one person towards the back who appears to be scowling that he or she hardly notices the rest of the room, and labels the entire experience as a failure. Yes, I can be black and white and make that decision based solely on one detail that may not be indicative of the whole. If my attention is drawn towards the overall picture I may be able to see it, but as I have put it for years, I am a trees girl, so it is really hard for me to find the forest. Brains have an insight that seems to be different from other people. Brains see into people. This means they see the good stuff in people that others miss and that they can make connections that are not apparent to other people. I totally see this in myself, which I think is related to my strengthsquest top 5 strength of developer. I see the teeny tiny eensy weensy bits of good in people and want to help grow those bits of good that no one else sees. On the other side, brains also see the negative more easily and can therefore quickly sense rejection and even tiny bits of unwantedness or annoyance, so brains can be hurt rather easily and accidentally at times. I do sometimes sense that I am unwanted even when I cannot place a finger on exactly what someone did or said that clued me in on this feeling. Like most attributes of people, it is both a blessing and a curse…
Lol, and then stemming off from what is going on in Wiggle Worm’s mind…I almost always carry around some form of hand sanitizer with me. It functions a bit like a security blanket. OCD, in some ways, is unpredictable, and to avoid being caught unprepared, I keep hand sanitizer with me in case of crisis. When OCD was at its worst, even hand sanitizer didn’t really take away much fear, but it made life at least a bit more livable. So I continue to carry around hand sanitizer, which sometimes is rather convenient even without any OCD thoughts…but anyway, on occasion I have thoughts like today when I touched a public trash can and wanted to use hand sanitizer. I am not totally sure if this is something that everyone thinks or is a remnant of OCD, but in any case, it led me to thinking that it was probably a good thing that I was having thoughts like this. Being completely unaware or uncaring about germs at all is a possible sign that I am quite far gone emotionally. When my world is falling apart, germs are not likely to get a lot of mind-space. Clearly, getting as far as being upset about germs is not healthy and not something I strive for, but with the turmoil in my life, it seemed like a good sign to me that I was able to be just a bit worried and have something to think about yet not something that consumed my mind. Just knowing my hand sanitizer was right there is my pocket was enough for me to happily walk home and wait to wash my hands there.
Also, totally unrelated, but today I made 10 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and put them in the freezer. The original plan was the refrigerator but then I was wondering if I could put them in the freezer and remembered the ever popular uncrustables in elementary school and decided that although my sandwiches clearly had a crust that I would put them in the freezer. The real uncrustables might be a little fancier, but I bet the real ones don’t have blackberry jelly with extra crunchy peanut butter as an option.