Can I help you..

…not to hurt, anymore?

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The Stale Introvert

I know what you’re thinking. “Ugh, not one of those ‘boohoo I’m an introvert, nobody understands me sobs sobs’ kinda post.”

Believe me, I’m sick and tired of it too, eventhough I probably am one. God knows how many other people are sick and tired of me mentioning it as well. Yes, I’m talking about you. #youknowwhoyouare #idontblameyou

“So why on earth are you writing a blogpost about it?” Oh, we’ll get there, if you haven’t stopped reading by now.

You see, I was one of those who will read as many articles about ’27 problems only introverts will understand’ or ‘Signs you’re an INFJ’, and go on to shove the article in the face of a few close people in my life to ‘help them understand me better’. A while later I did one of those tests again and it says I’m an ISTP. Like any sane person, I continued to re-do the quiz in an INFJ mentality as many times as possible to get the outcome I wanted and hang on to the feeble hope that I hadn’t lose my ‘identity’. 

But to be honest, I don’t always like being an introvert. I admired people who are able to strike up conversations with strangers effortlessly. I wished, on many occassions, that I would be able to feed on people’s energy and not get tired or obsess over a mere failed conversation. Then again, people will tell you that’s not what being an extrovert is either. There’s also the hipster ‘ambiverts’ – equal in proportion of intraversion and extraversion – basically neither here nor there. 

Some of my friends will even tell you that I’m clearly an extrovert. I like to laugh it off and let them think that way, because it’s a compliment to me. But my family and close friends will say otherwise. These days I’m even doubting my love language. It used to be both ‘quality time’ and ‘physical touch’, but now (as much as I hate to admit), ‘words of affirmation’ is starting to affect me a lot. But that’s for another blogpost.

My point is, the important thing isn’t who you are, but who God is, and how having that knowledge of Him reflects in your life, regardless of who you are at any given point in time. Because people change all the time. God doesn’t. 

So don’t be so hung up on whatever the world tells you you are. Don’t even be hung up on who you think you are. Strive for self-forgetfulness. Strive to be what He wants you to be. Be loving, be joyful, be peaceful, be patient, be kind, be all that is good, be faithful, be gentle, and be self-controlled (Galatians 5:22). 

The Escapist

She sees arguments, she sees fights. She hears them through the walls and cries to herself. She sees how damaging they are and makes a recipe for a relationship where both parties can’t stand being in the same room with each other. She shuts it out. She runs.

She grows up and see more of those. People drifting apart after a silly little drama. She will not be one of them. Feuds can be easily solved by avoiding arguments, she thinks. Just go with the flow, agree or stay silent. No disagreements, no confrontations. Avoidance is key. She runs.

She witnesses good people harbour hate and spread poisonous gossips to hurt each other. She resolves to be neutral just so she won’t be on anyone’s bad side. Don’t get too close, and nobody will be hurt. She is loved, but not deeply. She is known, but probably on the surface. Problems presented themselves to her, and she knows not what to do. Pick a side? Which side? How to not offend anyone? She runs. It helps, temporarily.

She sees two people hug it out after an argument. But how? The word ‘reconcile’ seems so alien to her. She muses over it. She hears them say that they love because He first loved them. But isn’t it better to just avoid confrontations in the first place, so you don’t have to do the reconciling part? It’s the easier way out. She continues to drift among the crowd, never stepping on anyone’s toes. She runs.

She gets angry sometimes, but no, she will not confront. She shuts her door and contain the anger in these four walls. But often she’s most frustrated at herself and how far from perfect she is. She gets down on her knees. She hears the word ‘forgiveness’. Yes, but how? They don’t deserve forgiveness. She definitely doesn’t. “I forgive you”, He says. “I died once and for all to save you, that’s how you are forgiven and should forgive others too, because it’s never about being deserving”. She stops.

She hears a knock on her door. She turns around. She opens her door. Her body shivers, her hands shake.  “I’m sorry,” he says. His gaze pierces through and shatters her fears. “I’m sorry, too” she hears herself say, and they hug. They become stronger together. She is tempted, sometimes, and her fears overwhelm her… but she is determined not to run again.

Very British Things

So the Brits are well known to be very polite, and eventhough I have British cousins I didn’t expect the level of politeness to be so… over the top. I mean, I thought it was very polite of my cousins to say ‘please’ all the time (usually for second helpings of food lol) but now I’m starting to wonder if they were being sarcastic sometimes. Tell me you weren’t, Kev.

Anyway, there were three instances that happened in a day where I was left feeling… kinda flattered but stunned?

1) Was heading down from my flat to get to the reception to collect my parcel, and bumped into this guy carrying a very heavy-looking vacuum cleaner, so I just helped keep the elevator doors opened (like anybody else would, seeing as his hands were occupied) and he said, appreciatively, “ah, thank you so much”. No problem at all. When we reached the exit doors, I again, held them open ahead of him and he said “thank you so much, you’re a star“, …I just didn’t know what to reply so I didn’t.

2) Reached the reception, and requested for my parcel and provided identification, whereby the receptionist, Sharon (oh yes, we are on first name basis), chatted to me about how she has a Malaysian friend and remembers that her friend also has both English and Chinese names like me, and she proceeded to tell me “you have a beautiful name“. I managed to reply “oh, thank you” with my best flattered face and left the reception confused as to which name of mine she was referring to.

3) Tried to use the live chat feature for my mobile operator to find out why my mobile data isn’t working and as Sheeba, an employee, started asking me the basics like my phone number and the model of my phone, which I answered, she replied: “That’s a very nice phone 🙂“. Yes with a smiley lol. Because my mobile data wasn’t working well, I unintentionally left the chat halfway through her questions with my problem unresolved. I did feel like it was quite rude of me and tried to reconnect but to no avail. Oh well.

I would have very much liked to respond in a way that showed my appreciation, but I was just caught off guard most of the time, that I didn’t know how to.  I did manage to compliment someone on how young she looked (when she said she was working, not studying, like I assumed) and she was genuinely flattered. I might be getting the hang of this. Just working on how to respond. Will keep you keep updated on my progress the next time.

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The Manchester Town Hall, captured during the Food and Drink Festival

Enough.

Have you ever feel like everybody expects so much from you, that you keep trying to please them all, but nothing you do seems enough?

You tried, you really tried. You’ve never really complained, because we are to give more than we take right? But still, it’s never enough for them. Then you grow tired, and you can only compromise so much… and all you want is to be left alone.

What then, will you do? What then, can you do?