As an INFJ, I live inside two worlds. There is the world outside of my body, made up of people and buildings and trees and things, and then there is the real world: the world inside my soul.
When I tell people this, I know that they think they understand what I’m talking about. I’m a dreamer, and an idealist. I’m that girl, who always has her head in the clouds. They would be right. I am those things. But when I say that, for me, the real world exists inside my soul, it goes way beyond that.
Whenever you read another article on introverts, HSPs, INFJs or INFPs, the same story always comes up. It seems that every single one of us struggled with being called “too sensitive.” I can relate because this happened to me too. But what I find missing from these articles is an in-depth explanation of what that really means.
When someone says they were called “too sensitive” by family and friends it brings to mind someone who gets teary-eyed at sad commercials or takes routine teasing too seriously. This is not what I mean at all when I say I’ve always struggled with being “too sensitive.”
Maybe I should introduce myself first and make things clear:
Hi, I’m Lauren Sapala, and I’m an empath.
I have always felt like a complete weirdo. The label of “weird” has been alternately used to express confusion from others about my behavior or hurled as a coldly vicious insult. I grew up hearing it on the playground, year after year…after year. I got called weird in first grade and as a senior in college. I literally cannot count how many times I’ve seen a person freeze their expression, look me over and then say, “You’re really weird, do you know that?”
For years I had a love/hate relationship with my weirdness. In middle school I became hyper-observant about the dress, mannerisms, language and cultural codes of eighth-grade girls. I memorized them all and tried to imitate them. It didn’t work. My weirdness leaked out. In high school I tried to camouflage myself by joining dozens of different groups—Theater, Track, Yearbook Committee, National Honor Society. It didn’t work. I still said and did things that were undeniably weird. I still got the look.
I’m not a huge fan of “last-minute gift guides” (or consumerism in general) but I do love the sparkly lights and warm vibrations of the holiday season. So in the spirit of sparkle and good vibes here’s a quick reminder that The INFJ Writer is a pretty dang good gift for that introverted, sensitive, intuitive and/or tortured writer in your life.
The e-book is and always will be $2.99 and you can gift it to a friend straight from Amazon. Paperback copies are $7.99 so you won’t break the bank if your writer friend happens to be an old-school bibliophile and prefers that new-book smell over a Kindle.
Happy holidays everyone and BIG LOVE to you!
Every morning when I open my inbox a landslide of emails from the online writing community pour out. Blog posts, newsletters, classes and programs and retreats. And then I jump on social media and the wave continues: Advice and instructions on character development, plotting your plot, finessing the end and then going back to that first page and polishing your opening hook until it sparkles and shines and catches the eye of every agent with an email address.
The online writing community is built upon the giving of good advice. I totally get that. As a writing coach with a writing blog, I’m one of those writers handing out pieces of that advice. It definitely has a place, and it definitely can be helpful.