Back from the Wilderness

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 2 Comments A+ a-

Hello, friends! Time to bring in another Gillicrist Pen post. I'd planned on doing this last week, but got bogged down by a nasty sinus infection. Nothing stops me in my tracks like a sore throat and stuffy nose...ugh!

But the antibiotics are kicking in, and I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things. Hope you enjoy this little post on wilderness time.


Back from the Wilderness
5/13/14 via The Gillicrist Pen

Wow. Haven't been out here in a while. A month goes by really fast!!

Especially when that month is filled with challenges and transitions. In times like these, the "I" in my INFJ has a tendency to kick in hard. My head's pretty full most of the time, but when too many challenges arise, the outside world--especially social media--has to take a back seat.

I don't know if you can read the quote in the image above (couldn't find a larger version). So here it is:

Science shows that the introvert cognitively processes more of what she perceives than does the extrovert, and so the introvert needs time and silence to think about that deeper experience. The introvert has 'a preference for solitude, reflection, internal exploration of ideas vs active engagement and pursuit of rewards in the external/social world.' Scientists theorize 'that given their higher level of brain activity and reactivity, introverts limit input from the environment in order to maintain an optimal level of arousal.' -- Benjamin Cain
The image was out on Pinterest, so I can't really credit its original location. But I just pinned it to my INFJ board, because even though it's filled with a lot of psychological jargon, it sums up a huge part of the INFJ existence: need for wilderness time.

That doesn't automatically mean we're nerds or hermits. I have to laugh when people assume that I'm a serious person who's always alone and never has fun. You wouldn't believe the amount of fun I have each day. It's just mostly inside my head. Daydreaming is my full-time job. Everything else comes second.

Sometimes the fun will manifest outwardly. Years ago, I took a part-time job in a tanning salon. I'd been tanning there for months and needed some extra dough, so the owner hired me on. During my first week, I was busy cleaning and dancing around to "Kiss" by Prince (or the dude who formerly was, or whatever). Just pretending to be a rock star. Anyway, the owner saw me dance around the corner. I sang some of the lyrics to her, and she burst out laughing. "You were always such a quiet customer," she said. "I had no idea you could be like this."

Yeah, story of my life. But this is how introverts operate. We live in a world of endless ideas and possibilities. Our brains never shut down. And for the INFJ, the whole "higher level of brain activity and reactivity" thing is coupled with an extremely strong intuition that's constantly being fed by our Extraverted Sensing function. So on top of the gazillion ideas and playful, creative scenarios we're building and experiencing inside our heads, we're also dealing with a powerful intuition that operates on a subconscious level.


We INFJs need to isolate and think through the stuff spiraling through our brains. Otherwise, we go a little nuts and are in danger of succumbing to the Phoenix within. It's why we fight for alone time and will frequently withdraw from the world. We need our wilderness, because it's good for us. When we emerge, we're happier and have lots of cool things to share.

The challenges I'm dealing with haven't gone away. Lol, I wish! But my wilderness time has given me a little bit of refreshment and a new perspective on things. Even better, I've had a chance to categorize things in my brain. Decluttering is always a good thing, people. We can't choose our paths if we can't see them, right?

So if you know an INFJ, please be patient with her while she's out in the wilderness. If you are an INFJ, enjoy that wilderness. Use it to fuel your passion, so you can be that superhero you were meant to be. :)

Take care, everyone!


Write comments
Emma Sweere
May 18, 2016 at 11:39 AM delete

I appreciate this so much. It fills me to read and hear from others who experience such similar reactions and thoughts about living, especially when others rarely do. Thanks for articulating such intricate parts of my life.

May 18, 2016 at 11:41 AM delete

You're welcome, and thanks for reading! :)