Struggles Connecting with Others
I had been running an online business for a couple of years when I discovered that I was feeling unfulfilled. I was struggling to make connections with other people. All the interactions that I was experiencing felt forced and lacking in depth. For several months, I feared that it wasn’t possible to grow a deep and meaningful relationship with people that I had not met in person.
In my personal life, I was not experiencing the same feelings until I began to question my relationships with others. I have deep and meaningful relationships with a few people and positive interactions with numerous others. That might not sound satisfying to some, but it is plenty for me. I’m an introvert, so I prefer limited interactions with others, and when I do connect, I want the association to have meaning. For example, while I will generally avoid a political conversation, I would rather talk about the state of society or my hilarious tales of child-rearing over the temperature outside. I hate chatting about the weather.
Furthermore, I know some people would rather discuss the rainfall amounts to avoid a discussion about their personal belief systems. And others are willing to discuss intimate details with one of those blow-in-the-wind things at car dealerships. Those are all valid responses to the same situation.
However, I want to share with you a discovery that I made. For months, I was sure that the problem was the isolation of the internet. Even though I can interact instantly with someone thousands of miles away, I have never been further away from the person I was talking to. While this is true, the issue wasn’t with the distance of the other person or the one-dimensional aspect of viewing everything through a screen, the problem was me. I was doing everything too fast. I wasn’t open to other people. I wasn’t open with myself. As an INTJ, it is a struggle to connect with people. I’m always in my head.
Furthermore, by interacting online through my pen name, everything was distanced from the “real” me. I was sharing my story, but not who I was as a person. Moreover, my heart was not open to other people. All my interactions were superficial, isolated, and lacking depth. I was sharing my struggles as a person, but not as a vulnerable and raw woman. I was shying away from my fears, my failures, and my hopes and dreams.
Not to mention, this was showing up in my daily life as well with people I interacted with in person. I had not shared with anyone outside of my immediate family that I was operating an online business. Therefore, I was not exposing a vital part of my life with my friends.
As a result, I was hiding a part of myself from everyone. No wonder I felt a lack of fulfillment. Consequently, I shared with people who I honestly am, so I could develop those relationships that I desired.
As an extrovert or an introvert, do you ever feel as if your interactions with others are superficial or lacking in depth? Does it bother you? I realize some people will not be bothered by a lack of connection with others.
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