Adventure in Heart Fatigue

The truth is my heart is very tired. My brain is too. But my heart is very tired. I think the actual muscle, but I mean to say my emotional strength is fatigued.

It may not be easy for you to see, but a thing that is true about me is that I’m not very good at talking about how I’m doing. I’m not actually very good at speaking in general, but when it comes time to express something significant about me I sort of crumble. I can make jokes for days, but if you were to sit me down and ask into the truth about how I’m doing you would have to do most of the work. Asking as many questions as possible to get the real answer out of me. Because most of the time I’m fine. I say, “I’m fine.” If you want to know what I’m thinking about, you’re going to get either “nothing really at all” or “too much to get into.” The latter probably being more truthful. I’m fine because I think I have to be for the sake of everyone else. I’m not thinking about anything because the things I’m thinking about feel like they’re too much for me, and I daresn’t put them on you as well.

Please don’t mistake any of this for selflessness. It is not. It’s fear. It’s an unwillingness to share. But mostly it’s fear. I’ve lost so many people over time by sharing. By being “too honest,” as they’ve called it. I’ve spent too much of my life having it expected of me to be fine. So rather than explain to teachers or parents who wanted me to watch over their burdened students or children that I too am not well, I let them believe they were right. Because I’m proud. Because it feels good to trick people into thinking I’m okay. Because I like responsibility. Instead I made myself a martyr. Making yourself a martyr isn’t selflessness. It’s pride. It’s a very sick version of pride. I’m sick. I’ve always been sick like this.

Now at 26 I find myself truly unable to even know how to approach the idea of how I’m doing to someone who has even asked. Don’t get me started on how some times I know I need to share and can’t figure out how to tell someone I need to talk. Oh, too late. I got me started on it. I don’t know how to do it. I skirt the issue. I tell someone some weird vague emotional fact. “Friday nights are stupid when you have to spend them alone every week.” “Yeah they are.” End conversation. But what I meant was, “can you come over or can I call you so I can tell you about how my heart is being destroyed?” But I can’t just say that because what if that person is also having a horrible time, and I just make myself a part of their problem or make their problem worse? Hey, Hayley, how self-important are you that you would think your burdens would weigh on someone else the same way they weigh on you? You aren’t that important. That’s not how people work. Normal people can separate their own issues from another person’s.

I’m working on it. Theoretically. Mostly I realize it’s a problem in my head. Maybe some day I’ll just be able to say to someone–whatever it is people say when they know they need to just talk to someone about their life for a minute.


Adventure in Personality Imperfections

stressors infj-headI love personality profiles. All the weird psychological tests and even the really horrible “what character are you” quizzes invented by ill-informed teen fans of anything. I love them. I always have. And lately I can’t stop thinking about my Myers-Briggs, which led me to dig up an old profile from an intensive personality test we had to take in high school. I think I’m so obsessed with these results 1) because it’s inherent to my personality, but 2) because I don’t understand myself at all, and I’d really like to.

Here are some things about me I know to be true.

As an INFJ, I’m a weirdo. In that we’re rare. 1% rare. What’s weird about that is I know at least 3 others personally, including my mom, which I suppose makes sense.

A thing about INFJs, about me as an INFJ, is that I read people better than they’d like me to. For some people that’s just a basic understanding of people, but for me it means things like I know when you’re lying. I just do. I’ve known a few pathological liars in my life, and I was not their greatest asset in their game. Upon first meeting people I can usually tell a lie right off the bat. Even if it’s just an upgrade to a story to seem more interesting or impressive. I can see those things. A game I like to play with new people I meet, when I get the chance is, “tell me your life story.” What people don’t seem to realize about themselves when they tell their “life story,” is that they tell you more about themselves in what they choose to tell you than just what they tell you. If they talk a lot about their family they tend to be very humble people. If they talk a lot about glory days, how great high school sports were or whatever high school thing they did, they tend to be discontented with their life now. (generalizations).

We’re grossly secretive. And I think I share a lot as an INFJ, but to be fair I have this stupid blog that started as a way to communicate about my trip to the UK. I kept it because it’s a good release for the shit in my head. In fact, most of my internet life is that, which is a funny way for me to useĀ social media. For personal reasons. My tweets about 85% of the time are things in my head that I just need to get out of my head. I used to write a lot of letters to specific people and then throw them away. Not because they didn’t need to know or I was ashamed, but because the letter was never actually for the recipient. It was for my own head and heart. So are my tweets. If it stays in my head repeating over and over again it will destroy me. I say it to get it out. So in that way I seem to not be secretive, but if only you knew the things I keep locked up. You won’t though. I’m very intentional about the things I share with anyone. If with you as an individual, and not you the internet, have received from me a piece of my personal history or current mindset then you have received something very…not important. I don’t want to say you have something so important that you need it. And deliberate makes it sound manipulative. But if I’m sharing something it was a well-considered decision I made to share.

Conflict makes me uncomfortable. In a way that can make me pretty ill. I’m not someone who is inherently angry. But when conflict of any kind comes up it makes me so uncomfortable that I almost instantaneously become angry. not upset. not frustrated. Angry. So we, I, get mistaken for an angry individual a lot, but it’s only under conflicting stress that I get angry. So high stress situations where nothing seems to be working and seems irreparable make me pretty darn angry.

I can always be doing better. Nothing I work at is ever really good enough. And even when I’m truly successful, my brain instantly wants to move onto the next thing I can be improving. My standards for myself are intensely high. To the end that I will never live up to them. I just won’t because as I said I can always do better.

People think I’m an extrovert. As an INJF that happens to most of us. As an “entertainer” that’s my own fault. But because my inner life is so complex that the craziness of my many personalities in my head often translates to extroversion in life. It is not.

I’m highly independent, though according to my most recent counselor I’m also highly codependent, BUT I personally think that is because my personality lends itself to looking out for the well-being of others. To the point that my resume says a lot about “making easier the lives of others.” That’s my life’s ambition. But because my brain is stupid I often will get so engrossed in making sure everyone else is okay that I will find my life’s worth and satisfaction in that. Which is unhealthy. To be sure.

With that knowledge here are some things I know about myself based on the profile that was given to me in high school. Things that are still gloriously true.


Hayley is apt to be a critical thinker that quite possibly has little to no reservation about expressing an opinion or criticism. When Hayley is hurt or personal convictions are violated Hayley may become caustic in attitude.

1. Work environment contribution: This person very conceivably utilizes creative ideas and information in order to influence, energize, and entertain people.
3. Emotional posture: Possesses a deep desire to look good to professional associates and others
4. Goal: Strives to win with “flair” and “style”
5. Judges others by: Their ability to get things going and initiate activity
6. Influences others by: Competing for recognition
11. Overuses: Personal or positional authority; and can go “over-board” with ingenuity.
12. Under pressure: This person can become restless, impatient, and critical.
13. Uneasy when: Losing in a competitive interaction and looking bad in the eyes of others.
14. Effectiveness would increase with more: Individual follow-through, sensitivity when showing disapproval or disagreement, and identifying the right pace in the work context.
15. Performance improvement: This person may need to discover the means to find a balance in personal tasks by tempering new ideas, managing the erratic pace, and being disciplined to meet deadlines.

To communicate with this person:
Since individuals with this personality are naturally logical, organized, and accurate; Hayley may tend to resist changes or be rigid unless there is first an understanding of the reasons why the change needs to occur. Provide the rationale for changes, decisions, or actions through well-researched details, facts, and data.

To disagree with this person:
Carefully document your position with facts and data that have been well-researched, and offer proof. Then ask Hayley to consider the case. Do not push Hayley too hard, but rather, give time to think about the evidence and use logical appeal. Remember this type of personality may need time to process information.
Individuals with this personality pattern can be highly committed to personal ideas but with time can lose the emotional attachment. Delaying the decision for a few days may possibly open up the door for Hayley to consider new ideas.

Negative perceptions others may have of this person:
Others may see Hayley as being “over-concerned” with the details. Hayley may appear as over-emotional or as “blowing in the wind” in some situations. On other occasions this same individual may be perceived as rigid or unbending.
Last of all, this person can be see as fickle because of being so logical on some occasions and very emotional at other times.

Notable Characteristics:
Hayley may be able to joke at one’s own expense and “get mileage out of” the teasing that comes from others.

Need for possible improvement:
Hayley might want to strive to be little more direct and purposeful in relationships. Hayley may also want to take a second look when estimating the abilities of others and in doing so will not expect more out of others than what one is apt to get.
Having high standards and being rather critical may be a problem. Focusing on being more practical and learning to settle for a “good solution” is more beneficial than striving for the “perfect solution”.
Hayley may be too sensitive at times and should try not to take things so personally in the work environment.

How to encourage and manage:
Allow for a free exchange of ideas with Hayley who desires a supervisor that is open to listen and give feedback in a “friend-like” style.


Seeking to control their environment, they are astute in both identifying and manipulating another person’s motives and direction their behavior toward a predetermined end.
Hayley is probably clear in though about the results that are desired, but does not always verbalize them immediately. For instance, in a leadership position Hayley is apt to offer friendship to those desiring acceptance, more authority to those who seek power, and security to those seeking a predictable environment.
Even though this personality type at times can inspire fear in others and override their decisions, Hayley is apt to be well-liked by co-workers.

1. Work environment contribution: This person quite conceivably welcomes a challenge, especially the opportunity to create something new.
3. Emotional posture: accepts aggression, tends to outwardly downplay a personal need for affection
4. Goal: managing/controlling the environment and/or audience
5. Judges others by: how others project personal strength, character, and social power
6. Influences others by: charm, direction, intimidation, and use of rewards
7. Most favorable work environment: enjoys challenge, variety, and the opportunity to influence/inspire others; this person may strive for prestige and recognition
8. Relational/task orientation: relates well with people but under pressure will give priority to the task
9. Mobility preference: needs mobility, desirous of engaging in multiple projects; seeks a constant flurry of activity, variety, and change
10. Environmental stressors: This individual tends to over-commit causing stress to oneself and others.
12. Under pressure: May become manipulative, quarrelsome, belligerent, or passive-aggressive.
13. Uneasy when: fears being too soft
14. Effectiveness would increase with more: genuine sensitivity, willingness to help others succeed in their personal development

Because Hayley may be a take-charge kind of person, Hayley is likely to function most effectively when given independence, challenges, obstacles to overcome, problems to solve, and a minimum of details. Because of the influential nature, Hayley may also function best when given the opportunity to meet or entertain people. Hayley will need a variety of opportunities to express new/creative ideas, and a minimum of focused/detailed work.

To communicate with this person:
Since individuals with this personality are bottom-line people discuss the end result first. You are inclined to lose this person’s attention if you become bogged-down by elaborating on all the details. Since this type of person is by nature not a good listener, it often is helpful to put your thoughts on a short memo giving the problems, options, and actions recommended.
Give the “big picture”, but remind Hayley often of the details, or Hayley may forget.

To disagree with this person:
Find the larger goal or the “big picture” you can agree upon first; then propose the plan that will expedite reaching the goal. Hayley can be highly committed to reaching the goals; the particular methodology is secondary.
If you postpone an immediate decision, with the passing of time, Hayley is prone to lose the emotional attachment to an idea. Delaying the decision for a day or two may open the door for Hayley to accept other new ideas.

Possible negative perceptions this person has of others:
Hayley is prone to see others with a similar personality as territorial. conflict may occur over control. Hayley is apt to be turned off by too much talk and not enough results.
Hayley may see some others as less motivated or trying to bog down the process with trivial and excessive caution or details.
Hayley may quite possibly be jealous of someone else having more attention. this person may see certain others as being too sensitive, pessimistic, or slow in their work.

Negative perceptions others may have of this person:
Others may see Hayley as disinterested or “on a mission”. Those with soft personalities may see Hayley as insensitive, self-centered and bullish. Detailed people have the perception of Hayley as having a “know-it-all” attitude and “throwing caution to the wind”.
Then others might find Hayley to be disorganized, inaccurate, and exaggerating the facts.

Notable characteristics:
Hayley is quite conceivably an entrepreneur in attitude being assertive, persuasive, independent, and venturesome. those with this pattern typically have stubborn determination and are not afraid to try something new with a desire to move ahead even without the consult of backing of others. Boredom is a terrible enemy with Hayley who drives for something better. Being flexible and self-motivated, those with this pattern have high tolerance for pressure.

Need for possible improvement:
Hayley is likely to be a self-starter but leave the completion of a task with someone else. Learning to stay with a task until its end would allow Hayley to be a more effective worker.
Hayley may be inclined to act before thinking. Seeking counsel from others and thinking things through can be very beneficial.
Hayley can see the “big picture” but may not fully understand the amount of detail work required. Seeking feedback from coworkers and friends who are more detail oriented would help Hayley gain a better understanding of the details involved in a particular decision.
Hayley is prone to struggle with disorganization, overlooking key details, and being easily distracted. It would be beneficial to take the necessary time to plan, write down details, stay focused. This personality type is generally a good started, but poor finisher.

How to encourage and manage:
Being ambitious and desirous of moving ahead quickly. Hayley may not be easy to manage. Give as much freedom as possible to run things the way Hayley deems most appropriate. Hayley may need to be reminded that limitations and authorities exist. Hayley works best with a friendly supervisor with whom open discussion and telling it “like it is” will be expected and accepted.


1. How Hayley is energize (Externally v. Internally)
2. How Hayley takes in new information (Factual v. Intuitive)
3. How Hayley makes a decision (Head v. Heart)
4. How Hayley relates to the external world (Orderly v. Spontaneous)

Hayley is EXTERNALLY ENERGIZED prefers to focus on people and activities, drawing energy from the external world.
-Energized by people
-More expressive and unrestrained
-Needs engaging activities
-May seem shallow to the introvert

Hayley shows low preference in both the factual and intuitive and may change with different circumstances and surrounding. Taking a FACTUAL approach in some situations this person prefers to utilize what can be actually seen, head, touched, tasted, smelled, rather than counting on the possibilities of what could be. In completely different circumstances, this person may prefer a more INTUITIVE approach in processing information by way of a sixth sense, hunch, or intuition.

Hayley prefers the HEAD (THINKING) function and tends to decide based on what seems to be logical and objective information. This does not mean that the individual never makes decisions based on their HEART (feelings).
-Decides with the head
-Goes by that which seems to make sense
-Concerned for truth and justice
-Objectivity is important
-May seem aloof and condescending to the Feeling-preferred person

Hayley prefers the SPONTANEOUS approach by being more flexible, adaptable, curious, and handling change well.
-Prefers a flexible lifestyle and can adjust with the changes
-Prefers to experience life as it happens
-Likes the freedom to be able to explore
-Meets deadlines by the last minute
-May see disorganized and irresponsible to the orderly type of individual


HOW is Hayley motivated?

25% Affirmation This person is motivated by gaining the appreciation of and being valued by significant others
29% Exchange of ideas This person is motivated by opportunities to explore and dialogue on ideas, strategies, vision, and challenges
33% Consistency This person is motivated by working in a predictable environment, values consistency and flow-through
13% Completion of the task This person is motivated by a clear definition and completion of the assigned (or chosen) task

WHY is Hayley motivated?
38% Achievement This person is motivated by attaining predetermined objectives, standards, goals, and opportunities.

WHAT seems to motivate Hayley?
50% Accomplishment needs This person is motivated more by the challenge of achievement, recognition, advancement, and overcoming significant obstacles.


Hayley is primarily an analytical learner.
Characteristics of the analytical learner:
-likes going step-by-step in a sequential order
-typically self-motivated, logical, and focused.
-must be prepared and needs to know what to expect
-pays close attention to details and specifies
-can find the facts but may miss the main idea
-often values facts over intuition and feelings
-remembers specifics and prefers organization
-prefers to finish on things at a time
-has a sense of fairness
-may prefer direct answers

Frustrations of the analytical learner:
-listening to a long explanation when all that is needed is a simple “yes” or “no” response
-listening to an overview without knowing the steps involved
-not understanding how an employer/instructor evaluates
-not finishing one task before going on to the next
-having opinions expressed as fact without evidence
-not having an understanding of the purpose of the task
-dealing with broad generalities and not having the specifics


This individual’s primary style of dealing with conflict:

Style: accommodating
Posture: “I’ll lose so you can win!”
Attitude: “Whatever you say”
Strategies: Agree, flatter, appease, anything to keep the peace with others.
Prefers others: Who force the issue or collaborate
Interaction: Reluctant to enter tense dialogue or gather uncomfortable information
Leadership style: Ineffective in groups, easily swayed, needs to appease, takes discussions on tangents at times
Goals/Relations: Has a concern for preserving the relationship in the conflict even at the price of giving up personal desires and goals
Problem area: Rarely provokes hostility but can be difficult to read at times due to a reluctance to engage in conflicting dialogue and express a personal perspective.

This individual’s secondary style of dealing with conflict:
Style: Avoiding
Posture: “I don’t want to make waves, so I will stay clear of any conflict”
Attitude: “Conflict, what conflict?”
Strategies: Flee, deny, ignore, withdraw, delay, wish, hope and pray, get away from the conflicted situation
Prefers other: Who tend to avoid as well
Interaction: Reluctant to enter into a tense dialogue or gather uncomfortable information
Leadership style: Passive, timid, inclined to moralize. Aims to “weather the storm” and can be unfocused as a leader.
Goal/relations: Feels at times that it is not possible to accomplish goals in a conflict
Problem area: A troublesome style to read usually including the possibility of denial that there is a problem or placing the blame on other or “soft-shoeing” to keep the peace

flowersSorry if you read all of that.