Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Who Are You-Not-Who Do You Think You Are!

I’ve been talking with people about the personality test, the Myers-Briggs.  One of the key components of the Myers-Briggs is the Introvert/Extrovert scale.  I’m amazed at how many people are confused about not only if they are an introvert or extrovert, but what each entails.  We seem to need or want to believe that extroverts are those people who are outgoing, unabashedly loud and great public speakers.  Others are committed to the idea that introverts are shy, quiet, and often invisible.  SURPRISE!!!

The real decision about whether you’re an introvert or extrovert is not your outward behavior, but really how you recharge your life battery.  Introverts recharge their battery alone or in more solitude ways like reading a book.  Extroverts recharge their battery around groups of people.  So how does this have any impact on your life?

If you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening illness; it’s often suggested that you join a support group.  No matter your personality type the support group is a great idea.  The difference comes after the group.  Introverts more often feel depleted by the group and need some quiet time to regroup.  Extroverts are fortified by the group and often initiate going to coffee, etc. because they’ve been energized.

Knowing your personality type is important to your well being.  It can mean the difference between honoring your authentic self and trying to be someone you’re not causing internal tension.  The goal throughout your health challenge is to reduce as many obstacles to wellness as possible.  Having a good understanding of your personality type will allow you to be true to yourself while still making the most of the opportunities that present themselves.

Is one personality type better for overcoming illness?  NO!  Being authentic to your true self is what counts more toward activating your immune system.  Understanding your needs and how to keep yourself in balance promotes wellness.  Having the willingness to honor the personality type you are means integrating your mind, body and spirit and that’s never a bad thing!


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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