What I Love You “Sounds” Like From an Introvert

An epiphany hit me this morning on the way to work.

I was listening to Bob Edwards on my XM radio as he interviewed Dan Gediman the author of This I Believe: On Love.  Mr. Gediman spoke of a short essay in his book written by Debra Bronow titled “Hand-Knit Socks”; a charming story of how she shows her love through her creative knitting… and it happened: a truth I’ve always known about myself slapped me across the face and told me to reveal in my introverted modus operandi (ie: writing trumps speaking every time) of how I tell my loved ones that I love them.

It’s hard for me to utter the words “I Love You”.  The more I love you, the harder it is to say.  Why are introverts like that?  It can be a little (sometimes a lot) frustrating.  If my loved ones say it to me first, then I can return the words much easier.  But to be the first one to form those sounds… tears are more likely to escape me than words.  Awkward, huh?

Since childhood, I’ve expressed my love in actions, like all good Introverts should.  And since I’m an ISFP, those actions come in the form of creativity.  As a girl, I sewed and sewed, knitted, crocheted, embroidered, etc… bestowing gifts to say “I Love You”.  When my incredible and creative mom (I just told you of my love, Mom) taught me to cook, I had a new avenue for brandishing my love.

I have taken that talent and expanded it through the years.  I create recipes, cook elaborate meals, make wine, brew beer, etc… lavishly serving all to family, friends and guests – every bit of it in the name of love whether the consumer realizes it or not.

Now (starting in the fall of ’09) I write – a new creative outlet for me, a cathartic and healing outlet; an unbelievably rewarding phase of my life.  I’ve remained true to my Introverted nature: rather than speaking, I send published love notes when the inspirations hit me.  I get overpowering urges causing bursts of energy to escape my fingertips: an evening with my beautiful daughter and old friends gave birth to Beauty; a need to thank my mom and dad for relationship knowledge produced Always, Never; the loving support of my boyfriend, even when I don’t deserve to be loved, led to You Make It Right.

I am endlessly thankful for this wonderful method of expression.  I plan to nurture and care for it like I care for and nurture all my loves.

And for my loved ones that I haven’t devoted a piece to, I will as soon as the inspiration hits me.

– debi

Our Changing Personality – Nationwide

I believe our overall personality as a nation is changing.  Yes, I know that’s been a trend since the first settlers landed on the east coast, but the change I’ve seen in the last couple decades is what I’m focusing on.  I do not intend to imply that all citizens are what I’m about to describe – but rather a segment within that is growing rapidly.  I propose that this tendency is detrimental to our nation as a whole.

Large portions of the populace have shifted their idea of “life destiny” from home, family and job to image, attention and JOB (no, that’s not a typo – JOB becomes even more important, but shun the warm support of home and family – make a note to remember Type 3).

A variety of MBTI researchers through the years (all the way back to Carl Jung’s 1921 publication of Psychological Types) have presented theories of personality that support similar patterns categorizing individual traits.  As the Enneagram philosophy (presented in the late 1960’s and early 70’s by Oscar Ichazo) has become popular, research has soared trying to relate the MBTI to the Enneagram.   Two of the most popular of the researchers – Don Riso and Walter Geldart – believe that the Enneagram Type 3, the Achiever, has no correlation with MBTI types.  (I agree with them.)

My head is spinning!! What does all that mean??  The Achiever Type 3 did not exist in large enough numbers to be recognized as a separate personality until recent times!!  It’s up-n-comin’!  This chart illustrates – hint: look for Type 3 (for further information, refer to this article):

Enneazone Associated MBTI 

Types according

to Riso’s theory

MBTI Prototypes 

identified by Fudjack/
Dinkelaker

Associated MBTI 

Types according

to Geldart

Gabbard’s 

‘represent-
ative’ types

1 ESTJ, ENTJ ENTJ, INTJ
ESTJ, ISTJ
ENFJ, ESFJ
INFJ, ISFJ
ESTJ, ENTJ ESTJ, ENTJ
2 ESFJ, ENFJ ESFJ, ENFJ ESFJ, ENFJ ENTJ, ENFJ
3 none chosen ESTP, ESFP none chosen ESFJ, ISFJ
4 INFJ, INTJ INFJ, INTJ ENTP, ENFP INFJ, INTJ
5 ISTP, INTP ISTP, INTP ISTP, INTP INFP, INTP
6 ISFP, INFP ISTJ, ISFJ ISFP, INFP ESFP, ISFP
7 ESTP, ESFP ENTP, ENFP ESTP, ESFP ESTP, ENTP
8 ENFP, ENTP ESTJ, ENTJ ISTJ, ISFJ ENFP, ENTP
9 ISTJ, ISFJ INFP, ISFP INTJ, INFJ ESFP, ESFJ

So…, you ask me, why should this matter and why should I care?

The Enneagram type 3 Personality at its best is described as: “You will often find Threes at or near the top of successful organizations. In sport, you will find them as charming winners who will bask in the spotlight, enjoying the respect they have earned through their achievement. But not for long – Threes are only as good as their last triumph, and will be on to achieving their next victory! Their strong drive to achieve creates the Three’s blind spot, the need to be respected by others at all times.”

Also: “At their weakest, if the Threes do not feel they are gaining the respect they deserve they can become very competitive, winning at all cost. In excess, they can become deceptive and vindictive. Image is everything and they will seek to protect their image of success even where the reality is different. To be seen to have failed would be their worst nightmare, and they will seek to preserve their image of success.”

Here is the key to my theory and this new phenomenon we are witnessing:  The bullies of this world are unhealthy Type 3s.  Narcissism, arrogance, contempt and jealousy define the characteristics of the degenerating Achiever.  One glaring example of this burgeoning tendency is the suicide on January 14 of  Phoebe Prince.  Such a tragedy – all due to bullying.

Dr. Susan Lipkins, a psychologist for over twenty years, is a leading expert in the field of hazing.  She specializes in campus conflict and violence in high schools and colleges.  “The bullying culture is increasing at warp speed,” says Long Island psychologist Susan Lipkins. “Bullying and cyber-bullying are becoming more violent and more sexualized every day.”

The not-so-long-ago undefined Type 3 Achiever is becoming more and more prevalent – at an alarming rate – in our society.  Too many young persons today believe corporeal achievement to be superior to the traditional values our citizens have embraced through history – character, conduct and conscience.