This post is again different from a few of my previous ones as this post illustrates some feelings I’ve had perhaps because I’m INFP. If many of you do feel the same way, that’s great, and maybe this isn’t even an INFP or introvert thing to begin with. So here we go.
I care a lot about experiences. Experiences only last for a single moment or a single day. They only happen once. Feelings, moods, and knowledge change exponentially within a single day. You can’t experience the same things you experienced yesterday because of a change in emotion and knowledge.
This is probably confusing. I’ll give an example:
I watch a lot of movies on my own, but one of my favorite pastimes is seeing a movie in theaters with family and friends. Seeing a movie with other people makes the experience much better (especially if you can laugh at a movie along with a hundred other people because who wants to watch a comedy alone?).
However seeing a movie with hundreds of people, especially if none of them are friends or family, can sometimes make the movie experience worse. I often get worried or anxious walking into a movie auditorium, especially if the movie I’m about to see I know will be a good movie. I become super aware of my surroundings. If I hear kids crying or overly obnoxious people laughing too loudly in the auditorium, I get very worried. Sure, you can always see a movie a second time, but if it’s an especially good movie, you only get one experience to see it. You’ll know the spoilers at the end of the movie and based on your experience in the theater leading up to the big plot reveals you want to have a good emotional reaction to them.
And so I get worried if there’s potential for obnoxious people to start talking loudly in the theater or kids crying. I don’t want my one-time experience to be bad. I don’t want people to ruin it.
To take the movie theater a step further, I also get worried about a movie experience in reverse. I don’t want to ruin the movie for anyone else, and so I get very embarrassed and anxious if friends, family, or I begin to make even the smallest amount of noise in the theater. Also, after seeing Star Wars 7 (don’t worry, no spoilers here), I warned my younger siblings several times not to speak of a certain moment near the end of the movie because I didn’t want them to ruin the movie for anyone else.
So, I care about experiences greatly. Sure, people get sick all the time, but I feel terrible when someone else is sick on their birthday or on a big day of their’s. I hate it when people have to miss certain experiences (especially again when it’s because of sickness).
INFPs are very frustrated by the fact that they know they can’t control their outer, external world, and they are often stuck with only being able to control their inner selves, which they do fantastically well. Thus, I get very frustrated and anxious when it’s a friend’s big day, I’m in a movie theater, or for instance I’m at a celebration or ceremony of any kind and people do stupid things during such events. Perhaps that obnoxious person only spoke three times during the movie or that one guy said something stupid at a friend’s big ceremony once, but I hate feeling that discomfort and thinking that someone else’s experience was ruined. I wish I could control spontaneous outbreaks like these, but I can’t.
A single moment can encompass several components. Someone’s mood during the day. Their current feelings. Whether or not they feel pain or aching or sickness. Their thoughts, ideas, and humor leading up to that moment. Their personality.
Some experiences are a one time thing. And I hold good experiences up to a very high standard. When other people ruin only a moment of that experience, the potential and optimum experience is gone.
Maybe I’m the only person who feels this way, maybe all introverts feel the same, or maybe even every personality feel the same.
I care a lot about my experiences and other people’s experiences. I want my family and friends to have the best birthdays they can. I want to enjoy the movie in the theater to the fullest. I want a ceremony to wonderful and just perfect, without stupid interruptions from obnoxious people. I want to share my experiences, and I want my friends and family to enjoy the same things I enjoy to the same extent I do. I don’t want anyone’s or my memories to be clouded by embarrassing or disturbing moments during what would have been an otherwise great experience.
So this is why I usually watch movies at home by myself. Not to mention I’m introverted.