On the Need for Normalcy

I need things to feel normal… in short. Sure, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want things to be normal. Everyone wants ease and the ability to relax.

Personally, however, my “normalcy” depends on key characteristics of my personality. Introverted Sensing, my database of memories, ideas, thoughts, and personal data, creates a “tradition” for me to follow. I know what is familiar. I know what I like. I know what events changed me for the better, what events didn’t, and what events led to me feeling normal.

With “Si” more up front in my cognitive stack, I am more sensitive to details in the outside world that match up or don’t match up to details from my past. If anything is different, it will feel off from my personal life.

INFPs especially need to feel in control of themselves and their surroundings. They understand their feelings and why they have them. INFPs are masters of their own emotions. However, it’s very hard to control one’s external situations, and so INFPs will stress out easily when their external life seems to go out of control. In which case, the INFP will often retreat into their inner, emotional lives, a life they can control.

Much of my life has felt normal. There have been changes on the way. Moving to new locations, new friends, new school subjects, etc.

It wasn’t until college that I found myself struggling to hold onto any sense of familiarity. I didn’t realize normalcy was so important to me. To me specifically, and hopefully most of you INFPs, it feels like you’re just living life for a while until the smallest change can throw your life out of the loop.

I need things to feel familiar and normal. If I’m working a shift, I hate working with a new team of members among the feeling of there already being some stress tied to work. I may have a lot of experience at work, but the feel of work is starkly different when I don’t know many of the people I’m working alongside.

I’ve noticed that as I’m working on future college plans that I hold familiarity and normalcy at a very high standard. If I go to this college, I will at least know this one person, or if I go to this one college, I can stay with family.

Before my first semester at college, I felt a lot of tension as the school year was about to start. My current life was great and it felt normal, more or less. I didn’t want college to be my “life”. I wanted my current, normal, familiar life, and I just wanted to go to classes in the morning, then drive back to warm, relaxing home and family. My normal life would only be scheduled differently. What I found during the first week of school was that college is going to be your new life whether or not you want it to be. And I also found that any slight change in my current, home life, anything that made home feel slightly less traditional to previous ways of life would cause me unbelievable amounts of stress. I need home to be my familiar way of life. College wouldn’t do me any good, with new teachers and ways of doing homework.

Surprising to me then and not so surprising in retrospect, college began to feel normal. Perceivers can adapt to nearly everything.

So, I got used to college and any new ways of life at home. The experience was very educational on my personality and how and what changes can drastically alter my emotional and inner life. In short, college felt completely alien the first week, and afterwards, I got used to it. I had to adapt. My emotional state depended on it. Was it a better life? No, not really, but I was able to continue on, feeling normal and feeling “safe”.

I need things to be and feel normal. I need familiarity and normalcy. My emotions and “being” feel out of whack and disoriented when the smallest life altercations take place. Normalcy is important.

This is a shorter post, yes, but I hope it covers something relatable to all of you.




One Comment Add yours

  1. Wow. you explained me so well. One of the reasons I chose my college was because it was close to home, my dad worked in that city, and I knew people in the city as well. I also hate change right off the bat but after a few days or a week I am all good. I didn’t want to go on vacation for a week but once I got in our air bnb with the whole family it just became normal. I adapted. It is actually quite comforting knowing that the uneasy phase won’t last long. It is just getting through it that sucks.


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