How Would You Describe Your Personal Style?

5250293e2587e6ee302c64c5838250c1.jpgIt’s been such a lovely week, even through all the windy days and umbrellas going inside out. It’s the kind where you walk around feeling your mind smiling because even though it’s cold there’s a certain positive feeling inside of you that you can’t quite explain. Even when they’re days where I felt a bit down, they were simple reminders of what I’m grateful for. Over the years, I have more appreciation for the saying, less is more. This means purchasing items you really know you’ll wear again and again over the years, rather than a sporadic purchase. It also means letting your style speak for itself.1202153Personal style reflects how we may feel, how we choose to express ourselves and sometimes it might evolve or change over the years. I recently talked to a dear friend about personal style. The most important thing is wearing things we feel drawn to, inspired by and comfortable in. They’re simply pieces of clothing that we feel we’re ourselves in, and they express our personality at a glance. What we wear should stay true to ourselves and who we believe we are. The personal styles I like are Rooney Mara, Cate Blancett, Alexa Chung, Alicia Vikander and Victoria Beckham to name a few. 1483821262.jpgPersonal style is more important than trends. There’s nothing wrong with purchasing things that are trending if you genuinely like it, but if you only purchase things because they are trending, then it’s trickier to develop your own style. That is the great thing about thrifting because you can find some treasures that may no longer be sold in most stores. I remember going through a stage of peter pan collars, florals, lace stockings and red nail polish. Over the years, I feel most myself in black, grey, nude, navy and white. Although, sometimes it’s nice to add a splash of colour!harper-and-harley_ruffle-white-top-sleeves_cropped-pants_style_outfit_2-mmvys00q4fh1oc8l1m398z29csosf2msw8rm6oy78o.jpgMinimalism is a lifestyle that encourages living with less, and more of things that we value. My first introduction to minimalism started when I discovered Harper & Harley three years ago. Sara embodies the nature of minimalism and wearing a black, white, nude and navy palette with elegance, simplicity and feminity. Before I discovered her or heard about the concept of minimalism, I used to buy an excess of clothing that I only ended up wearing a few times. Personal style can express the lifestyle we inhabit and how we want to express ourselves.

How would you describe your personal style?

When Do You Feel The Most Like Yourself?

ca522f9ecf118773ecf873d5067a33f6.jpgThis is such a powerful drawing, the way it expresses so many different messages. When I look at it, it gives me a sense of disguise, pretending to be someone else, changing our appearances, thinking in different ways, seeing things from different minds (and perspectives), the different sides of our personality, feeling disconnected from our mind and our body or being slightly (or a lot) different when we’re with certain people. I’ve previously written about being yourself here and here because one of the most important advice that’s always stuck with me is to be yourself.

At the same time, I definitely feel I am someone that hides parts of my personality with certain people, even when I’m being myself. I’m sure most people will be able to relate to this, as we don’t tend to reveal all of ourselves to just anybody. The people I feel most myself with would definitely be my family, Mr Penguin and very close friends. For example, when I was living at home, I’d sing and dance around the house without a care in the world. I was as silly as I am, or as talkative, quiet and strange as can be. When I live with other people I don’t know well, that part of me is not shown.

The moments I feel completely myself is when I sit alone, write in my diary, go for a long walk, talk with a loved one or read a book. It’s when I stare out the window doing nothing, drink quietly at a cafe, cook a meal, stare at flowers, be my silly self, sitting in the library, spy on a little sparrow, laugh with friends or have a meaningful conversation with someone. Feeling myself is when I simply talk the way I do, walk the way I walk, laugh however quiet or loud, see the world around me and remember all the things I’m grateful for. It’s moments when I speak my mind, stand up for myself and stay true to my values.

Perhaps you might feel the most yourself when you do something you love. It might be playing an instrument, playing a sport, being creative through drawing, dancing or sewing, teaching or watching a movie. It might be when you’re wearing something that you feel reflects who you are, or when you listen to a song. When I feel the most myself is when I feel comfortable, peaceful and confident. It’s when I am completely at ease and happy with who I am. It’s that feeling of not giving a fudge brownie about what anyone thinks.

We might feel most ourselves when listening to the sound of the waves going in and out, breathing in the morning fresh crisp air and walking in the rain with the sound of tapping against the umbrella. It’s natural to some extent to feel more yourself with certain people, but it’s unnatural to pretend, act another character or conform in order to fit in. There are certain people that bring out our silly, talkative, weird, strange, caring, random, quiet, loud, wise, funny and creative sides. So tell me, when do you feel the most yourself?

Art by Helena Perez Garcia

The Common Misconceptions About INFJs

d0eeeeb58da3ea45f3f60e2b964429d2.jpgIf there is something I feel that many INFJ’s may be able to relate to, it is the feeling of being different and sometimes (or often) misunderstood. Most of these points are from my own personal experience, and perhaps you have experienced it too. There have been moments where I feel I wasn’t able to clearly articulate what I was trying to express as much as it narrates in my mind. Other times I feel that others may make assumptions on who I am, because I don’t show a lot of myself.

Many situations in daily life, cause me to feel so deeply inside and the world around me seems to feel heightened in its movement. Have you ever asked yourself “Am I the only one who feels this way?” or question the meaning of your life and the ongoing pulsating beat in your mind, striving to think how you yourself can make the world a better place? I had written a similar posts about introverts, and the common myths about introverts that aren’t true.

Our way of talking in conversations. Most of the time, I am the listener. INFJs are very good at analysing certain situations and giving good advice. Call it the caring nature within us. I know for myself, the misconception is that we speak less in conversations. It is true that we spend more time listening. However, if we are passionate about something, we can talk about it with ease. Other times, it may take more energy. It also depends on who we are talking with.

That we think we are special because we are ‘rare’. Surely, everyone is special and different. Yes indeed. Although, I do agree that it is often overwritten in the online world in a way that can indicate that we are better, because we are not easily understood. There is this mystique in the way INFJs are often portrayed because we are generally more private.The thing is most of us don’t think we are any more special than the person beside us. We just feel things more internally and sometimes more intensely.

We aren’t able to have leadership roles. I believe this is from societies praise of the extrovert in social situations. However, I believe INFJ’s make great bosses because of their fair, empathetic and organised nature. They make good listeners and want their workers to always strive for the best within themselves. INFJ’s also value good relationships very much and are intuitive in understanding others feelings.

Relying on our emotions to make decisions. It is very true to some degree that I will follow how I feel more so as I view myself as a very emotional person. It is a misconception that in making important decisions, we don’t consider the logic and facts within. We do analyse those areas, however our feeling about it is often stronger. For example, if we don’t enjoy a job, we are likely to feel the need to leave. But we will consider the financial security during that time. If we don’t enjoy being with a friend, we are likely to go our separate ways. But we will consider the pros and cons for doing so.

Assuming we have a soft shell.  I’ve been told very often that I’m shy, quiet and soft spoken. In a few of my past jobs I had gone to the bathroom several times to cry. I am very strong about the misconception of having a soft shell, because of the way I have been treated in the past and sometimes even in the present. I don’t think many people realise how much INFJ’s hold within themselves, whether it’s from pain, hurt or people. We don’t tend to talk about others or engage in gossip, and we certainly don’t want to be involved in drama. Whereas most people are very commonly open to doing so. I’ve written many times that sensitivity, being emotional and introvert are not weak.

We are too deep to enjoy the simple things. I’m sure many can understand the feeling of being a deep thinker. However, I am also someone who is easily amused if I really like something. I enjoy talking to people who are friendly and easy to talk to and as anyone else, I enjoy doing simple things from taking a walk at the park, going to the movies or sitting at the cafe with a friend. We do love our time alone at home to do our own thing, whether that’s reading, writing, listening to music or cooking, but we still need those small bouts of social interactions.

Being very nice and warm to everyone. This is from my experience. I’d like to think I am a friendly person. There are times however, I just don’t feel up to speaking to people or putting on a smile. I previously wrote about why being nice is not always so nice. I had been motivated to write it when I was tired of how many ‘nice’ people are taken advantage of. I like to think most INFJ’s are kindhearted and warm all the time, but the reality is someday’s (for myself) I just want to do my own thing and keep to myself.

INFJ’s are hard to make friends with. I think this comes down to how we are very selective. We want to be sure that we are friends with someone who we can trust. If someone hurts us, it’s more likely that we will cut them out of our lives straight away. In relationships, we generally take them more seriously and look for long term. In fact, most INFJ’s are super easy to get a long with and be friends with. But, in terms of becoming close friends, it often takes time to flourish and grow as we get to know someone more and more – we open up gradually.

That our personality type defines our personality. Everyone is different, even though we are sure to have many similarities possibly in values, the world and feelings. Some descriptions may apply to others and some may not. We may have all sorts of careers, and perhaps there could be INFJ’s out there who do enjoy their call service job (please let me know if you do!)

We always have our heads in the clouds. I do enjoy the feeling of being in another world and I am more connected with the arts if anything. I wouldn’t mind if someone called me weird or quirky. However, I do believe that many INFJ’s are dreamers and believers. But we are grounded at the same time. We want to make the world a better place.

image via

The Little Things That INFJs Will Understand

Every personality is so different, it’s almost like unlocking a magical ancient door and opening it to discover a garden inside of mysteries. Do you ever find the more you get to know someone, the more you feel as if they look different because you start seeing their personality shining through, rather than the initial first impression? As an INFJ there are certain things that I find hard to relate and other things that maybe, well, is just part of my individual personality. But in hopes of writing this article, I hope my fellow INFJs will understand some of these little (or not so little) things.

1) The need to quietly (or loudly) express ourselves. Whether that’s through writing, playing a musical instrument, dancing, painting or creating something.

2) Lingering thoughts in the mind. Although we may speak less (depending on the person and environment), our minds can be like a maze gathering thoughts.

3) Keeping a to do lists or having a plan. I’m all for spontaneity sometimes, but feel the need to have a check list of what I need to tick off during the day.

4) Cutting out people who hurt you.  If someone hurts you, betrays you or lies to you and you feel they no longer can be your friend, you cut ties immediately.

5) Group conversations are usually when you’re the listener. I find especially if I’m not close to the people in the group, I am usually the one listening, nodding, quietly agreeing or disagreeing.

6) Alone time to recharge the batteries. I find if I socialise for an hour or so, then I will need to wind down for several hours alone in order to regain energy.

7) Being accused of being shy or quiet. I previously wrote an article: I’m Not Shy, I’m An Introvertas shyness is not the same as the word introverted. The thought that I’m quiet tends to occur with people I’m not close to.

8) We think and feel very deeply. If we feel happy, it can be such a wonderful and sunshiney feeling, and if we are sad, we feel every bit of the sadness within us.

9) Setting high standards for ones self. We set the bar very high for ourselves and have inner goals that we would like to achieve.

10) Being highly observant of other people. The ability to sense others emotions more profoundly from the way they move, talk, what they say and their facial expressions.

11) Searching for deep relationships. We would much rather want 1 or 2 close friends to talk to then a dozen friends to small talk to.

12) When you want to sleep, but your brain says otherwise. If I’m very tired I will sleep straight away, but if I lie there sometimes a thought lingers to another thought and so on.

13) Avoiding gossip, but being the counselor of it. This doesn’t happen so much anymore, as I work alone. However, I find as the private person I am, more people like to tell me about their personal lives or things that are bothering them.

14) Not ever feeling like you really fit in. Whether it’s a group or similar, you are more of a lone wolf. You do crave being with close people, but you also crave alone time.

15) Finding and looking for the meaning of life. Your nature is to help people and to express good things into the world.

16) The ability to hide your anxiety around people. In some cases I need to hide the feeling inside and stay calm. It’s only when I’m alone will I let it out or if I’m with a very close person.

17) You don’t waste time with shallow people. INFJs want to have a deeper understanding of people’s true side. We don’t want to waste time with superficial people.

18) Sensitivity and empathy is part of your nature. At least for me I find I am extremely sensitive towards those who need comfort and understanding.

19) Things make perfect sense in your mind, but are often tricky to speak out. We tend to think before we speak. However, sometimes the words can get a bit muddled and not make sense.

20) Many people may say “You are so nice.” I think it comes down to being a good listener, having a caring nature and not having any judgment. But really, I wrote an article expressing Why being nice is not always so nice. 

Let me know if you could relate to some or most of these things.

Living In A World That Praises Extroverts

Which-Disney-Animal-Should-You-AdoptEveryone is different. In a world where many people want to fit in, it’s only when we are ourselves can we appreciate our differences. If you’ve ever been left out in high school, you will understand that feeling. As someone who didn’t want to pretend to be energetic all the time or say words that are trending – I got left out a lot. An example was in gym class when the teacher asks everyone to choose another partner. I was always left as one of the last people with no partner. I don’t ask for your sympathy, because as an introvert I have faced far worse. It’s sad that it happens as a result for not trying to ‘fit in’ with the world. It doesn’t only happen while we’re young, but it also happens in business, daily life and interacting with people. All throughout primary school to high school, teachers wouldn’t hesitate to say “Don’t be too quiet, Katie”. There is a huge societal stigma for being quiet. Silent in a conversation, silent when in other’s company, silence.

To the people who outwardly say they dislike someone but act nicely when they are around, I will never understand. As an introvert, I tend to keep it to myself if I dislike what someone does. The thing I want to address (which may seem harsh), is that some people who are quite talkative are just making noise. I knew many discussions that were very repetitive and didn’t have any depth. But some of the quietest souls, when they do speak, they usually speak what they have been thinking about for a while. Extroverts generally make friends more easily and are happy to be in social environments, which makes them feel even more energetic. This article is not to say introverts are better than extroverts, but to point out how much society praises the extrovert.

Being an extrovert is seen as the good, and being introverted is often seen as an issue, especially when you are a child. This paragraph from here explains it so well: We live in a live-out-loud think-out-loud society. Being an extrovert is praised and admired and being an introvert is often viewed as a problem that needs to be overcome or pitied, particularly in childhood. The invaluable benefits of being introverted are often overlooked when people don’t look deep enough. And because we’re often taught as children to be ashamed of our introverted nature by society, we grow up constantly fighting against ourselves instead of maximizing our strengths. We all have different personalities, but I believe we should be praised for our actions rather than our outward appearance.

There are often group situations and naturally I tend to end up listening. I already have gradually made my answer in my mind, but sometimes I don’t end up saying it through all the discussion. This article here from BBC explains it all too well. When I was at university, naturally everyone was socialising. However, after a while it really wore me out and I realised how much time I needed to spend alone. As we grow older it’s important to learn to speak up when you need to. It’s also wise to learn when to keep quiet.We need introverts and extroverts in the world to keep a balanced society. If you ever feel there is something wrong with you for being introverted, try reading this article here. It contains a wonderful quote from Carl Jung, the Swiss psychiatrist who said, “The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”