Life in the Woods: An Introvert's Ideal Place
Respite and Relaxation in Nature: An Introvert's Place of Peace
The forest is my favorite place to be for respite. This quiet place is where I work during summer break, where my family dines most evenings, and where I read. Most of us have areas we go to reconnect and recharge. This peace is mine.
Surrounded by Nature: The Perfect Recharge for My Battery
As a true introvert, an INTJ, according to Myers Briggs personality tests, I can only recharge my energy level in solitude. Though I love and appreciate everyone in my life and enjoy social events, I often need and crave alone time. Social events, fun and enjoyable as they are, can often leave me feeling exhausted. After the hustle and bustle of a busy day at work, I can finally wind down when home. Living in the woods a half-mile from a dirt road which is 9 miles from a paved road and civilization, I love the peace only nature can offer me. The cricket chirp, the birds sing, and the grass and leaves glow in the sunlight. Everywhere, the eye can see is picturesque. It is like I can see, hear, taste, and feel the holy spirit replenish me. I feel so blessed to live here.
Not Everyone Enjoys Solitude:
Explaining how much I enjoy nature and quiet to my extroverted friends and family can be difficult. Some have even disclosed to me that being alone in silence would be difficult for them or even torturous! We laugh. I respect that. I understand that extroverts need and crave being with other people to feel energized. My oldest son, for example, would sometimes arrive home when no one was there yet. He hated it. He missed us and wanted to chat with us. Being alone without people to talk with can be just as draining for extroverts.
Fellow Introverts Understand:
Recently I had a long conversation with a fellow introvert and INFJ, and she informed me that if she never left home, she’d be okay. As a psychologist, she enjoys 1:1 conversations of depth and quality but also retreats to her own woodland home for recharging as well. We understand each other well. Unlike her, I like new adventures and places from time to time, but I really need to calm down at the end of the day. Too much interaction can make my blood pressure rise and pulse race. I feel stressed before going to parties and social events involving more than one other person. Like my friend, I, too, enjoy deep conversations with one or two other people. Exchanging polite pleasantries with acquaintances is not fulfilling for me. I enjoy getting to know others deeply and discuss philosophical vantage points, current events, politics, religion, and life. These conversations are enriching. It is easy to see how she and I can talk for hours, and it feels minutes pass.
Empaths Can Feel Similar:
Empaths can also feel overwhelmed by too much information - even negative information at a time. Viewing negative news, witnessing cruel and callous behavior, feeling slighted or overlooked can be unbearable to some empaths. Too much evil can wreak havoc to our core being. Even small acts of cruelty, like squishing a bug I was trying to save, can hurt. Both of my sons are very similar. Too much negativity and too much information on how cold this world can be can shake them deeply. I know this and try to support them by shielding them more than perhaps other parents might.
When my oldest was in preschool, he had a more aggressive friend. Visiting his house and chatting with his mother over coffee, she proudly explained that they allowed their son to watch Spider-Man movies, action, gore, violence, and all. I nodded politely, but inside I shuddered. I knew this would never be okay for my very young child, who was so highly sensitive. I understand that some parents and kids can handle early exposure to violence, but my two children did not view more violent movies until about 13 years old. My oldest asked to watch a scary video when he was about 15. I thought, perhaps, I let him watch JAWS with me. BIG mistake. Too much. Though he didn’t tell me how upset it made him, he took it all in. Later we went south to the beach, and my son, who once LOVED the waves, was now scared. Great. Parent fail number 1, 022. Being sensitive can be rewarding, but vulnerable children need shielding and nurturing so that they, as empaths, can serve themselves and others well in this life.
A Little Outside the Norm:
Introverts and empaths, or even introverted empaths - a double whammy - can be enthralled with the pure majesty of nature. I can quickly become engrossed watching in awe as a hummingbird feeds, honey bees buzz around me without causing a single sting, and ants crawl. Though I have so many adult responsibilities, I am still childlike in my wonder of our natural world. I would find comfort during difficult times, by watching leaves tremble in the breeze. On still days, I would have to concentrate on watching even the tiniest rustle of leaves. Then, I somehow knew all would be okay.
Sitting in a room of scientists studying, anatomy, geology, and organic chemistry and many other science courses necessary to eventually gain my M.Ed. in Science Teacher Leadership, I was one of just a few women in the class. Initially, there seemed to be a balance between men and women in my general science courses. However, you could tell that the higher up in science one studies, the fewer women there seemed to be. I loved learning about the beautifully designed intricacies and patterns in our natural world. I see God in science! It was a deeply rewarding experience to take these advanced science courses. Perhaps this is why I wanted to pass my zeal for science onto my students in hopes that both more girls and boys would enter scientific fields of study one day. Teaching science is hands down my favorite class to teach!
Though I had many “friends,” I was never one to have a lot of really good friends. This was a particular category for a select few, and I enjoy the few good friends I have. Often these friendships were formed and lasted over many years. These special people know me and understand me - my quirkiness and all. It was a husband of a good friend of mine while on vacation who watched my behavior and said confidently, “You’re an INTJ.” Standing in the kitchen making breakfast, I looked at him quizzically and questioned his statement. He said, “You are. Go look it up.” So, I did. I took a quiz, and sure enough, he was spot on! He would be. In the military, it was his job to study people to delegate the right duties and tasks to the right personalities. I was a little miffed at some of the traits I had as an INTJ, but it was a reality check and explained a lot. We are who we are. We all need to figure out what we need and don’t need in life to thrive. Knowing and respecting our unique make-up helps us to contribute well to this world. Thank goodness we have science and studies to help explain who we are and foster a sense of understanding about our God-given gifts, talents, and unique qualities that make life precious. Be authentic, and be you!
I’ll be me, and. I’ll be in the woods.
For more information on Myers Briggs personality tests you can visit: