When I was preparing our home for Phoebe’s birthday party, I learned something eye-opening about my INFP personality type. The morning of a party, I always have anxiety, but not the type I always thought.
You see, I grew up in a structured and tidy home that was always presentable to guests. I’d always assumed my “party anxiety” was about presenting my guests with a perfectly hosted experience (aka: an experience like the one my mother would offer); however, that is not it at all!! I don’t care if my home, or anyone else’s home, is tidy or not…in fact, I find myself more at ease when there is a small to moderate amount of mess.
The reason I get anxious before a gathering is because I am an introvert. No matter how much I love hosting my friends, large groups make me extremely anxious. In this case, “large” meant 4 extra adults and 6 extra kids. HAHA!!! A much smaller crowd than Phoebe’s party last year, when our home was bursting at the seams with two dozen extra people.
Here’s the thing, though: as soon as I realized WHY I was anxious, I knew how to deal with my anxiety. I took a deep breath and reminded myself: these are just my friends, and I like them. Then I spent some time alone right before everyone arrived.
Do you know what a great “alone time” activity is?? PARTY PREP! As a “Perceiver” (that would be the “P” in “INFP”) I take joy in doing whatever task is right in front of me. So I *could* prep the sandwiches and clean the house the night before, but I enjoy it so much more if I get to engage in prep work to build up to the event. Plus, losing myself in cleaning and cooking helps distract me from the fact that I will soon be overstimulated with gaggles of people that I love.
The way I feel about what I am doing is important because I’m a Feeler. Perhaps, if I was more logical, I’d approach party prep differently. But I love the feeling of bustling to get things together right before guests arrive. I love it when people are late and I get to add some last minute touches to a dish or move a couple piles of clutter around.
Do you know how your personality type affects you?