Some people internalize just about everything around them… and I’m one of them.
Honestly, sometimes I really wish I wasn’t an internalizer. I know many of us feel this way.
Because one of the more “unhealthy” traits of an internalizer is this tendency to look too closely at everything, and end up feeling responsible for it.
It feels like if there is an issue, it’s on us.
Someone say something to us, even something very neutral, and our brain goes to scanning mode.
What else could that have meant?
Why did they say that to me?
What made them say that?
Are they upset or annoyed?
We struggle with taking things at face value, and are often searching for a deeper meaning . Oftentimes a meaning that points to us being the problem.
Internalizers are very aware of how they make other people feel, other people’s nonverbal cues, and just in general the emotional atmosphere around them.
This can be a great thing, in so many ways.
But not so much when things get out of wack in an internalizer’s brain.
Sometime we “see” and believe things that aren’t even accurate.
And we end up obsessing over questions like…
Why did I do that?
Why did I say that?
Why am I like this?
Which can spiral into…
Everyone is upset with me.
I’m not good enough.
I’m such a burden.
…this issue, this problem, it’s obviously my fault.
It’s exhausting, and it’s very difficult to live this way.
The thing is, an internalizer who has done the hard work of getting healthier in their thoughts don’t have to live like this.
We can get to a place where we realize, not everything is our fault.
Other people have responsibility, too.
We can breathe and release the heaviness as we acknowledge some things, in fact most things, are not in our control. And they certainly aren’t ours to fix.
We can validate our thoughts and emotions without letting them completely consume us and suck us into dread and anxiety.
And a truly beautiful gift of an internalizer?
We can dig deeper with others, too.
An internalizer is so aware of their emotions that they can easily tap into the emotions of others, and have a strong sense of empathy and compassion.
We really can be great friends. We really can help people feel understood and seen.
An internalizer, known to look within themselves so often, can also be really great at looking within others.
Seeing their pain, seeing their beauty, seeing their potential.
God made some of us this way, not so that we would be consumed by the fear that we have messed up, but so we could see the world a certain way- and love people in an important way only we can.
Not everyone is an internalizer, and that’s a very good thing.
But internalizers are good, too.
So friend, if you are sitting there reading this thinking, “wow, this is me”, I want to remind you that you were made intentionally as you are.
I want you to know you aren’t a burden and you don’t have to carry the weight and responsibility of the world on your shoulders.
That was never your life purpose.
You can’t take on other people’s responsibility, either.
It only dulls the bright, beautiful light that shines inside you.
You can use the gift you have been given as an internalizer to make the world better.
In fact… I bet you already are.
~Kelli Bachara, The Unraveling Blog