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Why Wanting Quiet Time During the Holidays Doesn’t Mean I’m a ‘Grinch’


Am I the only one that wishes to hide in the closet until January 1st? Am I the only one that dreads November 1st as the beginning of the holiday season? We are bumping along joyfully singing about pumpkins and ghosts and then suddenly it’s time to buy everyone the most amazing outstanding you-are-a-rotten-person-if-you-don’t gift of the year. We gather with co-workers to attend parties that I don’t think anyone would attend if it wasn’t mandatory. We exchange gifts with people that you really don’t have to, but woe unto you if you don’t.

Then starts the pressure of all the holiday movies. Relationships are measured by the couples that surprisingly meet under the craziest circumstances, discover they have everything in common. Well almost everything, they say with a laugh, because theirs is a love that will never go asunder. How could such a thing happen? They are too beautiful, wealthy and in love (with themselves) and each other. It couldn’t possibly go wrong. As the two hours wrap up, our couples are soulfully gazing into each other’s eyes with the promise of their beautiful life together.

For an INFJ, the holiday season can be intense and overwhelming. We are often bombarded by advertisements with a multitude of ideas to make the Yuletide merry and bright. How could we possibly know the right way, the it way to enjoy the holidays? We buy, buy, buy — the latest tech, the latest dress, the latest makeup, the latest car. We cook and bake like the Top Chef, the celebrity chef, the Iron Chef. Our celebrations are often expected to be better then everyone else’s. Our stories, selfies, Instagrams, Facebook posts and Tweets must be the most interesting and envy provoking to everyone around us. Otherwise, side-eye, a critique, a little shade and just general silence.

As an INFJ, our thinking is often centered on our intuition and we understand that the holiday season is different for each person. Our beliefs in the holiday celebrations are based on an authentic individual joy that is inside each of us. The gifts that we make or buy are an extension of ourselves. If the person is lucky enough to be important to us, the gift is our way of reaching out and sharing a small piece of ourselves with them. When we receive gifts that have no meaning or purpose to us, we treat it like a rejection of who we are in that person’s life.

INFJ’s profiles indicate that we enjoy being alone. We are not usually lonely! We do not always need to fill every waking hour with people and parties and music. We do not always need to watch every holiday movie ever made. We do not always need to spend time with people that never spent time with us the rest of the year. We probably understand more than you know, when acquaintances try to be cozy or chatty only once a year.

If we only listen to holiday songs just around the end of December, we are not a Grinch. If we choose to have a simple celebration, we are not a Grinch. If we don’t talk endlessly about parties, presents, food and decorating, we are not a Grinch. If we need quiet time during the holidays, we are not a Grinch.

We wish peace and joy to everyone and usually just wish that everyone would leave us in peace.

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Getty image via Viktor_Solomin