Today's written interview is with Leonie Thomas (INFP).
Reiki master | hypnotherapist | walker | swimmer | lover of nature | Neal’s Yard consultant #mindset #energyhealing #meditation
Hi Leonie, can we start our interview by finding out where in the world you currently reside?
Manchester in the UK
Do you remember what you were like as a child?
Compliant, fairly quiet and always wanted to do the right thing. I’m very different as an adult.
What was school like for you? And how were your teenage years as a whole?
I generally enjoyed school - both primary and secondary school, but really didn’t enjoy the A Level years, between 16 and 18. I seemed to lose all sense of direction and motivation. I now recognise this as anxiety.
What words, or phrases, would you use to describe your current self?
Self-contained but interested in other people.
When did you first realise that you were an introvert? How did this happen?
Although it’s been obvious all my life, I only really realised it about myself in my 30s. I came across the Myers-Briggs test and this enabled me to gain a lot more insight into myself.
Do you know your Myers-Briggs personality type?
When did you first take the Myers-Briggs test and discover your 'type'?
I was around 37, so quite late on!
Has discovering your personality type impacted you in any way?
Having this insight has allowed me to be a lot gentler with myself, for example, I plan my diary to balance outside activities with quiet, alone time. Too much time spent with other people exhausts me - this is a facet of my personality, rather than the other person’s fault. I also hate big social occasions and look for ways to connect with people outside of big group settings.
What qualities do you think INFs and other intuitive types share?
We are thoughtful people who are guided by principles. We are generally the quiet people in the meeting and will only speak when we have something of genuine value to say.
What were your favourite subjects at school? (If applicable) What did you study at university/college?
I enjoyed the subjects at school that required grappling with concepts and writing essays about them, for example, history. I also enjoyed art and languages, although studying Enligh literature bored me to death - I’d have benefitted much more from studying English language.
I dropped out of university within months - in retrospect, this was also down to anxiety and the misalignment of the INFP personality type within that environment. I just found it too big and loud. Also, even though I learn things all of the time, I prefer to learn by listening to podcasts and documentaries, so reading whole libraries of books was anathema to me.
What are you spending your time on at the moment?
I’ve just spent a week in Egypt, sailing down the Nile and visiting many temples from Ancient Egyptian times - I’ve put focus into finding out more about these. When I get back home, I will be spending the Christmas holidays planning some changes in my freelance business for 2020.
Was there a moment in your life when you made a drastic change?
When I turned 30, a chain of events forced me to reevaluate life, putting me on a different course. Although outwardly the changes aren’t too drastic, the internal shifts in my thinking have been massive. These changes help me manage my anxiety, but that’s always a work in progress.
Do you have a preferred creative/artistic outlet? Can you tell us a bit about this?
I like to take snaps on my iPhone and upload them to Instagram. I really enjoy photography, but I don’t take it too seriously. Other than that, I’m currently completing a travel journalism course, so I’m always planning my next trip away, whether long-haul or a weekend camping somewhere in the UK, and thinking about what kinds of articles I could write.
Would you describe yourself as a 'highly sensitive person', or an empath?
I’m definitely an empath - I can read the energies in a room within nanoseconds and I can read people’s thoughts and feelings. True story!
Do you have a personal definition of 'success'? What does being 'successful' look like to you?
Success is doing something that makes you happy and not being defined by other people’s views of what you should be doing.
What about 'happiness' - do you have a personal recipe for that?
Not over-committing my time and building-in plenty of travel.
Do you like to plan things, or are you more of a go-with-the-flow type of person?
A bit of both - I don’t enjoy having to stick to rigid plans, but equally if I want to get a lot of stuff done, it’s better to have a plan. Plans are important when travelling - I like to know where I’m staying and how I will travel around. It makes the trip less risky and stressful.
What does your 'perfect Sunday' look like?
I like to spend one day of the weekend hiking in the Peak District. My new year’s resolution for 2020 is to hike twice a week, once at the weekend and once during the week.
Is there anything you've read, watch or listened to recently, that you've loved?
I really enjoy listening to the For the Many podcast with Iain Dale and Jacquie Smith, and Housewives of Cheshire is my guilty pleasure - it’s filmed locally to me and I know all the places, although I’d hasten to add that my life is nothing like that.
Do you have any favourite movies or TV shows? Anything you've seen recently that you'd recommend?
My all time favourite TV series is Madmen. I love the flawed perfection of Don Draper and the glamour of Joan Holloway.
If you could go back in time and meet "you" back in 2010, is there any advice that you'd give this younger self?
Yes - bloody hell. Far too much to go into here.
If you could one or two pieces of advice to your fellow INFs and intuitives, what would they be?
Not advice as such, but observations:
1 - working for myself enabled me to move out of the open-plan office environment. I didn’t realise how stressful I found it and how tired it made me.
2 - a small group of really good friends benefits me much more, than having a really wide social circle that I don’t know as well or feel as comfortable with.
3 - work out how to socialise with other people in a way that doesn’t leave you feeling depleted. Often this will be one-on-one meetings and conversations.
What does 'self-care' mean for you? How do you practise it?
Meditation, being outside, getting enough sleep and eating properly at least 80% of the time
Do you have a favourite quote?
“To thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man”
And finally, where can others find and connect with you online?
Twitter and Instagram: @_leoniethomas
Thank you for taking part in this, Leonie, I've really enjoyed it.
Compiled: December 2019
👤 Jas Hothi is an INFP, coach & writer. He is the curator of INF Club, where he provides resources and coaching for INFPs, INFJs & intuitive types. He values: connection, spiritual growth and freedom. He likes: sports, auto-biographies and Columbo the detective.
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