This is one of the more difficult things that I have personally encountered, especially with social situations. As an INTJ, it’s very difficult to live “in the moment” as opposed to have multiple lines of thought running through your head at all times.
For example, I could be talking to someone. But I’m also acutely aware of things going on in the background of the situation such as other conversations. I may be thinking about what is next for a meal, or how I need to do something when I get home, or what I should say next, or tons of other lines of thought at the same time.
This is generally not good for social interactions, and it’s something I want to vastly improve on. I have over the past year, but it’s still been a rough process.
The division of my time I tend to think of is two fold:
- When I am with other people I need to focus 100% of my efforts and thought on them. This way I can love others as Christ has loved me. Engage direct eye contact with everyone you are talking to. No exception. Don’t stare, but don’t let your gaze wander around much either.
- When I am by myself, I am free explore my relationship with God and reflect on the past which I may learn from or plan/pray about the future and others. I can explore as many lines of thoughts with God and others that I need to improve my abilities.
Basically, it boils down to the fact that when alone focus on putting God first, learning from the past successes and failures, and planning as much as possible for the future.
Proverbs 16:9 The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.
When interacting with people focus on loving them and being there in the moment at all times.
These two sum up what Jesus says are the two greatest commandments:
Matthew 22: 36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
This is the way I approach all interactions now because it sets boundaries for myself in order that I may love God in my time and have Him help guide me in reflection and planning, and that I can do all that I can for people when with them in order to love them as He has loved us.
Basically, this is Dominion over time management and relationships.
You’ll find that relationships will start to flourish more when people know you’re paying 100% of your attention to them. People will become more interested and interactive with you because you have shown them that you prioritize them over yourself. This is one of the first steps that many introverts need to learn in loving others and being a good communicator.