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Thread: INFJ Shame

  1. #31
    Sniffles
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    Yes I can relate very much to what others have stated here. I have plenty of experiences and feelings in this area. I've often experienced periods of extreme shame, and often I have to be snapped out of it.

    Hopefully later, I'll be able to articulate upon this later. Right now Im not in the best of moods to do so.

    I will say about one factor that plays apart of my situation, how my feelings of shame can relate to my Catholic faith.

    It really does irritate me when others try to bash my spiritual tradition for supposedly promoting or excaserpating such feelings of shame in myself or others. So yes, if I bring up personal issues of shame, and certainly how it relates to my faith - so many are quick to place blame on the faith.

    As I see it, that's not really so. I simply do not buy the current promotion of narcissicism and self-esteem, which in reality actually leads to far worse than concentration with sin.

    I remember talking to my priest about my feelings of shame, of feeling like a hypocrite and a poor Catholic. It was interesting how he responded. He basically told me to beware of such thoughts, because often the Devil wishes to promote such feelings in order to destroy our sense of faith, and our relationship with God. God does not want us to hate ourselves.

    Whether or not Satan is really behind this is not important IMO, but the main point he made really did make an impression upon me. It certainly helped me gain a better perspective on the situation, and lead me more towards a sense of critical self-acceptance.

    Just my rambling two cents for now.

  2. #32
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    Peguy's ramblings, interesting..
    I wouldn't relate religion to the feeling of shame unless it was highly brought up in the raising one has had or in the society (shame being brough up, not religion) one has grown up in. I think those people need a reminder of shame as a psychological thing that manifests stronger in others regardless of religion. Go get them boy.

  3. #33
    Senior Member the state i am in's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanveane View Post
    I had a deeply religious upbringing which wasn't all bad, I think it helped me to push the less desirable qualities of unhealthy Enneagram 4 away. But it definitely had me putting myself under the microscope and holding myself to near impossible standards which will deepen any tendency toward 'shame'.

    Anway the key for me was striking out on my own - trying, failing, trying again at things (doing so in private at first was key to building confidence). Also finding something that was mine, in my case a career where I can be creative and express myself freely. It has made a difference because it makes me feel 'strong' and that is something toxic feelings of shame rob you of.

    I think growing up feeling 'different' is the source of shame, but feeling different can be a gift sometimes because it allows you to be deeply receptive to many people a lot of others give up on or throw away. I'm sure it's why INFJ are drawn to being therapists. I try and focus on that a little as a benefit.
    i agree with much of what you said here. religious upbringing, guilt from infp mom, stoic istj dad who did not express affection in direct ways- and i think i felt like i had to do extremely well otherwise i would be disappointing to them and thusly myself.

    for myself, when not understood or underappreciated or under attack, i've had a tendency to withdraw rather than fail, and it is probably the number 1 reason i am still immature. w/o testing yourself, standing up and asserting yourself, you do not realize you can take it and conquer the feelings you are afraid will pummel you into oblivion. and that the feelings of others that surround you with Fe don't have to determine what you can do and who you can become. starting small and building solid attachments to positive influences (roots) helps.

  4. #34
    Senior Member Llewellyn's Avatar
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    This topic and the type INFJ in general is a sure way to exercise one's mind indefinitely...

    I won't chime in, as my type is 'only' INTJ. Though, foreseeing for myself, the key would be for an INFJ to be straightforward to me. Now I have to guess a lot, and it takes time and effort to maybe see what's going on (what their need is). If I would hear simply explained, I would probably make no deal of it and understand it. Now it's this awkward guessing. I would believe especially related types (like INTJ - how can it be much closer) would be able to take some. And I notice it doesn't help a bit to say to an INFJ (well, the one I have i mind) to be wondering why they are you so ashamed (about a particular thing) - no one notices it, or if they did, they wouldn't mind.
    So then it doesn't feel exactly as being trusted... Seems almost the shame is there for itself - Is it somehow adding to the feeling special? (I'm aware that might sound insensitive).

    Sometimes it seems the INFJ has their reactions made up already, and nothing can help or come in between.

    Anyway, what I've learned is that whatever one says will be mostly - say at least 90% - about themselves, so that holds for what I say here as well.
    Also, said INFJ has same complaint, that I'm not being straightforward. But, somehow I think the laws are just kept separate, so that no true exchange or mutual understanding can develop.
    INtj | 9w1

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Llewellyn View Post
    Seems almost the shame is there for itself - Is it somehow adding to the feeling special? (I'm aware that might sound insensitive).
    No, I don't think so. Maybe for some people it is that way, though. Personally, I would love to get rid of this burden of shame, there's nothing special about it, it only makes the divide I already feel when I'm around people grow bigger and bigger. Feeling ashamed because of feeling the shame, haha.
    Last edited by Phantonym; 01-22-2011 at 09:59 PM.

  6. #36
    Member Torai's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by felt up View Post
    I'm curious. How many INFJs had preachy/shaming INTJ parenting?
    Count me as one.

  7. #37
    Senior Member SubtleFighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Llewellyn View Post
    This topic and the type INFJ in general is a sure way to exercise one's mind indefinitely...

    I won't chime in, as my type is 'only' INTJ. Though, foreseeing for myself, the key would be for an INFJ to be straightforward to me. Now I have to guess a lot, and it takes time and effort to maybe see what's going on (what their need is). If I would hear simply explained, I would probably make no deal of it and understand it. Now it's this awkward guessing. I would believe especially related types (like INTJ - how can it be much closer) would be able to take some. And I notice it doesn't help a bit to say to an INFJ (well, the one I have i mind) to be wondering why they are you so ashamed (about a particular thing) - no one notices it, or if they did, they wouldn't mind.
    The thing about INFJs (and any INFJ that doesn't agree with this, please chime in) is that most of us seem to keep our core beings closely guarded. This usually isn't anything personal to any one person (like we don't trust you specifically), but there's usually still a bit of our core that we don't show to even the people we trust the most. I can't explain really why this is, it's just maybe a combination of feeling like it will be misunderstood or not accepted. I can't really comment about the particular situation you're in or what this INFJ is not explaining, but this situation may involve this concept (or I could be very off; it's hard to tell since I don't know the specifics).

    Also, about the last sentence there, I can only speak for myself as an INFJ, but if someone said that to me, I would probably think that the person is telling me that my feeling is invalid (which would hurt and anger me). It would completely depend on the way it was said, though. If I felt like they were only saying it out of pure curiosity and acknowledging that they still care about me as a person (and that my feelings are valid), then I would probably not be offended by it and see it as a sign that the person really cares about me (i.e. wanting to know more about me). But if the way it was said at all indicated that the person was invaliding my feeling, then I would become defensive and most likely trust this person less. This is because if I was telling this shame to another person, that means that I have a good measure of trust for them and feel close to them, which means that I have a great deal of investment in their opinions of me. So to share something like that with this person and having the perception that they were invaliding it would be painful.

    So then it doesn't feel exactly as being trusted... Seems almost the shame is there for itself - Is it somehow adding to the feeling special? (I'm aware that might sound insensitive).
    Again, it's hard for me to comment on that without knowing the specifics. But I'll chime in with Phantonym in that my own shame is definitely not something I have in order to feel special. I would be so much easier if it was gone.


    Quote Originally Posted by Torai View Post
    Count me as one.
    Count me as two.

  8. #38
    Senior Member the state i am in's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Llewellyn View Post
    This topic and the type INFJ in general is a sure way to exercise one's mind indefinitely...

    I won't chime in, as my type is 'only' INTJ. Though, foreseeing for myself, the key would be for an INFJ to be straightforward to me. Now I have to guess a lot, and it takes time and effort to maybe see what's going on (what their need is). If I would hear simply explained, I would probably make no deal of it and understand it. Now it's this awkward guessing. I would believe especially related types (like INTJ - how can it be much closer) would be able to take some. And I notice it doesn't help a bit to say to an INFJ (well, the one I have i mind) to be wondering why they are you so ashamed (about a particular thing) - no one notices it, or if they did, they wouldn't mind.
    So then it doesn't feel exactly as being trusted... Seems almost the shame is there for itself - Is it somehow adding to the feeling special? (I'm aware that might sound insensitive).

    Sometimes it seems the INFJ has their reactions made up already, and nothing can help or come in between.

    Anyway, what I've learned is that whatever one says will be mostly - say at least 90% - about themselves, so that holds for what I say here as well.
    Also, said INFJ has same complaint, that I'm not being straightforward. But, somehow I think the laws are just kept separate, so that no true exchange or mutual understanding can develop.
    i think you're very close. to say no, it's not a problem, don't worry about it just gives us this impression that you don't see it and that you don't see us. 4s feel envious of others and their simplicity, their naturalness, their lack of image consciousness. it's the oscillation between beauty and ugliness, feeling like goddammit that ugliness is what makes me me, that beauty is what makes me me, that beauty is arbitrary, false, deceptive, fake, that ugliness is what's real, that ugliness isn't me, this jekyll and hyde experience isn't me, i don't know what came over me, nothing can save me, i'm too wretched, i'm broken, i'm fundamentally defective, from the beginning i was destined to destroy myself. this is happening while intensely overidentifying wtih the feelings of others (e2) (worst for the sx types) while managing the hypercritical inner voice of e1 (being situated between e2 and e1). the sx just intensifies it, wanting to be dominant, to be the most powerful, to be the most beautiful, iconic, etc. the w5 also creates these schizoid tendencies, it's a double dose of withdrawing tendencies, situated in the most nihilistic space in the enneagram, feeling not only fundamentally defective but fundamentally cut off, isolated, unable to to be fully present, to be able to let go and just BE (including the inability to do this to fully BE with others).

    it creates an extreme defensiveness, especially when someone might see part of you that you were not ready for them to see. because even if they do not mind, if they accept you, you feel like you can see yourself in this disfiguring light through their eyes, through this kind of projection, and you just become ashamed, you get angry for feeling ashamed, so much bitterness and hostility and sharp-edged hatred, based in the e1 kind of resentment way, just feeling disgusted, layers and layers pointed at the self and then when that starts to crumble, losing the equanimity gift to see others beyond what the social expectations placed on them, to truly see them fairly in light of their real experience.

    anyway, these are just critical points of conflict. most of the e4s i know learn to handle it, but to sympathize with this actual experience of conflicts helps so much, to recognize what specific insights, authenticities, creative articulations, aesthetic richness, equanimity, ability to reconcile the beautiful with the ugly apart from whatever preconceived notions others have. these are some of the reasons why this conflict, solving this system of conflict, adds something great to the world.

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