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  1. #1
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    Default Heavy sense of self and other

    This is a feeling that has plagued my soul since I was a child. I have this incredibly heavy sense of self-awareness, maybe it feels like worry, which tends to sit above my stomach. I mean I can actually feel it. It's not often debilitating, nor is the feeling always around, but it does linger too often. I will tend to feel out of place even around people I've know my whole life, and will tend to avoid people because the amount of energy I use to try to feel that I am appearing normal just sucks. It's like I need to ask people if I'm okay.

    Also I tend to feel too much about the other. It's like I can't help but read too deep into a persons "real" feelings, whatever that is. I can't help but feel there is a deeper meaning to peoples expressions. Doing this also takes up a lot of energy from me. I really just want to feel light and airy when talking with people. I want the feeling of being in the now without the feeling of some deeper thing going on.

    I'm not sure if I'm explaining this well, maybe someone can help draw out what I'm getting at. Does this description sound any part INFP, or am I just depressed?
    Individuals rock, people suck.

  2. #2
    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    I can relate to this. Perhaps you have a fear of abandonment which keeps you always on your guard for "proof" that you are going to be rejected?

  3. #3
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    interesting and i'm sorry

    i can relate to the extreme sensitivity of people and their emotions...i have that too...but my expression is quite different.
    it sounds like extreme introversion and maybe a lil social anxiety...have you ever been told you have anxiety?
    you might need something for that.
    and maybe you are depressed and projecting your negative self image onto everyone else...like putting up a mirror
    i am sorry...you should definitely look into it though because you should at least feel at peace being with those who you are close to.
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

  4. #4
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    no you aren't depressed. well maybe, i don't know. but I feel that way as well, some of the time. except I hate not being normal, I mean I like being normal. But I use to want to be something great. I realized I'm too lazy for greatness, so normal works.
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  5. #5
    Senor Membrane
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    I relate. I don't feel that much self-conscious anymore, though. I guess the "people reading" will never go away (and it actually is one of the most valuable gifts you have), so you'll just need to find ways to live with that and make it work for you. But, the self-consciousness can be dropped. It needs quite a lot of thinking, but I think it is possible. I'd suggest that you think about your life philosophy. Are you as important person as anyone else? Who can tell what you should or shouldn't do? What are your values? When you find out the answers, try to apply them to your life. Live your life as you think you should.

  6. #6
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    Hey thanks nolla. Yeah the people reading thing takes a lot from me. This combined with the self-consciousness is sometimes too much. Am I as important as anyone else? I say absolutely; the thing is I feel that we are all pretty damn insignificant. This is not a contrived statement for the sake of this discussion. My life philosophy would be something like this: I feel too profoundly because you and I are insignificant. It's disappointing for me to see life as being so futile. I often loathe the trivialities of life:wake, eat, conform in terms of standing in line, waiting, working, socializing, seeing the greed. And the rant goes on.
    Individuals rock, people suck.

  7. #7
    Senior Member bronte's Avatar
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    I can relate Jeeze - I'm much less self conscious now - part of that has been about growing older and feeling much more confident - and part of it is about finding your passion in life - when youre totally engaged you forget to be self conscious! Nolla is spot on about identifying your life philosophy and personal values

    I still find the people reading a very mixed blessing - often I would like to be able to switch it off! The problem often is that you soak up people's pain like a sponge and that's exhausting - not good for you!

    To cope with this I try to distract myself and practice not 'feeling' so much - its very hard to do - but I realise that I need to - doing something physical (exercise) helps - or something which is completely absorbing - reading for example.

    Sometimes I think that you need to put yourself out there and force yourself to interact with others (to overcome some of that social anxiety erinavry talked about ) but back this up with plenty time doing what you want on your own and looking after yourself.

    I know the mundane aspects of life drive me mad too - I hate routine - but know that everybody needs some level of routine in their life to function - It helps me to schedule regular short breaks when I can do exactly what I want for a couple of days! To indulge my P!!
    I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
    Maya Angelou

  8. #8
    Senor Membrane
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    Quote Originally Posted by bronte View Post
    Sometimes I think that you need to put yourself out there and force yourself to interact with others (to overcome some of that social anxiety erinavry talked about )
    Yes. I agree. Way back when I had little knowledge about the introvert-extrovert dichotomy I forced myself to be more active socially and it was one of the smartest things I ever did, even though I later found out that it is basically impossible for me to be as extrovert as the extroverts. It doesn't get you anywhere if you spend all of your time inside your head.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeeze View Post
    Yeah the people reading thing takes a lot from me.
    It will get easier. I think it is about understanding more and more about why people do what they do or feel how they feel. So, the more you read people, the more you understand them and the more you accept their feelings and behavior, since you know where it is coming from. It's like forgiving through understanding.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeeze View Post
    My life philosophy would be something like this: I feel too profoundly because you and I are insignificant. It's disappointing for me to see life as being so futile. I often loathe the trivialities of life:wake, eat, conform in terms of standing in line, waiting, working, socializing, seeing the greed. And the rant goes on.
    Yeah... I've felt that way. I guess that if you go long enough on that road without becoming cynical, you will find some more comforting perspective. I haven't found much of a meaning for my life, but if it is there, it has to do with people I care about. You know, there are few people to whom I am not insignificant and as their lives are priceless then my life would have meaning if I could help but one of them.

    There is something bizarre about INFPs. We are quite people oriented and introverted. It seems sometimes impossible to combine, but I am hopeful.

    Oh, and by the way, life isn't futile if you don't let it be. I often feel frustrated that this world has no appreciation for the things I do best, I think that in the past there has been respect for the people like me, but then again I wouldn't want to live in the past anyway. There are ways to make your life important. If you compare the importance of your life to some presidents or whatever, it will be a small contribution, but still... I believe that if you have a life philosophy that you apply and that has any positive effect on the world (no matter how small scale), your life hasn't been futile.

  9. #9
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    I think the emotionl sensitivity is a gift and a curse for the NF temperament but probably tends to affect the INFP a bit more. I deal with this, too, at times. The real question is what is normal? Maybe you can take naps, go for walks, read a book, listen to music, or just zone out for a bit when this happens. Those things might help if you feel overwhelmed by all the emotional energy in the room.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by IDK123 View Post
    Maybe you can take naps, go for walks, read a book, listen to music, or just zone out for a bit when this happens. Those things might help if you feel overwhelmed by all the emotional energy in the room.
    Yes, these are good ways to get a break. When I was still living with my father and the atmosphere turned into negative for too long, I used to take long walks in the forest to get my mind empty. I also started to sleep with a different pattern than anyone else so that I could have some peace and quiet when they were sleeping. I don't recommend this, though... the habit dies hard, I still sleep at weird times.

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