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  1. #1
    Member bronson's Avatar
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    Default Self-Image of the INFJ

    Every INFJ I know seems to have consistently low opinions of themselves.

    Bad body image (even if they're attractive physically!), a lack of faith in their abilities, and even sometimes just this general melancholic, self-loathing.

    Maybe I've just met a bunch with particularly low self-esteem.


    Is this generally applicable to INFJ's?

    Other than the useless "its not true", how can this be combatted?



    Sometimes I just get so frustrated by it; it just seems so debilitating in terms of reaching their full potential.

  2. #2
    Supreme High Commander Andy's Avatar
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    I'm not an INFJ, but I do at least share the same primary function, so I'll try an help out. Both INTJ and INFJ will have goals and desires that are born in their Ni. It is the nature of these goals that goes a long way to destinguishing between the two types. INFJs visions tend to be more social/emotional than the INTJs, but in both cases depression often results from an inability to make these dreams reality.

    The best way to make either type happy is to find out some goal of theirs (which wont be easy, we don't share our thoughts much) and help them bring it about.

    As it happens, I think both types are often depressed/frustrated. Our desires often conflict with what is considered the social norm, so people will often try to block/dissuade us. Conflict is then inevitable, as if we go ahead anyway, we end up fighting those around us. If we desist, we end up fighting with ourselves instead.

    One of the tragedies of being a primary Ni is that we live in an Si world, our demon function. This website:

    My MBTI Personality Type - My MBTI Results - How Frequent Is My Type?

    Gives information on how common each types is. Its information came from the USA population, so others may vary but we can get general sense of things by looking at it. If you do the maths, you can see that around 25% of the population have primary Si, but only 3 or 4% have primary Ni. About 21% have Si as a secondary function, compared to 4% for Ni. This means that we'll have a hard time seeing eye to eye with nearly 50% of the human population!
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  3. #3
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    It can be unfortunate to be too aware of the "big picture" because you tend to realize how small you actually are. From what I understand it is the healthiest state psychologically to slightly overestimate oneself.

    There is also a tendency to internalize negativity which can be a detriment to self-esteem. That isn't big picture perspective, but instead allowing oneself to collapse inward on the negativity. I guess it can be related to trying to see the big picture when the negative behavior makes no sense, it can call into question an entire world view. If I didn't understand that this person hates me (which means I don't understand how they see me, how my behavior affected them, what aspects of their experience has brought them to view the world this way, etc.) what else do I not understand?

    A desire to understand people fully is an impossible goal, so that drive by its nature creates some cognitive dissonance.

    That combination is not always helpful to a sense of ego.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

    I want to be just like my mother, even if she is bat-shit crazy.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member vince's Avatar
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    That might be true for all INFJs. Definitely goes for me.

    Sometimes I feel/think I'm some sort of alien (physically) eventhough many people have said I'm attractive. I've learned to live with that cause I'm just too complex to sort it out. I think this comes forth from being extremely self-conscious, and also because feeling physically tired has a huge influence on my mental self-image.
    Contrary to what you said this does not affect my belief in my skills/abilities. Just my self-image.

    I dunno, I'm interested what other INFJs say about this.

  5. #5
    Senior Member vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    It can be unfortunate to be too aware of the "big picture" because you tend to realize how small you actually are.
    That's very typical for INFJs. Sometimes I think we're the only type that is courageous enough to face and wear the insignificance of our existence.
    Likes cm81 liked this post

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    Member bronson's Avatar
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    I guess it would be frustrating to be primary Ni and then be least comfortable in Se because it would be difficult to find practical responses to the abstract concepts one is continually faced with.

    Coz I was trying to understand - I'm an ENFJ, so same cognitive functions, different order.
    I guess the tertiary Se makes me more pragmatic?

    But still, why such a distinction. Not that I don't ever feel down or disconnected from reality... but the whole low-self esteem thing just seems so inherent to every INFJ I know, and I don't know how to make it go away for them. Although, they all seem to just except that that is the way they are.

    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    There is also a tendency to internalize negativity which can be a detriment to self-esteem. That isn't big picture perspective, but instead allowing oneself to collapse inward on the negativity.
    This is an interesting point. Why do you internalise negativity? When I'm faced with it I'm more likely to push it out than let it fester forever... I have to talk to someone, sort it all out; I can't stand it.

  7. #7
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    This definitely sounds like me. It affects every aspect of my life. *sigh*

  8. #8
    Member bronson's Avatar
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    Oh man

  9. #9
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bronson View Post
    This is an interesting point. Why do you internalise negativity? When I'm faced with it I'm more likely to push it out than let it fester forever... I have to talk to someone, sort it all out; I can't stand it.
    Negatively charged environments can make me feel sick. When I started graduate school the U I attended was especially negative and cut-throat at the time. I would watch grad students act friendly and then cut each other down when they left the room. There were professors actively undermining other professors and trash-talking students to get a present group of students to laugh and be impressed. When I see negativity and gossip between people I know that there is no difference whether or not it is directed at me. If they do this to me, they also do this to others. If I see them do this to others they will do it to me given motivation and opportunity. There is no dividing line between myself and others (even if external behavior differs). We are only separated by different experiences. They are me and I am potentially them had I experienced the same things. When I see suffering and cruelty I recognize I am not in a safe or superior place, but instead I am part of this humanity.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

    I want to be just like my mother, even if she is bat-shit crazy.
    Likes cm81 liked this post

  10. #10
    Reptilian Snuggletron's Avatar
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    the only INFJ I know has fairly good self-esteem for what I know him for. In fact he's kind of a self-righteous asshole at times. Maybe he's wearing an INTJ skin suit with his weiner tucked in?

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