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  1. #1
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    Default What to do when your INF is out of control?

    I was in a pretty great mood a few minutes ago, but then it sort of ... fell out of me. Yesterday I approached strangers and initiated conversation, went out in public in a ridiculous hat and gleefully watched people out of the corner of my eye, and decided that I want to go hang-gliding in the relatively near future. Well, I actually feel pretty good right now, too. Just sort of ... blunted.

    Now let me show you my pRoBlUmZ.

    I am an INFP (or maybe an E - I think I'm on the cusp?). Apparently this type is delivered with a complimentary side of anguish, and ... I've definitely been feeling the INFPain for the last few years. Two weeks ago, I finally told an online friend about it and now it's sort of gushing out of me, but it feels good. I'm dealing with it, and learning how to be more open at the same time.

    I want to be fearless and impulsive and outgoing and bold and assertive and proud and strong and confident. I want to experience uncontrollable rushes of emotion. I want to be angry - I want to have an explosive temper. I want my mouth to get me into trouble. I want to leap before I look. I want to stop caring about every other effing person on the planet, because I need to look after myself. I want to stop being a martyr. I want to rush headlong into life. I want to be emotionally open and stop hiding myself and the way I feel. I want to be the leader; I want to be in control; I want to be the center of attention. I want everyone to love me and I want to love myself and I want to be fantastically, explosively vivid and alive.

    But I don't know how.

    And I need to be that way because, if I can't be brave, my actions are not in alignment with my morals. I break my moral code and rip myself apart in punishment.

    I hate myself because I'm afraid; I'm afraid because I'm weak; I'm weak because I'm afraid; I'm afraid because I'm weak; I'm weak because I hate myself.

    Can I even break that chain? Or is my only recourse to accept myself and stop trying to be what I'm not?

    Because I won't accept myself. I will never be happy as the person I am today, because there will always be that time I backed down; that time I wasted an opportunity; that time I was so lonely that I wished to die, yet was too afraid to do anything about it; that time I bit my tongue; that time I didn't "fight the cosmic forces of evil". My god, I don't want to be a dreamer - I want to be a hero.

    I'm so tired of being me. I feel blank and calm in a dead way most of the time - I have to be the center of attention in order to feel alive. I'm not happy unless I'm entertaining people. I like to be the leader. I'm afraid of intimacy and commitment, yet I feel hollow and ghost-like without it. But I am so afraid. Is it because I was bullied? Do I just need to raise my self-esteem? If I learned to love myself for who I am, I'd get over it, right? But I won't be able to love myself until I'm capable of making myself happy, and I can't do that until I stop stifling myself and become capable of fulfilling my needs and desires. See? ANOTHER catch 22!

    Am I yearning for what I could never possibly be, or am I yearning for what I should be - what I would be, if I had no inner barriers? If I did not destroy myself at every turn? Or is self-hatred something that is part of me and can never be excised? Why would self-destruction be part of a person's core?? How do I get rid of it?!?

    What about you? From the descriptions I've read, it looks like my problem - dissatisfaction with myself, and subsequent attempts to change -- comes with the Idealist territory. Do you feel this pain? How do you deal with it? Other types, do you just think we're insane? :}
    Last edited by Cordiform; 11-11-2007 at 09:15 PM. Reason: Font size

  2. #2
    Senior Member Lookin4theBestNU's Avatar
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    First off welcome, and your post was very touching bringing back many memories. I'm not an NFP but still an Idealist with you. I don't know how old you are but for me from the ages of about 17-22 I could have written that post. I have journals filled with it and all of the questioning. So many questions. I'm 30 now and it does seem to get better though I've yet to discover the true answers for them all. I'm still searching. I've always carried with me a kind of sadness for lack of a better word. It's rarely shown to the outside world. Know that some of the other NFs here are likely to be able to relate to you. We have quite a number of NFPs here. Thanks for sharing your post with us and you do not appear insane .


    Edit: I just checked your profile and saw your age. Since I'm not an NFP I'm reluctant to say this but it sounds to me as though you are par for the course!
    Last edited by Lookin4theBestNU; 11-11-2007 at 08:08 PM. Reason: I liked the other title better though ;).
    "At points of clarity, I realize that my life on earth is meaningless, and that I am merely a pawn in a bigger game. A game I cannot possibly understand or have control of. Thankfully, before depression sets in, I drift back into my cloudy, bewildered daily routine." **Joel Patrick Warneke**

  3. #3
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Sounds like SP envy to me. NFs generally want to be uninhibited and free, but we are bound by our ideals and emotions. Cutting loose, giving up control, going wild, these are not the natural states of an NF. I did have an SP friend who gave this advice. "Get your body there and your mind and spirit have to follow." Find things that will challenge you and put your body in those situations. If you have it in you, then you will become what the situation requires. If not then you will learn to stay home and be a good little INFP.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiddo View Post
    Sounds like SP envy to me. NFs generally want to be uninhibited and free, but we are bound by our ideals and emotions. Cutting loose, giving up control, going wild, these are not the natural states of an NF. I did have an SP friend who gave this advice. "Get your body there and your mind and spirit have to follow." Find things that will challenge you and put your body in those situations. If you have it in you, then you will become what the situation requires. If not then you will learn to stay home and be a good little INFP.
    So I can only be happy when I'm acting in a way that is unnatural to me? I only seem to have emotions that hold me back and I hatehatehate it. I'm either sad or angry at myself or annoyed with the world or sick with worry or nervous or scared of things that won't really ever happen, and, even if they did, it wouldn't really be a big deal but my mind won't let me think that! I feel like a ghost. I feel dead. I only feel alive when I completely stop thinking - when I'm deliriously giddy and I'm on top of the WORLD. So the question is - am I that way because I'm unhappy ... or is just ME?


    Quote Originally Posted by Lookin4theBestNU View Post
    I've always carried with me a kind of sadness for lack of a better word. It's rarely shown to the outside world. Know that some of the other NFs here are likely to be able to relate to you.
    It's unbelievable that there exists a category for people who are basically defined by sadness. Where do we come from? Why are we this way? I've always wondered why I'm so "wounded at the core", and no one else seems to understand, either, because I really have no external justification for it. Just that ... something is broken in my head. There's a mirror in my head and I know it's cracked and warped, but I can't stop looking into it.

    Thank you for responding.
    I: 53% --- E: 47%
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    P: 84% -- J: 16%

  5. #5
    Resident Snot-Nose GZA's Avatar
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    I'm about your age (16) and I've had the same problems, and will continue to, I think. I havn't quite been able to define exactly what it is I'm looking for. I mean, am I looking for a way to jump out into the wind, or what? I guess I kind of am, and I guess I've already begun addressing the problem, even when I havn't been conciously aware of it.

    "I want to be fearless and impulsive and outgoing and bold and assertive and proud and strong and confident. I want to experience uncontrollable rushes of emotion. I want to be angry - I want to have an explosive temper. I want my mouth to get me into trouble. I want to leap before I look. I want to stop caring about every other effing person on the planet, because I need to look after myself. I want to stop being a martyr. I want to rush headlong into life. I want to be emotionally open and stop hiding myself and the way I feel. I want to be the leader; I want to be in control; I want to be the center of attention. I want everyone to love me and I want to love myself and I want to be fantastically, explosively vivid and alive.

    But I don't know how."

    I think I've felt this way before, and still do from time to time. I don't fall into the "I want everyone to love me" part, though, I think of it more as looking for something that I love to do that I can do with the most intense passion imaginable. By the way, I personally think that if you, or anyone, can find something you love to do that you are good at, people will love you, you will be a magnet.

    I think maybe a good place to start is to go hang gliding, like you said. The key is to identify things you want and make them happen. For example, I always wanted to go for a run late at night when no one is around. People said that was weird, dangerous, unusual, ect, but I decided to do it one night, and I loved it, and I've done it many times. Just going over one barrier like that will, hopefully, open up the door to try other things.

    I don't see why an NF can't do the things you mentioned. When you first go out and just step forward and try one of these things you've mentioned (i.e. something bold and impulsive) you'll feel like there is an army of wide-eyed skull people anxiously pushing you back, but you just kind of have to swallow yourself and start doing it.

    You know what will happen if you don't? Regret. Take for example, one of my experiences. Last year there was a massive snow storm... nearly a metre of snow was dumped in one night, which is quite rare. All the roads were closed, all the stores, it would have bene incredibly peaceful to walk around in. Also, the forcast said it would not last, that it would melt by the end of the weekend. I had one of these impulses to go out and see the world and love everything I saw, but I didn't do it. I could have just opened the door and gone for a walk, but I was scared, and I don't know why. Something held me back. I layed in bed that night -why didn't I just get up and walk? I wasn't tired. I tried to rationalize it, I knew I wanted to, but of course my emotions held me back. It melted away, and I was left looking out my window at a lost rare moment of peace and beauty. To this day I'm really dissapointed in myself that I didn't just go.

    Just say "fuck it!" and do whatever it is you want to do, alright? Please. Go walk in that snow, go flying in that hang glider, chase that girl, do everything and don't look back untill you've finished.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Lookin4theBestNU's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cordiform
    It's unbelievable that there exists a category for people who are basically defined by sadness. Where do we come from? Why are we this way? I've always wondered why I'm so "wounded at the core", and no one else seems to understand, either, because I really have no external justification for it. Just that ... something is broken in my head. There's a mirror in my head and I know it's cracked and warped, but I can't stop looking into it.

    Thank you for responding.
    You're very welcome. I don't know that I am defined by sadness more then defined by internal questioning. You know the mirror you can't stop looking into? The NF temperament (for quite a few of us) has both a light nature and a dark nature to it. My experience is that you cannot embrace one over the other as I've tried both! I want to always be on the light happy side...inevitably the other side makes its presence known. I think were you to ask people that know me they would always assume I am happy. NFs can be romantic people living in a place we've built in our minds, a secret little place where we go. People cannot see it and sometimes we want to desperately share it but don't know how. Accepting yourself just as you are is quite a task for an NF. I don't know why we are here truthfully. Just know that both of these sides you described are a part of who you are and it's OK . I will quit being NF'y for the night as I can write pages and pages of this stuff !! Take care and I hope you continue to post here !
    "At points of clarity, I realize that my life on earth is meaningless, and that I am merely a pawn in a bigger game. A game I cannot possibly understand or have control of. Thankfully, before depression sets in, I drift back into my cloudy, bewildered daily routine." **Joel Patrick Warneke**

  7. #7
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cordiform View Post
    So I can only be happy when I'm acting in a way that is unnatural to me?
    I never liked the INFP description for that reason. An INFP is just as capable of being happy as any other type.

    I only seem to have emotions that hold me back and I hatehatehate it. I'm either sad or angry at myself or annoyed with the world or sick with worry or nervous or scared of things that won't really ever happen, and, even if they did, it wouldn't really be a big deal but my mind won't let me think that!
    Those are the penalties of unbridled intuition. In time you will probably learn to master it and channel it. Until then, you will have to continuously challenge yourself by moving outside your comfort zone. For an INFP this is especially difficult because you will think it to death and never accomplish a thing. Just do it and hang on for the ride.

    Sensors wish they could feel things as intensely as we do. A drive down a busy street can be an intense experience for an NF.

    I feel like a ghost. I feel dead. I only feel alive when I completely stop thinking - when I'm deliriously giddy and I'm on top of the WORLD. So the question is - am I that way because I'm unhappy ... or is just ME?
    That just sounds like depression.

  8. #8
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    I don't really understand all that stuff about wanting to be tough, impulsive, and explosive. That's the opposite of me. I don't like that kind of thing at all, and don't get along well with people who are that way. The few times I am that way, it's because of stress, and I hate it when that happens.

    But I do understand the sense of futility... but mine is more specific. I tend to feel jealous of other people. Sometimes it's ENFJ's and how they can balance so much, have more energy to organize things, have a social life, etc. And sometimes if I'm having trouble figuring something out, I'm even jealous of INTJ's, because they're smarter and less easily deterred once they've got a goal in mind. But most of the time, I'm okay with being an INFJ.

    What I really want in life is to help people understand themselves, and live their lives in a better way. Although I admit that I don't beat myself up about it as much as you do, because I know I'm working towards it in a reasonable fashion.

    I'm also confused as to why you want to stop thinking about things. I've felt dead before, but that actually happens for me when I have nothing to occupy my mind.

    A lot of this seems related to my idea that INFP's are one of the more concentrated Idealists, and fit into the group "Quasi-Artisans," meaning they have SP tendencies.

    Anyway, I hope you feel better soon. That doesn't sound like it feels very good.

  9. #9
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    You sound to me like an INFP in need of a CAUSE. An INFP without a CAUSE is a very sad and ineffectual creature. That is only natural. Once you have your CAUSE, you will find yourself doing some stuff which doesn't seem like stuff you would do. A lot of it will look like what you've said you're looking for. You will also find yourself no long defined by sadness so much, though that will never leave entirely. Still, you won't sit around for hours trying to define exactly what kind of sadness you are currently feeling. Find your CAUSE, stick to it, fight for it, draw the line in the sand. The center won't hold, but by the time it caves in you should be 10 years further down the track. There are less CAUSES further down the track, but fortunately there is also more perspective and thus less clarity. So which CAUSE should you pick? Aye, there's the rub. It must be meaningful, because you are pledging your unending, undying, everlasting devotion to it for at least 2 years. It must make a difference, unless you would prefer to take the route of nobly sacrificing yourself to a futile CAUSE. Many INFPs do. It must fit in with your ultimate, bedrock core value (there is only one), because you are an INFP. Good luck.

  10. #10
    To the top of the world arcticangel02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cordiform View Post
    I was in a pretty great mood a few minutes ago, but then it sort of ... fell out of me. Yesterday I approached strangers and initiated conversation, went out in public in a ridiculous hat and gleefully watched people out of the corner of my eye, and decided that I want to go hang-gliding in the relatively near future. Well, I actually feel pretty good right now, too. Just sort of ... blunted.

    Now let me show you my pRoBlUmZ...
    First off, !

    I recognise that blunted, sort of dull feeling. I am, generally, a positive enough person to not mind it, but there are times when I feel so dull and boring and blah, that I just wish I could be, yeah, more explosive and alive!

    I'm so placid and peaceful and pleasant all the time, and while yes, in the end it is most comfortable state for me (because more than anything I want to be liked by people), I do tend to envy those people who are just bubbling with emotion.

    And so, once or twice, I've just gone for it and acted. I was in the fortunate position of having to spend a weekend with a group of fun people around my age that I'd only just met and would likely not see again, which is just perfect for trying out being a new you. And so, I did. I just went, what the hell, and was chatty, bubbly, charming, self-absorbed, and so on. It was rather exhilerating, because I was the center of attention like I rarely am normally, and people listened to me and I didn't care whether I was making a fool of myself, or what their opinions of me were, because I wouldn't really ever see these people again. (Although, I do cringe a little, now, at what some of them must have thought of me. Hah. Oh well.)

    But I also learned that it's tiring! I can't do that every day. I'm not that person, and as much as it might work for someone else, ultimately, I'm going to be happier when I'm much more toned down. Sooner or later I'll have no choice but to revert back to my natural state of pleasant outgoingness. I also don't like being so careless around my close friends - I feel like I owe them more than to be some airheaded chick who never stops talking and never listens. I care what they think of me. And, in the end, I am more of a listener, and I am genuinely interested by people and what they have to say.

    In other words - by just throwing myself out there (and after the terrifying first moments when I was sure everyone was going to just think I was silly and annoying and ignore me) I discovered elements, or parts of that 'act', that I could use naturally, without having to expend as much frenetic energy to act and pretend. It has helped me be a more confident person in general. But, yeah, I'm not always that person.

    Yes, sometimes I still wish I could be like that every day, but now I know that I can be, if I need to, if the mood strikes me, if I want. And that helps.

    Although I categorize myself as an E, it's a low one, nearing borderline. For a while I was unsure if I was an INFP or an ENFP. I think a lot of that is maturing and just becoming more confident in yourself. Three or four years ago, you would NEVER have guessed I was an E. I was such a quiet, dreamy kid.

    Now, I'm coming out my shell. I'm generally comfortable around strangers and enjoy socializing, but I still get struck by awkwardness and shyness from time to time. Everyone does.

    I think, like GZA said, the place to start is doing things impulsively. Even if they're just small things like taking random walks places, it's a perfect starting place. At first it will feel wierd and awkward, but before long you'll feel wonderful that you just threw off your fears and went for it!

    And yes, I know this post is all about me and very little about helpful suggestions for you, but I hope you identify with some of it, and that it might help, somehow.
    Last edited by arcticangel02; 11-12-2007 at 03:43 AM.
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