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  1. #1
    Senior Member Abstract Thinker's Avatar
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    Default The bittersweet burden of INFP

    I actually envy those of you on here who question your type. Those questions come from being balanced in some ways I think. Me? I'm the INFP poster child. No balance at all.

    It hurts, how much I feel. And it scares me, how trippy my inner life is. And it causes me life problems, how "flexible" I am with time and plans. And although I'm very good socially (charming as can be), I so look forward to coming back to my "cave" and being alone for hours on end. I visualize it as a little slice of heaven as I'm walking through the city to my apartment, and I imagine what it will look like this time, how its vibe will be affected by what I was just doing and where I just was. And then I open the door, and I'm home, and it's so me, and it's not affected at all. And all the stress just falls away.

    Today, I'm sitting here watching "Something the Lord Made," and I've been crying about every five minutes, in part because of the amazing medical advancements this movie documents, but mostly because of Mos Def's incredible performance. I love his acting. I'd watch him in anything. And "Sixteen Blocks," have you seen him in that? OMG. Seeing this kind of brilliance beaks my heart in the best way.

    And yesterday, I saw a guy running with his gorgeous Golden Retriever, and that dog was so happy, nipping at his master's hand in a playful way, and I swear, that dog was smiling. And yes, I cried, right there in the middle of busy midtown DC. Had to pause for a while and regroup just so I could go back upstairs and get back to work.

    I just got a text from my best friend on the other side of the country. He actually texted me while working out to tell me that my music is inspiring his workout, and he can't wait for me to write some more.

    And I got an email from another great friend first thing this morning, who said he's sad about my recent panic attacks, and that he loves me, and that he is my "brother."

    And I got a text from my beautiful and wonderful ex-wife about an hour ago, telling me she's sitting on a beach, thinking about me, listening to Bob Marley, and she told me she loves me and that "every little thing is gonna be alright."

    Did these messages make me happy? Of course. I'm so lucky to be so loved, and I would kill or die without pause for any of these people. But mainly these messages just made me cry, and deeply. Why? Who knows?

    God it hurts being this INFP. I feel doomed to feel so much, and it makes my heart literally hurt every single day, but listen: I wouldn't trade it for the world. Conflicted? You betcha.

    So tonight I will probably do several different drugs, and get higher than I've ever been... again. Why? To escape myself, to escape this pain, and to take the trip even deeper. And I know I'll feel something new tonight while I'm high. And as much as all this feeling hurts, I need new feelings and emotions all the time, just to keep me going.

    God I'm a mess.

  2. #2
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Do you think that INFPs have a higher than average issue with addictions because they are in search of new emotions and also because they can be wounded easily? I don't mean that in a demeaning way, but I sense from what you are writing that while you dislike some of the pain associated with the way you see the world, you also relish it. It sounds like you are not concerned about using drugs as a way to cope, but see them as enhancing what is already there. I ask this because two of the INFPs very close to be both have had serious addiction problems - one with alcohol and gaming, the other with hoarding and food. They both had pretty tumultuous childhoods, which could maybe be a contributing factor, but I wondered if they too kind of appreciate what those escapes can do for them enough that they don't really want to abandon them...

  3. #3
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    I kind of know what you mean.... I have no question of my type, and haven't since I grasped the theory beyond the basic 4 letters. I feel very much an INFP cliche in some ways, except ONE, which is, I don't feel broken. Not anymore. I used to, but it can be an excuse of sorts....

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Do you think that INFPs have a higher than average issue with addictions because they are in search of new emotions and also because they can be wounded easily?
    NO.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

  4. #4
    Senior Member Nonsensical's Avatar
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    You'd miss the pain if it was gone, man. Think about that.
    Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way?

  5. #5
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I don't think that he's saying he minds the pain though exactly.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Nonsensical's Avatar
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    It makes him who he is.

    Good man, AT.
    Is it that by its indefiniteness it shadows forth the heartless voids and immensities of the universe, and thus stabs us from behind with the thought of annihilation, when beholding the white depths of the milky way?

  7. #7
    Symbolic Herald Vasilisa's Avatar
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    Abstract, I'm not an INFP, but I can relate to what you describe: being very much at the mercy of intense internal feelings and notions and seeing that most of the people around me seemingly don't have such reactions and feeling weak and overwhelmed because of it.

    Being sensitive like this is exceptionally bittersweet. And conflicting. And stressful, especially when you encounter people who believe it needs to be "fixed" and thats by being them. But its also aggravated when one is very isolated, too. So, I just want to let you know I hear you and feel you and I suspect so many people can relate, but maybe they feel conflicted like you do and demoralized. They aren't going to express it in public. Its going to be ridiculed, and its scary.

    So, while I want you to feel validated and don't want to lecture and instruct anyone on how they should be, the thing about the drug use (you explained really well why you rely on it) seems to me like it is keeping you out of practice with being yourself, with all the feeling and depth therein. And whenever you're out of practice being or doing something, getting back to it becomes harder. And just personally here, I feel the more practice I have had in life simply being me, sensitive nature and all, confronting life in all its tragedy and joy has grown me and helped me cope with my nature and find balance. I would truly hope it would be so with you, too. Take heart!



    There are beautiful, in balance INFPs out there making the world a better place in their extraordinary way right now. You aren't doomed.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Abstract Thinker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Do you think that INFPs have a higher than average issue with addictions because they are in search of new emotions and also because they can be wounded easily?
    For me, it is more of the former. I'm no expert at this (still trying to grasp function order), but I'll say it like this: as an INFP, I am comfortable in the surreal and the fantastical, and, seeking even more emotions like you said, drugs are a good way to expand that world. (Weed, Acid, Shrooms, Ecstasy, etc.) As I've said on this forum before, I'm not advocating drugs. For many, they are devastating. I've witnessed this myself and lost a few friends. Somehow though, I've managed to keep a grip on it. I'm 46 years old, gainfully employed, and square with the world. I just enjoy the trip. The trippier the better. It's like a playground.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I don't mean that in a demeaning way, but I sense from what you are writing that while you dislike some of the pain associated with the way you see the world, you also relish it.
    Re: demeaning: Not offended at all. You rock, fidelia! And yes, I do relish it. It does hurt, but I guess the term "sweet pain" comes to mind. It's like I'm addicted to the emotions, much more than I am addicted to any substance.


    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    It sounds like you are not concerned about using drugs as a way to cope, but see them as enhancing what is already there.
    Enhancing... yes. And not concerned at all. I've never hurt anyone, never stolen, never lied, and never caused any trouble from the drugs. I'm a happy and responsible partier!


    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    They both had pretty tumultuous childhoods, which could maybe be a contributing factor, but I wondered if they too kind of appreciate what those escapes can do for them enough that they don't really want to abandon them...
    Funny thing is, my childhood was perfect. It really was. I hope I didn't sound too "whiney" in my post. I do love being an INFP, but having so many emotional things happen to me in such rapid succession the last couple of days, and having seen so many appreciation threads for INFPs lately (thanks y'all!), I guess I just felt like talking about a bit of the down side, at least for me.

    Also, about the drugs... and I'm goin stream of consciousness here: again, I'm 46, divorced (but BFFs with her ), no kids, no mortgage, no responsibilities, really, except to my friends and family. No pets right now (odd for me), so I guess it makes it easier for me to use and enjoy substances without a lot of the problems that others might run into. I'm a "funtional junkie."

  9. #9
    Senior Member Abstract Thinker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    I kind of know what you mean.... I have no question of my type, and haven't since I grasped the theory beyond the basic 4 letters. I feel very much an INFP cliche in some ways, except ONE, which is, I don't feel broken. Not anymore. I used to, but it can be an excuse of sorts...
    I really like your posts, OA. Because you are definitely INFP, but you very much seem to be a healthy INFP. So I read them carefully, almost as a model of what I might be one day.

    Me? Definitely not healthy, but not altogether unhealthy either. Trying to find my way in my new life (and this big city!) since the divorce and the too-soon ending of our (mine and my ex-wife's) budding music career.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Abstract Thinker's Avatar
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    @ OneWithSoul: "You'd miss the pain if it was gone, man. Think about that."

    Yes, I would. Well-observed my friend.

    @ fidelia: "I don't think that he's saying he minds the pain though exactly."

    Again, you're right. I don't mind it, but again, bittersweet. I know exactly what that odd word means.

    @ OneWithSoul: It makes him who he is. Good man, AT.

    You guys are brilliant. And thanks so much, OWS.

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