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  1. #1
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    Default Soul Searching ...

    I am 24 and have been "soul searching" for years. It seems to be a never ending quest - I never understand myself - why I feel how I feel or think what I think, and no one else seems to "get" me either.

    I often am exhausted because I tend to put on a "happy-go-lucky" face on to make people more comfortable, because I worry that if I am "myself" people may mistake me as rude/mean/arrogant/etc. I've done this since I was a child.

    This Thursday will mark my last day at a job that I hate - loathe is a better word. My husband and I have decided to make a fresh start in a new place - and part of my journey will be learning who I truly am.

    I have taken several personality tests within the past several months, just trying to get a clue about what sets me apart from people. I am always misunderstood. My type always ends up being "INFJ" and it describes me to a "T", but since it is so rare to be an INFJ, I wonder if I am wrong?

  2. #2
    Member Sailboat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASublett View Post
    I am 24 and have been "soul searching" for years. It seems to be a never ending quest - I never understand myself - why I feel how I feel or think what I think, and no one else seems to "get" me either.

    I often am exhausted because I tend to put on a "happy-go-lucky" face on to make people more comfortable, because I worry that if I am "myself" people may mistake me as rude/mean/arrogant/etc. I've done this since I was a child.

    This Thursday will mark my last day at a job that I hate - loathe is a better word. My husband and I have decided to make a fresh start in a new place - and part of my journey will be learning who I truly am.

    I have taken several personality tests within the past several months, just trying to get a clue about what sets me apart from people. I am always misunderstood. My type always ends up being "INFJ" and it describes me to a "T", but since it is so rare to be an INFJ, I wonder if I am wrong?
    You sound so much like me. I am trying to figure myself out all the time. Why I am the way I am, why I do what I do. I am always looking for answers, and trying to improve myself on a daily basis pretty much. I also put on a happy face, and I am afraid of people seeing my negative emotions. It's because you'll have to let them in, and INFJ's don't let many people in. We think we will be disliked and judged if we aren't happy and singing, spinning in circles, with rainbows shooting out of our eyeballs. Okay, maybe not to that extreme, but I know what you mean by kind of putting on a show to the outside world.

    I doubt it's wrong if it's always the type you end up being.

  3. #3
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    Also, are INFJ's more prone to depression and ADHD (inattentive type)? I was recently diagnosed with both ...

  4. #4
    ..... Intricate Mystic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASublett View Post
    I am 24 and have been "soul searching" for years. It seems to be a never ending quest - I never understand myself - why I feel how I feel or think what I think, and no one else seems to "get" me either.

    I often am exhausted because I tend to put on a "happy-go-lucky" face on to make people more comfortable, because I worry that if I am "myself" people may mistake me as rude/mean/arrogant/etc. I've done this since I was a child.

    This Thursday will mark my last day at a job that I hate - loathe is a better word. My husband and I have decided to make a fresh start in a new place - and part of my journey will be learning who I truly am.

    I have taken several personality tests within the past several months, just trying to get a clue about what sets me apart from people. I am always misunderstood. My type always ends up being "INFJ" and it describes me to a "T", but since it is so rare to be an INFJ, I wonder if I am wrong?
    Quote Originally Posted by Sailboat View Post
    You sound so much like me. I am trying to figure myself out all the time. Why I am the way I am, why I do what I do. I am always looking for answers, and trying to improve myself on a daily basis pretty much. I also put on a happy face, and I am afraid of people seeing my negative emotions. It's because you'll have to let them in, and INFJ's don't let many people in. We think we will be disliked and judged if we aren't happy and singing, spinning in circles, with rainbows shooting out of our eyeballs. Okay, maybe not to that extreme, but I know what you mean by kind of putting on a show to the outside world.

    I doubt it's wrong if it's always the type you end up being.
    I think that certain personality types, in particular, prefer us INFJ's putting on a happy face all of the time. For example, my ENFP mom tends to get impatient with my seriousness after awhile and wants me to be lighthearted like her. If I were lighthearted like her most of the time, however, I have no doubt she would get annoyed at me for being vapid, because she respects my depth, complexity, and intelligence. Also, my IsTP husband gives me the feeling at times, as well, that I need to be Little Miss Mary Sunshine for him, yet if I were to be that way always, he would miss my deep strangeness and quirkiness that he seems to find so fascinating and amusing. I think they both get annoyed with me when I am depressed... apparently a depressed INFJ is not a pleasant person to be around. In contrast,when I am truly happy, I can be quite inspiring to people around me. I think people like me best when I am feeling genuinely happy myself. None of us should feel like we have to be smiling and cheerful all of the time, to everyone in our lives, but perhaps working on truly being your happiest possible self will let you exude genuine happiness more and it won't involve putting on a mask?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Intricate Mystic View Post
    I think that certain personality types, in particular, prefer us INFJ's putting on a happy face all of the time. For example, my ENFP mom tends to get impatient with my seriousness after awhile and wants me to be lighthearted like her. If I were lighthearted like her most of the time, however, I have no doubt she would get annoyed at me for being vapid, because she respects my depth, complexity, and intelligence. Also, my IsTP husband gives me the feeling at times, as well, that I need to be Little Miss Mary Sunshine for him, yet if I were to be that way always, he would miss my deep strangeness and quirkiness that he seems to find so fascinating and amusing. I think they both get annoyed with me when I am depressed... apparently a depressed INFJ is not a pleasant person to be around. In contrast,when I am truly happy, I can be quite inspiring to people around me. I think people like me best when I am feeling genuinely happy myself. None of us should feel like we have to be smiling and cheerful all of the time, to everyone in our lives, but perhaps working on truly being your happiest possible self will let you exude genuine happiness more and it won't involve putting on a mask?
    This is the hard part - it's seemingly impossible for me! I wish I could shut my brain off, re-start it and be able to be satisfied with things ... and be comfortable with being my true self in front of people. It doesn't help that I come from a very judgmental family who talks crap about every living and breathing person on this planet! I've put on a facade for so long I can't seem to stop - especially at work. And half the time I feel like a moron because I know I look like a fool being "happy" all the time - but it's almost like a defense mechanism?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Chris_in_Orbit's Avatar
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    Sounds like you know what your problem is (putting on a mask)

    You have a fresh start so maybe try to do as suggested and just be yourself. You have yourself on a weird downward spiral. You want to know and understand yourself but you hide who you are from others behind a mask which probably ends up confusing you.

    Its hard, but the best thing you can do for yourself is to take other people's minds off your radar. You don't want to be perceived as mean and all that other stuff but the truth is that it's out of your control.

    You can either keep hiding behind a mask or try to be yourself and forget what everyone might be thinking about you.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASublett View Post
    I often am exhausted because I tend to put on a "happy-go-lucky" face on to make people more comfortable, because I worry that if I am "myself" people may mistake me as rude/mean/arrogant/etc.

    Why are you so worried of being mistaken as rude or arrogant?

  8. #8
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    don't worry about being assertive, all part of being introvert. Be glad that you get to have depth, and that only mature people respect that.

  9. #9
    Senior Member scortia's Avatar
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    INFJs "soul search" for their entire lives and never reach full enlightenment. But the joy comes from the search imho. I couldn't perceive my life being half as enjoyable without my rich inner life. Can't put it into words, or explain it in any way, but it's something that I thrive on... even the bad that comes with it is all wonderful in the end.

    Just enjoy the ride. Some things will become clear, then maybe those things will change and you have new discoveries to make about yourself. Think about all of the people who never acknowledge the bad or unusual about themselves and what you have because you do.

  10. #10
    Senor Membrane
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris_in_Orbit View Post
    Sounds like you know what your problem is (putting on a mask)

    You have a fresh start so maybe try to do as suggested and just be yourself.
    Agreed.

    In my opinion the most annoying thing about a mask is that you will not attract the kind of people that would like the real you. The real you might scare some people away, but why would you want to hang out with people that want you to be smiling so that it hurts? Fresh starts are always good for taking off masks.

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