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  1. #1
    Senior Member mochajava's Avatar
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    Default INFJs and self-confidence

    What do people think about INFJs and self-confidence? Are there any trends? I read Vicky Jo's website and "handbook for life" for INFJs, which can all be found here. There's some great stuff once you get past the quirky formatting. Anyway - she talks about INFJs and self-esteem, saying that it's often low. And other sites have said things like INFJs are most likely to seek out therapists in dealing with their lives (I can find it if anyone wants).

    What do you all think? Is there a trend towards low self-confidence or self-esteem among INFJs?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mochajava View Post
    What do people think about INFJs and self-confidence? Are there any trends? I read Vicky Jo's website and "handbook for life" for INFJs, which can all be found here. There's some great stuff once you get past the quirky formatting. Anyway - she talks about INFJs and self-esteem, saying that it's often low. And other sites have said things like INFJs are most likely to seek out therapists in dealing with their lives (I can find it if anyone wants).

    What do you all think? Is there a trend towards low self-confidence or self-esteem among INFJs?
    I have a feeling that INFJ's tend to overanalyze things and problems and may have a harder time letting things go. This may lead to lower self-confidence.

  3. #3
    Patron Saint Of Smileys Gloriana's Avatar
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    It seems so, especially for really young people who type INFJ. I think it probably related to how complex this type tends to be, and how misunderstood they are by the majority of folks around them. For me personally, it took me a very long time to realize the way I thought, felt, and did things wasn't necessarily 'wrong' or 'bad', it just wasn't common or everyday.

    I readily admit I absolutely struggle with self-esteem issues and confidence. I think sometimes I prefer being alone because when I'm alone I'm understood and don't have to explain, justify, or defend my my approach to life. I get things done just like everyone else, I take care of my responsibilities just like everyone else, I spend time with those I love and care about just like everyone else. It's just I tend to do these things in very different ways.

    I sometimes feel like it's me against an army when it comes time to go out into the world, and it can be very exhausting and painful in some cases to do so. With so many people reacting to my methods and preferences like I need to be 'cured', I really start wondering if I'm some weirdo. It's hard being one person up against the opinion of dozens of people. Feeling bad because other people react with rejection or criticism can easily bleed over into feeling bad about myself on my own - even if logically I know I just do things differently.

    I often ponder "Well, what IS self esteem and confidence anyway?". There are stretches of time I can feel very confident about who I am and how I do things even with loads of people around me not understanding or criticizing. Still, I mean who wouldn't have trouble hanging on to that if left and right people just kept rejecting those things? I might logically know it's just their opinion and nothing is actually wrong with me, but the desire for acceptance and understanding from others is still there.

    Also, I think INFJ might have the tendency for confidence issues - depression - anxiety because of how ever-present the thought processing IS and how intricately this type of person considers, thinks, evaluates, etc.
    "Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get, but if you work really hard, and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you...amazing things will happen" --Conan O'Brien

  4. #4
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    It has taken me quite a long time to develop self-confidence. I think it's a long slow process and part of maturing for an INFJ. I have found a surprising number of friends over the years who understand me quite well or at least make definite efforts to do so, and that has helped a lot in making me realise that there's nothing wrong with me and in fact there's a lot right with me.

    I even say this to people sometimes - I was much more shy and withdrawn when I was younger. I think I am still shy, withdrawn and afraid of being hurt. I have just developed a lot of coping mechanisms and ways of dealing with being shy, and better social skills - and as a result, apparently I even look like quite an outgoing person. And the coping mechanisms, etc aren't purely a facade. It doesn't mean you have to stop being an introvert or force yourself to be something you aren't - it just opens up more possibilities to you.
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    Senior Member ItsAGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pitseleh View Post
    I have a feeling that INFJ's tend to overanalyze things and problems and may have a harder time letting things go. This may lead to lower self-confidence.
    I also think our internet intensity (which could be a force for good) often scares people away or is TOO much of a mystery for most to want to bother with, and that only worsens the issue; leading to further thoughts and struggles and so on and so forth. I often end up wondering what it is that's so wrong about me that I can get so little attention or interest from others... and I need both, and for both to be genuinely given (as my seeking it out makes me feel as if anything I get isn't real.)
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  6. #6
    Senior Member mochajava's Avatar
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    From Gloriana:
    For me personally, it took me a very long time to realize the way I thought, felt, and did things wasn't necessarily 'wrong' or 'bad', it just wasn't common or everyday.
    This is true for me as well. Part of it might be cultural context, but I remember being told things like "why can't you be more easygoing like your sister?" and being called "sensitive" as though it were a bad thing (by my parents who tested HSP!) That was quite hurtful, for sure.

    From Gloriana:
    Also, I think INFJ might have the tendency for confidence issues - depression - anxiety because of how ever-present the thought processing IS and how intricately this type of person considers, thinks, evaluates, etc.
    So true. My friends will say things like, "I'm applying to medical school!" and their GPA, activities, MCAT study techniques (or lack thereof) and essay that I've just edited will come to mind. I get scared they don't have a chance. They, however, are blithely confident. Is it possible that they are just not thinking about these issues? I thought it had to do with race/upbringing -- if he/she was constantly affirmed as a kid, he/she tends to assume that I have an interest in everything he/she says... This type of behavior can be a big trigger for me, reminding me of my own lack of self-confidence because I would NEVER go on talking about something without some positive input from the person w/ whom I was speaking.

    Sometimes all of these things make me question if part of my introversion is driven by the fact that being alone is that it's the safest way to be... not as much criticism, judgment, or Fe when you're on your own.

    ItsAGuy:
    I also think our internet intensity (which could be a force for good) often scares people away or is TOO much of a mystery for most to want to bother with, and that only worsens the issue; leading to further thoughts and struggles and so on and so forth.
    Nice avatar, ItsAGUy, and welcome to the forum! Thanks for responding to my query -- can you explain what you mean by internet intensity? (Like my TWO blogs, mayhap?).

    Thanks, SilkRoad. Hm - not sure how personal to get, but - I think that my social skills are pretty good? No one thinks of me as shy for many years... people do think of me as social or outgoing (it always freaks me out when I hear this though). My energy gets tapped out quick, but it's good while it's there.

    I guess there's an INFJ lack of self-confidence, which can come from just feeling and being so darned different growing up (which we are). And INFJs, I think, do analyze and then get told "you think too much". No, I just think how much I think... please meet me in the middle!

    Do you think INFJs respond worse to abusive situations than other types? Or worse to depression triggers? I recall someone saying on the forum that "Many INFJs seem to have a history of abuse" and I was like, "wait - that would mean one causes this other, otherwise probably would say abuse is no more common for INFJs than others".

  7. #7
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mochajava View Post

    Thanks, SilkRoad. Hm - not sure how personal to get, but - I think that my social skills are pretty good? No one thinks of me as shy for many years... people do think of me as social or outgoing (it always freaks me out when I hear this though). My energy gets tapped out quick, but it's good while it's there.
    Yup, pretty much exactly the same for me

    Quote Originally Posted by mochajava View Post
    Sometimes all of these things make me question if part of my introversion is driven by the fact that being alone is that it's the safest way to be... not as much criticism, judgment, or Fe when you're on your own.
    EDIT: I relate to this as well. I am really torn between a fear of getting hurt (and it is a fear, because it is so damn painful and debilitating) by others, and needing to reach out to others and remind myself that most people in my life don't hurt me, or not much.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member ItsAGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mochajava View Post
    Nice avatar, ItsAGUy, and welcome to the forum! Thanks for responding to my query -- can you explain what you mean by internet intensity? (Like my TWO blogs, mayhap?).
    ACTUALLY, I meant internal, not internet... didn't even notice the slip.

    Quote Originally Posted by mochajava View Post
    "Many INFJs seem to have a history of abuse" and I was like, "wait - that would mean one causes this other, otherwise probably would say abuse is no more common for INFJs than others".
    I certainly had a stable and kind family, but perhaps all the isolation and taunting and cruelty from other kids in school could be considered abuse. But I suspect that comes from being the smart kid INFJ than being the smart kid INFJ comes from it.
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  9. #9
    Member Rachel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mochajava View Post
    From Gloriana: This is true for me as well. Part of it might be cultural context, but I remember being told things like "why can't you be more easygoing like your sister?" and being called "sensitive" as though it were a bad thing (by my parents who tested HSP!) That was quite hurtful, for sure.

    From Gloriana: So true. My friends will say things like, "I'm applying to medical school!" and their GPA, activities, MCAT study techniques (or lack thereof) and essay that I've just edited will come to mind. I get scared they don't have a chance. They, however, are blithely confident. Is it possible that they are just not thinking about these issues? I thought it had to do with race/upbringing -- if he/she was constantly affirmed as a kid, he/she tends to assume that I have an interest in everything he/she says... This type of behavior can be a big trigger for me, reminding me of my own lack of self-confidence because I would NEVER go on talking about something without some positive input from the person w/ whom I was speaking.

    Yeah, i have a friend who is very similar. I think she is INFP but not sure. And i'm often curious/annoyed at how positively confident she is, even when she's completely wrong. Funny thing is, my friend tried for a program, and was very unrealistic about her chances of getting in, and she didn't get in unfortunately. I knew her chances were slim, because she underestimated what it took to get in. I knew this because i was already in a similar kind of program and on occasion gave her advice/tips about what's important when applying. But she was naive. She wanted to be accepted with whatever she applied with, which wasn't enough.

    I know this very arrogant/self-righteous in the way i'm relating her story, but it reminds me of the contrast between us. I just can't see myself expecting things to automatically work out just because i want them to. I can't pretend or walk around in a daze of positive or blind self confidence. I think this is because i'm always wondering "what if . . . if it doesn't pan out the way i think." I'm going to be very disappointed if i've built up my expectations only to have them knocked down.

    Probably not the best approach to success and i know my criticisms of my friend are unfair, but i mentioned it to illustrate the point that as a friend, i'd want someone's input just to make sure i'm seeing the bigger picture. It feels a bit misguided to walk around in blind faith.

  10. #10
    Member Sailboat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gloriana View Post
    It seems so, especially for really young people who type INFJ. I think it probably related to how complex this type tends to be, and how misunderstood they are by the majority of folks around them. For me personally, it took me a very long time to realize the way I thought, felt, and did things wasn't necessarily 'wrong' or 'bad', it just wasn't common or everyday.

    I readily admit I absolutely struggle with self-esteem issues and confidence. I think sometimes I prefer being alone because when I'm alone I'm understood and don't have to explain, justify, or defend my my approach to life. I get things done just like everyone else, I take care of my responsibilities just like everyone else, I spend time with those I love and care about just like everyone else. It's just I tend to do these things in very different ways.

    I sometimes feel like it's me against an army when it comes time to go out into the world, and it can be very exhausting and painful in some cases to do so. With so many people reacting to my methods and preferences like I need to be 'cured', I really start wondering if I'm some weirdo. It's hard being one person up against the opinion of dozens of people. Feeling bad because other people react with rejection or criticism can easily bleed over into feeling bad about myself on my own - even if logically I know I just do things differently.

    I often ponder "Well, what IS self esteem and confidence anyway?". There are stretches of time I can feel very confident about who I am and how I do things even with loads of people around me not understanding or criticizing. Still, I mean who wouldn't have trouble hanging on to that if left and right people just kept rejecting those things? I might logically know it's just their opinion and nothing is actually wrong with me, but the desire for acceptance and understanding from others is still there.

    Also, I think INFJ might have the tendency for confidence issues - depression - anxiety because of how ever-present the thought processing IS and how intricately this type of person considers, thinks, evaluates, etc.
    Can you explain some of the different ways? I'd like to compare them to my own.
    Pick up your crazy heart and give it one more try.

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