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  1. #11
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    I know what you are talking about. It's like if I am given a leadership role, I think of it exactly like that, it is a role and not in conflict with my real self. I assume that people know it is a role, and won't think of me as a hypocrite or fake, or something. I can change myself into many different roles, kinda talk myself into having some set of thoughts in the situation, it is very much like acting for me. But this is not something I can keep up. That's why I wouldn't be a good leader every day from nine to five. I can do it for a time, but my real self is by far easier for me. It can even feel like I am sacrificing something to change into the person I need to become. So, I don't do it for nothing, I need to feel there is a reason for the "sacrifice".
    Yes.. sacrifice.. very good way to put it.

    I'm mostly asking because I wasn't sure if INFPs got out of that state every once in awhile (Because I think I might be one, but I do get out of that state occassionally). In the example of auditioning that I used, that was definitely not worth the sacrifice for me. So I couldn't do it. Not to mention it was just a hobby, not something worth putting myself through too much humiliation for. It's funny though that I couldn't pull off the role required of "auditioning" (a role that might have led me to play a variety of better roles ).

  2. #12
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udog View Post
    My executive summary would involve the fact that we tend to not fit into our environments as a child, which makes us feel like outsiders that have to straddle the line between fitting in and being ourselves.
    Something like this

    Not all INFPs or even most have low self-esteems though. Sometimes, a strong sense of humility is confused with low self-esteem. The INFP may see the accepted cultural practice to self promote as distasteful.

    I know on job interviews, I have a hard time "talking myself up" - I feel like a braggart. I suppose it can come across to others that I don't feel confident in my abilities or even know what I am doing. I really have to clench my teeth and get through that BS, because to me, it just reeks of egotism. However, I DO see my good qualities and have a pretty positive view of myself overall, but I feel like these traits should stand on their own. Whenever I have to tell people about them or choose to tell people, I feel incredibly pretentious. I think part of it is also not knowing the appropriate way to communicate these positive feelings without being too intense (and intensity may seem arrogant in this situation) - that's Fe territory.

    Interestingly, Gifts Differing says ISFPs are the Fi-dom more prone to low self-worth, or an exaggerated sense of humility. This is because they are sometimes more painfully aware of how much reality differs from their inner Fi ideals, and this may make them feel helpless.

    Most Fi-doms experience invalidation as a child - someone tells you what you feel is wrong because its not what everyone else feels. This is often not directly told to you, but observed and noted when comparing others to yourself or from their response to you. Since what we feel IS who we are, it can amount to feeling worthless - you have no place in the world, you're defective, etc. You can start to believe the message that you don't make sense or don't have anything of value to offer the real world.

    I was always a little too feisty for those feelings to take over as a kid, and I had a lot of positive reinforcement that countered the negative feedback. I definitely felt alienated, but I tended to celebrate being "unique" to cope with that. As a teen, I fell into the Fi-Si loop for awhile (probably due to exaggerated teenage emotions); I was focusing on negative past experiences and feelings to the point where it affected my self-esteem. I withdrew from people, to reject them before they could reject me. However, as an adult I don't find myself in that mindset very often at all.
    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

  3. #13
    Yeah, I can fly. Aleksei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    What would cause an INFP to have low self esteem?
    I like to vary on the details a bit, but the punchline is: being INFP.
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  4. #14
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    Something like this

    Not all INFPs or even most have low self-esteems though. Sometimes, a strong sense of humility is confused with low self-esteem. The INFP may see the accepted cultural practice to self promote as distasteful.

    I know on job interviews, I have a hard time "talking myself up" - I feel like a braggart. I suppose it can come across to others that I don't feel confident in my abilities or even know what I am doing. I really have to clench my teeth and get through that BS, because to me, it just reeks of egotism. However, I DO see my good qualities and have a pretty positive view of myself overall, but I feel like these traits should stand on their own. Whenever I have to tell people about them or choose to tell people, I feel incredibly pretentious. I think part of it is also not knowing the appropriate way to communicate these positive feelings without being too intense (and intensity may seem arrogant in this situation) - that's Fe territory.
    Yeah I totally identify with this; the whole fear of coming off in the wrong way and going to great lengths to counteract the misinterpretation before it even occurs (if it was to happen at all).

    I think it also comes from the perfectionistic aspect. Anything I do or create I view with a highly critical eye, to the point where I only see flaws. In my eyes, the positives are simply rendered irrelevant by the mere existence of imperfections. This can give the impression of my being insecure and inept when its actually the impossibly high standards I have for myself. I can't talk myself up for this reason because not matter how great I am at something, I feel I could be better and that completely distracts my attentions.
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

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    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte

  5. #15
    Senior Member Synapse's Avatar
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    Due to our very nature of thinking and feeling in a baffling way to what constitutes safe for beings of physicality, we are in many ways removed from the processes that create our worlds very early on in our childhoods towards ones that don't fit into our experiences well. As such we are seeing through other peoples eyes rather than our own, we are being told off that our experiences are invalid and that other peoples experiences must be adopted in order to live as a functioning member of society.

    We are basically switching off the aspects that are most necessary for us to feel safe. And then trust goes in our abilities as would the internal integrity and instead of believing in our selves we start to go inward, believe we are inferior for thinking and imagining the way we do because everybody else says so in our lives. When this becomes a reinforcing experience would self belief be an inherently INFP characteristic, no.

    Would self esteem and assertion then be our validation into what we know and trust, no. Instead our spiral into self doubt, chameleon like adaptability, indeed, low self esteem and anxieties sky rocket. For then we have lost our identity what it means to be at the leading edge of who we are and who we are is great. Except we are people pleasers and as people pleasers we tend to accommodate others before ourselves.

  6. #16
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    Yeah I totally identify with this; the whole fear of coming off in the wrong way and going to great lengths to counteract the misinterpretation before it even occurs (if it was to happen at all).

    I think it also comes from the perfectionistic aspect. Anything I do or create I view with a highly critical eye, to the point where I only see flaws. In my eyes, the positives are simply rendered irrelevant by the mere existence of imperfections. This can give the impression of my being insecure and inept when its actually the impossibly high standards I have for myself. I can't talk myself up for this reason because not matter how great I am at something, I feel I could be better and that completely distracts my attentions.
    I hate talking myself up too.. it's a bit obnoxious. But then.. for whatever reason, I realize that the laws of the world are cruel and suppressive to that ideal. I see a future where it just persists, and nothing happens, nothing changes. That's enough to kick me out of it sometimes.. So I try to detach a little, promote something, and make an effort.

    It also helps when the people ignoring you are being idiots. Perhaps the problem with some INFPs is wanting to believe nobody is an idiot - but they are unfortunately. The higher ideal is to break inner harmony and pity a fool. To not think of it as "competitiveness" but as "education".

    Too much of this though will make you lose your soul, I'm sure. I haven't been doing it myself for awhile..

  7. #17
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    Yeah I totally identify with this; the whole fear of coming off in the wrong way and going to great lengths to counteract the misinterpretation before it even occurs (if it was to happen at all).

    I think it also comes from the perfectionistic aspect. Anything I do or create I view with a highly critical eye, to the point where I only see flaws. In my eyes, the positives are simply rendered irrelevant by the mere existence of imperfections. This can give the impression of my being insecure and inept when its actually the impossibly high standards I have for myself. I can't talk myself up for this reason because not matter how great I am at something, I feel I could be better and that completely distracts my attentions.
    Yes, good point. We have such high ideals, we cannot even meet them, so we're our own worst critics. It's hard to act like you're so great when your flaws are glaringly clear to yourself.

    I sometimes fear that if I talk about something I have done in a positive way, the other person will see the flaws that I see, and then it will appear that I am all talk. I'd rather downplay it and let them see the value on their own....
    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

  8. #18
    Uniqueorn William K's Avatar
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    Good points raised above regarding childhood and humility.

    A couple of other thoughts
    - INFPs tend not to meet the mainstream definitions of success in life. I don't mean we don't have dreams of being successful, but we do tend to be less materialistic about it. Hence there are times when I look at my former classmates and see how successful they are, and feel like I'm a failure.
    - We also have a richer (but not necessarily more accurate) inner world so that is the ideal we are comparing with to measure our success, and as has been said above, we don't meet those standards often.
    - There is also the whole thing about being praised and being the centre of attention. I like it when other people notice what I've said/done and tell me so, but at the same time I'm not comfortable pushing myself out there. It's a real conundrum, this craving for validation yet not wanting to ask for it for fear of being inauthentic. I guess it's because we don't do things that are important to us in half-measures. When we put ourselves on the line for something (like commenting in a thread), we go all in so anything we perceive as an 'attack', no matter how minor, will hurt like hell.
    4w5, Fi>Ne>Ti>Si>Ni>Fe>Te>Se, sp > so > sx

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  9. #19
    Senor Membrane
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    I know on job interviews, I have a hard time "talking myself up" - I feel like a braggart. I suppose it can come across to others that I don't feel confident in my abilities or even know what I am doing. I really have to clench my teeth and get through that BS, because to me, it just reeks of egotism. However, I DO see my good qualities and have a pretty positive view of myself overall, but I feel like these traits should stand on their own. Whenever I have to tell people about them or choose to tell people, I feel incredibly pretentious. I think part of it is also not knowing the appropriate way to communicate these positive feelings without being too intense (and intensity may seem arrogant in this situation) - that's Fe territory.
    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    I think it also comes from the perfectionistic aspect. Anything I do or create I view with a highly critical eye, to the point where I only see flaws. In my eyes, the positives are simply rendered irrelevant by the mere existence of imperfections. This can give the impression of my being insecure and inept when its actually the impossibly high standards I have for myself. I can't talk myself up for this reason because not matter how great I am at something, I feel I could be better and that completely distracts my attentions.
    Yeah, these issues continue to cause trouble for me...

  10. #20
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    Yes, good point. We have such high ideals, we cannot even meet them, so we're our own worst critics. It's hard to act like you're so great when your flaws are glaringly clear to yourself.

    I sometimes fear that if I talk about something I have done in a positive way, the other person will see the flaws that I see, and then it will appear that I am all talk. I'd rather downplay it and let them see the value on their own....
    Definitely that and I also agree with your previous post about hating to talk myself up. I do tend to have high standards, and focus on the flaws of anything I've done rather than seeing the positive aspects. Cutting myself slack and giving myself due credit is an ongoing effort. And since Fi is turned inward by definition, I think we judge more internally than externally.

    Also Ne tends to see infinite possibility which reality always falls far short of. Ne's vision of potential combined with Fi's exacting nature can make for a pattern of seeings one's efforts always fall short of the imagined perfection.

    I think for me, personally, those trends were exacerbated by growing up an INFP in a culture that didn't understand or support my strengths. When one gets judged for one's weaknesses without acknowledgement of one's strengths, it's all too easy to try to adopt the same standards out of practicality alone (since one's internal values aren't getting one anywhere). Then one can become effectively blind to one's own strengths as one tries to force oneself to fit an external mold.

    So I suspect I'm not alone in having that experience, since the strengths of Fi are not those valued and expected early in life. We tend to focus early on matters of internal feeling that many people don't become aware of until the second half of life.

    Of course, it's also true that any type can grow up in an environment that doesn't appreciate their strengths. And no matter what our strengths are, we all have to make it in the real world and deal with what's there.

    Hope that doesn't sound like whining about being an INFP or claiming that we have it rougher than anyone else. We have lots of great strengths, too, but being easy on ourselves isn't necessarily one of them.

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