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  1. #1
    Member HiddenAutumn's Avatar
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    Default How do INFJs deal with their need to be perfect?

    I wanted to know how other INFJs have overcome this overwhelming need to be perfect. I don't know if all INFJs feel that way, but I know a lot of us do. I find the way it affects me the most is when I think I'm going to disappoint someone or I have disappointed someone. Even if it was something small that I did on accident. It gives me the worst anxiety.

    For some reasons it's the most severe in work situations. I'm constantly terrified that I'm going to do something wrong. I just quit my job recently and I was so afraid that my boss was going to be mad at me for quitting. I know it's irrational. Even if he was mad, who cares? But I think it just goes back to this false assumption that I need to be perfect and I don't know how to change it.

  2. #2

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    If you substitute 'perfect' for 'competent' or 'skilled' I can relate better. I can't say there's any trick to moving past it other than realizing you can't (and don't have to) always get things just right and you can't (and don't have to) earn everyone's respect/friendship... I mean, who else does that? No one. So why do I have to? Just gotta learn to carve out your niche, own your mistakes (since you learn so much more from them than your successes anyway), and embrace the flawed humanity that will allow you to connect to "meaningful" others in a meaningful way.

    Hope this helps.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  3. #3
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Personally, I think I accepted some time ago that I'm never going to be perfect.

    But what I struggle with - and perhaps this really is what you're getting at - is not beating myself up forever and ever over the fails in my life. Whether that's in work, human relationships (those especially), or whatever. I find that letting go of the fails, and concentrating on the wins, and accepting that things just go wrong sometimes (and if it's a human relationship sort of thing, accepting that it is probably partly my fault and partly theirs), is very difficult for me. I'm working on it and I am not sure how to get there. I'd be interested to see what others have to say.
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    I find that letting go of the fails, and concentrating on the wins...
    How strange that you would take a diametrically different tack. Is it just our wording that varies, or is it really our approach? What do you mean by "letting go" of mistakes and "concentrating" on successes? Can you elaborate? I am very curious about your answer!
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  5. #5
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Oh, I don't mean not trying to learn from mistakes, or whatever. I do think that's very important and I try to do it and I think I am reasonably successful.

    What I meant by letting go of the fails and concentrating on the wins is mainly that I sort of...beat myself up disproportionately over things that go wrong. Like, one friendship fell apart, or it didn't work with one guy, or something like that, and it seems to overshadow everything else - even the fact that I have numerous people in my life who love and value me and I love and value them and we have worked through many difficult times.

    I just don't want to start feeling that because I make some mistakes or feel negative about certain things, those negative things are what define my life and are symptomatic of my whole life. I do fall into that trap sometimes, and it's almost like I'm devaluing everything good that has happened to me, and the good people and the accomplishments.

    Does that kind of answer your question?
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  6. #6
    Peaced Quay's Avatar
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    Everything everyone else said.....boy has it taken a long time to get to that point! lol

  7. #7
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    Perfect.. I don't know, to me perfect means more than just not being allowed to make a mistake.
    I know I am not perfect but I still wont let myself off the hook when I mess up, I am brutal about it, I am thorough about it.

    I am nowhere near to not treating myself this way.

  8. #8
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    I can't say there's any trick to moving past it other than realizing you can't (and don't have to) always get things just right and you can't (and don't have to) earn everyone's respect/friendship... I mean, who else does that? No one. So why do I have to? Just gotta learn to carve out your niche, own your mistakes (since you learn so much more from them than your successes anyway), and embrace the flawed humanity that will allow you to connect to "meaningful" others in a meaningful way.
    +1 I do have a tendency to be hard on myself- having pretty rigid ideals, and applying them more to myself than others- but I've definitely gotten *a lot* better about letting go of the need to waste energy in directions where there are people who don't deserve it. And with the people who do deserve it, I can honestly say I do the best I can- and put more energy/consideration into how I treat them than most people do for others in their life- so I've slowly become more forgiving as I've gotten older about those shortcomings as well.

    I did struggle with it a lot when I was younger, though. I think, as time passes and frustration with others taking it for granted builds, it becomes easier to let go of feeling the need to do the 'most respectful' ideal thing in every situation. It just becomes clear that it's wasted effort with a lot of people.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  9. #9
    Member HiddenAutumn's Avatar
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    So, I guess, in essence, when I do make a mistake, I need to focus my attention on everything I'm doing right rather than dwelling on the mistake. I'll have to try that.

    The only thing is, some things I do aren't necessarily mistakes. There wasn't anything wrong with me quitting my job, I just felt bad because I told my boss I'd be staying long term and I only stayed 7 months. But it was either that or not have enough money to pay the bills, 'cause I wasn't getting enough hours. So I really shouldn't feel bad about it, when it was necessary for my survival. But I guess I can just focus on the fact that I worked really hard the 7 months I was there.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Oh, I don't mean not trying to learn from mistakes, or whatever. I do think that's very important and I try to do it and I think I am reasonably successful.

    What I meant by letting go of the fails and concentrating on the wins is mainly that I sort of...beat myself up disproportionately over things that go wrong. Like, one friendship fell apart, or it didn't work with one guy, or something like that, and it seems to overshadow everything else - even the fact that I have numerous people in my life who love and value me and I love and value them and we have worked through many difficult times.

    I just don't want to start feeling that because I make some mistakes or feel negative about certain things, those negative things are what define my life and are symptomatic of my whole life. I do fall into that trap sometimes, and it's almost like I'm devaluing everything good that has happened to me, and the good people and the accomplishments.

    Does that kind of answer your question?
    Definitely, we can easily cross the line between reflecting/ruminating to obsessing/harping.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

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