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  1. #1
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Default NF overload - How do you cope with the demands?

    Note: i put this here because I want only NF input on this. I recognise that other types might have something valuable to say and Im willing to create a public thread if there is enough interest in the topic. I also recognise that especially SFs can probably relate, but I've found the difference in execution and satisfying ways to cope are generally quite different, hence the limitation to NFs. I hope that that's ok.



    ********************


    How do you guys deal with being overloaded? I love helping out people when I can, and having them reach out to me, and hell, I even keep an eye out for people in pain if I have an excess of energy still. It gives me utter satisfaction to be able to help lift someone up so they can thrive, but how and where do you draw the line between self-preservation and compassion?

    I find that when I get overloaded, I get resentful, tired, evasive and I ...can't stop myself. At the same time, it isn't nearly as dramatic as what has happened to those people so it seems...I dunno. It seems selfish and petulant to pull out in exhaustion instead of power through when they have actual real issues going on and are at their most vulnerable - and are counting on your support which you did pledge.

    Where do you find the energy to keep going or how do you take a break without undoing all the work you've put in and potentially even pushing the other person into a deeper hole if they perceive your need for a break as a personal rejection or abandonment? And, @NFJs in particular - how do you manage your emotional reserves when it isn't a sprint but a marathon - aka, when the person needs support for longer periods of time instead of just some cheerleading?

    Are we truly candy dispensers, as @LadyJaye stated? And how do you keep your dispenser stocked?
    ★ڿڰۣ✿ℒoѵℯ✿ڿڰۣ★





    "Harm none, do as ye will”

  2. #2
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I try to treat myself with the same compassion and care as I'd treat anyone else, knowing that I'm the only one whose job it is to take care of me and that if I break, anyone who is depending on me loses whatever it is I can do for them. I've also learned that I'm one person and I'm not that spectacular: most of the time people aren't going to sink or swim because of me. They'll make it a day or two while I hide in my room with cookies and mommy porn and when I come out I'll be a nice person again.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  3. #3
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    That's easy - let the candy dispenser owner determine the costs and not the customer. Reflect and determine for yourself the line when compassion becomed too much and measure your reserves against your limit prior to giving yourself freely. You're an Fi user with a five wing - you need to protect your resource against the world and you need to look out for your own needs. Make your determinations and maintain control over them - don't give away that autonomy and don't let society make you feel shame for it.

  4. #4
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    I don't get in many situations in which people need me- I don't know if that means I'm doing something right or if they think I'm undependable. I used to be in some rather unhealthy dynamics with a few people and I got out of those. I had the suspicion I was enabling them and I decided I was right (and others agreed). At the time if I had other things to do or needs of my own I just said no and let them call me selfiish and was done with it. I often think I am selfish in some ways, and my task is to learn how to go in the other direction without compromising either myself or the other person. From this perspective I can say that you have as much of a duty to yourself as you do to anyone else- indeed you have more. There should be few people who legitimately are dependent on you; if they need emotional support that's valid, but your emotional state is just as important as theirs. And while it's admirable to want to help others, if that means delaying them from learning how to take care of themselves, in the long run that's doing a disservice.

  5. #5
    Senior Member AzulEyes's Avatar
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    It's always a work in progress with me. I used to give too much. In fact- I gave too much and then several very stressful things happened to me all at once and I had severe panic attacks. (Might it be called a nervous breakdown? Perhaps so.) And still after that-- I continued to give and give and panic attacks kept occuring. I finally started saying NO. I even pissed off a few people- but you know what? They have no idea what they are being pissed off at. (Pissed off that I'm not allowing them to literally kill me.)

    I decided I needed to priortize the limited energy I have- which seems to be even more limited as I get older- cuz I'm tired!

    Children- #1 priority. So I have implemented some rules (rules? What are these? I know--- it's REALLY WIERD!) But in true ENFP style- they are implemented sort of haphazardly BUT they help. Rules that make the children accountable for more and me accountable for less. It's a win/win. They learn how to be responsible. Mom doesn't jump off the roof to escape from madness.

    Volunteering- It's like those silly flowcharts you see. Picture a triangle that says, "Does this volunteer activity actually mean you are interacting with your child / it is creating a good memory for them / or otherwise strengthening your bond with them?" If the answer is YES--- I keep doing it. If the answer is NO .... then I resign / check the NO box when asked to volunteer.

    Friends- Friends that sap energy for no good reason have already bailed because when you are a mother- you don't have time for such nonsense let alone washing your hair. So in that sense- I'm good. When drama ensues with other friends, I actually have no choice but to cut them off cuz I literally would be taking time away from the offspring. So for all we give to those kids- we can use them once in awhile by telling anyone who is getting in our way, "Look. Gotta go! Junior has a bloody nose- bye!" No one can argue that your kids get your attention over them.

    Social Media- I have to take breaks. ENFP social butterfly can sit out there all day. And get sucked in. I have literally pulled the plug for months at a time.

    Finding zen time- A must. For me it is running. I have a running path right behind my house- just across the street. I go there with my iPod and zone out and just be one with nature and my tunes.

    This has only come together after my meltdown (see beginning) and is never perfect. But it is the loose model I don't "try" to live be- I MUST live by for survival.
    It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. ~e.e. cummings

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  6. #6
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    I would say just be completely honest and build boundaries. I have noticed that a good chunk of Fs assume a lot about people and act accordingly to what they think (without confirming with the other person). If you assume too much about others and then decide upon things to not hurt the other person, then the other person can't really make an informed decision on what to do next (it limits the options considerably). If, however, there is some forthrightness, many might actually see some of your humanness and like you more for it.

    Disclaimer: I am talking in general terms.

  7. #7
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    This hits home with me

    I think I see my energy reserves sort of like a little spring and its pool of water... it naturally replenishes, but if you run it dry too quickly, you have to wait for it to refill, because it runs at its own pace according to immutable laws of physics. I used to always scoop it dry in my desire to give give give, but I'm getting better about giving more gently and saving emergency reserves in case I REALLY need it.

    I have to start at the beginning - I tend to overpromise up front out of my desire to help. I've been working hard lately on curbing that and being more careful about what I commit myself to. I always prioritize school, my family, and my significant other. Beyond that, I make few promises but try to show up anyway when I can, bearing in mind that attending to something less important may drain me for something more important. It's an art of balancing and alternating, since I can't do everything at once. I have found that the people in my life who are self-assured and care about me from a place of altruism both understand and respect this. People who desire more generally have their own internal issues that they are projecting.

    As for the person perceiving you as personally rejecting or abandoning them... I don't think individual wellbeing is really a burden anyone can give, much less should give, to someone else. It reaches codependency at that point. That situation arises, I suspect, out of the helper's desire to help and the receiver's desire to have their immediate needs met, but ultimately it's not healthy for a person to place their wellbeing in someone else's hands. I have been in this place before, and unfortunately I think it has to fall mostly to the helper to moderate their own interaction - to empower first whenever possible, to ensure that some emotional boundaries are maintained, and to step back when they are being crossed. The person being helped has to rise into their own success of their own accord, with the helper as facilitator. The helper can neither make their choices for them nor earn their success for them. And while it feels bad to withdraw from someone who is suffering, no one will be able to really help them until they acknowledge that they are, so to speak, the master of their fate and captain of their soul.

    Along the lines of being facilitator, something very practical I learned from my mom (ESFJ) is the art of tangentially helping - doing what you can at a little distance when you can't directly for whatever reason, be that because it is too much of an immediate energy drain on you or because place, time, or other resource constraints don't allow. Helping run errands, provide food, clean up, watch kids, send little gifts, or just talking with the person. It's less emotionally demanding but still provides a service. Observe what is needed and provide, or simply ask them what would help most given (x and so) constraints. It allows them to work through their main issues on their own while you take care of what would be draining to them otherwise.

    Anyway, keeping my little spring stocked is an automatic and continuous process, as I mentioned, but wrapping up in a blanket, watching mysteries, cuddling with my SO, hanging out with my family, long hot showers, chocolate, and massages can speed that along!

  8. #8
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    Quit yapping and give me some more candy.




  9. #9
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    IDK, because whatever I give to someone doesn't seem to require "ongoing sessions". INFPs kind of do the "healer" thing, where we help people work through emotions so they are strong again to take the reigns back. I can see how ENFP "cheerleading" is more of an ongoing thing.

    But most people are happy I just listen, which is good, as that's sometimes all I have energy for. A friend thanked me once for my silence, because it was just what she needed. If a friend is going round and round in a dilemma, then I may offer whatever advice I can. When we part, I let them know they will continue to be in my thoughts/prayers. I guess it's just communication of "I have to take care of my stuff, but I'm not abandoning you". You may also schedule the next time you will see each other, so it's clear you still intend to be there for them.

    But I have learned to avoid emotional vampires. These are not people going through a rough spot. They are always seeking a constant stream of pity and emotional energy, and they essentially treat you like their unpaid therapist. It's not even kind to keep indulging them...
    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

  10. #10
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback, guys.

    I tend to very much feel inadequate when I'm unable to keep going, especially when I promised to be there. I prefer, like @OrangeAppled stated, to do the 'be there for them' to rebalance then, and be on standby if they need another hug or something, but longterm stuff is...hard.

    I have atm a very dear friend who was suicidal and is atm combatting depression which...takes its toll. And he has been improving immensely since the beginning - which was about 6 months ago. But I find myself very much run down when he is having a bad week and slides back to his dark state. In that regard, he seems like an emotional vampire, but he is in need of that energy atm, and is actively trying to regain his footing - and succeeding in his progress, I have to say.

    Aside from that, I get overwhelmed by inbox issues. Mail, phone calls, Facebook messages, even on here...when I get into partaking in the forum and have fun in too many threads and then have too many responses coming in I just...run. I flake. It costs me oodles of energy to answer them and get in the right mental state as I'm exhausted from the emotional roller coasters they often contain. And I cannot seem, for the life of me, to regulate that somehow. I'm just wondering if there is something I'm missing here, and how others cope with this I guess. If they are clearly urgent, or important to the other person, I try to force myself to buckle down, but I'll admit to failing at this miserably at times.

    As a result, I can avoid phone calls and other inboxes coz I just..don't wanna know what's in them.

    Am I the only one?
    ★ڿڰۣ✿ℒoѵℯ✿ڿڰۣ★





    "Harm none, do as ye will”

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