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  1. #1
    Member Elaine's Avatar
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    Sep 2013

    Default Helping an INFP to become more brave, confident, self - assured and determined

    So... I have an INFP best friend. For now, we' ve been good friends for almost 3 years, and for all this time I noticed several flaws in her character: she lacks conviction, determination, and is very easy to give in to fear. Although she is 3 years older than me( currently she is 20) , she sometimes is more childish than me, still hasn' t settled with her goals in life. This bothers me a lot, because it looks like she lacks some sort of inner strength, some sort of determination to fight obstacles in life. Her unability to plan has already lead her to being kicked out of university twice. Now she is trying to enter the third time, but she doesn' t seem to worry about it as much as I am( Because I recently finished school, and I enter the university this year as well. I spent all year studying, doing lengthy tasks and preparing for the entry exams, and even now when I did all the exams and I' m waiting for the results, I feel that what I made was not enough, because my works were still flawed, and I know I coul have done better. But when I talk to her, I don' t hear about her studying and worrying to enter the university that much, she just seems relaxed. ) I told her many times that she has to settle with her goals in life and be determined about getting them, but that doesn' t seem to work. I tried to encourage her in different ways, I wrote lengthy posts to her, trying to show her that fighting for you goals is the only option to get ahead in this life, and being passive will not bring her success, but this seems to work only for a short time. But today she complained to me about being sad and not being able to overcome sadness. Then I suggested trying to make her angry( because in my view, anger is better than sadness, because though anger is destructive, it moves one to do something, while sadness is pacifying, it makes one feel bad, but doesn' t make one do anything about it) . It took me several attempts to make her angry, because when I said or showed her something I consider really upsetting and which would, if I were her, make me seriously pissed off, made her only sadder. I believe that is because we react to upsetting things in different ways: while my default reaction is anger, while she reacts in a less agressive manner, so she is more often sad than angry.
    Personal flaws were never an obstacle for me in friendship, because I know that everyone, including me( despite me desperately trying to overcome my weaknesses and wanting to become my own ideal) , has them. This flaw of hers doesn' t affect me, I can tolerate it, and even though sometimes it leads to misunderstandings, I learned to understand when the conversation goes wrong and be diplomatic in order to avoid unnecessary arguments I don' t want to happen. But it' s about her and her life I' m worried, because people who don' t overcome those qualities usually end up dependant on someone else, and that' s not a quality I would wish for a person I like( my best friend especially) , since I know that in order to survive, one must be able to exist independently from others. I just don' t want her to hang on someone' s neck all her life.
    Today, while we were talking via a social web, she admitted to me that this fear and inner weakness really get on her way, and seemed to be very upset about it. She said that soon she is going to participate in some sort of an event for kids along with her friend, and this requires her to speak on stage in front of an audience, but she is too afraid and doesn' t know how to smile in front of others when inside she doesn' t want to. She also was sad because when she was in the post office to order a doll today( she collects dolls) , she wasn' t brave enough to ask a woman to move so that she could take the pen and fill the blank. I sent her some guides and tips about acting to help her out with the event, as well as some guides on becoming braver and more determined I found in the web. Then I said I will be posting here to ask for an advice about this kind of problem, since I' m not quite sure if the guides I gave her are going to work.
    I don' t know if I am right on this one, but I believe that this is because of certain differences in our characters, mainly because of her being more emotional and paying more attention to her emotions than I do. I used to have a problem with being overly sensitive when I was a child, but I always understood that it was unbeneficial for me and got a better grip on my feelings as I matured. I believe this is because I always relied more on thinking rather than feeling, and being emotional was more like lack of the ability to control the situation( since I didn' t go to kindergarden until 5, was a child with weak health who stayed at home a lot, which led to me being rather insecure about society, because I didn' t have enough time to study the environment and analyze it for possible threats) rather than a natural relying on feelings, which is more like she behaves. And while for me a single vision in my head is not enough as long as I can turn it into reality, for her inner sentiments are just enough to make her happy. I guess that' s while I prefer to fight the obstacles on my way, for her it' s easier to change the goals. And while I understand happiness as something you have to secure and plan forward in order to prolongate it, she just wants to be happy now, even though tomorrow it will cost her a lot of pain( which is in most cases avoidable, if only she had been stronger) . Any ideas and advice on helping her to overcome these weaknesses, becoming stronger and more brave? Also, I heard that INTPs suffer from similar problems, so are these the weaknesses of perciever types? What may cause it in general?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    May 2015
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    INFj Fi


    The cause is that this is that, I believe, this is a natural trait for both INTPs and INFPs. Both are very quiet individuals with low self esteem. They struggle with speaking and being around people because they're mostly doing nothing outside their heads. As an INFP, I guess I'd say I'm similiar to your friend. I'm very sensitive, fearful, quiet, a bit childish, and have low self esteem. The only people I ever talked to were my family and friends. I definitely don't have a lot of friends, only one group that I'm usually quiet around with. I guess it would help as long as your friend is being polite, calm, and casual.

  3. #3
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Mar 2010


    INFPs have a special place in my heart. Here's the thing: they are people with some of the strongest convictions of anyone I know. It may not seem that way from the outside, bc they really do go with the flow a lot of the time. But then when it really matters to them they can be very stubborn.

    I think, because of this stubbornness, they don't change until they are good and ready to. And actually that's pretty true of everyone.

    It does seem like confidence,courage self-assuredness are things that you grow into. You can tell someone of all the value they bring to the world, to relationships, or whatever, and they will just dismiss it until they really believe it themselves. Same with following through on goals etc, that has to be an internal thing too.

    Situations like public speaking, that might be always scary but I think that tends to be the sort of thing where the more you do it, the more you get desensitized to the fear. And also, people always seem much more together from the audience than they feel inside. I know some great INFP (and other introverted) public speakers. So there's nothing really inherently at odds.
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

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