Guest Post from Eric: My Life as an INFP

23 Sep

Eric wrote this in far earlier but I only had time to publish it today, what with my life being slightly hectic. I really enjoyed Eric’s post as I particularly like reading about INFPs in ‘un-infpy’ types of occupations- like science, engineering, sales- it challenges me to understand that we are a varied lot, with varied interests.

Eric is a Software Engineer.

I like what Eric says here: “To me life is all about the possibilities and the potential of what people and things can be.

This resounds with a quote I found recently: “What lies hiding within each object? A garden, so to speak.” ~Philip K Dick

Thank you Eric. 🙂

(E: all highlights below in post are my additions)
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Keyboard by Geopelia

image attribution: http://www.flickr.com/photos/geopelia/132670857/

Name : Eric
Age : 25
Topic : My Life as an INFP

I always liked the title “The Idealist” that is sometimes used to describe INFPs because I feel like that may explain why I do crazy things from time to time.

Just to give a basic outline of who I am, I’m currently employed as a Software Engineer, I’m strong follower of Christ, and I live in my own home with four roommates.

Somedays I think it is very ironic that I’m employed as an engineer as I’m not naturally a detailed person, nor do I have the typical engineer attitude of wanting to stay to myself. I think what helps me be good at my job is the fact that I have a perfectionist mindset and that drives me to become more detailed than I would naturally be.

Though I do admit that being engineer is probably not the ideal job for me because I spend most of my day in an office alone, when I’d really rather be dealing with helping people individually with their problems.

It’s hard to serve a computer screen full of code. Though my job does allow me to be creative at times as I also am in charge of user interface design, so I believe that gives me just enough of a fix to balance out my work life.


My life outside of work, is basically all about people.
From time to time, I try to take up different hobbies, but I find the one I am most consistent at is spending time with people over a coffee, or some dinner, just hearing about what they are going through.


I have somewhat of a low opinion of myself, which is different than a negative opinion
, because I do not think bad things about myself, but rather I think I’m only a very small piece of the bigger picture of life. That is why I’m always a bit surprised when I find out if some girl “likes” me or if someone regards my opinion highly.


I’m not sure if this is common with other INFPs but over the last several years of my life ( probably around when I turned 18 ) I started learning how to be an extrovert in certain situations to be able to better connect with people.
Typically though it is just a disguise because it takes a lot of energy for me to become an extrovert and I’m very exhausted at the end of any extroverted type activity.


There are two things, that I as being an INFP need to specifically work on. First off is dealing with conflict.

I extremely dislike conflict, and I know, I know, most people do not, but I feel as if I have a special dislike for conflict. I hardly am ever honest about if something somebody says to me is offensive. I usually just shrug it off and try to laugh, and maybe try to rework the words in my mind to think about all the possibilities of what someone “could have” meant instead of thinking about what they actually said.

When someone breaks a promise to me, I rarely ever call them out on it, I usually just say “it’s ok” and move on. Though now that I own a house and have four roommates, I’m slowly learning how to be better at dealing with conflict, because it seems like every day there is some responsibility that someone has forgotten to do or some issue somebody else is having another person in the house.

Through the process of being the landlord and head of the household I’m learning that conflict is necessary at times because people must be held to a standard to improve in their lives and if I’m always avoiding conflict with others I’m not helping them improve in their own lives.


Second thing I need to work on, is letting go.

I cannot tell you how many friends that I have that do not care to talk to me, or at least have lost interest in me but I still call them and leave them a voice mail every few months just to see how they are doing.They may not even respond to several of my voicemails in a row, but I will keep leaving them voice mails.

I was involved in long distance relationship with a girl for over five years and after some conflicts with our values I decided to “let go” and even though it has been almost two years since I have seen her, I still ponder from time to time, if letting go was the right choice, even though I was confident in the decision that I made.

I really hate the words “goodbye” I avoid thinking that those words are actually real sometimes.


One last thought about my day to day life. To me life is all about the possibilities and the potential of what people and things can be. I can never drive over a bridge, or enter a building, or do anything “normal” without thinking that there is more to this moment than meets the eye.

I picture my life and the lives of those around me as the most exciting story ever! Though, at times it gets me in trouble as I think of stuff playing out like a perfect movie where everything works out and there is a magical moment when everything makes sense, but somedays are just not like that and that’s always the struggle to be ok with the normal.

As I often like to quote from one of my favorite songs “Reality is a lovely place, but I wouldn’t want to live there.”


Anyways to wrap all of this up, I enjoy being who I am, and like I said previously, somedays I do think I’m a bit crazy to have all the ideals that I do have, but I think its worth it because life does have purpose and to find that purpose is the best thing in the world!

Thanks for listening to me 🙂

Inconsistent MBTI Test Results

3 Sep

I have been getting too many inconsistent results on the personality tests I have been doing recently.
Out of 6 MBTI online tests I just took:

3- were INFJ
2- were INTP
1- was INTJ

Maybe because I have been so close to the border all this while at the ‘T/F’. Also, perhaps working with ‘J’s has made me more appreciative of aspects that have pushed me towards ‘J’. Some of the people I hang out at work with are ISFJs.

Interesting results.. wonder if there are other reasons behind this..

Guest Post from Lily: Random things about life as an INFP high schooler

19 Jun

Hi readers, today we have someone special: the first person who answered my open invitation to contribute- who describes herself as  “a rising senior in HS”. (high school) and whose first guest post is about life as a INFP high schooler.

This is Lily & her post.. 🙂 Thanks Lily..!
-E

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Enigma by Xavi Talleda

image attribution: http://www.flickr.com/photos/xavitalleda/4963172573/in/photostream/

Name: Lily
Age: 17
Topic: Random things about life as an INFP high schooler

First off, I want to say thanks to ellzrae for allowing me to write a post for this blog.

I’m going to provide a little background because background is nice. I’m a rising senior in HS and my first personality test was taken in 10th grade. It was supposed to help with college choices or something. Nothing came out of it except my amazement at the super accurate profile of an INFP, which is what I ended up getting as a result. I never looked at it again after I stepped outside the classroom. Until the 12th of June, a couple days ago.

I was flipping through Naviance, a college planning website that my school is subscribed to, when I accidentally came across my results again. This time, I looked at the profile with renewed interest. Once again, the accuracy of the assessment amazed me. I did further research into the characteristics of an INFP and was just blown away by all the attributes it named. This was exactly like myself!

On one of the sites, it said that INFPs are not too social and that we like to spend time by ourselves. We also like to keep things to ourselves and are somewhat intriguing to people who meet us.

I have a teacher who I’m really close with because I suck at his class and always go in for extra help. We spend hours together working on code (he’s my CS teacher) and through these close moments with each other, he’s found out a lot about me. When asking him for a recommendation, we sat down and discussed all my attributes.

He started out by saying that I was an “enigma”, a “puzzle” and that he didn’t really “get” me. He also said I was always quiet in class and seemed to lack confidence. Everything he said about me was pretty accurate.

I really enjoyed the “enigma” comment he made. I have a thing for guys shrouded in mystery (even though it usually means danger), so when he told me he thought I was a puzzle that he couldn’t solve, I was kind of happy (as bizarre as that sounds).

It pleased me to know that other people didn’t “get” me, that I was unsolvable. Some of you may get this and some won’t. He mentioned that during our 1-on-1 sessions, I always took a long time to answer his questions before cautiously giving out an answer. This is also true; I read somewhere that INFPs like to ponder and analyze a question before coming up with an answer.

Another time, he asked if I was a perfectionist. All his theories and all his comments about me were absolutely correct. No other teacher I’ve had has ever gone so…deep into my life with me before. I guess it’s only because we spend so much time together. Pity he’s not cute. 😛

Another attribute of INFPs is that we like to express our true selves to a select group of people. This is also so accurate for me. I’m not a social person and to everyone who only knows me a little, I’m often seen as shy and reserved. And this is true.

With many people, I AM shy and reserved. This doesn’t help with guys though. Especially since most of the guys I like are shy and reserved themselves. My love life is going nowhere. Sigh. Anyway, like those websites say, I’m more outgoing and show my true self to only a couple of good friends and family. I remember one time in PE class, I was talking to my friend and I swore at something. The teacher walked by and looked at me with surprise on her face – “Did Lily just swear?” she asked. The other kids in the group were all – “Yeah, that’s the first time I’ve heard her swear.” Truth is, I swear all the time, but just in front of people who I’m comfortable around. If you ask any of my teachers if they believe I swear, they would say no. In their eyes, I’m totally innocent. For the most part, I am. But still.

I’m usually the mediator of a disagreement and generally dislike conflict. I also take criticism very seriously and hate to be criticized, much more than others do.

I should probably end here, it’s getting kind of long. It’s not much but it’s a small window into my life and how others view me.

I hope it was interesting to read about. And once again, thanks for posting this, ellzrae!

🙂

An open invitation to my readers to contribute here as a community blog

10 Jun

Image

Free images collection

A letter to all my lovely readers:

I started this blog in May 2008, around 4 years ago- in an effort to understand myself and express those feelings I felt being at a crossroad in my career and not being able to progress in life.

Here was one of the first posts I wrote:
https://survivinginfp.wordpress.com/2008/05/11/my-life-as-an-infp/

Over the years, I sought to understand more of the MBTI as a way to bulwark against the confusion and anxiety I felt in dealing with people in general.

Here is my observations I felt were right at that time:
https://survivinginfp.wordpress.com/2011/04/03/infps-in-other-mbti-type-industries/

However, at no point I fully or righteously believed that my opinions were unassailable or ‘should be’ of the way all INFPs thought. I was always grateful when commentators shared their own opinions or agreed with me. I never did take for granted that everyone within the INFP community would agree with me.

In fact, some of them disagreed here in this blog post. But I guess that’s how one learns 🙂
https://survivinginfp.wordpress.com/2011/09/18/worst-jobs-for-infp/

Through various influences here and outside, I feel less and less a need to state stridently my views or even use my blog as a personal outlet.

For the past 2 years, I have thought of creating an INFP forum or blog to give back to the community who has supported me and each other in their life journeys. More and more, I feel my blog posts to be immature, inadequate and unrepresentative of the community in general.

While I gave thought to creating a separate space for all, I think personally, I do not want to be administrating 2 blogs. Also, since there are already subscribers here, why not use this blog as a testbed?

So today, I am inviting all INFP out there who would like to write a blog post here to contact me at ellzrae.x@gmail.com

Though I have chosen to remain anonymous all this time- the reason that the things I write are sometimes too personal and also to let it be easier for people to respond (I have a strange way of thinking..haha)- it is your choice if you want to identified.

I would suggest would-be contributors give your:
name/nick:
age:
topic:

However, I must say, not all articles will be accepted for publish- there will be articles that have too many spelling problems or just not a right fit. BUT frankly, I do not see there will be many compelling reasons to reject any article sent to me. I want to make it as hassle free for myself and so will only check spelling errors before publishing here. 🙂 There will not be any editing on my part, though I will start by introducing the writer of the article. (edit 24/09/2012: edits made will be on spelling, paragraphing and highlighting of content in guest post for readability, but no content changes)

My most selfish reason for doing this? I like to hear other INFP’s life stories and perhaps learn something from everyone. I will never make this free blog open to advertising- so I will not gain financially from this.

I understand that there will be people who will have suspicions about my motives, that I am trying to make this blog more popular or espouse a certain view or vilify other MBTI types. I assure while this are interesting motives, this is not my agenda.

But I can say, I do love a good INFP discussion!

So if any INFPs are interested in writing any posts relating to INFP or your life experience, do contact me at ellzrae.x@gmail.com. There are no age restrictions. I would like to hear from INFPs of all ages. You can celebrate being an INFP, you can input insights about yourself, you can write psychology/ sociology / philosophical related articles, you can write about your life- anything goes. Do attach your blog link if you wish.

Of course, correspondingly, I will treat this blog from today more as a community site than a personal one; though I will still write if there is something that interests me. Contributors are encouraged to interact freely with the commentators- though if you choose not to, that’s cool. 😉

I do sincerely hope there will be someone responding..!

With Gratitude,
E

An interesting time

10 Jun

Hello my friends, how are you all doing?

Life has been showing me recently what I have been missing all this time. I been taking up classes & going events.. & that has seemed to trigger something in the universe for me.

I feel that life is showing me a lot of possibilities that is up to me to accept. Being open to events as they happened has resulted in people approaching me – which never really happened in the past when I was in my angry ‘Fi’ years or even when I was constantly aware of ‘Ne’ & possibilities.

I have been invited to parties, dates and even a trip to India.. I am full of gratitude for these possibilities and I think it’s a pretty exciting time.

Since getting over that guy- I have gone on a couple of dates. While I have yet to find any connection with any of my dates.. (who I think are mostly sensors- 😉 I am constantly gratified to know that I am considered a normal person by my dates. It’s just good to know that, that I am ‘normal’. I take it to mean I’m chill enough & not high maintenance.

Going to a partner dance class where we switch partners often – has given me an small insight into what kind of behavior I would appreciate in a partner. There are guys who stare past you, who only smile but do not say anything, who try to direct you to improve your steps, & those who try to make you comfortable. There was even a younger guy who tried to protect me from the instructor’s correction. That I found to be quite charming and sensitive since he seemed genuinely annoyed on my behalf. (though I was really amused) I guessed he might have been a fellow infp cause he was also much of a klutz as I was.. 😉

I am not sure how long this will continue.. but it is nice to be given an opportunity by the universe to interact with the world more these days.

How is life for you,my fellow infps?

Finding it hard to let go

22 Jan

Just friends..?

Could I ever find it in myself to be just friends with someone who claimed he loved me yet treated me unfairly. Who asked for kindness from me but treated me with cruelty when I wanted reassurance.

I cannot even think of the past or future with him now.

I am finding it hard to put together the puzzle- the person he says he is and the selfish words coming from his mouth & his actions thus far. I feel I have been lied to, manipulated, and tossed aside. Like a plaything of a child.

I ask myself if I am being vindictive. But its a quiet, tired voice that says.. “Enough.. enough. Its time to move on.”

My diary is littered with pieces of my heart. Its not the first time I felt this way.

What is keeping me calm is reading this book
“A Call to Compassion- Bringing Buddhist Practices of the Heart into the Soul of Psychology” by Aura Glaser.

It is a book written with much love for humanity and self. It is just 207 pages, but its been one of the best books I ever read on compassion in the Buddhist form.

—-
I feel that I had progressed a little over this past year. I had moments of clarity and gratitude to the world. I felt lighter. Then when I thought I was ready to move on & remove my emotional ties to him, his confession put me in a tailspin. I was not as grounded as I thought, and in hindsight, this was a major setback for me.

Its been 4 months since the fallout and I am still struggling not to message him. I’m getting the strong inner voice to chase away the demons. Letting my angry voice rant in my private diary. Protecting the child in me from demeaning thoughts. Focusing fully on my body while doing yoga. Keep at meeting new people and doing things for others, like making cookies & wrapping presents. Taking photos.

I would not say its easy. Going through Christmas and New Year like this is horrible. Greeting people in the mornings with a puffy face & crooked smile has been the mode. Trying to be normal when all is not. Knowing that the other fork in the road is now destroyed.

I have to acknowledge my emotions to myself, even if it is hard to let anyone know. I will try not to wallow if I can help it.

I think about vengeance, in the form of wanting to be someone he will regret leaving- then these thoughts seem funny for a laugh and a small wise voice tells me to be compassionate to myself. I think its a result of reading the book by Aura..

There is this aphorism in the book which says “Be grateful to everyone” or “Meditate on everyone as kind”. It means, even “those who insult and irritate us are the most difficult subjects for gratitude, and the most fruitful. [..] Contemplating the kindness of others means hat, whatever their intentions, we can still benefit from whatever others do. Rather than submit to resentment or hatred, rather than nursing a grudge or denying a problem, we opt for a way to further open the heart. […] Being grateful to everyone means also being grateful for everything. It means just being grateful- unconditionally. Be grateful for the difficulties, and be grateful for the relief of these difficulties.”

It is all very wise.. & hard to do.. but I shall try to see this whole situation as beneficial.

First you get the highs then you get the lows

28 Dec

The_Big_One_Rollercoaster_by_JohnWardell

image attribution: http://www.flickr.com/photos/johnwardell/49734219/

First, I have to apologize for all the confessions here which might make it uncomfortable for some to read.

My life has been a rollercoaster ride for the past 2 months since I wrote my last post.

I had been over my feelings for my friend (who I mention about a couple of times in this blog) for a couple of months. And just as I was not really hoping for anything.. he made a confession and asked if we could date.

Initially I was over the moon. I really was. I felt really happy and comforted.

But then it became a disaster just 3 weeks ago. My undiagnosed mild-borderline was triggered over a postponed appointment. (part of a series of postponed appts actually- lack of discussion worsened it into an emotional issue)

I’ll save you from the ugly details..(think Fi-Si-Ne in the worst way) the end result was we not meet as often. 😦
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I have come to wonder… how do you know if someone is willing to travel the spiritual path of life with you- even though it would take work? I am willing to put in the emotional work to be a balanced person.. but how does one know if the person is willing to be very patient with me and also be open to theirs as well?

I had thought my friend and I were spiritually connected in some way. Not sure if it makes any sense, but I had asked for someone with his name to be in my life before I met him. The first time we met was pretty average, but I had a dream of him where he turned and looked at me silently in a dream- it seemed to me it was indication we needed to talk. I kept dreaming of him after that- and it was more than I ever dreamt of anybody, family included.

The first time we went out for drinks, we saw a double rainbow and he even bought a mirror. We even had the same type of watch and mobiles. Now you think I’m in cuckoo-land don’t you? ;D.

I had felt then he was my mirror-mate, if you understand. Someone who reflects you closely, but inversely. I really cared for him.

It was often easy to understand each other and conversations would flow. I was always very honest and kind with him. But it was also easy to build on each others emotions, negatively. If I became irrational, he would follow suit.

During the past year or so though, we did our own growing and seemed more different.

Smart people will say that you cannot build a relationship on surface similarities- it has to be about similar values and respect.

Still its hard to let go of someone whom you cared intensely about and believe you have a spiritual connection with. But because he has implied this is too much for him as he does not know what would trigger me next and distance would be better, I will not force him. There is just no point.. right..?

I wish my anger issues would just go away.. and this didn’t turn out like this. I thought I had made progress in getting better- but turns out the explosives are gone but the switch is still there. My fuse is not working properly yet.. (haha..cynical laugh)

Cried out my eyes a bit, guess its time now to move on. (Ne (extroverted intuition) is being in a protective mode with the lame jokes..)

My heart is like a raisin now

20 Oct

love_by_jcolman

image attribution: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jcolman/385760199/

Unfortunately, I am an INFP. My heart can swell with all the love in the world- just like the love I had for the young children my mum took care of- I loved them to bits. Having them around in my early teens made my life less painful. I fed them, hugged them, put them to bed, bought them on outings and devised games for them. In return, I had all the love and acceptance. Their parents liked me, and I was happy to take care of their children for nothing. It was wonderful to love unconditionally.

I rented a room in someone’s house years ago, and those were very sweet days for me. The family living there treated each other with love and respect. There was never any shouting- at most there would be a quizzical short argument. They would ask kindly whenever they needed to obtain something from me or even to proffer a fruit. I saw what it was like to be respected as a person.

In my first job, I worked for a wonderful couple who owned a photography studio. Even though it was a small outfit, they were always generous with their time and gave me responsibilities and asked me what i liked to learn. When I mentioned lighting, the husband gladly taught me how to setup lighting with no reservations. They also sent me on an overseas trip on a production even though I was a newbie. I understood what it meant to be trusted greatly and to trust someone who would do what they promised.

2 years ago, I met someone who has changed how I feel about life. Before I met him, i was undergoing much disappointment at how I could not continue in the creative field and that I had to return back and live in my old home. He made me feel that I was not alone and there was some hope. For the first time, everything I said made sense to someone. And he wasn’t even from the internet. I know now what it is to be understood and to be accepted as myself.

But today, I feel my heart is a raisin even after all these experiences. I am but a dried out husk of my potentiality. I have been waiting for years for something, someone to love. Maybe because I am a sentimental fool, I think I need love. Sometimes I think maybe I’m ugly or fat. Sometimes I think maybe I have an awful personality. Sometimes I think perhaps I haven’t tried looking yet. Sometimes I think I am not ready. Sometimes I think I want to dive into it because I just want to express my love in a mature, unconditional and beautiful way.

If love is not for me, I don’t know how else to be an INFP.
———–

I am reading Alan Watts (Does it Matter: Planting Seeds and Gathering Fruit) and he says: “Every project for self-transformation is a vicious circle.” He goes on to say:

The Perfect Way is without difficulty,
Save that it avoids picking and choosing.
Only when you stop liking and disliking
Will all be clearly understood..
Be not concerned with right and wrong.
The conflict between right and wrong
Is the sickness of the mind.

One cannot remove something because all things exist in all states, one must accept the presence of the opposite and not judge it in terms of negativity or positivity. It is obvious that i am still not far off from such judgement. For if I knew so, I would accept I am loved, I am love and I am loving even without a focus object or person or outward manifestation of love in my life.

I quote him further:
Suffering alone exists, none who suffer;
The deed there is, but no doer thereof;
Nirvana is, but no one seeking it;
The path there is, but none who travel it.

Is my focus, my need to love, a quest that needn’t be? My Ne (extroverted intuition) is telling me to say something wicked and snotty to all this- but Ni (introverted intuition) just wants me to think about this for a while…

What is the quest of love for you? Is it a quest, or are you zen in love?

Worst jobs for INFP

18 Sep

list of worst jobs in the world for INFPS… let me guess, best jobs for some other types? Some tongue-in-cheek, some serious and included some not so obvious ones. Would be worried if any INFP actually has such jobs- for various reasons.

1. Property salesperson
2. Scam artist/ Forger / Romance Scammer
3. Pimp
4. Fryer at fast food restaurant
5. Telesales
6. Nurse at cancer ward (check out Jean K’s & kayelizabethday’s reply proving me wrong):)
7. Fashion Model for runways (questioned by Sandy)
8. Slaughterhouse help
9. Casino Dealer
10. Stocks trader on the floor
11. Doctor at leukemia ward
12. Graphic Designer at Ad Agency
13. Children Wrangler on set
14. Low-ranked soldier
15. Mail sorter
16. Politician
17. Social Worker (check out Sandy’s reply)
18. Hairstylist (questioned by Sandy)
19. Bank Teller
20. Air Steward
21. Kitchen help
22. Events Manager
23: Gym Trainer
24. Waiter

Mainly these are jobs which one would have to take care of people who are dying (e.g. Nurse), or too demanding in terms of effort or time (e.g. Casino dealer) or have to subject oneself to a lowly position or where a lot is demanded in terms of looks (e.g Model) or social extroversion (e.g. Politician).

Feel free to prove me otherwise.

Fascinated by all ‘T’ types (title edited to suit topic)

11 Sep


image attribution: http://www.flickr.com/photos/joannejc/4931271322/

I love observing ‘T’ people and overhearing their conversations- I am captivated by the infinite ways of expressions and the little social games they play to create their goals. With ‘F’ people, its either they are trying to make you feel comfortable or they are trying to make you fit into a certain idea of how one behaves.

But with ‘T’ types, they have little hidden agendas when they are trying to move you to follow a certain regulation or rule they have created. If you comply and conform, you are no fun. They like to have a little thrust-and-parry to see if you are a worthy opponent and if they can get you to concede they are right. ISTJs especially love this game.

When a fellow T talks to another T whom she has respect for, there is a little game of haggling and straight-forward questions which to a F probably sounds pretty rude. But they seem to enjoy it if its on a social level. Its probably the F equivalent of being nice to someone in order to build a relationship with them.

I always found this disarming and somewhat charming in its effect. There is a sense of fairness and boundaries in the game, (unless the T is annoyed with you.) and it goes on until they have gotten what ever interaction they wanted.

When T show their social side and try to be nice- (I have seen these in both male & female Ts) they have learnt the social rules well, and make gracious hosts- going around to make sure everyone is included in the festivities.

T people will rarely tell you much about themselves but will share their thoughts on most non-personal things. It takes a lot of trust for them to reveal much about their personal lives but when they do, its like you are a keeper to the secret key of that knowledge.

Show a little love to T types.. 🙂

INFP and Career Conflicts

3 Sep

image attribution: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hathu-/4053281099/

I want to talk about a book I am currently reading: Personality Type: An Owner’s Manual by Lenore Thomson.

In it the author says: “[…]INFPs may get their self-experience only when it conflicts with their external choices. Even those INFPs who have plugged themselves into a career that allows them to do something meaning and good may not feel sure they’re doing enough. They are nagged by an impression that something else is supposed to happen, something that will tell them what they’re really meant to do.”

In order to actualize their certainties and ideals, INFPs generally find a place for themselves in the prevailing social system that allows them to focus on human potential. But given the fact that their values are more fundamental than institutional priorities, they’re constantly frustrated with the time and energy they spend on structural maintenance- society’s “edifice complex”.

The author goes on to say that INFPs remain confused how to act on these values, because the Fi part suggests a “life spent in pilgrimage, free from objective attachments”. But of course most INFPs don’t drop their families and life for such- so INFPs will use “their Intuition defensively”- “Either they become permanent seekers- good at many things but disinclined to stick with any for long- or they become passive, unable to articulate what they want.” “Left to their own devices, they (the latter) tend to procrastinate or do unnecessary tasks to avoid more important ones.”

He also mentions some INFP become so good at managing the time and resources of others but not their own.

He says that when INFPs stop using intuition(Ni or Ne) defensively, they will start asserting their Feeling goals (Fi) in a rebellious way, “They literally avoid situations that don’t accord with their primary self-experience, forfeiting relationships rather than experience inner conflict.”

However, when INFPs use their Ne, it invites them to “give up expectations, to live in harmony with anything that happens.[..] they see their values have nothing to do with their comfort or discomfort in a situation. They constitute a way of seeing life, a way of relating to any situation. When INFPS use their intuition to figure out how to make this relationship manifest, they see that they have many options to take positive action.”

“They realize that being responsible to their values isn’t about fighting what exists; its about building, recognizing that they can do things, want to do things, that might not even occur to other.”

The author also encourages INFPs to work on their strengths and creative pursuits that will give their work a concrete form.

—————

I think he is saying that INFPs will resist external influences at first because it seem to conflict with their ideals. For me, it was easy to demean social conventions and rules especially if they seem restrictive because that’s how I thought I could challenge it, pretending they were not so important and products of perfectionist egomaniacs.

Yet, it was certain not all people shared the same view. Easily I could transfer how I felt inside about certain things (Fi-type values) and insist to others this was how it was to behave. Though frankly I didn’t see it as such- I merely believed I had to get back what I gave when I tried to be understanding or kind. If someone quarreled with me over something they broke the bargain. My Fi values gave me stability in a uncertain world but killed 1-2 close friendships in my early years.

Growing my Te only bolstered that I could now win Fi-type arguments . And you do see this example in INFP forums where a INFP gets annoyed over a remark over Fi-values and starts bombarding the offender until they retreat, still heckling.

Having an active extroverted intuition (Ne) was a third stage that generated more possibilities. I remember this growth as a terribly exciting and fun time for me during my studies in film and in my first job.

Wish he would give more insights into the further development of a well-developed INFPs though. He does close with this, “In general, however, well-developed INFPs […] strike others as unassuming, even deferential, because they treat people with unconditional love and compassion. In consequence, their actions, their choices, their way of life can awaken others to human values the community has not acknowledged.”

With this, he seems to suggest that well-developed INFPs in their later years develop some introverted intuition (Ni), extroverted feeling(Fe) which coupled with the values of Fi and Ne, give much insight and keep INFP true and kind to others and themselves.

Feel free to comment. 🙂

Which do you use most: Instinct, Insight or Thinking

9 Jul

I know the title does not seem very clear on what is instinct vs insight vs thought.

Citation from dictionary.com
1)Instinct: a natural or innate impulse, inclination, or tendency.
http://www.typologycentral.com/forums/nf-private-forum/35471-infps-gut-feelings.html

2)Insight: penetrating mental vision or discernment; faculty of seeing into inner character or underlying truth.
http://personalitycafe.com/cognitive-functions/25454-i-need-understand-ni.html

3)Thinking: thought; judgment, reflection
http://personalitycafe.com/infp-forum-idealists/23343-could-anyone-describe-how-they-use-their-te.html

I would make a guess to say an Infp’s Instinct is Fi based. Insight would be more like Ni (INFPs can have Ni & Ti), and Thinking would be more Te (extroverted thinking).

In most work situations, I prefer the usage of insight and thinking.

The usage of insight is rather haphazard, in the sense I use it to scan for conclusions (like facial expressions) that my sensory memory cannot identify. I use it particularly with people who ramble on and give me a whole chunk of information without any logic to it- which my Te cannot process as it get stuck around the first sentence.

Thinking? That’s easy enough. I use it for planning work, getting details down and ahead of deadlines. I use it to also sift through detailed information, to search quickly and attack complex email requests. I wouldn’t get bothered about tones in work emails and just get to task.

I use instinct, rarely- there’s this guy at my office. We talked and went out- and it was friendly enough; but there was another time which made me reconsider. Once he passed my desk and talked to me. I had this shocking gut reaction that I didn’t want him around. Maybe he was closing into my personal space too early. I find my instinct getting more accurate with awareness. But usually I use it for useless things like whether to chase after a bus.. 😉

Facial expression of Extrovert Intuitives (enfp,entp,entj,enfj)

3 Jul

A continuation of the Look of Intuitives.
part 1: https://survivinginfp.wordpress.com/2008/08/07/introvert-faces/

Extrovert Intuitives:

ENFP


(great video anyway)

(is she esfp or enfp?)
-moves a lot or hand gestures. does the look up to top part, cynical/amused mouth upturn to left, look goes from open eyes (surprise) to screwed up eyes (thinking). Amused eyes. Might rant on subjects.

ENTP



– tendency to lift 1 eyebrow, like to present lots of info, more head movement typical of ‘NT’. eyebrow not used to emphasis point but natural lift. Adding of snippets of humor, winking. Goes into ‘winging it’ mode often.(fast brain thinking)

ENTJ (not enough videos..)

ENFJ (not enough videos..)

-body movement with head, lifted eyebrows, wry mouth pulls, controlled eye look

Very few videos for ENTJ and ENFJ. I suspect vlogging about MBTI is more of an introvert intutitive thing. Please let me know if you come across any ENTJ or ENFJ videos 😉

INFPs in other MBTI type industries

3 Apr


Just some observations on the types in the industries I’ve worked in/ brushed shoulders with.

Industries with many:
xSTJs:
most industries have many xSTJs. Tend to be well-paying industries like Accountancy, Finance, Business, Operations but there are exceptions. Also Entrepreneurship. INFPs need to find a role that suits their personality which is not impossible. Important for INFP to grow their Ti/Te/Ni (Introverted Thinking/ Extraverted Thinking/ Introverted Inutition) here.

xSTPs: tends to be Sales, Marketing, Property, Finance or outdoor industries which independence and freedom is highly valued by employees. They can also be found in Food, Security and Legal lines. Possibly of freelance. Competitive and INFPs need to find a role which they can be independent without too much external pressure. Need to learn to use Ti/Ni.

xSFPs: SFPs enjoy working with people and expressing their creative sides. An INFP may find xSFP fields to be a good training ground for expressing Se/Ne (Extraverted Sensing & Extraverted Intuition). Industries such as F&B, Events, Customer Service, Retail, Teaching, Media, Music, Nursing, Fashion, Private Gym Trainers, Graphic Design.

xSFJ: SFJs can be found in many places. However, they love to help and thus can be found in Nursing, Teaching, Human Resources, Writing, Religion. INFPs need to adapt to using Fe. Ti can be an asset in understanding xSFJs

xNTJ: NTJs can be found in entrepreneurship, Business, Engineering, Science, Politics and also well-paying industries. Some Ni types will be found in Advertising, Music, Design or Architecture. INFPs need to understand Ni (Introverted Intuition) is a important development in order to work with NTJs. Expression of Te is also highly useful.

xNTP: NTPs can be found in Law, Media, Knowledge Banks like Science, Advertising, Marketing, Music, Fashion, IT and just about anywhere exciting or at the frontier. INFPs will find usage of Ti an asset, though they can never be just as insightful. It is important to use Ne to catch up.

xNFJ: can be found in Law, Teaching, Psychology, Human Resources, Social Work, Music, Politics, Writing, Event Management, Art. INFPs here need to be interested in understanding humans by developing their Ni and Fe (Introverted Intuition & Extraverted Feeling).

xNFP: can be found in Media, IT, Psychology, Social Work, Teaching, Journalism, Music and Entrepreneurship. Besides working in their field of interest, INFPs can look into option of working in field they are interested in -in a good paying industry. e.g. HR in Petrochemical, Media Specialist in Business- if they have security needs and bills to pay.

In the end, its about what industry/company you enjoy working in and your payoff. What would you think fellow INFPs.. is there any accuracy here..? Please correct me if I am off, I will make your edits into the post.

Intuition forms stranglets of consciousness between persons

2 Apr


Intuition has never been much of a vector much in my life. It is the practice of it that leads to discernment, rather than having it as an outgrowth of my personality. In life, intuitive people were non-existent in my immediate surroundings- i grew like a shoot heading for the sun, neither tempered by shadow nor shade- not knowing of intuition.

There were times in the past I thought intuition was like terrible gift: precursors to ringing telephones boding of death of someone close. Now I believe its a mixture of experience distilled from subconscious ideas or cultural values: a brain’s wiki-summary of someone’s 200 page thesis research. At least, that is my poor-man’s version of intuition.

Perhaps in other forms, intuition forms stranglets of consciousness between 2 persons, enabling them to connect strong moods, thoughts or events. Without any rational reasoning, I seem to realise it is not healthy to form psychological bonds even of intuition between those who have little desire to form a relationship(or healthy one) with you. Such intuition seems destructive and obsessive. Some people will call it emotional bonds.

To detach myself from such destructive bonds, I would stop thoughts from forming by imagining a hammer breaking the thought. If I was in a relaxed mood, I would try to talk myself through how my moods could have affected me and caused such disturbance. Often I would realise I just needed to do something to feel emotionally better.

A note for a point in Internet history

2 Apr


image attribution: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ennuiislife/4868206996/

There are times when I work to discern the meaning in someone else posts, and watch as my mind falters and struggles with the concepts presented.

Having back in 2003 rejected circuitous intuitive thought for a expressible structured thought form- structure has taken habit and I find it strange to even indulge in posts such as these. Still, in order to express intuitive thought, one must not control or reject the ideas available in the ether.

There are times, when the structured mind fails to comprehend, I feel keenly the vast chasm of knowledge that places one away from such thinkers. It feels equivalent to how a idiot would feel playing chess with gary kasparov.

The internet is a lifesaver. But we should not be deluded that we are collectively more intelligent or creative than previous generations. To harness the collective intelligence of the crowd-think is currently part of online experiment of many social-networking sites. But ways of doing so is still in its infancy, though crowd-think is a resource that could eventually be used in the future.

It is interesting how technology is unravelling restrictions so fast that most people, companies or status-co institutions have not understood their role in the future of our collective intelligence. Walls come down everyday as walls go up. People have not yet understood the race, the conflict is in the area where things seem most free, where resources seem most abundant, where rules are not policed. It’s the wild west of the era, the internet.

But meanwhile, while thinkers can shape the world, it is important to listen to all conflicting views, to understand when the conflict was being played out, we lived through it, we listened and we thought. Eventually someone will make sense out of the noise and attempt control or takeover of resources. And consciously or otherwise, we will grease the wheels that make the machinery move.

Mellowing INFP

2 Apr


The journey of a INFP is never done. Throughout an INFP life, we travel along many journeys- with the aim of first expressing our own needs, and if that security is thwarted, fighting or projecting for the recognition of our needs with the people around us.

Come our teens-20s, we look inwards and start fighting with ourselves. If the conflict segues into conversation, we start to seek for knowledge and empathy to assuage all these feelings.

Once these negative feelings fade into the background, one finally hears oneself. Sometimes it may be a broken voice, other times it is a colorless image or a tired wayfarer.

Now that I have arrived at this marker in my journey, no longer do I need to spend all my energies on negativity. I am coasting on in neutral.

Now I feel very mellow- somewhat clean emotionally- with no great expectations, but no great feelings either.

It’s funny that I thought I would always be teary and passionate. Now it seems they were masks for the desperation I felt. Escapism through writing or films or tears…. eating well and having no negative person around has changed me so much.

The sun is shining, and I have to build myself the journey I always wanted.

INFP Shadow Functions

2 Apr


The shadow functions of an infp are extraverted feeling (Fe), introverted intuition (Ni), extraverted sensing (Se) and introverted thinking (Ti).

I did a cognitive process test that seemed to identify my usage of processes as Fi, Ne, Si, Ti, Ni, Fe, Te, Se. Between Ni, Te, Ti, Fe there isn’t much serious difference in usage and preference. Surprisingly I use Ti (a shadow function) to a good extent. I do need some serious work on expressing myself a little more though- My Te, Fe, Se are so quiet.

Have you ever come across a type of your shadow processes..? For an INFP, that would be an xSTP. I have found xSTPs to be deeply perplexing people- partially I have not understood any of their motivations.

While an INFP can grow into their tertiary (Si) and inferior (Te) functions from their 20s; and even understand and have empathy towards an ESTJ (Te, Si, Ne, Fi) who shares the same functions as us (albeit in a reversed way) ; it is a harder task to understand the ESTP (Se, Ti, Fe, Ni).

Empathy doesn’t even come into the picture. When I read the STP forum, I just feel so deeply confused. Mentally, I can’t tell how they arrive at their conclusions, though their thoughts can be quite interesting and wacky. And they are very fast at picking up things, perhaps due to (Ti) and (Se) working in tandem- body language and interior logic – to gauge the situation. This is rather admirable.

However, the combination of Se-Fe usually sets my teeth on edge. Sometimes it is like every thought: bad, evil or funny needs to be broadcast loudly. I think ESTPs make great salesmen or mavericks- just that being an introvert, I don’t particularly like salesmen. 😉

Seems I still have a long way to go in understanding or even liking the shadow functions..

Just beginning to understand…

2 Jan

I am just beginning to understand this messages in this video.. (starts around 5 mins)

“..how shame is underpinned by excruciating vulnerability, the idea that in order for a connection to happen, one should be seen (exposed)”..

the people who had a strong sense of love and belonging:
1) They believed that they were worthy of love and belonging.
2) They had a sense of courage.
3) They had the compassion to be kind to themselves first.
4) They fully embraced vulnerability so they could have a connection.

Life as an INFP- a review of 2010

2 Jan


image attribution: Tscherno

I’ve been away.. as i have just climbed out of a deep pit of illness and misery to a period where things are finally looking up for me. I am much better now, thank you.

To be in a place where my health was draining me of any happiness and sanity was that place I was so afraid of going back to. It seems for the past few years during the Sept-Dec period, I would be afflicted by general tiredness and colds almost every single day. It was on the basis of this I made a goal to finish a few 10k runs by end 2010. I finished a 10K in June, and was looking forward to the ones in Oct and Nov when my health just collapsed over 2 weeks in Sept.

During this period of time, as my sister was getting married in Sept, I neglected my own health as I busied myself with preparing to photograph her wedding. I did not exercise for only 1 month when I started to feel really bad in Oct. My thyroid swelled for weeks on a low grade fever, my laptop died out of warranty, I smashed my camera filter at the wedding, I was facing unknowns at work & the friend I cared intensely about let me down again.

In Nov, my dad’s health also turned worse. It was a very difficult time for me & my family personally.

One night, as I was sitting in bed, miserable and fearful as heck, I decided to pray. Pretty selfishly, but also asking that God would bring my father back to faith. Because, frankly, I was drained having to listen to his problems over all these years, trying to help him- and also, I think he needed God’s support.

God worked.

I don’t know how INFPs out there think about religion and faith, but I believed in God all my life. He was the only one whose love was a constant for me.

My dad, without any prompting from me; decided one day to just start praying and singing christian songs. That graduated to a nightly prayer with the family. During this period I managed to also find a diet (SCD for any who need help) which helped my dad manage his Crohn’s.

Many other things took place…which changed ideas i have about life. I feel I am on a journey of learning to put myself first, and having good balance in my life. There is no happy ending yet, but there is a long journey to begin on that path.

Discovering & exploring my bad emotions

24 Sep

Part of being who I am, I have a tendency to what an average person would call emotional. Knowing that I am an INFP for the past 3 years has helped me to accept that this will remain part of my internal makeup. I have started to have strong feelings for a friend, and the attendant results is that I have been feeling conflicted and upset. Perhaps in the past I would have accepted that as that, but recently I have been questioning: Why does a happy emotion (pining for someone) make me feel upset?

People always seem very empathetic in traditional film. Someone is upset, the significant other (SO) then reaches out to comfort them. The person accepts the comfort and they share their emotions. In a happy situation, for instance a proposal: the guy proposes, the woman jumps up in joy and hugs the man. They then proceed to celebrate in a very boisterous fashion.

Unfortunately, this hasn’t been always the case with me. In a situation where I am upset, it is almost as likely the tears are derived from conflicting feelings, and a very strong sense of shame. This shame could be related to disappointing a friend, or feeling conflicted. Exploring my own feelings, sometimes its not even likely I am crying from sadness. This strong sense of shame pushes me to try to avoid the subject or person causing the conflicting emotional pain. I might walk away and cry in a corner, or pretend I was not crying. Should the friend try to comfort me, I might even push them away.

In another situation like a happy surprise birthday party, I have been known to burst in tears. (this was admittedly many years back). Friends would probably have thought I was touched, but it was more likely the conflicting emotions of fear and shame caused me to burst into tears. Fear that something bad was about to happen, relief that it was not a bad thing and shame that I misunderstood my friends.

Discovering this about myself has made me a little sad.

Thinking back further, I realized my childhood was always filled with emotional uncertainty. I had a very close intellectual relationship with my father; but my father was a stormy person. One moment he would speak to me like an equal, and the next moment something I did- like delay answering to chores- I would be subjected to a torrent of loud verbal abuse. Sometimes these lasted for a few hours.. and the best for me was to bow my head and wait until the storm passed. I would cry my eyes out and swear silently I would leave the house someday. (don’t worry, its not like this anymore.. 🙂

Perhaps I have come to associate tears not with sadness/guilt but more of shame? A friend watching another cry would naturally assume tears are associated with guilt. Their comfort says: " I am here sharing this with you, you don’t have to feel guilty". But if you felt ashamed, like you were actually quite vile, terrible to be with- wouldn’t you try to get away from your friends? An ashamed person would feel they are contagious.

Let’s say for a situation where my father had been always been verbally abusive ALL THE TIME. In this perspective, I would have felt unnecessarily persecuted and perhaps instead of being avoidant, I might have been abusive back. Yet this would have also stemmed from an emotion of shame, at feeling one is not worthy. Should a friend comfort me in this case, he might have been subjected to my verbal abuse..!!

In a sense, because I have emotionally linked up TEARS to SHAME, and UNCERTAINTY to ABUSE, I would try to avoid upsetting or surprising situations, even if positive. Where I am now, I am certainly not yet in a good place emotionally. I would like to be more vulnerable in a close relationship without feeling like I was going to self-destruct.

I think knowing that about myself is the first step.

To grow as a emotionally balanced person, I would first need to disassociate sadness with shame. I would need to learn how to identify confusing emotions or stress, understand where they come from, and whether I should process them or not give them any thought. I might have to learn not to cry in shame. I would only give myself permission to cry in sadness. (If you are an INFP, you would understand emotions can be overwhelming.)

Introducing more uncertainty in my life, and looking at them positively, would also help me to understand more positive and varied emotions. If it scares me, then it is a good reason to do it.

If you an INFP reading this, I hope you can share something that you have learnt about your emotions too. 🙂

Feeling like I’ve grown older.

10 Jun

Dark day

A lecturer told our class once, “I stopped writing poetry when I met my wife.”

Think about it in your INFP way. What does it say.

Sometimes for me, the happier and busier I get, the less angst I have, and therefore less fodder for artistic work.

I was particularly unhappy around the age of 18-20 & 23-26. I might have had a quarter-life crisis in the latter period. I feel I have evolved in some way, perhaps its the change of chemistry, or perhaps I have become more ‘zen, or I have become more practised. Whatever it is, it has made me more accepting of people, of jobs, of imperfection (in values) everywhere. But I also seemed to care less these days about music, films, fiction books and fashion. I seem to read more sociological books and be primarily interested in the technicalities of photography these days. Might have to do with my enneagram 5w4- as a knowledge seeking INFP.

Or perhaps I am facing up to the reality of being a working person with a 40 hour work week with 2 full time hobbies, photography and social media. I started this blog in May 2008. I might have been more measured with words before, I might have stopped to write something lyrical more in the past. I may have appreciated poetry more. I feel less and less inclined to write.. but I will keep doing so, because the shared knowledge of INFPs & other ‘INs’ has given me much insight into myself. So I would like to keep this alive for others as well… as a sort of ‘gift’ back to the internet. 🙂

I still feel some wistfulness towards places I have not seen, primarily the Scandinavian countries. Something like kicking back with a huge pot of tea with a photography project on one side, flowers outside my window on a rainy spring morning. All alone with the peaceful world. That would be perfect. Maybe a trip like that next year..

I wished I had more magic ‘Ni’

10 Jun

Magic

I should be more careful with my use of ‘Fi’ values.. INFPs use of introverted feeling ‘Fi’ in making value and judgement calls can be sometimes particularly petty and irritating.

I was talking to a INTJ friend, and something he said about his job particularly set me off. Though I quickly excused myself when I realised I had started to express my value system in regards to what seemed like a strange, weird negativity from the INTJ towards his job.

He mentioned that he had a job, and was going to slave away for the job. He started to put this job, which he had not started on yet, as a job which he was going to ‘Slave, slave, slave’- as something terrible which he had to go through in order to reach his goals. On the other hand, he was happy at having gotten a chance to work in the creative line. It was the sense of, “I deserve so much better- even though frankly they gave me a great chance” that annoyed some ‘Fi’ value I had.

I found myself trying to coax him to think positively of the possibilities cause I thought he was being negative and needed cheering up. However, it really didnt seem to work since INTJs don’t really see extroverted intuition ‘Ne’ as well as INFPs.

After a while I realised I was getting weirded out and he said I was being defensive when I expressed some ‘Fi’ values, which I wasn’t really. But maybe they annoyed him, so he was trying to put me on the defense. So I had to quickly change the topic.

Come to think of it, maybe he didn’t need to see any positive opinions.

So my question is, did I approach the INTJ the wrong way? I felt afterwards, had I used introverted intuition like an INFJ would have, I could have guessed at why he was acting this strangely. Could it because he felt a need to talk bad about the things he cared for? Could it have been a defensive posturing? Or was the INTJ’s Ni- their sureness at what the world is and should be (acknowledging their strengths) conflicting with the reality of their situation?

INFJs would have been able to guess right away.

How to deal with an INFP emoting: strongly wording something in an emotional tone

17 Apr


from:http://www.flickr.com/photos/deboni/ / CC BY-NC 2.0

Some of you INFP bloggers out there may agree here: I seem to want to write when I’m particularly in an emotional state. Writing clears my mind in a way talking about it just cannot do.

My post is about friendships. My behavior in close friendships (not the acquaintance level) tends to supportive, helping with a view to encourage mutual activity in both a selfish & yet inclusive way. For instance, should a friend say they need someone to help out in their film: despite not having much free time or even fully liking the idea of the film- I will still be willing to commit to helping out. This is for selfish reasons: I hope to have such help extended to me should there be a similar instance. But this is also for other reasons: I hope to make them feel happy that they have someone supportive of their work.

These are values I respect in close friendships: mutual respect- being on time, willingness to hear me out, respectful of my emoting my feelings. The last is probably the hardest to ask of most friends, as most people are afraid of the INFP’s strong Fi, especially negative Fi where Te rears its head. In my life, only my INTP friend has been most accepting when I emote, maybe in part to INTP’s shadow Fe where they would rather leave emotional matters uncommented on- which strangely enough, makes me feel rather accepted. Most of the time though, in response to horrible Fi, people would overly concern themselves or show irritation and comment on it. Sometimes how I wish I could help people understand ‘how to deal with me’. So here goes. 🙂

‘How to deal with an INFP emoting: strongly wording something in an emotional tone’

Absorb their response. Is it on principle, logic or an emotional reaction?

a. On principle: infps are emotionally retarded and can hold some very strong values on things that others could care less about. It could be about: fairness, goodness, morality or some ideal.
b. Logic: infps’ attempt at logical argument can be colored by emotion. Listen closely if they are making sense.
c. Emotional reaction: this is where infp fail. They can make horrible arguments here if they feel undermined, mistrusted, disliked or annoyed.

Consider the appropriate response.

a. On principle: If your principles agree with them, good for you. If not, consider how u can angle ur argument to make it seem like you are on the same side & essentially arguing for the same issue. However, if you’re firmly on the other side, attempt to acknowledge their values in the process of stating your own values.
b. Logic: This is where its perfectly fine to argue with an infp clearly stating your logical analysis. Some infps understand ‘Te’ type arguments & may enjoy debate. Ignore the emoting.
c. Emotional reaction: Usually the case with personal matters. You can’t go very far without feeling like you’re navigating a mined area. Hear them out. Listen carefully not to words they are saying but what are they actually saying. Try to forgive them. Be kind in your replies. Pace your words. Give them a space to be angry. It’s going to be hard but if you can see where the insecurity is coming from and assure them that you care, it might stop the deluge. Don’t run off. Too many people run off at the first sign of weakness. Understand its hardly about you.

Of course, you may decide after reading this INFPs are too difficult to have as a friend. Too much work. I wouldn’t blame you. Many other types are less emotional work than an INFP friend. If you are such an insightful, caring person who is able to do all this, you must have a great deal of respect and friendship in your life.. 🙂

The man with the rainbow glasses

17 Mar

It’s awful after all these years I can’t prevent a breakdown of sorts. All-in-all, it always comes back the awful sense of loneliness I feel. I think this is somewhat needy of me to want someone in my life who would understand, accept me & be around. Not very different from most humans’ needs definitely, but the depth I think about it is sometimes frightening even to me.

I can psycho-analyse myself to death but it wouldn’t cure me.

Reading many infp forums makes me feel this probably might resonate with many infps out there.

I suffer from mild depression. It comes & goes, is probably hormonal, diet or lifestyle related. I don’t eat terribly, I exercise only moderately.. this doesn’t seem to keep the breakdowns from occurring around once a month. Sometimes it feels like I’m fighting a battle to death with a frightful monster that keeps coming back no matter how I have injured it.

It affects me to the extend I don’t want to make plans to go out of the house for the weekend or makes me into a sobbing mental wreck when I lie down in bed. Recently it has only happened once a month. But I do remember times when I was moody almost every single day & could hardly bear having people coming into my room, where I huddled in isolation. Maybe one day it would push me too far that I might just stop trying. But for now, I don’t want an extended depression breakdown. It’s just too hard to pull yourself out of the hole without any help.

I can say things have improved as a result of exercise at least once every 2 weeks. Of course I could do better, the standard is 3 times a week. I could do better… but is life really going to get better? (Faulty logic here of course.)

I’m like the man in the story of the man with the rainbow glasses. I remember it too vaguely, so this is an invented, pieced together story.

Long spiel:
There was once a farmer, who was having a difficult time farming. His crops withered in the sun when the sun was too hot, & drowned when it rained too much. He was so angry that he threw his tools down and shouted to the heavens for cursing him. A small voice replied him, & when he looked around, he saw nobody. But there was a pair of glasses, colored like a rainbow, by his feet. Curious, he put it on. Strangely, right before his eyes, withered crops began to stand up & grow full. His fruit trees began to sprout fruit. Honey bees buzzed around his hives & his animals all looked sleek & content. Months passed while the farmer wore those glasses & enjoyed this new reality. One day, he said flippantly, “How nice if this would last forever”. Suddenly, a small voice answered him. Looking down, he saw a strange little man, who asked him for the glasses. Before he could reply, the little man took the glasses off his nose. Right in front of him, he saw his withered crops, the stunted fruit trees and the sun bleached bones of his animals… The farmer looked at the little man & said, “I beg you, please give me the glasses…”

BIG SIGH.

But please, if you are an infp who has battled depression successfully, I would like to hear from you.

Simple ways to keep your brain happy

13 Feb

*disclaimer: I am not a mental health professional nor do I have any clinical training. So take whatever you like from it. 😀

There are sometimes in a INFP life we need a little pick-me-up. I’m talking about times when you have been staying up all night on a project, or just starting to get cranky at the world at large. By and large, there are a few things you can do before all-hell-breaks-loose and you are in a downward spiral. It’s important not to neglect your physical and mental states. These are the things I have found to have helped:

A good night (week) sleep
It’s amazing how sleep actually regulates much of our bodily systems. Sometimes, not getting enough sleep can lead to a lowered immune system, making you susceptible to colds and flus. I noticed feeling cold when I do not get my 8 hours.

Exercise
For people who hate spending hours in the gym, I recommend HIIT (high intensity interval training). Basically its training your body to react in spurts of energy. It can really build stamina. Doing weights and building muscles can also help to regulate your body metabolism and temperature. On days I exercised, my mood visibly improved by 2 points on point system of 1-10 I use to measure my mood.

Supplements
I take Calcium/magnesium/zinc supplements for muscle cramps, vitamin B+C as a mood reliever, vitamin E and fish oils for skin and some iron. I wouldn’t recommend supplements for everyone, as some people seem to do well without them- so this is only on a need-to basis only.

Meals
I avoid coffee, diary and wheat during times I feel less perky. Maybe because these foods generally react uncomfortably with me.

Aromatherapy
Using scented bath gels or burning oils can improve the mood by a small notch.

Me-time
I recommend this because neglecting your psychological and emotional needs could be part of why you are feeling down. This could involve talking to yourself aloud, self-hypnosis, writing, expressing yourself. It could also involve doing meditation.

Taking care of your body
Getting a new hairstyle, trimming nails, using a body cream or getting a nice massage. Massages are not my cup of tea, but I recommend it since so many people enjoy it.

Having a good listener
Talk to someone non-judgmental. Or perhaps someone with good advice. It may not solve anything, but the person could help you suggest a plan of action or another way of looking at the issue.

Holiday
If doing the above did much work- a trip could relieve you temporarily from the anxieties.

However, if you find yourself slipping into serious depression or anxiety please seek clinical advice.

Life as an INFP- a review of 2009

13 Feb


I’ve been away for so long from this blog that I’ve been a little afraid to come back to see what comments I have missed and as to whether I had anything to add. Each time, a little bit of panic will rise and I would question if I had any ‘INFP’ related stuff to even talk of, excepting those from my POV.

When I first started this blog in 2008, it was a direct expression of my frustration with my life as well as a place to selfishly express my own thoughts and needs. Throughout my depressive periods, I found great solace in the words of fellow INFPs in forums as they sought to make sense of the world as I did. In this little space here, I found camaraderie in the comments left by visitors all over the world.

To all my dear visitors, thank you for reading. You’ve given me much delight. 🙂

2009 was a year of subtle changes for me.

I quit a job that was giving me grief and learned some personal life lessons:
1) No job is ever as good as it sounds
2) Always trust my gut instincts above my rationalisations
3) A good environment for me means: friendly people, flat hierarchy, market rate pay

I made a very good friend and learned:
1) To let go of my expectations of people
2) that I have to learn to be kind, above all
3) It’s ok to draw up boundaries, for things like being on time
4) people can teach you more about yourself than you can on your own
5) how another person metaphorically saw me- it wasn’t pretty I tell you.

I made a few good friends at work, and learned:
1) People are important to your network and career prospects
2) If you listen, you hear the real need behind a person’s complaints

I bought myself a DSLR, started a group collective and saw:
1) People are willing to always help when they sense your passion
2) You have to be careful about the right mix of people in a group, don’t push people together
3) It’s important to always talk about goalposts or changes in a group

I took up some temp work and realised:
1) It’s alright to be yourself at interviews- some people will take to you, some will not
2) I can be a average worker and get by, there’s no need to impress
3) I can get by with little money if I’m happy at my workplace and get along with my colleagues

I went for some events I didn’t really want to, I helped out in some instances when I didn’t really want to- and I received more my fair share of compensation: met someone new, gained a gift or an insight. These were instances where the situations were not set up by me. I just took a chance.

Looking back at my top 5 statements:
1)Feel good in body & health
2)Have a best friend/love
3)I accept and embrace challenges and change
4)I feel inspired and passionate about my work
5)Travelling with the person I love dearly

It’s quite a bit of a shock… that I seemed to have absorbed the ideas and I’m already on the journey on some of them. Somewhere not very far from the starting line, but nonetheless I started out.. 🙂

A little interesting Venn diagram for INFPs with their own business

6 Dec

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While this wasn’t specifically targeted at INFPs, I found this diagram rather fascinating- in a pseudo-scientific way- also the simplicity rather appeals to me. Got a good mind to print this up and put it on the wall in front of me, just as the other commenters have suggested on the blog.

Currently, I may be a little too comfy at the ‘What We can do Well’ and ‘What We can be paid to Do’. That’s the one way back alley of mind-numbing admin jobs or servile ‘pay the bills, connect the dots’ types of jobs. We think we have to do them, but what’s really happening is that we start getting tunnel vision far too much in the job, and we eventually burn ourselves out consuming energy on something we hate to do and which we do not have an endless supply of belief or passion for… Shocking that the simple answer is to turn these jobs down.

I’m trying to focus my energies on the other parts- ‘What we can be paid to do’ and ‘What We want to do’- finding a good paying job which I have some decent interest in, and building my photography skills on the side- aka ‘What We want to do’ and ‘What We can do well’.

Your thoughts, fellow INFPs? (if you find this useful, you might want to click on the graphic to go to the link)

5 States of Consciousness as a Human Being

16 Aug

http://www.lifepositive.com/Mind/philosophy/life/meaningless-life.asp

Came across this article- it is interesting what the writer says about the 5 states of consciousness. I think in life you are usually surrounded by many people in state 1 or 2. I understand myself to be in state 2 growth from what I can understand from the text. How about you, fellow INFPs? It would be great if you have different responses to this. I would like to understand what it means to understand life in state 3,4,5…

Quoted from the website:

State 1: You are responsible is the first level of consciousness, where the individual holds others responsible for everything in life. Accusingly, his fingers are always pointing outwards, fixing blame, complaining. He’s a perpetual victim and believes in concepts like ‘survival of the fittest’, ‘there isn’t enough for all of us’, ‘life is a struggle’, and ‘everything is fair in love and war’.

State 2: The second level of consciousness is: We are responsible. The individual understands and acknowledges that he has also been contributing to events around him. He accepts that the finger pointing outwards accusing others also means that three fingers were pointing towards him. Accepting his role in the state of affairs, he begins forgiving people for what they are and what they have done. He becomes more accommodative, lenient and compassionate. The journey from outside to inside has begun.

State 3: As the realization deepens, the third level of consciousness arises: I am responsible. He realizes that the outside world is an ‘occurring’ one. Three people have three different reactions ranging from ‘in favor’, ‘against’ to ‘indifferent’ or a combination of these three. The thought arises that our life is not about unfolding events, but about our relationship with events that shapes subsequent events. The same event can be perceived as an opportunity or a threat depending on our viewpoint. And this viewpoint depends on our conditioning.

State 4: In the fourth level of consciousness, in accomplishment there is no aggression to stamp one’s personal authority on an event, and in failure there is no escapism through blame or vanity. Here, the individual is not responsible—there’s just no one left to be responsible. All events become a happening through and around an individual. The individual becomes a ‘witness’ of the events in the outer world and the occurrence of thoughts, emotions and sensations in the inner world, witnessing the actions automatically happening through the mind-body organism.

State 4/5: In the fourth and fifth levels of consciousness, life has no purpose, no goals, no ambitions, no agenda, nothing to accomplish, nowhere to reach, nothing to become. Life is lived in the now, in the moment, spontaneously, in full acceptance.
Life becomes empty and meaningless. In this emptiness one experiences fulfillment, in the meaninglessness one experiences wholeness. This article is a conceptual presentation. Do not accept it, do not reject it. Investigate and enquire how valid it is. And question: does it have the ring of truth?

A Passion Test

26 Jul

tree-el0

I took a passion test a few months back. It’s a list of sorts, where you write down everything to: “15 things I would love to do/be/have in life”. Not too hard right? The trick is to compare them against each other- you have to be truthful to yourself- and you leave out the choice you can do without.

For example:
1) I would like to travel around the world
2) I want to be a science professor
3) I have great friends surrounding me

You would compare statement 1: ” I would like to travel around the world” with statement 2: ” I want to be a science professor” and decide which one you cannot live without. In this case, maybe you rather travel than be a professor. So you cancel out statement 2.

1) I would like to travel around the world
2) I want to be a science professor

Then you compare statement 1 with statement 3: “I have great friends surrounding me”. Say you rather have great friends who love and support you. Then you cancel statement 1.

1) I would like to travel around the world
2) I want to be a science professor

3) I have great friends surrounding me

You go on and compare the rest of the 15 statements. At the end, you pick the top 5 statements (its like surviving audition rounds). These are really your purpose statements; these things matter to you in life more than the rest.

My top 5 statements came out like this:

1)Feel good in body & health
2)Have a best friend/love
3)I accept and embrace challenges and change
4)I feel inspired and passionate about my work
5)Travelling with the person I love dearly

The other 5:
6)Writing the best poetry from my heart and mind
7)I can inspire myself and people around me
8)Work at the forefront of knowledge
9)Work with passionate talented people
10)Travel the world
11)Have a life of serenity and beauty

It has helped me to narrow down my focus in life and what needs to be achieved now. The idea is know what kind of future you would like to create for yourself. I realised that what sort of work I do isn’t so important as to whether I am inspired and passionate about it… rather idealistic, will have to see how it all fits in. The statements can change, so you are advised to do it maybe every 6 months. Sometimes when goals are fulfilled, you will have other new goals. These are rather infp statements.. 😀

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