[INFP] Small Town INFP's

Small Town INFP's

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  • 2 Post By entheos

This is a discussion on Small Town INFP's within the INFP Forum - The Idealists forums, part of the NF's Temperament Forum- The Dreamers category; Hey there, INFP's. Every now and then someone will ask me where I'm from and I give them a general ...

  1. #1

    Small Town INFP's

    Hey there, INFP's.

    Every now and then someone will ask me where I'm from and I give them a general idea of the area because they're not all that likely to recognize the name of the place -- and that's because I come from a small town. Population of just over 600 according to the most recent stats. It's funny because my sister, who was adopted, grew up in the capital city where I am now which has a population of about 100,000. Quite a contrast. She's a headstrong, outgoing ESFJ. One time we had a conversation about high school and she told me that her graduating class had a few hundred students. Compare that to the 22 people in my graduating class (and that was a combination of two towns, mind you). It's such a wild difference.

    So, I wanted to ask about you guys, specifically who here comes from a small town? And in general, how do you think it shaped your personality or lifestyle? Do you still live in a small town or have you moved somewhere larger as I did?

    I personally have a mixed opinion on where I come from. There were positives and negatives. Of course it's very quiet and close-knit and that lends itself to being more comforting to those of us with higher sensitivity levels. I like the idea of walking through my hometown and it being super quiet and cars only pass by every so often. I prefer that to where I am now where it's just action and noise everywhere. On the opposite end though, my town was very rural and isolated and everyone knew each other's business, and I always found that problematic as someone who puts a great value on privacy. There also's not a great deal of economic opportunity to be had there, as many people have left the place over the past 25 years since the foundation industry collapsed, looking to make a living elsewhere. It was also challenging because of the lack of recreational stimulation there, so you either picked up a few solitary hobbies, interests, and passions as I did, or you just sort of went down a darker path that often involved alcoholism. I struggled socially for all the years I was growing up, especially into adolescence. Total outcast who didn't fit in anywhere, because everybody just seemed the same and did all the same things that I didn't have any interest in. So I kind of just went my own way. That can make you a target in a small town though because a lot of people will look at you as being different and will feel threatened by something they don't understand. So I was at odds with people most of the time -- especially when I decided to become Straight Edge and people REALLY didn't understand that at all, given the culture there. My impression was that they thought something was severely wrong with me by that point. So everything just clashed. I also over time developed a very strong distaste for the rampant culture of gossiping that tends to go on amongst people who don't live very fulfilling lives and, thus, have to expend their energy dissecting everyone else's. That became something that really bothered me after a while and contributed significantly to me wanting to leave.

    I frequently wonder what kind of person I would have become had I grown up in the city the way my sister did. Would I have found my niche somewhere? Would I have become the socially phobic adult I am now? I'd have to think that I would have found more diversity and open-mindedness that I've only just now been discovering in the past three and a half years since I moved. I guess I'd like to hear from any of you with similar experiences who came from the small town and desperately needed to leave because you were such a miscast character. It's interesting because I've met a handful of people here in the city who also come from rural towns elsewhere, who have shared a similar sentiment to me that they just couldn't find what they needed in their tiny town -- they weren't being completely accepted or allowed to become who they are. Sometimes crowds in a small, isolated place are set in their ways and don't know quite what to make of someone who has an alternative lifestyle, such as a different sexuality or a different religion or set of beliefs; or a different personality. For instance, I can tell you from my experience that I grew up around a LOT of extroverted sensors, and that can certainly clash with an introverted intuitive, especially if you're the lone, misunderstood one in the bunch.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by Monsieur Melancholy; 10-07-2017 at 06:06 PM.



  2. #2

    600 people?

    I was born and raised in the city, but moved to a small town as a teen. You can tell I love it here because I stayed :) and I will never ever go back to the city.
    But we're not 600, we're waaaaay more. At this point we're about 25,000 people, but when I first moved here there are 10,000 or less. If I position myself in the farthest point of town and walk to the opposite farthest point, I get there in a 35-minute walk.

    How do you think it shaped your personality or lifestyle?
    It shaped me more than I ever imagined, and for the better. When I first moved here I thought that it would be horrible. I was used to being anonymous in the big city, I was used to cinemas, theatre, art galleries, beautiful cafés, fantastic gothic and roman architecture.. you name it.
    Here, we've never had a cinema, or theatre, or art galleries, or any fancy coffee shop, we don't even have clothes shops, and our coffee shops are ugly a f. Whenever I need to buy new clothes, I have to schedule a weekend trip to the city, taking a 40-minute train ride that costs a couple of ribs and a leg.
    There's also the problem that you can never be anonymous. Most people know your private life, gossip is rampant, and by the time you've held a couple of jobs, you have to walk around doing errands on your free days saying hello to everyone who has ever been a client or a boss or a coworker, and you are subjected to small talk. Everyone knows your name, even if you've never interacted, because that's what gossip does: it tells strangers your name and they get a false sense that they know you.

    But I wouldn't change this for life in the city. In the small towns around here, we have greenery, a big forest, fields and mountains and space. There's wide variety of birds, we have red squirrels, foxes... There's no noise. No traffic. No music coming from the street. No one is screaming or talking too loud. Streets are not crowded. You can see the sky at night, and the full moon is super clear, you can just go out your front door, look up and say Hiiii to it.

    I don't intend to live in this town forever, I have hopes of moving up North one day, somewhere with deeper forests. But so far it's better than the city in many ways. I can schedule trips to the city on the weekends and go do whatever fun, pop-culturally enriching activity I want to do, then return home to my little cave. This life has made me calmer, my nervous system is improved, and I have so much silence & greenery that it's boosted my imagination, curiosity and critical thinking. I am not subjected to the trends and noises from the city.

    I frequently wonder what kind of person I would have become had I grown up in the city the way my sister did. Would I have found my niche somewhere?


    I wonder the same thing about myself. I really don't know who I'd be. I wonder if I would've been so into nature as I am. I mean, as a child I loved nature, but it definitely escalated when I moved here and found myself surrounded by fields and I would pick rosemary from the ground and use it in my own kitchen. I also enjoy picking persimmons, thyme, almonds and blackberries from the forest. I lose myself in my own zone. And this closeness with nature was what woke up the pagan in me, and I began a conscious spiritual path based on observation of my landscape. It made me research the ancestors of my land, and connected me to ancient things within myself that were dormant when I lived in the city.

  3. #3

    Well, I'm from about one of the most middle-of-the-road places you can get, size-wise. I joke we have all the inconveniences of a tiny town and a big city. However, I relate to what you've said about the reaction to abstaining from alcohol. Drinking is an enormous part of the culture here. It is different from that stay home and self-destruct thing, that I am quite familiar with having a family camp in rural Maine. Very depressing indeed there, though thanks to the internet it seems to be getting better. No here the obsession is heavy, frequent social drinking, I've been around it my whole life and have no desire to continue it. We are among the highest concentrations of Irish Catholics outside Ireland, not sure if that's anything to do with it, and pubs are king. Ironically, very few people are necessarily "religious", so there are no real groups against it, there is no shame in it. Our local university always ranks among top party schools and you are considered very much a square to not be out at the bars or getting sloshed at barbeque. As a kid I assumed all adults only drank "adult" beverages, so color me surprised to learn I didn't have to when I turned 21. I wouldn't call myself anti-alcohol necessarily, but honestly I just enjoy being an asshole. At least it provides a better label for why nobody likes hanging out with me, or why I'm just plain old weird. And it's interesting because many people come from opposite backgrounds, where they are taught to abstain from such things, that it would make them "bad". Personally my interpretation of badass is fighting animosity to go against the grain, and if that means being a supposed lame ass then so be it. My appologies if this is a bit of a tagent, but I do think its related, how what you grow up with influences your choices.


 

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