[INFP] INFPs & Attachment

INFPs & Attachment

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This is a discussion on INFPs & Attachment within the INFP Forum - The Idealists forums, part of the NF's Temperament Forum- The Dreamers category; Hey! So I've been wondering how attached other INFPs get to things, people, places etc? In my case, I don't ...

  1. #1

    INFPs & Attachment

    Hey!

    So I've been wondering how attached other INFPs get to things, people, places etc?

    In my case, I don't really think there is anything I feel really attached to.

    Some examples.
    I've been living in one place for quite a long time and it is, of course, my home. But at the same time I'm not attached to it and I feel like I could live in any place in the world and be happy. Same goes for my work. I've been working in the same place for almost 6 years and, even tough I don't currently look for other job possibilites, if an opportunity suddenly arised to change it, it wouldn't be hard at all for me to leave my current job.

    It's the same with people. I've had several friends throughout my life, but it was never hard for me to let them go when friendships ended. I've never missed a person in my life. I've never had a feeling that I really want to meet someone. My only friend now lives abroad, and because of that we rarely write each other. But I already now we will meet when she visits and I visit her this summer and we will talk about everything that has happened during all this time. At those moments when we are together, it is all very nice and I feel very close, but for the rest of the time I don't really think about her and feel fine.
    There was one short period last year when I was somehow attached to a guy I fell in love with, but even then I did miss him only couple of times. And now I've let him go and don't feel anything when thinking about him.

    Moreover, I'm not even attached to my family members. I have a brother and our relationship has aways been quite distant and cold. We never quarrel, but we also don't ask each other about what's new and how we are doing. It has always been like that and I'm used to it. I'm quite close with my mother, but still, I could go on with my life and never really miss her.

    Of course, some might think this means I don't love my family or don't care about them, but it's not the case. I care deeply about them and I want them to be happy and healthy. There is this term in buddhism - love without attachment, and I think it's my natural state, the only way I am capable of loving. Letting other people live their lives, but still caring deeply about them. Enjoying every moment with them, but also equally enjoying every moment without them.

    In the same way I feel about all humanity. I sometimes meet fantastic people, have one exiting conversation with them, feel the deepest love towards them during that moment and yet, the time comes when one of us have to leave and we never see each other again. I go on with my life and maybe only during some of my more nostalgic moments I will remember these people with the warmest feeling in my heart. At those moments I might start wondering what they are doing, how are they feeling and wonder what would happen if we ever meet again. I guess that's my way of "missing" them.

    I wrote so much but I'm not even sure if I'm making sense? Can anyone relate to this or is it something unique to me? Maybe I've mistyped myself and this is characteristic to some other types?
    Any insights are appreciated :)

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Nobody_LV; 05-23-2018 at 02:26 PM.
    tkmdr thanked this post.



  2. #2

    Things: Zero attachment, which doesn't mean I don't love my things. I do, but when they break I'm like Oh well, it was nice having you in my life, and I immediately look to replace it. I keep my home as decluttered as possible, I like practical stuff, not mere ornaments. All ornaments need to be practical, and everything practical needs to fit my aesthetic/be pretty.
    I always throw away gifts from people when they aren't practical. And I even threw out jewelry and clothes and crafts that my then-bf would make/buy me, because... I just don't see the point. He would scream at me "But I gave you those things! They are sentimental!" and I'm like... not sentimental, can't help it. I enjoy the gesture of the giving/receiving, but then the object itself is irrelevant in my life if it's not practical, so it needs to go, I have no mercy, sorry. Moral of the story: don't buy me 40 things because 'sentimental'. Buy me 1 that is practical, then buy me experiences.

    Places: Veeeery attached, it's surreal. I don't have more to say on this, because I have no explanation for why I feel this way. Ever since childhood, I was attached to places I had never been, and I developed imaginary relationships with those countries & cities to the point I knew them so well, that then when I was older I traveled to all those places many times, because they already felt like home. I keep returning to the same european cities over and over like they are my best friends, like we share blood.
    I also get easily attached to specific coffee shops, and I stick to the same 2-3 because they make me feel safe. I'm also attached to the same 2-3 shops, and I don't venture to other places, because I'm loyal to those, I feel safe there, I know where everything is, I know the furniture, the colors, the position of everything, keeps me calm.

    People: I feel extreeeemely detached from everyone, including my nuclear family. Which is strange because when I interact with people, I feel deeply in that moment, like they trigger a profound experience of life -for good and bad. But this "profound experience of aliveness" doesn't breed attachment.
    Now, when I do get attached to someone... they must be prepared. I'm intense. When I'm in, I'm frikkin in. And if circumstances force me to activate detachment, it's the most painful life experience, it's like getting your soul chopped in half with an airplane door in the jungle no meds (flashback to Lost: Jack & Boone AAAAHHHHHHH pain--->faints). I don't let myself get to that point, and I do that on purpose by controling my attachment with my mind, which brings us back to the beginning of this paragraph: I feel extremely detached from everyone because I've trained myself for decades to exist in detached mode; it's an art.
    But hey most of the time, it's genuine effortless detachment, as I struggle with finding meaning when it comes to human relations. My default state is to feel this existential... I don't know what to call it... meaningless relations, like I wonder what's the point of humans... it's weird, and I can't control this feeling of meaninglessness. If I could control it, I wouldn't feel it and I wouldn't push people away with my non-chalant non-care.

    I'm not attached to it and I feel like I could live in any place in the world and be happy.
    my INFJ friend says this a lot, and I find it so.. surreal. Like I can't imagine this feeling of being okay anywhere. I often think that it's my Self-Preservation instinct (enneagram) that makes me so hardcorely attached to sources of security, and my nº1 source of security is physical security, much more than emotional security. I absolutely cannot feel emotional security unless my physical security is in place. I hate moving houses, moving cities, a change of environment can cause me a mental breakdown, it's that serious. I think this is because I grew up moving every 2 years, so I never had roots and lived in a perpetual state of panic and insecurity and fearing for my physical life.
    Last edited by entheos; 05-23-2018 at 03:14 PM.

  3. #3

    INFPs & Attachment

    Hmmm... I think I'm always the end of the spectrum so it's either i have zero attachment or 100% attached.

    For places, i don't really get attached but i get loyal. Is that attachment? For example, I'm loyal to my country (i do defend my country against other races when insulted or will fight for it or its name when needed), schools, companies i worked for and working for (even though i left these companies I'm still not comfortable hearing other people badmouth or bully them; i feel kinda hurt).

    Things - hmmm I'm very sentimental. You have no idea what my place look like even my workplace that it's getting attention from my colleagues and a lot have been talking to me politely to throw things away

    People. Omg! This is the hardest one. I don't get attached easily but when i do, i swear i can probably do anything. Lol. I give my entire trust. Devoted. But when trust is broken, it's like it's gonna go back to zero again. I don't shut doors unless the wrongdoing is absolutely terrible


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Nobody_LV thanked this post.

  4. #4
    INFP

    Just look through the post for all the BOLDED parts.

    That is me answering your post.




    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody_LV View Post

    So I've been wondering how attached other INFPs get to things, people, places etc?

    I will answer, but, these answers, are how I'm feeling, today. I think the answers go for all of my life, but sometimes, things do change. Here goes...

    In my case, I don't really think there is anything I feel really attached to.

    I am attached to soooooooooo much. Can't properly count all the things I'm attached to. Too many. Millions of people, places and things.


    I've been living in one place for quite a long time and it is, of course, my home. But at the same time I'm not attached to it (I love my home. I love my town. I am attached to both.) and I feel like I could live in any place in the world and be happy (No. I am not like this. I have a ton of rules, needs, preferences, opinions, regarding environments and other countries). Same goes for my work. I've been working in the same place for almost 6 years and, even tough I don't currently look for other job possibilites, if an opportunity suddenly arised to change it, it wouldn't be hard at all for me to leave my current job. (Nope. Not me. I worked at the same job for 25 years, then retired. I was attached to the green abundant income, the benefits, the fantastic retirement package, the cool health insurance for me and hubby. The people. The stability of a great income. The safety of a job I was going to every single day, where I would not fall off a building, get hit on the head or get shot by an idiot.)

    It's the same with people. I've had several friends throughout my life, but it was never hard for me to let them go when friendships ended. I've never missed a person in my life. I've never had a feeling that I really want to meet someone. My only friend now lives abroad, and because of that we rarely write each other. But I already now we will meet when she visits and I visit her this summer and we will talk about everything that has happened during all this time. At those moments when we are together, it is all very nice and I feel very close, but for the rest of the time I don't really think about her and feel fine.
    There was one short period last year when I was somehow attached to a guy I fell in love with, but even then I did miss him only couple of times. And now I've let him go and don't feel anything when thinking about him.
    I am VERY attached to my husband and family. I have friends that come back into my life after 20/25 years. I care for them being back in touch.

    Moreover, I'm not even attached to my family members. I have a brother and our relationship has aways been quite distant and cold. We never quarrel, but we also don't ask each other about what's new and how we are doing. It has always been like that and I'm used to it. I'm quite close with my mother, but still, I could go on with my life and never really miss her.

    Of course, some might think this means I don't love my family or don't care about them, but it's not the case. I care deeply about them and I want them to be happy and healthy. There is this term in buddhism - love without attachment, (My natural state is to have attachments and believe life is NOT suffering) and I think it's my natural state, the only way I am capable of loving. Letting other people live their lives, but still caring deeply about them. Enjoying every moment with them, but also equally enjoying every moment without them. (Sure. I can do this. With them, I love them. Away from them, I enjoy life.)

    In the same way I feel about all humanity. I sometimes meet fantastic people, have one exiting conversation with them, feel the deepest love towards them during that moment and yet, the time comes when one of us have to leave and we never see each other again. I go on with my life and maybe only during some of my more nostalgic moments I will remember these people with the warmest feeling in my heart. At those moments I might start wondering what they are doing, how are they feeling and wonder what would happen if we ever meet again. I guess that's my way of "missing" them.

    I wrote so much but I'm not even sure if I'm making sense? Can anyone relate to this or is it something unique to me? Maybe I've mistyped myself and this is characteristic to some other types?
    Any insights are appreciated :)

    (You could be mistyped, but then, you may not be mistyped. Who knows? Take the official test if you can. I believe in the official MBTI test. Just my opinion tho. If you are really young, maybe that plays into the way you are feeling right now. Some kinda independence, I'm on my own now thing. Not sure, it's been lifetimes since I was in school and attended any psychology courses on "attachment patterns". Have fun, whatever way, you are. I'm not seeing anything here to be concerned about).

    Thanks!
    Nobody_LV thanked this post.

  5. #5

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenkao View Post

    People. Omg! This is the hardest one. I don't get attached easily but when i do, i swear i can probably do anything. Lol. I give my entire trust. Devoted. But when trust is broken, it's like it's gonna go back to zero again. I don't shut doors unless the wrongdoing is absolutely terrible


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I think it is similar to me in a way. It's hard for me to get attached, but the few times I was, it was exactly like you said. And if the other person hurts me, I shut the doors and never look back.
    Kenkao thanked this post.

  6. #6

    Quote Originally Posted by entheos View Post
    Places: Veeeery attached, it's surreal. I don't have more to say on this, because I have no explanation for why I feel this way. Ever since childhood, I was attached to places I had never been, and I developed imaginary relationships with those countries & cities to the point I knew them so well, that then when I was older I traveled to all those places many times, because they already felt like home. I keep returning to the same european cities over and over like they are my best friends, like we share blood.
    I also get easily attached to specific coffee shops, and I stick to the same 2-3 because they make me feel safe. I'm also attached to the same 2-3 shops, and I don't venture to other places, because I'm loyal to those, I feel safe there, I know where everything is, I know the furniture, the colors, the position of everything, keeps me calm.
    After reading this, I can relate to it at some points. When I said I could live in any place in the world, I was just saying how I feel. Meaning that I am not attached to my current location. But when I start to think rationally, I of course realize I could never live in a place where it's too dangerous, too cold or too hot. The more correct way to say this would be that I could live in any place in the world that falls within the category of specific places I would feel comfortable in. :)

    I also have those imaginary connections with particular cities or places. Paris is one example. I've seen so many pictures of it, imagined myself walking streets of Monmartre, I really feel as if I've actually been there.

  7. #7

    I get attached to lots, but then again you cannot control physical reality and I've also suffered from painful losses. I don't think I'm as sensitive to that as I was when younger.

    I almost have a sort of 'purely mental' version in my mind--it might be a coping mechanism.

    My aunty died recently and it was not easy for me to accept that her life was over. I don't know how to reconcile that--or any of the passage of time. I still remember when we had Christmas at her house, and we sat around the Christmas tree and opened 'prezzies.'

    I remember her warmth, and I think of all the people she touched. When her husband gave a memorial speech, he talked about how he is an athiest and never religious, but how he feels like she's still here. I cannot accept a reality in which what we love and value so much can be so arbitrarily 'unattached' to us by physical circumstances.

    Perhaps, that is what attachment is--its the significance that someone or something has. And it does not change as quickly as reality does.

    But eh--I do get attached to things. I also tend to let possessions go easily. I value things by their sentimental value. There are few things tht I really miss, but they tend to be things I'd like to look at and wonder about now, because I could learn more about them. Even then, I also sort of accept their loss as being part of what informs me and who I am.

    I get attached to people for sure.

    I feel attached to the places I considered home. It mostly becomes more abstract as I lost those attachments--or I had to move as a kid. So now it's what unifies all of them--which tends to be big stuff like oceans, wind, and things they all share.

    My jobs--I don't like to actively seek out better jobs. I know it's what people are supposed to do, but it's not really in my nature or habit to do so.

    So I guess, in comparison, I am pretty attached. I also tend to let go when I have to though, and find peace in that--however.

    I really enjoyed studying Buddhism as a child, but I got stuck on the attachment thing, and the concept of the world being an illusion. I can definitely give to people or love them, and let them go gracefully--actually I do that constantly and very professionally, but I don't think attachment in itself is wrong (which I guess is how I understood it from reading about Buddhism and trying to practice it). I do like something I heard after, from a Buddhist monk, which was that suffering can be a gift because it allows for the birth of compassion.

    So idk--in some ways I don't feel quite as attached to others. I can be a rolling stone, and I don't tend to make a lot of attachments with people--probably less than most people. But attachment is also important to me.
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  8. #8
    INFP - The Idealists

    Personally I get very attached to things, people, and places.

    My memory seems particularly tied to places, and I really value my memories so moving away is like losing a chunk of myself, I hate that. I like the comfort of familiar places as well, it's easier to do things on autopilot while thinking about more interesting things when you've navigated it so many times before.

    With things it depends on the item, if it's something that is really 'me' and I love it then I definitely feel sad if it breaks or gets lost. I'm not one for actively getting rid of things, but there are some things that I wouldn't be too bothered about losing. If it's something I could replace with the exact same thing it's not so bad unless it's something that really has a special history with me, if there's that sentimental aspect then I'm very attached.

    It's one of my ideals to know people a long time, to have life-long friends, and to have deep connections with family and friends, so yeah I'm very attached to them. People are not interchangeable, I don't like the idea of replacing friends with new ones after moving or changing school or whatever.
    UpClosePersonal and Nobody_LV thanked this post.

  9. #9

    Quote Originally Posted by Aelthwyn View Post
    ...it's easier to do things on autopilot while thinking about more interesting things when you've navigated it so many times before.
    Hey, get out of my head.

    (I can't believe the number of times you've expressed things in the very same words I would have.)
    Aelthwyn thanked this post.

  10. #10

    Thanks everyone for the replies.

    It's interesting how different everyone sees this subject.

    I was thinking that maybe I don't feel attached to people because I haven't yet had very deep relationship with anyone. I had once, a friend who was INTJ so not the most compatible type, but we had quite long and close friendship. However, in the end he changed quite a lot, got a bit obsessed with things I didn't agree with, so I initiated to end our friendship. At the beginning of our friendship I was quite clingy and it annoyed him. So maybe this and some other similar bad experiences with people pushing me away have made me develop some kind of defence mechanism which doesn't allow me to get very attached to anyone so that I don't get hurt...just an idea.


     
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