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1,087 Posts
Since I turned 30 this past summer I get to post here:cool:

Go out into the world and explore and learn as much as you can, whether to the other side of the country or just around the block. Do so in the hopes that what ever trials and tribulations you face turn into lessons to make you a stronger and better person.

Learn about other cultures and ways of thought, there is no one path to life. To learn other ways of thinking will help you understand how others in life operate and to empathize with them as they face their own challenges. You don't have to agree with everyone else, but rather at the very least, understand why people do things they way they do.

While it is a tall order to change the world, a warm smile or gesture of kindness can change someone's personal world as much as an act of inconsideration can bring it crashing down. Everyone has this power.

While it is all too tempting to cut oneself off from the rest of the world and relish the solitude, never underestimate the ability to effectively go out and communicate with other people. Doing so will help you better navigate the world.

One does not need to be boisterous or brash to be seen as strong. There is such a thing as quiet strength, the people who can see this quality in you are the ones who matter.

Don't be afraid to fail, don't be afraid to fall, everyone does. Regroup, whether you persist in your endeavor or reconsider is of lesser consequence.

23 Posts

I'm only 26, but there are a few things I've learned along the path and I'd like to share them with younger INFPs. Most of them must already have been said, but it could still be useful, I hope, and I added some quotes I find inspirational.

1) Be grateful
Be grateful for what you already have, rather than being frustrated by what you don't have. A sunny day, a good freakfast, loving friends and family... These are simple things you can be grateful for. As the song says, "Always look on the bright side of life"

2) Don't try to fit in
When I was younger, I was frustrated because I felt very different from the others and thought "What's wrong with me ?" I had never had a girlfriend, hadn't many friends, didn't go to parties. I could spend the whole summer home, reading, drawing, playing music or video games, with my family as only company. When I went to parties, it was fun for one hour or two and then I wanted to go back home. I'd sometimes pretend to be an extrovert, or someone I'm not, to fit in. As I grew older, I got to know more like-minded people who helped me discover my introverted nature. Life is much easier when you are true to yourself. Don't pay attention to what people think of you. Whatever you say or do, there'll always be someone to criticise you.

Oscar Wilde: "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken."
Kurt Cobain: "Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are."

3) Know yourself
To live life to the fullest and make decisions that are right for you, you must know yourself. Discovering I am an INFP helped me a lot. It's a long journey, the journey of a lifetime, but it's the most rewarding. I often think of this Ancient Greek aphorism: "Gnôthi seauton", "know yourself"

4) Surround yourself with like-minded and positive people
It's okay not to have many friends. One or two genuine friends are enough. Surround yourself with people who share your interests, with whom you can truely be yourself.

Jim Morrison: "A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself - and especially to feel, or not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at any moment is fine with them. That's what real love amounts to - letting a person be what he really is."

One thing I really enjoy doing is making gifts to my friends. It's one of my favourite feeling in the world to offer them something totally unexpected and see the surprise in their eyes.

5) Treat yourself as a friend
INFPs may be very hard with themselves. They have high expectations but low self-esteem, which is the most direct way to feeling bad. It's easy to get trapped in a vicious circle of negative thoughts. If it happens, ask yourself "Would I say this to a friend?". Instead of blaming yourself, talk to youself as a friend would: being kind, comforting, compassionate, etc.

6) Don't take anything too seriously
Life becomes better when you start laughing at yourself. Humour is a powerful tool, and it truely helps feeling better. Instead blaming youself, laugh at how foolish you are. You can tease your friends and laugh at the others too (behind their back, it's better).

7) Relax, take it easy
It's alright not to know what you want to do with your life. When I was 20, I went through an existential crisis because I didn't know what to do after college. I didn't know, I felf like an emergency to find it now, and I hated myself for not knowing. I guess many of you have gone through similar phases. The perfect job doesn't exist, but you can find jobs that are not too bad and you're good at. It's also okay to make mistakes and to change one's mind.

8) Do things you like
Life is too short to waste time doing things you don't like, be it for jobs or hobbies. If you have a passion, it's wonderful. If you don't, it's okay too, there must be things you enjoy doing and feel free to explore. It can be anything, and daydreaming is perfectly okay. Don't be obsessed with achieving things like I sometimes do: don't feel obliged to be productive or to do great things.

9) Step out of your comfort zone
We all have things we want to do, but we are too afraid to try or we feel not good enough. Sometimes, the best thing to do is to do the thing you're the most afraid of: ask this person out, go on stage... It's not easy, but it's rewarding. It's alright to fail, but it's too bad not to try. You'll feel better saying "I've tried but failed miserably" than "I've never tried".

10) Look for meaning
If you pursue money, fame or status, you might become rich, famous and powerful, but you likely end up unhappy as well. The best advice I can give is to do things that are meaningful to you. Like many of us, I bet you'd like to change the world. It's a rather ambitious and daunting task. Let's be realistic: it's very unlikely you change the world. However, you can simple things around you to make the world a better place: helping others, volunteering, being active in your community, these are examples of activities which can add meaning to your life.

Thank you for reading, I hope you liked it!

418 Posts
infps are always self-aware and on an neverending quest of finding, defining, exploring themselves.
so the lesson is simple: sometimes - sometimes - the answer is to let go.

be like melting snow - wash yourself of yourself.

i've found that if you can only focus on the matter before you on the table, it is then that the confidence, the self-realization, the truth come out. not in overanalyzing or "working on yourself". sometimes, if you want to be something, you start performing and moving in that direction, which builds on and on from there. focusing on yourself might blur the individual problem before you. focusing on the problem, the matter itself is always clear and true.

the one good thing about being too analytical of yourself, is that eventually you realize no one can give you any useful advice whatsoever. the question comes from yourself only, and from the situation you yourself have put in. the answer needs to come out of the same source, otherwise it will harm you.
someone may have a logical, or an emotional solution to advise with. but if you move on it, and not on your own inner logic and needs and identity, it will wound you.

therefore: what you have to do is whatever you can't not do.

that's the only wisdom i feel authorized to share, kids.
Godspeed to your 30's - the struggle doesn't end there lol

23 Posts
I forgot five things:

- Journaling helps a lot. If your overthinking mind doesn't leave you alone, or if you feel bad, write down your thoughts. It will lighten your burden and it will enable you to rethink and have new ideas. I personally find that the act of writing is one of the best way to break the vicious circle of negative thoughts.

- It's never too late, never too late to change, never too late to do anything.

- If you don't know what to do with your life, think about death. It's not the funniest thing to think about, but the idea of death truely release your mind and makes you realise what's important and what's not. For instance, ask yourself "If I had one or two years left to live, what would I do?"

- Accept things as they are. Life is not always easy and you may face hard times. When it's the case, ask yourself if you can do anything about it. If you can't, it's useless to blame yourself or to try to change the situation.
Epictetus: "Some things are in our control and others not."

- You're not your physical appearance, your degree, job or career, you're much more than all these.

3,923 Posts
I'm 29, so maaaaybe I can post here.

Anyway, my golden tip would be to try and let go of precreated images and judgements that you have about the world. This is easily overlooked when you are Fi-dominant. These prejudices keep you from experiencing a situation again, which would give you the chance to re-evaluate and adjust your opinion. This is vital, because this probably forms a blockade within yourself from doing or trying certain things that could be very valuable to you and also take away certain anxieties.

For example, you may think that certain jobs are the worst ever because it will be swarming with xxxx-types and / or INFP-types will probably suck at the job etc. However, in my experience it does not really matter as much what you do, but where you do it and with whom. People (colleagues) make or break the job, regardless of the type of job it is. The company and its culture weigh in quite a lot as well of course.
It could be that you would never envision yourself doing something physical or practical, yet if only the co-workers / company would be versatile and openminded, you might as well do a great job and learn some very essential skills there. Or maybe you end up in a finance job in which you always thought that it would probably end up being very unethical and filled with ENTJ-sharks, yet maybe you're a star in finance anyway and could use it at a company or institution that has honourable goals. Even ethical and altruist organisations need to cut costs and make hard decisions to be effective.

Keep looking around and try out jobs until you find a workplace that has the right people and the right culture for you, that is half the job already. Also, don't be afraid to cut ties with an employer that structurally exploits you or doesn't respect your principles. You are worth a certain amount of perks and money weighed against your experience and degrees. Dare to negotiate, dare to stick with demands sometimes, dare to overplay your hand and fail sometimes. It is valuable experience.

To be completely honest with you, my greatest boosts forwards where usually a result of me working hard and other people suggesting me to do things I would never dare to do myself, like having a piggyback (network!) introducing me to a job that I would have never thought I could handle or apply to.

Network, network, network.

Also, don't overplay the importance of ''the job having to fit a dream or your fulfilment''. Honestly I still don't know what I want to do or what I want to become, but by now I have had several different kind of jobs and managed somehow to make it work pretty good. INFPs are flexible and versatile all-rounders like that, you will enjoy a lot of those achievements without it needing to fit a dream of yours. It will give you a lot of other fulfilments you would not have thought of yet.
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