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I find that my moods change really rapidly, depending (I suppose) on my emotional response to the smallest of situations, situations other people would normally ignore or gloss over. I also find that when I get stuck in an empowered mood :crazy: or a self-destructive mood :sad: I take it to extreme levels either way. I have such high highs and low lows.

But no matter how passionately I believe in what my moods/emotions are telling me about my situation in life, it’s so easy to slip out of that perspective into another. Is this normal for INFJs? And if it is, do you have any ways to handle it? I find that my perspective on things is really unstable and I’m not living healthily mentally because of it.
 

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<raises hand> Hi, my name is Aizar, and I've been a member of Stability Anonymous for several years now...if you ever figure out the cure to this curse, I'd love to know.

But seriously, :laughing: I've found one way of helping to train myself to just STOP and let the emotions pass when they're too wild and negative. Once I'm calmed down I can do something about the situation. But if I do anything in that wild state, it'll probably be something I'll regret later.

I think the rest is just experience. When you learn just how bad things can turn, all those semi-bad things suddenly don't bother you as much.

It's a problem for me, too...those are the ways I handle it, but someone else might know more...
 

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I have strong emotions that I sometimes can't control. I do crave stability very much, though, in every way. Sure, I want intense experiences and emotions, but I want to be able to handle them and to know I will be okay.
 

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I've got the same problem, but I've always associated it with being enneagam type four. I don't really know to what extent this is connected with my INFJness. I don't deal with my emotions and feelings, and unfortunately they started to affect my life negatively more and more. So, I guess I'm not really the right person to give you advice. Anyway, here's the link to some recomendations for enneagram type fours. I know we're talking about INFJs, but I really think you may find it helpful, because it concerns dealing with emotions and stuff. Personal Growth for Enneagram Type Fours
 

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<raises hand> Hi, my name is Aizar, and I've been a member of Stability Anonymous for several years now...if you ever figure out the cure to this curse, I'd love to know.

But seriously, :laughing: I've found one way of helping to train myself to just STOP and let the emotions pass when they're too wild and negative. Once I'm calmed down I can do something about the situation. But if I do anything in that wild state, it'll probably be something I'll regret later.

I think the rest is just experience. When you learn just how bad things can turn, all those semi-bad things suddenly don't bother you as much.

It's a problem for me, too...those are the ways I handle it, but someone else might know more...
True story. One of the best ways is learning to accept the feeling. Fighting the feeling or dwelling on it usually just makes it worse or persist.

To answer the question. I can go from euphoria to suicidal in one day, which is very scary and causes me concern sometimes. But yes my moods can change rapidly. I've learned how to have better control over them by adopting some healthy habits and learning some different perspectives. But, I have bipolar 2 and generalized anxiety disorder so I can't really function too well without medicine. My mood is pretty stable, to me at least, compared to how it was before. But if you were to get a psychologist to assess the thoughts that go through my mind they'd probably seriously recommend that I see a therapist.
 

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I find that my moods change really rapidly, depending (I suppose) on my emotional response to the smallest of situations, situations other people would normally ignore or gloss over. I also find that when I get stuck in an empowered mood :crazy: or a self-destructive mood :sad: I take it to extreme levels either way. I have such high highs and low lows.

But no matter how passionately I believe in what my moods/emotions are telling me about my situation in life, it’s so easy to slip out of that perspective into another. Is this normal for INFJs? And if it is, do you have any ways to handle it? I find that my perspective on things is really unstable and I’m not living healthily mentally because of it.
The only distinctive issue I see here is that you are blaming a personality type on your emotional instability. If that were the case, people under that personality type would fit your self-analysis to a T. It's not the case. You sound emotionally unstable - not thoroughly but the fact that you can become to permeated and entrenched into your emotions swiftly, is troubling. Do you have a mood disorder? You should practice self-regulation.

Hypersensitivity has its positives...? Does it. I don't know. IMO it doesn't. You sound hypersensitive. You're aware and that is the first step. Practice this train of thinking: "Will this have any significance five years from now?"

Good luck.
 

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Some of the ways to cope with difficult situations:
- increasing physical activity
- seeking support from friends, family members, or relatives
- spirituality
 

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I find that my moods change really rapidly, depending (I suppose) on my emotional response to the smallest of situations, situations other people would normally ignore or gloss over. I also find that when I get stuck in an empowered mood :crazy: or a self-destructive mood :sad: I take it to extreme levels either way. I have such high highs and low lows.

But no matter how passionately I believe in what my moods/emotions are telling me about my situation in life, it’s so easy to slip out of that perspective into another. Is this normal for INFJs? And if it is, do you have any ways to handle it? I find that my perspective on things is really unstable and I’m not living healthily mentally because of it.
To quote Donald O'Connor:
"Now I can start suffering and write that symphony..."

*5 seconds later*

"Now I can STOP suffering and write that symphony!"

When in doubt, I write symphonies. Lol!
 

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Some of the ways to cope with difficult situations:
- increasing physical activity
- seeking support from friends, family members, or relatives
- spirituality
I agree with this. What I also do aside from these things is just stay to myself for a long while. Rest is one thing that has always calmed me down whenever I feel like my emotions are becoming too out of control.
 

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I have this problem too and isolation is my answer, mostly because when I am feeling that way, I am not a good company. I need to work on that alone and I become selfdestructive too, I have selfdestructive thoughts (maybe not actions) but thoughts. Being by myself helps for a while but after a time I will need friend´s company or family. It is not easy to deal with my moods sometimes.
 
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There was a post in our forum telling that all types, INFJs included, long to be understood. This could be the root cause of all of the chaotic events in the world as empathy is rarely found these days.

Without going into any specific news, most of the reasons why people decide to commit a crime are usually either some kind of mental illness or financial crisis. But then, through slightly deeper analysis, evidence suggests it's a missing parental figure, childhood bullying, and other personal issues that carried on to adulthood.
 
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Don't worry, you're not crazy! I experience this, too. I haven't read the comments to see if someone has mentioned this already, but have you heard of being a "highly sensitive person?" The feelings you describe sound like they could come as a result of being a highly sensitive person. Here is the website where you can read about highly sensitive people and take a self-test: The Highly Sensitive Person.
 

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I have had the same experience with unpredictable mood/emotional starts and stops, to the point of it controlling my daily feeling/activity more than I've wanted. I've felt many a time very isolated, thinking there's no way 'normal' people experience these same ups and downs. And I suppose that is the point. What is your reference for normal? And why is what is normal necessarily good? I've been trying to change my reference point. I've been trying to stop forcing myself to act the same way everyday. Each day is new, you are a different person every time you wake up. It can be scary from the standpoint of thinking that you don't have an identity, or, if you prefer, you can approach it as an opportunity to grow. I try to think of it this way, its not your emotional response to external stimulus which defines you but the way that you approach your emotional response to external stimulus, and separating authentic emotions from emotional responses to external events. In some situations a rational analysis of your response is warranted, ie do I have control over the events which are causing me stress or anxiety, if there is any thing I can do about it then do it, if not, you have to realize that its out of your control.

That said, in general, my main goal is to live authentically, yes broadly used and thrown about in certain corners of the universe, but nonetheless the most accurate representation of my inner desire...obviously this leads to existentialist philosophy, one which I find helpful is Heidegger's concept of angst. Where he says that angst in one's life should be used by one to examine critically how they are living their life and whether they are living according to their own expectations or to the expectations of others (be careful of people summarizing philosophical positions in one sentence).

And so...I try to live out of phase with everyone else, like two sine waves that every once in a while come back to meet, but the rest of the time are on their own trajectory. Works well for me because I can very easily become hyperfocused on whats going on around me, and I honestly don't need to be that way in general, as it is a source of anxiety. Stay focused on the bigger picture, and realize that other people are different and you won't relate to them much nor them you...and embrace your moods, at least the authentic ones, because they are probably telling you something about your life that you may not have realized before.

Hoped some of my rambling helps,

Best
 

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For me, the strong emotions veer towards the negative side. When I do feel happy, it's an even, constant, and non-chaotic happy (shouldn't that the way happiness be in the first place?), but the negatives range all over the place and very chaotic. I don't deal with stress well, and when I encounter too much stress for me to handle (which as I experience more and more stress with a short recuperation time, is less as the years go on), I end up going into anxiety attacks. Not much can calm me out of those, I just have to let those pass. Now, I can mostly focus on the happy things and overall, I am happy. I still can't prevent those anxious moments when evens in my life cause me more stress than I can handle, but I know those are only temporary, and the happiness will continue.

I do crave stability in my emotions. Not just the emotions, but within everything in life. I like to know things are "set in stone", concrete, and not going to change. I'm not good with change or new things. I was raised in a very unstable home, and I think that took its toll on me when I was younger.
 
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Discussion Starter #16
I've got the same problem, but I've always associated it with being enneagam type four. I don't really know to what extent this is connected with my INFJness. I don't deal with my emotions and feelings, and unfortunately they started to affect my life negatively more and more. So, I guess I'm not really the right person to give you advice. Anyway, here's the link to some recomendations for enneagram type fours. I know we're talking about INFJs, but I really think you may find it helpful, because it concerns dealing with emotions and stuff. Personal Growth for Enneagram Type Fours
Thank you for the link. I am an enneagram Type 4 as well so it is pretty relevant. Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The only distinctive issue I see here is that you are blaming a personality type on your emotional instability. If that were the case, people under that personality type would fit your self-analysis to a T. It's not the case. You sound emotionally unstable - not thoroughly but the fact that you can become to permeated and entrenched into your emotions swiftly, is troubling. Do you have a mood disorder? You should practice self-regulation.

Hypersensitivity has its positives...? Does it. I don't know. IMO it doesn't. You sound hypersensitive. You're aware and that is the first step. Practice this train of thinking: "Will this have any significance five years from now?"

Good luck.
I am not blaming my hypersensitivity on my type. I recognize that I have this problem and I'm seeking some solutions. I am wondering whether other INFJs face this; I'm not saying that all do. And I know I have to practice self-regulation, but that's easier said than done which is why I'm on perc asking for some coping tips. Thank you for your suggestion on training myself to look at the bigger picture. But other than that I suggest that when you next answer a thread posted by someone asking for help, I suggest that you don't belittle what their going through or pass judgement on them. That's not the best way to encourage their recovery.
 

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And thanks to everyone else who posted. I really do appreciate your suggestions and your stories. You have no idea how much hope it gives me knowing that there are other people out there who fight the same inner battles as me and knowing that some of you have emerged victorious.
 

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And thanks to everyone else who posted. I really do appreciate your suggestions and your stories. You have no idea how much hope it gives me knowing that there are other people out there who fight the same inner battles as me and knowing that some of you have emerged victorious.
Glad to hear that. Your post reminded me of a quote by Plato: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
 

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Hrm...I know I feel things deeply, but I'm not so sure it's ever been something that affected my sense of stability. Normally, I'm on a pretty even keel, but when something triggers an emotional reaction, I don't really feel like I'm being taken outside of myself, or that I'm out of control, or that I'm unable to handle it. It's not that I numb myself or even that I'm in denial - I know what I'm feeling, and usually why I'm feeling it, and that whatever it is isn't permanent.

If it's a strong negative emotion (anger, hurt, frustration, etc.), I usually stop and ask myself a few questions before I react: "Will this still be a big deal in 5 hours? 5 days? 5 weeks? Is this going to affect my overall well-being or the course of my life in any way?" If the answer to all those questions is "no," then I figure out the most productive way to get through it (usually involves the gym and a cardio machine).

I don't get overwhelmed by positive emotions, either - I enjoy them for what they are and deeply appreciate them, but I don't ever get "manic" or out of control. Worst thing that happens when I'm really happy? I bake a bunch of bread and muffins and shit, and then bring it all to work because I don't want to gain 700 pounds by eating it all myself.

The only emotion that can really, truly overwhelm me is stress. Even now - I'm incredibly stressed by working full-time and going to grad school full-time, and doing an internship on top of that, being far away from family and close friends, and simply being burned out and ready for this chapter in my life to be done. I've gotten sad, frustrated, and sometimes even irritable, and I tend to avoid the things I have to do (even though this is completely counter-productive). I'm physically and mentally exhausted, and all I want to do is sleep. I'm still working on how to get out of this particular rut. :)
 
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