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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Here's what I've noticed. I think many INFPs believe they are the exception and therefore the rules don't apply.

For example:
Meeting your true love by chance, falling instantly in love and love will solve all problems and thus you will live happily ever after.

This is an exception. If it wasn't an exception then it would be more common. But I can recall less than a dozen INFPs over the last 20 years, telling me they met their soul mates on their first try and they've been together for decades.

Another example:
INFPs believe that they will eventually find that one job that will leave them fulfilled and make the day-to-day work bearable. This is an exception.

Research says most people change jobs 7 times. I've started 3 threads here and in the Facebook INFP groups asking about people that found that one fulfilling job. And there are many who have actually, but not until they were older. Most have flitted from one job to the other every 4-7 years.

Everyone wants to be the exception. But I think it's like winning the lottery. What happens if you don't win life's lottery? I think it's okay to want to be the exception, but I think it's a mistake to bet everything on it. How long do you keep hoping and hoping that the exception will apply to your life?

I'm not sure when I realized that life was falling into predictable patterns like number of job changes. Sometime after doing the thousandth load of laundry or grocery shopping or cleaning the toilet, I realize that there are some things in my life that fall outside the bell curve but for the most part, my life is pretty normal. There's nothing like cleaning your toilet and realizing that this is one of those things that you will be doing for the rest of your life that makes you realize that you're just like everyone else and that's okay.

That's when I started looking into the what research predicted what most people do with various parts of their life--why people get divorced, why people can't retire when they want, why people are generally unhappy. Knowing what the stats say to expect has help me avoid for the most part not being another statistic.

I'm not the life lottery winner that met their soulmate at 5 and had a trouble-free relationship. I'm not the life lottery winner wrote the best-selling book and retired to a beach by age 30. I'm not the life lottery winner that has always known what profession will make me fulfilled my entire life.

I think because I didn't count on winning the life lottery, I was able to focus on creating a life where I didn't have to be the exception to be happy.
 

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I would classify myself as thinking that I am indeed an exception (it must be noted, though, that I clearly I don't deem myself "superior" to others due to this), but that I do not need to live my life expecting a best-case scenario anyway, that will somehow solve "all problems." I must also add that although I wish I had this or that sometimes, I am actually happy regardless, and am living in a City that is the source of much life satisfaction for me in particular. In which ways I deem myself an "exception?"

-I am not looking for "the perfect job"-as long as I have music and my violin in my life, side jobs are totally fine with me. It's not always easy to get those jobs for me, though. Eventually, I would like to live solely on income generated by my violin playing/teaching, although I deem that a realistic (however difficult) goal, and not some sort of super longshot akin to winning the lottery.

-Love life-I am not expecting a magical mate that will make me happy. I believe in being happy first, and just making somebody else's life better, not on being fulfilled/"rescued" by my soulmate. I believe in soulmates insofar it is defined as people who have an unusual bond (many soulmates, not "the one", although people are entitled to their own views of course-I've known such people, although I admit, they are not many.) I am an exception, though, in that I really believe that although I could make anyone happy because I love and act on my love with all my heart (and yes, I love a meaningful relationship, and work hard at keeping it healthy, so it's not all about "I love yous" or just romance), I am realistic in accepting in that most ladies are not looking for the kind of man that I am. I have several beautiful virtues, but lack many of the other things that normally would be expected of me, and society often teaches many people that these things must be true for marriage to happen and be successful. I don't mind this, but realize since that is true, I am truly the exception, and that I should not go about dating as most people would. I do not play, and I don't like picking up ladies, nor even asking for numbers. I do not get frustrated, and in fact, don't expect a lot, knowing that in my case, it's REALLY almost like winning the lottery to find that special person that will love me just as I am, AND will want to marry me/be with me forever. I am awesome in many ways (as we all are), but I honestly don't fit with what a "good husband" is supposed to be stability-wise (make no mistake-I am working on this, but most people have a stable lifestyle by my age.) However, even though I am indeed an exception, I am still not unhappy (do I wish to find my special someone?: yes, with all my heart, and it is one of my life dreams, but I don't do so to reach "everlasting happiness", because even as I am right now, single and lonely for the most part, I am happy and feel quite privileged to be alive.)

I do agree that one should not expect to be happy if just life would meet some extraordinary conditions that will meet our "extraordinary" selves, finally making everything better. It is indeed wise to pursue our dreams while living in the moment, and knowing/working for what our immediate needs are. We need to live a long life, and if we are to eventually reach our dreams, we must somehow secure means to achieve a long and happy healthy life, even if things don't go according to our extraordinary wishes and hopes.

(I understand many of these things may not sound too practical, especially for you, Mr. INFPblog, but I'm honestly happy, even if not all things are just as I wish they were.)
 

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I think when you see this is may occasionally be true, but for the most part, you just aren't realizing that they are following different rules than yours. There is an objective reality but no opinion or "rule" apart from phyiscal ones are entirely true to anyone but the person percieving them because "rules" are abstractions upon reality that we impose. Are rules are informed by personal experience. Someone with different experiences comes to different conclusions; or a different understanding of how the world works.

So here's the implied line of though in your post-- because infps are not fufilled by their jobs, for example, are looking for an ideal mate, ideal job, that means they are being unrealistic. I suppose what you said about betting a lot on improbabilities is true; but that's improbably whether or not you bet them, right? Soul mate, perfect job, are mprobable no matter what. So then in the meantime, the infp has a choice to do the job the hate or be with the person they don't love, or to do neither. So is it really sacrificing life in the hopes of the eventual "ideal", or just not taking shitty deals that don't really make you happy? The choice present is, No job, change jobs, or stay with an unsatisying job. If those are your choices, why not just change jobs? So? What's wrong with that. I don't really see that with having much to do with being an exception to the rule, unless being unhappy with your life is consdiered an act of defiance. If only it was so easy to say, "What I want to be happy is improbable, I will turn off those desires and be happy with the actual!". And to some extent, I suppose it is. A lot of such things are choices. But then, this type is the idealist, so when presented with such an option, is it really such a surprise a lot of infps do hold out for the "ideal"? Impracitcal it may be, lonely, maybe, but as for being an 'exception to the rule", I tihnk not, because such choices come with certain risks. Risk of never meeting your soul mate, of never finding your perfect job. I tihnk anyone who makes such a decision, or at least, many/some, are aware of that risk. The angst and suffering and fear that infps express in this thread alone shows they do not believe they are exceptions, because believing you are exceptions come with a certainty that you will get what is coming to you; as the except, life will work exactly as you plan. I don't see a lot of certainty here, or a feeling of being "due" something. Rather the choice was presented- Pick this job in the meantime or don't, and some infps chose not to. maybe that's stupid to make risky choices like "aim high and don't be satisfied with what you have now" and then stupid to complain about it, but I am not sure if that really correlates to "believing you are the exception".
 

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Well, if you become extremely adept at pattern recognition you can become the exception. If you're willing to take advantage of that knowledge. I like what you say about being a little more practical in a sense. I think for most people life is a chase for novelty of some sort and there are very few novel experiences to be had. Thus extreme behavior and/or unhappiness. Mass consumerism is a reaction to this I think.

Personally, I see myself as different than most people but not better. I don't see myself as an exception and only blame myself if I don't have something I truly want.
 

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In some ways, yes I am an exception to the status quo. In some instances I will have no choice but to be an exception to the norm.

I admire the fact that you take action towards goals in a realistic fashion, and tend to look at issues with a different perspective from the majority of people. Some things you've said tend to reverberate with my past experiences and ideas I've had to incorporate into my own life in the past. Most people would be wise to listen to what you have to say, even if it may not be what they're expecting to hear.

I agree that it's important to realize that most of our life won't unfold the way we want too. Especially considering all the trends backed by statistics that affirm that. It's enlightening to see our habits come to fruition in the future, and plan accordingly. (Along the lines of the marriage, jobs, etc.) Important note though is that trends are broken, and can be accumulated through a variety of factors and reasons.

There are numerous ways to stack the odds in your favor to come out ahead in life's lottery, and I personally plan on holding that winning ticket in the times to come. I think the most important key to being happy is knowing yourself and what you can realistically put up with. That comes with experience, learning, goal setting/achievement, and taking note of what others did before you.
 

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I find that I am usually the exception. When I read about scientific studies that show what most people are like, they are not like me, even in how their bodies seem to work. I was certain that I was not a normal human being by the time I was four. I was sure I must be an alien who got adopted by humans, and that any information that applied to the others didn't necessarily apply to me. When I was in school, if we had to do anything as a group, I was always the weird one whose ideas didn't get included in the project, because nobody else could relate. When we used to have to answer questions in class where we had to stand in certain corners of the room to show which side we took on a controversial issue, I was always standing by myself, having to defend my beliefs against the entire class. If something is impossible for other people, it seems reasonable for me to believe that it isn't necessarily impossible for me. I sometimes feel like I have more in common with imaginary characters than with real people. If anyone can grow up to be a superhero, it should be someone like me who is already incapable of fitting in.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So here's the implied line of though in your post-- because infps are not fufilled by their jobs, for example, are looking for an ideal mate, ideal job, that means they are being unrealistic. I suppose what you said about betting a lot on improbabilities is true; but that's improbably whether or not you bet them, right? Soul mate, perfect job, are mprobable no matter what. So then in the meantime, the infp has a choice to do the job the hate or be with the person they don't love, or to do neither. So is it really sacrificing life in the hopes of the eventual "ideal", or just not taking shitty deals that don't really make you happy?
Maybe life isn't black and white. Either you find your soul mate or you don't. Either you hold out for the perfect job or you don't.

Perhaps, the perfect relationship isn't something you find but something that you can create and it's about learning the skills that it takes to do that. Maybe it's not about finding the one. Maybe the one is someone who started out as the half or the 3/4s and you learned what it took to round up and they we're kind enough to do the same in return. This is what the relationship books say usually happens. I'm not saying you should enter into an unsatisfying relationship. I'm saying that if you look at all the great relationships among the people in your life, the probability is that those great relationships didn't come from serendipitously finding the perfect person and that those great relationships came from learning the skills it took to create a great relationship out of two flawed people.

Perhaps there's no such thing as the perfect job. Maybe the perfect job is a combination of what you do, good relationships with co-workers, freedom and flexibility the job gives you with your personal life and etc. I'm not saying that you should accept a crappy job. I'm saying that job you spent years and years searching for that you love with all your heart right now and can't imagine doing anything else probably won't be a job that you'll love 5 years from now (because that's what the research says) and that you should probably plan for that.
 

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I realize that; that is not what I was speaking of.
It is more complicated than that. Such general principals are good to live your life by, but they do reduce things down that are not simple. Is one being unhappy with their circumstances mean they are "believing they are the expection"? One can know full well they are not the exception, that maybe they are not loved completely or that there life is not all that meaningful, but that doesn't mean that knowledge is easy. Obviously, one is always trying to create meaning, to accept the flaws of others, to "make love". But for some reason it isn't easy. If it was easy, than, goodness, there wouldn't so many questions and sadness. And for some people, it is easy. That's great. If there is someone of 3/4 you could round up to 1 whole and they were willing to do the same for you, I consider that lucky. That isn't really the norm either. Maybe you WERE the exception. No two experiences are alike in how they operate. If you've found general principals in how the world operates and applied them to your life, that's great, but take those principals onto someone else and they won't make sense, because it's lived by a different paradigm. Try to critique that life by those criteria and it abolishes the strengths of that life lived by a different criteria.

That said, for myself, I don't believe in the perfect love or a perfect job, and I don't really consider myself to be looking for either.
 

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I don't really like to think in the concept of exception. Though I idealise situations, it doesn't mean I believe much in the exceptions. Indeed I think large part of what would happen depends on us and on now for what we are doing. I don't completely neglect of the occurence of the exception and the unexpected, but my motto is 'if it is to be, it is up to you!' It's like you want to find your soulmate, go look for it! Staying in your room doesn't help at all! I know even if you go find and still depends on chances whether you'll meet the right person. Still, the good thing is, you are a step closer than staying at home. Whether we believe in exceptions don't really matter, it happens anyway. What matter is yourself, what you think and what you do. For the exceptions and that little chances of luck, give it to the hands of God. According to my experiences, because the exceptions cannot be usually controlled, just do your part well will suffice.
 

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I'm the exception not because I don't hav a pretty average life, but because I have a unique way of looking at that life.

Like I frequently have these stories about random strange things that happen to me or weird people I've met, and I tell my friends and they crack up about how crazy my life is and all this wacky stuff always happens to me. Then I was talking to a guy about it nd I asked him if more weird stuff objectively happens to me than to other people? He said he thinks at stuff happens to everyone, but just most people ignore it or chalk it up to life, but I think about it and put it together and find the humor in the most mundane stuff, which makes it interesting.
 

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I'm 25 and have already went through 3 relationships that didn't work out. I thought I found my soul mate, but after several years of being together I fell out of love or something and that was it.

I started 2 collages, didn't finish either one (technically I did finish psychology, but am not practicing), got into volunteering...which ended up something I didn't enjoy as much as I thought I would ( I don't seem to enjoy working with people :\ ). Now I have a good and stable job with not so much drama at the office, it pays well enough...and I'm still unhappy.

I like to think that I want to be that exception, but it isn't about comfort or anything like that. I just want my life to have meaning...which is something that has eluded me so far.

I don't know how to find that...I just don't...but as long as I live I'll be on the lookout for it. Luck has nothing to do with it, I will find it through effort and searching. It may take another 10 years or even more time, I may never find it....but so far my life's meaning is the search for meaning and truth. <.<...which is really stupid XD.

What I want the most is that feeling of "Ok..this is me, this feels good! I am meant for this.", and it will be alright even if it is something normal.
 

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I would say from the group of people I know, I am different definitely. I'm not really sure if 'exception' is the right word. But my current life is the same of an average British teenager, however my personality and the way I think is very different from a teenager.

One thing I will say is that if I am completely different from the status quo, or I've made changes to my personality, then it is not intentionally to look different and get attention and popularity, which is what some people have said to me. I am who I am. I grow as a person. I learn new ideas, discover new foods, find a new sport, try out a new hobby, find a new band. I only ever change because I want to, and that's all there is to it.
 

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I got lucky in love, so I guess some rules do apply to me. Job, on the other hand... I'm currently on my 7th (35 years old). Been at it for three years and I'm getting bored...
 
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