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  • I am somewhat Idealistic but don't hope for things and don't remember why

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  • I am somewhat idealistic but don't hope because it hope leads to hurts

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  • I've been hurt too many times to remember what it feels like to be either

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  • I lost it all a long time ago and feel quite dead inside

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Discussion Starter #1
Something I've been struggling a bit with of late is finding that hopeful and idealistic side of myself that has been drowned out for the last 20 years which is basically all my life.

I know a lot of infjs find some middle ground between hopeful+idealistic and realistic+sensible, so I'm curious:

Where do you lie on that spectrum?

How does it make you feel?

How does it change your interactions with others when you are in different places upon the spectrum?

Would you like to provide a little background as to why you came be where you are now?

I'll answer in the second post to keep this one fairly clean.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
As for the poll, I'd say I used to be "I lost it all a long time ago and feel quite dead inside + I'm not sure, but I feel so lost all the time" just 3 years ago, "I've been hurt too many times to remember what it feels like to be either" until a year ago and now I'm trying to get to "I am highly idealist, romantic and hopeful. Life is wonderful" but there are all these pieces inside of me that are holding me back as well.
I'm not sure I'll make it there but I'll try, at very least I'm hoping to land on "I am idealistic and hopeful because life is more meaningful that way/worth living".

I don't think I realised how being idealistic was intrinsic to my personality till recently, the idea that kindness brings everyone closer, love+care+affection are to be freely given and sought because it moves people in a way like no other and honesty+empathy brings relief to so many souls has always been inside of me somewhere, and I've always been far happier and enjoy life so much more when I'm most connected to them but I'm still having trouble reconciling them. It's like the part of me that has always been pulled away from them just keeps pulling me back to my 'norm' I've been at for practically all my life, but I don't feel alive in that norm, I don't want to be there at all.

Where do you lie on that spectrum?
At the moment, I'm trying to force myself to become idealistic and hopeful again, not overly so just yet but I feel like I'm ready to try to live life for myself more than ever. Having a lifetime of other's telling me that what I've wanted is not anything I can ever have or worth anything has been rather destructive on my sense of self, and while it is still rather 'weak' I feel like it's time to start growing that bud inside of me and sharing it with those around me.

How does it make you feel?
Being Idealistic and hopeful makes me feel... Alive, I don't really remember how I came to give up on either, I only remember that it was 'easier' to grow up that way when society always shuts you down for being different. It's a vague cloud of nostalgia of experiences that doesn't point to anything specific.

I've read that people who suffer traumatic experiences in childhood, despression and large levels of anxiety have their memories of childhood practically 'disappear'— They become incapable of recalling more than a small handful of experiences. I think that's the case with me and it's always bothered me that I never had any tales to share with others, stories to tell.



How does it change your interactions with others when you are in different places upon the spectrum?
I am genuinely happy, engaging and contagious— Even when I'm expressing anger, pain or sadness, or even taking it in from others it somehow makes everyone around me end up in tears and smiles. I'm just so much more real... Everything just 'feels'
That's the only way I can really explain it.


Would you like to provide a little background as to why you came be where you are now?
I think I provided it sprawled about in my other ramblings but here goes :)

I was pessimistic/realistic and cynical/sarcastic for a long time, in a bad way.. In a way where I'd be inadvertently shunting my own ideals as insignificant, it was basically self-harm verbally and thought-wise and I think that started to stop about 5 years ago when I made a decision to at least feel physically better because I hated being bedridden and sick. That said I'd still make myself sick every few weeks and as time went on, every few months and now I think I've finally stopped (at least I hope so, it's been like a year). I've found that infjs tend to be prone to self-fulfilling prophecies, they will unwittingly sabotage themselves in a dark moment.

Just recently i figured out what it feels like to feel like someone cares about you, I believe I never let myself feel it because it hurts to want it when you know people will just attack you for seeking it. Past issues, they still linger and I feel a dull ache every time I talk about it because of something inside of me that pulls me back to not 'wanting' it.

I really don't want to forget what it feels like to love, care, share affection and kindness to others, I never want to forget what it feels like to be able to truly feel it in return. But it's slipping away from me again, it's not that I don't like who I am either way..

I just don't feel like I've had enough time with it to keep this precious part of me safe inside from all those shadows that keep smothering it.
 

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I'm reading a book right now--planning to buy it (it's a library loan) next pay day which is in two weeks.

It is called Was That Really Me? by Naomi L.Quenk

The author comes from a place that we should not try to force tertiary or inferior functions to the fore--they come up last for a good reason, to balance our psyche.

She, and the best authors I read, do not talk about 'romantic' which has too many definitions yet too often seems to imply intimate relations with a significant other or 'crying over sentimental things'; so she writes instead about 'inspiration' and the need for developing feeling and judgment when discussing INFJs.

Rather she gets into the functions, not stereotypes, so here is an excerpt, her description of an INFJ:


INFJ - Introverted Intuition with Feeling

People with INFJ preferences are innovators in the field of ideas.

They trust their intuitive insights into the true relationships and meanings of things, regardless of established or popularly accepted beliefs. Problems only stimulate them--the impossible takes a little longer, but not much.

They are independent and individualistic, being governed by inspirations that comes through intuition. These inspirations seem so valid and important that they sometimes have trouble understanding why everyone does not accept them.

Their inner independence is often not conspicuous because INFJs value harmony and fellowship; they work to persuade others to approve of and cooperate with their purposes. They can be great leaders when they devote themselves to carrying out a sound inspiration, attracting followers by their enthusiasm and faith. They lead by winning (rather than demanding) acceptance of their ideas.

They are most content in work that satisfies both their intuition and their feeling.

The possibilities that interest them most concern people. Teaching particularly appeals to them, whether in higher education, or through the arts or ministry.

Their intuition provides insight into the deeper meanings of the subject and they take great satisfaction in aiding the development of individual students.

When their interests lie in technical fields, INFJs may be outstanding in science, or research and development.

Intuition suggests new approaches to problems and feeling generates enthusiasm that sparks their energies.

Intuition powered by feeling [not emotion, but what INFJs 'value'] may be of immense value in any field if not smothered in a routine job.

Some problems may result from the iNFJ's single-minded devotion to inspirations.

They may see the goal so clearly that they fail to look for other things that might conflict with the goal.

It is also important that their feeling is developed, since this will help supply necessary judgment. If their judgment is undeveloped, they will be unable to evaluate their own inner vision and will not listen to feedback from others.

Instead of shaping their inspirations into effective action, they may merely try to regulate everything (small matters as well as great ones) according to their own ideas, so that little is accomplished.


I agree with the author that we should not attempt to change our personalities or the order of functions, but rather work to the strengths, paying attention to balance in the area of feeling and judgment backing up 'inspiration' so we can discern what is impeding the goal as well as allowing us to be open to helpful feedback.


With that in mind, all of us have early childhood conditioning that can, and in many cases does, hinder our fully developing or as Jung wrote, 'becoming fully individuated.'

So it is not a choice between being 'idealistic' or 'dead inside.'

That reads to me as though we only have two choices: Giving in to holding on to childish fantasies OR giving up on life altogether.

Growing up to be our best selves is a life long process, and accepting ourselves as we are while working to be that best self is the balance to strike--not (to my mind) falling into thinking about where we fit on a 'spectrum' somewhere between out of touch with reality and so in touch with it in a mundane sense that life holds no power to engage us.

Every MBTI type is valuable and must--to be the best each can be--accept that all functions cannot nor should they hold equal weight;.

We need to delve deeper than what four letters, or eight combinations, represent at first gloss; how they are represented in online tests; or what we absorb by visiting sites that feed our preferred self-image rather than our preferred MBTI attitudes and cognitive functions 'acted out' rather than held only in our mind's eye.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
@HallowedHydraNess Not quite on topic, or at all really but I find I'm quite good at exercising most every part of me and find I don't really get tired by anything excessively anymore, mostly so long as I switch around in what I'm doing and utilising different abilities at different times.

From caring a lot/listening emotionally, to problem solving, learning new material, dancing/moving, getting absorbed in my surrounds, allowing my Ni to 'float' and make connections, expressing myself/affection/love etc., doing things that I want to do and still mostly helping people with things they want to do I find I don't really have a need for down time.
 

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@HallowedHydraNess Not quite on topic, or at all really but I find I'm quite good at exercising most every part of me and find I don't really get tired by anything excessively anymore, mostly so long as I switch around in what I'm doing and utilising different abilities at different times.

From caring a lot/listening emotionally, to problem solving, learning new material, dancing/moving, getting absorbed in my surrounds, allowing my Ni to 'float' and make connections, expressing myself/affection/love etc., doing things that I want to do and still mostly helping people with things they want to do I find I don't really have a need for down time.
Every human being has a need for down time, no exceptions.

If you read the book, Was That Really Me? one of the ways that INFJs get out of a grip (big time stress) or avoid it as much as possible, is by doing things like dancing (using Se in a positive, not overwhelming way) or taking naps, or going for a walk in nature.

That said, life throws too much at us sometimes, and our conditioning--especially for introverted intuitives--can lead us to take on too much, and once we get stressed, it may take a while to get out of it.

I don't know a single person--and at 56, with a full life already behind me, I've known thousands--hundreds intimately (not to be confused with sexually), and every one experienced stress, and at times--sometimes for extended times, needed 'down time,' while fighting to allow themselves to have it, or recognize what the down time, "relaxing" would be, then acting on it.

I have know a few people others would call "lazy" who avoided so much of life's normal stresses, and checked out with substances like pot--although some did it via their doctor (anti-depressants) that they were 'chill' because they had a layer of sensory cotton between them and others, themselves and the environment, but that is like counter-phobia, i.e. avoiding all stress for all time, and therefore missing out on normal human growth and individuation.
 

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Yes, at least until the real world comes knocking, then things get a little hairy for a while.

But eventually the idealism regenerates and there I go again. I'm told this is the meaning of faith, when it is not tied to any particular religion or god. How to be happy and believe in a better world, even when first blush appearances should say everything is terrible. A reminder to keep on digging, and cherish the beauties that aren't apparent; when it comes to fulfilling dreams, instant gratification is like sugary snacks with the high high and low low, while the ones you are forced to work for become the truly nourishing stuff, though they might not taste quite as good at first bite.

I guess it's another way of saying the journey is more important than the destination. I still don't believe that (destination is what makes the journey exist in the first place!), but like every good book has a bunch of hardships or meaningless filler for no other purpose but to enjoy the characters or the scenery, so does life. The more you think of these things as an adventure and an experience, and occasionally a challenge to gauge your current skill level--rather than some epic make-or-break-it struggle that defines irrevocably who you are and Failure Means Soul-Death or some such--the easier it is to enjoy, relax, and "be", resonating from your center, and counter-intuitively become who you really are without so much anxiety, pessimism, or navel-gazing: that which leads us to becoming mired.
 

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I am idealistic and hopeful but also cautious because of my experiences..

I keep dating, believing.. eventough my experiences tells me it is hard to find a guy who will be a good fit and not turn out to be a liar.. But someday my prince will come :p Or I will go crazy cat lady.. But for now still hopeful :love_heart:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
But eventually the idealism regenerates and there I go again. I'm told this is the meaning of faith, when it is not tied to any particular religion or god. How to be happy and believe in a better world, even when first blush appearances should say everything is terrible. A reminder to keep on digging, and cherish the beauties that aren't apparent
Haha, I think a lot of infjs inherently understand this 'up and down' state quite clearly :tongue:
I find the entire process rather adorable nowadays even if I'm one of the ones that go through it too. I actually find seeing my own behaviour in others or behaviours I used to have quite adorable hehe :3

It's something I understand deeply and perfectly well, I love that deep feeling of awe and appreciation I get sometimes when everything around me feels like time has stopped.

I guess it's another way of saying the journey is more important than the destination. I still don't believe that (destination is what makes the journey exist in the first place!), but like every good book has a bunch of hardships or meaningless filler for no other purpose but to enjoy the characters or the scenery, so does life. The more you think of these things as an adventure and an experience, and occasionally a challenge to gauge your current skill level--rather than some epic make-or-break-it struggle that defines irrevocably who you are and Failure Means Soul-Death or some such--the easier it is to enjoy, relax, and "be", resonating from your center, and counter-intuitively become who you really are without so much anxiety, pessimism, or navel-gazing: that which leads us to becoming mired.
One might even say that the key to being in the moment is to trust ourselves and our intuition, and the key to trusting ourselves and our intuition is to force ourselves to mold our lives around 'enjoying' what is rather than what is far off in the future, theoretical or way back in the past. It's a mutually assisting mentality :proud:

You find yourself not in the 'looking our for it' but in what you make of your experiences. Life is worth living when you immerse yourself in what it is you are doing, not by the wishing for more and doing nothing about it; A large part of me knows it could enjoy life as it is completely as it is now, quite a lot more than the average person I come across in life but I also know I can learn to enjoy it so much more still.

I quite admire your outlook though :kitteh:

I am idealistic and hopeful but also cautious because of my experiences..

I keep dating, believing.. eventough my experiences tells me it is hard to find a guy who will be a good fit and not turn out to be a liar.. But someday my prince will come :p Or I will go crazy cat lady.. But for now still hopeful :love_heart:
Haha, I think we all have this problem in dating :x
I find it best for myself if I don't base how much I like someone on my emotional response, there's too much in me from my upbringing that will affect what I'm attracted to, even my own sense of self-worth gets in the way of going after anyone I believe is 'too good' for me. I go for the things that I want and will find fulfilling in life, not the ones I am attracted to, the people who challenge me and make me want to be the best version of myself. (Not forcefully of course..)

To that extent there's a lot of psychology around how we're attracted to the ways love was expressed towards us growing up. Basically if you had not so nice childhood experiences that involved neglect (Very few infjs get away unscathed from this one, as they're often too intelligent and mature at a young age, while requiring validation for their ideas/feelings) and even worse things, you subconsciously take that as a basis for what you expect love to be like when you look for dates. You become attracted to people who will lie, cheat, disregard your thoughts/feelings and do things that 'limit' who you are, because if there's one thing that most infjs are taught, it's that it's not 'okay' to be themselves and it permeates throughout every aspect of their lives, usually until mid twenties.

But thanks for sharing :)
I'm quite hopeful for love myself! My standards are just bonkers haha :kitteh:
 
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