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Discussion Starter #1
"childlike" .vs. "childish" , in this so-called "mature, adult" REAL-world..!

Just wondering,
is it just particularly me, or Have any of you INFPs ever -or even perhaps often- called "you are childish, immature, naive, grow up!" OR more positively, "I like you, because of your childlike & somewhat 'carefree' attitude" ?

I often wonder if first of all, our often being "childlike" is also actually in fact one of the main traits of being INFP?
it is even said here in one article's description of INFP -which I also really like and seems to hit spot-on in describing me- :

INFPs never seem to lose their sense of wonder. One might say they see life through rose-colored glasses. It's as though they live at the edge of a looking-glass world where mundane objects come to life, where flora and fauna take on near-human qualities.
INFP Profile

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About a few days ago, I've write this on my Facebook status & Twitter, and surprisingly, got many "Likes" :

"When you're a small kid/child, Life seems to have much more possibilities.
But when you're an adult and got introduced into the "real-world" (or "reality", etc) , life somehow seems to be so *limited* in many aspects.

I guess it's no wonder that there are still many people (including me) who still miss (& also dream) of those 'colorful' & much more 'full of variation' childhood days

and even some of these people still want to retain & don't want to lose their "childlike" 's rose-colored glasses, personality, thinking, and sense of wonders~

“We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” - George Bernard Shaw

"You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing." - Maurice Chevalier."
Do you guys also agree with what I've said above?..

and also, do you think there is a difference between "childlike" and "childish"?

last but not least, have you often being called, or even worse, judged, of "being childish, immature, grow up please!" just simply because you still like -or even LOVE- playing games, or watching anime, cartoon, love some fantasy novels, science-fictions stuff....basically things that are outside of this often -really- mundane, boring, & LIMITED real-world/reality ?.. and, how do you respond back usually to these "mainstream" or majority of people in our today's so-called "grown-up, mature" society that is ironically NO less superficial anyway??..

would love to know your opinions~
 

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Discussion Starter #2

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Holding onto your sense of wonder isn't bad thing, and it's a tragedy that a lot of people seem to relate cold, cynical and pessimistic with the thought of maturity. You aren't mature just because your weary of all the mean and important things out there adult life brings, that just makes you a boring drained husk of a person that can't feel anything. Maturity (to me at least) is being able to see the challenges of the 'adult/real' world and overcome them again and again, to do what you have to do and expect no praise for it.

I've been called childish and immature, but that's because at 20 years old, I still am quite immature. I don't pay bills or make an income to spend on daily expenses, I realize that. I am not immature however just because I like to watch the stars or like to smile at the sunset every once in a while, I can still see the beauty in the world around me and I don't think I'll ever stop seeing that beauty until I close my eyes for good.

I got into a discussion about my 'maturity' with my supervisor at my old job, she told me that I was still very childlike and carefree for a (at the time) 19 year old, and I responded to her that as long as I fulfill the obligations that I'm expected too, I can act however I want and be no less mature then our boss. She nodded in agreement and I can't really remember where the discussion turned too after that.

Yeah I kinda started rambling, sorry...
 

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I can feel very relate to this a lot. well, I'm often called a "young buffalo" because of my childish actions when I get angry/feeling offended/protect my values. (Mostly I swearing a lot)
about being childish on our way of life, well, who said if you watches cartoon then you are something like a child?er. adult swim has cartoons right? yet the language and content in there are for mature people. or, even, if you watches My Little Pony or Powerpuff Girls, then you are a child? no. for me it's just a way to relax/recharge my inner energy after being used on the boring reality.
 

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Nope, I don't relate at all. I don't get called childish either. I'm also okay with growing older as you have defined it. My feelings are my own, I don't need to label them sometimes(calling them child-like or adult-like) or compare them to others. I will be a child if that's how I feel it and an adult if so too. That was the past, my young wonder may be gone but our heads get smarter and new things replace that wonder.
When it comes to defining what people view as childish or mature, it can be interesting in an academic sense, but again personally it matters little.
(skip to 3:58)
 

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Imo, the distinctions between 'child-like', 'childish' and 'mature' are subjective and socially relative. From what I'm aware of, 'childhood' is social construct which tends to be romanticised in the West. People often talk about the 'innocence' and 'playfulness' of childhood while trying to reconcile those concepts with the demands of the 'adult' world (often dominated by the capitalist and bourgeois discourse of social/economic 'responsibility', 'independence', etc..). It's probably more of a 'trend' nowadays, because more people feel stressed by the demands and expectations of 'modern' society, and seek a way to justify certain practices/behaviours while tapping into certain ideals and archetypes of childhood to feel more at peace with oneself. 'Childish' is often a negative judgment used by others (and even internalised by oneself) to marginalise and mock those who don't toe the line by being a 'responsible', 'serious' citizen who also gets down to the business of 'breeding'.

Personally, I don't think it should matter what other people think: it's more important to be at peace with oneself while acting according to reason and principle.
 

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Roughly: childlike - pure, innocent and marked with naievete; childish - immature or juvenile. Childish has negative connotation.

It's socially and professionally frustrating... they usually take me very lightly, because I am, from their point of view, both child-like and childish, some to the point that one of them said "I'm glad you did not become the council president."

Their view of maturity, and I don't say this lightly, sucks. ^_^ As much as we'd like to explain, it's just really a matter of perspective. If you view everything from so far above, you realize that things are really beautiful, nice and intricate... there's just so much hurt. The galaxies are like flowers, the planets like bugs. XD Hahaha. I'm drifting offffffff~

Oftentimes, I find the "mature" world sort of repulsive. Lies, gossip, scandal and talk talk talk. I've went off and seen a lot of their world, trying to understand it: it's a lesser form of Satan's hell.

When they do call me so, and just flippantly dust off anything I say, although feeling misunderstood, I shrug it off. No matter how much explaining I do, the idea and the philosophy doesn't sink in... you know why? Because they have their own. We should just make sure that there is always at least one person friend who feels the same way, or at least understands.
 

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I don't think I've been called childish but I do see myself as somewhat childlike.

Definition of CHILDLIKE

: resembling, suggesting, or appropriate to a child orchildhood; especially: marked by innocence, trust, and ingenuousness <childlike delight>
I was thinking again yesterday that I think I was born old and as I grew older, in my life, I became younger in attitude. I think overall I'm a bit difficult to define. I think I kind of go, every which way but loose. (I never loose myself)

...and Wonder. I'm loaded with it.
 

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No one has referred to me as childlike or childish. This is most likely due to the fact that I have been much more mature than most people my age since I was in grade 10.
 

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actually, i never thought of the word "childlike" and i've just been calling myself childish all the time; ha, and infps are supposed to be good with words!
in any case, i do think that i have held up a sense of childishness in every day life, and i like it that way! your post is very true. i also should say that it is due to my childlike nature that i have decided to pursue a career in pre-school teaching. i'd rather live my life with children than adults because they are less... adultified. (oops, would the right word be mature?) the thing is, i think it actually takes a certain childishness to be a teacher in general, because it is suggesting a care not for money or what-not but for trying to help people and students in general; and it takes a certain level of childlikeness not to be thwarted or crushed.
i think that there is a close linking factor between childishness and being able to continue doing jobs that are hard. because of my childlike nature, at least, i have been able to keep doing things after they have been bad, because there is always a sense of hope. hope is something that comes from not growing up too quick, or maturing or letting the world get to you. so the fact that infps tend to remain children i think only makes them (us) able to continue going at things with an unaltered sense of wonder.
 

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I see life as an inspiring journey of self discovery in which, rather than growing old, I grow more and more to the likeness of what I see as "myself." Whether that meets society's criteria of what is "childish" or "mature" doesn't matter to me as long as I am being faithful to who I really am, rather than who I am supposed to be in the eyes of others.
 

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I've been called childlike a couple of times (pretty rarely), but I'm also told that I'm extremely mature for my age. I've never really been called childish, outright. But a lot of my friends do seem surprised when I make adult decisions.

I always say I'm either 8 or 80, in my mannerisms and tastes. Or at least in the way I'm perceived by others.

I think being childlike involves attitude and beliefs. I think being childish means being irresponsible, immature and selfish. And that's just not cool. Even though we all need varying degrees of help and support, if you don't take care of yourself, or your responsibilities, someone else has to either do it themselves or be slighted. And I think a truly childish person would continuously accept things that way, with no regard or appreciation for what they have or the people around them. When things that you do start to affect others, it becomes a problem, IMO.
 

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I think people consider me childish because i am positive. I try stay positive in every situation. People think I need some kind of wake up call, but I believe I am more awake than they will ever know because at least i'm not going to take what world has to offer me without question. Unlike most, I refuse to nod my head and keep walking.
 

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I think a heavy part of my identity is my inner child, which is something I will only expose and set free when I'm around very certain people. I got called 'immature' the other day - by some snobbish girl 4 years younger than me! - anyway, secretly I was pretty pissed off. Letting go is a real treasure for me and when I can, I really do relish in it. I find it very hard to 'melt' into that zone and feel free - so whether or not being childlike can be called 'immature', it's mine and I will enjoy being 'immature'!

Intrigue, wander, storytelling and fantasy (and lots and lots of being innapropriate) - all things that I cannot live without.
 

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I am an adult. I go to work. I do my assignments. I pay my bills. I take care of those close to me. I shoulder more than my share of responsibility. That being said, I also....

...sit and stare at puddles on the ground, wondering if I would end up in the sky mirrored there if I jumped into it.
...wave at airplanes in the sky.
...talk to bugs and plants.
...express enthusiasm about doing tasks that most people find grunt work (Can I help, huh huh? Plleeeeease!)
...believe that something can be done when everyone else gives up.
...will climb the pirate ship on the playground and cry aloud "Who gave you the right to board me boat?!"
...be happy at the penny I find on the ground.
...am convinced that I could fly if no one was watching.
...have an endless curiosity, about everything. And I mean endless.
...will always think of herself as "young".
...wonder why everyone makes everything so complicated.
 
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