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Discussion Starter #1
It seems that there are broadly two category of INFPs here that I've observed: the "dark" ones and the "positive" INFPs:

- while the "positive" INFPs seems to be all bright, light, even bubbly and what's often termed as "seeing the world through rose-colored glasses",
- the "dark" ones are perhaps the opposite: they're usually bitter, jaded, cynical.

and I've heard the phrase that "cynical people are often the idealists who turned bitter when faced with Reality"...how very true.
Now as I'm growing up (I just turned 29 last August), I (& also these two INFP friends of mine who are about the same age) have unfortunately somewhat turned from the first category into the latter one when seeing the Reality.. perhaps mostly because of being pressured by all the "pragmatist, normal" people around me, especially perhaps my STJ parents & brother, still live at one home..somehow I feel as if their notions of "Reality" has turned my world into a bland, super-mundane, and boring one (albeit all the "financial security" promises they've often emphasized the importance to me!..all while saying the typical "that's just how the the world is! don't be dreaming too high!" statements)

I don't know..
but, do you basically agree though that there are indeed, to the extreme, the "dark" and the "positive" INFPs, let's say, here in this forum?
and I'd also like to know: what makes you the first one, and also, what makes you the latter one?

thank you.
 

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Well maybe the ones you call dark are the ones who had to do a lot of things against their nature in order to survive in society, while receiving little support or understanding from others. Still, I think extreme cynicism is usually transitional, and after a while a person develops a more accepting and philosophical, and less angry, view of their situation. I know I'm not nearly as cynical as I was years ago.

I imagine that INFPs who are steadily positive in their lives have a lot of support from family and friends, and feel accepted for who they are. That's just my guess. I think it makes a big difference how accepted and supported one is by people who are important in one's life.
 

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Like you said, I believe the dark INFPs have had a hard time compromising their ideals with reality. Not that their ideals are wrong, on the contrary, they are often good. An INFP can run into problems when they place their ideals on such a high stage that no person can fulfill them, including themselves.

I think the quote in my signature explains this better than I can.

As for myself, I have struggled between the two on and off, but I am happy in knowing that any cynical outlook that I may feel is due to something within myself rather than within the outside world. Oh matter how valid this may be, it helps me to take charge and change myself for the better.
 

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There is rarely such polarity in a population as large as INFP. I think the contrasting ideologies are dramatized here, where people tend to cultivate a sort of idealized caricature of themselves. IRL I think infps fall evenly on a scale of negative to positive life outlook..

Looking at things enneagramatically, INFPs are most often fixated at 4 and 9. 9s are the peacekeepers that like to contrive a perpetual positivity. 4s like to create a unique identity, and are often also depressive. I think the 4 infps see all of these positive, saccharin posts and create their forum identity with a contrasting tone.

Also: seratonin levels.
 

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I can relate to the dark infp. I used to be a cheerful, positive infp, but I've had so many bad experiences in the last year that I've become jaded and cynical. I can't describe it but there's probably a different air about me now. I am more isolated than I used to be. I've built a lot of walls and am more apathetic towards people. Maybe over time I will become a positive infp again, and I am slowly getting to that positive stage. I'm starting to get the hang of school again, gradually meeting new people. But I think it will take a while, as it took me a long time to become this cynical.
 

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I lean towards the dark side, simply because I have a more reserved demeanor and when I open it up it is more intense & serious than light & bubbly. I never have been, never will be, and have no desire to be an upbeat, always positive type of person. I feel like that would be a denial of the very real side of life that is not sunshine & roses. I need to acknowledge that side & relate to it in others, because only then can I understand it enough to keep it in check.

However, I don't feel cynical & jaded either. I don't give into the bitterness. The bouts of cyncism don't last long now because I don't allow them to. Ultimately, I am idealistic, but not to a point of being naively optimistic; I just keep hope & look for inspiration.
 

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imma darky, that's for sure.

my reasoning being that often times i get sick at how happy people seem to be in waking life, i've observed, when the trends of the times are truly sickly and it only seems to me that they are turning a blind eye and feeding into each others blindness. i still dream however, but it isn't big. in fact my dreams are low as i only want to live in harmony with myself and head to the local library once in a while to pick up a book and actually finish the stupid thing without getting bored midway through... that might be my jaded cynical-ness creeping it's ugly head.

and yes. infp's i feel are especially prone to the light side dark side feature of man... i mean christ, look at charles manson. crazy bastard.
 

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I didn't start out being cynical but I guess at a very young age my idealistic ways were shattered. It's only quite recently that I'm moving back to the light side. See my mood? It's sunny. That's because I feel so much happier simply by keeping a positive attitude than I ever did being cynical. In fact its probably being cynical that made me mistype myself as INTP. Now I know better though. ^^
 

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As an INFP who constantly teeters on the dark side (at least I think I'm an INFP for now), I can attribute my bouts of negativity to what I see as the INFP "split personality." Because INFPs are such idealists, we tend to imagine the perfect self -- in the perfect world -- with the perfect people -- the perfect relationships -- the perfect vocation -- the perfect way of life that is truest to our natures....the perfect everything.

And in order to be happy and fulfilled in these idealistic scenarios, we may create idealized mental personas that present us at our most perfect (influenced by the very standards and values we set for ourselves)...for what good is living in the perfect if I must be imperfect?

However, as soon as I leave my inner world to face reality, I feel disillusioned and disheartened. The very persona that I created for myself is gone or diminished down to it's flawed and imperfect state. The very world I idealized is just a facade, and all my aspirations seem impractical and/or unreachable. I set the bar too high, and thus, I end up thoroughly disappointed.

In order to compensate, I become cynical, apathetic, and nihilistic. I end up closing myself off from everyone and everything around me. I put myself in a state of solitary confinement, depression sets in, my nihilism grows stronger, and I become a, cynical, self-critical, miserable recluse who feels completely dead inside.

This is me at rock bottom. I'm certainly not like this all of the time...but it just happens to be the inevitable result of spending too much time yearning for the ideal and not spending enough time actually implementing my aspirations in the real world through tangible goals-- out of fear, anxiety, insecurity, apathy, indifference, procrastination, lack of motivation, inattention, and of course, having overly-idealistic standards of what I want to achieve.

In short, nothing is ever good enough, and things could always be better.--- And it is this perfectionist outlook on life which both drives me towards success and propels me into a dark, empty rut of bitterness and longing. The only time I assume the bright and positive side of an INFP is when my Ne is allowed to run a muck with creative potentials and possibilities that distract me from the perfectionistic grip of Fi. Thus, I am happiest when I am engaging in creative and meaningful change in the outside world in some form or another, whether it be through people, objects, etc, and not being so self-absorbed by my own negativity.

But because I need to be inspired to action for any of this to unfold, and because inspiration is often scarce, I can end up embedding myself for too long in the confines of my mind....and while positive things can emerge from my musings, so can the vicious rut of negativity if I allow myself to become too idealistic and self-critical.

Granted, I can tolerate the "dark side" better than most people I know, and I often tend to indulge in it for my own amusement and/or enlightenment. I'd much rather be a jaded and cynical INFP who is not afraid of the muck and the mire, than those who wear nothing but rose-colored glasses and end up deluding themselves.
 

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I'm reading Alan Watts' The Book On The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are in which he talks about "the game of black and white". Looking for the darkness or looking for the light alone is like looking for mountains without valley, to paraphrase. Without one, the other cannot exist. I've been really enjoying this book:)
 

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I suppose dark, but it's not so much because reality conflicts with my ideals. Being aware of the dark side of life is a big part of my ideals. I feel it makes me more aware of important issues. Also, in my own life I found that the happy people were often either involved in things I found immoral, or they simply didn't seem to care. So I'm kind of skeptical of their whole perspective on things.

I do have a sense of humor though, I'm not all doom and gloom.
 

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Although I often keep a positive outlook on life there are moments when I receive "slaps" from "reality" and I turn depressed and bitter about everything and everybody. Also, there are moments I'm just feeling vulnerable and negativity overwhelms me. But these states are usually just temporary and I go back to feeling ok. Sometimes, I need external imput to help me to get rid of negative feelings, though.

Life is harsh, but I try looking at the negative aspects of it from a different, more positive perspective and it helps me to keep optimism. Even if the present situation isn't good, the future is full of new oportunities and chances for improvement. Even if something goes wrong, there's always hope to overcome a difficulty.

I try to protect my ideals by not accepting it, when people try to make them seem to be unnaceptable and naive, or that I'm taking the "wrong" route in my life. That's just their perspective that differs from mine, so I think it's very prepotent of them to try to push it on me.
Also, I think I'm a bit apathetic, despite the optimism... I don't care much if the world and people in general don't match what I see as ideal.
 

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I started life as mostly that White Knight of sorts. I grew up to superheroes, just like any kid, and followed that code of ethics -- doing what's right, serving justice, forgiveness, etc. Later in life, just like with many of us, we start to question the foundation of what we stand for. Why should I forgive ________ person for this? Why do bad people not get punished? I did the 'right' thing, why did this happen!? Why do those who have devoted their lives to helping others often end up miserable?

For me, I learned that being either entirely good, or entirely bad, both shared significant faults. In my eyes, the best thing that's 'needed' in this world is someone with good intentions, but willing to traverse any plain necessary to make it happen. So for the most part, I practice those original thoughts of kindness, justice, all that, but in challenging situations where most others would turn a cheek, cry, or simply be paralyzed by inaction, that's where I'll toughen up and do what needs to be done.

This picture saves me a lot of babbling :D


Nothing wrong with being a cynic, but use it to inspire change.
 

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I go between both. The last 2 or so years have generally been very positive (after a total mindfuck experience after meditating for 5 days). When I was younger I was very bitter and cynical.

Every now and again, the positivity either evaporates on its own or something comes along and smashes whatever hope or security I relied on. When the depression creeps in all the things I suppose I distracted myself from come roaring back. Its like having a mini-crisis I guess. The depression feeds on itself because I miss the positive feeling, and when I try to remind myself of how I think when I am positive I feel nothing. Its hard but its a cycle like any other.

Going out into the ant-farm world too often is enough to cripple my mind.
 

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Team light! GO TEAM LIGHT!!!

I count myself as one of the light side INFP's :) I've always wondered if that had something to do with my strong tendency towards extroversion. ENFP's are like the undying optimists and I see myself display a lot of ENFP behaviors (like the beginning of my post, now that I look at it). I don't have any real evidence or data to back that up, but it's just something I always thought about...

I'm enjoying all these insights, everyone. Keep theorizing!!!!
 

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I have the fortune of having walked the Valley of Shadows in my life and now I have been rewarded with a more balanced view of the world. That time in the Shadows couldn't break my values, it has tempered them and now they have become like a sword of the finest quality.

I do tend to still have dark days, but they have becoming increasingly rare with time. So don't worry THAT much about what you are feeling while in the Valley of Shadows, if it breaks your sword you build one better, and if it doesn't then it means it will never do, no matter how bad things in your life are after that Valley.
 

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I would make that dark vs. light or negative vs. positive.

Throughout time I have found dark moments not by the being of those dark moments but by succumbing to it. I think the wrapped up answer is very short and simple: Enjoy your life at all cost.

You see. Even though it may be midwinter, the sky is black-grey and there is some racist politician and nobody does anything about it (okay that is my case lol), it is all irrelevant.

INFP's cannot ignore important things, but we have to prioritize our important things in case they overlap. So when you make the uttermost important thing to enjoy your life, to see things positive and to...ACHIEVE THAT AT ALL COST!!! Then you will make it.

You have the power niki. Pick it up or lose it.

With positive and negative there is nothing in between. Don't stand still, just keep moving and well, maybe use your senses more. They can distract you :).

So again: enjoy your life at all cost. Make decisions. Don't stand still, keep walking. And smile.

I'd like to add: smile until it hurts. Don't leave any space left for not smiling if you cant smile. Inner smile, outer smile, the whole deal.

Also it will take some time, it can;t be done in one day. But you WILL see changes if you do as I tell you. And you need to see those changes as your motivation to do more. THAT is the point. It will make an upward spiral.

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
God...so many great words and words of wisdoms here
I don't regret at all in creating this thread :D
You are all seriously amazing! ::HUGS::

Continue on!!
 
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I have the fortune of having walked the Valley of Shadows in my life and now I have been rewarded with a more balanced view of the world. That time in the Shadows couldn't break my values, it has tempered them and now they have become like a sword of the finest quality.

I do tend to still have dark days, but they have becoming increasingly rare with time. So don't worry THAT much about what you are feeling while in the Valley of Shadows, if it breaks your sword you build one better, and if it doesn't then it means it will never do, no matter how bad things in your life are after that Valley.
I also resonate with this the most too. I think I had seen the great of life and the worst of life too when I was a child, but at one point, I seeked for love, and I found love. I was loved. (It was not from my own parents, but from my extended family.) You plough on. As I get older, and the world reveal itself to me, I learnt that I "was" loved from them. (Maybe in their own terms.) Though, the life that they planned was me was indeed one that slowly came to my attention, and I rationalised it. In doing so, I felt loved. I felt the sacrifice.

I think that I was also in my shadow too, and I had reached cynicisms before. Though in hindsight, there was one point where I felt alive and I "lived". Living your life and your dream is not inevitable, and yes, we do have choice and yes, we do have control over our own lives. Cos actions causes reactions. Karma flows through life in cycles too. Everything is a chain-reaction.

I can see why the OP asked about the Dark or Light INFP. In reality, in my life time, I have been dark and light, and knowing that one must sow seeds of light in order to gain light, then that is what one must do. Recently, I found myself again, and not let the external world affect me so much by removing myself from such influences. I used to be frustrated at not knowing the answers, but maybe the answers should not be known always anyhow, cos life do not always have the answers in front of you. Sometimes the answers come out slowly over time. Trusting your own judgment, and gut instinct is really key to happiness for an INFP I think. I certainly felt happier once I have done this.
 
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