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Discussion Starter #1
Just a venting thread I guess, but do you ever feel like no matter what you are doing no one seems to support you? I always try so hard to understand people and support them by listening to them but in return I almost always feel like people are picking me apart when I try to tell them about my problems or my issues. Why is it so hard to get the same acceptance and patience I give back to others? It's like whenever I ask for the same thing back that I give to other people I am always left starved for the very thing I give out.

Does anyone else feel similarly? I would give anything if for once my parents didn't try to direct me into trying to do something in some way and just empathized and understood what I was feeling. But instead I just get a laundry list of things from them that they want me to change about myself.

- Look for more jobs
Response: I've been doing that for 3 months now

- Apply for more jobs
Response: I've been doing that for 3 months now

- Don't take jobs that aren't going to help you in the long run and won't pay you anything
Response: I just declined a job offer that did that
Their Response: I get lectured about how horrible the economy is and how I won't find the "ideal" job.
Response: You just told me that I shouldn't take the job because they don't value me! Stop sending me mixed messages and support me and my choices.

Is it impossible to find true understanding from other people who don't think like us or value the things we do? Does anyone else feel this way like they are alone and they can't truly express how they feel because the vultures will descend? Does anyone else feel like everyone is trying to change them and no one understands them? To other INFP's how do you guys feel understood? Because I never feel like anyone truly understands the true me - they are always trying to either change me or they only care about the surface level me and don't care about getting to know the deeper version.

Does this drive anyone else insane?
 

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Sure, the part about people telling you to do one thing and then saying it was wrong after you do it is familiar to me. I think part of it is that people often don't communicate what they want in words. If they even know what they want. Words are often used more to manipulate people or to get or maintain power over them. If you take people's words as an honest, straightforward communication, it just might drive you crazy.

There are people who can understand you. It sounds like the ones who are prominent in your life now don't. Which is not unusual in my experience. I really have to seek out the right people, and it's not easy to find them.

I've struggled to understand other people's behavior for much of my life. I think what's helped me understand them the most are books I've read in the areas of Darwinist psychology and the social psychology of small groups. It opened my eyes to just how differently most people approach life and socializing than I do.
 

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It depends on how you define support and who you're asking for support. Growing up, we have the belief that parents are there to support our decisions. That is incorrect. I don't know why people who haven't moved out their parents house get this notion. I think it's comes from media just like false notions of how relationships work comes from romantic comedies. That's not how it works in real life.

When we move out, we get emotional support from friends. Those friendships form through similar values. So it's not one friend supporting another friend. It's one person with a similar set of values supporting another person with a similar set of values.

You have your values. Your parents have theirs. You are allowed to have yours and they are allowed to have theirs. This doesn't mean you have to agree or support their values and they in turn don't have to agree or support yours. If a child started doing drugs and parent is vehemently against drugs, the parent doesn't have to support that child's value system.

We project our values onto other people all the time. Well if my parents would do what I think parents should do then they would be better parents. You will be inject your values onto your children and your children will learn their own set of values and project them onto you thinking you would be a better parent if you just believed what they believed about parenting.

So unless you have the same values as your parents, don't look to them to support values that goes against their values. I find all parents really want is for their kids to say, "I am going to make these choices with my life whether you agree with them or not, and I accept responsibility for the consequences of these choice and I will deal with the issues that these choices will bring to my life. And no, I won't be coming you to you bail me out if I make decisions that give me bad results."

When it comes to problems, people only want to change two things: their results and how they feel. I haven't been able to get a job. That is a result. I'm kind of depressed about it. That's how they feel.

You don't want your parents to give you advice on how to get different results because you feel that they are trying to change you. At some point, you're going to realize that you wanting your parents to not give you advice and be more like you want them to be is you trying to change them.

So do I feel like no one supports me. No. Each particular decision I make is tied to some value or belief. I go to the people that have similar values or beliefs for support for that particular issue.
 

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I definitely feel this. I have friends who complain to me a lot. They tell me their problems and I try to boost their confidence, help them face whats bothering them. Try to make them FEEL BETTER!

When I have problems or issues, I'm basically belittled. Told what I think/feel is wrong or insignificant.

I know what I'm saying isn't exactly the same as yours, but I think its fairly similar. I think I just surround myself with thinkers.. Dnno.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Growing up, we have the belief that parents are there to support our decisions. That is incorrect. I don't know why people who haven't moved out their parents house get this notion. I think it's comes from media just like false notions of how relationships work comes from romantic comedies. That's not how it works in real life.
But shouldn't it? Shouldn't being a good parent consist of unconditionally loving and supporting a child no matter what they do? Isn't that exactly what love is? Unconditional love and acceptance of another person and what they value? What is the purpose of bringing a being into this world if you aren't going to love and care for it the best way you know how? Why would you not want to support your child in all ways possible? That is inconceivable to me. I can't imagine procreating and not wanting the absolute best for the being and I can't imagine ever stifling it's identity by trying to force it to change into something that being simply is not. That's not love.

When we move out, we get emotional support from friends. Those friendships form through similar values. So it's not one friend supporting another friend. It's one person with a similar set of values supporting another person with a similar set of values.
I don't really think that's a difference, more then that I don't see how it's not really considered real or authentic support. I support friends all the time even though I may not personally agree with their actions. I will always try to understand them and try to make their lives better, even if I don't agree with the actions that they did. I may not personally feel sorry for them but I will try to make it better. I just don't understand why it is irreconcilable for some people to show others support, love and unconditional acceptance. It makes me feel like I am an alien because I consider these things apart of the very fiber of my being and shockingly it looks like other people don't.

This doesn't mean you have to agree or support their values and they in turn don't have to agree or support yours. If a child started doing drugs and parent is vehemently against drugs, the parent doesn't have to support that child's value system.
I don't think this is even really about values persay. It would be one thing if my mother didn't agree with my political beliefs or something extraneous as that. Quite another for my father to say that he doesn't believe in my spiritual beliefs, what I am talking about here is the responsibility that they (and others) have to other people who are either care givers/providers (parents), friends or other people who just show no appreciation for others. Why is the first course of action to tear someone down rather then build them up? Why do people find it so much easier to criticize and pick a person apart rather then construct something that can help a person in their time of need.

The reason why I started this thread was just to ask if others felt this way and it seems others do. What I am asking is how do you guys feel supported or valued? And do you think it is possible for others to support us even if they think differently from us or have different ideas/values/perceptions of the world?

The idea that only a select group of niche individuals can offer support or solace is quite sad to me. I was hoping to hear something a bit more positive then stick to your own group.

So unless you have the same values as your parents, don't look to them to support values that goes against their values.
I guess so but that sounds easier said then done. I wouldn't want to completely stop interacting with my parents - they are my parents. I think I should be able to come to them with things and they should be able to help me. But that might not be possible. That's not a great thing to feel however. I certainly don't think it should be this way.

I find all parents really want is for their kids to say, "I am going to make these choices with my life whether you agree with them or not, and I accept responsibility for the consequences of these choice and I will deal with the issues that these choices will bring to my life. And no, I won't be coming you to you bail me out if I make decisions that give me bad results."
That sounds an awful lot like absolving themselves of the situation instead of actually parenting, and trying to find a loophole to distance themselves from the child which if that is true creates quite a horrible light for all parents who think/feel this way.

When I have problems or issues, I'm basically belittled. Told what I think/feel is wrong or insignificant.

I know what I'm saying isn't exactly the same as yours, but I think its fairly similar. I think I just surround myself with thinkers.. Dnno.
No it's very, very similar. Please don't believe it isn't. That's basically the same approach I have gone threw with what I just expressed in this thread.
 

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But shouldn't it? Shouldn't being a good parent consist of unconditionally loving and supporting a child no matter what they do? Isn't that exactly what love is? Unconditional love and acceptance of another person and what they value? What is the purpose of bringing a being into this world if you aren't going to love and care for it the best way you know how? Why would you not want to support your child in all ways possible? That is inconceivable to me. I can't imagine procreating and not wanting the absolute best for the being and I can't imagine ever stifling it's identity by trying to force it to change into something that being simply is not. That's not love.
How you define love is not how other people define love. You think that love and support are intrinsically linked. That is your belief. Isn't unfair that you're pushing your beliefs regarding parenting onto your parents?

They are supporting you their way, not your way. What they think is best for you and what you think is the best for you is two different things. They are allowed to think whatever they want and so are you. It doesn't make them right. This is a simple conflict in belief systems. You want them to change their belief system and change who they are for you. Isn't that what INFPs complain about most, other people trying to change them?


I don't really think that's a difference, more then that I don't see how it's not really considered real or authentic support. I support friends all the time even though I may not personally agree with their actions. I will always try to understand them and try to make their lives better, even if I don't agree with the actions that they did. I may not personally feel sorry for them but I will try to make it better. I just don't understand why it is irreconcilable for some people to show others support, love and unconditional acceptance. It makes me feel like I am an alien because I consider these things apart of the very fiber of my being and shockingly it looks like other people don't.
You and I come from different philosophies as far as how relationships work. I never try to make my friends feel better because I can't. You can't make someone happy. The best you can do is distract someone from how unhappy they are. You can't make some make better decisions. You have a very specific definition of support, love and unconditional acceptance. Anyone who doesn't accept your definition of it is therefore unsupportive, doesn't love you and doesn't unconditionally accept you.

I don't think this is even really about values persay. It would be one thing if my mother didn't agree with my political beliefs or something extraneous as that. Quite another for my father to say that he doesn't believe in my spiritual beliefs, what I am talking about here is the responsibility that they (and others) have to other people who are either care givers/providers (parents), friends or other people who just show no appreciation for others. Why is the first course of action to tear someone down rather then build them up? Why do people find it so much easier to criticize and pick a person apart rather then construct something that can help a person in their time of need.
Beliefs are beliefs. They are subjective. They are right for you whether it's political beliefs or spiritual beliefs. There's a difference between not believing in someone's spiritual beliefs and not believing they have a right to have their own spiritual beliefs. You are allowed to have your own beliefs as long as those beliefs don't bring on negative consequences to your parents. It's not fair for your parents to pay the consequences of decisions that you make from your beliefs.


I guess so but that sounds easier said then done. I wouldn't want to completely stop interacting with my parents - they are my parents. I think I should be able to come to them with things and they should be able to help me. But that might not be possible. That's not a great thing to feel however. I certainly don't think it should be this way.
This is the reason I moved out at 19 and stopped talking to my parents for 5 years. They didn't meet my wife until after I was married. I got busy living my life and didn't have time to explain to them why I chose to do it my way and not their way. If you want to live your life, go live it.

That sounds an awful lot like absolving themselves of the situation instead of actually parenting, and trying to find a loophole to distance themselves from the child which if that is true creates quite a horrible light for all parents who think/feel this way.
There's so many different views on parenting and parenting styles so it's hard to define what parenting is. I tend to ask off the wall questions to get people out of their viewpoint.

Here's a different question, when are your parents allowed to die and take everything with them? Say your parents are suffering from this disease that causes them almost unbearable pain. Aliens have given them a phone and will take them away forever to cure them. The aliens have to wipe out all evidence of their existence, including all their assets before they take them. Everyone will think your parents are dead. Children will have to stay on Earth. So the question in this hypothetical, situation, when are your parents allowed to make that call?

Basically, at what point are parents allowed to be done parenting? At 5, at 18.

Here's how parenting is supposed to work. All decisions have consequences. At age 1, your decision to stick something in an electrical socket out of curiosity would have very bad consequences so your parents don't give you the option to make that decision. At age 5, if you make a decision to just eat sweets all the time, would lead to bad consequences so parents don't let you make that decision. Parents take responsibility by limiting the decisions you are allowed to make. As you grow older, they shift more and more responsibility to you and allow you to make more decisions and accept the consequences of your decision. They hold back letting you make decisions they consider extremely detrimental if you make what they consider the wrong decision. Parenting is the gradual handing over of responsibility so when they die, they know you are capable of being responsible for yourself.

Yes, you'd like your parents to hang around forever and take care of you and support you, but eventually that becomes selfish and all you're doing is thinking about yourself and what's best for you and not what's best for them. Just because they're your parents doesn't mean you get to monopolize their time, energy and resources for the rest of their lives.

So if you're parents were in complete and total agony and they want to be able to call those aliens to take them away, and you would have to start from scratch without your parents or their resources, could they make that call today? How long would you make them wait? After college? After you get a good job? After you get married?
 
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Discussion Starter #7
There again you are projecting how love is defined.
All definitions in theory can become subjective. An abuser can love their spouse, a drug addict can love their substance that abuses them. I have a hard time believing that is love, although if you believe that love is all of those things I don't think it is then that's your own belief. I personally don't see how that idea of love is in any way healthy.

Isn't unfair that you're pushing your beliefs regarding parenting onto your parents?
No. God, no. I don't think I am asking anything that is outside of their capabilities as people or out of their obligation as parents. I am not asking them to give them something that they cannot offer and so I think this direct line of thinking is all sorts of wrong. How is asking your parents to love and support you 'pushing your beliefs onto them'? What kind of world would we live in as people if parents didn't look after and support their children. I am not a proponent of the idea that if you give money to someone, give them food and give them a roof over their head that this is in someway love. That is the bare minimum of your obligation as a parent and that should not be "rewarded". Asking for emotional support is not a burden or at the very least it shouldn't be.

They are allowed to think whatever they want and so are you.
Not when it's an unhealthy idea of what it is that they should or should not want for me.

It doesn't make them right.
This is very true and it's the one statement that I agree with you about.

You want them to change their beliefs systems and change who they are for you. Isn't that what INFPs complain about most, other people trying to change them?
No. I want them to give me emotional support. I don't see what is so horrible about asking for that. That should be a basic thing that all kids should receive. We know how children end up in a world where they are not valued, supported or given a voice to interact with in their world.

It's not fair for your parents to pay the consequences of decisions that you make from your beliefs.
What 'consequences' am I bringing onto them? I feel you are making assumptions here. They have not been negatively impacted by my choices or decisions and I don't know where you got that from my posts.

There's so many different views on parenting and parenting styles so it's hard to define what parenting is.
There are various different parenting styles and their is a consensus on which parenting style is the right one and it's not letting your child go threw things alone and not giving them any emotional support until they become of age and they are no longer a "problem" for you.

Here's a better question, when are your parents allowed to die and take everything with them?
Wow. This has nothing to do with what I am asking. I have not asked my parents of anything except emotional support during my job search. I don't live under their roof, I don't ask them for money, I don't ask them for much of anything. What I wanted was some emotional assurance from them and some emotional support and apparently I now have to defend myself on this very forum where I have asked for some understanding. I don't even get how we got here.

Yes, you'd like your parents to hang around forever and take care of you and support you, but eventually that becomes selfish and all you're doing is thinking about yourself and what's best for you and not what's best for them.
I don't even feel like my voice is even being heard in the conversation at this point. I don't think I have done one selfish thing in asking for support from my parents, again nothing in my post implies financial support or otherwise. I just wanted someone to talk to and understand me and now there is this long tangent that I am taking advantage of them and making them suffer from asking them to understand my point of view. This entire post is ridiculous to me.
 

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Wow. This has nothing to do with what I am asking. I have not asked my parents of anything except emotional support during my job search. I don't live under their roof, I don't ask them for money, I don't ask them for much of anything. What I wanted was some emotional assurance from them and some emotional support and apparently I now have to defend myself on this very forum where I have asked for some understanding. I don't even get how we got here.
Sorry, you didn't specify any of this in the original post. I figured you were still in high school trying to figure out what to do with college and career.

You will never get the emotional support you want from your parents. If they were capable of it, they would have done so already. What they are doing now is all they know how to do with their value system and belief system. The assumption that they are emotionally, spiritually, intellectually capable of more is wishful thinking.

You have to find a different way to relate to your parents. My parents were really really bad at parenting, but they're really good grandparents and I see them a couple times a month now.

I use to wish all the time that my parents were different. That they could see my point of view. Eventually I realized they never were. So at best they could keep quiet and let me live my life my way and make my own decisions. That's why I left home at 19. I would see them at Christmas. If they made any type of disparaging comment about how I lived, I wouldn't see them again until next year. This went on for years and years. It wasn't until I married and introduce them to my wife that they finally got the hint that I was perfectly capable of living my life without them.

This didn't mean that if they had a problem that I wouldn't drop everything to help them, but that was how I wanted to be and not what I expected them to do for me in return.

If we look at our own capabilities at empathy and understanding, we'll see that those are skills developed based on our value system. It takes practice and conscious effort. Anyone who doesn't practice doesn't get better and they don't practice if it's not important to them. Asking for understanding and empathy from someone who hasn't practiced is like asking a smoker who doesn't like walking to run a 6K.

You have to be able to recognize the people who have those skills. Not everyone is emotionally capable of developing them.
 

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Each particular decision I make is tied to some value or belief. I go to the people that have similar values or beliefs for support for that particular issue.
That's really thought-provoking, infpblog. I especially love your comment about children developing different value systems from their parents. I had an argument with a friend about this the other day; he believes his job as a parent is to create a carbon copy of himself in his son, and I believe that my job as a mother is to give my son as many tools as possible so he can become and independent man capable of making his own informed decisions someday. And when it comes to parenting we can be really ... territorial when it comes to our philosophies. And I agree that @Arrow 's issue boils down to a conflicting set of value systems--and literal value systems, not just moral or metaphysical ones. The parents in this case clearly assign material value to certain jobs over others, as well as an ethical value to working itself. Thus, the parents are also conflicted, not just conflicting with Arrow. They have an internal conflict if the job is not seen as a "valuable" job to them, but the lack of a job creates an equal tug against the other system.

It CAN be beneficial to seek support from people with similar values to yours to help you get through a difficult time. But it can also be equally valuable to seek challenges from people whose values systems are different, both to understand the point of view of your parents and to challenge your own systems and shake them up once in a while.

[Edit: just read that you are independent, so the last part of my post is irrelevant]
 

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That's really thought-provoking, infpblog. I especially love your comment about children developing different value systems from their parents. I had an argument with a friend about this the other day; he believes his job as a parent is to create a carbon copy of himself in his son, and I believe that my job as a mother is to give my son as many tools as possible so he can become and independent man capable of making his own informed decisions someday. And when it comes to parenting we can be really ... territorial when it comes to our philosophies. And I agree that @Arrow 's issue boils down to a conflicting set of value systems--and literal value systems, not just moral or metaphysical ones. The parents in this case clearly assign material value to certain jobs over others, as well as an ethical value to working itself. Thus, the parents are also conflicted, not just conflicting with Arrow. They have an internal conflict if the job is not seen as a "valuable" job to them, but the lack of a job creates an equal tug against the other system.

It CAN be beneficial to seek support from people with similar values to yours to help you get through a difficult time. But it can also be equally valuable to seek challenges from people whose values systems are different, both to understand the point of view of your parents and to challenge your own systems and shake them up once in a while.

[Edit: just read that you are independent, so the last part of my post is irrelevant]
My 9 year old daughter is an INFP and my 5 year old daughter is a ES?J. It's too soon to tell T or F, but it looks more like T. I have to be very careful with my 5 year old because she's believes everything I tell her at face value. My 9 year old is already coming to terms with the fact that her values and mine are going to be different. We argue and I allow her to argue with me often. I need her to be able to present her point of view to me even when she's in a heightened emotional state. As an INFP, I don't want her to shy away from conflict. Most of the time, we end up doing it may way. But when she presents a really good argument for her view, I let her win and let her win big giving her more than she asked. It's my way of getting her to stand up for herself. It also lets her know that when I'm questioning her position, I'm not questioning her character.

This methodology will not work with my 5 year old. She's extremely sensitive. Whenever she makes a bad decision like drawing on the walls, any criticism of that decision just devastates. So I have to explain why I don't want her to do it again and why I have issues with that decision she made and then I have to lead her to figure out what the right decision will be the next time. It's way more time consuming then just asking my INFP daughter, why do you think your right?
 

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My 9 year old daughter is an INFP and my 5 year old daughter is a ES?J. It's too soon to tell T or F, but it looks more like T. I have to be very careful with my 5 year old because she's believes everything I tell her at face value. My 9 year old is already coming to terms with the fact that her values and mine are going to be different. We argue and I allow her to argue with me often. I need her to be able to present her point of view to me even when she's in a heightened emotional state. As an INFP, I don't want her to shy away from conflict. Most of the time, we end up doing it may way. But when she presents a really good argument for her view, I let her win and let her win big giving her more than she asked. It's my way of getting her to stand up for herself. It also lets her know that when I'm questioning her position, I'm not questioning her character.

This methodology will not work with my 5 year old. She's extremely sensitive. Whenever she makes a bad decision like drawing on the walls, any criticism of that decision just devastates. So I have to explain why I don't want her to do it again and why I have issues with that decision she made and then I have to lead her to figure out what the right decision will be the next time. It's way more time consuming then just asking my INFP daughter, why do you think your right?
It IS interesting how they are so different from each other and from us, isn't it :)
 

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I do feel like this sometimes..but as my INTJ husband has said before, "people are just largely self-absorbed"..When I was younger, I'm 32 now. When I was younger, in my late teens early 20's this use to bother me a lot. As I would try to be as understanding and supportive to what someone else's vision for them self was but I found people constantly telling me what I should be doing according to 'their' values. Strangely, these were mostly christian SJ's...Hmmm..So, I would say now I have found a few people I consider wise I go to when I need some advice or support on something..A few people as in...two maybe? You have to look at what someone stands to gain or lose by giving you advice..I hate to sound paranoid but I've always found it to be true. TRUST NO ONE..JK..but, really..when it comes to relying on someone to 'support' you..trust very few or you just end up disappointed..btw, my parents are out of the equation.
 

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I feel over-supported. My parents always told me to do what makes me happy... I have no clue what makes me happy. So now they're even supporting my financially. LOL
 

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Well, to answer the original OP's question,
I think it should be no wonder, when we're the only Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), most emphatic type of people, among all other personalities types. In fact, so emphatic we are, that we *care* so much (even deeply!) about other people.
But, other people/personality type perhaps have different values.

that's really all it is: different Values, and perspectives, of what's really utmost important in life.
 
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I definitely understand the whole, "they tell you to do one thing and then yell at you for doing it" thing and it's led to me feeling betrayed and lost many times. It makes me even angrier when those people put all the blame on me and completely forget that it was their idea all along. I've learned to just trust my own instincts and do what I feel is right and they'll eventually come around, or not. I can't force them.

Usually when no else supports me/my ideas, I know I'm either completely right or completely wrong. Usually the former.
 

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Oh, about the parents, sometimes I go to them for support simply because I don't havefriends tha tknow me as well.

@infpblog that is great man, but its hard to find friends sometimes
 

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Huh? Of course people can learn to be more supportive. Will they? Maybe, in baby steps, if they know their default methods are causing unintended pain. INFPs generally aren't very good at communicating their hurt at those responsible.
 
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