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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It seems to me like there is a mechanism inside of me that detects whenever I might be enjoying something, or experiencing the first stages of happiness or satisfaction, and it swoops in and steals it away. Does this happen to any of you?

Examples:

1. A couple of nights ago I laid down to sleep and I noticed how wonderful the bed and pillow felt at that moment, but at that very moment something in my mind jumped in and said something like, "You've done nothing to deserve feeling this good, and here you are feeling good when there are other people much more deserving who have NO bed." Right then I tense up and I feel bad, guilty.

2. Yesterday, looking up through the trees, with beautiful lighting and colors, I was starting to feel good, but then my mind said, "It's not all that amazing, you've seen better...what's so special about it?"

3. Whenever I have a nice meal, and I'm starting to appreciate the flavor, I immediately feel bad and have the thought, "How could you be so indulgent? You are relishing this food, and people are literally dying of hunger...what's wrong with you?"


...The source of all of this seems to be guilt and inadequacy. But this same thing occurs whenever I start to feel good or happy, and I'm trying to learn how to defeat it. Right now I am trying to remind myself that if I have been presented with an opportunity to receive happiness or enjoyment from something that is good, it is a gift of life, and gifts are usually not about how much you deserve the gift.

How about all of you? Have you experienced this? Found a way to defeat it?
 

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I know exactly what you mean! I also feel guilty for being happy when I haven't done anything to deserve it, I think we've been conditioned from a young age to only expect rewards equivalent to the amount of effort we've put in- the influence of a capitalistic society perhaps? Anyway, I haven't really found a better way to deal with it other than remind myself that happiness should be freely expressed and received, that we deserve it simply because we're human, and nothing more.
 

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The way I deal with this is to focus on the fact that being unhappy does not improve anyone else's situation and only adds to the total amount of joylessness in the world. If I remind myself that it is okay to experience joy, to appreciate what I have, with gratitude and acceptance, and if I recognize that it is pointless not to, the feelings usually change within a few minutes.
 

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sigh, i empathize with you Matchbook. i often bring unnecessary guilt upon myself.
 

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That something inside yourself is your inner dialogue. There is a spectrum of attitudes pride, humility, and inferiority.

Now pride is a sort of boastful thing, its usually judging of others, incosiderate, and over-inflated.

Inferiority is judging of yourself to a point where you might cause harm to yourself physically, emotionally, in a way thats debilitating. Its low self confidence.

Humility is modest. The key to humility...is its being good to others and yourself. Humility is not over inflated and not deflated, and a healthy balance.

If treating others is easier than treating yourself well, as with many INFPS. Maybe its best to think of yourself as someone in your life that you wouldnt want to be treated badly by others, maybe a younger sibling or a friend you feel protective of. Whenever you feel guilty or someone makes you feel badly think of that person and treat yourself like youd want that person to be treated.
 

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To some degrees, but with every fault there is a benefit.

I have a tendency to get apathetic at times and that can obviously be detrimental. In the same breath, it also allows me to distance myself from problems so that I can work them through. In the end, I'm rarely truly negatively down (depressed), but rather just neutral or generally happy.

Just reading other posts on the board though, I know that's not the case with many. I see a lot of people that seem like they are stuck in a rut and I wish I could give them a boost of confidence, but it's not as simple as a pep talk. It's something at the core that needs to be overcome.

The poster, Infpblog, I think is a great contributor that personifies how maturity and time have helped him overcome some ailing INFP concerns. Long story short, there's light at the end of the tunnel for everyone willing to traverse it.
 

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It seems to me like there is a mechanism inside of me that detects whenever I might be enjoying something, or experiencing the first stages of happiness or satisfaction, and it swoops in and steals it away. Does this happen to any of you?

Examples:

1. A couple of nights ago I laid down to sleep and I noticed how wonderful the bed and pillow felt at that moment, but at that very moment something in my mind jumped in and said something like, "You've done nothing to deserve feeling this good, and here you are feeling good when there are other people much more deserving who have NO bed." Right then I tense up and I feel bad, guilty.

2. Yesterday, looking up through the trees, with beautiful lighting and colors, I was starting to feel good, but then my mind said, "It's not all that amazing, you've seen better...what's so special about it?"

3. Whenever I have a nice meal, and I'm starting to appreciate the flavor, I immediately feel bad and have the thought, "How could you be so indulgent? You are relishing this food, and people are literally dying of hunger...what's wrong with you?"


...The source of all of this seems to be guilt and inadequacy. But this same thing occurs whenever I start to feel good or happy, and I'm trying to learn how to defeat it. Right now I am trying to remind myself that if I have been presented with an opportunity to receive happiness or enjoyment from something that is good, it is a gift of life, and gifts are usually not about how much you deserve the gift.

How about all of you? Have you experienced this? Found a way to defeat it?

You're describing exactly what happens to my boyfriend...it gets rather frustrating, because I want him to be happy and feel good!

I get this too, but I usually acknowledge the fact that I try to be the best person that I can, and if I'm beating myself up for enjoying something (as is so often tempting or my natural response) then what is the point of the source of comfort in the first place? It has been given to me, so I want to enjoy it. :)
 

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I have the same thing which, funny enough, I was just wondering yesterday why it's such an instant thing.

I think the fact that you notice yourself doing it means you're quickly on your way to grabbing it, throwing it on the ground, and stepping all over it like you're doing the mexican hat dance.

What's helped me the most lately with mine, is first...telling that other voice to shut the f*** up because it's not the boss of me. That gives it a momentary shock to give me a chance to attempt to retrieve what I can of the happiness, even though it's really too late for that.

And then in my minds eye I see a view of the Earth from space to give myself perspective and draw me out of myself. I remember how we are all in the shitter right now. We are all suffering greatly. And it sucks, and it hurts. Maybe I feel it more deeply, but feeling pain is feeling pain. What the world needs more then anything right now, is to be shown how to find a way to be happy while swimming around in the shitter. Why don't you be the one strong enough, and brave enough to crack the first heartfelt smile, even if you still have a tear-stained face from all the crying, and show them how it's done.
 

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I used to have this, nowadays, it's more of a subconscious 'toning down of happiness'. Which means I'll usually just be content/lower, unless i find some sort of inspiration/insight/compliment or receive some sort of stimuli,

such as meeting an old friend, looking back on good memories or etc. Which means I'm usually in a good mood nowadays, despite being somewhat moody, i don't need that much to get on top of the world again^^

Either something i don't remember happened, or it just fades with age.

Wait..:confused:

Something tells me it might have to do with a sense of community/acceptance though!

Try to mull it over, i used to have serious problems feeling left out, in the cold.
It just might be some sort of brain-smurf that harasses you because you do not fit, therefore you are unworthy.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
...If treating others is easier than treating yourself well, as with many INFPS. Maybe its best to think of yourself as someone in your life that you wouldnt want to be treated badly by others, maybe a younger sibling or a friend you feel protective of. Whenever you feel guilty or someone makes you feel badly think of that person and treat yourself like youd want that person to be treated.
It is kind of funny it a strange way how I often encourage friends to see things a certain way or to be encouraged for certain reasons, because I know it will be to their benefit, but in my own skin, it often feels like those things don't apply, and that Inner Dialogue sometimes drowns out the voice of reason. I like your views.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Another thing I've noticed is that during times when the negative thoughts and feelings try to come in, that is the time when Extraverted Sensing can prove very useful, and is worth developing. It allows one to just BE...to experience.

Extraverted Sensing...to the rescue!
Fictional story example:

You are with friends, and you are walking to a beautiful cliff jumping area where you had a bad memory, because you were rejected by your previous crush there, and when you arrive there you are brooding...all of the memories come back. You look at the tree you were sitting under when you were rejected, and Si activates and the tree appears as if its mocking you...thoughts turn dark, and everybody around you who are having fun starts to seem very annoying. The inner world and its voices are dictating the appearance and feel of everything around you, but wait!

Look! Is it a bird? A plane? NO! It's Se...flying in with a cape and a big Se on the chest. "I'll help you, sad one!" (Punches and punts away the irksome thoughts into the river) "No need to pay attention to those anymore. Look around you! Do you see the light shimmering off of the water? It's dazzling. The water is warm today. You should jump in, see how it feels. Try a backflip...you're good at those!

(You do a backflip and Se plunges in with you and starts talking to you in an underwater burbling sound) "Wow, that sensation of the water shooting through your body! That's invigorating! And the water pulling between your fingers as you move around. Ah! Oh hey, look up, it's that silly guy, Patrick, climbing up into that tree above the bank! Is he going to jump from there? Oh, there he goes! (Patrick's second foot slips off the edge and he hurtles, flailing toward the water) KER-SMACK! "WHOA! What a back-flop that was!"

...By now, as you tread in the refreshing water, you are smiling, wait no, now you are laughing as Patrick rises to the surface yelling out, "That was a 10, right? It better be, because I'm not trying it again!" Se gives you a big grin and salutes you, saying, "Isn't it nice to not be a captive of those thoughts anymore? Hey, the tree up there that you first felt was mocking you now is the memory of Patrick's hilarious, flailing back-flop! It's a good day, keep it up."

Se flies up out of the water and starts to head toward the sky, but you cry out, "Wait, I need you! Where are you going?" Se winks at you from above the water, cape dripping, "Don't worry. I must go help others. Practice what you have learned, and you will begin to Se clearly." Se salutes you again, takes off, and then collides with a passing blue heron. "I've still got water in my eyes!" Se shouts, disappearing into the distance.

"Who was that?" Caroline, an ESFP, asks you from the shore. "He really seemed familiar, except for that odd cape and costume." You smile to yourself. "Oh, you know him well," you say to her. "I just met him today, and I think we are going to be very good friends, indeed."

End of Story


Anyway...point is, developing Se seems like a very good way of breaking some of the power that those inner dialogues, thoughts, feelings, and subjective realities seem to create. Anyone agree from experience?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have the same thing which, funny enough, I was just wondering yesterday why it's such an instant thing.

I think the fact that you notice yourself doing it means you're quickly on your way to grabbing it, throwing it on the ground, and stepping all over it like you're doing the mexican hat dance.

What's helped me the most lately with mine, is first...telling that other voice to shut the f*** up because it's not the boss of me. That gives it a momentary shock to give me a chance to attempt to retrieve what I can of the happiness, even though it's really too late for that.

And then in my minds eye I see a view of the Earth from space to give myself perspective and draw me out of myself. I remember how we are all in the shitter right now. We are all suffering greatly. And it sucks, and it hurts. Maybe I feel it more deeply, but feeling pain is feeling pain. What the world needs more then anything right now, is to be shown how to find a way to be happy while swimming around in the shitter. Why don't you be the one strong enough, and brave enough to crack the first heartfelt smile, even if you still have a tear-stained face from all the crying, and show them how it's done.
So you are describing rejecting those negative thoughts and redirecting them in order to recapture the good feelings, and let them in? But what about the actual dismantling of those negative thoughts; finding their root and chopping it so that it doesn't grow back? Do you have a way of doing that?
 

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yup definitely.

imo I just am either an emotional masochist or I have a dependency on being depressed sometimes.

All I know is that heavy emotion is like heroin to me. And not just negative ones, all emotion.
 

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I have a similar problem, but instead of my mind telling me I don't deserve to be happy because other people are unhappy, my voice just tells me that I'm being dumb. I'll be very excited about something, or I'll marvel at the sky or something beautiful and be moved by it, then something says, "Whatever, who cares. Stop being so dumb. You're not the only one who feels like that, it's nothing new. Nothing worth getting excited over. It's all been done before... blah blah blah" It's like a killjoy. A pessimist sitting on my shoulders, like the little devil telling me I'm stupid. I'll think I'm having a spiritual experience and some stupid logician or rational voice of someone will say "no such thing!" and kill whatever feeling I'm having. It really gets me down. It gets worse with age....
 

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Cafe Legend and MOTM Jan 2011
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I have a similar problem, but instead of my mind telling me I don't deserve to be happy because other people are unhappy, my voice just tells me that I'm being dumb. I'll be very excited about something, or I'll marvel at the sky or something beautiful and be moved by it, then something says, "Whatever, who cares. Stop being so dumb. You're not the only one who feels like that, it's nothing new. Nothing worth getting excited over. It's all been done before... blah blah blah" It's like a killjoy. A pessimist sitting on my shoulders, like the little devil telling me I'm stupid. I'll think I'm having a spiritual experience and some stupid logician or rational voice of someone will say "no such thing!" and kill whatever feeling I'm having. It really gets me down. It gets worse with age....
Experiment #3 - PersonalityCafe

I wrote a blog entry that dealt with this topic, a long time ago, if you are interested in seeing how my "parts of self" debated the issue.
 

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So you are describing rejecting those negative thoughts and redirecting them in order to recapture the good feelings, and let them in? But what about the actual dismantling of those negative thoughts; finding their root and chopping it so that it doesn't grow back? Do you have a way of doing that?
Nope, I sure don't. But I'd LOVE to hear a way that doesn't involve ten years of therapy. bleck :crazy:
 

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have a dependency on being depressed sometimes.

All I know is that heavy emotion is like heroin to me. And not just negative ones, all emotion.
For sure. Sitting in blasé contentment can be much harder than being depressed. You feel like you should appreciate the peacefulness, and feel guilty when you don't. All you want is to feel something powerfully. It is definitely like a drug.

OP:
For years I tried to educate myself on how to live in the moment. Embrace the present. Be zen. Ground myself into awareness. And then I felt like a heaping failure when I couldn't succeed. I was so afraid I'd be wasting my life away if I didn't learn to live in the moment; no one told me I was wasting my life away looking for the method not to waste it.

I've finally begun to accept that living in the moment just doesn't work for me. I don't experience things as they happen, I experience them when I've had a chance to reflect. When I'm outside and feeling the wind on my face, I get those kinds of thoughts - "This is nice, and I know I should appreciate it, but to be honest it doesn't seem all that special..." But if I were to read a passage in a book about how much someone was enjoying the wind on their face, I'll probably enjoy that 50x more than the experience itself.

I'm not sure if that's what you mean....I guess I'm just saying if you feel guilty for not appreciating things as much as you think you should, try embracing the fact that you experience things differently. :) I always have more fun with my friends when I'm at home, replaying the night in my head, than I do when I'm actually out with them. I've learned it's okay to feel like that.
 

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I can really relate to y'alls posts! I feel guilty when I'm enjoying certain things, because there are so many people less fortunate than I. I sometimes express this to my friends, and they are baffled by it.
 

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I get something similar to this, Usually I'll be having a good day and having fun but then suddenly It will hit me like "Oh i got college tomorrow" "I'm going to be bored when this is over" It's silly but I still end up doing it. >.<
 
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