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Do you know who you are? For a very long time I've been interested in self-knowledge, psychology, Enneagram, spiritual growth etc. but I still feel I do not know who I am. My self-image is like a drifting ship, lonely roamer with no home at all...

I can relate to many kinds of people, I can tell what they are like and then transform myself to share their wave lengths more closely... I know others but I don't know myself - although this knowledge is also some kind of self-awareness :) But I'd love to deepen my self-knowledge to grow, to be wiser. How can one do that when the base has been lost or has never been created? How can one build anything on water? Or am I wrong about the water?

I pay attention to the feelings of others and to my own thoughts but not that much to my own feelings. That used to make me feel like a slave to them. Recently I've noticed that especially unconstrained things that provoke emotional reactions in my soul enhance my self-awareness and self-knowledge: music, reading, movies - any kind of uplifting stories really. But feelings, they remain floating in the air never descending, I can't catch them, can't build my self-knowledge based on them only... I want something more solid. And searching seems futile until you know what you are looking for... Or then the journey is the thing.

Anyway, I'd like to know who am I actually... For example many Fi-users seem to know themselves, what they like, what they need, what they want. I don't. But I'd love to acquire more stable base for myself. So, I'd love to hear how have you solved this kind of dilemma if you have ever experienced such a thing :)
 

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I think for INF's life is one long journey of discovery into knowing the self, or rather how the self relates to the world. This is the same for almost everyone, of whatever type of course, but INF's, are I think, more aware that the process is going on that say, E types who analyse less and accept more.

INF's tend to be more like chameleon's , fitting themselves into other's situations and perceptions making it more difficult and take longer to know themselves.

It has taken me years. I can say I know myself at this point. Much of it, like Mr Eastwood once said, is accepting your own limitations. I realise I am never going to fulfill some ambitions (dreams if you will) I had as a younger person and that I only have physical, mental and intellectual capacities to a certain limit.

To a younger reader, still full of hopes, dreams and ambitions, that could sound sad, defeatist, of just plain OLD.....but trust me, you will all get there, sooner or later - but it doesn't mean giving up on things. It means knowing yourself well enough to achieve what is achievable and having the maturity and the strength, yes strength to know what is outwith your capacities.

The art is to live within those limits and to be contended in the many many good things that there are in life.
 

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I feel like I know and accept myself. I also know that with new experiences, I will change my mind about things, and see things differently. Just because I know who I am TODAY doesn't mean I won't be someone totally different in 10 years. I hope I am... I can't imagine living life and never changing.

When I was younger, I was pretty unhappy with myself. My early 20s were a nightmare. It wasn't until I had children that I really began to feel content in my soul.

Now, I feel like life is for playing. I'm happier and more comfortable all the time.
 

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If I don't know who I am, then I've been having all my mail sent to the wrong address.

I try not to spend too much time over-analyzing myself for fear of becoming too self-absorbed. I'd rather be more productive. :)
 

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I'm still trying to fit all the pieces together.
I feel the same :)

I think I am in the process, I know some aspects of myself better than others (strenghts, fears, thoughts, weaknesses) but there are a lot of me that I still don´t know, I think I learn new things about me every day.
 
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We are whoever we choose to be. My approach is to craft an ideal persona for myself and do my best to live it out.

However, my struggle is not knowing for sure whether the way I see myself corresponds with how I'm perceived from the outside. I hate being misinterpreted.
 

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I think it's hard for INFJs. They say we are only like 1.5% of the US population. And .5% of that is males.

I have struggled with identity for a while now. It's actually what led me here to much research and eventually to this website. I was the kind of kid that was asking adults about the nature of our existence in elementary school. Because people around me could accept things in black and white easier, I had felt like an odd child for being gray.

I have a long history with depression. I think most of my life I have labeled myself as "a depressed kid". I mention this because before I started trying to break down my identity into more manageable concepts, I think as a kid I needed to tell myself that "I am always and forever will be depression kid" as some kind of sense of stability. (It was kind of a defense mechanism, I'm guessing).

I'm only 19, so I could be wrong on this... but I think with "people like us" we have to eventually adapt and develop enough strength to realize that everything is forever changing.

I'm not sure if I responded in a helpful way since I can really only speak from my experience, but I hope it contributes something?
 

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I know who I am and how I got here, it hasn’t been an easy road, but what ever is? Not sure where life will take me next, but I’m sure it’ll be interesting. I truly believe that if you have clarity of purpose, any of the obstacles life throws in your way are unimportant. Do I still question myself occasionally? Sure.

It’s taken me quite some time to be at peace with myself, how I fit in and how to use what I have to better myself & the ones that I care about.
 
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I advise you, whoever you are, Oh you! who wish to explore the mysteries of nature, if you do not find within yourself that which you seek, neither shall you find it outside. If you ignore the excellencies of your own house, how do you intend to find excellence elsewhere? Within you is hidden the treasure of treasures. Oh, man, know yourself and you shall know the Universe and the Gods!...the oracle at Delphi

I have always love that quote. Almost all my life I have been pondering about who I am..trying to see what is my essence made of. It is made of constant change..I have explore so many ventures and possibilities that I don't have a clue what kind of person I will become in the next 5 years lol. Yet a pattern seems to emerge and have remain relative constant. These last 2 years I have been in a state of almost complete introspection...I have a better grasp of who I am but there is still so much to explore.

I am like water, change is second nature to me.I believe that we have 3 types of personalities. The first one is what I call the false personality that is a result of our upbringing, peer pressure and cultural expectations. The second one is the true personality...is that inner part of yourself that can only express itself when you find total acceptance..it usually surface when you are alone or with someone that you deeply love. The last one is on a more esoteric side....it is the consciousness/soul itself.

I understand your concern with feelings and like you I am kind of lost sometimes with my own. I am extremely good at perceiving and feeling others people intentions, thoughts and emotions. That makes me one empathic guy but that capacity can be a double edge-sword. Because you get out of touch with your own emotions and sometimes don't know what you are actually feeling. The irony is that I have notice that my feelings are more strong and are what feeds my intellect. I need to be more in sync with them.

This will be probably the most strange question anyone has asked you @zallla, do you have full low cheeks, dreamy big eyes, a prominent forehead and medium-big size ears?
 
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Do you know who you are? For a very long time I've been interested in self-knowledge, psychology, Enneagram, spiritual growth etc. but I still feel I do not know who I am. My self-image is like a drifting ship, lonely roamer with no home at all...
I think there are (at least) 2 aspects to what's being discussed in this thread.

Firstly, the concept of having a sense of self. Being your own person. Eg gaining independence from one's parents, making one's own decisions, formulating your own vision for your life. This is something I struggled with for many years and it was the experience of psychotherapy that was my salvation.

And the second:

We hear it said of some man that "he just can't get himself together". What this means, on a deep level, is that he is not experiencing, and cannot experience, his deep cohesive structures. He is fragmented; various parts of his personality are split off from each other and leading fairly independent and often chaotic lives.

-- from King Warrior Magician Lover by Moore & Gillette
This feeling of being fragmented was something I experienced and struggled with until it was addressed in therapy.

@zallla It also sounds like you're somewhat cut off from your feelings. This too was my experience (still is, but much less so) and (i know i'm getting boring here) psychotherapy was the process through which I began to get in touch with my feelings.

I have no hesitation in recommending psychotherapy to (almost) anyone who is struggling. But I'm painfully aware that it's usually expensive and is therefore something many people can't afford.
 

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I think it's best not to think too much about who you are and rather 'be' yourself. Ni is an INFJ's top function, so following gut instinct (much as it may be scary at times) is probably good. Considering yourself too much can end up making you confused and depressed (at least, it did that to me).

However, I do not have a great sense of self. Growing up as a shy child, and also a twin, meant I didn't develop until later on (I consider my childhood 'standby mode' for when I was mentally ready to develop later). I've got more of a feel for who I am now, but still not as much as I'd like... But, as I said, it's best just to do what you feel is right and hope you'll be a good person, I guess.
 

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I definitely can relate, even being 20 and getting out more into the world, I really don't know who in a sense I am. In a way, I am a chameleon in social situations where I project a certain persona depending on who I am with. I know I'm very funny and quite honest, and that sometimes makes me a little intimidating or even to my friends, quite debateful.

I always find it sobering for me to hang out with someone I am in love with because they make me realize that I don't have to put on a show in order to be who I am.

Maybe we as INFJs just tend to hide behind emotional walls a lot?
 

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.......
INF's tend to be more like chameleon's , fitting themselves into other's situations and perceptions making it more difficult and take longer to know themselves..........

I relate to that ^^^
very much, I'm still unsure a lot of the time

I've been trying to think: which way feels right? which way feels natural? which you makes you feel comfortable and happy?
which one feels like you aren't blending in, but simply being?

that has been helping me recently

but then I started thinking

What defines who you are?
certainly not your job, or your family, or your friends, has to be something more right?

then I wonder why do I feel the need to define who I am?

why can't I simply be/live/exist and that be enough?
 

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I think it's best not to think too much about who you are and rather 'be' yourself.
I like what you said here.

Most people confuse the mental concept of who they are with being who they are. "I am a father", "an accountant", "a friend", "a nice person", "an INFJ", "a deep thinker" and so on, but neither of these adjectives really give an explanation of who you really are, they are just concepts.

Being who you are, on the other hand, is whoever you are at this moment. It doesn't require any of these roles for you to be whatever you need to be right now. I don't really know who I am because who I am changes every moment. It's like that saying, "you will never walk on the same river twice". I'm not the same person who I was just a moment ago, I am constantly changing, constantly adapting, constantly being. I am.
 
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The word 'know' in the whole cogita tute sense always struck me as a bit of a weasel word. To a hundred percent? No, but I don't think anyone knows anything to a hundred percent.

I like to think of it functionally. I know myself well enough to recognize certain patterns, like passive aggressive behavior if I'm upset with someone. I'm curious enough about myself that when I see new things, I pay attention to them, like knowing that I actually like or need something because i'm behaving apprehensively, which is unusual for me.
 

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[...] certainly not your job [...]
That's funny, I was going to ask you guys about this. Assuming that you have a full time job of 40 hours per week, don't you think it is a big part of your life (but not necessarily in a defining way)? I think a lot of people, regardless of type, find that their job is a part of their identity.

"I'm a friendly call-center agent."
"I'm a witty nurse."
"I'm a nerdy corporate strategist."
"I'm a proactive IT-specialist."

Adjectives chosen at random - just there to illustrate my point.
 
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