Personality Cafe banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
251 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I don't know about anyone else, but as an INFP I feel a lot of the time that I'm trapped within myself. The intense feelings I have, and the passion I feel for things I like, is really hard for me to find any way to express (other than through art, but that's another topic entirely).

I always find myself holding myself back. Just as an example, I can't sing in the car if there's anyone with me, even though I'm actually a pretty good singer and I often feel this overwhelming urge just to burst out singing at the top of my lungs. I'm way too self-conscious to actually do that, though. I always worry that my voice won't be top-notch that day and people will think I suck (which has never actually happened). I want everyone to think everything I do is amazing, and if they don't I get really angry at myself for it. So if there's any possibility that what I do might be perceived as less than completely awesome, I usually don't do it.

As a result, I'm stuck with this awful overriding feeling that I'm just trapped inside myself, unable to do anything. I can even spell out the reasons why I should just not give a damn and express myself anyway, but when it comes to actually doing it, I'm way too anxious. I can't stand the thought of being rejected, especially when it's about the things that are at the innermost core of my being.

Does anyone else have this problem?

And does anyone know how you can get past it (preferably other INFPs)?

Thank you all for any help. I'm new here, so I hope this is the right place to put this ^^;

Edit: As an aside, maybe this is such a big problem for me because I used to test as an ENFP when I was a child?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,478 Posts
I can relate to your predicament, but maybe in a different way. I feel like instead of living my own life I'm too frequently caught up in watching everyone else live their own and with what's going on inside my head. It's not like I don't do stuff, but when I do stuff it doesn't always feel like me, if that makes any sense. Sometimes it's just like going through the motions. When I revert to a more introspective mode later on, when I get more reclusive or introverted or whatever, it's like I'm wasting time, though I feel a little more like myself.

Maybe it is an introvert thing, in general (esp. Fi), but my life does feel like such a paradox sometimes. I want to be "living," but I don't always let myself open up enough for that to really happen. I don't know what else to tell you.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
16 Posts
Yes... I'd write something longer but I don't know how to say it.

You can't change types. You're either INFP or ENFP, not both.
 

·
MOTM Dec 2012
Joined
·
12,239 Posts
Yes... I'd write something longer but I don't know how to say it.

You can't change types. You're either INFP or ENFP, not both.
Interesting article on personality types which says that our personalities are set by 1st grade.

Personality May Be Set By 1st Grade | Children's Personality Traits | LiveScience)

Our personalities stay pretty much the same throughout our lives, from our early childhood years to after we're over the hill, according to a new study.

The results show personality traits observed in children as young as first graders are a strong predictor of adult behavior.

"We remain recognizably the same person," said study author Christopher Nave, a doctoral candidate at the University of California, Riverside. "This speaks to the importance of understanding personality because it does follow us wherever we go across time and contexts."

The study will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science.

Tracking personalities

Using data from a 1960s study of approximately 2,400 ethnically diverse schoolchildren (grades 1 – 6) in Hawaii, researchers compared teacher personality ratings of the students with videotaped interviews of 144 of those individuals 40 years later.

They examined four personality attributes — talkativeness (called verbal fluency), adaptability (cope well with new situations), impulsiveness and self-minimizing behavior (essentially being humble to the point of minimizing one's importance).

Among the findings:

Talkative youngsters tended to show interest in intellectual matters, speak fluently, try to control situations, and exhibit a high degree of intelligence as adults. Children who rated low in verbal fluency were observed as adults to seek advice, give up when faced with obstacles, and exhibit an awkward interpersonal style.

Children rated as highly adaptable tended, as middle-age adults, to behave cheerfully, speak fluently and show interest in intellectual matters. Those who rated low in adaptability as children were observed as adults to say negative things about themselves, seek advice and exhibit an awkward interpersonal style.

Students rated as impulsive were inclined to speak loudly, display a wide range of interests and be talkative as adults. Less impulsive kids tended to be fearful or timid, kept others at a distance and expressed insecurity as adults.

Children characterized as self-minimizing were likely to express guilt, seek reassurance, say negative things about themselves and express insecurity as adults. Those who were ranked low on a self-minimizing scale tended to speak loudly, show interest in intellectual matters and exhibit condescending behavior as adults.

Changing personality

Previous research has suggested that while our personalities can change, it's not an easy undertaking.

Personality is "a part of us, a part of our biology," Nave said. "Life events still influence our behaviors, yet we must acknowledge the power of personality in understanding future behavior as well."

Future research will "help us understand how personality is related to behavior as well as examine the extent to which we may be able to change our personality," Nave said.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,393 Posts
I can relate. You are a perfectionist, windswept. So am I. "If it's not going to be perfect, there's no point in doing it." I often think that to myself. Once I see something done in a way which I perceive to be perfect, I can no longer appreciate when others do the same thing, but not as good. Even when those others do it pretty well. Even when it's me doing something.

I ate the most amazing piece of cheesecake at a certain restaurant years and years ago. Ever since then, I have never been able to appreciate any other cheesecake I've had which I felt wasn't as good. Even stuff that actually was pretty good. I just can't help comparing them to that one piece of perfect cheesecake I had so long ago.

It's a curse, because like you said, it holds us back from doing something if we feel we can't do it perfectly, but it's also a gift, because how are things going to get any better if there are no perfectionists raising the bar?

Look up google on how to deal with being a perfectionist. You might find some help there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
149 Posts
Totally know what you mean. Drawing and Painting is a great activity because it forces you to step outside yourself and observe something concrete.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
216 Posts
I can relate. You are a perfectionist, windswept. So am I. "If it's not going to be perfect, there's no point in doing it." I often think that to myself. Once I see something done in a way which I perceive to be perfect, I can no longer appreciate when others do the same thing, but not as good. Even when those others do it pretty well. Even when it's me doing something.

I ate the most amazing piece of cheesecake at a certain restaurant years and years ago. Ever since then, I have never been able to appreciate any other cheesecake I've had which I felt wasn't as good. Even stuff that actually was pretty good. I just can't help comparing them to that one piece of perfect cheesecake I had so long ago.

It's a curse, because like you said, it holds us back from doing something if we feel we can't do it perfectly, but it's also a gift, because how are things going to get any better if there are no perfectionists raising the bar?

Look up google on how to deal with being a perfectionist. You might find some help there.
Ugh, you speak my mind. Do you ever apply that same attitude to your own self as a person, and your intellectual progress? Or a "perfect" time period in your life?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,694 Posts
Nope, of course I'm a ENTJ and and an INFP. So that probably doesn't help. Can you not be the same person that's on the inside that's on the outside?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,514 Posts
I've always had that 'wanting to burst out' feeling in any situation, including those social situations where you're trying to work up the courage to strike up a conversation with someone.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Perfectionism + The fear from failure. Oh yea. I can relate as well.

We so hate being critizied, we would do anything with great alert to be perfect.

Study your self limits, be adaptable, and know you simply trying your best. I can assure you that no one can be perfect, or can be amazing in everything they do. It's an illusion, made by movies and other beings. You WILL suck in all sorts of things if you'll try them (Such as... Economics, Law studies, etc) and will be great in other fields. Even if you'r great in one field, you can always get better as life were made for constant growing, and can always have good days and bad days. Besides, perfection is relative thing.
You can do something which you label as "Perfect." but someone else can describe it as something else, or simply ok.

Learn yourself. What you'r good at and what you'r BAD at (Yes, you are bad in some fields!) And free your mind from what people can say about the good things you do, because they can come from such a different prespective. The most important thing is what YOU think about YOURSELF, and then what OTHERS think of YOU....

From that point of view, perfectionism kinda lost it's powers. It's not needed as before.


Hope it helped. :happy:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
431 Posts
I know what you're talking about... I get into that sort of mood sometimes too, where I just start doubting everything I'm doing and think dumb thoughts about what other people think of me until I choke myself with bad energy then its a downhill slide from there and usually I'll just wanna be alone. You have to remember though, it seems INFPs have a really hard time taming our own minds... we let our imagination run off the leash. You just gotta learn to keep your mind from breaking the leash and running crazy, you gotta learn to steer it in a more practical way because once it's gotten loose it can wind up half way across the world.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
624 Posts
As a couple quick side notes:

1. Your personality can change over your lifetime. Not only do people tend to centralise as they get older but also your personality is based off of your biology (ie your brain) which is an adaptive organism. An E could very well switch to an I if they were abused or bullied and beaten up as a child. They'd learn to become more withdrawn - at first this would be behaviour and not personality but if left long enough it would have long term effects.

2. Even tho you are 1 type you can act in other types. Quite often at work I will test as a T instead of an F. This is because my job demands me to me very analytical. I'll use my N to guide me but I can't use my F to just let me do what I want I have to be able to scientifically back it up, and be very cold and hard about the facts. I have to adapt my behaviour at work.


Anyway, back on topic! I understand where you are coming from, but for me it's slightly different. I don't feel trapped within myself so much as disconnected with the world. The way all these things are done just seems to wrong and I often struggle to understand why people don't just change things. Of course it's because other people have a different perspective on things than me. But I often find myself thinking "wouldn't it just be better if..."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,691 Posts
This used to be me too but I'm over it. I went away for a week with a load of strangers to "find myself" and was encouraged to be expressive (amongst other things) but left knowing that just wasn't me, my role in a group is to watch and appreciate the efforts of others, and be there with a chair when they are tired. But the other people there really took it on and grew because of it and it was great to see, and I'm better for the realisation.

As has been said the problem and the solution to self consciousness are all in your head, if you can list the reasons not to be you're close to overcoming it. People like you for being you not because of your singing voice or your opinion and you'd have to do something really out of character to scare them away. When you've been with people and you're tired or irritated do you think you're living up to your perfect expectations? No, you're just being you - and they didn't dislike it. If they can see past the worst side of you then why would they reject you for singing? Give that a go first and notice how little changes. Then you can carry that confidence into other things :happy:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
244 Posts
I always find myself holding myself back. Just as an example, I can't sing in the car if there's anyone with me, even though I'm actually a pretty good singer and I often feel this overwhelming urge just to burst out singing at the top of my lungs. I'm way too self-conscious to actually do that, though. I always worry that my voice won't be top-notch that day and people will think I suck (which has never actually happened). I want everyone to think everything I do is amazing, and if they don't I get really angry at myself for it. So if there's any possibility that what I do might be perceived as less than completely awesome, I usually don't do it.

As a result, I'm stuck with this awful overriding feeling that I'm just trapped inside myself, unable to do anything. I can even spell out the reasons why I should just not give a damn and express myself anyway, but when it comes to actually doing it, I'm way too anxious. I can't stand the thought of being rejected, especially when it's about the things that are at the innermost core of my being.
I can absolutely understand what you mean. I'm always too cautious of taking a risk out of fear not that I'll fail, but that I'll be less than perfect and that will demean the experience in some way. (I even know what you mean about singing in front of people. Being a singer was my dream when I was little and I'm pretty good at it, but it would never happen because I almost never let anyone hear me sing... maybe 3 people in my whole life. Not even my parents have heard me sing. I'm absolutely certain if I tried it now that would be the one time I miss that note and I will have spent my whole life privately cultivating this talent to ruin it in an instant.)

Maybe it is an introvert thing, in general (esp. Fi), but my life does feel like such a paradox sometimes. I want to be "living," but I don't always let myself open up enough for that to really happen. I don't know what else to tell you.
I can really relate to your post too, under skies. It sucks, and it does feel like I'm missing out on life sometimes. And on a personal note it's so funny to me that thread like this where so many other people say they feel the same way would pop up just now because it was only yesterday that this feeling really sank in for me. An old friend of my father's came to town for a visit yesterday and I listened to them recall stories from their crazy younger days for hours... and I realized that I am about to turn 22 and this is time in my life I should be living and making those kinds of stories, and yet so far I haven't had a single experience I think I'll want to recall with a friend in 30 years. I don't even have a friend I'd still want to be in touch with in 30 years.

It feels like such a waste because it seems that INFPs have the emotional intensity needed to assign great meaning to experiences, but we lack the "live for the moment" mindset that breeds those great experiences. Are there any INFPs out there who have successfully thrown caution to the wind, or is bypassing introspective forethought and putting ourselves out there just too out of our element to be enjoyable?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
897 Posts
when there's a sincere, honest person want to sings their hearts out, people would immediately go like "stop acting like a little kid! manage/behave yourself! be a growing MATURE adult please!"

but when there's a person got raised into promotions or higher salary/benefits whatever because of his/her smart tricks, cheats, or manipulative lies B.S, that person is praised and said "well done, 'pal!"

such a fucked-up world we're living in today.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
161 Posts
I can relate to your predicament, but maybe in a different way. I feel like instead of living my own life I'm too frequently caught up in watching everyone else live their own and with what's going on inside my head. It's not like I don't do stuff, but when I do stuff it doesn't always feel like me, if that makes any sense. Sometimes it's just like going through the motions. When I revert to a more introspective mode later on, when I get more reclusive or introverted or whatever, it's like I'm wasting time, though I feel a little more like myself.

Maybe it is an introvert thing, in general (esp. Fi), but my life does feel like such a paradox sometimes. I want to be "living," but I don't always let myself open up enough for that to really happen. I don't know what else to tell you.
Exactly how I feel :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
716 Posts
I have this problem with singing too. The other day I was with my friends and we're quite close. One of them asked me to sing to the song he was playing on the guitar ("Love Me Two Times" by The Doors) and I refused. He kept pushing, saying I was such a good singer etc. I ended up singing, but I felt really embarrased doing it and stopped quickly - even though I thought myself that it sounded good (and the others probably did too)..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
I can definitely relate. According to some reading I did a while back, it stems from childhood. I don't know if this will ring true for you, but according to the book, kids who grew up having to be super serious or responsible tend to lose their sense of spontaneity and play because life turns into decisions. So I can be spontaneous with the rest of them; work is the only schedule I keep. But when it comes to the little things like saying all that I want to say in conversations and, you know, wanting to sing, I find that I stifle myself most of the time for no good reason at all. So it might help to remind youself of the idea of free, spontaneous play...What I do is just force myself out of my comfort zone every once in a while and start singing or whatever. The result's never bad, but I swear that filter is like my ball and chain. :\
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
717 Posts
Yeah, a lot of the time I feel like I really want to say something, but I don't know how to express it and am afraid I will be misunderstood or that I want to sing really loud or dance, but if I do, it will startle people. Same kind of feeling as what you described, but maybe different reasons...
One of my teachers used a metaphor to describe my not speaking up as "polishing jewels" because I felt like I had to get every word perfect in my head before I spoke, but then, usually, the time to say what I was thinking passed.
Sometimes you just need to get out everything that you're thinking and then correct it later.
I can get caught in critical thoughts and forget that I really admire mistakes. They make the world more human. :)
Sing if you want to. If you hit the wrong note, it doesn't have to be a bad thing. You can recover from it and make the song your own. It's nearly impossible to sing songs exactly as their original singers sing them, even the original singers probably sing the song a little bit differently each time.
We shouldn't have to feel trapped. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: niki

·
Registered
Joined
·
244 Posts
I can definitely relate. According to some reading I did a while back, it stems from childhood. I don't know if this will ring true for you, but according to the book, kids who grew up having to be super serious or responsible tend to lose their sense of spontaneity and play because life turns into decisions. So I can be spontaneous with the rest of them; work is the only schedule I keep. But when it comes to the little things like saying all that I want to say in conversations and, you know, wanting to sing, I find that I stifle myself most of the time for no good reason at all. So it might help to remind youself of the idea of free, spontaneous play...What I do is just force myself out of my comfort zone every once in a while and start singing or whatever. The result's never bad, but I swear that filter is like my ball and chain. :\
I can understand that and it makes sense. I do feel sort of a pull back and forth between my desire to just go out into the world and have fun and my need to be secure and cautious and responsible. I've always been responsible when it comes to school, work, and things like that but I can be quite whimsical in my free (alone) time. And it did start when I was little since my brother was kinda out of control and I felt the pressure from my family to be the responsible one. I've been daydreaming the past few months about just taking all the money I have saved up and blowing it on spending a few months traveling the world and having an adventure, but then my thoughts get the best of me. I start thinking things like, "But I should probably spend the next few months building up my work experience and applying to grad school instead!" or "But I should save that money for the future in case I need to fall back on it!" I'm starting to wonder if betting on security over adventure is the wrong bet. I have my whole life to build security, right? Or is an early start necessary for future stability? Will the security even be comforting to me if I feel trapped inside it never having known a real adventure? Boo, I hate life decisions. :sad:
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top