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I was just wondering what other INFJ's were like as teenagers. I read a lot about others being very quiet and bookish. I was like this until my teenage years. I grew up in a pretty emotionally unstable environment and from 12-16 I was pretty darn manipulative - albeit in a quiet sort of way - and I didn't see any of the friendships that fell apart as being my fault.... Then from 17-18 I masqueraded as an ENFJ. Disaster.

Needless to say, discovering I was actually a very, very exhausted INFJ sort of changed my life. :proud:

Was anyone in the same or a similar boat growing up?
 

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I really lacked of self-confidence, as a teen. It was a personal "natural" problem, but it got worse in secondary school, because I was a victim of school harassment. I felt really desperate, lonely, and worthless, I even thought about killing myself (not that seriously, but still). My bestfriend at that time had school refusal issues, so I was very sad for her. Luckily, I also met my closest friends in secondary school, it really helped me. Without them, I really don't know what would have happened to me. They protected me, without even knowing it, they were my oxygen. They still are, when things are bad. I was a very quiet, shy, teenage girl. Books, music, and writing were a solace to me. I felt misunderstood, but thanks to the books I read, I knew that there was people "like me" in this world, and that I had to hold on, because, eventually, I would meet people that would understand me, or who would at least accept me as I was. I found those people later, in high school and in college. Now, I'm 20, and I can say that I'm happy, and that I don't hate myself anymore :)
 

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I was just wondering what other INFJ's were like as teenagers. I read a lot about others being very quiet and bookish. I was like this until my teenage years. I grew up in a pretty emotionally unstable environment and from 12-16 I was pretty darn manipulative - albeit in a quiet sort of way - and I didn't see any of the friendships that fell apart as being my fault.... Then from 17-18 I masqueraded as an ENFJ. Disaster.

Needless to say, discovering I was actually a very, very exhausted INFJ sort of changed my life. :proud:

Was anyone in the same or a similar boat growing up?
I wasn't at all like you described. However I would find it very interesting to hear how this masquerading manifested. How did you behave? Were you confused at the time?
 

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12 - 15 -- Went through a phase of figuring out what my interests were, and then I proceeded to obsess over those interests. In a way, I think this was my Ti kicking in to compensate for my dehydrated Fe. I spent the years prior trying really, really hard to connect with others, but it was difficult to get rid of the "black sheep" feeling. I got into a... "relationship", if that's what you want to call it, with a 22-year-old man that obviously did not end well (ironic, considering that my current SO has the same age difference and we're working out splendidly), and this would tip a domino over that affected the years to come.

15 - 18 -- The break up with my too-old-boyfriend triggered my first experience with depression, and it gradually got worse from there. I felt incredibly isolated during those years, and it resulted in me doing some pretty desperate things for companionship. Needless to say, I wasn't a stable person. I was a master at being aggravatingly manipulative without even being aware of it, and I hurt the ones who I should have been grateful for. An abusive, pseudo-relationship with an ISTP brought me to a point where I was very seriously contemplating suicide, but fortunately I decided to turn my life around instead. I ditched the ISTP, started therapy, and sought out support from people who had been trying to help me all along. Things got better from there.

So, in summary: a lot of instability and moodiness. I tried my best to keep it contained, but I didn't always succeed.
 

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Reserved, deeply contemplative, always feeling a separateness between others and myself (yet, at the same time, unable to separate the feelings of those around me from myself... it overwhelmed me. Still does). I had many escapes and obsessions and sought solace in connecting with music, books, movies and, every now and then, a person whose thoughts weren't so unlike my own. I held on tightly and desperately to all of it.

In certain manic moods, I'd stay up all night immersed in a concept or thought, song or some kind of creative yearning and try to pull from myself something of my own.

I was very independent and needed to do things on my own, in my own way, on my own time. Completely stubborn. I think I was also a lot more opinionated in way when I was a teenager. Usually, if I thought something was wrong or not the way it should be - I would voice it. I moved out on my own when I was 17.

I can see all that has stayed with me and what has gone away and hopefully that amounts to something. Hopefully I'm going forwards and not backwards. I've never really had a very good sense of direction.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
@zosio913
I was a master at being aggravatingly manipulative without even being aware of it, and I hurt the ones who I should have been grateful for. An abusive, pseudo-relationship with an ISTP brought me to a point where I was very seriously contemplating suicide, but fortunately I decided to turn my life around instead. I ditched the ISTP, started therapy, and sought out support from people who had been trying to help me all along. Things got better from there.
This resonates a lot with me. I would connect to people, form incredibly tight bonds and then one day destroy them. I didn't know I was doing it at the time, but upon reflection - I was at the centre of every one of my highschool disasters without even being conscious of it. I was terribly, terribly lost. I remember I befriended these two super extroverted girls and being the chameleon that we INFJ's so often can be, I lead them to believe I was just like them because I wanted the companionship I guess. When I finally reached the point of absolute exhaustion and tried to isolate myself, it was a disaster. Huge fight, "reputation" destroyed... It was not pretty. Then I slipped into a pretty serious depression too and depended on alcohol and drugs to numb myself. It was Year 9, so I was 13-14 and this went on until I was 16.

You mention that loosing your ISTP brought about a positive change in you. Strangely enough, meeting my ESTP shook me out of my drug and alcohol fuelled daze. I'm a completely different person now, I've grown into myself. Developed myself I guess.

Thanks for sharing with me, I know yours is a painful story but it does mean a lot to know I wasn't the only one who went down that path. xx
 

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In middle school I was really naive and shy w low self esteem, which brought on bullying. Which brought on severe depression and self harm. Then I switched schools and guys started to notice I was attractive etc. So then I became very narcassistic and manipulative, using people's attention to my advantage. I also became a bit of a bully. I tried really hard to be outgoing and friendly and I tried to make myself seem more experienced with drugs and sex etc than I actually was because I was afraid of rejection. I had a very warped idea of what friendship and love was, because I grew up in a very emotionally restrictive and abusive household my only exposure to the world was basically the media and high school cliques. I honestly was a piece of shit, I was really depressed and self destructive. I couldn't hold friendships or relationships because I was extremely mistrusting and closed off. Not to mention I was completely unable to see anyone elses point of view other than mine. I was also very judgmental and unforgiving towards people but at the same time I suffered from severe depression and anxiety and had to be hospitalized several times because of panic attacks.

I went through alot of trauma when I was younger which was why I was like this, I eventually learned how to sort through all my issues and realizing how different things were affecting me. I started to learn how to listen to myself more and I became more confident and in touch with myself. I got my first job a few months ago and my drivers license and my year anniversary with my boyfriend is coming up in the next month :kitteh:

That comes to say, no matter how shitty of a person you once were, you are capable of change.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
@Puntje
I would find it very interesting to hear how this masquerading manifested. How did you behave? Where you confused at the time?
Definitely confused. In every sense of the word. Everything true about me was bottled and stamped down. I didn't trust anybody with the truest aspects of myself because I never felt understood. I first took a Myers-Briggs test when I was 17 and had started to turn myself around (left behind the bitchy friends, the partying and the drugs/alcohol) but I was still very insecure. The test turned up as an ENFJ which in hindsight makes a lot of sense - I took it in Drama class. My passion for theatre is often my downfall.

I wasn't conscious of it in highschool, but now I know I have always sort of "faked" different energy levels depending on the group I'm with - Drama is one of these situations. In highschool, the faking was 24/7 so I was a very stressed and exhausted little girl. Now as an adult, I enter the theatre space and people hug me, shout out at me, "theatre-me" is well liked. What none of them know, is I am dying half the time because I'm feeling the performance we watched or the character I played very deeply, or that I am exhausted by all the energy and emotional output I'm absorbing.

So in short, I faked being extroverted for my entire high school life and it was ruinous on my well being. I was also very underdeveloped because I kept every honest part of myself locked in a box.

I still fake it, but the difference is, I'm aware of the fact that I'm an INFJ and that's okay. I'm not a freak and there are some people out there who understand.
 

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Some of what you said does sound a lot like me. When I used to look back, I'd wish I was able to punch myself in the face. I can see now that I was just messed up from emotional instability in my environment and in myself.

I went through so many friendship groups. A lot of girls and their mothers actually hate me because of the trouble I caused, which is fair enough because I think maybe I'd dislike me too if I was remembering a 12-16 year old little cow every time I looked at me.

At one stage I was sent on an army camp because I was getting into trouble for fighting with teachers all the time, even if it wasn't my fight. I'd just get ridiculously angry and impassioned about some "injustice" done to someone else and wouldn't accept any other perspective or reasoning.

I was absolutely incapable of forgiveness in high school, or on the flip side I'd let friends repeat hurting me over and over. I still struggle a lot with forgiveness, do you?
 

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I was such an immature and unintelligent twat in my teenage, at least in comparison to what I like to think of myself now at 21. Though in defence of my younger self, it was a really troubled time for me. I made a lot of mistakes in a lot of different aspects of my life, and I was not having a good time socially for most of it. I'm happier now but periodically (as recently as a couple of days ago) some of the old feelings come back. I have a lot more self-awareness and self-confidence than when I was younger and that in itself lends a kind of platform of inner stability on which other things can start to be built.

Also I now look back almost fondly at how simple my teenage worries were, even though they loomed so large back in the noughties. And additionally, if I had experienced a different teenage then I might not be where I am right now, which I'm pretty happy with, so it wasn't all bad in retrospect.
 
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Definitely confused. In every sense of the word. Everything true about me was bottled and stamped down. I didn't trust anybody with the truest aspects of myself because I never felt understood. I first took a Myers-Briggs test when I was 17 and had started to turn myself around (left behind the bitchy friends, the partying and the drugs/alcohol) but I was still very insecure. The test turned up as an ENFJ which in hindsight makes a lot of sense - I took it in Drama class. My passion for theatre is often my downfall.

I wasn't conscious of it in highschool, but now I know I have always sort of "faked" different energy levels depending on the group I'm with - Drama is one of these situations. In highschool, the faking was 24/7 so I was a very stressed and exhausted little girl. Now as an adult, I enter the theatre space and people hug me, shout out at me, "theatre-me" is well liked. What none of them know, is I am dying half the time because I'm feeling the performance we watched or the character I played very deeply, or that I am exhausted by all the energy and emotional output I'm absorbing.

So in short, I faked being extroverted for my entire high school life and it was ruinous on my well being. I was also very underdeveloped because I kept every honest part of myself locked in a box.

I still fake it, but the difference is, I'm aware of the fact that I'm an INFJ and that's okay. I'm not a freak and there are some people out there who understand.

Well this is very interesting. I have never been able to fake that. At some point the friends I made when I was really young started to like partying. I tried to be like them, this was however not possible at all.

My sister is probably also an INFJ. We we're really similar in childhood and really good friends. In our teenage years we were completely different. We had both been outsiders in primary school and maybe even got bullied. My sister became really rebellious. She wanted to kick against everything and everyone that was normal. She would wear this gothic like with very bright coloured clothing, dyed her hair bright pink got a piercing, started to experiment with drugs and alcohol, skipped school. I on the other hand was very serious, just studied studied and studied. I was really shy, probably even timid and with a bit fear for people.

Now we're both in our twenties and we are very similar again. Not timid and not rebellious, a bit serious and hard working. I've always found this very interesting how different your teenage years can be. I'm also wondering what would cause these differences? If personality maybe isn't it. (Or I'm either mistyping myself or my sister)
 

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I still have a hard time remembering that sometimes people can make mistakes and hurt you but it doesn't mean they are a bad person.

But also alot of people are just really shitty.
 

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I can't exactly say I "was" like this or that. Still have my boots in the trenches of Highschool. Although, here's a couple of perspectives on myself.

My friends, for the most part, see me as an leader by nature and tactician by trade.

My closest friend (INTP) sees me as appearing cocky, although he says I often have proof I just don't mention. He says I can be analytical and methodical when need be, but am also deeply emotional. Furthermore, I am also extremely honest about people and ideas, as well as very loyal, dependent on if I trust the person. He also states that I am extremely protective of those who I trust. He also refers to me using numerous references to wise, or intelligent characters. (Gandalf, Twilight Sparkle, I think I got a Robin out of him once...)

My second closest friend (ISFJ) who sees more of my tactical and logical side. As far as I can tell, he sees me as one of the stereotypical "Chaotic Neutral" types, taken from TVTropes - "Type 4 are those who... hold no allegiance to anyone and decide for themselves what is right or wrong, and whether or not they want to do anything about it. They are often the disillusioned types who once held onto an ideal or have lost their family or friends, and often belonged to a completely different alignment." This is in part due to how we met - I saved him from being bullied since I recognized him from my boy scout troop. I'll touch on this a bit later, but I was in Dark Paladin mode during that point and scared him immensely.

At a more general level, when people sympathize with me or get to know me, they see me as a steely paladin of moral and physical invincibility. I don't do much to discourage this, since it allows me some social maneuverability without having to exert much power over others. I think some who have seen me extremely tired, or if I just let my guard down, say that I have an "old soul," or that I have my own inner demons that I battle. Some more media-apt people, who know me well relate me to Maka (Soul Eater) or any character with a super-powered evil side.

I'll update on my perspective, some people who don't like me, and my enemies at a later date.
 
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