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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,



I had one of those "Aha" moments today about myself/my life and I wanted to know if you can relate to this as an INFJ? 


I always feel extremely guilty and sometimes ashamed when I cannot meet other peoples expectations (even unspoken ones). 
Even if I say I’m sorry and the other person assures me that they understand and that it’s ok, it never helps me to feel less shi##y about it.
That’s because I know that internally their expectation is still there and that they’re consciously or unconsciously still disappointed in me or mad at me. Whereby "disappointed" is even worse ...

I wanted to ask if other INFJs experience this too because I had kind of a revelation after watching a video on YT by Tom Davidson called „INFJ & Toxic Shame“. It made me realize that the situation I experienced today is a recurring thing but I never fully realized it before.


----
 Optional background story:


I’m currently healing from depression and anxiety, so it’s probably even more acute for me then usual. Because of that I had to cancel an event where me and a friend should give a presentation about a project we did together. I already canceled a while ago and she wanted to do the presentation alone today but her train got delayed so much that she didn’t make it in time. So she had a lot of stress (for which I also feel guilty) and needed to ask another friend to fill in last minute.

Even though she assured me that she understands my situation, I always feel the unspoken „you’re not doing your part“ in every sentence she says or writes. I even thought about forcing myself to the event just so she's not so disappointed, but I finally reached a point where I'm not able to act against my own needs anymore.

While contemplating why I always make such an internal fuss about not meeting others expectations I stumbled upon the video. Anxiety/Depression pretty much forced me to stop now and to put my needs first - which is very hard sometimes and often results in feeling guilty because I cannot function how everyone wants me to. But I realized that this situation is pretty much representative for all my life and the reason why I ignore(d) my own wishes all the time so everyone else is happy.



Phew! … That was a long one…


But I think the guilt train may be a thing more INFJs? 
What’s your experience with it?
 

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Yeah I'm sorry I just realized I managed to put the post in the wrong place *facepalm* xD....I'm reposting it in the right forum and will ask the admins to remove this one! Sorry INTJ's :frustrating:
 

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Yeah I'm sorry I just realized I managed to put the post in the wrong place *facepalm* xD....I'm reposting it in the right forum and will ask the admins to remove this one! Sorry INTJ's :frustrating:
I mean you'll get advice but it will probably be like "other people's expectations are other people's problems."

Which I think is good advice! haha
 

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That's fine I don't really want specific advice I'm more after other peoples thoughts on it ^^.
Ok, so I'm writing to the admins now and you INTJs can come over to the other forum if you want to join in too ;D
 
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Hi everyone,



I had one of those "Aha" moments today about myself/my life and I wanted to know if you can relate to this as an INFJ? 


I always feel extremely guilty and sometimes ashamed when I cannot meet other peoples expectations (even unspoken ones). 
Even if I say I’m sorry and the other person assures me that they understand and that it’s ok, it never helps me to feel less shi##y about it.
That’s because I know that internally their expectation is still there and that they’re consciously or unconsciously still disappointed in me or mad at me. Whereby "disappointed" is even worse ...

I wanted to ask if other INFJs experience this too because I had kind of a revelation after watching a video on YT by Tom Davidson called „INFJ & Toxic Shame“. It made me realize that the situation I experienced today is a recurring thing but I never fully realized it before.


----
 Optional background story:


I’m currently healing from depression and anxiety, so it’s probably even more acute for me then usual. Because of that I had to cancel an event where me and a friend should give a presentation about a project we did together. I already canceled a while ago and she wanted to do the presentation alone today but her train got delayed so much that she didn’t make it in time. So she had a lot of stress (for which I also feel guilty) and needed to ask another friend to fill in last minute.

Even though she assured me that she understands my situation, I always feel the unspoken „you’re not doing your part“ in every sentence she says or writes. I even thought about forcing myself to the event just so she's not so disappointed, but I finally reached a point where I'm not able to act against my own needs anymore.

While contemplating why I always make such an internal fuss about not meeting others expectations I stumbled upon the video. Anxiety/Depression pretty much forced me to stop now and to put my needs first - which is very hard sometimes and often results in feeling guilty because I cannot function how everyone wants me to. But I realized that this situation is pretty much representative for all my life and the reason why I ignore(d) my own wishes all the time so everyone else is happy.



Phew! … That was a long one…


But I think the guilt train may be a thing more INFJs? 
What’s your experience with it?
OK, thanks for re-posting! Guilt and depression. Something I have "coped" with all my life. I think the guilt arises from feeling culpable or deficient in something. And that will eventually lead to anger, resignation, and depression. So as for meeting others expectations. I grew up an NF in an S family. Black sheep, as I mentioned on another thread. It was an extremely achievement oriented family. I had an older brother was brilliant, an ES, and I was in the shadows. So I achieved also, raised my school grades, went on into a field that I thought would please my parents, got an advanced degree. My life was directed by what I thought would please others. Then I got married to a college sweetie, We dated for 4 years, and then all my friends were getting married, and everyone was asking "Michael, when are you all getting married". So we had a large wedding, great, everyone got drunk, everyone was happy. The marriage lasted 20 months when I scared the crap out of her with talk of having kids.

So later in life ( i been around a while) I got the notion that since my background was in research, I would do something that the family would like and appreciate. I spent 15 years researching my family's genealogy, and I was going to present them with a nice book of family history. Well, not one of them could have cared less. It was pretty devastating to me.

I could go on and on about this. So I won't bore you with more. But the bottom line is, this INFJ expected some kind of feedback, some kind of pat on the back, and rarely did it happen. Conversely, I had high expectations to friends and family. I expected for them to reach out to me (you know, like keep in touch every once and a while) as much as I would reach out to them. You see, I always attended the family functions when called on.

So now, I have just withdrawn into an inner fantasy world where I make believe that I'm loved, popular, smart, productive and all the rest. I've pretty much cut off all relationships with the past, since it's the only way I can deal with it. I'm not totally unhappy with this setup, but it is an isolated existence.

I hope this can help you with some insight...
 

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God wants you to feel guilty.
That is why he installed the guilt module in the first place.
Along with the shame/fear/anger/panic module.
He wants you to be as miserable as possible, so he can feel better about himself for being so perfect.
He always blames the devil, but we know who is the real culprint.
The devil is just a defect angel anyway.
Had a screw loose, so he threw him away on our planet.
Real nice place to place a paradise, right next to the defective angel dump.
 

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Can I see this video??

What you're describing is not toxic shame, just...your one of the mill shame. We all feel it and it's natural to feel that when others are disappointed in us. It's a natural reaction that we developed to survive from an evolutionary perspective.

Toxic shame results in a more passive aggressive and intrusive expression. My father, for example, suffers from toxic shame. He was viciously beaten as a child by his father, verbally abused, manipulated, and disowned by his mother and brother. I'm talking, forced to work throughout high school to pay for his mother's mortgage and bills and then disowned in the will.

He is a very unhealthy person. He always has to be the smartest person in the room, he is never wrong. He will suddenly burst into uncontrollable rage and will bully the weakest person in the room.

Toxic shame usually results in narcissistic personality disorders as a way of hiding the actual feelings of shame. It may even result in violence if the toxic shame victim is forced to re-experience those familiar feelings of shame.

Are you a narcissist? You don't come off as one to me, but I've never met you so I can't say for certain. You might have an inferiority complex, but I don't think you're that unhealthy....

I think you are having issues coping in the adult world. Sometimes you need to suck back those feelings of depression and anxiety and do what needs to be done. I experience something called derealization, which puts me into a frightening state of disconnection. It's a side effect of an anticonvulsant I took growing up, although fortunately it has eased throughout the years. When I experience this feeling, sometimes there's nothing I can do. I'll be driving and then all of a sudden it will hit me. I just have to keep driving and distract myself. Sometime I'll just start singing in the car or I'll put the AC all the way to physically distract me. Eventually the feeling goes away and I'm able to function enough to get to where I'm going.

I find that as an adult, you need to learn to cope with your own problems. We all experience some form of anxiety and depression at some point in our lives (That's a fact!). These feelings are incredibly natural and it might surprise you to hear that you are depressed for a reason! What is it in your society that is causing you to feel this way? Plenty.

We drive everywhere and so our social interactions are limited to very abrupt and sterile experiences. We no longer have a significant opportunity to socialize after work because we barely come across people on our way home from or to work. People barely socialize outside of the internet or the home anymore thanks to social media. Our car dependent society has also diminished our physical state as well as our emotional state. We no longer need to walk anywhere in order to do anything. We barely ever feel the sun on our skin because we have no need to do so. We've actually made it a form of recreation to do so; we have to force ourselves outside of the office/workplace in order to experience the sun. Neighbors don't talk to each other, children never play outside. There is no sense of community.

On top of it, there is a feeling of xenophobia and hatred that has been permeating our society for the last 10 years. We blame each other for our financial problems are our emotional problems. It's easier to do that and our politicians have been using our insecurities to manipulate us these last ten years. (Donald Trump is a fantastic example). This spirals into many things: one of them being the lack of intellectualism. We refuse to look at anything in an intellectual way and we live in a perpetual state of sensate, emotional, and pleasure seeking activities. Just voting for a candidate in this election was a sensate, emotional experience. Science is seen as bullsht, the news is all "fake news," there is a lack of validation in every aspect of objectivity. This does not go well with your dominant intuitive personality and you can only see the bad future consequences.

This commonly experienced existence has also created a mentality that certain kinds of traits are necessary for success. Extroverts tend to be praised above introverts. Sensors tend to be praised above Intuition. Feeling is praised above thinking. And Perceiving above Judging.

Someone like an ESTP or ESFJ, or ESTJ tend to prized over an INTJ or INFJ. We're really seen as a nuisance in society more than a benefit. I get it because, like you, I feel that same sense of alienation.

The balkanization of culture, idealism, and moralization is also a rough thing to experience every single day. The elevation of mediocrity, instant gratification, and incompetence is disheartening.

Anyway, I could go on and on as to why our society causes us to live in a constant state of depression and anxiety, but those are the main reasons I see around me. Don't think you're crazy...you're not. You're just having more difficulty coping with these feelings than everyone else.

As an INTJ, I do the same thing. For me, the worst feeling on earth is having someone be disappointed in me. I pride myself in being on time, competent, dependable, and hard working. If either of these qualities is diminished by the other person, I am at a loss for words. I punish myself more than anyone else.

Check out this article:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/peaceful-parents-happy-kids/201604/how-children-develop-toxic-shame

When does your shame become toxic? When you are expressing yourself in unhealthy and unproductive ways. For example, my father and his rage and narcissism as a way of coping with his own shame.

I don't see anything you're doing as that unhealthy or abnormal, as I said throughout this post: It's completely natural for any sane human being to feel depressed and anxious in our current state.
 

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Hm, now I'm glad I posted in the wrong place anyway. Thanks for your insights! :)

Can I see this video??
I'm not able to post links ... not enough posts yet. But you can just search for "INFJ on toxic shame" on YouTube and it will be the first video in the list.
I think he describes it a bit different than you. When I go with your definition it's definitely not what I have ;). And I'm pretty sure I'm not narcissistic or show any form of destructive tendencies.

I experience something called derealization, which puts me into a frightening state of disconnection.
Yes, I know what that is. My main anxiety issue are panic attacks and derealization can be a symptom. I think it's actually the most disturbing one for most people. I've also learned that the only way to get through it is to accept it and not to push it away. It's pretty much like being ok with the feeling of dying any second. Not the easiest thing to do I have to say ..

I find that as an adult, you need to learn to cope with your own problems. We all experience some form of anxiety and depression at some point in our lives (That's a fact!). These feelings are incredibly natural and it might surprise you to hear that you are depressed for a reason! What is it in your society that is causing you to feel this way? Plenty.
You're right. It shouldn't be normal though, at least not to this extend. Most people don't know that anxiety is the most common mental health issue (on the planet), because a lot of people are afraid to talk about it (out of shame?). At least I don't really give a F about that anymore. I'm also aware that there is a reason for all that. I had slight issues with it before but it only hit hard after my burnout. So yeah, there's a message hidden inside ... And I'm by far not the only one getting that message. But in a society were people want to pop the magic pill for everything I'm not sure it's received that often.


Your description of the current state of society pretty much nailed it. Depressing ... but accurate. If you ever write a book about that let me know, I'll buy it ;)


Feeling is praised above thinking
That's probably the only point I have to disagree with. I guess I know where you're coming from: People being controlled by and manipulated through their emotions, to a point where they can't act rational anymore (?).
But at least where I live, there's not much open talk about or emphasize on feelings and I can't see feeling being praised in the media neither. There seems to be much more emphasis on facts and everything that can be scientifically proven. Which is fine with me. But I think people can't act rational anymore because feeling is still a no-no topic, so no-one can really cope with it and just acts pseudo-rational and is not aware of the underlying emotions that control their decisions.

But ever compared a US news coverage to one in Germany? It's a bit like blockbuster compared to documentary. So I can see how you can think that there's a bit too much feeling in the air in the media.


And thanks for the links to the article and for taking the time to reply!
I should come over to the INTJs more often :)
 

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Hm, now I'm glad I posted in the wrong place anyway. Thanks for your insights! :)



I'm not able to post links ... not enough posts yet. But you can just search for "INFJ on toxic shame" on YouTube and it will be the first video in the list.
I think he describes it a bit different than you. When I go with your definition it's definitely not what I have ;). And I'm pretty sure I'm not narcissistic or show any form of destructive tendencies.


Yes, I know what that is. My main anxiety issue are panic attacks and derealization can be a symptom. I think it's actually the most disturbing one for most people. I've also learned that the only way to get through it is to accept it and not to push it away. It's pretty much like being ok with the feeling of dying any second. Not the easiest thing to do I have to say ..


You're right. It shouldn't be normal though, at least not to this extend. Most people don't know that anxiety is the most common mental health issue (on the planet), because a lot of people are afraid to talk about it (out of shame?). At least I don't really give a F about that anymore. I'm also aware that there is a reason for all that. I had slight issues with it before but it only hit hard after my burnout. So yeah, there's a message hidden inside ... And I'm by far not the only one getting that message. But in a society were people want to pop the magic pill for everything I'm not sure it's received that often.


Your description of the current state of society pretty much nailed it. Depressing ... but accurate. If you ever write a book about that let me know, I'll buy it ;)



That's probably the only point I have to disagree with. I guess I know where you're coming from: People being controlled by and manipulated through their emotions, to a point where they can't act rational anymore (?).
But at least where I live, there's not much open talk about or emphasize on feelings and I can't see feeling being praised in the media neither. There seems to be much more emphasis on facts and everything that can be scientifically proven. Which is fine with me. But I think people can't act rational anymore because feeling is still a no-no topic, so no-one can really cope with it and just acts pseudo-rational and is not aware of the underlying emotions that control their decisions.

But ever compared a US news coverage to one in Germany? It's a bit like blockbuster compared to documentary. So I can see how you can think that there's a bit too much feeling in the air in the media.


And thanks for the links to the article and for taking the time to reply!
I should come over to the INTJs more often :)

Hey, thanks for the reply! I'll go search for that video

I'm glad to be of help.

LOl, ah that explains it. You see, I live in the United States. So we are a very emotional, in the moment society.

I get the feeling thing a bit because I have introverted feeling. It's like having the emotional state of a three year old sometimes.
 

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Hm, now I'm glad I posted in the wrong place anyway. Thanks for your insights! :)



I'm not able to post links ... not enough posts yet. But you can just search for "INFJ on toxic shame" on YouTube and it will be the first video in the list.
I think he describes it a bit different than you. When I go with your definition it's definitely not what I have ;). And I'm pretty sure I'm not narcissistic or show any form of destructive tendencies.


Yes, I know what that is. My main anxiety issue are panic attacks and derealization can be a symptom. I think it's actually the most disturbing one for most people. I've also learned that the only way to get through it is to accept it and not to push it away. It's pretty much like being ok with the feeling of dying any second. Not the easiest thing to do I have to say ..


You're right. It shouldn't be normal though, at least not to this extend. Most people don't know that anxiety is the most common mental health issue (on the planet), because a lot of people are afraid to talk about it (out of shame?). At least I don't really give a F about that anymore. I'm also aware that there is a reason for all that. I had slight issues with it before but it only hit hard after my burnout. So yeah, there's a message hidden inside ... And I'm by far not the only one getting that message. But in a society were people want to pop the magic pill for everything I'm not sure it's received that often.


Your description of the current state of society pretty much nailed it. Depressing ... but accurate. If you ever write a book about that let me know, I'll buy it ;)



That's probably the only point I have to disagree with. I guess I know where you're coming from: People being controlled by and manipulated through their emotions, to a point where they can't act rational anymore (?).
But at least where I live, there's not much open talk about or emphasize on feelings and I can't see feeling being praised in the media neither. There seems to be much more emphasis on facts and everything that can be scientifically proven. Which is fine with me. But I think people can't act rational anymore because feeling is still a no-no topic, so no-one can really cope with it and just acts pseudo-rational and is not aware of the underlying emotions that control their decisions.

But ever compared a US news coverage to one in Germany? It's a bit like blockbuster compared to documentary. So I can see how you can think that there's a bit too much feeling in the air in the media.


And thanks for the links to the article and for taking the time to reply!
I should come over to the INTJs more often :)

Hey, thanks for the reply! I'll go search for that video

I'm glad to be of help.

LOl, ah that explains it. You see, I live in the United States. So we are a very emotional, in the moment society.

I get the feeling thing a bit because I have introverted feeling. It's like having the emotional state of a three year old sometimes.
 
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