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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

sooo ... after I managed to put this thread into the INTJ forum first without noticing (because I had to head out the door) :dry: ... I'll try it in the right place again and guiltily facepalm myself while I do so:



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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Yes indeed, I live my life within the walls of guilt and toxic shame.

I sometimes feel that it is linked to my own expectations, you know, trying to be perfect all the time.

I must be the best friend, greatest advisor, the one who has all the answers to make everybody else feel that their life is much easier than mine. Never ever let anyone down, even though they would let me down as and when it suited them.

I don’t want them to feel what I feel so I am continually trying protect them from the sort of feelings I manage every day.

I suffer like you at every turn and decision I make as there is always a possibility that my decisions will effect some other person.

The Bottom line. I cannot save anyone, they are quite capable of managing their own feelings. They managed OK before they met me and will go on managing OK for the rest of their lives.

I do know however, that we are people who have a rather large conscience so I am thankful for that.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I sometimes feel that it is linked to my own expectations, you know, trying to be perfect all the time.
Oh, that's a good point. I never thought to take the perfectionist into account. That would mean that the desire to please everyone could also be kind of a selfish streak.. Hm...

Yes, I guess it's probably the biggest lesson to be ok with the fact that everyone is responsible for his own pain in the end. Or as the INTJ in my wrongly posted post so wisely said: other people's expectations are other people's problems.
It's just not so easy if you can't just flip some "I don't care" switch I guess.
 
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Hi everyone,

sooo ... after I managed to put this thread into the INTJ forum first without noticing (because I had to head out the door) :dry: ... I'll try it in the right place again and guiltily facepalm myself while I do so:



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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I have a strong tendancy for feeling guilty about everything. For things that happen now and things that happened 20+ years ago. Sometimes, I'll be having a great day, and remeber something stupid I did when I was a kid, and start feeling horrible. But, for the things I feel guilty about in the present, I am teaching myself to ask people about it instead of loosing sleep on it. I just come back and apologise for whatever happened and well.... mostly people are like "lol what? I don't even remember..." or if they do, they don't care. People aren't perfect, and others don't expect us to be perfect all the time. It's hard, because we tend to judge ourselves extremely severely and beat ourselves up so terribly badly, and for what? Some "faux pas" that people genuinely aren't really concerned about.

Getting rid of the guilt is accepting our own imperfections. It's difficult, because we don't want to be flawed.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I hope this can help you with some insight...
Thank you, yes. I don't know why but I love hearing other peoples stories, no matter if good or bad, because I always feel I can learn something from it – to better understand the world you know ;).

I think the guilt arises from feeling culpable or deficient in something.
Yes I thought about that too. And I think underlying the guilt is always some sort of fear. Fear of not belonging or being appreciated maybe...

The family expectations thing is something universal, I think. I know a lot of people who have that and do things because their family expects them to. A friend of mine studied medicine although I know she never wanted to. But her family is like yours, it's all about achievement. Her mother even told us once: "A person who has never studied is not a proper person" (or something like that, translating it is a bit tricky). I still remember it because it actually scared me that a person can think like that about others. In the end my friend just made herself believed that she wanted to study it too and no one could convince her otherwise ...

At least you can see the bigger picture and separate between your wishes and those of others now. I don't know if you have any sort of spiritual belief, but it always helps me to see it like that: It wouldn't have happened if it didn't have some universal meaning or be a lesson of some sort that makes us evolve and stronger in the end. (And that from someone with anxiety disorder).

I spent 15 years researching my family's genealogy
My mom works with family genealogy, too. So I can appreciate your work even if your family can't =). I know it's a lot of work and it can help people see connections and recurring patterns in the family system that influence us. But obviously some people just don't understand how this can be interesting in any way – just like some are not even slightly interested in personality types. Guess we just have to come to terms with the fact that not everyone is so fascinated by the stuff we're fascinated by.

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 know exactly what you mean. We're a bit too dependent on the appreciation from others, I guess – or expect more than they can give. I try to remind myself that the most important thing is that I like my work no matter what others think about it (although it's really difficult). It also helps me to think about all the revolutionary people in the world, 90% of whom just gave a F about others opinions and did it anyway.
 

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For things that happen now and things that happened 20+ years ago. Sometimes, I'll be having a great day, and remeber something stupid I did when I was a kid, and start feeling horrible. But, for the things I feel guilty about in the present, I am teaching myself to ask people about it instead of loosing sleep on it. I just come back and apologise for whatever happened and well.... mostly people are like "lol what? I don't even remember..." or if they do, they don't care.
Thanks for saying that :). Seriously, I thought something was wrong with me for remembering so much stuff.

But it's really like you said. Most people don't even know what you're talking about...I just remembered this one:
Sometimes I still feel really bad about the day when my cousin and I were kids (must be at least 15 years ago..) and we were playing on a swing until she fell on her head. She wasn't injured but bawled her eyes out. But when I told her about it a while ago she didn't even remember it and even laughed about it.
I still find it weird though that people forget about these things... ;)


People aren't perfect, and others don't expect us to be perfect all the time. It's hard, because we tend to judge ourselves extremely severely and beat ourselves up so terribly badly, and for what? Some "faux pas" that people genuinely aren't really concerned about.
Thanks! Nicely said. Will put that quote on my bed stand or something :D.
 
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I have a strong tendancy for feeling guilty about everything. For things that happen now and things that happened 20+ years ago. ...... It's hard, because we tend to judge ourselves extremely severely and beat ourselves up so terribly badly, and for what? Some "faux pas" that people genuinely aren't really concerned about.

Getting rid of the guilt is accepting our own imperfections. It's difficult, because we don't want to be flawed.
Thanks, I can really relate to this. It's a big reason I try to block out my past!
 

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Hi! first of all, I love your dp. It seems mystical. Idk why, though I love cats, and the fact that your face is not showing makes me wonder could you be my ever lost crush? The golden light of sun enlightening your hair, and the cat as well. *_* :p
*Sorry weird talk*

Coming to your question, HELL YES! That guilt train just keeps on arriving to my station again and again. :/
My story is a long one and I have been ranting about it over here long enough. Some really great comfort was provided by fellow INFJs. *Love them*.

Well keeping my story short, my parents sacrificed a lot for me so I could develop enough and thrive in the competition the society offers us. And in a big way I have failed them. *Imagine Harry potter ending up being a dope*.
Looking at them aging, and not giving them the Happiness they deserved, kills me deep inside. I don't even talk to them anymore. Guilt is very Strong here. I live with my grand parents right now and I so want to run away from them as well. Because I don't deserve such great souls around me.



Anyways, I think I witness element of Enneagram 4 from you; from your dp and your question. Could it be true? Please tell.
 
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Well keeping my story short, my parents sacrificed a lot for me so I could develop enough and thrive in the competition the society offers us. And in a big way I have failed them. *Imagine Harry potter ending up being a dope*.
Looking at them aging, and not giving them the Happiness they deserved, kills me deep inside. I don't even talk to them anymore. Guilt is very Strong here. I live with my grand parents right now and I so want to run away from them as well. Because I don't deserve such great souls around me.
As a guilt/shame driven INFJ, I completely understand what you're feeling... I am presently staying at my parent's house while my ex-husband vacates the house... my parents invested so much in me, and my failed couple... I feel like such a dissapointment and staying there is killing me.... but they genuinely aren't concenred so much about what they gave, more concerned about my well-being.

On the other hand, I am also a mother. True, my kid is still young, but I would gladly sacrifice everything to her, just so she could get a chance. If she takes it all, and fails, I will still love her more than myself. I know it's hard to do (and that just the thought of it would be enough to give you stomach ulcers... for me, anyway), but have you ever actually told them how guilty you feel about "letting them down"? They might not see you as you see yourself... of course, I don't really know your situation, but often we feel guilty from our own presupposed ideas. Those around us don't necessarily see us like that, and hearing it from them is like a balm on your soul.
 

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As a guilt/shame driven INFJ, I completely understand what you're feeling... I am presently staying at my parent's house while my ex-husband vacates the house... my parents invested so much in me, and my failed couple... I feel like such a dissapointment and staying there is killing me.... but they genuinely aren't concenred so much about what they gave, more concerned about my well-being.

On the other hand, I am also a mother. True, my kid is still young, but I would gladly sacrifice everything to her, just so she could get a chance. If she takes it all, and fails, I will still love her more than myself. I know it's hard to do (and that just the thought of it would be enough to give you stomach ulcers... for me, anyway), but have you ever actually told them how guilty you feel about "letting them down"? They might not see you as you see yourself... of course, I don't really know your situation, but often we feel guilty from our own presupposed ideas. Those around us don't necessarily see us like that, and hearing it from them is like a balm on your soul.
Thank you for your thoughts.
They might not see you as you see yourself... of course, I don't really know your situation, but often we feel guilty from our own presupposed ideas. Those around us don't necessarily see us like that, and hearing it from them is like a balm on your soul.
Nah, I have rationalized everything enough. I have been a money waster there is no denying. I remember when few years ago, when I was younger, and had those feuds with my mother. She finally said, "I did everything I could do for you; I did my duty rest is up to you". Those words still ring and affirm my anxiety. I wanted to give my parents greatest luxury possible. But the only job in hand I have right now is of customer service despite going to be graduating as a computer science engineer. Oh the sleepless nights I am having these days.
 

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I remember when few years ago, when I was younger, and had those feuds with my mother. She finally said, "I did everything I could do for you; I did my duty rest is up to you". Those words still ring and affirm my anxiety. I wanted to give my parents greatest luxury possible. But the only job in hand I have right now is of customer service despite going to be graduating as a computer science engineer. Oh the sleepless nights I am having these days.
Sonds as she said that under the influence of stress/anger... Sometimes human beings say things that they don't mean in those situations. In any case, lives evolve and people's opinions change over time. I mean, you'll graduate soon, you'll get another job some day, you'll be able to treat your family with the nice things they deserve. I myself am trying to finally finish my degree.... I'm 34, worked customer service for ten years before going back to university. I feel like I've done nothing with my life. But when I manage to take a step back, I realise that I am going forwards, despite feeling like I'm weighing down everyone around me. I get so concentrated on the difficulties, the stress, the problems that I loose sight of what I've done right.
In time, you'll get there, don't give up. You'll get there and make them proud.
 

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Sonds as she said that under the influence of stress/anger... Sometimes human beings say things that they don't mean in those situations. In any case, lives evolve and people's opinions change over time. I mean, you'll graduate soon, you'll get another job some day, you'll be able to treat your family with the nice things they deserve. I myself am trying to finally finish my degree.... I'm 34, worked customer service for ten years before going back to university. I feel like I've done nothing with my life. But when I manage to take a step back, I realise that I am going forwards, despite feeling like I'm weighing down everyone around me. I get so concentrated on the difficulties, the stress, the problems that I loose sight of what I've done right.
In time, you'll get there, don't give up. You'll get there and make them proud.


There is no point being pessimistic. Gosh if I could change my username.:rolleyes:


Thanks again! That was really comforting to read. Especially the last line.
I hope your kid makes you super proud as well. :)
 
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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 ...

But I think the guilt train may be a thing more INFJs? 
What’s your experience with it?
This is something I've experienced pretty much all my life. I hate disappointing others, especially if they are an authority figure or someone close to me. I don't mind disappointing other people as much. I'm still working on trying to feel less guilty about this, and usually give myself mental pep talks lol. ("It's not as big of a deal as you think!")
 

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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.
Oh my goodness, absolutely all the time. Lately I've been aloof with my best friend and she got worried because she expects me to be uppity quite often (by now she understands why I'm not) and I feel it disappoints her. She constantly ask me to tell her what's wrong and why I've been quiet as of late (she does know when I get quiet I'm thinking; but I hadn't gone this long around her before being that quiet). I told her sorry and she said it's okay and she understands but I still feel terrible because she was visibly worried about me and my wellbeing (those are the people to hold onto).

When I know there's an expectation of me, if I don't meet it, I feel like $4!t regardless of everything else surrounding it. I strive for a sense of perfection. I always have to have the best advice ready, the ready smile to let people be able to approach me, the best friend to friends (and occasional strangers) and that they should be able to air their grievances at any time.

Yesterday my friend appointed me as her main wingman cause she has a crush on this guy I'm friends with and I DO NOT want to disappoint because 1. I ship them anyhow 2. I hate disappointing people (and love bringing people together if I think they could be good for each other)!
 
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These days I turn my guilt into anger for those that put unreasonable requests on me.

As an example, the other day I was at the pub and 2 girls wanted me to watch their table in case other people took it while they were going out to smoke a cigarette. Well, I got distracted and they came back and was a bit pissed that other people were sat at the table.

Sure, I felt guilty for a while but then I began to think why I should feel guilty. I had my laptop with me and was doing some work on it so they could see I was already busy!

So, screw them. It was their choice to leave the table just because they wanted a smoke.

You begin to think of these things as you advance in age.
 

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Guilt train...well, no....I try to do my best, so when someone else is angry at me for doing something wrong, I question if there was something I could've done better, and if not --> it becomes their problem, not mine.. Which turns into anger for them pushing their BS onto me, or sadness if whatever happened ended up chasing them away unnecessarily. But not guilt, exactly.

As for guilty things I really am guilty for, like turning in work late, saying something hurtful, etc...I don't beat myself up over the mistakes. I just make a mental note-to-self "don't do that again", or "if you do do this again, be sure to amend it in these ways..." and that takes care of most of it. Sometimes a "have I caused so much trouble here that I need to cut my losses for their sake?". In general, apologizing is a good strategy, and clarifying what I did wrong or how they want me to improve in a conversation with them. But for the rational people in the world, or who are not my boss or sifu trying to teach me something, the latter bits are usually unnecessary.

If they don't accept the apology or otherwise leave room for improvement, well...they aren't worth my time. Though that doesn't stop me from getting hurt for losing them, yearning things were different, or having difficulty with third parties deciding I'm just a bad person over the incident and having no recourse to shift that. Those are the hard things to deal with. I can find many ways to love people, forgive, and I want to spend time with the people I love. But when those people hurt me, keep on hurting me, and blame me for the hurting...? No good way around that, but to leave. Yet I regret the times I left people like that before anything bad could happen, but if I stick around, the bad things do happen. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

I think I got off track here...it's late.
 

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I've struggled with guilt for a long time too
I think the best way to deal with it is to just face it and be open about it.
I still get it from time to time but I tell myself it's just one of my flaws and bite the bullet as best I can.

If it's not a friend you feel guilty about, like some acquaintance using you, try feeling disdain for them instead of wanting to please or be perceived as perfect. I don't know if that's healthy but whatever yin and yang and all that
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hi! first of all, I love your dp. It seems mystical. Idk why, though I love cats, and the fact that your face is not showing makes me wonder could you be my ever lost crush? The golden light of sun enlightening your hair, and the cat as well. *_* :p
*Sorry weird talk*

Coming to your question, HELL YES! That guilt train just keeps on arriving to my station again and again. :/
My story is a long one and I have been ranting about it over here long enough. Some really great comfort was provided by fellow INFJs. *Love them*.

Well keeping my story short, my parents sacrificed a lot for me so I could develop enough and thrive in the competition the society offers us. And in a big way I have failed them. *Imagine Harry potter ending up being a dope*.
Looking at them aging, and not giving them the Happiness they deserved, kills me deep inside. I don't even talk to them anymore. Guilt is very Strong here. I live with my grand parents right now and I so want to run away from them as well. Because I don't deserve such great souls around me.



Anyways, I think I witness element of Enneagram 4 from you; from your dp and your question. Could it be true? Please tell.
Haha, that's actually not even my cat (sadly). I met him on vacation once and really liked to steal him, but I guess the owners wouldn't have been happy about that ;D.

I can understand your pain with your parents! I also got a lot of support from my parents during my time at university and when I had a burnout some years ago and literally couldn't leave the house or work for three months. Obviously we all want to make our parents proud, so it sucks if you can't be the successful kid you want to be and you always have the feeling you have to pay them back in some way. I still feel guilt about it too and hope I can make it up to them someday, even though I know they don't even expect it.
I guess deep down parents just want the best for you and for you to be happy (even if they can't show it). Guess we should always remind ourselves of that. And who knows what happens ... maybe you become Harry Potter anyways but just need to stay a bit longer at Hogwarts :).

To your enneagram question: I don't know what a good test for this is, I only did one a couple of times and tested as either 4,5 or 9, depending on my mood. So I don't really know... ;)
 
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