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Discussion Starter #1
Might INFPs be the most indecisive type?

I know that as an introverted feeler, my inferior function is extroverted thinking, which is central to deciding things, implementing them, and in general, being in active, effective person.

These days I find myself about to make a major life decision and it isn't easy to know what is right, and how things will turn out. I find myself quite naturally sinking into myself and looking for a value I can stand by, something that can invigorate me to tolerate any of the anxieties and difficulties on whichever path I choose, but such a value is hard to come by.

Often, when the difficulties of one path become clear to me, I tend to be overwhelmed by those and forget the advantages of that path, or the difficulties of the other path. Life sometimes feels like Edvard Munch's painting - the Scream.

I know that whatever I decide, I am going to survive - even if sometimes it feels otherwise - and have a richer life as a result of the decisions I made.

I know that my friends - an INFJ, an ESFP, two ESFJs, an ESTP, an ENFP - these would have an easier time deciding, especially the ESFJs and the ESTP. They would just pick one option and stick to it, and if it goes wrong, they would mend it if they can. Else, they would just live with it and work on coming to terms with the regret.

I get some inspiration from Existentialist writings - Paul Tillich, Rollo May, Martin Buber, etc. The anxiety of making a decision reminds one of the absurdity of your situation, where one decision could set off the trajectory of your life on two entirely different paths. It is not just absurd, it also reminds one of the fragility of one's life, if it can be propelled into such different directions by a mere decision - a decision that is controlled by economic, social, and unconscious psychological forces that you do not have much control over. The very fragility of my life gives me the impetus to affirm my being. By reminding me of how close non-being is, it impels me to assert my being, in whatever decision I make. I particularly like Rollo May's definition of anxiety - 'anxiety is the experience of being asserting itself against the threat of non-being'.

My therapist thinks of this as mere intellectualization meant to ward off my true feelings, but I don't think it is.




Are other INFPs so indecisive? What helps you make a decision?
 

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Yes, yes, with an extra side of yes.

I don't like making decisions especially when by doing so I am deciding against doing choosing other possibilities. Also, I think we can feel pressured by others to make logical decisions when we like to make decisions out of our intuition and feeling. It's important for us to embrace the way we process and form our values even though our thinking friends may look down on this at first glance. Taking time to use our introverted feeling function to process and form what is most important to us enables us to form a firm ground from which to jump. If I don't take this time to form my values using my Fi, I am so flighty and impulsive and I don't have substantial platform from which to make a decision. If you're going to take a leap, you want to have a firm rock from which to jump, not something shifting and insubstantial. Making decisions is the leap. Your accepted and established values are the rock. If I don't take time alone to go inward into my Fi world and examine what's really there and whether I approve of the way I am actually functioning as a person, then I'll never be able to form a solid rock from which to make decisions for myself and I'll inevitably be looking to others to make decisions for me. Taking time to examine my Fi world and rearrange or reaffirm things as important to me helps me make decisions that I feel good about and are in reality usually good decisions.
 

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I am very indecisive, there is some paradox or saying that goes like, "a donkey is placed in a room equal distances from two piles of grain. He can't decide which way to go and starves to death." Sometimes it's hard to weigh out a decision and it makes me really antsy if they both seem equal or if they are decisions that seem like they have a lot of phantom bad consequences, like life decisions.

I've learned to deal with it for equal decisions by letting my impulse decide, or rationalizing about purchases and experiences like "Yeah I have the money/time to do this, and the consequences might be inconceivably different than the other choice but also not inherently bad". Sometimes you just have to shut the mind off and choose, and care less. Your enjoyment will be better for it. Also, you could just ask someone to make the decision. If you hate their decision, you know there is a voice in you that actually made up its mind already. They say the same with coin tosses, when it's in the air and you imagine which face you want to see, that is the decision you actually wanted.
 

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These days I find myself about to make a major life decision and it isn't easy to know what is right, and how things will turn out. I find myself quite naturally sinking into myself and looking for a value I can stand by, something that can invigorate me to tolerate any of the anxieties and difficulties on whichever path I choose, but such a value is hard to come by.
There isn't anything wrong with being indecisive other than it will hinder you at times. I am an obsessive compulsive planner, I mean the shit goes through naturally without me doing anything. I'll sit there and run through all possible futures and what I will most likely do in any future always seeking the optimum. I have a plan A, B, C, and maybe even more. The messed up thing is its fun for me, lol. A lot of the stuff you have before you is semi predictable so you can use that to your advantage, difficulties make the adventure anyhow and often you find the perception of them to be worse than they actually are.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sometimes you just have to shut the mind off and choose, and care less. Your enjoyment will be better for it. Also, you could just ask someone to make the decision. If you hate their decision, you know there is a voice in you that actually made up its mind already. They say the same with coin tosses, when it's in the air and you imagine which face you want to see, that is the decision you actually wanted.
well, often you know what you deeply want, but you aren't sure if that is just a sentimental choice that you will regret later. sometimes being practical is better for your own long term happiness.
 

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I'm pretty indecisive. Like last time my brother asked me to go fishing I said 'yeah sure' half an hour later I already changed my mind... I make decisions just for the sake of making em ^^
 

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I'm indecisive in some senses. I'm stubborn, so once I make a decision I firmly stick to it. It's just MAKING those decisions that are hard for me, especially trivial ones because I feel like I can't weight out the advantages and disadvantages of the situation. Hopefully I'll get over it, but yes, I'm very bad at making decisions.
 

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I have in the past made decisions by rolling dice when i couldnt reach a decision myself. Not something id reccomend doing but i'll probably do it again at some point

i also have the stereotypical infp procrastination issue
 

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Sometimes. I like to keep my options open. Yesterday morning I couldn't decide which Keurig coffee cup flavor I was in the mood for so I had husband choose what's in right hand or left. Sometimes tho, you just try to get me to change my mind on something. It ain't happening.
 

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I am so indecisive that when I took some strengths test thing I basically got that one of my strengths was ... I forget what it was called, but it was basically being able to see all of the possibilities in any given situation (iow, the opposite of being decisive).

I am indecisive on all levels. I have a hard time deciding even little things, like other people have mentioned, such as what I want to eat for breakfast or where I want to go for dinner. Of course, part of my indecisiveness over little things is that they often affect people besides me (like if I'm going out to eat with some friends). I could honestly be happy eating just about anywhere, so why should I choose someplace that someone else isn't going to like? But it drives my friends and family crazy. If it is an INFP thing, I would be very happy to tell them that it's just a part of who I am, and if they're going to get annoyed with me for that then they might as well be annoyed with the way I laugh (which is fine ... I think).

Anyway, I'm also massively indecisive on large matters as well. What do I want to do with my life? Should I go back to school? Is this relationship right for me? Which is where problems begin to arise.

I always just assumed that most of my difficulties lay in the fact that I could see so many different possibilities and that so many different options appealed to me. I've always been good at arguing both sides of a point to the degree where I no longer know which one I agree with. But I like your explanation about extroverted thinking (though I'm only maybe 60/40 feeling/thinking, so I don't know what effect that would have). Because not only am I poor at making decisions, but I also second guess my decisions once they've been made (and usually it's just pure time that forces me to decide). I'm also very bad at implementing decisions even if I've made them in my mind.
 

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Yes. I don't like to make a decision until I feel like I have all the information I can possibly have in order to make a good one.

Hen again, I'm so indecisive that clothes shopping is the WORST. You have a budget and have to decide which of the things you tried on you're actually going to buy?? It's horrifying. And I can't chalk that up to information :)
 

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A lot of my decision making is made on whether it is worth it.
For example, today I wanted to buy a fizzy drink. I went to a shop and the price was more expensive than it should be. So i decided to go to another shop close by and see if it was cheaper. I found it cheaper. But then I felt like having water instead. So i went to the water bottles and saw that one 500ml water bottle was 44p and one 2L water bottle of the same brand was 49p. So I thought it is definetly worth the money to get the 2L one because its 4 times the size but only 1/9th the price! But then I thought I wouldnt want to carry that massive bottle all around so finally opted for the 500ml one.

Quite indecisive I know but I do eventually get there!

Also when it comes to more weightier matters in life I just close my eyes and ask myself the question. And go with what it says.
 

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Extremely indecisive, and I'm in my 30s now... still the same way. I am also attracted to existentialist writings, it really puts a harder burden on oneself.
I think it is just the Ne doing this, along with the extreme Fi weighing/valuing/considering the almost unlimited choices, Fi also is constantly searching for "the meaning of life" and "who will I be" virtually all day every single day.
My entire attraction to the readings of philosophy was almost entirely in the branch of ethics, i.e. finding a purpose.
There is almost no decision that isn't weighed, from picking a college class, choosing what company to work for, or choosing where this orange came from and whether you want to support these particular orange growers.
I also converted to linux one time... not for software purposes, but for pure ethical purposes as I didn't want to be involved with commercial use of software...I've also been vegan. I've quit Not For Profit organizations because I felt their cause just wasn't good enough, where others thing even working for a not for profit is akin to a life of poverty.
I've been a bit more balanced now, but those type of things still resonate with me. Having a subjective value system which largely differs from the rest of the society will always be hard, unless you are in a closed off society or subculture with a bunch of other individualists.


That being said, I've tried to make my career to keep it as open as possible of possible future avenues.

A lifetime of decisions eventually start to curve into a meaningful path, it's finding that path which is hard.

I think the ENFP in this regard is very similar to the INFP... they see all the decisions and are more open for committing to them and only later check them with their Fi. Where as the INFP might know the same options, but be more paralyzed to actually act on them.

I know what I want to do, but I am also aware of the very real possibility that my idealist wants mean possible failure... Therefore for any "job" I don't like to focus my skills on just one job or skill set.
 

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making decisions is very difficult for me.. I mean.. i can think of a million decisions at this moment but i might only put in action one.. i really do believe (or have noticed) when the time comes.. you will know what to do.. (keep moving foward)
 

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Kaif Mahmood , Thank you for this thread. I'm currently fighting with this very same issue, and thoughts you wrote could have easily came out from my own keyboard. Freedom, while it's a beautiful and empowering thing, it brings us the terrible responsibility of our choices and as it seems, for us INFPs, overanalyzing of different kind of scenarios how be perceive that how things could come as.

I'm currently torn between two choices, which one is emotionally good, whereas other is rationally good. I'm in a situation, where I could choose between starting a study new profession in new school at autumn. It would interest me much, as I've had this fantasy about starting a whole new, better life, with possible new friends and lovers. I've saved relatively good amount of money for this scenario, and I could get by with student's loan they give by state. I know one female INFP from that city.. she is rather beatiful case, and we have chemistry and.. well, you can see. Some possible love interest. But there is another option.

I live now in a small town, town of my childhood. I work here, and get paid relatively well in my job. However, I don't find this job interesting. It exhaust me, but I could push it through if I would choose it. This is however, a stable choice, as I could work here for a year and go to seek my wanderlust after a year, and this would allow me to save money so much that I wouldn't have no economic problems with living.

I feel like Henry in the Herman Hesse's book of Steppenwolfe, torn between excitement of bohemian living and comfort of bourgoise. My rational side screams that STAY WITH YOUR JOB while by emotional side wants to already experience life in somewhere else. I've been switching with both sides, yet found no real comfort in neither scenarios. At least, I have two great options, instead of two bad options. But this indecision is terribly stressing me out already. Can I put a price tag on a possible love interest, which is only possible but yet not even sure? Is anything ever sure?
 

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No, I can not make decisions. I’m constantly swung between my emotions and my rational thoughts. The one day I’m excitingly convinced of something with my whole heart, the next day (hour even) I could slap myself in the face for being such a fool to even think about it. All I want is just some objectivity, but my mind is not made for that, it’s chaos or nothing. It’s driving me insane.
I find myself at a point where I have to make a decision in life, but I have no idea where to look. It feels like the whole world is one big weight on my shoulders, but then, if I start to analyse this massive weight it seems that it is nothing but air.. There’s just nothing there for me. So I decided the only 'solution' is to pack my stuff and travel around, not out of ‘joy’ nor even ‘to see the world’, but in the idle hope to find what I’m looking for. I have no idea what that is. I feel excited about it, but on the other hand I feel like I’m failing in life.. I wish I had the opportunity to doubt between two things:)
 

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well, often you know what you deeply want, but you aren't sure if that is just a sentimental choice that you will regret later. sometimes being practical is better for your own long term happiness.
I only say it because I am way too careful of my own choices, and you seem like you double back a lot, a sign of someone who already weighs decisions carefully
 

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It very much depends what the decision is about for me. Sometimes I can be very decisive, other times I can't decide until I'm under intense pressure to do so
 

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Why do people keep ascribing stupid labels to INFPS, most of which can be said about any if not all mbti types. I'm not a stack of dumb functions I'm a person and if it weren't for idiots online that propagate these dumb claims we'd be enjoying and discussing the actual benefit of mbti. Rather than arguing back and forth what we aren't.
 
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