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INFP's avoidance behavior

3805 Views 16 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Asiam
Hi, I'm a new INFP on this forum, though I've known I'm an INFP for a long time.
I always thought to avoid the forum for I would spend only to many hours online, yet today I must share my feelings and am yearning (desperately) form some advice!
Perhaps you will recognise my morning struggle and maybe some of you even found a way to deal with it. If so, I'd like to know how.. Ok, here it goes..

I'm a master student at the university and skipped a lot of my courses this year 'cause they were to boring and didn't add anything to my intellectual development. I also skipped an appointment with my promotor two day ago. (Why? Good question.)
Then, next to that I skip all of my classes and extra activity's I paid for aside of my studies.. Today, then, I had to go to work.. But I didn't. I just didn't show up! I've only been there once! Today I'm going out with some friends, but because I don't know what to aspect, I feel like skipping that as well. And what does all this give me? It's making me depressed as hell! And even though I hate my job, I 'm hate it even more when I act like this! I waste all of my days, forgetting that I am actually alive while I spend my non-living time thinking about what the hell is wrong with me and how ashamed I must be.
God I just wanna do something, wanna life, breath life! but I just.. can't, without knowing why. Why do I do this every time again if I know it will bring only a restless mind?

So the bottom line is this: I'm a big failure. If I think about how my future will look like, I break a sweat because I just know (and feel) it can't turn out the right way.. I tried, seriously to make some sort of schedule, to motivate myself, but it never lasts. Yet, knowing myself I know that if there is something that corresponds my idealistic needs, I'll dedicate my whole life to it. But it just seems there's no place for me in the world.

Anyone familiar with this? Or am I just the biggest freak alive?:)
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You're unmotivated in life. You have no desire to want to accomplish goals, so you might be depressed.

But sitting around analyzing your feelings isn't going to snap you out of it. To get back on track, you need to force yourself to do things. Get your life back in order. How's your diet? Are you exercising? Do you feel like something in your life is lacking? Figure it out, then make goals to obtain it.
I'm very familiar with this cycle, I've found that when I start to shirk my responsibilities, what I need to do is find some project important to me (something I want to do), something that gets me to focus my attention and energy, something that I will actually follow through to the end. It doesn't have to be a big project, it can easily be something that can be done in a day, but I've found that it helps me be more willing to focus on my responsibilities.
Mylifemyradio, you are right, doing nothing and just analyzing my feelings is not going to bring me anywhere. It is just a behavior that is confusing me for I do, in fact, have a strong desire to accomplish goals. If there is something I love to do and believe in, I just don't sleep and keep working on my project. I'm not a happy person in general but I wouldn't say I'm depressed either.. That's the hard part of it, I can't put my finger on why I behave like this. There seems to be no cause, so how to fix it, wright? I've been like this all my life and I can honestly say that I'm tired as hell of having to live with myself.

And thank you Vivid Sunset, I will take you're advice to heart! (starting with it today:))
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Sometimes you gotta do things you don't want to do, it sucks, but if you want to get paid and finish your studies you have to power through it. I can't know for sure, but I'd bet you 99% in the world don't like their job and doing course work.

And jesus christ, you're in a master's program, that's already accomplishing more than a lot of people, of all times to stop giving a fuck this is on the bottom of the list.
@Bleuroses--did it occur to you that you might have been depressed or overwhelmed BEFORE you started skipping classes? At least in my case (I'm a grad student too) when I find myself shirking, it's because I feel overwhelmed and depressed so I just freeze up.

As far as skipping classes bc they don't contribute to your intellectual development, that's completely a choice on your part. There will always be things you have to do that you don't want to; you just need to find a way to MAKE them fit your intellectual goals. My second year of Ph.D. I was required to take a class on teaching Spanish at the university level. I already had six years of teaching experience in public high schools AND a degree in pedagogy so I resented having to take a class on how to teach when I was one of the only TAs who was certified and had already studied it. But I decided since I had to take it, I would make an effort to get SOMETHING out of it, and I did. Instead of focusing on what a waste of time these classes are, you ought to enjoy the mental exercising of seeing how you can fit them into your interests instead of discarding them.
You sound so burned out. And no wonder! I'm awed myself at the amount of stuff you've been tackling for an extended period of time. I thought I was the only over-achiever in these parts. No amount of guilty feelings will be able to motivate you until you get your energy back. And the fact that your ditching your friends highlights how burnt out you are. You're retreating from all human expectations. Your mind and body just can't take any more. But of course your mind is like, "You're shirking all your duties! You have responsibilites, people depending on you, grades that need to be met. What is wrong with you?!" And your inner self just whimpers and goes into the fetal position.

You need to take some "you" time and not feel guilty about it. Give yourself a weekend (or more) to do nothing that is "expected" out of you. Do only things you've wanted to do. And that might include something that is considered "work" but is very worthy to you. Maybe it's getting the bathroom clean. Maybe it's going to a place you've wanted to visit, or watching a movie you've wanted to see. Helping at the local soup kitchen (strangers with no expectations and usually overwhelming gratefulness). Treating yourself to ice cream. Whatever appeals to you, pamper yourself. Recharge your batteries. Give your soul what it needs, and you'll find yourself able to start taking on some of the responsibilities you've been carrying around and see them to their end. Coming back fresh from the reprieve might also give you some insight as to which responsibilities you should keep, and which ones you need to cut so that you don't re-burn out.

This "you" time is necessary. Don't berate yourself for it. If you had the flu, you'd give yourself some rest and recuperation. This is no different. And realize that this is not at a point of no return. You haven't entirely damaged the future. You'll hatch your plan of attack on the other side of all this. Do what you need to do first.
Did you try taking the enneagram test? I think you may be a type 9, which explains a lot. If so, why you feel so unmotivated and restless makes perfect sense. Type nines have problems with inertia and not fully participating in life. I'm the same way and when I realized why I was like this, it helped a lot. Lately, I've been exercising by going to the gym a lot which helps. You should try it. It helps you stay present in your body and improves overall health. Plus, in order to get moving, you have to have the energy.

Here's some more information about type 9s.
"They tend to avoid conflict at all costs, whether it be internal or interpersonal. As the potential for conflict in life is virtually ubiquitous, the Nine's desire to avoid it generally results in some degree of withdrawal from life, and many Nines are, in fact, introverted. Other Nines lead more active, social lives, but nevertheless remain to some to degree "checked out," or not fully involved, as if to insulate themselves from threats to their peace of mind. Most Nines are fairly easy going; they adopt a strategy of "going with the flow." They are generally reliable, sturdy, self-effacing, tolerant and likable individuals."

"They are easygoing and low-maintainence. They enjoy relaxing and letting their minds wander. They like immersing themselves in their hobbies and are often drawn to the outdoors. They don't impose their preferences and aren't sticklers over little things. They don't need for things to be spelled out. They are good-natured and unflappable. They have the ability to stay hopeful as well as level-headed and calm during a real crisis. Whether they are anxious, fustrated, angry, excited, or enthused, they show less than most people and appear stable no matter what."
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I skip a lot of my courses because they're boring and don't add anything to my intellectual development too.

I'd say something encouraging, but I'm very tired, so maybe I shouldn't be saying anything in the first place, but it made me feel better to know I'm not the only one. Maybe it will make you feel better to know you're not the only one either.

Whatever the case, I believe in you!
When I get this way I do what I call a reset. The body is full of chemicals and sometimes certain chemicals can build up and need to be released. I do this in several ways.

First I do a hard cry: not like one tear and it's done, but a hard cry. Find something that can make you bawl uncontrollably and watch/read/do this until you're exhausted. This will be hard to do, you must really release a lot of your inhibitions. Alcohol only helps if you're not drunk. So one or two drinks is alright. But turn on the water works. Suggested books would be like "The Fault in our Stars" by John Green. Or movies like "The Notebook"

Second is a hard run: You don't realize how much energy your body really has built up until you really push its limits. For the hard run you need to go until your legs are knocking, the pain in your ribs is excruciatingly heavy, if you can still talk without panting then you've still got another few miles in you. If you're athletic enough that doing a marathon is a fun Tuesday after work, then throw in crunches, pushups, pull ups, jumping jacks, arm circles, lunges, or even gymnastics at every mile. For me it is one mile and a set of three of each three times. I only ever get to about four miles before collapsing but really if you are still able to lift an arm after this then you need to keep going.

Finally meditation: I understand that for everyone meditation is different. I am Buddhist so I follow much of the normal practices, but if you find that Yoga is your preferred form of meditation then alls the better.

In all this can all be done in about a four hour span. I know I always look a little funny when I'm still crying while sprinting around the local civic center, but in the end I feel like a million dollars.

Add in a diet with Antioxidants (Understanding Free Radicals and Antioxidants) and Omega 3 Fatty Acids and I hope you feel better soon.
I definitely can relate to this! I'm in college and always dropped out lectures and only go to a few ones 'out of responsibility'. I hate timetable and schedule so much, it's like very inflexible and I found it better to see them only as something that tells you, you have to get your work get done, that's all, make my life simpler.

My intellectual fulfilment is my major concern too! To make lectures more interesting, it's always good to prepare beforehand, though it can be boring sometimes. But there should be a way to make it feel better. My compensation for my loss in academic interest is actually to read something that is intellectually stimulating, like MBTI! So, find something you really want to do to balance out the negatives.

However, I guess your major concern is not just that. I have once fallen, like you, into the the trap of 'overwhelmed' responsibilities. They are driving me crazy because work is just like waves coming off the shore again and again and non-stop! You need to take some time, maybe a day or two to figure out what your goal for the future. Start to regulate your life a little bit though you might not want to do so. And also find the right way and interesting way to do anything! Life's get much better after this. But don't see future as inflexible and try to look deep into your heart and ask - what do I want?
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I can relate! In fact, today I just addressed an issue that I've been avoiding for over two years now. It feels great and now I feel silly for putting things off for so long. That's how it usually happens though. You put things off, eventually face the problem, and then realize how petty things were in the first place.
Anyway, my advice to you is just stop making excuses and deal with your problems. Obviously this is easier said than done, but I think this is something we both realize you need to do. Running away from your problems only makes them worse. It's best to nip them in the butt early on. Personally when I find myself avoiding things, I try to gain momentum by accomplishing simple tasks first so that I feel mentally prepared to face larger tasks.
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I was in your position for three years! I only snapped out of it a month ago. I was the same with my classes. I cut them all the time. I neglected the obligations I had not only to myself but to my family and friends as well. It was bad.

Anyway, I told a friend of mine that I had a problem with laziness. She snapped and told me that I wasn't since I had staffed/facilitated seminars with her for eight years. I told her that I made Nike's quote, "Yesterday you said tomorrow," my wallpaper. She immediately told me to take it out and that I was merely living out of guilt.

Ever since that night, I snapped out of it. I had been juggling work, school, extracurricular activities and writing. I had made sure that my loved ones felt my presence and my support.

It's the same with you now. You've brought this issue up because you're feeling guilty. Why? What is the source of all that guilt?

Since you're an INFP, it'll be easy for you to reflect. Look back at the moments in your life when you've felt you were at your best. What were you doing? What was it that drove you everyday? What values were you holding onto? Who were the people who inspired you?

Answering those questions will help somehow. It will guide you into knowing what it is you really want to do.
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I am laughing so hard at my mental image of this. I don't do your regiment exactly, but I see EXACTLY where you're coming from and agree it works.

I am not a good crier. I don't know if it's because my Fe is just very poorly developed or what, but it really takes a lot for me to healthily express my (negative) emotions. I keep everything bottled in, and this is probably an INFP thing. We have to find ways of getting these pent-up emotions out. So I do exactly as you mentioned, only I pop in Homeward Bound, and as soon as Shadow comes on screen, I start tearing up. And don't judge yourself for it. That's always my problem. I see crying as a weakness within myself and/or I start laughing at how ridiculous whatever it is I'm upset about. PUSH THOSE THOUGHTS AWAY. Have an hour long pity party. Get it out and get it over with. You have a right to feel bad. Life sucks a lot of the time; we can pretend it doesn't for as long as we can, but there comes a time when we have to face facts. And that's usually when I spiral into depression.

I don't know if I could do the running thing, but I may consider dancing or horseback riding until I want to cry from exhaustion.

And I definitely find solace in my faith. Even if you don't have a faith in a Supreme Being, having faith in yourself and maintaining your inner peace are basically what I get from my prayers.

I had an extreme case of what you're going through my freshman year of college, and it would have ended terribly had my ENFP RA not realized what was going on. So nip it in the bud if you can; it will save you major problems down the road. Good luck and remember you're probably a pretty awesome person.
really if you are still able to lift an arm after this then you need to keep going.

Finally meditation: I understand that for everyone meditation is different. I am Buddhist so I follow much of the normal practices, but if you find that Yoga is your preferred form of meditation then alls the

In all this can all be done in about a four hour span. I know I always look a little funny when I'm still crying while sprinting around the local civic center, but in the end I feel like a million dollars.
P.S. my pronoun "you" definitely switched to apply from Wheeze to the OP. My English professors just felt a cold chill. Oh well, fuck it. I'm typing this on my phone, so proper pronoun reference be damned.
Wow, thanks for the wonderful replies, it really helps! When I would dare to explain this to my friends, they would just roll their eyes and give me the advice that I should stop being so ridiculous, without the least understanding. (Or perhaps not even that: I’m not used to talk about my own problems, and I'm certainly not used to get advice.)

@zen0202, I just took the enneagram test, and apparently I’m a type 5 with a 4 wing, though I do feel I relate much to what you said..

@Wheeze, I think it’s amazing how you found a system to handle you’re feelings.. And yes, I did take the Omega 3 fatty acids (with 1mg EPA), but I recently stopped. I also did some yoga and read a lot of books about Buddhism, but that as well is relegated to the background recently. Not good, because it made me relative life a lot.

I always freeze when I feel I’m stuck in something (like you have to go to work, you have to go on that date, etc.). It makes me feel like I can’t breath. Then next to that I constantly ask myself why I do what I do, because if I decide to do it, it has to be done perfectly. I always have an extreme focus on my personal growth, without any eye for any other responsibility I have to do just because you have to. And yes, I do find myself in an unhappy period in my life, not really seeing the use of it. But I guess that this (perhaps less extreme and maybe without the last sentence) is common for the average infp now and then. Or at least that’s how it seems. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one that has to deal with it. You’re replies helped me a lot, I feel like I won back some energy. I can honestly say I was a bit embarrassed for my post. On the other side, I’m glad as well, for this urge to find some understanding made me a part of the forum now:)
This is the same way I dropped out of highschool and lost all my friends, and my job. Wee ain't it fun... not.

I don't know what this is, but am relieved to hear that it's related to something about this personality type. Do you think it could be related to perfectionism, and that the events are not worth it if they aren't perfect, or if you don't feel perfect (energized/happy/totally ready) before you step out the door to go to them?
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