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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys,

I have an INFP brother who has been having a really hard time dealing with life. This has been going on for about 4 years before then he was doing pretty well. He had a breakdown and ended up being hospitalized for depression a couple years back and has never been the same. We actually relate extremely well and have similar feelings regarding loneliness and not having people who we truly relate to. He experimented with various drugs in the past and felt alive and wanted to feel a high. I am really concerned for him. He landed a job teaching overseas as an English tutor and he left a few days ago. I received bad news that he was hospitalized and was in the emergency room. During the orientation and ceremony services he tried to be more "extroverted" and struck up conversations with people, but they didn't engage back with him. His goal was to not be so to himself and more social. He called me crying saying how alone, depressed, and anxious he is and it broke my heart. He said he felt as though people were mocking him and was alone for 3 days with no interaction even though he tried to initiate talks with people. He tends to get a bit paranoid believing people are making fun of him. It hurts to hear him so alone in a foreign country. He admitted that he might of come out too strong by probing questions to people there, but he just wanted to try to make best of the situation he's in. Now he wants to come back which I understand and think it's best for him.

I love my brother and hate that he feels rejected and misunderstood. He has felt lost for the past few years not having people he can be himself with. He dropped his friends a few years back and kind of detached himself from the world. He left school and worked a couple of jobs here and there.

Any INFPs who have been depressed? Felt completely down and detached from people? Have any of you feel lost and confused about your future? I really would like some advice/feedback or even hear some of own stuggles regarding depression, loneliness, being misunderstood, etc.
 

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:sad: Your poor brother. But - I must say - to have such a kind and concerned friend in you - what a blessing!

Yes, I was overseas, once - (well, more than once, but this particular occasion I'll refer to) - alone, depressed, in a very bad situation, removed from communication with my family, in a foreign language, with a horrible roommate, out in the country, with no means of transportation... I got depressed and fell into an eating disorder following, which burdened me for almost a decade. So, yes, reading your post... boy, can I relate.

:crying:

I did get out of it all, but it took work. I had to learn a lot of things. I had to realize that I was my own worst enemy... I had to learn not to be so hard on myself, to lower my high expectations and realize the difference between ideals and reality. I had to ACCEPT. MYSELF. FOR. WHO. I. AM.

I refer to that whole period as my "dark night of the soul"... sometimes, all of us - we get "lost". We lose ourselves, and we have to retreat from the world, back into ourselves, and do some soul-searching: your brother sounds like he needs to find himself; the only way he can do this is by being willing to be honest with himself about his needs, trying to fulfill them for himself as best he can, and to remember that he can write his own script. Other people do not determine who he is. He is his own person. These are all hard things to do, they come with time. They can't be glossed over or skipped. Life is a process... <sigh> whew. Your poor brother. I feel for him.

Let us know how he's doing, will you, please? I hope my little bit helped...

:blushed:
 

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Humm.. I used to be that way... feeling lonely and uncertain about future....
I am dumped by my BF.. I look toward the future and other goals in my life..
I think INFP is goal oriented. Does he have other goals or things in life he want to do?
Ask why he go there to teach in the first place....
For example, going to school is learn and gain mastery of the subject... Social interaction is a peripheral benefit.
Once you concentrate more on goals, then you will be less concentrate on loneliness & fitting in....
 

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Can't help your brother very much than sharing my experience.


I guess i totally understand what your brother feel, I felt a bit like that at my first days of work.

I tried to be more "social" and outgoing than i usually am, i was forcing myself to initiate conversations (something i rarely do) but i didn't got much reactions from people and they were kind of avoiding me. And in the end, the only thing most people remembered of me is that i was a "reserved", cool but a bit original person. Kind of disappointing considering all the efforts i did to try to connect to the people there. :sad:

I think it's probably because i want to get to know the deep things and the things that really matter too fast by cutting all the chit-chat that is unfortunately so important for people to adopt someone in their "comfort zone". But i just don't know how to do this chit-chat stuff mostly because it is something that i don't need to get to know people, it just doesn't have any use for me. I know them without having to talk to them.

So i found myself in very awkward situations where the person was indirectly telling me : "why do you ask me something like that, i don't even know you. (And thought : "This guy probably want something out of me" when you just wanted to make them talk about them). This is very frustrating because as an INFP at that point you know what the person is made of, but you forget that this person don't understand what you are made of and that he needs more time than you. It is a problem of tempo actually i think..

And since listening is your best capacity, you ask people for answers you already know in order to show them that you are interested by them. But they sometimes feel it like an interrogatory because the question are very personal and you often forget to talk about yourself.

So you find yourself liking someone because you KNOW with your guts that this is a good person, but that person don't know if you are a good person or not on its side and will usually have a hard time to understand you.

And after time, when they finally adopted you in their comfort zone, they will see that you are actually a very valuable person. Time usually do it. It did it for me, it's the first moments which are the most difficult. My boss who was a ESTJ told me he had a very hard time to understand me, but in the end we both had much respect for each other because he finally understood me and i was glad that he was, because on my part it was the first day of work.

(And yeah at the same time i was seeing the progress of my ENFP friend with the people of the company, and it was totally discouraging me by how easy it was for him to connect and adapt himself to the people on the go.)


Maybe you could tell him that time helps on that matter, but i don't know how helpful it will be :sad:.

All the best to your brother !
 

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I've been teaching ESL in other countries for 5 years. China, Mexico and Korea. If he is depressed it's the WORST thing to do, to go to a new place. It takes about a year to find friends and begin to feel alright. The first few months arriving in a new place is the most lonely I've ever felt.

I did the same as your brother when I first came here this year; went to the pub, tried to be extroverted and talk to people but they were kind of cold because they've already met their friends and have their clique.

Perhaps the best way to meet people if he's still there is to join a foreign club that's doing sth. during the day. There he'll meet others who are interested in meeting other new foreigners. Often there are writing groups or hiking/walking/biking groups. There's usually a foreign website posting such things.

I think the biggest "problem" for INFP's is that we feel so different from everyone else. We need deep, meaningful relationships and they are hard to find. I think your brother needs to meet more INFP's and ENFP's and E/I NFJ's. But especially more INFP's. I often wonder: "what's WRONG with me?" Until I come to these sites and it's the only place I find others who think and feel the way I do. It really helps, just knowing there isn't anything "wrong" with me, that I'm just different than most.

I think it's great you are and ENFP. They really cheer me up and I'll bet your the light of his life. Though I suspect it's draining on you. You'll never be able to "give" him enough. Whatever you give, it'll never be enough -- though that isn't to say what you give in terms of love isn't appreciated. In fact, it probably means the world to him.

If he stays: I recommend just telling him that feeling unbelievably lonely the first few months is NORMAL. For everyone, not only INFP's. But that it DOES get better.

*If he stays, one thing that always made me "feel alive" far more than drugs was adventure. Encourage him to check out the sights. He will probably meet very cool people while doing this. Chances are high. Traveller's are very interesting, making for great nights of wine and conversation involving the most interesting travel stories.

*Maybe he can start taking pictures and join a class in the area? Meet like-minded people that way?

I don't think drugs, wether prescribed by a doctor or buddy on the street are the answer (just my opinion). They only mask the real problem. I was thoroughly depressed as was a friend of mine until we just left our countries and travelled. So maybe travelling is the answer for him if he just gives it enough time and is in the right place.

If he returns home, he'll probably feel like a complete failure and be really depressed for a while. But maybe that is the best thing for him to return home because there he has what he really needs and will most likely not find travelling which is a close nit group of friends. If he does find them travelling, people leave eventually and this is hard.

So, (breath), speaking as an INFP I think what your brother REALLY needs is to find and be around NF's. Because I think, only they can provide the type of love and friendship and understanding we NEED. Whether he finds it overseas or back home. Your an ENFP which means you're great at finding such groups. Maybe you could help him with that or if he comes back go with him to places where he might meet other NF's.

Also, work is extremembly important to INFP's -- which you probably already know -- we need to be doing sth. "meaningful". Helping people in some way. If he's not in a job he feels does this, it will severely add to his depression and sense of worthlessness. (we feel worthless when we aren't "contributing"). What is his career? If he doesn't have one he likes he should pursue the one he wants.

INFP's need a LOT of encouragement. We get down on ourselves and abilities very easily. Is he artistic? He should do some of whatever he's interested in, just for fun.

What country is he is? Perhaps I know some friends in his area?

Again, I think it's so great he has you. I have 3 ENFP's in my life and they are by far the dearest to me even though now, they are far away.

Wish you and your brother the best.

Greenpeace or some organization like that might be perfect for him.
 

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I have felt the same way.. in similar ways to your brother. I experienced a lot of depression and anxiety during schooling that I was physically ill and had to be in the hospital. It got to the point where I could hardly walk anymore. Change of scenery helped me in a lot of ways because my anxiety source was my old hometown. My old bullies were still around and I felt like the same people still made fun of me and I felt so paranoid about being talked about.
Even though I moved away, I still experience anxiety and I found that during the times that I was experiencing this anxiety was when I was told I should be more social or I felt influenced to be super talkative like my other friends. When I tried to be really talkative and come out of my shell, it actually made me feel worse because I felt like I was so behind socially and it wore me out more. In general, it's just a LOT of work for someone who isn't usually that way (kind of like someone who hasn't trained, but decides to take part in a triathlon). I also felt like no one cared what I had to say, so I would just eventually go home and cry and reflect upon all the " weird vibes" I got from people. I felt like everything I thought in my head was never matching what I was actually saying. To me it all just sounded terribly dumb and so I felt like no one could understand me at all. I also felt like I was super sensitive to nonverbal cues and could read right through people (I still think I'm pretty accurate)
As a result, I felt stupid when I talked (still do at times) and like no one wanted to be my friend or wanted to do anything with me. However, I decided that embracing my introverted nature and my other qualities has helped a lot. Trying to compare yourself with other people just does not work... as most people usually figure out! It seems to be an inferiority complex. I think I tried too hard to better myself in ways that were going against what my personality is really like. I think because INFP's are uncommon and they're so internal, it's easy to feel like you don't belong or there's something wrong with you when that's really not true.
Now I should tell myself that more often too.. I think INFP's will take things so personally that it's hard to shake off.

I don't know really how to help, but I thought I'd share how I dealt with it. And really, I think I'll constantly have to be dealing with my feelings of anxiety.. I don't think it'll ever end 100%.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks so much for your replies. I appreciate you guys for your input. Thank you.:proud:

I also wanted to add that we had a very unstable upbringing. We were neglected and I had to take care of my brother. My father is a sociopath and my mother is a very unhealthy person. There was a lot of abuse (verbal, emotional, physical) and turmoil in our household. Throughout our lives, I was like a mother and older sister to him (still am). I have this need to protect him and make him feel supported and loved. I consider him to be my only family. I try my best to incorporate positive thinking into my life, but my brother struggles with this moreso than me. I noticed how stuck he is in his introverted feeling that he becomes paralyzed in it. So it's hard to make him budge. I believe in him even though my family doesn't (not in me either) instead they say he's crazy or that he deserves what happens to him. Ultimately everything must be his fault no matter what. They pressured him to go...guilt tripping him even though he didn't want to. Now they are disappointed and referring to him as a loser, lost cause. Just because it doesn't work out in this situation doesn't mean he can't have others. Sometimes things just don't work out and is not WHAT works best for us. My brother is a very smart, unique, and interesting person. I just don't want him to give up on himself and on life. I want to try to uplift him and be there for him as much as possible. It would be such a waste for him to not use his full potential.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've been teaching ESL in other countries for 5 years. China, Mexico and Korea. If he is depressed it's the WORST thing to do, to go to a new place. It takes about a year to find friends and begin to feel alright. The first few months arriving in a new place is the most lonely I've ever felt.

I did the same as your brother when I first came here this year; went to the pub, tried to be extroverted and talk to people but they were kind of cold because they've already met their friends and have their clique.

Perhaps the best way to meet people if he's still there is to join a foreign club that's doing sth. during the day. There he'll meet others who are interested in meeting other new foreigners. Often there are writing groups or hiking/walking/biking groups. There's usually a foreign website posting such things.

I think the biggest "problem" for INFP's is that we feel so different from everyone else. We need deep, meaningful relationships and they are hard to find. I think your brother needs to meet more INFP's and ENFP's and E/I NFJ's. But especially more INFP's. I often wonder: "what's WRONG with me?" Until I come to these sites and it's the only place I find others who think and feel the way I do. It really helps, just knowing there isn't anything "wrong" with me, that I'm just different than most.

I think it's great you are and ENFP. They really cheer me up and I'll bet your the light of his life. Though I suspect it's draining on you. You'll never be able to "give" him enough. Whatever you give, it'll never be enough -- though that isn't to say what you give in terms of love isn't appreciated. In fact, it probably means the world to him.

If he stays: I recommend just telling him that feeling unbelievably lonely the first few months is NORMAL. For everyone, not only INFP's. But that it DOES get better.

*If he stays, one thing that always made me "feel alive" far more than drugs was adventure. Encourage him to check out the sights. He will probably meet very cool people while doing this. Chances are high. Traveller's are very interesting, making for great nights of wine and conversation involving the most interesting travel stories.

*Maybe he can start taking pictures and join a class in the area? Meet like-minded people that way?

I don't think drugs, wether prescribed by a doctor or buddy on the street are the answer (just my opinion). They only mask the real problem. I was thoroughly depressed as was a friend of mine until we just left our countries and travelled. So maybe travelling is the answer for him if he just gives it enough time and is in the right place.

If he returns home, he'll probably feel like a complete failure and be really depressed for a while. But maybe that is the best thing for him to return home because there he has what he really needs and will most likely not find travelling which is a close nit group of friends. If he does find them travelling, people leave eventually and this is hard.

So, (breath), speaking as an INFP I think what your brother REALLY needs is to find and be around NF's. Because I think, only they can provide the type of love and friendship and understanding we NEED. Whether he finds it overseas or back home. Your an ENFP which means you're great at finding such groups. Maybe you could help him with that or if he comes back go with him to places where he might meet other NF's.

Also, work is extremembly important to INFP's -- which you probably already know -- we need to be doing sth. "meaningful". Helping people in some way. If he's not in a job he feels does this, it will severely add to his depression and sense of worthlessness. (we feel worthless when we aren't "contributing"). What is his career? If he doesn't have one he likes he should pursue the one he wants.

INFP's need a LOT of encouragement. We get down on ourselves and abilities very easily. Is he artistic? He should do some of whatever he's interested in, just for fun.

What country is he is? Perhaps I know some friends in his area?

Again, I think it's so great he has you. I have 3 ENFP's in my life and they are by far the dearest to me even though now, they are far away.

Wish you and your brother the best.

Greenpeace or some organization like that might be perfect for him.

Amanda,

Thank you for sharing! That is really great advice/input. Wow.

He went to teach in Korea (not Seoul). It's a small city/country town. He left on July 31st. He has been hospitalized since August 3rd. He ended up getting wasted and disappearing. I still don't have all the details regarding the situation.

Here's the problem....neither one of us have any N friends. It's so hard. We always felt weird and out of place. My brother and I always talk about how we need N's in our lives. He even made the effort to go to bookstores and museums in hopes of finding like-minded people. He tried in ways, but he's very shy and doubts himself too much.

I even googled to see if depression/anxiety was common for people who teach/live overseas. It seems to be a common thing. He seems so convinced that people are making fun of him. I am not there so, I can't reassure him of that only via telephone. To be honest, I think he needs to come back and settle things first before he makes such a drastic move. The most important thing for him is to be in a healthy state of mind. I fear that he will get into a deeper, more chronic depression. His health is more important than money or a job. There will always be jobs (not necessarily now), but his mental/emotional well-being is far more of a priority. The thought of him feeling this anxious worries me. In the past, when he showed these signs....no good came out of it. I know I can't fix his problems/issues/insecurities, but I know I can be supportive and console him.

I will tell him everything you said. Also I'll take note of the advice for myself regarding meeting N's, lol.




 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have felt the same way.. in similar ways to your brother. I experienced a lot of depression and anxiety during schooling that I was physically ill and had to be in the hospital. It got to the point where I could hardly walk anymore. Change of scenery helped me in a lot of ways because my anxiety source was my old hometown. My old bullies were still around and I felt like the same people still made fun of me and I felt so paranoid about being talked about.
Even though I moved away, I still experience anxiety and I found that during the times that I was experiencing this anxiety was when I was told I should be more social or I felt influenced to be super talkative like my other friends. When I tried to be really talkative and come out of my shell, it actually made me feel worse because I felt like I was so behind socially and it wore me out more. In general, it's just a LOT of work for someone who isn't usually that way (kind of like someone who hasn't trained, but decides to take part in a triathlon). I also felt like no one cared what I had to say, so I would just eventually go home and cry and reflect upon all the " weird vibes" I got from people. I felt like everything I thought in my head was never matching what I was actually saying. To me it all just sounded terribly dumb and so I felt like no one could understand me at all. I also felt like I was super sensitive to nonverbal cues and could read right through people (I still think I'm pretty accurate)
As a result, I felt stupid when I talked (still do at times) and like no one wanted to be my friend or wanted to do anything with me. However, I decided that embracing my introverted nature and my other qualities has helped a lot. Trying to compare yourself with other people just does not work... as most people usually figure out! It seems to be an inferiority complex. I think I tried too hard to better myself in ways that were going against what my personality is really like. I think because INFP's are uncommon and they're so internal, it's easy to feel like you don't belong or there's something wrong with you when that's really not true.
Now I should tell myself that more often too.. I think INFP's will take things so personally that it's hard to shake off.

I don't know really how to help, but I thought I'd share how I dealt with it. And really, I think I'll constantly have to be dealing with my feelings of anxiety.. I don't think it'll ever end 100%.
Kayley,

Thanks you for your insights. Even though I'm not an INFP, I can sure relate a lot to you guys. This is incredibly helpful...you have no idea.

I do believe he has an inferiority complex. You are right...he wanted to make the experience memorable even if it meant him stepping away from his comfort zone. He always speaks of subtle vibes/cues and it really upsets him...this ultimately makes him paranoid. It's very hard for him being an INFP guy.... he always says. I try to remind him that nothing is wrong with him. This is something that really bothers him how weird he feels compared to others. So much of what he thinks/feels is internalized. He tells me a lot of things and I try my best to just soak in what he's saying. We are so a like except I am more aware and conscious of the external world. I help him out as much as possible with understanding people. More often than not...he gets extremely moody. I don't take it personal. It's how he deals with his emotions/thoughts sometimes. I know it can get very overwhelming at times. When we spoke, he broke down and cried. That made my heart hurt...I started tearing up too!! and wanted to beat down the people who made him feel that way :angry:. My brother takes things so personal (you are right about it being hard to shake off).

Another thing....I told him to be weary of was what he says in front of others and doctors/nurses because they might take what he says and twist it around. I suggested him not to tell them he felt others mocking him, teasing him because they will make the assumption that he has a personality disorder. I really would hate those fuckers judging him. They love to label people as having mental problems.

Sorry for going on and on. I am just trying to get it all out there and try to find some helpful solutions for him. Thank you once again for you words of wisdom.


 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
:sad: Your poor brother. But - I must say - to have such a kind and concerned friend in you - what a blessing!

Yes, I was overseas, once - (well, more than once, but this particular occasion I'll refer to) - alone, depressed, in a very bad situation, removed from communication with my family, in a foreign language, with a horrible roommate, out in the country, with no means of transportation... I got depressed and fell into an eating disorder following, which burdened me for almost a decade. So, yes, reading your post... boy, can I relate.

:crying:

I did get out of it all, but it took work. I had to learn a lot of things. I had to realize that I was my own worst enemy... I had to learn not to be so hard on myself, to lower my high expectations and realize the difference between ideals and reality. I had to ACCEPT. MYSELF. FOR. WHO. I. AM.

I refer to that whole period as my "dark night of the soul"... sometimes, all of us - we get "lost". We lose ourselves, and we have to retreat from the world, back into ourselves, and do some soul-searching: your brother sounds like he needs to find himself; the only way he can do this is by being willing to be honest with himself about his needs, trying to fulfill them for himself as best he can, and to remember that he can write his own script. Other people do not determine who he is. He is his own person. These are all hard things to do, they come with time. They can't be glossed over or skipped. Life is a process... <sigh> whew. Your poor brother. I feel for him.

Let us know how he's doing, will you, please? I hope my little bit helped...

:blushed:

Principii,

You are such a doll. Thank you for contributing to the thread. I will let you know what he'll do about it as soon as I find out.

Btw, so glad you overcame the obstacles you faced. :proud:
:wink:
 

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ahhh dear goodness I feel so bad for him. Um...I used to be pretttyyy depressed. Um I think mbti helps a crap load in understanding our nature and how we function in a healthy manner. Tell him about mbti if he hasn't heard of it. um....make sure he uses Ne to see the ENTIRE picture...not a fraction of it. Whenever INFPs use their intuition to focus on details....then ...well we get depressed. Intuition is meant to see the big picture....not to focus on depressing details. Maybe that might help....GOOD LUCK! Tell him that even though I don't know him....that well...the equivalent of prayers are being directed towards him.
 

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wow, so is he hospitalized in korea right now? I have a few friends in korea, in seoul or near seoul, i can ask for their help or advice if you need help figuring out where he is or what's going on with him. i very rarely ask anything of anyone, so i'm sure they would be happy to do what they can.

ironically i imagine, from my experience with my korean friends, if he would simply be himself he would get along quite well.

is there a safe place for him to come home to? if he's coming home to an abusive situation it might not be for the best. do you have any idea what he wants to do? if he's considering coming home or if he's considering staying? i mean, if he's hospitalized now i don't know what his options are with the school he was at, or if he'd be able to function at work.

and i agree meeting other INFPs is a huge positive influence. maybe get him to join the forums here? it really was huge for me to see that i'm not just some weird freak of nature, but that i actually do fit some sort of paradigm, no matter how few others do as well :) there are others, and it's totally awesome to find them.

otherwise, idk. to some extent we have to go through what we have to go though. that said, it's the love and care and support of those who ever have and who do and those who ever will (IMO, in some dimensions time simply doesn't matter!) that gets us through. i've had my own long drawn out dark night of the soul. at some point i just started realizing i'd make it. not matter what sordid nightmare might come at me. there are quite a few threads in the INFP section of the forum that deal with similar things you may find helpful as well.

let me know if my korean friends may be able to help you.

and yeah, let's us know how he's doing. i hope he hangs in there and my heart goes out to you both.

EDIT: I just re-read your post that he's NOT in seoul, i'm pretty sure most of my friends are in or near seoul, but if you need someone to make a phone call the the hospital or something, let me know, i'll see what i can do. actually, my korean isn't very good, but shoot i can try myself even!

also, if he ends up determined to stay, maybe he can get himself a job in seoul, the city might be a little more friendly to foreigners.
 

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I refer to that whole period as my "dark night of the soul"... sometimes, all of us - we get "lost". We lose ourselves, and we have to retreat from the world, back into ourselves, and do some soul-searching: your brother sounds like he needs to find himself; the only way he can do this is by being willing to be honest with himself about his needs, trying to fulfill them for himself as best he can, and to remember that he can write his own script. Other people do not determine who he is. He is his own person. These are all hard things to do, they come with time. They can't be glossed over or skipped. Life is a process... <sigh> whew. Your poor brother. I feel for him.
There's alot of good advice in this thread.

Though I suspect it's draining on you. You'll never be able to "give" him enough. Whatever you give, it'll never be enough -- though that isn't to say what you give in terms of love isn't appreciated. In fact, it probably means the world to him.
I want to bring this up. When I was at my lowest, I was more draining on those around me than I thought. I withdrew from most of the world, and the friends I kept pulled from me. I was told that I didn't care about them and I was taking advantage of them. I didn't realize this and it hurt me greatly because, on the contrary, I cared for them deeply. I was hurting so I clung to them. Don't be afraid to set boundaries, they are healthy to keep your sanity. I just want you to understand that even if you see no appreciation, having a person like you who cares is important.

Overall, I think with INFPs, life is extremely personal. Every step up in my life was hard and involved me learning on my own. I've never been able to take other's advice or revelations until I had something in my life click for myself. Life is a journey, and an uphill one at that. As an INFP, it's very hard to find someone to relate to and to share the journey with. Either, a person like that is not available, or, in my case, I felt guilty and like I was pulling those around me down. I will say that the times in my life I had a person with whom I could share my problems and who would accept me for who I am, I've been much stronger and advanced much more quickly.

Still, it's a depressing feeling not knowing who you are and where you fit in the world. I've always felt out of sync. I'm deeply conflicted with how I want to live, how I'm living, and how the world wants me to live. Through a long difficult process, I've been able to ween myself off the last. I'm different than most and I had to not only accept that, but be happy with it. Now, it's a battle to align my outer and inner worlds. I need to live the life I feel is right, or I'll always feel lost and conflicted.

I want to emphasize how personal his journey probably is. There's no blanket cure, only a long and difficult period of soul searching. The best thing I would think to do is be available, check in on him, and be encouraging (especially for him to learn to accept and like himself).

As far as being more extroverted, I've tried that as well to no avail. I'm looking for a different kind of friendship than most people. I want a confidant and I want intimacy. I think I scare people with how closely I want to relate. The only reason, in my case, that I was even trying is because I wasn't comfortable with myself. I was weird and I just wanted desperately to be normal. The more I tried, the more I hurt. It wasn't until I spent months virtually alone (no intimate friendships, only very guarded casual conversations with coworkers) that I was able to figure out who I was, like myself, and have a better idea of what to present to the world. That confidence allowed me to find, against the odds, a person to relate in the way I wished. I think it's easy to get lost in the pressure to conform, and get hurt by how inauthentic it is.

Sorry if this post is scattered, I'm not really gathering my thoughts on the subject well. I think it all comes down to life is a difficult journey, pressure is hard to be like everyone else and isolation is depressing, and epiphanies come in time and with soul searching.

Honestly, if I never went through my depression I would not be the person I am today. It might sound backwards, but losing all hope inspired me to live. I'm still picking up the pieces, but my path is lit now. I'm no longer wandering in the dark and I feel much better. It took years of work, and will last a lifetime I'm sure.
 

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There's alot of good advice in this thread.



I want to bring this up. When I was at my lowest, I was more draining on those around me than I thought. I withdrew from most of the world, and the friends I kept pulled from me. I was told that I didn't care about them and I was taking advantage of them. I didn't realize this and it hurt me greatly because, on the contrary, I cared for them deeply. I was hurting so I clung to them. Don't be afraid to set boundaries, they are healthy to keep your sanity. I just want you to understand that even if you see no appreciation, having a person like you who cares is important.

Overall, I think with INFPs, life is extremely personal. Every step up in my life was hard and involved me learning on my own. I've never been able to take other's advice or revelations until I had something in my life click for myself. Life is a journey, and an uphill one at that. As an INFP, it's very hard to find someone to relate to and to share the journey with. Either, a person like that is not available, or, in my case, I felt guilty and like I was pulling those around me down. I will say that the times in my life I had a person with whom I could share my problems and who would accept me for who I am, I've been much stronger and advanced much more quickly.

Still, it's a depressing feeling not knowing who you are and where you fit in the world. I've always felt out of sync. I'm deeply conflicted with how I want to live, how I'm living, and how the world wants me to live. Through a long difficult process, I've been able to ween myself off the last. I'm different than most and I had to not only accept that, but be happy with it. Now, it's a battle to align my outer and inner worlds. I need to live the life I feel is right, or I'll always feel lost and conflicted.

I want to emphasize how personal his journey probably is. There's no blanket cure, only a long and difficult period of soul searching. The best thing I would think to do is be available, check in on him, and be encouraging (especially for him to learn to accept and like himself).

As far as being more extroverted, I've tried that as well to no avail. I'm looking for a different kind of friendship than most people. I want a confidant and I want intimacy. I think I scare people with how closely I want to relate. The only reason, in my case, that I was even trying is because I wasn't comfortable with myself. I was weird and I just wanted desperately to be normal. The more I tried, the more I hurt. It wasn't until I spent months virtually alone (no intimate friendships, only very guarded casual conversations with coworkers) that I was able to figure out who I was, like myself, and have a better idea of what to present to the world. That confidence allowed me to find, against the odds, a person to relate in the way I wished. I think it's easy to get lost in the pressure to conform, and get hurt by how inauthentic it is.

Sorry if this post is scattered, I'm not really gathering my thoughts on the subject well. I think it all comes down to life is a difficult journey, pressure is hard to be like everyone else and isolation is depressing, and epiphanies come in time and with soul searching.

Honestly, if I never went through my depression I would not be the person I am today. It might sound backwards, but losing all hope inspired me to live. I'm still picking up the pieces, but my path is lit now. I'm no longer wandering in the dark and I feel much better. It took years of work, and will last a lifetime I'm sure.
Thank you for sharing. I'm so glad you were able to learn and grow into the person you are today. I relate to what you went through...very personally myself.

I know I can't make things better. All I really intend to do is be there and be as understanding as I can to him. Try to look into different perspectives and gain more insight from others.

Depression is overpowering and tends to crush peoples spirits. I know he's an adult and needs to go through his own journey. I just worry because of what depression can lead to. He has a past with addiction and I fear that he might do something life altering or something more permanent. That's more my concern. I believe people need to live and make decisions for themselves.You live and learn. I have no desire to tell him what to do or tell him what he thinks/feel is wrong. I just want him to come out stronger and a better person from it all.

Yes I agree....great advice from everyone.
 
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