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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy, ISFJ here.

I know that ISFJs REAALLY struggle with opening up about their own feelings and asking for help when they need it.

Personally, I can ask for help when it doesn't involve my own feelings, but if I'm in a really bad mental/emotional place I feel like everything shuts down. If I try to ask for help, I literally can't even remember what I need (or I guess I should say choose not to remember so that I don't cause an upset with friends/family, although at this point in my life it's almost instantaneous).

How ISFJs open up and express things effectively?
What are some warning signs that we may be bottling up too much?

And for me personally:
How do you know when it's a good time to talk to someone about a struggle? It's a weird question, but I honestly never know when it's ok because I'm so afraid to inconvenience them.
 

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The ultimate conundrum of a traditional ISFJ lies within their baser instinct/idealistic notion (a fallacy in and of itself) that it is far better to give than it is to receive.

Personally, I've given up on humanity. I've lived long enough to see both sides of the same coin as clearly as I do. I've severed all ties with people from my past, live within the confines of nostalgia that dwell within my subconscious and carry out a lifestyle of social solitary isolation.

The only real "advice" I can give you is to break free of the nagging desire to feel needed. If you rely on others to pick you up when you fall down, you're going to be in a world of hurt if/when there comes a day that no one comes to do just that. And if that day has already come and gone, and you find yourself flirting with the concept of suicide, know now that you're not alone. I too know what it's like to live in the shadows.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The ultimate conundrum of a traditional ISFJ lies within their baser instinct/idealistic notion (a fallacy in and of itself) that it is far better to give than it is to receive.

Personally, I've given up on humanity. I've lived long enough to see both sides of the same coin as clearly as I do. I've severed all ties with people from my past, live within the confines of nostalgia that dwell within my subconscious and carry out a lifestyle of social solitary isolation.

The only real "advice" I can give you is to break free of the nagging desire to feel needed. If you rely on others to pick you up when you fall down, you're going to be in a world of hurt if/when there comes a day that no one comes to do just that. And if that day has already come and gone, and you find yourself flirting with the concept of suicide, know now that you're not alone. I too know what it's like to live in the shadows.
Yep, been there, done that.

Thankfully, there is a reason for all this, and his name is Jesus Christ. Without him nothing makes sense, nothing means anything, everything is worthless and we might as well give up.

I say that because when I encountered Jesus it changed everything for me, and even though that thought flits around my head when I’m in a really bad place, there’s still hope.

I’m not trying to bible thump anyone or anything, just telling my story.

So I guess I still have that question: how the heck do you talk to people about things, and why does this happen for ISFJs beyond the need to be needed. How does that work?
 

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I understand. No offense taken. TBH, my mom and dad are both Christians as well. My older brother married a Christian woman and my younger brother is dating a Christian girl he met off OkCupid. To say I was brought up in a Christian household and was instilled with strong Christian beliefs would be a massive understatement. Unfortunately, because I am the middle child in my family, I spent the grand majority of my life being a wallflower. Being the "peaceful" child who rarely got into trouble, my mom and dad pretty much left me alone while I found ways to entertain myself.

As for finding out how to talk to people about things, my guess is trial and error. But this is where the crux of the problem lies for ISFJs. Discovering the line that separates pure rejection from skeptical acceptance is so fine that it's absolutely daunting for ISFJs. Since you mentioned Christianity, my best suggestion is to meet people at your church. Go to cell groups and mingle with people your age. That's how my dad met my mom. He pursued her and she accepted his advances. Her family rejected him, but he eventually married my mom; regardless of how they felt about him.

As for why this happens to ISFJs, your guess is as good as mine. All I know is, I didn't always want to be a peace officer. The first job I remember wanting to have is that of an archeologist. I don't know if it's innate (accidental or coincidental), I just know that my demeanor mimics the conditions that presented themselves the day I was born. What I mean by that is I almost died after I was born. Whether I lived or died, it didn't matter. Life would of gone on just as it did before whether I pulled through or not.
 

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Before you think you can carry all the FEELS™, ask yourself the following questions:

[1] Is the FEELS™ too heavy for you physically and/or mentally?

[2] Can you hold ALL the FEELS™ with one or both hands and transfer them from A to Z without any of them falling off?

If you answer YES to [1] and NO to [2] , then you must know that unless you have hands of an octopus, it's ok to seek help.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I understand. No offense taken. TBH, my mom and dad are both Christians as well. My older brother married a Christian woman and my younger brother is dating a Christian girl he met off OkCupid. To say I was brought up in a Christian household and was instilled with strong Christian beliefs would be a massive understatement. Unfortunately, because I am the middle child in my family, I spent the grand majority of my life being a wallflower. Being the "peaceful" child who rarely got into trouble, my mom and dad pretty much left me alone while I found ways to entertain myself.

What I mean by that is I almost died after I was born. Whether I lived or died, it didn't matter. Life would of gone on just as it did before whether I pulled through or not.
Thank you so much for your respect. I do appreciate that. I realize it’s a touchy subject for some people and I wanted to be honest but kind about it.

And about being the peacemaker, I totally get that too. I’m the oldest of 5, raised in a christian home, and almost died when I was born too. Got the umbilical cord wrapped around my neck. I have always been the peacemaker, even with my parents. I’m the good child, the one who doesn’t get in trouble. For the longest time, I honestly believed it wouldn’t matter if I existed or not. I ended up in a facility for a week, came home with not much changed.

But then a switch flipped. My whole life i had known and felt that God existed and loved me, even if I didn’t want to believe it. The very fact that I hadn’t ended it testified to my hope of something more. If you’re in that spot right now, I want you to know that there is something. And it’s in our yes to him and his love that we find relief and peace. There’s nothing else that will satisfy.

And I’m still dealing with depression every now and then, but since he flipped the switch I have seen him work miracles in my life and perform surgery on my heart.

Don’t give in. There is more. If you want to talk more about this, I’d love to message you or something. Thank you so much for being open about this, I appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
As for finding out how to talk to people about things, my guess is trial and error. But this is where the crux of the problem lies for ISFJs. Discovering the line that separates pure rejection from skeptical acceptance is so fine that it's absolutely daunting for ISFJs. Since you mentioned Christianity, my best suggestion is to meet people at your church. Go to cell groups and mingle with people your age.

As for why this happens to ISFJs, your guess is as good as mine.
And thanks for that. I guess I need to take responsibility and step up, even if it seems wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Before you think you can carry all the FEELS™️, ask yourself the following questions:

[1] Is the FEELS™️ too heavy for you physically and/or mentally?

[2] Can you hold ALL the FEELS™️ with one or both hands and transfer them from A to Z without any of them falling off?

If you answer YES to [1] and NO to [2] , then you must know that unless you have hands of an octopus, it's ok to seek help.
DUDE THANK YOU. I love that. I screenshoted it and I’m saving it forever and ever😄
 

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Howdy, ISFJ here.

I know that ISFJs REAALLY struggle with opening up about their own feelings and asking for help when they need it.

Personally, I can ask for help when it doesn't involve my own feelings, but if I'm in a really bad mental/emotional place I feel like everything shuts down. If I try to ask for help, I literally can't even remember what I need (or I guess I should say choose not to remember so that I don't cause an upset with friends/family, although at this point in my life it's almost instantaneous).

How ISFJs open up and express things effectively?
What are some warning signs that we may be bottling up too much?

And for me personally:
How do you know when it's a good time to talk to someone about a struggle? It's a weird question, but I honestly never know when it's ok because I'm so afraid to inconvenience them.
Hmmm. There's a lot in this post to unpack.

Let me preface what I say next with the disclaimer that I do not wish to offend you--at all.

...In my way of thinking, if you were raised in a psychologically healthy environment, this wouldn't be an issue and you wouldn't be here asking this question. In healthy environments (i.e. families), children can ask their parents to meet their needs and the parents or other responsible adults do their best to meet those needs. So you likely have had your requests denied, ignored, or something else of that nature, and, as a result, aren't comfortable sharing your feelings and asking for help. Now, as an adult, you need to learn to do things differently.

Some of this you will have to learn by trial and error. But overall? Keep in mind the word "babysteps." Approach other people slowly. If you're not sure someone is trustworthy or will be helpful, start by sharing information that is 'low vulnerable.' Low vulnerable info is basic stuff about you that, if shared with everyone, would bring up few) feelings of shame, embarrassment, or low self-worth. See how the person or persons you share this with react. Do they fly off the handle in condemnation? Talk over you? Change the subject? Accept what you say warmly? Mock or tease you? Every interaction you have gives you information about them and their character, and whether they're receptive, friendly, warm, well-adjusted. Then, if they are receptive/friendly/interested, you keep moving things up a notch. I hope this advice doesn't sound too basic... however you did ask a broad question.

What are some warning signs that we may be bottling up too much?
Frustration, anxiety, depressive feelings, confusion.

How do you know when it's a good time to talk to someone about a struggle?
Sometimes, you can ask just that: "I have something I'd like to talk over with you. Is this a good time?" A reasonable, kind and decent person you would want to open up to should respond reasonable to that.

I hope what I wrote here helps...:proud: I realize I responded in very general terms.
 

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And thanks for that. I guess I need to take responsibility and step up, even if it seems wrong.
I wouldn't go so far as to say you're not taking "responsibility" for choosing not to step up to the plate to play the game. If anything, I think it's wise that you're here, seeking valuable and viable information, rather than being out there forcing things to happen; most of which will not be in your favor. You need to be able to separate what is in your head (expectation) from what is actually happening in the real world (reality); a life lesson that can only be taught in and of itself. But most importantly, what you need to realize is that the "game" is rigged from the very jump. If you're sensitive to rejection, like most ISFJs are, you have every right and every reason to be cautious. "Not acting" isn't necessarily a sign that you're automatically in the wrong; it's merely a symptom of apprehension. Is it correct to come off as being overly optimistic? Or is it correct to come off as being overly pessimistic? Do you kill your enemies with kindness? Or do you treat them in the exact manner they treat you? These are all scenarios we would like definitive answers to. Unfortunately, they are also scenarios we can only establish a working hypothesis for.

That all being said, let God be your guide. I know you know what I mean when I say He is your compass.
 

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Howdy, ISFJ here.

I know that ISFJs REAALLY struggle with opening up about their own feelings and asking for help when they need it.

Personally, I can ask for help when it doesn't involve my own feelings, but if I'm in a really bad mental/emotional place I feel like everything shuts down. If I try to ask for help, I literally can't even remember what I need (or I guess I should say choose not to remember so that I don't cause an upset with friends/family, although at this point in my life it's almost instantaneous).

How ISFJs open up and express things effectively?
What are some warning signs that we may be bottling up too much?

And for me personally:
How do you know when it's a good time to talk to someone about a struggle? It's a weird question, but I honestly never know when it's ok because I'm so afraid to inconvenience them.
I guess all ISFJ's struggle with this. Sorry to hear that you're dealing with it. I'll just offer this advice. 1) You're on the right track to rely on God. He's the ultimate help with any problem we have. :happy:

2) I've accepted that some people (at least in my life) will never provide what I need and I'll never really be able to let them know what's going on inside. After many, many failed attempts at trying to explain myself and speak openly, just to be shut down and blamed for everything not perfect in my life, I came to that conclusion. That doesn't mean I have to stop loving those people, it just means they are not healthy individuals. Basically, I guess I'm saying that some people are dysfunctional and will drag you down into their dysfunction. When you're already in a bad place, try to avoid those people if at all possible.

3) I think people are like sea anemones. When you poke one, they just close up. ISFJ's probably are more like this than other types. Just like an anemone, you'll never feel comfortable opening up and really getting the heaviness off your heart if you don't feel safe emotionally. So I've learned what's really important is finding someone that you can feel completely safe with. A relationship like that will foster the kind of freeness I think you're looking for. And that person won't judge or feel burdened when you confide in them. So you don't have to feel guilty that you're taking too much of their time/relying on them too much. If you're married and your spouse isn't that person, I'd suggest someone of your same sex (so as not to put yourself into temptation).

Stay strong.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Hmmm. There's a lot in this post to unpack.

Let me preface what I say next with the disclaimer that I do not wish to offend you--at all.

...In my way of thinking, if you were raised in a psychologically healthy environment, this wouldn't be an issue and you wouldn't be here asking this question. In healthy environments (i.e. families), children can ask their parents to meet their needs and the parents or other responsible adults do their best to meet those needs. So you likely have had your requests denied, ignored, or something else of that nature, and, as a result, aren't comfortable sharing your feelings and asking for help. Now, as an adult, you need to learn to do things differently.

Some of this you will have to learn by trial and error. But overall? Keep in mind the word "babysteps."

Sometimes, you can ask just that: "I have something I'd like to talk over with you. Is this a good time?" A reasonable, kind and decent person you would want to open up to should respond reasonable to that.

I hope what I wrote here helps...:proud: I realize I responded in very general terms.
Thank you. Yeah it's funny, I actually posted another thread talking about issues I have opening up with my mom. So you are spot on:proud:

And you weren't too basic at all; I feel like this is a very basic thing to ask about but something I needed to ask anyway. Baby steps. I'll remember that. Thanks for the advice!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I wouldn't go so far as to say you're not taking "responsibility" for choosing not to step up to the plate to play the game. If anything, I think it's wise that you're here, seeking valuable and viable information, rather than being out there forcing things to happen; most of which will not be in your favor. You need to be able to separate what is in your head (expectation) from what is actually happening in the real world (reality); a life lesson that can only be taught in and of itself. But most importantly, what you need to realize is that the "game" is rigged from the very jump. If you're sensitive to rejection, like most ISFJs are, you have every right and every reason to be cautious.

"Not acting" isn't necessarily a sign that you're automatically in the wrong; it's merely a symptom of apprehension.

That all being said, let God be your guide. I know you know what I mean when I say He is your compass.
giphy.gif

Thank you so much. That clears up a lot for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I guess all ISFJ's struggle with this. Sorry to hear that you're dealing with it. I'll just offer this advice. 1) You're on the right track to rely on God. He's the ultimate help with any problem we have. :happy:

2) I've accepted that some people (at least in my life) will never provide what I need and I'll never really be able to let them know what's going on inside. After many, many failed attempts at trying to explain myself and speak openly, just to be shut down and blamed for everything not perfect in my life, I came to that conclusion. That doesn't mean I have to stop loving those people, it just means they are not healthy individuals. Basically, I guess I'm saying that some people are dysfunctional and will drag you down into their dysfunction. When you're already in a bad place, try to avoid those people if at all possible.

3) I think people are like sea anemones. When you poke one, they just close up. ISFJ's probably are more like this than other types. Just like an anemone, you'll never feel comfortable opening up and really getting the heaviness off your heart if you don't feel safe emotionally. So I've learned what's really important is finding someone that you can feel completely safe with. A relationship like that will foster the kind of freeness I think you're looking for. And that person won't judge or feel burdened when you confide in them. So you don't have to feel guilty that you're taking too much of their time/relying on them too much. If you're married and your spouse isn't that person, I'd suggest someone of your same sex (so as not to put yourself into temptation).

Stay strong.
Thanks. It's good to know I'm not the only one:heart:
 
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