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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello darlings,

I have an interesting puzzle that I'm trying to solve, and I was wondering if I could get your input.

I have a friend who gets seasonal depression, and every winter, I notice her going through some sort of interesting obsessive grip. It's made me wonder as to the functional causes behind it, but from what I've read, it almost sounds like a Ni-Ti loop with Se thrown in there.

Here's what happened last year-

She became obsessed with reorganizing her style so that everything in her closet was the exact same style type and all colors were interchangeable. It was like storing everything into the perfect box to create the one ideal image that would quantify her as a person. And this is really odd, because she is normally a person who wears jeans and hoodies.

Her research was extensive, going into actual very detailed and different style systems and seasonal color theories (I think know enough about Kibbe style types and seasonal color matching theory from talks with her to start my own business.)

It was fascinating to chat with her about it, but she ended up becoming so unhealthy with it, that she spent way too much money on trying out all of these different things, because she kept going around and around and couldn't just settle on choosing one and be done with it. It seemed like she was trying to find an external identity through a possible misuse of Se but couldn't. (Not sure if that's what it was, but just speculating)

Then spring came, and I noticed we were talking about it less and less, and she seemed to have finally been exhausted with the whole idea of fitting into a perfect mold, and started to enjoy life again.

I was randomly talking to her about last winter the other day, and she told me that she had finally decided to take the systems she had been learning about with a grain of salt, and choose options from each of them that she enjoyed and were more fitting for her, hence creating her own unique style and way of representing herself.

The whole episode that she went through was really interesting, as if she was trying to be someone else the whole time- someone better or more mysterious/interesting in the eyes of others, but couldn't really sustain it.

I've always suspected my friend to be some sort of NF, and I wonder if you guys can identify with some of the things she did here.

Edit: I should probably add that while this individual can be laid back and calm, she is naturally an obsessive researcher and a perfectionistic control freak in some areas-like even more so than me, and you all have seen a lot of my posts on here. Lol. After being friends with her for a while, I figured out that she's at times very concerned with the opinions of others and what they think of her, and bases a lot of her decisions on the approval of others. She's also very sensitive to the suffering of those who she considers helpless, but at the same time has little tolerance for say, women who "stupidly" choose to stay with their abusive husbands over protecting their children and getting out. What I'm trying to say is that she seems like an INF, but I can't figure out which kind.
 

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Your friend sounds like such a sweetheart that was just dealing with something internal that she couldn't inwardly explain to herself. Like a minor existential crisis of sorts, and based on the fact she was focusing outwardly on material things and aligning them to a networked pattern someone else created, she was trying to find a solution to that internal unknown conflict. It seems she found it, not in the clothing, but through the process of her striving for that goal based on her response to you about her obsessive grip. The "way of representing herself" is the key there. She was likely struggling with how she saw herself (which happens) and had to do that the hard way to learn she doesn't need to fit someone else's vision, she just needs to be herself. It's a wonderful feeling to experience when you get to that point. Sometimes this process repeats several times over the course of life if there's doubts, stress, big life changes, etc.

But, it may be a season related thing for her where her mind gets a little dark cloud when there's less sun (less natural vitamins and fresh air) and she's doing her best to find a way to not have that dark cloud. Maybe this winter she'll try something else, or next winter she'll pick up a (strange to most, cool to her) hobby. If it's a regular thing, it's likely a way to cope with her seasonal depression.

When I get stuck in a 'around and around and around' loop, I find it impossible to escape it unless there's an external factor or a miracle internal epiphany. I've had a mental breakdown in the middle of my online exam because I couldn't figure out a problem. The only thing that pulled me out of that was my dad sitting with me at the kitchen table so I had someone to bounce ideas off of to come up with a solution to the problem I was stuck on. This is commonplace for me, in every aspect of my life, to have moments when I get trapped and have to seek outside help in some fashion (person, place, thing). I'm also extremely indecisive about myself... but very decisive about other things, people, topics, politics, etc. So if i'm trying to make a decision for myself, it can take a while to fully have an answer after going down a few paths, which can cost money or cost time (or both). The only decisive decision I've made in my life so far has been my career path... everything else has been trial and error (likely because of the fact that there's so many ways to do something or so many ways to view things, can't pick one...).

She was likely in a Ni-ti situation during the winter when her seasonal depression is at its highest. When in a grip I do very Se things. For me it's to get out of my head and escape the buzzing going on in my head. I'll eat more, drink more, shop more, organize more, become more active, and do more things to "procrastinate" having to deal with the loop if i'm not aware i'm in one (which is often)... and sometimes it just prolongs it and my own running-in-a-rut.

Often times we seek external when there's too much going on internally that we ourselves can't explain to ourselves. I don't mean external validation, just a conduit to run our internal trains of thought through. It can literally be anything, as long as it's outside of ourselves.

My advice to you is the next time you find her going in circles, be her external conduit to get her out of it if it seems she can't find that internal epiphany she's seeking. When she's creating patterns, networks, possibilities or combinations (I can see how she'd get obsessed with stuff like that - I do, I'm currently hobbying essential oils and making a crap ton of combos with them), she can miss the bigger picture and reason of what she's doing. Sometimes we need to be pulled back to see the web we're making, whether its positive or negative just depends on the situation. Typically when i'm pulled back, I have an "oh!!" moment. Sometimes I feel depressed when I'm making a positive web, and sometimes I'm excited when I'm making a negative web. I don't see the whole thing until it's pointed out to me or it's 100% complete and I stand back myself and am surprised by either result.

I think she finished her 'web', stood back, and had her 'oh' moment and realized what she was after was within herself the whole time. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
@flutterbee Wow! You are amazing!

I guess I can't accurately guess what is going on in anyone's head, but I feel like what you wrote out what pretty much the perfect analysis of the situation. Thank you so much for sharing all of that and also for the advice.
 

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Wow, you just described this type 2w1 xNFJ I used to be friends with (apart from usually being laid-back/calm). She did a very similar thing with all the Fashion systems (and personality systems) as well. Wanting them to fit perfectly until finally coming to the conclusion that she's just going to do her own things with it. I on the other hand, never expected them to fit perfectly. Like, lets take the parts from it we like and leave the rest behind? I got into the Fashion stuff with her for fun. Whereas, it seemed to trigger stress in her.

I'd be surprised if your friend isn't a type 2 as well with being image focused and her needs for approval. Anyways, this particular type 2 xNFJ was on the brink of a mid life crisis, basically and also struggles with depression. So I believe flutterbee is correct in her assessment about these things hiding something deeper.

When depressed, I've had my own existential crises which would cause me to go into obsessive research mode but it had to do with the specific thing I was struggling with, not a bunch of unrelated things that have nothing to do with the problem. But, I'm a 6w5 and not a core 2w1 so of course we're going to be different.
 
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