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I just... DON'T KNOW. Like ever. Until I do.

The big things I know (i.e. I want a stable, loyal partner or I want to be home rather than be at work), but the little things I don't.

This is why I procrastinate with my friends until the very, very last minute because I do not know how I will feel until the very, very last minute. Committing to a social engagements is impossible. Committing to dinner choices are also impossible.

Why don't I know until I know? It is one of my most annoying qualities to myself. I feel great pressure to know, but I don't.

If my Fi is my primary function, how can I not know how I will feel? Is Fi only good for knowing how you feel in the moment? Is it that I am not activating my Si to remember what the past experience was like and how I felt then? I try to, I really do, but like for instance... this is a stupid example, but do I want to go to the gym? Maybe I will feel better AFTER I go, but MAYBE it will perpetuate my exhaustion. Both things have happened before in the past. And, why does anyone want to go the gym anyway? It is freezing outside... and it will be dark... but, sometimes I go and I feel much better. Should I push myself? To go or not to go.

And, it's like that with everything. Lol.
 

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I used to be like this years ago, I know what you mean.

I am different now, I must say -at least to an extent. I hated this aspect of me so much (it drove me insane) that I started practicing making decisions and sticking to them. Over time it stopped being just a practice and it became a real part of me.

The 'funny' part is that my problems with other people haven't changed. Before, I had problems with Js, and now that I'm decisive and punctual and all that, I have huge problems with Ps. It never ends xD

If my Fi is my primary function, how can I not know how I will feel? Is Fi only good for knowing how you feel in the moment?
Well, emotions are temporary. And it is precisely because we know this that we feel we can't make decisions in the long term because it might be the wrong decision for our future self.

Now, for me personally, I have practiced enough the decision making + commitment aspect of myself through the years that now I am comfortable making reasonable decisions and sticking to them no matter what.

Years ago ---> Don't ask me to hang out/meet up until 24 hours before the date.
In recent years ----> Don't ask me on November 1st to make plans with you for November 20th. That's too much. But also don't ask me 24 hours before November 20th. The best time to set plans is 4-6 days before the due date.

I can't say rationally why I feel okay with 4-6 days in advance but not with 15 days in advance, and not with 24 hrs in advance. I don't know where this comes from, it seems arbitrary. But the point is that it works for me so I stick to it. And if the day comes and I've changed my mind, it doesn't matter, I do it anyways because I gave my word, and keeping my word is do or die for me.

Is it that I am not activating my Si to remember what the past experience was like and how I felt then?
I don't know, but I noticed something within myself:
My friends couldn't understand why I would get huge anxiety if they wanted me to set a date for a hangout too far away in the future. I always had a blast with them, so they couldn't understand what I was afraid of since experience showed that I always had a great time.
Here's my point--> I was afraid of my own crash. Every single time after hanging out with them (and having a blast) I would get sort of depressed afterwards. This is the introvert's crash.
So I was always handling my socializing with kids gloves, for fear of disrupting my own brain and becoming catatonic.

So the problem was that Si remembered 2 impressions: I had this abstract impression of "it's always fun with them" and also "they always make me depressed". So which one is the truth? It's both. I had to learn to manage my own mental health over the years, with conscious practice.

I don't struggle with the small things though. Like I always know what I want to eat, drink, wear, see, touch, hear... that's no problem. My problems are knowing when to socialize and keep my sanity, knowing when I'm in a stable mental state to apply to jobs and do interviews and when I'm not, knowing when I'm capable of making a phone call and when I'm not, when I'm stable to accept a date and when I'm not, etc.

this is a stupid example, but do I want to go to the gym? Maybe I will feel better AFTER I go, but MAYBE it will perpetuate my exhaustion.
I can't say about you, but I found that this kind of situation gets 'solved' with practice. I generally know whether I want to work out or not. But I think I got to this point by training myself to make decisions and doing the action part (which is the commitment to the decision). If you repeat this often & long enough, it becomes part of your modus operandi. Well at least that's been my experience anyway.

Maybe I will feel better AFTER I go, but MAYBE it will perpetuate my exhaustion. Both things have happened before in the past.
Exactly. This is like what I said about socializing (fun vs catatonic). You remember both things. Me personally I would just choose 1 and go with it. Usually I choose the one of least resistance.
Like if I'm feeling energetic, I avoid psyching myself out of it by recalling how working out sucked my energy sometimes in the past. I will think "ce la vie" and accept whatever happens.
And if I'm feeling super anxious, I will choose the path of least resistance by not working out and just going for a walk outside listening to music. I'll think of a less shocking option for my nervous system, but something that still makes me feel productive in a gentle way.
It's a mental practice , methinks.

And, why does anyone want to go the gym anyway? It is freezing outside... and it will be dark... but, sometimes I go and I feel much better. Should I push myself? To go or not to go.
I do that yes xD But whenever I get this mental chatter (that annoys me to no end btw, it's so inconvenient) I'm quick to recognize "Oh so I don't want to go. If I'm finding all of these excuses, it's an indicator that I don't want this". So I'll give myself a break and choose a 3rd option, which for me it's a plan that goes halfway. I don't stay home and I also skip working out. I usually go for a 2-hour walk listening to music (music is my reward for enduring the cold outside), or I walk to the library because it gives my brain the reward of books.
So I feel like I'm still pushing myself (because I'd rather stay home and have a bubble bath) but without giving myself an anxiety attack and further solidifying in my Si impressions that gym = torture. I don't want to create & solidify neuropathways of gym = death chamber, if u know what I mean. I want to keep the impression that it's just slight discomfort + general fun.

Whenever there's conflicting mental chatter, I always realize "Oh so I don't want this" because when a person truly wants something, there is no mental chatter, you just want it.

I practice decision making all the time, with the small things, and so then when the big things come up, it's easy. Training the mind is as important as training the physical, u know.
 

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@entheos, I love your idea about practicing! I often don't think of mental things, like decision-making, as improvable skills. It feels like the ability is set in stone. BUT it really isn't! If you start with small things and practice them, they can lead to easier mastery of larger things. It's like learning math: You start out learning what numbers are, and then you can use them in equations with increasing complexity.

Your idea of practice is a really great way to turn one's frustration with oneself into skill growth, optimism, and a feeling of control. You've inspired me to look into areas of my thought process that I normally would give up on, and now I will see if there is a way that I can overcome my weaknesses, step by step. (That's using the inferior functions to one's benefit, right there!)
 
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It's weird isn't it, I often overthink things and try and imagine myself doing the 'thing' I'm about to do to see if I can feel what ill feel, if that makes any sense lol? But you're right I can never know until I do the thing. Most of the time I think I don't listen to my gut instinct and instead drown it by overthinking every possible action. But I think the post above may help more than me sorry!
 

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Not an INFP, but perhaps I can give you some perspective.

If you have a vision, everything else will fall into place. If you know the big things, the little things will just fall into place. Using your example of going to the gym - you might want to go to the gym to look and feel good for yourself and your future loyal and stable partner or since you want to work from home, going to gym might help you prevent feelings of isolation.

Building on entheo's already great explanation - have a goal, make an adaptable plan, and roll with it. Ne will be your best friend here. Once you practice this enough, you will know which activity to engage in and which to avoid.

And don't ever believe that you can think your way out of things. You must act!

Also, give this book a read: Don't sweat the small stuff by Richard Carlson.
 
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