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Discussion Starter #1
So we all deal with same issues:
... being shy in social situations.
... having the desire for deep meaningful conversations in a world that does not always seem to favor them.
... people thinking we are aloof or stuck up because of our introversion.
... being a living contradiction by needing alone time but also having a strong desire to help and be around people.
... phone anxiety.
... anxiety in romantic relationships.
... showing all of our "true" layers to people rather than adjusting to how we believe will best match the other person.
... etc. etc. etc.


Now, we all have the most wonderful and glorious cognitive function that we are fortunate to possess as the primary way we view the world, introverted intuition. With this function we can see what is ahead or look at something we want to reach in the future and are able to know what needs to be done and where we need to be in order to achieve it.
It's truly such a wonderful function and very few people have access to it so easily without other functions making it "blurred".

What I would like is for all of us to focus in on that introverted intuition and use this in a positive manner to help us all improve. Think of something that you would like to accomplish in the future or something that you see that will occur in the future and ask yourself: What do I need to do in order to get to that point? What does your Ni tell you? I guarantee the things that it tells you that you have to do is scary. I know what I see I need to achieve in order to be successful is terrifying. In fact, a lot of it has to do with the issues we deal with as INFJs as I listed in the beginning.

So I ask you all: What do you need to do? And the EVEN BETTER question is: How can we improve to achieve our deepest desires while still taking care of ourselves?
As an example, I don't simply mean something like: "I'm lonely and need more friends so I need to deal with phone anxiety and call people more." That's a good idea but that alone does not involve taking care of yourself and accepting yourself for who you are. What I mean is something more like "I'm lonely and need more friends so I am going to try to get into the habit of calling a different friend once every day to stay in touch. This will push me to overcome my fear, but will also give myself the limit I need. I will be taking best care of myself by keeping people in my life to achieve the desire of my Fe, but also accepting that I am an introvert so I can't push to exhaust myself."

The truth is that we should be taking advantage to our Ni to help us constantly improve to learn and grow, but we also have to be sure to remember that nobody is going to (or we can't expect anyone to) accept and nurture us as a person. We know ourselves best, so we have do that ourselves to know when to give the limits and make the adjustments.



So I ask you all....... deep down in your gut, what do you KNOW you need to improve on?
 

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Hi Candace, just wanted to say that I think that this is a FANTASTIC idea for a thread.

I am so sick of all the complaining that goes on here... okay. So, so much effort goes into defining our problems and none into actually doing anything about them. Whenever I try to do this IRL people get really quiet, so I was starting to wonder if it was like, a taboo, or something.


... showing all of our "true" layers to people rather than adjusting to how we believe will best match the other person.
I have huge problems with this. A lot of it is just screening people, as Runescribe once said, finding people who have the "stamina" to listen to all my crap. Who won't leave too soon after I'm done so that it won't have been a waste of time. Does that makes sense?

I wonder if it is an INFJ thing that we have a hard time talking about ourselves. Not unrelated is probably that we end up in one-sided conversations where the other person won't shut up. This is my experience in any case, I don't think I am imagining having read similar stories around here.



Okay, here's mine:

I need to start finding people to be friends with me who I think are reciprocating in some way. Or at least in some way that I can feel that they are reciprocating. I know that we are introverts so being with people makes us tired, but some people are just really exhausting. And some more than others. So, for me, it would be a matter of being choosier about who I become friends with before just settling. Sounds snobby, but I am phsyically and emotionally unable to take care of everyone who I would like!! :(

Please tell me that that that was actually a response to your question!
 

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I need to get outside of my head. I need to be more action oriented than thoughtful.
It's so funny. After all the research I've done, I have now come full circle back to the mainstream idea that I needed to get out of my shell. For about 2 years now I thought: "But I'm an introvert. That's not the same as shy. I'm more independent"...blah, blah, blah

I need people. I need meaningful relationships. I must be at peace with people that do not understand me and never will and not expect them to, and I should help them when they are in need.

I called up an old friend of mine today, and I asked him if he would like to start hanging out with me more on a regular basis. I am hopeful.

Incidentally, I want to help other INFJs on this form if they need it. You can send me a priviate message anytime you like, and I will share my insight with you.

Have a great day, everyone! :happy:
 

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I seem to know instinctively when I've found someone who would be a good friend. Usually even after spending hours with them I will still feel relaxed and not at all drained. It's sometimes difficult for two people who are quiet and also givers to find each other. Usually the takers find us first. But it's worth the effort to get to know people like this, the ones who are laid back and who can just be, who don't have to fill every moment with chatter. This is something I've learned after years of being a doormat for emotional vampires.

The other thing I've had to learn the hard way is to try to draw people out to learn things about them. I have a tendency to tell them too much about myself too quickly, and in the end I always feel that I've betrayed myself somehow. But there is a way to gently draw someone out without being too nosey or revealing too much of yourself right away. This is another area where I believe Ni comes in, it helps us to see what is needed in order to develop a foundation for a real friendship.

I've found that spirituality is really important for me. My nature sort of demands answers to life's biggest questions. Without that spiritual side of me, I sort of wither. It's especially important for me to spend quiet time in nature, I consider that spiritual, and it nourishes me like nothing else can. When I attend to my spirituality, other important aspects of my life seem to fall into place much more easily.
 

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First of all excellent post suggestion thegirlcandance!!:happy:

I think we get way toooooo deep into what it means to "be" INFJ and all the complex stuff with it (wallowing in INFJiness). I like depth as much as the next INFJ but there are times when I simply think we are missing the simple point. To me MBTI is simply a tool to point out certain preferences. It's an awareness tool - it gives us some guidlines on what we prefer not what we can or can't do.

I think one of the advantages I had is that I learned about MBTI in a business context. The type description tends to be less extreme in that area (e.g. in a meeting an ESTP will tend to this behaviour etc) you can see other preferences and think "actually I can do that if I want" it may be a little harder but it's not impossible

Back to the practical stuff

1) If you want others to understand you - speak their language. Period. Stop with the "nobody gets what I am saying" rubbish. The reason no one gets what you are saying is because you are talking gibberish - Forget INFJ. To me the whole point of MBTI is to understand others. There is a senior manager in my department who is ENTP to a fault I don't go to him with a load of waffly theory! I talk in an action oriented bullet point fashion. Once I have his attention then I have some space to drop a little theoretical waffle in there (but not to much). Pick one type and practice translating into that type.

2) Find some MBTI stuff on that interweb thing that are more business oriented - it may help reframe your perception of INFJ away from the mystic and wierd to a more practical stance.

3) social anxiety and phone/email anxiety. One of the best ways I find of this is really simple (again in a business context) - Thank People. Feedback or thanking gives you permission to reach out to others in a simple way - it breaks down that aloofness perception without a lot of content or complexity - you might be surprised what comes out of it. Above all it makes the world spin just that little bit more easily on it's axis

4) Pick your battles - don't try and solve the whole problem I still don't like parties - not my thing but I have learned small talk etc in a business context - I can do this now

5) hone your listening skills - you maybe surprised how deep a conversation will go if you simply stop trying to make it deep and find out as much about the other person as possible. I have manned trade stands at exhibitions and ended up listening to a very deep and really quite passionate person talking about rose growing ( yes it was a slow day business wise!) - I have NO real interest in rose growing but I was able to get a lot out of what he was saying as person rather than the topic. Practical tip some coaching schools do short courses (sometimes for free) on coaching - sign up and learn how to really listen (it's an art and a skill - it can be learned)

6) If you are really struggling with others in terms of content - study them in terms of MBTI - it gives you some depth with out needing to talk metaphysics at them. NO topic is too shallow if you really listen.

Above all practice in small steps - you can't think your way to improving.
 

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I think we get way toooooo deep into what it means to "be" INFJ and all the complex stuff with it (wallowing in INFJiness).

Yes, many of you do get too "deep" into it. Including the above poster (no offense). LET GO OF YOUR PRIDE! You are actually a people person- maybe more so than extroverts. You can read people's soul, and you have fantastic insight-----that is all. You are insightful- NOT MAGICAL!

Here's the funny thing. When I started reading about INFJ, I knew instinctivley that it meant that I needed to use my insight to help others. I did sit back for a moment and think, "Whoa! That's true. I actually CAN isntinctivley know things with very little information! I CAN get inside of people's heads and know where their heart is!"

It's a gift. Make use of the gift and stop being selfish. You are helping nobody, especially not yourself, if you sit around and wallow in self-pity because nobody understands you. Let it go.
 

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I need people. I need meaningful relationships. I must be at peace with people that do not understand me and never will and not expect them to, and I should help them when they are in need.
I tried to reconnect with some people recently. The results were so disappointing. Either I used to be a really terrible person and no one wants to talk to me anymore, or all my old friends were flakes. I am starting to wonder how I could have wasted so much time. Really wish I had invested in myself more instead.

That said, it's true, one of my values is that I do need people around me, and like you, dsv2e, I do need deep relationships.


I seem to know instinctively when I've found someone who would be a good friend. Usually even after spending hours with them I will still feel relaxed and not at all drained. It's sometimes difficult for two people who are quiet and also givers to find each other. Usually the takers find us first. But it's worth the effort to get to know people like this, the ones who are laid back and who can just be, who don't have to fill every moment with chatter. This is something I've learned after years of being a doormat for emotional vampires.
It is a sad observation that I often find these people difficult to approach.
 

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LET GO OF YOUR PRIDE! You are actually a people person- maybe more so than extroverts. You can read people's soul, and you have fantastic insight-----that is all. You are insightful- NOT MAGICAL!
*bows to you*

I've come across people in my own real life offering some genuine advice (when asked) that is never taken to heart simply because it's too big of change.. but sometimes change IS the answer. If being a happier person meant I no longer belong to the INFJ club, then so be it.. but I ultimately would rather shallow my pride and do differently if it would make me happier in the end.

Aren't INFJ's usually looking at the bigger picture? Like what's the important thing here? Sticking to something that makes you miserable? I would say the bigger picture is something along the lines of, love your neighbor as you love yourself.

Details vs. Big Picture

If I wanted to change the world, I would have to engage it before I could help anyone.. it's a catch 22, there's no other way to do it.

To the OP:
I feel I've improved a lot of areas except the romantic relationship chapter. The idea of dating men to 'find out more about myself' goes against my morals... but if such steps were listed, it may look something like this:
1) Get a boyfriend to practice the art of building a good relationship
2) Have daily conversations
3) If he doesn't call, I will sketch in my sketchbook to occupy my time.
4) I will send him a text message and get him to respond after a few days of no-show
^-- lol that would be a TERRIBLE idea to implement.

This is still a huge area of struggle for me. I could try to meditate everyday and achieve nirvana or some kind of crazy zen skill where with the flick of a mental switch I can empty my heart. That actually might not be a bad idea. It's worth a shot :crazy:

I think maybe meditation. Perhaps practicing on acquaintences would be a better idea. Maybe do some mental exercises where I like conjure up strong feelings for them and wait a few weeks until they disappoint me and then try and let go of the hurt by reverting those strong feelings into something more light? <-- Doesn't this seem like a good idea that makes sense but sounds nutty at the same time to anyone else?

The only way to really improve my situation would be to
1) find my soul mate <-- difficult, possibly impossible
2) do mental exercises, practice looking at the bigger picture so I don't get sidetracked by minor offenses
3) find ways to substitute my friends affirmations with the lack of romantic affirmations in the relationship?

To anybody reading this thread:
Any suggestion to improve this area of my life would be helpful~!
 
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Discussion Starter #10
I need to get outside of my head. I need to be more action oriented than thoughtful.
Yeah... this is big for me -- to stop just dreaming about what could be and making it a reality even if the idea is terrifying.
 

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The truth is that we should be taking advantage to our Ni to help us constantly improve to learn and grow, but we also have to be sure to remember that nobody is going to (or we can't expect anyone to) accept and nurture us as a person. We know ourselves best, so we have do that ourselves to know when to give the limits and make the adjustments.

So I ask you all....... deep down in your gut, what do you KNOW you need to improve on?
I know exactly "where and what" I want my future to be, it is so nice to meet like-minded persons! Right now, I am the mother of three wonderful children (all teenagers) so I am very content where I have placed myself currently. This seems to be my largest focus.

After they leave for college, my husband and I will travel. Starting in Africa and working from there. I have already started becoming familar with the language and areas that will suit our time there. I plan to work on my pottery and photographs after we get back to the states; and would enjoy also, opening a store of my husband woodworking crafts and will continue to work with "at-risk" high school students.

My challenge is in "the balancing" of the here-and-now... and working towards my future goals. (Three kids, their homework and activities, my work, home chores, family life, etc. Plus, making the future a reality.) This is what I would improve. What function would aide me in this -- I have no idea.
 

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I wish I had thought to say what some of you other wise people have said!

Yes, we need to get out of our heads more. Seek balance always. We tend to be somewhat imbalanced if we haven't learned to use our Se enough. Se is very important for emotional balance, it helps us get out of our heads and into the world of sites, sounds, and smells and into the world of people. Yes it is difficult to communicate with sensors sometimes, but it helps keep us balanced.

My challenge, and one I think I've made some progress on, is to simply slow down my mind and really enjoy each thing I do with my hands. I believe some people call this being "Zen". To me it's just being present and noticing the beautiful color of the tomato I'm slicing, and it's nice pungent smell. The heft of the knife in my hand. The smell of flowers wafting through the window. Not everything has to mean something, some things just "are". And many times it's when I'm in this state that I'm suddenly struck with an idea, or a poem. So Se can actually feed Ni I believe.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
I think I'll just share the "vision" of what I feel I need to do and accomplish via my Ni rather than comment on everybody's posts because they're all interrelated in some way. I'll try to break it down as best I can to link the big picture of all this.

I am currently approaching my college graduation this coming December and will begin student teaching in a couple weeks. During college, I have met several dominant Fe types, which we initially great but then later caused much conflict and made me very discouraged. It was great to have fellow people around me who seemed to have that same outward belief of taking care of others so I often did not feel like I was the only one "giving", however, there was eventually conflicts of my introversion being excepted and my own personal limitations in doing things for others. Many dominant Fe types do not seem to have limits and therefore when they see someone say "I'm not going to help Mary right now because I need to do X for me" they may greatly frown upon it.
I've also been in two relationships during my college years, one with an ISFP and another with an ESTJ. Both of which were initially great, but turned out badly.

So things that I have learned/am aware I need to change to better progress:
~ That when it comes to dating, you are either compatible or not. The end result does not completely rely on the things you did (it does, but only to an extent). From my experience, I see that the failure was based off of the simple fact that they were just not right for me. After meeting and talking to an ENTP, I realize that's what I need in that department in order to feel completely appreciated, understood, and to have something that rises above the rest without any doubt. However, I also know that I am not ready for someone of that type to be in my life until I accomplish other things that I am to mention.
~ I need to be sure to stay in touch with my Ni even while heavily using my Fe (which is often times when I'm around dominant Fe types) because otherwise I notice I say things that I don't always necessarily mean.
~ I need to call friends more often to avoid feelings of loneliness and to also prevent the person I'm dating to be the one I only rely on for emotional support. They can primarily be, but I've noticed that if I don't stay in touch with friends then I become dependent in a way that is not good. I need a balance and equal, not someone who I will have the tendency to feel I "need".
~ I need to start accepting people as they are rather than hope that they will develop more depth or change. This is why I also feel I should be sure to stay in touch equally amongst several friends rather than focus mainly on one or two (as I normally do out of habit). All 16 types can help each other in different regards, such as an ESFJ is great for me in helping me meet people and to help me use my Fe more, an ENFP is great at understanding me on a deeper level and to get different perspectives, and an INTJ is great at challenging me to be more rational with my visions. If I keep in touch with various friends that I've had through the years, I can get more variety in views and help myself develop different aspects of me, while also getting that connection with people to help them and achieve that desire.
~ I need to work on handling my bitter ISFJ mother better and just figure out how to deal with my family better overall.
~ I need to become more comfortable in dealing with the community and with public speaking, because those two things will be required for me to achieve my dream career ideas.
~ I need to be sure to talk about aspects of myself more readily with people rather than always let it be about them. Out of habit (and probably Fe), I seem to find it rude to sit and talk about myself so I always ask questions about the other person and forget about saying anything about myself. But that can also depend on the type of person I'm with as well.
~ Be more upfront about what I want and why I do things. If I leave a party early, for example, I should remember to say I'm socially exhausted and maybe even say I'm an introvert rather than just sneak out or stay for the betterment of the group and only get more tired and annoyed.
~ I need to remember to talk to people, but also feel perfectly okay about setting my limits by perhaps not going out for drinks after a conference with the group.

That's just some points, but its more complicated than that yet (go figure, its Ni!!!). Using Se is another one too -- being sure to stop and enjoy the moment so I don't regret it later. I've noticed I can tap more into that Se though when I'm going with my Fe.
 
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I am currently approaching my college graduation this coming December and will begin student teaching in a couple weeks. During college, I have met several dominant Fe types, which we initially great but then later caused much conflict and made me very discouraged. It was great to have fellow people around me who seemed to have that same outward belief of taking care of others so I often did not feel like I was the only one "giving", however, there was eventually conflicts of my introversion being excepted and my own personal limitations in doing things for others. Many dominant Fe types do not seem to have limits and therefore when they see someone say "I'm not going to help Mary right now because I need to do X for me" they may greatly frown upon it.
I've gotten judged by dom Fe types quite a bit. This is just my personal experience. However, I found that as they got to know me better, they respected me for my Ni, and actually the Ti too. In general I feel like these people (okay, so dom Fes I feel like will be friendly to everyone despite their personal feelings) will be okay with you as long as you show that you are a generous sort of person. For me, this has put me on their people-they-actually-like-despite-how-they-act list, and then vice versa. This my experience with ENFJs, ESFJs, ISFJs I have worked with.

If it means anything I have seen dom Fe be exhausted and overextended. These were young adult, living on their own types, so I imagine they also weren't getting all their needs met properly either. The dom Fes I know who still live at home tend to do better. ENFJs also have a reclusive side, which I feel like they are funny about letting people see. But yeah, like you, I am jealous that it is so much easier for them to be so open and giving with strangers. I could never be that way.

~ I need to work on handling my bitter ISFJ mother better and just figure out how to deal with my family better overall.
Yeah, I have an ESFJ mother. I have no idea how to cope with it either. :( *hugs*




Okay, here's another one:

I need to learn to be really careful with my Fe. Like, for one thing, I feel like it can be really easily misused. I went into a place today to ask for a job and the guy working there offered me some free ice cream. I refused because I didn't want to give the impression that "wow we are really great friends I really like you", etc. He wasn't the manager or owner or anything, so it wasn't a situation where I should have definitely accepted. I try to treat people with kindness and respect but I think that they just get the wrong idea, or think what they want to think. So I think that part of what I need to work on is just making sure that I am communicating my intent correctly. And if that means modifying it depending on who I am speaking with, then I will do that.
 

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Recently I had a revelation on this subject and I have created a new ideology about life. First, every living thing has its right to live life in a method that brings them happiness. Second, mankind's greatest vice is believing he or she knows whats best for his fellow man. I know it may sound strange, but just following these two laws brings peace to my restless infj spirit. As for shyness which is something that often plagues me everyday of my life since I was probably born. I would have to say that nobody cares or remembers those who remain silent and unhappy. Since we're all going to die someday, who really cares. You might as well as make the best of it because who really knows if the next life is really all that great. :wink:
 

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Stop making excuses for yourself, your Ni knows what needs to be done to achieve a certain goal, so just do it. Problem is I keep telling myself this and I shouldn't have to if I was really putting it all in practice. Easier agreed with on a forum than done!! It would help a lot if I knew someone irl who was going through the same thing so we could help each other out, but that could also limit the independent steps I'd have to take in order to build more confidence. *dies* Did I mention I related to all the issues you listed? :p
 

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I've been going the ESTP route, it was tiring at first but it's gotten easier as time went on

however, the point is not to make things easier, but to take care of business while not really focusing on selfish goals like "having meaningful conversations" etc. and crying that you can't have them

which isn't really true

so the best thing to do is to take care of business and when you meet likeminded people then enjoy their presence as much as possible
 

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I need to think less about what I can improve about myself and do at least something about it.
 

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"Ok INFJs... What can we do to improve ourselves to make life easier for us?"
i'm ok, but if you want to make my life easier you can illegalize extreme extroversion. feel free to haul off the "personal space invaders"
 
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