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Lately I’ve been in an introspective, thinking sort of mood and I’ve realized that I’ve always struggled with change. I remember when I was a little kid I’d cry every night about not wanting to grow up- about not wanting to outlive my parents, about having to be completely responsible for myself economically, emotionally, and socially. When I got older, I sort of forced change upon myself- the biggest instance of this being the time when I wanted to move away from my childhood home so badly I could taste it. This yearning came at an opportune time- a time in which my father’s work was moving to another state- so we moved with them. I don’t really register change happening while it’s in action- I only really recognize what’s happened when it’s too late. In the ‘moving’ instance, this was about five months after I arrived at my new school. All my life I’ve been incredibly sentimental and, though I embrace and encourage change, it’s hard for me to recover once things do. I’m constantly thinking about how this moment- right here, right now- is passing before my eyes and I’ll never get this time back. Because of my way of thinking, I’m oftentimes right on the edge of crying but I hold it together and glue a smile on my face. I constantly feel as if life is passing me by- as if I’m only watching everyone else live. No matter how outgoing and personal I get, I always feel like this. I'm either always overthinking things because of this state of mind or I'm avoiding using my head at all in order to escape my way of thinking.
To wrap this all up, I was forced to grow up at an early age simply because of the hand life dealt me so I completely understand if this isn’t a younger ENFP issue and if it might be an older one. What I’d like to know is, does anyone else feel this way? Is this possibly characteristic of ENFP’s?
 

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Aw...yeah, I can totally relate to this. Like, at any point in my life where I've just gone through something major, and I'm done being irrationally emotional, this happens. I've never wanted to grow up either or any of the things you've listed. I'm deeply sorry for the pain you must be feeling.

I constantly feel as if life is passing me by- as if I’m only watching everyone else live.
I relate with this particularly. I, too, am constantly thinking "Whatever is happening right now, this isn't going to last forever." Honestly, I've dealt with much trouble at an early age as well and I'm facing the consequences of it right now.

But I think that you're (maybe subconsciously) trying to grasp on to perhaps a hope that other ENFPs feel like this, so you don't feel so alone in your feelings, or that perhaps this isn't too weird for you to feel. I think anyone of any type can struggle with change, depending on the childhood he or she faced. I really think that your childhood and the issues that apply personally to you are affecting you more than you being an ENFP.

I mean, I feel like struggling with change is subjective to a person's emotional and mental state. If you're not at a healthy state of mind, then it will definitely be more difficult. I can see how being an ENFP can tie into this.

I don’t really register change happening while it’s in action- I only really recognize what’s happened when it’s too late.
This, for example, seems like your Fi is finally coming into play. Like, at first it doesn't really register, but once you settle down and examine everything through the lens of introverted feeling, the emotions suddenly all come crashing down. The overthinking is your Ne, I'm sure.

So yeah, I see how this can be affected by your functions and traits as an ENFP, but I don't think it's necessarily an ENFP trait. I think struggling with change would actually affect Si dominant types more than ENFPs, because Si (just to review) is particularly connected with information gained by experience. It makes these people reluctant to change, I'm pretty sure. We do have inferior Si, though.


Just saying though: sorry if I haven't responded to this in a particularly emotional way. I know that can sometimes be frustrating when we just want someone to understand us. I think a good thing to do would be to try to look at what you're thinking in a different light.

Sometimes, we can get clouded by emotion, y'know? I've always dreaded adulthood, but the thing is, that was because I was looking at it in terms of the adults I knew. The adults who had long forgotten what fun really was, and were unable to understand people younger than they were. Who were unsympathetic and bitter, etc. Adulthood doesn't necessarily have to be bad. Sometimes I think we can get a little too caught up in the negatives. It definitely will be sad to leave childhood, and leave what we hold so dearly and the only thing we've really known behind. It really will be, but adulthood offers many experiences as well.

However you're feeling, just believe that you can get through this. That single detail means so much. You can do anything you want to do. You really just have to remember why it is that you want to live. What do you want to accomplish? Think back to any dreams you once had. Like, really think. Because sometimes, even if we think we know our purpose, we slowly lose sight of what that exactly means. And when that happens, we can easily feel how you do: like you're watching other people live, instead of living yourself. This has honestly really happened to me a lot. Just in the past couple weeks, actually. Once you have faith in yourself and what you want to do, things will come easier. You really seem like an intelligent person, and I believe that you can conquer the struggle with change you feel. If it means anything, I've done so...even if it comes back and gets me sometimes, haha.

I know it's really difficult to go through this at this stage in our lives. I was creepin' lol, and I'm 16 too. It honestly does suck. There are many people who don't really understand what it is that we're feeling. I felt so alone from ages 8-12, and the saddening truth was, I basically was. No one my age could even begin to understand the difficulties I was facing and everything haha.

But again, no, I don't think struggling with change is necessarily an ENFP trait. I think it's much more likely for it to be a characteristic ISFJ/ISTJ trait because of their Si dominant function.

I hope you get through this, and I wish you well!
 

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Actually, i think what you're going through is normal. Not normal to everyone, but not too unusual.

You remind me a bit of how i used to think, and it seems to me you're going through a metamorphosis stage where everything is a bit up in the air, where you're trying to figure yourself out and how to control yourself in order to direct yourself toward happiness.

I went through a big change when i was young too, i moved from australia to the UK, and i cannot tell you how different my whole life was before and afterward. The thing about having a big change like that is that, normally most people have their definition of life given to them by where they grew up and the people they grew up around, and don't have to handle change until they're an adult- they don't feel the need to question their life definitions. when you have a big change, and you realise that life can change so dramatically, it kind of deals a blow to your stable definition of life as a young person, which is important at that stage.

Perhaps that's why so many actors (like 90-95%) have experienced massive upheavals and change in their lives.. it throws their identity up in the air, and it becomes more natural for them to disassociate identity and purpose from the big picture reality of the world. It's self-explanatory why that would help them with their profession.

In your case, perhaps that's how you differ from the people around you- you're questioning whilst they have that natural stability of "not knowing". If that's the case, i can assure you it turns out fine as you get older, it's just going to be really confusing for a while.

As for feeling every moment passing by, i don't think there's anything wrong with that at all. i think in a very similar way- i'm always seeing my life through the lens of its entire span, not just through the current moment, and while it's sad that moments become memories, that's also part of the great excitement of living. Maybe you struggle with change because it makes it feel like you're progressing through life too fast, but that's not a reason to halt change, it's a reason to embrace it even more. The way i see it, you get a certain amount of time to live your life, and moments are passing you by in every second; so you need to fulfill everything you want to fulfill in your short time here. as i'm writing this, i'm imagining a metaphor of a painting that is piece by piece coming together, and once it's finished there's nothing left to do. Another metaphor that comes to me is when you buy 15 minutes on the bumper cars- do you spend the time going round in the exact same way the whole time? or do you try to get the most out of your time before it runs out.

Another point i would make is that you'll probably come to view change very differently when you're an adult- when you're a teenager, change is forced on you, when you're an adult (at least before you are well into being committed to raising a family) the whole world is your oyster, and it makes you think of change differently. Also, you just generally get more used to it over time.
 
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