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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As INFP's we often suffer from life, buffeted by it as is we were a raft adrift on a stormy sea. The INFP is the most finely tuned personality type of all, but that means that to do well as an INFP requires quite an investment in understanding and application. The INFP is not a turnkey personality which you can just start up and drive away with. We have a user manual and its a long one. An INFP has to become a scientist of self to make the most of what we are.

I am fully aware that everyone's mileage will vary, but I have personally identified a number of key points to look for:

Love yourself. If you do not do anything else, at the very least do this. As an INFP in a worst case situation we might find ourselves in a place where nobody else loves us. We owe it to ourselves to love ourselves. We have the divine right to be loved by ourselves. Do not confuse this with being a narcissist. Genuine and sincere self love is the warp engine that drives our ship.

Sometimes it is difficult to love ourselves, especially if the people around us have taught us the opposite. In such a case it is important to do whatever it takes to fake it until you make it.

There are a number of tools available to do that. The first one is to quite simply make positive daily affirmations for yourself. Praise yourself for everything you do right, no matter how small or tiny you think it is. Also be extremely mindful (see later in this post) of negative self talk. That is lethal to the soul and you have to consciously disengage such thought trains. If you want to learn more about that, see Eckhart Tolle on the pain body.
Another important tool is EFT, the emotional freedom technique, also known as tapping. This will help interrupt faulty thought patterns.

Be mindful. It is important for us to gain a thorough and deep understanding of our own thoughts and feelings. This can only be done by realising that there is a difference between being your thoughts and feelings, and being the observer of your thoughts and feelings. To be mindful is to be in a state of self observation. Mindfulness is achieved not only through meditation but also through real time in-life mindfulness through the means i have described here.

Take good care of your body. Your body is your foundation and if you neglect it, you will pay the price.

The first element of body care is to check your nutrition. Fast food, sugars, coca cola and its ilk, smoking, drinking, party drugs and other vices of the modern world are terrorist attacks on yourself. Often these foods serve merely to fulfil addictive cravings which actually stem from the tremendous hidden energies within our brain. Those energies can be put to much better use than to drown them in toxins.

The second element of body care is exercise. We have to keep the juices flowing. Inaction leads to depression, and depression in turn leads to more inaction. Use it or lose it.

The third element of body care is sleep discipline. If you do not get enough sleep time it will adversely affect you. The road to zombieland is through sleep deprivation.

Keep your frequency high. Throughout the day we are being bombarded with multimedia filth. The main culprits are television (negative news, violence, cheapo entertainment) and violent games. If you think you can safely subject yourself to that bombardment and emerge unscathed, you are tragically mistaken. Quite a few of us feel depressed, or perhaps angry. Much of that depression and anger stems from being imprinted by all this negative input. This input constantly feeds us fear, aggression, violence and a sense of hopelessness in addition to dulling our minds. If you think you are inoculated against that, think again, because you are not and it will affect you negatively.
Instead of watching television or playing a game, it might be an idea to spend some time out in nature.

Do nothing. This will sound odd. But just think how much of the time we are running around looking for things to do? We are trying to plug every gap during our waking hours with frantic activity.
People (not just INFP) are scared of doing nothing. The very last person we want to meet is ourselves. Yet the most important person in our lives is ourselves! Shouldnt we take time out to get to know us?
 

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Hi Pearslug!

I agree!

Sarek has created a concise Opening Post and it would be great if it could be available as a stickie for everyone to get a chance to view it over a reasonably long period of time.

It rocks!
 

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This is amazing advice, but particularly the last tip struck a cord in me.
I do nothing quite a bit, and when people ask me what I did, I don't know what to tell them. They need to hear that I did something substancial in order to be impressed.
I used to feel self-conscious about "doing nothing" because people in the group of people I hung out with pretty much called me boring because of that.

Thank you for these tips.
 

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Hmm, a guide that's helpful at times, destructive at others. I see you're a type 9. So what you wrote makes sense, but...

As INFP's we often suffer from life, buffeted by it as is we were a raft adrift on a stormy sea. The INFP is the most finely tuned personality type of all, but that means that to do well as an INFP requires quite an investment in understanding and application. The INFP is not a turnkey personality which you can just start up and drive away with. We have a user manual and its a long one. An INFP has to become a scientist of self to make the most of what we are.
This sounds extremely like a non-INFP thing to say. There are other personalities that would say the same. I'm thinking some of the extroverts especially and I think INFPs are aware of this.

Love yourself. If you do not do anything else, at the very least do this. As an INFP in a worst case situation we might find ourselves in a place where nobody else loves us. We owe it to ourselves to love ourselves. We have the divine right to be loved by ourselves. Do not confuse this with being a narcissist. Genuine and sincere self love is the warp engine that drives our ship.
This is good what you say, but then you say the following, and we have a problem.

Take good care of your body. Your body is your foundation and if you neglect it, you will pay the price.

The first element of body care is to check your nutrition. Fast food, sugars, coca cola and its ilk, smoking, drinking, party drugs and other vices of the modern world are terrorist attacks on yourself. Often these foods serve merely to fulfil addictive cravings which actually stem from the tremendous hidden energies within our brain. Those energies can be put to much better use than to drown them in toxins.

The second element of body care is exercise. We have to keep the juices flowing. Inaction leads to depression, and depression in turn leads to more inaction. Use it or lose it.

The third element of body care is sleep discipline. If you do not get enough sleep time it will adversely affect you. The road to zombieland is through sleep deprivation.
While I agree on the fact that smoking is bad for you and for others, drugs do the same, and to a certain degree so does drinking, I find myself to completely disagree and I think that a life of strictness is cause for frustration.

I'm talking fast food, cola, some alcohol too. I mean, think about it. You said previously that you should "praise yourself". Well, healthy food is good for your body but fast food, cola or mild alcohol is good for your soul. Don't exaggerate with healthy food and don't exaggerate with fast food. Balance stuff out. Take care of your body and soul. If you go out with a few friends and they want to go eat some fast food but you don't because you're trying to stay healthy, not only will you be the party pooper, you'll also have self frustrations because you don't get to enjoy the experience. What if some friends want to go have a drink? This kind of thinking may be cool on the short term, but on the long term I fear they add sickness to the soul.

I can't argue with sport, it's great, but not to be confused with the gym.

Sleep is very important but I find it hard to get my sleep. I don't know how it feels like to be rested. I always have trouble sleeping due to... thoughts. Maybe others can be more successful than I am at this. I find the silence of the night the best time to think stuff out and meditate.

Keep your frequency high. Throughout the day we are being bombarded with multimedia filth. The main culprits are television (negative news, violence, cheapo entertainment) and violent games. If you think you can safely subject yourself to that bombardment and emerge unscathed, you are tragically mistaken. Quite a few of us feel depressed, or perhaps angry. Much of that depression and anger stems from being imprinted by all this negative input. This input constantly feeds us fear, aggression, violence and a sense of hopelessness in addition to dulling our minds. If you think you are inoculated against that, think again, because you are not and it will affect you negatively.
Instead of watching television or playing a game, it might be an idea to spend some time out in nature.
You know, this is almost like the "eat healthy thing". There is also good television. There are good series, good movies, good music shows, good art shows. Even news are important to see. How do you keep in touch with reality and the events that are happening? You can't freeze your world. You need to filter what's propaganda and what's not. But ignoring TV is close to doing more harm and disconnected from the daily than good. I'd say be selective with what you watch, but don't ignore daily stuff.

Do nothing. This will sound odd. But just think how much of the time we are running around looking for things to do? We are trying to plug every gap during our waking hours with frantic activity.
People (not just INFP) are scared of doing nothing. The very last person we want to meet is ourselves. Yet the most important person in our lives is ourselves! Shouldnt we take time out to get to know us?
I'm going to play the ENTP role here and say that doing nothing is doing something. Even if you're just sitting around, you're still doing something, you're relaxing. If you meant by "not trying to achieve something" then that is acceptable. Be lazy from time to time. That's when inspiration arrives for me, when I have no targets, no goals on the check list.

Sorry if I came in and bombarded your post, I just think balance makes people better and much more genuinely good on the long run than forced and strict self discipline that is a potential for frustration, my INFJ ways could not help it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This sounds extremely like a non-INFP thing to say. There are other personalities that would say the same. I'm thinking some of the extroverts especially and I think INFPs are aware of this.
Of course, though this one is tailored for INFP's, it might as easily apply to any xNxx. Although perhaps certain elements would be less applicable to xxxJ's as you have personally demonstrated.
I have been in the position of comparing INFP's with INFJ's directly and I can tell you that there are major differences which will make parts of what I wrote less suitable for you than it is for most INFP's.


While I agree on the fact that smoking is bad for you and for others, drugs do the same, and to a certain degree so does drinking, I find myself to completely disagree and I think that a life of strictness is cause for frustration.

I'm talking fast food, cola, some alcohol too. I mean, think about it. You said previously that you should "praise yourself". Well, healthy food is good for your body but fast food, cola or mild alcohol is good for your soul. Don't exaggerate with healthy food and don't exaggerate with fast food. Balance stuff out. Take care of your body and soul. If you go out with a few friends and they want to go eat some fast food but you don't because you're trying to stay healthy, not only will you be the party pooper, you'll also have self frustrations because you don't get to enjoy the experience. What if some friends want to go have a drink? This kind of thinking may be cool on the short term, but on the long term I fear they add sickness to the soul.
I am not talking strictness. I am talking common sense. There is nothing wrong with enjoying oneself, but there definitely is something wrong with over indulging and poisoning oneself. Optimally, one might learn to listen to one's own body, but many people have forgotten how to do that. A great many modern foods and drinks have strong addictive properties in addition to being toxic.

I can't argue with sport, it's great, but not to be confused with the gym.
Not too much sport is actually needed, and you dont need a gym either. A good proportion of strength building, endurance and aerobic exercise modi will do fine. Again, dont overdo it.

Sleep is very important but I find it hard to get my sleep. I don't know how it feels like to be rested. I always have trouble sleeping due to... thoughts. Maybe others can be more successful than I am at this. I find the silence of the night the best time to think stuff out and meditate.
If you have a problem with thoughts, then mindful self observation is especially useful to you. Through it you can learn to live in the now without being a victim of your own random thoughts.

BTW thinking is not the same as meditating.


You know, this is almost like the "eat healthy thing". There is also good television. There are good series, good movies, good music shows, good art shows. Even news are important to see. How do you keep in touch with reality and the events that are happening? You can't freeze your world. You need to filter what's propaganda and what's not. But ignoring TV is close to doing more harm and disconnected from the daily than good. I'd say be selective with what you watch, but don't ignore daily stuff.
Total isolation might not be good, but I strongly feel that media consumption is best heavily reduced.
If you subject yourself to the daily stuff you will be receiving heavily biased information which will give you a very one sided view of what is actually happening in the world. Mainstream journalism is biased towards negativity and is also otherwise almost never objective. Yet more important is what they are not telling you about all the positive changes that are happening in our world.
 
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I think some good advice for INFPs, although cliché as hell, is to be positive. I think with Fi/Ne it is veery easy to go tumbling down in a negative spiral, with each negative idea/thought more sweeping and extreme than the last, and sometimes just focusing on a very small positive, anything you can think of can disrupt the negative cycle in a good way.

Just my little add on take it or leave it :)
 

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Thank you Pearslug.

It is such a good point that you have shown, in finding something positive.

We should do that not just for ourselves, but also when we respond to the trouble that others have taken to help us out by sharing with us. Find something positive to comment on, no matter what else we want to disagree with. INFPs need that kind of consideration. Are we naturally considerate people I wonder?

:happy:
 
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This is not so different what therapists used to tell me. However, I am in such state of mind when this is so hard to do. It seems like a blockage of not said, repressed emotions especially anger that is eating my body. Not doing anything brings a lot of guilt and shame, and I can do it only for limited amount of time. Reality kicks in so fast. Sarcasm and cynicism is not hatred of others, it is hatred of oneself. My repressed anger is coming out, and I hurt myself most in that process. I am like those comedians who with a straight and non emotional face can put themselves down so easily that everyone else could laugh their hearts out except me. One example, which INFP cannot cry easily? Who - me.

I still need more evidence to establish a belief in EFT. I know one practitioner who saw me for other purposes and told me that I would benefit from it. He is a least 1.5 hours of travel from my city, and of course an insurance will not cover it. At least my bloody HMO crap that is still rather expensive. Here is the link to the list of certified practitioners (there are some all over the world) EFT Universe - Tapping Emotional Freedom Techniques | Certified EFT Practitioners

I found this link maybe some of those 76 users who browsing (73 unseen) this thread know more about it.

That being said, I FEEL THAT YOUR ADVICE IS THE RIGHT ONE. I need to find a way "when" I am actually willing to do this for myself.

The great problem is that I am so future oriented that now does not matter. The past destroyed my younger self and the future is frightening. I live too much in my head to enjoy anything now.

ART IS GREAT WAY TO EXPRESS ONESELF - YOUR PAIN IF YOU WANT TO ENCOMPASS INTO IT WRITING AND PAINTING OR ANY OTHER KIND OF SELF-EXPRESSION- I cannot do this either.

Here is some Chopin music as my gift to you.
 

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Thank you sarek. i appreciate the jist of what you're saying. Since INFPs are so self-aware we probably know what we need to do to keep ourselves healthy. But, it's nice be reminded that we can feel better by actively doing certain things and avoiding other behaviors. Also, it's wonderful that you care enough to post this toolkit for your fellow INFPs. :happy:
 

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Your post is so relevant to the changes that are happening in me. I've come to realise more intensely that a lot of things i have i don't need, and this movement came from listening to my feelings and not trying to fight or replace them. Its a strange feeling throwing things out when everyone in your vicinity seem to be throwing things in. I think the events that are unfolding could be described as a calling, although i am reluctant to give this thought food because i'm well aware of the insane connotations that phrase has. I guess this is the defining line that separates myself and confidence. What scares me is that once crossed i'd have no where to look but my dreams, and I've done nothing but dream for a long time. Anyway i digress, thanks for sharing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Its a strange feeling throwing things out when everyone in your vicinity seem to be throwing things in. I think the events that are unfolding could be described as a calling, although i am reluctant to give this thought food because i'm well aware of the insane connotations that phrase has. I guess this is the defining line that separates myself and confidence. What scares me is that once crossed i'd have no where to look but my dreams, and I've done nothing but dream for a long time.
What is so insane about a calling? Intuition is every bit as real, is in fact even more real than the physical world around us. Intuition, what you perceive as a calling, is your divine self talking to you.
 

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This is amazing advice, but particularly the last tip struck a cord in me.
I do nothing quite a bit, and when people ask me what I did, I don't know what to tell them. They need to hear that I did something substancial in order to be impressed.
I used to feel self-conscious about "doing nothing" because people in the group of people I hung out with pretty much called me boring because of that.

Thank you for these tips.
I totally get this. I'm honestly happiest when I'm alone and doing nothing. The people around me though...they call me lazy when I do nothing. Sometimes it is laziness...sometimes I'm truly trying to relax my mind, body, and soul.
 
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