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Discussion Starter #1
Not an INFJ thing (unless i completely missed it but I don't think I did)

So... I am on a mission to understand who exactly I am... Strange I know it seems like a fairly basic and simple premise but I'm finding it very hard to do. I know who I am as in my general identity but I feel confused? I'm not wishywashy, I don't do things that I don't agree with or don't enjoy (not to say that I wont try new things because I do and I enjoy doing so.)

I just don't feel a strong sense of self. So how do I begin to get to that place? :confused:
 

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Sometimes having no sense of self shows that you have a stronger sense of self than everybody else.
For instance, I do not have confidence. I do not think "I can't do this" or "I will do this", rather "this needs to get done" or "this can wait". I also do not know what I want besides the ending of everybody else's senseless suffering. I'm also striving to become a chef or baker not just because I like the chemistry behind it, but more so to help others feel better with what they eat or to spread positive emotion through food. Also, when talking about myself it isn't always because I want to, but is mostly by giving an example or to share with others what I did so that I can communicate with others since that is what they do. I do not live for myself, but for everybody else, as I would otherwise have no purpose of existing and, while doing all of this for others, my sense of self is strong because I know that I am set.
If you truly need to, meditate and delve within the self.
 

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Start asking yourself questions and reflect upon what you answer. The only person who knows you the best is yourself

Here are some suggestions.
What do I care about?
What makes me happy?
Am I really satisfied with my life right now?
What do I believe in? (Can be spiritual or any moral questions in your life)
What is my stance on this? (Political topics and questions about how the world works can reveal a lot about how you react to different scenarios)
Who do I care/love and who does in return?
What do I really want to do for the rest of my life? (Very difficult to answer in my opinion)
What am I proud of?
Do I have any special skills I'm good at? (singing, drawing, writing, etc.)
If I could change the world/future/past I would...
If I was in a life or death scenario (bomb threat, murderer, you sacrificing yourself for someone else, etc) How would I react? (This one is a bit morbid haha!)
What makes me angry/passionate about something?
What are my fears?
What am I good at?
What past events in my life that shaped me into the person I am today?
What do I want to change/improve on myself?

Sorry that the questions are vague but you can break the questions down and build yourself up.

Finding a sense of yourself takes a long time, so don't worry if you can't figure yourself out very quickly. It takes time and effort to really look inside and see who YOU are, and not what what other people expect to see of you. We all change and grow constantly, and you are heading in the right direction by asking for help about yourself. :)

Also, never stop asking questions, always be curious, and find what you are looking for. It won't be easy sometimes, but it will pay off in the end.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
@flicker099 thanks that is a good starting point... I think you pointed out one of my bigger challenges- what other people expect me to be. I've been working on not caring about that for a while now and I have to admit it feels kind of nice! (not to say i don't get caught up every now and again)
 

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@flicker099 thanks that is a good starting point... I think you pointed out one of my bigger challenges- what other people expect me to be. I've been working on not caring about that for a while now and I have to admit it feels kind of nice! (not to say i don't get caught up every now and again)
If it helps, I find I'm more aware of who I am when I'm not around any people. When other people are involved, there's always some degree of molding and shifting of my persona to fit how they expect me to be (even if I'm not interacting with them...I could be passing total strangers on the street). But when everyone's gone, I'm a slightly different person than I was when they were there. And I find that this person I return to is consistent enough to represent my core consciousness. (Meaning, the crap I'm able to be aware of easily enough.)

Understanding your whole self is also a life-long endeavor. Mostly because you're only conscious of a very SMALL portion of your active personality. There's a whole chunk of yourself that you don't see, but other people do--in snippets. What I mean is that there are things that are expressed in body language and nuances in your tone of voice and behavior that it would be almost impossible to become aware of on a regular basis. The things that peek out from behind the corners in your head and make faces at the world are also a part of the whole you. So, understanding those parts of you simply takes a VERY long time, because the small glimpses you DO become aware of are few and far between. Hence, it's a life-long effort to compile all of those little pieces into an understanding the whole self. Or really, most of the whole self. (I'm not sure that anyone can become completely self-aware.)
 

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I don't mean to say you shouldn't stop caring about others. I mean you shouldn't let others' opinions control you. It is alright to care about others, but don't let it take over you.

I am too easily influenced by others and can be extremely flexible in order to cater to their needs first. But I should make myself and my needs a top priority. It is all about balance. Don't completely disregard yourself for the sake of others and/or don't completely disregard others completely for the sake of yourself.

As INFJs we would probably explode if we stopped caring about others haha!

Just do whatever feels right to you :)
 

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I feel most like myself when I have only my thoughts as company. Where I don't get automatically cast into a certain role, whichever role is needed. Being with people makes me behave in ways that I sometimes never consciously intend. I am merely there to act out my part, and I feel removed from me.

If your mission is the same as mine, then I'd have to say it probably will never be fully accomplished. Which I think is a really good thing. I have something to do for my entire life. Come to think of it, this is probably one of my biggest sources of internal/self motivation. Some fuel that burns both inside and outside, propelling me into life.
 
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I still don't have a real answer to that for myself.....

I stopped trying when I couldn't figure out what defines "who we are"

now I just am what I am, even if who I seem to be changes all the time, I know that just because I tend to act differently with different people "blending in" doesn't mean I am "changing" it just means that I could be content with many different ways of life.

I find it easier to let my self be, don't let it concern me, I feel a lot better that way....I also kinda feel like I know myself better when I'm not worrying about who am I?
 

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I don't think there is an answer to this either, but why don't you instead ask "who do I want to be?". I think the answer to that question will tell you a lot about who you are, because it highlights what you see as valuable to strive for in your life. Also, if the person you want to be is far from who you are today, you can make a plan to get closer to your ideals.
 

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I don't have any answers for you, but I think noone truely 'knows' themselves completely. When dealing with situations around you and the people in it you will be continued to be amazed by what you will sometimes do or think. For me understanding why I have some thoughts at sudden moments feels like getting to know myself better. Maybe that will help you a bit?
A more practical advice I can give you is to look at the Enneagrams. for the short time I am hanging around on this forum I feel that is more connected to who you are then the personality tests.
 

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Not an INFJ thing (unless i completely missed it but I don't think I did)

So... I am on a mission to understand who exactly I am... Strange I know it seems like a fairly basic and simple premise but I'm finding it very hard to do. I know who I am as in my general identity but I feel confused? I'm not wishywashy, I don't do things that I don't agree with or don't enjoy (not to say that I wont try new things because I do and I enjoy doing so.)

I just don't feel a strong sense of self. So how do I begin to get to that place? :confused:
@abysmalbeauty Hi

There was another thread recently on this kind of issue http://personalitycafe.com/infj-forum-protectors/95897-do-you-know-who-you.html so you may benefit from reading through that.

Am talking here without much knowledge (and "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing") but my impression is that a person's sense of self stems from his/her upbringing, especially the relationship with his/her primary caregiver (usually the mother, of course). A psychologist, John Bowlby, talked about different types of attachment between mother and baby. Most desirable is secure attachment and from this, I believe, flows a strong sense of self in the baby/child which will probably endure throughout life. Bowlby also identified various inferior types of attachment and from these I think you tend to end up with a weaker sense of self.

I wonder how you'd describe your relationship, as a baby/child, with your mother and/or father? Only if you're comfortable saying of course.
 
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who are you? maybe you are a type 4, @abysmalbeauty . :)

ask yourself...

1. what would bother me the most, if i came to the end of my life and had not accomplished this?
2. what bothers me the most in life, when it happens?
3. what makes me feel the most fulfilled in life, when i am involved in it, when i have it, or when it happens?
4. what would make me the most upset, if i lost it, it never happened, or i could not get involved in it?
5. when you look to ideas to help you make decisions, what ideas do you look to?

when you answer these questions you will have some idea who you are, because we are defined inwardly by what directs us in life. ultimately, whether we are conscious of it or not, what directs us is that which we love, that which we hate, and those ideas we believe - we aim towards what we genuinely love (not what we theorize that we love) and attempt to avoid what we genuinely hate, we allow our ideas to be the premises from which we logically deduce the right thing to do in each situation. that is, what directs us guides our decisions. the decisions we make determine not only who we are, but who we will become. so, what directs us not only is what we are, but what we will become. so, to find who we are, we have to figure out what we value the most (that is, love) in life, and that which makes us the most miserable in life (that is, what we hate), and what ideas are involved in our decisionmaking...

a study of your enneagram type will lead you in a lot of self-discovery in this regard. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
@flicker099 I do understand what you mean, i don't think I could ever give up caring about people as people, that goes against what I believe in completely and I would surely die or end up institutionalized.

@GoodOldDreamer that would make me a tortilla chip... a tasty one!

@Mary Magee would it surprise you to hear that part of what makes me ask this question is another person? I'm told by my therapist that I spend too much time pretending to be who I am not to the point that I don't know who I am anymore.... go figure i'm doing it again I suppose!

@bellisaurius I think you are also right on track- I absolutely KNOW who I am not and that is a good indicator of who I might be...

@Coil Yes I often review my actions against my personal goals to ensure I am not going off track from the type of life I want to live

@SeektheTruth im not going to lie, my thoughts baffle me... I cannot comprehend why I think some of the things I do and I often wish I did not think them at all

@Zech that would absolutely play a profound role if that is the case considering my father abandoned me at a young age (literally) and my mother while she was physically there did nothing but break my trust and mentally batter me until I could no longer take it and broke away from her completely as well... So no I did not have strong or stable parent figures growing up and I don't have parents at all now.

@emerald sea At this time in my life only one thing is important to me and that is my son. Every decision I make is based on what I feel is good for him, every true fear I have is regarding his well being and every thing I aspire to is to allow me to provide for him, and be the mother he deserves to have. I don't believe in many things spiritually but the one I do believe whole heartedly is that I was destined to meet him and he was blessed to be brought into the world as my son and not someone else's.

Also I do believe I am type 4 but I have not had the time yet to look into the result fully.
 

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*quietly resists the urge to equate tasty food with people in an obviously inappropriate manner*

It's a good thing we have time to think out our potential posts. :wink: :laughing:
 

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@abysmalbeauty

I have taken somewhat of a deconstructive approach, with the same idea of figuring out what I am not.

The answers to questions like these are a starting point, but when you suspect the answers have underlying motives or sources, you must ask why, and what they are - where it all came from - to deconstruct what in them is not you. Sometimes this can lead to deeper and deeper answers, more questions, or even an outright dismissal of something as "just not you".

The process is long and highly individualistic, and opens deeper rabbit holes.
 
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