It Is Hard Being An INFP

 

It Is Hard Being An INFP

*Here is a book I wrote for INFPs.

Okay.

It is hard being an INFP (Check out the Myer-Briggs Personality Test if these four letters mean as much to you as leaves at the bottom of a teacup).

I mean REALLY hard.

Every day I feel like I am actually an alien masquerading as a human.

INFPs should live and be nurtured in a magical, ethereal land (see above image) where dreamers are appreciated, not trapped in the bell jar of reality. It may be fine for other people but it suffocates our souls.

Gah. It’s so hard to explain the torment. It’s like you’re on an entirely different wavelength from everyone else around you. And I don’t mean INFPs on are on a more intellectually or morally superior level. No, we’re just different from the norm. A little unconventional. And we know how much society hates that, don’t we?

When other people chase after money, INFPs look for passion, fulfillment and meaning. No, seriously. If money wasn’t needed for basic necessities such as food, we couldn’t give a damn about it. I can’t understand this consumer driven society. It’s just stuff. It’s just money. Just why is it so important to people? Mentioning this in public is not the best idea. I get sneered at for being unrealistic. And the conflict between passion and money is a never-ending war inside of me… Things like fame and money entice people enough to make them chase after them all their lives…and then on their deathbed they realize their hands and hearts are empty.

I’m also so sensitive I’m unsuitable for existence. One wrong word cuts me to the bone and I will mull over it miserably for days on end. I hate conflict so much that after going through one I feel like I’ve run a marathon. I just hurt so easily, there’s no emotional skin. I blush, I blunder, I make a fool out of myself and I can feeling the judging stares burn into my skin.

I care so much it hurts. I care so much I use up energy involuntarily. I try not to think about people or animals who are suffering not because I’m heartless but because it makes my chest tighten with agonizing empathy.

Whenever I talk to people, it’s like there is always this barrier. Always. Everyone else seem so carefree, like they belong, the words flowing out of their mouths with ease but me…I have to fake my way through it. No one around me wants to talk about the things I want to: death, existence, love, humanity, how insignificant Earth is, how the universe is so large it’s frightening, why we are here on this earth anyway and whether it all means anything. It’s too ‘morbid’ for light conversation and people just prevaricate my philosophical questions to go talk about the latest movies or whatever.

I can read people relatively well. I can tell which people are genuine and goodhearted, which are artificial and selfish. I can see through people’s masks. But no one else seems to see it. I knew this girl who was so artificial and arrogant when I was in school. But everyone loved her and thought her to be brilliant. No one saw through the façade. I felt like such an outsider, like I was seeing a ghost no one else saw.

I’m not an efficient person. My table is a mess. I never remember to wash dishes. I forget things. I’m always at the butt end of jokes because of this, that ‘scatter-brained’ person who is eccentric and can’t do anything properly.

When it’s one of those days where I’m engulfed with the meaninglessness of existence and slightly gloomy, I’m labeled as being depressed and pessimistic. I’m told to see the ‘silver lining’ and to be happy and jolly and optimistic and all smiles and gapped teeth. As if you’re defective if you aren’t happy-go-lucky most of the time.

I just have all these ideals and dreams and they’re like fragile glass windows through which I see the world. And life shatters them and I become jaded and cynical.

I think about existence and life and other deep topics which are not socially acceptable to voice and the burden of all this pondering weighs upon me every day.

Books and writing and creativity are my life blood. They pump me with feeling and energy to live another day in the real world.

I don’t know where I’m going with this post. I just can’t seem to put into words this feeling of being isolated and different, like no one understands. I’ve been to psychologists who have been nice enough but once I voice my concerns about death or something and they smile at me with only their mouths, I know I’m talking to the wrong person.

I don’t know. It’s just hard. I don’t know what else to say. People don’t know what it’s like sometimes unless they’re in an INFP’s shoes. It’s like the world is full of robust butterflies and among them are these tiny little white moths who are the INFPs and they are batted and bruised and pushed this way and that by the butterflies and the wind and life forever and ever.

I don’t know what else to say. So I think I’ll just stop now. This is probably a horribly boring and aimless post. I’m sorry.

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367 thoughts on “It Is Hard Being An INFP

  1. thank you so much for this post! I was feeling really bad because it seems like none of my friends really gets me completely and I was wondering if anywhere someone felt the same way as I do…founding this post and all the comments from INFPs all over the world gave me strenght. Life as an INFP can be pretty hard but I’m sure all of us, one way or another, will figure this out! 🙂

    -Italian INFP teenager

  2. Hi, i like your writing. I really know that feelings, i thought only me whom feel those feelings. Have a nice day 😀

  3. The end spoke to me…. even after spilling our feelings, hoping for reciprocity…or even a basic level of interest or understanding… we just end up apologizing.

    Beautiful.

    Thank you for sharing!

  4. You sound like a very deep and interesting person. You’re definitely not alone on feeling like an outcast, I feel like that sometimes. This is my experience as an INFP:

    Working with a lot of different people has helped me relate to people a lot better. I realised that loads of other people have such interesting insights once you use small talk to segue into deeper conversations. I’m still pretty closed wrapped in my own thoughts but I’m more aware of it now. Sometimes I feel lonley but I just make effort to reach out to my friends amd ensure they don’t feel lonely either.

    Contrary to your post, I’m generally not sensitive and have very thick skin. Possibly to do with my upbringing. I very very rarely give away my feelings though. Only when I’m very drained, low, and insecure do I get sensitive about little things. But generally, I easily brush things off and let them deal with their own spitefulness with whatever insecurities they have.

    Like you, I am naturally messy and have a hard time maintaining things, but as I’ve got older (24), I am more able to keep things tidy and minimal. Especially as clutter stresses me.

    Money wise, I am not chasing after it. Completely with you on that! Empty hand and heart is spot on. Material things for show don’t interest me. I need practical things – and food. I do however save my money very well as I’m not frivolous with it. I always have in mind to save it for something I value like study, travel, future housing, and neccesities.

    That’s great you can read people well. That is a really important skill. I’ve not been great at that which has lead me to bad experiences. But through those i’ve got far better. I can easily read people interacting with each other. But when interacting with me, I suddenly can’t tell. So I rely on watchimg people before they talk with me.

    Finding out recently I was an INFP has clarified a lot about myself – now I realise I’m not alone! Also I realise that perhaps I am the one to bring another introvert into the ‘understanding sphere’ rather than wait around for someone to get me. If that makes sense. I’m thinking nowadays that all these INFP drawbacks can be worked on with time, effort, and maturity. I’ve come far but have a long way to go.

    All the best. 🙂

    • Thank you, and, phew, that was a long comment! Thank you, so much, for your compliments, and for understanding what it is like to be an INFP, and a human being, on such a deep level.
      I wish I could say the same, that other people have excellent insights, and while that is true, most of the time, when I talk about the environment, or animal cruelty, I begin to not understand other people a little bit, because they seem so easily to excuse what seems to be such evil and damaging acts. But that’s just me.
      It’s wonderful that you have such thick skin. I think that’s a wonderful trait to have, and am very jealous.
      As for money—I’m so glad you share the same views! I am exactly the same: don’t have much money, but do save it up, very well, and use it to pay for necessities and housing. As I am still quite young, I haven’t gotten enough money to travel or do other things, like give money away to charities, yet; but that day is coming, I’m sure of it.
      That’s very interesting, how your brain works. I’ve never experienced that—the closer I am to someone, the better I can read them (and I hope you don’t consider that bragging; I do hate people that brag, and would be very sad if you thought I was doing that). Anyway. Sorry for this terrible ramble. Ah, look at me, apologising again!
      I just really loved your interesting and insightful comment, I really did. xx Take care. Have a Merry Christmas. Thank you.

  5. Thankyou so much for writing this! I am also an infp and I often feel alienated in this world. People think I’m dumb, but I really feel that’s not true. I just exhaust my mind with all this internal conflict to the point where I have a hard time processing what other people are telling me. Again, thanks for making me not feel alone.

  6. Holy shit! As an INFP woman who similarly feels disconnected with the world, you described me to a T. Though, I feel much more of an outcast because I’m one of the minority INFPs who are into math and science. I do not have a natural flair for languages or the arts and I’m hardly creative. The only thing I’m creative at is overthinking the 100 different ways a possible situation could go wrong and worry about it. But that’s just my anxiety. Sighs.

    • Haha! I can relate! Anxiety is totally the worst, the absolute worst. It’s amazing that you’re into the maths and sciences—that is very unusual for an INFP! I think you might be a little more T (or thinking) dominated than most INFPs, but, that’s okay, you’re still here, you’re one of us! Welcome to the club: it’s close-knit one, and we all like to comfort one another. xx

  7. I agree with most what you say but I’m worried about what you say “I’m labelled as being depressed and pessimistic”
    I thought you were a woman with faith and you should have a supernatural vision about vision. It is the only way to change that pessimistic nature. Perhaps, you are too young yet. I use to be that pessimistic too but I improved it through prayer and spiritual books. Then you learn that nothing is for worse, all it for the better even those things that seem to be awful.
    You must understand that our lives are like a movie, and you only see this scent but God knows the whole movie. What is happening now is making you ready for what is coming next.
    I think that we introverts, once we nurture & develop our spiritual side are very good realising this supernatural vision which helps us to know the way and to help others along the path with our special sensitivity, patience, listening and care for others.
    You have born to help others, that is why God has given you your introverted nature.
    So thank God how you are and let others benefit from it.
    Happy New Year & allow me to wish you that you could feel something for someone special and cuddle together on the couch under a blanket watching your favourite movies and series on TV and collecting music and books together.
    A hug,
    Marta

    • Thank you. I have no words for how beautiful and kind a person you are; thank you so much for your care, and concern. I used to be a very pessimistic person, but, after gaining more understanding of life, I do believe, exactly as you say, that there is a greater purpose in life, no matter how evil things may seem. I think you are such a wonderful person. Thank you for writing, and I hope you have an absolutely wonderful year. x

      • I hope you a wonderful year too.
        Knowing how young you are, I envy you, for the knowledge you already have about yourself at your age. I wish I would know about my personality and temperament at your age. We didn’t have so much information on the internet and I couldn’t read in English. We didn’t know where to find information about what worried us.
        Now, I think that if I had had the knowledge I have now I would avoid so many mistakes. I would choose an art or humanity career. Perhaps, we more confidence I would be able to have a stable relationship with a soul-mate or at least I would be able to contact people like you and me.
        So, don’t be pessimistic, you have tools & people we, introvert, didn’t have before. And overall you are so young, that even if you make mistakes you have time enough still to learn and amend things.
        A hug.

      • Thank you. But I think, even though you may be older than me, that it is never too late to make some changes in your life, and switch from one career to another, or start dating, so, please, don’t feel the slightest bit unhappy about it—you still have plenty of time! Even if it just means indulging in more artistic passions as a hobby, any kind of work towards your goals is good. I really wish you a wonderful year, and a great life.Hug. ❤

  8. Firstly, this is beyond an aimless post. Writing these words are forever needed to be read by other INFPs in the world so we know others like ourselves exist. So we don’t feel so alien like in this world. Absolutely eloquently written. You have captured all the floating thoughts in my head I have of myself so accurately in one post. Keep writing this stuff down. It matters more than you know ♥️

    • I am! I just wrote another one, and I keep doing what I do because I know thousands of people like you exist, who might be positively impacted by my small posts. I hope you know you are never alone—and that to dream, is to live. Take care. ❤ ❤

  9. I think we’re the butterflies, love- the best things in life are hard. Love, kids, achievement. Our life is harder, and all the more gorgeous when we stick it out. ❤️

  10. I felt everything you wrote. Thank you for posting. I don’t feel quite as alone now. You are not alone. I’ve been trying to find words to describe my personality type and this pretty much sums it up.. it’s lonely sometimes even when surrounded by people. Sending much love and good vibes your way. thank you again.

    • You’re very welcome! I hope that you know you are never alone, not for one minute. I recently wrote another post about dreamers (or INFPs), and I think you would like it. Take care. x Remember—keep dreaming, because we need to keep living on stardust and moonlight.

  11. You’re not alone fellow infp. I’m an overthinker so I would usually talk myself out of posting this, but it’s good to feel that you’re not alone. Im just learning to embrace my uniqueness and it’s a really interesting experience. I find myself observing things and thinking about those deep questions and I don’t really feel weird about it anymore. Good luck on your journey , this post really is inspirational.

  12. INFPs unite! We are the spiritual guides and the healers that help others find deeper meaning, connection and joy. The world needs us! Yes, we will be made fun of by those who thrive on shallow systems. We can even have compassion for those who hurt us, knowing they are hurting themselves in the process. It can be exhausting to process so much on a daily basis and have so little to show for it: dishes, bills, jobs, bah! Our work is largely in the spiritual realm.

  13. Wow….so I’m not alone? I wish all the INFPs could meet one day at a beautiful place…with a lot of good books to read of course. Hehe 😉

    • Same here! Well, not really—but, even though I know there are infps where I live, I haven’t been able to meet any yet. It seems we’re all scattered everywhere, daydreaming inside our rooms with books and things.

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