INFPs Never Grow Up

Fairy

I will never grow up.

I think I’ll always be a kid. Deep down, I am still trapped between the pages of the fantasy books I read as a child, crystallised in time. No matter if I end up having a family, getting a job and shouldering grown-up responsibilities, one of the fundamental reasons I feel so different from people is because I will never grow up.

Rather like Peter Pan, only without a Neverland to return to. Is that how it is, with most INFPs? Or perhaps it is just me. Look: I only have interest in delight and magic and wonder and fantasy. That is all I care for. The world, with its problems, its racist and prejudiced people, politics, stocks, shares, laws and legislation – all of that, though important, is a tremendous bore. I react to all of it as would a six or seven-year-old child. In other words, all that feels like a big, stately study-room in the house that awes and intimidates me, with its smell of leather and sophistication, but which I have no interest in occupying, not with the nursery a few paces down the corridor.

This inherent childishness is the source of my idealism. Through my childish lenses, the problems of the world seem silly. Why can’t people just have fun with each other? Why must we hoard all of our toys? Sharing makes the game more fun! Oh, look, that creature is hurting. Poor thing, let’s go see if we can comfort it and make it smile so it can get up and play once more. Are you sad? Here, I’ll give you a cookie and let you play with my teddy bear. I’ll even make it talk for you.

Sure, I know that ‘that’s not how the world works’ and ‘life is hard’ and ‘bad people succeed’ and all that ‘realistic’ stuff. Children can be aware of that, too. But they know it distantly. They do not make it the core of their thoughts. All that negativity, that harsh reality, takes a backseat to fun and games and magic and play.

No wonder so many of us INFPs might be at odds with the world around us. We truly are children masquerading as adults, playing dress-up, giggling behind our masks at everyone else’s serious faces. I play. When I’m alone, I’m ridiculously childish. I can’t stand formality, or prissy people. I can’t stand authority. I’m just kid. I want other people to be happy, I want to care for animals, I want to read and imagine.

Growing-up is overrated. Inappropriate thought it might be, I laugh at the stresses people place on themselves over random pieces of paper and numbers in a bank account. It seems all wrong, to stray so far from what the core of life is. Trafficking humans, hiding from the police, killing others, smuggling goods – all that feels wrong, like children who are hurting because they’ve been pushed into the adult world, of indiscipline gone out of control. Some adults need a good time-out session, and I only wish there was some universal parent to enact some order. Teach them to do good things, right things.

Nothing gives me more joy than contemplating being by myself in an enormous library with high ceilings and wooden walls and shelves upon shelves of books. I will sit in the corner, on a pile of cushions, and devour one book after the other. That is childhood, for me. That is happiness. To be away, far away, to fly to other lands and worlds, because they still seem more real and true than the one that exists outside my front door.

Peter Pan may never come knocking on my window, but I can create my own Neverland, here in the real world, whether through reading or imagining or writing or watching movies. Any living that I do outside of these things is a sham. It is a wrongness. It is not life.

And so I dream.

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8 thoughts on “INFPs Never Grow Up

  1. Once again, I am in awe of your writing abilities. Lovely post! ♥

    Anyway, I was wondering if you have any book recommendations for me, as I haven’t found a good book in a while. Thanks to your blog, though, I’ve read The Art of War and The Bell Jar and biographies about Nietzsche.

    P.S. My favorite book is The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde, and I highly recommend you read it, if you haven’t already. Also, Oscar Wilde is supposed to be an ENFP. 🙂

    ~A DREAMER~

    • I adore The Picture of Dorian Gray as well! It is so lovely. As to any book recommendations. Well, I recommend the children’s classics, like the Little Princess and The Secret Garden. Those are both lovely. Have you read any of Enid Blyton’s works? They’re wildly imaginative. I adored them when I was younger. As to any “adult” books, I tend to go for any strange fantasy or sci-fi. 🙂

  2. Hi, I don’t know how to get ahold of you other than this blog, but I just wanted to let you know that I am leaving…not because of you, but because of me. You are intelligent, wonderful, a true inspiration, but I am just way to negative, I am in such a bad place, I think some of my more negative comments have brought you way down. Mostly I lurk, but sometimes I just get the urge to type something, and I just typed something today, and went to see if my comment from yesterday was here, and it was deleted. I understand 100 percent, I would have deleted it also. Please feel free to delete this too (In fact, I insist you do). I’m sorry…I have mentioned before that I am more of a Kurt Cobain-like INFP, struggling through life, than say a Hans Christian Andersen-like INFP, full of child like joy. I don’t want to bring the party down anymore.

    Much luck, keep on writing, loving and being you. You are quite awesome.

    Love,

    Carson

    • Oh, please, I don’t recall any negative comment from you! And even if it was, I would never delete it. Did I miss it, by any chance? I don’t why this keeps happening. Someone else also asked if I had deleted and ignored their comment when I didn’t come across it at all. You are an inspiration, too, and from your comments a lovely, sweet person. I completely respect your decision, but please know that this comment business is a misunderstanding. 😦 I don’t know how it happened, but I’m always afraid I’ll miss or overlook a comment, so I’ll try to be more meticulous.

  3. This was so true it almost made me cry!! :’)
    I wish I could write as good as you. Everything you write is so lyrical and poetic and beautiful.
    And sorry for being so super late. I hadn’t read your blog in a while and I wanted to go through your previous posts. I’ve commented before, a long time ago, but you probably don’t remember me.
    Keep writing and keep fighting! We INFPs may have it harder but we can show the world that we will thrive, and live life however we want to live it. Screw the rules of society.

    • Thank you – I’m so glad you liked it. You keep fighting too. ❤ Indeed: stuff them. We shall do our own thing. It's not like anything matters or anyone cares in the end.

  4. Many adults cling to their grown up costumes like a security blanket. Many of them are so insecure that they shout to the other dressed up adults about how grown up they are. Under all that is a scared little child hiding inside.

    My grown up costume isn’t very good. I feel it is flimsy at best. I just put mine on to function among the other adults, and lot of the times parts of it fall off.

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