5 Ways INFPs Can Survive in the Real World

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Ah, you have to admit, it’s rather hard being an INFP, because we’re sometimes such pretty, little, adorable fairies who can’t wrap our heads around the logic and ways of this world, who find ourselves lost and tripping over the undergrowth while everyone else leaps and bounds ahead of us through the woods (and it’s an awful feeling, being left behind). The real world, for the INFP, is incomprehensible and strange, full of savings accounts and intricate economies that seem faraway, unreal and headache-inducing.

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“The Kingdom of God” Written by An INFP

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There’s something merciless about logical people. It’s something to do with the way they narrow everything down to quantities, to prices, to whether or not it makes sense or not to cut this person out of the equation, or to keep them, or to maintain this friendship or that one. There’s something about logic that’s incredibly irritating, which leaves no room for the heart or for good things like honesty and mercy, and instead boils it all down to numbers, figures and pros and cons.

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An INFP’s Friends’ Personality Types

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INFPs are quite interesting people. If you’ve read my last post you’ll know that INFPs can be just as crabby and irritable as the next person sometimes and that we’re not all airy-fairy angels out to heal the poor, sick and wounded (in fact, sometimes, we can be rabid fairies, out to bite people rather than help them). But we are, after all, also some of the sweetest, kindest people on the planet, and our friends generally do reflect this, although sometimes we pick up an unhealthy friend or two along the way, which, if we’re healthy ourselves, we quickly learn to cut ties with because they’re poisonous and toxic and not good for anyone.

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What Are INFPs Really Like?

 

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There seems to be this conception amongst the other personality types of the MBTI (Myer-Briggs Type Indicator) that INFPs are these dreamy, sweet little creatures that are a cross between a bunny and a fairy. This is not exactly true, my friends, because I am an INFP, and I have talked to and studied other INFPs for over six years, and what I can tell you, based from experience and knowing other INFPs, that we’re definitely not pretty fairies 24/7. Continue reading

When INFPs Become Rebellious

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On the whole, INFPs are generally not really rebellious people. “Not really” is the key term here—deep down, INFPs are always fighting for the underdogs and waging wars against deforestation, across the plain of their imagination—but generally, we are quite calm and introverted types who mind our own business and like other people to mind theirs. However, in life, there are some things which incite an INFP’s desire to free the raging monster of brilliant fierceness inside of us, and these things, while commonplace or ordinary to some people, are in fact, the key to our secret, inner heart of deep, dark rebelliousness. Continue reading

When Instagram Makes You Feel Bad

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I think there’s something quite magical about Taylor’s Swift’s music—it manages to encapsulate feelings perfectly through tune and lyrics, and…yes, I do happen to be listening to one of her songs right now as I write this post. Which song? “The Moment I Knew” from her Red album.

Everyday, writing is one enormous battle. Deep down, I know I need to sit down at the computer and churn out words if I need to get anything done, but some part of me screams—absolutely screeches—not to do it, that I don’t want to spend several hours on the laptop, inwardly curled up in agony as I try and formulate words that make sense. Continue reading

When A Friend “Ghosts” You

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There comes a time in one’s life sometimes when friends give up on you. This is sad. Sad, but true. Either their lives have moved on and yours haven’t, or they’ve decided you’re not good enough of a friend to be in their life anymore. In the past, I’ve had friends outright tell me they wanted to break up with me, to friends who turned out to be less than stellar companions who’ve I’ve had to cut from my life. In short, in life, one meets an array of people, many of them supposedly “friends” who will stay with you through thick and thin, but instead turn out to be more of the fair weather type, that blow in with the winter storm and thaw out with the summer heat. Continue reading

Will You Stand Out One Day?

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Isn’t that the question so many of us ask ourselves? Will I stand out one day, will I be special, be unique? Will I glory in the applause of hundreds or even thousands of people as they cheer me while I stand on the stage, basking in the feel of, well, hundreds or thousands of people applauding me?

Sometimes, in this day and age, attention seems to be very much the new currency, and who we are is bound up, intrinsically, with how many people care about us and the work we create. Take Instagram, for an instance. Instagram is founded on the human desire to compare ourselves with others and to show off our own lives, as well as creating a platform for people to display their work. In other words, it feeds into a very narcissistic desire for other people to know about our lives and ourselves, and extensions of ourselves, like the art we paint, the poetry we write, the books we pen. It is, in short, the perfect way for people to try and clutch at some thin straws of fame, thin compared to the fat, lumpy straws held in the hands of true celebrities that garner millions of followers on Instagram and have millions of people hanging on their every picture.

These days, so many young people want to be rich and famous. In fact, while many of them want to be rich, in truth, deep down, perhaps even subconsciously, they don’t actually want to be rich: they just want love, attention and devotion. Some part of us, some insecure, unhappy, self-hating part of ourselves, feels the need to become famous and well-known, to be showered with praise and accolades in order to feel whole. We want that applause, we want those prizes, we want the world-wide acclaim, in order to bask and wriggle in the attention, like well-pampered cats.

“Sometimes, in this day and age, attention seems to be very much the new currency, and who we are is bound up, intrinsically, with how many people care about us and the work we create.”

I’ve had to ask myself, many times, the question: what would I do if my books became bestsellers? Would I shy away from the limelight? As an introvert, I don’t particularly want to be in the limelight, but there’s no accounting for what I’d do if I was being applauded by thousands of people: probably grow a big head and decide I was one the best writers, ever. Ha. As if that would ever happen (decide myself to be one of the best writers ever, that is). But I might grow a big head. I might even wriggle a little in the glow of all the attention, happy and gleeful, basking in it, ugly as some little worm twisting about in the soil. Pride is a sin, through and through, and there’s no saying how much I would fall prey to it if indeed my wildest dreams came true and my books became much, much more successful than I can currently imagine them being (and seeing as I’m as-yet-unpublished, these dreams feel more like airy-fairy daydreams than anything else).

I think realising what fame means for us as a society and as an individual is an important question to answer. Fame is important, for a lot of people—just take a look at Instagram, at the millions of people vying for other people’s attention through the posts they publish. It’s also a transient and shallow thing. You can get famous, on Instagram, just by having a beautiful face and body, which you showcase through the pictures you present on your feed. Millions of people might love the music or books you create, but none of them will actually love you for who you are, because they don’t know you, they just like you and applaud you because you created something wonderful, like rewarding a cat for miraculously being able to speak the human language, which benefited their lives. You and I, for instance, don’t actually love Taylor Swift—not unless you’ve met her in person and known her, personally, for quite a while. You don’t know what she’s like when she’s angry, what she’s like when she’s depressed; in short, when it comes to fame, it’s just like everything shiny in this world: for a little while, it’s bright and beautiful, but then it starts to rust and fade, and you are left with nothing but costume jewellery.

“We want that applause, we want those prizes, we want the world-wide acclaim, in order to bask and wriggle in the attention, like well-pampered cats.”

At the end of the day, life isn’t about standing out. It isn’t even about not standing out. Instead, life is about being yourself, to the T. It’s about showing up as your true and honest self regardless of the situation and doing what you were meant to do or love to do or born to do in this lifetime and to love people truly, honestly, without any shallowness or superficiality dampening relationships. If fame eventually comes to you as a result of your efforts, no matter how small, be wary and careful you do not become addicted to its lure, because it is short-lasting and will blow away with the next winter storms. You don’t set out trying to achieve fame, but to be the best version of yourself you can possibly be, each and everyday, using your talents and skills to the best of your ability, and standing tall, straight and full of self-love as you face the world.

We’re All Children, Deep Down

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“Grown-ups don’t look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they’re big and thoughtless and they always know what they’re doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. Truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.”

― Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

That quote is true. Whether you like it or not, the truth is, each and everyone of us, on some level, is still a child on the inside, and only after learning about the rules of this world do we start wearing a “shell” or veneer of adultness which allows us to navigate the real world and prevents us from dancing to music in the middle of the street or grabbing candy straight out of the jar.

Haven’t you noticed that everyone has personality traits or quirks that appeared when they were younger and still surface when they are older? There’s a Chinese saying, which I learnt from my mother: look at how a kid is when they were three years old; that’s the kind of person he or she will be when they’ve grown-up. The bossy kids might become managers or CEOs, who learn, over time, empathy and kindness as they direct a large group of people or a company’s operations. Shy, whimsical children, like INFPs, turn into writers, artists, singers, and other airy-fairy occupations. Those kids who were logical and matter-of-fact when they were younger, and hated getting their clothes dirty, might turn out to be scientists or engineers, who enjoy facts and learning about how the world works in an orderly fashion.

It is amazing, once you ask people how you we’re like when you were a child, or look back on your own childhood, how many of our childhood traits remain even after we have supposedly “grown-up”. I am sure even our mannerisms would be somewhat similar to the ones we had as a child, a slight tilt of the head, a jauntiness to one’s movements. Likewise, personality traits like introversion, or psychopathy, would still be present in the adult selves of those children who exhibited such traits, and that, my friends, is a little scary—the child who tortured innocent animals might be grown-up and sitting next to you on the bus, as ordinary and unassuming as everybody else.

This means that when things go foul in the world, it’s really a matter of evil kids mucking up other people’s lives. Just yesterday, I read on the news that an Israeli student in Melbourne was murdered on her way home in the evening. The person who did that was a kid once—and I’m pretty certain he can’t have been a very nice kid, no siree. There have been people I’ve met in life who’ve come across as a little cold and strange, only for me to hear about how they did this and that when they were kids (mostly hurt animals), which makes me think that who we are as kids really, really does stay with us.

What was I like as a kid? Fantastic, mate. Just kidding. I was, as could be expected, a sort of closed-off quiet child, who barely spoke in kindergarten and spent lots of time playing puzzles and other games on my own, even going so far as to playing on the playground by myself. When I made my first friend in kindergarten and then primary school, they two of us barely spoke, just played alongside each other; all that changed as I grew older, and learned social cues and norms and was able to socialise with everyone else like a normal child.

It’s a little bit scary, figuring out that we’re all just children deep down, in a dark, frightening world, but it isn’t that much of a bad thing. For one thing, it means that the person you look up to in your life, or the people you’re envious of because they have something you want but do not have, are just children on the inside as well, just frightened kids bumbling their way through life hoping they find goodies along the way like happiness or a five-star retreat to the Bahamas. What’s more, it means everyone feels the way you do sometimes, lost and alone, never knowing if you have truly “made it”, if people will realise you’re just an imposter at work who doesn’t actually know what they’re doing. No-one knows what they’re doing and no-one is free from loneliness: we’re all just making it up as we go along, and hoping for the best; and that, ladies and gentlemen, is not bad at all.

A Ramble On Boys & Books

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I am going through quite a dry spell when it comes to creativity, and this means I’m going to start rambling a lot on this blog. Funnily enough, many of my readers quite enjoy my rambles, and get something out of it—probably because I’m quite honest and open whenever I ramble, and delve deep into the nitty-gritty parts of life, the blood and guts.

I sat down at my computer this morning to work on my usual blog post and write a bit more of my novel, not to mention get started on some of my librarian assignments, but when I reached for the good ol’ technique of writing something short but sweet, which I could perhaps post on my blog, I came up with nothing. For some reason, there was no spark of inspiration as there usually is and I was just turning the same dead ideas over and over. That, ladies and gentleman, is not my definition of fun. Only one topic comes to mind at the moment, and it’s a blog topic: all about boys. What is it about boys that is so horrible yet wonderful at the same time? I do not know. One time, I yearned after a boy so badly that when he rejected me, culminating in him terminating phone calls early whenever I tried to keep on talking and not replying to my text messages at all, I flew into a whirlwind of depression, asking myself the question: What is wrong with me?

And the truth is, there is nothing wrong with you, or me. Nothing at all. Well, what I mean is, it doesn’t mean you’re unattractive or a terrible person to be around. But yearning for someone, desperation—that’s not attractive, and, more importantly, it’s not healthy, either. We shouldn’t be grappling after boys as if they are our hook and line to sanity and safety, and for those of us with “daddy issues”, like I do, who lost a father figure early in their life, the need for male affection and attention can feel bottomless and endless. Whenever a boy is nice to me, I can feel the echoes of the affection my father doled out to me then completely took away. Whenever I am around a boy, I feel a sense of safety and security that I never feel when I am around my female friends, and that is something that is natural, but shouldn’t be too marked, because in the end, who we have at the end of the day is ourselves, and our relationship with God.

Fiona Apple wrote a song called “Paper Bag”, and if you go and have a listen to it, it’s indicative of the kind of relationship I sometimes have, inside my head, with the boys I like. It’s like I’m hungry for love. Starving for it. Not anymore, though. Recently, I had a bit of a crush on this guy, and managed to let it evolve into just a proper, good friendship, of which I was very proud of. I didn’t even idealise him, and that, for INFPs, is extremely rare.

I sincerely hope you had a good Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Lately, I’ve been thinking about what it means to be happy, and something that makes me extremely happy is occupying my time with productive tasks. Productivity makes me happy, and I’m sure it makes you happy, too. I don’t know why, but there’s something about getting things and work done that’s very satisfying, although the work that is getting done has to be work you find enjoyable—doing work you hate isn’t going to get you any closer to the elusive happiness everyone seeks. I’ve also been wondering lately why people get together, and all the wrong reasons they get together for; I won’t delve into it, because I haven’t thought about it thoroughly myself yet, but I get the feeling sometimes there are ugly, twisted reasons people stay together, impure and strange, which makes their relationships little more than give-and-take affairs.

On a darker note, I recently tried reading “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett, and while it was beautifully written and the book was beautiful, the scenes and subject matter were so awful sometimes I actually wasn’t able to finish it. I got to page 138 and had to stop, because one of the character’s secret was about to be discovered, and I didn’t want it to happen so much, I wanted the protagonists to win so badly, I just couldn’t cope and didn’t finish the book. I think us INFPs can be highly sensitive to inhumane or terrible situations, incidents, scenes, movies and books, and for me, in this case, I was no different, and while I’m sure plenty of you have read it and found it marvellous and wonderful, I found it quite difficult to get through, simply because of how badly I wanted the “good guys” to win.

Let’s see. What else is there. I think this business, my new resolution, of blogging as much as possible, is slowly trickling down the drain. Not only did I miss practically all of December, I’ve missed a good portion of January too. Although I don’t plan on writing every single day, I’d like to devote some time to posting on this blog as often as possible, especially since I’m getting a steady amount of viewers each day visiting this blog and I wouldn’t want to disappoint people who come back for fresh content. Writing is the only thing I’m pretty much passable at; I’m not good at other mediums, like video or Instagram; my Instagram, which will remain a secret, since I’ve decided not to post my identity or face on this blog, is just a cobbled rag-tag bunch of photographs of myself and scenes from my daily life; and I’ve tried talking to the camera before, only for it all to go pear-shaped when I re-watched myself and realised I have no ability to speak to a camera without acting stiff and self-conscious at all.

It’s boiling here in Australia right now, so I hope wherever you are, it is at least a bit cooler and more bearable. In a little while, I’ll be attending my librarian course, so I’ll have to leave you for now, but just know, always, that you’re not alone and, although the world can be a beautiful and awful place at the same time, God will catch you if you ever fall. God bless, and have a good day.