It is exactly 7:22pm, and my brain is fried after a day of studying, so please bear with me as the writing in this post will probably be less stellar. But onto the topic of this evening’s post, which is the way that some people seem to treat INFPs as useless. I know this isn’t everyone, but as an INFP, I have been treated quite badly by several people over the course of my life and have been told I’m an ‘idiot’ or ‘useless’ or any number of variations of that word.
Sometimes, it’s because I was daydreaming and forgot something. Or I did something while I was daydreaming, and did it poorly. Or because – and I don’t know if other INFPs experience this – for extended periods of the day, I sometimes turn my brain ‘off’ because it’s tiring to be thinking and alert all the time, and when I do that, I tend to make mistakes that make other people think I am stupid or foolish. I will leave the oven on for too long so the food gets burnt or forget to bring in the washing – things that make my family members highly irritated with me.
This has had a pronounced impact on my self-esteem, more than some people in my life could possibly imagine. I doubt myself and my own capabilities every single day, because I’ve been met by outrage or disgust at the extent of my foolishness. When I didn’t understand something, I very clearly remember a family member of mine getting extremely angry and irritated. Nowadays, whenever it seems I am on the precipice of doing something wrong or being found out that I did something wrong, my stomach sinks and I panic. Here we go, again. Here I go again, being foolish and stupid. I just don’t use my brain, do I?
And perhaps this is just even more foolishness on my part, but sometimes when I imagine having a boyfriend, I imagine him saying those very same things. After the honeymoon period of the relationship, he will discover the truth of the matter, which is that his girlfriend is downright imbecilic at times and even ‘switches off’ her brain at times during the day. It makes me wonder when I switch off my brain and go off into la-la land is it because I am tired, or is it because, another adjective which I get labelled by people, that I’m ‘lazy’?
One time, when I dropped a course, a friend of mine said that all I wanted in life was to be ‘comfortable’. At first, I believed her. I thought, I am a comfort-seeking, lazy disgusting excuse for a human being. But then I thought back. After going out for a grocery shopping trip, I am oftentimes exhausted because I get anxious around people and overstimulated by all the bright lights and colourful array of foods on the shelves. Does going grocery shopping less mean I am lazy? Does dropping a course because I didn’t like it and felt like it wasn’t suiting my sensibilities mean I am lazy?
I do not have any sage words of wisdom or advice for other INFPs who get called stupid, weak or useless. The truth is, when it comes to practical things, I am a bit useless. But there are so many other parts of me that are not useless or stupid – I am great observer of people, I like to write, I like to read and delve into the world of the imagination, into the lives of characters. The problem is, I barely possess an ounce of logic. In fact, when I try to be logical, my brain protests against it, as if the sparks of thought are travelling down the wrong neurons. At the end of the day, I think I want be me, myself, even if it brings down disgust or scorn or impatience onto my head, rather than try turn myself into some kind of practical, logical creature. Of course, I can be more careful, set alarms so the food doesn’t burn, but there’s only so much I can do before my natural personality starts seeping out and my supposed idiocy starts irritating and offending people.
I don’t mean to sound bitter in this post, especially after not posting for so long, and I hope my words don’t come across, at the very least, too bitter. It’s just that I have dealt with this terrible, sinking feeling in my stomach each time someone curls their nose up at my impracticality for so long that I felt like I just had to write about it, talk about it. It makes me feel like a child, that’s what all this makes me feel like. It makes me feel like a silly, naïve child who could never truly be able to survive in this harsh, cruel world all by herself, that I’m incapable of doing things properly on my own, that I’m not an adult, that I’m incompetent and incapable and unreliable. Sometimes, the only time people take me a little more seriously is when they catch a glimpse or two of my writing, and realise there’s a whole person behind that daft young woman.
I do hope you, dear dreamers, are doing well. Other than what I mentioned in this post, I am doing fine. Nothing particularly bad has happened, and nothing particularly good – things have just been moving along as per usual. Let me know in the comments if you relate – or perhaps don’t relate at all – to what I wrote in today’s post. I just sometimes wonder, am I doing that good of a job of hiding who I really am, if everyone I meet, until they read my writing, think I’m a foolish creature who doesn’t know her left foot from her right one? What am I doing wrong, how am I not expressing myself properly? Granted, I do prefer the written medium to speaking – in fact, I don’t think I’m that good at talking at all – but surely some parts of who I am must shine through when I interact with others. It just gets tiring, to put up with this metaphorical beating each time you daydream or switch off your brain.