How To Love Yourself When You Are An Outsider

alone girl hi

The clamor for good self-esteem has become almost cliché, an excuse for parading out a barrage of aphorisms: Love Yourself For Who You Are, Accept Yourself, Love Yourself and Others Shall Love You, Woman.

Whether that means loving your skin, or eyes, despite the White Beauty ideals seen on magazines and television; or flaunting those curves or hips rather than hiding them, it is part of a new wave of Self-Love scouring across society.

And sure, I can relate.

Being Asian myself, and very thin to boot (throughout school, I was teased mercilessly for my stick-thin wrists, and a girl once, upon raking her eyes over my spindly body in a bathing suit during swim class before puberty hit, pronounced me a “monkey” – skinny-shaming is just as debilitating as fat-shaming), I have had to deal with self-confidence issues related to these two traits, just like people who are a little on the plump side, people with disabilities, any physical signifier that classifies them as “Ugly” or “Other”.

But so much of the recent Self-Love onslaught focuses on appearances, particularly the appearances of women. And while that is all good and important, humans being highly visual creatures, very little attention to paid to the confidence issues one has to deal with by having a particular personality.

Personality is the true determining factor of your self-confidence, I think, at least in one’s younger years. It is much easier to feel happy with yourself when others seek out your company, like to talk with you; when you feel loved, approved of, accepted – and when peer acceptance is not present, low self-esteem is often, unfortunately, a natural consequence.

For instance, for many years I was made to feel defective for being introverted, so introspective that I barely paid any attention to the real world reeling by before my eyes. In the media, in modern literature, a new breed of the ideal woman was sprouting forth to smash traditional gender barriers: independent and bold and confident – in other words, extroverted. Though this “New Woman” allowed for greater opportunities among the female populace, at least in Western countries, doing so only replaced a previous admittedly debilitating standard for women with another – less constraining, yes, but a new standard to measure oneself up against, nonetheless.

Being Asian, in this case, actually made matters worse, as there is this absolutely nonsensical stereotype that all Asian women (I do hate using racial monikers; we’re individuals, not groups; people do not think all, say, brunettes or Caucasian men possess the same personality type, so why the generalizations?) are shy and submissive. As an INFP, a personality type which naturally, even among males, is conflict-averse, withdrawn, dreamy and, yes, has a tendency to be quiet and shy and burrowed in a corner with a book, I fit into this stereotype perfectly.

But, racial stereotypes aside, it is a fact that introverts, or any outsiders, have greater difficulty with self-esteem than their extroverted or more accepted counterparts. People find “confidence” (Read: Extroverted) beautiful, they find a “sense of humor” (Read: Usually Gregarious) attractive; and those who are shy, reserved, slightly weird, are overlooked or disliked, dubbed sometimes, infuriatingly, as possessing no personality at all.

It is hard, to learn to love yourself, when not only do people not seem to like you, they do not even see you.

How can you love something that does not exist?

On top of being shy, introspective, and skinny as a rake, I also had Asperger’s, suffered from social anxiety, and, lo and behold, was a creative thinker and writer – and we all know how solitary and odd writers or original thinkers have a habit of feeling in mainstream society, probably accounting for their general recluse lifestyles throughout history. This is not me complaining (Oh, Delia, my dear, I had such a hard time of it, you can’t possibly imagine!); all I am doing is trying to point out the various contributing factors, along with living in a low-income household that could not afford items such as new clothing more than every few years (“daggy” clothes are not great for popularity), that led me to have such low self-esteem for years, and years. Long, long suffering years.

Oh, actually, I am garnering for a little sympathy here, but it comes from a good place: perhaps some of you out there can relate, to any of this, and will feel less alone for it.

The bullying from my peers, ranging from abuse to exclusion, the days spent hidden in the back of the library, the days spent watching television showcasing people who looked nothing like me, a lack of supportive friends, not looking right, acting right – all this, for an excruciatingly sensitive and aware child, and later teenager, added up. I did not like myself – no, I loathed myself.

As if that wasn’t enough, once the Self-Love movement took off, self-help books flying off the shelves, people told me I just had to realise I was “worthy”.

Yes, indeed; it is easy to feel worthy without the particular history I had, without the particular brain and psychology, the particular body, skin, experiences; it is easy for you to say that, when you are talkative and loved and have never spent time alone in the bathrooms, imagining yourself being flushed down the toilet in a gurgling swirl of oblivion; it is easy for you to say that, when you are not slightly neurologically different from others, when you do not feel like an Outsider, when you are not so sensitive each day is a tiny battle, each night a time to cry, and bandage your accumulated wounds.

It is easy to say that, when you are Extroverted, or Straight, or a Non-Minority, or Well-Liked, or Neurotypical, or Male (though this is unfair, men, on average, tend to suffer from fewer self-esteem problems than Women), or Non-HSP, or Non-INFP, or Well-Off and can Fit In Happily.

(Note: I do not mean to say that Extroverted, Straight, Caucasian, Well-Liked, Neurotypical, Wealthy or Male individuals do not have any problems: I am simply trying to make a point that when you are an Insider, it is rather presumptuous to dole out voice to an Outsider)

It is easy for you to say that I simply must feel “worthy”, when everything and everyone your life has affirmed that, and everything in mine has pointed to the contrary.

Frankly, just being an INFP and Highly Sensitive, especially if you are male, is enough to lower your self-confidence drastically, let alone the extra baggage I dragged around. What’s worse, being sensitive dreamers, we have a tendency to blame ourselves whenever anything goes wrong.

People, extroverted individuals surrounded by friends, told me, I should tell myself I was “worthy”. They were speaking from a good place; they just wanted to help. But when I was unsuccessful at raising my self-confidence that way, I believed there was something wrong with me. I grew ashamed of my lack of self-esteem, which only fueled the self-hatred.

I was a big, fat Not.

Not curvy enough. Not talkative enough. Not outspoken enough. Not friendly enough. Not normal enough. Not realistic enough. Not pretty enough. Not. Not. Not. Not. Not. Not.

Also, I was a big, fat Too.

Too weird. Too quiet. Too shy. Too strange. Too sensitive. Too poor. Too androgynous. Too isolated. Too skinny. Reads Too much. Thinks Too much. Head Too stuck in the clouds.

Above all, what drove the pain deeper, and still stabs me now and then today, was my unbearable loneliness, for I had no friends – and loneliness, as you may well know, only breeds further insecurity. A young female, or male, lonely and misunderstood, is bound to have some problems loving themselves without either a dose of wisdom or intervention.

In my case, the intervention was internal. And the recovery slow.

Yes, I did realise I was fine, just the way I was; that many writers, throughout history, had been considered eccentric, reclusive, shy, and many even had Asperger’s – so I was not alone, really; and perhaps, if I was not the way I was, I would not have my creativity, or interest in writing, or my imagination. That being shy daydreamer does not make me submissive woman; I have my own inner strength, only it is expressed differently. That the negative opinions of other people, though they hurt when expressed (“Shit! Look at your wrist: Are you anorexic?” “You’re too, um, quiet”) are less important than how I think about myself.

But the turning point, for me, was the realisation that, in the end, no-one really cares whether you are strange or different or shy, as everyone is too focused on themselves, and that everyone, even the most privileged, like all humans, go through their share of suffering. Sure, you may suffer more, you may feel lonely more frequently – but is that so bad a price to pay, for your unique gifts of sensitivity, compassion, creativity, perspective etc.? You may be disadvantaged in some respects, but blessed in others. Everyone is good at something; everyone has a spark, deep within them.

It is true, what they say: self-acceptance does come from the inside; but you will not find it by repeating mantras to yourself (I am worthy, I am worthy, please let me feel worthy…), or pretending you like being an outcast, or wearing a mask of superiority (Those unoriginal commoners!).

Instead, it comes from having a realistic outlook – no-one really cares that much about you, so you might as well care for you – and feeling compassion for all human beings. Even those who possess all the traits society accepts, they, just like you, have their moments of awkwardness, isolation, their own internal conflicts and problems.

We are all outcasts, deep in our hearts, only some people are better at hiding it. By the same token, we are all beautiful, in our unique and wonderful ways, and even if other people do not see or affirm it, you must. Hard as it may be to possess a trait that deviates from the norm, you can use it to your advantage and, if not like, at least accept your differences, in spite of the pain, in spite of the suffering.

Loving yourself, as an outsider, is not about never feeling uncomfortable or out of place among other people; that will never go away. Instead, it is about feeling Acceptance and Compassion: For The People Around You, For Others, and, most of all, For Yourself.


The Kind Of Man An INFP Wants


I am interested in him.

No, not him. Not the tall, straight-backed, dashing one, with women flocking to him left-right-and-centre, who never needs to lift a finger to do or get anything in life. Not them, in suits, born with a silver spoon in their mouths.

No, it’s not him. Why, do you even know me? A party animal, someone dashingly handsome, who loves to get drunk and paw at women’s’ bodies, with such an alluring smile it is impossible not to fall under his spell? No. Even the party animals have an expiration date.

And why, on earth, do you think it would be him? The popular, yet geeky one? Clever, and well-liked, with good mannerisms. The kind of man mothers and fathers would be proud to see their daughter bring home. No, not him.

Not the artist, either. Not the indie type, on the road, doing drugs and smoking cigarettes, getting high on ideas and substances, with little more than five dollars in his pocket.

Not the ordinary work-a-day guy, the 9-5 clocker, with pleasingly good looks, and a routine, interspersed by holidays, that runs like clockwork.

And, for the love of all that is good, why on Earth do you think I would like him? He’s just—well, he’s lovely, darling, but he’s just so ordinary. Ordinary thoughts, inside an ordinary brain. Just listen to him laugh and talk. He makes me fall asleep.

No: what I am looking for, in a man, is a daydreamer.

Someone who is quiet and unassuming. Someone no-one else notices, except me.

Someone who writes. Someone who dreams. Someone who sketches. Someone who sings.

A man that sits by himself on a bench, lonely and lost, with a sketchpad in hand, smelling the flowers and glorying in the beauty of nature, secretly and alone.

A man who yearns for someone who is quirky and strange, who sees fairies wherever flowers are, and dreams of tasting stardust.

A man who wakes up in the middle of the night, lonely, lost and afraid, the future stretching before him like a great, big fathomless nothing, which, hopefully, I can bring a little light to.

A man who reads books, and watches films—but only the strange kinds, like Miyazaki’s movies, or Amelie, or Roald Dahl’s books. Surrealist fiction, surrealist art.

A man, really, who isn’t very romantic, strange, or special at all. He is special, and beautiful, and wondrous, because he feels so very out of place, all the time. He is not an ideal man, not at all; he doesn’t walk upon Parisian rooftops before dawn, to watch the pigeons fly off into the sunrise, or spend his days playing music on the streets and earning pennies. No, nothing so romantic as that.

He might be unemployed. He might be very depressed. He might very well be unconventionally good-looking, if you know what I mean: soft features, or strange ones, not ones people would quite call handsome.

But there is something special inside of him.

Something only I can see.

And that is the man I want.

Immature INFPs Vs Mature INFPs



I will float away on heavenly clouds of joy forever more, because he and I (or she and I) will meet in a chance encounter, faraway from human civilisation, where we will mutually love each other instantly and become absolute soul mates. That is how it will happen. Yes. In a woodland, probably, surrounded by fairies only we can see, and feed each other bits of cloud and stardust. Probably. What do you mean, unrealistic? Listen, I don’t think we can be friends anymore. You obviously don’t believe in true love.

I will meet a person, most likely in my everyday life, in my everyday social circle, such as my school or workplace, or through a friend of a friend; and we will get along, like ordinary people, and sometimes, we might not get along, which is fine. And there are the obvious good parts—the endorphin high of falling in love, the protective and loving nature of having a partner—but you do have to compromise a lot, too. Ooh, look at me, being all grown-up. WHERE ARE THE WOODLAND FAIRIES.


I am going to be a writer. I don’t care what you say, it’s going to happen, and if that means living out of the back of a caravan for the rest of my life, so be it. What do you mean, no orange juice? I can still buy it. And electricity…well, there are solar panels. And for showering, I could go to the gym. Listen, I have done a lot of research, and this is the best way for me to live; it’s the only way I can pursue my passion, because, frankly, it is rather impossible for me to hold down a full-time, soul-sucking job, I would really rather die. All I want to do is daydream and write and float away on the clouds of thoughts all day long…shut up, I’m not being unrealistic, tell me again why we’re still friends??

It’s not that hard, holding down a full-time, ordinary job, once you actually get used to it. Yes, it is boring—after all, I work at a chemist, scanning items and stacking shelves—and sometimes soul-sucking, but otherwise, it’s not that bad, and has its good parts, too, namely the fact that you can keep a roof over your head and food in the fridge, something that writing will take some time yet for it to do.


Are you kidding me? I AM A BLEEDING HEART. THOSE POOR PEOPLE, THOSE ANIMALS, THOSE, OHMIGOD, WHAT ARE THEY DOING TO THOSE RABBITS?! EXPERIMENTING ON THEM? Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t actually personally helped any of these people—after all, I am a single twenty-one year old living at home who still thinks she can become a writer and change the world—but, at the very least, I feel for them. At least I CARE.

OMIGOD. THIS IS A TERRIBLE WORLD, FILLED WITH EVIL Okay, so, in the future, when I have the funds, I will make sure to donate to this charity, and that charity, and that charity, and that charity, and that charity…animals rights…gotcha…sexual assault…definitely, can relate (another post, guys)…wateraid….EVERYTHING. Poor people, poor animals. I love them to death. They need my help. I might one day…give some money. Yeah. Because I don’t have the social stamina to travel halfway around the world yet and look after people after they’ve been affected by hurricanes or floods. Help. EVERYBODY, HELP THEM.


Immature: ASDFGHJKLQWWERTYUIOPZXCVBNM. My mother just told me I would never become a writer, that I was wasting my life on airy-fairy dreams. *bursts into tears* I hate my life, I really do. You know, I think Juliet was onto something. I think I maybe should do something drastic, and destroy myself, because this life, with its soul-sucking jobs, and unfeeling people, and cruelty and horribleness, and horrible, realistic mothers, is just not worth living anymore.

Well, I think that maybe one day, if I try hard enough, I will be able to publish my work. My mother is wrong—or at the very least, I think she is. But I understand where she is coming from; I mean, writers aren’t exactly known for being able to pay the bills on time, and she wants to make sure I have some security in this world. I guess it’s a good thing I am studying to be a nurse.


I’m going to eat all this junk food, because I am so depressed about my life, and I like sweet foods a lot, like cookies and ice-cream. And after that, I am going to sit on a chair all day, typing up my book on my computer. And after that I am going to watch a movie, to forget the real world, and then read a book, to forget that I was trying to forget the real world, all while never moving from the same position.

The benefits of a job is that it gets you moving around, which is healthier for you. Things like running, or working out, while tiring, are good to schedule into your day, as they have numerous health benefits, such as making you feel healthier and happier. Moving around is very important—and if you’re happier, you’re less likely to eat lots of junk food. Unfortunately, I will still spend a lot of time sitting down, because I still write and watch films, but I can do other things standing up, or even walking around, like reading a book. Health is important, remember that. Oh, gosh, I can’t even believe what I am saying…is this real? Or is it the Matrix?

A Boy Who Likes An INFP (Wish Fulfilment, Obviously)

Yellow flower

So, there’s this girl.

Before you get any ideas, I don’t like her, or anything like that. She isn’t particularly pretty, or clever, or witty, or anything, really. She’s just a little peculiar, odd, and in this world, it’s sometimes hard to find anyone really strange these days. She lives next door to me, and I see her often. Sometimes, I see her through her bedroom window—not that I’m trying to be a creep or anything, you know, sometimes I just happen to glance out my window, and see that hers is all lit-up, with the curtains parted, and I sometimes just catch a glimpse of her, sitting at her desk or walking around her room.


What’s so strange about her? Well, get this: all the time, every single day, whenever I pass by her or see her leave the house, she carries this shoulder bag bulging with library books. I know they are library books because once I passed by her when she dropped the bag, its entire contents spilling out onto the pavement, and I saw they were all library books. And get this—they were all fiction books, ranging from children books to teen fiction, and she is practically an adult woman. An adult woman, reading fairytales! Reading little kiddy books, picture books. Who does that? I get the feeling she’s got her head stuck up in the clouds. And does she even have a job? With that misty look in her eyes all the time, it’s a wonder employees would consider hiring someone who is evidently so scatterbrained and immature.


One other time, I caught her having a conversation with herself, or perhaps someone in her imagination, on her porchsteps. I think she was pretending she had a boyfriend, with the way she coyly smiled at some invisible man, and clasped her hands as if she were in love. It’s absolutely ridiculous, the way she—oh, just everything about her is laughable! Frankly, I do believe she might be a little mentally deranged, or at least quite the private actress. The more I spy on her, the more I feel as though I’ve stumbled across some rare, eccentric human specimen, someone untouched by the reality of the world. Someone who never grew up, when everyone else did.


And, no offense, but I get the feeling that she’s really, really lonely. I’m good at picking up people’s weaknesses, if I do say so myself, and she seems like one of those lonely adults who never grow up, buried in books, cats and her own eccentricity. She’s literally a crazy cat woman in the making. Does she even have any friends? And what is with that look in her eyes all the time? That sad, lonely and lost look, that seems both faraway and intent at the same time, as if she lost something very dear to her long ago and has been searching for it ever since, her hope slowly ebbing away over the years. Oh, what am I saying; listen to me getting all poetic over some lonely young woman’s misery. But—it’s the way she looks at things sometimes that gets me. The clouds. Flowers. Out windows, at the stars at night. As if she is searching for a home, someplace safe to rest her soul, in whatever she looks at, and always finding herself disappointed.


She looked at me the other day, while I was coming home from work. Right over the fence separating our residences, straight in my eyes. For some reason, it was a shock, staring straight into that soft, faraway gaze after seeing it directed other things for so long. She was picking flowers in her garden, had a whole bunch of dandelions in her left hand—a grown woman, picking flowers like a five-year old!—and the moment she saw me, she blinked, turned red, looked away, and a moment later, scurried back inside her house, the door squeaking shut behind her. She’s a strange one, I tell you. That night, her curtains were closed, but I could sense her behind the curtains, at her desk, reading her childish books or doing whatever she does, thinking her strange thoughts. Maybe thinking about me.


That’s it. I’m going to stop spying on her, because this is the last straw. Yesterday, sick from work, I spent the day reading some books I’d loved as a kid, Zac Power and Geronimo Stilton, and in the afternoon, when I was feeling a little better, I went out into the front garden and just sat in this sunshine, stroking my cat. I hadn’t done anything like that in years. Weird. I swear that weird girl who happens to be my neighbour is having some kind of slow, insidious effect on me. I certainly hope it isn’t permanent. An independent, grown man like me has no need for eccentric women like her in my life. Besides, I have a date with Natasha next week, and need to spend my time properly preparing for that, instead of sitting at my desk staring out my window at her bedroom window, wondering if those curtains will ever open again.


Natasha came round to my house after the date. We frolicked a bit on the sofa. Nothing serious—just a little flirtation, a little kissing. For some reason, I wasn’t that into it—and I became even less into it when I saw her through the window while I was entangled with Natasha, standing in her garden, staring straight at me. The look in her eyes—but why should I feel guilty? It isn’t as if she and I are in a relationship, or anything. She’s just my neighbour. This time, when our eyes met, she started as if I’d stuck her with a jolt of electricity, and  turned and walked away, this time without haste or hurry, with slow, measured, and, dare I say it, regal steps. Suddenly, I felt like being alone. Disgruntled, Natasha left, her hair and lipstick a little mussed, the smell of her perfume lingering all over my clothing.  Now I’m sitting at my desk, looking out the window. Her curtains are not closed this time, but she isn’t sitting at her desk, or walking around her room. She’s lying on her bed, her face turned away out of sight.


I mean, it’s not as if I’m interested in her or anything. But she certainly is an oddity, and I’ve always been a curious person. That’s why I’m going to introduce myself this afternoon. We are neighbours, after all, and it is about time. I want to ask her what she’s been reading, and what the name of her cat is. I wonder what her bedroom looks like, when you’re standing inside it. I wonder what she likes to drink—surely not coffee? No, coffee wouldn’t suit her. For all I know, she likes to drink from juice boxes with a straw and snack on lollies. Who’s her favourite singer? You know, just ordinary questions, for an ordinary girl.

I wonder what her imaginary boyfriend looks like.

Best Traits In A Partner For INFPs


As dreamers who often have a habit of idealizing those we love and seeing the good in people, it is very easy for us to end up in relationships that are unhealthy, even abusive, especially if we struggle, as many INFPs do, with low self-esteem. This issue is often compounded if one grew up in an abusive home environment with an abusive opposite-sex parent, forming a blueprint in our minds for what to expect in a relationship. If the only man you ever loved treated you as a punching bag, or something to be discarded or neglected, then it is very easy to fall into the trap of believing that is what you deserve. In the past, I found myself attracted to someone who was cold and selfish; and the more badly he treated me, or the more he ignored me, the more I loved him, because he resembled my father. Not a healthy mindset, to say the least. Here, then, as some traits to keep in mind if you’re an INFP looking for a partner so you don’t settle for less than what you deserve.

  1. Kind.

We’re often soft, sensitive and shy creatures, whether male or female, which means that in a romantic relationship, our partners need to be kind people. In fact, for INFPs, the kinder the man or woman, the better. Considering our uncanny ability to see into and understand people, determining whether someone is kind or not should not prove a problem. Signs of kindness include treating the downtrodden nicely, going out of their way to help the disadvantaged, their general treatment of other human beings, and the degree of their love for children and animals (again, the higher, the better). For an INFP, to be in a relationship with an unkind person is suicide. It is the emotional equivalent of walking through a barren wasteland dotted with bones and swirling with vultures or falling asleep next to a monster each and every night. If he or she is a kind person, then he or she will treat you kindly, and a loving, kind environment is one an INFP will warm to like a flower towards the sun.

  1. Generous.

This is a pitfall many INFPs are liable to fall into, which is to put up with a little bit of selfishness in our partner. As we are generally very selfless people ourselves, we don’t require much in a relationship except love and affection. High-maintenance is certainly not a word I would describe us; we are very free-spirited. While this is all well and good, it means that we might end up with people who are miserly, cheap or tight-wads, without realising these are signs of selfishness and a lack of love for you and an overabundance of love for money or security. After all, if your partner doesn’t give you anything for your birthday, or for Christmas, or for your anniversary, or even flowers on Valentine’s Day, our minds are often good at rationalizing such incidents. Maybe he was busy. Well, I don’t really need anything at the moment. Besides, if I don’t get presents, then it means I’m not supporting capitalism. It’s the thought that counts, not the gift—or lack thereof.

This is a situation where our selflessness and creativity can work against us. Love can be expressed in many forms, and one of the ways to express love is through giving. Gifts don’t need to be wildly extravagant, or even expensive—a good book, for instance, is a present many INFPs would appreciate—but if there is a complete lack of gifts, a complete absence of generosity in any form, where you feel like you are not being taken care of or cherished, then such a partnership should be abandoned, immediately. And as much as we hate extravagance and capitalism, a thoughtful, little gift, like a necklace with a tiny silver charm dangling from it, can, when we wear it, make our heart glow for months.

  1. Physical affectionate.

No—I am not talking about sex, though I am sure for many couples that is a good way to show love. No, instead what I am referring to, when I speak of physical affection, is the stuff of romantic comedies: cuddles and kisses on the cheek, surprise hugs from the back. INFPs, by nature, are very loving and warm people (though sometimes this warmth is buried beneath layers of cynicism and hurt built up over the years that can only be chipped away by the right person). If the man or woman you are interested is not physically affectionate, and instead cold or distant, or adverse to kissing on the mouth or on the cheek, or generally someone who doesn’t even like hugs, my suggestion is to flee as fast as possible in the opposite direction, for that way lies only misery.

  1. Gives you priority in his or her life.

Again, this goes back to our selfless, giving and accommodating natures. While it is perfectly fine for your partner’s career to take a precedence—for many INFPs, our work, such as saving the world one animal or person at a time, is our biggest priority—if you begin to drop any further down the totem pole of his or her concerns then perhaps the relationship isn’t one you’re meant to be in. Determining whether you are a priority in someone’s life is harder than finding out whether they are kind or generous because it is an arena where excuses are easily made. He didn’t call, or text you, or reply to your texts? Perhaps he was busy. Or maybe, when he returns from work and goes straight to his room to play games on the computer or read without kissing or greeting you, he’s just recuperating from a hard work day. That money he spent on himself for the latest set of headphones when he forgot your birthday is just something he needs for work, a job-related, necessary purchase. His lack of compliments just shows how comfortable he is with you now that the two of you have moved in together. He doesn’t have the time to call you during his lunch break, not when he has to juggle such a hectic schedule.

No. Don’t make excuses for someone who doesn’t make you one of his or her top priorities when you deserve to be taken care of and looked after by the one you love. Imagine someone you dearly love—how would you treat them? Then compare that treatment with the treatment you are receiving from your beloved, and if the former is significantly nicer and more pleasant than the other—well, you know what to do.

  1. Respects you.

In life, or, more accurately, in this world, INFPs, unless they’re highly esteemed individuals in their field, often find it very hard, as sensitive, introverted and scatterbrained people, to gain people’s respect, or even their attention. Generally, we just hide in the shadows and corners, nose buried in books, thinking our silent and complex thoughts as the world bustles and rushes past us, loud and irritating. This, then, is why it is very important, especially for INFPs, to have partners who respect them, who don’t think they’re poetry is silly, or their quirky and meaningful insights pointless. Sylvia Plath’s partner, Ted, I think his name was, in her memoir, described poetry as “so much dust”–that, my friends, is not a way to gain an INFP’s favour. If you’re partner doesn’t respect your kindness, sensitivity, imagination, love for literature and quirky intelligence, or even outright scorns the things you love, you’re better off cuddling up to some books in a library.

  1. Is even-tempered.

Emotions like anger or hate corrode INFPs the way acid does iron. To put it plainly, we are not good with conflict or hostility; it is actually very frightening, painful and disturbing for to witness, let alone experiences ourselves or be on the receiving end of it. Bad tempers, like good wine, often do tend to mellow over time, but you should not base a relationship on hopes for improvement. It’s like living for fairies and wishes. Much as we like fairies and wishes, they will never exist except inside your head. So if your partner, or the person you’re interested in, is an angry, aggressive sort of person, even if they do have a heart of gold underneath their rough exterior, it’s best to stay away and find someone less emotionally volatile (after all, we tend to have more than enough emotions for two people).

An Imaginary INFP Conversation Written By An INFP With Imaginary Friends


INFP: He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not—

Friend: What are you doing?

INFP: What does it look like I’m doing?

Friend: Desecrating my garden. That’s your tenth flower.

INFP: Best of ten.

Friend: You do realise that daisies are not an accurate source of information when it comes to determining whether someone loves you?

INFP: Oh, I know. He loves me, he loves me not…

Friend: So why bother with it, then?

INFP: The flowers may not talk to you, but they chatter to me all the time. Sometimes, we even play Chinese Whispers, if the wind is blowing the right way.

Friend: Oh, for the love of God. I mean it. It’s a complete and utter waste of time, the way I see it—and don’t you have a novel you should be writing?

INFP: I know the flowers aren’t actually going to tell me if he loves me or not. I just do it because it’s romantic. When I pluck the petals and whisper the words beneath my breath, I feel like some heroine in a film, lovesick and beautiful, like Ariel in The Little Mermaid.

Friend: Isn’t that a show for children?

INFP: You don’t like Disney?

Friend: Not particularly, no. What’s wrong? What’s wrong with you?

INFP: Not—like—Disney! I’m sorry. Our friendship must come to an end. It has been good knowing you. Shall we shake hands, all melancholy and solemn-like?

Friend: So who is it that you’re pining over this time? Is it the one who works at the grocery store, who smiled at you that one time?

INFP: No. It turns out he didn’t harbor a secret love for me. He was just being friendly.

Friend: You don’t say. So who is it, then? Do I know him?

INFP: Not exactly.

Friend: What kind of answer is that? Wait. Let me guess. You do have a tendency to yearn after the bold and pragmatic, which is frankly beyond me, seeing as they are the exact opposite of who you are, and therefore terribly incompatible. Why do you like them so much? All they do is hurt you with their insensitivity.

INFP: I don’t know, to be honest. I think it’s because they have a soft streak, underneath all the hardness, and I want to get to it and snuggle there, like a worm wriggling its way to an apple’s soft core.

Friend: Okay, well, I did not understand a word of that. If you don’t want to tell me, that’s fine. The heart must keep its secrets, I suppose.

INFP: It’s you.

Friend: What?

INFP: Just kidding. There’s isn’t anyone. I’m just plucking these petals for an imaginary person in my head, who I pretended to have met at certain spots throughout the neighbourhood and who sent me flowers on my birthday—imaginary ones, of course. Those are the best.

Friend: Oh! I should have guessed. Dinner’s ready. You can come inside and join me, if you want.

INFP: Okay. Bye.

Friend: Bye.

INFP: He loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me, he loves me not, he loves me! He loves me. Does he? Oh, daisy, is it true? Do you speak the truth? Oh, I so wish you could speak, and tell me, and we could have a good proper conversation about it, person to plant. Well, I suppose I’ll find out. Come on, little flower, let’s go get our dinner.

21 Things This INFP Dislikes

cat1. The fact that our outsides do not reflect our insides, yet people insist on judging us based on how we look, act and talk, while what truly makes up a person’s identity, the activity rustling up in their mind when they are alone, is largely ignored.


2. Also, that our insides are infinitely more complicated than our outsides, even though human biology is complex and magnificent. But people only judge us based on our outsides! Half the time the way I act does not in the least reflect how I feel. It’s like looking at an old-fashioned watch and thinking it simple trinket because you can’t see the intricate tiny world of cogs and wheels and tiny little specks of crystal inside it that keeps it functioning. Very infuriating.


3. My compulsive self-sabotaging behaviour. Basically—and I do not know why I did this—in the past, when someone thought I was strange, or odd, or awkward, and I knew they thought that, then, when around them, for some reason, compulsively, I would act more strange, odd or awkward than I normally would, thereby cementing their bad opinion of me for eternity. I don’t know why I did it. It still happens. If I sense a doctor sees me as a shy, sweet, little anxious creature, then, gradually, as the session wears on, I will act more shy, more anxious, and more like a little goody-two-shoes. And then I end up not getting proper treatment because they think there’s nothing particularly wrong with me. It’s like my mind has a mind of its own—one that wants to destroy me. I hate it.


4. Food. Not all food. Just certain foods. Whenever I put something into my mouth, into my body, in the back of my mind, there always lingers a fear, or disgust, of all the artificial chemicals and flavours and icky-stuff that I must be ingesting, and it makes enjoying food very difficult. If I weren’t small and wraith-like already—lithe, as I like to call it, or “bony”, as my brother does—I would most likely be anorexic. Not something to be proud of, I know, but it’s true: I’ve got the perfect mix of perfectionism, neuroticism and self-hate to develop the disorder. So I suppose it’s lucky I’m already thin. One less thing to obsess about.


5. Boring people. Very few people who think they’re boring people are actually boring. Most people are very, very interesting, even though they’re ordinary, or think they’re ordinary. I like to watch them, when I can. But there are some people who are, literally, empty husks. There’s nothing behind their eyes. There is nothing inside them. It’s all shallow, hollow, empty. If you encounter one, flee.


6.  The gap between ideas and their execution. As a writer—and you’ll just have to take my word for it—I have an explosive imagination. My imagination, when unleashed, vomits rainbows all over the place so you can’t take a step without splashing into a multi-coloured puddle. However there exists a discrepancy between my writing skills, and my creativity—namely, that the latter is a thousand times more developed than the former. What I’m left with, essentially, is a lot of wonderful, poorly-executed ideas. My intention is for the book to be Hunger Games-esque, for example, but it turns out more along the lines of children cobbling each other with sticks and stones in a playpen, if you get my drift. It’s awful. I don’t know if this situation will improve, to be honest, but it’s certainly something that keeps me up at night.


7. Cities. Need I say more?


8. Logical, extroverted, pragmatic people, who have either little imagination or compassion (and those two deficiencies often exist in conjunction). They’re loud, they’re brassy, they’re charismatic—but they’re only bright colours and trumpets and streamers; there’s no substance to them, nothing real, or true, or beautiful. It’s suffocating to be around them, even only in passing. They don’t see things. Unfortunately, irritatingly, for some unearthly reason, I always tend to find myself attracted to men like that, who in turn tend to find me too strange and too quiet. So I end up hating them, and hating myself for being drawn to them. Gah.


9. Having to eat cage eggs because it is a cheap source of protein and you cannot afford free-range ones. I mean, I know I should be grateful that I can even afford food, but every bite of an egg that plopped out from a suffering chicken makes me want to throw it back up. I feel physically sick after eating them. But I keep them down, because, well, calories maketh man, after all. No calories maketh skeletons—and I can’t die yet, not when I haven’t written and published the books I want to write and publish.


10. Cities. I’m sorry, but my loathing for cities runs so deep that it bears mentioning again. I am convinced—though my psychologist is not—that the city is the sole reason for my anxiety, depression and inability to leave the house for long periods. Living in the city gives me panic attacks. Literally. The roads, the roaring trucks, the cars, the countless people, the fumes, the noise, the colours, the lights, stimulation bombarding you from every direction. I belong in a quiet cottage, on the moor, with some cats on the front porch and a cool wind blowing through the grey sky. The world does not care for my comfort, of course, so in the meantime, I will go to therapy, suffer in silence, and dream of better places, as we all do.


11. Loneliness. I am deeply, deeply lonely. It is because I feel so different from people much of the time. I have always felt like an outsider—I know, the old cliché—and I have yet to meet a single human in flesh who could truly see me, and understand me. Understand my quirkiness, my creativity, my weird imagination, my madness—and not just understand it, but accept it. Like I said, I like to dream.


12. Lack of originality. I hate cliches, I hate the old, the banal, the worn, the trivial; it grates on my nerves like nothing else under the sun does, including when I myself spout cliches, or platitudes.


13. Time. Or, more specifically, the passing of time. In fact, I actually have actual panic attacks because time is passing so quickly. Out of nowhere, I suddenly feel as though everything is ending, that there is nothing good to hold onto in the world, that if I take one step further, my foot will land in a grave—my own. And so I panic, and pant like a stallion after a gallop, feel like I’m dying, then spend the next half an hour calming myself down. Yes, it’s very fun. I adore being me.


14. How I don’t actually have a definite personality. At least, I think I don’t. I don’t have a solid sense of self. I don’t know who I am. Who I am changes everyday. I feel like a different person every minute, every second, constantly shifting and changing like some psychological kaleidoscope. It’s frightening. It’s really, really frightening. I’m like some ghost, pretending to be human.


15. Waste. All kinds of waste make me cringe and groan inwardly, as though someone were unspooling my intestines from the lower half of my body out through my rectum. Okay, bad imagery, I apologise, I don’t know where that came from. Again, like I said: no definite personality. Look through my blog posts, and you’ll find each of them uses a different voice. But, back to waste. I hate waste. I hate seeing rainwater trickle into drains. I hate plastic. I hate packaging. I hate throwing stuff in the bin. I hate flushing the toilet when that waste could be returned to the ground to fertilise the soil. Unfortunately I live in a unit, so environmentally friendly ways of disposing one’s waste, and just, well, living, in general, are limited. I hate it so much I could scream. Can someone just let me live with them on their farm? Pretty please? I’ll be quiet, I promise. You won’t even know I’m there.


16. Anything inelegant. This is one of my greatest vices. It is the source of all my misery. Or at least a great deal of it. Basically, I loathe vulgarity, in all its forms. I like for everything I see, read, and come across to be beautiful, refined, elegant. And when I say “elegant”, I don’t mean luxurious. I don’t find mansions and flashy cars and beautiful gowns elegant; they’re as horrendous to me as carcasses and tortured bodies. Instead, I like for things to be natural, and pure, and unsullied. Birds, for instance, or snails, are very elegant. Smiling people are very elegant. But things like cursing, bodily fluids like urine, and sex—well, they’re not very elegant, to my mind, and I struggle to accept them into my worldview of life. It’s the idealist, in me, I think, wanting everything to be untainted. Pure.


17. Men. I dislike men. I dislike them because my father was one, and he was not a very good one. I also dislike them because sometimes I like them, and I don’t know what to do about it, and just end up making a fool of myself and crying into my pillow and hating myself for weeks afterwards. Best to be avoided, in my experience, even if your heart yearns for love and romance.


18.  Sport. I don’t like most sports, especially the violent ones. I don’t like basketball, tennis, wrestling, boxing, car-racing, horse-racing. Any aggressive activities, really, make me cringe inwardly when I watch them. I do enjoy watching synchronized swimming and ice-skating, though. And snail-racing. That’s always very exciting.


19. Sunshine. Yes, you read that right: I do not like sunshine. It hurts my eyes. It hurts my face. It’s too stimulating, too bright. I like cloudy days, rainy days, and apocalyptic days that make daytime resemble nighttime because the sky is filled with swarming clouds of carnivorous bats ready to devour us all. That’s it.


20. Children and babies. One, because all the babies I have encountered in my life—a grand total of two—have hated me, and started crying the moment I touched them, sometimes even looked at them. Two, because children and babies are noisy, and very stimulating, and I am a person who needs her peace and quiet as much as she needs air to breathe. And three, because I have a suspicion—just a hunch, mind—that no-one will ever willingly marry someone like me, and that therefore I will never have a child, and be able to pour my love and energy into something adorable. This sentiment does not last long, however, and I soon revert to comforting myself with the prospect of a future filled with books and cats, both of which are much more manageable and delightful than children, anyway. Who needs to play happy families, and have a husband, and children in real life, when you can write stories about having a family of your own, and dress-up cats in bonnets and take them for rides in prams, eh?


21. Myself. I dislike myself. Sometimes. Sometimes, I just want to slap myself across the face and say, very nicely, “You dummy, why did you do or think or say that? That’s it, no dinner for you tonight, you’re grounded, young lady.” Sometimes, I want to do that everyday.

For Dreamers, Prescence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

Ferris Wheels

As a rule, dreamers prefer to see the world, people and life, and, well, everything, really, through rose-coloured glasses. However, it would be more accurate to call them cracked rose-coloured glasses: though we are good at noticing, from afar the nitty-gritty details of the world, due to our idealism, our vision is often faulty and fractured when it comes to closer ground – namely, our own surroundings, and the people around us.

This is never more clearly illustrated than when we fall in love. For dreamers, falling in love is not merely an event, or even a celebration. Instead, it is the metaphorical equivalent of (at least in the early stages) two quivering metaphysical halves being brought together in a cataclysmic, extra-dimensional explosion, shooting atoms and sparkling bits of destiny in every direction in a burst of energy bright as a supernova. It is mind-blowing, life-shattering; it is the perfect feeding ground for one’s idealism. And feed it does. Upon entering into the relationship, the dreamer brings with her an idea of the ideal partnership, its various elements gleaned from films and books throughout her life, as well as her own imagination, to form a great big enormous heart-shaped bubble of expectation.

Unfortunately – or fortunately, depending on how you see it – this bubble soon pops, as the realities of relationships, which the dreamer did not account for in his or her daydreams, sets in. Days are not spent in a steady stream of golden happiness; rather, the same responsibilities, the same tasks, from washing the dishes to taking out the trash, must still be done, whether you are in love or not, dragging the dreamer down to mundane reality after the initial love-high with a crash. Gradually, especially if you move in together, you acclimatise to each other, and, given enough time, your partner becomes as normal to be around as your own family. The day a dreamer finds herself (or himself; there are more male dreamers than you think) farting in her beloved presence without blushing is the day the last vestiges of her daydream dies.

More worrisome is the fact that, as the relationship further progresses, the dreamer’s partner transforms from an infallible creature into someone, well, less infallible. Someone awfully human, just like herself. And it is phenomenally disappointing. It’s easier to see the cracks in your rose-coloured glasses when you are looking up close at something. Some dreamers can’t help but feel as though they’ve been cheated, when, in reality, their beloved was the same person all along, only she tried to project a falsified, idealized image upon the existing creature, or her imagination erased any faults during the relationship’s honeymoon stage.

In who was initially a man or woman who could do no wrong, the dreamer begins to notice, with twinges of alarm, selfishness, brashness, laziness. Or it could be the opposite: the partner might, by way of contrast, highlight the dreamer’s selfishness, laziness, cowardice, and thus challenge her own idealised concept of herself. Emotions, like all things in nature, build up waste, and that waste, in relationships, manifests as disagreements. Arguments soon spring up, where one person likes or sees things one way, and the other person likes or sees things entirely differently, and the two are unable to agree to disagree.

There will be days when the dreamer is utterly bored of her partner, and can’t stand the very sight of him.

There will be other days when the two avoid each other, speaking only when necessary, and even then only in cold tones, which will make the dreamer’s heart wither even as her face hardens.

There will be days when her partner’s anger will scare her, for there is nothing more frightening than seeing the one you loved and placed on a pedestal acting brutish, mean, mouth open in a roar, faced contorted and ugly.

There will be moments of happiness, of course, and love, but mixed in with the sweet brew will be a bitter and hearty dose of misery, pain and heartache.

It is at this point in the relationship, when both have shown their true selves, their ugliness and flaws, and seen each other’s true selves, that the real work in building a relationship begins, and the dreamer reaches a crossroad. Many, at this stage, leave the relationship, with a huff and a pout, placing all the blame on her partner for not living up to her imagination, not realising that the best grass is just around the bend, past the pack of drooling trolls. Of course it is always a possibility that the partnership was an abusive, or incompatible one (dreamers are also at risk of remaining in bad relationships, a partner’s flaws either clouded by her imagination, or in the idealistic hope that “things will get better”) – but, in most cases, ordinary hiccups usual in most relationships are enough to convince a dreamer a break-up is necessary. Though it must be kept in mind that sometimes, even in the case of ordinary pet peeves, people are just unable to put up with particular traits or differences.

For the more mature (or tenacious) dreamers, who hang on despite having seen their partner red-faced and screaming in anger while sitting on the toilet, or been seen by her partner in the same unflattering state, “true love”, the centrepiece of so many daydreams, awaits. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, and this is true for dreamers – to an extent. It is often dreamers who, three months after the break-up, regret most having split with their once-beloved. But the dreamer only yearns for him because, in his absence, due to her idealistic nature, she only remembers his good traits, the good times, the good memories. She sees him distantly, and thus the cracks are easier to ignore. To spend time with him again would once more bring the cloud plummeting back to earth.

For dreamers, and arguably most people, the old adage should be reversed: presence makes the heart grow fonder, as only through extended exposure with their loved one, flaws and all, riding in tandem the troughs and peaks of love and life, can true love, based on reality rather than fantasy, flourish.

And it may not be the true love most dreamers imagined as little girls or boys, lying in bed and staring up at the ceiling. To idealise is to distort, and distortion is always harmful, even when it is positive. Blown up to mythical proportions by one’s imagination, true love is elevated to a transcendent state, when it is anything but otherworldly. It is, in fact, when real and true, one of the most worldly experiences one can have. Sooner or later, if the dreamer is persistent, undeterred by discomfort, he or she discovers that love is no grand affair, no blare of trumpets, and sometimes not even the fluttery beat of a heart. It is much, much quieter, and less assuming. It is coming home after a long day and feeling happier upon seeing that particular person’s face. It is close to the affection one feels for one’s parents, one’s siblings – though not quite. It is lying next to your loved one while he or she is asleep and being deeply, deeply comforted by their breathing, their warm body.

It is no melding of souls – some corner of your beloved’s psyche shall always remain a mystery to you, and likewise you to him – but two minds delightfully grappling with each other for years, understanding and then not understanding, loving one minute, hating the next, bored the third, a beautiful dance that goes on and on, darting forward and skipping away, rather than two people pressed against each other, standing stock-still until the end of their days (where would the fun be in that?). It is sitting at the table and eating together for thousands of meals over the course of a lifetime. It is cleaning up vomit, pacing in the waiting room at the hospital, screams and shouts; it is cooking and cleaning, breaking and making, traveling and living; it is waking up next to someone that makes you deliriously happy and unbelievably annoyed; and it is kisses and hugs, and quiet moments at night when you sit or lie, side-by-side, and hold each other’s hand, stare into each other’s eyes, comforted, no matter how briefly, by the presence of another human who loves you to shield yourself against the chaos of the world and the darkness of the oblivion.

And yes, perhaps, for the especially stubborn dreamers, this kind of love is, compared to the romantic extravaganzas conjured by their imaginations, a little disappointing; but that is the nature of reality, my friend, and you can’t wriggle away from the fact that everything will always seem, look and feel a thousand times better inside your head. Yet there is a fragmented beauty to cracked glass absent in the perfectly smooth, a strange loveliness in the broken, half-repaired, the scattered pieces.

In the end, sweet dreamer, if you grow up a great, great deal, you will find that is far better to publish a book than envision the perfect novel in your mind, to live in a cottage on the ground than a castle in the sky, and to love and live with someone who will stand before you, in flesh-and-blood, with real arms to hold you, real eyes to look at you, than spin in the imaginary arms of a thousand princes or princesses.

Eventually, you will come to the conclusion that real experiences, no matter how mundane, are always more wonderful than the pretend. A real bird, fluttering softly in the cradle of your hands, is worth more than two imaginary peacocks in the bush. Relationships, and true love, like all of life, when actually experienced, is very, very ordinary – and thus, extraordinary.

How INFPs Approach Love


The short answer: We don’t.

Or, at least, I don’t. I can’t speak for all INFPs – every person is different even if they share the same personality type, so perhaps this should be titled “How An INFP Views Love” – but I can safely say that “approach” is not the right word to describe the way I gingerly dodge and avoid the arena of relationships, turning up my nose at the whole business around others and then wistfully gazing over my shoulder at the spectacle when no-one is watching.

The long answer is a little more complicated.

My past is a contributing factor to this caution and fear. When I was a teenager, my father walked out the door without a backward glance, leaving my mother and I without the funds to pay even the rent for the week. To this day, I have not seen him since. At the time, the sense of abandonment I felt was like a howl in my heart I could not express verbally. Even when he was in life my life, he was awfully distant, awfully selfish, and awfully unloving; I remember he used to spend thousands on the perfect sound system yet complain when I needed fees to pay for school excursions. So it only follows that, as he was the first man I tried to love, my opinion of the male species in general is quite low.

Not all men, of course, are as bad as him; lots of men are nice and good and kind; I am not so bitter as that. But in terms of relying on men, on handing over to them my love and trust, as a partner – frankly, I would sooner stick a skillet in my eye. I am fond of likening myself to a woman who carries invisible burns, and now, every time I come close to any “fireplaces”, even if they are not lit, I cringe and step away. This, combined with my extreme desire for love and affection, naturally anxious personality, and high sensitivity, tends to make me view love with the wide-eyed gaze of a gazelle caught in a lion’s sight.

Then there is the small matter of my sense of separateness from humanity. In truth, I do not think there are any glaring differences in myself compared to others, apart from perhaps an increased tendency for introspection. But this introspection, which some might call self-absorption, means I am a highly self-conscious creature, which means in interactions with other people I am overly focused on myself and my own shortcomings, which makes me feel removed, and, well, different. Out of place. An outcast.

Being creative doesn’t help matters, as often what you want to talk about are too strange and random and bizarre to be palatable for most people. For instance, most people do not want to make up as many symbols for Death as they can while waiting in line to borrow books at the library (though I can’t imagine why). What all this boils down to, essentially, is that there are a limited cohort of people in society with whom I can find any common ground with, and feel comfortable with. University campuses are infested with people who talk of the most banal and trivial subjects; I have yet to find that sort of odd, artsy young graduate who is by himself a lot of the time, and seems to see and notice things others do not. Basically, I like unique people, and in society there are not many unique people, mostly selfish or boring or indifferent people. Thus my very nature greatly limits the available romantic candidates. Until I find a man strolling alone through a cemetery in the sunshine, looking thoughtfully at headstone after headstone, deep in philosophical thought, and who is not a serial killer trying to select the best place to bury his victims that night, falling in love is unlikely, if not impossible.

Another complication is my own self-hatred. Because I spend the majority of my life inside my own head, thinking and thinking and thinking, it gives me a lot of time to analyse myself, physically and psychologically, and, truth be told, I do not often like what I find. Self-love is an ongoing battle, every second posing a choice to love myself or to berate myself. On my rare good days, I see myself as a beautiful creature, both inside and out, kind and intelligent and sweet. On my bad days, which is most days, it is hard for me to look in the mirror without feeling visceral surge of disgust; to not loathe my arms, any body hair, my legs, my skin; to not see myself as an a reserved and aloof woman no-one could stand to be in the same room with, let alone love. On the worst days, I am disgusted by my own bodily fluids, disgusted when I pass gas or burp, disgusted by every word that comes out of my mouth and every thought that crosses my mind, am unable to look in the mirror or leave the house, and wish I were a pristine, ethereal creature who was above all humans matters and concerns. Such an unhealthy mental state, need I say, would not be conducive for a good relationship. To love others, you must love and accept yourself – and I am just not there yet, and might not be for a long while and after many hours of therapy.

On top of all this, I am just not an easy person to be around for most people. For one thing, I am very, very introverted. I am most comfortable going through great swathes of my day talking in short bursts, and spending the rest of the time observing the world and the people around me and holing myself up in my room, doing introverted tasks, like studying, reading and writing, for hours on end. This annoys people who like to talk. Even other introverts get a little huffy at my extensive desire for alone time.

And then there are times when I am just plain unpleasant to be around. Yes, I am kind, and caring, and I would never hurt a single creature willingly; but in the privacy of my home, I can be moody and impulsive, wallowing in misery one second and then taken to the heights of ecstasy by a beautiful piece of artwork. If riled, my ability to intuit exactly what would hurt the other person most makes my tongue sharp as a thorn. When my writing is not going well, or when I begin to despair of my literary ambitions coming to fruition, the door is shut, my soul is dark, and anyone who dares come inside my room does so at their own peril. Whoever does end up being my partner will have to be someone strange or crazy enough to want to put up with my mercurial moods, my bouts of self-loathing and depression, and my isolated nature. It’s a tall order, is all I’m saying.

In theory, I am a romantic, but in reality, I would much rather be alone than spend my time around someone I cannot be myself around, doesn’t understand me, and doesn’t support my creative endeavors. With the right person, I will appear bright, sensitive, self-aware, creative and talented. All the wrong person will see is a moody and immature woman who holes herself up in her room for long hours and possesses the irritating tendency to gush over the beauty of a dead insect, a rusted tap, a flower poking its way through the footpath. I need to find (or stumble, more like; “find” suggests one is actively searching) someone whose weirdness interlocks with mine, just like everyone else, and until then, I will file away Love to the back of my drawers, to be taken out some other day, and leave the business of dating to others.

Compass Girl: A Song For How INFPs Sometimes Deal With Love

Compass Girl


Take my hand

No let me go

Come on close

Please go away

Say Hello

Ignore you so



Make up your mind you say

Do you want me to stay


My heart says Yes

My actions say No

I’m made of poles

North South & West

A quirky compass

Yes I know that best

And you’re confused

And angry too

And I understand

But can you understand me

I’m just so scared

So very scared

And when I’m scared

I’m not brave

I’m not North and South that way


I don’t love you

No wait I do

I don’t like loving you

But I do

Wait maybe I don’t

Maybe it’s all in my head

So go away

Leave me alone


Chorus x1


Take my hand

Please take my hand

Come on close

Please come on close

I’ll say Hello

I’ll say Hello

And maybe we’ll talk…

…and maybe we won’t.

Click HERE to hear it.