Tuesday, December 8, 2015

How to be a happier INFP

So, first of all, it should go without saying that not all of this is going to be applicable to every INFP's situation, right? So, if a few aren't relevant, it doesn't discount your whole life or mean anything about your identity. These suggestions are based on a pretty broad swath of INFPs I have known, both personally and professionally, and the struggles that seem to be most common. 

1) Stop being so hard on yourself, INFP! You are never going to be perfect. Perfection isn't even a thing. You're going to make mistakes (plenty of them) and accidentally hurt people's feelings and do the wrong thing and generally make a mess sometimes, and it's okay. You don't need to hide in the corner and self-flagellate when you do. You don't need to spiral into a pit of despair. It is entirely possible - and much healthier - to address whatever happened, apologize or clean it up, and move on. You're never going to be perfect, but you're good enough. I promise. 

2) Repeating: who you are is completely, totally okay. You may feel like you have no defenses in this cruel, cold world, but don't hide who you are. You may feel almost like there's something fundamentally wrong with you; you're so sensitive and have so many feelings. It can be overwhelming and you may want to hide it, but I would argue that we really need people like you, so let us see you. The world needs people who are soft and tender-hearted and gentle and who accept others in all their quirky ways. Hold that kind of space for people; that's your gift. I know you aren't going to be able to let everyone in indiscriminately, but trust that there is value in exposing your truest self to the ones who matter. 

3) Practice using words when you need to withdraw. Tell the people around you "I'm feeling overwhelmed and I'm going to need some time to myself" rather than just disappear on them and cause worry. Use words to say "I feel depressed" or "I am sad" or "This hurts me" instead of pretending like you're fine but suffering on the inside or worse, shutting down and being unreachable. When you do it this way, the people who love you worry about you. They worry they did something wrong, or that you don't love them, or that there is something terrible ailing you. But sometimes it's nothing, right? You just need to be alone for a while. Say that. Let people know you. Teach people how to treat you, and what you need, and how you are. 

4) Work on not taking everything so personally. Sometimes criticism, while hard to hear, is helpful; it's how we grow. It rarely means anything about who you are as a person. It is rarely an indictment of your character. When you feel criticized or hurt, think through what the person meant by it, what their intentions were, whether it's something to be upset about. Think about whether they might actually have a point, and then use the feedback to make some changes. But skip the part where you absorb the criticism and feel unnecessarily bad about yourself for having stuff you need to work on. We all do.  

5) On the other hand, related to the previous suggestion, you can also practice using words to say when something feels bad to you instead of pulling inward to lick your wounds. Just say "That hurt my feelings". This one is particularly hard for male INFPs, because of course we socialize men to be tough and whatnot. INFP dudes, here's the thing: you ain't that tough, and that's perfect. That is exactly right. You don't have to be tough in the traditional hyper-masculine ways the world expects. You march to the beat of your own drum anyway, so you can be revolutionary when you set an example for other men in your life that it is safe to be emotional, to be sensitive, to say "that hurt my feelings" instead of resorting to the anger or stonewalling we have come to expect from men. 

6) You are very slow to make decisions, presumably because you want to make sure you have all the information you need, but the byproduct of this is that you almost always wait too long to do something you know needs done. You are likely to languish in bad relationships far longer than you should or stay at that job you hate because you are afraid to do the wrong thing, or of being hurtful, or you aren't positive you did every single possible thing that you could to make the situation work. I get it. The problem is though that you sometimes drag your feet even when you really do know what to do. It doesn't serve you. It just wastes your time, and other people's time. 

7) Sometimes you take too long with decision-making because of fear of failure. To this I say: fuck it. You're going to fail sometimes. That's fine. You can handle whatever comes next. See #1. 

8) .....


The remaining content has moved to a new blog home!!!!!! 

Disclaimer: It is a subscription-based blog, but it's only $1/month (or $5-10 if you want allllll the content on the site). The idea behind this is that these posts are so popular that I could monetize them a tiny bit, because I have a 9 month old baby to feed, tbh. 

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TO READ #8-14 (and tons of other stuff about personality types and love and life and communication and happiness), please go to 

https://www.patreon.com/posts/8743950
www.patreon.com/amymiller

This article's specific new home is: https://www.patreon.com/posts/how-to-be-infp-8743950


INFP functional stack: Fi Ne Si Te

Here is a post you can share with your partner to help him or her  understand you better: 

http://millercounseling.blogspot.com/2015/02/care-feeding-of-infp.html


If you want to talk more about this: www.millercounseling.org


29 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Until recently, I never knew I could actually "fit" into ANY category. As other INFP's have said before me, I too hardly comment on anything, but this post has honestly and truly enlightened, informed, and comforted me. For over the past three years, after a horrible relationship ended-leaving me riddled with PTSD, only to be hurt again by someone I'd trusted for over half my life. Since then, I have had NO desire to be with ANYONE...Which has lead to a pretty lonely existence. But I would rather be safe than end up sorry...again. I have my wonderful boys to attend to and take care of and focus on. That is all I really need. Their love and knowing they feel loved and secure are all I'm concerned with. It's a "double edge" sword kinda situation. But at least I'm discovering that I am not alone in this world...in my head. Maybe I will be okay after all. Thank you!!!

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      Will you please consider joining us and becoming a patron to support the work? I'll be writing all kinds of things for INFP and other types as well as general advice about relationships and communication.

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  2. I never comment on anything (prefer to keep my thoughts tucked away), but this article is SO spot on and incredibly helpful. Sincere gratitude <3

    ReplyDelete
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    1. This post is moving to its new home at www.patreon.com/amymiller

      Will you please consider joining us and becoming a patron to support the work? I'll be writing all kinds of things for INFP and other types as well as general advice about relationships and communication.

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  3. I rarely make comment for a blog. I prefer being a silent reader. But after reading this, I must say thank you. Thank you for understanding INFPs. You make me in tears while reading this. :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. This post is moving to its new home at www.patreon.com/amymiller

      Will you please consider joining us and becoming a patron to support the work? I'll be writing all kinds of things for INFP and other types as well as general advice about relationships and communication.

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  4. Thank you very very much! It's really helpful! I promise I'll try to love and accept me more..

    ReplyDelete
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    1. This post is moving to its new home at www.patreon.com/amymiller

      Will you please consider joining us and becoming a patron to support the work? I'll be writing all kinds of things for INFP and other types as well as general advice about relationships and communication.

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  5. Replies
    1. This post is moving to its new home at www.patreon.com/amymiller

      Will you please consider joining us and becoming a patron to support the work? I'll be writing all kinds of things for INFP and other types as well as general advice about relationships and communication.

      Delete
  6. Yes, as someone above said, I am more of a silent reader but this piece really helped open my eyes. For once I feel like something written about my type has been fully understood.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. This post is moving to its new home at www.patreon.com/amymiller

      Will you please consider joining us and becoming a patron to support the work? I'll be writing all kinds of things for INFP and other types as well as general advice about relationships and communication.

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  7. Such a great post, you really understand me HAHA. In fact, I always tend to withdrawing without any information or no one else know when I got overwhelmed.

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  8. This strengthened my heart to read. Thank you. It threw me off guard just how much every single one of these points pegged exactly how I think (and the struggles....all the struggles).

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  9. This helps me a lot I think I can become better person because of this . I will start asking the rights questions and stop taking every little bit criticism badly. Thank you for this.

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  10. Absolutely loved this. Thank you <3

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    1. This post is moving to its new home at www.patreon.com/amymiller

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  11. Wow. This is exactly me, and exactly what I needed to hear today (and always, really). Thank you.

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  12. So I never normaly comment on things, like many of us, but I must say this is is absolutly perfect, and I think its what all INFP's need to hear. Thank you!

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  13. This information is so critical for me at this time 😃 Thanks!!

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  14. As INFP, i really thank you for making this up, the last words really make me almost in teary eyes haha although i'm still hesitant about the advisory and therapist :(

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      Will you please consider joining us and becoming a patron to support the work? I'll be writing all kinds of things for INFP and other types as well as general advice about relationships and communication.

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