XXVIIII. Dealing With Changes as an INFJ

Hello, dearest reader! I’m grateful to have you with me here today.

There was a lot going on that I needed to attend to in my life, but I am back! It feels wonderful to be writing again.

I got a request from an INFJ to write a post on how to deal with drastic changes in life. I felt that it was a really great topic, as I myself have also struggled with handling change. Here are some points about change that I hope people will find useful to consider, or at least start some interesting discussion! Enjoy.

  1. Life is all but defined by change. That may seem self-explanatory on paper, but it is an important idea to consciously acknowledge. There are some things in life that we just can’t change–no matter how hard we try.
  2. Resisting inevitable change is emotionally draining, and usually does not accomplish much. This was (and sometimes still is) a very difficult concept for me to grasp, especially when it comes to friendships. I care deeply about my friends, and it hurts a lot to see one of my close friends drifting apart from me. In the past, I would tend to hold on as tightly as I could for as long as I could. This would cause me to get really stressed, and the friend usually just leaves my life like they were going to before anyway! All my effort could have been put to use much more productively if I realistically analyzed the situation and just let go when the time came.
  3. Going with the flow makes things hurt a lot less. I have been working on this recently, and it has improved my emotional well-being significantly. My mantra has been to plan actions, not outcomes. This was a critical shift in attitude for me which has made a big difference in my happiness. Instead of planning on something happening and being disappointed when it doesn’t happen, do your best and figure things out from there. If try your best to do the right thing, what else could you have done? Be flexible. Flow like water.
  4. Forgive yourself! We all make mistakes sometimes, and it can change our life in ways we wish it didn’t. The best thing to do is to treat yourself kindly, learn something from the situation and move on with that new knowledge. Sometimes I look back on some of the things I’ve done and feel a sense of regret and self-loathing, but I stop myself. I was a different person back then, and those experiences helped me grow as a human being. Be sure to afford yourself the same grace and forgiveness you would give to one of your close friends that made a mistake.
  5. Enjoy the ride! It’s important to take a step back every now and then and think about what really matters. Chances are, most of the little inconveniences we go through in life are not going to bother us a year from now. Having an optimistic viewpoint can make those seemingly big changes a lot more small. Life is not a problem to be solved, but an experience to be enjoyed and appreciated.

I hope this was helpful! If there are any other topics you’d like me to write about, let me know in the comment section. Talk to you all soon!

Seize the day!
Ryan
10 July 2017 7:15 PM

Getting Back in the Game

Hello, dearest reader! I hope all of you have been well.

Though I’ve been replying to some comments here and there, it’s been quite a while since I’ve made an actual post. Life has been busy, but great!

I want to start posting more again, and I was wondering if you guys had any suggestions on what to write about. It could be anything at all! I would appreciate it if you left a comment suggesting a topic.

Hope to be writing more soon!

Seize the day!
Ryan
30 June 2017 3:21 PM

XXVIII. Loving/Forgiving Myself

Hello again, dearest reader! Thank you for taking the time to read the words that I write.

There’s really no way to sugar-coat it, so I’ll just say it: I can really use some work at extending the love I so readily give to others toward myself.

It’s something that I am working on improving, but learning how to love myself is the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to go through.

I used to think if I got this good grade on an exam, or if this girl liked me back, or if I did some sort of action, that self-fulfillment would finally come. If it did happen that way, I thought I felt happy; but if it didn’t, then I felt terrible. I felt like the whole world was crashing down around me every time I didn’t accomplish my goals. I told myself that I was a failure. I replayed the scenes over and over in my mind on a sleepless night, detailing exactly what I should have done to avoid being in the situation I placed myself in.

After reaching my breaking point, I came to a profound conclusion: I was basing my self-worth entirely on external circumstances, and this was also holding me back from the fulfillment I desired. There is no way I can be happy in that situation, because I will never be perfect. If I keep beating myself up over events of the past, then my future will never be bright.

So I’ve been working to be better about it, but it is incredibly difficult for me. As they say, old habits die hard. Most days I’m a lot happier than I’ve been in a long time. Still, I don’t feel like I am at the point where I really appreciate who I am and truly forgive myself for my mistakes. I feel like I know better than the others I am so easily able to forgive. It’s been a struggle to give that same forgiveness and grace to myself.

I would appreciate any advice or stories in the comment section. Hope to talk to you all soon!

Seize the day!
Ryan
6 February 2017 9:27 PM

XXVII. Are INFJs Manipulative?

Hey there, dearest reader! I’m glad you can be here today.

It’s a question I’ve asked myself quite a lot: Are INFJs manipulative?

Although I think every type has the potential to manipulate and cause pain to others, I think the INFJ has a very acute awareness of how their actions can affect other people (Ni-Fe). We have a knack for figuring out what others want, and what inspires them. We have an equal understanding of people’s fears, too. With all of that knowledge comes a lot of potential for misuse. As easily as we can build people up, we can also just as simply tear them to ribbons from the inside out.

Luckily, I would say that most INFJs would find this morally reprehensible. I don’t think many INFJs lust after power for its own sake, even if we could easily take it.

But that’s not to say there’s no grey area. I have good intentions, and I want to help people in the world. Is it possible to do that without having influence over people? If I “manipulate” someone into doing something that ends up benefiting them (aka suggesting they evaluate any unhealthy relationships they are in), is that a bad thing?

I don’t know. The whole idea of power simultaneously disgusts and intrigues me. I don’t really want power in its own right, but I don’t want others to be mislead by the powerful people that abuse it.

What do you guys make of all of this? I would love to have discussions with all of you about power in the comment section. Talk to you all soon!

Seize the day!
Ryan
18 January 2017 7:46 PM

XXVI. A Post About Me

Hello, dearest reader! I’m glad you can be here today.

I’ve realized that behind all of the INFJ theory I’ve wrote about I haven’t actually done a lot about myself or my own experiences. I guess I can’t escape my need to be private even on a blog dedicated to myself, haha.

So, who is the person that puts together the words you read on this site?

I am a human being, just like you, trying to reconcile the meaning of my existence and the human condition.

The first thing you need to know is that there is darkness in my life. Quite a bit of it.

I was bullied for many years when I was younger in school, because I was different from most other kids. I used to sit at a lunch table alone, because I didn’t have the confidence to talk to anyone. Many nights I went home and cried in my room. Although things are better now, I am still dealing with the residual effects that the experience has had on my self-esteem.

However, even if I could go back in time and change that part of my life, I never would. It has made me into the person I am today. I am an empathetic person because of the people that antagonized me. I know what it’s like to have been in the gutter, and it drives me to uplift those around me that are struggling or in pain.

I hope that none of you feel sad about my story, because that is not my intention. For all of the darkness in my life, there is so much light. My message is that no matter what the conditions of your past were, you can always improve your circumstances– you can even use the things that were difficult for you to bring you up even higher.

I know today’s piece was a little different. I didn’t have a set topic I was going to write about beforehand. I just went where my mind took me, and I hope that allowed you to get to know me a little better.

Did you enjoy the more personal side of this INFJ? Let me know in the comment section, and I will try to do more of it! Talk to you all soon.  🙂

Seize the day!
Ryan
12 January 2017 9:58 PM

XXV. A Letter to 2016

(because I feel the letter format does an effective job at conveying emotional messages.)

Dear 2016,

In a sentence, you were a year to remember.

On one hand, it seems like you turned my whole life upside down. You handed me many challenges in quick succession: moving to an unknown place, meeting new people while saying goodbye to some friends of old. I had to deal with the shortcomings of many people– the most challenging of those being my own. You handed me stress, heartbreak and uncertainty.

Although there were many trials in 2016, I come out of the year feeling that I have got things together now more than ever. An unfamiliar place has become a home, strangers have become friends and I still have all of the people that truly matter to me from before. You handed me problems, and I grew as person so I could overcome them. I grieved for the people that are not in my life anymore, but that has caused me to enjoy my own company even more. I have learned to forgive others for their mistakes. More important than that, I am beginning to learn how to forgive– and love– myself for who I am. Although I am not perfect, I will continue to make strides to live a fulfilling life that makes me proud of myself.

2016, you were a difficult year, but it made me a better person. I will cherish the memories made and remember the lessons you taught me this year into the next. Be it for better or for worse, I look forward to 2017 with an open mind and a resolute heart.

Happy New Year!
Ryan
26 December 2016 2:48 PM

XXIV. A Message of Goodwill

Hi, dearest reader! Great to see you.

I don’t really have a specific topic I wanted to go into tonight. I just wanted to remind anyone reading this of their importance in this world. It is so easy to think that as only one person in however-many billion that one’s actions and feelings are inconsequential. I deeply believe that could not be farther from the truth.

Your actions create a ripple effect that expand beyond comprehension. The things you do for others do not go unnoticed. You are all truly important, to me if not to anyone else.

I hope you all have a happy and fulfilling holiday season, and that you never forget that you are so important.

Seize the day!
Ryan
24 December 2016 11:46 PM

 

XXIII. Setting Boundaries as an INFJ

Hello, dearest reader! I’m glad you can be here today.

I’m going to talk about one of my biggest weaknesses as a person, and that is setting boundaries with people.

I am naturally a giver. It makes me happy to see the people I care about succeed, and I try to do everything I can to help those people get to where they aspire to be. However, my time, energy and emotional resources are limited. I can only do so much as a single person to lift everyone up around me before I get overloaded and withdraw from society (a mechanism I’ve lovingly named “turtle mode”).

Going into turtle mode confuses even some of my closer friends at times. All they see from their perspective is me cutting them off– they have no idea on their own why this is happening or for how long this is going to last. I need to explain that I’ve stretched myself too thin and I need some time to recover. It’s the emergency valve that stops the pressure from building up inside of me and bursting.

This brings up the question of what is causing me to stretch myself too thin in the first place, and that comes back to setting boundaries. I try my best to maintain outer social harmony (auxiliary extroverted feeling), which sometimes causes me to sacrifice my own needs in the place of others. Doing that for too many people drains me and causes me to realize I am not taking care of myself as much as I should. Although the turtle mode mechanism is the emergency release, I could avoid these problems in the first place by setting better boundaries from the beginning.

Some signs of unhealthy boundaries:

  • going against your personal values to please others around you
  • becoming overwhelmed or preoccupied by one person
  • talking at an intimate level at the first meeting
  • falling in love with an acquaintance or anyone that reaches out
  • allowing others to direct your life and define your reality

I’ve learned that it is not conceited to want to take care of yourself. My needs (and your needs) are just as important as anyone else’s. If someone does not respect any boundaries you have set up, perhaps it should be considered that this person does not have your best interests in mind. It is also equally critical to be vocal of those boundaries as well to avoid any confusion. Communication is very important in friendships and relationships. By setting boundaries, people can be happier because they surround themselves with people that respect their wishes and needs.

What are your thoughts on boundaries? I would love to hear from you in the comment section. Talk to you all soon!

Seize the day!
Ryan
19 December 2016 9:13 PM

XXII. A Letter My Love Will Never Read

To the one that has a special place in my heart,

I write this letter to you knowing that you will never read it, or even know the full extent to which I care about you. I do not lament this fact, not anymore. This is not a letter of grief, but one of appreciation.

From the first moment we spoke I couldn’t help but feel that you were going to be incredibly important in my life. That inexplicable prediction was confirmed as soon as I got to know you. I knew I had found someone that was truly one-of-a-kind.

You have so much emotional depth, and I would gladly lose myself in your inner world any time you felt like letting someone in. When we explored the abstract and took off our masks that we show to the rest of the world, I felt alive, exhilarated. For once in my life I felt understood. I didn’t have to take time to explain myself because you would pick up right where I left off. You are one of the only people that has truly caught a glimpse of who I am and who I want to be. I feel honored that you would let down your walls for me as well, as short-lived as our experience together was.

I have never appreciated the idea of picking flowers, for that is a person destroying the very thing they find beautiful. In the same way, you are a tulip that I have passed by on the path we call life. Instead of uprooting you, I will appreciate your beauty and continue on, letting your tangerine petals bloom. Although I will not be able to see your vibrant colors as I walk away, I am sure that many people will enjoy your presence when their paths cross yours. I know that I did.

Although it pains me to know that you do not feel the same about me as I feel about you, I cannot thank you enough. It has been a great privilege to have met someone who far exceeded my high expectations and set my romantic heart ablaze. You have awoken me in a way no one else could. Although you are not physically in my life anymore, you will always be here with me in my heart. I will always look out for you from afar, because once I care about someone, I always do.

I would wish you the best of luck, but I know you do not need it. You are one of the most intelligent, sensitive, caring, radiant, and beautiful people I have ever met. Although you feel like the world is against you at times, you will find your way– and I cannot wait to see where your talents will take you in life.

Although I would want nothing more than to spend the rest of my days with you, I am beginning to find my peace.

Take care, kindred spirit.

Ryan

XXI. An Ode to ENFPs

Hello, dearest reader! Glad you could make it today.

I would like to talk about one of my favorite personality types, and that’s the ENFP. They’re like kettle corn to me– once I have a little bit I can’t get enough. If I feel that irresistible pull to someone, chances are they are an ENFP. I’ll talk about why I like them so much in this post.

The first thing that makes the INFJ-ENFP combo interesting is a comparison of the functional stack. The INFJ functional stack is Ni-Fe-Ti-Se, while the ENFP functional stack is Ne-Fi-Te-Si. Notice something about the two? The functions are in the same order, but completely inverted from each other. Each function that one has in the extroverted form, the other has in the introverted form, and vice versa. We cover each other’s blind spots since we collectively share all eight functions.

INFJs tend to be serious while having a desire to loosen up more and be fun on the inside. ENFPs tend to be bubbly while having a desire to form deeper connections on the inside. We can both help each other where we need to improve.

Another reason I love ENFPs is their desire to think in an abstract manner like us. The extroverted intuition of the ENFP sees the possibilities, the introverted intuition of the INFJ sees the solutions. Because of this, ENFPs can struggle to ground themselves and INFJs can struggle to see beyond their own personal convictions. Again, each type balances each other out. The ENFP gives off a bunch of possibilities, which the INFJ sorts through and can decide which is the most reasonable. It’s a nice combination for both types.

Although the INFJ-ENFP dynamic is certainly wonderful, it can have its downsides. INFJs like to have alone time, and ENFPs like to be with people. This can cause some issues when one side isn’t getting the type of time they prefer as much as they’d like to. I’ve found that INFJs tend to like to stick to one subject or topic for a long period of time, while ENFPs like to bounce around. This can cause friction between the two types. Essentially, dealing with misunderstandings is the biggest problem in an INFJ-ENFP friendship or relationship. Because of this, communication is critical in making sure each person is understood and content. If this communication is established, the relationship can be a wonderful thing.

What do you guys think about ENFPs? Let me know in the comment section. Talk to you all soon!

Seize the day!
Ryan
14 November 2016 6:37 PM