Are INFJs doomed to always remain dependent?


#1

I have struggled with asking myself the question of who I really am. And I still am. So I need to ask the question of whether I’ll ever find my own individuality or I stay this way only sucking and stealing other identities?

How does an INFJ escape this and find our own sense of self? Is this a sign of weakness or lack of resilience? I don’t think I’ve ever met another INFJ so I’m having trouble convincing myself that I am not insane. I’d appreciate some insight and any hope you can give me!


#2

Not sure I totally understand but will try. I think you can define your own space. For me, I had to decide to give up on my living heroes. I had to decide that I’m actually the one who is going to change things and lead the pack (rather than supporting others). Speaking from experience this is a disorienting experience. To me it feel like emptiness inside and out (maybe because it requires trying to approximate Ne?).

I think you can take bits and pieces from others and try to form it into the best whole you can.

I guess the other piece of this is learning to engage in Fi. Asking yourself why at are the positive parts of affiliation, loyalty, subjective likes, and finding ways to allow yourself that kind of expression.

That’s a riff anyways.


#3

You’d need to stop being confused and overthinking things and start making decisions on your own. So, are you?


#4

I am trying definitely. But I’m not able to get out of a very very long rut. I’m making the decisions and life isn’t moving fast enough.

If you’ve been in this rut (guessing you have) have you been able to successfully get out of it knowing if it happens again you’ll be able to handle your inferior position? Or is the inferior position grip something I’ll have to deal with my whole life?


#5

(New to the forum, Hi)

You have to be brutally and unapologetically honest with yourself. Don’t be afraid to act (follow your heart, follow what you “feel” is right), to reflect on your actions, and derive information that will help you answer your question.

How I’m reconciling that question atm is breaking myself down into categories of being:

Female
Human
Mind
Soul

….and slowly working down that list to understand each level.

Hope this helps :]


#6

Sure, if the rut is a railroad track and people trying to change my decisions are trying to stop the train by flicking boogers at it. Oops, INTJ, probably a different rut. My challenge has been more learning to be considerate of other people’s opinions and feelings.

My point was there’s some irony in asking forum people how not be dependent on influences of life people for your goals and identity. I’m sure you felt some confidence people here wouldn’t say INFJs suck and need a caretaker and would bolster your intuition that you can carve out your own path. I think you can too :grinning: maybe you’re on right track, it takes time and persistence to build momentum.

Are there specific issues? Overbearing family or bossy partner? What’s your experience with inferior grip, inertia or overindulgence?


#7

Haha I definitely understand the irony. I was asking if, once I get out of an inferior grip position would it constantly be me waiting for the order shoe to drop? That is constantly keep my inferior functions in check.

It was a dominating partner, overbearing chaotic family life and highly competitive law school environment. I’ve had a lot of both. About a year of overindulgence and now I’m in inertia again.


#8

So when it comes to Fe and “stealing” identities, this is natural INFJ empathy. It’s the concept of “acting in another person’s shoes” to understand their perspective and feelings. And sometimes it gets to a point of understanding it so much you feel you lose your self in it all.

This is nothing to feel bad about because I used to feel this way too. I still do sometimes, under pressure. But let me give you clear instructions on how to get over this hump.

  1. Stop letting Fe get carried away. Empathize just enough to realize the needs of a person or given situation.

  2. Work fast. Move from empathy to execution in one swift motion. Example: “This person is sad. Cheer up said person with surprise ice cream. This table leg is not even. Stick something under table leg to balance. My room is messy. Clean room.”

These are clear instructions on how to not get sucked in to being another person’s identity. Nobody needs you to be someone else to the point where you feel everything they feel or to the point where you can’t cope on your own, so you’re going to try to be someone else. This will only lead to failure.

Right now, this is what your process or problem looks like: Use Fe => use Fe some more => use Fe to the point where I get ridiculously sucked in to the feelings and needs around me => get so sucked in by the feelings and needs around me that I forget my own personal feeliings and needs and preferences and likes and dislikes and etc. => who am I? => posts on stellar maze forum asking who am i

This is what a healthy INFJ should look like: Use Fe => Let it tell you what situation needs => Quickly fulfill the needs of the situation => Job is done

NEVER use Fe to the point where all you’re doing is just sitting there and empathizing and trying to understand every detail of every part of every single situation you run into. This is just Ti telling you there’s not enough information or Se helping you get lost in the moment.

As for finding your own identity, on a basic level just ask yourself simple questions as if you were on a date with yourself. What do you like? What do you dislike? What do you find fun? What is your favorite food?

On a more meaningful level, you should ask yourself: Who am I connected to in this world? Are these connections worth keeping? What is my role in all of this? If my role is to tend to the needs of this person or
family or organization or job or whatever, how fulfilling is it to me? Are my efforts worth it? Or are they always thrown back and my face and I should move on to where I am appreciated?

So as I explained, there is the individual self who likes and dislikes different things and there is the self that exists to other people. The more you experience and try different things and situations, the more you will come to understand more of who you are.

Let me know if you have any other questions. I am happy to help.

Cheers.


#9

I saw some model where inferior function is like a three year old. I think the analogy fits especially well for Se. Ni doms get so busy playing with ideas we forget to take a break to stretch, rest, or even eat, then Se tantrums and energy levels crash and I do something like spending all day on the couch drinking mojitos and watching Dexter.

Maybe it helps to think of nurturing your inner child. Se is a body based function, make sure you give her good food, some exercise, enough rest and a comfortable environment, but don’t let her take charge; this makes a good foundation for energy and creativity.

Willpower is sort of like a muscle, exerting it for things like regular exercise or not eating crap food builds your resolve for bigger decisions. Work on making the person you are congruent with the one you want to be; I can see how aux Fe would make this muddled with what others want you to be. I liked @nilson suggestions (welcome, nice to see some new people here :grinning: ). Ni is a visionary function so consider vision of your life path and where you want to go, maybe create something like a collage to put an artsy spin on it and keep around for inspiration.


#10

@geneva Thanks for the warm welcome! I especially liked your thoughts on Se. I agree, it is a body based function that forces you to stop and consider your bodily needs.

I would expand on this to say that INFJs should not put too much stock into Se or even Ti. Personally I think it’s easy for the INFJ to get lost in these functions unless you have the extraverted thinking function like the INTJ to draw the line and say enough is enough.

To me Ti and Se should be backup options more than anything. To escape any INFJ inferior grip, you just have to focus on and take care of the needs of something else and actually interact with it. Constantly let in external feedback via Fe. Constantly quiz yourself after every action and reaction: What else does it need? Instead of trying to resolve everything internally via Ni-Ti or instead of letting the moment pass you Ni-Se.

Even something as simple as cooking can get you out of your grip because it requires your immediate attention (or risk burning your food). The point is, it doesn’t let you get comfortable and lost in the moment. It constantly requires your Fe attention. Thought process: What else does it need? Is it too bland? Does it need salt? Okay, add salt. Does the stew need more time to simmer to soften meat? Okay, let it simmer. Is there not enough sauce base for the stew to get the depth of flavor I want? Okay, add more sauce base.

tldr: Get out of your damn comfort zone. Don’t jump off a cliff or anything, but do something that requires you think on your feet and do things fast to get the job done. Independence and confidence comes from getting the job done, not leaving it unfinished.


#11

Maybe you questioning your identity is evidence of you (still) trying on another identity?

How do we really know we each have a unique identity anyhow?

You could literally drive yourself insane, asking in each moment of life, is this me?

My suggestions won’t help you, because they’ll be something like: just relax…have fun… But then I imagine, you’ll question what relaxing and fun is and what it is to you vs the mass of society. I could suggest smoking a joint, but that only freezes time with no progress, which would drive you insane. Hmmm…let’s see. Nope, got nothing. But fun exercise!

Because for real, you can’t receive advice on this matter. You just have to do and find. It’s not even an INFJ-specific problem, in my opinion. It’s a humanity problem. An existentialism problem. So, in essence, it’s not really a problem - it’s just life.


#12

“Maybe you questioning your identity is evidence of you (still) trying on another identity?”

You are brilliant.


#13

So, in essence, it’s not really a problem - it’s just life.

I figured haha. Thank you though, I’ll just get to it now! and that was really helpful @nilson!


#14

You’ve just described my day (more or less) and how I got into such a sorry state in the first place. Coming out of it now, thanks to a weird combo of Astrology and Kate Bush covers (don’t ask!)

Pictures say more than words, so here’s the story of my day:

image

image

Shame2


#15

Great, Stewart, here I was drinking coffee as sun comes up, birds singing, perusing (?procrastinating) on Stellar Maze, but looking forward to a productive day and now all I’ve got is…

prepare the transit beam :star_struck: