Childhood Reflections


#1

How was the young life as an intuitive type? What Meyers-Briggs types did you interact with growing up? (Family/Friends) How aware were you of the fact that you were different from others? What were some of your copping mechanisms as it relates to detachment from people/reality?

I am an INFJ with ADHD…Yes, I’m positive I’m an INFJ. Lol. I grew up with all sensors except for an INFP sister that is 8 years younger than me. I was raised by my ISFP single mother, so I wouldn’t really consider that as being raised. Lol. When my mother was at her best she encouraged us to be creative and get into the arts. (Music, acting, painting, etc). The problem was that she wasn’t realistic or responsible. We had many visits from Social workers ready to take us away. I had to emotionally manipulate my mom into opening her eyes and start caring what people thought of our situation… when I was 12 years old!!!

I felt very different from others all through out my school years. I didn’t realize at the time obviously, that I was an INFJ. I thought I was different because of the family I was from. I was embarrassed of my family and tried to raise myself to be different. I started using my Fe to make friends and be someone I wasn’t. Through out high school I was an unhealthy INFJ soul trapped in an ESTP shell. When “Jack Ass” was big I had friends that liked to imitate some of the stunts. I remember feeling empty and depressed engaging in these types of Se activities. I knew something was missing in my life, just didn’t know that it was emotional connection.
I connected with girls really well… and not even in a romantic sense, at least not intentionally. They would tell me their problems and I’d give them advice that sounded like common sense to me, but they ate that shit up like candy. This did end up helping me get some sexual experience…which mostly went to waste and sometimes lead to embarrassing moments because… inferior Se. Lol

Things started turning around when I was 17 and met my grandfather from my dads side for the first time. He came from Pueto Rico. He was an ENFJ and he told me exactly how my mind worked in a non Meyers-Briggs way, and he was correct especially now that I do understand my MB Type. I learned a lot from him and he helped me get more in control of myself.

I’m done. I’ll save the rest for morning pages. :upside_down_face: Writing this has actually helped me clear up some of the distorted perceptions of my past. (Devilish Si) I’d love to hear from others!


#2

Quiet, shy. I didn’t like playing with other kids other than just my sister.

Hm. I think my childhood “friend” was an ESFJ. My sister is very INTJ-ish. My dad is INTJ. My mom is prob ENFP.

I never found a “click” or a friend I felt deeply connected to or loyal to. I’ve always had this “thing”. A dark “thing”. A curiosity. mmm can’t pinpoint it. I’ve always had a destiny feeling too. So, very aware. Like I don’t belong. And I never wanted to deep down.

Hmm. Are you saying intuitives detach from people/reality?


#3

No, wrote it wrong. I meant more like how did you cope with the anxiety/depression/isolation/or alienation of having Ni or Ne in a dominant sensors world… wether in a destructive way or an uplifting way. Crack? Violence? Anorexia? Art? Music? Murder? Etc.

For example, I had extreme social anxiety and found comfort in playing instruments and writing music in my garage. Also dabbled a bit with recreational drugs.


#4

Thank you for this thread Sammy. I have so much to share here that I don’t know where to start. God, this is such a relief being here and finding out similarities with my own expereience.

You mentioned you had extreme social anxiety. Did you eventually ‘outgrow’ it? How do you feel now and what would you advise a fellow INFJ going through this?


#6

When I was a younger adult, I had a phase of going over my childhood and feeling angry about things. Then somehow I came out on the other side. Somewhere towards the end of this phase, I no longer cared about my side of it and started to see everyone else’s side. And this all led to doubting memory. Like I really really doubt if I know what happened or not growing up. I just know my experience of it. It’s very strange to think about. I know some kind of narrative. What do I do with that narrative? Then it became about the now and the future and how to stop overreacting to everything…which is hard to truly fix…
So I don’t know if that is a typical intuitive experience, typical infp experience, or what…but it was cool that there was a passage onto something new because it kind of sucked feeling angry.
It is also proof of some kind that my childhood was just fine.


#7

Geesh you have me back to wondering if my sister is enfj. I think it very weird that I can go from thinking my sister is enfj to thinking she is isfj. Ni and Si. So different! But she is kind of the master of invisible. And everyone loves her. The whole world does. It’s just that if she is enfj then she hasn’t broken free yet…

And amen… last day of high school = best day of high school. Thank the heavens high school ends.


#8

Hi Mr./Mrs.? Stranded, Hopefully you’ve been able to read most of Blake’s articles. They helped me a lot. No, I haven’t fully outgrown it yet, but I’m still fairly young for an INFJ. Overthinking amplifies the anxiety, so I trick myself into doing what I don’t think I’m capable of.

For example:

For my job I’ve had to lead presentations in large group settings. The anxiety is inevitable. But the hours leading up to it, I’ll make it a point to stay out of my head by interacting with a charismatic individual and use my Fe to absorb thier personality. Then as I get closer to my time to go up, instead of trying to calm my nerves, I’ll have a coffee or Red Bull. As I am presenting I have to make a strong willed effort to look into people’s eyes. Once I do this I can see beyond thier exterior and really connect on a deep level. As long as I know my material really well, people will mistake me for an ENFJ or ENFP, which confuses people after my presentation when they try to talk to me. Lol. It might not be a healthy way of doing things, but like I said, I have to trick myself. Lol


#9

That’s straight gangsta!


#10

My sister is an Infp too. She’s into the beginning stages of the transition you went through…which gives me lots of hope for her. Thanks!

Hope you don’t mind if I show her what you just wrote??Oops too late. Jk. I’ll just sum it up for her.


#11

no problem. absolutely.


#12

Thanks for the example! I’m male, btw. And yes, I think I’ve read all of Blake’s posts like 5 times. I started doing morning pages about a month ago. I get good feeling of the flow when doing them. Now trying to figure out how to transfer this state to other areas like work where too much Te/Ti stuff kicks in. But that’s a discussion for another thread I guess.


#13

Cool not a lot of dudes on here. Not that it matters. Feel bad that I even implied that I was asking. Lol Getting through that Te/Ti issue is definitely a good topic to discuss as I can relate to it myself.


#14

Ooh, I know that guilt that comes from overanalyzing how another person could’ve percieved my words. Don’t worry about it!

Actually, your question reminds me of a story from my childhood :slight_smile: When I was in my teens, I often was mixed up with a girl in public transport. This happened during cold seasons, when all guys in my country were dressed in something black, ugly, and manly, while I was wearing brighter colors and had longer-than-average hair. Every time I heard “miss, show me your ticket, please”, I got super offended. Eventually I cut my hair shorter and went to the gym to man up :slight_smile: Sadly, this was one of the first steps away from my real self towards what I thought I should be based on what I saw around.


#15

I guess it was fine. I dunno. I was smart, so that was valued by family members, but I was a tomboyish type and also known as very stubborn, so that was questioned. I think I was a very early on feminist or something. Although my family cultural background is patriarchal in many ways, maybe I still somehow saw feminine figures as the overall more powerful role (my mom is pretty hot-tempered compared to my dad, for example, and she was the main disciplinarian), so that all my “goodguys” and “leaders” were female in some way. I think my mom is very fiery ISFJ and my dad may be INTP? I am not sure…! My little sister is probably ISFJ and brotehr INFP. So I had to learn to live with a lot of latent Fi, I think!

I feel like I had a lot of schizoid or softly aspergers traits. Manifesting in some sort of social anxiety or standoffishness when in too much interaction with others (or maybe I am just VERY intj lol!). I was pretty aware I was different, but I kind of didn’t understand why others weren’t different LIKE me, like why would you want to talk about this “useless” or “cliche” thing instead of cool/smart/deep things even after it’s pointed out? Why be irresponsible or break rules when you can see the bad consequences play out? Why not BE SMART? That kinda frustration and lack of understanding :stuck_out_tongue: .

Anyway, even though my parents thought I was smart and I thought I was pretty smart, I got punted around in a lot of different schools in Canada and my parents didn’t speak english well (vietnamese refugees who were luckily sponsored into Canada, father by private sponsorship by a pastor, and mother I think by government) so they couldn’t help me in any of my homework/lessons, so I was always confused about what was even going on and felt somewhat dumb and anxious the entire time. I felt even dumber when the schooling system or standardized tests put me into the “gifted” category and then I was transferred into fulltime gifted classes by grade 4 and I was surrounded by really smart and generally well-off kids (my family was pretty poor at the time). I tried my best to catch up, and for the most part, I did, so I wasn’t too aware at the time of why some people could “work hard” and “be smart” yet get nowhere academically. These are many INTJ arrogances showing haha. Ti => Ni => Te interplay, I guess.

I made closer outcast-y friends in grade 7 when I moved school again into a more urban and diverse setting, outcasty even for gifted nerds! lol, but they were on my level of quirky and curious and were definitely smart and talented in their own ways. Mostly girls. I think one of them is a somewhat self-esteem-crushed ENTJ, the others might be INFJ and ENFJ, but I am unsure! I hadn’t gotten into typing then, so I mostly only known them as two aquarians and a virgo. We all went through highschool together save for INFJ virgo friend who moved in grade 10, and I hung around the art room a lot with my ENTJ aquarian friend (she also did robotics stuff, but art room was a cool place to hang, especially for lunch and spare periods) while ENFJ aquarian friend did drama and hung out in the drama rooms.

I thought highschool was actually really fun and didn’t want to leave. Surrounded by interesting people and lots and lots of art time! If you haven’t noticed, I used art a lot to escape reality or “play” with experiences that I didn’t necessarily want to bother with in real life. Peers are angsty or into edgy things that I didn’t get? => make characters into that stuff so I could half-get it.

I still never “got” human behaviour fully, so I decided to go into psychology and took a bunch of sociology, anthropology, philosophy, and linguistics courses (I specialized in psych and majored in anthro and minored in linguitics in the end). All of which were really interesting and expanded my knowledge about human behaviour, but it didn’t really cure my social anxiety (thus limiting career opportunities). I didn’t really get to mellow out until my late 20s, and even now in early 30s, I’m still a little avoidant of too much public interaction, but as long as it’s in small chunks (like going to mall, one phonecall to customer service a week, etc), I can deal. I think being a cashier for a high volume/traffic grocery store helped in a fast exposure therapy way.

TL;DR: “why everyone so dums?! even dummer than me who feels dum!? >:0 time to take psychology and figure out why!!! wow! so interesting! … …too bad so much dum in the world for it is inevitable in humans.”


#16

@stranded
Yes, yes, I can relate. I was actually teased in elementary school for what are considered feminine traits. Was called girly, gay etc. My mom was literally preparing my family for me to come out of the closet. Lol. As a result, I’m extremely empathetic to what women and the LGBT community go through, but it also had a lot to do with what suppressed my Fe. It Makes me sometimes think that I could be ENFJ with social anxiety. Anyway, I started trying to “man up” after that. And that prob made things worse. :flushed:


#17

Could be? I have social anxiety. I’m an ENFJ. Your public speaking prep has me curious. I have two speeches I have to give next month. 1 hour segments!! I don’t know why I signed up for this. And I really don’t know why someone agreed to it. Your red bull thing sounds like a bad idea for me. I almost feel like taking some Dramamine. Most likely I’ll just be nervous and get through it.


#18

It’s a bad idea for anyone. Lol. But the point of it was to keep myself from being sucked in my head. When I first started talking to groups I would try to calm myself down… but to do that it required me to step inside myself… so then when I spoke my voice would start shaking and I’d be so self conscious… I could feel the room cringing as I’d be looking down at my notes awkwardly. The caffein distracts me with jitters that keep me apart of the external world and eventually builds to a full unleashing of charasmatic energy.

Let me know how your public speaking session goes and what works or doesn’t. I’m sure you’ll do great. You are naturally flowy and engaging on your talks with Blake. The type of flowy engagement I have to build up to with Red Bull. Lol. Good luck!


#19

Yeah…dom Fe is amazing.


#20

Same here. My art was music. It kept me somewhat sane. I wasn’t aware of mbti at the time, but it was my first glimpse of that Ni type of awareness; of the world being a giant puzzle that takes a lifetime to put together. The way certain notes go together and how a different vibe is created depending on which note you strike first in a key; when you choose to strike a note or not; how to methodically switch to a different key in the same song; order, structure, timing, etc. Like science and art combined in a way. I played with so many different Musicians in different genres. Didn’t even care what genre it was. It’s a language in its own. Anyway, I have to stop talking about it cause my boners showing. Lol


#21

I love you all :heart:

Lots to say… need time to be my friend…