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I feel that being an INFP is like being an alien, no matter how hard you try you feel like a visitor from another world and spend a good deal of your time either trying to acclamate and exist in this strange and hostile environment or trying to figure out why exactly you're here in this place that you oftentimes don't understand. you're in the world but not really of it. INFPs are called the defenders of the realm, the pure white warriors. i don't feel like a defender of the realm.  i'm harmless. i'm certainly not a fighter because as an INFP i don't like violence.  and we INFPs are so few and far between that i seriously doubt that we really make any sort of difference even though we easily have all the answers to the ills of the world and the deep desire to cure those ills. but i guess that's why we're the defenders. we're the only ones that realize that the realm needs defending. there's something very painful about being an INFP. the loneliness is definitely the biggest thing. it's so hard to find anybody who really understands you and doesn't pass you off as a flighty, reclusive, quixotic looney. to outsiders we are strange idealists. but to the INFP ideals are not impossible dreams. they are real, more real than anything else and they are the only driving force for us. the Good is what gives everything meaning. being an INFP is like being a physician with all the knowledge and desire to cure your patients only to realize that the patient doesn't want to be cured. the patient doesn't even realize that they are sick and that they need help. it's very painful to watch someone suffer from something that you know doesn't have to be. we are very spiritual in a world where real spirituality is looked at as an oddity. we are intellectual in a world where knowledge for knowledge's sake goes against the pragmatic majority. we are soft-spoken and shy in a world where the ideal is to be outgoing and aggressive. we have a clear sense of what is ethical and feel compassion deeply for those that suffer in a world where people seem to be so self-centered, directionless, and shallow. being so special is a hard and lonely existence. even so, i still think that INFPs have an important place in creation. we're here to provide leverage against the craziness that the others create. we're the counterweight. it's like being a small group of older kids looking after an overwhelming majority of out of control two year olds wo believe they know better than you. it's very strange indeed but we can only be what  we are. we should be proud and live our truth because we do have a supreme responsibilty.  personally i'm honored to be an INFP :)

3strikes 3strikes 22-25, F 38 Responses Jan 8, 2009

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feel surrounded by strangers and have one or two really close friends tha I can tell 'it' to

I am happily an INFP, and I find this too be very true and exceedingly funny in how you described things. "passed you off as a flighty, reclusive, quixotic looney" So true and so very hilarious.

I really Enjoyed you're story. Could you please explain in more detail what an INFP is. Iv heard of indigos and crystal children, but nothing of INFP. Maybe in the same line?

Wow... I just cried because you explained how I feel sooo accurately. Thank you :) Sometimes I feel like I will never find anyone who thinks like me. It seems like no one takes me seriously when I express my opinion because a lot of it is based off my intuition. Plus, everyone sees me as a girl with her head in the clouds, too blinded to take advice from. I feel like people underestimate my intuition, which makes me angry and want to be mad at them, but at the same time all I want to do is protect them. Jeez being an INFP is really difficult. The worst part is watching someone you love destroy who they are and know there's nothing you can do because they won't believe you.

There are other people out there like me and my twin sister! wow! It has taken me years to accept who I am I only wish I found out sooner...I have always pretended I am someone I am not and although a 100% introvert I find that when I am around close friends or my twinny I am myself (more outspoken and extroverted) which is a real contradiction to my 'public guarded' self. I just wish I cared less about what people thought and was less 'in my head', and less reliant on peoples acceptance of me. An advantage I have is i have a beautiful twin sister who is the same as me, if more of a dreamer, we have had a tumultuous relationship in recent years and have tended to not accept eachother as we are as we have not accepted OURSELVES. As we have got older and explored who we really are, we have been more supportive and closer than ever. The western world is truly extroverted orientated and it is hard for us extreme introverts to be accepted as we are. Extroverts do not understand us!! INTP's, be your caring, sensitive self, dont try to be someone your not and be free, youl find people accept you more if your not trying to be someone your not...peace and love x

My only difficulty with being an INFP is that, as a man, I'm expected to be someone completely different from what I am. I have such enormous empathy for anybody that seems to be left out of society, or even left out of competence. But I lack the practical abilities to save them or provide them all with a better environment in which they can feel safe to grow and simply be human.

I feel utterly alone most of the time. The only reprieve I can get from my pain is to give up on trying to let out the incredible being that lies hidden deep inside me, shielded by a complex system of external defense mechanisms. Whenever I let those defenses down and let my inmost self begin to be exposed, I feel immediately the disregard of others coming at me.

The only time I have ever felt entirely free to let myself out was when I had a very intense relationship with an INTP female. I had to end it because I could not see how to keep it alive and maintain harmony with the people in my life I had grown up with, who saw us both as behaving utterly impractically and absurdly.

Without money and all these structures NOTHING works out!!! And I hurt so many people trying to ACT on an incredible ideal I shared in common with this person without planning, without explaining; it tore up my family :(

Now I am trying to heal all the wounds I caused, but if I don't GIVE UP on my idealism, my heart is going to be pierced through with a knife of pain! But if I do give it up, I will backslide into lethargy, inactivity, and bitterness, which is what was happening to me before I met this person.

I felt with her for the first time that my ideals and unusual manner were appreciated. I'm afraid I will never find that place again...

This post echoed my sentiments and left me cold, for I have always felt alone struggling with all that's mentioned and i never really understood why i felt the way i always feel, never belong, always dreaming of the ideal, not knowing what i want for i know what i want but i can never attain it, the loneliness i felt, not being able to be understood, not wanting to do anything about it for i know whatever i try will never match up to my own expectations. Once my therapist told me i was my own worst enemy. I hated how the world revolves around certain ideals that to me were insignificant, there were greater things to be bothered about. No one really understands you, why you think or function or do things the way you do, not the norm. Why the moodiness, which i have learnt to hide, to hide my true feelings even from my closest friends. And the worst part of it all is that they think they know you and they criticise you or give you advice, but don't they see that i'm not the same as them?<br />
I felt a certain relieve when i read why i am the way i am, coz i am an INFP. and now that i have stumbled onto this page, i am glad i'm not alone in how i feel....<br />
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I don't know about the creative part, i don't think i'm creative, though others perceive it.... i have always gravitate to the lonely, the sad, aged ones left, abandoned by their families yet afraid to go forth to help. <br />
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my question though is are we the way we are because we are born this way or because of circumstances? how did we become who we are today? INFPs? though i'm proud to be one, it is a constant struggle to match reality with idealism....

Thank you thank you!! I cried when I read this because I felt like I finally fit in.

I have nothing to say except thank you so much. Finally, someone had stand up and said for me and those who are INFP, the people who always feel ' wrong' with their own world.

I LOVE YOU!! yayyyyy U!! :P

After much contemplation I have decided that I am an INFP. The way I concluded this is by looking at the times in my life when I made the best and worst decisions. My value system is my greatest strength which is the Fi in me. The decisions that have brought upon me the greatest desater are the ones where I compromized my value system or was close to people who crossed my values. At times like this I have been the absolute most misserable and most stressed and depressed. This has helped me to realize who I am and what I want to be. I must draw from my greatest strength while charting my course. What a relief to finally realize that.

Every time I indulge in what can only be called meditation, I feel this alien feeling. A feeling of newness that can only be described as mystical and very scary. I try to embrace this feeling and, if need be, write them down. It can lead me to a very intellectual and philosophical state of mind or into the pits of depression. <br />
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Yes, being an INFP is a roller coaster.

Read some more of your posts. Still amazed there are other people out there like me. The strange thing is, I think I'm stuck between INFP and INTP. I score about 50 50 on left or right brain dominance. What does that make me? Quite mixed up. I can be very rational, practical, and analytical and a great decision maker with tenacious drive to complete my goals, yet at the same time overly emotional, overly anxious about matters that I should not obsess about (irrational), so empathetic that I can't find joy as long as the ones I love are suffering (even if they inflict it upon themselves) no matter how hard I try to disconnect with those feelings, and just a sense that I'm living in a dark world that just looks darker the older I get and the more I realize how people are exploited. I am such an emotional being that I find reprieve in my logical side as I delve into scientific research (void of the emotional aspect). Then I come back to myself feeling refreshed. I am also extremely artistic and feel relief when drawling my feelings on paper in some kind of symbolic form or creating instantaneous songs to express how I feel. Not many people I know of, have suffered like me. My idealistic tendencies have caused me to trust people I shouldn't and I have been exploited again and again, mentally, emotionally and in other ways. So now I am left trying to make sense of myself and who I really am. I don't get respect from most people because of my disorganization, timidness, and difficulty expressing myself verbally (though it's so much easier to type it out). Plus there is this other element of purpose that most people don't seem to get. They can be satisfied just earning money and enjoying their friends... I absolutely can not settle with that. I buy a latte and feel guilty because I think about how that $4 splurge could have fed a starving family on the other side of the world for at least half a week. It's like, since age 3, I've been drafted into this crusade to heal the hurting and save the world (that's how old I was when I started thinking this way). I'm compelled to think about these issues because life would be too empty and meaningless without such a deeper purpose. Now, as a single mom, I am forced to think of practical ways to support my children, yet deeply desire something meaningful and creative and it's hard to expend my time any other way. Can anyone else relate?

Read some more of your posts. Still amazed there are other people out there like me. The strange thing is, I think I'm stuck between INFP and INTP. I score about 50 50 on left or right brain dominance. What does that make me? Quite mixed up. I can be very rational, practical, and analytical and a great decision maker with tenacious drive to complete my goals, yet at the same time overly emotional, overly anxious about matters that I should not obsess about (irrational), so empathetic that I can't find joy as long as the ones I love are suffering (even if they inflict it upon themselves) no matter how hard I try to disconnect with those feelings, and just a sense that I'm living in a dark world that just looks darker the older I get and the more I realize how people are exploited. I am such an emotional being that I find reprieve in my logical side as I delve into scientific research (void of the emotional aspect). Then I come back to myself feeling refreshed. I am also extremely artistic and feel relief when drawling my feelings on paper in some kind of symbolic form or creating instantaneous songs to express how I feel. Not many people I know of, have suffered like me. My idealistic tendencies have caused me to trust people I shouldn't and I have been exploited again and again, mentally, emotionally and in other ways. So now I am left trying to make sense of myself and who I really am. I don't get respect from most people because of my disorganization, timidness, and difficulty expressing myself verbally (though it's so much easier to type it out). Plus there is this other element of purpose that most people don't seem to get. They can be satisfied just earning money and enjoying their friends... I absolutely can not settle with that. I buy a latte and feel guilty because I think about how that $4 splurge could have fed a starving family on the other side of the world for at least half a week. It's like, since age 3, I've been drafted into this crusade to heal the hurting and save the world (that's how old I was when I started thinking this way). I'm compelled to think about these issues because life would be too empty and meaningless without such a deeper purpose. Now, as a single mom, I am forced to think of practical ways to support my children, yet deeply desire something meaningful and creative and it's hard to expend my time any other way. Can anyone else relate?

I love this, It sums up this feeling I have so well.

I am facinated by physics but scared of the math. Repition and sequence boar me to death, but calculus might be interesting... Love the abstract thinking involved with theoretical physics, it's just amazing! I have a visual-spacial mind. Enthralled with astronomy, space and time.... but I also feel a sense of guilt with it because it does not satisfy my inclination to serve humanity for some kind of spiritual and deep meaningful purpose. Yes, physics can help humanity but it lacks that personal element, really. I thought about psychology but I am so darn empathetic that I think I would just crumble emotionally. I love art, but it doesn't seem to satisfy my need to change the world for the better, although it could make people happy :) and I would really enjoy it. I would love love love to be a writer, but I fear my vocabulary is not extensive and spelling and grammer not the best. I am a great free flowing writer, though and would love to write poetically. That really doesn't promise a steady income, though, considering I'm a single mom and need to kick myself into gear and finish my degree (have 82 credits). About to pull my hair out thinking about this! Loosing sleep and becoming obessive, haha joking.

Searching for a career choice and just realized that I am an INFP. No wonder I have always fealt like an odd ball. I see things many people are blind to. I have such a wide range of intersts that I just can't decide on what I want to do with the rest of my life: psychology, physics, art, writing... Feel crazy trying to decide.

I feel exactly like this! and it just makes me feel stressed thinking about it.. to have to decide on one thing?

I have to admit, I nearly cried reading this. It's been so hard trying to find people who could just understand what it's like, how hard it is to feel so left out of what should be a great place to be . . . and I can't get in. Because to get in, I have to leave behind all that I am, and I won't do that. I love my inner world with all that I am, and I wish others could see it too, it's so beautiful . . . but it's like they're blind. There is so much out here that can be made better, and when I explain it, people look at me as though I'm either a visionary, or insane. And no matter what, it never changes a thing. It's like they hear me, but they don't really listen. Every new achievement in the world is an answer to a problem that people around me just don't see.<br />
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There have been many times in my life, a common thing for me, really, that I've wondered if I'm the only person in the world, and everyone else is imagination, or a false creation - can they see? do they think? or are these just automatons? I don't even know why I get that feeling, but I suppose it's part of that alienness. <br />
This group alone may be the reason I join this site . . . somewhere I don't have to pretend, I don't have to fake my way through life . . . Thank you.

i also have thought 1)that they sent me the other people so that i didn't feel alone 2)i am from a more advanced era in something like a prehistoric era in the world. Because people make very silly mistakes all the time like betrayals or attacks.

Yeah, I completly agree, I've always seen how pointless some of the small things people talk about are, and I just don't see why they can't see what I see! Why can't they understand the deeper meanings of things, it really makes you feel alone when you can't stand a conversation because it's so pointless, I'm not planning on sitting back though, I want to change the world, I guess that's how most INFPs feel though.

infp or not. I don't mean this in a judgemental way at all : )<br />
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I remember feeling this way when i was growing up and at one point, i even imagined kissing myself while looking into my bathroom mirror..seriously creepy, but nonetheless, i was never 'normal' anyways. So I'd like to share with all my fellow INFPs a few things that got me through my toughest days growing up as an INFP:<br />
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Thanks to our ever thinning culture encouraged by media & persuit of instant gratification, people at this particular century are ALL looking for something to hold on to..When desires and wants seems pivotal in daily people we meet, it's only normal to feel this way, we are not sure of who we are, where we belong, where we come from, and all the source & implications & consequences of our actions, (including jam-spamming someone elses' blog) etc etc..it all sums up to a tough time for everyone. Only thing is, us, the INFPs, might feel that in a more intense proportion...<br />
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...it sucks.<br />
#1<br />
Stay neutral in these situations..instead of start feeling the negative mood, start learning how people behave and react..(not saying you need to change yourself to fit in, but if you can learn this SKILL, this is a very valueable knowledge that keeps you sane far down the road) you will always feel the way you do, and do the things you do, but know that after you've given your best, then the rest is really not up to you to call the shots. because, just like us INFPs, other people will always feel the way they feel, and do the things they do. YOU ARE JUDGED EITHER WAY, whether you do it or not, choose the road without regret.<br />
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That said,<br />
#2<br />
choose your friends wisely, because especially at this delicate age, an emotionally secured friendship can really teach a budding INFP how to acknowledge their insecurity and unconfortable spot (it's a great start for fully realizing who we are) and help us fully understand the meanings & rituals of human interaction and root motives (and if all the MBTI tests are true abt our soft spoken roles, we're gonna be needing these essential knowledge very often as well) <br />
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<br />
#3<br />
Always have a CLEAR & POSITIVE view of WHAT & HOW you want to acheive with your motive & actions, otherwise, us INFPs often tend to drift away from the things that we actually NEED to do (ADD, anyone?), and instead focus on things that feeds our moody emotions..(we should all by now know that numb-moody feeling does no good for neither you nor people around you, if you truly care for them)<br />
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And on that note,<br />
#4<br />
always love your family above all else. In most cases, they are the only ones, i have to repeat, ONLY ones, that will sacrifice their well-being for you without motive nor reward (this gets more and more precious when you go deeper into your career). Never make them feel un-loved. They are trying all they can to love and provide for you. That is one tough thing to do, esp when we're always drowned in sorrows and mood swings, no?<br />
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While we're on mood-swings,<br />
#5<br />
Set aside a private down-time only for yourself, no one else. (daily / weekly / whatever works for u) This is the time you FULLY release yourself, be a freak, let the wierdo out for a spin (just for you to gauge...I usually arrange eveything i see angle to angle...while talking and laughing to myself...)The point is to give the bottled up emotions a much needed release (you'd b shocked at what you've become if u cramp it inside for too long) That way, you will always have spare rooms for everyday life's sudden ups & downs. In other words, OPPORTUNITIES, you are more abled when it finally comes a-knocking (a rarity that must be treasured)<br />
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In closing, I wish to share a quote that i think is most useful when we're unsure of our choices and insecurity kicks in:<br />
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Some things you have to ignore when you are doing it.<br />
Otherwise, you can't do it comfortably.<br />
<br />
<br />
That is all, I can only hope these get you through your hard times like it has done good for me.<br />
<br />
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Cheers,<br />
fellow INFP<br />
'Some things you have to ignore when you are doing it. Otherwise, you can't do it comfortably.'<br />
-unknown author

What a perfect summary. Thank you!

YOU HAVE JUST SUMMARIZED HOW I LIVE AND FEEL QUITE ACCURATELY WOW!<br />
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... AND I THOUGHT MY DEPRESSION,AND IMMIGRANT STATUS WAS IN PART RESPONSIBLE. WELL I THINK THEY DID NOT HELP MATTERS LOL, I WANT TO LOOK INTO THIS INFP !<br />
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THANKS, K.

It's excruciating to be a 25 year old male and an INFP when you live in a young, vibrant city with beautful women lurking everywhere. All I want is some love and sex and I can't find any because I don't ever speak. Every body I meet thinks I'm cocky or selfish. If only they knew. What is there to do?

You're right to an extent, i do feel like i could do more to help people.<br />
But and here's a huge detail i think you touched on but didn't really get the full ideal of it, we are the doers of good lol. We know intuitively what is the right way to do things. And when i talk to people i think they sort of pick up on that, so it's like whenever i speak people listen. Now i don't speak very often actually never pretty much as you've said, but when i do my message gets across and i believe that people listen.<br />
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I think it's just a matter of getting your voice heard, people are striving for the good, but they don't know where to look. We're here to give the good in EVERYONE guidance so that it may bring forth a more peaceful connected society. I mean you could look at it as we're the rare leaders of righteousness put here to set people in the right path. Of course that sound really pompus, but i really think that it holds true in a lot of our thoughts and experiences. It's just a matter of finding the right time to actually express those thoughts and feelings.<br />
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People will listen if you speak what you believe. Just make sure it makes sense first lol.

When I was a child, I had got the idea that I was not the person who really belonged to this world...

When I was a child, I had got the idea that I was not the person who really belonged to this world...

I'm sort of new to this all, and am not usually regarded as stupid by most , but for the life of me I cant work out what an INFP is or for that matter an INTJ could someone please enlighten this poor simple man from down under Thank You DV866

This was a very thoughtful and in many ways very true (for me) post. I'm an INFP and the depth of my feelings seem bottomless sometimes. It's been a strange life in this skin. Never fitting in. Never feeling safe, understood or 'normal' among a group or even one other like minded person. Growing up in a culture that's ideals run contrary to mine in Every, Single, Way. You know; buy stuff/have things, be aggressive, win, win, win, superficiality is a virtue and will be rewarded, etc. etc. on and on. I remember as a very young boy thinking 'This place (world) is hostile. This life is going to be hard." Well, it has been mostly that. After 40 years of ups and downs I can say that. At its best I've been content in my life and that's cool, but at worst I've been paralyzed with saddness, lonliness and fear. Hiding it all the time. People have no idea. They say things like "You're so laid back and easy going!". Ha! You guys get it. Yet I'm always drawn back to the idealist, always hoping for a better day, better world and a better life. This is what makes it a curse for me at times. Never being able to fully embrace being bitter. Knowing it's not MY truth. But it's exhausting being an INFP and maybe only another INFP understands this. To feel so much. To care so much. To try so hard to keep all that at bay and feign being 'normal' in a world flooded with dishonest people and institutions. I know i'm being a downer here, but i needed to vent.....something i don't do enough of probably. You guys are great.

i've been trying to describe to a good friend of mine this feeling of being alien as though no one really values who i am even though all i want is to use the best parts of myself to better the lives of those around me. i can understand how they can be positively affected by me if they think i'm silly or idealistic because they obviously don't take me seriously. in the moment, i was freaking out. i'm tired of feeling misunderstood and lonely. i want so badly to connect, but no one understands the world i live in. he's a smart guy. he asked me what i valued most in him and what i thought his weaknesses were. then he told me his own answers. he pointed out that i valued the things in him that were unchangeable. the pillars of his character. he values the outcomes of his actions, things he can change according to success or failure. but i don't understand how his actions can ever outweigh the inner fiber of his character. sometimes, i think the thing that seperates me the most from others is the intense value i put on the things they think are just intangible bits of spirit and feeling and philosophy. i think they're the stuff everything else is made from. <br />
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but we are defenders. our very otherness brings us to fight for unity and peace and completion. we don't fight we weapons but hope. we go on when others can't. we believe when everyone else thinks there is nothing else to believe in. instead of dying with a curse on our lips, we die with praise to love and life and even sorrow. i think it's easy to be cynical because we feel so foreign and beaten down sometimes, but we're of no value to the world if we allow our uncertanties to render us motionless. know that you have much to offer and others will realize that. they'll just realize it differently and more slowly than we'd like.

i've been trying to describe to a good friend of mine this feeling of being alien as though no one really values who i am even though all i want is to use the best parts of myself to better the lives of those around me. i can understand how they can be positively affected by me if they think i'm silly or idealistic because they obviously don't take me seriously. in the moment, i was freaking out. i'm tired of feeling misunderstood and lonely. i want so badly to connect, but no one understands the world i live in. he's a smart guy. he asked me what i valued most in him and what i thought his weaknesses were. then he told me his own answers. he pointed out that i valued the things in him that were unchangeable. the pillars of his character. he values the outcomes of his actions, things he can change according to success or failure. but i don't understand how his actions can ever outweigh the inner fiber of his character. sometimes, i think the thing that seperates me the most from others is the intense value i put on the things they think are just intangible bits of spirit and feeling and philosophy. i think they're the stuff everything else is made from. <br />
<br />
but we are defenders. our very otherness brings us to fight for unity and peace and completion. we don't fight we weapons but hope. we go on when others can't. we believe when everyone else thinks there is nothing else to believe in. instead of dying with a curse on our lips, we die with praise to love and life and even sorrow. i think it's easy to be cynical because we feel so foreign and beaten down sometimes, but we're of no value to the world if we allow our uncertanties to render us motionless. know that you have much to offer and others will realize that. they'll just realize it differently and more slowly than we'd like.

Perfect description! I don't know what we would do without internet-we really would have felt more alone. I feel for those who went through life before internet feeling like they were the only ones in the world like this.