“INFPs have been called the ‘Children of the Myers Briggs World’ and it’s pretty true. True idealists, we see the best in everyone and everything, processing everything in our rich internal world and constantly dreaming about how the world could be a better place…”
When I read Heidi’s article, I found many things to laugh about. She was being herself, so much that she inspired me, on a whim, to write an article describing the silly pain of my INFP-ness (I dare you to say the last seven words you read aloud and not laugh).
I loved that you all identified with those struggles. I’d get comments like “OMG THAT’S SO MEEEEE” most of the time. I can’t tell you the joy that I felt every time one of you Tweeted it.
Then, I’d get comments like, “This is bs!” or “This is an INFP with low self-esteem.” One user in particular had the audacity to tell me to “f*** off.”
I had to ask myself, “Where is this coming from? Is it true? It’s just a STUPID DAMN ARTICLE I wrote, GEEZ!”
Wanna know a secret?
I wrote that article at the most broken I’ve ever been. I read it back and everything just sounds SO SAD. In something as silly to me as another Myers-Briggs-ish article. That seemed to heal something in some of ya’ll. For others of you, it drove you to hurt. At any rate, I made myself vulnerable in that article.
Let’s be real, I have a pretty low self-esteem, and everything I wrote in there reflects negative thoughts I have told, and continue to tell, myself.
That we all tell ourselves.
I can’t tell you that I don’t still deal with those nagging thoughts. But, I’ve started to rise above them, and have kind of learned to appreciate them.
Seven months later, I’ve decided to utilize derivative work and rewrite that depressing INFP list article. This new one reflects what I LOVE about the little things regarding my INFP-ness (again, I dare you to say the last seven words you just read aloud and not laugh). This is how I’ve resolved the sadness I expressed in that old list; this is how I feel about all those laments I once let control me.
Now, read the new list. Or not. It’s up to you. But seriously, you should read the list.
￼1. Having the emotional freedom to cry in front of people for an extended period of time because you’re profoundly moved with sharing personal stories.
2. Intensely caring about other people and being overwhelmed by their company, simultaneously, because you have the chance to be surrounded by them.
3. Constantly being mistaken for an extrovert because you act goofy to those whom you’ve never met, and being able to witness the confusion on their faces when you proudly announce that you’re actually an introvert.
4. Saying something out loud while with other people that strays about 4 trains of thought from what they were talking about, and somehow being able to influence the topic of their conversation with that sudden jump.
5. Being in the middle of creating something revolutionary, realizing it’s sundown, that you haven’t eaten all day, shrugging, and saying “I’m gonna go put a Totino’s Party Pizza in the oven”.
6. Remaining comfortable in your own little world, but never afraid to talk to someone who strikes up a conversation with you.
7. Assuming the completely wrong date/time/activity because you never thought to look at the schedule and having people around you to remind you.
8. Not having to be wild and party like everyone else because you’re never too afraid to be vulnerable and make friends, even in everyday situations.
9. Did I mention perceiving the best in everyone and everything? That pit bull is not foaming at the mouth and gnarling its teeth at you. You’re delusional. It has a good spirit, deep down.
10. Being able to create strong friendships with people effortlessly because you can empathetically listen like no one else.
11. Knowing that you have the ability to use your alone time to process emotions when most people have to pay a counselor just to open up.
12. Being the glue who holds all of his/her coworkers together when they come to you to complain about each other.
13. Having an imagination so vivid that you can see a deeper meaning in a text message, and being okay if you misinterpret it.
14. Being the one who always apologizes, and opens up the other person to revealing their true intentions in a conflict.
￼15. Having steadfast beliefs, and gaining the courage to say anything about them to anyone who happens to challenge them without feeling destroyed by response.
16. Loving that everyone thinks you’re a freak of nature when you decide to spend long periods locked in your room. They say I’m depressed. But, they know I’m just writing a song. And they’re waiting for it.
17. Having wisdom to take time to respond to a message as to not hurt the other person’s feelings.
18. Identifying as male, possessing every personality quality that would be deemed the opposite of masculine in our society, and knowing that there are other men on this planet JUST LIKE YOU (Sorry that you don’t identify with this one quite like we do, ladies).
19. Developing even a superficial conversation with a complete stranger into a deep metaphor that reflects the greater meaning of life, and knowing they will engage with you wholesomely.
20. Being sure that you don’t lack a soul because you didn’t laugh out loud at something that everyone else in the room found hilarious. You know you can feel an emotion just as strongly without expressing it externally.
21. Giving the homeless man on the street the last dollar in your wallet, even though you don’t even have a clue how you will pay your rent this month, and not caring if someone tells you you’re crazy for doing it.
22. Finally telling someone your dreamy unrealistic ideas and being willing to work through them with people that will poke holes in every logic flaw, making your ideas and tender spirit stronger.
23. Having a really great idea, bringing it to life, thinking no one would care, then giving up on it. Then, being reminded that someone does care about it, and pursuing it once again.
24. Laughing like a fool in public (often in a serious setting) because you remembered something funny from the past and knowing that you can tell a story that could make their day.
25. LOVING the lip you get for being overly an sensitive, shy, free spirit with his head in the clouds, and knowing you wouldn’t change a thing because the personality type website said you were 4% of the population, and that’s still 280 MILLION PEOPLE out 7 BILLION that you’re exactly like.
My name is Beau, and I identify as an INFP.
But you’re right, I’m not just an INFP. I may call myself “introverted”, but that doesn’t mean I don’t need other people to feel whole.
￼I need you.
I’m human. We are human. Just like everyone else.