The Burnout Cycle of INFJ's | INFJ Forum

The Burnout Cycle of INFJ's

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Chessie, Apr 12, 2011.

More threads by Chessie
  1. There's a type of burnout lately that I've noticed is fairly unique to INFJ's and ENFJ's but with INFJ's it's got it's own unique flavor. ENFJ's can go out and get lots of support from their friends and be relatively alright. INFJ's have to do one of the hardest things in the world to prevent their burnouts. They have to say 'no' to the pain of other people.

    Now, what do I mean by burn out? Well, an INFJ begins helping people with the best of intentions and digging out little pieces of their psyche, rebuilding them emotionally when things have gone poorly and comforting the hurts of the moment. It's one important way that many INFJ's validate themselves and often it becomes a veritable lifelong purpose to see other people healed.

    If an INFJ is not in good control of themselves and their lives, they begin to seek more and more validation through this healing process and spend more and more time on it until their empathy begins to atrophy and they collapse. The collapse generally means they can take back some control in their lives. It's an excuse to drive away people for long enough to get some space inside their own minds.

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    Once the burnout happens it generally takes the form of a fairly dramatic collapse and change in behavior. Some people go mute temporarily. Others just hermit in and close themselves off from people for days or weeks. Once the burn-out is done, the INFJ generally re-emerges a happier and friendlier person...but if the stress isn't off it begins again.

    I've been in this cycle before and lemme tell ya, it sucks.

    What I want to know is...well, aside the obvious unpleasantness of it...have you noticed long term changes that come out of sliding into this cycle? What are the benefits? What have been your experiences?
    efromm and Saram like this.
  2. precisely
    now how do I get out :( ?
  3. [MENTION=2575]Chessie[/MENTION]
    I hate you. <3
    Jana likes this.
  4. Hmm, I can definitely relate to this.
    I can almost always recognize when I am slipping into this cycle.
    I always go total hermit when this happens.

    Hmm, long term?

    I've definitely increased my boundaries, have found myself more aware of when to help and when not to interfere.
  5. I'm not sure if I've ever felt this but I'm in an awkward stage right now with school and my sexuality. I feel stuck until next September. I rarely get out and when I do, I can't be myself or say what I want to. Two of my three classes are a waste of my time right now. I don't want to even go to those classes. I'm completely uninterested and to top it off, they don't even help with GUR's or any electives. Just random classes that I though I might need to get into med school and now, I decided that shit ain't for me, yo.

    I don't go through this cycle but I get the feeling I am in neutral a lot or even like something is trying to hold me back.
  6. This happens a lot for me....

    I think it's hard for me because I give a good deal of my time to helping people in a volunteer capacity, and I always try and give the people I help 110% of my effort, and this drains me over time. The people I try to help are always in quite bad states when they come to us, often having suffered some kind of abuse, or simply having a messed up lifestyle that needs careful planning in order to straighten out.

    These young people often need a lot of support and hand-holding and encouragement, and it's an emotionally draining position to be in.

    On top of this, I have a large circle of online friends who quite often ask me for advice on emotional matters, and I am always giving with my time, I just can't say no to them because I care so much about them and want the best for them.

    However when I burn out emotionally I really cannot function. Few of my friends understand why i'm the way I am and why sometimes I become the most irritable, nasty and quite screwed up individual. the smallest things can annoy me when I'm in this state, and I don't have energy to do much other than stay in my room, sleep and listen to music or read books.

    I recently have come out of one of these phases actually, and I always find that I am more productive and more creative after it happens, and more successful too.

    I come up with interesting ideas and I have more patience to do things like draft proposals, that normally I wouldn't be able to sit through...

    I get a lot more done directly after an event like this.
    Saram and Blind Bandit like this.
  7. Working on that! S'kinda what this post was about actually. I'm hoping people can help with how to get out of the cycle.
  8. oh bummer
    I was hoping you'd fix me
    I seem to have misplaced my soul
  9. I actually think it's a natural part of our personalities.

    probably taking days off from being the helpful emotional types we are rather than when we are forced to by our brains would be a step in the right direction.
  10. I hope it's not a natural part of our personalities. If anything, I want to be able to cope with it a lot better than I do right now. I've got friends who cope with it even worse than I do. I haven't set any cars on fire.
  11. Oh I don't mean the way we handle burnouts is natural, that many of us do need to manage better, but I mean the need for breaks from serious emotional involvement with others...

    I think that's a natural thing for us to need and keeps us healthy.
  12. Try thinking of a longer cycle if you really want to get an idea of how this can affect an INFJ and those around you. Try a marriage of 15 -20 years of supporting, nurturing, being patient, helping, and giving. Then the slow realization that you were throwing your time, love, emotions, ...blood sweat and tears into a black hole of emotion and intellect. Then you start to see the down side of being an INFJ. After all that you will recharge as you said and emerge the same. Happy and wanting to help. Thus is our nature. And you though ENTP's were odd...
    Nixie, Galileo and Neuropedia like this.
  13. this is me
    smaller scale, obz because I'm only 20 years old... but yes
    it kills me
    Questingpoet likes this.
  14. I think a big part of it is that being an INFJ means very few people will understand you whilst you understand most people. It's nasty to hear someone you love say something that sounds so close...and yet that tiny part that they miss is miles and miles of emotional landscape for you.
  15. This small post contains some of the best insight, and just plain truth, into us I've seen in a while. Well said [MENTION=2575]Chessie[/MENTION] !
  16. +++
  18. Ya this part always amazes me again and again (the first line). So magical!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I never understand the inner workings of anyone's mind, and certainly not an INFJs :( NO MATTER HOW HARD I TRY. I just have millions of pieces that don't fit together.
  19. What you describe in your original post is exactly how I am Chessie. I can relate so much to what is being said in this thread. My burn outs used to happen much more frequently and could be quite emotional and seem very out of character. And just as you said, I would emerge happier and friendlier and feel much lighter so to speak. Now the burn outs are much less frequent as I've learned to distance myself from taking on too many people at once.
  20. TWSS

    You do seem to be very friendly with chatting ppl from this forum............ which is out of character from what I know of you!

    P.S. INTJs can have burn-outs too

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    #20 Feelings, Apr 12, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011

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