Baffled by... | INFJ Forum

Baffled by...

Discussion in 'The INFJ Typology' started by Entyqua, Jul 12, 2008.

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  1. Entyqua

    Entyqua Forgotten
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    I am baffled when people tell me that I should come first in everything....I put my daughter and my husband and my marriage before me....I dont know why the concept of taking care of number one seems so selfish to me...

    Any other INFJ's feel this way...is it typical!?


     
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  2. Kwistalline

    Kwistalline Permanent Fixture

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    Yes, absolutely yes!! I think INFJ's are givers at heart! It's part of the reason I have so much trouble at work. I want to do so much for my patients, but haven't had the time, and others have actually been getting quite upset with me for being so attentive and choosing to put up with certain behaviors from my patients. I'm close to choosing another specialty just to get away from all those extroverts who impose themselves on me (what is it with them, anyhow? Cokenut discluded, naturally!!) all the time! Sometimes it's called for, but most times it isn't . . .
     
  3. ensign_m

    ensign_m Newbie

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    Looking out for number one is, I believe, a concept that is utterly foreign to most INFJs. I personally can't understand it in other people. The problem for many INFJs is in being selective about who you put first, because there are those who will recognize our giving nature as a weakness (although it is also a strength), and attempt to exploit it. I've found this to be the case in my own life. I'm sure others have as well.
     
  4. Lurker

    Lurker Has nothing to destroy
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    This is one of the things that really stands out to me as an NF trait, in one respect is admirable to be so selfless and put those you care deeply about first but in another way it worries me that one day you’ll get burnt out if that kind of appreciation is not reciprocated. I can understand why you feel the way you do, they are the things that are most important to you so you want them to be taken care of, from my point of view they are the things I would fight for and defend and honour in any way I could but I wouldn't necessarily put them before me, it would need be equal as I cannot take care of others if I do not take care of my needs.

    Which enneagram do INFx usually fall under? Is it;
    9 I must be peaceful and easy to get along with to be happy.
    4 I must avoid painful feelings to be happy.
    1 I must be perfect and good to be happy.

    They all sound like they'd result in someone who values the emotional state of those around them as a priority.
     
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  5. gokartride

    gokartride Community Member

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    It's all a balancing act. Caring for others is a lofty thing, but sometimes one has to step back and extend that care to one's own personhood, also as an act of service. Rest, recreation, study, quiet...are all balances for a life of giving, and modelling such is good for all concerned and important for children to learn/observe. It is easier to take balanced concern for self if it's framed as a part of the equation for service to others. The important thing is to go for balance. I learned/observed this through seeing how normal monastic life is historically structured to ensure health and well-being for all in the community amidst a lifelong dedication to service. The same principles, I believe, extend to all who are engaged in doing what they see as their life's work, which is no less important. I myself have raised four kids.
     
  6. Kwistalline

    Kwistalline Permanent Fixture

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    I'm still learning the "taking care of self" bit. It's hard. But you are correct. Taking care of oneself isn't selfish, it's ensuring that you can do a better job of taking care of others.
     
  7. sumone

    sumone down the rabbit hole

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    When I started my job I can't tell you how many times I heard "Watch your back." That and the look out for #l stuff is fine but these days it's like a philosophy! The philosophy of ME.
    I agree about balance. It's really important to make sure you eat right and get enough quiet time and sleep. If we're worn out we won't be good for anyone.
    And Lurker, the part in the enneagram where it says "I must be perfect at all costs" - it is just not like that at all. This one rings pretty true for me though - "I must be peaceful and easy to get along with to be happy." And I'm most peaceful when I get the opportunity to help (give peace) to someone else.
     
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  8. OP
    Entyqua

    Entyqua Forgotten
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    Lurker I couldnt pick just one of those because they all describe me pretty thoroughly.

    Gocartride: I too am still learning that concept that taking care of self is different then putting self first....its a hard line for me to see thought :(

    I too got the watch your back speach when i started working again after a very long absence from the work force.
     
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  9. gokartride

    gokartride Community Member

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    In relation to the OP, I might make an addendum to what I mentioned earlier: I had to learn some balance for myself due to circumstances in my life, but in some ways I'm not sure I got it right either. I have four kids (have I mentioned that? ;) ) and I gave myself to raising them which took (and is taking) many years. It has made my life very rich, and I did have to work out some simple balances for myself as I was seriously outnumbered. :D What I'm not sure I got right is that I deferred dating or relationships....in many ways for good reasons...and the consequences are catching up with me now that the kids are more or less grown. I have no real regrets, mind you...I guess the nature of family life (and life in general) just carries with it certain tradeoffs and I chose where mine would fall. I have friends who choose differently and seek out new relationships with much more fervor....that may work for them. Having been single for so long though, I fear I have painted myself into a sizable corner on this. It happens. I mention this only to augment the discussion and to assure you all that while I have figured a few things out, there are also gaping holes where I'm not very together. Not to worry....I'm happy and I'll stumble through just fine like I always have.
     
  10. gloomy-optimist

    gloomy-optimist Used to live here

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    The concept of putting myself first isn't strange to me, or even anything other than normal; I just have a very, very difficult time putting it into practice.
     
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  11. sleepycloud

    sleepycloud Regular Poster

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    Hm I would say I put myself first partially.. I'm not as 'selfless' as many INFJs perceive themselves to be and have been called 'selfish' more times :p, not saying this just because I'm trying to be humble and probably am more of a giver than the impression I'm giving.. no, I actually keep to myself quite a bit. It's mostly the social anxiety but even around the house I'm pretty useless and lazy when there is only practical help needed. I try to be there emotionally for the one close friend who vents to me occasionally but I don't feel as though I have enough opportunities to be giving, nor do I take the initiative to reach out. I feel quite guilty about this but I wouldn't know where to start volunteering. Plus my family has said 'you should be able to take care of yourself and help us out before thinking you have the energy to take on others' burdens,' which does make sense, shouldn't bite off more than you can chew..
     
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