Can INFJ's lack the skills / determination for action on causes they care about? | INFJ Forum

Can INFJ's lack the skills / determination for action on causes they care about?

Discussion in 'The INFJ Typology' started by dorothysargasso, Nov 17, 2017.

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  1. dorothysargasso

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    According to any tests I have ever had (online), as well as any blogs/ articles I have read (online), I would be an INFJ. Well, there was this time when I was an INTJ, but quite frankly, I was projecting my desire to have a more T approach to things in life, which I don't have.


    But one of the things INFJ's are recognized for is their dedication to causes that are important to them. In my case, that doesn't really happen. My humanitarian ambitions tend to be a little over the top. I think it takes an exceptional person (in a way or another) to do achieve those things, and after growing up I learned to accept that it's not me.

    When my 'ambitions' are a bit more reachable, I still lack the willpower to do anything. hell, I lack the willpower and determination to put my life into track. I am constantly struggling with my insecurities, problems, routine. All the while, things like political situation in X country or inefficient educational system in Y country is a primary concern to me. I spend a considerable amount of time thinking, reading and talking about these issues, but never bother to take action on anything.

    I rarely stand up for things (or at least compared to what I would like to). I have rarely contributed to communities where I belong (school, neighborhood, work etc).

    Does that make sense, being an INFJ? Is it something that occurs to other INFJ's? I think it must be, after all personality types are general ways to describe people. They refer more to the workflow in their thinking and reacting process, than their skills and positive traits. I find to have the type of thought process and value system of an (sagittarian, in case it matters) INFJ, accompanied with this cowardly, passive, self - loathing, self - doubting approach. I really care about what goes on around me, but don't think I can make any actual change. I am not the very smart, very brave ... (yada yada yada) person that I need to be and wished to become. I'm more of a talker than a doer. I guess I am more like a pathetic, disillusioned INFJ, and it seems legit that personality types determine the way you think and react, not how good you are at thinking and reacting that way.
     
  2. CleverKate

    CleverKate Newbie

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    I totally understand what you're saying. Have you taken a personality test over at 16personalities.com? Their theory includes a fifth aspect they call Identity that they say underpins the other four aspects of personality and shows how confident in your abilities and decisions. It can be either Assertive or Turbulent. Mine is turbulent, so INFJ-T. turbulent are more easily stressed, and can be perfectionistic.

    I feel that while I don't lack the ability to identify or empathize with a cause, however, I find it difficult to be motivated, or to know where to start. It's almost too overwhelming to think about actually doing something about. I think this stems from my perfectioniatic idealism, along with maybe a more than healthy dose of realism, or reality.

    For me, it's easy to have an ideal, but I worry that know or think it either won't work out perfectly, or I'll become too emotionally connected and worry about the impact to myself when it fails. Like if I can't do it perfectly, why do it at all. The idea of doing good for others or the world doesnt always outweigh my fear or apprehension, which can make me feel terrible. Sometimes I prefer the ideal in my head to what it would have to be to in the real world.

    I think many people can experience this, not just Infj, but maybe we have a higher tendency or can be more emotionally impacted than most.

    For me, I try to manage this feeling by understanding my limitations, and giving back how and when I can - on my terms. Over the years I have gotten better at not getting so personally involved, but it takes self awareness and courage to do what scares you.

    Hope it helps to know someone feels the same way and understands what youre saying. :)
     
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  3. OP
    dorothysargasso

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    16personalities was my first test ever, and you do have a point about the fifth aspect. For me it was a T (around 80%). And I totally get it that we can be perfectionists and have a hard time getting motivated. Getting excited for me comes easy, sometimes I want to do so many things at the same time. I think about it, talk about it, make plans. It feels so damn good, almost as good as doing the actual things. Maybe all this gets me burned out???

    People maybe think that being a perfectionist means doing stuff like arranging pencils on a table by color or length :joycat: In my case it has more to do with the fact that I don't start things unless I know exactly how they will work out, and the result better be flawless. Even when I do start things, I spend a considerable amount of time revising and rearranging my work, so after a while, instead of a good result, all I have accomplished is a perfect draft / structure of what needs to be done. Needless to say that I am a huge procrastinator, as well as a quitter when things no longer interest me or it gets way to tough on me emotionally. Cause yes, even work for me has to get personal and interfere in my every aspect of life.

    Sometimes the only thing that helps me get done with things is the feeling of guilt or sense of responsibility (ex. if other people depend on me getting it done). Even that is a double edged sword, since that same sense of responsibility or guilt might overwhelm me and make it feel way worst of what it really is. I end up in a self - hating spiral and it spreads in every aspect of my personality. Like, if I am having trouble finishing sth at work, all of a sudden I am a loser, stupid, irresponsible, lacking of any talent of skill, immature, unable to handle anything on my own, ugly, worthless, someone that does not deserve what I have or the respect, friendship, love of anyone on the face of the earth. Yep, when I get stressed out or disappointed, things escalate pretty quickly out of proportions. That was what I meant by 'cannot put my life into track'.

    Despite all this (and the fact that I have some socializing issues), I really would like to do something for other people. But I always end up finding reasons why I cannot, and just let it be. That makes me wonder if I even am an INFJ, or just someone that cheated on the test questions.

    But hey, it does help knowing that other people feel the same. Even the fact that someone took the time to read this helps :wink:. Thanks a lot

    About your fear of becoming too emotionally attached and then failing, did you have some bad experience or it is just you being the realist?
     
  4. CleverKate

    CleverKate Newbie

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    People maybe think that being a perfectionist means doing stuff like arranging pencils on a table by color or length :joycat: In my case it has more to do with the fact that I don't start things unless I know exactly how they will work out, and the result better be flawless. Even when I do start things, I spend a considerable amount of time revising and rearranging my work, so after a while, instead of a good result, all I have accomplished is a perfect draft / structure of what needs to be done. Needless to say that I am a huge procrastinator, as well as a quitter when things no longer interest me or it gets way to tough on me emotionally. Cause yes, even work for me has to get personal and interfere in my every aspect of life.

    Sometimes the only thing that helps me get done with things is the feeling of guilt or sense of responsibility (ex. if other people depend on me getting it done). Even that is a double edged sword, since that same sense of responsibility or guilt might overwhelm me and make it feel way worst of what it really is. I end up in a self - hating spiral and it spreads in every aspect of my personality. Like, if I am having trouble finishing sth at work, all of a sudden I am a loser, stupid, irresponsible, lacking of any talent of skill, immature, unable to handle anything on my own, ugly, worthless, someone that does not deserve what I have or the respect, friendship, love of anyone on the face of the earth. Yep, when I get stressed out or disappointed, things escalate pretty quickly out of proportions. That was what I meant by 'cannot put my life into track'.

    Despite all this (and the fact that I have some socializing issues), I really would like to do something for other people. But I always end up finding reasons why I cannot, and just let it be. That makes me wonder if I even am an INFJ, or just someone that cheated on the test questions.[/QUOTE]

    I was about 80% turbulent, as well, ha ha. I've only recently (in the last year or so) learned about types and been taking online personality tests. Most of the time it's INFJ, though I have typed as INTJ or INFP before. When I read the type descriptions, INFJ sounds like putting into words things I could never explain before, and the other type descriptions just don't feel right; I can't see any examples from my own life to connect it. I think it depends on my mood, and I've noticed when I type as something else I am trying to "solve" the test and am influenced by what I thought other people would say about me. When I answer based on my own inclinations, no matter how uncomfortable, it's always INFJ. My husband has read the descriptions and been nodding so hard in agreement that all I can do is laugh.

    Have you researched the cognitive functions that make up the INFJ type? If not, here are some good resources typeinmind.com/nife/ or personalityhacker.com/resources-infj/ . It wasn't until I started learning about the cognitive functions that I understood how or why I think they way I do, of course my own life experiences factor in, but understanding these functions and what I can do to develop them further helps me feel more comfortable in my own skin.

    I get this too! I spend so much time thinking about things, making plans, running things through in my head over and over. From what I've read it sounds like the Ni-Ti Loop we INFJs can suffer from.

    Nothing specific I can think of; mostly just the process of living :smile:, lol. I am a highly sensitive person, and I understand this now, I didn't when I was younger. Normal things like having people disagree with me (especially something I'm passionate about or did a lot of work toward), going through a breakup or experiencing rejection, sometimes even wanting to connect with people so desperately, but somehow always missing the mark can affect me deeply. It's not that I don't think other people would be hurt too by such things; it's more that I have just become quite guarded because of how deeply I can experience my emotions.

    I am genuinely interested in learning about other people, but I can become disappointed when they don't live up to my standards or expectations (no matter how unrealistic), and sometimes I internalize this and can turn on myself. It's hard to describe but sometimes I just feel like I "show up wrong" somehow, and this fear can prevent me from moving forward or even trying to do things about which I am passionate.
     
  5. CleverKate

    CleverKate Newbie

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    Oops, I messed up some of the quotes. Sorry about that.
     
  6. OP
    dorothysargasso

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    No biggie :wink:
     
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