[INFJ] - Do INFJs have problems with low self-worth and low self-esteen, or is it just me? | INFJ Forum

[INFJ] Do INFJs have problems with low self-worth and low self-esteen, or is it just me?

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by glamrocks, Oct 4, 2015.

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  1. glamrocks

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    Hi, I have struggled for years with feelings of low self-worth, self-criticism, low self-esteem, no confidence etc, also extreme shyness. I always thought it was because I had a hyper-critical and domineering mother, and am also self-critical by nature (due to being a virgo). I'm always undervaluaing myself and feel I am the exception to anything that's good around. However since discovering MBTI, I was wondering if other INFJs feel like this too? I think my mum is an ESTJ which might explain why she was so critical, she always said I was oversensitive, and I never understood why she was always so harsh about things, but I guess I understand that better since MBTI.

    Anyway, I've read the self-help books and say affirmations, and have been getting into reiki lately, to try and improve the way I feel about myself, but I really think it holds me back in so many ways. Nothing seems to be working as I always end up at square one again, after any little setback. Is this something other INFJs go through too? Just wondering if I'm like this because of my personality type maybe? I'll be interested to get your opinions on this as it's not something I find easy to talk about with people in the real world!
     
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  2. Scientia

    Scientia A true lady

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    I think we have all had those feelings at one time or another. An estj mom must have been interesting.
     
  3. OP
    glamrocks

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    Yes it was an "experience" I guess, to put it mildly. TBH, I'm not very good with SJ types I've realised. A colleague of mine is an ISTJ (She's like a robot!) and a friend of mine is ESFJ and they are all super capable at everything they do, coupled with amazing memories and the ability to hone in on the facts. They always have a way of making me feel kind of inferior...
     
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  4. wolkenkraetzer

    wolkenkraetzer Community Member

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    A little advice (stolen from Joni Mitchell's Moon at the Window):

    "...Nobody's harder on me than me
    (How could they be?)
    And nobody's harder on you than you..."

    INFJs are perfectionists, and we can often be our own worst enemies... :-" :whistling:
     
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  5. basic

    Donor

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    I am posting out of the blue after quite a while of inactivity on this forum...

    But I just wanted to say that I totally sympathize with this. Having a feeling of low self worth is my main struggle in life at the moment, especially in the arena of relationships (or lack there of). At 25, it has prevented me from ever being in a relationship. As an INFJ, I feel like most of my thoughts and emotions are neatly contained and organized on a shelf in alphabetical order. However, when it comes to my sense of self-worth (as it pertains specifically to relationships and such), it's a whirlwind of emotion that I actually have a difficult time taming.
     
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  6. invisible

    On Holiday

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    What kind of success have others experienced with accumulating achievements as a means of building confidence?

    I read this somewhere and I think it has helped me, to set my mind to achieving tasks that I have formulated. I read somewhere that the most effective learners take on tasks that there is some chance that they could "fail" at, so I sometimes try to do this kind of tasks that I could "fail" at. For me, finishing my undergraduate degree was a big step forward, because I had developed a deep belief that I was too "stupid" to do anything like that - but another part of me also knew, that if I just kept plugging away at it, there was a pretty good chance that I would eventually get it done.

    I think it's useful to get comfortable with "failure" and to make friends with it. If it's taught me anything, it's that if something is truly important to me, that I will always find the strength to go on with it, and if it is something that I turn out to decide to leave behind, then it will have taken me a step closer to learning about what really is important to me. There's no shame in having tried your best, on the contrary I think it is honorable to have done your best. I still criticise myself in the mirror a lot but I also try to have times when I tell myself kind things about myself... it's as important to practice being kind and encouraging to self just as it is to others, I think.

    I see myself as a naturally shy person but I have also become a lot more comfortable about this, and have accepted that I'm also a reserved person who prefers not to be very social, or to readily share myself socially, so it doesn't bother me as much anymore. There are some situations where it is naturally easy to start a conversation, and some situations where it is naturally difficult. Out of all those situations, sometimes those that are perceived to be the easiest are actually the most difficult - such as talking to an attractive stranger in a bar - because there is no other pretext for conversation than that you are "interested in them", so you are sort of putting yourself on the line. In other situations, where you are thrown together or have put yourself together with others for some other reason, such as a shared activity, it is considered an imperative of good manners to be social and start up interactions with others, since it makes being together for the duration of that activity more pleasant.

    I think the best thing in dealing with overwhelming shyness is to repeatedly practice in social situations. For me, I used working in a busy shop to practice my social skills. I didn't really have a choice of interacting with others, so I just tried a bit harder to improve at it. I sort of made it into a little bit of a game, and pushed myself to do things that I found difficult. I would try harder to look directly at people, and to speak clearly and directly to them. I would try to stop nervously rubbing my head when I was talking to people. I would try to think about smoother ways of asking certain questions, so that I could practice doing those little aspects of the interaction the same way every time, or adapting those little social scripts to slightly different social situations. I think a big part of being good at being social is practicing little scripts and knowing when to apply them, but it is all a matter of practice. As I practiced more, these things just got a lot easier. It wasn't as intimidating to greet people and smile at them because I had done it so many hundreds of times - it was more of a routine. Now, when I get shy, my routines sort of just take over. As you get more used to the routine aspects, you start to add in little variations that are more conversational, just to see what happens. It even became fun to push myself further, to talk to customers that intimidated me the most - and I found out that they were sometimes just as shy as I was.

    Also, I just stopped caring when people "rejected" me. I would think "yeah whatever" and move on. In the end it's not realistic to take it personally. What do I care if they don't like me, they don't even really know me, and they obviously have priorities that aren't compatible with me.

    Relationships are difficult. If you're having trouble with them, it's not a sign that you're bad at them, or that you're not suited to them. Most people just fall into them for reasons of accident, convenience, loneliness, superficial desire. Then they just fumble around until they fight a lot and call it off. It is way more difficult to successfully relate to another person in an intimate way, and just because people have been involved in boyfriend/girlfriend type relationships, does not mean they have been successful in being intimate with another person.
     
    #6 invisible, Oct 5, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2015
  7. j654dgj7

    j654dgj7 Please delete this account.

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    Some times, I guess. I think it's based on personality, and not MBTI. Every one can be hard on themselves.
     
  8. Angela

    Angela Community Member

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    In my personal experience I have very low self esteem, confidence and worth. I think mine is attributed to so many failed relationships. Relationships in which i was judged and criticized harshly. At 100 lbs a boyfriend told me I was fat, ugly inside and out, and worthless. Then my next relationship, I was heavier, and constantly told to lose some weight, a later relationship told me if only I would lose some weight I could be a bombshell, and always pushed me to work out, but would never help with that.

    Recently however, I seem to have found the place to be complimented. I am not sure, but I am often told I am beautiful and gorgeous lately. I think some of it has came from just being mom. I have decided to put my son first and foremost. I have had little flings here and there, that have hurt when it ended, but have bounced back quickly. I think once I stopped worrying about it, it opened the door for the good to come my way.

    I still think low of myself, but its getting better.
     
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  9. Siimplicity

    Siimplicity Catch sight

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    I've learned to give myself more credit for endeavors and successes large and small...and I have practiced being reasonable with myself for my expectations. I am hyper-critical of all that I do. I've also given myself permission to NOT be perfect and to accept myself with all quirks and characteristics. the more I do this, the better I am at it. the easier it gets, the more i'm ok with me =)
     
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  10. plume

    plume Newbie

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    My self esteem and self worth is largely determined by outside situations and experiences with other people. For example, if a relationship is going well, my self esteem will be pretty high, but if it's not I can become more self critical and self conscious. I think that I generally have a pretty solid sense of self and core self concept, which I feel was greatly determined by my loving and consistent father. Although my mother has always loved me, her emotional receptivity has always been subtly inconsistent. I've also dealt with a lot of loss and rejection in regard to relationships throughout my life, so I tend to put a great deal of emphasis on the ways in which other people are relating to me.

    INFJs are really sensitive and extremely aware of other people's behavior toward us and others, so it makes sense that we would have issues with being self conscious and self-critical, which in less than ideal environments (a critical parent) or difficult situations (rejection in relationships) could lead to low self-esteem.

    What has always helped me is gathering myself through time alone and focusing on my interests, strengths, and things that make me happy and content. Spirituality and faith also helps with this. During difficult times with external circumstances I usually need a lot of time for self-reflection so that I can get back to my "base" where I love and value myself. I think that where one might get into trouble is if they let external factors predict their self esteem AND don't have a healthy self concept. In this case I think that in depth therapy and "inner child" work could be helpful.
     
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  11. Artisan

    Artisan Dares, Dreams, Does

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    Well I have low self worth, my self esteem isn't the best either. My mum wasn't the best either.

    It could be an infj thing or a result from childhood experiences. :X
     
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  12. Paul Wenz

    Paul Wenz Newbie

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    Angela,

    the best thing in life is having children and being a good parent , nurturing and preparing them for life.
    This is the only thing in life that matters, you must be good at this, otherwise you have failed.

    There is something very nice about your personal writings . To me it seems a pity that some people in your life seem to have not understood you.
    Maybe your just a decent person?
     
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  13. Breathlessangel

    Breathlessangel Humming melodies
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    I'm not sure if this is something type-related but maybe due to INFJs being sensitive and perfectionist so we end up being so hard and over critical to ourselves and having a non-appreciative mother/family members makes the matter worse. To answer the question, I have dealt with low self-esteem and confidence issues a lot in my younger years esp during high school in which competition (esp. being compared) is a norm and even acknowledged that made me feel I'm not good enough, I will never be good enough and that I'm useless and whatnot. It was a critical part of my development into becoming who I am now but to tell you those experiences (low points of your life) really can make you see a different and special perspective in life, of who you are, of who you are not and esp. of who you want to be.

    It's like getting into the process of metamorphosis but you have the key to your transformation. You made your own cocoon and you are the only one who can release your wings when you're ready to fly. **Haha, sorry with the flowery words** But anyway, I was able to get out of my own *self-made trap* or let's say was able to recover from not feeling good enough to feeling good enough by just embracing who I am and by being comfortable with my own skin. It's not a rocket science really but as well as very difficult to achieve. Took years in my case and growing up and learning of whats really more important and meaningful is part of the healing process. Like you, I also did affirmations and yes, it really worked. :D You have made positive steps already, just continue and you'll get there. You see, the truth is "You are good enough!" :hug:
     
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    #13 Breathlessangel, Oct 7, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2015
  14. ruji

    ruji Well-known weirdo

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    On introverted forums it seems common many noobs post on relating their identified group with traits of an outcast.
    Then you might not see them again because they found out they didn't relate after all.
     
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  15. Skarekrow

    Skarekrow ~~DEVIL~~

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    No…I think it’s mostly [MENTION=680]just me[/MENTION].
    ;-)
     
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  16. Paul Wenz

    Paul Wenz Newbie

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    I worked for myself for many years , so i did what i liked really . Before that a student at a very stuffy university , some problems about conforming.

    Returning later to the work force i managed to score jobs where i didn't have co-workers breathing down my neck and was pretty much left alone to do the job.
    I work in a hospital now and the thing i notice is people love putting shit on others.
    If you do your job well they put shit on you and it's like they don't have anything in their lives other than gossip?
    Strangely i seem to notice people think being decent is some kind of weakness.
    I find this a very strange attitude.

    You have to be very thick skinned amongst people like this or be prepared to take them down.
     
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  17. Kaleidoscopic

    Kaleidoscopic Community Member

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    I've had the same kind of mom, I runned away from her and now my "grandma" is the one like her. I always have this feeling of dissapointment in my self and in others. Usually I have no idea of what I feel but I have moments of enlightment. Latetly I feel better about myself physically but I'm never enough in all the matters. I wasn't never enough for my mom, sometime I was too much, as you said oversensitive. I've never felt loved enough or understood that has always had me feel that there's something wrong with me.
    And the shyness! Ahhh the shyness, I hate my shyness.
     
  18. Jonah Caan

    Jonah Caan Regular Poster

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    It's heart-breaking to hear that so many fellow INFJs suffer from low self-esteem and confidence; story of my life... sigh.

    I'm scared of writing this in case it comes over as a sob story, yet I'm inclined to write it. It’s just one of those days, please excuse me. I’m truly not looking for any sympathy or anything, I guess it’s more for understanding and maybe someone can relate to it. I know it’s also going to help me by getting it out. There’s only one person in my life I have talked to about this, but it so much easier writing about it anonymously online.

    From a very young age, both my parents had exceedingly high expectations of me (being the only son). I come from a working class South Asian family, where the eldest son is supposed to look after the parents and all the family and so on... to kind of become like Michael in the Godfather kind of thing. Anyway, my mum had several still births (all boys) before I was born. So yes, expectations were always high (which I can understand).

    I always found my dad always putting me down; I didn't see it any different, I just got used to it until I realised it wasn't normal (in my late 20s when I realised he was a narcissist). My mum always said my dad loves me; I trusted her. He would always say I'm worthless, "stupid" and a "sh**head" when I would question his authority or even just try to tell him something that was for his own benefit (looking after his health and so on). When out in public, he would humiliate me (which I later found is because of his own insecurities). I remember I had acne as a teenager and my dad said to me I’d be lucky if any girl wanted to ever get married to me with my face. I was by no means feminine in my ways, but neither was I an alpha male; I felt my parents always wanted me to be tougher and so on. My parents always told me off when I was being 'too emotional'.

    Not having any brothers, I always yearned for the attention and approval from my dad. I never got it; it was like I was always a burden for him (until I graduated and started earning money) and never good enough. As a result, I always felt the loss of my elder brothers, who I thought if they had lived would have been ‘there' for me and then maybe I wouldn’t have been so emotional. Even thinking about my brothers now in my 30s, it's one of the very few things that gets me so deep and make me cry. I know it’s just the dream of them; if they were alive, in our teenage years I would probably have wished they were dead, hahaha. It was lonely growing up but I guess in that quiet, I found myself.

    Coming from a poor family, my parents valued money as the highest success. I guess that helped in a way because I wanted to please my parents and help them financially, which is the force that pushed me to get a degree. When I started working, I gave most of my wage to my parents. But they always said it was too less; they always just wanted more. I can’t explain or understand why. I think they probably wanted me to earn as much as several sons could earn.

    As well as the issues at home, I was bullied at school. I never fitted in with anyone at school; they all just seemed so childish and ‘lost’. I always got on better with older people. I despised authority and going to a rough school, I stood my ground by not joining a ‘gang’. So, I was an easy target I guess. Also, whilst other boys were out playing football at lunch, I was in the hall reading a book so they thought me strange.

    I feel like I’m blaming my parents and everyone; I know some things are my fault. But all the above did and still does affect me.

    I truly believed I was stupid and worthless (I still do subconsciously, but not as much and I have to remind myself that I’m not). When I’m not earning as much money as I think I should be I feel like a complete failure who doesn’t deserve to live. I feel guilty eating sometimes because I feel like I don’t deserve to eat. That sounds crazy writing it, but I know I do that sometimes. If someone calls me to go watch a movie or go for a meal with them, I tell them I don’t deserve it at the moment and they laugh. Also if I feel like I've not helped my family/friends financially, I feel like I have not done anything for them in life. It's weird though, because I don't expect anyone to do anything financially for me; even gifts make me feel uncomfortable, like I'm not worth them.

    If someone is kind to me, I can’t understand why, since I’m not worth their time and effort (this is still a major one for me). I feel like a burden on people; I never ask anyone for help (although I’m getting better at this too). I still think I’m ugly. My (much) younger brother laughs at me when I tell him I feel like I’m ugly; he reminds me that a lot of people over the years tell me I look like Tom Cruise, haha. But whenever someone says that to me, I feel like they’re lying, like they’re teasing me. Some people who I truly trust tell me I’m one of the smartest people they’ve met. But even then, I tell them they don’t know what goes on in my crazy brain and I just cannot accept it.

    The worst result of everything is the depression and anxiety I have had since being a teenager.

    I must point out that all the above problems I had were also due to being bisexual and ‘in the closet’, but if I start writing about that, we’ll be here all week.

    What really helped me to have the awakening of sorts a couple of years ago (at 30, when I realised that how I was being treated and how I was treating myself was wrong) was three things. The first was to stop my dad from causing me any further pain (did the INFJ doorslam on him) and second was to actively reflect on my life and question everything I have believed so as to break the negative chains of thought. Once I did that, I had the foundations of a better version of myself. I felt more comfortable about my sexuality as a result and the third factor that helped me at this point was meeting a man with whom I became the best of friends and ended up falling in love with.

    He lived in the same area as me (albeit he was white and so his family’s expectations where a little different). We were very similar in our way of thinking amongst so many other things and we both thought that what we found in each other was the love we had been looking for all our lives. I’m an INFJ and he was an INFP; both bisexual (not out) and suffered from depression, anxiety, self-esteem and confidence issues.

    He really did bring the best out of me. He was always rationally honest, so I trusted him because of that as well as being in love with him. He made me see myself through his eyes and I did exactly the same for him. He saw my blind-spots as I did his. Together, we grew more than we ever had in our lives. Through improving our self esteem and confidence in ourselves and each other, our lives improved in so many aspects. From our jobs to our health and fitness, to having a more positive outlook in life.

    To cut along story short though, we were unable to be together properly (because we were not out) and he still had major issues with his homosexuality (he was petrified of being found out). After we almost got caught by one of his family-friends, he ended our relationship to find a girlfriend and settle down and for the 6 months since we only chat via texts now and then. He said he'd still always be here for me but I needed time to heal so distanced myself from him, aslo as to not interfere with his life. I think we're still finding the balance.

    The heartbreak that ensued ruined the confidence and self esteem that I had built up, ironically enough. But after 6 months, both are back to the same level they were at before the breakup. Only this time I feel more independent and feel like I can do this on my own. I can see that he on the other hand is stagnant in his growth (if not moving back to where he was) and that troubles me, but that’s another story too.

    I still have my low days and have realised that dealing with depression, anxiety, confidence and self-esteem will be a thing for life for me. I have to keep all of them in check, actively. But I am getting better and I’m hopeful that I will continue to get better in all these aspects. Being on this forum is one of the ways in which I am improving upon these issues in my life at this moment of time.

    Well, I feel like I’ve just had a free therapy session, haha. If you’ve just read all of this then I feel horrible for wasting your time, I really do haha. I don’t know, I just felt like I should write this; I feel like a narcissist. I know I’m not one though, I think.

    God bless you and I wish you nothing but the purest of love, peace and the little joys of life. Oh, and world peace:)
     
    #18 Jonah Caan, Jan 30, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
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  19. JennyDaniella

    JennyDaniella Stargazer

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    You are such a beautiful and kindred soul, my friend.

    I honestly felt I was reading my own story in many ways. The severe bullying, not having many friends, feeling alone and alienated. A bit of a dysfunctional household--- In a way, I think it sort of affected me when it came to my insecurities in relationships---having this weird abandonment issues and feeling as if I wasn't good enough due to seeing how screwed up my parents' relationship were and the complicated divorce. Of course, it is much better now, but I still have to fight that negative urge and remind myself that I am good enough...

    Also, I heavily relate to the image problem. When I was younger, I was considered to be an "ugly duckling" so to speak. I was very overweight and had some acne when I was in my early teens. Once I hit 16-18ish, I sort of grew out of that awkward phase---more once I hit 20--- and I look completely different now. But the wounds of the bullying and subconscious beliefs that I am ugly and nobody will love me sort of still stays with me a bit. I have had many people tell me I look like a combo of Monica Bellucci and Jennifer Lawrence, and have various compliments which I am really flattered of but no matter how hard I freaking try, I cannot seem to comprehend or understand it. I still see myself as that vulnerable, shy, and insecure girl who desperately wanted to be accepted but was ridiculed instead. It's hard to remind yourself that you changed physically and emotionally as a person and you are in a better place, but sometimes it is easy to succumb to the darkness.

    That "ugly duckling" syndrome is an actual real thing unfortunately... I do wish you the best and lots of amazing memories with another man who will give you the world. You deserve it and you seem like such a wonderful, lovely person---inside and out. I understand your situation, I really do. Just know you aren't alone and we are in this complicated but beautiful journey together.

    And you are by no means a narcissist. Usually those who are narcissist usually doesn't see anything wrong with themselves and don't choose to see how they really are. You are too kind and sweet to be one.

    Much love. *hugs*
     
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    #19 JennyDaniella, Jan 30, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
    Jonah Caan, Wyote, Pin and 1 other person like this.
  20. Pin

    Pin Commander-in Chief / Ren's Counterpart

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    Growing up, I struggled with doubt from myself and others. When I wasn't reading, I was looking for opportunities to excel. Over time, I got involved with a variety of organizations. I failed, I succeeded. These small failures and successes laid the floor for higher stakes. I learned to bet on myself. If a person doesn't have themselves then they don't really have anyone or anything else.

    God damn it, let's fight until it's done.
     
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    #20 Pin, Jan 31, 2019
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
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