INFJ: Emotions and defence mechanisms and | INFJ Forum

INFJ: Emotions and defence mechanisms and

Discussion in 'The INFJ Typology' started by Danmach, Nov 13, 2018.

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  1. Danmach

    Danmach Newbie

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    Hello everyone!

    I have always been confused about my emotions, which could be very cold when they shouldn't be, to the point I almost believed I am apathetic. I have realized recently, however, that I haven't been always this way (actually I was quite the contrary), and developed the theory that, being hyper sensitive, I have developed along the years defence mechanisms to control my extreme emotional responses. Thing is, once I started to accept the theory as true, I am experiencing an unusual level of emotion and empathy. I think I am now trying to balance things out and develop finer methods of dealing with the situation.



    Has anyone experienced a similar thing? and is such a thing likely to be true?
     
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  2. Parker

    Parker Newbie

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    Yeah, for sure. I’ve definitely struggled with this for some time now, probably as long as I can remember. However, I just really started to accept that sometimes I’m being irrational, but that’s how I feel! So am I overreacting? Or am I finally blowing up, and this “coldness” you speak of, are the results? I think it gets to a point where you have to really communicate with yourself, and be able to point out when you’re (as my mom would like to say), “taking it from 50 to 100”. Sometimes it’s just no need. Yeah, we’re feeling a lot of emotion in order to make us think that “giving the cold shoulder” to someone is the only logical thing to do in the moment. However, just because we’re feeling so much inside doesn’t mean the people around us want to be overwhelmed with our emotion. I just try to be mindful, but I still speak my mind, respectfully. I don’t think others have seen this change, but it sucks because I’ve really been trying for a long time.

    To sum it up, just be patient with yourself. Nevertheless, don’t forget to be patient with others too!
     
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  3. OP
    Danmach

    Danmach Newbie

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    Yup, totally get that side of it. What's more is that this "emotion" struggle goes beyond social interaction. It even shows in emotional responses to news, stories, or even TV drama! I am definitely feeling a SUDDEN surge of emotional response. I guess I have cried in the last month more than I have in years, and although I don't find it a bad thing, it certainly feels weird.
     
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  4. Ginny

    Ginny Túatha Dé Danann

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    Usually I would try to put this in terms of cognitive functions, but I don't know how well-versed you are, so let's do it the wordy and possibly incomplete way.

    Putting emotions aside is a pretty normal thing for all people. We all have them and we have to learn to deal with them, one way or another. What distinguishes us from one another are the ways we deal with them and the consequences of our choices can leave imprints on how we develop.

    For INFJs, there are different stages of pushing away emotions or embracing them. Some of us think that we feel too much, push it aside, let it bottle up, are easily overwhelmed. Our personal emotions and ethics are countervalued, put simply. Some of us have pushed our emotions so far down that we hardly feel anything anymore - I guess this is what you experience as a certain coldness. I know it can get worse than that, but unless it comes up I won't talk about it here. It is quite natural for us to be empathic, although this empathy is more of a myth than an INFJ-exclusive "psychic" ability. More to the point, we understand different perspectives and therefore have an easier time tapping into the emotional world of others. For anything more, it depends on belief and individual experience. There are INFJs who are theoretically completely non-empathic or controlled in their emotional output, there are countless varieties, stemming from countless possible defense mechanisms.

    I have learnt that swimming against the current rarely acheives anything. You're more likely to lose control (which you never really had for lack of dealing) and sort of... explode. We don't have it as easy as other types that don't value the expression of emotion at such a high rate or intensity (I have a theory that we only value to express it because we partially gain energy from taking it in). However, letting everything out unfiltered can become too much very fast. We need to find a balance where we let ourselves feel what we feel without necessarily expressing it at once (perhaps expressing it through journaling), so we are not overwhelmed ourselves or bottle it up. Before we can begin to perceive or judge the world, we have to start with ourselves, see ourselves for who we are and make our peace with it. In some sense, that way we are forgiving ourselves for who we were in the past, the clay that has moulded us into who we are now, in the moment of acknowledgement. It's not something you can decide so easily and move on, unfortunately. It is a decision that has to be made each day, until we unconsciously incorporate it into our behaviour, the same way that the defense mechanism first took hold. Unless it's already part of your nature, it feels odd and contrary at first, but it gets easier with time.

    I feel very intensely, tiny nuances from the different kinds of love to a hatred so pure it feels like you're forever lost to darkness, from the hottest flame to an icy, coldly burning nothingness. I have learnt to temper it, to some degree, by allowing it for as long as I need it. My emotions have flow (I don't know how it is with you), and it doesn't do me good to hold on to a feeling that is ready to pass once felt to completion. Of course, emotions can be steady as they can be fleeting - also part of the flow. I used to be in the clutches of my own emotions, mostly negative ones such as anger, envy or hatred, until I learnt that by holding on to them they were all merely a defense from being hurt again. They hardened me to the world, made me impervious to the frequencies that surrounded me. It feels like a miracle now that I was able to get out of that. It took me years to understand what I knew already. The peace of flow, that all has its time, even emotions.

    This is not all. There is the part where you don't just have to let in positive frequencies and generate them yourself, but you learn to see that you need to divorce yourself from certain influences if you cannot withstand them. It is a temporary way of keeping the peace, if an effective one. Sooner or later you have to face the music and this will be the ultimate test. Let yourself be ruled by your emotions or feel what you need to accept it and let it go as it arises. And then, it becomes all just a matter of perspective: shifting perspective so that a negative emotion arising out of a negative situation can be disarmed and turned into something neutral or even positive, enabling you to react with kindness in the face of anger and frustration. And before you come to think of the phrase "killing with kindness": real kindness isn't used as a weapon, or it isn't kindness - it's mistaking cruelty for kindness. However, even if you are kind, it may not feel like that to the other party: to them, it may feel cruel, disingenuous and calculated. But the important thing is that you feel the difference.
     
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  5. OP
    Danmach

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    I really admire this :)
     
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  6. Ginny

    Ginny Túatha Dé Danann

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    Me too. I don't think I'm quite there yet.
     
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    Danmach

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    Well, I believe it is a quite "scary" journey to get there.
    On a side note, as a new member, I am quite relieved people here are quite wordy. I guess I can let go of my fear of talking too much on here!
     
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  8. Parker

    Parker Newbie

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    Yes, media productions definitely impact how I feel. This is also true for me whenever I go to museums, or scrolling through the art section of Instagram. My thoughts start rambling about what caused someone to paint/sculpt something the way they did, what the felt. Then, the appreciation for all their work brings the piece together, and I have more emotional appreciation for their work. A good cry never hurt anyone, maybe it’s just the best way that you’re releasing emotions at this time! I can cry a lot too, but sometimes I feel like it’s the only logical response to whatever’s going on.
     
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  9. Parker

    Parker Newbie

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    Yeah, what she said!
     
  10. Zola

    Zola Regular Poster

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    Yes. I have yearned for a fictional operation called an "emotion-ectomy" so that I can stop feeling hurt.

    Absolutely. Take care not to say things we will regret in an effort to be "authentic" no matter how good we believe that to be, or "honest" no matter how much people say they want to hear the truth. Causing pain to ourselves and to others is not worth it.

    I often talk out loud when I'm alone, rehearsing what I WOULD say to other people, but then keeping it to myself instead. It's much safer that way. However, I have to be careful if someone comes by unnoticed and hears me! Also, it gets hard to remember what I've said in private vs reality. Crazy, huh?

    That is just beautiful, Ginny. Thanks for that inspiration.

    Great technique. Even if you have to walk away for awhile before the magic happens. Nothing wrong with asking people for "time to process." It's better than reacting by flinging harsh words before you get your emotions under control.
     
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