Low self-esteem vs. healthy self-esteem in INFJs | INFJ Forum

Low self-esteem vs. healthy self-esteem in INFJs

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  1. bs98r3kjf

    bs98r3kjf Well-known member

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    What are signs of low self esteem in INFJs?

    Do you think the characteristics of an INFJ with low self esteem would be different from the characteristics of another type with low self esteem?

    Do you think the characteristics of an INFJ with healthy self esteem would be different from the characteristics of another type with healthy self esteem?

    Please share your thoughts.
     
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  2. Julia

    Julia Community Member

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    I think the internalizing of negativity is an INFJ tendency. An unhealthy low self-esteem in an INFJ could involve internalizing rejection from others as being valid.
     
  3. Gaze

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    Yep.
     
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  4. Soulful

    Soulful life is good

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    I imagine that an INFJ with low self-esteem might become (even more) reticent or feel even more sensitive and develop a sort of hyper-awareness of figuring out what others mean, intend, imply, etc. It would depend on the nature of their insecurity or the cause of the low self-esteem and how they relate to their environment. Maybe the Ni and Fe would go into overdrive?

    I'm not familiar enough with cognitive processes to speak to whether an INFJ might resort to using their less dominant processes (possibly in the case of prolonged stress?), excessively rely on their dominant ones, perhaps lose touch with oneself, or begin to display shadow-type (ESTP) characteristics in a negative light during a period of low self-esteem. Or maybe none of the above. I hope others might have more answers, this is an interesting topic.
     
    #4 Soulful, Oct 2, 2009
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  5. Ria

    Ria Snow White over the ocean

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    ummm.. u just pinned me there Soulful :(

    I think throughout my life (and I bet tons of other INFJ's can relate), because I was rejected for who I was, that yes, I began to think that others views of me are valid.

    I am better at this now, and yes I compensate this with the attitude of; "I don't care"... but when it comes to those certain individuals of whom I DO care about how they view me, then yes, I become a bit of a mess inside! I do spend a lot of time having "positive self talks" with myself; often times tho it's hard for me because I have to fight the flow of "ya whatever Maria, you're just fooling yourself" comments that I tend to shoot back as I do tend to think rather negative.

    Yes I hear voices in my head :p
     
  6. Soulful

    Soulful life is good

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    I know what you mean about internalizing other people's opinions. Keep up those talks, you're not fooling yourself :hug:Some of the conversations I have with myself have been the most meaningful in changing my life. They can be very powerful.
     
  7. Puck

    Puck Perilous Pixie
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    I know what you mean! Only in an INFJ forum does that sound perfectly sane.
     
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  8. Sam

    Sam Regular Poster

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    This is a very interesting thread, kudos to OP! :) Actually I've been thinking about this myself lately. Negative self-image of course manifests itself differently in individuals but trying thinking it from an INFJ perspective... Uhm, hmm. Hypersensitivity and seeing rejection as valid seem very likely responses as INFJ as a type is already highly hypersensitive. It would make perfect sense to try to assess people's intentions and views in the negative light and see everything as a sign of rejection (not able to see other influences to people's behaviour, people's own possible problems completely unrelated to INFJ, in words INFJ may lose sight of objectivity and start the vicious circle of blaming themselves for causing every single each tiny bit of a negative response in others)?

    -> Could lead the INFJ with a low self-esteem into further isolation, to an imagined "rejection" from everybody possible. (depression, self-destructive behaviour etc)

    Or/and everything and something in between denying their very own natures and trying to become something else (transform themselves in order to be accepted, liked, loved - whatever is the core issue behind the low self-esteem, or possibly even all of them) - which I think is unrelated to type, behaviour which we can see in everybody with low self-esteem and in extreme cases in narcissism.

    The INFJ might be starving for recognition and like all "unhealthy" individuals try to "win over" people into liking them (that sounds harsher than I mean though, point being in at not valuing oneself makes one into seeking approval from selfish motivations to gain back their own "self-value"), especially with enneagram 4s might start building delusional fantasies about being special and misunderstood and try to compensate their low self-respect with leveling themselves up with that false image - "I am special and although others don't understand me, it's what makes me unique and different from everyone else, this suffering is all I have, it's my last resort and no one can have it, they're all fools/stupid/entersmthere"

    With a low self-esteem a lot of shame is always buried underneath, a very difficult thing to deal with it.

    Hmm I think there are very different routes to which it could develop in the INFJ, someone mentioned the ESTP shadow which could with enough stress and possibly depression (which low self-esteem usually correlates with) lead to.

    I hope I made some sense at least with this but like could never be emphasised enough it's still individuals :) And anyways, just my 2c. But I kind of think self-esteem is a very big and an influencing thing in a person almost as if in the background of everything the person does and is, and believe there are regardless of type, some common factors of how we deal with it with subtle modes.

    Although I think it is potentially a devastating issue for the INFJ due to his/her introspective and introverted nature in the begin with, also believe it can be - possibly, some of the most rewarding processes to deal with it in course of life for the INFJ as it forces to face a lot of ugly truths in human nature to find the balance and the beauty in themselves and others and also appreciate it in ways a lot of people could miss because of its "get your hands dirty digging in there real deep" necessity, so I hope I'm not offending anyone with the abovewritten as I really think self-esteem as a process, not a given, stable condition - to some a bit more challenging one and to others not as much, but anyways just as a spectrum with lots of shades and variation and a part of the whole which we call the ego.
     
    #8 Sam, Oct 2, 2009
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  9. Baccal

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    [FONT=Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,sans-serif]Avoidant Personality Traits/Style/Disorder spring to mind as encapsulating much of what has been written in this thread. I started a thread on this myself

    http://forum.infjs.com/showthread.php?t=4836

    And found the following description online which some of you might find interesting:

    Cluster C:
    The Avoidant Personality Disorder (AvPD)
    Essential Feature

    The essential feature of the avoidant personality disorder is a pervasive pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, and hypersensitivity to negative evaluation (DSM-IV, 1994, p. 662).

    The ICD-10 (1994, p. 232) has a personality disorder called the anxious (avoidant) personality disorder characterized by feelings of tension, apprehension, insecurity and inferiority. These individuals wish to be liked and accepted but experience hypersensitivity to rejection and criticism. Personal attachments are restricted. People with the anxious personality disorder have a tendency to avoid activities by a habitual exaggeration of the potential dangers or risks involved. They believe that they are socially inept, personally unappealing and inferior.

    Millon & Davis (1996, pp. 253-256) call AvPD the withdrawn pattern. These are individuals who are oversensitive to social stimuli and are hyperreactive to the moods and feelings of others. Individuals with AvPD are chronically overreactive and hyperalert, with affective disharmony, cognitive interference, and interpersonal distrust. They are disposed toward the more severe schizophrenic disorders. Historically, this pattern has been described as being preoccupied with security and strained in associating with people.

    Everly (Retzlaff, ed., 1995, pp. 25-38) states that the most severe pathology found in AvPD is in the area of self-image. In AvPD there is the failure of the core personality to adapt in a competent manner to interpersonal adversity -- presumably both past and present. Stone (1993, p. 355) also sees the key traits of AvPD as social reticence and avoidance of interpersonal activities. These individuals are easily hurt by criticism and fear showing their anxiety in public. They would like to be close to others and to live up to their potential, but are afraid of being hurt, rejected, and unsuccessful (Beck, 1990, p. 43).

    There is overlap between AvPD and social phobia, generalized type (DSM-IV, 1994, pp. 663-664). The essential feature of social phobia (social anxiety disorder) is a marked and persistent fear of social or performance situations that may provoke embarrassment. Most often, the social or performance situation is avoided though it may be endured with dread. The avoidance, fear or anxious anticipation must interfere significantly with daily routine, occupational functioning, or social life or cause significant personal distress (DSM-IV, 1994, p. 411). Sutherland & Frances (Gabbard & Atkinson, eds., 1996, p. 991) suggest that AvPD and social phobia are constructs that differ only in the severity of dysfunction. Frances, et.al. (1995, p. 376) propose the possibility that they are two different constructs for the same condition. Benjamin (1993, p. 294) notes that the interpersonal patterns for generalized social phobia are very similar to AvPD; both groups avoid social contact and restrain themselves because of fear of humiliation or rejection. She proposes that social phobia is diagnosed if symptoms of pervasive anxiety or panic are present. Millon and Martinez (Livesley, ed., 1995, p. 222) believe that the avoidant personality is essentially a problem of relating to people while social phobia is largely a problem of performing in situations. Stone (1993, pp. 355-356) suggests that social phobia, agoraphobia, and OCD often have an underlying AvPD.

    It is common for persons with AvPD to have comorbidity with other personality disorders. AvPD is most often diagnosed with DPD, BPD, PPD, SPD, or StPD (DSM-IV, 1994, p. 663). Frances, et.al (1995, p. 376) note the considerable overlap between AvPD and DPD. These two personality disorders share interpersonal insecurity, low self-esteem, and a strong desire for interpersonal relationships. Benjamin (1993, p.301) describes the desperate attempts to avoid being alone that may be seen in DPD as an exclusionary indicator for AvPD.

    AvPD is found equally in males and females (DSM-IV, 1994, p. 663).

    Self-Image

    Individuals with AvPD are preoccupied by the unpleasant and perplexing personal definition they hold of themselves as defective, unable to fit in with others, being unlikable, and being inadequate. This self-image usually results from childhood rejection by significant others such as parents, siblings, or peers. These individuals then believe that others throughout their lives will react to them in a similar fashion. They are often unable to recognize their own admirable qualities that make them both likable and desirable (Will, Retzlaff, ed., 1995, p. 97). Rather, they see themselves as socially inept and inferior. They believe that they are personally unappealing and interpersonally inadequate. They describe themselves as ill at ease, anxious, and sad. They are lonely; they feel unwanted and isolated. Individuals with AvPD are introspective and self-conscious. They usually refer to themselves with contempt (Millon & Davis, 1996, p. 263).

    For individuals with AvPD, their deflated self-image references their entire being. Nothing about them escapes their own self-derision (Millon & Davis, 1996, p. 264). Doubts about their social competence and personal appeal become especially severe in the presence of strangers (DSM-IV, 1994, p. 662).

    View of Others

    Individuals with AvPD view the world as unfriendly, cold, and humiliating (Millon & Davis, 1996, p, 265). People are seen as potentially critical, uninterested, and demeaning (Beck, 1990, pp. 43-44); they will probably cause shame and embarrassment for individuals with AvPD. As a result, people with AvPD experience social pananxiety and are awkward and uncomfortable with people (Millon & Davis, 1996, p. 261). However, they are caught in an intense approach-avoidance conflict; they believe that close relationships would be rewarding but are so anxious around people that their only solace or comfort comes in avoiding most interpersonal contact (Donat, Retzlaff, ed., 1995, p. 49).

    Individuals with AvPD tend to respond to low-level criticism with intense hurt. To make matters worse, they become so socially apprehensive that neutral events may well be interpreted as evidence of disdain or ridicule by others (Donat, Retzlaff, ed., 1995, p. 49). They come to expect that attention from others will be degrading or rejecting. They assume that no matter what they say or do, others will find fault with them (DSM-IV, 1994, p. 662).

    Even memories for individuals with AvPD are comprised of intense, conflict-ridden, problematic early relationships. They must avoid the wounds inside of them at the same time they are avoiding the external distress of contact with others. The external environment brings no peace and comfort and their painful thoughts do not allow them to find solace within themselves (Millon & Davis, 1996, pp. 263-264).

    Relationships

    Individuals with AvPD are "lonely loners." They would like to be involved in relationships but cannot tolerate the feelings they get around other people. They feel unacceptable, incapable of being loved, and unable to change. Because they retreat from others in anticipation of rejection, they lead socially impoverished lives. They have immature and unrealistic expectations of relationships; they believe that they can have no imperfections if they are to be accepted and loved. Interpersonally, they are ill at ease, awkward and tense. They experience unremitting self-consciousness, self-contempt and anger toward others (Oldham, 1990, pp. 188-193).

    Individuals with AvPD will develop intimacy with people who are experienced as safe. Nevertheless, they will often engage in triangular marital or quasi-marital relationships which provide intimacy while maintaining interpersonal distance. These individuals like to foster secret liaisons as a "fall-back" position in case the key relationship does not work out (Benjamin, 1983, pp. 307-308). As sexual partners and parents, people with AvPD appear self-involved and uncaring (Kantor, 1992, p. 109) as they preserve distance from others through defensive restraint and withdrawal. Even so, these individuals long for affection and fantasize about idealized relationships (DSM-IV, 1994, p. 663).

    Issues With Authority

    Individuals with AvPD are unlikely to provoke or resist authority. At least at a behavioral level, they are inclined to be compliant and cooperative. However, whether the authority figures are service providers or law enforcement officers, people with AvPD are not forthcoming and resist self-disclosure. Exposure means, for these individuals, ridicule, shame, and censure. They will not willingly give away the information that they believe will result in such painful experiences.

    AvPD Behavior

    Individuals with AvPD behave in a fretful, restive manner. They overreact to innocuous experiences but maintain control over their physical behaviors and expression of emotions. Their speech is hesitant and constrained. They appear to have fragmented thought sequences and their conversation is laced with confused digressions. They are timid and uneasy (Millon & Davis, 1996, p. 261).

    Kantor (1992, pp. 36-41) notes that individuals with AvPD, as with all of the personality disorders, have a tendency to live in the past or in fantasy -- they receive too little input from the here and now. This diminished ability to pay attention results in mild memory disturbances and a characteristic immaturity. These individuals are distracted by their own extraordinary sensitivity to subtleties of tone and feeling; they are hyperalert to the meaning of emotive communication. Their thought processes are interfered with by flooding of irrelevant environmental details (Millon & Davis, 1996, p. 263).

    Individuals with AvPD behave in a stiff, shy, and apprehensive manner that is disquieting to others. The very rejection they fear may be the direct result of other people becoming impatient and uncomfortable with their unremitting tension and inability to accept that they can be a part of interaction without special guarantees of safety. In fact, people with AvPD, overtly or covertly, are seeking others to take the interpersonal risks for them; they are not able to be responsible for their own well-being socially and become a burden on the nurturing and care-taking capacity of those around them. For those who experience severe avoidant symptoms, no amount of protectiveness or gentleness can ease their fear; they will withdraw without explanation and leave behind a general bewilderment about what went wrong.

    Affective Issues

    Shame is one of the central AvPD affective experiences. Shame and self-exposure are intimately connected -- which leads to withdrawal from interpersonal connection to avoid experiencing shame (Sutherland & Frances, Gabbard & Atkinson, eds, 1996, p. 993). These individuals are anguished. They describe their emotions as a constant and confusing undercurrent of tension, sadness, and anger. Sometimes this relentless pain results in a general state of numbness. They posses few social skills and personal attributes that can lead them to the pleasures and comforts of life. They must attempt to avoid pain, to need nothing, to depend on no one, and to deny desire. They try to turn away from their awareness of their unlovability and unattractiveness (Millon & Davis, 1996, p. 265).

    Feeling capacity is normal for individuals with AvPD; it is their affective expression that is limited. Insight is present but superficial and not useful; it is seldom used for change (Kantor, 1992, p. 108). Their main affect is dysphoria, a combination of anxiety and sadness (Beck, 1990, p. 44). They are apprehensive, lonely, and tense (Sperry & Carlson, 1993, p. 332); they can experience feelings of emptiness, depersonalization (Sperry, 1995, p. 36), and excessive self-consciousness. Occasionally, individuals with AvPD lose control and explode with rage (Benjamin, 1983, p. 297).

    Defensive Structure

    Individuals with AvPD utilize fantasy to interrupt their painful thoughts. They seek to muddle their emotions because diffuse disharmony is more tolerable than the sharp pain and anguish of being themselves. They also depend on fantasy for some measure of need gratification. Other AvPD defenses include avoidance and escape. Their paramount goal is to protect themselves from real or imagined psychic pain. Fantasy and escape are all that is left because they cannot gain comfort from themselves or from others (Millon & Davis, 1996, pp. 264-265).

    Dorr (Retzlaff, ed., 1995, p. 196) also notes that individuals with AvPD can deal with their emotions only through avoidance, escape, and fantasy. When faced with unanticipated stress, they have few internal strengths available to them to manage the situation. Energy is misdirected to avoid rather than to adapt. While these individuals seek isolation out of fear of humiliation or rejection, they desire relationships and connection. That leaves them with fantasy as their primary defense; here, the use of fantasy can be seen as a variant of the general defense of denial (Kubacki & Smith, Retzlaff, ed., 1995, p. 167).

    Individuals with AvPD take rejection as an indication of personal deficiencies; they engage in a string of automatic self-critical thoughts that are extraordinarily painful. The resultant AvPD social avoidance is readily apparent. What is less obvious is the concurrent cognitive and emotional avoidance. Their dysphoria is so painful that they use activities and addictions to distract them from negative thoughts and feelings as well. They engage in wishful thinking, e.g. one day the perfect relationship or job will come along; one day they will be confident and have many friends. The patterns of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral avoidance are reinforced by a reduction in sadness and become ingrained and automatic (Beck, 1990, pp. 257-265). Meanwhile, individuals with AvPD lower their reality-based expectations and stay clear of involvement with real people (Beck & Freeman, 1990, pp. 43-44).
    Medication Issues

    It is recommended, for personality disordered individuals, to medicate target symptoms rather than the personality disorder itself. AvPD is quite vulnerable to the target symptom of dysphoria which is usually accompanied by mood instability, low energy, leaden fatigue, and depression. Also associated with dysphoria is a craving for chocolate and for the use of stimulants, e.g., cocaine. Many dysphoric individuals will respond to standard antidepressant medications (Ellison & Adler, Adler, ed., 1990, p. 53). Global improvement for individuals with AvPD may be possible in response to tranylcypromine, phenelzine, or fluoxetine. (Ellison & Adler, Adler, ed., 1990, p. 47)

    Anxiety, defined as an unpleasantly heightened responsivity of the autonomic nervous system to interpersonal and environmental cues may be beneficially medicated with beta blockers, MAOIs, and the triazolobenzodiazepine alprazolam (Ellison & Adler, Adler, ed., 1990, pp. 53-54). While benzodiazepines can be effective for AvPD, the use of these medications should be balanced with the these individuals' propensity for substance dependence. The newer SSRIs may be effective for the core features of AvPD: shyness, rejection sensitivity, heightened psychic pain, and distorted cognition related to self-criticism and self-effacement (Sutherland & Frances, Gabbard & Atkinson eds., 1996, p. 993).

    The specific features of personality disorders affect compliance with medication. Individuals with AvPD may be alarmed at the possibility of side effects and react with fear to the medication (Ellison & Adler, Adler, ed., 1990, p. 59) (Sperry, 1995, p. 50).

    On the other hand, anti-anxiety medication will be very appealing to individuals with AvPD. It is possible, however, that sedative-hypnotics are the clients' drug of choice and tolerance is already in place. These individuals must develop non-chemical courage and the tolerance they actually need is for interpersonal anxiety. Even if they are not already involved with minor tranquilizers, they are likely to overvalue their effects. Iatrogenic addiction is a significant concern. One psychiatrist in a major community mental health system stated emphatically that it was so painful to be avoidant that he would prefer to allow an addiction to benzodiazepines to develop than to ask these individuals to tolerate their psychological discomfort. While this position may (or may not) be understandable, addiction is not an acceptable alternative to the symptoms of AvPD. Treatment can be effective and non-addicting medications can assist with the symptoms well enough to facilitate the change process.



    Information and or Criteria summarized from:
    American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.
    [/FONT]
     
  10. Raccoon Love

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    Well, I currently suffer from this so I can sort of lay out my experience I guess..

    I suffer from incredibly low self-esteem, since I have always been rejected/made fun of/picked on/seen as weird/ isolating me from society almost completly, leading to shyness, and avoidance of people. I just can't be with people long, I get nervous and my speech goes all crazy. Such low self-steem leads to the belief that I'm worthless, and that well the world just hates me. Depression and anxiety often come from this low self-steem, since I odn't have confidence in myself I always think the worst. I'm easely drawn to tears, and well I avoid all sorts of conflict to the point people do whatever the hell they want with me, in my mind I feel like telling those people to just go away but I guess I just fear so much that I don't do it..Feeling like a weak coward. I find myslef often thinking I don't really deserve any sort of love and that I was destined to be my whole life alone, I try my best to keep this negative side away from me though, though I often find myself reflecting on this and crying all night about it, here is the place where I feel I can be most like myself though, I can express my feelings without fear, without people telling me how weirdor how pathetic I am, I just hope some day I can stay away from this current state in my life, have more confidence in myself, be able to say no! and stand up for myself.
     
  11. Kaipaus

    Kaipaus Community Member

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    When I (an INFP?) have low self-esteem and depression, I suffer from traits of avoidant and dependent personality disorder.
     
  12. xizzax

    xizzax Community Member

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    well im an infj who has undergone a HUGE change regarding self esteem.

    im much more extroverted though, but not in the way that extroverts are reacting to external stimuli... it's more like a very comfortable feeling within myself-- to express whatever my intuition brings.

    if INFJs didn't have the anxiety that is common for them... i think that Fe is really strengthened so that they can connect even more deeply with people.

    sometimes, i do admit, the validation of others does get to me. but i talk myself out of it too ;P
     
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  13. Gaze

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    Right on point. Pretty accurate, at least for me.
     
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  14. Elobliss

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    I am an INFJ with an incredibly low self-esteem, and to be blatantly honest, I have no idea why. Im not sure if it's a genetic thing, because both my parents are very confident people, at least on the outside. A big reason why I never want to perform piano, or sing or dance, was because I didn't think people would clap when I finished. I try to tell myself that I don't care, but on the inside, I'm not as inhibited, not as outgoing because I am scared of how people will perceive me. A lot of the time I feel isolated, like I feel as though no one understands me, and so I hide away somewhere like in the library. I hate shopping with friends in case they think I have bad taste in fashion, I never let them look through my iPod. And tbh, I don't know why I am like this. It's not as though I am hideously ugly, or stupid. I get good grades, I am smart and talented (I will admit) and I try to be nice to everyone. However, in online communities such as this one, I almost say whatever I feel, I'm funnier, and I feel relaxed. I have a pretty healthy self-esteem online.

    I think this last part is interesting. I am extremely shy with real humans, but online I am more Mind, I don't know much about psychology or personality traits, but I read somewhere that INFJ's communicate better through writing.

    Maybe I have that Avoidant Personality Disorder thingy... o_O
    Yeah. I don't think that helped much. I don't know any big words
     
  15. NeverAmI

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    I DEFINITELY suffered greatly from AvPD in my younger years. I have been seriously close with suicide in my past on multiple occasions. Strangely enough, the only thing that kept me from doing it was the thought of anguish it would cause for whoever discovered me and had to clean the mess up. Yes, I even considered which way would cause the least amount of mess.

    My struggles in life have always been internal. Kids are cruel when they are young. Shit, people are cruel in general. People like you and I are very malleable in our youth and it devestates us. I hated my childhood, yet it wasn't bad. I had good parents, a normal life, a few decent friends. Yet, I could never find solace.

    When I enter depression, I go deeper and deeper into the rabbit hole of isolation. I don't want to see anyone, I don't want to interact with anyone. I don't want to experience life, what is there to experience but more anguish???

    My parents sent me to all kinds of counselors, I got kicked out of High School. At a point in my life when I wanted the least involvement/intervention from anyone else, I was getting the most and I built up a LOT of angst.

    I dealt with this for MANY years, I highly doubt that I am done dealing with it. I had to finally realize my self worth without the help of anyone else. I had to find solace in the fact that I am not like anyone else around me. I had to start taking peace in the fact that I was helping others without anything in return. As I stated in a different post, I believe my good deeds in my life will pave the way for a good future. I believe my good deeds WILL be noticed, regardless of whether I can tell or not.

    If you are anything like me, this has nothing to do with anyone else in your life but yourself. It took me moving away after graduation from my alternative high school and leaving my whole life behind to really get over all my childhood issues and find peace with myself. But also, once you get out of school, your personality flourishes in many cases in the outside world. Mature people are much more affectionate to your selflessness. If you can make it through your teenage years, it gradually gets easier, even if you aren't able to find peace with yourself.

    I still hate being in crowds. Every time I hear someone I don't know laughing, I get the small voice in the back of my head telling me they are laughing at me. I have anxiety with many people that I don't know. However, my college and the experience of working in a office setting has really helped me to grow my interpersonal skills, yet at work no one knows much about me, I am very private. One thing that has helped me to cope with A LOT is exercise. Believe it or not, keeping my body in shape gives me TONS of energy! This really helps to curb my depression and greatly increases my self confidence. I am not talking intense routines, just put on some hip hop/Rock music in your basement and dance! That will certainly get the cardio up!

    It is definitely a journey for all of us, I still feel like I am just beginning. I am just glad as hell I didn't end it all! I am not particualarly comfortable sharing this, and it is in fact the first time I have shared it with anyone in my life. I do so in the hope that it may help some of you to cut through some of the BS we all go through.
     
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    #15 NeverAmI, Oct 18, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2009
  16. Solar Empath

    Solar Empath Community Member

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    This was and is very similar to my own life experience. I was never able to talk about it either. Thanks for sharing! :)
     
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  17. Morgain

    Morgain defective wisdom
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    wauw, this could be me :loco:

    I was starting to believe I'm ENFJ because I'm much more outgoing and social then most of the INFJ's. But my childhood was exactly like this. So I think I have just learned to be more extraverted.

    School was a hell for me untill my 18th. Not that I was picked on a lot. I walked up the schools playground thinking that when someone was laughing, she was laughing with me, or that nobody would want to talk to me or that they would shut me out of there conversation (actually that happened a couple of times). So for not to have to walk alone, I locked myself up in the toilets (yeah I know, patetic!). And when we had to pair up for an assignment or for a bus drive, I was always left over. Every day at school I was terified that we had to pair up again and nobody would want me. And all my friends dropped me one time or the other. No one sticked with me. So I thought that I must be the most boring person ever.

    This went on untill finaly I found a friend who took me just as I was and sticked with me no matter what, so there I gained a lot of self esteme and I never had to walk the playground alone again . After that I went to a different school and to me it was a whole new start. I started off being more social then before, trying harder to interact with people and it worked. They accepted me, liked me, became friends with me. And now at work I could almost past for an ENFJ because I try to interact with everybody, always say hello or smile when I pass someone. And they accept me too. Not that I'm the most popular, not at all :becky: But I don't have to be.

    So don't despare, there is life after highschool! Like NeverAmI says, grownups are more friendly and accepting then teenagers!
     
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    #17 Morgain, Oct 23, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
  18. Gaze

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    No, you did not just take the words right out of my heart. :m145:
     
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  19. NeverAmI

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    GOOD, now you know how I feel when I read your stuff! :mcunni:
     
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  20. vthevivid

    vthevivid Newbie

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    As people who are naturally attune to the needs and desires of others, and are really good at reading others, I think it manifests itself in the form of hypersensitivity and paranoia about being continually rejected. We become terribly frightened of the judgment of others, and either attempt to become people we aren't (super extroverted social butterflies) or we withdraw completely. Throughout childhood, I did both at points. I never really had that hard of a time accepting others as they were - I had an exceedingly difficult time accepting myself.

    It took a long time before I truly believed I had qualities that were worthy of love and appreciation. Even after I managed to believe this with regard to my relationships with family and friends, I still had a hard time with this in regards to romantic relationships. My own failings in my first romantic relationship (which happened when I was 21) were largely due to the distressed paranoia that I felt out of fear that my boyfriend would wake up one day and suddenly realize that I was not that beautiful, or worthy of affection, and unceremoniously dump me. That didn't happen, but I put him through a lot of unnecessary hell. The end result was that I emerged from our relationship a much more confident person, with a healthier self-esteem with regard to my worthiness in relationships. It's just a shame that during the course of it, that didn't happen.

    I think that in order to have a healthy self-esteem, it is vital for INFJs to accept themselves on some level. Yes, we will always (doubtlessly) try to continually improve ourselves, and understand ourselves, but I think that a healthy self-esteem starts with the ability to accept our short-comings - and to learn to laugh at them. I didn't learn to accept my own short-comings for years. Others laughing at you becomes a lot less frightening when you learn to laugh at yourself. For example - please feel free to mock - I am deathly afraid of slipping and falling. It's a phobia. It's just as bad when I'm walking on marble when it's raining and I'm not wearing slip resistant shoes as it is standing on the edge of a cliff with no barrier. As long as there's a barrier, it's OK. Is this ridiculous? Absolutely. I haven't broken a bone in ten years. I lived in Utah for a few years and it snowed there ALL THE TIME, and yet I still have this fear. But I could laugh about it, or cry about it. I choose laughter and self-deprecation.

    We're Js. Every single one of us has at least a few great friends, whose personalities we know ridiculously intimately well. With each person, you know their shortcomings, and what makes them great individuals. When we learn to realize that other people see us this way as well - that they know our flaws and our strengths and accept us nonetheless - we realize that there is less to fear from others.

    As far as how it differs from other personality types...I think it tends to make us more extreme. We withdraw from our society entirely, claiming we don't care about the rest of the world, or we try to hard to win others over that we let them walk all over us and try to project the exact opposite of what we truly are (something we're very bad at doing).
     
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