The 'What If' Response | INFJ Forum

The 'What If' Response

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Solar Empath, Oct 29, 2009.

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  1. Solar Empath

    Solar Empath Community Member

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    This is something that has plagued me pretty much throughout my life. 'What If'. It puts strains on my relationships. It makes it more difficult to express myself. It makes it tough to pursue the things and people I want to pursue.

    But what is it and where does it come from? For me it tends to take the form of a negative feeling that grows stronger as an imaginary scenario plays in my mind's eye. Suddenly I am repeating painful mantras in my head and railing emotionally against what is happening ... but only in my imagination!

    Then of course I begin to parse past instances for minutiae that support the scenario in my imagination, and of course if you parse fine enough and interpret freely enough then you can corroborate it. Suddenly I am unloved, weak, wrong, lazy, stupid and even crazy.

    But I ask again, what causes this? How does it start? From reading here it seems to be an almost ubiquitous trait of the INFJ. Is it a shadow response, a natural Ni function gone wrong?

    Any and all feedback is appreciated.
     
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  2. sassafras

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    I don't know enough about cognitive functions to be able to clarify that for you, but I certainly do know EXACTLY what you mean. Over the years, I've gotten better at pushing that little voice aside, but it always comes back whenever I'm at my most vulnerable--full swing.

    I guess the only way to fight it off is having that awareness that it's there, and that the things it tells you are only possibilities. And when you have possibilities, you always have choices. You can choose to give in and believe that its true, or you can choose to do everything in your power to prevent those 'what ifs' from coming true.
     
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  3. OP
    Solar Empath

    Solar Empath Community Member

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    This is pretty much what I have learned to do as well. In order to escape the habit I challenge the source and finding it to be a 'What If' Scenario, I check in with the actual real memory of whatever triggered it. This usually kills it for me in short order.

    This doesn't kill the response though. Whenever I am struck with a highly stressful surprise situation, the response kicks in and if left unchecked it tries to reinterpret my entire life it seems. :)

    I still wonder what builds this reaction though.
     
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  4. gloomy-optimist

    gloomy-optimist Used to live here

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    I think the "What if" response is more a Ne or Se thing, but I could be wrong...

    As for what to do about it...go with it, except backwards. What if...something goes wrong? Well, what if something goes right? What if everything works out? What if it works better than you ever planned? What amazing things could happen?

    It might not work every time, but if you're in that stage of thinking, it might be easier to try that than to just "turn off."
     
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  5. sumone

    sumone down the rabbit hole

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    It makes it very hard to come to a decision!
     
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  6. sassafras

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    Insecurities.
     
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  7. Pristinegirl

    Pristinegirl Well-known member

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    What if is the reason for restraint, anxiety, fears, procastination... you name it!!!

    [YOUTUBE]I65rnsL2ml0[/YOUTUBE]
     
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  8. OP
    Solar Empath

    Solar Empath Community Member

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    :) I agree, but I was wondering more about what functions trigger the event initially. Once it is rolling it involves all the introverted functions at least, but what initiates?
     
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  9. sassafras

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    Do you mean what initiates negative thinking?
     
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  10. OP
    Solar Empath

    Solar Empath Community Member

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    Does it start as thought? Or is it first a feeling that leads your thought patterns? Or is it an intuitive response? Is it an actual reaction to an event? What is initiated first is what I would like to know, I suppose.

    I don't know.
     
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  11. sassafras

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    Well, if I could hazard a guess, I'd probably say it has more to do with your internal and unconscious beliefs about yourself; how you interpret what is valuable and what isn't, and how you believe you match up. Von Hase is probably going to jump in and correct me, but I'm going to take a shot in the dark and say Fi is probably the culprit.

    Here's a description of Fi:

     
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  12. IndigoSensor

    IndigoSensor Product Obtained
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    The "what if" questions have always gotten me in my life. They still go after me. I am an extremely extremely cautious person and this has a lot to do with me having the "what if" responses. It really boils down to Uncertainty, which is my number one problem in life.

    It is so hard to do, and so much easier said then done, but the best way to get over the what if's is to just resign to the fact that you don't know, accept that, and just live in the present moment.
     
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  13. OP
    Solar Empath

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    Yup, a good dose of "F#$% It" can get you past it :)
     
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  14. sookie

    On Holiday

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    As long as I keep my spiritual practice going than what ever happens happened for a reason. I chant for wisdom to know what to do and make the right choices.
     
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  15. Shatha

    Shatha Newbie

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    It comes from a fear of error, especially when we do not know how to behave in such situation, perhaps with more experience in life will be gone as well as increased self-confidence and the problem we see the error is the end of the world and this is wrong.
     
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  16. OP
    Solar Empath

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    I hear what you are saying, but self confidence really isn't an issue for me. Over confidence can be though. I definitely agree that there is some kind of 'fear of error' though.
     
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  17. Gaze

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    One of the reasons why i haven't completed as much projects as i would like. continuously wondering about "what if" i miss something or don't do it correctly, and it goes on and on. It can be a bit paralyzing, and may limit potential.
     
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  18. Pristinegirl

    Pristinegirl Well-known member

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    I definetly agree! Although with error it could be any worst case scenario that one paints up in there head which they dread.
     
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