Who else has this issue in thier life? Does this open your eyes to it for the first time or am I uni | INFJ Forum

Who else has this issue in thier life? Does this open your eyes to it for the first time or am I uni


Regular Poster
Jun 10, 2010
I write to express things.. I'm simply better with written words then vocal ones. I will stutter and get lost in the thousands of thoughts in my head if I don't slow it all down and write it out, word for word. In this, I find myself. Often as I write.. This happened the other day as I wrote in a forum group on Facebook (INFJ Group).. Here is what I wrote..

"I too have been diagnosed with "Bipolar I - Rapid Cycling" but to be honest, at the same time I don't believe in "mental illnesses", I had acute anxiety as a teenager, to include panic attacks. The "triggers" I have are usually relationship based. I tend to exaggerate myself to my partner in search of appearing perfect. And loathing myself for not really being perfect. My drive to provide for my partner and my family no matter what has lead me into legal trouble, in the form of hot checks and even a fraud case. It wasn't to provide myself with anything I wanted, it was to provide for my family. Case in point, hot checks paid for Pizza.. Groceries, even to delay payment of rent till I could get the funds together in reality.. The drive for perfection in others eyes also lead to lies, that to be honest - were completely unnecessary and caused me most of my "mental issues" because I hated myself for not truly being perfect. I do everything in my life for other people. Never for myself. I usually put myself last, and that is a huge issue. This "be perfect for others before yourself" ideal has destroyed my life.. and shockingly as I turn 30, I am faced with this reality and for once, forcing myself to share it openly. Something I could never do before.. (share anything about my true self that is) So maybe my real "illness" is being INFJ."

As I wrote this, the realization became almost unbearable. My life has been hell. Events unfolding that I saw as happening TO me, not BECAUSE of me.. and then just the other day, this. And it all clicked and made sense.. it was in fact, BECAUSE OF ME. I wasn't the victim - I was the cause. Let me explain.

Since I was 16 I have had a huge pride and perfection issue. The issue being I had formed a wall of "I'm perfect and can do this alone".. While inside.. I was hating myself, beating up myself and basically feeling like utter sh*t... The chain of events became clear..

Feeling of "I must be perfect for them" -> Failing to "be perfect for them" -> Lieing about the situation so it appears in control and "perfect" -> Pride takes hold and I keep lieing to support the original lie -> truth of situation ensues -> depression and loss of everyone and everything I love and hold dear. -> Rinse and Repeat.

Since 1996 this pattern has been very very evident to everyone BUT me. The things in my past that made me hurt? Block them out, don't share them, don't talk about them - hide them away so no one sees your "imperfection".. no sees how "fragile" you are..

I know this one is kinda short and to the point.. but how many of you can relate? Is this a INFJ pattern or am I unique in my faults?

Hmm. First of all, thank you for even sharing this. You've really put yourself out there and I know it's not easy. Especially sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for a response. I have to say that personally, while I can see what you're saying, I don't really relate completely to it. I do have the "for them" mentality but mostly because I'm a mother, and not too long ago, I wanted to be the perfect wife. So I do get the perfectionism, and the for them mentality. I am however a terrible liar. Even if I wanted to try to it just doesn't work. I just see that our patterns are different.

I do however know another INFJ/P, one of my best IRL male friends who has a very similar pattern to this one. He tends to play the avoidance game with me because I call him out on it, and love him always, despite whether he believes he deserves it or not. He holds himself to impossible standards, beats himself more than anyone else, and doesn't allow himself to be happy or feel love because he doesn't trust himself anymore.

All that I can truly be sure of is that now that you are aware of this problem you see, you create, you repeat, you have the opportunity to change/break the cycle. You know the problem. Chances are you even know the solution. Getting from point A to point B isnt always easy. I know that, but its doable.

You aren't completely unique in your faults. We all have them, some more similar to others. You might find some here can relate to you as I believe my friend would be able to very much, and I do to a certain degree. Im not sure its INFJ related but more human related.

Anyway, I wish you well my friend. :hug: Thank you once again, for sharing. Oh and feel free to write to me or message me whenever should you need to just vent. :)
I can relate to this in some ways. While I have periods where I will write stuff down like a mad man so I can see my thoughts in front of me, I actually can do just as well with verbal communication. The clinch is I apply a lot of limitations with speaking to someone. More or less, I won't vent emotions I feel or things that are based off emotion to clear them. Instead they get passed through a series of filters and I will talk about them in an esoteric way that really doesn't make me feel any better (which is largely the whole purpose of talking to someone). Really I am very tightly bound to unspoken social rules, so that makes verbal communication diffucult.

I also have an issue with "perfection". I wasn't even aware of it until a short while ago when I started having A LOT of people to stop being a perfectionist, or that what I was trying to do was an impossible feat of perfection. It has not really stopped me from trying, but has made me aware so I know when I am about to cross a line. So I do empathize with this aspect.
All that I can truly be sure of is that now that you are aware of this problem you see, you create, you repeat, you have the opportunity to change/break the cycle. You know the problem. Chances are you even know the solution. Getting from point A to point B isnt always easy. I know that, but its doable.

Yes. I do see how to break the cycle and me being here is part of that. A beginning. By facing the "Perfection" side of me, I end us addressing the result of that.. the lies, the actions that hurt the ones around me.. communication, being open.. all start being repaired by addressing the first issue.. the main issue..

Your friend seems VERY much like me.. and in that regard it is good to know someone out there is like me.. I hope he finds his pattern and learns how to fix it / finds the drive to..

And TY for the offer of friendship and having someone to talk to. :) Same goes for you. I am trying something new.. Being honest and true from the beginning. No shell, no fake "this is me" presentation.. just me.. pure and simple. Harder to do then to say. Its actually harder with people I already know.. because I have so much to bring up, and I know it'll hurt them.
I had problems with perfectionism on and off all the years I was a teenager. Sometimes it was targeted at my surroundings (my belongings) sometimes at myself, sometimes - rarely - at others.

Some things that have helped me out of it (although I can't claim not to have the occasional relapse) have been:
* Taking holidays alone and letting myself go completely "feral" - I won't shave, I won't care if I'm wearing dirty clothes, I'll shower if I feel like it, etc.
* Being completely blunt and regretless about my shortcomings (the shortcomings which are not a matter of choice/action).
* Going to confession whenever I screw up. (I'm Catholic).
* Reading about some of the saints - they have such incredible humility that it kind of makes it less daunting/fearful to let go of pride and its facades.

(Excuse the religious content, but that's what's helped me).
I do think this is something INFJs may be more prone to. We tend to have high expectations of ourselves, and a genuinely selfless attitude. I'm not saying it's limited to INFJs, I'm just saying that this kind of experience seems to fit in with the way we think and view ourselves and the world. I don't think you're alone in this.
I have had this issue for almost as long as I can remember. I spend years continually 'cleaning up' my life for others. I don't know if it was because I was avoiding disappointing people, or if I was trying to make myself seem perfect in the hope that I would become a better person. Either way, it was a horrible cycle. In conversations, I would avoid certain topics so I wouldn't expose one of my faults, no matter how obvious the fault was. One of these things I tried to avoid was talking about my grades. At the time (grade 10), I was doing poorly in school due to a general lack of confidence and anxiety. I had trouble handing things in on time, and because of this, I would overachieve on all my presentations, doing a lot of extra work to make a false positive impression on my classmates and teachers. Every one of my peers thought that I was getting top marks in every subject. In fact, nobody knew how badly my procrastination was affecting my marks except for my teachers and parents. I did the same with many other areas of my life, just smoothing everything over, dealing with everything myself instead of asking for help, and putting all of my focus on pleasing people.
I am still overcoming this in some way, I think. Being honest with yourself really helps. It's painful to ask for help, and to fight the instinct to make everything seem like it's OK, but I've come to find that the people in my life are refreshed by the honesty. They want to know how they can help when I go off track, and if I don't let them, I'm not really letting them into my life. I would recommend keeping a selfless attitude, though. Humility is the key to overcoming pride.
Thank you Justin. That fits me so well. I am in the process of huge change, life altering changes.. and this is I see, my largest hurdle. Seeing I'm not alone in this helps, gives me hope. Knowing others have conquered this, or are conquering this as we speak.. helps.

Keep up the good fight. :)