Tag Archives: INFJ

Being An INFJ With A Broken Brain

I was going to simply write about this in my journal but since many of you who read my work have told me you share the INFJ personality with me & also have various types of brain damage, I figured putting this out there might help others too.

Being an INFJ isn’t easy.  Naturally we feel things deeper than many other people. We also see red flags of toxic people many don’t even notice & think something is wrong with us for noticing.  We’re often misjudged because we tend to be quiet around people we don’t know well & we’re naturally rather private people.  We also are subjected to some pretty ridiculous expectations, like no matter what is happening in our lives, we should always be willing to listen when people have problems & be the one to do all the work in relationships.  It also seems to me that people think we either don’t have problems or are able to handle anything, so we aren’t really allowed to have bad days or be in a bad mood. 

Even more frustrating than this is being an INFJ with a malfunctioning brain either due to a traumatic brain injury or C-PTSD or even both.  Being an INFJ with both C-PTSD & a traumatic brain injury, I can tell you that frankly, it really just sucks sometimes!  Today has been one of those times.

I woke my husband & myself up at 4:30 this morning from a nightmare that made me wake up having a particularly nasty panic attack.  It took quite some time to fall back asleep & by the time I did, it was time to get up.  A few hours later, I had a flashback.  One of these alone would be hard enough to deal with but having both in a short period of time was rough.  Add in the brain injury making my cognitive skills not function as they should & that makes everything even harder.  It’s been a really long day already & it’s not nearly over yet.

The natural inclination for INFJs in such positions is to go on as normal & not burden anyone with their problems.  I’m no exception.  I even hate writing about this when it’s not going in my journal where only I will see it.  But, for some reason, I felt I should write this out today to let my fellow INFJs know you’re not alone!

Being the rarest of the MBTI personality types, it’s just a given we will be misunderstood.  This can make you feel like a freak but just because you feel that way doesn’t mean it’s true.  Unique isn’t a bad thing at all!  Far from it!  It sure beats blending in with the crowd.  Besides, I’ve noticed INFJs tend to find other INFJs & become friends with them.  We also get along well with INFPs who can understand us surprisingly well.  These friendships are truly a treasure!

If you too have C-PTSD, I know it’s awful.  Absolutely awful in every way.  But, there is one good thing about it.  C-PTSD is not a sign of weakness like many people foolishly think it is.  Quite the opposite.  It is proof that you survived something that was meant to destroy you.  I’m not saying be grateful for C-PTSD of course.  If it could be returned to a store like a bad birthday gift, I’d say return it today!  What I’m saying is just remember C-PTSD is proof that you are an amazing person who is strong, courageous & has a great will to survive.

Lastly, if you have a brain injury too, I truly feel your pain, literally & figuratively.  Brain injuries are incredibly frustrating at best.  They cause some really obnoxious physical symptoms such as terrible headaches & seizures.  They can steal your identity, your talents, your memories & leave you feeling incredibly stupid.  They also can help you to recognize what is truly important in your life & give you the courage to focus on those things.  They can help you to gain the courage to stop tolerating people in your life who don’t love & appreciate you.  There are very few good parts of having a brain injury but the ones I just mentioned are extremely good!

I hope this post helped you to know you aren’t alone in your struggles.  Don’t forget to take good care of yourself, mentally & physically, but especially during trying times.  If other people don’t understand your natural need for self care, that isn’t your problem.  Do what you need to do! 

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Personality (including introversion, Myers Briggs, etc.)

A Useful Problem Solving Tactic

My husband & I were recently talking about the Myers Briggs personalities.  For those of you familiar with the types, he’s an INTJ & I’m INFJ. 

I mentioned how INFJs are often thought of as too logical for the feeling types & too feeling for the logical types, so we don’t always fit in with either.  We use both emotions & logic to make decisions & problem solve, & I find this incredibly useful.  Many people don’t do this.  Since he’s the logical T type, I had to explain how my mind works when there is a situation I need to deal with at hand.  I thought it might help others as well, so I decided to share.

Basically, I think of the situation like I’m looking at a show on tv or a movie.  This allows me to detach emotionally enough to come up with a logical resolution.  He mentioned one of our favorite true crime shows, “Homicide Hunter” with Detective Joe Kenda, because it sounded to him like when they recreate the detective’s work when he first arrived at crime scenes.  It was actually a good description!  If you have seen this show, you know what happens.  They set the detective at the scene & remove the other police officers, witnesses, & victims.  The detective is left with an empty crime scene & he can start piecing together what happened as he looks around.  Certain things get his attention like a pool of blood, a knife in a sink, or items that obviously were spilled.  Each of these clues fits together in his mind & begins to form a picture of what happened. 

That is exactly how I problem solve!  When something happens, I pull away from it for at least a few minutes.  I look at situations & mentally remove unnecessary pieces so I can focus more on the clues.  Emotions enter back in once I have a clearer idea of the situation.  Keeping them out at first allows me not to make an overly emotional assessment of the situation.  Emotions are necessary though so naturally they come back in when they can serve me better. 

An example of this is years ago, someone I didn’t know well accused a man I knew of molesting her sisters as children.  I was taken aback!  She just spouted this out of nowhere plus knowing this person, I couldn’t believe it.  After the conversation was finished, I thought a great deal about it.  It was difficult, especially considering what I write about!  A part of me wanted to tell her she was lying, that’s impossible, but the victim advocate part of me wanted to offer help or at least empathy.  I considered the situation as I described, examining the clues first.  This person & her family didn’t even live in the same state as the accused man for most of their life.  I also saw this man a great deal in my life & not one time, did I see anything even slightly inappropriate in his behavior.  How could he hide his deviant ways for that long?  It’d be impossible!  He also loved children & was a good, Godly man.  I realized either she was misinformed or was lying because she hated the man in question.  I’m grateful that I took the time to consider this situation though because it helped me to find out the truth & treat the person accordingly.  For the record, I never spoke to her again.

If you are in a situation that you need to figure out, I would like to encourage you to try doing it as I suggested.  It really is very helpful for creating good solutions while also giving you a good perspective on the situation that isn’t unbalanced with too little or too much emotion. 

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Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Mental Health

Ghosting, aka The INFJ Door Slam

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Filed under Mental Health, Narcissism

Ghosting, aka The INFJ Door Slam

Removing someone from your life is a very challenging thing to do even under the best of circumstances.  What makes it even harder is when others criticize not only that you did it but even how you ended a relationship.  It is so frustrating when you took this big step & people with no vested interest in the relationship feel the need to tell you how wrong you were.  It can make you seriously doubt your decision.

One aspect of this I have experienced is being told how wrong I was for simply backing out of someone’s life rather than explaining how I feel or trying to work things out.  Those familiar with the Myers Briggs personality test recognize this as the infamous INFJ door slam, even though all personalities may use it.  Others call it ghosting.  Whatever you choose to call it, many people call it childish, petty & even cruel when it often is nothing of the sort.

While the door slam isn’t appropriate in every relationship that ends, in many cases is it a very good option to take no matter what others may think.

With narcissists, trying to work out relationship problem is a waste of time.  In fact, telling them that you are hurt when they do or say something usually just makes them do or say that thing more often.

They also have no desire to change their hurtful behavior.  If something they do hurts someone, that is either inconsequential to them or it brings them joy.  Trying to talk things out with someone like this is not only impossible, but it will cause a lot more pain & frustration.

Not to mention, narcissists will try to convince a victim to maintain the relationship’s status quo & can be very good at doing so sometimes.  This can cause a couple of unpleasant outcomes.  The victim may become confused & stay in the toxic relationship.  Or, the victim may leave but carry a great deal of shame for leaving the “poor abuser” or “ruining his or her life” by ending the relationship.  Another scenario can happen if the abuser & victim live together.  Talking to the abuser before ending the relationship & moving out can give the abuser time to come up with especially creative & effective tactics to keep the victim in the relationship

In cases like this, it is much better for someone to leave a relationship unannounced & silently for their own mental health’s sake.

Not all relationships are abusive, though, & sometimes a person wants to end it simply because of personality differences, moral differences or even religious beliefs.  In cases like that, sometimes leaving a relationship silently still may be a viable option.

If someone repeatedly hurts you, you tell them they’re hurting you & they continue to hurt you, they have to know why you’re ending the relationship.  They don’t need you to explain yourself yet again.  There is no point.

No one should have to explain to someone how to be a decent human being, especially repeatedly.  Some people seem to have no clue how to be civil, let alone polite, & are content with their behavior.  They say things like, “This is just how I am.”  Explaining why you want to end a relationship with someone like this is most likely going to be a waste of your time.

Obviously, people are very different so you need to consider your options seriously when ending a relationship someone.  If the person is reasonable, explaining why you’re ending it is a good option.  That person may learn that they need to behave in a healthier way.  And, who knows, they may teach you something about your own behavior as well.  If the person in question isn’t reasonable though, quietly walking away probably is your best option.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health, Narcissism

Some Reasons Narcissists Target Empathic People

There is a lot of talk about empaths these days.  Although some of the information claims being an empath is the same as being a psychic, that isn’t the case.  I think being an empath basically means being a person with good instincts, empathy, someone who can see things from the perspective of others & also cares deeply about how other people feel.  People with the INFJ personality type are known to be very empathic, & also the most frequently abused personality type.

It seems strange that someone who is good at spotting fake people like INFJs & empaths are would get involved with a narcissist, but it happens every day.  Unfortunately it makes a lot of sense when you look at it.

People with a high degree of empathy want to help others & even fix them.  Narcissists want people like this so they can take advantage of them.  It’s very easy for a narcissist to abuse someone like this because the person simply wants to help them & see them happy.  Narcissists can play the victim or shame their victim into believing they have done something wrong or abusive.  Either way, if an empathic person believes the narcissist’s lies, they will do their best to make it up to the narcissist & do pretty much anything in order to please them.

Empathic people want a loving, deep relationship full of mutual respect, whether that relationship is a friendship, familial or romantic.  Narcissists use love bombing as a way to lure a victim into the relationship, & this can mimic what an empath wants in a relationship.  Narcissists read people very well.  They pick up on subtle clues on what others want in a relationship, & present themselves accordingly.  They also mirror the other person, which is mimicking that person’s morals, likes, dislikes, & even body language, to make the person feel close to them.  Unless you’re very well versed in Narcissistic Personality Disorder, it can be extremely easy to feel close to someone doing this love bombing thing.  I have fallen for it many times in my life in all types of relationships.

People with a lot of empathy don’t like conflict.  Those raised by narcissistic parents feel this even more.  In fact, we will usually find all kinds of ways to rationalize the behavior, in other words make excuses for it, to keep the peace.  Narcissists use this in their favor to convince their victims that they were just being oversensitive, that never happened, it didn’t happen as they think it did, or that the narcissist had an excellent reason for doing what they did & the victim made them do what they did.

If you are an empathic person, it’s really a good quality even though it may not feel like it sometimes!  Use your sensitive nature in your favor.  Being empathic means you naturally have good instincts- pay attention to them.  I firmly believe our instincts are the Holy Spirit gently trying to guide us in the right direction, which is why they’re always right.  If you meet someone & something about that person doesn’t feel right, pay attention to that feeling.  The truth will come out sooner or later- it always does- & you’ll see why you had that feeling.

Reign in your desire to help everyone.  I know it can be hard, but remember- you aren’t God.  It’s not your job to help everyone, only the people God leads you to help.  Ask Him to help you discern who you should & shouldn’t help.

Also remember, although conflict is uncomfortable, sometimes it’s also necessary.  Examine the situation closely.  Has the other person accepted responsibility for their part as you have?  Are you both willing to work together towards a mutually beneficial solution?  If you can answer yes, this is good!  That is how conflict should go!  If however, you are the only one expected to make changes or the other person makes excuses or even blames you for their actions, this is a bad sign.  Those are red flags that you may be dealing with a narcissist.

As someone with a great deal of empathy, you don’t have to be a victim.  Keep learning about Narcissistic Personality Disorder & listening to your instincts.  Ask God to help you identify safe & dangerous people, & to remove dangerous ones from your life.  He absolutely will do this for you!

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

Signs Of Unhealthy Behavior In INFJs

Since  I first learned about the Myers Briggs personality test a few years ago, I’ve become fascinated with it, in particular my type (INFJ)  & my husband’s (INTJ).  It’s been very helpful in getting to know us both better.

Recently I learned about some of the signs of an unhealthy INFJ.  I realized I have too many of these qualities!  Since I know some of you who read my work are also INFJs, I thought you might want to learn this information too so you can work on getting healthier like I am.

Unhealthy INFJs excuse toxic behavior.  “He didn’t mean it- he was just tired.”  “She really cares, but isn’t necessarily good with words.”   Sound familiar?  I’ve noticed that I do this mostly when I’m under a great deal of stress.  I think it’s a coping skill- there is so much to deal with, I can’t cope with dealing with one more toxic person, so I excuse the behavior.  Since INFJs can be logical, not only emotional, it’s a good idea to look at  situations logically.  It helps you to see toxicity when it’s there.

Being over the top perfectionistic.  It’s a good thing to do things to the best of your ability.  But, being too much of a perfectionist can steal your joy.  It’s OK to make mistakes sometimes!  Everyone does.  Don’t let your self-esteem be too tied to what you do.  You are more than your accomplishments!

Always putting others’ needs ahead of yours.  It’s great to be selfless, but when other people come before you & your needs constantly, that is unhealthy!  It can lead to resentment, anger & burn out.  It’s ok to say no!  Your needs are just as valid as anyone else’s- treat them accordingly.  Remember to set & enforce healthy boundaries.

Walls are firmly built.  While it’s just smart to protect yourself, an unhealthy INFJ can build walls around themselves that are impossible for anyone to penetrate, even those close to us.  This can happen when we don’t resolve an issue.  An argument with my husband, even a minor one, that wasn’t resolved well can result in me building concrete walls around myself until it is resolved.  Walls also can happen when an INFJ is especially anxious or overworked.  Learn to recognize those walls, & why they’re in place, then deal with what made you build them.

Feeling responsible for everyone else’s feelings.  As INFJs, naturally we want to see other’s happy.  We want to cheer up our best friend when she’s sad or our husband after a bad day at work.  This is a wonderful trait, but when taken to the extreme, it is also extremely unhealthy.  Caring so much for others leaves no room to care for one’s self.  Remember that everyone is responsible for their own feelings.  It isn’t your job to take care of everyone’s emotional needs.

INFJs can be too passive.  Most INFJs are pretty laid back, content with letting others have their way most of the time.  While this isn’t a bad thing, when taken to the extreme, it can lead to the INFJ being taken advantage of.  Remember that it’s OK to ask people for things & to have your own way sometimes.

 

While learning you behave in these unhealthy ways can be discouraging, please don’t be discouraged.  The healthier you become & the more you heal emotionally, the more your behavior will change naturally.  You may not even work on these behaviors specifically, but one day realize you are no longer that way.

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Mental Health