I haven’t posted on this blog in months, but because I still receive comments from other INFJs who confess that they’re feeling lonely, out of place, and misunderstood, I decided I would like to share a few thoughts and ideas.
In countless places, I’ve read that INFJs are old souls. Have you often felt like an old geezer when you’re around a group of people your own age? Do you worry that you’re too serious, too mature, or too intellectual/philosophical for the average person? I probably started having feelings like that in childhood, but they became more pronounced as a teenager. Unfortunately, I lacked a lot of self-acceptance until my late teens, when I finally stopped trying to fit in and embraced lonerhood instead.
The thing is, whether you feel too mature, too emotional, too sensitive, too strange, or too much of anything that keeps you feeling isolated, there is nothing wrong with you. The truth is, you simply are not a good fit for many people, and many people are not a good fit for you. This doesn’t mean anyone needs to start adopting feelings of superiority or inferiority, though. We may not want to spend a lot of time around someone who has completely different values and interests from our own, but this does not mean that we can’t love and respect that person as they are.
Yesterday on facebook, I came across this excerpt from Rebecca Campbell’s book Light Is the New Black that offers a positive, empowering message of self-acceptance:
The following quote from Aletheia Luna (from lonerwolf.com) about old souls could possibly apply to how most INFJs feel:
Here’s a little something else. I recently took the personality quiz Which Jung archetype best describes you?, and my result was “the sage.” I felt that this description fit my personality so well and thought other INFJs might relate to it. Here were my results:
You’re the sage! According to Carl Jung, the sage represents wisdom and the search for truth. You are wise beyond your years, patient and a deep thinker. You’re driven by a thirst for knowledge. One of your greatest fears is being ignorant, misled, or duped. You’re incredibly intelligent but you risk over analyzing until you’re incapable of actually making a decision. You’re an old soul and wise beyond your years, but Jung would tell you don’t get lost in the clouds!
Lastly, from this webpage titled INFJ Personality Type: Lover of Wisdom & Beauty, INFJs were described as “feeling like aliens in the world….The fact is that many INFJs (and INTJs) seem to experience the world and their bodies quite differently than other types do. It is therefore not uncommon for INFJs to question their own sanity.” There were so many nuggets of truth found in that article, so it is worth checking out if you want to understand more about INFJs. Here is another excellent section from it that helps explain INFJ loneliness:
Like the INFP personality type, INFJs can struggle with depression. This may stem from feeling chronically unheard, useless, or misunderstood, as well as from dissatisfaction with the INFJ’s careers or the INFJ’s relationships. Because Ni perceives the world so differently and profoundly, INFJs often experience a sense of loneliness and isolation, even when they are with other people. Depression may also arise from feeling that their ideals and insights are not being recognized or actualized in the world. They may see the world as deaf to, or unconcerned with, the truths they espouse. INFJs may therefore question their value in a world that seems indifferent to their insights.
My lovelies, whether you’re an INFJ or not, your individual perspective matters and needs to be heard. No, it won’t be understood, respected, or appreciated by everyone. For example, your values might include compassion, harmony, love, and altruism, but the truth is, some people are currently disconnected from their heart. They will continue spewing their hate and reject or ridicule your kindness. If you frequently receive negative reactions when you share your truth, it is time to find a different crowd. It’s not wise to take things like that personally, but it is a wise decision to find those who see the truth in your words and who help foster your growth.
Shine your glorious, brilliant light with courage, and you just might attract wonderful things. Go find what works for you. To hell with fitting in in this modern world if it doesn’t suit you and your ideals. Just by being your beautiful self and sticking by your values, you can help shift things into a beautiful, new direction. It may feel like we live in a society that has no place for the sage or the old soul, but you have a purpose. Forget the notion that you must conform or that “you must face reality,” as some might say. Be courageous, find your people, and create your own reality. As Richard Bartlett said, “You are a swirling vortex of limitless potential who is here to shake things up and create something new that the universe has never seen.”
Do you recognize your perfection? What do you feel inspired to create?