A Letter to INFJs About Growing Through Pain

Amelia circleDear fellow INFJ,

I hope you can excuse my hiatus from writing to you. I realize I have not written since the beginning of the summer. The last few months have been challenging for me, to say the very least. I want to be honest with you, always. I want to share some things I have learned over the summer. I want to shed light on the not-so-great stuff… because that is what is real and raw and what helps all of us to grow.

As I stated earlier, this summer has been difficult for me. There are many reasons why, but mostly because I landed at a crossroad as to what to do next in my life. The first decision I had to make was whether or not to complete the second Bachelor’s degree I was working on. I decided to take a step back from my studies, though I love studying psychology. It was what made the most sense for my time management and finances. Though it made sense for good reasons, it was still a heart-wrenching decision for me. I have written before about being a perfectionist. Letting go of that goal seemed impossible, but I knew what I needed to do so that I could live a more balanced life.

I am still trying to find my footing right now. I’m rearranging parts of my life and this process always scares me a little. I like knowing what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. I thrive when I have a plan and a goal to accomplish. However, my tendency to go into overdrive leaves me overworked, exhausted, and frankly, miserable. I think this is common for many INFJs, as we tend to overwork ourselves when we are passionate about something.

(What’s your personality type? We recommend this free personality test.)

I learned a lot about my perfectionism in therapy. I found a connection between my personal struggles and the struggles I’ve heard about from other INFJs. You see, I am my own worst critic. I push myself too hard. I do not tolerate my own weakness. I strive to be the best version of myself at all times, often failing to take the time to love myself when I can’t be my best. For some reason, whether it’s my personality type or not, I feel I always have to be strong. I have to be strong for others so that they can be strong too. Over these last few months, I have wondered how I can be accepting of others’ weaknesses, but why I struggle to accept my own.

I have already written about the darker side of the INFJ personality type. We tend to be moody and highly sensitive. Our capacity for human emotion is wide and far. We feel absolutely everything. On top of that, we are perfectionists who just want to be strong for everyone else. Recently, I have realized that not everyone I invite into my life will be able to accept me when I’m not at my best. Seeing people choose to leave me because of the imperfections I’m already aware of is painful. Having my flaws pointed out to me hurts. I can say I will work on them. Trust me, I am trying.

But just because I have weak areas and bad moods does not mean I do not deserve to be loved. The same goes for you, my INFJ friends. Do not allow the opinions of those who cannot understand you to define the way you view yourself. So you are flawed. You have terrible days, weeks, months. But you are still lovely and lovable and made of magic that few could ever comprehend.

I have taken a step back, but I think it’s more like taking some steps forward. I am grateful to have people in my life who have supported me through everything I have decided to do thus far. I honestly will never be able to say I did something all on my own and that’s because of my support system.

My advice to you, INFJs, is to surround yourself with the people who do understand you and love you exactly as you are. Treat yourself the way you would treat your five-year-old self. Spend time on your own doing the things that make you feel like yourself. Indulge in the things that make your inner child get excited again. Get plenty of rest, take long walks, listen to music, and dance around your house. Care for yourself. Writing has always been my favorite outlet. I never thought in a million years I would ever submit my writing for other people to read. I know I have said this before, but I’ll say it again: sharing my words with you has been one of the best things to ever happen to me. Your kind words never go unnoticed.

This summer was difficult, but growth can only occur where there has been pain. Although I don’t know exactly what is going to happen next in my life, I am welcoming autumn with open arms.

Your INFJ friend,

Amelia signature

 

 

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Amelia Brown is a twenty-something free spirited type who enjoys writing, reading, and interacting with animals. She feels she cannot be a complete human without a cup of coffee in the morning. She is constantly seeking sources of inspiration and her biggest wish is to inspire someone else. She is a contributing writer for Introvert, Dear.