Discovering That I’m an INFP Personality Changed My Life discovering INFP change life

As an introverted child, I always felt different. Sometimes it even felt like I was not from this world. I didn’t like the same things as most of my classmates. I didn’t view the world in the same way that they did.

Growing up, this feeling got stronger. While many people liked hanging out in big groups, I found myself more comfortable talking with just one or two friends. I knew this was the case, but I didn’t know how to voice it. Every time I tried explaining this feeling to people, my words seemed lost on them.

So many things made me feel different. One was my tendency to thoroughly think things through. I remember one time in class. With two other students, I had to stand in front of everyone. We were placed on a specific tile next to each other. The teacher fired off a mathematical question. The first person to give the correct answer was allowed to advance one tile. The first person to reach a certain row of tiles was the winner of the “game.”

I lost the “game” before it even began. Every question asked immediately received a response from one of my classmates. Most of their answers were right, but sometimes they were wrong.

I knew all the answers; I just didn’t want to open my mouth until I was sure. I was always just a second too late. I thought things through instead of blurting out the first thing that came to mind — and I got humiliated for it in front of the entire class.

I tried explaining my way of thinking to my teacher and classmates. All I got was blank faces.

I Couldn’t Explain My Thoughts

About two years ago, I made a huge mistake. I was part of an awesome ultimate frisbee community. A community I loved a lot. I dedicated a lot of time to it.

Along the way, in my efforts for that community, I garnered some frustrations. Instead of talking about them, I bottled them up. After a while, I collected so many frustrations that I couldn’t take it anymore. I exploded and sent an angry email to the people that governed the community. I wrote many pages in which I threw around blame like it was confetti.

Long before I got a response, I felt a sea of shame and guilt wash over me. Suddenly, I realized what I had done. I loved all those people, and in a moment of weakness, I messed up. I hurt many of them.

It wasn’t long before I received the anger I deserved. Months went by and the anger subsided. I needed a conversation to learn from my mistake and admit my guilt. Some gave me that conversation, after a time. Others just wanted to pretend it never happened and move on.

I tried explaining why I needed those one-on-one conversations. I tried telling them I didn’t feel good just letting it be forgotten. Once again, I was unable to voice my thoughts and feelings in a way they could understand. Many months of trying and failing burdened me more than I could handle. In the end, I left the community, because I didn’t want to hurt them any more than I already had.

Discovering That I’m an INFP Changed My Life

During my struggles of the last two years, I tried to find understanding. Other people couldn’t understand me, so I figured I would try to understand myself. By accident, I came across a personality type website. This site asked me more than one hundred questions and provided me with four letters: INFP.

As I read the INFP description, it blew me away. It was like I was reading the diary of someone who had been stalking me the past 10 years. I learned that the test is called the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). As a sceptic, I searched far and wide for more MBTI resources. At first, I was afraid that the letters INFP (and its description) were just a lucky guess, but many sources validated my test results.

My time of discovery had begun.

I scoured the internet for more information about INFPs. I learned that this personality type:

(What’s your personality type? Take a free personality assessment.)

My entire life, I tried to understand my feelings and thoughts. Now it has almost become like second nature. “Introvert” is just one word, but it described many of the things I had struggled with. INFP and its cognitive functions explain the few things left unexplained by “introvert.”

Time has taught me to apply these answers to my life. When I was a child, I couldn’t explain to my teacher why I needed more time to think. Now I know that I have a more abstract thought process compared to the more concrete thought processes of many others. It explains why mathematics will always be a chore for my mind, while writing an entire wall of text happens more automatically.

Being an introvert also means that simple word retrieval during a conversation doesn’t come easily — another reason answering on the spot is difficult while writing on my own time is enjoyable.

The self-knowledge I gained helped me make sense of what happened with my former community. My strongest function, Fi, made me feel bad about sweeping what happened under the rug. As an INFP, I value honesty, integrity, and authenticity. By pretending my mistake never happened, I betrayed my most cherished values. The stress of trying to live with it pulled me into an Fi-Si loop. This is when an INFP loses their Extroverted Intuition ability to take in new ideas and make connections. As a result, the INFP gets stuck repeating the past and makes unrealistic moral judgements. My irritating behavior was a result of that loop.

I’ve also come to realize that I cannot expect those people to know how I felt. They probably think there is a different reason I left their community. I don’t think I can ever make them understand, and I’m slowly starting to accept that.

Becoming self-aware is what helped me through it. All I needed was the ability to realize what was so different about me. Now I can define who and what I am. I’ve used this knowledge to get out of my Fi-Si loop and to try to prevent it from happening again.

I learned I’m not so alone and found quite a few like-minded individuals. Defining my introversion has changed my life for the better. I hope it can mean the same for you, too. 

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Read this: 12 Things INFPs Absolutely Need to Be Happy

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Günther got typed as an INFP. Since that moment, he has become an avid supporter of the introvert cause. While at home, he likes nothing more than exploring some kind of fictional story through games, books, and TV shows. Once outside, he saves the occasional damsel in distress as a police officer or soars through the clouds as a skydiver in training, which is a perfect blend between dreams and reality.