Optimists and healers — these are what INFPs are about. They heal others, care for, and motivate people with their naturally passionate demeanor. It’s their instinct to turn people’s miseries around.
However, such compassion doesn’t always go the same when these Healers deal with themselves.
Ironic, isn’t it?
INFPs are known for being kind and wise, but the truth is that they’re not as kind to themselves as some might think.
Instead, they latch an anchor on both feet and drown themselves in their own self-doubt.
In this post, let’s talk about how you can stop blaming and start embracing flaws, and how to love yourself, as an INFP.
How INFP Can Stop Being Hard On Themselves
1. Let go of perfection.
Contrary to the common stereotypes, I don’t think INFPs are quiet because they’re shy.
INFPs are not always shy, but most of these gentle souls struggle with a trait much worse:
While shyness is a negative self-bias where you look down on your capabilities, self-consciousness is when we see ourselves in the eyes of others.
As empaths, INFPs can wear other people’s shoes, so just imagine how amplified their perceptions about themselves are.
Sadly, INFP’s obsession with perfectionism often results in self-consciousness.
Because they visualize ideals and are passionately driven to follow them, it’s an anxious walkabout every time they deviate from their “perfect” visions.
They fear embarrassment, failure, and anything that tarnishes their faultless reputation.
They dislike being wrong in public, laughed at, and thought of as stupid.
The result? They never try things when people are looking. They choose to stagnate instead of trying, and give up instead of persevering.
Self-conscious INFPs are such a waste of talent. They’re too busy questioning their own worth that they never realize just how much they have to offer the world.
But don’t worry. You can overcome your self-consciousness and become more confident in yourself and your abilities.
First, humility. Once you learn how to truly humble yourself, you will realize how your imperfections have little impact on you.
Mind you, humility doesn’t mean being kind. It means you know you’re not any more significant than anyone despite your wins and failures.
I’d say many INFPs win at being compassionate but internally fail at being humble.
I failed at it so badly—quietly thought I was smarter and superior —but in the past year, I’ve worked on getting off my pedestal.
The only way I can remove self-consciousness is by letting go of perfectionism and thinking less about myself and more about others.
I’ve always imagined what it would be like if INFPs let go of perfection and self-doubt: how powerful could they become?
Let go of self-consciousness. Who knows where your imaginations lead you?
“Even in social life, you will never make a good impression on other people until you stop thinking about what sort of impression you’re making.” — C.S. Lewis
To help you eradicate this problematic trait, here are a few of my solutions.
2. Don’t keep a record of your wrongs.
“If only I didn’t break up with her.”
“If only I wasn’t afraid.”
“How I wish I was more serious and competitive.”
As an INFP, I have a nasty habit: I keep a tally of my past mistakes.
And you know what? I’m not the only one. As we all know, INFPs have booming minds that can replay scenarios over and over again.
But do you know what I find to be the most beautiful thing?
The fact that we can learn from our past, and then leave it behind.
I’ve once written a piece, “Even If Time Travel Exists, I’m Not Going Back” which is a story close to my heart. This piece hits me every time I feel the stinging sensation of regret from my past.
The idea is, if we go back in time, would you change anything in the past?
Did you answer yes?
But if you can’t change anything in your “now,” how sure are you that you can change anything when you go back?
It’s all abstract and a fruit of my imagination, but what I wanted to point out is that “today” is the life we live. “Today” is the life we change.
If you can’t change anything today, you can’t change anything at all.
So do you think you’re miserable because of your past? Then do things differently!
The past is set for you to learn, not a place to dwell. Don’t let the chains of the yesteryears dictate who you are today.
My fellow INFP, once you extracted the lessons from the past, it’s time to leave the baggage behind and move unwaveringly forward.
You may also like: 8 Signs It’s Time to Change Your Life
3. Stop being too independent, reach out to people.
Here’s a piece of advice out of tough love:
You can’t do everything on your own. Alone time is precious for an INFP, yet being alone with no one to lean on is dangerous.
After experiencing the lowest days in my life, I realized the importance of the people around me.
Before, I always thought that keeping a few but true close friends until I grow old is the “goal.”
But now that I see how unpredictable life can get — losing loved ones, my friends moving to distant countries, and us walking different paths — I realize that my very few friends can’t always cater to my needs, and I to theirs.
So instead of isolating, gather people who can help you in the future. Don’t be stubborn about your idea of independence.
As an INFP, I know that you crave deep connections. But I also know that those kinds of friendships take years and decades to build.
My point is that you need to build shallow friendships, too.
How do you make friends? Pure compassion without asking anything in return.
You know how karma works: if you give kindness, you receive it too. If you keep your guards up and don’t trust people, they’re going to retract from you as well.
Samuel Johnson says, “Books, like friends, should be few and well-chosen.”
While I agree with that, I also approve of what Humphry Davy said:
“The ideal life is that which has few friends, but many acquaintances.”
INFPs, you need other people.
You don’t have to batter yourself and know everything. You need other people to help you out, and they need you too.
Stop being too independent and start reaching out to others.
What’s more, you need these three people in your life–friends who are young, your age, and older than you. These people come from all walks of life and are valuable to your personal growth.
Never be afraid to accept yourself for who you are, but also recognize when it’s time to make a change. If what you want out of life requires you to make significant changes in your personality or work style, do not be afraid to do so.
INFP self-acceptance should win in the end, no matter how people judge our ways. Grow from what you already have. Don’t be too hard on yourself and accept who you truly are.
Cheer for yourself, like how you would cheer for others.
Lastly, don’t forget to be kind to yourself. Be your own best friend.
That’s it. I hope these gave you insights.
Thanks for reading!
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