Thank you for ripping my soul apart in so devastating a manner that I have no choice but to stitch myself back together – properly this time.
Thank you for showing me exactly the type of man who will never deserve a space in my heart again, ever.
Thank you for showing me that I am strong beyond comprehension – something I have never believed about myself.
Thank you for showing me that I am capable of the most incredible and all-encompassing love that a person has to offer.
Thank you for showing me the greatness of the love I have to give and how to keep that so fiercely guarded that I never waste it on another undeserving boy playing at being a man.
Thank you for showing me who you are and teaching me how to listen out for someone who is narcissistic and subversive, in effect teaching me exactly the toxic type of man whom I need to stay away from.
Thank you for teaching me how to not be so selfless that I (almost) forget who I am.
Thank you for teaching me that I cannot pour all of my love into another in an attempt to heal them.
Thank you for replacing me so easily that I had no choice but to excise the cancer that is you, move on and keep moving on, every day, one foot in front of the other.
Thank you for teaching me that my boundless love does not come from me (it comes from a Source so much bigger than me), and that despite pouring all of myself into you, I’ve in fact gained more than you could ever have taken away.
Thank you for teaching me that I am not hateful – not in the least – because even after all this, I don’t hate you.
The fourth installment in the INFJ characteristic series. I have tried to keep to the simplified format of the series however this is the one that really and truly hits home for me so I’m going to go into some necessary detail.
I spent a large part of my life not understanding who or what I was or why I felt so out of place–often at odds with the world–yet had such a strong desire to make a difference in people’s lives, which would explain my altruistic actions in the past.
Descriptions of the INFJ always emphasise our peaceful natures but few go into depth about our dark side – and it is very dark when we are stressed in the long term or our home environments are in turmoil.
The INFJs dominant function is introverted intuition which means that the shadow function which emerges when we are under stress is extroverted sensing. This is something the INFJ has extreme difficulty managing.
Stress in the INFJ causes obsessive focus on external data which is the exact opposite of how a healthy INFJ processes information, and this in turn makes the INFJ extremely irritable and obsessive, making us seem nit-picky and irrational.
I see it in myself whenever I allow stress to get the better of me.
Stress will also cause a skewed focus on sensory pleasure, which can manifest in self-medication like excessive drinking, overeating, shopping for things we don’t need and becoming uncharacteristically self-centered.
If you speak to my ex-husband, you will see him nodding his head in agreement. This is because my home and internal lives were in a state of chaos and I had no healthy coping mechanisms, so I became the worst version of myself in that environment.
Finally, stress will create in us an adversarial or misanthropic attitude to the world around us. The INFJ is primarily characterised by a desire to better the world around us, to make a real difference in the lives of individuals, so this may seem a little extreme but when forced to exercise our sensing function, with which we do not have much understanding due to our strong intuitive leanings, we will become suspicious, intolerant and frustrated with the world around us.
The people nearest to us will then become the unwitting and incredulous recipients of “INFJ rage”.
If you are looking for an in depth analysis on this subject, Naomi L. Quenk is an excellent resource for how each type reacts when they are under pressure and I highly recommend her book, Was That Really Me?
Thank you for reading.
I will be doing a series on INFJ characteristics and how I have interpreted my type according to the MBTI. Let me know your thoughts and if you strongly agree or disagree with the statements made here.