possible stress solutions

January 16, 2009 at 10:08 am (INFP, Stress) (, , , , , )


I have been really stressed the last few days. If you come to think about it, it is normal: I’m 26, but I live with my parents, I don’t have a job and I don’t have a girlfriend. And more: the future doesn’t seem bright.

I mean, I know I don’t actually have a bad situation, I used to live on my own and living with my parents is just temporary – even more, living with parents has many advantages: my mom is a great cook, I don’t have to worry about paying the bills, etc.

As for girlfriends, I used to live in another town until 2 months ago so it is probably normal not to find someone in such a short time, especially as I don’t go out very much.

About a job, what can I say: I don’t have one, but on the other side I know I would be unhappy with most jobs that exist in this world. However, this is a problem that I really need to solve.

So here we go: possible stress solutions for INFP.

Chemical: my friend tells me most depressions are chemical based. This means we feel “something is wrong” when our brain lacks certain chemicals. So step one is to make sure you have a good diet and/or take the needed supplements.

Chemical 2: I suggest you do some sport. No matter how bad your life is, it will feel at least a bit better if you find/have a sport that you like and that you are good at. Even when I am not depressed I feel worse in the weeks when I don’t play soccer compared to those when I do, especially if my team wins.

Life outlook: Dr Paul says a man needs a mission in life. (I’m not sure if this is helpful for my female readers.) We INFPs really need to find a mission outside of ourselves. If we find a job in which we have to deal with the problems of others it does 2 things: first it gives us an occupation, keeping us busy and even making us proud of what we do, and second it takes the focus away from our own problems/doubts – that I believe are built-in for INFPs. Attention is a magnifier: when we look to much into our problems, our doubts, our failures we lose sight of the positives in ourselves.

We need a mission set outside of ourselves. For me it could me helping young people chose the right career (I did not get this kind of help from anyone), helping young talented kids not to waste their talent (I did get this help, but apparently not strong enough), helping people to have better relationships by understanding that people are different and teaching them how to deal with these differences. Or maybe I’ll have them all as a mission.

Social 1: We need to have a few close friends and talk from time to time with them about our mission, about our dreams, about our problems. I believe even a good psychotherapist could be the right person for this – of course we need to have a kind of a long term relationship with him/her.

This one has affected me strongly in the last few days. Having moved back to my hometown only 2 month ago I do not have any real close friends. I have many friends here and a few old friends that care a lot for me and that I care a lot for, but we have not been in touch for a while and this might have given me even a stronger feeling of loneliness.

Social 2: And I believe this could be a very important: do not compare yourself to others. I went out with a girl last night and we talked about what point we are at in our lives. Recently I have been comparing myself to much to other people. I used to see how everyone has a job – or more: a career – and I don’t. But talking with this girl reminded me that I took the best decisions FOR ME.

If I compare myself to others I might feel I did everything wrong in this live, but when I compare my life with what it might have been I understand why I took the decisions that took me to this point and I know that, even if from other people’s point of view I might have been much better, my life is quite good compared to what it was. And I don’t feel that bad anymore.

In other words: we must remember that we have other needs and other standards than most people do. For INFPs self discovery is important, as well as exploring life; and after that comes love. Social status, money and a career are not that important and actually have to be sacrificed in a certain degree.

I know that a few months ago when I felt that I had a mission and was in a great relationship I felt like the richest man in the world. I envied no one. I truly believed that my life was great.

Then I had some misunderstandings with my boss and because I could not deal with conflict I quit my job. I have always seen my long term future in my hometown, so I decided it was a good moment to move back even if this meant I have to leave a great girl behind. (I know I might regret this.)

But something happened when I came here. I have lost my mission and my great relationship. I started feeling wrong, useless, not worthy to be loved and after that I started comparing myself to others and always putting myself down.

I don’t know what happened last night when I went out with this girl but somehow it all started coming back. She even told me last night that she believes that nothing could happen between the two of us. Even in telling me this she made me feel a lot less lonely. She brought me back to life.

Hopefully my story is usefull to other INFPs too.



  1. yeshim said,


    i wonder what you think about the enneagram test and the five factor model as a psychologist.OK MBTI tells us about sth initial with who we are but is it the only criterion we should count on?OR dont you think that this MBTI thing sound like astrology sometimes.From time to time I think that it categorizes us.If I didnt know that I am an INFP maybe I would not have so many excuses of not doing some necessities in my life.
    Now I have an excuse and I use it to get away with punishing myself. When something is not on the way I say to myself “Anyway I am sorry I am an INFP ” Maybe we should stop taking it like an horoscope sign I am sorry I am a Sagittarius ! 🙂 It is easy to diagnose but hard to treat 😛

  2. infpidealist said,

    Hi yeshim,

    We did not study the enneagram in school, I only know about it from the internet. I find it interesting and useful. The BIG 5 trait model is good, but I don’t find it as useful as the MBTI.

    Yes, MBTI is in a way like astrology, but I do not find this thing bad. We must ask ourselves why is astrology so popular. I believe that this “typing” systems are more easy to use and this is why they have the success that they have.

    I do not believe that it is bad to use the MBTI type as an excuse. If you don’t fell like doing something you might say “I’m INFP, I don’t like doing this”, but you are not lying: you actually don’t like doing it. I’m sure that sometimes you say to yourself: “this might not be the usual for INFPs but I like doing this, or doing that”. I believe that bringing the MBTI type into the conversation is a good way of helping others accept you for who you are. It’s like: “Hey, I am not weird, there are more people out there who are like myself, this is who we are so leave us alone”. I feel MBTI helps us be who we are. It might have a few negative effects too, but they are far less than the positives.

    It is indeed interesting to understand the relationship between MBTI types, enneagram, big 5, astrology and other systems. They all say something true about who we are.

    I have a big interest in astrology. I am a pisces. I believe that people who understand pisces and know about INFPs can have a pretty good image of how I am like even if they don’t know me well on a personal level.

  3. Esther said,

    Wow… this was really helpful. Actually, I only skimmed it ;__; because I’m about to go to bed… but I will read the rest tomorrow. ^^;;

    However what I DID read was really helpful and insightful. :3 I’m also an INFP and can relate…

    I’m 23 and still live with my parents. Actually, still working on my undergrad degree *sigh*

    I’m desperate for money… but not for a conventional job. I really want to make it as a writer, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to make ENOUGH money in the beginning stages of my writing career (which, actually, is only just starting, and I’m only writing shorts… no novel yet).

    Then there’s the fact that I’m also single…

    And well, I’m basically living the bum-end of an INFPs life right now… and it’s pretty frustrating!

    I wish I could find some sort of guaranteed paid work that doesn’t require a degree that is perfectly catered to an INFP…

    Well anyway, thanks for this post… will be back to read more ^^

  4. infpidealist said,


    I’m glad you found my ideas useful. All I did was to analyze why one day I felt much better than the day before.

    Regarding your relationship with money, I have the same kind of problem. The following post is about this.

  5. Sarah said,

    i am an infp and i found your website.

    i have read some other blogs by infps, and it amazes me how similar my experiences can be with people i do not know and have never met. it also stresses me out, especially when people are older than me and experiencing these same problems…

    you know, when i was younger, still in hs and actually still while i was in college, i had this great drive–and it wasn’t myself, or self-gratification (although that, too, plays a part) but the idea that i would use my skills and gifts for some great purpose (typical infp). now i am finishing a master’s degree after taking a year off to explore other interests, and i have to say, i find myself in the same traps! oh my god what do i do with myself, i will never find just one thing to do, i don’t have the energy for this, i don’t believe…and i realized the other day that the one common denominator of all of this is i became so focused on ME (like this paragraph) that it excluded the world around me. we are imperfect, damn it, and it sucks…but when you’ve done all the introspection possible and find it bears little fruit other than making you hyper-aware of your inadequacies, then what else can you do? except what you don’t want to do: turn your inner self out, reach out and connect, and ignore your inner critic.

    you may laugh but last year on a brief visit back to the states, i was on my way to the airport with starbucks in hand and i happened to glance at the quote on the cup. puh-lease,right? well, you tell me:

    ”the irony of commitment is that it is deeply liberating–in work, in play, in love. the act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. to COMMIT is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.”

    sometimes it’s bad to indulge our introversion too much. don’t you think?

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