Yeah it sounds really cool, doesn’t it? THE rarest! (or so the statistics claim anyway). But for most of my life, it hasn’t been cool and I’ve always felt like a bit of a ‘special case’ and not in the best of ways either. I’ve always felt this odd separation barrier between myself others, peers especially. ‘I am so different from everyone’, I used to constantly think to myself.
Even as far back as being 5 years old, I can remember feeling like I wasn’t like the other kids I met at school. Most kids at that age were boisterous, fun and silly and while I could be all those things at certain moments, I was often shy, serious and enjoyed being in my own little world either reading, writing or drawing. So basically, from the moment I started school, nursery even, these traits were already establishing themselves. But what does a 5 year old know about personality types? Not a thing! All I knew at the time was, I was different. I wasn’t sure why and I just continued on through childhood, known for being a quiet, artsy type from a particularly large family.
As my character developed throughout childhood, although many of my INFJ traits were still apparent, I was becoming really rebellious. I say it was a mix of those awful early teenage hormones and issues at home that were causing the largely rebellious streak to shine. This peaked as I went into high school. I remember feeling as though I did not want to be contained and imprisoned by the school system for however many more years. Which, thinking back to it I realise, it’s actually quite a complex thought for a 12 year old child. I wanted to learn life lessons, not school lessons. So on the wild path of destruction I went. ‘I’ll learn more on the streets than what I’ll ever learn at school’, I thought.
I was looking for acceptance from my peers, yearning for a connection with even just one person. I befriended many people throughout high school but can honestly say I only ever felt a true intellectual connection with one person. And half the time, they didn’t even ‘get’ me, so I began to think my mind was fabricating this connection, in the hope that I was being understood on the level I needed to be understood from. To this day, I’m not actually sure if this person and I had an unseen understanding of each other and a bond or if they thought I was just a weird girl and they kinda liked that. ‘Something must be wrong with me’, I would always tell myself.
Fast-forward 12 years to the present day, I have learned an awful lot about myself. I don’t regret that destructive path I ventured down when I started high school as it led me to where I am today, I met some amazing people that I wouldn’t have known otherwise and I made some great and some not-so-great memories. It also helped me to break out of my INFJ cognitive functions and I believe for that time, I was living in my shadow functions. Read more about shadow functions here.
It’s not easy being INFJ because you spend your whole life looking to connect with someone on a level that a lot of people aren’t even aware exists. You spend your life hoping to meet someone who is just like you, who shares your obscure interests, who enjoys being able to look into the minds of others, who is fascinated by all the things that the mind cannot comprehend. And chances are, you’re never going to meet that person. You’re never going to feel that true connection, when someone just knows what you’re thinking without you saying a word. Instead, you go through life feeling continually misunderstood and often times, isolated.
Although I may be writing as though I am unaccepting of my personality type and who I am, it’s quite the contrary. I love the way my enigmatic mind works, I love who I am and I love having an immeasurable amount of old-man wisdom that I have no idea where it even comes from.
But then I hate myself, for all those things I just described about what I love about myself. And that’s the paradoxical INFJ. The ‘I love myself and my weirdness and I am intellectually superior to most people’ is followed by ‘I hate myself and how weird I am, I hate how my intellegence makes me out of touch with other people’.
It’s easy to feel like a walking paradox. It’s even more easy to question yourself ‘who am I??’ because your paradoxical mind tricks you into believing you’re not sure of yourself. Really, we think and feel on all levels, from every side of the table and that is why we constantly contradict ourselves, our beliefs and especially our morality.
So there is my huge rant about why it’s shit being a rare type, but also why I love it and why I hate it and why I’m great and why I’m shit and why I’m insensitive and why I’m also extremely sensitive and why I love learning about people and why I also hate people.
You get the idea.
Life is one great big contradiction in the world of an INFJ.