Reflection Time - Diagnosis: INFP under Stress
I usually am and have been INFP for most of my college years.
I noticed, however, sometimes I behaved and felt differently in stressful situations, which my past year has been—not academically, but in terms of being busy, trying to balance work and school and home life all together.
I began stressing out about TIME: although I was still late and turned in everything late (
this just sounds like a slacker/procrastinator lol), I was stressed about it, and started expecting other people to follow timed schedules accordingly.
I often found myself in situations where theoretical ideas from other people were hard to understand; I had to break it down step by step to understand it thoroughly. Whereas I usually (in the past) enjoyed talking about abstract and theoretical ideas, and did not have to have every little detail written out.
I noticed, at this point, that I had made myself a habit of writing things down (details) because it helped me figure things out in my life; while, when I had more time and wasn’t so stressed, I tended to go off on abstract and ideaological ideas all the time, and people close to me (usually the S’s) had to pull me down to reality.
So this time around, I took the online personality test again, with the mindset of “what do I feel more comfortable these days in terms of behavior, differently than before.” The result: I had a 1% strength in S. I had shifted to middle ground (slightly ISFP).
I also Googled a bunch of different ideas about why this could be happening: differences between N and S, personality types under stress, etc.
In terms of me shifting to the middle ground, I still think I am an INFP (in terms of preferences), but I’ve had to become more of an ‘S’ to cope with all the stress and changes in my life over the past year.
Also, I discovered that, most major personality “descriptions” found on the web (other than forums) tend to list the most idealistic, “healthy” individual (and also generalized — to only 16 types) representation of personality types. (which I RE-discovered later in this post, I just had not dug far enough)
They don’t necessarily show what the “bad” or “unhealthy” side can be. I’ve realized (in my own experience), when INFP’s go “bad,” we tend to go unrealistically negative (instead of idealistically positive). I’ve had qute a few times in the past year where I broke down (in tears, rage of emotions, etc.) because: 1-I felt betrayed/lonely/frustrated; 2-self-pity/emptiness/sadness; 3-then, self-loathing into all the possible ways I am a “bad, useless” person; 4-emptiness. confusion. vulnerable.
Phew… that sounds terrible, written down…. and perhaps it is more of some sort of stress induced depression than “INFP going bad.”
But here's a blog post to MBTI personality types “under substantial and long-enduring stress.” For INFP:
They are deeply dedicated to being their ‘true selves’, to the extent that they will avoid any people or situations that do not fit in with their inner value system, tending to become rather intolerant and hard to please.
I read the INFP section, but I feel this post only touches the surface.
This one, short and sweet—I found it more identifiable:
Under stress, become “The Criticizer,” being negative about others and self. Flip Side Motto: “Everyone’s an IDIOT, including me!”
and….(reading through more links)….. AHA! ….?!
So there are nice explanations about unhealthy personalities… it’s just I never went further than just reading the basic “descriptions.” Also, it’s because I usually read them through when I wasn’t stressed out.
Making so much more sense now. Here is my “AHA!” link.
The inferior function… emerges without conscious intention and tries to overpower the dominant… [it] may also manifest under stress, when resources of the dominant and auxiliary are exhausted… [People in these situations] may say, “I don’t know what got into me.” It often feels like being out of control (outside the conscious ego). The inferior may manifest in negative, immature ways.
Sensing [as an inferior function] may manifest not as attention to details, but rather as an obsession with them.
Which explains why I became so OCD lately. (Relax already!)
Also, looking at INFP’s opposite, ESTJ, it helps understand why I BURST out in criticism (not very logical, but may sound logical) on others as well as myself, and when working on projects, I focus on the here and now and obsess about details, step by step (which is why I’ve been feeling “not myself”).
Finally, here's the generalized, but wordy, “basic” description website (It's the INFP page, but you can go find the other types here as well). The “under stress” part never caught my attention till now.