Alien

INFJ’s often feel like aliens. We are rare, misunderstood, and there are so many things in this world that we simply don’t relate to. We are idealists. We see the world for what it could, and should, be. The reality of it is quite disappointing. We see and feel things that most do not, only adding to our inner loneliness. The Se function is very weak for us, causing a disconnect between our minds and the physical world around us, including our bodies. I have been feeling especially “alien” lately, which inspired me to write what that feels like:

I am an alien trapped in a human body on a planet they call “Earth.” I do not feel connected to this extremely limited body. I don’t even know why I am here. I am so different from the rest of them in every possible way. I am alone, and I am frustrated. I just want to go home.
On my planet, we can communicate without words getting in the way; we literally feel each other’s joys and sorrows, and we understand without a single word. In this world, non-verbal forms of communication between beings doesn’t exist. You must string just the right words together in just the right way in a to explain how you feel, and even then, others do not understand. After all, my native language is not of this world; I have to translate my thoughts into their language, and sometimes I just can’t. Their words aren’t always enough.
On my planet, we have wings– to fly, to soar; there are no limitations or physical boundaries. Walls, canyons, mountains, are not obstacles. In this world, I have feet and legs. Moving forward requires putting one foot in front of the other. It is tedious, tiring, and takes too long. There are boundaries and obstacles that I can’t get past without wings. These feet are foreign to me, and I trip over them all of the time. I get teased a lot. I am expected to do physical activities, and to do them well. But this body is strange to me, and I can’t make it do those things. They explain how, but I still can’t make my body cooperate. So they give up, believing me to be stupid. I get so frustrated, because I am not stupid, and I am capable of so much more. I want so badly to fly, but I am trapped in a body that will not let me. If they could only see me fly, they wouldn’t laugh anymore–They could see me for who I really am.
In my world, there is freedom instead of judgement. We see souls instead of bodies. Small talk doesn’t exist, no one pretends, no one has to hide who they are to be accepted. The masks humans use are not necessary in my world. Our physical appearance is of no importance. There is genuine concern for others, helping hands at every turn, immense compassion, and love is what really matters. In this world, it is every man for himself. Masks must be worn every day, because you are judged for everything here, even what you look like. Importance is placed on the superficial, not on love. There is very little empathy or compassion. If you let your mask slip and show how you feel, it is not acceptable. Any human that expresses emotion is criticized for being weak, dramatic, and over sensitive. I learned the this painful lesson the hard way.
Most humans don’t even bother talking to each other; they are like zombies with smart phones. They don’t even see the people next to them until it is too late. They completely miss out on deep connections with one another, and they are lonely. They spend astounding amounts of money and time on their appearances, trying to live up to the ridiculous standards set forth for them. They don’t realize what my planet has always known: your body is merely a shell–It’s what’s inside the shell that matters. They are all in pain, but suffer alone in silence until they die. There is a void inside all of them, a void they struggle to fill with all the wrong things. Even with their beauty and their money, they are broken and empty. They miss out on each other because they are too busy ignoring, judging or hurting each other. They lie, cheat, kill and steal. There is destruction everywhere, and they bring it on themselves. It is excruciatingly hard to watch.
I can feel their pain as if it were my own. My heart breaks for them, and sometimes it’s too much to bear. I cry for them when they aren’t looking, and I cry because I want to go home where I am accepted. I don’t know why I am here; I am nothing like them, and I do not possess the talents or skills that they value. I feel worthless in this world, where everything I am is not accepted or even seen. I may look like them in this human body, but I don’t think or see like they do. I want to give up, to just go home and never look back. This world and the people in it drain me until there is nothing left.
However, I have grown to love humans deeply. They will forever see me as stupid and weird, because my body won’t allow me to talk and move as effortlessly as they do. They think it strange that I feel so much, and that I actually care how they feel. They may never see me as I truly am, yet I can see them so much clearer than they see themselves. It is new to them, to have someone care about them and their stories…to feel accepted without their masks, instead of judged and hurt. I can make them feel love instead of misery, because I, too, know what it is to be judged, criticized, and unaccepted. Maybe that’s why I am here: to teach them how to fly.

einstein understand

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Feelings Aren’t All Bad, and Sensitivity Doesn’t Make Me Weak.

“Don’t be so sensitive” they say, “don’t be dramatic!”  Words I am sick to death of hearing.  The world has bought into the lie that sensitivity, feelings, emotions, are all a bad thing.  We must all bury these things deep inside, and never reveal them, because they are frowned upon.  Emotions are part of what makes us human.  Therefore, being human is frowned upon.  Being real in a sea of fake is unacceptable.  They roll their eyes at you, tell you to man up, and dismiss you.

This gives the assholes of the world an advantage; they can be as a big of an asshole as they want, and your reaction is NOT their problem.  When they purposely hurt you, they do not have to take responsibility for that.  They tell you that you’re being “too sensitive,”  placing the blame on you instead.  They feel like their actions have no consequences, so long as they have a scape goat to shift the blame to.  Except they are wrong; there are consequences.  Only it will be too late when they are forced to face them.  These are the people that burn their own bridges, yet they laugh at the bridge for burning like it’s the bridge’s fault.  They trample the hearts of anyone who ever cared about them, yet they’re to blame for having a heart.  They will get to the end of their rope someday, and when they do, they will turn around.  They will search desperately for a bridge to lead them back, only to find them all burned and gone.  They will search for the ones they love, but they are nowhere to be found.  They got tired of their shit and walked a long time ago.  And the only one to blame will be themselves, because there is nothing and no one else left to pin it on.  Being an insensitive jerk doesn’t get you far in the end.  You might get to the top by stepping on everyone else on the way up, but you will be completely and utterly alone when you get there.

By being a sensitive soul, you get blamed and trampled by the world’s assholes constantly.  You are seen as “weak” and taken advantage of.  People hurt you deeply, but that sensitivity allows you to turn that blood into beautiful art.  You take the stones people throw at you and build with them.  You see what they don’t see: what matters.  You might cry harder, and hurt more, but you also love deeper and experience life to the fullest.  Society has it all wrong when they tell us feelings are bad.  Not all feelings are bad ones; love, joy, peace, gratitude, compassion, empathy and contentment are all pretty amazing if you ask me.

I would rather connect deeply with people than trample them.  I would rather be the one who gets hurt than the one who does the hurting.  I would rather be filled with love and compassion than fear and hate.  I may feel pain deeply, but I also feel the joys of my life deeply.  And that makes the pain worth it.

The ones who bury their emotions and ignore them, have a really hard time when they are forced to actually feel them.  They are not used to feeling like we are are.  It’s like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it gets.  If it goes unused, it atrophies.  And they say we are the weak ones.

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You Know You’re An INFJ When…

-You suffer from “emotional sponge syndrome.”  You literally soak up the emotions of everyone around you, like it or not.

-You can easily help others figure out their problems, but figuring out your own is another ballgame.

-You are really proud of yourself when you get through small talk without being awkward.

-You HATE talking on the phone.  You procrastinate if you have to call someone, and practice what you will say beforehand.

-You pretend things don’t bother you when they really do.  You put on your poker face, because being called “over sensitive” and “dramatic” just adds insult to injury.

-You sound like a bumbling idiot when you try to verbalize your own emotions.  It always makes things worse, so you realize that you’re better off keeping your mouth shut.

-You know what it is to feel completely misunderstood and totally alone in a room full of people.

-You get frustrated at how shallow, selfish and insensitive everyone around you can be.  You wouldn’t dream of treating them the way they treat you.  

-Your own feelings can be pretty intense.  You tend to downplay just how intense they really are, for fear of scaring people.  You find yourself only sharing the parts of yourself that they can handle and nothing more.

-You see so much potential in the people close to you.  And it kills you to see them refusing to live up to it.

-While others merely look, you SEE.  When they can only listen, you truly HEAR.  You feel things that they are completely oblivious to.  It is like you are dancing to beautiful music, but they cannot hear the music.  They think you are the crazy one, but you know better.  It’s like you see the world in 3D and they see it in 2D.  There is so much more there and they are completely blind to it. And it is really frustrating, because they just don’t get it and never will.

-Criticism is a hard pill for you to swallow.  Logically, you know people are genuinely trying to help, but it is impossible to convince your feelings of this.

-You’re lying when you utter the phrase, “I don’t care.”  You always care.  And you kind of hate it.  Maybe if you say you don’t care, and act like you don’t, you can trick yourself into believing it.  But it just never works.

-Conflict makes you want to vomit.  You literally feel physically ill in the pit of your stomach until it’s resolved.

-You trust no one.  If you do, it is a really big deal and it’s limited to a very select few.

-It is blatantly obvious to you when someone lies.  If someone gives you a compliment, you can tell if they really mean it.  You see through fake like it’s glass.

-You notice everything.  You know quite a bit more than you let on.  People would be really surprised at what actually goes on in your head.  

-Some personalities think you are dumb.  You live in your head, not your body.  Your body kind of runs on autopilot, so you tend to be clumsy.  You know a lot, but don’t know how to verbalize it.  You don’t think in logic and facts.  Some people take this as unintelligence, but it could not be further from the truth.

-You have a strong need to make people happy.  If they aren’t happy, you aren’t happy.  You’ve been called a people pleaser on more than one occasion.  Most of the time, you wish so badly you could change this about yourself.  However, those close to you feel loved and taken care of on a whole different level than they experience with other people.

INFJs, feel free to add to the list!  I would love to hear from you!

Super Powers

INFJs feel emotions very intensely. Not only are my own emotions intense, but so is everyone else’s. It’s like when a super hero gets mind reading powers and can hear the thoughts of everyone around them all at once. It’s overwhelming. That is my life everyday. Instead of hearing words, I feel their emotions and I feel them so strongly, whether I want to or not. I can feel every bit of stress, anger and frustration that people keep pent up inside. If everyone around me is stressed, I’m stressed; even when I have nothing to be stressed out about. I can feel sadness and joy, too. I had a friend who lost her baby and I was sad about it for weeks. We aren’t super close, and we don’t even live in the same town. Yet, it was all I could think about. I hear a story on the news about an innocent child that was murdered, or see a picture of a starving, abused animal on facebook, and I feel immense sadness over it. INFJs take empathy to whole new level. We feel every bit of what you feel, whether you want us to or not. Sometimes it gets really confusing, trying to sort through which emotions actually belong to me and which ones don’t. It gets really loud in my mind, like having 5 radio stations on all at once. Not only am I dealing with my own thoughts and emotions, but I am constantly bombarded with everyone else’s too. It’s a blessing and a curse…but most of the time it feels like a curse. It’s a very exhausting existence. You’d think I’d be in tears everytime I watch the news, or see a sad movie, but not so. I have had quite a bit of practice dealing with such strong emotions; I can keep it all inside and without showing any trace of it on the outside. It’s become automatic. Sometimes I wish someone could break that wall down and save me from myself, but I have built a pretty damn strong wall. Other personality types simply don’t have the ability to see beyond walls and masks the way we do…which can be a good thing and bad thing. I have spent most of my life being misunderstood and called things like “dramatic” and “over-sensitive,” so I have learned from this that people cannot handle my emotions and I am better off dealing with them alone.

“So come here, oh, my star is fading
I swerved just out of reach
And I know I’m dead on the surface
But I’m screaming underneath” -Coldplay, “Amsterdam”

“Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland