I’m an INFP. I don’t hide that and I’m very proud of it.
When I took the MBTI test to find out my type, INFP had 99% of the traits checked off for me, but I noticed one phrase that made me rethink my daily interactions and start using my college’s counselor.
Highly Sensitive Person
Now for those who don’t know what it is, here’s a quote from Highly Sensitive Refuge.
A highly sensitive person (HSP) experiences the world differently than others. Due to a biological difference that they’re born with, highly sensitive people are more aware of subtleties and process information deeply. This means they tend to be creative, insightful, and empathetic, but it also means they’re more prone than others to stress and overwhelm.Highly Sensitve Refuge
Most HSPs I know can read between the line, but sarcasm just whooshes over their (I’m included (。_。)) heads.
It explained why I started crying when someone cut in line at a college event and took the burger I was going to served.
It’s why I started tearing up when some people trashed the community kitchen I used to cook at and left the mess for the kind staff to deal with.
It’s why I get overwhelmed with specific personalities to a point that I can feel their energy or life-sucking soul from afar.
That doesn’t mean HSPs are psychic or crybabies.
We just feel.
A lot. (´。＿。｀)
The Therapist That Needs Their Own
I currently see a counselor on my college campus for what I think was social anxiety and very mild depression.
They can’t diagnose me so I looked at what matched up with what I felt.
For months, I couldn’t look at Facebook because I thought the peers I left behind when I was academically dismissed were laughing at me.
I’d become short of breath, heart racing, and this immense feeling of dread that felt like it was physically pushing me down.
I didn’t want to do anything at home. I didn’t want to go to school, get a job, or even see my friends. It felt hard to move because I just felt like it would be pointless at times.
After many college application rejections and learning that I could reapply to my old school, I went back there and made sure to schedule a session.
While my mom thought it was a pointless venture (she’s since retracted that statement ( •̀ ω •́ )✧), I knew it was something I needed to do for my health.
So here are three things I’ve learned from the sessions.
1. Identify and Prepare.
So let’s talk about the infamous hamburger incident I mentioned above.
I bawled (23 year old me) in front of a crowd of maybe 35 people.
Not my greatest moment indeed.
The session I had right after this taught that people need to look back and really look at what triggered this reaction.
Mine was simple: There’s a line. They cut in front of me. That isn’t fair. Saying a joke to make the crowd laugh and ignore that is not an excuse.
Basically, life is not always fair.
I’m a very flexible person unless it’s with obviously wrong things. But as I have learned from this, you just have to go with the flow and move on.
Don’t dwell. No what-ifs. Identify why you reacted that way and prepare measures to make sure it happens less.
2. Reframe Your Thoughts
So just like the external environment can be tricky, internal rants are even harder to deal with.
Negative self talk is a common thing to see in INFPs since most of us feel like we are not our true selves in the way we want to be.
I live on a campus with a lot of fit people. Me, being obese, tended to internally compare and insult myself.
It was when I KonMari’d my room back home, I realized that my happiness (or joy in this case) came from me and not others.
I noticed that the people who I compared myself to didn’t even dress in the style I liked.
Why was I comparing myself to something I didn’t want?
Then it clicked.
While my KonMari session didn’t end up with me loving all of my things (Losing weight makes it kinda difficult to discard all of the things that do not spark joy.), I did end with a better sense of what I wanted in my life.
Practice thinking about these intense feelings you get from yourself and others in an objective manner.
Le gasp. (◎﹏◎)
Objectivity?! For a feeler?!
Yes. It’s a muscle we gotta build to really live a full life that isn’t tied down by our feelings.
I’m still practicing myself.
Literally 5 minutes before starting this post (the inspiration really), I wondered if I was interpreting someone’s very simple reaction to a statement I made during my shift at work.
It was about the sizing options we had and unfortunately, we had nothing in their size (around my size). The largest size I’ve personally seen was an XL, I told them.
I immediately noticed their face change. It looked like the face of someone who was rudely talked to.
But all I did was state a fact. I looked at the situation and just thought, “I must’ve seen wrong. I can’t put what I thought happened as what actually happened.”
And went on to write this for those like me.
It was hard to get to this point (5 semesters of counseling sessions), but it’s freeing to be there.
I encourage you to try with the help of a supportive individual to practice.
Let me know in the comments if you are a HSP!
Gotta represent! ヽ(✿ﾟ▽ﾟ)ノ