I received this message from a 16 year old reader:
“I cried reading the blogs on this website. I am 16 and I never understood why other people never understood me and I never understood them. I always tried to be friendly towards them, almost over the top nice just so that they will like me. I recently gave up. I was so tired of trying to make one friend, when it should be part of human nature.
I took a test at school to help me figure out what careers I would be successful at – but like that madders, you should do what you enjoy – but I found I was a INFP. It didn’t tell us what that even meant! So I googled it. It came up with every career I ever considered doing! I was blown away. And then I found out we are only 1% of the population. And everything made sense. My whole life.
Knowing that I am a INFP makes me know I am special, yet I still am stuck. How am I supposed to make friends if I don’t feel a connection for them. And also if I am a introvert how can I love performing and singing?”
I’m so glad you’re understanding yourself more. I can say this: it’s tough being an INFP, especially when you’re young. When I was a teenager I used to come home and cry. I felt so lonely.
Are you in any art/music classes? That’s where you’re likely to find people who are more sensitive and care about deeper things. Though I remember thinking that I didn’t get the artists either lol.
Aside from that, you have to try to be patient. I know that you probably feel like you’ve been patient long enough and have had no friends your whole life, but things will get better. Especially after high school.
In the meantime, start reading on how to make friends and fit in. “Fitting in” feels so fake and uncomfortable, but discomfort shows that we’re growing. If you want to be understood, you need to understand others and what they care about.
Just try to be grateful for what you have right now. Try to be friends with your parents and talk to them. Hopefully they’ll understand. Friendship with others will come.
As for entertaining, I also love entertaining. I haven’t done it in a while and it took me a long time to just let go and put myself in front of people because I was very shy and scared. But there’s an important delineation for you. Introversion doesn’t mean shyness. Being introverted just means you prefer being at home, relaxing with a book instead of out talking to hundreds of people. You feel more energized in your inner world and drained dealing with people.
Arts and music are great for us because we are creative by nature. It helps us bringing our internal creative world out into this crazy chaotic world. And we finally feel understood. I never feel as understood as when I hear an electric guitar play. Weird, I know.
Anyway, things will get better. In fact, check this out: It Gets Better Project. Lots of artists and musicians talking about how life in highschool sucked but got a lot better later on. Mainly geared toward LGBT but still very applicable to us INFPs. Also check out Dream Teachers if you want to be inspired.
Good luck and reach out whenever you’re having trouble!
How many of you high school students feel like no one understands you? Let me know in the comments of the blog or by responding to your email.