This INFP Needs Our Help

I used to come home and cry after high school. I felt so completely alone. So empty. I had no friends, no girlfriend and I just wanted to be loved.

I recently got a message from a high school student named Isaiah who feels like he’s going through something similar. He’s from an abusive family who doesn’t support his love of acting and singing.

I beg that any of you who have advice to give please do so for his sake and for those who find this blog but don’t reach out. If we can’t help fellow INFPs then what’s the point of being an INFP in the first place?!

Hey. I have been suffering from extreme loneliness and feelings of separation. So I tried to find others like me. But I can’t seem to to it. As I read about an INFp it seems that I am a paragon of the concept. But no one around me does. People won’t talk to me and tend to scoff at my thoughts. I need advice. I want a girlfriend. I want a best friend. But these wants confuse people because I hate large groups of people. I need help. I don’t want to be alone anymore.

Here’s my reply:

The truth is that it’s hard for all INFPs. And all introverts in general. But probably moreso for us because we’re kind of “weird.” We have a dream world and we try to bring it into reality and it doesn’t sit well with others. Because in our minds there are no boundaries whereas reality is full of them.

What’s worse is that you and I are men! The majority of INFPs are women! Which is theoretically awesome if you were able to find one of them to fall in love with. But INFPs are a minority and it takes time to find people who understand you.

Try not to look too far into the future. We have a really cool ability to see things the way they should be and to project far into the future, but that can sometimes leave us feeling alienated. Bring it back to the here and now.

In general, I recommend praying. It helps you feel like you’re not alone. I completely understand your need to have someone in your life. We need other people! If not, solitary confinement wouldn’t be a punishment! Praying helps. Just close your eyes and say “god, please give me clarity. I don’t know what I’m doing with my life and I feel completely alone. Please show me what I should be doing and give me the strength to do it.” That’s pretty easy, right? Then throw in a “I’m so thankful for x, y and z.” Force yourself to find something good in your life.

I also recommend finding a higher purpose. Start simple. Volunteer your time at a food bank, animal shelter or something that interests you.

Try to find artists, musicians and the like. Not that it’s easy to just go out and meet people, but these are the people most likely to understand us in some form. If you’re not into art or music, try to get into one of them. Take a class. It’s a very good way of expressing those strange thoughts.

Lastly, learn to communicate with people – all of them. There are levels of comfort that most people achieve with time. I can’t walk up to a woman and tell her I love her. I have to try to tell her something interesting first. Something that isn’t bizarre. She has to be comfortable with me. She has to trust me. The strange things in my head tell her there may be something wrong with me and she can’t trust me. Not that you have to hold this stuff in forever. Just don’t let it out immediately. And try to use art to express it, rather than everyday communication. Believe me, I know this is a tall order. I still can’t figure out how to do all of this stuff. But I know where I need to be.

To recap, in order of priority:
1) pray, every day, no matter what, even if you’re an atheist
2) volunteer
3) express yourself through art
4) everything else I’ve rambled on about

I hope this wasn’t too long but it’s usually hard for me to keep replying, so I wanted to give you everything at once (which can he overwhelming so I apologize).

Just don’t give up. Keep trying. Keep fighting. Keep looking.

Please leave a comment with your advice. Think I’m way off? Right on point? Let Isaiah know!

Are you a teen feeling the same way? Get in here and speak up! I worry about you kids!

4 thoughts on “This INFP Needs Our Help”

  1. Great advice!
    I know it sounds odd, but the best way to get yourself out of a funk is to get out there and help someone else.

    I totally agree with ALL of the advice already given. Prayer would be number one for me.. Unfortunately, I sometimes have to get a lot out of me before I am able to have a give and receive-type conversation… at least one that goes beyond expressing the extent of emotions I am experiencing.

    I know that for me, if I am without a purpose, that is THE worst thing that could possibly happen- worse than being disrespected or rejected… Perhaps on an equal level with having zero space or zero freedom.
    (I test every single time as positive as an INFP, but I don’t know if I am all that normal… So please bear with me ;))

    Finding time alone to recap, verbalize what you are feeling through words and music, or getting out the paint is great for getting out your initial emotions.(GREAT advice. Find a place where you can lay canvas/newsprint/boards -whatever you happen to have lying around. Grab the paints, turn up the rock music or whatever turns your heart on. And then splatter paint! Grab fistfuls of paint and fling with all your might. I hope you have some large paintbrushes lying around, because a toothbrush can be rather exasperating when rocking to Muse’s Resistance… Dance it out- just don’t hurt yourself!

    It helps to have several canvases/sheetrock panels, etc. all about.
    It can get pretty messy pretty fast, and if you want something glorious to come of it it’s better to give a few of them time to dry while you are rocking out through the others.

    Afterwards, when you get the most of your heart out, you can go in and add or paint over the electric backdrops you already created…. or just leave it as is. Lightning bolts to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” speak to me EVERY time.)

    Do something physical- get out there- run! Dance!Turn up “Eye of the Tiger” and grab a punching bag (if you are feeling rational, Art of Manliness gives instructions on how to make your own…

    Get as far into nature as possible- fast (with a cellphone, and letting others know of your whereabouts first, of course- made that mistake ONE too many times). FRESH AIR helps!

    Ok, that’s all for immediate gratification.
    It helps me anyway, just to clear my head and allow myself to BREATHE.

    For the deeper things of your heart, I would definitely recommend prayer first.
    Volunteering DEFINITELY helps, too…
    Ok from one INFP to another, don’t over-think it. Try out the one that captures your attention. You are doing this for YOU and for others… not for approval, so don’t let that be an obstacle that stands in your way.
    If helping out loading equipment for your local rock band perks up your interest more so than giving dog baths, then do that.
    If visiting the elderly and just LISTENING sparks your interest more than clearing out your uncle’s backyard, then do that.
    And if you are overwhelmed, and don’t know where to start, then help out on the first cause that comes your way. Think of it as looking out for quests- they are ALL around you! If you open your eyes to the needs of one, they multiply all around you!
    Just take it one step at a time- you’ll get there- you have all your fellow INFPs cheering for you. X)

    I had an all-time low that lasted a full year once… I wasn’t sure what it was at the time, but New Years Day (of all days- believe me, I wasn’t looking for it), it was just suddenly GONE. Seriously, it was only by the grace of God. Just GONE!
    I had tried a lot of inner searching and seeking before my breakthrough… now if anything even threatens to start that up again, I run straight to God. And then I get out the rock tunes and jam. 😀 For some reason, I think better AFTER some sort of physical exertion.

    I can feel inwardly claustrophobic by problems sometimes… If I move and get it out in the open (hence nature, or loud music to not make me feel so exposed as I sound my barbaric Yawp over the rooftops of the world…. ), I feel like I am physically doing warfare with the problem itself. Kind of like a you-can’t-paralyze me-because-I-am-going-to-confront-you-first sort of way.

    Sorry that this was so long and lengthy. We are here rooting for you! Take it one step at a time- and you will be raiding the skies again in no time.

    Just remember… you can’t seek others’ approval to determine your own worth- remember who you are. If all of the people vanished on the face of the earth, you would still have purpose, you would still be necessary. That goes the same with if the world was populated with millions of extraordinary people (which, thankfully, it is), that could not devalue your worth either.
    There are people out there who need our help… take time out to discover what is truly important to you. Open your eyes to the hearts around you. Even the ones who mock you have needs that are crying out to be filled. You personally don’t have to patch up every wounded soul that you see, but you can open their eyes to their amazing-ness, because you are an INFP after all! You see amazing-ness all around you- Why? Well, because it’s there, that’s why. 😀

    Restore others to their awesomen-ness, and I promise you, you will realize the awesome-ness of yourself. Helping someone out is great… but as an INFP, what APPEARS as an exceptional deed, or APPEARS as a life well-lived is not the same as one that you know in the deepest of your heart is a deed well-done, or a life truly well-lived.
    Look for restoration… The awesome thing about it,is that it can come in the smallest forms, but mean SO much to the person it is given to.. it also generally costs the giver more- your insight, your time, and TRUE care, not just the appearance of it.
    Start out with your little sister, or your cousin, or your arch-enemy at school/work- whichever.
    Do NOT give up- because you are needed to help others to see the extraordinary adventure of life… and the world needs more awesome-ness. 😉
    So, no self-sacrificing allowed (dreams, future, etc.) You have some MAJOR work to do- so go out and get ‘er done.

  2. Oh, and um… people also say that I live in my own little world. I remember rambling off about typography stuff and this girl sitting beside me just look at me like she’s trying to figure out what kind of species I am.

    Maybe it’s because I’m goofy at times, but I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. Like, I said what’s on my mind, and it’s not my responsibility if you don’t get what I’m on about. And when I really want to talk about typography with people, I go online. So you could try that? Internet is an amazing place.

    Also, artists are always more sensitive. When someone hurt my feelings, I sketch and pour all the negative energy into it, and take a long nap. I always feel better after that.

  3. Well, first off, I’m a girl, so don’t know if this will help much.

    I remember crying in middle school because I have no true friends. In high school, I realized that I may have set the bar too high. It’s hard to find a person with all the same values as you, and you can’t expect them to understand your every thought.

    But you can find someone with at least one thing in common with you. Make a connection with that one thing. You can try to expand it to other levels, but if it doesn’t work, don’t stress it. It’s fine to be friendly with a person just because of one thing.

    I have people to listen to music with, read novels with, sing with(and that’s a different person than the one to listen to music with), go to movie with…… But I consider them as people I’m friendly with, not friends.(yeah I’m that particular)

    My point is, it doesn’t all have to be ONE person. (Of course this doesn’t apply to the girlfriend stuff 🙂 Eventually you’ll find someone who has a lot in common with you, and it’ll work out when you get there. Don’t panic when you’re having fun, don’t worry if you haven’t found THE FRIEND. You have plenty of time, trust me. (The thing is, if you worry too much, you aren’t going to have fun, your would-be-friend won’t have fun, and then he/she might not be your friend)

    I have two best friends now, and one is the girl I initially labeled as “To-watch-the-Hobbit-with”. Not movies, just The Hobbit, because Martin Freeman’s in it. Sometimes it’s funny how friendships start out, and usually it’s with small things, with no sparks in the air.

    I can’t really help you with the girlfriend thing seeing as I haven’t had one, but most girlfriends started out as friends, so maybe you can work on the friend thing first.

    Hope this helps!

  4. Isaiah-

    I agree 100% with Mike!! Pray without ceasing. Keep a journal of things for which you’re thankful, just by writing one thing a day, like “I’m thankful for my salvation” or “I’m thankful for my perseverance.”

    All things are possible through Christ who strengthens me. –Phil. 4:13

    I, an INFP, am thankful for you and will pray for you specifically!!

    Take Care.


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