As an INFJ (introverted intuitive feeling judging) person, my personality type tops the charts on stress, so you'd think that I'd be an expert on stress. Since stress can lead to many health problems, and I have plenty, maybe not (see my blog http://livingwithaddisondisease.blogspot.com/). I do know that I need to cut down on the stress in my life, as most of us do. What I am wondering is how much of my stress relates to who I am, my personality? I am going to look at my life and see what I can change, so I can have less stress. I know I collapse when I am expected to be someone I'm not. I think that we are all stressed when we are not being who we really are. I hope by sharing my journey, it will help you in yours.
1. Look at how you use your Primary Function
Well, my dominant or primary function, my greatest strength, the core of who I am is my preference to rely on intuitive feelings to guide my life. I have learned to trust my "hunches" and "feelings". In nearly 65 years, they have almost always been correct. I like to use my weaker thinking ability to help analyze my data and conclusions, but if my intuition tells me one thing is right and logic tells me it isn't; I choose intuition.
I use my extroverted sensing (my weakest function) and my feeling (secondary function) abilities to deal with the outside world. Mainly I use them to pick up on other people's feelings and motives, and sense my outside environment. I focus my sensing on people which allows me to gather all sort of non-verbal clues from them.
Often people are amazed by what I can foresee. There really isn't anything mystical about it. I simply have an incredible ability to see the whole picture. I use my intuition, supplemented by logic, and supplied with feeling and sensing data to help me see patterns of behavior and predict consequences. The combination of intuition and feeling helps me empathize with others and gives me a deep understanding of people. I see the meaning of life. My sense of wholeness helps me know the potential that people have, and I desire to help people reach their potential.
My strengths are in this order
2. What happens if you can not use your abilities?
I become angry when people tell me it can't be done. Of course it can! My intuition helps me see a picture in my mind of what can be. It allows me to see the goal clearly. All that needs to be done is just working out the details on how to get there. I know that child can learn to read or do math. I don't give up. Yes, I an idealist, but I also have the ability to plan and the drive to make it happen.
I get so frustrated if people won't listen to my intuitive warnings. I really can see what is probably going to happen. You know the feeling when you are watching a scary movie and you see the monster, but the people entering the haunted house don't know he is there. You get so tense and wish you could just shout and save them from their impending doom. I feel that way a lot.
I become depressed if I have to follow routines and set procedures. I feel like I am in a straight jacket unable to move. Where is the room for imagination!
I get nervous if I'm around too much sensory input for too long. Sensing is my weakest area and I tire quickly. Being an INFJ, I am what is called a HSP or Highly Sensitive Person. Loud noises, a cluttered workplace, whizzing traffic, multitasking, and phone interruptions will give me a headache!
If I have to extrovert feeling for too long, I become emotionally exhausted. I'm good at listening and picking up how the other person is feeling, but if I have to relate emotionally for very long I become drained and blankly stare off into space. One of the things which really drains me is when people just dump all their negative emotions on me. I literally feel like this huge heavy sack is smothering me.
On the other hand, superficial conversation makes me feel bored. I focus on the big picture, principles, the purpose of life, and can't even remember where I bought anything or what it cost.
If I have to deal with too many concrete details, my poor little sensing function can't handle it, and I become ill. I'm not kidding. Having to program something is enough to quickly make me tense, give me a headache, and make me sick to my stomach.
Though I don't like to do finances and reports, I really am very orderly. That's my strong J (judging) side. I like everything in order and to have a plan. It makes me nervous to not be able to see where everything is and where we are headed. I have trouble just enjoying the ride if I'm not sure I want to be going that direction.
Also, since I am a very strong J, I want to have control over my own life. I have no desire to control other people's lives; my own is plenty to handle. I get angry when others take credit for my ideas. That is dishonest, besides ideas are my creations, my babies; they are a part of me.
I become righteously indignant if I am asked to do anything against my principles. My principles, my values are who I am. I can not go against my values without ceasing to be me. It is not a need to be right, I know what is right, but a need for wholeness of my character, for integrity.
If I have to keep extroverting feeling and doing countless details, I will eventually collapse and be unable to function.
Being an INFJ has its inherent stresses, but most of the stress is when I can't truly be who I really am, an introverted intuitive feeling judging person.