INFJ Self Love - How To Love Yourself as an INFJ
INFJs are paradoxically types that tend to have a high self-confidence and a low self-esteem. Many INFJs carry a kind of Messiah-complex. There can be an urge to want to save other people, and the world, and wanting to have an almost god-like influence in the lives of other people, eradicating all war, creating peace, and harmony on earth. Have you ever found yourself wanting to rescue a friend or family member from hardship?
At the same time, there can be a chronic feeling that you are never enough - never strong enough, never capable enough, to achieve all that you want to do for the world, leading to constant self-criticism. You feel shame that you are not good enough to fix the problems faced by friends and family members, and so, you are hard on yourself.
It is easy to rationalise this behaviour - by being hard on myself, I can become stronger, so that I can become a more capable friend. But this line of thinking will gradually eat at your self-worth. I see INFJs, myself included, constantly denying any small good we do in the world as just that, small, insignificant, or merely accidental. This is the INFJ spiral:
If I do something good for the world or for someone else, or if someone compliments me....
- It was nothing at all, and cost no effort to do (even if it did!)
- Happened completely by accident (even if it was intentional!)
- Was not enough - I should have done more!
- I had selfish intentions that make it something actually negative...
- I'm just going to pretend it did not happen!
Have you found yourself saying things like this?
INFJ Self Love
How to love yourself as an INFJ
- Notice the effect you have on others
INFJs help people often in more subtle, less direct ways. Notice how people grow more confident around you, because you give them space to express themselves. See how people smile and relax around you, because you don't judge. Recognise how you serve as an invisible guide to other people and make them trust more in themselves and their own judgement.
- Be happy helping others
You're allowed to celebrate good deeds, love and kindness. It's okay to feel happy taking care of others and to feel good when you are able to make a difference for others. We are not supposed to kill ourselves helping others - we are supposed to thrive and feel joy when we care for each other.
- Let other people know how you feel
Be more transparent about your own needs. If someone asks you a favour, let them know if you need anything from them in order to be able to help them better. Ask for time to complete the task, and choose a time that is convenient for you. Be honest about stress or anxiety or doubts you may have in the process.
- Start receiving compliments.
Just say thank you, smile. Stop saying "It was nothing" and start saying "You're welcome!"
- Ask for help in return
Just like you enjoy helping other people - other people might actually enjoy the thought of helping you! So don't be afraid to ask for help, even if you can do it yourself, and even if you don't want to inconvenience other people. Actually, by letting other people help you, you can make other people feel happier around you.
Breaking the INFJ Messiah Complex
Lastly, I'd like to ask you to challenge any overconfidence in yourself. A good friend recently reminded me of an old biblical quote: "God, give me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."
I have made my life so much harder than it needs to be by:
- Constantly rushing myself and telling myself I had to do everything at once
- Making projects too big
- Getting overwhelmed thinking about all the things that have to be done
- Feeling a must or pressure to do more than I need to do
- Holding on too long to impossible projects or goals
- And not forgiving myself for making mistakes on the way
See how you can make a difference in the world, and recognise what tasks are beyond your power. Give yourself as much time as you need to complete a task, and don't rush yourself with impossible deadlines. Don't sabotage your own mission by making it larger than it has to be, and forgive yourself for the things that you cannot change.
You're not god - you are not all powerful - you are human, and people love you for both your strength and fragility. By being more vulnerable and human, you can have a more realistic positive impact on the world, and become a more authentic guide and friend.