The current state of our world is troubling to nearly all of us right now. From inequality to isolation to mass illness, there is a lot of pain and confusion in the hearts of people everywhere. Whether you’re protesting and returning home feeling exhausted, or maybe you’re emotionally drained by the corruption you see everywhere. Today’s article is going to explore how the INFP personality type deals with being emotionally overwhelmed. We’re also going to offer some solutions for finding relief. I hope this will be helpful to you!
Dealing with Emotional Overwhelm as an INFP Personality Type
Typically warm-hearted and imaginative, INFPs who are emotionally overwhelmed tend to guard themselves against the outside world. It feels as if corruption and despair are everywhere, and they will try to put up walls to keep the corruption at bay. They often feel emotionally burned out, and thus they resort to a more impersonal, critical approach to handling life. Frustratingly, they feel out of touch with their values and emotions. Contrary to their typical gentle nature, they may seem more cynical, rigid, and avoidant than usual – calling out errors and trying to right wrongs. In their arguments, their logic will be more biting and aggressive than usual.
More Signs of Emotional Overwhelm in the INFP:
#1 – They Appear Quiet and Distant
INFPs tend to be on the quiet side, but there’s usually a whimsical warmth that shows up anyway. But when they are stressed and overwhelmed, they appear more distant, detached, and stoic. Usually they are absorbed in thoughts, trying to sort out how to handle what’s plaguing them. Staying in touch with what’s going on around them becomes more and more difficult.
#2 – They Appear Rigid and Tense
Typically laid back and easy-going, INFPs who are emotionally overwhelmed seem tense and strained. They often put their head in their hands, grit their teeth, or crack their knuckles.
#3 – Everything Seems Impossible
Normally innovative and imaginative, INFPs who are emotionally overwhelmed lose their signature vision and optimism. The world feels narrow, their potential seems stifled, and they often feel trapped or listless.
#4 – They Become More Self-Critical
Emotionally overwhelmed INFPs tend to fixate on their past mistakes and errors in judgment. They often feel like they can’t do anything right and get lost in a loop of self-criticism, attempts to “fix” things, confusion, and then despair.
# 5 – They More Readily Comment On the Mistakes of Others
Typically slow to judge or correct, overwhelmed INFPs may be surprisingly critical and cynical. They often feel that the shortcomings and errors of others are distractingly obvious. Rather than being focused on the emotional wavelengths around them, they instead notice errors, flaws, and inefficiencies.
#6 – They See Evil Everywhere
Many INFPs who are emotionally overwhelmed report that they see nothing but corruption all around them. It seems like everyone has ill-intent or despicable motivations. This creates a great deal of anxiety and many INFPs try to retreat from the world as a way of protecting themselves and collecting their thoughts.
#7 – They Care Less About Harmony
Normally, INFPs are very concerned about the feelings of the people around them. Making sure that everyone is attended to and heard is crucial to their sense of well-being. That said, when they are emotionally overwhelmed they tend to stop caring as much. They fixate more on getting things done, figuring out their thoughts, and fixing problems in the world. The feelings of other people drop to a much lower priority during these times.
#8 – They Struggle to Process Thoughts and Ideas
Rather than seeing possibilities and creative alternatives, INFPs who are overwhelmed feel stuck in narrow thinking. Usually they see possibilities everywhere. Now they see nothing but a long hallway with no doors. As you can imagine, this is extremely frustrating for them.
#9 – Get Lost in Destructive Fantasies
At an extreme level of overwhelm, INFPs tend to have destructive, rage-filled fantasies. They might imagine being reckless or impulsive. They might daydream about getting back at their enemies for the state they are now in. These fantasies are a way for them to cope with the anger and helplessness that they feel inside without actually damaging their relationships.
#10 – They May Feel “Stupid”
Many INFPs feel incompetent and lost when they’re emotionally overwhelmed. All their ideas seem pointless, and they are afraid of bringing up ideas for fear that they aren’t good enough. They often report feeling listless, anxious, and unable to form clear thoughts.
How to Cope:
During these times, it’s crucial for INFPs to get time alone to process their emotions and calm their anxiety and grief. The more INFPs are pushed into social settings or interactions the more critical and sarcastic they will become. This will only make them more stressed because they KNOW they aren’t behaving in a way that aligns with their self-image or their values. They know they’ll feel guilty about being so critical at a later time. Therefore, it’s vital for INFPs to get some time to quiet all the outside noise and practice deep breathing and relaxation. Many INFPs have told me that standing with their legs shoulder-width apart and leaning down, letting their head hang between their legs, helps them to immediately reduce tension. Others find relief through listening to music that resonates with their emotional state.
Other tips for coping with emotional overwhelm:
- Talk to someone you trust who will validate your feelings.
- Journal your feelings
- Avoid people who will try to rationalize your feelings
- Talk to a therapist or counselor
- Journal what you’re feeling, why you’re feeling it, and then pause to assess it.
- Breathe in for four counts, hold for three counts, and expel for seven counts.
- Visualize a memory or fantasy that helps you to relax and feel hopeful. Whatever the picture is, make sure it’s a place that brings you peace.
- Sing as loudly as you can, pushing all the negative energy out through your voice.
- Remember that you matter.
- Get enough sleep. Most adults need 7-9 hours per night.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Did you enjoy this article? Do you have any suggestions or insights to share? Let us know in the comments!
Find out more about your personality type in our eBooks, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type, The INFJ – Understanding the Mystic, and The INFP – Understanding the Dreamer. You can also connect with me via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!
Other Articles You Might Enjoy:
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Want to discover more about personality type? Get the inside scoop with Susan Storm on all things typological, along with special subscriber freebies, and discounts on new eBooks and courses! Join our newsletter today!