A Diagnosis of the Self-Doubter

This is a highlighted quote from the blog post.

“I’m an INFJ”

That’s probably one of the most confident things you’ll hear from me on a consistent basis.

The ironic piece is that, despite how sure I am when saying that, INFJs are actually known for being social chameleons. We adapt to the environment we’re in, and Jennifer Soldner, an empathetic INFJ, and life coach, says this:

On the whole, this can lead them to a greater understanding of humanity in order to make phenomenal changes in the world. However, when the INFJ is frequently submerged in this chameleon-like state without taking time to reflect on who they truly are, they may begin to lose themselves in others, which can lead to an unhealthy state of being.

For those of you who have felt this way, here are some criteria so that you yourself can also be more sure about how unsure you are (lol).

The Diagnosis of a Timid and Unsure Person

This is what it may look like on a day to day basis:

  1. You may notice and admire all the great things about other people, but you don’t really notice and care about the great things in yourself.

  2. When people ask you what you like or what you believe in, you have no idea what to say. Or if you do say something, it’s a practiced phrase that might not actually be true but it feels better* to say something than to constantly say “I don’t know”.

  3. When you invite people out, you add in little phrases like, “but only if you really want to” or “but I totally understand if you can’t!” to lessen the blow of potential rejection (and subconsciously suggest to yourself and them that you’re not actually worth their time).

  4. It’s easier for you to go along with what other people want than try to figure out what you want. When someone asks you where you want to eat, you may automatically say something along the lines of, “ I don’t know, where do you want to go? I’m okay with whatever.”

  5. Your wardrobe is conventional and feels “safe” — You pretty much wear what you see everyone else wears. When you think about wearing something unconventional, it gives you anxiety.

  6. Your speech patterns are littered with “I don’t know”, “kinda/sorta”, “probably”, and “could be”. You say sorry a lot, but you’re usually not entirely sure what you’re apologizing for.

If you’re already freaking out because you identify with a lot of these, I’ll just say one thing: People who are unsure of their identity are always looking outside of themselves to figure out who they are.

In other words, they click on articles like this.

If you’re someone that relies heavily on personality tests, astrology, and horoscopes to tell you who you are, you may have a problem. (Hey, I’m guilty! I am a diehard MBTI fan, despite its lack of empirical evidence.)

Even if you identify with these made-up criteria, don’t feel too bad.

Because as I like to say, “One’s greatest strength is also their greatest weakness.”

The strength in this situation is that my empathy and sensitivity allow me to understand where people are coming from in an intuitive, almost magical way. Even though I’m often unsure of myself, I’m usually pretty sure of how someone else is feeling.

The weakness is that I can find it difficult to know what I actually like or want. Even when I know, I may rationalize myself out of it, which leads to internal conflict and confusion. It also means that I can find it difficult to express my true beliefs and desires to others.

Think for a moment if you identified with some of these criteria. If so, can you figure out how it’s both a strength and a weakness?

Now that you’re sure about being unsure, check out this more serious article I wrote where I detail a practical, step-by-step comprehensive framework to find out who you really are.

If you enjoyed this piece, you may also enjoy my podcast Overthinker, where I tell bits and pieces of my own story and provide actionable ways to improve your life.

If you want to join a community that seeks personal evolution and spreading good, click here.

*MINI-RANT: Like honestly, this is almost everyone when they say they have a “favorite” color — what kind of bullshit is that? What does that even mean? Does that mean you wear that color most often? Do you actually like that color the most out of all the other colors? Or if you’re honest with yourself, that’s just what you’ve always said so now you automatically respond with that? Wake up, people!

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