Some INFP types find themselves in such despair that they ask, "How can I change my type? What contribution can an INFP type make in this world? " We can't change our type and I would argue that such INFPs wouldn't want to once they learn the gifts that are inherent in being an INFP. However, this post is more about the cultural causes that may bring some INFPs into such doubts about their self worth. Quite honestly, I've been there too and these doubts seem to be common for INFPs.
Here in the USA, we live in what I’d call a narcissistic ESTJ kind of country and we INFPs get the brunt of our culture’s naive biases. ESTJs excel at productivity, planning, and tend to be concrete and traditional in orientation. They’re great at managing other people to get things done. A narcissistic ESTJ doesn’t care what gets done so long as productivity happens and he or she is validated as a good person for that productivity. It’s all about setting ambitious goals and meeting them. Not much more.
We INFPs lead with a mental function-attitude called Introverted Feeling. A narcissistic ESTJ's worst fear is a well developed introverted feeling function, which focuses on personal authenticity, not just for us, but for everyone else too. We’re natural healers. We live to bring ourselves and others into greater integrity. We’re stuck in a culture that has very little integrity. It’s too busy being busy. Who needs authenticity when we're only concerned with productivity. Such a state of affairs can be overwhelming and crushing to our INFP sensibilities. I think this explains a lot about the INFP puddle of gloom. We just can't bring ourselves to value productivity for its own sake. This
To make matters worse, we’re more theoretical in nature than concrete. This makes us even more misfit-ish. The gift, though, is that we see the big picture of how creating more authenticity within ourselves and in the world might just be able to happen. We write awesome books about battling evil, like the whole Harry Potter series and The Hobbit, and The Chronicles of Narnia. We’re cool that way 🙂
If you live in a country that doesn’t value who you are, it’s difficult not to feel like an embarrassment to society when, in fact, I believe our society is an embarrassment to the inherent INFP value system. Our cultural biases make it look like we're not fit to handle “real” life when in fact we're here to make life more real and authentic for everyone else. Why would you want to make a contribution to the Narcissistic ESTJ Society Foundation?
Some INFP quotes for good measure:
“Nothing is more unnerving to the truly conventional than the unashamed misfit!” - J.K. Rowling
“What is most personal is most universal” - Carl Rogers
“To thine own self be true.” - William Shakespeare
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” - Oscar Wilde