Step By Step: the INFP Discconnect
by, 02-08-2011 at 03:51 AM (473 Views)
This is the weakpoint of INFPs. We see the goal or the 'grand scheme' but we often find ourselves at a loss as to where to begin or how to proceed towards that end result. It is as though we are farsighted, and cannot bring into focus the immediate situation in order to determine the next step. We have a hard time determining what resources we have and how they can be used to acheive our goals. It often seems to us that our life exists as two separate floating islands, the present and the future, while the connection between the two lies in utter darkness. As we look about with our telescope eyes we completely miss the opportunities that lay at our feet, instead feeling hoplessly separated from our distant goal. We can see it so clearly, but we cannot see the bridge that will get us there. And so we can easily begin to feel that it is hopeless, and may waste a great deal of time standing around at the gate without starting down the path. To someone else it may appear so very simple that they would quickly become exasperated with the INFP's continued complaints about it being impossible, but for whatever reason, the next step is truely hidden from the INFP. Often even when someone tells them it is there, they cannot for the life of them comprehend it.
As a child I remember having so much distress over my homework, because I couldn't just focus on the immediate question. I felt the weight of all the assignments I had to do all at once and couldn't see the individual steps to completeting them at all. I could spend hours crying in anguish over this impassible mountain before me, staring at the paper, reading the question, but seeing and hearing nothing but "Doom doom doom." I had to have someone come and sit beside me and hand feed me each next step of the process. It wasn't that I wasn't smart, but that somehow the ability to follow steps seems to frequently elude me. I often had to reach a point where there was an emotional 'shut off' and then I would stop thinking and just do each step I was told to do, and usually it turned out to be very simple. But I couldn't do it on my own. I needed someone there to shine the flashlight on each next step so that I could see it and do it.
This probably seems like an incomprehensible fault to those gifted with the ability to see and navegate in the here and now. But let me assure you that this issue is no trivial matter for the INFP. It is not a case of laziness or willfull avoidance or irresponcibility, nor even a lack of ambition. The INFP doesn't want to waste time in getting to the goal. And he isn't capable of simply focusing all by himself. He needs moral support, to know he doesn't stand alone before the looming mountian, and practical support to help him find the next hand-hold, the next place to step.
INFPs need to work hand in hand with others who are more 'practical' or immediate in their focus. The problem is that so often the 'practical' people cannot see or comprehend, or do not recognize the worth of, the INFP's distant vision, and therefore do not apply themselves to finding the steps along the path that will lead to it. And this is very sad indeed, for because of this failure to cooperate with the INFP (and instead attempt to convert him) a great many INFPs are never able to realise their own potential.
I don't believe that people are meant to be independant of eachother. I think this idea ultimately results in much holding back of potential, causing individuals to struggle on their own, where they might have suceeded by working together.
When you have someone focused unwaveringly on the goal, you cannot easily stray off course or loose your motivation. And when you have someone focused unwaveringly on the present, you cannot easily loose your footing or get hurt. Both are needed to ensure success. The INFP, and probably the other NFs as well, are the ones who keep their sight focused on the goal. What we need, indeed often beg for, is someone to help us by looking at the present and guiding our footsteps along the way to the goal.