[INFP] What Happens When You Lose Yourself?

What Happens When You Lose Yourself?

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This is a discussion on What Happens When You Lose Yourself? within the INFP Forum - The Idealists forums, part of the NF's Temperament Forum- The Dreamers category; To an INFP, identity is everything. At least for me. I feel like I need to always be in-tune with ...

  1. #1
    Unknown Personality

    What Happens When You Lose Yourself?

    To an INFP, identity is everything. At least for me. I feel like I need to always be in-tune with myself. Without our sense of self, our lives are ruined. Now I know there are a lot of theories out there stating that the destruction of the ego is the path towards an enlightened consciousness, but I think there is a way to be in harmony with our egos and be free at the same time.

    I think everything is an extension of my ego's perception. That's how we form our reality. So what if something destructive happens to our reality or ourselves (or both)? I think it's easier to deal with the former, because as long as the self is strong, our reality will be stable.

    Anyway though, it seems like losing oneself is a terrible, horrible thing. Especially for those who have had a strong sense of identity to begin with. What wickedness did it take to bring that down?

    You can imagine the repercussions: Even one's own thoughts (and consequently words) are warped: they are not yours anymore. They are no longer able to problem-solve effectively or think critically. Hence their learning ability is drastically reduced. People take with them different things from the same experience depending on their ego, so it makes sense that they would learn in this way too. So how does one learn without an identity?

    Not to mention social life: Their persona would be affected to a degree proportional to their real identity.

    Actually, what I am speaking about also applies to the adaptation of new undesirable
    identity as well. Everybody seems to have a psychological immune system designed to assimilate unwanted thoughts as part of the ego, if the thoughts are repulsive and frequent enough. I think this manifests in a lot of people: Instead of trying to change their thoughts, they just say things like: "I'm just stupid" or "I'm a bitch, I can't help it."

    Personally I've worked hard to try and overcome this immune system and not be a prisoner to my thoughts, to have the power to still change them before they become too ingrained. However, resistance can make the thoughts ingrained too. Except I still believe I have the power to overcome. Okay, I'm rambling.

    Actually, I'm writing this from personal experience... which I hate to admit. I feel like I should never have known what this is like, I don't want to know. Maybe some of you can help ease me from my pain ._. I hate even saying that I'm in pain. Because I've been in pain so long that it seems permanent. I hate saying that too. I hate saying hate. Aahh!

    Well, I'd like to hear your responses. Ultimately I'm glad that there are people here who will listen and understand, just like that day one and a half years ago.
    potato, mintyphoenix, Zegaray and 9 others thanked this post.

  2. #2
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    I go through this a lot, it has calmed down a lot in the past years. But it used to happen about every three months and it was painful and annoying, now its about every year to three years. I kinda look at it now as a cue that something is not sitting right in my life that I might have been repressing my true feelings about. After all its happening for a reason. I also see it as a chance to re-vamp, start new, change things and thoughts that I wasn't happy with, so in essence its like being reborn but at the same time keeping the real you, but a less cluttered version. Granted, its still uncomfortable but if you roll with the punches and can understand what's happening, its a little easier. :) p.s enlightenment should never include loosing your sense of self, if that's the case then what is the point of having a personality in the first place!

  3. #3
    INFP - The Idealists

    I don't know what you're going through but it sounds to me like you're very uneasy because something is happening so you're thinking a lot.
    Obviously their is times when our thoughts are brought to question or things happen that could have happened better. However your identity is what makes you because deep down it's what you want so you shouldn't get upset over who you are because its what you want in the end! And if it's not then you are on the path to become who you want to be. Obviously your ego being damaged will damage you because it is you but it will make you stronger, kind of like learn from your mistakes, but you're learning from thoughts on experiences. Some people put themselves in positions where they may be hurt emotionally so they can become better.

  4. #4
    INFP - The Idealists

    Minimizing the ego is good for infp's.
    OpRise thanked this post.

  5. #5
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Hmmm, I'm not sure what would have caused this in your case, but from my experience, whenever people would either overtly tell me or project toward me that I was something that I'm not, whatever the other person would believe that I am, that's what I would become. I've had to spend some serious time alone in order to "define" myself. I find I do that best when I'm alone when there's no one looking over my shoulder, so to speak, commentating on how I live my life. I think, to an extent, we are who we choose to be; when I'm lost and forgotten who I am, I look at myself and think of the kind of person that I want to be. I consider the traits that I admire most, and I ask myself what stops me from becoming what I admire. I think in my case, my biggest problem is lack of confidence, though.
    Chwimleian and Brionnach thanked this post.

  6. #6
    INFP - The Idealists

    I'm going thru what you are, if I'm understanding you correctly. Losing control of your thoughts, apathetic towards everything, and just mentally feeling slow because of ....that part I havent figured out yet. My memory has also turned to shit. A lot of people identify themselves through how they acted previously, or remembering how they felt in a similar situation, but I seriously have no strong memories of anything. All my memories are so faded that they could be interpreted so many different ways. This terrible memory I have is making it seem like I'm reliving the same day over and over again...

    no clue if we're on the same page, what I'm referring to is sorta like brainfog:

    "A clinical definition of brain fog. Brain fog may be described as feelings of mental confusion or lack of mental clarity. It is called brain fog because it can feel like a cloud that reduces your ability to think clearly. It can cause a person to become forgetful, detached and often discouraged and depressed. "

    Brain Fog

    18 Symptoms of brainfog:

    1) Horrible short term memory
    2) Difficulty with word finding and word substitution
    3) Disorientation lasting 30-60 seconds ( You might be driving somewhere and you forget where you are and where you are going)
    4) Loss of mental acuity
    5) Forgetfulness
    6) In ability to think clearly
    7) A feeling that you’re in a fog or a dark cloud is over your head
    8) Decreased attention span
    9) Mild depression or anxiety
    10) Lack of spatial awareness
    11) Difficulty concentrating
    12) Lack of focus
    13) Confusion
    14) Spaciness or Absentmindedness
    15) Trouble learning new tasks
    16) Trouble solving problems
    17) Decrease in creativity
    18) Decreased mental stamina

    18 Symptoms of Brain Fog

    It feels like there's something preventing me from willing myself to think necessary thoughts, instead I get bombarded with random irrelevant thought, or no thought at all, just feelings of anxiety. Not fun.
    twilightmoon777 thanked this post.

  7. #7
    Unknown Personality

    You can only lose yourself if you have a set definition of what you are. Keep it lucid and everchanging and you will never lose yourself. Stop defining who or what you are, and recognise you are. Just be. Follow your heart, say and do what you like but try not to hurt anyone or thing if possible. By doing this, you never have to think about what you are. You are you, you are human and act on your instinct. You need nothing else.

    As humans, we always change. The idea of defining this change is futile.
    Midnightkitty, TyTy, mushr00m and 2 others thanked this post.

  8. #8

    Quote Originally Posted by BunBurry View Post
    Minimizing the ego is good for infp's.
    and yet very bad for ENFPs, interesting, no?
    BunBurry thanked this post.

  9. #9
    INFP - The Idealists

    This happens for me in relationships. I just get so completely sucked up in her needs, thoughts and feelings that I feel like I lose my sense of self. It's a great feeling letting go of my constant introspection and focus completely on someone else for a change. Yet I fear that once I've been there for a long time, it'll be hard for me to find my way back. Or that thoughts and feelings will catch me off guard and I won't be able to fully understand them. Such is the curse of being Fi dominant.

    It's like I'm a 2 or something. But I'm not, I'm a 5w4 [ego-ego] so you'd think I'd be immune to that sort of thing. But perhaps that's precisely why I feel the way I do, as I'm usually completely focused on my own thoughts and feelings it's a scary thing to temporarily lose that intense inward focus. So I wind up amplifying/exaggerating my feelings of loss of identity, or rather my apprehension of it. When all it really is is a shift of focus.

    Autonomy being one of the fives most precious commodities. It makes a lot of sense that love, essentially the polar opposite of autonomy, would stir up an internal conflict of sorts. However, with time I've come to realize that my fears are irrational and sometimes letting go is a positive thing. That autonomy alone, does not make you happy. It's a delicate balance to say the least. Besides, once you've fallen for someone it's not like you have a choice in the matter anymore. They're going to be the focus of your thoughts and attention whether you like it or not.

    I'm sorry if this went a little long and off-topic, it's just that it's a dilemma that's been plaguing my mind as of late..

    @BunBurry I can only concur with the notion that it's beneficial for INFPs to minimize the ego. Especially for 4w5/5w4s, both double ego types. I know I could. (Should be apparent to anyone actually reading this post.)
    Last edited by rbgj; 12-27-2011 at 10:24 AM.
    infpetal, BunBurry and mushr00m thanked this post.

  10. #10
    INFP - The Idealists

    I'm going though the same thing and I wish I knew the answer to your question but I have no idea. I feel like I've lost myself/I'm just now discovering that I'm not the person I thought I was all simultaneously. As Acey mentioned, I've been suffering from a severe case of brain fog as well. Can't focus, always thinking and analyzing and re-analyzing situation after situation, always bored, never excited, always in my head, etc. I feel like I'm trapped with in a maze that is with in myself and I can't find the exit because nothing looks familiar. In this state it's so easy to be tricked into negative thought patterns and though I try to change these patterns it feels almost impossible too without outside reassurance and affirmation. It sucks, because now I'm at the point where I'm constantly seeking for other people's approval because I can't find it in myself. And I don't even know how I ended up like this? Crisis much? Our minds, strange places and things they are.
    Midnightkitty and Zegaray thanked this post.

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