Hi there!

I am an INFP and 17 years old. My parents are really great and all but they're the type of people that don't take no are difference of opinion very well. They've been pushing me to get out in the world but also wanting me to stay close to home. My family is great aswell but...basically, they don't like my own personality but when i pretend they want me to be "real". I'm not happy enough. (jumping up and down while smiling) but when i joke it's wierd. I'm not trying to rag on them but...I feel like if i try to stand up for myself to my family it won't end well but if i don't then i think that my own mental health will continue to go down hill. I don't know how to deal with this and I hate confrontation but I can't continue to deal with life like this. Sorry for the long message!

Sincerely

N.F.

Comments

Dr David A Strawbridge (not verified) says...

Don't feel like you need to pretend anything. Just be yourself. Whatever that self is. At your age your image and ego are changing and so your parents may just sense a lack of continuity. And that's just fine. Sometimes it takes a lifetime to find out who you are. Most importantly, stop judging yourself. Just relax and enjoy the ride. 

N.F. says...

Thanks Dr StrawBridge! Nice to know people listen!

DeeM (not verified) says...

Hi N.F.,

17 is a hard place to be, especially in a family that sees your personality as defective rather than having its own beauty. Keep learning about your personality and how to thrive in the world and find a way to go off to school. But don't go there to just get away from your family, go with a goal of finding out how to support yourself in this world and still stay true to yourself. With this personality type, there's a chance that what makes you happy won't make you a ton of money. That's only a problem if you get yourself into debt so you need to make a ton of money to stay afloat. It's hard to believe now, but when you do find what makes you happy, most likely your parents will come to accept you. They're still growing and learning as well. Most parents want their kids to be happy, they're often just caught up in their own issues that get in the way of realizing that. Good luck to you.

Jennifer (not verified) says...

Find some ways to express yourself that are not confronting or shocking, like through art or poetry, things you can share with your family to let them see who you are. Find some quotes that suit you and print and post them in your room, on your bedroom door, etc. Discover some interests, hobbies, college majors, business ventures that appeal to you and pour into them until you find what you love and could be passionate about. Share those dreams with them. When you’re interacting with them, be open and see if you can find something to enjoy. Lighten up. Stop seeing yourself as so different and someone who doesn’t fit in this family, but as someone different, yes, and who brings some great things to the table in this family—whatever you believe your strengths are. Determine your strengths and concentrate more on those and shining in your own ways. Be a light into your world instead of trying to gain acceptance. The acceptance will come.

Melonie (not verified) says...

As an infp i would say its most important that you learn how you personally need to deal without outside expectations in relevance to making yourself happy in life. No one should be choosing your goals but you. How to reach those goals as best you can? Its still up to you to find advice you trust abd are comfortable with. And aside from all this i promise the rest is not gonna be important in the long run. So ask yourself, why is making me sweat today? Should i let it?

A.W. (not verified) says...

Hi, N.F. 
I have a feeling that, since you are an INFP as well, you share my love of writing and poems. Specifically, I write my own music, stories, poems, and even characters and worlds. If you need a place to start standing up, use writing as a platform to push yourself in that direction. INFP are inherently more skilled in written communication than in verbal. so use that to your advantage. Write a story about standing up and doing what you believe is right. write a story about YOUR life, then have your family read it. That's just my suggestion, though. Everyone else here has way better ideas than I do, so maybe take it with a grain of salt! Hope this helps.

-A.W.

AnotherINFP (not verified) says...

Hello N. F.

I've been where you are before. Both with my family wanting me to get out and do things but also wanting me to stay home, as well as in not being able to accept certain things about me and what I wanted for my life.

I also, like you, hate conflict. But let me tell you this: there's no replacement for your sanity. And unfortunately there's no easy way around it - you have to sit them down and talk to them about it.

Just don't do what I did and expect them to understand or accept everything right away! Humans are humans. We are all flawed. It may take only one explanation...or it may take weeks, or it may take years. Just be prepared and be ready to explain your needs to them more than once. Don't be disheartened. After all, they are only human. So if they don't understand, or they don't accept, don't take it too hard, and forgive them.

You are a kind, well-meaning person for thinking of their desires, but keep a couple of things in your life that no one can dictate but you.

But if there's only one thing that you take from this message, I hope it's this most important one: you are just as important, your dreams and hopes are just as worth accomplishing, and you are just as wonderful and precious an existence and a life as anyone else. Please NEVER forget that, and remember that it is important to ACTIVELY tell yourself this, and ACTIVELY believe it everyday. Write it on you wall if you have to. Just expose yourself to this belief everyday. 

I wish you the best of luck. I believe in you. 

Sincerely, 

Another INFP

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