Advice for the Over-Extended

I’m now in a group on Facebook for people who fall in the INFJ spectrum of the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The indicator is an interesting way to learn more about yourself or the people around you.

I fall into INFJ, which stands for Introversion, Intuition, Judging, and Feeling.

Every time I take the test, I always come out INFJ. This is a screenshot of my most recent results. (The only bit I find interesting is that I would have thought my intuition score would be higher. Otherwise, it’s spot on.)


If you’d like to learn more about you, you can take the official online assessment (for a fee), or you can take this free personality test that is based on the MBTI. Also, Thought Catalog has published a helpful article called “Here Is The Top ‘Love Language’ For Each Myers-Briggs Personality Type“. (This here link goes directly to INFJ.) This can help you understand both what you need and what your partners/friends/close relationships need.

I am writing this post because us INFJs feel deeply and thus are easily hurt. We over-extend ourselves, and we want to help, even at our detriment. And someone in my group asked “How do I stop doing this?”

This is my answer (which may be of help to many of my readers, even if you aren’t INFJ) (slightly expanded):

First, take time for you. MAKE time for you. Take care of yourself, or you will not be able to take care of others.

Clearly, my body and #InvisibleIllnesses has made this a priority for me. I fight against it, but I’m trying to learn. I can’t function if I don’t rest, or take care of my needs first. I can’t do anyone any good at all if my body just flat-out shuts down because I’ve done too much.

Second, learn to say no. This is difficult. You want, with all your heart, to help anyone who needs it and who can use it and who you can help. STOP. Most people don’t want your help. Only give of yourself to those who actually want it.

Third. A lot of times, us INFJs tend to be strong, smart, people who get shut out because we come on too strong with our knowledge, experience, and desire to help.

Learn how to not necessarily change your behavior, but change your language and how you approach different people. You can still be strong, and still stick to your character, but if you learn to talk to people in their language (and by “language”, I don’t mean “English”; I mean the words that speak to them, the mores {that’s “more-EHZ”} they are comfortable with, etc.), they will respond to you better.

Fourth. Control. Learn to let things go. This is hard. It’s all hard. Learn to “Pick your battles”. Learn where you need to push, and where you need to … let it roll off your back. Same with perfectionism.

Fifth. You take too much initiative? Same thing. Look where you are REALLY really REALLY needed, and where something REALLY REALLY needs doing, and focus there. Let the other things go. Even if it galls you.

And finally. Journal. All the things you are NOT doing in the above, write it all out. For you. This is a fabulous way to get things out of your system.

All of the above advice I’ve had to learn, the hard way. I know it’s insanely difficult to implement any of these things. Just remember – one baby step at a time.


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About dSavannah

~ #disabled #spoonie fighting numerous, chronic, painful #InvisibleIllnesses ~ also #wife #feminist #ally #advocate #papyrophiliac #DogCatTurtleWrangler
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2 Responses to Advice for the Over-Extended

  1. Pamela says:

    Thank you from a fellow INFJ. This is a really good reminder to those of us that can sometimes come across as too big for our boots whilst being incredibly sensitive to people’s reactions. My constant reminder to myself that I have in my diary is that I am enough (I hope). Have a good week and be kind to yourself (I know you know that but I can’t help myself).

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