Have you ever said any of these things? Or thought them?
No one understands me.
Why doesn't anyone understand what I'm saying?
Why does everyone else seem to have friends except for me?
I'm so alone.
I know I've thought these at various times. As I'm sure you've heard, there's an oft-touted statistic that INFJs make up less than 1-2% of the population. Learning that statistic probably brought a sense of understanding about your life. You might've even felt a little smug knowing you were so...rare. A special snowflake. A unicorn. Everyone likes to feel special and unique. Unless it means you're completely alone. The reality of experiencing the world in a way that very few people understand is not all that glamorous when you're struggling, is it?
If you've ever felt so alone and like no one understood you, I don't want to downplay your reality. Today, though, I do want to challenge your beliefs for a bit. Are you ready for it? If not, feel free to get back to whatever it was you were doing before you started reading this blog post.
Still with me? Ok, great! Here we go...
I've had the opportunity to talk with other INFJs who feel very alone. While trying to encourage them, I've expressed that they aren't alone. You're probably not surprised that sometimes my words don't have the intended impact.
When you're told you're not alone, it's easy to justify exactly WHY you are, in fact, alone.
In one case, they told me I don't understand their situation or daily struggles. They said it's easy for me to say they aren't "alone." I didn't mean they're not physically alone and experiencing deep loneliness. My desire was that they knew there are others who may understand. If you consider some of the more painful experiences humans can have, I've probably been through them. I won't go into details here (maybe another time), and I don't say this to gain sympathy or pity. I express this to say that maybe, just maybe, someone can relate.
I can't fault these INFJs for their initial response. I've been there. 100%. In the past, I didn't accept the idea that someone might understand me or what I was going through. I claimed and held tight to the "less than 2%" stat as my mantra. I viewed my struggles as unique.
Of course you're unique in that no one else has had your exact combinations of experiences or daily struggles. That's part of what makes you, you! You and I share a personality type, which means we interact with the world and others in very similar ways. But of course we're not the same person. That's something to celebrate!
The problem is when we get stuck in the "I'm so unique no one could possibly get me or know what I'm going through" thought pattern. If you're struggling with this, let me ask you a question:
Are you open to the possibility that you could be understood?
Are you open to the idea that you may be lonely (even to the extreme), but that you're not actually "alone"? There are other INFJs out there who crave connection with someone who might understand them. If you can't think of anyone else...I'm here! I see you. I'd love to hear from you, especially if you're struggling with loneliness.
A reader of The INFJ Life recently commented,
And for the first time in YEARS, I find myself not feeling totally alone anymore. Strange thing is: since I embraced those peculiar parts of me, fellow INFJs and also INFPs seem to no longer be invisible to me. I attract them now, and that's huge! (Daisy De Boevere, Virtual Professional, DigiDees)
It's so true. You can attract others in ways you've never experienced before. You have to believe it's possible, and you have to believe you're worth it, peculiar parts and all.
Challenge your beliefs today, ok? What have you told yourself for so long that it's ingrained in your mind? Take some time today to challenge that belief.
Is it that you're alone?
Is it that you can't do something?
Is it that whatever your current situation is, it'll never change?
If you've recently challenged a belief and emerged successful on the other side, comment below and let me know! I want to celebrate with you.
Remember—no matter what you experience today, you're worthy of love and understanding.