Erik Thor

Are INFJs Brilliant or Delusional?

5 minutes read

The capacity for an INFJ to see the world in its most ideal form has a dark side: it can also drive delusions and wishful thinking. INFJs live in the world of ideas, where everything is a theory, and nothing can be truly proven. This is our domain. We approach ideas both with fascination and a sense of responsibility, seeing it as our duty to polish and bring these ideas to fruition in the real world, and in their most true form.

Ideas are not just curious, but also dangerous. INFJs live in a world that is entirely subjective and completely removed from objective data, observation, or convention. Because this world is subjective, our greatest enemy is our own bias. INFJs can have their judgement clouded and how they perceive their ideas depends on their mood and emotional well being. That means an unhealthy INFJ can hold completely warped ideas about life, morality, and relationships.

Over my life I have been reminded many times that I cannot fully trust my mind or the sometimes miraculous insight that is Introverted iNtuition. Yes, in times of anger, grief or pain, I can find myself rewriting my past, coming up with unhealthy, delusional ideas about what the relationship was. During conflict, friends can become dark, toxic narcissists, and during anxiety, the world outside can be seen as manipulative or inauthentic. So what can you do about this tendency as an INFJ?

How can you avoid your emotions from blurring out the world of ideas or keeping you from seeing the ideas as they really are in their most pure form?

How can you avoid bias and subjectivity?

What can you do to combat delusions or unhealthy theories or conspiratorial thinking?

Embracing the world of ideas

While I have a great capacity to see the world originally and to visually conjure up an idea in my head about the future, the unknown, or what could be, I have also noticed that I have a fascinating ability to rewrite my past and my history and to wishfully paint a situation or a relationship in whatever light I want it to have.

The INFJ is the most natural form of Philosopher. Unlike the INTP personality type, the INFJ can entertain speculative, almost fairy tale like concepts, without need for science or data to back up their observations. The INFJ is not a natural scientist, though they may work in such careers, trying to prove their ideas or theories are correct. Instead, the starting point is original thoughts and observations about the world, life, death, and our existance.

How to embrace the world of Intuition

  1. Trust your intuition

    The first step to avoiding delusions I believe is to give yourself fully to the world of ideas and letting your ideas and intuition guide you fully. Do not distrust your intuition, and do not fear the creative or intellectual process. Let yourself explore ideas fully and in as rich depth as possible. You want to embrace the world of ideas because this is your home domain and where you are at your best.

  2. Be mindful of your feelings

    Make note of what you are feeling and what you are experiencing, and note how your feelings can change how you perceive a situation. Your emotions are information and when you can recognise anger, anxiety, or shame in yourself, you can also notice how these emotions affect you.

  3. Do not attempt to rationalise away ideas

    Before you start criticizing yourself or questioning your own thoughts or your own mind, first acknolwedge it. Believe in your intelligence and your ideas. You may not be able to explain exactly how you know something, but at least trust in that you are on the right track and that you are starting to see something. It may not be the full answer, but it can be an important start.

How Feelings Can Transform The World Of Ideas

I want to address emotions and show you exactly how emotions can transform your perspective and keep you from seeing things clearly.

Firstly, unresolved, hidden anger can cause your ideas to become more flat. You may simplify or stereotype your own ideas, seeing them only in their most basic form. When you avoid resolving your anger, it causes your ideas to lose their depth. Your inuition becomes something primitive rather than something rich.

Secondly, unresolved shame can cause you to misjudge the importance of an idea. You may either exaggerate an idea or make it something bolder, bigger, or more important than what it is. You may otherwise dismiss your ideas, seeing them as stupid, small, or unimportant.

Thirdly, anxiety can cause ideas to feel too complex and hard to comprehend. When under anxiety, your ideas seem impossible, complicated, and overwhelming. You do not know where to begin or where to start, and you do not feel capable of holding or expressing your ideas fully.

Lastly, we should talk about fear. Fear can cause you to ignore or avoid seeing or recognising ideas outright. You will deny their very existance, or run from a realisation or perspective that you can vaguely feel is there.

Emotions can work together or can work in many different ways, but this should already get you set to start understanding things more clearly.

Avoiding delusions as an INFJ

The biggest delusions I can recognise in INFJs are:

Delusions of grandeur, or the feeling that you are burdened with glorious purpose. You are too original to be understood by the world, and people will never get your ideas or how important you are to the world.

Delusions of insignificance, or the feeling that you are too stupid, too incompetent, to realise your ideas and that you do not have what it takes to be worthy of the perspective or the thoughts that you have.

Many INFJs switch back and forth between these two, and struggle with both at the same time. This can be a result of a lack of self-esteem.

Paranoia, or the feeling that the world is against you, and that the world is full of toxic narcissists that are out to use you or to take advantage of you.

Conspiracy theories, also a form of paranoia, where we read in great, complex chains that require massive coordination, global lies and deceit, and where the world, and any authority is deemed untrustworthy, manipulative, and "in on" a big dark secret.

If you want to know if something is a delusion or truth, just ask yourself if the root of these ideas are the ideas themselves, or your emotions. Are you seeing the world clearly, and are you able to detach from your own feelings to see the situation accurately? Or are you in pain, grief, or anger, conjuring or drawing up a plausible explanation to explain why you are feeling a certain way?

You want to always move from intellect to emotion, to logic, and to action, never from action, to logic, to emotion, to intellect. Start with Introverted iNtuition first, always, and then Extroverted Feeling, then Introverted Thinking, and lastly Extroverted Sensing.

What are your experiences with Introverted iNtuition, do you sometimes feel delusional, and what are your tips to maintain an accurate grasp of life and the universe?

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