Few situations cause more fear to INFJs than being humiliated in public. We can handle sacrificing our own wellbeing for the sake of others, or even face the daily pressure of being called unworthy, but public humiliation is like the edge of a cliff for us. We sense that we’ll fall, but with someone laughing at us in addition. So the question is, why do we fear INFJ public humiliation so much?
The fear of INFJ public humiliation
INFJs can withstand a lot. We are known to be extremely resilient and can put up with a lot of sh*t before we even think of saying something. Yes, we are that understanding. But there’s one event that sparks a tsunami of emotions within our already busy mind and accepting heart. It’s when somebody publicly humiliates us.
INFJ public humiliation is a red line for us, and if a person crosses it, he or she might as well forget that we exist, because in our mind they are already gone. Few moments can bring more overwhelm, sadness, or the feeling that we are misunderstood than public humiliation. One emotion stands out, however. It’s fear.
When an INFJ is publicly humiliated, it’s like the ground itself has opened up beneath us and we have lost our footing. We can’t focus, we can’t think, hell, we can’t do anything, except hide somewhere if possible. It’s a truly terrible situation that I have experienced more times than I can count. Being INFJs, we’re scared of what will happen next, because we know we have lost control.
INFJ public humiliation is a terrifying event that will unfortunately happen to you at some point. But that doesn’t mean that you should stop pursuing your dream, or that you should go with the flow.
Why public humiliation devastates INFJs
The main reason why public humiliation is so devastating for INFJs is because we cannot handle criticism well, and because we are a people oriented personality. We value the opinions of others, and always try to find a constructive solution that will benefit everyone. When someone humiliates us in public, it goes against everything we believe in.
In these critical moments, we have two options: Try to defend ourselves, or withdraw. As conflict is out of the question due to our peacemaker nature, withdrawal sounds like a good idea. But there’s a catch. INFJs become overwhelmed by panic when we face public humiliation. This brings our rational way of thinking to a complete stop.
When you find yourself experiencing INFJ public humiliation, there are two things you need to remember. First, it’s most likely that you haven’t done anything wrong. Second, you need to stay calm and don’t engage yourself in any arguments. Don’t get me wrong, you should always stand up for what you believe in. But INFJs have a gentle heart that only knows about understanding, respect, and acceptance.
A constructive response could be a good solution. I know how difficult this may sound, but a public humiliation is also a chance to learn. It will show that you’re actually doing a good job. Behind the scenes of that unpleasant moment, you’ll see that the instigator was motivated by jealousy and envy. You are unique and genuine, and this is why some people will never understand INFJs.
My public humiliation nightmare
The most difficult anxiety attack I ever had happened at the beginning of 2016. (If you struggle with anxiety, I recently wrote an article on how to manage INFJ anxiety and stress. You can access it when you join the new INFJ forum).
What was to be just an ordinary day at work turned into a living nightmare. My work superior publicly humiliated me in front of my coworkers.
When I got home, my hands started shaking, and self-sabotaging thoughts filled my mind. I decided to quit my job that same day and cried the entire evening. Thoughts such as: “Where will I live, what will I say to my family, how will I fulfill my dreams?” occupied my INFJ brain.
I started to panic, couldn’t focus or think, and it became obvious that I was in a deeply anxious state. “What now?” I wondered. I believe you’ve asked yourself the same question. But there’s a way of thinking that made all the difference with me when I experienced public humiliation.
What am I supposed to do?
There’s no magical formula to avoid being humiliated in public, but there’s one thing that you can do to face the aftermath. Establish boundaries. I know, easier said than done. But the thing is, you are in control of your life, no one else. If an INFJ public humiliation happens, decide that you will not allow it to break you.
Cry it out when you come home if you have to, be angry at yourself, let it all out. But get up, and don’t stop. Being humiliated in public is something all INFJs fear, including myself.
We INFJs are not the giving up type, never were. So you see, even the darkest fear can have the brightest result.
In a world that constantly forces you to blend in, you’re that wild flower that grows from a roadside crack, rather than a predictable garden. This is why you’ll face INFJ public humiliation at some point, but you know what? The flower is always looking at the sun, never the garden. So keep facing the sun my fellow INFJs and be who you are, no matter what anyone else tells you!
A happy ending to my anxiety nightmare
What if I told you that I found who I want to be on the very same day when I was publicly humiliated by my superior? Who knows what would have happened if I hadn’t had that highly unpleasant moment that made me re-think what I want to do in life. I am deeply grateful for it, despite the fact that it hurt like hell.
Have you ever been humiliated in public my fellow INFJ? Feel free and safe to share your thoughts and experiences here, no one will judge or mock you in this safe, understanding space. ☺
P.S. The much anticipated new and vastly improved INFJ Forum is open! This forum has so many amazing features, including private messaging, member generated blog posts, easy image and video embedding, and so much more. It is the place for INFJs to connect and be inspired in a space that’s 100% private. You also gain access to resources that we don’t share publicly, such as recordings of all our past INFJam webinars, member only online events, and our INFJ Relationship Guide. Go here to check out the new INFJ Forum.