INFJs feel guilty all the time. No matter what we say or do, INFJs always feel like we could have done more. It’s an endless cycle of self-doubt combined with perfectionism that creates a messy conundrum. Saying this, I have a confession to make.
I feel guilty all the time
A couple of days ago I had a heart-to-heart talk with my best friend. I don’t open up to people lightly, even when they’re my close friends. But as an INFJ, I get overwhelmed sometimes, and I need to vent my emotions.
There’s nothing wrong with venting to our bestie, right? But this time there was a problem. A couple of minutes after the conversation with my dear friend, I immediately started to feel a drowning pressure that only meant one thing.
Guilt had arrived. I felt bad for opening up knowing that she was going through a difficult time, too. The thought of apologizing entered my INFJ brain at least a hundred times, but it was too late. I was already feeling guilty and sad.
You see, guilt is like a mosquito for an INFJ. It will continue to bother us relentlessly until we open the window and let it out. It will make us doubt everything we say, and think about it the point of obsession. Nothing will make sense until we decide to face it head on.
That’s why I want to show you three easy, but ridiculously effective ways to conquer guilt and regain confidence as an INFJ. I know how painful this topic can be for us, but you’ll feel better after reading these tips.
3 Ways To Conquer Guilt And Regain Self-Confidence
It’s natural for an INFJ to worry about how others see our words and actions. But you can’t hold yourself responsible for how they interpret them. In your heart, you know you mean well, and that’s all the matters. Guilt is not something an INFJ willingly creates. It comes from thinking that we said or did something wrong in the eyes of others.
Many INFJs believe it’s our job to please others. We start feeling guilty when we don’t meet other people’s expectations. You are not what you do, and the only measurement of your being is how you feel from within. Gently accept the fact that you can only control yourself, not how others will react.
3. Stop Explaining
The only person to whom you need to justify your actions is the same one you see when you look yourself in the mirror. People who love you will never ask you to explain yourself. Guilt has a funny way of making INFJs explain everything to everyone. But you only need to seek approval from yourself; no one else can give it to you.
Confidence is not something you get by watching motivational videos or reading inspiring posters. It manifests when an INFJ realizes that guilt is not real. Your belief in your own capabilities develops when you accept that guilt may knock on the door, but you refuse to allow it in.
Confidence is your natural state
Do you have any idea the amount of courage it takes to face guilt as an INFJ and decide to regain confidence? Happiness is not just about having a grand job, finding your soulmate, or discovering your purpose. Okay, I admit it, knowing your purpose really makes a difference in the life of an INFJ.
The key is that you need to stop feeling guilty for what you can’t control. I know for many INFJs including myself, this is a difficult mission. But just think about all the energy you waste on worrying, when you could invest it in, say, having a coffee with your best friend.
Being an INFJ like you, I know how much guilt hurts. However, with some practice and support from likeminded people, you can conquer it. I promise it will be worth it. ☺
What about you?
What do you think about guilt my fellow INFJs? Feel free to share your thoughts, I would love to hear from you!
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I am so grateful for this resource you guys have created for us INFJs. It’s a tremendous challenge to be so…unique among people (only 1-3 percent of the population…in a big huge world). Your articles ALWAYS make me think further out then I might on my own.
For instance: Guilt. Is it an emotion? Is it like love, fear…hate…shame? These all have a feel to them. They also trigger biological responses.
Shame, for instance, triggers a tightening in the in gut, a blush to the face (blood profusion to the face that people can see) and perfuse sweating of the brow (and pits)…which is also noticeable. If it’s noticeable, then it communicates.
Guilt: Can’t look someone in the eye, avoid contact…withdraw and isolate…speech pattern changes. When we think about why we feel guilt, we feel shame (and then the physiological response…over and over and over as many times as we think about it).
But is it an emotion…guilt? How do we control our emotions? Without emotion…well, people without emotion (truly without) are clinically sociopathic. They have no inhibition from doing what the mind can conceive. In an evil person…it is very destructive.
Guilt is not a bad thing because it has a role, but it definitely feels awful…like shame, hate and anger. But normal people feel these. INFJs…we feel them more acutely, and so…here is our source for real live empathy. It is our superpower…empathy.
I am so glad there is a site like this to help people navigate this. Emotions: INJFs are so sensitive because our emotions are so acute. I’m so glad we have a place to work with them in a positive and constructive way. Imagine: No emotions! (Cringe).
Thank you so much Ray for your kind, supportive words, and for sharing your thoughts about this. 🙂
Great insights and good food for thought for us fellow INFJ’s. Does guilt prevent forward movement for us who measure every single thought we have, every action we take only to then question if it’s the right one. Let’s also address all those what if’s floating around in our brains daily? Yes, guilt plays a role but more vital to or reason for existing is our ever constant yearning to know what our actual soul purpose is. I can’t seem to get rid of my internal critical analytical judge that tosses every idea upside down and around a hundred times before discerning if it’s valid, sound or doable. Decision making without guilt is difficult for us INFJ’s – let’s tslk about how to deal with that conendrum.
Without Guilt…without knowing it intimately…without knowing its devastating holistic impact on myself, I would not recognize it in another. Without experiencing how to move through it, I would have no resource to share with another to help them move through it AND QUICKLY!
It’s been incredibly helpful in my hospice practice…being an INFJ that has felt guilt, shame…love, hate…fear, and felt them so acutely…and suffered. I know suffering, and because of my orientation and life direction, I can use ALL OF IT to help people in a meaningful way.
Like I said, it is SUPER GOOD that there is a place like this site that can excelarate people through a process that other wise takes a life time to figure out. Ironically, had I not done this for myself, I would not have gained my empathic skill for the particular kind of work I’ve done.
…And that said and looking back (without regret)…I think I would have done just about anything to have been able to move through the learning curve more quickly…maybe avoided some periods of shutdown and paralysis and come further in life without being bogged down in time spent.
So…again…Super glad you guys are here!
I love this post! I had the same revelation a week ago that I always try to justify every decision I make to the outside world while I really know that every decision I make is from a good heart, so I don’t need to prove that to anyone else. Thought it was just me but now I realise it’s another INFJ thing. Thanks for writing this 🙂
You are most welcome Noa! Glad the article resonated with you, and thank you for sharing your thoughts, as well as your kind words. 🙂
Yes! I can totally relate to the guilt!! I won’t even use my jetted bathtub because I feel guilty about using so much water just for me….
It’s very helpful, but I have a very much of guild about my past relationship which I couldn’t overcome, I have always been in the guily of let go and not trying too hard. Very much over think and couldn’t make any new relationship. Always in a self obsessed
Glad to hear you find the article helpful, Mohamed. I understand you when it comes to overthinking about guilt.
I cannot remember NOT feeling guilty! I will even take responsibility when it is not my doing. I am an overthinker and will go over and over conversations I have had. I feel the need to over explain when I feel misunderstood and find this most painful. The more I explain the stranger I feel but yet I still do this. This shows I care far too much what others think of me; that I desperately want to do everything correctly. This is impossible as nobody is perfect.
Thanks Phoenicia! 🙂 I can fully understand and relate with what you wrote here. You’re right, no one is perfect, and we care so much that we want to do everything correctly and not hurt anyone.
I am exactly the same way! It drives me crazy sometimes.
Thank you such much for this article, it’s so nice to finally feel understood!
You are so welcome, Alice! Glad to hear the article resonated with you. 🙂
I just found this through Pinterest and I want to thank you for this very timely perspective. I have been wracked with guilt and frustration for over a year and while reading your words I came to a realization that, I feel, will improve my days to come. THANK YOU FOR YOUR WORDS.
You are most welcome, Ona! So glad you found us! You are not alone. 🙂
Spot on. Thank you for this.
Thanks Cindy! You are most welcome. 🙂
wow, this is soooo relatable to me. i think i am the only one who is continuosly struggling with this feeling. but now i know, this is common trait of my INFJ ‘tribe’. ah, i am so relief and thankful. thank you for writing this. please, keep writing and sharing :’)
Thanks so much, Yoeels! You are not alone, and I thank you once more for your kind, understanding words. 🙂
I have read this blog and found in very informative. I’m in a search of relevant information from long time but didn’t found, thanks for posting this.
Thank you so much for your kind words, Nisha! I’m glad you like the article. 🙂
I stumbled upon this article at the most appropriate time. All I can say is thanks for this. I’ve never fully understood the feeling until now – It’s guilt. It’s all guilt. Appreciate this. First blog I’ll ever be following. Looking forward to binging all your articles.
I’m so happy you found this article when you needed it, Sara. 🙂 Thank you so much for your kind words, I’m glad to hear you will follow us now!
I struggle a lot with this too.
I hear you, Maame… It’s definitely not easy…
I really needed to hear this, lately I have been living in the “guilt” mindset not knowing there was any other way. Thank you ♡
You are so welcome, Jessica! 🙂 I’m so glad you found it when you needed it the most. 🙂
I am thankful I found your site!