Jennifer Soldner INFJ
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The Empathic Parent

Intense Emotions of Parenting


As an empathic parent, it is easy to find yourself drained and struggling with emotional separation day in and day out. Children have very little control over their emotional state and, while some may find their tantrum over receiving the red cup instead of the blue one as tedious and unimportant, the empathic parent feels the genuine level of emotion this situation will bring up in their child, leaving them to feel the emotional roller coaster full force all day long.

Parenting for a non-empath is considered one of the hardest jobs out there from an emotional point of view, from infancy all the way through the hormonal teen years. Unlike most intense situations, those involving your child usually do not allow you the chance to seek solitude. For the empathic parent, this emotionally challenging calling is amplified tenfold.  Read More...

Own Your Place

Put yourself first. Seriously. Just do it. You have permission, you have the *right* to put yourself first. Can you imagine a world where everyone put themselves first?

I think most conjure up this image of a large mass of individuals stomping over others to get to the top with no regard for anyone else's emotions, wants or needs. We think that if we put ourselves first then we are only contributing to a narcissistic decaying society. We worry that putting ourselves first in any capacity will most assuredly fuel the selfishness of the world.

But let's look at the reality instead. Let's look at our emotions and what we are putting out into the world. Let's pause for a moment and consider these feelings we carry in regards to putting ourselves first.

We fear putting ourselves first. Fear. We consider this fear healthy because it keeps the bad 'in check.' But fear is never healthy. If fear is required to keep any negative thing from happening, then it is for nothing because fear *is* the negative thing happening.

We think we will become one of those selfish people. But consider what we are saying as we believe that. Look at the judgment we are putting out towards others in order to believe that. When you think about a selfish or narcissistic person, does a particular image come to mind? Does a specific person come to mind? By looking at their actions and behavior in a negative light, you are putting that negativity out there. You are saying that they are less than. Less than good. Less than LOVE. And when you believe that another human being can be less than love, you believe you too can be less than love and so you will be.

We believe that putting ourselves first means that someone else has to come in last or at least second, and no one wants to be second. So what happens instead is that you put someone else first. When you do this, where do you fall? You certainly cannot fall in first. You are left hoping that someone will put you first. You are *giving away* your place, your rightful place. In your active attempt to make sure no one comes in second, you are ensuring that you will always come in second.

Now consider a world where everyone puts themselves first. There is no fear. No worry. No judgment. We are all owning our own power and holding onto our rightful place: FIRST PLACE. If everyone puts themselves first, *everyone* gets to come in first and no one is left second, third or last. Everyone gets to be in the same place, equal, balanced and one with everyone else.

So for your sake, for the sake of every other individual who *deserves* to come first, put yourself first. When you put yourself first, you give everyone else permission to do the same.

The Misunderstood INFJ: Making Real Connections

Does this sound like you?
I have been learning all I can about being an INFJ and it is so relieving to know I am not crazy!  But as I am learning more about myself, I want to help other people understand me too.  Whenever I explain it, it seems like they just don't get it or they shrug me off.  They seem to think they know me, but I still feel so misunderstood.  How can I get them to understand?
If you have found yourself thinking these thoughts or thoughts like this, then allow me to begin by offering you a small amount of peace.  I understand.  Many of my readers understand.  A large chunk of the INFJ population understands.

It is incredibly frustrating, and even lonely, to come across a life-changing discovery that has your insides bouncing of the proverbial walls, your soul aching as it stretches to encompass the joy and excitement of each article or book you read, and no one around you even bats an eye.

Within you, you are screaming, I'm an INFJ!  I get it!  It all finally makes sense!

Meanwhile, on the outside you run to your family and friends and tell them your newly discovered type, only to be met with, "oh, that's neat" or even worse, "that stuff is no more accurate than a Sunday paper horoscope."

You slink off thinking, yet again, no one understands me.

I remember going through this same thing, wishing I could find anyone who could relate and who was interested in discussing Myers-Briggs until my face turned blue.

Somewhere deep down I thought that no one understood me because I didn't understand myself.  When I began to understand myself, I was confused that they still didn't.  Even if someone was interested enough in listening to me discuss it, I still struggled with being understood...really understood.

As I continued to research and learn about myself, spending time meditating and reflecting on who I really am, a strange thing began to happen.  I started to realize that I was less interested in making people understand me and more interested in understanding them.  I started to get really passionate about other Myers-Briggs personality types and shifted my focus to studying cognitive functions and, even better, observing people.  I watched ENFPs, ISTJs, INTPs, and more.  I learned what made them tick, how their minds worked.  But I learned something even bigger...

I didn't need to be understood.  I just needed to understand.

I needed to understand myself and I needed to understand those around me.  Once I reached that point, explaining myself to others no longer felt necessary.  If I could understand them, I could connect with them, and all I have ever really craved was connection.

How to Become Connected

First, you need to realize that you cannot understand anyone else or achieve any sort of deep connection unless you first understand yourself.  This goes beyond reading a description or two online.  You need to submerge yourself in yourself.  Take some time every day just to know you.  Meditate, reflect, ask yourself questions, look at yourself in a mirror.  Whatever it takes, connect deeply with you.

Working on yourself changes your perception of the world.  Looking into what your subconscious may be telling you, your paradigms, and your feelings.  Look beyond the day to day thoughts and really think.

Work on gaining self-acceptance and self-understanding.  Reading helps you feel less alone, as does connecting with someone who understands.  This helps you gain perspective that you are not as alone as your mind thinks you are and you are far, far from broken.

Once you begin to really know yourself, your desire to explain yourself to others will diminish.  You will start to see that they do not need to understand your magnificent inner world in order to connect with you.  You will start to look at them and yourself as human beings, connected on a deeper level, regardless of their ability to recognize that level.

You can see that piece inside of them that makes their heartbeat, makes their fingernails grow, makes their subconscious dream.  It is the same piece that is inside of you.  This connection is deeper than helping them understand your personality type or your gift of intuition or clairsentience.  It surpasses any need to explain or be understood.

Whenever you feel the longing to make someone else understand you, first look into yourself and strive to know yourself.  Connect with those who do understand you, whether it's other INFJs online or an empathic friend.  Then look to those around you and find that piece - that piece that doesn't need to be understood.

From their you can shift from feeling misunderstood to feeling truly connected.

I Define Me

For quite a while, I struggled through life. I was surrounded by abusive people, day in and day out. I was unaware of my empathic abilities. I was hyper-defensive and unnecessarily judgmental. I was angry and I took things personally.

After some intense life shifts paired with the realization that I am an empath, I continued to struggle. I was in this middle ground of self-awareness where things began to click, life started to make sense and I was recognizing who I was apart from how I spent a lifetime being defined. Yet, I was still affected by those defining me. On the inside I knew who I was. But on the outside, I still gave others the power to tell me what was true and what was not. Every encounter had me frazzled and filled with self-doubt. So instead, I just didn't want to speak to anyone.

I was self-aware and alone.

Through slowly gaining the courage to write about my struggles on the very public internet from the private cocoon of my home, I found others who were in the same boat. Those who had heard terms like "intuitive" and "empathic" and related, but who were too frightened to apply it to themselves. Hokey, fake, crazy, pseudo-science. Together, we worried about these labels. We worried if we accepted who we were, that these negative tags would come right along with it.

But an amazing thing happened when we all connected. We unknowingly gave one another the strength to work through the fears. We focused on the terms we would use to define ourselves and gave the negative labels less power.

Soon, I felt stronger. Rid of the abusive individuals who were so incessant on defining me and armed with the knowledge to recognize abusive language, I stood on my own. I spoke my truth. I told my story. I broke free of the mainstream, the narrow-minded and the judgments and I realized that the only one who can define me is me.

I am an empath. I am intuitive. I am a clairsentient. I am highly sensitive.

And no words that any other human being chooses to apply to me will ever change my truth. Some days I may falter and go back to believing that the definitions of others matter. But on those days, I hold fast, knowing my truth and knowing that I will always come back to it.

On Those Lonely Days

Some days are harder than others. Some days you feel so alone, wishing there was someone you could connect with. Someone who could understand how you are feeling without needing to say a word.

Empaths and intuitives view the world differently than others. Not better or worse, just different. On the difficult days, you can feel saddened that your lens is a different color than everyone else's. You long to connect with those like you but they seem nowhere to be found.

It is okay to allow yourself to feel sad on those days. Recognize your emotions, no matter how painful they are. Truly see them. Allow yourself to feel them, without judgment. Offer yourself the same compassion you would offer another who is suffering. Be kind to yourself.

Understand that emotions are fluid and, while you may feel alone today, you never know when a kindred spirit may emerge. Perhaps they are right there, a phone call or email away. And as soon as you have allowed yourself to process your sadness, the fog will clear and you will find one another. Give it time.

Fabricated Protection of the Superego

There are times when I get angry. Times when I am stubborn. Times when I am wrong. There are moments when I am selfish and unkind. There are areas in which I struggle. Things I attempt and fail...miserably. I am never the best and may sometimes even be the worst.

What makes these pieces of me even more difficult is when people call me out on them. My first response is to throw up walls built with anger. I feel attacked and want to lash out.

It is a normal response to someone pointing out your flaws. We all feel the need to protect ourselves. Each one of us deserves our love and protection, but oftentimes what we think we are protecting does not really exist. It is a fabrication of our mind. It is our superego. The piece that goes into overdrive whenever there is a supposed threat, no matter how irrational it may seem.

When we learn to recognize that what we are protecting is all in our minds, we realize that the things around us which seem to harm our superego are really of no importance at all. We can shift from defending ourselves from the unnecessary and put all our effort in loving and improving the necessary.

Not one of us is perfect, and seeing the flaws in another as well as having our own flaws pointed out to us fuels our superego, wasting our energy and derailing our focus.

Accept your imperfections - even go so far as to love your imperfections - and suddenly your superego shifts out of overdrive and you can learn to protect the true version of you. The one who deserves your protection, not the fabricated, unbalanced version of the superego.

Push the Bounds of Psychology

Have you read The Empathic INFJ? It is a book I really enjoyed writing as it steps outside of the normal perception of what it means to be an INFJ and takes the reader a little deeper. While being an Empath may not be a popular concept, it was important to me to push the boundaries of what is comfortable in Myers-Briggs terminology in order to help those who perceive the world differently feel a little less confused about their experiences.

If you are curious about what it means to be an Empath and are interested in stretching the bounds of how we view Myers-Briggs personality types, consider grabbing a copy today.

If you have all ready read the book, please consider taking a moment to leave a review on Amazon. It means so much to me to see what others think and experience while reading it and your positive words can help get the book in the hands of more people who need it.

I have come a long way since first learning my personality type and am finally at a place where I feel confident standing in my truth. I hope to continue to push the bounds of how we view MBTI and the "normal" psychological experience. Only by pushing outside of our comfort zone can we move forward in personal growth.

If you ever have any questions or have some confusion about the things which you see on this website, on my Facebook page or in my books, please feel free to shoot me a message. I love interacting with the like-minded and together we can build up one another and achieve a higher level of personal development!