Monthly Archives: September 2010

The Care and Feeding of INFPs, part 3

Our OCD comes from over-thinking

INFPs think too much. We’re information gatherers. The strength of our Perception score determines how far into overdrive our secondary cognitive function of External Intution (Ne) runs. INFPs with high Perception scores get stuck in the “what if”. When we get stuck, the external doesn’t get processed by our Introverted Feeling (Fi) so we don’t move on.

In doing so, we lose touch with our Ideal and our Ideal Self. We start losing track of those things that we have built towards that ideal life we wanted. We start getting anxious that our tenuous grasp on our ideal life is slipping further away so we fall into OCD behavior.

For example, when I was in my early 20’s before I had a girlfriend and learned how to have balanced relationships, I would over-think situations meeting girls. Was this person a potential girlfriend and not just a friend? Was that an I-think-you’re-cool-smile or was that an I-wish-you-would-ask-me-out smile? What action I took depended on how I interpreted body language, word choice and all the minute details of all interactions. A brief phone call or a passing hello turned into hours of analysis later.

Ideally, I wanted girlfriend who loved and understood me. My over-thinking was causing that ideal to slip away. If she was the one, shouldn’t this entire process be natural and I shouldn’t be obsessing? The more I obsessed, the more un-ideal the situation was becoming. To lessen my anxiety, to stop thinking so much, I attempted to control my external environment by imposing order. I would be obsessive about washing dishes or putting books a certain way. A myriad of little quirks sprung out of nowhere all because I was over-thinking a relationship that didn’t even exist yet.