The three reasons I think INFPs are lonely are:
1. We separate ourselves.
2. We exclude ourselves.
3. We refuse to be compared to others.
Part One was about how we separate ourselves. Part Two is about exclusion.
In my early 20’s, I was looking for Us people who thought our problems were what made us individuals. What I attracted were depressed, angry and angsty people who blamed society for our woes. I saw myself in them and when realized that this wasn’t who I wanted to be, I felt more alienated and alone than ever.
My attitude changed when I started dancing. By some fluke, I was a good dancer and people would say hi. Over time it became easier to talk to people who I would have avoided before. In talking to Them, I realized that they weren’t this amorphous blob of shallow compromise that I had projected on to Them. They were individuals going through their own struggles and dealing the best they knew how.
That’s when I became “accepting” of other people or so I’d thought. I kept my eye out for potential friends. My friendship was an exclusive club and only the like-minded need apply.
A boy goes to his mom and says, “I’m bored.” The mom replies, “Then you should stop being boring.”
This lesson applies in different variations. If I’m lonely, then I stop being alone.
In my early 20’s, I thought loneliness stemmed from feeling disconnected, and that disconnection was caused by having no people in my life who really understood me. So fixing my loneliness was about fixing the disconnection. I spent years finding people who understood me. However, when I did find a handful of people who I felt really got me, I still felt lonely.
It took me a decade before I realized that we don’t feel lonely because we’re disconnected. We feel lonely because we’ve made a habit of being alone. We can stand alone amongst other people. However, standing alone keeps us from connecting to those around us.
I was trying to fix the wrong problem. I was working on the disconnection when I should have been working on what kept me alone.