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5 Things Every INFJ Must Do When They're Faced With Emotional Numbness

The Best Solutions to INFJ Emotional Paralysis

For being the extroverted feeler personality type that is considered rather distant and possibly even avoidant of their emotions at times, there’s no doubt that when the INFJ does finally feel those hidden negative feelings, it can become seriously overwhelming at times. So, how does it get to the point of feeling out of control and what can they do about it?

1. Stop Mistaking Emotional Numbness for Strength

If you’re an INFJ yourself, you’re probably thinking to yourself, ‘Emotional overflow? Not me.. Heck I can’t remember the last time I felt my own emotions..’ Well, unfortunately, as much as it may be the simple fact of their extroverted feeling function making it difficult for them to reflect on how they’re personally feeling..

That’s certainly not always the case. In fact, when there comes a time when personal emotions are expected to be present and instead it’s replaced with a feeling of sheer numbness, you probably have a case of emotional overflow that’s too shy to surface.

Or rather, being subconsciously buried from their conscious mind. The INFJ brain has an unbelievable ability to defer stress in different ways to make their foreign emotions easier to manage and process, and this is exactly what happens when they can’t find the necessary feelings to feel.

And while it may work momentarily by allowing them to seemingly dodge negativity, there's still an underlying lingering of something not feeling quite right. The most challenging part is that this numbness gives the INFJ the perceived strength to get through tough times, when in reality, avoiding feelings, intentionally or unintentionally isn’t strength at all.

2. Experiment With Emotional Outlets

So.. if the INFJ unintentionally avoids the surges of negative emotions that come with non-ideal personal experiences how are they supposed to recognize their silent presence? This is where having a few emotional outlets that truly resonate with them can make all the difference.

The key is to practice these emotional venting tactics before all hell breaks loose. In fact, anyone could benefit from having a few go-to strategies for expressing emotion in a healthy way. Yet, for the INFJ who struggles with both identifying them and expressing them, it’s helpful to utilize these practices when things should be getting overwhelming, even if that’s not how they feel at all.

However, the next challenge comes with avoiding bringing other people into it, or relying on other people to be their emotional venting system - as so many people rely on them for. While this may work for some, INFJs can’t fathom burdening someone else with how they feel, nevermind finding the proper words to express it.

This is why even professional therapy can be a challenging option. Instead, taking an intuitive and introverted approach is much more likely to be something they feel they can stick to. We’ve said it here before and we’ll say it again.. Journaling is the end all be all of balanced emotional health for the INFJ type.

Whether it’s free-writing, spiritual scripting for the future, writing a letter to a non-existent person, or even challenging themselves to writing 5-10 words of the most accurate terms that could describe how they ‘should’ be feeling can spark an emotional out pore that just may save them from that overwhelmed or numb state of mind.

3. Follow Any Physical Emotional Cues

Where exactly do these emotions go when they’re technically present, but not within the INFJ’s conscious grounds? Well, according to a 2013 study led by a team of biomedical engineers in Finland, different emotions are stored in various parts of the body.

Throughout the study they discovered that emotions such as anger, fear and anxiety showed up in the chest and upper body. This contributes to unexplained symptoms such a muscle tightness in the neck and shoulders as a clear indication that a person is physically guarding themselves from unpleasant feelings through unnaturally rigid posture.

This may explain why people are known to have emotional outbursts post chiropractic adjustments or deep-stretching yoga sessions. Actually, these are the emotional out-pores that INFJ’s must take advantage of inorder to maintain a proper emotional equilibrium.

While it may be rare, when the INFJ does become overtaken with emotion, including the physical reactions that come with it - it’s important that they don’t ignore them.

Since there are very few cues that allow the INFJ to fully understand where they’re at on an inner level, simple bodily cues such as lethargy, heaviness in the chest, unexplained back or neck aches, or even sudden discharges of tears shouldn’t be overlooked or held back.

In fact, Harvard Health and many other sources claim through their own studies that tears themselves contain stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, and once shed, can leave the person with heightened feel-good hormones such as oxytocin and endorphins. So.. cry it out my fellow INFJ.. even if it feels out of character.

4. Ensure Extroverted Sensing is Well-maintained and Developed

On the topic of physical emotional cues, INFJs who feel emotionally and mentally numb to potentially negative situations should make it a point to play around with the physical world around them. While physical movement is good for everyone, it can be exceptionally life-changing for the INFJ in particular who holds an inferior extraverted sensing cognitive function.

Also referred to as the INFJ’s least-developed cognitive function, extroverted sensing allows the INFJ to focus on the outside world and all the uptake of information they retrieve through their 5 senses.

Although they’re known to be internal and intuitive-based beings, this function counteracts their tendency to ruminate in their own thoughts.. Or in this case, within their own numbness. By practicing utilizing their extroverted sensing function, the INFJ is given the necessary footing that allows them to take their mind off of other’s problems.

Not only that, but by spending some time in this outer-presence, the INFJ will find that it actually may even turn out to be a better approach when it comes to drawing conclusions. Who would have thought? So.. what does exercising this inferior function look like?

Well.. speaking of exercising, physical movement that requires concentration is one of the best methods. Not only does exercise such as various forms of strength training, yoga, and cardio release ‘happy’ chemicals in the brain, it also forces the INFJ to focus on the moment - something that often escapes them due to their internal focus.

Plus, having a physical ‘hobby’ so to speak, can provide that much needed routine to spark what they normally would be following if they weren’t feeling down in the dumps.

5. Decipher Which Emotions Are Theirs and and Which Aren’t

If there’s any type of overwhelming emotion the INFJ can resonate with, it would most likely be related to their extroverted feeling and unwavering empathy towards others. INFJs feel the negative emotions of other people as if it were their own. No matter how much they try and safe-guard their highly sensitive empathy, it’s in their innate capabilities to stand in other’s shoes in order to fully understand both their wins and their hardships.

This is where emotional overflow rather than numbness usually takes place. And this is also where INFJs need to utilize their undeveloped boundary-setting skills in order to properly process or possibly even escape these emotions that are not their own.

INFJs need to constantly decipher who their circulating feelings actually belong to, and learn to put them down when they’re not serving them in any educational way. Sure, it allows them a one-up when it comes to offering the ultimate advice and understanding to their loved ones..

But, if they end up being dragged down by the same stress, they aren’t able to provide the much needed strength required for the support they’re able to provide. Not only that, but if other’s pick up on this, they can end up feeling guilty for roping the INFJ into their problems - a guilt that INFJs know all too well.

This is where a brain-dump of emotions can really help this intuitive type to identify whose emotions are living rent-free within their subconscious, and wreaking havoc.