Here’s how you can make each day a little more bearable.
Heartbreak sucks — no matter who you are, no matter where you’re from.
It’s a universal feeling of pain, loss, and suffering. But for the INFP, one of the introverted Myers-Briggs personality types, the wrenching experience can be especially challenging. We feel both the good and the bad deeply. Compound that with our deep-seated idealism, and we’re destined for a rocky road to heartbreak recovery.
That said, there are some steps that all INFPs can take to work through this process and find peace again.
4 Tips for INFPs to Work Through Heartbreak
1. Set aside alone time.
First and foremost, schedule lots of alone time. As INFPs, our core nature is introverted, so we need time to recharge on a good day. But after a heartbreak, that alone time is going to be even more important. The days are taxing enough just surviving a romantic loss, so you will need extra space and time to process your relationship, and it’s best to do so in solitude.
That space lets you reflect upon and rationalize the events of your heartbreak. Whether it’s a new relationship that lasted a heady month, or someone you were convinced was “the one,” you need to be able to wrap your head around what happened, and understand how you feel.
I’m not saying you should go blow off life’s responsibilities, even though that may be all you want to do. I know the pain is crushing, and it feels as though your heart may be ripping out of your chest. I know you think it will never end. But it’s incredibly important to keep up with your life. Not only for the sake of adhering to your responsibility, but also because it will give you a distraction.
It’ll quickly become overwhelming if all you do is ruminate over heartbreak. We INFPs concoct our own private dream world to rationalize things, and this can become unhealthy. So instead, what I suggest is you go about your day’s responsibilities and instead devote most, if not all, of your free time to being alone so you can truly understand your feelings.
2. Find an ally.
Eventually, those long nights of solitude in your room will transform into ones of longing and loneliness. For INFPs, this may play into your newly concocted and romanticized story of your heartbreak, and it is tempting to let yourself burrow into the loneliness. And to some degree that’s helpful. But there will come a point when you need an ally.
If you’re anything like me, you won’t have told most, or any, of your friends about your recent break-up. Instead, you’ve ruminated and lamented in the darkness alone, for all beauty and color have seemed to drain from the world.
But the truth is, the color has drained because you let it, and having a friend by your side can help spark some inklings of joy and hope in the midst of your despair. Plus, you will eventually need a break from the loneliness, and this friend will be a sounding board and perhaps even a support system when you need it.
In my case, this was done in very small doses. I’m talking a simple text every few nights, saying, “I’m having a hard time tonight.” My particular friend would often just reply, “I’m here,” and that would be enough. The important part was that I knew I had somebody in this world in my court, and I could call on her when needed. Having a trusted friend to speak with, even if it’s not a big or long conversation, provides a break from the loneliness and helps you to further process your heartbreak.
3. Let yourself feel it.
INFPs tend to romanticize their partners — even the bad ones — so the end of a relationship can feel especially hard, but feel it you must. Go up to your room and cry. Sit in your car and cry. Wherever the place may be, let yourself be a mess, INFP. It will suck, and it will certainly hurt. But by letting yourself really feel out the heartbreak, you will speed up recovery.
What this has looked like for me is going up to my room at the end of the day, listening to slow country music, and staring at the wall until the sun sets. Then I just let it out.
If you instead try to always distract yourself or bury your emotions, you will begin accruing an emotional debt. The more emotions you stuff inside and put away, the more they will fill you up, and they will rear their ugly head. The importance of having a solid friend at the ready can’t be underestimated for this crucial third step. You can’t work through heartbreak by burying your feelings, but you also can’t sit in distress for weeks on end, feeling nothing but your feelings. That ally will help you strike a balance.
4. Pursue creative outlets.
Finally, after you’ve embraced all the visceral emotions from the previous step, find a creative outlet to channel those emotions.
This will look different for every INFP (and we do love to dabble — give into that here). Write a story or a song. Paint something. Make up a dance. Knit an emotional sweater. Whatever your go-to is, go to it!
INFPs are feelers and creatives, and we have a knack for understanding and expressing our emotions. Heartbreak spurs some of the deepest and rawest emotions, so use your sorrows as an opportunity to really embrace your passions — or even try some new creative outlets.
Doing so is helpful for a number of reasons: Channeling your heartbreak into an outlet helps you to feel it out, have alone time, rationalize and convey your emotions, and curb the impending loneliness that inevitably accompanies heartbreak.
The truth is, INFP, like I said earlier, heartbreak sucks. But by applying these tips to your situation, you can make each day a little more bearable. You can use these techniques to get through today, and understand your heartbreak a little bit deeper. And then you can get through tomorrow.
Before you know it, you will have processed the end of your relationship, and maybe you’ll even have a beautiful song or a colorful painting about your feelings — a memory of love rather than despair.