10 Struggles Only Idealists Understand 19

10 Struggles Idealists Understand

The idealist temperament makes up about 15 to 20 percent of the population. According to psychologist David Keirsey, this temperament includes the Myers-Briggs personality types INFJ, INFP, ENFJ, and ENFP. Idealists are passionately concerned with self-growth, yearn to help others, and dream of making the world a better place. Below are some of the characteristics that make being a dreamer in a world of practicality a constant struggle.

1. You’re never completely content with how things are.

Whether it’s your job, your relationship, or what you had for dinner, being a future-oriented perfectionist means you’re constantly thinking about how to make things better.

2. You find it extremely difficult to live in the moment.

You envy your friends who can seemingly act without any regard to future consequences since that’s basically all you ever think about.

3. People rarely seem to take you seriously.

Idealism is often a trait associated with being young and naive. Having to constantly prove your intelligence to people is incredibly frustrating.

4. You can spot a fake person a mile away.

Idealist value authenticity above all else and were pretty good at trusting our intuition when the fake radar goes off. Basically, we don’t do well with frenemies… Or used car salesmen.

5. You’re often accused of being too sensitive or overly emotional.

We just have a lot of feelings, you know?

6. You find it difficult to watch or read the news.

Since you are so sensitive to the feelings of others, seeing bad news is hard. But you’re also interested in what’s going on in the world since it’s your job to make it better. Which basically means you’re always upset about something.

7. You have extremely high standards.

You’re not pretentious, you just see so much potential.

8. You love to escape into the world of fiction.

So what if you’ve read the Harry Potter series 5 times already? Fantasy is so much better than the real world.

9. You find it nearly impossible to make a living in what you’re really interested in.

Turning your interest in abstract concepts into a practical career isn’t easy.

10. You have more thoughts before 9 AM than most people have in a day.

Because your mind is the internal equivalent of the Civil War.


About Megan

Megan is an introvert and INFJ personality type who enjoys reading, researching, and writing about personality psychology and human behavior. As the founder of this blog, Megan wants to help other INFJs better understand their personality to improve their personal and professional lives.


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19 thoughts on “10 Struggles Only Idealists Understand

  • Deb

    I love this blog! I’m so glad I ‘stumbled’ upon it after doing a personality test in a bid to find me the ‘right’ career path… just this week, after a rather annoying job hunt that is not going too well, I thought to myself I need to turn my back on this 9 to 5 and make my own way in life and find meaning in my career, I’ve never fit into the ‘norm’ so why am I trying to? And I can totally relate to points 6 and 10 specifically!! Well, all of them really, but mainly my internal Civil War!

  • Hannah

    Ah I can relate to all of these!
    So I always thought I was an INFP, but after really evaluating how the 4 letters interconnect, work together and play off of each other, I almost think I’m an INFJ…
    That one blurb in particular, from a more recent post on P vs. J really made me wonder?
    Firstly, “I’m so not as put together as you think I am”, is me all the time! People constantly think I’m organized and streamlined, but my brain is always like crazy thought-soup.
    Then there was the emotions bit… Like the emotions of other people – I am ridiculously affected by them! And I think it’s more of me basically “wearing” that person for a length of time, rather than simply mirroring them. To the point where, if there’s an emotionally engaging character in a book or movie (heck even an add), I’ll unintentionally & subconsciously picture myself in their place and just take on whatever they’re feeling.
    I cannot stand arguments. They make me physically ill.
    I positively need time alone with my thoughts. However I have also, an insatiable desire for adventure of some kind.
    Not sure how often you read these..;) But since you seem more qualified than any online test, I’d love to hear thoughts on whether you’d call me an INFP or INFJ:)

  • sallie

    number 10 made me burst into tears….
    just get blank stares or that disinterested feeling/look when ever I make an attempt to explain…

    number 5 intrigues me greatly as I was wondering if it was linked /borders with hyper-empathy…

    fantastic post and blog…fate?

  • sallie

    number 10 also made me think is there something called ‘internal / introvert or the only the only other way I can describe it is ‘quiet schizophrenia’?

    apologies I know all the other comments are more positive and upbeat.
    just thought I’ll ask seems like a safe place to ask… and I have a brief window of approval and no talking…

  • Chupacabra

    Being an INFJ is not only defined by the things that make life difficult for us, but it’s also defined by the good, by the gifts of our personality type, just as each personality type has its special gifts.