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Quotations for Sufferers
of Social Anxiety and
Other Anxiety Disorders
(HSP, INFJ, and Introverts too!)

Related Quotes      Worrying    Adversity    Fear    Faith    Hypochondria

Welcome to my page of quotations about social anxiety, other anxieties, introverts, highly sensitive people, etc. I've struggled with social anxiety since I was a little girl, and I can finally admit that — as well, I've managed to develop enough courage through the years to finally be open about being an HSP so I've decided I need to put some quotes out there to help others troubled by such things. This page also covers worrywarts, just plain shyness, and the like. Note: I've tagged some of the quotes #infj and #hsp, but that doesn't necessarily mean that the author is classified as such, only that I think the quote applies particularly well to those personality types, in my own experience anyway. If you fall into these categories of people, I sincerely hope you get some comfort from these quotes; I know how truly excruciating it can be to be knocked around in life by those who don't understand. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g, May 2005

NOTE:  Some of the quotes on this page were submitted to me by visitors, and not all have been verified for original source or wording. I'm working hard to confirm everything, but in the meantime please be aware of the possibility for errors.  —ღ Terri, March 2021

He dare not come in company, for here he should be misused, disgraced, overshoot himself in gesture or speeches or be sick; he thinks everyman observes him. ~Richard Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy

He was of an impressible nature, and lived a great deal in other people's opinions and feelings concerning himself... ~George Eliot, Adam Bede

All too frequently, anxiety crushes not only your spirit and your potential, but your ability to take care of your mind and body. ~Jonathan Davidson and Henry Dreher, The Anxiety Book: Developing Strength in the Face of Fear

If you are physically sick, you can elicit the interest of a battery of physicians; but if you are mentally sick, you are lucky if the janitor comes around. ~Martin H. Fischer

The world is sad — and very complicated. I wish it wasn't. ~The Good Doctor, "Stories," 2018, written by Calleros, Rozeman, and Shin [S2, E8, Dr. Shaun Murphy]

If I could be always alone with God, entirely indifferent about the opinions of men... I should reach a state to which I aspire, but have not yet attained. ~Henry Martyn (1781–1812), journal, 1804 May 4th

      ...I have always felt separate... I have always felt unable to join in, to let go, to become part of the tribe... I have always sniped or joked from the sidelines... I have never, ever, lost my overwhelmingly self-conscious self-consciousness.
      It's not all bad. Heightened self-consciousness, apartness, an inability to join in, physical shame and self-loathing—they are not all bad. Those devils have also been my angels. Without them I would never have disappeared into language, literature, the mind, laughter and all the mad intensities that made and unmade me.
      ~Stephen Fry, Moab Is My Washpot, 1997  #infj  #hsp

When he is in the room with other persons, speech stops, as if there were a corpse in the apartment. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1838 journal, about Jones Very

'Shut, shut the door, good John!' fatigu'd, I said,
'Tie up the knocker, say I'm sick, I'm dead.'
~Alexander Pope  #INFJ

Ah! there is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort. ~Jane Austen

Nerves and butterflies are fine — they're a physical sign that you're mentally ready and eager. You have to get the butterflies to fly in formation, that's the trick. ~Steve Bull

Panic is a sudden desertion of us, and a going over to the enemy of our imagination. ~Christian Nevell Bovee

A stammering man is never a worthless one. Physiology can tell you why. It is an excess of sensibility to the presence of his fellow creature, that makes him stammer. ~Thomas Carlyle, letter to Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1843 November 17th

The only thing that could spoil a day was people. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself. ~Ernest Hemingway  #infj

O, could I clamber to the frozen moon,
And cut away my ladder!
~George H. Boker, The Betrothal: A Play, 1850 (Pulti)

A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world. ~Oscar Wilde  infj

Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal. ~Albert Camus

You know those days when you've got the mean reds.... the blues are because you're getting fat or maybe it's been raining too long. You're sad, that's all. But the mean reds are horrible. You're afraid and you sweat like hell, but you don't know what you're afraid of. Except something bad is going to happen, only you don't know what it is. ~Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany's, 1958, spoken by the character Holly Golightly

Oh the nerves, the nerves; the mysteries of this machine called man! Oh the little that unhinges it, poor creatures that we are! ~Charles Dickens  #hsp #infj

Nothing so much prevents our being natural as the desire to seem so. ~François VI de la Rochefoucault, Maxims

Thy heart so sweetly sensitive,
      Is like an April sky;
      One moment sunshine, and the next
      Dark shadows o'er it fly.
One little ray lights up thy soul
      To gladness, joy and mirth;
      One little cloud o'ershades the whole,
      And bows it down to earth.
~Simeon Carter (1824–1911), "Sensibility," Poems and Aphorisms: A Woodman's Musings, 1893  #hsp  #infj  [Carter's pseudonym was Bard of Souhegan. He was a nature-loving Emerson-fan Scorpio who lived in the woods. My kind of guy! –tg]

My anxieties have anxieties. ~Charles M. Schulz, Peanuts, 1968  [Charlie Brown to Linus—tg]

People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them. ~George Bernard Shaw

[Y]ou don't know me—you don't understand me. There are little bits of my soul, little dark corners that you know nothing of. It's not good, it's not right that I should go about with them shut up in me. ~Anita Vivanti Chartres (1866–1942), The Hunt for Happiness, 1896 

...the storm-winds of the soul... ~Ebenezer Elliott, "Elegy on William Cobbett," 1835

I am the self-accused, I moan in my sleep,
My restless couch is the broken bits of the sharp edge of the day.
I moan when the moon falls across my pillow,
It is my heart that breaks, that weeps when the birds spill their songs over the world, and sobs in the roses.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Red Threads of My Heart: XXVI," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923

I am every struggler there is. I am every heart that breaks. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Songs of Longing," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923

Well, you know when you're sitting on a chair and you lean back so you're just on two legs and then you lean too far and you almost fall over but just at the last second you catch yourself? I feel like that all the time. ~Steven Wright, A Steven Wright Special, 1985,

panic shatters
oxygen, brain, soul
body shaking
a dim mind, crushing mind
dark skyline of nothing
barely breathing, frenzy
out of control heart
clawing anguish
personal combat
~Terri Guillemets, "Panic attack," 2019, blackout poetry created from Cliff McNish, The Scent of Magic, 2001, pages 420–422

If I had my life to live over, I would perhaps have more actual troubles but I'd have fewer imaginary ones. ~Don Herold

Some patients I see are actually draining into their bodies the diseased thoughts of their minds. ~Zacharty Bercovitz

If you treat every situation as a life and death matter, you'll die a lot of times. ~Dean Smith

Many things pain me that only vex other people. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), "The Character of a Person of my Acquaintance"  [Lichtenberg's unfinished "autopsychography" (Norman Alliston, 1908). —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Introverts are not failed extroverts. ~Sophia Dembling, The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World, 2012

Introversion is often treated as the space where extroversion is not. It's treated as a vacuum. An absence rather than a presence. ~Sophia Dembling, The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World, 2012

Introverts are no more or less open with our feelings than extroverts, as long as we're with people who take the time to listen. ~Sophia Dembling, The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World, 2012

There is nothing wrong with introversion, yet living in an extrovert-dominated culture can make you question your strengths as an introvert. You may find yourself out of balance trying to keep up with the extroverted pace of life. You may have lost touch with your values of quiet, solitude, and depth.... The time has come for this culture to embrace the quiet strengths of introverts. ~Arnie Kozak, The Awakened Introvert, 2015

A day of worry is more exhausting than a day of work. ~John Lubbock

Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained. ~Arthur Somers Roche

Love looks forward, hate looks back, anxiety has eyes all over its head. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

Worry, doubt, fear and despair are the enemies which slowly bring us down to the ground and turn us to dust before we die. ~Attributed to Douglas MacArthur

Do not be afraid of tomorrow, for God is already there. ~Author Unknown

We are, perhaps, uniquely among the earth's creatures, the worrying animal. We worry away our lives. ~Lewis Thomas

When the superficial wearies me, it wearies me so much that I need an abyss in order to rest. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin  #infj

Fear —
      not running-from-bear
      but running-from-life
Courage —
      not getting-up-the-nerve
      but getting-up-every-day
~Terri Guillemets, "Agony of anxious," 1996

They need to worry and betray time with urgencies false and otherwise, purely anxious and whiny, their souls really won't be at peace unless they can latch on to an established and proven worry and having once found it they assume facial expressions to fit and go with it, which is, you see, unhappiness, and all the time it all flies by them and they know it and that too worries them no end. ~Jack Kerouac

Today is the tomorrow we worried about yesterday. ~Author Unknown

We experience moments absolutely free from worry. These brief respites are called panic. ~Cullen Hightower

Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy. ~Leo Buscaglia

When I really worry about something, I don't just fool around. I even have to go to the bathroom when I worry about something. Only, I don't go. I'm too worried to go. I don't want to interrupt my worrying to go. ~J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, 1951

Worry is a complete cycle of inefficient thought revolving about a pivot of fear. ~Author Unknown

I love mankind… it's people I can't stand!! ~Charles M. Schulz, "Peanuts," 1959  #infj

I never found the companion that was so companionable as solitude. We are for the most part more lonely when we go abroad among men than when we stay in our chambers. ~Henry David Thoreau, "Solitude," Walden, 1854  #infj

The conversation at dinner had been so heated that by the end of it Mrs. Miniver had developed mental, moral, and physical indigestion..... [F]rom that moment on she resigned herself to a headache, and got it. ~Jan Struther, Mrs. Miniver, 1930s

Some men storm imaginary Alps all their lives, and die in the foothills cursing difficulties which do not exist. ~Edgar Watson Howe

Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action. ~Walter Anderson, The Confidence Course, 1997

Blessed is the person who is too busy to worry in the daytime and too sleepy to worry at night. ~Author Unknown

We of the tribe of the unquiet heart.
We tread the stony path with tender feet,
A song upon our lips because we will.
—Yet—pity us not—ye who love the sweet small things—
Ye of the untroubled lives, ye of the quiet heart!
~Jean Wright, "The Unquiet Heart"

      The peril for you is that you live too much in the world of your own dreams. You're not enough in contact with reality—with the toiling, striving, suffering, I may even say sinning, world that surrounds you. You're too fastidious; you've too many graceful illusions....
      [Y]ou think you can lead a romantic life, that you can live by pleasing yourself and pleasing others. You'll find you're mistaken. Whatever life you lead you must put your soul in it — to make any sort of success of it; and from the moment you do that it ceases to be a romance, I assure you; it becomes grim reality! And you can't always please yourself; you must sometimes please other people. That, I admit, you're very ready to do; but there's another thing that's still more important — you must often displease others. You must always be ready for that — you must never shrink from it. That doesn't suit you at all — you're too fond of admiration, you like to be thought well of. You think we can escape disagreeable duties by taking romantic views — that's your great illusion, my dear. But we can't. You must be prepared on many occasions in life to please no one at all — not even yourself. ~Henry James (1843–1916), The Portrait of a Lady  [Originally published 1880, quoted from the 1908 revised edition. Henrietta Stackpole to Isabel Archer. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]  #infj

But to fear is one thing. To let fear grab you by the tail and swing you around is another. ~Katherine Paterson, Jacob Have I Loved, 1980

There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them. ~Andre Gide

No one is moved to act, or resolves to speak a single word, who does not hope by means of this action or word to release anxiety from his spirit. ~Ali ibn-Hazm

I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion. I would rather ride on earth in an ox cart, with a free circulation, than go to heaven in the fancy car of an excursion train and breathe a malaria all the way. ~Henry David Thoreau, Walden: Or, Life in the Woods, "Economy"  #infj

I like people. I just prefer it when they're not around. ~Zoo, "First Blood" (season 1, episode 1), original airdate 2015 June 30th, spoken by Mitch Morgan [writing credits: Appelbaum, Nemec, Pinkner, Rosenberg, Patterson, Ledwidge]

When one has too great a dread of what is impending, one feels some relief when the trouble has come. ~Joseph Joubert

A very sensitive person in this stupid world is bound to become mad.... Only meditation can save him from becoming mad. ~Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh  #hsp

One of my sensory problems was hearing sensitivity, where certain loud noises, such as a school bell, hurt my ears. It sounded like a dentist drill going through my ears. ~Temple Grandin  #hsp

You're a little upset by your troubles, and that's natural enough, but don't let your mind run on them any more than you can help; drag your thoughts away from your troubles—by the ears, by the heels, or any other way, so you manage it; it's the healthiest thing a body can do; dwelling on troubles is deadly, just deadly—and that's the softest name there is for it. You must keep your mind amused—you must, indeed. ~Mark Twain, The American Claimant, 1891

One of the most remarkable traits of my character is without doubt the extraordinary superstition which makes me see signs in every conceivable affair, and in a single day turn hundreds of things into an oracle.... Every crawling insect provides me with an answer to some question or other concerning my fate.... But the tendency is perhaps rooted in human nature, and has only in my case taken a monstrous form... ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), "The Character of a Person of my Acquaintance"  [Lichtenberg's unfinished "autopsychography" (Norman Alliston, 1908). —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Every man, through fear, mugs his aspirations a dozen times a day. ~Brendan Francis

Many great ideas have been lost because the people who had them could not stand being laughed at. ~Author unknown

The fear of being laughed at makes cowards of us all. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

As a rule, what is out of sight disturbs men's minds more seriously than what they see. ~Julius Caesar

When you suffer an attack of nerves you're being attacked by the nervous system. What chance has a man got against a system? ~Russell Hoban

I'm scared of it all, God's truth! so I am;
It's too big and brutal for me.
My nerve's on the raw and I don't give a damn
For all the "hoorah" that I see.
I'm pinned between the subway and overhead train,
Where automobiles swoop down:
Oh, I want to go back to the timber again —
I'm scared of the terrible town.
~Robert W. Service, "I'm Scared of It All," 1912

The knowledge of the world is only to be acquired in the world, and not in a closet. ~Lord Philip Dormer Stanhope Chesterfield

The social scene, awkward
Party, wine, and dinner—
Gone to bed instead
~Terri Guillemets, "Cocoon," 2018, blackout poetry created from Danielle Steel, Fairy Tale, 2017, page 36  #infj

Prudence keeps life safe, but does not often make it happy. ~Samuel Johnson

Fear is static that prevents me from hearing myself. ~Samuel Butler

Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

People are crying up the rich and variegated plumage of the peacock, and he is himself blushing at the sight of his ugly feet. ~Sa'Di

Once you become self-conscious, there is no end to it; once you start to doubt, there is no room for anything else. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

There are offences given and offences not given but taken. ~Izaak Walton

Shyness has a strange element of narcissism, a belief that how we look, how we perform, is truly important to other people. ~André Dubus

Writer. Recluse. Old Man. Little Kid. ~Adam Stanley,  #oldsoul  #innerchild  #infj

I'm not a recluse — I'm just playing hard-to-get with society. ~Author Unknown  #infj

I become daily more and more convinced that my nerve-trouble is to a great extent nurtured, if not entirely caused, by my solitary habits. I have practically no other pleasure now than through my own head, which is continually busy. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), "The Character of a Person of my Acquaintance"  [Lichtenberg's unfinished "autopsychography" (Norman Alliston, 1908). —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

You probably wouldn't worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do. ~Olin Miller (1893–1981)

The shy and the extroverted have this in common — that they both fancy they are the center of attention. ~Robert Brault,

Men are not against you; they are merely for themselves. ~Gene Fowler, Skyline, 1961

Panic — a trap of darkness. ~Terri Guillemets, 2019, blackout poetry created from Cliff McNish, The Scent of Magic, 2001, pages 167-168

God bless your tender heart. ~Thomas M'Combie, 1845

When I am anxious it is because I am living in the future. When I am depressed it is because I am living in the past. ~Author Unknown

Sometimes even to live is an act of courage. ~Lucius Annaeus Seneca, Letters to Lucilius

Deep in the greenwood of my heart
      Is my abiding-place:
      I cloak my soul at feast and mart;
      I mask my face.
Outlawed, but not alone, for Truth
      Is outlawed, too.
      You cannot banish us, proud world:
      We banish you.
~Alfred Noyes, "The Outlaw," The Century Magazine, January 1912

I'm a dandelion in a harsh wind. ~Terri Guillemets  #infj #hsp

Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. What if they are a little course, and you may get your coat soiled or torn? What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice. Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some days, we're just looking for a soft place to land. ~Dr. SunWolf,  #hsp #infj

In solitude, where we are least alone. ~George Gordon, Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage  #infj

For those uneasy with the world, solitude is the only guarantee of confidence. ~Terri Guillemets

My imagination shied, as horses do, and ran away with me. This best expresses my condition in the way of sentiment. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), "The Character of a Person of my Acquaintance"  [Lichtenberg's unfinished "autopsychography" (Norman Alliston, 1908). —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

The snake, crushed of the heel, crawls wearily, over to me.
The lark with the broken wing knows that I know why it cannot sing.
I hear the plaint of the shattered wheel, bemoaning the load it cannot bear.
I know what the gate is saying on its broken hinge.
I speak a common language with defeat and contumely —
The Mother Tongue of Pain.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "At the Roots of Grasses: XVII," At the Roots of Grasses, 1923

If one is forever cautious, can one remain a human being? ~Aleksander Solzhenitsyn

There are those who are so scrupulously afraid of doing wrong that they seldom venture to do anything. ~Vauvenargues

Only I am unstable. The sun does not hesitate in its shining, the dawn presents in assurance. Only I vacillate, am ill at ease.
Only I come forth in weakness, in unaccented action and performance, in the unfaith of life, in wavering unbelief and insecurity, doubting the time, the placement, and the reason for being.
Only I am unpoised. God is going His equable way, the great law of cosmos has not been disturbed, the universe remains serene, the stars have not missed a night in the sky. Day and night continue to alternate. They have not been confused.
All these are not perturbed — why then I?
It is only I who am shouting and waving my hands, only I who am shrieking to space, who disclaim my security, who have not peace. The stars are quiet, the moon is serene, the earth is rhythmic. Only I am out of harmony and ill at ease.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: LXXXVI," A Soul's Faring, 1921  #infj

If things go wrong, don't go with them. ~Roger Babson

If you can't sleep, then get up and do something instead of lying there worrying. It's the worry that gets you, not the lack of sleep. ~Dale Carnegie

I've developed a new philosophy... I only dread one day at a time. ~Charles Schulz

Troubles are a lot like people — they grow bigger if you nurse them. ~Author Unknown

If you want to test your memory, try to recall what you were worrying about one year ago today. ~E. Joseph Cossman

Real difficulties can be overcome, it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable. ~Theodore N. Vail

Every evening I turn my worries over to God. He's going to be up all night anyway. ~Mary C. Crowley

It is only when we silent the blaring sounds of our daily existence that we can finally hear the whispers of truth that life reveals to us, as it stands knocking on the doorsteps of our hearts. ~K.T. Jong

Nerves provide me with energy. They work for me. It's when I don't have them, when I feel at ease, that I get worried. ~Mike Nichols

I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.... For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free. ~Wendell Berry, "The Peace of Wild Things"

People gather bundles of sticks to build bridges they never cross. ~Author Unknown

You block your dream when you allow your fear to grow bigger than your faith. ~Mary Manin Morrissey

Fear is a darkroom where negatives develop. ~Usman B. Asif

Some people are so sensitive they feel snubbed if an epidemic overlooks them. ~Frank Hubbard

There are people who have an appetite for grief; pleasure is not strong enough and they crave pain. They have mithridatic stomachs which must be fed on poisoned bread, natures so doomed that no prosperity can sooth their ragged and dishevelled desolation. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

You can't wring your hands and roll up your sleeves at the same time. ~Pat Schroeder

The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one. ~Elbert Hubbard

Somehow our devils are never quite what we expect when we meet them face to face. ~Nelson DeMille

      "I think he's lovely," said Anne reproachfully. "He is so very sympathetic. He didn't mind how much I talked — he seemed to like it. I felt that he was a kindred spirit as soon as ever I saw him."
      "You're both queer enough, if that's what you mean by kindred spirits," said Marilla with a sniff.
      ~L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

From restless thoughts, that, like a deadly swarm
Of hornets arm'd, no sooner found alone,
But rush upon me thronging.
~John Milton  #infj

...her mind astir with pictures and emotions. ~Israel Zangwill, Dreamers of the Ghetto, "From a Mattress Grave," 1897  #infj

My heart is glass, daily shattered... ~Terri Guillemets  #hsp

We undervalue, I think, the courage of simple, everyday civility. What do we know of another person's day, of their worries and anxieties, of how deep into their innermost resources they had to reach for that gracious smile, that pleasant hello. ~Robert Brault,

For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe. ~Author Unknown  #infj

Don't shoulder the burdens of others!...
Each man has his own special troubles,
      His worries and problems and woes;
      Give aid when you can to each mortal,
      But try not to feel all his blows!
For you, too, have burdens to carry;
      And, if you just wear yourself out
      In agony over all others,
      How can you, your own troubles, rout?
~Gertrude Tooley Buckingham (1880–1971), "Good Advice"

Sometimes I get overwhelmed by nothing. ~Terri Guillemets, "Overwhelmed by Nothing," 1987

It only seems as if you are doing something when you're worrying. ~Lucy Maud Montgomery

A hundredload of worry will not pay an ounce of debt. ~George Herbert

The autopsy will find coloured flowers in my grey matter, still-beating poetry in my heart, unspent ink in every organ, blood saturated with love, bones mineral'd by life's rough days, muscles fiber'd by courage and fear intertwined, and a slightly crushed but glittering soul. ~Terri Guillemets, "INFj autopsy," 1995

Heavy thoughts bring on physical maladies; when the soul is oppressed so is the body. ~Martin Luther

Wanna fly, you got to give up the [$h¡t] that weighs you down. ~Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon, 1977

As a cure for worrying, work is better than whiskey. ~Thomas A. Edison

Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow. ~Swedish Proverb

We live in a very tense society. We are pulled apart... and we all need to learn how to pull ourselves together.... I think that at least part of the answer lies in solitude. ~Helen Hayes  #infj

When what I express to another isn't felt or wanted or understood, the feeling goes back into myself and stabs me. ~Olivia Dresher  #infj

My generation is not strong. My grandfather fought in World War II. I had a panic attack during the series finale of Breaking Bad. ~Matt Donaher

For the INFJ, all of reality is surreal. ~Terri Guillemets

Yep, I'm an INFJ — an antisocial butterfly and the most hugging, loving people-hater you'll ever meet. ~Terri Guillemets, "Unsocial butterfly," 1992

eternally restless minds
lifelong soul searchers
~Terri Guillemets, "Internal wanderlust," 1993

i vomit confusion & butterflies
i sweat fear and i bleed dread
i fall deaf from society’s lies
i gag on metallic tastes of pain
i run from the reek of regret
i save my minutes & lose my hours
i dance on the minefield of mind
i freeze my worries for later...
~Terri Guillemets

All of our reasoning ends in surrender to feeling. ~Blaise Pascal  #infj

Never bear more than one kind of trouble at a time. Some people bear three — all they have had, all they have now, and all they expect to have. ~Edward Everett Hale

We can easily manage if we will only take, each day, the burden appointed to it. But the load will be too heavy for us if we carry yesterday's burden over again today, and then add the burden of the morrow before we are required to bear it. ~John Newton

[A]ny concern too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden. ~Corrie Ten Boom, Clippings from My Notebook

I am reminded of the advice of my neighbor. "Never worry about your heart till it stops beating." ~E.B. White

She was surely one of the race of Sensitives. ~Clement Wood, 1925  [of Emily Dickinson —tg]

For sensitive human beings... a hole in the ego can be worse than a hole in the heart. ~Norman Mailer, address at Hopwood Awards, University of Michigan, April 1984  #criticism  #hsp  #infj

There are two days in the week about which and upon which I never worry... Yesterday and Tomorrow. ~Robert Jones Burdette

Worry is rust upon the blade. ~Henry Ward Hughes

It is not the cares of today, but the cares of tomorrow, that weigh a man down. ~George MacDonald

Some of your hurts you have cured,
And the sharpest you still have survived,
But what torments of grief you endured
From the evil which never arrived.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you see ten troubles coming down the road, you can be sure that nine will run into the ditch before they reach you. ~Calvin Coolidge

Only man clogs his happiness with care, destroying what is with thoughts of what may be. ~John Dryden

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due. ~William Ralph Inge

      If any man or woman knows more about worrying than I do, that man or woman is sincerely to be pitied. To begin with, I come of honorable generations of worriers, all of whom seemed to be deeply sensible of their responsibility for the carrying on of a world which they did not create. My grandfather used to worry about the weather and crops. My mother worried with an elaboration and finish which really lent distinction to her performance. She could worry harder and longer on less provocation than anybody else I ever knew. When it became my turn to take up the burden of the universe I was quite as successful as she.
      As a child, I worried about the end of the world, and the Unpardonable Sin, which I knew I had committed, if I could only find out what it was. I worried my way through school and into college, where my course in worry was so complete that I came out with nervous prostration and two deep furrows between my eyebrows which I shall wear, like the scars of battle they really are, to my dying day. And then I worried about the furrows!
      I began to see the light through reading Menticulture by Horace Fletcher which put a vague old Buddhist doctrine into a modern, concrete formula — "Anger and worry are bad habits of the mind. They are not necessary ingredients." Worry not necessary! I had always supposed it was as much my business to worry as it was to breathe, and I looked upon people who did not worry as the shirks and cowards of creation, who were easy in their minds simply because they were criminally indifferent to their duties.
      ~Mary Boardman Page, "The Confessions of a Worrier," 1899  [a little altered —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]  #infj

There are more things, Lucilius, that frighten us than injure us, and we suffer more in imagination than in reality. ~Seneca

Every room is a panic room when you have anxiety. ~Tony Delgrosso, @Tony_D, tweet, 2017

We are more disturbed by a calamity which threatens us than by one which has befallen us. ~John Lancaster Spalding

Grief has limits, whereas apprehension has none. For we grieve only for what we know has happened, but we fear all that possibly may happen. ~Pliny the Younger

He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears. ~Montaigne

No human thing is of serious importance. ~Plato

Fear can keep us up all night long, but faith makes one fine pillow. ~Philip Gulley

Don't fight with the pillow, but lay down your head
And kick every worriment out of the bed.
~Edmund Vance Cooke

There is a time to take counsel of your fears, and there is a time to never listen to any fear. ~George S. Patton

Many of our fears are tissue-paper-thin, and a single courageous step would carry us clear through them. ~Brendan Francis

There is much in the world to make us afraid. There is much more in our faith to make us unafraid. ~Frederick W. Cropp

Fear is faith that it won't work out. ~Sister Mary Tricky

Fear is the lengthened shadow of ignorance. ~Arnold Glasow

Fear is the highest fence. ~Dudley Nichols

Fear has a large shadow, but he himself is small. ~Ruth Gendler

Fear makes strangers of people who would be friends. ~Shirley Maclaine

I have accepted fear as a part of life — specifically the fear of change.... I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back. ~Erica Jong

I have been so hunted from corner to corner, so plagued with polite invitations, similar to those given by a farmer's wife to her ducks, "Dilly, dilly, dilly, come and be killed!" ~Edward Lytton Bulwer, Paul Clifford, 1830  [I feel that same sense of dread for party invitations! —tg]

If a man harbors any sort of fear, it percolates through all thinking, damages his personality and makes him a landlord to a ghost. ~Lloyd Douglas

Fear: False Evidence Appearing Real. ~Author Unknown

He who fears something gives it power over him. ~Moorish Proverb

Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death. ~Author Unknown

Fear can be headier than whiskey, once man has acquired a taste for it. ~Donald Dowes

The way you overcome shyness is to become so wrapped up in something that you forget to be afraid. ~Lady Bird Johnson

Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is. ~German Proverb

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. ~Eleanor Roosevelt

How beautiful and ugly is this world, producer of patchwork hearts — torn by civilized days, mended in nature and solitude — some weaker at the seams than others. ~Terri Guillemets  #hsp

It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else's eyes. ~Sally Field

It's not who you are that holds you back, it's who you think you're not. ~Attributed to Hanoch McCarty

We have to learn to be our own best friends because we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemies. ~Roderick Thorp, Rainbow Drive

Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right. ~Virgil, et al. See:

If you really put a small value upon yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price. ~Author Unknown

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. ~Anaïs Nin

Argue for your limitations, and sure enough, they're yours. ~Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, 1977

It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves. ~Edmund Hillary, as quoted in The Reader's Digest, 1993

It's hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head. ~Sally Kempton, Esquire, 1970

When the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, it may be that they take better care of it there. ~Cecil Selig

Other people's opinion of you does not have to become your reality. ~Les Brown

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.
~Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!, 1990

If you doubt yourself, then indeed you stand on shaky ground. ~Henrik Ibsen

To lead by example is difficult when you're a follower of fear. ~Terri Guillemets

If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves. ~Thomas Alva Edison

Our doubts are traitors
And make us lose the good we oft might win
By fearing to attempt.
~William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, c.1604  [I, 4, Lucio]

It's no fun to be yellow. Maybe I'm not all yellow. I don't know. I think maybe I'm just partly yellow and partly the type that doesn't give much of a damn if they lose their gloves. ~J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, 1951

Just as much as we see in others we have in ourselves. ~William Hazlitt

Your problem is you're... too busy holding onto your unworthiness. ~Ram Dass

Learning too soon our limitations, we never learn our powers. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960

It's me who is my enemy
Me who beats me up
Me who makes the monsters
Me who strips my confidence.
~Paula Cole, "Me," This Fire

Don't let anyone steal your dream. It's your dream, not theirs. ~Dan Zadra

If you must love your neighbor as yourself, it is at least as fair to love yourself as your neighbor. ~Sébastien-Roch Nicolas (Chamfort)

I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship. ~Louisa May Alcott

When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you. ~African Proverb

The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others. ~Sonya Friedman

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles," 1992 (commonly misattributed to Nelson Mandela)

Sadness is almost never anything but a form of fatigue. ~Andre Gide

It is some relief to weep; grief is satisfied and carried off by tears. ~Ovid

Tears are the safety valve of the heart when too much pressure is laid on it. ~Albert Smith

Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by [@$$höles]. ~Notorious d.e.b., @debihope

People who do not understand themselves have a craving for understanding. ~Wilhelm Stekel  #infj

I was seized by the stern hand of Compulsion, that dark, unseasonable Urge that impels women to clean house in the middle of the night. ~James Thurber

If my devils are to leave me, I am afraid my angels will take flight as well. ~Rainer Maria Rilke, on leaving psychotherapy

Mental health problems do not affect three or four out of every five persons but one out of one. ~William Menninger

A lot of what passes for depression these days is nothing more than a body saying that it needs work. ~Geoffrey Norman

We are always getting ready to live but never living. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

We crucify ourselves between two thieves: regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow. ~Fulton Oursler

The ability to be in the present moment is a major component of mental wellness. ~Abraham Maslow

I got the blues thinking of the future, so I left off and made some marmalade. It's amazing how it cheers one up to shred oranges and scrub the floor. ~D.H. Lawrence

One of the most tragic things I know about human nature is that all of us tend to put off living. We are all dreaming of some magical rose garden over the horizon — instead of enjoying the roses that are blooming outside our windows today. ~Dale Carnegie

Pile up too many tomorrows and you'll find that you've collected nothing but a bunch of empty yesterdays. ~The Music Man

Every man has his own courage, and is betrayed because he seeks in himself the courage of other persons. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I'll try again tomorrow. ~Mary Anne Radmacher

Courage is being afraid but going on anyhow. ~Dan Rather

Sometimes the biggest act of courage is a small one. ~Lauren Raffo

Courage is the power to let go of the familiar. ~Raymond Lindquist

When we are afraid we ought not to occupy ourselves with endeavoring to prove that there is no danger, but in strengthening ourselves to go on in spite of the danger. ~Mark Rutherford

Courage is fear holding on a minute longer. ~George Smith Patton

Courage is to feel the daily daggers of relentless steel and keep on living. ~Douglas Malloch

      Her wide, vacant eyes saw nothing, but her mental vision, grown suddenly acute, was confronted by a thronging array of images.... She went over mentally almost every incident in her intercourse with Reuben.... The conventions, the disguises, which she had been taught to regard as the only realities, fell down suddenly before the living reality....
      Opposite was a mirror... and suddenly Judith caught sight of her own reflected face with its wild eyes and flushed cheeks; her face was usually so calm. Calm? Had she ever been calm, save with the false calmness which narcotic drugs bestow? She was frightened of herself, of her own daring, of the wild, strange thoughts and feelings which struggled for mastery within her. There is nothing more terrible, more tragic than this ignorance of a woman of her own nature, her own possibilities, her own passions.
      She covered her face with her hands, and in the darkness the thoughts came crowding (was it thought, or vision, or feeling?). The inexorable realities of her world, those realities of which she had so rarely allowed herself to lose sight, came pressing back upon her with renewed insistence. That momentary glow of exultation, of self-vindication faded before the hard daylight which rushed in upon her soul. She saw not only how it had all been, but how it would all be to the end....
      [S]he lived over again that near, far-off, wonderful moment.... Baffled, vanquished, she lay there, crushing out the sound of unresisted sobs....
      Nothing had happened; everything had happened. Judith felt that she had grown older in the night.... That brief moment of clear vision, of courage, had faded, as we know, even as it came....
      Before the great mysteries of life her soul grew frozen and appalled. It seemed to her, as she sat there in the fading light, that this is the bitter lesson of existence: that the sacred serves only to teach the full meaning of sacrilege; the beautiful of the hideous; modesty of outrage; joy of sorrow; life of death.
      ~Amy Levy (1861–1889), Reuben Sachs: A Sketch, 1888  [Though I don't typically post such long excerpts, this series of passages struck me as an amazingly accurate descriptive account of the sudden and quick yet lingering, ceaseless ebb and flow of the emotions and thoughts, the ever-fluctuating self-confidence and humiliation, neverending war amongst doubt and tenacity, fear and nerve, of an INFJ personality. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

The future is called "perhaps," which is the only possible thing to call the future. And the only important thing is not to allow that to scare you. ~Tennessee Williams, Orpheus Descending

What great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail? ~Robert H. Schuller

If you surrender to the wind you can ride it. ~Toni Morrison, quoted in Laura B. Randolph, "The Magic of Toni Morrison," Ebony, July 1988

Face what you think you believe and you will be surprised. ~William Hale White

The better I get to know men, the more I find myself loving dogs. ~Charles de Gaulle  #infj

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

@ ~ @ ~ @ ~ @ ~ @ ~ @ ~ @ ~ @ ~ @

[And then we have one of my tints of social anxiety: Very British Problems... —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]

Shutting yourself in the wardrobe until the window cleaner has finished and left. ~Rob Temple, @SoVeryBritish (Very British Problems: Making Life Awkward for Ourselves, One Rainy Day at a Time, 2013)

Panicking in a sandwich shop and allowing a distressingly bizarre combination of fillings to occur. ~Rob Temple, @SoVeryBritish (Very British Problems: Making Life Awkward for Ourselves, One Rainy Day at a Time, 2013)

Saying your meal was lovely, despite a slight fear it might kill you in the night. ~Rob Temple, @SoVeryBritish (Very British Problems: Making Life Awkward for Ourselves, One Rainy Day at a Time, 2013)

Suspecting you've been overcharged, so making sure to frown as you insert your debit card and pay in full. ~Rob Temple, @SoVeryBritish (Very British Problems: Making Life Awkward for Ourselves, One Rainy Day at a Time, 2013)

Concentrating to within an inch of your life on the pre-flight safety briefing, to compensate for those ignoring it. ~Rob Temple, @SoVeryBritish (Very British Problems: Making Life Awkward for Ourselves, One Rainy Day at a Time, 2013)

[And so, my dear readers....]

Spare a thought for those poor VBP sufferers living abroad, surrounded by relaxed, uninhibited extroverts, going about their daily life with barely a single unnecessary apology passing their lips. ~Rob Temple, @SoVeryBritish (Very British Problems: Making Life Awkward for Ourselves, One Rainy Day at a Time, 2013)  #introvert #infj

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Original post date 2004 August 9th
Last saved 2021 May 11 Tue 21:04 PDT

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