A peek inside Merja Sumiloff's mind
This is an except from the Youtube video from the series "Real Conversations with INFJs and INFPs" Season 1, Episode 5. Merja Sumiloff is interviewed by Amelia Harshfield.
Amelia Harshfield: Merja here is an INFJ and is the author of and facilitator of the Integration Mentor Program. She is a certified MBTI practitioner and personality profiler, founder of the Sumiloff Academy of Human Integration, and the INFX project. She’s also written 2 best selling courses: The 4 People Within ®️, which is an extension of Jungian work, and The INFX Unveiled, INFX Deep Dive, and INFX Mastermind , which all show INFJs and INFPs how to live a more authentic and productive life. When she’s not busy with work, which seems like all the time, she is spending time with her partner Peter and her collection of beloved dogs and horses.
Merja Sumiloff: Amelia is an INFJ as well. She’s a mentor who helps people become free from emotional abuse. With her work, clients finally move on from what’s holding them back in life. She’s a fully qualified Integration Mentor and loves helping people transform themselves. When she’s not working she is looking at her own personal development, spending time in her garden, reading, cooking, or walking her massive dog.
A: And today is an interview with Merja here. We’re just going to shoot some rapid fire questions at her, and we hope it will help you to get to know Merja a little better!
Are you ready Merja?
M: Let’s do it!
A: First question: what is it like inside your mind?
M: It’s busy! It’s very, very busy! Those of you who don’t know, I have undiagnosed ADHD as well as an INFJ mind, and because my work is so stimulating I have a lot of different areas of my life that I’m very active in. And because my life is so stimulating, it’s very busy in my mind.
A: Nice! What is it like when things are going well for you?
M: Very productive, I just get things done, just hammer everything and get things through. And I feel really relaxed in the flow of the business of life.
A: Nice. And what is it like when things are not going well for both the 10 year old Inner Child and that 3 year old Inner Child?
M: Yeah. So, as an INFJ my 10 year old Inner Child is the Scientist, so that’s Inward Facing Thinking. She has a really hard time trying to control everything. When we’re really busy, and if I’m not in a good place, my Scientist Inner 10 year old tries to make order out of things that don’t necessarily fall into an order, like when there’s too many things that you can’t possibly order them. That’s what happens for her.
MY 3 year old Inner Child, which of course is Outward Facing Sensing for an INFJ, just wants to do exercise, or do more and more activities. It becomes this hyperactive thing of “I’m going to do this, I’m going to that, and this AND that!” It just keeps going. I don’t stop. And that’s not a good sign, so if it gets to that point I have to rest a couple days afterwards.
A: Very interesting! What is something you’re challenged with right now?
M: For those of you who listened to some of the previous episodes in this series, you might remember we talked about PTSD. I’m actually starting to get triggered about the narcissistic abuse and gaslighting that’s going on, especially in US politics right now.
So when you’ve had an experience as a child where your father has been an abusive narcissist who had been gaslighting you all the time, it’s very difficult to see a person in a position of power doing the same thing to citizens. So that’s something I’m really struggling with right now.
A: Yeah. It sounds like something that would absolutely be challenging for you. What have you done that has helped with that challenge?
M: Turn off social media! Turn off phones, turn off everything and just go and play with the horses. Because honestly, the reason why it’s so stressful is because I want to protect people from this kind of abuse and I can’t. Literally, I am physiologically unable to protect everyone against this type of abuse! So, I just have to switch off.
A: What is something that you’ve done with this that has NOT been helpful?
M: Trying to manage it. Trying to put things into order because the challenge with any kind of narcissistic behaviour pattern, or any kind of gaslighting is that it doesn’t actually make sense. What these types of manipulative people do is they tell you what the “truth” is, which is not in line with what actual truth is, so you can’t possibly arrange the thoughts because literally the two things don’t match. So, trying to make sense of it doesn’t help because there is no sense to be made.
I just want to say that this is not an anti-Republican piece at all. This is just this one person who’s there. I have friends in every walk of life and it’s just this one person that’s exhibiting these behaviours, and the consequences of those behaviours are coming. That’s just how life works.
A: Yes. And why is it challenging for you?
M: I think at the bottom of it, it’s because I know what that abuse feels like. This was my experience as a child: innocent people end up taking responsibility for the abuser’s behaviour. I see so many people being radicalised right now and that’s what happened to me. I was radicalised into believing that my father was this amazing person. Of course, there were amazing aspects to him. Every person has amazing aspects. But at the very bottom of why I’m having such a hard time with this is because I know who will pay the price for this abuse, and it’s usually not the abuser, and I can’t protect those people. It hurts me in my heart.
A: Yes, I can see that. Thanks for sharing that.
Let us know if you found this conversation helpful. Tell us about your main takeaway from this article, or share your experience in the comment section. Thank you for being part of this community and doing your work to create more compassionate and effective leadership in the world!
We wish you a day full of wonder!
I’m Merja Sumiloff. I’m the Personality Decoder and I show my clients and people who come to me how to heal and grow your relationships without massive disruption to your day-to-day