On the Fear of Being Late

One thing that has always confused me concerning being INFP is the fact that I’ve read many places that INFPs are adaptable and aren’t very strict on time. Of course, this is why they often procrastinate, but also, many sites say that because of this attribute INFPs have a tendency to show up to places late.

I am deathly afraid of being late. I would much rather give a speech in class then show up up somewhere 10 minutes late (okay, major exaggeration, but you get the point).

So, yes, when I heard that most INFPs have a tendency to be late, I was very perplexed. I hate being late.

In my reaction to this fact of INFPs commonly showing up places late, I mostly ignored it and assumed that while I was INFP, my specific phobia was on a deeper level of my personality.

However, I was wrong. INFPs do have a tendency to be late, but INFPs also really hate being late as well. Yay, conundrum solved, now what?

As Catherine Chea quotes on one of her posts about experiences INFPs will relate to, “INFPs are always either running late or arriving ridiculously early (in fear of being late). That’s because we’re very casual about time and determining how long it takes to get from point A to B stresses us out.”

I can be a stickler about time. At college or work, I’ll count down the minutes until I can go home (as most people do), or, at home, I’ll watch the clock carefully, not wanting time to pass so quickly.

I cannot sync up with time very well. I arrive at college 30 minutes before class start. Before work, I leave an hour before my shift starts and get to my work 40 minutes before it starts. If I’m going to see a movie, I’ve been known to get to the movie theater an hour before the movie starts in order that I can get a good seat (even though most of the crowd don’t start a huge line or get the best seats until 10-15 minutes before the movie starts).

I prize myself in my imagination, and I know that all INFPs do. However, we are notorious for our often unrealistic dreams of different possibilities, at least possibilities that exist in reality. Because of this imagination, I have a tendency to imagine the chance that I’ll be late or that I’ll run into traffic or that all the tickets at a theater will be sold out.

I can get very “emotional” about even my day-dreams. It doesn’t help that I know my emotions very well sometimes, and it also doesn’t help that day-dreaming can often turn on these emotions. So I’ll get nervous for no reason, worrying that if I don’t leave early I’ll run into a very implausible chance of traffic

I realized, however, that this “phobia” depends on a lot of things. If I’m worried about arriving on time to a place like class or the movie theater, where in class the worry is kinda legitimate because I don’t want that social feeling of judgment from the other classmates, or where in the move theater, I want to see a movie and don’t want to end up not being able to or not being able to get a good seat.

During the times that INFPs tend to be late I believe are the times when the INFPs don’t really care about any social judgment (if there could be any) or if they could really show up anytime and not a lot would happen to them. Which is why they might be late to a party (if their extravert friends can convince them to come to one) because it could be that many people might not notice if they’re late or not.

INFPs are very individualistic and independent. They’re often stuck in their heads, day-dreaming. But they hate feeling the discomfort of showing up places late like late to a class. They try to avoid this feeling as much as possible, because they know that even if everyone forgets about that moment later that day, the INFP will keep reliving that moment in their head all day, ruining the INFP’s entire day with that memory’s toxic feelings.

In general, they have a tendency to not notice time, if they’re comfortable. They might not even notice they haven’t had lunch yet after working hard at a project for hours.

If they’re uncomfortable, like if they’re worried they’ll show up somewhere late, than they notice time more often and stick to time very strictly.

So INFPs can be very casual about time, and this often causes them to show up to place late or ridiculously early.




One Comment Add yours

  1. yep. Explains it so well. I do like to procrastinate so I know how long it takes me to do something aka get to class in college, I was the same in high school. So some days I will push it and show up right on time. Basically panicking until I sit down because I’m stupid and stayed in bed too long. But mostly I arrive places ten to fifteen minutes early ideally. And if it is a gathering of some sort. I will be late by at least five minutes because I can without any repercussions.


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