[INFJ] Not just being misunderstood... What I'm really trying to say is..

Not just being misunderstood... What I'm really trying to say is..

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This is a discussion on Not just being misunderstood... What I'm really trying to say is.. within the INFJ Forum - The Protectors forums, part of the NF's Temperament Forum- The Dreamers category; Some of us are misunderstood mentally and emotionally by many people. Alright. But, at times I don't know how to ...

  1. #1
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    Not just being misunderstood... What I'm really trying to say is..

    Some of us are misunderstood mentally and emotionally by many people. Alright.

    But, at times I don't know how to express my words in a "normal" way so as to not confuse other people. I'm pretty sure this is from the Ni that makes me very aware of what I'm saying. It doesn't work in my favor all the time.


    I was at a friend's house and I entered this really awesome room he has upstairs with a nice couch set up and a projection TV situation going on. We were with another friend as well.

    I was saying so many good things about the room and finally at the heigth of my excitement I said "I'm not impressed (infj pause) easily." Half way through they all of a sudden kind of awkwardly laughed, thinking I was being sarcastic "I'm not impressed." which is what it sounded like. They were kind of confused and thought I was being rude, which wasn't the case.

    Things like this have happened to me so many times and I've left people confused or thinking I was being rude, when really it was just because I phrased things strangely.

    Averic, HorribleAesthete, Vivid Melody and 5 others thanked this post.

  2. #2
    INFJ - The Protectors

    I despise being misunderstood. Sometimes I think I need to be understood more than I need to be loved. It's weird because like you described I spend a lot of time trying to think of the most exact or perfect way to say things, and half the time end up being misunderstood anyway. Like when I search for a word and use it because it fits the situation so aptly, then am told I am being condescending and trying to use words above my listener's comprehension level. Then I feel horrified because I just alienated somebody I was trying so hard to commune with.

  3. #3

    been there...the worst is when i accidentally alienate someone because they didn't understand what i really meant.

    people have taken what i've said the wrong way, multiple times...i guess in our heads we know exactly what we mean and also that we wouldn't purposely try to be hurtful or rude in what we say, so we subconsciously assume that others will read us the way we really are. but, as private as we are, and as difficult as we can be to read accurately (for whatever reason, most people i know either can't figure me out, or they think they have and they're wrong :P, and this experience seems common among INFJs), we aren't often going to be seen as we really are.

    also, people often project their own motivations, feelings, or degree of benevolence/malevolence on others when they "read" others' behavior - if the person listening to you would have meant that in a sarcastic way, it's only natural for them to think you may have meant it that way as well.

    and not everyone is as sensitive to body language and emotion, or as naturally inclined towards reading between the lines to the emotions or motivations behind words, as Ni+Fe makes us. i often find myself expecting others to be able to read me in this way as naturally as i read others...

    sometimes i find it helpful to add little explanations of behavior that i anticipate might be mis-read - like "i'm just teasing" or "i'm completely serious - sarcasm aside" or "i feel this way {first tell them the emotion or motive they should read out of your statement, then add the content of your statement}." it's almost as if we have to punctuate our conversation with verbally-spelled out emoticons, or we will be misunderstood often...we can't rely on our body language or who we clearly are (that's clearer to us than to others), to convey what was really meant.
    Poet Identity, Vivid Melody, Curiously and 6 others thanked this post.

  4. #4
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Yes! This has happened to me a few times. I'll try to say something funny...well, at least it was funny to me in my head, and it comes out awkward and rude to others.

    Sometimes I won't try to be funny, just a normal reply, and it gets interpreted wrong. Once a friend of mine offered me a snack while going to their kitchen, and I said "No thanks...I'm not hungry". They say "Oh...okay" in a somewhat disappointed tone. I then notice they are still looking at me not moving with an awkward look on their face. So I think, what...they aren't going to get a snack for themselves since I said no thanks? and I say "Oh...but you can still get one for yourself..." What else could I have said? Probably something better lol. But they got insulted and told me, "Well thanks for your permission!" I told them "No I didn't mean it like that. I meant-" but yeah they didn't want to hear it. D: Doh.
    HorribleAesthete, Ntuitive, Pjb and 1 others thanked this post.

  5. #5
    INFJ - The Protectors

    I've been learning to walk on my hands for my feet are always in my mouth.....even when I write!

    I think things one way in my thoughts but when put into words it's as if everything has 2 meanings. The one I was thinking and the one that people think I meant. When I eventually hear or see their version, I'm totally dismayed for there is usually no good way to really correct it, and my trying often makes it look worse.
    Ntuitive thanked this post.

  6. #6
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Quote Originally Posted by Ntuitive View Post
    But, at times I don't know how to express my words in a "normal" way so as to not confuse other people. I'm pretty sure this is from the Ni that makes me very aware of what I'm saying. It doesn't work in my favor all the time.
    It's Fe in concert with Ni and Ti. I desperately want others to understand (Fe) my sudden understanding/impression (Ni), but have difficulty in doing so because the rest of my brain is busy trying to make sure the words are making sense (Ti). But this doesn't always happen correctly, because the thought inside my head must first be translated from image/impression into words. And it's difficult to get a translation for things that the other "language" has no vocabulary for. Other times there's a physical issue in getting the words out of my actual mouth. This is why I often talk a bit, then pause, then talk some more, then pause some more...or sometimes I'll sloooowly say a word because if I don't, I'll muck it up and stutter/sputter/get tongue-tied.

    But yes, this is probably an Fe-Ni/Ni-Fe issue of sorts. I have a thought, and I want to share it, and I want so desperately for you to feel and understand this thought in the exact same way I did. Unfortunately, I'm inevitably disappointed when my point does not come across as it should have or the other person just doesn't understand or see what I'm seeing (or doesn't want to try to understand). Often times, that means I feel a bit alienated and weird...like I'm just not normal enough to even speak properly. Or that my thoughts are alien in some way. That I'm constantly being misunderstood for the simple reason that I cannot speak my own native language articulately enough to communicate the vast and complex thoughts that are inside my brain.
    Ntuitive thanked this post.

  7. #7
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Happened all the time growing up. I just don't say much these days, less chance of misunderstanding.
    Ntuitive and geekofalltrades thanked this post.

  8. #8
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Ugh. This has been a struggle for me my entire life. Sometimes I'll develop a fascinating idea or insight into a subject, but in my mind it exists as a sort abstract set of imagery that is difficult to translate into mere words. I just see what I see directly without letting a silly little thing like language stand in my way. Then when I attempt to describe it to others it almost feels as though I'm speaking in code rather than my native tongue (I call it Brain-speak) and thus I receive blank looks aplenty. Makes perfect sense to me...but when it comes to others, it's like trying to teach a dog the difference between red and blue.

    Sometimes I question/challenge people regarding some random thing that they've never given second thought to (or first for that matter) and they misunderstand and perceive it at as some kind of unjustified criticism.

    With simpler cases, I've learnt not to say anything. A facial expression will usually suffice. People are just stupid.
    bobdaduck, Averic, Vivid Melody and 1 others thanked this post.

  9. #9

    @Ntuitive Your friends clearly have no sense of ironic humour. To hell with them all. To hell in a hand basket I say.
    Ntuitive thanked this post.

  10. #10
    Unknown Personality

    This is really interesting. I don't encounter difficulty with people misinterpreting my words; rather, I'm always simply left feeling like I failed to communicate what I set out to. I manage an adumbration of what I wanted to convey, but I ultimately fall short of truly capturing my thought's quintessence. It's not so much based on other peoples' reactions or how they express what they've taken away from our interaction . . . I guess I'm just paranoid and self-conscious. I don't know. I also feel like the greater facility I gain with language, the more cognizant of its limitations I become, and, paradoxically, the more confined I feel.
    Ntuitive thanked this post.

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