Who Am I?

Who Am I?

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This is a discussion on Who Am I? within the Intro forums, part of the Personality Cafe category; evening everyone, I am 24 years old, a British Pakistani situated in the North West of England. I've known about ...

  1. #1

    Who Am I?

    evening everyone,

    I am 24 years old, a British Pakistani situated in the North West of England.

    I've known about MBTI since I was around 15. I've been various types according to the tests I've done online. I come across differently to different people. BUT this chameleon-like attitude is NOT an inherent part of my personality. Let me explain...

    I have been fake most of my life. That is what it feels like to me. From the day I was born, I did what my family and friends wanted me to. In less abusive or violent conditions I feel I would have been able to resist the influence this had over my psyche. I was bullied or excluded in many different forms, because my family and I were what was considered 'tramps'. Headlice, dirty uniforms, you name it.

    My dad pushed me to be successful at school, I did VERY well. I got exceptional grades, went to one of the best universities in the country, did my Law degree and now I'm finishing my Masters in Psychology on a scholarship.

    Since I was 11 years old, I felt I was living in a dream, something I now know is called 'depersonalisation' or 'derealization'. I got into a relationship at age 15 with someone as troubled as me, and first took control of my reality at age 17. I reinvented myself, set goals, achieved them, put myself first and was highly independent.

    I lost friends, this set me back. I thought that I must have been doing something 'wrong'. I was called arrogant and a bitch. Others who had known me to be a burden and 'depressing' prior to my reinvention thought I was being 'fake'.

    I decided to be 'nice', friendly and harmless. I ran into religion at age 18/19. It messed up my whole soul, but gave me strength in many ways too. At uni, I was involved in student activism and was elected into a number of leadership roles (I hadn't considered myself a leader by any stretch of the mark), and chosen for many others. At age 21 I was diagnosed with severe depression. I did nothing for a full year (although this was 'nothing' by my own standards), I won an award for 'rising star' as salesperson, and for 'immediate impact upon the organisation' at my first place of employment and got on to a Masters course during this period. I also won a scholarship for my current course, have been trained in a number of vocations, worked on one of the biggest legal inquiries in the country, and at my last job was promoted 3 times in the space of 3 months.

    I also did everything I could to understand my illness and came back to MBTI at the time. Jung's writings saved me. He helped me to see the useful *purpose* of depression. I learnt I had become alienated from myself, and this intrinsic feeling of being a fraud was what had led to my illness. I had a breakdown after I was fake all these years.

    An example of what I mean by fake, fake as in being nice when I wasn't feeling nice. Coming across happy when I wasn't. Being nice to people I didn't like nor trust. Denying my doubts and reservations about religion. Feeling that everyone knew better than me, when all throughout the process I often knew best for myself, (and honestly? often a lot of time better than them!)

    Now, I have largely overcome depression. I manage my mental health well. I have gone into becoming a writer. I set up my own blog in 2014, and found myself being interviewed for a TV channel here in the UK, and invited to be on a panel at another of the biggest universities in the country on the topic of 'South Asians and Mental Health'. My writing has been on a number of big online platforms. As I say, I am in a much better position mentally, mindfulness has helped me greatly.

    There is one thing though:

    Who Am I?

    Changing so many times, and putting on so many different personas, I have lost myself in the process. I have become obsessed with MBTI, as I find it a very useful way to get this problem out of my head and into the world before me so that I can figure it out and move myself forward. I don't like to invest in career paths or tasks that are not well-chosen. So I want to figure out my dominant cognitive functions and my personality type so that I can capitalise on my natural strengths (and leave alone my weaknesses *for now*), rather than pouring so much time into these inferior or shadow functions that are just draining me.

    I would love your help.

    Taking into account my mental illness, personality problems, upbringing, yet concrete facts (I tried to remove any narrative or interpretation so as to be objective before you so you could see it for what it was rather than misleading the discussion), how do I go about finding my type?

    I have studied Myers-Briggs book 'Gifts Differing', before I noticed many flaws and thankfully came across the Jungian cognitive functions typology instead. From the descriptions I have read, I feel I have Te, Se, Ni, Fi. However, I do not know the order at all.


    So to summarise

    1. I want to know what my type is and HOW to figure out the stacking of my cognitive functions when I have been using them all sporadically (not just in the outside world but I have been feeling completely ripped apart in my own mind too).
    2. I want to know WHY I have got to this stage. How did my functions mess up? How do I figure out why? I need to know this so as understand what happened and prevent it from happening again. I once read an article about shadow functions, mental illness and personality disorders. And it was this which made me see the potential in MBTI to reclaim my life, my potential, my independence and my future.
    I have a feeling it was because I used Fe (VERY draining for me), as a woman who felt it was required of me in order to be listened to. I often felt I manipulated this for 'plus points'. My best friend agrees that I used to get an ego trip from it. My depression forced me to consider my Fi. And my Fi has saved me. I have a feeling that my Ne and Ni were COMPLETELY messed up due to my psychological conflicts with religion. But this is just my theory I would love to know your thoughts.

    I have a feeling I may have had a cognitive loop, but until I figure out what my order is I can't even tell where the dominant-tertiary loop was! I have many questions, would appreciate any insight.


    Thanks guys, if you're still reading this I appreciate it! Let me know your thoughts.

    And by the way, I have never been on a forum before, so have no idea how this works logistically.

    Maira
    Last edited by thegatesofparadise; 02-16-2016 at 11:42 AM.
    Sangmu and imsoFiNe thanked this post.



  2. #2

    My struggles are a bit different from yours but the same in that I began to experience depersonalization in adolescence, and subsequently anxiety and depression. A large factor in my recovery was developing boundaries (mainly between me and those who sought to exploit) and upholding those boundaries day-to-day. My needs come first. It's not something I wasn't taught in childhood but it's integral to thriving in adulthood.

    It took awhile to discover what my needs even were as I was so divorced from myself.

    However, none of this ever prevented me from knowing I'm an INFP. It's what I've tested as from age 14-27- on any test, professionally administered of not. Fi/Ne is what I do.

    I don't think mental health issues or life problems are what's preventing you from knowing. Be wary of any sources that link Jung's cognitive functions to DSM labels. When answering questions for a MBTI test, go with your gust instinct. Think about what you actually do 90% of the time, not what you wish you did. If you can't do that then it's possible that you're either overthinking it or not being honest with yourself.

    There are people here who will say that that MBTI or Keirsey Temperament Sorter is not how someones preferred Jungian functions are determined. They may be right, but that's how MBTI or Keirsey Temperament is designed. For the sake of simplicity, your most honest go at those tests is your "type," by the standards of those inventories. If you want to indulge in Jungian Typology, enjoy? You might be here forever.

    IMO, type is also a very small part of who you are. It's mostly useful for improving relationships by becoming more accepting/understanding of other peoples behaviors.
    Last edited by Sangmu; 02-16-2016 at 12:42 PM.

  3. #3

    Thank you! :)

    And thanks for sharing your experiences with me. I have a friend who has consistently tested as ENFJ on every single test she has sat and has experienced depression and family problems too.

    I suppose then it must be that these things have prevented me from being honest with myself??

    This might be digging a little too deep, but how do you think one goes about being honest with oneself?

    I have definitely struggled with self-acceptance hence all the pretending.

    Would love to hear your thoughts!
    imsoFiNe and Sangmu thanked this post.

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  5. #4

    sorry to hear about your experiences too... good to hear that you are in a better place now

  6. #5

    Quote Originally Posted by thegatesofparadise View Post
    Thank you! :)

    And thanks for sharing your experiences with me. I have a friend who has consistently tested as ENFJ on every single test she has sat and has experienced depression and family problems too.

    I suppose then it must be that these things have prevented me from being honest with myself??

    This might be digging a little too deep, but how do you think one goes about being honest with oneself?

    I have definitely struggled with self-acceptance hence all the pretending.

    Would love to hear your thoughts!
    Thank you for sharing. I hope my humble opinion can help you :)

    I used to struggle with self-acceptance too, but managed to overcome it a while ago.
    Maybe it would help you to switch the question around: Why are you not being honest with yourself?
    Why do we lie or conceal things? So that they are not discovered. And why do we not want them to be discovered? Because there would be consequences to that. So what? Well – we're afraid of those consequences. So... in my personal experience, whenever I lie or conceal things, including to myself, it's because I'm afraid to shed light on the truth, I'm afraid of the truth.

    So... how can we be honest with ourselves? Letting go of fear and embracing truth, but of course this is easier said than done Fear is described as 'A very unpleasant or disturbing feeling caused by the presence or imminence of danger', hence to let go of fear we need to realize that there is no danger in being ourselves, rather, it's a beautiful gift. We need to REALIZE – so there's a self-awareness component here, for which mindfulness (like you said) and hours of thought could be helpful :) Meditating on questions such as: "why is individuality beautiful?" "Why is everyone worth the same?" may help. In other words, try to understand why everyone should be appreciated and why everyone has value. Then maybe you would find that value in yourself too, you would find yourself valuable for merely existing, you would be appreciating yourself – no longer afraid of yourself, of the truth of who you are.

    So, understanding of value -> self-love -> no fear -> honesty with yourself.

    By being honest with yourself I mean accepting the core of your being, your true thoughts, emotions, behaviors and intentions. Accepting them without judging, because they are a part of the whole – the positives and negatives of your person are like the ying and yang, the moon and the sun, beautiful in different ways.

    Maybe you think that you don't know what your true thoughts, emotions, behaviors and intentions are... Well :) It could be that you are confused, but I believe that maybe that confusion is caused by fear. Once it's gone, whatever remains is "you". Then you must know your thoughts, behaviors, etc, because they are who you truly are.

    Ok... I've rambled enough. Anyway, I hope this can be of some help to you :) I wish you the best of luck.
    thegatesofparadise thanked this post.

  7. #6

    Thank you.

    My experience was that I wanted to be like an ISTP or ESTP in my teen years. Who doesn't want to be exciting, competent and cool at that age? But I had to admit to myself that there is no way I'm that cold and object oriented. I'd have to resist the temptation to answer "yes" to questions that ISTP/ESTPish. I also wanted to be more like an INFJ (this is common to young INFPs) because they are so organized and calculating. And while I can be organized and socially calculating, it takes a significant amount of effort. With and INFJ, the cunning just flows 24/7, for better or worse. I'd have resist temptation to pretend that I'm more organized and "judging" than I actually am.

    Now that I'm older I've come to admire ISTJ/ESTJs. I have to resist the temptation to answers tests as if I am one (because there's no way that I am...)

    I answer honestly by thinking about what I actually do approx. 90% of the time as I'm encountering life. When I do, it's pretty clear that I'm an INFP. I'm all about ensuring that my life is aligned with my cherished values (Fi) and that I'm thinking about possibility (Ne).

    That's just my experience. I don't know if it helps.
    thegatesofparadise thanked this post.

  8. #7

    Quote Originally Posted by imsoFiNe View Post

    I used to struggle with self-acceptance too, but managed to overcome it a while ago.
    Maybe it would help you to switch the question around: Why are you not being honest with yourself?
    Why do we lie or conceal things? So that they are not discovered. And why do we not want them to be discovered? Because there would be consequences to that. So what? Well – we're afraid of those consequences. So... in my personal experience, whenever I lie or conceal things, including to myself, it's because I'm afraid to shed light on the truth, I'm afraid of the truth.

    So... how can we be honest with ourselves? Letting go of fear and embracing truth, but of course this is easier said than done Fear is described as 'A very unpleasant or disturbing feeling caused by the presence or imminence of danger', hence to let go of fear we need to realize that there is no danger in being ourselves, rather, it's a beautiful gift. We need to REALIZE – so there's a self-awareness component here, for which mindfulness (like you said) and hours of thought could be helpful :) Meditating on questions such as: "why is individuality beautiful?" "Why is everyone worth the same?" may help. In other words, try to understand why everyone should be appreciated and why everyone has value. Then maybe you would find that value in yourself too, you would find yourself valuable for merely existing, you would be appreciating yourself – no longer afraid of yourself, of the truth of who you are.

    So, understanding of value -> self-love -> no fear -> honesty with yourself.

    By being honest with yourself I mean accepting the core of your being, your true thoughts, emotions, behaviors and intentions. Accepting them without judging, because they are a part of the whole – the positives and negatives of your person are like the ying and yang, the moon and the sun, beautiful in different ways.

    Maybe you think that you don't know what your true thoughts, emotions, behaviors and intentions are... Well :) It could be that you are confused, but I believe that maybe that confusion is caused by fear. Once it's gone, whatever remains is "you". Then you must know your thoughts, behaviors, etc, because they are who you truly are.
    Thank you :)

    This paragraph really touched me. I think religion has messed my head up quite a bit when it comes to this. I *believed* religion. I feel there must be a 'right' way to do things, accepting my thoughts, behaviors and everything without trying to change them is something I no longer know at all. Everything around me is schizophrenic. And I can see the truth in it all. But it gives me no truth to hold on to. Does any of this make sense?

    I like what you said about mindfulness. I will certainly try what you reccomend. The process makes sense to me quite a bit.

    Can I ask.. what in your opinion is it that we are afraid of when it comes to accepting ourselves as we are? Fundamentally, I mean. I know some people say we are afraid that the real us will be rejected, but I sense it must be more than that.
    imsoFiNe thanked this post.

  9. #8

    Hi,

    Yes. I'm very confused about this too. I wanted to be ENFP throughout uni, energetic and all. Then I wanted to be ESFJ, all womanly and laidback. I sense I may be ISFP though, but I find myself not being taken seriously. But the tests bring me up as an ENTJ/ESTJ/INTJ. But the descriptions don't sound like *me*. My friends and family think ENTJ is most accurate. But I really do relate to ISFP the most. However, everyone thinks this couldn't be me, because of how much of a 'career-oriented' person I am and because they sense I am very intuitive.

    However, I always say to people that I HATE using intuition. It brings me SO much anxiety, uncertainty and confusion. And I feel it is this function which I used to understand religion, and it wasn't for me. Does that make sense?

    Thank you again for your reply :)
    Sangmu and imsoFiNe thanked this post.

  10. #9

    Quote Originally Posted by thegatesofparadise View Post
    Hi,

    Yes. I'm very confused about this too. I wanted to be ENFP throughout uni, energetic and all. Then I wanted to be ESFJ, all womanly and laidback. I sense I may be ISFP though, but I find myself not being taken seriously. But the tests bring me up as an ENTJ/ESTJ/INTJ. But the descriptions don't sound like *me*. My friends and family think ENTJ is most accurate. But I really do relate to ISFP the most. However, everyone thinks this couldn't be me, because of how much of a 'career-oriented' person I am and because they sense I am very intuitive.

    However, I always say to people that I HATE using intuition. It brings me SO much anxiety, uncertainty and confusion. And I feel it is this function which I used to understand religion, and it wasn't for me. Does that make sense?

    Thank you again for your reply :)
    In my experience, ISFPs are stone cold bishes (I mean that in a good way) and often very hardworking so I don't think it's impossible.

    The careers you find them in can be tough in a get shit done sense, yet they stay laid back. ISFP Career Success: Choose the Right Job and Put Your ISFP Strengths to Work | Truity

    I know three. One is a baker who works insane hours and is well respected in her profession. One is a great police officer/traveler and philanderer, the next is a personal support worker and teaching assistant who is very professional.

    And, of course, ISFPs can seem like Intuitives because they're highly creative and love beauty.
    thegatesofparadise and imsoFiNe thanked this post.

  11. #10

    Quote Originally Posted by Sangmu View Post
    In my experience, ISFPs are stone cold bishes (I mean that in a good way) and often very hardworking so I don't think it's impossible.

    The careers you find them in can be tough in a get shit done sense, yet they stay laid back.

    I know three. One is a baker who works insane hours and is well respected in her profession. One is a great police officer/traveler and philanderer, the next is a personal support worker and teaching assistant who is very professional.

    And, of course, ISFPs can seem like Intuitives because they're highly creative and love beauty.
    Haha yeah that sounds a lot like me. ISFPs seem to be tough and soft, whereas ENTJs seem to be slightly less complicated in appearance and more straightforward?

    I also just came across this article 'ISFPs, Bullied, Bullies or both?' which was excruciatingly accurate. I laughed so much. Someone called 'Drunk Parrot' in another thread in the 'What's my Type?' forum also responded to a post (it won't let me include links or hyperlinks here I'm sorry, because I haven't posted enough yet lol) and he shed light on some of the confusion too.

    Your friends sound EXACTLY like my kind of people. <3 and that is how I envision my life too, doing my best at something IIII want to do in MY own way, enjoying the experience of life in the process. :)

    Thank you again xx I really appreciate it. And also, I don't want to just take without giving, so if there are any threads you think I could offer some input on feel free to tag me x
    Sangmu and imsoFiNe thanked this post.


     
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