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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We know we are flexible. We know we have a million interests and can pick up new interests or put others down. We know we can get interested in what our partner is into. We usually pick partners who are pretty flexible with our myriad of dreams.
YET-- do you guys ever feel like you have adapted too much to your loved ones? Is this a danger?
 

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Hi Alesha! :laughing: Great idea for a thread! :wink:

I adapt because it is a fundamental part of me at my core. I adapt. It's not being inauthentic or false. It's being true to myself to adapt and connect. I don't feel like I lose a part of myself in that process. My core values are not violated by promoting harmony and connection with my partner. But this comes with the proviso that my partner is also giving to me. I think that in my younger days I failed to see when I was being taken for granted and taken advantage of.

I think that the danger lies in us being too happy to adapt in the face of a partner who simply has no desire to even vaguely be the same towards us. That way can lie abuse with a very lop-sided relationship where the ENFP gives only to receive nothing in return. But because I have a generally optimistic attitude I can gloss over the negatives as being 'tiny' when they are, in fact, big glaring fault lines running through the whole thing ready to shatter it! :shocked:

Time and experience allows me to better identify the signs that I am giving too much and not receiving anything of real and necessary value in return. What is 'necessary value' depends on what my soul needs at that time, be it time, affection, thoughts, actions or an actual object.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
@HappyHeart . Welcome! That's a well thought-out reply and I find it helpful. I hope you stick around the forum! =)
 
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Hi Alesha! :laughing: Great idea for a thread! :wink:

I adapt because it is a fundamental part of me at my core. I adapt. It's not being inauthentic or false. It's being true to myself to adapt and connect. I don't feel like I lose a part of myself in that process. My core values are not violated by promoting harmony and connection with my partner. But this comes with the proviso that my partner is also giving to me. I think that in my younger days I failed to see when I was being taken for granted and taken advantage of.

I think that the danger lies in us being too happy to adapt in the face of a partner who simply has no desire to even vaguely be the same towards us. That way can lie abuse with a very lop-sided relationship where the ENFP gives only to receive nothing in return. But because I have a generally optimistic attitude I can gloss over the negatives as being 'tiny' when they are, in fact, big glaring fault lines running through the whole thing ready to shatter it! :shocked:

Time and experience allows me to better identify the signs that I am giving too much and not receiving anything of real and necessary value in return. What is 'necessary value' depends on what my soul needs at that time, be it time, affection, thoughts, actions or an actual object.
As an INFJ, I too could have written this, especially the part I bolded.

It's a special privilege to adapt and be able to give to the one you love; and if it's under challenging circumstances, it just makes me feel even more gratitude if I can be in a position to go the extra mile for that precious person, to be at his or her side, loving and proud, when others would flee.
 

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I completely agree with you that it IS a privilege to adapt and be able to give to the person you love! That part and parcel of them being MY SPECIAL person! :heart::heart::heart:

I will go above and beyond for them because I love them. Because we are a team. Because there is nothing I wouldn't do for them and no where I would not follow them if they wanted me there. :kitteh:
 

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Yep. I adapt to the shape of the people around me. Sometimes I wonder if I do it too much, too - some would call it a lack of individuality, others a sign of social intelligence (people prone to imitating the nuances of other people's behaviors supposedly have high social intelligence). I laugh like them, humor them, and try to see things from their point of view. I know I would be a different person if I'd chosen to have different people in my life.

One thing that helped me figure out where my line was (as far as accommodating people, which is closely related to but not the exact same as adapting to them) was a very exhausting, unhealthy codependent friendship I found myself in. It taught me I had to stand up for myself, that I did not have endless emotional resources to lavish on unhealthily needy people, and that I wasn't doing them any favors by trying to be Wonder Woman for them - that I needed to let them go and hit rock bottom instead of trying to save them so that they could learn to help themselves, and learn to grow up. By doing that, I learned a lot of things that applied to other friendships and relationships - that totally adapting to suit people doesn't do me any good, and more importantly, it doesn't do them any good either.

That doesn't mean not being supportive to those close to me who are going through a rough time - just that I need to be honest with them about who I am and what I can (or can't) actually do for them.
 

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Possibly too much. I don't know if I know where my line is. I don't know if there are moments that I am being stubborn just for the sake of my own pride or for my sanity. I don't know how to know for sure.
 

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Possibly too much. I don't know if I know where my line is. I don't know if there are moments that I am being stubborn just for the sake of my own pride or for my sanity. I don't know how to know for sure.
That is a hard one. But I'd say it's specific-situation-based: Observe the nature of the reciprocity in the specific relationship. If the other he or she in question is just gobbling up all your good will and good actions and is not concerned with making an effort to repay you in his/her own coinage, and shows an attitude of "gimme more . . . more . . . more," that's (obviously) abusive and unhealthy. If the other he or she in question delights in all your good will and good actions, but has a tinge or more of regret to be putting you to all the trouble, and looks for ways to reciprocate to some approximate equal degree of significance, but in his/her own way, that's more like it. "In his/her own coinage" is important. If it's studiously "You gave me an apple, I herewith give you an apple. You gave me a peck on the cheek, I herewith give you a peck on the cheek" (and so on), that's just household bookkeeping, not love. Someone who loves you will not just be trying to liquidate emotional debts--they'll be anxiously creative in finding ways to share in making wonderful the life of their dear one: It's "us"-based, not "me"-based. And sanity? What does sanity have to do with being in love? [gets back into strait-jacket]
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@Falling Foxes (and all)
I don't know either, which is why I posted this question. There is that give and take, yes....and @odinthor I do like your image on the return in the currency of the other person very much. That's a very important question is if there is a return and obviously to make sure nobody is being abused.
I may need to re-frame the context of my question. I'm not feeling that there is a problem in the give-and take, really. I don't THINK I put up with abuse and I'm not in an un-loving relationship. But it's more like the type of choices I make and the type of flexibility I'm having to give.
For instance in something so simple as: I want to go out. He wants to just stay home. We just stay home because I'd rather we stick together. The connection and the closeness and experiencing something together is what I really wanted anyway. But--- then he's just playing his video game. I'm looking at PerC. How many days of the week has this been? This has got to stop somewhere, right? And it's not like he didn't just do the laundry or kiss me and wrap me in a blanket or share some political stuff we think is cool. Or is this a problem because I am content to just be on PerC? Is it me?

So going back to your analogy @odinthor.... maybe the type of currency is the thing at play, here. Maybe I can't cash in rubles or ducats as well as I want to--- at least not every day of the week.

Sometimes I think my ability to be cheerful and happy in almost any given situation is making it so I am cheerful and happy in a cave. If it gets to feel like I'm singing in a cage, then something has to be done!!! And I can't tell, because cave or cage, I'd sing the same.... But this is the kind of thing I joined PerC about in the first place.... Yes, I know I let it all hang out sometimes. But we're all human, correct? At some point you all will be my age. You might not have the same problems, but you can then understand someone else's.
And I am good at figuring things out?
By the way, I am taking voice lessons, just joined a choir, and am getting into things on my own out here... I am teaching college in the evenings... I mean, I do enough on my own. I'll figure it out. =)
 

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Yeah, plus I hate conflict. If I have to deal with it so be it, right? In the correct way though like adults. Anyway, at one point I wanted a partner my family would love and I could tolerate. I found a really nice guy in fact he's still a cool friend of mine. I thought yeah, this will be cake. Y'know not really. I'm lesbian and had no attraction whatsoever to him (his personality is extrodinary but that isn't enough). I just wanted my family to be happy. It didn't last and I was RELEAVED that we broke up. Now, I have an extrodinary woman and my family is starting to tolerate and accept me slowly.

Sometimes people won't like the things we do huh? But that's okay.
 

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I think that we would be happy singing in a cave...indeed, I have done so in the past (metaphorically speaking)! :confused:

The real challenge lies in finding balance and realising your priorities. If my priority is just to be with my honeybunny (which it is! :blushed::blushed::blushed: ) then my adaption will lie in connecting with him. In staying in and amusing myself with the love and comfort of him close. :heart::heart::heart:

Does this mean I have adapted too far? Perhaps...but this is only if I notice that we are ALWAYS staying in and I am always singing in a cage. The feeling of 'singing in a cage' (I feel) typically comes from over-giving and indicates that perhaps we have met the needs of our partner at the extent of our own. I also think it starts to be an indicator that we have not been vocal enough about what we need and that our loving partners have seen us singing in our cage and made assumptions that this is exactly what we want to do - rather than considering that we ALSO want and need something more from them. :shocked:

So the problem actually becomes a lack of communication :bored: Our partner sees that we are happy just the way we are (because we are happy) and doesn't think that more needs to be done because they are doing what is clearly making us happy.

And we ARE actually happy because we adapt to the situation and prioritise being with them and loving them while remaining connected to be more important that going out and doing other stuff since we are, after all, together! :proud: And this is where the communication can fail. We figure that they'll realise that we want to go out and do something else with them at some point because we've adapted to them and anticipate and assume they have a certain level of intimate knowledge and adaptation towards us. But all they are seeing is that everything is great and we are happy so they are doing the right thing! :proud:

We may just need to be more vocal and direct about things that we want to do WITH them and if that is met with extreme resistance - find out why? Perhaps there is compromise? If not...then perhaps the relationship has become lop-sided and needs care and effort to get both parties back on even ground?
 

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Odd, this came at exactly the right time.

I was in a (rather short) relationship with an INTP until very recently.

The main reason why our relationship fell apart is that he did not acknowledge my interests, whatsoever. We almost always only talked about his interests, and if I spoke about anything that I liked that he had no direct interest in, he shut me down, in a quite straight forward manner. I.E I sent him a picture of a segment from my favourite book, and he literally did puking emoji's and said he it pained him to read it. Sending him the image was already a leap of faith for me, as I had figured by that point he didn't like talking about anything other than engines, maths and the mundane experiences of the day. I thought I'd just try it, who knows, we could have a conversation that would have fulfilled me deeply, but it was not to be.

I thought I could handle it, and make these allowances, but within myself, a sense of alienation grew like a slow forming mist. Eventually I could not function normally without completely cutting that part of myself away from him, as he kept rejecting it. He only wanted the surface level me, the "going-out-getting-drunk-friendly" side. He had no interest whatsoever in (what I would call) the esoteric, or the romantic. I suppose it sounds quite pretentious and selfish, but this side of me is who I really am. Who I really am is not the right person for him.
I know I am stubborn, as stubborn as he is about what he wants around him, and that's where it jarred. Except, I allowed, for perhaps too long, him to have the reins. It wasn't a relationship of equal measure. He was free to be himself, while I was closeted and closed up into a box he created.

As ENFP's, we are highly adaptable and personable, reaching and bending ourselves to make other people feel comfortable. We put our true selves on the back burner to accommodate to certain types of people, until we learn that we can, or cannot, open up that part of ourselves. Which I would say is 80% of who we really are. Essentially, we cannot carry on forever only being 20%. It will eat us alive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I thought I could handle it, and make these allowances, but within myself, a sense of alienation grew like a slow forming mist. Eventually I could not function normally without completely cutting that part of myself away from him, as he kept rejecting it. He only wanted the surface level me, the "going-out-getting-drunk-friendly" side.

As ENFP's, we are highly adaptable and personable, reaching and bending ourselves to make other people feel comfortable. We put our true selves on the back burner to accommodate to certain types of people, until we learn that we can, or cannot, open up that part of ourselves. Which I would say is 80% of who we really are. Essentially, we cannot carry on forever only being 20%. It will eat us alive.
Well put, my dear. Better things are in store! But I think this is why it sometimes takes us longer to find the right partner. Our intimate relationships are too important to our happiness and well-being to deal with showing 20% for forever. =)
@HappyHeart Doing better. Had a good date and amazing bonding time." Feeling completely whole again, luckily! Singing out in the blue sky again! =)
 

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Wonderful to hear Alesha! :kitteh: I think that we can find hope in many many situations. It is clear that you deeply love your INFP and I am so glad that you had some amazing bonding time! May it happen again and again! :happy:
 

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We know we are flexible. We know we have a million interests and can pick up new interests or put others down. We know we can get interested in what our partner is into. We usually pick partners who are pretty flexible with our myriad of dreams.
YET-- do you guys ever feel like you have adapted too much to your loved ones? Is this a danger?
I haven't read through the entire thread but here's my answer .
In regard of romance


Sometimes- not all the time- but certain things like movies /concerts / vacation places /what to eat- I'll give my partner the lead because i adapt better than he does and if he feels misplaced or uncomfortable- I'm uncomfortable .
Not to the point of danger though- I pretty much do what I want and he does accommodate- it's just easier for me to find things amusing , if it's something intolerable I won't do it . I wouldn't do things I don't enjoy
-----------
However
With my mother - I feel like I do give in a lot - to the point that it may be dangerous but I don't know how to stop it. My mother loves me dearly and isn't interested in having any other friends.

So she's always around me .
I have a lot of friends who would come over to visit me and when my mother hear about this- she too would get excited to see my friends- problem is- when she sees them- she'll talk nonstop and it leaves me feeling grouchy and agitated. If I were to ask her for some alone time- she will say ok but the expression on her face tells me that she's extremely hurt and that kills me. So yeah I end up doing things I don't like - being around her all the time bc i feel guilty otherwise. And since I'm doing something against my will- she knows ( we had this talk many time before) I feel grouchy and agitated .
After I had kids it was easier- my mom loves her grandkids and they adore her. She would offer to care for them so I could have a date night or go out with friends ( her suggestions not mine ) but you know it could be menopause that got her so needy and crazy with mood swings - she's no longer as needy now :)



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Well put, my dear. Better things are in store! But I think this is why it sometimes takes us longer to find the right partner. Our intimate relationships are too important to our happiness and well-being to deal with showing 20% for forever. =)
@HappyHeart Doing better. Had a good date and amazing bonding time." Feeling completely whole again, luckily! Singing out in the blue sky again! =)
I think I should update this! Well,... When I broke up with him, I pretty much ended it, with no warning to him. I just told him I wasn't happy and that was that.

He didn't talk to me for a while, but then he was slowly trying to get back in contact with me. He deeply apologised for not listening to me enough, and not paying enough attention to my interests. He actually really accurately described what happened. I was kind of surprised he was so aware of what was going on between us. I thought he was just plodding along, happy to be in a relationship. I felt I could have been anyone and he would have been happy.
Turns out, no, it truly was me he wants... We made up, and are back together. It is a lot better than it was before. He has opened his mind to new things, like listening to the playlist I made him (which I had sent him 3 times before and he didn't bother even looking at it lol) and realising he actually enjoyed the music...
What I have learned is to EXPLAIN how I feel, before acting impulsively and cutting it off. I get so set on an emotion its hard for me to pull myself out of it.

But, it's still a bit hard for me to get my head around the fact it's not 100% perfect. I have this image in my head, of how I think it should be. A lot of it isn't exactly how I imagine my "perfect" relationship, but there are some extra (good) things that I didn't expect.

Can people learn to be soul mates?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
I think I should update this! Well,... When I broke up with him, I pretty much ended it, with no warning to him. I just told him I wasn't happy and that was that.

He didn't talk to me for a while, but then he was slowly trying to get back in contact with me. He deeply apologised for not listening to me enough, and not paying enough attention to my interests. He actually really accurately described what happened. I was kind of surprised he was so aware of what was going on between us. I thought he was just plodding along, happy to be in a relationship. I felt I could have been anyone and he would have been happy.
Turns out, no, it truly was me he wants... We made up, and are back together. It is a lot better than it was before. He has opened his mind to new things, like listening to the playlist I made him (which I had sent him 3 times before and he didn't bother even looking at it lol) and realising he actually enjoyed the music...
What I have learned is to EXPLAIN how I feel, before acting impulsively and cutting it off. I get so set on an emotion its hard for me to pull myself out of it.

But, it's still a bit hard for me to get my head around the fact it's not 100% perfect. I have this image in my head, of how I think it should be. A lot of it isn't exactly how I imagine my "perfect" relationship, but there are some extra (good) things that I didn't expect.

Can people learn to be soul mates?
Well, we are all asking this question. What out of this is just me putting up with stuff? And, yeah, other types will probably put up with a lot--- but I know that their core relationship doesn't always define their happiness on the same level it does for us. So... knowing it can improve is good. Having to threaten to leave to get some needed changes is not.
Thinking about this I think the response is really important. Like lets say we come at them with something like this: "I want to feel closer to you. I would really like to cook more together. I think it would be great time spent together. My parents always had a great time cooking and talking together and I've always kind of wanted to do that. You love to cook and so do I. What do you think?"
So I think the response is super important. Lets say they are just like, "No, I don't see how that would work in our kitchen. I like trading off cooking. No need to change it." And then we are like, "I'd like to feel closer to you is the main thing."
If at this point they are like, "Whatever." Or if they are like, "You want to feel closer to me? Yes. I really think it would be too awkward cooking in our kitchen, but what else would make you feel closer?" But I think this kind of response is fairly rare? I don't know. I did hear a psychologist say once, "If you step it up in the bedroom and your partner responds by stepping it up, then that's how you know you've got a good lover." And I kind of think the same maybe with activities, non-sexual physical affection, time spent. All the love languages.
Oh my gosh, just that kind of freedom to not be held back in the feelings department. Right? I feel like I know i'm stating what we ENFPs want. Am I wrong? Or am I the only one who wants to be as intimate as humanly possible and not feel rejected with that. It's tough, right? @Hapyniss @mehua (I thought you 2 might find this interesting too)
@organs About your question about soul mates. I think the idea is very mature. I have met people in 2nd marriages who were SO different from each other but who really enjoyed and appreciated their differences. Not everyone can be like this. I think it takes growth mindset. But yeah, I've got a couple in my mind who appreciate each other and they appreciate that they think almost the polar opposite of each other. One a Republican, one a Democrat. One religious and one not. And I'm 41, so there is a whole different mindset to finding someone at this age. (I'm not single---but I'm sharing what I see in other couples). For many the idea of soul mate has long been replaced with the idea of appreciation, I believe, and adaptability. There's a lot less bull-shit in the communication, but I think a lot of people in their 2nd marriages are looking for things like, "Does this person communicate well? Their boundaries have been communicated, can I work with this?" "Does this person step up when they need to?" That kind of thing. I wouldn't even impose the same kind of thinking on younger people for whom there is more choices in partners. There it's about finding high compatibility and kind of "soul mate" stuff. >< long post, but yeah, at my age the questions people ask are different. You may be in between these two mindsets?
 
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