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When I first learned the true meaning of the word “introvert”, I read a lot of stuff online about introverts being content with being in the background. I was confident that I was an introvert, but I was a little confused as to why I seem to be taking over the world in my fantasies, and I have also never felt quite right about that. In some ways, I wish I were a person who could be content with being in the background. I admire people like that. I see them as being more humble.

My immediate reaction upon discovering what it meant to be an introvert was to spread the word. I felt that introverts were being unjustly treated by an ignorant society. Thus, I started crusading online to do everything in my power to see that the common perception would be changed. Then, I found out more about INFJs, and my intuition said, “Yes, you’re one of them.” So I sort of threw out everything I was saying before and started crusading again- sort of in the “opposite direction”, so to speak.

My thoughts often just seem too important to be kept to myself, and I worry that if I am too far in the background that I won’t be heard. I often question whether they are indeed as important as they seem, and sometimes I don’t feel like I get enough feedback to be certain about it, but I am going to speak up. I am still young, so maybe overtime I can fine-tune my expression of my thoughts more so that I can feel more confident in them and their impact on others.

How about you?
 

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Right NOW, I am content with being in the background. Sometimes though I feel like i just have these ideas or thoughts i want people to know about, and this shows itself in a lot of my daydreams/fantasizes where i find myself openly expressing my thoughts or opinions on something. Sometimes, I have a tinge of regret, when i realize that because of my backgroundedness, people don't really know me well though i feel like these things about myself are really obvious. it's always at the back of my mind, but not something i actively think about or worry about, because i realize it's better this way then to forcibly extrovert my thoughts.
 

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I like to be in the background most of the time. Serving my purposes unnoticed is quite fulfilling to me:wink:

However, when at times things seem scattered or out of place, I act to put things back to the way they were. This is me acting on the foreground.

When something violates me and my values, I can either be on the foreground or hide in the background. I can be more fatal in the background though so I stay away from it when I'm in a bad mood. Haha :tongue:

:happy:
 
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As long as you know how to come out of your background an make an impact I don't see a problem with it :wink:

Both of my parents are introverts, but well-adjusted and balanced in their use of introverted and extraverted functions. Their friends and acquaintances often invite them to local social gatherings and parties as well as nature outings like camping or skiing. At these gathering they don't hang around in the background somewhere but participate and engage with other people. Socially I don't see how they lose out for being introverted types.

Only issue with introversion is if you become very heavily introverted and so start living in a world of your own, detached from reality. All introverted functions are inherently subjective, they work into inside of your head and don't interact with world outside. So long-term heavy introversion can lead a person to become poorly adjusted to life and to believe all kinds of weird things that don't correspond to what is happening in outside world.
 

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When I first learned the true meaning of the word “introvert”, I read a lot of stuff online about introverts being content with being in the background. I was confident that I was an introvert, but I was a little confused as to why I seem to be taking over the world in my fantasies, and I have also never felt quite right about that. In some ways, I wish I were a person who could be content with being in the background. I admire people like that. I see them as being more humble.

My immediate reaction upon discovering what it meant to be an introvert was to spread the word. I felt that introverts were being unjustly treated by an ignorant society. Thus, I started crusading online to do everything in my power to see that the common perception would be changed. Then, I found out more about INFJs, and my intuition said, “Yes, you’re one of them.” So I sort of threw out everything I was saying before and started crusading again- sort of in the “opposite direction”, so to speak.

My thoughts often just seem too important to be kept to myself, and I worry that if I am too far in the background that I won’t be heard. I often question whether they are indeed as important as they seem, and sometimes I don’t feel like I get enough feedback to be certain about it, but I am going to speak up. I am still young, so maybe overtime I can fine-tune my expression of my thoughts more so that I can feel more confident in them and their impact on others.

How about you?
That resonates with my experience, but I can see some differences as well. I am very happy with being introverted as long as everything is running smoothly and working out, but as soon as there are things that need sorting out, I tend to not be able to stop myself from
stepping forward and doing what needs to be done. Obviously that is still something I would do in the least obtrusive way possible, but when the situation calls for it, I will stay in the foreground, for the sake of the cause.

I put much value in being true to yourself and others in the small contexts, and am generally very happy with not making much of a visible impact on the world in general, as long as what I do means something to the people I have around me. I wouldn't say that I dream about running the world, or becoming any great leader of sorts, but somehow I still have this feeling, which I most times actually fear, of sooner or later in my life being put in a very visible leadership position at least for a while.

And anyone who knows me would say that I don't make myself heard enough, and that I should speak up and share my ideas more. I'm probably not balanced enough to do that yet, but I'm working on it.
 

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I definitely try to stay in the background, and I'm usually pretty good at it. My friends and I joke that I carry around an invisibility cloak. But when something's really important, I'm willing to stand up for it. I think that's normal. INFJ's are passionate about their causes, so it makes sense that we'd overcome our shyness and/or introversion to rally our cause.
 

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There is always this conflict inside me to be in the background versus wanting to be in the center of it all especially with things I'm interested in or care about.

But I like to be in the background even though I always have my mark without anyone noticing like dropping an idea in the middle of a conversation which causes it to shift even though I was silent before I did this.

I also would step up and take control if need be but if someone is doing a good job at it then I'll gladly fade into the background but keep an eye on things.
 

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my first thought was.. interesting use of words. i never looked at 'background' that way. seems foreground is to be taken as taking control of your life, being assertive, while the opposite is to sort of hide yourself. imo background can be exactly the same as fg, the only difference is that one is not in the limelight. you can act the same way, be just as social, have as much control over your life but nobody needs know about it. i also remember some phrases i've seen at dollar stores(?) where they say "do you want to speak to the man who's in charge? or the woman who knows what's going on?" or... the leader will be the one directing everyone, but the counsellor is the one who directs him/her to make those decisions. the leader may be the head, but the counsellor is the neck. these samples just to say that the background has as much power as the front.

i always prefer the background but i always stick out, in schools and jobs. i'm satisfied knowing no one knows about me or what i look like. every once in a while you get a nice compliment, "wow i wonder who made all those...???" i like the privacy it offers. i also deal with things in t bg, like if someone has done something awful or caused a problem, i'll tell them in the bg than in front of others. or i'll leave an anonymous note at their desk.
 

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In the background using other people for camouflage. So I can stay in the background. so I can think of how I should be and what should be done when the others need me in the foreground.
 

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I prefer to blend elegantly with the wall...

Strange thing, but back in school I was always elected as a class representative and so forth, even though I wasn't very interested in doing such things. When I was 17, I even sat in the school board for a year, representing the students (we're pretty super democratic up here in Scandinavia). At Uni the whole political scene was different (candidates had to run campaigns etc), and so I could comfortably embrace the wall again and become invisible.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
my first thought was.. interesting use of words. i never looked at 'background' that way. seems foreground is to be taken as taking control of your life, being assertive, while the opposite is to sort of hide yourself. imo background can be exactly the same as fg, the only difference is that one is not in the limelight. you can act the same way, be just as social, have as much control over your life but nobody needs know about it. i also remember some phrases i've seen at dollar stores(?) where they say "do you want to speak to the man who's in charge? or the woman who knows what's going on?" or... the leader will be the one directing everyone, but the counsellor is the one who directs him/her to make those decisions. the leader may be the head, but the counsellor is the neck. these samples just to say that the background has as much power as the front.

i always prefer the background but i always stick out, in schools and jobs. i'm satisfied knowing no one knows about me or what i look like. every once in a while you get a nice compliment, "wow i wonder who made all those...???" i like the privacy it offers. i also deal with things in t bg, like if someone has done something awful or caused a problem, i'll tell them in the bg than in front of others. or i'll leave an anonymous note at their desk.
Don't take me the wrong way. I think a lot of it has to do with the culture that I have grown up in, which I don't like for the most part, but I know I can't change it. And no matter how we define "background", I certainly have nothing against it. I'm just too invisible there. And I've noticed that in the rare moments thourghout my life when I wasn't there, people were cheering me on and wanting more of it, and I felt weird and confused about it.

I don't like the "dog eat dog", "survival of the fittest" mentality, but I know a lot of people who have it, and I want these people to take me seriously. My main hope is that, even if I have to thrust myself out there, I will never have to step on anyone's head to succeed. I would ideally like for everyone to succeed in their own way.
 

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Yea I agree, think I've been getting that impression from you too in your posts.. In my life introversion is fine -the only time I've been complained about for this is when my parents' friend(s) tell me they don't like how quiet I am and then my dad joins in.. but outside of that I'm fine the way I am. All I can say is that for myself I feel more confused when I take into account other people's wants.. Where my life is concerned, it is only me, nobody else has a say. Only when and if I come into contact with others, then I have to take care in how I affect them..
 

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Yea I agree, think I've been getting that impression from you too in your posts.. In my life introversion is fine -the only time I've been complained about for this is when my parents' friend(s) tell me they don't like how quiet I am and then my dad joins in.. but outside of that I'm fine the way I am. All I can say is that for myself I feel more confused when I take into account other people's wants.. Where my life is concerned, it is only me, nobody else has a say. Only when and if I come into contact with others, then I have to take care in how I affect them..
I'm not anti-introversion, but I've used it too much, and there is certainly an extroverted side to me that I have not fully understood throughout my life.

I certainly hope that no introvert would read my posts and somehow regard me as a "sell-out" or think that I am somehow not as "deep" as they are (because I often CHOOSE not to be).

There are other people on this planet besides me, and I would rather get along with them than to act all macho and to think of myself as superior to them, because I'm too cool for mainstream.

My culture does not value introversion or understand it, but because of the way Fe seems to work for me, I don't have to be Mr. Introvert all the time. I can enjoy extrovertish-type activites as well as introvertish ones, and I see this as a good thing.

My personality appears to have changed, but it has not. I have been confused all my life. Now the cloud has been lifted. I am alive. I have a life outside of my mind, which is the way I want it.
 

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Oh I see :p There was another thread this was mentioned.. Greencoyote was talking about some infjs who growing up being more introverted as children and getting acquainted with their other side when they reached adulthood. I'm just the opposite of this ^^ Only learning more about introversion the past few years/months now... It's turned into a sort of self-therapy for me.
 

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i always prefer the background but i always stick out, in schools and jobs. i'm satisfied knowing no one knows about me or what i look like. every once in a while you get a nice compliment, "wow i wonder who made all those...???" i like the privacy it offers. i also deal with things in t bg, like if someone has done something awful or caused a problem, i'll tell them in the bg than in front of others. or i'll leave an anonymous note at their desk.
This is very much how I like things as well. I work in the background, influencing people around me in one-to-one conversations and smaller groups to make things move in the direction i want. I guess I want to make sure that I understand that person's perspective and that I myself am not misunderstood.

As for giving feedback and compliments, I would naturally do that in private just as you describe, for all kind of feedback. What I have come to realise in my working life is that a lot of people (presumable the extroverts) value higher being recognised for their efforts in front of others. So now I try to give the negative feedback in private and the positive feedback when at least one other person is listening, despite it seeming a bit forced to me personally.
 

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As for giving feedback and compliments, I would naturally do that in private just as you describe, for all kind of feedback. What I have come to realise in my working life is that a lot of people (presumable the extroverts) value higher being recognised for their efforts in front of others. So now I try to give the negative feedback in private and the positive feedback when at least one other person is listening, despite it seeming a bit forced to me personally.
Here's an interesting detail that I haven't thought about regarding feedback for myself. I don't need it to be infront of other people who are listening. This actually makes me feel better about it.

I think I've tried to go after the masses too much though. I majored in mass communications and wanted to take on the world. Problem with that is that I have desired for more people to give me feedback than what usually happens. Normally, just a small handful of people will say that much about it. I have to keep reminding myself that this small handful is meaningful and should encourage me.

If I can get back in school to get my masters in psychology, aside from maybe trying to write some books, I am going to let go of the world and concentrate on helping individuals. I probably should have never started trying to change things on this forum, but it was almost a reflex-type reaction to finding out that I was an INFJ. I think that I partly wanted to use my insight on here to show myself that this is where my "worth" comes from.
 

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Here's an interesting detail that I haven't thought about regarding feedback for myself. I don't need it to be infront of other people who are listening. This actually makes me feel better about it.

I think I've tried to go after the masses too much though. I majored in mass communications and wanted to take on the world. Problem with that is that I have desired for more people to give me feedback than what usually happens. Normally, just a small handful of people will say that much about it. I have to keep reminding myself that this small handful is meaningful and should encourage me.

If I can get back in school to get my masters in psychology, aside from maybe trying to write some books, I am going to let go of the world and concentrate on helping individuals. I probably should have never started trying to change things on this forum, but it was almost a reflex-type reaction to finding out that I was an INFJ. I think that I partly wanted to use my insight on here to show myself that this is where my "worth" comes from.
Yes. If someone gives me positive feedback, I take it more serious if there is no one else around, as this makes me feel it is more sincere. If done in public, there is always a part of me that suspects that it is done to follow some social expectation or for some of the shine to fall on the person giving credit as well. So, yeah, it doesn't seem as sincere to me if it is in public. I luckily realise that this probably borders on being paranoid or something, and that most other people don't function that way. I'm happy to hear that I'm not alone in it though. Could it be an INFJ thing? :laughing:

And for feedback in general, yes it is my experience that way too little of it happens compared to what would be healthy for peoples personal development, presumably because of the fear for coming off as too blunt and insensible, and fear of hurting others feelings. I have a feeling though that this mismatch between expectation and actual feedback is either bigger for INFJs or taken more seriously by INFJs...

As for your future career, seeing that you now see more value in helping individuals makes me happy, but I do hope that you do not lose the bigger perspective either. Some people are meant to preach to the masses, and it might be you! Just don't rely on the masses for reaffirmation and support.
 
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Yes. If someone gives me positive feedback, I take it more serious if there is no one else around, as this makes me feel it is more sincere. If done in public, there is always a part of me that suspects that it is done to follow some social expectation or for some of the shine to fall on the person giving credit as well. So, yeah, it doesn't seem as sincere to me if it is in public. I luckily realise that this probably borders on being paranoid or something, and that most other people don't function that way. I'm happy to hear that I'm not alone in it though. Could it be an INFJ thing? :laughing:

And for feedback in general, yes it is my experience that way too little of it happens compared to what would be healthy for peoples personal development, presumably because of the fear for coming off as too blunt and insensible, and fear of hurting others feelings. I have a feeling though that this mismatch between expectation and actual feedback is either bigger for INFJs or taken more seriously by INFJs...

As for your future career, seeing that you now see more value in helping individuals makes me happy, but I do hope that you do not lose the bigger perspective either. Some people are meant to preach to the masses, and it might be you! Just don't rely on the masses for reaffirmation and support.
I really like your second paragraph and last sentence. It very much applies to me. Thanks. :happy:

The world is not enough. I think it's time for me to get a girlfriend. :dry:
 

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I really like your second paragraph and last sentence. It very much applies to me. Thanks. :happy:

The world is not enough. I think it's time for me to get a girlfriend. :dry:
Thanks!

Yeah that helps... :laughing:

And you know were to go when you need some advice... :wink: jk
 
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