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Discussion Starter #1
I just took the personality test twice and got ENTJ both times. I'm okay with the idea of being an executive person, but when I hear about other ENTJs I can't relate at all! I generally try to be nice to people and have a very low self esteem, and don't always speak out much. However, all of the things that ENTJs are said to do, I often feel inclined to do. I'm one of the best public speakers I know, and have never been beaten in a debate. On the things I deem important, I have very strong opinions based on experience and facts, and can be very obnoxious/pushy in an argument. I'm a very hard worker and like to be on a schedule, though because of a chronic illness I haven't been on one lately.

So here's the issue: Why don't I show almost ANY outward signs of being an ENTJ? People who don't know me very well would call me introverted, quiet and indecisive. The first conclusion I came to was that it's a result of living with my mother for so long. I know everyone likes to complain about their parents, but my mother is a twisted and miserable person. I moved out of the house literally on the day of my 18th birthday and don't plan to return. All my life she has discouraged me from being social, mentally strangled all of my opinions and desires, and done everything she could to make me hate myself. If I disagreed or argued with something she said she would call me a terrible child, and if I made a rude observation she told me, "Heron, you'll never make any friends or get a job because you're so rude to everyone." I was a straight A student all my life, with the exception of the year that she refused to sign my school papers and my grade was penalized, and yet she never encouraged my education. I'm very self motivated, but every project I got into she would insult to the point of cruelty.

Am I just confused? Since this site is dedicated to developing your personality type, I would really like to understand how to go about doing that when I'm not even certain what mine is. And if I am such a strong personality type, I probably have a lot of catching up to do, right? Obviously a self-doubting, paranoid, worrisome, shy, hesitant artist is a far cry from what an ENTJ is meant to be, or for that matter what anyone would want to be. So where do I go from here?

TLDR; Can a strong personality type be suppressed in a young person due to a negative and oppressing parent? What is the logical next step in personality development for a confused ENTJ?
 

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I do think that parents can have an influence on type....A child may prefer certain functions or a function order, but an overbearing parent who has other ideas of how their child should behave may end up suppressing or discourage the child's natural function preferences and force use of functions that may be foreign.

My first suggestion would be to try and figure out what you actually are before worrying about developing yourself. If you aren't ENTJ, then trying to develop yourself as one is pretty futile. You may want to look into INTJ. Same functions, different order. It can make a big difference. Read up about the functions too, as that can help more than the personality descriptions. But posting in the different areas can really help. I think most people are able to, one on level or another, relate to others of their type in the forums.
 

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Yes, personality can be suppressed by parents if they constantly make you feel as though something is so totally wrong with you and that you must change your ways... something along those lines, to sum it up.

I wondered myself earlier today whether I am really an INFP, even though I have felt ever since the longest I can remember that I am an NF... but sometimes I gravitate towards other NF personalities other than my own, especially INFJ, with whom I spot a lot of similarities, yet I am more INFP than anything else at the end of the day. I've also experienced being very non-INFP a lot of the times, even today, and have demonstrated more decisive, loudly opinionated, independently ambitious and even carelessly spontaneous behaviour as well as under-estimating my idealism and resorting to logical thinking -- but protecting my idealism so I can bring all my works in accord to it instead of letting idealism lead the way. Yet, this process confuses me at a certain point and I get exhausted by it because it's not my natural expression. It's definitely helpful and makes me happy in some ways, but still not 'me'. In fact, I find it difficult to get a complete grasp of.

All this is because each of our personalities are life-long patterns and the manners and ways of being in this world that are unique to each of us. I think we all know to a certain extent what is best for us and what we can do, yet when we are bogged down by conditional acceptance, we can have the tendency to overlook our processes and start getting influenced by expectations ESPECIALLY from anyone that participates in our life a great deal and anyone that shows to be heavily imposing. While I think that how we handle our circumstances and situations determines our personality and in fact, reveals more of it -- I also believe that the more stress you carry the more you feel blocked of your true personality.

What could be happening is that your least dominant traits are showing themselves. I say, don't fear them showing, and don't feel like you should not be like that and instead you should be like what ENTJs show themselves to be in order to be an ENTJ. Strive for balance, and everything will fall into place. Keeping the outcome in check is good, but it's nothing without the journey of a thousand perspectives (not miles :crazy:) and choices that can increase your freedom.

Last but not least, I agree with WildWinds about posting in the ENTJ sub-forum and seeing if you feel at home or can begin to pick up on any similarities. Most importantly, check out the functions of personalities. Upon learning the functions had I gained much more insight to the personality types in general, and what I could be Vs how much of what I currently am, am I really?
 

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I think it's possible. I use a lot of feeling, even tho my father is very much a thinker, and has always tried to teach me to use that function. It could be that I use my Fi while having many of the traits of an Ti because of my father.
 

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I don't believe that a parent can change the manner in which you process your world (functions), but I do believe if your manner is deemed "inappropriate" or "wrong" by your parents' perhaps you'll hide yourself. There's the ever interesting shadow theory (or one of them), that under stress you look like a different type. In your case, if you're indeed an ENTJ, you'd act similar to an unhealthy ISFP under stress (opposite every letter).

I suggest looking for your type through self-discovery, as Tests lack the ability to discover functions. For example: Ne and Ni are very different, yet the tests only look for the N. Cognitive function tests exist as well, but they are often worse off than the letter-by-letter tests.

Find your type first, and make sure you aren't looking for your ideal personality type (mistyping can lead to some awkward stress). I wish I could say a type will just "click", but they don't always.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I do think that parents can have an influence on type....A child may prefer certain functions or a function order, but an overbearing parent who has other ideas of how their child should behave may end up suppressing or discourage the child's natural function preferences and force use of functions that may be foreign.

My first suggestion would be to try and figure out what you actually are before worrying about developing yourself. If you aren't ENTJ, then trying to develop yourself as one is pretty futile. You may want to look into INTJ. Same functions, different order. It can make a big difference. Read up about the functions too, as that can help more than the personality descriptions. But posting in the different areas can really help. I think most people are able to, one on level or another, relate to others of their type in the forums.
Yes, I definitely want to find out what actual type I am... I know that I am extroverted, even if I don't always show it. Communicating with people gives me great pleasure and makes me feel energetic, though I tend to doubt myself and not talk to people much out of fear that I'll do something wrong. Five years ago I took the longer version of the test and it said I was an ENFP, but I wouldn't be surprised if that has changed just from growing up a bit. I'll take your advice and check out the forums. Thank you for a very helpful response!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yes, personality can be suppressed by parents if they constantly make you feel as though something is so totally wrong with you and that you must change your ways... something along those lines, to sum it up.

I wondered myself earlier today whether I am really an INFP, even though I have felt ever since the longest I can remember that I am an NF... but sometimes I gravitate towards other NF personalities other than my own, especially INFJ, with whom I spot a lot of similarities, yet I am more INFP than anything else at the end of the day. I've also experienced being very non-INFP a lot of the times, even today, and have demonstrated more decisive, loudly opinionated, independently ambitious and even carelessly spontaneous behaviour as well as under-estimating my idealism and resorting to logical thinking -- but protecting my idealism so I can bring all my works in accord to it instead of letting idealism lead the way. Yet, this process confuses me at a certain point and I get exhausted by it because it's not my natural expression. It's definitely helpful and makes me happy in some ways, but still not 'me'. In fact, I find it difficult to get a complete grasp of.

All this is because each of our personalities are life-long patterns and the manners and ways of being in this world that are unique to each of us. I think we all know to a certain extent what is best for us and what we can do, yet when we are bogged down by conditional acceptance, we can have the tendency to overlook our processes and start getting influenced by expectations ESPECIALLY from anyone that participates in our life a great deal and anyone that shows to be heavily imposing. While I think that how we handle our circumstances and situations determines our personality and in fact, reveals more of it -- I also believe that the more stress you carry the more you feel blocked of your true personality.

What could be happening is that your least dominant traits are showing themselves. I say, don't fear them showing, and don't feel like you should not be like that and instead you should be like what ENTJs show themselves to be in order to be an ENTJ. Strive for balance, and everything will fall into place. Keeping the outcome in check is good, but it's nothing without the journey of a thousand perspectives (not miles :crazy:) and choices that can increase your freedom.

Last but not least, I agree with WildWinds about posting in the ENTJ sub-forum and seeing if you feel at home or can begin to pick up on any similarities. Most importantly, check out the functions of personalities. Upon learning the functions had I gained much more insight to the personality types in general, and what I could be Vs how much of what I currently am, am I really?
Thank you! Glad I'm not just crazy. The only letter I know for a fact is the E. I think I associate better with NF than NT, but I still have a lot of work to do in figuring myself out. I will definitely be looking through function of different personality types, and hopefully I'll find the one that fits me best.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I don't believe that a parent can change the manner in which you process your world (functions), but I do believe if your manner is deemed "inappropriate" or "wrong" by your parents' perhaps you'll hide yourself. There's the ever interesting shadow theory (or one of them), that under stress you look like a different type. In your case, if you're indeed an ENTJ, you'd act similar to an unhealthy ISFP under stress (opposite every letter).

I suggest looking for your type through self-discovery, as Tests lack the ability to discover functions. For example: Ne and Ni are very different, yet the tests only look for the N. Cognitive function tests exist as well, but they are often worse off than the letter-by-letter tests.

Find your type first, and make sure you aren't looking for your ideal personality type (mistyping can lead to some awkward stress). I wish I could say a type will just "click", but they don't always.

Good luck.
That is a very good point; I have been acting much the opposite of how I feel. It seems like a lot of work ahead, trying to turn everything back around. But I'm not worried about looking for an ideal type so much; I know that there's no right or wrong answer here, and I feel like pretty much a blank slate at this point. Besides, finding out how I function won't change the fact that I have free will and can still do whatever the heck I want with my life.
 

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This is a short answer, I really believe so, since I'm sure that happened to me big time. I think I was forced into my shadow mode quite early, no wonder I was stressed, it's apparently a very bad thing to be anything but your type even on a physical level because it's highly taxing on your brain and can do things like upset homeostasis and a whole lot more.
 

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This is a short answer, I really believe so, since I'm sure that happened to me big time. I think I was forced into my shadow mode quite early, no wonder I was stressed, it's apparently a very bad thing to be anything but your type even on a physical level because it's highly taxing on your brain and can do things like upset homeostasis and a whole lot more.
Yeah, I have no doubt that it's unhealthy what I've been doing. That's why it's important that I get out of these bad habits of suppression as soon as possible.
 

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I would have to agree that your true type can be suppressed, but it's still there. But I must say that there is no easy way to figure out your 'true' type.
It took me an extraordinarily long time to feel comfortable in my own skin after I moved out for college. I was forced to keep my emotions inside and to be reserved around my father. When I left home I realized I was still very reserved etc, even though deep down I wanted to be the life of the party.
I felt conflicted and so far the only remedy has been time.

A while ago I thought I was INFJ, and I could really understand other INFJs as well, but it was incredibly taxing! I was tired all day from being alone in my head. I was exhibiting INFJ traits but at a MUCH larger cost than if I was really INFJ. Everyone uses all 8 functions but what comes naturally is hard enough to figure out without having it masked by nurture.

May I suggest leaving MBTI aside for 5 or so days and live how you want to. Then afterwards examine what felt 'right' and what was strained action. That really helped me discover what was me naturally and what was learned behavior.
Good luck!
 

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Just a thought...

Yes that would be possible to my mind. However, if you are away from your mother then you could start doing some experiments and see what works and doesn't work for you. My suggestion would be to look into the cognitive function stuff and see how well that works or doesn't work for you in terms of how you usually live. Depending on how well you like or dislike introspection this may be easy or hard for you to my mind. Good luck on your journey.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I would have to agree that your true type can be suppressed, but it's still there. But I must say that there is no easy way to figure out your 'true' type.
It took me an extraordinarily long time to feel comfortable in my own skin after I moved out for college. I was forced to keep my emotions inside and to be reserved around my father. When I left home I realized I was still very reserved etc, even though deep down I wanted to be the life of the party.
I felt conflicted and so far the only remedy has been time.

A while ago I thought I was INFJ, and I could really understand other INFJs as well, but it was incredibly taxing! I was tired all day from being alone in my head. I was exhibiting INFJ traits but at a MUCH larger cost than if I was really INFJ. Everyone uses all 8 functions but what comes naturally is hard enough to figure out without having it masked by nurture.

May I suggest leaving MBTI aside for 5 or so days and live how you want to. Then afterwards examine what felt 'right' and what was strained action. That really helped me discover what was me naturally and what was learned behavior.
Good luck!
Yeah, I feel like that a lot of the time. I've always wanted to be around people, but my mother (being an extreme introvert) tried to keep me away from social situations. I never learned how to make friends and was alone for most of my life, which drives me totally crazy. But now that I finally have chances to make friends, I find that I'm the awkward one every time. I still don't understand how to socialize and what not to say, and end up scaring off new people. This is one of the things I find most difficult and upsetting about trying to get back to myself, but I know that if I keep trying it will eventually click.
 

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Yes that would be possible to my mind. However, if you are away from your mother then you could start doing some experiments and see what works and doesn't work for you. My suggestion would be to look into the cognitive function stuff and see how well that works or doesn't work for you in terms of how you usually live. Depending on how well you like or dislike introspection this may be easy or hard for you to my mind. Good luck on your journey.
It's been three months since I moved away from home. So far I'm doing pretty bad as far as getting over my mother's damage (even beyond the personality confusion there's the trust issues, fear and self doubt that keep me from making a healthy new life). Still, I am making some progress and I think I can get better. What do you mean by cognitive function stuff? Sorry, new here.

Thank you for your help! I'm sure that luck will come in handy.
 

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Well, if it's any condolence, I completely understand what you're going through, I'm still going through some of it myself.
Awkwardness is something I found can only be softened with experience. It helps when you're around supportive people.

Confidence can be worked on and can be achieved! It just takes genuine work ethic, you're not going to wake up one morning and feel totally confident with yourself!
Sometimes it helps to 'fake' your desired actions until they become natural. You will get comfortable with it eventually and it will no longer be fake.
There's no clear cut path but I like to say, practice makes better!
 

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Well, if it's any condolence, I completely understand what you're going through, I'm still going through some of it myself.
Awkwardness is something I found can only be softened with experience. It helps when you're around supportive people.

Confidence can be worked on and can be achieved! It just takes genuine work ethic, you're not going to wake up one morning and feel totally confident with yourself!
Sometimes it helps to 'fake' your desired actions until they become natural. You will get comfortable with it eventually and it will no longer be fake.
There's no clear cut path but I like to say, practice makes better!
Thank you! :) I do have the work ethic, for sure, and I know I can learn how to be confident with time. I'm very glad for the support; it makes me want to try harder.
 

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Yes, I definitely want to find out what actual type I am... I know that I am extroverted, even if I don't always show it. Communicating with people gives me great pleasure and makes me feel energetic, though I tend to doubt myself and not talk to people much out of fear that I'll do something wrong. Five years ago I took the longer version of the test and it said I was an ENFP, but I wouldn't be surprised if that has changed just from growing up a bit. I'll take your advice and check out the forums. Thank you for a very helpful response!
Glad to help :)

If it means anything, ENTP's and ENFP's tend to be the most introverted extrovert types. Having dominant Ne can be very exhausting living in a world with people who blow off or shoot down ideas constantly, and look down on those who go against the norm. Growing up with an overbearing, negative parent who does that constantly could really cause some self esteem issues.

But as far as my introversion/extroversion goes, I love social gatherings and doing stuff and I have no issues being out all day with people, day after day, not coming home until 2am. Especially when I'm with company I enjoy and relate to. But other times, if I'm around people who are more judgmental, I don't fit in well, or they talk about things I have no interest in, I will go into introvert mode. When I finally get home, I want to just sit in my room and not be bothered. I am also comfortable being alone for long periods of time, and while I am social, I'm not a "people person".
 
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