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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi

So I just started dating someone mid-November. I like him enough: we get along, talk every day, I have some concern about how he's doing/think about him sometimes during the day. But, with everyone in my life (except I guess my dad, who's honestly my best friend,) I always have some feeling of detachment. It's difficult to describe besides "I think you're pretty cool, but you feel like a completely separate entity to me." Not to sound like a speshul snowflekk but I legit feel like I'm one species and everyone else is something different almost all the time, which leads to me feeling incredibly alienated. It makes me wonder if I have Impostor syndrome or something. I think the only reason it's different with my dad is because I've obviously known him forever, and I've always told him absolutely everything & vice versa.

There was one other person I felt just as comfortable with -- my "ex-boyfriend" who I never actually met in person. We met online probably 5 years ago, and for most of those years, neither of us was really in a place where we could meet. We would talk on the phone for hours and share tons that way which meant so much to me. During the 5th year, though, it was possible for me to meet and still not possible for him, and he couldn't give me an estimate on when it would happen. So I cut my losses because I'm 26 and getting too old for that shit.

It's been suggested to me that the only reason I felt like we connected more than I do with most people is because we never had the chance to meet. I don't know if that's true, but I know there seems to be something wrong with me.

Why do I always feel so fake? Is it an Enneagram thing/am I possibly not a 2? Anyone else struggle with this?
 

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How much do you share in your relationships with other people? Say, compared to your dad and ex. Any others you feel comfortable sharing with?

I struggle to connect with people, but it's mainly because I can never find the "sweet spot" of effective, meaningful conversation. Either I find that we both touched on a mutual interest and I dominate the conversation and go deeper/more intense until I either lose the person or run out of time to talk. I let other people talk, but if they ever bring up a belief/opinion that I don't agree with, things can get uncomfortable. I'm somewhat skilled I suppose at explaining why their belief is questionable and start digging to figure out where their head/heart is. Either that, or they dominate the conversation and I just sit and never get a chance to contribute. The whole, equal back and forth enjoyment of fulfilling conversations seems to elude me. And I don't socialize as much as the typical extrovert to the point were I get many opportunities to practice. Its rare I even get past niceties and superficial topics, so when it happens, I get excited and the above spectrum happens where I ramble and they listen or vice versa. I mean, I can feel connected after those kinds of conversations but not often enough to feel satisfied. And I don't get multiple settings where I can speak with that same person and cover additional topics or go deeper on previous ones to establish a deeper connection.
 

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I also think that sharing personal tastes/opinions helps to establish a connection, but still there's potential to go deeper. Emotional vulnerability, personal experiences and the lessons learned... Perhaps also getting really vulnerable and sharing the darker emotions like shame, fear, regret, humiliation, etc. Maybe these need a sort of foundation beforehand because they're so uncomfortable? Or pepper them in while sharing stories or personal opinions and how those opinions/beliefs came to be. I have a habit I realized of asserting my beliefs/opinions without establishing how my life experiences brought me to those changes in values and perspective. I think that makes me come across as arguing that my opinions are correct or better, when that's never the case. That may cause a disconnect, especially with how forceful I can be at times. Diplomacy helps a lot. :frustrating:
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I'm definitely afraid of something when I interact with people. Maybe it's that I'll say something they'll disagree with, they'll react a certain type of way, and I'll feel even more estranged than before.

I think it might suit me well to look into what made me feel comfortable with the few I am comfortable with before. With my dad, obviously I never thought he would judge me. With my "ex," I really don't remember too much about the exact moment when I first realized I was comfortable. But it could be the fact that he (1) approached me first and (2) seemed very humble and open about his weaknesses and strengths. Perhaps that made me feel like I could also be open about my own without feeling like a loser. We seemed like we were in basically the same place in life. I'm thinking maybe that helps me to feel I don't have to try and put up any airs; when others approach me first and don't seem high and mighty in my eyes. I don't have a lot of high or low self-confidence. I like to think I'm just neutral.

Thank you for replying, also.
 

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"I think you're pretty cool, but you feel like a completely separate entity to me."
Yes, I always feel like this with everyone, including when I was deeply in love.

Anyone else struggle with this?
No. It's not a struggle for me. Why is it a struggle? I don't feel the need to merge or fuse with someone else. I feel perfectly happy in love & feeling like we are complete separate entities.

Just cause it feels like we're separate entities and I feel this small detachment, doesn't mean that if the person leaves me I will not crumble in tears for a week. They're unrelated things.

Sometimes when the SO left my house, I would have a huge sense of relief "Finally! I'm alone finally!". This reaction had nothing to do with any lack of love, it had to do with the fact that I'm an introvert and if I spend excessive time with someone (no matter how in love I am) I start to feel sick, literally sick, I get moody, anxious and panicky. Again, nothing to do with the other person, it has to do with the needs of my brain.

which leads to me feeling incredibly alienated
Oh, I see. Okay, I don't feel alienated, not from a SO and not from my friends and family. I feel alienated sometimes with strangers. Because strangers and aliens are practically the same thing. Something you don't know and don't connect and don't bond. I bond with my SOs and feel very much connected, but not fused.

Why do I always feel so fake?
You mentioned that the only person you "tell everything to" is your father -and secondarily to the exbf you never met. Does this mean you don't tell everything to you current bf? If you don't, how do you expect to feel connected? Just rhetoric Qs, I'm not saying to answer them to me. I don't know, I wouldn't even call someone a "boyfriend" if I thought that he didn't know everything about me, the good the bad and the ugly. And I can't feel connected to anyone until we've sene each other's ugly bits and still choose to stay together cause it's no big deal. Vulnerability is what creates true connection and belonging.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
There are certain people I just don't feel like I can talk about things with -- yet. Why, I'm not sure, but it's possible that it's because something about them triggers the idea in my mind that they won't understand, so I'd like to avoid going through that. As stated in my second post in this thread, I think maybe it's easier for me to tell what someone is like if they approach me first. But this hasn't happened enough in my life for me to know that for sure.

I'm not saying this relationship will even last (and honestly at this point I'm not convinced it was or wasn't a mistake.) I'm just giving it time, because it's a new experience and I want to see how it goes now that I'm in it.
 

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I can't make any assumptions about your character so I'll just talk about mine. Considering you're ISFP with inferior Te, perhaps you could relate.

When I talk to people, I don't speak with much fear of how they will receive me. If I do, I don't speak on it at all. However, the deeper shames I possess rarely have a place in conversation. They are more personal life experiences that at this point in my life don't have much influence on where I'm going. Kinda one of those "take to the grave" kind of things. I don't want to do that but hopefully you catch my drift. Not much point talking about such matters.

I usually notice my communication issues a few hours and days after a conversation, usually the deeper more emotional ones where I didn't catch myself in the moment and simply spoke out. I suppose Te would be hyper critical at this point, but I use those criticisms as opportunities for self-improvement. Self-compassion helps a lot to avoid beating myself up. My goal with those improvement opportunities are to exercise enough mindfulness to catch myself in the moment and employ more diplomacy in my responses.

Maybe it's that I'll say something they'll disagree with, they'll react a certain type of way, and I'll feel even more estranged than before.
Sidenote: Funny how I learned stuff from picking up girls and how it applies to things like this. Anyway, I've got a bit to say about this, take with grain of salt.

When you're worried about saying something that people may disagree with, poor reaction, etc. This is a sign you're invested more in their opinion of yourself, rather than your own opinion of yourself. This can stifle you and I want to say that's where you may limit yourself from getting to connect with people that would agree with what you have to say, or would be interested in finding out why you say things that differ from what they would have considered.

Everything you have to say, is valuable. Strictly because it's coming from YOU. When you stifle yourself in fear of what others may think, you're also in a sense, telling yourself that what you think and believe or what have you, is not worthy. Or at least that's a possible rationalization you may make. But the interesting thing is, when you say things that COULD be rejected or disagreed with, this is where you have opportunities to connect. Because this could be like, something another person would also be too afraid to say and when you open up about it, they kinda get permission to bounce off of it and contribute in return.

With my "ex," I really don't remember too much but it could be the fact that he seemed very humble and open about his weaknesses and strengths.
Sounds about right. If he's open first, you can feel comfortable opening up in return? Idk.

With my dad, obviously I never thought he would judge me.
Comfort and rapport. Plus a long ass time and being your dad and all. Perhaps you feel "automatically accepted" and that's where this fear of judgment doesn't exist in the first place. Not sure, just tossing my suppositions in.

It hurts to get rejected in my experiences, but it also lets me know which people I don't want to continue investing into. Minimize contact with them or totally cut them from my life. Anyway. Hope this helps.
 

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No. It's not a struggle for me. Why is it a struggle? I don't feel the need to merge or fuse with someone else. I feel perfectly happy in love & feeling like we are complete separate entities.
Vulnerability is what creates true connection and belonging.
YASSSSSS

Entheos, I like you.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
@UberY0shi -- That helped a lot, actually. Thanks.

I don't think the part of me that doesn't reach out to certain people will or should change. I don't let people's opinions of me determine whether I'm shitty or not. I simply know I won't be understood by everyone and vice versa and I think I've developed a radar to detect who those people definitely aren't, thus I don't like to waste my time. All there is to that.

The only times I think there might be an issue are the times when I'm reading someone wrong. I have a definite fear of rejection that I don't want to go into here in depth (that's another thread in itself.) Long story short, most of the time I feel like there are at least a few people in the world I'll connect with. But when I'm wrong about who those people might be, it sends me off into a spiral of doubt about where I stand in the world. And that's why feeling detached bothers me; I'm worried I feel detached because -- again, not to sound like a cliché -- I fear it's a sign I don't belong.
 

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"Chronic feelings of detachment from others?"

You mean bouts of self-preservation instinct?
It sounds like a healthy thing.
 

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I get what you mean, I mean, my experience may be different, but I often detached with people more from my own doing. I really struggle to open up and share my deepest feelings and opinions with people probably from a fear of negative judgement. So theres kind of a shell over me that stops me from going so far in 'opening up'. Maybe that's why I get along well with extroverts more where they are not always looking for a deeper friendship or whatever and that means I can be safe from fully opening up. Even though that is kind of draining in the long run.

I hope you can find the right person or people in time, don't know if this helped sorry!
 

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I legit feel like I'm one species and everyone else is something different almost all the time, which leads to me feeling incredibly alienated.
I resonate strongly with this, although I'm not certain about my enneagram. Around friends, I like to jokingly refer to myself as an "alien" although feeling detatched in that way is sometimes a source of pain. For me, it is like flip-flopping between "I like being different" in an almost prideful way and, when I am feeling low, it is "It would be nice to feel closer to others." Not closer to friends, per se, as I have positive, healthy relationships with the few that I have but perhaps closer to something else. Perhaps feeling more human. It is hard to explain, as being alone and pursuing solitary activities makes me feel at ease after being out in the world but often I feel myself slipping into isolation.
 

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I've been forcing myself to stay out of my own head, and that's lessened the detached feelings I've had very strongly for years. It's a natural thing for me to feel detached though, like I'm observing the world behind glass.
 
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It could be that you require specific conditions in order to feel more connected with people. This doesn't make you wrong, just a unique case that the people you interact with do not recognize or a disposition that the society you live in does not accommodate to enough. Everyone to some degree is in the same situation because nobody is perfect. You are fortunate in that you have glimpses of not belonging... let the fear not prevent you from accepting those feelings completely, as this decision would accelerate progression into a new paradigm of viewing things. People convince themselves all the time that they belong, when their essence yearns for change simply because it brings them comfort. That comfort is an illusionary. True comfort (fulfillment) is received with the pain from the continuous death and rebirth of the person you are supposed to be.

The conditions that i think would help some aspects of you flourish are engaging in activities or being with people that reflect back your value, make you feel supported and wanted. Things or people that help you refine pre-existing ideas on love and identifying the various forms love takes will act as a reminder that you belong anywhere you stand, since the greatest fallacy of our times is the separation we create to everything else.
 
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