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Discussion Starter #1
I told my voice teacher yesterday that I write stories and she grew silent. I think she’s an ESFJ, absolutely wonderful woman and teacher, but I think she just couldn’t take it in.

I think people just sometimes have a certain picture of who you are and they just can’t expand it well or quickly.

I had horrible problems with an INTJ friend when I was in my 20’s because she wanted to limit my subjects of conversation to only things she knew about and was interested in. It felt controlling and not unconditionally loving.

I remember also people’s confusion with me in so many areas... that I was in a punk band but also conducted church choir. Even the type of music within just the subject of music, people will limit.. like how I like gothic rock to classical and am now singing opera. I think... what is there to understand? I like quality and deep lyrics is the main thing. Hate cheap lyrics and repetitiveness. Why would any of this be a problem ever for someone else?

Add my science-based profession and you’ve got people who can’t handle the idea of multiple sides of me. Because I have a lot of deep interests I haven’t mentioned... I’m sure you do too as ENFPs... I think we usually deal with this with acquaintances by finding the side of us that they are interested in and having fun sharing and learning what people are also into, but in deeper friendships I find that I want my whole self accepted and satisfaction In being able to share most of my different angles and interests happily. So that there are a few people who can meet me on most all of it and I then feel whole with them and satisfied.

Its kind of impossible for me to not be interested in almost everything... and it seems crazy to me that sometimes people actively reject learning experiences.

Anyway... just understanding what is going on there with the outside world and accepting it is a journey. Most of my family are Ps, so this has been quite a journey for me to accept and to understand what is going on.

And of course I freaking love our polymathy. Keep on, keep on...
 

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I'm used to it, my parents never had any creative hobbies and most people I've known are closer to that anyways. I have friends with whom I only talk about specific stuff that caters to them, that's just how it is. I don't really care if other people expect me to be like that and I'm not, if anything there can be a sense of satisfaction if they react negatively. Their problem. Also I don't think this is limited to Js at all, have met plenty Ps like that. Tho I guess Js are more likely to try and be annoying about it.
 

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For some people it might be that they can't/don't want to alter their image of you, but for others, maybe they just really don't know much about the subject and/or are bored by the subject so they don't want to talk about it and don't know what to say. I'm an SJ, I don't have problems with discovering people have interests I wouldn't have thought fit them, but if it's something I don't know much about or something that bores me, I get quiet because I don't really know how to direct the conversation. It is true that I do need a good amount of time to process things upon learning them, but I can't process unless I am alone to my thoughts. Maybe they get quiet for a similar reason? If they're trying to limit or control your interests though, fuck that noise, people deserve to be free to explore their interests without judgment.
 

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People do expect a sorta of logical consistency in their image of other people. They put others in nice little boxes of categorization because they want to know what to expect of them. Unpredictability in people within your social sphere can be a potential threat.
But humans aren't necessarily logically consistent, they have conflicting facets, they change and develop over time, so those static boxes can break down easy.

It does make me raise my eyebrow when you say you were in a punk band yet also conducted church choir.... at the same time? Church goer...punk rocker...
I do wonder how those two things connect when they seem contradictory. But I think that kind of contradiction is cool and interesting so it's not a bad thing by any means (I like opera/symphonic metal). I love when people exceed my expectations of them.

I'm a dominant intuitive too though (and a 5), I have a bent towards polymathy as well.
But I understand what a person would find weird if I revealed a certain facet to them so I feel cautious about revealing too much information.

Internally I do have a big fear of being put into a box that limits understanding or potential. I get scared of ever being cursed with fame for something because I don't want to be viewed as "that guy who does the thing...."
That's not being understood. That's being underestimated. I want to exceed any expectations (while having to balance not being utterly rejected).
 

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As the designated guy that seems to know everything about everything, people are not usually that surprised that I might have an interest in something weird! Although I almost always get the “what the hell is canoe polo?” When I mention my favourite team sport that I played (its great because my feet are unco!)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
@Suntide. Thank you! Getting silent is probably a courteous way to deal with new information about a person if that is hard. She’s a wonderful person anyway, but it has been baffling through the years for me. As soon as I learn someone is into something, I want to ask them 1000 questions. If I get really excited I would not be the person people choose to sit next to in an airplane.

I was just mentioning it off the cuff due to what she was talking about. I was trying to say I was interested in what she is talking about because I also write. She’s known me for 3 years I also wonder if it is just strange finding out passions people have that they didn’t tell you before, but it would be very hard and not good either to talk about all of the things I am very into at the beginning of relationships as well.

I don’t know how most people deal with this. It used to cause me a lot of anxiety trying to figure out if someone would like to know more about me and/or know more about a certain subject that they appear interested in or not. It is probably easier for people who only have 3 things things they are very into rather than 15 is what I would think... but I am assuming that 1/2 the world is into 15 things and/or curious? So sometimes it’s a hit or miss and I really don’t like to miss. How awkward is it when you excitedly think someone wanted to hear about the complexities of something Im super into and they didn’t want anything of the sort. The excited information hangs in the air sounding so darn invasive! and so weird!

But some people are not quiet about their confusion about me...so I actually hear confusion voiced fairly regularly. Something like “Are you liberal or conservative, I can’t tell.” Well I’m conservative about a few things and liberal about many, how’s that?

I know now why many people cultivate a certain look in order to give others a certain view about themselves... that’s a lot less confusion to deal with...but I don’t think I could ever do that.

The very worst, though, is when I’m getting close to someone and basically their idea of who I am is incorrect..., they simplified who I was into pre-existing or simplified concepts and understood me through that lens when really I did what I was doing due to a different reason all together. I can explain my thoughts and who I am. I feel like I have a very clear view of who I am and what I will do in each situation, but whatever it was someone else put together can sometimes backfire. But aren’t most people very complex creatures as well, I think.

This is probably further complicated by the fact that I usually find it humorous to pretend that I’m different than I am. To me I’m so predictable that I can make jokes. I can say I will do something and assume that everyone knows i would never do that.

LOL
 
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Discussion Starter #8
@Hexigoon
Yes. Sang in a punk band and was choir director at our church at the same time. I think it’s a surprise to me when people infer that this means anything except that I like a wide range of music. I think many people like a wide range, but maybe we limit ourselves thinking that there are different camps of thought involved? Many people think in dichotomies in the USA when I think there shouldn’t be any dichotomy or mutual exclusivity? For instance, I don’t think “Pro-gun” or “Anti-gun” helps anyone to think practically. If people thought about regulations like the eye test for drivers as being “anti-driver” for instance... well then we just have a stymie and we can’t navigate complexities. Some kind of “pro-church” and “anti-pubk” ideation or vice-versa? Dichotomies like that can’t capture the complexities of what I really love about music and those two things ideas cant tell people what I’m thinking about society in its complexities or morally in its complexities either. I think people need to stop tying ideas together that don’t tie. Or lumping schools of thought together and making people pick when everything is so much more complex in my mind.

During that time, at work one day 2 co-workers came up to me and said “He thinks you are the most easy-going wild child and I think you are about as uptight conservative as you can get. Which are you?”
I didn’t know how to answer. I said “I think I’ve pretty tough on myself, but I don’t judge other people and so I’m very easy going about what other people do.” They walked away, both disappointed! Lol. If they had asked me about specifically how I would act in different situations, I know my own values and thoughts and philosophy very well. I could have told them. But asking me to lump myself into either group just doesn’t work.

I like what you’ve said and am super glad that you feel it is something you are able to do is look past the framework you create for someone, allow them to be more.

Not that I can say I’m 100% original on everything, but I like to assume that truly people at their core are that original, because mostly I find people are and that I am. People’s experiences are very unique.

People cant predict everything.
I’m not actually sure that I see unpredictability as a threat to society in general, actually. Just to explore the idea, applying the idea to COVID, there are some things I try to predict and find out (like how much meat will likely be available and how long will it be scarce), and there are other things that I recognize we can’t know. We can only act on the best information we have in order to not spread the disease. I think what is most alarming to me in the situation (or maybe any situation with society) is when people and myself don’t get correct information to act upon. That’s when I get scared, Is when correct information is withheld or obscured or when incorrect information is given to people. Then how am I or others correctly supposed to figure out anything? If we don’t know something, let’s say we don’t know something. That’s likely harder to do as a leader than making stuff up, but for Pete’s sake, be honest and referr to those who are experts when lives and livelihoods are at stake.
 

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I think this is prevalent in Narcissists. I think it tends to go hand-in-hand with some academicians. They just can't stand the thought of having open discussions. It's always a great experience to learn from different view points- even if we agree to disagree (so long was we're not hurting other people along the process). And open and honest conversations one thing they just. cannnot. handle. At all.

I call it anally retentive. People like that ALWAYS want control over our lives (because they lack it within themselves). They also tend to be the dismissive types who will put you down in order to elevate themselves. A very weird phenomenon to most well-intentioned folks.
 

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I feel like there's a certain percentage of people who just want one single label they can attach to each person they know. Commonly it correlates with job, e.g. that's a mailman, that's a police officer, that's a teacher.

It probably is reflective of a mindset of viewing people only as a resource to benefit from, so wanting to define what potential use/function that person can provide to them, rather than really having an open-ended interest in other people as a subject. Pretty much the definition of being narrow-minded. I mean you can see this in a lot of prejudicial thinking, sometimes people can't even go any deeper than the simple label of "woman" or "man." Or a person's race. Unfortunately it is the case that many people live a life without much curiosity, just seeking any opportunity to validate their prejudices so they never have to feel confused.
 

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^ yup
also ime these people tend to view their lives as having a predetermined path based on how everyone else has lived before them, they see their lives in stages. I think they're the strong S types perhaps regardless of other preferences, in terms of cognition. I have a friend like that and she told me years ago something along the lines of "I think we learn all that we ever will by 30 right?" lol
 

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@Hexigoon
Yes. Sang in a punk band and was choir director at our church at the same time. I think it’s a surprise to me when people infer that this means anything except that I like a wide range of music. I think many people like a wide range, but maybe we limit ourselves thinking that there are different camps of thought involved? Many people think in dichotomies in the USA when I think there shouldn’t be any dichotomy or mutual exclusivity? For instance, I don’t think “Pro-gun” or “Anti-gun” helps anyone to think practically. If people thought about regulations like the eye test for drivers as being “anti-driver” for instance... well then we just have a stymie and we can’t navigate complexities. Some kind of “pro-church” and “anti-pubk” ideation or vice-versa? Dichotomies like that can’t capture the complexities of what I really love about music and those two things ideas cant tell people what I’m thinking about society in its complexities or morally in its complexities either. I think people need to stop tying ideas together that don’t tie. Or lumping schools of thought together and making people pick when everything is so much more complex in my mind.

During that time, at work one day 2 co-workers came up to me and said “He thinks you are the most easy-going wild child and I think you are about as uptight conservative as you can get. Which are you?”
I didn’t know how to answer. I said “I think I’ve pretty tough on myself, but I don’t judge other people and so I’m very easy going about what other people do.” They walked away, both disappointed! Lol. If they had asked me about specifically how I would act in different situations, I know my own values and thoughts and philosophy very well. I could have told them. But asking me to lump myself into either group just doesn’t work.

I like what you’ve said and am super glad that you feel it is something you are able to do is look past the framework you create for someone, allow them to be more.

Not that I can say I’m 100% original on everything, but I like to assume that truly people at their core are that original, because mostly I find people are and that I am. People’s experiences are very unique.

People cant predict everything.
I’m not actually sure that I see unpredictability as a threat to society in general, actually. Just to explore the idea, applying the idea to COVID, there are some things I try to predict and find out (like how much meat will likely be available and how long will it be scarce), and there are other things that I recognize we can’t know. We can only act on the best information we have in order to not spread the disease. I think what is most alarming to me in the situation (or maybe any situation with society) is when people and myself don’t get correct information to act upon. That’s when I get scared, Is when correct information is withheld or obscured or when incorrect information is given to people. Then how am I or others correctly supposed to figure out anything? If we don’t know something, let’s say we don’t know something. That’s likely harder to do as a leader than making stuff up, but for Pete’s sake, be honest and referr to those who are experts when lives and livelihoods are at stake.
Well, I do wonder how a church goer would get into punk and how they juggle those two conflicting themes of religiosity with anti-religiosity. It interests me.
I do hold to some kind of framework which acts as a standard. if people go beyond my standards then I'm more than glad. I'm not too happy about those who fall below it because they're being too complacent.. If they're not trying to grow I wonder if that can even be counted as living.


I don't know if I even believe in such things as originality.... Only potential and transmutation.
Anything I've made creatively, it might seem like something you've never seen --- and sure enough I make the stuff I wish I could see in the world -- but on closer inspection, the elements are just derived and inspired from elsewhere. Nothing that was purely original.
I used to want my work to be totally original and not be viewed as a knock-off version of something else, but that kinda fear holds creative action back.


Well yeah, but fear of unpredictability is not so much a conscious fear. A person isn't likely consciously thinking "Oh that was unpredictable therefore this person is a threat." No, it's a much more unconscious fear, and fear exists for survival purposes, even if it's not rational in certain context..
The unknown and uncertainty on how to categorize an entity in the wild could easily lead to your death. An unpredictable member of the tribe who goes outside of their societal role could be an internal threat to it.
People have to be aware of when these ingrained fears are not rational. The common housespider is probably not going to kill me despite my arachnophobia unconsciously telling me it's a threat.
 

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Most people fear chaos, its only Ne an Se that are powered by exploration and can naturally thrive when they are outside their comfort zone. Thats why people try to label everything and put it in boxes, so that they can turn chaos into order. As an enneagram 5 I tend to do the same thing except I can accept the dualistic nature of the universe and can entertain the notion of something being multiple things at once rather than being black and white. Thats why people get freaked out when you destroy their neatly labeled box, you re-enter the chaotic and essentially their unconscious brain views you in the same way that view a stranger.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
@Hexigoon.

Every once in a while there comes along a thread in the INFJ forum for me that just seems very shocking and like “What? Well then how do you even get by? What could there possibly be instead?” And those questions that come up when I’m shocked are the very best ones! When I’ve been able to ask INFJs to explore the contrast so that I can understand how you guys work when in my mind there existed before no other way for it to work— those questions have taught me more about other types and about myself than any other on PerC.

Its fascinating that the foundations on which everything our brains work off of is actually different. Different and good. Thank goodness that there are all of the different types out there.

Note: This is a poorly concealed invitation to explore each of your points more, how you think of them and how I or others think of them.

I actually don’t think punk music and hymns are directly in conflict. At least the songs we sang didn’t reflect anything directly in conflict. They didn’t express values that were conflicting. Non of them were pro violence or filled with hate. Punk usually isn’t like that. It’s usually about finding love and connection like many songs. Some expressed anger or sadness , but I think God would want everyone to express their own true experiences. I find God very real that way.. I think He meets people where they are at. There is a reason I believe Jesus also experienced the hard and terrible things that we experience. I find people’s experiences and expressions to be part of the beauty and hardship in this life that God knows we experience.

I would have had a hard time if the lifestyle of the band had been drugs and sex... but they were stone-cold sober virgins like me, even though we were in our early 20’s. We were all religious. 2 girls 2 guys in the band and other friends would hang out with us too along with family members and siblings. So.. no conflict. We had a lot of fun with music and we played a lot of local gigs and would hang out watching movies, go hiking or go swimming after band practices. It was just seriously fun and good friendships. It was kind of amazing when I think about it.
 

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Do you find that polymathy is too much for some people?
I don't know. I thought everyone was a polymath. I certainly am.
 

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@Hexigoon. What you’re saying is what I understand most INFJs to experience, but it is not what I experience. Each point you made is not experienced by most ENFPs as far as I have explored with other ENFPs.

Every once in a while there comes along a thread in the INFJ forum for me that just seems very shocking and like “What? Well then how do you even get by? What could there possibly be instead?” And those questions that come up when I’m shocked and my asking INFJs to explore the contrast so that I can understand how you guys work when in my mind there existed before no other way for it to work— those questions have taught me more about other types and about myself than any other times on PerC.

Its fascinating that the foundations on which everything our brains work off of is actually different. Different and good. Thank goodness that there are all of the different types out there.
Yeah, I think the differences between us are great. I was always interested with you ENFPs in particular, and how you guys are able to jump from one subject to another with such speed and energy. I don't know, maybe that's a stereotype.

In regards to everyone being a polymath, I am certainly not. Or at least, not multiple subjects at once.

With me, I absolutely suck at multi-tasking, and my long-term memory is horrible. I have to do one thing at a time, then I have to finish it to the best of my ability. If it is martial arts, I need to know all of the techniques, footwork, combinations, etc until I get everything I possibly could down. Even with something as simple as creating my own coffee brew, I need to get all the beans, try all the different flavour combinations, find the right water-to-bean ratio, and it all has to be done at that moment. After I finish one subject, I move on to another, and then I completely forget about it. After a while I will eventually burn out.

With the ENFPs I've grew up with (at least, I think they're ENFPs), they had a limitless energy to them. Their minds were basically giant vaults full of stored information, it is seriously mind-boggling to me.
 

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I really envy y'all. I wish I was that good at that many things. I'm just a one-trick pony. Singing is literally the only thing I'm decent at. :(
 

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@Crowbo. Are you sure for you? I think you have many diverse interests in what you study anyway.
 

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She might have been afraid you might ask her to read something. No offense intended, but probably the worst aspect of engaging with somebody who writes, is being asked to read their stories, finding out that you don't like them and then figuring out what to say next.
 
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