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This might be because although I identify eith ENFJ strongly, my E and I are actually split. I think many people are surprised to know how I really am, for instance, when we get into real conversations and just assume I'm conservative in my views and opinions and desires, simply because I try to make sure I don't consciously offend them. I can admit it's a little counterproductive to do this, since what I want most is to connect with those around me, and this does put an obstacle in the way, but it seems like most people I know (and I know alot of people!) are rather conservative to begin with, at least outwardly (perhaps like me???) and when I do let something slip, there's all this dramatic gasping and uncomfortable giggling, and I just feel like an idiot.

When I was younger, I could get away with all sorts of outlandish sounding opinions, and for a year, I actually vowed to tell everyone exactly how I felt all the time (this was as a result of going through a heavy lying period). But now, It seems as though although I value tact, sometimes my tact makes me come across as someone I really am not, and most people are surprised if I say I like certain entertainment, music, movies, shows. Even though I am friendly, and lots of people like me, I know I give the impression that I am a lot more uptight than I am about things. Perhaps, too, because of how I look, they wronly assume that I prefer a more urban/preppy/girly culture (those aren't interchangeable but they are the most common responses I get). I feel really sad when I realize that very few people really know me at all. The only ones that really know me are long time friend, my husband, then my parents (but c'mon, i censor around them too), and those who type the same or closely to me.

Should I just give up on being understood *and* accepted by a vast majority? Do any other ENFJs feel this way?

I am also highly aversive of communicating or dwelling on negativity. I wish it was as simply as saying its because I dont like conflict, but while conflict can make me nervous, its also something I know how to deal with. I almost feel guilty when I'm not feeling something positive, and when my husband wants to discuss things with me, if it's not positive or neutral, I tend to clam up and refuse to engage. I know this is an idicator of immaturity, but is it also something that my type shares? And if so, how do you learn to deal with it maturely? I'd like to have a way of coping other than ignoring the negativity. I also despise public displays of disharmony, but maybe that's the Northeastern puritanical mentality of never letting them see you sweat at work here. I actually find it disgusting when people argue in public and would sooner make you look like a crazy fool I don't know than go down that road. Even in privacy, don't expect me to fall apart (willingly) at the seams in an argument. The lower you go, the harder I become. Its almost like I dissociate when the other person is throwing all their negative emotion off, like a protection to me psyche or something. idk.
 

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This might be because although I identify eith ENFJ strongly, my E and I are actually split. I think many people are surprised to know how I really am, for instance, when we get into real conversations and just assume I'm conservative in my views and opinions and desires, simply because I try to make sure I don't consciously offend them. I can admit it's a little counterproductive to do this, since what I want most is to connect with those around me, and this does put an obstacle in the way, but it seems like most people I know (and I know alot of people!) are rather conservative to begin with, at least outwardly (perhaps like me???) and when I do let something slip, there's all this dramatic gasping and uncomfortable giggling, and I just feel like an idiot.

When I was younger, I could get away with all sorts of outlandish sounding opinions, and for a year, I actually vowed to tell everyone exactly how I felt all the time (this was as a result of going through a heavy lying period). But now, It seems as though although I value tact, sometimes my tact makes me come across as someone I really am not, and most people are surprised if I say I like certain entertainment, music, movies, shows. Even though I am friendly, and lots of people like me, I know I give the impression that I am a lot more uptight than I am about things. Perhaps, too, because of how I look, they wronly assume that I prefer a more urban/preppy/girly culture (those aren't interchangeable but they are the most common responses I get). I feel really sad when I realize that very few people really know me at all. The only ones that really know me are long time friend, my husband, then my parents (but c'mon, i censor around them too), and those who type the same or closely to me.

Should I just give up on being understood *and* accepted by a vast majority? Do any other ENFJs feel this way?

I am also highly aversive of communicating or dwelling on negativity. I wish it was as simply as saying its because I dont like conflict, but while conflict can make me nervous, its also something I know how to deal with. I almost feel guilty when I'm not feeling something positive, and when my husband wants to discuss things with me, if it's not positive or neutral, I tend to clam up and refuse to engage. I know this is an idicator of immaturity, but is it also something that my type shares? And if so, how do you learn to deal with it maturely? I'd like to have a way of coping other than ignoring the negativity. I also despise public displays of disharmony, but maybe that's the Northeastern puritanical mentality of never letting them see you sweat at work here. I actually find it disgusting when people argue in public and would sooner make you look like a crazy fool I don't know than go down that road. Even in privacy, don't expect me to fall apart (willingly) at the seams in an argument. The lower you go, the harder I become. Its almost like I dissociate when the other person is throwing all their negative emotion off, like a protection to me psyche or something. idk.
It sounds like you believe negativity to be a "bad" thing that will push people away from you. Did something happen in your past where negativity did have this effect? I think that ENFJs, myself included, may have a hard time coping with things without taking those coping mechanisms to an extreme. It's like, instead of avoiding showing some negativity when you feel that it's not really that important that you share, you seem to have taken this to an extreme,blocking out all negativity, probably to protect your precious insides, as well as to preserve relationships.

I don't think you are the only ENFJ that this is the case for. I've met an ENFJ who was probably the most guarded individual I know, and I really tried to get her to open up. I even opened up myself to her and revealed my negativity and even then she had a hard time speaking her negative feelings. She had a very strict upbringing, her mother was very image focused, and she was expected to be this perfect looking and acting individual. Negativity (in her mind) would have a negative effect on that image.

For me, my negative emotions were not always accepted or allowed growing up. I was sort of told to shut my trap, and that being unhappy was unfair to whomever I was with. When I was younger I was really guarded, but I opened myself up a little too much in the past few years to some of the wrong people. Even though I feel more open, I've still been told recently that I'm "controlled to a fault". I'm really just trying to strike a balance by solely revealing what's important to the right people at the appropriate times.

It seems like somewhere along the way you associated negativity with being a bad thing, or made a connection between negativity as a reason for others to reject you. Or....you could just be trying to protect your real feelings....however, if it is occurring even with your closest friends and family, maybe it's something that you could let out bits at a time to people you trust?
 
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...I think that ENFJs, myself included, may have a hard time coping with things without taking those coping mechanisms to an extreme. It's like, instead of avoiding showing some negativity when you feel that it's not really that important that you share, you seem to have taken this to an extreme,blocking out all negativity, probably to protect your precious insides, as well as to preserve relationships.

...I've met an ENFJ who ... had a very strict upbringing, her mother was very image focused, and she was expected to be this perfect looking and acting individual. Negativity (in her mind) would have a negative effect on that image.

For me, my negative emotions were not always accepted or allowed growing up. I was sort of told to shut my trap, and that being unhappy was unfair to whomever I was with. When I was younger I was really guarded, but I opened myself up a little too much in the past few years to some of the wrong people. Even though I feel more open, I've still been told recently that I'm "controlled to a fault". I'm really just trying to strike a balance by solely revealing what's important to the right people at the appropriate times.

It seems like ...you could just be trying to protect your real feelings....however, if it is occurring even with your closest friends and family, maybe it's something that you could let out bits at a time to people you trust?
I agree with alot you said here. I do think I really ack the skills to let out negativity in bits and pieces, almost like if there is one crack or hole, the whole dam will blow. I had a hard time adjusting to life after getting married and moving over a thousand miles away from my parents (I am an only child, so we are very close), and essentially taking on adult responsibilities for the first time. There was culture shock as well, but I think one thing after another was basically why it was so stressful. At the same time I started to have some hormone problems from some medication I've since stopped that made it hard to deal with ANYTHING. I think where I was back then was so scary and brought me closer to the end of my physical and mental life, I associated with also uncontrolled emotion that I was feeling and displaying. I look back now, healthier, and understand that to a degree, I needed to behave the way I was, and I have since grown in experience, but at the same time, I never want to feel that out of control ever again. My coping skills getting better day by day, but it is hard to strike a balance, or even know what that balance is.

Growing up, like I said, in the northeast, I am very proud of it, perhaps snobbish even, because it instilled in me this great sense of social propriety which I do think people these days (espceially on reality tv) could adopt a little of. Sure people had their problems, but it was very hush, and hardly discussed. I remember when I was a teenager going through a particular angsty period and my dad lovingly asking me if I needed professional counseling, and my reply was an emphatic no. I would rather have died mysteriously at that time than let anyone know I was going to see someone for problems I was having. It was just a terrible stigma to not have your life straight... Of course, I did get help later on in life which saved my life, but it was easier because I was in a place where nobody knew me anyways, I hadn't set up any real kind of reputation, and I really did feel that I could only go on the way I was for another 3 months tops.

In addition to growing up where people didn't talk about their problems, only the people who couldn't handle them, my parents very highly value self-control. They both were in the military, and my dad always wanted to make sure I never played too wildly around company, or cried too much or too loudly after being disciplined in public, or even looke sloppy. My father is a wonderful man, and he did instill in me very good values, but I think for a highly emotional child like me, sometimes it was asking a lot, and I didn't really know how to do it the way he meant (he is an istp). My mother, on the other hand, wanted to make sure I was always appropriate, polite, kind, and this killed me because sometimes I would feel a very negative emotion towards someone, and I remember it making me so angry to be told that I did not in fact feel that way, or want something. So I learned quite early to both deny and resent my true feelings to an extent. I know it was because she only wanted me to learn patience and social skills, but I don't think she knew how to explain it in a way that I could reason it out. It just seemed to me that if I was feeling something ugly or unbecoming, well, i did not "really" feel that way...

I did get really comfortable with my positive emotions, because those were rarely something I was scolded for, and so I got to learn, be free with expressing your happiness and love to others, but if you don't feel positively or neutral, then you need to work hard to fix it so you do.

Of course, when dealing with others, because of my own experiences, I am probably one of the most empathetic people you may ever know. Can't say as much for my actual *sympathy* for others, but I do believe what you feel is what you feel, and while you may not be able to change that, you can greatly control what you do about how you feel.

However, when in conflict with someone I deeply care about, like my husband, I do think I adopt a very defensive posture when he is upset about something. i feel like I cannot allow myself to go there with him, one of us has to be level-headed. I may want to fall apart and cry with him (symbolically), but that just isn't going to happen. I can feel at it tugging at my insides but something is making it fight it tooth and nail. And it's sad, because all he needs right then (as he's said) is what I find so hard to give.

I think too I may wrongly put the responsibility of the group morale on my shoulders. I feel like things should always be upbeat and its my responsibility to see it's done. I think its cause I know my mentailty is highly contagious to others. I have seen and felt the uncomfortableness when people can be too real in a social situation and I avoid at all costs being "that person."

idk, maybe I need therapy, still haha
 
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