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Discussion Starter #1
I feel that I constantly need to modify my conduct to survive at work. Me being an introverted person I need to extrovert at work so that I can get along with my co-workers. I like my co-workers in spite that they are not perfect people but it wears me out when I have to constantly act a certain way that is not natural for me to make them happy. I try very much to be liked while other people ask like assholes and get away with it and last a lifetime in their jobs. All of my co-workers are in their 50's and I am in my 20's so there is a huge age difference, so sometimes is very difficult to relate to them, and since I am the youngest one plus I am a new employee I try very hard to be seen as an efficient worker, and in the end of the day I am exhausted. I know that my co-workers are watching every move I make, how I dress, how I act, and how efficient I am at work, and I worry about messing up. As an introvert I sometimes need time alone which is difficult because my co-workers need to talk all the time, and sometimes about mundane things. Since I don't go out that much and have many friends, I ran out of topics to talk about and I am afraid to seem boring. There are many things I enjoy to do but they don't like or understand. I have a TJ boss who wants you to work exaggeratedly fast, and she is not aware that she is pressuring her employees to much, so I have to modify my conduct to make her happy. I have another co-worker that when she is around she makes the environment a lot better and easier, she is very nice and helpful, but she talks a lot about everyday things and sometimes I get lost in though, so I have to try very hard to listen. My other co-workers likes to party and drink during the weekends, and since I don't do that then I don't talk much about those topics, I just listen which makes me feel out of place.


Sorry for my ramblings but do you feel the same way? That you are very different from your co-workers and you have to act a certain way so that you are not perceived different while other people don't give a crap and get away with their bad behavior?
 

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I can definitely relate to this. I work completely alone at my current job (and I love it!), but in the past I've had a lot of problems with being the "different" person. I loved working with others at a restaurant and met some great friends there, But I hated working in retail. There was so much gossip and drama. I think my biggest difficulties arose from being very introverted and having much different interests than my co-workers. I tried being more outgoing, but I had a pretty hard time with it.

I understand what you mean about others sometimes getting away with their "bad" behavior. I always attributed it to playing favorites in a sense. People like other people like themselves, and they'll probably overlook the mistakes of their "friends". I had a boss who would continually overlook the mistakes of some her more boisterous workers (probably b/c they would often go out for drinks together), but was very critical of my mistakes-- and I consider myself to be a very hard worker.

Heh to be honest, I can't say I have any good advice, as I just changed jobs to deal with the situation. But I will say that having a good friend at work can make it more tolerable. You guys don't even have to have a lot in common-- just someone you can easily chat with. Sometimes they can introduce you to some of your other co-workers too. Overall, I didn't enjoy my brief stint in retail, but I enjoyed it much more when I was working with a friend.

Ah, another random thing that worked for me. I find it much easier to talk to people on a one-on-one basis. I get to know and can relate to others much more easily like that. You might try talking to some of your co-workers individually and maybe try and foster some friendships there.

Sorry I don't have very good advice. I understand where you're coming from though. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I get along very well with my immediate supervisor. I think she has an "F" in her personality type because she cares a lot about others. In spite of our age difference I feel comfortable talking with her, because she is easygoing, and has a good sense of humor, but sometimes she can be too chatty in moments when I don't feel like talking and I just want to work, but when she is around she brings a positive vibe at work, everything is easier and I come home happy with no stress and worries about work because she is not the kind of person who bitches about everything, disrespect you and make you feel like an idiot if you make a mistake. With my boss things are different since she is very TJ I can feel uncomfortable being around her because I feel she is being too pushy. I don't want to seem to be a distant person, so I occasionally join their conversations but then I withdraw and leave to be on my own again.


I constantly feel that I need to please people so that they get a positive impression on me, while other people don't give a crap about what other things of them in spite of them having a very toxic personality.


I can definitely relate to this. I work completely alone at my current job (and I love it!), but in the past I've had a lot of problems with being the "different" person. I loved working with others at a restaurant and met some great friends there, But I hated working in retail. There was so much gossip and drama. I think my biggest difficulties arose from being very introverted and having much different interests than my co-workers. I tried being more outgoing, but I had a pretty hard time with it.

I understand what you mean about others sometimes getting away with their "bad" behavior. I always attributed it to playing favorites in a sense. People like other people like themselves, and they'll probably overlook the mistakes of their "friends". I had a boss who would continually overlook the mistakes of some her more boisterous workers (probably b/c they would often go out for drinks together), but was very critical of my mistakes-- and I consider myself to be a very hard worker.

Heh to be honest, I can't say I have any good advice, as I just changed jobs to deal with the situation. But I will say that having a good friend at work can make it more tolerable. You guys don't even have to have a lot in common-- just someone you can easily chat with. Sometimes they can introduce you to some of your other co-workers too. Overall, I didn't enjoy my brief stint in retail, but I enjoyed it much more when I was working with a friend.

Ah, another random thing that worked for me. I find it much easier to talk to people on a one-on-one basis. I get to know and can relate to others much more easily like that. You might try talking to some of your co-workers individually and maybe try and foster some friendships there.

Sorry I don't have very good advice. I understand where you're coming from though. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I must confess that I prefer to be with 2 people instead of 1 and this has happened to me always. If I am with 2 people then I just can sit and listen to the conversation and if I have something to talk about then I say it and the flow of the conversation keeps going, but if I am with one person and we have nothing in common then I struggle to find something to talk about with that person and if the conversation is going no where I get up and pretend that I have something important to do, as an excuse to be by myself.

I think that human interactions take a lot of energy from me and are difficult than the job itself. People can drain a lot of energy from me.

I can definitely relate to this. I work completely alone at my current job (and I love it!), but in the past I've had a lot of problems with being the "different" person. I loved working with others at a restaurant and met some great friends there, But I hated working in retail. There was so much gossip and drama. I think my biggest difficulties arose from being very introverted and having much different interests than my co-workers. I tried being more outgoing, but I had a pretty hard time with it.

I understand what you mean about others sometimes getting away with their "bad" behavior. I always attributed it to playing favorites in a sense. People like other people like themselves, and they'll probably overlook the mistakes of their "friends". I had a boss who would continually overlook the mistakes of some her more boisterous workers (probably b/c they would often go out for drinks together), but was very critical of my mistakes-- and I consider myself to be a very hard worker.

Heh to be honest, I can't say I have any good advice, as I just changed jobs to deal with the situation. But I will say that having a good friend at work can make it more tolerable. You guys don't even have to have a lot in common-- just someone you can easily chat with. Sometimes they can introduce you to some of your other co-workers too. Overall, I didn't enjoy my brief stint in retail, but I enjoyed it much more when I was working with a friend.

Ah, another random thing that worked for me. I find it much easier to talk to people on a one-on-one basis. I get to know and can relate to others much more easily like that. You might try talking to some of your co-workers individually and maybe try and foster some friendships there.

Sorry I don't have very good advice. I understand where you're coming from though. :)
 

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Sorry, I don't have my email set up right, so I wasn't aware that you replied!

Yeah, I can definitely relate to Feelers a lot better. I have a lot of problems with more direct, blunt people (like the TJ boss you mentioned). I think a lot of that is related to my perception of the person's motives though. My fiance is blunt, but his "bluntness" (is this a word??) has never bothered me. I think it's because I know his motives. He's telling me something to help me. (I can also be pretty blunt with those I know well). When it's someone I don't know as well, I can't tell if they're just being direct or mean.

I have been using self talk to work on my difficulties with relating to other types. If someone is being very direct (not mean), and it makes me uncomfortable, I'll tell myself the positives about the situation. Ex: They aren't irritated with me., It's good that they were direct, b/c now I know exactly what they want, and I can do a better job., etc. It sounds kind of funny, but it's been working well for me.

Now the "bitchy" person you mentioned earlier is a whole different matter. . . I've worked with people like that and it is not fun. . . I'm sorry. :(
 

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I have never truly given up on my own position, but I have felt differently about it at different points in time. Sometimes I find it hard to retain a sense of my own individuality when I am delving into the heads of so many other people on a regular basis. But recently I have come to something of a revelation. If my nature and behaviour have not changed, then it is simply a problem of perception. I definitely relate to feeling 'out of place' among others, even peer groups, or feeling as though I am 'hiding in plain sight'. It used to make me terribly insecure, but my principles would not let me act out of accordance with my internal sense of identity and integrity, so instead I used to just blend into the background, paralysed. I realise this was not always thus. When I was very young, I used to have no such problems. I was always tentative, I guess, and a little worried about how I came across to others. But this was not an all-consuming train of thought. Why? I believe because in youthful ignorance, I was unaware of exactly how differently I was perceived by others, and I was less aware of how others were different to myself, so it didn't bother me. Why now, when I am more perceptive, is it a problem?

I think it all boils down to confidence. I've recently made a promise to myself that just because I am always seeking to understand other people and their points of view, and try to be respectful in disagreement, does not mean I should have to lose even an inkling of my own beliefs or convictions in the process. I can simply state the truth about myself to another, and perhaps make good use of self-deprecating humour. If they want to interpret me as being a weirdo, that's their prerogative. I'm happy with who I am, and in fact, little makes me happier than the feeling I am able to be genuine, without arbitrary restraint. I shouldn't be made to apologise for being myself if my actions do not overtly hurt others. It wouldn't do to all be the same, after all. And sometimes I find being able to be upfront and completely au fait with your eccentricities can make other people more accepting of them, as strange as that concept seems to me.

That said, I do feel more comfortable when I am around people I can relate to. I suppose I've been quite fortunate because with the work experience I have had, most of the people there have been quite interesting. However there were a couple of people who seemed quite pressuring by nature, as if they didn't have time for you unless you were the most risk-embracing, fearless extraverted type. Another one was quite insensitive, trying to be empathetic and supportive of the volunteers she was overseeing on the phone, but then whining about their whining to the rest of the office. Most people are okay though. I'm also a one-on-one person. I suppose because I seek to communicate directly to the core of others, and I feel this is most possible in an intimate setting. The more people there are, the more crowded out I feel, the less deep everything becomes. And while a good laugh is refreshing and even necessary from time to time, it isn't my bread and butter.
 

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These posts seem to apply to the work environment, yet I still see some of similarities. So far I haven't had to change much of my introverted behaviors to make it through the school day, but outside of school, especially in conversation, I have to keep my filter up. I sometimes like to discuss the philosophical and moral issues of good and evil in humanity, and I can delve into really dark territory that would disturb most people if they're not in some related field where they see, deal, and discuss such things. Hell, what I say disturbs me sometimes and makes me wonder if I need therapy. As far as changing behaviors for other situations, I really don't unless I feel accepted by everyone there. So I stay pretty introverted for the majority of my activities.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I understand what you mean, some people can be so direct that they sound so harsh and you don't know if that person has a personal issue with you. Since my knowledge of personality theories I have tried to not take things so personally, like at work for example. If my boss is rushing me to do things quick or if all of the sudden she has a bad temper then I said to myself, this person is a TJ and that is their natural temperament.

Sorry, I don't have my email set up right, so I wasn't aware that you replied!

Yeah, I can definitely relate to Feelers a lot better. I have a lot of problems with more direct, blunt people (like the TJ boss you mentioned). I think a lot of that is related to my perception of the person's motives though. My fiance is blunt, but his "bluntness" (is this a word??) has never bothered me. I think it's because I know his motives. He's telling me something to help me. (I can also be pretty blunt with those I know well). When it's someone I don't know as well, I can't tell if they're just being direct or mean.

I have been using self talk to work on my difficulties with relating to other types. If someone is being very direct (not mean), and it makes me uncomfortable, I'll tell myself the positives about the situation. Ex: They aren't irritated with me., It's good that they were direct, b/c now I know exactly what they want, and I can do a better job., etc. It sounds kind of funny, but it's been working well for me.

Now the "bitchy" person you mentioned earlier is a whole different matter. . . I've worked with people like that and it is not fun. . . I'm sorry. :(
 

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Hmm I dont have a lot of experience in this, but I have worked at the same part time job for over two years.

Try to be sociable but still true to yourself. I have a bad habbit of laughing at peoples jokes, even ones that are possibly hurtful to others, im not even really laughing its fake, but its still bad to be like that.

I often try to avoid people at work and they think im stuck up sometimes, the way I feel is the less I interact with them the less likely i'll make a bad impression or something.
 

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I feel that I constantly need to modify my conduct to survive at work. Me being an introverted person I need to extrovert at work so that I can get along with my co-workers. I like my co-workers in spite that they are not perfect people but it wears me out when I have to constantly act a certain way that is not natural for me to make them happy.
Do you feel the same way? That you are very different from your co-workers and you have to act a certain way so that you are not perceived different while other people don't give a crap and get away with their bad behavior?
Yes, I do that everywhere... I even do it to my family. It's like I'm a couple different people, depending on where I happen to be at the time. I've done this since fifth grade, and I used to think that it was normal, that everybody else did, too.
Actually, I just realized that my avatar reflects the feeling I often have about it.
 

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Yes, I can totally relate with this. I am so exhausted from just one trip to the ladies room, which takes me from my office down a hall full of people, past the boss who is always ready to talk, past the copier, past HR, and past the receptionist, and finally, past the kitchen; all that just to pee...I don't like feeling resentful but I just wish I could just rush through sometimes tight lipped on top of my witch broomstick <swooosh>
 

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yes but what i often find is that it is not others who expect me to modify my conduct but my fear that they are. I fear it and then look for information on their faces to say so and confirm thats what they are thinking when in reality i truly do not know. I make an assumption. And only until recently have I realized that all I am doing is causing a self fulfilling prophecy. I truly have no evidence saying that the real me will not suffice. The only thing I have is fear of possibility. And my own personal belief (based on that fear) that something about me isn't good enough or is wrong.
 

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I switched to a stricter, private school last year and had to change a lot of my conduct in order to adapt to my new settings. I had to take on more ESTJ traits, while balancing them with the uniqueness of the INFP, and overall I think it is helped me develop some of my weaker functions and become more a more well-rounded individual :).

While the public school I had gone to previously had encouraged my self-expression and individuality, with little monitoring of dress-code and attendance, my new school had very rigid rules about behaviour and conduct. I now have to wear a uniform daily and keep my hair and accessories "conservative"--meaning no bright red hair or handcrafted jewelry :(. This school has a strict attendance policy, meaning that I can't just skip the horrid math, gym, and science classes that I have no interest in and still pass by completing the necessary assignments and tests. I've had to adapt to a more J style of living, by following schedules extensively, living by deadlines, and taking on a more professional attitude.

In order to meet new people and gain respect from others, I have had to develop my extroversion. I am in student leadership, lots of extra-curricular, go out of my way to make conversation with people, and try to open up to people. Which is not what I'm comfortable doing. I am always tempted to just stay on the sidelines or in the library, but I now try to get as involved and active as possible in the school community.

I try to keep the Ne to a minimum while at school, and only engage in those type of "deep" discussions with those that I know share similar personality functions. I've learned that most people have no interest or just cannot understand or keep up with those types of conversations and that I am wasting my time or driving people away. I try to make more small-talk, even though I can't stand it, because I realize that it is important to some people and may give off an unfriendly impression if I avoid engaging in it.

I've learned to distance myself from my feelings more at school. I try not to take criticism to heart, at least when it is constructive. I don't let other peoples' opinions bother me and try not to dwell too much on what others think about me. I'm there to complete my work and I don't really mind being an outsider or not finding anyone that I can truly relate with. I've had to develop my Te more in order to do well in the more analytical, logical courses that I normally struggle with.

It was a very difficult transition to make, but I think that I am highly adaptable to change. I think this was mostly due to the INFPs desire to avoid conflict.
 

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I often feel like I make certain extroverts uncomfortable with my quiet demeanor. I try to change the way I come across or even the topics I choose to talk about, despite having no interest in them. I only do this around a few people who I need to converse with, out of politeness or if I sit beside them in class or something. If I did not adapt to what most consider 'normal' I would otherwise not be able to communicate with them at all. I only do this around certain people though, I don't go as far as to change who I am as a person. Once we are more acquainted with each other I usually expose my true self and try not to worry about what others think. Unfortunately they usually think i'm weird after and don't talk to me as much afterwards. I've kind of gotten used to this and it honestly doesn't bother me anymore. I made an effort, and if they aren't willing to understand me then I don't really consider them worth getting to know.
 

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Yes, I've had to adapt. The thing about adapting is that it changes the person usually.

I always ended up being bullied and set upon and having to change jobs because of that, I actually worked out why that was happening not that long ago.

I used to be such a perfectionist, I would do everything perfectly in work and I would do it at a good pace too. In time workers would become jealous and insecure because of this and that's when the bullying started. They felt they were inadequate at their jobs I guess and felt that I was setting too high an example that they didn't want to or couldn't keep up with.

I remember one florist I worked in, it was just myself and the boss. We did a photo shoot for wedding flowers for a fairly big magazine. I made 4 bouquets and my boss made 4. They used my bouquets in the middle page spread. They used one of hers on a postage stamp sized picture on the bottom corner of the front cover.
Then people used to come in and request I did their flowers. And one of the biggest contracts we had also requested I went and did their flowers..
I think it's obvious where this is going. My boss had trained at a very expensive and exclusive flower school, I trained in an apprenticeship.

Anyway, this type of pattern repeated itself over the years. I also found it difficult to relate to co-workers, even though I made a huge effort to. But I am not into the bitchy back stabbing gossipy stuff they were and that alone set me apart and made me a target.

My solution isn't foolproof, but I tend to avoid women bosses, and I keep up to date on a few current affairs (yawn) and some of the (boring!) shows that these people are into. That allows me to be able to keep some form of conversation running with people and talk with them so they (I hope) think that I am a bit more `normal`. Plus I developed really good extroversion skills (only in comparison with the dreadful ones I originally had) so am a little more comfortable in a wider variety of situations.

The problem I have that will likely never go away is, if I am not `prepared` for something I shut down like a rabbit in headlights.


I can't compare myself with who I was even 10 years ago, maybe it's just that as I've got older I just don't give so much of a feck any more! I worked with CBT on my perfectionism so that I don't make myself ill with it again. I have my coping strategies as I said above to deal with work place people. BUT it is not foolproof. Right now I am enjoying a safe haven where I work thanks to my boss. Again this could change, I won't ever take it for granted but the last 3 years I have loved being there. They may tease me, may drive me crazy sometimes but I know that I am accepted and they are comfortable with me.
 

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I generally feel the need to censor myself more than anything. Despite being very introverted, I'm not a shy person like many INFPs, it takes me a while to truly warm up to most people but once I do, I just let it spew. My first impulse is to make a joke out of things and it's usually a lecherous one so I sometimes have to stop myself from a running commentary of risque comments. I work from home right now, but at my last job I got along very well with my coworkers but occasionally went too far and got scolded for offending someone's delicate sensibilities or saying something inappropriate in front of the wrong person.
 

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I shouldn't be made to apologise for being myself if my actions do not overtly hurt others.
This is spot on. You are who you are. It is so much easier to accept yourself and be natural once you realize that you aren't doing anything wrong by doing such. Being an introvert doesn't mean you are doing something wrong. Not wanting to talk all the time doesn't mean you are hurting others. Not working as fast as everyone else doesn't mean you are defective. Yes, you can improve your skills to a certain extent, but some things run deep, and we cannot change them. For these things, we should not apologize but accept.
 
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