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Discussion Starter #1
Here's the thing: I'm trying to identify what is happening to me in regards to something which I will now proceed to explain and provide context to. I have just haven't been able to give a name or clasify it, and im guessing some of you guys know what this is or what to call it so I can study it and get better at resolving it.

Before you ask apparently I am an ENTP. Took the test several times over a two year period and it always gives me the same answer. Also, I find a lot of similarities between all the descriptions and myself.

I basically feel like I can't be myself anymore with anyone. It's my fault, really, because I don't really want to be myself around the people I have right now and can't be bothered to meet new people, but I can't be completely alone, not for the long period of time I am imposing myself to be alone anyway.

Why am I imposing these shutdown on myself? Because I have a novel in the works, which requires a lot of time, energy and being on my own. The novel is fascinating as much as it's frustrating. Fascinating in the creative, imaginative, distracting myself because a I got a new idea in the middle of some other thing I was doing kind of way. Frustrating in the let's actually go to work and I don't always get inspiration so when that happens I end up frustated, drinking and/or smoking to get it, I hate myself every day I end up procrastinating (like right now), correcting it is a bitch ass boring job to get trough until I can get to actually changing it instead of just analyzing what is wrong kind of way.

So getting back to the initial point. I am always holding myself back with everyone and I hate, dislike, feel completely neutral or like but outgrow all the new people I come across. I always end up seeing something wrong with them. They usually are one of these three types:

1. Stupid, boring, empty minded, from reasonably big to gigantic ego, a lot of touchy feely feelings, easily offended but just as easily able to insult. You know the type.

2. Intelligent and stimulating at first but stubborn in their beliefs and impossible to debate with because they always end up using fallacies or circular logic (ie just las week: I ask a guy from my office why he likes to dress nicely just to go to work because i was interested in his reason. He says he just likes it. I ask him why he likes it and he says he just likes it, that who he is. I ask him why again and he repeats that that's just what he likes. We had these why, cause, why, cause conversation for a good twenty minutes until I gave up)

3. The best out of the three and the only people I get somewhat close to. Also intelligent and stimulating, fun to be around but we don't have that special click for this or that, which I ignore but it get's more and more annoying over time.

That's the friends aspect of my shutdown. The relationship aspect of my shutdown is that I have given up on it entirely. I now I don't have the time to put in a serious relationship, and everyone I meet ends up boring and annoying me, so for a year now (I have been working in my novel a year and a half) I am only in a strictly fling regimen, not even giving a chance for something more because it will be the same relationship and the same kind of girl over and over again. Also because as I said, if I get in a relationship I'll go all the way and that takes time that my novel requires right now.

The thing about this shutdown that I don't understand is that it's self-imposed but also I can't seem to return to my old self even if I try. My old self been more open, laughing more, not caring about anything, not living in my head all day and just trying to have a good, epic, story for the ages worthy time. Fuck, I can't even get myself excited about meeting new people and learning about all those little details about them that makes them different from everybody else and fascinating. Now im all about who is this person and in what way am I gonna dismiss them and put them in the let's be polite but no where near close to the point where I might actually care about what you say or think category. Or sometimes, but not often, in the mate or fling category but hey, let's not get serious about these because I have other things to think about.

My 40 hours a week job is a fucking nightmare, but I need to get paid at the end of the month. Just the typical office job (international road assistance for a big car insurance company) which requires of me and all my coleagues to think for ourselves but with the company mindset and at the same time we have to have our boss authorize every single action because we aren't allowed to think for ourselves. And the bosses act in the condescending corporate kind of fucked up way.

Last is how I am feeling right now. I hide my feelings away from myself and stay neutral yet I am always stressed out and feeling guilty for procrastinating. If I get a look at the feelings I avoid what i understand, because I don't understand a lot of what I am feeling anyway, or feelings in general, is that I would want a relationship and to fall in love and the excitement of it all but I am sure that there is no one for me out there. I hate myself and have a lot of insecurities but I learned a long time ago to manage that just avoiding the old overthinking and improvising a lot. The paralyzing self hatred comes from my childhood maternal physical and psychological abuse, so not much to analyze there. It's textbook insecurity.

So that's it. Theres your context. I hope this explains my circumstances well. My question, after this soliloquy, is why can't I return to my old self even if I try? Why can't I unshutdown myself no matter how hard I try? I tried to identify it but failed. Any thoughts?

1,168 Posts
I don't have much time so this will be brief.

1. Sounds a bit like depression, but might just be the result of isolation. I'm a stay at home mom and isolation was effecting me more than I realized. I got involved in community theater and I feel amazing. I've met great people; I'm doing something productive; and it allows me to be me and not just "mom" 24/7. Find something that will obligate you to being around people, being social.

2. Keep in mind that you're no better or no worse than anyone else. Get out of the habit of judging your friends like you are. Maybe they're not stupid or boring, but are just intelligent in different areas than you or have different interests. It doesn't mean they are beneath you. Meet people where they are and appreciate them for who they are or leave them alone. I wouldn't want to have much to do with someone who was judging me that way.

#1 will help with #2. I was not only isolated but feeling like the few friends I had were withdrawing from me which felt awful. I'm in a play with a huge cast and I got to meet such a broad spectrum of people and felt naturally drawn to a few of them.

Hope this helps.

4,442 Posts
I feel like I experience similar things.

I'm constantly feeling alienated. Politics, philosophy, and psychology are the topics that interest me and which I'm constantly thinking about, but it's very rare I find people I can talk about them w/. It's not impossible, but it's not something I can do w/ everyone, it takes time when meeting people to warm them up to opening up about such topics, and then the friends that make who I can talk about such things it's hard to keep them in life enough to satisfy those desires. I might have had a former co-worker or neighbor that was great to talk about stuff regularly w/ but people change jobs and move and such and so there needs to be a constant influx of new people you can talk to about stuff... but when the universe hasn't provided me w/ new people to talk to and I haven't bothered putting effort into finding new I soon findI don't have people I can satisfy my desire to talk to others w/. I might stay in touch w. a friend but seeing them once a month doesn't satisfy the need to have people to shoot the shit w/.

I also feel like the more I develop philosophies and educate myself on topics the harder it is to find others to talk w/ and more alienated I feel. For instance MBTI I think is insightful and a topic I'd like to discuss w/ others, but most people IRL are ignorant of it and will likely be turned off if you bring it up .... I feel like everything I'm interested is similar, the more I learn about stuff and develop ideas, the harder it is to find people to share the thoughts I'd like to discuss w/ others and more alienated I feel.

And perhaps the for whatever reason I become more jaded and put less effort into trying to find others to talk w.

But , even though I haven't been applying it, I think the solution is to change you life and find new environments.

I think unconsciously we automatically become tired and jaded w/ the same sort environments when they fail to satisfy. For instance in my 20s I would hang out in bars a lot... now that has lost its appeal as a satisfying social environment.

perhaps join some club ... perhaps there's some sort of club or social group you could find related to writing that would be relevant to helping you work on book and might be a good source of people w/ similar interests to your own.

also you should prob work on getting out of that shitty job and finding one you can enjoy.

I'm actually writing a book myself ( on economics) which I see as my vocation in life. Books take a long time to write, esp if no ones paying you to write it... I've been going at for 10 yrs now. And once your book is written there is no guarantee that anyone will read it and it will make any money.. so it'd be wise to focus effort on getting a satisfying source of income. I've been in a similar situation struggling w/ shitty jobs I hate... the resolution I've settled on is to become a teacher, I figure it's something I'll actually enjoy doing and can feel good about doing ( I've had ethical issues w/ every job I've had) and I'll have summers off to work on writing. Unfortunately until I become a teacher I feel like I'm stuck in some sort of limbo... I feel like it's futile and I don't have time to put effort into any new social persuits until I'm able to get a new job and move so I'm stuck feeling lonely and alienated. I have a few friends I see on occasion, but it doesn't satisfy. ... once I become a teacher maybe I will join clubs and search for social groups related to my interests. Stuff related to my writing or become politically active in environmental issues, stuff like that. I'm done w/ seeking friends through bars, coworkers, old classmates, and friends of friends... I think the thing to do is look for people who share my specific interests, people who read the books that I'm reading and want to become politically active regarding the same issues that I care about. ..but for now my life sucks :/ I feel you bro.

4,281 Posts
I had a remarkably similar phase in my mid to late 20's.

I had just been beaten down by life. I was the ever happy go
lucky dude and within a year it just switched.

No one was good enough. Everyone seemed wrong, stupid even.
I started judging my family. I started playing the blame game with
people simply since it couldn't be me that was seeing things wrong.

Was working 9-5 to pay the bills at a job that had run its course yet
I was trapped enough to stay. My dreams seemed like they were the
carrot on a string always right in front of me but never attainable.
When I really thought about why I was not achieving what I wanted
I blamed life itself. I blamed myself. I blamed others.

I felt as if my own conscience was a ball and chain. It was dragging
me down. The more I thought about it the more I realized not only
did I think everyone and everything else was a problem I also realized
that I was my own problem first and foremost.

I felt as if I was a man on an island. Yet paradoxically I knew I was
the one who built that island and decided to sink the boat.

Start building bridges. Ask yourself really, as an ENTP do you
want friends that are you? Sure its nice to chill with like
type people for sure. They are out there. It takes getting out there
and as you say that is not in your cards right now. That makes it tough.

In the meantime why not open up to types that can help you achieve your goal?
Thats kinda what I did. I see a problem you have that you do not like is
editing your work. Well a friend would be awesome for that. I can say with
100% certainty that the kind of friend that would proof all your work is
NOT the same type of friend that you may have thought to pick. Yet through
helping each other you form a bond. Friends dont need to be people that you
have oddles of fun with and thats that. Some of my bestus friends are SJ types for example.
Why? They help me with my goals. I help them with theirs. We use each others strengths.

If you want a doppelganger for a friend you best believe that friendship will implode
at a certain point. I personally like chilling with people that are exactly what you describe
you do not like. Yet this did not happen until I decided that I was not master of anything.
Just because I do not appreciate what they bring does not mean it is not useful to me.
Its all about how you use it. ENTP are great at finding desperate connections between things/people.
Use that ability to pull the best out of people.

Personal observations to be sure my man! Proverbial grain of salt and such...

Welcome to PerC!

3,939 Posts
I agree with @Scarlet_Heart that it is very possibly depression. Depression does not always manifest itself in ENTP in the typical way the textbooks describe because often to the outside world, we are able to project a false front and seem exceptionally functional. It sounds to me like you have actually a shadow function Te or your undeveloped Si coming out (which I find the shadow functions may come out strong when you are not healthy).

Te tends to be very judgey. I think ENTPs normal, healthy MO is to notice differences but be able to compartmentalize people and not be bothered by their shortcomings. Te tends to hold onto the fact that the person is not what you expect them to be.

I find that finding different outlets for myself was the way to balance myself out. I did different things with different people and realized that no one was going to be all for me (including in my relationships). I played wallyball with a group of guys from work. I saw art films and theater (and analyzed the hell out of them after) with my INTJ friend. I talked about home/work life over coffee with my ISFJ best friend. I went shopping and drinking with my ESFJ friend. I got to spin ideas with my ENFP boss. I gave my life a little more purpose and meaning by joining a woman's service club. I don't expect my INTJ friend to want to get into personal emotions and I wouldn't expect my ISFJ friend to theorize an art movies meaning.

I will say, I am not sure anyone in the world really knows me well though. My husband obviously knows me the best but he does not know a lot of the ideas that swim around in my head because talking to him when my Ne is high usually just frustrates him because he can't follow me.

3,549 Posts
Speaking of brief analyses, @Scarlet_Heart, here's mine (based on very little [not to mention self-reported] evidence):

Sounds to me like the OP here needs a good old-fashioned mentor. I'm not talking about literary heroes or historical figures or any number of other incarnations that he will never meet. I'm talking about someone that he looks up to and can watch interact with the outside world in an effective manner. Granted, this is easier said than found, but other than digging deep into the psyche of a tortured author (which, dear lord, I have no desire to do), that's probably the easiest way.

636 Posts
Hmm, so I feel this way too at times but I guess I have some disorganized thoughts on this. I think its ok to not like everyone you meet. Maybe it's just me but I think I sometimes put a lot of pressure on finding the good outcome but sometimes we meet people we just don't get along with. Some people are dumb, mean, and close minded. I generation is eating tide pods. Clearly we are not going to get along with everyone. It happens, and sometimes we get unlucky and might find a lot of these people in a row. Then I start feeling alienated or start wondering what I could change about myself to make it better. I start thinking of ways to adapt to others, and sometimes that's closing myself down, because I start thinking everyone is like this. That being 'rejected' by society is just my lot in life and to just accept it and lay low.

But...that's not the right approach. Not everyone is alike and I think that's why I got drawn to personality theory to begin with. There are people out there that would be interested in the same things you are. I don't think there is a problem to want some people in our lives to be like us. Sometimes having a good base of people where I feel my weird quirks are being accepted is what I need to be more accepting of others. I don't need only intuitive friends but sometimes its nice having that one or two people that sort of resemble "Hey, it's ok to be like this", so I don't always have to wonder if I'm truly the nutty, space cadet 9000, freak of my social groups. Somebody getting it is relieving. Maybe its just me. Anyways personality theory(though not perfect) sort of shows there are mostly likely other people out there that will get it. They just might be scared too and doing the same thing of shutting down because they think nobody else gets them. I started to wonder if maybe I was just missing the signs of someone else being interested in the same things because they were hiding it too, or because I got too cynical. It's frustrating.

I think to connect with others, people need to show their true selves. This is pretty uncomfortable for a lot of people because it leaves us feeling vulnerable and wide open for rejection...which does sometimes happens. But it also leaves us open for real connection with people we want to be around. I don't think most people think, "I love this vulnerability thing! It's the best feeling ever!" but tend to consider it more of a necessity.

So I guess I figured, I could wait for someone else to have the courage to show their quirky side or....I could be that person and be the beacon for those people to come talk to. One's slower and safer, and the other is faster and more at risk for rejection. Anyways, don't get trapped in mind set that there aren't good people for you out there. They might be a bit harder to find in the social groups you are in right now, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. Don't close that possibility off.
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