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Discussion Starter #1
Lately, I've been feeling very lost.

I feel lonely, but I can't connect with people. I've been unemployed for two months, but I can't seem to motivate myself to put in more of an effort to find a job. I'm 22 and entering my last year of school, and I feel lost.

I feel like something inside me is missing, and nothing is right.

I'm frustrated most of the time that I have this personality. I know it will sound awful, but I've started to resent being an INFP like it's a disease. I think, if only I were more Extroverted, I would feel more comfortable being social. I wouldn't be so sensitive. I could have casual friends to hang out with, rather than requiring everyone to be "good" friends. People would want to contact me, and I wouldn't have to be the initiator.

I struggled a lot in the spring with similar issues of connection and such, partially due to my friend's death. Although I hadn't spoken to her in over a year, she was the person I would turn to when I didn't understand a social situation or needed help or needed an honest assessment of my strengths and weaknesses. Lately, I can't find any positive attributes about myself. I assume anyone who is interested in me must have something wrong with them. I think I'm so used to doing things alone that I don't know how to be around people.

I feel like there's this block within myself, like a dam in the way, that is holding me back. Either that or a missing piece of myself.

Has anyone else felt like this? What do you do when you feel like this? How do you find yourself and make room for others in your life?
 

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What I've learned from once being an extreme introvert to a social introvert is that connecting with people has absolutely nothing to do with whether people understand you or not.

Being social isn't whether you're an Extrovert. It's a learned skill. I've been more social this month than I've been in forever. However, in the process of being social I met an international wedding photographer who built his business in 5 years, a gourmet chef that invited over for dinner, someone who's willing to lend my wife a green screen for her next video, a programmer who's been running his own business for 8 years and a comic book writer. Are any of these people going to become "good" friends? I don't even think about that anymore. Being social isn't about finding good friends. Being social is about enjoying the company of other people. I've added them to Facebook and I'm keep my eyes open for opportunities to hang out with them.

So what did I talk about with these people. With the programmer, I asked him about his business, why he went out on his own, how he found insurance, what he liked or disliked about running his own business. With the cook, we talked about his kids and I asked him how he was doing learning to paint with acrylics, how his experiment with oils went. With the wedding photographer, I asked him to show me his HDR iPhone app and what business books he thought we're most helpful. Everybody knows so much about what their interested in and I'm always looking to know more. The conversations were fun and lively. This is being social.

What I don't do is talk about me. I already know about me. It's a boring subject. I use to think that connecting with people meant weeding out people to just the ones that I thought would understand me and then slowly reveal personal information about me so they understood who I really was. That approach to friendship weeds out a lot of interesting people.

Once I understood that it's not about me and at the same time it's all about me, meeting people is easy. It's not about me because I don't talk about myself, I get them to talk. It's all about me because I get them to talk about things that interest me. If people go off on a tangent into something boring about their life that I'm not interested in, I steer them back to talking about the parts of their life that I am interested in. If they don't want to go in that direction, I find someone else to talk to.
 

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I'm frustrated most of the time that I have this personality. I know it will sound awful, but I've started to resent being an INFP like it's a disease. I think, if only I were more Extroverted, I would feel more comfortable being social. I wouldn't be so sensitive. I could have casual friends to hang out with, rather than requiring everyone to be "good" friends. People would want to contact me, and I wouldn't have to be the initiator.

...
I assume anyone who is interested in me must have something wrong with them. I think I'm so used to doing things alone that I don't know how to be around people.

I feel like there's this block within myself, like a dam in the way, that is holding me back. Either that or a missing piece of myself.

Has anyone else felt like this? What do you do when you feel like this? How do you find yourself and make room for others in your life?
When I was young I used to tag along with my select extroverted friends and become friends with their friends. It was some kind of artificial pursuit back when I really still thought I had to be like the others.

But that is foolishness. I only need to be like ME. Just like you don't need to mimic anyone, especially not an extrovert, or try to shoehorn yourself into a certain role.

There is nothing missing, there is nothing wrong with you. This is who you are and I know that you will learn to appreciate who you are.

And please don't say something like this 'I assume anyone who is interested in me must have something wrong with them.' It hurts me seeing you think of yourself this way. You are as beautiful in every way as anyone else.
You dont want anyone else to insult you, why are you insulting yourself? You need to change that line of thinking and find all the things that are good about yourself. They are easy to find, trust me on that.
 

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Every once in a while I'll go through something like what you're describing. It can last for years. I really don't know what snaps me out of it. Meeting someone who is special to me, inspiration for a new song or story, reading an inspiring book, hearing a new song, moving to a new location. Is there anything that inspires you?

Finding myself on these forums (learning that I'm not alone in my ways of feeling and thinking) has made a huge difference in the way I relate to myself and those around me. This INFP forum is a huge inspiration to me. So is Celtic music. And my religion of choice. The new song I'm writing. And the new story I'm writing. And, of course, my special one.

As to being more extroverted, my special one is an extrovert, and she doesn't have any close relationships like INFPs do. All her 'friendships' are so superficial - she doesn't have anyone to turn to. Except me. But she doesn't feel for me as I do for her. There are times I go out with acquaintances, but it wears me out, and I don't really enjoy it.

I think you can win or lose either way. You are who you are. What you do with who you are is up to you.
 

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Something I might add. I have this extroverted friend who has more 'friends' than he can count. Or so he thought. But when the going got tough almost all of them failed the test.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks a lot guys.... You made some good points for me to think about. I think a lot of times I forget the other people tend not to think like me - they aren't necessarily ranking me and would think it was weird that I called them out of the blue (right?). I actually do enjoy going out when it's with the right people, so it's not like I'm trying to fit into this mold, I think. I guess I just see that these other people, like my roommate, seem to have a large network of people and always have plans and get invited places. I want those experiences as well, but I feel somewhat forgotten about.

I haven't been doing anything creative lately, so that could be part of the problem. I've just been feeling like a huge bum. But yeah, I feel a lot better now reading what you guys had to say. It helped answer some of the questions bouncing around my head.
 
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