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I know it's likely not a universal motif, but I've been told by an INTJ that I need to open up in order to get anywhere with another INTJ. Now therein lies the problem, opening up has backfired and costed me a lot of pain in the past. Fast forward to today, I'm very secretive with my whereabouts, my past, and my intentions. There may be trust issues lodged in there somewhere, but I'm more likely to dodge an intrusive question rather than answer with an honest response. It's a habit of mine at this point. Such a habit that when a sensitive tidbit slips, the one I'm speaking to will have their eyes light up, and with that cue I know I've said too much. I'm very selective with the few info I tell even my closest friends, out of the debilitating fear it'll be used against me in some way or another.

My question to you guys are, how do you handle this, if you do? What steps do you perform if you have this sort of irrationality? I'd really like to open up and share with this INTJ to build a sense of trust, but multiple firewalls on my Ne prevents such. How would I go about overcoming my fear of sharing personal details about my life and past?
 

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INTJs, in my lengthy experience (my brother is an INTJ), are very interested and mutualistic as long as the vehicle you use is one they're used to traveling in--and I'm referring to the T vs. F dichotomy. As long as what you're offering in conversation/interpersonal exchanges builds on what they consider to be a rational basis, they'll take thinkerly pleasure in it and generously give all they have in exploring with you the jots and tittles of your life, thoughts, and existence in general. If you start leapfrogging (as they would consider it) from rock to rock with F-based motivations, or Feeling data, they'll be uncomfortable and, at length, hostile. Be precise, and without leaps of faith. Overcome your fear by talking to them in Thinker-language, not Feeler-language. No "you know how everyone is" type statements. You get the idea (a statement they'd hate).
 

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It might help to know that "dodging" doesn't work well on us. You can dance all you want, but we will just refocus the laser beam. I have known ENFP's to squirm at length in response to some topic or another, and I recognize it for what it is and stop asking. So, while it achieves its end, it also leaves an impression: to me the response is cowardly and disrespectful, as in, if you don't want to talk about it, just say so, rather than insulting me with this flimsy maneuvering.

As with many things INTJ, the best thing is probably to just have an explicit conversation alerting them to the presence of some insecurities that take you time to disclose and your corresponding boundaries. If your boundaries are respected by your INTJ, as is likely, you may feel that the trust that accumulates affords you the comfort you need to disassemble them at your own pace. They are likely to recognize this happening and feel honoured by the transition.
 

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My question to you guys are, how do you handle this, if you do? What steps do you perform if you have this sort of irrationality?
I don't know how I do it to be honest but I have this knack of appearing like an open book when I'm not. Maybe it's because I'll express positive emotions loudly or I could talk about trivial things about myself forever. I find that people don't feel like they need to look beneath the surface when you've convinced them that you are what they see.

Not helpful, I'm sure... but it's all I got. I wouldn't know how to be more comfortable with opening up. Sometimes you have to look at it a different way though, that it helps to talk shit out and have another voice reflect your words back to you. It can help fix your perspective on things.
 

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Surely if you have difficulty opening up, then INTJs are THE type to do it with.. INTJs don't like or hate social appearances- they just simply don't CARE, and almost ignore them altogether. That's why I've always felt a sense of comfort around them.

I mean, INTJs aren't the BEST listeners, because if they don't care about what you're saying then they aren't going to pretend or make more effort than they feel like it- but they're also not going to judge or care about anything you say either- in fact I think the ENFP in this interaction has the onus to not judge the INTJ when they share, because INTJs don't have qualms about sharing dark/out-there thoughts in my experience.

I've gotta be honest- even when I meet ENFPs in real life, it would take me a LONG time to open up about half the stuff I reveal in this forum.. Same with INFJs and INFPs.. but INTJs? No problem, I'd give them full disclosure almost immediately.
 

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I know it's likely not a universal motif, but I've been told by an INTJ that I need to open up in order to get anywhere with another INTJ. Now therein lies the problem, opening up has backfired and costed me a lot of pain in the past. Fast forward to today, I'm very secretive with my whereabouts, my past, and my intentions. There may be trust issues lodged in there somewhere, but I'm more likely to dodge an intrusive question rather than answer with an honest response. It's a habit of mine at this point. Such a habit that when a sensitive tidbit slips, the one I'm speaking to will have their eyes light up, and with that cue I know I've said too much. I'm very selective with the few info I tell even my closest friends, out of the debilitating fear it'll be used against me in some way or another.

My question to you guys are, how do you handle this, if you do? What steps do you perform if you have this sort of irrationality? I'd really like to open up and share with this INTJ to build a sense of trust, but multiple firewalls on my Ne prevents such. How would I go about overcoming my fear of sharing personal details about my life and past?
Overcoming a lifelong fear of sharing personal details about your life and past will take time. It sounds like at the source of it, rejection is the fear. But rejection of what? You? I've been told dark things about friends and lovers' pasts. Dark things. It never turned me off from them. If anything, I felt closer. Letting someone in should be a privilege for only the select few who you deem you can trust, which is what you said you do. But to the extent where it affects your normal life, or you have to lie to protect yourself isn't the best coping mechanism. Go talk to someone. The right therapist is a good start. It sounds like this has had control over you for a very long time. There's no need to run away from it your entire life or have potential relationships disrupted because of it. The past is the past. And the mind is a power thing. You can work through it with time. You realizing there is a problem is a great first step and I'm sure it's been something you've been working on. Keep chipping away at it and maybe try not to run so fast and far at the first sign of someone sniffing you out. If anything, they may be trying to help. It's ok to be vulnerable. Not everyone is out to hurt each other.
 

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I don't know how I do it to be honest but I have this knack of appearing like an open book when I'm not. Maybe it's because I'll express positive emotions loudly or I could talk about trivial things about myself forever. I find that people don't feel like they need to look beneath the surface when you've convinced them that you are what they see.

Not helpful, I'm sure... but it's all I got. I wouldn't know how to be more comfortable with opening up. Sometimes you have to look at it a different way though, that it helps to talk shit out and have another voice reflect your words back to you. It can help fix your perspective on things.
Had to comment on this because I relate to this so hardcore... do you think this is an ENFP thing? Sometimes I've wondered that. I've been that sort of person who gets in a conversation with a stranger and they end up telling me their life story and feeling close to me, maybe like they know me, but we walk away and they know less about me than I do them. This is kind of unintentional on my part. I'm curious about people. I like listening to people. I display this openness, but I don't show all of me.

I feel like because of this "knack", there have been some people who feel closer to me than they really are.

And some people think I'm into them or flirting when I'm super not. Somehow, I make people feel close while keeping distance.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Overcoming a lifelong fear of sharing personal details about your life and past will take time. It sounds like at the source of it, rejection is the fear. But rejection of what? You? I've been told dark things about friends and lovers' pasts. Dark things. It never turned me off from them. If anything, I felt closer. Letting someone in should be a privilege for only the select few who you deem you can trust, which is what you said you do. But to the extent where it affects your normal life, or you have to lie to protect yourself isn't the best coping mechanism. Go talk to someone. The right therapist is a good start. It sounds like this has had control over you for a very long time. There's no need to run away from it your entire life or have potential relationships disrupted because of it. The past is the past. And the mind is a power thing. You can work through it with time. You realizing there is a problem is a great first step and I'm sure it's been something you've been working on. Keep chipping away at it and maybe try not to run so fast and far at the first sign of someone sniffing you out. If anything, they may be trying to help. It's ok to be vulnerable. Not everyone is out to hurt each other.
Couldn't agree with everyone's posts more, but these bolded bits in particular I had to address.

To an extent, rejection is always a fear. I don't have some major skeletons in the closet like I've killed my brother or pet hamster when I was younger, I am just hyper-paranoid about the information I release. Because of course, word gets around. It changes with each exchange from mouth to ear. I've had this happen to me before and had my reputation and optimistic mindset destroyed. In a way I'm still recovering from this. The truth gets skewed, and the very rare times when I do release personal information, and they accidentally/intentionally go behind my back for whatever reason and tell another, I will cut our ties. For good. The trust is no longer there, and cannot be repaired. I don't wanna put anyone through that, so staying tight-lipped is my version of playing it safe.

To the second italicized, I have a good friend of mine (ESTP) who considers me his best friend, but I've never told him the same, so I'm lead to believe ultimately this is an insecurity of his, to one day realize the feeling is not reciprocated. Truth be told, I like him, we get along 85% of the time. We've had our ups and downs, split-ups and misadventures. And yet, I can't bring myself to trust him. It's something about the way he operates when we're around mutual people we know that makes my intuition scream "don't tell this man shit". He's likely to bring it back into my face later in a negative view, even though I'm aware it's simply teasing from his end. Something has always been slightly off about him, so I can tell no secrets, but many jokes though. It's a stable, healthy relationship however.

It has had a massive vice grip on my relationship building with others, and my ability to keep a good image for a friend. Time and time again, the relationship will progress naturally, then I hit this mental-emotional wall. How would I even go about bringing this up in conversation? I hate talking about myself, I feel an internal brewing narcissistic vibe then. I've opened up to about possibly 2 - 4 people in the last 5 years, but I have many good friends. Another contributing factor may be I've been conditioned not to get especially close to another due to moving homes frequently when I was younger, and of course this switched my schooling as well. I never realized it at the time, but 12 year old Producer thought it was a dandy idea to keep good friends, but always at a distance relative to your personal details, as to not get too depressed when you move in a month. Because as you know, the sharing of secrets establishes a bond, a deep trust between people. This has proven difficult for me, I suppose.

Lastly, I've been trying! Believe you me. I'm making bits of progress here and there and I suppose it's beginning to accumulate, then of course I have this sorta mental relapse and my deep down distrust of others and tendency to be flighty with my emotions/past is apparent once more. I'm not sure how to end this post, but once I get past this firewall of secrecy and paranoia over opening up, I'll likely make a later post.
 

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Quick takes:

--You're wise to be hesitant. Trust your instincts . . . but don't let them paralyze you. There are moments you just have to do something, see what happens, and then deal with the consequences. Sometimes to move forward you have to move in a zig-zag direction.

--Only experience will hone your sense of whom to trust.

--Begin by sharing small and seeing what happens; this will give you confidence (or at least experience). If a pal blabs that you like wearing underpants bearing pictures of major league baseball players, you've paid a small price to learn something important about that pal. People at heart will find you exotic, and will think less of the blabber because of his treachery. If the pal doesn't blab, you've learned something important too!

If you'd meet me in person, you'd see that my affect is one of reserve and reticence. But I'm a writer. All we do is reveal things about ourselves, whether directly or in some guise, so opening up is sort of what I do on an ongoing basis, and I'm pretty inured to it. The more I reveal to those I've chosen to reveal things to, the more it feels like I'm in charge: It's a matter of saying So this is me, I have a right to be me, and so what are you going to do about it, world? Don't let others frame your life--don't let their challenges and threats form your existence--take command and do it your way. If they abuse your trust, that doesn't make you any less of a person. I suppose I'm saying Go for it, and don't care what happens, which, I know, it's easy for me to say; but . . . get started . . . baby steps . . . baby steps . . .
 

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A little more.

The following is probably the bit of writing which has most influenced my life. Bear in mind that the florid and highly colored style is intentional, not to be pompous but to make it stick in your memory:

“Having no hope, neither had I any definite fear, were it of Man or of Devil: nay, I often felt as if it might be solacing, could the Arch-Devil himself, though in Tartarean terrors, but rise to me, that I might tell him a little of my mind. And yet, strangely enough, I lived in a continual, indefinite, pining fear; tremulous, pusillanimous, apprehensive of I knew not what; it seemed as if all things in the Heavens above and the Earth beneath would hurt me; as if the Heavens and the Earth were but boundless jaws of a devouring monster, wherein I, palpitating, waited to be devoured.

“Full of such humour, and perhaps the miserablest man in the whole French Capital or Suburbs, was I, one sultry Dog-day, after much perambulation, toiling along the dirty little Rue Saint-Thomas de l’Enfer, among civic rubbish enough, in a close atmosphere, and over pavements hot as Nebuchadnezzar’s Furnace; whereby doubtless my spirits were little cheered; when, all at once, there rose a Thought in me, and I asked myself: ‘What art thou afraid of? Wherefore, like a coward, dost thou forever pip and whimper, and go cowering and trembling? Despicable biped! What is the sum-total of the worst that lies before thee? Death? Well, Death; and say the pangs of Tophet too, and all that the Devil and Man may, will or can do against thee! Hast thou not a heart; canst thou not suffer whatsoever it be; and, as a Child of Freedom, though outcast, trample Tophet itself under thy feet, while it consumes thee? Let it come, then; I will meet it and defy it!’ And as I so thought, there rushed like a stream of fire over my whole soul; and I shook base Fear away from me forever. I was strong, of unknown strength; a spirit, almost a god. Ever from that time, the temper of my misery was changed: not Fear or whining Sorrow was it, but Indignation and grim fire-eyed Defiance.” (from Sartor Resartus, by Thomas Carlyle).
 

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@The Producer

I've kind of developed a "I couldn't care less what you think" attitude when it comes to worrying about reputation. Just stick a middle finger up and adopt my ENTP's persona to shut down the haters. Even if it's someone that I love they just have to know how to accept me with my flaws.

It's kind of like marrying yourself to you decisions and convictions. Even the worst things that you have done it's going to be hard not to run from but you just gotta think that you are only human and recognising mistakes and being able to admit to them would be more admirable than it is for someone to see those mistakes. I found PerC helped me talk about my less attractive side more openly and I feel better for it.

Besides, is it a rational fear to expect this INTJ to spread rumours or stories about you? If not then you just have one person to worry about, not the world. You can open up to one, it doesn't mean that anyone else needs to see the rest of you too.
 

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Couldn't agree with everyone's posts more, but these bolded bits in particular I had to address.

To an extent, rejection is always a fear. I don't have some major skeletons in the closet like I've killed my brother or pet hamster when I was younger, I am just hyper-paranoid about the information I release. Because of course, word gets around. It changes with each exchange from mouth to ear. I've had this happen to me before and had my reputation and optimistic mindset destroyed. In a way I'm still recovering from this. The truth gets skewed, and the very rare times when I do release personal information, and they accidentally/intentionally go behind my back for whatever reason and tell another, I will cut our ties. For good. The trust is no longer there, and cannot be repaired. I don't wanna put anyone through that, so staying tight-lipped is my version of playing it safe.

To the second italicized, I have a good friend of mine (ESTP) who considers me his best friend, but I've never told him the same, so I'm lead to believe ultimately this is an insecurity of his, to one day realize the feeling is not reciprocated. Truth be told, I like him, we get along 85% of the time. We've had our ups and downs, split-ups and misadventures. And yet, I can't bring myself to trust him. It's something about the way he operates when we're around mutual people we know that makes my intuition scream "don't tell this man shit". He's likely to bring it back into my face later in a negative view, even though I'm aware it's simply teasing from his end. Something has always been slightly off about him, so I can tell no secrets, but many jokes though. It's a stable, healthy relationship however.

It has had a massive vice grip on my relationship building with others, and my ability to keep a good image for a friend. Time and time again, the relationship will progress naturally, then I hit this mental-emotional wall. How would I even go about bringing this up in conversation? I hate talking about myself, I feel an internal brewing narcissistic vibe then. I've opened up to about possibly 2 - 4 people in the last 5 years, but I have many good friends. Another contributing factor may be I've been conditioned not to get especially close to another due to moving homes frequently when I was younger, and of course this switched my schooling as well. I never realized it at the time, but 12 year old Producer thought it was a dandy idea to keep good friends, but always at a distance relative to your personal details, as to not get too depressed when you move in a month. Because as you know, the sharing of secrets establishes a bond, a deep trust between people. This has proven difficult for me, I suppose.

Lastly, I've been trying! Believe you me. I'm making bits of progress here and there and I suppose it's beginning to accumulate, then of course I have this sorta mental relapse and my deep down distrust of others and tendency to be flighty with my emotions/past is apparent once more. I'm not sure how to end this post, but once I get past this firewall of secrecy and paranoia over opening up, I'll likely make a later post.
The first thing I thought when reading this post was, man I wish I could call and talk to you on the phone. Like when a friend sends a distressed text that has to be responded to immediately with a phone call. But, I think you hit the nail on the head - you moved a lot growing up. I've known people who've had similar upbringings and this was the case for them too. What's the point in making new friends when you're just going to leave everyone again. How long ago was it when your private conversation got out? I can imagine that sort of 'oh shit, wtf just happened' moment and everything starts to swirl out of control.
 

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am i the only enfp on here who is the opposite of all these posts? i wouldn't consider myself to be a *wide open book* but i'm not usually too reluctant to open up about myself in most cases. but i do have certain limits. for one thing, i have a natural tendancy of oversharing to the point of awkwardness for the people around me, so i have to try to remember to set some restraints so i don't bug other people with my weirdness. not everybody is like me and can handle hearing about someone's "dark side" that well. i'm good with sharing some deep things about myself or my past with people, even strangers, if they are in the same sharing mood. if they've already trusted me, why not trust them too, i figure. i can usually quickly gauge whether someone is trustworthy to share with or not, and i will only refuse to open up if that person betrays me, which has happened kind of rarely.

i do have one exception off the top of my head though. i did have what one might consider to be a "deep, dark secret" that i had no problems sharing for a time until the other kids my age weaponized it against me-- harshly. so at the time i figured well, kids are immature, so i'll wait until we're all older and i can feel safe to talk about it again. i then shared this fact with only a few people very close to me during my teen and early adult years, and unfortunately in a couple of instances the responses i received were highly inappropriate and shook me hard. these responses weren't against me, and i know they just weren't thinking about how it would affect me when they said it, but after that i closed down entirely and never brought it up again for well over a decade. i finally decided to blog about it, and a couple people saw it and gave no inappropriate remarks, but... i took that blog post down the next day because i just didn't feel comfortable with it up. i figure i'll be ready to pop it back up again in the not-too-distant future, but i figure it's more a matter of timing than anything else.

i am the person who other people come to to talk about their problems and feelings and get advice or emotional support, i think, largely due to the fact that i'm super non-judgemental about their lives and also because i'm willing to share much of the same with them as a matter of relating to them. i'm such a "hey, i know exactly what that's like" person sometimes, lol. i'm so weird about always telling people how much something they say/ think/ do resonates with me, that they remind me of me, etc. it's not that i'm exactly like anyone else, or that i'm faking for attention, i just instantly notice when there's something we have in common and i want to share that and discuss it and see where our similarities and differences lie on this one thing, and i want to know what's going through the person's mind about the thing, and so i open up and share about myself in the process of finding out, good or bad.

i've always strongly believed that whatever challenges happen in life will make you stronger and healthier if you brace yourself and allow them to happen, and then locate the takeaway to keep with you for the rest of your life, and then you can pass on this same strength to others when you do. it's like muscle building or even other exercises-- your muscles will be damaged in the process, and you'll be sore for a bit, but you'll also be stronger and filled with a little bit more energy, more enthusiasm to face the world, and in the long term, you'll also be less vulnerable to sickness, pain, stress, or whatever.

as other people have already said, if you need to be selective in who you reveal yourself to, be selective. it's nobody else's business but your own. if and when you want to establish a more trusting relationship, start small and work up gradually. and if your tendency to close off is creating a genuine interference to you and your relationships, try looking into getting professional help so you can get some objective outside guidance. also, try to look at things from the other person's point of view: if they have already previously trusted you with something deep and intimate about themself, they really aren't likely to betray you on the same front. after all, you know something about them, so they wouldn't want to risk giving you an opening to use that information against them either.
 

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am i the only enfp on here who is the opposite of all these posts?
You know, apart from our wonderful Jewl, these posts have all been written by guys. I don't think that's a coincidence. I actually think that's a causation. Not cause we're wired differently but just because we have different environments.


i am the person who other people come to to talk about their problems and feelings and get advice or emotional support, i think, largely due to the fact that i'm super non-judgemental about their lives and also because i'm willing to share much of the same with them as a matter of relating to them.
I always kind of wanted to be that person that people would trust like that. I never was. I guess people feel more comfortable doing that with the more 'mother' like types.

I had one of my school friends, an ISFP, call me 'mysterious'. I was taken aback by that. It's not like I was doing it purposefully. I wasn't lying or actively trying to hide anything but I wasn't that much of a sharer that they assumed there must be some kind of secret I was hiding. Still to this day, that ISFP was the only one to outright call me out on it.

i've always strongly believed that whatever challenges happen in life will make you stronger and healthier if you brace yourself and allow them to happen, and then locate the takeaway to keep with you for the rest of your life, and then you can pass on this same strength to others when you do. it's like muscle building or even other exercises-- your muscles will be damaged in the process, and you'll be sore for a bit, but you'll also be stronger and filled with a little bit more energy, more enthusiasm to face the world, and in the long term, you'll also be less vulnerable to sickness, pain, stress, or whatever.
I thought this too once but then the enthusiasm didn't return and I've just been waiting for it. So... Yeah, not a flawless plan.
 

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You know, apart from our wonderful Jewl, these posts have all been written by guys. I don't think that's a coincidence. I actually think that's a causation. Not cause we're wired differently but just because we have different environments.
ahhh, you may have a point there. but i also remember that my mom raised me to not be afraid of my own feelings and sharing them, so there's that, too.

I always kind of wanted to be that person that people would trust like that. I never was. I guess people feel more comfortable doing that with the more 'mother' like types.
lol, 'mother' like. yeah, now that i think about it, you're not the first person to make that comparison. xD although i tend to think of myself as more of an 'older sister' to most of my friends, lol.

I had one of my school friends, an ISFP, call me 'mysterious'. I was taken aback by that. It's not like I was doing it purposefully. I wasn't lying or actively trying to hide anything but I wasn't that much of a sharer that they assumed there must be some kind of secret I was hiding. Still to this day, that ISFP was the only one to outright call me out on it.
well there you go. i've never been called mysterious. xD wait, an ISFP called you on not being a sharer?

I thought this too once but then the enthusiasm didn't return and I've just been waiting for it. So... Yeah, not a flawless plan.
yeah, i get that. i've been going through one of those myself recently... i can't see things ending well and i can't see myself ever fully recovering from it when it does. (oh look, i just found another piece of darkness i'm not willing to share... for now, anyway. knowing me, i will eventually, though.)
 
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