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Discussion Starter #1
Like a living environment or something. Where you knew that you'd be attacked for expressing your true inner self? Did you have to become someone else? How did the long-term chronic stress affect you?
 

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Yes, but only kinda! There's always that part of me that's weird, no matter how many normal things I do. I don't really hide any of the things I like from people, and usually they kind of respect that. Don't get me wrong they give me shit for it, but it's the a brother or sister teases you.

And I do the same thing back lol.

Hmm so if I couldn't express my true self, I would just really not have an interest being in that environment. So basically I would just do my own thing, sort of my typical reaction. I'll play nice, until someone's a dick, then I'll be a dick back. Blah blah blah
 

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Living with my parents for the last couple years I was there. I wasn't allowed to cook, both my parents and I were ready for me to leave; we were getting in each other's way.

This happens more often with work. Especially retail and my past accounting career. Never felt like myself in those jobs, and I usually quit when it got too stressful.
 

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"Ever" yes.
A "living environment" yes but I was so used to it that it was second nature and it wasn't painful for a couple of decades.
I also had to do it in non-living environments, aka my whole entire school years up until I finally left for university and could be free. But also my entire friendships until my mid 20s. They were friendships based entirely on me not being my true self. And sure enough, when I finally came out and was my true self, the friendships fell apart. But hey I'm glad it happened.

The "living environment" was my entire life living with my parents xD So basically all I remember is expressing myself as a baby, being shut down by the parents, so I adopted the mask that would keep me safe around them, and it just became an automatic thing. Turn it on when they're there, turn it off when they're away. It was never painful because I was always safe inside myself and inside my room. The painful part was actually slipping accidentally and being myself for a second, I'd freak out and think "Oh nonono I need to cover this up!" and I would put on my act again, clean up my mess so to speak. I was a very contained and secretive person.

How did the long-term chronic stress affect you?
It didn't affect me, if I'm understanding the question correctly. If you mean how it affected my Fi, which is basically my values, they were never a clash until my mid 20s tbh. I was on a mission to keep myself safe in the "living environment" until I could escape my parents, the school system and my fake friends... so... it was all good to me.
I enjoyed my time alone behind closed doors, being my true self in isolation, doing my hobbies that nobody knew about, thinking my thoughts that nobody knew, and studying the weird books I wanted, etc. I kept my personal life and my public lives separate, and "public life" included the life in the livingroom, in the kitchen, everywhere my parents existed. I had a plan -stay safe until you can escape one day- and followed my plan, and since safety was a core value, it never clashed with my Fi.

But, I must admit that it did affect my friendships. All my friendships felt meaningless to me and I never cared about a single person. Like they could've died and I wouldn't have flinched tbh. I felt alone in the world, even in a room full of people, and that was my suffering: chronic aloneness. Which led to nihilism. I developed clinical depression in my late teens, and was in that state for six years, self-harming and doing terrible things to myself because my soul was totally depleted and there was no one I could trust to help me, so I just fell deeper and deeper. So that's how "chronic stress" affected me. But like I said, only with friends. My parents are irrelevant, coworkers and bosses and whatever job I'm at are irrelevant, I put on whatever mask I need to get what I want. Why doesn't it affect me in those specific situations? Because I have a specific goal and the goal is materialistic, nothing to do with humanity.
In the case of friendships is different, because the goal of friendship for me is not materialistic, it's human.
For materialistic goals I use aquaintances (networking).
It just depends on the goal.

And I know that people will come and say "You can never not be your true self, that's impossible". And I agree with that. You are always being yourself. But for the sake of this conversation, I know what you mean, so I won't go existential with the whole "it's impossible blablabla..." :)
 
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Discussion Starter #5
"Ever" yes.
A "living environment" yes but I was so used to it that it was second nature and it wasn't painful for a couple of decades.
I also had to do it in non-living environments, aka my whole entire school years up until I finally left for university and could be free. But also my entire friendships until my mid 20s. They were friendships based entirely on me not being my true self. And sure enough, when I finally came out and was my true self, the friendships fell apart. But hey I'm glad it happened.

The "living environment" was my entire life living with my parents xD So basically all I remember is expressing myself as a baby, being shut down by the parents, so I adopted the mask that would keep me safe around them, and it just became an automatic thing. Turn it on when they're there, turn it off when they're away. It was never painful because I was always safe inside myself and inside my room. The painful part was actually slipping accidentally and being myself for a second, I'd freak out and think "Oh nonono I need to cover this up!" and I would put on my act again, clean up my mess so to speak. I was a very contained and secretive person.

How did the long-term chronic stress affect you?
It didn't affect me, if I'm understanding the question correctly. If you mean how it affected my Fi, which is basically my values, they were never a clash until my mid 20s tbh. I was on a mission to keep myself safe in the "living environment" until I could escape my parents, the school system and my fake friends... so... it was all good to me.
I enjoyed my time alone behind closed doors, being my true self in isolation, doing my hobbies that nobody knew about, thinking my thoughts that nobody knew, and studying the weird books I wanted, etc. I kept my personal life and my public lives separate, and "public life" included the life in the livingroom, in the kitchen, everywhere my parents existed. I had a plan -stay safe until you can escape one day- and followed my plan, and since safety was a core value, it never clashed with my Fi.

But, I must admit that it did affect my friendships. All my friendships felt meaningless to me and I never cared about a single person. Like they could've died and I wouldn't have flinched tbh. I felt alone in the world, even in a room full of people, and that was my suffering: chronic aloneness. Which led to nihilism. I developed clinical depression in my late teens, and was in that state for six years, self-harming and doing terrible things to myself because my soul was totally depleted and there was no one I could trust to help me, so I just fell deeper and deeper. So that's how "chronic stress" affected me. But like I said, only with friends. My parents are irrelevant, coworkers and bosses and whatever job I'm at are irrelevant, I put on whatever mask I need to get what I want. Why doesn't it affect me in those specific situations? Because I have a specific goal and the goal is materialistic, nothing to do with humanity.
In the case of friendships is different, because the goal of friendship for me is not materialistic, it's human.
For materialistic goals I use aquaintances (networking).
It just depends on the goal.

And I know that people will come and say "You can never not be your true self, that's impossible". And I agree with that. You are always being yourself. But for the sake of this conversation, I know what you mean, so I won't go existential with the whole "it's impossible blablabla..." :)
Wow, we have basically lived the same life. Although I was maybe a bit more intense with seeking out real true friendships I just kept those secret from my family. I think when people say it's impossible to not be yourself they might mean that you discover new sides to yourself. Doesn't mean you become someone else just another part of yourself.

It kind of reminds me of the Interpol song ''NYC'' where the singer says: ''I had seven faces, thought I knew which one to wear'' Apparently he's an INTP.
 

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I think when people say it's impossible to not be yourself they might mean that you discover new sides to yourself. Doesn't mean you become someone else just another part of yourself.
Exactly :)
 

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Can't think of any off the top of my head, but there have to be at least a few. I've been in alot of environments where I had to, not deny my true self, but downplay it and have less of an identity in general. Not fun, but at least I didn't have to lie. And yeah, as with justjay, no matter how many normal things I do, I'll always have the weirdness too.
 

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I saw an interview with Marlon Brando on YT recently. It was with Dick Cavett as I recall. Anyway, Cavett was praising Brando for being such a great actor and all, and Brando basically said it's all bullshit, and how because every person puts on act every single day of their lives at one moment or another. We're all great actors in other words.

I started to think about this, and it's pretty accurate. Like If you talk to your boss, and you really want to tell them to FO, but you act like you're the model employee. Or acting like you're not pissed off when you really are, or sucking up to a client.

Politicians are masters at this.

They all lie, or twist the truth on a regular basis; no big deal.

What about a shrink who has to sit there and listen to a bunch of BS from a patient all the time thinking, "I wish this hour would end so I can go home and have a drink".

Shit like that.

So I think yeah, every damn day.
 

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Not an INFP but I've experienced this.

Besides growing up in such an environment, I experienced two extreme situations. One was with an ENTP. Worst person I have ever known on this planet (for many reasons I will not list here). We lived and worked closely together for several months. It was hell. She nitpicked, second-guessed, and criticized every single little thing I did. Pretty soon, I just kept quiet and she just continued with the attacks. I was tired of contention, because of her constant denying and dodging her mistakes. She never owned up to anything, really. And she'd always turn it back to me like things were always my fault; She was a gaslighter. She never really knew me, because I was never comfortable enough with her to be myself. It's ironic how her life theme was: "Be yourself". As she continued to preach this and ask for my opinions, she'd continue to critique and shut down my ideas, opinions, and my character.

The second experience was with an ESFJ. We also worked and lived together for some time. Apparently she heard a lot of bad rumors about me. ESFJs are HUGE with gossip, and they believe them to be facts. Because of this, she denied me my strong needs, such as personal space, food, and not even a bit of opportunity to socialize with others without her there. She'd ostracize me when talking to others, because she'd talk about me with contempt due to my socially ungraceful nature. She'd passively make fun of me. We never really knew each other, because she was obsessed with getting to know others to build up her 'good' reputation. She never found it important to get to know me, because she truly believed in those rumors. Of course, it wasn't until some experience that she logically knew that they were wrong, but continued to treat me the same (inferior Ti). She even said so herself. It wasn't until a few weeks before we went our own ways that she asked me why I never opened up to her. It is so ironic that she would ask me such a question that contradicts her actions. Whenever I did begin a genuine conversation with her, she'd interrupt me by speaking to someone else or shut down my ideas and feelings. Obviously, we didn't get far.

Like a living environment or something. Where you knew that you'd be attacked for expressing your true inner self? Did you have to become someone else? How did the long-term chronic stress affect you?
Because I was in those two situations for so long, I thought something was wrong with me. I doubted myself. This is huge; I think this mentality is natural if you have to go through such situations. You have to continue to fight it; I gave up. I thought I was a person that was difficult to work and live with, but I was proved wrong by experiences after these (other individuals let me be who I am and they were as comfortable as me).

Like I said, I gave up. I was not myself at all. I shut down, became extremely quiet, only spoke when others asked me to. Due to the long-term chronic stress, I developed PTSD (due to childhood abuse). I don't want to go off about how an anxiety disorder literally destroys every aspect of your life, but it really does...it's serious stuff. I wish I had a warning about how my horrible situations would lead to such a tragedy in my life. So I advise you, if you are in such a situation to move out ASAP. If you absolutely cannot, then find a really good friend to confide to. Talk to your friend regularly; These talks can be therapeutic. They can get you through these situations.
 

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I think we all have to deny at least a portion or part of ourselves to get along. I did. I do. But denying myself entirely? I don't think i have and i will. But if you consider being guarded as denial, then yes. I am and have been guarded.


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Like a living environment or something. Where you knew that you'd be attacked for expressing your true inner self? Did you have to become someone else? How did the long-term chronic stress affect you?
Definitely. All the time. But, I try to just think of it as just being a portion of myself instead of a completely different someone else.

One time I went on a trip and I lived with like 13 girls, and it was crazy intense not being able to be myself. I just journaled my brains out and tried to get away from them as much as possible.

Being part of myself is basically my life now (as others have said), and it seems to be okay for me as long as I have an outlet somewhere where I can be fully me. I'm trying to be more of myself though now regardless of acceptance. Still on the lookout for attacks and clutching my closest treasures and gems to my chest.
 

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I don’t know if I have a true inner self. I have desires people may not approve of....but I am not desires. I have emotions people may not find appropriate or understandable, but I am not emotions. I have thoughts that may be incomorehensible or offensive to some people, but I’m not thoughts. I take actions in private that I wouldn’t in public and vice versa, but I’m not actions.

What is the true self? I think it’s a combination of all these things and yet they aren’t always in harmony either. If my true self is made up of contradicting aspects, then how can I be consistent with it? And speaking of it as if it is separate from me in any situation. I am always me. It’s whether I accept parts of myself or not that gives me the feeling I’m being true. My identity is not my true self, then. What I identify with are parts of myself I’ve accepted (and this is not always positive).

So at times we act on one aspect more than another, and we may not act with an aspect we identify or accept in ourselves. Instead of feeling restricted, I think Ive realized its often a choice. The desire to have approval or keep peace or get your paycheck, etc, is higher than the other desire. Admitting this to yourself can feel yucky because we don’t like to admit we want to be liked, we want some security in a social sense and we want money. Those aren’t the cool values people champion. Especially in recent times are human relations downgraded. We’re supposed to not care and deny we care, but then we care so much we are pretending not to care so we can fit in. We’re suppsoed to parade our “true selves” and poeple should accept and support us, and if they won’t then we won’t accept or support them (hmmmm.....). What if the whole time we are simply prioritizing one need or desire when there is conflict in our own needs and desires? The environment is not what is restricting.... we’re acting on what we actually value more.

So this can be about you taking care of yourself and acknowledging real needs. If your emotion in one moment is violent anger, is not acting on it betraying your true self? Is your true self more than that desire? Do you identify more with the person who is angry right now or the one who thinks it’s wrong to lash out and hurt people? Probably the latter. So you choose to act with your “higher self”. In short, I think less about true self than higher self. I am always true....just to which part? Is that the part I want to nurture and am I willing to accept the consequences of that choice? Not wanting to accept the consequences is a choice that indicates you actually prioritize some other result more, and enough to restrict yourself, ie you prioritize that paycheck and your job over telling your boss to go to hell. You may prioritize showing respect for other people’s feelings to keep good relations over doing/saying controversial things that would offend them. What are you deeming more important is long-term human connection over perhaps trivial preferences or fleeting emotions. Is this necessarily a weakness or done out of fear? No, especially when you realize your choice in the matter.

Sometimes you do realize you’ve been prioritizing the wrong thing or that maybe there is no conflict. How often do we think we must restrict a part of ourselves when it’s not necessary...? I think if you ask “is this my higher self?”, then you can find the answer. You might integrate that part of you with the one you deny yet act on. Now they’re reconciled and the conflict dissolves.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
I saw an interview with Marlon Brando on YT recently. It was with Dick Cavett as I recall. Anyway, Cavett was praising Brando for being such a great actor and all, and Brando basically said it's all bullshit, and how because every person puts on act every single day of their lives at one moment or another. We're all great actors in other words.
He was an interesting personality because he was equal part idealistic deep feeling guy and part ''Don't fuck with me''. He had this vibe of like strength that he put off. It's hard to explain. He seemed like immovable or something. Just solid. A rock. It's hard to believe he'd been shy as a teen. Even so he still probably had that vibe going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
What if the whole time we are simply prioritizing one need or desire when there is conflict in our own needs and desires? The environment is not what is restricting.... we’re acting on what we actually value more.
I don't know. I've heard similar arguments and to be honest I think it's just people rationalizing their way out of various conflicts. You can really think about something so much that it becomes nothing. If that makes sense. I think there definitely are times when an environment restricts. You could argue that even if violence is likely that the persons till has a choice to restrict themselves or not, but I mean that's not really reality. It's all self-preservation really.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
What is the true self? I think it’s a combination of all these things and yet they aren’t always in harmony either. If my true self is made up of contradicting aspects, then how can I be consistent with it? And speaking of it as if it is separate from me in any situation. I am always me. It’s whether I accept parts of myself or not that gives me the feeling I’m being true. My identity is not my true self, then. What I identify with are parts of myself I’ve accepted (and this is not always positive).
I think the simplest version of the ''true self'' for me is acting on our desires that we are naturally inclined to have. Not restricting ourselves.. I think most people do restrict themselves though. There are a lot of reasons but a major one and studies have shown this, is embarrassment. A study was done on people on their death beds and the most common regret was not being more true to themselves and caring too much about what others think. Some people are more or less in touch with this. I think most people are too extreme on both ends. The selfish people are too aware of themselves and need to get more in touch with others and the philanthropic people need to get more in touch with themselves.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Definitely. All the time. But, I try to just think of it as just being a portion of myself instead of a completely different someone else.

One time I went on a trip and I lived with like 13 girls, and it was crazy intense not being able to be myself. I just journaled my brains out and tried to get away from them as much as possible.

Being part of myself is basically my life now (as others have said), and it seems to be okay for me as long as I have an outlet somewhere where I can be fully me. I'm trying to be more of myself though now regardless of acceptance. Still on the lookout for attacks and clutching my closest treasures and gems to my chest.
Yeah, it's important to have both. Going too far into myself makes me go off the deep end and I disconnect from reality completely. And being around people all the time strips me of my personality because I'm not a *strong* personality in the sense that I'm very affected by people around me. I sort of become them after awhile.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Like I said, I gave up. I was not myself at all. I shut down, became extremely quiet, only spoke when others asked me to. Due to the long-term chronic stress, I developed PTSD (due to childhood abuse). I don't want to go off about how an anxiety disorder literally destroys every aspect of your life, but it really does...it's serious stuff. I wish I had a warning about how my horrible situations would lead to such a tragedy in my life. So I advise you, if you are in such a situation to move out ASAP. If you absolutely cannot, then find a really good friend to confide to. Talk to your friend regularly; These talks can be therapeutic. They can get you through these situations.
What did you do in these times, though? Like did you find any outlet like maybe creatively to focus on?
 

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Yeah, it's important to have both. Going too far into myself makes me go off the deep end and I disconnect from reality completely. And being around people all the time strips me of my personality because I'm not a *strong* personality in the sense that I'm very affected by people around me. I sort of become them after awhile.
This is so how I am too. Crazy. What's your Enneagram?
 
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