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Do you think you come across nicer or meaner than you really are? I read that an unhealthy characteristic of infjs is they self-isolate due to believing people are conspiring against them. I admit I have thoughts like this a lot so it fuels my inner judgmentalness, projecting self-criticism onto others. It can be hard for me to admit when I'm wrong unless I'm afraid of losing that person or am feeling more rational than usual... I mean I may admit it, but grudgingly not gracefully, there is always an air of defensiveness... and I don't really know how to stop viewing people as rivals sometimes. lol jeez haven't we all had that 'aren't I doing a terrible impersonation of myself' feeling...
 

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On a normal day I will purposely come off as an egocentric jerk, but I do it for a laugh

When I am stressed I can't be helped by anyone. This is when I start lashing out at people who don't deserve it. At these times it is often best for me to cool down with my music and/or consult with people over MSN
 

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Yep. The more I'm stressed the more I blame other people and the more I'm always 'right'. The problem is we're good at finding holes in arguments and it just keeps going on and on...

I can say I was wrong, but as soon as the other person is like "Hahahaha, I was right and you were wrong" then I start to say they were wrong as well just because it annoys me.
 

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The conspiracy I fathom indefinently, and the split second I have enough 'evidence' im as good as naked in subzero piranna infested water. and then what happens? rage, exasperation, hopelessness, a desire for complete independance, the obsession to survive without ever needing such 'unreliable' crutches like trust or dependance of any kind.

Of course the conspiracy is not so real or malicious as it is just FELT so intensely, and believed in the moment. Betrayal, dishonesty, that which is hidden from me crushes the ego, and thus must be avoided at all costs.. and its no wonder that at my worst I am percieved as an emotionless, silent, unapproachable looking man who keeps to himself. I come across far meaner than I am, so far as strangers eyes can percieve, and its totally in defence of the discusting turmoil i feel when my ego is battered. but is any of this suffering and defensiveness necessary...or even real? useful? im strongly beginning to doubt it.

Im coming to believe the day the whole world betrays me and I feel nothing but understanding and instantaneous forgiveness, is the day this burdensome ego has dissolved in the ether and I am who I was truly meant to be.
 

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Do you think you come across nicer or meaner than you really are? I read that an unhealthy characteristic of infjs is they self-isolate due to believing people are conspiring against them. I admit I have thoughts like this a lot so it fuels my inner judgmentalness, projecting self-criticism onto others. It can be hard for me to admit when I'm wrong unless I'm afraid of losing that person or am feeling more rational than usual... I mean I may admit it, but grudgingly not gracefully, there is always an air of defensiveness... and I don't really know how to stop viewing people as rivals sometimes. lol jeez haven't we all had that 'aren't I doing a terrible impersonation of myself' feeling...
I don't really have a problem admitting my mistake if I have made one. I am well aware of my weaknesses and expect to make mistakes from time to time; not that I do it on purpose. So if someone points it out and corrects me and I agree I am in the wrong, then I admit my mistake and change. My goal has always been to become a better and more effective person and if it means changing ineffective habits, so be it.

As for judging people, I try to look beyond the surface to find the true reason for their actions. In doing so it's easier for me to empathize. Unless I'm very stressed, I don't usually judge people. I mean I know the reasons for all my actions, so I assume if I knew the reasons for the actions of others, it would make perfect sense too.
 

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Do you think you come across nicer or meaner than you really are? I read that an unhealthy characteristic of infjs is they self-isolate due to believing people are conspiring against them. I admit I have thoughts like this a lot so it fuels my inner judgmentalness, projecting self-criticism onto others. It can be hard for me to admit when I'm wrong unless I'm afraid of losing that person or am feeling more rational than usual... I mean I may admit it, but grudgingly not gracefully, there is always an air of defensiveness... and I don't really know how to stop viewing people as rivals sometimes. lol jeez haven't we all had that 'aren't I doing a terrible impersonation of myself' feeling...
spook - would you like to change these behaviors? How is it that you will go about changing them if are not happy with it? Ego is a vast subject, so I don't even know where to begin here, to submit my post on this thread :) I hope my response doesn't annoy you, I too have some Ego issues to deal with. It is a good practice to reduce Ego, I just want to learn more from where you are coming from on this subject.
 

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I do what I want, which I'm glad about, I know when and how to not take things personally and I try to get my way unless it's hurting someone a lot.

I'm assertive when I'm not afraid of someone and I want the best for myself. I have a somewhat big ego and sometimes see myself as better in situations when I'm not much different. I do keep and open mind and don't judge, so I have control.
 
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Whenever I was a kid/teenager I seem to have developed a sense that people are always criticizing me in a negative way. No idea why, could have something to do with having two critical J parents. Other people didn't even have to say anything. It was just an automatic assumption on my part that they are thinking that I am incompetent or stupid somehow and I had to prove them wrong. This led be to get overly defensive and aggressive at times seeing competition where there was none. At some point I realized that this assumption is overamplified and is making me behave irrationally at times, and started to sway myself away from it.

First step was considering that there are nice people in this world who don't go around thinking badly or trying to compete with you. Assuming everyone around is mean and critical is a mistake. Whenever I am feeling like others might be trying to put me down, I also try to remember to all the good people I have met in my life who have given me their selfless support. Second step was apparently evolution of some semblance of Ti in me - basically developing a sense of value from within rather than letting outside factors determine my value, and also thinking that if criticism is given then perhaps it is due. Ti searches for truth and overly negative emotional reaction can cloud this truth, deprive me of seeing it and acting upon it. This made it easier to me to admit that I am wrong at times. I just developed a sense that what is true is more important than reassertion of my own ego. And I think third step was trying to reference competition to bigger picture of things and basically arriving at conclusion that at some points it is waste of effort and time to react to somebody trying to put you down. Probably this is also Ti that says "what person X thinks of you is irrelevant".

All and all I think I started with appearing to be nice and more passive on the outside - but in reality being more mean and aggressive on the inside. And drifted towards being more aggressive on the outside, but being nicer and more at peace with other people on the inside.
 

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Whenever I was a kid/teenager I seem to have developed a sense that people are always criticizing me in a negative way. No idea why, could have something to do with having two critical J parents. Other people didn't even have to say anything. It was just an automatic assumption on my part that they are thinking that I am incompetent or stupid somehow and I had to prove them wrong. This led be to get overly defensive and aggressive at times seeing competition where there was none. At some point I realized that this assumption is overamplified and is making me behave irrationally at times, and started to sway myself away from it.

First step was considering that there are nice people in this world who don't go around thinking badly or trying to compete with you. Assuming everyone around is mean and critical is a mistake. Whenever I am feeling like others might be trying to put me down, I also try to remember to all the good people I have met in my life who have given me their selfless support. Second step was apparently evolution of some semblance of Ti in me - basically developing a sense of value from within rather than letting outside factors determine my value, and also thinking that if criticism is given then perhaps it is due. Ti searches for truth and overly negative emotional reaction can cloud this truth, deprive me of seeing it and acting upon it. This made it easier to me to admit that I am wrong at times. I just developed a sense that what is true is more important than reassertion of my own ego. And I think third step was trying to reference competition to bigger picture of things and basically arriving at conclusion that at some points it is waste of effort and time to react to somebody trying to put you down. Probably this is also Ti that says "what person X thinks of you is irrelevant".

All and all I think I started with appearing to be nice and more passive on the outside - but in reality being more mean and aggressive on the inside. And drifted towards being more aggressive on the outside, but being nicer and more at peace with other people on the inside.
I used to be like that, and I'm a teenager. I'm generally cynical and tend to underestimate people sometimes in terms of character, intelligence, attitude, etc. I don't show trust easily. I've come to understand that what you think of yourself and where you are going matters most, and you should listen to objective criticism out of concern for you, not something subjective or close-minded to make you feel bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The conspiracy I fathom indefinently, and the split second I have enough 'evidence' im as good as naked in subzero piranna infested water. and then what happens? rage, exasperation, hopelessness, a desire for complete independance, the obsession to survive without ever needing such 'unreliable' crutches like trust or dependance of any kind.

Of course the conspiracy is not so real or malicious as it is just FELT so intensely, and believed in the moment. Betrayal, dishonesty, that which is hidden from me crushes the ego, and thus must be avoided at all costs.. and its no wonder that at my worst I am percieved as an emotionless, silent, unapproachable looking man who keeps to himself. I come across far meaner than I am, so far as strangers eyes can percieve, and its totally in defence of the discusting turmoil i feel when my ego is battered. but is any of this suffering and defensiveness necessary...or even real? useful? im strongly beginning to doubt it.

Im coming to believe the day the whole world betrays me and I feel nothing but understanding and instantaneous forgiveness, is the day this burdensome ego has dissolved in the ether and I am who I was truly meant to be.
I love how you articulated this, describes exactly how I feel. I started this thread bc I'm seriously doubting that this defensiveness is doing me any good. Distancing myself before anyone can hurt me isn't making me any stronger. Sometimes it just feels like a conspiring self-image is all I have when there isn't anyone around who can help validate what's important to me. I am desperate to be independent, but am not genuinely free from angsting over the unreliability of trust and crutches.
 

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interesting both you, spook, and RaVenDeaLeR are enneagram type 4 ... i wonder if that has to do with feeling of conspiracy, as if people are working against you in unison, as I know type 4s like need to emphasize their individuality
 

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I tend to get super-rational as a defense mechanism if I feel threatened.

I try to keep my emotions from getting in the way, and be as objective as possible... even if it means taking a second-look at myself.
 

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interesting both you, spook, and RaVenDeaLeR are enneagram type 4 ... i wonder if that has to do with feeling of conspiracy, as if people are working against you in unison, as I know type 4s like need to emphasize their individuality
From my amateur analysis of the ennagrams I'd have to admit it likely has much to do with it. Its ME ME ME all the way home. the world vs. raven, and they are taking notes vel! hahaha.

Thankfully I confirm objectively enough with my environment to prove a large ammount of my concerns
are probably imaginary(this is extremely important when posing as a sane person), as are they expected in a scenario of moderate self isolation.

But there is certainly a bonus I can recognize. So long as I am able to piece through 90 percent of the rubbish 'junk' suspicion (oh lord the feeling of madness when one acts irrationally on phantom hunches), i can sense the vibrations of a scheme uncannily when it does in-fact exist around me.

In other words i've called out many betrayals and broken alliances before their manifestation. not to mention surprises, christmas presents, troubling information and etc.

Oh the Fours. The romantic struggle of tragic beauty.
 

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Do you think you come across nicer or meaner than you really are? I read that an unhealthy characteristic of infjs is they self-isolate due to believing people are conspiring against them. I admit I have thoughts like this a lot so it fuels my inner judgmentalness, projecting self-criticism onto others. It can be hard for me to admit when I'm wrong unless I'm afraid of losing that person or am feeling more rational than usual... I mean I may admit it, but grudgingly not gracefully, there is always an air of defensiveness... and I don't really know how to stop viewing people as rivals sometimes. lol jeez haven't we all had that 'aren't I doing a terrible impersonation of myself' feeling...
I will be the first to admit when I am wrong. I don't do this grudgingly. Usually, it sounds like this, " Well, you are so right. What in the world was I thinking?", while shaking my head. I do like to have a debate with someone. I love when people want to open their minds. When I feel strongly about my beliefs, I stand behind them. I am cool if you do not agree. To me we each have a right to what we each think. I can understand another's point of view, even if I don't agree with it. I strive to be even in this area. When someone really ticks me off (usually when they are being extremely hurtful), I don't really care whether I am right or wrong, until later. This happens because I am overwhelmed at the time and can not digest what is being thrown at me. Through the years, I have become so much better about this. Believe me it has taken a lot of hard work. I am an Aries, for goodness sake!

No, I don't think for one second there is an conspiracy against me. I only isolate myself, when I am working problems (and they have to be deep problems) out. Or, I am writing.


As for judging people, I try to look beyond the surface to find the true reason for their actions. In doing so it's easier for me to empathize. Unless I'm very stressed, I don't usually judge people. I mean I know the reasons for all my actions, so I assume if I knew the reasons for the actions of others, it would make perfect sense too.
As for judging, well said Vizier. The only difference for me that I have come to understand that I will not always know the answers for the actions of others. This is ok. I don't really need them all the time. When I can not fathom the reason behind an action, I look inward as to trying to understand why I reacted to the action in the way I do. This still brings peace for me. I do not judge. As my above response to Spook, I can accept other people as they are. I may not agree, but they may not agree with me either. And that is ok. :happy:
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for the responses guys, I think there are quite a few perspectives I need to integrate more fully in order to feel comfortable in my own skin.

spook - would you like to change these behaviors? How is it that you will go about changing them if are not happy with it? Ego is a vast subject, so I don't even know where to begin here, to submit my post on this thread :) I hope my response doesn't annoy you, I too have some Ego issues to deal with. It is a good practice to reduce Ego, I just want to learn more from where you are coming from on this subject.
No your post didn't annoy me. I would like to change these behaviours but I'm not too sure how.. I'm still trying to find and adjust to a frame of mind which might make the whole process easier for me.

Ever since starting this thread I think I've made a bit of progress.. I managed to save a friendship I messed up by accepting some responsibility and curbing my own defensiveness for his sake without feeling like I compromised my feelings too much. Balancing those two has been an issue in the past bc I have said sorry due to fear of losing someone when I still felt they were in the wrong. I have also felt mostly with my family like it's better to be right than make personal sacrifices and get along harmoniously. I think the principle seek to understand before seeking to be understood was most helpful in this case.. usually my focus is self-protection bc e4 entails a vulnerable self-image which easily finds justification for being the victim, as RaVenDeaLeR puts it "i've called out many betrayals and broken alliances before their manifestation." However this time, I couldn't ignore that my friend was hurting over something I said. He used personal attacks too but I realised they were also ego defenses which weren't worth reacting to... funny how you get a different perspective on things when they're directed back at you :p

But yeah being a four involves issues relating to envy and self-image, pride and insecurity. This relates to being painfully self-conscious and easily embarrassed, it's hard for me to take any "blow" to my ego whether real or imagined. Basically if I get something wrong in a debate I feel stupid and personalise it, as if the other person is viewing me as incompetent, and I have to guard myself from showing such vulnerability.

Ego is too broad a topic to cover properly in this post but it also applies to relationships. I find it hard to open up and trust people, pushing them away before they get a chance to hurt me bc I somehow believe they inevitably will. ofc relationships are an important part of a fulfilling life, so this defensiveness is closing me off from being open to new people and experiences. When you have a hard time forgiving, you have a hard time letting go and I'd really like to get into the mindset of somehow reinventing myself with every new interaction, so that my shameful sense of self doesn't seem so static and sabotaging you know?
 

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Spook - this may be totally unrelated, I mentioned this in another thread. But you may try to seek guidance from a trusted family source. You see I have similar problems to you, and it is a continuous circle I cannot get out of in relationships. I had a 'bad eye' incident happen to me when I was a child, and it is the cause for my problems in feelings and relationships. Thus I am attending a ritual to be performed, to remedy this. I am noticing some similarities, and you have been at this issue for a while, I see, so I thought to put this idea out there. You may want to talk to family and do some research, and find some alternative ways to deal. If your obstacles are serious like mine are for example, you may turn to the divine, and surrender your problems there, somehow. Surrender decreases Ego, because you are asking for help.

Thank you for your response to my post, I will look at what you say and come up with more suggestions / thoughts. I think it is fantastic you have been succeeding at making some changes in your life, i am inspired by you, because I know this is a tough area to tackle. 'Attachments' and 'Expectations' are always keywords when it comes to Ego. I'll maybe post some examples, after thinking about this topic more. I just wanted to share my new happening, I will post if anything changes in my life, but it will be a few months at least before I get the ritual done. 'Supposedly' my partner will arrive in 6 months, but I am in no shape for 'love' after my latest romantic fiasco. I allowed myself to be snowed by a smooth-talker! How cliche, eh?

But I am focusing on internalizing, and moving on quickly. I cannot change what happened, I have to be proud of myself for at least giving a new friendship a try, and focus on the friendships that are working. My armor is rock solid, except for in 'love' situations. Well there is an example, my Ego was hit, because I have too much pride, and cannot tolerate being 'fooled' but I am not the only person this happens to, I have to suck it up. thus unnecessary sufferings are upon me due to my pride.

Attachments brings about so many problems. but as INFJ remember we've got incredible intuition! I recently revived an 'Intuition' Thread, so that I can work on myself further. We can foresee a lot before it occurs, we also have to build the self-confidence to listen to ourselves. this too may decrease some situations that cause unnecessary conflict.
 

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How do explain what I’m trying to say? I am extremely defensive over my ego, more so in times of stress. When I have been hurt by someone and “it is not my fault” (yes, its very elementary) then everything that happened in the aftermath is that persons fault because I didn’t ask to be hurt in the first place. It’s horrible, I know. In fact it’s the situation I’m currently in. It was not until a few days ago an INTP friend had to lay it on me, I mean really lay it on me. I’ve realized that when I’m hurt I suddenly become defensive and numb to other peoples feelings. I stop caring and isolate myself from the outside world because suddenly the world is an ugly place and I want no part of it. It takes a lot of energy out of me but its a habit I have regrettably grown accustom to. The only way I know how to “forgive” these people from wronging me is by running the other way. Its my way of telling them “you hurt me so bad I want absolutely nothing to do with you”. I hate being this way, to say the least. I feel like I’m walking in someone else’s shoes. I just want all the love that left to find my heart again. I want to care. I dont know how to feel anymore. I dont know how to put the ego down.... time i'm guessing
 

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How do explain what I’m trying to say? I am extremely defensive over my ego, more so in times of stress. When I have been hurt by someone and “it is not my fault” (yes, its very elementary) then everything that happened in the aftermath is that persons fault because I didn’t ask to be hurt in the first place. It’s horrible, I know. In fact it’s the situation I’m currently in. It was not until a few days ago an INTP friend had to lay it on me, I mean really lay it on me. I’ve realized that when I’m hurt I suddenly become defensive and numb to other peoples feelings. I stop caring and isolate myself from the outside world because suddenly the world is an ugly place and I want no part of it. It takes a lot of energy out of me but its a habit I have regrettably grown accustom to. The only way I know how to “forgive” these people from wronging me is by running the other way. Its my way of telling them “you hurt me so bad I want absolutely nothing to do with you”. I hate being this way, to say the least. I feel like I’m walking in someone else’s shoes. I just want all the love that left to find my heart again. I want to care. I dont know how to feel anymore. I dont know how to put the ego down.... time i'm guessing
great way of articulating it JustJess. I totally get that feeling alot when something goes south. I feel like the only true power I can have is total and utter aversion. to leave the situation entirely, which doesnt help obviously, but i find it very strange that this feeling impresses so strongly on me.

time is the easiest answer to any question, but for me that didnt even fix much. i've had all the time in the world but until i took the decision to make contact and induce some sort of mutual understanding, regardless of time... getting close to the unfinished issue tears open the emotions and impressions i had when i first went away. tough stuff, especially when there is no desire at all to make any sort of ammends. bah! chocolate, excercise and sedatives until the darkness fades.
 

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Actions are what other people do...they are responsible for them.
Reactions are what one dose in reference to other's actions...one is responsible for them
(I left out your own actions for a reason...eventhough, they are ones' own responsibilty too. One generates these on their own.)

Understanding your reactions is more important than understanding the actions of others.
Ask your self, "Why did I feel that way?"

It is so much harder to not face ones' self than to not look at all. But in the end, it is even harder to have not looked.


~♥~♥~♥~"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."~♥~♥~♥~ ~~~Anais Nin

Not to worry, it took me years to learn this. Yet, it did come. Have faith in ones' self. Nothing in the world wrong with that. Also, know that it is ok to feel what one feels. Accept this. Then one will have freedom to breathe.
 

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I'm sorry that you went through some traumatising things as a child, Female INFJ. I hope your family members are supportive and that the ritual helps. What kind of ritual are you referring to may I ask? I think quite a few of the things I've internalised growing up have definitely stayed with me and compounded upon my sensitivities. INFJs also tend to process things through a more complex filter than other types, seeing all angles and layers to a situation, making it a more grueling process to reconcile ourselves with and move on. Once we do integrate everything though, I'm hoping that the lesson will be thorough enough to sustainably nourish every fibre of our being. or if not, I'm hoping that we will be strong enough to persist. Too often have I surrendered to all the things that have hurt me, letting it consume my life with negativity and tempting me to give up on myself.

I don't trust any family members enough to open up about emotional problems bc the more they know, the more they will try to control my decisions. This has happened in the past with factual information let alone really my feelings. Spiritual teachings are pretty much the only thing reminding me to surrender my ego but being fallibly human, I can't always access this frame of mind. It seems contradictory to the society we live in but I know real detachment couldn't use that as an excuse. I am *very* sensitive to the concept of hierarchy whether formal or informal, but healthy competition is often encouraged in order to 'better yourself.' I wish I could stop comparing myself to others but the whole idea of 'stepping up your game' is constantly drilled into our heads whether it be in the dating world or the working world. Makes my ego feel really vulnerable.. I'll become defensive when people criticise me but deep down it makes me feel crap about myself. Seems I'm not the only one who feels unnerved by the pressure to perform and appear like you've can hold your own at all times as is discussed in the competition inhibition thread.

My intuition hasn't been very clear lately on what I should do with my life.. or maybe I am expecting too much from it, I mean it tells me what the consequences will be if I choose x, but I still don't know which option is best for me in the long run. In love situations I also feel defenseless and am also afraid of being fooled.. I didn't think I have a problem with idealising people, but I might be susceptible to being gullible bc I want to see the best in them and tend to think guys who take the time to get to know me are genuine and trustworthy. This heightens feelings of betrayal and aversion when people disappoint us, even the perfect guy inevitably will somehow, so moving on and clearing a blank slate for new love and independence is important.

You know how people say you shouldn't be in a relationship when you're not secure and complete by yourself.. well I understand the logic behind that but the assumption that if I spend enough time alone I'll start to feel better about myself hasn't really worked for me. Healthy love can give and receive love without getting too attached, but inside it's like I want all or nothing.. I want complete and sustainable attachment or this is too painful and I need to isolate myself from the world. Well maybe i'm exaggerating, i don't know, that's just what it feels like. I'm constantly questioning my motives bc I can feel several things at once and they're pulling me in opposite directions. I also need enough alone time to retain my sense of independence, as it feels really scary to be on the verge of 'losing yourself' in a relationship. Hm I don't think I've read the intuition thread, I will have to check it out. Maybe I will pick up some useful insights from there :)

I feel like I'm searching for something to trigger a greater paradigm shift bc although I might be taking baby steps, i don't want to continue feeling invalidated in the meantime. It's hard to muster up enough self-confidence to overcome that. I agree Dalien that tempering my reactions is a core issue here bc right now they feel intensely dependent on the actions of others.
 
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