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How do you act towards people who are indifferent?


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One thing that destroys the process of me trying to be warmer with others is when I cross paths with those people who pretend not to care and put up a face. Or maybe even people who genuinely just don’t care. The last thing I want is to give these people the satisfaction of seeing my vulnerable expressions or honest thoughts. I know that they get off on it. So in return I act indifferent right back towards them. I can’t tell if I’m on the right path with how I deal with them or if I should stick to my guns and just be warmer.
 

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Oh this is a good question! I think about this topic quite a bit. Welcome to PerC, @Yellowlantern. :)

I voted warmly. I often tend to assume it’s a defense mechanism of some sort. There’s a reason they’re behaving that way, usually some type of hurt, and this softens my heart towards them. I don’t want them to feel alone. Alone is not a good feeling. And it is so rewarding to see walls come down. To see the person hiding underneath.

That said, many people truly just are indifferent. It’s nothing deeper than that, they are just kind of on neutral towards most people/things. I still try to behave warmly towards them because why not. Everyone needs some love.

What have your results been with acting coldly? I’ve done this on occasion in the past, I was far more guarded when I was younger. I never felt good afterwards. I leave wondering if I didn’t give the person a fair chance. I think it’s the easier reaction of the two. There’s no vulnerability involved. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become mostly ok with making myself vulnerable. It doesn’t feel good when you behave warmly to someone & it’s met with indifference or coldness. I’ve learned to not dwell on it & move on. Not everyone likes warmth/kindness. I think it confuses some, many question its genuineness, and others just don’t care for it. And that’s ok.
 

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It depends on who that person is? Are they someone whom I have previously had some connection with (e.g, a friend, or a lover) or are they a total stranger whom I previously had no ties with?

I had an ESFP friend whom I fallout with 10 years ago, and she hates me now, but I've never stopped caring about this friend of mine.
Once I start caring about someone, I don't think I can ever stop caring about them, no matter what happens to our connection in the future
I guess I'm sentimental that way. If a person has been important to me before, they will always remain important to me and I'll always care about them, even if they hate me and we are no longer on speaking terms. Maybe it's the sx/so in me, but I tend to take all my bonds pretty seriously, whether it's friendships or even romance.
I'm a bit intense when it comes to my connections with people. I'm the sort who would take a bullet to help save a friend or a lover from danger.
And I don't really expect them to feel the same way about me too, just because I care about someone, doesn't mean they have to care about me in return.
Just because I regard someone as my best friend, doesn't mean they have to regard me as their best friend in return.
I'm a bit of an agape love person, so I'd often love people unconditionally, but this only applies to people whom I have a bond with, such as a friend or a lover.

But if a person is a total stranger whom I had no previous interactions with, and they act indifferent toward me, I'll probably just act indifferent toward them back, because I'm really indifferent about them, and their indifferent attitudes toward me isn't really helping me much other than making me feel even more indifferent about them.
 

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The last thing I want is to give these people the satisfaction of seeing my vulnerable expressions or honest thoughts. I know that they get off on it. So in return I act indifferent right back towards them.
Or maybe they’re just afraid to be vulnerable too. I think you’re missing out if you always assume the worst, that it's a power-play.

I do think it often can be, but not always. In those cases, I still try to be kind. Be a dick all you want, to me that is weak. I think it takes more strength to continue to be kind & vulnerable.

This also hits on another thing I’ve been thinking a lot about: pride. I am very prideful, so it is not easy to ignore when people ooze indifference. It hurts.
 

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@Schizoid I hadn’t even thought about indifference from people I know. I’d been thinking in the realm of strangers or people I’m getting to know. I guess I haven’t really come across indifference from friends. That’s bullshit. I would not put up with that.
 

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I can be warm to people who are seemingly indifferent to me. Or, at least, I feel like I'm warm. I don't force emotions. I'm often warmer to people who are seen as weird by the group, mostly because they often interest me more, even if they are seemingly indifferent to me. Moreover, I know what it feels like to be a pariah, and it hurts me to see others unwarrantedly ostracized.

I can be suspicious of people expressing warmth towards me if it feels unctuous. I'll fear being beguiled. I don't want to be mesmerized just to be bitten by some snake.

I've definitely elicited truculence from prideful people when I've been (seemingly) indifferent to them. If I am indifferent or am putting on the stoic mask I was forced to learn when I was younger, it's not always personal. Sometimes I just don't trust those people yet. If they get angry at me and exact revenge for something as innocuous as an expression of indifference, my feelings of mistrust escalate to feelings of enmity.
 

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@Schizoid I hadn’t even thought about indifference from people I know. I’d been thinking in the realm of strangers or people I’m getting to know. I guess I haven’t really come across indifference from friends. That’s bullshit. I would not put up with that.
They were former friends actually, not current friends. Similar to you, I'm quite a prideful person as well and I don't tolerate people disrespecting me and talking down to me and using the things I told them in confidence to one-up me during arguments.

I've forgiven them, but I never really forget what they did to me. I still care about them, but I haven't been able to trust them anymore.
To me, trust is really important, and once a person broke my trust, I can't continue to keep them in my life.

It's strange how I get along with ESTPs but I clashed with ESFPs. Had the same deep connection with them, except ESFPs can be really rude toward me at times... :/

Also, when it comes to ESFPs, I tend to get along better with the Fi subtypes, as compared to the Se subtypes. I used to have a classmate who is the Fi subtype of ESFP,
and she has all the positive traits of an ESFP, she is very charismatic and has the looks of a celebrity, yet she is very humble and sweet and nice and she went all the way out to befriend me, and our friendship was a very peaceful one, and we would always hang out together all the time.

My former friend is the Se subtype, and she has all the negative traits of an ESFP, and my friendship with her was filled with conflicts. She had some behaviors of a bully,
she would often ostracise the people she disliked. Like there was one time when someone accidentally took up her seat at the library, and instead of letting that person know about this nicely, she started being rude toward that stranger. She didn't place her bag on that seat, so that stranger didn't even knew it was her seat to begin with, so I don't think it's fair to treat that stranger in that manner.
I'm also on the autism spectrum and have difficulty making friends, and during one of our disagreements she would start to emotionally abuse me and mocked at me for having difficulty making friends. And yes, she tends to have a hard time controlling her temper and would emotionally abuse me a lot whenever we had any disagreement with each other. She also told me a bunch of disturbing things before, like how she disliked homosexuals, and she also bragged to me about how she loves holding grudges with people, and if she sees an enemy homeless on the streets, she would rather walk past them and let them starve on the streets than to give them some money and help them out.
Having been a victim of bullying in the past, I'm very sensitive to bullying behaviors in people, and this is also part of the reason why I decided to cut her out of my life.
I can't be friends with a person who bully me and others. It feels so wrong to me, to see myself and others getting treated in such a manner.
 

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Wait - so being indifferent is a bad thing for a lot of people??

I'm usually relieved if someone is indifferent to me, there's less pressure to please them or worry about how they think of me.

I'm actually the opposite.... if somone is trying really really hard to get my attention I'm like dafuq mate
 

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If someone is indifferent towards me, I'll certainly pick up on it, but I probably won't end up caring much.
Not everyone is going to care about you. In fact, I would argue 95% of people don't think about you at all.
So honestly, there is not much point in trying to make someone care, who really doesn't.

This may be due to me being a Type 5 INFJ, but I almost find it comforting that most people won't get in my way, and will just leave me alone.
 

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I will act normally, as I would under any other circumstances which can be perceived as either cold or warm by other person which does not bother me.

I believe my actions/behavior towards someone is not going to change basis their behavior towards me. I do not like to give preferential treatment, just when I found out someone's faking their feelings, maybe it is their option/choice, or maybe even compulsion, whatever I would still not be biased by any kind of indifferent feelings, my actions and response would still remain the same as it was earlier.

What others think of me is not my problem, I can still chose not to be indifferent towards them, in doing so I am respecting myself more above anything else, because I want to maintain my originality, be myself, not give-in to situations/people/past.
 

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They were former friends actually, not current friends. Similar to you, I'm quite a prideful person as well and I don't tolerate people disrespecting me and talking down to me and using the things I told them in confidence to one-up me during arguments.

I've forgiven them, but I never really forget what they did to me. I still care about them, but I haven't been able to trust them anymore.
To me, trust is really important, and once a person broke my trust, I can't continue to keep them in my life.

It's strange how I get along with ESTPs but I clashed with ESFPs. Had the same deep connection with them, except ESFPs can be really rude toward me at times... :/

Also, when it comes to ESFPs, I tend to get along better with the Fi subtypes, as compared to the Se subtypes. I used to have a classmate who is the Fi subtype of ESFP,
and she has all the positive traits of an ESFP, she is very charismatic and has the looks of a celebrity, yet she is very humble and sweet and nice and she went all the way out to befriend me, and our friendship was a very peaceful one, and we would always hang out together all the time.

My former friend is the Se subtype, and she has all the negative traits of an ESFP, and my friendship with her was filled with conflicts. She had some behaviors of a bully,
she would often ostracise the people she disliked. Like there was one time when someone accidentally took up her seat at the library, and instead of letting that person know about this nicely, she started being rude toward that stranger. She didn't place her bag on that seat, so that stranger didn't even knew it was her seat to begin with, so I don't think it's fair to treat that stranger in that manner.
I'm also on the autism spectrum and have difficulty making friends, and during one of our disagreements she would start to emotionally abuse me and mocked at me for having difficulty making friends. And yes, she tends to have a hard time controlling her temper and would emotionally abuse me a lot whenever we had any disagreement with each other. She also told me a bunch of disturbing things before, like how she disliked homosexuals, and she also bragged to me about how she loves holding grudges with people, and if she sees an enemy homeless on the streets, she would rather walk past them and let them starve on the streets than to give them some money and help them out.
Having been a victim of bullying in the past, I'm very sensitive to bullying behaviors in people, and this is also part of the reason why I decided to cut her out of my life.
I can't be friends with a person who bully me and others. It feels so wrong to me, to see myself and others getting treated in such a manner.

I adore ESTP's. They are so fun to observe.

My experience with ESFP's has been similar to your first description. I don't tend to connect with them though, on an intimate level. Haven't come across one (or anyone, really) of your second description yet, thankfully. :oops: That is not a friend at all, she sounds like an awful human. o_O Definitely not someone you need in your life.
 

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Idk, in a relationship- whether it be romantic or platonic, indifference settling in is putting one foot in the grave. Actually two feet, two legs & a torso. It's a death sentence to a relationship and it's really stinking hard to dig out of.

🎤The opposite of love is indifference 🎶 I don't remember what song that's from, but that line has always stuck with me. I've noticed a feeling of indifference towards someone important slipping into my life. Not a good thing.
 

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I’d have to see what OP is describing in action to get a good feel for what is going on. I’m an ENFP so I’m not going to take the pole. I’m not always looking for emotional reactions. I’m not looking for anything but the actual truth of what someone personally thinks or feels. Does warmth even if “put on” feel safer? Does it tell you that the person at least attempts to have a pleasant conversation? Is the need to conduct business in a warm atmosphere important? Is a lack of that what is being described? A lack of “Fe reaction” if there is such a thing? Is the person just keeping their own emotions and thoughts to themselves? Or is something completely different being described? Like that a sister or brother or friend who should care about you is acting like they don’t?

For the general population, I think I only get worried if whatever behavior I’m seeing seems strange for that particular person. For instance, is this a person who seems indifferent to everyone? Are they just a nose to the grind kind of person? If so.. it’s not really a problem for me. I wouldn’t feel a need to get closer to them unless maybe the person was my boss? But what if there is someone who is usually very warm to everyone but cold towards just me? Then there is something wrong.

I have been hearing an INFJ acquaintance of mine deal with an ISTJ boss. But I’m a bit baffled by the idea of wanting a warmer emotional reaction from an ISTJ or any kind of feeling feedback. They often tell you exactly what they think and that’a exactly what I am looking for is the truth of what someone thinks/feels. And if it’s not much— like if they don’t actually feel that much for me or for the current subject (are we talking about indifference expressed towards conversation topics?). anyway— then I want to know that as well. I want the truth of someone’s emotions and thoughts.

@Kelly Kapowski that’s interesting that you think indifference is like a mask when for some people an emotional response that they don’t feel would seem like a mask to me. How interesting this all is! I expect hidden feelings but I don’t necessarily expect those feelings to have anything to do with me, especially in thinkers. I wouldn’t expect them to change what they are expressing unless inside their feelings had actually changed. Or, I will put it better. They probably have some thoughts and emotions towards me and I just want to calculate what is actually there so I can act accordingly. It might grow, but it will be by Te production that the Fi will likely grow. And maybe you guys expect expressed emotions that do have to do with you but then maybe you wouldn’t expect anyone’s inside world of convenience to have anything to do with you. Or maybe that is what you work to calculate? Maybe by changing the outside feelings you’d expect them to change what makes convenient sense for them? It’s such an inside-out kind of thing to try to take in. My brain is trying to turn inside out. And maybe for you guys you picture a warm outside world where people feel and change for the group and a cold one inside each person.
Well who knows? You’ll have to let me know.
 
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