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That's vague, right? Not necessarily what you feel you might be lacking or why, but I'm more curious about the compensation itself: what you try to add on, I guess? And I'm also kind of curious about what area first comes to mind - is the first thing that comes to mind in the physical domain, social, intellectual, etc?

I've noticed in myself that the thing I kind of latch onto is in the knowledge domain. I will 'pad' myself up with as much information (both about a specific area and trivia about as many different areas) as I can. It makes me feel really uncomfortable and/or inadequate when people are discussing an area I don't even know basic things about. There is this pull to be really fluid with that and whenever I'm feeling insecure, that is the area I will build on. The thing I collect and kind of build my defenses out of.
 

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The idea of being a "hard worker". You can't control if you're talented, you'll never know for sure if people like you, but you always know if you're putting effort in.
 

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That's vague, right? Not necessarily what you feel you might be lacking or why, but I'm more curious about the compensation itself: what you try to add on, I guess? And I'm also kind of curious about what area first comes to mind - is the first thing that comes to mind in the physical domain, social, intellectual, etc?
I add on a lot of social compensation now as an adult. It's because I'm confident where I am in my abilities. Also because I feel increasingly lonely due to ignoring the social aspect of life for most of my life.
 

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I am the same as you with regard to knowledge and self-education. Sometimes when I feel completely empty, only the pursuit of deepening my understanding of some topics-- *or even the idea of doing so* --can make me feel connected to life or motivated to live.

When I think about how I'm so unhappy with who I am and what I've experienced or accomplished, or feel hopeless about becoming something more or ever finding happiness, I just think like... "well I could completely isolate myself more than I already do, and spend my time reading and learning and improving my skills..." and it comforts me.

That's another thing - skills, talents, things I identify with being good/exceptional/special at (or want to be). Huge focus... maybe more than anything else.

Also, emotion, and sentimentality. I like to feel bittersweet and to indulge myself in seeking meaning and rawness in everything.
 

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That's vague, right? Not necessarily what you feel you might be lacking or why, but I'm more curious about the compensation itself: what you try to add on, I guess? And I'm also kind of curious about what area first comes to mind - is the first thing that comes to mind in the physical domain, social, intellectual, etc?

I've noticed in myself that the thing I kind of latch onto is in the knowledge domain. I will 'pad' myself up with as much information (both about a specific area and trivia about as many different areas) as I can. It makes me feel really uncomfortable and/or inadequate when people are discussing an area I don't even know basic things about. There is this pull to be really fluid with that and whenever I'm feeling insecure, that is the area I will build on. The thing I collect and kind of build my defenses out of.
Introducing--the power of cognitive reframing!!!!

At me most basic level, I used to try to re-frame my weaknesses as strengths, but the denial was only so effective. After a while, I noticed that it didn't take much knowledge in an area to know more than most people. I also watched my fellow salesman sound like experts when they, in fact, didn't know anything, because I could see the holes in their arguments. The end result is that I learned that most people don't really know anything, and the ones that are showing off usually know the least.

Because I'm an 8, I have almost the exact opposite problem. I have to compensate for the fact that I can't keep my mouth shut, and have a tendency to call out other people's ignorance, especially if I think they are arrogant. I have had to learn to compensate for being an a$$hole by being really charming when I'm not an a$$hole. I've had to gauge how much people will forgive, because I'll basically be right at that line.

Now let's introduce cognitive re-framing...I need to remind myself that it's important to have allies, and it's important to have people on my side when a social situation goes haywire. I remind myself that I'm being an entertaining, pleasant person to stave off the pitchforks and torches, not because I actually care what people think. It makes it a lot easier...
 

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I think I really lean on personal affection/connection. Taking extra time and effort to see someone for how they want to be seen, to try to understand where they're coming from, figuring out what makes them tick, getting to the root of their motivations. Tapping into their life energy as a sort of shortcut around lack of other things... be that knowledge, skill, talent, physical appeal, strength, courage, whatever. I don't think it originated as a shortcut... I think it originated just as a joy of mine. But I can use it to compensate...

Also persistence... pouring myself into things, being the last one working on something... compensation for inertia, being slow to get started with things. Once my work team told me when I started my job that if I stayed late one day, I could come in equally late the next day. After that I'd routinely be a couple minutes late in the morning but always work at least double that amount of time into the night. I know it bothered one teammate but he was a come in early, leave early sort of person, and to me that just seems to equal out to the same thing.
 
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