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Discussion Starter #1
Hullo,

The fears I am referring to are in the social department.

Specifically, I seem to have extreme apprehension in the... romance realm. I hate to use that word, but it seems here I must. So, yes, I find that I can never approach or otherwise talk to girls I might be interested in, because if I have any feeling that I might be an intrusion or a bother to her, I simply can't do it. I simply can't stand the idea of being seen as "just another guy" that wants to impose himself in a girl's life selfishly and lustfully. Maybe I think too highly of myself? But really, I think it's just a fear of rejection and a fear of being misunderstood. Yeah, I am sure that by just "facing my fears" and going forth with the thing I could make some headway in my relationship endeavors. However, I am sure many of you INTPs can relate to my apprehension. I can never really know how people feel about me. I most often assume that girls don't want me bothering them, that they aren't interested in the way I might be.

Does this make sense?

Any input would be appreciated. If no one has anything to say, I'll take that as a sign that I need to figure this out myself. However, as I said, I am sure many INTPs here can relate to my relationship apprehension (coupled with my relationship desire--it's a terrible thing).

Thanks!
 

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I wouldn't consider this to be an INTP thing. It's more of an insecurity of any normal person. Are most INTPs insecure? Well, that's a completely different question to focus on.

So coming from a girl, I would see it as perfectly acceptable if a guy were to approach me and start a casual conversation. As long as you don't come off as some chauvinistic jerk, then you are perfectly fine. What I see here is that your problem lies with your thought processes. You seem to be stuck in the loop of "what if I bother her" and can't seem to break out of it. I would recommend cognitive behavioral therapy in which you try to understand why you have these thoughts, what are their root causes, and what is actually reality... do you understand what I mean? Ask yourself "Why do I think I bother them?" and tell yourself "I shouldn't work myself up too much because I don't even know how they really feel." I have so much more to add, but I think I'm just rambling...
 

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I don't know man, it's strange giving advice to someone older and wiser than me but just (in terms of RPG), increase FRNDSHP + 10, decrease UNFMLRTY, AWKWDNSS, talk about things you won't talk with other people, let her know that she means more to you than what the rest of your friends mean to you. You get the drift?

Then maybe, tell her that you do have feelings for her. The thing is, she should feel your feelings before you tell her.


My 0.02
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I wouldn't consider this to be an INTP thing. It's more of an insecurity of any normal person. Are most INTPs insecure? Well, that's a completely different question to focus on.

So coming from a girl, I would see it as perfectly acceptable if a guy were to approach me and start a casual conversation. As long as you don't come off as some chauvinistic jerk, then you are perfectly fine. What I see here is that your problem lies with your thought processes. You seem to be stuck in the loop of "what if I bother her" and can't seem to break out of it. I would recommend cognitive behavioral therapy in which you try to understand why you have these thoughts, what are their root causes, and what is actually reality... do you understand what I mean? Ask yourself "Why do I think I bother them?" and tell yourself "I shouldn't work myself up too much because I don't even know how they really feel." I have so much more to add, but I think I'm just rambling...
Oh, no, I don't see your post as rambling. I appreciate the input, and welcome anything further. But what you have offered seems like sound advice. I really can't know what anything thinks of me, so my fear is basically an assumption of a negative perception. I generally figure that if someone is talking to me, they don't want me to talk to them. But really, I'd imagine many people are feeling that way, and some of that could include me, with people thinking that I am not interested since I am not initiating anything.

Cognitive behavioral therapy has always interested me. I will see in my near future if this is a possibility for me.
 

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And, I am going to be a major hypocrite when I say this but just fucking talk. Don't even think about the fact that you might be bothering her. We NTPs are interesting people, you know? People usually like us. If she does get bothered, you know she isn't meant for you.

Simple-ish.
 

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How often do you feel imposed upon when some girl approaches you? It's pretty much the exact same thing.
It is exhausting to think about how someone may or may not feel about you at all times. Especially when most of the time it is somewhere just south or north of indifference.
When thinking hurts, don't think and just do it. Think later after the fact.
 

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Oh, no, I don't see your post as rambling. I appreciate the input, and welcome anything further. But what you have offered seems like sound advice. I really can't know what anything thinks of me, so my fear is basically an assumption of a negative perception. I generally figure that if someone is talking to me, they don't want me to talk to them. But really, I'd imagine many people are feeling that way, and some of that could include me, with people thinking that I am not interested since I am not initiating anything.

Cognitive behavioral therapy has always interested me. I will see in my near future if this is a possibility for me.
Alright, so do you understand why you have this assumption of a negative perception? Do you feel bothered when people talk to you? This could be a form of projection in which you are instilling your own beliefs and ways onto others. Just remember that not everyone thinks like you. And even if someone does find you bothersome, you shouldn't think anything of it; that shows that that person wouldn't appreciate you much, which is obviously not someone you should be affiliated with anyway.

CBT can be quite beneficial in your case. You don't even have to go see a professional, even though it is nice to have someone there to back you up. You can start your own method of CBT by questioning your thought patterns and becoming aware of how you feel in those situations.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Alright, so do you understand why you have this assumption of a negative perception? Do you feel bothered when people talk to you? This could be a form of projection in which you are instilling your own beliefs and ways onto others. Just remember that not everyone thinks like you. And even if someone does find you bothersome, you shouldn't think anything of it; that shows that that person wouldn't appreciate you much, which is obviously not someone you should be affiliated with anyway.

CBT can be quite beneficial in your case. You don't even have to go see a professional, even though it is nice to have someone there to back you up. You can start your own method of CBT by questioning your thought patterns and becoming aware of how you feel in those situations.
I suppose I do have some negative feelings about people approaching me (in a platonic way). I imagine that anger I feel about certain people intruding my bubble is more defensiveness than anything, like an immature understanding and expression of fear.

So, yes, I suppose I am projecting on everyone in some regards.

I suppose I actually have been working to alter my cognition and behavior over the last several years. I have consciously opposed OCD type feelings and consciously opposed my anxiety when it was panic attack level.

It would seem, then, that at this juncture I need to consciously oppose the mild anxiety I now experience. It's interesting how debilitating a mild aversion can be. Because, otherwise I feel pretty much totally calm. So, rather than bringing me from anxious to extremely anxious, I go from calm to anxious, which is more of a deterrent it seems!

Very interesting... I will work more on this... It is tempting to try to hide in my little bubble of security, hiding away on the internet or interacting with the same 1-3 people I know I can trust. It's probably not really wrong, but it isn't allowing me to grow, I guess.

Thank you for your input, all of you! It has been thought provoking.

Additionally, Skream, although I may be older than you, I am likely no wiser than you. You propose some very logical, wise points (as do all of you).
 

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Generally speaking I have trouble forming the desire to know or speak to anyone I’m not already acquainted with. More specifically, when I’m physically attracted to a woman, that attraction remains very separate from her personality in my mind. I can’t turn that physical attraction into an interest in the person as a whole, so I rarely feel inclined to speak to anyone whether I find them visually appealing or not.

I do also experience the anxiety you describe, when I’m obliged to communicate, I worry about whether I’m imposing or not and almost feel apologetic in my mind for them having to deal with me.
This isn’t an issue when the person in question is being paid to deal with me i.e. a cashier at the supermarket, in that case I’m as happy as a honey badger and I don’t really give a shit. Formal, straight forward, fuck the feigned interest and pleasantries.

My problem is therefore two-fold, I cannot muster much of a desire to speak to anyone, and whatever little desire I can manage is easily crushed by a mild anxiety of imposing. The anxiety for me isn’t all that powerful, but given that I very rarely get anything out of interacting with others, I’m just never on the lookout for social encounters of any nature.
I say it’s a problem because despite the fact that I can easily go months and months with little human contact(in the flesh), and never feel the explicit need to seek people out, I do still battle with depression. Many a person has linked my depression to a lack of social life, so I have to consider the need to reevaluate my lifestyle even if it comes so naturally.

I can’t think of an instance in my life where I’ve wanted to find an excuse to become familiar with someone I didn’t know. That shit doesn’t make sense to me.


So my question to you is, under what circumstances do you develop the desire to speak to these people ? Have you become familiar enough with them to find them interesting beyond their physical composition, and if you have become familiar with them to that extent, why do you still feel that you would be imposing when potentially looking for something more ?
 

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I suppose I do have some negative feelings about people approaching me (in a platonic way). I imagine that anger I feel about certain people intruding my bubble is more defensiveness than anything, like an immature understanding and expression of fear.

So, yes, I suppose I am projecting on everyone in some regards.
Ok, so let's dig deeper into this. Why are you defensive when it comes to someone "intruding" your bubble? What do you think can happen if someone were to intrude? This is all part of CBT, so continue to break down your thoughts until you come to some type of realization. Once you reach that point, you can then begin to reconstruct your thought patterns.

I suppose I actually have been working to alter my cognition and behavior over the last several years. I have consciously opposed OCD type feelings and consciously opposed my anxiety when it was panic attack level.

It would seem, then, that at this juncture I need to consciously oppose the mild anxiety I now experience. It's interesting how debilitating a mild aversion can be. Because, otherwise I feel pretty much totally calm. So, rather than bringing me from anxious to extremely anxious, I go from calm to anxious, which is more of a deterrent it seems!
It's great that you have learned to oppose some of those feelings. But with the anxiety that stems from the feeling of intrusion, just keep in mind that you don't know if others think you're imposing. And when the time arises that you are placed into such a situation, try not to dwell too much on those compulsive thoughts. I know it's rather difficult to prevent such thinking, I struggle with anxiety as well so I would know, but if you try not to think as much, then your anxiety may decrease, even if it's only slightly.

Very interesting... I will work more on this... It is tempting to try to hide in my little bubble of security, hiding away on the internet or interacting with the same 1-3 people I know I can trust. It's probably not really wrong, but it isn't allowing me to grow, I guess.
I see that you understand what drags you down. All that's left is to battle against it. Based on what I see from your posts, I can tell that you seem to have a good sense of self awareness, so I say you can definitely make it through the struggle.
 

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I can really relate to you,myself which take me 4 years to overcome severe socialphobia.
For others,i still relatively shy person in their eye.I have an over-considerate habit like you do
But a rejection from girl last year kindly woke me up,and it changed me
Only advice i can give you is this.In social situation when you fear of being misunderstood or whatever,just think of whatever that makes you euphoric
and Speak out your mind
 

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Introspection is a very useful tool. Identify your fears, then identify the root cause of said fears.

If the cause of your fear is irrational, acknowledge that it's irrational, then allow it to disappear.

If the cause of your fear is rational but in your power to change, then change it.

If the cause of your fear is rational and not in your power to change, then accept it as valid. From there you have to choose whether or not your goals are worth challenging such a fear.

As far as social situations go, I'm on the S.S. Apathy with Richard. I've got no real fear of talking to people (and will talk to just about anyone who decides to strike up a conversation with me), I just rarely care enough to bother.
 

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Is the key to communication constantly asking questions even if it's a redundant / rhetorical / dumb question? i.e. just to fuel the fire from going out?
 

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Is the key to communication constantly asking questions even if it's a redundant / rhetorical / dumb question? i.e. just to fuel the fire from going out?
That's what I've heard is the correct thing to do. Just keep firing questions that are about the other person, because people LOVE to talk about themselves... I think that will only work if you're talking to an uber conceited person though. I hate it when someone wants me to talk about myself. In those situations, everything I know about myself just flies out the window.
 

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That's what I've heard is the correct thing to do. Just keep firing questions that are about the other person, because people LOVE to talk about themselves... I think that will only work if you're talking to an uber conceited person though. I hate it when someone wants me to talk about myself. In those situations, everything I know about myself just flies out the window.
If I do that, I feel like I am interrogating them, and I try to avoid many questions they ask me about hobbies...because many of my hobbies are known to directly obstruct their perception of me in the romantic realm. I mean, if I am on a date with a girl and she asked me what my hobbies are, computers, psychology, and philosophy will be said, but until we have established more of a foundation, I would prefer she not go too deeply in either of these subjects (especially computers), as all I have learned dictates that kills the mood.

As for OP, something I am realizing is that this dating process is actually a lot easier than I once thought. I don't really know about the interpersonal relationship/bonding/etc afterwards, but getting a date is pretty easy. Basically, you just talk with a girl, make her laugh a bit, and ask her if she would be up to see a movie some time. I thought there were all kinds of barriers you had to pass through in the past but...there arn't. There is no complex formula at that point. I still have no idea what to do with emotions, but getting dates is fairly simple. You just need enough material to talk with them, be quirky enough to make them laugh a bit, crack an innuendo every now and then, and pop the question after you two have known one another for a little bit.

(Ask the girls here what to do afterwards because I just started dating (I think) with an ISFJ and that is....a giant mess right now)
 

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I can never really know how people feel about me. I most often assume that girls don't want me bothering them, that they aren't interested in the way I might be.
I can relate, and I think this mindset has a lot to do with our (sometimes) extreme need for privacy and personal space. The key here is to realize that you're not bothering anyone to the extent that you feel you are, and that most people aren't as guarded and introverted as you may be. They may or may not be interested in communicating with you, but you don't really have a way of knowing that before you actually talk to them.
That aside, I think that most INTPs are very sensitive to social cues/vibes anyway. If you're really bothering someone, you'll notice it.
 

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That aside, I think that most INTPs are very sensitive to social cues/vibes anyway. If you're really bothering someone, you'll notice it.
Umm I think it's because most of us aren't really great at picking up those vibes that we overcompensate by trying not to do anything that we deem as bothersome. Well, that's how I am.
 

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Umm I think it's because most of us aren't really great at picking up those vibes that we overcompensate by trying not to do anything that we deem as bothersome. Well, that's how I am.
Maybe it's not an INTP thing, idk... I'm usually pretty good at noticing and analyzing social dynamics, but I still suck at actually utilizing this info.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
strat19 said:
That aside, I think that most INTPs are very sensitive to social cues/vibes anyway. If you're really bothering someone, you'll notice it.
Umm I think it's because most of us aren't really great at picking up those vibes that we overcompensate by trying not to do anything that we deem as bothersome. Well, that's how I am.

I honestly can't quite tell which one applies to me. It could be either. This goes along with reading people. I used to think I could read people really well. Sometimes I still do think people can be painfully obvious with their attempted subtleties and such, but now I can't quite tell if it is simply me projecting upon them. And because I can't tell, I don't trust myself socially. Sure, I have friends and can oftentimes be a gregarious, friendly guy with a hearty laugh and all the warmth a guy could need in most social situations. But that's assuming the interaction is platonic. Granted, I have successfully courted ladies in the past, and when I do I utilize that same Ne+Fe combo that seems to make people feel that I am a nice presence. I suppose there are other things involved... Over the summer I acquired a certain sexual fear (after having been fine sexually for all the time preceding), and I think that could also be hindering me. But, most of all I believe this is uncertain, whimsical lust that is getting in my way. I can't exercise my social muscles until I feel that I know for certain how the other person feels. So right now I am stuck in the place of knowing a couple girls who seem like possibilities, but not being able to discern niceness from interest. Also, both these guys seem very introverted. Agh... I suppose it wouldn't kill me to maintain my singularity for another year or so. I mean, it's been fine so far.

Thank you all for your input. Really, it does seem that all this is not too complicated. It does seem that most of my issues in this regard are a result of my own beliefs about myself and other people, and these beliefs can certainly be altered now that they have been brought more into the open.

As for the problems emotionally connecting/really being with (most) girls (i.e. some don't require much emotionally), that is another problem entirely, and is probably something I'll have to work out in practice. Simply put, the emotional closeness of a relationship with someone who isn't, say, a tertiary Fi user (I've last successfully dated an INTJ and then an ISTJ, and after that attempted with an INFJ, which was overwhelming--she could see my emotional distance and was unsettled by it), is too much and it makes me feel like I could potentially be destroyed (mentally, emotionally, socially, physically, w/e) by the potential experiencing of/releasing of emotions. I guess that's a typical ennea 5 thing..?

Bah! :p
 
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