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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my ENFP friend told me "I don't want to get emotionally involved with someone, mainly because as of late I'm not feeling any kind of emotion...or maybe I've been overwhelmed with them and I'm numb now." She then went on to say "I mean like I don't feel any emotion. I just exist."

This seemed odd to me because she's an ENFP and I know they're supposed to be all about emotions and feelings and all that stuff. So my question is this: How do I cheer her up and what exactly do you think I should interpret that as? She has definitely seemed down lately and I can tell she really isn't very happy. She's stressed out because she works full time and is in school full time (she hates her job).

Recommendations?

Disclaimer: No, I'm not trying to get romantically involved. She is just a friend. We have dated in the past for 8 or so months but it's 100% over and we have remained friends.
 

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So my ENFP friend told me "I don't want to get emotionally involved with someone, mainly because as of late I'm not feeling any kind of emotion...or maybe I've been overwhelmed with them and I'm numb now." She then went on to say "I mean like I don't feel any emotion. I just exist."

This seemed odd to me because she's an ENFP and I know they're supposed to be all about emotions and feelings and all that stuff. So my question is this: How do I cheer her up and what exactly do you think I should interpret that as? She has definitely seemed down lately and I can tell she really isn't very happy. She's stressed out because she works full time and is in school full time (she hates her job).

Recommendations?

Disclaimer: No, I'm not trying to get romantically involved. She is just a friend. We have dated in the past for 8 or so months but it's 100% over and we have remained friends.
Oh god, I'm exactly like your friend right now. Numb. I'm going through a lot of change and dealing with a bunch of stress in my life at the moment. I'm pretty sure it's some sort of situational depression in my case. It sucks but is sort of nice at the same time in a weird way...the not feeling things like I used to. I'm so sick of feeling. Feeling is exhausting...I'm on a break. Depending on how much your friend hates her job that alone could be why she is the way she is right now...or it could be just a small part of it.


The only thing that cheers me up right now is exercise and sex. And chocolate. :wink: I'm sure others will give you some better recommendations...
 

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I've been in this place before, too. I started numbing out and shutting down because I kept getting signals from the world and society that I was somehow "broken" or "wrong." There was something fundamentally unwantable about me that kept others from being interested in me, romantically, socially, vocationally.

What brought me out of it was a good therapist, but what this therapist focused on was getting me to lighten up on myself; she gave me permission to be me. One of the reasons she was so successful at this was because she was a neutral party, someone who had no real emotional investment in trying to cheer me up, so I felt I could trust her judgment more than that of my friends (who, in my damaged opinion at the time, were still by my side because they felt sorry and pitied my pathetic ass).

To dissect your friend's problem a bit more, I'd wager that she's numb because she's trained herself to be that way. I'll use myself to demonstrate. In the process of feeling like all of society was telling me I was wrong and broken and unworthy, I had been behaving like a fun, off-kilter ENFP, being funny, clever, etc. And a string of people--co-workers, friends, complete strangers--shut me down. Told me not to act the way I normally do. Seemed to be embarrassed to be with me, or showed disgust at my "juvenile" behavior.

It made me question myself, and my self worth. So I started binding away those things that make me who I am--the funny, the clever, the spontaneously compassionate. Core things for an ENFP, really. But I shut them down because enough people had reacted poorly to them and I took the hint as if I were in the wrong, breaking societal rules. Like the one whose cell phone rings in a theater.

I call it foot-binding of the soul. It's a hellish place to be. I can only speculate, but your friend may be in this process somewhere.

And the best thing to do about this is to find a way to let your friend know that she's NOT broken, that she's NOT wrong, that it's okay for her to be who she is, and that the person she is is someone valued and loved. Just because some people look down their noses at her doesn't mean that she is, fundamentally, unwantable.

I hope this is, in some way, useful. And I wish you and her the best.
 

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You guys need to remember our F.i. or introverted feeling state. What I believe happens is when an ENFP is super stressed they withdraw but the potential is to be so overwhelmed by their introverted-feeling state that they have to shut down or they'll be, like I said, overwhelmed. Numbness is then the natural response.
 

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When I feel super down which is quite a bit because I get severely depressed about three times a year, I find the thing that helps me is for me to go out with my ENFP friend and just get inspired by her Ne and Se going wild. "OOOH AND I was reading about pandas yesterday and.... oooh look, carrots!....haha, look at that man, he looks like a walrus!.... do you think it's weird to sunbake in public while pregnant?..."

Just a weird stream of talking. It pulls me out of my head and into the world and always re-energizes me =)
 

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I went through something similar last year/early this year. When I get depressed I isolate myself from the world. When it got really bad it got to the point to where I didn't feel anything. I didn't get sad. I didn't get excited. I just existed like how she said she does. I would just sit in the house and do nothing but live inside my head. I was miserable and tried to keep it from friends and family but it was pretty obvious. They did everything they could to try to get me out more and cheer me up. Now I don't know if it's the same situation with her because your post didn't say anything about her being isolated, but I think it might be similar because I felt the exact same way she described. There's probably nothing you can do to fix this unless you can help her with what is keeping her down. Whatever is bothering her will surely go away or her situation will improve. I'm sure she'll return to her old self. Try to talk to her about her problems and just keep an eye on her. Let her know you're there for her if she needs anything. I'm sure she probably knows that anyway.

There was more I was going to say/I was going to fix this post up a bit but I accidentally posted it too early.
 

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I'm there right now. More accurately, I feel plenty of emotions, but I'm so disconnected and angry that I just shove them down deep where they'll never come back up for air. A friend who knows me fairly well got me to open up yesterday by just asking a couple of questions that really got to the heart of the matter. I didn't particularly want him to do that, but it helped a little.

I may be the lone dissenter here, but if an ENFP is "down" and feeling disconnected... they probably need to be there. We're so upbeat and positive most of the time. We're easy to cheer up if we're sad about superficial things, like getting an overdraft fee on our bank account or somebody at work being inconsiderate... but if things are bad enough that the Fi has taken over and we're absolutely consumed with it, best to let us brood. We don't do it very often, and many times it can be constructive. If something hits us hard enough that we become completely numb and disconnected, it's probably not something that you can just "cheer up". If your friend feels like talking about it, some helpful questions to ask would be ones like "can you figure out what the catalyst was for all of this?" For me, usually if I can figure out what started my downward spiral, I can trace the events from there and start to re-feel my way through them. Sometimes it takes re-visiting and working through them to start the forward motion again.

I may be totally off mark, though.
 

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I've been through that for a least once this year.

I had this friend whom I recently and we became very good friends in school. She would tell me about everything and anything and she would listen to me blabber on just about anything.

So one day, she was telling me about her problems and it just so happens that I had something important to do, I told her I'd call her later and talk to her about it and left promptly.

Later on I called her but it wasn't answered, worried that she's getting more depressed by the moment I sent her a couple of texts and called her a few more times because it was not like her to not talk about something.

Anyways, she ignored me so I kinda left it at that because that whole week I was really busy with something. After my time freed up a little, I always went back to the place where we would meet up and talk about things to look for her. She wasn't there but I still headed there for a week waiting for her to show up.

After a week I felt something was wrong so I asked a friend of hers, apparently she told her friend that I'm really weird and freaking her out because I cared for her, she said that even boyfriends don't do that, she said that she was freaked out by me. And apparently she also hates the fact that sometimes I'm critical to myself and my abilities. So that was why she was avoiding me.

I remember getting so depressed about that , that I literally stopped talking to everyone, instead just going to the park and sit on the bench for hours thinking what had I done wrong. I tried talking to a good friend of mine but he just brushed it off saying these exact words :

Lol, too bad.

Which made me even more sadder than ever, but I don't know what happened but I eventually got over it. I still think about it today and I really don't get why caring for someone is bad and weird and something that a friend shouldn't do.


Anyways that's just me :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you guys for the replies so far. I'll respond a bit better to them later today after classes. So difficult to do that through my phone. I have read them all. I've been txting her back and forth this morning while getting ready for school and tried to pull out some crazy Ne (I'm an ISTJ. We barely even have Ne) and it seemed to go over well. I got the feeling that she enjoyed that and it seemed to get her to be more crazy/playful instead of so ":|".

I asked her if she had ever seen someone that looked like a walrus and she said "yes all the time. I work at mcd. I see blubber all day.":crazy:
 

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I've been through that for a least once this year.

I had this friend whom I recently and we became very good friends in school. She would tell me about everything and anything and she would listen to me blabber on just about anything.

So one day, she was telling me about her problems and it just so happens that I had something important to do, I told her I'd call her later and talk to her about it and left promptly.

Later on I called her but it wasn't answered, worried that she's getting more depressed by the moment I sent her a couple of texts and called her a few more times because it was not like her to not talk about something.

Anyways, she ignored me so I kinda left it at that because that whole week I was really busy with something. After my time freed up a little, I always went back to the place where we would meet up and talk about things to look for her. She wasn't there but I still headed there for a week waiting for her to show up.

After a week I felt something was wrong so I asked a friend of hers, apparently she told her friend that I'm really weird and freaking her out because I cared for her, she said that even boyfriends don't do that, she said that she was freaked out by me. And apparently she also hates the fact that sometimes I'm critical to myself and my abilities. So that was why she was avoiding me.

I remember getting so depressed about that , that I literally stopped talking to everyone, instead just going to the park and sit on the bench for hours thinking what had I done wrong. I tried talking to a good friend of mine but he just brushed it off saying these exact words :

Lol, too bad.

Which made me even more sadder than ever, but I don't know what happened but I eventually got over it. I still think about it today and I really don't get why caring for someone is bad and weird and something that a friend shouldn't do.


Anyways that's just me :)

That's sad =(

Once, I arranged to meet my ENFP friend in the city for friday lunch but didn't show up or answer my phone cause I'd been called in urgently to work. That evening I checked my phone and she'd sent heaps of texts, really worried and had even called my work to check if I was there cause she thought I may have killed myself.
I don't find that freaky, I find that wonderful <3 And it also made me realise that killing myself would be really selfish. I didn't think anyone would care but then... yeah. Slight tangent xD

However I think it's more socially acceptable for females to get all worried and caring than it is for males. Stupid society >=(

But when people show that they really care about me it fills me with rainbows and clouds made of candy floss and makes me feel a lot better. Haha. Things like a friend getting me a bunch of flowers or a cupcake really make my day/week.
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Sorry for getting back to this late. I had to make this program for my computer programming class and submit it by midnight tonight and it was destroying me. Had to troubleshoot it for like 3 hours.... I'm too tired/mad to even read right now. :frustrating:
 

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Still wishing you and your friend the best! :D
 
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You know what always cheers me up just being around good people who make you happy while eating ice cream and watching vampire diaries ( don't critize me the chicks are H0T!)
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The only thing that cheers me up right now is exercise and sex. And chocolate. :wink: I'm sure others will give you some better recommendations...
Sounds like a pretty good recommendation to me :laughing:. I know I can provide all three of those at the same time.

I've been in this place before, too. I started numbing out and shutting down because I kept getting signals from the world and society that I was somehow "broken" or "wrong." There was something fundamentally unwantable about me that kept others from being interested in me, romantically, socially, vocationally.

What brought me out of it was a good therapist, but what this therapist focused on was getting me to lighten up on myself; she gave me permission to be me. One of the reasons she was so successful at this was because she was a neutral party, someone who had no real emotional investment in trying to cheer me up, so I felt I could trust her judgment more than that of my friends (who, in my damaged opinion at the time, were still by my side because they felt sorry and pitied my pathetic ass).

To dissect your friend's problem a bit more, I'd wager that she's numb because she's trained herself to be that way. I'll use myself to demonstrate. In the process of feeling like all of society was telling me I was wrong and broken and unworthy, I had been behaving like a fun, off-kilter ENFP, being funny, clever, etc. And a string of people--co-workers, friends, complete strangers--shut me down. Told me not to act the way I normally do. Seemed to be embarrassed to be with me, or showed disgust at my "juvenile" behavior.

It made me question myself, and my self worth. So I started binding away those things that make me who I am--the funny, the clever, the spontaneously compassionate. Core things for an ENFP, really. But I shut them down because enough people had reacted poorly to them and I took the hint as if I were in the wrong, breaking societal rules. Like the one whose cell phone rings in a theater.

I call it foot-binding of the soul. It's a hellish place to be. I can only speculate, but your friend may be in this process somewhere.

And the best thing to do about this is to find a way to let your friend know that she's NOT broken, that she's NOT wrong, that it's okay for her to be who she is, and that the person she is is someone valued and loved. Just because some people look down their noses at her doesn't mean that she is, fundamentally, unwantable.

I hope this is, in some way, useful. And I wish you and her the best.
Thank you very much for this insightful, informative and heart-felt post about the inner-workings of the ENFP. It sounds like you have a good understanding of what you're talking about and this helped me to understand a bit more:happy: I will make it a point to let her know that she's not broken/wrong like you say and make sure she knows that I value her.

When I feel super down which is quite a bit because I get severely depressed about three times a year, I find the thing that helps me is for me to go out with my ENFP friend and just get inspired by her Ne and Se going wild. "OOOH AND I was reading about pandas yesterday and.... oooh look, carrots!....haha, look at that man, he looks like a walrus!.... do you think it's weird to sunbake in public while pregnant?..."

Just a weird stream of talking. It pulls me out of my head and into the world and always re-energizes me =)
This was a funny and helpful post. I have employed your methods of "weird stream of talking". It's fun and gets her more into her normal happy, random, hilarious, crazy self.:happy:
 

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This was a funny and helpful post. I have employed your methods of "weird stream of talking". It's fun and gets her more into her normal happy, random, hilarious, crazy self.:happy:

I'm glad I can help =D
And yeah, weird stream of talking is THE BEST. I swear my ENFP friend could go on ALL DAY.... and so could I, now I've also got the skillz...
 
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A hug from and a talk with a friend usually did it for me, but when it's the numb state that you're talking about, in my experience that was something I needed to work through. I changed everything in my life up and now I'm back to bouncy - ol' insane me.
 
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