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Throughout most of my life I haven't had an issue standing out and getting validation the way I want - I did a lot of theater in school and got the literal spotlight. I was a class clown that balanced disrupting the class and pleasing the teacher with creative presentations. Pretty much my whole life up till now has been satisfying - I never really had close friends, but that was by choice and I knew that even then. I would get attention and people would say I was funny, I would turn down offers to hang out, then I would go home, spend time with family, and re-energize with my introverted pursuits. This continued through college as well.

As an adult in the workplace though, I'm getting frustrated. My coworkers are people I have to interact with multiple times daily and they are both boring and unappreciative of how not-boring I am! I realize how egotistical that sounds, and it probably is just my ego - but this has been going on for a few years now and isn't improving.

They make me feel like a hipster as I internally grimace at their pop-culture references, poop/that object looks phallic jokes, and old fashioned conservative politics. They all spend time they SHOULD be working skipping off to starbucks together and even though I would never want to go, I still get pissed at the lack of an invitation. I don't argue with them ever, but in a meeting when I speak up it's a 50/50 shot of whether I even get a half-hearted dismissive response. When I say genuinely funny things that would get a great rise out of most crowds, I get crickets from them. I know it's a combo of them feeling like I'm aloof and a liberal that they don't share values with, but I still hate it. At this point I would have quit, but I love the job itself and every minute I'm not interacting with my coworkers is great! Which is crazy because I actually hate the idea of working in general and most jobs I've had before this I did very reluctantly and bitterly (in this job I can be creative in a way that feels good).

I feel like my only two options are to either compromise who I am in order to attempt to fit in better (I feel I'd rather die), or to just accept being the reject which is how things are going and it just feels awful. Just to be clear, things are congenial and we have never argued and I've never brought any of this up of course. If asked, they'd probably say we get along fine, "he's just kinda doing his own thing most of the time." I feel bringing up my feelings wouldn't change much and just make me seem even weirder in their eyes.

Any other 4's go through this? How do you cope with people who don't encourage your humor, uniqueness, and support you at least occasionally in the spotlight role when just abandoning those people to seek out others isn't an option?
 

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Throughout most of my life I haven't had an issue standing out and getting validation the way I want - I did a lot of theater in school and got the literal spotlight. I was a class clown that balanced disrupting the class and pleasing the teacher with creative presentations. Pretty much my whole life up till now has been satisfying - I never really had close friends, but that was by choice and I knew that even then. I would get attention and people would say I was funny, I would turn down offers to hang out, then I would go home, spend time with family, and re-energize with my introverted pursuits. This continued through college as well.

As an adult in the workplace though, I'm getting frustrated. My coworkers are people I have to interact with multiple times daily and they are both boring and unappreciative of how not-boring I am! I realize how egotistical that sounds, and it probably is just my ego - but this has been going on for a few years now and isn't improving.

They make me feel like a hipster as I internally grimace at their pop-culture references, poop/that object looks phallic jokes, and old fashioned conservative politics. They all spend time they SHOULD be working skipping off to starbucks together and even though I would never want to go, I still get pissed at the lack of an invitation. I don't argue with them ever, but in a meeting when I speak up it's a 50/50 shot of whether I even get a half-hearted dismissive response. When I say genuinely funny things that would get a great rise out of most crowds, I get crickets from them. I know it's a combo of them feeling like I'm aloof and a liberal that they don't share values with, but I still hate it. At this point I would have quit, but I love the job itself and every minute I'm not interacting with my coworkers is great! Which is crazy because I actually hate the idea of working in general and most jobs I've had before this I did very reluctantly and bitterly (in this job I can be creative in a way that feels good).

I feel like my only two options are to either compromise who I am in order to attempt to fit in better (I feel I'd rather die), or to just accept being the reject which is how things are going and it just feels awful. Just to be clear, things are congenial and we have never argued and I've never brought any of this up of course. If asked, they'd probably say we get along fine, "he's just kinda doing his own thing most of the time." I feel bringing up my feelings wouldn't change much and just make me seem even weirder in their eyes.

Any other 4's go through this? How do you cope with people who don't encourage your humor, uniqueness, and support you at least occasionally in the spotlight role when just abandoning those people to seek out others isn't an option?
*Deep breath*

I really see no way around this other than to make a conscious decision to get over your own ego a little bit. And, find ways to value yourself/feel satisfied with yourself, outside of what other people think of you. It is part of growing up. But it's hard for many imag. e types. Especially, I imagine, image types who are accustomed to being validated and the center of attention. Personally, I've *always* felt misunderstood and overlooked, and rejected -- in general. Work, school. On the other hand, I've also always felt validated in certain areas, by certain people, as being extraordinary or inspiring. Certain talents emerged at a very young age with me, certain types of people made a big deal out of them, and I just ran with it. I identified and still identified with those things, and certain personality traits as well. Some good, many bad, but the good is all there as part of my "ideal-self" makeup. The bad is the other side of the split, the shameful things I try to overcompensate for only to be further reminded.

Now, when I *do* feel like my ego is being fed --- or even just when I feel like, "yes, this is good, these people really understand x y and z about me!" --- well, it hurts to fall from that. I mean this on a very small scale, like... when there's a period where I get a lot of attention on social media or in person, then there's a silence. I think, oh, am I "off", now? What's wrong with me? Did I end up revealing something bad by mistake? So I can only imagine how badly it must feel to feel like you've "fallen" from an entire identity of consistent praise and admiration. At some point I'm forced to admit that I probably felt disproportionately validated, because shit that is a big deal to me isn't really as big of a deal to other people, who are going their own way, worrying about their own thing, being impressed by other people as well.

So, that's just life. You may have been more popular before, but remember that your interior world is only so intense and so well-known to yourself. You were just one cog, and your worth *never* centered on how much you impressed other people for a certain period of time. You have amazing qualities, I am sure, because most people do -- and they run much deeper, and more permanently, than you realize. The catch is that you have to truly understand and further cultivate these things, with a motivation other than achieving a certain image.

To feel more authentic and inspired, you can try to surround yourself in social situations that cater more to things you're actually interested in, with people you can better relate to. Outside of work. You don't want to leave your job, because you love your job, but you can't have everything. Make a choice. Because you can't force people into niches where they simple don't fit. You are the odd one out. You're not better than they are, they're not better than you. I am sure you know this in theory, but do you really feel it? I think almost all fours feel at some point like they're better than the people who "don't understand" them. Myself included. It's a defense mechanism to an extent.

When I'm feeling lonely and frustrated and overlooked, I try to immerse myself into things that are meaningful to me - usually things like researching and learning about any topic I am interested in, or creating something like art. Expressing myself, to myself, is more validating than anything else. I also try to get out and connect with animals. It's one of the only things in the world that can ground me and make me feel present. I also highly recommend aiming to cultivate deep, meaningful relationships with not everyone, but just a small number of people. Honestly, I would not be able to handle life IMO without having the amazing friendships I do have, with people who really seem to care about me, who are interested in me as a whole person, who challenge me. It's helpful to have other people to admire, especially people you love. It's also helpful to be able to think "Hm, I guess maybe I do actually make a different/mean something special to some people"... really it's a life-saver.

On that note - try to find ways to relate to your co-workers rather than force them to acknowledge you. Maybe pick one or two that seem most likely to be relate-able to you, and maybe try to get to know them one-on-one. There doesn't need to be any conforming... just open-mindedness, a desire for richer understanding of what makes different kinds of people tick.
 

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And ask yourself, why does the admiration and validation of these people really matter to you? Sounds like you don't like THEM, anyway. Be honest with yourself, it'll reveal a lot about your fears and insecurities, and the symbolic architecture of your psyche - which can stand to be torn down and rearranged every one in awhile.

You're not going to be well-liked by everyone, it's life. You also don't HAVE to be. You say you like your work, you're good at it, maybe just try to focus on the meaning in that. Everyone can serve many different purposes and play many different roles, and find fulfillment in different aspects of their life (and even in different aspects of different aspects of their life!).
 

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They all spend time they SHOULD be working skipping off to starbucks together and even though I would never want to go, I still get pissed at the lack of an invitation.
Haha, are you me?

I'm guessing you're like me, a 4w3. If you are, then this is going to be easy.

Literally, the only thing you can do is destroy your ego.

Demolish it. Vacuum up the remaining rubble and throw that garbage in the bin. I really don't mean to be harsh, but the sooner you realize that you're not necessarily better than them, the clearer your head's going to feel.

Allow me to illustrate:

I'm an Early College Student, which means that I entered a community college free-of-charge when I was 16 years old. Amongst the other seven juniors who joined me, I was the smartest and most adaptable, leading me to believe I was the hottest thing since sliced bread. I still am when you consider that I'm the first one of my E.C. group to move out to live on her own. Since it was just us eight, we spent the first month or so of the program believing that we'd become a tight-knit group, traversing the scary world of MLA formats and lab reports for the next three years together. My goth-wannabe self thought her uniqueness and smarts would be an everlasting glue to hold us together since I knew they'd all want me to proofread their essays.

Nope.

Nah.

Nadda. By Christmas, the other seven were planning to go out to eat for breakfast while I sat at the table directly next to them, and not a one of them thought to invite me.

It took a year to learn not to care. It took another few months to realize that I was never going to be their friend. I too was surrounded by conservative mindsets, and at first thought that perhaps they didn't like my liberal leanings, or my gay friends, and that maybe they were just too basic to appreciate my literary puns. I now realize that things will always be sticky between us; we are stuck together but the air is thick and uncomfortable.

In the months following my acceptance into the program, I've learned about the enneagram and discovered my type. Around the same time, my distant father who has more emotional issues than me (and he's not even a 4!) reentered my life, and both the test and he informed me that I come off as pretentious. I'm still not in the healthy range, but as I speak and express my interests and passions excitedly, rambling about everything and nothing, I am more aware when my words come off as pretentious. It's this self-awareness that allows me to keep my ego in check and to keep it far from my emotions as possible.

Of course, I can't control my emotions or wherever their drives and triggers may lurk, but I'm practicing and keeping my ego in line.

All I can say is that you've got an egotisical issue, and that the sooner you realize your co-workers can't or won't fuel you, the better and healthier you'll be and feel. Trust me. You can't be the darling jokester for everyone.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
the only thing you can do is destroy your ego... You can't be the darling jokester for everyone.
Probably my ultimate answer and I already knew this on some level. It's just hard letting go of something I've built as such an important part of my identity.

Thank you to everybody for actually giving my self-indulgent rant such serious responses - this forum is great, I can't imagine getting anything as in depth or genuinely helpful on any other website where I'd know I'd just get sarcastic remarks on how badly I needed to get my head outta my ass. I mean, you've basically said that (haha) but with a lot more empathy and perspective so - yeah, thank you very much.
 

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People aren't going to appreciate you simply because you're different. If you flip it around, if you find other people boring, it's a good bet they find you either equally boring, or don't know how to take you. People appreciate when you show an interest in what they're interested in. But, if you can't, then maybe in a way they're not worth it for you to try to impress and you should maybe just focus on people who find your quirks appealing.
 
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Haha, are you me?

I'm guessing you're like me, a 4w3. If you are, then this is going to be easy.

Literally, the only thing you can do is destroy your ego.

Demolish it. Vacuum up the remaining rubble and throw that garbage in the bin. I really don't mean to be harsh, but the sooner you realize that you're not necessarily better than them, the clearer your head's going to feel.

Allow me to illustrate:........
But how am I gonna ever destroy my ego when my jealousy beeps so hard at reading such a perfect, immaculate advice from a highly achieved person, as you come across to be. Pretentiousness mirrors pretentiousness :DDD xDDD. I want to be the 2nd hottest thing since sliced bread! UUUrghh%{Đí#!!!!
 

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People aren't going to appreciate you simply because you're different. If you flip it around, if you find other people boring, it's a good bet they find you either equally boring, or don't know how to take you. People appreciate when you show an interest in what they're interested in. But, if you can't, then maybe in a way they're not worth it for you to try to impress and you should maybe just focus on people who find your quirks appealing.
@johnpoe This is a really good way of thinking about it. I'd also add that if you're really unhappy in your current working environment, it might be worth looking for somewhere new, which is more fulfilling to you (if possible).
 

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If it were me, I would initially try to understand if there is just a lack of chemistry, if there was a misunderstanding or if they are intentionally pushing me down without any real reason, just for sake : I would react in really different ways according to the scenario.
From your post is not really clear if it's just a couple of guys looking and acting a bit dull to your eyes or if they are two -harmless- douchebags.
Anyway, leaving your workplace or destroying your ego for them.. I would never do that. I would think "fuck them" and get'em out of my head (when healthy) or I would make them feel even worse than how they made me feel (when I'm not so healthy).
 

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Short answer, start killing people. Easiest way to be recognized.

That is a joke.

I cope with it by going to environments where I am appreciated. Just keep on searching.
 
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