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MOTM Nov 2010
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I am definitely of the Sartre school of philosophy rather than the Nietzsche. However, I came across a quote that really struck home with me. I was wondering if any other ENFPs could relate to this? Although he has never been my favorite, it is by Nietzsche. After reading it, I thought I could have written it myself.

’I go on smiling. People think I am a very jolly person and that is absolutely wrong. I go on laughing because I am afraid that if I don’t laugh, I may start crying. So I have to convert my energy somewhere otherwise it will become tears. Before it becomes tears it has to become laughter.’
During some of the toughest times in my life, you really can't judge me by my cover.
 

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I actually know quite little of philosophy, but I can relate to this during times of crisis, as it's not easy for me to show negative emotions such anger, sadness, the feeling of being ashamed, etc... I know they exist, but I choose not to wallow in it and portray it externally. I never thought about me converting negative energy to positive energy to avoid the negative; I have thought about maybe it was me projecting my own fear of conflict unto others, so for the sake of peace & harmony I perceive it best to avoid it. This quote definitely gives me more to think about. Thank you for sharing.
 

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unfortunately i can relate to that disturbingly well. kind of unsettling actually
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My thing is, I often have the "tears of a clown". I like to see myself even objectively when times are tough. Many times while I go through struggles, I will create jokes about it for other's to laugh. It helps me to laugh at my plight.

Even now, while I am so frustrated over having these damn chicken pox while in marathon training, I'm making fun of myself all over the place.

I remember when I was in college, going through a divorce, living in a shelter with my daughter. I would bounce around from class to class with my 22 units. I was a positive force in my classes and giggled and worked hard at performing and maintaining my 4.0. I remember one day when the semester was just about over, I had a talk with my voice teacher ( I was a vocal major).

I told her about living in an abused shelter and having everything stolen from me at some point (all my school books and my identity). She looked at me like I was some weird thing and said "I never would have known you were going through all that. You always come to class laughing and smiling. There is no way I would have ever of guessed. Wow." And I wanted it that way. I just wanted to be normal. My life was falling apart. I loved school. I loved my friends and I loved being free of an abusive marriage. I didn't want anyone to feel sorry for me or be told that maybe I should "give up" or "take a break".

But honestly, eventually I did have to tell. So many people wanted to be closer friends to me. They didn't want me in a woman's shelter. They wanted to help. But it's not so obvious when I need help. It's not even obvious to me. I see the light at the end of the tunnel no matter what situation I'm in. It's tough I'm sure by other's standards, but often I'm like a frog in a boiling pot of water.

Sometimes, the harder life is for me, the more I laugh and joke. But I know from other's reactions, I tend to hide a lot of pain inside. This could also be due to my Fi. I don't exactly walk around parties being the dramatic "poor me" person. That isn't my "public role" in life. I was the entertainment and the peace maker in my broken family growing up. I'm the sun the and the rainbow, like many of us ENFPs. And I prefer it that way.
 

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I can totally relate to this quote. One time I was feeling really horrible one day and ended up explaining it to one of my friends. They asked "why didn't I notice something was wrong?" They were in complete shock. I'm really good at hiding my feelings when I want to.
 

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My thing is, I often have the "tears of a clown". I like to see myself even objectively when times are tough. Many times while I go through struggles, I will create jokes about it for other's to laugh. It helps me to laugh at my plight.

Even now, while I am so frustrated over having these damn chicken pox while in marathon training, I'm making fun of myself all over the place.

I remember when I was in college, going through a divorce, living in a shelter with my daughter. I would bounce around from class to class with my 22 units. I was a positive force in my classes and giggled and worked hard at performing and maintaining my 4.0. I remember one day when the semester was just about over, I had a talk with my voice teacher ( I was a vocal major).

I told her about living in an abused shelter and having everything stolen from me at some point (all my school books and my identity). She looked at me like I was some weird thing and said "I never would have known you were going through all that. You always come to class laughing and smiling. There is no way I would have ever of guessed. Wow." And I wanted it that way. I just wanted to be normal. My life was falling apart. I loved school. I loved my friends and I loved being free of an abusive marriage. I didn't want anyone to feel sorry for me or be told that maybe I should "give up" or "take a break".

But honestly, eventually I did have to tell. So many people wanted to be closer friends to me. They didn't want me in a woman's shelter. They wanted to help. But it's not so obvious when I need help. It's not even obvious to me. I see the light at the end of the tunnel no matter what situation I'm in. It's tough I'm sure by other's standards, but often I'm like a frog in a boiling pot of water.

Sometimes, the harder life is for me, the more I laugh and joke. But I know from other's reactions, I tend to hide a lot of pain inside. This could also be due to my Fi. I don't exactly walk around parties being the dramatic "poor me" person. That isn't my "public role" in life. I was the entertainment and the peace maker in my broken family growing up. I'm the sun the and the rainbow, like many of us ENFPs. And I prefer it that way.
I relate to this so much. I had a similar experience when I requested to take time off work and told them that it was because my depression and other problems were getting worse and I needed to take a step back and de-stress. The look of shock on my managers face was astounding. "What!? There's a sad or angry Jess?! I can't imagine such a thing!". I wish I could respnd more to what you wrote but really, it's so much like something I would have written that I have nothing more to add.

I never take my "problems" with me to work/uni/outside my mind because I don't have to. At work, my life can be normal and I can be happy and everyone elses day brightener and there's nothing I'd rather be. And the last thing I want to be is "that girl with issues". I might suffer from mental illnesses, but they aren't me... and I'm always scared that if at work, I'm not being the bubbly person I'm known as, everyone will somehow realise just how shitty I find life sometimes.

Definitely, the harder I find life the more I joke around and try to brighten up other peoples. I've found that sometimes, that's when I "snap" and go hypomanic on yo asses. :crazy:

I'm definitely also like a frog in a boiling pot of water. But I'm learning...
 

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Yes, I definatly relate.

Last October I got attacked outside my student house by a group of thugs, my then boyfriend rescused me, but they came back and tried to break into the house, threatening to kill us. Kind of rattled me, shall we say.

My parents took me home, and I was trying to find a new place to live, sort out a medical issue I was having but my details kept being lost,heal up, and trying to keep on top of my class work AND deal with my boyfriend...who had dropped out, had no job, and no aprent interest in getting one. I was trying to support us both on money from loans and my parents. All while trying to do an English and Creative Writing degree dispite my dyslexia, and the issues I had in my first year, which were unrelated, but still highly distruptive to study...Oh and my parents telling me to "just go over it" and a usless councilor...I was having recuring nighmares about drowning...trouble leaving where I lived alone...

When I got back to class, I was a happy happy sunbeam. You know, dispite my life being hell. It was as though no matter what happened, I had my work and my goal in mind. It was also a great distraction, and I didn't want the pity. I just wanted to get on with my degree like everyone else was. I'd been through too much to give up or fall apart in front of my lectures or class.

I got my best grades that year too. :happy: (aparently I thrive in adversity)

I did of course have to tell certain people, and explain I had to miss classes to go do a police line up, ect. But generally, no one from my classes had any idea what was going on in my life.

I'll smile for you even when I'm dieing inside...:tongue:
 

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My thing is, I often have the "tears of a clown". I like to see myself even objectively when times are tough. Many times while I go through struggles, I will create jokes about it for other's to laugh. It helps me to laugh at my plight.
I agree with that. When I was younger and my parents went through a divorce I did the same. Though your first quote was a little less descriptive of me. Part of it is I feel quite stable...For an ENFP.
 

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Nice quote. Doesn't really sound like Nietzsche at all to me, lol.

I can relate to this though definitely. I was actually even thinking about this yesterday. Despite being depressed a lot of my life, I don't think a lot of people knew until really recently, and most people in my life that I am just acquaintances with (school friends, coworkers, etc) would probably be shocked to hear I have been on and off psych meds for 5 years and have attempted suicide in the past. I just don't let it on in my real life.
 

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At first I was a bit concerned by the thread title because to me it sounded like being concerned about physical appearance. I think this is more about how we present ourselves to others, the masks we wear to overcome hardship.

In therapy, I've been working on avoiding my secondary emotional responses and tapping into my primary emotions. That is, when I feel hurt not getting angry. The only problem with that is, as an ENFP, that is tantamount to giving someone a hunting knife and tipping back my head. Strong metaphor, I know, but accurate.
 

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I have to agree with this. I'm definitely the kind of person to make a joke out of it rather than bring it up as some serious, sad thing. So most people don't even realize I'm suffering when I crack some comment about something bad going on in my life, because I make it into a joke and I look positively happy doing it.

I don't like to weigh others down with my stuff or throw pity parties for myself, but I feel like ignoring the issue entirely makes it a problem. I don't like the idea of there being a topic so terrible that I can't even talk about it, so I just turn it into a joke.
 

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The description in the OP is a hallmark of enneagram type 7s. The thinking triads are said to be fear based and their character is defined by how they deal with this fear. 5s deal with fear about the outside world by turning inward and escaping to the safe haven of their minds from what they see as a dangerous and threatening outer world to a safe and reliable inner world. 7s on the other hand are the exact opposite, they have no fears of the outside world (which explains their apparent daring and boldness), but are deeply fearful of being consumed by negative emotions inside of themselves. To avoid this 7s turn outward, often encouraging their already strong desire to try anything at least once and overindulging if for no other reason than to avoid the worst recesses of their inner worlds. I am certain this is far more complex and compelling to those who experience it, but I cannot help but notice the parallels with what was described in this thread and the descriptions of 7s.
 

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This resonates strongly with me. In fact, I'm a bit bothered by ENFP descriptions that talk about how happy and sunny we are because I believe we are strong but tender souls who often feel pain and suffer from the blues.

I am very sensitive to the sadness and bad moods of those around me so I try hard to keep a positive outward demeanor when I'm crying inside so as to not bring down others. Also, trying to appear in a good mood often helps me pull out of my dark place: a sort of "fake it 'til you make it" effect.
 

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I've been known to do this but it rarely lasts very long. Then, inevitably, I'm crying like a baby in public because of something stupid. Or having a panic attack right in front of someone I love. The charade can only last so long.
 

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I do get visibly melancholic. I'm not going to go on long teary rants to people I hardly know, but I'm not going to fake happiness if I'm not feeling it.
 
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