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FOR TL;DR PLEASE SEE THE LAST SENTENCE OF THIS PASSAGE. I'm calling it a passage, because it is a voyage... of writing... so good luck for those of you daring (baring) to read it.

First of all, I never do this. I never sign up for forums or anything like that, I'm always a lurker. Not in a creepy way, just like on Reddit, I view the stuff but I never post a thing.

But I have now been on this forum so many times, and I'm in a chillaxed and open mood so I thought I might as well, as I've got some questions, and you all seem like very generous and opinionated people (the best kind) so I thought I'd see what you think about this.

I am an ENFP (I'm pretty sure of this), but I'm having some problems with my personality or what I'm "meant" to be. I know it's silly to pigeon-hole us into these 16 categories, when there are so many extraneous factors determining personalities, but the reason there are several forums and millions of articles out there dedicated to Myers-Briggs' personality types is because they can be scarily accurate.

One of the most rewarding days of my life was the day I found out that I wasn't a weirdo by looking up what my personality type was. I always wondered what was wrong with me, why I always worried so much about what other people thought of me, more than most of my peers. Or why I was so desperate for validation and approval, or what have you.

I think to be a fully formed, mature ENFP will be a wonderful thing, but right now I'm stuck in a rut and I was wondering if any of you had any advice. I don't just mean on being an ENFP, I mean on being a good and mature person. I'm 22, and I'm in my first full time job, but I feel a bit stuck and lost and some guidance would be much appreciated.

- 22, college/university graduate
- Full time job
- Happy and very stable childhood
- As a child (and still today) very emotional, feel things very deeply and take offence quite seriously
- Have almost a Catholic sense of guilt from a young age, lots of self criticism. I always say you can be your own worst bully and that is definitely true of me.
- An extrovert with introvert tendencies, my family are similar.
- My family - slightly socially awkward people, I'd say none of them really know how to act properly in social situations, not that that's a problem, just that it means that I don't think I'm always aware of social norms or boundaries

- Last thing: relationship with mother used to be very bad. I'd cry every week when I was younger. She used to say very hurtful things. It was a weird juxtaposition between her being very loving and giving me lots of validation to calling me horrible things or blowing up for small issues. The best way to describe it was Jekyll and Hyde. I got some counselling and I started standing up to her when I was 16. I was the only one in our house that would, but that was even more horrible in some ways as it made me (temporarily) the black sheep of the family. My dad and sister were scared of her, and I was too, but I wouldn't sit by and let her say hurtful things any more.

She's a lot lot better now, she is a truly wonderful human being who suffered from a very similar relationship with her mother, but the whole experience has left me a little worst for wear. I think, by nature, I'm a very happy, loving person, but I now seem to have this innate anger and aggression that I find hard to suppress at times. It comes to the surface when I'm tired or I think people are being taken advantage of, or I'm being taken advantage of. It's often irrational and always unnecessary, and I would like to be rid of it.

So now I hear you crying GET TO THE BLOODY POINT, and I will! Here it is (and it's stupidly long):

Like many of you, I'm sure, there are days I like myself and there are days I loathe myself. I measure how happy my life is by the ratio between the two, and as of late, the latter has come to fore more often than I would care for.

I've recently started a new job which I love, it's stimulating with lots of opportunity for growth. The only thing is I find my coworkers hard to get on with and their differences from me have exposed some truths about myself that I don't like. My coworkers are all lovely, good people. Very intelligent and talented. I'd say they are all STJs or SFJ/Ps.

I'd say I'm a very bubbly person, but my interactions with others are dictated by three factors:

1. My desire to be liked
2. My desire to be known and appreciated
3. My desire to be thought of as a nice person
4. My desire to make people happy

While one of these factors is a good thing (number 4.!!), the rest are rather poisonous motivations. I suppose the crux of my problem is that I often find myself being disingenuous and inconsistent for the sake of others approval, and I want that to stop. I want to be one of those people where they are genuinely nice not so that people will like them, but because they don't have any other way of being.

But I seem to have this mean streak built within me. I try not to gossip and I don't bitch. If I criticise, I try to criticise the action not the person, e.g. "They acted immaturely" instead of "They are immature" but this still seems to be a way of adding fuel to the fire. I'm also arrogant, sometimes showing off in conversation - for example, interrupting people with an answer when they were building to that already or the answer may just be wrong.

I also massively overshare, often when I don't want to! It's like I don't have a conversation filter! And it's so awkward! I call it verbal diarrhoea...

I'm also ridiculously irrational. It's like I can hear a sane person in my brain sometimes going "What are you doing? Why are you annoyed by something so trivial? Why do you take this to heart so much? Why are you having a temper tantrum at 22 years old? Control yourself woman!!" But I can't seem to act on it. And the rational self beats myself up as soon as I've done the irrational things. This is often the centre of my self-loathing.

I'm also paranoid - I sometimes read more into what people say than what they actually mean.

But I do love people, I really do. I honest to God love hearing about their lives and interests. It's one of my true pleasures, and I love it when people smile and laugh, I like them to be happy and not because it means they like me, but genuinely because it just flips a switch in my heart and makes me deliriously happy as well. It's such a buzz. I'd love to work on sitcoms or in comedy just because that feeling of making people happy resonates so much, it's addictive. But I'm not funny! Life can be a bitch can't it?

The people in my office are all a bit detached, I'm aware I'm not very cool or necessarily very interesting, but I do care and I want them to understand that I just want them to like me and for us to all get on really well.

But I realise that there are elements of personality that are irritating - I often put my foot in my mouth, I interrupt people, I appear condescending when I try to be genuine, I'm self-absorbed and perhaps arrogant, I change my opinions (and perhaps bend my values) in order to agree with their opinions so appear inconsistent, I try too hard and it's obvious. I am trying to work on these things, but some days it's difficult.

I just want to have a laugh, I just want to be able to relax, but I keep failing so hard.

I suppose I'm immature and selfish, and the fact that there is no genuine friendship between us forming hurts more than it rationally should. I feel as if I failed, like I'm not really much of a people person if I can't even get them to truly like me.

The problem probably is - how do I stop being so dictated by what others think of me (even the people I'm with 9 hours a day, 5 days a week) and start building a more concrete idea of my personal values?

For the TL;DR (I don't blame you, this was a massive rant)
How do I, as an ENFP, become more rational (fewer temper tantrums and overreactions), more genuinely kind and put more faith in building up my set of values and rely less on the opinion of others for personal validation and gratification? And lastly, how do I become less angry?

Thanks to those who read it all the way through though. I understand it's a lot to wade through but any thoughts or comments will be much appreciated. :)

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2,873 Posts
First, Welcome1
What I finally realized was that i had brought a lot of hurt, a lot of angyr forward from a small child. That child, who needed love and acceptance, is no more. I am a self-reliant adult now, and thus the needs and hurts of the child are not mind.

Guilt is healthy as a self-guide to becoming what we want to be. Guilt imposed by others is toxic, for we cannot discharge that by change in ourself, thus imposed guilt must b rejected.

We are not programmable robots and maturity, self -knowledge, a desire to be content with ourself must be the driving force for self -improvement. The You inside is real, but there is no concrete reality in the descriptions and assigned symbology of any personality system.

Always remember that ultimately, you may be observed, but never defined. We are invinitely variable. Under specific conditions, we choose behaviors which may be categorized. If the external conditions change, so will our behavior.

Also remember that among all of the billions of people, there is only one You. There will never be another.

See you around!

5,261 Posts
I like to sometimes guess what you newbies are
and I was right with you. ENFP. well done, well done *pats self on back*


22 Posts
Welcome! :) I'm new here as well, and no your passage of writing was not boring at all. It was really interesting, and I can see that you're a really beautiful wonderful person. It's fine if you are irrational or emotional or if you like to be valued by others, to be honest I'm kind of like that too. ;) My family is socially awkward as well, because we are all introverts and my dad likes to control everyone. We're all stuffed up in some way or another, right?
As for relying on other people's opinions, remember that at the end of the day, the decisions and the life you make out of your time is up to YOU. People may bring you down, or encourage you to do different things but it is YOU who makes the final decisions. If you want to do something, do it. Hell, if you want to become a serial killer, do it. Go ahead and murder half of the whole population. (jks, please don't do that).
If you want to become less angry, then the next time you become angry, take deep breaths and calm down. Ask yourself: why am I angry? Is it worth being angry? Do I want to be angry? In order, to become less angry, first you need to understand why you are becoming angry in the first place. :laughing:

WOW, THAT WAS DEEP, WASN"T IT? Now, let's find some unicorns farting rainbows!:proud:
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