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Am I the only INFP who puts up a wall around certain people? I mentioned that I did this to my INFJ friend and he said that it was almost as if I was living a double life. I wouldn't take it that far but do you feel like you guard yourself or put up a wall around certain people or maybe adapt the way you act around people quite easily?
 

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All the time. I don't know if it's to protect others from me, or me from others. I'll act differently around certain people. One things for sure though: I despise the prospect of bringing it down. That feels like an invasion into my privacy and personal space, two things I cherish, but two things a lot of people seem to try and take away from me.
 

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My wall is more like a two-way mirror :p In the interest of harmony, I'll try to mirror the person I'm interacting with. What they see is rarely what's on the other side of the glass. I'm sure people wouldn't like it to hear that, but it's the way I deal. I've done a lot of blue collar work and connecting in a superficial way to a co-worker is better than working for eight hours with them and not saying a word. People tend to pick up on the INFPness quickly tho, even if I don't advertise it. A co-worker will often open up to me, spilling his/her guts and then feel regretful about it soon after. It's like they sense NFness even tho it's not advertised. Maybe I'm not hiding it as well as I should :S Anyway, I never ask for that kind of connection, but if you stare into a two way mirror long enough, you can discern the silhouettes of those hiding behind it, I guess.

I shouldn't do this, as people tend to give me more information about themselves than they usually mean to. It sucks, because in order to restore a sense of balance or equal footing I tend to offer a bit of myself up, slowly revealing who I am. Sounds like a silly little dance, but being up front and not putting up some sort of barrier usually illicits disdain from the other party.

On forums and chats, this two-way mirror is almost non-existent. Sometimes I worry I should put it up more as there's always a person behind each avatar/username, but it feels kind of nice just letting my feelings flow and not having a face in front of me, scrutinizing.
 

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I never liked the term "wall". It's very binary, very all or nothing. Either our wall is up or it isn't.

I prefer seeing things in terms of boundaries. We have boundaries which determine:

1. the information we are willing to share
2. the behavior we are willing to accept from another person

Those boundaries are different for each person we meet. So we may have one boundary for one person and we allow them to give us a hugs and we have a different boundary for another person where we don't want them near us at all.

Also those boundaries are fluid. One day, we may be perfectly willing to tell a new acquaintance all our secrets and the next day, we clam up.

Boundaries are usually reactionary caused by environment. Something happens with another person that negatively impacts us so we set arbitrary boundaries in what we share and behavior we accept to protect us.

My boundaries are pretty open because my philosophy is that no one really cares until they do. It's a very big world out there and people have lots of choices of who they choose to spend time with. There's absolutely ZERO upside to getting to know someone who's very guarded. You invest a bunch of time into someone who doesn't show you their cards and so it's just a big gamble on whether this person is worth your time. It's like someone coming to you and asking, I like to invest a bunch of your money in my company, but I can't tell you anything about it until I completely trust you but give me the money now and trust me the pay off will be worth it. You invest in people with your time. So it's much easier for me to say, here's me, here's my life, what do you want to know and here's where I'm going to be tomorrow or next week, show up if you want to invest more time.
 

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Yes, I have a wall too. I put it up more or less every time I become insecure or if I feel angry/stressed. It doesn't really matter if it is friends/family/strangers. Sometimes I can't remove it, which is really frustration. But most of the time I am able to force it down again when I realize I have made it. It all depends on the situation.
But it is one of my biggest frustrations when it comes to dealing with people, I can be so terrible reserved and completely covered by walls. And it always leaves me feeling so alone and detached from people.
 

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Yes, I do that too. Which prompts the question, are they "walls" or "boundaries"? And what's the difference between the two, if there is any? I feel as if boundaries are made out of self-respect, whereas walls are in response to fear.

EDIT: Ah! @infpblog, you read my mind!
 

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The more I think someone can't be understanding and very open with themselves the more of myself i'll hide.
If they make a big deal of things that don't need to be well I probably won't share those things with them because to me if they just took for what it is then I'd have no problem sharing many details about myself.
I also don't try and force myself into social situations where I can talk about myself too though.
 

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I used to put a 'wall' up with everyone NEVER letting myself open up,recently I've been able to take the wall down.I've begun to realize that it is possible for people to love me and accept me for who I am,or well that it's even possible for people to care about me.

I always feel bad though now when friends I went to high school with want to hang out with me it's been almost five years since we graduated and I'm not that same person I never know what to do so most of the time I don't hang out with any of them......which'll make me feel guilty but I'm just not what they want me to be anymore.
 

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Definitely. Like my parents; I have to hold back pretty much any part of my own personality because it offends them in some random way weather it be 'being disrespectful'(They have some crazy expectations if they think I'm being disrespectful when I joke lightly) Or being too weird and they think Im hiding something and start saying Im on drugs and questioning me. I cant even show how intrigued I am when Im watching something interesting because its usually something they think is stupid or 'suspicious'. Sometimes they ask me why I don't happily do my chores because thats what they want and I should be happy to please them. I just gave them a 'duh' look and answered I don't like cleaning. Apparently Im defective since I don't like being a neat freak.
 
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There's absolutely ZERO upside to getting to know someone who's very guarded.
that may make you somewhat of a demanding person though. for me they can be my little project :tongue:, trying to get something out of it. i just have this very subtle way of judging someone over being stiff/narrow/closed/etc. it's not about what i say, but it's about my body language and rather what i don't say.
 

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Most definitely. I dont have the easiest time making friends and it's mainly because I just get annoyed with things. I have a friend who constantly says things that shock/offend me and it's clearly because we see the world differently. She's very black and white. Her spirit is also quite negative at times...defensive, etc. I started getting really close to her by letting her overstep boundaries that people don't normally overstep..but now I'm retreating. We're still friends but I don't share my life goals with her. I don't talk about my dreams, aspirations and I no longer feel comfortable with her being their when I need quiet time.

But with most new people, unless they are quirky and I feel an instant connection, I am very serious/cold.
 

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Story of my life.... I have a hard time with this. Took me a long time to realize that the walls were even there until people started pointing it out to me. I don't mean to do it, I have tried not to but its a part of who I am I guess and I don't know how to change it. I start trying to force myself to open myself up but the slightest thing that someone says or does pulls me right back inside the bricks that I have built around me.
 

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absolutely.
i don't mean to put up a wall, i just simply don't know how to be myself around people.

if i'm around a very loud, outgoing, funny guy, i try and sortof keep up the pace or like someome else said, i tend to sortof mimic the other person. it's not like i really consciously do this at all, it's just... natural.

if i'm at work and a bunch of people are talking about superficial stuff that i don't care about, what am i just going to not talk to anyone ever? no i'm just gonna kinda make fake smalltalk about crap to get by. and i hate doing that because it makes me feel gross.
but i dunno what else to do. blah.
 

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ANOTHER thing that honestly bothers me to no end... the "mimic"ing others thing...

i feel like i'm a different person around everyone i know...
and i swear, i NEVER consciously act like them to be liked or something, it just... different people bring out different sides of me i guess, or maybe subconsciously i have been looking for their approval or maybe just to make things easier, i dunno...

but yeah it's like i'm a different person around each of my friends and it makes me feel beyond terrible about myself. because being this way is making me feel fake and like i don't know who i am or something...
i have a really hard time with this :\

i see other people who are just always the same around everyone. i want to be consistent like that, haha.
 

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Everyone puts up walls. It may be that what feels personal to one person is not so personal to another, but we all have our own boundaries and certain things which we feel safer keeping private. I don't think this is particularly an INFP issue, maybe just an issue you're having with your friend because he doesn't understand why you choose to guard the things you have appeared to guard.

It's also worth noting that everyone has a different identity around every individual or group of individuals with whom they interact. At that, it's natural to (subconsciously) take on things like others' accents, body language, and general mannerisms as a way of building rapport (the technical term is "mirroring"), and pretty much everyone does this, as well, although the better and less conspicuously you do it, the more receptive of you people tend to be.

I don't know what else to tell you. I mean, we all have "social selves," and we all have varying degrees of comfort as to how much we're willing to let people get to know us. I would think, as a general rule, introverts would have a lot of stuff going on that not even closest friends would know about, just because that's how introversion works--getting energy and ideas and so on when withdrawn from others and having a much richer inner life as opposed to what appears on the surface.
 
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