Personality Cafe banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have recently had a setback at work. I am being moved less than 2 months into the new school year because I am not fitting in my new setting. My supervisor told me that I am not confident enough, I hang back a lot, and don't make eye contact or speak up enough in my meetings. This has hurt me so deeply I feel physically sick, I can't sleep or eat. I am doing my best to move past it and make the best of the situation. But I can't change who I am or can I? Has anyone ever tried to change their personality to fit in better at work or get a job? Before I got this job I had a hard time getting hired. I went on so many interviews and I never got the job even though I am very qualified. I wonder if it is my personality and if people don't like me because of my personality traits. I wish I wasn't like this, I have tried to change, but I'm afraid I can't really change that much. Anyone have any advice for me?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
784 Posts
I have recently had a setback at work. I am being moved less than 2 months into the new school year because I am not fitting in my new setting. My supervisor told me that I am not confident enough, I hang back a lot, and don't make eye contact or speak up enough in my meetings. This has hurt me so deeply I feel physically sick, I can't sleep or eat. I am doing my best to move past it and make the best of the situation. But I can't change who I am or can I? Has anyone ever tried to change their personality to fit in better at work or get a job? Before I got this job I had a hard time getting hired. I went on so many interviews and I never got the job even though I am very qualified. I wonder if it is my personality and if people don't like me because of my personality traits. I wish I wasn't like this, I have tried to change, but I'm afraid I can't really change that much. Anyone have any advice for me?
I feel like a lot of us struggle with this.

Because we're INFPs, we're soft and gentle babies :D But, the world won't cater itself for us. We need to learn to be big and strong sometimes. It's hard for me to think of a book or an actual process to improve upon this... I learned because I had to.

Why do you feel you don't make eye contact or speak up in meetings?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I feel like a lot of us struggle with this.

Because we're INFPs, we're soft and gentle babies :D But, the world won't cater itself for us. We need to learn to be big and strong sometimes. It's hard for me to think of a book or an actual process to improve upon this... I learned because I had to.

Why do you feel you don't make eye contact or speak up in meetings?
I don't know, it is something I don't even realize I'm doing (the eye contact) I have to try to make myself aware and force myself to make eye contact when speaking to people and I'm usually afraid to speak up because I don't want to say the wrong thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
784 Posts
I don't know, it is something I don't even realize I'm doing (the eye contact) I have to try to make myself aware and force myself to make eye contact when speaking to people and I'm usually afraid to speak up because I don't want to say the wrong thing.
Hmmmm, I'd take some time with a pen and paper and really think through that question. (I've found it usually takes 60 - 90 minutes to really think through a problem). There is a reason; you just haven't figured it out yet :) When you do, we'll know how to tackle it :)

I promise it's easier than it sounds :D
 

·
Registered
My vehicle is INFP, 9w8. Vroom vroom!!
Joined
·
1,690 Posts
I struggle with eye contact too, but I've noticed that not all eye contact is the same. A lot of the time I don't make eye contact because I'm thinking of the next big thing, putting ideas together, and meeting someone else's eyes is distracting and immobilizing. And lots of people, even extraverts, do the same thing.

If you ask people, some will say that they watch people's eyebrows or in between their eyes. If you look in the general vicinity of the eyes, most people can't tell. People just want you to look like you're listening to them and understanding what they're saying. Some people are still under the impression that when someone is "shifty-eyed" it means they're lying or trying to trick you. Eye contact and confidence associated with it can be improved with practice and conscious effort to spend a few seconds looking at one place before moving on.

If you worry you will say the wrong thing, it shows on your countenance. Also, with the mental energy you use worrying about saying the wrong time, you could have been formulating something to say instead. Extraverts don't always know what they're going to say. They talk out their ideas, and sometimes they do say dumb things. You have the capability to think out loud with your auxiliary Ne function, and with practice, you can go into extravert mode when you need to.

How much do you mirror people's facial expressions, like appearing serious when they are serious? How loudly and clearly do you speak, and do you speak at a good speed?

It's important to remember that these things I've mentioned aren't necessarily from your personality. Modifying some basic social mannerisms does not change who you are on the inside, and it doesn't lie to people about who you are. Things like eye contact and appearing confident come naturally to some, and they are learned skills for others.

What type of work are you doing?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,058 Posts
I've always been able to either fake or have confidence. Inferior Te hurts though. I just don't have good attention to detail, and focusing on that ruins my flow state.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,734 Posts
Yes.
Many careers.

I'll speak only of the 1st career I chose, when I was 18 and going to uni to study that career (English Philology), and that is still close to my heart but I don't think I have it in me to pursue it (won't go into details, too personal).
The first couple of years of studying my career at uni went really really well. But then on year 4 trouble began. Without going into detail of the ins and outs, these were my problems:

* I couldn't speak up in class and share my thoughts, literally couldn't. Terror of public speaking. Because of this, my professors made me fail every class for lack of debate and verbal participation, even though I got A+ on all my exams and projects. They would call me to their office once a month on a consistent basis to tell me "I'm going to give you a D despite your A+ exam, because I'm tired of you not speaking" and I'd say "Why do you need me to debate people? I have the integrated knowledge, and I have my own opinions, I already told you in written form, I don't want to debate 80 people, I like to write, not speak". And so I got failed eternally from then on, no matter my A+ knowledge and opinions on text.
As an INFP I am naturally a good writer and a terrible speaker. Also, I was pursuing writing & publishing as a career, which needed lots of writing and zero speaking. But my professors were having none of it.

* I don't debate. I enjoy exchanging ideas, but I see no point in debating anything, specially when my career was basically about reading books, analysing books, talking about books, editing books & publishing books. The career is mostly about writing and reading. Well, I was required to be skilled at debating. Sigh.

* I was also required to be super social. I don't know why. Even after I quit university because it was a load of bullshit imo, I went to work as a librarian for the next six years, and still I was required to be suuuuper social. I never understood it. And when I would stay at my desk cataloguing hundreds of books instead of going to the coffee room to chat with coworkers, hell would break loose. Everyone hated me and talked shit because "why is she so weird? ew"

* Another thing that happened at uni when pursuing my career was that I indeed tried to "debate" as my professors wanted. Well, they did not like what I had to say. And the straw that broke the camel's back was one day in my last year when the professor asked me directly in front of a 100-people class "Entheos, what do you think about [insert character of a book]?" and I said "Well, I have a problem with this character" and I refuted all the praise that this character had gotten from other classmates, and I explained all my points as best I could. The professor was very tense and looked like a fish out of water because she had never heard of an opinion like mine, she was used to another type of consensus of how much the character ruled. So she felt threatened by my analisis and never spoke to me again.

I could never do anything right, I felt that I could never be myself. I felt that the "bosses" of the situation would ask things from me that don't exist, and they'd say "Just make the effort, if you only try I'll give you a good grade for trying", but then I would express myself only to be shut down "Oh no no no don't say those things! Say only things that I like to hear"

Similar things have happened in my other jobs. People are never happy with me because I'm not a talker, I'm a doer-in-the-shadows. Apparently doing your work silently is not good enough, you have to put on a fake show and pretend you know things that you don't know, and pretend to like popular things you hate, and so on. Meh.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Whisperdream28

·
Ayatollah of Coca-Cola
Joined
·
11,718 Posts
Not what I would personally classify as a long-term career, but I highly discourage working at Starbucks. As an INFP who played the role of a quasi-barista for a year, it was some soul sucking shit. There was good stuff here and there, but I mostly look back upon it as a headache and a half for the timid, sensitive introvert.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,148 Posts
Yes.
Many careers...People are never happy with me because I'm not a talker, I'm a doer-in-the-shadows. Apparently doing your work silently is not good enough, you have to put on a fake show and pretend you know things that you don't know, and pretend to like popular things you hate, and so on. Meh.
Just got to say I read through this whole post and I rarely speak up except in history classes because that's the subject I know best. Nobody is ever chastised at my university for not speaking or debating enough, although you can lose maybe like 5 or 6 marks at the most if you literally say and do nothing in tutorials the whole time, just show up. And the environment is (with the exception of a few more terrible teachers) quite welcoming to the type of total disagreement you said you gave. So in this case it's really not the person who's at fault, rather the institution and their way of looking at things.

I will say that yes, you do need to kind of fake it or even just go into extrovert mode for a few minutes, being sociable can be learned even if it doesn't come to you naturally, it's about meeting the expectations that most people will have of you. At the same time you shouldn't worry about some of these people. Some employers might be more shallow or less open minded than others. They are people like everyone else. So I would try to find ones that are more understanding and compromisable with this sort of thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,734 Posts
@Adonnus mmhh not sure if you're offering advice or something? I didn't ask for advice, I'm just responding to the op. I'm well in my 30s and know very well how to be successful at jobs, so..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,378 Posts
we're soft and gentle babies
Soft and gentle, sure, but not babies. Never underestimate the inner strength of a gentle soul. Never underestimate the power of meekness. The true meaning of "meek" is "empathy + endurance." That's an ethos worthy of respect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
784 Posts
Soft and gentle, sure, but not babies. Never underestimate the inner strength of a gentle soul. Never underestimate the power of meekness. The true meaning of "meek" is "empathy + endurance." That's an ethos worthy of respect.
Never underestimate the strength and importance of a baby!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,209 Posts
@TiBi -

What would be some wrong things you might say? Why would they be wrong?

I think in the end I know what you mean. Me always wanting to be myself and with a tendency to lead with the worst of me definitely needed (needs?) help with my interview skills and meeting new people skills, etc. My mom was always coaching me throughout my life saying, "Oh! Don't say that!" And, I would be like, "Wait, why?" Like, seriously. How could I not know? Anyway, my mom is a very smart people-sensitive ENTP, so I definitely know that I was missing things that she saw or understood better than me - although, I am not sure I could pinpoint exactly why I was missing them. Probably because I was more focused on myself, I guess.

Anyway, I think what others said about faking it a bit definitely helps. Like, for example, my CFO is a complete ISTJ and he is always complaining about people who tell him that they graduated university with what he considers a low grade point average. They give him the honest answer, and then he essentially makes fun of them behind their backs. I love honesty, and I think there is something wonderful about people being completely themselves, but I don't think most people are like me in that way (haha, or why else would I be on here?). Like ISTJ CFO, people want to be sold.

For me, the trick is leading with a smile and trying not to let my head hang (literally, this is so hard to do something - I didn't realize until I really thought about it, how often I duck my head - usually signaling, GO AWAY - haha). Being friendly and kind, even if I do not feel like making the effort seems to help. People like that. Those are really the only things I do. I still waffle when I talk to people, but once I get going, I can usually get out enough so whoever I am talking to knows I'm not a complete idiot. Oh, and I guess I also try to act normal and not say anything quirky. The fact is, quirks still come out sometimes, and they don't even know I'm a muted version of myself. It helps if you can laugh at yourself not saying the "right" thing too.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top