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Hello everyone,

I was thinking about that disconnect issue that sometimes comes up when talking about INFP's way of interacting with others. Do you, as well as me, struggle to stick with a sub-group within a larger group ? The idea of only belonging to a sub-group tends to irk me for some reasons :

- No trust in group side effects as you slowly but surely put a filter on you eyes, seeing the world from the sub-group perspective for the reason that there are no more active interactions with others.
- That leads to the gossiping within the sub-group, meaning, dismissing people that doesn't hang out with said sub-group.
- Creates misunderstandings with others that don't hang out with said sub-groups because of an almost non-existent communication.

That leads to a disconnect from my part as I talk to everyone, anytime and thus get glued to no group in particular (as many sub-groups have their own individuals that are great to be around with). Last year, I've managed to actively destroy all sub-groups from my class which lead to an awesome global group setting. Now that I have moved out, I remember what is like to be a free electron and sometimes feel alone in the middle of all these rigid sub-groups.

Do you also experience this ? How do you overcome the loneliness that comes with yearning for global harmony and not for sub-group comfort and security ?
 

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Yep. It has been a while since I have been in a place with groups... But, in my experience, extroverts usually want me to join the subgroups, and I'll usually semi-join with one foot in and the understanding that I can still do my own thing - i.e. bail on anything which I personally deem cheesy, gossipy, insensitive or stupid. My loyalty is usually only to the person who asked me to join, so if they left said subgroup, so would I. On the outside, it might look like to my introverted pals that I am part of the subgroup, but I know that I'm not really. I remember in high school I was always somehow in the "popular group," but my little INTJ friend was always on the outside. My extroverted pals would literally ask her to take pictures OF us, and I was the person to say, "INTJ, why don't you get in a picture WITH us?" Stuff like that would happen constantly. I hate people feeling left out (dismissing people, like you said) or being perceived as having the same mentality as the group (if it sucks, which it usually does).

I think establishing individual relationships is the best way for me. I let my groupthink friends think I am like them (because they will anyway), but as long as I know what our relationship is to me, that is all that matters to me.
 

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I've only belonged to 2 subgroups in my life, when I was 16, and that little "adventure" lasted 3 weeks. I realized after that why I had never belonged to any group before, and why I never would again.

Except that 3-week period which I'll explain in a moment, I've never been a group or subgroup person. I'm either a chronic loner or a chronic monogamous friend. With the latter I mean that I can only have 1 friend at a time, it's like I can only do 1-on-1 friendships. I despise group dynamics, and whenever I've had to go out in a group (like for school reunions, or work reunions, etc) I become a loner, like an outcast. I feel very much alone in a group, and I can't find my place, and I find it difficult to figure out who to talk to when there's so many options (people) available. So I usually just observe and listen.

The 3 weeks of hell went like this: At 16 I went to a camp place. People already knew each other from previous years, but I didn't know anyone, which translates to--> They already knew the dynamics at camp and I was clueless.
One day I was playing basketball alone, and a little group of boys and one girl approached me, asked my name and we started playing together. It was fun, and when we had to part ways to go do other activities, they told me they liked and that they'd come pick me up at my cabin after lunch. I was nervous and excited.
After lunch they didn't show up, and I was confused, but I'm a loner and very happy about it so I grabbed my ball and went to the court to play alone as always.
A different group of mostly girls and a few boys showed up, asked my name, and we played together, and we listened to music. Super fun. They invited me to hang out at night at X place.
That night I went to X place, and both subgroups were there, to my surprise. Separate, not interacting. I wasn't sure what to do, because I had played that morning with group 1, but they stood me up, so I didn't know if I should say hi or not. I opted to focus on the subgroup who had invited me to that place. I started getting bad looks and gossip from group 1 for being with group 2, because they said that I owed loyalty to group 1 because they talked to me first, like finders keepers.
I didn't know that these two subgroups were mortal enemies at camp, and ofc everybody knew... except me. Rules were: You can't talk to both groups, you have to choose sides. But I only learned this later.
Anyways, I sarted to get shit from group 1, and at the same time group 2 were smoking weed and doing things I didn't agree with. I made up an excuse and left, and I stayed alone at camp for the rest of eternity because nobody would talk to me because I was a traitor in their eyes, for fraternizing with two groups and not picking sides.

First and last time I ever accepted being in a group of any kind. I was right all those previous sixteen years when I was a loner, it's a much happier place with no drama.
 

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I hang out with a group of friends and lately theyve been divided because of a drama that happened.
But the entire time Ive been a part of this group I have only talked to a few members at a time because the other members intimidate me. So I feel sort of like the outcast of the group, the lurker, the quiet one... and even though I have struggled to change this impression of me, I cant for some reason..
Now one of the subgroups probably thinks Im too irritable and anxious to hang out with them.. So Im hanging out with my original friends instead and will just see the other subgroup at d&d games.

Im at the point where Im fine with the way things are.. it seems like too much trouble to make friends with the other members..
 
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I started getting bad looks and gossip from group 1 for being with group 2, because they said that I owed loyalty to group 1 because they talked to me first, like finders keepers.
That. Just that. "Implied loyalty contract". Disgusts me and frankly, I've seen too many people change because they got stuck in their sub-group and forgot themselves in that sub-group.
 

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Hello everyone,

I was thinking about that disconnect issue that sometimes comes up when talking about INFP's way of interacting with others. Do you, as well as me, struggle to stick with a sub-group within a larger group ? The idea of only belonging to a sub-group tends to irk me for some reasons :

- No trust in group side effects as you slowly but surely put a filter on you eyes, seeing the world from the sub-group perspective for the reason that there are no more active interactions with others.
- That leads to the gossiping within the sub-group, meaning, dismissing people that doesn't hang out with said sub-group.
- Creates misunderstandings with others that don't hang out with said sub-groups because of an almost non-existent communication.

That leads to a disconnect from my part as I talk to everyone, anytime and thus get glued to no group in particular (as many sub-groups have their own individuals that are great to be around with). Last year, I've managed to actively destroy all sub-groups from my class which lead to an awesome global group setting. Now that I have moved out, I remember what is like to be a free electron and sometimes feel alone in the middle of all these rigid sub-groups.

Do you also experience this ? How do you overcome the loneliness that comes with yearning for global harmony and not for sub-group comfort and security ?
I wouldn't say I struggle to stick with a sub-group as much as I dislike the idea of being confined to one, period. All the ones I have ever encountered have this odd hive mind about them. Very robotic and "leader knows best!" type shit. I would say my wariness over being forced to suppress my individuality (and also interacting with those who don't show how different they are from Mary, Lou, and Sue) is what tends to keep me away from groups of like-minded people.

I am also very much a floater. My friends / acquaintances all come from different walks of life, all ages, etc. I wouldn't be able to categorize them too specifically besides race, gender, and sexuality. Beyond that, they are all about as different as you can get. All with different perspectives and opinions and behaviors. I appreciate that greatly.

However, I wouldn't say loneliness in the midst of yearning for that harmony exists for me. I want the harmony, so I cultivate it. I'm the "glue" and mutual person in my circle of friends. I would say 90% know each other through me. The role of bringing people together tends to be handed to me because my connections come from all around. To be lonely would be irresponsible of my own position, because no one else (in my circle) takes it upon themselves to bring everyone together.
 

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Expressed it better than I could. The situation of being a floater is definitely the one I was referring to.

However, I wouldn't say loneliness in the midst of yearning for that harmony exists for me. I want the harmony, so I cultivate it. I'm the "glue" and mutual person in my circle of friends. I would say 90% know each other through me. The role of bringing people together tends to be handed to me because my connections come from all around. To be lonely would be irresponsible of my own position, because no one else (in my circle) takes it upon themselves to bring everyone together.
Very interesting. I was talking about loneliness when it comes from a place that : because you bond with everyone, you don't bond with people as deeply as one member of a sub-group , as you don't always stay with them, thus, missing out memories etc.
 

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Very interesting. I was talking about loneliness when it comes from a place that : because you bond with everyone, you don't bond with people as deeply as one member of a sub-group , as you don't always stay with them, thus, missing out memories etc.
Ah, I see.

I don't know if I see it as missing out on memories as much as I had my time with them, and for whatever reason, that's as deep as it goes. Most people I interact with are replaceable in my 'space'. I search more for social interaction than I do a specific connection with the vast majority of those I speak with. I would say I still don't feel lonely necessarily, because if I have contact with people, any people, I'm good. So, it's a difference as to what one is seeking when they interact with the world. I don't yearn to fit in permanently, I just want to be "filled up" for a few hours, and step back out of whatever circle I happened to click with. The only constant circle I have at the moment is my church family (for almost three years). Everyone else switches at a maximum of four months. I don't plan it that way, but people just fall by the wayside, and I'm okay with that.
 
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