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Pathological shyness and false modesty in INTPs

7109 Views 36 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  kingdavidANC
Anyone else noticed this trend?

It's the two ways in which I don't really relate to INTPs very well.

My problem with both pathological shyness (=social anxiety) and false modesty (=constantly belittling your own accomplishments or focusing only on your weaknesses) is that I believe they're both rooted in the same basic problem:

[wait for it]

You're thinking too long and too hard about yourself and how the world reacts to you or might react to you or could react to you in a worst case scenario. Instead of being less self-absorbed than others, you're actually more self-absorbed. Guess what? Nobody cares 1/10th as much as you do about how you come across in life. Most people have their own lives and their own problems, and whatever tiny faux pas you made three years ago was probably never on their radar. If they remember it, and they probably don't.

You don't need to become an extrovert to be successful or fulfilled in life. But you do need to stop focusing so hard on yourself and how others perceive you all the damn time.

Sometimes I even wonder if some of the INTPs here are extroverts who have severe social anxiety, based on how much they seem to care what other people think of them. The preoccupation with being one of the crowd, or being acceptable to the crowd, just doesn't ring "true" to me as an introvert.

<---- Just doesn't care.

Guess what? Not caring frees up a big part of my brain that allows me to experiment, take risks, and to do what I want to do in life. And you've only got one, so it'd be a shame to waste it.
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There are medications for anxiety. Good ones, that aren't addictive and that you can take short term.

Of course, if you've created bad patterns in your life, you're going to have to chip away at those. Maybe a counselor would help.

But jeez, if talking to someone on FB gives you a mini nervous breakdown, you need some kind of help.
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I think the best way to talk to people in person is just listen to what they say, and let some kind of automatic response flow out.

Even if they say something boring, just turn your response into a question:

"Oh yeah? How were winters up there?"

After you get good at small talk, you can start to learn give-and-take in regular conversation. Rehearsing what you want to say is actually going to make it more difficult, because you're going to be lost if the conversation turns in an expected direction (and it will).
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I might be a warped extravert, but I’m not quite sure it fits.

My father’s perfectionism, criticism and controlling ways may have contributed to my inability to self actualise. It’s easy to play the blame game though.

It feels as if I only care what others think in very specific areas, where I have no armour. It definitely feels as if it’s the lack of individuality that leaves me without a frame of reference, and thus vulnerable to judgement. Could be the other way around though. Or a loop.
I certainly don’t give a shit about conforming in most areas of life.

Besides that I’ve probably said everything I have to on the matter in other threads.


I definitely feel as if I’m the source of my false modesty, but it might be my attempt to emulate my father’s thought patterns to anticipate failure and avoid criticism.
Richard, you are an exception because I believe you actually believe you're "less than" and a "failure", or on the verge of it, and it probably does have a lot to do with your parental unit.

But for a lot of INTPs, I think Haldir's point about humblebragging is exactly true.

For example, the "I'm such a fuck up in school, but I still get As" thing. That's not humility, that's a not-so-subtle brag.

I've rocked in some classes, and sucked in others, but in every case, I'm going to own it. There are times when I just do not study, and I don't do well on tests. There are times when I study a lot and don't get an A. There are times when I hardly study at all and get an A. Whatever, I'm sure this is true for everyone who's ever been in school.

Ditto with the "I can't talk to anyone" and "social situations puzzle me" thing. Based on a lot of the astute observations I've seen on here, there's no way some of the people are as socially retarded as they seem to think they are. I know there are probably some aspies on here, so they have a legit excuse for not reading body language and other social cues. But the rest of you are just fine. It's mostly in your head.
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We spend a lot of time in our heads. Our mind is a supposed haven of truth away from all the bullshit that lurks outside. I think there is an inherent arrogance with Ti to think that your thoughts are correct, because of the desperation to be so logical and objective. So, if we convince ourselves that we're socially inept based on teeny experiences that we've blown out of proportion, we're going to full-throttle believe it. It's a difficult thing to snap out of.
Yeah, I understand. I've had my own short episodes of it.

Maybe there's an MBTI method for helping Ti loosen up.
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Yeah, it's called "stop trying to get me to be more like you, I've already had enough of that in my lifetime".

I admit, it's a long title, but to make up for that the rest of it is quite short.
I don't care if people are "like me", but when people are this unhappy and freaking out over FB messages... Do whatever you want, but there are simple things you could do that would make things better if you're that distressed about talking to people.
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Qingdom's (yeah, I capitalized your name, deal with it) problems are his own and are not shared by us all.

Half the reason these younger INTPs have all these problems is that they've spent the majority of their lives being told that being the way they are is wrong. That shit gets to you.
"You are wrong for not being like me."

So instead of compounding that, encourage them to accept themselves and be who they are. Encourage them to stop giving a fuck and don't ruin that statement by then telling them they're wrong for not being like you.

Do you wonder why they would have such a reaction over messages? Or are you convinced that it's merely because they aren't like you?
I test INTP myself, dude. I'm an NT female, I know what it's like to be told the way I am is wrong.

And I've been the first one to stand up for you guys on several occasions when others were in your face.

But when I see the level of passive-aggression and shit on here, and realize that this probably reflects in the real world at least to some degree, it's just like FACEPALM. Like I said, do what you need to do. My two cents.

Don't get testy when other people find their dreams being fulfilled if you aren't willing to go after your own.
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You may like this one better:

Off topic: My avatar really does seem to dance to every song I play.
Really scary coming from an INTP. If that were on qingdom's voicemail, and I called, I for one would be terrified.
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Have you heard of counter-shaming which is seen in 3s or 3 fixers? 3s/3 fixers have a fixation on shame, and some of them will actually shame themselves instead of simply talk themselves up -- but of course still as a way to self-promote, or perhaps seem more genuine.
I know nothing about the Enneagram, but this makes perfect sense.

*reads up on Enneagram*


I guess what I do is mostly try to act as politely as possible, but every once in a while I'll state my opinion and because it's blunt or too "honest", people think I'm trying to upset/insult them.

I never thought much about it, until I was forced to be around people whose threshold for truth-telling is set really low (in NYC, most people are considerably more obnoxious and "honest" than I am). For a while, these people tried to make me feel bad about it. So I obsessed about whether everything I said was nice enough, etc. Then I realized, "these people say and do much more offense shit than I've ever dreamed of doing, regularly and with joy." And I realized that it's not always good to be terrified of rocking the boat.

I make a real effort not to be critical of people personally, but I do tend to be critical of institutions and the things some people value. Too bad for them! I hope they stand up for their own values, as well, regardless of how I'm going to react.
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I used to be like this and still am, but then I took some "E" to the knee, now i'm zipping around like a bee, just being me.

Although I didn't really focus on my faults, but would say things to make others think I have a fault, but then reveal it to be a strength.

E.X. random classmate-"you, Hruberen, what did you get on your ACT?" me-"Oh nothing special, you probably won't want to hear" RC-"No, comeon tell us" me-"I only got a 30, although I did get a 35 science because I missed 1 question, sucks right?"

Random classmate now feels horrible, I should probably stop this, but at least they can't say they didn't ask for it :p
Pffff... whatever, if they couldn't handle the fact that someone might do well on a test, they shouldn't have 1) asked about your score, or 2) ever been born, because life is going to get a lot tougher than that.

It's so ridiculous when people ask you questions when they already know the answer to, just so they can complain about the outcome.
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