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Discussion Starter #1
Something's on my mind. and it is bothering me a lot so I would like my fellow INFJ's opinion on this.

So I don't pay much attention to physical appearances. At most, I pick up on patterns - a certain friend is always stylish and well coordinated, a certain friend really likes stripes and wears stripes a lot, a certain friend wears the color gray a lot, a certain friend is usually dressed up in a certain style. But other than that, i could care less about appearances, but I have been hammered by my xSFx mom that I need to pay more attention to my own physical appearance, including make-up and clothes. After over 20 years of ignoring her advice, I finally gave in, mainly because I work where I need to dress up and I've finally come to realize how much her advice rings true.

And lately I've been realizing how much I am judged about what I wear and whether or not I have make-up on. I only wear light make-up. Some mascara, shadow, powder, basic things. and in fact, most people probably can't tell i'm wearing make up. At work, i dress business casual, but most of my clothes are plain and the make-up is not visible at all. I'm just plain jane. Yesterday, at the birthday/social networking/semi-business party for work, I had to dress up. I honestly felt OVERdressed and I was uncomfortable with the idea that I had a dress, necklace, earrings, ring (pearl set), AND more make-up then usual AND dressy heals. However, people treated me differently. People I barely knew (including women) slowed down to walk with me and become my friend, and wanted to be by my side. I could visibly see that they were acting differently and paying a lot more attention to me than usual. It was weird, and I felt that they were being more friendly and approachable to me, to the point of even offering to get me drinks or appetizers <- these are the women I work with. And I could tell the way they looked at me was different. Before, I got the sense that they sort of looked down on me probably because i didn't dress as well as they did. Today we had another staff lunch/meeting, and i was approached by several of these women coworkers who I am now closer to. But overall, this week in general, I have been noticing that with fellow women, I am treated better when I put in more effort to look better and take care of my physical appearances. And this bothers me. Because I feel that although they are nice people, they would treat people differently based on outside things. And i just feel kind of upset about this. And now I realize that from now on, I must continue to carry myself like this - always putting in effort to "pamper" myself a little, in order to be considered another equal by fellow women. Has anyone else experienced this? It bothers me a lot. Even with friends, I notice that they act more courteous and considerately when I carry myself with more attention to appearances, although I'd rather not.

I had a completely different experience with my male coworkers. The ones that I am usually friendly with were a lot more distant. And the ones I sort of know/am acquainted with/have seen around at work... I seemed to intimidate them, so after two attempts at conversing, I just went around to other female coworkers at the social. And yes, so I guess last night was the culmination of a life lesson and that lesson is something my mom has always told me, and it took me just now to realize this, but it bothers me a little. I wasn't so much aware of this when i was in school, but now that i am in the "real world" i am experiencing this greatly. does anyone relate? have any similar experiences? i know this is getting to be sort of a long rant now...
 

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Even as a guy, I can relate. From the time I was 17 till about age 26, I had a beard. This- combined with the fact that I am 6'4" and heavy set- was the cause of me being teased for looking like a serial killer.

I hated this, but I did not want to conform to their "shallow" way of thinking. I thought of myself as being above the system. However, I now realize- and I know this is redundant with some of my other posts- that extroverted people think that inner beauty is reflected on the outside. It's hard for them to understand the "shell". That seems unhealthy to them. They dress in ways that are "appropriate" for situations.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Exactly -- I feel like I don't want to conform to what I view as a shallow focus on the outside, but I find myself recently slowly conforming at the age of ~22. And I am finding this to be a necessity. I am also learning that even though I am the same person, the better-dressed me is treated more competent and skilled, whereas the dressed-down me is treated as dumb or stupid. It bothers me a lot.
 

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Exactly -- I feel like I don't want to conform to what I view as a shallow focus on the outside, but I find myself recently slowly conforming at the age of ~22. And I am finding this to be a necessity. I am also learning that even though I am the same person, the better-dressed me is treated more competent and skilled, whereas the dressed-down me is treated as dumb or stupid. It bothers me a lot.
My advice:

Do what you have to do and don't worry about it. I know exactly how you feel, but it's the way things are. You might make a case for an ideal world of the way things should be, but you can't change it.

And you know what, it's ok to look nice. I'm doing my best to work on my outer appearance, but unfortuantley, I have a lot to work with.

I've been told that my Southern accent makes me sound like Hank off of "King of the Hill". I think this makes things even worse. People assume that I am an idiot when I am not.
 

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Um. I'm 32 and I still don't wear makeup, wear skirts or dresses or jewellry, or nice shoes. I'll look tidy, but casual, always. I've never met anyone who this bothers. I have some girl friends who are much more into their appearance than me, who will mention that I look nice if I'm wearing something a bit nicer than the norm but otherwise they do not comment on my appearance or treat me differently because of it. I even have one friend who will say "Oh my God, look at her - her shoes don't match her handbag!" and I'll think, My God, what must she think of me in my sneakers and rucksack? But it doesn't upset me or make me think I want to change. I think it's more like - if you are going to make the effort, make sure to do it right. I'm generally unsure of how to do it right and it isn't of importance for me to learn, so I just don't bother.

I think if you don't conform to the social norm of women and wear nice clothes and makeup people will think one of two things. 1) she obviously doesn't think much of herself, she must have low self-esteem, maybe I'll steer clear; 2) she obviously doesn't care what other people think of her, she must have high self-esteem, I imagine she'll be interesting to get to know.

There are a lot of people in this world. I really couldn't give a toss that I miss out on friendships with those people who steer clear of me or treat me differently solely because of my appearance, I'm happy with the friendships I make with the other people who are interested in getting to know who I am.

But, of course it is OK to look nice. If you want to make the effort to look nice then do it, but do it for yourself, not for other people. I looked really nice for my wedding. Everyone was surprised at how well I scrubbed up for a special occasion. But it didn't make them treat me any different, they just said "Wow, you look amazing!" and I just said "I know!".
 

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I only wear light make-up. Some mascara, shadow, powder, basic things. and in fact, most people probably can't tell i'm wearing make up. At work, i dress business casual, but most of my clothes are plain and the make-up is not visible at all. I'm just plain jane. Yesterday, at the birthday/social networking/semi-business party for work, I had to dress up. I honestly felt OVERdressed and I was uncomfortable with the idea that I had a dress, necklace, earrings, ring (pearl set), AND more make-up then usual AND dressy heals.
I remember a couple of times when I actually put in the effort into my appearance and the compliments I would get. It would take me 2 hours to get ready, if I was going the full nine yards. Most of the time I wouldn't brush my hair. My mom, I think, is an ESFJ..she would tell me that lice would grow in my hair. (Impossible for them to just appear...but anyways) HA ha.

To think that there are times where ladies would wake up so early to get ready!!! It's kind of funny that you are talking about make-up. I've been thinking about that lately. Today when I was at work, I was looking at how the women did their make-up, or if they did their make-up. Just thinking of what looked nice and what was over the top. When I was younger, I really liked playing around with different colors..etc. But now, like the other day, I got on the bus to go to class and I knew that something was missing. Mascara...then just dismissed it. In my highschool years I guess I was more conscious of my make-up because of the group that I hung out with...but now that I'm in University and well...I hang out with people that don't care about their make-up. We care about ideas and creativity.

However, people treated me differently. People I barely knew (including women) slowed down to walk with me and become my friend, and wanted to be by my side. I could visibly see that they were acting differently and paying a lot more attention to me than usual. It was weird, and I felt that they were being more friendly and approachable to me, to the point of even offering to get me drinks or appetizers <- these are the women I work with. And I could tell the way they looked at me was different. Before, I got the sense that they sort of looked down on me probably because i didn't dress as well as they did. Today we had another staff lunch/meeting, and i was approached by several of these women coworkers who I am now closer to. But overall, this week in general, I have been noticing that with fellow women, I am treated better when I put in more effort to look better and take care of my physical appearances. And this bothers me. Because I feel that although they are nice people, they would treat people differently based on outside things. And i just feel kind of upset about this. And now I realize that from now on, I must continue to carry myself like this - always putting in effort to "pamper" myself a little, in order to be considered another equal by fellow women. Has anyone else experienced this? It bothers me a lot. Even with friends, I notice that they act more courteous and considerately when I carry myself with more attention to appearances, although I'd rather not.
I'd just like to say that...this may just be me...but some women are always competing with one another. And obviously some of their previous judgments about you were wrong. They may not have shown it, but they may have felt threatened.:wink: But in all honestly. Again this is me. These are the women that I don't want to hang out with. Superficial crap. Your work experience must be different than mine. There is one woman I work with who is a on and off again plus size model. Gorgeous. Gets hit on all the time. But other people I work with complain about how often she is reapplying her make-up and so on. (This is the other side of the coin.)

I had a completely different experience with my male coworkers. The ones that I am usually friendly with were a lot more distant. And the ones I sort of know/am acquainted with/have seen around at work... I seemed to intimidate them, so after two attempts at conversing, I just went around to other female coworkers at the social.
Again, with the male co-workers..they had an idea of who you were and you challenged that idea. Got them thinking twice again of who you were. One thing though, I don't want to go over the top with my make-up all the time and meet some guy who is into that sort of thing and then realizes after a while, that I really don't care and sees how "Plain Jane" I am. It's sorta like lying to him I guess.

For me though, I'm trying to find a balance. Also, I really don't like people paying a lot of attention to me. Maybe that's one of the reasons why I don't wake up at 4 in the morning to do my hair and make-up.
 

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But, of course it is OK to look nice. If you want to make the effort to look nice then do it, but do it for yourself, not for other people. I looked really nice for my wedding. Everyone was surprised at how well I scrubbed up for a special occasion. But it didn't make them treat me any different, they just said "Wow, you look amazing!" and I just said "I know!".
Just to clarify, I agree with this.

It seems that the OP NEEDED to do it for a social gathering that she needed to attend.

I don't really like making the effort to dress up in a suit and tie, but I've done it when I've had interviews, because I deemed it necessary.
 

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It is really annoying, but there are definitely a lot of people who just go by appearance.. I would probably just make some fun out of it. Like, finding ways to display your personality on the outside. Choosing your favourite colours, and watching films for inspiration.. finding a style you might like.
I can relate, but in a different way... as mentioned in the "Do you look younger than your age?" thread. People can treat me lower just because I can pass for a teenager and I even found out somehow that a job I had a few years ago, I was hired because they thought I was some kid XD. There are also other issues that I can't change, the way it's so easy to change your clothing, so I just had to learn to live with them. Though it is sad
I used to play around with this in early college. Sometimes I'd dress like a jock, and I do get the attention of guys who are like that, they say hello... and I also find strangers tend to stay away from me. People also seem suspicious if I wear dark clothes, although other people can wear dark clothes easily and look stylish. I have also had even my friends' friends not treat me as nicely (though they were really warm towards me just the day before) and also not treat others nicely based on their appearance. Not so much about dressing badly, but wearing makeup in a certain way. I guess they came off to them as vain and shallow. It's scary when it affects a whole group. It only takes one person to think of them as bad, and then the others copy.
As a good experience, I'm often treated and told that I'm like a "precocious child" and so, many times I never end up revealing my real age, just to relish in the compliments and such (*_*) and no one asks anyway. Or maybe they do know, but my appearance is stronger than the actual number so it has no effect. I have had many middle age adults/teachers 'dote' on me XD.. though technically I am still young. And actually I do find that people who love children love me too <_<
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Your work experience must be different than mine.

For me though, I'm trying to find a balance. Also, I really don't like people paying a lot of attention to me. Maybe that's one of the reasons why I don't wake up at 4 in the morning to do my hair and make-up. I'm eating a lot healthier than I use to and I'm thankful that I have a western ideal waist to hip ratio. No make-up can whip that up.:proud:
^Agree with these points. It probably has to do somewhat with my workplace - the workplace I am at is super formal -- all the men have to wear suits every day and same with women. There are people like me that like to scrape by with the bare minimum, but there are many that go all-out. All day. Everyday. To do that seems tiring to me, so I am also trying to find a good balance. For me, I would prefer going in jeans and a sweater any time, but I realize now that where I work, I need to dedicate some time to my appearances.

Just to clarify, I agree with this.

It seems that the OP NEEDED to do it for a social gathering that she needed to attend.

I don't really like making the effort to dress up in a suit and tie, but I've done it when I've had interviews, because I deemed it necessary.
^Thanks. Yeah, it was for a social gathering I had to attend, and one I had to dress up for. I thought i made it clear in my op, but i usually do not put in much thought to appearances. At most, I pick up on patterns and preferences of friends, and i usually like to go around in jeans and sweaters. When i was younger and naive, I really thought that it didn't matter what I dressed like, but now I believe that, at least in the workplace, I do need to dedicate time to appearances.

And overall, Dave, I think we see eye-to-eye on appearances. I do my best like you do to work on my outer appearance. I do what I have to do, and i think it stems from our understanding that we don't live in an ideal world and if we're going to survive, we need to do what we need to do. All of my friends from h/s and I are nerds, but all of our parents are similar in that they encouraged us to be 'presentable' gradually as we got older until where we are now. So now, when we go out, I notice we all make a tiny bit more of an effort than we used to. :tongue: and it can be ok to look nice! We went from jeans, oversized sweaters to decent, casual outfits.

I do other things, like eating healthy and working out, but that's purely for myself. =)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
This is one of the reasons I want to avoid working in a typical office setting.
LOL. I heard google is really informal and casual. Sigh... if all workplaces can be like this!

It is really annoying, but there are definitely a lot of people who just go by appearance.. I would probably just make some fun out of it. Like, finding ways to display your personality on the outside. Choosing your favourite colours, and watching films for inspiration.. finding a style you might like.
I can relate, but in a different way... as mentioned in the "Do you look younger than your age?" thread. People can treat me lower just because I can pass for a teenager and I even found out somehow that a job I had a few years ago, I was hired because they thought I was some kid XD. There are also other issues that I can't change, the way it's so easy to change your clothing, so I just had to learn to live with them. Though it is sad
I used to play around with this in early college. Sometimes I'd dress like a jock, and I do get the attention of guys who are like that, they say hello... and I also find strangers tend to stay away from me. People also seem suspicious if I wear dark clothes, although other people can wear dark clothes easily and look stylish. I have also had even my friends' friends not treat me as nicely (though they were really warm towards me just the day before) and also not treat others nicely based on their appearance. Not so much about dressing badly, but wearing makeup in a certain way. I guess they came off to them as vain and shallow. It's scary when it affects a whole group. It only takes one person to think of them as bad, and then the others copy.
As a good experience, I'm often treated and told that I'm like a "precocious child" and so, many times I never end up revealing my real age, just to relish in the compliments and such (*_*) and no one asks anyway. Or maybe they do know, but my appearance is stronger than the actual number so it has no effect. I have had many middle age adults/teachers 'dote' on me XD.. though technically I am still young. And actually I do find that people who love children love me too <_<
Thanks... I'm glad to read that others relate...

Actually i kind of regret posting this thread now... I posted this because I wanted to see if other INFJs relate, and also to share a personal, vulnerable experience about this. But now I feel really shallow and crappy because I DO bother and I DO give a toss about how others treat me based on how I look on the outside.

I feel like this is one of those sensitive issues like race. Some people can claim that people won't get treated differently based on their color of their skin, but even in this day and age, sometimes racist things like this do happen. And similarly, I really believe that at least in my life and how I've lived it, I have been treated differently based on whether I was dressed nice or not. Anyway, thanks so far for the people that have posted on here.
 

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I care about what others think of me too.. but it depends. If I'm going to get harassed, I will change or leave. It's unfair but I don't want to always be fighting. Sometimes there are too many people to go against
 

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im studying psychology.....and back in first year....long time ago now, we looked at how physical attractiveness and presentation made a big difference to peoples inclination to be around a person - a person's likability. So it totally makes sense and I have noticed this too.

I try to go to the effort because i realize this can open doors and give you an edge to get what you want in life......but im not naturally excited by dressing up and wearing make up.
 

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Actually i kind of regret posting this thread now... I posted this because I wanted to see if other INFJs relate, and also to share a personal, vulnerable experience about this. But now I feel really shallow and crappy because I DO bother and I DO give a toss about how others treat me based on how I look on the outside.
I'm sorry if my post made you feel crappy and shallow. I'm not a better, deeper or superior person to you because I don't bother and I don't give a toss. It just generally doesn't effect me - I haven't yet found myself in a situation where it would, maybe because I don't put myself into situations where it would, just like I don't put myself into situations where I think I will fail, or where I think my self-esteem will take a bashing.

It's totally an Fe thing to care what others think of us and how we fit into whatever group we are part of. I'm lucky I guess that whatever groups I've been part of so far, appearance hasn't mattered to any extent that I've noticed my not conforming to be a problem. But I do other things to fit in, e.g., put on politeness when I don't feel like being polite, smile when I feel like punching someone, pretend I'm interested in a colleague's conversation when she is boring me to death and so on.

Anything that we do against our natural inclination in order to please or appease people so that they will accept us and like us better is a form of "dressing up". It's part of who we are. Our Ti will criticize us for it. Our Fe will tell our Ti to STFU, what the hell is wrong with trying to make friends and influence people! And so on and so forth ad infinitum.
 

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The majority of the world is sensing-oriented, fact.

Two things:
1) If the majority of the world is judging you based on how you look, there is no shame in dressing nice in order to 'help' them come to conclusions about you - based on fact or not. For example, she looks professional, she looks successful, etc. More often than not if you dress nice people will assign positive values to you - and frankly, that CANNOT hurt.

2) You do not have to like the rules in order to play the game. I can bitch and moan about how superficial everyone is... or I can just accept that people are, and play the game to the best of my ability. And frankly, I doubt I can change how sensing-oriented everyone is... so I just find outfits that everyone will like and appreciate.
 

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Hate to say it, but it seems you've been running on borderline tomboyism.

I assume the reason your female coworkers gained respect for you was because you proved to them that you can in fact look like a woman too. They may think perhaps that this is the result of a boost in self-esteem. Since you say you were never really well-acquainted with these women in the first place, they probably simply decided you were now "one of the girls".

As for the men becoming intimidated... Well, that just means you're hot. ;)
 

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I tend to agree with Sarah. I think putting some effort into your appearance is not wrong or superficial, it's simply a fact of life that people will respond better if it looks like you put some effort into your appearance.

I just have fun with it. I think fashion can be fun for INFJs because we do notice and truly appreciate physical beauty in nature. Why not play with colors and textures to make ourselves look pleasing? Most of the reason I do it (when I happen to choose to) is because it pleases me. But I certainly don't do it every day, or feel like I'm enslaved to my makeup bag. But fashion and makeup can be viewed as art forms IMO.

I never overdo anything. My style is actually quite conservative, and my makeup is very light and natural. I'm not trying to mask the traits I was given, just play them up a little. And one other reason I do this: I was not blessed with a nice complexion. I'm really self-conscious about my skin, so the makeup gives me a little boost of confidence. I know they're looking at me instead of wondering why my skin is so blotchy and blemished. I simply feel better and more confident when I've put some effort into how I look.

I haven't always had this attitude though. During most of my 20's I payed very little attention to my appearance, probably mostly because I had babies and little kids, so I didn't have time to care. I mostly thought about other things. But by the time I hit the age of 30, I started to realize that I actually felt pretty bad about myself. I no longer felt like I had any physical beauty, and that I was already an old lady because of having had 3 babies. Once I began to put a little emphasis on looking nice, I felt much better. So like I always say, balance is key. Making looks all-important is indeed shallow and silly. But for me, paying absolutely no attention to them wasn't the answer either. Just a little attention can make all the difference.
 

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I have to say this is true as well. I used to hate it until I realized there was nothing at all I could do about it so I may as well get used to it.
I do find when I dress better, I feel better. I don't know why. I don't know if I secretly deep down care what people think of me or what. I just know that when I'm dressed nicely I feel better than no makeup and sweats.
I do tend to have problems with self esteem and the way I look, so maybe I think I'd better use my good points to their max because I don't feel like I have that many. I could go on for an hour about things I'd like to change about my physical appearance, bordering on body dysphoric disorder. It's a problem I have. So I try to dress the best I can, or at least make an effort. I do dress casually most of the time, but try to dress nice casual rather than no effort casual if you know what I mean.
 

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I've noticed that women who wear lots of make-up end up having horridly pale complexions eventually. They'd forget their make-up one day and you'd think a ghost was in your midst.

Just sayin' :proud:
 

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I've noticed that women who wear lots of make-up end up having horridly pale complexions eventually. They'd forget their make-up one day and you'd think a ghost was in your midst.

Just sayin' :proud:
Maybe it's because it was that paleness they were trying to cover up the whole time?

I think you can tell the difference between a woman who cakes on her makeup because she's really self-conscious, and the ones who do it because they're really vain. I've definitely seen both.
 
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