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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Dear lovely INFPs,

I decided to start this thread because lately, I've been noticing that I am extremely good at 'reading' others (especially SJs and SPs). Some people (usually the SJs) sometimes realize that I see right through them and give up 'performing' in front of me out of discomfort when I can't help but give them this look (-_-). A few of these people have personally said that they can only 'be themselves' around me.

I also pick up on fakery when I see supposedly 'happy' relationships. I don't say anything of course, but I'm usually right... and the two fall out a couple of months into living together. I know this sounds cruel, but it's all too easy.

How well do you pick up on superficiality in others and their behaviors?
 

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I know what you mean. :) I sometimes have to restrict myself from doing it too much, because I am afraid I'll come across as arrogant, when I don't respond to people who to me are acting superficial.
I think what I do, is either to ignore them or just smile and gaze silently at them. Some people react upon it and as you say, become themselves when they see I don't care for their show. Other people carry on, and that's usually those types I don't get along too well with :)
I don't know if this makes sense. Haha. But I can relate to you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I don't tend to get along with 'performers' either, especially if they don't know when to stop. I sometimes just want to take them by the shoulders and shake all of the bullshit out of them. Also there are some people who get frustrated with my lack of reciprocation in terms of performance and just walk away from me. I sometimes quietly wonder if people think I'm really that stupid enough to buy every single thing they say.

It's not that I'm overly cynical when it comes to people. It really isn't. I just am able to feel it when people are using so much energy and effort to keep up a certain image. It makes me cringe. My quiet, squinty 'no, just no' face has become almost an uncontrollable reflex.
 

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I find I am one of those people projecting an image of myself in most cases. I twist myself ever so around each person to best fit them. It is not a positive thing but I have only called out on it once. I must be convincing, as my approach is more subtle.
 

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It's one of my biggest pet peeves when people spend a ton of time cultivating their image. My manager actually pays people to help him get followers on Twitter. As in, he shells out actual cash money so that he can project an image of popularity. That's absolute madness to me. It doesn't make sense to do anything just so you can seem a certain way. Where's the depth and substance?

A lot of my friends do it too, in more subtle ways. Dressing a certain way or listening to a certain type of music just so they can be labeled as a certain group. It's never convincing to me unless someone's heart is truly in it, and it's pretty easy to tell when it's not. All you have to do is ask a few probing questions, and it's obvious they have no idea what they're talking about. Sometimes I actually get kind of a thrill from doing it. Maybe that's kind of mean of me. :(
 

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I hate putting up with people's superficiality, but for whatever reason, I'm not good at figuring out who is superficial and who isn't. Do you guys have any tips for that?
 

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Some people (usually the SJs) sometimes realize that I see right through them and give up 'performing' in front of me out of discomfort when I can't help but give them this look (-_-). A few of these people have personally said that they can only 'be themselves' around me.

I also pick up on fakery when I see supposedly 'happy' relationships. I don't say anything of course, but I'm usually right... and the two fall out a couple of months into living together. I know this sounds cruel, but it's all too easy.
I know what you mean, I do both of these things. The look is pretty much my standard expression most days but it's the one I can't help but put on...most people react badly to it and assume it's coldness and/or arrogance, other people take it as a sign (people who know me better) that I'm seeing something they're not. All in all, I can see through it very well. I wonder how other people can't and are caught up in it.

Like you some people tend to notice, drop it and be more honest around me as a result, and many of them apparently are comfortable doing so. I ask good questions, I suppose, I have an effect where I can 'disarm' some people. I don't really put on a social mask in quite the same way as others do (which is not to say I don't, but I have my own INFP brand of it) so I think I come across as pretty honest and able to see through anything else. I still get caught up in other people's aura if they're good actors and it can take me some time or another perspective if my own is in the way, but mostly I can see through it. Same thing with relationships, I find myself studying minute body language quite instinctively, and the like.

I don't find it's so much limited to 'superficiality' - that's a particular thing I see through and dislike, but generally I think I'm fairly good at seeing through people's outer façades in general and analysing what drives them, although that's always open-ended, I don't pass judgement. People can come across as superficial for all sorts of reasons and motivations, some of which aren't superficial at all. Generally people you might describe as 'superficial' are just easier to see in that respect.
This all sounds kind of arrogant though which is :/
 

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I realize now I have always made such observations, but without a judgment attached unless they are excessively fake. I just pick up on discrepancy between directly expressed emotion/feeling and what the person is really exuding.

I never really labeled this anything… it's not good or bad or fake or real. I don't always see someone as choosing to express differently than how they feel emotionally as fake. I see them as going with a rational feeling over an emotion. I could also tell when people were just "going along" though, which I did have disdain for. Even now, I understand this more though; they are again, making a conscious decision to go with something they value higher (that of building rapport with someone over asserting their personal preferences).

I also recognize that an emotional vibe can be unrelated to the content they are expressing in the moment. For example, someone acts upbeat with you, but exudes a sad or angry vibe which may be connected to an entirely different matter. So their immediate mood is not aligning with their over all feeling towards you. Since I've often been aware of this, I've always allowed people to be authentic in the sense that I don't take their moods so personally. This certainly is refreshing to people at times.

Since I don't always express the emotion I feel in the expected ways & get projected onto a lot, I guess I am understanding in differences in people there too. This too can allow people to express more naturally though, which also may be refreshing to them.

However, I have been & am fooled all the time, because I too have an ego, and it gets in the way of reading people correctly. I don't feel like I read people exceptionally well so much as try to understand whatever it is I do get from them, instead of jumping to conclusions as many do.
 

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I decided to start this thread because lately, I've been noticing that I am extremely good at 'reading' others (especially SJs and SPs). Some people (usually the SJs) sometimes realize that I see right through them and give up 'performing' in front of me out of discomfort when I can't help but give them this look (-_-). A few of these people have personally said that they can only 'be themselves' around me.
Why just SJs and SPs? NFs and probably NTs can be just as bad (I've lurked the NF forums more than the NT forums), and there's still quite a bit of superficiality. Even in personal interactions with people around me I have a tendency to assume a superficial appearance that panders to their illusion of who I am.

How well do you pick up on superficiality in others and their behaviors?
Pretty easily, at least when they're faking being bigger than they really are. For the most part I'll simply ignore it because any acknowledgement is a waste of time. When their inflated sense of self does become a problem, then I 'innocently' give them a problem that isn't something they actually know how to handle but well within what they say they could handle.

It probably has more to do with the child/tertiary function. The superficiality I naturally observe is intuition (i.e. breadth), the superficially I tend to want to project is sensation (i.e. focus). It also tends to be more of an ego defense, along the lines of "people don't understand me or they are putting me in a box that isn't me, so I must present myself differently to stay out of the box." Most of the time I find it isn't really to be someone they aren't, but to prevent being labeled as something they are not. It's only when they start to believe that they are someone they aren't that it becomes a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Why just SJs and SPs? NFs and probably NTs can be just as bad (I've lurked the NF forums more than the NT forums), and there's still quite a bit of superficiality.
It's not that NFs and NTs never act superficial (because they do, and I am that proof from time to time) - it's just that I personally tend to be able to read the SJ and SP's much easier, in my experience. All of the NFs and NTs I know just seem slightly or much harder to 'read through', perhaps because of the N? But that's a good question.

I do also "perform" in another sense when I want to destroy other people's expectations of me in terms of my image and personality. It is an ego defense mechanism of some kind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Maybe it is arrogant. It's how I genuinely feel though - and I feel forums such as this one exist so that people can honestly express their human emotions about the issue, whether they be based on an inexplicable sense of superiority or arrogant/impulsive assumptions/opinions (that one may feel ashamed to express in any other context). I believe that it's important to express our raw, undeveloped thoughts so as to break them down and understand where they come from/what they ultimately tell us about ourselves.

Does 'superficiality' exist, or is it merely a human moral concept? Now that's a whole different question that I'm ready to discuss in another forum sometime.
 

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Sometimes - not always - I feel as though I can see through others. I don't think it's just their superficiality that I see through, it's as if I can see some part of their inner self or feelings that they've attempted to conceal. I don't try, it's just very apparent to me. And when they realize this, it can sometimes make them feel uncomfortable, as if I've been actively analyzing them. lol In all honesty, I don't really care to analyze them. It's just as clear to me as day. I've learned that it's important to not reveal that you notice things like this, it tends to make others wary of you.
 

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I don't really think I can pick up superficiality in others unless I've experienced relating to it or thinking about it. Like, "oh yeah, that guy is doing that fake stuff that I've have done before, or thought of doing but chose not to do, when I was feeling insecure."
 

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I can usually pick up on it pretty well, and it becomes easier with people I know. You can figure out what their "tells" are. But I rarely if ever call them out on it, cause..well, whats the point? And sometimes you can use that info to your own advantage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I don't really think I can pick up superficiality in others unless I've experienced relating to it or thinking about it.
I think that is extremely true. Admittedly, I used to try and be a people-pleaser when I was in junior high - so I know when people are trying to come across as something they're really not. Takes one to know one, I guess.
 

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I think that is extremely true. Admittedly, I used to try and be a people-pleaser when I was in junior high - so I know when people are trying to come across as something they're really not. Takes one to know one, I guess.
Yes- I can relate to this concept well. And I think it breeds into a bigger thing I have of needing to experience something before I really understand. Maybe this is the best example of what Introverted Intuition (Fi?) really is? The need to experience something yourself before you can understand it in the world?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yes, I think so - us Fis probably need first-hand experience in order to make sense of things. That said, once we do experience it, we are quick learners/internalizers and know better how to avoid the same kind of thing in the future. I feel that way about my relationships so far: with each guy I've dated, I've realized what I want/don't want in a future boyfriend.
 

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Yes, I think so - us Fis probably need first-hand experience in order to make sense of things. That said, once we do experience it, we are quick learners/internalizers and know better how to avoid the same kind of thing in the future. I feel that way about my relationships so far: with each guy I've dated, I've realized what I want/don't want in a future boyfriend.
Yes! I think re-reading this quote and taking it all in, it shows a significant sign of how we learn. I think you can apply this to a lot of things- as INFPs, we are people who need to do it to understand it.
 
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