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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Often I've read in INFPS forums " nobody understands me" or " nobody knows the real me".... I imagine this to be an "iNtuitives " trait....?

Frankly, I' ve never felt disconnected or " hidden" or guarded from others. I'm an open book and am able to share, bond, grow close to others. Of course, this is about depth of relationships and not breadth- I don't let just anybody in.

I hope to hear from others regarding their opinions on this matter. Human bonding is related to overall life satisfaction and growth....? Do you feel connected to humankind?
 

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Most of the time I feel like I'm bothering somebody if I tell them my problems, or 'let them in.' I think it has something to do with an underlying core of shame a lot of INFPs have.

But this doesn't mean I'm disconnected. I listen to what other people have to say, and they usually feel very comfortable opening up to me. The people I love, I come to know thoroughly. People never know me as well as I know them, but I feel very safe within my comfort zone; I like keeping things to myself.

That's not to say I don't bond with people or don't let them know who I am. It's just that even in the closest relationships, I'm by nature extremely private.
 

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I also prefer to be as open as possible. Keeping something hidden is often a sign of not accepting oneself fully.

For most of my life I have really suffered from feeling that no one understood me, and that they put me into categories. Sometimes I have done things I didn't actually want to do simply to show that I couldn't be classified as a nerd, a silent shy type, boring or even unemotional. Deep inside I knew that I weren't all these things, at least not all day long, and that I could be as fun-loving, outrageous and feeling as anybody else, it just wasn't really what I showed on a daily basis and therefore others just jumped to the default archetypes that I resembled the most.

As I've grown older I have realized that it never really stops. People still assume things about me that immediately make me feel as if I'm being grossly oversimplified. Even when others say something positive to me, like I am smart, handsome, kind, etc, I often get that slight pinch in the back of my head reminding me that I can be truly lousy too and their (obviously well-meant) disposition is incomplete.

The only cure I have found is to simply not take your identity too seriously. You are what you are, and all words you can apply to that will never truly be fully descriptive. It is almost hubris to care to any unhealthy extent about what others think and say about you - they'll never get it perfect anyway. Just be what you are without seeking to be something else, and in the process you ought to stop caring about which words you or others apply to you.
Of course there are still very false pretences that others can make, and if harmful or just silly you should challenge them, but do it in a mindful way that doesn't require you to live out some odd character.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I also prefer to be as open as possible. Keeping something hidden is often a sign of not accepting oneself fully.

For most of my life I have really suffered from feeling that no one understood me, and that they put me into categories. Sometimes I have done things I didn't actually want to do simply to show that I couldn't be classified as a nerd, a silent shy type, boring or even unemotional. Deep inside I knew that I weren't all these things, at least not all day long, and that I could be as fun-loving, outrageous and feeling as anybody else, it just wasn't really what I showed on a daily basis and therefore others just jumped to the default archetypes that I resembled the most.

As I've grown older I have realized that it never really stops. People still assume things about me that immediately make me feel as if I'm being grossly oversimplified. Even when others say something positive to me, like I am smart, handsome, kind, etc, I often get that slight pinch in the back of my head reminding me that I can be truly lousy too and their (obviously well-meant) disposition is incomplete.

The only cure I have found is to simply not take your identity too seriously. You are what you are, and all words you can apply to that will never truly be fully descriptive. It is almost hubris to care to any unhealthy extent about what others think and say about you - they'll never get it perfect anyway. Just be what you are without seeking to be something else, and in the process you ought to stop caring about which words you or others apply to you.
Of course there are still very false pretences that others can make, and if harmful or just silly you should challenge them, but do it in a mindful way that doesn't require you to live out some odd character.
I. Love. You.


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I also prefer to be as open as possible. Keeping something hidden is often a sign of not accepting oneself fully.

For most of my life I have really suffered from feeling that no one understood me, and that they put me into categories. Sometimes I have done things I didn't actually want to do simply to show that I couldn't be classified as a nerd, a silent shy type, boring or even unemotional. Deep inside I knew that I weren't all these things, at least not all day long, and that I could be as fun-loving, outrageous and feeling as anybody else, it just wasn't really what I showed on a daily basis and therefore others just jumped to the default archetypes that I resembled the most.

As I've grown older I have realized that it never really stops. People still assume things about me that immediately make me feel as if I'm being grossly oversimplified. Even when others say something positive to me, like I am smart, handsome, kind, etc, I often get that slight pinch in the back of my head reminding me that I can be truly lousy too and their (obviously well-meant) disposition is incomplete.

The only cure I have found is to simply not take your identity too seriously. You are what you are, and all words you can apply to that will never truly be fully descriptive. It is almost hubris to care to any unhealthy extent about what others think and say about you - they'll never get it perfect anyway. Just be what you are without seeking to be something else, and in the process you ought to stop caring about which words you or others apply to you.
Of course there are still very false pretences that others can make, and if harmful or just silly you should challenge them, but do it in a mindful way that doesn't require you to live out some odd character.
Really well said, you articulated beautifully pretty much everything I had in mind to say about this, at least all I have to say at the moment.
 

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I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Got into a deep conversation with someone about it spontaneously too which was quite strange, not sure I can recall what we spoke about. Might have to ask next time I see them.

In terms of feeling disconnected, I have felt that, not sure if its got anything to do with humanity though on a personal level yes. It was literally like feeling unplugged from your heart, its hard to explain unless you've ever had difficult , possibly was even traumatic , events happen in your life. It's a horrible feeling and I miss feeling 'connected'. This might be a bit far out there for some.

I disagree with what has been mentioned before about identity not being taken too seriously, I think that depends on how much you feel you need one to function in the world. An identity is very important and one of the things that we need to hang onto if what we are doing in the world ever feels genuine and authentic and I think that for me is why identity and the 'real me' are important concepts. I've actually been through a lot to the point where a friend said to me recently, 'its like you've lost your identity' and I felt so bad because he was right, in my difficult times, that is exactly what it feels like. You'll be surprised how important some things are to a normal way of living, that when you don't have them around, it feels like you lose yourself, might just be a dead pet or something mundane but it's often the little things like that we take for granted, that when they are gone we realise they were vital in helping us to understand our place in the world.

I mean Freud - I think - talks about a concept called regression, which is what happens when due to challenges we regress to a previous stage of development, and i've found the same thing to be true of our personal growth. I remember hobbies or activities I wanted to do, or just behaviours and habits I wanted to change or things I wanted to cut out of my life, in order to be a 'better me' and then because of other things that came up in my life, I never got to finish the process long enough to keep the habits ingrained and I guess I went through more traumatic stuff, so all the things I wanted to do, never got done because life got in the way and things happened that were outside of my control, so now when I do something I ask, is this something I actually would have wanted to do if the bad stuff hadn't happened? Its as though i'm playing catch up with a better time in my life where I felt more like the 'real me' and these days that 'real' part of me is buried under a lot of other stuff.

It's a bit like the person who wants to be an actor or an artist or musician, though because of hardship or something else, doesn't quite make it, just telling them to be who they are can be hard, are they what they wanted to be or are they the person that they are now when you meet them?

To me sometimes being the 'real me' is like being able to do things without others feeling like i'm being fake. Not that I go out of my way to be, just it's like when someone comes around to try and sell you insurance or something, you get that weird vibe 'go away', a person approaching you with their 'real self' on the other hand, you get a totally different vibe from them.

So yeah to me the 'real me' does exist and we have to get there on a personal level because i'm not sure its the same for each of us, though I guess could also be 'authentic self'. Feeling disconnected can happen and to me I find it happens when life throws more curveballs then I can manage, and Identity = so important to some, look at Van Gogh, he spent ages trying to find an identity before settling on being an artist where he felt at 'home'.

Very interesting topic. Would welcome questions if you want to ask and clarify things because I can ramble on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Got into a deep conversation with someone about it spontaneously too which was quite strange, not sure I can recall what we spoke about. Might have to ask next time I see them.

In terms of feeling disconnected, I have felt that, not sure if its got anything to do with humanity though on a personal level yes. It was literally like feeling unplugged from your heart, its hard to explain unless you've ever had difficult , possibly was even traumatic , events happen in your life. It's a horrible feeling and I miss feeling 'connected'. This might be a bit far out there for some.

I disagree with what has been mentioned before about identity not being taken too seriously, I think that depends on how much you feel you need one to function in the world. An identity is very important and one of the things that we need to hang onto if what we are doing in the world ever feels genuine and authentic and I think that for me is why identity and the 'real me' are important concepts. I've actually been through a lot to the point where a friend said to me recently, 'its like you've lost your identity' and I felt so bad because he was right, in my difficult times, that is exactly what it feels like. You'll be surprised how important some things are to a normal way of living, that when you don't have them around, it feels like you lose yourself, might just be a dead pet or something mundane but it's often the little things like that we take for granted, that when they are gone we realise they were vital in helping us to understand our place in the world.

I mean Freud - I think - talks about a concept called regression, which is what happens when due to challenges we regress to a previous stage of development, and i've found the same thing to be true of our personal growth. I remember hobbies or activities I wanted to do, or just behaviours and habits I wanted to change or things I wanted to cut out of my life, in order to be a 'better me' and then because of other things that came up in my life, I never got to finish the process long enough to keep the habits ingrained and I guess I went through more traumatic stuff, so all the things I wanted to do, never got done because life got in the way and things happened that were outside of my control, so now when I do something I ask, is this something I actually would have wanted to do if the bad stuff hadn't happened? Its as though i'm playing catch up with a better time in my life where I felt more like the 'real me' and these days that 'real' part of me is buried under a lot of other stuff.

It's a bit like the person who wants to be an actor or an artist or musician, though because of hardship or something else, doesn't quite make it, just telling them to be who they are can be hard, are they what they wanted to be or are they the person that they are now when you meet them?

To me sometimes being the 'real me' is like being able to do things without others feeling like i'm being fake. Not that I go out of my way to be, just it's like when someone comes around to try and sell you insurance or something, you get that weird vibe 'go away', a person approaching you with their 'real self' on the other hand, you get a totally different vibe from them.

So yeah to me the 'real me' does exist and we have to get there on a personal level because i'm not sure its the same for each of us, though I guess could also be 'authentic self'. Feeling disconnected can happen and to me I find it happens when life throws more curveballs then I can manage, and Identity = so important to some, look at Van Gogh, he spent ages trying to find an identity before settling on being an artist where he felt at 'home'.

Very interesting topic. Would welcome questions if you want to ask and clarify things because I can ramble on.
too, I love you... INFP DEEP!!!
 

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The only way these remarks of 'nobody understands me' really become sad or frightening is when the term 'nobody' includes the person who makes that remark. Because if you do not even understand yourself, can you really expect someone else to understand you to a degree? So for some people this is true I believe: they are not able to get their identity across to others, because they don't understand it, and as a consequence they are not understood by others.

One could also question the true meaning of such remarks? Do these people actually want to be understood completely by others or are they yearning for appreciation and acceptance? I will not pretend that I know the answers to these questions, because it will probably be different for each person. But perhaps my questions can spark a discussion into life here.

When it comes to the importance of identity I tend to agree with @cardinalfire. What are we if not our own identity? Without an identity, a personality, a soul, we are nothing but some flesh and bones. What I do agree upon with @UnicornRainbowLove is that we shouldn't let the judgement of others about our identity bother us that much. And. We absolutely shouldn't change our identity because others desire we should. You have to live with yourself 24/7. Others, such as co-workers, fellow students, friends, only deal with you for a few hours a day tops. They should be able to deal with the true you for a few hours a day, don't you all think?
 
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I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Got into a deep conversation with someone about it spontaneously too which was quite strange, not sure I can recall what we spoke about. Might have to ask next time I see them.

In terms of feeling disconnected, I have felt that, not sure if its got anything to do with humanity though on a personal level yes. It was literally like feeling unplugged from your heart, its hard to explain unless you've ever had difficult , possibly was even traumatic , events happen in your life. It's a horrible feeling and I miss feeling 'connected'. This might be a bit far out there for some.

I disagree with what has been mentioned before about identity not being taken too seriously, I think that depends on how much you feel you need one to function in the world. An identity is very important and one of the things that we need to hang onto if what we are doing in the world ever feels genuine and authentic and I think that for me is why identity and the 'real me' are important concepts. I've actually been through a lot to the point where a friend said to me recently, 'its like you've lost your identity' and I felt so bad because he was right, in my difficult times, that is exactly what it feels like. You'll be surprised how important some things are to a normal way of living, that when you don't have them around, it feels like you lose yourself, might just be a dead pet or something mundane but it's often the little things like that we take for granted, that when they are gone we realise they were vital in helping us to understand our place in the world.

I mean Freud - I think - talks about a concept called regression, which is what happens when due to challenges we regress to a previous stage of development, and i've found the same thing to be true of our personal growth. I remember hobbies or activities I wanted to do, or just behaviours and habits I wanted to change or things I wanted to cut out of my life, in order to be a 'better me' and then because of other things that came up in my life, I never got to finish the process long enough to keep the habits ingrained and I guess I went through more traumatic stuff, so all the things I wanted to do, never got done because life got in the way and things happened that were outside of my control, so now when I do something I ask, is this something I actually would have wanted to do if the bad stuff hadn't happened? Its as though i'm playing catch up with a better time in my life where I felt more like the 'real me' and these days that 'real' part of me is buried under a lot of other stuff.

It's a bit like the person who wants to be an actor or an artist or musician, though because of hardship or something else, doesn't quite make it, just telling them to be who they are can be hard, are they what they wanted to be or are they the person that they are now when you meet them?

To me sometimes being the 'real me' is like being able to do things without others feeling like i'm being fake. Not that I go out of my way to be, just it's like when someone comes around to try and sell you insurance or something, you get that weird vibe 'go away', a person approaching you with their 'real self' on the other hand, you get a totally different vibe from them.

So yeah to me the 'real me' does exist and we have to get there on a personal level because i'm not sure its the same for each of us, though I guess could also be 'authentic self'. Feeling disconnected can happen and to me I find it happens when life throws more curveballs then I can manage, and Identity = so important to some, look at Van Gogh, he spent ages trying to find an identity before settling on being an artist where he felt at 'home'.

Very interesting topic. Would welcome questions if you want to ask and clarify things because I can ramble on.
Thank you for this great post! I could relate & agree with some of it.

I wouldn't say that I've had a terrible childhood or anything but I've always felt different & misunderstood, I was also that guy who thought he knew what was right & wrong morally so I got into fights in school with those "bad boy" kids. I did question a lot of things in an early age & I was never that guy who screamed for attention cause I personally felt it wasn't me & people were picking on me at times cause I was weak. I was chased by 2 big dogs in a forest close to where I live, I was 8 years old & my mum just laughed it off & wondered why I cried so much. I never felt understood by my mother. This is probably what strikes me the hardest cause I want to have a mum who I can connect with but we can only small talk with each other, I simply can't let her in cause when I try to explain me as a person, she just thinks she knows better & forgets my explanation & then one week later she wonder why I don't have a lot of friends..

What I did in my early years but still do quite often is escape from the real world through through my fantasy, often after school. I could have a pretty good day socially but I just didn't feel like I belong so I was very sad when I got home. I saw myself as weird & different & escaped the world by living in my head. In my head, everything was harmonic & there were love everywhere, that's where I still escape when I feel down.

To be honest, I feel really good talking to people who's similar to me, like all of you guys, it's ont often that I have that connection with people.

I don't know why I wrote this text cause I did not really discuss this particular topic but yeah. I'm in sad mode right now. I love reading all of your posts, I can relate & laugh cause the humor is somewhat the same too. Unfortunately, not many people are INFPs. But perhaps it's just hard to find them cause we are not likely the center of attention.
 

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The feeling of not being understood is something I definitely know and have felt in my own teenage years but it's not relevant in my life anymore. I think it was related to this sort of immature fantasy of finding someone who could just really look deep inside of me and understand me.

I think this and also the famous "alone in a crowd" feeling is something that can affect anyone, not just INFPs, and although this might be a little bit harsh, I think it's the person's own fault if he's feeling like this. People can't know the real you or understand you, if you keep hiding yourself. You need to communicate to other people about who you are, what you feel and think. And if someone misunderstands you, then correct them. That's the only way they can get to know you.

As I'm getting older, I've gotten more comfortable with the fact that people can know or understand me only to a certain extent and they'll always have their own impression of me that doesn't match mine a 100 %. I also think the way I view myself has changed. When I was younger, my own personality often puzzled me, it was this sort of labyrinth with all the onion-like layers. Now I'm more like a rock, I just am and there's nothing much more to it.
 

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When it comes to the importance of identity I tend to agree with @cardinalfire. What are we if not our own identity? Without an identity, a personality, a soul, we are nothing but some flesh and bones. What I do agree upon with @UnicornRainbowLove is that we shouldn't let the judgement of others about our identity bother us that much. And. We absolutely shouldn't change our identity because others desire we should. You have to live with yourself 24/7. Others, such as co-workers, fellow students, friends, only deal with you for a few hours a day tops. They should be able to deal with the true you for a few hours a day, don't you all think?
I totally agree with you on this and I would bet a lot of people on the forum would agree with the idea of not selling oneself out, or not changing your identity, which you can guess from my previous post, I believe to be 100% true.

What is also true though that people won't tell you, is sometimes you will have to change that identity and if you can hang onto yourself great, but if you think tattoos, dyed hair etc are going to be welcomed in some walks of life, you are too much in fantasy land. There are some really harsh realities and whilst I don't think that ought to judge a persons work ethic, all you INFPs (+more) out there, IT DOES. Sad but true. Entering the work force or whatever job you pick or career, business etc you want to do with your life, you might have to make changes. I try and encourage the young people I work with to stick to what they want as much as they can and to not let parents etc tell you otherwise, though life is tough, and in order to get some things, you will have to make trade offs, perhaps this is why a lot of this type going into creative professions or something in media, marketing, or art where you perhaps have more autonomy.

Try dealing with that on top of mental health or other problems in your life, it isn't easy. I believe its this kind of issue which has brought mental health problems to the forefront of news and media stories, simply put a lot of factors make certain things hard and we can't have it all and so have to make choices about what to hold onto and what to let go and what to , I guess compromise on, even though I detest that word when I feel like I have to lose who I am in order to get along in life because I do feel angry about it, like this just isn't me and why the hell do I have to change to suit someone else? though sometimes you have to, to put food on the table. If you aren't in that position, I say go after what you want with all your heart and don't look back. Life is too short and goes by too quickly.

If you can afford not to, stick to who you are and pursue what you want. Don't step over everyone on the way and at the same time be vocal about what you don't want or do want and don't be afraid to say how you feel and what bothers you, life is too short to keep it bottled up inside, unfortunately a lot of people won't encourage you to speak your mind, and some people have to give up things to be able to live, which is sad because it seems a crime that not all of us can do something that we are passionate about with our lives. I've seen a lot of people work dead end jobs and you think, where is there identity, their life? Are they really excited to wake up out of bed each morning? They might be, though I can hazard that a lot aren't. I guess what i'm saying is sometimes to get to where you want, you might have to change - which is annoying, if you get what you want out of life, whether that's a family, a career, or just some goal, without losing yourself, whether thats in your appearance or deeper things like your beliefs, then don't, however we aren't all in that position to be able to do so. Then you have to try and do what you can with what you got, which can be harder. Just a heads up.
 

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What is also true though that people won't tell you, is sometimes you will have to change that identity and if you can hang onto yourself great, but if you think tattoos, dyed hair etc are going to be welcomed in some walks of life, you are too much in fantasy land. There are some really harsh realities and whilst I don't think that ought to judge a persons work ethic, all you INFPs (+more) out there, IT DOES. Sad but true. Entering the work force or whatever job you pick or career, business etc you want to do with your life, you might have to make changes. I try and encourage the young people I work with to stick to what they want as much as they can and to not let parents etc tell you otherwise, though life is tough, and in order to get some things, you will have to make trade offs, perhaps this is why a lot of this type going into creative professions or something in media, marketing, or art where you perhaps have more autonomy.
I know it's true that in some working environments your employer asks you to change something about your appearance. But if we keep on allowing these companies to make such demands of us this will never change. If a company wants to hire me they should hire me because of my identity and accept it the way it is. Live and let live, also from the employers perspective.

That this is not reality is something I would agree upon with you. If you want to steer away from possible conflict with your employer you are forced to compromise. What employers do not always realize though is that asking people to make compromises in their identity makes them unhappy. An unhappy employee is not an optimal employee. A happy one is.

Try dealing with that on top of mental health or other problems in your life, it isn't easy. I believe its this kind of issue which has brought mental health problems to the forefront of news and media stories, simply put a lot of factors make certain things hard and we can't have it all and so have to make choices about what to hold onto and what to let go and what to , I guess compromise on, even though I detest that word when I feel like I have to lose who I am in order to get along in life because I do feel angry about it, like this just isn't me and why the hell do I have to change to suit someone else? though sometimes you have to, to put food on the table. If you aren't in that position, I say go after what you want with all your heart and don't look back. Life is too short and goes by too quickly.
As I said previously, making compromises in identity makes people unhappy. This can lead to mental health issues. Why? People are playing a role at work or in social groups. They develop multiple roles, multiple identities, which leads to an overall muddled identity. If you are not clear about your own identity....you can be in serious trouble. I think it's great that you say to the young people you work with that they should keep a large part of themselves. Someone else saying that to them is very helpful I imagine. Please keep on doing that, although I believe you don't need me telling you that.

If you can afford not to, stick to who you are and pursue what you want. Don't step over everyone on the way and at the same time be vocal about what you don't want or do want and don't be afraid to say how you feel and what bothers you, life is too short to keep it bottled up inside, unfortunately a lot of people won't encourage you to speak your mind, and some people have to give up things to be able to live, which is sad because it seems a crime that not all of us can do something that we are passionate about with our lives. I've seen a lot of people work dead end jobs and you think, where is there identity, their life? Are they really excited to wake up out of bed each morning? They might be, though I can hazard that a lot aren't. I guess what i'm saying is sometimes to get to where you want, you might have to change - which is annoying, if you get what you want out of life, whether that's a family, a career, or just some goal, without losing yourself, whether thats in your appearance or deeper things like your beliefs, then don't, however we aren't all in that position to be able to do so. Then you have to try and do what you can with what you got, which can be harder. Just a heads up.
I appreciate your words. A very insightful paragraph. I have changed a lot about myself in the past few years and the most imporant lesson I've learned actually is that I should stay true to myself. I compromised too much and prioritized the needs of others instead of my own. That is why I have sought and am seeking environments that appreciate me for who I am. If they do not, I leave that environment. It will make my life a bit harder at some point in time, but that is something I will deal with when it comes. My motto: 'You do what you want, you are what you are, and in the meantime I do what I want and I am who I am. Let's acknowledge that, appreciate that and exist together in harmony.'
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Got into a deep conversation with someone about it spontaneously too which was quite strange, not sure I can recall what we spoke about. Might have to ask next time I see them.

In terms of feeling disconnected, I have felt that, not sure if its got anything to do with humanity though on a personal level yes. It was literally like feeling unplugged from your heart, its hard to explain unless you've ever had difficult , possibly was even traumatic , events happen in your life. It's a horrible feeling and I miss feeling 'connected'. This might be a bit far out there for some.

I disagree with what has been mentioned before about identity not being taken too seriously, I think that depends on how much you feel you need one to function in the world. An identity is very important and one of the things that we need to hang onto if what we are doing in the world ever feels genuine and authentic and I think that for me is why identity and the 'real me' are important concepts. I've actually been through a lot to the point where a friend said to me recently, 'its like you've lost your identity' and I felt so bad because he was right, in my difficult times, that is exactly what it feels like. You'll be surprised how important some things are to a normal way of living, that when you don't have them around, it feels like you lose yourself, might just be a dead pet or something mundane but it's often the little things like that we take for granted, that when they are gone we realise they were vital in helping us to understand our place in the world.

I mean Freud - I think - talks about a concept called regression, which is what happens when due to challenges we regress to a previous stage of development, and i've found the same thing to be true of our personal growth. I remember hobbies or activities I wanted to do, or just behaviours and habits I wanted to change or things I wanted to cut out of my life, in order to be a 'better me' and then because of other things that came up in my life, I never got to finish the process long enough to keep the habits ingrained and I guess I went through more traumatic stuff, so all the things I wanted to do, never got done because life got in the way and things happened that were outside of my control, so now when I do something I ask, is this something I actually would have wanted to do if the bad stuff hadn't happened? Its as though i'm playing catch up with a better time in my life where I felt more like the 'real me' and these days that 'real' part of me is buried under a lot of other stuff.

It's a bit like the person who wants to be an actor or an artist or musician, though because of hardship or something else, doesn't quite make it, just telling them to be who they are can be hard, are they what they wanted to be or are they the person that they are now when you meet them?

To me sometimes being the 'real me' is like being able to do things without others feeling like i'm being fake. Not that I go out of my way to be, just it's like when someone comes around to try and sell you insurance or something, you get that weird vibe 'go away', a person approaching you with their 'real self' on the other hand, you get a totally different vibe from them.

So yeah to me the 'real me' does exist and we have to get there on a personal level because i'm not sure its the same for each of us, though I guess could also be 'authentic self'. Feeling disconnected can happen and to me I find it happens when life throws more curveballs then I can manage, and Identity = so important to some, look at Van Gogh, he spent ages trying to find an identity before settling on being an artist where he felt at 'home'.

Very interesting topic. Would welcome questions if you want to ask and clarify things because I can ramble on.

hmmm...so many struggles for you! i hope you overcome and find a good consistent place! you mentioned a good point- i have in the past, been a "jerk" to persons who i simply thought were, well, simply put "jerks." For instance, i have a colleague who comes, daily, in my office for 20 minutes. he drains the life outta me. one day, frankly, i was a "jerk" to him- when he walked into my office, i stayed focused on my computer and told him i "was busy." frankly, i was an ass to him and cut him off really fast...hmmm- after reading this post- i realize, perhaps, i do wear masks. i was a jerk to this guy and that is a mask. i'm normally a really kind and attentive person.


thanks for your input!
 

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I don't know. I just feel like if I share too much with people, I am losing something..... which is probably my ego, but yeah. It's like I'm losing myself and like the moment I share it, it dies.
 

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I know it's true that in some working environments your employer asks you to change something about your appearance. But if we keep on allowing these companies to make such demands of us this will never change. If a company wants to hire me they should hire me because of my identity and accept it the way it is. Live and let live, also from the employers perspective.

That this is not reality is something I would agree upon with you. If you want to steer away from possible conflict with your employer you are forced to compromise. What employers do not always realize though is that asking people to make compromises in their identity makes them unhappy. An unhappy employee is not an optimal employee. A happy one is.



As I said previously, making compromises in identity makes people unhappy. This can lead to mental health issues. Why? People are playing a role at work or in social groups. They develop multiple roles, multiple identities, which leads to an overall muddled identity. If you are not clear about your own identity....you can be in serious trouble. I think it's great that you say to the young people you work with that they should keep a large part of themselves. Someone else saying that to them is very helpful I imagine. Please keep on doing that, although I believe you don't need me telling you that.



I appreciate your words. A very insightful paragraph. I have changed a lot about myself in the past few years and the most imporant lesson I've learned actually is that I should stay true to myself. I compromised too much and prioritized the needs of others instead of my own. That is why I have sought and am seeking environments that appreciate me for who I am. If they do not, I leave that environment. It will make my life a bit harder at some point in time, but that is something I will deal with when it comes. My motto: 'You do what you want, you are what you are, and in the meantime I do what I want and I am who I am. Let's acknowledge that, appreciate that and exist together in harmony.'
Just so you know, when I quote you, it doesn't mean I'm not always criticising what you say. I'll say if I disagree with something, though I tend to go off on 'little essays' which aren't always related to the person i'm quoting if that makes sense?

hmmm...so many struggles for you! i hope you overcome and find a good consistent place! you mentioned a good point- i have in the past, been a "jerk" to persons who i simply thought were, well, simply put "jerks." For instance, i have a colleague who comes, daily, in my office for 20 minutes. he drains the life outta me. one day, frankly, i was a "jerk" to him- when he walked into my office, i stayed focused on my computer and told him i "was busy." frankly, i was an ass to him and cut him off really fast...hmmm- after reading this post- i realize, perhaps, i do wear masks. i was a jerk to this guy and that is a mask. i'm normally a really kind and attentive person.


thanks for your input!
Well to me that's different I don't expect you to be kind and attentive to someone who is a jerk towards you, its a two way street. Perhaps just ignore him. I haven't really thought about the 'real me' in scenarios like this. I've been thinking more 'bigger and grander', like people doing jobs they hate or feel stuck in a life they don't like, i'm all for people getting out of that into something better. Maybe because i've not always been in a good place myself , so I know what it's like to deal with crap and think, am I ever going to get out of this and sometimes you can be and feel so muddled that you don't always know what to do. Hence why I feel like the 'real me' is buried somewhere.

It then becomes hard when you see others who are doing things you wish you could do, but for one reason or another can't, whether thats down to money, location, lack of opportunity, time etc. And yes they say things like 'oh well you make time' and to a degree that's true, but it's also hard at times, like I say its hard to live in the now if there are issues from your past that you haven't resolved, or don't know how. I often find myself thinking back to happier times, thinking I wouldn't be like this back then, I wouldn't be doing this back then, or trying to think of how to move forward and thinking god have I made too many mistakes and is there a way to resolve things finally? I suppose the most annoying thing about life sometimes is when a change is forced upon you before you have chance to understand it or work out how ti might impact your life.

I had another thought today, that sometimes sacrifices have to be made and sometimes we do have to give up our needs for other people, I guess say if you work up the career ladder, how much of what you do is for you and how much is for perhaps the good of the company or employees underneath you? or if you have a family? how much can you do for yourself and how much do have to then think about your children? Sometimes I wonder if society would benefit from having this in the education system and is it not more important to teach life skills and realities over other subjects? I don't know that we can have it all and it might be a sad truth, that unspoken that not all of us will get to experience everything we'd like in life. So would it be better if school laid out the harshness first or is that too much for kids? - Different thread topic here. For another time.

So in some cases you might have to compromise your real self for the greater good, or a bigger purpose.

Its like i've said before in other threads, I can choose to save my money towards something I might need, or choose to spend it to see friends who I don't live close to, or go to a new place I haven't seen and yet all these tiny choices do mount up. I guess the best we can do is to try and find and maintain some consistency like you say, in our lives, though I don't think its bad if someone you know suddenly decides, i'm leaving to go to new york tomorrow, i've just quit my job. It might seem off the cuff to you, though it might just be their 'new real me', which they haven't done before though perhaps weighing everything up has lead them to think; YOLO.
 

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I was a closet INFP for the longest time. A male having INFP traits was not acceptable where I grew up. When it was finally over and I was able to decompress, I began to get back in touch with that aspect of myself which I had repressed for so long. It's only in the last ten years that I have really gotten in touch with myself in that way. Alot of it having to do with studying the Enneagram and the MBTI, and really trying to work hard at becoming a more integrated person, it's not easy and I still get a lot of resistance and a ton of Invalidators, trying to tell me how I should be and act. I'm going to be me regardless of what they say, life is too short.

The real me exist, I just don't like sharing it with everyone. People see it as weakness and try to capitalize on it, its one of the reasons why I now work on being very selective on who I let into my life. Well that and being an aspiring minimalist, you know how we think "The less distractions we have the more we can concentrate on what important to us" this includes people as well. It really is hard to find cool people to associate with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I was a closet INFP for the longest time. A male having INFP traits was not acceptable where I grew up. When it was finally over and I was able to decompress, I began to get back in touch with that aspect of myself which I had repressed for so long. It's only in the last ten years that I have really gotten in touch with myself in that way. Alot of it having to do with studying the Enneagram and the MBTI, and really trying to work hard at becoming a more integrated person, it's not easy and I still get a lot of resistance and a ton of Invalidators, trying to tell me how I should be and act. I'm going to be me regardless of what they say, life is too short.

The real me exist, I just don't like sharing it with everyone. People see it as weakness and try to capitalize on it, its one of the reasons why I now work on being very selective on who I let into my life. Well that and being an aspiring minimalist, you know how we think "The less distractions we have the more we can concentrate on what important to us" this includes people as well. It really is hard to find cool people to associate with.
I knew you were a 9w1 just by reading your post (me, too). Wow, I am sorry that gender expectations hampered who you were/are. I've never known any male INFPs- i feel for you, brother! I certainly agree with the statement, "I am really selective about who I let in."

There are plenty of people who, I sometimes feel, want my attention, and want me to be closer to them. Alas, I have to shut them out. 4 really close, amazing friends is way to many, already. I've understood that part of me by coming to understand those gosh - darn extroverts.

love to closet INFP!
 

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When I was a teenager I felt a lot more misunderstood. People couldn't understand my impulsive actions and sweeping mood swings, but I think that's mostly because I didn't understand them and thus, couldn't explain them. I was trying my hardest to just get by without committing suicide, so I expected people to accept my behaviors as the correct things to do in each given situation and not ask questions. That's a pretty difficult thing for people to do when they know you as a polite, quiet, honors student, but you've suddenly dropped out of school and begun collecting, and then clinging relentlessly to, self-destructive habits, nonchalantly splattering them all over the place for everyone to see. Now, I feel like I explain myself pretty clearly, and if I need to, I just lay it all out there. It seems like when I let people in, they usually understand, at least to some degree, even if they haven't had similar experiences first-person. Lately, I've been realizing that I'm not as unique as I thought/sometimes think, and that if I tell people what I'm going through/what's on my mind/what my current experience of life is like, there's often at least a kernel in there that the person I'm talking to will relate to. I've found that having faith in people, in that regard, usually has positive results for me and ultimately makes me feel less alone in this hectic world.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
when i was a teenager i felt a lot more misunderstood. People couldn't understand my impulsive actions and sweeping mood swings, but i think that's mostly because i didn't understand them and thus, couldn't explain them. I was trying my hardest to just get by without committing suicide, so i expected people to accept my behaviors as the correct things to do in each given situation and not ask questions. That's a pretty difficult thing for people to do when they know you as a polite, quiet, honors student, but you've suddenly dropped out of school and begun collecting, and then clinging relentlessly to, self-destructive habits, nonchalantly splattering them all over the place for everyone to see. Now, i feel like i explain myself pretty clearly, and if i need to, i just lay it all out there. It seems like when i let people in, they usually understand, at least to some degree, even if they haven't had similar experiences first-person. Lately, i've been realizing that i'm not as unique as i thought/sometimes think, and that if i tell people what i'm going through/what's on my mind/what my current experience of life is like, there's often at least a kernel in there that the person i'm talking to will relate to. I've found that having faith in people, in that regard, usually has positive results for me and ultimately makes me feel less alone in this hectic world.
b e a u t i f u l
 

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@cardinalfire I didn't percieve your reply as criticism :) No worries. As far as I am concerned we were sharing insights about life.
 
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