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Do any of you have trouble expressing to others 'who you are', like you're wearing a mask you can't take off'?
I know, I know. INTP? FEELINGS?!?!!?!11 Srsly. Interpersonal connections are NOT always the devil.

I've got a pretty good idea of who I am, but I can never seem to convey that to others. For whatever reason, I never feel like 'myself' during interpersonal interaction. It's puzzling.

Do you INTP's tend to wear a mask (of intellect?) when communicating with others?
 

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Yep, it's the negative side of "the chameleon thing", everybody constantly wears masks but the INTPs have taken it to a whole new level. We do this because of our lack of real social skills and our need to test others. By copying the behaviour of others we force them to be themselves, we try to make them feel at home so they will be more open to our ideas and more inclined to say what they really think and feel too. However, this way of interacting also has the negative side effect that we can't be ourselves because we're constantly mimicking others. We are too open-minded at the beginning of a conversation, but we're too harsh later on in a conversation when our inner principles are tested by the others. When this happens we stop being chameleons and will fiercely defend our inner principles until we are proven wrong by the other conversationalist. This makes perfect sense to us but it will feel as a personal attack to the other, who will either get angry, abruptly end the conversation or show incomprehension. This makes us feel misunderstood, because they seem to don't care for our ideas (which is the biggest insult in the INTP's book). Thus, the problem you're describing has a lot to do with our own way of interacting with others: we want to explain ourselves but they are usually not interested in having to deal with our inner workings and the accompanying debates.
 

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People also don't seem to appreciate realism (or as they'd like to call it, "cynicism"). I've found no one really wants to hear (or learn) about all sides of an issue; most are content with their subjective conclusions, and the few times I've illustrated the entirety of certain situations I've been rebuked.

So, if people aren't willing to listen it's their loss, and I'll keep to myself.
 
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Yes. It's probably pretty much because no one wants to listen to all possibilities of a situation.
 

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Yep, it's the negative side of "the chameleon thing", everybody constantly wears masks but the INTPs have taken it to a whole new level. We do this because of our lack of real social skills and our need to test others. By copying the behaviour of others we force them to be themselves, we try to make them feel at home so they will be more open to our ideas and more inclined to say what they really think and feel too.

However, this way of interacting also has the negative side effect that we can't be ourselves because we're constantly mimicking others. We are too open-minded at the beginning of a conversation, but we're too harsh later on in a conversation when our inner principles are tested by the others. When this happens we stop being chameleons and will fiercely defend our inner principles until we are proven wrong by the other conversationalist. This makes perfect sense to us but it will feel as a personal attack to the other, who will either get angry, abruptly end the conversation or show incomprehension.

This makes us feel misunderstood, because they seem to don't care for our ideas (which is the biggest insult in the INTP's book). Thus, the problem you're describing has a lot to do with our own way of interacting with others: we want to explain ourselves but they are usually not interested in having to deal with our inner workings and the accompanying debates.

I agree completely. I tend to do this alot in coversations. I'll be open to ideas until they start going against my principles and then it's my way or the high way.

I also tend to start to act like those around me, and that's probably why people say I've changed; because I've just changed my mask. My close firends or family say I've always been the same, but people seem to create new opionis about me each year.
 

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I reject the very concept of a static identity. There's no single unifying label or theme that I can use to cover all that is me.

Having no fixed sense of self doesn't bother me, but it does create problems when I introduce myself to people, because people ask questions that are pre-loaded with the assumption of a static identity.
 

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I reject the very concept of a static identity. There's no single unifying label or theme that I can use to cover all that is me.

Having no fixed sense of self doesn't bother me, but it does create problems when I introduce myself to people, because people ask questions that are pre-loaded with the assumption of a static identity.
I do have a strong sense of a fixed self. However, I know that I can't put my essence/inner self into words. So I agree that there's no unifying label or theme to cover all of me, but that's just because our language isn't sufficiently evolved to capture what this fixed self/fixed identity is. I know that I have a psychological self but I can't express this self in language because there's no frame of reference for anybody besides myself; they would never be able to pick up on what I'm saying because it would be needed for them to have experienced certain things that only I have experienced (within my mind). The simple fact that we can't fully describe or comprehend our 'real' inner identity doesn't mean that it doesn't exist at all. Whether this One Identity is completely static is the question, but I do believe that there is some kind of foundation or core to my identity, because it feels as though some things in me have never changed.

My perception of my dream world is a good example of a reason for me to believe that I have one true identity; I always dream from the perspective of my own identity or upon my own identity in the case of a dream in which I'm externally following my bodily representation (I refuse to call it 'my bodily self' because I'm not a philosophical dualist), and this always gives me the sense of oneness. Even when I'm not 'in my own body' during a dream, I'll still feel as though I'm one, mentally fixed person. I always have a sense of self, both in the material as well as in the dream world, there's always a certain familiarity to my thoughts and views.

This is also the reason why I'm not really convicted to the postmodern views held by so many these days, they seem to leave out something absolutely essential, namely: my familiarity with my thinking or, in other words, my truth. I hear a lot of people these days speak of 'many truths' and 'many interpretations', and some even go as far as saying that we ourselves (our identities) are deconstructable and open to many interpretations. Well, it might be possible to give a different interpretation then my own to my thinking but these interpretations are always incomplete because they can never incorporate some experiences which are unique to my being. I feel wholeness and oneness, and that's why I don't believe that you can say that I somehow don't have one (partly) fixed personality.
 

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Do you INTP's tend to wear a mask (of intellect?) when communicating with others?
I know who I am, and I'm comfortable being who I am. What I'm starting to learn as a truth and not just a theory is that people don't like to hear negative things. This makes it difficult for me to be able to express myself as people want to simply be superficial and not go past talking about how their day was and what happened at the party last night. I personally couldn't be bothered. Group dynamics is almost alien to me.
 

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If I combine two markedly different groups of friends it gets weird and I tend to shut down socially and try to balance out my behavior. I cringe to think what would happen if my good ol' boy gear head friends met some of the gay people I banter with at work.
 

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All the time, unfortunately. My biggest problem is I constantly try to make sure people are comfortable around me. I know the real me is opinionated in an unfocused manner.( There are so many angles from which to perceive a situation; why settle for one?) So, in social situations, I hide behind this funny, happy-go-lucky persona. Other than a very very small group of friends (2 actually), I don't let myself be close enough to people for the true self to come out.
 

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I have a question inspired by what darksoul wrote - have you actually stopped making friends at some point? I mean, real, meaningful friendships... I have and I'm wondering whether it's just me or whether it is a general pattern of INTP. I've got a few good friends from school - these are the people who know me well, I guess. But it seems they have satisfied the most pressing need of friendship for me, so right now I just make acquaintances and beer buddies, who know only my mask. As a result, I've been studying at the same university (and institute) for 4 years and there is practically no-one there I feel close to.
 

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I am different with different people, I feel like its a lie. Mainly because the subject matter and beliefs differs greatly and one gruop of friends may be completely opposing to the interests and views of another. I dred the day that they all come together, It would be a juggling act to find common ground. I guess the only positive would be that it would demonstrate my interests are many and varied.
 

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Yes, I use "masks" frequently to deal with people I don't know well. Since I rely on intuition (by type) to deal with the outer world, the use of a "mask" makes it easier to draw out a new person and have enough experience of them to intuit whether they are someone I can trust and connect with safely. Using a mask is like wearing sunglasses, it reduces the force of the sun/individual, so dealing with them is less blinding/tiring. When I was younger I sometimes confused my-self with the mask-self, but not so much now.

I don't feel that my true self is "owed" to the world at large in the name of honesty. Honesty is a gift I give to those who have earned my trust and respect.
 

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Not knowing most of my life I was INTP or what the hell was wrong with me I never thought about how I presented myself to others. Now after spending countless wasted hours learning about INTPs and here with you guys I've discovered that I'm the Imelda Marcos of masks. Each one evolving or slowly peeled away dictated by course of development of the relationship with each person. I seem to evaluate how much can this person can handle of the real me and still maintain the necessity or reason for the relationship. Revealing the "real me" or at least not trying to hide behide the mask has been reserved for the very few. I will always have the very dark and perhaps sick places in my mind that even my wife is not privileged to.
 
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I'm exactly the same, I have a couple of people who know the real me, but other than that I feel I have to wear a mask when socializing.

I've questioned whether or not this is a good idea, or if i'm being unecessarily 'fake'.

I don't think I am. I am friendly with people I don't know, and I can get along with anyone. If I was going to be myself with everyone it just wouldn't work. They wouldn't understand me.

It's almost like I humour people, which sounds awful. However it helps me to understand others, and even though I don't really fit in with any social groups, it allows me to have more 'normal' friends who I like, respect and learn from.
 
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Something interesting happened Friday at school. I was sitting with some friends at lunch, and one girl (whom I just got to "know" last year, so we weren't really "friends"?), she asked me and my two friends if we censored what we say around her. The other two said "no, not really," but I vigorously and let out an emphatic "Yes." Yes, I do. Because I know, firstly, that she's not the kind of person I say certain things around. She's "innocent," or at least kind of naive, so I have to be careful what I say. Secondly, I censor a lot of what I say anyway, because I know most of it can get me rejected socially pretty quickly, and I kind of like having people around when I need them.
 
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I can't act myself around people I don't know well. Eventually once I get to know them my true colors will start shinning through. I find it frustrating that I can't actually be myself around new people, and in some cases I don't show my true self around the people I do know well. I'm always afraid they won't accept me for who I really am.
 

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when i try to say what are my ideas they say that i've read too much and that i'm impractical, or they ask me why do i think about that kind of stuff.....so mostly i am quiet and just observant :sad: and when i talk i just make fun of something/someone or talk about normal things(but if i do that for a long period of time i get a headache:tongue:...i need to read a book to calm down)
if i have to talk to people i've just met, well....:if they are too noisy i get frustrated, if they are calm then probably they'll get something out of me, and if they look down on me i just ignore them.
but the most troublesome are the ones that are looking for a long period of time at me....they give me the idea that i have something on my face:tongue:(then i really don't know how to act...)
 

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I've thought about this mirroring/mask wearing (and all of your thoughts here) and here are the results.

INTP Described on PersonalityCafe as “mirroring” others, like a chameleon changing colors to match background.
I note this mirroring is like being a "Boggart" (see Harry Potter): I reveal people to themselves (if they only knew); once I have mirrored them long enough, I can decide if I find them valueable or not. Unfortunately, people like being imirrored and decide we are friends, when I was only exploring them.

We also mirror people we love/like, as a result of being so deeply focused on them.

INTPs are odd because we can mirror without loving/liking, which confuses others because they only mirror when they love/like someone.

Maybe we are exactly like a Boggart: we are compelled to mirror what we intuit. Maybe the mask is forced on us by the stranger. That is often how ti feels to me, as if I am not chosing to act in a certain way but forced to do so. That might be why it is so exhausting to be around some people. This might be the explanation of energy-vampires…they are good at locking on to IN types and engaging our ability to concentrate deeply and focusing it on themselves. Add their desire for attention to my propensity for mirroring…

Thoughts?
 

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It's almost like I humour people, which sounds awful. However it helps me to understand others, and even though I don't really fit in with any social groups, it allows me to have more 'normal' friends who I like, respect and learn from.
No, it doesn't sound horrible; that's exactly how I feel a lot of the time.

Except I can only humour people for so long, and then I either pull out a mask (if I want/have to), or I retreat back into myself (which is what happens more often).
 
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