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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had lunch with someone who I've known for a couple of months but did not know well at all. We eventually got to talking about perception and life. After talking about how the way he has been perceived (very positively) at work and how that has helped him I talked about the negative perception that has followed me and how that has hurt me. (I know he is an E, he just craves people, he's a great talker and people person, but outside of that I don't know what he is).

After that, he goes (as well as I can remember from today), "Okay after talking with you, you seem like a cool guy, so I'm going to be real with you. When we first met (through a softball league) I thought you were extremely awkward, strange, rather cold, depressed, and didn't know why you joined the softball team. Who joins a softball team and doesn't talk to anyone? You know everyone thought you were a weirdo because of this, and I am just being honest with you.

It seems like your issues with being social have hurt you already in your career and I think they will continue unless you really try and force yourself to go to things. I think you simply have to decide how you want to live your life. You need to find a way to get out of your head a little bit, it's not so bad out here."

Well that really shocked me. I didn't know this guy that well but he was right about a lot of things.
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Has anyone ever been that forward with you about the way they perceive you (and how others might too)?
 

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I think that we believe what we want to believe. I mean it's true and it's not true. Bah I don't even know what I'm thinking anymore.
 

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I wish more people were.

But, in this case, I'd probably be rather harsh or cold to him, because, if I join a softball team, its for my own reason and its not his business. I do what I want, because I want it, and I'm happier that way.
 

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well, I happen to sit right next to an INFJ in class. He tells me how it is. I respect him for that.
 

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It seems like your issues with being social have hurt you already in your career and I think they will continue unless you really try and force yourself to go to things. I think you simply have to decide how you want to live your life. You need to find a way to get out of your head a little bit, it's not so bad out here.
Summary: "Be an extrovert."

Extroverts say that a lot.

Remember that what is 'real' is very much subjective and based upon a person's own history. What works for one doesn't necessarily work for another.

I can't even picture myself joining a softball team. So boring.
 

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I think that even though there's truth in his words, it's also tainted by his extraverted lens. I've had someone tell me something similar, which caused me to try to actively develop my Fe. INFJs are lucky in the sense that we actually have Fe. As an introvert there's no better cognitive function to help you connect with a group of people.

My advice to you would to take his words for what they are, see how much of them is true and change those aspects in yourself. I somewhat agree with Zwanglos when he says that the guy is trying to get you to be an extravert, and that part has to be ignored. You don't have to go force yourself to go to (many?) things. But you can be more social at the events you do attend. Being an introvert does not mean you can't be a social butterfly. It just means you can't be one all the time, because it'll drain you.

Good luck. These kind of eye openers usually lead to something good. :happy:
 

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Well, I go to some things and think ok the click is forming or the like. If I am interested in something with a lot of people I still tend to gravitate toward one or two. The group social interaction is not very appealing. The advice is a reflection of the person giving it and it can be useful to you in the future. You may join and try to be more interactive.
 

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I think that even though there's truth in his words, it's also tainted by his extraverted lens. I've had someone tell me something similar, which caused me to try to actively develop my Fe. INFJs are lucky in the sense that we actually have Fe. As an introvert there's no better cognitive function to help you connect with a group of people.

My advice to you would to take his words for what they are, see how much of them is true and change those aspects in yourself. I somewhat agree with Zwanglos when he says that the guy is trying to get you to be an extravert, and that part has to be ignored. You don't have to go force yourself to go to (many?) things. But you can be more social at the events you do attend. Being an introvert does not mean you can't be a social butterfly. It just means you can't be one all the time, because it'll drain you.

Good luck. These kind of eye openers usually lead to something good. :happy:
I'm more or less going to second what SLN said here.

You may be an introvert, but that Fe can help you in situations like this.

I think your acquaintance did mean well with what he said. Everyone reading your post should definatley bare that in mind. Not everybody is educated in the true meanings of introvert and extrovert.

He may be right in some ways, but like SLN said, you don't need to overdo it.
 

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Here is my two cents worth:

I must say, "What a wonderful experience to have someone be real with you!"

Staying only in your head is a lonely place; even if, it is a comfortable one.
Obviously, you joined a softball league to get outside of your head...to belong.
I don't believe that this guy's intentions were to make you an extrovert like him.
I believe he was trying to let you know that all is not bad out in the world...there is good too.
I don't think he was being pushy, so to speak. Nor, was he being cruel.
If he was being cruel, he wouldn't have been honest with you.
I got the impression that he didn't "really" believe you were a weirdo, because he took the time to talk with you. He saw something more...
He said (per you), "I think you simply have to decide how you want to live your life."
I don't think he used the word force in a negative way. After you told him about you, he was realized that it took a lot for you to join the softball league. Therefore, he understood that it would take a lot for you to open up even more.
I completely agree with this guy, and I'm an introvert.
This is my belief...There will be many hurts in life. But if you live it all alone, you will hurt even more than all of those hurts put together. I understand and know that stepping outside of the box can be an extremely difficult thing to do, but it can be done. There is good out in the world...it is really all a matter of perception. I, also, believe that you are moving towards the direction of stepping outside of the box...joined a softball league and talking to another...keep going!...at your own pace, of course, but keep going! :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for your thoughts everyone, really good. Really good.

For me the thing that immediately came to mind is the tortoise. Slow and steady wins the race. This meaning that you are making progress. The tortoise was slow but he was moving. He was moving in the right direction.
 

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I wish more people would be more "real" like this to be honest. His opinion is only his opinion, but what he gave you was a gift:

To paraphrase your paraphrasing of what he said - "This is how I perceived you based on the way you behaved. Now I have spoken to you I believe that my initial perception was wrong. It seems that I'm not the only one having this difficulty with reading you and you have implied that this causes you problems in your life. If you don't want to be misunderstood by others you have to decide to be more forthcoming and open up your inner self a bit - of course it's your choice, but let me tell you the outside world isn't as scary as you think".

It might be a bitter pill to swallow, but it is a pill that could be very good for your health.

I have only, once or twice, had someone be that honest about the way people perceived certain behaviours of mine. Once I'd realised how I was coming across, and that it wasn't the way I intended to come across, I made great strides in changing my behaviour so that misunderstanding would no longer exist. But if someone is telling you - "you do this and I don't like it", but the "this" is part of your core personality and you don't want to change it, then don't - you are the way you are, people will have to deal with it, and you will have to deal with the way that they deal with it.
 

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Thanks for your thoughts everyone, really good. Really good.

For me the thing that immediately came to mind is the tortoise. Slow and steady wins the race. This meaning that you are making progress. The tortoise was slow but he was moving. He was moving in the right direction.
Do you feel you are moving in the right direction for you?
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
For everything else in my life I think whenever I see that it can be improved I improve it. When I entered high school my doctor told me that I was underweight and needed to eat more and later I was told that I should lift some weights to be closer to average. I did this.

When teachers told me that I should learn xyz concept better to be prepared for a test, I did it.

None of these things were hard, because they didn't involve something I felt afraid of.

But for this? For introversion/loner/anti social behavior -what have you, I really haven't progressed much.

(Above) Do I feel I am moving in the right direction? Not really, I'm not really trying because it makes me feel so uncomfortable. But I do see what will probably happen if I don't try. It's these two forces fighting each other that makes it tough. I honestly don't know whether I will do this or not. Maybe therapy would help?? =/ I really don't know anymore.

Thanks for the good posts.

I am reminded of another animal. I am reminded of eeyore (sp?) from winnie the pooh. That was even my nickname at one point lol.
 

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I had lunch with someone who I've known for a couple of months but did not know well at all. We eventually got to talking about perception and life. After talking about how the way he has been perceived (very positively) at work and how that has helped him I talked about the negative perception that has followed me and how that has hurt me. (I know he is an E, he just craves people, he's a great talker and people person, but outside of that I don't know what he is).

After that, he goes (as well as I can remember from today), "Okay after talking with you, you seem like a cool guy, so I'm going to be real with you. When we first met (through a softball league) I thought you were extremely awkward, strange, rather cold, depressed, and didn't know why you joined the softball team. Who joins a softball team and doesn't talk to anyone? You know everyone thought you were a weirdo because of this, and I am just being honest with you.

It seems like your issues with being social have hurt you already in your career and I think they will continue unless you really try and force yourself to go to things. I think you simply have to decide how you want to live your life. You need to find a way to get out of your head a little bit, it's not so bad out here."

Well that really shocked me. I didn't know this guy that well but he was right about a lot of things.
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Has anyone ever been that forward with you about the way they perceive you (and how others might too)?
You have good basis to be shocked. I dunno what E has to do with it, he's coming across like an S and a J and a T more than E. There's no empathy in what he said, no feeling. But it doesn't matter now. What he missed was that you were member of a social group he wouldn't have expected to find you in - one point to you. You were having lunch with him and opened up outside of your comfort zone which he wouldn't have expected - two points to you. You listened to his story close enough to discuss the subject - three points to you. Dude, you were out gunning him! He felt insecure and went for the back-hand. Sounds to me like you're doing fine as you are.

And personally, as an extrovert, when I join a sports team I go there to play sport and win. I don't join clubs for the beer and pizza. So why would someone unsociable join a club team? To play, to play well, to win the game and any other respect or prestige that comes with it.
 

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For everything else in my life I think whenever I see that it can be improved I improve it. When I entered high school my doctor told me that I was underweight and needed to eat more and later I was told that I should lift some weights to be closer to average. I did this.

When teachers told me that I should learn xyz concept better to be prepared for a test, I did it.

None of these things were hard, because they didn't involve something I felt afraid of.

But for this? For introversion/loner/anti social behavior -what have you, I really haven't progressed much.

(Above) Do I feel I am moving in the right direction? Not really, I'm not really trying because it makes me feel so uncomfortable. But I do see what will probably happen if I don't try. It's these two forces fighting each other that makes it tough. I honestly don't know whether I will do this or not. Maybe therapy would help?? =/ I really don't know anymore.

I am reminded of another animal. I am reminded of eeyore (sp?) from winnie the pooh. That was even my nickname at one point lol.
lol I just got Eeyore on a Winnie the Pooh test.


Maybe you don't have to try at all.
There are times when I go into that mode too but there are specific things, situations where if someone was to see me then, they might think I was an extrovert. Talking about things that I'm passionate about, that sort of thing. Do you have any? You can play to your strengths. Boost yourself where you're able to, don't focus too much on the other...
 

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I had lunch with someone who I've known for a couple of months but did not know well at all. We eventually got to talking about perception and life. After talking about how the way he has been perceived (very positively) at work and how that has helped him I talked about the negative perception that has followed me and how that has hurt me. (I know he is an E, he just craves people, he's a great talker and people person, but outside of that I don't know what he is).

After that, he goes (as well as I can remember from today), "Okay after talking with you, you seem like a cool guy, so I'm going to be real with you. When we first met (through a softball league) I thought you were extremely awkward, strange, rather cold, depressed, and didn't know why you joined the softball team. Who joins a softball team and doesn't talk to anyone? You know everyone thought you were a weirdo because of this, and I am just being honest with you.

It seems like your issues with being social have hurt you already in your career and I think they will continue unless you really try and force yourself to go to things. I think you simply have to decide how you want to live your life. You need to find a way to get out of your head a little bit, it's not so bad out here."

Well that really shocked me. I didn't know this guy that well but he was right about a lot of things.
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Has anyone ever been that forward with you about the way they perceive you (and how others might too)?

I would like to have someone tell me that. especially if I didn't know they were thinking that. typically I just hear jokes or taunts.

never any series of words or anything that sounds wonderful
 

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(Above) Do I feel I am moving in the right direction? Not really, I'm not really trying because it makes me feel so uncomfortable. But I do see what will probably happen if I don't try. It's these two forces fighting each other that makes it tough. I honestly don't know whether I will do this or not. Maybe therapy would help?? =/ I really don't know anymore.

Thanks for the good posts.

I am reminded of another animal. I am reminded of eeyore (sp?) from winnie the pooh. That was even my nickname at one point lol.
Jwing24, I was not telling you that you had to keep moving. I only went with what you wrote. To be honest, I gathered that you chose to join the softball league, and then chose to talk to that guy. That says something to me...you want to step out into the world. Yes, I see from above that it is a battle for you. I don't want you to feel that I was pushing you to do something more, if you are not ready too...hence me saying, "...at your own pace." My words were not to make you feel like the slow turtle in the race. There is no race. We all grow stronger in our own way and pace to create our own balance. I have nothing but best wishes for you however you deem them to be. :happy:
 

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I think it was admirable of him to be so honest, as he was trying to help you. But I wonder, is this an extrovert trying to "fix" an introvert, telling you to get out of your comfort zone. Why should you. It is ok to be introverted, same as it's ok to be extroverted. He made assumptions about you before taking the time to get to know you; that isn't necessarily your failing.
 
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