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I guess I'm mostly talking about Ni v. Se. That's mainly what I think of when I think of this common problem that many talk about. I've noticed that several threads have been getting moved latley. Good job, moderators! Toward the end of this, I do specifically mention INFJs, so I do think this is appropriate here, but I may start posting some more threads on other boards in the near future. It's been a while since I've done that.
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We all know how extroverts perceive introverts. They can be thought of as “withdrawn”, “shy”, “anti-social”, etc. Introverts can grow up thinking that they are not “normal”. Then, if the person discovers that there is nothing wrong with him or her, they may be angry toward the people who do not understand them.

Extroverted people can be considered “shallow”, “annoying”, “superficial”, etc. The difference here is that I don’t think that a huge chunk of extroverts is even aware that introverted people can have this perception of them. Although I have seen some online that are upset about this.

Some of them associate a preference with introversion with narcissim, and I have even questioned that about myself. Through research, I have found it interesting that true narcissists tend to be extroverted. I've been trying to tell myself for years that I do have a desire for "meaningful relationships", because it has worried me sooooo much, even though I don't have the relationship that I desire the most- a significant other.

Anyway, back to the introverts' perspective, we know that the preferred form of communication of extroverts can seem like a “game” to introverts, but extroverts don’t see it that way. Se-dominate people read others by visual cues. If they come across an Ni-dominate person who is looking at the ground a lot, they will think that the individual must be sad about something.

My roommate had a conversation with me about this. I tried to explain that I was deep in thought.

He said, “Well, you look sad.”

I said, “Well, I’m not.”

He said, “Maybe you’re not, but that’s what it looks like.”

I said, “I wish people would understand me.”

He said, “Either stop caring or change, because people are never going to understand.”

I felt angry after this conversation, but he was right. I had to either change my way of thinking or numb my resentment toward people who judged me by what they saw on the outside. It was a frustrating situation to be in. Some may consider me weak for deciding that I needed to change my perspective. Some may believe afterall that I am "worrying too much" about what others think. But I felt that I had to do it out of necessity, and frankly I have no desire to be thought of as a weirdo anyway, so sue me. And trust me, I had to swallow A LOT of pride to make the attempt to outwardly "change". I see no weakness there. It has not been easy to do.

I do HAVE to use Ni, but I don’t have to look down at the ground all the time, especially not when other people are present. If I concentrate hard enough, I can control my body language. (And to be honest, sometimes I actually was a little sad or uncomfortable, but I was using “introvert” as a way of deceiving myself from seeing that this may still be true.)

Also, I did take into consideration that even when I am off in my own world, I am often still thinking about other people. I have a lot of conversations with others in my head. I have always wanted my thoughts to be applied to some type of “social cause”, even if my “cause” was more in using the artistic realm of things to get my “message” across.

Had I continued on the path that I had been on, I never would have been able to accomplish any of the goals that I had. As a mass communications major, I needed to take an internship somewhere, but I never did. I was too nervous about it. I just kept hoping and dreaming that my day would come, and I never did anything to see that it would. I guess I was just hoping for something to fall into my lap. Even “observers” need to take action sometime, ya know? :sad:

My mind tends to wander at times. It's a shame that I should be so annoyed with my dominate cognitive function. As I said before, I would rather it not be that way, but I feel that I have to control it in some ways in order to have the type of life that I desire to have. I can't UNDO Ni, so I am going to try to make some use out of it and "show my work", as Gildar says in my signature. :proud:

That's what I'm doing now. I started writing this post in my head when I was at the grocery store today, but I was not looking at the ground while I was thinking about it. Nobody had a clue that I was thinking about anything other than the food I was purchasing.

So what’s the point I’m trying to make? I guess what I’m saying is that you, my insightful INFJ friends, can see beyond the common perceptions if you try hard enough- not just the perceptions that extroverts have of introverts but also the common perceptions that introverts have of extroverts. It has often been said on here that INFJs can see through people, and I think this is true, but it takes more of an effort for us to not focus so much on our own problems, if we want to see the good in everyone.

I don’t think we should be anti-extrovert (or anti-sensor). The world needs people like that, and the world needs introverts and intuitors too. We may feel more pressure to be more like them, but I think they would benefit from being more thoughtful as well. In any case, I don’t think anyone should use their MBTI “preferences” as excuses for not doing things that the “other side” is supposedly better suited for, especially when it may be necessary for a certain situation.

(Of course, if you’ve been reading things that I’ve written before, you may have already gotten the point. Just be glad I didn’t write about the whole Ni/ Fe dilemma again. :tongue: )
 

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(Sorry to be off topic, but reading this post, while listening to 'To Dust' by Helen Jane Long, generates an epic 'the world is wrong, and we're here to fix it' feeling.)

I would say something on topic, but I can't really think of anything. Unless I reread the post and find something I missed, all I can see in that post is the truth, and not a question or idea to debate.
 
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:wink:Damn good Daveman! Damn Good! :wink:
 
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I was reading the INFJ forum couple days ago and I thought this particular post was very insightful & it has some relevance to the OP:

"You have my empathy. My first husband was an ESTJ. I thought marrying an opposite would help give me strength in my weak areas. That didn't work. It just made me feel far more alone than being single, since I saw my friends a lot more when single. It took many more years to learn that if I wanted those strengths, I had to try to develop them in myself, and when that proved to be mostly impossible for me, I had to accept that I am who I am, and I have strengths in other areas. Then I had to try to rearrange my life so as to not expose my weaknesses as much, and to be able to utilize my strengths more. I guess this is called knowing yourself."

I see people talk a lot about developing one's "underdeveloped" functions, introverts hoping they would become more extraverted, extraverts trying to change their fellow introverts to be more like versions of themselves. But thing is that you can't change your personality to the point that you are no longer yourself.
 

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I can "act" an extravert when I'm in public/work/school, but I come home wiped out as a result.That was something my ex could never understand. He was an ESTJ and lived for being around others 24/7. Shudder. Opposites truly do attract, and it was even in some literature I saw that INFJ is attracted to ESTJ for a specific reason (I can't remember just now), so I'm not anti-sensor, but he couldn't grasp that being around others is WORK, just like a job....Rehearsing what to talk about, ask specific questions to indicate interest, etc. Since he saw me "on" as it were, he just couldn't understand why I couldn't be that way all the time?

To wit: I'm thinking that just like men and women, we need each other, but we are wildly different in nature and that can oftimes be a huge hurdle for successful relationships between E's and I's whether romantic or not! :shocked:

My undergrad was in mass comm too, kudos!
 
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wow.... i have been trying to avoid looking at the ground although my reasoning is different. i kinda wanted to see more of whats ahead and now i have two reasons.

i am glad that my Ni and Math comparison was put to use. also thank you Daveman having conversations with people in your mind.. i was concerned i was alone in doing this since i never hear about it.
 

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... My roommate had a conversation with me about this. I tried to explain that I was deep in thought.

He said, “Well, you look sad.”

I said, “Well, I’m not.”

He said, “Maybe you’re not, but that’s what it looks like.”

I said, “I wish people would understand me.”

He said, “Either stop caring or change, because people are never going to understand.”

I felt angry after this conversation, but he was right. I had to either change my way of thinking or numb my resentment toward people who judged me by what they saw on the outside. It was a frustrating situation to be in...

Daveman,

this part of your message was really touching for me. my sister told me this once and i felt sad, but it is true. it is difficult for me to realize, but i have to just make a decision and move on, because i used to want people to like me, and it is clear that people have no interest in doing so.

so i just have to give in and accept it, instead of continuously trying to change. so in my case, it is more about 'stop caring' than it is about 'change' but either way a decision has to be made, to move onto other stage of life, whatever that may be.

thank you for sharing your reflections. i would not say that you are weak for facing up to whatever situation you are in. sometimes a person has to face truths they are uncomfortable with. most people just bury these feelings, it is good you acknowledged the truth in a situation when you could have just ignored the feedback that was given to you. it was harsh, but very real what you friend told you.
 
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I am INFJ, but never seem to be extroverted. I am an extremely introverted person, even a little shy. My family sometimes thinks that I have something of phobia to be with people. As I read the INFJ tend to be extroverts in certain circumstances. Is it possible for me to be so? Are there any other INFJ with these characteristics?

Sorry for my bad English, I am not a native speaker.
 

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Necrothread.

Introvers and extroverts CAN get along. The thing is for the introverts to speak the f up when they have something to say and the extroverts to shut the f up when they have nothing to say.
 

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Necrothread.

Introvers and extroverts CAN get along. The thing is for the introverts to speak the f up when they have something to say and the extroverts to shut the f up when they have nothing to say.
Yes indeed. And I really hate small talk and chit-chats. I mean it.
 
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Why is it such a major issue whether someone looks sad or not, when they have already clearly stated that this is not the case? As if being deep in thought is somehow insufficient justification. It doesn't even sound like this roommate was even concerned. Rather, his comment sounds more like a defensive retort.

They may not fully understand introverts but I'm sure it is at least well within their capacity to practice basic respect and acceptance of others' differences. Unfortunately, it always seems to be the introvert who is expected to compromise for the sake of the extravert's needs. The extravert is always perceived as the given standard and the introvert as the problematic deviant.

You cannot change introversion.
 

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It doesn't even sound like this roommate was even concerned. Rather, his comment sounds more like a defensive retort.
@OP: It's not that nobody can ever understand why you look the way you do in deep thought. It's that people don't want to understand, since that's a harder task than rejecting you all together.

People have told me I look sad or intimidating when I'm in deep thought all my life, so I've been in your position. And I'm not going to dismiss you as weak, because changing yourself for whatever reason takes a strong person no matter what. But me personally, I wouldn't put in the effort to change that part of me. I'd rather accept it and give everyone who doesn't like it the bird. I have worse monsters in me that I'd rather turn my attention to, more troubling than a facial expression.

Also, I agree with the rest of Rather Unusual's post.

(zombie thread rises)
 
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