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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My true friends are always the ones where I can have comfortable silences, however there is somewhat of a skill to it, and as someone who spent probably from age 16-22ish developing the exact opposite perspective of filling silences and being "the outgoing one" (at age 20, during my peak I was the most stereotypical ENFP you could use imagination to conjour up), I'd like to outsource my plea for advice to my favourite introverted types in INFP/INFJ/INTJs, since you have probably developed this perspective/skill for longer than I have.

For the original inspiration please check http://personalitycafe.com/enfp-forum-inspirers/1149282-shy-enfp-3.html#post38396305 page 3 for my post.
 

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How fascinating, to see the comfortable silence from another perspective, Thanks for asking!

So INFJs are always scanning the environment and everyone around us to figure out what they're most comfortable with. I mean I do, and so if someone isn't comfortable with my silence, I make sure I have a good reason not to be around or make some sort of joke or announcement about myself about it... like I would in a roommate situation... I am a silent person 85% of the time, but because I listen patiently and engage with body language and when I do talk, I do it with a lot of energy lol People tend to have the first impression of me being an extrovert. Which is sooooooo far from the truth. So when I am being extrovert-like, I usually insert some funny wide eyed realization type expressions where I say ' OMG, this is so weird, I'm usually so quiet, >.< guys don't hate me when I'm being my awkward silent normal self ok?' or something similar which is LMAO SO CRINGE-Y for me, but it works :nonchalance: No one is bothered at all when I'm like dead silent, people ask me if I'm ok and I just smile and say 'Yeah! I said I was quiet -shrug-' idk... caring so much about what other people feel, just because I can understand/feel what they're feeling is exhausting. When I matured a little and realized I need to just be me (I don't need to be liked to help people and be kind), and if people don't like me, and I haven't done anything wrong to them, well that's their problem, not mine. I think what works for me is just accepting I'm human and have flaws and admitting it outloud. Like if you're having a quiet day, why don't you announce: -sigh- Today seems like a good day to be quiet/a quiet day. or Today is a good day to just cook in silence and chill. Or hold up a hand and be like 'Sorry, today is a rare quiet day for me, can we continue this conversation tomm?' . etc. etc. etc. Like, no one can read your mind, so at least 95% of people should appreciate these announcements.

Also...of course people are going to take it personally if you withhold yourself and then shine later on.... it probably seems disingenuous- like you lied to them. I mean that the case even when you're a quiet person who is extroverted and sassy at first meeting and then go back to normal quiet and still afterwards, if people take you at your word and later you change lol it makes sense that they'd take it personally? (not that it's anyone's business, but in reality, they put a certain amount of trust in that first impression you gave them, so it throws people off if you do something different later, they get defensive)

Might I suggest that you just be yourself in the beginning no matter what the situation, and add some random disclaimers like, I know I'm like <this>, but I'm also like <insert traits/moods> random times-- especially when it comes to things like roommates or situations where you know they're going to see it regardless of what you're like most of the time
and for the transition phase, just be open, like if you're getting close to someone, just be like, 'it's so weird, I'm like <this certain way> most of the time, but sometimes I just want to do <this> for a little, and it's not even like I have to be in a bad mood; do you ever feel that way? Like the opposite of how you are most of the time?' or something, whatever the truth is
Just because you are a certain way doesn't mean you have to live in that box every second. You don't have to have a social face on all the time. You're human! You have free will! No other human being gets to judge that lol we are all in the same boat. So be unapologetic-ally you, (as long as you're not hurting anyone, etc)

A degree of smart vulnerability is a trait of the truly strong and self confidence. :encouragement:

I mean, this is what I think/have gathered so far, I could be wrong -shrug- What do you think?
 

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Not sure how much this helps, but this is what comes to mind when I read the original post…

In my less patient moments, I become irritated when others ‘need too much attention,’ though interestingly, I’ve been dwelling in deep solitude for so long, It is possible at present that I’m the one needing some attention.
But if I’ve not gotten that solitude, the constant chatter and need to interact leaves me dull and crabby.

The idea that popped into my head upon reading this topic was this: Learn to ‘entertain’ yourself. By this I don’t necessarily mean bury your nose in your phone when conversation lulls, but just either take notice of yourself, or the environment, or give a very polite non-intrusive notice of the people around you. Be nonjudgmental about your thoughts. Maybe listen to your breath?

I have heard sitting still and being alone are two difficult things for humans to endure yet I thrive there.
 

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Non-verbal gestures are sometimes a nice way to acknowledge the other person's presence without breaking the silence. It helps you both recognize that you are sharing an experience and not just sharing space. All it takes is a subtle look, light contact or some type of body language. My wife is also an introvert, and we spend a lot of time together without talking much. This probably throws some people off in restaurants and other social situations where extrovert couples are there yapping away. We're constantly aware of what goes on around us, and we often give each other a subtle look that tells the other "I'm right there with you". We were at a restaurant this weekend where a hostess somehow managed to touch every eating surface our silverware while setting our table in front of us. We just sat there looking at each other sharing the moment without saying a word. We each knew exactly what the other was thinking and had a good laugh about it later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
In all fairness, this kind of confirms to me that this is a difficult topic.

I think the best solution I've conjoured up for myself so far is to be "consistently inconsistent", which tbh is my most authentic self. I will always have days where I'm in an engaging mood, and I will always have days where I feel withdrawn.. Even if people find that an unusual contrast, over a period of months as with housemates, as long as I feel comfortable with it, I think other people can slowly become accustomed to it as well.
 
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