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Hey guys,

I was wanting to ask quite a personal question and see if anyone has any insight that might help from a personality perspective.

I'm a 34 year old male ENFP. I have always been seen be others as quite jovial and silly in groups (even though that's not how I am in private - I'm a pretty personal and serious person deep down). I talk A LOT in public, and sometimes I say daft things, just by sheer volume of words as well as my mannerisms.

Because of how I act and because I don't really fight back, I get mocked incentantly by my group of friends that I have known since I was a child. I do not tend to verbally spar back too much - my humour is the silly kind, and I get more of kick from that and I don't feel I have the wit to win. When I'm in the mood I laugh it off. I went through some really horrible shit recently being ill that my friends don't seem to understand and I don't always feel jovial, even though I don't come across that way.

It has been happening to such an extent recently that I feel humiliated afterwards and it affects my sleep. I've tried within the group to make little comments that it's a bit much. I'm getting too old for it now - I don't need this in my life. I want to put it to bed. What do you suggest?
 

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Ah, the ENFP. The people that say the most brilliant and the dumbest things, sometimes even in the same sentence. I can imagine how this would be a problem for you.

That said, this is especially hard to change. People tend to have very ingrained patterns of interaction and people that you have known for that long are unlikely to change how they interact with you without something changing things drastically.

There are multiple options and it all depends on the kind of relationship you have with your friends.

It's possible to sit everyone down and have a serious conversation about this. Make it a big deal and tell them how much it's affectiing you. This can be hit or miss depending on how well they know you and if they are even okay with you sitting them down in this way.

It's possible to actually show at the moment how much it affects you. walk away, start crying... I don't know what your style is, but it's possible to actually show people how much this affects you. If they are your friends this will probably take them by surprise and really make them feel that you've changed as a person without them even knowing about it.

It's possible to find new friends. It's hard to change these kinds of patterns and it's easier to start something new with new people. I understand that this is probably not on the table, but it's generally the most effective.

It's possible to slowly work on crafting a new relationship with your friends, maybe even with each of them individually. Start talking to them one-on-one and talk about serious grow-up stuff with them. You can do that, while just being yourself, just don't be the goofball in these conversations.
It'll take time, but eventually, this tone will seep through and affect the way they view you as a person and also influence how they interact with you as a group.


There's probably more ways, but these are the ones that come to mind. Whichever way you choose, it's going to be a long and hard road to that point. As I said, these things are very deeply ingrained into the group's patterns of interaction and changing that is a hard process.

The most important part of all this is: "show don't tell". People don't tend to pick up on what people tell them, but when people start acting out of the character that they think is there, it's impossible to deny that something has changed.

Maybe there's going to be someone with an easier solution, but these are the ones I can think of.
 

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Let your Fi lash out on mofo's a few times. They need to see a dimensionality to your persona you haven't shown them very much, if at all. Accept that this will be a highly uncomfortable yet necessary action, and that you will likely feel incredibly exposed and vulnerable at first. There is great power in our 'butt-hurt', especially when it is delivered with the full intensity and authenticity we experience it as (fi-violations). So when you do this, it's very important that you don't restrain, trivialize or apologize out of shame, fear, social embarrassment, etc. Also important that you stay in-touch with Fi when you do so, rather than burying it's sensitivity with a Ne-Te bitchslap. Yes, they will see you differently, but more accurately. Others must see us accurately to respond appropriately, which sets the stage for deeper and more rewarding friendships.
 

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I see this happen to my older colleague ENFP - he has great ideas and a very likeable chap but because he's quite soft or never talks back, people make jokes at his expense all the time. I think because he doesn't talk back people think it's ok and that he doesn't mind. I see he's quite hurt by it though and it makes me sad and I make sure I'm open minded about his opinions and experiences or at least give him that time/space to talk about them even if I don't understand.

Personally in the case I'm talking about - I think my other colleagues mistakenly think it's all banter and don't see his hurt because he usually just kind of goes quiet or brushes it off. I do think it would be helpful for him if he would say "actually that's kind of hurtful" or "oh that's not really nice" and I think they would respect that and apologize and not do it in future but because they're not getting those cues they don't do it straight away. It doesn't have to be made a big deal of, just a "oh, that's a bit hurtful actually" then leave it at that and continue and hopefully they get the picture. If they don't, then it's disrespectful and I would hope your anger would speak for you instead.
 

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Hey guys,

I was wanting to ask quite a personal question and see if anyone has any insight that might help from a personality perspective.

I'm a 34 year old male ENFP. I have always been seen be others as quite jovial and silly in groups (even though that's not how I am in private - I'm a pretty personal and serious person deep down). I talk A LOT in public, and sometimes I say daft things, just by sheer volume of words as well as my mannerisms.

Because of how I act and because I don't really fight back, I get mocked incentantly by my group of friends that I have known since I was a child. I do not tend to verbally spar back too much - my humour is the silly kind, and I get more of kick from that and I don't feel I have the wit to win. When I'm in the mood I laugh it off. I went through some really horrible shit recently being ill that my friends don't seem to understand and I don't always feel jovial, even though I don't come across that way.

It has been happening to such an extent recently that I feel humiliated afterwards and it affects my sleep. I've tried within the group to make little comments that it's a bit much. I'm getting too old for it now - I don't need this in my life. I want to put it to bed. What do you suggest?
Honestly, screw those people. You have to own yourself and not concern yourself about what other people say about you. If they don't like you for who you are, then get away from them.

But it sounds like they may not even know they are upsetting you. It sounds like you may be acting like a bit of a pushover about it. Like you just want to giggle it off or something like tat. I'll give you an example. As a ESFP, sometimes people think it's cute to point out when I don't think of the future consequences or about my impulsiveness. When I do not find it funny, I tell them that they're an asshole and make it clear that I don't like that crap so they'll stop. Then the ball is in their court. If they continue, they don't respect me. You'd probably be surprised how many will stop though.
 

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I would talk to your friends about it one on one. In groups it's easier to get "mobbed" and have people talk over you, especially if there are multiple strong personalities present. Maybe start by talking about it with a friend who you know will actually listen and be respectful. Be direct and honest. Then when you get the chance, talk to other friends one by one or in small groups.

And I would maybe start questioning why you feel the need to act silly and jovial all the time even when you don't feel like it. You're a grown man and not some pet, you're not there to entertain them.
 

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You need new friends. As an ENFP, this shouldn't be a huge challenge for you. Most ENFPs I know make friends (or acquaintences) easily because of their approachableness and chatty manners.

Old friends are overrated. That's for SJs. Unless you genuinely still get along with people from high school or your early 20s, you don't owe them anything just because of the amount of time you have known them.

Seriously...okay, I had this neighbor when I was growing up. Let's call him Pretty Boy. He's a really good looking dude, I'm talking Abercrombie or Vogue, that kind of fey clear skinned beautiful thin kind of guy you see in Eastern Europe. He was also SUPER NICE. I never had a problem with him. But we never hooked up or dated because I had a boyfriend, he had a girlfriend, and I was frankly intimidated by how good looking he was, even though we were friends and hung out and he wasn't snobby at all....fast forward to about 3 or 4 years ago. He had divorced his ex wife, I wasn't in a committed relationship and we start talking long distance. I really enjoyed our talks....suddenly in 2016, he decided he was a GODDAMN TRUMP SUPPORTER...so I cut off all contact. He freaked out on me on Facebook (even though we still never hooked up or dated, maybe flirted a bit on-line) AND...AND...one of our old friends, who proudly self-types as an ESFJ ...also went off on me...PUBLICLY ON FACEBOOK ON MY WALL...NOT IN PM...because I shut him out and she tried to shame me, like you grew up with him, and you should be more open-minded...so yeah I blocked her too.

Point being - fuck those people. Really.
 

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Honestly, screw those people. You have to own yourself and not concern yourself about what other people say about you. If they don't like you for who you are, then get away from them.

But it sounds like they may not even know they are upsetting you. It sounds like you may be acting like a bit of a pushover about it. Like you just want to giggle it off or something like tat. I'll give you an example. As a ESFP, sometimes people think it's cute to point out when I don't think of the future consequences or about my impulsiveness. When I do not find it funny, I tell them that they're an asshole and make it clear that I don't like that crap so they'll stop. Then the ball is in their court. If they continue, they don't respect me. You'd probably be surprised how many will stop though.
I think those of us with Se are more likely to show our anger or "fight back." Something about ENFPs being in the Delta group in Socionics, they're less confrontational even though they're opinionated.
 

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This might be part of being an ENFP :) So why to change that desperately, rather try to take advantage of it! I think I've chosen the latter option - yeah I'm probably often quite funny and easygoing among other people despite of looking serious (even in tense situations, lets say when a project is already "burning" at work etc) but it's the experience what you get when you're communicating to me. Take it or leave it - who doesn't like it - fuck them :) I've noticed that it could be a problem mostly for "boring" or inflexible people but often you don't match with them so well anyway, even if you try to change yourself.
 

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I think those of us with Se are more likely to show our anger or "fight back." Something about ENFPs being in the Delta group in Socionics, they're less confrontational even though they're opinionated.
While you do make a point, MBTI is a good tool for self-improvement. It is always a good idea to improve on things like this. As a feeler, I do not welcome conflict either but I do make sure if people are acting inappropriately towards me and my loved ones, that I make the exception and act on it.

I think all MBTI types need the ability to stand up for themselves, and I think all MBTI types can. I am not talking about punching someone in the face but just being the strong person you have to be to earn respect.
 

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I can imagine being perceived as the court jester, would have its draw backs

I am not trying to trivialize this
You have some merit in how you feel too

But let’s offer another side to this just to get some perspective and shed light on the other angle

So I am going to play devils advocate a little

Alright so how do most ENFPs accumulate their collection of friends?
ENFPs all over this site are often voted most desired type to be around
ENFPs are often approaching things jovial and like a goofball
In general

So the other end is, being mad at people for not seeing more than what is often presented isn’t entirely reasonable

Imo it’s up to you to learn how to balance out your delivery in order to be taken more serious, or learn to accept others perceptions and learn not to care. You can’t have your cake and eat it too, in this case. You have to choose. Either choose to refrain from some of your impulses and refine delivery or choose not to care about the perceptions.

I am saying we all as in people have our roles and how we are perceived. I don’t think it’s bad you have identified this bothers you. But with that hopefully comes the realization that you have to choose. Choose to present yourself in a different light, and expect that it will take time of demonstration in order for people’s minds to slowly change. Or choose to accept it as a draw back and understand it’s a more superficial perception and despite your being easy to laugh at in some cases does not mean those who would laugh are coming from the wrong place.

I am not trying to invalidate your stress, concern, or issue. But I do think the larger picture is that most people like most ENFPs. Doesn’t mean most people take ENFPs always seriously. But we all can’t have all now can we? I.e. every type of person (even outside MBTI, but also even within). Has that double inch sword thing going on. Often times some of our core appeal and strengths can weigh on us.

My ex hubs is ENFP
I have always thought of him with this song
I hope you do not look at it as a slam

I do think others may be letting you off the hook in order to support your visible distress. Which is commendable they want to offer understanding. I am not pissing on that. I am just saying rather than being frustrated on the what, understand the why. And decide what you will choose. Will you choose to evolve and understand your own hand in what has come?

I remember being really pissed off when I was in more early 20s. At this point I was still stigmatized for basically a bunch of stupid shit I did as ESTP young adult. After I had moved past that faze I was frustrated others views had not changed even though I did. The point where I am going with this was I eventually learned not to care in the same way. I focused more on my life and my objectives. Do you know how long it took for people to stop referencing my adolescent delinquency? It seriously was not until I was about 30 (and most of the behaviors I was known for were from younger than age 21). And I had stopped my delinquency around age 20.
So 10 years before people started to see me in another light outside old stigmas.
In my case with most people I didn’t both to care or prove anything. I just went about my life. I do remember confronting my younger sister when I was in my mid twenties. So the point is outside someone close like that who you may need to set the record straight to, most external people are irrelevant. Stigmas have lasting impressions so understanding that is not an overnight thing that goes. And accepting your own action and delivery will effect the outcome.

Outside if you have like a close best friend or like a sibling to confront I would not waste energy on trying to verbally change people’s minds. I remember my ex husband being frustrated over similar external perceptions in some ways. Not like with me as I saw other sides of him too. But he just didn’t get he usually casted himself in that role then got mad at people for not taking him serious. :rollseyes:
 

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It's not because you are an ENFP, it's because you talk alot, as you yourself say. If you want to be taken more seriously as a man I suggest being more quiet and chosing your words more carefully. People always use their personality type as an excuse. ("I'm an extravert, therefore I have to talk alot of BS!")
 

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While you do make a point, MBTI is a good tool for self-improvement. It is always a good idea to improve on things like this. As a feeler, I do not welcome conflict either but I do make sure if people are acting inappropriately towards me and my loved ones, that I make the exception and act on it.

I think all MBTI types need the ability to stand up for themselves, and I think all MBTI types can. I am not talking about punching someone in the face but just being the strong person you have to be to earn respect.
I don't "welcome" conflict, but I have no problem fighting back, not since my teens (though I was gentler as a child, probably due to being an Fi dom). In high school I knocked a bully's glasses off, defended a guy in my school who was always getting picked on, smacked a guy who was teasing me while my head was on my desk when I was sick, and beat a guy over the head with my French book my junior year when this asshole jock called me a bitch, and got sent straight to the principal's office.

I'm less physically impulsive as an adult, that probably had a lot to do with me being in my teens, but yeah people call on me sometimes to assert myself, because I will. I will assert myself on behalf of others as well. I don't let people "get away" with things. I see the world, particularly the West, and specifically the United States, being a gigantic battle to reign in and defeat the oppressor.
 
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@Dscross

There's really only one thing to do, if you want to be taken more seriously, you have to be a little more serious. When people push you off, don't back down. Stand up like you have a pair and let them know you're serious. You're going to either have to find the wit to win, or you're going to have to accept your lot in life. What's it going to be?
 

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I don't "welcome" conflict, but I have no problem fighting back, not since my teens (though I was gentler as a child, probably due to being an Fi dom). In high school I knocked a bully's glasses off, defended a guy in my school who was always getting picked on, smacked a guy who was teasing me while my head was on my desk when I was sick, and beat a guy over the head with my French book my junior year when this asshole jock called me a bitch, and got sent straight to the principal's office.

I'm less physically impulsive as an adult, that probably had a lot to do with me being in my teens, but yeah people call on me sometimes to assert myself, because I will. I will assert myself on behalf of others as well. I don't let people "get away" with things. I see the world, particularly the West, and specifically the United States, being a gigantic battle to reign in and defeat the oppressor.
Haha, I think you and I had a lot of the same experiences as teens. I would defend those I really cared about in high school or in my family, and I would bully bullies. But even now I don't really think about too much why I do what I do, to be honest. I just do what I know is right and I feel like you can tell when you are being too assertive or not. Maybe it is natural for me and others not but...

I just think whether someone is an ENFP, ENTP, ESTP, ISFP, ESFP, etc., shouldn't get in the way with them sticking up for themselves. If someone is timid because they are a "fill in the blank" type, they got to own that, work towards getting over it, and take a stand for themselves. I used to have crazy problems with faithfulness, drinking, and running away when I had to face the consequences of short-sighted decisions. I could say I am an enneagram 7, I could say I am Se dominant or was in the grip or whatever but it would have made me have a bad life. So whatever anyone's issues are, they need to recognize those. People will take advantage of others who don't take care of themselves and it sounds like that is what is happening to the original thread writer.
 

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Aww man, that sucks! My fiance is an ENFP and I saw (sometimes still see) something similar happen to him. Some of his friends know his goofy, maniacal side all too well, but won't acknowledge his depth and intelligence sometimes because they are blinded by the persona they have in their heads that he is only a wild-child. Sometimes when people think they have you figured out they don't like to see that they are not completely right about you or that you don't fit the stereotype they have in their heads. I think the best way to overcome this is to do what others on this post have said and demonstrate this deeper side of you. Talk about something that matters to you to show some substance. My fiance has become very outspoken about animal rights and does a lot now to help the local animal shelter. Because of this, I have watched him evolve in the eyes of others from being just a one man circus to being a guy with a heart of gold (albeit still a complete goofball). People see him in more than just one dimension now ^__^ You can also do what he does and just lightheartedly correct people when they verbalize a misconception about you. There are ways of correcting people in a nice, socially acceptable way.
 

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Make you boundaries evident. If they do not respect them... *hands scissors* Cut them out of your life until they respect them or permanently~ if they do not.
 
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