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Discussion Starter #1
Do you ever find your conflicting identity to be painful when you find you shouldn't express it? Sometimes I feel that I should just fit in and attract people by fitting to social conventions, other times I find being crazy is the best way to be. No matter which way I choose, I lose one crowd to win another. On one-on-one situations this isn't a problem, but in group situations I keep feeling conflicted what's the best way to be.

I also have a hard time telling what's really myself sometimes. I feel like I am pretty crazy, but do people need to know that? Sometimes I think I rely too much on being crazy to make people smile and then miss other ways of experiencing people. Or I won't project my more serious side enough so I'm not known enough for that side of me. But when going into the territory of the serious and personal, I become more likely to be offended and take myself too seriously, at least in group situations.

I've been thinking about what is a good social persona for me. I have a hard time telling what is myself because even if I don't think "and just be myself" I'm still exaggerating something or another.

A lot of time with more "conventional" guys, even if there's meaningful bonding as a result of doing activities, small-talk, fun-talk, I feel kinda empty from the interactions and lose sight of the long-term benefits of bonding this way.

How do you guys deal with having ENFP desires? and if you are surrounded by SPs or SJs that haven't developed their Ne or Ni side, how do you usually bond? and if you have to suppress your N side or Fi side or Te side (I can use Te a lot but in a lot of circles I find that's not the most PC/safe way to converse), how do you deal with the added stress of doing so? How do you follow social convention (in an Fe + Si way) in each social group you interact with, without compromising your values?
 

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You can view that as a positive thing. ENFPs are extremely flexible - you can be anyone at any moment and still be yourself. Other people sometimes think I'm something of a hypocrite, because I can adjust to any situation and often contradict myself. Although I admit it's easy to lose track of your own identity when you can be so different - depending on whom you're with. It's hard to explain and I'm not even sure if what I'm saying is related to your problem...

Maybe you should act like you feel is right for the crowd you're in. Yeah, I love stating the obvious. For example, at school I'm mostly quiet and withdrawn and my classmates used to think I'm a real bore. I also seem logical next to them - they see me as a very methodical, orderly and sensible person. And I don't think I'm any of those. My friends, on the other hand, see me as a hyper klutz that makes no sense when speaking. But I can also be wise and they always come to me for advice. When someone is overemotional, I become somewhat colder to make up for that.

So, in brief - I personally need to balance the crowd I'm in and thus take on the role that is needed. I can be responsible and mature or happy-go-lucky and scatterbrained. Depends.

I don't know if other ENFPs function like that, but I think we probably share some similarities. Either way, I avoid causing myself extra problems. I've just accepted that there are many facets to my personality and, yeah - some might contradict others, but that's me. I don't need to act like someone else to fit in - I can act like myself and do it just as well.

I guess you should try going out or just talking to different people to see how far you can stretch without feeling uncomfortable or like you're not yourself. Explore and find your comfort zone, as big or small as it is.
 

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I had a very similar conflict with myself before, as how I need to be in the eyes of the society and always figured that to be the "clown", or simply to be very funny and do all kinds of crazy things will gain me better respect from people.

I've adapted myself to be the ideal I was creating for myself, and did a pretty good job being friendly and very social active. But I can tell you now, it was all a big and unhealthy lie.:laughing:

For me, the thing that helped me the most finding the answer to the question "Who Am I?" was dumping all the theories, all the ideals I used to think they are right, and all the thoughts I once had about myself, and just BE. Once I BECAME I had a life-changing shift, I've dumped a lot of friend connections that knew they do not support What I Really Am and got closer to "background friends", who are now my best friends because we are alike. Once I was presented to the society as I am, it helped me become who I really am. The self discovery process took a while and it's still present (Just found out i'm a INFP and was thrilled lol). But my point is that you don't need to invent an ideal just to be active socially, you can become Who You Really Are and let other people judge you by that, and not by the way you'r trying to present yourself to be.:happy: Once that happens, you will attract (And will be attractive) to the right people for you. And with the right people around you, that conflict is unnecessary.:happy:

Don't forget you belong to a rare type, and that this world works like a magnet... We're drawn to similarities.
Just be yourself, that's the best indentity you'll ever be.:happy:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Lullaby, that does sound similar to my approach. I guess there's a certain point when I have to change my mode more so that interactions aren't awkward but then when I am judged for those traits (like you being seen as very orderly), then I start feeling uncomfortable and disassociated from who I am.

I get confused by my own myself sometimes: I think I'm being myself, but then I think, why can't I be another myself? What should I learn to accept and what am I being stubborn about not changing in the sense of "letting grow"?
 

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Hey i can really relate to what your saying. and i asked a question a few days back similair, but i think this i what i really ment, but mine didnt really make sense :tongue:

If i am honest with myself, i am a complete wierdo, i find the wrong things funny, i am very personal, im nosy, when i get angery im not dignified i will skitz out, i dance like a spaz in the night club (generally doing a bad robot) i talk to bugs when i see them and have nicknames for them etc the list goes on.

where i get lost is that most people arent like me, i feel like i have my very own ideas on whats acceptable and whats not etc and it makes me feel wierd and that like i should change. when really, without that insecurity i have a blast being myself and all the wierdos come out of the holes and join in, and i love it!

so just be yourself and people like minded will folllow.
 

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Just be yourself but be sensitive to nuances in others. At work, people are entertained by my whimsy and silliness but also tell me they appreciate my calm demeanor. I am both, so I show both. We're intuitive so we can tell if someone judges us negatively or is not open to silly antics. Go with the flow.

Be yourself to please yourself; not to win anyone over. People are usually drawn to people who are true to themselves. ENFPs can exhibit changability in our speech and extroversion, and it is still us.

The exception is if you feel you are being fake. You won't have peace with being fake. Quit it: Fess up that you don't like something you pretended to like. Fess up that you were worried someone wouldn't like you. But then be true from then on. You want people to be your friends who like you for who you are.
 

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I feel like you're being too hard on yourself. Different friends of mine bring out different personality traits of mine, and I have always just thought of it as different sides of myself. That's just the beauty of what being with other people is. ENFPs may lean toward a more drastic change when with different people, but I'm fairly certain that everyone is a little different around different people. At the end of the day, as long as you're not compromising your own values, you are being yourself.

I'm not sure why people are judging you in the first place. I feel like that's just rudeness and immaturity.
 

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Yes, we can be who we want as long as it's really who we are. We share more of ourselves with some people than others, share more of our confidences, words, hugs, wildness etc. I love having friends that are unique and different from eachother that I can do different things with and be 'out there' or quiet with.

Beware the friend who seems to disaprove by his glances or silence, or who always tells you what you're doing. "You're so into drama" when you feel bad. Or "You look for attention." when you're acting silly. Its a way of diminishing you. You will feel uncertain after awhile how to be, because you will naturally want to please this person.

Be yourself. Be authentic, as long as you aren't overtly offensive.
 

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Just be yourself but be sensitive to nuances in others. At work, people are entertained by my whimsy and silliness but also tell me they appreciate my calm demeanor. I am both, so I show both. We're intuitive so we can tell if someone judges us negatively or is not open to silly antics. Go with the flow.

Be yourself to please yourself; not to win anyone over. People are usually drawn to people who are true to themselves. ENFPs can exhibit changability in our speech and extroversion, and it is still us.

The exception is if you feel you are being fake. You won't have peace with being fake. Quit it: Fess up that you don't like something you pretended to like. Fess up that you were worried someone wouldn't like you. But then be true from then on. You want people to be your friends who like you for who you are.
I am serious and silly as well, I am both. At school I usually be silly; trip, be clumsy, etc. When I want to be serious, no one is serious with me :( This makes me really depressed. I've; been fighting with myself since.
 

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Coffeemuse, I understand. I have the same problem sometimes. I step out of the silly 'role' to talk about something serious, or because I need someone's support and it just isn't there. That hurts when it happens. I wrote above that people can label your behavior or tell you what you think. I don't think the intent is always to make us feel diminished, but we can feel that way.

Good balance is key. I think we should express sometimes that we need someone to listen, that it's serious. I like to discuss deeper subjects and people I know well, know this, but we ENFPs are sometimes regarded as goofy optimists with little substance. It's our duty to ourselves to be real and move people past this stereotype.

It goes back to being yourself and being deep with those that will be, and not with those that won't.
 

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I do express myself. But not to people I know in real life. Mostly to people I got to know online. None of my ''friends'' in real life would understand and have already ''molded'' the ''silly'' me image in their head.

And yes, I feel very hurt. Especially when they forget I am human and I do have feelings.
 

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some advice, if that's ok.

I do express myself. But not to people I know in real life. Mostly to people I got to know online. None of my ''friends'' in real life would understand and have already ''molded'' the ''silly'' me image in their head.

And yes, I feel very hurt. Especially when they forget I am human and I do have feelings.
I really hear your hurt. Maybe that's what our Fi does: guards us by keeping the negative under cover. We all need people we can share with who won't make fun of us or back away in terror.

Coffeemuse, I'm speaking a word of hope over your life: You will make new friends who have depth and they will love you for who you are. You may have to look for them, maybe in a place of shared interests, but you will meet them. With new people, think of your silliness as a gift they can slowly unwrap over time, under layers of texture, intellect, curiosity and compassion. Silliness is a bonus in friendships, but substance is often built on the others.

When you do meet new people, maybe slide gently into their presence by engaging them personally or intellectually, and have a reasonable expectation of response. If they respond in an incoherent way, maybe it's not a good idea to talk to them at that point. Or at least for awhile.

Its easy to let your fun persona dive into the scene before the 'rest' of you gets there, but try to wait. We have so much to us!
 

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I can identify with your post very much... reading it, I felt like I was reading my own thoughts! ^^;;

What matters most is that you're able to be yourself with the people you hang out with... even if that means you can't express your 100% full self. There's a difference between not revealing certain sides of your personality and changing your personality. You shouldn't have to change your personality just for the sake of being accepted by people you want to be with.

Don't be so hard on yourself for not being able to express all sides of you at all times. *hugs* :3 Outside of just ENFPs, I actually think ALL people have this "problem"... some of us are just more aware of it and worry about it more than others. But I mean, people are so complex - it sure would be difficult to find a situation in which you'd be able to express ALL sides of yourself!

Although I too wish people could see different sides of my personality that they don't see very often (this applies to both IRL people and online people XD), I just express whatever side of myself feels natural for the situation. I guess I'm learning to be patient. Plus, sometimes it's really interesting when you DO get that chance to reveal a side of yourself that the person you're talking to has never seen before, because then they get really surprised! :wink:
 

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kitten is so right! We almost never show it all to people. And I think we're self aware to the point that we know we are not and it bothers us, makes us feel we can't be authentic. But no one shows every part of themselves.
 
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Hello :)
I'm an INFP.
However, I never recall wearing masks.
Most of the time I'm trying to see through them.

I was wondering what's the best approach of trying to unmask an ENFP?
It's someone that I care about dearly, a friend.
I want him to feel like he can just be himself (crazy or not) with me.
He needs somebody like that, and as a healer I know I could help him.

I'm pretty certain his biggest fear is people not liking him.
About once a month he goes into a depression for a few days because of his insecurities, but during that time acts conceited to cover it up.

I just want to do everything possible, and the right way, to lift his ego.
 

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I was wondering what's the best approach of trying to unmask an ENFP?
It's someone that I care about dearly, a friend.
I want him to feel like he can just be himself (crazy or not) with me.
He needs somebody like that, and as a healer I know I could help him.
First off, you sound like the biggest sweetheart and this post made me smile. Cx You sound like a wonderful friend.

I have to ask, has your friend ever confided little things in you? I'm a very guarded person, and even revealing little things requires a great deal of trust on my part.. and also acts as a test to see if the person is able to handle anything bigger. If they have told you anything remotely private, that could be a sign that pushing a little for information about if they're okay or what might be bothering them wouldn't lead only to the dreaded and vague "I'm fine".

A simple acknowledgement that you care and worry slightly could also help. Show that you are willing to lend an ear or give advice, but don't push to give it. If he does trust you and you said that and something is troubling him, I'd be willing to bet that he would come to you for advice eventually.
 

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I think this might have been me when I was younger. Thankfully around the time I hit middle school I started to find people who didn't give a rat's ass about how people were suppose to act and encouraged me to act like myself. They didn't want to see me wearing a mask or having a behavior I thought would make them happy. And ever since then I didn't really look back. I don't recall wearing a mask since I was in elementary school. I just stop caring about how I was suppose to act and started acting the way that made me as a person happy. And low-and-below people liked it.

I never change my behavior to fit in now. It's just not who I am. I may wear a different 'hat', which is displaying a different side of my personality, but I never wear a 'mask'. I am always some form of me. And if someone doesn't like it the can kindly go eff themselves. I please those who I care for and who care for me, not other who try to make me smother myself so they feel good. I have wondrous friends who accept me, hats and all, because they have only ever met 'me'. They know I don't wear a mask and they don't want me to. These are the people worth being around :)
 

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Nottie,
Thank you :] Your reply made me smile. Actually I mailed him a my little pony figurine in the mail (he loves it), and he got it and was so happy. His mom told him, "You have such a good friend." Sometimes I think that I'm just being weird or creepy (as being labeled this at my school), but when people say things like this it reminds me I'm not.

When we hung out in person for the first time, we were alone (very bad decision.) We were both so awkward and uncomfortable. I think partly from being nervous, and he said just being around me makes him uncomfortable. I don't quite understand this, but it's a really bad thing. I've been trying to fix this ever since. I REALLY need to fix this. A big problem is that he hardly ever says how he's feeling or what he's thinking. But we talk almost every day, and he has stated that he wants to be friends with me. It's quite a mess, actually. However the thing is my favorite person in the whole world to be around is a female ENFP. At first I thought it was just her, and then I met someone else and I realized how much I loved being around them, and they adored me, and then I asked a few questions and figured out they were also an ENFP. So I know that me and him could get along together really well.

My friend is actually a bit younger than me, he's transitioning into high school right now. He's a freshman, I'm going to be a senior. He's told me certain things about himself, but nothing too drastic has happened in his life.

However he's constantly changing and contradicting himself. At first I thought this was immaturity but then realized that he's an ENFP and also an aquarius -_- perfect.

He holds VERY high standards for friends, and sometimes people don't like him because of that. Actually, most people don't. I'm his friend and have been nothing but caring towards him (even though he has hurt me a lot because of his indecisiveness). I don't understand why the reason people may not like him is in his control, so why doesn't he just change it?

And if I do one thing wrong, he considers not being friends with me anymore.
I want to do things right now, and get him to trust me a bit more. I wish there was something I could just say to him to let him know I understand.

Also I don't think it's one thing that's bothering him. I want to be able to affect him, all the way around. I want him to see what he really is, and not beat himself up so much sometimes.

He said he's not sure about his feelings much as ever. "I don't know, 50 masks or so are in the way."

I don't understand what there is to be afraid of. I'm such an open person and tell my friends everything. I was actually really surprised at how accepting he was compared to other people. I am so accepting, he could tell me anything and it'd be okay.

Oh, and wait! Actually yes!
He told me his darkest, deepest secret. He was so hesitant to also. He left me guessing and then I finally figured it out. I told him, "You know, it's okay. I understand, you shouldn't worry about something like that."
And then he said, "Where have you been all my life?" I think I freed him of some guilt.
"Looking for you."
"Then I'm lucky."
After the first few days of talking to him, he told me, "You know it's funny. I feel closer to you than friends I've known for so much longer."

But his indecisiveness wore off, and his infatuation with me is no more.
He seems uncomfortable that I like him at all, really. But he used to like me back.
I don't understand.
 

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It helped me to realize that other people (who weren't in love with me, or in some other way over-focused on me) spent about as much time thinking about me (not how I affected them but about *me* you understand) - as I spent thinking about them. Which was not very much time at all, really. Like, oh my friend Dale, he's a good guy, looking for work, sharpening up a power point presentation, writing an article, but how concerned am I about his life, how much time do I spend wondering about the state of his soul, etc? Practically none at all.

Ditto for those other people thinking about me, glorious me. So it really doesn't matter that much.

Chill - you're doing fine.
 
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I wouldn't say that.

He gave up on being friends with me last night, and defriended me off of facebook out of the blue. (this is a big deal for teenagers ;D) (This was a situation with my brother, long story short I didn't do anything wrong. It was all in his head.) So of course I'm upset about this, but a few hours later he talks to me. He says his decision still stands. And then after about 30 minutes of talking he says, "We could just be friends and start over again." I was a tad angry. This is his indecisiveness. I felt like everything was for nothing. This isn't the first time he's done something like this. I don't know how long I'll be able to keep it up.

See INFP's are, pretty serious sometimes. Especially when it comes to the person we care for. We pick one main target in our life and devote ourself entirely to them. Once we're done helping them, we move onto someone else that looks depressing. Our purpose is to heal. Sounds kind of shallow, but it's really not.
 
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