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Discussion Starter #1
The idea of socializing itself is something I'm thinking a lot about these days. I'm off to college in a couple of days to finish my last year in college and I've had mixed experiences with it. On one hand, I've found a few great friends but most of them have graduated. On the other (particularly in my school for some reason), I've found that too many people to be more interested in the images or personas they portray to their peers rather than revealing a more "true" part of themselves and engaging in a relationship that is based on enjoying each other's company, having good conversations, and understanding the limits of being alone I guess... don't know how to articulate the last one better.

So I have a tendency to judge "fakeness" or "inauthenticity" in people... of course, socializing (because it relies on expression and the standards by which many of us choose to relate) can be argued to be "fake" by its nature... I understand that. But what I'm having trouble dealing with is when that's all that people do... it's like I notice friends who are different all the damn time. And it's not like they are necessarily dealing with another creature so to speak so they have a different way of responding and expressing themselves... what I perceive/suspect is that they are doing so most often to uphold the best image for the persona they are choosing at that instance.

The question boils down to how much of your personality/identity/self/whatever are you willing to compromise just to socialize as well as influence what others think of you? In my mind it's simple, I don't think I should pretend to be someone else at this moment when I know that I cannot resist being myself in the future. I want to be myself.

Essentially, it is a tension I have in my brain and works subconsciously, particularly when it manifests in the "awkward self-consciousness" that is embedded in how I conversate with strangers. Now, don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with it. What I'm more worried about is whether it is worth it to socialize with the people I assume are generally more interested in their "persona". I think socializing can be a good thing, especially with people who are have opinions, are sensitive, and are not totally self-interested. Just in case, I'm in the camp of being not so talkative until I feel comfortable and start revealing more and more of myself. Of course, I understand that people have different ways of presenting themselves.

So yeah, as the topic suggests... what do you think about my situation and about socializing in general. I'm pretty sure there might be those who notice contradictions between my definitions of socializing and "fakeness"/"persona". I don't know. :unsure: And I'm also most interested in how INTPs deal with this, as I know they are stereotypically known as being socially inept and those who possibly question socializing the most.
 

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...What I'm more worried about is whether it is worth it to socialize with the people I assume are generally more interested in their "persona". I think socializing can be a good thing, especially with people who are have opinions, are sensitive, and are not totally self-interested. Just in case, I'm in the camp of being not so talkative until I feel comfortable and start revealing more and more of myself. Of course, I understand that people have different ways of presenting themselves.
The fake image projection to others happens almost automatically - studies show that people do start to mimic each other in social interactions especially if they are very interested in another person. This way we are trying to demonstrate that we are similar to others so that the social contact is less stressful. There is no conscious thinking about it. It is not a conscious interest on the part of your friends, but way their minds just click. You are correct in observation that some people do it more than others, but I do not understand the logic behind the connection you have made between this and choosing to not want to socialize with such people. If two people are talking to each other, they are not interested in their own fake personas but in in each other.

My guess would be that your friends both have extraverted feeling, Fe, high up on their functional ladder - this is why they go out of their way to try to please others by mimicry during socializing. For INTPs Fe is inferior function. Inferior function is like the blindspot of our own persona. It is something we have a very weak grasp on, something that we don't understand very well and thus it can be embarrassing in us and repulsive in others to observe. Thus manifestations of inferior function is something we can try to reject to guard ourselves and judge negatively in others. That tension you feel, that "awkward self-consciousness", this sounds like your own inferior Fe letting itself be known. People who have Fe as their dominant or auxiliary function feel that tension that you feel magnified 10-fold. This is why they behave like they do.
 

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I find that those types are the first ones to react according to appearance. I would dress the way your major suggests you should dress. Hang out with people in your major if you can. Play the role you chose, and let others know your intentions. Scream with your every fiber of being 'IM POLy SCi BIITTCHH' :crazy:

I worked wearing a coat and tie for eight years, and worked wearing dirty coveralls for seven. There is a huge difference in how you are treated according to your appearance. When I go out wearing a tee-shirt and cargo pants, I never get noticed; I don't think I really want to then. I know easy is the standard fashion in college, but screw that :p You are INTP and more than likely will rarely be around similar minds in a social setting.

It sounds vain and petty, but fashion can state your intentions. There is the old saying that the clothes do not make the man, but only deep thinkers (or perhaps thinkers at all) understand the meaning or have heard this. I like to walk in and throw some Lex Luthor vibes around the room. Many people need to be told what to think, and you are not one of those people. It's all good, James Bond is the same way.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The fake image projection to others happens almost automatically - studies show that people do start to mimic each other in social interactions especially if they are very interested in another person. This way we are trying to demonstrate that we are similar to others so that the social contact is less stressful. There is no conscious thinking about it. It is not a conscious interest on the part of your friends, but way their minds just click. You are correct in observation that some people do it more than others, but I do not understand the logic behind the connection you have made between this and choosing to not want to socialize with such people. If two people are talking to each other, they are not interested in their own fake personas but in in each other.
I agree with what you're saying. I guess what I meant to say is that I'm making a particular distinction... I'm thinking of a college friend in particular, it seems like he's thinking ahead into the social situations he'll face in college and already has some sort of agenda. "I hope to come off as the laid-back intellectual type." It's not that I'm judging the fact of when it happens necessarily... if that's how you naturally come off, then what the hell as long as that's not about social status. Instead, I'm thinking how can that actually be conscious thought... but more specifically, how can you hear yourself say that out loud to somebody else? It's not like I'm not guilty, there are times I catch myself thinking... "hmm, I can be the rebellious one" and criticize myself for being somewhat image obsessed in that moment. In the past, I wouldn't have cared to do this. But I guess it conflicts with the logic of not caring what anybody else thinks about you... I guess I am kind of repulsed by those who put what others think of them ahead of what they think about themselves.
 

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I agree with what you're saying. I guess what I meant to say is that I'm making a particular distinction... I'm thinking of a college friend in particular, it seems like he's thinking ahead into the social situations he'll face in college and already has some sort of agenda. "I hope to come off as the laid-back intellectual type." It's not that I'm judging the fact of when it happens necessarily... if that's how you naturally come off, then what the hell as long as that's not about social status. Instead, I'm thinking how can that actually be conscious thought... but more specifically, how can you hear yourself say that out loud to somebody else? It's not like I'm not guilty, there are times I catch myself thinking... "hmm, I can be the rebellious one" and criticize myself for being somewhat image obsessed in that moment. In the past, I wouldn't have cared to do this. But I guess it conflicts with the logic of not caring what anybody else thinks about you... I guess I am kind of repulsed by those who put what others think of them ahead of what they think about themselves.
If somebody would tell that to me, I would think that they are being immature and overly conformist perhaps. However, consider that your friend may simply aspiring to some ideal of himself. So it is not just that he is trying to be a fake, but that he has an ideal model of himself in his mind that he is trying to achieve. Kind of like a kid saying "and when I grow up I am going to be be a firefighter". Also he might not have been entirely serious. I know MBTI types who are dominant in a judgement function strive to express themselves to others accurately. However intuition dominant types like myself can sometimes just say whatever, something we do not entirely believe or hold true, something that is just a possibility.

I agree with your thought however that people should really look inside themselves to understand who they truly are rather than preoccupy with fitting some pre-concieved image. That's why I'd probably consider him immature, but given that he is just heading off to college and is young he probably indeed does not have a good sense of who he is.
 

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I agree with what you're saying. I guess what I meant to say is that I'm making a particular distinction... I'm thinking of a college friend in particular, it seems like he's thinking ahead into the social situations he'll face in college and already has some sort of agenda. "I hope to come off as the laid-back intellectual type." It's not that I'm judging the fact of when it happens necessarily... if that's how you naturally come off, then what the hell as long as that's not about social status. Instead, I'm thinking how can that actually be conscious thought... but more specifically, how can you hear yourself say that out loud to somebody else? It's not like I'm not guilty, there are times I catch myself thinking... "hmm, I can be the rebellious one" and criticize myself for being somewhat image obsessed in that moment. In the past, I wouldn't have cared to do this. But I guess it conflicts with the logic of not caring what anybody else thinks about you... I guess I am kind of repulsed by those who put what others think of them ahead of what they think about themselves.
It's actually very typical for an INTP to care about what others think of them. At least, this is true on an intellectual level. INTP's want to be respected, especially for their ideas. They also have a strong tendency to mirror whoever they're with (oddly, more from Ne than Fe). I actually think there's a thread about that on the INTP forum. Even though Fe is inferior, it still manifests itself in ways similar to other types. Fe is concerned with the external world and how others feel.

Because it is inferior, it is dealt with in a raw, uncontrolled manner. Thus, INTP's are prone to emotional outbursts after a while of emotional buildup. The function's position also accounts for your attempts to rationalize all of this. Dominant Ti wants to rationalize/criticize the inferior Fe. This might be the root of your disdain towards typical socialization. It's difficult to control and difficult to rationalize.

Despite that nagging desire to 'fit in' (in whatever way you may want) in the back of their head, with Fe as inferior INTP's still have trouble empathizing. They'll mirror the other person's emotional state and be unaware of why they're feeling a certain way all of a sudden. INTP = Emotions aren't something that can be altered, nor are they rational, so we should avoid them (especially external influences). Hence, socializing is a pain. Doubly so if the person is highly emotional. We don't like our emotions being influenced because they are detached from our conscious experience. They're foreign.

That was very long winded and maybe too indirect of an answer. Hopefully, you can pick out the pieces relevant to you. An INTP Profile That contains some of what I was saying, and it's probably the best description.
SUMMARY: You wonder how it can be a thought so prevalent in their consciousness because emotions are more foreign and less of a conscious experience for you.
You're conflicted when trying to understand the semi-conscious needs of Fe and their 'rational' alternative of not caring. This is a result of Ti dominance over Fe inferiority.
What you're probably repulsed at is the irrationality of caring about what others think. It's the same answer as above.
Not wanting to socialize comes from being introverted (obviously) and having that dominant thinking. You're not just avoiding people. You're also avoiding all the emotions they would bring with them.
 

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Mirroring is different than imitating. Imitating always comes from a place of weakness, rather than strength.

I just graduated college last year and this persona/poser stuff is nothing new. People will just change what they want to imitate. Brief life story: I grew up playing sports and my natural inclination was to dress like and act like a sport guy. When I got to college, I immediately befriended people who dressed like me and had similar interests (beer and women). By the time I was a junior or a senior, I realized that this persona attitude was actually causing me more discomfort. Especially for an INTP, I would first develop your true identity before you start to manipulate the field by dressing for impact.

I started to look for clothes I liked, read books that I liked, and did hobbies that I enjoyed. You're not an extrovert anyway, so you won't need people constantly to define your own self-concept. Probably not too coherent but my advice is to develop your own identity. You are going to find friends if you are open to it. Lead, Follow, or get out of the way...
 

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If you have to socialize, follow the rules of socializing. Put up with shallow small talk and deal with the fact that image is important. Like nothingnew said, how you dress will change which people want to talk to you. People will judge you on first impressions. They might judge you from across a crowded room. They might decide that you're not their type without even seeing your face.

Socializing is not a very INTP-friendly game, but I assume it's entirely possible for an INTP to learn (and even master) it. If you decide to play it differently, start with a full understanding of how it works and go from there.

Once I'm done with my current project (perfecting my image and making myself presentable to the world), I'm going to learn how to socialize. I'm doing this while I'm still in high school so I don't have to make too many huge mistakes in the real world...or so I hope.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It's actually pretty interesting to get responses about how people dress... I don't think I specifically and consciously thought about that when I was talking about "image". I mean I agree to a point because I notice myself gathering first impressions from how people dress... although ironically, I am seeking out low maintenance types who seem to spend less time obsessing over how they dress. Of course, this can deceive me since they can still turn out to be undesirable people of course.

Yeah, come to think of it I've had a couple of friends and family members tell me that I should care more about appearances... comfort is more important in my mind. But I don't know. I don't often seek out people to socialize with... so I guess I can see how this can benefit me if I still want to socialize because I have control over how others look at me and judge whether I'm someone worth talking to. But it is exactly this that I have a problem with, because my reasoning is that I want to attract people who don't care much (relative to societal's standards) about what they look like.
 

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yeah this is a dilemma for me too.
Also INTP with a craving for friendship above the superficial non-sense

I was pretty much image-less until late high school when i sort of found myself and the image i was most comfortable with.
since then and especially into college my social confidence has increased and i find myself switching to ENTP when around open N types with whom I can talk and share the contents of my mind with for a bit.
The Ti always ends up taking over and i become fully conscious of every movement i make in public. Feeling as though everyone is watching me and waiting to laugh at something I do.
 

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Hm. I suppose there's nothing you can do but realize it isn't all about you. I mean, you don't wanna be selfish right? 'Cause if you think everyone is looking and judging you, then you are kinda self centered. :wink:

Whenever I get self conscious I just think about that, and I don't wanna be a conceited prick, sooooo I stop being self conscious.
 

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Yeah i try to rationalize myself out of it and i realize it's not logical, but those overthinking overaware thoughts just sort of happen.
Its like having two people in my head. One who realizes that no body gives a shit about me walking across campus, and the one who is trying to control every limb so precisely to avoid tripping, that the preoccupation with such a simple matter actually causes me to trip on something. Or coming up with an awesome joke, getting the wording perfect, and choking on it as I try to force it out.
 

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Hmmm. Yeah, I know what you mean. I usually feel more comfortable around like minded people, I think it would go more smoothly if maybe you joined a club or something? It sounds cheesy but it helped me with socializing, then you can leave the club if you like. I will mull this over some more *intense thinking commences*
 

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Its not the meeting people aspect of the socializing
i have several groups of friends
around people i perceive as open or like-minded NTs I can be a full blown ENTP
its just as OP was saying about the fake-ness. when i see people interacting that way all of the time i can't imagine how they keep that up for so long.
In a sense it feels right, and that i'm above the superficiality, but it also sucks because i just feel alienated and like i cant really get close to anyone, which i need.
 

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I just bulldoze in, get what I need, then get out. :eek:

Alternatively I just try to chat out whoever I can; I find most people are pretty okay to talk to. If they have a similar interest to me (usually mecha anime) bam instant friends. :3
 
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