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  1. #51
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    Are you getting any treatment for the social anxiety and depression and been checked for Asperger's? I think it's possible you have more going on than just being very N dominant. You can become functional with those or similar conditions, but it takes support.
    I... ugh. No. If I'm that kind of person, I don't think I can be satisfied with my own existence. I don't want to be some kind of... emotionally stunted piece of garbage. I don't believe I have any of those conditions, I think I'm better than that.

    I'm not depressed, just frustrated and confused. I don't have social anxiety, I'm just acutely aware of how much responsibility is placed on me in social situations... it's not the people I'm afraid of, it's the expectations, the responsibility to do things right. If they'd let me screw up a few times without coming down so hard on me for it when I do, I might be less anxious. I have a fear of responsibility, especially new responsibilities.

    If I'm anxious at all, it's because they always came down so terribly hard on me back in elementary school for EVERY LITTLE MISTAKE, so I tried to keep myself in situations where I knew all the rules and had control so they wouldn't slam me for every little thing, like talking to a kid who spoke to me during class, or getting up to get something I needed to do my work without asking permission. The point is, I was always punished for ACTION. Never INACTION. So guess which one I tend towards now?

    Ever since then, I've been afraid to do anything where I couldn't clearly define the rules, because I know that "they" will make a federal case out of it if I do something in a way they don't like. I suppose it's possible that I was just too sensitive to the punishments they meted out back then, and didn't have a strong enough will to keep pushing the envelope to see where the boundaries were once someone had drawn a line in the sand. In fact, I think that might be my problem... I tend to take correction/criticism very personally.

    So, you get it? It's not that I'm scared, it's that I don't appreciate being criticized, so I tend to avoid doing things that could result in criticism.

    As far as Aspergers... that one just disgusts me because it would seem to imply that I'm male/masculine. I'm somewhat disturbed that you think I might have that.

    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Athenian, I came late to this thread, but you may be aware that I was in a similar position as you for a long while. I apologize if what I say has been said before.

    I would advise, for right now, to forget about finding your "passions." Just do things that you like (whether or not it is job related) and the things necessary to survive by yourself. You are still young. I know people well into their 50s who never found what they were passionate about.

    Think of the surviving-on-your-own part like school. Give yourself "assignments" and know if they don't get done, then your freedom to survive on your own is in jeopardy. CCNA work may not be something you like quite as much as in the past, but you seem conscientious enough to hold down the position once you become certified.

    The fact is that some people find their contentment outside their work for the vast majority of their lives. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

    In my own case, I may never actually become a physicist, but the class, the reading, the related hobbies, tutoring, and making my QM Vlog keep me relatively happy, while I work a job that I am not enthused about, and am relatively competent at.

    If you ever do think you figured out your passion then don't hesitate to pursue it.

    But finding arenas where we have adequate skill, adequate interest, and where there exists an adequate market is what allows us to survive on our own.

    It would be wonderful if all those "adequate"s were "exemplary"s. But I think it is a rarity for people to actually find those arenas...not that we should stop looking, but we need to do what we need to do in the mean time.
    Okay, yeah, you're right about that, but I've already started thinking along those lines... thanks.

  2. #52
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    ^ All of your responses imply that you are able to function well socially, Ath, but you aren't going out and doing it. Ponder on that for a moment without immediately answering with your list of responses.


    Either (a) you have a legitimate reason for not being able to successfully work your way through society until you find 'your people' or (b) you're lying to yourself, thinking you have a legitimate reason, when really you're just a coward.

    These are your options, Ath.

    People have thrown out legitimate reasons for you earlier throughout the thread (depression et. al.) but you haven't really convinced people with the reasons that you see to be "legitimate." If you are happy with your life continuing on in exactly the same manner until people die and things must change, then that's totally cool, but the very fact that you created this thread suggests you are not happy with the current state of affairs.

    So either (1) seek some legitimate explanations, or (2) accept that you are currently behaving in a cowardly way that's full of excuses, tell yourself this is unacceptable behaviour, and change your behaviour. If you don't do either of these nothing is going to change, Ath. This is nothing more than a factual observation of your circumstances.

    No one is buying the "I'm too N to adapt to the S society" bit--there are plenty of people on this board who are very "out there" on the N continuum and have found their (nonconventional, of course) place in the world. You have not.

    People are telling you this because your life could be very different if you went through the growing pains to grow into something that you want to be, Ath. None of your lists of reasons have passed the Bullshit DetectorTM for me, they don't appear to for several of the posters who have responded to your thread, so either (a) own up to your circumstances and do your best to work through them using whatever resources or medical labels that might enable you to do so, or (b) shrivel away from your dreams and accept that a lack of action results in a lack of growth and achievement in the ways that you want to grow in this world.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  3. #53
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    ^ All of your responses imply that you are able to function well socially, Ath, but you aren't going out and doing it. Ponder on that for a moment without immediately answering with your list of responses.


    Either (a) you have a legitimate reason for not being able to successfully work your way through society until you find 'your people' or (b) you're lying to yourself, thinking you have a legitimate reason, when really you're just a coward.

    These are your options, Ath.

    People have thrown out legitimate reasons for you earlier throughout the thread (depression et. al.) but you haven't really convinced people with the reasons that you see to be "legitimate." If you are happy with your life continuing on in exactly the same manner until people die and things must change, then that's totally cool, but the very fact that you created this thread suggests you are not happy with the current state of affairs.

    So either seek some legitimate explanations, or accept that you are currently behaving in a cowardly way that's full of excuses. If you don't do either of these nothing is going to change, Ath. This is nothing more than a factual observation of your circumstances.

    No one is buying the "I'm too N to adapt to the S society" bit--there are plenty of people on this board who are very "out there" on the N continuum and have found their (nonconventional, of course) place in the world. You have not.

    People are telling you this because your life could be very different if you went through the growing pains to grow into something that you want to be, Ath. None of your lists of reasons have passed the Bullshit DetectorTM for me, they don't appear to for several of the posters who have responded to your thread, so either (a) own up to your circumstances and do your best to work through them using whatever resources or medical labels that might enable you to do so, or (b) shrivel away from your dreams and accept that a lack of action results in a lack of growth and achievement in the ways that you want to grow in this world.
    Well, taking this whole thread into consideration...I think this is an excellent and truthful post.
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

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  4. #54
    it's tea time! Walking Tourist's Avatar
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    Athenian,
    Why don't you brainstorm with yourself and make a list of all of the things that you like to do? Just write down everything that comes to mind. It doesn't have to make any sense at this point and could be as silly as "eat an apple while walking in pouring rain." Then take that list and see if you can find a theme within all of that stuff.
    As an example, I might write that I like to feed the cats, brush the cats, greet other people's dogs when I'm taking a walk, go bird watching, etc.
    So the theme would be animals and how I relate with them.
    After you make the list of the things that you like to do and you find a theme, you could research the sorts of jobs that there might be with someone with your interests.
    Even if you don't really want to go to school for a degree, maybe there is a career center at a university where you could go for a little career counseling.
    I know that feeling at loose ends must be difficult for you because, from what I understand of the J preference, not having resolution is challenging and frustrating.
    I am considerably older than you but I am going through this same process myself. My freelance journalism job has come to an abrupt end and print journalism is, for sure, not the career of the future.
    Good luck to you as you go through this experience.
    Oh, and just one comment about Asperger's syndrome. I just finished a book called "Look Me In The Eye," by John Elder Robison. The author has Asperger's syndrome. He is a brilliant man and he is able to accept his condition as part of him, not a definition of him. I don't think that you have Asperger's syndrome but I wanted you to know that it really isn't so terrible a thing to have.
    I'm a little teapot, short and stout. Here is my handle and here is my spout. Every time I steam up, I give a shout. Just tip me over and pour me out.

  5. #55
    Badoom~ Skyward's Avatar
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    I've had similar problems, but since coming to Finland I have learned how to be more 'out in the world.' I learn to throw queues out ("Yeah I go home and sleep. There's nothing to do there.") or ask around to see what I can do. Having only an old computer that you can only get on for a couple hours a day, tops, keeps me away from the 'Sea of Introversion' that is the internet.

    I have quickly* made acquaintances with multiple people and feel more alive now than before. It was quite fun during last weekend's AFS meetup to have to ask random people on the street where things are. You just have to get used to being caught up in the thrill of it. that doesnt mean you dont get alone time. The trick, as usual, is balance.

    RL friends are just as, or even more, satisfying than online ones.


    *(By introvert standards. My ENFP friend would have had a lot of friends the end of the first week)

    If they'd let me screw up a few times without coming down so hard on me for it when I do, I might be less anxious.
    What responsibilities and who is 'they?'
    'Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and its better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.' - Marilyn Monroe

    This is who I am, escapist, paradise-seeker.
    -Nightwish

    Anthropology Major out of Hamline University. St. Paul, Minnesota.

  6. #56
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    I... ugh. No. If I'm that kind of person, I don't think I can be satisfied with my own existence. I don't want to be some kind of... emotionally stunted piece of garbage. I don't believe I have any of those conditions, I think I'm better than that.

    I'm not depressed, just frustrated and confused. I don't have social anxiety, I'm just acutely aware of how much responsibility is placed on me in social situations... it's not the people I'm afraid of, it's the expectations, the responsibility to do things right. If they'd let me screw up a few times without coming down so hard on me for it when I do, I might be less anxious. I have a fear of responsibility, especially new responsibilities.

    If I'm anxious at all, it's because they always came down so terribly hard on me back in elementary school for EVERY LITTLE MISTAKE, so I tried to keep myself in situations where I knew all the rules and had control so they wouldn't slam me for every little thing, like talking to a kid who spoke to me during class, or getting up to get something I needed to do my work without asking permission. The point is, I was always punished for ACTION. Never INACTION. So guess which one I tend towards now?

    Ever since then, I've been afraid to do anything where I couldn't clearly define the rules, because I know that "they" will make a federal case out of it if I do something in a way they don't like. I suppose it's possible that I was just too sensitive to the punishments they meted out back then, and didn't have a strong enough will to keep pushing the envelope to see where the boundaries were once someone had drawn a line in the sand. In fact, I think that might be my problem... I tend to take correction/criticism very personally.

    So, you get it? It's not that I'm scared, it's that I don't appreciate being criticized, so I tend to avoid doing things that could result in criticism.

    As far as Aspergers... that one just disgusts me because it would seem to imply that I'm male/masculine. I'm somewhat disturbed that you think I might have that.
    You realize that I have two children with autism, right? Children that are functioning better than you seem to be.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  7. #57
    Badoom~ Skyward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    You realize that I have two children with autism, right? Children that are functioning better than you seem to be.
    Those are different situations than his.

    Kids with autism usually get more support than people like Athenian. Athenian needs support. Youre an NF mom and likely much more understanding. He has a parent that doesnt understand him (nor seems to care to). I think he situation is worse.

    Apples to oranges. Theyre fruit, but different.
    'Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and its better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.' - Marilyn Monroe

    This is who I am, escapist, paradise-seeker.
    -Nightwish

    Anthropology Major out of Hamline University. St. Paul, Minnesota.

  8. #58
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyward View Post
    Those are different situations than his.

    Kids with autism usually get more support than people like Athenian. Athenian needs support. Youre an NF mom and likely much more understanding. He has a parent that doesnt understand him (nor seems to care to). I think he situation is worse.

    Apples to oranges. Theyre fruit, but different.
    Yeah, true (actually, what am I talking about? I have no experience/knowledge of autism vs. anything else). But everyone in this world has their own issues with lack of acceptance, or any number of other trials, many feel alone/misunderstood and have a harder time jiving with the world at large, and many in this thread have already commented that they related to the struggles outlined in the OP, and can empathize with the situation.

    But I sort of don't understand placing Athenian in any different context from anyone else who has one difficulty or another, or keeping this tied to mbti, placing her as an N-dom who is incapable of functioning well in society - i.e. the 'people like Athenian' comment. What does that even mean? 'People like Athenian' can, in fact, make changes if they WANT to make changes. I fully agree with UseHerName's post. You either accept the nature of things, and go about trying to find a way to insert yourself in some way, on some level, to that nature of existence as it is (and no one's saying that is necessarily going to come *easily*, or won't involve discomfort or psychological challenges to overcome), or you forever cast yourself off and create a self-fulfulling prophecy of inaction and forever being 'different' from everyone else.

    Life isn't without hardship and discomfort.
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

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  9. #59
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyward View Post
    Those are different situations than his.

    Kids with autism usually get more support than people like Athenian. Athenian needs support. Youre an NF mom and likely much more understanding. He has a parent that doesnt understand him (nor seems to care to). I think he situation is worse.

    Apples to oranges. Theyre fruit, but different.
    True, but if Athenian truly is not depressed, does not have social anxiety, or any other condition, then Athenian is just going through the same crap we all go through. It's just life and we just have to do it despite all the horrible feelings we may experience along the way. In that case, you just have to suck it up and step out the door.

    The support I got was: go to school or get a job. Okay, you've got a job, now pay me some rent.

    At some point you kind of have to start taking responsibility for yourself.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  10. #60
    Senior Member the state i am in's Avatar
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    tsdesigner- your advice has some merit to it, but you don't understand infjs at all. you just say they are wrong without showing the way from where he is to where he could go. you just want him to become an intj bc you think intjs are better. nope. wrong.

    i like what usehername says but the ultimatum may or may not be helpful at this point either. it takes a while to get it sorted out. i find the best approach in this situation outlined a few times throughout the thread is to just make some positive steps. stop worrying about solving your broken life, your view of yourself, the world, everything. you can't do it holistically, it can't happen with one single move or one N idea that reframes everything. there are pieces that, if shifted, will show you the puzzle better, but the puzzle is always (and always will be) the puzzle.

    for starters you sound like a ton of other infjs, it's not a new unsolvable problem. you're just fixated and pretty judgy (not that this is a bad thing). you use extraverted judgment really harshly on the world around you and have not learned to balance the internal external pressure (on yourself vs on the world/others). i've found that finding works of art that express my own internal contradictions help me deal with my contradictions in judging the world around me, others, etc. but that's a long process. but it's something to work on.

    in the meantime, the only answer is letting go more. accepting a FAR HIGHER RATE OF FAILURE. you have to accept negative situations and negative circumstances more easily and let them go. you have to suspend judgment more often, realize that even tho you may not be comfortable with something or it may violate your ideas, understandings, values, Ni picture of what the world should be like, it may have a validity (read: value) of its own that you are not yet aware of. you don't know everything. god, i fucking was so judgy when i was younger and i would just reject EVERYTHING in one fell swoop. i would not allow myself to learn how to play any of the games bc i would JUDGE them immediately from a pre-conceived notion and reject the whole of the experiences contained within them as false or contrived or arbitrary.

    like relationships. meeting people in ways that FELT false, cheesy, disgusting, pathetic, etc. people with what i perceived to be no real or lasting or valuable connection. but i only saw a very limited range of how the game could be played, what it could consist of, and most of all the rewards in learning how to play it for yourself and for/with others. being pleasantly surprised is step 1, opening yourself enough so that that can happen for you. yes the process feels random unless you strategize, and you may only meet a slow trickle of people related to your friend's brother or your classmate's _____ or etc. and it may be something cheesy like meeting a book club to get to know new people but, in my experience, the people who accept the conditions of the game, accept the world around them for what it is, who try to make the best of it, end up living far better lives. social experience rounds a person out, gives them better information to work with (if they know smart people and can think critically), and it gives them positive feedback and social support. it helps a person understand him/herself better, especially as an infj, borrowing the eyes of others but not fixating to one particular interpretation (tho if you find that home for yourself, by all means, it feels pretty damn good).

    this is all necessary in teh process of understanding yourself better, clarifying (read: testing) your values, discovering what is important to you and what skills you possess. you may feel minimized at first when around others and under-appreciated, but sometimes it takes a lot of fucking games of musical chairs before things line up and you find the right situation (or two or three etc). you know mbti. N folks help, seriously, understanding this basic quality of perception makes it WAYYYY easier to explain social success and failure. it makes it so much easier to see basic patterns and shapes in social activity that will become more and more maneuverable with a bit of practice.

    it doesn't matter if something seems arbitrary at first if it works. effects and side effects spew out in all directions, many of them create much of the richness of life for us, regardless of how they work or why they work. we are what we are, the world is what it is, and you are what you are. but you can evolve in a positive way. and you can help improve what is around you with different attitude and more perspective(s). and you can enjoy and participate in the world that is here all around us.

    dead-ends still open up some doors. i met one of my friends in an aborted attempt at a culinary degree (i was there as a hobby), in which we both dropped the class by the third session bc it was too painfully retarded. we were the smart geeky N kids so we immediately became friends. such is life.

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