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  1. #1
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    Question type change and trauma

    I ran into a friend from high school the other day who commented that I've changed a lot since then- I used to be a classic ESTP (yes- the loud, obnoxious, beer drinking, joke telling stereotype of the type!). She hadn't seen me in years, so she's had no clue what I've been up to in all of this time.

    This really made me wonder about something, can a person's type change due to a traumatic event and its aftermath? And will I ever change back?

    In the course of the past several years I was the victim of a crime- a bad one- and I was so traumatized by it that I ended up in therapy 5 months later diagnosed with PTSD with co-morbid depression and alcoholism. This was over a year ago and I'm still recovering from what I've been through and I was wondering- could this have changed me from an extrovert to an introvert? and will I ever go back to how I was before?

    I cut way back on the drinking now and only drink for social occasions- I'm very very cautious about it. I've also been informed that I'm less depressed now, which is a good thing! Now I'm just stuck wondering if I'll ever get my old ESTP type back or not?
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  2. #2
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    By a type change, it sounds more like you have simply focused on Ti more as opposed to Se like you used to. Or is that untrue? Are you finding you still operate from Se but are more stilted because you do not allow yourself to Se much?

    It is hard for me to tell from this side what is a change -- whether you are really ISTP who simply was in a position to enjoy extroversion when younger (having lots of friends, etc.), or an ESTP who was traumatized and now find yourself withdrawn from others.

    In general, you really do not change types. I think an extrovert forced to introvert as the common mode will not be as entirely functional as a natural introvert (and vice versa).

    I/E is interesting because that definitely seems to be part of one's neurological sensitivity -- extroverts generally need more stimulation in order to feel functional, introverts are sensitive and withdraw from stimulation. So it has a physical basis and is not purely a "personality construct" like the other functions tend to be.

    Our ESFP son is the only extrovert in our family, and for his ages 4-7 or so, he suffered the ill effects of introvert pressure. We were not trying to damage him, but we put too much pressure him to conform to introvert standards and you could tell that he was timid, depressed, and unhappy generally. We had to give him more room and leeway to be loud and extroverted, and now he's very positive, self-directed, and proud of who he is rather than feeling suppressed. My point here is that, despite the pressure of his environment, he did not "become introverted" -- he was an extrovert being forced to operate as an introvert.

    So are you really an introvert who used to be more social but now just have trouble being with people (because of the trauma), or are you an extrovert at heart and not as happy as you could be, because this trauma is creating fear in you?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  3. #3
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    I still have some definite extrovert tendencies
    - talk, then think
    - bouncing ideas off of people (or the dog if people are unavailable) in order to clarify my thinking (I can't think silently)
    - I'm still the life of any party I attend, though I attend less frequently
    - I somehow always end up talking to strangers out of curiosity, even though I'm afraid of them anymore
    - I hate silence- I usually am online, watching tv, doing homework and cooking dinner all at once

    I just don't go out much anymore or trust people like I used to I kind of had all senses of safety removed and feel less invulnerable! Now I'm actually a bit scared if someone approaches me

    thanks for your response! I've been kind of trying to sort things out for the past few days!
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  4. #4
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    I think I mentioned this before somewhere, but my ESTP appearred introverted to me growing up because she was a young single mother raising two introverted children & was going through a very messy divorce. She barely went out because she was always raising us kids, broke, or emotionally distraught from the divorce from my father. She also has a diagnosed anxiety disorder. When I got older and she introduced type theory to me, she said she was an ESTP. I was surprised, but I noticed how she would truly shine when around other people. She just hadn't had much of a chance to do so for years.

  5. #5
    The Black Knight Domino's Avatar
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    Bad protracted pain has permanently ground an edge on me. I was edgy before, but I'm sharp as razor now, whether I like it or not.

    I think Jennifer's right though -- you may still be an ESTP but with a focus on a different area now that you've been put through the fire. Don't give up hope of gaining your buoyancy back.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    I agree. You can eventually heal and get your old self back. Hang in there.

  7. #7
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    I ran into a friend from high school the other day who commented that I've changed a lot since then- I used to be a classic ESTP (yes- the loud, obnoxious, beer drinking, joke telling stereotype of the type!). She hadn't seen me in years, so she's had no clue what I've been up to in all of this time.

    This really made me wonder about something, can a person's type change due to a traumatic event and its aftermath? And will I ever change back?

    In the course of the past several years I was the victim of a crime- a bad one- and I was so traumatized by it that I ended up in therapy 5 months later diagnosed with PTSD with co-morbid depression and alcoholism. This was over a year ago and I'm still recovering from what I've been through and I was wondering- could this have changed me from an extrovert to an introvert? and will I ever go back to how I was before?

    I cut way back on the drinking now and only drink for social occasions- I'm very very cautious about it. I've also been informed that I'm less depressed now, which is a good thing! Now I'm just stuck wondering if I'll ever get my old ESTP type back or not?
    You know, I had noticed that you seemed a bit less edgy than many ISTP's... you seem a bit more laid back, less aggressive (which is a bit ironic, to me.)

    It is a little strange that you spend most of your time online and/or watching TV... that's what I spend most of my free time doing, too. You must be stressed if you're acting like me (an INFJ) instead of yourself.

    When you say loud/obnoxious, do you mean you used to do things like knocking things over, jumping up on tables, and slapping people around for fun? Or just talking loudly, maybe waving your arms around a bit, and being a little boorish?

  8. #8
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    I could have been mistaken for an excellent soccer hooligan a few years ago!
    Last edited by miss fortune; 12-01-2007 at 06:05 PM.
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  9. #9
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    so there is hope of getting back to being the same as back then? thank you guys!!!
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  10. #10
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    so there is hope of getting back to being the same as back then? thank you guys!!!
    Yes. There is hope.

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