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  1. #1
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    Default I am a bad extrovert.

    I'm interested in this topic. I'm not sure whether I should've posted this under a different thread. Please tell me if I've missed related information.

    I read this piece and I recognized myself in it. I am a consummate extrovert but simultaneously (very) socially awkward. Strangers mistake me for an introvert all the time, though I don't shut up around family and friends. I also feel very claustrophobic in groups, which is a big thing. Aren't extroverts supposed to feel comfortable in groups? I'm not. I'm only comfortable engaging in small clusters or one-on-one.

    But I /do/ need constant stimulation because every single one of my thought processes are external. I am always in thrall of introverts because they sprout complete, thoughtful ideas -- without outside help/stimulation -- the first time they open their mouths. I just can't imagine being that way.

    At first I thought that, because I was bookish and disliked spending time with most people, I might be an introvert. Then I realized that it wasn't because I disliked people in theory -- I just hated the individuals I had to interact with. I'm also a prolific reader (I read two to three books a day) but I use books as substitutes for intelligent conversation with actual human beings. Often when I read books, I read out loud and pretend that I'm having a conversation with my reading material.

    And though I do like spending time alone, I have to constantly engage myself. If I'm doing nothing and I'm alone, I feel fidgety and lonely. After many days of isolation I get very depressed and can't operate. (I become like this often because I have an introvert's DREAM job; I'm a freelance writer.)

    This has resulted in my wanting friends but somehow not being able to make them. I understand that this skill is divorced from the extroversion/introversion aspect of our personalities, but I feel like I should be a better "smooth operator" because I am inclined to be like that but somehow never found my way.

    So is an acceptable status quo or should I aspire to be a better extrovert? Has anybody else felt like this? Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    You might be assuming that social extroversion and cognitive extraversion are the same thing. For comparison, many intraverts can be simultaneously cognitively intraverted and very chatty towards their family and close friends (See IxFJs) displaying social extroversion in that particular scenario. There are oodles of examples of people posting about this issue if you want me to dig some up let me know.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    It's certainly not a desirable status quo if you are indeed an E. Listen to your hunger for interaction. Force yourself little by little by interacting with people - anyone.

    I've had times where I thought - "what's the point? most people's conversations bore me to tear and dull my mind." - but I learned to cultivate some patience. One thing is very important though. No matter how cool and Jesus-like you might consider yourself to be...there will ALWAYS be people that stimulate you more than others. And if you need to force yourself to interact with people in general...it's just so you can find those people that truly stimulate you.

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    Senior Member Rebe's Avatar
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    Even as an introvert, I need more external stimuli than I have but it is so hard to find people who stimulate you. But I have learned to reach out and not over-think it when I do come across someone interesting/seemingly similar. Sometimes just a 'I love your jacket' can get the other person talking about themselves and their life. I learned this from working as a cashier. Don't force yourself to interact with people who dull you - people who you have given a couple of chances but you just don't mesh.

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    @InvisibleJim Thank you so much. I'd love it if you could find those threads. I tried looking, but this board is so big and I didn't know where to begin.

    I looked up cognitive processes just now and I think I undersatnd -- in theory -- how being a cognitive extrovert is different (though often correlated) with being a social extrovert. But I'd never heard anyone discuss how this disconnect works in practice.

    @moiety I need to cultivate that patience. I think most of it comes from my lonely life and being out of practice. (Among my few friends I'm infamous for my social blunders.) But I have come to the conclusion that I'm meant to be around people, so I am going to try as hard as I can to make new friends. It'll give me something to look forward to every day, I think.

    @rebe That's a great idea. I should figure something similar out as well...

  6. #6
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duck! View Post
    @moiety I need to cultivate that patience. I think most of it comes from my lonely life and being out of practice. (Among my few friends I'm infamous for my social blunders.) But I have come to the conclusion that I'm meant to be around people, so I am going to try as hard as I can to make new friends. It'll give me something to look forward to every day, I think.
    Yeah. I'm a male ENFP, and it's funny because, invariably, in most group of friends I have...someone has called me antisocial (jokingly) more than once. Everyone thinks their my only group of friends and that they are the only ones who can "cope" with my personality

    But even though I like to cultivate a personal sense of modesty, I have to admit, few are the people who get to know me that don't like me after a while. That's probably the case for many ENFPs....so if nothing else, think of it like a game of probability. If your charm can get other people interested in you...continue interacting until you find those cool special ones.

    One thing that has helped me, since I can at times be cynical about people is realizing...that what I don't like in other people is superficiality, so I consciously avoid it like the plague. Anything that might be a outward symbol of superficiality tells me right away I need to stay away from that person. It was an unconscious probability exercise I did in my head.

    What I have come to realize though, is that parallel to that, I also did the opposite....I never considered myself a elitist, but it took me knowing someone from a very rural area, that I assumed wouldn't understand the things I like to discuss...to see that I also closed myself off to the people that while not showing outward symbols of superficiality, showed outward symbols of simplicity.

    So, and I guess you are bored of hearing my personal experience by now...but, I guess what I'm saying is...don't indulge in superficiality because it will only make you miserable and bored....but give simple people a chance.



    That probably was the weirdest post I've ever made...

  7. #7
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    I kind of identify with that one ISFP description on typelogic.. "flowing with compliments one day, aloof the next.." So I guess that makes me a bad introvert? :| I seem to have the opposite problem as you.. And instead of seeming awkward at first, I probably seem open. Even a psychologist, who knew my introverted tendencies pretty well, said that I still am easy to talk to, or could light a room up at times (his words, not mine. I think he just noticed how I'd hit on his secretary or something. Heh. It's hardly lighting up a room.).. I think I make more than enough effort at interacting or breaking the ice, but I can't really sustain it. It's all kind of meant for others to meet me halfway, but I would prefer others pick it up from there. Ultimately, this doesn't work out a lot. So in an odd way, I'm in the same boat as you... some limbo between introversion/extroversion.

  8. #8
    The Duchess of Oddity Queen Kat's Avatar
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    I'm a bad extrovert too, but I discovered a pattern with myself: I don't like social situations where I don't get the attention I want. I like being a part of groups, but only if a big part (or, let's say a majority, or, no, ALL) attention is drawn to me. If I'm in a group and I don't get attention, I feel uncomfortable and my mood is ruined for at least a couple of days. Not getting enough attention is bad for my ego. So, when I suspect a social event isn't going to get me any attention at all (like going to bars when I have to listen to OTHER people's life stories), I'd rather stay away even though I hate being alone. I always need something in arms reach that I can give a hug whenever I want. Okay, I could hug pillows, but that's not real.
    I was sitting outside the classroom waiting to go in, and I saw an airplane hit the tower. The TV was obviously on. I used to fly myself and I said, "There's one terrible pilot."
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  9. #9
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    Seems pretty common for ne doms actually not sure why exactly...I'm an extravert but don't feel like one..I don't know if its my place in life atm..the thingsa I'm dealing with or what but I've seemed to run out of things to say..I feel less engaging...less desirous of conversation...not sure wtf is going on but its weird...I do love people and thrive on group interaction..its just been too long since I've had it I guess..hmm...maybe us enfps just withdraw into ourselves w/o that close knit group of friends around constantly idk...perhaps start going to some local writer groups or something..find a group that shares your interests and see where that goes.
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

  10. #10
    Senior Member HotpinkHeatwave's Avatar
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    There are introverted extroverts. I'm one.

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