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  1. #1
    Senior Member Lily flower's Avatar
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    Default Accept personality or fight it?

    I recently moved and am once again confronted with my introversion.

    My question is...do I just give in to my natural tendency to stay in and avoid people?

    Or do I force myself to go out and make friends and be exceptionally friendly, even though it will be very unpleasant to do so? I have trained myself to act like an extrovert, when I need to, but it takes a great deal of energy.

    The bigger question here is whether to accept my personality, even when I don't like it, or fight my natural personality, which can be a losing battle.

  2. #2
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    Is considering contact with other people, "unpleasant" really introversion? That sounds kind of unhealthy to me.. Not liking other people to the point of finding interaction "unpleasant" is not the same as being shy or needing time to yourself. It's a mild from misanthropy as described.

  3. #3
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    Try to find some balance. Forcing yourself will definitely make things unpleasant and negative. And making friends like that just creates a lot of expectations, so sooner or later they're going to be disappointed as well, when you start needing more and more time for yourself to recharge your batteries. Maybe you could just take it easier and let things flow more naturally, get used to the new environment, find the things that give you most energy in there and maybe you'll find friends in those places and it won't be so taxing on you.

    You say that you don't like your personality the way it is, your tendency to avoid people. So you're already battling with yourself all the time and that takes up even more energy. Maybe, to make it easier on yourself, you could both accept it when you really do feel that you'd rather stay in, and then fight it when going out could be more beneficial and you know it. But you don't have to feel guilty for feeling either way.

  4. #4
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    If you attempt to fight your personality, isn't that part of your personality?

  5. #5
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lily flower View Post
    I recently moved and am once again confronted with my introversion.
    My question is...do I just give in to my natural tendency to stay in and avoid people?

    Or do I force myself to go out and make friends and be exceptionally friendly, even though it will be very unpleasant to do so? I have trained myself to act like an extrovert, when I need to, but it takes a great deal of energy.
    I think life is about finding balance. We are who we are, but we also have the capability to stretch ourselves.

    In a case like this, you do need to be aware of your own strengths and weaknesses; but I would advise looking at your life and deciding what you need. Figure out how big a support base you need and how many people you can reasonably invest in, and then follow the plan. Don't overextend yourself (to protect your energy reserve), but don't use the anxiety you might feel as a reason to shortchange yourself.

    Another recommendation is to acquaint yourself with the idea of various tiers of relationship. It's not as if you have to do all-or-nothing, that you need to either not engage or else be someone's best friend. You are perfectly allowed to engage people on more distant (but cordial) levels and not have to develop all of those into full-blown friendships that will deplete your energy. Realistically, if you are this introverted, you probably can only maintain a few deeper relationships and should keep the others at a friendly but distant level.

    If you're concerned about not investing enough with groups of people, it's okay to attend group functions and show appreciation for people who want to engage you further but you can still sort of hold people at arm's length while remaining appreciative of their desire t include you. Most adults understand the need to keep control of one's time and energy and will give you space without rejecting you, and those who don't will probably have just been a PitA to be friends with anyway. Don't shut doors (except on those who continue to violate your boundaries); it's always good to have a range of people in your life.
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    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Probably Most Brilliant Craft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Tater View Post
    If you attempt to fight your personality, isn't that part of your personality?
    Yep. You can't fight personality. What you can fight is "temperament".

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    Senior Member mochajava's Avatar
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    Have you seen the column called "The Introvert's Corner"? Here's a piece of advice from one of the readers:

    For many years book clubs or readers groups at a local book store/library have been the key for the introverted ladies of my family to make new friends. They usually have very small memberships, don't last too long and, well, offer an opportunity to break away into rows of browse-able bookshelves before and after--Merritt

    And here's the source: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/...low-introverts

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lily flower View Post
    I recently moved and am once again confronted with my introversion.

    My question is...do I just give in to my natural tendency to stay in and avoid people?

    Or do I force myself to go out and make friends and be exceptionally friendly, even though it will be very unpleasant to do so? I have trained myself to act like an extrovert, when I need to, but it takes a great deal of energy.

    The bigger question here is whether to accept my personality, even when I don't like it, or fight my natural personality, which can be a losing battle.
    So.. I tend to think all of these things are a bit on a continuum... even your unhappiness... so when the negatives of your present situation, if there are personality components that cause them, outweigh the positives, you're most likely going to then be ready to make a change or even face things that make you uncomfortable or stretch you. I think it's when things are sort of even - the negatives on both sides of the equation are about equal and both options are unpleasant - in your case, staying where you're at even though you know there are aspects you don't like about it, vs. going 'out there' even though there are negative aspects with that too - that we just sit still.

    Basically - When the negatives of 'giving into your natural tendency to stay in and avoid people' cause you more grief and unhappiness than the possible negatives of forcing yourself out to try to meet people, then you might be ready to force yourself out.

    As to personality in general -- you are who you are, and that's not going to change. Your core self isn't going to change. So accepting some of your negative aspects for what they are is probably going to be more painless in the long run than trying to deny them and be someone you aren't - that, in the long run, will be more stressful. BUT, you also have the ability to do whatever you want to do and push yourself out of your comfort zone. Just because you're 'naturally' one way, doesn't mean you can't experiment or make yourself uncomfortable now and then, if you think that will lead to a greater good. Embracing and 'settling' with our negative traits, when it's in our power to at least try to not let them have as much power over us isn't ideal either. A simple example... someone says they're just not naturally a clean person, why bother, so they trash their place and say it's hopeless or what not... well, it's not that they *can't* make any sort of effort and they're chained to some personality trait that is wholly out of their control... I mean, basically, we always still have the power of choice to override our instincts/natural tendencies. We're not beholden to them. We aren't behaviorally locked to them and at their mercy - we can grow beyond them too - find creative ways to work around them. Recognize and accept that they're there and they're who we are? Yes, absolutely. But not allow ourselves to be chained to them as if we are incapable of anything else - because we are capable of whatever we want to be and do (within reason/physical/intellectual ability, of course).

    Re. socializing - there's not 'one' way to go about it. Meeting new people is absolutely my achilles heel too and I relate to what you say, but if acting like an extrovert just isn't your thing (and it's not mine either) then that means you may have to be *comfortable* and ok presenting yourself in a way more natural to you, but also know that the nature of your interactions are going to change a bit too. But being more natural to yourself is in the end going to draw like-minded people to you, even if the process might take a bit longer.
    "...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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  10. #10
    morose bourgeoisie
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    I think you should try to relax and just be yourself.

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