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Thread: Frustrated INFJ

  1. #1
    Badoom~ Skyward's Avatar
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    Default Frustrated INFJ

    I find that I cannot integrate with a group of 'normal' people. I'm not talking sensors. I'm talking people, Ns included, who grew up in a community. I moved here when I was little and still 'outside.' I guess having an all-introvert family doesn't help, either.

    Our community is -very- religious. In our town of 13,000 people we have 7 Lutheran churches, at least 2 Methodist churches, and a handful of other churches from other Christian denominations. One thing my mother pointed out is that it's harder to fit in, even as a family, if you don't go to a certain large church and participate in all their church-sponsored activities. We are Pentecostal, and go to a church that has, maybe, 20 people in it on a full day.

    This recently came to be a reality-slap in the face when I tried communicating my ideas with my current class. The only response was 'you really throw us for a loop sometimes.' At that point I receded into a frustrated pseudo-depression. Almost like a relapse from punching into shadow-ESTP mode. (At that point I have to reply to -everything- and I become a w=one-liner machine. Funny or not.)

    My Fe is particularly runty since all of my introverted functions were nurtured by our pseudo-outcast situation. I have a few friends, but only two that I trust enough to talk to about intimate matters (INTP and ENFP). I also have my father, INFJ, but the generation gap is enough to make that rather shaky.

    I dunno, I just find myself getting frustrated when I try to become friends with people or try and fit in. It's like I came from a totally different planet. I guess it's a typical INFJ thing, but I wish I could at least work out of some of it. Heck, an INFJ I know, and struggle to get a date with, seems to be rather popular (In the commonly-known sense, not the talked about a lot sense) and that rankles me even more. Not to mention I seem to barely register on her radar. She's also the more straight-developed INFJ type, so there are even different signals THERE.

    I think that is a long pre-text to ask how to develop my Fe enough to understand social queues and other things. I'm just too frustrated at being the 'weird smart guy in the corner who stares off at into space.'
    '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.

  2. #2
    Member invaderzim's Avatar
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    Just try to use your Fe to understand and help other people around you. Take an interest in others. After a while, you might find it easier to "connect" with people in the way you want.

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    Member Saffronsocks's Avatar
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    +1

    just use your Fe and it'll work itself out. Family background and upbringing can sometimes be a stepping stone to a complete mastery of whatever it was you were lacking in the past. Did that sentence make sense? I'm sure you'll figure this out - and it also doesn't sound like you've been dealt the easiest community to integrate yourself into. Your social skills are probably A-one, but bouncing off the wrong crowd... I'd also bet money that female INFJ feels completely out place, too (ever met an INFJ who didn't?

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    I guess I exercise my Fe by asking myself, "How might this person be feeling, and how can I help improve it?" Or just, "How can I help this person?" Asking the question gets to be a habit, and the actions become regular. But it sometimes disappears if I get too absorbed in my own thoughts (Ni). You have to focus outside yourself, which can be hard to do at first.

    Start with something easy, like helping someone carry something or holding a door. You see the need, and you do something about it. Then remind yourself that even as babies we prefer to be smiled at--so smile at someone who seems to need a smile. (Remember, this is for the other person, to make them feel good; not for yourself. If they don't smile back, it doesn't matter.) So now you're lending a hand when you see a need, and smiling at people.

    Next, practice thinking of nice things to say. It has to be real and genuine. Catch their eye and smile as you say it. Don't expect them to say something nice in return, though many of them will. Your job is just to brighten their day.

    For me, it's important that I not judge myself based on their reactions. I might adapt a behavior based on their reactions, but I have succeeded in my goal if I simply offer something pleasant to them--it is not required for them to accept and reciprocate.

    If you get into the habit of doing things like this, people will feel more comfortable approaching you and making small talk. When someone attempts to do something nice for you, be sure to acknowledge and encourage it. Remember how awkward it feels when you smile at someone and they don't smile back? So make sure you always return a smile. Remember how uncomfortable it is when you try to talk to someone and they look at you funny? So when someone tries to talk to you, use all your tools to make them feel good about themselves. Smile, agree pleasantly if possible, engage in small talk, even if you think you're no good at it.

    They call it social skills for a reason--they are skills you learn. Thankfully, they CAN be learned; it doesn't require a certain personality type.

  5. #5
    meat popsicle r.a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyward View Post
    I think that is a long pre-text to ask how to develop my Fe enough to understand social queues and other things. I'm just too frustrated at being the 'weird smart guy in the corner who stares off at into space.'
    join the club, brother. one thing you can do is to make extroverted friends who appreciate what you bring to the table and learn from them. otherwise, honestly, there is nothing wrong with you.

    better to be the wierd smart guy in the corner than another dreaming sheep on a treadmill.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Kyrielle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by faith View Post
    I guess I exercise my Fe by asking myself, "How might this person be feeling, and how can I help improve it?" Or just, "How can I help this person?" Asking the question gets to be a habit, and the actions become regular. But it sometimes disappears if I get too absorbed in my own thoughts (Ni). You have to focus outside yourself, which can be hard to do at first.

    Start with something easy, like helping someone carry something or holding a door. You see the need, and you do something about it. Then remind yourself that even as babies we prefer to be smiled at--so smile at someone who seems to need a smile. (Remember, this is for the other person, to make them feel good; not for yourself. If they don't smile back, it doesn't matter.) So now you're lending a hand when you see a need, and smiling at people.

    Next, practice thinking of nice things to say. It has to be real and genuine. Catch their eye and smile as you say it. Don't expect them to say something nice in return, though many of them will. Your job is just to brighten their day.

    For me, it's important that I not judge myself based on their reactions. I might adapt a behavior based on their reactions, but I have succeeded in my goal if I simply offer something pleasant to them--it is not required for them to accept and reciprocate.

    If you get into the habit of doing things like this, people will feel more comfortable approaching you and making small talk. When someone attempts to do something nice for you, be sure to acknowledge and encourage it. Remember how awkward it feels when you smile at someone and they don't smile back? So make sure you always return a smile. Remember how uncomfortable it is when you try to talk to someone and they look at you funny? So when someone tries to talk to you, use all your tools to make them feel good about themselves. Smile, agree pleasantly if possible, engage in small talk, even if you think you're no good at it.

    They call it social skills for a reason--they are skills you learn. Thankfully, they CAN be learned; it doesn't require a certain personality type.
    This.


    And doing the above and getting comfortable with it can sometimes require a bit of confidence.

    For example, what your class mates said to you, "You really throw us for a loop sometimes" would have now been funny to me and I would have taken it as a compliment. (In high school, I would have felt bad, too.)
    "I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference."

    Robert Frost

  7. #7
    Sniffles
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    If it helps console you, I often have trouble fitting in within my very own Church!

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    Badoom~ Skyward's Avatar
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    Thank you for all the support everyone. I'll keep this thread tagged so I can re-read it when I'm down.

    *Faith's helpful advice*
    I do some of that. Hmm. I think a lot of it is also matching my countenance to be brighter. I do it with my voice, they say thank you I have an up-toned 'You're welcome.' Smiling is worse because I hate how a look when I smile... I just need to learn to ignore that I guess. And the energy it takes to STAY upbeat... how do ENFJs do it??

    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    If it helps console you, I often have trouble fitting in within my very own Church!
    I find that I don't have the upfront passion for Christ everyone else in my church seems to have. The ENFJ youth leader makes me feel guilty every sunday, but not in a bad way, in the developed-ENFJ way that isn't all rose-petals and nice words.

    I content myself with my internal growth towards Him while working with my church to promote a good 'spiritual watering.' I am a Pentecostal.
    '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.

  9. #9
    It's always something... PuddleRiver's Avatar
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    I have the same problem if that's any consolation. Especially in church. I'd say something profound that wasn't the usual rah rah and I'd get this look like you described above. They usually didn't say anything, but they didn't have to, it was written all over their faces that they thought I was one weird chick. It was a way of looking at something they'd never thought of before and they couldn't wrap their heads or hearts around it. I hate pat answers when it comes to spiritual things and they couldn't think or talk about anything else. I'd end up feeling so weird that I just shut up. bleh.
    Last edited by PuddleRiver; 07-28-2009 at 12:50 AM. Reason: the last time, i swear.
    "In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay one invincible summer."
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    A Christian's life may be the only Bible some people ever read.
    ~~~~
    "The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them" Maya Angelou.
    ~~~~
    I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ" Gandhi
    ~~~~

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyward View Post
    My Fe is particularly runty since all of my introverted functions were nurtured by our pseudo-outcast situation. I have a few friends, but only two that I trust enough to talk to about intimate matters (INTP and ENFP). I also have my father, INFJ, but the generation gap is enough to make that rather shaky.

    I dunno, I just find myself getting frustrated when I try to become friends with people or try and fit in. It's like I came from a totally different planet. I guess it's a typical INFJ thing, but I wish I could at least work out of some of it.
    Hmm. Well, others have asked if you can exercise your Fe more. I'm wondering whether, since you say you have an ENFP friend, you can hang out more with that person?

    I say because I think young ENFPs are supposed to be very exploratory. At least, that was true for me. I really wanted to go to a lot of different places and try new things. Is your friend like that? If he is, and you tag along, you guys can make an awesome team and he can certainly provide you with the breadth of experiences for you to work your Fe.

    (Edited to tone down the NF hyperbole. Oy)

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