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  1. #1
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Default Self-worth and your relationships with others

    Iíve been told a few times now by mature people, whose insight I respect, that I must not let my self-worth/self-esteem be affected by how another person behaves or feels towards me. This has always followed on the heels of a conversation about a friend being angry with me, a breakup, someone who Iíve made friendship efforts with not giving me the time of dayÖetc.

    A few people seem to have picked up on this from me, and from self-examination I am getting the impression it is a problem for me, too. When people treat me unkindly, or if I fall out with a friend, or if a guy I like doesnít like me, etc, it just seems to flatten me out of all measure. Besides having physical symptoms like nausea and exhaustion, I start questioning everything about myself. If there is blame on both sides, I blow my side of it out of all proportion. If itís clearly the other personís fault (I mean, it might even be clear to others), I still start questioning everything about myself and the part I may have played. I shouldnít have said things that way, I pick my friends badly, if he doesnít like me itís because Iím not worth much, blah blah blah. I may be exaggerating slightly here, but only slightly. It is definitely sometimes I need to work on.

    I should add that generally my relationships with others seem to run quite smoothly. So part of it may be the shock on the relatively rare occasions when things donít go well. But that doesnít really explain itÖ Maybe I also take too much of my self-worth from generally having good relationships with others!

    Is this very much an NF thing, or am I just a bit messed up?
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  2. #2
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    My INFJ wife has this happen to some degree. If she gets lectured by her stepmother, she is tense and feels ill for days.

    It's not fair.

    I wish I knew a way to give her some of my stonecold self assurance.

    All I can tell you is that you can't make everyone happy all the time. At some point you need to be able to agree to disagree with people, and be OK with it.

    Not everyone deserves the right to have such a pull on you.

    If my wife says one critical thing to me it crushes me, because I love her so much. But if ANYONE else in the world lips off to me I can tell them to go frack themselves at a moment's notice and then completely go on about my day.

    If you know that you are a good and well intended person, then live your life, give yourself some room for error, and don't be too concerned with others' viewpoints on you.

    Remember, some people are manipulative, you don't want them in your head...
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Tikka's Avatar
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    It's an NF thing. I recognise a lot about that. We just derive a lot of our own happiness from our surroundings.

    Conversely, if the surroundings are not happy, we project that on ourselves.

    When near an NT who is not happy, I really have to refrain myself to ask him/her why she's not happy, because although intuitively you know that's the case, some NT's really don't appreciate you do the feeling for them.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Iíve been told a few times now by mature people, whose insight I respect, that I must not let my self-worth/self-esteem be affected by how another person behaves or feels towards me. This has always followed on the heels of a conversation about a friend being angry with me, a breakup, someone who Iíve made friendship efforts with not giving me the time of dayÖetc.

    A few people seem to have picked up on this from me, and from self-examination I am getting the impression it is a problem for me, too. When people treat me unkindly, or if I fall out with a friend, or if a guy I like doesnít like me, etc, it just seems to flatten me out of all measure. Besides having physical symptoms like nausea and exhaustion, I start questioning everything about myself. If there is blame on both sides, I blow my side of it out of all proportion. If itís clearly the other personís fault (I mean, it might even be clear to others), I still start questioning everything about myself and the part I may have played. I shouldnít have said things that way, I pick my friends badly, if he doesnít like me itís because Iím not worth much, blah blah blah. I may be exaggerating slightly here, but only slightly. It is definitely sometimes I need to work on.

    I should add that generally my relationships with others seem to run quite smoothly. So part of it may be the shock on the relatively rare occasions when things donít go well. But that doesnít really explain itÖ Maybe I also take too much of my self-worth from generally having good relationships with others!

    Is this very much an NF thing, or am I just a bit messed up?
    You are not messed up, so don't worry about that.

    I could have written all of this myself. I can relate to this so much. I keep telling myself that I must not let things get to me. Mostly I can manage it very well but sometimes even the slightest, tiniest, really insignificant thing just knocks the wind right out of me. I don't really have any physical symptoms except for this really, really bad feeling of being utterly worthless and I get an irresistible urge to crawl under a rock or something. Sorry, I have no useful advice to give on how to deal with this. For me it just comes and goes, everything passes.

  5. #5
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post

    I wish I knew a way to give her some of my stonecold self assurance.
    Please can I have some too...you seem to have it to spare! It would be very useful...I find this kind of thing so exhausting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post

    Remember, some people are manipulative, you don't want them in your head...
    Yes...Also, I let some people get away with too much crap because for one reason or another I am too fond of them...maybe you just have to let go sometimes.

    It might be more accurate to add that not EVERY interpersonal conflict affects me this way. If I haven't invested anything, or much, in the person involved, I may not even view it as a conflict or I won't get into the conflict in the first place. If I've invested in the person, however...this kind of thing can just knock me right over.
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  6. #6
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    INFJs are especially bad for this. You're perfectly normal. When I worked on the reserve I found that I would say hello to hundreds of people throughout the day and only get responses from a few. I would make efforts to be friendly and sometimes not have them met with friendliness back. It was a hugely valuable experience. I finally realized that it wasn't about me. These people had problems of their own that were taking up too large a part of their headspace to pay attention to anyone else. Once I realized that, it made it a lot easier to detach in an appropriate way from that rejection. I'm going through difficulties with spoiled Grade 7s and 8s at school who do not want to take the subject matter I've been hired to teach. There isn't a lot of admin support. I again am going through those same feelings - nausea, exhaustion, self-doubt. The only thing that helps is past experiences and realizing that there are reasons for this happening that don't have anything to do with me being a failure!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Tikka's Avatar
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    I'm just wondering: if we're not talking about MBTI, we would just say people who are easily hurt (*cough* NF-peeps) have low self esteem.

    What is the correlation between having low self esteem, and being an NF? I have the feeling out NT/ST friends have an easier time to shake off these kind of negativeties.

  8. #8
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tikka View Post
    I'm just wondering: if we're not talking about MBTI, we would just say people who are easily hurt (*cough* NF-peeps) have low self esteem.

    What is the correlation between having low self esteem, and being an NF? I have the feeling out NT/ST friends have an easier time to shake off these kind of negativeties.
    Taking things too personally? Being personal about everything?

    I actually feel like most things for me either fall into the category of water off a duck's back...they hardly bother me at all...or (a smaller number of things, generally) I take them personally to a ridiculously disproportionate degree.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Tikka's Avatar
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    What I meant was being overly personal about interpersonal relationship stuff.

    Sometimes I watch the news and shrug off all the suffering in the world - simply because it's too far from my bed and it's not affecting me personally.

  10. #10
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tikka View Post
    What I meant was being overly personal about interpersonal relationship stuff.

    Sometimes I watch the news and shrug off all the suffering in the world - simply because it's too far from my bed and it's not affecting me personally.
    As far as the news and the suffering of the world - that varies from day to day, for me. There are days when even the suffering of strangers seems to get me down to an excessive degree. Other days, it might sadden me a bit but it's not a big deal (callous as that sounds).

    That probably has to do with what else is going on in my life and where my sensitivities are directed for the moment.
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