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  1. #1
    Senior Member MonkeyGrass's Avatar
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    Default Who IS this person?

    If I were left to my own devices, I'd be happy to sit quietly in the corner, observing and talking with people whom I found interesting.

    But then, there's who my parents wanted me to be. The entertainer. I was praised/encouraged into being this garishly dramatic, funny, center-of-attention, singing, dancing showboat in school/church/family functions. Pushed to literally perform at social functions. Pushed to win competitions and get lead roles. Expected to be this loud, funny, gracious, somewhat opinionated person that I'm not inside or at home or when I feel safe. Scripture reciting, singing competitions, acting competitions, a, even a performance major in college. Very much a bubbly peacemaker that felt responsible for making the whole room feel happy and special...and I *hated* it. I used to go hide in bathrooms.

    As an adult, I've learned to take care of my true self and nurture my pensive, sensitive, plodding side that needs lots of room. But I feel guilty and compelled to TALK, and I keep doing it against my will, and I embarrass the hell out of myself. It's this ENFX mask I wear out of duty, I guess, and I don't know how to stop.

    I've considered practing going to parties and being quiet and just breathing until I feel relaxed, and after I master that, going and finding my emotional space and being myself for 15min.

    Have any other INFJs been brought up to be showboats, and had your soul recover? I'd really like to feel safe enough to be ME all the time.
    I think I think more than you think I think.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyGrass View Post
    I've considered practing going to parties and being quiet and just breathing until I feel relaxed, and after I master that, going and finding my emotional space and being myself for 15min.
    Thats a very interesting idea

    Ummm, you could become a Buddhist monk or nun, that would be good for quiet and not being socially extravagant/noisy.

    On a more realistic note, how about a yoga or other retreat center???

  3. #3
    Senior Member Chloe's Avatar
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    whats your enneagram type
    you are family "Hero" -Family role

  4. #4
    Senior Member MonkeyGrass's Avatar
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    I finally took a 14 page enneagram test, with the results of 4w5. The descriptions I've seen seem pretty spot-on.

    Here's the thing: I can take the test as two different people...my family of origin self, which tests as a 7 , or my adult self whom I'm comfortable with, which tests as a 4w5.

    I can relate to everything in the 4w5, except the excessive melancholy and morbidity (although I do contemplate the meaning of death 3 times a week or so )...because I have the ability to gauge it and snap myself out of it on principle. I tend to mull over sad things in order to bring order and meaning to my life, to improve things.

    Added thoughts: I wonder if my creativity/individuality was misconstrued by my mom (who always felt suppressed/insecure) as a love of performing or the limelight...and she lived through me vicariously a bit. And me, being way too in touch with her every emotion, wanted to take care of her feelings so much, I just went along with her pretend to make her happy/fulfilled? My dad tended to use my mom as his emotional barometer, so he just went along with that idea as well.
    I think I think more than you think I think.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Chloe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyGrass View Post
    I finally took a 14 page enneagram test, with the results of 4w5. The descriptions I've seen seem pretty spot-on.

    Here's the thing: I can take the test as two different people...my family of origin self, which tests as a 7 , or my adult self whom I'm comfortable with, which tests as a 4w5.
    how do you act while stressed?
    maybe you're more stressed around your family so you act like 7?

    and... if you Hero for Family Role, you can confuse it for 7. I think.




    Added thoughts: I wonder if my creativity/individuality was misconstrued by my mom (who always felt suppressed/insecure) as a love of performing or the limelight...and she lived through me vicariously a bit. And me, being way too in touch with her every emotion, wanted to take care of her feelings so much, I just went along with her pretend to make her happy/fulfilled? My dad tended to use my mom as his emotional barometer, so he just went along with that idea as well.
    NFs often read and feel too much their parent's emotions and try to please them. I was like that with my mom who was using me for her own shrink since I was 3-4.
    If you were concerned with pleasing mom or anyone, of course much of YOU was repressed.

  6. #6
    Senior Member MonkeyGrass's Avatar
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    I think it's also important to note that my whole family is sort of built around making my mom feel safe/good. I'd almost call her Borderline, except she's a little too low key. But, yes, mom confusing you for a shrink...I can totally relate to that. I'm not sure if I started out being hyper-sensitive to her emotions, or if I learned to be that way in order to protect myself from her need to be seen as perfect (and me being the product of her perfection). I guess that's a nature/nurture argument. My guess is I was born with the ability to understand people well, and it was honed by it becoming a necessity.

    I thought about this on the way home a lot yesterday (of course). When I'm not around my family of origin, I act very much like my ESTP shadow when very stressed. When I'm around my "F.O.O.", I get silly and submissive and funny and goofy, and inside I'm totally bewildered as to why I'm acting that way. Totally embarrassed inside, I think. I feel that maybe I do that to avoid stating how I'm really feeling or causing conflict because my mother completely shuts down and cries and calls herself worthless and goes into self-focused drama mode whenever anyone has a conflict. In order to keep that from happening, maybe I self-protect and keep my needs safe by just being who she expects me to be. I could be assertive and address things (which I do in my other relationships), but I know how that would play out with her already. Useless to try. I'm not really cognitively doing it on purpose, as much as I just automatically flip into spazz mode.
    I think I think more than you think I think.

  7. #7
    Retired Member Wonkavision's Avatar
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    Awesome.

    I love it when people cut through their history and their adopted roles and embrace who they really are inside.

    For me, that's what typology is all about.


    MORE POWER TO YOU, MONKEYGRASS.
    __________________


    I'M OUTTA HERE.

    IT'S BEEN FUN.

    TAKE CARE.

    PEACE OUT!!!


  8. #8

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    I didn't grow up the same way; my parents were INFP and INTJ, so both were very respectful and mindful when it came to allowing my self expression. I was born extremely sensitive to all sorts of stimuli, not the least of which was emotions (human and non-human).

    It wasn't until I turned 18 and my mom died, after my dad having been totally disabled by a stroke when I was 13, that I was pressured by a family member to be something I was not. I worked with my ENTJ aunt and occupied a small 'apartment' in her house (quite nice, I admit) while going to school, but that meant I had to meet proper expectations. My introversion had to go, I had to constantly be doing something until I basically dropped, I had to comply with specific social examples, and I had to constantly fake everything about myself. At the time, having lost both my parents (my dad died when I was 19, too), I was extremely emotionally vulnerable, and trusting her as the next of kin, I believed everything she said about me. The result was an eventual emotional breakdown, and I quit college due to the severe nervous overload. I'm still building myself back up from that.

    Given that, I can at least somewhat identify with what you went through. I was lucky enough to have understanding parents in the first place. I say absolutely kudos to you for finding who you are. I understand how hard it can be to drop that mask when you're with people, and for me it's also totally exhausting. I especially admire your strength with it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member MonkeyGrass's Avatar
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    Thanks, guys.

    Hotherym- Your words/story are encouraging, and I wish you all the best while you continue to sort it out. Forced extroversion really stinks.

    I won't lie about it; it's really hard work. I have a really close fellow INFJ friend who lets me practice being real about myself, and it's such a relief. I'll stop in the middle of a sentence and say, "I'm being all over-dramatic right now, and it's because I'm feeling uncomfortable about XYZ. How I really feel is _____. I just needed someone besides me to know." Nine times out of ten, she just giggles and lets me know she does that too, and it's not a biggie. Good friends are a huge allies in growth, for sure! I think I've been vaguely aware/purposeful about reclaiming myself in the past couple of years, but I've not really addressed it in such a head-on fashion until now. It feels good, actually.
    I think I think more than you think I think.

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