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.