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  1. #91
    Senior Member Lookin4theBestNU's Avatar
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    That was an exceptionally good post Mempy! In fact when it comes to talk of 'unhealthy ENFJs' it's really the first time I've actually seen great insight. This thread is not about defending ourselves but instead really listening. I know I am trying! I disagree with a few of your conclusions (mostly the fraud/fakeness) and if you would like to know how to relate to your ENFJ friend, please PM me anytime. I would do my best to tell the truth. I've been through so much of how you described her .

    Quote Originally Posted by Mempy
    Besides that, I don't know what to say to unmitigated, unchecked, unashamed self-hate.

    Her pleasant facade and her life problems contradict each other. Why, if she's in the shithole, does she contiue to present a pleasant face to the world? I want to see her real emotions. I want her to keep her commitments. I want her to be honest with me. Most of all, I want her to have a better self-concept. I think it's the source of all her problems.
    This part was excellent. Identifying this as a problem (which I always knew it was) is completely different then finding a solution. I'm 30 years old and it still rears it's ugly head despite my constant efforts to fight. I don't know that other ENFJs (the healthier ones) have these problems, but I certainly relate.

    Anyway, thanks again for your post. Constructive criticism as well insight is always welcome.
    "At points of clarity, I realize that my life on earth is meaningless, and that I am merely a pawn in a bigger game. A game I cannot possibly understand or have control of. Thankfully, before depression sets in, I drift back into my cloudy, bewildered daily routine." **Joel Patrick Warneke**

  2. #92
    Mamma said knock you out Mempy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lookin4theBestNU View Post
    That was an exceptionally good post Mempy! In fact when it comes to talk of 'unhealthy ENFJs' it's really the first time I've actually seen great insight. This thread is not about defending ourselves but instead really listening. I know I am trying! I disagree with a few of your conclusions (mostly the fraud/fakeness) and if you would like to know how to relate to your ENFJ friend, please PM me anytime. I would do my best to tell the truth. I've been through so much of how you described her .

    This part was excellent. Identifying this as a problem (which I always knew it was) is completely different then finding a solution. I'm 30 years old and it still rears it's ugly head despite my constant efforts to fight. I don't know that other ENFJs (the healthier ones) have these problems, but I certainly relate.

    Anyway, thanks again for your post. Constructive criticism as well insight is always welcome.

    Oh, I am very glad of that. Thank you for the compliment. I admire your willingness to listen and tackle some of the main issues ENFJs may have.

    I'm glad it has some resonance with you on the one hand, and sad on the other. My ENFJ friend really seems unhappy right now. I would really appreciate some insight on how to approach her, what advice might help her and how to present that advice to her, etc. She's a good, wonderful girl, but very upset. I know ENFJs are great, but this one needs a happiness booster. If I could help her out, even in a small way, I would in a heartbeat.

    I may take you up on that PM offer L4, but feel free to discuss any input you have here.

  3. #93
    Dhampyr Economica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mempy View Post
    I may take you up on that PM offer L4, but feel free to discuss any input you have here.
    Yes, public will be appreciated.

  4. #94
    Senior Member Lookin4theBestNU's Avatar
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    *sigh* I think I offered the PM for self protection as well as being helpful. When things get really personal it's hard for me to be so open. The problem is that I don't know how to do it without saying all I've been through as well. I'm going to try without revealing too much. OK here goes.

    Drama alert!

    During the hardest parts of my life I came across all kinds of people. I was always in the process of learning how people worked. Early in my life and now to this day there is a constant cycle of up/down dark/light thoughts. They are not 'fake' instead they are two contradictory forces both very real and ever present. The times I was happy were real not a show...like an escape from a nightmare almost. They temporarily allowed you to be what you want to be anyway...free. You do your best not to let the sad parts of you take you completely over. People always seem pleased with you when you are happy and pleasant. You could sense (like your awkwardness) that most people don't want to know about the dark parts of you. You are left to dwell alone or tell someone and the decision can be difficult! You don't know who you can trust or who could even handle it. You begin to imagine that you are incredibly complex. Then you have people who come along to "help" you. "You know you can trust me...right?" Then you find yourself hurt again countless times by those who claimed you could trust them. You then realize (or already have by this point) that the problem is YOU not others. This is where the real trauma began for me anyway. You end up blaming yourself for everything. Then you end up believing it.


    So....my suggestions. I would have liked it if someone would let me get out all of those things without judgment. I would have liked it if someone could understand that every single part of how I act is the 'real me' and they could verbalize this understanding. I didn't want people to make me feel ashamed of my feelings. When people are successful in shaming you into what is already a hard place to be...you learn to shut if all off. I think when ENFJs become shut-off from the world and then themselves it's difficult to mature. You just stop. I don't know if any of this made sense...but it's a small snippet of me nonetheless. I guess you could call me an Emo kid .
    Last edited by Lookin4theBestNU; 11-30-2007 at 10:40 PM. Reason: *sorry if I weirded anyone out here...wasn't intentional*
    "At points of clarity, I realize that my life on earth is meaningless, and that I am merely a pawn in a bigger game. A game I cannot possibly understand or have control of. Thankfully, before depression sets in, I drift back into my cloudy, bewildered daily routine." **Joel Patrick Warneke**

  5. #95
    Senior Member Littlelostnf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lookin4theBestNU View Post
    *sigh* I think I offered the PM for self protection as well as being helpful. When things get really personal it's hard for me to be so open. The problem is that I don't know how to do it without saying all I've been through as well. I'm going to try without revealing too much. OK here goes.

    Drama alert!

    During the hardest parts of my life I came across all kinds of people. I was always in the process of learning how people worked. Early in my life and now to this day there is a constant cycle of up/down dark/light thoughts. They are not 'fake' instead they are two contradictory forces both very real and ever present. The times I was happy were real not a show...like an escape from a nightmare almost. They temporarily allowed you to be what you want to be anyway...free. You do your best not to let the sad parts of you take you completely over. People always seem pleased with you when you are happy and pleasant. You could sense (like your awkwardness) that most people don't want to know about the dark parts of you. You are left to dwell alone or tell someone and the decision can be difficult! You don't know who you can trust or who could even handle it. You begin to imagine that you are incredibly complex. Then you have people who come along to "help" you. "You know you can trust me...right?" Then you find yourself hurt again countless times by those who claimed you could trust them. You then realize (or already have by this point) that the problem is YOU not others. This is where the real trauma began for me anyway. You end up blaming yourself for everything. Then you end up believing it.


    So....my suggestions. I would have liked it if someone would let me get out all of those things without judgment. I would have liked it if someone could understand that every single part of how I act is the 'real me' and they could verbalize this understanding. I didn't want people to make me feel ashamed of my feelings. When people are successful in shaming you into what is already a hard place to be...you learn to shut if all off. I think when ENFJs become shut-off from the world and then themselves it's difficult to mature. You just stop. I don't know if any of this made sense...but it's a small snippet of me nonetheless. I guess you could call me an Emo kid .
    Drama alert II

    I'm sitting here quite honestly in tears. The above (and I don't think it's just about being "unhealthy") Is so true. You really nailed it L4.

    My father has always said to me that he loves me so much because I remind him of my mother in that she was and is a really happy person and that's what attracted him to her...he still feels the same 52 years into their marraige later. I've heard this since I was a little girl and for the most part I am quite a happy person and it is very real (not living up to an expectation) I find delight in everything...people, myself, nature, music, art, books...how can I not be happy...BUT I can remember the first time I fell into a "dark place". I felt so alone there but also I felt unable to share (even with my closest friends) how I felt. I thought this is NOT me. I hadn't yet learned to accept that it WAS me. Fortunately I have extremely good friends who were amazing during that first time. They didn't say snap out of it or what's wrong with you. They didn't let me close myself off. They respected my privacy but told me it's ok...it's like this sometimes and even tho we were worried because we've never seen this side of you. We love ALL of you. You don't have to be eternally cheerful for us. We don't want you to drown in your sorrow but if you have to swim there for awhile we're waiting on the shore just watching until you're ready to come in and when you do we're here to help you ashore. I still have the letters and emails from that first time. There have been subsequent times not nearly as awful but just from the initial way my nearest and dearest helped me the first time I've learned how to navigate my way out of the dark spots, all the while respecting them for what they are and even sometimes asking for help to swim ashore. I think I prob am a healthier ENFJ and I have to thank my parents and my upbringing for that. My parents don't always understand me but their love for me covers over that and I had a fabulous situation for growing up NF.

    L4 I am similar in that most times it's like..."could we be private about this please" But I want to thank you for putting yourself out there because honestly this was perfect for me to wake up to and read. Thank you. I think just being able to say what you said is HUGE and a perfect example of an ENFJ (or any type) knowing themselves, being able to express it and some real self reflecting going on. I ya kideo. I have to say I'm glad they asked you to keep it public. Thank you.
    for my life is slowed up by thought and the need to understand what I am living.

  6. #96
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Lookin4 has already received my thanks about that post but I just want to publicly third what both of you have said.

    There is very fine line between neediness, dependency, and support. I know that as much as it appears that I don't, I need a copious amounts of love and support. I have a very close relationship with my mother and she's the only person I know capable of supporting me in the way I need to be. My friends have commented on why I talk to my mother upwards of two or three times a day, which I completely understand why it is interpreted as being dependent. I don't view myself as being needy or dependent because it's limited to only one person it's just that a lot of things, just daily things that people don't even think twice about hit me hard. I feel embarrased about it because I know that it's like an overreaction. I wrote about this in my blog but when I went to a restaurant earlier this year and the waitress thought I was trying to stiff her tip, I began to tear up. My friends thought I was overreacting and but I didn't know how else to respond. I've spilled my guts to exactly two people (and these are my closest friends whom I trust and love) and they both looked at me as if transmogrified or something horrible and didn't say or do anything. I felt very exposed and embarrassed so I don't do it.

    Honestly, I use my Fe as a defense mechanism and it works superbly. As long as I keep somebody talking about their favorite subject matter, THEMSELF, they're quite happy to go on and on which probably reinforces my view that if I start talking about myself in any kind of depth they really won't care about it. Pinkpirahna has touched on this in her NFJ temperament thread, but it's really an all or nothing thing with me. Either I'm there completely (which scares people off) or I'm not at all, which still gives the appearance of being there but it's hollow and I pretty sure that people can pick up on this. This is also why I am extremely picky about who I become friends with. I can't have people around me that I can't trust. Breach of trust is a major violation to me and if it looks judgmental to outsiders then that's just how it looks. I am dangerously capable of immersing myself in another person and I must protect myself in some way.

    Mempy, you friend may be feeling strains of this which is why she's reluctant to open up to you. Obviously she's in a very bad place and will probably need lots of patience and time to open up.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

  7. #97
    Senior Member Lookin4theBestNU's Avatar
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    I didn't mean to bring you tears sweetie! I was actually quite worried that I would make ENFJs as a whole look a bit odd! I'm very happy to know that it didn't! I'm sorry in a way too that some ENFJs identify with it and perhaps it's not all that unhealthy just part of the temperament perhaps. I think I could have taken it to an extreme...drama/hyperbole tendencies with feelings is my lot. I generally just do not tell others though. It was very hard to do it in front of God knows who. I think it can be therapeutic for us to step out of the box we confine ourselves too.

    Your parents relationship sounds very wonderful. My parents are very similar in personality (SJs). I think my dad is a T but he certainly played more of the F role with me. I think if were not for that I would have ended up even unhealthier. I remember him sitting me down as a small child and telling me he knew I was different...sensitive . He really used his intuition too. All in all I don't blame anyone for the way I turned out in life. I would say some of the trials I went through as a child made me much stronger and more independent.

    I really didn't find the acceptance I was looking for outside my family unit until I had already been through the cycles listed in my previous post. Two ISTX people (my husband and best friend) were really the first people who were able to give me any peace of mind regarding my normalcy. I don't make 'close' friends easily though I have lots of friends<---Keirsey was spot on there!


    Anyway I am finally getting to what I consider a good spot in life. I still have all of the feelings of the ENFJ listed in Mempys post. I just don't let them take up as much space anymore but I have to battle with it. For some reason it's easy for me to believe that I am a horrible human being and people who know me just don't see it. I've went into posts before regarding self delusion. Anyway I am about to get into a really long rambling episode though only had the intention of saying thanks for your support LLNF! So...thanks !!

    EDIT: Thanks to you of course too PM!!
    "At points of clarity, I realize that my life on earth is meaningless, and that I am merely a pawn in a bigger game. A game I cannot possibly understand or have control of. Thankfully, before depression sets in, I drift back into my cloudy, bewildered daily routine." **Joel Patrick Warneke**

  8. #98
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    I feel like I am learning so much.


    Keep it going! You guys are weird only in an endearing way
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  9. #99
    Senior Member Littlelostnf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lookin4theBestNU View Post
    I didn't mean to bring you tears sweetie! I was actually quite worried that I would make ENFJs as a whole look a bit odd!
    Who us?...odd....HA! Nah that was dead on in a scary and wonderful and well said way. We are weird..but it's ALLLLL good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lookin4theBestNU View Post
    I'm very happy to know that it didn't! I'm sorry in a way too that some ENFJs identify with it and perhaps it's not all that unhealthy just part of the temperament perhaps. !
    First thing I think is unhealthy but perhaps it's not..but no matter if it is or isn't it's "us" and when we learn to deal with it...we just get better and better

    Quote Originally Posted by Lookin4theBestNU View Post
    Your parents relationship sounds very wonderful. My parents are very similar in personality (SJs).
    My mom ISFJ my dad ISTP..they totally work well together. My dad is fairly balanced on the T/F I think...and my mom fairly balanced on her F/T that prob really helped.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lookin4theBestNU View Post
    I really didn't find the acceptance I was looking for outside my family unit until I had already been through the cycles listed in my previous post. Two ISTX people (my husband and best friend) were really the first people who were able to give me any peace of mind regarding my normalcy. I don't make 'close' friends easily though I have lots of friends<---Keirsey was spot on there!!
    Tell me about it..Keirsey I'd like to sit down with him and chat. Yup..I have many many acquaintances and many people who would claim to know me but close friends..far fewer.

    PM I really enjoyed your post also..thanks for the added look into an ENFJ's psyche.

    Oh and Usehername. I think you're going to have to put out the questions for us to respond to..I think it's harder to just come up with things rather than just respond. But I'm sure you'll get some more info...whatever happened to your ENFJ thread...buried eh...ha those ENFP's know how to keep their threads going...maybe we should take lessons.
    for my life is slowed up by thought and the need to understand what I am living.

  10. #100
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Littlelostnf View Post
    Oh and Usehername. I think you're going to have to put out the questions for us to respond to..I think it's harder to just come up with things rather than just respond. But I'm sure you'll get some more info...whatever happened to your ENFJ thread...buried eh...ha those ENFP's know how to keep their threads going...maybe we should take lessons.
    Okay: new subject matter.

    Once upon a time I knew this male ENFJ. I did not know about MBTI at the time, although I was months away from learning. We had only met a few months earlier, but it was on my gap year program so living together 24/7 you grow to know each other pretty quickly. He was 18 I was 19.

    He and I were stationed at a marathon together to be the flag-waving guides and traffic barrier people at one of the many intersections in the marathon (in Seattle).
    We were awfully cold so we were jumping around and goofing off a bit to keep warm and entertain ourselves. By 7 am or so, it was starting to warm up and I noticed that he was getting goofier. I thought to myself, this made no sense. We started ridiculously early in the morning while we were cold and tired, so goofiness in that situation is to be expected. But getting goofier as the day warmed and we woke up more?

    Eventually, we started cheering for the marathon racers that were beginning to make it as far as our station. He started getting ridiculously excited and was screaming so loudly and cheering soo ridiculously well for every runner coming our way, I was just baffled but thought it was cute to see him so into it. (Cute in a non-crush way). The runners super appreciated the ridiculous encouragement, too, which only further increased how high he was jumping and how loud he was cheering.

    Months later, he told me that day was important to him because it was the first time on the program he felt he could fully be himself. He said I let him be himself and he tremendously valued that.

    But, what I don't understand, is why he didn't feel comfortable enough to do that in the first place. Do you guys feel that you have to shut out a part of yourselves to be accepted? Do any other ENFJs feel like they can't be themselves around others? Was this simply an age thing for him?
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

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