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  1. #1
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Default The dark side of getting along very well with everyone

    Does anyone else find this?

    In a nutshell, due to what people perceive as my easy-going personality (which I would say is a combination of a genuinely easy-going personality, and a somewhat unhealthy ability/habit of keeping all my frustration and annoyance inside and most preserving a calm exterior), I get along extremely well with almost everyone almost all the time. There may be relatively few people Iím very close to (though there are some), but whether youíre a work colleague, or some other casual acquaintance, or a casual friend, or a very close friend Ė it is more than likely that you and I have never had a major disagreement or friction, or if we have, itís really been pretty mild and hasnít lasted long at all.

    Now for the backfiring part. I feel like because things are so smooth most of the time, when someone IS annoyed with me, or when someoneís really hurt me, or I have a major disagreement with someone Ė it destroys me and it may very well destroy the relationship. I am the opposite of people who say ďbecause I have a volatile temper [or because my friends and I all have very different and strong opinions, or whatever], Iíve had many big blow-ups with my friends over the years, and sometimes weíve stopped speaking to each other for extended periods of time, but in the end itís always resolved and weíre the best of friends again.Ē I feel that with rare exceptions, if that sort of thing happens (which of course it very seldom does), the relationship may have no chance of recovering. I'm not talking about minor things, because I really do let those go - sometimes even a little too much!

    Am I making sense? I guess Iím saying that since there isnít usually much conflict in my life, when there is, I take it even more seriously than I should and get so scared and angry and upset that I may just want to stay out of the other personís way for the rest of my life.

    Anyone else find this? How do you deal with it?
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  2. #2
    @.~*virinańČo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I think one reason I for so many years was good at keeping peace in relationships was because I felt unable to handle a conflict and was scared of losing the relationship if a conflict did occur.

    I also had a lot of trouble with the idea of someone thinking poorly of me, being mad at me, or hating me -- thinking I was a "bad" person because of my position. It didn't help I was in a uniform subculture with its own set of stringent rules, nor that I had a lot of self-doubt and constantly questioned my own judgments. (I think those who do not self-judge go into conflict with a "no holds barred" mentality, so if you're someone who questions yourself regularly, you're even at more a disadvantage and left wondering if the price of the conflict will be worth the stance you take.)

    In my 30's, I started a long road of accepting that conflict was necessary in the process of having integrity of self as well as in becoming a better person. What helped by that point also was that, unlike some of my early family relationships, I had been in relationships with people who I had had conflicts with from time to time... and they didn't abandon me or necessarily think poorly of me for taking the position I did. That was an eye-opener for me.... what, reasonable people in the world? Who would have thought?

    I think another part was being able to admit that sometimes I was downright wrong or at the least not seeing their POV as clearly as I thought I had. It's sort of humbling to have to engage with someone and negotiate the relationship and put myself under the spotlight and scrutinized by them. In fact I intuit this is another part of conflict avoidance; for whatever reason, one feels that they really need to cling to their perception of the world and to actually work through the conflict might mean a readjustment which one does not feel prepared to do.

    So for me, it was a sense of knowing when to maintain peace and when a conflict is actually of benefit to myself and others. Also, I had to take things more in stride and not read a lot into the strife in the first place. Conflict happens, even between good people, when someone accidentally steps on each other's toes or when two people believe passionately in different things.

    How are you feeling about things? It sounds like the fact you are asking the question is a sign you're not entirely happy with the way things have been and are open to change, even if you don't know what it entails yet.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    ‚ÄúPleasure to me is wonder‚ÄĒthe unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.‚ÄĚ ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #3
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    This sounds related to that underlying drive to have other people not be random or unpredictable. Some people are abrasive all the time, so that people will respond in an expected way. Once you have done everything you can to have a peaceful, diplomatic relationship with someone, and they still blowup, what else can be done? They have shown themselves to be kind of random?

    I relate in part to what you have said. What I cannot comprehend is the whole "We were angry and said things we didn't mean" concept. If they didn't mean it, then where would the ideas come from? I can imagine they might have exaggerated, but I think they did mean it. I can try to forgive, but those ideas had to come from some place.
    Last edited by labyrinthine; 02-14-2010 at 04:12 PM. Reason: removed personal reference
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  4. #4
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Thanks, Jennifer. I really relate to a lot of what you said. I think part of it is definitely being scared to lose relationships over conflicts. Not that I want to start having unnecessary fights with people! but yes, I think I am starting to realise that sometimes a degree of conflict is necessary and can be productive if handled in an adult way and not allowed to fester. I guess I have had some experience of conflict where both of us were kind of immature, and they took something mildly critical/constructive as an attack, and I was terrified that Iíd hurt them or they disliked me because of that. I do also tend to question myself a lot. And anything beyond mild conflict just feels horrible to me. I mean, itís like a bomb goes off inside me and I am just flattened both emotionally and physically.

    I have also caused problems to myself by expecting people to know what Iím feeling. Typical INFJ. I think, again, that I had a couple of relationships where I was made to feel like an unpleasant person for expressing myself about something the other person did that I didnít care for (even though I did it in a very mild way) and that may have frightened me into thinking I should just put up and shut up all the time. Yes, people can be very oblivious and self-centered and sometimes if they looked outside of themselves a little more, theyíd see better how other people feel. On the other hand, itís not fair to expect other people to read your mind/heart most of the time. So I know that when conflict emerges for me (with someone Iím close to and really care about), there tends to be a lot of other more or less hurtful stuff that has piled up in the background and that makes the chance of repairing the situation that much less likely.

    I do want to change this and am working on it gradually Ė like I said, itís seldom a problem, but when it is, itís HUGE. Expressing my needs to other people and spelling them out a bit more, still in a kind and thoughtful way, might be a good start. Even that feels a bit scary, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    This sounds related to that underlying drive to have other people not be random or unpredictable. Some people are abrasive all the time, so that people will respond in an expected way. Once you have done everything you can to have a peaceful, diplomatic relationship with someone, and they still blowup, what else can be done? They have shown themselves to be kind of random?
    Yes! Unpredictability really frightens me, and part of me thinks that if I approach someone in a mild manner, I can "predict" that they'll respond in kind. If they don't, it can wreck me - even if it kind of doesn't have much to do with me.
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  5. #5
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    I can totally relate. The only person I've managed to break this habit with is my SO, and it made the relationship I have with him a million times better than any other. It's just superficial joy when things are so smooth with a friend. It sucks to keep all your disappointment and hurt inside, because it becomes resentment, which destroys love (friendly love!).

    I just had to remind myself that my needs had to be met in order for us to have the good relationship I so desire, and so I expressed them. Sometimes it was hard, because people get defensive.. but what (hopefully) comes after the defensiveness is communication and intimacy.

    If not, then I don't think they're worth it.

  6. #6
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by disregard View Post
    I can totally relate. The only person I've managed to break this habit with is my SO, and it made the relationship I have with him a million times better than any other. It's just superficial joy when things are so smooth with a friend. It sucks to keep all your disappointment and hurt inside, because it becomes resentment, which destroys love (friendly love!).
    Well, I have had friendships where GENUINELY (certainly on my side!) things have almost always been very smooth, disagreements have been extremely minor, etc. And I don't feel like we're keeping stuff under the surface. But...maybe in cases like that, there has actually been a degree of conflict from time to time but because of the nature of our relationship we've handled it in an adult fashion, it's all remained amicable and so to me it hasn't even felt like conflict. I hope/trust those friendships would still survive even if something really big came along. But yeah, if I get to the point with someone where I'm keeping things inside and feeling resentment, it's a sign that I need to be more open and honest with them, without fearing the consequences - or maybe it's a sign that the friendship just isn't quite meant to be, because I don't feel safe having any degree of conflict with them.

    I seem to be e6 and since I've just recently started looking into the enneagram, that also has helped things like this make more sense to me, in understanding why I act/react the way I do.
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  7. #7
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    You can't please everybody. Sad fact but true. I try to be polite and well thought of by others; but the simple fact is there are bitter jackasses in the world too. Interestingly enough even being a good person is enough to earn the wrath of some people.

  8. #8
    @.~*virinańČo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    You can't please everybody. Sad fact but true. I try to be polite and well thought of by others; but the simple fact is there are bitter jackasses in the world too. Interestingly enough even being a good person is enough to earn the wrath of some people.
    Totally agree.

    It took me awhile to learn, though, and sometimes I catch myself having fallen back into the cycle and have to actively jolt out of it again.

    In general, it's not a bad thing to accommodate what one can... but sometimes it's not worth the cost. And sometimes people simply are not reasonable or able to negotiate.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    ‚ÄúPleasure to me is wonder‚ÄĒthe unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.‚ÄĚ ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  9. #9
    Ghost Monkey Soul Vizconde's Avatar
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    The ability to cut people out of my life has been a recent phenomenon. Regardless if it is a result of alienation or no it is a great discovery/freedom.

    I now feel accommodations/meeting someone half way, is fine, as long as you also let people know that you have boundaries and if they are crossed there are consequences.
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  10. #10
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    But the "getting along with everyone" part might just be an illusion in your head though. You don't know what thoughts about you people might harbor in their hearts even while they greet with a smile on their face.

    Remember that other types, aren't as obsessive about authenticity. On the contrary, lies, and surface appearance create social protocol and are the glue that holds SJ dominant society together.

    I think the reason you hate conflict is because you perceive it as a failure on your part. "I'm so nice. I deserve to get along swimmingly with everyone." This smugness doesn't account for the fact that there are some genuinely evil and destructive people out there who could harbor ill will towards you without any specific cause.

    So whenever the illusion of getting along with everyone is popped via a conflict, it's hard to swallow because your self-esteem which depended on the illusion also took a hit.
    The purple sun won't heal my purple bruises :ouch:

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