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  1. #11
    Member tommyc's Avatar
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    i find it interesting you (mr snuggles) are an infj who feels a deep need to socialise and have more friends. Im the same type but im relatively happy with virtually no friends. i suppose we are in different places in life.

    I feel there's little point telling you to 'just relax' or 'try to stop worrying', because from personal experience, it is best just to let yourself worry and be stressed if thats what your body wants to do. it is better to try to figure out the exact reasons for stress and try to combat them.

    ive gone off point a bit. I guess my point is i feel like you (mr snuggles) may be going through a difficult stage, but i'm sure your relationships with people will improve given time. You will have ups and downs of self esteem, but just remember when you're languishing in a down, an up is right around the corner.

  2. #12
    Junior Member La de Longe's Avatar
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    Hey Mr. Snuggles, I'm rather new to this forum too, but it seems like self-loathing is an INFJ rite of passage. Yes, I've completely been there, have known others (of various types) who have been there, and it does seem to get better over time. What's interesting about feeling alone is that you always feel alone in being alone even soooooooo(etc.) many more people than you'd expect have had similar experiences. One thing that I, personally, had to realize was how much I projected my own negative opinions about myself onto others and used that as justification for why people don't seem to like me and why I should withdrawal even further from them. I know that cycle and it sucks. I think that a problem with INFJs is that we're too honest with ourselves. We know where we excel and where we fall short and assume that others can't look past our faults, because we, ourselves, can't see past them. For me, a big thing that I've had to learn is self-acceptance. The less I judge myself, the less I assume others judge me and the more I open can be. Maybe it's not as objective, but does make for a happier life.

  3. #13
    Scream down the boulevard LadyJaye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Snuggles View Post
    Hey I've taken multiple tests and I'm definitely INFJ. Looking at various posts on this forum I've noticed that people talk about the "unhealthy INFJ" and I seem to fall right into this category.

    I don't have many friends because I find it hard to be outgoing and confident that others will like me. I generally worry that they will not like how I act, what I say, my opinions on things and my general personality. I worry that I'll end up being "that guy" that everyone finds annoying. I'm also not very good at banter, because of my low self-esteem I take any banter as thinly veiled criticism as I belief there has to be a reason why they just joked that I am lets say unfriendly or they wouldn't have said it. I start to think maybe thats why people don't like me and close my self off more.

    The friends I have are close friends that I've had for a fairly long time. I find it hard to open up to new friends because I feel almost out of practice of making friends.

    The thing is I want more friends and I like socialising but I can't open myself up enough and stop worrying about what others think about me to do it.
    Don't worry, sweetheart. It sounds overly simplistic, but it is true : Kindred spirits will always find each other. The biggest challenge for you is to assert your personality on the outside world, doing things that you love to do - when you get the courage to put yourself out there a little, someone will see you and know exactly what you're all about. At least as long as there are ENFP's out there to enjoy you.

    And truthfully, you have zero control over what people think about you or how they'll react to you, so tying yourself in knots about it won't accomplish anything. I used to get horribly upset at the idea that ANYONE could dislike or willfully misunderstand me - but at some point, you just gotta let it go. It's a wasted effort, and it brings forth no change in your favor. So work on finding things to like about yourself, being comfortable with your internal world, and dismiss the outside commentary. You'll know what comments warrant your attention, which will come from people you know and trust and respect.

  4. #14
    Senior Member mochajava's Avatar
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    Can anyone direct me to the "unhealthy INFJ" posts the OP, Mr Snuggles (everyone loves the name!!) mentioned? I remember being QUIET, like fully unable to respond in conversations, for a year of college because of this anxiety. I still have it, although my life right now involves way more time in a cubicle alone -- and less "people time" is really helping me. As well as modulating how much people-time I get. That's a challenge unto itself, and there are other threads for that.

  5. #15
    Patron Saint Of Smileys Gloriana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Snuggles View Post
    Hey I've taken multiple tests and I'm definitely INFJ. Looking at various posts on this forum I've noticed that people talk about the "unhealthy INFJ" and I seem to fall right into this category.

    I don't have many friends because I find it hard to be outgoing and confident that others will like me. I generally worry that they will not like how I act, what I say, my opinions on things and my general personality. I worry that I'll end up being "that guy" that everyone finds annoying. I'm also not very good at banter, because of my low self-esteem I take any banter as thinly veiled criticism as I belief there has to be a reason why they just joked that I am lets say unfriendly or they wouldn't have said it. I start to think maybe thats why people don't like me and close my self off more.

    The friends I have are close friends that I've had for a fairly long time. I find it hard to open up to new friends because I feel almost out of practice of making friends.

    The thing is I want more friends and I like socialising but I can't open myself up enough and stop worrying about what others think about me to do it.
    I very much relate to this too. Very much!

    I'm 32 now, and I think I've pretty much been on a seesaw my whole life in terms of friends and making friends. I'll have a few close friends, then I guess pressure will build that I don't have 'enough' of a social life and I start questioning where I'm at. In my personal situation, I've also had a bad habit of attracting 'friends' that were not truly very good friends at all (I felt 'close' to them but realized it was always me understanding THEM rather than any of them bothering to understand or even remember anything about me, etc).

    So then I'll go through these extremely 'socially active' periods that can be both exhilarating and emotionally exhausting. I'll enjoy meeting lots of new people and exposing myself to all this new stimulation for awhile, but I get that thing I think a lot of INFJs understand where it feels like my resource meter is draining down to zero. Then I'll go into a period of withdrawal from social stuff and sometimes even get kind of pissed off and petulant about people depending on what I've just experienced, haha.

    I've changed a lot over the years and I'd say I've been learning to balance better, though I don't think I will ever feel the benefits of 'socializing' the way the majority out there seems to. I used to beat myself up for this (like someone else mentioned, the 'self loathing rite of passage') but I've come to realize I'm just different and there's nothing wrong with that.

    Think of it this way. Yes, the majority of people out there love being around other people and just BEING around lots of people is enough for them. They get energized even if they don't learn anything new, or come away with anything lasting. There is nothing wrong with that. Still, it doesn't work that way for EVERYONE and there is nothing wrong with that either.

    I started to realize, most of the time I felt like such crap about my social life wasn't because I was unhappy with my situation, it was because there were so many others TELLING ME I SHOULD BE. Telling me I was weird and unhealthy. Meanwhile, they didn't seem to care that if I pushed myself too hard in the socializing, I'd feel SICK. I was always told it was because I had social anxiety disorder and had to get over fears.

    To a certain extent that was true, but in a lot of ways it was just crap. Wherever there is an overwhelming majority, you're going to find loads of people lining up to tell you why you're abnormal for not adhering to the norms of this majority. That just goes with the territory. I took time out and really tried to see my own preferences and what made me happy WITHOUT factoring in the opinions and pressures of others.

    I came to find that yes, I needed to realize I have things to offer in social settings, that I am someone worth talking to, that I have good qualities just like anyone else, and a lot of social success depends on my attitude toward myself rather than how other people react. I basically had to do a lot of work on liking myself. I, too, felt like I was someone people got 'saddled' with in social situations. Thing is, it was like a self-fulfilling prophecy. I thought bad of myself and hence it came out that way in public. I had to forgive myself for this, stop flogging myself to death, and then I had to work on recognizing good things about me (hard, yes, but never impossible )

    Now, I don't know you personally, but anyone who chooses "Mr Snuggles" as their moniker suggests a little bit of awesome to me. I'm not blowing smoke up your keister either. I get the feeling you might have a lot of generosity, kindness, humor, and so much more inside you but it just hasn't had room to breathe. I might be projecting my own experience, but I get that feeling.

    I had to sort of look at myself from the outside and get to like the person I am. This made a huge difference with other people. I've met better friends this way too because the toxic emotional vampires out there seem to KNOW how to pick people who are desperate for attention and validation. They just KNOW. The more confident I've become, the more confident and good natured my friends have become. Basically, me bringing out the best in myself brought out the best in other people.

    Not only that, but I've come to accept that I honestly don't need nor want a HUGE social circle and THAT'S OKAY. I've also come to appreciate folks who will never be kindred spirits or soul mates but are fun to hang out with sometimes all the same. I don't focus on what they DON'T have, but what positive things they DO HAVE. So I might see them every few months for bowling night and it's fine.

    I've found some good friends who enjoy the same stuff I do and aren't constantly pushing me to be something else. I don't like 'clubbing', I don't like going to bars, I don't like 'partying' for the sake of partying. Not knocking those things, I don't condemn anyone who gets a kick out of it. I just enjoy different things like movie fests with friends, video/board game fests, adventures walking or hiking together, small potluck dinners, stuff like that.

    I've found these friends but I've met strings and strings of people who don't like that stuff, and don't take to me either. I have trained myself not to take it so personally because it really isn't. I think we're used to feeling like 'weirdos' or whatever that it almost seems a foregone conclusion something must be wrong with US when someone doesn't take to us. It's not the case though.

    There are people I don't take to for a lot of reasons, but it doesn't mean those people are bad, or wrong, or unlovable or any of it (except maybe cruel bullies and such, but that's a different animal). We just don't jive and that's life. It's ok not to jive and it's no one's fault. The more I accepted this and embraced it, the easier it became for me to be around large groups of people.

    Also, for me it helped to not have to enter social situations blind. Throw me into a party without a theme or point and I'll sit in the corner all night not knowing what the eff to do. I used to hate myself for it but now I can laugh because I'm just one of those people who suck at going in cold for small talk. I often try opening with a compliment but I usually mess it up. I'm that girl who approaches a guy like:

    "Nice T-Shirt! I like that particular blend of cotton because it's softer and doesn't get scratchy! It's awesome fabric, isn't it?"

    In my head, that was the PERFECT ice breaker but a lot of times I'd get those "Are you on crack or something?" looks, hahaha. I'm just bad at breaking the ice without knowing ANYTHING about anyone in a room.

    I started using Do something, Learn something, Share something, Change something - Meetup.com and this has been amazing for me personally. It takes so much pressure off because these are groups where I know I've got ONE thing in common to start with if I need it, and even though it's only ONE thing, it's such a relief for me personally. Maybe check it out and play around on it. Most groups are free and you can take it at your own pace as to how many or how few meets you go to. This revived my social life in a bit way, and honestly before I found that site I was literally friendless in terms of people in my direct area (my good friends kept in touch often but were spread out around the country/world). It's never impossible

    I'm going on and on here, suffice it to say I just wanted to chime in with everyone here and say you're not alone. You're not hopeless and you're not 'damaged' or any of that crap. There might be some stuff that needs correcting, but ain't nobody on this planet without some of that.

    If you like small social groups and you're content with that, that's okay. If you truly want more people in your life but can't figure out how to get there just yet, there are ways to make this change.

    I know sometimes it really does feel like "I'm weird, I suck at life, damn me!!!!". I've been there soooooo many times. It's not true though! Trust me, it's not true!

    You're in good company Mr. Snuggles, and I hope you keep posting here!
    "Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get, but if you work really hard, and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you...amazing things will happen" --Conan O'Brien

  6. #16
    Senior Member Winds of Thor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Snuggles View Post
    I don't have many friends because I find it hard to be outgoing and confident that others will like me. I generally worry that they will not like how I act, what I say, my opinions on things and my general personality.
    It is taught in our public schools to like the outgoing, the popular. Well I say that's a bunch of crap. You have some good, caring about you.

    And it should be recognized. That's the kind of thing that makes a real good friend, my friend. You're well on a good path. There are plenty of people who will see the good things about you and you don't need worry with it.
    "..And the eight and final rule: If this is your first time at Fight Club, you have to fight."
    'Men are meant to be with women. The rest is perversion and mental illness.'

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