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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onceajoan View Post

    It's strange to me how I conduct myself in the world. I see myself as coming across in a very authentic and honest way. However, I know that there's a facade I carry around with me of competence, confidence, strength (even coldness) that hides the intense emotions, insecurities and vulnerabilities underneath. Not many see behind the facade. But those who do need to care enough to really want to see. I found myself unknowingly revealing my dark side recently and that's extremely scary! It's enough to reveal ones shadow to oneself. I also hate this vulnerable feeling. BUT, I'm confused. I'm not sure exactly what I'm hating. The cat is now out of the bag, so to speak. He already knows now. What is there to fear?
    Being vulnerable is being in pain. You hate the pain, you don't hate the vulnerability. Or you do hate the vulnerability, but only because it's causing you pain. Basically what I'm saying is pain is at the center.

    But if you can learn to really ride the pain and understand your relationship with it, I think, a person's willingness to be vulnerable will increase. Unfortunately, this would probably take you places that are less than comfortable. To me, or at least this is what I tell myself, the rewards are worth the risk though.

    It's hard to be more specific than that unfortunately, but next time you go through the cycle of vulnerability-withdrawal-stasis, try to take a step back and pay attention to what's happening. I think you'll find you feel a bit stronger and more graceful in direct proportion to how vulnerable you made yourself in that first step though.

    Problem is, you might make yourself too vulnerable, you might get hurt so much that you may never recover. That's where the real risk in all this comes in.

    Hope that makes sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Onceajoan View Post
    Allowing myself to be vulnerable to another is trusting that I can completely be myself while being accepted and loved unconditionally by another. I've never had this experience before.
    I'm not sure many people have, to be honest.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Onceajoan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mochajava View Post
    Wait, are you saying that you've never felt completely accepted and unconditionally loved?
    Yeah. That's what I'm saying. Oops! There I go again. Opening myself up.

    Quote Originally Posted by mochajava View Post
    There is something very big and real to fear: there are people in this world who will become intimate with you, learn a lot about you, then turn around and judge you for it and/or use it against you.

    My father is a prime example -- anything he knows about anyone gets turned around and used against them, like a knife. It can be good or bad, but heaven forbid it be something embarrassing or shameful in the eyes of society.
    My mother was like that. Not narcissist, but borderline. There's ^ the connection, as you mention, to my childhood. Seemingly irrational behavior to carry around as an adult although it makes sense in the context.

    Quote Originally Posted by mochajava View Post
    Intense emotions, sensitivity, and vulnerability are seen as flaws in our society. Maybe we don't want to deal with the judgment, so we withhold these parts of ourselves.
    Yeah. You got it. 100% ^ I feel like I'm constantly holding myself back (i.e. the intensity/passion I feel inside). Sometimes I feel if I was to fully express myself I would completely blow people over (or run people over). People fear intensity (maybe they should?) But to deny this part of me seems wrong. I'm trying to find a way to work with this energy. It's hard tho, there are a lot of people who don't understand or want to understand.

    Quote Originally Posted by mochajava View Post
    I don't think it's necessarily bad, just incredibly exhausting when there's no one around with whom you can "drop the facade".
    Thanks mochajava. You bring up some good points. Very perceptive. I'm starting to feel exhausted. It actually takes a lot of energy to hold the energy back. Sounds strange, doesn't it?

    I'm going through a major life transformation right now so vulnerability is definitely something I'm going through. I feel like I'm shedding skin and dropping the veil is part of the process.

    Quote Originally Posted by mochajava View Post
    That being said... people are real and more accepting than I'm estimating... but if you are too nice / sensitive, people WILL walk all over you knowing you won't fight back...
    There are good people. And I think those "good" people are the healthy ones. The challenge, for me, is finding those people with whom I can maintain healthy boundaries.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Eckhart's Avatar
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    I have also real, real trouble revealing much about me. I just don't. The problem is obviously when you don't reveal anything about you, then it stands in the way for a deeper relationship between two persons I guess... but when you are already low on self-confidence etc. then it is especially hard to step out of it, and in the end you end up just like me I guess and have trouble getting out of it.

  4. #14
    From the Undertow CuriousFeeling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mochajava View Post

    so does that make it safer?
    It feels safer because it isn't directly about you. Can state that you wrote it about the other character's emotions, when you know on your own that it has something to do with an experience you had, just you're not going to reveal it.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Johari/Nohari

    “Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings -- always darker, emptier and simpler.”
    ― Friedrich Nietzsche




  5. #15
    Junior Member ScentlessApprentice's Avatar
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    INF's are people that generally dwell in their headspace a lot, so when that space is shown to another person it can be very frightening and regretful. Sometimes I live with constant fear that everyone is plotting against me in some way, and it's pretty irrational, but very confusing.
    5-4 INFP "The Idealist"

    If you want to find out what's behind these cold eyes, you'll just have to claw your way through this disguise.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by CuriousFeeling View Post
    Music and art provide us an abstract and indirect way of presenting our emotions. We could write a lyric that is about a fictional character in the third person, and still have a connection to them by placing ourselves in their shoes.
    Good point!

    mochajava:
    But isn't there something to this? Isn't there a stigma about psychotherapy? And a stigma about anything mental / mental-health related? Even all the new-agey, touchy-feely, quality of life stuff -- aren't there pervading societal biases against these? (I'm finding them to be less so on the west than east coast).
    lol. Could you re-word your vocabulary so a dumb person can understand it? Do you mean like people seem to shun anyone with a mental problem, or that people with mental problems seem to be accepted more as individuals than they have in the past?

    Eckhart:
    I have also real, real trouble revealing much about me. I just don't. The problem is obviously when you don't reveal anything about you, then it stands in the way for a deeper relationship between two persons I guess... but when you are already low on self-confidence etc. then it is especially hard to step out of it, and in the end you end up just like me I guess and have trouble getting out of it.
    I know what you mean. It's true, revealing your insecurities is alright to some extent. If you want to have a good healthy relationship with someone, you have to. But, I don't know, after I do I feel like crawling in a hole and dying.

    ScentlessApprentice:
    INF's are people that generally dwell in their headspace a lot, so when that space is shown to another person it can be very frightening and regretful. Sometimes I live with constant fear that everyone is plotting against me in some way, and it's pretty irrational, but very confusing.
    Exactly! I used to worry myself sick about weather or not somebody was spreading rumors and such about me. Or I'll take the way somebody looked at me, and think "Oh my gosh! Did you see the way they looked at me? They don't like me. They're going to do something bad! NOOO!"

  7. #17
    Senior Member ExAstrisSpes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eckhart View Post
    I have also real, real trouble revealing much about me. I just don't. The problem is obviously when you don't reveal anything about you, then it stands in the way for a deeper relationship between two persons I guess... but when you are already low on self-confidence etc. then it is especially hard to step out of it, and in the end you end up just like me I guess and have trouble getting out of it.
    I have the same problem. I'm very open and verbal; I can talk to anyone for hours about "stuff". And I don't mind being one-on-one with someone.

    But to actually share my actual "stuffing"? That's *hard*.

    I often don't feel like anyone can relate to me. :sigh:

  8. #18
    Senior Member Lily flower's Avatar
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    I hope you continue to be friends with your friend. I have had people reveal intimate details to me, and then dump the friendship in panic. So be brave - your friend's acceptance of you might make your friendship stronger.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScentlessApprentice View Post
    INF's are people that generally dwell in their headspace a lot, so when that space is shown to another person it can be very frightening and regretful. Sometimes I live with constant fear that everyone is plotting against me in some way, and it's pretty irrational, but very confusing.
    Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you...

  10. #20
    Senior Member Onceajoan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SecondBest View Post
    Being vulnerable is being in pain. You hate the pain, you don't hate the vulnerability
    No. You are wrong. I HATE the vulnerability. It's not so much pain as anticipated hurt. It's like waiting for that shot in the arm at the doctor's office.

    Quote Originally Posted by SecondBest View Post
    Or you do hate the vulnerability, but only because it's causing you pain. Basically what I'm saying is pain is at the center.
    Yeah. Why should vulnerability be so painful if it's such a wonderful thing? There seems to be an inherent paradox in the concept of vulnerability.

    Quote Originally Posted by SecondBest View Post
    But if you can learn to really ride the pain and understand your relationship with it, I think, a person's willingness to be vulnerable will increase. Unfortunately, this would probably take you places that are less than comfortable. To me, or at least this is what I tell myself, the rewards are worth the risk though.
    Yeah. I'd call that "uncomfortable" place my dark side or shadow. Spooky.

    I wish I had a handle on what this all means and how it all works. Does anyone have a primer?

    Quote Originally Posted by SecondBest View Post
    Problem is, you might make yourself too vulnerable, you might get hurt so much that you may never recover. That's where the real risk in all this comes in.
    That's what I'm thinking. How do you know when you've hit bottom? That is, how do you know when you've opened yourself up enough to experience a healthy, satisfactory intimate relationship. How do you know the difference from just holding yourself back out of fear and need to protect oneself versus a need for healthy self preservation?

    Quote Originally Posted by SecondBest View Post
    Hope that makes sense.
    Yeah. For the most part. Although, I find INFP logic a bit challenging at times.

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