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  1. #1
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    Default ENFJ - Seeing what others have shared really helps

    Hi all.

    After doing some browsing here I feel a little bit better.

    I generally feel lonely even though I am seriously just great with people, I know I have charisma, I use my intuition to help others, to teach others, to make them better at what they do, to give them what they need. I dont do any of this because I feel I should or anything like that. I do it because it is satisfying, natural to me, it makes me glad. I could not stop doing these things if I tried, and I would not want to try. I do not neglect myself in favor of others, I just find that I gain alot of pleasure in seeing what people need and giving it to them, and in teaching others, in motivating others.

    On the flip side, I am just darned lonely. I DO tend to be more of a chameleon, I DO tend to withold my true opinions and feelings much of the time. Is this because I am fake? Perhaps I am a chameleon, but not because I want to be "fake"... As a matter of fact, I am probably more honest and genuine than anyone else I know. As long as I am able to be kind, I will tell you where I truly stand on a topic. Most people cannot handle that, dont truly want that... and with regard to my opinions, I withold my true feelings often because I know how much influence I can have. If I tell others what I really feel, what if I sway them to my way of thinking? Will it help them to know what I honestly think? Can they handle the fact that I have just about the same level of passion about which shampoo I use as I do about my opinions about movies, religion, politics, etc?

    There are only some people with whom I can share my actual feelings on any topic... and even then, I often find that I simply feel too intensely, too passionately, for other people to be able to handle even glimpses of the "real me". I have learned to try to subdue some of this passion, and to also try to let go of the need to be understood, but am still lonely.

    I think that all of the above is pretty typical of the ENFJ. We are great with people but tend to have trouble sharing our "real selves" and often lonely. But what about being sensitive, and what about having trouble forgiving others in friendships? Do others have difficulty with this? If I trust someone and open up to them (not easy for me to do, to feel that they really DO want to know my true thoughts and feelings and can also hande even my subdued intensity) and then to feel hurt or betrayed by them. I find that I am not able or willing to allow people who talk about me, or who play emotional head games, into my life. Since it seems that pretty much excludes everyone I work with, I am friendly and helpful and kind to everyone, but I am friends with no one in a genuine sense.

    Other people, people I honestly consider to be "normal" in their frienships seem to accept this kind of thing as a matter of course. They all talk about each other negatively, they hurt each other, kiss, make up, and then gang up on someone else next week. They just roll this way. I actually think that the place I currently work is a pretty extreme example, but truly, most people seem to accept these things as a part of normal human interaction. I must be too sensitive... I let these things, the fact that I see these things, get in the way. I do not tend to just brush it aside and let it go. I give loyalty and I desire it in return.

    I dont know how to get past this. I dont know if I even SHOULD try to do so. If I open myself up to those I know are very duplistic and back biting and join in the negative games, I will be someone I do not want to be.

    I am just so lonely.

  2. #2
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    Are NFJs perhaps a combination of too sensitive and too perfectionist?

    As in, they desire the intimacy of another, but too easily wounded by another when things don't go as expected?

  3. #3
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LilyLOL View Post
    On the flip side, I am just darned lonely. I DO tend to be more of a chameleon, I DO tend to withold my true opinions and feelings much of the time. Is this because I am fake?
    No, this does NOT mean you are fake. Your motivations are genuine, and you're acting on your values. That is not fake at all. However, I suspect you are lonely because in your effort to connect to people, you've forgotten that means you have to open up a bit. I know ENFJs can feel very vulnerable about opening up their inner world and they'll constantly ping the attention back on the other person. Of course, people love to talk about themselves, so the ENFJ is an instant favorite with many - but you also need people to like you for your inner self, not just how you make people feel. If you don't have that, then you'll feel lonely, even if you're technically not alone.


    There are only some people with whom I can share my actual feelings on any topic... and even then, I often find that I simply feel too intensely, too passionately, for other people to be able to handle even glimpses of the "real me". I have learned to try to subdue some of this passion, and to also try to let go of the need to be understood, but am still lonely.
    This is a dilemma that is hard, because you have to find those few people, or that one person, who is willing to, even wants to, see the passionate, intense side. There are people out there who totally want that in another person - it won't scare them off. Try testing people a bit - you're an ENFJ, I am sure you're good at sensing the emotional dynamic between you and another person. Don't second guess yourself if someone seems keen to see some of that intensity. Give them a glimpse, and if they handle it, then give them some more.

    Try an INFP

    /INFP propaganda

    But what about being sensitive, and what about having trouble forgiving others in friendships? Do others have difficulty with this? If I trust someone and open up to them (not easy for me to do, to feel that they really DO want to know my true thoughts and feelings and can also hande even my subdued intensity) and then to feel hurt or betrayed by them. I find that I am not able or willing to allow people who talk about me, or who play emotional head games, into my life. Since it seems that pretty much excludes everyone I work with, I am friendly and helpful and kind to everyone, but I am friends with no one in a genuine sense.

    I dont know how to get past this. I dont know if I even SHOULD try to do so. If I open myself up to those I know are very duplistic and back biting and join in the negative games, I will be someone I do not want to be.

    I am just so lonely.
    I'm an idealist also, so I get this.... I think having high standards is normal for ENFJs and NFs in general. I think we set the bar, and that may NOT be a problem - it can be a good thing. However, exercising some understanding and compassion helps ease the disappointment with people when they fail to live up to your expectations. If you don't give people some leeway, then you'll never allow yourself to become vulnerable enough to make a real connection with another person.

    You're right to stay guarded with those people, IMO. From what you describe, they just sound like a bunch of drama. I think you should trust your instincts if people give you the feeling that they are not trustworthy, but also give people some benefit of the doubt if you have no real evidence that they play games.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

  4. #4
    Senior Member ExAstrisSpes's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, I feel lonely a lot of the time too. I'd do anything and drop everything I'm doing for a friend in need.

    My friends are pretty much scattered all over the place, and when I try to make new friends I do get severely disappointed with how flaky people are in general (or is that just an L.A. thing?). While I can tell the difference between someone who is genuinely flaky vs. someone who is just busy and we can't get our schedules to mesh, it hurts that I can't really have a genuine connection with anyone. I have a lot of acquaintances who I hang out with on occasion, but because of their flakiness I don't let the friendship go any further.

    Ex. One woman from work was really bugging me to do a double date with her fiance and her so she could meet my new sig. other. When I sent out the e-mail she bailed and said, "oh let's do it next week". So I figured she'd let us know when we could meet, but I never heard from her. She then had to work at a different site about 30 miles away for a while, and when she got back she asked me if there was anything wrong because we hadn't hung out for awhile. All of this was after I had been on two last-minute shopping trips with her to look at wedding dresses.

    When I get involved with someone new I do try to open up to him and let him see some of my insides, but I either get betrayed or dumped and then I don't feel safe with that person anymore. I think I've stayed in touch with one of my ex's, and I can't really say we're best of friends.

  5. #5
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    Don't second guess yourself if someone seems keen to see some of that intensity. Give them a glimpse, and if they handle it, then give them some more.

    Try an INFP
    Or an INTP. Seriously! I dated an ENFJ and I loved her intensity and her passion. She didn't show it to me enough. It was literally my favorite thing about her. Great OP, by the way. I think it highlights some of the issues that certain types have - we're very intense and passionate, but not everyone can handle that intensity and that passion. And so, we end up feeling a bit alienated (even when people like us) because of the distance this causes between us and them.
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


    There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. --William Barclay

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacGuffin View Post
    Are NFJs perhaps a combination of too sensitive and too perfectionist?

    As in, they desire the intimacy of another, but too easily wounded by another when things don't go as expected?
    That could very well be the crux of it..

  7. #7
    Senior Member Sparrow's Avatar
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    ^ I agree, it can be tough. Im going through a bunch of BS right now...I feel like an idiot for trusting someone I didnt know that well. I got screwed over big time and now Im stressed as hell and feeling extremly misunderstood. We gotta remember boundaries for sure...

    I dedicate this song to all my ENFJs (warning its pretty cheeeese ball!!!)

    [youtube="asfiKvQxbnM"]You Are Not Alone...[/youtube]
    Fe | Ni | Se | Ti ... 3w4 ... Lawful Neutral ... Johari -Nohari

  8. #8
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LilyLOL View Post
    On the flip side, I am just darned lonely. I DO tend to be more of a chameleon, I DO tend to withold my true opinions and feelings much of the time. Is this because I am fake? Perhaps I am a chameleon, but not because I want to be "fake"... As a matter of fact, I am probably more honest and genuine than anyone else I know. As long as I am able to be kind, I will tell you where I truly stand on a topic. Most people cannot handle that, dont truly want that... and with regard to my opinions, I withold my true feelings often because I know how much influence I can have. If I tell others what I really feel, what if I sway them to my way of thinking? Will it help them to know what I honestly think? Can they handle the fact that I have just about the same level of passion about which shampoo I use as I do about my opinions about movies, religion, politics, etc?
    LOL, people tell me I sound like a infomercial when I tell them about some new product I just tried.

    People say they want it, but they don't really want it. Domino started a thread about this a while back called "Frustrated ENFJ" that you may want to check out. These words 'passion' and 'intense' get thrown around a lot and I don't know what the exchange rate is. What does passionate and intense look like in real life? "You're talking really loud. Indoor voice, plz." "Why are you standing up? Sit down, you're scaring me!" "Uh, it's not the deep." "I'm a little concerned that you're going to hit me with that...let me hold it for you." You can be overwhelming and come off too strong. You can be that person that didn't know to shut up and leave the person who said they wanted it (but didn't really) alone.

    Pencils and pens have become projectile missiles. I've thrown liquid on people accidentally because I'm over gesturing. When I've felt especially gusty I've jabbed and hit people (not maliciously) and sent them scampering off. Things can get a little wild and uncoordinated. I'm not saying you do this, but I wanted to give a more real life depiction of what this can look like. Internally you feel like you're just excited and you want to share, but people are backing away from you with eyes as wide as saucers and crossing themselves and you're not even angry or anything. God help them when you're angry because you feel like you could raze and decimate an entire city.

    Do you feel both compelled to adjust and resent having to do it at the same time?

    There are only some people with whom I can share my actual feelings on any topic... and even then, I often find that I simply feel too intensely, too passionately, for other people to be able to handle even glimpses of the "real me". I have learned to try to subdue some of this passion, and to also try to let go of the need to be understood, but am still lonely.
    If you've got a couple of friends who take it all in stride, they're not put off by it and you're grateful to them, then show them how much you treasure them. You may have to cultivate them a bit, but if they're still there you're doing good. Someone is better than no one right? Those people are the ones who see you when the curtains down. Give full disclosure: let them know up front that you're not for the faint of heart, you're rich and full-bodied and if they don't take their shots straight then maybe they should reconsider. All you can do it put it out there.

    This may be a douse of cold water, but when I parsed out (only a recent thing and still working on it) my particular emotional needs--not better or deeper or any of those other buzzwords flying around--it made me feel relieved, like OK now I know. I felt a sense of purpose after that because I knew who and what to look for and wasn't groping around clueless, frustrated, and mad. I had a clearer understanding of what I wanted and while sometimes it's hazy, I still know it's there. The next step was to try to figure out how reasonable my expectations and wants were. That's something you fine tune regularly and throughout the course of your life. Reasonable expectations save you years of frustration and resentment. Once it again, it's not something you just zap into a microwave but having an clear idea of it helps.

    I think that all of the above is pretty typical of the ENFJ. We are great with people but tend to have trouble sharing our "real selves" and often lonely. But what about being sensitive, and what about having trouble forgiving others in friendships? Do others have difficulty with this? If I trust someone and open up to them (not easy for me to do, to feel that they really DO want to know my true thoughts and feelings and can also hande even my subdued intensity) and then to feel hurt or betrayed by them. I find that I am not able or willing to allow people who talk about me, or who play emotional head games, into my life. Since it seems that pretty much excludes everyone I work with, I am friendly and helpful and kind to everyone, but I am friends with no one in a genuine sense.
    Some questions for you: who are the people you're seeking the validation of being understood from? What do you want to reveal? Is it that you've revealed yourself and felt like you've been rejected and people didn't understand where you were coming from?

    I must be too sensitive... I let these things, the fact that I see these things, get in the way. I do not tend to just brush it aside and let it go. I give loyalty and I desire it in return.

    ...I dont know how to get past this. I dont know if I even SHOULD try to do so. If I open myself up to those I know are very duplistic and back biting and join in the negative games, I will be someone I do not want to be.
    Well, TBH, I think a little of this you will have to get over. While you don't want to be a calloused person, protecting yourself if this is a sensitivity of yours is a good idea. Our bodies naturally protect our sensitive parts and we have a whole immune system ready to fight for us internally if need be. People protect their valuables all the time...is your heart not a valuable as well? You don't have to close yourself off to protect yourself. I think it's about recognizing the signs. If you're in a den of snakes then most definitely, those are not people you want to be around or even look towards for understanding. Unfortunately, you can't always gets yourself out of an environment like that quickly and painlessly, e.g. a work situation. At that point you've got to learn how to navigate your way through.
    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

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    Snip

    You're right to stay guarded with those people, IMO. From what you describe, they just sound like a bunch of drama. I think you should trust your instincts if people give you the feeling that they are not trustworthy, but also give people some benefit of the doubt if you have no real evidence that they play games.
    I removed much of what you wrote in the above quote, but want you to know that I appreciated every word. Thank you.

    I think that one of the things I really need to do is to cultivate friendships outside of work and family. Both have a lot of drama, so I need to look elsewhere.

    Another sage asked me why I would WANT friends at work. A good question. I am too idealistic and need to get down to brass tacks. Work is not where I go for friendship. If I dont have the luxury of friends at work, I need to cultivate them elsewhere.

    Thanks again.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTPness View Post
    Or an INTP. Seriously! I dated an ENFJ and I loved her intensity and her passion. She didn't show it to me enough. It was literally my favorite thing about her. Great OP, by the way. I think it highlights some of the issues that certain types have - we're very intense and passionate, but not everyone can handle that intensity and that passion. And so, we end up feeling a bit alienated (even when people like us) because of the distance this causes between us and them.
    My husband loves that intensity, too. Thank heavens for that!

    Sometimes it is just nice to know that so many others feel the same way, or understand. Thanks!

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