wow.It is entirely self protection in my case. The black box analogy is exactly how I would describe it. A lot of my protection started early because my ESFJ mother always pointed me in the direction that she thought was best for me. All these expectations she had for me were just played out externally while I had my own convictions inside that I would keep secret. I'm irrationally afraid that if I ever share anything that is in my black box, someone would reject it and that would be very painful. It must be confusing for me to keep referring to my black box, but it is my most vulnerable spot and so I can't just share what's in it with anyone.
So, that's why I bolded that particular sentence in the quote. I externally project what is expected of me, but inside it can be very different. I prefer to keep a piece of me to myself because I don't want others to contaminate it. The hardest thing to do is to tell someone how much I care about them, because chances are it started out in my black box. Excuse the cliche, but it seems if you give someone an inch, they take a mile. After that, people want to discuss it openly when I would like to keep words out of it. I can't take criticism or jokes when it comes to my black box.
My mom drives crazy with this. I don't get along very well with my little brother, but it doesn't mean I don't love him. My mom tries to drag it out of me all the time (and especially in front of guests). "Do you love your little brother?" I refuse to answer and she says I am hateful... but honestly, it's MY business. She takes my refusal to answer as a no. If I tell her then she'll make a big deal about it and bring it up all the time and insist I openly talk about it, because she has then formed a new expectation.
I had a friend that I was always close to since kindergarten and right before we graduated she told me, "Travis, I have known you since I was 6 years old, and now I am 18 and I don't feel like I ever really knew you...".
I have to go to class right now but I want to discuss this a little further in a new post. Thanks for the replies!
same same same with me. except my mom is an ISFJ. and my brother and i are very close, mainly because we both have the same view of our mother.