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  1. #11
    Glycerine
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    Just some INFPs I know. One is the critic/comedian for his main mask but really sensitive/insecure underneath it. A second one is the sweet, Pollyanna type who seems to be looking for a purpose in life. Another is the biggest cynic but I think he's just really wounded.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    What gender were they?
    The one I was the closest to was a male INFP. The other was a female. I met both of them through work. The male INFP became a very, very good friend. On our breaks we'd go sit in his car and listen to music. Eventually we started hanging out after work. He was in pretty bad marraige. He loved his wife more than life itself, but she was a rotten emotionall vampire that took advantage of his love by making him work 70 hours a week (two jobs) so she could shop her ass off and live in a big house. Then she'd drag him through the mud because he wasn't "there enough." She also had a few affairs on him. One night I couldn't hold back any longer, and I very kindly told him what I thought was going on, and that he deserved better, and that I would always be his friend no matter what he decided to do (as most of his friends had ditched him because they couldnt handle his wife anymore) He hugged me and started sobbing on my shoulder. I don't know why I included this story, lol, but I never really did see him wear a mask. Years later the bitch left him.. shattered his soul, and I never told him, but it was the best thing to ever happen to him.
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  3. #13
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erm View Post
    This is a common phenomenon. As far as I know, every human being does it often.
    I think it may be more pronounced in introverts. It's not a matter of consciously wearing a mask either, but simply being more reserved at first. Even non-shy introverts can take time to really get to know, which makes the first-impressions they give off a mere sliver of their whole self. It's not an act, but just the natural way they are with acquaintances. Not to say that extroverts don't have multiple layers & different angles to their personalities, but they seem less hidden at first, even if their character is still not clearly drawn. They're like a picture you see the whole shot of, but it's a bit blurry still, whereas with an introvert you get a corner of that picture.

    The masks are as much a part of the person as the "real self" (or the face, by this metaphour), it's simply that the "real self" is something the person is more comfortable with, identifies with more, is what they show to themselves (when alone), and is the consistent theme that doesn't change like the masks do. It is their "core", so to speak.

    The various masks I am familiar with:

    Childish
    Unserious/joking
    Apathetic
    Vulgar/Shock value
    Cruel
    Stoic
    Agreeable
    I don't consciously wear a "mask", but my personality can seem very placid, rather inexpressive & apathetic, and just plain dull in many social situations. It's not a defense or an act, but simply how I am naturally in these situations. My "true" self IS quiet anyway, and the more intense parts are simply not suited for many situations. It's one aspect of my personality, just a shallower one.

    Unlike when actually being those traits, using them as a mask I feel a big internal conflict, but currently find it difficult to stop. Especially if the interaction is rapid (anything aside from email/forum writing). This is aggravated further by, if the "face" starts to show, I retreat fast or regret it later. It leads to isolation, lack of intimacy, much regret, people getting a false impression, being misunderstood and many other negative things. Taking the masks off however, seems worse.
    I only feel this way when a "mask" is a result of shyness. Then I feel inhibited. However, I also find it hard when being my true self means being quiet & reserved, which it often does, and people poke at me with "what's wrong?" and "smile!" comments. So both the shyness AND my true nature can send the wrong signals. The difference is, shyness feels uncontrollable, and that's what is frustrating about it. If I have to, then I can summon the energy to be more outgoing even when I am not in the mood, but shyness feels like inability. My natural state is just something like conservation of energy & absent-mindedness.
    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. #14
    Senior Member BAJ's Avatar
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    Ah, I'm not sure if I do these, but I think yes.

    I want to reveal myself, but I'm inhibited. Many things may go on.

    The role I may play my be complex. It maybe an essence facilitated, stimulated or generated by a connection with each person, as if each person is a guide or link to a new world, the world with that person. My role...and perhaps even my identity... is subtly unique with that person alone.

    In general, I try to inhibit or tailor my communications with that person to deal with them the best I can within the box that they live, within the parameters of their mind, both to protect myself and to protect them. I want to leave them in better condition. This may involve conflict, but hopefully rendered without harm or affront. If I can tug one their mind and expand, this is one of my goals, as well as learning something myself.

    I have many other goals as well, but in some capacity I can be only myself, but I can also try (with in the context of myself) to be what the person needs. Of course, I have limitations for time, personal energy, and all things. We are speaking in terms of what capacity, for I consider myself limited in capacity, but not mind and heart.

    So the categories in the op, some seem familiar, and others not me at all. Yet, I think my facades are more complex than those generalizations.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Rebe's Avatar
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    I think it may be more pronounced in introverts. It's not a matter of consciously wearing a mask either, but simply being more reserved at first. Even non-shy introverts can take time to really get to know, which makes the first-impressions they give off a mere sliver of their whole self. It's not an act, but just the natural way they are with acquaintances. Not to say that extroverts don't have multiple layers & different angles to their personalities, but they seem less hidden at first, even if their character is still not clearly drawn. They're like a picture you see the whole shot of, but it's a bit blurry still, whereas with an introvert you get a corner of that picture.
    The core of me rarely changes, but the way I portray myself does change according to who I am interacting with. I pick up on subtle signals and despite the notion that some INFPs are socially oblivious, I am not. I try to behave appropriately based on the messages I am receiving. Sometimes that means I can be more myself, other times it means I have to tone down. I am not deceiving anyone; I am protecting myself in a way and making the social interaction comfortable for everyone.

    In front of people, I am very bubbly, giddy, optimistic, smiling, mild-tempered, polite...

    With close friends, I show my very judgmental/critical side. I am vulgar and crazier than most people suspect of me. One time my close friend told me I wasn't acting like myself, that I was very toned down in front of a guy I was seeing at the time and that it was not good. It takes time for me to be myself. With some people, it happens on the very first conversation and with others, it takes several conversations. And some others, it never happens that I can act completely myself.

    I hardy ever show people my vulnerable or depressive side. I much prefer to put on a bright, happy face unless it is with close friends or I need to talk about something. I hate to be that mopey, negative person.

    When I act bubbly, most of the time I do feel the happiness and the silliness so I am not faking it. It's just another facet of my being that shows up in positive interactions. When left by myself, I am often contemplating and serious (fi). When engaged with someone else, someone else's thoughts and ideas, I get more perky and excited (ne).

    We interact with Ne so I guess we see many different ways of acting and meeting the needs of others as well as ourselves. We can morph a little bit to suit the new situation and the individual person. Most people morph a little as well, maybe we morph a few inches more because we are so in-tuned, flexible and open-minded.

    Also! I do this thing where I may steal a couple of words or phrases that the person I am interacting with uses often, or mimic their laughter or their tone of voice. It's really funny. Is this something other NFPs do? I don't know why I keep doing it. It's like depending on who I am interacting with, I pick up on their lingo. I can speak rough english with curses/slangs or really proper english. It's quite odd actually, now that I am thinking of it. I was taking care of this little boy who uses a certain word a lot and for weeks after, I kept using that word as well. It wasn't as cute on a grown woman.

  6. #16
    Ginkgo
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    Imagine standing for hours in front of a mirror, mimicking facial expressions not natural to you. Every twitch, muscle pulled, grimace, smile, every expression of happy, sad, afraid, is calculated and voluntary. Behind your carefully stitched face, there exists a strategist on a mental plane above others, cold, fearless, and unfeeling. You know it and no one else can even detect it.

    Psychopath... or INFP?

  7. #17
    Reptilian Snuggletron's Avatar
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    I mainly view these masks as facades that are really me, they just have utilities for different situations. If I fear I'm being unauthentic, I'll fix it to fit me. Basically it's like having knobs for everything and toning certain knobs up or down depending on what we want to present outside at the time.

  8. #18
    Uniqueorn William K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snuggletron View Post
    I mainly view these masks as facades that are really me, they just have utilities for different situations. If I fear I'm being unauthentic, I'll fix it to fit me. Basically it's like having knobs for everything and toning certain knobs up or down depending on what we want to present outside at the time.
    Something like this?

    4w5, Fi>Ne>Ti>Si>Ni>Fe>Te>Se, sp > so > sx

    appreciates being appreciated, conflicted over conflicts, afraid of being afraid, bad at being bad, predictably unpredictable, consistently inconsistent, remarkably unremarkable...

    I may not agree with what you are feeling, but I will defend to death your right to have a good cry over it

    The whole problem with the world is that fools & fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts. ~ Bertrand Russell

  9. #19
    lab rat extraordinaire CrystalViolet's Avatar
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    People say I wear masks all the time. Generally I just adapt and utilize the INFP Chameleon coat though. My favourite mask is the quirky, artistic soul with a sense of humour. I feel people respond best to that aspect of me. It's the mask I'm most comfortable with. It's a complicated thing this masking. It's not really a false persona, just parts of me are more accentuated than others.
    If I'm honest, it took me a long time to learn how to mask, or so it seems. I spent much of my childhood as a raw stripped bare nerve. Part of that is because my mother was a narcissist (one of the classic signs of a narcissist is someone who feeds off anothers pain) and my raw state as a INFP who's highly emapthetic would have been really freakin' tasty to her, so she enjoyed stripping back any protection I'd put up.Over time though, I grew stronger and learnt to accentuate parts of myself to hide the deep dark core of my being, but strangely, or not so much given my explaination, I think I accentuated the parts of my personality my mother could not understand, therefore exploit....the whole creative realm seemed to be some thing to which she had no key. Another mask which seems to be default mode (for work and stuff, but also developed during childhood) is the cold, gruff intellectual, another one of my persona's that my mother had trouble putting dents in....once adorned, usuall resulted in her screaming at me "Do you think you think you are smarter than me? Do you?"
    I think masks tend to built out of necessity, during childhood, but I think INFP masks seem to be kinda flimsy at times....I'm not sure if that's because we seem to see through other people masks so easily, or it's that whole authenticity thing. Sometimes that mask won't budge, if the red flags are waving.
    One of the big red flags for me is when someone tries to take of those masks forceably, maybe from lingering fears of childhood. Healthy people wait for the slow reveal.
    Currently submerged under an avalanche of books and paper work. I may come back up for air from time to time.
    Real life awaits and she is a demanding mistress.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  10. #20
    Ginkgo
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    You guys realize that just about everyone under the sun wears a persona in order to blend in with social environments, right? If no one had the ability to do so, society wouldn't be able to function because everyone would be in a state of disharmony. Sure, if everyone functioned with clear and sober data processing like some sort of collective computer, simply sharing information, then we could function. However, most people have the tendency to get butthurt.


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