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  1. #61
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross'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.

    This thread is specifically in regards to how INFPs do it. I've read in many descriptions, and heard from them directly, that it's a major theme in their lives, and if they don't do it more than most, they at least notice themselves doing it more than most.

    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

    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.

    So what do you think of all this?
    Are INFPs more prone to masking?
    Do they just notice it more/are more concerned with it?
    Or are they nothing special when it comes to this?
    Anything else?
    Yeah, I do it a lot but this might be partly related to being a so/sp in instinctive variants. I tend to wear the happy, friendly, easy-going mask a lot - it convinces people that I'm not feeling down, socially awkward or anxious about something. Most of the other masks (which are slightly different to the ones listed) I use for similar reasons, namely that I want to conceal a less than desirable emotional state.

    I do think that INFPs do it a lot because we find it difficult to talk to others openly about our feelings (particularly the unpleasant ones). We simply find it easier to play along and put up a facade. As you said erm, these masks are a part of our personalities but I feel that the mask is different because it is a concentrated form of one side of your personality used as defense tactic, rather than the broad, constantly changing, complex nature of your 'true self' when you are at ease. I think for this reason its different to simply being in a certain mood.
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

    I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;
    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte

  2. #62
    Senior Member NegativeZero's Avatar
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    Does any other INFP use the stoic mask most frequently? I occasionally roll with the cruel and shock value ones as well.
    MBTI: INxP
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    Multiple Intelligence: Linguistic/verbal, intrapersonal.

  3. #63
    Senor Membrane
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    Quote Originally Posted by NegativeZero View Post
    Does any other INFP use the stoic mask most frequently?
    I remember someone telling me something that implied I do... Personally I find it strange. I thought I can't hide feelings at all. But then again, I am usually surprised when people tell me anything generalized about myself. Like when someone told me I provoke people I don't know well. I guess that's sort of a mask too.

  4. #64
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    ^Yes people generally say strange things about me that don't fit. Different people saying contradictory things, all because the masks contradict one another. I was quite shocked recently when someone said an observation about me, and it was actually outright true. A bit of a vague one, but I still take it as a sign of progress.

    As for masks I most frequent. Well at this stage in my life, "smiles and jokes" (amiable), "sarcasm and dark personal jokes" (spiteful) and "apathetic" are my main ones. I hope to discard all three, but they are a big improvement over the previous masks.

    The mask that gets to me the most now is the "warmth" mask. It fakes intimacy, closeness, opening up and things. Probably does the most damage overall, and is the one that outright lies the most, since it does it so quickly I can't catch it. In the past both cruel and agreeable, when I relied on them a lot, did far more damage. Cruel made me enemies and lost friends, agreeable got me in some dodgy situations and pushed aside a lot of help I could have used.

    I almost don't consider stoic a mask. At least, it doesn't produce the same internal conflict, and feels closer to the "real" me than all the other masks. I think that is because it is so inoffensive and passive, it produces less internal conflict and outright avoids external conflict.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    I feel that the mask is different because it is a concentrated form of one side of your personality used as defense tactic, rather than the broad, constantly changing, complex nature of your 'true self' when you are at ease. I think for this reason its different to simply being in a certain mood.
    Oh yes. Definitely a defence tactic, and far from "being in a certain mood".

    I find the masks shift my mood rather quickly into the negative. Internal conflict is not pleasant.

    Quote Originally Posted by Unkindloving View Post
    Away from the INFP masking, I've noticed how much my INTP ex does this. He knows what he would prefer to do, and who he is, yet he puts on this ESFP mask so people don't suspect who he really is. He'd told me that he was in no mood to have a week of partying heavy and could only handle people in small doses, but that not making appearances would draw undesired attention to himself. He has a severe inability to self-reflect, which I can only assume is related to how few people are aware of who he really is and would not be able to relate in a necessary way (as well as his own fears of who he has been).
    Sometimes it is cause for worry, rather than a playful game of using yourself and others as pawns. Course I'm a firm believer in having a grasp on self, as well as not putting others in harms way through a lack of grasp on self. Goes for any type.
    Again, agreed. INTPs being a similar case to INFPs. It hinders the ability to self-reflect, causes all kinds of damage, but is rarely a conscious game when it comes down to it. It looks conscious though, but really anyone who can play masks consciously is a very special person. A very talented improvisation actor, I would guess.

  5. #65
    Senior Member BAJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NegativeZero View Post
    Does any other INFP use the stoic mask most frequently? I occasionally roll with the cruel and shock value ones as well.
    Most of the time (probably) I'm stoic.

  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    I do think that INFPs do it a lot because we find it difficult to talk to others openly about our feelings (particularly the unpleasant ones). We simply find it easier to play along and put up a facade. As you said erm, these masks are a part of our personalities but I feel that the mask is different because it is a concentrated form of one side of your personality used as defense tactic, rather than the broad, constantly changing, complex nature of your 'true self' when you are at ease. I think for this reason its different to simply being in a certain mood.
    I think if I do wear a mask it's the one that covers up my discomfort at talking openly about my feelings or putting feelings into words. I'll default to listening every time and reflecting back to the other person what they've said so we can keep talking and perhaps find a tangent to go off on. It's a way of playing along. I have a friend who gives me permission to let my feelings out any which way I can describe them because he does so with such ease. I rarely find someone I connect with like that, who understands that just because I'm not expressing it doesn't mean I'm not feeling it or to say it another way, understands my silences. I don't know if I'd call my outward friendliness a mask as much as a way to connect, even if I don't feel like talking all that much. Otherwise, I would probably not talk much at all (tire of interaction after a short while) and would need to go away and be alone. I have male friends who don't seem to have issues with their quietness. They just don't say much and all is good. But women expect another woman to converse more, to make an effort at relating.

  7. #67
    Senior Member BAJ's Avatar
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    Does anyone have an XL or 2X costume I can borrow?

    I'll try click my heels. "There is no place like home." 3x

    Actually, I feel like there is a severance from all roles,
    attachments,
    things,
    people,
    being,
    becoming,
    story lines I believe about me,
    story lines others believe about me.

    It's all like thread, gently breaking, like touched by a scented candle,

    I am adrift.

    There was nothing. I came from nothing. I return.

    Expectations turning into butterflies.

    We call this the diaspora.
    For made from dust, we return to dust.

    We are becoming dust, yet remain alive...

    like rain in the desert...spread like drops and waters...washed out.

    emptiness...

    in the great emptiness...

    free from masks, free from identities much less facades.

    Free of all things...being nothing and having nothing.

    Absence of persons, and every entanglement.

    eternity is now.

    all is joy.

    A river of peace and joy.

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