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  1. #1
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Default People telling you that you feel worse than you actually do...sigh

    I had a friend visiting for a few days. I think she may be ENFP - she tested ENFP a few years back and it seems to fit in a lot of ways. Really not sure of type though.

    We fell out a few years ago and actually only reconnected fairly recently, because she was definitely going through issues at the time (social bullying, etc etc) and I felt that she was sort of projecting negativity onto me. But in a strange way. I'd say "I hope the weather will be good when I go on holiday to Morocco", and she'd be like "You're always imagining the worst! YOu need to let go and just be happy instead of worrying all the time!" Uh, yeah. That sort of thing, and worse. Meanwhile, she was actually dumping quite a lot of negativity onto me because she was having a difficult time with people in her life and so on.

    Anyway, we patched things up and reconnected and she stayed with me for a few days. It was nice to catch up with her and she does have some good advice about staying positive, minimizing the impact of negative people, etc. But... Some stuff kind of got to me too, and unfortunately it reminded me of why we fell out. It's almost as though she won't even allow a negative word to be spoken, it's her new technique for staying "happy". Or if I comment that a friend has had problems, she tells me that I have too many negative people in my life and I need to surround myself with positive people. I tried to make it clear that at the moment I have a decent number of low-maintenance and quite positive friends around me, and only a couple who are a bit of a drain, but she kept trying to bring it back to how I need positive people around me who share similar interests...sort of implying that I have none of those. I mean, I even told her that one of those low-drama good friends had a near home invasion recently, and she's like "You know so many people with problems!" I actually got a bit annoyed and said "just because my friend had to slam the window in an intruder's face doesn't mean she 'has problems'".

    Then after she left to continue her travels, she emailed me and basically...well to me it was very much telling me that I'm not happy in this city and need to move on. I just feel again that this is her projecting. Because I betrayed some negativity - and it has more to do with some difficult circumstances this year than anything else, not much to do with the place I live, I think - she's concluding that I am going through what she went through in this city; lack of upbuilding people around her, feeling seriously isolated, depression, etc. She definitely talked a few times about me being "lonely" or "isolated" when I hadn't actually said that at all. Even when I'd been talking about my friends, how I spend time with them etc. I just don't like the fact that she's sort of telling me what I feel, and drawing conclusions that it's not really her right to draw. It's almost to me as though she wants me to be her, again, and to do what she ultimately did, which was decide that this wasn't the place for her and move on. But I'm not her, and though I have my struggles and my ups and downs I don't feel that there is a better place for me currently. (The last time I moved away from a city, I had no doubt at all that it was the right thing to do. I don't feel like that at all right now.)

    Her technique to approach life now seems to be to not acknowledge negativity at all, and to me that's just not realistic. It really did kind of annoy me that every time I said "oh, I worry about so and so" or "It annoys me when people do this", she'd be like "Why? Why let it annoy you? Why should you worry about them? I don't give people like that space in my head any more." It was like she had to call me on EVERYTHING of that nature that I said. I realise the need to protect myself and to avoid excessive negativity, I've seen the value of that increasingly this year. But honestly, don't try to convince me I'm in a worse place than I am...I know myself the best.

    It's not that I want to break up the friendship again, but honestly my inclination is to just keep her in my life in small doses, and to not tell her much about what's going on except that I feel pretty good and cheerful about everything - whether or not it is entirely true. I can imagine this sort of thing really stressing me out otherwise.

    What do you guys think about all this? Any similar experiences?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    Yes, my mother does this a bit! She is an ESFJ, has an Ne thang going on though. It's the same thing with the negative people around. I think sensitive people just notice it more. I tried to explain to her that some things just suck no matter what energy you're trying to attract though. Like, we were talking about my uncle, stage 4 kidney cancer. "He needs to stay positive and keep support around him."
    Me: "Well poor guy. That genuinely sucks."
    Mom: "It doesn't suck! He just needs to stay positive and bring joyful, positive people into his life to support him. It's the mind body connection- if he starts to think positively he will heal. I have faith that he will heal."
    Me: "MOM! SOME THINGS JUST SUCK SOMETIMES!" Ugh!

    Anyway, I think that it's a barrier for them. I do agree with everything that they have to offer, but it's not a holistic picture, sometimes you just need to be aware about the reality of things and feel sad. It's part of being human!
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  3. #3
    Undisciplined Starry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    What do you guys think about all this? Any similar experiences?
    Ahhh...from what you describe I think she's definitely an ENFP...and I am imagining an ENFP 8w7 as she sounds exactly like my ENFP 8w7 friend. It drives me insane SilkRoad. (gosh...I can't even tell you how familiar your story is to me).

    The friend I am referring to has so many amazing qualities...and is a positive influence on my life...but I have had to train myself NOT to bring up anything...oh sad, depressing, upsetting, etc. And when I am actually experiencing those kind of feelings myself...I stay away from her.

  4. #4
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Yay! I'm not crazy then

    Quote Originally Posted by shortnsweet View Post
    Yes, my mother does this a bit! She is an ESFJ, has an Ne thang going on though. It's the same thing with the negative people around. I think sensitive people just notice it more. I tried to explain to her that some things just suck no matter what energy you're trying to attract though. Like, we were talking about my uncle, stage 4 kidney cancer. "He needs to stay positive and keep support around him."
    Me: "Well poor guy. That genuinely sucks."
    Mom: "It doesn't suck! He just needs to stay positive and bring joyful, positive people into his life to support him. It's the mind body connection- if he starts to think positively he will heal. I have faith that he will heal."
    Me: "MOM! SOME THINGS JUST SUCK SOMETIMES!" Ugh!

    Anyway, I think that it's a barrier for them. I do agree with everything that they have to offer, but it's not a holistic picture, sometimes you just need to be aware about the reality of things and feel sad. It's part of being human!
    Yeah...in a way, there are a lot of positive things about the approach. But like you say it's not holistic. I just can't deny that negativity exists, that it's sometimes going to affect me and my friends, etc. It's not real, and it's kind of annoying, at least under some circumstances.

    Quote Originally Posted by StarryKnights View Post
    Ahhh...from what you describe I think she's definitely an ENFP...and I am imagining an ENFP 8w7 as she sounds exactly like my ENFP 8w7 friend. It drives me insane SilkRoad. (gosh...I can't even tell you how familiar your story is to me).

    The friend I am referring to has so many amazing qualities...and is a positive influence on my life...but I have had to train myself NOT to bring up anything...oh sad, depressing, upsetting, etc. And when I am actually experiencing those kind of feelings myself...I stay away from her.
    Ahhh, you know what I mean then. That's interesting that it reminded you so much of your friend. I wouldn't have thought of 8w7 as a typical ENFP e-type (though I'm sure it's possible) but it does seem like it might fit.

    It's like, yes, she can certainly bring positive things into my life. I just don't like it when any mildly negative (or realistic!) comment I make results in a lecture about being more positive, or results in her imputing horribly negative feelings to me that I don't really have. I think what makes it kind of unsettling for me, not just annoying, is that as an INFJ type 6 I SERIOUSLY second-guess myself a lot anyway and tend to be anxious. So if I'm actually feeling reasonably ok about things, or maybe I'm not feeling ok but I know why and I know it will pass on to better things, it kind of gets to me when someone tries to tell me that I'm obviously drowning in a pool of negativity, or whatever.

    This girl has been through some really difficult stuff in her life, and in a way I can't really pretend to know where she's coming from. Perhaps completely shutting off anything like negativity is her way to deal with it, and I have to respect that - it probably has some things going for it. But she really shouldn't assume that because of some difficulties in my life and those of the people around me, I'm feeling just the way she was a few years ago and need to change my life in the same way she did.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member jimrckhnd's Avatar
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    I want to throttle terminally cheerful/positive people: first they are exhausting and second their world view just isn't all that realistic. Shitty stuff happens... to everybody and probabilities being what they are there will most likely be a time in everybodies life when they have to deal with a whole string of shitty things and choices. Surrounding yourself with positive people and thinking positive thoughts will not make a shit sandwhich taste any better. My outlook is one of "black optimisim": yes bad things will happen so be prepared for it but life goes on - until it doesn't.

    I think some of the people who insist on being ubber positive all the time may actually have difficulty with dealing with negative things - hence they keep them at arms length as much as possible. And as much as it may annoy the people in their lives.
    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups

  6. #6
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimrckhnd View Post
    I think some of the people who insist on being ubber positive all the time may actually have difficulty with dealing with negative things - hence they keep them at arms length as much as possible. And as much as it may annoy the people in their lives.
    Yeah, I agree with this. I guess it may work for her, or else she's being very convincing about how it works for her. But it's not me.

    What I don't really get is why she seems to feel a need to convince me that things are worse for me and I'm more negative than I actually am. Believe me...the kind of person I am, I usually have to convince people that things are WORSE in my life than they may appear, and that everything isn't just hunky dory.

    I bet if I'd started talking about a best friend having a terminal illness or something, she would have told me that I have so many people with problems in my life... Seriously! Good, positive people have problems. Good, positive people go through negative down times. That's just how it is, and I would like to offer some support to those who need and appreciate it, so I can't pretend this stuff doesn't exist.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member jimrckhnd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post

    What I don't really get is why she seems to feel a need to convince me that things are worse for me and I'm more negative than I actually am. Believe me...the kind of person I am, I usually have to convince people that things are WORSE in my life than they may appear, and that everything isn't just hunky dory.
    I don't understand it either. Perhaps she's just one of those peoples that who would push somebody down to feel they like they have pushed themselves up. If your life is all built on being positive and all that good stuff perhaps she is just drawing a contrast between the two of you to her advantage. That is pretty speculative but maybe there is a little something to it.
    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups

  8. #8
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimrckhnd View Post
    I don't understand it either. Perhaps she's just one of those peoples that who would push somebody down to feel they like they have pushed themselves up. If your life is all built on being positive and all that good stuff perhaps she is just drawing a contrast between the two of you to her advantage. That is pretty speculative but maybe there is a little something to it.
    There could be some truth to that. I'm inclined to think that the positive thinking is some kind of a religious dogma as well, makes people unable to see things from other points of view.
    06/13 10:51:03 five sounds: you!!!
    06/13 10:51:08 shortnsweet: no you!!
    06/13 10:51:12 shortnsweet: go do your things and my things too!
    06/13 10:51:23 five sounds: oh hell naw
    06/13 10:51:55 shortnsweet: !!!!
    06/13 10:51:57 shortnsweet: (cries)
    06/13 10:52:19 RiftsWRX: You two are like furbies stuck in a shoe box

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  9. #9
    Senior Member jimrckhnd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortnsweet View Post
    There could be some truth to that. I'm inclined to think that the positive thinking is some kind of a religious dogma as well, makes people unable to see things from other points of view.
    You may well be correct. There has been and are religious movements based on positive thinking. And even a secular individual can have a particular POV that they hold to so extremly that it approaches a religious like dogma.
    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups

  10. #10
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimrckhnd View Post
    You may well be correct. There has been and are religious movements based on positive thinking. And even a secular individual can have a particular POV that they hold to so extremly that it approaches a religious like dogma.
    Yes, true, too. A dogma that makes them feel "at home."
    06/13 10:51:03 five sounds: you!!!
    06/13 10:51:08 shortnsweet: no you!!
    06/13 10:51:12 shortnsweet: go do your things and my things too!
    06/13 10:51:23 five sounds: oh hell naw
    06/13 10:51:55 shortnsweet: !!!!
    06/13 10:51:57 shortnsweet: (cries)
    06/13 10:52:19 RiftsWRX: You two are like furbies stuck in a shoe box

    My Nohari
    My Johari
    by sns.

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