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  1. #11
    Senior Member BAJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nebbykoo View Post
    BAJ, I think what you experience, the insecurity you feel in relationships, is directly related to your childhood. I feel the same way when someone doesn't respond to a message. It's a hunger for basic connection that was not met in early childhood.
    I'm reminded of a story. When I was in the second grade, I made a love letter for Melissa in the front row, with text and hearts and everything. I folded it up into a paper airplane and threw it her desk in the front row. Instead, it hit the teacher who was turned around writing on the blackboard. She read and showed the note to the whole class, who thought it was hilarious. Then I had to kneel before the whole class, which was punishment in that school.



    Quote Originally Posted by Eilonwy View Post
    I THINK a lot of nice things about people, but I can be very bad about verbalizing that. I used to think that not hearing from people meant that they didn't like me, then I realized that I'm not so good at keeping in touch and I still like the people I'm not in touch with, so I quit worrying about it so much. Not to say that I don't still worry about it, but it's easier for me to tell myself that there's probably nothing to my worry and let it go.

    That said, BAJ, I don't know you very well yet, but you seem like a nice person and I enjoy reading your posts when I come across them.

    Thank you! I need to try to inoculate myself with this. I do write people back, but I have great difficulty (it seems) keeping up with the birthdays of my nieces and nephew. Maybe it's karma. I have difficulty assuming the best, but I think it's healthy to do so.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lily flower View Post
    I feel the same way, although I tend to limit it to certain people that I consider "important" to me. This insecurity has gotten much better as I have gotten older. Just remember that people are wrapped up in their own lives and when they don't respond to you, it's probably just because they are really busy.

    Thank you. I need to have this perspective and always imagine good. In a way, I have this feeling. Naturally I assume doom. I need to actively counteract that.

    More in the past than now, I used to read too much or invest to much in very shallow relations. Worse, I'd think each person was "the one", or love at first sight. STOP IT, BAJ! JUST STOP IT!


    Quote Originally Posted by 21% View Post
    I want to hear back from people, but only the ones I care about. I think it has to do with the level of anxiety in the relationship.

    For people I know I love and who I know love me, I feel no anxiety and don't feel bad when they don't respond. This is because I trust them deeply and know they will never try to hurt me on purpose. When I don't hear back from them, I tend to think of an excuse, like they are busy, or they didn't see the message, or they forgot about it. This isn't a conscious effort. I trust them so much that I can never imagine them being mean to me. The downside is I get very worried when I don't hear from them for a very long time and keep thinking that something bad must have happened to them.

    For people I have a one-sided relationship with (yes, they exist!), I only get a little bit sad when I don't hear from them. This includes friends far away who I really like but have lost contact with. We don't speak at all except for the occasional emails and cards. When I reach out, it's only because I want to. I expect nothing in return. In this case, I don't take silence as a rejection, because it's my action of reaching out that matters, not the result.

    For other people I don't really care about, I don't feel the anxiety. I won't mind if they never respond because I feel like I don't need their approval.

    For my bf -- I need to hear from him every day, all the time. I don't know why

    I have one perspective that I occasionally adopt wherein spread my expectations of good returns across the whole group. I don't know how I can adopt that to my desire for authentic intimacy of some sort. However, I believe I just need to try. I mean how dare I expect someone to provide the instant deep relationship that I crave? It doesn't exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by bologna View Post
    I'm on the other side of this, and I'm trying to get better. I often don't send out acknowledgement ("ok") emails or texts; I just assume that the other person assumes that I got it and, if it needs more careful review, I'll provide it when I'm ready.

    Sometimes those sorts of short "k" messages bother me and I've tended see them as mostly useless. I've tended to see others' need to have an immediate response as somewhat intrusive, that I'll get back to them when I can and dammit why are they worried about it?

    Then I realized that it's also nice to get that sort of acknowledgement from other people, if it's not too overbearing. So I've started to provide that sort of feedback to others a bit more.

    In short, 'being a black hole for communication' is probably not the best tendency because it leaves the other person hanging. It sucks to not have a reason for that 'black hole', but, often, it helps to not assume the worst.
    Thank you for your perspective. I guess I can't help it unless I actively counteract it. Yet, it may help to understand generally what people on the opposite side are thinking or feeling.

  2. #12
    Member 31january's Avatar
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    I have this problem too, but i guess it isn't with all my friends, just some i feel more insecure about. I usually try to reason with myself that i'm being ridiculous, but it doesn't really help my insecurity when i see no replies. In my head i know that some people simply don't see the need to reply to some types of messages... but still i have a friend who swings between long, funny replies and one-word messages depending on mood and how busy he is, and it drives me nuts. as much as i know the reason why, i can't help feeling that something is wrong when i'm barely getting any response.

  3. #13
    Senior Member BAJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 31january View Post
    I have this problem too, but i guess it isn't with all my friends, just some i feel more insecure about. I usually try to reason with myself that i'm being ridiculous, but it doesn't really help my insecurity when i see no replies. In my head i know that some people simply don't see the need to reply to some types of messages... but still i have a friend who swings between long, funny replies and one-word messages depending on mood and how busy he is, and it drives me nuts. as much as i know the reason why, i can't help feeling that something is wrong when i'm barely getting any response.
    Thank you. Knowing other people experience these feelings is a kind of affirmation in itself.

    My worse case (that I used to do) is send an email cascade. Thus I send a follow up email to the first email. I assume some negative impression on the part of the other person, and I feel angst about it. So I send an email to fix the first email. This type of cascade has been up to 10 emails deep, probably with no answer.

    Thank you for your reply. I think it is a feeling response of anxiety and/ or depression that I can't control. I can try to say something to myself, but in absence of real information, I think my mind goes crazy with scenarios about what may be going on in the other persons head concerning how the other person thinks about ME.

    They are maybe thinking about something else and not thinking about me. Maybe their mother is sick. Maybe their dog died. Maybe they have a girl friend. Maybe they are sleeping. They could have decided I'm not material, and just moved on, not wanting to confront the issue, but they may not be thinking of me at all.

    In truth, I should start thinking positive things about myself more, and let the chips fall. I thinking I need to change my focus, and get my imagination out of the business of attempting to infer what other people are thinking about me, and think about something else and imagine they are thinking about something else besides me. I need to want happiness for them, and hope they are thinking about something happy as well.

  4. #14
    Member 31january's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAJ View Post
    I think it is a feeling response of anxiety and/ or depression that I can't control. I can try to say something to myself, but in absence of real information, I think my mind goes crazy with scenarios about what may be going on in the other persons head concerning how the other person thinks about ME.

    They are maybe thinking about something else and not thinking about me. Maybe their mother is sick. Maybe their dog died. Maybe they have a girl friend. Maybe they are sleeping. They could have decided I'm not material, and just moved on, not wanting to confront the issue, but they may not be thinking of me at all.


    In truth, I should start thinking positive things about myself more, and let the chips fall. I thinking I need to change my focus, and get my imagination out of the business of attempting to infer what other people are thinking about me, and think about something else and imagine they are thinking about something else besides me. I need to want happiness for them, and hope they are thinking about something happy as well.
    What i bolded is often exactly what goes on when i get worried =/ I still haven't entirely figured out how to deal with such feelings when they arise... usually i try to distract myself with other activities and "wait it out" until i get the reply i want so much, because i'm also scared of bugging people! it doesn't always help, though, and more often than not i still feel very distracted while doing other activities.
    Once I felt that the signs (a close friend who seemed to have abruptly cut off communication) had to mean something bad , and i actually talked to my friend directly about the lack of response/contact and he was shocked that i felt that way and apologised. If things got really bad, maybe talking about it in a non-accusatory way could help? That way, e.g. if they explained that they were busy, you'd actually have their word for it, rather than needing to tell yourself that it was a likely reason.
    sigh, the perils of overthinking! like you siad, changing your focus is probably a good idea, since it could probably prevent the problem from occurring in the first place?
    just wondering, is your problem a general one or with some specific friends who you feel insecure about? are there exceptions who you never worry about?

  5. #15
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAJ View Post
    It seems that I communicate with someone, and I start worrying until I get some sort of affirmation that they still accept me. I send a message, and get no reply or something, then my relationship with that person is in limbo.

    Do you have this?

    What do you do about?

    Do write them again or send some kind of probe? Or do you just breathe deeply and Zen out?

    I frequently get the feeling that "nobody likes me" or "everyone thinks I'm shitty." So I stir up some affirmations, but then it only lasts until the next round of these feelings which may occur after a few days or even on the same day.

    Maybe we should just make a thread to affirm each other or at least have "group therapy" about this.
    Eh, I don't get as hung up on this as I used to, for a few reasons. But I totally, totally identify with the feeling and need. One reason is that I actually get really busy or distracted with things and have left very dear friends hanging in the balance for great lengths of time. It is not fair or especially considerate and I do actively try to get better about this. But because I know that I can leave people hanging and it in no way reflects their unimportance or my lack of interest I know for sure that its possible others do it too. The other thing is that it may stab a lil at any insecurity you've got (normal) but you have to see it objectively. You are an INP. You are probably harder on yourself than anyone else is. You probably self reflect more than others are thinking of you (I'm sorry - this is true for everyone). You feel might feel it as a rejection because you know all your own (perceived) weaknesses.. but guess what.. they don't. It helps to remember that.

    To be honest with you, I am highly validation seeking. I think i'm a friggen NF E3. BUt one thing that I have learned is that I will not allow myself to feel rejected or put off unless that is the truth. To know if its the truth I make sure to put myself out there ALOT socially. I have found that 90% of the time when I have perceived a refjection I was WRONG after trying a little more.
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  6. #16
    Senior Member Sparrow's Avatar
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    I know the feeling. Some people don't feel comfortable giving compliments or like to share how they feel. Some also don't because they think the others will get a big head (said by my ENTP, dont get me wrong, he can be sweet but not as often as I'd like!).

    Hey guys, a little tip! Every girl needs to hear "You are beautiful" or an "I appreciate you". Gals, tell your man he's sexy every now and then! It's always nice to remind your friends that you love them too .
    Fe | Ni | Se | Ti ... 3w4 ... Lawful Neutral ... Johari -Nohari

  7. #17
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAJ View Post
    It seems that I communicate with someone, and I start worrying until I get some sort of affirmation that they still accept me. I send a message, and get no reply or something, then my relationship with that person is in limbo.

    Do you have this?

    What do you do about?

    Do write them again or send some kind of probe? Or do you just breathe deeply and Zen out?

    I frequently get the feeling that "nobody likes me" or "everyone thinks I'm shitty." So I stir up some affirmations, but then it only lasts until the next round of these feelings which may occur after a few days or even on the same day.

    Maybe we should just make a thread to affirm each other or at least have "group therapy" about this.
    I used to get anxiety over stuff like this and eventually realized I was way over reacting and over invested.

    For people you don't know well or are just getting to know you will get to a point of more self-acceptance and calmness where it's not as big of a deal whether someone else likes you or not let alone replies to you in a timely matter. You'll be able to be more in the flow of things instead of getting worked up and upset or anxious about which way something is ebbing or flowing.

    I'm not sure what your background is but from other comments here if that rings true, I can empathize. Write each email/letter/etc already making peace with the fact that you may never hear from the person again or that the person is totally uninterested and unimpressed. Don't let this color your thoughts, just naturally express whatever it was that you wanted to say, with no intention of bribing or threatening someone. Let your feelings and thoughts be your own.

    A benefit of that is once people start perceiving what you write to be honest and sincere and said with confidence and self-possession, their impression of what you say and yourself becomes more positive, they in turn feel relaxed, and are more likely to respond. If people feel you are anxious about their reply or care more than they think is appropriate they get anxious themselves or feel burdened. That puts a damper on the conversation.

    Just give yourself a big hug. You are absolutely worthy of a wonderful, friendly reply - whether you get one or not. You don't need X for approval to prove your worth to yourself or anyone else. And if you don't get your virtual high five from a particular person, who cares? There is someone else who is more than happy to give it.

    Once you can shake yourself out of those anxious attitudes and get more to a place of internal plenty (if that makes sense) things like what you wrote in OP won't cause you any worry or more seconds of worry than they are worth. You'll get to a point where you can say "well, that's too bad" and move on just like that.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

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  8. #18
    Senior Member TenebrousReflection's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 31january View Post
    I have this problem too, but i guess it isn't with all my friends, just some i feel more insecure about. I usually try to reason with myself that i'm being ridiculous, but it doesn't really help my insecurity when i see no replies. In my head i know that some people simply don't see the need to reply to some types of messages... but still i have a friend who swings between long, funny replies and one-word messages depending on mood and how busy he is, and it drives me nuts. as much as i know the reason why, i can't help feeling that something is wrong when i'm barely getting any response.
    That comment puts some of my own message reply habbits into prespective as well since I sometimes do that.

    There are often times where I will read a message from somoene and feel that it really deserves a good long well thought out reply, but for whatever reason I don't have the mental energy or I'm not in the right mood to give it the reply it deserves. If I feel the message needs to be addressed immediatly (or I want the person to know that I'm not ignoring them), then I will go the opposite route and write a short reply to address the important parts, but I usually also tell them that I'd like to comment on it in greater depth at a later time. If I don't feel upto responding and its not something I see as a pressing issue, then I may just put off responding, but when I do that, there is a danger of forgetting about it.

    When I'm on the other side of that, its very easy to forget that some of my friends are the same as me in that regard, so not hearing from them usually just means that they want more time to write a thoughtful reply (or they are very busy), but when I don't hear from them for long periods its easy for me to start to get worried and feel insecure about it.

    Most of that really only applies to close friends tho, as I have a fair number of not-so-close friends that I only corrospond with once every few months or longer and I don't feel any anxiety about lapses in communication on those relationships.
    (keys2cognition) Fi (47.6), Ne (36.8), Fe (36.8), Si (31.6), Ti (29.7), Ni (27.4), Te (17.2) Se (12.5) - subject to change - last updated 11JAN2012
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  9. #19
    Senior Member TenebrousReflection's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAJ View Post
    My worse case (that I used to do) is send an email cascade. Thus I send a follow up email to the first email. I assume some negative impression on the part of the other person, and I feel angst about it. So I send an email to fix the first email. This type of cascade has been up to 10 emails deep, probably with no answer.

    Thank you for your reply. I think it is a feeling response of anxiety and/ or depression that I can't control. I can try to say something to myself, but in absence of real information, I think my mind goes crazy with scenarios about what may be going on in the other persons head concerning how the other person thinks about ME.
    What you are describing sounds like Precipitous Action as described by Naomi Quenk in the book "Was that really me?". This is one of the common problems encountered by IxFPs when under stress, and one that I have observed in myself many times.

    Quote Originally Posted by from "Was that really me?" by Naomi Quenk
    Precipitous Action

    Introverted Feeling types in the grip are often overwhelmed by the urge to take some action, usually to correct some imagined mistake or incompetence of their own. But where the dominant Extraverted Thinking type uses differentiated judgment in deciding what action to take, if any, the Introverted Feeling type’s actions often exacerbate the problem. A difficult situation may be created where there initially wasn’t one.

    At her engagement party, Sylvia, and INFP was kissed playfully be a former boyfriend while both were alone in the kitchen. Later that night, she remembered that a friend of hers had passed by the kitchen door and might have sent he kiss. She called her friend and begged her not to tell anyone. She interpreted her friend’s puzzled response as evidence that she had already told several people. Sylvia then called four more close friends to warn them not to tell. By this time the innocent kiss was common knowledge to virtually everyone who had been at the party. Of course, Sylvia’s fiancé found out about the kissing incident and was hurt and angry. Sylvia’s precipitous “fixing” created and unnecessary problem that required a great deal of real correction.

    The urge to take action can also be seen in attempts by Introverted Feeling types to take control. One INFP reported that when things seem out of control, he attempts to put them in order, organize them and piece together data in an orderly, logical, linear fashion. An ISFP responds to such episodes by taking charge of people and ordering them around. Others make lists, organize the list contents logically, and methodically check off the items once they are accomplished.

    Undertaking large household cleaning projects, reorganizing, and moving furniture are also ways of responding to increasing stress. They are usually accompanied by concerns about one’s abilities – perhaps indicative of attempts to ward off Inferior Thinking by acting in a decisive, controlled way.
    One thing thats helped for me in this regard is that if I have written soemthing and I know I'm in a highly emotional state where I may be overreacting, I will wait on clicking send - the more uncertainty you have, the better it is to wait a while (waiting overnight then reading it the next day and if you still feel compelled to send it, hopefully thats a good sign that your doing the right thing).

    They are maybe thinking about something else and not thinking about me. Maybe their mother is sick. Maybe their dog died. Maybe they have a girl friend. Maybe they are sleeping. They could have decided I'm not material, and just moved on, not wanting to confront the issue, but they may not be thinking of me at all.

    In truth, I should start thinking positive things about myself more, and let the chips fall. I thinking I need to change my focus, and get my imagination out of the business of attempting to infer what other people are thinking about me, and think about something else and imagine they are thinking about something else besides me. I need to want happiness for them, and hope they are thinking about something happy as well.
    One thing that sometimes helps for me is to remember that its happened before and nearly always when I do hear back from them it turns out that I was worrying over nothing and there was a good reason for the delay in response.

    I think another part of the problem is that when we get in that loop of anayzing every possibilitiy and dwelling on the worst cases, time slows down for us, so we are compounding the problem by feeling like its actually taking longer to get a response. If I have other things to occupy my attention, that can make a huge difference.
    (keys2cognition) Fi (47.6), Ne (36.8), Fe (36.8), Si (31.6), Ti (29.7), Ni (27.4), Te (17.2) Se (12.5) - subject to change - last updated 11JAN2012
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