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  1. #1
    Senior Member Eluded_One's Avatar
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    Default What is your view on acquaintances?

    The perpetual longing for something more in others have always been my ongoing goal as an INFP. This ideal, as I know it, no single person can ever meet, is something that is difficult to change in it's programming. This energy is often manifested by disregarding interaction with others that we project may not go anywhere, and as a result, we often go reclusive.

    In the society we live in, it's widely accepted for people to only portray what they want others to see. For example: people often push me to smile, which I find very strange, when at the given moment, I find there's no reason to. Especially since there weren't any laughable jokes that were made. Should I smile simply because the other person is?

    As an INFP, how do you deal with this issue in your everyday life? Is it worth the struggle to keep trying?

    PS: The reason I'm exclusively asking INFP's, is because this problem is really only exclusive to INFP's. No other "NF" would understand this the way we do. Although, I suspect INTP's struggle with this as well, with much less ideal.
    “If you worry about what might be, and wonder what might have been, you will ignore what is.” -anonymous

  2. #2
    Tragically Unhip Pandemeria's Avatar
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    The only difference for me is that I'm slightly more guarded around acquaintances. I find that joking around eases the tension.

    But I'd be willing to modify my behaviour to a certain extent for the sake of a good group atmosphere.

    'Fake it 'til you make it' is my philosophy. Sounds lame, but the way I see it, what I think and feel might not be something I want to take with me to a social interaction-in particular, negative moods. Better to push it aside and drink in the present moment without casting judgment, even though it can be difficult.

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  3. #3
    an abyss of Nothingness Arctic Hysteria's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eluded_One View Post

    In the society we live in, it's widely accepted for people to only portray what they want others to see. For example: people often push me to smile, which I find very strange, when at the given moment, I find there's no reason to. Especially since there weren't any laughable jokes that were made. Should I smile simply because the other person is?
    I feel you, I feel you.
    Lately I was told on 3 separated occasions, "You don't smile often in your photos do you", and you bet I felt irritated, as well as violated in some ways. Why should somebody smile, or show any particular expression at all, if they don't genuinely feel like it? Why can't the person that they are be observed and appreciated exactly the way they are?
    I've got it, okay, smile, be welcoming, be chatty, be friendly, be enthusiastic about everything makes you likable and charismatic. But does all that necessarily make somebody a genuine, a caring, a kind, a thoughtful person? These superficial standards are required at workplace, to a certain extent, because this is where they only care about how much they can exploit you, not who you are as a person.
    In more personal scenarios, if you're required to perform in any particular way, that person is not worth your time and effort, they need an entertainer, not a companion.
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  4. #4
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    I have little desire for a wide group of friends, and I hate having to create some facade of friendship just to accomplish common goals with people. I have no need to be friends with co-workers, to joke around, to share personal info, etc.

    That said, I make more effort nowadays to be pleasant to others on their terms, not for my benefit, but because I don't care to make others feel uncomfortable. If I put myself in their shoes and think about what makes them feel at ease, then I smile and chit chat and all that schmoozing crap. I'm still awkward, but I do my best to not appear standoffish. Of course, it does benefit me to not have people misinterpret me so awfully, because blankness tends to leave you open to projection, but I get no personal enjoyment from the interaction itself.

    In my head, I think, "what should I ask to seem personable and polite?" and "how soon can I end this conversation and leave without seeming rude?". It's all trying to minimize what I have to do without being stigmatized or leaving others feeling snubbed.

    Generally, I find friendships happen spontaneously and naturally, not through forced interactions, and Ive learned to just let it be and handle the rest as some kind of survival strategy. I've never been successful at picking out friends, so my goal is just to not needlessly offend people or get a bad rep.
    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)

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  5. #5
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    First we meet and greet acquaintances.

    Then second we suss, we suss out, the acquaintances we have met.

    Third, we decide which of our acquantances will become our friends.

    And Fourth, we maintain our friendships with regular reciprocal contact.

    Always keeping in mind that our social environment goes a long way towards our happiness and success.

    For introverts it is most important to learn to systematically relax in social situations.

  6. #6
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    Hey, I just want to say that I am new to this site and stumbled upon this forum. I completely understand where you and the original poster is coming from. I didn't think anyone else had these "problems". I frequently encounter situations where I am told to "just smile". My mother is obsessed with getting perfect pictures (I am still underage), and sometimes I'll be upset or not feeling it and then she'll walk in the room and want to snap a picture saying "just smile, just for five seconds". But even if I try to please her, it lowers my personal self esteem because I know that it is not genuine. Even when I try to tell her, she still does not understand. Has anyone else ever encounter similar experiences?

  7. #7
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
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    EDIT: just realized that this is an INFP centric thread, sorry .

    I've been learning that I need a lot of aquaitinces to feel socially fulfilled. I like knowing lots of people. It makes me feel comfortable, like I have "permission" to interact with them more openly, and it gives me a lot more confidance hen navigating the social world. I do not like it at all when I don't know anybody. Granted, I do prefer them to cross the threshold from acquaintences to friends, but I suspect my definition of these might be different than most so I am going to simply use the term acquaintences.

    I like being able to interact with a lot of people, because it allows me to flit from person to person easily when focusing on just one becomes uneasy for me. For better for worse it allows me to keep things a bit superficial and prevent them from getting too deep, the latter of which I just don't know what to do with and it results in discomfort the vast majority of the time.

    My perfect set up for hanging out with people is about 10, where about 2-3 I am close with. I am happy with up to 20 though. Anymore than that and it just becomes a matter of being a logistical pain.
    MBTI: ExxJ tetramer
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  8. #8
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    For some of us it is important to learn the skills of meeting and greeting.

    Meeting and greeting does not involve us at a deeper level, rather meeting and greeting is pleasant way of meeting new people. And it is only later we decide whether we want them for friends, and then decide to maintain the friendship.

    So meet and greet, hail fellow well met, there is no obligation apart from pleasantness. And think of all the new people we can meet, some of whom we keep and some not.

  9. #9
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AspersMC View Post
    Hey, I just want to say that I am new to this site and stumbled upon this forum. I completely understand where you and the original poster is coming from. I didn't think anyone else had these "problems". I frequently encounter situations where I am told to "just smile". My mother is obsessed with getting perfect pictures (I am still underage), and sometimes I'll be upset or not feeling it and then she'll walk in the room and want to snap a picture saying "just smile, just for five seconds". But even if I try to please her, it lowers my personal self esteem because I know that it is not genuine. Even when I try to tell her, she still does not understand. Has anyone else ever encounter similar experiences?
    My old disciplinery master at boarding school told me there are two ways of doing things: we can feel first and then do, or we can first do then feel.

    Some of us who like to, feel first then do, think that, doing first them feeling, is not genuine. But really it is just doing things one way or the other.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pandemeria View Post
    The only difference for me is that I'm slightly more guarded around acquaintances. I find that joking around eases the tension.

    But I'd be willing to modify my behaviour to a certain extent for the sake of a good group atmosphere.

    'Fake it 'til you make it' is my philosophy. Sounds lame, but the way I see it, what I think and feel might not be something I want to take with me to a social interaction-in particular, negative moods. Better to push it aside and drink in the present moment without casting judgment, even though it can be difficult.
    Oh, uh well sometimes it's hard to come up with jokes so I guess we just sorta blend in the background and we're naturally the best listeners.

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