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Thread: ENFP in a toxic environment - coping strategies?

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    Senior Member Array boondocked's Avatar
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    Default ENFP in a toxic environment - coping strategies?

    Help??

    I attend a teeny grad school that feels high-schooly in terms of cliques and gossipy attitude. Everybody hangs out only with those in the program, and we work together, in groups, on nearly every assignment. The hours are so long that none of us has a chance to meet outside people.

    Here's the problem...I don't fit with this group yet (despite being here a year). I have a good friend or two within the program, but I'm not really a part of the community. Yet I can't get awaaaay!!!

    Do you guys have any idea how I could cope with this situation? I'm your textbook ENFP in that I need a HEAPING HELPING of social interaction and also a sense of belonging. How do I survive this place, as an ENFP?

  2. #2

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    I dunno... become an INTP?

    Make time to find another community outside the group?

    Pray.

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    Senior Member Array Rachelinpa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boondocked View Post
    I'm your textbook ENFP in that I need a HEAPING HELPING of social interaction and also a sense of belonging. How do I survive this place, as an ENFP?
    Wait, why don't you fit in?

    I would maybe go for the helping of social interaction and hope that the sense of belonging follows. It usually does after a while.

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    Senior Member Array boondocked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owl View Post
    I dunno... become an INTP?
    Would that I could, Owl, would that I could.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rachelinpa View Post
    Wait, why don't you fit in?

    I would maybe go for the helping of social interaction and hope that the sense of belonging follows. It usually does after a while.
    It's hard to say why it isn't gelling. I suppose I feel really intimidated. Lots of smart, impressive alpha types in my school. It's hard to be myself in such a tiny place filled with such strong personalities. And I'm not used to this problem at ALL, so I don't have any resources shored up to deal with it.

    I'm going to take your advice, at any rate, awkward though it may feel!

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    Array INTP's Avatar
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    flirt
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung

    Read

  6. #6

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    If you don't want to fit in, then hop in the backseat.

    Focus on the few close friends you have and your grades. Sit back and watch. Make it known that you don't want to be sucked in.
    Are we to paint what's on the face, what's inside the face, or what's behind it?

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    Senior Member Array boondocked's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTP View Post
    flirt
    An uncommonly good suggestion. This, at least, I can do.

  8. #8

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    I think sometimes both INFPs and ENFPs can over-estimate their fears. Your school might be cliquey, but you aren't iced out from the get go. It's not like everyone automatically dislikes you. Also, aren't ENFPs, like, confident? LOL Just fake it!

    Knowledge is power and familiarity breeds contempt.

    If I were you, I'd become physically familiar with every inch of your campus and familiar with all your programs, professors, etc.

    It will make you comfortable and you will "know" your school.

    Join a club or two, find something you genuinely like and get involved in your school.

    You might want to meet students 1 on 1 or in smaller groups, or in a context where they are courting you (fundraiser, charitable event/group). Ease into it.

    Once your feel more comfortable and let your naturally enthusiastic nature out, things will fall into place.

    Good luck and keep us posted!
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

    "I'm outtie 5000" ― Romulux

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    Senior Member Array Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boondocked View Post
    It's hard to say why it isn't gelling. I suppose I feel really intimidated. Lots of smart, impressive alpha types in my school. It's hard to be myself in such a tiny place filled with such strong personalities. And I'm not used to this problem at ALL, so I don't have any resources shored up to deal with it.
    I was an INFP in physics grad school. It was totally NT/NTJ/INTJ hell. I don't recommend it, not one iota. What do you study?

    I didn't realize it at the time, but looking back now it seems pretty clear that many people didn't give a sh_t about me, and the two most effective strategies I can think of are 1) don't let that affect you, or 2) don't give a sh_t either. I wasn't capable of number 1. I didn't know enough to use 2. To rephrase two "don't waste time/energy/effort/concern carrying/worrying about people who don't care about you."

    What helped me was spending my other time trying to "reconnect with me" and doing things I enjoy. My current work environment, and my last one, both have certain parallels with my grad school experiences. Think about if this is really something that you wanna do? What are you willing to give up for it? What aren't you willing to give up? What do you need that they won't give you or that they will take away from you? Find someway to get that from somewhere else AND don't let them take it from you. THAT was what I perhaps found hardest about the whole thing.

    hard science and engineering are hostile ground for NFP's. I wish it wasn't so, it doesn't need to be so. But, in most [but not all!!!] of my experience it is. Some things just aren't meant to be. Relationships take two willing partners/sides, you can bring all you want from your side, but if the other side is lacking, you will suffer

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    hard science and engineering are hostile ground for NFP's. I wish it wasn't so, it doesn't need to be so. But, in most [but not all!!!] of my experience it is. Some things just aren't meant to be. Relationships take two willing partners/sides, you can bring all you want from your side, but if the other side is lacking, you will suffer
    This is v true. Unfortunately.

    I'm in med school.... types go like this : ESTJ, ISTJ, ENTJ, couple of ENTPs who are refreshing.. but it's hell for NFP. very little F types.
    But I think part of my hell is that I really picked wrong career. I like it but it's not me, it isn't something I wanna do... I know that now.. but i'll finish it since I' more than half way through it. So because of that I'm totally not interested in stuff in school, so.. not enough "spirit" to connect to fellow TJs, which I can if we share something. Here we dont share anything.
    sorry OP dont have real advice, except yust try to find friends out of school.

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