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  1. #11
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    I turn into some sort of feely extrovert when I'm struck by a heavy dose of stress hormones (onset by the fatigue and stress of a long school day, coupled with forced human interaction). The result is an overt flip in personality characteristics and energy levels. It's a state I really can't reach on my own without such conditions, despite my great abilities at manually altering my own personality consciously. In this state i am also much less prone to chameleon behavior, but adopt a form of extroversion that is completely my own. I believe I only get into this state mostly because of a desire to be more extraverted, something I have sought consciously but has probably had a greater effect in unconscious or suppressed thought patterns which manifest through the onset fatigue (a trigger for the shadow personality in Jungian theory).

  2. #12
    Lasting_Pain
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    I can only be me when I am either by myself or with good friends. Otherwise I am a overly nice nice guy who likes to blend in with the surroundings.

  3. #13
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    When I "chameleon" it is usually in groups of 5+ people socialising. I try to be as charming and upbeat as I can. I also throw in the random insulting joke here and there but I've learned to make it more and more subtle to let the group know it's just for laughs and I'm only playing.

    The fatigue issue Risen mentioned reminds me that when I used to stay up all night for an assignment, without even trying I would turn into a kind-of-crazy, highly sociable, talkative, somewhat confrontational energy-filled machine when I got to class. Then, after a couple of hours, I would quiet down and crash. HARD.

  4. #14
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    My type's the archetypal chameleon and I think I've figured out over time why and how I do it and what implications it has for me with my friendships and relationships.

    I think that to begin with, with a person I'm not seeking so much to imitate them as much as to mirror them, and the subconscious aim here is to sorta "get into" them, to understand them, what it's like to be them, in their world, bit like a method actor exploring a character. And once I get the hang of that, it shifts from mirroring to "balancing" - adapting my own patterns of behaviour, in line with my core self, to a way that compliments and balances out the other person's, so that together we're not too much or too little of any one thing.

    The effect this has on my relationships is that over time I've come to realize that I need to look for people and relationships that "enable" me to be a person I like to be, and to stay away from relationships that "push" me into roles and patterns of behaviour that I don't like or enjoy, or that make me a person I don't like or whatever.

    For example, I don't like spending too much time with my brother - because he's rather overly Bohemian and takes spontaneity to levels that even I as an ENTP find destructive, it sort of "forces" me to play a part where I feel stifled by how responsible and down to earth and level headed I have to be in order to save our "duo" from crashing and burning constantly at the expense of others. It makes me have to play the ISTJ, and I get on my own nerves constantly with the things I find myself saying and doing with him. He then "reviews" me as a person and sees me as stolid and boring and overly concerned with details and stuff, and I realize that in the context of him and me, it's true, I am, and that's not a person I like to be, so he's not a person I like to be with too much.

    Spending time with my ISTP however makes me feel good about myself and "enables" to be a person I like being. He can be slightly over cautious, overly caught up in details, he gets stuck in ruts when his trails of facts lead to dead ends and, although he's happy to be spontaneous, he can lack for ideas of things to do. I find this legitimizes my intuitive leaping and broader vision (ignoring details), but also because he has very sound internal judgement I find that I can be completely unjudgemental and laissez-faire with whatever he chooses to get up to in his private life, trusting that he doesn't need me to nag or moralize at him in order to not bring himself and me into disasters and disrepute. I can be a happy-go-lucky, easy-going and fun guy without having to worry about it becoming as extreme as my brother's Bohemianism.

    Same with my ENTJ - the fact that I can trust him to keep a hand on the tiller, keep focused on the goal and take charge means that I'm freed from having to play the role of the captain or boss, which is something I hate to do, and can leave that responsibility to him whilst I focus on the roles of "scout", experimentor and idea generator that I enjoy.
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  5. #15
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    I know what the OP means. I have struggled with this quite a bit during my early 20's. I'd say this. No matter how "chameleon like" an INTP is...what never changes is their internal thought processes and hard line convictions. When you think of things that way, who cares if you become more or less extroverted? More or less talkative? More or less anything! An INTP never changes those things that they hold close and dear to themselves. (unless they decide they want to) It's true that we "can go either way" or "see both sides" with a lot of ideas and temperaments but we can only do that with things that don't really matter to us.

    So why not have fun and play with those different sides? Who cares if someone will think this or that of us (because they're seeing the outer "person" and not the inner one)? Often I've met and had the closest talks with people that have been brought closer because of that extroversion I exuded and then I've been comfortable with them enough to tell them about how I really think and what I truly believe! That's how I think of it. Hope that helps. Oh, and if this doesn't resonate with any other INTP's then I'm simply speaking for myself
    ~luck favors the ready~


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  6. #16
    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    And once I get the hang of that, it shifts from mirroring to "balancing" - adapting my own patterns of behaviour, in line with my core self, to a way that compliments and balances out the other person's, so that together we're not too much or too little of any one thing.

    The effect this has on my relationships is that over time I've come to realize that I need to look for people and relationships that "enable" me to be a person I like to be, and to stay away from relationships that "push" me into roles and patterns of behaviour that I don't like or enjoy, or that make me a person I don't like or whatever.

    For example, I don't like spending too much time with my brother - because he's rather overly Bohemian and takes spontaneity to levels that even I as an ENTP find destructive, it sort of "forces" me to play a part where I feel stifled by how responsible and down to earth and level headed I have to be in order to save our "duo" from crashing and burning constantly at the expense of others. It makes me have to play the ISTJ, and I get on my own nerves constantly with the things I find myself saying and doing with him. He then "reviews" me as a person and sees me as stolid and boring and overly concerned with details and stuff, and I realize that in the context of him and me, it's true, I am, and that's not a person I like to be, so he's not a person I like to be with too much.

    Spending time with my ISTP however makes me feel good about myself and "enables" to be a person I like being. He can be slightly over cautious, overly caught up in details, he gets stuck in ruts when his trails of facts lead to dead ends and, although he's happy to be spontaneous, he can lack for ideas of things to do. I find this legitimizes my intuitive leaping and broader vision (ignoring details), but also because he has very sound internal judgement I find that I can be completely unjudgemental and laissez-faire with whatever he chooses to get up to in his private life, trusting that he doesn't need me to nag or moralize at him in order to not bring himself and me into disasters and disrepute. I can be a happy-go-lucky, easy-going and fun guy without having to worry about it becoming as extreme as my brother's Bohemianism.

    Same with my ENTJ - the fact that I can trust him to keep a hand on the tiller, keep focused on the goal and take charge means that I'm freed from having to play the role of the captain or boss, which is something I hate to do, and can leave that responsibility to him whilst I focus on the roles of "scout", experimentor and idea generator that I enjoy.
    I very much do this, too, sub. I instinctively balance out the extreme characteristics of the other person, which is why I don't enjoy hanging out with certain people. They make me feel like a version of myself that's not fully accurate, and I'm very aware of it, and yet, the chemistry of the relationship is such that I can't change it.

    I also tend to balance MBTI characteristics, too. If I'm around a person that's excessively I or excessively P, I become the E or the J, which is fine for a while, but then it makes me tired and cranky, and I resent it. But it drives me nuts to see traits that I have exaggerated like that, for some reason. Inside, I'm going, "For Pete's sake, MAKE A DECISION!"

    MD, that's the way I use the chameleon thing to my advantage, too. I use it in group settings to get along with everyone, and then as I get to know someone one on one, I can show them more of my actual self.
    Something Witty

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cypocalypse View Post
    Still, having a very strong N means I'll botch up a group interaction composed of ESFx's. It just happened a few days ago.
    I was interacting with more than 10 of them.
    question, seriously, did you not know they were ESFx's? Did you just assume they were N's like you? how are you able to tell if you're in a group of N's or in a group of S's? I'm asking because for me, it just seems like everyone I meet is an INT something. I mean, when I first encounter them, they look like they could possibly be of the S persuasion, but then they show their statistically correct personas by doing something as simple as opening their mouths to give advice and I'm left there with them telling me that I'm right on the mark with something I said, but I know I'm not. help.

  8. #18
    Senior Member avolkiteshvara's Avatar
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    I can relate to this. In any given moment I can be:

    -black
    -mexican
    -Republican
    -artistic
    -hipster
    -cowboy
    -etc..

    This usually leads to alot of people liking me that I absolutely can't stand.

    I've always had trouble with WASPy SJs though. Can't even grasp a piece of the way they work.

  9. #19
    Lasting_Pain
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    Quote Originally Posted by avolkiteshvara View Post
    I can relate to this. In any given moment I can be:

    -black
    -mexican
    -Republican
    -artistic
    -hipster
    -cowboy
    -etc..

    This usually leads to alot of people liking me that I absolutely can't stand.

    I've always had trouble with WASPy SJs though. Can't even grasp a piece of the way they work.
    The sarcasm reeks from that post.

  10. #20
    Senior Member TopherRed's Avatar
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    Anybody ever hear of the "shadow type" concept? Like when you're extremely stressed, you turn into your shadow, or your opposite.I've got the ISTP...which means when I'm stressed, I should probably be fiddling with something mechanical while you INTPs figure out what to serve for brunch. Either way, sucks turning into something you're not.
    Love is the point.

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