I relate 100% here. These two sides of me always seem at odds. Its funny you used the terms you did... Ice and a Child. Those are the same kinds of mental images I have of myself.
Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit
Ice is exactly how I feel on the outside... like a surface calm covering a storm of emotion underneath. (I'm also an Enneagram 4 heh) If anyone were to take a pick-axe and slam it into that surface, they'd find me shattering to pieces and a cowering child inside, scared to come out.
I find that when I'm trying to relate to people, to fit into a crowd, its that child that I call on and instead of sharing the FEELINGS of that child, I share the actual childishness and come across as perhaps immature and ridiculous. I joke, I act like an airhead, I laugh... and by doing this I win people over and 'fit in'. I found a long time ago that the serious, know-it-all persona tends to piss people off, so I fluctuate between the two on a situation by situation basis.
When I started reading your post, I thought immediately of a piece I wrote last year about this time. The first few lines are:
Molten lava moves amid the caverns deep within
The splintered flames of passion seem an evil, and a sin.
Sweetly as she looks away; politely though she nods,
Her outer calm, and inner fire always seem at odds.
A fiery, bridled spirit in the form of frozen heat,
A wild, raging current, but without the Sea to greet.
The dynamic is always a push/pull of calm and excitement, and I have a hard time reconciling the two sometimes.
As far as the Feeling part goes and being able to relate to others, I'm still working on that, but I've made great strides in the last few years. I find that the more I 'practice' (This is exactly how I see it), the easier it gets. I 'pretend' that I'm an ExFx, sympathizing with someone, asking questions I may not normally ask, talking to strangers and forcing myself out of that solitude. Sometimes its still awkward and I just don't have the energy for it, but whenever possible I try to over-ride those hermit instincts.
Keep working at it. It sounds like you have a good grasp of the problem, and being aware of it can help you to change it. Use the knowledge you have to your advantage! Most people never delve far enough into their own motives to understand half of what they do, so you're on the right track!