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View Poll Results: IRL, what's your level of expressiveness of your problems/feelings?

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  • I openly express to nobody, or only if prodded by certain people.

    28 45.16%
  • I openly express to a select few close friends &/or family members.

    23 37.10%
  • I openly express to most of my friends &/or family.

    1 1.61%
  • I openly express to anyone who might offer me some consolation.

    3 4.84%
  • I am not INTP, but I want to vote.

    7 11.29%
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  1. #1
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Default INTPs - Your Openness with Feelings/Problems/Etc

    Along the lines of the INFP thread that was recently created, I'd like to know how you INTPs handle the expression of your emotions and emotional problems.

    A lot of people claim that one aspect of Fi that is distinctive is that it instinctively draws its user away from expressing what it feels, so that if an INFP wants to open up to others, it has to be under certain circumstances and even then it is a bit of a struggle.

    However, I have yet to see an INTP (or ISTP) be open about feelings. I imagine that the reason for not being open about feelings is different than for an INFP, but I am not clear yet on how. I think I am an INTP, for instance, yet I do keep my feelings to myself most of the time (except under really bad stress) because I think it's embarrassing and makes me vulnerable to talk about them.

    So, when you vote, please do give an explanation as to WHY you keep your emotions/don't keep your emotions to yourself most of the time.
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  2. #2
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    The more I read these forums, this openness with feelings or being expressive about such things is the one thing that I seem to not have in common with other INTP's. I keep hearing that INTP's are not able to or are not good at this, but I don't relate to that. For me, it feels natural and honest to talk about those things. I'm not saying that it needs to be the focal point of every discussion and it can certainly be overdone or piled on too thick in some cases, but I just think that's part of the "deepness" that I enjoy in relationships or getting to know someone. I think when I don't share these things, it's usually because I've realized that I'm only going to have a shallow, somewhat superficial relationship with that person. Either they don't care to hear the things I might share or I don't want to go to that place with that particular person because I only see them as an acquaintance - and don't particularly desire anything deeper with them.

    However, my natural tendency with someone that I generally respect in the business place or in my personal life, or with someone I'm starting to get to know, is to reveal these things. To be open and honest and to continue to explore that "deep" route as long and as far as I can. They usually let me know nonverbally when I've gone far enough and from then on, I have a "gauge" of how deep things can probably go with this person.

    I would imagine that most people I encounter and begin to talk one-on-one with, usually see me as "too deep" or "too open". Almost in a strange way. I've been told by family members that it's too intense and that I'm willing to show everything too soon and that I should scale it back, relax, stay on the surface for a lot longer, etc.

    Other N's have appreciated it and we've often developed very quick and awesome friendships. But I think I've scared some Fi users with it - INFP/ENFP. I think those types enjoyed it (or maybe that was just the Ne connection), but they were overwhelmed by it. I think the ENFJ that I dated appreciated it much more, and I'd imagine that might be the same with most INFJ's, though I've never met one that I know of. ENTP's (and other NT's) seem to want to talk about "science" type stuff more than "feelings". I have an ENTP aunt who I can talk about a lot of things with, but feelings are somewhat off-limits. It feels wierd when we go there.

    I wonder if it's a strange thing for INTP's since it's our 4th function. It's still very much a work in progress for us and isn't nearly as "natural" as Ti. Still though, we have Fe (not Fi), so I think our feelings are meant to be expressed outwardly rather than kept in. I would guess that we want to express them, but maybe just don't have the right people in our lives (because we hibernate so often) to express them to.

    EDIT: When I say "in the business place" - I mean if a business acquaintance asks personal questions, I will generally open up if it's someone I respect. I don't mean that I let my problems interfere or get in the way of work. Two totally different things.

  3. #3
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I openly express a lot of personal information about myself, and I will even express my emotional state in open forum sometimes (despite feeling some internal discomfort that I never really allude to... except here, now).

    I had a drive to that when a teenager but not the courage to do so, or the ability.

    I think one thing here is that I "objectify" my emotions before I reveal them. In other words, while the listeners might still just see them as emotional states attached to my identify (and thus private things that should be uncomfortable to express publicly), what I typically have done is taken them in my head, packaged them up almost as individual entities on their own apart from my own sense of self, and put them out there for review.

    Maybe a metaphor would be better. The best I can think of right now is like a mythic creation story, where I would be like the deity who takes fertile soil from along the riverbank, shapes it into various animals that are imbued with my emotions / carry the essence of them, in order to bring them to life, and then I send them on their way and observe the results. Since the emotions/animals are like separate entities to me on the personal level now, I don't feel that much discomfort in letting people know of their existence. Other people don't see this sort of 'separation' inside of me, but it is what I have done in order to put myself so far out there.

    I am also capable of "trying on emotions" again in this detached sense, to see if they "fit me." But in every case, the emotions are still a separate entity even if I accept that they were originally generated inside of me.

    I think few people really ever get to see my emotions raw, as they come out. First of all, I just generally am not ever swept away by emotions in the external world; my internal landscape might become tortured and shattered, but externally you will usually see stability unless I trust someone enough personally to bring it up. I almost never lash out in anger, and so the deepest emotions someone might see is tears. Only a few people (the ones I love and trust the most) have ever seen me on an uncontrollable crying jag; I'd rather be alone if I'm that far gone.

    I have always wondered too about hormonal levels impacting emotional expression, and whether it even ties in directly to some MBTI types. (Are more "masculine type" females less prone to tears and more "feminine type" males more prone, for example?) When my hormones weren't in balance (my estrogen was low and T was higher), I rarely ever cried nor had trouble keeping sadness within... and there were times I felt horrible but my body and emotions were easily separated. With everything in balance, I find that often the same stuff will trigger brief quiet crying episodes, and then it's over and done with. I don't get a lot of choice about that, I find myself physically incapable of holding it in. It's not bad, just different, but I had to get used to people seeing my emotions hooked directly to my body without feeling embarrassed or apologetic for it.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #4
    Ghost Monkey Soul Vizconde's Avatar
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    For me, it actually falls somewhere between the first option and the second option. Often it depends on what the problem is, does it affect other people, will disclosing the problem do any good besides simply venting, is it a business vs. strictly personal, anonymous or will it come back to haunt me, am I unduly burdening my listener etc...

    As Jen mentioned about I like to reframe my problems or break them down into separate categories...process them before I release them to an audience. Also like to inject humor, make it into an "interesting story" or otherwise find some way to supplement/balance it.

    If I am pissed sometimes restraint will go out the window and then the full brunt is dispelled.

    Most people tell problems not for answers but just to vent. Its like they are taking a crap on you. I dislike doing that to other people but usually will tolerate it in others (especially if they are feelers, because with them the act of active listening is in a sense a solution to their problem).

    PS. Sometimes its fun breaking social taboos and telling your problems to the wrong person.

    Grocery Clerk: That will be $23.45...how's your day going?

    Me: Fucken horrible mate. My best friend Chuck totally screwed me over. Knew the guy since high school and I learn he has been holding this long term resentment about me because I am much better looking and successful than him. What do you think I should do to that double crossing, back stabbing worm?

    Grocery Clerk: Uh...did you find every thing you were looking for?

    Me: Im looking for an answer to my problem. You brought it up in the first place! Forget it your just like Charlie, I dont want these groceries anymore, I just felt like food shopping, take it back.

    (i ussually don't take the joke all the way and pay for my groceries and leave...kinda makes me feel like a sell out but I guess its the Fe harmony thing)
    I redact everything I have written or will write on this forum prior to, subsequent with and or after the fact of its writing. For entertainment purposes only and not to be taken seriously nor literally.

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  5. #5
    Senior Member redsox44344's Avatar
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    I tend to talk about my problems freely, but not the ones that are really bothering me.

    Feelings aren't usually brought up in conversation often. Meh.
    If you were to shoot a mime, would you use a silencer?

  6. #6
    rawr Costrin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I think one thing here is that I "objectify" my emotions before I reveal them. In other words, while the listeners might still just see them as emotional states attached to my identify (and thus private things that should be uncomfortable to express publicly), what I typically have done is taken them in my head, packaged them up almost as individual entities on their own apart from my own sense of self, and put them out there for review.
    I do that too. I'll objectify the emotions so they can be discussed and rationally analysed. But at an impersonal level. It's a topic that is interesting and a fun puzzle to solve, but it's detached from me personally.

    I think few people really ever get to see my emotions raw, as they come out. First of all, I just generally am not ever swept away by emotions in the external world; my internal landscape might become tortured and shattered, but externally you will usually see stability unless I trust someone enough personally to bring it up. I almost never lash out in anger, and so the deepest emotions someone might see is tears. Only a few people (the ones I love and trust the most) have ever seen me on an uncontrollable crying jag; I'd rather be alone if I'm that far gone.
    Very few people get to see my raw emotions. And those are generally positive emotions. When I'm feeling something negative, I tend to keep it bottled up until I feel that I've sufficiently analysed it and understood it enough and that it's something worthy of being brought up, especially when it's something related to the other person.
    "All humour has a foundation of truth."
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  7. #7
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Costrin View Post
    I do that too. I'll objectify the emotions so they can be discussed and rationally analysed. But at an impersonal level. It's a topic that is interesting and a fun puzzle to solve, but it's detached from me personally.

    Very few people get to see my raw emotions. And those are generally positive emotions. When I'm feeling something negative, I tend to keep it bottled up until I feel that I've sufficiently analysed it and understood it enough and that it's something worthy of being brought up, especially when it's something related to the other person.
    Great replies so far!

    Costrin: This is exactly the same for me. "Emotional expression" ends up being an unemotional statement of what's going on with me, as though it were an interesting object that I'm holding in my hands and want to show other people. So whatever does come out is usually highly processed and objectified.

    But I don't even do that often, and when I do, it's with people I am close to.

    INTPness, I think the thing you mentioned about your ENTP aunt is what I'm getting at. It is highly uncomfortable and awkward for anyone to talk about their feelings with me, and for me to share my feelings with others. I kind of want to know what this "awkwardness" is and where it stems from. From my own perspective, it's because I feel embarrassed doing so. And I feel embarrassed doing so because it seems that, in the scheme of things, my personal issues are of extremely small importance, and whenever I picture myself saying anything about them, I immediately chastise myself in my mind because the information I am thinking about communicating is so trivial as to be embarrassing. Does anyone else get this? Even the things I bitch about with friends are things which at least concern us both/all. I feel selfish or something if I bitch about stuff that just affects me (unless I'm doing so jokingly...and then it's not a serious personal expression any longer).
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  8. #8
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    INTPness, I think the thing you mentioned about your ENTP aunt is what I'm getting at. It is highly uncomfortable and awkward for anyone to talk about their feelings with me, and for me to share my feelings with others. I kind of want to know what this "awkwardness" is and where it stems from.
    I think if you locked a bunch of "T's" in a room for several days, they're going to find it difficult to talk openly about feelings. It would probably just be avoided more or less. It's not as natural for us as it is for F's.

    Now that I think about it, it truly is the F's that I've been able to do this with. I can talk about feelings more openly with ESFJ's than I can with ENTP's for example. It must just be the F element at work. F's get into the subjective more than we do - we are more objective. So, it probably feels natural to them.

    There are times where I just don't want to go to that "feely" place - it's subjective, mushy, somewhat intangible, and wierd things can happen there. I had an ex who, after my feelings for her faded, would still want to "talk" about "those things" for long periods of time and it just drove me up a wall because it's such a strange place. I have a much easier time going there with NF's than I do with SF's. I have a very hard time understanding SF's. Their "feeling" is very foreign to me (it almost feels like the polar opposite of who I am - like we literally couldn't be more far apart, there's just no connection whatsoever) and it seems like I can have a feeling-based talk with them for 2 hours and still have no idea what came out of the conversation. So, it is strange for me too in a lot of cases and I attribute that to my objectivity and my need for logic and the bottom line.

    I guess in my first post I was just stating that I think I want to get my feelings out (Fe) and so I naturally gravitate towards that when I have an opportunity, although it doesn't always work the way I think it will. It usually only seems to work with NF's. For me, they have been the ones who I can kind of open up my Fe with and not have too many negative consequences.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Shimmy's Avatar
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    It's not as easy as the poll would make out for me.

    I can very openly express my feelings regarding subjects, even to strangers, if I know these people can help me find an objective answer. I have no problems telling people how I feel about them or about a subject. But when it actually concerns myself I hardly ever even show signs of what I feel. My insecurities are my own and nobody knows about them, unless I think you can help me with them.
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  10. #10
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Costrin View Post
    Very few people get to see my raw emotions. And those are generally positive emotions. When I'm feeling something negative, I tend to keep it bottled up until I feel that I've sufficiently analysed it and understood it enough and that it's something worthy of being brought up, especially when it's something related to the other person.
    Yes, good point -- I should clarify on that one too.

    The positive emotions anyone sees from me here are actually "learned" -- you wouldn't have seen my typical social positive warmth until the last few years. And that goes for any real-life warmth and emotional display people see too. I worked to do it. (I actually had to learn how to smile. That sounds silly, but I spent a month doing it a few years ago, and taking pictures of myself until I figured it out because people kept asking me why I never smiled even when I was happy. Doesn't that sound goofy? Now I can smile spontaneously and warmly, but I had to teach myself how to open the channel because prior to that I had it all shut down.)

    My natural tendency with spontaneous emotion is to smother it and clamp it inside until I'm sure I can let it out. In the older days, I never let any of it out, people couldn't tell WHAT I was feeling about anything, good or bad. So it's not just bad emotions, it can be any emotion; it's just that positive emotions tend to not be as volatile and so they are 'safer' in some ways.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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