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  1. #1
    Member Elaine's Avatar
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    Default An INTJ needs help with overcoming an audience phobia

    Well, the title says exactly what is the problem. I know that such fear is an uncommon issue for INTJs, yet I managed to end up with such phobia. It wasn' t always like that, however. As a kid, despite being rather socially awkward when it came to communicating with my peers, I wasn' t afraid to speak in front of many people. I could easily explain subjects in front of the whole class, and I actively took part in school plays. The audience phobia, however, started to appear when I was in my early teens. I never was a popular kid in class, I frequently got bullied, and teachers disliked me because I started fighting the bullies, and in the end turning the whole thing into an argument. So, at the time when I was 11 - 13, the bullying reached it' s peak. It was not uncommon for them to throw pieces of chalk at me when I spoke in front of them, or come to the blackboard and draw caricatures of me( they knew this would annoy me even more, because, despite there was a schedule, according to which each of us had the duty of cleaning the blackboard on a certain day, I always was the one to clean it because they didn' t care about it being dirty at all) , or shout offensive names and curses, and that wasn' t even the half of what they did to me, because they used to pick on me on the breaks as well( I even once ended up in a hospital because of a school fight once) . When I tried to talk them out of it, they only laughed it up. Then I talked to the head teacher, she told me that I should change and be more like them. I said that I don' t see the reason why my original personality is so bad that it should be concealed. She said that such unsociable and stubborn people like me never get along well with others. But when I asked her what to change into, she never gave me concrete answers, only said that I should become more like them. For a while, I tried to take that advice into account, even though another part of me knew that it' s not going to work. I tried to display more emotions( which was never a problem for me) , and to become more conventionally girly, but this gave them only more opportunities to pick on me. Then I started to have an impression that I' m something horrible and disorted, not worthy of this world. I was afraid to come in front of people, or even speak with them( the only people I was comfortable speaking with were my family) . I tried to figure out what' s so wrong with me, but I didn' t find anything wrong with me, my mother kept telling me that I' m okay, and these are my classmates who were complete bastards. Now when I look back on those times I understand she was right, but back then I didn' t. However, I didn' t let myself angst forever. One day I understood that I mustn' t let myself be abused or tortured by others, or even let these f*ckers affect my inner state. More than half of the world might be monsterous, but this doesn' t mean I should be the total loser that hates life and lets people break me. I managed to fix most of my inner self up, I started to go to hip hop classes where I got some pals( even though most of people in my group were several years younger than me) . I got rid of my emo self, rose up my confidence and changed my view on life from the one oriented on helping people to a more self - centered one. At that time mom also connected me to the Internet. This allowed me to communicate with people while keeping my true identity hidden, as well as gaining more knowledge. I found several people who share my interests out there, and some of them became my very good friends. Then I got more confident to talk to people in real life, and I got friends there as well. This led me to a conclusion that I don' t have to try to please others( well, unless it involves getting what I want) , because there are always people who are going to dislike me, as well as people who are going to like me. My life got better soon, now I can say my life is okay. I also managed to get a playback on the bullies before finishing school, but that' s a different story. I have plans for the future that I can' t wait to fullfill, and I believe that I will be able to build a good future for myself.
    So, the times when I was bullied passed, and I' m really glad they did. But I know there are still some personal flaws I have to overcome in order to be able to live a good life. One of them is the audience phobia I got when I was bullied. Of course, it got better since then, and I' m not afraid to talk to others anymore, but I' m still afraid to speak in front of many people. When I try to do it, I recall those days when I they were picking on me right on the lesson when I answered in front of the teacher. I start panicking and stuttering( normally I don' t stutter, but in this specific situation I do) , my verbal tics show up, then I end up being so nervous that I forget what I planned to say. This is very upsetting for me, because I prefer to have a strong hold over my emotions, and so far I' m rather successful at doing so, but when I try to speak in front of a crowd, I become totally distracted and lose all control of the situation. I avoided speaking in front of class back when I was in school, but recently I finished it, and now I' m going to enter the university. I know I will need to answer in front of a huge audience, I might also need this in my future career( on which I decided to focus my life) and I have to prepare for it. I need an advice on how to get over my fear. I don't want to let this weakness ruin my life( in fact, I would prefer not to have weaknesses at all) , but I don' t know what to do. I' m good at faking emotions, and it is no problem for me to do so in front of a small group of people. These are the large groups that I have a problem with. I tried talking to myself in the mirror, but I end up feeling that I look like a complete idiot. I' m not satisfied with the appearance I see in the mirror either, but right now I' m working on it. Currently I' m trying to lose weight to gain more confidence, but it' s definately not enough to get over my fears. Also, attending a therapist isn' t an option, since my country has more conservative views than most European countries or the USA. There attending a therapist means that you admit having a mental problem. And there is always a prejudice against such people. Most employers are reluctant to give them a job, so attending a therapist would automatically put a black mark on my biography, and building a career will be much harder. So I have to deal with everything myself. Anyway, is there anything I can do to overcome my fear of public speech? Are there any other INTJs here who experienced a similar thing? If there are any, what did you do to overcome it?

  2. #2
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    Hmmm....I'm not an expert but I think your problem might actually be punctuation.

  3. #3
    Member Elaine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chthonic View Post
    Hmmm....I'm not an expert but I think your problem might actually be punctuation.
    Well... Sorry, just was writing this in a hurry, and also, I' m not a native English speaker... Also, the Internet hates my computer' s text formatting and makes me unable to properly put a paragraph when I' m writing on forums. But anyway thanks, I' ll check the punctuation in my post.
    Edit: Corrected punctuation. Now should be better.

  4. #4
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    What I meant was, that big block of text is really daunting and might be putting people off reading your post. Just break it up with some paragraphs so more people will read and respond.

  5. #5
    failed poetry slam career chubber's Avatar
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    I think this is where Ne thrives and comes natural to them. Where as we as INTJs will not be doing this naturally. So all I can suggest is to... follow what this guy says and learn more about improvising.

  6. #6
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chubber View Post
    I think this is where Ne thrives and comes natural to them. Where as we as INTJs will not be doing this naturally. So all I can suggest is to... follow what this guy says and learn more about improvising.
    I disagree. Ne may thrive on this and be able just to do "what comes naturally", but the outcome might not be what is needed in the situation, however comfortable they are putting it out. If you need to overcome an adversity like this, best to use your strengths to make up for your weaknesses. This means to do exactly the opposite, and plan ahead. (This is what comes naturally to most INTJs.)

    If you must speak or perform before an audience, get as much information about the purpose, audience, setting, etc. as you can ahead of time. Figure out what you are going to say/do, and make yourself an outline. Rehearse until you are comfortable. Rehearse in front of friends if available, or even record yourself to watch later. Anticipate questions/criticisms/responses and how you would answer.

    This sounds like alot of work, and it is, especially the first few times, or the first time with a new subject or activity. You will get better and faster at this the more you do it, and will find you can skip or abbreviate some of the steps. Eventually, you will become comfortable enough at least with certain types of presentations that you can finally relax and . . . sometimes even improvise! But that will work well and become natural only when you have laid a foundation of preparation beneath it.

    Good luck!

    (P.S. I have used this approach myself for most of my life, both for public speaking and work presentations, any time I have to teach, and for musical performances. It really works.)
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  7. #7
    failed poetry slam career chubber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I disagree. Ne may thrive on this and be able just to do "what comes naturally", but the outcome might not be what is needed in the situation, however comfortable they are putting it out. If you need to overcome an adversity like this, best to use your strengths to make up for your weaknesses. This means to do exactly the opposite, and plan ahead. (This is what comes naturally to most INTJs.)

    If you must speak or perform before an audience, get as much information about the purpose, audience, setting, etc. as you can ahead of time. Figure out what you are going to say/do, and make yourself an outline. Rehearse until you are comfortable. Rehearse in front of friends if available, or even record yourself to watch later. Anticipate questions/criticisms/responses and how you would answer.

    This sounds like alot of work, and it is, especially the first few times, or the first time with a new subject or activity. You will get better and faster at this the more you do it, and will find you can skip or abbreviate some of the steps. Eventually, you will become comfortable enough at least with certain types of presentations that you can finally relax and . . . sometimes even improvise! But that will work well and become natural only when you have laid a foundation of preparation beneath it.

    Good luck!

    (P.S. I have used this approach myself for most of my life, both for public speaking and work presentations, any time I have to teach, and for musical performances. It really works.)
    Fair enough you are addressing Ni, which is what we are good at. Creating structure and prepping in advance. But we still need feedback from our audience, our creative function in this case would be Te. We need to update our Ni through that too, which will come over time. But it will never sound like this guy, it will never flow like this guy does it. But that is OK. that is the point. We engage with our audience through Te and that is our style. We just need to accept it for what it is. Like the guy said, it is OK to fail (and be different) and learn from it and move on. Being comfortable in your own skin, so to speak.

    But it is good that you pointed it out anyway.

  8. #8
    Member Elaine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I disagree. Ne may thrive on this and be able just to do "what comes naturally", but the outcome might not be what is needed in the situation, however comfortable they are putting it out. If you need to overcome an adversity like this, best to use your strengths to make up for your weaknesses. This means to do exactly the opposite, and plan ahead. (This is what comes naturally to most INTJs.)

    If you must speak or perform before an audience, get as much information about the purpose, audience, setting, etc. as you can ahead of time. Figure out what you are going to say/do, and make yourself an outline. Rehearse until you are comfortable. Rehearse in front of friends if available, or even record yourself to watch later. Anticipate questions/criticisms/responses and how you would answer.

    This sounds like alot of work, and it is, especially the first few times, or the first time with a new subject or activity. You will get better and faster at this the more you do it, and will find you can skip or abbreviate some of the steps. Eventually, you will become comfortable enough at least with certain types of presentations that you can finally relax and . . . sometimes even improvise! But that will work well and become natural only when you have laid a foundation of preparation beneath it.

    Good luck!

    (P.S. I have used this approach myself for most of my life, both for public speaking and work presentations, any time I have to teach, and for musical performances. It really works.)
    I already tried rehearsing speeches in front of friends and figuring out different aspects of a speech. Rehearsals seem to go fine while I' m in front of them, or when I speak in front of a camera, but it totally fails when it comes to a huge audience of complete strangers. I guess that' s because my friends are a very small group( I' m not the kind that has many true friends, since few can gain my trust, and I' m more distanced with those who don' t) . And I feel relaxed because camera is a machine that is not going to judge me or do anything to me.

  9. #9
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    Or....develop the attention whore within.

  10. #10
    Member Elaine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chthonic View Post
    Or....develop the attention whore within.
    Sorry, but what do you mean by that?

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