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  1. #61
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I have a hard time drawing those lines, so for me (at least right now) it pretty much IS either of those first two options. I know myself well enough to know that I have a hard time telling people that I don't have time or energy to be supportive if I see that they need that, so it's probably best for everyone if they call another friend.
    Yeah I know what you mean, I've been like that sometimes in the past, and at times still can be. If someone does need me to be supportive, Satan will be installing solar panels before I turn them away. But if it turns out they don't need me so much, or when it seems they've sorted themselves out or got whatever it was out of their system and their equilibrium is restored, I'll gently remind them that it's kinda late now or I was in the middle of something, and y'know, it's no bother, but could they just please piss off now, so I can get on with it?

    This is probably why I have the one close friend and many satellite friends who I can't seem to bump up to that "good friend" level.
    y'know, I've known a lot of introverts say that, apparently unaware that there are quite a few people who think a lot of them and care about them, and would like to turn to them (would rather, than anyone else), but perceive them as unavailable and unaccessible, which sometimes confuses/upsets them (they take it personally), and so turn to others. The introvert might think these others are the person's preferred friends, when it's not always so...

    Sometimes I've been that person, looking at the introvert I really like (who is one of the few people I miss when they're not around) as they say this, and wondering WTF I have to do to make them realise I like them and they're important to me?
    Ils se d�merdent, les mecs: trop bon, trop con..................................MY BLOG!

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  2. #62
    Pareo cattus Natrushka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I have a hard time drawing those lines, so for me (at least right now) it pretty much IS either of those first two options. I know myself well enough to know that I have a hard time telling people that I don't have time or energy to be supportive if I see that they need that, so it's probably best for everyone if they call another friend. This is probably why I have the one close friend and many satellite friends who I can't seem to bump up to that "good friend" level.
    Exactly. Do you think it's 'can't or 'don't want to' bump them, Ivy? Frankly, as cruel and harsh as it sounds for me it's "don't want to".

    This signature left intentionally blank.

    Really.

  3. #63
    Member OK Radio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I don't know. Part of this seems.. I don't think I'm THAT important to anybody outside of my immediate family, such that if they can't get ahold of me right away they'll be in tears. Or maybe this is why I can't seem to get close to anyone outside of my immediate family and my best friend, who may as well be immediate family.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    I have a hard time drawing those lines, so for me (at least right now) it pretty much IS either of those first two options. I know myself well enough to know that I have a hard time telling people that I don't have time or energy to be supportive if I see that they need that, so it's probably best for everyone if they call another friend. This is probably why I have the one close friend and many satellite friends who I can't seem to bump up to that "good friend" level.
    You feel you are not of ultimate importance to the well-being of anyone outside of your immediate family. You also find others rely on you far more than you are willing to deal with.

    It's not a contradiction. It's how your self-reliance manifests itself socially. You are a problem solver and avoid asking for help unless it's entirely necessary, and even then, you are reluctant to place what you view as your own burden on someone else's shoulders. At the same time, you're extremely good at analyzing the issues of others, even more than your own issues, because you have a better perspective when the problem is not your own.

    You always want to help. That's your nature. You are smart, caring, and your advice is excellent. Your intrinsic qualities make you a favorite target of those whom I call black holes of need. You can pour as much succor, solace, and suggestions into these people and they keep coming back hungrier than ever.

    You cannot turn off your helpful nature, so you set boundaries on whom you allow near you so as to protect yourself. If you had to choose the one word you most wish never to be called, you'd choose "selfish".

    Those people who are connected to you by chance of close familial relation get a free pass. They can be needy and greedy, but you tolerate them because you've always been there for them since you were born. You've taken on your husband's relations as well because you value family and will exert yourself for them for the sake of the happiness of your husband and children.

    Other people must demonstrate an acceptable level of self-reliance before you admit them into your inner circle. It is hard to find people who don't lean heavily on you. It's harder still to find someone you'd be comfortable leaning on, because you cannot bring yourself to share your burdens.

    You never vent your fears or annoyances until after the crisis has passed, and then you may possibly talk about them in retrospect as these feelings are no longer present but remembered. You present your already resolved problems with humor, making light of your panic at the time the event happened, and always demonstrate that you've gotten through it.

    Your one failing (I say failing to be dramatic and draw attention to this point, but seriously, I don't see it as a failing, but more of a literary device) is your inability to listen to someone venting without needing to spring into action. You don't indulge yourself that way, and it's hard to imagine that a friend talking about something gone wrong is doing it only for the relief of talking about it without expectation. Then again, I happen to estimate the percentage of people who complain and who are hoping someone else will solve their problems without having to exert themselves runs about 95%.

    In conclusion, I hope you find more self-reliant people to share in your friendship. The trickier part is being open to the 5% of sometime complainers who want to bend your ear for a few minutes without expecting you to save the day. The trickiest part is discerning the rare self-reliant people and the 5% of limited complainers from the rest of the world.

  4. #64
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OK Radio View Post
    [insert frighteningly accurate description of me here]
    ...it's like you're in my head.

    It's definitely true that I am embarrassed to solicit or accept help and so I don't usually speak of my anxieties until they've passed. I am blessed to be friendly with a large number of very kind and generous people who would want to help and would offer to do so, or would just do it without offering. I am deeply, deeply ashamed to be needy and so I just try not to talk about my problems as they happen, except to my husband, sometimes my mother or sister, and occasionally I vent online.

    I have hooked up with black holes of need in the past. I don't think any of the people I currently am finding myself unable to bump up to close friend are black holes of need. I do suspect that my "miss fix-it" approach is annoying to these people, but like you say, I can't really turn it off. So I think I've limited my access to them, more than limiting their access to me.

    And this relates to answering the phone in some way, I'm sure of it.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  5. #65
    Member OK Radio's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    And this relates to answering the phone in some way, I'm sure of it.
    It totally relates. The telephone is the means of immediate interaction without the capability to reflect and decide. It's like Russian roulette. Most of the calls are going to be benign. It's that one call that ends up exploding you into the middle of a crisis that gives pause.

    Answering the telephone is like pulling the trigger.

    Calling yourself Miss Fixit is a disservice. You're automatically drawn to solving a problem instead of wallowing indulgently and helplessly. You're not given to the other extreme of denial, either. You're not all sunshine and you don't rely on mother's little helper. You tackle problems. That's the best and bravest way to be.

  6. #66
    Senior Member niffer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chatoyer View Post
    I'm also one of those people who leaves long, rambling messages that I hope are entertaining to the listener!
    Teehee. I do this too.
    sparkly sparkly rainbow excretions

    Quote Originally Posted by ThatGirl View Post
    holy shit am I a feeler?
    if you like my avatar, it's because i took it myself! : D

  7. #67
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    ...it's like you're in my head.

    It's definitely true that I am embarrassed to solicit or accept help and so I don't usually speak of my anxieties until they've passed. I am blessed to be friendly with a large number of very kind and generous people who would want to help and would offer to do so, or would just do it without offering. I am deeply, deeply ashamed to be needy and so I just try not to talk about my problems as they happen, except to my husband, sometimes my mother or sister, and occasionally I vent online.

    I have hooked up with black holes of need in the past. I don't think any of the people I currently am finding myself unable to bump up to close friend are black holes of need. I do suspect that my "miss fix-it" approach is annoying to these people, but like you say, I can't really turn it off. So I think I've limited my access to them, more than limiting their access to me.

    And this relates to answering the phone in some way, I'm sure of it.
    Seems we're much more alike than I thought... What OK Radio said could easily have been describing me, too. I'm still working really hard on being able to ask for help - and overcoming the cynicism that tells me when people offer, "they're just saying that, they don't really mean it".

    I guess I've met some pretty awesome people in the last while, and earlier this year I was confronted for the first time in my life, with someone who was actually upset because I hadn't asked for help. She felt genuinely aggrieved because when she found out that I'd been really struggling, she took my not asking her for help as a deep insult. She said that to her it could mean either "I don't want you to help because I think you're no use to me" or "I don't think you're a true friend and therefore assume you wouldn't want to help". Hearing how my attitude came over from the other side, was a real wake-up call.
    Ils se d�merdent, les mecs: trop bon, trop con..................................MY BLOG!

    "When it all comes down to dust
    I will kill you if I must
    I will help you if I can" - Leonard Cohen

  8. #68
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    Seems we're much more alike than I thought... What OK Radio said could easily have been describing me, too. I'm still working really hard on being able to ask for help - and overcoming the cynicism that tells me when people offer, "they're just saying that, they don't really mean it".

    I guess I've met some pretty awesome people in the last while, and earlier this year I was confronted for the first time in my life, with someone who was actually upset because I hadn't asked for help. She felt genuinely aggrieved because when she found out that I'd been really struggling, she took my not asking her for help as a deep insult. She said that to her it could mean either "I don't want you to help because I think you're no use to me" or "I don't think you're a true friend and therefore assume you wouldn't want to help". Hearing how my attitude came over from the other side, was a real wake-up call.
    This is giving me real food for thought, because my sortafriends are always telling me that I need to lean on them more. For their sake as well as mine, because they seem to get off on being a tribe of sorts. (I somehow managed to plug into a tightly-knit but welcoming group of women a few years ago.)

    Like earlier this year when I was having heart palpitations, I didn't tell anyone outside the family until after I had done the testing and found out everything was fine. I knew they'd all start bringing food and wine and asking me how I'm doing every time we see each other. One did say "why didn't you tell any of us? We could have helped!" I couldn't really say, yeah, that's kind of why I didn't say anything.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

  9. #69
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    This is giving me real food for thought, because my sortafriends are always telling me that I need to lean on them more. For their sake as well as mine, because they seem to get off on being a tribe of sorts. (I somehow managed to plug into a tightly-knit but welcoming group of women a few years ago.)

    Like earlier this year when I was having heart palpitations, I didn't tell anyone outside the family until after I had done the testing and found out everything was fine. I knew they'd all start bringing food and wine and asking me how I'm doing every time we see each other. One did say "why didn't you tell any of us? We could have helped!" I couldn't really say, yeah, that's kind of why I didn't say anything.
    Yeah, again though, I'm starting to realise that from their point of view, helping them all the time but not accepting their help in return ends up putting them in the position of feeling like they always owe you, even if they know you don't think like that, you wouldn't be happy with a one-sided friendship like that where you take, take, take but can't give anything back. Embarrasses people and puts them in exactly the position you yourself can't stand even the thought of being in. You've gotta let people give something back, or they end up not letting you help them, for fear of appearing like a leech.

    And also, they can feel like shit when they find out that when you were having problems, they might've said unkind things or maybe argued with you, or done something not brilliant, and this can add to their feeling of shittiness that they've piled more stuff on your plate when you already had a lot to worry about.

    I remember when a friend of mine moved into a new place and didn't tell anyone that she didn't have any furniture. The weekend after she moved, I had a clear out and redecorated - I got rid of LOADS of decent stuff, before I found out she was sleeping on the floor and didn't even have a table to eat at. Very frustrating.
    Ils se d�merdent, les mecs: trop bon, trop con..................................MY BLOG!

    "When it all comes down to dust
    I will kill you if I must
    I will help you if I can" - Leonard Cohen

  10. #70
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natrushka View Post
    Exactly. Do you think it's 'can't or 'don't want to' bump them, Ivy? Frankly, as cruel and harsh as it sounds for me it's "don't want to".
    I've been thinking about this since you posted it, and I'm just not sure. I think I want to, but maybe I'm holding back because of the accountability it would entail.
    The one who buggers a fire burns his penis
    -anonymous graffiti in the basilica at Pompeii

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