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  1. #1
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    Default ESTP ego boundaries

    So I had an interesting conversation in tinychat about ego boundaries which brought me to a few questions.

    When I entered the military I was constantly labelled as having an "Attitude problem."

    To me, I was a happy, content dude, very self confident, etc. To everyone else I was... fucked up or something. A dick.

    After 5 years I had been repeatedly told I was "arrogant," "self entitled," "bad attitude." Teachers have always hated me in high school and I never understood why. Often times, the only person who had a problem with me was authority. At first I could handle it, but after 5 years it eventually got to me and my self confidence was pretty much ruined and I eventually stopped talking to everyone except for my one close INFP friend.

    I had NO IDEA what they were talking about. Its possible they were projecting. I suspect most of the people who accuse me of such things are E3's. But that still doesn't bring about an understanding of what is happening here. They would open me up by telling me I needed to be "humble" and "accept feedback."

    So I have a strange dilemma in my life. If I'm open to everyone, people attempt to take advantage of me, and I even get bullied until I close back up and say enough is enough.

    When My guard is up, I become very unapproachable, and have to avoid eye contact with people because it shows that I don't recognize them as a person, and they'll almost always take offense and either react or seek to destroy me either through passive aggression or direct attacks.

    Both options are destructive on my life in their own way. Either I become disadvantaged in the work place until eventually getting fired, or I become psychologically damaged.

    The E8 personal growth says few will try to take advantage of you when you act with love etc.

    However, this 'unconditional love' (which I've attempted) also brings about a lot of dependant people into my life, who are rather vampiric on my energy, and get angry and vengeful when I cut off the energy supply (because they drain me).

    However there is one thing I've noticed. As many other ESTP's I've spoken to have identified with, When I am "In Love," I often feel "socially indestructible." my confidence skyrockets and I become open and loving with everyone, yet no one can harm me, and these "vampires" seem to flee. But it seems like this isn't a state I can naturally emulate on my own. It comes and goes. I don't think I'm able to make myself feel this way when not in love. So in this sense, love makes me feel secure, confident and safe.

    So my questions are thrice:
    1. Is there a psychological explanation for what I'm experiencing?
    2. Does anyone have any experience or advice for the matter?
    3. Why do people have such a problem when I close off to them? What is going on in their mind?

  2. #2
    WALMART
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    I was just sitting in vent, thinking about this.


    I don't think people can handle vocal musings, for whatever reason. My brother literally just told me "People live to hate" as I was reading your post.


    Good expression of thought, btw.

  3. #3
    morose bourgeoisie
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    I have the same problem, and have for my whole life. When people get to know me, they like me, but before that, I seem unapproachable, judgemental. I don't intend this most times. People think I'm arrogant, superior, too something.
    I try to counteract this by breaking the ice, saying hello first, trying to be open.

  4. #4
    subterfugee Xann's Avatar
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    This is me just going out on a really thin Ne limb so could be quite off..

    You are likely just too naturally dominant to them...people are frightened of people who use Se exceptionally well, naturally and holistically and are not just tricksters/pranksters at heart. Add in enneagram 8 and it sets in people an instinctual fear of being dominated by something that they subconsciously look down upon as being base on some level for complicated sociological reasons. I doubt it has much to do with ESTP as a type but is more a culmination of that and other factors.
    The people who will most try to penalize you will be those who have drawn their own egos in some sort of compromise between being like you and being some sort of semi-intellectual-selfhating beta serving small minded goals. They see your refusal to naturally submit to their level of awareness and lack of subjugation to ill-conceived primate status authority that you are less aware of since you are more concerned with more important things (subjective of course) as a huge red flag to their personal ego happiness urging them to force you to either enter into a very much larger compromise of the use of your personality and energy into their hive mind or be knocked beneath them.
    You are not allowed to be happy, for you are the natural victor of one of humanity's natural games (IMO, to be happy and self confident naturally) that has been playing out for ages simply by luck of the personality/temperament draw, rather than on their social merit and possibly beauty standards, which is of course unacceptable, since they have been trying for longer with more inefficient tools to be happy/define what is important. In their mind they feel perhaps you are lacking some of the picture, but who are they to judge. The best course of action is to draw on higher capacities of your own ego strength to sustain their illusions to a higher degree while fending off attacks with an inferred social weaponry system that knows better than anyone else where to draw the line and let people be self satisfied where they err in their perceptions of you, all whilst being loving.
    The unconditional love you give to others, while very well meaning and noble, cannot be always necessarily given in the manner in which feels most loving/natural to you. Sometimes it is a more loving gesture to not give, your being taken advantage of and thereby becoming resentful of those "draining" just fuels other peoples' lack of sense when it comes to personal boundaries and leads to their ultimately being cut off. You should know where it is socially expected that you should draw the line, depending on their relation to you/needs, and then, allowing that to be the baseline, give beyond that depending on the person's understanding of your capacities/intentions. People who are wholly dependent/have little to give back to you might not be worth any sort of drain on your part, especially since if they become vengeful they probably never valued you as much as what you gave to them.
    Those who have such a problem when you close off to them are perceiving you no longer as being someone who actually cared about them, but someone who was using a tertiary positioned Fe as a tool for your own more impersonal social goals that doesn't value their feelings as much as they thought you did when you were doing what they wanted. I also noticed you are an sx-dom. The manner in which you begin the relationships with these "vampires" could possibly also cause them to become reliant on you to meet social needs of their own that they had not yet been able to satisfy/were fully aware of, so your pulling the plug on them in some manner after sx-initiating perhaps causes them to feel foolish/insecure/incomplete.
    Sorry for the wall of text. I don't think there really is too much of a solution if my read of you and the situation was close at all, other than becoming more wise with your extraverted feeling function and sense of what you want out of other people.

  5. #5
    morose bourgeoisie
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    Now that I went back and read your whole post, I have exactly the same problem. But I don't think it's type related, as I am INFP.

  6. #6
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    I'm gonna take a different approach. I was just talking to someone about hearing common negative and positive things and how much weight to give it.

    Mainly, if you are constantly hearing something negative about your personality - it's got a bit of truth in it. Have you asked these people for more clarification or examples of how you are arrogant? Have you been open to hearing them explain themselves?


    Anyway, the fact it bothers you is a problem. Listen to them but find a way to communicate your POV and also be open to changing a bit. I will say that if you are a recipient of anger then that's a clue your behavior is in need of some change.

    If you are just receiving feedback that you don't like - but it has no anger in it - it's generally a product of miscommunication/different strokes.

    Find that balance of being fair to yourself and others. If you have that, you'll never feel bothered by what people say.
    ~luck favors the ready~


    Shameless Self-Promotion:MDP2525's Den and the Start of Motorcycle Maintenance

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDP2525 View Post
    I'm gonna take a different approach. I was just talking to someone about hearing common negative and positive things and how much weight to give it.

    Mainly, if you are constantly hearing something negative about your personality - it's got a bit of truth in it. Have you asked these people for more clarification or examples of how you are arrogant? Have you been open to hearing them explain themselves?


    Anyway, the fact it bothers you is a problem. Listen to them but find a way to communicate your POV and also be open to changing a bit. I will say that if you a recipient of anger then that's a clue your behavior is in need of some change. If you are just receiving feedback that you don't like - but it has no anger in it - it's generally a product of miscommunication/different strokes.

    Find that balance of being fair to yourself and others. If you have that, you'll never feel bothered by what people say.
    I think this is generally good advice. Judging your behavior based on the reactions it elicits in others meets problems when the people you are dealing with are unstable and easily provoked. Some people will react with anger to claims which would otherwise be considered reasonable, which is subjective. To some extent there is a self-selection bias in place when dealing with your friends. People seem to naturally form groups with people who agree with them and tolerate each other's behavior.

    A gang, for instance, would tend to agree within members of the group that their way of doing things is appropriate. Whereas outside the group, people might find their behavior reprehensible.

    But sure, noting what upsets people (individual or group) off can help you deal with them better.

    Ultimately, I'd advocate looking for guidance in ideals to shape your thoughts and behavior in addition to through people. No matter what you believe, someone will hate you for it. No matter how much you think your own ideals are consistent and fair, they will be flawed and someone won't like them.

    ---

    So to the OP: It sounds like you have a bit of an all or nothing approach - either totally taking what other people give to you - which very well might be a mixture of good advice and abuse - or totally shutting off to deny any input to protect yourself. Don't take other people's advice as gospel - they are just other people. So are you, you're just a person. Both your and their ideals, behavior, and communication, is going to upset someone.

    Going back to guiding your behavior by ideals, I'd suggest forming an ideal that lets you receive input from other people but make clear limits on abusive behavior which you won't accept. When you go to get advice from other people (a very good thing!) try to take moments to refer back to your ideals - are they doing something which violates your ideals? Reject the bad, and take the rest under consideration.

    In my experience, even lunatics have something to offer. But it's not worth constant exposure to so much negative emotion to get that little snippet of information - it hurts you more than it helps. Take what you can get, but remove the source of negativity.
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

  8. #8
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    good responses.
    @Chawie I did read your wall of text. It was interesting that you brought up how its possible they might think I use them because I'm so nice in the beginning and then cut them off. I never considered that. My ex said I used her, which didn't make any sense to me. I'll have to consider that. Perhaps I have to analyze myself when doing that. Perhaps my "unconditional love" is a form of control in the way an E2 would abuse it, and I need to alter my perspective. Very interesting.

    I've asked people why they think I'm arrogant, etc. A lot of the answers were something vague like, "You don't participate." I still don't know what that means. I've suspected it means I don't participate in the alpha/beta "penis contest" and power dynamics but no one seems to understand why I'm arrogant, I just am. A lot of it seems like projection. I was in the military with a lot of like-minded individuals (STJ's) so there is the off chance that everyone else was just wrong and I'm normal.

    I do have an all or nothing approach, which is difficult for me to necessarily regulate or percieve anything in between.

  9. #9
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    I guess half of the reason I hang out by myself is that I don't have to deal with people's impressions. I don't think I had it too bad before, but I know what you mean about getting blindsided. For the most part, it's funny, but some people's opinions can start grating on you enough to overthink how you come off. That's too much work though. I'd suggest keeping your distance. Fuck it. Don't overthink it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DJ Arendee View Post
    So I had an interesting conversation in tinychat about ego boundaries which brought me to a few questions.

    When I entered the military I was constantly labelled as having an "Attitude problem."

    To me, I was a happy, content dude, very self confident, etc. To everyone else I was... fucked up or something. A dick.

    After 5 years I had been repeatedly told I was "arrogant," "self entitled," "bad attitude." Teachers have always hated me in high school and I never understood why. Often times, the only person who had a problem with me was authority. At first I could handle it, but after 5 years it eventually got to me and my self confidence was pretty much ruined and I eventually stopped talking to everyone except for my one close INFP friend.

    I had NO IDEA what they were talking about. Its possible they were projecting. I suspect most of the people who accuse me of such things are E3's. But that still doesn't bring about an understanding of what is happening here. They would open me up by telling me I needed to be "humble" and "accept feedback."

    So I have a strange dilemma in my life. If I'm open to everyone, people attempt to take advantage of me, and I even get bullied until I close back up and say enough is enough.

    When My guard is up, I become very unapproachable, and have to avoid eye contact with people because it shows that I don't recognize them as a person, and they'll almost always take offense and either react or seek to destroy me either through passive aggression or direct attacks.

    Both options are destructive on my life in their own way. Either I become disadvantaged in the work place until eventually getting fired, or I become psychologically damaged.

    The E8 personal growth says few will try to take advantage of you when you act with love etc.

    However, this 'unconditional love' (which I've attempted) also brings about a lot of dependant people into my life, who are rather vampiric on my energy, and get angry and vengeful when I cut off the energy supply (because they drain me).

    However there is one thing I've noticed. As many other ESTP's I've spoken to have identified with, When I am "In Love," I often feel "socially indestructible." my confidence skyrockets and I become open and loving with everyone, yet no one can harm me, and these "vampires" seem to flee. But it seems like this isn't a state I can naturally emulate on my own. It comes and goes. I don't think I'm able to make myself feel this way when not in love. So in this sense, love makes me feel secure, confident and safe.

    So my questions are thrice:
    1. Is there a psychological explanation for what I'm experiencing?
    2. Does anyone have any experience or advice for the matter?
    3. Why do people have such a problem when I close off to them? What is going on in their mind?
    I pretty much identify with this post.

    I had so many bosses who went out to crush me. World is full of weasels man, insecure little fuckers trying to treat their little patch as their kingdom.

    I am lucky now that I work self-employed through a company. You need to be with people who have trust and will see your self-confidence as an asset to their life and not a threat.

    For me that's best with start-ups etc. where you can be part of the leadership. Big corporations/state sector, are mainly (perhaps not always) full of power-players going NOWHERE who don't want you to be confident, creative, they just want you to follow the book. That's no good for any TP I think.

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