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  1. #1

    Question Self-Doubt, Getting into a Funk, & Failing to Be the Real You?

    Alright gang, new guy here.

    I could use some fellow NF Idealist insight and experience to work through something I've noticed lately about myself that I'm hating.

    When I'm by myself, feeling perfectly fine with the world, or in the zone, I see myself functioning as the awesome ENFPs we all recognize ourselves to be: occasionally loud, gregarious, always interested in big pictures & deep questions, prone to rambling and long talks, making new friends, talking with strangers, etc.

    Well here's the stickler: I'm prone to some epic battles of self-doubt, and in particular it's been flaring up consistently in very frustrating situations.

    I've ended up with a group of four bro's that I hang out with all the time, and more specifically, they are my main wingmen when we go hit the town, in addition to the counterparts to a big group of girls I've met through them and have subsequently become friends with.

    Sure, as I've gotten to know them better, I'm understanding more of their quirks and differences, but they all are pretty good looking dudes who are all in ridiculous shape. I'm neither (not meaning to be self-deprecating; just stating facts - I've found out that my confidence and awesome attitude can help overcome my own largely self-imposed limitations when I'm on the ball).

    And so, three out of the four tend to be very demonstrative, goofy, expressive, flirts. Two I've pretty well pegged as SPs. The third, I'm still trying to sort out (new guy). But regardless, when that starts to happen (either at the bars or just hanging out with these big groups of girls that we've fallen in with), I TOTALLY SHUT DOWN. My inferiority complex kicks in and it all goes to pot.

    Call it my Inferior Si kicking in and reminding me of past experiences and feelings of sh!tty self-esteem, or my Shadow INFJ kicking in and sending me into super introspective, brooding mode, what it all comes down to is that I get in these funks and instead of being this totally rad human being who is fun, outgoing, and engaging, I turn into this quite, reactive, everything's going on inside my head dude.

    I recognize that I'm not being myself, and now I'm making new friends that seriously have never seen the real me.

    I hate that. I really despise that, but have no real idea how to change it.

    And that's where I need some help; I'm pretty much clueless on how to change.

  2. #2
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008


    I find I can be extremely shut down at social gatherings depending on the situation and my mood. I don't find that I do this out of self-doubt and inferiority, the way you're describing, but what I can say is if you're sure the only reason you're holding back is inferiority issues, you certainly need to shake that funk off.

    A few things that help me come out of my shell:
    - Wearing something I am the most comfortable with. When I'm in comfort clothing, eating comfort foods, and such, I feel more at ease in general. So what if everyone else is dressed in Polos and slacks, if you're more comfortable in a t-shirt and jeans, than you'll get comfort from that. (This may back fire if you feel everyone else is dressed nicer than you though @_@ so take it with a grain of salt..)
    - I started doing things on the side. I started working on hobbies that I found interesting.. and I started working out. (I actually felt inferior in the way of being social, not in how I look in comparison to others..) so I felt like I had something to talk about with people.. So maybe if you find other interests, you can gain confidence through them. Bonus: you feel like you're persuing old goals and getting things accomplished, which also tends to boost morale no matter where you are.
    - I ventured outside of my comfort zone. I danced even when I knew I sucked at it and no one else was.. because it made me uncomfortable. When I realized it wasn't so bad, it was easier for me to be social.. if someone still wanted to talk to me after being such a jackass, then it seemed all gravy.
    - I found a few lines and things that made me really comfortable. I suck at telling jokes.. but, I could open things up with talking about video games. So, if I knew someone had a similar interest, I could assert myself easier.

    I dunno how helpful this is.. but welcome to the forum.
    Kantgirl: Just say "I'm feminine and I'll punch anyone who says otherwise!"
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  3. #3
    Knows your not ENFP Starry's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    7w6 sx/sp


    Hey Will…welcome. I have to say I enjoyed reading your post in spite of the sensitivity I feel towards your challenge. The way you express yourself through writing…the personality that comes through… You remind me so much of a couple of ENFP e7s I know (two very good-hearted, well-intending individuals…one of them being my own brother).

    I have to admit though…I wasn’t completely sure from what you wrote what was setting off these instances where you shut-down. Are you saying you believe the gentlemen you hang out with are more physically attractive and this brings up feelings of inferiority in you that causes you to feel bad and stop being yourself? Are you yourself attracted to one of the females you hang out with and feel like you are somehow ‘competing’ on some level with one of your male friends which makes you not only feel ‘inferior’ but bad about yourself? Are you able to isolate the actual cause as only then can a solution be rendered…

  4. #4
    Senior Member Rebe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    It wasn't until lately that I have learned how to open up and be myself. Even now, I have a lot of self-doubt about how I interact and communicate with others. I go into over-thinking drive where I scrutinize every little facial expression or shift in energy. I hate the idea of being that one annoying person who just talks on and gets too personal and is just downright annoying. I have met people like this and I have wanted to hit them in the face with a shovel. I'm not being snotty; it's not about looks but their personality. This one person keeps delivering line after line of cliches jokes that are not funny, at all. Actually, I always try to see the redeemable in people and if I know they are sort of socially awkward, I make extra effort but there are just certain people who are just so damn annoying, where there is no redemption. I have this sense of inadequacy when I socialize that I am slowly, slowly overcoming. And I have it much worse than you and it stems from the past also.

    I have learned that

    - over-thinking on every word you say or joke you crack will just make you paranoid and it is unnecessary. there's awareness of how people are responding to you and then, there's over-thinking it

    - ever since i have let myself open up to people, i have realized how you meet great people just out of the blue. you wouldn't expect it but you do. and you network and they offer you jobs, advice, they will just generally help you out. no one can hit it off with everyone. so brush unpleasant encounters off your shoulder and don't dwell when you say something stupid. everyone does. i do a lot of filtering and sometimes you just should say things instead of thinking and thinking if it's appropriate, if it's funny, if it's cool.

    - if you can't be yourself, who will? if you don't show people who you really are, how will people know who you really are? you have to give people a chance to get to know you, take the risk.

    - as for the physical attraction part, what's worse than ugly is a dull, offensive personality. join a gym. wear better clothes. if a girl likes you, she should like the entire you, not just your sometimes outgoing personality, but also your looks. you can't fake your looks, you're stuck with it, so make the best of it.

    - change what you can and accept what you can't, otherwise you're just sitting there feeling bad by yourself over things you can't change anyway. the past is the past, what happened back then should be forgotten, envision a better future for yourself, that's the first step in changing, 'envisioning'.

    I have to remind myself constantly these little points.

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