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Thread: Advice on my enfj and enfp friends?

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    Melix's Avatar
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    Default Advice on my enfj and enfp friends?

    We all belonged to a theatre group and became fast friends. Now that the group is over I started to hang out with them outside of the group.

    First I feel I should mention that when i'm in theatre I become a very different person. I am normally quiet and calm.
    I dont think they realize that i'm not the same person that I am in theatre. In our theatre group I was the best at improv acting [I was told to teach them] so they assume that i'm always naturally funny.

    I thought we were really close because whenever they have problems, I'm always the first one they call. We always have nice little deep moments, but only seperate of eachother.

    When we all go out together, they always do crazy, highly immature things that I'm just not into. I can only play along for so long. If i'm not going ape shit like they are they think that i'm upset and ask whats wrong. Then dont really care to wait for my answer.

    Basically..If i'm not in "theatre mode" They seem to think theres something wrong with me.

    Is there something about their types that you think I could use to help me explain to them how i'm feeling?

    Do you know of any enfj and enfp friends who are like this?

    Is it just me and not them?

    [also as for my type i'm not sure what I am yet... but I believe I am an INFJ.]

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    aka-kitsune's Avatar
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    I really relate to what you're saying here. I'm in a remarkably similar situation... most of my current group of friends are part of the local Shakespeare theatre company I participate in.

    I've also more recently (perhaps in the last 5-6 years or so) become more outgoing than I've ever been in my entire life. And at times, it really feels like a huge strain for me. In the group, I can be vivacious, exert a strong personality influence, be forceful and passionate, upbeat and like to amuse people with witty and humorous remarks. But, I've begun to feel like I have to hide the other side of all that: the tumult when I'm emotionally upset and want to withdraw. Or else, my deadly serious side when it comes to my values and strong emotional reactions. My feelings can be overwhelming for me and often uncomfortable and "negative" for other people. Especially extroverts who seem to assume I'm just very outgoing and boisterous and then don't understand why I might get suddenly quiet or upset.

    I thought we were really close because whenever they have problems, I'm always the first one they call. We always have nice little deep moments, but only seperate of eachother.
    I especially resonate with this. I look for those moments with people I want to get closer to. I find people tell me intimate details of their life-- childhood, problems, etc. and I really cherish their trust. But I also feel like they aren't able (or willing) to reciprocate my concern so that I feel safe or heard, or otherwise valued. I have received the same reaction... like they don't want me to bring them down, so my feelings get short shrift, or they just expect me to just be more casual about things.

    In a theatre group, I find there are usually a good number of very extroverted members, especially those who are busy maintaining many varied projects, interests, etc. So, the primary arena ends up being external focus and stimulation, rather than internal. Honestly, this is often the cause of my conflict. I often want to have really meaningful moments to balance out the surface minutia, but I can't always get them. It's like I always feel unfulfilled, because the external and superficial interactions just don't satisfy me. I end up feeling like it's my fault somehow too.

    But It's really no one's fault. They are just prioritizing a different experience than you. As an introvert, I probably just want to pull a person into my internal world, and extroverts seem to often resist that. I feel like I "do my time" in the group external arena, but need the more intimate moments to feel connected. Unfortunately, I don't always get them.

    You shouldn't blame yourself because you seem to want something meaningful and balanced. I think you just need to adjust your expectations. Easier said than done; I'm really grappling with this myself.
    socio: INFp - IEI
    ennea: 4w5 sp/sx

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    Melix's Avatar
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    WOW. Thats borderline creepy!

    That is EXACTLY the way I feel. I wish I could have explained it as well as you have.

    I'd have to try, but its really hard for me to deal with this. Maybe thats why I have a lot of extroverted friends.. but all my best friends are introverts.
    [INFP]

    "Nothing worse could happen to one than to be completely understood."
    — [Carl Gustav Jung]

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