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Thread: Crafting and image/persona

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    Default Crafting an image/persona

    You create an image/persona to show to people e.g. talented but tortured artist, reserved and proud Mr Darcy, compassionate and empathic nurse, independent and charismatic entrepreneur etc.

    I've noticed that I did this quite a bit when I was younger. Now, I'm moving out of it.

    Has anyone else noticed this? Where do you think it comes from? What did you do about it?
    Last edited by Five; 08-17-2008 at 02:33 PM.
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    Originally, I'd have said that that was essentially blocked with . But, more recently, I think it may also be connected to blocked with (which is not very helpful, I know).

    The first one is what happens when your sense of identity, self-worth, or even existence, is based on how you are reflected on others. That is to say, you're not a good or successful or unique person (whatever) if that's not how others generally see you. So, the roles you mentioned are sort of attempts to find a "reflection" that works, and with which you are also happy.

    The second one is something I have noticed more recently. It's essentially about trying to establish your position of power, or ascendancy, in relation to specific individuals; a sort of competitiveness, say. So, for instance, if you can establish an ascendancy by focusing on your looks, you do it by "shifting gears" and focusing on your brains. In doing that, you sort of try to re-establish your persona, in a way.
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    ...been here longer than the fucking monarchy Ezra's Avatar
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    I think my friend Leon, an EIE, is a good example of the first case. Although he will never admit it, he relies on his image, even if it's "not for others" but to "remind [himself] that he is who he is". Clearly, in his case, there's some subconscious feelings based around self-worth being related to others.

    Expat, can you please elaborate on the manifestation of this phenomenon in the SEE? What is an example of an SEE attempting to use an image or persona to further their own agenda e.g. an historical example?

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    I used to do this a LOT too, and I think I still do. I agree with Expat that it does seem like quite a Beta NF quirk. I dunno, I enjoy changing myself depending on what new situation I'm entering, or what new people I'm meeting, etc.

    I usually take on a certain "role" for myself based on say, a character from some novel/TV show/etc. that I really enjoy, relate to, or admire. I do this occasionally when I feel like I need a new identity, a new start to my life. To others it might seem fake, but to me, it's merely a refreshing change. I mean, I am still who I am, it's just that I begin displaying certain qualities of myself more, and I become a different person over time, so much so that it DOES become who I am. It's hard to explain =/

    ETA: I also deeply resonate with the issue surrounding self-worth and having all of it based around how others see me, how I am reflected in others' eyes. Very true.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    Expat, can you please elaborate on the manifestation of this phenomenon in the SEE? What is an example of an SEE attempting to use an image or persona to further their own agenda e.g. an historical example?
    Well it's not really an "image". It's more an attempt to shift an interaction, seen as a competition, to an area where the SEE feels s/he can have the "upper hand".

    So, for instance. The same individual, a SEE, is interacting with a guy who's far wealthier than he, but it is all inherited wealth. So the SEE will instinctively shift into a sort of "role" as a self-made man while interacting with that particular guy.

    Then that same SEE will interact with a guy who's actually worked far harder than the SEE, so the SEE will avoid that kind of discussion and shift into yet another role - perhaps that of a guy who also had social concerns. Etc etc.

    The problem of giving historical example is that this is a more on-to-one effort, and often contradictory. But it's obvious from reading about Lyndon Johnson, for instance.
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    ...been here longer than the fucking monarchy Ezra's Avatar
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    I see. Interestingly, I relate to that. There have been times in my life when I've been talking to people, and I begin to fit whatever they are. It's normally very subtle, but it does happen.

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    Actually, this has a lot to do with why I first typed Franklin Roosevelt as EIE, and now I'm inclining towards SEE.

    Those who interacted with him observed this phenomenon, and I saw it as evidence of EIE, but later - helped by a discussion with Rick - I realized that his was more like the SEE version.
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    Mmm in my opinion it has to do with rational functions. However probably the roles described by Five are stereotipically what is associated with - even jung described the function in these terms
    Obsequium amicos, veritas odium parit

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    In the precise way described by Five, I think it's definitely the + version.
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    Can this be functionally related at all? Isn't it just socialisation? I know guys who act 'tough and silent' because they've recieved information (from books, from the media, from parents) that that is what is expected of them. To the extent that we shape our behaviour according to social expectations, I think that's a social phenomenon that happens, more or less, to everyone.

    As to projecting a specific image: it would also depend on what image you select and why you do it, wouldn't it? I alter my behaviour according to who I am around, but more than that, I alter my self-image as well. With the Enneagram, I know I do that because I'm a 3. I've never thought of a socionics basis for it, though if pressed, I would associate it with Intuition.

    I can definitely see how and would you make you more prone to projecting a specific image more noticeably, but I really do think the root of why people craft images (that is, take an active role in shaping their ego) is not and cannot be socionically related.
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    Last edited by Suomea; 09-28-2008 at 12:53 AM.
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    @unefille: you're demonstrating nicely what I call the "isn't everyone like that" syndrome.

    It's so natural for you that you take for granted that everyone is like that, and so "it's not socionically related" (but in which case, why should the enneagram explain it?)

    I assure you that it's "not just about socialisation", and people care about such things to very different degrees.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Expat View Post
    @unefille: you're demonstrating nicely what I call the "isn't everyone like that" syndrome.

    It's so natural for you that you take for granted that everyone is like that, and so "it's not socionically related" (but in which case, why should the enneagram explain it?)

    I assure you that it's "not just about socialisation", and people care about such things to very different degrees.
    Hmm, I'm open to the possibility that not everybody is like that and that it may be relatable to socionics, I'm just trying to grapple with the connection of 'image crafting' to the functions. I suppose I accept it in Enneagram because it's addressed specifically for type 3.

    I think it comes down to how we define our terms. Are we talking about 'altering our image to accommodate our surroundings' generally, or are we talking about being a fantasist, who creates specific identities for themselves which they than act out? If it's the latter, then I would agree that there is definitely a connection to and to the extent that inward focused intuition produces 'images' according to internal stimuli that can be quite subjective and than Fe allows that internal image to be projected through body language and other forms of emotional expressiveness (that's not the word I'm looking for, but I'm struggling to think of it). [And more so, if its the latter case, then it has no necessary connection to E3 (which, of course, isn't what we're talking about anyway).]
    Last edited by unefille; 08-16-2008 at 05:08 PM.
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    Unefile: I was talking about what you would term a “fantasist”. The fact that you agreed with Expat’s “I think it's definitely the + version” shows that we’re talking about the same thing.

    I usually take on a certain "role" for myself based on say, a character from some novel/TV show/etc. that I really enjoy, relate to, or admire … To others it might seem fake, but to me, it's merely a refreshing change.
    You see, you see crafting an image or persona as a good thing, as something to be embraced. You use it to become a new person, to become a better person (at least, that’s how it came across).

    It was different with me. The first time I took on a certain role was simply out of fear - I was getting picked on, so I found someone who I shared characteristics with but was actually popular, and I copied him. I was trying to protect myself, trying to be popular, to have dignity, to be respected etc.

    The irony was that, in trying to copy this particular person, I don’t think I really got it right. A person is so complex, and it’s so hard to emulate them completely.

    So when I tried to craft my image (like you, it was generally from fictional characters), I created a lot of inner tension. A lot of striving to be someone that I wasn’t. Literally, I would force myself not to feel emotions that didn’t correspond with my image, which was perhaps one of the reasons why I became depressed (“depressed” with a small ‘d’; I wouldn’t presume to have been Depressed with a big ‘d‘).

    And the crafting of an image wouldn’t work, either. I didn’t end up looking like the people I wanted to be like. I ended up looking like an idiot, no exaggeration either, sometimes because I just was too unlike my image, or because I was tense and insecure about how I was coming across etc.

    Ultimately though I think that my crafting of an image (started out as copying a guy I knew, and later became copying more and more people) was based in fear. It was about being popular and respected, carrying myself with the dignity that I saw in other (usually fictional) characters. It was about having a kind of spiritual security, because once you have a ‘role’ you have a ‘purpose/meaning/destiny’.

    The thing that I now consider is - what to do about this? I want to be myself, to let myself loose, to really be free from how other people see me or about what they might think of me. I'm coming out of my fear quite nicely, but may I ask if anyone has any pointers?
    Five/Tanzhe

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    That is good advice Diana, thank you

    On another note, I took at look at Rick's description of an EIE - http://socionics.us/types/eie.shtml - and his description had similarities with what I was describing here, and myself as well.
    Five/Tanzhe

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    I've noticed that females, as a whole, take this 'image' thing a bit more to heart. Could have to do with a manipulative media that practically forces them to wear makeup and worry about their weight on a daily basis.

    In most cases one's "image" which they seek to produce is akin to what used to be popularly termed as "vanity". I think paying too much attention (i.e. daily maintenance) to "vanity" is usually a bad habit and quite vain lol

    Also I think the amount of attention one pays to their vanity is heavily influenced by external factors. For example, if you read accounts of 19th century Russian peasants you'll find that they don't really pay heed to their vanity. On the other hand 18th century French Aristocrats did.

    Logical types are just as prone to being "vain" as ethical types, but tend to have less understanding of, and control over it. For example in the careers section of the newspaper there's often advice such as "If you feel depressed at work rather than showing this you should try to seem especially happy! This will improve your chances of keeping your job blah blah blah." This kind of behaviour has a lot to do with projecting an image and is related to vanity. Modifying your daily behaviour like this is not good for you in the long-term, it's like Jung himself said:along the lines of people with disorders tend to be people that were forced to act like a different type than they really were.

    On the positive side being able to understand and control your image (relatively anyways) can lead to good things - see david bowie.

    Finally the higher your social position the more attention you'll tend to find yourself "investing" in your vanity.
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