Coming out from Behind the Mask | INFJ Forum

Coming out from Behind the Mask

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by NaeturVindur, Jun 19, 2009.

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  1. NaeturVindur

    NaeturVindur Cuddlemaster
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    I was having an interesting conversation that made me think of something rather important. For years, I can't remember how long, I've been hiding out behind masks (or a very strong persona, for you Jung fans). Lately, however, I've grown very tired constantly acting and lying to everyone about my basic personality. This was before I joined the forum, so you never had the displeasure of meeting that person. We were talking about that comfortable feeling one hopes to achieve in a relationship, and I realized, I don't know what that comfortable feeling is. This acting has become such a part of me, I'm not sure if I could recognize hat part of myself. I do act differently when at home versus when I'm with my friends, but that may just be because there's no one to interact with. I can't tell. So how is someone supposed to find themselves again, if life has made it all but impossible for it to be recognized?
     
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  2. IndigoSensor

    IndigoSensor Product Obtained
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    Truly, it just sort of happens. You slowly start to shift into the more true version of yourself, and isn't until you have been in this process, that you look back and say to yourself "wow, look how far along I have come. How did I do that?". Sadly, this usually happens after a rather unplesent good swift kick in the pants by something.

    I will tell you this though NV, be yourself when you start college. It is so hard to do, but just be true to yourself. I am speaking out of experience. Throwing your weight around, and putting on faces for how you want then to percive you doesn't work in the long term.
     
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  3. sassafras

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    Say what you mean, and mean what you say.

    This basic mantra will find you out yet.
     
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  4. Puck

    Puck Perilous Pixie
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    Try writing a letter from your adopted mask persona to your true self, explaining that you want to hand back the reigns of control, your reasons for doing so and the expectations of what might change. Then write a reply from your true self, thanking your mask persona for their protection and explaining how your life will be different now you are true to yourself.

    I lived as an entirely different person in my late teens. I had a different adopted name and spoke in a different accent - the whole works, so I know where you're coming from and think you're brave facing this change and doing the right thing for yourself. Life behind a mask isn't life at all.
     
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    #4 Puck, Jun 19, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2009
  5. gloomy-optimist

    gloomy-optimist Used to live here

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    I tend to act differently in different situations with different people, so I know what you mean. It gets exhausting, especially when the expectation to be a certain way is there.

    However, you'll know when you're comfortable with yourself. You may not know what that is now, but that's partly because it has to happen first. You have to find the right person.

    In the meantime, try centering yourself -- who are you and what do you find important? What do you want to be, and why? Little questions like that can help you understand who you really are and why you act the way you do
     
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  6. slant

    slant Sedated slanty

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    The title made me think you were coming out of the closet.

    :(

    How deceptive.
     
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  7. anica

    anica dark dreamer
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    There is a part of me I call The Knower. She first showed up during a difficult time in my life filled with a great deal of uncertainty. Whether she is a spirit guide, my true self, or my intuition...whatever...she's as real to me as anyone in my outer life and when I listen to her, I am most at peace with myself, centered, confident, whatever you want to call it. She's most likely to come around when I get too tangled up in approval-seeking behavior or up to my eyeballs in believing my happiness depends on external circumstances and is not something of my own choosing. She then reminds me that I can choose how I think of the circumstances of my life and that the only approval that is meaningful is my own. I know this sounds terribly out there, but so be it.
     
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  8. rainrise

    rainrise Community Member

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    i thought you were coming out of the closet as well and got excited

    anyway, i don't believe anyone truly interacts with every individual the same way. that being said, i also believe that we assume different surface roles in social situations as a way of getting by with perhaps the least resistance in some circumstances (e.g. as a customer, student, caregiver, work roles etc.). most of these circumstances are not fit for genuine interaction, although in many cases they can be a way toward developing one.

    for instance, we may take on politeness as a way of first relating to someone, even if we don't particularly like them at first or agree with them. although politeness is done mainly as social ritual and is quite surface in its execution, it's really important in establishing mutual respect and a root to which deeper bonds of friendship or love can form. another example would be that sometimes we may find ourselves as social chameleons who mirror the other person. yes, we when look at ourselves doing this we may feel somewhat fake and displaced, but i think it does found a mutually friendly atmosphere, thus serving more purpose than just completing the interaction as smoothly as possible.

    politeness and a 'friendly act' can pave the way, but developing beyond social roles requires more reflection and awareness. i think you need to first, of course, be interested in deepening the relationship. also, it may be necessarily to let down your guard so as to have faith that the other person should have the capacity to see you as is. social roles tend to emboss us as well-oiled machines who strive for smooth perfection. letting down the guard then, also can mean showing humility, speaking honestly (but not harshly), and allowing yourself to make mistakes or reveal them. i find that casual quips, a laidback demeanor, and recognition/acceptance of one another's blunders actually brings me closer to others. it makes us more human/real to one another.

    we may find that maybe very few people are open or aware enough to genuinely relate to us without putting on a external face or keeping a guard on how they relate. many times, we ourselves are not aware enough to take down our guard and see that we too are acting a role. we may find ourselves reverting back to old habitual ways that have become readily ingrained like a second nature when it is genuine interaction we actually want. sometimes, it just takes time (time to familiarize, feel safe/comfortable, etc.). other times certain people may not be the best person for us to develop a relationship with.
     
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  9. OP
    NaeturVindur

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    uummmmm...I AM out of the closet people. That much of me I got down. yes people I am
    [​IMG]

    Also, thanks for all the help. HE, I love the idea, it just the only problem, I'm not certain which part is persona and which is Self, so having one of then write a letter would be rather difficult. Also, this has made me come to realize I was over romanticizing this Comfortable feeling (again...).
     
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  10. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    I don't think that sounds out there at all. I know just what you mean. I am familiar with the Knower.


    Helpful Elf's advice is sound, I believe. Nothing helps to find the self more than writing--having a little talk with the self. You may start off addressing the mask, but your real self is bound to show up in the process. I'm very pro-journaling. Take time alone to write down what is important to you. Then write down why it's important to you. You haven't lost yourself, you've just been ignoring yourself. Give yourself some attention and you'll become well acquainted soon.

    And don't modify your personality to accomodate other people. Be yourself, and be kind.
     
  11. Faye

    Faye ^_^
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    You just need to take down your walls, metaphorical walls of course- the ones that keep others out of your personality and that you put up out of fear. These walls form the mask that you act behind. INFJs are fond of walls, but really they are bad.

    Sorry this isn't more eloquent. What you need to do is take down the walls by not running from the things that you are afraid of in a relationship and in letting people to get to know you. When the emotions come, stay with them an examine them. Otherwise, they will control you, and your walls will remain up.

    It is difficult because what I am basically saying is that you have to make yourself vulnerable in order to become comfortable. The walls and the mask provide a sense of security, but that security is detrimental. It is false security, and what really happens is the fear controls you. How can you ever be fully comfortable around someone if you never let them know your self?

    And it seems that you are so uncomfortable with yourself that you don't know who you are anymore because you run from yourself as well. So what you need to do is to be mindful of the things that you are afraid of, and when the fears come, stay with them (in your mind). Only then, after examining them without judging them, will you come to understand them, and ultimately yourself.

    I wish you the best in relationships.
     
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