Friendships and ability to be yourself | INFJ Forum

Friendships and ability to be yourself

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by Gaze, Jan 22, 2012.

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  1. Gaze

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    One of the most difficult things sometimes is find people who make you feel comfortable enough to be yourself naturally without really trying.

    Have you had many friendships like this and how did they develop.



    Do you find it fairly easy to find friends with whom you are very comfortable or is it more difficult because of personality differences.
     
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  2. MisterNi

    MisterNi Community Member

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    I find that most of my friends are as quirky and eccentric as I am or on the flip side as conventional and staid as I am. I like to believe that my friends are a reflection of the contrasting nature of myself.
     
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  3. JGirl

    JGirl no chocolate flavored gum? wow

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    back when i thought i was supposed to have lots of friends like everybody else i had a really hard time.
    i could not fit in. i tried, but it wasn't me and i had a lot of inner turmoil a lot of negative inner dialog that piled up.

    'being myself' set me apart in a negative way for most of my teens and young adult life. finally i decided i didn't care anyway, why was i trying so hard??

    i have pretty much relaxed into who i am. i am now more able to look with objectivity at my actions, my growth, and my interactions with others.
    now those who find me interesting gravitate to me, and those that don't just don't. and that's ok.
    consequently i have few friends, but they are the best people to have in my life at this time and i adore them.
     
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  4. Skarekrow

    Skarekrow ~~DEVIL~~

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    I had quite a few friends back in California...one or two close ones....moved up to Vancouver WA almost 3 years ago...and can say that I don't have any friends except for work friends...it isn't that I couldn't have more if I wanted...I just don't feel like my life is lacking anything by not having anyone close. I feel perfectly comfortable and happy being alone most of the time. Also, for the last 2 of the 3 years after moving up here I was in a bad and very draining marriage...the last year I have been putting myself back together mostly...I had no energy to develop relationships with friends. I have always felt content being alone. Although I still desire to find love in my life, to have a significant other to share my life, and dreams with.
    I have never had a problem being myself around anyone though....Ever since I was younger I have always figured that there will be people who like you and people who don't regardless of what you do or say. If they don't like me, then they don't....big deal...most of the time someone who jumps to conclusions so quickly over whether they like someone or not is not anyone I would like to be acquainted with anyhow.
     
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  5. technics

    On Holiday

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    I usually get along very well with people. And I don't feel like I'm adapting at all. Of course, I adapt, but I don't feel like I'm hiding something or unable to "be myself naturally". I always feel like myself naturally in all sorts of groups.

    I think it's about being that aspect of yourself which exists in the current environment, but not as an effort, but just automatically. So when I work with my ISTJ co-workers we're all very disciplined and I really like how structured they are. And when I'm among FP friends at a party then I'll join in in their fun. And at university among NFs I'm very NF. And at the club with my SP hedonist friends I'm very SP too. And I don't think there's any contradiction among those sides of me. All of that really exists in each of us.
     
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  6. Sriracha

    Sriracha Not here.
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    I make friends easily and with anyone. I'm not entirely picky with potential friends (well, sometimes I am picky I guess)... if they show an interest I'll procure a friendship. It's a slow process of getting to know each other and feeling like what we are revealing is in good balance. They tell me something, I tell them something. I have friends on all different levels, but I always wonder how the other person views the friendship. Our definitions of what a friendship is might be entirely different. I might think it's shallow, when they think we are close.

    The one main commonality with my friends is that we have arrived at a certain stage in our lives. Most of them are mothers or in their 50s.
     
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  7. toska

    toska Community Member

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    This is a huge problem for me
     
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  8. knight in battle

    knight in battle Well-known member

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    My longest and most regularly interactive friendship in real life actually resulted from being in a college class together. I am amazed at how a structured environment provides proximity and duration of exposure required for trust-building. This is a friendship in which I felt relaxed and was able to break many social rules, simply because it was a compatible friendship in which the thing that mattered most was the friendship. Over time, the activities and conversations that maintained the interactions evolved to fit our mutual interests.

    For the most part, one good friend far outweighed the craze of trying to fit in with groups of people with whom I am always guarded, even though I could enjoy a comfortable familiarity and joviality around them.

    Another place where I found the best friends was through chat programs or forums. Some of these friendships have lasted longer - though rarely involving in-person interaction.

    It's rather easy to find comfortable friends, but not necessarily deep or having the same interests. Some are simply comfortable to be around. I can actually tolerate them and not feel guarded. There are those I actually enjoy talking to.

    The ones that are truly compatible and comfortable for a long time, however, require a lot more space and conscientious interaction, because I can see that they are worth the patient effort.
     
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  9. knight in battle

    knight in battle Well-known member

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    Funny you mention being with NFs. At one time I was living with INFs. It was such a "mindful", unspoken interaction system. We could literally just sit together with long periods of silence or conversation. There was plenty of play when it was just us together.
     
  10. knight in battle

    knight in battle Well-known member

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    Ditto. It's tricky when I feel like there's a common hobby or communication style. The problem is I usually care more about hanging out one-on-one without being tied to a specific activity. Some form of exercise, conversation, or activity is always a good catalyst. The persons sometimes try to string other people along that I can do without, or I later discover that we differ on the level of interest in the hobby. I usually go through hobbies in phases and will sometimes require weeks to rest from it. The personality of the person is far more important than the hobby itself.
     
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  11. Griffin

    Griffin Community Member

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    I'm lucky in that I have a group of friends that are quite accepting of who I am, even though we all differ in a lot of ways. I've been told in confidence that even if X was true, the other person would still accept and support who I am. While I am not always confident in being me all of the time, I know that this is because of an internal struggle, and that those around me are on my side as I do my best to come to terms with whatever my problem would be. It took years (as it always does with me) to build the trust I needed to really open up about the things I tend to keep locked away. As for how these relationships developed, I always try to be as accepting to their quirks as they have come to be of mine. Fostering an environment of tolerance and understanding of others' differences is the important thing, I think.
    It really shows when I spot that something I do or say has a completely different result than when someone else says or does the same thing. I'm granted the benefit of the doubt, a pity laugh for a joke that flopped, or a pass when I make an unintentional faux pas. When it happens with the other party in question, while that same level understanding may be there, people tend not to make the same kind of considerations, probably in no small part due to the fact that the established relationship they have with the other person is not one where it's understood that they would do the same for them.

    In short, I gave until i received, and because of that, I have the privilege of receiving and giving, instead of stealing and being robbed.
     
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  12. Vict

    Vict mechanical and habitual agent
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    Myself is fairly removed from conversations and the atmosphere unless I have a specific reason to be engaged.

    I get along best with those who feel safer just being around me and confiding whatever's on their mind. Sometimes I'll summarize their points and offer something to show I was listening/care. I rarely try to draw someone out of self-imposed silence, and when I do it's usually a girl I'm attracted toward.

    Otherwise, I have a few friends who are into activities that keep us occupied. Hiking; swimming; off-roading; literature, video game, or film enthusiasts; etc.
     
  13. Nixie

    Nixie Resurrected

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    I am pretty outgoing when I want to be. I know lots of people and make an effort to be friendly. I have never had trouble making friends.

    I have always been lucky to always have at least one good friend at any given time in my life. I can only be who I am--I am very evasive though. I will talk about events, things and such or direct conversation toward what is going on with the other person. I generally don't talk about my own inner feelings very often and if I do, then that person is a close friend.
     
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  14. MikeINvalid

    MikeINvalid Community Member

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    It feels more natural to be the quiet one when I'm around people... To not speak up much unless it is a topic important to me or something I know that might help people. I am not so introverted that I don't sy anything to people on a regular basis, in fact I make a habit of acknowledging and greeting people I run into that I know. My problem with making friends is the inability to have a sustained conversation with most people. It is very hard for me to get interested in things like following team sports or gossip talk about this or that person. I feel like sometimes my thoughts run too deep sometimes and it's hard to find people with that kind of interest.

    But yeah, I have put on a veneer many times just so I can be heard in a conversation and relate to people around me. Is it the real me? No, I guess not, but I've come to the conclusion that friendship can take many forms and if some end up being temporary then so be it.
     
  15. bubah

    bubah Newbie

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    Knowing who I can be myself around, and who I can open up to about my life has been a major issue for me recently. When I was in grade school, I moved around a lot. I was fairly popular, and people knew who I was and I had a lot of friends, even a few "best-friends," but no one who I felt like I could really let in.
    When I got to college, I had a friend who is an ESTJ. I opened up to him about a lot of things in my life and I not only respected him for listening to me, since I'd always been the listener for others, but also admired his confidence, something I thought I lacked in not being extroverted or assertive. I thought of him as an older brother and I would often tell him directly that I was telling him things I'd never told anyone.

    He WAS a friend, because months later, he told me we couldn't be "close friends" - though I had already made him the closest friend I've ever had. Then he told me there were X amount of people he respected, listed them to me, and told me I could never talk about them. He still thought it was ok to come into my dorm room, choke me out in front of my friends, crack jokes at my expense in front of the other guys while I was fixing his computer, and referred to our previous discussions: "Every shrink needs a shrink. I'm your shrink." Before, I took his jokes, "butt pats," and choke holds as just being playful, since I assumed we had a mutual respect. Afterwards, I couldn't really comprehend them. He often told me I "brought out the worst" in his sarcasm, and I took that to mean he was comfortable being around me. After being put in my place though, it all irritated me - that I would even open up to someone who didn't respect me like that. But I feared that if I stood up for myself, he'd see me as an issue, and would drop me rather than work through it since he always had "better people.
     
  16. Optimist

    Optimist Community Member

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    I have a couple friends I can be free around. A couple guys and one gal. I avoided them all when we first met and then over the time of a few years of moving in the same circles without noticing each other, we all stuck like magnets. I think what happened is we all grew up a little, and I came to a place where I realized I was a mask wearer to everyone I met... and desperately needed to burn those masks. So, I gravitated to the craziest, most eccentric people I knew who had absolutely no concern about how they were perceived.
    The best friends are the ones who don't care about how they are perceived, because that happy abandon is infectious. No, I'm not over it... but it's getting better :)
     
  17. Phebe

    Phebe Regular Poster

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    I haven't had many "hardcore" friendships, but those I did have were very deep and meaningful to me. Sometimes they began through mutual friends, or being part of similar organizations - one was because we were both on the same trip overseas (and she became my best friend). To be honest, I don't quickly glomp onto people and I'm very selective with my friendships. But sometimes I'll stumble upon friends in various places like bookstores, or meetup groups, or through other people, or other organizations. My lasting friendships are usually because we share common loves and tastes, and we connect in some deeper way other than just the mundane everyday stuff.

    Those are the people I can be "real" with and I appreciate them muchly. :)
     
  18. QuietlyBrilliant

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    I often struggle making friends easily mainly because of my inability to open up. I do have two best friends who i can be my complete self around and once I am comfortable around someone, I give everything; my humour, my feelings (hmm not entirely), my care... I think its all based on a trust that they won't judge me for doing something strange or weird because they understand and accept who I am. One of these friends is an INTJ (so just as strange as me :p) the other is an ESFJ which is funny because I recently made a new ESFJ friend who I feel pretty comfrtable around, despite not knowing her long. I dont remember what the orginial post was, seem to have gone off on a tangent (story of my life) but hope this helped in some way. :)
     
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  19. namiasdf

    namiasdf Newbie

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    The people whom I choose to surround myself with all understand that I am an extremely naive, ignorant(socially) and loud person.
    When I'm with people I don't know, my introversion tends to shut me down.
    But otherwise, the people whom I genuinely trust and love to take care of me all know my real side.

    So you just gotta find real people who can understand that you have a loving heart. I am just really bad at showing it and they all know it.

    (At parties I babysit everyone regardless how far gone I am, myself. I take the time to 1v1 social with them, and show them I really do care. Mentoring all their career paths, etc.)

    It takes... Time and consistency. To show that you don't have two faces, and that they are lucky to see your true face, no matter how "rough around the edges" that face might be.
     
  20. bionic

    bionic sexy coconut
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    I make friendships very easily and I'm great in a fairly small group of people. I feel like I'm in an age where I'm so comfortable with myself and who I am as a person, that the confidence really shines through. I don't worry about whether I can be myself or not. I just AM myself. If people don't like who I am and what I bring to the table, then they can just close the door. It's not worth my time to worry since there are a lot more better things for me to do.

    I'm really only attracted toward people that I feel I can flow with. If I can't find an even flow with them then I really don't allow myself to go further. Sometimes you just know when you're with people... and if it can go, then it can go, but if not... then oh well.
     
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