Hiding one's own self to an extent | INFJ Forum

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Discussion in 'The INFJ Typology' started by just me, Apr 8, 2022.

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  1. just me

    just me GONE

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    Watching Batman as a kid, and Superman, has had lingering thought patterns.

    How many here have done things to help people and kept out of the limelight purposefully? How many have used their gifts and kept their gift to themselves?

    How many have allowed people to use and take advantage of them, knowing they are, and kept quiet and mild? How many of those like this have ever been a walking time bomb? If so, do you have a limit? Can you react in a way nobody else would know it was you?

    How many know things they do not share? Are we still an introvert wearing a mask? How many are like the Hulk? We keep our secrets, and may react in a way our secrets will not be revealed. When we are taken advantage of, we may act a little quietly. Should we reveal ourselves? I personally think not. I think we should keep a cap on the volcano until it erupts, because we can mostly contain it.

    Yet, as happens every now and then, we can become as tornadoes or hurricanes. We may not realize the intensity within ourselves. Maybe someone is trying to get us to explode? I think that would be something should be given a lot of thought.



    I pray for help, but there have been times when whatever it is within us cannot be contained any longer.
    I'm praying.
     
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  2. OP
    just me

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  3. Sandie33

    Sandie33 Love Often & Absolutely ♡
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    I agree. Many folks look at it as a challenge to "open up" an introverted person.
    Over the years I've began calling it "Poking the Bear Syndrome", lol. Where another person just keeps pushing buttons and my politeness runs out and I get loud and loose with my voice. ;)

    Great article just me. :D
     
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  4. Enso

    Enso Community Member

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    I read this post and reflected on it, surprisingly over the years I have become more and more like most people and I don't really hide much and have a more consistent personalty, because the stuff I know is of less value than I thought it meant. I work with another INFJ sometimes and I'm considerably older, and it is kind of crazy to see your own though patterns played out in front of you but by someone else. I don't particularly get a long with her, and I'd probably just freak the crap out of her if I somehow told her I was INFJ (she could well be on these forums). As I have picked up mindfulness practices what I have found is that I was undervaluing myself a lot and that I tended to build a personality around being different, the problem is when you build a personality like that you develop bad patterns and ones that undervalue yourself even if it's just out of non-conformance with the typical western personality.

    When I started to let stuff go in mindfulness practices I realised that I actually didn't want to let go of my maladaptive patterns because they had actually become a part of "me", it was kinda twisted. Similarly with those things we just "pickup" and read other minds, and things like avoiding embarrassment of others etc. Ultimately, it's their fight and it's their lesson to learn. But I see the patterns still on this INFJ acquaintance, and of course I'm still far from perfect. I would say it really does go deep and it really often does have something to do with the way you treat yourself and subsequently the type of people you attract and how they treat you. I can literally overlap an experience I had with the INFJ at work where I simply had to walk away because I couldn't deal with her "stuff" that simply had nothing to do with the present moment and it almost perfectly mimicked an interaction I had with a colleague years ago where he just gave up and walked off. Value is interconnected with the sense of self, which is pretty much what all INFJ's struggle with.

    Anyway, I'm not trying to blame you our project my crap on to you but just something to consider.
     
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  5. John K

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    There's such a lot to say about this @just me - I don't really know where to begin. For a start there is this:

    upload_2022-4-8_13-23-41.png

    But maybe even more of a problem is the way the world is split into sensors and intuitives, and it can be even harder to find a meeting ground between these - the normal everyday sensors have even less insight into intuition than extraverts have into introverts. A reason why INFJs can have a hard time of it is because we live in the shadows of the majority of folks we meet, and we live in theirs, and that makes it hard for us to relate to each other in an empathic way. It's very interesting reading @Enso 's thoughts because mostly we don't come across other INFJs in everyday life and even the other types that we might think are similar are not really. What that means is that, in compensation, we can build our sense of who we are around our seemingly unique perspective, because that's tightly bound up with our self-esteem, and so if we do in fact meet other INFJs, that loss of uniqueness can threaten our identity.

    In my own personal experience, there are cliff-edges within people that are hidden in the darkness of our unconscious minds. If we stumble over them, there can be a long fall and a large bang at the bottom, and it's a hell of a climb back up again. My gut feeling is that we are dealing with something akin to energy and that helps to describe what is happening, and even maybe what to do about it, at least as an aspiration. An analogy - we aren't really surprised when someone goes for a 20 mile hike, climbing up and down 5,000 feet of mountain and ends up exhausted. If they did this on an expedition, every day for a month, then we'd expect they'd need several weeks to fully recover their energy, and we wouldn't dream of demanding that someone who has just done that do it all over again without recovering.

    The thing is that many of the social situations we find ourselves in are using a different sort of energy at the same sort of intensive rate. We don't have aching muscles when we've used it all up, but we can experience an intensifying emotional distress and an increasing emotional resistance. There is a finite amount of this energy within us, and if we use it up more quickly than we replenish it, eventually something will break, and we fall over a cliff. The trouble is that when we don't understand what is happening, all the 'oughts' start to demand that we keep going, and we feel guilty if we don't and those feelings over-ride the distress. Many of these situations involve accommodating other people, and we feel obliged to them, particularly with those close to us, or our work colleagues, or our dependents.

    It helps to understand that we are all finite - to get to know where those cliff-edges are and to keep well clear of them. How to do that? I suspect that in the main those of us who are drawn into excessive commitments to other folks, real or imagined, can only learn through one or two mishaps. It's the same when we learn to walk and talk - we have to learn by trial and error. Having some psychological knowledge helps us understand what has happened and to change the way we manage our emotional commitments, but like all practical skills it needs field experience.

    The sort of crisis I described can happen with all types - for instance workaholics have a very similar issue. I think that there are some more specific issues for INFJs though. We grow up relating to other people by bringing them inside us - that's how our Ni works. When we do that, we bring in all their problems and faults as well as their blessings and virtues. This gives us an inbuilt obligation to them and significant empathy with them. We don't realise that other types don't actually relate to people that way and can be much more superficial in how they do it, so we feel bitterly disappointed when they don't reciprocate, but that's like asking a fish to bark!.

    We INFJs aren't necessarily competent or wise in the way we do this unless we learn from experience, and it can give us major problems. One of these is that we can confuse our own thoughts and feelings with theirs and we run headlong into inner boundary problems - our identity becomes fuzzy and we start to act and react like the other, even if that isn't the way we really are. It takes a lot of hard work emotionally to do it, and it's very draining of that finite energy pool, though we may think it's infinite when we are young (I did!). If we let it run on too long, the energy runs out like I said before. With INFJs, our unconscious minds can take over at this point and evict the intruder from our core self - this is very likely to result in a sudden cliff-edge crisis and even a complete black-hole shut down of relationship with the other person or people. We can no longer tolerate them within us, but we cannot relate to them without having them in there. There is a skill in letting people in, but not across the inner boundary of our identity, and in consciously controlling how much emotional energy we give to it.

    A bit of a ramble so I'll stop there. Fascinating question Just Me.
     
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  6. Wyote

    Wyote Istaqa
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    Don't let anyone live rent free in your head, not even yourself :ghost:
     
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  7. Asa

    Asa Resident palindrome
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    I have a lot of decades of hyper-focusing on helping others and purposely avoiding the limelight behind me.

    I usually slip away right when they think they've secured using me, or I reach a limit where I tell them off (and everyone acts like I'm upset for no reason because they got caught.) My preference is to make a quiet exist, or just say, "No."

    Often. I won't share if I think the person won't listen, or if the person hasn't earned my trust.
    I don't withhold information maliciously.

    I don't consider it a mask. I don't have to be accessible to all people.

    Reveal on a case-by-case basis.

    Long fuse, explosive temper. It's so uncomfortable to lose my temper. I'd rather walk away.
     
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  8. Wildfire

    Wildfire Community Member

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    This topic offers a lot of things to think about.

    I think in broad terms it’s understood that introverts are usually comfortable helping out while receiving little to no attention for it, and it’s not uncommon for them to appreciate some acknowledgement while avoiding the spotlight. But like all people, if they are healthy, they’re going to have something inside that gives them a little nudge and asks them to speak out or push back when they’ve given too much or aren’t honoring themselves in some way. If they ignore the internal nudge, it will continue to grow and can eventually create the kind of anger that leads to the kind of explosion I think you’ve described.

    It seems important to acknowledge that INFJs can have a hard time feeling that internal nudge. We tend to be emersed in the multilayered emotional worlds of those around us and forget how important it is for us to be in touch with our own. It’s often not until after we’ve found ourselves on the brink of combustion, or having already exploded all over the place, that we stop to look at this phenomenon.

    I think consciousness around what’s occurring is key. Learning to value ourselves and our human experience, and then embracing those aspects of ourselves that can only be retrieved through feeling our feelings is imperative. And then, when you start living in greater alignment with your truth, you don’t have the same experience of having to hide yourself in the ways you’ve described above.
     
  9. OP
    just me

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    Sorry, but in my somewhat rebuilding state of mind and resting, I get lost with this right now.
     
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  10. Wyote

    Wyote Istaqa
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    It's ok, it wasn't about you
     
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  11. OP
    just me

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    Great replies, all. I need to leave it for now.

    Thank you all for this place and each of you, as it has helped me to keep going for many years.
     
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    #11 just me, Apr 9, 2022
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2022
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  12. David Nelson

    David Nelson Permanent Fixture

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    Personally speaking I wouldn’t mind a bit of limelight and I only help some people that I choose to help. I think the self-sacrificial aspect of INFJs is overdone. Ni makes us goal oriented.

    The thing that bugs me is how sensors tend to think they know us, when they really don’t have much clue. You’d think they would find us a mystery, but maybe we contribute to their false impressions via our chamaeleon natures.
     
  13. Sometimes Yeah

    Sometimes Yeah Permanent Fixture

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    My friends seem to see me as some sort of hedonistic "work hard, play harder" caricatures. Admittedly, I had acted hedonistically up until about a year ago, but something has changed. I want to forsake all the superficial bullshit and maybe become a monk in some Catholic monastery.

    A bit like the OP, when girls are flirting with me, I sort of play along, but inside I feel like it's stealing away what really matters to me, and I have a brewing resentment of the over-materialistic and over-sexualised attitudes of the people around me. I've talked to a few women about the shallowness of casual sex, and the bigger meaning of life, only to see a weird confusion in their eyes: is he gay, wanting commitment, is he crazy, or is he right?

    Anyhow, you're not alone in having a weird dissonance between your social expectations and your true feelings. At least, if I become a monk, presumably the religious garb lets people know what my real priorities are. I don't know if there's something similar for the OP's situation.
     
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  14. OP
    just me

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    I often wonder when we will become who we are.
     
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  15. OP
    just me

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    @Sometimes Yeah, I have gone to great extremes to understand. I have burrowed endlessly to see the underneath of things. There are few people burrowing, so I have found great comfort when doing so. God heard my prayers and tried to wipe away the tears. I am on a much better path, and a few people I have let in allow me to try to be myself. Being different and having different needs is not seemingly misunderstood by everyone. I have thought "monk" in earlier years.
     
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  16. OP
    just me

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    Being a very spiritual infj and an adult one(old), I see self-sacrifice as a large part of my being. Maybe the wisdom I have studied helped to mold me like this.
     
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  17. Enso

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    It has been my experience that the concept of self-sacrifice doesn't quiet work the way it seems. In order to make the decision of self-sacrifice one has to value the others perspective over ones perspective. In doing so you have created a value hierarchy that sets all the shit in motion.

    A crude example is pickup artists, the ones that use a lot of talk to get a women in bed, they are essentially remoulding the women's abstract value hierarchy, as the pickup artist systematically shows fake indicators to suggest he is of high value and the women is below him, and it induces a chase of the guy as he is perceived as higher value. Of course these are abstracts, no one can actually value a human being. People like Jordan Peterson have mentioned this before, just because someone has a low IQ doesn't mean they are of less value (I believe JP cried over this point). However, if you look at social science research you see that people can generally agree on who are the higher value people in the room, but no one knows who is the highest because it's an abstraction that simply isn't real. Nevertheless, do not underestimate what you are likely doing, this is why you need to focus on yourself before you can serve others, as you will not even subconsciously engage in a hierarchy and thus it doesn't set the shit in motion. If you value yourself lower than the other than they will treat you as such. It's the typical airplane metaphor, put the oxygen mask on yourself before your child otherwise you're no use to anyone.

    The key is self compassion to not put others over oneself.
     
    #17 Enso, Apr 10, 2022
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2022
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  18. David Nelson

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    I find I always look for the truth beneath things, and it’s often quite different from what most think it is. This has led to me writing 2 books and developing a new product, all in progress. Its tiring though, it’s like we can’t just be happy with good or average. I’d probably have a fairly happy, normal life if I was easier to please. Or maybe not. I think I’ll only be better understood once my projects get some success and positive feedback from others. Due to Fe and lack of Fi I think our hearts need the recognition and love of others. Ni-Ti is our engine room, but we thrive on Fe. A monks life would be hell for me, even though I’m not far from it much of the time. Maybe some nuns would find the habit sexy lol

    In a largely SJ world, we probably only get true recognition and respect via our achievements being made concrete. Without that, we are probably just seen as cranks and upstarts. SJs on their own would still be in caves lol
     
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  19. Jexocuha

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    I have an issue with the idea of "hiding oneself" because it carries a connotation that most or all people are inauthentic, regardless of type, and complete openness and transparency of individuals is preferable. Life is a game. It doesn't mean it's not serious or meaningful. Games played in this world can be extremely dangerous or fun; but they are games none the less. I think people do what they do in life and are who they are, not necessarily because they want to be but because they have to be. And if it requires tailoring one's own style of expression to not draw unwanted/unneeded attention to oneself, to fit the cultural furniture, to carry-on, then fine. I don't see this as dishonest or inauthentic(and especially not in a harmful way), but I see it as necessary for reaching means and ends within established boundaries.

    I have come to also expect that hardly anyone will really know who you are, but it is not something particular to being an INFJ - to me this is how life is. Most people do this, whether they are fully aware of it or not, and it makes a lot of sense. What is particular to the INFJ, imo, is the style and the level of cognizance that an INFJ has over these matters. The only types that I have felt totally authentic with, and who I felt totally understood by, are INTPs and INTJs. They actually can see me as I am, and it's totally clear. And it's an impersonal yet mutually understood form of acceptance too. Perhaps I could say INFJ too, but I don't know any other INFJs outside of the forum; but I get that vibe sometimes from other INFJs too. The only difference with INFJs(and sometimes with INTJs) is I get a feeling of not wanting to disturb them, and it's out of respect. [From an outside perspective] INFJs seem so focused on their perspective, and they could be right and often are, that I hesitate to share much because it feels like "they already know". Also, INFJs tend to get lost in the actual words or style being conveyed and can miss the message[and I confess of being guilty of this too]. But I do appreciate their patience and willingness at times to listen(which I'm thinking may be one of their greater strengths). But overall, I believe we are all, more or less, on our own having to navigate through life situations.

    Another note: I also believe culture and cultural expectations play a huge role in this authenticity question, and this aspect doesn't get enough consideration, imo. I find that you can say the very same message in a number of different ways, but people will tend to understand it or care to hear it differently depending on the style and context of its delivery. Does changing your mode of expression change who you are or what you are about? Not really, but I think, similar to when translating from one language to another, a lot of the impact, flavor, and richness gets watered down or lost in the process of translation.
     
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  20. David Nelson

    David Nelson Permanent Fixture

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    I feel that romantically with the right person I would be ok with being self-sacrificial, in healthy ways obvs. Much deep happiness would come from such a bond with a soul mate. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for the right person, except murder or the like lol. This is often claimed to be how INFJs ruin relationships, by being too giving, but I hope that with the right person it would be fully appreciated.
     
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