How to create connection and community | INFJ Forum

How to create connection and community

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by slant, Jan 25, 2021.

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  1. slant

    slant M O U L T I N G
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    This is a bit of a general thread, but I was interested in hearing everyone's thoughts.

    Human connection on an individual level and community level is one of the most important markers for mental and physical health. That's an opinion of mine, and I know it's debatable, but there is a lot to be said about what it feels like to be disconnected and lonely vs feeling like you belong and connecting with others.

    One of the predominant themes of the INFJ personality description is this sense of ostracization from society, of feeling different, not fitting in, being on the outside looking in. INFJs often find it hard to feel connected to others, even if those people feel connected to them.

    In this thread I wanted to discuss connection and community.

    How do you connect? What steps have you taken, what has worked for you?

    How do you build a community, what are traits of a healthy community? What things do you like in a community/require to feel at home there?

    I Have a lot of thoughts myself but I want to hear from you all first. Think of this thread as a guided prompt; you do not need to specifically answer the questions I asked, they are just to help your mind wander in the right direction. I am wanting to hear about people's experience and feelings about connecting and potential ways to connect and solutions for feeling unable to do so. I feel like this topic comes up so often it would be nice to discuss how we CAN connect as opposed to why we're not.

    Ps can somebody fix the title, I dun goofed. Thanks!!
     
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  2. Rit4lin

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    Fixed it :D

    I'll get around to answering this later, when I have time
     
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  3. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    As long as I have just a few close relationships, I don't feel lonely or lacking for community. I remember being a kid and moving around a lot and asking my mom one day how to make friends. She suggested I take my craft box outside and make some bracelets. That people would come around, then. (I was really into friendship bracelets then lol). And that's what I did..I sat on the first floor balcony with my craft box and worked on my bracelets until I forgot I was trying to make friends and then I noticed kids started to come up and see what I was doing. Then I made friends and got involved with the neighborhood kids. I think I still abide by this to a degree. I tend to focus on my objectives and yet also make myself available, or put myself out there. I have been working from home for years so I don't regularly interact with co-workers. I've had former co-workers in this job tell me before that was very difficult for them but I think I thrive that way. Even when I did work in an office with coworkers I preferred to keep to myself and focus on my work. I did make friends at work (I met my best friend at work years before I started working from home) eventually but I never really went out of my way to do it. It just happened organically while I was focusing on my work, yet still being friendly with everyone. I guess I'm saying friendship happens when you don't really make a point to make friends--but when you focus on your interests and goals while putting yourself out there and being friendly. At least in my experience.
     
    #3 acd, Jan 25, 2021
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  4. OP
    slant

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    This is an interesting experience! I think the "friendly and available" part is key, because for me I tend to throw myself into my hobbies and distracting activities when I'm deep pain and they become activities that separate me from others. All I will care about is things and skills and getting better at them and I will drop all social obligations as well as rebuff any attempts for others to see socialize because my main priority becomes these tasks and it's a terrible cycle.

    My experience has been that to make friends and community I have to mindfully do so, because when I'm in the middle of a hobby or task I really don't want to be distracted. I also don't like sharing my hobbies with others. I dated someone who wanted to go to the gym together and I refused; I like to do "my things" on my own. When I'm with others it's a deliberate, planned out activity.

    I guess that's important to note too; there is no "universal recipe" for how to connect or how we connect. I think that's why they have love languages for example because those differences were common enough to be able to identify that some people like x and some people like y.

    Which is why I think it's so fascinating and important to discuss these things so that we can see all of our unique differences and appreciate them and maybe in understanding others we can better connect with them on their terms.
     
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  5. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    Makes sense. I oddly find that the more I try to connect with people and get them to like me, the less successful I am. If I just do my own thing people always seem to come along in my obliviousness-- but I'm glad to welcome them instead of being distracted. I do need a lot of alone time to spend on my interests though so there's a balance to be found for that. For me, focusing on trying to make friends just means I act weird lol. But I'm also pretty introverted.
     
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  6. Tris

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    Quality over quantity. I believe there are plenty of people who masquerade as "kind" folks so I'm a bit discerning for who I pull for my inner circle. I think connection will happen depending on what strikes a chord with you and enough "familiarity"/similarities that you feel comfortable with someone. Some people are just intuitively better at reading people in general or specific people, and these people can be quite talented at building bridges that connect others (if willing). I've opened up slowly in my own ways at the pace in which I feel good with. What's worked for me is following my gut about people but tempering it with observations because people often lie (sometimes intentionally and sometimes unaware of themselves). If you watch people's actions it often tells you everything you need to know about them. I think matching values is somewhat of a necessary pre-requisite to a degree. I think fostering a community where people are genuinely compassionate towards each other, with shared experiences, willingness to share vulnerabilities and jokes help with this. However, I do think a real connection also means calling people out on their bullshit at times and assisting them in seeing them in flaws in their reasoning/thinking/perspective/behaviors - people who inspire growth in ourselves.
     
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  7. OP
    slant

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    Do you feel that you perceive the world or people at large as untrustworthy?
     
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  8. Tris

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    Not sure if that's a good way of putting it as much as I think this is a condition of human nature. In general, a person's own narrative is unreliable/untrustworthy. Everyone has their own subjective bias and we all like to be the heroes of on our stories. Many people would rather be written as the hero in their story rather than acknowledge their flaws. But a real connection means a tribe/community committed to your continual growth and telling you when your narrative is inaccurate.
     
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  9. OP
    slant

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    The reason I ask is because you post mentions that people often lie and that you watch people's actions to know everything you need to know about them. It sounds like a lack of trust/suspicion of others. Also note that I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that either, I'm just trying to get you to elaborate on that aspect more
     
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  10. GreenTea

    GreenTea Community Member

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    A few things that have helped me feel more connected within my community:

    I live in a small community and saying hello to people I meet in the neighbourhood. Some people I know a bit better and we sometimes stop to talk a few minutes. I don't expect anything from these interactions or want to force a friendship but even saying hello feels good.

    There's a few older people in my area and if I see them I sometimes ask them if they need anything from the shops. Also, if they seem lonely I try to spend a little time with them and listen to what they have to say.

    I'm trying to support businesses in the community by shopping locally. It's a bit more expensive but I think it would be a loss to the community if these shops closed. The human interaction in these local shops is nice and I notice that I feel more connected when shopping locally.
     
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  11. Tris

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    I suppose you can think of it that way. Depends on a matter of perspective - I'm of the opinion not everyone deserves your trust and that to a degree, trust should be earned and not freely given. I'm sure some other people would disagree with this notion. Do you just let anyone come into your candy store and steal everything? :tearsofjoy: Hahaha because I certainly wouldn't unless I've vetted someone personally. Someone else's favorable opinion of an individual may not change my opinion of that person. Trust is important in any foundation of a connection. If that trust is gone, your connection is fair game to end
     
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  12. philostam

    philostam Permanent Fixture

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    I am an expert in not creating connection and community, so you can just do the opposite of what I do.

    What I do is: Appear cold and only talk if spoken to. Never go out of your way to initiate any contact. Have the air of superiority and cool detachment.

    Granted, there are some people that do seem to stick around with for some reason, and with those you usually connect on a deep level.
     
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  13. OP
    slant

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    Curious- do you live alone?
     
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  14. philostam

    philostam Permanent Fixture

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    No, I live with a girlfriend. Besides her I have two good friends and a few other casual acquaintances.

    To be honest, intimacy/connection is not really that hard to build if the other party is interested in it. You just need to share some personal details, ask personal questions, listen without judgement, give them feedback etc.

    Community, I have no idea how to build.
     
  15. OP
    slant

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    I was just curious, because I notice that people who live with others/a family don't tend to have as much longing for social connection than people who live alone.

    My mom says a lot of the same things that you say in response to me saying that people need a community, not realizing that her community is her household. If you live alone you are alone most of the time unless you seek interaction outside of your household and I think that's an important distinction to make.

    In my opinion it's almost a privilege to live with others in a situation that is not toxic. Living alone can be very isolating.
     
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  16. philostam

    philostam Permanent Fixture

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    Yeah, you're 100% right. Living with someone is great because you have your social needs fulfilled, so you can focus on other things instead.

    When I was living alone, I was often daydreaming about being with others.
     
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  17. philostam

    philostam Permanent Fixture

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    By the way @slant, which MBTI type you currently identify with?
     
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  18. OP
    slant

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    I have no idea lol
     
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  19. philostam

    philostam Permanent Fixture

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    It's just interesting to see your transformation during my irregular stay on this forum. When I first joined you almost came across as an ESTP or something. You were very, hmm, sexual lol.

    I think over time you calmed down and found yourself. You seem like an INFP to me now.
     
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  20. OP
    slant

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    Well I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that in 2019 I had lost 145+ lbs and for the first time was able to date and as an adult and explore that area of my life. I was let's see 25/26 so that was really a big delay, I think if you put it in the context that my developmental level in that area was probably at the 16 year old stage it makes a lot of sense.

    I've gotten INFP a lot and ENFP when others type me. I identified as both for a period of time; not both at the same time, I mean I switched between the two. Eventually I got super frustrated when people would say things to me like

    "WELL because you're an ENFP..."

    "BECAUSE your third function is xyz..."

    It was like, bitch, you dont know me, I don't even know me, so you definitely don't know me lol
     
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