INFJ and bullying | INFJ Forum

INFJ and bullying

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by Nat, Feb 2, 2009.

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  1. Nat

    Nat Newbie

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    What makes INFJs a target for bullying? What exactly do we do that encourages other people to be cruel to us? I mean, aren't we supposed to be the warmer, most empathetic type?

    I often get yelled at - seriously attacked - for not showing emotion (I find it funny that these same people are not more surprised that I try not to interact with them for fear of being rejected) and am told by others that I'm miserable. [I'm not miserable - I'm either listening intently to you or thinking about something.]

    What is it about us that makes us so misunderstood?
     
  2. alcyone

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    LOL....Okay, not laughing at you...rather laughing ironically.

    Your answer ...about what makes us so misunderstood...Is all over this forum and in the various threads.

    This, my friend, does not have one simple answer. Kinda like the meaning of life, you can glean little bits of understanding from all over. A forum like this just concentrates all those little bits in one handy place.

    I recommend you pick up a chair, get yourself some munchies, and start reading. Everyone here holds a piece of the puzzle and with the rest of us you can start to get a glimpse of the picture.
     
  3. gOpHeR

    gOpHeR Community Member

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    I'd say a natural dislike for conflict can bring on bullying. People like to start a fight they think they can win.

    As for being misunderstood, you will find that in any type. People are so diverse that no matter how intuitive or empathetic anyone is, nothing human is absolute. Questions like these are most likely to be answered (or answered as best as they can be) on a case by case basis.
     
    #3 gOpHeR, Feb 2, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2009
  4. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Permanent Fixture

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    Well my guess here is that INFJs as children tend to not be interested so much in participating in social games which most others are inherently interested in. As such it is easy for others to cast the INJs as the outsider, and in order to ensure unity the group must thusly pick on the outsider -- because attacking other groups requires too much effort.

    Also since the person is already an outsider, they must struggle disproportionately hard in order to gain acceptance. Some don't I suppose. And because the INFJ is more interested in forming and shaping his internal world, he remains slightly remote - sometimes withdrawing to regain energy lost in the transaction. The INFJ will thus often develop either outwardly or inwardly as a result.

    The inward directed INFJ is more artistic and sensitive. Whereas the outward INFJ uses his Fe to reach out and take control of the environment through any number of means (playing roles, mobilizing, etc) while still retaining some of his creativity, but exercising them from within the bounds of his social norms. This is often where our Fe comes into play, to balance out the passivity of our main function, which percieves only inwardly.

    As an adult, i've been thrust into many situations where I had to do everything within my power to resist a domineering opponent, or play the martyr or hero and expose the injustices of my opponent (often to the support of acquaintances and random other people, who I did not know would support me in these situations). Its quite difficult, but prevents people from thinking I'm safe to use as a dumping ground for their negativity.
     
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    #4 Zero Angel, Feb 2, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2009
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  5. ZenCat

    ZenCat Waving Sage

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    Wow. I'm sorry to hear about this.

    I have never had this experience myself. I mean, a certain amount of bullying is normal in childhood/teenage years, but I never endured it for long, and I never felt I was a particular target or if I was targeted, I fought back (and won). My adolescent son is also an INFJ, and I know that there have been a few times when some have tried to target him for bullying, and he made it clear that it was not going to happen, and it stopped. In fact, he's known for standing up for his more timid friends against bullying at his school.

    But perhaps it is because - despite solidly being an INFJ - I have never been accused of not showing emotion (quite the contrary). Or perhaps it could be that because we are so sensitive, we interpret people's statements as bullying and take them to heart more than a lot of people.

    I'm not sure.

    I just hope things get better for you :)
     
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  6. efromm

    efromm Hiding In My Shell...
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    Our silence and our ability to know what we know makes others uneasy about us. I got the shit beat outta of me as a kid, and teased all the time. As an adult people fear me now. I like it better when they fear me! I got tired of being the punching bag. Don't let the others make you feel bad. They are bad...
     
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  7. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    Personally I think a lot of INFJs bring it on themselves. If you don't set clear boundaries then there will be people who will infringe on your rights and treat you poorly. An INFJ, because of their silent and relatively laid back nature, must choose not to be passive, but rather to seek to be assertive in their dealings with others.
     
  8. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Permanent Fixture

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    Indeed. Sometimes its as simple as voicing that you don't want to be treated a certain way.
     
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  9. efromm

    efromm Hiding In My Shell...
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    LOL then obviously you have never been on the ground getting the crap kicked outta ya by a bunch of kids. I set up plenty of boundaries no one cared. I was a pussy to them and when there was just me. That's all there was. And as an adult when you voice your opinions your called bossy or an asshole. It's a no win situation. Our passions can get us into trouble because others don't see it as passion just an assertive jerk shooting off his mouth... I don't know exactly why I am even explaining this... All I can say is I feel this mans pain. No one deserves to be beaten up by anyone! Mentally or physically it's wrong! And the damage done to us by others is unjustified! Like me or hate me, I really don't give a FUCK!...
     
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    #9 efromm, Feb 2, 2009
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  10. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    I've been bullied a great deal over my life as well, but I have to take a certain amount of responsibility for that because I wasn't always clear in the beginning about what I would tolerate and what I wouldn't. And when people started beating me down that was the time for me to stand up for myself. My point is simply that if you can't respect yourself then nobody else can. And there will always be people out there who will try to tear you down so that they can feel better about themselves, but the fact of the matter is that you don't have to let them. You don't have to listen to or hang around people who verbally attack you and if anyone lays a hand on you, that is assault and they can be looking at doing some hard time. If I knew back in high school what I know now, then I could have spared myself a hell of a lot of ass whoopings just by demanding the school record every incident. Hell, I could probably pay my way through college with all the law suit winnings I would have. Bullys exist to take power and control away from people, but we live in a society that doesn't tolerate that kind of coercion and I don't have to tolerate it either.
     
    #10 Satya, Feb 2, 2009
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  11. HolySmoke

    HolySmoke endeavoring to persevere

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    And I am sorry to hear that....However, on your last point, it may simply not be entirely true, just your opinion and experience to date. I'm sure you have lots and lots of examples of how this is so. I believe that.

    Look, I have seen a lot of people who have been good to others only to have them not care or acknowledge it. They are more hung up, for lack of an euphenism, on the opinions of those with whom they have toxic relationships. That is the thorn in the side afterall and although it is entirely understandable, it is still a choice. It doesn't really bode well in their overall feelings towards humanity at large.

    k...just providing some food for thought. I won't be engaging further because I am simply needing to get back to my real job.
     
    #11 HolySmoke, Feb 2, 2009
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  12. TK*

    TK* Community Member

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    Well... I can say that at school and around peers I was never bullied. In fact, it was quite the opposite. I almost got suspended from middle school for beating up some kid on the school bus, lol. I wasn't a bully...I only fought if provoked, and I liked beating up the kids who were picking on the weaker ones.

    With adults (namely my parents) I was "bullied" quite a bit, though. Now as an adult, I've finally been able to stand up to them. Like Satya said, set up boundaries for what you will and will not tolerate.
     
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  13. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    This isn't about being "good" to others. It's about being good to yourself. If you choose to hang around toxic people, then you are setting yourself up to suffer. I have had many, many toxic relationships, and one of my hardest earned lessons is that the best thing for everyone involved is to let it go. Not every relationship is worth saving, and some are just better left to die.
     
  14. v.shadow

    v.shadow Community Member

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    heh, I have been bullied a lot (only last year, anyways) and I think the reason we are targeted are our silence and our fear of doing/saying things. last year for example I tolerated a lot of crap from the "popular group" at school for a long time, until I finally exploded in anger. at the end I let them know what I thought about them and talked about it with my teachers, so they weren't able to say things to me cause now everyone knew about it, and the bullies knew that I would talk to their parents and make a real thing about it if they kept doing it. my advice to you is don't let them go any further with that. if you can, talk with them and let them know you won't stand it any more. if that doesn't work, talk to the teachers that care about it or your parents to settle it down. don't worry about being called a telltale or something, it's better than keeping quiet and doing nothing about it.
     
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  15. danielson

    danielson Newbie

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    Any introvert is a target, this coupled with the fact that we are often seen as stuck up makes us a good mark.

    At the end of the day you have to be willing to punch somebody in the face. Even if you loose you will be respected for it, word will get around and you will be taken off the easy target list
     
  16. KingOfSpades

    KingOfSpades Community Member

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    I tend to agree that bullying requires some consent on the part of the person being bullied, no matter how tacit. It's about learning how to respect yourself. There is a fear element, definitely -- fear of being physically abused -- but I think that plays into respect. I was bullied growing up and part of it was fear of thinking that I could be treated better than being bullied.

    Martial arts really helped my self-confidence and gave me a sense of being grounded. I can't speak too highly of some type of martial arts class if you have self-esteem issues or are bullied.
     
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  17. OP
    Nat

    Nat Newbie

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    I don't think I ever gave tacit consent. I was too busy trying to work out what is was about me that made me a target? I was raised to always be nice to people and I thought if I was nice, they'd be nice back to me - simple, right?

    But I've found that people are willing to be mean and manipulative when you haven't done anything to them and I just don't get it. Why is that their default position? Why don't they start out respectfully and kind in their interactions like they do with everyone else?
    Is it because people generally can't handle differences or they fear people and things they don't understand?

    I just found it odd that because I'm a thinker that made me bad or inferior in some way.

    Sigh...just wondering if anyone else had insight into this.

    Doesn't really bother me anymore. I have a ferocious temper about this sort of stuff nowadays and the good thing about being an adult, in control of adult situations and my environment, is that I can tear shreads off people like this now - especially with my INFJ gift for language. And I find it easy to walk away from bad relationships because, as an INFJ, I don't fear spending time alone.
     
  18. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    The simple answer is that they usually find it funny. People often like to laugh at other people's expense. Most people outgrow the mentality in elementary school but some carry it all the way into their adult years and revel in making other people feel miserable about themselves just because they find it amusing.

    As an adult, I'm astonished I ever let people like that get to me because they are simply pathetic. Just think of the little kid on the playground who always liked to taunt others by doing dumb things like making fun of their names and that is pretty much what those kind of people are. They simply refuse or are incapable of growing up and thus lack the maturity to be considerate adults. They get the same kind of enjoyment out of being mean to others as a child would get out of frying ants with a magnifying glass.
     
  19. Naxx

    Naxx Permanent Fixture

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    Look them in the eyes and judge their soul.
    It shows them they cannot hide anything from you.

    Potential Bullies are scared off quickest by this, as they often carry a shameful complex they're trying desperately to hide.
     
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  20. Bored Now

    On Holiday

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    I was bullied but I brought it on myself for the most part. I was always sticking my nose to other people's business and fighting other people's battles for them. When I kept my fat trap shut, I was really popular. But when I told my popular friends that they were shallow and cruel and then started hanging out with the outcasts, they turned on me hardcore. They were meaner to me than they were the people I stuck up for.

    I can see now that they felt judged (that J served me badly when I was younger) and rejected, but I just wanted everyone to get along.

    Whatever, I don't hold it against anybody. It was a long time ago and it taught me empathy and compassion. I wouldn't change a thing, if I had it to do all over again. Not even the bullying.
     
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