Living my life | INFJ Forum

Living my life

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by goldfinch, Aug 4, 2009.

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  1. goldfinch

    goldfinch Community Member

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    So I learned long ago (around middle school) that I am weird and different and if I want to have friends and fit in with society I need to project a different persona. I learned to do that, I had fairly social high school and college years, found someone to marry, and have lots of long term friendships.

    But I
     
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  2. Nela

    Nela Community Member

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    Well from reading this I get the impression that you are obviously not happy in your current situation. You experience trying to be someone you are not as very tiring. Personally I think it is going to be very hard to come to peace with yourself if you are not honest to yourself about who you are.

    You are afraid that you'll screw it up if you show more of yourself, but maybe people will be more understanding than you expect? One important thing I've learned however is this: That your friends or relatives don't always understand you doesn't mean that they don't care about you! It's worth it to try to explain certain things about yourself to them. I know it is a clich
     
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  3. arbygil

    arbygil Passing through

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    Well, this is a good place to start. We're pretty open here, and you don't know any of us from adam so...being authentic here will be safe. I can only tell you based on my time on earth that it doesn't get easier to "hide" that persona when you age. I think we become more of who we are when we age, not less.

    If you're still married, the first person you probably need to discuss this with is your husband. We all have midlife "crisis" times, but it's no reason to be totally crazy and run off with the cabana boy for a torrid affair (hmmm...no, no! Focus, Arby, focus!).

    In the end, it's not up to anyone else but yourself. The only person you need to be is you. And if you've been putting up a false front all these years, then you need to find the real you - and find people who will support the REAL you. Find an organization or a club or a venue that allows you to be you. Join a meetup. Take up a new hobby to help express the new you. Create a journal or blog on this website or on other websites and invite people to read your thoughts. Some journaling websites even become communities where people with similar interests can become friends (Livejournal is one - I hesitate to use Myspace or Facebook because those are swarming with young'uns and I can't stand all the IM'speak and bright shiny things.

    But be who you are...and the rest will follow. :mlove2::m159:
     
  4. AUM

    AUM The Romantic Scientist

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  5. Quest

    Quest Community Member

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    Hey Goldfinch :-]. Whatever it is that you feel people won’t accept, will make them look down on you, think differently of you or not want to have anything to do with you anymore if you tell them, you have to come out with it. Don’t be troubled by what they’ll say or think. You’ll find that there’ll be at least one person, a good friend who’ll understand and stick by you (maybe not immediately, but he/she will) as that’s what a good friend’ll do, come what may. And if it does turn out that you lose all your friends, count it as a blessing (and I know it’s easier said than done) because now you’ll know that those people were never your friends to begin with. You should not let that sadden you in any way. It seems like you’re only worried about your friends’ reactions. What about your husband…does he know? He probably does. A lot of times we think we can keep thing from people close to us, but we often slip and give them clues –unintentionally: it’s likely he knows already, although you haven’t told him. So he may not even be surprised/too surprised when you tell him –b/c he already knows. But it’s up to you to actually sit down and tell him. I do hope he and your friends understand. And if no one does, know that a girl on infjs.com does and is crossing her fingers for you so everything works out fine. And I’m sure everyone here’ll be doing the same. You’ll not be screwing anything up; all you’ll be doing is being true to Goldfinch. No other choice. I mean you can continue living the way you’ve been living (but you’re tired of that and you know if you do that you’ll never be happy…you already know that), pack up and leave and start a new life somewhere else (pretty sure you don’t want to do that and I’m sure you’re better than that), so that leaves us with one other reasonable option which once again, you already know: face this and be true to who you are. And you can’t be tired of living. Sometimes we think our problems are so big, till we hear other people’s. So think of this as just a lil’ hurdle you have to climb over and once you climb over it, you’ll get closer to where you need to be. I hope all goes well.
     
  6. OP
    goldfinch

    goldfinch Community Member

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    Wow, thank you all for your great support. I didn't know what to expect, but I forced myself to post and I convinced myself that I wouldn't necessarily get negative feedback, but just to take whatever you guys give. And you gave great stuff. I really appreciate it.

    It's true that even if no one understands they still might care about me. One friend did actually say that, "I know I have to put up with my friends' idiosyncrasies." Not exactly tactful, but true!

    And it's true that sometimes it's easier to be authentic with strangers. I was on a cruise last year and I met a woman who was Canadian but living in the US. I was so open with her and she was so interested in me, really drawing me out of my shell. It was easy because I knew when the week was up I wouldn't see her again.

    As for running off with the cabana boy, I have no intention of that! I love my husband, I would never leave him. He doesn't quite understand me, but I think, in his case, it's kind of humorous. Maybe because I love him, I give him some slack. He'll come right out and say, "I don't get you." But I know he loves me back, so it's ok. Maybe I need to let more of myself out around him, I do hold back. That's a good first step.

    I do have a blog out there in cyberspace, and I communicate with great people through my blog and through theirs. It's not the same as real life, but it's good. I also do a lot of volunteer work, always hoping to meet people like me. I'm a court appointed advocate for a foster child, and I'm currently in training to work on our county's crisis hotline. That just started last night and I met a woman who was very nice. Maybe something will come of this.

    Thank you all again, your support is a great motivator to moving me forward toward my goal.
     
  7. sassafras

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    I'm sorry that you felt that you needed to hide yourself for all these years. It irks me how Society is capable of making the sweetest, most genuine people feel like they're abnormal or undervalued because they don't fit some sort of socially constructed mold. But I'm glad to hear that you're prepared to shed that armor and show the world the real you.

    Hmm. Are you sure it's because they think they consider your authentic traits strange in themselves, or do they consider it weird because they're used to a certain version of you and the traits you're suddenly projecting are inconsistent with what they know about you? That's a rather marked difference, and a very important point to ponder.

    Mind, this is a difficult situation to be in. I do not envy you, but I think the other posters are right. If you aren't true to yourself, you're not going to be very happy; you're always going to know that you're putting on a mask, and that mask is all your friends and family know about you. You're not only cheating yourself, you're cheating them out of the opportunity to see what a truly wonderful person you are.

    Granted, you're probably going to confuse a lot of people. They might wonder why you've hid your authentic self from them for so long, but this is your opportunity to see who your true friends are. It's never easy to confront issues when you're not certain whether you're going to get everyone's support, but authenticity is important, and obviously you are realizing that about yourself now.


    That's quite a bit of black and white thinking. You're assuming that your authentic self is 'not normal' because you've hid it for so long, while the act is "normal" because you've already socialized with it and it got you where you are today. Perhaps in the past you weren't ready to deal with society without a bit of armor on, but that doesn't mean that there was essentially anything wrong with who you are.

    Then again, two choices are quite the rigid ultimatum. Why not meet in the middle? Take the best of your two personalities and let your identity naturalize. Likely, your "act," as you call it, is probably just as much a part of you as your "authentic" self. We all have our quirks in our personalities; we don't need to split them between 'real' and 'unreal.' Just accept that sometimes we behave differently in different settings and different people.

    I think the first place you could try opening up is with your hubby and your family. It's great to hear that you already have a friend that understands your situation, and it's obvious that quite a few of us here on the forums know where you're coming from as well. Chances are, them being your family, they're going to do their best to understand. And once you've got their support, you'll be definitely stronger to confront the rest of the world, one step at a time.

    In the meantime, we're here for you. :)
     
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    #7 sassafras, Aug 25, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2009
  8. daydreamer

    daydreamer Permanent Fixture

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    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who matter don't mind and those that mind don't matter" Dr. Seuss.
     
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  9. Wyote

    Wyote Xenoi
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    There is no greater way of figuring out your true capabilities then by being completely authentic.

    The pain you endure in doing so will far outweigh what you gain from it.

    Unless your authentic self is a jackass :md:
     
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  10. OP
    goldfinch

    goldfinch Community Member

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    The pain will outweigh the gain? Then I guess I don't want to be authentic.
     
  11. floatingbridge

    floatingbridge Life's a ride
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  12. Sithious

    Sithious Well-known member

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    That didn't make much sense :p
     
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  13. VH

    VH Variable Hybrid

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    I think someone INFJ'd here, and typed something other than what they meant. Let me edit in bold...

    In this context, I agree with these sentiments. It can be very difficult to live as an INFJ. We have so little in common with the majority of people in the world.

    However, you'll find that just being yourself will lead you to find more people who not only accept you for who you are, but admire you for it. Once the people in your life begin to see all that you have to offer, they'll love you for it. Just be prepared for some resistance as they are forced to shift their paradigm of who and what you are. If possible, give them the right to take their time in doing so, and do what you can to compassionately help them understand who you are rather than let it erupt into a battle for your self identity.

    The third option is "Both A and B".
     
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    #13 VH, Aug 30, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2009
  14. OP
    goldfinch

    goldfinch Community Member

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    Well, I'm not young, so if I was going to meet more people who accept me for who I am as well as admire me for it I think it would have happened by now. It's not as bad as I'm making it out to be, I can think of two people close to me who do accept me and admire me. That's two more than some people have, and I'm grateful for those two. Although those two people don't "really" know me, not completely. Ah, that's fodder for another topic - can anyone really know anyone else?
     
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