Personality Emulation: The Masks we Wear | INFJ Forum

Personality Emulation: The Masks we Wear

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Azure_Knight, Apr 21, 2009.

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  1. Azure_Knight

    Azure_Knight Community Member

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    I was wondering about something: there are some people that I know that are able to emulate other personality types. And so it got me thinking:

    1) what masks do we wear for the people around us: strangers, friends, family, and loved ones? Do we show them who we really are?
    2) Are you able to emulate another personality, feelings, neither, or both when around other people? Do they notice?
    3) What is your favorite mask to wear?
     
  2. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    I like to wear a kabuki mask, personally. Usually on first dates and at funerals under a black umbrella and in the rain.

    Actually, the mask I most wear, that I've gotten pretty good at wearing.. is one of blankness... it's still hard to keep up. I think of it as trying to keep myself as translucent as Nabakov's Cincinnatus. But usually I feel like the Operation guy from the game... and people are always jabbin away and buzzzzin' my broken heart and yella bellied parts.
     
  3. gloomy-optimist

    gloomy-optimist Used to live here

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    1) I tend to wear a mask of diplomatic politeness for people I'm not as familiar with, which is why I tend to be thought of as a "leader." People tend to think I'm extroverted. I think I appear more as ENFJ around people I'm friends or acquainted with, INTJ when I'm more unfamiliar or in analytical situations. INFP to close friends, or when I'm feeling spontaneous. INFJ to family, most of the time.

    2) I can make people think almost anything, actually. It's really terrible. I can manipulate my appearance fairly well -- people usually can't tell at all, but it does exhaust me after a while. In fact, socialize often exhausts me because I tend to do this subconsciously at times.

    3) I like to seem extroverted but it's terribly exhausting, and people come to expect you to be the extrovert and it's hard to be genuine when this comes around. People tend to think something's wrong if you get introverted. I think most of all I like to be myself, but that tends to be the most difficult of all
     
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  4. Silently Honest

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    As of lately, nothing worth hiding from anymore.
     
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  5. Wyote

    Wyote Dad of the Ded
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    Yes to all of this. Very much me as well.
     
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  6. Lune Froide

    Lune Froide Community Member

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    Certainly tired of that, these days. That fatigue has triggered a severe desire to find people more like myself and get away from my current crowd.

    I'll describe the toughest mask that I battle with, especially since I don't experience this with ALL my friends/family -- only enough of them that it can sometimes exhaust me to the point that I'm useless for the other guys who do intellectually stimulate me. I'm yo-yo-ing my brain all the time. Dumbing down then switching back not even hours later.

    Forcing/faking more excitement over things I really don't feel much of anything about. The trivial conversations I get put through, especially as a teenager is just monotonous and I know I am damn good at looking like I'm listening now. I can stare someone right in the eyes but not hear a thing but I suffer tremendous guilt over it because I'm also often secretly amused, perplexed, any emotion other than what I should feel (empathy)
    I often catch the last bit and then offer my words of comfort, let them tell me i'm a great listener and 'wise' (although in my mind, it's the most logical stuff ever) then after they bound off feeling better, I sit there and think they're freakin' wacky and should just get over it! "It doesn't matter" and I ache to tell them those exact words! Sometimes I get to but I often have to build up to it and the person has to be seriously obsessed on the topic...
    It's a very familar cycle for me. Throw in feeling depressed for the other individual, too. Then ashamed for my high standards of other human-beings.

    WOOOO!
     
  7. gloomy-optimist

    gloomy-optimist Used to live here

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    I feel your pain, anomaly. I understand exactly where you're coming from
     
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  8. Lucifer

    Lucifer Registered User #666

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    That created a beautiful mental image in me mind!

    :m146:
     
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  9. Solstice

    Solstice Regular Poster

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    What a great word. "Cycle." That definately describes pretty much my life, Anomaly. Whenever I am with people for too long, I need time to think alone (like any introvert). Then I find myself overintellectualizing about everything - life, society, myself, etc. It's really depressing and I get angry at myself about it. After a while I find that I'm just slowly dying on the inside with all of the sad thoughts and go out with my friends or something to try to forget about it. Then I need to be alone... and the cycle repeats. Any other INFJs feel this?

    To answer the questions from the original post:
    1. I'm not sure I ever show anyone who I really am. Maybe if every single person I've ever talked to in my entire life got together, they could possible piece things together. Typically, I am very serious and quiet in school, and around people I do not know well. I'm also quiet in groups, even when I know everyone. As for my family... well, I'm actually kind of distant from them, which might seem opposite from a normal INFJ. I live with a bunch of extroverts (as far as I can tell) who can't even understand that I'm an introvert, so I don't expect them to even try understanding me completely. Around very close friends I can make jokes, but sometimes I feel like I'm not even really myself around them... I don't know. I don't think I've ever actually had a "close" friend, by my definitions at least.

    2. I can be many different personalities. It's a bit ironic for me. I can't act in front of a camera, but in real life situations, I'm just fine. I know it might not always be a good moral decision, but sometimes I might act innocent so people will be a bit nicer to me. I've always been kind of good at that, but maybe that's because part of me truly is innocent. =P At other times, with some close friends, I can make sarcastic jokes, which I wish I did less. Sometimes they slip out around other people, but some don't even recognize the sarcasm, so they believe what I say. It's kind of weird how that happens. I guess it's too hard for them to think I'm lying, because I try not to whenever possible.

    3. My favorite "mask" to wear... is probably my spontaneous one. Unfortunately, I barely ever use it, so it's kind of dusty. I have bad allergies with dust. =(
     
  10. tovlo

    tovlo Well-known member

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    1) I can present differently in different situations with different people, but I don't feel them masks really. It is always presentation pulled from my resources of interaction styles and seems required by the current situation for me to experience the most comfort. In consideration of this question, how I appear in any situation seems very much my bare face, even if it appears different from situation to situation.

    2) Lately I have been working to emulate the work interaction style I've observed in my ex-husband and a current co-worker, both of whom I believe to be XNTP. They do not seem to get worked up about feedback I would tend to see as catastrophic. I've noted that in trying to even out my emotional experience at work, many things that previously would have sent me into an emotional tailspin, truly turn out to have had little need of emotional energy. While it is something I wouldn't want to let become my way of being everywhere, I am trying to let it seep deeply into my perspective of how to more effectively handle my emotional experience at work.

    3) Oh, definitely the comfy at-home-clothes of my most natural, unthinking presentation. It is a pleasure to be with people where no adaptation is required to interact comfortably. There are very few counted among this circle for me: only my children, my love, and a very few dearest of friends.
     
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  11. just me

    just me GONE

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    Try not to wear masks, as I don't want to possibly become addicted. That said, I most frequently where a smile mask. I may be in a seriously deep place and acknowledge something someone said I did listen to with a smile, but the smile sometimes is more out of being polite than anything else; and I do think it healthy to try and smile when deeply engrossed in something. I sometimes don the same mask when sad, hurt, lonely, withdrawn, and the likes. Here again, it is not fake; it is polite. How I would much rather not try, so the door stays closed a lot and the phone rings. I hope they go away til a better time for me.
    I cannot pretend to be someone else far as different types go. I may act differently sometimes, but it is my self's responding differently to different circumstances. If I need a mask and have the opportunity, I remain alone.
    I do admit there is another side to me when pushed too far, and I may have to show self-control over anything else. That is getting easier with age, but it should never be misconstrued as weakness.
     
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  12. OP
    Azure_Knight

    Azure_Knight Community Member

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    The smile mask seems to be a default as far as most INFJ's go. I hate having to wear it for all those different emotions to be polite though; while being versatile, the smile mask isn't my 'default'. The 'happy' or 'interested' masks also seem to be popular with getting through socializing with people. I feel torn when interacting with some people: my personality is close on at least two of the categories, so I can emulate another personality type if necessary. I'm not sure if it is because it is close or if I just know how those people act and go from there. Eventually, the masks or other personality types can become roles you can learn to drop in if necessary. I see it more as an acting challenge than anything else.
     
  13. IndigoSensor

    IndigoSensor Product Obtained
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    I must be the odd one out. I don't like the smile mask very much. It comes across as fake and passive agressive (when it is translated into speaking as well) to me. The reason I don't like it is because I easily see through it with others, as such I avoid it, and try to shatter it in others. I mostly use a neutral mask.
     
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    #13 IndigoSensor, Apr 22, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2009
  14. Julia

    Julia Community Member

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    It is quite difficult for me to pretend to be something I'm not, but I can hide myself rather well. My masks tend towards understatement and revealing less information rather than constructing a false front. I think the purpose is to not reveal certain kinds of vulnerability to people I don't know or trust. Sometimes I am polite and smile when I don't feel like it, but I don't consider it false because it does reflect my intention towards the other person if not my current emotions. I don't typically feel as though I have to be polite because I'm okay with excusing myself and leaving whenever needed. I do rather appreciate honesty and straightforwardness. To me it is more hurtful to pretend to like someone or to spend time with them with resentment. I think it is important to take responsibility for my choices to interact with others and not hold them responsible if I actually wanted to leave. It's my fault if I don't. That's my view because the thought of being unwanted company is close to my worst nightmare.
     
  15. FiNiTe

    FiNiTe Newbie

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    1) Nobody knows who I am, really! Like most people at school swear that I'm the goodie two shoes valedictorian type person who is A HOMEWORK MACHINE with no emotions (think of the archetypal ISTJ). Some people think I'm a spaz (ENxP). Ever notice that those two are like complete opposites?

    2) Yeah, I'm able to, but I'd rather not. The one thing I fake most of all is pretending I care about certain peoples' complaints. And most of the time, people don't notice inconsistencies in how I act. They just think I'm unpredictable! :)

    3) Ooh, that's a tough one. Maybe like the emotionless but opinionated robot.
     
  16. rainrise

    rainrise Community Member

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    i tend to wear a blank mask for most strangers unless they strike a conversation or spark my interest whereby then i become more like expressive self. when i'm with acquaintances and expected to show excitement (anomaly mentioned this), i almost always feign it. it is near impossible to show enthusiasm even when i do feel it toward an external situation.
    when i was younger, i used to be more chameleon-like either to better understand the interpersonal dynamics at hand or simply because i felt the need to fit in. i have long stopped doing this as it just tires me in the end with a gain of only surface relations, which i have to constantly maintain so as to not to appear inconsistent.
    ironically, i am rather inconsistent and discover more and more facets of my personality as time goes by that surprise me as much as others. like Solstice mentioned, i too have a spontaneous streak but it too is not shown readily unless i feel completely comfortable or am independently out and about.
    in the end, i must say masks may be convenient for me in sticky situations, but ultimately it is important to assert my true self.
     
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  17. slant

    slant Ruboobie

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    I don't wear masks. I can't answer your questions in the way you would like me to; but I'll answer it in this way.

    What I can say is that sometimes when interacting with people I say things that are out of character for me because I KNOW what they want from me. Sometimes I give people what they want and sometimes I don't. It depends on my mood. I act a different way among boys than I do girls; mostly I curse more and say more ridiculously appalling things. I also tend to get more physically violent. This is the way a boy's mind works, so to befriend them you have to act like them or they're going to look at you like prey. And I am an off-the-menu item. So, yes, I tend to dumb myself down around guys to get them to trust me easier. The plan never fails.

    Around adults I am more mature, I don't cure or swear and I look for what morals and values they think are right. I usually 'interview' my friends' parents to see what they want and then around them I try to influence my friends to get them to do what their parents want. I've even had parents rely on me before for accurate information because they know their children are liars, and I, for certain am not. Whether I will tell a parent the truth or not depends on how I view them and the things they are forcing on their children.

    With girls I act in a very abstract, 'cold' way. Well...it depends on the type of girl, but girls who are typically emotional and focused on boys, friends, shopping and chatter nonstop I'm often very insensitive to when we're in a group.

    However, when I get a boy or a girl alone, when they are not in a group, I act more like 'me'. I usually don't say much about myself but I ask them questions, get to know them. Once I do that I figure out what they like and dislike and I tell them bits about me that I wouldn't care if everyone knew [who knows, kids are gossipy] and I often fabricate things to fit in more with their life story. They easily relate to me, they think we're close, and I deliberately manipulate what I say and do to accomodate the person.

    The only people I DONT do this with is my family, which I often ignore and just 'let hang'. Although I do tend to keep information from them as well and tell them things only when it is asked. I already have trust with my family so I'm not spending all of this time to establish it.
     
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