Pressure to be interesting and entertaining | INFJ Forum

Pressure to be interesting and entertaining

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by Gaze, Oct 21, 2009.

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  1. Gaze

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    Do you feel pressure to be interesting and entertaining? How do you respond? What strategies do you use to handle it?

    There is a strong need today from culture for everyone to prove they are interesting in order to get any kind of attention. There is more pressure to feel that you need to be interesting or entertaining enough or smart enough to hold someone's interest. It's a part of the belief that everyone should, in some way, have to prove their worthiness in order to deserve attention before they get it. (sorry, tend to be repetitive)

    What strikes me as more interesting, is that, when you put all this effort into making someone interested and get their attention, you may've created an unrealistic image of yourself, leading to unrealistic expectations about what you're going to be like once you get to know them and be with them.

    Now, this doesn't mean, trying to impress or gain someone's interest or attention is bad, but it seems there is an unrealistic amount of pressure to be entertaining just to be seen as worthy.

    Any thoughts?
     
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  2. NeverAmI

    NeverAmI Satisclassifaction
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    I think, as an INFJ, we don't realize how incredibly potent our words are compared to others. I think when we speak we don't quite realize the impact we have on people that aren't able to get those intense surges of emotion.

    I think our potency is interesting in itself. Not in a dramatic way, but in a general study of how the human psyche works.

    As for the feeling that I need to constantly learn, adapt, conform, practice, etc to become more interesting? I feel it every minute of every hour. Is this is an extroverted motivation to gain the attention of others? I seriously don't know. I ask myself that question all the time. My username, NeverAmI, I created ~13 years ago because I felt that I could never meet the expectations of others. Now, I realize those expectations were always internal, and it really doesn't matter what anyone else expects from me, as long as I can live a good life.

    I still feel enormous pressure to keep expanding my skills and knowledge, but I don't necessarily want attention. I want people to think highly of me, but I don't want them to be around me necessarily.

    I don't know if that makes any sense!
     
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  3. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    Actually, the most interesting kind of person is one who listens.

    That's it!

    Every person is so caught up in trying to be entertaining and thinking of what they are going to say while others are speaking, that they simply don't do the one thing that ensures that people will find them interesting. They don't listen.

    And the irony is that the best way to be entertaining is also to listen. By doing so a person may make observational comments on what is said, which in turn provides insight, perspective, or humor. You don't really need to do anything special beyond that in order to be entertaining. Very few people have the wit and showmanship to be a performer or stand up comedian, and such people tend to dominate conversation anyway, so after a awhile, they stop being interesting and entertaining to people.

    So INFJs already have the most important skill to be both interesting and entertaining.
     
    #3 Satya, Oct 21, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
  4. The Jester

    Satya, I think that you're right.
    But from my observations, it most of the time goes like this:

    Person x talks a lot -> 'He never listens to what I have to say :('
    Person y listens to what other have to say -> 'Oh mah gawd he's shy'
     
  5. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    This is something I stress about. Yes. Esp. since my social contacts consist of many very outgoing and hilarious people that I am only aquainted with. It takes me a loooong time to be silly with anyone. There's really not much to be done. I don't bond over being mutually entertaining with anyone. It takes me a while to be silly with someone, and I'm only silly or outgoing once I really know them..

    The thing is, I don't think outgoing people care to be entertained; they are the entertainers. They're happy so long as you're laughing at their jokes or at least paying attention.
     
  6. OP
    Gaze

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    Yep, that's the way it usually works, which is one of the reasons I asked the question. It seems that being a good listener often makes someone even more misunderstood, because in the minds of the extrovert, they don't speak enough or directly seek attention.

    I mean, it's an interesting thing. Not sure if there's a right or wrong answer.
     
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    #6 Gaze, Oct 21, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
  7. Auburn

    Auburn Regular Poster

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    @ NeverAmI, I know what you mean about the internal expectations of yourself. The way I see it within myself is that I want to improve, grow, learn, adapt, mature because I want to meet my own internal vision/ideal not anyone else's - and to feel more content with myself. Granted that ideal is formed in part from how certain traits of mines are taken/reacted-to by others, so I suppose others do play a part in forming my internal vision - but it remains an internal vision.

    If there is any pressure in me to be more entertaining/interesting - it is most likely inward turned. The best I can do is be who I am and that will naturally attract the type of people who I would make best friends/companions with, and naturally repel the ones who I wouldn't make great friends/companions with. Be who you are and those who like you for who you are will find you. Be someone else and you will attract the type of people who like the act, not really the real you.
     
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    #7 Auburn, Oct 21, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
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  8. NeverAmI

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    Absolutely brilliant.

    At times I have projected myself as something better than I actually am. I never lie about who I am, but I have exaterated. These things I exaterate about are parts of myself which I, in turn, set goals to achieve. I say I am an honest person. I am not always honest, but complete honesty (when I am not being goofy) is something I strive to attain.
     
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    #8 NeverAmI, Oct 21, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
  9. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    I agree. That is why active listening is important. You have to seek clarification in what is said, offer validation for feelings or beliefs, offer your own input into what they are talking about, etc.

    Two conversations...

    Typical:
    Person X: I had a bad day because I just couldn't get anything done.
    Person Y: Uh huh.
    Person X: I just couldn't believe that balloon hoax and how everyone was fooled.
    Person Y: Uh huh.
    Person X: I was just so mad.
    Person Y: That's interesting. Hey, I betcha didn't know I could hold my breath for 2 minutes.

    Better:
    Person X: I had a bad day because I just couldn't get anything done.
    Person Y: I'm sorry to hear your day didn't go so well, what was up?
    Person X: I just couldn't believe that balloon hoax and how everyone was fooled.
    Person Y: I know exactly what you mean. I saw that on the news and it just dumbfounded me.
    Person X: I was just so mad.
    Person Y: I don't blame you. Can you imagine what they are going to do to the parents?
     
  10. The Jester

    Haha satya, I hate it when the person who I'm talking with does that.
    Or when I'm telling a story, they interrupt me. I hate that. And it's most of the time in small groups, me and someone else or with 2 persons.
     
  11. Bored Now

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    I go back and forth with this. I don't feel pressure, per se, but I find that people tend to be more uncomfortable or mistrustful of me when I'm quiet for some odd reason. They assume that I'm mean or stuck up. or too *intense*. Never that I could possibly be shy. *shrug* But then again I find most people fascinating and boring at the same time.
     
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  12. NeverAmI

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    If they feel I am too *intense* then they know me all too well! lol

    Many people don't want to think about the topics that keep me up at night. They don't want to be burdened with the suffering in the world and that is around them.

    People want to be distracted from these burdens, not confront them.
     
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  13. corvidae

    corvidae ohai internets
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    It bothers me that the concept of an "awkward silence" even exists. People who become my close friends don't do that kind of BS. If one of us has something to say, the other listens. If both of us have something to say, one of us waits our turn. If none of us has anything to say, we don't say anything. Is it really that complicated?

    Can't people just be in silence and appreciate each others' presence?
     
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  14. Faye

    Faye ^_^
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    I don't care whether or not people find me interesting because we either are going to click or we aren't and it takes way too much energy to put up a facade.

    I agree with what NeverAmI said in that I always underestimate the impact my worlds will have on people. As a result, I tend to get a much stronger emotional reaction from people than I anticipate.

    Obviously, I do feel this pressure to be interesting and entertaining but I know that honestly I'm not that entertaining of a person. I think that it is people's job to entertain themselves unless I am hosting a party or something (I never have hosted a party). I despite extroverted superficiality and take no pleasure in it, so I don't have any motivation to act like I do.

    I have been told I'm too intense, but there doesn't seem to be a way to fix that either because I feel laid back most of the time.
     
  15. Faye

    Faye ^_^
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    No, people hate silence between it means self-awareness, and most people hate that (INFJs have a ton of it though and I think in many ways crave it). Most people like having loud music, dim lights, and a blood alcohol level somewhere around the legal limit. I like the 2nd too things alright, but the loud music part I don't care for- I'd rather talk.
     
  16. Orion

    Orion Strength through understanding
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    I really, REALLY wish people would understand this too.
     
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  17. Auburn

    Auburn Regular Poster

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    <3
     
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    #17 Auburn, Oct 21, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2009
  18. slant

    slant Sedated slanty

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    I don't think I really hang out with the type of people who need to be entertained all of the time. Most of my friends entertain me; I especially appreciate it when you can be on the phone with someone, just doing your own thing and not really talking. I've noticed extroverts do this a lot. Why, just last night my ENFP friend Janessa was talking to me and we talked a bit about self defense classes and then she got herself into a game of chess with her cousin Jeremy. She started talking to him, and I started reading an article, and she narrated what she was doing but didn't expect me to respond since she was talking to Jeremy. Then, five minutes in, she asked me if I was bored of listening to her moan and groan. But I wasn't---I like being with people who you don't need to engage, you're just with them to be with them and that's it. Extroverts who are comfortable with themselves and you tend to do that a lot. Introverts, I've noticed, especially feelers, need a lot more direct contact to feel comfortable.
     
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  19. laurie

    laurie Snowblind in Dreamland

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    What if the pressure to be interesting actually makes you be more interesting?

    You're not not being yourself really, as that outgoing part of you is, well, part of you. Maybe it just puts pressure on that side of you to be revealed when it was there all along?
    Unless you make stuff up or something, in which case that's lying to make yourself look good - not the same thing.

    I find that when I'm around extroverted people, there's more pressure on me to share interesting things when I would otherwise keep my thoughts to myself. I tend to come up with interesting observations or conversation topics more openly in surrounded by people who are expecting that of me.

    Obviously, this is just a wild theory, so it may have no bearing whatsoever.
     
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  20. OP
    Gaze

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    That's true, IF it is already a part of who you are.

    Not that simple. It's less about making things up than feeling pressured to behave in a way that makes others more interested, even if it's not who you are. It's not that you are intentionally lying to deceive. It's the fear, probably learned through previous experiences, that when you are at your natural best, it's not considered interesting enough, so you feel the pressure to extrovert or paint yourself as more outgoing, but find that later, if you're not able to keep this up, others may not find you as interesting or appealing, and then you're back to square one.
     
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