serious consequences to not fitting in | INFJ Forum

serious consequences to not fitting in

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by tovlo, May 9, 2010.

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  1. tovlo

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    Another tangent from the string of thought running through the forum this weekend about fitting in.

    Many people who spoke of feeling fine with not fitting in spoke of not really valuing the loss of some social contacts enough to alter themselves to fit in. I can appreciate this and sometimes I begin to travel this road. Unfortunately I always get stuck on survival issues like paying the bills.

    How do those of you who just do whatever you please and damn people if they don't get it, make a living?

    I'm constantly in fear of losing my job. Networking, politics, and getting along are almost more important than the actual work you do. It's in these social areas that I tend not to fit in and if I just gave up and said, "f**k it", I don't think I would last long.

    I do decent work. It's where I focus most of my attention and I have to pull myself out of my task to make small talk and do the social thing. I do it because I see that those who are "in" socially have their work perceived more positively and have their inevitable work failings overlooked more willingly.

    If I didn't make that effort to "fit in", then I suspect the same work and effort I currently do would be perceived differently, in addition to those work review criteria that are just upfront about how well you "fit in".

    How do those of you who insist on your individual expression without concern for how anyone else perceives you, manage work interaction, which for most adults is a huge chunk of life?
     
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  2. Roger

    Roger ...

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    Such question is so important for people.

    I was not filling, i don't fit here. but still i will try to look from their point of view and will say, it is that it takes time to fit in anything.

    Just take a look here:
    If you want to become someone's friend, it will take sometime to build trust, loyalty and many things as friends.

    Things take time here for any kind of relationship, this is hard to follow.
     
  3. Puck

    Puck Perilous Pixie
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    It depends a lot on whether other people are willing to meet me halfway. I can't (read choose not to, because it feels wrong) change myself vastly in order to fit in, but I am naturally quite amiable and a nice person to know, if people are willing to knock on my 'door' and invite me out of my shell for a while, if they do, they find me to be quite charming and good company, whether that's at work or in a social setting. If they don't, then they will only ever see someone who quietly gets things done and doesn't otherwise engage them.
     
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  4. OP
    tovlo

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    Yep. That pretty much describes me as well.

    Maybe I'm overestimating the degree to which I have to play the game to survive.

    It's just that I might have to fall below the "fail" line in order to discover where the line is.

    I wonder if I worry too much, but then I wonder what would happen if I didn't worry so much.

    Truth is, I actually don't play the game that well. I'm pretty much me at work, just in a stress fit about not being something else and potentially failing because I'm not something else. I guess whatever I am has been working so far. Wonder if it will still work if I just take out the stressing part. ;)
     
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  5. Gaze

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    ^^ This is me. :smile:
     
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  6. Morgain

    Morgain defective wisdom
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    ow Tovlo, it is so me again! :D

    At work I also do the thing, socialize, I try to be as friendly as possible to everyone up to the point that I don't feel like I'm acting, I can't act! But it is not enough to fit in, I'm not popular and in the end they still forget about me. My boss told me during my yearly review that I should SHOW more that I'm interested in science. He knows I am but I should show it more, by giving presentations for example. If I don't it will take a long time to get promoted. This makes me think that he discussed my promotion with the other teamleaders and they where against it because I'm invisible. Visibility is all that matters now in bussiness...

    I don't care much about promotion but still, I'm worried that my invisibilty may act against me at moments that it matter, to keep my job in the next wave of lay offs, ...

    But when I try to play the game, it is so obvious that it is played, it doesn't has the same effect as with the pro's. So I try to be myself, to get my strengths, my anchor from within. I think those painted peecocks can wave there feathers as much as they want, in the end, inner strength is all that matters and it will not be unnoticed.
     
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  7. randomsomeone

    randomsomeone Well-known member

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    I am a specialist and so, in a sense, I get paid to not fit in. I do very well on team efforts but again, here I am expected to provide another perspective and specialized input, so being different is also more-or-less expected.
     
    #7 randomsomeone, May 9, 2010
    Last edited: May 9, 2010
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  8. anica

    anica dark dreamer
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    For years I took only jobs for which I was ridiculously over-qualified. The work was mind-numbing, but my oddities and absenteeism were tolerated. Then I discovered independent contract work where I could work from home and answer to no one but my clients, who were more interested in the final product and my ability to meet deadlines than chichat. My income was less secure, but since I was good at what I did, I always seemed to have enough work to pay the bills.

    I ran into problems when I joined a corporate law firm as a new attorney. It didn't take me long to fail to fit in and I probably would have been let go had I not had the stroke five months after I was hired. Since then I have lived on Social Security benefits, which pay the bills more or less and frees me to do as I please. When I've been a volunteer they needed me more than I needed them and I picked places where my oddities were actually assets.

    But I do empathize strongly with those of you struggling to fit in in a corporate setting, They seem almost poisonous to us, or at least that was my experience.
     
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    #8 anica, May 9, 2010
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  9. randomsomeone

    randomsomeone Well-known member

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    Good point! I work for government and so "saving the world" is pretty much mission-centric for us regardless of our particular discipline. It is easy to tolerate our uniquenesses when we are all on the same page according to the larger picture.
     
  10. Gaze

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    I agree that fitting in especially at work is quite necessary. I find that I'm too self conscious, or dwell too often (in my head) on personal feelings or issues, which makes me less prepared to deal with or handle social situations or stress in a job setting as effectively. I don't particularly like this aspect of my personality. It needs to be less about me than doing what's necessary to be more effective. But it seems that even if i do try to fit in, and do my best, just as Morgain explained, i'm not as successful in conveying the same level of competence as those who're seen as experts or more professional at it.
     
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    #10 Gaze, May 9, 2010
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  11. Morgain

    Morgain defective wisdom
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    yes exactly, it seems that I spend more time in dwelling on social issues at work, than on the actual work
     
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  12. Gaze

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    Yeah. I think the reason, at least for me, is that I am a task oriented person. I have difficulty being both people and task oriented. It's hard to balance both. When I have to worry or become too concerned or worried with what others think or feel about me, i tend to be more self conscious and less effective. I have difficulty completing tasks well when I'm having to think too much about how i'm seen or perceived. This doesn't mean I don't like working with people. I like being around like minded people, those with no hangups or who are friendly but whose focus is task completion, but when i'm around people who are too concerned about image and whether or not you fit in with them, or are concerned about recognition or whether or not you can show them you're remarkably capable, it's counterproductive. I already hold myself to high standards (which i sometimes fail to meet), so if I do a good job, it's because i'm self driven and self motivated, not because i'm expected. So, i really don't need the additional stress of someone wanting me to "show" or prove to them that i'm capable. I'd rather be competent than point attention to my competence, only to have everyone see it as ridiculous, overdone, or fake.

    Whether we want to admit it or not, not everyone will fit in or fits in well or completely, even if they try their best or work hard at it. I've noticed over the years that people will respond to me differently even if i perform the same actions as someone else. I've come to realize that i can't control people's perceptions or expectations of me, because, as we all know, life is not fair. People are often treated well or poorly just because . . . no matter what we do.

    I know this seems pessimistic, but i've been through too many situations where i've been treated very differently, even when i worked hard to change the perception, and all it did was lead me to sacrifice more and gain less and less. I lost quite a bit of self respect trying to adapt myself to different types of people and situations only to realize that i was giving and giving, but receiving nothing of value for myself in return.

    Not sure if this is right way to view this, but this is how i've come to deal with it. Adapt as best you can, but don't put yourself down if you can't fit in. As someone else said, use your strengths and natural gifts, and develop those instead of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
     
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    #12 Gaze, May 9, 2010
    Last edited: May 9, 2010
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  13. OP
    tovlo

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    This is all so good to hear!

    Sometimes I worry my sense I'm just not in the right place is a symptom of a pattern of running away that regularly takes me somewhere else, but will never take me anywhere really any different.

    Hearing this reminds me that while no work environment will ever be a perfect fit, there are perhaps some that are particularly ill-fitting. Also, that there are certain work qualities that might be particularly well-suited to my gifts and temperament.

    I worked for years as an at-home independent contractor doing data entry while I was home with my kids and in so many ways that job did meet my needs. Providing a product that met quality expectations and deadlines was what important; how I chose to get to that end was all up to me. I really value that product focus and independence. I wonder where to find that kind of environment while still doing something that engages the mind and meets my values too?

    I have so much resonance with what you've said, Res.

    I don't know if I really believe yet that I will be able to remain in an environment that expects something different than I can provide, but maybe if we stay centered on what our gifts truly are as opposed to what our environment wants from us, then we will eventually find our way to those places that are equipped to really utilize our gifts and one that may be a little less toxic to our nature.

    Makes a lot of sense to me. Now I've just got to find the courage to trust that sense.
     
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    #13 tovlo, May 9, 2010
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  14. Morgain

    Morgain defective wisdom
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    this is so true Res! Whenever I get the feeling I don't fit in, I try to alter peoples perceptions of me and the harder I try the lesser it works. So like Tovlo, say, I think it works best if we focus on what we have to give instead on what they want from us. Because in that way you stay self centered and self concious and I have noticed that the more self assured you are, the more respect you get from others. I just have to keep that in my mind every time I feel rejected :frusty::D It is always right around the corner...
     
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  15. Reon

    Reon Midnight's Garden

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    Pretty much all I would have said has been said already. By product of my personality, I don't particular act in a manner that would make me stand out negatively in a career/job field. When you're working, you have to have a baseline personality that will mesh with the people around you and will allow your team to function. For example, I'm not very sarcastic when I'm working around people (unless I know them) although sarcasm is a major part of my personality. I suppose that you shouldn't 'shove' yourself unto people in any way; you're just at a job to work. And that means getting along with people, generally.
     
  16. enfp can be shy

    enfp can be shy people vs the bad people?
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    The worst possible social circumstances of my society could happen to anyone in it, and I kinda feel guilty about that, so if those worst circumstances happen anyway, why should I be spared? Nothing makes me more special or more deserving than the 'lowest' person of my society.

    So if I have major trouble coping with life, it will be useful experience for others; it shows something isn't right, because this could happen to someone else.
     
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