The different sides of you . . . | INFJ Forum

The different sides of you . . .


Sep 5, 2009
So, who are you when you're relating or interacting with the various people in your life and those who meet everyday?

For example:
  • Professional contacts
  • Family
  • Close friends
  • Acquaintances
  • School setting / classmates or roommates
  • Work - supervisor/colleagues
Are you the same with everyone? Or if you change your "face," how do you adapt or change your impression to fit those your speaking or interacting with? Do you change or adapt to your situation or are you pretty consistent?
I don't know. Certainly not consistent, but it's not with some purpose. To me consistency is something forced, untrue. I want to fully experience and reflect everything around me, not project everywhere some walking image, in the name of consistency. Rarely pay attention what type of transformations are happening with me in different situations. I think it would harm me very bad, if I had to. Inconsistency of character isn't something wrong, if you ask me, because it allows better consistency with the data input. Consistency of character involves at least some level of blindness, rejection, ignoring or misinterpreting data, in the name of character. I view myself more or less as a data-processing machine, so incosistency is very important for my sanity. The data from the world isn't consistent, that's why I'm not either. When the data is consistent, for example, within some special settings, then I'm consistent too. Another issue is that even the protocol of interaction has major influence. You aren't the same thing in every language you speak, because your whole expressive capabilities are changed. They also influence you, open new doors for development, close others. To give an extreme example, play chess and be yourself. Well, okay, but no matter how hard you try, only some projection is contained there. Just like only a projection is contained in the words you can use within your language, or another language. The tools of expression define what you think is your character. Without any tools of expression, you can't even imagine what you are. So translating between different tools of expression inevitably changes you, and you may discover things about yourself you never thought possible.

Okay, after all this rant, I think I can give at least one example for me. In settings like poker game, or math exam, I'm not the same thing I am in normal conversation. I'm not warm at all, suddenly. That is only possible, because I can do this, without thinking about people at all, so any affection is thrown away. I can control it, of course. Could play some card game for fun, and keep my affection, or could turn it off and become like an automatic thinking device. We might argue which is the real "me" then, I choose to think the real me is the one which I am around friends and people that I enjoy to be with.
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Ria's thread seems to go along the same lines ^^

Yeah, it is and i think Ria's thread is great. My focus in this thread is less about our personal "selves" but more the selves we construct when we relate to others which may or may not be authentic or consistent with who we are.
I am very consistent with the part of me I present to others...friends, coworkers, family, whatever. It is the inner me...a more complete, truer me...that most folks never see. Not that I'm closed about it...most people just seem to have little time for a real conversation and prefer bantering about.
I'm thinking about this at the moment and it seems that I'm consistent and have been for my whole life. I haven't really been emotionally close to anybody, so the difference I notice is when I leave my apartment, the mask comes on and when I return, I shed the mask. The only time I'm fully relaxed and the real me comes out when I'm by myself. With others, no matter whether they're strangers or acquaintances, I'm always holding myself back for some reason. There are slight differences with family and friends and all the rest, I'm more involved in the situation when with the former, but mostly I'm just emotionally detached from everybody.
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I am generally authentic, but I present different sides of myself in different situations, if that makes sense. For work I'm serious, focused and smart. For home I'm creative, funny, and happy. On my blog, I'm serious and thoughtful - but partly because the subjects I'm trying to write about are generally serious. These are all parts of who I am - just different focuses in different situations.
For me there are two sides of the coin.

At work when dealing with coworkers I switch to my introverted self, so I become an INTP. I keep to myself.
Reason for doing this is because there are allot of extroverts working where I work, ESTJ's and ESFJ's. So In order not to start a war I keep my mouth shut and my head down.

When I am new to an area or a place I tend to stay quiet and reserved until I feel comfortable enough to let the real me out.

I wear an introverted mask. Here on the INFJ forums though you are seeing the real me.

Heres an example of how I roll;

  • Professional contacts - Introverted, tend to listen more than speak.
  • Family - Extroverted.
  • Close friends - Extroverted.
  • Acquaintances - Introverted/Extroverted.
  • School setting / classmates or roommates - Depending on the class, to start off with, Introverted. If I feel comfortable in the surrounding that I am In, then I become extroverted.
  • Work - supervisor/colleagues - Introverted.
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  • Professional contacts - School setting / classmates or roommates -Work - supervisor/colleagues - I've lumped all of these together, because I'm the same with all of them. I keep a very guarded professional mask on in these situations. My mask is designed to keep everyone as comfortable and happy as I can without risking any impoliteness or subject matter that might be viewed as awkward, such as my geeky psychology interests...
  • Family - I curb my behaviors and notions around my family, as they are ST types who sometimes are annoyed with my theories and imagination. I keep that side of myself to myself to keep them comfortable.
  • Close friends - I am truly myself, good bad, or indifferent because I know they accept me as such.
  • Acquaintances - I am distant, but warm. These are people I've decided not to invest in emotionally for various reasons, so I keep my guard up, tailored for each individual.
I can't say that I'm truly consistent in all situations but I strive to be.

As of right now:
Close friends + roommates + Work + online: very consistent.
Family: I would like to be more authentic but they can't really understand me.
Professional contacts + Acquaintances: I like to keep some emotional distance from these. Extroversion is an investment for me after all so I don't give it to just random people.
I am always myself, but I would say I alter my behavior quite a bit. Before I said I have many masks, but perhaps it would be better to say I have many faces that I make?

At work, if I don't know the person, I am very nice and personable. If they decide to talk to me, then I talk back, sometimes it puts me at ease, sometimes it doesn't, depending on the person. If they are quiet, I am quiet too, but I usually talk about what I am doing on the computer in layman's terms if they seem interested, if not then I let them be themselves.

Around people that I know and like at work, I am goofy, witty, soft-hearted, curious, smart, non-competitive but playful. On days when there is a lot of pressure or I have some bad stuff going on outside of work I am very quiet and not approachable. I really prefer to be left alone in cases like this and I am hesitant to go assist others because I almost dread social interaction.

I am a softie and people can tell, I promote harmony in our environment and it is really important that harmony is there. If someone is upset I am usually the one that goes and comforts them regardless of what the conflict was.

As others mentioned, I closely guard my interests that are debatable or have obvious stereotypes. I am probably one of the most open minded people you will meet in terms of interests, yet the most private.
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