Introverts fear confrontation.

youre_fired

I came across this individual’s forum post on The Personality Cafe in a weird way. My article “Why Family Scapegoats Become Lifelong Victims,” (which has become my most viewed article ever and is still gaining momentum on the web), was linked to by this writer and there was an excerpt from their own post left in my comment folder. The blurb was intriguing enough that I decided to read it, and holy cow! It sounds like my own life story. In fact, I am going through this situation with a friend even as I write this. (If you’re a friend of mine reading this it’s not you–this “friend” doesn’t read my blog or even know I have one). I don’t want to be friends with this person anymore (who I suspect is a malignant narcissist who likes to “play” with me and make “jokes” at my expense) but instead of confronting them and telling them I want to end our friendship, I’m just avoiding this person, hoping they get the “hint.” I do that sort of thing all the time. Confrontation terrifies me, but what happens is my anger becomes seething resentment and has to come out eventually, so after weeks or months of pretending everything is fine, I’m likely to explode and say things I regret. It also comes out in other ways, like acting passive-aggressive. I’ve gotten better but it’s still a problem. Anyway, here is that article. The writer is an INFJ like me and wonders if this is common in INFJs. I’m also an Enneagram Type 4/5.

If we need to slap a psychiatric label on this sort of behavior, it’s a common symptom in people with Avoidant Personality Disorder and Covert Narcissism (which I still suspect I am, even though my therapist has said I’m only “on the spectrum” but not NPD). I think people with BPD are also guilty of this.

passive_aggression

Has anyone else had this problem in the “social environment”?

As of recently I have made a personal discovery about the origins of how and why I have a certain fear. And it also ties in with the Enneagram 4 labeled fear “that they have no identity or personal significance”. Generally, with “friends” (both close and acquaintance) I tend to hide away or become afraid of sharing my true thoughts and being completely honest with them if there’s a problem (unless they manage to hurt me to the extent that i just cut them off). I become fearful of their reaction before it even happens, so i withhold my thoughts and continue acting as if everything is okay. It’s not only the fear that they will be upset at my honesty, but the fear that I would also begin to hate myself afterwards as well. I didn’t realize there was a term for this as well (even though i knew it as a common term i never understood its meaning). And that term is “Shame”. And while shame is the major factor of why i feel guilt for wanting to speak out, as well as feeling it for not wanting to speak out, I had also come to realize this was also connected to my upbringing. I learned in the article mentioned below, that most scapegoats have high empathy and sensitivity at an early age, which causes them to absorb all of the projections of their parents, thus causing the birth of self hatred/possibly depression. It also informed me that as they continue to go into social relationships, that they will also absorb the projections of what other people think of them as well. For me this explains a helluva lot, of why i fear getting close to certain people and their impact on me if i either

A. Do something wrong.
Or
B. Be honest with them.

I’m personally terrified of being completely honest with someone i’m not sure of, as any kind of minor negative backlash towards me can cause me to go in a state of guilt for a long time. So instead I internalize everything that bothers me about them, and I simply play my part in this “friendship” until i have a reason to avoid them or doorslam. And this is different from constructive criticism, i’m talking about the consequences that may occur if they end up being hurt by my honesty. While their take of it may not be my problem afterward I still hold the shame of what I have done to another human being, even if it was the “right” thing to do rather than continue being dishonest with them and put on the fake persona. I fear hurting them..but I also fear hurting myself. It’s a double edged sword and the ending remains the same regardless of which way i act. I’m fearful of absorbing any new projections one might have of me (specifically negative) which has caused a spiral of paranoia in 2/3 of my friendships, even if they may not take it personal. And before I end this, I am not intentionally hurtful when i’m honest, as I still try to be polite and respectful of the person that i’m talking to. I am also aware that they can be positive in their response, but i’m practically crippled by my fear, especially because of social experiences that didn’t go well.

Read article on The Personality Cafe here.

A blog for the INFJ personality type.

infj

I just found a blog for INFJs today, called, simply enough, The INFJ Blog. INFJ happens to be my personality type.

INFJ is one of the rarest Myers-Briggs personality types. The letters stand for Introverted-iNtuitive-Feeling-Judging. (their opposites are Extroverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving). Here’s a good description of this personality type.

infj_cartoon

Making up anywhere from 1 to 3 percent of the population, INFJ is considered to be the rarest of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types. For this reason, INFJs often struggle with feeling different or weird, and so they often hide large parts of their personality from others, until they feel comfortable enough to reveal their true selves.

INFJs are introverts, and like any other introvert, they place a high value on alone time. They love spending time with those they are close too, but need just as much, if not more, time to themselves in order to ¨recharge¨. Even as introverts, INFJs have a strong love of people. They genuinely care about understanding others to the point that at times it can even become an obsession. Since INFJs know what it’s like to feel misunderstood, they spend a lot of time trying to really dissect the personalities of others and understand their true feelings and intentions. This often leads an INFJ to put the needs of close friends and family before their own. It is important for INFJs to spend just as much time paying attention to their own wants and needs in order to live a peaceful and happy existence.

Like other idealists, INFJs are imaginative, creative and dream of helping to make the world a better place. INFJs may at first impression come across as overly agreeable, but they have strong ideals and values, especially when it comes to helping others, and stubbornly stick to these values regardless of the person or situation. Others are usually shocked to see the side of the INFJ that comes out when their values are dismissed or questioned.

INFJs are known as the Counselor type, and it is no surprise that many INFJs choose counseling or a similar field as a career choice. INFJs are potentially the best type when it comes to helping others deal with their problems. Because of their extroverted feeling function, they are able to see the issue from the other persons perspective, but use their introverted intuition and thinking functions to separate themselves from the situation and guide the person down a healthier path. As introverts and feeling types, INFJs are great listeners and genuinely care about the concerns of others, which is a trait that makes them very appealing, and even if it is not their profession, INFJs often find themselves playing the Counselor role among friends, family, coworkers and sometimes even casual acquaintances.

INFJs are perfectionists and spend a lot of time thinking about how to make themselves and others better. In relationships, they are best matched with people who share their ideals and also strive for growth both personally and within the relationship. The ideal partner for an INFJ is someone who listens and makes effort to understand the INFJ and who also allows the INFJ to be their true selves without judgment or criticism.

Read more at The INFJ Blog.

I’m looking forward to reading more of the articles.

For further reading:
The 16 MBTI Personality Types: http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/the-16-mbti-types.htm

Introversion

As an INFJ with both Aspergers and Avoidant Personality Disorder I can sure relate to this!

that_awkward_moment

My crazy fantasies.

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I have some crazy fantasies. As an INFJ Aspie with an extremely vivid imagination, for me these fantasies can be almost as real as reality itself, and that is really pretty cool. Some people, usually neurotypical extroverts, think it’s unhealthy to live inside my head so much. I disagree. If I enjoy these thoughts and they don’t interfere with day to day functioning, how is it unhealthy?

I won’t go into the details of my fantasy life but there are times I think there’s something wrong with me for having the kinds of thoughts I do and deriving so much pleasure from them.

anotherworld

I was telling a friend on FB tonight about the details of one fantasy. She doesn’t think I’m crazy but pretty normal. I just had to bounce this off someone else as a sort of reality check. I need to do that from time to time, just to make sure I’m not insane.

I think most of us, especially if we’re introverted, have our secret life we don’t want to talk about. It’s like having our own personal movie that we write, direct, cast and star in. These personal movies can make a rather humdrum, often irritating and sometimes depressing life seem more full and interesting.

The other great thing about having such an active inner fantasy life is it sometimes jumpstarts creative ideas, which can be transformed into actual, tangible things that can be shared with the whole world.

Aspie obsessions.

howmybrainworks

One of the most pervasive and common behaviors of people with Aspergers is their tendency to focus intensely on one or two narrow subjects at a time. Aspies become obsessed with a topic and when their knowledge about it is sated, they move on to the next obsession. This obsession could take the form of a hobby, an intense scientific or artistic interest, or an intellectual interest in something weird or obscure (Aspie obsessions aren’t usually about “normal” things), or even interest in a person.

I really hate it when people tell me they’re worried about me because of my obsessiveness. I know the concern is meant well and I appreciate it, but it makes me feel embarrassed and self conscious. It makes me question and second guess myself and makes me worry that other people might think I’m crazy. I’m really not that crazy. I have my share of mental issues (mostly caused by my abusers), but I’m not about to jump off a bridge or start raving about the FBI or thinking I’m Napoleon. I’m just an obsessive Aspie. I can’t help being this way, and for me, it’s perfectly normal. I’m comfortable with it. I wish neurotypicals could be comfortable with it too, and realize it’s not a bad thing or something to worry about.

I’ve always had a lot of obsessions, about a lot of things which have little to do with each other (though sometimes one can lead to another), and none of them have ever killed me. I mostly enjoy my obsessions as long as they last. My brain is wired differently than a neurotypical brain, so the way we think can seem alien, weird, or even crazy to someone who does not have Aspergers.

I’m also a Myers-Briggs INFJ (introverted-iNtuitive-feeling-judging) which means my normally intellectual obsessions sometimes take on an emotional aspect. I think that’s the part that bothers people. But again, this is normal for my INFJ personality type and I never let it get out of control. I developed a pretty good braking mechanism.

So please stop worrying about me. Concern over my grip on reality or whatever makes me feel crazier than any of my obsessions ever have.

I think all my followers and commenters are amazing people. Please don’t take this rant personally; it applies to people offline too. If you have said it to me I understand and appreciate your concern. I know you mean well, but please just stop worrying.