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Hyperfocus/dissociation/sex/empathy

r4ch3l

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This may be an odd question, and it's kind of like five questions mashed into one, but here goes.

MBTI factoid sites like to throw around that we are a) often clueless when it comes to sensory input and socializing, and b) lack empathy. I can see why we come off this way to others but it seems very inside out to me. My perception seems to be a paradox: I am so hyperaware that I become overwhelmed when surrounded by any outside stimulus and so I struggle with appearing natural and being able to interpret social cues. I cannot do group dynamics at all. In order to deal/function I kind of dissociate in these situations. But when I am one-on-one with someone the hyperfocus turns back on and projects at the other, and I am so ON that I routinely either make people uncomfortable by having extreme intuition and harnessing it to socialize/get closer to people...or the opposite: people who get a thrill from the intensity become bonded with me quickly.

I'm not very into casual sex because I have to have a strong mental connection in order to want someone in a sexual way and I can admittedly be quite antisocial during periods of moodiness or insecurity. I am attractive, and could have more attractive partners if I valued that, but looks are very secondary. I cannot discriminate between what I find "hot" and what I find interesting. </ramble>

Main point: for the last month and a half I've been seeing an ENFP who is very much like me interests/values-wise but totally opposite in the way he gets there and how he operates. He didn't want to blow up my head too much at first but lately he's been being more open about what sex with me is like vs. the other sex he's had...when I am having sex with someone I am very tapped into them and interactive, like I'm a mirror or a feedback loop. It's selfish though, not just to please the other... Because I see that instead of looking for an outcome or playing a role applying my strong intuition to sex results in pleasing both my partner and myself more. As I get to know him more inside and outside of the bedroom he has told me that he feels like I can read his mind and that it is both extremely seductive and a bit disturbing all at once. I have had this same pattern happen to me several times with men I was intrigued by enough to want to be with and it has me questioning what empathy is and if I am a hyperempathetic person or just such an information sponge/subconscious algorithm creator that I apply it to interpersonal relationships as well?
 

TimeAsylums

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First off, shame on him for comparing you sexually to other people.
Edit: I assumed the negative here, not the usual.
Secondly,

such an information sponge/subconscious algorithm creator that I apply it to interpersonal relationships as well?
You haven't stated your MBTI type, but I'm just going to automatically assume you're an INTP: so yes. exactly what you've said in this part.
 

SpaceYeti

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First off, shame on him for comparing you sexually to other people.
... Why? I mean, if you ate french toast before, should you not compare the french toast you're currently eating to the previous french toasts you've had? Are you suggesting she's not a different kind of french toast, and all french toasts are so similar that the minute differences don't matter, or are you saying she's a pancake and a comparison simply doesn't apply... which I would disagree with that, too. I mean... I've had sex with multiple partners, and I consider the pros and cons, in relation to each-other, in my head. Am I wrong for considering things I like? If so, why? And if it's the fact that he was open and honest about his thoughts, then why is being honest bad?
 

r4ch3l

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Yep, I'm an INTP --tested consistently since I was a teenager.

We're both really open about talking about sex, out pasts, emotions, kinky preferences...so it didn't seem odd or rude to me. And yeah, I think that talking about different experiences with different chemistry/dynamics is interesting so long as its not like...blatantly gossip-y.
 

Absurdity

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My perception seems to be a paradox: I am so hyperaware that I become overwhelmed when surrounded by any outside stimulus and so I struggle with appearing natural and being able to interpret social cues. I cannot do group dynamics at all. In order to deal/function I kind of dissociate in these situations. But when I am one-on-one with someone the hyperfocus turns back on and projects at the other, and I am so ON that I routinely either make people uncomfortable by having extreme intuition and harnessing it to socialize/get closer to people...or the opposite: people who get a thrill from the intensity become bonded with me quickly.
I am much the same way. I can't stand overstimulating environments that others (extroverts) seem to have so much fun in, like concerts, noisy clubs, etc.

Regarding your mind reading, I'd say it's due to the fact that you admittedly filter out people who are dissimilar from you through your "intense" one-on-one interactions and through your preferences regarding what you find attractive.

ENFPs have the same perceiving functions as INTPs (NeSi), which could explain why you are able to read him so well while in bed. You also seem to have a good handle on your inferior Fe, which can only help things.

It's funny, most people come here because they're socially inept and can't get laid, while your issue is "I'm too seductive and good at sex and it's freaking me out!" :D

Lucky you.
 

r4ch3l

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It's funny, most people come here because they're socially inept and can't get laid, while your issue is "I'm too seductive and good at sex and it's freaking me out!" :D

Lucky you.
Oh, trust me...I have my fair share of life and love issues because of my INTP-ness. I am very binary; either detached or intensely loyal once I find somewhat worthwhile. Ask me about the 3 year long-distance globe-trotting relationship with an INTJ finance guy if you want some secondhand PTSD.

In fact, I think the reason I finally stopped lurking and jumped in to ask this question is because I am bothered by the fact that the "mind reading" is so uni-directional. While the ENFP and I are very interested in the same ideas/ideals (architecture, industrial design, computers, OOP, god, philosophy, hedonism) when I am trying to describe my most personally important and abstract concepts (philosophy major; comp sci minor/obsessive writer + diagram maker) I feel like I am talking to a brick wall sometimes. It makes me feel like I am completely defective and have zero ability to communicate at all, and it bothers me because I am very tapped into him and most of the time when I am at that level with someone it is much more...balanced?

& for me the sex is also great, some of the best ever. But I am simultaneously very detached because it feels like a video game that I am cracking and then epically winning at, and that is more rewarding than any physical sensation. *facepalm* And I feel like it is the combination of the pleasure, winning-ness, and potential for intellectual connection that is keeping me very interested. But something is cockblocking (sorry dudes, I'm really blunt to the point of being profane sometimes) this intellectual connection that I crave like he craves the sexual connection.

I kind of feel like backspacing all of this right now and normally I would but HEY -- this is INTP-land, maybe someone will understand and respond with some insight I can relate to.
 

Happy

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My perception seems to be a paradox: I am so hyperaware that I become overwhelmed when surrounded by any outside stimulus and so I struggle with appearing natural and being able to interpret social cues. I cannot do group dynamics at all. In order to deal/function I kind of dissociate in these situations. But when I am one-on-one with someone the hyperfocus turns back on and projects at the other, and I am so ON that I routinely either make people uncomfortable by having extreme intuition and harnessing it to socialize/get closer to people...or the opposite: people who get a thrill from the intensity become bonded with me quickly.
I can relate to this very closely.
Hyperawareness - I shouldn't go to cities very often because I look like a raving lunatic when confronted with so much stimuli. Same goes for crowded places, etc.
Groups - Same as you. I'm useless. No chance of keeping up.
One on one - Hyperfocus comes on and it makes people uncomfortable.

I can't see any reason that any of this should be a problem. You should see these as strengths and work to them. Don't work in groups, and if you have to, work independently as much as you can. Try to associate yourself more with people that can handle how full-on you are - you probably wouldn't find any joy from others. I know I don't.

Main point: for the last month and a half I've been seeing an ENFP who is very much like me interests/values-wise but totally opposite in the way he gets there and how he operates. He didn't want to blow up my head too much at first but lately he's been being more open about what sex with me is like vs. the other sex he's had...when I am having sex with someone I am very tapped into them and interactive, like I'm a mirror or a feedback loop. It's selfish though, not just to please the other... Because I see that instead of looking for an outcome or playing a role applying my strong intuition to sex results in pleasing both my partner and myself more. As I get to know him more inside and outside of the bedroom he has told me that he feels like I can read his mind and that it is both extremely seductive and a bit disturbing all at once. I have had this same pattern happen to me several times with men I was intrigued by enough to want to be with and it has me questioning what empathy is and if I am a hyperempathetic person or just such an information sponge/subconscious algorithm creator that I apply it to interpersonal relationships as well?
I have similar problems with the whole empathy thing in relationships. I find that I'm not an empathetic person at all. Or I am, in that I can recognise emotions, but I just don't give enough of a shit to care most of the time. But I appear to.

Maybe you have to be an 'information sponge' in order to be empathetic? I don't know. But I find that I can read people extremely well and I know the correct social response most of the time, thus appearing to be empathetic.

I spend so much time in my own head thinking about how I think, and how other people think, constantly making observations and associating explanations to those observations that I feel its the reason I can also appear to be 'reading someone's mind'. Perhaps this is what you're experiencing as well?

I hope this is helpful, because I feel like I haven't explained anything useful...
 

gedanken

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i'm a bit younger so i don't have bed experiences but about mind reading and connection i think understood what you wanted to say..

my friends always get scared because sometimes apparently i can read their minds(it become more intense when i start to read sherlock holmes)... but its only in one-one. when i'm a group always get quiet and only listen.. not because i didn't enjoying it. but because i prefer to listen instead talk...

and about good conection with others-- one friend once said that he creepy out about how fast i seem to ''copy'' the other person.. copy his talk style and ''feelings'' too fast and create a really quick connection with him..
 

Absurdity

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Ask me about the 3 year long-distance globe-trotting relationship with an INTJ finance guy if you want some secondhand PTSD.
I'm quite alright, but flattered by the offer.

In fact, I think the reason I finally stopped lurking and jumped in to ask this question is because I am bothered by the fact that the "mind reading" is so uni-directional. While the ENFP and I are very interested in the same ideas/ideals (architecture, industrial design, computers, OOP, god, philosophy, hedonism) when I am trying to describe my most personally important and abstract concepts (philosophy major; comp sci minor/obsessive writer + diagram maker) I feel like I am talking to a brick wall sometimes. It makes me feel like I am completely defective and have zero ability to communicate at all, and it bothers me because I am very tapped into him and most of the time when I am at that level with someone it is much more...balanced?
This "mind-reading" is probably so lopsided because he's an extrovert, radiating himself outward, while you are focused inward. I know that unless I purposefully turn on my charm I am extremely difficult to read.

As far as not being able to keep up with you, it seems typical of EXFX types. My closest friend is an ENFJ and my college roommate was an ENFP. Both of them are very interested in the same sorts of intellectual things as I am, but I go far deeper into the subjects simply because of how I operate: they get a bigger high from the novelty, and I get a bigger high from delving into the depths of the topic. They're intrigued by the luster of a shiny idea, as all intuitives are, but their eyes tend to glaze over when I begin expounding on the issue because they're less interested in going so deep into the matter.

& for me the sex is also great, some of the best ever. But I am simultaneously very detached because it feels like a video game that I am cracking and then epically winning at, and that is more rewarding than any physical sensation. *facepalm* And I feel like it is the combination of the pleasure, winning-ness, and potential for intellectual connection that is keeping me very interested. But something is cockblocking (sorry dudes, I'm really blunt to the point of being profane sometimes) this intellectual connection that I crave like he craves the sexual connection.
I often experience the same distance with people I know I should feel more intimate with. It's safer for me to think of it as a game: that way all I'm chasing is amusement instead of a sense of fulfillment and completeness.

I kind of feel like backspacing all of this right now and normally I would but HEY -- this is INTP-land, maybe someone will understand and respond with some insight I can relate to.
You may find this to be a place where you can truly be yourself, as others have. I will say that you seem very interesting, and I do hope you stick around.
 
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