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Suppression of Personality

MayaRefugee

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Has anyone here gone through times where your personality was seen as defective and there were pressures to change your natural inclinations to better fit your environment i.e. peer-group, family, school, etc.

I've discovered the INTP idea following what I believe might be burnout from trying to be and act in ways that aren't natural to me and am interested in hearing if other people may have experienced similar experiences.

How long did you try and fit in? What did suppressing your true mode of being cost you? Did you see your natural inclinations as defects? How did you come to accept your natural inclinations? Do you wish you'd heard about INTP's earlier?
 

redbaron

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i used to

i do it less now, but instead i've just come to realise there's benefits to being different or having different perspectives. as long as you're meeting objective measures, the things in between shouldn't really matter that much. so i just strive to be good at whatever i'm doing, then no one can complain that i do things differently - "that's why i'm better"

in anything really, i think the best approach is to aim to be as competent as you can within your limitations, with a mind to longterm expand limitations.
 

Blarraun

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It's important to tell negative behavioural patterns in others so that one doesn't persist in a destructive environment trying to adapt.

Many people aren't interesting or accommodating enough to allow me to feel great. It's often a wasted good effort even trying to be around.

There's also the issue knowing which parts of one's personality are at fault for bad interactions and how impactful they were as a factor. One can consider working on those outstanding quirks.

I can agree with RB on meeting the objective measures of what people broadly consider successful, safe, healthy. Even on the so often disregarded materialistic side there's a great improvement of people's positive impression of who you are when you have your own flat or home and earn a good living, people then don't interpret your quirks through a lens of misfit.

I'm sort of a proponent of an extensive-first depth-last search. Meaning that I found fun people by interacting with as many individuals as I could, before filtering and focusing on the best picks. By extensive I do mean I was meeting 15 new people every week and spending at least an hour on each and while many of them were alright I would end up spending months to find common activities and friends that would have the potential to last years.

From experience if you try extensive meetings like that you will eventually find people who are "too good" for you. In that it's actually on you to fix and improve yourself before you can match them.
 

Polaris

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Yes, pretty much by everyone, including family and peers, right from a very young age. I don't know if it has anything to do with personality type as much as just being introverted and preoccupied with topics nobody else gives a shit about.

As an example, school friends or family would talk about some thing (descriptive mostly), and I would just dive in and analyse why the thing was such and such way, and people would just look at me weirdly, yawn, get annoyed (mother) and try to shut me down or undermine me somehow. After a while I stopped talking, and literally did not talk in for many years....I just sat and listened, only replying when necessary, and making sure I did not make the other person uncomfortable.

When I started university, this tendency was suddenly greatly appreciated, so my life changed drastically and I started feeling like I actually existed.
 

~~~

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Cats appreciate you for who you are don't they?
 

onesteptwostep

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I forget who had this as their signature, but: "Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible." - Carl Jung
 

Serac

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I certainly struggled with burnout from that kind of thing when I was late teens, early 20's. And when one starts to get burnt out, one becomes even more introverted and asocial. I needed ways of getting away from people in order to recharge my batteries. As one gets older, however, one becomes better at putting oneself into an ecosystem which makes one comfortable and energized. An obvious element of that is to associate oneself with people one can communicate with, and weed out the others. In addition, one becomes better at expressing one's personality while remaining authentic and staying true to one's analytical mindset. It might sound cheesy or whatever, but I learned a lot about that from comedians – i.e. the way they sometimes express deep and interesting ideas in a funny way.
 

lightfire

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Yes, all the time as a kid, by parents, and sometimes even now by coworkers and relatives. They are the ones who are usually walking by my cubicle and comment "why are you so quiet?". But with my observation, they are usually of the obnoxious type and function in high energy environments where every one is enthusiastically scream talking in group settings, and they prefer the jump-in and socialize method, rather than the 'lets get to know someone by asking normal questions' method.

If anyone ever makes me feel defective I just ignore them even more because clearly my personality is bothering them. I just gravitate towards certain people naturally, the best relationships are the ones that aren't forced. Just be yourself, ignore the haters.
 

Polaris

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I forget who had this as their signature, but: "Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible." - Carl Jung
Thanks for the "wisdom", but it can also help to remove oneself from the toxic environment one is in, rather than letting abusive people continue to treat you like a doormat, including a parent who wanted you to be exactly like them, but didn't give a shit otherwise. Additionally my environment was filled with so-called christians who were supposedly accepting and welcoming, but because I wasn't religious, not from town, and a girl with nerdy tendencies, they kept ostracising me, and that included the adults. But perhaps you think it's okay to treat kids like this? I removed myself as soon as I was old enough to start uni, that was my solution and it worked. So yeah, go fuck yourself and your wise words.
 

MayaRefugee

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Thanks for the replies guys, definitely some food for thought.

That's great you found somewhere to thrive Polaris, congratulations. I think the solution to what Jung was saying with his wise words was precisely what you did, took yourself out of a disagreeable environment to find kin more agreeable with your own disposition. I've done the opposite and became like the Romans in whatever Rome I was in despite it feeling like an ill fitting jumper all my life - and thus ending up being somewhat lonely.
 

onesteptwostep

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@Polaris

Of course it isn't right for them or anyone to treat you in a segregated way. I'm not sure what triggered you but in no way was that quote directed at you personally. Like others have said it's good to hear that you've been able to take flight from that kind of toxic environment so to find your own niche.
 

Polaris

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@onesteptwostep

Please accept my apologies. I was definitely triggered, and should have been more self-aware. :insane:
 

onesteptwostep

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Tis okay, I don't know the details of your past that well, but if it's enough to make you a bit upset I'm okay as being a shoulder to punch on for catharsis :P
 

Polaris

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Hmm, no it's not okay, actually. I'd hate to become anything like them. Punch-hugging ok though?
 

onesteptwostep

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Punch hug! haha :D
 

Perfectly Normal Beast

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no one may know the true depths of my misanthropy

*suppresses evil cackling*
 

Serac

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man.. I think this thread saved my life

a few days ago I almost agreed to having a friend of mine move into a room in my apartment. It was only after writing in this thread that I realized just how badly that would fuck up my life. Being around people 24/7 without any means of escape? We all know that would not be healthy. Thank you, intp forum
 

washti

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yeah im overdeveloped INTJ all normal superpowers but also blasting Fi,
my all family are Fi fuckers - isfp and infp
 

Judd_INTP

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Yes, as a child and even now, people either try to get me to be someone I am not or back away to maximum emotional distance. It makes me feel a little like a respiratory infection. I love to engage in theoretical debate, and it is probably the only time I come alive. I even perk up when teaching about biological systems. My poor family has figured this out and try to ask questions about biology to include me in conversation. But I get yawns and the excitement turns into staring at my toes and feeling lonely. So....I get online and read forums with people like me. :)
 

Jennywocky

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That's great you found somewhere to thrive Polaris, congratulations. I think the solution to what Jung was saying with his wise words was precisely what you did, took yourself out of a disagreeable environment to find kin more agreeable with your own disposition. I've done the opposite and became like the Romans in whatever Rome I was in despite it feeling like an ill fitting jumper all my life - and thus ending up being somewhat lonely.
I have done both. I grew up in a religious environment culturally (rural Pennsyltucky, so to speak). I was always questioning but this was back before the Internet, so it was hard to find legitimate material to step outside the world view until I was older and left the area. I always had lots of issues with inconsistencies that had never been resolved (at least intellectually) and getting exposure to a lot of information outside my home environment was very formative and eventually (among other things) led to me leaving that area and that social culture in my mid-30's.

But socially? Basically I had to be either alone, or tease out a few individuals who were also capable of stepping outside the worldview we lived in / had issues with, or else somehow look okay on the surface. I guess I was really adept at looking like I fit on the surface, since a lot of people seemed to respect and/or like me; but the whole time I felt extremely lonely and isolated and also had low-lying frustration/ire at the crazy culture around me.

(I also had a heavily dysfunctional family growing up, with issues that persisted until my dad's death a few years back... He WASN'T religious but it was yet another environment I had to "play the game" in because I felt like I couldn't just walk out / abandon the family and conflict was pointless because it just made life hell for everyone and he wasn't about to adjust.)

Anyway. Yeah. I spent a large of chunk of life "pretending to be a Roman" and looking like a Roman, until finally I couldn't deal anymore and decided for my own sanity I needed to live more in accordance with "me" and be more open about myself and my actual thoughts on things. As you would expect, this didn't go over well, and I left the area I grew up and lived in, and I left church subculture, and I forged a new life for myself. Most of my family dropped me. I still have my mom and my kids (although they're out in the world now doing their thing), and my cousins who I don't really see much except at weddings or funerals aside from an ENFP cous I take pains to visit annually. (She was the other black sheep of the family.)

So I am more "content" at least in terms of how I live my life, what I say, how I act, who I am. I'm not smothered, at least. Like Polaris, I got the hell out of dodge. I'm "happier." I'm not the "nice" person some people viewed me as any more, I am more cutting, and more honest, and funnier outwardly, and show my skepticism. I don't allow myself to be jammed into the mold nearly like what I used to. Some people could deal, some could not.

There's still some mess there, because if you didn't grow up in my culture, it can seem somewhat unfathomable what it was like to live in there and even play the game to start with. And all that foundation -- a few decades of life -- has little bearing on my current existence, so it's like all that heritage was cut off to some degree. So.. happier, yes. I finally have "myself" outwardly, not just inwardly. But it still lingers. You just make the best of the situation you're in and be true to what you think -- always inwardly and as much outwardly as plausible -- and find what happiness / life coherence you can.
 

Entejay

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Has anyone here gone through times where your personality was seen as defective and there were pressures to change your natural inclinations to better fit your environment i.e. peer-group, family, school, etc.
For a while I was under impression that I was trying to adapt to the enviroument around me. But later in the future I realized that I utterly failed at it. I came to realization that this is impossible. I cannot adapt. But I learned to make a compromise. It wasn't an act of adapting. It was a skill that I had to learn. Hard way.

What did it cost me? Few hairs off my head.
 
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