Interested to get some fellow ENTJ opinions on this. Do you guys feel, or have you felt in the past, that you are socially alienated? I know I do. At 23 I'm still pretty young so that might play a role in this, but I've seen on other MBTI forums that ENTJ's often feel ostracized socially and that this can lead to deep seeded feelings of loneliness and self doubt. Loneliness is probably the largest scar and deepest pain I carry (somewhat true for all types I guess). I find that I often have a hard time catering my blunt manner and admittedly socially different rational approach to life to a world full of feelers.
PATIENCE AND ITS PAYOFFS
Over the years, I've found major payoffs by working on my 'P' (roughly translated as 'listening skills') and my 'F' ("empathy?"). Its helped significantly with social interaction.
In other words, being an ENTJ often means that we think things out in detail and come to conclusions, and often don't have much patience for most other people's point of view, because we assume (often correctly) that they haven't done the same amount of homework we have. :angry-banghead:
However, I've often discovered something of value in the very different approaches non-NTs take, and have learned a lot from them. I've found that different perspectives more often than not increase my knowledge base and my skills, so I am more patient with people than I used to be. Its led to better relationships and smoother social interaction. In other words, I no longer automatically jump into the drivers seat - I am more patient now, and pick and choose my moment. I also pick my battles - and this is important, because now I find significantly less confrontation in my life as I get older, and when there is confrontation, I usually tend to win. :romance-grouphug:
Most importantly, from an ENTJ point of view, I found that in order to effectively mobilize people, I had to understand them, their motivations and their perspectives in some depth. In fact, I have to engage my own 'F' and sometimes take a break from being tough-minded to show other people the appreciation I have for them.
Think of it like this: non-NTs speak a different language and have a different culture. You can either choose to get frustrated that they aren't assimilating to you and your culture, or you can take a leap, learn a new language and achieve your goals by communicating to them in a way they understand best. You may think this is tedious, but in the long run, it may be very efficient, not to mention a rare skill.
Does this make any sense? Would look forward to any feedback.
That absolutely makes sense, and to a certain extent I've really been working on my listening P and my feeling F. However, progress is tough. For instance I'll give you an example. My grandmother (mom's mom) died this past fall. I had a pretty good relationship with her, but she lived in Texas so I didn't get to see her that often maybe once a year or every 2 years. When she died I was in the middle of my first semester law finals, and as such ended up not being able to go to the funeral because of scheduling conflicts. To this day I still haven't felt the deep loss or cried. And this scares the shit out of me. For a while I thought I must be some kind of monster. Yes I do miss my grandma and am saddened by her loss but no matter how hard I try I just cant feel. On the other side of this coin is the rare instance when I actually do feel deeply. I fell in love (unrequited) this year with a girl in my classes. In this case I did feel but it was like unscrewing a fire hydrant, too much power and no control over the flow. So it seems like my Feeling side is pretty black and white. Either I don't feel anything at all or its too much and my feelings are so strong they wreck the social situation they end up applied to. However, my listening (read Dr. Phil) abilities have progressed excellently. Really most everyone I know comes to me to talk about their problems, and I enjoy listening and helping them. The problem rises when I just can't empathize. The only thing I can do I guess is work out my N to take the load off my super strong Te.
There is a book called "Just Your Type," by (something) Tieger. It is a book on how to get along with who you are dating based on MB type, but it can be used to, generally, better understand how to best interact with other types. If you know how to do that, you will be able to mobilize and get along with anyone. I don't want to change anything about myself, but I am willing to do it for short bursts (faking it) if it makes my life easier. As soon as I am done interacting with the people I want to, it's back to ENTJ. My best friend/only person I would call a real friend is an INTJ. I also think people envy us for something we can't help them get, which makes them dislike us. I am glad that I don't have to deal with having an F. Not having a P is annoying though, getting me into situations where I find myself asking people to say the same things over and over and over, literally right in a row, because I can't store what they say right away (they dislike this as well).
I think that we are the most envied of the personality types, everyone wishes they could be us... and I truly wish they could. It is the good life that we live, furthering the future of the human race and all.
Why are there so few of us do you think?
My theory is that nobody can handle prolonged exposure to the ENTJ traits. Thus, our potential mates don't get to the point where they would have children with us, unless they are a gold digger... in which case they are an ESFP (and you are doing our planet a great disservice by potentially bringing more ESFP's into it who will be constantly doubting and disliking themselves), OR you get lucky and catch a perfect specimen of ENFJ. ENFJ's are the only F I would be willing to bring into this world (such kind, gentle, giving people). If God existed, he would be an ENFJ, haha. Satan on the other hand, hah... I think we all know what he would be, Cough* INTJ *Cough.
Anyway I put it, I mean this: I love being an ENTJ.
In the future, I see us coupled with INTJ's running a beautiful world for ENFJ's to play in.... ESFP's and the like are ruining the one we have now.
Iron Mickie: I got the book, thanks for the recommendation. It had a Kindle version, so I couldn't resist the instant gratification. Its pretty good.
Disco Biscuit: Its weird, but I know exactly what you mean in both the situations you described. I think that maybe death is easier to deal with, since its both inevitable and once it happens, it cannot be changed. I consider not being debilitated by death to be a blessing, not a curse - I've seen other people completely fall apart, and don't want to be like that. And there is a philosophical component that is easier to grasp because of my 'T'. So I don't think it should scare you - its a good thing.
With a significant other, though, your actions can change the future, and if you're really in love, the stakes can be very high, since you presumably also would ideally like to be with one person for life. What I've learnt over time is patience, which was much tougher when I was in college a few years ago, and is much easier now. That, and listening skills.
Empathy comes easy to me, maybe since I had a background in debate/ public speaking in high school. Having to put myself in the shoes of the audience meant having to understand not just how they thought, but how they felt. Often, though, I have to remember to switch it on, since I have a tough time empathizing with someone I don't like or respect, and it doesn't come naturally anyways. However, it helps a lot, especially in business and personal relationships. Usually just saying, "I understand that you feel xxxxx.." can change the dynamic completely - the other party just wants to know that, as a fellow human, you understand them and how they feel.
Iron Mickie: Yeah, I agree that its good to be an ENTJ - because I think its a temperament well suited to being happy. However, I think happiness is better correlated with being an adult than with temperament - overgrown children come in all types, tend to be attention seeking and unhappy.
I often get told that I'm hard to deal with in large doses.
I find people hard to deal with in anything but large doses.
it's a matter of finding the right people I think. I don't know enough extroverts.
And, see, I'd say everyone wants to be an ENTP cause we're all so good-lookin'.
I do the same thing but only because I can't pay attention to what they're saying or can't hear them. Hooray for ADHD! =D
Uh-oh! Everyone hop on the self-righteous bus for a ride on narcissism hill!
I'm not going to lie. People probably dislike you because of perceptions like that. You can try to not tell anybody that but it totally leaks through in body language and minute little details that you don't notice. It's fine to think "Hey! I'm contributing! That's cool." but it's a whole other ballgame when you start making statements like "everyone wishes they could be us." Let's not bullshit ourselves here. I have zero desire to be you or even have more of a J. Getting closer, picking apart your brain and making friends though- I can totally do that and I'd totally love to, sweetheart!
But don't suck yourself into a shell of ignorant, narcissistic, self-righteous blathering that "Everyone wants to be like X type of person.
There's plenty of you. Geeze.
You just don't know it because everyone and their mother doesn't take the MBTI and talk about it publicly. Remember, most of the interactions with other people, you're just taking guesses at what type a person is.
Bllllaaaaahhhh. What's with these barriers, dude?
Is it not good enough for you to love having consciousness, period? Is it not good enough to be given this gift of life that you now have to fall in love with yourself over what TYPE you are?
Cool story, bro.
I've heard a few fascists tell the same stories.
Edit, for the topic: I used to feel socially alienated.
'Til I realized that that was simply fear. I started putting myself more out there. I used to hate people. Now, I love 'em. We're all interesting as balls! Easy to figure out- Most people don't have a WHOLE lot going on; however I still find solace in the fact that I can never quite predict what someone will do. I s'pose that's because of my extremely high P but I don't give a damn. I like not knowing. Adds another level of ZEST. Now, it's very easy to get a long with anybody quite naturally. I don't have to change the way I do things from person to person, 'lest it be a business relationship or something like that. Even then, I treat people with equality. You give love, you get love. Simple concept that all-too-many forget.
Plus, it totally helps out being the bad motherfucker that I am. :3
View my response to this last post, grouped with several others in the Big Dreams forum of this site.
I find it amusing that you seem to see the value of having a P, but neglect to include even one type that has a P in your ideal world... oh, excuse me, I meant your prophetic vision.
As I may hold a slight amount of envy for ENTJ's, I do not wish to be one. Partnering with an ENTJ, on the other hand, is one of my highest preferences. A partnership between an ENTJ and INTP... now that is a match worthy of furthering the human race.
I've felt alienated and lonely quite a lot. I've felt like other people know how to relate in a way that I don't, and that I'm missing out on something.
Are people envious of ENTJs? Or do they just dislike "perfect" people? Not that I really think that I'm perfect, but I just manage to hide my inperfections pretty well. It's difficult to relate to someone "perfect" who seldom shows their feelings... I've been forced to work a lot with myself as a part of my psychotherapist-training - and when I let go of my facade, people open up to me in new ways. But I still have a long way to go - and I'm not sure I want to go there
WOW - this is one of the main reasons that I've doubted my extroversion... Is it really possible to be extrovert AND a social misfit?
I recently decided to study the fact that I am a blatant ENTJ, and have found it very rewarding. I think the OP's social alienation thing has more to do with attitude towards other types of people and not your personality type. Your always going to have your personality, you can however change your attitude on command. BE very careful with the language you use to describe yourself and your world when speaking yourself. Lastly be honest with yourself, be aware that YOU are the final judged. Are you really bothered by your callousness towards death, or do you just think you should feel that way. Death doesn't at all bother me, my way of mourning is to constantly celebrate and appreciate the lives that those close to me have lived, through telling stories and listening the stories of others.
I have gone through phases where I have felt very introverted and awkward. The reason I felt this way is because I was being unproductive, which completely drains my confidence. Right now in my life the very most fulfilling thing is playing music, every day I get better at it and I always feel accomplished.
I agree with Psilocin "People are interesting as balls" very very true. What I need to work on is the compulsion to speak my mind when someone else is holding court.
I converse best when at first the topic is important, general, able to be fixed/changed/created. I can then move to the details of how to make it happen, even if it is theoretical. Once I have established a good conversation with someone, anything at all can be talked about. I'm talking gossip, tv, or even as happened recently stories involving dog poop.
I just can't jump into conversations with gossip etc. first. I feel uncomfortable, even if it isn't obvious, and distant from whoever I am speaking with.
im even more alienated im an INTJ. if only they knew how valuable us ntjs are.
I've met an INTJ yesterday. She was mostly listening in conversations rather than participating. Moreover, when asked if she has a job, she avoided the question, afraid that somebody else in the group might be unemployed so she didn't want to make them feel bad. It seems to me that INTJs think too much before they act. This keeps them from getting out there and enjoying the social world. Maybe that's your problem, as well. Unless you're satisfied being on the sidelines all the time, instead of participating... which is not possible for me to do. I have to either participate or walk away.
When it comes to me, I feel socially alienated very often. I can't find common ground with my peers, and what saves me from becoming too lonely is interacting with adults. Adults are more logical and straightforward. They don't have all these complicated social rules, and it's easier to have a serious discussion with them. I don't understand my peers at all.
I can certainly empathize with the feeling of "not fitting in". Mostly for me it's that I find what other people regard as the "glue" of social interaction, all that chitchat about your sick cat, and isn't the weather lovely right now, and did you see that fascinating show on TV the other day etc. incredibly tedious and useless. I have had that habit of just jumping in, getting to the point (as I see it) and be done with it.
This made me about as useful at parties as a sledge-hammer and I detested networking interactions, which - unfortunately - are the lifeblood of being a consultant and ever picking up any business.
What helped me was to imbue this "stupid chitchat" with a purpose, and challenge myself, for example I challenge myself to remember and write down five names of five people after a networking event and add three facts about them to it, e.g. how many kids they have, what part of town they live in, a hobby, whatever we made small talk about.
Also seeing the chitchat as having a clear objective, such as sharing, building trust and getting the other person to like me helps. I still have a hard-nosed purpose that keeps me focused and now I have the will to challenge myself and become the best at this activity, too. Seeing it as competitive rather than boring and meaningless has really helped me with my energy-level in social situations and I've seen better reactions from my environment, too.
Agreed. But here's my million $$ question: how do you find social/ fun environments for yourself?
Hmmm, I guess you got me. So far I've progressed from annoyance/boredom to feeling engaged. I guess I still have to work on this some more and get myself to the "fun" part.
To tell you the truth, if I want real fun I mostly keep to myself. I can keep myself amused indefinitely, other people - not so much - especially when in larger groups.
Now a night-long meaningful discussion of life, the universe and everything with a few choice friends and family where you can get really "deep", that's a different matter, that's actually fun.
I wouldn't call it being 'alienated'. Others simply speak a different language and are unable to firmly grasp and articulate abstract thoughts. By being on your own (since there are so few NTs around us), you're able to learn and grow at lightening speed. I've learned more about myself in the past 6 months than the collective past 6 years alone, for every 6-month interval since roughly five years ago.
You will find someone you can connect to. I've had great conversations with Experiencers (ESTP), but at the end of the day gazelles and otters return to their respective groups. An otter will never become a gazelle, nor should it try to change to be accepted as a gazelle. Be who we are, and we will attract those who are looking for us.