This thread makes for an interesting read. There are many truths expressed about the “darker” side of being strong, competent, achieving, and a perfectionnist.
I have pondered about the topic many times, trying to find out the ideal strategy to counteract the negative consequences of excelling. Following success, I have suffered from the practical consequences of envy, fear, and the resulting emotional or social alienation. I tried several strategies, from dumbing myself down, showing weakness, making mistakes, to flauting my achievements and being prideful. None of them seemed entirely satisfying, because I was overdoing one or the other, and I was left wondering if I could ever continue to achieve while keeping the peace of mind I used to have before.
I asked myself many questions, wondering what I could correct about myself. I went through a very dark period where, although I did not doubt of my competence, I doubted of the ability of people to recognize my competence. Indeed, I was blocked everywhere I was going, no matter how well I presented my case. Nobody wanted to tell me what the problem was, and the reason being that there was nothing to correct about myself. The problem was that I could not find anymore somebody to “look up to” in order to progress further.
To get out of this, the most important concept I had to be conscious of is the one of “paradox”. The paradox of being the most popular, yet emotionally alienated. Of being central to the group, yet lonely. Of being the most respected, yet the one receiving the most criticism. Of not being able to lead when you say you are a leader, and being chosen as a leader when you say you don’t want to lead. Of being in charge of people, yet being highly dependent on the information you receive from them. Of being asked to show empathy, but only respected if you’re tough. It is the endless play between the leader and the group, the difference between thought and feelings. It is the power exchange that happens between you, as an ENTJ, and the people you are guiding.
I applied this concept and theory. I started to speak less, even if people complained I didn’t speak enough. I flaunted my strengths, even if people said I shouldn’t. I said I didn’t want to lead anymore, and people turned to me to lead. I made mistakes and talked about my vulnerabilities, and if people said I wasn’t that strong I simply said that I still have many flaws to overcome. The results were that I felt as good as before, people felt closer to me, and everyone of my words had far more reach.
Move against people mentally, but go along with them emotionally. Be openly objective about yourself: admit your real weaknesses, and flaunt your real strengths with pride.