Anyone else feel socially alienated


#41

Brad,

Since writing the post, I’ve read a book that accelerated my progress towards being more ‘at peace’ (for lack of a better phrase) and a better listener. It’s called ‘The Pursuit of Perfect’ by Tal Ben Shahar, who also wrote another book that helped, called ‘Happier’.

In a nutshell, he contrasts the ‘perfectionists’ and the ‘optimalists’, and recommends being the latter. One of his arguments that is relevant to this discussion, and that particularly struck a chord with me, was the fact that ‘perfectionists’ (as defined by him) look at progress as a straight line, with any failure viewed as negative and a step backwards. On the other hand, ‘optimalists’ view progress as a winding path that also includes tangled circlular sections. Since their expectations are set differently, they are less impacted by failure, and less hard on themselves than the ‘perfectionists’. And as a result, they are less harsh on others as well.

When I read his explanation (much better detailed than the paragraph above), I realized that Im usually pretty harsh on myself because I have high expectations, and that I may be not as understanding and less forgiving of other people as well. Just realizing that has helped me socially significantly.

Another interesting thought experiment was realizing that I often judge peoples actions based on a comparison between their actions and how I would have acted in their situation. The breakthrough was realizing that I am not them, so putting myself in their shoes is meaningless… The real question is trying to understand how THEY feel in their shoes.

For example, I’ve become much nicer to ESTJs by understanding their need for security. Then it becomes clear that in many situations when they get angry they are actually scared or uncomfortable because of a security-related issue. So behavior that earlier seemed illogical or inconsiderate or annoying prompts a more sympathetic understanding from me.

I don’t know how this became an essay yet again, but hope this helps. I would recommend buying the ‘pursuit’ book.


#42

Althought Social alienation does not bother me like it used to, I have a daughter (21) that is the only other ENTJ that I know. So her and I are reading the following books:
The Art of Migling by Martinet
How to Make People like you ( in 90 seconds or less) by Boothman
The Fine Art of Small talk by Fine

In order for some of the younger ENTJs to develop friendships with probably SPs and SJs these are the things they will have to learn.
Other wise they will spend their lives outside the window, in the rain, with their noses pressed up against the glass, looking in at all the fun.

That is hard when you are an extrovert!!

Roger B.


#43

some one wrote:
I think most NTs have some level of problem dealing with non-NTs. I rather think that if we were the majority it would be the SFs who would be having horrible trouble dealing with people - but we’re not.

I think social skills - and dealing with people you don’t have much in common with, requires experience. You just have to be in enough social situations that you start figuring people out. Reading up on relationship books of psychology books or whatever, can give you a starting point for understanding things assuming its not happening naturally.

Another book that has helped me tremendously understaned how others think is Keirsey on Please Understand me II

I never realized that NT’s are only 2 -at the most 10% of the population. That as a group NT tend to talk mostly about abstract things and the rest of the world being mostly sp’s and sj’s do not.

roger B.


#44

Thanks - I am going to check some of these out. I hung out with an ESTP buddy last night, who’s 10 years older than I am, and am always amazed at his effortless mastery of social situations. Its just not as natural to me, and I envy his sheer superior skill.

Yes and Yes!!!


#45

You sure you guys aren’t INFJs? The idea of a lonely ENTJ is ridiculous in my mind. With ESTPs, they’re supposed to be the most “popular/cool” type. If you guys are just too bossy and alienate people that way, that doesn’t really count, because it’s an easy thing to fix. Just close your mouth.


#46

Where exactly does it say they’re supposed to be the popular/cool type?

Some ENTJs are just to intellectual for most people to handle. Like all NTs we also tend to hate small talk. This makes it a little tough to connect with people.

I know I find a lot of people just plain boring and it’s more fun to be alone then to listen to boring people talk about things with no meaning whatsoever.


#47

Banned wrote:
You sure you guys aren’t INFJs? The idea of a lonely ENTJ is ridiculous in my mind. With ESTPs, they’re supposed to be the most “popular/cool” type. If you guys are just too bossy and alienate people that way, that doesn’t really count, because it’s an easy thing to fix. Just close your mouth.


The following I found somewhere, maybe on this site but it does a very good job explaining why ENTJ’s do not fit in at times socially.

Since F is last we many times hurt peoples feeling or offend them unintentionally.
Closing the mouth is “a” temporary solution but it does nothing to help an “E” fit in

I about died laughing at this one

I’m not socially alienated in the global sense of alienation being a
character trait. Interaction always has the potential for fun.

But I can be alienated, given the right circumstances. For instance, if I go
to a party, sometimes it may have a lot of duds. People talking about pop
music stars, celebrity gossip, athletics, weather events, video games,
sitcoms, sales at retail stores, traffic, how is work going (there is a
reason it is called work instead of “happy playtime”) – all nauseating
things I know very little about, and am not curious to learn more. At that
point I head for the food and beverages.

I do like talking about technology, politics, random events that disrupt our
routines, strange stories, weird random people causing trouble and mischief,
philosophy, hypotheticals-- (my ENTP sister is always asking people: how
much could someone pay you to do x?, which can fill hours of time, believe
it or not), plans for the future-- are people reading any interesting books,
any vacation plans; counterfactuals-- how would history have turned out, if
this event happened instead of this event; what is the most embarrassing
thing you did in college, is Darth Vader beautiful, what is your most
favorite group of conspiracy theory mutants – conservation could be so much
more fun.

But nope. Sometimes I get disappointed and hear, “Wow, it really is cold
outside.” (No shit, it is winter in Chicago.) “Did you hear that Britney
Murphy died?” (Who is that and why do I care?) “I bought so-and-so a gift
from Target, and got a really good deal.” (Kill me now. Where is the damn
alcohol?) Then I’ll remark how my 1995 Mitsubishi Mirage is banged up
because it transforms and fights Decepticons when I’m not looking, and get a
bunch of blank, confused looks. But my car is not at fault, because
concerning any moral action, we must ask ourselves: what would Optimus Prime
do?


If you can comprehend why this thing is funny as hell then you are on the verge of understaning
The troubel of ENTJ’s fitting in socially at times

mserogerb


#48

I know; I’m late to the party. But I just joined because I was having one of those Canadian “tall poppy” moments and in a funk over it. It’s such a relief to finally hear others saying what I’m always thinking instead of condemning me for it!


#49

I’m sorry I find this rather tactless and offensive.

Its not about alienating people. Its about feeling alienated.

I feel alienated as in the people I meet do not think and feel the same way as I do. I have no common ground with them. I can accept that, but I just feel different.

Its not about opening that big mouth and being bossy and telling people how stupid they are.


#50

I’ve never belonged. Ever. Mostly I’ve been okay with it. Although I am ENTJ I prefer to spend most of my time alone, in my own head. I dont really have to worry about anyone else. But there is that very small part of me…somewhere deep deep down that wonders sometimes what its like to be like everyone else. Then my good of fashion entj common sense kicks in and I know what other people are like and I continue on my marry way. The one thing however that really bothers me is the fact that ENTJ’s are alienated by things that our societies are supposed to value. When were kids were told to be ourselves regardless of what anyone else thinks. Okay, Im confindent in myself. Were told to always be honest. Okay, I have NO problem telling the truth. But at the end of the day were penalized for being higher thinking individuals that happen to make good decisions, and are smart workers. Im not speaking for all ENTJ’s when i say this because it can vary from person to person but i believe you should have a high sense of self and carry yourself in a way that you can be proud of and have intergrity and character. I think alot of ENTJ’s possess qualities that alot of people need/want and yet were on the outskirts of social interactions. Ive always been told that im not sensitive, or that im rude, and inappropriate because I believe in honesty above all else. Im constantly the odd one out. The one who is unlike anyone else most people have ever met. Sometimes i feel like its me againist the world and everything that i do is blown out of proportion especially considering that Im only one person. Our society, well mine anyway, caters to people who are overly emotional in making decisions and highly conscious of other feelings even when they are ridiculous. I can understand how some of the things i say can offend people, and how i can come off as emotionless and cold. But while other people are busy telling me what I am and how I am not once does any of them stop and think how it would feel to always feel misunderstood. I always feel misunderstood. I can handle it but its gets defeating sometime. Like everyone else has the right to be who they are but i dont. :neutral_face:


#51

Wolves never mingle with the sheep.


#52

I watched a natgeo (or was it discovery channel) programme on the idea of love, and the conclusion was that our brains are hotwired for interpreting social status and acquiring social status. (logical analysis and deduction where did that come from?) A lot of it is done with smoke and mirrors rather than real achievement in my opinion. I have increasingly no patience for people, and even less interest in stepping gingerly around what people project of themselves that they expect me to believe and uphold. They also have no idea that what they know is very superficial or that they aren’t really very good at what they do, but I have to pretend that they are.

I know the normal ENTJ tendency is tell them with brutal honesty what I think of them. I totally feel like doing this! But it does not serve any purpose to do so, they will remember this slight whether done privately or publicly and will try to take you down in whichever way they can (usually in some little petty thing) which is really irritating, but not devastating. At the end of the day they will still be the same and now you have someone who dislikes you.

From a tactical point of view, it would be better to leave their pride intact. You know smile, say something neutral and move on. Managing people well pays far bigger dividends. Don’t see it as catering to their feelings, but part of your strategic game plan for managing the people element of your big goal.

Since most people are about ego, you can use this to get them to do what you want. Flattery gets you everywhere. As does good manners. Find some common ground and you have a friend. If they get out of line, “what will other people think?” or “I would be so embaressed if …” works far far better than a detailed logical analysis unless they are an NT. I wish I figured out this later part far sooner it would have saved a lot of time trying be logical about things with them - it does not work it makes them feel stupid. Its about telling the truth in a way that is palatable and will be acted on. No point shouting and being seen as a douchebag. The message maybe totally logical and well thought through, but will be not be acted on. Its about getting results.

At the end of the day, I do feel terribly alienated. I feel like some mutant homo sapien.


#53

Unfortunately I agree with pretty much everything here.

But with an interesting caveat: recently my INTP buddy pointed out that I have a tendency to ‘play both sides of the chess board’ in my relationships. The subject came up again in a recent conversation with an older ENTJ friend/ colleague who agreed with the analogy, said he did the same thing, but had learned something: playing both sides of the chess board is excellent in business relationships, and terrible in personal relationships.

While I agree, it can be confusing, because on one hand, it seems that nobody wants to hear the truth, especially in romantic relationships, but on the other hand, I feel like hiding the truth from them doesn’t allow for any improvement either. Self esteem and pride can be so delicate with some folks that the smallest threat can be devastating to the ‘aggrieved’ party. Then again, how will they ever become stronger, if not by being forced to face reality? I’ve never been the sort to raise my voice or get agitated, but sometimes I’ve gotten exhausted in the cajoling and placating aspects of baby-sitting other people by deflecting the sting of reality when it reaches them. I’ve especially had a hard time with people who need validation from others, or me, because I believe validation should come from within, and I think its a mistake to rely on external validation to feel good about yourself.

I realize that not everybody is like that, of course. But it sure seems like a lot of people are (especially very pretty girls, for some reason :wink: ). The conclusion I have come to is that expecting adult relationships means a lonelier existence than the alternative - i.e. I prefer quality over quantity. Any thoughts?


#54

To be honest, I’ve never really felt alienated- except for a period of time in my life in my early twenties. In fact, I think being alone for long periods of time can have severe detrimental effects on the ENTJ- at least I feel this way when I’m not actively connecting with ideas and the people around me.

For certain I avoid situations in which I’ll be forced to listen to the incoherent rantings of people obsessed with celebrity gossip and bargain sales, but rather I like spending time with others who add dimensions and intrinsic value to my life. I also don’t like situations in which I have to be one-on-one with one person for long periods of time, I prefer the multi-faceted connections of group dynamics.

Too often with introverted feelers- particularly INFJs and INFPs (as much as I adore them) I think tend to unload their problems onto others, and often INFJ/ENFJ males I found to be repulsively competitive and lacking in diplomacy and privacy in some manner to want to upstage others. I find NTs much more interesting to develop a repetoire, for it takes a long time to gain their trust where they are able to reveal the deeper facets to their personality, so that their stories are not something they blab out in the first few minutes of meeting them in some histrionic state, but rather, their careful armor gives way to an emotional intensity that wouldn’t exist if they were so open about their inner states all the time to everyone.

At least, despite the fact that I probably seem to others as open, happy-go-lucky and friendly, I consider myself a very guarded individual, and I will judge people through a kind of instinct + action to immediately to see if they will ever penetrate my superficial wall of friendliness.

I do admit here that I have quite a few INFJ/ENFJ friends. But I did have to cruelly tame them at first so that they would not cross the boundaries that I’d drawn. Such is the ENTJ way, no? :mrgreen:


#55

I hear you about the outward appearance versus the inward wall. A lot of the time I can tell whether or not to let others through, but I’m finding that I need to make an effort not to block too many people out. It’s incredibly easy for me to see the flags, and block out what could potentially be a good relationship.

As far as INFJs and ENFJs, I think I have to tame myself more to not scare these people away. My deeper thoughts can be a bit rash for them.


#56

I would love to hear more about ‘play both sides of the chess board’ in my relationships.’

Grow stronger? A lot of people don’t seem to fix what is really wrong, but fix outward symtoms so that they appear like they have worked it out. Or just don’t show that side of themselves again so that you don’t pick on them again. Its all about appearances. I’m not really interested in knowing people who aren’t into personal growth. I head towards the exit when I find out they do this as quietly and as politely as I can. What’s the point of wasting time?

Yes I know what you mean, I repeat and repeat myself and hold their hands through all sorts of things. And I don’t find that they find solutions to their problems and issues. Nothing changes or if it does it takes a very long time and by then I am completely exhausted and want to move on.

I totally agree.

What kind of women have you been meeting?? Not all attractive women are like that!! I know about the lonelier existence.


#57

I will also add female NFs and SFs critiques of other people based on what they wear and how they carry themselves. You know “Look at those tiny shorts! Bet you that one must be a …”. I really don’t think its about the shorts. Wear what you like.

Sadly I too have experienced this.

I have to work on not looking sooo bored when they go on like this. :slight_smile:


#58

FUCK. YES. This is what I’ve been trying to tell my ENTJ friends. Loosen the fuck up. Be versatile! You’ll be more loved and less socially frustrated.


#59

Best discussed in person, because its complicated. I’ll try: its possible to get trapped into the cycle of figuring out what the ‘right’ thing to say is. But if you trust yourself to be a considerate, affectionate, generous person without any hidden agendas, its best to drop your filters and say what you really think/ feel, regardless of the consequences, so the other person sees who you really are, and so that you can see their reaction. Doesn’t mean it will be friction-less or perfect, but it will afford true visibility, and both sides can then decide if they like what they see.

In only one of the relationships I’ve been in (although a significant one), did I start to care more and more about what I said and when I said it, and eventually realized the problem wasn’t with me not ‘instinctively’ knowing the right thing to say. It was that the other person was very insecure and had a need for validation that was a bottomless pit (since it cannot be filled by anyone other than themselves) - in a situation like that, you’re always wrong, because nothing you say or do is enough to fulfill the other person’s neediness. I realized that instead of trying to coach the other person to ‘normalcy’ or self-fulfillment (which would be playing both sides of the chess board), it was important to move on, because I wasn’t being myself during the ‘coaching’, if I acted like myself it just set the other person off, and even if I said everything exactly right, there was no way to know if I was going to be successful in changing them, or even what the outcome would be if they changed and I dropped my own filter.

Hows that for a convoluted answer to a simple question?

Heh - please feel free to introduce me to these rumored mythical creatures! :smiley: The forums messages go straight to my email!

Appreciate that you read through the post and can identify.

edit: In one of my other relationships, there were absolutely no filters. Even though it didn’t work out for different reasons, there were no hard feelings, and much better visibility and honesty. Definitely the way to go. It was unintentional, next time I’ll try and make it intentionally so.


#60

I’m a sheep. I’m mingling with the wolves. *Mingle-mingle