ENTJ Social Alienation


#1

Hello

This may be totally stupid, but here we go…

In the 9th grade, I was the center of a “popular” group of friends. At the same time, I started doing really well academically. By the beginning of 10th grade, however, the whole group slowly stopped calling to hang out.

For the next two years, I didn’t really have any close friends. I was popular at school (I knew a lot of people), but never really hung out with people after school or on the weekends.

Whenever I would talk to anyone in the group, I wouldn’t be able to connect with them like I used to. I actually starting thinking they were really annoying. But, the thing is, they were still nice to me, at least on the surface. I’m not sure if we stopped hanging out because I didn’t like being with them or because they didn’t like being with me.

It seems that ever since they apparently rejected me in the 9th grade, I’ve always subconsciously wanted to impress them, to win them back. It has been 7 years since all of this happened (I know- sad). The whole group is still pretty close. Sometimes, I feel really bad because it seems like they still all enjoy hanging out with each other, but I am not there to be a part of the group.

Sometimes, I feel like there is something wrong with me. I used to be popular and could joke around with anybody. Now, I have a hard time connecting with some people. I find small talk really frustrating and hard. Oftentimes, I get super bored with most conversations. I find myself judging people rather than enjoying their company.

Like I was saying earlier, I have always been popular, but have had trouble having close friends, people to hang out with on the weekends, etc. Everyone that I meet says that I am one of the most social people they’ve ever met. I can walk up to anyone and start a conversation. However, I often feel like people don’t like me. I feel like people are just putting up with me.

  1. Am I over-analyzing?
  2. Is that just part of normal high school drama?
  3. Does this relate to being ENTJ?
  4. Is there something I can work on to improve upon this problem?
  5. I am just flat-out crazy?
  6. Other thoughts?

#2

I’ve found that lately my differences between most people as well as my social abilities have both increased. The ability to connect with people on the surface but not at a deeper level is my first guess as to the cause of what you’re going through.

I think those are years where people tend to all go different directions in life. It’s highly possible that they’re still focused on a party life while you could care less about one. I can fully understand the idea of wanting to be included but for the sake of inclusion. I enjoy hearing propositions of get-togethers, but for the most part, I don’t actually want to go out.

On a deeper level, we all have some pack mentality from evolution, and even when we don’t get along so well with a group or logically fit, we still feel some amount of a need to fit in, and it can be disconcerting to feel like we’ve lost our place.

The more people that come and go in your life, the easier it is to accept. Which isn’t to say don’t work on your relationships, but find out if it’s really the right thing for you to let this go or hold on.


#3

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#4

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#5

Everything you are feeling is typical of ENTJ’s. I experienced much the same, and still do. People admire, respect and envy me, but I never feel really close to them. I have some people who are good friends, but they are the more feely types and I think they fascinate me because they meet me on levels where I don’t meet myself.
I analyse everything; I always have. That causes a barrier around myself that is nearly impenetrable, yet protective for me. I don’t know why this is, it just is and always has been. My mind sorts and processes people.
In high school I had three good friends. But I am my best friend and most trusted ally and that’s the way it always has been. I think because we tend to know ourselves so well, we don’t need others as much. Many people don’t have this self awareness and confidence and that’s what they want.
Don’t worry about how you are. Just embrace it and focus on developing the fantastic aspects of being an entj. Find groups to govern or lead and see yourself flourish in the natural leadership roles we fit so well.
Life is short. The sooner we know ourselves and embrace who we are, the better.


#6

Thanks Go! Go! Go!

It’s good to know that there are people out there who are dealing with the same thing. I’d like to hear your story more in depth if you have time.

Doesn’t it seem like being an ENTJ is kind of a bad thing? Most of us suffer from isolation and judging other people. Sure we are gifted in others way, but at the end of the day, if you don’t have deep relationships, what really matters?

Thanks to the others who replied to my post. Your input is very helpful.


#7

I kind of agree with Go Go Go.

One of the things I have learnt along the way, is that I can take care of myself very well and do not really need to rely on anyone. I do from time to time, feel really isolated and alienated.

I am sociable and all, but I find that my interaction with people tends to be superficial. I can do small talk. I am sociable and mingle well. I however find these business cocktail things rather fake and superficial, I just can’t get into the swing of things. I however find that I am not inclined to being more than just acquaintances with most people. I do notice that lately I do tune out, and have been told I look bored. I am afraid I was, I just didn’t find talking about treatments for hair or celebrities to be that riveting. I’ve also become much much more discerning, it used to be that being decent was sufficient. Yes I know loads of nice decent people, but I find that isn’t enough. They have to have brains, critical analysis, sense of humour and awareness of who they are and other people. This aspect of my life has been like a revolving door, people come people go. I mostly don’t miss them, but it would be nice to meet people who actually have an opinion about a movie other than they like the clothes, and bring something to the table that is novel and gives me something to think about. I actually have met one or 2 of these recently at most unexpected places. They do exist!

For some reason I seem to meet a lot of INTJs and ENFJs, I know these types are rather independent and not like to be lead, I am so not surprised they think of me as Ms Bossy Pants. And yes have given me a hard time about this. Whatever. I’ve worked on this aspect to come across firm but not bitchy. I’ve use this aspect to organise and lead what I want, instead of waiting for it to happen. I wish I discovered how powerful this is earlier.

I am uncertain what a deep relationship means.

Hope this helps.


#8

OK, where do I begin… well sinece it is AFDs thread, lets start there.

  1. Yes, but dont we all lol
  2. Absolutely, especially in the quote unquote popular circles, which usually translate into many superficial / shallow types.
  3. Yes again, I have come to find that many ENTJs and similar personalities go 1 of 2 ways. Either they really suck at the superficial general small talk that is needed to start a relationship, or they are great at it, but regardless of either option they have a hard time “truly” connecting with people. Whether they come from a judgmental or elitist attitude from the start, or throw up walls that keep others from coming in, or just dont understand or feel comfortable with the emotions induced with actually letting someone in. There are many reason other than what I have mentioned, and we dont have the time / space for them all. Many ENTJs also lack what is called “social intelligence”. They many times have great charisma, energy, and passion for what they are doing or believe in, but also tend to be too direct, and confrontational, and tend to make others uncomfortable when interacting with them beyond the surface level.
  4. Absolutely, I will address this in the next few days… kinda in a time crunch atm.
  5. Nope… nough said :wink:
  6. See number 4

#9

There have been some really insightful responses so far.

I have been learning that I do not have a lack of social skills (I know many people), but a lack of motivation to communicate with most. Sometimes, I want to hang out with someone, but I do not have the motivation to actually ask them to do something. Does anyone relate to this?

I know that if I go out, I can win over any group of people. The question is how much do I have to work to do that. If I really enjoy the people I am with, it is a piece of cake (and fun). But, if I am with people that are annoying, not very deep, or something else, I can still win everyone over, but it is not very fun. I don’t get a lot out of it. It is almost like a performance more than a true connection. Is this the proper way of looking at it? Or is it insecurity?

I read in the dating section, that a lot of ENTJ’s don’t date often because they are most interested in finding the right person to invest their time in rather than dating as many as he/she can. This is definitely true in my life. I have gone out with one girl because I really thought that she was worthwhile. No other girl compared to her. We broke up two years ago and I still have not found any girl who measures up to her yet. As soon as I do, I’m there. Is this true for anyone else?

My last question is this: when I am hanging out with people, I either love to really joke around or talk about deep issues. I don’t find the surface stuff interesting at all. This is why I hate small talk at parties and other gatherings. It is altogether draining. I am often drawn to philosophy majors or people who have deep thoughts or have insightful opinions about how to live, politics, contemporary issues, music, etc.


#10

Do they not interest you?

I used to much more interested in connecting with people even if I have nothing in common with them, but over time, I have become less and less interested in trying in anyway. I excuse myself find a little corner and whip out my PSP or whatever to amuse myself.

We are picky.

I am the same. I can do small talk. I can listen to people dissect their lives. I am more interested to know if NASA has identified our Sun’s twin sun call nemesis, or some useful insight. Listening to people’s lives and their intricate relationships isn’t as bad as hearing someone trying to pass off speculation as truth - countries use fluoride in the water to control their citizens because fluoride is component in Prozac and the entrance to the centre of the earth on Google earth has been blacked out. I learnt I need to work on not rolling my eyes and looking interested even when I bored out of my skull.


#11

I’m not sure if I should laugh or cry in response to reading this post because it is all true, true, TRUE. When my coworkers tell me they would love to have me over for drinks or dinner, I just cringe because I know I will barely be able to contain my boredom, or I will talk about things they don’t understand. And then of course get talked about later, like I have claimed to have been visited by aliens or worse, BE an alien. And I feel guilty for that. Even with guys- once a “prospect” text me and asked me what I was doing; I text back that I was researching the ancient Western Interior Sea- never heard back.

I have a few close friends, and one I can get deep with; no one else. And im not old, ugly, fat, lazy, or poor. I feel beaten down by the (m)asses and have to spend time alone to reconnect with myself.

I have personal rules- don’t be too detailed or motivated in team meetings- you will confuse people. Don’t be too results oriented in tennis- you will frighten people by your aggressiveness and desire to win or leave blood on the court. Don’t get too serious- people will worry about you or lose interest since you are not what they expect. Don’t be too perfect either with projects, like baking the perfect dessert or sending the perfect christmas card. Don’t be funny around men- they hate it. Don’t hunt them–they hunt YOU, remember?
And lastly, DON’T use large words such as “euphemism” or “polymath” in the course of
GENERAL CONVERSATION- people will think you are condescending, arrogant, or rude.

As a matter of fact, it’s easier to just disengage. Or hide it all away. Thoughts, anybody?


#12

I wish this forum had a ‘like’ button. I can relate to a little too much of this.

Lately, I’ve made a little progress on this issue (for the first time in YEARS). I’ve tried walking into a room focussing on what I like about the people I’m interacting with, and have discovered that its a lot more fun that way.

I think the constant ENTJ search for multi-faceted perfection leads to a critical way of viewing other people (and ourselves!) that isn’t always constructive. A party I attended this weekend was much more bearable when I decided to start with what I appreciated/liked about anyone I was talking to, and only after that allow myself to observe their poor decisions etc. I found it was possible to have a broader, more nuanced (and probably more mature?) judgment of the person. Maybe what happens is that I expect the same standards out of other people that I expect out of myself, and face constant disappointment at their lack of effort/application (yes, its never about the outcome… its about whether they are even trying). But then, maybe I end up underweighting things they are good at, some of which never even get expressed because of the disapproval in my body language. At this particular party, I was a little surprised at how everybody was more welcoming and friendly than I expected. I could only hypothesize that it was probably because I came across as more open myself.

Also, I’m working on not having any expectations other than just taking in the experience. Sometimes I can be a little too agenda driven… I’m trying to let that go a little and enjoy my life more. Its just impossible to know how paths will intersect in the future with the people you meet.

I’m trying to accept the fact that its just not that easy for people like us to meet people that will understand us as well as we understand them. But for the few that I do find, I hold on to them pretty close.


#13

What you all describe here I understand and also feel the same way. However I have a different experience.

I do make an effort to get along with most people. I can make small chat, make everyone feel comfortable and empathize with people. I try not to show people that I really think they make stupid decisions, or are talking out of their asses. I either make a funny comment, steer the topic to something safe / fun or move away. Or when it gets too much, I make 1 really smart comment so they know I know and that I am no push over. I suppose since I don’t show the side of myself where I am competitive, analytic and well read, most people I meet in a social capacity think that I am really dumb, especially the men! The really good thing about this that they do not engage me in seemingly intellectual conversations where they usually fail to distinguish fact from opinion, or where they bait you into showing how much they know. I am not viewed as competition, and so I can fly under the radar unnoticed (while I get on with my agenda!!).

I agree with this. I suppose this is why I explain myself over and over again until I am blue in the face, and they just don’t get it. Someone said to me that it seems to be very important to me that other people understand me. I suppose it is only important if I am friends with them or they are important to me.


#14

I used to think that small talk was very hard as well, but after some practice I master it pretty well. It doesn’t stop me from feeling bored as slug on a lawn though…