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Relationships

Mar

14

2011

Comments

42

Why We Feel Lonely, Part 2

Read Part 1 – Intentional Separation (Us-vs-Them Mentality)

The three reasons I think INFPs are lonely are:

1. We separate ourselves.
2. We exclude ourselves.
3. We refuse to be compared to others.

Part One was about how we separate ourselves. Part Two is about exclusion.

In my early 20’s, I was looking for Us people who thought our problems were what made us individuals. What I attracted were depressed, angry and angsty people who blamed society for our woes. I saw myself in them and realized this wasn’t who I wanted to be. I felt more alienated and alone than ever.

My attitude changed when I started dancing. By some fluke, I was good and people would say hi. Over time it became easier to talk to people who I would have avoided before. In talking to Them, I realized that they weren’t that amorphous blob of shallow and compromise that I had invented Them to be. They were individuals going through their own problems and dealing the best they knew how.

That’s when I became “accepting” of other people or so I’d thought. I kept my eye out for potential friends. My friendship was an exclusive club and only the like-minded need apply.

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Feb

02

2011

Comments

45

Why We Feel Lonely, Part 1

A boy goes to his mom and says, “I’m bored.” The mom replies, “Then you should stop being boring.”

This lesson applies in different variations. If I’m lonely, then I stop being alone.

In my early 20’s, I thought loneliness stemmed from feeling disconnected, and that disconnection was caused by having no people in my life who really understood me. So fixing my loneliness was about fixing the disconnection. I spent years finding people who understood me. However, when I did find a handful of people who I felt really got me, I still felt lonely.

It took me a decade before I realized that we don’t feel lonely because we’re disconnected. We feel lonely because we’ve made a habit of being alone. We can stand alone amongst other people. However, standing alone keeps us from connecting to those around us.

I was trying to fix the wrong problem. I was working on the disconnection when I should have been working on what kept me alone.

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Dec

07

2010

Comments

67

Why I don’t have a best friend

Almost every Friday for the last 13 years, I’ve gone dancing at the same dance club. Last Friday, I met a guy name Ryan. I wouldn’t have noticed him if my friend Rebecca hadn’t pointed him out as someone she thought was cute. I asked her why she didn’t go over and say hi, but she’s a shy ENFJ. It’s hard to put yourself out there when you’re single and a corner mouse. I use to be that shy. But since I’m not anymore, I decided that by the end of that night, I’d meet him and introduce him to her.

I told Ryan how Rebecca and I noticed that he was a good dancer. I asked him how often he went to this club. He said he’d been dancing for years, but he kept to himself. I proceeded to introduce him to all the regulars who are hubs (i.e. people that others flocked around). Ryan does SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism), graduated from one of the top engineering colleges in the country (School of Mines) and use to play D&D. I use to go swing dancing with a guy who did SCA so I know little about it. My sister went to School of Mines and I use to play a ton of D&D. So I kept my small talk to those three topics.

This is how I met Rebecca 3 years ago. She was a dance club regular and sitting in the corner. I said hi and introduced her to all the hubs. I found out she was a teacher and we talked about teaching and school districts. Three years later, she’s one of my strong ties.

I wrote in my first post on friendship about how I decided to stop having friends. Because of that I have more people in my life now than I did before.

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Mar

04

2010

Comments

24

My favorite question is: so what?

I waited a year before taking the time to design my blog. The first iteration took me 15 minutes to throw together from a template I found. This version, I spent roughly 60 hours designing and coding over the last 2 weeks. Even before I started design, my two questions were “so what?” followed by “who cares?”.

Amanda Linehan, an INFP who writes a self awareness blog, Look Far, wrote about asking the right questions. For me, “So what?” and “Who cares?” are my most important questions. They give me perspective. They moderate my need for validation. “So what” reminds me that even though I think I’m unique and special, the universe is under no obligation to acknowledge this in anyway.

INFP Blog is my third blog. The first two failed. I forgot that the fundamental objective of any blog is building a relationship with your reader. Anyone who says that they write blogs for themselves needs reminding that if a person wants to write something no one reads, it’s easier to keep a diary under the bed. Pen and paper have smaller learning curves than WordPress or Blogspot.

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Feb

02

2010

Comments

5

What Twitter Says About Your Relationships, Part 2

If you haven’t read Part 1, you missed the other types of Tweeters.

The Reciprocal Tweeter

Tweet: @ToWhomEver I thought your new blog post was great. Here’s a link to mine.

To be fair, it’s sucks to give without getting. But that’s not how Twitter works. That’s not how relationships work. Nowhere does it say if I like you, you have to automatically like me back. Reciprocal Tweeters thinks a Rule of Reciprocation should exists. If they follow you, you should follow them. If you don’t reply when they reply, if you don’t retweet if they retweet, if you don’t comment when they comment, they’ll consider it a slight. Enough slights added up and they unfollow you.

Reciprocal Tweeters are the it’s-not-me-it’s-you people in relationships. They can’t understand how they end up dating so many jerks. What they don’t realize is that the quid pro quo approach to relationships ends up creating heavy expectations. When those expections go unmet, then it’s never them being wrong for having expectations of another person’s behavior, it’s the other person not changing into someone more suitable.

Jerks have always been jerks. It’s not their fault that they’re a jerk to you because they’re a jerk to everyone. Who’s fault is it really to decide to try to have a relationships with one in the first place?

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Jan

28

2010

Comments

2

What Twitter Says About Your Relationships, Part 1

INFP is behavior. Behavior is self-similar. In other words, how you do anything is how you do everything. This applies to Twitter.

Since Twitter is a communication platform, I think INFPs believe their objective on Twitter is to share information. If you’re an INFP who thinks the end goal of Twitter is the act of sharing, you’ll soon be bored and quit.

INFPs in 3D interaction don’t share information to strangers as a goal. We don’t tell the guy who takes our money for gas that we write poetry. We don’t tell the hostess that seats us at a restaurant what we ate this morning. So why do we do this on Twitter?

Because Twitter allows INFPs a platform to form relationships.

INFPs are all about relationships. INFPs on Twitter are looking for connection. Otherwise what’s the point of telling someone that you got a new job, unless you’re looking to connect with someone kind enough to say congratulations. Twitter is a microcosm of relationships being created and dissolved at internet speed all with a click of Follow or Unfollow.

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Jan

12

2010

Comments

135

Myth of the soulmate

Have you ever notice that for INFPs, a description of soulmate is like a shopping list that takes 15 minutes to describe when they’re 20 and single, and still takes 15 minutes when they’re 40 and single?

INFPs everywhere are protesting that we aren’t that shallow. I can’t believe how many times I’ve heard that my soulmate is just someone who “gets” me.

My response is this: do you have to be physically attracted to your soulmate for them to be your soulmate?

What if he’s bald and noticeably shorter than you? What if she has bad teeth and a laugh that scares off harpies? Can they be your soulmate if they have horrendous hygiene and you find them disgusting?

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Nov

30

2009

Comments

22

My INTJ

rodinKiss

As of Friday last week, I’ve been married to an INTJ for 13 years. I attribute most of that success to finding someone who was willing to put up with me. That and the fact that I’ve never expected her to make me happy. Your personal happiness is a big burden to place on another person.

I’ve always believed that if my life was crap, burdening someone else with the responsibility to relieve the crappiness is just a crappy thing to do someone. They have their own crap to deal with.

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