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Realizing that my personality type does not fit into adult life. Watch

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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thank you - this is what is causing me distress to be honest with you - feeling that my potential is going to waste. I know what I could be capable of if only I could overcome this mental block. You seem to be the only person who has recognized this. I would prefer to challenge myself and pursue something that utilizes my mind rather than settle for the work I currently do.

    I did a stint of teaching in my 1st year and found it hugely rewarding - my ambition was to teach but then my mental health took a nose dive after years of ignoring my problems and I didn't even entertain the idea of such a career upon graduation because I wasn't mentally well.

    Yes, I can have perfectly 'normal' and confident interactions with anyone and everyone. I've worked in offices and held respectable positions (and subsequently thrown it all away due to my personality). I've worked in hospitals as admin, worked in shops as a customer care assistant and I've worked in law. In my working life I don't think anyone would suspect or have reason to assume that I'd ever had mental health issues or that I have any kind of social anxiety (I think there could be an element of that). Most would probably describe me as 'quiet, conscientious, professional, personable'.

    I've never had a bad reference. I don't appear odd/awkward/silent - I just appear not to be the chatty type. I learnt how to engage with people by watching them - so even though it doesn't come naturally to me, I can talk and blend in. But it feels like I'm not being myself - it feels like a performance. That's why it's exhausting and takes it toll, because I'm constantly working to appear 'normal' (whatever that is) because in reality I could go for weeks without needing to talk to anyone.

    All of my issues stay inside my head and have only ever once become apparent to a workplace - and that was just before I quit and they needed a doctors note during my time off sick which revealed stress/anxiety/depression.

    So yes, I am, on the face of it, a functioning member of society. But inside my head there's all sorts going on and interacting with others drains me incredibly. I can fake it like the best of them - but at a price to my mental health. The reason I'm doing the work I am currently doing is because I reached a point at that time in my life where faking it was literally driving me mad. I would get home and just break down in tears and sob like a child - I realized that was too much of a price to pay. Maybe I just needed a coping strategy or an outlet. It's something I definitely need to work on if I want a career.

    I'm just petrified of getting into a job that I know I'm good enough to do and intellectually suited to and could excel in - and then my brain just going to pieces when I clock off each night and the feeling dread each morning just because I have to speak to people throughout the day.
    Wow...I've just properly read this comment, I understand exactly what you're saying here. It makes sense to me because I can relate to it, especially the part highlighted in bold. It seems like I have very similar personality traits to yours, except yours is significantly more severe (no offense). Still, I can relate to that on a level and I understand exactly what you are trying to convey here.

    Unfortunately, I've never been good at giving advice. All I can say is that you really must change. I know it's hard, and having a background of mental health issues makes it even harder. I too have suffered from depression and some mental health problems in the past (in terms of stress/anxiety). But you really must change, believe me. I'm sure you know that, that's why you're reaching out hoping to get some advice.

    It's probably going to sound like completely empty and pointless advice, but perhaps you can talk to someone. A friend, a family member...anyone who can listen to your problems and perhaps offer some useful advice. I know that feeling of dreading seeing and talking to people, but I force myself every day to try something. A lot of the time, I completely fail, I end up retreating as soon as I walk into a group of people. That's not a good thing.

    I'm probably making no sense at all here. It's a bad problem to have, and I don't really know what advice to offer I'm afraid...just try to keep a positive outlook. Apply for the job that you want, hopefully you'll settle in after some time, maybe not straight away.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Thank you, I genuinely appreciate it.

    I just saw your question after responding to another user but here was my response in relation to friends:



    In terms of the relationship with my family - it's civil/amicable/fragile/unconventional. My parents divorced in my teens and that created a lot of issues. Maybe the correct way to describe my family relationship is dysfunctional but something I've adapted to and something I'm still learning to accept. I see one of my parents very little (once/twice a year) and have a distant but civil relationship with them. The other I see often and we are fine I guess.

    My outlook on life - I have hope, I have belief that things can improve.Importantly - I want them to - so that's half of the battle. I've always tried to be an optimist, but like anyone I have down days. I find myself to be contemplative and that sometimes drifts into sadness but I'm not currently suffering from depression or taking any medication. I am generally quite chipper so long as I am busy. It's when I have spare time that I find my mind wandering to lonely places.

    Yes, I'm extremely ambitious - ridiculously ambitious. I feel like a complete underachiever at this point in my life. 6 years ago I was sat in an interview for medical school (never got in so withdrew my 3 other choices). 7 years ago I had a place on an LLB (which I gave up to pursue med). I was such an ambitious teenager but didn't know which route to take. Both opportunities I threw away. I'm glad I did the degree that I eventually chose but I'm not glad that I'm doing nothing with it now. My friends/acquaintances/people I have on facebook that I barely speak to anymore are doctors, teachers, paralegals/solicitors or doing PhDs - I've just done nothing but dead end jobs and seemingly wasted my talent due to my inability to get to grips with human interaction.
    I'll stop spamming the thread with replies after this, I promise.

    Anyway...at the risk of sounding like a creep/online predator, you sound like a very interesting and pleasant person and (okay...brace yourself for a super creepy moment here) very, very similar to me. Sorry to say, but the answers you have provided to my questions do not paint a positive picture. The problems you describe in your opening post are related to the additional information that you've shared here.

    I fear I may be heading into the same direction as you (no offense intended, honest). I'm trying to fight it, but it's definitely affecting my work in some way. I still try and interact with people as much as I can (my work demands it, it's an absolutely essential and key part of what I do) but a lot of the time, I do avoid it, which means I miss out on some very important learning experiences.

    Bottom line I suppose is that you just need to fight it and look past your own personal shortcomings...I know it's not constructive advice, it's generic and useless...but I hope you manage to sort everything out and fulfill your goals.

    Cheers.
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    I think the problem may be that you are convinced that the problem is centred on you.
    You can only think about what you want for yourself.

    You know, that is not at all what makes for a satisfying life. It is not about getting 10 out of 10 in a test and getting a reward for it.

    You need to go where there are people who need you and where you can give.

    When you are sincerely moved by the plight of others you will be able to help and feel rewarded by that. Perhaps that is why you enjoyed teaching?

    I guess, and I know it sounds ruthless, you need to think less of yourself and more of others. Small talk is a way of putting people at ease and allowing them to unburden themselves of worries etc. You just need practice.

    Take books round a hospital, volunteer in a hospice, visit old people's clubs, read with young children ( most towns have reading schemes), offer to do someone's garden. Anything that will allow you to concentrate on the needs of someone else rather than what you want to get out of it for yourself.
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    (Original post by rickfloss)
    telling someone who clearly has mental health issues to man up?

    what next, telling someone who has aids to get over it?( afterall drugs are available)
    It's different if OP has mental health issues (I mentioned the autism spectrum), but people need to realise that even if you are introverted, it is up to you to man the **** up and learn to talk to people in a way which is direct and polite and I say this as someone who is introverted

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    (Original post by Stinkum)
    ....
    Thanks, I enjoyed reading your responses and I found them useful - not generic at all. You're right, I need to fight the aspect of my personality that forces me to feel a need to retreat into my own head. I think deep down I knew/know that - but no one has ever said it directly to me. People always just say things that they believe to be gentle and caring and generally try to avoid offending - but in the long run that kind approach can just be damaging because the individual never faces up the issues. So thanks - you said what I needed to hear.

    I've realized (with the help of this thread) that it's probably time that I went back to see a counselor - just to talk it through, create some distance between my issues and my actual self. I know I'm a caring person with potential - I have so much to offer others, I just need to overcome the problems that my mind creates for me. Thankfully I'm at a point in my life where I've already been through dark spells so I know myself well enough to recognize the run up to my own breaking point and I know when my mind is in need of a clear out. I need to slow my thoughts down, speak to someone and get my head back on track so that I can start changing my life for the better.

    I'll going to carry on with my job to save up some money but I'm going to put my fears to one side and apply to university at the end of the year to pursue teaching, and in the meantime I'll get some voluntary work to ease myself into more regular interaction. I've got to start somewhere, just baby steps to begin with.

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    (Original post by pickup)
    I think the problem may be that you are convinced that the problem is centred on you.
    You can only think about what you want for yourself.

    You know, that is not at all what makes for a satisfying life. It is not about getting 10 out of 10 in a test and getting a reward for it.

    You need to go where there are people who need you and where you can give.

    When you are sincerely moved by the plight of others you will be able to help and feel rewarded by that. Perhaps that is why you enjoyed teaching?

    I guess, and I know it sounds ruthless, you need to think less of yourself and more of others. Small talk is a way of putting people at ease and allowing them to unburden themselves of worries etc. You just need practice.

    Take books round a hospital, volunteer in a hospice, visit old people's clubs, read with young children ( most towns have reading schemes), offer to do someone's garden. Anything that will allow you to concentrate on the needs of someone else rather than what you want to get out of it for yourself.
    Thank you. That was helpful. I'm genuinely going to take your advice and start volunteering - I think it could really open my eyes to other people and their needs. Even if I can only make a small difference it will feel like more of a difference than I currently feel I make.

    (Original post by yo radical one)
    It's different if OP has mental health issues (I mentioned the autism spectrum), but people need to realise that even if you are introverted, it is up to you to man the **** up and learn to talk to people in a way which is direct and polite and I say this as someone who is introverted

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    Yes, I have had mental health issues. It's not something that completely goes away. I don't take medication for my depression these days since I'm generally okay but it's kind of like bailing out sinking rowing boat everyday - sometimes I have a bucket, sometimes I have spoon...sometimes I'm not even sinking.
    You just learn to handle it I guess and it's definitely not a case of 'man up', I'm glad I didn't read your comment on a 'spoon' day.

    Your comment had only the effect of irking me due to the flippant/ignorant tone to it - but for someone younger with less life experience or someone in a particularly fragile state - it was useless at best and awful at worst. It could have been disastrous if they thought that was the general consensus and what they had to do. You don't know the issues/life stories of people based on a short piece of writing on a forum - you never see the full picture. So you should assume worst case scenario until told otherwise when dealing with mental health matters (after all, that was the sub forum that this was posted in) if you decide to respond.

    Basically - just because you're on the internet doesn't mean there are no people behind the messages you read...and what you write can affect real people, consider that - would you say it to someone's face 'man up' if they were low? If yes, then I'm probably wasting my time with this response. Also, just because you're introverted doesn't make you the speaker for the rest of us.

    I say all that not in anger, but with hope that you understand.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)

    Yes, I have had mental health issues. It's not something that completely goes away. I don't take medication for my depression these days since I'm generally okay but it's kind of like bailing out sinking rowing boat everyday - sometimes I have a bucket, sometimes I have spoon...sometimes I'm not even sinking.
    You just learn to handle it I guess and it's definitely not a case of 'man up', I'm glad I didn't read your comment on a 'spoon' day.

    Your comment had only the effect of irking me due to the flippant/ignorant tone to it - but for someone younger with less life experience or someone in a particularly fragile state - it was useless at best and awful at worst. It could have been disastrous if they thought that was the general consensus and what they had to do. You don't know the issues/life stories of people based on a short piece of writing on a forum - you never see the full picture. So you should assume worst case scenario until told otherwise when dealing with mental health matters (after all, that was the sub forum that this was posted in) if you decide to respond.

    Basically - just because you're on the internet doesn't mean there are no people behind the messages you read...and what you write can affect real people, consider that - would you say it to someone's face 'man up' if they were low? If yes, then I'm probably wasting my time with this response. Also, just because you're introverted doesn't make you the speaker for the rest of us.

    I say all that not in anger, but with hope that you understand.
    So do you feel the cause of your difficulties/lack of desire for, interacting with others is your mental health issues or not?

    If it is, then surely you should seek professional help rather than coping in a way which is not pleasant for you. There is a big difference between mental health issues stopping you from being able to talk with others and it simply being a personality trait.

    >would you say it to someone's face 'man up' if they were low?

    In answer to this question

    It depends on the reason why they were feeling low

    I have a lot of sympathy for those with mental health issues in fact, however people who talk about how they can't do something because they are introverts/INFP's (just an example)/have the Gemini star sign, do need to man up
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    (Original post by yo radical one)
    So do you feel the cause of your difficulties/lack of desire for, interacting with others is your mental health issues or not?

    If it is, then surely you should seek professional help rather than coping in a way which is not pleasant for you. There is a big difference between mental health issues stopping you from being able to talk with others and it simply being a personality trait.

    >would you say it to someone's face 'man up' if they were low?

    In answer to this question

    It depends on the reason why they were feeling low

    I have a lot of sympathy for those with mental health issues in fact, however people who talk about how they can't do something because they are introverts/INFP's (just an example)/have the Gemini star sign, do need to man up
    I've got absolutely no idea. But if it was as simple as that I would have sorted it by now. If it was mental health, I'd have seen a doctor, had some therapy, took some pills - then I'd be sorted (maybe) and ready to pursue a career. If it was introversion I would have forced myself to interact until I got used to it.

    I've done both of these things (medical route/forced interaction) BEFORE I admitted to myself that there was a problem - and they didn't change my life. Meds didn't solve the underlying issues - they just made me like a zombie, lifeless but without depression - feeling nothing (but it was better than feeling everything in a bad way). Forced interaction made me retreat even more into myself after a long period of faking it.

    So now maybe I'll try both. No meds though, just therapy/counselling mixed with gradual forced interaction. If that doesn't work I'll be stuck for ideas quite honestly.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I've got absolutely no idea. But if it was as simple as that I would have sorted it by now. If it was mental health, I'd have seen a doctor, had some therapy, took some pills - then I'd be sorted (maybe) and ready to pursue a career. If it was introversion I would have forced myself to interact until I got used to it.

    I've done both of these things (medical route/forced interaction) BEFORE I admitted to myself that there was a problem - and they didn't change my life. Meds didn't solve the underlying issues - they just made me like a zombie, lifeless but without depression - feeling nothing (but it was better than feeling everything in a bad way). Forced interaction made me retreat even more into myself after a long period of faking it.

    So now maybe I'll try both. No meds though, just therapy/counselling mixed with gradual forced interaction. If that doesn't work I'll be stuck for ideas quite honestly.
    Hey OP!
    I truly sympathise with you and I have read every post you've put on here to gain as best an understanding as I can about your situation.

    I really think you could benefit from seeing some form of therapist (now hear me out on this) there is absolutely nothing wrong with you not enjoying small talk and meaningless social interactions that's fine and perfectly normal maybe not what most people are like but there is nothing wrong with it.

    However it is not at all normal or healthy for these social interactions to cause your mental health to deteriorate to the point you need to take antidepressants. I know taking the step to see a mental health professional is hard one to take (trust me I know) but I think it is something you need to do if you really want to overcome this, and you may need to shuffle therapists a bit and find one that suits you and you feel comfortable with which can be hard and it can be something that deters people but I really really think it could help you.

    I really do hope you overcome this because it really is holding you back in life.
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    (Original post by Stinkum)
    That was very interesting to read. My personality is very similar to what you have described, but there are significant differences.
    (Original post by Stinkum)
    Wow...I've just properly read this comment, I understand exactly what you're saying here. It makes sense to me because I can relate to it, especially the part highlighted in bold. It seems like I have very similar personality traits to yours, except yours is significantly more severe (no offense). Still, I can relate to that on a level and I understand exactly what you are trying to convey here.
    I couldn't agree more.

    Anonymous - would you mind PMing me? I really feel that I can help you with this but would rather not relay too much personal information on here.
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    (Original post by SophieSmall)
    Hey OP!
    I truly sympathise with you and I have read every post you've put on here to gain as best an understanding as I can about your situation.

    I really think you could benefit from seeing some form of therapist (now hear me out on this) there is absolutely nothing wrong with you not enjoying small talk and meaningless social interactions that's fine and perfectly normal maybe not what most people are like but there is nothing wrong with it.

    However it is not at all normal or healthy for these social interactions to cause your mental health to deteriorate to the point you need to take antidepressants. I know taking the step to see a mental health professional is hard one to take (trust me I know) but I think it is something you need to do if you really want to overcome this, and you may need to shuffle therapists a bit and find one that suits you and you feel comfortable with which can be hard and it can be something that deters people but I really really think it could help you.

    I really do hope you overcome this because it really is holding you back in life.
    Thank you for replying. I'm going to look into it - either through the NHS or a charity organisation. It's a lot trickier finding time for therapy when you're in full time work compared to when I was at uni, but I'm going to have to make time for my own sake.

    (Original post by maskofsanity)
    I couldn't agree more.

    Anonymous - would you mind PMing me? I really feel that I can help you with this but would rather not relay too much personal information on here. I currently work at PwC and therefore have a very sociable and typical graduate job, yet the posts you have written in this thread may very well have come from me they are so incredibly similar to my own thoughts and background - same exact personality, same degree, same application to medicine, had a driving job because of its solitude, now applying to teaching/postgraduate study, etc. - really quite bizarre how similar everything is actually.
    I'll PM you.
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    I don't know how old you are but with experience, you will come to realise that MOST people are struggling with very difficult situations and, you are going to have them more and more as time goes on - inevitably. That is the human condition.

    You lose girl/boy friends, best mates, parents, children in more or less horrendous situations and unexpectedly. Ditto jobs, houses, hopes, career prospects. Don't be fooled by people who appear to have a wonderful life - it may well only be what we, in our ignorance, perceive and they are very good at covering up. They have learned not to frighten the horses ( or other people.)

    That is why I said it isn't the rewards, success, money etc that will give you satisfaction ( 'sic transit gloria' ) but the ability to help others and do something however small to help us all to get along the best we can. Courage and kindness is what we all needed.
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    (Original post by pickup)
    I don't know how old you are but with experience, you will come to realise that MOST people are struggling with very difficult situations and, you are going to have them more and more as time goes on - inevitably. That is the human condition.

    You lose girl/boy friends, best mates, parents, children in more or less horrendous situations and unexpectedly. Ditto jobs, houses, hopes, career prospects. Don't be fooled by people who appear to have a wonderful life - it may well only be what we, in our ignorance, perceive and they are very good at covering up. They have learned not to frighten the horses ( or other people.)

    That is why I said it isn't the rewards, success, money etc that will give you satisfaction ( 'sic transit gloria' ) but the ability to help others and do something however small to help us all to get along the best we can. Courage and kindness is what we all needed.
    Wow, you make that sound poetic - thank you, I understand everything you're saying here.

    I'm in my early 20's and things are starting to dawn on me in terms of what you say about relationships/jobs/hopes etc changing/disappearing. I think you're right. I've gone through my whole life in a structured manner - school, 6th form, university, job - and then things got messy (redundancy, money issues, failed relationships, drifting friendships etc) and it's really only just starting to hit home recently how unpredictable life can be. It's shocking/frightening but as you say - it's the human condition and I'm simply experiencing real life/growing up and trying to figure out who I am in the process. It's at least reassuring that I'm just feeling normal/expected things in a scary world.

    I just need to look outwards more than inwards, as you day, and try to do something worthwhile.
    Courage and kindness are two very honorable virtues, I agree.

    Thank you for your response.
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    (Original post by yo radical one)
    It's different if OP has mental health issues (I mentioned the autism spectrum), but people need to realise that even if you are introverted, it is up to you to man the **** up and learn to talk to people in a way which is direct and polite and I say this as someone who is introverted

    .
    Your blunt post adds very little to the discussion, if that even. What you're saying basically serves no help to anyone and it's a very selfish and ignorant view to take, expecting someone to ignore their mental health problems, as if it were a simple fix to some of the most complicated issues people can have. "Manning up and just throw yourself out there" in many cases can actually cause more problems by landing you in situations and scenarios which go completely wrong and become painful to reflect upon, I should know, I've had a few situations similar to the OP. "Just man up and get on with it" really serves no purpose, trust me.

    (Original post by Anonymous)
    Wow, you make that sound poetic - thank you, I understand everything you're saying here.

    I'm in my early 20's and things are starting to dawn on me in terms of what you say about relationships/jobs/hopes etc changing/disappearing. I think you're right. I've gone through my whole life in a structured manner - school, 6th form, university, job - and then things got messy (redundancy, money issues, failed relationships, drifting friendships etc) and it's really only just starting to hit home recently how unpredictable life can be. It's shocking/frightening but as you say - it's the human condition and I'm simply experiencing real life/growing up and trying to figure out who I am in the process. It's at least reassuring that I'm just feeling normal/expected things in a scary world.

    I just need to look outwards more than inwards, as you day, and try to do something worthwhile.
    Courage and kindness are two very honorable virtues, I agree.

    Thank you for your response.
    Wow, after reading this thread it was quite scary how similar you are to me in many striking ways. We're not completely the same, for instance, I do not mind small talk, provided it serves the functional purpose of avoiding completely awkward silence, but I hate situations where the small talk really is so blatantly forced to bridge said awkward gap, then it's completely unnatural. .

    There are just some people I find fascinating and could listen to them talk for hours, listening to their own personal stories and so on. I really dislike talking about myself when given the choice, I find people are rather judgemental.

    If you could PM me OP I'd like to talk more in private about similarities we share and even get some advice from you, since you seem to have made a lot of progress in your life, and clearly continuing that progress even now.
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    (Original post by Anonymous)
    I am intelligent - I come from a working class family and went to a state school but I was an academically gifted child. I graduated from a top UK university with a good degree but that is where things go downhill.

    Every single school report I ever had said I needed to 'contribute more to class discussion' and that I was 'a quiet child'. Nothing changed as I entered adulthood. I am still extremely reserved. I am not 'shy' or nervous or scared of people - I just do not enjoy interacting with them. I find it easier to be direct (which comes across as rude or aloof) than to be 'chatty'. I find people to be uninteresting on the whole - predictable in their behavior and usually shallow/fickle and oriented towards talk regarding other people rather than concepts. I find small talk pointless and making friends isn't something I have a strong desire to do. I am reasonably content alone - more so than around others.

    Luckily I found a job that requires almost zero interaction with people so I don't have to put myself through the mental effort of daily interaction. However, it is poorly paid and 'dead end'. I need to use my degree and work towards a graduate level career.

    My problem is that most careers involve a lot of interaction with people which has caused me to walk away from a lot of things (jobs, relationships, clubs etc).

    It's not that I despise humanity, I just prefer not to talk to most people and find 'normal' conversations difficult since they lack in predictability or focus.

    I know I will never change - I've been this way before I could even talk. I don't know if there is something 'wrong' with me or how to fix it - or even if I want to be fixed. Regardless - how do I find a career for my personality type and how do I learn to accept people into my life?
    aspergers ?
 
 
 
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