I hate to say it and know I shouldn't be thinking this way but I'm feeling ashamed to be an ISTP. Somehow I grew up thinking I needed to be more outgoing and vivacious, like the people I looked up to growing up. I got into business and eventually sales and had to hide my introversion. I'm better in 1:1 situations with customers who I truly can help but when I'm around other Sales people, the classic type-As, I quickly run out of energy and withdraw. I can hang with them for 1 day of meetings and 1 night of drinks, say at multi-day sales meetings/training, but then I'm drained the next day and they can keep up this pace for 2-3 more days. While I've become good at keeping my secret, some have noticed, "why didn't I see you out late last night when we closed the bar down? Ya know socializing is important. What's wrong with you?" Another comment I've heard since I was a kid, "Are you always this quiet?" and I just want to disappear. I try but the words just don't come freely and I've always felt something is wrong with my brain. I know I'm smart but why can it be so hard to socialize in a group of simple chatter and story telling? Now, I'm in my mid-40s and feel I've been living a bit of a lie and feeling ashamed for who I naturally am. I know I should have embraced myself long ago and put myself in a situation where I would thrive rather than hide myself. It is good to know more about my personality type and that there are others out there like me -- probably some also in similar predicaments.

I need help embracing my personality and ditching these shameful feelings. Any suggestions?

Comments

Guest (not verified) says...

I know how you feel. I use to be petrified to talk to people even crossing the street when walking to and from school to avoid walking by someone and having to say "hello". I always got the comments like the sarcastic "you talk a lot". No one says anything that hasn't already been said. I kind of figure, what's the point. Why do people feel like they have to continually talk? That being said, I do usually prefer to hang out with extroverts because they are good at talking and I am good at listening. I have a good friend who is very extroverted and charismatic, but she wears me out. I get too much of her very quickly. I use to use alcohol to become more outgoing. It does work but I tend to drink too much so it's really not a great idea. But when I drink, I can easily converse and have a great time. Life of the party really! I am an ISTP by the way.

derrenner (not verified) says...

Hey!

I also can feel with you. For many years i betrayed myself and acted like the most extravert person... and got quiet some reward for it. But this was not me. And always after doing it, i got a down. 

One day, mey girlfrined gave me a book: The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World (Perigee Book) from Sophia Dembling. 

Firts i was wondering about it, now, as finaly i became a "good" extravert, but more and more i fell in love with this book and with myself...

 

Hope, this message did not reach you too late.

MDR1374 (not verified) says...

I completely understand your feelings and your post.... I too have been suffering in sales for the past fifteen years.  I've never liked or been comfortable in these roles.  They pay the bills but now that I'm in my early 40's I'm tired of acting, feeling burnt out and depressed every day.  Anxiety and the like pushing me to find another calling.  But with kids, wife and bills to pay I feel trapped by my decisions of the past.  No way out to a different career with all the obligations.  When you find the answers let me know!

Cheap Girl (not verified) says...

I can relate to so many things you said. I personally have a hard time feeling “okay” in my own skin. In my profession I’m expected to be outgoing and bubbly, but inside I’m cringing because I know I’m not being my authentic self. I end up withdrawing from group settings because I can’t stand being around too many people for too long. I’ve been told by a boss that I need to be more social. Sometimes I think I messed up with my career choice. It’s almost like I chose the job that I saw other people getting praised for doing, but it doesn’t mesh with my ISTP personality and I now feel sort of stuck in it. Lying to myself and others. I perform better in the 1:1 situations or small groups where there’s less “pressure” and a greater sense of acceptance. 

Cheap Girl (not verified) says...

I’m a female ISTP with a knack for construction and carpentry. I’m drawn to putting things together. But I gravitated toward fields that put me in the spotlight and force me to be in social situations. I too feel I’m locked in by decisions of the past... but years ago I didn’t feel like it would have been okay for me to go into the building trades. I feel ashamed of wanting a blue collar job when what I have is perceived to be so much greater by our society. I’m torn. 

Paul Donathan (not verified) says...

I am a ISTP and i leared this at an early age.  I butted it litterally as if i hit a wall..then i gave up hope for a happy normal life. I am good one to one but hide from groups, so never learned how the group talk occurs.  So life has been boring, no fun, noone to do things with.  I have mastered body language and thats how i sense how others feel about me- always the elephant in the room.  Theres a part of the P in ISTP that doesnt work for me.  Be thankful u only figure this out now...

Bubba (not verified) says...

I'm the same.  Late middle 40's. Been in sales entire career and very streaky.  I've always excelled when I can get one on one with engaged prospect, but cold calling and monotous check ins with referral sources are torture.

Was much more effective in old days when face to face was norm, but not great since the rise of Google.

I'm done working for people that tell me to do my job a certain way when they've never done it themselves.

 

 

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