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  1. #21
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    No, I'm not sure I would accept my SO as a person, no matter what. If "what" turned out to be that he was cheating on me, or defrauding his grandma of her savings, or molesting the boy next door, I don't think I could accept him any more. Actions this egregious, however, would suggest to me that the problem was indeed with himself as a person.
    That's true. :/ I suppose, in my OP, I was thinking of less egregious wrongs. So... close to unconditional, but not quite there. Not sure what a better word choice would be.
    There is, after all, a connection between who we are inside and what we do. Bologna mentioned this on his blog, in reference to changing habits by becoming the kind of person who does the preferred action. I think it can go both ways: we can modify our internal actions until they bring about the internal change, essentially "faking it until we make it"; or we can, perhaps through introspection or meditation, effect an internal change of values or perspective that pervades our external actions.

    At the risk of appearing morally lacking, I evaluate my actions less in terms of good vs. bad than effective vs. ineffective. What are your goals and values? If your actions further your values and bring you closer to your goals, you are being effective. No need for guilt, shame, or self-flagellation. If something wasn't effective, that's penalty enough. Just figure out what went wrong, and fix it next time.
    I wasn't necessarily using "good" and "bad" exclusively in the moral sense; I figured they were vague enough terms that they could include "right" and "wrong", "correct" and "incorrect", "consistent" and "hypocritical", and other dichotomies I deeply care about, underneath them.

    Generally speaking, if I'm in the grip of 1/ESTJ insecurity from failure, it expands far beyond that particular failure, encompassing any other failures from any other point in my life that I consider relevant to the current failure. So, the "do it better next time" thought process won't work that well, because I'll think "Based on this (incredibly emotionally skewed) compilation of past failures, I doubt that I could do better next time, even if I tried. I can't define myself based on being successful at this anymore, because I'm obviously doomed to failure."

    I may have actually posted something similar on bologna's blog, in response to his post about that -- but I didn't go into so much angsty detail.
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



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  2. #22
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    Generally speaking, if I'm in the grip of 1/ESTJ insecurity from failure, it expands far beyond that particular failure, encompassing any other failures from any other point in my life that I consider relevant to the current failure. So, the "do it better next time" thought process won't work that well, because I'll think "Based on this (incredibly emotionally skewed) compilation of past failures, I doubt that I could do better next time, even if I tried. I can't define myself based on being successful at this anymore, because I'm obviously doomed to failure."
    My first reaction to say this is a job for Te. Force yourself to catalog your failures objectively, and to include beside them your successes in similar circumstances. You might wind up with a scorecard like: 8 successes, 3 failures. You might notice that certain circumstances attended the failures but not the successes. You might notice that the 3 failures all came after the successes: so what changed in between? The key is not to do anything on the basis of emotionally skewed data.

    But then is that the fundamental problem, namely that you cannot somehow in these situations apply Te to cut through the emotional fun-house reflection of yourself?
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  3. #23
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    My first reaction to say this is a job for Te. Force yourself to catalog your failures objectively, and to include beside them your successes in similar circumstances. You might wind up with a scorecard like: 8 successes, 3 failures. You might notice that certain circumstances attended the failures but not the successes. You might notice that the 3 failures all came after the successes: so what changed in between? The key is not to do anything on the basis of emotionally skewed data.
    ^ Great suggestion. I actually do this, sometimes. Or I vent a bit to friends, and the friend takes me through that process instead -- if not so methodically, then in a more general "Look at the big picture!!" kind of way. And it works.

    Also, if I'm reassuring myself before doing a stressful assignment, or presenting a paper, or something along those lines, I reassure myself similarly: "You succeed at this the vast majority of the time -- insert failure-to-success ratio here -- so this is likely to be the same, especially considering the amount of time you've worked on it. No need to worry."
    But then is that the fundamental problem, namely that you cannot somehow in these situations apply Te to cut through the emotional fun-house reflection of yourself?
    I think the fundamental problem is still that timeline view I was talking about before.

    The thing about having a path-dependent view of your own personal history, is that any change in the present situation can change how you interpret the path that led up to it. Different failures and successes gain and lose relative importance, based on that.

    Let's take friendship stuff as an example. If something really positive happens between me and a friend, I think "Wow, I have great friends", and look back all the good times we've had together. I think, I must have done something good, somewhere along the line, to deserve such great friends. But if a friend friend-dumps me, then I look back on the other times when I've been friend-dumped, and I see that there are similarities between their reasons for doing so, and I think, there's something inherently wrong with me, that I deserved such treatment from my friends. Even worse -- and this is actually something I'm struggling with presently -- I might start to assume that most of my friendships will end similarly, at some point in the future, and that it's only a matter of time. (This is also irrational and could be disproved with statistics, but the insecurity remains.)
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



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  4. #24
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    I'm not a One, but I would suggest in general (albeit from a Nine's perspective) that "unconditional self-acceptance" is better characterized as "unflinching self-honesty": the ability to look at oneself as is, and "accept" (intellectually accept) that truth, and from there be able to compassionately take care of yourself from the point of realizing your own truths.

    So it isn't like being fat, and saying "I'm OK with being fat," but more like saying, "Yes, I'm fat. I'm not going to get emotionally obsessed with liking or disliking how fat I am. But I am going to make a goal of losing weight in order to improve my health." Instead of emotional obsession with what you like or don't like about yourself, you love yourself as is, and guide yourself to become the kind of person you would prefer to be.
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.

  5. #25
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    Damn, this thread is really getting nitpicky about the terminology. :/ I had been thinking of "self-love", "self-acceptance", "self-compassion", "self-forgiveness", etc, as all pretty much being under the same umbrella. Alternately known as: "Letting yourself fall down and get back up without beating yourself back to the ground again", or, less dramatically, "cutting yourself some slack, for once in your damn life".
    I was getting wound up in problems with the terminology myself. I find it practically impossible to give a definitive ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to whether unconditional self-acceptance is a benevolent attitude- no matter how it’s phrased (even “unconditional self-compassion” is problematic to me)- because it is possible to err in the direction of systematically ‘picking oneself up and dusting oneself off’ without feeling remorse or taking responsibility for the negative consequences one has reaped on others. And I’ve had a hard time figuring out how to articulate what qualifies the difference between narcissitic “unconditional self-acceptance” (which isn’t genuine self acceptance, but anyway) from benevolent “unconditional self-acceptance”. But I like the way uumlau phrased it- it’s more about gaining an honest and detached perspective, then accepting that’s where you are at and deciding where to go from there.

    So long as a person believes they are somehow worth ‘less’ as a human being for not doing their best (or being perfect? I don’t really understand the e1 shtick), I don’t think it’s possible for that person to be honest with themselves about how well they are actually doing. Fear that they aren’t doing their best will always lurk around every corner and defense mechanisms will twist the perception a little bit to make it more comfortable. But if you remove the possibility of losing your essential ‘worth’, if you can agree that even if you lose composure sometimes under stress and get controlling ESTJ-style…..you’re still worth something unconditionally- then you can look on the accomplishments as bonuses rather than requirements to being worth something in the first place? I’m not happy with how I’m phrasing this, and it’s kinda already been said in other words already in this thread, but I hope it makes sense.

    Going back to something Seymour said: the reason it’s important to learn to be kind to yourself where mistakes and such are concerned is because it really does bleed over into judgment towards others eventually. The urge to reconcile cognitive dissonance always wins in the end- no matter how much you tell yourself that you only want to hold yourself up to certain standards, and ‘it’s not fair (or kind, or whatever) to hold others to the same standard’- if you’re judgmental and un-accepting towards yourself then eventually it will bleed through and you’ll be the same towards others as well. It’s relatively easy to live by that double standard (being harder on yourself than others) for a while, which makes it seem like it’s a feasible long-term goal, but as soon as your stressed or tired or whatever- the underlying “it’s not acceptable” judgment is going to rear its ugly head at others. It takes truly believing mistakes are forgivable and accepting they happen (even where YOU are concerned) in order to practice that attitude with others consistently.

    In short, taking the anger and control and directing it inwards instead of outwards isn’t actually getting rid of the problem- it's sorta like "cleaning" by shoving everything in the closet or under the bed.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  6. #26
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    "I'm not perfect now, nor will I ever be; but I trust myself to continue to learn and grow into an even better person."

  7. #27
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    Going back to something Seymour said: the reason it’s important to learn to be kind to yourself where mistakes and such are concerned is because it really does bleed over into judgment towards others eventually. The urge to reconcile cognitive dissonance always wins in the end- no matter how much you tell yourself that you only want to hold yourself up to certain standards, and ‘it’s not fair (or kind, or whatever) to hold others to the same standard’- if you’re judgmental and un-accepting towards yourself then eventually it will bleed through and you’ll be the same towards others as well. It’s relatively easy to live by that double standard (being harder on yourself than others) for a while, which makes it seem like it’s a feasible long-term goal, but as soon as your stressed or tired or whatever- the underlying “it’s not acceptable” judgment is going to rear its ugly head at others. It takes truly believing mistakes are forgivable and accepting they happen (even where YOU are concerned) in order to practice that attitude with others consistently.
    You can look at it is being kind to yourself, or even compassionate and forgiving. I see it as taking a productive approach. If you are indulging in self-critique that is not constructive, or not evaluating honestly as Uumlau describes, or holding yourself to expectations that are unrealistic - all of this is unproductive, and will get you no closer to your goals.

    To the extent that I agree with unconditional self-acceptance, it is acceptance of one's past, which cannot be changed; and one's potential for improving what can be changed in the future. These intersect in the present, where you have to play your best hand with the cards you are dealt.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  8. #28
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    I tend to view myself as having a few core strengths and core weaknesses. As I've gotten older and more mature -- I'm 22 now -- my strengths have amplified and my weaknesses have diminished, to a degree that I personally find pretty shocking, though I don't know how others perceive it. Thus, much more than other people I know, I tend to see my "self" on a timeline: I used to be an overbearing asshole, now I'm not. I used to be unable to keep myself from calling people out on their bullshit, and now I've gained that skill. I used to be selfish, a bad listener, and not the best friend a person could have. Now I am the opposite. Frankly, I look back on myself, and I'm ashamed -- and even though part of me is concerned that, a decade from now, I'll realize that I was a 22-year-old asshole too, I'm pretty happy with how I've turned out when I compare present-day me to past me.

    As a result of all of this, my personality has been shaped to include this view, and this insecurity:

    The view = that every core aspect of myself can vary widely given the situation, that it's all essentially temporary, and that it takes willpower to stay "good", as my tendency (from being Te-dom and a 1w2) is to be "bad" (i.e. blunt, domineering, quick to make enemies, not self-aware).

    [...]

    If I do something "wrong", there isn't a concrete sense of "that wasn't ME, that doesn't define me", because "me" has changed so much, that even with those core strengths/weaknesses that I'm certain about, I don't have a strong sense of a permanent "me". And from what I understand of self-acceptance, you need to be able to accept your weaknesses, as if they are unchanging.
    This is so interesting, EJCC. I've long thought of my boyfriend as 9w1, but given more recent opening ups from him, he's seemed more 1w9 to me (he's so hard to place!). In any case, he has some degree of 1 in him, and what you've written here is a dead ringer for how he's talked about his personality. It actually annoyed me when we were first going out, the extent to which he would self-reference as having improved himself, because it sounded to me like he was negatively comparing himself, who had done so much work to change himself, to me, who feels like I am essentially the same as when I was a child, just in different outward manifestations. Of course that wasn't his point at all, but regardless, his descriptions themselves have been strikingly similar to the improvement process you have described here. He actually doesn't like personality typing because he doesn't like seeing things as boxed in (and this coming from an SJ, go figure).

    Anyway, I wonder if he shares the same anxiety about reverting to his past "bad" habits that you feel. I will have to ask him later. As far as I am aware, he carries a whole lot of anxiety in terms of feeling like he has to live up to a certain bar he sets for himself, and there's not even much I can do about consoling him if he doesn't feel like he's there. Do you have any advice in terms of how to help him feel less anxious about living up to his own standards... how to share the loving compassion, or whatever we're calling it, without tripping up the 1 sense of transformation?

  9. #29
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    You can look at it is being kind to yourself, or even compassionate and forgiving. I see it as taking a productive approach. If you are indulging in self-critique that is not constructive, or not evaluating honestly as Uumlau describes, or holding yourself to expectations that are unrealistic - all of this is unproductive, and will get you no closer to your goals.
    *wipes even more F cooties on you*

    Yeah, I like the way you phrased the bolded, as it works more towards that 'objective' perspective.
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  10. #30
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    *wipes even more F cooties on you*

    Yeah, I like the way you phrased the bolded, as it works more towards that 'objective' perspective.
    Some people have no respect.

    I find maintaining an objective perspective on such issues indispensible, but perhaps that's just because I am Te-aux.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

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