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  1. #1
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    Default On the importance of a F/T balance: the deleterious consequences of preferences

    I have been pondering lately on the importance of a balance between forces and an equilibrium between F/T in an environment or person.

    Knowledge of MBTI personality theory has positive consequences on an individual because it enables the realization of one's own preferences and how one can arrange life to better suit these. However, it may also comfort a person's preferences at the detriment of the exploration of opposite attitudes.

    I have been brought to think that the dominance of one attitude over another is detrimental to an individual if that individual cannot experience confrontation with an opposite one. I think that romantic relationships play a key role in maintaining a person's balance by contrasting natural behaviors with those of someone else. If the people are sufficiently contrary on certain traits, a dialectic may occur which has the potential to foster progress for all parties involved.

    This principle may be observed at a more macro level in social groups.

    Settings that involve an overwhelming T presence have specific pitfalls. A strong T environment leaves people feeling dry, misunderstood emotionally, disconnected, and without any purpose. Strong T settings initially felt ideal to me. But I ended up feeling disatisfied and desperately lacking in true human contact. But T also has the potential to bring honest opinions, analysis less impacted by subjective considerations, a certain justice and an approach to objectivity.

    Settings that involve an overwhelming F presence also have negative elements. In such case, the situation may bring people to be unable to offer an honest opinion, to feel pressured to show emotional responses when there aren't any, to slow down change to avoid creating negative feelings in others and to treat others depending on the perception that they are good/bad rather than on their rights. Strong F settings left me feeling positive about myself and others, but somehow I had the impression it was at the expense of truth and part of it was "fake" to get along. But F also has the potential to bring warmth, understanding, forgiveness, human consideration and the ability to connect with others.

    Those settings which manage to combine both strengths seem to offer the most to all individuals involved.

    I believe that we should avoid the pitfall of choosing to be with people that are like us. Diversity is what makes us stronger. The confrontation with someone who has polar attitudes may seem uncomfortable at first but it has alot to bring to the system in which the individuals place themselves. I think that our natural tendency upon learning our type is to comfort ourselves in our preferences and value them more. I believe that, on the contrary, we should explore what is not natural to us and our type should indicate us that is the opposite preferences that we need to work on.

    That is the key to making us fulfilled individuals.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Very well said. I think this should be bolded;

    I believe that we should avoid the pitfall of choosing to be with people that are like us. Diversity is what makes us stronger. The confrontation with someone who has polar attitudes may seem uncomfortable at first but it has alot to bring to the system in which the individuals place themselves.

  3. #3
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    I enjoyed your post, and I don't really see anything I disagree with!

    I do think though that it's the rare individual who is willing/able to really step out of the box, and who actually wants to explore other areas and seek balance. I guess I sense a lot of people in real life who don't have any desire to strive towards this, or don't see any need to.

    But regardless, I definitely agree, and it's a great daily reminder, and so easy to forget. :-) One of my overall goals in life, and how it is outwardly lived - is balance. And this definitely carries through to interpersonal areas as well, but this is where it can become quite challenging for me, and I suppose it will be a lifelong work in progress.

    I actually think the more one really concencrates on their weaker preferences, and becomes more 'balanced' out, the less meaning mbti really has, and the less one may be able to identify with their stereotypical type, or maybe any types - as in, they might just become a blending of everything. Well, that's just my opinion. :-) So becoming balanced *might* cause a different set of issues. :-)

    Doesn't mean I still don't get buried in my natural tendencies and preferences (because obviously I do! ), but I definitely aspire to taking a balanced approach to life. It's far too easy to get stuck in your own little mindframe...again, good reminder to not get too caught up in this tendency.

    Anyway, cool post. Sorry I tangented away from your main F/T slant, but..well, I agree w/ what you said about the positives T's bring to the table, and the positives F's bring to the table.

  4. #4
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    Thank you for your answers, they are much appreciated.

    On a more personal level, I have felt some considerable comfort in using my natural preferences to navigate through life. When I encountered difficulties, I would naturally do "more of the same thing". Having a preference for thinking, I would think that I hadn't "thought about it enough". I would then proceed to envision alternatives possibilities and analyze ways in which I could deal with the situation. What I didn't realize is that I was going around in circles.

    What helped me to break out of those circles was to stop and do what I wasn't used to do. As a dominant thinker, that involved using "Feeling" functions. Focusing on my feelings and those of others helped me to have considerable insight. All of a sudden, certain goals seemed meaningless. People action's made more sense. I felt a sense of fulfillment. Passions induced by inferior feeling suddenly felt pleasurable and manageable.

    Now, everytime I arrive to a mental roadblock in my life, I find that the best thing I have to do is stop and gauge how I and others are feeling in the situation.

  5. #5
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick View Post
    Thank you for your answers, they are much appreciated.

    On a more personal level, I have felt some considerable comfort in using my natural preferences to navigate through life. When I encountered difficulties, I would naturally do "more of the same thing". Having a preference for thinking, I would think that I hadn't "thought about it enough". I would then proceed to envision alternatives possibilities and analyze ways in which I could deal with the situation. What I didn't realize is that I was going around in circles.

    What helped me to break out of those circles was to stop and do what I wasn't used to do. As a dominant thinker, that involved using "Feeling" functions. Focusing on my feelings and those of others helped me to have considerable insight. All of a sudden, certain goals seemed meaningless. People action's made more sense. I felt a sense of fulfillment. Passions induced by inferior feeling suddenly felt pleasurable and manageable.

    Now, everytime I arrive to a mental roadblock in my life, I find that the best thing I have to do is stop and gauge how I and others are feeling in the situation.
    That's really interesting. I find myself doing the 'going in circles' thing quite a lot, but usually I think it's the introvert-intuiting thing. So this is why recently I've concentrated on DOING more things - like, activities.

    In a handful of posts on this site, I've freely admitted I have no idea whether I'm 'truly' a T or an F -- as I've done so much exploration in both areas that it's anyone's best guess at this point. ;-) I guess I am fairly comfortable in both arenas, but my sensitivity, motivations, and who I am most at ease with and 'connect' with, point to F. The past 5 yrs have been 'self-reflection' years, and pushing myself, and changing my perceptions, etc...so I honestly don't know what I started out as, if that makes sense. And, perhaps in the big picture it doesn't matter. Other than my wanting to know, so that I feel I fit in *somewhere*. :-)

    Ah, babbling again!!

    It has, without a doubt, been romantic relationships, as well as friendships, that always spur my self-growth, and put into question why I do what I do, etc.

  6. #6
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick View Post
    What helped me to break out of those circles was to stop and do what I wasn't used to do. As a dominant thinker, that involved using "Feeling" functions. Focusing on my feelings and those of others helped me to have considerable insight. All of a sudden, certain goals seemed meaningless. People action's made more sense. I felt a sense of fulfillment. Passions induced by inferior feeling suddenly felt pleasurable and manageable.
    Very well said. Also in many instances, for us T is meaningless to try to rationalize our feelings into something else and block them out, even if only for a period of time. Because the result only becomes worse; so it's better to periodically leave them out.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    Very well said. I think this should be bolded;

    I believe that we should avoid the pitfall of choosing to be with people that are like us. Diversity is what makes us stronger. The confrontation with someone who has polar attitudes may seem uncomfortable at first but it has alot to bring to the system in which the individuals place themselves.
    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by cascademn View Post
    I enjoyed your post, and I don't really see anything I disagree with!

    I do think though that it's the rare individual who is willing/able to really step out of the box, and who actually wants to explore other areas and seek balance. I guess I sense a lot of people in real life who don't have any desire to strive towards this, or don't see any need to.

    But regardless, I definitely agree, and it's a great daily reminder, and so easy to forget. :-) One of my overall goals in life, and how it is outwardly lived - is balance. And this definitely carries through to interpersonal areas as well, but this is where it can become quite challenging for me, and I suppose it will be a lifelong work in progress.

    I actually think the more one really concencrates on their weaker preferences, and becomes more 'balanced' out, the less meaning mbti really has, and the less one may be able to identify with their stereotypical type, or maybe any types - as in, they might just become a blending of everything. Well, that's just my opinion. :-) So becoming balanced *might* cause a different set of issues. :-)

    Doesn't mean I still don't get buried in my natural tendencies and preferences (because obviously I do! ), but I definitely aspire to taking a balanced approach to life. It's far too easy to get stuck in your own little mindframe...again, good reminder to not get too caught up in this tendency.

    Anyway, cool post. Sorry I tangented away from your main F/T slant, but..well, I agree w/ what you said about the positives T's bring to the table, and the positives F's bring to the table.
    I like what you're saying and it speaks alot to me. I agree with what you're saying.

    It's a good thing to strive for balance. It might be difficult to attain fully, but I guess that we have everything to win in trying.

    I think that what you say about relating to the MBTI when you are balanced makes sense. I would have been interested to read about Myers' and Jung's point of view on people who have no preference. I think that Jung's initial descriptions of psychological functions represented people with these in dominant positions that were nearly "caricatures".

    Maybe our type is what we need to escape from, rather than embrace? But probably there is another balance to be had between embracing our preference and being balanced!

    Hey, I don't feel as though you really tangented anyway, and even if you did, your opinions are interesting so please do!

  8. #8
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    To be honest, I've never really liked strong T or strong F situations. I've always been fairly balanced on that dimension, and I don't see why someone would want an extreme of either.

    The only dimension I don't think people need to be balanced on is J/P. J is clearly better than P in the long run. (Sorry, P's.)

    S/N, I/E, T/F, you definitely need balance there, though. I can see how that's important.

  9. #9
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    hey- not cool to dis on Ps! Ps are much better at reacting to unforseen events than Js!

  10. #10
    Senior Member htb's Avatar
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    Very interesting.

    As this applies to leadership, the desiderata are morale, not complaisance; delegation, not obeisance; and debate, not consensus.

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