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  1. #11
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung

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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bamboo View Post
    "I didn't want those grapes, they were probably sour."

    Moral: Be honest with yourself about your intentions, even if you don't meet your goals.

    I think honesty is important. Even if you feel defeated in that moment, realize you can learn from the situation. In this case the fox insults his own ability to identify good looking grapes, when the real problem lied in assessing the practicality of the situation or his own jumping abilities (which, with focused effort, are subject to improvement).

    As far as I can see, lying to protect your ego only has short term benefits, if that. You become a victim of your own false perceptions.
    But the fox now doesn't have to see himself as a failure. If he, on the other hand, told himself "I am a lousy jumper", the next time he saw another grapes but this time hanging lower, he might think that it isn't worth trying. Basically, whatever the fox chooses to think of himself will be constructing an image of what he is, and what his capabilities are. It is a knife's edge. You can go wrong to many directions, and how do you know when you are being too optimistic or too pessimistic?

    I do agree, though, that lying to yourself is bad in the long run, but I don't know if it is avoidable.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    People do this all of the time. I suppose the OP is a very specific example of this, but everybody employs certain types of defensive mechanisms that safeguard their own ego. In my mind, i would naturally explore it from a type perspective, I guess.
    Yeah, I mean every type of trick there is. One large area of these is when you write your history. You pick some "defining moments" and build a story around them. This obviously isn't true in the objective sense, but you make it true by acting now as if the story you built is what actually built you into what you are.

    I guess that any crisis you have that isn't solved by the external conditions changing to your benefit, you solve the crisis by redefining yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenaphor View Post
    Sorry, I don't have any studies at hand but take a look at socialism. Ever notice how the loudest proponents for socialism and greater good, are the ones who stand to benefit the most from socialism? What's irritating is that they're also the first ones to point fingers at others about their "selfishness" and yet, their own reasons are selfish in nature and worse yet, they uphold legal extortion.
    Well, obviously the opposite side will do the same thing. Very few people vote for "the greater good" instead of their own good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenaphor View Post
    I can respect someone who admits to a win-win situation, who doesn't point fingers at others for selfishness. But I can't respect a blatant hypocrite.
    I wasn't actually talking about hypocrisy. I'm talking about people who actually believe that they are rebels, and they now obviously are rebels as well since they have adopted that image about themselves. But, the seed of their rebellion is actually in the situation they were put into in which they could have come out seeing themselves as a "failure" or a "rebel". It can be seen as hypocrisy if looking at their history, but it isn't necessarily hypocrisy in their person, since they really are now what they claim they are. (I hope this makes sense, it's not too easy concept to talk about)

    Quote Originally Posted by Qlippoth View Post
    It also reminds me of an article that I read about how people will adjust what they find attractive in another person based on what's available to them. So not so attractive guys will be perfectly happy without scoring a supermodel.
    Yes. This is exactly what I mean. Since the reality for these people isn't changing, they must change their attitude in order to be happy. And I am sure that this is a real change aimed at relieving the frustration between expectation and reality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Giggly View Post
    What I don't understand and I find more fascinating is when a person hasn't even been rejected but they imagine that they will be and become defensive before it's even happened and never begin the necessary process to get what they need or want. I guess it's like the saying "What you don't know won't hurt you".
    Character based pessimism. I guess it is less tolerated than character based optimism.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bamboo View Post
    As opposed to accidentally going through a humiliating situation that somehow landed you in a position where you have a rank and title, and then claiming that it was intentional from the start or that you never felt humiliated.

    Or if they got into the frat after hazing and then acted as if they never found it uncomfortable to get in. Or if they did things that they were ashamed of but then act like it was really worth it even when they find out they don't really care about being in a frat, etc.
    This reminds me of a tactic I see quite often (and use it myself too): There are many stories here on this site about hard periods of time when the person was in a situation they really didn't want to be in, and as they talk about it later on, they use it as a defining moment. They say they wouldn't be the person they are now if that hardship didn't happen. This is true of course, but I think it still falls into the topic. If they hadn't gone through the hard period, who knows, they might have won a billion dollars in the lottery? But of course an optimistic person wouldn't think so. And optimistic person thinks that the path they are on now is THE path, and among the best paths they can imagine.

  3. #13
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    I see this happen every day all day long. Certainly not a new concept. People may think I have narcissistic tendencies, but at least I have an "its me first" attitude. If I succeed, it was because of something I did, it was me. Likewise if I fail, well, that was me too.

    People need to lean to look at themselves before assessing a situation. Remove or fix whatever they can first, then call what is leftover, as it is. I seriously can't stand the mentality displayed in the OP.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTP View Post
    The list is pretty good.

    Quote Originally Posted by ThatGirl View Post
    I see this happen every day all day long. Certainly not a new concept. People may think I have narcissistic tendencies, but at least I have an "its me first" attitude. If I succeed, it was because of something I did, it was me. Likewise if I fail, well, that was me too.
    But it isn't all you. You are part of a huge interconnected social network, and there are many things that really just happen with or without you. Isn't it hard to consider all of the hard knocks your own fault?

  5. #15
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    Yeah, I mean every type of trick there is. One large area of these is when you write your history. You pick some "defining moments" and build a story around them. This obviously isn't true in the objective sense, but you make it true by acting now as if the story you built is what actually built you into what you are.

    This reminds me of a tactic I see quite often (and use it myself too): There are many stories here on this site about hard periods of time when the person was in a situation they really didn't want to be in, and as they talk about it later on, they use it as a defining moment. They say they wouldn't be the person they are now if that hardship didn't happen. This is true of course, but I think it still falls into the topic. If they hadn't gone through the hard period, who knows, they might have won a billion dollars in the lottery? But of course an optimistic person wouldn't think so. And optimistic person thinks that the path they are on now is THE path, and among the best paths they can imagine.
    Hmm, I recognize the internal change in myself as a result of external stressors. It was like an annealing process. I suppose I think of it less as a mind trick and more as a forced adaptation, growth, but you are correct in that it is still ego protective. Actually-it was growth of the ego into a new thing....I think. Is morphing of the personality into something different a delusion though?

    I guess I'd call a "mind trick" something more short term -hiding the truth from oneself via isolation, judgement or subconscious repercetion of an event, telling oneself a supportive self story, as the fox did...protection via hiding from change or failure to face truth?

    I think the most damaging mid tricks are the ones we tend to apply onto people we dont understand-they do things that baffle us, thus we apply negative judgments and then self isolate from them as they are "insert judgement". Because we fail to recognize that we are blinded by our own projections and worldview, we assume they are the ones with the problem. Typically this is combined with surrounding ourselves with people who will validate what we believe about ourselves, who dont rock the little comfortable boat we built. With a big enough boat, then of course it is all the "other" people who have the issue.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    Hmm, I recognize the internal change in myself as a result of external stressors. It was like an annealing process. I suppose I think of it less as a mind trick and more as a forced adaptation, growth, but you are correct in that it is still ego protective. Actually-it was growth of the ego into a new thing....I think. Is morphing of the personality into something different a delusion though?
    I don't think it is delusion. I think it is a real change. Of course, if one is changing all the time, redefining themselves whenever there's something in their way, then it probably isn't healthy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    I think the most damaging mid tricks are the ones we tend to apply onto people we dont understand-they do things that baffle us, thus we apply negative judgments and then self isolate from them as they are "insert judgement". Because we fail to recognize that we are blinded by our own projections and worldview, we assume they are the ones with the problem. Typically this is combined with surrounding ourselves with people who will validate what we believe about ourselves, who dont rock the little comfortable boat we built. With a big enough boat, then of course it is all the "other" people who have the issue.
    Yeah. I've wondered that if there was no concept of history, would people actually get along better? Say, if you and your friend had a fight, and then haven't seen each other for a while, when you now see each other there is a cool atmosphere between you two. Would it be there if you both hadn't re-wrote the history of the relationship? One fight might redefine the whole relationship, even if it had been good for decades.

  7. #17
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    From the wikipedia link:

    Projection: Projection is a primitive form of paranoia. Projection also reduces anxiety by allowing the expression of the undesirable impulses or desires without becoming consciously aware of them; attributing one's own unacknowledged unacceptable/unwanted thoughts and emotions to another; includes severe prejudice, severe jealousy, hypervigilance to external danger, and "injustice collecting". It is shifting one's unacceptable thoughts, feelings and impulses within oneself onto someone else, such that those same thoughts, feelings, beliefs and motivations are perceived as being possessed by the other.

    ^^This is the textbook version of projection, but I do wonder about that second part that I underlined-it isnt simply that we shift those "unconscious" thoughts on them as some sort of escape mechanism.

    I think we see their actions and dont understand it. We then, assuming they are just like us, ignoring how every different people can be, look into our darker selves to try and come up with a rationale for their actions. The result is a conclusion that is totally bonkers regarding the other person's motives. We then label them with negative judgments based upon our erroneous conclusion, based upon the erroneous assumption of simularity.

    Lots of other entertaining links on the wiki page, but I am feeling a bit nuerotic now, so I'd better sign off. LOL.

  8. #18
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    I don't think it is delusion. I think it is a real change. Of course, if one is changing all the time, redefining themselves whenever there's something in their way, then it probably isn't healthy.
    Hmmm, what about a changing facade with an unchanging internal center? Sometimes I totally do that-I just shift my perception and can then have a discussion that would have been hurtful or create angst, but instead I can calmly handle things...I have attributed it to a shadow Ni sort of thing honestly. Like shifting gears sorta.


    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    Yeah. I've wondered that if there was no concept of history, would people actually get along better? Say, if you and your friend had a fight, and then haven't seen each other for a while, when you now see each other there is a cool atmosphere between you two. Would it be there if you both hadn't re-wrote the history of the relationship? One fight might redefine the whole relationship, even if it had been good for decades.
    It might be interesting to consider who we each remember and then rewrite our internal emotional states towards the other, as well as get a better understanding if an immediate resolution verses a long term stewing over the fight would be the better answer. Some people just forget and some let it brew internally until it overwhelms everything from the past.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    I found this on Personality Nation by NightSkyGirl a while back. Related to ennegram.. but i think these concepts themselves should be considered individually, because I would bet that most people have fallen back on more than one of them.

    Ones - Reaction Formation

    "where unacceptable urges or emotions are replaced with opposite acceptable behaviors." -- NightSkyGirl

    Reaction Formation is a defense mechanism by which individuals reduce or try to eliminate anxiety caused by their own thoughts, feelings, or behaviors that they consider unacceptable by responding in a manner that is the exact opposite of their real responses. The One’s active inner critic dictates what is acceptable based on social mores, contextual expectations, and moral principles, and reaction formation becomes a defensive remedy when Ones experience what they deem “unacceptable” reactions. A subtle example often seen in Ones is when they dislike someone yet are especially nice and polite to this person. A more blatant example – one that is not exclusive to Enneagram style Ones – is an individual who crusades against corporate corruption, only to be discovered later as having embezzled money from the organization.

    Twos - Repression

    "where personal desires and needs are excluded from conscious awareness." -- NightSkyGirl

    Repression is a defense mechanism by which individuals hide information about themselves from themselves – for example, feelings, desires, wishes, aversions, fears, and needs – that are too difficult to acknowledge consciously. However, the repressed information doesn’t disappear; instead, expression of the repressed data is controlled or held down while it continues to influence the individual’s behavior. For example, Twos may feel anxious and need reassurance, but they may be only minimally aware of this. Instead of exploring these feelings or seeking comfort, the Two reassures another person who appears to be in distress.

    Threes - Identification

    "where the self-image models the expectations of others." -- NightSkyGirl

    Identification is a psychological defense mechanism in which a person unconsciously incorporates attributes and characteristics of another person into his or her own personality and sense of self. Identification is a way of bolstering one’s self-esteem by forming an imaginary or real alliance with an admired person, then taking on that person’s characteristics. When Threes model their own behavior after someone else or the idea they have of someone, they are usually not aware they are doing so. For this reason, it becomes complicated for them to untangle who they really are from this image. In particular, Threes identify most with images of individuals who are admired in the Three’s desired social context, and the image with which Threes identify often changes as their context changes.

    Fours - Introjection

    "where aspects of the external world and other people are integrated into the self." -- NightSkyGirl

    Introjection is a counter-intuitive defense mechanism. Instead of repelling critical information and negative experiences that can cause a person anxiety or pain, individuals introject the information – that is, they fully absorb, internalize, and incorporate these data into their sense of self. Fritz Perls, the father of Gestalt Therapy, refers to this phenomenon as swallowing something whole without being able to differentiate between information that is true from information that is untrue. Fours introject negative information – and repel positive data – about themselves as a way of coping with painful information and neutralizing external threats. They prefer to deal with self-inflicted damage rather than having to respond to criticism or rejection from others.

    Fives - Isolation

    "where emotion is detached from a situation in favor of intellectual content." -- NightSkyGirl

    Isolation occurs in Fives as a way for them to avoid feeling overwhelmed and empty. Fives isolate themselves by retreating into their minds, cutting themselves off from their feelings, and compartmentalizing – that is, isolating each part of themselves from the whole or the related parts. For example, Fives separate their thoughts from their feelings and/or feelings from behaviors, as well as separating their personal and work lives. Fives may also isolate themselves from other people and separate their relationships so that their friends never meet one another; in fact, some Fives even have secret lives.

    Sixes - Projection

    "where unacknowledged self motives, feelings, and thoughts are attributed to others." -- NightSkyGirl

    Projection is a psychological defense mechanism in which individuals unconsciously attribute their own unacceptable, unwanted, or disowned thoughts, emotions, motivations, attributes, and/or behaviors to others. While the projection may be positive, negative, or neutral, it occurs because the individuals who are projecting perceive the projected attributes as difficult to acknowledge or threatening to believe about themselves. Because Sixes make these attributions unconsciously, they imagine that they are true, although at a deeper level they are not entirely certain about this. Although Sixes use projection as a way to create some certainty and thus reduce their anxiety in ambiguous, uncertain, or potentially dangerous situations, these projections – particularly if they are negative in nature – ironically raise the Six’s anxiety level. In addition, when Sixes project either something negative or positive that is untrue, they create a false reality without knowing they are doing so.

    Sevens - Rationalization

    "where unacceptable motivations for an attitude or action are reframed through good reasoning." -- NightSkyGirl

    Rationalization is a defense mechanism by which individuals explain unacceptable thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in a way that entirely avoids or obscures their true motivations, intentions, or the effects of the behavior. When Sevens rationalize, they do so by positive reframing, justifying their behavior by explaining it in highly positive terms. Sevens use reframing to avoid pain, discomfort, sadness, guilt, and anxiety, as well as to avoid taking personal responsibility for what has occurred.

    Eights - Denial

    "where emotions or sensations of weakness are not acknowledged." -- NightSkyGirl

    Denial is a defense mechanism by which individuals unconsciously negate something that makes them feel anxious by disavowing its very existence. These can include thoughts, feelings, wishes, sensations, needs, and other external factors that are unacceptable to the Eight for some reason. Denial comes in a variety of forms. A person may deny the reality of the unpleasant information altogether, admit that something is true but deny or minimize its seriousness, or admit that both the information and its severity are true but deny any personal responsibility for it.

    Nines - Narcotization

    "where conflict and discomfort are avoided through self-comforting activities and routines." -- NightSkyGirl

    Narcotization is a psychological defense mechanism in which individuals unconsciously numb themselves to avoid something that feels too large, complex, difficult, or uncomfortable to handle. Nines narcotize and distract themselves by engaging in prolonged rhythmic activities that are familiar, require very little attention, and provide comfort – for example, washing the dishes; working in the garden; continuous pleasure reading of books by the same author or within the same genre; going for a walk or a bike ride; engaging in frequent or extended casual conversations; or continuously changing channels on the TV. Nines also use daily routines such as morning or evening rituals to immunize themselves from being fully aware, and they feel agitated, irritated, or disoriented when these repetitive activities become disrupted.
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  10. #20
    Senior Member Bamboo's Avatar
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    when the real problem lied in assessing the practicality of the situation or his own jumping abilities (which, with focused effort, are subject to improvement).
    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    But the fox now doesn't have to see himself as a failure. If he, on the other hand, told himself "I am a lousy jumper", the next time he saw another grapes but this time hanging lower, he might think that it isn't worth trying. Basically, whatever the fox chooses to think of himself will be constructing an image of what he is, and what his capabilities are. It is a knife's edge. You can go wrong to many directions, and how do you know when you are being too optimistic or too pessimistic?

    I do agree, though, that lying to yourself is bad in the long run, but I don't know if it is avoidable.
    The fox IS a failure. He failed to complete his objective. He failed to complete his objective because it was impossible for him to achieve in the first place. Due to inexperience or distraction by lusting after those grapes, he forgot to ask himself: can I do this? How high CAN I jump?

    If he pretends that he doesn't want the grapes then next time he might not believe his eyes. If he tells himself he's a lousy jumper then next time he might not jump. Both are bad outcomes.

    But let's couple each outcome with another trait: looking for a solution.
    If the fox tells himself he has bad eyes, then he might decide to train his eyes. But that won't help a thing: his eyes are fine! His vision very well may improve, but he won't gather any more grapes.

    If the fox tells himself he's a lousy jumper, then he might decide to train his legs. And that will help! He'll be able to jump higher, and the problem is solved.

    You can't purposefully pursue change or improvement without knowing what you need to improve.

    Furthermore, instead of making declarative statements such as "I'm a lousy jumper" that only make sense in a comparitive mindset (a lousy jumper compared to who?), it would be best he learn how high he CAN jump (measure it, test it) and use that as a reasonable guideline for improvement.

    Then optimism and pessimism drop out of the equation. It doesn't matter if the glass is half full or half empty, only if there is enough in the glass to do the job.
    Don't know how much it'll bend til it breaks.

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