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  1. #11
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    I don't have a problem with authority as a concept, because society couldn't function without people telling others what to do in some capacity.

    As for authority figures, I respect them unless I don't think they are legitimate, fair, and/or capable, in which case I am very quick to rebel against them. In an ideal situation, I would rebel in such a way that they would quickly figure out what they were doing wrong. But if that would put me at risk, and my anger at the situation wouldn't lead me to ignore that risk, then I'd rebel in more indirect ways -- on the aggressive side of the passive-aggressive spectrum.
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    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. #12
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    I don't have a lot of feelings about authority if they impose in a relatively fair way. It's hard for me to personalize authority, because those who are representative to it are part of a much larger system and often don't have much agency. Also I tend to view rules in general as somewhat optional, so I don't always feel that they are restrictive.

  3. #13
    I could do things Hard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    I don't have a problem with authority as a concept, because society couldn't function without people telling others what to do in some capacity.

    As for authority figures, I respect them unless I don't think they are legitimate, fair, and/or capable, in which case I am very quick to rebel against them. In an ideal situation, I would rebel in such a way that they would quickly figure out what they were doing wrong. But if that would put me at risk, and my anger at the situation wouldn't lead me to ignore that risk, then I'd rebel in more indirect ways -- on the aggressive side of the passive-aggressive spectrum.
    Basically this.

    What I do if I see an authority figure as being incompetent, unfair, bad, etc. I will appeal to another external authority to undo them in some manner. In my experience it usually works pretty well.
    MBTI: ExxJ tetramer
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  4. #14
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    I think when I was younger I had a lot more issues with authority. I also was a lot more helpless, relative to now, as an adult. But, I also have always kind of been a people-pleaser, so I just felt more torn up inside as a teenager than rebellious or anything really. Like, if authority was saying one thing and my heart felt another thing to be "right"... I had a lot of anguish... pulled in both directions...

    Now, I generally have the power to extricate myself from a situation if I truly cannot tolerate the way the authority figures are acting. I also now possess the communication skills and courage to have difficult conversations, to attempt to modify things that don't sit well with me, eg philosophical differences, injustices, etc.
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.
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  5. #15
    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    I don't like being told what to do, however, I like people interfering with my life even less. This generally steers me in the right direction when I have to choose to question authority or not. That said, I would be very vocal with abuses of power and have been in the past, whether it was directed at me or someone else.

    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post

    how do people get through the day without doing something inappropriate?
    I seem to get by most days. I guess I'm not going out there thinking FUCK THE MAN!
    I like to rock n' roll all night and *part* of every day. I usually have errands... I can only rock from like 1-3.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Passacaglia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    I'm kind of wondering how other people relate since, after years of being told that I have authority issues, I'm starting to wonder if other people might have a point
    What makes you think this, if you don't mind sharing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nixie View Post
    I can think of one situation where I regret just walking away, that I didn't do or say something to let them know what practices they did that were wrong. Doubtful it would have made any difference, but that's no excuse. It's been a year since then, and I'm thinking about whether I can still do something to help people in that situation from the outside, that I really ought to.
    I'm also curious about this situation, if you don't mind sharing.

    Quote Originally Posted by ayoitsStepho View Post
    If they're put into authority and don't give me reason to question their position then I can submit to that. i will always naturally respect an individual until they give me reason not to.

    Now if someone comes along and doesn't have authority over me but thinks that they do, it really irks me. People seem to think that just because I'm not loud and authoritative that I want to be led. I don't want to lead or follow, just leave alone to my own devices.
    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    I don't have a problem with authority as a concept, because society couldn't function without people telling others what to do in some capacity.

    As for authority figures, I respect them unless I don't think they are legitimate, fair, and/or capable, in which case I am very quick to rebel against them. In an ideal situation, I would rebel in such a way that they would quickly figure out what they were doing wrong. But if that would put me at risk, and my anger at the situation wouldn't lead me to ignore that risk, then I'd rebel in more indirect ways -- on the aggressive side of the passive-aggressive spectrum.
    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    I don't have a lot of feelings about authority if they impose in a relatively fair way. It's hard for me to personalize authority, because those who are representative to it are part of a much larger system and often don't have much agency. Also I tend to view rules in general as somewhat optional, so I don't always feel that they are restrictive.
    All of the above. By way of anecdote, two recent hospital episodes come to mind:

    1. So I'm in the hospital with a respiratory infection, so my doctor orders a chest x-ray. A hospital staffer comes to my room to bring me down to the radiology floor. I'd rather walk down, as my legs work perfectly fine and I could use the exercise, but from past experience I know that hospital policy demands I be pushed down in a wheelchair like an invalid. (There's no safety waiver I can sign promising not to sue if I stub my toe or whatever; I tried that last time.) So I get in the wheelchair, and memorize the way as I'm pushed down to radiology. Once my x-ray is taken and the staff dump me in a waiting area, I simply get up and walk back upstairs, asking my nurse to inform radiology that I made it safely back to my room. Look at me, I'm a rebel without a cause!

    2. I happen to also be diabetic, and have gotten very good at carb-counting and managing my blood sugar level with insulin, which I take immediately with my meals. Some nurses trust me to know how much insulin I need with any given meal, and amiably give me however much I ask for. But others put up a fuss about it; they want me to eat, then check my blood sugar level 30+ minutes later, and then give me insulin depending on that level. I'm sure these nurses are acting according to hospital policy and/or think that they're doing me a favor. But their method would leave me nearly comatose for 90+ minutes after every meal. I had one such nurse this morning, so I had to calmly explain to her and to two Scrubs-characters that I knew what I was doing, and that I wouldn't be eating my breakfast until I got my insulin. After 1+ hour of back-and-forth, them trying to find a full doctor to consult, and not being able to find a full doctor, my nurse finally caved and quietly gave me the insulin I had asked for. My pancakes were long cold by then, but that nurse never questioned my requests again.

    In general I do my best to avoid situations in which I can't just walk away from problematic authority, but when I can't avoid it and problems do ensue, I find that patience and a bit of tact go a long way.

  7. #17
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceecee View Post
    I seem to get by most days. I guess I'm not going out there thinking FUCK THE MAN!
    But if you aren't fucking the man he's fucking you, hence my previous video.
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

    Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
    "Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
    Piglet was comforted by this.
    - A.A. Milne.

  8. #18
    Entertaining Cracker five sounds's Avatar
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    it really depends. i think my moral alignment of "neutral good" kind of describes my relationship to authority. i have a strong desire to 'do what's right'. sometimes that means following the rules, to the very best of my ability. sometimes that means putting my personal spin on the rules (i.e. bending them in a way i don't find harmful to anyone, or maybe even in a way i find more beneficial). sometimes it means completely bucking the rules and sticking to a higher truth. when the latter happens, i become really sensitive to anyone 'correcting' me, because if i've decided to go against authority, it means i have a strong sense that my choice is right for me, and any force trying to get me to conform will be met with my fiery passion of resistance.

    this also includes matters in which i believe myself to be my own personal authority (i.e. my body, my style, my food choices, my tastes). when someone attempts to assert authority over me about something i believe that i am the only person whose authority matters, i get a little more rebellious or reactive. this the arena in which i'm most prone to do exactly the opposite of what someone has told me to do. because fuck you.
    You hem me in -- behind and before;
    you have laid your hand upon me.
    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

  9. #19

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    My experience of authority is that its a failure.

    Almost every authority I've met has failed to live up to my expectation of what their role and responsibilities are, the worst sorts are half way aware of it or suspect it and are by turns on the offensive or on the defensive as a cover for it, there's lots of sorts in between that and the best sorts, which generally try to apply some sort "first do no harm" practice but fail at that even.

    I wouldnt say that I have any issues of the traditional anti-authoritarian, no one is telling me what to do, your not the boss a me kind, in fact I get pissed off when I see that or experience it from others, whether I'm the authority figure in question or not, the real affective, emotional over reacting kind, the sort which would be the worst kind to ever actually prevail over the authority it opposed, if that was even its goal, because it would be a worse authority than the one it sought to supplant (most of the time that's not what its about, most of the time there's no intent of that, its just a matter of "situation is all fucked, I'm not following your orders, this is all your problem" opposition).

    The issues I have are more complex.

    I dont like authorities which dont want to be authorities, which reject authoritarianism but dont see authoritarianism as something different from being an authority per se or authoritative, they're marked with indecision, delegation, prevarication, ambivalence and side stepping, side stepping bothers me the most probably because you could question what are they there for or what value are the adding and how are they earning their money or how are they worth it?

    Its a performance issue, most authorities dont perform as they should. Its a neglect, competence or even disinterest issue as much as its anything else. Sometimes the expectations are too high of them, maybe their hands are tied or they lack resources but more often its all convenient excuses and a lack of resourcefulness.

    That's before you get into questions of corruption or outright wickedness or tyrannising, which are all consequences of different sorts of authority fails, possibly even epic fails. I don really see any of the great dictatorships in history as consequence of a triumph of authority but rather epic failures of authority and their aftermaths.

    A lot of the epic, and not so epic and much more mundane, authority fails are a result of people who're barely competent being able to gather enough like minded and like skills challenged people around them and convincing them of an us vs. them myth because as long as people believe they are part of an us and threatened by a them then they are unlikely to look at the faults of failings of any of the us and more likely to believe that the them is a source of concentrated malice any time they have had to challenge how things are done.

    That's not to say that there's plenty of people on the other end doing precisely the same thing without being prepared to exercise any kind of reponsibility or authority in turn but you know.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whatever View Post
    what's your relationship towards authority?

    how do people get through the day without doing something inappropriate?
    The relationship between my father and I = mutual respect and admiration. That aside, I can give so-called authority figures a hard time. I don't care about titles on business cards or how many zeroes are in your bank account. You have to earn my respect. As for the word "inappropriate," well, that word can vary in meaning from person to person.

    In my teens, I was a law unto myself. Good thing I grew out of that.

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