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  1. #11
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nottaprettygal View Post
    When you're out interacting and observing, do you relate the things you are doing and seeing back to yourself?

    Is that extrospection?
    I was just about to post this exact same question, but scanned to make sure I wasn't duplicating.

    I say I extrospect a LOT being an iNtJ, but it's always with the idea that it affects my interaction or just a personal gain in some way (i.e. observing coworkers/staff/profs so that i can work things in my favour). It's very self-serving.

    Does this still count as extrospecting?
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  2. #12
    Senior Mugwump Apollanaut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    There's a lot of about introspection on the forum but very little about extrospection. In fact, extrospection seems to be largely disdained.

    Some basic definitions of extrospection:
    • Extrospection is the observation of things external to one's own mind, as opposed to introspection, which is the direct observation of one's minds internal processes. Extrospection is ordinary sense perception or reasoning concerning the things so perceived.
    • habitual interest in or examination of matters outside oneself.
    • the consideration and observation of things external to the self; examination and study of externals.


    I'm basically an unapologetic extrovert. I love to extrospect. I like to get involved with what's going on around me and be an active participant in life. From the way people discuss knowing yourself on the forum, it seems like there's only one way and that's through introspection. I disagree. I think you can learn a lot about yourself through examining how you interact with the world around you and how it interacts with itself. It's figuring out how you fit in and using points and references outside of yourself to help in that process.

    So what are some benefits of extrospection? What do people think about it?
    Good topic! We all need a healthy dose of extrospection in our lives to help us reconnect with reality. It is very easy to get so caught up in our own personal dramas that we disconnect from what is actually happening around us. Often, if we take the time and trouble to stop and look around us, we will see that things are nowhere near as bad or troubling as our imagination has led us to believe.

    It is especially important for introverts to do this to balance our usual inner focus. For me, it is a type of active meditation. I have developed the skill of using my peripheral vision to observe the world around me. This opens me up to perceive far more of outer reality than I normally pay attention to. If I can maintain this for long enough, the outer world starts to become magical and wondrous, as I start to see, hear and feel more and more details and sensations. At the same time, my busy mind begins to slow down and I enter a calm, relaxed, yet highly observant state.

    In this way I can experience my "inferior" extraverted sensation function at it's highest level - as a non-judgemental and joyful engagement with reality.
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  3. #13
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    Intuitive extrospection is obviously what I'm doing most of the time but it's quite different from the sensory version you describe Proteanmix.

    In fact I was talking to my friend (ISTP) last night about this, we were comparing our different experiences of a trip we took to the beach yesterday morning. It was interesting that when he described the *main* part of his experience, I found that it was only the secondary part of my experience and that I was mainly focusing on 'something else'.

    He talked about being acutely aware of the colour of the sky, the shapes of the clouds, the sound of the sea and watching the shapes of the waves as they formed and crashed, the sounds of the gulls and the smell and tang of the salty air, and this constituted the main enjoyment of the landscape for him. I on the other hand was only vaguely aware of those things, not tuned into them and enjoying them - they were more in the background for me. And yet I was extrospecting too - I wasn't focused on my inner thoughts or feelings of the place, I was checking out the external world and plugged into it too.

    It's difficult to describe what I was mostly experiencing because the nature of intuitive perception is abstract. But that's what I was tuned into, the abstract aspects of the landscape... the only way I could explain it to him was to say that it's as though each of my senses is like a pair of near-sighted eyes and I take the glasses off them all because if I don't mute them, then I can't pay attention to the aspects of the world around me that I consider most important or useful. The closest I can come to describing it is that I was paying attention to ALL of those things at the same time and yet none of them particularly, it was more about what they all 'meant' together for me.

    Like whatever, I don't naturally tend to introspect much, but I've learned to force myself occasionally (mainly through meditation) and the value of what I've learned by doing that has motivated me to continue doing it, even though I almost have to be dragged to it.

    I'm frustrated at how vague I'm being about what parts of the beach visit I was taking in that made me not relate as much to my ISTP friend's experience. I wish I could find the words to describe it... I'll think about it more. Can any other ENxP's describe what it is you're tuned into in the outside world all the time?
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  4. #14
    Mud and rain and chaos... TickTock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    I think you can learn a lot about yourself through examining how you interact with the world around you and how it interacts with itself.
    I read somewhere, that to truly know yourself you have to observe yourself in interaction with others.

    In other words what's going on around you and how you deal with it is vital to who you are regardless of what you think you know about yourself when you are on your own.

  5. #15
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    I would have said that extrospection was interaction and introspection was analysis in your stated theory PM.

    I do value doing and seeing what happens.. just because I also analyse seven bells out of it later doesn't counter that... I think.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  6. #16
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I don't see how anyone but the extremely self-absorbed or the extremely shallow can do one without the other.

    The first and second functions of every type have both an introverted and extroverted component and, as I understand it, the extroverted function is what is used while interacting with the world while the introverted function sort of a lens through which the data, etc is filtered.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  7. #17
    Earth Exalted Thursday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I don't see how anyone but the extremely self-absorbed or the extremely shallow can do one without the other.

    The first and second functions of every type have both an introverted and extroverted component and, as I understand it, the extroverted function is what is used while interacting with the world while the introverted function sort of a lens through which the data, etc is filtered.

    can someone please explain to cafe that not everyone has common sense like her
    i'd do it but i gotta go get some cookies
    k thanks i wuv u bye-bye

  8. #18
    Earth Exalted Thursday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I don't see how anyone but the extremely self-absorbed or the extremely shallow can do one without the other.

    The first and second functions of every type have both an introverted and extroverted component and, as I understand it, the extroverted function is what is used while interacting with the world while the introverted function sort of a lens through which the data, etc is filtered.
    although its not the nature of the function that filters the data-its either intuition or sensing

  9. #19
    Senior Member ZiL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    I'm frustrated at how vague I'm being about what parts of the beach visit I was taking in that made me not relate as much to my ISTP friend's experience. I wish I could find the words to describe it... I'll think about it more. Can any other ENxP's describe what it is you're tuned into in the outside world all the time?
    This is something I've been trying to discern about myself for a while, especially after deciding that my preference is for extroversion. I've tried to make myself focus consciously on the things your ISTP friend pays the most attention to, but it never works for long. But I can't describe what it is I do naturally in these situations...a poor example, probably:

    When I go on a vacation, I'm interested more in the "idea" of the place, and I might only pick up on the sensory things that correlate with that idea. If I were sitting in a French cafe, for example, my attention wouldn't be on the taste of the coffee, the smells of the pastries, or the sound of idle chatter per se. Rather, it would be on formulating my idea of "French-ness" through the cafe experience. I might be paying more attention to how the people there interact - what are there mannerisms and gestures...how do they drink their coffee? Slowly? I might be thinking, "how integral is cafe culture to being French?" All of these sorts of thought threads will take precedence over what is actually happening around me. Rather than directly experiencing, it's as if I've gone straight to "interpreting" mode, only more fully noticing what is going on around me as my surroundings become relevent to the thoughts I'm having. It's like soaking up a vague ambience and trying to integrate it into some mental framework in real-time.

    As for extrospection - I'm not going to chime in to the possible definitions debate, I'm just going to go with what I think it means, for better or worse . I feel I learn the most when I'm "extrospecting." It follows the pattern of - experience, then derive meaning from experience. Some might think of this as introspecting...but calling it "introspecting," at least for the purposes of this thread, might underestimate the cruciality of outside experience to the ability to "derive meaning." I feel, maybe, that I understand who I am better when I'm out interacting. When I'm alone trying to think about who I am, I feel a little untethered, like I can't come up with a good answer without a direct link to reality.... Suddenly among others (most of the time, anyway) the picture becomes clearer.

  10. #20
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Ha! At first, I thought you had invented your own word!

    extrospection - n. habitual interest in or examination of matters outside oneself.

    So basically it's the "E" dimension of MBTT.

    I often admire people who ask great questions, like interviewers on tv. I always imagine they must be "E" types to care about those kinds of things they're asking about. It never occurs to me to ask such questions, but when I hear it asked, I want to know the answer.

    I am not good at it, but I admire others who are.

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