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  1. #1
    #005645 phthalocyanine's Avatar
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    Default sx/sp - conflicted?

    sx/sp

    This is perhaps the most internally conflicted of the stackings, and potentially the most inconsistent in behavior. This may occur as a blockage of the sexual instinct which can be redirected as a more generally brooding and troubled personality. They may isolate themselves for long periods of time before reemerging. They live according to a strictly personal outlook and are not particularly concerned with the approval of others outside of their immediate concern. They seem to be searching for something, the missing piece. If they find a soulmate they will unite without fanfare, forming a secret bond, dealing with formalities as an afterthought. Powerful sexual impulses facing inner resistance may manifest symbolically in the psyche, giving way to soulful interpretations of the unconscious. Under periods of stress severe sexual tensions may manifest as erratic, impulsively destructive behavior. Can seem restless, torn between the comforts of a stable home life and the urge to wander. May be prone to self-medicating.
    Motivation: to know the heart, reconcile inner conflict, form a secure union.
    Familiar roles: the devotee, the seeker, the wanderer.
    i find myself very concerned with the opinions and feelings of my close friends and family members...sometimes to the degree that even if on my own i feel strongly that i want to do something, if i hear a negative response from a loved one, i will seriously consider not doing it or actually end up not doing it at all.

    this pattern has been a source of strong confusion for me. i'm used to the sp instinct telling me simply to follow my own inclinations ...however, the sense of connection i feel to a few people as an intimate subtype is almost like being bonded in some basic way, like sharing the same blood or feeling along the same wavelength. in a way the self-pres. feels like it's more rooted in raw impulse/instinct and the sx comes from an empathic, emotional place...and my intellect is caught trying to reconcile the two.

    lighter social interaction is a source of both amusement for the sp side and discomfort for the sx side... on the one hand, it can be great to be part of a social group without too much "heavy" stuff, but then again it feels almost boring or meaningless at times without anything of "substance" tying people together.

    it can be taxing to almost never feel fully confident in any decisions made, beyond the mundane (i have no problem choosing what i'd like to wear or eat, but anything more complex regarding social realms and it gets gray).

    don't get me wrong, i feel very lucky to gain insights of many types from this jumbled, two-sided orientation, but in my emotional center i do feel as if i am constantly reconciling something... maybe everyone has that feeling sometimes & i'm just over-reacting? - i used to be satisfied with that until i started reading about these instinctual stackings!

    i think i usually do a good job balancing the need for intimacy with the need for doing my own thing in terms of actions, it's just that the internal aspect of things always feels a little muddled; uncertain.

    i often wonder if this kind of thing's just to be expected at my age, or if it's something more individualized that i'll just need to get used to...


    curious about what other sx/sp (or sp/sx) subtypes' experiences or thoughts may be. i'd like to hear more from real people's experiences and less theoretical jargon, perhaps.

    "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.."
    -Oscar Wilde



  2. #2
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phthalocyanine View Post
    i often wonder if this kind of thing's just to be expected at my age, or if it's something more individualized that i'll just need to get used to...


    curious about what other sx/sp (or sp/sx) subtypes' experiences or thoughts may be. i'd like to hear more from real people's experiences and less theoretical jargon, perhaps.
    What age are you (sorry if I've missed this in your posts elsewhere)? I usually consider myself sp/sx, though sx/sp is close as well, and I can relate well to the quote you included above. I constantly feel a tension between the desire to be alone -- completely independent, able to pursue whatever interests, actions, or plans I consider worthwhile -- with the desire for the intense connection of very close friends, lover, etc. Sometimes I feel I am trying to live two lives, or, since I have been in a long-term relationship for awhile, sometimes living the wrong life. I constantly wonder what things would be like were I in fact alone; what I have given up in order to enjoy the benefits of a relationship. The idea of the missing piece is especially familiar. Sometimes I feel that I have all the pieces to a puzzle, but without the box lid to show what it is supposed to look like, I cannot put them together right. I feel that, if only I could find the right shift in my perspective, it would all make sense.

    Like you, I appreciate the sometimes divergent perspectives, and maintain a productive and coherent personal and professional life simply by force of will. It is interesting, to say the least.

  3. #3
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    I'm sx/sp and I relate a lot to the description in the OP and also to what Coriolis said. Eerily familiar. I've been single for some time, so my situation is flip-flopped from Coriolis' situation. When I've been in relationships, I've often felt the desire for more space. And sometimes when I'm single, I desire to connect with someone on a deep level.

    I've never really looked at it like "2 different lives" though. I've learned that I can be content either way (in or out of a relationship). Being content comes from a different place entirely for me. But, there is definitely that "tug" from both directions: "Connect with someone! Nah, just keep your space, you don't want to get too involved." Part of the reason for that is probably because I know that when I do connect, it is very intense. Highly enjoyable, lots of fun, gets a lot of my time and energy (which means less time and energy on other things), etc. I guess it really is a strange dynamic.
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


    There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. --William Barclay

  4. #4
    #005645 phthalocyanine's Avatar
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    thanks for your replies. it's good to know that others experience this stuff... i don't think any of my close friends are sx/sp, so sometimes i feel like i'm the only one who has this issue.

    to answer your question, Coriolis, i'm 22.

    my SO is an INT 5 sp/sx. we understand each other well, but the sp/sx types don't seem quite as conflicted as the sx/sp ones... i'm often told to "just stop caring so much about people"... as if it were like a switch i could simply turn off.

    i think part of the problem is that my "pool" of people to care about is a bit larger than my NT counterparts', and so my focus is wider and i have less energy than i'd like for each situation... i've also considered that as an nf type, self preservation does to some degree involve being a harmonizer in the lives of those around me. survival is not simply meeting my needs as an individual, but also meeting my personal need to maintain some balance in the lives of the people around me - which i admit is somewhat selfish in itself, because i pick up on it when things are "off" with others and then it sort of becomes my problem, too... i don't resent that, but i do get really tired out from trying to juggle obligations, personal goals, and goals involving others. sometimes i just want to be attuned to the pretty colors in the sky or the music in birdsongs and not to what ills a friend is feeling that day and analyzing why that may be and how to fix it... then i end up having packaged soup instead of home made enchiladas for dinner because there isnt enough time to fed both instincts!

    Quote Originally Posted by INTPness View Post
    Being content comes from a different place entirely for me.
    care to elaborate a bit?

    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    Sometimes I feel that I have all the pieces to a puzzle, but without the box lid to show what it is supposed to look like, I cannot put them together right. I feel that, if only I could find the right shift in my perspective, it would all make sense.
    well-said. i feel the same way much of the time... "where the %#*& is my instruction manual?!"

    "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.."
    -Oscar Wilde



  5. #5
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phthalocyanine View Post
    thanks for your replies. it's good to know that others experience this stuff... i don't think any of my close friends are sx/sp, so sometimes i feel like i'm the only one who has this issue.

    to answer your question, Coriolis, i'm 22.

    my SO is an INT 5 sp/sx. we understand each other well, but the sp/sx types don't seem quite as conflicted as the sx/sp ones... i'm often told to "just stop caring so much about people"... as if it were like a switch i could simply turn off.

    i think part of the problem is that my "pool" of people to care about is a bit larger than my NT counterparts', and so my focus is wider and i have less energy than i'd like for each situation... i've also considered that as an nf type, self preservation does to some degree involve being a harmonizer in the lives of those around me. survival is not simply meeting my needs as an individual, but also meeting my personal need to maintain some balance in the lives of the people around me - which i admit is somewhat selfish in itself, because i pick up on it when things are "off" with others and then it sort of becomes my problem, too... i don't resent that, but i do get really tired out from trying to juggle obligations, personal goals, and goals involving others. sometimes i just want to be attuned to the pretty colors in the sky or the music in birdsongs and not to what ills a friend is feeling that day and analyzing why that may be and how to fix it... then i end up having packaged soup instead of home made enchiladas for dinner because there isnt enough time to fed both instincts!
    I wasn't sure what your type was, but as I began to read this I thought, "I bet this person is an NF" and, sure enough, you confirmed it. My T is my weakest function (I'm not 50/50, more like 60/40), and I think I'm able to differentiate pretty well when I'm being T and when I'm being F. I think I'm being more F when I get drawn into the problems of others and kind of want to "save the world". I definitely want to help people and have compassion for them when they are going through things. I don't want to turn my back on them. But, my T basically reminds me that I can't be everything for everyone. I can help them and be giving of myself to a degree. But, you know, I still have to work, sleep, tend to certain things in my own life, find time for leisure/extracurricular activities, etc. What I'm getting at is, at some point I have to draw a line. Otherwise I might as well quit my job, stay up all night and be available to help everyone with whatever problems they might have - 24/7 - like a 24 hour hotline. I just can't do it. I'm not God and I shouldn't try to be. I'd kill myself in the process. That may sound harsh to an F, I don't know. I just know that it's very "realistic" to acknowledge that I can't help every single person I care about with every single problem they have. I just can't do it. And so I have to "pick my battles" so to speak. I have to say to myself, "This is a really big problem and this person is going through a very difficult time. I'm going to do what I can to help!" Or I have to say to myself, "You know, I feel for them, but I have another person in my life right now who is going through something "bigger" right now and they really need me! Therefore, I'm going to have to focus on the bigger of the two problems because I'm only one man."

    I have to help where I can, but still be functional in my own life. I've had friends who wanted to call me at work and talk for 45 minutes about problems. I can't do that. I have to hold down a job. I have taken time off of work to help with some of the "bigger problems" within my family, etc. As 5's with "sx" either first or second in our stacking, we do have an ability to connect with people and offer our assistance and our energies in a very unique way. We should use that ability for good, yet always remember to keep balance in our own lives.

    Helping people can very quickly (if we let it) get to the point where it literally takes all of your time and energy. I strive to help people, within reason (and according to how big the problem is). I heard a speaker say once that he can't come running every time someone is feeling down. He basically said, "I want nothing but the best for those I love and I'll do a lot for them, even go out of my way. But, don't call me at 3am hoping that I can fix all of your life problems. I've got to get sleep, so that I can get up in the morning and be the best me that I can be for myself and for everyone else. I have to keep my own self in balance first - otherwise nobody ends up getting help, because I'll be sick in bed."

    It's probably a more difficult line to draw for F's. But, it's about priorities. Which of today's problems are REALLY big and absolutely need to be tended to? If they're not in that category, really think twice about spending all of your remaining energy on them.



    care to elaborate a bit?
    Sure. I have learned that there is true contentment in knowing Christ. Things that used to be all "out of whack" become "in whack". There is stability in Him, contentment, true inner peace and, as the journey continues, you find that things like anxiety and worry start to fall by the wayside. I strive towards becoming a "whole" person myself (not becoming someone I'm not, but smoothing out the rough edges, shortcomings, and other "trouble spots" in my personality, etc.) rather than putting so much energy into hoping that I might find somoene "to complete me", or "be my other half". Become whole and content myself, as an individual (to the point to where I don't need anything else to be happy) and then work on finding that other person (who will also be "whole" as an individual - i.e., their personal happiness does not depend solely on me). Two whole people coming together, rather than two "incomplete" people unrealistically expecting each other to "make it all go away" and to "finally make them happy". It doesn't work that way. One's own personal happiness is way too big of a burden to place on the shoulders of another human being. Happiness comes from another place. Not from "finding the perfect wife/husband/partner."

    Then when we finally find "the right person", it's like a bonus to a life that's already content. It's like scoring 100 out of 100 on a math test and then getting 5 points of "extra credit" on top of that. 105 points out of 100. The 100 is already in place. A good partner adds to it.
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


    There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. --William Barclay

  6. #6
    Member the soulless one's Avatar
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    I think I am probably sx/sp.

    In any case, I notice that I usually have one friend who I correspond with. I like a non-demanding relationship but I also like a relationship where there is a truly deep connection. Nonetheless, I go cold suddenly, time to time, and easily can feel hurt or betrayed by another person. What I hate most is when I confide about my ideas, interests, and so forth with someone I trust and have that be a cause for them to carelessly say something which turns it against me.

    I have never been in what I feel like was a real relationship where it was with someone I could deeply connect with who I loved. I had chances to be with people but I figured that unless that there was a deep desire to be involved in that way with the person and that we were 'safe' for each other (being compatible, not going to hinder each other in having a sense of independence, security, space, and peace of mind) at the same time, there was no reason to be involved, even over minor or surface attraction, out of fear of having my resources of time and energy being needlessly depleted. I feel that unless both conditions are met, I cannot be involved with someone. I have avoided relationships because I don't want to be in something that feels petty and isn't deep or likely to fail. And I hate the idea of having sex for the sake of having sex hence why I refuse to do it with most anyone and resent being pressured to do so for a quick fix by people who don't share those sentiments.

    Everything has to mean something, I guess. Whatever I do, I want it to be out of something deep inside...intensity, I guess. If I don't feel that intensity, why bother? It's just going through the motions, to me.

    But yeah, I feel weird because I daydream about people in the past who meant something to me, people in the now though I will run away from people if I foresee trouble for me and them, sacrificing feelings and even being totally indifferent and so hurting them and then being hurt if it will get the message to 'stay away' should involvement happen and then a trap be set.

    It's that contradictory aspect of this stacking which I relate to most naturally. I want friends who I care for deeply, I want to be loved and to love, but I don't want emotional demands I cannot fulfill (I am type 5), I want my space. So I have friends briefly and we slip out of each others life.

    But sharing secrets is natural when I get closer to someone, predicting it will be used against me, but so testing these individuals. Once they hurt me through that, I turn my back for good as I don't want to waste my time and energy on someone who will only keep on hurting me, though I may secretly be feeling remorse for the loss, but I reason that it's for the good.

    And I would say alone, memories, thoughts, feelings can be overwhelming as a default state, but I feel little need to bring it to the surface. I feel like when I am in public and with anyone except the chosen few that I have to put on a mask to hide that part of me. Which results in little desire to make new contacts and invest in them since they see me but don't see me and there's no reason to believe that if they see me that they will like what they see. So there is no reason to make the contact deeper or maintain it via personal effort. The result is being alone and as said slipping in and out of people's lives without feeling that most of them ever knew me.

    But again, I have had many troubles finding my stacking, but I don't know if this sounds normal for any stacking or is more sx/sp.

  7. #7
    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    I'm an sx/sp, and I think the inherent conflict is exacerbated by the fact that I am a 5. I find that I can't really relate to your thoughts about being concerned with other's opinions of yourself or your actions. To me, the only philosophy I will follow is one that is personally derived: I do not let other's dictate how I behave, think, or act.

    It doesn't really matter who is doing the questioning either. Arguably the most important person in my life, my SO, can and has questioned certain aspects of myself and my personality [largely with regards to my social needs] and I have told her that I do not care what she, or others, think that I need. If others do not like parts about myself, that is their problem, not mine, and I consider their opinions worthless.

    However, like you, I have the most difficulty in the wavering push/pull of desiring closeness, intimacy, complete and pure passionate exchange with the sense of self-preservation, keeping everything close to the vest, protecting myself from pain. Most will probably see me as hot or cold, simply because whichever instinct is winning out at the time seems to cause a complete flip flop in terms of disposition, though that volatility is probably due to the sx primary instinct in the first place.

    It's a bit weird for me...since I find that I do not actively seek or value intimate bonds and connections. Most of my "close" friendships are probably superficial or surface level at best: they are my friends because of shared interests and activities, but in terms of sharing more personal details about ourselves is something I'm not really interested in.



  8. #8
    man-made neptunesnet's Avatar
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    That's interesting, Jock.

    Because I found myself judging you for saying

    Quote Originally Posted by JocktheMotie View Post
    It doesn't really matter who is doing the questioning either. Arguably the most important person in my life, my SO, can and has questioned certain aspects of myself and my personality [largely with regards to my social needs] and I have told her that I do not care what she, or others, think that I need. If others do not like parts about myself, that is their problem, not mine, and I consider their opinions worthless.
    but realized immediately that I am much the same way and appear to others to be volatile and very hot-cold at times.

    Your description does seem geared a bit more towards sp, though.

  9. #9
    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neptunesnet View Post
    That's interesting, Jock.

    Because I found myself judging you for saying



    but realized immediately that I am much the same way and appear to others to be volatile and very hot-cold at times.

    Your description does seem geared a bit more towards sp, though.
    I don't mind. It's going to sound like I'm a stubborn arrogant ass, because, well...I am. I tend to go through life that with regards to myself, I know better, 99.9% of time. I'll listen to other's thoughts, but ultimately, I am the final word. Even irrationally at times, I'll admit.

    It might sound more sp I guess. I've always had difficulty figuring it out, and I'm certainly not a pro. I'm either sx/sp or sp/sx, sometimes they seem more similar to me than not. I've thought that it's tough to separate aspects of the sp instinct from the 5 behavioral type, so there's probably some overlap.



  10. #10
    Senior Member the state i am in's Avatar
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    i think sx types are the most competitive. i think they desire the most, are the most greedy, and the most wanting. in german philosophy the word for the will is "wollen," which means want. sx is strong-willed bc it WANTS. this energy creates a lot of pull, desire, etc. sx/so are more addictive, all-in, completely going after whatever they want. we are caught between the desire to do so and the tendency to withdraw, to need solitude in order to dissolve and come back new, freed from the constraints of the world and what feel like arbitrary and frustrating and disappointing and pointlessly threatening negativities around us. that oscillation i think tends to create a really big light/dark shift, rather than building our own social world into a more healthy system that can support us and our desires, we flirt with the desire to withdraw completely, become less participatory, and less committed to life. escaping life, but using that escape to regenerate life or our idea of life from the ground up, anonymously. the last part might be too specific, or incorporating too much e5 or infjness into the mix. i'm not sure.

    sx types are impatient. i'm not sure if sx/so or sx/sp deal with this better. i'd like some examples of balancing sx/sp energies in a healthy way, using it for good. it's too easy to crave peaks and spikes and just create this gigantic tidal waves that after they crest pull us under. kind of romanticizing that.

    i think there are obvious challenges with becoming more open, developing consistency (derived from increased patience), and dealing with the drudgery of long-termish projects, relationships, goals, careers, etc.

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