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Thread: Self-awareness.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Perch420's Avatar
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    Default Self-awareness.

    I've always thought that intelligent was the quality I valued the most in people, but I think there's something more important. The best way to describe it would be self-awareness.

    I know a few people are very intelligent and well read, but the way they conduct themselves makes it impossible to interact with them for very long. They lack self-awareness.

    One is an INTP who is very knowledgeable in the areas of politics and philosophy, but he is so nauseatingly pretentious that it's impossible to listen to him for more than a few minutes without cringing. He speaks in a faux-British accent to sound more "sophisticated", he uses overly complex vocabulary that doesn't fit, and is in general very pompous and embarrassing to be around. Why is he like this? How can someone so intelligent be so clueless as to how ridiculous he's acting? Is it a lack of social skills? I don't think so. I know plenty of people who are clumsy and poor in social situations, but they don't come off so offensively as this guy. Maybe he's not even intelligent in the first place? Maybe he's uncreative and incapable of original thought and he's simply copying the behavior of "intelligent" people he knows of, unsuccessfully?

    I know another guy, an ESTP, who thinks he's really badass and hard. The situation is the same as before, except instead of intelligence and sophistication being the qualities attempted to show, it's badassedry and manliness. I think the thing about replicating the behavior of role models is true because it applies here as well. He does things like smoke with his hand outside the car window while wearing sunglasses. He revvs his car at the start of an upbeat chorus in a song. Instead of looking smooth and natural, his behavior seems forced and uncomfortable to look at.

    The groups this type of behavior I encounter more often in is kids age 9-12 and otakus. I don't know why, but that's been my experience.

    Does anybody else know what I'm talking about? This has bothered me for a while.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    I think that the INTP can occasionally become so lost in inner-musings that there is a disconnect with reality and the moment. But the INTP is intelligent and quickly identifies this at an early age. TO offset it they begin analyzing expected behaviors and reactions vs natural. Its a weak Fe. Fe is what makes the INTP more aware of social norms.

    I see this in my INTP brother. Well, what I should say is that I have noticed my brother observing the behavior of others and then caught him later replaying expected responce. I've seen him with such penetrating observation at times that I've thumped him on the head and reminded him to stop being "creepy." But ya, I think its possible for someone to be highly intelligent yet fail to fully understand social dynamics and interact sincerely.

    I don't know about the ESTP.
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  3. #3
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Those stories make me chuckle. I know what you're talking about. Aren't you 16 or something though? Wait till you get to college age. I didn't even go to college, but yet I can't remember a time with more posers.

    I'd say ease up on the 9 yr olds though. They're just learning.

  4. #4
    ThatGirl
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    Don't confuse self awareness with preference. Some people are perfectly aware of how they are coming off and like it. Just one of those things to consider.

    I also can't stand lack of self awareness in others. Most of the time this is due to the fact that I prefer honest communication. When someone is not self aware it is like interacting with an illusion and that can be pretty damn frustrating. Also, I tend to see them as a liability, because they cause consequences they aren't even aware of and therefore take no claim to.

    I don't think it is age related either. I have seen many self aware people who were younger, and older people who were just as clueless as a five year old. The truth is, it is a rare quality to find in another, yet instantly recognizable in the interactions and conversations that take place. Makes everything simpler.

    I don't necessarily have to agree with who someone is or how they live their life, or whether we will get along. The dynamics tend to speak for themselves. This makes dealing with others painless.

    One of my favorite dates was with a self aware man. He was aggressive, over bearing, a little immature, but very self aware. Our one and only date consisted of a quick foundational interview, followed by some chit chat to pass the time, then an equal assessment brought to light by both parties, followed by the mutual agreement that we were in two very different places, and would kill each other if we tried to date.

    He went his way, I went mine, and the whole thing was completely effortless.

    The point being whether you think a posh British accent is attractive or not, it really has nothing to do with being self aware.

  5. #5
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perch420 View Post
    I've always thought that intelligent was the quality I valued the most in people, but I think there's something more important. The best way to describe it would be self-awareness.

    I know a few people are very intelligent and well read, but the way they conduct themselves makes it impossible to interact with them for very long. They lack self-awareness.

    One is an INTP who is very knowledgeable in the areas of politics and philosophy, but he is so nauseatingly pretentious that it's impossible to listen to him for more than a few minutes without cringing. He speaks in a faux-British accent to sound more "sophisticated", he uses overly complex vocabulary that doesn't fit, and is in general very pompous and embarrassing to be around. Why is he like this? How can someone so intelligent be so clueless as to how ridiculous he's acting? Is it a lack of social skills? I don't think so. I know plenty of people who are clumsy and poor in social situations, but they don't come off so offensively as this guy. Maybe he's not even intelligent in the first place? Maybe he's uncreative and incapable of original thought and he's simply copying the behavior of "intelligent" people he knows of, unsuccessfully?

    I know another guy, an ESTP, who thinks he's really badass and hard. The situation is the same as before, except instead of intelligence and sophistication being the qualities attempted to show, it's badassedry and manliness. I think the thing about replicating the behavior of role models is true because it applies here as well. He does things like smoke with his hand outside the car window while wearing sunglasses. He revvs his car at the start of an upbeat chorus in a song. Instead of looking smooth and natural, his behavior seems forced and uncomfortable to look at.

    The groups this type of behavior I encounter more often in is kids age 9-12 and otakus. I don't know why, but that's been my experience.

    Does anybody else know what I'm talking about? This has bothered me for a while.
    Is any of that particularly self-awareness? It sounds much more like awareness of one's location in the grand scheme of other people, things and events. That's "self"?


    Someone should write this stuff down and call it, oh, I don't know, let's name it "extroverted feeling."



    I assume the really interesting thing here is that, yes, that is the "self", in some sense. The extroverted feeling self, anyway.
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  6. #6
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    ^

    agreed, what you're describing sounds like a specific subtype of self-awareness, awareness of one's impact on others and one's perceived authenticity... "interpersonal awareness", perhaps, would be a good term. extraverted Feeling is certainly the master of this realm.

    imo, your INTP sounds like he has a case of trying to be prestigious and respected, but without much interpersonal awareness, he does not quite understand how his efforts are working. he sounds both not aware of how to conduct himself appropriately and also not very aware of how others are responding to him in the moment. (this is how FPs often get away with being slightly socially awkward but still likable - given extraverted Perceiving in concert with Feeling, we're decent at reading others' in-the-moment responses and adapting accordingly). i doubt that he lacks capacity for original thought, but he very well may be imitating others, if he is unsure of what else to go on to decide how he should behave socially. i feel bad for him, actually. if he knew that he was coming off as stupid, i imagine he would be mortified...

    as for the ESTP, again, he may not really understand how his actions are coming off to others... he may think he is projecting one thing but people are reading another. unfortunate, as ExTPs are often charmers.

    i actually personally have a fellow ENFP friend who fits this pattern as well. she has become increasingly pretentious over the last few years. i suspect she is a 4w5 on the enneagram, and while she is very aware of what is going on inside her (she talks about herself all the time!), i assume she must very much lack awareness of how others are responding to her. for whatever reason, her pattern of speech has gone from the usual ENFP "open sharing" to an odd form of let-me-educate-you lecturing, where the other person can hardly get a word in. i do not know why, on her part. perhaps she is coming to terms with her tertiary extraverted Thinking. i always thought she had pretty dismal Te for an ENFP, lol.

    i cannot account for otakus, besides perhaps being a bit removed from reality in general...

    though i suspect you encounter this with preteens because adolescence is when people begin "trying on" social roles, and when what/whom you are associated with becomes a defining factor of yourself to others - littler kids tend to take people at face value. i would the same higher likelihood for this sort of behavior holds for any time when people move to a new environment, and are forced to redefine themselves - do they try to adhere to who they are, or do they want to become something new? i was thinking about this last night, actually, how many people are concerned with authenticity, and yet how does one make change and still be authentic? where is the line drawn between acting as "who you're not" and striving for "who you want to be"? curious subject...

    anyway, the only other general thought i have is, have you cross-checked your perceptions of these people with others' perceptions? perhaps their answers would offer new light as well.

  7. #7
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    It seems like the examples in the OP display a high level of public self-awareness and a low level of private self-awareness.
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