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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    My premise is such:

    Ivory-tower, disconnected introversion is the result of insulation. Having no choice but to head out into the world on a daily basis and interact, on some level, with other human beings by its nature precludes this sort of insulation.

    Dissent or concur as you will.
    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    I made no assertions in regard to the relationship between socialization and neuroticism.

    Please don't put words into my (figurative) mouth.
    Well, if you don't consider being neurotically introverted being "ivory tower, disconnected, okay then.

    A person can learn to function in daily working life without letting go of any internal type of defense mechanism, such as keeping themselves locked inside in a introverted insulatory way. Just going to work each day and having to be polite to people you brush up against won't bring a person out of their defense mechanisms or change negative thought patterns. They can still be carrying on narcissistic and/or self pitying internal dialog and not allowing the perceptions the outer world could bring them to come in.

    By the same token, a hermit could take in the world of information in books, internet and phone and if they allowed those perceptions to penetrate their true selves they could actually be less neurotically introverted than someone out with people all day.

    Just because someone hears other views and gives an answer back, doesn't mean they listened with all their being.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post

    People can create surface personas to deal with daily life and work.
    This made me think of how Borderline Personality Disordered are split into two classifications:

    High and low functioning. Meaning one can do what you refer to and one can't. In the high-functioning types, only intimates really know they're BPD.

  3. #53
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    I've failed to adequately elucidate my stance. I'll take one more stab at it.

    I began by assuming two "classes" of introversion, if you will:

    1.) Introversion of the nature that introversion is commonly thought of. Cloistered, reclusive, and poorly able to deal with people and the external world.
    2.) Introversion in its Jungian sense. Given as this is an MBTI message board, you'll pardon me the shorthand of assumed shared knowledge.

    While I mentioned the first "class" explicitly, I left the second implicit, which was an error on my part and seems to have contributed to confusion.

    My first assertion was that introversion of the first type can only exist in a situation where insulation is a possibility. Specifically, a situation of financial security. (Other situations which allow for such insulation exist, but these situations are uncommon and outside the scope of my argument.) Where contact with the outer world is necessitated, the introvert will, of necessity, develop social skills. Social skills are just that - skills. Just as a child can detest the piano but grow competent if his mother forces him to play every day, if you are forced to socialize to some degree every day, you will develop social ability to some end.

    My final assertion was that, unfortunate though it may be, a member of an ethnic minority is more likely to be in a financial situation which necessitates socialization, at the workplace if nowhere else. Hence the notion of "white introversion" as opposed to "minority introversion", which I believe are analogous to the two classes of introversion I posited at the beginning of my argument.

    Our discussion eventually branched into a separate and distinct topic: the extent to which developed social mechanisms shape our "true selves". This was, as stated, a whole other discussion which could easily be made into a thread of its own. I made the error of mincing two separate threads of thought at this point, contributing to confusion, for which I apologize.

    There is one caveat that occurred to me, however: schoolchildren. My argument addressed adults. I'll have to give the idea of school-aged introverts of different ethnic backgrounds more thought and research before I would venture to make any claims.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

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  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    My first assertion was that introversion of the first type can only exist in a situation where insulation is a possibility. Specifically, a situation of financial security. (Other situations which allow for such insulation exist, but these situations are uncommon and outside the scope of my argument.) Where contact with the outer world is necessitated, the introvert will, of necessity, develop social skills. Social skills are just that - skills. Just as a child can detest the piano but grow competent if his mother forces him to play every day, if you are forced to socialize to some degree every day, you will develop social ability to some end.

    My final assertion was that, unfortunate though it may be, a member of an ethnic minority is more likely to be in a financial situation which necessitates socialization, at the workplace if nowhere else. Hence the notion of "white introversion" as opposed to "minority introversion", which I believe are analogous to the two classes of introversion I posited at the beginning of my argument.
    I think you have a legitimate point here. My own experience is that "insulation" of the sort you mention does make people of all personality types rough around the edges and poorer at basic social skills than their counterparts who have greater contact with the outer world.

    I deal with work-at-home contractors and sometimes bring them into the office for a month or more for training. Even the work-at-home extraverts can be a handful. They all get out of practice at dealing with people (or simply have never been in an organizational setting and learned typical office etiquette), and I have to rein them in and teach them the basics. The introverts in particular can be kind of sour or bitter or have paranoid concepts of how the office works. They just don't have any previous experience for comparison, and they attach significance to minor things in one area while missing out on big, glaring signals in other areas. And they don't necessarily adapt quickly or well. They often see themselves as "temps" or outsiders and merely try to tolerate things or simply keep a low profile until they can get back to their normal environment again.

    By comparison, working environments (and even social circles) tend to "homogenize" the regular, full-time workers in terms of behavior, values, and ways of reacting to things. People want to belong, and peer pressure can be a significant force, so work and social circles homogenize their members to some extent over time. That effect is even more pronounced in blue collar work, which can be very communal; in a communal setting, peer pressure can be fierce and can push everyone toward one central "average." This homogenization has some bad aspects, such as pushing everyone into a groupthink model and punishing those who show too much independence (at least when interacting with the group). But it has good aspects in that it pushes people to socialize and stretch beyond their type. That's usually considered a form of "maturity" insofar as it involves growth, flexing, better overall social skills, and better adaptation to the realities of their social environment.

    When I think back to my days in the military, I have trouble retrospectively typing a lot of people because they were trying on new "masks" and sometimes getting pretty good at them. The momma's boys were trying out tough guy roles, shy people were adapting to leadership roles, etc. Same thing in the office workplace today. Sometimes it takes me a while to type someone. Sometimes I have to mentally peel back a layer or two of learned behavior to see what comes natural to them.

    By comparison the work-at-home types are often "clearer" (less socialized, less mature) versions of their personality type. They are more individualistic in thought perhaps, but it often seems to be an immature, egocentric type of individualism, and their world is often more circumscribed in terms of both exposure to new experiences and willingness to move out of their comfort zone in terms of action.

    And I think this does seep into one's self-picture. Like any good introvert, I still like and need my downtime. But my self-picture includes the idea that I'm knowledgeable about office conventions and etiquette and can be comfortable in social settings, and that self-picture guides my actions accordingly. The work-at-home types often clearly don't have a broad self-picture. The introverts in particular get a deer-in-the-headlights look about them when asked to stretch into a new social or work environment.

    Can this concept be applied to cultural groups as well? Probably--specifically where the groups are tight-knit, communal, and tend toward homogenization (via peer pressure) of the members. In those situations one will see more socialization, more flexing and adaptation to a social average, and better overall social skills. On the downside, one will also see more groupthink and less independence of word and action (at least when interacting with the group). Hence the group, when examined as a whole, may seem to tend toward one central homogenous personality type.

    My first wife was second-generation American and had a very close-knit, working-class, old-world Italian upbringing. When visiting her family at home, it was easy enough to see that individuals had their own various personality traits; but the traits were often muddled and played second fiddle to the xSFJ big-family working-class Roman Catholic Italian stereotype. If tested with the MBTI, they likely would have scored very similarly if they all held roughly the same values in common. There was a lot of pressure to fit into well-defined, predetermined roles depending on one's position in the family. In the case of my wife, it took a bit of separation from the community and self-discovery for her natural ISTJ nature to come to the forefront.

    **************

    There are a lot of generalizations here, of course. But I'm describing what I've personally seen within the context of broad trends. Naturally, the appropriate disclaimers and qualifiers apply. [Edit:] And I should clarify that I'm talking about things in relative terms here. I'm not saying that at-home workers are objectively more neurotic than office workers. Both groups can presumably be perfectly healthy/happy/fulfilled/functional in their chosen environment. I'm just saying that full-time office workers tend to have better overall social skills, in my experience.
    Last edited by RDF; 03-18-2008 at 03:15 PM.

  5. #55
    Luctor et emergo Ezra's Avatar
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    I've had another thought regarding this: militarism. Consider Japan. The samurai were practically copies of one another. Same with soldiers in any system. They all seem to be taught to be ESTJs (ISTJs would fare well)*. The question is, is this a conscious effort, or do they automatically - naturally - change type or temperament?

    *In the British Army, there seems to be an increasing need to get a balance between J and P. For example, if a plan goes to shit, what would the ESTJ do? They'd be stuck. The ESTP, however, would find a way. On the other hand, the Army works to a plan, and that's why we need the J there. E and T are a given for the Army, and you don't need N until you're very high up (as high as many people never get in their lifetimes).

  6. #56
    Senior Member 6sticks's Avatar
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    I just happened to be reading this and thought it was particularly relevant...

    Quote Originally Posted by The Tale of the Heike
    Just then, looking behind him, he saw Doi and Kajiwara coming up with fifty horsemen. "Alas! Look there," he exclaimed, the tears running down his face, "though I would spare your life, the whole countryside swarms with our men, and you cannot escape them. If you must die, let it be by my hand, and I will see that prayers are said for your rebirth in Paradise."

    "Indeed it must be so," said the young warrior. "Cut off my head at once."

    Kumagai was so overcome by compassion that he could scarcely wield his blade. His eyes swam and he hardly knew what he did, but there was no help for it; weeping bitterly he cut off the boy's head. "Alas!" he cried, "what life is so hard as that of a soldier? Only because I was born of a warrior family must I suffer this affliction! How lamentable it is to do such cruel deeds!" He pressed his face to the sleeve of his armor and wept bitterly.
    Samurai, being born into the job, would have to adapt to be like ESTJs. In volunteer armies and homegrown militias this isn't as necessary.
    No offense.

  7. #57
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    I deal with work-at-home contractors and sometimes bring them into the office for a month or more for training. Even the work-at-home extraverts can be a handful. They all get out of practice at dealing with people (or simply have never been in an organizational setting and learned typical office etiquette), and I have to rein them in and teach them the basics. The introverts in particular can be kind of sour or bitter or have paranoid concepts of how the office works. They just don't have any previous experience for comparison, and they attach significance to minor things in one area while missing out on big, glaring signals in other areas. And they don't necessarily adapt quickly or well. They often see themselves as "temps" or outsiders and merely try to tolerate things or simply keep a low profile until they can get back to their normal environment again.

    By comparison, working environments (and even social circles) tend to "homogenize" the regular, full-time workers in terms of behavior, values, and ways of reacting to things. People want to belong, and peer pressure can be a significant force, so work and social circles homogenize their members to some extent over time. That effect is even more pronounced in blue collar work, which can be very communal; in a communal setting, peer pressure can be fierce and can push everyone toward one central "average." This homogenization has some bad aspects, such as pushing everyone into a groupthink model and punishing those who show too much independence (at least when interacting with the group). But it has good aspects in that it pushes people to socialize and stretch beyond their type. That's usually considered a form of "maturity" insofar as it involves growth, flexing, better overall social skills, and better adaptation to the realities of their social environment.
    Random anecdote time.

    This post reminds me of an old season of "The Apprentice" (back when it was a watchable show). One team consisted of entrepeneurs without a college eduction while the other team members all had college degrees. Overall the "unschooled" team members were harder working and more creative, but (going from memory) they still lost about as often as they won because they had a much harder time working together than the college educated team.

    Anyway what I got from that was the real benefit of college is the socialization. For the most part college does not encourage independent creative thinking. Rather it hurts both your drive and creativity, but at the same time it encourages people to socialize and therefore it helps them work together. It's something of a trade off either way.
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