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Thread: At what point do you stop trying to grow and just accept your type?

  1. #11
    Obsession. Array Lethe's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    152 so/sx
    INTp Ni


    Quote Originally Posted by LunaLuminosity View Post
    You got the order mixed up.

    Accept your type first, then grow from it second.
    Agreed! Acceptance, IMO, means that someone acknowledges the presence of the template, the mold, they start out with (a presence they may see time again and again, each moment they start anew). They are not required like it, but it also doesn't mean that the default settings will predetermine how things would ultimately end. That's for the individual to decide.

    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername
    Do I continue to make a conscious effort to turn on the social graces for my 40 hour facetime, or can I just say, "I gave it my best effort, and I'll employ my learned skills when necessary, but I need to accept that this is me."
    For an example, it's not enough to be a "FJ" or naturally diplomatic to excel at social graces. Sure it may help initially, though to keep being "good", one has to practice them all the time -- constantly tackling new challenges and changing old ways.

    The thing I noticed about the field of social graces is that something, somewhere, will always throw you off at one point. And you will suddenly find yourself back at square one. I don't think it indicates all your prior efforts are meaningless, it just means that you have something new to learn and add to your existing knowledge.

    It's not exactly a negative thing -- in fact, I can't think of any incident that is more suited for growing, other than finding out unknown unknowns, and that you're more naive than you thought you were.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenaphor View Post
    As far as growth is concerned, please don't stop growing. Stagnation is worse than death.

    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername
    At what point do you stop trying to grow and just accept your type?
    To answer your question though, my personal take is trying to recalibrate one's default settings is largely unnecessary, and a waste of resources. New patterns, thoughts and behaviors will emerge on its own anyway, possibly replacing the previous ones, when given enough input, experiences and feedback.

    You also can't truly predict when you'll have an "a-ha", transformational moment; you just have to keep exposing yourself to a wide range of diverse ideas and hope for the best. If something doesn't stick, then it probably doesn't hold enough meaning for you. At least not yet. Don't force the meaning, instead look for another one that prompts you to say, "Yes! That's it!". Natural emergence will give you higher quality, and longer-lasting resources to work with in the end.

    Always try new things whenever you want different results. Maybe you've reached a point where your old strategy isn't working as well as it once did.


    FineLine also brings up a good point. (Bolded) here:

    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine
    Anyway, I've found that it's not enough to simply forbid yourself to do something; you have to adopt a new goal and build yourself up to it. For example, it's difficult to simply tell yourself that you want to practice better posture and simply remember to stand up straight when standing around in public. A better approach is to adopt a whole new "look" or attitude: Find a balance point further back on your heels, throw your shoulders back and down, tuck your head back and chin down, and rock on your heels or bob up and down a little bit on your knees like a bored mafioso. Instead of simply banning something (bad posture), you build a whole new positive body awareness to play with. And at first it feels strange, but eventually it feels more and more natural over time to unconsiously seek and fall into that new posture.
    To expand on this, Bruce Lee phrases the idea eloquently, "Remember, you are expressing the techniques and not doing the techniques. If somebody attacks you, your response is not Technique No.1, Stance No. 2, Section 4, Paragraph 5."

    When one testing out unfamiliar techniques, the best way to start is to simply roll with what they have -- those default settings. It doesn't matter if they're doing it all wrong at first, because before one can tinker with anything, they have to know where they initially stand. Try out everything, every single movement, even if it feels awkward and wrong. And that's the point. To bridge a connection between what's strange, and what you're comfortable with. It's all a diagnostic, really. Later, you can take on a more rationale approach, and fix/critique your 'movements'.

    Knowledge is a co-creative act; you have to be an active participant. Which means, after experimenting and gaining some basic skills, you should practice them as if you believe them, and even add your own spin. Find ways to push that information deeper and deeper into your existing cognitive map, to the point where you can recreate the information without being pushed.

    If social graces is your aim, and you want this to be a part of your default settings, then it ought to be more than just a means to another end, it should be a way of life, an enjoyable experience. Your whole mind has to agree that a portion of it is valuable enough to be integrated in their system.

    For an example, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is easier (and more rewarding) for an athlete because of the benefits it offers in their activities. When they're not doing that, they may feel some discomfort because that behavior is so ingrained within their attitude. But for the typical potato couches, why not? Actually, they'd rather miss the gym today, and get back to it tomorrow. The subconscious part of themselves aren't convinced that the hard changes are important enough. The solution? Keep finding new reasons to be convinced.


    Some people will think this is overwhelming, and perhaps overreaching, if they're merely aiming to be decent. Luckily enough, you don't have to be 100% committed or passionate to start anything new.

    Instead, seek out people and places that harbor the mindset you want to develop. Let the interest and commitment gradually build over time. Sometimes, I would just listen to people speak, without intending to respond back. I'd try to imagine what's going on in their heads, even using their "lens" to briefly experience the world and occasionally observing the dynamics of their presence -- tone, posture, facial expressions, movement, etc. If I see anything I like, then I'd take that back and attempt to make sense out of it. Every so often, I get a weird sensation that what I've just seen, cannot be unseen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername
    A few days ago a very respectable lecturer flown in from out of state stopped his presentation mid-sentence to say, "you look like you have a lot of critiques . . . do we need to pause because I'm missing a gaping hole in my logic? You're making me nervous!"
    BTW, it's funny that you mention how your "natural concentrating face" puts the instructor at unease, because I've been told the same thing many times before. I do this a lot without realizing it. To even out my glare, I would spend an extra minute or two relaxing my face each time I frowned. It got to the point where I could control "The Glare" much better. I still have my "natural concentrating face", but it appears out of nowhere less frequently.

    So it's not always possible to predict (or control) the conditions of your mood and responses, but you can always add little things to spin it around, and to make it a bit different. Do it enough times, and this might change the behavior altogether.

    If you're working on scowling less, for instance, then no unexpected scowl should distract you from your goal. Allow yourself to feel surprise, yet take it as it is, and figure out what minor changes you can do so long as it's sitting there.

    This is what acceptance means from my perspective. That's not the same thing as resignation.
    Last edited by Lethe; 03-29-2011 at 07:48 PM. Reason: Minor Formatting Edits
    "I cannot expect even my own art to provide all of the answers -- only to hope it keeps asking the right questions." -- Grace Hartigan

    Enneagram: Tritype - 1w9, 5 (balanced wings), 2w3; Overall Variant: So/Sx
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    Functional Preferences: Ni, Te/Fi, Ti, Se, Fe, Si, Ne

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  2. #12
    i love Array skylights's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    6w7 so/sx
    EII Ne


    ^ this is an impressive and very insightful post

    i just think i accept the things that make me happy, and try to change what makes me frustrated. that doesn't necessarily mean learning how to change the tendency, but learning how to work around it.

    for example, i tend to set up failsafes for myself. as a P, i tend to be last-minute. i try to curb this, but it seems extraordinarily difficult. so i keep an extra set of clothes, shoes, a hairbrush, and some money in the car. i set my clocks a little too far forward, so i err on the side of running early. i set multiple alarms in the morning. i use schedules and make lists. i keep a little notepad in my bag because i know that if i don't write things down, they will evaporate into the ether.

    i also adapt to meet the people i'm with... when i'm with a J i can be more relaxed, because i know they will keep an eye on things. when i'm with another P, i have to be more on top of things to meet my own standards.

    in the case of the presentation, usehername, i think that's really sort of up to how you feel about it. if it bothers you, then you can try working on it. practicing relaxing your facial muscles might help. but it sounds like your superior was not particularly graceful about the whole situation himself... most people tend to look more critical when they're concentrating hard (i've judged enough music performances to be well aware) - and i don't know why he would say that, really. it seems fairly awkward to me.

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