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  1. #21
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    The healthy-unhealthy spectrum has no origin with forums. The first time I saw this terminology in use came before these forums existed. But it's good to ponder the terminology we use sometimes to describe this.

  2. #22
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    personally i use the unhealthy label in reference to myself, as to how i can use the functions in a way which hurts myself and thereby others.

    i would agree that "unhealthy" should not be used in a broad sense to refer to a single usage by others, though i do think we all have certain patterns we tend to go to that are often more harmful to ourselves than not - ones that perpetuate hurt and cognitive error. i also suspect many of these are common across types - for instance, Fi self-absorption and/or massive dramatization are widely recognized to be an unhealthy manifestation in FPs, and not without reason.

    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleJim
    Unhealthy Te = Using critical analysis to indicate dislike or to create distance towards the viewer
    Healthy Te = Using critical analysis to indicate like and or friendliness towards the viewer

    The label is merely indicating that the other does not like the response of the delivery; unfortunately this is not their decision to make - you cannot control the minds of others, but you can provide alternative information to those decision making processes.
    i can see this clearly with both Je functions, which can be used very effectively to create distance between oneself and others. it's not always unhealthy by any means. i admire a Fe dom friend's ability to distance and protect herself from others via Fe.

  3. #23
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    I should also point out that I see these unhealthy/healthy labels as a result of the dominant extroverts requirement to mirror the mirror. When they get close to introverts any attempt by the introvert to assert their individuality and therefore to not to satisfactorily mirror the views of the extrovert is a personal attack; thus it is classified as unhealthy as the preference of extrovert (being defined by the external world) is to view that mirroring the mirror is healthy.

    It's a convenient cop out.

    You can generally view this outcome by the labels attributed to unhealthy states: lack of compassion; lack of understanding; obstinance; stubbornness; self gratification; anger; denial and even personal faith.

    The lack of a communal-to-psyche focus is the root of the unhealthy debate and we are subject to it in more ways than we might think; simply because we do not mirror the external world to define the self. It is fundamentally an attack on the right to have self confidence and self introspection

  4. #24
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Actually, if you look at Jung's type descriptions, he repeated uses phrases like "in the normal type" and compares their habits of mind (and even behavior, to a lesser degree) to those of the more neurotic . For example, see the Fi description and search for "normal" and "neuro" (for neurotic and neurosis).

    So, the whole healthy/unhealthy thing is there in Jung,but is generally absent from Myers & Briggs. They very carefully focused on the positive aspects of type in service of furthering increased tolerance and understanding of type differences (I think).

    I agree that the healthy/unhealthy thing can be overused. I'd say people are healthy/unhealthy and functions are more developed/less developed. Even a well developed function can be used in an unhealthy manner... and vice versa.

  5. #25
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    I don't believe I've ever labelled function usage itself as having a healthy vs. an unhealthy component, but I HAVE described individuals as unhealthy or healthy -- but that 'unhealthy' description is referencing psychological things outside of mbti.
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  6. #26
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    Okay lets clear up how Jung uses the term Neurosis, click here for source.

    Neurosis. A psychological crisis due to a state of disunity with oneself, or, more formally, a mild dissociation of the personality due to the activation of complexes. (See also adaptation, conflict and self-regulation of the psyche.)
    Any incompatibility of character can cause dissociation, and too great a split between the thinking and the feeling function, for instance, is already a slight neurosis. When you are not quite at one with yourself . . . you are approaching a neurotic condition.[The Tavistock Lectures," CW 18, par. 383.]
    Every neurosis is characterized by dissociation and conflict, contains complexes, and shows traces of regression and abaissement.[Analytical Psychology and Education," CW 17, par. 204.]
    Jung's view was that an outbreak of neurosis is purposeful, an opportunity to become conscious of who we are as opposed to who we think we are. By working through the symptoms that invariably accompany neurosis-anxiety, fear, depression, guilt and particularly conflict-we become aware of our limitations and discover our true strengths.
    In many cases we have to say, "Thank heaven he could make up his mind to be neurotic." Neurosis is really an attempt at self-cure. . . . It is an attempt of the self-regulating psychic system to restore the balance, in no way different from the function of dreams-only rather more forceful and drastic.[The Tavistock Lectures," CW 18, par. 389.]
    I myself have known more than one person who owed his entire usefulness and reason for existence to a neurosis, which prevented all the worst follies in his life and forced him to a mode of living that developed his valuable potentialities. These might have been stifled had not the neurosis, with iron grip, held him to the place where he belonged. ["The Problem of the Attitude-Type," CW 7, par. 68.]


    In any breakdown in conscious functioning, energy regresses and unconscious contents are activated in an attempt to compensate the one-sidedness of consciousness.
    Neuroses, like all illnesses, are symptoms of maladjustment. Be-cause of some obstacle-a constitutional weakness or defect, wrong education, bad experiences, an unsuitable attitude, etc.-one shrinks from the difficulties which life brings and thus finds oneself back in the world of the infant. The unconscious compensates this regression by producing symbols which, when understood objectively, that is, by means of comparative research, reactivate general ideas that underlie all such natural systems of thought. In this way a change of attitude is brought about which bridges the dissociation between man as he is and man as he ought to be. ["The Philosophical Tree," CW 13, par. 473.]
    Jung called his attitude toward neurosis energic or final since it was based on the potential progression of energy rather than causal or mechanistic reasons for its regression. The two views are not incompatible but rather complementary: the mechanistic approach looks to the past for the cause of psychic discomfort in the present; Jung focused on the present with an eye to future possibilities.
    I no longer seek the cause of a neurosis in the past, but in the present. I ask, what is the necessary task which the patient will not accomplish?["Psychoanalysis and Neurosis," CW4, par. 570.]

    In psychic disturbances it is by no means sufficient in all cases merely to bring the supposed or real causes to consciousness. The treatment involves the integration of contents that have become dissociated from consciousness.[The Philosophical Tree," CW 13, par. 464.]

    Jung did not dispute Freudian theory that Oedipal fixations can manifest as neurosis in later life. He acknowledged that certain periods in life, and particularly infancy, often have a permanent and determining influence on the personality. But he found this to be an insufficient explanation for those cases in which there was no trace of neurosis until the time of the breakdown.
    Freud's sexual theory of neurosis is grounded on a true and factual principle. But it makes the mistake of being one-sided and exclusive; also it commits the imprudence of trying to lay hold of unconfinable Eros with the crude terminology of sex. In this respect Freud is a typical representative of the materialistic epoch, whose hope it was to solve the world riddle in a test-tube.["The Eros Theory," CW 7, par. 33.]
    If the fixation were indeed real [i.e., the primary cause] we should expect to find its influence constant; in other words, a neurosis lasting throughout life. This is obviously not the case. The psychological determination of a neurosis is only partly due to an early infantile predisposition; it must be due to some cause in the present as well. And if we carefully examine the kind of infantile fantasies and occurrences to which the neurotic is attached, we shall be obliged to agree that there is nothing in them that is specifically neurotic. Normal individuals have pretty much the same inner and outer experiences, and may be attached to them to an astonishing degree without developing a neurosis.[Psychoanalysis and Neurosis," CW4, par. 564.]


    What then determines why one person becomes neurotic while another, in similar circumstances, does not? Jung's answer is that the individual psyche knows both its limits and its potential. If the former are being exceeded, or the latter not realized, a breakdown occurs. The psyche itself acts to correct the situation.
    There are vast masses of the population who, despite their notorious unconsciousness, never get anywhere near a neurosis. The few who are smitten by such a fate are really persons of the "higher" type who, for one reason or another, have remained too long on a primitive level. Their nature does not in the long run tolerate persistence in what is for them an unnatural torpor. As a result of their narrow conscious outlook and their cramped existence they save energy; bit by bit it accumulates in the unconscious and finally explodes in the form of a more or less acute neurosis.[The Function of the Unconscious," CW 7, par. 291.]
    Jung's view of neurosis differs radically from the classical reductive approach, but it does not substantially change what happens in analysis. Activated fantasies still have to be brought to light, because the energy needed for life is attached to them. The object, however, is not to reveal a supposed root cause of the neurosis but to establish a connection between consciousness and the unconscious that will result in the renewed progression of energy.

  7. #27
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleJim View Post
    I should also point out that I see these unhealthy/healthy labels as a result of the dominant extroverts requirement to mirror the mirror. When they get close to introverts any attempt by the introvert to assert their individuality and therefore to not to satisfactorily mirror the views of the extrovert is a personal attack; thus it is classified as unhealthy as the preference of extrovert (being defined by the external world) is to view that mirroring the mirror is healthy.
    you brought this up in the INTJ-ENFP thread too, i don't think it's as easy as this. EPs respond to the external world more than we expect the external world to respond to us.

    maybe i'm misunderstanding, but do you really feel like expression of your individuality is threatened by extroverts? i think some INFJs i know are way more demanding in terms of how they want others to be than ExxPs i know, who often don't really seem to care - they just interact with you if they enjoy you and don't if they don't.

    your initial list included 'lack of compassion/understanding/reasonableness/consensus is unhealthy' - all those do relate to social openness. is it possible that extraverts are seeing lack of willingness to consider/interact with the community in introverts, as opposed to frustration that they are not "mirroring"? i find that true with very strong introverts sometimes in groups - it's not that i want to crunch individuality, but it is frustrating when someone doesn't see any reason to share their viewpoints in a way that the other or the group can understand, when it would be beneficial to the other/group - it just ends up hurting them because the group can't understand where they're coming from or how to make allowances for them. but if they were to share in a way that others would understand, then everyone, including themself, would benefit. or, alternatively, when introverts decide things on a subjective personal basis, try to live by that, and then get frustrated when everyone doesn't accommodate or agree with them.

    but that's about behavior, of course, not functions.

  8. #28
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InvisibleJim View Post
    I should also point out that I see these unhealthy/healthy labels as a result of the dominant extroverts requirement to mirror the mirror. When they get close to introverts any attempt by the introvert to assert their individuality and therefore to not to satisfactorily mirror the views of the extrovert is a personal attack; thus it is classified as unhealthy as the preference of extrovert (being defined by the external world) is to view that mirroring the mirror is healthy.

    It's a convenient cop out.

    You can generally view this outcome by the labels attributed to unhealthy states: lack of compassion; lack of understanding; obstinance; stubbornness; self gratification; anger; denial and even personal faith.

    The lack of a communal-to-psyche focus is the root of the unhealthy debate and we are subject to it in more ways than we might think; simply because we do not mirror the external world to define the self. It is fundamentally an attack on the right to have self confidence and self introspection
    All of these things can be beneficial, but there's a time and place for everything. When one gets to the point that one cannot adequately function or consistently harms himself and those around him, I think it's fair to say that is hardly beneficial. Sometimes a lack of compassion, understanding, etc. is absolutely necessary, but when you are incapable of being compassionate at any time to the point that it harms you and everyone around you, I'd say that qualifies as unhealthy.

    But I agree with Jennifer's point. No function is unhealthy or healthy in itself. It all depends on how it is utilized and whether or not a choice can be made and whether or not that choice then maliciously affects your life and others' or not.

  9. #29
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    I reject your reality and substitute my own.

  10. #30
    Senior Member Viridian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Linguist View Post
    All of these things can be beneficial, but there's a time and place for everything. When one gets to the point that one cannot adequately function or consistently harms himself and those around him, I think it's fair to say that is hardly beneficial. Sometimes a lack of compassion, understanding, etc. is absolutely necessary, but when you are incapable of being compassionate at any time to the point that it harms you and everyone around you, I'd say that qualifies as unhealthy.

    But I agree with Jennifer's point. No function is unhealthy or healthy in itself. It all depends on how it is utilized and whether or not a choice can be made and whether or not that choice then maliciously affects your life and others' or not.
    While I agree very much with this, I was under the impression that InvisibleJim's original point was not just that all functions have their advantages, but that it's not up to anyone to say what is or isn't an unhealthy use of that function. I could have misunderstood him, though...

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