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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    It is less a false dichotomy than a zero sum game where time is concerned. We have limited time and energy: how are we going to spend it? Time spent developing one's strengths, I'm told, pays richer dividends than the same time spent correcting one's weaknesses. This makes sense when one considers one might need to invest quite a bit of time and effort to bring a weaker area even up to average capacity, never mind real proficiency.
    Except that in this case, 'working on your weaknesses' IS developing your strengths, the more you resolve the needs to repress the lower functions the more complimentary they become, while working on your "strengths" has inherit diminishing returns.

    for an Se-ish analogy, imagine if you had a car exterior which was very aerodynamic & lightweight - built for the speed, while someone else had a car exterior built for endurance. you can say "i don't care about doing the later, its a mean speed machine and that's all that important", and they can say "i don't care about doing the first, i have a car that keeps me safe while i go from A to B and that's all that important"...
    and the result? the speedy-car owner working on making their car faster will encounter decreasing returns as they try to decrease the affects of the physical barriers, and their speed will become less meaningful as more and more turns become too dangerous for them to survive. the strong-car owner working on making their car more durable will become so encumbered that the fuel cost of going form A to B will increasingly not be worth the drive for a larger and larger number of destinations.
    if either car owners took some of what the other was doing, mr. speedy would be able to drive faster more effectively and mr. strength would be able to drive safer more effectively.


    for example, you me highlander & lark (edit: and now zara) are all Tx>Fx user, or in other words, we are more stressed out by cognitive dissonance then emotional dissonance, and have specialized in resolving the first at risk of repressing the later. BUT, emotional dissonance still affects our judgement, it's still working it's way in our subconscious, and the less you take care of it the more power it will have to do so.
    by overcoming that and being able to more easily accept emotions that don't make much sense, we become better able to understand the nature of our own judgement and thus make better judgement within the level of cognitive dissonance as well.

    for a more specific example, Ti>Fe users acting without Fe will often navigate blindly away from the positions where their Ti analysis can be of any use, and Fe>Ti users acting without Ti will often generate more and more situations in which the reality of the consequences of their actions conflicts with their their warranted preference of how they'd rather have others see them.
    in contrast, users coming from either direction able to break the dam will often be able to gain the best to accommodate both Ti and Fe.

    and yes - the exact same principle is applicable to Fi>Te users and Te>Fi users.

    this is because the function pairs are each two sides of the same coins:
    NiSe, SiNe, TiFe, FiTe
    ...are each one "object" - one subconscious activity - respectively:
    streaming, collecting, reflecting, projecting.

    by resolving the repression mechanisms within them, you are getting better at using them.

    (p.s. as might be apparent from my posts, my understanding of the T/F repression mechanism is better then the N/S mechanism, perhaps because the later hits closer to the home of an N dom, it is taking me longer to fully grasp the later... <- which in itself would be a perfect example of repressed emotional dissonance sabotaging the need to resolve cognitive dissonance).

  2. #12
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    There are several individuals on here -- all INTs (including yourself) -- who stick to this story.

    One, after much time arguing with him about this fact, finally seems to be turning the corner (at least conceptually).

    It comes down to marginal returns. If, after 25-30 yrs of developing your dominant and auxiliary, you think you wouldn't reap more benefits from putting some time and energy into developing your tertiary and inferior, you have a problem. The blind spots that not developing these areas creates will do more damage (perhaps unrealized) than further development of one's top two functions will do for the positive (in fact, at that point, returns on developing your top two functions may very well have turned to zero [or even negative]).
    I think my use of the word "development" may be clouding the issue. I am including the day-to-day use of preferred functions and not just activities expressly devoted to their improvement or expansion. In this sense, I may actually agree with you, in that time allocated for the deliberate improvement of abilities may be spent more on weaknesses than strengths, since they are more in need of the focused attention, while strengths will continue to develop through practice/use.

    I do not entirely deny the benefits of working on one's weaknesses. There are only so many hours in a day, however, and doing this must compete with many other goals and activities for time and attention. I know what I will lose if I drop some other activity from my agenda. To replace it with working on some weakness, I must have an idea of what I will gain. The highlighted above points to the answer, namely understanding what one's blind spots are and their effects. This is something I have spent time considering (and have mentioned on several other threads), since it provides the information needed for assigning priorities, but I have yet to find an effective method of determining this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mane View Post
    Except that in this case, 'working on your weaknesses' IS developing your strengths, the more you resolve the needs to repress the lower functions the more complimentary they become, while working on your "strengths" has inherit diminishing returns.
    Are you sure it is an issue of repression of lower functions, rather than one of simple neglect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mane View Post
    for an Se-ish analogy, imagine if you had a car exterior which was very aerodynamic & lightweight - built for the speed, while someone else had a car exterior built for endurance. you can say "i don't care about doing the later, its a mean speed machine and that's all that important", and they can say "i don't care about doing the first, i have a car that keeps me safe while i go from A to B and that's all that important"...
    and the result? the speedy-car owner working on making their car faster will encounter decreasing returns as they try to decrease the affects of the physical barriers, and their speed will become less meaningful as more and more turns become too dangerous for them to survive. the strong-car owner working on making their car more durable will become so encumbered that the fuel cost of going form A to B will increasingly not be worth the drive for a larger and larger number of destinations.
    if either car owners took some of what the other was doing, mr. speedy would be able to drive faster more effectively and mr. strength would be able to drive safer more effectively.
    I appreciate this analysis; it is definitely something worth considering. I'm not sure the analogy is apt, though, since vehicle design must be based on the requirements: is it a race car (speed paramount), or an armored personnel carrier (durability/protection paramount). If you're building, say, the batmobile, you might want equal amounts of each, but either way, there is a spec driven by the function. To follow the analogy, I would need to ask "what is my function"? Through my choice of education, profession, and avocations, I have developed a spec that emphasizes certain parameters over others, which should be OK as long as I don't try to use the product (myself) for an unsuited purpose (enter an APC in the Indy 500).
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  3. #13
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    I think it is most useful for rational types especially when they are young because they tend to see everything as equations and they want something that is formulaic to predict outcomes. However, at some point it ceases to be useful because it stereotypes human behavior as being "caused by" their "inner personality" which is unchangeable. The truth of the matter is that personality is fluid and changes dynamically as people go through different life experiences and move through different stages in life. I think in order to really understand people you need an understanding of psychology, biology, sociology, neuroscience, etc and even then, there are some more abstract problems that have too many elements to solve, though we can begin to approximate them using agent models and game theory. So, I think of mbti as perhaps a step to indulge curiosity that once one begins to become more curious and excited about this strange world around them they can use as a springboard to something much deeper, richer, and more complex that parallels reality much more accurately.
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  4. #14
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    I believe it is important to work both on strengths (Ni Te for the INTJ) and weaknesses (Fi Se for the INTJ). Why? Because as an INTJ, it annoys the heck out of me that there is something I don't really understand, but it seems simple for so many other people to understand. What am I missing? How am I looking at things wrong?

    I found the answer, but it was so very difficult to describe in words. It was more of an "ohhhh" and I could see why it couldn't be explained to me, and why I couldn't explain it. But I could "be it."

    Then I discovered typology, and it used words to describe what I had found and couldn't describe. It described how I was very good at figuring out anything that could be analyzed, but that there were other things in the world to which analysis would never apply. That instead, I had to listen (Fi) and pay attention (Se) and understanding would arrive in that manner. That way, I could process those things I couldn't analyze, digesting them in such a way that I could take that understanding of "how things are" and use it to inform my analysis of those things that could be analyzed. Typology still isn't a perfect language for describing it all, but it comes rather close. The issue is one's personal experiences. I can describe a strawberry, and say that something has a strawberry smell, but if the strawberries another person has experienced typically grew in different soil in different conditions or perhaps were of a slightly different species, that person's understanding of "strawberry" will be close to mine, but not identical to mine. These are qualities, not quantities, and it takes time and effort to share experiences and come to a common, if imperfect, mutual understanding.

    As for teaching technical types (INTx's especially) how to be more social, I do tend to agree with Coriolis a bit. Especially at an early age, there isn't much bang for the buck, and there is still a lot of technical and analytical learning to do. My experience on INTJf showed me that there was only so much I could teach other INTJs about Fi and Se: they resist it because they're mostly blind to it. Interestingly Fe makes more sense to them, because it (superficially) has a code of rules to follow, which they then follow in an analytically rigorous Te way, usually missing the subtleties. It appears to me that Fi in an INTJ needs to "wake up," first, and only then can a teacher nudge the poor INTJ out of his NiTe nest and teach him to fly.

    So early on, socialization for the INTx types really needs to consist of a list of seemingly arbitrary dos and don'ts, which they'll mostly remember to follow, and which will mostly keep them from seriously offending others, but will be insufficient for them to actually socialize on a "more human" level that omits the habitual technical analysis of everything. Later on, when they discover that NiTe or TiNe just doesn't seem to be working right, and their tertiary and inferior wake up, then they can fill in the blanks that have been ignored for decades.
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.

  5. #15
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    I believe it is important to work both on strengths (Ni Te for the INTJ) and weaknesses (Fi Se for the INTJ). Why? Because as an INTJ, it annoys the heck out of me that there is something I don't really understand, but it seems simple for so many other people to understand. What am I missing? How am I looking at things wrong?
    The world is full of things that any one of us will not understand. How then do you prioritize which you are going to try to understand first? The simple fact that lots of other people understand something is not enough to make it worthwhile.

    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    Interestingly Fe makes more sense to them, because it (superficially) has a code of rules to follow, which they then follow in an analytically rigorous Te way, usually missing the subtleties. It appears to me that Fi in an INTJ needs to "wake up," first, and only then can a teacher nudge the poor INTJ out of his NiTe nest and teach him to fly.

    So early on, socialization for the INTx types really needs to consist of a list of seemingly arbitrary dos and don'ts, which they'll mostly remember to follow, and which will mostly keep them from seriously offending others, but will be insufficient for them to actually socialize on a "more human" level that omits the habitual technical analysis of everything. Later on, when they discover that NiTe or TiNe just doesn't seem to be working right, and their tertiary and inferior wake up, then they can fill in the blanks that have been ignored for decades.
    This description of socialization is very familiar. As I get older, though, it just seems I feel more free not to follow the arbitrary rules in more and more circumstances. How does the highlighted happen, or how does one become aware if it has??
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  6. #16
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    The world is full of things that any one of us will not understand. How then do you prioritize which you are going to try to understand first? The simple fact that lots of other people understand something is not enough to make it worthwhile.
    That's the NiTe thinking. "Oops, can't prioritize. Never mind." To me, the key was that certain things were obvious to others, but the explanations were unsatisfactory.


    This description of socialization is very familiar. As I get older, though, it just seems I feel more free not to follow the arbitrary rules in more and more circumstances. How does the highlighted happen, or how does one become aware if it has??
    It's like waking up. Seeing things that you didn't see before. Letting go of preconceptions and forcing things into your old lines of thinking, and just seeing where the thoughts go instead.

    The end result is what you see, here. Let's just say that quite a few people commented that it was rather amusing to see an INTJ resolving INFP and INFJ issues with each other that that recent INFP/INFJ thread. I see how the pieces fit together now. It doesn't come completely naturally, but it's way more natural than Fe for me. I socialize by finding the proper "vibe", and attuning to it, and communicate on those levels.
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.

  7. #17
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    People's self-descriptions are pretty useful, but usually only because if you can invert them, you can see the person's shadow and real guiding force.

    The only time I really trust a self-typing is when the person bases it on their weaknesses, not their strengths.

    i.e., opposed to "I know I am N because my iNution is damn good"; I would instead trust "I know I am not an Se/Si type because I have real trouble relating to details, immediate cues or thinking realistically".

    or opposed to "I know I am T because my logic/efficiency is great"; "I know I am not F because I have real trouble explaining my feelings to myself, let alone acting on them consciously or protrayign them to others".

    These kinds of self-descriptions show the person has actually faced up to the semi-conscious or subconsicous aspects of themselves, their "shadow", and can give a reasonably realistic account of the way they function.

    So yeah sorry I don't buy into the happy clappy "anyone can be whatever they feel" view, neither do I buy into the superficial "vibe" typings which you might get (though if the person is honest enough to admit it's just a vibe typing, then that is legitimate).

    Resumé: Unconscious is everything.

  8. #18
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    If and when your shit stops working, start doing other shit.

    We're not necessarily made to be generalists, but we might face situations where we're forced to develop our weaknesses to some degree. However, while a good portion of learning how and when to apply which skills can happen naturally, but.. well, best to short-cut it and get some exploration and self-development out of the way before situations arise. Personally, I agree with @Zarathustra on the idea of diminishing returns, Jung on the whole "embrace your damn shadow" thing, and so on.

    Being scattered to the point of being absolutely useless isn't exactly fruitful, either. Honing existing skills and developing mastery can be beneficial, so long as you don't paint yourself into a corner.

    On the tech side, I've known people who were, say, experts on such-and-such a part for some rocket engine that flew on such-and-such a space module decades ago; their specific expertise worked for them until their programs got canned and their skillsets became obsolete. Good on them if they were able to apply their skillsets somewhere else; bad news bears if they weren't. If they were too focused, they were dead.

    To reconcile this mess, perhaps integration of the self can help us view specific problems from a variety of perspectives, so that we're able to form a more complete solution. Becoming an expert on, say, the J-2X rocket engine's cryogenic tubing structure will undoubtedly involve understanding the relevance of that tubing--at least a cursory understanding of how it connects with other parts of the engine, perhaps even how design teams work and how the contract funding stream allows you to keep your job in the first place.


    Standpoints such as

    "I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times."
    --Bruce Lee (stolen from @jontherobot's signature)

    and

    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
    --RobertHeinlein

    are both worth consideration.

  9. #19
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bologna View Post
    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
    --RobertHeinlein
    I challenge that. We live in a family and community for a reason. It's so we don't have to do everything, but can do what we are best at. This interconnects us. One man bands are never as enthralling as symphonies.
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    Do not resist an evil person, but to him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer also the other. ~Matthew 5:39

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  10. #20
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    That's the NiTe thinking. "Oops, can't prioritize. Never mind." To me, the key was that certain things were obvious to others, but the explanations were unsatisfactory.
    But that's just it: I can and do prioritize. I spend my time learning to understand those things that I need in order to accomplish something I want to do. If I wanted to work as an exchange scientist in Spain, for instance, I might decide I need to learn Spanish. I really don't care how many others understand it, except that if many people do, I have many opportunities for help/teaching.

    Quote Originally Posted by bologna View Post
    If and when your shit stops working, start doing other shit.
    But then the corollary would be: if things are working for you, keep doing them.

    Quote Originally Posted by bologna View Post
    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."
    --RobertHeinlein
    Sounds like the epitome of a jack of all trades, master of none.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

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