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  1. #1
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Default Typological slant in "Self-Help" philosophies?

    This page 31 Days of Self-Love - Beliefnet.com reminds me a lot of the advice I used to get from my STJ immediate family. I always had trouble with it, and now looking at it typologically, it's clearly a heavy introverted Feeling perspective ("personal" rational decisions drawn from within, enacted without and returning within. Tandem function Te covers a lot of the outer action as well).

    Not so much an FP's Fi, as much as I've read about FP's (Don't know very many in real life). Though these "self first" statements have colored descriptions of the function in general. I believe it is more the TJ's tertiary or inferior function, which the types turn to more later in life, and tend to find "relief" (particularly for the tertiary position, and for inferior, it's like about the very essence of "life" itself). For FP's, where the function is more prominent, it also comes out more others-focused as well. Sometimes, they get caught in "weighing" between self and others. But clearly, for the "task (rather than "people")-focused TJ's, it's clearly more about "self". (Though the FP's will readily accept the counsel of TJ's as how to use their Fi for self more).

    To me, Fi is tied up with emotions that represent the death of the ego. Life must make logical sense, including the rules or circumstances that lead to me getting things I want. Possibilities must be open rather than closed (i.e. "that's the way life is", etc.) Such closed concrete facts are only used to set what must be guarded against, fixed, good stuff relived, etc. When dealing in things "personal", the focus is external, and inferior. Even with Interaction Style, Behind the Scenes is "outcome" oriented, meaning I want to see results, rather than struggle through a "process". (This even affects me in things like paying bills).

    So when things don't go right, to just tell me, basically, "if you love yourself it won't matter", "just forgive", "don't hold onto things", etc. I feel like my whole humanity is being totally dismissed, and I'd become a walked on nothing! And this is from both secular self-help as well as religion (which often mixes this up with concepts such as "regeneration", and usually substitute "God/Christ/Spirit" for "self". But it's really the same process everyone else is describing, even though they claim it is "supernatural" and exclusive to believers).

    And those exercises! Ugh! Looking in a mirror and expressing love and other stuff to yourself, hugging yourself, writing stuff to yourself, and all the other "rules" and "steps". Seems totally illogical and like almost crazy.

    But my family insisted this was "universal truth". The ST perspective insists "this is the way it is" and allows no "excuses" or other reasoning. They (especially the religious teachers) present it as so "simple", and always stress "choice", but then it's really a lifelong process. (And it seems NTJ's will adopt it as well, focusing on more theoretical concepts like the "Law of Attraction")

    That's what gets me. It can be preached with such authority, but you can't see what's inside them to know if it REALLY works. Anyone can SAY anything! (Many, such as my father, preached what they themselves ultimately could not practice). You can only know through experience; but its not like a car that you try out and then just give back. You'll only know once you've done it (i.e. "grown" slowly over the years). It feels like being suckered into something idealistic that might not even work (they always ignore other factors in problems, including neurological ones. They basically are selling something, and it MUST be shown to "work").

    On the other hand, the whole point of the "individuation" process type is based on is to for others to become aware of these processes normally unconscious to them. So I can see where I need to find a way to integrate some of that, at least.
    Still, it seems people for whom it comes more naturally just blast this whole deal at you, again, not recognizing typological difference; thinking this is THE universal way, point-blank, and that's it.

    So can anyone else relate to this?
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  2. #2
    Entertaining Cracker five sounds's Avatar
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    yes. i've gotten very Je advice about pushing through, burying myself in work, etc. from many. "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" mentality. that does not work for me. i need to be told it's okay to nurture myself, to change the set course if it's not working for me. i often think of self help advice i get from others as typologically biased.
    You hem me in -- behind and before;
    you have laid your hand upon me.
    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by five sounds View Post
    yes. i've gotten very Je advice about pushing through, burying myself in work, etc. from many. "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" mentality. that does not work for me. i need to be told it's okay to nurture myself, to change the set course if it's not working for me. i often think of self help advice i get from others as typologically biased.
    Self-help advice is always biased toward the methods that worked for the author. It's hilarious, for example, when self-made millionaires claim they willed themselves up by their own bootstraps, something anybody can do. Then why aren't there millions of them out there?
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  4. #4
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    >i need to be told it's okay to nurture myself, to change the set course if it's not working for me.

    Well, from what I've seen, they do say that. Most will advocate doing whatever it takes to succeed, or whatever. It seems to be more the attitudes that go along with the way they present it that strikes me the wrong way.
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  5. #5
    Entertaining Cracker five sounds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    >i need to be told it's okay to nurture myself, to change the set course if it's not working for me.

    Well, from what I've seen, they do say that. Most will advocate doing whatever it takes to succeed, or whatever. It seems to be more the attitudes that go along with the way they present it that strikes me the wrong way.
    yes, some do. like mal said, there's just about every brand in the book, because it's all through the bias of the author. even the success-driven mindset is one i don't relate to. there are some that share my view, that your journey and experiences are more valuable. but there are others who prioritize success, realizing your dreams, etc.
    You hem me in -- behind and before;
    you have laid your hand upon me.
    Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    In order to succeed (assuming that's a universal goal), I must be opportunistic. I know what opportunism is. But how do I develop it? Wow, thanks self-help book.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  7. #7
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mal12345 View Post
    Self-help advice is always biased toward the methods that worked for the author. It's hilarious, for example, when self-made millionaires claim they willed themselves up by their own bootstraps, something anybody can do. Then why aren't there millions of them out there?
    What I think the insinuation often is, is because everyone's too stupid.
    You can see this especially in political debate, where people are deemed too "lazy" and dependent on "handouts" to pull their bootstraps, when wealth is said to be "four mouse clicks away", as I've seen it claimed. That's a double-barrel, because it makes the rich look "good", and absolves them from having to worry about whether they've wrongly trampled the poor (and even the struggling middle class), because those people are the ones who did wrong.
    Then, in the religious world, people are just too sinful, "fleshy", self-absorbed, doubting/faithless, etc. for the "principles" to work. They often mention "all those struggling Christians out there", who didn't get it right. The person giving the "testimony" shines as he recounts how he "overcame".
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric B View Post
    Wat I think the insinuation often is, is because everyone's too stupid. You can see this especially in political debate, where people are deemed too "lazy" and dependent on "handouts" to pull their bootstraps, when wealth is said to be "four mouse clicks away", a I've seen it claimed. That's a double-barrel, because it makes the rich look "good", and absolves them from having to worry about whether they've wrongly trampled the poor (and even the struggling middle class), because those people are the ones who did wrong.
    Then, in the religious world, people are just too sinful, "fleshy", self-absorbed, doubting/faithless, etc. for the "principles" to work. They often mention "all those struggling Christians out there", who didn't get it right. The person giving the "testimony" shines as he recounts how he "overcame".
    Testimonials are designed to suck more money out of the wallets of the gullible. None of them has walked in my shoes.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  9. #9
    ⒺⓉⒷ Eric B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by five sounds View Post
    yes, some do. like mal said, there's just about every brand in the book, because it's all through the bias of the author. even the success-driven mindset is one i don't relate to. there are some that share my view, that your journey and experiences are more valuable. but there are others who prioritize success, realizing your dreams, etc.
    I usually see them mixed in together. The whole basis of "realizing your dreams" is believing "you are valuable" in the first place. (And the "experiences" will simply be funneled into the "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" meme, which has become almost daily on social media). But clearly, the drive is Te in most of them, but Te and Fi work in tandem, so it's like "where one side is, the other is not far behind".

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal12345 View Post
    In order to succeed (assuming that's a universal goal), I must be opportunistic. I know what opportunism is. But how do I develop it? Wow, thanks self-help book.
    This is what I always asked. Both secular and religious teachers.
    The answer is "well, you just have to dig down within somewhere and find it". It will go around in circles, and they will get very frustrated and conclude "you don't want help".
    It was more recenly, looking at all of this in light of functions and the concept of individuation, that I realized this is an Fi perspective (whether in preferred or tert/inf position; more likely the latter actually), and that's why I was never getting it, and also why they couldn't understand why I couldn't get it, and that any objection is just an "excuse".
    So they're probably right that it IS there somewhere inside, but it seems an ego-syntonic Fi position will gear one more towards that. Yet the teachers think this is how everyone "should" be. Proof is that "it worked for me, so it must work for you" (and even that is questionable, and often more a "front" for an ideal not lived up to as well as put forth. (Ask people close to them if they've really got it all together like that. For big celebrity teachers, there's no way for any of us to really know).
    Quote Originally Posted by Mal12345 View Post
    None of them has walked in my shoes.
    Yeah, that's a "crutch" they absolutely cannot allow.
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  10. #10
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    It's interesting -- I had always thought of the sort of self-help described in the OP as being of two different schools:

    1) Love yourself in order to love others, be kind to yourself, cut yourself slack, give yourself a big ol' hug, "Treat Yo Self", all those pictures on Tumblr aimed at preteen girls
    2) Just plow through it, it'll be better on the other side, "If you're going through hell, keep going", etc

    #1 I see as FP, #2 as TJ. I usually see #1 as helpful in moderation but gross and sappy to the point of being useless on the other extreme. I suspect FPs feel similarly about TJ advice.

    Anyway I do agree with mal and five sounds about author bias, but I disagree that it can't be helpful to other types anyway. My dad (INTP) just LOVES SJ-style advice books about increasing your productivity and getting shit done. He also likes really sappy advice like "make a list of everything you're grateful for at the end of every day".
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