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  1. #1
    Mamma said knock you out Mempy's Avatar
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    Default Avoidance of Feelings = Ignorance of Facts? What Does that say About Ts?

    I've realized something that I'm not sure is true or not, but that seems very true. I haven't rigorously examined it yet, but here it is:

    I often ignore things or don't accept things because they are too painful to accept, and I know this as soon as I start to try to think about them and objectively asses them, and because I unconsciously know it is going to be a realization that leads to a lot of pain I immediately avoid thinking about it, in fact become confused about it; I find it hard to compute, because my mind seems to be resisting feeling that pain by resisting acknowledging that fact.

    But not acknowledging that one fact often makes me confused about the entire context of that fact and all the facts related to it. In other words, if I'm trying to examine a topic and come to an opinion about it, the omission of just one or two facts can completely confuse me about the entire topic. But it's a confusion I cannot think away, because again and again my mind unconsciously butts up against this inner barrier to understanding and logical soundness. Hmmm.

    Also, this conflict seems to lead to anxiety, because part of me really wants to look at that thing, knows I must for my own sake, because how can an organism survive when it does not acknowledge and process reality? But some part of me also knows that it will be painful for me, very painful. And a part of me knows that I do not know how to adequately cope with that pain. So it's a dilemma.

    In the end, usually the hand that says, "Ignorance!" wins, perhaps because it thinks this is the best way to cope. And maybe, in fact, it is, since it seems to believe (perhaps rightly) that I do not know how to cope with my emotional pain healthily - so the best thing to do is to not face it. This conflict is often a completely unconscious one, mind you; until now.

    Do you suppose virtually everyone is predisposed to this behavior, or just certain people? Another question that veers a little off-topic but that I think is still relevant: What do you think is meant when a person says, "Ts have trouble processing their emotions"? Do you think it means they have trouble acknowledging them, feeling them, or being aware of them at any level of consciousness? Do you think it means they have trouble coping with those emotions?

    The reason I'm asking is because it seems Ts seem to run up against this problem a lot less than Fs. But if they're said to have trouble processing their emotions, whatever that means really, how can this be? Does not the running from emotions seem to lead to this ignorance of reality, for purposes of protection? [Edit: Is running from emotions similar to or different from not being able to process them?] If you are afraid to feel a feeling, you might refuse to acknowledge something because you aren't sure you can cope with the pain comes with acknowledging this reality...

    So my final question is, what exactly is the nature of the relationship Ts share with emotions and feelings? Do they suppress/repress? Do they logically analyze the reasons for their emotions, which can be found in their perceptions, and evaluate whether their perception of reality is right or not, thus eliminating unnecessary (and inaccurate, since they are based on inaccurate facts) emotions?

    Or do they, as I am beginning to wonder, actually have an EASIER time feeling coping with their emotions than Fs, for whatever reason?

    So here is a brief summary of my logical reasoning, and it is this sequence of logical deductions I want you to address: (1) Being afraid to feel a feeling leads to ignorance of a fact which is the cause of that painful feeling. Do you think this is true? Why or why not? (2) Do NTs seem to run up against this conflict I have described less than Fs? Why or why not? (3) If you agree that they seem to run up against this conflict less than Fs, what does that say about the nature of their relationship to their feelings? Does it actually mean they have an easier time feeling their feelings and facing them?

    Is my logical analysis at any step wrong? Where? Why?

    I really hope you guys follow me. Your thoughts? Need a couple clarifications? Fire away.
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  2. #2
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I only skimmed now, I'll be back later, it's a good post.

    I noticed this independently with F's. They can repress facts that bring certain feelings to mind they don't like. Or I'll be talking to one about something they find painful, and suddenly they just drop the topic and/or gloss over the experience that they found painful, or talk about it suddenly in very vague words that minimize how bad they obviously found it.

    I can feel some very intense things, they hurt very badly sometimes. (I've talked alot about some very painful things here at times.)
    But I can't block them out just because I don't like them.
    Facts are facts, and reality is reality.
    I can't shut that out.

    (And in fact, the more they hurt, the more interesting I find them and the more I want to understand them.)

    T's tend to treat feelings like objects and turn them over and over again in their hands.

    They can "depersonalize" feelings more easily and treat them like things, if they're painful, but then they don't have to avoid them altogether like F's usually want to.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  3. #3
    Mamma said knock you out Mempy's Avatar
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    But I can't block them out just because I don't like them.
    Facts are facts, and reality is reality.
    I can't shut that out.
    T's tend to treat feelings like objects and turn them over and over again in their hands. They can "depersonalize" feelings more easily and treat them like things, if they're painful, but then they don't have to avoid them altogether.
    Ah! That clarifies things for me quite a bit. Interesting. Thank you so much for responding, Jennifer! Depersonalize. What exactly do you mean by "depersonalize"? Can you elaborate on what that is all about for me? What's another way of describing that process? What is one actually doing when they're depersonalizing a feeling? How do you treat a feeling like a thing? What's that like?

    Yes, I think it very much is a big problem with Fs. Is it because their feelings are so much more personal, i.e. central to their thought process and consciousness and identity? (Now I think I see more clearly what you might have meant by "depersonalize," after defining personalize. )
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  4. #4
    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    Pardon my penchant for metaphor -- Depersonalize: To go from hug to handshake.

    But... it's not always easy even for T.
    You fuckers won't get a whole lot of this out of me but I'll confess right now to an experience which I spent maybe 99 hours sitting in my room or wherever else (not all at once) thinking about. Actually come to think of it, it happened (or well... exposed itself) day of the meetup in september. What a fabulous distraction. So I wasn't quite myself, but I wasn't so off that I wasn't me.
    That is to say, I likely would have acted almost identically. Maybe a bit louder in the beginning, but nothing else would have been different.

    I did what Jennifer said about turning it over in my head.
    I was looking for an angle. Constantly trying to rework my plan to accommodate the situation.
    When I realized there was nothing to be done, I just moved on. I said; Fuck it. Next time I'll ____ when ____ to preempt ____.

    It just turned into a plan for next time or rather hopefully, later, this time. Don't fuck it up again. But while I was fully invested in the situation there was genuine feeling there (else I'd not have spent such a spell ruminating).

    I do hesitate to get involved in that kind of shit anymore though. That doesn't quite count the same as ignoring. Just not experimenting.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mempy View Post
    I often ignore things or don't accept things because they are too painful to accept, and I know this as soon as I start to try to think about them and objectively asses them, and because I unconsciously know it is going to be a realization that leads to a lot of pain I immediately avoid thinking about it, in fact become confused about it; I find it hard to compute, because my mind seems to be resisting feeling that pain by resisting acknowledging that fact.
    ^I personally don't do this afaik. I'm compelled to clear those negative emotions which means facing them, because I don't want to feel a certain way. It might take me a moment to regroup in order to do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post

    I noticed this independently with F's. They can repress facts that bring certain feelings to mind they don't like. Or I'll be talking to one about something they find painful, and suddenly they just drop the topic and/or gloss over the experience that they found painful, or talk about it suddenly in very vague words that minimize how bad they obviously found it.
    I rarely talk about something deeply painful to me and never with someone I don't know well. I don't ignore facts or my feelings around them. But I do control my reactions and what I share with people. If it's pre-existing, I will have turned whatever it is over in my mind, in order to try and find a way out of feeling that way. Which may just be down to acceptance for those unchangeable situations (e.g. death of a loved one.)

    I think an F may really not want to feel a certain way and will try and find a way out (sometimes by pushing through it, others I guess must try and ignore it.) The Ts I've known very well (INTJ, ISTJ, ENTJ) seem much more likely to just accept the situation as is. (Which was sometimes a bad thing in the long term in their own personal circumstances.) This is just what I've observed with the Ts I've known, or that's what it looks like from the outside.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    (And in fact, the more they hurt, the more interesting I find them and the more I want to understand them.)
    ^I do this too, it's how I work through things. Though I will be experiencing pain while I'm thinking about those things until it gets to the point that it doesn't hurt anymore.

    EDIT: Good topic!

  6. #6
    Senior Member ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    I only read the title and a few sentences here and there (would appreciate a summary, Memfy, kthnx) but, my initial reaction is that there's a misconception (or maybe just another definition) of the thinking function. I don't think of it as avoidance of feelings at all, I think of it more as what guides the analytical process. You could even say that the opposite is true about Thinkers, that they are MORE in tune with their feelings, because they are used to sifting their own personal feelings from their analysis. (You could say that, but I'm not sure it's necessarily true, either.)

    On the outside, it looks like Thinkers are callous because they dismiss feelings, but I would submit that it's really only in the analytical process that feelings are...not ignored, but not not emphasized. In the realm of introspection, in contrast, feelings are very significant, and the Thinkers can give them due attention, even if they fall into the pattern of going into analytic mode and trying to resolve them impatiently.

  7. #7
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    I can't speak for T's.. but I know that while I don't ignore facts, I hunger for truth as much as the next.. I'm not a fan of ignorance no matter how comfy the couch is.

    I think it's just that since I cannot turn my feelings into the same objects as, say, a memory of waiting in line at a check out counter.. seeing as how my emotions are so easily evoked, I'd rather not speak of something altogether to avoid the heartache. I'm aware of it's existance, and sometimes when I feel I NEED to talk about things I do.. but otherwise, if I were going to feel, I'd rather it not be depressing and angry.
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  8. #8
    Mamma said knock you out Mempy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sanveane
    ^I personally don't do this afaik. I'm compelled to clear those negative emotions which means facing them, because I don't want to feel a certain way. It might take me a moment to regroup in order to do it.
    I don't like to feel negative emotions either; they are inherently painful to feel. But usually, instead of realizing that feeling the emotion means it will then lessen or go away entirely, I try to find some worldview that allows me to perceive the facts while not experiencing pain, but usually at the cost of the facts themselves, since I do not think it is possible to perceive facts and not sometimes feel pain.

    In effect, I try to change my inner world (i.e., my level of happiness) by changing my perception of the outer world, which is not always bad, but when it is done at the cost of the facts it cannot be good.

    It is not bad when one seeks to understand why a particular emotion came into being. For instance, just today I noticed that I was annoyed whenever I saw a college girl walking on campus in 50-degree weather in really short shorts. I then began to analyze why I was annoyed with this, and if my annoyance was logically valid or not. [Edit: I think this analytical process ties into what Edahn was saying about how emotions guide the analytical process. This is exactly what I think and I'll explain why, but we might be thinking this for different reasons, Edahn.]

    This process, I think, is helpful. I think it important to analyze whether the reality that is causing our feelings - positive or negative - is in fact reality, and not an erroneous interpretation of reality or an inaccurate assessment of the situation. Because I do believe the emotions we feel are simply a product of how we perceive facts; I am not inclined to believe that emotions spontaneously arise for no reason at all. They may spontaneously arise, but they seem to always do so for a reason that is tied to our perception of reality. [Edit: If we perceive an aspect of reality to be harmful to us, we will feel negatively, but if we perceive an aspect of reality to be beneficial or helpful to us, we will feel positively.]

    I have long sought a worldview that allowed me to be both objective about the world while not having to feel much pain, but I don't think this (necessarily) is possible. Certainly, it is not possible to ignore/avoid one's feelings and still accurately see reality. In this sense, processing our emotions adequately is an essential tool for processing reality accurately.

    I mean, yes, there is a lot of happiness to be had in healthy, objective and truthful ways. I am not saying one has to resign oneself to unhappiness in order to see reality accurately. In fact, I think it is only by using our reasoning, and by using our emotions to guide our reasoning, that we can accurately know reality, and I think that to the degree that we accurately know reality, we will be happy. I think our emotions play an important role, extremely important, in the objective acceptance of reality. And a lot of these emotions are painful, but they still cannot be avoided or overlooked out of fear.

    Acknowledging and feeling our feelings about a situation means we are allowing ourselves the use of a tool by which we can evaluate whether something is harmful or helpful to us, and why it is that we seem to think it is harmful or helpful to us - and finally, whether it actually IS harmful or helpful to us. Reasoning has already come in by this point, but our emotions alert us to what deserves examination, as Jennifer illustrated when she said, "In fact, the more painful something is, the more I want to understand it" (uh, not quoting verbatum, sorry). It is as if our emotions are the signal for what is significant with regard to our well-being and survival. They are what call us to examine reality. Without them, would we have any desire to examine anything with our reasoning? We wouldn't, would we? We would also have no reason to live, right. And so it seems that the thing which is necessary for survival is also our reason to survive.

    Hmmmm. This topic has proven SO interesting! Yee!

    Also, some thought with regard to what Jennifer meant by "treating emotions like things": A thing. Something that is not alive and not trying to harm you. It is inanimate in the sense that it has no will of its own and therefore can have no intentions, positive or negative; therefore it is harmless even if it is painful to feel, because once it is felt and faced it does not stick around to bother you; it leaves or lessens. It is not alive. Am I even close to capturing the essence of what it means to treat an emotion like a thing? It is clear to me that Ts do not seem to find emotions as threatening or as frightening as Fs, for if they did they would be predisposed to do the same thing which Fs do, which is avoid pain by avoiding facts. Hmmm... I'm still pondering what the quintessential difference is between how Ts regard feelings and how Fs regard feelings, and why that difference might exist.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member millerm277's Avatar
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    So my final question is, what exactly is the nature of the relationship Ts share with emotions and feelings?
    They're like a physical thing. I examine them and try to figure them out, if doing so seems like a productive thing to do.

    Do they suppress/repress?
    Not from myself, generally. (I can block them out if I want to, but I prefer not to hide from reality.). I supress/repress the expression of those feelings/emotions, but that is more due to a personal preference to keep them to myself, and deal with them internally.

    Do they logically analyze the reasons for their emotions, which can be found in their perceptions, and evaluate whether their perception of reality is right or not, thus eliminating unnecessary (and inaccurate, since they are based on inaccurate facts) emotions?
    Yes. I am constantly thinking about them, along with many other things. It's part of why I seem to "space-out" during boring periods of time. (Such as many of my classes). I am always focused on something, if the physical world is not holding my attention, I am focused on something internally, which can and does include emotions/feelings.
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  10. #10
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanveane View Post
    I rarely talk about something deeply painful to me and never with someone I don't know well. I don't repress facts or my feelings around it. But I do control my reactions and what I share with people. If it's pre-existing, I will have turned whatever it is over in my mind, in order to try and find a way out of feeling that way. Which may just be down to acceptance for those unchangeable situations (e.g. death of a loved one.)
    Maybe that is more what I was trying to say -- I don't mind talking about my feelings even when they're horrible. To me, it's something to describe and understand... My INFx friends tend to just gloss over stuff that is painful, unless they feel very strong or very safe.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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