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  1. #1
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Default Understanding invisible threads that change how actions are judged.

    A recent argument brought this idea on about myself and how I perceive things. I really don't get how the rest of you make decisions. There are plenty of people who think like I do that I encounter regularly, but there are also people (especially here) who make decisions based on something I can't even see.

    It seems to be something like this. I assess each action independently against a set of rules I've developed or that have been handed to me, as well as against all the consequences that I'm aware could exist for that action. So when I act, that's what I take into account.

    But many of the rest of you think in a way that I can't even relate to. You seem to see something that I can't see, by which a person's collective actions and your perception of their nature modify the consequences of an individual action. It's as if you see some kind of invisible "thread" linking all these actions together in a particular way, and from it you calculate what a person's intent is, whether their action is good or bad, what effect it had, and what is justified regarding the collective nature of all of that information I don't even see or process.

    The problem is, I don't even see that "thread." So this is very frightening to me because I feel like things are being judged by something that I can't even comprehend. And if I can't comprehend what I am being judged by, how can I hope to avoid negative consequences for my actions? How can I even know if I'm doing something wrong? Do I just have to hope other people will tell me before I make them too angry, and then try to follow their prescriptions without even understanding them? That seems to be the only way to live... just try to avoid doing anything that might irritate someone, never trust them if there's even the slightest chance they could use it against you, and hope you remember all of their preferences so that you don't say anything that makes them mad. I won't enjoy living that way all of the time (although it would be fine for a while), but I don't really see an alternative.

    So basically, I want to know if someone can explain how you draw these threads between actions, and if there's a consistent pattern by which I can predict which threads are likely to be drawn between actions. Or is it something you just have to "get," and you're out of luck if you don't get it?

  2. #2
    The Destroyer Colors's Avatar
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    I thought that was Ni?

    Anyway- context matters- what you know about someone will definitely change how you react to their actions. Suppose you meet someone new and they grimace a lot while you're talking and have a tendency to mouth words that someone else has spoken. It wouldn't be unreasonable to consider that strange, rude, or even mocking. But suppose you know they have Tourette's syndrome. Your reaction would be different.

    I think you might consider this part of the facts. However, not all facts we know about someone is borne out of a single interaction- it can often grow out of a series of intuitions and suspicions- and weight is added or subtracted to such suspicions as time goes on. I have this friend. The first time I meet him, he mentions something reminds him of his sister. He also expresses romantic interest in my best friend (who is rather loud and opinionated and . Another time, he mentions that I remind him of his sister (after I yell at him for some time). Another time I learn he used to live with her/was raised by her and she is dead. Over time, using these little tidbits- and the general tone and context of these facts, I am tenuously able to conclude that she died at a youngish age in a rather soap opera fashion (possible suicide or quick onset of some tragic disease) and was perhaps a rather unhappy person who loved him but tended to be rather overbearing and superstitious. Do I have a death certificate for her and/or have traveled back in time to verify her character and/or talked to a third person to confirm my suspicions. No, I have not. This is my best supported suspicion/hunch/idea that has formed and been refined through our interactions.

    Whenever people start interacting, they start building a mental picture of them (unless they have no wish to remember the person, or have a good enough memory to remember each interaction in full, rather than the gist). Part of that is direct facts, such as name, etc. But some of it is implied- personality, etc. The next interaction is colored by what each participant remembers of the past one.

    My response to this thread- I have read your posts before, and the common thread between them is you like structure and are generally distrustful of human interaction (and the vengence someone might unleash upon you).

    I guess I can't help answer your concerns much. Only that if someone has misunderstood you, you can perhaps clarify your intentions and hopefully clear it up for future reference. And everyone offends/is offended sometimes.

    (Sorry if I misunderstand your meaning- some examples of these perceived "invisible threads"?)

  3. #3
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Oh gee, Ath... I don't even know how to start explaining it (but I'll think more about it and see if something comes to mind).

    The irony here is that when you make yourself vulnerable like this and are simply honest about where you're at, it is actually more productive than putting on the armor or lashing out to protect yourself. Rather than making you vulnerable, it lets other people know your intentions... so that they can do what they can to help and support you.

    Maybe at least for that aspect of things, it's something you can learn even if you don't 'feel' it.

    (Sort of like how I use my knowledge to combat my anxiety -- the anxiety comes all on its own and would be debilitating, but my head has enough experience to tell myself to ignore how I feel and just go with the logical assessment of the situation. Trust your thoughts, not your feelings, anti-Luke.)

    But it does feel like driving blind down a highway. It takes some faith in the recalibration.

    It's a good thread topic. I hope some other people respond.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #4
    unscannable Tigerlily's Avatar
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    Athenian I like you, but I am always worried that I'll say the wrong thing and offend you. It's like walking on eggshells for me. I also think you don't like me much but hey that's what I do right? ;P

    More often times than not I feel like an alien here and irl. I feel so different to everyone else that when I actually do meet someone who I can relate to, it's miraculous for me! Imagine how excited I was when I met my Husband! A proper play mate for me! Yea!

    I won't say try and take things less seriously because it's not my place to tell you what to do AND I hate when people tell me how I should react to situations when clearly I have a mind of my own that works quite well.

    No one's perfect and most of us are trying to better ourselves by posting here. I suppose others are just lollygagging around which isn't always a bad thing either.

    Back on topic (I hope ). Do you mean threads that are deleted when you say "invisible threads"? If so, this is my take on things. Practically overnight this forum has grown and they're finding themselves overwhelmed and wondering how to handle so many people at once. I'm sure they are doing their best, but since they're not getting paid for this it's likely not their top priority. It's a hobby and they probably view this as a lighthearted place to chit chat? For others forums go much deeper and writing it off as "Hey just chill out" is a little insulting imo.

    I could babble on all day and who knows if I'm on track with you but know this, life is unfair. Stupid crap goes on all the time and people are mostly wacko so you either have to walk away from it or step aside because people aren't going to stop giving their opinions.
    Time is a delicate mistress.

  5. #5
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Oh gee, Ath... I don't even know how to start explaining it (but I'll think more about it and see if something comes to mind).
    Thank you, Jennifer.
    The irony here is that when you make yourself vulnerable like this and are simply honest about where you're at, it is actually more productive than putting on the armor or lashing out to protect yourself. Rather than making you vulnerable, it lets other people know your intentions... so that they can do what they can to help and support you.
    That's an example of one of those "invisible threads"... I don't really see how I made myself vulnerable in this case, or put on armor in the other. What ever I did from that perspective, I wasn't even aware of.

    The reason I did this was because in the other thread, I perceived something a particular way, and noticed that other people perceived the same information, but saw connections in it that I didn't even comprehend. So I decided to ask how those connections were drawn, because I wanted to see if there was just something I wasn't getting that could easily be explained, or if I was just "blind" to something. It only seemed to me like a request for information that I could use to process other information in way that would allow me to comprehend why you see it the way you do.
    Maybe at least for that aspect of things, it's something you can learn even if you don't 'feel' it.

    (Sort of like how I use my knowledge to combat my anxiety -- the anxiety comes all on its own and would be debilitating, but my head has enough experience to tell myself to ignore how I feel and just go with the logical assessment of the situation. Trust your thoughts, not your feelings, anti-Luke.)

    But it does feel like driving blind down a highway. It takes some faith in the recalibration.
    My anxiety only stems from not knowing what other people's judgments are based on. I want a way to evaluate them properly, and I can't do that if I don't know what it's based on. I can't accept them as valid unconditionally, because I know that would be dangerous.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    The problem is, I don't even see that "thread." So this is very frightening to me because I feel like things are being judged by something that I can't even comprehend. And if I can't comprehend what I am being judged by, how can I hope to avoid negative consequences for my actions? How can I even know if I'm doing something wrong? Do I just have to hope other people will tell me before I make them too angry, and then try to follow their prescriptions without even understanding them? That seems to be the only way to live... just try to avoid doing anything that might irritate someone, never trust them if there's even the slightest chance they could use it against you, and hope you remember all of their preferences so that you don't say anything that makes them mad. I won't enjoy living that way all of the time (although it would be fine for a while), but I don't really see an alternative.

    So basically, I want to know if someone can explain how you draw these threads between actions, and if there's a consistent pattern by which I can predict which threads are likely to be drawn between actions. Or is it something you just have to "get," and you're out of luck if you don't get it?
    Wow! I so relate and have no advice because I see it the same way. When I filled out Whatever's survey (?) on joining, where it asked what I'm afraid of or my paranoias, I answered both times: "People, they're the most dangerous thing on the planet." Part of the reason is you will, often (depending of the expertise,) never see those "threads" because they are deliberately, for various reasons, hidden... sometimes they are, in fact, called "hidden agendas." I find them rampant in "group dynamics." They're present, of course, irl but one has more to go on then in detecting them.

    Example: On Yahoo, Google and MSN groups things are fairly clearcut.. under the umbrella of no profanity, personal attacks, namecalling, hate speak, nudity. That affords a certain level of comfort per your/our dilemma. I'm finding that off those, some of these things are allowed... so how does one determine where the "line" is? What level of disagreement can be versed and in what way? What pictures are acceptable and which are not? Right not there is a pic of a naked penis for instance. (I couldn't even post that word on MSN) If a mod is "nasty" are you being "baited" out of personal dislike? Are you being "setup?" I don't have answers and, yes, its like walking through a mine field. You may think you've created a persona and the preponderance of "evidence" will protect you (as in civil actions) but, no, that can be "blown" in a second by a crafty person with an agenda who has direct power or peripheral. Those are the facts as I've seen. So, all-in-all, it matters not whether you can see the "thread" or not... its luck of the draw. I've decided that I'm just going to be myself and if I'm targeted by someone... well, so be it... their bad.

    Note: I did this in word and other posts have been made while I was typing... sorry if I'm derailing or anything.

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    My anxiety only stems from not knowing what other people's judgments are based on. I want a way to evaluate them properly, and I can't do that if I don't know what it's based on. I can't accept them as valid unconditionally, because I know that would be dangerous.
    Just food for thought: Is it always dangerous?

    (That is a discussion question.)

    As an overview, our nervous/cerebral systems are all independently geared to perceive certain things as threats, so there is some variability there depending on the person. [i.e., some of us aren't as scared of certain things as others are, and vice versa]

    But our environments also instill fear in us ... sometimes without warrant. And so even when the environment changes, we've been programmed to respond to certain conditions in a particular way that might no longer be accurate.

    Again, another discussion question... nothing specifically aimed at you since I don't know all the details.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Just food for thought: Is it always dangerous?

    (That is a discussion question.)

    As an overview, our nervous/cerebral systems are all independently geared to perceive certain things as threats, so there is some variability there depending on the person. [i.e., some of us aren't as scared of certain things as others are, and vice versa]

    But our environments also instill fear in us ... sometimes without warrant. And so even when the environment changes, we've been programmed to respond to certain conditions in a particular way that might no longer be accurate.

    Again, another discussion question... nothing specifically aimed at you since I don't know all the details.
    If I understand your question, of course it varies and I can only answer for myself. I've spent a lifetime establishing a reputatation based on my ethical conduct. IRL those who know me know I can be trusted to keep a secret, not lie, conduct myself fairly... on and on. Yes, its important to me and the degree of that importance determines how safe or unsafe I'm going to perceive my environment with people to be. This "its just an internet forum" BS doesn't wash with me. I value my reputation anywhere and very strongly resent anyone trying to mess with it. When there is gross subjectivity... that is always a possibility and I will perceive the environment and "dangerous."

  9. #9
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Just food for thought: Is it always dangerous?
    No. But since I have no way of differentiating a valid one from an invalid one without requiring some sort of justification, I believe it's better to require justification in order to prevent what I consider valid from becoming tainted by invalid notions. I don't believe in accepting other people's judgments as valid unconditionally on an internal level, but I will pretend to do so externally if I believe for some reason that the other person will react badly to being disagreed with, and possibly try to make me look bad or something as a result.
    As an overview, our nervous/cerebral systems are all independently geared to perceive certain things as threats, so there is some variability there depending on the person. [i.e., some of us aren't as scared of certain things as others are, and vice versa]

    But our environments also instill fear in us ... sometimes without warrant. And so even when the environment changes, we've been programmed to respond to certain conditions in a particular way that might no longer be accurate.
    I don't understand what you're getting at? I know this, but I don't see how it's related to what we were talking about.

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    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    I don't understand the thinking.
    The easiest way for me to explain it is to compare it to the Criminal Justice system in the U.S.

    Our laws are generally concrete and well defined. This is your way of thinking. However, in reality, the court system takes cicrumstances into account. And this isn't even including the ridiculous amount of power in the form of police discretion.

    Is it illegal to speed? Yes.
    Do cops always pull over everyone who is speeding? No
    Do they always give a ticket to the ones they pull over? No

    You're missing the last two parts, from your description.

    It's illegal to break into a house, but some cops will drive all the way there with their sirens on so that they end the crime but don't have to actually arrest the guy and go through the booking/court apperance process.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

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