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  1. #1
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    Some people are just generous by nature - I know I'm very much so...
    Be very, very wary of people who consider themselves "generous by nature".
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Be very, very wary of people who consider themselves "generous by nature".
    That's because you think they don't exist (and there must be some ulterior motive), because you think everyone is like you... cold and selfish.

    Seriously though, I "act" very generous, and have been told so by folks most of my life. But I don't really consider myself altruistic or even generous; it's more to do with the fact, I just don't care that much about money. Even when I'm broke - I figure what's the difference, if I spend my last 100 bucks on a round for everyone or save it to eat better tomorrow.

    Being a little broke vs a little less broke is the same thing in my mind. Being fairly well off vs a little less well off is also the same thing in my mind. This isn't rational, however, because I've blown fortunes thinking this way, because these actions add up over time, but I just can't change my behavior.

    ENTJs seem like they're keeping tabs more, and I always think there is some ulterior motive at first. But I think that's more in business situations where they are the most machiavellian of all types, which is one the reasons it makes them such good businessmen.

  3. #3
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meanlittlechimp View Post
    That's because you think they don't exist (and there must be some ulterior motive), because you think everyone is like you... cold and selfish.

    Seriously though, I "act" very generous, and have been told so by folks most of my life. But I don't really consider myself altruistic or even generous; it's more to do with the fact, I just don't care that much about money. Even when I'm broke - I figure what's the difference, if I spend my last 100 bucks on a round for everyone or save it to eat better tomorrow.

    Being a little broke vs a little less broke is the same thing in my mind. Being fairly well off vs a little less well off is also the same thing in my mind.
    Thank you, I was going to say something similar... it really, really pisses me off when the one fucking part of me that I know is all good is brought into question by cynical fuckers who just can't stand the thought that there might be 'another' decent person on the planet (besides themselves, that is).

    This isn't rational, however, because I've blown fortunes thinking this way, because these actions add up over time, but I just can't change my behavior.
    This part doesn't apply to me though... I've always been pretty good with managing my money, so I know how much I can afford to splash out and give away, whilst still leaving enough behind to pay the bills. Maybe it's having kids did that to me...

    About spending the last 100 bucks on a round for everyone - that's exactly the kind of thing I do all the time, except I'm not, in my mind, nobly sacrificing myself or anything. I'm confident that providence (a very good friend of mine that's been faithful to me many years) will cough up with something. That is, I'll manage to blag something when the time comes - I always do.

    But let's give the guy a fair hearing:

    Quote Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
    Be very, very wary of people who consider themselves "generous by nature".
    I'm genuinely interested in exactly what your reasoning is for saying that. Just what do you think I might actually mean, to your mind, or what sort of behaviour would you expect of someone who said that?

    It's just a level of cynicism that I find difficult to relate to, that's all.

    I mean, it's not as if I go around proclaiming myself to be generous all the time. I just do what I do all the time, one result of which is that I'm often told that I'm generous and that I have a generous nature. What exactly is wrong with that?
    Ils se d�merdent, les mecs: trop bon, trop con..................................MY BLOG!

    "When it all comes down to dust
    I will kill you if I must
    I will help you if I can" - Leonard Cohen

  4. #4

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    I think Mycroft was kidding, at least in relating the statement to you specifically. I certainly was in my response to him.

    I actually don't find INTJs selfish at all, or at least the ones I've known.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    I'm genuinely interested in exactly what your reasoning is for saying that. Just what do you think I might actually mean, to your mind, or what sort of behaviour would you expect of someone who said that?
    It's just a level of cynicism that I find difficult to relate to, that's all.
    I mean, it's not as if I go around proclaiming myself to be generous all the time. I just do what I do all the time, one result of which is that I'm often told that I'm generous and that I have a generous nature. What exactly is wrong with that?
    Quite frankly, if a person goes about making declarations about how generous they are, in my experience, they're often not so. Instead they're manipulative, conniving bastards. I think the people who are truly generous don't give it a second thought and think that's just the way to act. And I think those people have the right idea.

    Personally, I didn't think from your comment, that you go around proclaiming yourself to be generous, and I'm not sure Mycroft's comment was specifically about you. But I'm not Mycroft so I could be wrong. *shrug*

    Also, I think that generous or no, money is there to serve a purpose. That purpose being to get us the things we want/need. If we want to see our friends and family be happy because we bought a round of drinks or whatever, then it has served it's purpose just as well as if you spent it on something for yourself. In a way, you did spend it on yourself. You spent it making the people you care about happy and that makes you happy in turn. Everybody wins!

  6. #6
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute
    I'm genuinely interested in exactly what your reasoning is for saying that. ...what sort of behaviour would you expect of someone who said that?
    Read some Nietzsche or Rand for a primer course on the sinister side to pity, generosity, and other supposed acts of "magnanimity".

    Like it or not, generosity does create, as its equal and opposite reaction, indebtedness. This can be used to one's advantage, to exercise control. It's healthy to be aware of this reality.

    When "generosity" becomes so internalized that one is no longer aware of his use of it as a tool and, in fact, has incorporated it into his very identity, it can be dangerous. You demonstrated this when you said that:

    ...it can be very upsetting for me when I know someone who rejects everything I try to do for them, when I can tell it's because they're afraid of being obligated to me. In a way it's like a kick in the guts...
    This also demonstrates what I will, for the purposes of this post, refer to as "militant generosity": generosity towards others, their desires be damned. "Generosity" has become so internalized that one spreads it like a net, and people who genuinely prefer not to be on the receiving end of it are seen as nothing more than:

    ...cynical fuckers who just can't stand the thought that there might be 'another' decent person on the planet...
    Ask yourself in full honesty: if someone towards whom you'd shown exceptional generosity over a number of years one day began to reject your generosity, would not a part of you think, "You ungrateful son of a bitch"? If he began to exercise self-sufficiency and really began to get his act together, would not a part of you think, "Oh yeah, well, you'd better remember all I did for you in these past years"?

    While these thoughts would not, of course, be representative of your entire conscious self, would they not arise from the same corner of your mind that you could envision conjuring the thought, "How dare you! I own you"?

    While I'm not going to say that generosity is always wrong and to be avoided, it's of the utmost importance to bear in mind the indebtedness it carries with it. Hence I think it is often wise to be wary of people who've lost sight of this to the point of considering themselves "generous by nature".
    Last edited by Mycroft; 10-06-2007 at 09:20 AM. Reason: misplaced period
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

  7. #7
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Mycoft, get lost

  8. #8
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Mycoft, get lost
    LOL Ya rly!! That's gotta be the most convoluted excuse for wanton cynicism that I've ever read!!

    Yes Mycroft, I can honestly say that I have made it my lifestyle for as long as I can remember, to naturally 'give' to people either in tangible or non-tangible ways, it's just the way I am. I don't do it in an intrusive way, giving people things they don't want (including help), and in fact I'm always very careful to make sure that I stay on the right side of the line between decent guy and interfering, do-gooding busy-body. And no, there isn't ANY part of me that considers myself to 'own' someone just because I've done them a favour, because I didn't do it FOR THEM, I did it because it was the reasonable thing to do, and I'm a reasonable person.

    My comment about being upset when people don't let me give to them, and feeling insulted by it, was quoted out of context - I was quite clearly NOT saying that I demand to be able to give to people whether they want it or not, but I clearly WAS saying that I hate it when the REASON someone won't let me give isn't because they don't want the favour, but because they're afraid that they'll feel obligated to me. THAT is insulting precisely because anyone who's known me for say, six months or so, should surely know that there is NO obligation, that I do NOT count favours or hold people in my debt, or get annoyed or upset if they don't behave towards me in a grateful way. I don't expect gratitude, that's not the reason I do it. I do it for reason, and because I couldn't live with myself if I didn't. I don't do it for thanks or gratitude or what I can get out of the person in future. Never, ever.

    Dammit, people are so easy to persuade anyway, using perfectly reasonable and ethical means - there's never any need for me to resort to underhanded manipulation if I want to get what I want out of someone.

    This part though, is especially worrying:

    Ask yourself in full honesty: if someone towards whom you'd shown exceptional generosity over a number of years one day began to reject your generosity, would not a part of you think, "You ungrateful son of a bitch"? If he began to exercise self-sufficiency and really began to get his act together, would not a part of you think, "Oh yeah, well, you'd better remember all I did for you in these past years"?
    What, like I deliberately hold people back to keep them dependent on me, then throw a fit when they 'break free'? FFS as if that's anything like me! On the contrary, I often spot people in this kind of situation with someone else and do my damnedest to help them break free and be independent. I've spent years with that ISTJ gone wrong busting a gut to try and get him to be independent and not 'need' me, and I've never given help to anyone who I've got the slightest feeling that they're likely to become dependent on me. Independence and self-sufficiency is something so important to me that I would NEVER do anything that would impinge on someone else's. It doesn't mean we couldn't all use a hand though, sometimes, and in the words of John Lennon, heheh, "don't you know that it's a fool who plays it cool by making his world a little colder?"

    But anyway Mycroft, your comments don't surprise me... I've heard them a dozen times from three of the six xNTJ's that have featured prominently in my life. All but one of them has publicly eaten his words though, since saying them and getting to know me... And by the way, this is exactly why they all (but one) confess to needing people like me around - otherwise none of their plans would be realised, because they're so fanatically self-sufficient that when it comes to something they can't do themselves, they'd rather abandon the project than ask for help. I come along, smile sweetly at someone somewhere, and what they need falls into their lap without effort and the project continues. And - oh look! Nobody's calling in any debts except the ENTJ's!
    Ils se d�merdent, les mecs: trop bon, trop con..................................MY BLOG!

    "When it all comes down to dust
    I will kill you if I must
    I will help you if I can" - Leonard Cohen

  9. #9
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Actually, I kinda agree with Mycroft. I think that's one of the reasons why people seem to be afraid of Fe. Generosity and debt are like balances. I'll give a better explanation of this when I've fully woken up...

    ETA: I think an NJ would be especially aware of the power balances in this situation. It's not just an NTJ thing IMO.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

  10. #10
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    LOL Ya rly!! ...
    A viewpoint you find foreign is nothing more than a "convoluted excuse for wanton cynicism"? Ironic, how narrow your definition of open-mindedness has become.
    Dost thou love Life? Then do not squander Time; for that's the Stuff Life is made of.

    -- Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard's Almanack, June 1746 --

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