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  1. #1
    Dhampyr Economica's Avatar
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    Default Too nice for your own good

    So today at work I was talking to an INFX, who has provided consultancy services for the research project I'm managing, about a mutual acquaintance/colleague who is INFJ. Our conversation went something like this:

    INFX: I don't know how we are going to handle payment?
    Me: I actually don't know either. I don't even know how much you cost!
    INFX: [The INFJ] handled it last year, I think.
    Me: I know. We could ask him how to do it-
    INFX: -and he'd tell us, but-
    Me: -he's too nice for his own good. *sad head shake*
    INFX: He is! I'd rather not contribute to the exploitation.
    Me: I can understand that. I'll talk to the secretary and get back to you.

    The exchange impels me to finally post some questions I've been bouncing around in my head for a while. The questions are directed to those INFJs (and other Fs) about whom the same could be said - that you are too nice for your own good:

    Give me insight: What makes you go out of your way to service others? What is going through your head in the situations where you end up (either more or less voluntarily) being taken advantage of? Why don't you set reasonable boundaries?

    Give me advice: As someone who both is naturally oblivious to non-verbal signals from others and also innocently assumes that others, like me, mean yes when they say yes and no when they say no, how do I avoid unintentionally imposing on you? (See this crazy exchange (in the second half of the post) for an example.) Obviously I can try to think twice about whether a request is reasonable or a proposal advantageous to you, but what about the cases where only you have enough information to say (i.e. because only you know how much time it will take or how much something is worth to you)?

    To be explicit, I'm especially thinking of professional relations.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    Don't worry about it.

  3. #3
    Dhampyr Economica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiltyred View Post
    Don't worry about it.
    Care to elaborate?

    Edit: Heh, win-win, either you elaborate or by definition you're not in my target group.

  4. #4
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    I can relate a bit to the post and feel stress and pressure when required to quote prices. Part of my problem is a state of constant second guessing myself. Fear of quoting the wrong price can leave me paralyzed. I just took a gig and had to quote a price. I think about what I have set as a fair price, but a million thoughts race through my head. Is this person really poor, but still dreams of having nice music at their wedding? Are they loaded? If I quote too high will they be demoralized and without resources? If I quote too low will they lose respect? If I quote top dollar will I perform up to that standard? If I quote low will I end up regretting it? This is the worst when the pricing system is subjective to begin with. I basically see too many elements to consider instead of just making a decision about what my services are worth and quoting it without regard to the consequence. I also have some inclination to assume that two parties doing business are desiring a cooperative exchange and so if the partnership is worthwhile, then there is an inherent trust that both parties will act in fairness.

    It doesn't turn out that way.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  5. #5
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    *sigh*
    You people won't understand even if we explain it, so ... just propose what it is you want done, and if we can do it, we will, and if we can't, sometimes we also will. Eventually, we will figure out a way to avoid you altogether if you keep making preposterous demands, so don't worry about our being taken advantage of. We might not say no, we'll just disappear when you want us. Works the same.

    *this is half tongue-in-cheek, but only half*

  6. #6
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    I actually caught myself doing something unawares in business interactions. If it is a client or employer with whom there is a potential long-term business association, I used to subconsciously give them one free shot to exploit me. I wouldn't initially stand my ground because I wanted to know who I was actually dealing with. It was a way of testing them although it was not a conscious plan. I now realize the importance of just assuming the exploitation will occur instead of hoping for a reasonable exchange of professional trust and services.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  7. #7
    Dhampyr Economica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiltyred View Post
    *sigh*
    You people won't understand even if we explain it, so ...
    Please try me?

    just propose what it is you want done, and if we can do it, we will, and if we can't, sometimes we also will. Eventually, we will figure out a way to avoid you altogether if you keep making preposterous demands, so don't worry about our being taken advantage of. We might not say no, we'll just disappear when you want us. Works the same.

    *this is half tongue-in-cheek, but only half*
    I'm with you so far. The thing is, I don't want it to be this way; I want to be able to work with you to our mutual satisfaction. (I can see INFJ-INTJ making quite a team.) I'm capable of modifying my behavior to accommodate you and very willing to do so - I just need help understanding how, since I don't naturally read you very well.

    ---

    toonia, thanks for your input! It's just what I'm after.

    (Incidentally, the payment issue that had to be handled today was not about price (I told him from the get-go that I did not know how much he had charged last year and that we would pay whatever he asked this year) but simply about how to administrate the transfer.)

    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    I actually caught myself doing something unawares in business interactions. If it is a client or employer with whom there is a potential long-term business association, I used to subconsciously give them one free shot to exploit me. I wouldn't initially stand my ground because I wanted to know who I was actually dealing with. It was a way of testing them although it was not a conscious plan. I now realize the importance of just assuming the exploitation will occur instead of hoping for a reasonable exchange of professional trust and services.
    OMG! You actually expect people to maintain a constant focus on what your side of the transaction is like? (Oh, I am going to learn from this thread! ) Can you give an example of one such free shot?

  8. #8
    12 and a half weeks BerberElla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    I can relate a bit to the post and feel stress and pressure when required to quote prices. Part of my problem is a state of constant second guessing myself. Fear of quoting the wrong price can leave me paralyzed. I just took a gig and had to quote a price. I think about what I have set as a fair price, but a million thoughts race through my head. Is this person really poor, but still dreams of having nice music at their wedding? Are they loaded? If I quote too high will they be demoralized and without resources? If I quote too low will they lose respect? If I quote top dollar will I perform up to that standard? If I quote low will I end up regretting it? This is the worst when the pricing system is subjective to begin with. I basically see too many elements to consider instead of just making a decision about what my services are worth and quoting it without regard to the consequence. I also have some inclination to assume that two parties doing business are desiring a cooperative exchange and so if the partnership is worthwhile, then there is an inherent trust that both parties will act in fairness.

    It doesn't turn out that way.
    I don't know if this is the same thought process, but my ISFJ friend's business is barely pulling in any money because she feels awkward saying prices because she is worried it's too high, too low. Not sure how it goes on in her head when she does it, but she struggles too.

    I'm considered too nice for my own good, but not as nice as my infj friend. Maybe it's you Ixfj types.

    J/k, I get that way too.

    What makes you go out of your way to service others?
    A feeling of obligation sometimes because they asked, especially if they ask nicely. Or because I like them as a person and genuinelly want to go out of my way, but more often than not it's the obligated part that drives me.


    What is going through your head in the situations where you end up (either more or less voluntarily) being taken advantage of?
    I get sad and dissappointed with the person because I feel they are asking too much, or I feel annoyed with myself for not saying no because I've over extended myself. Of course sometimes it's motivated by a real desire and then I only have nice thoughts about it because I believe it's helping someone I care about, like or respect.


    Why don't you set reasonable boundaries?
    I do, I just don't enforce them all the time. I have boundaries, sometimes it feels like people see right through those boundaries and know me for the sucker I can be sometimes. A big massive neon sign on my forehead saying "take the piss, it's easy"

    Instead of nipping those feelings in the bud with assertive boundaries at the start, I eventually build up alot of resentment that leads to a total refusal to work with or care for the person who has taken it too far.

    As someone who both is naturally oblivious to non-verbal signals from others and also innocently assumes that others, like me, mean yes when they say yes and no when they say no, how do I avoid unintentionally imposing on you? (See this crazy exchange (in the second half of the post) for an example.) Obviously I can try to think twice about whether a request is reasonable or a proposal advantageous to you, but what about the cases where only you have enough information to say (i.e. because only you know how much time it will take or how much something is worth to you)?

    I'm not sure about others but for myself I can tell if someone is unintentionally imposing on me, because it's unintentional it doesn't bother me, there is nothing about it that makes me believe I am being taken advantage of.

    When it's intentional it shows me that I am not respected and it feels different so I will eventually snap.

    I can't really advise you, I honestly have only ever known time to conquer this issue, once I am secure I would tell you if I felt taken advantage of.
    Echo - "So are you trying to say she is Evil"

    DeWitt - "Something far worse, she's an Idealist"

    Berb's Johari Berb's Nohari

  9. #9
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Economica View Post
    OMG! You actually expect people to maintain a constant focus on what your side of the transaction is like? (Oh, I am going to learn from this thread! ) Can you give an example of one such free shot?
    My first gig with an orchestra he approached me to play for the group and discussed their pricing system openly in front of me. I didn't nail down an exact fee. The price he talked about was $50 per service. The musicians' union fee for my instrument is a minimum of $100 plus $25 cartage per service. He asked if I belonged to the union. I didn't. I was working on a master's degree in my instrument at the time. He knew the pricing schedules. It was his profession.

    When I got my check he had paid me $15 (edit) per service and paid only half that for rehearsals on which I didn't play the entire time. The musicians' minimum recommended fee (you have to be paid this if you are a member) for the rehearsals and concert would have totaled $600. He paid me $45. He knew this. I would have worked for half the union's recommended minimum. His willingness to exploit my services allowed me to immediately know for whom I would have been working. I resigned.

    Because I maintain as much awareness as possible of the other person's knowledge and needs, my reaction is reasonable if the exploitation occurs within reason. I should also note I have stopped doing this. It wasn't conscious.

    Edit: I have played for groups accepting various fees based on their budget. If I am paid an honest wage in the context of their resources, then I accept or continue to work for them. Attempts at being tricked or exploited tell me who to avoid professionally. Fees in my field are subjective because it is such a struggling profession for everyone. Success requires mutual support and respect which include exchange of fair services and fees within the context of limited resources. This can easily become twisted into inflated entitlement and exploitation. It is helpful to distinguish the difference, but better to explore it head-on.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  10. #10
    Senior Member Into It's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Economica View Post
    Give me advice: As someone who both is naturally oblivious to non-verbal signals from others and also innocently assumes that others, like me, mean yes when they say yes and no when they say no, how do I avoid unintentionally imposing on you? (See this crazy exchange (in the second half of the post) for an example.) Obviously I can try to think twice about whether a request is reasonable or a proposal advantageous to you, but what about the cases where only you have enough information to say (i.e. because only you know how much time it will take or how much something is worth to you)?

    To be explicit, I'm especially thinking of professional relations.
    Your Te makes it sound like you're TELLING people what to do. And indeed you are. There's nothing wrong with this, but an NF who could be taken advantage of will DO IT if you make a Te statement. So preface such statements with phrases like: "It doesn't matter either way", "it's entirely up to you, but I think it would be best if..." These phrases will at the very least make the NF feel as if he is not really being taken advantage of so much. And if you can achieve this, the relationship will be symbiotic and positive.
    But you INTJ's are totally oblivious to nonverbal cues. I'm in a cabin with 3 INTJs at the moment and everyone needs me to spell everything out because my eyes seem to tell them nothing!

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