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Thread: mattering?

  1. #11
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    There is also the peace corp and the like [americorp, teach for america, teach english in other countries, etc

    Anyone have experiences with that, or heard from people who do?

  2. #12
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    For me, the point of this thread as retitled by "Coming to terms with the limited extent of one's personal sphere of influence" relates to a reminder that one only has so much time and can't "do everything". I know this and think about what is important to me and make effort to focus on things. But, for whatever reasons, its like I can't hold onto that [i.e.e I forget it] and then I start getting these ridiculous ideas and then I have to come back to my senses and see those ridiculous thoughts as the ridiculous thoughts that they are. I wonder if this is a side-affect of spending too much time alone in front of a computer at work [I'm sure other people come up with much more bizarre thoughts under such circumstances!], or if I can somehow blame this on those INTJ's and their crazy non-realistic Ni scheming. You know guys, you can't ALL be secretly supreme-overlord-of-the-universe! Seriously though, I find being around lots of Ni rather unsettling/"feeling spacey"-inducing, particularly when its not somehow moderated by Fe.

  3. #13
    Senior Member souffle's Avatar
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    I didn't really read most of the thread very thouroughly, but I'm going to add a few thoughts of my own anyway.

    Have you considered the idea quality over quantity? What's more important- what 'matters' more? Doing something that will have a slight, indirect impact on 1 million people, or being the significant other/parent/best friend to one person and having a huge, life-changing impact?

    And anyway, that's one of the only ways you're going matter to/influence other people on your own. Large scale things, like helping to develop and feed third world countries, probably require a collective effort from many people. I guess you could get some personal satisfaction from simply having been part of the group that helped it happen- but being soley responsible for an event that changes millions of people's lives I'm thinking is impossible. Yes, it might be true that one person in a leadership position inspired a thousand others to take action, meaning without that person it wouldn't have happened- but then, without the 1000 people being inspired and taking action it also wouldn't have happened.

    So.. how can one deal with this? I dunno, do what you can I s'pose, aim to have a positive effect on others, and knowing that you've done your best should matter to one person in particular- YOU!

    There. I tried to make an interesting contribution. I hope I'm not out of my depth..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    For me, the point of this thread as retitled by "Coming to terms with the limited extent of one's personal sphere of influence" relates to a reminder that one only has so much time and can't "do everything". I know this and think about what is important to me and make effort to focus on things. But, for whatever reasons, its like I can't hold onto that [i.e.e I forget it] and then I start getting these ridiculous ideas and then I have to come back to my senses and see those ridiculous thoughts as the ridiculous thoughts that they are. I wonder if this is a side-affect of spending too much time alone in front of a computer at work [I'm sure other people come up with much more bizarre thoughts under such circumstances!], or if I can somehow blame this on those INTJ's and their crazy non-realistic Ni scheming. You know guys, you can't ALL be secretly supreme-overlord-of-the-universe! Seriously though, I find being around lots of Ni rather unsettling/"feeling spacey"-inducing, particularly when its not somehow moderated by Fe.

    In my opinion, it is a result of spending too much time in your head. The same happens to me when I spend too much time in my "mind".

    Your first post shows that you are conscious of the difference between the reality created by your mind, and the reality lived by billions of other people.

    I believe the key is finding balance between the two.

    If you really have an innate need to matter, live in the real world, recognize the people and things that need you, and use your mind to figure out ways to make a difference.

    This type of thinking is just a result of too much thinking and not enough doing.

    Key to being conscious and happy is realizing that in the grand scheme of life, YOU don't matter to anyone else but you. Then with that mindset, all the things that you do to help others is then completely selfless.

    But if you do those things with your goal being to "matter", then you're doing it for your own ego, not for others.

  5. #15
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    I believe you make as much difference as you believe you can.

    If you chew right to the granular centre of things, if you believe that there is a point to our existence, then your very existence proves you matter somehow in the whole grand mathematical equation of the cosmos.

    Therefore, there's no such thing as not making a difference. Without you, the math changes. Different formula, different outcome.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Galusha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyGeek View Post
    What?! Of course you matter, silly. Here, I think you need one of these . It looks like you feel small and helpless in this world. Everyone makes a difference in the world. No matter how small, everyone contributes. Yes, even you.
    just to pour a bucket of water on this thread, yes, everyone has and influence, because s/he exists to others. however, that's not the same as mattering. if you kill one ant out of a colony, the colony still survives. it's up to the individual to make him/herself matter, if that's what s/he wants.

    oh, and just to include everyone, some people contribute by making the world a worse place. unfortunately, in day-to-day life, those are the ones who contribute the most.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Warning: Ne brainstorming activated! Oh brother here we go

    My brainstorming on this matter has changed, again. This time onto more group/social areas. I think that we INF's can do really awesome with people one on one, but in groups its very hit or miss, and if we don't know a lot of people in the group the odds of a miss are much higher. Sometimes you hear the phrase "its like the rooms lights up when [person] walks in!" and I'm like "man, why can't I do that!!!" Maybe I can, but I'm pretty sure it hasn't happened yet. I think as INF's we are much better at having a group of people together and getting them to feel relaxed and comfortable than all revved and excited. I think its both important to see our current strengths, and to continue to learn and develop and grow. When I see people that are really good at something, I can definitely have a desire to emulate their skills. For me, when I see E_F_'s I often wish I could emulate their social enthusiasm and charm. At the same time, I've had those same E_F_'s tell me they wish they were better at some of my social/people skills. So its not like either group is lacking, but can't we have both???
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, as that saying goes. I'm not aiming for imitation, more like emulation.


    And on another related note, INFP's are often referred to or described as "delightful." I remember when I was younger I could see that the things that I did and how I did them would bring smiles to peoples faces and joy to that moment of their lives. How NF right? I felt like I had a "social impact" that was clear and immediate. It didn't change the world or anything, but that little "bubble" of the world was apparently much happier! Maybe those were just a lot of FJ's and NFP's. Now I'm largely around other types of people, who are generally harder to impress and less emotionally expressive. So maybe I just feel like my efforts are rebuffed, ok no maybe there. But when I get around some other types of people again, all of the sudden those people are laughing and smiling and liking my funny jokes and stuff.

    So maybe the overall lesson for me on this "social dynamics" aspect of this topic is: quit looking for positive emotional feedback from people who generally don't give out that. But the people who do, well they make this INFP feel 'delightful!'

    Hmm, all this blabbing feels almost like a blog or something "Deep inner thoughts, by an INFP"

    For all of those who have ever wondered what its like to be an INFP or what we are like on the inside, we'll I'd say its kinda like this thread. We have an observation/thought/reaction/whatever. It might be something we observe in the outer world via Ne, or it might just be internal rumination. Then we sort through our feelings and values on it [Fi]. Then we say "what can I do with this" or "how can I give external expression to this" at which point its all about Ne. For me, I can take negative things, mull them around with Fi, transmute them into something positive [Fi], and then "release it into the world" [Ne]. Sometimes people see that Ne expression and surmise that there is some negative thoughts/feelings that somehow lay behind it, and not to that there aren't but I processed those negative thoughts into something else and then tried to make something positive with it. A not particularly great example: I see some guy treating his girlfriend like crap. I'm all like "that's such a crappy way to treat people! [Fi] You don't make better relationships that way! [Fi and or Ne?] Okay, I can't change his behavior, but I can do my little part to make sure it doesn't spread. I won't treat women like crap! [Fi] Okay, now let me go be nice to these women over here [Ne]" INFP's, making warm feelings out of crap! Dude, that should be like our catchphrase or something! Maybe I should PC it a bit: INFP's taking junk and transforming it into personal warm fuzzies???

    Other INFP's, does that process in the above paragraph seem familiar/right to you?

  8. #18
    Ruler of the Stars Asterion's Avatar
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    why does it matter if you affect the lives of those countless billions out there or not? They all have their own minds, they can all organize themselves, they don't need someone to rush in and change it for them. The main goal should be to change your experience of the world, to affect your own mind. In doing that, you're probably going to end up affecting others in the process, and like what has been said, you can't do the impossible.

    I guess you're just trying to get the big picture in a good old intuitive fashion and maybe over extending it to encompass the entire world, when you're younger you might not do this because you're less aware of the entire world out there, you'd do it on a smaller scale, ie. how can I affect this group of people? Once you have that big picture, you can then try to see the individual, which you are doing now. But what's the point in seeing such a wide view when it's just going to overwhelm you?
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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    6) "It's not all about you"
    I think it's the opposite: It's all about you (or us, maybe). Now, I see no real purpose to existence, and see life as an unintentional byproduct of DNA's quest to replicate. I see this as an opportunity then to do whatever you want. If you want to sit there and think of yourself as a turd conversion machine of sorts, do that. That matters and is meaningful.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Another angle on this is "social clout" if you will, people reacting to your presence and/or what you do. I'll bet all the IN__'s feel like they have relatively little social clout/impact. Think about it, some hot ES__ women tells a story about a stapler not working and everyone finds it funny and interesting. An IN tells that same story and its total eye-rolling and the like. An IN friend told me about that situation happening to him actually. People talk about how "when she/he walks in the room its like the whole palce just lights up!" I'm pretty sure IN__ don't get told that very often, if ever.

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