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  1. #11
    Senior Member boondocked's Avatar
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    When I look at people who have strong preferences, it amazes me how they harness their gifts/talents. There's this "it" factor that's undeniable. Hands down- I admire that ability to be proud to be who you are, instead of conforming to external standards of living.

    Socialization is a tricky thing, and also I think it depends on the mentality of the society.. (on a micro/macro level, which effects our daily interactions in how we communicate with one another) -Some more accepting than others.
    I feel exactly the same. I don't know how some people find the moral courage to be whoever they happen to be. Maybe it's an NF thing, to try to smush oneself into whatever people want! And you've just GOT to conform, because the other option, people looking at you weird or maybe ostracizing you, just isn't worth it. Or maybe that's just me


    If you feel like you are becoming zero you are probably trying to develop S at the cost of being your natural N self. I don't think balance is about becoming bland and average. Making a weak function stronger doesn't make your natural strengths weaker.
    A good point. Like, theoretically, if I tried to make my left hand stronger, my right wouldn't get weaker. Why does it feel like I'm losing my N, then?


    If you totally change yourself to live another ideal, it will leave you empty, cause you just claimed new land in which you are a total foreigner and therefore cant count on a blizzard of new perception
    Too true, too true. Le sigh.


    Yeah I think the whole balance thing is overrated around here, what's the point of balanced preferences anyway? It's like becoming bisexual solely for the sake of balance.
    hahahahahaha...absolutely. I always find that I enjoy people with really defined preferences...it's almost like they've elevated their type talents into an art form. I mean, they get so much practice with N or S or whatever because they hardly use the other. The talents that come with whichever extreme function REALLY knock me over because they're so...concentrated??

    Anyway, I love this discussion and you all are pretty damn insightful. Thanks

  2. #12
    Senior Member Gerbah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boondocked View Post
    A good point. Like, theoretically, if I tried to make my left hand stronger, my right wouldn't get weaker. Why does it feel like I'm losing my N, then?
    I don't know. Can you give an example of a situation where you felt like you were losing your N?

  3. #13
    Senior Member boondocked's Avatar
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    For instance, I was trying to find an important email from a few years ago and happened to read a lot of those super old emails. I couldn't help but roll my eyes, hard, at some of my turns of phrase and the sheer distance from reality.

    I'm sure everyone gets squicky when they read something from a long time ago, but I also got nostalgic. The ideas in all of my emails were weirdly inventive and the phrases, if a bit airy fairy, were quippy and original. I just can't do that anymore, and tend to think it a bit silly anyway. I've whitewashed some of my language and point of view in order to be as concrete as possible. And despite the effort, most people STILL do concrete better than me. I have total S envy, but my gifts were more pronounced when I was a hard N.

    Does that make sense? I can't tell.


  4. #14
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    You will always prefer NF and always feel more comfortable using NF, but as you grow older, you will also develop more comfort with lesser functions. You can't force yourself to be a sensor. If you try, it won't come across naturally -- it will be forced and awkward and probably other people will find it offensive. It will probably make you feel tense and angry. Developing lesser functions is something that just comes naturally as you mature and can't be forced. For example, I've always had to use T (my third function) a lot, but it hurt my head to do it and I had to do a lot of unwinding afterward. Lately though, I've found myself using T without even thinking twice about it -- my mind has just started working that way and there's nothing I can do to stop it. I'll be taking a walk and instead of soaking in the beautiful scenery like I used to and feeling my spirit soar because of it, I'll be looking at various types of landscaping and thinking "why did they choose this plant and what's the advantage of it over another?" and it's not something I'm choosing to do consciously -- it just happens. So the moral of the story is, don't try to be anything, just relax and let your preferences do what they do best.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Chloe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boondocked View Post
    The goal is to be well-rounded and everything, I get that.

    But on the quest to become balanced and bring our N scores closer to the middle and make our F less extreme and etc., aren't we losing the defined talents that come with the extreme?

    When I first took the official Myers Briggs, back when I hadn't even heard of it, I scored 100% N. I was sooo relieved to have a word for what made me zig when some others zagged. Ever since then, I've been trying to beat the N down so I could get on in a concrete world. I mean, N comes in handy for clever ideas and bizarre charm, but hell, it really can't help me find my way out of a paper bag, much less find my way on map. So I've been turning away from my preferences, trying to approximate the center.

    Thing is, I feel like I'm averaging out to zero, being neither very adept at S things no matter HOW hard I try, and losing some N skills and outlooks in the process.

    What say you, new friends?? CAN we achieve the center of the scales? Should we try, or should we focus on making our preference gifts even more pronounced? Is the middle of the continuum bland? Eeep!
    I don't think being well rounded person means we should become more balanced on any letter. And I think it's not SO possible.. but at the same time, it does happen a bit with becoming stable. I think one should first accept intuition, and feelings, like best tool, a bit paradox but I think our, at least my, problems come more from not trusting intuition, or avoiding it, than from being very low on S.
    I score around 85% on N, but I guess it's almost 100% subconsciuosly, i'm just consciously aware that paying attention to S sometimes is good, so in some cases I do. or believe I do.

    I personally am trying to just be aware of why I do stuff like I do, and how I perceive stuff... as I said, i think that more problems come from not trusting our "eyes".
    Though they say tertirary Te helps a lot to ENFPs etc...which I believe to be true, and noticed a bit lately since I'm bit more rational (i used to be 100% F ) but I dont think it contradicts with my idea of not needing to balance....
    S and T in ENFP should be like good-functioning reserves, back up plan, but not something we learned to use so we can score on all letters 50%.
    Hah, I dont know... i'm saying all this because it all rings to me like trying to change your nature if you "force yourself to become more balanced".

  6. #16
    Senior Member Gerbah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boondocked View Post
    For instance, I was trying to find an important email from a few years ago and happened to read a lot of those super old emails. I couldn't help but roll my eyes, hard, at some of my turns of phrase and the sheer distance from reality.

    I'm sure everyone gets squicky when they read something from a long time ago, but I also got nostalgic. The ideas in all of my emails were weirdly inventive and the phrases, if a bit airy fairy, were quippy and original. I just can't do that anymore, and tend to think it a bit silly anyway. I've whitewashed some of my language and point of view in order to be as concrete as possible. And despite the effort, most people STILL do concrete better than me. I have total S envy, but my gifts were more pronounced when I was a hard N.

    Does that make sense? I can't tell.

    Well, I personally also have envy of, for example, people with really good empathy, like you NFs for example. I don't think it does much good though to compare yourself too much to people with different strengths to you and to let it affect your self-image, which is what you seem to be doing...? Correct me if I'm wrong.

    Do you need S for something important? Like, does your life require a lot of S at the moment? Are you surrounded by strong Ss who make you feel insecure?

    Generally, I've found it's better to develop and enjoy your strengths and try to align your decision-making with what will support that while developing the weaker strengths to have as optional tools to use when you inevitably get in situations where they are more appropriate to use. You should normally be able to pick and choose which strengths to use without losing or weakening any of them, which makes me think that this losing N issue is maybe more related to something else other than use of S.

    I know one INFJ for example who used to draw and paint a lot when she was a kid and then stopped that for a number of years, then later came back to it as a kind of stress release. Maybe you just need to channel that N into something more suited to it than emails and other such S things? If you think it wasn't appropriate to write emails like that?

  7. #17
    Senior Member boondocked's Avatar
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    I don't think it does much good though to compare yourself too much to people with different strengths to you and to let it affect your self-image, which is what you seem to be doing...? Correct me if I'm wrong.
    Actually, I'm really sad to lose my extreme N!! Moving more towards the middle wasn't really my choice, much as I've always relished the S perspective. It simply feels like the best way to jog along. I think society prefers people of temperate traits, and I prefer to be in the thick of society. Nevertheless, it makes me sad to read through past emails and find myself rolling my eyes. I mean, it's inventive, kinda charming stuff. It sucks to be so irritated by it. Maybe that's just growth, tho. I'm five years older now. Maybe my N was out of control or something and what I'm really responding to is immaturity?

    Generally, I've found it's better to develop and enjoy your strengths and try to align your decision-making with what will support that while developing the weaker strengths to have as optional tools to use when you inevitably get in situations where they are more appropriate to use.
    That's smart. I just need to find a way to do that without sacrificing some of the things I adored about being straight up N. Probably the concept of balance and being in the center of the personality scales aren't exactly the same thing, like Chloee said.

    I guess the whole reason I started this thread was out of respect and admiration for people at the very ends of each spectrum. I mean, for instance a J that's only slightly J doesn't have the recognizable talents of a full blown. Their talent is perhaps being relateable to both ends of the spectrum. A full J reaps all the good and bad of the judging temperment. And then society can't help but tamp them down, try to temper them, in the name of balance. I initially read this as a forced slide towards the middle of the scales.

    Anyway, I LOVE all the feedback. Does anyone think being extreme in one dimension is maladaptive, or is it just a matter of not relying on our preferred function in situations that call for the opposite function?


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