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  1. #11
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Thirding what Kiddykat said. Past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior.

    Look at the person's default setting, so to speak. Try not to think of people, especially potential mates, as DIY projects. Instead, project yourself into the future and try to think how their behavior will effect you if they *never* improve, but pretty much just stay how they are indefinitely. If they aren't okay how they are, it isn't them you have feelings for, but an imaginary person you believe they *could* be. Not very fair to either of you. Better to find someone that you could live with just as they are.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  2. #12
    Member decided's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lasdf23 View Post
    I want to learn how I can recognize early in the development in the relationship that there are some fundamental character flaws in this person that I will not be able to tolerate, so I do not have to become so attached and care so much about the person in futility. I want to be able to identify whether this person is a good person or a bad person (for me), because once I become attached, I can convince myself to overlook pretty much any flaws in their characters, and only be able to analyze where it went wrong in retrospect (and get hurt).

    Any thoughts?
    Um, well... you might want to make a point of considering really important things before you make yourself vulnerable.

    You might want to ask yourself whether the guy is...
    -- 100% reliable
    -- available for you
    -- an excellent communicator
    -- talking about the future as if you would be together
    -- happy to make compromises

    You might also want to think about how he makes you feel. Do you respect yourself when you are with him? Do you feel secure? Do you feel important?
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  3. #13
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lasdf23 View Post
    Hi all,

    Just recently I got myself out of a messy situation with a group of friends that I once placed in very high regards, I am still in the process of recovering from the feelings of rejection, betrayal, and emptiness.

    And that brought me to think... am I just bad at judging people's characters?

    Usually when I meet somebody I get a "sense" of that person..a certain intuition associated with him/her. This "sense" incorporates all those elements in a personality like maturity, fun, warmth, and depth, etc. And I do get negative vibes from people too, for example, if I get a sense that the person is a show-off, know-it-all, that's an immediate deal breaker and I will actively create a situation where only superficial interchanges are possible between us. Other negative vibes don't bother me as much.

    I have always thought of myself as a mind-reader capable of providing insights into a person's inner-most characteristics. But I realized, with those few that I especially care about (whether it be close friends or a boyfriend), I ignore the negative signals altogether.

    So far I've only had a 2-year relationship and a 2 month hookup (both a miserable failure at the end). My ex in the 2-year relationship was definitely not known as the nice person, in fact he annoyed and got onto people's nerves all the times. I wanted things to go somewhere with my hookup, but he had so many problems himself and was so ill, I should have expected it when he lied to my face and tossed me out the window in favor of the next girl.

    The signs were there all along that they were not a good match for me. But with both of them I kept on focusing on their good attributes, while turning a blind eye on their shortcomings, convincing myself that those flaws (in my opinion) that I notice are only inconsequential...when in fact they are NOT!!! Only after I get my heart broken that I realize how big of a factor their character flaw contributed to the dysfunctional relationship, but by then it's too late because I am already hurt (and still attached).

    I want to learn how I can recognize early in the development in the relationship that there are some fundamental character flaws in this person that I will not be able to tolerate, so I do not have to become so attached and care so much about the person in futility. I want to be able to identify whether this person is a good person or a bad person (for me), because once I become attached, I can convince myself to overlook pretty much any flaws in their characters, and only be able to analyze where it went wrong in retrospect (and get hurt).

    Any thoughts?
    Ohhhhh, I completely hear you, and I feel for you. I want to say I know exactly how you feel, but I always try to avoid that but really, a lot of what you said is word for word what I could have said about my experiences with a few people. Particularly about ignoring warning signs completely if you deeply care about someone.

    It has really been a huge problem for me with a few guys who Ive liked or been involved with the alarm bells were always there. But the strength of my feelings/attachment was such that the alarm bells would always be drowned out with well, hes pretty inconsiderate to some others who he claims are friends, and he bad-mouths them behind his back, but it's just because he's a little insecure. With me its different, because we have a special connection. Or yeah, hes immature now, but I see so much potential in him. Etc.

    I think it was caf who said you should look at whether you can imagine being with them even if they basically never change, and their fundamental flaws stay the same. If you cant, well. But this is so much easier said than done. Im trying to train myself now and learn from experience, because the hurt I have suffered a few times over such situations has been so painful for me. The one comforting thing would be if I could learn something from it. I think it does get a bit better as you get a bit older. You just get to know yourself better and you start to see patterns in your own behaviour and the kinds of people you like, you get to see patterns of warning signs in others, etc.

    Strong emotions can cloud things enormously. This is especially true when you like someone a lot and even more if you get involved with them. It can also be true in friendships which are nothing more than friendships, though generally Ive done quite well in that regard.

    If youve already landed in the situation where youve been hurt because of bad judgement, let yourself grieve and slowly try to move on. It can take a long time but you will get there (even if there are sore spots for years). Focus on the people in your life who do love you and value you and are good for you. Maybe try to meet some new people and try to achieve that fine balancing act between looking for the warning signs, and being open and trusting. I know there are moments in life where you trust completely and then later regret it no end. I guess its all part of life and learning. But its better to not stop trusting completely. I just dont think thats human.
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  4. #14
    Senior Member Rachelinpa's Avatar
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    i hear you. it sounds like you DO already know if they are a good or a bad person for you. not 100% maybe though, which is what keeps you from cutting them off early. you sound intuitive and not like you are blind to their flaws completely. i don't think the issue is judgment, i think it is more willpower and not listening to your intuition.

    you just have to shut it down. for me (enfp), sometimes i convince myself that i will be able to magically make it work because we have a "mysterious connection" or because i WANT it to work and feel i have already have sort of verbally/physically invested in that person to whatever extent. it's like i feel if i were to back out, it would be giving up or breaking my commitment.

    at any rate, maybe it would just be good if you have an idea of yes, what you absolutely will not tolerate in a relationship and then trust your intuition and the "signs" that you pick up on... and follow through.

  5. #15
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rachelinpa View Post
    i hear you. it sounds like you DO already know if they are a good or a bad person for you. not 100% maybe though, which is what keeps you from cutting them off early. you sound intuitive and not like you are blind to their flaws completely. i don't think the issue is judgment, i think it is more willpower and not listening to your intuition.

    you just have to shut it down. for me (enfp), sometimes i convince myself that i will be able to magically make it work because we have a "mysterious connection" or because i WANT it to work and feel i have already have sort of verbally/physically invested in that person to whatever extent. it's like i feel if i were to back out, it would be giving up or breaking my commitment.
    +1, especially the second paragraph here. And the thing about willpower. It sounds like with people like us, we're not actually blind to the faults. It's just realizing how serious those faults are in terms of a serious investment in the person...and being tough enough with yourself to back off, maybe.
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  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by lasdf23 View Post
    The signs were there all along that they were not a good match for me. But with both of them I kept on focusing on their good attributes, while turning a blind eye on their shortcomings, convincing myself that those flaws (in my opinion) that I notice are only inconsequential...when in fact they are NOT!!! Only after I get my heart broken that I realize how big of a factor their character flaw contributed to the dysfunctional relationship, but by then it's too late because I am already hurt (and still attached).

    I want to learn how I can recognize early in the development in the relationship that there are some fundamental character flaws in this person that I will not be able to tolerate, so I do not have to become so attached and care so much about the person in futility. I want to be able to identify whether this person is a good person or a bad person (for me), because once I become attached, I can convince myself to overlook pretty much any flaws in their characters, and only be able to analyze where it went wrong in retrospect (and get hurt).

    Any thoughts?
    First thought. No idea whether this applies to your situation, but I think it applies to the question in general.

    Try taking things more slowly in the beginning, so you don't become enthralled with the person and can instead evaluate their pros and cons. Regular "breathers" from the other person can help with gathering perspective on what they're really like.


    Quote Originally Posted by Pitseleh View Post
    You should go w/ your gut and try not to talk yourself out of it. For example, I will get a really bad first vibe from someone and keep trying to find examples to counteract the feeling. In the end, I almost always go back to my first impression of the person.
    Oh, God, this

    You're not going to know everything about a person on a first meeting, but it can clue you in on potential issues that may become detrimental later on. Not trusting that instinct leads you to being completely blindsided by those issues when they do arise.


    My problem? I tend to think that I can help the other person through their relationship-damning issues, or, worse, solve those issues for them

  7. #17
    Senior Member pyramid's Avatar
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    I would say look for people or commitments that don't necessarily only serve your immediate needs and interests. We will invite people into our lives to "fill out" our own personality in different ways. Be honest with yourself. Be happy when things last and even when they don't. Learning to build sustainable relationships is a lifetime process.

  8. #18
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    Thank you everyone for your responses. I guess the takeaway so far is to know what you want/what you don't want (I think I'm more of a what I don't want person), set boundaries according to it, and stick with it. Also, about what pyramid said about inviting people that meet my needs, I'm starting to notice there are some degree of truth to that...and it's making me analyze my relationships in a whole new light.

    With my ex of 2-year, I knew the problem was me not sticking to my boundaries. The more troublesome was the hookup though, because my initial impression of him was extremely good --very relaxed, knowing what he wants, self-contained but self-sufficient, and on top of that, friendly and had this really disarming smile reminiscent of an innocent child's (the sparkly eyes kind). As I got to know him more, I found out more about his reckless behaviors, his streaks of hot/cold, and some anger issues. The weird thing is, even after he'd hurt me so much (and I'm very sure he had the awareness that he was hurting me). I still believe somehow that he is a good person at heart, but fell prey to the bad influences around him (i.e. drugs, unmotivated friends who did drugs, etc.). Like, he is a good person at heart, but his actions are not consistent with who he is...which sounds totally stupid, I know.

    So in a sense, with my hookup, I trusted my gut instinct (that he was a good person at heart), thought about it (and convinced myself that I may be able to become his catalyst for change), and failed miserably at it. The second part you could say I was asking for it, but I still am in complete disbelief that my gut instinct was SO WRONG in judging him. It takes my confidence away in judging people's characters...

  9. #19
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I think NFJs are very likely to fall prey to seeing potential and also believing we can make the difference for someone! (I know I have).

    Even when there is bad behaviour toward us, sometimes it can make us more determined to make it work, especially if we do see strong glimmers of better stuff that is the person's "true" self at their best. From my observation, insecurity is usually what spawns most of that bad behaviour. Until what made them insecure is dealt with by that person, they will not be able to absorb your love, and they believe they must look out for themselves first as no one else will if they don't. They have difficulty trusting even when they want to (which usually results in hot and cold push/pull behaviour).

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