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  1. #41
    Large Member Ender's Avatar
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    Do I put myself on a pedestal?.. Well yes and no.

    The only time I really put myself on a pedestal so to speak is when it comes to my ability to do things physically. It's about the only time I'll be dominant and full of myself. As for when I fall, which at times I do, how I handle it really depends on a situational basis. Most of the times, I'll just get right back up and tackle the issue again till I get it right. Though sometimes through falling I'll realize that it's not something I can do and move on.

    Where I don't is when it comes to anything involving myself and other people on a personal/mental level. I don't deal with others all that well, and it's usually people who know me that put me on the pedestal, and I usually resent them for it and try to convince them that I don't belong up there. It kinda reminds me of something my mother once said to me years ago.. "You go out of your way to help others when they need it, yet when you need help you act as if you don't deserve it.. You need to stop that.. You aren't worthless."

    I guess in the end, I tend to put others on the pedestal. It's most likely do to my life up until this point. I've lead a very solitary life, I'll be 29 this month and I've yet to meet anyone that I feel I can fully open up and talk to, and not be afraid of being who I really am around. Including my one friend who I've known for 18yrs now or either of my parents. However I don't fault the people in my life for it though, I am the way I am, and they are the way they are.. I'm not one of those people who blame others for their own personal deficiencies and I generally despise those who do, especially if by doing so they effect my life.
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    I don't want it, I just need it, to breathe, to feel, to know I'm alive.

    Never take life to seriously.. No one gets out alive in the end anyway.

  2. #42
    Senior Member marm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tovlo View Post
    I'm trying to abandon the idea of good and bad. My expression of self just is. I may value certain things and I may strive to live in a way that matches my values, but not doing so is not a source of judgement. If I become aware of my experience not matching what I value, I try to simply accept my experience for what it is in the moment, re-evaluate and re-orient to what I value, and then continue to experience and accept that experience. I try to just be, without judgement and sometimes even without description.
    I can understand this perspective. I don't see good and bad as overly useful terms, but that isn't to say that I live my life according to what is most useful for I'm definitely a practical person. Its simply that good/bad judgments depress me.

    I do think of Ni as related to being without judgment and without description. I find it a challenging way of being, but it attracts me.

    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    The only reason I reply here is to constrast my own view as a INFP, whether or not my view is typical for an INFP to hold, that I don't know. I am really not trying to debate as much as contrast how another NF feels on this type of issue.

    There is something in this idea above that I could never apply to myself, something in the idea of abandoning the judgment of good or bad, right or wrong. Maybe it is because I see life as the result of opposite forces coming together. This is also why I find new age philosophies so disquieting. Without being able to use internal judgment to delinate clearly between what is beneficial and what is not, how could I make clear enough decisions in how I move through life. My internal judgment of what is right and wrong is the only sure foundation I have ever felt in world that is very unsure. Without that foundation, life would be scary.
    A judging attitude is easiest for me, but I try to see all sides which counters this. And I do look at life as opposites, but I prefer to see the synthesis of opposites. I don't see this as lacking in discernment. I think it takes more discernment to see many sides than it does to see only two.

    I don't find new age philosophies disquieting. I grew up with them though and so I've internalized it. I don't think of my Fi as internal judgment. Rather, I think of Fi as a sense of authenticity, of truth. And there are many ways to be authentic and there are many truths.

    I am wondering if this is something often felt by INFP, or just my own particular thing?
    I do agree with you that its difficult for me to withhold judgment. I don't do well with too much uncertainty, but depression has forced me to deal with a lot of uncertainty and so I've become familiar with it. That said, I might be healthier or happier as an INFP if I did have a stronger sense of judgment. I utterly suck at making clear decisions.

    Below is an a example of the kind of thinking that I find very compelling, it speaks to something I have always felt inside was right
    Such is the very death of the created being. We die to the extent that we fail to discriminate. For this reason the natural impulse of the created being is directed toward differentiation and toward the struggle against the ancient, pernicious state of sameness. The natural tendency is called Principium Individuationis (Principle of Individuation).

    This principle is indeed the essence of every created being. From these things you may readily recognize why the undifferentiated principle and lack of discrimination are all a great danger to created beings. For this reason we must be able to distinguish the qualities of the Pleroma. Its qualities are the PAIRS OF OPPOSITES,
    I like this quote by Jung. I feel there is truth to it. However, I don't feel that Tovlo is referring to the undifferentiated principle. The only way I know how to clarify this is by using Wilber's idea of the pre/trans fallacy. It is true that many people confuse undifferentiation for synthesis, but its also true that genuine synthesis beyond opposites is possible.

    I like Wandering's answer. I too identify as being human... good and bad, and all that can't be clearly judged one way or another... the undifferentiated aspects and those I'm striving to synthesize. I often want to identify myself as a 'good' human being, and I've strived for that. Its tiresome. Like Wandering, I'm starting to settle for just being human, but I'm trying not to simply be resigned about life.

    Still, when I'm irritable I easily fall into an attitude of seeing things as wrong or right. I can be an extremely righteous person when like this. And the more I try to feel right the less good I feel. I haven't figured out how to have a strong sense of right without becoming righteous. I don't know if its possible.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade View Post
    I can understand this perspective. I don't see good and bad as overly useful terms, but that isn't to say that I live my life according to what is most useful for I'm definitely a practical person. Its simply that good/bad judgments depress me.
    Why? There really is good, better and bad out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade View Post
    I do think of Ni as related to being without judgment and without description. I find it a challenging way of being, but it attracts me.
    It is a perceiving function so yes of course it is without judgment, but there would always be a judging function in the person's make up there somewhere or else they are locked into Neurotic Ni. It would be the same for Fi dom going on without allowing in Ne to give perspective, information and balance to any judgments



    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade View Post
    A judging attitude is easiest for me, but I try to see all sides which counters this.
    Why is there an assumption made that using judgment means all sides won't be considered?


    And I do look at life as opposites, but I prefer to see the synthesis of opposites.
    Quote Originally Posted by William Blake
    Separated the stars from the mountains, and the mountains from man.

    And left man groveling root outside himself that created negations where there had been "contraries":

    Negations are not contraries: Contraries mutually exist but negations exist not.

    William Blake


    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade View Post
    I don't see this as lacking in discernment. I think it takes more discernment to see many sides than it does to see only two.
    However, eventually one has to make judgments to decide where the truths are and which ones are valid and which are not. Why the assumption that using judgment to decide what is better or not in a given situation means only two sides? I am just saying that there has to be judgment used to discern these truths.

    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade View Post
    I don't find new age philosophies disquieting. I grew up with them though and so I've internalized it.
    They too often try to undermine a person's sense of judgment and encourage an escape into a place where there is no bad or evil allowed to be percieved, it is all goodness and light. Life is not like that. The material world is not like that.

    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade View Post
    I don't think of my Fi as internal judgment. Rather, I think of Fi as a sense of authenticity, of truth.And there are many ways to be authentic and there are many truths.
    How does Fi discern what is authentic without using judgment?


    I do agree with you that its difficult for me to withhold judgment. I don't do well with too much uncertainty, but depression has forced me to deal with a lot of uncertainty and so I've become familiar with it.
    Situations in my life are often uncertain, my own physical energy extremely uncertain but my own internal world must be certain, I must discern what is authentic and what is not for me. Otherwise how might I understand how to guide my own behavior in this world?


    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade View Post
    That said, I might be healthier or happier as an INFP if I did have a stronger sense of judgment. I utterly suck at making clear decisions.



    I like this quote by Jung. I feel there is truth to it.
    I think that it is an underlying cornerstone to reality. I had always had this sense of things since an early age and to read someone else put it to words...


    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade View Post
    However, I don't feel that Tovlo is referring to the undifferentiated principle. The only way I know how to clarify this is by using Wilber's idea of the pre/trans fallacy. It is true that many people confuse undifferentiation for synthesis, but its also true that genuine synthesis beyond opposites is possible.
    How can value judgements (Fi) be made without differentiation?

    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade View Post
    I like Wandering's answer. I too identify as being human... good and bad, and all that can't be clearly judged one way or another... the undifferentiated aspects and those I'm striving to synthesize. I often want to identify myself as a 'good' human being, and I've strived for that. Its tiresome. Like Wandering, I'm starting to settle for just being human, but I'm trying not to simply be resigned about life.
    There is a difference between seeing one's self as a completed work as "good human" and wanting to strive for the greatest possible authenticity in one's self and one's actions. I am very human but that does not mean I should not stop trying to be as true to my own internal judgment in my actions as possible. Without having that to strive for, what is the point to even being in this mess of a world? Might as well pack it all up and give up. That's how strongly I see the issue. My life's purpose is to be as close to what my own internal sense of judgment dictates I should be, I must strive for it, reach for it, even knowing I may never reach it.

    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade View Post
    Still, when I'm irritable I easily fall into an attitude of seeing things as wrong or right. I can be an extremely righteous person when like this. And the more I try to feel right the less good I feel. I haven't figured out how to have a strong sense of right without becoming righteous. I don't know if its possible.
    I am not sure why using internal judgement to guide our way through the world needs to be associated with righteousness. I need to discern what I see as right and wrong to guide my own actions. When I see myself falling short I need to pull up and get with it. Of course if I am falling short it is not going to feel great but just need to remember that I am human and that I am striving for perfection, I am never going to make but I also need to remember that I cannot give up the striving or I shall be lost to a sense of purpose in this life.

  4. #44
    Senior Member wedekit's Avatar
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    I don't think I'm a caring, giving, compassionate person in general. I'm a caring, giving, compassionate person to my friends and other people I like. I'm not a mean person, but let's face it: people won't hesitate to walk all over you if you let them.

    I think I am the opposite from the question you asked. The real me is probably a very decent person and all that, but the imagined me (the way I view myself) isn't that great. I feel like I am not the person I could/should be; probably a low self-esteem issue.
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  5. #45
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    How often do you get knocked off your NF "I'm a good person" OR "I'm a caring, compassionate, giving, benevolent etc. etc.," pedestal? How far is the fall to the ground?

    How do you react when you're in a situation that forces you to confront aspects of yourself that contradict your idea(ls) of who you are and who you really are?
    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    I'll clarify my OP by saying that I'm not referring to being a perfect person or a good person. But I do wonder because if you identify as NF these are traits that supposedly make one an NF (I don't buy it either but whatever)...

    It's not about being humble or not having a good self-concept. If being a compassionate person is part of how you self-identify what happens when you find out that you're not really compassionate? If you think you're not racist or homophobic what happens when you realize you that you are? Fill in any thing that makes up your self-concept and then think have you ever had it challenged. What happened if the results were not to your liking? What is your reconciliation process? This can be hypothetical or experiential.

    There are facts about yourself that nearly indisputable: your sex or race for example. I'm asking about the "facts" about you that aren't as tangible and yet equally descriptive.
    I've been reading the replies to this thread and I think people have latched onto the part where I said "good person." The main thing I wanted to ask other NFs (or any type) is what happens when your self-concept, your self-identifiers are challenged and what your response is.

    A few people have said that they don't have a self-concept or the space between how they imagine themself and how they really are isn't that wide. In my mind the next question would be can you really ever know yourself? Which it seems like some posters do. People are enigmas to themselves and to have a higher than expected percentage of people say that how they view themselves and how they are aren't far off is a little surprising to me. How often I've asked others and myself "Why did you do that? Why are you like this?" and I get a "I don't know." Even speaking to some older people retrospecting over certain events of their life, I've gotten that same response.

    It's like whenever I hear a recording of my voice, I know it's me but I'm not used to hearing the sound of my voice when it's not reverberating through my ears. It's always a little surprising and I think to myself is that my voice? I figured it would be the same thing when thinking about the real vs. imagined you.
    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.
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  6. #46
    Large Member Ender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    People are enigmas to themselves and to have a higher than expected percentage of people say that how they view themselves and how they are aren't far off is a little surprising to me. How often I've asked others and myself "Why did you do that? Why are you like this?" and I get a "I don't know." Even speaking to some older people retrospecting over certain events of their life, I've gotten that same response.
    I wouldn't say I know myself 100%.. However I have spent a lot of time over the years asking myself the "Why X?" questions. Especially when I get into moods like I've been in lately where I just don't have a passion for anything or anyone, I just kinda live and exist mindlessly being completely bored with life and the people in it.

    If you asked me "Why X", you'd probably get the "I don't know answer". Mostly because I don't share that kind of information with 99% of the people I know. i.e. "Don't ask me why, you probably wouldn't understand, or might think I'm a fool for it. So to protect myself I'll just say I don't know".

    Call it a form of self preservation if you will.
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    I don't want it, I just need it, to breathe, to feel, to know I'm alive.

    Never take life to seriously.. No one gets out alive in the end anyway.

  7. #47
    Senior Member marm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    Why? There really is good, better and bad out there.
    I can be relativistic in my thinking. When I'm thinking, I'm more directly accessing Ne(and maybe even the Thinking function) than I am Fi. However, in my direct experience there is something that corresponds to what feels like good, better, and bad... but I don't observe it as 'out there'. My analytical mind and my feeling sense of self often contradict eachother.

    It is a perceiving function so yes of course it is without judgment, but there would always be a judging function in the person's make up there somewhere or else they are locked into Neurotic Ni. It would be the same for Fi dom going on without allowing in Ne to give perspective, information and balance to any judgments
    Yes. I was speaking of Ni as theoretical pure construct, but in reality there are no such things as separate functions and everyone has all functions. The illusion of separate functions is based on our limited awareness of our own minds. I still find it useful to speak about separate functions since that is how Jungian typology is constructed.

    Partly, I was contrasting Ni to the Judging functions, but I was also contrasting it with Ne. Most specifically, I was thinking of the role it plays for INFPs vs INFJs.

    Why is there an assumption made that using judgment means all sides won't be considered?
    Its not an assumptioin for me. Its my experience. When I use judgment(which I'm not equating with Judging functions), its more difficult for me to clearly see all sides. If you're experience is different, then that is fine.

    However, eventually one has to make judgments to decide where the truths are and which ones are valid and which are not. Why the assumption that using judgment to decide what is better or not in a given situation means only two sides? I am just saying that there has to be judgment used to discern these truths.
    Its also my experience that its easy for the human mind to fall into dualistic thinking that categorizes everything into two sides. This doesn't have to be this way, but its easy to do. I'm not saying judgment is bad. I use judgment all of the time.

    However, my Perceiving nature makes me feel resistant to come to conclusions easily, and I'm always questioning the conclusions I've previously come to. I'm a very indecisive person, and I feel uncomfortable about committing myself to anything.

    They too often try to undermine a person's sense of judgment and encourage an escape into a place where there is no bad or evil allowed to be percieved, it is all goodness and light. Life is not like that. The material world is not like that.
    I have a different perspective of the new age. I was raised in New Thought Christianity which is one of the precursors of new age. My parents are very conservative TJs. My ISTJ mom is very much into positive thinking and yet is the most practical person I know. She has absolutely no problem accepting the problems of life. New Thought Christianity is often referred to as practical Christianity because its about making your life better here and now. This is probably why it appeals to my mom.

    I have met the kind of people who you're describing, and I'm equally critical of those light chasers. As for me, despite my being raised with positive thinking, I'm very obsessed with the suffering and problems of the world.

    How does Fi discern what is authentic without using judgment?
    My Fi is a general feeling that is always playing in the background, but I don't identify it with specific judgments. I've found I feel the most authentic when I'm not judging other people or other aspects of myself inauthentic. Does that make sense?

    Which isn't to say I don't judge myself and others all of the time. I prefer the word discernment over judgment because it captures for me the feeling of my Fi. My use of Fi feels like a subtle and slow process(like the Taoist idea of letting the mud settle). The word choice of discernment over judgment may just be a personal preference. Maybe we're talking about the same thing.

    Situations in my life are often uncertain, my own physical energy extremely uncertain but my own internal world must be certain, I must discern what is authentic and what is not for me. Otherwise how might I understand how to guide my own behavior in this world?
    I don't know. I haven't figured out that one yet. I often find myself reacting to life which I realize isn't the healthiest of behaviors.

    How can value judgements (Fi) be made without differentiation?
    Differentiation is necessary, but its only the first step.

    There is a difference between seeing one's self as a completed work as "good human" and wanting to strive for the greatest possible authenticity in one's self and one's actions. I am very human but that does not mean I should not stop trying to be as true to my own internal judgment in my actions as possible. Without having that to strive for, what is the point to even being in this mess of a world? Might as well pack it all up and give up. That's how strongly I see the issue. My life's purpose is to be as close to what my own internal sense of judgment dictates I should be, I must strive for it, reach for it, even knowing I may never reach it.
    You seem to be doing a good job of describing me here. Being true to my internal sense is the only way I know how to be human.

    I am not sure why using internal judgement to guide our way through the world needs to be associated with righteousness. I need to discern what I see as right and wrong to guide my own actions. When I see myself falling short I need to pull up and get with it. Of course if I am falling short it is not going to feel great but just need to remember that I am human and that I am striving for perfection, I am never going to make but I also need to remember that I cannot give up the striving or I shall be lost to a sense of purpose in this life.
    I'm sure Fi can be used without falling into righteousness, and that is why we need the balance of other functions. Nonetheless, it isn't something I've perfected. I can be very hard on myself and very hard on others. My ideals, hopes, and expectations can be a bit unrealistic. I'm never satisfied with life as it is, and part of me wishes I could just relax and be more accepting and contented. Striving gives me purpose and it tires me out. What is an INFP to do?

  8. #48
    `~~Philosoflying~~` SillySapienne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    How often do you get knocked off your NF "I'm a good person" OR "I'm a caring, compassionate, giving, benevolent etc. etc.," pedestal? How far is the fall to the ground?

    How do you react when you're in a situation that forces you to confront aspects of yourself that contradict your idea(ls) of who you are and who you really are?
    I am constantly thinking about who I am, and why I am the way I am, and why I do, believe, feel and think the things I do. I rarely, if ever shock myself.

  9. #49
    Senior Member tovlo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    In my mind the next question would be can you really ever know yourself? Which it seems like some posters do. People are enigmas to themselves and to have a higher than expected percentage of people say that how they view themselves and how they are aren't far off is a little surprising to me. How often I've asked others and myself "Why did you do that? Why are you like this?" and I get a "I don't know." Even speaking to some older people retrospecting over certain events of their life, I've gotten that same response.

    It's like whenever I hear a recording of my voice, I know it's me but I'm not used to hearing the sound of my voice when it's not reverberating through my ears. It's always a little surprising and I think to myself is that my voice? I figured it would be the same thing when thinking about the real vs. imagined you.
    I seem to have a strong awareness of my inability to really know the depths of myself. Of course I have great self-knowledge, but I'm aware that there are places I don't know--likely places I will never know. That awareness that I believe I have tends to manifest in either a lack of confidence in my expression or a humility in expression depending on what perspective you choose to view my behavior from.

    On another forum someone posed a question similar to this and I answered it innocently with my assumption that people will always have places hidden from their awareness to be discovered and that I was no different. I received feedback that my expression was felt to be invalidation of the experience of those who felt they knew themselves well and didn't feel the presence of those dark unknown places within themselves. I admit I was truly suprised by this and felt bad for assuming other's experience was the same as my own. I have since tried to adjust my experience to accept that maybe there are those who really do know themselves well and do not experience an awareness of dark unknown places inside. It just now occurs to me that perhaps I actually know myself better than I believe and my experience of dark, unknown places is just an illusion. Perhaps all I don't know of myself is how completely I actually do know myself?

    Time to leave...my head hurts.
    "We don't see things as they are,
    we see things as we are."
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  10. #50
    Senior Member marm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tovlo View Post
    I seem to have a strong awareness of my inability to really know the depths of myself. Of course I have great self-knowledge, but I'm aware that there are places I don't know--likely places I will never know. That awareness that I believe I have tends to manifest in either a lack of confidence in my expression or a humility in expression depending on what perspective you choose to view my behavior from.

    On another forum someone posed a question similar to this and I answered it innocently with my assumption that people will always have places hidden from their awareness to be discovered and that I was no different. I received feedback that my expression was felt to be invalidation of the experience of those who felt they knew themselves well and didn't feel the presence of those dark unknown places within themselves. I admit I was truly suprised by this and felt bad for assuming other's experience was the same as my own. I have since tried to adjust my experience to accept that maybe there are those who really do know themselves well and do not experience an awareness of dark unknown places inside. It just now occurs to me that perhaps I actually know myself better than I believe and my experience of dark, unknown places is just an illusion. Perhaps all I don't know of myself is how completely I actually do know myself?

    Time to leave...my head hurts.
    I really have no idea how well I know myself. It seems an endless endeavor. There are some aspects that seem clear to me, but there is much much more that isn't. My self-understanding has increased with age and so have my doubts. There is a core certainty in me though which might be different than your experience.

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