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Thread: Common INFJ issues

  1. #321
    Happy Dancer Array uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    What you're describing is the "who the hell are you?" effect. It's important to note, because a person rarely has as much legitimacy with others as he may think of himself.
    Interesting that "legitimacy" would suffice in place of sound arguments.

    Another way of putting it is that those whom one is trying to convince often hold their own opinions in very high esteem, regardless of the facts of the matter.

    It also serves to explain how INTJs are often perceived as arrogant: how can we speak with such authority when we have not first established our legitimacy? INTJs have the opposite perspective: we base "legitimacy" on whether someone makes sense in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    Credentials.
    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Which don't have to be in the form of degrees.
    Yeah, I've recognized that it helps to get a "reputation" for being extremely competent. It gets rid of a lot of hassle for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    Yeah, I’m gonna guess this is just as much a Te vs. Ti issue, if not more so. It gets annoying when I’ve got someone spewing ‘facts’ at me that don’t particularly add up, at least not enough to change my course of action. I need for something to make sense- to sort of connect at both ends- before changing my course of action over it. And defending my position doesn’t happen easily because the functions I use to determine such things are introverted; so I usually just get obstinate.

    And yeah- it does work to appeal to my sense of what’s fair. But objective arguments work as well, they just have to be sound. The only reason- ever- spewing ‘facts’ doesn’t work with me is because it isn’t a convincing argument. It’s amazing to me sometimes how some people think I should be swayed by half-ass arguments. It's rarely worth putting the effort into figuring out how to articulate why an argument seems flawed. This is why it feels like Te types are perpetually trying to cram their own will down my throat.
    I think there's a Ti effect going on here. Ti is extremely resistant to being told what to think, no matter how correct. Ti insists upon figuring things out for oneself.

    The problem isn't "half-ass" arguments, per se: it's that any argument that Ti doesn't immediately understand sounds half-assed. Note that the bolded portion is where the conflict with Te begins: any Te-style argument is looking for reasonable counterarguments (though immature people will still try to "win" such exchanges). The refusal to give a counterargument sounds like stubbornness, like intransigence. What's really going on is that Ti has a hard time pinpointing logical flaws: an incorrect argument sounds 100% incorrect, even if the "flaw" is a simple misunderstanding, e.g., one person having misheard a word or holding a slightly different, but valid, definition.

    Te, on the other hand can be rather adept at finding communication errors, missing information, extraneous misleading facts, and so on.


    Agreed. I don’t care how many letters someone has behind their name: if what they’re saying doesn’t add up, then I won't go along with it.
    What if it doesn't "add up" but it sounds fair and reasonable?


    On the Te/Fi side of things, the attitude seems to be one of giving the benefit of the doubt until one proves oneself to be stupid or incompetent, while on the Fe/Ti side, the attitude appears to be one of distrusting one's competency until it's been proven. Does this conform with others' perceptions of the matter?


    Oh, and I almost forgot:
    *gives Domino a doughnut*

  2. #322
    Dreaming the life Array onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    Interesting that "legitimacy" would suffice in place of sound arguments.

    Another way of putting it is that those whom one is trying to convince often hold their own opinions in very high esteem, regardless of the facts of the matter.

    It also serves to explain how INTJs are often perceived as arrogant: how can we speak with such authority when we have not first established our legitimacy? INTJs have the opposite perspective: we base "legitimacy" on whether someone makes sense in the first place.
    It's not just that - it goes back to the reciprocity thing. We can't be certain that you're either incorrect, or that you have ulterior motives until there's a certain level of familiarity. In other words, if I'm going to put myself out there by believing you, I've got to be sure that you're either competent, or that you have good intentions. Otherwise, that's a serious potential risk.

  3. #323
    Happy Dancer Array uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    It's not just that - it goes back to the reciprocity thing. We can't be certain that you're either incorrect, or that you have ulterior motives until there's a certain level of familiarity. In other words, if I'm going to put myself out there by believing you, I've got to be sure that you're either competent, or that you have good intentions. Otherwise, that's a serious potential risk.
    I understand that, especially if you yourself aren't qualified to evaluate matters on your own. In such a case, it really is a matter of "belief."

    But from the Te perspective, it isn't a matter of belief, but of fact. I lay out the facts, you can verify them yourself, and you can even explain how my version of the facts disagrees with your version of the facts. But yes, if one isn't qualified to verify the facts or pull up one's own library of facts with which to contest the other version, one is only left with "reputation." And yes, it can also feel like bullying if one doesn't have the tools with which to refute the arguments.

    I recall a discussion I had online with a high school physics student several decades ago. He was asking about tides, and disagreeing with my explanation. In particular, I pointed out that it didn't explicitly have to do with centrifugal (or centripetal) force, but the difference in the gravitational gradient between the two sides of the earth; that one could just have the earth and moon accelerating in a straight line instead of going around each other in circles, and get the same tidal effect.

    He didn't believe me, and explained that his high school teacher said it worked that way. Eventually I mentioned that I have a Ph.D. in physics, specializing in astrophysics, and he replied, "Oh. I guess I should ask my teacher about that, again." Mentioning my credentials was the only way that he would consider that my objective, factual explanations had merit, because he didn't have a good means of evaluating or countering my statements.

    Or, in a more humorous vein:


  4. #324
    wants Mifune clone minion Array Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    I think there's a Ti effect going on here. Ti is extremely resistant to being told what to think, no matter how correct. Ti insists upon figuring things out for oneself.

    The problem isn't "half-ass" arguments, per se: it's that any argument that Ti doesn't immediately understand sounds half-assed.
    I wouldn’t call an argument half-assed if I didn’t understand it, it wouldn’t make sense to try to rate something that I don’t understand. This might be in conjunction with Ni, but quite often I’ll often immediately pick up on weak spots. I’ll recognize there’s something questionable about how the ‘facts’ are put together. Sometimes it is indeed very half-assed, because the person is just thinking out loud. It takes a lot of effort to articulate a counter-argument: if someone isn’t willing to put much effort into trimming the fat before bringing it to me, I don’t see why I should put much effort into it either.

    Note that the bolded portion is where the conflict with Te begins: any Te-style argument is looking for reasonable counterarguments (though immature people will still try to "win" such exchanges). The refusal to give a counterargument sounds like stubbornness, like intransigence.
    I generally only mirror the amount of intransigence I’m dealing with.

    What's really going on is that Ti has a hard time pinpointing logical flaws: an incorrect argument sounds 100% incorrect, even if the "flaw" is a simple misunderstanding, e.g., one person having misheard a word or holding a slightly different, but valid, definition.
    I can see some truth in this. For example, I’ll dismiss someone’s argument if I catch them opening it with a couple of fallacies, or if the person is somehow demonstrating they don’t fully understand what they’re saying (i.e. if someone is arguing the importance of animal rights- but they’re doing this while wearing leather shoes and scarfing down two big macs). So yeah, I do throw the baby out with the bath water sometimes.

    What if it doesn't "add up" but it sounds fair and reasonable?
    I’m not really seeing the difference. I mean, I recognize there’s a difference between an objective argument and a subjective plea- but all I need is for whatever course of action to ‘make sense’ to me. And if the subjective plea ‘makes sense’ to me, then what the person is saying “adds up”.


    On the Te/Fi side of things, the attitude seems to be one of giving the benefit of the doubt until one proves oneself to be stupid or incompetent, while on the Fe/Ti side, the attitude appears to be one of distrusting one's competency until it's been proven. Does this conform with others' perceptions of the matter?
    I always sort of test people as I’m getting to know them, to find out how reasonable they are. Like I wrote above, I usually end up mirroring the amount of effort someone is willing to put into dialogue. I always give people a chance at first, though. I only regularly dismiss those who’ve demonstrated they are more interested in being heard or being ‘right’ than forming a dialogical synthesis with another person.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

    5w4 sx/sp Johari / Nohari

  5. #325
    Dreaming the life Array onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    I understand that, especially if you yourself aren't qualified to evaluate matters on your own. In such a case, it really is a matter of "belief."

    But from the Te perspective, it isn't a matter of belief, but of fact. I lay out the facts, you can verify them yourself, and you can even explain how my version of the facts disagrees with your version of the facts. But yes, if one isn't qualified to verify the facts or pull up one's own library of facts with which to contest the other version, one is only left with "reputation." And yes, it can also feel like bullying if one doesn't have the tools with which to refute the arguments.

    I recall a discussion I had online with a high school physics student several decades ago. He was asking about tides, and disagreeing with my explanation. In particular, I pointed out that it didn't explicitly have to do with centrifugal (or centripetal) force, but the difference in the gravitational gradient between the two sides of the earth; that one could just have the earth and moon accelerating in a straight line instead of going around each other in circles, and get the same tidal effect.

    He didn't believe me, and explained that his high school teacher said it worked that way. Eventually I mentioned that I have a Ph.D. in physics, specializing in astrophysics, and he replied, "Oh. I guess I should ask my teacher about that, again." Mentioning my credentials was the only way that he would consider that my objective, factual explanations had merit, because he didn't have a good means of evaluating or countering my statements.
    The problem with "just the facts" is that it's never just about the facts - they have to have meaning. Either you take him down the path you took, or you use credentials to assure him that you're not lying in some way.

    Why doesn't that seem "OK" to you?

  6. #326
    Happy Dancer Array uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    The problem with "just the facts" is that it's never just about the facts - they have to have meaning. Either you take him down the path you took, or you use credentials to assure him that you're not lying in some way.

    Why doesn't that seem "OK" to you?
    To Te, there is no "meaning" beyond the facts. You can verify the facts for yourself.

    Here's another real life story. A fellow developer is asking me to explain why I'm handling time zones in a particular way (save everything as GMT, convert to/from timezones as needed). After about 2 hours of discussion, I determine that he has assumed that the "datetime" variable types of the db server and the web server languages also store "time zone" info. He is absolutely certain of this. Upon figuring this out, I spend the next 2 hours explaining that no, the datetime variable types do not store time zone info. For the entire 2 hours, he's insisting that they do. I explain that he can look it all up himself, and he still insists that they do. Eventually, he realizes that he can write some test code to see if it does. His test code demonstrates that the variable types do not store time zone info as he thought. (He thought that they did because XML date time data can also have time zone info, and thus all languages did.)

    Note that there was no "meaning" here other than the factual statement "datetime data types do not store time zone data." All the other person had to do was verify that or disprove it. Instead, he simply insisted that it was wrong, in part because he didn't trust my evaluation (he doesn't trust anyone's evaluations except for his own, no matter his experience with them). The Te response would have been "Are you sure? OK, let me check that out." And then reply either "Oh, OK, your facts check out," or "Hmm, I tried thus-and-such, and either I'm misunderstanding you or you are incorrect."

    This is a key thing for Fe types to understand with respect to Te types: we really are just talking about the facts, with no extra "meeeaaaannninnnngggg". In the examples I give, I'm just explaining how the tides work, or that a variable type doesn't have particular behavior. The facts "prove themselves" in the Te understanding. The other person is supposed to validate the facts, or simply say "Oh, yeah, that's right, duh, I forgot" or something similar, or present facts that disprove the initial statement. This is similar to how Fe is supposed to validate values, make sure that one's own values conform to the group's, and so on. The difference is that Te is doing this with facts, not values.

    Lying generally doesn't become an issue. The facts speak for themselves. The accurate presentation of facts is what establishes your credentials. On the fly. Your Te listeners will quickly point out anything you say that is bogus. They may or may not think that you are "lying," but they will certainly know whether what you are saying is incorrect!

    As for why it's "not OK," there is kind of a sense of "honor," here, where unless there is a very real reason to be suspicious (e.g., there's a lot of money involved, or other motivation to misrepresent the facts), you are insulting the Te person by distrusting their version of facts. It's OK to disagree with their facts, to offer other facts and data that disprove their analysis, or even to point out the error in their analysis that makes their argument entirely invalid. It's OK to say they're wrong, but it's not OK to say they're lying.

  7. #327
    Dreaming the life Array onemoretime's Avatar
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    I still feel like we haven't gotten exactly to the bottom of "why that's not OK"

    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    To Te, there is no "meaning" beyond the facts. You can verify the facts for yourself.

    Here's another real life story. A fellow developer is asking me to explain why I'm handling time zones in a particular way (save everything as GMT, convert to/from timezones as needed). After about 2 hours of discussion, I determine that he has assumed that the "datetime" variable types of the db server and the web server languages also store "time zone" info. He is absolutely certain of this. Upon figuring this out, I spend the next 2 hours explaining that no, the datetime variable types do not store time zone info. For the entire 2 hours, he's insisting that they do. I explain that he can look it all up himself, and he still insists that they do. Eventually, he realizes that he can write some test code to see if it does. His test code demonstrates that the variable types do not store time zone info as he thought. (He thought that they did because XML date time data can also have time zone info, and thus all languages did.)
    Wouldn't it have saved a whole bunch of time if you just showed him the relevant authoritative info, or written the test code that demonstrated the principle?

    Note that there was no "meaning" here other than the factual statement "datetime data types do not store time zone data." All the other person had to do was verify that or disprove it. Instead, he simply insisted that it was wrong, in part because he didn't trust my evaluation (he doesn't trust anyone's evaluations except for his own, no matter his experience with them). The Te response would have been "Are you sure? OK, let me check that out." And then reply either "Oh, OK, your facts check out," or "Hmm, I tried thus-and-such, and either I'm misunderstanding you or you are incorrect."
    You do a good job of making it seem perfectly reasonable, but as evidenced by the exchange above, the other person may not have perceived it as reasonable whatsoever. Now, it may be because he's self-absorbed, as you assert, but might there be another explanation that doesn't lay the blame entirely at his feet?

    This is a key thing for Fe types to understand with respect to Te types: we really are just talking about the facts, with no extra "meeeaaaannninnnngggg". In the examples I give, I'm just explaining how the tides work, or that a variable type doesn't have particular behavior. The facts "prove themselves" in the Te understanding. The other person is supposed to validate the facts, or simply say "Oh, yeah, that's right, duh, I forgot" or something similar, or present facts that disprove the initial statement. This is similar to how Fe is supposed to validate values, make sure that one's own values conform to the group's, and so on. The difference is that Te is doing this with facts, not values.
    You may be talking about just the facts, but there always is contextual meaning. Even things like voice tone, facial movements, and general demeanor otherwise around the person informs your statement, and injects shades of meaning, even if unintentional. The person is "supposed" to engage you as if you were another human being, and not a machine spitting out data, so you can't blame him if he does precisely that.

    Lying generally doesn't become an issue. The facts speak for themselves. The accurate presentation of facts is what establishes your credentials. On the fly. Your Te listeners will quickly point out anything you say that is bogus. They may or may not think that you are "lying," but they will certainly know whether what you are saying is incorrect!
    Where you say "is bogus", I think it is more accurately represented "they believe to be bogus." No one on this planet is in absolute possession of correct knowledge, no matter how well-read or informed that person may be. It also takes a lot of maturity to say "I was completely wrong", even if presented with contradictory, verifiable data... for anyone. It's just as easy to say "you clearly don't understand what I'm speaking to" as it is to reanalyze one's own data patterns. And that's not limited to one type, either.

    As for why it's "not OK," there is kind of a sense of "honor," here, where unless there is a very real reason to be suspicious (e.g., there's a lot of money involved, or other motivation to misrepresent the facts), you are insulting the Te person by distrusting their version of facts. It's OK to disagree with their facts, to offer other facts and data that disprove their analysis, or even to point out the error in their analysis that makes their argument entirely invalid. It's OK to say they're wrong, but it's not OK to say they're lying.
    See, this is the part that bugs me. Someone else absolutely has a right to say "I don't believe you", even if they're wrong. In that circumstance, they'll just have to deal with the consequences of their inaccuracy, but often, that's not that devastating. There is no onus on them to contradict your argument, but rather, the burden of persuasion is on you if you're trying to persuade! It surely would be nice if the facts spoke for themselves, but they very rarely do, because unfortunately, we don't have facts - we have subjective perceptions of fact.

    When you show credentials, demonstrate principles or appeal to authority, it's not because you're incapable of perceiving the facts. It's simply because for whatever reason, the other person may see things differently, and what's more, until you've established a reputation for seeing things correctly, the other person has no reason to believe that the way you see things is any better than the way he does.

  8. #328
    Senior Member Array Tiltyred's Avatar
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    In the end, though, it doesn't really matter. If we don't believe you, we generally don't say so, because it's pointless to argue with someone you don't believe, and we don't like to argue anyway. "Credentials" is a metaphor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    Yeah, I've recognized that it helps to get a "reputation" for being extremely competent. It gets rid of a lot of hassle for me.
    This is about the best course of action for Ni's. "Just trust me" doesn't get you very far unless, well, the other person can trust you, via your reputation.

  10. #330
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    Onemoretime stated exactly what I was thinking as I read your post, umlauu - instead of telling him over and over again that you were right about the time zones, why not provide the sources and appropriate evidence. He will then decide if he thinks your sources are reliable, but it is not up to him to waste his time looking up something when you have not given him enough reason to be sure that you are qualified to know better or you have access to information he hasn't considered.

    I would agree that the burden is on you as a persuader to come up with convincing evidence, rather than the other person as a listen to come up with a convincing counter-argument. They didn't seek out your help. If your help is relevant and necessary, you need to tell them why. (Eg "If you are mistaken on this, here's how it will negatively effect x, y and z".) Then you've given them motivation to care! Similarly, if I know that you have more background than me and are a credible person, then I am more likely to trust you than if you have the same information than me and have just arrived at a different conclusion.

    I also agree with Z Buck about only mirroring the intransigence level we feel from someone else. This is why I reacted as I did to EW. The more force she was going to use without considering relevant information that would affect her conclusion, the less willing I was going to be to consider what she had to say. Just an acknowledgement that she was taking it into account and how would have changed the reaction considerably.

    This brings up another issue. I think for INFJs, they need to be given a little bit of time to synthesize new information into their thought structure and decide if it makes sense there or not. That will not happen immediately in one conversation and makes us reluctant to present or argue information in the way that is natural to a Te user. The other day, Arclight and I were discussing the possibility that his personality may be different than he had previously believed. I responded initially with skepticism because the two types were very differently driven and motivated. We discussed the possibility of shadow functions etc. After him telling some more, I responded by saying "Perhaps, then." He took it as me feeling passionately that he was the original type. In this case, it meant, "Hmm, you have access to more information than me. It didn't look that way initially, but there is some information I didn't factor in. What d'ya know, you just might be that after all." I usually need enough time to think something over before I'm going to state anything in certain terms, especially if it's quite a bit different from my previous belief, but it doesn't always mean that I'm closed to the information or that I am emotionally invested in hanging onto the old way.

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