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  1. #1
    Senior Member wedekit's Avatar
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    Default Stress and Retaining Detailed Information

    "What are possible stressors for INFJs? Well, being forced to learn or retain vast amounts of detailed information can often have that affect."
    - Myers-Briggs: INFJs, ESTPs, and Stress; Strong Interest: Investigative Types In-Depth; FIRO-B: Leadership Patterns - Inclusion

    So, I'm basically in this boat at the moment. My classes this semester are ridiculously hard because they require me to read large quantities of literature in between classes and at the same time remember minute details throughout the text. I see this problem addressed by the quote, and so now I am looking for a solution. I didn't want to limit this topic to just INFJs, because I'm sure other NFs have problems with this. I am insanely stressed this semester because I am slowly having to give up any time I try to have for myself to study.


    When I am reading something I truly don't pay attention to every detail, I'm more concentrating on seeing how all of what I am reading fits together as a whole. My teachers believe they aren't being very unreasonable at all in what they are requiring from us, so I can't really do anything but find a different way to go about memorizing all this crap. I normally try to go over the readings twice, but I still can't manage to do well on their quizzes. I should probably mention these quizzes ask questions over material mentioned in the text that is not relevant to our class and will never be brought up in the lectures. In particular, it is in my Metaphysics and Modern Challenges to Christianity Classes. The latter is more about the history of science, and I have little interest in science, making it harder for me to concentrate on it.

    Anyone have a similar experience with trying to retain detailed information and can offer me some advice or guidance?
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by wedekit View Post
    "What are possible stressors for INFJs? Well, being forced to learn or retain vast amounts of detailed information can often have that affect."
    - Myers-Briggs: INFJs, ESTPs, and Stress; Strong Interest: Investigative Types In-Depth; FIRO-B: Leadership Patterns - Inclusion

    So, I'm basically in this boat at the moment. My classes this semester are ridiculously hard because they require me to read large quantities of literature in between classes and at the same time remember minute details throughout the text. I see this problem addressed by the quote, and so now I am looking for a solution. I didn't want to limit this topic to just INFJs, because I'm sure other NFs have problems with this. I am insanely stressed this semester because I am slowly having to give up any time I try to have for myself to study.


    When I am reading something I truly don't pay attention to every detail, I'm more concentrating on seeing how all of what I am reading fits together as a whole. My teachers believe they aren't being very unreasonable at all in what they are requiring from us, so I can't really do anything but find a different way to go about memorizing all this crap. I normally try to go over the readings twice, but I still can't manage to do well on their quizzes. I should probably mention these quizzes ask questions over material mentioned in the text that is not relevant to our class and will never be brought up in the lectures. In particular, it is in my Metaphysics and Modern Challenges to Christianity Classes. The latter is more about the history of science, and I have little interest in science, making it harder for me to concentrate on it.

    Anyone have a similar experience with trying to retain detailed information and can offer me some advice or guidance?
    I had the same problem and am sorry to hear this teaching method is still going on. The solution rests on your text and the teacher. If the text has a study section at the end of the chapter, hit those points.. write down and commit to memory everything surrounding them. If the teacher stresses it (however fleetingly) or writes it in class, hit those points and do the same. True, you aren't going to retain it long, but cram what you wrote as needed. Hope that helps... that's the only way I got through those rinky dink memorization classes.

  3. #3
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    ...sleep and memory are correlated
    The role of sleep in memory

    when I read I'll skim and look at the headings of the different sections and focus on all those 'summary' sections if they're available.

    there are also different techniques you can use for reading. There are maybe 2 or 3 chapters in How to Read a Book I found useful.

  4. #4
    Senior Member wedekit's Avatar
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    I'm not blessed with a summary or study questions sections at the back of my texts. One of my teachers even compiled his own text book which is $40 worth of photocopied excerpts from various random sources and are over various random topics.

    It drives me insane how others are so good at this kind of studying and I can't do it. Talk about a biased teaching method. I ended up taking outline notes over one of the readings for today. I used to do this, but it takes a good deal of time for me to do it, which I don't have much of. I could have read that excerpt in less than 20 minutes, but it took me a little over an hour to read it and take notes on it. I guess I'm just going to have to find a way to make time to do this.
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    Large Member Ender's Avatar
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    No clue, if I'm not interested in it then I have a hard time focusing on it. If I'm stressed, forget about it.

    If I am interested in it then I can hyperfocus on the subject. If I get stressed, then I may as well not be interested in it.

    When it came from learning through reading I usually ended up starting from the end and only going back to the simpler defining topics at the front when I needed their input on something, I tend to struggle with the simplistic, and thrive on the complex figuring it out in my own way.

    From the sounds of the way your class is taught, I'd bomb the thing massively.
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  6. #6

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    "In particular, it is in my Metaphysics and Modern Challenges to Christianity Classes. The latter is more about the history of science, and I have little interest in science, making it harder for me to concentrate on it."

    Sometimes it helps if I discuss the concepts to someone else, like I'm trying to teach them. If you don't have anyone that wants to hear about Metaphysics, you can just talk to yourself aloud about it without using the book for a reference (I usually do this in private so no one thinks i'm crazy). It kind of helps me remember detailed information.
    Introverted (I) 57.14% Extroverted (E) 42.86%
    Intuitive (N) 66.67% Sensing (S) 33.33%
    Feeling (F) 61.54% Thinking (T) 38.46%
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    Your type is: INFJ

  7. #7
    Senior Member wedekit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desert Flower View Post
    "In particular, it is in my Metaphysics and Modern Challenges to Christianity Classes. The latter is more about the history of science, and I have little interest in science, making it harder for me to concentrate on it."

    Sometimes it helps if I discuss the concepts to someone else, like I'm trying to teach them. If you don't have anyone that wants to hear about Metaphysics, you can just talk to yourself aloud about it without using the book for a reference (I usually do this in private so no one thinks i'm crazy). It kind of helps me remember detailed information.
    The funny thing about that is that I complain about my Metaphysics class to my best friend a lot and I end up saying stuff like: "I had no idea what my teacher was talking about today! It was something about cold water and how water is really temperature neutral because cold only exists to our senses... Oh wait... I get it now... "

    I just got out of my Modern Challenges class and he told us that the quiz will be over the readings we were supposed to have read today (versus the ones from today and the ones for next class), which is a big relief since I took notes on them already.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wedekit View Post
    The funny thing about that is that I complain about my Metaphysics class to my best friend a lot and I end up saying stuff like: "I had no idea what my teacher was talking about today! It was something about cold water and how water is really temperature neutral because cold only exists to our senses... Oh wait... I get it now... "
    ...
    It may be that your auditory learning is kicking in to help you out, if you started to understand after you started saying it out loud.

    Sometimes when my husband has a problem, he can't get a solution for it until he starts describing it to me. Then while he's explaining, the solution will pop into his head.

    I'm not sure exactly how you could make this work for yourself. You might just have to sort of read your notes quietly out loud to yourself or something, or maybe read the headings in your textbooks out loud. Obviously, it would be too time consuming to do all your reading out loud.

  9. #9
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    Well, Si is an INFJs/INTJs last and WORST Cognitive Process. It'll work better when relating to certain things, especially if we've learned something similar in the past so we then 'connect' it (Ni) much easier.

    INFJs will be much better with Si in memory retention when they're learning about relative/people as they naturaly flex out Fe to 'connect' to/with others. One example is trying to help a person see the flaw in their conclusions if lacking empathy/logic. If an INFJ is getting SO MUCH new detailed info they aren't remotely familiar with, or had problems with something similar to the topic/idea, then it's a NIGHTMARE for Ti to 'make sense of'. Talking things out to others, getting out of your head (Ni relying on Ti going overdrive) might help them 'get it' a bit better. Especially if they trust the person or find that person respectful b/c the person knows the topic/idea better than they do.

    INTJs will be much better with Si in memory retention when they're learning about objective/logic as they naturally flex out Te to 'connect' to/with others. One example is trying to help a person see the flaw in their conclusions if lacking logic/reasonable feeling (not being gushy about it or it seems superficial and not made from reason). An INTJ may be better at retaining new info if THEY want to and like it + trust/respect the source/person it's coming from, as they'll then connect better to newer concepts in the future.

    As for stress points for both, not being able to 'connect-reason' (in w/e way for both) might trigger anger at being misunderstood by their good intentions in wanting to help the person. Or being criticised for 'not getting w/e' it is might upset them or knowing they can't get it so it seems like a personal attack, even if it's not a personal attack but is perceived that way. I'd say an INTJ will likely give up trying to 'connect/make sense' of people a lot faster than an INFJ would (unless the INTJ cares about the person, whole other story)

    As for INFJs, they may become critical of others AND critical towards themselves for "not getting it" which causes more stress as they feel guilty or upset about it (with people + school/work). They might not become able to better express themselves, emotionally + verbally, as Te is their 2nd last Cognitive Process. They might cave in and disconnect at a later point if it all becomes too much, or do it inbetween being stressed, highly stressed and then into depression (disconnect entirely from people/'s emotions).

    So, myself being an INFJ, I know it can be VERY trying to retain certain information if it's too technical (and UNfamiliar) in nature or I fear misunderstanding it to the point I set myself for failure. I was depressed when I started learning science in HS and as I'd always had incompetent teachers for it, plus NOT CARING to learn as I maintained 80s% + based on the info I already knew for OTHER classes thus I could connect new ones easily + quickly, I SUCKED at science. It was only NOW that I've tried learning so I could help my 15 year old INTJ sis that I found chemistry EASY and biology is making sense now--or did when I was re-learning it during that semester lol I can't even recall things about it now (Si!) but I know that if I try learning again and keep learning, I'll flex my Si to the point it won't forget. I used to be EXCELLENT in math as a kid. I really wanted my dad (math teacher) to be proud of me as I've been told I was a "daddy's girl" as a little kid (he taught me to read at age 3 etc).

    It wasn't until he became abusive + abusive when I'd ask for help in math for one question or two (smacking me for incorrect answers when I'd argue MY teacher taught me THIS way + forcing me to write the correct one out 20 times over) that I stopped caring after 'trying to keep pleasing him' (for a few more years). I stopped asking anything of him. I was only fairly decent in Math during HS (80s% to lowest 50ish% last year). My INTJ sis OTOH, when HE tried being critical (never physically abusive to her as I ensured it but just critical), she didn't so much as blink to ask again after that. She would never tolerate or even remotely try to 'connect' with him (only with me, so she'd ask me for help and not even bother with our mom).

    So, I can only say that, perhaps, if you allow yourself to 'breathe' when you feel stressed + find others to 'speak out' your thoughts to + try to connect your new info to old ones (if you can) + find relaxing methods (massage from friends/hot baths) + go at it a bit slower or take in a chunk at a time and 'strengthen that chunk' as much as you can by going over it to memorise AND understand clearly before you move onto the next new chunk of info.

    Hope I made sense/helped lol

    INTJMom, do you think I made INTJs out correctly or somewhat so based on your own experience?

    I should add, for INTJs, that it can be hard learning when younger on certain concepts if not taught by a competent or reliably trusted person or they aren't shown the good value in a concept that they may feel is not applicable in nature. My sis was very bad as a kid in school with math + english but gr.6 onwards worked hard (as she loathed it and started to care that she was 'not caring' b/c our parents were so critical of her not being 'like me') and will now be taking Gifted.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by wedekit
    I still can't manage to do well on their quizzes. I should probably mention these quizzes ask questions over material mentioned in the text that is not relevant to our class and will never be brought up in the lectures.
    Not relevant to the class? Shit lol If you can't compare it to past info, as I said prior, it'd be hard to do.

    I know when I was reading The Iliad in my Greek/Roman Mythology class that I was diligent in the beginning on being ahead and getting perfect on the quizzes (learning about PEOPLE and it's detailed, no prob! ). After a while, I became a bit lax and noticed I'd guess some things as I'd learned Mythology (of all kinds) in depth as a kid b/c I was fascinated by it. When I realised "skimming" and my marks went down (just a tiny bit), I pushed myself back on track. And made myself enjoy reading the book again (some other detailed, non-personal stuff, was hard to digest so I ran on old info and did well cheating that way )

    Do you like your courses much?


    (and crap!!! as I'd skimmed that site you linked, and skipped things but 'sensed I did something wrong'... I realised I was re-hasing INFJ stressors you already knew of LOL. But I think I expounded a bit with relation to CP...I hope...

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