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  1. #1
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Default Learning by painful experience, or just observing the mistakes of others...

    I have a feeling that INFJs are quite willing to learn from the painful experiences they undergo, but they wouldn't necessarily take the approach that you have to try things out and get personally burnt to learn lessons. Well, that's more where I come from. There are a lot of things I don't regret not trying. For instance, I have issues on both a moral and a health level with taking drugs, and so I've never felt the need to experiment. Occasionally I may have wondered what it would be like but beyond a bit of curiosity I have no regrets in that area.

    I imagine that many others - this is generalizing, but I'd imagine ExxPs, or SPs - might feel the need more to try everything out and learn by their own experiences.

    Not that I'm averse to living life and learning lessons. I think I've done plenty of that, particularly in the realm of human relationships. But I'm not particularly a fan of getting burnt.

    I guess the good thing for me about learning really painful lessons or undergoing really hard experiences has been that I can empathize more with those who are going through something bad, even if it is self-inflicted. And hopefully I learn lessons myself over how to handle things better in future. On the other hand, I have had experiences (mainly relating to emotional disappointments and people letting me down) which have felt so excruciatingly, blindingly painful that I almost feel as though the lessons learnt haven't been worth it. It may have taken me years to work through the pain and completely come out the other side and realise that I learned something valuable. It almost wasn't worth the pain. The pain is so debilitating that I would rather have learned the lesson second-hand, even if I don't learn it as well, or even if what I have learned is less useful to myself and others.

    How do you feel about this? How do you feel that it is related to type?
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  2. #2
    Certified Sausage Smoker Elfboy's Avatar
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    I think your approach also has to do with being self preservation. I know that I despise being hurt (especially physically) because of this. my approach is somewhere in the middle. I prefer to learn and life at the same time, but check first to make sure that I am in a safe environment where the consequences of making mistakes will not have a negative effect on me.
    in general, I would guess that the learning style of various types looks like this:
    SP- live, then learn
    NJ- learn, then live
    NP- live and learn simultaneously
    SJ- get advice from an expert, live, learn

  3. #3
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    I think your approach also has to do with being self preservation. I know that I despise being hurt (especially physically) because of this. my approach is somewhere in the middle. I prefer to learn and life at the same time, but check first to make sure that I am in a safe environment where the consequences of making mistakes will not have a negative effect on me.
    in general, I would guess that the learning style of various types looks like this:
    SP- live, then learn
    NJ- learn, then live
    NP- live and learn simultaneously
    SJ- get advice from an expert, live, learn
    The SJ one made me chuckle a bit

    Yeah, you're right, it has a lot to do with self-preservation. I guess it's Fe, but I try to preserve a friendly and placid approach to other people. I feel it's the right thing to do and that it just smooths so many things out in so many ways. But sometimes I wonder if it has more to do with being a kind of pre-emptive strike. If I'm nice to people, maybe they won't hurt me...that sort of thing. It's almost more selfish.

    My fear mainly has to do with emotional hurt. And I know that it has become a fear. I wonder if it will be a problem if/when I get into a relationship again (it's been a while). I don't mean so much that I would have a hard time being emotionally open to a relationship. It's more than I actually find myself too easily placing myself in a situation where I am over-invested emotionally in a person, perhaps far more than they are in me, or to the extent that I have laid myself open to hurt. At that stage I'm likely to bury my head in the sand to the possible consequences. It's like self-preservation but a bit too late. I don't want to see that things are going badly, or I hang in there too long. Ultimately the pain is worse when there's a breakup, rejection, betrayal, letdown, whatever it may be.

    Hm, I think I'm digressing from the original purpose of the thread and rambling.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Sometimes I learn by watching TV. Sometime's it's rock songs. God is in the radio. Maybe I want to avoid something because I'd start resembling some goober I saw in a movie once. I swear, some people make mistakes simply because they didn't watch Caddyshack 2. Sometimes it's pounded in my head just how much certain archetypes suck. You might see the same basic character over and over again in different stories, and he's never going to win with his methods. Never.. it's a law of the universe. He will end up on his ass with a pie in the face, and everyone else high fiving each other. Cut to credits.

    Seriously though, I've made a lot of mistakes, of course. I don't repeat much though. I'll search for an ideal path after I've fallen down. I don't want to say that I make mountains out of molehills, but sometimes it seems like I dwell a bit more than some I know on various experiences and events around me. I also draw a lot of lessons from other people's stories. I might overhear a tragic story of someone I barely knew, and still get something out of it. I feel kind of weird at times.. I might even write a song about them. I've been in the same room with people who've heard the same stories, yet they end up making up similar mistakes themselves. I don't get it.

  5. #5
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    Sometimes I learn by watching TV. Sometime's it's rock songs. God is in the radio. Maybe I want to avoid something because I'd start resembling some goober I saw in a movie once. I swear, some people make mistakes simply because they didn't watch Caddyshack 2. Sometimes it's pounded in my head just how much certain archetypes suck. You might see the same basic character over and over again in different stories, and he's never going to win with his methods. Never.. it's a law of the universe. He will end up on his ass with a pie in the face, and everyone else high fiving each other. Cut to credits.

    Seriously though, I've made a lot of mistakes, of course. I don't repeat much though. I'll search for an ideal path after I've fallen down. I don't want to say that I make mountains out of molehills, but sometimes it seems like I dwell a bit more than some I know on various experiences and events around me. I also draw a lot of lessons from other people's stories. I might overhear a tragic story of someone I barely knew, and still get something out of it. I feel kind of weird at times.. I might even write a song about them. I've been in the same room with people who've heard the same stories, yet they end up making up similar mistakes themselves. I don't get it.
    Ah, the wisdom of rock music. I love it too, though maybe a lot of it is just escapism. But there are lines/themes that will just jump out at you. I find the same with poetry and literature generally.

    It's great that you find you don't repeat your mistakes a lot. I find that there are some emotional mistakes I tend to repeat but that may be partly because the paths which lead me into them are different enough that I don't realise I'm kind of doing the same old thing. It's maybe discerning where things are likely to go, that may be partly what I need to work on.
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  6. #6
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    I have a feeling that INFJs are quite willing to learn from the painful experiences they undergo, but they wouldn't necessarily take the approach that you have to try things out and get personally burnt to learn lessons. Well, that's more where I come from. There are a lot of things I don't regret not trying. For instance, I have issues on both a moral and a health level with taking drugs, and so I've never felt the need to experiment. Occasionally I may have wondered what it would be like but beyond a bit of curiosity I have no regrets in that area.

    I imagine that many others - this is generalizing, but I'd imagine ExxPs, or SPs - might feel the need more to try everything out and learn by their own experiences.
    That's definitely me. I've always been a careful person in this regard. I felt like I was the only teen listening in seriously in health class when the teacher mentioned about all the adverse effects drugs could have. It stopped me from trying them. Most of the other students didn't seem to take it seriously, instead adopting a "It will never happen to me mentality."

    Same goes with smoking and unprotected sex. Didn't have a need to experiment with those either.

    I would never just quit a job because I didn't like it anymore without being sure I had another one lined up. The work environment would have to be very toxic for me to consider doing that.



    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    I think your approach also has to do with being self preservation. I know that I despise being hurt (especially physically) because of this. my approach is somewhere in the middle. I prefer to learn and life at the same time, but check first to make sure that I am in a safe environment where the consequences of making mistakes will not have a negative effect on me.
    in general, I would guess that the learning style of various types looks like this:
    SP- live, then learn
    NJ- learn, then live
    NP- live and learn simultaneously
    SJ- get advice from an expert, live, learn
    I think this pretty accurate depiction. FWIW I see myself most in the NJ one. I sort of relate to the NP one. I like to experiment provided I know that should I make mistakes they won't have adverse long term effects.
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  7. #7
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfboy View Post
    NJ- learn, then live
    There is something to this, but another possibility is: learn, then watch someone else live. I was going to write that I have learned much from the mistakes of others, which spared me having to make them myself, but upon reflection it seems to be more than this. I have often been able to predict the negative consequences of choices (e.g. drugs, quitting a job before having another, etc.), so when I observe the experiences of others, I am simply validating an existing theory. After all this, by the time I take action myself, I am fairly well informed. Moreover, after learning to trust my theories (for the most part), I can short-circuit the process and engage much more quickly. Not to say I never make my own mistakes, but I have been spared many of the worst ones through reflection and foresight.

  8. #8
    Senior Member chachamaru's Avatar
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    Too much credit is given to the INFJ.
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  9. #9
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    I always thought I should be able to learn from others' mistakes as a strategy for living well. It's true for some things. But waiting and watching is also somewhat at odds with wanting to experience life. What I fear more than being in emotional pain due to saying yes to an experience, is dealing with the regret of not doing a thing and not taking a chance. It feels like a war inside between those two factions, and so I just take things on a case by case basis. I tell myself that I can only decide what I think is best at the time and if something painful comes of it, so be it, that's the risk associated with living a full life. Painful experiences are often valuable and can be character building if I allow them to be. (<--- I know that sounds hollow but it comforts me after the fact).

    I try not to have a mindset whereby a mistake is always bad or avoidable. Softens the impact of certain experiences.

  10. #10
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Ni tends to be mistake avoidant I think. It tries to preview and predict outcomes and take the best possible route that it can see.

    Fe usually also wants to weigh cost vs outcome. Therefore, I believe INFJs tend to want to avoid mistakes when possible and suck all the useful stuff out of them when they happen (and disseminate what they've learned to others).

    I wouldn't agree with the broad generalizations about each of the four types. I do think though that NTs would be more likely to experiment first hand for intellectual and investigative purposes, although if they had a particular reason to not want to pursue a course of action, they would have no qualms about standing out. SPs do tend to go with the flow more and not worry as much about what will happen in the future. I think while SJs are ask the experts on some things, they are more likely to do whatever is normal to do within the social group that they are involved with. Therefore, their actions could vary quite greatly, depending on who they are around.

    Most of the P types I know are reactive instead of preventative. They are less likely to expend energy on preparing contingency plans for something that isn't a problem yet. Many J types are more likely to want to look at some sort of preventative measures and are more deliberate about a lot of decisions.

    ENFPs of my acquaintance seem to be pretty free spirity, I'll-try-anything-once types.

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