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  1. #1
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Default Your environment, cities, landscapes, how they affect you

    Not an NF-specific question, wasn't sure where to post though.

    I think sometimes about the places we live in and how they affect us and perhaps specifically how they affect us based on personality type, too. I'm an INFJ but I feel certain that if I didn't live in London I would be different in many ways. I love London but it warps you as well. I feel it has brought out the best and worst in me. It's brought out the inner ESTP at least from time to time. The shadow that wants to go out and party and be very very blunt... London makes me angry, I live on a shorter fuse than I used to. It frustrates me. But...with all that I have gone deeper into myself and deeper with others than I think I would have in many other places. I've known so many different people, had so many experiences that have meant so much to me. I feel like all at the same time it has made me tougher, harder, more understanding, more empathetic.

    Any thoughts?
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  2. #2
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    Living in England transformed me. There I learned to be very stressed and angry. I have never withdrawn myself as much as I had to when I was there.
    Too crowded, too fast too dirty and I found the people somewhat morally hedonistic. Don't get me wrong, I like food , sex and intoxication as much as the next person. But not at the expense of my humanity.
    I am still recovering from it.

    Ottawa also affects me. It's almost the opposite. I become too laid back and indifferent. Something happens to myself esteem in this town that is not good.


    I guess I am saying I relate and I feel your environment plays a role in your state of emotional and mental health.

  3. #3
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    I hear you about England... I think it makes a lot of people hard and hedonistic.

    There is something about London though. Well, so many things. I read Peter Ackroyd's book about London a while ago and adored it. He is into psychogeography, which fascinates me. How people are influenced by the places they live and how they influence the places and how certain threads carry on in places through the centuries. I read a bit of the book and thought "this guy has exactly the vision of London that I have." It's dark, it's hidden, it's seductive and a bit frightening, it is an entity of its own with its own personality and the currents that run through it push people to do things that they might not otherwise do, both good and bad. It was exactly the book I would have chosen to write about London, if I were a genius historian, of course.

    But sometimes I feel that London is like an abusive relationship. It mashes me into the ground repeatedly in various ways and just when I think I can't take any more, I have some extraordinary human or cultural experience that I wouldn't have anywhere else and it's like the city brought me flowers and chocolates. Over and over.
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    I remember that feeling of romance..lol
    I guess the UK just broke my heart one time too many.
    And all the chocolates in the world weren't going to fix it.
    There was a time I thought I would never want to leave.

    I am actually considering Toronto if you can believe that. As a native Montrealer it almost feels like betrayal

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    Yes, I am very much affected by my environment. I cannot bear to live in certain places (for example, never moving back to Vegas, though I can thank it for strengthening my Te and toughening me up in a way my mother - and other people in WV - found shocking.)

    People in WV tend to be nice. Of course there are some mean people or criminals there, but for the most part, people in WV are some of the nicest people I've met in the world. They still relate to other human beings on a small scale, perhaps comparable to a tribal or at least village level, which is why they're so kind, considerate, etc.

    Large cities tend to bring out the worst in people, because people begin to be viewed as competition or objects rather than tribal members, simply because there are so many freaking people.

    However, you'll notice that people in L.A. aren't as angry as people in Vegas, and aren't as reserved as people from New York.

    Your location definitely shapes who you are...however, I am of the opinion that some people are more sensitive to their environment than others. I am one of those sensitive people.

  6. #6
    Another awesome member. Curator's Avatar
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    im definitely affected a lot by the environment im living in, I dont do well in most larger cities... I dont mind the people, I just dislike all the concrete... btw, all this talk of england and the affect it has on people, is making me rather nervous for my friend who is planning on moving there,lol
    You are not powerless, you just need to accept your power for what it is, a part of the whole, no one man can save the world, but you can be a light to those who envelope themselves in darkness, The candle that sparks the inferno.

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    Senior Member mochajava's Avatar
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    Ooh, I like these types of questions. I think that environments do affect you. I've lived in a lot of US east coast cities, and I think that...

    1) I hate the cold / gray weather. I'm sure I have some mild seasonal affective disorder or something.

    2) I neeeeeeed the cultural stimulation (plays, events, talks) provided by cities. Also, being an immigrant and minority, I don't think rural anywhere is really an option for someone like me.

    I guess I'm strongly in favor of warm, liveable cities. I'd like to explore the west coast cities of the US mainly because people there seem so much more laid back about things, the weather is okay, and there is SUCH GOOD FOOD from all parts of the world. Oh, and people from all parts of the world.

    Living in the Southern part of the US (I'm being really liberal with capitalization today) where people are friendlier makes a very big difference for me. I like knowing I can ask for help, or at least be treated with kindness and courtesy.

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    I've learned to appreciate the complexities and intricate, unique features found upon and within a variety of corn and soy fields of all shapes and sizes.

    I yearn for summers, because I have winter.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Virulence's Avatar
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    I used to live in northern NJ, which is a super high population density area. Always felt cramped, anxious, on edge, and it sucked. Combined with a lot of muggy, unpleasant weather most of the year - gray skies, ton of humidity - and annoying ice/snow in the winter I was more often depressed and unhappy than I was otherwise.

    Moved to the southwest-south US about 5 years ago and it's much more pleasant. Less crappy weather, everything feels way less cramped. I feel like I'm more likely to run into kind, courteous people here than I was in the northeast, too. Still have down days, but the weather and environment hardly contributes to that at all outside of the summer. I find a lot more simple, inspirational beauty here, too - being able to actually see the stars at night is nice, cloudless sunrises or sunsets, things like that.
    I believe in make believe.

  10. #10
    Patron Saint Of Smileys Gloriana's Avatar
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    Once I lived in England for an extended period of time, I finally figured out that I probably would not be happy living there permanently. I love London and being in London, and the landscape of England itself will always be beautiful and calming to me. Something in the atmosphere, both in the constant overcast clouds and the closed-off, suspicious feeling I got from most people really had an effect on me for the worse. I remember there was one day when the sun came out unexpectedly, and it was like people suddenly went nuts with smiles and openness, it was amazing. Then, the next day, it was back to this closed-off feeling. I couldn't stay there permanently, no matter how much I truly love it there.

    My surroundings, the atmosphere, and the landscape do affect me in many ways. I was born and raised in NY, we moved just before I turned nine years old. I don't think I truly realized what a big change this was, and for years I longed for the seasons, the smells, and the feel of the historic little town I grew up in (Sayville, Long Island). It had a main street of old fashioned shops with awnings and storefronts, a spooky graveyard complete with a black, wrought iron gate that was almost falling over from age. There was this little museum I used to visit all the time, it had lots of relics from the late 1800s, early 1900s, and I was fascinated with this old fashioned picture viewer they had there. It was like a primitive ViewMaster, you looked through a pair of magnifying glasses at old photographs, and as a child it was like looking through an actual window into the past, like I was looking at ghosts since I knew these people had passed away already. It gave me chills, and I would wander around this little town wondering where they had all lived and if any parts of them might still be there. I think living there had a lot to do with the fierceness of my imagination, and to this day I have a special affection for ghost stories.

    Now it has been over 20 years since we left NY, and I've stopped hating Florida. In fact, I've grown to fall in love with the South. I love the palm trees, the sand at the beach, and the salty, earthy, hot smell of the air here. I love the vividness of the blue skies we get down here, I love how the brightness of the sun makes colors pop, I love the purples and the golden hues the sun casts on everything down here when it sets. I love the laid back feel, I love that people take things at their own pace down here and don't give a shit if anyone calls them slow or lazy. I used to miss the gray/blue colors of New York so deeply, but now I can't stand to be away from the golden/green colors of Florida. The Spanish moss hanging from the trees, the palms swaying overhead, the pastel colors all over the architecture. It has made me calmer, and funny enough, more comfortable with my body. Shorts and tank tops over pants and coats makes a difference I think, as odd as that might sound. Once I learned to appreciate where I live, it made me sunnier and happier, as hokey as that is to say.

    So yeah, I'm definitely affected by landscapes and where I live.
    "Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get, but if you work really hard, and you're kind, amazing things will happen. I'm telling you...amazing things will happen" --Conan O'Brien

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