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  1. #1
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Default Doing what you must...feeling bad about it

    -Looking after yourself and your needs first, even with the partial objective of being in good enough shape to help out others
    -Cutting people out for emotional self-preservation - not necessarily even the infamous doorslam, but just letting them drift away, sometimes
    -Saying "no" more often
    -Etc...

    Basically good things - although the cutting people out may not necessarily be, and can be particularly tricky (did I walk out on my friend? Am I not a big enough person to get over whatever it is?). And yet, I have such a hard time not second-guessing things, and it makes everything harder than it already is. It exacerbates any bad feelings involved and if it is a situation where someone may actually have done me some wrong, I think it causes me to project onto them and feel more hostility, pain, anger, whatever it may be.

    Frankly, I think I am a pretty unselfish person. I have plenty of other flaws, but selfishness isn't a particular problem for me. So I have margin to be more selfish, but still be pretty unselfish, if you know what I mean. And yet I find it hard. A combination of personality, beliefs, upbringing, I guess...

    How do you deal with this? Do you often question if you're being selfish, or if you're doing the right thing?
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  2. #2
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    And another post of yours that sounds like it came from me.....
    I've recently been dealing with my feelings for a friend who is a good person but for several reasons, she doesn't feel good for me. I feel so guilty about it. I haven't cut her off - I have just distanced myself a little and trying to not share any really personal info with her. I know she senses that I'm pulling away, but we haven't talked about it.
    Selfishly, I don't really want to discuss it. It's my own self-preservation and I don't really expect her to change. I've just realized that we aren't meant to be that close (we have been friends less than a year).
    Still, I feel guilty. And I feel like other people will look at me and think I easily turn on my girl friends, but really I don't. I have many friends that I've stayed close with for years.
    What to do.....

  3. #3
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    -Looking after yourself and your needs first, even with the partial objective of being in good enough shape to help out others
    Done that.
    Cutting people out for emotional self-preservation - not necessarily even the infamous doorslam, but just letting them drift away, sometimes
    Done that.

    Saying "no" more often
    Done that.

    But only, mostly, in the last few years. I spent much of my life always trying to do what others expected or what I had come to believe I "had to do" in order to be a good person, regardless of how I felt about things.

    I finally had to start learning how to do these things you are describing.

    Basically good things - although the cutting people out may not necessarily be, and can be particularly tricky (did I walk out on my friend? Am I not a big enough person to get over whatever it is?). And yet, I have such a hard time not second-guessing things, and it makes everything harder than it already is. It exacerbates any bad feelings involved and if it is a situation where someone may actually have done me some wrong, I think it causes me to project onto them and feel more hostility, pain, anger, whatever it may be.
    Yes, it can be difficult and complicated to sift through all those emotions and in the end feel like you have a firm basis on which to limit or expand someone's involvement in your life and how much you invest in them.

    How do you deal with this? Do you often question if you're being selfish, or if you're doing the right thing?
    To be honest, I don't think I truly ever "know."

    I do know my self-radar is broken. I realize that I will always feel guilt if I don't simply put my own desires on the back burner and just do what someone else seems to want, as long as it isn't blatantly selfish on their part. Most requests do seem to have SOME level of legitimacy, which is why I have trouble saying now.

    Once I accepted that my radar was busted and the "guilt siren" would always be sounding, I could try to figure out some other basis on which to decide what was good vs bad for me.

    I guess one thing that helped was applying my sense of "fairness" to include myself rather than just everyone else. They are all people who should be respected, but I am also a person just like them -- so why should I constantly disrespect my own feelings and needs?

    I remember when I was in therapy and my therapist spent some time talking about the "inner child." It might seem like a cliche, but I believe in the right context it can be a useful metaphor. She said to me, "You have raised children and you know how to parent them, you're good at nurturing and affirming them while being firm and challenging them... so why can't you look at yourself like that and provide the same example and standards to yourself? Inside you feel like a lost, abandoned, unheard child. Why not parent yourself in the same way you know works for your kids?" Using that model, I tried to see myself as another person, another child, and then took the liberty of applying the same rules to myself that I applied to others in terms of what sorts of behavior was respectful and decent and healthy, vs not.

    And that kind of played into how I chose to approach people who were treading on my boundaries IRL.

    I think I also accepted that it is not my job to fix someone. Just because they have a need also doesn't mean that I am the one who is required to fill it; just because they're immature and need more than me doesn't mean I always need to pick up the slack. I needed to better gauge my own level of responsibility to that person, my own energy levels (my "capacity" to give), what is best for them in the long run (which might not be me catering to them), and then go with it.

    Still, I will say, despite that, it's still hard sometimes. I have a tendency to want to flex and adapt to the situation and accommodate someone if I can, even if it costs me. I'm not always sure I've done the right thing, and on occasion my refusal to invest has resulted in the connection ending when the other person has been upset with me for not giving them what they wanted. I've had to learn how to live with that.

    EDIT: It sounds to me that you're not really "disturbed" by it all -- that on some level you do believe setting boundaries is good. It's just more an intellectual uncertainty, since there's no way to be "sure" about it?
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  4. #4
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    I think in the end it's about trying to be honest with yourself. Even if you don't want to hurt someone else, and it's hard to say 'No' or know that you're hurting someone elses' feelings or inconveniencing someone by staying true to yourself and what YOU are feeling, in the end I am not sure it's fair, or is doing them many favors in the long run, to go through the motions of either helping them or keeping them in your life if YOU are not wholly into it or, in the end, wanting to give the relationship and the person what they truly need/deserve.

    It's ok to not desire to have everyone in your life who might want to be in yours, even though it's obviously hard and hurts to let those other people down. Sometimes things don't sync up and I think it's important to just try to listen to yourself -- to those feelings that pop up that really matter/speak to you -- and try to maintain a balance of taking care of your own needs/self, while also accounting for the other person. The latter is something I don't think FJ's have a big problem with -it's the former.. learning to be honest with ourselves and recognizing our own feelings/needs, and being honest with the fact that sometimes we don't want to do something, and don't want to help someone out, and don't in fact want someone in our life... that is the hard part.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Meek's Avatar
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    I am like a flower. If I have toxins in my soil, then I will wilt and die.

    What do you think of this quote?

    "There are no toxic people. Just toxic ways of seeing them"
    I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.-
    Albert Einstein

  6. #6
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    I think I've felt this way sometimes. But recently I've gotten better about drawing the line.

    I blogged about this a little bit. Most people I actually care about or who actually care about me are fine with pretty much any boundaries I set. The crazies respond... well... crazily... and that's how I learn that they are crazy and I'm probably better off without them.
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  7. #7
    Diving into Ni-space Crescent Fresh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Frankly, I think I am a pretty unselfish person. I have plenty of other flaws, but selfishness isn't a particular problem for me. So I have margin to be more selfish, but still be pretty unselfish, if you know what I mean. And yet I find it hard. A combination of personality, beliefs, upbringing, I guess...

    How do you deal with this? Do you often question if you're being selfish, or if you're doing the right thing?
    I know exactly what you meant here. I struggle with this all the time--and the questioning part as well.

    I think the biggest challenge for most INFJs is that we tend to prioritize the welfare for others instead of ourselves. For me, it sorts of become my motivation to make things better, to change people's attitude especially if they're in need of help or struggles.

    Ironicaly, when I felt overwhelmed about social responsibilities, that's when I start to detach, and not wanting to let them know the reason behind this because I don't want them to feel guity. I've always felt that I've been contibuting more than I could, and by that I raise the bar of expectation from others especially when it comes to their sensitivity. Of course, things start to fall apart when I clash with them.

    Perhaps that's why I often need my own private space to recharge, and most often that's a sign of telling myself not to be over-committed into giving out more than I could offer.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meek View Post

    "There are no toxic people. Just toxic ways of seeing them"
    If one's perceptions are toxic, then they are toxic. The first statement is then not only invalidated, but also tripe idealism.

  9. #9
    Listening Oaky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ginkgo View Post
    If one's perceptions are toxic, then they are toxic. The first statement is then not only invalidated, but also tripe idealism.
    This is dependant on the surety of the existence of what someone perceives as one in equal dimensional perception abilities. Clearly we are unsure of such things as we are only sure of our own perceptions and if we perceive someone a certain way we must take into account the margin of error in difference to reality therefore we really are not sure whether our alignment of perception with toxic on the person perceived played correctly. Perception is the one and only most factor that makes reality real for us. If my perception of someone is that he is 'anti-toxic' and someone else's perception is that he is 'toxic' do we automatically take that he is toxic by the latter's perception? Why don't we take the the initial that he is 'anti-toxic'? You will be saying he is anti-toxic and toxic at the same time. Possible paradox.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oakysage View Post
    This is dependant on the surety of the existence of what someone perceives as one in equal dimensional perception abilities. Clearly we are unsure of such things as we are only sure of our own perceptions and if we perceive someone a certain way we must take into account the margin of error in difference to reality therefore we really are not sure whether our alignment of perception with toxic on the person perceived played correctly. Perception is the one and only most factor that makes reality real for us. If my perception of someone is that he is 'anti-toxic' and someone else's perception is that he is 'toxic' do we automatically take that he is toxic by the latter's perception? Why don't we take the the initial that he is 'anti-toxic'? You will be saying he is anti-toxic and toxic at the same time. Possible paradox.
    wut

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