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  1. #1
    Diving into Ni-space Crescent Fresh's Avatar
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    Default Introspection Vs. Extrospection

    There's a lot of about introspection on the forum but very little about extrospection. In fact, extrospection seems to be largely disdained.

    Some basic definitions of extrospection:

    1. Extrospection is the observation of things external to one's own mind, as opposed to introspection, which is the direct observation of one's minds internal processes. Extrospection is ordinary sense perception or reasoning concerning the things so perceived.

    2. Habitual interest in or examination of matters outside oneself.

    3. The consideration and observation of things external to the self; examination and study of externals.


    I'm basically an unapologetic introvert. I love to introspect. I like to get involved with what's going on within me and be an active participant in self-reflection. I used to think that from the way people discuss knowing yourself on the forum, it seems like there's only one way and that's through introspection. But now I felt extrospection is equally important. I think you can learn a lot about yourself through examining how you interact with the world around you and how it interacts with itself. It's figuring out how you fit in and using points and references outside of yourself to help in that process.

    Most of my friends claimed that I tend to "think too much" if I share my introspection with them. Perhaps that's one of the reason why INFs could be detached easily from the mass for pursing their introspective mind trip.


    So what are some benefits of extrospection to you? What do people think about it?

  2. #2
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    I think that's an interesting term. I have a feeling most of us just view this as plain old observation, perception, interaction, etc, but it really is the inverse of introspection. I suppose it's assumed more by people that others engage in this just to function.

    An introvert may need to develop this habit more to not be in some delusional bubble, though, just as extroverts sometimes need to increase their introspection.

    I definitely have learned a lot about myself through interaction with others, observations of people, considering external ideas that are strange to me, etc. This actually spurs introspection because then I think about how it relates to me .
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

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  3. #3
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    The biggest thing? Extrospecting allows me to get out of my own mind for a change while still allowing me to use my own mind - everything else ties with this.

    It brings me to reality (away from my reality.)
    It can compare ideas. And from there, I get to learn.
    Sometimes, not introspecting is sooooooooooooo relaxing. Introspecting for too long can make me go in circles, it can drive me crazy. Extrospecting is less emphasis on myself when I really need it.

    Like you, I'm often told that I think too much.

  4. #4
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    I'm introspective to a fault and trying to strike more of a balance between introspection and extrospection.

    Among the advantages of extrospection:

    Being able to see perspectives and approaches that others take. It's a good learning experience.

    Greater awareness of external surroundings.

    Too much introspection can lead to stagnation or even depression in my case.
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  5. #5
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    i feel that it would be very hard for me to do one without pulling in the other.

  6. #6
    Diving into Ni-space Crescent Fresh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuchIrony View Post
    Too much introspection can lead to stagnation or even depression in my case.
    Perhaps that's why I often need extroverts (or S-type) to bring me back to the reality.

    I think INFJs tend to think a bit too far-off in their imaginary bubbles when things are not working toward their favor, almost like an escapade.




    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    i feel that it would be very hard for me to do one without pulling in the other.
    Of course. Though I kind of envy how easily most ENFPs can apply extrospection within their introspection. For me, I have often experienced various "Aha!" moments after pondering deep in introspect, and often it happens right after a huge conflict or intense confrontation. Though when it comes to ENFPs (and perhaps ENTPs as well), their self-enlightening moment often are personal and self-actualized, out of the blue moon.

  7. #7
    Diving into Ni-space Crescent Fresh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuchIrony View Post
    Too much introspection can lead to stagnation or even depression in my case.
    Perhaps that's why I often need extroverts (or S-type) to bring me back to the reality.

    I think INFJs tend to think a bit too far-off in their imaginary bubbles when things are not working toward their favor, almost like an escapade.




    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    i feel that it would be very hard for me to do one without pulling in the other.
    Of course. Though I kind of envy how easily most ENFPs can apply extrospection within their introspection. For me, I have often experienced various "Aha!" moments after pondering deep in introspect, and often it happens right after a huge conflict or intense confrontation. Though when it comes to ENFPs (and perhaps ENTPs as well), their self-enlightening moment often are personal and self-actualized, out of the blue moon.

  8. #8
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crescent Fresh View Post
    Of course. Though I kind of envy how easily most ENFPs can apply extrospection within their introspection. For me, I have often experienced various "Aha!" moments after pondering deep in introspect, and often it happens right after a huge conflict or intense confrontation. Though when it comes to ENFPs (and perhaps ENTPs as well), their self-enlightening moment often are personal and self-actualized, out of the blue moon.
    yes... usually out of nowhere. usually i do a lot of thinking about everything, and then an hour later something will hit me. i think i should probably work on introspecting alone and extrospecting alone. yesterday at work i was noticing how my thoughts really tend to "loop" around the same things again and again, not always very productively. i am certainly not a linear thinker. it often loops outside -> how outside affects me -> how i affect outside -> how outside affects me, etc. which is good for perception and understanding connection, but i don't think it always yields efficient internal and external solutions.

    how do you think when you mostly just introspect, if you don't mind me asking? like... what would a typical pattern be?

    for example i was thinking about my boss being disorganized -> how that makes me less efficient -> how the whole workplace is less efficient -> how i could make things more efficient -> how i tend to think in a loopy pattern -> how that relates to typology stuff -> what a pain my boss is -> what i've talked about recently on typoc -> what i need to work on -> my relationships with certain people -> an idea for making things more efficient -> thinking about a tattoo i am pondering getting -> more about certain people -> what i need to do in my life in the next few months or so -> etc.

  9. #9
    Diving into Ni-space Crescent Fresh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    how do you think when you mostly just introspect, if you don't mind me asking? like... what would a typical pattern be?
    Wow, now I can truly recognize the difference between J and P functions based on your description! I suppose most INFJs also loops but only between two subjects constantly (like a long ping-pong match) without stirring away from an entirely different topic.

    My pattern often stems from trying to resolve/understand a conflict or to focus on how to achieve/perfect an established goal.

    I'll made an example of when I experienced a conflict:

    Anger phase:
    Why are people upset about this? --> What have I done wrong? --> Why can't they see my POV? --> Why am I feeling so upset about this? --> Did I miss any points that others see and I didn't? --> How can they be so insensitive to my feeling? (all interpretation)

    Calming down phase:
    I "could've" phrase it different to avoid misunderstanding (rationalization) --> They didn't really mean what they say, everybody can be emotional (rationalization) --> How to resolve this quickly? (implementation) --> What options do I have to resolve this conflict? (implementation) --> Let's pick one of these: giving each other more spaces vs. confrontation (resolution)

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