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  1. #11
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    In cases where I am tremendously close to the person and they are doing something destructive to the relationship and they won't give any insight into why they are doing what they are, I also have a tendancy to review all the possibilities and go with the most likely I can see (I'd prefer real info, but can't stand dealing with all the nebulous possibilities if I don't have it. I need some concrete way to pick an appropriate course of action and way of understanding the situation). I'm very open to being corrected, but of course have found that I'm often wrong about the motivations I think others have because I'm looking at it from what that behaviour would mean if I did it. If there's one thing I've learned from here, it's that the same behaviours may mean wildly different things depending on personality type. Of course no one likes to be analyzed and analyzed incorrectly! At the same time, I would only do that with people I have a lot invested in and in the absence of needful information which they cannot or will not give so I can either move on or know how to work the situation out productively.
    I can't agree more strongly, especially with the highlighted. It is why I am so distrustful of the impressions I get from how people behave. I know I cannot interpret their actions through the lens of my own motivations. It is reassuring to know that even Fs experience this concern sometimes.

    Quote Originally Posted by bologna View Post
    Sure, you can read people. But if you actually know people, you'll realize that virtually all of them value their mental privacy.

    A good friend of mine has the tendency to just blurt out what she 'reads' (which is most problematic in the rare cases that she's wrong). Yeah, people close down when that happens.

    When you're first getting to know someone, it's best to ask more questions regarding what you 'read,' lead the conversation based upon your assumptions, and so on, rather than to jump right into it. Otherwise, at its worst, it can come across as a con or a scam.

    That is, if you've got a conclusion about someone else or their situation, explore it with them. If your conclusion is right, then you'll more effectively lead them to it; if not, then you'll actually learn something.

    Ooh, I relate to this one. I can have strong opinions, but I'll only barge in when it's obvious that the other person wants feedback--to do otherwise seems extremely pushy to me. Even if I think that I'm 'right' based upon what I know, there's always stuff that I don't know.

    If someone close to me asks a question, for example, I'll take that as permission to provide honest feedback; I adhere to the philosophy that one shouldn't ask questions that he doesn't actually want the answer to. Sometimes, I say, sardonically, "Permisison to speak freely." and take it from there.
    I agree with this as well, and wish more people would exercise the restraint, or perhaps simple courtesy, you describe in your first few paragraphs. I abhor when someone tries to make conclusions about my thoughts, feelings, or motivations. If they are wrong I feel almost insulted; if they are right, I feel intruded upon. Leading with questions is a good approach. If nothing else, it provides an opportunity to shut the whole exercise down if necessary.

    I generally follow your last two paragraphs as well, though it is usually my Te-style advice that gets dispensed once requested or permitted. I have found people don't always want this kind of input either.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  2. #12
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    I think if your insights into people cause them to shut down then you're probably doing it wrong. A bit more insight into people might help with that.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    I would say it makes it more difficult to interact on the surface with small talk.
    This is more what I'm talking about. I happen upon something in small talk that I didn't realize was "invading" mental privacy.

    Quote Originally Posted by bologna View Post
    Sure, you can read people. But if you actually know people, you'll realize that virtually all of them value their mental privacy.
    Yes, I get that. I'm not trying to invade people's privacy. I generally see something and either comment or ask a question offhand & discover that it was something they didn't want seen. I'm not trying to be right, superior, or bestow my great wisdom upon them. I'm attempting to converse with the person based on information I have available to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by bologna View Post
    When you're first getting to know someone, it's best to ask more questions regarding what you 'read,' lead the conversation based upon your assumptions, and so on, rather than to jump right into it. Otherwise, at its worst, it can come across as a con or a scam.

    That is, if you've got a conclusion about someone else or their situation, explore it with them. If your conclusion is right, then you'll more effectively lead them to it; if not, then you'll actually learn something.
    Yes, this is what I try to do. I know perfectly well that being preached at by someone who "knows" something is not an effective way of teaching them. Sometimes even gently alluding to a topic is enough to bring up the walls.

    Quote Originally Posted by bologna View Post
    Ooh, I relate to this one. I can have strong opinions, but I'll only barge in when it's obvious that the other person wants feedback--to do otherwise seems extremely pushy to me. Even if I think that I'm 'right' based upon what I know, there's always stuff that I don't know.

    If someone close to me asks a question, for example, I'll take that as permission to provide honest feedback; I adhere to the philosophy that one shouldn't ask questions that he doesn't actually want the answer to. Sometimes, I say, sardonically, "Permisison to speak freely." and take it from there.
    I have opinions about everything. But I don't share them unless asked. Or unless I've been tacitly given permission to do so.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I agree with this as well, and wish more people would exercise the restraint, or perhaps simple courtesy, you describe in your first few paragraphs. I abhor when someone tries to make conclusions about my thoughts, feelings, or motivations.
    Yes.

  5. #15
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I can't agree more strongly, especially with the highlighted. It is why I am so distrustful of the impressions I get from how people behave. I know I cannot interpret their actions through the lens of my own motivations. It is reassuring to know that even Fs experience this concern sometimes.
    Oh, I think they do just as often as Ts! It probably is various different functions popping out, depending on the personality type, that get everyone into trouble. For example, my Ni creates a million different possibilities for what could be motivating the person and then a million more different options for how to respond to their behaviour. I NEED to have some way to narrow down the options and so can't just let it be if I don't understand it (which I'm sure is very annoying to the person, particularly if they want to be left alone). Add Fe in there and it's only understanding the deeper reason to give context to their actions that helps me have any understanding or sympathy for what looks like poor behaviour or uncaring to me initially.

  6. #16
    Undisciplined Starry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalmommy View Post
    I find that my ability to easily and deeply understand people is often off putting to them. Over my lifetime I've noticed that people don't like it that I can see their mental inner workings. I often don't realize that I've seen something they don't want me to until I've said something in passing and suddenly I'm staring at a wall.

    Being an INfJ, it's already difficult for me to find people I can be close to, but it seems like my ability to read others just makes it that much harder. People put up their walls and push me away when they discover I can see, even tho I'm not judging what I see. Seeing alone is enough to put people off.
    How do you know the above is occurring? I mean, how do you know that they are 'off-put' because you got it right...and not 'off-put' because you got it wrong?

  7. #17
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    I think this is more of a Ni thing... I can't say I really relate at all. Sometimes I surprise people with my ability to get on others' level so fast, which makes it fairly easy to make friends / get information / obtain permission / help them feel better / etc., but I don't really feel like I have any heightened insight into others' thoughts short of good emotional perception, which is really just about reading body language and tone.

    I'll be honest here though, I understand how you can jump too deep too fast - I get like that with my SO every once in a while, I'll dive into things that are very emotionally charged for him without realizing, and he'll throw a wall up - but at the same time, with my ENFJ best friend, I'm kind of off-put sometimes by the way she is always "investigating" everyone... like everyone is always a problem open for her to solve and that she can figure them out. It seems kind of belittling. The way @fidelia explains it as needing to understand so you can decide how to behave in response makes sense... I think sometimes my ENFJ gets a little lost in the "game" of it, though, and loses some empathy in the process (just as I, admittedly, can get lost in the "game" of getting on others' emotional level, and encourage them to place more trust in me than they probably should).

  8. #18
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalmommy View Post
    I often don't realize that I've seen something they don't want me to until I've said something in passing and suddenly I'm staring at a wall.
    As an alternate interpretation, if you received this response from me, it would be more likely that you have grossly misread something and presented it as an irrefutable conclusion, and since that kind of egregious error would be disappointing (especially from a fellow NF), I would simply shut you out from being able to glean any further "insights" from the inner realm of emotions. Of course I would still be nice to you, but at a surface level, where you could be relied upon to read things more accurately.

    From a polite perspective as well, "readings of the inner world" are generally meant to be kept to oneself.

    I realize J's of all varieties sound more sure of the "right answer" out loud than they might feel internally, but the manner of phrasing does allude to a certain "judginess and concludedness" that comes across as too confident -- even inappropriate and distasteful at times. Can even smack of arrogance.

    Anyhoo, just offering another way to think of what the "wall" might mean depending on who you are interacting with.
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
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    "When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad."
    Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

  9. #19
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    @skylights

    I can see how it could get perceived that way and I guess every type has some general downsides to it. For me, I rarely interact much with people (beyond surface) unless I know what to expect from them in response. Therefore, figuring out what's going on with them helps me know how to engage with them (or if I shouldn't) in an appropriate way.

    On the other hand, I can also say that making Ni connections and figuring out the puzzle pieces to get a more complete picture is kind of satisfying. I think it is one of the factors that keeps teaching interesting for me. I'm interested in human systems and why people act/react as they do. I also like sleuthing out who is connected to each other, what interrelations there are between different families, connections to the community and so on.

    I suppose for some people that may seem like it is making a game out of what certain people are dealing with, but for me, I feel like empathy on a deep personal level isn't possible or even desired sometimes in those kinds of situations. I have loads of sympathy though and am not afraid of getting my hands dirty helping in whatever way I can if I just have enough information to know what the child/family's needs are.

  10. #20
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Just thinking about this more while I eat lunch too ...

    It might be worth pointing out that different kinds of observations bring up the wall for different people. I find emotional misreads more offensive than knowledge-based ones. My experience with INFJ's suggests they may find competency misreads more annoying.

    Plus, to actually answer the OP, I don't think my insights into people hinder having a relationship with anyone, but I often want the relationship to attain a greater depth than it does in reality (for a myriad of different reasons that are moot to comment on here). I will often open topics of conversation that lead to deeper venues, but few people are interested to go there. Still, I do have some very close friends and for that I am very grateful.

    I think that sometimes you sharing your insight might actually have potential to deepen a relationship past the more superficial stages, esp if you are compassionate in sharing and correct when you voice your thoughts. That would be the crux I think. You would have to be right and deliver that at the perfect time and in the perfect way, or else risk the relationship shutting down. So the key would be to have the appropriate filter in place that prevented you from exposing what you think you know until you truly know it (and arguably, who really knows anything, eh?) Plus, possessing the wisdom to know who can handle that truth and who cannot.
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
    Eleanor Roosevelt


    "When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad."
    Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

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