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  1. #261
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure I don't do remorse. I also attempt to completely suppress and avoid regret. Those two emotions have more potential to throw me into a quicksand-like downward spiral than anything besides shame.

    If I screw up and I know it, I will usually try to take a quick glance back to see if I can learn anything for future reference, but it has to be quick or I will begin to fixate and I can't afford to do that.

    It's not healthy, but amputation is better than dying of gangrene. Everybody has flaws. That's one of mine. Sometimes there are people for whom my lack of those qualities and other negative qualities make me a negative agent upon them. I respect their desire to steer clear.

    Probably my husband, children, and brothers are the only ones I would risk the quicksand and only then if I was convinced my not doing so was causing long-term permanent damage. Maybe I will be more mature and comfortable with risks as I grow older. I certainly hope that will be the case.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  2. #262
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mane View Post
    @OrangeAppled
    i realize it might feel like i joined in only to use your posts and those of others and then abandon the side in an argument, which.. is pretty much the case, so i suppose it feels like it is. but there's a larger point to be made:

    i think i've gotten the hang of Fe in FJs, and IxFJs in particular - to understand that "impolite/inappropriate" behavior, or rather, the act of making people feel uncomfortable, is really something many of them seem to experience as.. hard to explain, almost an emotional violation of sorts - as something very hurtful. that's why for them, cases of remorse that seemed inline with that do have substance, even if it was relatively little things, the substance still holds.
    then you have halla's accounts that are a lot more substantial. it takes a lot for an Fe user to think of themselves in those terms. "i wasn't being cruel to my spouse", "i was being disloyal", etc', and those are INFJs who pulled through into seen themselves in that light and feeling bad about it and expressed it, placed themselves in a humiliating admitting it to someone whose opinion of them they probably cared a great deal about. it holds onto the essence of what remorse is.

    this should be really comforting news for two huge reasons:

    the general: social. lowering the shield means more connections can be made with more people which means a richer pool for what each person can bring to your life (well, probably not the ones to whom i was being an asshole here, but in general).

    the specific: hope. mental problems can be treated or at least be made aware of, self esteem issues can be outgrown, deep emotional issues can be resolved, trauma can be dealt with, in fact almost every other possible cause for those patterns is something that is at least somewhat flexible. MBTI type doesn't change.
    Hey Mane, there is nothing you could do that would warm INFJ hearts more than for the discussion to have resulted in something useful that one or both parties can take away. You brought out a point in talking about how making others feel uncomfortable is an emotional violation of sorts for IXFJs and therefore something that seems insignificant to others (both on the giving and the receiving end) is significant to us. I think I know what you are getting at. There's something more to it to, but I can't explain it right without mulling it over more. Anyway, I think you're on to something and it's not solely a Fe/Fi difference. Maybe it's Ne/Ni related too? I'm not sure. I also assume there's a flip side of things that we don't consider a big deal, but other types would find to be kind of an emotional violation too.

    I don't feel that you were being miserable to us, so much as getting frustrated in looking for resolution to your problem and being unable to get it. I feel that OA's experiences are valid, but don't feel that her generalization of them is. I don't know that INFJs will be able to give her what she is looking for to feel more resolution about it and I can see why she feels that what we are offering is not sufficient, but I would posit that it has more to do with what carries the weight with her vs us as well as the way we process things, more than it being outright refusal to cooperate or to be introspective and accept blame. I'm not sure if it is helpful to you folks, but there are several more INFJ statements about remorse in the thread entitled Remorse, which I found interesting and which I think deal with people who are referring to a deeper sense of remorse.

  3. #263
    Glycerine
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    Quote Originally Posted by cafe View Post
    I'm pretty sure I don't do remorse. I also attempt to completely suppress and avoid regret. Those two emotions have more potential to throw me into a quicksand-like downward spiral than anything besides shame.

    If I screw up and I know it, I will usually try to take a quick glance back to see if I can learn anything for future reference, but it has to be quick or I will begin to fixate and I can't afford to do that.

    It's not healthy, but amputation is better than dying of gangrene. Everybody has flaws. That's one of mine. Sometimes there are people for whom my lack of those qualities and other negative qualities make me a negative agent upon them. I respect their desire to steer clear.

    Probably my husband, children, and brothers are the only ones I would risk the quicksand and only then if I was convinced my not doing so was causing long-term permanent damage. Maybe I will be more mature and comfortable with risks as I grow older. I certainly hope that will be the case.
    One last post for awhile. Not that it's a type related but my 9w1 INFP mother probably could have written the same thing. Unless she knows that she truly hurt you to the core, she will be the last person to ever show remorse for anything. We used to get into fights about it all the time because for her, it was all about the good intention of what she was doing (unintentional harm) and not her problem. Eventually we worked through it by hashing out the problems and came to an understanding and apologized to each other.

    But I find it kind of ridiculous to make a causal reference to type even if there may be a slight correlation. I am not going to assume that 9w1s are generally like that. That just wouldn't be logical, would it?

  4. #264
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    With the usual ‘I can’t speak for all INFJs’ disclaimer, I think I can say that we typically find talking about remorse to be an empty thing. It certainly helps to say “I’m sorry”- but more than anything else, my opinion of whether someone else feels remorse is formed by other indications. Like the old saying goes ‘sorry is easy to say’, I don’t trust words as much as I trust other indications and I personally find drawn out explanations of remorse can look and feel contrived (to me). Someone saying “I’m sorry I ate your last popsicle without asking” doesn’t mean anywhere near as much to me as that person not doing it in the future- or even better, if they learned to never ‘use up the last of anything without asking first’…..the deeper the ‘roots’ of that lesson spread, the more I believe they actually ‘got’ it. I’ve used a ridiculously innocuous example, but the underlying principle applies. I show it in other ways because I watch for it in other ways, and I just don’t work those details out aloud. I absolutely feel remorse though. I don’t like telling stories about it because that just feels empty. The only way to know I’m telling the truth is to know me and to have experieanced it in action. I suspect this is relatively common for ‘us’ (INFJs), and maybe we take for granted that others go by the same indications (when that isn’t the case).
    I can totally understand this - about the future actions showing the remorse. That's why I was making distinctions between apologies for minor gaffes and things which have builded into larger issues, because an apology in a moment doesn't necessarily mean future change. When I speak of remorse over big things, I don't mean a grand speech. I meant a realization that leads to change. Perhaps this is accompanied by an admittance of wrong & an apology, which I do as as significant in making restitution.

    Tell me, when someone has hurt you or others, and they not only change, but openly admit it & apologize for it, does it not heal some of the past at all? I think most would say "yes", and that's why I included it as a part of the process I hoped to discover existed.

    I was not originally asking for a story, like Mane was, because I don't really think in such specifics (I have a hard time thinking of specific instances for illustrating points myself; hence my reliance on theory). But when he suggested that, I thought it might actually be easier, and I felt I would see the process illustrated with the story. An illustration that is not personal works just as well for me. Popsicles may be silly, but I see the idea clearly.

    I apologize if I’ve been harsh, my language gets harsh when I feel like my back is somehow against the wall and I don’t clearly understand why- my single only priority becomes figuring out what the problem is, and I can lose sight of my tone.
    It's really not necessary to apologize for tone. I find it much less grating than when someone takes on a syrupy, polite tone which I can see as hiding their real feeling (which inevitably seeps out). Basically, I have been criticized for my raw tone, which I see as proof of being translucent, but then people assign hidden motives to it. That's puzzling to me.... so when given a more raw tone in return, I feel more sure that no motive is hidden.

    I do suspect it’s going to take a third person account, though, because I *suspect* it just isn’t INFJ style to give emotive accounts of something like that. It makes me feel kinda slimy and contrived just thinking about it.
    Again, I understand, and that's fair enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post
    I see where you're getting at. However, I don't believe most INFJs here have done something that should've resulted in a lifetime remorse or something. Most bad things that people do are somewhat fixable.

    Perhaps if you share a story of your own they might end up relating.
    That's not what I was talking about either… I'm talking very much about the process of making amends, which requires seeing you wronged someone & feeling remorse - but specifically the kind where you LOSE face.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    This is said much better than I could have. I identify with so much of what you have expressed here. Again, I'm not sure that the feeling of remorse carries much weight with us (Fi places more emphasis on emotion), so much as the effect of remorse (Fe places more weight on outcome).
    I don't see remorse as emotion, nor do I agree that Fi is more about emotion (for example, we don't utilize it to communicate the way Fe types do). I see remorse as rationally identifying what is significant morally & how you have violated it, and yes, perhaps that is more Fi territory. Sometimes, people are moved emotionally when something very significant is violated; that's only a signal though.

    No matter what it is, the process takes some time (and verbalizing any of it will take even longer) and so it may initially look like not being open to constructive criticism, when that may not be the case at all. I'm wondering if that's part of what others feel is a lack of taking responsibility for our actions.
    Perhaps. It's like peeling the band-aid off vs ripping it off. I guess it can be frustrating to those on the outside who don't see the evidence of this process. That's why I (and Mane) asked for evidence. In a similar vein, Fi feeling is often questioned as existing, because it largely remains unseen. I understand a frustration or hesitance when being asked to "prove" this process. On the other hand, I've learned that it's unfair for me to ask people to take for granted that I feel.

    Generally, I think I am a lot harder on myself internally than most other people are on me, but I do not often verbalize it, which I think may lead to a perception that I don't see my faults. There are definitely places in my past relationship that if I had it to do over, I would change. Things that were very much my fault.
    Just this simple statement says a lot to me.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mane View Post
    except it did happen, in a smaller but still meaningful scale:

    thanks. and yes i was, but you take what it can get, and the sense of scale doesn't diminish the fact it is sitting on the right graph.

    if you look here:


    that bolded parts are the part that i feared they might have an impossible time with, in essence, the act of mentally and meaningfully insulting ourselves in regards to what is meaningful to us.

    yet in each one of those "little anecdotes", the INFJ who provided it did just that:

    in other words, they have taken the Fe resulting ego structure, and place it aside to see themselves within the Ti>Fe mental world, that larger platform made of many patterns & facts and subjective worlds within it that is trying to reach some internal consistency. it's a world in which your mind will insult you a lot the more you care about anyone, because you never get to consciously deny or decide what you think the causality your actions and choices had within the subjective realms of other. they did that, and you did too - processed the information and took the bitter pills within it like champs. they have chosen to feel shitty about something they did for the sake of someone else (which goes back to the decision world and ideal structure of Fe>Ti). they went back and forth and made the dive.

    that doesn't mean that a sense of scale isn't there, the worst the actions get, the more insulting it would be to believe about yourself, the stronger the emotional dissonance would be. however, the reason it inspires faith is that it is a one way stream:
    being able to acknowledge the smaller scale actions and resulting insults might not mean or deny whether one can acknowledge the larger ones, but the opposite isn't the case - if one's esteem can't take the smaller insults the reality of their action bestows upon them, it is extremely unlikely to be able to take the heavier ones.

    those three showed that they can do that.

    which in turns means that at least in some way, they have being able to get to know the experience of this:


    tl;dr: i wanted to be proven wrong, and unless i am misreading something, i think i got sufficiently strong evidence that i was. thank you all.

    I see what you're saying here…
    I think before when I asked "when does Fe save the day"? that's what I was getting at. How does something touch on a Fe value where the person is motivated to take positive action?

    Because as I've said, I DO believe obliviousness a culprit at times. For a long time, I was the defender of INFJs in my life who inspired my list. It's when the veil is lifted, including my own veil, that I was shocked to see no remorse. Then appeals to Fe don't work…which further shocks me (because such a method has worked with SFJs & even ENFJs); I wanted to know IF it ever works.

    I do see how you make this connection with these stories & that process. Yes, this is a glimmer of hope for the INFJ segment of humanity :P (<---- cheekiness, INFJs, cheekiness). I can admit that it is hard for me to see this behavior outside of "saving face". This is why I asked to hear about "losing face". Then I see the remorse as completely devoid of self-interest. And yes, the patterns I have experienced with INFJs gave me the desire to know this kind of specific remorse exists, so as to see that these patterns are not a "truth". I do NOT mean to discount the significance of such experiences & the concessions made to relate them.

    I appreciate your input here, because I think you speak something closer to my language (JiNe, no doubt).

    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    Well how lovely that it's not your idea of remorse. Does everyone need to experience feelings in the way that you do? What if I don't view it as a 'failure to be polite' but I actually really did think it was unfair of me to not explain things to the other person, to not initially divulge because of my own crabbiness and pain, and to just leave them hanging?
    It's not that this it isn't real remorse. I'm aware of this kind existing in INFJs. I would say it's a strength in an INFJ to have foresight in preventing conflict. Many of these stories look something closer to that… a kind of damage control.

    It's a specific kind of remorse that I wanted to know about. The kind that comes when you've failed to anticipate negative consequences & failed to prevent them or correct them in a timely manner, largely due to some flaw you have. I realize these blindside Ni-dom (and perhaps why this patten is not seen in xSFJs). I've seen the reactions to these blind-sidings in INFJs & found the reactions disturbing.

    See, I'm of the opinion that the small things build up; that an unacknowledged minor gaffe can cause a reaction or assumption made by the other. This reaction or assumption then feeds into that persons' view of me, whether consciously or not. Then that person may in the future make a choice or do something based on that initial assumption. Then I react to that. And it goes on and on, and then the entire relationship after all of these cause and effects and such eventually gets to a place where it's a really bad spot... all because it started off on one little gaffe that went unacknowledged.
    That's fantastic you try to prevent that downward spiral from beginning in the first place. But as I said, any human being will never be able to always prevent that, or we lapse into bad tendencies again even if in the moment we genuinely felt remorse. Once these things have built up, and negative consequences are made clear to you, then what? The pattern I have seen with INFJs from that point on has been very, very negative. So much so, that I've lost faith in a positive pattern occurring. I would take more blame for my end, that perhaps it's my manner & poor communication, except all of these individuals have the same rep with other people of varying types. In fact, I defended these INFJs as others made the criticisms I now make.

    As Mane mentioned, it's the consistency of this pattern in INFJs we know, acknowledged by mutual acquaintances of these people, supported by stories from others about their INFJs, that has become astounding. I don't want this to be reality.

    I'm getting more of a sense of this process from comments made in more recent posts. I think I can intellectually accept it exists, but my "benefit of the doubt" has been so drained in reality that it's going to take time to become a true believer.

    Now it may be that this is ME, this is how I process and view things, that it has no bearing on your world or how you process. And maybe how you filter things has little to no bearing on my world and how I navigate it - therefore for you to expect me to show the same processing of emotions, or whatnot, is from my perspective you wanting me to be more like you.
    I'm not asking to see the same processing. I was asking to know what the INFJ process is, to know it even exists.
    I AM (or WAS) asking INFJs to be human, both in being flawed & being moved to feel/express/act on remorse.

    --------

    I'm not always the most articulate person when it comes to "feeling matters" because it's like I have my own language; and so I aways take some responsibility for miscommunication because of it. I do and have repeatedly acknowledged my own rawness, and I DO appreciate when others help to translate that into something clearer or easier to swallow (@Mane & @PeaceBaby), granted the main point is not lost. But I don't appreciate when I've laid my intent bare, have become completely translucent with the risk of looking very bad, and people still question my motive & assign me ill intent. I can & do apologize for having a raw manner & rubbing people the wrong way, but not for intentions I do not, did not, and never have had. Then, I feel I am being turned into a strawman, often because that's easier to argue against than what I'm actually saying. I cannot and will not apologize for, explain or defend a viewpoint & intent I do not have though, anymore than someone can apologize for someone else's wrongs (which is NOT what I ever asked for).

    People view this thread as a train wreck, but I don't. Those coming in with their dismissals have missed many points, IMO, points I have gleaned and found very enlightening & useful. I can't regret posting at all, only maybe that I did not adjust enough for the audience, but even then, I tend to feel the lid had to be ripped off if we're ever going to see what's going on underneath the surface. The discomfort is worth it to me. I guess it just depends on whether you like to slowly peel away the band-aid or rip it off. The former is much more excruciating & tedious to me, and I'm always surprised when it's preferred. I'm not as conflict-avoidant as INFPs are supposed to be, perhaps; I always answer that question as "it's a necessary reality of life".
    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)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

  5. #265
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glycerine View Post
    One last post for awhile. Not that it's a type related but my 9w1 mother probably could have written the same thing. Unless she knows that she truly hurt you to the core, she will be the last person to ever show remorse or apologize for anything. We used to get into fights about it all the time because for her, it is all about the good intention of what she was doing and not her problem. Eventually we worked through it by hashing out the problems and came to an understanding and apologized to each other.

    But I find it kind of ridiculous to make a causal reference to type even if there may be a slight correlation. I am not going to assume that 9w1s are generally like that. That just wouldn't be logical, would it?
    I apologize all the time. I apologize to the dogs if I accidentally bump into them. If I'm late picking up the kids, if I forget to put the clothes in the dryer, etc. If I'm cranky and I snap at someone, I apologize. My lack of ill intent does not mean that the person I've wronged has not suffered from my actions. I am responsible for that and I apologize and try to correct it.

    If I did something that hurt someone in a major way, it's probably not due to a minor oversight, but something intrinsic to myself that is screwed up or at odds with the other person in a fundamental way. Maybe I can change it. Maybe I can't. Maybe I think I *could* change it, but don't know how to change it and don't feel like I can devote the resources to it right now. Maybe I would have done differently knowing what I know now. Maybe I still think it was the best thing I could have done with what I had to work with at the time.

    To express remorse when I don't think I would have done anything differently if I got a chance at a do-over . . . To express remorse when I don't believe I have a right to ask for forgiveness (IOW it is perfectly valid and reasonable for them to feel they've been wronged by me) . . . To express remorse when I know I don't have any real intention of changing myself . . . I guess I feel kind of weird about that.

    I am almost always looking for ways to improve interactions with those I interact with frequently. I make small adjustments trying to figure out how to make things as good for everyone involved as I can make them.

    Some things about me are just screwed up and it's hard to face them. It takes a lot to make myself do it because then you have to go back and rework so much stuff and it jiggles other stuff loose. I have to believe it's worth it and that the odds of success are high enough to make me feel confident that it can be done.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  6. #266
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I really appreciate that both you and Mane and persisted through, as it seems to me that both sides are approaching a better understanding of what's going on. The way that you've described in the last post of what you are (were) looking for (even if it seemed clearly stated to you before) has also been helpful in me better understanding what it is that you want to know about. I'm not sure what's different exactly about this way of stating it, but it's like the noise that was there is gone, so that I can consider what it is that you want to know. I think I've got some input on that. I need an hour to think it over, but thank you for your patience and persistence in engaging.

  7. #267
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    I AM (or WAS) asking INFJs to be human, both in being flawed & being moved to feel/express/act on remorse.
    I'm still not sold on the word remorse ... but it's close.

    My input here is that it takes time though. Lots of and lots of time passing combined with cosmic shifts of consciousness before an INFJ can admit (in the way you want to hear) to being the causative wrongdoer in a major conflict where they already see themselves as the wronged party. And even then, you will likely never hear about it.

    I think this might be because they already see themselves AS being in the right at the time of conflict ... somehow? After all, they wouldn't raise an issue if they didn't think they were right. Then, trying to reconcile what's happening during what we might see more as equal dysfunction only solidifies in the INFJ mind that they were indeed right all along, that we are the "bad" person, the one to blame, and then us trying to apologize or "make nice" is further evidence of our knowledge of what we did all along, that we did it on purpose somehow. Somehow. ?? Or as INFP's irl we over-apologize to the INFJ directive, or are too quick to apologize and that makes us look even guiltier, maybe insincere? Sorry I can't phrase this better atm.

    And our wiring means we search and search through the memory-banks to figure out what we did that was so hurtful. We assume we must have done something bad by default anyway. Maybe not having an action plan to prevent further injury is what it's about? We don't promise "never to do it again?" But we're more trying to figure out what we did in the first place? Thinking out loud here ... add or subtract or refine.

    Then - the possible door-slam and they've moved on. That makes retrospective remorse less likely.

    --------

    I can't regret posting at all, only maybe that I did not adjust enough for the audience, but even then, I tend to feel the lid had to be ripped off if we're ever going to see what's going on underneath the surface. The discomfort is worth it to me. I guess it just depends on whether you like to slowly peel away the band-aid or rip it off. The former is much more excruciating & tedious to me, and I'm always surprised when it's preferred. I'm not as conflict-avoidant as INFPs are supposed to be, perhaps; I always answer that question as "it's a necessary reality of life".
    Yes, I relate, and you know I've used different approaches too - for an INFP, the more raw we get, the more truth we lay bare. What we say just IS, there's no motive or meaning extra, we just lay it all out there, unvarnished and plain. It feels hugely risky, but I agree it seems worth it to get to the bottom of things.

    You could say the onus is on the speaker to deliver their message in a way most likely to succeed in reaching their audience, but I personally share the frustration of being judged as "bad" when I speak in the Fi way I desire. In this thread I am attempting to be an interlocutor between both worlds, but really, it's likely just a matter of time before I misstep myself lol. I might have in this very post! Saying it in our language is, again, deemed "wrong" ... and what we see as our emotional purity here starts to rack up "bad credibility" points on us as people. And that hurts. I don't have an answer for this though.

    Your "provocative" comments, after all, were what led us this far, and I for one have picked up (again!) a couple of useful insights from the general discourse in thread. I do admire your tenacity to try to stay true to delivering your message without resorting to a watered-down middle ground.
    "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

  8. #268
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I agree with you PB, that INFJs are unlikely to bring up a problem until they have spend time establishing that there is indeed a pattern of behaviour, and they have tried everything they can think of to adjust for it. It is only when we reach the end of our resources that you are likely to be asked to change your own behaviour. Therefore, yes, it can seem kind of like we see ourselves as the wronged party, rather than an equal factor in the problem.

    On the other hand, I don't think that is true in every situation. If it is of help to any of you, I believe that I was a big part of my past relationship not working well. I do think that it had to do with a belief

    1) That intellectual understanding of a situation could override emotions, which it can't (I would chalk that up to inexperience). On an intellectual level, I realized that we did not have the necessary foundational ingredients to sustain a relationship with each other long term, and I even verbalized that early on so as to make sure that my intentions were very clear. What I didn't account for was that proximity and emotional attraction are very powerful and can override even something that we know to be true, or a standard of behaviour that we hold dear. (It's been informative though - I've concluded that if you put anyone in the right set of circumstances, it would be possible for them to cheat, no matter how much they love their partner and no matter how much they abhor the notion of unfaithfulness).

    2) Wanting to believe that the other person was right that it could work because he seemed so sure of it (that's a Te thing - very secure feeling being with someone who seems so sure, when I have realized since that they are kind of whistling in the dark, but just do it differently than me) - maybe a kind of wilful blindness combined with confusion and unsureness since I had never met anyone who possessed as many compatible and attractive qualities and I was in my late 20s and in a community with very little other emotional support or companionship.

    3) Being selfish enough to continue seeing him, despite understanding better than him the depth of the differences between us. I liked being around him, there was very little other support system, and at first I thought we could be close friends. (Since then I've understood that no relationship is ever static. You can't freeze a friendship at a comfortable level of intimacy. You are always either drifting apart of getting closer in any relationship). In a short time, it became apparent that it was either cut off social contact entirely or else start dating. Around that time, his mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer (she lived on the opposite side of the country) and we also worked closely together with kids for a week at a time, essentially in a parenting role. I didn't want to quit spending time with him and in a practical sense, there were no other people I could call on as male chaperones for the trips we went on (with mostly highschool boys).

    4) Not being up front with the people closest to me that we were dating because even I couldn't really justify doing what I was doing, but I didn't want to stop. This was hurtful to him as he felt I was ashamed of him (which I wasn't) and deceptive to those whose opinion I valued most. I don't believe in dating without an end in mind. Yet I didn't plan to marry him or move in with him (due to what I saw as major logistical problems down the road if we were to put our lives together) and I didn't even know how to explain the fact that we were dating then. I didn't feel good about what I was doing, but didn't see a way of getting out without messing things up worse. Neither of us wanted to break up, but we were also at an impasse on several fronts.

    I think that he played a role in it too and some of his behaviours were not right either, particularly as the relationship progressed. There was a lot of pressure at the beginning particularly to rely on him, spend time with him, and make a committment to him without us properly addressing my concerns for the future. I think he wanted his future settled. He had just gotten out of a longterm relationship that had not ended well. He also had other undealt with emotional baggage that prevented him from communicating openly and which made him insecure and a bit controlling. When I had questions about his past (involving comments others had made about his drinking as well as asking pretty normal, non-threatening questions about his dating history), he was very evasive. It also became apparent as time went on that alcohol had been used as an emotional coping mechanism in his life for a long time. It was secretive at first, but more and more obvious later on. At the beginning he showed his best side and was extremely tender, warm, attentive and kind and he needed me as he was dealing with his mother's sickness and death. We just kind of got by in the beginning, pushing those concerns forward to be dealt with later (and I needed them dealt with if I was going to commit longterm). As time went on, I became more and more invested, even while feeling hypocritical because I knew that we couldn't ultimately make a go of it together and that I would not recommend my course of action to anyone else I knew if they were in the same situation. Meanwhile, he had started out invested and became less invested as time went on, realizing that it was going to be difficult to say goodbye later on, but yet not wanting to break up. This resulted in a lot of passive aggressive, push pull behaviour that resulted in more bad times than good by the end, but me not wanting to initiate getting out because I needed to prove to myself even that he really had cared, that I wasn't crazy for having spent that much time in a relaitonship with him and that even the things I had done that violated my own conscience were somehow not all just a loss. Anytime I tried to bring up the situation, those attempts were shut down, so there was a lot of coping on both of our parts.

    I think I can honestly say that on my part the hurt I incurred was not intentional or premeditated, but was a result of miscalculation, inexperience, and overinvestment through violating my own principles. I'm especially not proud of the last one. Nevertheless, I did do damage that I feel very badly about, even as I recognize that there were many factors involved, some of which I was not responsible for. As I've disussed it on here, my focus has been on what I've learned and can take away for next time, as well as trying to understand the things that didn't make sense to me with how he was acting at the time. With the things I did, I already knew why I did them, so they tended to go unexpressed (doesn't mean I was trying to skew other's perception of the truth or was garnering sympathy, nor that I didn't feel deep remorse). Ideally, I would have liked to have discussed it all with him and come up with a now what plan of action that would either clear the air or would result in a mutual decision to go our separate ways. Any vulnerability in the relationship was already pretty one-sided though, and he felt extremely uncomfortable discussing anything emotionally uncomfortalbe (either would ignore it or would smooth it away for the moment or be rather brusque so as to discourage further discussion), so it wasn't possible to get it all out in the open and apologize in a way that I normally would wish to be able to.

    Don't know if this is of any use to you OA, PB, or Mane, but thought I'd put it out there.

  9. #269
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    @cafe - your honesty here, given how badly the trait you are being honest about was framed, is freaking fantastic.

    i think you may have hit the nail in the head with the notion of alternative action/behavior.

    as NPs - both INFPs and the invading ENTP (jerk!), we live in a world of alternatives, "Ne" isn't something you use, it's who you are, we are a little world of alternatives. so there where always other paths to take, other forms of action to pick, other ideas to have. we picked the wrong expression of ourselves? the apple was rotten? it's ok, there's always more apples in the backpack.

    i often noticed people in typology forums make an effort to imagine the other's functions, but.. we don't pay as much attention to imagine what it is like to live without our functions. that's because it's incredibly difficult to know when the functions ends and the "self" began. i am my Ne, my Ti, my little Fe and my baby Si. i don't have a conception of self that isn't grown in Ne. i can do a very good job at analyzing and imagining what Ni is like, but i don't have any idea of what no Ne is like.

    i do have certain situations from which i can - and the phrasing is going to sound condescending as hell - understand the narrow experience. when my Ti has reached a conclusion about the structure of plausibility, when i 'feel' my facts are confirmed and are well supported. so, for examples that might be relevant, i can understand how what i said to at least two of the people here was very hurtful for them, but as far as i can tell, i was only divulging factual information. it's not that my Fe wasn't there, it's not that i didn't think of the likely emotional reactions to said information and how i can better grasp it, it's that my Fe was shouting at my Ti, "this is what your giving me to work with? how the F' am i supposed to make this stock report look nice?", Ti just said "hey man it's a bad economy", at which point Fe shouted "i don't have to take this, i got better offers in other people's skulls!", Ti answered "your under a life long contract" and Fe shouted "F' you, i am going to take pictures of my bare back on the photocopy machine and hang them all around your office" (clearly the embodied Fe has bad Fe). the point is, when unpleasant facts become relevant or critical, i feel i have very little leeway in the delivery.

    i feel responsible when i find that i calculated wrong, and i am very conscious that its my responsibility to always have things open for information to see if it's the case (though i have learned to be less aggressive in how i approach information-gathering), but until such a state arises, i don't feel i am responsible for the information. it was there, i pointed it out, the act of pointing it out is irrelevant to whether it was there.

    sometimes the resulting desire to change myself can go very deep, because i can blame the way my logic operates. for example, in a theology discussion when i was 19, i found out i didn't have a good understanding of a certain set of logical fallacies, i didn't know how to identify slippery slopes, sunken cost and cases of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. i had to examine those animals very closely, retrain my mind to see them, and reconfigure a lot of deductions or opinions once i had those tools, in many cases throwing out previous conclusions and realizations which i was previously very proud of.

    is this anything similar to what you are talking about cafe?

    (FYI, your nickname is contributing to the global coffee economy as we speak).

  10. #270
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Isn't it more true to say that INFP's are most likely to (deeply) care what other people think about them, and therefor can come off as judgemental when they are on 'the defense' when those people think negatively or wrong about them?

    edit: bleh, this was in response to a few posts talking about INFP's being the most judgemental of all types way earlier in the thread. I thought I was at the end of the tread. Oh well. :P
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

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