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  1. #651
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I don't know about this whole proxy thing. It kind of feels like if I were to express sympathy for a couple that confided to me that they were unable to have a child and they took my sympathy as a prompt to suggest, "Well, if you feel sorry, are you willing to be our surrogate?" and when I decline, them demanding examples of times when I actually showed real sympathy towards people, because I clearly am an unsympathetic person if I'm not willing to have their baby.

    I just don't have that kind of relationship to most people that would make me feel comfortable expressing culpability for something that feels very separate from me. I can offer sympathy. I can offer suggestions for how to cope with the person. I can offer possible thought patterns the other person might have. But it just feels oddly inappropriate to my relationship with a relative stranger to actually apologize personally for something that someone (who doesn't even act in a way I identify with 100%) did.

    Again, this is an extreme example, but it is meant to illustrate how out of nowhere it feels to be requested to either explain or apologize for another person's behaviour as if I were the person who offended in the first place. I really do want to understand what in your thought process would allow you to not feel weird about it.

  2. #652
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Towards the beginning of this thread, Starry mentioned something to me about a kind of therapy where representatives of some group (e.g. racial) sit in on a group therapy for people who have been hurt by that group, and they sort of ‘absorb’ (or something) the anger without taking it personally. They give the individuals a chance to work through the anger with the ‘type’ of person who hurt them, since getting the actual person isn’t available. While I can’t remember what it’s called, I’m pretty sure I remember reading about this myself and reading that it’s actually pretty effective. So I do know what PB is talking about with this proxy business.

    The problem here is that simply imposing that role on people- out of the blue, and especially on strangers- without clearly designating the role of ‘someone who absorbs the anger of other party’ and getting informed consent from that ‘absorbing’ party prior to the person trying to work this stuff out…..that’s just messed up. That’s just blindly throwing aggression into the world. And since the third party doesn’t realize the point, any ‘healing’ from having someone absorb that contempt isn’t likely to happen…..because of course people aren’t going to just *know* to take responsibility for something they didn’t do. I’m even inclined to argue it’s not healthy to *automatically* take responsibility for anger and contempt caused by someone else. (eta: ) <- That's the kind of thing that enables co-dependent and abusive relationships. People with healthy boundaries don't put up with that shit.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  3. #653
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    Is it.....hard for Fi'ers to imagine getting stifled by 'white noise' without necessarily doubting someone else's intentions? The way this keeps coming back to ‘good intentions’- as if, without exception “having furniture thrown in my path = other person does not have good intentions”- is puzzling to me. Someone can have the best of intentions and still have a message laden with the kinds of mixed signals that stop us in our tracks and prevent us from moving forward. We’ve stated this outright many times, yet it keeps coming back up. It really is kind of baffling to me how these seem inexorably linked to Fi’ers. It seems to me that misunderstandings and/or hurt feelings are the product of actual intention to misunderstand or hurt feelings far less often than not in life, so why is there so clearly an 'implied' connection to Fi'ers?

    This isn't directed at PB- especially if she wants to back out of the thread- just anyone who can answer. Even in the beginning, OA kept equating "something about this does not make sense" with "I doubt your sincerity". What's up with that?
    It is possible for us to understand in theory but sometimes not in practice.

    I think really it's not the issue itself, but how you express yourself about it. You'll (ie. the INFJs) say something that makes us think you accept that it's a misunderstanding, and then it's like you retract it in the next sentence or post - that really confuses us (well me anyway). I'm sure you don't intend it (pun intended - which is itself a pun - OK, I'll stop now) but that's the signals we get. You'll say, "there was a misunderstanding" - which is great, perfect. This implies there is no blame attached necessarily - it says to me, "You might have got it wrong, or I might have got it wrong - it's not important to say whom. Let's move past it". To me this is important thing to say to resolve a misunderstanding, even if you feel you're in the right.

    Then it's almost like you undermine this and assign blame. It's like you say, "It was a misunderstanding... but I certainly didn't misread the signs you gave me" (which I read: "it isn't anyone's fault... but it's definitely not mine...so it must be yours") or, "It was a misunderstanding... but you shouldn't have hurt my feelings" (which I read: The hurt may have been unintended... but you shouldn't have been so mean"). This is what I see as mixed messages: "you made a easy mistake, which is perfectly understandable, but now I'm going to punish you for it, anyway". To me, either you blame them or not. But it's like you want to harmonise and demonise in the same breath. This is seriously confusing to me. It also seems like a half-assed apology. To use an extreme example: a man hits his wife and then says, "I'm sorry, I shouldn't have done that. But then you shouldn't have made me mad". I think, which is it? Was it wrong or was it perfectly justifiable?

    And to be fair, there are things I feel like I stated a hundred times in many different ways but it doesn't seem to entirely get through. This is why the conversation is ongoing - we aren't fully comprehending one another
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

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    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte

  4. #654
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    Then it's almost like you undermine this and assign blame. It's like you say, "It was a misunderstanding... but I certainly didn't misread the signs you gave me" (which I read: "it isn't anyone's fault... but it's definitely not mine...so it must be yours") or, "It was a misunderstanding... but you shouldn't have hurt my feelings" (which I read: The hurt may have been unintended... but you shouldn't have been so mean"). This is what I see as mixed messages; "you made an easy mistake, which is perfectly understandable, but now I'm going to punish you for it". To me, either you blame them or not. It's like you want to harmonise and demonise in the same breath. This is seriously confusing to me. It also seems like a half-assed apology. To use an extreme example: a man hits his wife and then says, "I'm sorry I shouldn't have done that. But you shouldn't have made me mad". I think, which is it: it's wrong or it's perfectly justifiable?
    Yes, that explains it from my pov as well.
    "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

  5. #655
    It's always something... PuddleRiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eilonwy View Post

    If I get involved in the problem, for example, by posting in this thread, then I will feel responsible. But if I never was involved in the thread, would I still have to take responsibility? For what, exactly?
    Exactly.
    "In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay one invincible summer."
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    "The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them" Maya Angelou.
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  6. #656
    It's always something... PuddleRiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I don't know about this whole proxy thing. It kind of feels like if I were to express sympathy for a couple that confided to me that they were unable to have a child and they took my sympathy as a prompt to suggest, "Well, if you feel sorry, are you willing to be our surrogate?" and when I decline, them demanding examples of times when I actually showed real sympathy towards people, because I clearly am an unsympathetic person if I'm not willing to have their baby.

    I just don't have that kind of relationship to most people that would make me feel comfortable expressing culpability for something that feels very separate from me. I can offer sympathy. I can offer suggestions for how to cope with the person. I can offer possible thought patterns the other person might have. But it just feels oddly inappropriate to my relationship with a relative stranger to actually apologize personally for something that someone (who doesn't even act in a way I identify with 100%) did.

    Again, this is an extreme example, but it is meant to illustrate how out of nowhere it feels to be requested to either explain or apologize for another person's behaviour as if I were the person who offended in the first place. I really do want to understand what in your thought process would allow you to not feel weird about it.
    You nailed it.
    "In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay one invincible summer."
    ~~~~
    A Christian's life may be the only Bible some people ever read.
    ~~~~
    "The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them" Maya Angelou.
    ~~~~
    I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ" Gandhi
    ~~~~

  7. #657
    Anew Leaf
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    Ok... I am a bit confused... was the original intent REALLY about having the INFJs be some kind of proxy for other INFJs that aren't on the site (and perhaps not on the internet at all) to help others resolve issues?

  8. #658
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post
    Ok... I am a bit confused... was the original intent REALLY about having the INFJs be some kind of proxy for other INFJs that aren't on the site (and perhaps not on the internet at all) to help others resolve issues?
    No, I came up with an idea earlier today that I haven't fleshed out yet.

    There was no expectation.

    (And that's a misinterpretation of the idea.)
    "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

  9. #659
    Anew Leaf
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    No, I came up with an idea earlier today that I haven't fleshed out yet.

    There was no expectation.

    (And that's a misinterpretation of the idea.)
    hence my confusion. I just keep seeing the word proxy pop up like it is the word of the day in some hive mind calender.

    Or something.

    This thread is exhausting. I don't even understand how it got to this point.

  10. #660
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    To me remorse is displayed by ceasing to do whatever it was that made the person feel bad and trying to help them clean up the damage incurred. If I didn't directly cause those feelings, I don't feel remorseful for someone feeling them though, and I'm finding it difficult to wrap my head around why others might. I'm not invalidating what you are saying, but I need a little help to understand what makes you feel responsible for something you didn't actually do.

    In here, I do not see all of the NFP crowd as being part of one group, but rather as a collection of different individuals with different approaches and different personal histories with me. Therefore, if one offends, it is not another's job to apologize. The only thing they can do is try to help translate it into terms I understand. If someone is having trouble with one of the people from my "group", I might try to help them improve the situation, but I don't feel responsible if my own actions did not result in them feeling badly.

    I sometimes need to have pointed out to me that while my intention was not to hurt, it did result in hurt occurring, in which case I will try to determine how to keep that from happening again, even if it was inadvertent. The other person's feelings of hurt indicate to me that something I did was wrong and needs to be altered. In some cases, you can't fix things that easily and that is where a true apology and forgiveness come in.

    After awhile, if great lengths have been gone to to make amends (to no avail), the other person's needs are not being communicated to me so that I can do better in the future, or if I am being asked to take responsibility for something that I didn't do (such as other INFJs being unkind in the past to someone else), then I lose patience and start distancing myself. In short, my goals are solution-oriented and when someone doesn't seem to have an intended outcome in mind, then their intention for talking about an issue seem really hazy to me. I'm wondering if maybe your goals are more centred around feeling, but I'm not sure what they would be then.

    Perhaps this is why we disagreed earlier in the thread about what remorse was?

    I can see that you are feeling increasingly uncomfortable with the amount of onus that's on you because it is not fair in your eyes. My problem is that in practical terms, I'm really not sure what to do with that. It's not that I want things to be unfair, or that I think that you aren't allowed to feel that way.

    As extreme as this example might be, it kind of feels like approaching someone to work things out, but then lacing the conversation with racial slurs. You can even say, "Oh, just ignore that, so and so isn't really a racist person and is just trying to understand your cultural group better because she's had negative experiences in the past. She grew up in an area where that's how people talk, but she doesn't mean anything personal by it". The problem is that the racial slurs are so distracting and so contradictory to the intention that the conversation purportedly was started for, that until the conversational approach is changed, no one will get anywhere with it. Yes, it may be restricting to monitor one's speech like that, but if it is in the interest of good communication, why not? If someone points out that something is distracting and offensive to them, does it feel like they are saying that YOU are distracting and offensive and are not allowed to be your authentic self?

    Maybe it feels to you like a couple that get together who speak different native languages. It seems unfair for all the communication to be done in one language, as there are certain nuances in the native tongue that simply do not exist in the other person's language and it also puts one partner at a slight disadvantage conversationally, even if they have a pretty good working knowledge of the language. I guess what I'd say is that it does have to go back and forth, but there is the restriction of what can be expressed in either language, where you are, who else is present (and what languages they know), what the purpose of your communication is, if both partners have an equal level of fluency and so on.

    What do you think?

    edit: As I'm thinking about this, I think Fi takes a more collective responsibility for things than Fe. Just as Fi is more judicious about where it shows sympathy, but then really goes all out, Fe is a little more loose with sympathy but it's in a more detached, impersonal way. Maybe this is why Fi feels that we are responsible not only for ourselves, but for all of the people that represent us who may have caused hurt as well. Or I might be totally wrong!
    I don't know about this collective responsibility thing. That's how it might look from the outside but I don't think of it in that way.

    I see what you're getting at with the racism example but this comes back to the Thomson quote I showed you earlier. Not to sound like I'm trying to drill this into you, I'll post it again:

    Developed Fi naturally leads people to favor mercy or forgiveness for people who have done heinous acts--anything from theft to murder to genocide--acts that, under the ordinary laws that make a society manageable (see Extraverted Thinking), would usually merit their imprisonment or execution. From a developed Fi perspective, the criminal is still a living soul, still unique and precious despite whatever he may have done. If we walked in his moccasins for a while, maybe we could see it his way. Without condoning his crimes, maybe we could see how we ourselves could have done the same things under similar circumstances. This use of empathy as one's ultimate anchor of orientation leads to a resolute non-judgementalness. First empathize--find something in your own heart that lets you see how someone could feel and act the way he did--and then you will probably find that you no longer feel hatred or a desire for retribution.

    The, "not condoning his crimes..." part is significant - when we defend someone and explain their reasoning we aren't taking a side. Explaining is distinctly different to excusing or justifying. I could see why you would be upset at an attempt to defend a person like in the racism example. I am certainly repulsed by racism, but I might still be repulsed and play devil's advocate to explain relevant information that might help others make a more rounded decision rather than a knee jerk one.

    I don't know how this fits into collective responsibility. To me, Fi+Ne requires me to look beyond the surface and search for hidden explanations. And I find (usually) those hidden explanations lessen my extreme emotional reactions, allowing me to judge others' behaviour in a more balanced way. Now I don't want to argue for moral relativism - because I'm not really much of a believer in that. In the situation described in the quote, I would still believe in punishing someone who committed a terrible crime with imprisonment, but that doesn't mean I can't understand and feel some pity for him.

    I guess what it comes down to is that empathy doesn't get in the way of my ability to judge right from wrong. I don't see empathy as something that clouds issues, but instead as something that provides clarity. I also can empathise and pass negative judgement at the same time without feeling any sense of conflict in that. I wouldn't say I feel more or less empathy than Fe-types but I imagine it works in different ways. I internalise the feelings of others until it feels like I am very much in their shoes - I can imagine what they would feel so clearly I understand it as if it was myself feeling it. I suppose Fe is more external in their empathy - if they see someone in pain, they feel bad for them, but don't presume to understand what they're going through. Of course this is not to say one is better than the other.

    The native language example pretty much fits I guess. I don't necessarily perceive the disadvantage prior to the conversation and need to explain. Like I said earlier, I respond to the negative more than the positive. When I see things going wrong in the conversation and can see what might be causing it, I feel the need to set it right. At other times in conversations when I hear too much agreement and I feel people are missing a crucial counterargument, I play the devils advocate (even if I don't believe in what I'm saying). It's just unsettles me to see people making judgements without the full picture, so I want to give it to them.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I don't know about this whole proxy thing. It kind of feels like if I were to express sympathy for a couple that confided to me that they were unable to have a child and they took my sympathy as a prompt to suggest, "Well, if you feel sorry, are you willing to be our surrogate?" and when I decline, them demanding examples of times when I actually showed real sympathy towards people, because I clearly am an unsympathetic person if I'm not willing to have their baby.

    I just don't have that kind of relationship to most people that would make me feel comfortable expressing culpability for something that feels very separate from me. I can offer sympathy. I can offer suggestions for how to cope with the person. I can offer possible thought patterns the other person might have. But it just feels oddly inappropriate to my relationship with a relative stranger to actually apologize personally for something that someone (who doesn't even act in a way I identify with 100%) did.

    Again, this is an extreme example, but it is meant to illustrate how out of nowhere it feels to be requested to either explain or apologize for another person's behaviour as if I were the person who offended in the first place. I really do want to understand what in your thought process would allow you to not feel weird about it.
    That surrogate example is BS by anyone's standards. It's pretty manipulative of them too.

    I don't like apologising for other people; I don't think it's my place to do that. I see explaining for others as different to apologising, but then perhaps you don't. I can imagine myself to be in other people's shoes but I can't actually wear their shoes. If they have something to answer for, then that's their problem.
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

    I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;
    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte

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