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  1. #811
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    I work with NTs. I'm thoroughly used to it.

  2. #812
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I don't know what I think yet about that...

    I guess, yes, I would agree with PeaceBaby, that I absolutely will dictate the terms of interaction, as I would also expect others to do as well. If we agree about how to interact, then we'll interact. If we don't, then we won't. They have exactly the same right as me to decide that they don't like the terms of interaction and choose not to engage. I think this is one of the reasons why I find it so difficult to interact with larger groups of people. I'm trying to figure out what all of them are hoping to get out of the conversation, how to address those needs best and decide if I can work with it. What if I arrive at the conclusion that I can with some and not with others? Then that means that I'm being unkind or excluding some people, when it is really just that I don't see how it can turn out well, or else I just have to water it down to something that is non-offensive to anyone (and therefore not all that stimulating).

    Hence the reason that you see a lot of INFJs just withdrawing - they don't feel that they have the right to impose on the people around them any more than someone else can on them, so they just decide that if the negative interaction isn't going to yield benefits which outweigh the drawbacks, they'd rather save everyone some trouble by avoiding it. I don't think it's a fear of conflict, so much as an outlook about rules of engagement. I tend to overassume that everyone's views are unchangeable. As Tilty said earlier, I generally don't voice something until I feel fairly attached to it. I may be willing to rethink, given some time, but it won't happen immediately.

    I didn't consider before that the "where did I go wrong" idea was necessarily an invitation to let the other person take over. Usually that is the fundamental question that I want to answer for myself (as I am focussed on the goal I am heading towards and how I got lost on the way). I would see it a bit like finding knowledgeable people who know their way around a place that I am uncertain of (hence my filtering for credibility) and then getting advice from more than one of those people about where I took a wrong turn. Of course, that is completely dependent on them knowing and agreeing on where I want to ultimately end up. That doesn't necessarily mean I'll just take one person's word at face value, or even that I am conducting a poll. More like accessing expertise that I don't have access to, and then making an informed choice about what I want to do with the information. I would still reserve the right to decide what decision I will make.

    If that does feel like surrendering control to you guys, that's something that's really helpful for me to know. I know I have reacted negatively to someone offering to "guide" me, when I hadn't picked them for the job and if that's what it feels like I'm doing, I want to be aware of that!

    I guess I should confess that I want to understand what you guys see differently from me, not so much as a way of validating individuals, or sharing an experience, as to create generalized rules for myself of interaction that will best accomplish everyone's aims in interacting with each other and so that I do not offend needlessly. I also want to add that knowledge to the structure that I am creating in my head of how things work, as it creates a sense of both satisfaction and security to know how the pieces fit into a larger whole.

    Perhaps maybe this seems a little cold and impersonal. Maybe even mercenary? It feels like there's a layer of warmth with it too though, as that is what I want people to do for me. The best compliment they can pay me is taking time to understand what makes me tick and file the information away for when it is needed.

    There is a bunch to this yet that I think is worth considering, but I haven't gotten it completely thought out myself yet. Lots of other stuff in the thread that I would like to respond to as well...

    I will tell you that I don't see INFPs at all as INFJs' poor cousin/idiot brother etc. I have dated an INFP and been very close friends over a period of years with another. While we are wildly different in some respects, they have strengths that I do not have and truly admire.

    I've found this thread some of the most interesting, real discussion that I've seen on here in a long time and I think at the end of it, I will come away with several points that help inform my perspective courtesy of you folks being willing to help out in the way you have.
    Last edited by fidelia; 01-22-2013 at 11:26 AM.

  3. #813
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I'm trying to figure out what all of them are hoping to get out of the conversation, how to address those needs best and decide if I can work with it.
    A quick question: Does it strike you that some people aren't looking to 'get' anything out of the conversation? Can you sense when there is no goal? How does that affect your interaction?
    "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

  4. #814
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Even when that's the case, there's still something. I mean, even if they have no goal, then that in itself informs how I interact with them. It usually is still centred around sharing something, understanding someone better, feeling in need of company, or any variety of other things.

    But yeah, I understand that you are wired to think of it in very different terms than me and having a reason for having the conversation seems a little foreign of a way to think of it. Still, if you want to understand why or why not I engage in conversation with someone, this idea is really central to understanding that.

    If I feel unsure of myself in a new setting, but can see that there is someone who has a need that supersedes that, I will take initiative in approaching them. In a group where I have little in common with the other people and where one on one conversation isn't really possible, it takes me longer to figure out how to engage with them and I often just observe for quite awhile first. The more complicated it is to figure out what motivates the person or people to engage, the more observing and thinking I have to do (and then there's that whole delayed processing thing as well to know what to do with the information). I hate that about myself, as it often leads to misperceptions about me and it also looks a bit socially awkward, but I don't know how to change it. I've also found that if someone seems to be doing okay in a social environment, I'm less likely to take initiative to approach them. That is something I've been working to correct, as often I've missed out on friendships just because I wasn't willing to take a chance first.

  5. #815
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    Yes, I realise that they are more generally present in Ni doms. I think there is a Fe spin on it though (which I couldn't define) that makes it slightly different.
    Yeah, there's Fe-spin in there, in that the Ni-twists of reasoning are in the domain of values/emotion instead of the domain of things and analysis.

    Interesting, I never thought of Ni-Se in general appearing circular. Tautological is a new word to me but I see what you're getting at. In a way, Ne-Si is more of a spiral - we circle an indirectly perceived truth/principle (Ti/Fi), getting just a little closer each time. The idea is to get as close as possible to that core and perhaps fully grasp it (if that's in fact possible). I can see why this would irritate Ni-Se because it seems like time wasting, when we could just make a direct leap. I grasp Truths through refining and distilling ideas, whereas the INFJs seem to grasp it through revelation (?). I don't really have "Aha moments" like Ni-users. My version of it is simply a sudden swing in the spiral towards the core Truth - it doesn't solve all the issues involved, it just clarifies things a little and gets me a little closer.
    That's a good description of the Ne approach. The Ni approach isn't revelation so much as immediately perceiving a truth as being obvious. To debate the truth feels as absurd to Ni as debating whether a red apple is red. "The apple is red, isn't it obvious? Why are we even debating whether the apple is red?" Ne instead notes that the apple isn't completely red, and points out that its insides are white, with black things, and even the skin has speckles of various non-red colors.

    What do you mean by this? Can you elaborate?
    Fe vs Fi is an easier barrier to cross than Ne vs Ni. Ne and Ni see different things, but Fe and Fi merely start reasoning from different places. Fe and Fi eventually meet in the middle with very similar conclusions, but if it's Fi-Ne vs Ni-Fe, they will disagree about WHY those conclusions are true, and that means they'll have a hard time arriving at the common ground.

    Interesting. Yes, I think I have vaguely had a sense of that going on beneath, but I do imagine a Ni and Te user would recognise it better. This is in part what I meant about the circularity defence. It seems like when they feel under threat, there can be a walling up and they simply work with what data they have already imbibed. It's like they sense a siege is coming and (real) progress is halted. They close the drawbridge to the castle and then work with what resources they have stored up to defend themselves.
    And THIS is why the Ni/Se vs Ne/Si divide is the most difficult barrier to cross. Ne complains that Ni is all walled off and defensive, even as Ni keeps shouting, "Why are you banging on my wall?! The door is over here!" Ni's door is often invisible to Ne, and vice versa.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiltyred View Post
    BS-ing FiNe insights -- that we act like they don't exist -- it's not that they don't exist. It's that they don't matter. That it's a waste of energy to land there and fixate on that point, because it takes you nowhere. This is my experience of it. (when there is conflict -- not all the time) (example deleted)
    ...in your opinion. I disagree.
    This is Ni vs Ne; I run into the same issue with INTPs. There was a specific question, with specific conditions in specific circumstances, and I answered it (correctly, as completely as was required by those same circumstances). The INTP will inevitably say, "I don't think that's completely true," and either start poking holes in my answer (if the INTP is in a bad mood) or start asking exploratory questions to find out the "complete truth" (if in a friendly mood). It's like the apple example I used above. It's "true enough" that the apple is red, it's not worth arguing about, but Ne will want to explore/argue the concept of "redness" even as Ni regards it as a total waste of time.

    What's going on is that each side sees different things when looking at the same problem. Using the red apple example, the Ni context might be answering the question, "What apple should I get for John?" and the answer is "That red apple." There are several unstated aspects to this context. Ni knows what kinds of apples John likes (Gala apples, though Ni can't always seem to remember the name). Right here and now (Se), there is a limited set of apples on display, some of which are red, and others are green, yellow, etc. Each of these apples is of a particular variety (Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Fiji, Gala, etc.). So Ni picks "That Red apple" (which also happens to be a Gala apple) for John, because Ni knows that's the best choice of the bunch, saying, "I think I'll get this red apple for John. He likes those red apples." ["those red apples" meaning the particular Gala kind of apple, for which Ni doesn't remember the word.]

    At this point, Ne replies, "That apple isn't exactly red."





    Now let's look at this from the Ne side. Ne saw Ni "jump to a conclusion" (answer an internal question, then declare the result out loud). Ne sees that red apple, and all the other apples, so many of which are far more red than the apple Ni chose, and, you know, if we want to the farmer's market on Saturday, they'd probably have even redder apples that probably even taste better, too. Of course, if you waited until late October, then you'd get some of the best and reddest apples of all. (Or if in a bad mood, Ne would just complain about Ni "obstinately" insisting that the apple is red when it really isn't.)

    Is the Ne version worthy of discussion? Of course, but the topic Ne sees and wants to discuss is invisible to Ni at the moment. The topic (and set of circumstances) Ni thinks is under discussion is invisible to Ne. These pieces need to be explicitly stated by both sides in order for communication to work. The reason I can have these kinds of issues with INTPs is that it can take what feels like a game of 20 questions before we realize that we were talking about different things. In the Ne/Ni apple discussion, the purity of the redness of the apple was never a matter for consideration, it was just a hand-wavy identifier.

    So when an Ni dom says your point doesn't matter, it is most likely 100% true, given the time/space constraints the Ni dom currently has under consideration. If you believe your topic is very important, or being too quickly dismissed, you are likely using a context very different than what the Ni dom is using. Yes, it is very important in the bigger scheme of things that "1+1=2, 2+1=3, ... " forming the set of counting numbers, and that tangentially relates to what I'm talking about, but right now I'm just counting avocados, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    I don't know. It's pretty hard to accept.

    I tend to expect a lot of people out there will dismiss my thoughts/feelings/ideas as dull, insignificant or just plain nonsense. I suppose I kind of hold out that a INFJ, being fundamentally similar and pretty empathetic, would at least try to understand. Too often I feel like the INFPs are viewed in MBTI circles as the INFJs' poor cousin, or idiot brother. The fact that the INFJs, being one of the types in a better position to understand us, would feel that way too, is pretty shattering.

    Again with the disillusionment...
    Yeah, I know. It feels like you're showing something that it quite interesting/fascinating, only to have it categorically dismissed. The problem is that often times it's fascinating because of "how" you are looking at it, and it's difficult to communicate that "how." The trick is learning how to communicate the "how" (the context) along with everything else. And, in turn, how to listen for contexts that others use that you don't happen to prefer.


    ...



    TL;DR - Always give the other person the benefit of the doubt. Their "unreasonableness" is most likely a result of mismatched contexts.
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.

  6. #816
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    Fe issues. The main difference between Fe and Fi is object vs subject. When dealing with the object, there is only object to be shared in common, so the notion of everyone having their own object, or everyone legitimately seeing the object differently is nonsense. In the case of the subject, each has their own, so the notion of multiple points of view is self-evident. I believe this is an easier barrier to cross, though it's more touchy than the Te/Ti version, especially if participants are easily offended.
    I don’t think it’s a matter of it being ‘nonsense’ so much as there are degrees of objectivity/subjectivity and the extent to which something is subjective (legitimate, just- also subjective) is the extent to which I don’t particularly have a right to impose it on others as Truth. It’s okay if someone else’s ‘truth’ sounds like nonsense to me, just as my own personal ‘truth’ may sound like nonsense to them, that isn’t to say it is nonsense- that’s just to say I can’t personally make sense of theirs and/or they don’t understand mine. Much like Tilty has already said- I don’t need my own personal ‘truth’ validated except by those close to me and I do think this is something that INFJs seem to be able to take for granted, just knowing that we’re all already on equal ground and entitled to our own take on reality. We just seem more resilient somehow. Something that I find difficult to understand- apparently if this isn’t overtly acknowledged, Fi’ers default to thinking the other person is trying to devour their immortal soul dictate One Truth For All? Or…..something? It’s difficult to get a grasp on- yet I do vaguely understand it because I feel easily drowned out by an overzealous Te’er.

    Anyway, I think I can speak for most INFJs when I say ‘legitimately seeing the object differently’ isn’t nonsense to us, that of course individuals see the object differently and everyone is entitled to their own vision (NF ego is NF, after all- and personally I think instinct variant speaks more to focus on ‘individual’ than Fi/Fe). I’ve felt alienated for seeing my own version of the ‘object’ for as long as I can remember. It’s just that INFJs don’t work through the immediate details aloud as they surface, and external freedom (to immediately express/act) isn’t as important as internal freedom (to scheme up improvements on what’s there, for the future, there needs to be a relativey smooth/harmonious external environment for Pi to thrive). And I don’t know, what I consider my own way of seeing the object differently- it’s more private somehow, if even only because it’s more vague and more internal.

    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    It's not always a power play from the Fe/Te PoV, though it can be. A Te-dom of my acquaintance would often argue with me about various contentious issues. We'd argue, eventually get down to brass tacks, and he'd note, "Oh, you're assuming that X is true, while I'm assuming Y is true. OK, that makes sense," and the argument would be over. Remember that for Te and Fe, the argument is over an object OUTSIDE of ourselves. I might be pointing at A, and he's pointing at B, but that doesn't mean my ego is attached to A or his is attached to B. A and B are just starting points.

    I suspect it FEELS more like a power play to Fi/Ti, however. Subjective ideas tend to have a lot of ego attached, and Ti and Fi types tend to push back VERY HARD if you approach too close. The picture in my head is of a nice but curious doggy (Je) sniffing at a cat (Fi) and the cat clawing at the doggy's nose just because the doggy got too close. The doggies don't mind each other a bit, though, and they'll bark loudly at each other and sniff at each others' butts until they're both happy.
    I reckon this is why INFJs can take for granted that it’s equal ground without needing it explicitly acknowledged. It doesn’t feel as personal in the first place.

    And yes, sometimes it is just a Je’er feeling entitled to impose their own judgment on their external environment, needing to ‘alpha’ whatever to soothe their ego (?)- but a lot of times it’s just not being able to bend right away. I don’t consider Pi tunnel vision to be the same thing as ‘needing to be Right’, necessarily. I can see how it might look that way to someone who can change their focus on a dime- but there’s something about this “Je is always RIGHT” assertion, @PeaceBaby, that’s very peculiar to me. It’s inserting way too much intention into it. It’s more clumsiness than it is intention. Kinda like how I described the way ‘raw batter’ can seem to introverted perceivers- inserting ‘intention’ into the consequence of being Pe (‘playing stupid’ or sounding ‘me me’)….it can seem like someone is intentionally omitting someone else’s viewpoint and trying to push their own as the ‘shared story’ because it’s so hard to imagine it not being ‘obvious’. But Je and Pe can both just be really clumsy.




    eta: okay, uumlau's post above this one actually hits on points I was trying to make much better than I did. That's some mighty fine mbti kung fu, uumlau.
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  7. #817
    Glycerine
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    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    TL;DR - Always give the other person the benefit of the doubt. Their "unreasonableness" is most likely a result of mismatched contexts.
    ^ I know this is an gross oversimplificaton but from what I gathered over the years on the forum and such, Ne's essential question would be "How?" and Ni's essential question is "Why?". It seems that both sides tend to find the others' essential question irrelevant to the "big picture".

  8. #818
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    Yeah, there's Fe-spin in there, in that the Ni-twists of reasoning are in the domain of values/emotion instead of the domain of things and analysis.


    That's a good description of the Ne approach. The Ni approach isn't revelation so much as immediately perceiving a truth as being obvious. To debate the truth feels as absurd to Ni as debating whether a red apple is red. "The apple is red, isn't it obvious? Why are we even debating whether the apple is red?" Ne instead notes that the apple isn't completely red, and points out that its insides are white, with black things, and even the skin has speckles of various non-red colors.


    Fe vs Fi is an easier barrier to cross than Ne vs Ni. Ne and Ni see different things, but Fe and Fi merely start reasoning from different places. Fe and Fi eventually meet in the middle with very similar conclusions, but if it's Fi-Ne vs Ni-Fe, they will disagree about WHY those conclusions are true, and that means they'll have a hard time arriving at the common ground.



    And THIS is why the Ni/Se vs Ne/Si divide is the most difficult barrier to cross. Ne complains that Ni is all walled off and defensive, even as Ni keeps shouting, "Why are you banging on my wall?! The door is over here!" Ni's door is often invisible to Ne, and vice versa.





    This is Ni vs Ne; I run into the same issue with INTPs. There was a specific question, with specific conditions in specific circumstances, and I answered it (correctly, as completely as was required by those same circumstances). The INTP will inevitably say, "I don't think that's completely true," and either start poking holes in my answer (if the INTP is in a bad mood) or start asking exploratory questions to find out the "complete truth" (if in a friendly mood). It's like the apple example I used above. It's "true enough" that the apple is red, it's not worth arguing about, but Ne will want to explore/argue the concept of "redness" even as Ni regards it as a total waste of time.

    What's going on is that each side sees different things when looking at the same problem. Using the red apple example, the Ni context might be answering the question, "What apple should I get for John?" and the answer is "That red apple." There are several unstated aspects to this context. Ni knows what kinds of apples John likes (Gala apples, though Ni can't always seem to remember the name). Right here and now (Se), there is a limited set of apples on display, some of which are red, and others are green, yellow, etc. Each of these apples is of a particular variety (Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Fiji, Gala, etc.). So Ni picks "That Red apple" (which also happens to be a Gala apple) for John, because Ni knows that's the best choice of the bunch, saying, "I think I'll get this red apple for John. He likes those red apples." ["those red apples" meaning the particular Gala kind of apple, for which Ni doesn't remember the word.]

    At this point, Ne replies, "That apple isn't exactly red."





    Now let's look at this from the Ne side. Ne saw Ni "jump to a conclusion" (answer an internal question, then declare the result out loud). Ne sees that red apple, and all the other apples, so many of which are far more red than the apple Ni chose, and, you know, if we want to the farmer's market on Saturday, they'd probably have even redder apples that probably even taste better, too. Of course, if you waited until late October, then you'd get some of the best and reddest apples of all. (Or if in a bad mood, Ne would just complain about Ni "obstinately" insisting that the apple is red when it really isn't.)

    Is the Ne version worthy of discussion? Of course, but the topic Ne sees and wants to discuss is invisible to Ni at the moment. The topic (and set of circumstances) Ni thinks is under discussion is invisible to Ne. These pieces need to be explicitly stated by both sides in order for communication to work. The reason I can have these kinds of issues with INTPs is that it can take what feels like a game of 20 questions before we realize that we were talking about different things. In the Ne/Ni apple discussion, the purity of the redness of the apple was never a matter for consideration, it was just a hand-wavy identifier.

    So when an Ni dom says your point doesn't matter, it is most likely 100% true, given the time/space constraints the Ni dom currently has under consideration. If you believe your topic is very important, or being too quickly dismissed, you are likely using a context very different than what the Ni dom is using. Yes, it is very important in the bigger scheme of things that "1+1=2, 2+1=3, ... " forming the set of counting numbers, and that tangentially relates to what I'm talking about, but right now I'm just counting avocados, thanks.



    Yeah, I know. It feels like you're showing something that it quite interesting/fascinating, only to have it categorically dismissed. The problem is that often times it's fascinating because of "how" you are looking at it, and it's difficult to communicate that "how." The trick is learning how to communicate the "how" (the context) along with everything else. And, in turn, how to listen for contexts that others use that you don't happen to prefer.


    ...



    TL;DR - Always give the other person the benefit of the doubt. Their "unreasonableness" is most likely a result of mismatched contexts.
    There's a bunch of really good stuff in here. I think for me, the issue is knowing exactly where we are seeing different things and knowing what questions to ask to find out what it is that the other person is seeing. Do you see any shortcut to getting to the place where you can more easily recognize that or is it largely a trial and error process? Do you think there are any generalizable principles that can streamline the process once you have done it with one person of that type, or are there so many variables that it has to happen separate for each individual in each circumstance as it comes up?

  9. #819
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glycerine View Post
    ^ I know this is an gross oversimplificaton but from what I gathered over the years on the forum, Ne's essential question would be "How?" and Ni's essential question is "Why?". It seems that both sides tend to find the others' essential question irrelevant to the "big picture".
    Not "irrelevant". It just isn't the first thing on one's mind.

    I start off building a "why" framework. Once I have "why", then "how" becomes "obvious specific instances." "How" is still a very useful question to answer, but I can't answer it without the "why" piece.

    Ne does the opposite, starting off building a "how" framework. Once "how" is fully understood, then "why" becomes "obvious implications" of the how. Ne can't answer the "why" until the "how" is understood.

    [Please note that I'm using your word choice. Replace "why" with "the Ni question" and "how" with "the Ne question" to get closer to the truth.]

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    There's a bunch of really good stuff in here. I think for me, the issue is knowing exactly where we are seeing different things and knowing what questions to ask to find out what it is that the other person is seeing. Do you see any shortcut to getting to the place where you can more easily recognize that or is it largely a trial and error process? Do you think there are any generalizable principles that can streamline the process once you have done it with one person of that type, or are there so many variables that it has to happen separate for each individual in each circumstance as it comes up?
    For the most part, I find that it's trial and error. The main thing we can do is make the trial and error piece be less painful and take less time. I had a post here a week or so back in this thread that went into lots of detail on this. The main thing is to learn how to "hear" the opposite perspective, and to answer it in its own terms. For INFJs, this means not stating things declaratively, and be more explicit about your internal reasoning. For INFPs, this means developing a thicker skin and learning to state things more declaratively.
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I absolutely will dictate the terms of interaction, as I would also expect others to do as well. If we agree about how to interact, then we'll interact. If we don't, then we won't. They have exactly the same right as me to decide that they don't like the terms of interaction and choose not to engage.
    ok, holding to the benefit of my doubt like it's a precious stone, in which others may or may not see value, that is their own choice to make, but i'm compelled to give the opportunity either way:

    normally, if i see a post goes to the black/white generalization of rights in a discussion assessing the consequences and meanings of interactions within those right, i would conclude that this is the act of boxing all the actions within a box in which we see an intrinsic right, and thus shows and an unwillingness to look or address the various objects within that box.
    for example, if - in a thread about various forms of physical violence - someone decided to explain that they have every right to move their body as they see fit, and that the same freedom of physical motion and that they expect the same from others, i would perceive it as an unwillingness to address the various forms of physical motions which have being expressed as harmful to others. likewise for verbal violence and freedom of speech.

    instead of letting myself go with that, i am going to ask: what do you mean by this? is that box a nicer re-framing of "everything is either my way or the highway", or is there's something more too it, perhaps something i am missing altogether?

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    Last Post: 07-03-2008, 09:11 AM

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