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  1. #1
    Luctor et emergo Ezra's Avatar
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    Default Succumbing to Irrationality or, How to Become More Compassionate

    Recently, I've been metaphorically slapped across the face by people far more compassionate than myself. The context is essentially immaterial, although I think it would be ideal to just outline what I mean when I say I lack compassion. Take the current crisis in Gaza. I think that what the neutral governments like the UK and the US are doing is the rational thing to do. This is because while campaigners are saying various things like "stop the crisis in Gaza" (an overly-idealistic and -simplistic view), I see no rationality in said campaigners actions. They respond to my apparently heartless, cruel "but why should we help these people?" with completely arbitrary and subjective claims about aiding humanity. I feel they don't consider the practicality of doing so, nor do I feel they consider the rationality of choosing to remain neutral. I think they are too driven by their feelings. Nonetheless, either due to the moral guilt they place upon me (and I'm an amoralist!), or by some other phenomena of which I am almost completely unaware, I feel as if I should be doing or saying something differently.

    The problem is, I'm afraid of sacrificing my intellectual integrity, and I feel that in becoming more compassionate as a person, I will do just that.

    Is there any way I can avoid this, and still be compassionate? Or should I admit that these people are acting irrationally, and that I am not mistaken in my course of action (or non-action, as the case may be)?

  2. #2
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    The problem is, I'm afraid of sacrificing my intellectual integrity, and I feel that in becoming more compassionate as a person, I will do just that.
    What are you actually afraid of here?

    What perception are you trying to foster in the eyes of others about yourself that you are trying to publicly preserve?

    And what things about yourself that you don't want to accept are you running from?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  3. #3
    The Destroyer Colors's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erza
    They respond to my apparently heartless, cruel "but why should we help these people?" with completely arbitrary and subjective claims about aiding humanity. I feel they don't consider the practicality of doing so, nor do I feel they consider the rationality of choosing to remain neutral. I think they are too driven by their feelings. Nonetheless, either due to the moral guilt they place upon me (and I'm an amoralist!), or by some other phenomena of which I am almost completely unaware, I feel as if I should be doing or saying something differently.
    Well, I think that you don't have to sacrifice your rationality to be more compassionate. It's not so much that these people are irrational- they're just using a slightly different set of base assumptions, or have slightly different order of priorities that fuel their rationality. People do this all the time. And just because they don't always have the "Point A to Point B" formal-logic way of diagramming their thought process on the matter, doesn't make their conclusion, you know, less logical.

    When you say, "I feel as if I should be doing or saying something differently," it might not be a bad time to evaluate why you decided on neutrality on the first place and whether you've been introduced to new information (or new reasonings) that would lead to a different conclusion. You don't have to reject your reasoning to change your mind, just see it in new context.

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    Senior Member blanclait's Avatar
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    your not going to become any less logical or lose part of your intellect b/c you can associate with people's feelings.

    rather you become more intelligent as you develop your interpersonal skills.


    if its hard, just pretend you care.

  5. #5
    Widdles in your cream.
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    This is probably an overly idealistic and simplified solution, but how about keeping quiet when it next pops up in conversation? That way you don't have to appear compassionate. Just smile and nod in feigned agreement. Otherwise, I agree with what you're saying. But not everyone appreciates cold practicalities and logic. Sometimes people take comfort in acts of compassion. Yes, it's irrational, I agree, but it's probably their way of coping; they feel like they're doing something about it, which puts their heart at ease.
    Um, yeah.

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    Member mtaclof's Avatar
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    My approach to these situations is to simply avoid these topics around people that can't stomach a rational argument about an inherently emotional situation. I can't really compromise my rationality at will, I have a hard time being disingenuous about my feelings. Because of that, I have to trust that the person is interested in a rational argument, irrationality in argument really gets my goat.
    This kind of compromise wont sacrifice your objectivity at all.

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    Senior Member groovejet02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    The problem is, I'm afraid of sacrificing my intellectual integrity, and I feel that in becoming more compassionate as a person, I will do just that.

    Bah! This is a silly assumption based on the simplistic dichotomy of the head vs. the heart.

    See it this way: if you fail to be compassionate, you will always view the world in a one-dimensional manner. Intellect tempered with wisdom and compassion is what everyone should aspire to.

    But as an INTP, I'm still figuring this out, so my advice is: ask a healthy INFP

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    rawr Costrin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    The problem is, I'm afraid of sacrificing my intellectual integrity, and I feel that in becoming more compassionate as a person, I will do just that.
    Being scared of irrationality is irrational.

    Sothere.

    The fear will make you do irrational things. Realize that being irrational is not something to be afraid of, and suddenly you'll actually become more rational, yet simultaneously be able to connect more with your emotions.

    imo
    "All humour has a foundation of truth."
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    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Being rational is also about knowing that other people are justified about being emotional, sometimes. In the end both viewpoints are clueless as to what constitutes "the perfect approach".

  10. #10
    I'm a star. Kangirl's Avatar
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    The problem is, I'm afraid of sacrificing my intellectual integrity, and I feel that in becoming more compassionate as a person, I will do just that.

    Is there any way I can avoid this, and still be compassionate? Or should I admit that these people are acting irrationally, and that I am not mistaken in my course of action (or non-action, as the case may be)?
    Wtf?! How is being compassionate = to being irrational? I dunno, but when I first joined this place it used to annoy me that so many used to assume that NT types were cold somehow, but posts like this one seem to be a hint as to why they do. Seriously, spell this out for me, how is feeling compassion for the suffering of others somehow a *compromise* of intellectuality?

    Gah. GAH.

    Also re: amoralism. Really? Really now?
    "Only an irrational dumbass, would burn Jews." - Jaguar

    "please give concise answers in plain English" - request from Provoker

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