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  1. #11
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    It happens with MBTI as it does with most social groups. People like to feel set apart from the unwashed masses in some way. This can be accomplished by believing one possesses special truth, has unique insight, is more skilled or intelligent, etc. I think it is human nature applied to MBTI.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    In general, it doesn't matter; I'm just not sure what this thread is about. After all, you usually don't walk up to someone in a particular group or subculture on the street and say, "Hey, how are you doing, is <your subculture> pretentious?"
    It's not especially common to walk right up to someone, but I remember that happening in religious contexts when I used to participate. I remember attending a Bible study for mixed faiths, someone found out what church I attended and started complaining about the annoyances of living in a community based on that religion when I was the only one there as a member. Now that I think of it, people (at least in private) do that commonly regarding most any group they observe from the outside whether it be religion, politics, intellectual discipline, etc. It's not always the word pretentious, but other derogatory terms are also used. I'm not sure how rare it is to walk up and say it, but I know it happens.

    I also think some people are unlikely to view MBTI as a group with the kinds of cohesion you see elsewhere. It does generate those tight social groups, but it has taken a long time for me to understand that. I have no sense of belonging as a community member with any MBTI site even when I post on my type site (outside of a few direct friends, rather than belonging in a social role). It's more like observation. Because it is a theory, it can seem detached. When applied, it can become socially based.

    Edit: This seems like an important distinction because I have seen it become the core issue for various online controversies. Those members who have a strong sense of group dynamics do much better interacting with the core groups on forums. They can cross type forums better as well. Familiarity with church groups, small-medium sized towns, and any other tight-knit social groups that function on that level helps a person understand instinctively the kinds of faux pas and entitlements that go unspoken in group dynamics. People who do not have the experience or ability to embrace those dynamics can end up harshly judged because it is assumed they do understand it, but are directly violating and offending. Or else the outsider behavior becomes so incomprehensible and foreign, that it is assumed it must be negatively motivated. I have limited ability to function in social dynamics. Because of all of this, I have patience for someone who is socially "out of line", but I know it can just as easily be me due to social spaciness.
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  2. #12
    Senior Member proximo's Avatar
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    I think it's important to draw a distinction here. There's actual pretentiousness, which is people deliberately or habitually pretending to be something they're not, for the sake of image and appearances. It could be trying to make yourself out to be more intelligent or educated than you are, more stylish, more in control of your feelings, more independent... anything. A bachelor who writes pages in his journal every night about how lonely he is, but who puts on a front to others of being quite happy on his own, is just as pretentious as the stereotypical teenage philosophy student who thinks he's Sartre because he's read a few entry level books.

    But there's also a lot of stuff that's labelled as pretentious, which is actually nothing of the sort. It's just people being their true selves. But if Person A's true self happens to manifest itself in a way that's quite alien to person B, not being able to imagine themselves ever genuinely being that way, figures to themselves, "If I acted like that, I'd have to be faking, and it'd be for a reason, to impress people, or whatever". And so they judge person A as pretentious.

    There's also when person A finds subject X to be effortless and instinctive to them, and as yet hasn't realised that this is their own talent - they still sort of assume that everyone can do it, as talented people often do. They might talk about subject X in a way that makes person B feel confused and left behind, but person A doesn't realise this. They assume that B's silence means they disagree, or disapprove of their viewpoint. Person B thinks A is being pretentious, showing off their expertise in order to make them feel inferior.

    In both cases, the judgement of pretentiousness has come more from B's inferiority complex, and A is innocent.

    I think that because S and N people tend to live in different worlds, in their minds, they can find each other's worlds incomprehensible and therefore ascribe each other's expression of that world to pretension, falsely. Same happens between E's and I's - how often do you hear E's called superficial and pretentious by I's who just can't comprehend that somebody could be SINCERELY that happy to see another person, and that interested in their everyday life?
    I'm male and over 30, FYI.
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  3. #13
    Senior Member proximo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    Or else the outsider behavior becomes so incomprehensible and foreign, that it is assumed it must be negatively motivated.
    Damn, right while I was typing, you were saying the same thing, much more concisely and elegantly!
    I'm male and over 30, FYI.
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  4. #14
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    ok, NTs who answered "no" to this thread are completely full of shit and need to buy new mirrors.

    Yes, obviously.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  5. #15
    Senior Member proximo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    ok, NTs who answered "no" to this thread are completely full of shit and need to buy new mirrors.

    Yes, obviously.
    Would you explain your reasoning there?

    Edit - I've just also thought that there's also the possibility of somebody doing something that's pretentious, without it necessarily marking them out as a generally pretentious character. Like we all do bad things occasionally, though that doesn't necessarily mean we're all bad people.

    Imagine, for example, a guy standing face to face with a woman he has romantic feelings for, yet she doesn't know it. If he tries to appear calm and confident despite the fact that his heart's racing and he feels completely tongue-tied, then he's being pretentious. But that doesn't automatically mean he's a generally pretentious person. Or a woman going for a job interview. Suppose that generally speaking, she's quite low on self-confidence and uncomfortable talking about herself and her skills. If she tries to appear confident and self-assured, and happy to be questioned about and talk about her skills with total strangers, she's being pretentious: she's pretending to have qualities she doesn't; to be a person she isn't. But it's situational, and doesn't constitute a comment on her character as a whole.

    I'm just giving out my thoughts on pretentiousness as they come to me, hoping they might be useful to someone somewhere! <<-- that's sincere insecurity!
    I'm male and over 30, FYI.
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  6. #16
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proximo View Post
    Would you explain your reasoning there?
    No, I'm way too cool for that.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  7. #17
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    Everyone's pretentious about (and fail to relativize) what they find is their best quality, to a certain extent. NTs are no different.

    Quote Originally Posted by noigmn View Post
    I'm not sure. What type are all the closed minded backslapping academics you see scientists fighting throughout history?
    STJs

  8. #18
    Geolectric teslashock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krunchtime View Post
    What's the point of attaching labels?
    How can you ask that question while being an active member of a typology forum that does hardly anything but develop pseudoscientific categorizations and use them to label people?

    As far as pretense goes though, I've found that many types can be pretentious, just in different ways. NTs are pretentious when it comes to their intellect. SPs are pretentious when it comes to their physical abilities and owning "glamorous" items. SJs are pretentious in their monetary and/or familial "success" and their traditional notions of morality. NFs are pretentious in that they think their silly little feelings are important enough to mandate adherence in nearly any context. Etc., etc...

  9. #19
    Senior Member proximo's Avatar
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    I think people are confusing the word "pretentious" with "ostentatious"...

    Ostentation can sometimes be pretentious, but isn't necessarily. You can be boastful and vain about your skills or knowledge, and that's certainly unattractive, but it doesn't have to mean that you're only PRETENDING to possess them.
    I'm male and over 30, FYI.
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  10. #20
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toonia View Post
    Edit: This seems like an important distinction because I have seen it become the core issue for various online controversies. Those members who have a strong sense of group dynamics do much better interacting with the core groups on forums. They can cross type forums better as well. Familiarity with church groups, small-medium sized towns, and any other tight-knit social groups that function on that level helps a person understand instinctively the kinds of faux pas and entitlements that go unspoken in group dynamics. People who do not have the experience or ability to embrace those dynamics can end up harshly judged because it is assumed they do understand it, but are directly violating and offending. Or else the outsider behavior becomes so incomprehensible and foreign, that it is assumed it must be negatively motivated. I have limited ability to function in social dynamics. Because of all of this, I have patience for someone who is socially "out of line", but I know it can just as easily be me due to social spaciness.
    I am actually very sensitive to this, as I instinctively try to see the world through the eyes of the person I'm talking to (to make sure I "get" them correctly and can communicate with them), and I also know what it means to feel socially inept enough to skip going out places or end up crying out of anxiety depending on the circumstance, I usually err on the side of flexing for people...

    ... but in a casual environment, I'm far more apt to call people out if I get a particular vibe / see a particular pattern from them. If the environment isn't casual, I'll just keep my thoughts to myself and test them longer until I say something.

    Hmmm... does that make me pretentious ostentatious?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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