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  1. #11
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    ... I still don't think it's part of a "bad family" script per se, because our REACTIONS to a bad family (neglect/abuse/etc.) are not just created by what is acting on us, but who we already are.
    Right, so we're back to nature/nurture arguments... I think I can propose a reasonably plausible theory as to why/how I became NT through nurture, though the 'nature' argument is somewhat harder to explain since both parents are Sensors, and so are their parents!

    I've thought that having been born in the wrong body has meant for me that since the word 'go' I've never been able to feel any attachment to the world around me, as everything told me that neither I nor anything else is what it seems. I think that might at least partially account for the extreme N preference in me. The T part could be quite simply because I've a male brain, and T is average/normal in that case, or just like any number of T women, it's just the way I am.

    But it could be that the combined effects of these 'nature' things making me NT, gave me the predisposition to respond to abuse/neglect with detachment - or more or more profound detachment than I already leaned towards.

    It's all just speculation, obviously I don't think there's any way of knowing for sure.

    I do find though that whereas you can 'get away' with not being particularly attached to your friends, especially males and their male friends (where gooey sentimentality is not only not expected, but keenly discouraged unless under the influence of alcohol and to be forgotten about next day and never mentioned again!! lol)... when it comes to family, especially female family, there is definitely this expectation that you care for them more than other people. That the accident of some shared gene pool automatically creates some sort of attachment.

    I think that basically I've given myself a lifelong guilt trip over the fact that I don't feel this, and it's really given my self-worth a pounding over the years as I've found myself being called cold, callous, ruthless, nasty - my sister only recently said that I "must be either autistic or full of hatred" simply because I spoke to her in the same way I'd talk to anyone else, when I disagreed with something she said and told her I thought she was full of shit. She concludes that for someone to say such 'hurtful' things (it never occurred to me that anyone could be hurt by something so trivial, since I'm not...), especially to their own sister, it must mean they're a Nasty Person.

    I think this is part of the nub of it: not knowing how it feels to be hurt by unkind words from people whose opinion of us means the world, it doesn't occur to us that our opinion of someone else might mean the world to them. So we speak our minds, bluntly, openly and honestly - little realising that every "don't be stupid" or "what a load of shit!" or "no thanks, I've got other things to do that lunchtime" has accumulated into what feels to the other person as a steady stream of cold, nasty insults. To us, they were casual, even temporary opinions, forgotten about as quickly as they were spoken.

    I never intended to hurt (ruling out pure nastiness), and though perfectly aware of the other person's feelings and reaction (ruling autism out), I was just at a loss as to understand that that reaction was caused by my words/actions, or why/how they were able to respond in that way. But even if I had been, there's no way I could've done anything differently, without having to, basically, fake it. Is that what they want me to do?

    And so it's clear suddenly how profound and far-reaching the effects of simple non-attachment can be on every aspect of a person's life...

    Woah. Far out.
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  2. #12
    Member Entropy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    I often find it quite odd, the huge disparity between the way friends see me, and family. Personally, I feel that my family barely knows me...
    The way my friends view me and the extent to which they know me is greater than that of my family. They know comparably little about me, not even enough to buy me a proper gift on the holidays (not that I even expect them to go through the trouble). I'm under the impression that they don't think too highly of me either.
    It seems like sometimes they think they do know me well, but there's no way around the fact that I don't tell them much. I'm distant with them. This is an attitude that was partly bred out of how I was treated by them through childhood and early adolescence. I tried to blend in with them and play along but it didn't work. I was the odd one. Not girly enough, never got baptised, not involved with the same culture, etc. The result? I'm not quite "in" on their secret club, and frankly, I can't honestly say that I'm very hurt by it. As I see it, there are other people out there for me to get along with.
    The only sort of closeness that I do feel towards them is because they've been in my life since I was born. But it's not much different than an old friend who I knew in childhood.

    Do other NT's find that, like me, that the lack of attachment or the 'neutrality' they feel towards others extends to family as well? Do you find it has different effects? Does it cause you more trouble than with non-family? Do you find that the pressure to appear attached and the reproach/disgrace for not doing so are much worse? How do you deal with it?
    The neutrality I feel towards them is essentially the same as with others. Though I think more deliberate because of the pressure to be more loyal and caring towards family members. More troublesome than non-family. With the latter I wouldn't have several sets of eyes glaring at me like I was demented for not caring. With family it doesn't matter about merit, or how much time you've spent with a person. They don't have to "earn" anything. It's just something you do, a duty.
    I don't care much for such a duty. I keep it up within my immediate family to a point. My mother thinks it's rude for me to not behave as expected towards them, and forces me to attend family dinners on the holidays.

    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    If NT-ness is, as is often claimed, often the result of neglect/abuse/general poor family relationships, perhaps this has some correlation with NT's typically being detached and uninvolved with people generally. This could also have a knock-on effect of making us somewhat callous, not understanding how it feels to be attached to someone or how it can affect a person to have someone they care about 'being mean' to them, we don't treat those who care about us any different from those who don't, since in effect, they all fall into the same category for us of people who, generally, we don't really care about?
    There are some people I care about more than others. At least, I think I do... Should I actually feel something towards them? Or is caring a state of mind?
    I have the experience of having had to cut people out of my life who I did care about - not a tear dropped in any instance either.
    One of my closest friends suddenly became very angry with me. He had a message relayed to me, that he hated me and didn't want to speak with me ever again (we were in high school, it was as immature as it sounded :]). I was confused as to what it was I did to anger him, but I respected his wishes and moved on. Then he got more upset because I "acted as if I didn't care"!

    And might it also be the case that the bad experiences with family/parents that could've made the whole NT detachment in the first place is still there, resentment etc for it, in adult life, are what's making it difficult for us to sweep under the carpet all the pain of our childhoods...
    I do, admittedly, harbor some resentment. I'm not sure to what extent it affects me, only in as much as when I believe I'm being rejected by someone, I return the favor. I don't try to waste my time earning (or trying to force) the affection/respect of someone who thinks little of me based on arbitrary criteria and/or doesn't care to begin with.
    Certain people in my family have taught me that sometimes, it's a useless endeavor.

    But in another sense, maybe I'm punishing myself, out of all the guilt I feel about not being able to attach to people...
    I don't feel any explicit guilt when finding myself unable to attach to people. But I do have a tendency to punish myself for being "too attached"...
    For example, wanting to spend more time with a friend, I'll instead distance myself. I don't like reaching out to people, or "needing" them. I'd rather just forget such feelings and move on.

    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    Right, so we're back to nature/nurture arguments... I think I can propose a reasonably plausible theory as to why/how I became NT through nurture, though the 'nature' argument is somewhat harder to explain since both parents are Sensors, and so are their parents!
    Might be a mixture of both. But looking back I can see how I definitely had "NT tendencies" as a child. There was pressure to be more "SF", but I wouldn't have it. Many attempts to change me or press me into a mold ended up failing. I just turned inward and away from them.

    when it comes to family, especially female family, there is definitely this expectation that you care for them more than other people. That the accident of some shared gene pool automatically creates some sort of attachment.
    There sure is. Boy, do I hate the line, "You should do X for me because we're family, and family is supposed to do things for each other!" A failed attempt at guilt tripping me, I don't ever feel guilty about it. It's kind of like a parent commanding you to do something "because they said so". Or in this case, because they somehow deserve it.

    it doesn't occur to us that our opinion of someone else might mean the world to them... So we speak our minds, bluntly, openly and honestly - little realising that every [...] has accumulated into what feels to the other person as a steady stream of cold, nasty insults. To us, they were casual, even temporary opinions, forgotten about as quickly as they were spoken.
    This has happened to me many times, with family, friends and acquaintances. Both being unaware of how much someone values me/my opinion. It's easy to miss - and I usually don't assume that they think anymore or as much of me than I do of them. And I can't say that my words carry much warmth either.
    In the case of my friend who suddenly got very angry with me, it was exactly that kind of blunt speaking that started the whole thing. Forgotten as soon as it was spoken, I had no clue how deep it'd cut until much later when he reminded me of it.
    These days, I bite my tongue a lot more. I'm more reluctant to be honest or blunt with people because of the danger of it being misinterpreted.


    Yeesh... long post.

  3. #13
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    I think I can propose a reasonably plausible theory as to why/how I became NT through nurture, though the 'nature' argument is somewhat harder to explain since both parents are Sensors, and so are their parents!
    Same here. I am an iNtuitive adrift in a world of sensors...

    Honestly, if I look at my parents, sister, and all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins on both sides of the family (and great aunts/uncles!)... out of around 30 people, there are at most only 2 N's there... and both were NF's.

    sigh. I think I'm a mutation.

    I've thought that having been born in the wrong body has meant for me that since the word 'go' I've never been able to feel any attachment to the world around me, as everything told me that neither I nor anything else is what it seems. I think that might at least partially account for the extreme N preference in me. The T part could be quite simply because I've a male brain, and T is average/normal in that case, or just like any number of T women, it's just the way I am.
    For me, I think the N was where I gravitated to naturally; and because of my situation, I spent ALL of my time there. In my dreams is the only place I could really live and thrive and feel whole. I am only recently really getting a full grasp of how much I have "lived in my head" and detached from my body, and the last year or two has been a real effort to become rooted in my physicality and learning to listen to, feel, and accept my body as part of "me."

    I have the "T" thing... but people still mistake me as F sometimes... and I am fairly sure that part of it is because of the "female" thing. I never understood some of my quirks, but they seem to fall into line with how women approach relationship and make more sense to me now...

    But it could be that the combined effects of these 'nature' things making me NT, gave me the predisposition to respond to abuse/neglect with detachment - or more or more profound detachment than I already leaned towards. It's all just speculation, obviously I don't think there's any way of knowing for sure.
    But it still is so much fun to sit and futz away about, isn't it? Who knows? Who cares? It's a fun discussion!

    I do find ... when it comes to family, especially female family, there is definitely this expectation that you care for them more than other people. That the accident of some shared gene pool automatically creates some sort of attachment.
    Uh huh. That definitely seems to be a given.

    I think that basically I've given myself a lifelong guilt trip over the fact that I don't feel this, and it's really given my self-worth a pounding over the years as I've found myself being called cold, callous, ruthless, nasty - my sister only recently said that I "must be either autistic or full of hatred" simply because I spoke to her in the same way I'd talk to anyone else, when I disagreed with something she said and told her I thought she was full of shit. She concludes that for someone to say such 'hurtful' things (it never occurred to me that anyone could be hurt by something so trivial, since I'm not...), especially to their own sister, it must mean they're a Nasty Person.
    I think you should put it on a t-shirt and wear it around. (I give you permission to wear it like a badge of honor. )

    What I find hilarious is that recently, with all of these shifts in one direction, rather than becoming MORE [hyper]sensitive, I am becoming more balanced and able to take some punishment. I tend to dish things out and accept them a little more gracefully, without taking them as personally now as I used to... Go figure.

    I think this is part of the nub of it: not knowing how it feels to be hurt by unkind words from people whose opinion of us means the world, it doesn't occur to us that our opinion of someone else might mean the world to them. So we speak our minds, bluntly, openly and honestly - little realising that every "don't be stupid" or "what a load of shit!" or "no thanks, I've got other things to do that lunchtime" has accumulated into what feels to the other person as a steady stream of cold, nasty insults. To us, they were casual, even temporary opinions, forgotten about as quickly as they were spoken.
    I agree in terms of the general idea, although I usually do think a little more and anticipate someone taking something poorly before just blurting it out. Still, my mother trained me well: Trying to live with her was like walking on the proverbial eggshells, you never knew what would suddenly send her into a miserable sobbing fit in the back corner of the house, simply because you gave your opinion on something that it turns out she had far too much investment in.

    I never intended to hurt (ruling out pure nastiness), and though perfectly aware of the other person's feelings and reaction (ruling autism out), I was just at a loss as to understand that that reaction was caused by my words/actions, or why/how they were able to respond in that way. But even if I had been, there's no way I could've done anything differently, without having to, basically, fake it. Is that what they want me to do?
    I think it should have been as much as education for them as it was for you. Yes, perhaps we needed to learn that some people take things very seriously and detached comments can hurt; but that does not make us second-class citizens, and for their own betterment, they also need to learn that some people are NOT bothered by those sorts of comments and in fact mean well by them, and they need to lighten up.

    I spent far too much of my life coddling people and going out of my way to make life too easy for them... ruining myself in the process. And for what? All it usually did was make them feel entitled to be treated even MORE gently... whereas what they really needed was to get a better more realistic picture of life and make allowance a bit from THEIR end for OTHERS.

    We all have to grow up sometime and learn to see the variety in the world, rather than identifying ourselves as what should be the "norm."

    (Sigh. I bet I just offended someone, didn't I? Well, they'll just have to live with it!)
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  4. #14
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    First substitute, whoo-hoo for this thread topic! I have been posting multiple times on different threads when people talk about NT/NF relations and use family relations with different levels of dysfunction and history as examples. This was really starting to bug me because of course these examples were not positive at all nor IMHO respresentative of typical types or interactions. It was representative of the poster's particular family history and (from the descriptions) unhealthy family dynamics. And nobody was responding!

    And now an NT and one of the OPs of such a post (kind of?) agrees!

    It's interesting to see what you and others have to say on the topic, and frankly I'm almost surprised how open and self-reflective your posts seem because my impression from other posts is that 'enfx's' simply bewilder you, you don't get us/them, we're histrionic overly sensitive and self-righteous, and your opinion on us/them is pretty much closed because the problem lies with us/them.

    This is not meant to be an attack or judgement, but my POV.

    My only comments on your OP for now is that coupled with other comments you've made about your family history and your detachment style, I'm really surprised at the amount of energy you put into your family relationships. Perhaps this is an understatement but from what I've read, some of your family members are dysfunctional in their relations with you and basically toxic.

    It puzzles me because on one hand you are talking about a core issue with detachment and how it hurts you and yet you still struggle to keep and improve relations with your toxic family -- even though they have proven they can harm you, most likely will not change, and are not really helping you progress as a person -- especially not helping or motivating you to want or know how to become closer/attached/more emotionally aware of other people. I don't think you should put too much weight into the opinions of a mother who abandoned you or basically other family members who have shown they don't have time or respect for you...in other words, who cares if you mom calls you a "robot" - which btw I thought was very uncalled for and a low blow. Honestly, wth? I understand I'm not getting the full picture, but I really again, hope you do NOT base how you should proceed to becoming a more empathic or 'warm' person based on your family's accusations or using their acceptance as you as a ruler of progress. That would be a bad idea.

    Also, I feel bad that you feel bad and bewildered that so many people seem to get angry at or hurt by you and call you 'callous' et. al. but if that is the catalyst that gets you on an inner journey to really see what's going on inside and to see yourself in a bigger perspective and try to figure out what these people really meant, I really hope the best for you and that some progress can come out of this and not just you getting frustrated and saying "i give up, so people think i'm an asshole, they're just a bunch of pansies so big fucking deal!' Because really, I kinda get a sense of where you are right now in this path and dang, where do you start??

    So maybe these are not the most helpful comments in the world but they were given with the intent to help and support.

  5. #15
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    First substitute, whoo-hoo for this thread topic! I have been posting multiple times on different threads when people talk about NT/NF relations and use family relations with different levels of dysfunction and history as examples. This was really starting to bug ...

    And now an NT and one of the OPs of such a post (kind of?) agrees!
    Well, that wasn't really my focus, but you're right... admittedly, it's as much my fault for assuming that the disclaimers I think as I write are too obvious to merit mentioning, and that others have made the same 'connections' as I have... I admit there are a lot of gaps in what I say where I don't make it explicit enough what I mean for someone who can't read my mind

    But I'm gonna answer the rest of this in my blog...
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  6. #16
    Junior Member fiona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    For me, I think the N was where I gravitated to naturally; and because of my situation, I spent ALL of my time there. In my dreams is the only place I could really live and thrive and feel whole. I am only recently really getting a full grasp of how much I have "lived in my head" and detached from my body, and the last year or two has been a real effort to become rooted in my physicality and learning to listen to, feel, and accept my body as part of "me."

    Wow - there's a sit up and gasp moment. When I say to people that a lot of the time my body feels like this slug-thing I drag around and I really have very little interest in it, they can't even begin to comprehend what I mean. But it is like that for me. I live in my head, too. That's not to say that I don't enjoy being in the outdoors - I do, but the physicality of my body is far more of an annoyance to me than a benefit.

    Could that be partly why some NTs tend to have a problem with being touched? Mine is definitely an 'I'm not interested in this ugly thing I drag around so anyone else being forced to touch it must be revolted by it'.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiona View Post
    Wow - there's a sit up and gasp moment. When I say to people that a lot of the time my body feels like this slug-thing I drag around and I really have very little interest in it, they can't even begin to comprehend what I mean. But it is like that for me. I live in my head, too. That's not to say that I don't enjoy being in the outdoors - I do, but the physicality of my body is far more of an annoyance to me than a benefit.

    Could that be partly why some NTs tend to have a problem with being touched? Mine is definitely an 'I'm not interested in this ugly thing I drag around so anyone else being forced to touch it must be revolted by it'.
    Wow, I just sat up and gasped too. I didn't know it was an NT thing to not like being touched. I always thought I was just a freak. Cos it never comes naturally or never feels natural to me. It was a signature of mine a while ago, the line from the Velvet Underground song: "Candy says I've come to hate my body and all it requires in this world." Cos I totally do.

    Sometimes just knowing that I'm tied to it and can't leave it, and impatience to leave it, feels just unbearable. For me, it gets so bad sometimes not even dreaming/escaping into my head can help and all I can do is drown it out in alcohol.

    I've actually thought in the past - like way back when I was well, not even a teenager yet, that I didn't like being touched because it felt like I was being 'rudely awakened', even if I wasn't daydreaming, I always lived so much in the abstract, non-physical realm, that simple physical sensations - things I normally ignored like background noise - the ones that can't be ignored, feel very intrusive, as if they're really jolting me, yanking me into the physical world where I don't want to be, and really just can't be.

    I often find myself having days when I don't want to drive in the car because I don't feel I'm safe to, because I know I'm too 'out of it' (without touching any substances!!), and I can't trust myself to LOOK and really SEE what's around me, physically, and could easily go sailing into an oncoming car.

    I don't want to deal on the sensory plain and I can't really, even when I do want to. I feel like being touched is like someone forcing me to do that, and I resent it. Like forcing me onto 'their soil', where I'm at a disadvantage both in the Sensing and Feeling realms.
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