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  1. #1
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Default Severe minimalism.

    People often tend to think of the drive to want too much as being an ugly part of human nature, unavoidable in the face of reality.
    I think people are caught off-guard by how rarely it applies to me.

    I've always eaten very little food.

    I don't want gifts! I hate getting gifts 90% of the time. I probably won't use them, they'll take up space, and I feel like I'm obligated to use them, causing me much guilt.

    I will turn down items considered highly desirable by others, just to have space in my room.

    I don't drink, smoke, or use any other drugs. I don't even take pain killers unless I'm being really tortured.

    I have encountered many, many people who are weirded-out by how little I want. I have to drink and smoke, I have to eat more, I can't pass on special sales...
    When I moved out of my previous home into this one, my family members kept looking at my cargo and saying "you can take more you know?". I'd say "yeah, but I don't know if I really need that and...", at which point they'd suddenly command "take more!".

    I say it's a sign of my combined MBTI and Enneagram type.
    Has anyone else had the problem of being unacceptably minimalist, or am I alone on this one?
    Go to sleep, iguana.


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    INTP. Type 1>6>5. sx/sp.
    Live and let live will just amount to might makes right

  2. #2
    Senior Member Sandy's Avatar
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    Hmm... my INTP son (in the Air Force) came home and visited for 9-days just this month. He brought only the clothes on his back and his Gameboy DS and a few games. I was looking for a backpack or a carry-on... there was none. He knew I had his clothes and toiletries here, so he didn't feel the need to bring anything else. His needs are very simple. In fact, if it was up to him, he would wear the same clothes all week long.

    In his small dorm, other than his computer and TV, he doesn't have a whole lot (uniforms, soap, deodorant)... nor does he need much. He would qualify as a minimalist. (My INTP boyfriend has tendencies like this, too).
    -Sandy
    I - 75% N - 55% F - 55% P - 61%
    Enneagram 4w5

    There is love... in the red letters
    There is truth... in the red letters

  3. #3
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    It may interest you to know that I'm the other way around: I always take more than I need, because I'm always thinking I might need it. I'm a bit of pack rat, and try to hold on to everything from really old notes/lists to the original packaging of software products. I'm particularly partial to hording books, magazines, and cards.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Sandy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    It may interest you to know that I'm the other way around: I always take more than I need, because I'm always thinking I might need it. I'm a bit of pack rat, and try to hold on to everything from really old notes/lists to the original packaging of software products. I'm particularly partial to hording books, magazines, and cards.
    Saying that, my youngest son is ALSO a rat pack... but here at MY home! In his own digs, he has nothing. Here, he has a hard time throwing things out (but I have the same problem, but not to the degree that he does) and he has kept most everything since he was a kid. I tried to get him to take some of his "things" with him, but he doesn't want it. It's up to me to keep or get rid of his things, which really bugs me.
    -Sandy
    I - 75% N - 55% F - 55% P - 61%
    Enneagram 4w5

    There is love... in the red letters
    There is truth... in the red letters

  5. #5
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    I don't know if I'm a minimalist or not. I don't want a lot of things, but once I have something I can't throw it out. I tend to really only buy what I absolutly need or will use. I can't eat alot but I don't like wasting food so I eat a lot of leftovers. I also get sick of the same food over and over again, can't see how any one can have such limited diets.

    I am the same way about gifts. Which is why I don't tell people about my birthday, that and I hate being wished happy birthday by people I don't really hang out with.

    Packing I never packed alot to go anywhere, of course have friends who pack three suitcases to go on a weekend trip, so I'm sure they'd be greatful for my minimalist packing if ever go on a road trip with me. My suitcase includes usually:
    Tops (one for each day I'm their)
    Sweatshirt/Sweater (2 in case I spill something)
    1-2 pairs of jeans (depending on how long I'm gone)
    PJs
    Undies
    Socks
    Extra pair of shoes (incase something happens)
    Swimsuit
    Jacket
    Rain coat
    Make up (if I go out)
    Nice Outfit (if I go out one night.)
    Toiletries

    I have maybe 5 friends and I don't want more. I have one really good one in Chicago and that's all I need.

  6. #6
    Senior Member pocket lint's Avatar
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    Yes, sometimes people ask how I am easily satisfied with little, but I don't think I am to the point of being unacceptably minimalist for it to be a problem...yet.

    Here's something I like to read to myself once in a while (I don't know who the author is... someone posted it on a minimalist forum I visited a year ago):
    A child that throws a tantrum and goes into a severe crying fit when a toy is taken away is a perfect mirror of our own reality. I saw one do this on the bus ride home yesterday. The child was screaming and squealing "that's mine" in an agonizing state of complete misery. Tears and everything! Misery over what?!? A toy?! No. It is not just a toy. It's "MY" toy. It is a possession. An attachment. An extension of the image of ME. The moment I see something as mine, this thing, this inanimate object, this non-thing, is and becomes a part of who I think I am. This fascinates me!

    It starts with MY toy, and later becomes: My car, My house, My friend, My lover, My land, My country. And for the spiritually inclined MY thoughts. The list of the many things we attach ourselves to, we define ourselves by, is endless. We instantly cling and claim ownership over most things we come in contact with. And when these things go away, change, or are taken away (as all things of this world are), we are blinded by misery and all kinds of upsets; the misery and upsets of loss. My loss. We are plagued by disappointment and a sense of unfairness. That belonged to ME. How can I LOSE this? It was MINE. We grieve for our loss.

    Everything in this world is temporary. Some of us learn this early on with a loss of a pet, or family member, and some of us go through life losing one thing at a time without ever acknowledging that ALL things in this reality are temporary and fleeting. Family. Friendship. Partnership. Ownership. Situations and circumstances. The forms life takes. Everything changes. All things will pass. Yet we try and impose permanence on these things by calling them "my" or "mine" and convincing ourselves that this is true. It's totally backwards!

    Living in a world bound by the laws of birth and death we have at least some peripheral understanding that everything that arises into our awareness (our life) whether it is people, situations, things (and thoughts), will die. It will dissolve. It will go away. Everything of this world has a shelf-life, an expiration date, regardless of our attachment to it. There is no choice in the matter.

    Where there is choice is in our recognition and acceptance of this law.

    It doesn't mean you live in misery and anxiousness over the possible losses that are to come. Don't go locking yourself up for fear of the inevitable. In fact if you are unhappy it means you are still attached and imposing your self (i.e. in the form of expectations) onto neutral, un-personalize-able things. You still have that "this belongs or should belong to me forever" mentality. Get rid of it.

    Where in attachment we experience dysfunction and unhappiness, in detachment and non-identification we find the true joy of living. Experiencing things, people, and situations as they are WHILE they are, is the most freeing feeling you could ever experience, not only for you but for the other person/place/situation as well. Especially with people, freeing them of YOUR expectations and experiencing them as they are is the BEST feeling ever for everyone involved. There is no stress and no mess. When you abstain from imposing your identity onto all things, you can truly grasp the essence caged in the words "if you love something, set it free;" let it be as it is.

    Detachment is not disinterest. It is interest without personal investment, the investment and imposition of "my" or "mine." Relinquishing such kind of illusory ownership is the most liberating feeling. When you can love a person, situation, or thing, as it exists without possessing and imposing your own structure on to it, you find the joy of...simply being.

    Just BE and set your life FREE.

  7. #7
    Don't pet me. JAVO's Avatar
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    I like that quote, pocket lint.

  8. #8
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    I'm not severely minimalist, as I definitely do like having some of my things, and I do appreciate aesthetics in my living spaces.

    But I definitely don't buy a whole lot - at least compared to most people (and when I'm saying 'most' people, I'm thinking of many of my coworkers) - and I usually try to buy stuff that I feel I only truly NEED. Very little of my budget goes towards 'stuff' - and the only 'stuff' I tend to buy is clothing or books or cd's these days. Nothing else, really.

    I'm starting to become rather averse to 'stuff.' I'm actually kind of annoyed that I have as much as I do, and when I moved to a new apartment in August I took great pleasure in bringing several bags-worth of stuff to the Salvation Army, and kept looking around to see how much more stuff I could get rid of. :-)

    Actually I'd say over half the 'stuff' that I own was given to me. I certainly haven't purchased most of the knick-knacky type stuff that I own; it was given to me by my mom or other relatives. My mom is a 'stuff'-queen (actually everyone in my mom's family is) -- she has SOOO many collectibles, etc - but not your craftsy stuff; more stuff like crystal, and expensive figurines, plates, lots of holiday decor...and she doesn't really understand my *attempting* to live a more clutter-free lifestyle - and I end up feeling guilty sometimes and might take stuff I don't really want, just because she'll make me feel bad otherwise and it's easier just to take it rather than have a whole discussion about it. :-)

    But yeah - I TRY to accumulate as little as possible!!

  9. #9
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    the OP could easily describe me, but there's another thing apart from natural tendency towards non-materialism that makes me like it: fairly acute claustrophobia. Clear those spaces, clear that clutter away, clear the gangway, open up the space!!
    Ils se d�merdent, les mecs: trop bon, trop con..................................MY BLOG!

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  10. #10
    Junior Member fiona's Avatar
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    I have quite a bit of stuff, but it's all 'achievement' related, for example I have hundreds of books (I'm a writer and run a literary magazine), I'm an amateur potter so have all the stuff associated with that. I own my own house, so have an inevitable collection of furniture, but I don't think that quite counts.

    What does seem to go to type is that for eg my armchairs are both about 50 years old, bought from cheap antique shops. They are good quality but ancient and need recovering. Instead of which I chuck blankets over them and periodically vacuum the leaking stuffing off the carpet. I know most people would be ashamed to have items like this in their living room, but they're OK to sit on, the rugs hide the worst bits, and most importantly if the cats scratch them or you spill coffee everywhere it doesn't matter.

    I don't want stuff in my life that I have to constantly worry about being damaged. That goes for my car, too. Life's too short to get upset about things like that.

    But I'm not sure it's typical INTJ.

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