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  1. #1
    Alexander the Terrible yenom's Avatar
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    Question INTP and low self-esteem

    I mean its pretty bleak pointing this out, but most INTPs I met are brilliant people. Why do they have such low self-esteem? Why do they believe other types are superior to them and they have no distinct advantage as a type?
    The fear of poverty turns people into slaves of money.

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  2. #2
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I would not say that it's because "other type are superior," because in many ways INTP assumes that its rational process is superior to other methods of thinking/decision-making, and also often views itself as "smarter than others" and takes pride in that.

    When an INTP has low self-esteem, it probably results from some combination of these:
    1. INTP deconstructs everything, including itself.
    2. INTP dismisses assumptions, wanting to rely only on rational conclusions. But self-esteem is built on an internalized assumption about one's value.
    3. INTP (at least originally) dismisses "feeling states" as irrelevant to truth/meaning, so one's feelings about oneself are also considered irrelevant.
    4. INTP's strengths often leave it in the position of feeling out of place in society and human community -- its "rational truths" can be disruptive and meanwhile there is little intuitive sense at first of how people relate (since people typically get reduced to machines/constructs) -- and this impedes one's life success and progress. It can be extremely demoralizing to watch a majority of people who one finds vapid and shallow in many ways succeed using what is seen as inferior thinking/methods and realizing that one can never be like them nor want to be... and yet not succeed as oneself either. INTP adaptability leads many to start flexing to society's opinion and wondering if indeed it is a failure and waste of human space.

    In any case, a lot of identity and self-esteem comes from assumptions about one's value and self, but INTP constantly wants to "step outside and scrutinize" oneself... and deconstructing self is not a pathway that really leads to self-esteem, it just tends to eradicate self by reducing it to a quantitative equation.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  3. #3
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    I think a more correct way of saying it is that we're not impulsive. I don't think it has much to do with self-esteem. Sure, the lack of impulsiveness and other things may cause self-esteem issues in some INTP's. Still I don't lack self-esteem, but some people have wondered if I do, because I just happen to think things through and don't act impulsively. Two different things.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  4. #4
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    i dont have a low self-esteem, but i dont really dont have a clue if i am good enough for other peoples standards in many areas. i think its completely different thing, but may look similar on the surface. this not knowing makes me doubt similar things than if i would have a low self-esteem, but not because i think im not good, but because i dont know if i am good enough. the fact that im striving to perfection on too many things kinda accelerates this doubting myself, because just barely good enough is not good enough for me and since i dont even know whats good enough for others makes it even worse.
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Lucas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I would not say that it's because "other type are superior," because in many ways INTP assumes that its rational process is superior to other methods of thinking/decision-making, and also often views itself as "smarter than others" and takes pride in that.

    When an INTP has low self-esteem, it probably results from some combination of these:
    1. INTP deconstructs everything, including itself.
    2. INTP dismisses assumptions, wanting to rely only on rational conclusions. But self-esteem is built on an internalized assumption about one's value.
    3. INTP (at least originally) dismisses "feeling states" as irrelevant to truth/meaning, so one's feelings about oneself are also considered irrelevant.
    4. INTP's strengths often leave it in the position of feeling out of place in society and human community -- its "rational truths" can be disruptive and meanwhile there is little intuitive sense at first of how people relate (since people typically get reduced to machines/constructs) -- and this impedes one's life success and progress. It can be extremely demoralizing to watch a majority of people who one finds vapid and shallow in many ways succeed using what is seen as inferior thinking/methods and realizing that one can never be like them nor want to be... and yet not succeed as oneself either. INTP adaptability leads many to start flexing to society's opinion and wondering if indeed it is a failure and waste of human space.

    In any case, a lot of identity and self-esteem comes from assumptions about one's value and self, but INTP constantly wants to "step outside and scrutinize" oneself... and deconstructing self is not a pathway that really leads to self-esteem, it just tends to eradicate self by reducing it to a quantitative equation.
    Basically this.

    But add to that high personal standards and a constant deconstruction of personal ability to the point where it is doubted than any standard can be reached.
    "Those are my principles and if you don't like them......well, I have others"

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    - Frederich Nietzsche

  6. #6
    Consulting Detective Mr. Sherlock Holmes's Avatar
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    We don't always have low self esteem. I sometimes do, but it comes in waves. Now I have an identity crisis!

    Anyway, the reason we get it I think is because the world is a huge and bizarre place, and people do all sorts of things we consider irrational or stupid, and as INTPs, what we want is for everything to MAKE SENSE. Everything is a system that needs to be broken down and organised rationally. But it can't always be. Things aren't always as simple as putting numbers into an equation and acting based on the results. People and life are unpredictable and sometimes because we overthink things, we see where we have failed, and we can't understand why, and we notice our failures. They stick out. So we feel that we are less competent than others who may be more action focused and who may fail as much or more than us, but do not dwell on it. When we are in a healthier state, we can be more rational about our failures and not think of ourselves as outsiders from the world, but one and the same. We are just like everyone else. We can succeed and we can fail. Everyone makes mistakes, but it is better to look past this and focus on improving ourselves from these mistakes. Just the fact that the large majority of the population thinks vastly differently to the INTP leads them to be confused about the world and feel like an outsider.
    JiNe
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  7. #7
    Consulting Detective Mr. Sherlock Holmes's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, and we're also perfectionists.
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    "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

    "It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

  8. #8
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Yes to Jennifer, Lucas and MrSherlockholmes. This might be an E5 thing, but if you messure your self worth by your competency, knowledge, etc. this is bound to lead to frustration because 1. there will always be somebody smarter than you and 2. there is a shere infinite amount of stuff to know that you never even heard about, so good luck trying to get a hold of it. Procrastinating any action that might get you ahead in life doesn´t help either, of course.
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  9. #9
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Herring View Post
    1. there will always be somebody smarter than you and 2. there is a shere infinite amount of stuff to know that you never even heard about, so good luck trying to get a hold of it. Procrastinating any action that might get you ahead in life doesn´t help either, of course.
    I think I'm E5 (although admittedly I am not sure about the Enneagram stuff.). But I am assuming that I am. Still, from my, assumedly E5, perspective. I'd say that E5 would go beyond your assumption and beat those points of frustration with even more rationality!

    On point 1.
    Knowing that there is, or might be, someone smarter than me, is of absolutely no use to me other than indulging in said person's smartness in order to achieve that same level of smartness.

    And on point 2.
    I've always said that my ideal would be to fall one step short of omnipotence, because it's not about aquiring all information and knowledge. It's about being able to reach for more information and knowledge. I always want to be able to reach out and gain more insights. If I was to be omnipotent, allknowing. I would have nothing left to live for. So that would suck.

    Awesome that there is a near infinite amount of knowledge out there. Enough to know that, even if we beat old age and I live to see thousands of years, I'd still be capable of reaching out. Awesome-sauce! But I wouldn't let that discourage me from not reaching our anymore, in fact, it encourages me to reach out!!

    If there wasn't a near infinite source of knowledge, I'd hate to be able to 'accidentally' attain it all and find myself left wanting for more...


    So meassuring my self worth by my knowledge doesn't frustrate me.

    In fact, not measuring my self worth by my knowledge would probably frustrate me. *ponders*
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  10. #10
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    I congratulate you on your healthy attitude. The OP asked what was going on when things go wrong, so I described who that value system could lead to frustration, naturally it doesn´t have to do so.

    On point 1: Competitiveness is a risky business, so your approach makes sense. Not sure if it´s always so easy to "indulge" in someone else´s smartness though. You can always learn from them, if that´s what you mean.

    On point 2: Of course it would be horrible to have no more information to look forward to, I was merely referring to how it can be intimidating to see how little you know in comparison.
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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