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Thread: NTs and Drama

  1. #1
    Senior Thread Terminator Aerithria's Avatar
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    Default NTs and Drama

    I'm curious to know what other NTs think about drama. Not like Grey's Anatomy drama where people are dropping dead everywhere and practicing infidelity like it's required to breathe, but more people turning mountains into molehills, or so the saying goes.

    I ask because I exhibit the classic "shamelessly honest" trait that seems to come more naturally to us than to other types, and I have this one friend who seems to take every comment I say as deeply personal and uses it to rationalize her self-esteem issues. To me, this is both annoying and uncomfortable because I hate needless drama, but she keeps using whatever I say to feed it more. If it means anything, I'm fairly certain she's in ISFJ.

    For other NTs, do you react the same way when it comes to drama? Or is this something that's more a quirk of mine than a trait of our temperament?

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I think drama is in the eye of the beholder.

    What is important to one seems less important to another. Sometimes this is due to a difference in priorities and perspective, other times it's due to EITHER person not really having a true sense of how the other is impacted (or not) by the situation.

    People also get dramatic about different sorts of occurrences. A concrete person will tend to focus on the tangible, those are the "resonating" factors. An abstract person can confuse a concrete because they will sometimes react to something that doesn't look connected to them but is actually heavily linked through implication and possibility.

    There's also people who take things at face value vs those who see an event as representative of something much larger (i.e., "the human condition") or whatever you'd care to call it.

    Some people also will use drama as a way to influence and motivate others, by making those connections for them; others are seemingly immune to it.

    So I have trouble confining it to a T/F thing, although I think T and F influences do tend to contribute. T's tend to be more immune than F's; and N's and S's tend to get dramatic about different things. An interesting thing to consider: Drama comes into play the more that one instinctively creates a "personal narrative" for their lives. T's tend to deconstruct, which means they find it easier to see the individual pieces rather than viewing it as some collective whole -- and the latter I think is what enables people to add "drama."

    As far as your friend goes? If she's an ISFJ, you can expect her to (1) resonate to the emotional implications of situations and (2) view the situation as it concretely relates to HER (this is the "subjective I" that introverts commonly cater to). This is accentuated and/or distorted especially if someone has self-esteem issues, where the self-absorption kicks in.
    "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

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    Senior Thread Terminator Aerithria's Avatar
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    Hm, that makes sense. I don't think I've ever actually considered the S/N differences in situations to much extent, which is probably the main issue. With people like that (my sister is also an S so this isn't the first time I've run into the issue), I don't usually realize that what's meaningless to us is probably less than so for them.

    And yeah, that's pretty much exactly how she reacted. Evidently I don't have much experience with that type, or I probably would've known before I said stuff.

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    DoubleplusUngoodNonperson
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    It depends how reasonable and meaningful the source of the drama is.

    That making a mountain out of a molehill crap I can't stand either, and there's no reason to edit your verbal behavior because of a few weaklings. If she blows up over something trivial like not complimenting her in JUST the right way, then I'd tell her to fuck right the hell off.

    However, if she's upset because you are talking to a guy she likes and you're cock blocking, then I'd say she is justified in being dramatic.

    Being brutally honest doesn't mean you can't be civil and a good friend.

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    Senior Thread Terminator Aerithria's Avatar
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    Heh, I agree. Generally speaking, if I'm actively doing something that is harmful to another person, I'll consider that that may be the reason for the drama and not some emotional issue on their part. In this case, she actually is making Everest out of random lumps of sand.

    And thank you. Apparently, according to many people that I know, honesty is only a virtue if it's not told to them.

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    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    1) Are your comments solicited or unsolicited?
    2) How much effort do you put into tailoring your messge?
    3) What are you doing to change this pattern of your interaction?

    Without seeing your actual interactions, I can't give my assessment of what's going on and you know, who's "fault" it is . But regardless, usually it's not really anyone's sole 'fault'. Sometimes one person's sensitivity is really someone else's insensitivity. Matter of perception and all that.

    So I guess my question to you now is -- if this is a pattern that's developed and you don't like it, what are you doing to change it? Because if you keep acting the same way, I'd say you're not virtuously honest, you're stubborn and perhaps unable to see things from other POVs. Honesty is one thing, delivery and timing is another. Usually friends are invested enough in one another and know each other well enough to know how not to antagonize one another.

    BTW, I've seen similar patterns play out (and yes with XT's)
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

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    Senior Thread Terminator Aerithria's Avatar
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    Well, in reality there's two different issues going on. The first is the current situation (or the latest argument I guess), and the second is the reason why we get into these arguments in the first place. I was originally commenting on the first - because she's now decided that my desire for independence is actually my telling her that I don't trust her and therefore don't value our friendship - but I'm assuming that you're referring more to the second.

    She has the habit of getting emotionally invested in situations and can't really keep a clear head about it, and so she'll usually run a situation by me to get a different opinion on it. Normally I'll look at a situation objectively and attempt to give advice based on that, but when I do that it means to her that I'm not on her side in the situation. If I attempt to explain that I'm merely looking at the situation from a step back from where she is, she claims that I'm making excuses. I understand the need to vent, and I'll let her without interfering if that's the issue, but when it comes to giving an opinion I have a hard time not giving it. I realize it may not be what she wants to hear, but it's usually what she needs to hear.

    As for what I've done to change things, I've asked her if she'd rather me blindly agree with her in these situations, but she keeps saying that she asks for my opinion because she wants it. So now I'm at a standstill. Either I continue giving my opinion, which she'll pick out a word or two from whatever I say and extrapolate meaning from that to justify what I "truly feel" about her and the situation, or I refuse and she gets angry that I'm doing nothing to help her, which she'll take to mean that she was right all along about me being too emotionless to care about her. Go figure.

    Hm, I apparently have been rambling. I apologize. Hopefully it answers your question.

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    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Most of the drama I can create is if I've got too much on my plate and have a feeling of impending doom because not all of it will go well because of lack of planning on my part (once I have a plan I tend to feel a lot better). I can get into a scary freak-out mode that it's nearly impossible to get me out of from the outside. But, well, that's my own personal neurosis.

    Otherwise, most of the arguments I get into are whenever I feel very strongly about something and get really stubborn about it. I don't tend to have a lot of friends who take whatever I say the wrong way, and my immediate family is mostly NTs with one well-adjusted SJ. In fact, the one I have most trouble with, my father, who is I think INTP. He's absolutely sure that I hate him (which I do), and he becomes incredibly defensive whenever I say anything that could mean I don't like his authority or I don't like whatever he's going on about at the moment.

    Fortunately, with NTs, if you can make up something convincing, they'll believe you. I've had to do this on many occasions with him.

    If I end up in an argument with somebody like what you describe... usually I just sit and stare in shock as the other person goes at me. I don't know how to attack what they're saying. When I do attack, it's usually full force, and then by the end of it, they're crying and I'm fucking exhausted, as I usually get after intense arguments. Debate and argument may be fun when I'm in the middle of it, not giving up, but they both take a lot out of me.

    As for your friend's drama, if it's become a pattern, try doing something unexpected the next time it comes up. If you try to be 'nice' and they don't believe you, use it as proof that you absolutely can't please them, no matter what you do, and say that it 'hurts you'. Even if it doesn't, it may clear up some frustration.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

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    More human than human MetalWounds's Avatar
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    Somewhere, there's an ESFP deep down that loves drama.
    I've actually noticed that when I get into a conflict I get quite worked up. I can't stop until I feel like I've ground someone down to nothing. It's like a fire that I never even knew was there. It's not anger...It's more of a passion for conflict, but it's not anger. I don't even really know the extent I take it to until I reflect afterward. Sometimes it's embarrassing. Sometimes I'll look back and wish that I had really come down on someone. I really kick myself for not being more aggressive.
    I can't really say that it's an emotion, not toward another person. It's an impersonal lust for conflict. It's just instinctual.
    I'm doing science and I'm still alive

  10. #10
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    INTJ... not diplomatic enough for an ISFJ???

    I should think so too!

    ISFJ knows ENTP as their shadow and INTJ is quite similar to ENTP but more poignant and definitive.

    As for blowing up, I hate melodrama where people slap the back of their hands to their foreheads and yell "WHY????" in a most uncalled for demonstration of the ME! complex. Personally I'd suggest you ignore the outbursts and think of them as examples. Most often they aren't the core issue but are more impressionistic works of art based on the original problem with a whole hell of a lot of artistic license taken with them and plenty of red paint used.

    We did have an ISFJ and an INTJ in the same circle of friends at one point (now we have two circles of friends) basically because the INTJ expressed his opinion without window dressing it and the ISFJ tried to take his head off.

    Anyhow as long as you don't get sucked in, don't get offended and deal with the response in a respectful manner then only you will get irritated by this.

    Personally I just express my honest opinion and then grin at them. It's their choice to be sensitive or not and I'll be damned if I'm taking responsibility for all their foiballs! That's not to say I'll tread on anyone's toes just to save effort but also I will not have all the onus placed upon my shoulders to bear the lions share of good manners.
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

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