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  1. #11
    Dhampyr Economica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raz1337 View Post
    So, then it's not good enough to just want to fix the problem? I guess that's a lack of Fe on my part. When I look at it, I see a ton of tangible results from doing it. I don't look at it from the point of view of, "I really helped that person! I feel good about myself!"
    Until not too long ago I used a similar rationale to explain why I played therapist to practically everyone in my life to a greater or lesser extent: They had a problem on which they could use outside perspective, I enjoyed analyzing people's problems, where was the harm?

    Up to a certain point, there wasn't any harm. I still like to think I've done a lot of good (forum examples of my advice: 1a, 1b, 2, 3a, 3b), although I now attribute my successes more to the fact that I was a trustworthy, sympathetic friend who asked tough questions and actively listened to the answers and less to my illustrious analyses.

    However, there were signs that my interest in playing therapist was unhealthy: First, I was taking it to the point of lost-cause altruism in some cases, which ran conspicuously contrary to my official Nietzsche-Rand morality. Second, I curiously had difficulty seeing the merits and enjoying the company of people who had no use for my therapy. Third, I took spirited offense at one such person's goodnatured suggestion that I seek therapy in order to revisit my severance of my relationship with my parents. Blackwater gave me a taste of my own medicine for the second and third symptom; here's a quote from an email he sent me not too long before I started this thread (courtesy of Google Translate and some editing by me):

    If we turn to Christian, I simply do not understand why the two of you regularly end up quarrelling at preparties and the like. It is possible to have a cool relation to someone without constantly coming into conflict. I have had such relations with various persons in the circle around us without it causing disturbances. But you and Christian regularly land in toxic exchanges. For the record, I feel very sure that you have both done your part, and Christian certainly has his shortcomings, but you should still be able to slip through preparties and the like without e.g. participating in discussions in which Christian also participates. (...) Perhaps you did not quite see where I was headed when I brought up Christian's suggestion that you get therapy and your characterization of his suggestion as an 'indictment'? I have - ever since that time 1.5 years ago - speculated whether it was a kind of Freudian slip on your part. As if your internal representation of visiting a psychologist was that it was embarrassing, weak, a stain on one's honor; - Something you could 'accused' of. That would at least be congruent with an understanding of oneself as a 'superior'; [Economica] who sends her friends to the psychologist, but who is herself above that kind of wretchedness.
    (What, your friends don't send you mails like this one? )

    Jennifer and InaF3157's takes regarding motivation are similar:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    If you find yourself getting pushy with it, you should examine your motivations for why you feel the need to be involved and make sure it's all for the people in need rather than for any sort of self-validation.
    Quote Originally Posted by InaF3157 View Post
    People who consistently make it a point to advise people who didn't solicit their advice have issues. But what better way to validate self than to see others adopt your guidance? It's confirmation you're not just a deluded quack.
    Basically, I think I compulsively played therapist because doing so sustained my narrow, but prestigious identity as "the insightful problem-solver".

    Today, after a lot of soul-searching, I rather think I must have managed to expand (my own perception of) my social value; at any rate I no longer feel that urge to get at people's problems and solve them when there's nothing in it for me (and by nothing, I mean nothing, including the thrill of a challenge). In fact I can't even recall when I last used my standard, almost always rewarding conversation opener: "So, how's your relationship with your parents?"

    ---

    raz1337, the fact that you feel, sorry, think that:

    Quote Originally Posted by raz1337 View Post
    I went about this thread in the wrong way.
    makes me wonder if perhaps your case of compulsive problem-solving is not too different from mine. That would explain if the responses you have gotten are disconcerting to you, at any rate. Of course, if your case is indeed like mine, then you're probably not going to agree that it is anytime soon. Should you be willing to entertain the notion that it might be, however, then try asking yourself: "What social value do I have (i.e. what do other people appreciate me for) besides problem-solving?" If you feel that your identity is incomplete without that element, well, then you're in good (or at least my ) company. Let the soul-searching begin!

    ---

    ... And yes, I'm aware of the irony of this post, considering that I'm claiming the past tense for my own compulsive advice-giving.

  2. #12
    Senior Member ArbiterDewey's Avatar
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    I'm a problem-solver myself (may be an ISTJ thing too, just throwing it out there). I tend to only offer my advice once I realize that the other people giving an attempt at it have failed to accomplish things in the best way. I guess this assumes that the best way to do it is "my" way, but 9/10 times when it's something I'm highly knowledgeable in, I am right.

    On another note, if you ONLY solve other people's problems to escape your own and validate self, this is unhealthy (I know, I've been there too). It really depends on the circumstances too.
    Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.
    --Isaac Asimov, Salvor Hardin in "Foundation"

    Nothing is worse than active ignorance.
    --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right.
    --Isaac Asimov

  3. #13

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    Yeah, I love teaching people. I've had to temper the urge.

  4. #14
    `~~Philosoflying~~` SillySapienne's Avatar
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    Yes.

    I pretty much view much if not most of human verbal communication as a means to share personal experience, feelings, opinions, and advice.

    We attempt to connect with others in order to try to better understand ourselves, each other, and the world in which we live.

    Whenever a problem arises in a conversation, I believe that all participants who are able to offer some potentially beneficial advice, should.
    `
    'Cause you can't handle me...

    "A lie is a lie even if everyone believes it. The truth is the truth even if nobody believes it." - David Stevens

    "That that is, is. That that is not, is not. Is that it? It is."

    Veritatem dies aperit

    Ride si sapis

    Intelligentle sparkles

  5. #15
    Senior Member Anonymous's Avatar
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    I'm always having to remind myself that people probably don't want advice, and especially not mine. For instance, when someone is sharing a problem, my automatic line of reasoning is that they're doing so because they want a solution, which, from what I've heard, is generally wrong.

  6. #16
    Senior Member kuranes's Avatar
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    If someone seems to be having an urgent problem, that I think I know a solution to, and I have the time, I will typically offer it. Usually the people who get such advice are thankful. I have had people who were looking for help, and couldn't speak English, look at me with a lot of relief and gratitude, when I spoke up and managed to use my limited Spanish to help them.

    Conflicts on this subject, for me, don't typically happen with people being surly about unwanted advice, although that has happened a few times. Instead it normally happens when I hear someone giving a person wrong advice. I always have to think hard about whether to diplomatically say something like "an alternative way to accomplish that is..."

    However, giving somebody advice about how to navigate on a computer or how to find something in the city is different than telling people about larger issues such as self-discipline, spiritual philosophy, socio-economic fairness, etc.

    Sometimes people "ask" for advice in indirect ways too, that can be misunderstood. When someone vents about a problem that they are currently stumped with, they don't always want a solution. Sometimes they just want to know that someone sees their situation from their POV, or maybe "cares" about them.

    Sometimes I may complain that "we don't seem to have a Spring in Chicago. We go right from late Winter into Summer." One sort of friend may understand that I am just venting. Another may say sarcatically "Well, what do you expect to do about it ? Call 'Customer Service' " ?

    I was telling a friend about how regular dealers are beginning to use "Craigslist" to sell products that are not bargains whatsoever; which is the what the original premise of the online resource was, to offer used items at "garage sale" prices and for there to be a directory of sorts for that. Consumers selling to one another directly.

    I explained the situation to him offhandedly. How I have to wade through a lot of retailers offering items at full market price ( or worse ) to find "the little guys". It's a hassle because it takes extra time. I foolishly mentioned to him that I found this annoying, and characteristically he started trying to explain to me the POV of the retailers trying to make a buck in this new internet oriented society. I had to remind him, playfully but still somewhat seriously, that I don't always say things just to have reality restated to me. Sometimes I just want a friend to agree with me that "yeah, that sucks, man", in more of a "us against the world" way. I tease this guy ( who is the most generous person I've ever met, and a great guy ) all the time for his stance by saying "Whose side are you on?" He's told me that other friends of his tell him the same thing, a little exasperated. I'm sure that he would defend my position too, if I was absent and someone was criticizing how I went about doing something. He seems to always try to explain how "the other guy" might be motivated, and sometimes I just don't give a shit about what their concerns are, even though I still take those kinds of things into account when planning. ( I drive defensively, for example. )
    "The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them that they are being attacked and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
    Reichsfuhrer Herman Goering at the Nuremburg trials.

  7. #17
    Widdles in your cream.
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    My initial response is to give advice, secondary is formulating a coherent speech, then I decide to scrap it because I doubt the other person would listen or care.
    Um, yeah.

  8. #18
    Senior Member hermeticdancer's Avatar
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    ISTJs are the masters of 'fixing things' emphasis on 'things'

    When ISTj sees a problem their inclanation is to fix it, this is good when it comes to things and objective issues, but it can be hard when it comes to fixing another persons problems. Espically with emotionally sensitive people.

    It can be perceived by people as not listening, and people can resent it after a while. That's when it comes to relationships

    The best thing is to listen and not try to fix people.

    As an ENFP, I try to fix people's emotional problems, I see everything as an emotional problem, I think the ISTJ sees things as objective problems, its projection I think. Its a habbit that annoys people.

    Good intentions though.

  9. #19
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    I used to give advice, but have dialed that way back. I've found out that people usually know the answer to their own questions, but seek advice in order to dissuade themselves from the most logical course of action. When queried now by someone about "What would you do...?" my response is "I'd figure it out for myself."

    I guess that would count as advice. I guess any kind of response would constitute advice.
    ...doesn't work or play well with others...

  10. #20
    Senior Member Kollin's Avatar
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    I find people are usually looking for ...I usually don't offer a solution unless they specifically ask me what I think they should do...
    but often people don't want to hear about other people's personal problems...
    AKA: Choss

    It's not theoretically possible

    Interesting novel thoughts proliferate

    Incessently needing to ponder

    I never think practically

    It's never too precise

    Insane nerds throwing parties

    I'm not the problem

    I'm not that popular

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