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  1. #11
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by strychnine View Post
    They will for example study something or do something because it's "useful" or be friends with someone just because the person is "nice".
    This is very true. My main reasons for not hanging out with people would be 1) Meanness/annoying-ness, and 2) Lack of things to talk about, in that order. I just care so much more about character, than anything else, when choosing my friends. (I mean, obviously I care about them being interesting too. But the priorities are in a slightly different order.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Cimarron View Post
    I don't know, difficult question. I'm not really feeling the OP here, sorry, EJCC. Personally, I definitely have preferences of what bores me and what interests me, it motivates my choices and my activities, though I feel that there's something more to your question. Will have to think more on it. I do like to find something interesting in my day outside of work, and yet, in the past few years, I've seen that even when I want to engage in an interest/hobby, I don't feel spurred into doing it until my "comfort needs" have been indulged and exhausted. That could be caused by something else entirely, though.
    Regarding the bolded: Yeah, I understand that. I wondered when I wrote the OP if my definition of "boredom" is different -- or if I just never let myself become bored? I find that my motivation, when it comes to my activities, isn't as much interest vs. boredom as interest vs. disinterest... And when I'm bored by something, it's usually because 1) I don't care about it, 2) I think it's pointless, and/or 3) it uses a lot of technical language that I don't understand. Even the densest book is interesting if I really care about the subject material.

    Regarding the second-to-last sentence: Could you elaborate? What do you mean by "comfort needs"?
    Quote Originally Posted by JocktheMotie View Post
    I'd say each type may classify boredom differently, even among the same temperaments. SFJs might like drama and find it exciting, STJs may think it's tedious, etc. Also, I'd say SPs are the type most attuned to avoiding "boredom" in the sense it's typically used.
    SPs more than NTs? Maybe it's from me not having many SP friends... or me having an INTP 5w4 dad who's always on the lookout for new things, and an INTJ roommate who complains about boredom more than anything else in the world...
    For SJs, I wouldn't say they're attracted to boring things, but they're attracted to familiar things, and to echo
    MDP2525 they seem immune to becoming bored while doing "the things that must be done." Honestly it seems like a super power to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by senza_tema View Post
    I think you're onto something here in the sense that utility is a more powerful preoccupation with SJs than boredom. So while an NP might shy away from something or someone because they're no longer interesting, an SJ would do so because it isn't getting them anywhere ... maybe?
    Yes! That is exactly it. If a task is the most tedious and horrible thing, but I have to do it in order to get an A in my class, then I'll do it in a very intense and focused way, concentrating on the meaning of the thing (i.e. the A grade) instead of concentrating on how much I don't want to do the thing -- because how does my opinion on it matter? It has to get done, for the sake of my grade. Whereas if I definitely had an A, and the tedious thing was for extra credit, I would have zero motivation to do it and I would do something more fun instead.
    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    I suspect I have a sort of combination NF/SJ approach to this.

    "Bored" is rarely a problem for me. I know there is always something I should be doing. Or that's interesting that I could be doing. It's often just a case of getting off my rear.

    I get tired, sad, angry, lonely, etc...and I procrastinate...but bored? Rarely. Maybe if I'm stuck in a meeting I don't want to be in, something like that. I'm very good at entertaining myself. There is too much going on inside my head to get bored, and if I need something external, there's friends, books, music, dvds, travel or travel plans, etc...
    This is my experience with NFs in general, which is why I brought them up in the OP. I could never imagine my NF friends being bored, unless, like you said, they were put into a boring situation that they had to focus their attention on, and couldn't escape. (My ENFJ friend takes 4-hour plane flights alone without bringing anything to do, or reading any in-flight magazines. I don't know how he does it. I would need to do something -- anything! Usually I over-prepare for plane flights and bring a huge bag of books and knitting and homework )
    I don't think I relate so much to necessarily finding things interesting because they are useful, though. There are some useful things that are pretty dull. Like tax returns. if something manages to be both useful and interesting, that's fantastic. In a way, if something is interesting to me, it will always be somehow useful. Because it makes me happy, it relaxes me, it stimulates me, etc.
    I have a few hobbies like this. But I have to keep reassuring myself -- it's useful because it relaxes you, it's useful because you'd be miserable without a creative outlet.
    I have to admit I don't have so much sympathy for people who find other people or situations "boring" on a regular basis. It makes me think that you feel others, and the world, are there just to entertain you. Or that people can be used. Users are often characterized by talking about how bored they get or how boring others are. It makes you seem very childish to me if it's one of your big preoccupations. Childish and lacking creativity and initiative. And very likely selfish.
    This is true. I see it a lot, primarily in Thinkers, when they hang out with people they don't know very well. (This includes myself, and I feel bad sometimes about that "using" attitude towards my circle of friendly acquaintances, i.e. I hang out with them because they're entertaining and interesting but not for any deeper reason -- because I don't know them well enough to know who they are separated from what they like.)
    -My friends must be nice (ie. good people, kind, etc).
    -Ideally they should be both nice and interesting. My closest friends generally fall into that category. "Interesting" isn't a requirement for friendship, though. "Nice" is a pretty much non-negotiable requirement.
    -If they are interesting but not nice, it is highly unlikely that I will want them as more than acquaintances, if that. An interesting/nasty person is probably best observed from a distance.
    This is my approach, too. I prefer nice over interesting. Maybe that's why I connect so well with NFs -- shared priorities!
    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    Speaking for myself (maybe or maybe not other SJs)... I'm inclined to believe that we probably derive a high sense of satisfaction from engaging in familiar tasks (i.e. work) because they allow us to show that we are capable and skilled individuals. In the worst case scenario where we dislike the work; one can still derive a sense of self achievement from having the will power of engaging in a task - value in the idea of endurance, hard-work and not giving up. Granted, it all falls apart if we dislike the work and don't feel that it really shows any sense of achievement.
    Indeed. I had a summer job that I really didn't like, because the work was tedious and I didn't connect with my coworkers. But I knew 100%, when the job was over and the fall semester began, that I would have loved the job if I had loved the people working there. See, the way I see it, there are three qualifications for job satisfaction:
    1) Knowing you're doing something important,
    2) Enjoying the work you do, and
    3) Enjoying the company of your coworkers (and possibly befriending them outside of work).
    Two of those three make for a job you "like", and three make for an awesome job. In my summer job, I only had #1, which is why I hated it.
    I know one of the reasons I like psychology is because I see that it has extremely high practical value in the social world, and it's just also interesting for me personally to learn how to navigate my environment. In the same manner, I can identify with the feeling that I'd enjoy learning something that is deemed 'useful' because it'll just add to my list of personal achievement and skills. When it comes to gaming for example, I'm constantly looking up methods in how to fine-tune my game-play, and this pretty much applies to all aspects of my life. I know there are others who dislike this method because it removes the excitement from discovering things by accident.
    I relate to all of this.
    I do care a fair amount about the idea of doing 'interesting/meaningful work' as opposed to 'boring/pointless' work.
    I'm glad you put the bolded words together like that! It means I'm not the only SJ who associates one with the other. Hooray for validation


    Thanks for the input everyone! Keep it coming!
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



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  2. #12
    Writing... Tamske's Avatar
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    I've been thinking a bit about this. Two ideas.

    1) The personal interests of our SJs tend to be useful/relevant ones. It's so much easier to get an interesting job if you happen to be interested in teaching than if you happen to be interested in inventing stories. So while you're amusing yourselves at your day job, we're mainly longing for some time to do useless things.

    2) There are things you need to do and there are interesting things. And the intersection of these sets, the things that are both interesting and useful/obligatory, is not empty. However, I've got this impression (like most Ps, I think), that the most interesting things are not obligatory. As a result, I associate obligatory with boring. Which is, of course, not necessarily true. (E.g. in my case: I always hated doing book reports, analysing characters etc. Now I spend time on it on my own account.) Maybe Js tend to associate obligatory with good? Maybe you aren't bored because you aren't waiting for the task to be over?
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  3. #13
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Missed your previous quote, @Tamske, so I'll respond to both of them:
    Quote Originally Posted by Tamske View Post
    I can't remember my husband being bored. Sometimes it frustrates the heck out of me. I always feel like I'm inferior, because his interests are always somehow more relevant and grown-up than mine. Like politics (He's interested in American politics, while I've got difficulties trying to find out for which party I'd vote the next election.), history...
    And at the other hand, he comes home from work, he's tired and it seems he's HAPPY with that. It seems that he's content with having worked so well and considers that a good day.
    I can't be happy with only working well and resting. I want to create. I don't know if it's a NT thing, I suspect it's rather an NP thing. We aren't happy with just imagining things, we want our imagination to interact with the real world. We aren't happy with just daydreaming about being an artist, we want to paint and sculpt and write and bake cupcakes and build strange contraptions. So if I worked hard and come home, tired from work, I'm frustrated because that work took all my energy away. And then I look at my hubby sitting contentedly in the couch, being happy about his working day and surfing the 'net to see how Mitt Romney is doing, I feel two things at the same time. (1) can't you do something worthwile now? and (2) he's a real adult, I'm just a child wanting to tell childish stories.
    This is so interesting, Tamske! Thank you for posting this. I love hearing your side of the issue.

    I think this is probably a near-universal SJ-NP experience and I for sure have experienced it on the other side. For me, there are the things that should be my life's work, and then there are the things I like doing that don't have as much of a point. The first thing, currently, is schoolwork (and soon enough will probably be real work), and the second thing functions 99% of the time as a relaxing break from my work, and 80% of the time is either creative, social or both. (Example: I'm getting all my friends together this Saturday and making them mugs of hot buttered rum with nutmeg and whipped cream, which is a fun and exciting creative outlet because I hardly ever make fancy drinks like that, but is also useful in a sense because it makes me so happy to try things like that, see them work, and spend time with people I really like, all at once.)

    Maybe the happiness factor is worth mentioning here, too: From my experience as an enneagram 1 ESTJ (dunno if other SJs that aren't 1 will have the same experience), there's happiness and then there's fulfillment and sometimes they don't overlap. The way I see it, usefulness is the goal, usefulness and helpfulness are what I constantly, obsessively strive for in both work and play, and if being useful isn't fun in a certain situation, and I can't escape it to find something as useful that's more fun, then I might as well settle in and just get it done. Screw monotony -- I'll kick monotony's ass. And it'll be great when it's done because the finished product will be something I'm proud to have helped with.
    And realizing you shouldn't complain, because you've got a job and normal, good, responsible, grown-up people should be happy about that.
    Not necessarily! Without creative people like you around, being a "grown-up" would suck. I don't know about other SJ 1s, but being around people as obsessively driven and focused as me can be exhausting and stressful; creative types balance us out, and bring out the creativity in us, just as we bring out the "grown-up" in you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tamske View Post
    I've been thinking a bit about this. Two ideas.

    1) The personal interests of our SJs tend to be useful/relevant ones. It's so much easier to get an interesting job if you happen to be interested in teaching than if you happen to be interested in inventing stories. So while you're amusing yourselves at your day job, we're mainly longing for some time to do useless things.
    This sounds about right, though not all the time. But let's take Te bossiness as an example of when you are right: ESTJs love telling people about things they know a lot about, and they love telling people how to do things the right way. Therefore, being any sort of instructor, teacher, boss, advisor, mentor, manager, consultant, etc, would be totally up an ESTJ's alley. And there are SO MANY jobs out in the world where, if you gain enough knowledge, you can tell people what to do.

    But an example of an exception to your idea would be if that same ESTJ loved painting, more than anything else in the world. Chances are that they'd have to forsake their love of painting and focus on the Te factor because it's more marketable. So painting would become a hobby -- which would probably be fine with the ESTJ because they wouldn't feel as fulfilled (as mentioned before) with just painting for a living, as they would if they felt like they were genuinely helping people and fixing problems every day.
    2) There are things you need to do and there are interesting things. And the intersection of these sets, the things that are both interesting and useful/obligatory, is not empty. However, I've got this impression (like most Ps, I think), that the most interesting things are not obligatory. As a result, I associate obligatory with boring. Which is, of course, not necessarily true. (E.g. in my case: I always hated doing book reports, analysing characters etc. Now I spend time on it on my own account.) Maybe Js tend to associate obligatory with good? Maybe you aren't bored because you aren't waiting for the task to be over?
    All of that rings true for me, except for the bolded. Unless by "good", you mean "valuable" as opposed to "fun", in which case that's correct too. Generally, I won't be bored because, like you said, I won't be looking at the clock every 5 seconds (because I'm so focused), and even when I am, it's because I'm impatient and would rather get to more valuable things -- like what others have said about interesting and valuable usually being synonymous.

    EDIT: My agreement to your previous 2 points was as an SJ -- not necessarily as a J. I think NJs might disagree. (As mentioned in the OP, my INTJ roommate is probably more obsessed with avoiding boredom than anyone else I know!)
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
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  4. #14
    Senior Member Snow Turtle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tamske View Post
    I've been thinking a bit about this. Two ideas.

    1) The personal interests of our SJs tend to be useful/relevant ones. It's so much easier to get an interesting job if you happen to be interested in teaching than if you happen to be interested in inventing stories. So while you're amusing yourselves at your day job, we're mainly longing for some time to do useless things.
    Sounds reasonable. But why would SJs be drawn to these activities more so than any other type? Fe-Te in play perhaps? Would this hold true for xNFJs/xNTJs as well then?

    I usually get these vibes mostly from other Js, not really Ps. But at this stage I'm not really sure what to think any more since I can feel the bias inside me. ^^'

    2) There are things you need to do and there are interesting things. And the intersection of these sets, the things that are both interesting and useful/obligatory, is not empty. However, I've got this impression (like most Ps, I think), that the most interesting things are not obligatory. As a result, I associate obligatory with boring. Which is, of course, not necessarily true. (E.g. in my case: I always hated doing book reports, analysing characters etc. Now I spend time on it on my own account.) Maybe Js tend to associate obligatory with good? Maybe you aren't bored because you aren't waiting for the task to be over?
    Now, what I'm about to write is probably massively overly generalised typology . But are we basically just describing the idea that NP's who prefer the option to expand, and SPs the option to (insert something till I figure it out) aren't just keen on obligatory stuff and obligations imposed from outside purely because it limit their freedom.

    Then again, that pretty much holds true for most people I know. Myself included, but perhaps it's an issue of threshold/sensitivity to limited freedom that is influenced by factors such as freedom, practicalness, experience, interest and other variables that my brain is too tired to think of at the moment. In that respect, a P individual can still do work that has been placed upon them (obviously), but perhaps with greater reluctance. Ask any kid at university; do you like doing the coursework? You'll rarely find people who will say 100% Yes even though they love the subject.

    I asked someone once why I didn't mind reading journals randomly when I had time, but when it came to reading them for a write-up, suddenly everything was 100x harder. She just said it's because most students associate work with negative emotions. Heh heh... would explain why those who do their work earlier seem to love doing their homework. An adrenaline rush from completing stuff early and doing it well.

  5. #15
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post
    Sounds reasonable. But why would SJs be drawn to these activities more so than any other type? Fe-Te in play perhaps? Would this hold true for xNFJs/xNTJs as well then?
    I'm guessing it's the practicality factor. I think it's safe to say that SJs care more about practicality than any other type -- meaning, our definition of "usefulness" may be more narrow and grounded. Any type can be driven by a need to make a difference, but SJs are probably going to care more about seeing very clear and quick results, that show just how that difference is made, from day to day.
    Now, what I'm about to write is probably massively overly generalised typology . But are we basically just describing the idea that NP's who prefer the option to expand, and SPs the option to (insert something till I figure it out) aren't just keen on obligatory stuff and obligations imposed from outside purely because it limit their freedom.
    Well, NTJs, too. It's weird -- the NFJs I know are almost at the level of boredom-immunity that I've been describing, but almost all the NTs I know (in media and in real life) still feel that boredom-avoidance. Maybe it has to do with intellectual stimulation? And I have no idea about SPs, b/c I don't know enough of them.
    Then again, that pretty much holds true for most people I know. Myself included, but perhaps it's an issue of threshold/sensitivity to limited freedom that is influenced by factors such as freedom, practicalness, experience, interest and other variables that my brain is too tired to think of at the moment. In that respect, a P individual can still do work that has been placed upon them (obviously), but perhaps with greater reluctance. Ask any kid at university; do you like doing the coursework? You'll rarely find people who will say 100% Yes even though they love the subject.
    This is true; regardless of type, there's an element of things being "work" when people make you do them, and being "fun" when you do them on your own time and of your own free will.
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


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    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



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  6. #16
    Carerra Lu IZthe411's Avatar
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    It's rare that I'm bored...

    Right now it's because I have a lot going on.
    I know that on those rare days that I don't have any of that stuff going on, and I'm sitting in the house, chillin, watchin TV or whatever, I will get bored. Not that I have nothing to do- there's always chores and stuff around the house, but that's not a cure for boredom. I don't need to find ways to fill my time.

  7. #17
    No moss growing on me Giggly's Avatar
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    I rarely ever get bored, as in, I have nothing to do, but there are times when I wish I was doing something other than what I am doing at the moment. As far as people go, I have never met a person who I find boring.

  8. #18
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Giggly View Post
    I rarely ever get bored, as in, I have nothing to do, but there are times when I wish I was doing something other than what I am doing at the moment.
    I can relate to that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Giggly View Post
    As far as people go, I have never met a person who I find boring.
    But I find that genuinely amazing.
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  9. #19
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    They seem genuinely happy when everything is in order and being run how they think it should be. I also notice, though, a peculiar part of them that wants to show their "wild" side because they feel too bottled up. Perhaps they don't feel bottled up as much as they keep getting feedback from others that they are a being closed, so they at times take the opportunity to relax and enjoy themselves.

    I know the guardian types are MUCH better at making it through activities they find boring than myself, and that is separate from what we each think defines boring. That is, some of them have some things they find interesting that bore the living daylights out of me. Jesus!

    As for avoidance, I don't think INTPs avoid people they find boring. That sounded a bit strange. I think they more look for interesting topics of conversation, and when there aren't any, then there is nothing to talk about. INTPs, by and large, avoid idiots, or people who are way too adamant about telling them what to do.

  10. #20
    This is a test. Sil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    Inspired by the thread about INTPs avoiding people when they cease to be interesting -- and by the fact that a lot of NTs seem to avoid SJs because they're "boring people", when I've never met an SJ who did the same.

    So... I'm wondering how often other SJs are strongly motivated by things being "interesting" or "boring". I mean, obviously those are universal human thoughts and everyone thinks things are interesting or boring, but I got to thinking about it when I realized that some types (e.g. a lot of type 7s and NTs that I know) seem really obsessed with avoiding boredom and seeking out things of interest, whereas other types (especially the ENFs I know) don't seem capable of boredom because they find things of interest everywhere. (Also, I got to thinking about it when I realized that if the words "I'm bored" escape my lips, 99% of the time it's because I'm sitting around and deliberately avoiding something that I know I should be doing -- which isn't necessarily boredom, I guess?)

    I, for one, focus more on usefulness than personal interest -- because what is useful is by default of interest to me (and if it isn't, sometimes I feel bad about it! why am I not interested in this useful thing??). If I know what I'm doing is of value, it can be as monotonous as it needs to be and I can find a way of making it interesting; I can get lost in my thoughts, I can have conversations with people, I can listen to music. And if what I'm doing isn't interesting or of value, I don't feel bored -- I feel frustrated. So I guess I've never thought being bored was a big deal because my periods of boredom are so brief; I'm very, very good at finding things to do.

    I dunno -- my thoughts aren't entirely together on this issue and I was wondering what you all thought. (I suppose I'd be interested in other types chipping in too, if only to have more data to contrast SJs with. For example, if NTs really are the only MBTI types to commonly obsess over avoiding boredom, it isn't fair to say SJs are "special" in that way.)
    I am fairly strongly motivated by how engaging (interesting) a project or task is. It doesn't matter how useful it is, if its not stimulating it's a HUGE uphill battle for me to complete.

    I manage to do a lot of mundane tasks by keeping things in long term perspective (I look at payoff). But if it weren't for that, I would likely be an even worse Jack of all trades than I am at the moment.

    I think it's a balance for me at the end of the day. I don't like doing things that are useless, but it's damnably hard to do useful things that are boring. I need both to be content.

    I am more restless than bored in my spare time. But restlessness stems from a desire to leap into action while simultaneously being uninterested in the options for action before me.

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