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  1. #1
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Default SJs and the "Interesting"/"Boring" dichotomy

    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.)
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  2. #2
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525'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.)
    This really makes sense when I think of my ESTJ. Besides going to the gym, work and a bizarre love obsession with grocery shopping - it's seriously strange - he doesn't really do much. He never gets "bored". For me, I have to be having a good time doing something to keep me from being bored. It doesn't have to have a value. It can be mundane but the moment I don't want to do it anymore it becomes a chore. So one day's fun is another day's job. I have to have variety and switch things up.
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  3. #3
    Writing... Tamske's Avatar
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    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.

    Boredom is realizing you could be writing right now, but you haven't got the energy. And realizing that when you get the energy back, after a good night's sleep, there is work waiting for you to take it away again. And realizing you shouldn't complain, because you've got a job and normal, good, responsible, grown-up people should be happy about that. Boredom is nothing but a longing towards a world where you can actually get that creativity out in the world and not only inside your head.

    I've got to work for school now. Boredom/responsibility is acting like an SJ while your Ne fights and fights against the borders of your skull to get out.
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  4. #4
    All Natural! All Good!
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    I've noticed this with my SJ friends. They recognize what is interesting to them vs. boring, just like anyone else, but they don't seem to act on it. They will for example study something or do something because it's "useful" or be friends with someone just because the person is "nice". Even if the thing they are studying is boring, or the person is boring. They don't seem to prioritize interesting-ness when choosing hobbies or friends.
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  5. #5
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by Cimarron; 01-18-2012 at 08:26 AM. Reason: added a period
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  6. #6
    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    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.

    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.



  7. #7
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    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.

    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.
    ^This is well stated. There is a big difference between being interested in the internal or external and when people are opposite in this regard, they may find each other uninteresting. I would be boring to the vast majority of people because I'm not invested in the external world, but the internal world of ideas. Even there plenty of people wouldn't be interested in my world of ideas. I can't say I'm often "bored" by anyone, but more often find social interactions too stimulating.

    To each their own, but I tend to find words like "boring" or "annoying" particularly condescending. It smacks of an assumption that the world is there to please and entertain you. The only times I find people possessing those qualities is when they use those words and attitudes too often.
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  8. #8
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    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?

  9. #9
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    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...

    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 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.


    EDIT: Oh, and as far as the whole question of people being interesting, boring, etc? I realised a long time ago that this is basically how I work with friends (in a simplified way):

    -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.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Snow Turtle's Avatar
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    Hmm.

    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.

    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.

    But back to the main point of this thread. I do care a fair amount about the idea of doing 'interesting/meaningful work' as opposed to 'boring/pointless' work. I sort of gravitate towards people that I find similar or find interesting in some sort of way and unfortunately my sense of self-worth is tied to whether I'm seen as interesting or not. In my mind, I associate interesting with a person that is able to offer perspective and insight; there's also being funny, but I'm not that >____<.
    If I were to apply enneagram (Yeah, it's my current obsession atm)... it's the sexual variant at play.

    Random example: I just saw PeaceBaby's 5 Minute Blog and thought. Wow, that's an excellent idea for personal development. xD

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