Thursday, December 15, 2016

I may have posted this before, but I was looking for this specific passage because it's a really good one and found it again.  It's a really apt way of describing how I approach life.

"It seems so obvious that it's kind of silly I even have to say it, but things just always seem to go more smoothly when you know exactly what you're doing. There's really nothing quite like having your own private map for how to do things--the more I study and work on the areas I'm interested in, the more I develop this ability to connect my experiences to everything else I've done, and the process just builds and builds. I don't even mean for it to happen that way--I guess I just know what kinds of things I like, and I know what makes me comfortable and what doesn't, and I know that the more I plan my life around setting myself up to work in areas I know I'm confident in, the more I'm going to succeed and the more in-depth information I'm going to have about the skills I specialize most in. I think one of my greatest strengths is that I know what I'm good at, and, perhaps even more importantly, I know what I'm not good at, and I have the good sense to know when to avoid the latter. I don't understand why people insist on haphazardly jumping into things they don't have any idea how to handle properly. What's the point? If you don't know what you're doing, aren't you just bound to fail?"


This whole writeup is actually extremely informative.  It even outlines the growth of the ISFJ type, which starts with relying on dominant Si, then progresses through auxiliary Fe:

"If Fe goes undeveloped and leaves SiTi to handle the majority of cognition, the ISFJ is prone to feelings of terror that his trusted support network will fall out from under him at any given moment. Trusting others to handle important tasks becomes an uneasy endeavor at best. Since the feeling of trust and security upon which Si depends so heavily is never connected in any meaningful way to the bonds and relationships defined by interaction with others, the SiTi loop ISFJ feels that no one but himself can ever be depended upon to bring him the sort of consistently reliable experience his dominant function necessitates that he have access to. Without a way to describe or objectively designate his feelings for others or theirs for him, no sense of faith in upholding mutual responsibilities can form--he must do everything for himself, or risk total ruination through the failure of other less reliable individuals to uphold their agreements and obligations. If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself--or risk facing the unknown, totally unprepared--which, of course, represents Si's worst fear of all."

For me I believe this is what I often referred to as the "rut" that I suffered through high school, and, to a large extent, college as well.  This also relates to me trying to use an underdeveloped sense of Fe, where I =thought= I was using Fe and empathizing with others, but in reality I was only doing it through my own rigid Si-based internal map.  So I was thinking a lot about others, but only under =my own= terms and views.  I became very frustrated at the shallowness of my connections, to the point of martyrdom.

Then we come to Teriary Ti:

"As ISFJs find themselves so singularly focused on developing their internal maps of experiential impressions and defining their directions in life based on the kinds of experiences these maps point them toward, at some point in life it follows that they should begin to ask the question: What if the map is wrong?

Dealing with this possibility is, to Si, unfamiliar (and therefore frightening) enough that most ISFJs defer almost exclusively to Fe in determining the answer: If my impression of how something is has somehow misled me or given me wrong information, surely I can count on the people to whom I hold cultural and familial bonds to remind me that I've lost touch with what our community finds most important. Surely, by listening to the ethical consensus of those to whom I feel closest, I can discover and rectify the problem when my own desires conflict with the institutional customs and values by which my relationships to others are given objective meaning and definition. Unfortunately, however, the savvy ISFJ will invariably notice situations in which neither Si nor Fe seems to offer any reasonable solution. Despite Si's inherent preference for that which has come to define its comfort zone ("If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"), at some point the ISFJ will be forced to evaluate situations in which her community's collectivized ethical norms will strike some part of her being as somehow fundamentally flawed, even if these norms are consistent with the kind of experience she has built into Si's vast internal database as the familiar and consistent standard she has come to trust."

I can't talk about all of them, but these situations have definitely come up in life.

And of course, inferior Ni:

"Last but not least, the Achilles' Heel: many of the typical complaints others have about SJs (and especially ISJs) can be traced to manifestations of inferior Ne. On a surface level, Ne opposes everything Si holds dear and considers vital to maintaining a healthy outlook: while Si would encourage us to find exactly what we're looking for on our internal maps before setting out to find it, Ne takes a somewhat different approach: that the most interesting things in life are usually surprises.

It should be relatively obvious by now that Si doesn't like surprises. It wants complete information and it wants time to sort through every piece of the information given and compare it to the sense of static, internal consistencies by which everything in its worldview is granted stable meaning and significance. Until you can relate a given piece of information to something you already know, until you can show where it would fall on the map you already have, Si not only has no use for it, but is actually threatened by its imposing presence among the already-sorted information by which its identity and worldview are defined. Inferior Ne seems to throw a wrench into that identity itself: By encouraging the ISFJ to ignore what he knows and instead let loose and actually enjoy a constant influx of new and unfamiliar ideas from as many different unconnected sources as possible, Ne seems to attack everything the Si mindset holds as important or meaningful. Rather than carefully compare each nugget of data to every other piece of data we already hold, each new piece of information seems to suggest even more connections to even further-reaching outwardly defined patterns that continue to change the meaning and threaten stable interpretation the more we indulge them."

"Exploration in the name of expanding one's comfort zone, so that one never has to leave it--whether or not the self-actualized ISFJ realizes this is what he's doing, it makes his experiences that much more complete, and his life that much more well-rounded and fulfilling."

Ah heck, just read the whole thing.  It really describes my type to a tee.


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  2. Very enlightening. Not something that everyone does too often (researching their own personalities and evaluating at a very basal level what are the mechanics that makes them who they are.) Reminds me that I need to do a little bit of that analysis too haha.