Friday, 28 January 2011

Sigh ...bored of myself

OK so I am in the region of the middle of my life assuming I make it to old age. That could be a big assumption the way I carry on but I'll go with it for now.

Carl Jung said that coinciding with mid-life, we are meant to get a bit bored of ourselves. He didn't quite word it like that but it's the gist.

He was right of course. I have become bored with my default position of seeing everything from my dominant perspective: that which Jung describes as 'intuitive'. It means that in any situation I always look for the overriding gist, the 'big picture' or the pattern so I can sum up and then extrapolate sweepingly should I encounter any similar situation again. I am bored with doing this. It uses up life too quickly. I have started saying to myself 'oh here I go again' when I find myself intuiting.

I am also aware that my intuition isn't always well received. It makes huge abstract leaps that in recent years I have grown to understand will leave a sensor (in particular) thinking I am bonkers/away with the fairies/in cloud cuckoo land/out of touch with reality. At least I am aware of this but it doesn't stop me doing it. It just means I expose my thoughts less readily in a room of people I do not know. Naturally we all gravitate towards others with the same dominant function - of course everyone tunes most readily into their own wavelength.

And my weakest function is the one I crave the most: Sensing. I want to notice and want the details and need to actually try things. I want to see, feel, smell, hear and taste harder! I am fed up with being satisfied with understanding the abstract theory and not needing to experience things for myself.

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And for those of you that might want to reflect on your own dominant function..... this was the best illustration I have found. An example given by Jung himself. I have posted this before but feel a need to do it again as its relevance is hitting me so hard these days!

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We all have either,

• Sensation
• Thinking
• Feeling or
• Intuition

as our dominant function. These correspond to several personality profiles from history and a variety of cultures (although obviously the types have different names and symbols in other cultures).

Imagine one of each type witnessed the following scene:

Two men came staggering out of a bar. They are shouting and swearing at one another. There is a struggle. One of them falls to the ground and bangs his head on the pavement.

Each witness will respond to what is before them in a manner typical of his/her type:

The sensing type will give the clearest account of what happened. S/he will have noted the height, build and general appearance of the two men: one was overweight, middle-aged and bald and had a scar over his left eye; the other younger, fair-haired, more athletic and had a moustache. Both were dressed casually in T-shorts, jeans and trainers. It was the overweight one who fell and it was his right temple that struck the kerb. There was a crack on impact etc

The thinking type interprets the events as they happen, working out what it all means. The two men came staggering out of the bar so evidently they had been drinking. They are shouting and swearing at one another, so they are having a disagreement. A struggle ensues so they must feel strongly enough to become physically violent about it. One falls to the ground, so he must be the weaker (or drunker) of the two. The latter cracks his head so he may be concussed and in need of medical attention etc.

The feeling type responds to each event in the scene with value-judgements: ‘what a sordid episode!’ ‘What thoroughly objectionable people.’ ‘that is clearly a bar frequented by louts and not a place to go to if one wants a quiet chat with a friend.’ ‘The one on the ground may have hurt himself and as a responsible citizen it would fell wrong if I didn’t ring for an ambulance.’

The intuitive type ‘sees’ the whole story: they are football hooligans who support opposing teams. Disgusted by their aggression, the landlord told them to clear off and this inflamed them to violence. the man who cracked his head is accident prone and this is just another incident in a lifetime of misfortune. He has fractured his skull and a clot will form on his brain requiring surgery. He will be off work for weeks and his long-suffering wife will once again have to struggle to make ends meet. This is what happens to people from a disadvantaged background who have nothing else to live for but football and drink. Things like this will go on happening and get much worse because we do nothing to change society or improve the educational system.

1st being your dominant function......4th being your Achilles heal.

Myers Briggs type 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
ENFP or INFJ N F T S
ESTP or ISTJ S T F N
ENTJ or INTP T N S F
ESFJ or ISFP F S N T
ENTP or INTJ N T F S
ESFP or ISFJ S F T N
ESTJ or ISTP T S N F
ENFJ or INFP F N S T

And more on this if it interests you.....

Myers Briggs Spectra

and

Myers Briggs and communication

7 comments:

  1. My sensing is incredibly weak. I come out Fi - Ne - Fe - Ni with sensing and thinking right at the bottom of the heap. I'm trying to come out of my own head a bit but it's hard work!

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  2. My sensing is inversely proportional to alcohol consumption. As it should be.

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  3. I'm INTJ and thoroughly pleased with my introverted intuitive, thinking, judgemental self!

    Weakness - perceiving; need to be more open I guess... nah, not really, quite happy that I don't flit from one half finished (baked) idea to another like some P's do.

    To be more sensing try sensing maybe try drawing. Good drawing is all about looking.

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  4. Anonymous - hello - if your head is a nice place, I'd stay there.

    Eric - aha the ol' numbing effect. My sensing gets better with alcohol consumption...takes me more into the now until the quantities exceed the recommended dose stated on the side.

    Mark - I am hugely perceiving - always poised to take in more info and change my mind (i.e. open mindedness) but my awareness of it makes me determined to be a finisher - but not so determined that if what I am doing turned out to be crap - I won't question it and abandon it! Some strongly judging friends of mine stick rigidly to routines/old established ways of doing things/ideas (especially SJs). They certainly don't deal with change very well. Strengths and weaknesses at both ends...but awareness of them can help.

    I used to draw a lot....now I just try and get in the now more and notice details. It works - because I am aware of the fact it's something I don't prefer to do.

    What I like about the four dominant functions (perceiving isn't included) is it's simplicity as a model for understanding that your stance won't be everyone's. Obvious rarely do I see it being applied....I usually just see misunderstandings, frustrations and irritation.

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  5. Oops! is it too late to change, MollyP because I'm not all that pleased with my perceptionalityisms. Id like to be the sensing type but I know it jess 'aint possible...not today, at least.

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  6. Hi KenD,
    Never too late.

    I'd recommend grape squashing, mud wrestling, bell ringing, food fighting, velvet stroking, lavender sniffing, bubble-wrap popping and a photo-fit kit.
    That ought to do it
    xxxx

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  7. Ha! Some of those things actually appeal to me.

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