[PAX] - Ego Masturbation | INFJ Forum

[PAX] Ego Masturbation

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Satya, Nov 19, 2009.

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  1. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    Social psychologists loosely use this term to describe a set of common coping mechanisms.

    It could be defined as the act of a person pointing out other people's mistakes or the belittling of other people's beliefs or views for the purpose of feeling better about their own mistakes or their own views and beliefs.

    It's considerably easier to notice on the internet because people can hide behind a veil of anonymity and thus not be held accountable for using others to feel better about themselves. The behavior can range from pedantry, which is an ostentatious or egotistic showing of knowledge (usually through the pointing out of spelling or grammatical errors) to outright bullying in which a person seeks to intimidate or dominate through ridicule or harassment.

    This behavior is not restricted to the internet, and is very common in abusive domestic relationships, in which one partner uses the other partner to develop a sense of superiority and control.

    So what personality types do you think most commonly exhibit ego masturbation? What leads people to develop these particular coping mechanisms? What is the appropriate way to deal with an individual who uses ego masturbation? Is there a danger in engaging in ego masturbation when pointing out when others use ego masturbation? Where have you seen this pattern in your life? Other thoughts?

    Remember this is a PAX thread, and so please keep the discussion civil and do not make accusations.
     
    #1 Satya, Nov 19, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2009
  2. TheLastMohican

    TheLastMohican Captain Obvious
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    You misspelled veil. Do you have any idea how pathetic that is? Luckily for the world, I'm more enlightened than that.
     
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  3. flux

    flux Community Member

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    That seemed correct to me. The veal of anonymity. You don't know his name. He doesn't ask yours.
     
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  4. OP
    Satya

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    I'll show you where you can put your enlightenment. :m091:

    :m131:

    How do you know I didn't intentionally misspell it to draw out pretentious pedants to use as fodder for my discussion. :mjedir:
     
    #4 Satya, Nov 19, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2009
  5. the

    the Si master race.
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    I am pretty sure he wrote what he meant. Dummy.
     
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  6. TheLastMohican

    TheLastMohican Captain Obvious
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    I think ego masturbation is just one name for a behavior that can have many different causes. We should not be too quick to apply the label to the kinds of obnoxious argumentation you describe.

    Consider a debate between an evolutionist and a creationist. We hear the creationist say that evolution does not explain where the universe came from, and we see him pulling a copy of a Michael Behe book out of his bag, ready to launch into some more detailed ID arguments.
    The evolutionist immediately attacks the "origin of the universe" comment, and goes on for several minutes, ranting about people's misunderstandings of what evolution is supposed to explain. He then storms away in a huff before the creationist can start finding the pages in his book.

    How should we interpret this? The evolutionist might have been engaging in ego masturbation, getting an endorphin rush by making the creationist feel stupid.
    But why that specifically? He also might have been anxious to avoid the ID arguments, and wanting to establish the high ground and then bolt before the debate could continue further. He might have wanted to avoid those because he was in a hurry, or because he knew that he was not knowledgeable enough in the intricacies of evolution and biology to debate evenly with the creationist.
    He also might have been perfectly secure in his position and level of knowledge, but terribly frustrated by hearing the "origin of the universe" objection come up again and again no matter how many times he explained why it made no sense. This would cause him to lose his temper a bit, explaining his behavior without any need for introducing "ego masturbation."

    When we know a person fairly well and see the same kind of behavior occurring again and again, then we have pretty good standing to judge whether ego masturbation is to blame. But I would find it quite frustrating to have my arguments dismissed in that way just because I stated them more forcefully than usual for whatever reason.
     
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  7. sassafras

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    Good thread topic!


    I apologize for the straight-shooting-dummy-type answer here, but I would say that anyone with some sort of conflicting inferiority and superiority complex would probably be most partial to exhibiting this sort of behaviour. In my personal experience, most people who do ego-masturbate usually hold beliefs that are some derivative of Social Darwinism. Only the strong survive, fortune favors the bold, watch your own back because nobody else will, etc. etc. They also tend to have a very black and white view of the world, and very often washed with cynicism.

    Sometimes they've been victims of this sort of ego-abuse themselves and think that this is the only way to 'make it in the world.' And perhaps they overcompensate for their own perceived shortcomings by appearing "tough minded" and "saying it like it is" and claiming to only "challenge the other person's viewpoint for their benefit." And more often than not, they see their own world view as the absolute truth. Heaven forbid if someone challenges them or demonstrates a different viewpoint; the ego-masturbator will generally dismiss them as "morons" or "wasting their time." They aren't comfortable being in the wrong and will often turn around and defend their right to say whatever the hell they want, all the while demanding what gives the other person the right to dare speak to them like that.

    Personally, I don't think it would do any good to point out that another person is ego-masturbating. Chances are, they're pretty volatile to begin with or will purposely do the opposite of what you say to demonstrate their superiority and individuality. Yet, knowing this and pointing out this flaw anyway, I'd say chances are you're trying to really get under their skin. Trying to psychoanalyze another person without their consent or confirmation and then throwing that analysis in their face to prove what a damaged individual they are is pretty egotistical in itself. Make your own opinions about the person, but don't consider it an absolute truth. Sometimes you might be proven wrong in your assessment.

    I don't really notice a 'pattern' of people like this in life. Occasionally they will pop up here and there, and unless there's a victim or victims involved or if the person making an ass of himself/herself is someone I care about, I usually just let them be.
     
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    #7 sassafras, Nov 19, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2009
  8. TheLastMohican

    TheLastMohican Captain Obvious
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    Oh right, I should add that in my experience, the best way to deal with a bona-fide ego-masturbator in action is to say as little as possible and let shim blow shimself out. They like to narrow the discussion to their area(s) of expertise and try to get you to say something wrong that they can blast you for, so if you can't change the subject favorably, just get comfortable and wait until they have nothing left to say.


    Sometimes se will then just start repeating shimself. In that case, put on some noise-cancelling headphones.
     
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  9. NeverAmI

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    Agreed, they always fall on their ass eventually, it just isn't worth getting worked up over.
     
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    Satya

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    I would say that this is my sentiment as well.

    Yes, this does seem to be a common pattern with ego masturbators. Simply getting a person to make a mistake or say something inconsistent provides an opportunity for them to pounce and deride that individual's competence in the discussion.
     

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