INFJ's Obsession with Power | INFJ Forum

INFJ's Obsession with Power

Discussion in 'The INFJ Typology' started by Naxx, Feb 18, 2009.

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  1. Naxx

    Naxx Permanent Fixture

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    True power can only be defined by the person him or herself but its obvious when someone is on a quest for it. For the average INFJ the definition of power would probably be a combination of wisdom and influence.

    To be realistic to help the world or people in general takes more than just a talk and faith in the person or perhaps it is that talk and the faith in people that leads to more.

    INFJ normally doesn’t want power for power's sake. There is someone suffering in the world and that doesn't sit well with you.

    Being on the path to wisdom and influence is like walking a tight rope between being a monster or a saint. I believe the risk is well worth it as everyone should have the right to live their dreams (even if they conflict).

    The greater the dream sometimes means the greater the risk and in this case it's your soul (or whatever you want to call your truest self). Of course I'm talking to myself but you (readers) being INFJs would probably relate to this.

    Please discuss What does power mean to you and why do you want it?

     
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    #1 Naxx, Feb 18, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
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  2. Lynx

    Lynx Newbie

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    Honestly, I think I want 'power' because I think most of the people around me don't have any idea what they are doing. I'd be better at it than them so... I want it.
    My boss and I are disagreeing on things right now. There are aspects of his job I could NOT do well... There are some I would kick his butt at. It drives me NUTS. If you aren't good at it - Delegate damn it.

    Sorry. Little venting action there..
     
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  3. TK*

    TK* Community Member

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    Assuming ALL INFJs want power is presumptuous. Maybe it's the word choice. I would be more comfortable with "influence." The word "power" implies dominance/superiority over something or someone else.
     
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  4. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    Um...I don't want power. I only want to be responsible for myself.
     
  5. Creon

    Creon Community Member

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    I agree.

    I cannot decide how I feel about power. I know that if I ever have direct authority over people, I might not be able to avoid abusing that power. On the other hand, I also see that the very meaning of power in today's society does not represent my ideas.
    According to Mills c Wright, the critiria deciding ones power in a society are:
    1)wealth
    2)how much a person takes part in decision making (that has to do with the entire society)
    3) his professional recognition and
    4)his social status

    Althought personality and wisdom play a role in defining power, they are not a direct factor of it,but instead a secondary factor that has to do with numbers 3) and 4). So the abilities a person has today, dont necessarily imply that he will lead (or possess power). Others could have much more power in their hands because of family background, or acquantainces(duh :p). Simple to understand, but despicable.

    Now if we speak about influence, thats a totally different story. Although Influence most of the time exists with the consent of the person being influenced, that is not always the case. Some times, the person being influenced does not desire this, but it takes place regardless of his will. People without higher education can easily be influenced to do something against their will by reading a book or attending a speach (of a person with higher education), even if they dont want to be. Thats an influence that I despise, even if it might eventualy lead into some positive outcome (see propaganda).

    So the way I see it, power is neither just, nor true (at least thats what happens most of the times). And although I feel an urge to pursue power, I also feel that it would change me and possibly destroy the very things I treasure so much. I'm not sure whether or not I desire such a thing in my life. But I cannot say that the idea of power doesnt excite me.
    Also I know that without any form of power, its impossible to change things for the better. Hence, I cannot decide whether power is to be pursued, or avoided.
     
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  6. PsilocinProject

    PsilocinProject Community Member

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    I thought that way up until I was about 17 or so. My search for constant knowledge and understanding led me to see that I'm equal with every person around. After that, I started extroverting myself more. It's just become natural to me to genuinely like people, despite the fact that large numbers of them aren't exactly smart.

    Lack of intelligence doesn't piss me off, it just makes it difficult to talk to someone for a long time. What pisses me off is when someone is arrogant as hell. When they look at themselves as being the pinnacle of human existence, a "Holier than thou" attitude. I can't stand it.
     
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  7. in_wonderment

    in_wonderment Regular Poster

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    what obsession with power?

    i have almost no obsession with power.

    that said, im completely self-motivated and tend to get power because im a perfectionist, and also completely reliable. power is given to me for that reason. i continue to gain power because i can easily make decisions, and have no problem asserting myself if the situation calls for it.

    i sometimes come across as being cold, if someone knows me in the short term.

    if someone knows me awhile they learn that i have alot of depth and warmth.

    i don't see the world in terms of power though. i see us all as equals in one way or another.
     
  8. darkstar

    darkstar Community Member

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    My definition of power is the freedom to do what one wants with ones life.

    In this society, power = money * personalInfluence/ sqrt(bad luck)

    Seriously though, I like some of the internet marketing experts definition of money power etc.

    Money is a measure of the amount of value you add to people's lives.

    Money is power, and only makes you more of who you already are.
    If you are an evil person, money will make you more evil, but on the other hand if you are a kind person it frees you up to be more kind.

    My dream is to operate a business where I actually sell a (digital) product. Then I will have relatively passive income in which to free myself up to do the things I want. Like help people, have a family, set things in motion, grow a garden.
     
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  9. Creon

    Creon Community Member

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    Thats an extremely optimistic approach. Although I totally disagree, its very interesting.
     
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  10. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Permanent Fixture

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    To me power is the power to effect any given change. If I want something, then power to me is my ability to get it. Wisdom and influence are forms of power -- and influence is an especially potent form of power. With enough influence one can cause others to join in ones crusade, help to defend oneself when he is in peril -- and take affirmative action to better the lives of many people at once.

    I think many INFJs don't seek power because they know that power corrupts. It is best to do what needs to be done, and then be done with it.

    "According to the Tao (Chapter 17) the greatest leaders are unknown to their subjects. When a leader organises matters in harmony with the Tao, the subjects go about their work and believe that their projects are accomplished entirely through their own efforts. Therefore everyone is content.

    Next best are leaders that are loved and praised,
    then those that are feared.
    The worst are hated and despised."


    Its easy to become despised when one holds the reins too long.
     
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    #10 Zero Angel, Feb 18, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  11. OP
    Naxx

    Naxx Permanent Fixture

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    As you become more and more influential your ideas and thoughts become much weightier and respected; thus you will be given power whether you like it or not.

    Because your ideas will then be valued over other ideas by general populous your ideas have already dominated another’s.

    Power is neither good nor evil

    That is where wisdom steps in.

    But you are right presuming anything is absolute is probably a mistake however it does get people talking.

    However how did you know the topic was addressing just one INFJ (myself) or the entire MBTI group?
     
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    #11 Naxx, Feb 18, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  12. OP
    Naxx

    Naxx Permanent Fixture

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    If I want change then power is needed, but is my idea of change actually the right one?

    If I pursue the ability to start this change will I be corrupted along the way?

    If I do nothing, am I better than the things i call and perceive as negative?


    So the question comes back to what is true power?

    And should everyone have a right to pursue their dreams even if it goes against the dreams of others?
     
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    #12 Naxx, Feb 18, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  13. gloomy-optimist

    gloomy-optimist Used to live here

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    I don't want power. I want to make sure people are treated fairly; I want things to be run smoothly; I want people to accept me, and maybe even to the point of being inspired. If that requires "power," then sure. But I don't want power for power's sake.
     
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  14. ZenCat

    ZenCat Waving Sage

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    I agree with TK. "Obsession with Power" seems an odd choice of phrase to apply to INFJs.

    Power over others is not something I've ever desired, and I sincerely resent those who misinterpret my actions or thoughts as being desirous of power (which has certainly occurred on a number of occasions) and having those who suspect me of trying to wield power turn and try to exert dominance over me as a result. I've always hated managerial positions in my career, and just wanted to work autonomously.

    I just want independence and provided nobody tries to push me around or dominate me with their power, they can do what they want.
     
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  15. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Permanent Fixture

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    To me I believe, is that I believe INFJs seek power over themselves -- moreso than power over others. Hence the reason why the INJ appears more self controlled than he actually is. After all, power over others is a way of externalizing the need for personal power. As with many feeling types, if we are loved and admired then others give freely to us as we do to them. This is power in itself -- but one which works constructively for the benefit of all parties involved.

    I don't think it is in the INFJ nature to consciously step on the toes of others to further ones own ends. Certainly it can happen, when the INFJ chases after ego in order to better his own stability -- as it happens with many others.
     
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    #15 Zero Angel, Feb 19, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2009
  16. KingOfSpades

    KingOfSpades Community Member

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    I've been thinking about this thread all day. I think if you have big dreams in life, you begin to wonder what it might take to accomplish those dreams. Ultimately, any such thought process leads to the question of power.

    I'll be honest here (wrapped with the precious blanket of anonymity) and comment that I wrestle with my shadow a lot on this issue. My "light" side has really tremendous thoughts on doing things that might help and improve things; and this is balanced by a "dark" side which flirts with power in ways that oftentimes bother me.

    This dark side exposes itself most often when I'm frustrated by life. For me, frustration is the seed of the desire for power. It's at those moments when I don't have any control over a certain issue or a certain desire when I feel the most desire to just obtain power for power's sake.

    So, Naxx, I know what you mean about this tight-rope. Max Weber said there were three types of power: charismatic, traditional, and bureaucratic. I think as INFJs we have the capacity to tap into charismatic power moreso than other types, just because we have the capacity to formulate a vision that might resonate with others. So, if we combine that with other types of power, you can see how there is a great temptation to just acquire power for power's sake.
     
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  17. sumone

    sumone down the rabbit hole

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    Power brings on attention. I'd rather be behind the scenes, quietly and largely unobserved.
    I've worked with power hungry people before, the kind whose eyes will actually light up when you question them or talk to them about it. To me it's a totally alien concept.
    I feel like whatever power we need we already have but we can't remember how to unlock it or we're blocking it somehow.
     
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  18. Grey Wolf

    Grey Wolf Airborne all the way!

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    To me, power is information. and informatin is power.
    But then if I use this definition, I seek to be powerful :/ which according to the authority is power perspective I'm not.

    I just seek informaton like crazy and most of the things I will will give me some new knowledge or information. The reason I seek knowledge and information so ferverently is that I never will know when the knowldge can come in handy. so, I stockpile knowledge or at the very least known avenues to knowledge on as many aspects in my life.

    I have substancial information on my friends, as I care for them the most. Note the word friends. These are real friends, not the aquantaince type. Some of them know I have the information, some dont. But, I dont use the knowldge to blackmail them or anything. Its just that, it will allow me to know when somethings wrong or when the need help and how I will be able to help them without having to constantly be in contact with them.

    The knowledge also allows me to root out those that arnt real friends. lets just say I rooted out one or two already. Very useful as without the information, i would have continued trusting them and have greater problems ensue.

    Apart from friends, general knowledge is also something I seek out. One can never tell when the most unrelated of things can suudenly be related and you have to have knowledge on all aspects of it to perform well. Happened a few times already :D .

    thats why I still seek knowledge and information :D
     
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  19. OP
    Naxx

    Naxx Permanent Fixture

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    Even though defined by the dictionary the word power seem to have different meanings among various people. As it should being one of the most sought after things in this world and probably other worlds.
     
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  20. Milon

    Milon Director of Glomps
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    Yeah, I want to make sure that everyone is treated with love and respect - but I don't have to be the one who makes that happen. As long as people are dealt with fairly, I'm fine. I don't have to be the one in control. But if I see something wrong and no one else is making amends, then give me the power to fix it!

    EDIT: I just noticed I'm a Community Member now! Yay! :D
     
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    #20 Milon, Feb 19, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2009
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