"...just..." | INFJ Forum



Community Member
Aug 11, 2008
When [subject] is just [simple description].
When [some ideology] just exists because of [some reason]
When [person] would just [do something simple or change something "small" (from the POV of the person speaking, of course) about themselves]

When I hear phrases of these forms, there's a little internal sensor that buzzes in my head as if to say "that says so much more about the person saying it than it does about [subject]." Every time I've heard a statement of this form in the past few days/weeks, I've either 1. known so much about the subject that I was bursting to point out what a ridiculously aggressive claim it was, or 2. known nothing about the subject, and thought "yeah... that sounds like it would make things better in that area." In either case, I feel like, when you think a situation can be phrased in that way, it's almost a sure thing that you don't understand it.

It happens when describing things and making (usually political/religious) claims

[Any organized religion] is just about control.
We just need to realize neither [view X] nor [view Y] is better than the other.
If people would just let go of their preconceptions, they would see that [some truth, usually the one I'm trying to tell them] is the real one.
If democrats would just stop such irresponsible/wasteful spending...
If republicans would just stop trying to legislate morality...
If the Israelis and Palestinians would just learn to share their land...
If people would just stop being influenced by the media so much...
If drivers would just stop doing [whatever it is I happen to find stupid at the moment]...
If people would just put themselves in each others' shoes, rather than making judgments, they'd see that...

The last one is my favorite, because it presupposes the other person's ability to empathize effectively and understand your point of view, even though (for all you know) they may not have that ability.

This tends to break down when it comes to teaching, because the bet professors I've ever had in science courses were the ones who could say "[this hard concept] is just [this easier one], because [list of similarities]." When applied to broad topics, though, and especially topics that involve people and their motives/actions/beliefs, they tend to be very shortsighted and overly simplistic solutions to very rich and detailed problems.

When do you guys most find yourselves saying "[complicated subject] is just [simple adjective]" or "[complicated situation] exists for [simple reason]"? How sure are you that you're right in your assessment, and how much time have you spent actively trying to understand the people who disagree with it?
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You're just cranky.

I make a point of not saying things for the sake of running my mouth. I always consider the opposite or alternative opinions, as far as I'm aware of them.

At any rate, I'm confused about what you're getting at. Is it that you have a problem with generalizations (for which we INFJs are notorious), or the inclination to dismiss concepts which we do not fully comprehend?

We (as in humans, not just INFJs) have an almost completely subconscious need to categorize and judge the bits of information we learn about the world around us everyday. There are times when we are unable to process those bits, so instead of creating a file, so to speak, for a new type of information, we store it with what we deem closest in nature that we already have learned. This makes for the sweeping generalizations, and finite or shallow comprehension of complex ideas. Some may see and label this as willful ignorance, but for those of us who take in very different info about the world around us (through intuition and feeling), it is quite nearly impossible to process-much less relate-all of it without expending most of our time and energy. So we put things in boxes and tell ourselves that we will come back to it, but until we have the opportunity, we have labeled it as similar or the same as something else we've already processed.

Perhaps I'm missing the point. Could be.
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*sirens* this thread has been brutally beaten and murdered by the poster above
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My problem is with dismissing concepts which we don't... not even fully comprehend, but ones which we don't even mostly comprehend. The things where it's pretty obvious someone's watched about an hour and a half tv special on and somehow internally decided that "it all makes sense. I guess that's just the extent of the situation." I know generalizations are necessary because we can't become experts in everything. What I'm stunned by is how many people talk about their generalizations and half-understanding as if they had no idea that their understanding was incomplete.

I had no idea INFJs were notorious for this, so sorry if it feels like an attack. I made this thread over here because it was mostly stuff on another forum that made me think of it, and I thought it would be a little..... unsporting, to post it on the same forum, as I'm sure someone would've made the connections and taken offense.
What about me? ie: "just me" ? hehe
in my opinion how broad a generalization can be before it starts losing its usefulness depends on what you intend to use it for. if people are saying things like "all politicians are corrupt" just to pass the time while stuck in traffic for example, then let them, their opinion is not going to sway anyone anyway. but if a POLITICIAN is saying all (previous) politicians are corrupt, then that kind of generalization is inappropriate. for that person's argument to be convincing he'd have to go from the general to the specific, and label exactly who was corrupt, in what way, and you'd have to know what his motivations for saying such things were, etc.etc. in other words, he'd have to go further in depth, and demonstrate a deeper understanding of whatever he was talking about for his point to be made convincingly. truth is, there's always more you can learn about pretty much everything; more distinctions you can make between different categories - but it's impractical to aim to achieve absolute understanding of everything you talk about. sometimes a general opinion will suffice. anyway, good topic, i'm glad you brought it up.
I agree that we're usually just categorizing things and trying to make sense of things, which comes out (at least, at first) as broad, ugly stereotypes.

I think, however, the more stereotypes we have, the better off we are... if the stereotypes are simple, yet accurate, and we can quickly go beyond these stereotypes. That's what I think the problem with any categorical assumption is, including the MBTI: people can make great explanations of the general cases, but no further pursuit of understanding comes in to get into the specific.