Why are most other types not interested in self-awareness and getting to know themselves? | INFJ Forum

Why are most other types not interested in self-awareness and getting to know themselves?

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Artemisia, Mar 22, 2021.

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  1. Artemisia

    Artemisia Community Member

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    I think INFJs are probably the types who are most willing to dig deep within themselves in order to "make the unconscious conscious", as Jung would say. Of course this is usually true of older INFJs but by becoming self-aware one becomes mature.



    Why are most other MBTI types not as interested in becoming self-aware and are content to live on the surface? I have a younger friend who is an INTJ. When I asked him several years ago, in his early 20s, why he didn't want to get to know himself better, he replied "I am afraid of what I will find". Are most people that fearful of getting in touch with their ugly or dark side? I think this makes one understand the world better and now that I am in my late 30s I want to come more and more in contact with my faults and my dark side.
     
    #1 Artemisia, Mar 22, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2021
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  2. Daustus

    Daustus Meatbot

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    I think it is going to vary way too much for each individual to throw a blanket statement out there that's a one sized fits all reason. In my circle of friends I see all kinds of self work among the types.

    That being said I'm thinking of 2 people in my life that avoid introspection and analysis and they both seem uneasy with complicated perspectives. They like to think of themselves as the good guy in their life and story. They don't feel comfortable with the duality of being neither completely good or bad. They both also don't think about how their actions impact others good or bad. It may be early in their journeys. They may eventually get into self work.

    In turbulent times I feel like my inner world is more complicated than it needs to be. You kind of become a slave to what you build. Internal or external.
     
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  3. yokai

    yokai sweet crumbly darkness
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    Ironically this came up in a conversation with a former pair of friends. One an ENFJ and one an INFP. I had often tried to explain to the ENFJ the things I could see, the insights into his personality and how he was constantly self-sabotaging himself and how he could better himself in as gentle terms as I could manage, but he immediately backpedaled in as nice a fashion as he could. In speaking with the INFP gal later, she mentioned an analogy that really stuck with me.

    People's willingness to delve into the depths - those of themselves or others - is akin to an oxygen tank. One can only dip into the depths for so long before they come up for air. She mentioned that said friend's tank is a lot lower capacity than mine. That, and she mentioned he wasn't likely quite ready to see those facets of himself just yet. (I like to think that we INFJs have evolved gills and are oftentimes reluctant to surface.)

    It's befuddling to look at from the outside, though. This on top of the myriad contradictions that outline our function stack as compared to the rest of the world make us feel a little more like aliens.
     
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  4. Daustus

    Daustus Meatbot

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    The oxygen tank is a good analogy. I think I could label my twenties as "trapped, plumbing the depths of self"
     
    #4 Daustus, Mar 22, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2021
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  5. OP
    Artemisia

    Artemisia Community Member

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    I agree. I was so unaware in my 20s, and I actually thought I was more mature than my peers. But perhaps self-awareness is one of those traits that comes with maturity, although there are people in their 50s, 60s and beyond who are still unaware.
     
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  6. slant

    slant amour-propre
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    Well that seems like a huge assumption.

    I always love the tone of your threads.

    Anyway,

    People who genuinely do not do introspection (which in my own personal life is like 5% of people I know, a very small number, not sure where you live where nobody introspects...)

    These people tend to be very "simple" people and there's beauty in that. I honestly think it is linked to brain development, IQ and genetics. So in that sense people can't help the way they are. I'm sure it's frustrating to deal with but at the same time that's just the way some folk are born, you know?

    Nobody can ever fully see their shadow. You think you can but it's always behind you and it's other people's reflection of it where you can see glimpses. You can think and think your life away. Honestly life is about living and having experiences and I know a lot of people who get sooooo sucked into understanding themselves they become a bit self absorbed and fail to realize they're just gonna die so you might as well just go and see people and create and learn things and exist in the world instead of your head.

    There is a balance, although, it differs from individual to individual.

    You can become obsessed with thinking about yourself and your dark side and you can also become too absorbed in the moment to where you never reflect.

    Neither is inherently good or bad, just different. And like I say, I think the differences come down to genetic factors and sometimes culture.
     
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  7. Daustus

    Daustus Meatbot

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    I think I always felt comfortable looking inward. Naturally predisposed to those deep dives.
     
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  8. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    I think it's pretty self aware to know that in that moment, they were afraid to dig deeper because they were afraid of what they would find. I wonder if he would say he feels the same way now. Or in a few more years. Everyone does these things on their own timeline and in their own way. Maybe some are naturally drawn to self contemplation and others need a jolt or something or someone to give them a reason?

    Some start young and some start older. I did my fair share of naval gazing when younger and now I'm older and much quieter about it.

    I would agree with @slant in that in my experience, it's pretty rare for people to not introspect.
     
    #8 acd, Mar 22, 2021
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2021
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  9. Wyote

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    I think most people are introspective but we differ in our goals, approach and language when dealing with these matters.
    We all engage in self development with different tools and that creates different results. People have emergent facets of personality in this way, becoming more refined versions of themselves. You can't really escape who you are, you can only realize and uncover greater depths of potential.
     
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  10. Hostarius

    Hostarius R E P R E S S

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    The simple answer is that it's just not as pleasurable, in a biochemical sense.

    Introverts are wired up to prefer acetylcholine, released in contemplation, compared to extroverts who's preference is for dopamine.

    We can moralise it all we like, but this question is akin to asking a bunch of introverts why they don't like rollercoasters or almost dying.

    Their brains aren't made to do it, or to want to do it, and forcing them is an act tantamount to wilful cruelty.
     
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  11. Krypton

    Krypton Community Member

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    Stepping back from yourself takes away from the experience of being yourself. At least for me.

    Granted it's not all bad, as you can avoid falling into traps designed for your personality, and being changed by experiences, but still.
     
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  12. Roses In The Vineyard

    Roses In The Vineyard Permanent Fixture

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    One facet is that those who fit well into society generally don't have the incentive to look with in and most in general live a very externally of themselves while the few like ourselves are left with little choice often chasing answers as to why we are different from the vast majority. I do laugh that when people say introspection is painful or scary as one immediately knows they've never really tried preferring distraction over getting to know themselves. Another facet would be weak individuation where basically they have to be clones of someone or something else while other way or looking at it is that they have to attach themselves to something most often an ideology like barnacles to a ship with the younger souls while those older it often meant religion or some career ect to which derive identity or purpose. In the end the more different one is from the majority the more likely one is going to be aware of one's differences and the likely of being more introspective unfortunately society has associated with that as being a negative trait.
     
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  13. Asa

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    At midlife, healthy people start evening out. Most of my peers who avoided depth and introspection during their younger years discovered an interest in those topics at midlife. This is when our inferior functions develop, too. It's kind of funny because on the surface, it erases a lot of what makes younger INFJs feel different. I don't think many are as dedicated to the lifelong process as INFJs. We can be a little bit hard to take on the matter.

    To be truly balanced we need to understand both darkness and light. Most people I know steadfastly stick to the light when focusing on self-awareness.

    Though... within the whole "study" of light work and shadow work there is a concept that the shadow is the true self, which is the opposite of the shadow (and being in the grip) in MBTI.
     
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  14. Daustus

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    The suit of armor I made to protect the inner child is hard to take off.
     
  15. Hostarius

    Hostarius R E P R E S S

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    I'd like to hear an elaboration of this at some point and in some place.
     
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  16. David54

    David54 David
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    I'm n not sure it's true that other types have no interest. we are a minority, and as such our percentage is probably skewing the numbers.
     
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  17. slant

    slant amour-propre
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    That's a good point too, that you can't really use the same measuring stick for everything and what may not appear like introspection to us because it's different in it's presentation does not mean it isn't. We might not *understand* the form of introspection employed by somebody using functions that aren't dominant in our stack, for example. It would just look foreign.
     
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  20. Roses In The Vineyard

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