Why is it always easier to see where you fall short than where you succeed? | INFJ Forum

Why is it always easier to see where you fall short than where you succeed?

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by TinyBubbles, Oct 4, 2010.

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  1. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    inspired by Miss @Odyne's "what are you proud of" thread.
    so what do you think, why is it always easier to see where you fall short than where you succeed?

    thoughts, ideas, comments, complaints? (direct the complaints to @NeverAmI, he has a ready incinerator waiting :3)
     
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  2. Saru Inc

    Saru Inc Schrödinger's Pussy
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    It's not any easier. It only is for those who it is easy for.

    It is easy for me to see my mistakes.

    It is easy for my friend to see his "excellence" for lack of a better word.

    It's who I am, and it's who he is. We both excel in one area, I know where I am wrong, he know's where he is right. It isn't easier for any other side.
     
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  3. Odyne

    Odyne ===========
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    I think that sometimes because one tries so hard to become better at whatever it is they do, they never see what it is that they are good at. They always try to perfect those imperfections and because nothing can be perfect, they end up seeing faults and flaws constantly.

    Also, when too many people have too many expectations of you, you tend to forget or overlook your own qualities while trying to meet other people's opinions or image of yourself.
     
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  4. KazeCraven

    KazeCraven Graduated from Typology : May 2011
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    I agree with Urtehnoes. I have some difficulty with both, and I question both sides. (Am I really falling short here, or am I just giving myself a tough time?)

    That being said, mistakes are usually more painful than successes are rewarding, in my experience.
     
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  5. invisible

    On Holiday

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    it all depends on attitude.
     
  6. TheLastMohican

    TheLastMohican Captain Obvious
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    You have fewer wrong answers on the test than right ones. Therefore analyzing the wrong ones is the easier route.

    (If you scored 50% or lower, then this question of perspective is the least of your problems.)
     
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  7. Detective Conan

    Detective Conan Doesn't Cast Shadows

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    I think Odyne dear hit the nail on the head here, however, at a slight angle not to drive it all the way through :). Many of my friends are personal perfectionists, and they tend to sulk/obsess over their shortcomings and ignore their brightest talents. Others are the opposite and tend to bask in their awesomeness at one thing and ignore whatever they could improve with. Then there's a middle ground where people have trouble seeing both sides of themselves for one reason or the next. Like invisible said, it's all in the attitude.

    I wonder which personality types tend to lean toward one of the three generalizations above, now... or if one's outlook on themselves is entirely independent of their cognitive functions... hmmm oh well.
     
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  8. rawr

    rawr ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    perfectionism? even subconsciously?
     
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  9. NaeturVindur

    NaeturVindur Cuddlemaster
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    People tend to remember negative things more than positive. I'm not entirely sure why it happens, but it is universal. When reflecting on something, we try harder to avoid making the same mistake again rather than repeating successes, when there is failure to concentrate on. If we take an evolutionary-psych perspective, it could be that we need to remember those things that hurt us with exquisite clarity to avoid getting killed, while positives just make us feel good with out the vivid memory, thus we seem to remember the negative better, leading us to focus on our faults instead of our strengths.
     
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  10. KazeCraven

    KazeCraven Graduated from Typology : May 2011
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    I would venture a guess that the focus would be influenced someone by personality type (indirectly, of course), but that mood and self-esteem would be much clearer indicators. Not so much happy vs sad, but rather prideful vs humble. Hmmm, though this suggests it may actually be due more to the temperament or disposition of a person than mood or self-esteem.

    Back to the original question again, I also think we usually have more reason to focus on our shortcomings (unless we're marketing ourselves).
     
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  11. TheLastMohican

    TheLastMohican Captain Obvious
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    I think this is a relatively simple phenomenon to explain.

    People have ideals and fantasies. They frequently have specific concepts of personal and situational perfection. So when they lack that perfection, they naturally look for reasons for their shortcomings.
    On the other end of the scale, people rarely have something with which to compare reality. How many people have in mind worst-case scenarios? By nature, such concepts are difficult to pin down — is it worst to be dead? homeless? paralyzed? tortured daily in a North Korean prison? Who knows, and who cares? Since nobody is really thinking about ways to reach said scenarios, and since they typically would require disasters from outside one's realm of influence to begin with, nobody is going to analyze which choices prevented them.

    In short, we think about our current situations as needing to be made better, not as being saved from becoming worse. That's why success gets passed over; it didn't bring us to our imaginary perfections, so it often gets lost in the multitude of choices and occurrences that comprise our mediocre-but-not-terrible lives.
     
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  12. invisible

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    i realise i'm not addressing the actual question here. but as a course of action, celebrate your successes. focus on what you've achieved and survived and where it can take you. when you think of something negative, think of something else positive that can result from it, turn your failures into strengths. failures are learning experiences and that is positive. it makes a difference and soon it is easier to think of your successes than where you fall short. once you've worked out where you went wrong and how you can learn from it to go forward, and all the amazing chances your experiences can give you, ruminating about shortcomings seems boring and unproductive.
     
  13. bagelriffic

    bagelriffic Community Member

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    i think it stands within reason to assume that many believe working on our weak points can and eventually will make us better prepared to deal with recurring said circumstances, thus increasing our self esteem after a goal is met, possibly providing us with a better job, more money who knows what the vision of better leads to, depends on the person.

    with that said the emphasis of faults actually lies in the future, not the past because we are attempting to prevent the same mistake, or as few as possible. contrary to popular belief the brain actually tries to Forget the negatives of our history while remembering the positives, but we have to allow it to.

    here's the way i see it; imagine two poles, one labelled self acceptance or the ability to be ok with making mistakes, the other self criticism or the ability to see what you Could be. i think as with anything else its about walking the fine line between the two, this way i'm not blind to the mistakes i make but not over critical either cause life ain't gettin any easier so if i can't be happy with where i'm at now once i've got bills and a family to support it'll probably feel twice as important.
     
  14. Gaze

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    I think growing up, family set high standards, and i think being critical was a motivator to work harder and succeed. So, i guess, it's often easier to think of how things could improve or be better than think things are fine or ok, because there was always the push to be better and not settle. Granted, i know i've fallen short of this a good amount, but striving to be better is good, as long as the expectations are semi-realistic. A little idealism is not a bad thing.
     
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    #14 Gaze, Oct 4, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2010
  15. Entyqua

    Entyqua Forgotten
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    I wish I knew why it is easier for me to count my failures and not my successes...I dwell on the failure...and forget the success...

    I know a lot of it has to do with my childhood...but why now that i know what the root of the problem is, cant i move foreward?
     
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  16. Soulful

    Soulful life is good

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    This may be overly simplistic, but:

    success --> applause = praise from others = validation + positive attention + being 'liked'

    The need to belong and to be wanted is one of the strongest human needs, no?

    It then stands to reason that falling short can be an emotionally threatening experience because it reminds us of an experience somewhere along the way when we were criticized and consequently felt rejected, which can be extremely threatening to a young child depending on who it's coming from.
     
    #16 Soulful, Oct 4, 2010
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  17. Gaze

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    Unfortunately, somewhat true, but blame is a tricky road. I think the belief that because we were rejected or criticized meant that we weren't worthy or good enough had a more lasting effect. Because anyone can say hurtful things; but it's our belief that they are right which makes it a reality. Learned this lesson the hard way.
     
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  18. Saru Inc

    Saru Inc Schrödinger's Pussy
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    The ability to, or the ability to not too is not the questioning factor. What you should be asking is "why do I not want to move forward?" Something is holding you back, I'm not saying it's conscious, but something is. You need to dig through your cerebral library of memory scrapbooks and find which pictures are in the wrong place. Once you do, and your library is organized, you will see the beauty of the library, instead of the disjointed mess that used to dwell there.
     
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  19. Entyqua

    Entyqua Forgotten
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    wow..that is amazing advice...

    I know one thing that does...I cant ever share a success with my family. EVER...my mother will get jealous and tell me that I never did anything for her...my dad shrugs and says dont listen to your mother, and my brother gets pissed at me for hurting my mom...This is a current ongoing battle...I need to cut my mom out of my life...but she lives ten minutes away from me so its nearly impossible with out causing her to attempt suicide again...


    Wow...thats really what my life has become...
     
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  20. Soulful

    Soulful life is good

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    I edited what I said before I saw your post. When I said criticism, I meant the whole range of criticism, in the sense that even kids with the most loving, kind, positive parents experience rejection at some point, and not necessarily the kind of rejection that results in feelings of low self-worth or insecurity. I also don't believe that we ought to blame others for how we conduct ourselves as adults, although some experiences are obviously more difficult to recover from than others, but that I wouldn't be surprised if those early experiences are very much rooted in the tendency to pick apart the negative. I think a person can develop to a level at which they will enjoy the validation/approval without necessarily needing it; they might then constructively examine the negative as a means to improvement, but if this isn't rooted in needing validation in some way, then perhaps this kind of person will be equally able to recognize their successes and thus be in a different situation than the original question is referring to?
     
    #20 Soulful, Oct 4, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2010
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