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How frequently do your emotions control your actions or thoughts?

Publius

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OK, I'm going to be a little vague here, and the following paragraphs may not 'gel', this is kind of me spilling my mind onto the internet, phrased in a way which may or may not even be a question requiring a response. Please also forgive any misuse of nomenclature...I'm new here!

So, us INTPs are guided throughout our days by logic. We think logically, act logically. We're not known for our Fe, or sensitivity, or social skills. I think to truly judge an INTP in their default 'mode' you have to observe them alone on a hidden camera. For me, when I'm alone is when I feel most INTP. It's stimulating when I know I have an entire day to myself (ie, live in girlfriend is staying with her parents or something) and I can do absolutely anything I like.

But what about day to day life? We all have to leave our batcaves sometimes, especially to go to work. In short, I suppose I'm on autopilot at work. I eat at my desk, slouch in my chair and just crack on. Most of the time. But sometimes, I get distracted, and I think...*gasp* it's my emotions interfering. I get distracted, and probably the main things which distract me are the compulsive urges to express myself creatively (usually let out in the form of doodling or writing song lyrics), a feeling I can only describe as 'debilitating nostalgia', when I am overcome with a strange yearning to return to a time from my past, usually triggered by a song I used to like, or the smell of perfume an ex-girlfriend used to wear, or an old photograph. And it's not that I miss these times, at all. I don't want to be the 14 year old me, listening to nu-metal and wearing leather trousers to make a point. I also don't want to get back with the ESFJ who I was not compatible with whatsoever. And I certainly don't want to be an 11 year old caught up in my parents' bizarre wife-swapping divorce scenario again. But I get so lost in thought about these things that I can't concentrate on anything. It's as if I have to reflect on these things for a while, even if it is to no end.

Why? Is it some sort of debt I have to pay for being so autonomous in my waking life?

The other thing which can ruin my day is getting the notion that somewhere in the world someone is having a much more fun life than me. Sure, I make no secret about how much I enjoy being alone, and quite confidently tell my ENFJ girlfriend sometimes that I would rather sit and idle in cyberspace than spend time with her. Fortunately she gets this now and doesn't have quite so much of a problem, even if it upsets her. BUT, recently, one of her friends went travelling around the world, alone, which I derided as a bad idea, a foolish one and a depressing one. She came back recently regaling us of tales of meeting new people, seeing wonderful things, having sex with dashing strangers in airport lounges (!) and all this crazy stuff. And I thought wow, all I do is go and sit in the same office every day, come home and play video games or watch films until midnight, rinse and repeat. Once a week maybe I'll have a close friend over to do the same thing with. If it's a really big night I'll go and play a gig with my band or go and watch a band. And I am happy with this. I like a simple external life.

So why do I feel this sense of borderline rage that someone is doing this and I'm not involved? Whenever I see some of her updates on twitter or facebook, I get sad, depressed, and withdraw completely into myself, even by usual standards. Sometimes I get so caught up in the idea that the only thing I can do is go to bed, as everything else seems boring.

And there's another thing. INTPs don't generally talk about their emotions, despite the constant torrent of things going on in their head at all hours. I am particularly touchy when the topic turns to relationships and commitment. I am in a long term relationship of four years, and am most of the time 'happy' with the simple life we lead together - we have money, a nice flat, no debts and reasonable - albeit very separate - social lives. However, any mention, from her or anyone else, of taking the 'next steps', such as children, marriage, or even the task of finding a new place to live together, sends me into silent, inconsolable rage. I can't see myself ever getting married - a point I've made quite clear to my partner - or having children. It's not that I don't want to be with her, I just loathe the thought of taking that first step onto a journey you can't really return from without an unpleasant degree of emotional distress and unpleasantries.

She showed me an article from a woman's magazine recently that stated that men would sooner sit at a 6/10 on the happy scale than split up and open the doors to the stress and bother which naturally ensues. Wishing to avoid ANY further discussion of the issue, I told her the article was a complete load of rubbish - lying through my teeth and subsequently proving the article was pretty much on the money...

Yet the other day on the way home from work, I walked past a museum. An old man and what I presume to be his grandson came out. The kid was only about 5 and wore a cute little novelty backpack in the shape of a stegosaurus. He hugged his grandfather's leg as if to say 'Thank you for a wonderful day out, grandad. I love you.' and the grandfather stroked his hair lovingly. Then I don't know what happened...I just completely broke down (albeit in a discreet and dignified, interior way). I found it completely adorable. It was a wave of emotion I almost never, ever feel. I wanted to be that old guy taking his grandson for a day out!

But then, within hours I was back to my usual cynical self, sat on a city bus with headphones in to block out the teenage banter, screaming children and unwashed masses, wishing nothing more than to be sat at home playing Dark Souls with a cup of coffee and my beloved electric cigarette.

So, this turned into me writing something very personal about myself. But I hope someone can take something away from this. Does anyone else feel these rushes of emotion? When it happens, is it mostly negative like my jealous rage, or positive like my paternal incident with the old man? I would love to hear everyone's tales.

Thanks for reading this wall of text!
 

Vrecknidj

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You know more and feel differently than you did when you were 14. When you were 14, you knew more and felt differently than when you were 7.

What makes you think that you've reached an age such that your knowledge and feelings will remain the same henceforth?

Today, you don't want to be married and are not married. Today, you tell yourself you don't want children but acknowledge affective experiences of witnessing another's joy of being with a grandchild.

Perhaps your emotions are connected more to parts of you that grow and change than your intellect is. And, perhaps you're transitioning.

Who knows, in a few years, you might be married and have a child, and you might know more then than you do now, and you might feel differently then than you do now.
 

BigApplePi

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Freud spoke of the Reality Principle and the Pleasure Principle. Both operate. How you you think these play out? How would you expect them to change over time?
 

Hadoblado

think again losers
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You know more and feel differently than you did when you were 14. When you were 14, you knew more and felt differently than when you were 7.

What makes you think that you've reached an age such that your knowledge and feelings will remain the same henceforth?

Today, you don't want to be married and are not married. Today, you tell yourself you don't want children but acknowledge affective experiences of witnessing another's joy of being with a grandchild.

Perhaps your emotions are connected more to parts of you that grow and change than your intellect is. And, perhaps you're transitioning.

Who knows, in a few years, you might be married and have a child, and you might know more then than you do now, and you might feel differently then than you do now.
While your point is valid, there are reasons to be more sure that your opinions and emotions will remain stable. Most of your emotional and cognitive development is finished by age 14, the growth rate of these constructs strongly diminishes the older you get. It is fairly rare for someone over thirty to drastically change behaviour.
 

pjoa09

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Forgive me but don't emotions govern all of our actions?
I agree, you make decisions in retaliation to your emotions or you make decisions to flow with your emotions.

It has always been like rodeo for me.
 

Etheri

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Forgive me but don't emotions govern all of our actions?
True, but not the point he's trying to make?


I think most of us, in a way, do want to share how we feel deep inside. To me, it's one of the main reasons I'm on this forum. It allows me to connect with people who think / feel alike.

While I share your points about children, marriage and mostly attaching yourself permanently to things, I don't rule them out completely. In fact I think i'd like children one day, just not yet. This is fairly far into the future to me, so i haven't really thought it over too well. There's no point, i'm too young to give a decent answer.

Perhaps you do need someone to share your emotions with, someone who'll understand? I get the idea that you've not shared how you feel about this world travel thing (other than with us, which is fair enough I guess.)
Personally, travelling has a huge appeal to me and it's something I love doing. :x
 

Absurdity

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To retreat into typology-speak:

A lot of INTPs I've seen like to think of their stack as an inverted pyramid, with Ti being the "most" of "them," with Ne next, then some Si, and with Fe being some vestigial bit ready to be lopped off at the first chance they get.

I think a more correct image would be an iceberg. Ti-Ne is the white shining facade that we show the world and are most aware of, but Si hints at something deeper, bobbing in and out of visibility with the current, and Fe is this invisible mass beneath the surface plunging into depths unknown. INTPs are certainly governed by their emotions, it just feels like weird unconscious forces tugging at them beyond explanation.

Your experiences all seem to be Si-Fe related. They also seem tied to expectations, social (Fe) or personal (Si), that you feel you have not lived up to or are afraid to comply with.
 

Publius

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Thanks for the responses people, particularly the fella with the Fellini avatar. Some food for thought. Perhaps I'm just whinging.
 

Jennywocky

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I've had similar experiences as the OP mentioned, although not really "anger" as much as sadness at times in my life. It was one of the primary reasons I forced myself to go beyond living a simple external (safe) existence and try to expand my world.

Maybe as age increases and one feels that "time is running out," the impetus grows to do something beyond the norm and beyond the safe. In the end, I don't think that many people site around and regret all the "safe" opportunities they passed up to have a "stable" life under their control, they regret all the times they could have taken a chance that might have brought something meaningful to the lives but they were too scared or jaded or doubtful to take the risk and see where it led.

I also think we're human, so we experience emotions and desire. We often will want to be close to at least a few other people, or wish we had a connection to a few, and that even that we "fit" somewhere and have a place in this world. These are emotional needs, and the more we suppress them or discount them, the more likely they are to rise up when we least expect it. Perhaps there are a few who truly are fine completely on their own, but typically even those who can be loners and are happy on their own desire at times to have a connection and companionship.

Also the world is a diverse and interesting place, and while building a safe and unsurprising external world might seem good at first, even just mere curiosity will lead one to want to shake things up once in a way and be exposed to new things.
 
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