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INTPs and resolute stances

Coolydudey

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The gopher noted:
It's almost amusing that when INTP's take a stand on anything they melt down
Quite truthfully really (he drew inspiration from hawkeye in the thread in Crime and Punishment). It seems that we are ill-equipped to present our ideas with conviction while staying logically consistent AND convincing.

Meanwhile, if something we believe in is violated, we often take up a resolute outward stance about it, leading to a similar meltdown.

Interesting eh?
 

mu is mu

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Those phenomena do seem to apply to me oftentimes, but I suspect that there are certain categories of evaluations that INTPs regularly make with much more confidence. For example, I have almost no doubt that the act of driving is rendered more dangerous than it would be innately because of the stupid, inconsiderate actions regularly chosen by the majority of people and because these types of actions tend to accumulate to enlarge the area of danger as well as its level of potency. I also am bothered little by the fact that most people don't seem to grasp this, because there have been other examples in my life in which my perception of a situation was superior to that possessed by a huge number of people--and evidently this has been the case for other INTPs and NTs in general. Some people may interpret my argument here as vain or arrogant, but as has been written elsewhere INTPs tend to have a completely different type of perception of reality than most people (i.e., Sensors). I consider it a gift, perhaps even an obligation, that we have, although it could certainly foster an attitude of arrogance or self-inflation.

But then there are other things for which I hold much less confidence and in accordance with your reasoning I tend to be more reticent about them and discuss them with relatively more tentative language. The indecisiveness and self-doubt sometimes exhibited by many INTPs may irk some types of people, but the error of exhibiting certitude about a judgment that is in reality fallacious seems even worse to me; maybe this is simply a matter of personality preferences (J vs. P) manifesting.

The subject of this thread seems interesting. I hope that more people have something to say about it.
 

Trebuchet

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I think this is true, on the whole. We handle it fine when someone disagrees with us, or simply doesn't understand us. INTPs don't always get what they want, but that's life.

Where we run into trouble is when someone else understands our point, and even agrees, but simply doesn't care, or uses it in a way we find reprehensible. We have no way to respond to that.

I worked for a software company that sent out floppy disks (dating myself here) that we discovered later had a virus. I argued that we should inform the recipients immediately and send the software to remove it, but no, that would make the company look bad. I was also ordered to tell our customers that a new version was coming soon, when in fact it had been cancelled. They stole software. They falsified overtime. You get the idea. But the worst thing to me was that they didn't understand why I would object. I have to admit, this led to meltdowns. It was like I was on planet evil.

To be sure, I was younger then. I don't think I'd melt down now. My guess is that younger INTPs are very prone to this, and we kind of grow out of it.
 

TimeAsylums

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The ambivalence (rather, the constant doubting) brought on by the functions er like a Ti-Ne loop(one of them...I forget) it were? Just to make sure we are never 100% finite...rather 99.9999% is close enough :D

Edit: But I guess if the Si is strengthened enough, it will help:
Si, the INTP’s tertiary function, allows him to store and recall information that prevents him from retrying false paths that cost him valuable time and energy. Hence, his Si can be viewed as aiding and honing...
he may be sorely tempted and even give in to the urge to go backward in order to exhaust unexplored paths for the ultimate purpose of proceeding down the correct one with a higher degree of certainty. Where INTPs hit a wall (no pun intended) is when this mental backtracking and exhausting of unexplored paths leads to the discovery of even more unexplored paths. The INTP can suddenly feel overwhelmed and wearied, forgetting why he rerouted himself in the first place and questioning everything he thought he knew. Beleaguered, the INTP may throw his hands up in the air proclaiming that nothing can be known and that no answer exists. With the aid of Si, however, the INTP can put a halt to his irrational worrying and recall the myriad things he knows with certainty: that certain paths traversed do NOT work. And by remembering what does NOT work, he can feel confident that he does, in fact, know something.
...found that thanks to architect's post on the Maze metaphor, would probably help:http://personalityjunkie.com/09/intps-maze-metaphor/
 

The Gopher

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Oh wow, that's me! Honestly I've seen this happen so often and it is probably due to several things including frustration etc.... etc... Part of it is you think you're with an idiot who doesn't understand. You just need to batten down the hatches and continue on...
 

Etheri

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I think it's fun to take unconventional stances, provoking discussion and argument. Playing devil's advocate just to trick people into discussions for your very own entertainment...

Not that I don't believe the things i'm saying, it's not an act, but it's certainly a factor?
 

Magus

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There are very few stances I have which I will actually defend. I often take the role of devils advocate just to increase the number of ideas in circulation. I've had many of my friends tell me they don't know when I'm being serious or when I'm joking when talking about things like politics and philosophy. I think you have to differentiate however between other people just plain being wrong and people who take a different view to you.

Example of the first would be someone getting a fact about the natural world wrong, e.g. the brain is located in the left leg. These people won't be convinced of anything (unless they are ignorant and overlooked evidence) because they have chosen to discount the evidence, e.g. creationists.

The other type is more subjective, for instance I like this over that. Its personal taste and I usually couldn't care less.

I do generally get frustrated when people reason poorly. I study philosophy at uni and often I'll be in debates with friends about different ideas and when they misconstrue someones actual argument and then congratulate themselves on debunking it that can tick me off. The other thing I can't stand is explaining things to people, because often I'm thinking 20 steps ahead of where they are and I can get quite impatient when having to explain why I've done something the way I have when it may seem alien to them. This commonly manifests itself with people interferring with my things as I often set up my stuff in the optimum way (furniture layout etc) which is interrupted by some well-wisher, 'have you thought of this?' well of course I have. :rolleyes:
 

Minimalist

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To continue a running joke on this forum, I will use the term pness. I like to look at pness as the ability to recognize reality as being incapable of absoluteness. It involves a cetain open-mindedness to possibility and therefore allows a greater exposure to differing ideas and experiences. Taking a stance on an issue limits an individual's perception of reality to that stance, which it would seem is against the pness of the intp. How could anyone stand firm on a stance when it is possible that the stance is incorrect, or even if it is possible that anything and everything is incorrect. Perhaps there is no such thing as "correct" in the first place. Perhaps all stances are simultaneously correct and incorrect. If this were true, its implications would be astounding. Unfortunately, structured society seems to be built upon assumptions which, if violated, would make modern life an impossibility. One makes basic assumptions every day (which we can call trust or faith). If we assumed nothing, then there would be nothing. This is admittedly not a very practical way to live based upon our current arrangements, but it can keep you up at night. Quantum physics suggests that these assumptions and mere observations are what force reality to be as it is. Once observed, reality takes it shape, until then reality has no shape. I went off on a tangent here, but so be it.
 

TimeAsylums

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I do generally get frustrated when people reason poorly. I study philosophy at uni and often I'll be in debates with friends about different ideas and when they misconstrue someones actual argument and then congratulate themselves on debunking it that can tick me off. The other thing I can't stand is explaining things to people, because often I'm thinking 20 steps ahead of where they are and I can get quite impatient when having to explain why I've done something the way I have when it may seem alien to them. :rolleyes:
That's why I can't be a teacher:D
 

EditorOne

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"My guess is that younger INTPs are very prone to this, and we kind of grow out of it."

Maybe, but don't count on it. I'm still taking "principled stands" occasionally that put me at odds with bosses, friends, organizations, etc. Lots of scars. If I am simply too weary I duck and avoid the situation that threatens to drag me into doing something I think is just wrong or insufferbly stupid.
 

Rocco

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I think it's fun to take unconventional stances, provoking discussion and argument. Playing devil's advocate just to trick people into discussions for your very own entertainment...
There are very few stances I have which I will actually defend. I often take the role of devils advocate just to increase the number of ideas in circulation. I've had many of my friends tell me they don't know when I'm being serious or when I'm joking when talking about things like politics and philosophy. I think you have to differentiate however between other people just plain being wrong and people who take a different view to you.
Both of you are right on the money. You're describing my own thoughts so I don't have to.

Just like mu said, Sensors tend to see things plain differently, to the point where my style of reasoning and communicating totally fails to have the desired effect. In those cases where I'm debating someone like this, one of two things happens:

1. My points go over the person's head, and they either misunderstand or ignore the important parts. or...
2. They immediately see that they're out of their league and respond either by lightheartedly trolling me (coming up with ridiculous arguments on purpose) or trying to end the debate by pulling the "everyone has their own opinion" card. I fucking hate that one.

On a similar topic... sometimes, when I open my mouth to start explaining my stance on something (in a case where I'm not just Mental Masturbating™, as above) I'm not entirely sure what I'm about to say. I just have a wisp of an idea plucked out of the air by Ne, and Ti has to work on-the-fly to make something relatable out of it. I rarely actually appear to be coming up with it as I go, mind you.
 
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It's all about the pincushion test.

Our own ideas are vulnerable to potential flaws that we can't conceive due to lack of perspective. Perhaps 10-20 needles have been inserted with no problem.

Ideas that we accept, as opposed to those we come up with, tend to have originated elsewhere and have survived volley after volley of pins, perhaps 20 billion. The closer our ideas tie to a well-understood and accepted construct, the more solid they appear and so more effort should be put into their defense.
 

walfin

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It's probably a lack of confidence problem.

Something in you always nags at you, going, "what if the other person is actually right?"
 

Synthetix

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With as many flaws as you could find in your own stance, you will also find flaws in the opposing stance. Does that not boost your confidence just a wee bit?
 
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Something in you always nags at you, going, "what if the other person is actually right?"
Yes, and it isn't even about trying to verify that your view is correct but finding out why you think it is correct. Maybe not everyone can relate, but I tend to be more interested in the process of my thoughts than their content. Looking at how well the knife has been sharpened rather than how well something has been cut.

Our own ideas are vulnerable to potential flaws that we can't conceive due to lack of perspective... Ideas that we accept, as opposed to those we come up with, tend to have originated elsewhere and have survived volley after volley of pins, perhaps 20 billion. The closer our ideas tie to a well-understood and accepted construct, the more solid they appear and so more effort should be put into their defense.
Shouldn't we defend our own ideas, since they're vulnerable? It's less rewarding, but they're important.

Where we run into trouble is when someone else understands our point, and even agrees, but simply doesn't care, or uses it in a way we find reprehensible. We have no way to respond to that.
It's a weird melding of values and information-gathering. They're not complying with the rules of discourse (where we both 'care' about the topic and defend our interpretations). Then it feels like you care about something that they don't, when subjectivity wasn't supposed to enter into it at all.
 
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Shouldn't we defend our own ideas, since they're vulnerable? It's less rewarding, but they're important.
The assumption of importance is also an uncertainty. Why latch on to a potential flaw when it's easier to swap it out with an established idea or a new creation? (Especially the latter. New ideas are cheap, very cheap.)
 

Trebuchet

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"My guess is that younger INTPs are very prone to this, and we kind of grow out of it."

Maybe, but don't count on it.
I didn't mean we grow out of making principled stands, or even getting ourselves into trouble with it, but rather that we grow out of the meltdowns. A bit.

I still take intransigent stands more often than is good for me. But I don't melt down as much anymore.
 

Duxwing

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Perhaps our stands are the result of Si? That one little function gives ISTJs their apparently iron will, so I wouldn't be surprised if a tertiary placement gives someone the ability to almost instantaneously grow a spine of steel to defend their beliefs.

-Duxwing
 
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