Generalizations

Generalizations

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This is a discussion on Generalizations within the Myers Briggs Forum forums, part of the Personality Type Forums category; I noticed a comment about how someone else had noticed how prone "N's" were to making sweeping generalizations, and wanted ...

  1. #1
    ENTP - The Visionaries

    Generalizations

    I noticed a comment about how someone else had noticed how prone "N's" were to making sweeping generalizations, and wanted to add what I noticed (lots of notices there).

    From what I've seen, it's more like:
    "Hey, know what's funny? I seem to have noticed that sensors tend to take everything I say literally".

    Someone else responds:
    "No, actually, you got that all wrong. I know many sensors who do not take what I said literally, that's just a generalization".

    But then, why not take it for what it is? A GENERALIZATION. Noticing a trend, and trying to find something to attribute that to. In this case, the difference on the N/S axis. It's not like saying that every sensor in the universe takes everything literally, because they don't. I know that. And even if a sentence like this is added, or a similar one, for explaination, someone takes offense.

    Instead, people go all defensive. And this is often sensors, too. While intuitives, when being told that they tend to be aloof and forgetful, just shrug it off with a "Yes, that's me in a nutshell, ho ho ho". Remember now, this is just me generalizing, but it's what I've seen on the forums, and wanted som opinions.

    Why is this? Why can't someone make an observation without having to state specifically every possible exception to that "fact", and apologizing to anyone that could be offended.

    A generalization can be useful,even negative ones. For example, when I work with another NP, I make sure to keep an extra check on our papers, because they tend to get lost. All that means, is that there is a higher probability to lose the papers. As, generally, NP's tend to be more forgetful. But if someone, on the other hand, made an equally possible scenario description about sensors, they would be torn to pieces on here.

    I mean, it's not like stereotypes are completely made up, they had to originate somewhere. This not not saying that they are 100% true, but that if you talk with, or about someone who corresponds to a particular sterotype, it is more likely that they behave according to it, than if you were hanging around someone not corresponding to the same sterotype.

    This is all a generalization is, really. Higher/Lower probability of something, that can be determined by observations. (all right, that's not all there is, not at all, actually. But I hope you can see where I'm coming from)

    (The reason I used the example that I did, was because it seems to be the most frequent one, not to offend anyone)





    (see what I did here?)

    No, seriously, opinions? As I'm NT, I tend to have problems communicating my inner "thoughts" (generalization, again, but I should not have to add this by now). The fact that english is not my first language doesn't really help.

    Hope you understand, thanks.
    Nitou, Maiden, L'Empereur and 3 others thanked this post.



  2. #2
    INTP - The Thinkers

    This is all a generalization is, really. Higher/Lower probability of something, that can be determined by observations. (all right, that's not all there is, not at all, actually. But I hope you can see where I'm coming from)
    LOL, you are so INTP! Our inner world is full of probabilities based on observations and things, and we are always refining that, and we NEED generalizations to express it, to make sense of the data.

    Yet-- we are sensitive to when other types take exception to our generalizing, so that leads us to using more precise definations and hedge-words so that that our general idea won't be torn to shreds by someone accusing us of generalizing :)

  3. #3
    ENTP - The Visionaries

    THANK YOU. I was wondering if someone would bring this up. Most of the Sensors I know get extremely angry when I make sweeping generalizations, even if I make it completely clear that I am generalizing! I really don't care. I'm not going to stop making general statements because unlike them, I recognize that almost everything in the English language is generalized. The attack on generalizations is actually part of "political correctness" which is surprisingly popular among extremists (ironic much?). Liberal extremists get pissed off when you generalize about something they disagree with, and conservative extremists get pissed off when you generalize about something they think is wrong. So no matter who I'm talking to, I'm expected to walk on eggshells because they have oddly specific social views? I don't think so. Give me some xxTPs to talk to please!
    hmwith, Invidia, counterintuitive and 1 others thanked this post.

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  5. #4
    ISFJ - The Nurturers

    Quote Originally Posted by EmilSan View Post
    Why is this? Why can't someone make an observation without having to state specifically every possible exception to that "fact", and apologizing to anyone that could be offended.
    It's interesting because I'm not averse to generalisations myself (though I do tend to point out that what I have said is a generalisation and not applicable to everybody blah blah) but for me the reason I take offence sometimes is because the generalisations about sensors tend to come out as 'I seem to have noticed that sensors tend to take everything I say literally' followed by some words or phrase that means 'which makes my N-ness so much better than their S-ness' and when you see that often enough you do get sensitised to it. That means that even when the generalisation isn't doing that the baggage from the previous encounters taints the present one. I guess that's very Si of me and I have learnt to take a step back and re-read what has been said and try to get perspective on what was actually said this time, but it is very hard to drop that baggage. This may not be the reason for all sensor dislike of your generalisations but it's certainly why I take offence. It's not what's being said in and of itself, but what's said around it, and what the implications of the comment are, that bug me.

    Now if we're talking not about generalisations about sensors and I hear something like 'Asians are bad drivers' (very common one that crops up here a lot) then that upsets me too - because it's simply not true, and it's a harmful negative stereotype. So I guess I'd sum it up as I'll get annoyed if the generalisation is couched in terms that make it clear that I am being called lesser than the person making the claim or if the generalisation is blatantly untrue and the stereotype contained within the statement is one that is harmful to the group being stereotyped.

    I don't know if that's helpful at all, but that's what makes me personally take offence.
    Maiden, AquaColum, pretty.Odd and 2 others thanked this post.

  6. #5
    ENTP - The Visionaries

    I can see where you are coming from. Many such comments are demeaning and even insulting. But that's really because of the guy (or girl) who posts it. And generally (ho ho) I've seen fewer of those, and more of the other sort. Granted, I have not been here for very long, and I can imgaine that it has been worse before.

  7. #6
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    I guess it's the same with people hating stereotypes. When you generalize, you stereotype.

  8. #7
    ISFJ - The Nurturers

    Quote Originally Posted by EmilSan View Post
    But that's really because of the guy (or girl) who posts it.
    Absolutely. However, like any sort of stereotyping, when it's blatantly insulting and often plain wrong it gets irritating and the more often you see it the harder it becomes to just ignore it.

    And generally (ho ho) I've seen fewer of those, and more of the other sort. Granted, I have not been here for very long, and I can imgaine that it has been worse before.
    That's an interesting point. It was rampant when I first started posting here (to the point that I was uncomfortable posting outside the ISFJ forum because the environment felt very hostile in the general forums) but I can't tell whether what I feel now is a real reflection of what is actually here or a residual memory of what I used to see. I can tell you that there's some blatant stereotyping (which feels negative to me, possibly because of being over sensitive to it now) in at least one thread that is active today. I considered going in and responding, but then decided it was too much effort

    Actually, thinking about it I guess another issue I have with this is when people use their generalisations of a particular type to justify their hatred for certain people in their lives and by extension other people of that type. I feel like that hampers any real understanding of the differences between people. If the attitude is, for example, 'my SJ mother is a boring traditionalist, therefore all SJs are boring traditionalists therefore they are not worth dealing with' you have cut yourself off from getting to know, understand and truly appreciate a whole group of people. The more I learn about the other types, the more I respect them and their strengths, where before I'd considered some types as cold and brutal, for example. I came here with the generalisation (stereotype, really, as @personalityjunki says) that NTs are heartless and don't care about anyone else - and yet one of the very kindest people I know is an INTP and I would never have found that out if I'd clung to my generalisation. So, yes, in many ways generalisations can be useful for understanding the bigger picture about a group of people but too often they aren't used to further understanding but rather to shut down any further exploration.
    AquaColum thanked this post.

  9. #8
    ENTP - The Visionaries

    It's always a generalization when you made a comment on any type. There are always outliers, just like there are always exceptions to rules in grammar or other things, but generally we choose to not focus on the outliers because they're outliers. I agree I've noticed the only people that get uptight about the [insert type here] comments have been Sensors. The Ns tend to shrug it off, but for some reason every sensor has to proclaim that we're being typist and how they know [some random person] who defies said stereotype.

    yes, there are always differences amongst individuals, but we're doing sweeping comments. If there is any S/N divide this is the only one I've visibly noticed from this site.

    Obviously if the statement is horribly ridiculous then you can comment, but not on trivial stuff.
    Nitou and hmwith thanked this post.

  10. #9
    ENTP - The Visionaries

    Quote Originally Posted by sts06 View Post
    I can tell you that there's some blatant stereotyping (which feels negative to me, possibly because of being over sensitive to it now) in at least one thread that is active today. I considered going in and responding, but then decided it was too much effort
    Yes, with so many threads and posters on here, that is bound to happen. But that's not really the issue here, people's arrogance will always be annoying and problematic. I'm talking about the misunderstanding of the stereotype/generalization concept. Of course, your insight on how such things can be annoying to you is interesting, and something I had not considered. But what about everyone else? Can they provide equally good reasons, or do they just ehm.. lack knowledge, I guess you could say.
    hmwith thanked this post.

  11. #10
    Unknown

    I don't mind generalizations that much, but I do not like when people automatically assume a generalization applies to me, or takes what I say and tries to fit it into a generalization of theirs when I don't think it fits.
    xezene and pretty.Odd thanked this post.


     
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