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Discussion Starter #1
9s have a tendency to merge with whatever kind of "force" surrounds them. "Merging" means we devote our energy to it. That's why 9s are also associated with laziness-- we leech all of our energy away into whatever force happens to surround us. Then all the energy is gone.

Integrating to 3 involves learning how to make a personal choice about where to channel your energy.

You do not have to devote your energy to whatever seems to be demanding it, whatever is surrounding you. In every moment, you can make a choice about which "forces" to satisfy and which to ignore. It's a choice that has to be made anew in every moment (so it requires alertness). When you withdraw all your energy from "forces" that don't deserve your energy, and channel it into whatever you choose in that moment, you will find an amazing abundance of energy.

Learning to make that choice makes you powerful.


My whole life has been a continual massive dumping of energy into whatever notion of perfectionism, idealism, aesthetics, comfort, peace I had. These ideas can take root and leech your energy.
But there is nothing more powerful than choosing a couple of priorities in every moment and channeling almost ALL your energy into them. It involves saying "no" to many things.


more ramblings...
 

For me, the perfectionism of my wing 1 (or maybe a kind of 3-influence perfectionism?) made me feel that I should be able to devote ALL my energy to EVERYTHING, and still have energy left over to achieve my own goals. But, I'm only human, and there's only so much I can do. Achieving my own goals means leaving perfectionism unsatisfied, saying "no" to perfectionism, which is a very strange notion and can be quite a cognitive leap.

The "forces" that are hardest to say "no" to are the ones that come from within.

Sometimes it's necessary to say "no" to your own body-- if you're feeling tired but you still have work to finish. I somehow always felt that I had to give in to any demand my body was making, and that I couldn't be productive at all until I was totally comfortable. That was just another way of merging with the demands or the "force" of my body.

At other times, you have to say "no" to that little voice that tells you to keep working even if you're exhausted, and let yourself rest.
You have to keep making the choice in every moment.

 

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True. I have no idea how to direct my energy at only certain things though. lol. It doesn't even feel possible. I don't know how that works. I feel like I have an obligation to...everything. And I hate myself. And expect others to hate me too. >_>

This is quite accurate though.
 

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Integrating to 3 involves learning how to make a personal choice about where to channel your energy.

You do not have to devote your energy to whatever seems to be demanding it, whatever is surrounding you. In every moment, you can make a choice about which "forces" to satisfy and which to ignore. It's a choice that has to be made anew in every moment (so it requires alertness). When you withdraw all your energy from "forces" that don't deserve your energy, and channel it into whatever you choose in that moment, you will find an amazing abundance of energy.

Learning to make that choice makes you powerful.
[/spoiler]
Very inspiring, thanks!
Can you give real life examples?
I'd love to work on that.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
@Lunar Lamp @specofturquoise
I guess the first step would be making sure you're aware of where you put your energy. [bear with me, I tried to keep this as short and concise as possible]

Here's an example from my life, (although it might not apply to everybody)

So first here are 2 facts about me:
1) As an Fe-user, I'm pretty conscientious about being a good conversationalist, meaning I always try to respond enthusiastically when people talk, to make them feel good and build rapport etc.
2) Being a highly-sensitive person, (it's a thing--http://hsperson.com/) I get really distracted by physical discomforts, (hunger, pain, cold, heat, thirst, tiredness, etc), and I devote a lot of energy to avoiding ALL these negative states, trying to be perfectly physically comfortable always, to the point where I'm devoting MORE energy to avoiding the things than I would need to just ignore them and get on with my life until the needs can be conveniently satisfied.

So, imagine that I was riding in a friend's car, and I was using directions on my phone trying to figure out where we should go, and we're in a place that's hard to navigate and there's a lot of traffic. At the same time I have a splitting headache. And, while I'm doing this, my friend is trying to engage me in conversation about a band he really likes.
So, being a Fe-user, my inclination would be to respond politely to him and act like I'm interested in the band, while at the same time trying to figure the directions out, and also handle the pain of the headache. I'm trying to do all 3 things at once, feeling all these demands, feeling a responsibility to satisfy all of them, and getting more and more stressed and annoyed.

It's important to realize that all 3 of those things constitute a demand on your energy. If you try to do all 3 of them at once, you won't do any of them well, and chances are you'll also feel stressed or angry.

So you need to prioritize, decide where it's important to focus your energy. If something seems important, direct more energy to it. If something less unimportant, direct less energy to it.

So here are the 3 things demanding your energy:
1) your friend talking about the band-- this is least important at the moment. So deal with it in whatever way would involve LEAST energy. That could be either just ignoring it, or telling him to be quiet. Whichever is easier for you. Don't feel bad about it.

2) handling the headache. This is second-most important. It's impairing your ability to function, but you also can't really do anything about it. So don't waste energy feeling sorry for yourself that you have a headache, just ignore it (since feeling sorry for yourself takes more energy than ignoring something).

3) Navigating. This is most important at the moment. ALL your energy should be focused on this, not on #1 or #2. If you ignore the first 2 and only focus on 3, you'll accomplish #3 to the fullest extent.

But everybody will have different places they habitually put their energy, so you have to figure out what it is for YOU. Maybe other peoples' conversations or bodily pains are not something that harness your energy (as they do for me).
Get in the habit of noticing what you are devoting your energy to at any given moment, and decide which of those things is most important, and first RETRACT energy from unimportant things, and devote all your energy to the important things.

The step of RETRACTING energy can be the most difficult if you're a perfectionist (like I am.) You feel that you should be able to just keep pouring energy into anything that demands it. You feel guilty if you don't. But when you do that, you end up doing none of the things particularly well, and eventually you collapse from exhaustion/ stress (at least I do...)
And I feel like a failure and hate myself, because perfectionism truly is a mindfuck-- you can be a perfectionist without even realizing you are, especially if you're not an obvious one, like a type 1-- I always feel like a failure because I don't 100% satisfy all demands on me all the time. (The fact is that I simply don't have enough energy to satisfy all the demands I take upon myself).

I'm realizing lately that I somehow expend a colossal amount of energy on a regular basis, but don't really GET anywhere at all. It's because the energy isn't directed and focused on what's important right now, it's diffused all around.
 

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Thanks, great explanation!
I'm an FI user so I put a lot of necessary energy into responding appropriately to others. It doesn't come naturally and have to continually work on it. Asking about their interests and being more involved in the conversation.

As for you being a perfectionist, I think life might teach you to be a little less of a perfectionist with time. At least, that's what happened to me. When I started having a lot more demands on my hands (full time job, two kids), I got progressively less and less perfectionist, lol!

I do waste a lot energy thinking and analyzing what people have said. I will go over most conversations in my head in the evening. Analyzing the choice of words, the tone, the non-verbal cues to try to understand better and see it in a new light. May need to spare energy there. Not think about what people have said so much.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, great explanation!
I'm an FI user so I put a lot of necessary energy into responding appropriately to others. It doesn't come naturally and have to continually work on it. Asking about their interests and being more involved in the conversation.

As for you being a perfectionist, I think life might teach you to be a little less of a perfectionist with time. At least, that's what happened to me. When I started having a lot more demands on my hands (full time job, two kids), I got progressively less and less perfectionist, lol!

I do waste a lot energy thinking and analyzing what people have said. I will go over most conversations in my head in the evening. Analyzing the choice of words, the tone, the non-verbal cues to try to understand better and see it in a new light. May need to spare energy there. Not think about what people have said so much.
I guess you should figure out which energy drains really hold you back. Which things really drain a lot of your energy on a regular basis. It might be some kind of social anxiety/ diligence, or it might not. It's probably really different for everybody.
Like, if you had some task that you failed to accomplish, ask yourself, what were you putting energy towards that wasn't essential to completing the task?
 

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I do feel the merging with others, but I don't feel leeched and made lazy by it. It makes me feel energized and empowered because I am those things and people. They don't leech me, and I don't leech them—we just share because we are the same.

That being said, I do choose it. If something takes more attention than I feel like giving to it, I shut it off, drag my feet, anything to not give it the time of day.

I find choice to be very important in my life. If there are two things that "need" my attention, like an essay I'm writing or a friend's text, I'll choose to focus on one and ignore the other for a time. It feels scandalously good—it's so naughty to cruelly ignore something else that's important! But I feel much better for doing it. I'm not being a bad person by giving my best to something that I like the best for a time. I'm playing to my strengths, which is good for me and everyone around me. Things go smoothly, and they get done. Everyone is happy. After I am energized by making my choice, I can go back to the other option and focus on it very well.

You mentioned alertness, and that's important. Just check in with how you feel. Sometimes it's hard to see if I feel anything, so I go with questions like "Am I interested in doing this right now?" "Is this fun?" Sometimes it's okay to go ahead and do the fun thing that you like the best! I find it easier to choose in positive terms rather than negative, anxious terms. Thinking the thought "Is this going to drain my energy?" only drains my energy, so I don't think in those terms.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
You mentioned alertness, and that's important. Just check in with how you feel. Sometimes it's hard to see if I feel anything, so I go with questions like "Am I interested in doing this right now?" "Is this fun?" Sometimes it's okay to go ahead and do the fun thing that you like the best! I find it easier to choose in positive terms rather than negative, anxious terms. Thinking the thought "Is this going to drain my energy?" only drains my energy, so I don't think in those terms.
Yeah that's a really important aspect of it. I think at first, you have to realize how things drain your energy, but then after you get used to the concept, you stop thinking in terms of it, and you just start habitually avoiding things that do drain your energy so its not even a frame of mind you have to have.

I noticed you're a 9w8 and your experience seems so different from mine. I think its the superego aspect of type 1 that creates the situation I described. So maybe its really a 9w1 problem...
 

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Yeah that's a really important aspect of it. I think at first, you have to realize how things drain your energy, but then after you get used to the concept, you stop thinking in terms of it, and you just start habitually avoiding things that do drain your energy so its not even a frame of mind you have to have.
Also it's a fact that you'll eventually have to deal with things that drain you, that life cannot be free of exhaustion and strife. So with the power of choice, you can select your best plan of attack. Instead of habitually avoiding the things that drain your energy, you can habitually avoid the frame of mind that sets you up for failure :)

I noticed you're a 9w8 and your experience seems so different from mine. I think its the superego aspect of type 1 that creates the situation I described. So maybe its really a 9w1 problem...
*shrugs* Maybe! It's weird, but talking of 9 things turns on the 8 in me!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Also it's a fact that you'll eventually have to deal with things that drain you, that life cannot be free of exhaustion and strife. So with the power of choice, you can select your best plan of attack. Instead of habitually avoiding the things that drain your energy, you can habitually avoid the frame of mind that sets you up for failure :)
Well, the key word is "drain". To me, that means energy that's just wasted. I'm not talking about avoiding anything; I'm talking about cutting out things that really are pointless, to focus on what matters in any particular moment. It makes you a thousand times better at achieving the things that really matter.

And the time-specific aspect matters too. Its a matter of "what's important RIGHT NOW." Two opposite things could both be equally important to you, but not at the same time. If you try to do them both at the same time, because you can't turn yourself off from devoting energy to either of them, you will not get anywhere.
 

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Interesting. I haven’t known 9s to expend a lot of energy into the merging. In fact the problem is that 9s don’t give enough energy to seem like they really are present in what they’re doing. Because they can’t be honest with themselves as to whether they really want to be doing it. So the other person is left with a feeling of, “am I just being led on? Do they even really care?”

9s from the outside seem to be all about low energy activities. Whereas a 2 might put ALL their energy into helping another a 9 just feels like they’re kind of along for the ride, true,
through the ups and downs, but still not really invested in being there. 9s never really force themselves at all, they are really patient. Often they can effectively trivialize the demands or interests of others by showing such a weak response to them (yet still indiscriminately showing a response) The merging is not really about taking on that thing, it’s about putting on an air and an attitude of interest. Being “nice” and paying it some attention.

Energy comes from love/anger and 9s are suppressing anger. A lot of 9s live their lives only doing the bare minimum in any situation. Not curious about anything below the surface, not seeking to expand their lot in life, not attuned to the problems present, just drifting on the waves without much force to resist them. So 9s actually need to put MORE energy into what they’re doing imo.
 

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Interesting. I haven’t known 9s to expend a lot of energy into the merging. In fact the problem is that 9s don’t give enough energy to seem like they really are present in what they’re doing.
It doesn't *feel* like you're expending a lot of energy-- because you can't see the energy going in one particular direction. It goes in ALL directions, so it gets used up quickly and feels similar to being lazy. Merging will always take a lot of energy-- it would be impossible to merge without expending energy. Merging requires suppressing who you actually are in an attempt to fit into the forces around you. Unless you happen to fit perfectly already, there's going to be a lot of psychic energy expended there. But it may be difficult to be aware of, because it's so reflexive.

9s from the outside seem to be all about low energy activities.
Yeah, because they're doing 1000 different low-energy activities at the same time, while a 2 for example might be doing 3 high-energy activities at one time.

9s never really force themselves at all, they are really patient. Often they can effectively trivialize the demands or interests of others by showing such a weak response to them (yet still indiscriminately showing a response) The merging is not really about taking on that thing, it’s about putting on an air and an attitude of interest. Being “nice” and paying it some attention.
Not in my experience. To me, merging is a real devotion to the outside thing. It just feels like "going along for the ride" because that's what you're doing. But there's nothing easy about it. What looks like a weak response to others is actually a pretty forceful response on the part of the 9, because you're forcing yourself to go along, repressing your other instincts and your own agenda.

Energy comes from love/anger and 9s are suppressing anger.
Yes, but the anger is still there. Suppressing doesn't mean it goes away. They expend energy indiscriminately in all directions, so the energy can be cancelled out, but that's not the same as not being there. Because if turn half it around and point it all in the same direction, all the sudden there's a ton of energy.

A lot of 9s live their lives only doing the bare minimum in any situation. Not curious about anything below the surface, not seeking to expand their lot in life, not attuned to the problems present, just drifting on the waves without much force to resist them. So 9s actually need to put MORE energy into what they’re doing imo.
This is what it looks like from the outside. I'm talking about what's actually going on beneath the surface. We don't need to put in more energy, we just need to direct all our energy in a coherent direction... didn't I say that many times? ;) Putting in MORE energy can actually be like shooting yourself in the foot. Because you just put more energy into your own merging, into opposing yourself, into stagnation. The key is to use your energy in a focused and decisive way.

Also "not curious" = false ;)
 

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It doesn't *feel* like you're expending a lot of energy-- because you can't see the energy going in one particular direction. It goes in ALL directions, so it gets used up quickly and feels similar to being lazy. Merging will always take a lot of energy-- it would be impossible to merge without expending energy. Merging requires suppressing who you actually are in an attempt to fit into the forces around you. Unless you happen to fit perfectly already, there's going to be a lot of psychic energy expended there. But it may be difficult to be aware of, because it's so reflexive.



Yeah, because they're doing 1000 different low-energy activities at the same time, while a 2 for example might be doing 3 high-energy activities at one time.



Not in my experience. To me, merging is a real devotion to the outside thing. It just feels like "going along for the ride" because that's what you're doing. But there's nothing easy about it. What looks like a weak response to others is actually a pretty forceful response on the part of the 9, because you're forcing yourself to go along, repressing your other instincts and your own agenda.



Yes, but the anger is still there. Suppressing doesn't mean it goes away. They expend energy indiscriminately in all directions, so the energy can be cancelled out, but that's not the same as not being there. Because if turn half it around and point it all in the same direction, all the sudden there's a ton of energy.



This is what it looks like from the outside. I'm talking about what's actually going on beneath the surface. We don't need to put in more energy, we just need to direct all our energy in a coherent direction... didn't I say that many times? ;) Putting in MORE energy can actually be like shooting yourself in the foot. Because you just put more energy into your own merging, into opposing yourself, into stagnation. The key is to use your energy in a focused and decisive way.

Also "not curious" = false ;)
Interesting. I'm a 4, I try to go full-boar with everything, kind of like you said about 2s. Because of Fe I still feel like I have to be involved in everything yet I hold myself to a high standard too becasue of my 4ishness not being interested in just the appearances of something, wanting the max depth and meaning which sometimes is like squeezing blood out of a rock. I feel like as 4, I definitely need to tone down my energy output. But 9s?

When I see 9s and the way they view the world I think, "hah, it would be so easy if life were actually this simple." I do see 9s as being very distracted people but then it comes off to me that if a low energy level is going into each activity then the output of energy is still low. There is an apparent lack of passion and along with it a lack of contradictions, and a lack of stress. May just be how it looks on the surface and like you say actually a lot of energy is coming out underneath that. I feel like 9s are the type to live long lives though... however depending on their health level sometimes progressively lonelier ones.

I do think learning to choose is the key point, regardless. We seem to agree on that. That has always been my wish for 9s as well. I guess it runs counter to my advice to myself, being choosy doesn't get me anywhere because really I see the common thread in everything and I need to embrace it more regardless. With 9s, I feel like 9s are much more about the actual surface of it but, these are Te 9s I'm more used to so don't hold me to that assumption.

Because I think that's what the merging is, taking on the surface and the appearances and the "notion" without much consideration to the meaning. I feel like 9s are the types who are the least concerned with meaning. Or maybe rather, the least beholden to it. Even FJ 9s, I feel like they will do activities very SKILLFULLY but not necessarily meaningfully. Anyway, meaning is a central theme here.

But this issue of "forcing" participation is a curious one. I always pegged 9s as being more "suggested into" things as opposed to forcing themselves. I guess I feel like forcing oneself requires a conscious experience of dissonance and 9s of all types seem to have the weakest access to their dissonance. To force oneself to do something in my mind requires knowing that it's not important to you whereas the struggle for 9s is to know in the first place whether something is or isn't important to them. So they say, "maybe" it's important. They don't strike me as being in denial of their anger or in opposition to their anger so much as they are disconnected and displaced from it (via all the numbing, and numbing is a deliberate indulgence in meaninglessness to escape the meaningful.)

Actually you know what, I have my own personal theory that 9s actually do in principle WANT to merge and do idealize the notion of merging, because the whole purpose of merging is to look for and foster the passion in others as a defence against embodying passion within the self. So they are instinctively drawn to merging. However what 9s end up confronting is the fact that they are not authentically interested in the passions of others that don't happen to align with their own passions. They believe they are interested but their body and heart do not reflect that belief. YES, the anger is there and I guess this is all a debate of whether that anger is actually a strong anger all the time or whether that anger is proportional to the thing that triggers it. Even though I feel the buried emotions in 9s It never feels like it's "here and now." Are you saying you have to suppress all of your anger in any
"merging" circumstance? Because I could kind of actually see that when I think about it. I've always felt really sensitive about making any demands of 9s and at times felt like the apparent dissatisfaction with those demands was pretty disproportional to the demand itself. Is it really so all or nothing?

So anyway maybe the force comes from trying to approach all others' passions from essentially a point of false neutrality? Forcing yourself as a rule to merge with passions that do not actually reflect your own agenda, in order to defend against the knowledge that you have an agenda and actually only want to merge with certain ones? Because choosing whose passions to merge with would be identical to choosing your own passion in the first place and that would bring up the core anxiety.

By far, my biggest struggle with 9s has been the mirage of support. When 9s are supportive towards me I am keenly aware that that support is only really intended for when I'm embodying whatever is actually important to them. It is not truly a support of my passion but a support of me as a vessel for their passion. 9s are drawn to the reflection of their inner selves in another, but dependency on the other to have contact with that is a trap because if it's about the other then you become invested in the parts of others that you aren't interested in alongside the ones that you are.

I can get frustrated with 9s as they act like they are supporting me yet only showing a favorable response to me when it's about those things that I know that they actually are personally interested in. They will claim it's not just that even though I feel that it is. I think healthier 9s would not idealize so much the merging process and essentially the "bonds of proximity" in their lives like family or coworkers or etc. It's the habitual idealization of everyone in general as a whole that makes it hard for 9s to actually go on to choose what they like or dislike in others. Their body knows the difference, but their conscious mind doesn't.

Essentially I think I'm not agreeing/disagreeing with you here just trying to make sense of it and add my rambling into the conversation. Sorry lol.
 
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