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Discussion Starter #1
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.
 

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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 :)
 

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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!
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
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.
 

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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 :tongue:

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.
 
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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
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 :tongue:
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.
 

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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.
 

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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.
This is how I feel. It depends upon the generalization but the thing that usually irks me is the arrogant, "iNtuitives are better than Sensors" bullshit that is so often toted around this forum by typists. In the "You Know You're a Sensor" thread, there would be quite a lot of angry iNtuitives coming in there with generalizations about a single person they know in their life that they "typed" as being a Sensor. The people on this forum can barely type themselves so I don't think they should be typing others. They take this idea and "generalization" of Sensors and apply it to those they do not like.

It's the tone of the generalization. And I don't want to hear, "You're reading into it!" - and you don't?
 

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This is how I feel. It depends upon the generalization but the thing that usually irks me is the arrogant, "iNtuitives are better than Sensors" bullshit that is so often toted around this forum by typists. In the "You Know You're a Sensor" thread, there would be quite a lot of angry iNtuitives coming in there with generalizations about a single person they know in their life that they "typed" as being a Sensor. The people on this forum can barely type themselves so I don't think they should be typing others. They take this idea and "generalization" of Sensors and apply it to those they do not like.

It's the tone of the generalization. And I don't want to hear, "You're reading into it!" - and you don't?
I'm definitely starting to get pissed off that every day I log on to find someone ELSE has decided to tell me what type I am. For some reason I feel seriously offended by this, as if they're questioning some core belief system (that I lack...) But they're essentially trying to tell me who I am and how I think, which is infuriating. There should be something in the forum rules about not telling other people what type they are, imo. Although I guess that's covered in OFF TOPIC COMMENTS.
 

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I'm definitely starting to get pissed off that every day I log on to find someone ELSE has decided to tell me what type I am. For some reason I feel seriously offended by this, as if they're questioning some core belief system (that I lack...) But they're essentially trying to tell me who I am and how I think, which is infuriating. There should be something in the forum rules about not telling other people what type they are, imo. Although I guess that's covered in OFF TOPIC COMMENTS.
I'm speaking in general and not directing this at anyone. I've had people tell me I'm ENTP to ESFP, I really don't care what people think I am.
 

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Well, some people are clearly mistyped.Which is cool and all if they want to believe that, but I don't think pointing it out is so horrible that it's got to be outruled entirely.
I was mistyped myself for a bit, and I am glad other people helped me figure it out.

I think if you get seriously pissed about it, maybe you're not certain yourself?It's just some people doing some talking,after all.
 

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Well, some people are clearly mistyped.Which is cool and all if they want to believe that, but I don't think pointing it out is so horrible that it's got to be outruled entirely.
I was mistyped myself for a bit, and I am glad other people helped me figure it out.

I think if you get seriously pissed about it, maybe you're not certain yourself?It's just some people doing some talking,after all.
I've changed my type twice since I got here, so yes, I'm still a bit unsure. The issue is more that I've had so many people tell me what kind of person I should be, that even people suggesting what type I might be is seriously obnoxious. Also, it annoys me because of the obvious stupidity of most of these posts. I have been called every single one of the 16 types by various people. Most recently I've gotten INTJ, INFJ, ISFJ and ENFP. I've also heard ESFP, ESTP, ISTP, ISTJ and commonly ENTJ. I think it's the reasoning that really gets to me. "You remind me of my INTJ friend. You must be Ni dom." or "You sound like an SJ type because you're forward." or my favorite (repeated line) "You must be a Feeler because you have empathy."
 

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or my favorite (repeated line) "You must be a Feeler because you have empathy."
A friend and I were just complaining about this the other week. This is the type of generalisation/stereotype that bugs me - the 'I can't possibly be a feeler because I'm so bitchy' or 'he must be a T because he's mean' etc. They don't give any scope for people to be unique and they are clearly untrue - feelers can be bitchy and mean and thinkers can be empathetic and kind. I'm spending time reading this thread and refining what it is that actually bugs me about these things and we're edging closer now. Again it's the making a generalisation from one or two people and setting that generalisation in stone so that anyone in future who display x, y, or z characteristics is automatically slotted into that box. Like I said in the first post it's not generalisations in and of themselves that are an issue it's the baggage that they drag along with them and the assumptions that are shoehorned in there with no flexibility.
 

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I took the MBTI test and my type showed up as ESFP. I read Keirsey about ESFP, and I am quite comfortable with that as my profile. It explained why I struggled in my career, and it shed light on what things I can do well, and what things I can do not so well, and what things I just plain need to avoid. I have limited experience and limited ability with typing people.
The fact that I am comfortable with knowing what type I am means I can basically laugh off anybody else's opinion of my type. I took the 70 odd question test, and that is much better than somebody's opinion from their mind which is basically determined by a handful of themes or facts that have resonated in their mind about me. It can be done, but there are a whole lot of egos on this thread, and they (as in other places in the world) reach their conclusions, type it in, and run off, or (worse yet) defend it to the death as they have put themselves in the position of being judge, jury, and hangman all rolled into one.
The important thing I have in knowing I'm ESFP is that it gives me guidance on how to be more effective. I have my life history to indicate I can accomplish things, and if I team up with other people with other skills, we can move mountains. I'm good at tactics and logistics. I'm short on Strategics and as far as diplomacy is concerned, it just wasn't in the cards. At least I am now aware of it.
"What will I choose to do with the rest of my life?" is probably the most important question in front of me.
Regards,
Digger Blue
 

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I think the larger issue is that I'm not comfortable with my life at all right now. Also, it's the implication behind people telling me my type. It says to me, "You're wrong and I'm going to tell you what's right for you." I know, I shouldn't take these things personally. I'll worry about that some other time.
 

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I guess it's the same with people hating stereotypes. When you generalize, you stereotype.
I disagree. Stereotypes precede the person. Generalizations are simply patterns I have noticed previously. New data can verify or change the pattern. Let's say I've noticed a pattern like "people with purple hair tend to have bad teeth" (not real). Then I meet a few people who have purple hair but great teeth -- the pattern is discarded*. I don't assume upon seeing the purple hair that the person automatically MUST have bad teeth, because it's a working hypothesis and not a stereotype. Stereotypes are less prone to change, because they are not working hypotheses open to new data, they are memorized as static 'facts'. Not the same thing at all.

*I also rarely accept hypotheses that don't have a causal explanation. If the causal explanation accounts for the exceptions, then the causal explanation is still valid, of course.


The above post is an oversimplification/overcomplication, lol. I don't know how accurate it is!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Excellent post, Wilson. I can understand people who disagree if someone were to (using your example) say "You have purple hair, therefore you have bad teeth". Maybe it's like the indications some people have given, that being faced with this before, they read the same into harmless(er) statements.
 
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