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Just kind of a personal flaw that has been bothering me for a while, wanted to see if anyone else felt the same way.

I suffer from low self-esteem in some regard, which I've realised also causes me to be very defensive of my actions, especially if they come from a position that I don't readily accept as 'authority'. I try to be open to criticism, I really do, but it catches me off-guard when it comes from a place I don't expect, for example, from someone younger than me or junior to me in the group. And I hate the reflexive feeling I get to defend myself and to feel resentful even if the criticism is valid, all while pretending that I'm nonchalant.

Does this have anything to do with being INFJ though?

Apologies if this was a little rant-y, needed to get it off my chest!
 

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When I was a young hot-head I tended to resent criticism but I could never ignore it if there was some truth in it.

Even if I would've preferred to do so, I was never able to disregard criticism by disregarding the person who made the criticism. Even assholes and idiots see things clearly sometimes and it would be all too easy to dismiss their remarks out of hand because of their distasteful personalities.

Edmund Burke says in his Reflections on the French Revolution, "I should tell you, that in my course I have known, and, according to my measure, have co-operated with great men; and I have never yet seen any plan which has not been mended by the observations of those who were much inferior in understanding to the person who took the lead in the business."

Self-esteem feels like a trap to me.

Confidence for me is not the presence of something. It's not the presence of confident self-talk or bolstering of self-identity or anything like that.

Confidence for me is the absence of feelings of deficiency. Or at least the absence of wounding emotional impact and automatic reaction against those feelings of deficiency. Confidence for me doesn't feel like "I feel confident!". It just feels like a simple, clear, relaxed, easy state of full attention.

Jesus says in the Gospel of Thomas (Lambdin translation),

"If one who knows the all still feels a personal deficiency, he is completely deficient."

"Blessed are you when you are hated and persecuted. Wherever you have been persecuted they will find no place."

"Blessed are they who have been persecuted within themselves. It is they who have truly come to know the father. Blessed are the hungry, for the belly of him who desires will be filled."
 

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On criticism:

"For all of us, in all our activities, the notions that we can do better only by finding out what can be improved and then improving it; and therefore that shortcomings are to be actively sought out, not concealed or passed over; and that critical comment from others, far from being resented, is an invaluable aid to be insisted on and welcomed, are liberating to a remarkable degree.

It may be difficult to get people--conditioned to resent criticism and expect it to be resented, and therefore to keep silent about both their own mistakes and others'--to provide the criticisms on which improvement depends; but no one can possibly give us more service than by showing us what is wrong with what we think or do; and the bigger the fault, the bigger the improvement made possible by its revelation.

The man who welcomes and acts on criticism will prize it almost above friendship: the man who fights it out of concern to maintain his position is clinging to non-growth." - Bryan Magee, Philosophy and the Real World: An Introduction to Karl Popper
 

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I am very much the same as you. I have self stem and insecurity problems and that give me problems when I am having an argument with someone, I don't want to surrender and I will act defensive at everything you can say to me, even when I am explaining myself. Because I have a hard time saying "I am sorry" and admitting that I am wrong.
Different from you, the places where I don't expect a "criticism" is from my loved ones. Only them can make me act so "irrational".
 

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I'm sorry, but you put "Pride" in the thread title and proceeded to discuss about low self-esteem, which puzzled me. Are you suggesting that because you have low self-esteem, you often display nonchalant pretense, which you think is a form of pride? I don't think nonchalant pretense is a form of pride to be honest. I think it's more like instinctive self-preservation mechanism. I mean, who doesn't abhor being put on a spot where you'd look bad in front of others?

Is there internal inconsistency in your pretense? Yes. Is false pretense generally regarded as something negative? Yes; which is why you feel that it's a "personal flaw," but I don't think it's that big of a deal, rather, it can at least be a good start of being socially aware. For the time being, I think, though there is some minor internal inconsistency, it's completely OK to act and feel that way. There may even be real-life harm if you try to force consistency too prematurely; it could jeopardize your reputation and professional life by being 100% authentic all the time.

But, in the end, you do realize that this is not the ideal way of being, then perhaps, as much as you think this is a problem, you should put some effort into remedying your self-esteem and identity to eventually make what is internal match up to what is external. (I lay it down clear like this, but it's just much easier said than done; especially, topics pertaining to self-esteem & identity; it's a life-long progress.)
 

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Being criticized for us is not quite the same experience as it is for most others.
In most cases, for INFJs, it's like being physically hurt and being demoted as a human being.
A verbal jab at me takes about 15 seconds to hear out, but it can still upset me 5, 10, or 15 years later, especially if it from someone that I have taken down the walls for to let in and trust completely.

I have not ever been the least bit competitive with others (I'll set goals for myself, but not measure them against any others), and my expectations for life are very simple, so I don't boil over very easily when being out-voted or over-ruled.

If I try to put myself in the other's shoes, I can meet them halfway most times without breathing fire; however, if they have gone out of their way to either lie or put down my good intentions, then the time for revenge is at hand (and it is almost never done on the same day. I'll often wait weeks or months for the best time to turn the tables and return the level of hurt I'm feeling).

I'm different in the way that I go on the defensive, but I do sympathize with INFJs about inheriting an unfair amount of low self-esteem.
In literally every aspect of life, I feel that anyone else can do better, is more deserving than I, and will screw things up much less than if I had done it. That goes back to grade school, and I've not seen a good way to counter that outlook to this day, so I've settled into it. To this day, a compliment of any kind from someone is difficult (if not impossible) to accept for any reason.

I think that a lot of the low self-esteem comes from a combination of being the one that doesn't fit in anywhere, being very sensitive to others opinions, and maybe even from being too shy to deal with the conflict involved with being competitive and taking credit for our own accomplishments.

Being INFJs, we keep most of what we feel locked inside, so the casual insult isn't 'no big deal'. It's almost always amplified by our sensitivities, and going on the defensive isn't a show of a short temper, but more of a reaction to being deeply, deeply hurt.

In the instances where I had to react, I don't look back on them wishing that I'd stayed quiet. They were all justified and what was said needed to be said, even if it fell way outside of the comfort zone.
 

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Just kind of a personal flaw that has been bothering me for a while, wanted to see if anyone else felt the same way.

I suffer from low self-esteem in some regard, which I've realised also causes me to be very defensive of my actions, especially if they come from a position that I don't readily accept as 'authority'. I try to be open to criticism, I really do, but it catches me off-guard when it comes from a place I don't expect, for example, from someone younger than me or junior to me in the group. And I hate the reflexive feeling I get to defend myself and to feel resentful even if the criticism is valid, all while pretending that I'm nonchalant.

Does this have anything to do with being INFJ though?

Apologies if this was a little rant-y, needed to get it off my chest!
Yes, pride is my biggest problem. It has destroyed a huge part of my life actually. And it continues to destroy because it's driving force is almost invincible.
 

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When I was a young hot-head I tended to resent criticism but I could never ignore it if there was some truth in it...

This is absolutely invaluable advice for all of the struggling INFJs out there.
For the longest time, I felt almost guilty that I did not feel insecure about myself, as everyone else around me seemed to be. This confusion then stagnated and slowly, but surely, turned to pride. I feel so blind after all of these years of painting myself the victim of every situation. Even the ones where I was clearly at fault. I would come up with a completely "logical explanation" for my obstinate shortcomings. I would refuse to change, complete convinced that everyone but me was at fault. I now realize how shortsighted and prideful I was behaving. I even became shocked at myself one day during church, after the thought ,'I am much better than most of the people here, I don't even really need to come,' crossed my mind. I am quite far from perfect, nobody is, no matter how flawless they may seem on the outside...

Thank you H.A.D.A
 

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For as long as I can remember I've been really sensitive to criticism, and that's something that has only somewhat changed lately as I've grown more into my passions. But saying that I also have to make a distinction: I think I 'grew into my passions' in an unconventional way, and I'm not sure if other INFJs or Ni doms have the same experience. Like when you hear of people discovering their passions, you maybe think of someone discovering art as a kid or something and just running with it. I can't imagine being that way, and instead it was more like I had to develop massive amounts of knowledge from various perspectives, which cumulatively resulted in a sort of competency, or a knowledge of what I know, or what I'm actually good at and why, and with that came confidence. But I had to map the whole thing out, myself and what I'm interested in, my virtues and vices, all on a pretty higher level order, and doing things like taking a bunch of college courses that were a little more challenging and intellectually subtle, and doing tons of soul-searching, were all really helpful in that. But that also means it happened way later in my life than it seems to for other people, like I feel like an honest and genuine confidence is something we develop in our late 20s or early 30s, at best :p
 
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