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Discussion Starter #1
Every INFJ has got priciples. Things they hold on dearly. Guidelines for themselves which they harldy ever cross, and if they do they end up having a huge conflict with their own self.

For me, one of my principle is to never betray a boyfriend/partner. I wont do it. Never. It is just out of the question.
I would hate myself if I would do it. Or even think about it. It is just not going to happen. Period.

But....people say never say never and I then feel misunderstood because if I say never, I mean never and it will be never. Never ever. It is against what I believe in. I would not do something like that.

Would or did you? What are your Principles? Your beliefs? How do you react if they get questioned or threatend? Did you ever do something against your priciples? What did it do to did you feel?

Is an INFJ 'never' different? Or should we really never say never?
9,999 Posts
I was extremely principled when I was young. Had an epiphany at 16 and took it from there.

Then life happened, the going got rough, and although I still follow most of the same basic principles, it's because it's hard to change your ways. The sheer effort you'd have to put in to hook up with someone else than your partner!


980 Posts
When I was much younger I lived a different life that consisted of pure survival.

I broke many principles during this period because I had no choice. Stealing for instance, I stole shoes and food. I was aggressive to people to get them to leave me alone and not abuse me. I managed with the skills that were available to me at that time.

I still carry a sense of shame and guilt about this time of my life and I am unable to let it go because it still challenges my own principles. What a paradox

What I am saying is that my own principles changed depending on the environment I was living in.

I too have the “I will not betray my partner” principle, however, I also expect my partners to live by the same principles. This for me is wrong, I do not own or control people, they are free to live their lives exactly as they please, even if it means betraying me. Another paradox

I am much more relaxed about my own principles today and don t beat myself up if I break them. I am only human after all.

“Never say never” is far too restrictive for me. My therapists would say that this is an old introjected relic from my childhood and has no relevance in my life today.

10,454 Posts
I don't believe anyone is above crossing their own principles or boundaries especially under certain conditions. I believe the moment you think you are above it, you set yourself up to do that very thing because then pride enters the equation. It doesn't mean you will, but if the conditions are just right, everyone at least gets tempted and everyone also inevitably makes mistakes. If there are no temptations, it's easier not to do something but it doesn't make you a better person either. I think it's better to realize that we're all human. People don't commit acts just to hurt other people. Most people are just for themselves and there's always a deeper, underlying reason behind it.

I thought I knew myself when I was 17/18. Things I said I would never do. I was young, idealistic (so not realistic), naive. Then I actually experienced more and I realized I was wrong. I realized I wasn't the angel I wanted to be or thought I was. I realized I wasn't perfect (wow, what a shocker! lol). Without going into detail, I've crossed my own boundaries, I've done things against my own morals. It didn't happen over night but bit by little bit. It starts with a thought or a weak place in your armor and it goes from there. It's never something you plan on doing (especially if it's against your principles). Sure, it created chaos within myself. A refining and constant questioning process.

Things aren't black and white though and just because people do bad things doesn't make them worthy of hate. It just means they made a bad choice or choices. It's okay to make mistakes so long as you learn from them and I believe I have from mine. So in some sense while I regret certain would also prevent me from learning a lesson I really needed to learn if I didn't make them. And it would erase the good that came from my mistakes as well. Because in addition, I've also gained the ability to help others who are/were in the same place as I was. Did I need to learn the hard way? No, but that's life. Life is school, in my opinion. If you learned something, you win.

Do I hate myself? I'm sure at certain points I did but overall, no. I think hating yourself is a waste of time. Time and energy that could be spent on making things right and loving those around you if you really feel sorry about something you did. Self-pity is selfish, in a way. But I've been there and I know how addictive it can be too.

MOTM October 2013
6,445 Posts
This is something that is difficult for me.

In RL, I like to think I generally act on my principles. But I can recognize the times I don't: when I was lazy, when I was scared, when I assumed someone else would do the heavy lifting, when I thought I could get away with it, etc. Though I don't necessarily like the bad things I've done, I can accept them, acknowledge them, work on doing better the next time. I can make apologies and restitutions where needed.

Then online, which is just as "real" to me as far as the human connections go, everything is turned on its head. And I can't tell if I am really acting against my principles, or if the people I'm talking to are lying and manipulating me (including over whether or not its really THEM who is "demented"), or if we are all just superly misunderstanding each other because of the nature of text-only communication.

According to some people online, I have been a stalker. I am abusive and controlling. I have no control over my own anger. I am a drama-llama who faked suicide solely to get attention. I have severe psychological problems and am in need of being medicated to be able to function among normal, polite, kind, civil people.

Obviously these are pretty terrible things that go against my principles if true, and they have some good evidence to back some of them up.

But in my own heart, I know these accusations are baloney. Or are they..? Certainly the number one sign of a person without principles is that they think everything they do is principled. And it's usually when trying to uphold one of these principles online, that I get into trouble. So which was it?

From my perspective, things ran--

I was called a stalker because I tried to host a surprise party for someone who may have been terminally ill. The person had been nasty to me before, this is true, but I thought kindness more important, particularly on the deathbed.

I was called abusive and controlling for telling people I didn't want to interact with some of their other friends on account those friends had hurt me or others. Because my principle is to stand up and not tolerate bullying, as well as to be honest with friends if I think other people in their lives may not be good for them.

I was told I have no control over my own anger because I let the volcano loose after 5 times trying to make compromises, and the other person going back on the compromise each time. My principle was to continue to try and work with them, but to also not stand for lying/being led along.

I was called a drama-llama seeking attention because I was suicidal, and posted a note about it online because I didn't want my friends to wonder. My principle was that I thought that would reassure them better than if I had just disappeared, knowing I had issues. (Looking back on it, that probably was a wrong belief, but I dunno.)

I was told I had severe psychological problems because I called out a bully in our community and demanded she not use my name/my creations while hurting people. The principle again, of not tolerating bullying.

But surely there are other ways of looking at it?

Telling people who to hang out with is one of the number one signs someone is controlling and abusive, and the most manipulative ones might even phrase it as "for your own good".

Similarly, making all those compromises--what if that was me being manipulative, trying to draw out and distract the other person from what they really wanted, all to serve myself? Like a used car salesman.

Calling out a bully--who says I'm not the bully, who has to have everything her way and acts on the need to get rid of the people ruining against my perfect world in a very humiliating and public way?

The others...actually no, I'm pretty sure I was right in what I did with those...or at least coming from the right place...(Or oh wait, is it that pathological narcissism speaking again...?)

<sigh> So there you go. Overly personal, probably, but my answer about principles and what it means to go back on them sometimes. Outside of trying to figure out exactly what happened and who did what, I think the best take away is everyone kind of loses their mind during a time of stress and being threatened (or when perceiving threat to something important to them, like social status). The more you can understand this, the more accurate you can predict your own reactions in nasty circumstances, as well as forgive and help guide other people going through similar.
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