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I read this in a book recently and found it to be extremely accurate for me. The quotation deals with dominant Si use, but especially, Ne use as an inferior function, so it refers to both ISFJ's and ISTJ's.


The first quotation isn't really as important to me because I've heard similar things in other places:

"The Introverted Sensing pattern of attention produces an accurate and thorough picture of reality, but it may remain unshared. These preferences incline an individual to seek practical rather than new solutions or procedures to problems. Painstaking with details, individuals with the Introverted Sensing pattern care about getting things done on time and according to precise specifications. When carrying out tasks, they will not stop until satisfied that all that could be done has been done. They are consistent and persistent doers."
This does give some insight into the desire for routine among SJ's (since ESJ's has Si as their auxiliary function), but even though it was accurate for me, it wasn't new.



But here's the part that really hit me: it talks about how Ne is our inferior function, so when we get stressed or distraught, it kind of "takes over" us in a negative way, and we naturally fall into the "dark side" of Ne.

"When the mature functions of Introverted Sensing, which have the natural strengths of clarity and specificity, give way to the inferior, a sinister and pessimistic mood settles on the individual. Events in the impersonal world seem directed as if part of a general plot of destroy one's happiness. A simple phone call from a friend relating some benign recent event may be interpreted as if it were a warning of and precursor to the end of a relationship or some other ghastly state of affairs that is coming soon. People in this state of mind make deductions unsupported by the facts.

The nagging awareness that this is so creates a self-defeating cycle of saying "Well, look at my bad judgment. I don't have all of the facts, but looking at the facts I do have and the kinds of judgments I am making, something bad is bound to happen." Under the circumstances, some minor difficulty proves that the inferior was right and that your are right to feel terrible about your life. It is as if the self is demanding that you look to connections between today and yesterday, and that you plan for possibilities tomorrow."

This exactly describes my biggest problem, and I think explains a lot about my problems with self-confidence and self-esteem. When I get bothered by something, this "evil Ne" starts making me imagine horrible things that there are no facts to back up. Like, if a friend hasn't called me in a while, I fear that I've done something to make them hate me. Or if someone is late for something, I'll fear that maybe they died in a car crash or something. This explains why I personally a lot of times worry about worst case scenarios and start tricking myself into believing they're happening, even when there is absolutely no proof. And like the second paragraph says, I let this make me feel even worse, maybe leading to some other little minor problem, which I then blow out of proportion in my mind.

So for me, realizing that it's my own mind doing this with no facts, it helps me to keep it in control and block out these dark thoughts. That makes me a much happier person.






So I was curious if other ISFJ's and ISTJ's can relate to this at all. I don't know if there's a difference between ISFJ's and ISTJ's in how this manifests itself. Maybe ISFJ's tend to find worst case scenarios in people relations whereas ISTJ's do it more for things like work? There may not be a difference, I'm just thinking out loud here. But can any of you guys relate to this at all?







By the way, the book also gives some possible solutions on how to deal with this dark side of Ne.

"Possible Activities for Type Development

Work on a hobby or other activity that you haven't worked on for a long time. Visit someone in the hospital, go collect seashells, visit a friend from a long time ago--just do it. It will remind you of your strength and show you that possibilities abound that are neither dire nor foreboding. Some folks report that renting the most sinister movie they can find helps them realize just how much the inferior is playing with their minds."



The book posts these sections for all of the types (or at least 8 pairs of two types together). I was curious in asking some of the other types about theirs, but first I wanted to test it out on the ISxJ's to see if anyone else found any truth in this!
 

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I can be sortof like that...but not about people as much. It's more about the "whole house of cards coming down." When I get like that, my standard line is "Life sucks and then you die--and right now I'm not dying near fast enough." SWMBO just laughs at me--then she tickles me, which is NOT ok.:crazy:

I do expect and prepare for the worst. But when even worse than I expected occurs, I can really get irrational and jump to conclusions that have no basis in reality.

BTW, which book are you reading?
 

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I can have periods of time like this when chaos seems to take over my life. I do pretty well dealing with things up until a certain point and then it's like I hit a wall. I see this issue in terms of Enneagram a lot of the time as well. This is characteristic of unhealthy type 4s, which is what type 1s (my type) go to when they're stressed. It's a rough spot to hit but if you can break through then focus and reassess things pass and you can move on with you life.

I like the book's list of solutions as well. Even in those times you've got to find things to pick you up and help you get past them. Self-criticism and doubt are sometimes even a way that I work to better myself. I know I'm not perfect, despite wanting to be, so I can be pretty hard on myself in order to remind myself not to settle...I can be so much more for myself as well as for others. My close ENFP friend once asked me why I hated myself after hearing me beat myself up for a while. But really, it's not like that in the least; I know my faults and my strengths and I work to build up the former by emphasizing them...addressing them in ways that make me work harder to not have to deal with those types of frustrations again, or at least to a lesser degree.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I can be sortof like that...but not about people as much. It's more about the "whole house of cards coming down." When I get like that, my standard line is "Life sucks and then you die--and right now I'm not dying near fast enough." SWMBO just laughs at me--then she tickles me, which is NOT ok.:crazy:

I do expect and prepare for the worst. But when even worse than I expected occurs, I can really get irrational and jump to conclusions that have no basis in reality.
Interesting. Like I said, I wonder if this behavior occurs in both ISFJ's and ISTJ's but manifests itself in different ways.

niss63 said:
BTW, which book are you reading?
Amazon.com: I'm Not Crazy, I'm Just Not You: The Real Meaning of the Sixteen…

That's the book I got the quote from. But I haven't been reading any new personality books lately...I've just been thumbing back through the ones I bought months ago, and this one I happened to be reading on a plane flight.
 
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I do end up catastrophizing about issues. Most of them are related to work and school and all the things that can go wrong there. Like if I get stuck and don't know how to work a series of problems from a section in math, I might start catastrophizing that I'm not going to be able to pass the test or that I'm not smart enough to get the concepts. Or if there are some problems with administrative paperwork getting lost, I might start catastrophizing about how it's too late to fix the problems or that a certain person won't get the paperwork (for example).

Sometimes I catastrophize about people. Like if someone fails to get on AIM or doesn't call me, I might start thinking that the person is ignoring me and doesn't care about me. But more often it's other issues.

One things I seem to catastrophize a lot about is security about my job. I often fear stuff going wrong and blow small mishaps way out of proprtion. I always think I'm doing a mediocre job (or worse) and tend to sell myself short, when I'm doing a good job. I start to doubt my skills and ability to perform well on the job. Sometimes I can get insecure about what higher-ups think about me (for awhile at least). I'm not sure if this lack of confidence comes from Ne or if it comes from Enneagram type 6 tendencies (anxiety or issues with authority).
 

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Sometimes I catastrophize about people. Like if someone fails to get on AIM or doesn't call me, I might start thinking that the person is ignoring me and doesn't care about me. But more often it's other issues.
I get like this if I am already on edge about something that took place. Until I feel I have enough evidence that nothing is wrong I can be pretty on edge. For example, if someone I'm close to is acting weird towards me one evening I'll be pretty paranoid until I see them next...assuming the weirdness has passed. If it hasn't then the cycle starts over again. With my really close friends and family I can usually just count it off as them having a bad day and have less fear that something is truly wrong with our relationship. The main time this takes place is if there is a guy I'm dating, or at least interested in. I guess this is my most insecure area, causing me to worry that I've someone how messed things up or they've lost interest. I'm very sensitive to changes in my environment and when they're changes that haven't surfaced in a given relationship there is always a "walking on eggshells" feeling that I eventually learn to get over the longer I'm with someone...be it a family, friend, or love interest.
 
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I think the difference between ISTJ and ISFJ is that ISTJ uses Ne and Fi to think of the unlimited possibilities about themselves personally such as "what if they thought I meant this? what if I came across looking like this?? what if they hate me because I said this?" whereas I would expect an ISFJ to use Ne and Ti to think "what if THIS doesn't make sense, what if THAT doesn't make sense?? How do I know this makes sense? what if...."


see what I mean? I think our third function supports our inferior Ne.
 

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...Wow...'evil Ne', well this sounds farmilliar...Oh my days, the advice really struck home too.

My dad - sp/so 6w5 ISTJ, he's a bit of an alpha male drama king. We both have a selective memory, and both can get irrational, but where I get angsty and self-pitying and attempt to quilt to quilt some coherence out of the irrationalities/discover myself in a skewed reality founded upon them and make lots of assumptions, he gets agressive, hears what he expects you to say, overreactive to small household badnesses - spilling juice, forgetting your keys, not tyding your room, loosing something - predicts local badnesses - driving down a road, sees a hanging objects and mutters 'That could fall and break someone's neck' and so forth.
 

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Teddy, I can actually relate to that post about evil Ne very well. It seems to induce some kind of paranoia when I'm put under stress. The other day, I heard some girl scream and I knew she was probably just fooling around, but then I thought "Maybe her life's in danger!". I ran over to where I heard the scream to size up the situation. As expected, it was nothing, but at least I was aware of the possibility.

Just today, I was trying to do some homework that I was having difficulty understanding. I was getting annoyed that I might not be able to finish it on time for tomorrow. Than I thought "Wow, I'm a failure. What if I just gave up and then failed out, never go back to this school again and work a miserable, low-life's wage-slave job? Maybe I'll end up in jail. Perhaps I should hang myself since all this classes I won't ever pass. I'm at my end of my good times."

Note - I'm fine now, maybe I could use a cuddly hug from a person I know well, but I'm at a new school, and I'm just meeting certain new folks.
 

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Sorry if this is all worked out in your mind now, but incase there's no one to say it to you and or you get into a pit sometime in the future here it is any way.

Teddy, I can actually relate to that post about evil Ne very well. It seems to induce some kind of paranoia when I'm put under stress. The other day, I heard some girl scream and I knew she was probably just fooling around, but then I thought "Maybe her life's in danger!". I ran over to where I heard the scream to size up the situation. As expected, it was nothing, but at least I was aware of the possibility.

Just today, I was trying to do some homework that I was having difficulty understanding. I was getting annoyed that I might not be able to finish it on time for tomorrow. Than I thought "Wow, I'm a failure. What if I just gave up and then failed out, never go back to this school again and work a miserable, low-life's wage-slave job? Maybe I'll end up in jail. Perhaps I should hang myself since all this classes I won't ever pass. I'm at my end of my good times."

Note - I'm fine now, maybe I could use a cuddly hug from a person I know well, but I'm at a new school, and I'm just meeting certain new folks.

Don't let yourself sit inside and be overcome by negative thoughts - keep it in your head they're just irrationalities and under-confidences of your own. Infact possibly the best thing to do is go out and do something new (as well as keeping in touch with, and seeking help and reasurance from old friends and areas), it depends on what your worry or paranoia is related to. And particularly if you're feeling self destructive or dark, try and find an anchor to reality; talk to people back home, express insecurity or underconfidence to someone new - sometimes just saying 'I'm actually quite shy' or 'I'm not very happy' or 'I feel like I'm behind already' or 'I'm scared about how much work there is and don't think I'm gonna be able to cope' can bridge some gap. Don't feel embarrased, or stupid, you're definately worth help and guidance.

It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy after a while - you assume you're a failure, get too stressed at how much you suck, starting at all becomes increasingly difficult and upsetting and so forth and eventually you've given up on having a go and the tension starts building inside whether you realise it or not.

And don't come to the conclusion you're a failure, you're not, you've not even really started, you're just scared. Honestly any effort you put in is good. It doesn't have to be perfect, and it's probably better than you think it is.
 

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Both istj and isfj have catastrophe mode where they are utterly incapable of being anything but negative.
 

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This thread has helped me understand my ISFJ husband so much better. He was in catastrophic mode a few nights ago and driving himself crazy worrying about some obscure world event and how he'll be mad "for all of eternity" if it happened during his lifetime and how life just sucks, we're all just victims of the battle between good and evil, all that we do is just vanity, and we should all just give up and go to our graves.

He got annoyed with me and said "You never think about this, do you?" I said "Well....no."

We had a supportive and rational discussion about it and he felt better, especially after I pointed out an irrational thing I was doing based on a fear of something that was NEVER happen (been reading grizzly attack books and have been paranoid one is going to bust into my window at night...riiight).

Anyway, it's good to know he's just a typical ISFJ. And he is under some stress with his job so I gather that stress is causing his paranoid side to take over.
 

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This happens to me a lot. sometimes it causes me to stay outside the world and self harm. It can be really harmful when studying because you can get very negative and in such a place that you are no longer able to ask for help
I will be walking beside the road and imagine a car getting out of control and hitting me. just in every day life tiny things that happen can become huge worries because i imagine the worst. and thats one of the less terrible ones.
I can be really positive about the future, and am good at helping others to be more positive but my brain will just go to the most negative places, and i cant really share it with anyone because they will tell me im being stupid and not allow me to feel what i need to, or find the small reason that sparked the huge catastrophie

It is a really difficult thing to try stop myself from doing, because it is an automatic thought process and without any time dedicated to it my brain will suddenly be in end of the world mode
 

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Sometimes I catastrophize about people. Like if someone fails to get on AIM or doesn't call me, I might start thinking that the person is ignoring me and doesn't care about me. But more often it's other issues.


that is my biggest issue with online interaction. my wife and i have a long distance relationship right now and we talk to eachother over aim basically for hours every day and if she does not respond to me i am convinced i have done something wrong or that i have upset her somehow. not that she is ignoring me but that i have made her upset and now she doesn't want to talk to me or she can't talk. it's really hard because one hundred percent of the time it is an external issue. anything from the computer malfunctioning to someone talking to her, to her being upset by an outside source to simply thinking about her answer (she is infj, that can be a lot of thinking). even though i know this intellectually when i am not talking to her it always manifests as my instinctive response, that i am doing something wrong. i don't know if that can be "un-trained" or not. it is stressful both to me and to her, since she cannot help external factors or her thinking style.
 

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I think the difference between ISTJ and ISFJ is that ISTJ uses Ne and Fi to think of the unlimited possibilities about themselves personally such as "what if they thought I meant this? what if I came across looking like this?? what if they hate me because I said this?" whereas I would expect an ISFJ to use Ne and Ti to think "what if THIS doesn't make sense, what if THAT doesn't make sense?? How do I know this makes sense? what if...."


see what I mean? I think our third function supports our inferior Ne.
this might explain why i tend to wonder if I'm a thinker somtimes or feel like I have really strong Ti. Deep down I know I'm a feeler, but the paranoid analyzing can get ridiculous.
 
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