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Discussion Starter #1
As everyone is aware, INTJs are extremely apathetic towards social norms and attempts of manipulation.

What was one experience when someone tried and failed to embarrass/manipulate/guilt trip/etc you? (Can also be a situation where others are hesitant to take a certain action)
What were you thinking during that time?
Were there any repercussions because of it?

I personally experience walking through a small alley shortcut in our school, my friend was nervous to enter because there was "Some scary-looking dudes there," I however, didn't give a crap and just kept on going with nothing bad happening.
I'll love to know about others' experiences when dealing with this shallow drudgery in life.
 

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idk much about embarrass/guilt trip/etc, but i do remember realising suddenly how much manipulation was being done with the sneaky insinuating lead-in phrase 'don't you want to . . . ' meaning 'you shoudl want to. why don't you want to. explain this to me.'

i caught it while watchign someone talk to my (very young) kid, actually. as a mother and a bystander it put me into an instant primal protective rage, because i suddenly saw the dynamic involved. impose your own wants on somebody unwary by projecting them onto that, and then you're putting that person in a position where if they want to get out of your definition of them, they're the ones who have to a) catch the sneakiness on the fly, b) think/feel fast enough to know how they do feel and finally c) muster the chutzpah to push back on it.

what was most interesting was, i knew i was right about it after i figured out how to work against it. because i can absolutely attest that when i did start just answering the question at face value ('no'), i'd come in for an enormous amount of follow-up flak. 'you don't???? why don't you? but don't you think . . . ' no. the reaction to seeing a manipulation fail is often far more informative and validating than any amount of simply observing it when it's not disrupted or interfered with.

meanwhile, back on the ranch: my kid, a very literal 3-year-old, just answered the insinuating 'questioner' with 'no' right away :D :D that made me see that is' the subtle social signals of surprise/disruption/disapproval/rejection that make people doubt their own selves.
 

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Me - "No."
Other- "Why?"
Me - "Because I don't want to." (politely, and w/o divulging the reason why I don't want to)

Will get looks as if I'm from another planet. Direct + polite can temporarily disorient some who associate direct communication with agitation/anger/aggression/rudeness.
 

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Me - "No."
Other- "Why?"
Me - "Because I don't want to." (politely, and w/o divulging the reason why I don't want to)

Will get looks as if I'm from another planet. Direct + polite can temporarily disorient some who associate direct communication with agitation/anger/aggression/rudeness.
I still personally find "Because I don't want to" rather brusque because it's usually just an indirect way of telling the other person that you don't value their needs/comfort/happiness in this instance. At least, this is the only way I can imagine using it. And we all have those moments but I think people still don't like hearing it?

What context would you say this in without it having that negative meaning?
 

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I still personally regard "Because I don't want to" as impolite because it's usually just an indirect way of telling the other person that you don't value their needs/comfort/happiness in this instance much. At least, this is the only way I can imagine using it.

What context would you say this in without it having that negative meaning?
Why would that be impolite?
 

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Why would that be impolite?
Because telling someone that their happiness is unimportant to you can demonstrate a lack of regard/consideration, which is heavily frowned upon. That's why it's so common for people to say "That person is so rude and inconsiderate!" Rudeness and lack of consideration for others are often seen as closely linked.
 

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ohboy. another popcornfest, brought to you by the gap between fi and fe.

diaz said:
it's usually just an indirect way of telling the other person that you don't value their needs/comfort/happiness in this instance.


fair enough. but just think for a second about 'why don't you . . . '. isn't that an even less direct way of saying 'i think you should value my needs/comfort/happiness'? after all, 'why' is a short way of saying 'i can't accept this just as it is.' you don't ask people why they're doing/not doing things that already make sense to you. so 'why' is a way of saying 'i heard you refuse and i can't process this.'

so if a person is asking it genuinely i'll probably tell them why not. but that's only when they are asking me genuinely - when they want to know because they are interested. if they have an agenda and they're just trying to imply that i'm weird or out of line or let me know they won't accept a clear boundary, then fuck them.


Because telling someone that their happiness is unimportant to you can demonstrate a lack of regard/consideration, which is heavily frowned upon.
let's back this up. is it saying 'i don't want to' that is the rude and inconsiderate? or is it the not doing whatever the other person involved in this wants? bear in mind that the context of this whole discussion is social manipulation. so by our definition already, it's not about straightforward requests or statements that the party of the other part is entitled to make. it's about requests or statements that they're not really entitled to make; it's about people just trying it on to see how much more than their share they can get.

the way i see it, if what the other person is trying to get me to do is out of line from the start, then i don't owe them 'concern' or 'consideration' for their happiness anyway. for me, it's not written down anywhere that i have to automatically prioritize their happiness over my own - to me, we are both humans, we're both equals, and that means that in a conflict the best anyone can expect is an equal deck if/when we ever sit down and have to negotiate which one will get what they want.

so saying 'why' is to me an enormous huge shout of entitlement, and it's entitlement that fi will rarely concede to be true. 'i want you to do what i want, and i want to get what i want, and i take it so mcuh for granted that i should get what i want . . . that if i don't then that puts the onus on you to explain why i can't have what i want.' i don't agree there's an onus at all.

to give you a basic and concrete example, since you asked for one . . . the most obvious one that comes to my woman's mind is men imagining i have to justify anything from not dropping my pants for them, to something as simple as allowing them to interrupt my life in a public space. 'why don't you put the book down and pay attention to me' from a stranger is one. 'why don't you come to a movie with me'. 'why don't you do what i want you to do.'

'because i don't want to' seems to me like a thoroughly adequate answer to any of that.
 

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Them: "I guess I should get going on that yard work." Sigh. "I really do need to get that done." Long look at me.
Me: "Okay. See you later." Go back to reading.


Them: "I love to go out after a long day like this. Just relax with friends, have a good time." Pause.
Me: "Uh-huh." Keep reading.
Them "I think going out with friends, having some laughs, that's important for everyone."
Me: "Really? I prefer staying home." Go back to reading.

I'm not actually trying to be rude. I tend to take things literally, and give honest answers. Most of the time I don't even notice that someone is trying to get me to do something, until they get upset with me. Then I'm confused: why didn't they just ask?

As a child I was completely oblivious, but once I became an adult I figured out that people do this. I still miss it most of the time, but when I do notice I'll either just ask outright or, if it is annoying, I will troll them a little and pretend to be clueless.

My boss: "There are so many things to do and Jim called in sick and I'm feeling really overwhelmed -"
Me: "Do you want me to come in on my day off? Is that what you are asking?"
My boss: "Yes. If you want. It's just we are so busy today and -"
Me: "I'll be there in half an hour."


Them: "Oooh, that cake is so delicious! You should have a big slice. But I really shouldn't, it is no good for me. But maybe just one teeny slice. After all, it's Jim's birthday! Birthday cakes don't count. But really I shouldn't. But you should have some, it's really delicious!"

It gradually dawns on me that for some incomprehensible reason I am supposed to give them permission to eat the cake and go off of their diet. And that if I have a slice of cake, they will feel better about eating some themselves.

Me: "Okay, I'll have a piece. But you're right, you should avoid it. Here, have an apple."
 

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Because telling someone that their happiness is unimportant to you can demonstrate a lack of regard/consideration, which is heavily frowned upon. That's why it's so common for people to say "That person is so rude and inconsiderate!" Rudeness and lack of consideration for others are often seen as closely linked.
I get that. But I also think it is rude and inconsiderate to try to get people to do something without being honest about it. If you want someone to do you a favor, just ask. Don't try to manipulate them into feeling guilty so that they will volunteer, or will let you off the hook for something.

I know someone who is incapable of saying no. She thinks it is rude, and also wants to feel good about herself ("I am such a helpful, supportive person"). So whenever anyone asks her to do anything, she will agree automatically. But then, if she doesn't want to do it, she will start commenting on how difficult it is, how inconvenient, how she is happy to do it but will have to cancel X, Y. and Z, and on and on, until the other person lets her off the hook.

In her mind, she is still getting points for agreeing to do it, and doesn't have the social cost of saying no. In the other person's mind, she is being incredibly annoying. I put up with it because she is a relative. She was brought up in a culture where women were raised to avoid conflict and were supposed to be supportive and helpful, no matter what.
 

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when I do notice I'll either just ask outright or, if it is annoying, I will troll them a little and pretend to be clueless.
when you're dealing with people who are totally steeped in meta-communication, ime you can't win. call it up front and just get to the chase, and you're 'rude' for robbing them of their delicate face-saving roundabout path even if you call it in order to say you're onside. DON'T call it up front and try to meet them on the turf they define, and . . . well, i guess you can escape 'rude' if you do what they want without any references to the strings being pulled.

but that's why they call it 'manipulation', ne? all the roads lead to the rome of whatever they want.

another one that i'm seeing a whole lot of right now is the unsolicited [usually irrelevant] favour as their half of a supposed 'trade', which sets you up for an obnoxious tirade if you fail to do whatever [usually disproportionately huge] favour they want in return. except i don't accept it's a trade, when the favour done for me was never asked for and the thing i'm supposed to owe back in return was never agreed. so i'm getting things recently like:

- look lily, i cleaned your dad's bathroom.
- fine. but what we have ASKED you to do is move your shit out of his house.
- this project took me all night.
- fine. you need to move your shit out of his house.
- you're an ungrateful bitch after all that i've done for your dad.

or:

- lily lily! i remind you now that we have a meeting
- i already know, thank you.
- i escort you to it
- i don't need an escort, but while i have you . . . did you actually do any of that work you're assigned?
- well, actually . . . no. you do it for me, okay?
- no.
 

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Plague Doctor
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I don't think I can answer this post with an answer that is, in tone, in the spirit in which the question was asked.

I had a very dysfunctional mother who was so abusive that ... let's just say the justice system got involved. Experience with being emotionally manipulated by my mother has made me particularly intolerant to any sort of manipulation at all.

- - - - - - - - - - -

@Daiz

Not caring about someone else's feelings? ugh... It's not my job to take care of someone else's emotional insecurity. If I say "because I don't want to," that should be enough. Anyone who says that's not taking into account their own needs is definitely not taking my needs into account.

I mean, if a guy wants to have sex with me and I didn't want to, isn't that enough? Or, if someone is attempting to get me to take drugs isn't saying I don't want to enough? No means no. Deal with it.

- - - - - - - - - -

Occasionally, I might let someone think they're controlling/manipulating me for my own curiosity, but I am very keen to not get entangled in a dysfunctional friendship. I understand that a relationship is a give and take and I'm willing to do that with someone who respects me. But I cannot respect anyone who attempts to relate to me in any way I deem manipulative and my definition comes from what my mother taught me - when being manipulated was sometimes the equivalent a life or death situation.

So this is a big deal for me. I don't have any cute stories or anecdotes. But I can say as soon as I see any sort of manipulation going on, I either call someone on it (if I've known them for more than 10 years to keep them in check) or I gtf out of that relationship fast.

I also have zero qualms with walking away from a long healthy friendship if the other person turns manipulative. I don't have time for that.
 

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Because telling someone that their happiness is unimportant to you can demonstrate a lack of regard/consideration, which is heavily frowned upon. That's why it's so common for people to say "That person is so rude and inconsiderate!" Rudeness and lack of consideration for others are often seen as closely linked.
Sorry but I don't buy that. I don't necessarily believe so, but even if we assume that the message being conveyed by saying "Because I don't want to" is as you say it is ("that you don't value their needs/comfort/happiness in this instance much"), I don't think that implying in this one instance you don't value someone's comfort necessarily demonstrates a lack of regard/consideration in general. If anybody assumes that, then that should be on them because it's an unreasonable assumption to make.
 

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A few years ago, when I was still in college, I decided to integrate myself into a relatively large social circle in order to observe their behaviour. The group generally gravitated around one particular individual who, based on my observations of his behaviour, was and ESTP, though I may be wrong. Definitely Ti-Fe, definitely and extrovert, and almost certainly a sensing dominant. I noticed that he was extremely manipulative, and seemed to have various cluster B traits, and I know for a fact that he was diagnosed with some form of psychosis, though what he was diagnosed with, I'm not too sure. His personality was dominated by bravado, though obviously compensatory, as he would become envious and malicious towards any who even may have potentially 'out-shined' him. For example, he once gas-lighted a girl into believing that she was borderline, and everyone within his social circle seemingly accepted his narrative without question, even though it was overwhelmingly apparent that he was projecting, as he himself, as aforementioned, displayed many f those behaviours himself.
Eventually, me and him were placed in the same A-level course (Medical Science), and I graduated with an A* (that UK's equivalent of an A+), whereas he earned a D. which automatically made him very hostile. He began what can only be described as a smear campaign by projecting his own clear senses of inadequacy onto myself, and trying to convince everyone within his social circle that I was somehow an idiot. He would make the most idiotic of assumptions in order to justify his projections, yet when his assumptions turned out to be false, he would do anything to avoid even the slightest bit of introspection.

I suppose to described this tale as one involving manipulation would be a little bit of an exaggeration, but there was definitely a great deal of deceitful behaviour involved.
 
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I still personally find "Because I don't want to" rather brusque because it's usually just an indirect way of telling the other person that you don't value their needs/comfort/happiness in this instance. At least, this is the only way I can imagine using it. And we all have those moments but I think people still don't like hearing it?
Agree, it does appear brusque to the type of people described in the previous post. Interestingly, I have more difficulty coming up with wishy-washy excuses on the spot. Feel (and probably look) stupid when I do so. Wishy washy excuses or other 'padding' not only leaves the other person in the dark, they also short circuit the exchange entirely. The other person has been lied to, are content with what they heard and will now go away. There's an assumption someone can't handle an honest answer plus a desire to avoid any disagreements from 'negative meanings' being applied. Kind like swatting a mosquito away - complete disregard for the other person.

What context would you say this in without it having that negative meaning?
Any. That complex negative meaning isn't applied by me. I have no such power.
 

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I've caused problems in other circles (primarily related to politics, naturally) because I spoke my mind and in so doing questioned various sacred cows of other people. Recognizing the effectiveness of social pressure as a weapon in the modern age, I more or less just keep my thoughts to myself and avoid the sorts of people who would employ it as such. This does mean that the proportion of people I can communicate seriously with is extremely small and that these people basically constitute an echo chamber, but that's life.
 

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@lilysocks @brightflashes

When I made that post, I had different, much less serious situations in mind. All the interactions I was imagining were between people who already know each other and are on good terms. The request being made was a small favour that the other party simply did not feel like doing for whatever reason. You will all disagree with me but still; in my mind, if meeting the request would be of no danger and only small inconvenience, I believe it should be met whether one feels like it or not.

The stuff you're describing - harassment from strangers? Drugs? Unwanted sex? "I don't want to" is a perfectly reasonable response. Indeed, it's the only response that makes sense. If you start giving reasons for why you don't want to do something, they'll start countering them with arguments/solutions you really don't want.

Agree, it does appear brusque to the type of people described in the previous post. Interestingly, I have more difficulty coming up with wishy-washy excuses on the spot. Feel (and probably look) stupid when I do so. Wishy washy excuses or other 'padding' not only leaves the other person in the dark, they also short circuit the exchange entirely. The other person has been lied to, are content with what they heard and will now go away. There's an assumption someone can't handle an honest answer plus a desire to avoid any disagreements from 'negative meanings' being applied. Kind like swatting a mosquito away - complete disregard for the other person.
 
Ha, this is exactly how I operate. When I read your first post, my body actually tensed up because "I don't want to" is such a lowkey confrontational thing for me?! All I could think was "Why would you SAY that??? Why not just lie????" But I get that it can be difficult to come up with something quickly.

If I ever don’t want to do something (and the person is someone I don't hate), I will usually tell that person the specifics why. As someone else in the thread said, both of us are equal, so if I'm putting my needs before theirs, I'm going to explain to them why I think that's appropriate. If the specifics would hurt their feelings, then yes, I will lie because I don't believe that person can handle them. But I don't think this shows a lack of regard for them. I am lying BECAUSE I care for them and want us to stay on good terms.

"I don't want to" is how I would swat someone away and so I use it only for people who I don't like/care about. "I'm just going to tell you 'I don't want to' and leave it at that. I'm not going to explain why I value your happiness so little - I'm going to leave you wondering in the hope that you come to the worst conclusion possible and then leave me alone."
 

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This is a Fi vs Fe popcornfest. @Daiz you are correct that we will still disagree. I can't understand this way of thinking (even if it is for a "small favor/inconvenience with someone you are on good terms with"):

"I still personally find "Because I don't want to" rather brusque because it's usually just an indirect way of telling the other person that you don't value their needs/comfort/happiness in this instance..."

No, it's just me saying no. What meaning you ascribe to my 'no' is on you. If someone wants to play 'nice person' and then dramatically shift to play 'I've been victimized!', I'll consider my 'no' as me being 'nice' by facilitating their (obviously needed) indignant/drama high, especially if this started with them being manipulative in the first place.

General announcements:
1. No, I will not put someone else's wants/needs/feelings above my own*
2. I am not a 'public good'.
3. I'm not your babysitter, dog trainer, maid, screen to project on etc.
3. I am not an extension of you.
4. Defining my boundaries, saying 'no' is healthy and should be encouraged (passive is unhealthy)
5. Manipulation would be harder if people didn't play social games.
6. Saying/implying that someone is rude/inconsiderate for saying no is (likely) manipulative!!!
7. I value authenticity/honesty/truth. When people are not saying what they mean they are offending my values!
8. I'm not responsible for your feelings (when I haven't behaved unethically/criminally towards you)
9. When people don't treat me as an individual with my own agency/mind, free to make my own decisions, I'm being disrespected. If I don't feel respected, I don't respect. If I don't respect, I don't like. These 'social niceties' are not nice at all.
10. I just like lists of ten things...

*obviously there is healthy give & take inside a relationship but the principle still stands since this should be close to equal overall. The key here is that each decides for themselves what they choose to give in each instance. Expectations = entitlement, entitlement kills gratitude, now you're doing X without being properly appreciated/thanked which reduces incentive (unless you're a people pleaser I guess). I personally prefer carrots to sticks.

The social norm/manipulation I seem to deal with regularly is:
Person: "Here, eat this"
Me: "No thank you"
Depending on the person, from there it's either, they're hurt I'm not eating what they cooked/are providing or I'm weird for not eating 'normal' foods or the faux anorexia concern (I'm thin but clearly fit/heathy). If it's a female friend it's also possibly just cover bc they feel badly if they eat in front of me and I don't, bc somehow that makes them feel fat (girls, lol). Either way, apparently I'm either unhealthy/unethical or just generally wrong and after they've pointed that out, e.g., "you should eat more", they give me another opportunity to correct my behavior by offering it a second time, often in a condescending mother-to-baby tone; "are you sure..?" As if I'm going to people please over please myself, in a sense, self-abandon for some potato chips!

I always saw the fact that I don't blow this nonsense out of the water, pointing out exactly what they're doing, and how incredibly rude, presumptuous & condescending it is, as my version of being 'polite'. I figure staying at 'boundary protection only' is the way to go since that's what I wish "here, eat this" and all the other wannabe invaders would do. To me respecting a person is polite. It's interesting when Fe users start taking the high ground on politeness (above us Fi users) bc I value politeness very much. I wish people would be more polite. But obviously I see polite as respecting boundaries rather than smiling at someone while I (rudely) have my hand in their pocket. Or expect them to hand it over with a don't-be-rude shotgun to their head. Irony abounds.
 

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Plague Doctor
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@Daiz To be fair, the people who I am closest with ask so little of me that if they were to ask me to do something, I'd do it without hesitation as long as I understood it. I find that I tend to anticipate the needs of those closest to me, though, and I'm talking like my siblings, my partner, and my two kids.

You gave me a really easy opportunity to illustrate a point that I felt was important; even if you already knew that. I don't know if it's an Fi/Fe thing or whatever, but we're good. : )
 

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Oh, man.

Usually I take care of my responsibilities even if I don't want to fulfill a task, but I can be pretty obstinate when there isn't a need or a want to do something. 'Because I don't wanna' is an often used phrase that isn't effective in shutting down a 'suggestion' They continue to try to get you to justify yourself even though it's clear that the answer is N-O. I remember an older coworker saying that 'because I don't wanna' is a childish non-reason to not do something, so I told him so is prodding others for information when they clearly don't want to divulge.

It goes both ways and frankly, if I don't care about that person's feelings, values or preferences, then nothing they say is going to make me care. Actually, insisting that I should care would make me care much less and be rude [for real] about it.

_____


There's another that's been on my mind recently. I was rooming with two girls who were nasty as hell. One of them was the normal kind of lazy while the other had light hoarding tendencies. Anyway, I'd had enough of it one night, so one roommate, her friends and I decided to clean up while the fake hoarder was away.

It took hours to clean and bleach crap that wasn't mine. Not only that, but the hoarding girl wanted to keep her foodstuff even though mice and other critters pilfered through them. By this time I was fed up with the both of them, but especially hoarder chick because when it was the two of us + one of her coworkers, she was on her best behavior but as soon as her nasty ass friend moved in, they both decided to let loose.

Anyway, non-hoarding chick tells me

T: We should talk to K about her issue. She needs help.
Me: What she needs is a goddamn broom and some Scrubbing Bubbles.
T: Don't be mean! All we have to do is sit her down and talk. And don't be all *waves hands* because I know how you are. We'll just tell her we love her and-
Me: I don't love that girl. I don't even like her.
T & T's friend: gasping
T: That's not a nice thing to say.
Me: Annnnd? What's not nice is the both of us and your friend - who doesn't live here btw - cleaning up her shit. I don't like her, she's taking advantage and using you as a excuse to be gross. She kept her things clean when her coworker was living here.
T: Ok [in the most annoying, let's-all-calm-down voice] All she needs is a little understanding. I'm sure if we talk about it, we can come to a resolution.
Me: You can talk about it. By yourself. While I go look for another place to live.

And of course, this person didn't talk to her friend bc she wanted to use me as backup.

^mind you, this is after I spent almost an entire day cleaning up someone else's crap and mice crap on top of that

_____

To answer OP's question, I'm sorta fine with manipulation. Beating around the bush is what pisses me off. And the repercussion is the typical, everybody thinks you're a jerk bc you have no filter. I have plenty of filters, I just don't have the patience to deal with someone else's useless filters.
 
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