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In this episode, Joel and Antonia talk about why you might want to chill on your personal growth journey from time to time.

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 In this episode Joel and Antonia talk about why you might want to chill on your personal growth journey from time to time. #personalgrowth

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  • Michael (A.A)
    • Michael (A.A)
    • December 27, 2019 at 1:09 am

    I thought I’d add to the discussion on taking a break by sharing some of my ideas on how to empathize with people after trying to develop Fe as a TP after many years.

    1. Understanding people is also understanding what their lack of knowledge is rather than what type of knowledge they know. Often I’ve ran around in circles replaying conflicts in my mind theorizing all these reasons on why they did that, and what I could do, but one time someone said to me, “It’s not that they knew something you don’t. It’s that they didn’t know something you know. That’s the reason.” Imagine what it’s like not to know this information, and it all makes more sense. I need everything to make logical sense, so if something has no reason, it freaks me out, even if I remain rather emotionally stoic on the outside. But when it’s put in that form, I tend to empathize and treat people kindly more.

    2. Understanding emotions is in both understanding the type of emotion it is and how strong it is. Honestly, as an NT, I’ve had an issue in having trouble in not lumping all positive emotions and negative emotions together. It’s why NTs in general have problems comforting people. Obviously, you would have to respond differently to some who’s angry to someone who’s crying or worried. It’s also a good idea to take note of how strong the emotions in another person are — I usually make a mental note of the strength at 1 to 10 based on what I know about them, with 1 being a slight feeling and 10 meaning an emotional breakdown. I would never really take anything like counseling or a therapist as a job, and I don’t trust myself with the responsibility of talking to really emotionally vulnerable people all the time, but it has helped me to develop better relationships in my daily life. Very often you can’t just acknowledge the emotion, you also have to acknowledge how strong the emotion is without overdoing it so they don’t feel patronized or insulted. Uhh. . . sure I’ll do that.

    3. When putting yourself in others’ shoes, it’s a good idea to recognize when the usual advice given to people in relationships don’t always work. Dating advice online doesn’t apply to everyone, and neither does it always work with friendships or family. Find out about the person themselves. You might be given the advice to listen when someone has emotional troubles, but if you ask them, they actually want advice from you. You might be told to shower a partner with romantic gifts, but actually they’re the practical type of person who wants something useful. You might be told advice around having an overly worried mom, but it’s your dad who gushes over you and nags you all the time to deal with.

    4. Sometimes people have contradictory demands without knowing this. Growing up, I get confused because I took for granted that I can usually find logical contradictions in my beliefs, but really, some people are genuinely ignorant of having contradictory behavior. Note to self. Don’t keep asking questions assuming they’re hiding or lying about something. Just ask them politely about the contradiction. “Why do you say this, but you’re also saying that???” I’m sorry!

    5. Some people genuinely do not know they’re being emotionally manipulated or manipulative without realizing it. Sure, there are genuinely cruel people who are doing it on purpose, but most people are just. . . ignorant, immature or naive. Even very intelligent well to do people can be like this. Maybe look up “Narcissism Recovery and Relationships” blog then? Look up the “signs of gaslighting” or “signs of manipulation”. Know what a drama triangle is. Also, educating yourself on how social issues like racism, sexism, ableism and classism on websites like seem to help also, not to mention all the video essays online on Youtube analyzing films and books seem to talk about this a lot.

    Well, this is complicated.

  • Antonia Dodge
    • Antonia Dodge
    • June 7, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    Great comment – thank you for sharing your thoughts out loud.


  • Mosey
    • Mosey
    • June 7, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    I often talk back to you, Joel and Antonia, when I listen. This time I decided to pass it on. I’m a tad more passionate about this one than most.

    Context: 49 yo female (she/hers) INTP with more than 20 years in recovery work – started way before I found Type and then PH. I’m an educator and work with both accessibility and adult ed right now. My magnet is love.

    As to the need to pause, John Dewey’s quote kept coming up for me. “We do not learn from experience… We learn from reflecting on experience.” This is why pause time is so important while learning.

    My explanation for the change that happens when we can pause as a Ti primary user is that the operating system of my brain has changed. Perhaps the most recent fundamental shift to my OS is putting love of self, other, and God at the center of my world.

    There is a long standing personal growth framework that I’m sure you know about but don’t consider as a framework that is widely applicable; I know from experience that it is. I’m referring to the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. In that framework, the work is “finished” when I get to step 9 – having made amends for my part of a particular issue/situation/attitude. Then the work becomes keeping short accounts and passing on the gifts I have been given. I think that’s a good way to pause – to keep an eye out for an old issue to pop up in a new way and use the tools I’ve been given to address it quickly and to continue to tell others what I’ve discovered as a way to keep it in Conscious Competence.

    A couple things from the Christian tradition that I think also apply here. First, what you spoke of as “valor” I would call “pride” instead. There are innumerable gifts when I focus on professional growth which you talked about. The problem comes when I use my growth as a bludgeon to those around me – I’m somehow better than they are and they should be doing what I do – that’s my pride in action. Second is the concept of sabbath which incorporates regular rest into the rhythm of life. When I address rest as a regular part of my life, the need for it doesn’t build up and spill over when I least expect it.

  • Danielle
    • Danielle
    • June 3, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    For me personally, I find that knowing sort of “when to stop” or “take a break” with personal growth has a lot to deal with the identification of issues and the feedback I get from the world around me. I’ve always tested out my own personal issues and really learned about them through the outside world. As an ENFP, I think problem identification in this manner is extremely natural to me. But there’s also a great deal of importance in being able to vet the feedback to determine if the feedback is legitimate. For instance, some people will try to project whatever they think on to you, but you can’t let that shake the foundation of what you know to be true. And sometimes people are going to wildly misconstrue who you are.

    Recently, my grandmother passed. We really never had any sort of meaningful relationship. Although this wasn’t to my face, I was criticized by another relative who I truly adored as a child based on my actions in both my relationships with my grandmother and her (which should’ve been irrelevant the point). Her beef was essentially that I did nothing for either of them, and I didn’t care enough to pursue a relationship.

    Normally, this would make me contemplate if I was in the wrong and to try to be less of a cold, distant person (which I can appear to be in specific situations). But I realized how poor of feedback this was to base any sort of personal growth directives on. When I was a child, both my grandma and my aunt made the choice to essentially leave my life. Children should not be left in charge of initiating relationships with other relatives. And by the time I had become an adult, I had tried and was shown that a relationship with me was clearly not a priority for either of them, especially my aunt. So, my actions weren’t cruel or heartless. They were respecting the independent decisions made by other people.

    It also shines more light on my relationship with my aunt, which now disgusts me in a way because it seems like the only reason she wanted to be a part of my life was that she expected something for me in return. And that’s really not how family is supposed to work.

    And by the time my grandmother passed, I had already completed the five stages of grieving. I had been grieving in a sense for at least the better part of a year. A lot of drama had really been a constant presence in those months, which felt more like a decade. So, by the end, the clarity and acceptance I felt allowed me to realize that in a sense I had come to a place where my need to grow in how I handled and coped with that side of the family. Maybe I seemed cold when I didn’t cry at the funeral or when I made no effort to say anything to one cousin who has proven herself to be an extremely volatile individual.

    Those entire months I had been consulting with the people closest to me about what I was doing and whether my actions were correct. And I had support in the decisions I did make. One of those decisions was my choice to, after my grandmother passed, fully remove these people from my life. Of course, there are really only 2 people I actively never want to speak to again (the more distant relatives as a whole seem like perfectly nice people). And I couldn’t act like that was my intention. I couldn’t just say that I’d likely never show up to the family reunions because of these two individuals—one of whom helps plan it every year.

    And on an unrelated note, I think of “woke” as meaning more that one understands the problems and issues with society and can recognize them when others are complacent and/or willfully ignorant.

  • Karen
    • Karen
    • June 1, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    This was a very thought-provoking podcast. I admit to a lack of discipline when it comes to personal growth, because I am generally pretty happy and view personal growth as something to do when I am UNhappy. Yes, I am an ESFP :-) Also, I am in my 50s which seems to be a time when lots of people (myself included) naturally sort of chill out.

    So I try to be a good person by balancing support for other people with doing what I enjoy doing, rather than any sort of conscious personal development work. At different times in my life, I have found Al Anon and therapy to be helpful – both of which have an accountability that kept me moving forward. Left to my own devices, I have found way too many reasons and methods to avoid Fi.

    I encountered your podcast a few years ago as I was coming out of a dark period in my life, and have seen MBTI and Personality Hacker as a set of models that helped explain things which had already occurred. For lack of any other option (they don’t call it a mid-life crisis for nothing), I had already begun learning how to listen to and understand my feelings so your discussion of the co-pilot really resonated with me.

    I love your discussions. In a way that I hope is not at all creepy, I feel like you are friends – maybe more like friends of friends, whom I see every so often at a dinner party or something. Thanks for your podcast!

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