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Thread: INTP-ENFJ: Rise and Fall of a Long Term Relationship

  1. #31
    Sysop Ptah's Avatar
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    Social Energy Polarization

    Here's a thought that came up as a tangent I explored during some introspection/reflection recently.

    In the classic introvert sense, my energy for social situations burns out quickly. Related, dealing with extroverts accelerates the burn-out, proportional to how energetically extroverted they are in my general direction.

    And as I mentioned before, something I'd noticed early on about being around my ex-wife (who is a very energetic extrovert, as they come) is that I wasn't finding myself feeling burnt-out, as above. Rather, I was attracted to and fascinated by her behavior, which kept me from feeling the need to withdraw or recharge, as I might when dealing with energetic extroverts otherwise.

    But as I look things over, I suspect I may have discovered what lurks in the shadow of this dynamic. While I wasn't feeling the need to withdraw, to recharge, I was in effect burning through socially-interactive energy nonetheless...I simply wasn't aware of it. So, for instance, I can recall many times where I'd spend the day out at some social whatever with her, more or less socially present beyond what I'd normally stomach, only to crash hard into a "recharge" of alone time thereafter, almost fitfully, at its worst.

    At the same time, I reflect and observe that while I could sustain a social presence and interactivity while out with her, the longer things dragged on, the more exclusively at-her/through-her did my social activity become. For instance, if she and I were out with a larger group, while I wouldn't feel my social battery draining, nor would I realize that I'm already withdrawing from dealing with other people, in effect, while my interactivity began to orbit hers, lens the rest of the outing through hers, etc. And then, as above, crash hard into an introverted black hole of alone-time thereafter.

    Basically, she polarized my whole dynamic of spending and recovering socially-interactive energy. And upon this supervened, in wider reflection, all manner of other dynamics that wound up contributing to if not partially causing the end of our relationship.

    To be clear, I'm not pointing the finger at her. Just dissecting my own behavior as influenced by hers, which is, of course, a matter of my own personal responsibility.

    Lessons learned.

  2. #32
    Your Huckleberry lethe's Avatar
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    Oddly enough I was just examining something almost identical about myself this past week!

    Have you encountered any extroverts other than your ex-wife who triggered a similar reaction in you? Particularly the not noticing being drained and being fascinated by their behavior? How do you think the social dynamic would be different if you were just close friends/didn't live together? The effect on your social energy bank? Will this realization influence how you interact with the next person who triggers this reaction?
    Don't remember changing this.

  3. #33
    Sysop Ptah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lethe View Post
    Have you encountered any extroverts other than your ex-wife who triggered a similar reaction in you?

    Particularly the not noticing being drained and being fascinated by their behavior?
    Prior to her, not that I recall. Pretty sure not. Once or twice after, I'd encountered those who had a similar effect on me. Could be right, could be wrong ... might apply, might not ... but they were all ENFJs (self-reported) ... of the (outwardly) infectiously enthusiastic, effusive, optimistic idealist sort otherwise.

    How do you think the social dynamic would be different if you were just close friends/didn't live together? The effect on your social energy bank?
    Different in degree, not character, I would guess.

    Will this realization influence how you interact with the next person who triggers this reaction?
    Oh yes.

  4. #34
    Dr.Awkward Robcore's Avatar
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    Do you think that these energy relationships based on intro/extroversion are real? or just ingrained belief systems that we identify with?
    I mean, though it seems to be an unconscious habit for people to be drained by social interactions of that nature, it still seems like the way we look at things is the critical factor...and we're not sentenced to seeing things that way forever...so we can theoretically change the way our 'energy system' reacts to these sorts of encounters.

    Just because we have a propensity to be drained that way, doesn't mean that we're subject to such drainage by design, does it?
    ...the origin of emotional sickness lay in people’s belief that they were their personalities...
    "The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong." ~Carl Jung

  5. #35
    Sysop Ptah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robcore View Post
    Do you think that these energy relationships based on intro/extroversion are real? or just ingrained belief systems that we identify with?

    I mean, though it seems to be an unconscious habit for people to be drained by social interactions of that nature, it still seems like the way we look at things is the critical factor...and we're not sentenced to seeing things that way forever...so we can theoretically change the way our 'energy system' reacts to these sorts of encounters.

    Just because we have a propensity to be drained that way, doesn't mean that we're subject to such drainage by design, does it?
    If what you're getting at is that some degree of choice is or could be involved to change such dynamics, then I'd agree with that idea.

    In principle, could I orchestrate a system of (fairly fundamental lifestyle) choices to (in the end) rebuild my value-system, hence internal dialog, hence outward behavior, hence social dynamic overall? Very likely, yes. But would I want to? No. That of course is a choice, which is in turn informed by my present (fairly fundamental lifestyle) value-system, which all things considered, works just fine for me. No real motivation to undertake to completely overhaul who I am and how I see things, just to have (among other things, no doubt) the supervening effect of being more (or simply differently) adapted to those social dynamics which presently tax/trouble me.

    As for "propensity". Rooting that gets to nature vs. nurture. Again, either way, whether I'm like this more because of something inborn, or more because of early life experiences and choices, I don't much care at this point. That is, in this way, I don't want to change. I see no reason to, in the overall play of things.

    Moreover, is my part in the aforementioned dynamics as the result of my choices, aggregated over the years, etc? Most certainly. Perhaps unwittingly, but nonetheless. We choose who we are, deliberately or otherwise, as I see it.

    (edit: in the context, the observation that choice is pivotal to who you are has always made an interesting intersection with personality theories, insofar as they purport things about you as if inborn, before if not also beyond choice ... which, in turn, enters into the realm of thoughts I've had connecting personalities to personal philosophies, all as fall under choice and so involve value-systems of the fairly fundamental, often implicit/unconscious sort .... blah ... ... I feel a blog post coming to vent such thoughts)
    Last edited by Ptah; 03-24-2015 at 02:30 PM.

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