Dark Side: Stubborn Much?

Friday, September 25, 2015 0 Comments A+ a-

Hey, guys! Come on in and pull up a chair. I'm sitting here with a steaming mug of MochaTonix, trying to wake up. If you've never had it before, you're in for a treat. *pours samples for everyone* Do you like the taste of mocha? I'm sort of addicted to it myself, lol. I mean, what could be better than chocolate and coffee in one yummy drink?
MochaTonix and my favorite mug :)

And I definitely need the energy, because waking up has been a chore this week. After moving my special-needs son into his new home, I went straight into "detox" mode. It happens whenever I'm away from him for more than a day or two. The heightened level of awareness I'm used to operating at starts to drop, and my body craves only two things: food and sleep. I have been a total couch potato for the last three days.

I knew this would happen, because I've experienced it before. Experience is something I rely heavily on as an INFJ. For some, seeing is believing. For me, experiencing is believing. My entire bedrock core of beliefs and values is built on intuition, wisdom, and experience.

Let's see how this concept ties in with the next paragraph in Elaine Schallock's article:

Without a doubt, the most frequent complaint about INFJs (or INTJs for that matter) is the way in which their unswerving devotion to their own visions and intuitions causes them to be closed off to alternative opinions or arguments. Ne refutations seem to bounce off undeterred INJs like plastic BB pellets launched against a solid steel wall. To many types, particularly those with Ne, this reads as closed-minded and narrow-visioned.
Whoa, did you just cringe? I did. Because in a mere sentence or two, Elaine manages to dredge up a heap of childhood trauma. I can remember how stubborn I was, how steadfast and unwavering my opinions were. I lived off my intuition, following it like a trained soldier, trusting in it without fail. I used it to forge through life and rarely, if ever, stopped to think that it might be...gasp!...wrong. I got a lot of grief for it, too. People laughed at me, called me pig-headed, or judged me. Some were wise enough to recognize why I was so strong-willed and would encourage me to test my opinions through new experiences. And those people...they were the ones that ended up being most influential in my life.

Here's why:

But Extraverted Perceiving is not INFJs’ conscious forte; in fact, it’s the weakest of their four primary functions (Se). And if the firm Ni/Fe convictions of the INFJ are going to be changed or overruled, it’s typically through a sensory encounter a la their inferior Se. In other words, theoretical debates and counter-arguments (of the Ne variety) are unlikely to have much, if any, power to change the mind of an INFJ. For an INFJ, the proof is in the pudding – and they’ll only change an intuitive conviction if experience demands it.
Sound familiar? It does for me. My bedrock core is incredibly firm. It's the foundation I stand on as I reach out and make connections, test theories, and navigate life. When people run up against it, they find that I'm very reluctant to change my way of thinking. That's because my experiences helped build that bedrock, and only experience can change it. I'm just stubborn that way.

Pretend for a moment that you're an INFJ who doesn't believe in ghosts. You've been to a dozen so-called haunted houses and haven't seen so much as a puff of smoke. Over time, intuition and experience convince you that ghosts don't exist and people are just dreaming them up. So when your neighbor tells you her kitchen is being haunted by the spirit of a little girl whose head spins around, you brush it off as nonsense. Your bedrock core says it isn't possible, and that's what you believe.

Until one day, you're in your neighbor's kitchen and feel the hair on your neck stand up. A cold chill runs down your spine, and intuition tells you that something horrible is behind you. You turn and see the spirit, pale and shimmery, head spinning like a top. She reaches for you, and you can't even scream. You simply run. As fast as your non-ghost-believing feet can carry you.

And once you've stopped long enough to catch your breath, bedrock logic kicks in. What was that thing? Truly a spirit? A prank your neighbor pulled? Or a figment of your vivid imagination? Your intuition told you to run, but now logic demands that you catalogue this experience. Was it real, or wasn't it? If you decide it was a prank or a delusion, your bedrock stays the same. But if you decide it was real, the deeps must change. You're forced to rethink your position, shift the bedrock a bit, and allow yourself room to grow. And a year later, when someone else tells you their house is haunted, you may not dismiss it the way you did before.

All of this leads us to consider the Dark Side possibility: is it a negative trait to be so deeply rooted in our convictions?

I think it can be, if we completely close ourselves off to all other possibilities. Like Anakin, who was so determined to save Padme on his own terms that he couldn't see the path of destruction he was creating. He had intuition and experience, but not wisdom. And on some level, he knew this.

Look near the beginning of this post, and you'll see that I said my bedrock is built on intuition, wisdom, and experience. In my younger years, I didn't have much wisdom. But I've grown a lot, and now I'm much more aware of my bedrock and its solidity. I actually love it, because it keeps me steady when I'm supporting a cause or pursuing a dream. But I know that it can be changed, too, and I try to stay open to new ideas, which I always put to the test before accepting them as truth.

How about you? Do people complain when they run up against your bedrock? What happens when they toss new ideas and theories at you? Do you seek out experiences to help shape your core system of beliefs?

Let me know! And have a good weekend!

Image Credit: Mocha Mug by C.L. Denault, INFJ Donkey, Self-doubting Anakin