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Thread: Role Function

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    Default Role Function

    Supposedly the role function is the one we're sometimes trying to get better at in utter desperation and despair only to fail because the role function and the lead function are in a perpetual race and the lead function always "wins in the end."

    What do you see yourself as doing to try and improve your role function (if anything)?

    I was also wondering, because it occured to me having read some things said by Redbaron and Sunshine, if you think the role function and lead function balance themselves out a little more with age (though that may just be another period of focusing on the role function for a while).

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    I don't think I really try and improve my role function. I just don't see what I need from it that I can't get from any combination of my valued functions. I know some people try to emphasise improving it for the sake of self-improvement, but...I guess the phrase here is "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". 'tis how it is for me anyway.
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    I use it when I've failed in my argument. Leon and I were discussing the nature of film a few nights ago, and he was arguing that my view of film was limited. In order to expand, I thought "okay, fine, there is a certain potential in film and I am going to have to admit it".

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    i spose it depends on what IM the role function contains. like mine is Se, from my point of view everybody needs a little bit of forcefulness, drive, and willpower. without it, i'd have to rely on ideas only to motivate myself and others. which is kinda limiting. you also have to be able to defend yourself in a cruel cruel world....Se is good for this as well.

    so, i think it's worth it to put some effort into it. but i don't think i really started doing that until my 30's.

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    My role function is how I squeak by in social situations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loki View Post
    Supposedly the role function is the one we're sometimes trying to get better at in utter desperation and despair only to fail because the role function and the lead function are in a perpetual race and the lead function always "wins in the end."
    This is much closer to the way I see the 4th and the 2nd functions than the 1st and the 3rd.
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    Hmm. I guess this is where I differ from most everyone's replies so far. I feel I'm rather cozy with my role function.

    stuff is usually where I find physical (and often emotional) comfort. Elsewhere on this board I think I've associated Si with the self-pres instinctual variant of enneagram. Cool water when I'm overheated, smooth textures when I'm irritated, etc. I have an affinity for cooking and aesthetics. I'm always monitoring my internal state, and am exquisitely sensitive to external stimuli. I can rather see elements Ni and Si reinforcing each other in my case. <=>. They seem somewhat harmonized and mutualistic.

    is quite a big problem, though. I have very little command or awareness of that one. Huge blind spot. Of course, it would be.

    Being PoLR and all.
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    My Role function is . This has definitely been a struggle for me throughout my life. It is actually a major reason I started looking into MBTI and eventually Socionics. I do often find myself desperately wanting to be more assertive, aggressive and decisive because I see how much these attributes are valued by today's society, especially in the workplace. This continues to be a battle for me, particularly at work, since I am in a leadership position and society's idea of "effective leadership" does not match my strengths. So, I continue to try to be someone I'm not, only to realize how lousy I am at it and how much energy even trying takes out of me. I have come to at least partially accept that these are things that will never come naturally for me. I often compare myself to my ESTj co-worker, who seems to be naturally good at this and find myself in awe of her, wishing I was more like that when needed, which ends up making me feel inadequate. Luckily, my strengths are valued in the type of work that I do (non-profit organization for people with developmental disabilities and mental health deficits)...which is what keeps me there. I do often think I would be happier having a position where I was able to use my strong functions that didn't involve a level of authority that would require as much use of Se. But maybe it's a good thing to force myself to develop this weaker area? I don't know...this is my dilemma.

    P.S. I should note that the "attributes" I referred to are not really qualities I personally value, but rather things I perceive that society as a whole values and therefore see myself as lacking. I definitely wish there wasn't such a big focus on being this way, but I don't see that changing any time soon. I can't seem to truly be able to value these qualities in Se dominant types. I am actually rather turned off by them. They seem extremely pushy, aggressive, showy and cocky...which are some of the worst qualities someone can have IMO. But at the same time I can't help but feel a little envious at the fact that they can pull it off so easily. Please, I mean no offense to Se dominants, I am just stating *my* perception of how their strong Se appears to me in some situations, for the purpose of explaining my point.

    Wow, this sure has been a long, rambling post. I hope someone can make something out of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aka-kitsune View Post

    is quite a big problem, though. I have very little command or awareness of that one. Huge blind spot. Of course, it would be.

    Being PoLR and all.
    Wouldn't be your PoLR?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirena View Post
    My Role function is . This has definitely been a struggle for me throughout my life. It is actually a major reason I started looking into MBTI and eventually Socionics. I do often find myself desperately wanting to be more assertive, aggressive and decisive because I see how much these attributes are valued by today's society, especially in the workplace. This continues to be a battle for me, particularly at work, since I am in a leadership position and society's idea of "effective leadership" does not match my strengths. So, I continue to try to be someone I'm not, only to realize how lousy I am at it and how much energy even trying takes out of me. I have come to at least partially accept that these are things that will never come naturally for me. I often compare myself to my ESTj co-worker, who seems to be naturally good at this and find myself in awe of her, wishing I was more like that when needed, which ends up making me feel inadequate. Luckily, my strengths are valued in the type of work that I do (non-profit organization for people with developmental disabilities and mental health deficits)...which is what keeps me there. I do often think I would be happier having a position where I was able to use my strong functions that didn't involve a level of authority that would require as much use of Se. But maybe it's a good thing to force myself to develop this weaker area? I don't know...this is my dilemma.

    P.S. I should note that the "attributes" I referred to are not really qualities I personally value, but rather things I perceive that society as a whole values and therefore see myself as lacking. I definitely wish there wasn't such a big focus on being this way, but I don't see that changing any time soon. I can't seem to truly be able to value these qualities in Se dominant types. I am actually rather turned off by them. They seem extremely pushy, aggressive, showy and cocky...which are some of the worst qualities someone can have IMO. But at the same time I can't help but feel a little envious at the fact that they can pull it off so easily. Please, I mean no offense to Se dominants, I am just stating *my* perception of how their strong Se appears to me in some situations, for the purpose of explaining my point.

    Wow, this sure has been a long, rambling post. I hope someone can make something out of it.

    great explanation of Se role. it's like we want to have some juice...but not so much juice that a leading Se would have, since yeah it seems pushy and obnoxious. and we don't really want creative Se either, since that's usually expressed as twirling you around in your swivel chair and flushing you down the toilet. LOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirena View Post
    Wouldn't be your PoLR?
    Uh... yeah. <<smacks forehead>>
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    Quote Originally Posted by aka-kitsune View Post
    Uh... yeah. <<smacks forehead>>
    Hey, don't hurt yourself there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirena View Post
    I do often find myself desperately wanting to be more assertive, aggressive and decisive because I see how much these attributes are valued by today's society, especially in the workplace.

    I often compare myself to my ESTj co-worker, who seems to be naturally good at this and find myself in awe of her, wishing I was more like that when needed, which ends up making me feel inadequate.

    But at the same time I can't help but feel a little envious at the fact that they can pull it off so easily.
    From how I understand Expat (and I could be wrong), this is how ENXj types should feel about their Se HA. (envious etc...)
    “Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly
    You've done yourself a huge favor developmentally by mustering the balls to do something really fucking scary... in about the most vulnerable situation possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winterpark View Post
    From how I understand Expat (and I could be wrong), this is how ENXj types should feel about their Se HA. (envious etc...)
    You obviously didn't understand my post then. I was very clear to point out that the only reason I feel envious is because they can do it easily when needed, but I don't value it. I wish it didn't exist, but since it does, I'd like to be somewhat good at it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirena View Post
    My Role function is . This has definitely been a struggle for me throughout my life. It is actually a major reason I started looking into MBTI and eventually Socionics. I do often find myself desperately wanting to be more assertive, aggressive and decisive because I see how much these attributes are valued by today's society, especially in the workplace. This continues to be a battle for me, particularly at work, since I am in a leadership position and society's idea of "effective leadership" does not match my strengths. So, I continue to try to be someone I'm not, only to realize how lousy I am at it and how much energy even trying takes out of me. I have come to at least partially accept that these are things that will never come naturally for me. I often compare myself to my ESTj co-worker, who seems to be naturally good at this and find myself in awe of her, wishing I was more like that when needed, which ends up making me feel inadequate. Luckily, my strengths are valued in the type of work that I do (non-profit organization for people with developmental disabilities and mental health deficits)...which is what keeps me there. I do often think I would be happier having a position where I was able to use my strong functions that didn't involve a level of authority that would require as much use of Se. But maybe it's a good thing to force myself to develop this weaker area? I don't know...this is my dilemma.

    P.S. I should note that the "attributes" I referred to are not really qualities I personally value, but rather things I perceive that society as a whole values and therefore see myself as lacking. I definitely wish there wasn't such a big focus on being this way, but I don't see that changing any time soon. I can't seem to truly be able to value these qualities in Se dominant types. I am actually rather turned off by them. They seem extremely pushy, aggressive, showy and cocky...which are some of the worst qualities someone can have IMO. But at the same time I can't help but feel a little envious at the fact that they can pull it off so easily. Please, I mean no offense to Se dominants, I am just stating *my* perception of how their strong Se appears to me in some situations, for the purpose of explaining my point.

    Wow, this sure has been a long, rambling post. I hope someone can make something out of it.

    I'm pretty surprised by how much I identify with this. I have the same issue..
    I have Se in my super ego and I feel that I need/want to be good at it even though I don't like it. It seems like a quality that is so admired in today's society and I don't like having this as a weakness, so I try to act like I can pull it off. Either way I end up feeling disappointed because trying to be good at something I'm not is a waste of time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirena View Post
    I was very clear to point out that the only reason I feel envious is because they can do it easily when needed...
    I know and that's what I was referring to...
    “Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly
    You've done yourself a huge favor developmentally by mustering the balls to do something really fucking scary... in about the most vulnerable situation possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesy View Post
    I'm pretty surprised by how much I identify with this. I have the same issue..
    I have Se in my super ego and I feel that I need/want to be good at it even though I don't like it. It seems like a quality that is so admired in today's society and I don't like having this as a weakness, so I try to act like I can pull it off. Either way I end up feeling disappointed because trying to be good at something I'm not is a waste of time.
    I know what you mean. It is defnitely a bad feeling to feel you should be good at something you don't value. Are you not sure whether Se is your Role or PoLR?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winterpark View Post
    I know and that's what I was referring to...
    Then you still don't get it. Se is not my PoLR. Ti would be the area where I would have no interest in improving whatsoever because it simply doesn't matter to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirena View Post
    Then you still don't get it.
    I don't get what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sirena View Post
    Se is not my PoLR.
    I know, who said it was?

    Ti would be the area where I would have no interest in improving whatsoever because it simply doesn't matter to me.
    Who said anything about Ti or anything that would oppose what you're saying about it?
    “Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly
    You've done yourself a huge favor developmentally by mustering the balls to do something really fucking scary... in about the most vulnerable situation possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winterpark View Post
    I don't get what?



    I know, who said it was?



    Who said anything about Ti or anything that would oppose what you're saying about it?
    You said that my description of Se was indicative of HA, rather than Role. You justify your reasoning by saying that I seem to value Se. I am pointing out how this is not the case by comparing and contrasting Se (Role) vs. Ti (PoLR).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirena View Post
    You justify your reasoning by saying that I seem to value Se.
    No. I justify my reasoning by saying that your description would be indicative of Se HA according to my understanding of what Expat has said about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sirena View Post
    I am pointing out how this is not the case by comparing and contrasting Se (Role) vs. Ti (PoLR).
    You are pointing out how you don't value Se by comparing it to your Ti?
    “Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly
    You've done yourself a huge favor developmentally by mustering the balls to do something really fucking scary... in about the most vulnerable situation possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winterpark View Post
    No. I justify my reasoning by saying that your description would be indicative of Se HA according to my understanding of what Expat has said about it.



    You are pointing out how you don't value Se by comparing it to your Ti?
    Explain it then! How is my description indicative of Se HA? All you have said is that it is...without explaining yourself.

    Plus, my understanding of what Expat has said about HA is that one does not consider oneself to be that bad at it. He gave the example that someone with Fi HA would not agree that it is such a weak area for them. Rather they would get somewhat defensive at someone pointing out that it is an extremely weak area in their lives. How does this compare with my description of Se? I very clearly stated that #1. I do not value it #2. I consider myself to be very weak in it.

    Maybe Expat can correct me if I'm wrong. I don't want to speak for him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirena View Post
    I know what you mean. It is defnitely a bad feeling to feel you should be good at something you don't value. Are you not sure whether Se is your Role or PoLR?
    Yeah, the only thing I know for sure is that I try to be good at it, especially because I am surrounded by Se people.. I think that people might have this desire with their polr as well, maybe even more so than with their role?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carla View Post
    Maybe you should have compared and contrasted Se and Te, since Te is your HA as opposed to Ti.
    Maybe, but his original comment stemmed from his perception that based on my description, I "value" Se enough to make it my HA BECAUSE I am somewhat envious to find that others are able to do it naturally. I was making the point that this is often the case with one's Role...as opposed to one's PoLR, which seems to be so foreign and unvalued that one usually can't even be bothered.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesy View Post
    Yeah, the only thing I know for sure is that I try to be good at it, especially because I am surrounded by Se people.. I think that people might have this desire with their polr as well, maybe even more so than with their role?
    I'd think that this would be even harder to do and would go even more against "who you are." I guess if you have been surrounded by Se valuers all your life, you might feel forced to do so in order to fit in. But in a healthy environment, I don't think you'd be nearly as inclined to develop your PoLR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirena View Post
    Explain it then! How is my description indicative of Se HA? All you have said is that it is...without explaining yourself.
    He said something along the lines you did here, about attacking types that have your HA as their base function out of envy etc... Atm, I can't remember where (and how) exactly he said this (maybe he mentioned it in the Clinton/Hillary thread if I remember correctly) but that's what I was comparing your description with.
    “Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly
    You've done yourself a huge favor developmentally by mustering the balls to do something really fucking scary... in about the most vulnerable situation possible.

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    The 4th and 5th functions are equally crappy. ENxx types are likely to identify with each other in terms of things related to Se and Si weaknesses.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winterpark View Post
    He said something along the lines you did here, about attacking types that have your HA as their base function out of envy etc... Atm, I can't remember where (and how) exactly he said this (maybe he mentioned it in the Clinton/Hillary thread if I remember correctly) but that's what I was comparing your description with.
    Which brings me back to pointing out that you didn't get my description. You are getting hung up on the word "envy." I do not feel envy in the sense that I want to be like Se leading and creative types because I value those attributes in them. Wouldn't you actually admire someone who was strong in your HA? Why would I see these types the way I described (in a negative light) if Se was something I was actually looking for in my life? That makes no sense.

    I thought I made it clear that I do not admire Se traits. My envy (probably the wrong word to use here) comes from their being good at something that society values (wrongly, IMO), which constantly makes me feel that in order to be successful in this world, I also have to be this way. But I don't like it...in the least. And I wasn't attacking Se leading types. I was simply pointing out how I perceive them due to the fact that I don't value the traits I see in them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joy View Post
    The 4th and 5th functions are equally crappy. ENxx types are likely to identify with each other in terms of things related to Se and Si weaknesses.
    I don't understand this. How can an ENFj and myself (ENFp) have similar opinions on Se and Si when Si is an ENFj's PoLR and my suggestive function? Wouldn't this mean that ENFjs don't value Si, whereas I do?

    I understand that 4th and 5th functions are weak, but isn't there a difference in whether they are valued or not?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirena View Post
    I don't understand this. How can an ENFj and myself (ENFp) have similar opinions on Se and Si when Si is an ENFj's PoLR and my suggestive function? Wouldn't this mean that ENFjs don't value Si, whereas I do?

    I understand that 4th and 5th functions are weak, but isn't there a difference in whether they are valued or not?
    Yes.

    Weaknesses in Se and Si are going to be somewhat similar in ENxx's, but for ENxp's Si is the answer and for ENxj's Se is the answer. (Not that we don't need our duals to handle areas related to our PoLR's as well, but we wouldn't want them to handle them the way our supervisor/conflictor would.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joy View Post
    Yes.

    Weaknesses in Se and Si are going to be somewhat similar in ENxx's, but for ENxp's Si is the answer and for ENxj's Se is the answer. (Not that we don't need our duals to handle areas related to our PoLR's as well, but we wouldn't want them to handle them the way our supervisor/conflictor would.)
    OK, makes sense. Thanks!

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    Joy, what's your take on Role vs. HA? How do you see my description of Se Role?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirena View Post
    Joy, what's your take on Role vs. HA? How do you see my description of Se Role?
    Two things...

    First, about one's Role. I don't relate to what you're describing in terms of the Role function because I don't generally think about Fe in terms of a "I've been wishing to be better at it for a long time, and this is a real problem for me" kind of longing. It's not about being good or bad at it, generally speaking. It's just an area that I sometimes feel I should give more attention to, that's all. My own experiences aside, this is also what I understand the Role function to be in general.

    Secondly, about one's Hidden Agenda. I also don't relate to what you're describing in terms of leadership skills. It's not difficult for me to speak up when I need to or take charge when appropriate. I have confidence in my decision making capabilities as well. The Se Hidden Agenda for LIE's is more about wanting to be independent and free. The Hidden Agenda is what one sees as being the answer to their shitty PoLR. For LIE's this means "I'll never have to worry about providing a comfortable lifestyle for and the physical needs of myself and my family if I have enough money. I'll be able to hire a cook, recieve top of the line medical care if any of us gets sick, hire someone to care for my home and lawn, etc." Unlike one's Role, the Hidden Agenda often is an area in which one can feel the type of longing you described.


    Basically... I'm not really sure that you're talking about having a Se Role. You're probably either talking about having a Te Hidden Agenda or a Se PoLR (probably the former).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joy View Post
    Two things...

    First, about one's Role. I don't relate to what you're describing in terms of the Role function because I don't generally think about Fe in terms of a "I've been wishing to be better at it for a long time, and this is a real problem for me" kind of longing. It's not about being good or bad at it, generally speaking. It's just an area that I sometimes feel I should give more attention to, that's all. My own experiences aside, this is also what I understand the Role function to be in general.
    Wouldn't someone who is constantly expected to be strong in this area feel more pressure to "work on it", which would then become more of a problem for them? For instance, I don't think I would see Se demands in my life as such a struggle if I didn't have a position at work that demanded these qualities.
    Secondly, about one's Hidden Agenda. I also don't relate to what you're describing in terms of leadership skills. It's not difficult for me to speak up when I need to or take charge when appropriate. I have confidence in my decision making capabilities as well. The Se Hidden Agenda for LIE's is more about wanting to be independent and free. The Hidden Agenda is what one sees as being the answer to their shitty PoLR. For LIE's this means "I'll never have to worry about providing a comfortable lifestyle for and the physical needs of myself and my family if I have enough money. I'll be able to hire a cook, recieve top of the line medical care if any of us gets sick, hire someone to care for my home and lawn, etc." Unlike one's Role, the Hidden Agenda often is an area in which one can feel the type of longing you described.
    It was Winterpark that said I was describing Se HA in my original description, not me. So I agree with you here. I think that if my description was aiming to explain Se HA, it would sound more like what you say here: something you are more confident in.

    Basically... I'm not really sure that you're talking about having a Se Role. You're probably either talking about having a Te Hidden Agenda or a Se PoLR (probably the former).
    Again, what about if your Role function is a constant expectation from others in your life?
    I honestly don't see how my original description of Se Role has anything to do with Te HA. That is a different issue in and of itself. I wasn't referring to anything to do with being efficient or productive (Te), but rather being assertive, decisive, aggressive (Se)...as it relates to telling myself and others what to do at work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirena View Post
    Which brings me back to pointing out that you didn't get my description. You are getting hung up on the word "envy." I do not feel envy in the sense that I want to be like Se leading and creative types because I value those attributes in them. Wouldn't you actually admire someone who was strong in your HA? Why would I see these types the way I described (in a negative light) if Se was something I was actually looking for in my life? That makes no sense.

    I thought I made it clear that I do not admire Se traits. My envy (probably the wrong word to use here) comes from their being good at something that society values (wrongly, IMO), which constantly makes me feel that in order to be successful in this world, I also have to be this way. But I don't like it...in the least. And I wasn't attacking Se leading types. I was simply pointing out how I perceive them due to the fact that I don't value the traits I see in them.
    Ok.
    “Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly
    You've done yourself a huge favor developmentally by mustering the balls to do something really fucking scary... in about the most vulnerable situation possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winterpark View Post
    Ok. But I do get your description.
    Are you saying that you agree with it now?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirena View Post
    Are you saying that you agree with it now?
    No.
    “Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly
    You've done yourself a huge favor developmentally by mustering the balls to do something really fucking scary... in about the most vulnerable situation possible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Winterpark View Post
    No.
    You just don't want to be bothered to explain yourself...OK.

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    Maybe I'm having a hard time relating to that Role description because anytime I've been in a situation that's demanded use of my Role, I've simply begrudgingly done what I could. If it seemed like the situation continuously called for more Fe than I felt comfortable giving, I'd get out of it. I don't think I've ever wished I was "better at" it. When it comes to your Role it's usually more of a matter of how much attention you're giving it. (If I ever had a wish relating to my 3rd function it was that I wouldn't have to deal with it.)

    Healthy Te dominants are assertive and decisive (because they're Te and EJ)... and I'm having a hard time understanding why someone working for a non-profit organization for people with developmental disabilities and mental health deficits would need to be aggressive.

    Anyways... I'm not saying that you're wrong... just that I don't understand why someone would ever long to be better at things related to their role. I mean, a Te dominant who wants to be more charismatic (for Te reasons, of course) will just read How to Win Friends and Influence People or something (this is different than the type of wishing/longing you described though). Maybe it doesn't work like that with Se though?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sirena View Post
    You just don't want to be bothered to explain yourself...OK.
    Explain what? Should I make a brain scan after every sentence I say and send it to you?
    “Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust, like diamonds we are cut with our own dust.”

    Quote Originally Posted by Gilly
    You've done yourself a huge favor developmentally by mustering the balls to do something really fucking scary... in about the most vulnerable situation possible.

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