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Thread: ENFps, ENTps and being messy

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    Jesus is the cruel sausage consentingadult's Avatar
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    Default ENFps, ENTps and being messy

    Below is an update version of this article from August 26th 2008, 2:32 AM (GMT)

    in the past few days we had discussions on what it means to be IEE in Tereg's thread and a got a couple of PM's from IEEs about that discussion, in which also some things about some aspects of IEE were shared. One of these things is about being messy. We of course all know this is by no means exclusive to IEEs. I would like to share my views on being messy with you, and focus on what being messy is from the perspective of IEEs and ILEs.

    Let me start first with myself: I've been messy for most of my life, but I have typically not been dirty. So there might be clean unfolded clothes on a sofa, papers scattered across the floor etc.etc. but hardly ever plates with leftover pieces of pizza that have turned into blobs of funghi.

    In the past two years I've been in therapy for treatment of what are basically narcissistic, borderline and histrionic pathologies. Most of what I've done was based on schema therapy, which means my pathologies were split up into 'modules' or 'maladaptive schemas'. I've worked though several of them in a certain order (some schemas are primary, other secondary and one should deal with primary schemas first or treatment of secondary schemas will not work). I've worked through 'emotional deprivation', 'Defectiveness/Shame', 'mistrust/abuse' etc. etc. to the extent that I have started to change my behaviors and am on a path of growth (meaning the schemas are not completely gone, but I'm learning and growing).

    One of my most obvious issues (to the external observer) was procrastination and everything that results from it, from not cleaning my house properly to not filing my taxes for 6 years in a row. Why is it that I do this, and how does it relate to Socionics?

    According to Neil Fiori, writer of 'The Now Habit', it is NOT because I'm lazy but because it is a coping response that:
    • can be an outlet for expressing resentment: passive/aggresiveness, feeling disconnected from other people, retiating against abuse etc.
    • can be used against fear of failure: what happens when you uphold extremely high standards that you can't match
    • can be used to keep you from facing your fear of success: success, being good at things, might set you apart from people in your environment, creating loneliness.
    Some or all of these might apply.

    Being messy, as a form of procrastination, is described by some psychologists as 'clear depression': you are not depressed in the classical sense, where you feel down, no, in most parts of your life you function well, e.g. socially or financially, so it might seem like you're okay. But the fact that your room or house is a mess, might be an indication that you experience a 'gap' in your life. This gap is. btw, a feeling of not being connected to other people, but now I'm getting ahead of things.

    Many types are capable of procrastination, but if you look deeper, you can see that the reasons differ. Before I explain this, let me first quote Prokofieva, who says that in psychologically healthy people the difference in strength of strong and weak functions is not all that big. It's only in unbalanced people that these strengths become obvious. Thus ot all people have a need for procrastination.

    As Jung already said, a strong emphasis on a certain function must involve the repression of the opposite function (e.g. emphasis on Ne requires suppression of Se). Now in itself functions such as Ne and Se are not pathological, but if the emphasis is too much on one of them, things will get nasty. An ILE might neglect the chores in his private life while being successful in the business sphere, where an SLE might not show enough initiative at work and lose his job, although having a stable family life and home.

    Now when does a person put too much emphasis on their leading function, and more importantly, why? This differs per type, so let me focus here on base-Ne types, then perhaps other people can fill in how it manifest in other types.

    I think a person might put too much emphasis on their leading function when they are not capable of using it effectively, i.e. in the social arena, or when they are using it in the social arena, but where it is rejected for whatever reason. The typical response is to start using it even more, often while retreating into the privacy of aloneness. According to Jeffrey E. Young, it can be considered as a self-soothing behavior, because when alone, the hurt child inside is triggered and needs to be repressed. This can then become addictive. self-soothing addictions include compulsive sex aand masturbation, womanizing (which e.g. both SLEs and IEIs might do in their own ways), tv watching (people think of MTV-kids often, but watching too much History Channel can be self-soothing as well, despite being 'interesting material'), alcohol and substance abuse etc.etc.

    From this point on I will be talking about the more neurotic manifestation of types.

    Pathologies that an individual might develop depend on both his inborn inclinations as well as on what he has had to suffer. A person who suffered emotional deprivation in combination with felings of defectiveness and had to adhere to unrelenting standards might develop a form of pathological narcissism, whereas as person who suffered emotional derivation in combination with sexual of physical abuse might develop e.g. borderline or anti-social tendencies.

    Let us focus, just as an example, on the more narcissistic variants of base Ne types. According to Jeffrey E. Young narcissists employ basically 3 schema modes, or behavior styles:
    • The self-aggrandizer: this is the mode used in social contexts.
    • The Lonely Child: when alone, the individual lacks the other people that provide narcissistic supply, and the feelings associated with childhood memories surface, which can be disturbing and upsetting. This might lead the individual to switch to the:
    • The detached self-soother: when alone, the individual employs addictive behaviors in order not to feel the pain associated with the Lonely Child Mode.
    How do these modes relate to the use of Socionic functions?

    First of all, it's not difficult to see that the self-aggrandizer relates to the hidden agenda. An ILE might try to convince others of his worth by reminding them of his connection to his 'many important friends'. An IEE might boast about his 'knowledge and competence'. Both are forms of recognition seeking.

    The Detached Self-Soother is related to pathological manifestations of the lead function, which is novelty seeking in both the ILE and IEE.

    Now I'm not sure where The Lonely Child fits in all of this, but I suspect it is the ignoring function. Speaking for myself, I feel most authentic when I do something to release my own troubled emotions, e.g. listening to the lyrics of beautiful songs of a reflective nature and letting the tears run, or writing poems, which I often do after crying.

    There is a fourth mode, but this one is not pathological. It's:

    The Healthy Adult mode: this mode protects the Lonely Child and helps him stand up for himself and functions as a healthy role model. This mode relates to the creative function (yes, you can also use the creative function on yourself!)

    So, when you meet an IEE or ILE with a messy room, who stays up till 3 AM browsing the internet searching or all kinds of interesting info or forums such as this one, rest assured that his messy room is evidence of self-soothing, i.e. that he is avoiding the fact that basically he is an unhappy person.

    What about me then? Well, currently I'm being treated for my procrastination. It's hard because you make two steps forward and one step back, sometimes even two or three and you have to start all over again. But gradually there is a change. When I make the right choices in my life (that, guess what, involve taking time for Si-type activities), the stress is removed, I no longer watch documentary channels, spend less time on this forum and above all, keep my house clean and do my bills in time AUTOMATICALLY WITHOUT HAVING TO THINK ABOUT IT OR PRESS MYSELF TO DO IT. For the first time in over 40 years.

    Of course, there is a lot more to say on the pathologies of IEEs and ILEs or other types. The above is just one of the many complexities.

    And yes, currently I'm not doing very well, although this weekend I cleaned up my house without a pressing reason (e.g. having visitors).
    Last edited by consentingadult; 08-26-2008 at 04:10 AM.
    The future of Socionics:
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    Many black Americans are SEE type.

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    Hmm. I wouldn't say I'm messy from being depressed, but rather because I'm easily distractible, and this sometimes means I leave stuff lying around nearby where I got distracted, lol. Particularly near the computer, where I spend most (probably too much) of my time, and which is, thanks to the internet, a constant source of distractions of all shapes and sizes.

    It's particularly noticeable with the aftermath of meals, random flyers I was handed during the day or papers I got in class, and random stuff I have in my pockets, which I empty out at the end of the day (usually in the same pile I emptied it the day before, so it quickly grows). Also, library books, particularly if I'm reading several at once. (Each room might have a different book. ) So, tables, bookshelves and floors get particularly messy with me. I don't think I'm depressed right now (relatively speaking anyway), and I've been doing this since I was little, when I definitely wasn't depressed. I'm certainly not automatic about keeping stuff clean when happy - I'm trying to keep my room cleaner than usual to not scare off my new roommate, but it's still an effort. (And I think I might be slowly losing. )
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    Jesus is the cruel sausage consentingadult's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elro View Post
    Hmm. I wouldn't say I'm messy from being depressed, but rather because I'm easily distractible, and this sometimes means I leave stuff lying around nearby where I got distracted, lol. Particularly near the computer, where I spend most (probably too much) of my time, and which is, thanks to the internet, a constant source of distractions of all shapes and sizes.

    It's particularly noticeable with the aftermath of meals, random flyers I was handed during the day or papers I got in class, and random stuff I have in my pockets, which I empty out at the end of the day (usually in the same pile I emptied it the day before, so it quickly grows). Also, library books, particularly if I'm reading several at once. (Each room might have a different book. ) So, tables, bookshelves and floors get particularly messy with me. I don't think I'm depressed right now (relatively speaking anyway), and I've been doing this since I was little, when I definitely wasn't depressed. I'm certainly not automatic about keeping stuff clean when happy - I'm trying to keep my room cleaner than usual to not scare off my new roommate, but it's still an effort. (And I think I might be slowly losing. )
    by no means I want to imply that you are wrong in your self-assesment, but i thought for 40 years that I was perfectly happy and had high self-esteem. My God, how blind I was!

    Being happy is a matter of self-concept: you only have to believe you're happy to be happy
    The future of Socionics:
    Quote Originally Posted by Maritsa View Post
    Many black Americans are SEE type.

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