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Thread: On Margarita and Malvina: Notes on Beta Rationality

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    unefille's Avatar
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    Default On Margarita and Malvina: Notes on Beta Rationality

    NB: Margarita and Malvina are the Russian sobriquets for female EIEs and LSIs, respectively. Margarita derives the titular character of Mikhail Bulgakov's masterpiece Master and Margarita and Malvina is the blue-haired puppet from Aleksey Tolstoy's The Golden Key.

    --

    Preface:

    I am making the thread for the sole purpose of having some 'material form' for my thoughts about being EIE (and idolatrie's about being LSI). Since re-typing, thinking about this has taken up far too much of my time and I might as well put it into written form. Maybe it might be even helpful for understanding Beta rationality more. Feel free to comment, discuss, argue etc. The following will be (hopefully) just a series of thoughts on how we understand the Beta rational types in epistle-form.

    --

    Last night I met a male identical (Hamlet). It was an incredibly eerie experience. We both looked directly into the eyes of whoever addressed us, with a wide-eyed gaze. We both gesticulated wildly when making our point, both had the same way of carrying ourselves, even our tonal inflections were similar. It was bizarre recognising myself in him - I started to try and engage solely to see if he would react the way I did, and he did. There is something that idolatrie and I always do, which is, even with a lot of people around us, we'll have a little 'bicker' (It's a good idea - no, it's awful - no, it's good etc) and carry it on for a quite a while, knowing everyone is watching us. Hamlet and his friend did the very same thing last night. He was cute as hell too. I promised to find idolatrie a nice male EIE, and lo and behold, I found one.

    It also made me think about being EIE and -leading generally. Both Hamlet and I had a very similar way of engaging the people around us. We tried primarily to disarm them with casual charm, as though saying 'you're part of my inner circle, so you have to support me, you have to be sympathetic.' It's strange though that I'm at my most casual, most winning, most intimately warm in front of an audience or in a group environment. Place me in a one-to-one situation, or even a small group, with people I don't know very well, and I can become quite stiff and formal, or feel out of place. I feel as though any moment I'm going to say something shocking or ridiculous and everyone is going to be horrified. But in front of an audience, I turn on the smile and welcoming tone. I can see why the IEEs are meant to be better at 'connecting people' whilst the EIEs are 'actors' or 'performers'.
    Last edited by unefille; 09-11-2008 at 09:50 AM.
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    Margarita,

    I've been thinking about duals, and identicals, and what we respond to more. Last night you noticed Hamlet more. You were more excited about, recognised something in him, isolated him out from the crowd. Sure, I noticed he was cute and has eloquent hands, but I can't say I gave him a second thought. Not until you called me after and demanded I reconsider him. And when you pointed him out, I could say yes, I can see how he's similar to you, I could remember the way he smiled at me before we knew each other's names, the way he draped himself against the lectern, showing off those ridicuously long legs of his. But if you hadn't called, hadn't made me think about him, he would have just passed me by. And I can't help but think, how often does that happen? That we meet these people who have the potential to be so psychologically compatible with ourselves, and we just don't recognise it? Instead end up in relationships where things are never quite right, and you try so hard, to make up for it or fix it or try to feel something dammit, but it just doesn't work?

    But. Like yourself, I noticed my identials (Maxim) last night. We gravitate towards each other, stand there talking for hours, or get into arguments where neither of us can look away. One was an old friend, so we slipped into conversation easily - catching up on news before turning to our old standbys of conversation. I'm at ease with him in a way I don't often find, we talk about cars, about his religion, about my politics, and we differ so greatly in our opinions but that doesn't matter at all because in him I have someone who I can talk about all these things to, be my whole self around, and he understands, and I don't feel judged or scrutinised by him. Sure, I'm comfortable around you, but I can't help but think that it is our friendship that allows that, rather than this sense of unspoken 'I know you' that I get with Maxim.

    The friend with whom Hamlet bickered last night - we think he may be my identical. I noticed him far more. I mean, he disagreed with me, which is a pretty good way of getting my attention. And I could see how our ways of arguing were similar. We both considered the information, made a decision on it according to our own ways of thinking, and stuck to those conclusions. Nothing I could say would change his mind, he wasn't looking to compromise or come to some consensus position. But then, neither was I. He would be talking, laying out the next point of his argument, and he'd look straight at me, half-smiling as he could see how much I wanted to jump in and cut him off. But I wouldn't. The fact we disagreed made my arguments stronger, my thinking clearer, because the fight was so on. Yet when we were done, still fortified in our respective positions, we just dropped it. It was just an intellectual disagreement, and the next moment we were both snickering at something someone else said, desperately avoiding looking at each other in fear we'd set off wholly inappropriate gales of laughter.

    On first meeting, identicals are just so much easier than duals.

    Malvina.
    allez cuisine!

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    unefille's Avatar
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    Malvina,

    It was odd that last night you noticed Maxim and I did not to the same degree. I was too busy trying to ascertain whether Hamlet was in fact just that. Duality is a strange and puzzling phenomenon; particularly as we were arrayed last night; we arguing for, them arguing against, divided by our political views. I could see how socionics played out though - Hamlet and I were much more willing to engage the other position, you and Maxim were much more set in yours. Hamlet did to Maxim exactly what I would have done to you had I found you too obstinate; worn you down by telling you were being obstinate and peevish and essentially saying 'play nice with the other kiddies, Ok?' It was a strange thing to watch another Beta rational dual pair sit across the table from us and argue with us.

    I am trying to pick apart exactly why the LSI is my dual. One reason in particular comes to mind, one which we have often argued about: stability. Remember in Brooklyn, one of the few times I have ever truly panicked (sincerely and not melodramatically) was when I was terrified we were going to Boston with no plans of where to stay. I am, in life, terrified of uncertainty, in a way. I always like to have a back-up plan, a safety net to catch me in case things don't go according to plan, but I am not always certain I can provide that security I need to feel safe enough to venture out into the world. I am more than happy to be flexible and change plans according to a whim, as long as I know that there is already something arranged in case nothing else works out.

    You always mentioned the need for a home-base, to 'secure' something. I always talked about wide-flung horizons and not caring about that 'security'. Now I realise I only talk like that because I expect my dual to provide that aspect of my life, to secure the 'fail safe' in case everything goes wrong, so that I don't have to worry about my physical security. Wondering where I am going to sleep tomorrow, or the day after the next, where I am going to have food, where I am going to lay my things down, all of that stresses me out because I feel as though I cannot possibly deal with that at all - they are things I am so unconcerned with, yet I'm aware that if I pay them no heed, I will end up sick, starving and cold. I look for someone in life who naturally organises things so that there is that security - a resting place, a home, so that I will not have to think about or plan for my physical well-being.

    I need that unyielding stability as much as I am unable to provide it for myself.

    Margarita
    Last edited by unefille; 09-11-2008 at 10:01 AM.
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    It's scary to think how we can dismiss our duals like that.
    Eventhough socionics had been on my mind, it took me 8 weeks to realise I'd been in a tutorial with an EIE. It was only when we shared a joke that I realised the duality. One day he volunteered to talk about his lifestyle to the class, and as a dual, you instantly see
    all their little issues and you're left with just an overwhelming desire to help them <3

    You girls live in Sydney?! I'm a Melbourne girl

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    Quote Originally Posted by shakealittle View Post
    You girls live in Sydney?! I'm a Melbourne girl
    Oh, another Australian! That's fantastic! I feel like we're just popping out of the woodwork now! Yes we're from Sydney. Something idolatrie and I often discuss is how alienated we feel Beta values are in Australia; sort of as though people are just wanting you to 'chill out' and stop being 'uppity'. Actually something we did want to talk about is how Australian cultural values (very Si, I feel) lead us to mistype ourselves as Delta for so long because we looked at Beta and thought: that's so wrong and bad.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shakealittle View Post
    One day he volunteered to talk about his lifestyle to the class, and as a dual, you instantly see
    all their little issues and you're left with just an overwhelming desire to help them <3

    You girls live in Sydney?! I'm a Melbourne girl
    Yes, exactly! I have this very strong, but often unrealised, urge to just fix people's lives. I know, it sounds like meddling and a little insane, but it does stay in my head mostly. Its just being able to see how someone could do things more efficiently, take better care of themselves, not get into the preventable disasters that they do. And I don't mean I don't mess up my own life just as much, but it is always easier to see on others than in yourself.

    And yes, I feel we should be eyeing each other off in some inter-city rivalry, but frankly the Australian pride v the rest of the world wins out. A few of my classmates are from Melbourne, so all the ribbing is in good nature.
    allez cuisine!

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    ...been here longer than the fucking monarchy Ezra's Avatar
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    Ahhhh, I love you guys. So refreshing. <333

    Quote Originally Posted by shakealittle View Post
    It's scary to think how we can dismiss our duals like that.
    An IEI never misses me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ezra View Post
    Ahhhh, I love you guys. So refreshing. <333
    <3333 you too! Beta Love is the Best Love!
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    Margarita,

    You describe wanting certainty and stability from your dual. I cannot so easily quantify what I seek from mine. I think intellectual stimulation would have to be one of the most important factors. In particular a certain intellectual fearlessness. The theories I value run the gamut from conservative to radical, so it is not so much any particular academic persuasion I am drawn to, but rather a willingness to engage and seek different forms of knowledge. Nothing turns me off faster than someone who crumbles and just defers to me the moment I start to argue with them. I need a challenge or I will lose respect. I don't care how outlandish or crazy the idea, or how much I personally am convinced of it, just bring it.

    I don't need someone to physically take care of me and my needs. But with that goes emotional vulnerability. I'm not emotionally open - I need someone who is willing to stick it out and build that emotional trust with me. I respond to other people's emotional states. I can easily get swept up in the mood - if you can demonstrate warmth and ease, I can mirror that back. (Though how deeply that emotion runs is a different issue.) I don't like to be the one that has to set the emotional tone: I can do it, but in the context of a romantic relationship it will leave me feeling anxious and overwhelmed. I don't like taking the first step. I have this stupid concept of in the grand narrative of my life, I just cannot be the one asking a guy out.

    Malvina.
    allez cuisine!

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    Mmmmm M&M, what I wonderful thread

    You girls are lovely <3
    INFp

    If your sea chart does not match reality, go with reality (Old mariner saying)



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    Quote Originally Posted by Wittmont View Post
    Mmmmm M&M, what I wonderful thread

    You girls are lovely <3
    Much like yourself, sir.
    allez cuisine!

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    Quote Originally Posted by idolatrie View Post
    Much like yourself, sir.
    Hmm, time to dust off my white tie I think
    INFp

    If your sea chart does not match reality, go with reality (Old mariner saying)



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    Malvina,

    Sometimes I cannot help but feel surprised when people ask me to perform a certain role, when they hand me responsibiity, particularly when that responsibility involves some form of public relations act, or organisational skills. I know that might seem deeply contradictory to being EIE and I feel I should explain this further.

    I am both always self-confident and yet constantly doubtful and convinced of my own inadequacy. Life constantly seems to be speeding toward some point of collapse and I can barely hold things together - all that holds everything together is desperate will and what others might think of as bountiful reserves of energy. In fact, my confidence, my conviction - all of that is based upon these reserves of energy. It is the only thing I am often certain about - and tend to overestimate at times. That even if less skilled, even if clumsy, even if foolish, I will be capable of applying myself with more energy and thus for every step forward someone else can take, I might take two steps back and yet four steps forward in the same period of time.

    My energy is one thing which I would never give away - to part with it is unthinkable. Our friend, Kitten, remarked to me the other evening that I had thicker skin than Ashes and that was why I could handle the terrifying trial by fire that was seeing our thesis supervisor better. The truth is of course that she is both correct and wrong. I am not insensible - I am easily stung. How can I not be when I am so quick to doubt myself and my abilities, and every criticism is amplified by an internal chorus who only ever echoes the negative voices and shouts out the positive voices? But I refuse to let myself be defeated by criticism. If provoked to tears, I will cry, and then I will pull myself together again, more determined then ever to rise from those proverbial ashes and prove them wrong. I can and will pull myself up again, again, and again. And it is my dauntless energy that permits me to do so.

    I am often too unaware of my own successes and insensitive to them, and much more concerned with overcoming obstacles in my path and conquering the last perceived failure. I see life often as a litany of things that should have been done better, that I failed to do better, and thus I live always for the future because the future is where I will right all the past wrongs. Some people say that we EIEs are more concerned with image than with substance. I can see why it would look like that from the outside. It's not so much that I do not value being what I project, but that I project an image much greater than I can possibly be at the moment, so that I have something to live up to; something which I must aspire to realise. Life is a game of constantly catching up to whatever goal I have set myself; if other people believe and see that goal, then I feel more pressure (and thus impetus) to indeed achieve that which I have decided to be.

    It is not merely dissatisfaction with the present, but with the present self as well; we can always be better and more than what we are at this moment - and it is promise of the future which both tantalises and challenges me.

    Margarita
    Last edited by unefille; 09-12-2008 at 03:21 PM.
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    Margarita,

    One of the few things I am absolutely certain of is my 'self'. I do not mean I am not wracked by the same self-criticism and dissatisfaction with how things are, but rather even if I don't like it, I know who I am. While you talk of energy to pull yourself up again, I draw on self-awareness. Once a problem is identified, I can work on it and implement a solution because I have that degree of control over who I am to myself. I think you are better about projecting a chosen image not because you're any more in touch with that image, but rather because you are not. I cannot help but be who I am, no doubt flawed and inflexible - I project anything but my authentic self. I am not talking about telling lies, or faking interest in something. But rather that my reaction to anything is a true one to who I am. I would make an effort to be interested in something, say, if it was my friend who was talking about organic chemistry, and I value her and her friendship enough to try to be interested.

    I am set in my likes and dislikes. I have favourite foods, favourite cafes, preferred ways of doing things. I can change, and if dropped into an alien location or situation, I'm not particularly phased. But if left to my own devices, I'll revert to my habits. (My make up routine, my route to uni - I'm not 'experimental' with these things unless I set out specifically to be.)

    But with all this self-awareness and rigidity comes a huge capacity to self-deceive and be incredibly stubborn. Because so much of this all happens internally, being told 'you're wrong' no matter how many times, may have negligible effect if I refuse to accept that as one of 'my' own truths. I don't believe in objective truths - and it is this subjectivism which I essentialise down to my beliefs being true for me that gives rise to stubbornness. I can dismiss any argument by saying 'well, that may be the case for you, but we can just agree to disagree, I know it is different for me'. And these 'truths' of mine are learnt - they are drawn from my experiences, my studies, my culture. So while I cannot say 'this is an absolute truth', I can say 'this is an absolute truth for me'. The only way to change my mind is to somehow affect what I internally believe - and that takes time and effort, and still requires a degree of willingness on my part to scrutinise my beliefs for it to have a hope of being successful.

    Self-deception is trickier. I have who I consciously know and accept I am. There are parts I'm happy with. There are elements which I see are flawed, and want to critique and fix. Then there's facets of my personality I simply want to deny - because they clash in some way with a value I hold. And those latter parts I can very often pretend don't make up a part of who I am. Yet, lurking underneath that, is knowledge that they are true. So while on the surface I may seem to be completely certain, often deep inside there is a niggling question swimming in my core, which I don't want to acknowledge but I know I have to - eventually. It could be demonstrating a logical inconsistency in my argument, it could be admitting I have a certain emotional response to something. I can deny these things, clamp down on them and just repress. But eventually it will come out, I will have to examine it because I, who I am, will not allow me not to. I may change my tune, or it may be an entirely internal process.

    Malvina.
    allez cuisine!

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    unefille's Avatar
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    Default Thought Processes

    Malvina,

    My thoughts are all intricately linked. Each thought begets another; they all interconnect in an ever expanding web of cause and effect. I do not think of schools of thought as discrete categorical formulations, but as highly contingent entities, born of particular historical circumstances, bequeathed with the imprint of particular developments in intellectual history and as both carrying forth an idea and linking that idea back into the ancestry of thinking.

    To locate an explanation out of its context seems to be leaving stranded a fish on a river bank, and even context cannot be given alone, but must be given within history, which is less linear then it is a mass of tangled branches and twigs, moving in all directions simultanesouly. All events evolve from a point of origin and are not born so much as they are diachronically delivered through time. Thoughts and ideas do not exist in vacuums but in relation to each other; they vanquish or valorise previous thoughts, stand refreshed or challenged by new thoughts. To explain a present condition is to locate a juncture at which several strands have intertwined to produce a singular 'present logic' and then to trace that selected strand backward, in order to mine out the historicity of the present moment.

    You say you know yourself. I both do and do not. This way of thinking, in a sense, would be reason why. The self does not exist outside of the singular moment we chose to locate it in; it comes into being through the repeated examinations taken through time, in linking together multiple observations that then form a narrative of the self which can be translated into a form of knowledge. In other words, I am less concerned with the defined dimensions of the self then with how these dimensions came to be. I can see the discontiuities as well as the continuitives between past 'captured selves' and the present captured self and these connections to me are not 'artifacts of transition' but in fact live threads. Whilst each self is distinct in the moment, in that it is constituted by multiple logics, many externally derived, they are not discretely contained, but connected.

    Therefore, my sense of self is both fluid and not localised in any moment, only the production of the self is. I do not know what I will produce myself at any given time, but I can explain how that production came to be; how, in essence, the silver thread of the internal self, came to be susceptible to taking that form externally at that moment.

    Margarita
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    idolatrie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dee View Post
    i think a very good look at an LSI female can be found in Dostoyevsky's "Player", under a figure of "babushka" (who came from Russia to a party in Europe and gambled away all her money).
    Hmm...I haven't read that yet, but thanks for the heads up. But amusingly, and in a very random coincidence, I have been referring to LSIs as 'babushka dolls'. For completely unrelated reasons. Heh.
    allez cuisine!

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    What's the male LSE?

    I'll post here - it seems to be one of the only threads that is of substance on the forum?

    Heh
    Pre-2013 post are written with incomplete understanding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by UDP View Post
    What's the male LSE?
    As in the Russian handle for the type? Stirlitz.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stirlitz

    I'll post here - it seems to be one of the only threads that is of substance on the forum?

    Heh
    You know you're always welcome. Though if you're planning to write on the male LSE experience, it would perhaps be better suited to a new thread in Delta? If not, it'll just get lost in our mad epistolary cycle here and take us off course. Although, I am going to write about contrary relations, and my painful divorce from LSE soon, and I'd enjoy hearing your take from the other side on that.
    allez cuisine!

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    Quote Originally Posted by shakealittle View Post
    You girls live in Sydney?! I'm a Melbourne girl
    AUSTRALIAN BETA INVASION!!!

    RUN!!!!!!
    “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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    Default Thoughts on my Emotional Landscape

    Malvina,

    I'm trying to work on my thesis today, but it seems too many thoughts are crowding my head and I can't get a strangle hold on them, so I'll use this place as a way of airing them and gaining some peace of mind. You no doubt know what's on my mind: it seems that Scorpio is, in fact, IEI and Boy is, in fact, ESI and perhaps we should have known this all along, but we didn't. Bearing this in mind, I've been scouring the emotional landscape of the past year again. It shouldn't matter so much what their types are, but it does. It does, because those things that have been confusing, frustrating and occasionally painful, are suddenly thrown into sharp relief; we've been tossed a decoder ring and finally understand the words of the script, though this was not the meaning we hoped that would be inscribed there.

    Some context first: I've had feelings for Scorpio for the last year - almost to the day, because I remember it was early September last year when I confessed to it. The weather was growing warm, but the evenings, as it was then, were still chilly. That these feelings resulted in producing nothing concrete or binding, though I surmise they were not unrequited, was the primary source of confusion and frustration throughout the year. We seemed to be shadow puppets, dancing around each other, the air between us itself an impenetrable barrier. I have to admit that having feelings for him didn't stop me from dating other people throughout that period, in relationships that varied in intensity, but most of which made very little effect on me. Its odd that you can be with people who have so little meaning to you and yet those who you aren't with can cause your insides to knot into balls. I say, it’s an oddity, but it is in fact not strange or unusual to my contemplation at all. It seems that it should be the natural state of affairs: and fouler for relationships then.

    In order to understand my own emotional life, I have to divide emotions into two categories, which socionics gives name to. I have great capacity for emotional output and variation. It is easy to cut me to the quick. I know few people who possess both the great capacity of experiencing emotion with a similarly great capacity for distancing themselves away from emotion, though perhaps that might be because my circles are still too small and life will prove my emotional life quite common. I can be crying on the phone, brokenhearted, yet at the same time writing cover letters for resumes and composing papers for class. I feel what I feel intensely, but I keep it fenced in and largely under control. What has always troubled me is the way in which I experience emotions on two completely separate levels. Take Naked Coffee (ILE) for instance. When I was with him, all the joy and laughter that I exhibited, the fascination, the engagement; they were all real. Yet that realness of how I felt on one level did not change that on another level, I did not want to be there with him; that my feelings for him were not loving, that if he disappeared the next day, I would have scarcely been affected, except to mourn the loss of someone known to me. All the while I wanted was Scorpio. Even when with Obsessively Neat (LII), even when with Photographer (LSE).

    How to reconcile the two levels of emotion, of feeling? Perhaps just so. One is emotion: real but transitory and situational. The other is feeling: grounded in some inexplicable source, belly-deep and more constant. I was not oblivious to Feeling. It was not as though I didn't realise that it was there; it was simply not foregrounded in my mind, more like a constant whisper than anything else. I could hear it and do nothing about it, but I could suspend my awareness of it at times. That's the word. Suspension. I can hold my feelings in suspension. I can't sever them, I can't pretend they're not there. I can't use them - they're not useful to me in anyway, since they seem so alien. But I can suspend them. Ignore them when necessary. Ultimately though, since they remain as they are, the only person who I really hurt is myself.

    When I just starting university, 3 or more years ago, Swallow (who I 'discovered' was a lesbian) informed me that she recognised girls like me; we bottled too much up inside and were fenced ourselves in. That was a strange day, to be told that the tougher the outer shell I built, the more vulnerable I would in fact become. I never knew Swallow very well and she graduated the next year anyway. Her words stunned me that day. I mention this because I think she understood more about me then I understood myself at that time. First year was mostly spent locked up in my room anyway, due to reasons I don't want to get into here because that's an entirely different topic. Everything was in a jumble and very little made sense at the time and her words are the clearest things I remember of that time. I think they're very true for capturing the last 12 months as well: I wore my 'relationships' so lightly on the surface and kept the real 'relationship', in terms of emotional investment, locked away and frozen in place.

    I have to stop writing for now. I will probably write again later tonight about Scorpio though, the misunderstandings and false expectations. I finish on one note: one thing I have always been terrified of has been my ability to hold my feelings in suspension. I remember confessing to you two months ago that I wondered if I would ever be truly capable of love, since I could distance myself away from feeling with such ease. Of course one of the reasons why nothing ever could happen with Scorpio was my compulsive need to freeze my feelings for him in order to 'act objectively' toward him when situations arose and I was in a position to monitor, judge or evaluate him for whatever reason, whilst with the other three, because there was no attachment at the feeling level, the fear of clouding my objectivity never came into question and I had no reason to force myself to hold them at arms-length - they were never in danger of breaching that barrier in the first place.

    Margarita
    Last edited by unefille; 09-15-2008 at 05:57 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by idolatrie View Post
    As in the Russian handle for the type? Stirlitz.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stirlitz



    You know you're always welcome. Though if you're planning to write on the male LSE experience, it would perhaps be better suited to a new thread in Delta? If not, it'll just get lost in our mad epistolary cycle here and take us off course. Although, I am going to write about contrary relations, and my painful divorce from LSE soon, and I'd enjoy hearing your take from the other side on that.
    I had a more in depth response last night before the power left suddenly.
    "The other side on that" - I'm not sure what there is to say.
    Hmm. If you want something let me know. Sounds like you're doing fine.
    Pre-2013 post are written with incomplete understanding.

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    Malvina,

    Writing this, I know I am writing the last chapter of my feelings for Scorpio. This is not May, when I thought everything had dissolved, I was free, and then come August and I found new feeling renewing. This is, I truly believe, the last of it. Aside from loose ends (such as Clingy, Photographer, Obsessively Neat and Naked Coffee, though I've dealt with them all and often not kindly, but badly), this will all be over and I turn a new emotional page. Boy remains, but he's your question, not mine, and I leave to you to resolve that.

    What was wrong with Scorpio? How to it put it into words? I admired his intellect, the velvety intonations of his speech, his incisiveness, his sense of humour. I liked his quips, his character sketches of people we knew, his general manner. And yet, looking back, did I ever really know or understand him at all? Nothing was wrong with him, I simply expected him to be someone else - I saw not him (my mirror), but my dual. Let me explain.

    Throughout the year, all our interactions disappointed me. You know this already, but that was why all that groundswell of feeling never bore fruit. I was much too invested in him; he I could not possibly have kept at arms length emotionally if we were to see each other more often or to ignite even the most tentative of relationships. I kept hoping for the moment he would act the way I hoped he would; I lowered my expectations as the year went on, I shielded his weaknesses - inattention to detail, absent-mindedness, lack of practicality, aversion to executing menial but absolutely necessary task - all the while making excuses for him; that he really wasn't like this - that he truly was someone I could rely on, depend on and trust a hundred per cent to be there for me. Every time, ultimately, he would disappoint me. I would feel crushed with the knowledge that he was not who I thought he was - did I even know him? Was I some alien creature to his life, did he simply not care? In retrospect, all of that was unfair.

    He did try, he did care, his efforts were simply not enough. His strengths I didn't appreciate because I myself possessed them. What I sought from him, he could not truly give. Yet every time he met me halfway, I would deliriously happy, only to have that happiness ruptured again. What I wanted from him was strength, resolution, certainty, stability, commitment. He had none of these characteristics. He behaviour puzzled me so thoroughly, because I believed him to be someone he as not. Scorpio is still a charming boy and I will always have a place for him in my heart. This is my mistake really. I told you in March, when we came back to the country, that I couldn't do anything because I had to reaffirm that the feelings I felt were for him. I know I can idealise and fall in love with the ideal and not the real person. I tried very hard to not do that this time. I pointed out his flaws regularly, as though reminding myself of the person beneath the ideal. I still failed.

    I probably disappointed him as well by failing to respond to him as he probably expected me to. All his quips, oddities, the things he said to me, the things he engaged me in, all of them make much more sense now.

    Perhaps if, back this last year, I hadn't been so frustrated with his lackadaisical ways when we first were flung together, it would not have come as such a surprise to me to develop feelings for him later on and to, in light of those feelings, revisit the earlier days of our acquaintance. If we had jumped into a relationship in November, things might also have been different - a tumultuous, sweet, but ultimately failed relationship would have been born. Instead all of us traveled at the end of the year and it was that long time in suspension that sealed how this year would unfold. By then, my feelings had grown too strong and so we embarked on our little pantomime, our dance of shadows.

    So. It feels clean to have that all expressed. My last thought is that everything I have ever felt for anyone is bottled inside of me. I have a museum of past affections and loves. These bonds - they don't break, but persist. They represent how I felt at a certain time, and I will be always able to access them when thinking back to that time. I haven't so much purged this year, as cleaned it up a little, placed it in a frame and left it to the custodian to tend to.

    Margarita
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    Margarita,

    We were both utterly thrown by the realisation that Scorpio is an IEI. It is no doubt far more significant for you, since your feelings for him run deeper - though it does explain to some degree why I've always been a louder champion of him and all those limitations of his that marked him as your mirror, not dual. It makes sense now, certainly, and I do look back on some of our interactions in the new light and am slightly concerned about some possible misinterpretation - though not overly so.

    On the other hand, our retyping of Boy on the tail end of our reanalysis of Scorpio affected me deeply. I'm actually horrified at the implications of some of our interactions now. When I thought of him as a SEI, and more specifically, as a caregiver, I could in some ways just ignore what we were really doing to each other. But accepting he is ESI is one of the more painful realisations I've had to make. The last night in Xanadu is something we have talked about at length, and never really could explain in terms of socionics before now. But I do think it provides a good example of how two aggressors can egg each other on in a fairly unhealthy way.

    We started the evening as very much a insular group, all four of us presenting a unified presense, somewhat separated from the party. Scorpio was the first to be lured away, Hotel Girl (SEE) battling for his attention, which he reluctantly gave. I know I was still lavishing attention on Boy, the three of us exchanging progressively bitchier remarks about the people around us. I can admit I wanted him - but I wanted more than just one night, a fling. I was far too focused on the possibility of an actual future with him (the first time I had contemplated that with a partner) that I was rendered immobile in the present. I just couldn't take that final step to him. Perhaps the fact he did not take the initiative himself means he didn't see me in the same light.

    That sense of having so much to lose in terms of potential made me too scared to push things with him. I turned away from him, paid attention to other men who came to court us. I eventually settled on Diver, and after a few more glasses of wine, I was concentrating entirely on him. Or at least seeming to. But I saw what Boy was doing - without our attention, he was seeking out other girls. Beautiful, older, (attached) blondes. And now, with the benefit of time since that event, I can admit I was jealous. It was a violent, provocative anger. And I think it was that which provoked me to continue with Diver. I was using him, in some way, to prove to Boy I didn't need him. (Don't feel too bad for Diver here, I'm fairly certain he was using me for similar purposes, which I now realise in hindsight. Nonetheless, we have remained friends.) Diver was great for my ego, said all the right things, held my interest in conversation. I was with him consciously, but he never had my full attention. I remember, time and time again that night, looking up and straight at Boy watching us, his eyes dark and glittering and solemn.

    I wanted to hurt him, punish him, for those blondes, for all the girls he oh so easily charmed. But I knew I had no claim over him, so I did it by doing the same thing back to him. Everything I did with Diver, no matter how private it looked, I did because of Boy. I needed him there, as voyeur and provocateur, and he played his part. The girls disappeared, he limited himself to drinking with other guys, but by then it was too late, I was past the point where I could disentangle myself from Diver. But the thing is, Boy could have taken me from him at any point. It was still so very much about him. Yet it never eventuated, because in his mind, I believe he thought he lost once Diver and I began touching, began kissing.

    That's what led me to start thinking about the difference between Beta and Gamma agressors. I have seen Salome (SEE) in action enough times - hell, I've been caught up in her action before (suddenly there's four of us cuddling on a bed!?). She's all about the physical expression of desire. She wants men to lust after her, to ache to touch her, and then to do so wherein she can melt into their embrace. She 'conquers' men by seduction, marking them as taken by her. Her desire is a straightforward, honest thing.

    On the other hand, the expression of physical desire means little to me. The game I was playing that night in Xanadu was far more with Boy than it ever was with Diver. Except I fear we were playing by very different rules.

    Other things happened that night, other ways in which we confused each other. But ultimately, we both ended up dissatisfied, thwarted and frustrated. I felt let down by him, no matter how ludicrous I knew it was to think that. I'm sure some of his anger that night was directed at me, for whatever reason (being more 'successful' at picking someone up, for discarding that person - he called me a tease, for preventing him from having a chance with you). It may be true to type (both mind and his), but I don't like what I did that night. I don't like the game I was playing - mostly, though, because it didn't work on him. It has taken me a year to realise what I was doing though. And it is hardly the only time I've done that. But it was perhaps the time it counted the most.

    Much later, I lost my sense of having a 'future' with Boy. When that happened, I also shed my inability to engage with him in the present. Our friendship has survived all of our past. But there's no possibility, on my part, of pursuing a relationship with him now. And it is because of that that we can be friends.

    I am no more likely to forget him than you are to forget Scorpio. But perhaps what he has most given me is a greater undrstanding of myself.

    Malvina.
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