This Be the Verse
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.
Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.
-- Philip LARKIN
Regardless of type, we are all human, and humans are fragile creatures. In some sense, not one of us has escaped the ravages of a war that takes place on no other battlefield but our homes, our churches, our schools, our offices, even our bedrooms. We have, all of us, experienced those miniscule traumas that accumulate to shape our identity and serve to put a kink in the machinery of our psyche. In view of all that has been said, for and against certain types, on this forum, I think it would be helpful to consider that which constitutes the inherent qualities of a “type” and that which is an unhealthy pathology born out of maladjustment.
“Careful the things you say… children will listen…”
-- Stephen SONDHEIM
One’s parents (or lack thereof) seem to be the cause of some influential traumas. What can go wrong when there are no parents on whom to shape one’s ideas of how to act? What happens when one or both of the parents are negligent or even abusive? If they flat out do not understand their child? If they project their own insecurities onto their child? If they live vicariously through their child? Certain type combinations between parent and child can make some circumstances more likely than others, and consequently, some type will be more likely to come across the same issues with their parents no matter what type they happen to be.
" No man is an island, entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."
-- John DONNE
And what about our society, our peers, our lovers? What crimes against our nature have been committed there? There is no doubt that some types just “fit in” better than others in some societies, and those that don’t will have to do a bit of fancy footwork to accommodate this discrepancy.
A bad romantic experience with our dual can set us up for quite a bit of stress and maladjustment. Duality is not only a study in compensation. It has a purifying quality to it. Those of you who have had a relationship with a healthy representation of your dual will know what I mean. There is something liberating in the dynamics involve that make one throw away all sense of inhibition. One’s conscious means of functioning are thrown out the window and the subconscious compulsions are allowed to come into play.
One tragedy of our education system here in the United States is that it is biased toward an XSXj student body. Those types unable to reconcile this discrepancy (i.e. NT’s; NF’s seem better equipped to adapt if given a shove or three, and XSXp’s seem not to give a damn anyway) are put at quite a disadvantage. Inability to succeed academically can have a profound impact on one’s conceptions of self-esteem, potential, and interests.
This bias extends past academia into all aspects of our society. By virtue of a democratic meritocracy, Baby Boomers have instilled in their children the following mantra: Stay in School – Get Good Grades – Go to a Good University – Study Hard – Get a Good Job – Make More Money Than Your Parents – Be Happy. Can someone say XSXj, again?
At the heart of the issue are the last two points about money and happiness. We have come to equate money (and LOTS of it) with happiness. It is a given that money makes the world go around these days… but parents seem to want to make sure that come time for wedding vows, their children never have to experience the negative side of things: worse as opposed to better, poorer as opposed to richer, sickness as opposed to health. What stigma there is applied to the starving artist! What disdain is there applied to the writer! What revulsion is there aimed at "regular folk" - the farmer, the store clerk, the grocery bagger, the trucker, the mailman! And God help the INFp poet.
Yet… not everyone is equipped to work their way through medical school, or law school, or engineering school. Many of these institutions have become mere diploma mills, where students enter, are subjected to mass testing, are graded – not by teachers on an individual level – but by machine (God bless the ScanTron corporation), and awarded their degrees year after year. God help the poor ISFp engineer who is forced by his parents to study neuro-surgery and has a breakdown come medical school.
I hope we can use this thread to differentiate between that which we regard as result of “type”, that which is a result of healthy development of our own unique personalities, and that which is a result of the various ways in which life has “screwed us all,” in the words of Kurt Cobain. What have you noticed about others, that causes unhealthy tendencies? What have you noticed about yourself?