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Thread: Do INTjs dislike unsolicited help?

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    Default Do INTjs dislike unsolicited help?

    Throughout my life I've hated it when people try to give me unsolicited help or advice. I'm an independent type and I prefer to solve my own problems and rely on my own reasoning and ingenuity whenever possible. It's not that I'm afraid to ask for help, I will when I've done what I could do on my own and truly am stuck. But when someone starts to give me unsolicited help or advice, I feel that I'm being intruded upon or even that my own competence is being questioned or that I'm being prevented from exercising my logic and ingenuity, which is a main source of self-esteem for me. Do other INTjs feel this way? Any other types prone to this mindset?

    I find this happening at work on occasion. I'm a librarian and oftentimes there are two of us working at the reference desk. A patron will come up and ask me a question, and the other librarian will start taking over for me, even when I didn't ask her to. I'm a newer employee and I may not be as experienced as some of my colleagues but I would appreciate it if they would show more confidence in me and let me handle it myself. Maybe it takes me more time than my colleagues to look up the answer to a patron's question due to less experience, but I'd like to be given more opportunity to tackle it, and yes, struggle somewhat through it. It's really satisfying for me, when I've successfully helped a patron with a difficult question, without having to seek assistance.

    The only time I would want a colleague to intervene would be if I was telling a patron incorrect or incomplete information or if the patron was rushed and needed the information RIGHT NOW. This happened just after I started my job on various policy related things because I didn't know everything I needed to know yet. But my colleagues were yelling NO! That's wrong! when they could have said it in a more tactful manner.

    Any ideas on how I could approach my colleagues about this without offending them?
    LII-Ne with strong EII tendencies, 6w7-9w1-3w4 so/sp/sx, INxP



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    This thing would be common for Logical types in general, I think.
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    that sounds extremely annoying. Hopefully they'll let you do your thing more once you're there for a while. I know someone who used to be a librarian, also an INTj, and I think it would have been hard for him to have people doing that. So yeah, I think INTjs especially would hate that, though it would probably be annoying for a lot too.

    A big compliment I think to INTjs is to ask their expertise in something, so I'd guess the opposite would be true.
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    Quote Originally Posted by warrior-librarian View Post
    Any other types prone to this mindset?
    There seems to me to be a M/F dichotomy: Many men hate unsolicited help - having the same attitude about it as you describe, while many women love it - it makes them feel appreciated.

    Otherwise, I'd think T types would hate it the most, Fs the least.

    An ENFp guy I know is playing a "I'm a helpless baby" game. It's gotten him free vacations in distant parts of the world, among other things. For a few years he even managed to obtain what amounted to a free limo with private chauffeur that way.

    Quote Originally Posted by warrior-librarian View Post
    oftentimes there are two of us working at the reference desk. ... Any ideas on how I could approach my colleagues about this without offending them?
    In my experience, open confrontation is the only way. Such "helpers" are usually too dense to learn from anything less. With some mere words are not sufficient, though. Keywords then are sticks and higher ground.
    Last edited by ragnar; 06-11-2009 at 06:12 AM. Reason: markup error,spelling
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragnar View Post
    There seems to me to be a M/F dichotomy: Many men hate unsolicited help - having the same attitude about it as you describe, while many women love it - it makes them feel appreciated.
    I'm a female and not a typical one by any means.
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    In general, if I need help, and someone offers it, it is appreciated. If someone helps me in an area in which I feel I'm competent, I would just find it very strange that they're trying to help me - it wouldn't really bother me. It only really bothers me when someone tries to correct me, not simply because they think that I need help, but because they think that their approach is better than mine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by warrior-librarian View Post
    I find this happening at work on occasion. I'm a librarian and oftentimes there are two of us working at the reference desk. A patron will come up and ask me a question, and the other librarian will start taking over for me, even when I didn't ask her to. I'm a newer employee and I may not be as experienced as some of my colleagues but I would appreciate it if they would show more confidence in me and let me handle it myself. Maybe it takes me more time than my colleagues to look up the answer to a patron's question due to less experience, but I'd like to be given more opportunity to tackle it, and yes, struggle somewhat through it. It's really satisfying for me, when I've successfully helped a patron with a difficult question, without having to seek assistance.
    Maybe the way you start talking to the patrons gives your colleagues the impression, that you actually want them to intervine. That is, you sound too shy, nonassertive etc.

    I don't like people telling what to do, unless they are my boss, then my task is to do what they tell me to do, that's what I'm getting paid for. But I wouldn't mind that example, I rather let other people talk.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warlord View Post
    Maybe the way start talking to the patrons gives your colleagues the impression, that you actually want them to intervine. That is, you sound too shy, nonassertive etc.

    I don't like people telling what to do, unless they are my boss, then my task is to do what they tell me to do, that's what I'm getting paid for. But I wouldn't mind that example, I rather let other people talk.
    I think there's some truth to this. I can come across as rather hesistant and nonassertive, especially in new situations. Damn, you I like to assess the situation in my head first, rather than blurt out the first thing that comes to mind.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jason_m View Post
    In general, if I need help, and someone offers it, it is appreciated. If someone helps me in an area in which I feel I'm competent, I would just find it very strange that they're trying to help me - it wouldn't really bother me. It only really bothers me when someone tries to correct me, not simply because they think that I need help, but because they think that their approach is better than mine.

    Jason
    I identify with this. I think I find the intention to be the most important aspect. If someone is genuinely trying to help me, no matter how patronizing they may be, I would not really be bothered. However, if someone is trying to show me up or to assert their dominance, then a mixture of amusement/confusion rather than anger. Competition of this form is something that I still have difficulty understanding.
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    Quote Originally Posted by warrior-librarian View Post
    I find this happening at work on occasion. I'm a librarian and oftentimes there are two of us working at the reference desk. A patron will come up and ask me a question, and the other librarian will start taking over for me, even when I didn't ask her to. I'm a newer employee and I may not be as experienced as some of my colleagues but I would appreciate it if they would show more confidence in me and let me handle it myself. Maybe it takes me more time than my colleagues to look up the answer to a patron's question due to less experience, but I'd like to be given more opportunity to tackle it, and yes, struggle somewhat through it. It's really satisfying for me, when I've successfully helped a patron with a difficult question, without having to seek assistance.
    I'm the same way. I value people's help when I want it, but I'm a very independent woman and prefer to attempt things on my own. There are certain things in which unsolicited help is not an issues for me, but problem solving is something I enjoy.

    Perhaps it's not so much the unsolicited help itself that bothers you as much as the nature of what you're being helped with. This is your work, it's something that you feel confident in accomplishing yourself, even if it takes a little work, and you see the necessity for honing your own skills. In giving you help, they aren't actually helping you or rescuing you from a tricky situation so much as forcing you out. I think that would be true for any type, really. If they were in a new place trying to spread their wings in something they felt confident in doing and someone was crowding them out.
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    If I look like I need help, just help me don't ask me.

    The problem with verbalizing questions like:

    "Do you need help with that?"

    Veiled content can be interpreted depending on tone of voice and other factors.

    It could be something like, "Are you weak?" This hits directly at the Se-Polr of a LII.

    Saying something like. "Let me help you with that." It's more a show of closeness and the implicit statement can be "I want to help you."

    Not everyone will respond similarly or at all to the implicit content, this is a small example of how information preference can skew innocent interactions.

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    How about "Would you like some help?"

    To be honest the implicit message of just helping me is the exact same as "Do you need help?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by mn0good View Post
    How about "Would you like some help?"

    To be honest the implicit message of just helping me is the exact same as "Do you need help?"
    The example I've put out is just one way something like this can be interpreted, there are going to be situations where people will want help.

    Say I'm moving a table, or a big object that I really shouldn't be doing by myself and someone helps me unspoken or only speaks to warn me of their intercession into this activity. Even if the help is not technically neccessary, their actions show closeness, a desire to help, without causing any blow to confidence.

    Say if someone says, "Yo, you think you should be doing that by yourself... let me move that for ya." This is more a direct assertion of superiority within the same sort of circumstance, and the communication is totally different while the task remain the same.

    Also your dual will likely smack you upside the head for it and it'll probably not happen again, but another type might feel undeservedly punished for "trying to help". Not all dual communication is going to be smooth, but when there are communication problems, they can often resolve themselves to both parties interests and even build a sense of closeness in the resolution.

    Total agreement is actually not a great sign of duality imo, it's more a sign of semi-duality or illusion.

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    you know, with men I usually avoid the word "help" at all, since they prefer to do it themselves. They'll usually ask if they need help. But if I want to offer, I'll focus on doing the part that doesn't involve "strength." So I'd like, hold a door open as they carry something through, or "steer" as we carry something but they're under the impression they have most of the weight, etc.

    Warrior-librarian, As far as the work situation, if you're the new employee there may also be some resentment/competition from your co-workers. If they see you as capable, it could even scare them about their own job security. I've had that happen many times in new jobs and was completely confused why anyone would act like that. Or, they may simply think they know it all and want to jump in and help. If it's the latter, I think saying something like "thanks so much for your advice on this, but as a new employee I have a lot to learn and want a chance to get my feet wet. I'll come to you if I have questions, thanks." But if it's the former, there isn't much you can do (and saying that may make it worse), and you'd pretty much need to learn it on your own, helping people whenever they aren't jumping in. Maybe even asking patrons if they need help while re-shelving, instead of only waiting at the desk.
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    Every help in increasing my resources, doing paperwork, wiping my arse, etc. is welcomed. But please, please, telling me what to do is not help, because I know what I'm doing and am doing it on purpose. What, you think I am doing it wrong? No. You think it can be done in a better way? OK, tell me how can this be done in a better way and then GTFO and let me ponder about it. I prefer to do my thinking on my own ('cause I'm introverted thinker baby) if possible when walking through fields(and objects too).

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    I don't mind help in my super-id functions. If I'm at a party and feeling awkward and left out, I greatly appreciate if someone helps me to fit in (Fe). Or if my house is messy and someone just starts cleaning it up, or if they point out a smudge on my face or some other Si thing, I don't mind that.

    Unsolicited help or advice in super-ego functions is somewhat less pleasant. Unsolicited help in my id functions I think I would find kind of silly. And unsolicited help in my ego functions is just insulting.

    I think it also depends on who is doing the offering. If an attractive ESE woman is trying to help me when I didn't ask her for help, I really don't mind at all, no matter what type of help or advice it is. On the other hand, unsolicited help, even of the super-id kind, would be significantly less welcome from an abrasive SEE man...

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    I'm not INTj but I just realized that I'm the world's worst helper. I don't help unless the person involved is one of my three children and they're asking for my help. Or if my husband is screaming at the remote control, I help. Otherwise, I don't help. I kind of assume people can take care of themselves.
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    Well at least it sounds like you wouldn't annoy any INTjs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krig the Viking View Post
    Well at least it sounds like you wouldn't annoy any INTjs.
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    Quote Originally Posted by redbaron View Post
    I'm not INTj but I just realized that I'm the world's worst helper. I don't help unless the person involved is one of my three children and they're asking for my help. Or if my husband is screaming at the remote control, I help. Otherwise, I don't help. I kind of assume people can take care of themselves.
    Yeah, I'm the same. When my mom comes to visit me, she'll always be asking what she can help out with and I'm telling her, if I wanted help I would ask you. Since I'm not asking for help, I don't need it.

    I also tend to leave people to their own devices, assuming that if they wanted help, they'll ask me. In customer service, I get annoyed when an overly peppy person walks up to me and says "Can I help you?" I'm like, just leave me alone.

    However, I've learned that other people have very different personalities than I do and they will feel offended if they are *not* asked this. Also, some customers are quite shy and really do want help but are afraid to speak up.
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    I happen to be really good at asking for help, and people always seem willing to help me. Maybe it's something about the vibe I give, or the way I ask for help. But yes, I just want at least a chance to figure things out on my own.
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    Quote Originally Posted by warrior-librarian View Post
    The only time I would want a colleague to intervene would be if I was telling a patron incorrect or incomplete information or if the patron was rushed and needed the information RIGHT NOW.

    Boy! That's when I really wouldn't want help.

    I'm of a mind that he should never let his co-worker lose face in front of a customer. He should wait until later and try to introduce the learning is a non-confrontational way.

    If your co-worker is correcting you often, it's because he's insecure and wants to demonstrate his competence to you and everyone else. Our Warrior Librarian is intimidating in her command of the job. If you want to get him to back off, give him some praise from time to time. Let him know that you respect his knowledge. This will cause him to appriciate you (since you obviously recognize his talant), and he will not feel the need to show you up. It's counter-intuitive to give praise to a know-it-all, but that's what they desparately want.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrano View Post
    Boy! That's when I really wouldn't want help.

    I'm of a mind that he should never let his co-worker lose face in front of a customer. He should wait until later and try to introduce the learning is a non-confrontational way.
    I agree with this. From our training we learned that if we see a colleague giving incorrect or incomplete information, it is our duty to intervene but we must always do it in a tactful manner so as not to embarrass the colleague.

    The lecture about what should have been done can come later, after the customer has been helped.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carla View Post
    Lmao, I can relate to that. People are always telling me that I could sell myself more. Ephemeros, you can boost my CV anytime.
    +1

    I think CVs (resumes in the states) are a pain for everyone, but LIIs have a very special hatred for them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by warrior-librarian View Post
    I agree with this. From our training we learned that if we see a colleague giving incorrect or incomplete information, it is our duty to intervene but we must always do it in a tactful manner so as not to embarrass the colleague.

    The lecture about what should have been done can come later, after the customer has been helped.
    What a strange policy. Why not just lead the person to a section of books, and then inform the collegue when they return to the info desk, who can return with "additional" info. it does sort of discredit a librarian's authority to be corrected like that (with everyone adding their two cents), which could affect the image of the library.

    In a war zone or the military or something, I think that policy would be fine. But a library?
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