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Thread: How do you know you're good at something?

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    Poster Nutbag The Exception's Avatar
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    Default How do you know you're good at something?

    To answer my own questions:

    Do you go primarily by external validation? Do you feel you are good at something if you get complimented a lot?

    Yes, external validation does play an important role. There have been times where I've thought I was doing fine, only to receive feedback suggesting the contrary. The things I get complimented on the most are likely to be the things I'm better at. Of course its important to evaluate the source of the feedback for reliability. I also think its useful to get feedback from multiple people rather than just one person.


    Do you go by objective, measureable criteria? For example, do you conclude you're good at math because you get straight A's? Or you're good at baseball because you have a high batting average?

    Yes, to the point where I'm kinda neurotic about it. In general, people may not always be truthful, but numbers rarely lie. In school, I was competitive in terms of GPA and class rank. I know IQ scores aren't everything but when I score high on an IQ test, it's a big ego booster for me. People can tell me I'm smart and I'm not always sure whether or not they really know what they are talking about.

    Do you go primarily by internal standards? That is, you have criteria in your mind and if you satisfy those criteria, you consider yourself good? For example, you might consider yourself good at playing a certain musical instrument if you can master the songs you set out to master.

    Yes, internal standards are important too. I think in order to truly feel like I'm good at something, I have to feel good about the result. Some skills are hard to numerically quantify and since some external sources can be dubious, this is where internal standards come in.

    I think in order for me to truly feel like I'm good at something, I need to feel like all three of the above are satisfied.


    Do do you think its futile to measure how good you are at something because so many different definitions exist, so why bother?

    I've thought alot about this lately and wonder if it is even possible to define what good at something is. That's why I'm posting this thread. Yes, people are going to evaluate it differently. Yes, there's going to be disagreement. But even if there are differing ideas, I want to satisfy my own definition of being good at something, which takes into consideration a combination of external and internal criteria.


    Or are you simply focused on doing what you like and rarely think about or notice how good or bad at it you are?

    I wish I were more like that and didn't care about being good at it so much.

    Do think different types use different criteria for determining whether they believe they are good or bad at something?

    Yes. I think objective, measurable criteria is more logical. Ethical types probably use more subjective criteria like whether themselves or others are personally satisfied with it.

    I'm guessing extraverted types seek more external validation? I could be wrong here.


    Do you think some types are more inclined to care more about being good at stuff then other types?

    I think all types want to feel like they are good at the things that matter to them. I think people value being good at doing things that pertain to their ego functions and would like to be good at their ID functions, even though in reality they are weak in those areas.



    I'm interested to see how others will respond to these questions.
    Last edited by The Exception; 10-21-2010 at 04:37 AM.
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    Marie84's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by warrior-librarian View Post
    To answer my own questions:

    Do you go primarily by external validation? Do you feel you are good at something if you get complimented a lot?
    It depends, I usually still doubt the motive for the compliment, but it also varies by *who* the compliment is from; is it from a person I know and trust at being honest with me, or a stranger who may just be trying to be polite

    Yes, external validation does play an important role. There have been times where I've thought I was doing fine, only to receive feedback suggesting the contrary. The things I get complimented on the most are likely to be the things I'm better at. Of course its important to evaluate the source of the feedback for reliability. I also think its useful to get feedback from multiple people rather than just one person.
    Yeah, I'd say generally this is a factor too. Than again, if it's from one person whom I think is a expert at whatever it is I did that's being evaluated, their singular opinion can mean more to me

    Do you go by objective, measureable criteria? For example, do you conclude you're good at math because you get straight A's? Or you're good at baseball because you have a high batting average?
    I generally have a difficult time concluding if I'm good at tangible matters, but it dose help elevate my confidence at them if I'm constantly achieving at it

    Do you go primarily by internal standards? That is, you have criteria in your mind and if you satisfy those criteria, you consider yourself good? For example, you might consider yourself good at playing a certain musical instrument if you can master the songs you set out to master.
    Even than I'd still prefer outside evaluation, since it's possible that I may only *think* I'm good at 'such-and-such', but I'd be more comfortable having my abilities appraised by someone whose more knowledgeable/experienced at such-and-such than me

    Do do you think its futile to measure how good you are at something because so many different definitions exist, so why bother?

    I've thought alot about this lately and wonder if it is even possible to define what good at something is. That's why I'm posting this thread. Yes, people are going to evaluate it differently. Yes, there's going to be disagreement. But even if there are differing ideas, I want to satisfy my own definition of being good at something, which takes into consideration a combination of external and internal criteria.
    You bring up an excellent point here, in that external evaluation can vary due to all sorts of factors.
    I think that I prioritize where the information is coming from rather than the information itself, so there's a bias there on my part in that I need to feel that the source of the evaluation is actually credible before I can really objectively take in their input. In other words, I need to have confidence in the individual before I can take their appraisal of my abilities seriously

    I think all types want to feel like they are good at the things that matter to them. I think people value being good at doing things that pertain to their ego functions and would like to be good at their ID functions, even though in reality they are weak in those areas.
    I feel the same way
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    Whatever Rick and Expat say I'm good at.

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    Poster Nutbag The Exception's Avatar
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    I meant to put this in the Is This Type Related subforum. Could one of the mods move it please? Thanks.
    LII-Ne with strong EII tendencies, 6w7-9w1-3w4 so/sp/sx, INxP



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    Slippery when wet Simon Ssmall's Avatar
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    Do you go primarily by external validation? Do you feel you are good at something if you get complimented a lot?
    Yep, I go primarily by external validation, but I always feel that people dont really know the real story. Internally I rarely feel I am good at anything, more or less I feel like I always dont know something important. That I lack knowledge that is essential and thus I rely on other abilities to cover up for that. I felt like this my whole life more or less. However lately I came to realize I AM good at certain things on an objective level and that is where there is no self-doubt, something not that common to me.

    Do you go by objective, measureable criteria? For example, do you conclude you're good at math because you get straight A's? Or you're good at baseball because you have a high batting average?
    Hmm. Well If I would go by objective factors then I am good at quite a few things but I dont feel I am good at them whatsoever, so I guess I dont go by objective criteria. Same thing when people compliment me on things, I feel as if they dont know the existing void in my brain and assume that I know things that I dont.

    Do you go primarily by internal standards? That is, you have criteria in your mind and if you satisfy those criteria, you consider yourself good? For example, you might consider yourself good at playing a certain musical instrument if you can master the songs you set out to master.
    Internal standarts is something that tells me that I am good at something for real, however they must first be backed up by external validations for me to even consider things. On the other hand I dislike people who are successfull in their brain it has to be backed up by SOMETHING in the real world. I will agree that a small business owner can conider himself good at business if he achieves all that he wants in that area, even if his business is small and insignificant (as in backed up by his own internal standards). But I will not agree on someone who thinks he is better because he is "smarter" although without real basis for it and no influence of his "smart" on the external world, if your smarter, go do something with it.

    Do do you think its futile to measure how good you are at something because so many different definitions exist, so why bother?
    Depends on the reasons why you want to measure. If you want to measure to figure out if your doing good in life and on the right track then yes, it is quite beneficial if you are unsure if objectively you are on the right track and such things are important for you. If you want to compete in a dick measuring contest or just want to be better than others as a life motto then I think its useless and futile for the reason someone will more or less will always be better than you. Its better to be good enough to fulfill your life goals, which preferably wouldnt be "be best at something" but more grounded and simple, like have a certain standart of living or something similar.

    Or are you simply focused on doing what you like and rarely think about or notice how good or bad at it you are?
    No, no, I always check how good I am and do it quite constantly. Whether it is a good thing is another story, I personally think it is not and clouds my happyness, although not by much either.

    Do think different types use different criteria for determining whether they believe they are good or bad at something?
    Oh yeh, that is for sure true. Im pretty sure it comes from different outlook of quadras on life and different life goal themes. Not to say sometimes they will coincide but in general they are more or less different. For example Betas tend to be more extreme and polarizing in everything they do, so their standarts for what they want to achieve might be higher in terms of how MUCH they want to achieve. On the other hand an ESTj will have high standarts on how he works to achieve certain things but wont put that much focus on the achievement itself.

    Do you think some types are more inclined to care more about being good at stuff then other types?
    Some types talk more about how good they want to be but I dont think that shows anything. In general everyone wants to be good at something, just some people downplay that want due to not feeling confident or secure. Realising oneself is highly rewarding and makes people happy and in general you enjoy things more on which you are good at. Although sometimes we are good at something but want to do something totaly different, something we are not sure if we are good or not at. In that case everyone secretly wants to do that other thing but rarely any of us actually do it.
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    Warrior Librarian and 16types:

    in short, you are good when you try to improve and you are bad when you believe you are good and begin to stagnate

    Untalented, smug people believe they are the shit whereas talented people are always evaluating themselves

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    Do you go primarily by external validation? Do you feel you are good at something if you get complimented a lot?

    Partially. If sometone tells me I'm very good at something I thought I was somewhat good at, I may compare myself to the rest of the world, decide they're not good enough at it, and that therefore I need to do it more often to make up for that.


    Do you go by objective, measureable criteria? For example, do you conclude you're good at math because you get straight A's? Or you're good at baseball because you have a high batting average?

    I tend to judge other people by that if I haven't seen them engaged in the activity. For myself, numbers can't describe how even my stitches are or how well I pronounce my vowels.


    Do you go primarily by internal standards? That is, you have criteria in your mind and if you satisfy those criteria, you consider yourself good? For example, you might consider yourself good at playing a certain musical instrument if you can master the songs you set out to master.

    Yes, this is my primary way of judging myself. If I can look at my final product and know that it is good and know that is is better than you could do, I know I am skilled.


    Do do you think its futile to measure how good you are at something because so many different definitions exist, so why bother?

    No. If it's something I don't care about, I don't really care how I'm measured and someone else can measure me if they care. If it's something I care about, my definition is better than everyone else's, so I use it.


    Or are you simply focused on doing what you like and rarely think about or notice how good or bad at it you are?

    If I'm not good at something, I'll only do it if it's as pointless as a computer game. If it's not purely for relaxation, I'm not going to do something I know I'm not good at because it would be so much more efficient for me to do something I'm good at and let someone who's good at the other thing do it for me. Even for relaxation, I won't be relaxed by doing anything I'm lousy at.

    I focus a lot on how good I am at something. If I don't like something, but fund I'm the best one at it in the area, I'll learn to like it because I get enjoyment from being productive at something that only I can do right.

    Do you think different types use different criteria for determining whether they believe they are good or bad at something?

    Yes. Extroverted feelers want people to tell them they're good. Introverted thinkers couldn't care less what you think. (Except maybe LIIs.) A sensor will have an easier time telling whether their finished broduct is adequate, mening they shouldn't require opinions from others, though hey may ask for opinions just because they like talking about something they made.


    Do you think some types are more inclined to care more about being good at stuff then other types?

    Yes. Or at least care about being good at different stuff. (Such as the difference between building a treehouse and making a shy person talk.)

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    I pretty much know what I'm good at, and what I'm not good at; I don't really need external validation. I'm my biggest fan and my worst critic.
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