Blog of Sara Jakša

Are You Extroverted Toward Yourself or Others

Do you know what is, at least for me, the most common answer when I ask people about the extroversion and introversion? That they are sometimes extroverted and sometimes introverted. And then I have to explain that it is quite likely that they are right, but that does not mean that the conversation about extroversion and introversion is misplaced.

I mean, when we talk about the Big Five, then the distribution is kind of similar to the normal distribution, so most people are somewhere in the middle. Not many people are pure extroverts or pure introverts.

The things are a little different in the MBTI, where the division between the extroverts and introverts is more pronounced. If it is measured by the letters, then it has the similar distribution the the Big Five. But if it is measured by functions a person uses, which is my preferred method, then people are either clear introverts or clear extroverts, because their strongest function is either introverted or extroverted.

But if it is combined with the Bebee's theory about the connection between the position of the function and archetype, then it can be shown that the function that represents our ego or ourselves, and the function that represents our primary relation with the world are the opposite. So people that are introverts, would have a extroverted primary mean of dealing with a person and vice-versa. This is what the first two functions represent.

So for example as ISFP would be introverted toward themselves and extroverted toward others. While ESTJ would be extroverted toward themselves and introverted toward others.

Even so, being extroverted toward other people still means that a lot of times these people on average appear more introverted. It is just that they are perfectly capable of using their extroverted function to deal with the world. It just usually gets channeled through the first function, that is why they (actually we) still appear more introverted.

But I can explain this on a couple of examples. The first one would be me, who is an INTP. So I would introverted toward myself and extroverted toward others. My natural way of dealing with things is through introverted thinking, so that means that I do analyze and try to find the connections between different concepts, let this be the concrete concepts in the real world or ideas in my head. But with other people, I am just as likely to use extroverted intuition and see the possibilities, and sometimes it is like it is harder to use introverted thinking when other people are present. Actually, when I know people very well, I can always find new ideas for what to do. On the other hand, if I don't know them much, then I go into sort of Ti-Fe loop, where I analyze everything and try to harmonize with the group. I prefer the first to second.

Or another example, and ISFP that I know. This person uses the introverted feeling as their primary function, and I can see how he constantly thinks about what is wrong with the world and how to fix it. But when we are together, he is much more likely to invite me to more sensory things, like he would make sure that I am well fed and satisfied and he would get me to listen to music and so on, which is more the domain of the extroverted sensation. Not sure what is happening in his head though.

Or maybe let us take the hypothetical case of an ENFJ. To this person it would be natural to have a good grasp on the outside social system, but when dealing with other people, they would be much more likely to attempt to do it by introverted intuition. I really want to have a phenomenological interview about a social situation with a person like that once, because I can not imagine how would something like that even be done inside the head.

So in this way, maybe they are right that we can all be sometimes introverted and sometimes extroverted. But I still think it is a valid information to know, which one is each person. Because there are differences based on this.

What to Work on for Personal Development: Anima (4th function)

One idea that is really strong in the MBTI community is, that the forth function is the one that people need to develop. It is supposed to be the function that represents the ultimate goal and it is also one of the weaker, if not the weakest function. Well, I always had problem with the weakest denominator, but I will admit that it is weak.

Here is a table for each type and what it their forth or anima function:

type anima type anima

And even when asking people around, or simply observing them, it can be seen that this is the function that is weak for them. For me, an INTP, Fe is the weakest function. I know, because even now I still use Ti to try and navigate the social interaction, in order to try and achieve the Fe like state. Let me tell you, it is not working well, and it exhaust me. On the other hand, the Fe in me can force to start nothing things that I am not sure that I want to notice. The reason for this is, that it than makes me stop from doing the things that I want, because I can see the effect it will have on other people. It is annoying, and just from this description you can see that I don't have a healthy relationship with this function.

I also tried to ask people to see if this also holds true from them. An INFJ I know told me, that they are having problem with observing the current environment, so with Se, and that they are trying to improve it. An ENFP told me, that she is having a bit of problem listening to her body and she is kind of obsessed with her health. And she can continue doing what she has been trying for a while, which is more of a sign of Si then her usual Ne. An ESTP that I know once told me, that they have a problem with very abstract and unpractical ideas, which is a domain of mostly Ni.

I could probably find additional example, but I think this shows that this have at least a potential of being right. But then the next question is, how to work on developing these additional function.

One think that I have found useful, is to simply be put in the situations, where it is impossible to use the function, which you are already good at. But these environments are hard to find, because that means that you would need to find more and more unsolvable situations to be in. But to me, this had helped more than doing the function-specific activities, because these do not really exist. I will show you what I mean.

There are activities that are connected with different functions. Sport and eating for with Se, solving puzzles with Ti, mathematics with Ni and Ti, organizing the space with Te, brainstorming with Ne and writing poetry with Fi, envisioning the future with Ni, reminiscing about the past with Si and meeting people with Fe. These are just the ones that I can come up with the top of my head. The problem is, that each activity can be done in a function specific way.

Let us take the example of being concentrated on eating food. The Se types will enjoy in the moment and experience the taste of food. The Si types will connect this food with their memories. The Ne types would get a couple of ideas while eating food, which would start with food, but it might not end with one. Ti types might try to figure out what the food is made of. And so on. Each activity can be done in a function specific way.

That is why I suggest to inhibit the functions that you normally use. So, I as an Ti type, that means that I either need to be in the situation, where the linear nature of the Ti type is not quick enough to be able to solve the problem, because there is too much input and new puzzles to solve. The case of that was me living in a foreign country for the first time, where there was just too many things to figure out, so I naturally started to use Ne a lot more. When I was a teacher in Hungary, most of the people around me at this school had Fe as a strong function, so my Ti solutions did not work. So I ended up using weird mixture of Ti and Fe. Last year in Austria, I had the problem that I did not know how to solve even after days of thinking about it, when suddenly I saw the solution using Ni.

Sure, in everyday life this situations are a bit hard to develop. So, the other way to do it would be to simply try and use a different function to solve a problem. But since the first function is such an integral part of the identity, I so far had no success with it. But maybe you guys will.

Difference between Ni and Ne Functions

There is quite a bit difference between the Ni and Ne function. There are also some similarities. They are both the perceiving function, and they are both intuitions, but they have different attitudes. And this makes them quite different from each other. As somebody who uses Ne as their second function, and was trying to figure out what Ni is like, I think I might have an idea or two about the differences.

The difference between Ni and Ne could be best described as the difference between the divergent and convergent thinking. And most if not all of the differences, that are between the divergent and convergent thinking can also be applied to Ne and Ni.

Ne is like a divergent thinking. Ne feels like looking for the next shining thing. I mean, it sounds ridiculus, but it is true. When Ne is in the full force, then it jumps from one idea to the next, always finding new ideas. For example, when I was a member of a Toastmasters club, I would get the idea, and would start thinking about it, and I would quickly get an idea, how to improve it, or get another idea and then an idea about how to combine it and in the end, I might still be getting these small ideas, but I would have no clue where it would lead me.

I like to imagine it like a small child, that is impressed by everything and wants to know more, but constantly jumps from one idea to the next and so on. Or maybe like a rabbit, jumping around the grass, or like a bee, going from the flower to flower.

That is also why, compared to the Ni thinkers, my ideas just seems so... shallow and unfocused.

Ni is a lot different. I remember one instance very well, where I used Ni. I got an idea, and this idea solved everything. There was that feeling of confidence and certainty, that I otherwise rarely experience. It was like the mulling of the problem in the subconscious mind (as well as conscious mind) have found some deep connections and then everything makes sense. I wonder if this is the real Aha moment that people experience.

It is hard to describe the feeling, the main reason not being that it was that profound, but because I could only describe as the contrast to my usual feeling of Ne, and they are so different that I don't really have words. It was like I was focused, that I was more attuned to the outside world and not trapped inside my head, that I actually noticed where I was. I still remember which parking garage was I seeing at the time. It was like there was no more nervous energy that is normally present.

I mean, for me it was something completely new, but I guess for people that use Ni in everyday life is seems normal. Which is why I found phenomenology that interesting, but also so frustrating to research with.

One of the differences that I noticed is also the range of the topics of interest. The Ne types are much more likely to have way too many topics of interest and not enough time for everything. On the other side, Ni types are much more likely to have a couple of interests, in which they are specialists.

Reading now through the text, I am not sure that I have managed to capture the essence of the difference, but it can maybe serve somebody as the reference for their own thinking or maybe my future one.

The First Model of Enneagram

I have recently tried to start to read something about the enneagram personality types. I found one book, but I am far from finished with it. But it seems to be that maybe I can start create a first kind of model, to be able to put additional information on this model. It is a way for me to consolidate my own knowledge, so bear with me, if you already know something about the enneagram.

The enneagram has 9 different types, with can be simply numbered. So there are types 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. Each type also has another name, but they are frequently called only by their number. But even these types can be grouped into groups: emotions (2-4), thinking (5-7) and instinct (1, 8, 9). I am not sure why they can not be grouped in 1-3, 4-6 and 7-9, but it might have something to do with the weird symbol in the circle, that enneagram is using to represent their types.

Here are the types, their names and sins or passion that is constraning their ego.

Type Name Sin Description
2 Helper Pride encouraging, demonstrative, possessive
3 Motivator Deceit ambitious, pragmatic, image-conscious
4 Individualist Envy sensitive, self-absorbed, depressive
5 Investigator Avarice preceptive, cerebral, proactive
6 Loyalist Fear dutiful, suspicious, communal
7 Enthusiast Gluttony spontaneous, fun-loving, excessive
8 Leader Lust self-confident, assertive, confrontational
9 Pacemaker Sloth pleasant, easy-going, complacent
1 Reformer Anger rational, idealistic, orderly

If I remember correctly, I am supposed to be type 5. Well, I am nos sure that avarice is really a sin that I have problem with. I would rather say that it is fear, and then pride. Only then do avarice, or really greed, and gluttony come in place. Though I do like the description that I am perceptive (I hope), cerebral (also hope) and proactive (only sometimes). On the other hand, I am only sometimes dutiful, not that suspicious and not at all communal. Neither am I very encouraging or possessive. So I am not entirely sure how to connect these things together. And which one takes the precedence, the description or the sin.

Or maybe the sin for each time is the one which people have most under control, in which case I am most likely reformer or leader. Individualist would also be possible. I do hope to one day put deceit completely under my control, so maybe motivator? I don't know. In my notes, I have written, that this sins (or they call them passions) are the ego structure of the type, but I am not sure what it that supposed to mean.

I also have a problem connecting this system to the Big Five. So I am an investigator, which means that I am perceptive (high openness), cerebral (high openness) and proactive (high extroversion). So basically, high plasticity. It says so far nothing about the other three traits.

Here is a table, where I tried to put each type into the Big Five enumeration:

Type Description Big Five
2 encouraging, demonstrative, possessive 2x high A, 1x high E
3 ambitious, pragmatic, image-conscious 1x low A, 1x low O, 1x high E
4 sensitive, self-absorbed, depressive 1x high A, 1x high E, 1x high N
5 preceptive, cerebral, provocative 2x high O, 1x high E
6 dutiful, suspicious, communal 1x high C, 1x high N, 1x high A
7 spontaneous, fun-loving, excessive 3x high E
8 self-confident, assertive, confrontational 2x high E, 1x low A
9 pleasant, easy-going, complacent 1,5x high A, 1,5x low C
1 rational, idealistic, orderly 2x high O, 1x high C

I am not sure, if I put everything in the correct bucket, but it should me mostly alright. That would also be interesting to do, type the different descriptions be their Big Five nomenclature. But I am not going to do this now. What I can say from this, there are no introverted types here, or at least introversion is not a big part of these types. Either is the emotional stability, with is the opposite of the neuroticism. The other three at least have some combination of low and high traits.

Also based on how frequently I put the description in the traits, the agreeableness and extroversion seems to be the most important part of the system. Openness, neuroticism and conscientiousness are a lot less frequently mentioned. But that might be just because I did not get a very good descriptions. Though it can explain why I was not drawn to it. If the basis is on extroversion and agreeableness, the two of my traits that are low, then I might had the intuitive feeling that this does not seems to be a good model for me.

The last point that I would like to mention is a interesting triangle like structure. In the first level, they each have three groups, and then each group have three types. It does have sort of symmetry, that I find amusing and also orderly. It also looks nice. Kind of like very easy geometry. Which is why I do have just a tiny bit of hope that this model will be worth it.

A Guess Based on MBTI, Why Gregory House and James Wilson are Such a Good Combination

In this blog, I am going to try to set the hypothesis as to why these two create such a good relationship based on their MBTI types. I have already typed both of them before, and I decided that Gregory House is an ISTP and James Wilson is a INFJ type. I do apologize in advance if the blog is not that good, but I am not actually feeling confident writing it. But practice is practice, right?

Function Gregory House James Wilson
1. Ti Ni
2. Se Fe
3. Ni Ti
4. Fe Se
5. Te Ne
6. Si Fi
7. Ne Te
8. Fi Si

All of these function were connected with the archetypes by Bebee. The first four functions correspond to the archetypes of the hero, parent, child and anima, if I can use gross overgeneralization. But looking carefully at the first four functions in their stack, it can be seen that they both use the same four function, Ti, Fe, Ne and Se, and that there are some patterns in their combinations. They both the same first-third function combination and second-forth function combination.

Now the first function represents the hero. So it is the identity of the person and the one that they are most likely to use all the time. In the same time, the third function is a child, the function that is playful and the one that can be impressed by the hero of the same time. And we can see this a lot in the series. When they ask each other for advice, it is usually by appealing to each other hero function. Wilson asks House (or in his case, a lot of times House will simply do it without being asked), in a matters where there is needed a more analytical cause-and-affect approach. On the other hand, House goes to Wilson, when he needs a more analytical approach.

This is indicated in a couple of scenes. For example, the House cause-and-effect approach can be seen when he lays down on why Wilson left at his father funeral. It was a very linear kind of logic, which went from Wilson's predispositions, to the Amber death and how these two combined lead to Wilson's actions. The same can also be seen in example when House confronts Wilson about his extreme chemotherapy or when they discuss Danny right before Wilson sees him for the first time after years.

On the other hand, when House needs help, Wilson usually starts to talk about something completely different. But this is precisely the missing puzzle that House needed. It is just letting that feeling in trust in intuition lead the conversation. No wonder Wilson once said that he is no longer giving the advice, so House could distort it to suit him. Sadly, the only example that came to mind right now, are connected with the patients, like the time, when Wilson asked how House knew his blood type.

The relationship between these two function is kind of like mutual adoration, and at the same time the safe space to express themselves. They also forgive each other for the actions that were motivated by their function. Let it be how House pried too much into his life, when Wilson did not want to tell him about Danny, or House forgiving Wilson for Tritter fiasco, when it was what Ni was telling Wilson that House needed. He even apologized in that case. They both forgave each other long before they were passed this.

Now let us go to the second and forth function connection. The second function represents the parent, so it is a nurturing function. And the forth function represent the anima, so the weak function, that is part of the aspiration of what a person wants to be. The nurturing function can be seen quite some times. House Se is seen, when he makes sure that Wilson experience new things and have excitement, like having a chickens running around the hospitals, the constant betting, the monster trucks, and his giving the Wilson place to stay and a beer when he has problems, like the wife kicking his out of the house. On the other hand Wilson takes care of House in a way, that he makes sure that he does not have as many problems with other people has he would have otherwise, and to enable him, so he is able to do the things that other people would stop him from doing. It also helps with his humanity.

If the theory is to be believed, this is exactly what they need to be able to have the foundation on which to improve. They don't usually show that they are missing this. But it is clear that this is what they need. House admits that Wilson is smarter than him and that not listening to him, he almost killed a patient. Wilson also admits that he likes having the relationships where he does not need to be careful about his persona all the time, and he can just be himself. And that being with House is more fun than being without him.

This relationship works, because they give each other support for their weakest functions all the time. They give each other balance, that they otherwise would not have. There is something to be said, that without Wilson, House might have already self-destructed, and without House, Wilson might be just this nice persona, with no real character, loosing himself in a role. And that would be a waste.

The Cultural Concepts of Explaining the World

I have noticed that from time to time there are instances, where a situation or even a scene in a movie starts to be referenced by the specific name, which would describe it to a t. And I have realized that some of these are quite helpful to help me explain the world. Even though a lot of times these are like references, so people who are not familiar with them might not get it.

My favorite one is a rubik complex. I first came across it in the House MD series. In one of these scenes Wilson observes that while some doctors have a messiah complex, House has a rubik complex. The rubik complex was supposed to be this need to solve every puzzle to come one's way. It was helpful because I could now relate this concept to the people that want to understand who it is like to use Ti as the first function. Well, it is like everything is a puzzle and there is a need to solve puzzles all the time. Most of the time, there is not enough energy to solve everything.

The other one which I also encounter a lot, especially when I am over-reading the work section on the stack exchange. It is the bus factor. The bus factor basically says, that if your best employee would be hit by the bus tomorrow, what would you do? The thinking is that no company should be so dependent on one person, that things would stop working if one person was hit by the bus.

I find it really interesting, because the companies that my parents are running don't really seems to take this into account for at least some people. They don't even care, but it is like a constant theme on the workplace stackexhange.

There are also some non media or internet related. They are just not as fun to describe as these are. Alright, maybe this is not exactly true, but it is at least true in a sense, that upper one are a lot more connected with the subcultures in my culture than the other cultures, so I am less afraid, that I am going to write something wrong.

But I like noticing the concepts like that, because in a way, these are like the little rules and tidbits that help explain the world. Do they make our life and decision making better? This is debatable. But they are fun. A window to how other people see the world.

Some other concepts that also appear frequently in the similar situations are pareto principle, or Peter's principle. But as far as I know, both of these two are mathematical concepts as well, so while they are also interesting, the are fun in a different way.

Why General High Intelligence is an Advantage

I find it interesting, that now I have heard it for a couple of times, but apparently is some places the intelligence is treated as some sort of forbidden topic. Like it is a heresy to say that people can have different ability. And that these differences will not disappear just because everybody has the same resources (please, the communism was a failed experiment), neither can they disappear if everybody works hard.

But it is interesting to me, because at least in my school, we had to take the obligatory intelligence test a year before entering the high school. It was not to be used for high school entrance, but it was instead used to allocate the grants for the gifted (though they changed the rules, so it might not be anymore) and to help with the school counselor when she was advising us about our career choices and what school to choose.

They were not testing the general intelligence, but different intelligences, like spacial, verbal and so on. Sadly, I never saw the breakdown of my results, as I did not have the best relationship with that woman.

And while some people would say that intelligence is not important, I say it is. People when they are at school know it is. When some people struggle with the material, and some people learn the whole material without any additional study, this difference is seen. True, some circumstances can lower intelligence, like extreme stress, but I don't think all variation can be attributed to something like that. People with relatively good family don't learn to read 3 years after everybody else because of some weird sociological reason. They simply need a bit more time to learn because of their lower intelligence.

That does not mean that these people are worthless. It just means that they require a lot more time and patience when they are learning something. They can still be funny, good partners and good parents.

Just don't expect them to be the breadwinner, because, for better or worse, the intelligence is the best predictor of the log term success in complex jobs. It can predict up to 25% variability, while conscientiousness, or hard work, only predict 10%. So they are not likely going to be in the best of jobs, as least no financially.

But the people with the higher intelligence do learn faster, do tend to have better jobs and they are better at solving their own problems. As long as the people actually use their intelligence, there is not way that they would not be able to come further ahead in life. Except in maybe relationships, as it was well shown in the movie Idiocracy. Women with higher IQ do rate man less attractive on average so they might have more problems finding a mate. But otherwise? The people with high intelligence are much more likely to get the traditionally trappings of successful person: education, money, job and respect.

My IPIP-NEO Results with Comments

About a month ago, I have done the IPIP-NEO test for the Big Five personality traits. I have done in, because it is a test that is also sometimes used in research. Or at least, if I remember correctly, some of the studies that I have read had used it. So I wanted to see if I am on the same side through this test as I am through the previous one or my personal opinion.

What this test does do is divide each trait in 6 different subtraits. So instead of just giving the results for 5 traits, it gives the results for 30 subtraits as well. While there is still some discussion about the best number of subtraits, I think they are still useful, as they give an indication of what is included in the trait.

Also, the results are percentile in comparison to the women about my age from Slovenia. So if I have the result of 70, that means that I am higher on this trait than 70 percent of women around my age from Slovenia. If I have the result of 25, then I am only higher on this trait as 25% of these same people.

Extroversion (low)

Extroversion 1
Friendliness 1
Gregariousness 1
Assertiveness 10
Activity Level 21
Excitement-Seeking 8
Cheerfulness 17

Well, this is not a surprise to me or anyone that actually knows me. I am almost the exact opposite of the person that is the epitome of the extroversion. Well, apparently 99% of people my gender and around my age (so student and young workers) are more extroverted.

The only two subtraits that are a bit higher, but still well below average, are activity level and cheerfulness. So while I do on the first glance appear complete extroverted, I am able to be busy and experience positive emotions. Yes, I am aware that some of this descriptions can be a bit... insulting.

Agreeableness (low)

Agreeableness 20
Trust 86
Morality 34
Altruism 1
Cooperation 32
Modesty 15
Sympathy 17

My score in agreeableness is low, though not as low as my score in extroversion. In this case only 80% of people are more getting along with people better and care about other people more.

The one thing that does goes really against the whole picture is the trust value. I apparently, more than the majority of people I was compared to, assume that people have good intention. Considering that I am compared with my country men, I am not that surprised. There is way too much mistrust in anybody that are not the the circle on the closest friends. But maybe I am just seeing things through the lenses of my own personality.

Conscientiousness (average)

Conscientiousness 33
Self-Efficacy 15
Orderliness 66
Dutifulness 33
Achievement-Striving 12
Self-Discipline 43
Cautiousness 48

Well, I barely broke the level needed for the average conscientiousness. But even so, my marks are a bit everywhere. My score connected to self-confidence and striving for goals are very low, but on the other hand, I have above average need for order. This is the first time that I might not agree with the results. I don't live in that organized manner. I mean, my circumstances dictate (doing two masters at the same time), that I need to be a bit organized. But I would not say that I am better than more than half of all people.

I do agree that I am not striving for achievement as much and I do have frequent boots on nervousness about not being good enough. So I agree with this part at least.

Neuroticism (average)

Neuroticism 36
Anxiety 46
Anger 17
Depression 36
Self-Consciousness 63
Immoderation 54
Vulnerability 30

Well, for neuroticism as well, I have passed the border that goes toward the average scores. Considering that unlike all of the other traits, neuroticism is considered negative, I should probably be less proud of it. But I can not help but be proud that I have such a low scores of anger. Some people might say that anger is productive, but I am quite happy seeing that I don't have quite high levels of it.

Which puts my school years into perspective, because there the situation got so bad, that I reacted in anger on multiple times. Even with such a low scores, I am still far away from the saint.

I have high score of self-consciousness, which I would personally agree with, but I don't think most of the people would. At least according to what they think about me. And these scales give usually the same result for inter- and intra- evaluations. But some people are afraid of me and some find me intimidating (don't know why though), so maybe this is just a perception based on my low agreeableness and low extroversion. Since I imagine that people with that combo usually don't feel that trapped by the other people's opinions.

Thankfully, I can somehow ignore these feeling because of the family I was raised in. But there are still there.

I also have the average score in immoderation, which would mean that I don't have many craving. Which would be a news to the people that think I live as a monk. Vegetarian, who doesn't drink coffee or alcohol, don't smoke and don't have sex. But I do have cravings and if you put a chocolate in front of me, there is soon not going to be one.

Openness (low)

Openness 28
Imagination 89
Artistic Interests 1
Emotionality 1
Adventurousness 45
Intellect 75
Liberalism 43

Well, finally the trait, where it would go against my expectations. I would expect that my results in this one would be relatively high. But it is true, that I have no interest in aesthetics, neither am I prone to express my feelings openly, so I guess the two scores do depress my scores quite well. Having the average need to try new activities and with the notion of challenging authority, as I do have some of it, but I am far away from the true novelty seekers and rule breakers.

What I am proud of, and what I though the openness mostly entailed, is the high scores in imagination, and even more than that, intellect. I am proud that I am more likely than most people to play with ideas, enjoy intellectual debates and enjoy riddles and puzzles and similar things. It is a big part of my identity, so I am glad that I got a high score in this.

Though getting a high score in imagination is also not that bad. Even if it gives me the image of somebody that is with their head in the clouds.

Thesis Against Happiness as Highest Goal

In the last semester, I needed to present a topic of my choosing for the philosophy class. Alright, there was a restriction, that it has to have something to do with philosophy, but that is not the restriction that is hard to adhere to. Some of the other people had pretty interesting topics, like terror management theory, transhumanism, the role of questions and so on. My topic was about happiness, more exactly, it was a short thesis about the prevailing notion that happiness needs to be the highest goal.

The reason why I picked this topic is the prevailing notion that I have seen in some people. They honestly believe that they need to chase happiness, and by putting this as a goal, they will live the best life possible. And I always found the idea just a bit... uncomfortable. I never understood the reason for chasing some positive feeling. Maybe this has something to do with my low extroversion, as extroversion is also connected to the amount of positive feeling felt. Maybe I am just weird that way. Or maybe I just did not accept the notion that way too many self-help books are trying to promote.

There are some reasons for this. The first is connected to the Nozick's experience machine. Basically, we create a machine that we can program in any way we want. A person going to this machine can go on the adventure, have an orgy or enjoy their life on the beach, under the sun, without any worry. Anything is possible. Would people want take part in this and programed and entered the machine?

The answer is somehow mixed, as some people would and some people wouldn't. But the similar result can also be obtained in reverse. So lets say that a person knocks on the door and you answer. They tell you that you are a part of the above described experience machine. Would you wake up. Again, some would and some would not. So I guess that being in the world that you can program is not every person's fantasy.

If people would decide in mass that being in this experience machine is preferable, that could be a pretty good indication that happiness, at least in the hedonistic sense, is important. I guess some people don't think that way. :)

Also, people that usually talk about this are also the ones that want for some reason reach their potential. In comparison to the chasing of the happiness, from my point of view, a much more worthwhile goal. But in the flow state, the one that they seek some much, there is no place for happiness. Or at least that is according to the Csikszentmihalyi, the person that actually studied flow. There is no attention left over during the flow to actually feel happiness. Also, most people experience happiness when they are satisfied with their life, and people don't create when the are satisfied with the things as they are.

Which is in accordance to my own experience. When I see a problem is when I get multiple ideas of how things can be changed. If I don't find problem with it, then the ideas just never come. I wonder what does this say about my Toastmasters club, since that is the place where I got most of my ideas.

The next argument deals with the difference between dreaming and achieving something. Everybody can feel good dreaming about being an actor, being in great shape and having a perfect partner. But not many people would consider doing what these people are doing every day. Most people probably don't want to be stopped on the streets all the time to be asked who they are, just because some people find them familiar. Most people don't want to go the the gym and eat only what is allowed. And so on and so on.

Also, for this people, the anticipation is where the feeling of happiness is. Once we get what we want, the level of happiness do usually return to the normal level. Because these start feeling like the new norm. It is just life.

Plus, some of the things that people do for 'happiness' is really just to keep up the picture of doing things that was supposed to make us happy. This can be a new car, or eating organic or going to the church. I am not saying that some of this things can't improve life, and that they are not worth doing. It is just that the happiness is not really impacted on the day to day life. See the paragraph just above for reasoning.

And I left the most disturbing piece for the last, the Morioka's happiness drug thought experiment. It goes like this. The mother and a child walk down the street. The child is hit and he bleeds to death right there on the street. They give the mother the happiness drug and all she could feel is happiness. Now the question, is she happy? And is this the happiness that you would want for yourself?

Do I Want to be Ignored?

I have recently seen a TEDx talk by Željko Ćurić about how to raise a suicidal person. His main hypothesis was based on the cultural underpinnings of the four countries in Europe with the highest suicide rate, Finland, Estonia, Hungary and Slovenia. I don't know if I should be proud or not, that my home country is one of the above mentioned. Not surprised though.

One thing that he noticed in this countries is, that when people are angry, they don't talk to one another, they don't even yell. They simply ignore one another. Which I have to admit is not untrue, at least for Slovenia and in accordance to my measly knowledge about Hungary.

He based this on this psychiatric practice, and I have to admit that it makes sense. Not that this is a reliable indicator, because human psychology doesn't always make sense. But there was nothing jumping out in his reasoning, in what it could be wrong.

I find it interesting, that people like to find the psychological qualities of the country to try and explain the suicide rates. For example, one of the explanations, that I have read about it before if, that people in Slovenia are introverted and aggressive.

It is interesting, that when I tell this to the Slovenia born Slovenians, they don't really agree, especially with the aggressive part. But when I tell that to the foreign living in Slovenia, they generally agree. I guess having an outside perspective helps with designating the real psychology of something or somebody.

This, together with the video that I watched about the agreeableness, made me think about my social life and how the agreeableness would be connected with this. I mean, the agreeable people are the ones that are trying to avoid the conflict, and ignoring the whole thing, the person itself, it is kind of ignoring the problem. It seems like the way most suited to deal with problems for agreeable people.

Which bring me to me, and I am not neither high on extroversion neither high on agreeableness (at least according to the tests). So I have been thinking about myself. Sadly, I also found myself employing this tactics. Normally, if I am really angry, I do try to talk to people. If this is unsuccessful, they I start ignoring them, until they are ready to talk. But now that I think about it, if ignoring the problem and/or person is how the Slovenians are dealing with the problem, then what I am doing is just pouring the oil on fire.

Well, I have also been known to sometimes ignore the problem for a couple of days, to see if it will resolve itself. Well, that is also method of ignoring I guess. I am doing this right now, as I am writing this, as I don't know how to deal with the fact that I just got a roommate.

On the other site, I would like to say that 90% of the time, I don't mind if people ignore me. But there are times when I want people to not ignore me. The problem is, because I don't actually spend a lot of time with socializing, I do sometimes get ignored even when I wouldn't want to.

Well, in these cases, I might cry for up to half an hours, and then I will move forward. It is only logical to, people have the right to control their time, and since I would like to keep this right, I have to accept the consequences. That other people don't own me their time, and that they have right to ignore me.

And don't worry, I am sure I am not going to be committing suicide just because of that. I am too scared of death for that to happen.