My (INTP) husband commented last night that he hates NF guilt. "Not NFs," he qualified, "just the guilt." He feels like he knows some really awesome NFs who are afflicted with guilt that makes them less happy than they deserve to be. I'd definitely agree with his assessment - of other NFs.
It made me think this morning a little about the source of the guilt, especially as it relates to my self-perception in my different roles: wife, daughter, pharmacist, etc.
I realized that most people, in evaluating their performance, can average things out. "Today was terrible, but last week I was brilliant, so on average I do okay!"
For me (and I would be interested if other NFs see it this way too,) my self-evaluation is more like one of those big "It Has Been X Days Since The Last Workplace Disaster" signs.
The closer that number gets to infinity, the better my view of myself. But every time I screw up, that sign totally resets. "Look, I screwed up today. I am a terrible person." Then the next day, even if it's a good day, the number is still only 1. "Yeah, today was a good day, but I am sill making up for screwing up yesterday." Two good weeks later, I might start to get comfortable again. But as soon as another mistake happens, it all crashes down again.
Performance is running away from the sign, trying to distance myself from the terrible person I know I am, and only being able to get so far at a time. Th length of that leash, the maximum amount of time between sign resets, is the measure of how good I am, and it's never good enough.
Now, we rarely view other people that way. We average things out for me - and as long as we like them (aka they haven't crossed one of the famous NF "unforgivably awful person" lines) we give the a huge, average-raising outlier point of "Not me!" They are obviously better than us by nature of not being us. So their mistakes have less impact on their overall valuation.
Does anyone else feel this way? Does this seem accurate?