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  1. #1
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Cool NF or SF - How Can You Tell?

    How can you tell if someone is an NF or an SF?

    I seem to have a lot of difficulty with this unless I know the person really well, especially with introverts. Are there key clues or things that you can observe which help you to guess their type?

  2. #2
    Queen hunter Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    Basicly SF are much more concrete in their comunication.

    SFs usually have spiritual belifs that are much more mainstream.

    SFs tend to be much more hedonistic than NFs

    NFs are morle likely to hold grudges. (as far as I know)

    NFs have better sense for intellect.

    I think that NFs usually have harder/bigger/longer problems with traumas.



    I mean if you are a strong N like me it is easy to tell the difference in most cases.

  3. #3
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    not true that nfs hold grudges more than an sf.

    i think you can see the idealism in an nf that is not there with an sf.
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
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    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Great thread...I'd love to see how people answer this.

    TBH, over the 4+ years I've been posting on MBTI forums it's basically come down to whenever I read threads of NFs describing their emotions I automatically skim three notches of bombastic intensity off of the top to even make it translatable to what my comparably emotionless ass can relate to. Few emotions seem measured, taken in stride or like they fit the situation. There is no Goldilocks experience. It's the highest peaks, they lowest trenches, the coldest winter, the hottest summer, the most desolate desert, the most claustrophobic crowding. Everything is extreme and intense.

    If a relationship dissolves if you're not in mourning for three years minimum, you didn't really love them.

    If an emotion doesn't tear through your body like Montezuma's Revenge it wasn't real.

    If you're not emitting potent empathy (and the lesser but still virtuous sympathy) pheromones from every pore of your body and crying blood tears over all the pain and sorrow in the world.

    If you're not psychically reading the emotions of others, predicting their needs, and getting strangers to cry on your shoulder so you can soothe and comfort them and more importantly, egotrip.

    If you're not completely embroiled in your own secret pain or deep emotional trauma that no one else can understand.

    The reason why I find this highly distasteful is because it's an incredibly arrogant attitude. The same way NTs can be intellectually arrogant, I find NFs can be emotionally arrogant in the same way. If no one or very few people feel things the way you do, how do you even relate to others? There's no common ground. I'm purposely being flippant in tone but if everything is happening on another emotional plane to NFs than us regular folks and our regular emotions inhabit a different universe, the hope for translation and meaningful communication is tragic. Also, a surprising amount of NFs are afraid to open up to others and I find this rooted in the erroneous belief that no one can understand their emotions so the comfort, solace, and connection with others (if'n that's what you want) has no chance to develop.

    I understand that people are at different places along the spectrum of emotional intelligence and maturity: someone may view me as immature, I view someone as immature and so on. But I've come to view it as a lack of experience and yes, sometimes a lack of ability but it doesn't fall along typological lines when I make this determination.

    I was recently talking to a friend about the fact that by 18 she had lost both of her parents to cancer and how's she's felt older than her peers her whole life because of what happened to her between 13-18 (she's now 30). When her friends were out looking for prom dresses she was emptying a bedpan for her mother. She says she's always felt a keen sense of mortality and she's factored that into all of her life decisions. Her maturity doesn't come from her type, it comes from her life. I suppose it's possible to feel that way without experiencing a similar situation, but I know an intellectual and theoretical understanding of something is often insufficient when rubber meets road.

    It seems to me that NFJs and NFPs are in some silly competition to see who's the most exquisitely sensitive. I think this is why any discussions about Fe and Fi get destroyed with NFPs and NFJs duking it out for some Feeling prize. I don't see this between SFPs and SFJs and more generally SFs on MBTI forums. I'm basing my observations on the various MBTI forums because I no longer try to type people in real life unless I have sustained, high-interaction contact with them.

    And in the end, never really having to do anything about all these torrid emotions and lofty ideas coursing through the NF body, but to merely feel them is enough. It's weird because you hear all this love for humanity and desire to self-actualize and help others along and yet I often wonder how or if the people saying these things actually funnel this into anything tangible. It's just the idea of these things but not the doing of these things which makes it all empty, pie in the sky words. It's incomplete.

    I feel bad for the way SFs are discussed on the forum, they're made to seem like emotional adolescents, while NFs are automatically granted the rights of fully mature adults. I think it lessens SF participation and insight...even look at where this thread is placed: in the NF section. (btw I'm going to move it.) Any discussions about Fe and Fi are typically placed in the NF section, people are more likely to ask specific questions to NFs rather than first seeing if anyone else experiences the same and then trying to cull possible type specific strains from general responses. Of course if you ask "[NF type] do you feel sad when someone dies?" and uh, yeah, you can figure out the rest. :rolli:

    Usual disclaimer: these are my observations. Please skim three notches of bombastic emotional intensity off the top.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
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    Social Penetration Theory 1
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    Social Penetration Theory 3

  5. #5
    From the Undertow CuriousFeeling's Avatar
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    The conversation style can reveal it. SFs have a clear, crystal language with a hint of sparks. It's very straight forward. The NF has more flowing poetic language, like you can hear the magic of their imagination firing in their heads. The NF has a certain look in their eyes; it's a soft focus with a look of yearning and depth to it, it's as if they are looking in the past and the future. The SF expression in the eyes has a clear gaze to them, you can tell their focus is on the now, that they are right there in the present moment.
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  6. #6
    veteran attention whore Jeffster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    Usual disclaimer: these are my observations. Please skim three notches of bombastic emotional intensity off the top.
    I tried, but it just read like a bunch of NF emoting to me.

    My answer is probably predictable, but highlander29 may not have read any of my posts on the subject, so I'll post it anyway.

    I think it's much easier to try to figure out someone's basic temperament - Guardian (security-seeking), Artisan (sensation-seeking), Idealist (identity-seeking) or Rational (knowledge-seeking) than it is to try to do it from an NF or SF angle. You can already eliminate the Rationals since none of them are "F" types. So you have it narrowed down to three, then you just need to listen and learn what they value and what motivates them.

    Also, CuriousFeeling is on to something with the "straight-forward" part. Sensors in general use a lot more concrete language. Like I could re-write proteanmix's post above and chop it down considerably by eliminating the abstract stuff.

    Try reading my blog or shortnsweet's or wolfy's, then read some of the NFs.' Shouldn't take too long to see the differences.
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  7. #7
    Nickle Iron Silicone Charmed Justice's Avatar
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    I honestly can't tell much myself either. The extroverted SFs are probably not as inhibited as the extroverted NFs. I think NFs are more likely to get lost in thought when speaking and SFs might get lost in action(while you're talking, they're doing another activity).
    There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, and which, in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe.

  8. #8
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Antisocial one View Post
    Basicly SF are much more concrete in their comunication.

    SFs usually have spiritual belifs that are much more mainstream.

    SFs tend to be much more hedonistic than NFs

    NFs are morle likely to hold grudges. (as far as I know)

    NFs have better sense for intellect.

    I think that NFs usually have harder/bigger/longer problems with traumas.
    Except for your first point, I don't think the rest of it has any merit, really. Sorry.

    To the first point, I think SFJ's are more concrete and detail-oriented in communication and much more sequential than NFJ's. NFJ's will tend towards more generalities, not as much concern for describing their lives or things in detail, or step by step. I think SFP's would be more inclined to discuss real-world, tangible things, experiences, and relationships, and NFP's more theory and maybe more about emotion/emotions themselves, because emotions themselves ARE abstract.

    SF's tend to talk more of their own lives, things/people in their lives, and real-world activities/organizations that they are a part of. It's much more heavy and focused on what and who is around them, and more concrete and 'real'. NF's talk less of the tangibles, more of theory and concepts that they extend towards the world as a whole or use to analyze themselves, other people in their lives, or some dimension of the world.
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  9. #9
    From the Undertow CuriousFeeling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffster View Post
    I tried, but it just read like a bunch of NF emoting to me.

    My answer is probably predictable, but highlander29 may not have read any of my posts on the subject, so I'll post it anyway.

    I think it's much easier to try to figure out someone's basic temperament - Guardian (security-seeking), Artisan (sensation-seeking), Idealist (identity-seeking) or Rational (knowledge-seeking) than it is to try to do it from an NF or SF angle. You can already eliminate the Rationals since none of them are "F" types. So you have it narrowed down to three, then you just need to listen and learn what they value and what motivates them.

    Also, CuriousFeeling is on to something with the "straight-forward" part. Sensors in general use a lot more concrete language. Like I could re-write proteanmix's post above and chop it down considerably by eliminating the abstract stuff.

    Try reading my blog or shortnsweet's or wolfy's, then read some of the NFs.' Shouldn't take too long to see the differences.
    Yeah, look for flowing flowery language to spot an NF. Ask them how it feels to be in love, and expect a 12 page essay.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

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    “Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings -- always darker, emptier and simpler.”
    ― Friedrich Nietzsche




  10. #10
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CuriousFeeling View Post
    Yeah, look for flowing flowery language to spot an NF. Ask them how it feels to be in love, and expect a 12 page essay.
    I'm sorry this belief is part of the reason why I doubt you'll ever be able to get any real evidence of any SF/NF differences.

    I believe SFs are fully capable of evocative, expressive, flowing flowery language. I would say a difference is looking for how it's used and to what ends, rather than it's usage. This is what I was talking about in my post.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

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