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  1. #1
    Professional Trickster Esoteric Wench's Avatar
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    Default Fe & Fi: Rules for Giving and Receiving Criticism

    Here’s what I know for sure:

    Fe and Fi have different perspectives surrounding the giving and receiving of criticism, including

    • When it’s OK to complain about someone else to a third party.
    • When venting crosses the line and become a malicious attack.

    I got the idea for this thread from an old thread @Orobas started called “An Fe-Fi negative convo” in which it became readily apparent that there were very strong differences in how Fe users and Fi users interpreted a conversation outlined in her OP.* Her thread did a great job of showing how different Fe and Fi are.

    So let me give you an example to parse in this thread:
    Fi user: I talked to Doris today. She wasn’t in good form.
    Fe user: Doris is always in a bad mood. She is very blunt to the point of being rude on a regular basis.
    Fi user: Well I know she can be difficult to deal with but I think she’s just going through a tough time.
    Fe user: Don’t be a Doris apologist. She’s a royal pain in the arse and you know it.
    Observations from my Fi perspective
    To Fi users, Fe criticism can sound blunt and one-dimensional. I’m an Fi-user. When I read the above conversation, I’m very concerned that the Fe user has oversimplified a complex situation. Even if I agreed with the Fe-user’s assessment of Doris, I’m more concerned that the Fe user is whittling down a complicated situation and making blanket statements. This feels morally wrong to me.

    To Fi users, Fe criticism of sounds like an attack on that person’s character or identity… even if it is not intended in that way. I think that for Fe users, complaining about what someone did, doesn’t overlap with complaining about that person’s essence. In the example above, it feels to me like the Fe user is attacking Doris personally. I hear, “Doris is a bad person” even though that isn’t literally what was said. When I’ve asked my Fe user friends about this, they’ve been surprised that it would ever occur to me that they were “attacking Doris”.

    I’d like to know if my Fi observations ring true to other Fi users. I’d also like to hear from the Fe perspective. Here are some questions to get us started:

    1. Does Fe over-simplify, while Fi over-complicate? If so, then how can the communication gap be bridged?
    2. Is it possible to separate what someone does (their behavior) from who they are (their character)? If no, why not? If yes, then how would criticizing someone’s character be different than criticizing their behavior?

    Now let the antics ensue!


    *Orobas outlined a very interesting conversation between an Fe and Fi user in her original post. She later deleted that conversation from the OP so it might be hard to follow the first few posts in that thread since the OP was altered.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Xyk's Avatar
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    I have seen none of what you've seen. Te is usually blunt, but Fe usually tries to promote social harmony. Fi doesn't apply to other people, it's an introverted function.

    I'm an Fe user (albeit inferior position) and would never criticize a person non-constructively. I'd be more likely to say what you had the Fi user say.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    What I have learned over time on some apsects of this topic, much from that old thread:

    1. I will feel the hurt of the subject of the convo, via empathic mirroring. if I hear someone say something mean about them, even if the person is not present, I recreate inside of myself, the hurt they would feel at hearing the comment, thus feel their anticipated pain. This phisiological hurt is quite painful, even if arising from only possibilities, thus by simple negative conditioning, I tend to not speak harshly of others as a result.

    If I apply this to TPs it is a dramatic projection fail on my part, as they do NOT do this, thus they are confused as to why saying the words in a place where the subject can not hear them is "cruel".

    2. Often this sort of commentary is simply a form of Fe/Ti ranting about frustrations with the subjects being seemingly irrational or selfish. Usually it is meant to be held in confidence and in trust with the one they are sharing with, and is a way to voice temporary conflicting thoughts/feelings/temporary judgements and gain perspective. FPs Fi rant about our value based frustrations in a similar way. Fi="why is he so cruel?" Ti="How can she be so stupid?" These intermittant fluctuating Ji judgements are not really best served publically as they can be such unique offenses due to the introverted judgement-thus we expose them to those we trust to gain perspective.

    3. Fe/Ti-especially my ENTP friends, say "It isnt personal", then will provide very pointed feedback on where they see an individual breaking the system to others. They do place the blame on that particular person. Problematicaly, they do not always do so directly to the individual, but instead to the person in charge or other team members, often the boss. To me, I always perceived this a personal critique and delivered in an underhanded way-thus to understand that was my perceptions coloring the their actions was helpful. In these situations about another, I would often find external rationale for why the person behaved in the manner they did and be seemingly apologizing on their behalf-this ties to the "apologist" comment esoteric noted.

    4. A negative Fi judgement is an extraordinarily harsh thing, especially from an ENFP. For me to finally pass negative judgement, it is extremely personal, and you pretty much must be evil. Recognizing this extremity in myself, before passing a negative value judgement on another, I search for every conceivable external pressor that could be influencing thier negative behavior as in Esoteric's "she's going through a rough time". This allows me to not judge them on the present moment, but instead on their totality as a person. If a new situation presents itself, I always assume innocence unless presented with evidence of guilt.

    The Fe negative judgements are nowhere near as...permanant or harsh as my Fi judgement. Thus it is very easy to pass a temporary negative Fe judgement upon another, that is meant to be nudgelike to change them. I have also noted that when given a generic situation without many details, the Fe position is one of guilt, until proven innocent. The Fe solution is often an overarching generality, and once more specific (Ti?) details are surrounding the situation, the judgement can become much more resolved.

    4. If I show a negative Fi judgement to another-I expect that they will question it, and hopefully shed light upon things I failed to consider. When I have Fe users share their value perspectives with me, it is expected that I will not question their version of events, or responsibility in events, but instead support them and allow them to vent frustrations. In some sense I accept them, by supporting their value judgements, and affirming them. If I do question them, especially about a situation where I am an observer, then I am allowing the subject of the discussion to escape accountability in their eyes. This, again traces to the "apologist" comment Esoteric spoke of.

    ^^As always these are sketchy generalizations, trends and observations and will not apply to every individual person or at all times. I am very hesitant to even post them, as I realize I will yet again, offend a bunch of folks unintentionally. However, I do post, as often once the above disconnects in commmunication are acknowledged, it removes a great deal of the negative judgement on both sides and allows us to love those around us as they are, without muddying the waters by projecting our cognitive preferences on them.

  4. #4
    Senior Member TenebrousReflection's Avatar
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    I'm not sure where it fits in with your examples, but in a situation similar to that, I find myself looking at the motivations and other factors of the 3rd party thats being criticized.

    "I know ____ is being a jerk, but he means well and his heart is in the right place, hes just too emotionally clueless to realize what impact his approach has on others"
    "You know _____ is under a lot of stress at work and she is not treated with respect there, so she is taking it out on you and others"
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  5. #5
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esoteric Wench View Post
    Observations from my Fi perspective
    To Fi users, Fe criticism can sound blunt and one-dimensional. I’m an Fi-user. When I read the above conversation, I’m very concerned that the Fe user has oversimplified a complex situation. Even if I agreed with the Fe-user’s assessment of Doris, I’m more concerned that the Fe user is whittling down a complicated situation and making blanket statements. This feels morally wrong to me.

    To Fi users, Fe criticism of sounds like an attack on that person’s character or identity… even if it is not intended in that way. I think that for Fe users, complaining about what someone did, doesn’t overlap with complaining about that person’s essence. In the example above, it feels to me like the Fe user is attacking Doris personally. I hear, “Doris is a bad person” even though that isn’t literally what was said. When I’ve asked my Fe user friends about this, they’ve been surprised that it would ever occur to me that they were “attacking Doris”.
    I very much agree with this. This is a very good explanation of my own thought process.

    1. Does Fe over-simplify, while Fi over-complicate? If so, then how can the communication gap be bridged?
    2. Is it possible to separate what someone does (their behavior) from who they are (their character)? If no, why not? If yes, then how would criticizing someone’s character be different than criticizing their behavior?
    1. I don't think this is even the central issue. Fe-users seem to see the source of the problem as being external (ie. "that behaviour is incredibly frustrating!"); Fi-users seem to see the source of the problem as internal (ie. "I find that behaviour incredibly frustrating!"). I think that often Fi-users blame themselves for being annoyed because they see it as a failure to achieve the right perspective; and even if annoyance is justified (after all, we rant too), on some level the Fi-user still sees it as an unreasonable reaction. Lenore Thomson has a good description of this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenore Thomson
    Developed Fi naturally leads people to favor mercy or forgiveness for people who have done heinous acts--anything from theft to murder to genocide--acts that, under the ordinary laws that make a society manageable, ... would usually merit their imprisonment or execution. From a developed Fi perspective, the criminal is still a living soul, still unique and precious despite whatever he may have done. If we walked in his moccasins for a while, maybe we could see it his way. Without condoning his crimes, maybe we could see how we ourselves could have done the same things under similar circumstances. This use of empathy as one's ultimate anchor of orientation leads to a resolute non-judgementalness. First empathize--find something in your own heart that lets you see how someone could feel and act the way he did--and then you will probably find that you no longer feel hatred or a desire for retribution.
    But from what I can gather, the Fe-users aren't as interested in the explanation for the person's behaviour, as they are in the emotions the situation provokes. In other words, what bothers Fe-users is the signals that person is sending out, and what that signifies to them about their attitude. What that person actually intends isn't as much of a factor, because that wasn't what they conveyed. (Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about this, Fe-users. )

    2. Yes and no. In one sense, I feel like criticism is always a judgement against that person and therefore is always about their character. It's like a judge saying to a murderer, "I'm sentencing to life imprisonment because you behaved badly and not because I think you're a bad person", but the truth is, this is the inevitable conclusion everyone draws. Could that person reasonably say, "I'm not a murderer. I'm just a person who has committed murder"? Besides you can't exactly punish the behaviour without punishing the character also. When it comes to the venting vs. backstabbing argument I'm a little more forgiving. I personally not against venting behind someone's back (if only for the sake of one's sanity), as long as it's not a full blown character assassination and there isn't dishonesty involved. Even so, I reserve the right to defend that person at least to some degree.

    On the other hand, I know a lot of people that are EXTREMELY irritating yet I know that they are a good person; so it is conceivable to me that it is possible to separate character and behaviour. But then, as I mentioned above, when I complain about such people, I always feel guilty because I lack the temperance and patience to let the annoyance go.

    BTW @Orobas what a brilliant list of observations! And very well explained too. I heartily agree
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  6. #6
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I agree with a lot of these observations. Especially, I would say that a Fe person venting is indeed only done with select company and isn't meant to be taken as a final analysis on the situation. We truly cannot do this work internally as you can. Other's support and (subtle, not direct) reactions help us to work through the emotional noise we are feeling so we can more quickly resolve the situation. For example, if I were to tell someone close to me about what happened, after they heard me rant, I would be receptive to listening to their alternative perspectives. Their degree of effusiveness would also help me to see through their mirror whether I was being way unreasonable or not. However, telling me in the heat of my frustration that I was being completely wrong would only add to the emotional noise and distress.

    I think for me as an INFJ, however, I do use both Ni and Ti to temper the Fe function. This sometimes results in me shifting Ni perspectives and then using Ti to reclassify the new information and sort it all out endlessly. This usually means I can't speak in the moment until I am sure that I am being fair in my assessment of the situation. However, in the meantime, I need some kind of an emotional vent and some mirroring. I believe this is the part that seems cruel and unfair to Fi users.

    If a Fi user insists on pursuing resolution of the subject before I have had time to think it through, or if I am still annoyed and I believe they are not understanding accurately where my frustration lies, then I will get increasingly blunt to try to get my message across as they continue pursuing it (even doing what I think is directly warning them NOT to continue) and then end up hurting them. For me, that cool down, reconfigure and vent time is very important, but it is completely backwards from what I have observed of the Fi process. The opposite Fi tendancy is to withdraw. If this happens with someone I truly care about and there is unfinished business between us, I can sometimes misinterpret this for disinterest or complete rejection, when it is not intended that way.

    Because I would never verbalize an emotion directly to the person involved till I'm really sure that's how I feel, or until I need their help in getting more information to finish dealing with it, I often mistake Fi user's direct negative expressions as disrespectful, overly blunt, thoughtless or selfish, when in fact they are not meant that way. It also confuses me when I realize that they are not actually seeking any kind of direct action or response from me, because that is usually the main reason that I verbalize something negative directly to the person.

    I'm not saying this friction happens all of the time, but if I think EW has brought up some points that I have frequently observed and experienced in Fe-Fi interactions. When there has been conflict on here between me and them, it is usually because of our very different approaches and basic interpretations of the same language.

    I also agree that Fe sees actions/feelings and the person themselves as two separable entities, because the person has the power to control their actions. If we were attacking something that really was the essence of who they were, that would be different. Because I see my behaviour and feelings as something that is reflective of me, but not one and the same as me (unlike my thoughts or ideas), it just doesn't feel like a personal attack. Similarly, when Te users challenge my ideas in a ways, pick them apart, ask questions about them and so on in an effort to understand them (but which can sound intimidating or rejecting to my ears), I think I react in the same way that a Fi user does about their feelings.

    When I ask questions about how Fi users feel or process information, it truly is because I think it would help me to understand their perspective better and not just because I want to expose, belittle or invalidate them. I've learned through interactions here that it can feel that way though. I'm not sure yet unfortunately how to go about it in a better way that still feels like I am being me and not talking therapist speak. I find I want to know because it will help me better decide on an appropriate course of action that better takes the other person's needs into account or which will reduce the prejudices that I am feeling.

  7. #7
    Senior Member SubtleFighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    1. I don't think this is even the central issue. Fe-users seem to see the source of the problem as being external (ie. "that behaviour is incredibly frustrating!"); Fi-users seem to see the source of the problem as internal (ie. "I find that behaviour incredibly frustrating!").
    Great explanation! Very analogous to Te/Ti.



    But from what I can gather, the Fe-users aren't as interested in the explanation for the person's behaviour, as they are in the emotions the situation provokes. In other words, what bothers Fe-users is the signals that person is sending out, and what that signifies to them about their attitude. What that person actually intends isn't as much of a factor, because that wasn't what they conveyed. (Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong about this, Fe-users. )
    I can't speak for all Fe-users, but I care a lot about intentions too in addition to what emotions it causes in the other person. To me it's about 50/50 in importance.
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."--Ambrose Redmoon

    . . . metamorphosing . . .

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    Senior Member SubtleFighter's Avatar
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    I agree with Fidelia 100%

    I appreciate that Fi-users don’t want someone to be ultimately judged unfairly (we don’t either) and that this venting can send up red flags that something unfair is happening that feel wrong to ignore. But I ask that you keep in mind that it isn’t usually intended as a final judgment and that this venting process is very important in our emotional health. I don’t think most Fi-users really realize how important it is. At the moment, I am surrounded by Fi-users 90% of the time, with all of my family (except for my ISTP brother) and all of the friends I see on a regular basis being Fi-users. While I love them dearly and am glad to be friends with them, not having a place to vent frustrations Fe-style and get an Fe-style response is a big issue for me. (Note: this is not meant to be a ‘woe-is-me’ thing, only to illustrate how important this venting is.) It literally feels like I can’t move past anything emotionally without doing this, and it only makes the problem grow in size and painfulness.


    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    For example, if I were to tell someone close to me about what happened, after they heard me rant, I would be receptive to listening to their alternative perspectives. Their degree of effusiveness would also help me to see through their mirror whether I was being way unreasonable or not. However, telling me in the heat of my frustration that I was being completely wrong would only add to the emotional noise and distress.
    This is key. Again, I appreciate where these situations seem cruel to Fi-users, but the other perspective of this is that interrupting an Fe-user in the middle of their preliminary venting to disagree with them feels . . . hurtful. I kind of just know instinctively if another Fe-user is venting at me that this process is crucial to them and that what they need right now is for me to emphasize the parts where I sympathize with them. They’re in kind of a delicate place in that moment, even if it may not seem like it. The only time I’d interrupt this initial venting to disagree would be if it was something truly heinous that they were stating (this would risk a major rift in our relationship and probably at that point I wouldn’t care) or if I already didn’t like them and didn’t care if I hurt them or pissed them off. I’ve known a couple ESFJs over the past couple years who vented at me a lot and who I didn’t agree with a lot of the time. But even though I didn’t hold these people in high esteem anyway, I still never disagreed with them while in the first stage of venting—it’s just that this is a crucial process that Fe-users need to go through to figure out their own emotions. If I’m venting to someone like this and they immediately start telling me I’m wrong . . . it can be frustrating if the person is only kind of close to me, but it can be very painful is I’m really close to this person and trust them a lot.

    After this initial venting process is over, like Fidelia said, we’re normally open to someone disagreeing with us. We normally want other people’s opinions, in fact, which is part of why we brought up this subject. Just not in the heat of the venting.

    As far as what can be done about bridging the gap? It sounds cliché, but it’s really up to every person individually to decide to take the other perspective into consideration. Putting ourselves into the other person’s shoes and think about our relationship to this other person and what kind of person we know them to be at heart would go a long way. Maybe we can stop in the heat of the moment (or after) and ask ourselves if we really believe this person intended to be hurtful. Maybe Fi-users can remind themselves that Fe-users usually don’t mean to make final judgments of the person’s characters when they’re doing this, how important this venting is to them, and that disagreements are normally welcome after the initial venting is done. And Fe-users can remind themselves of how their venting can come across to Fi-users more harshly and as being more cruel than they want it to and take that into consideration, or maybe they can just find another Fe-user to vent to instead if possible to avoid confusion and to get what they need.
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."--Ambrose Redmoon

    . . . metamorphosing . . .

  9. #9
    Senior Member TenebrousReflection's Avatar
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    I agree with he Lenore Thomson reference, the bolded part sounds very much like me.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I agree with a lot of these observations. Especially, I would say that a Fe person venting is indeed only done with select company and isn't meant to be taken as a final analysis on the situation. We truly cannot do this work internally as you can. Other's support and (subtle, not direct) reactions help us to work through the emotional noise we are feeling so we can more quickly resolve the situation. For example, if I were to tell someone close to me about what happened, after they heard me rant, I would be receptive to listening to their alternative perspectives. Their degree of effusiveness would also help me to see through their mirror whether I was being way unreasonable or not. However, telling me in the heat of my frustration that I was being completely wrong would only add to the emotional noise and distress.
    It has been said that Te users need to talk to think (and I think that may be true of myself when I'm using that function in the inferior role to work through the logic and reasoning behind things that confuse me), so it makes sense that Fe wants to talk through the same things an Fi user would process internally.

    For the other Fe users.
    When you vent about someone like that, do you generally feel like you are looking for support and validation, or are you just looking for someone to talk about your frustrations with and get different perspectives? It sounds like you (fidelia) do it as a way to talk things through, but my experience with others whom I suspect of being Fe users feel more like they want support and validation (when I offer my perspective, the responses can be of "you don't understand" variety which makes me think they are not looking for more than support), but it might be a misinterpretation on my part about their intent, so I'd like to know if thats consistent among other Fe Dom/Secondaries.

    One thing I did not mention in my previous post is that I do often feel a strong desire to vent about the words or actions of others and how they have made me feel or how insensitive I think they are, but I generally keep them inside because I only feel comfortable doing so if I have confidence in the discretion of the person(s) I am venting to - that it will not get back to the person I'm being critical of and thus hurt their feelings (even if I think they do derve some emotional string for their words/actions, I feel like if I'm going to be critical of them, they deserve the decency of a direct dialog so they can articulate the reasoning for their actions and defend themselves). When I vent to others, its either to a very trusted friend, strangers that do not know the person, or in a more subtle passive/aggressive sort of way with an occasional biting observation here and there that makes light of their flaws.

    If/when I do confront someone directly about the issues I have with their words/actions/behavior (something I usually only do when I'm intervening on someone else's behalf or if I feel it is essential for them to know how I feel about it), I try to be as delicate and sensitive as possible when brining up the subject (sometimes a direct and blunt approach is the only way to reach someone, but I hate having to do that) - I want them to know that I've made an effort to consider their point of view and I approach it as trying to educate them on the impact they are having on others - it may be a broken golden rule thing, but for myself the key to change is knowing why my behavior is a problem to others and learning/knowing that gives me motivation to re-evaluate my approach, and I tend to think/hope that the same knowledge can help others become more thoughtful and sensitive people.

    If a Fi user insists on pursuing resolution of the subject before I have had time to think it through, or if I am still annoyed and I believe they are not understanding accurately where my frustration lies, then I will get increasingly blunt to try to get my message across as they continue pursuing it (even doing what I think is directly warning them NOT to continue) and then end up hurting them. For me, that cool down, reconfigure and vent time is very important, but it is completely backwards from what I have observed of the Fi process. The opposite Fi tendency is to withdraw. If this happens with someone I truly care about and there is unfinished business between us, I can sometimes misinterpret this for disinterest or complete rejection, when it is not intended that way.
    I've experienced this from the Fi side as well, it made me very sad when I learned the negative impact my withdrawal had on the relationship - withdrawal happens gradually and subconsciously - I don't know if it applies to other Fi users, but I think as an Fe user, if you see someone starting to withdraw, trying to have a gentle conversation about it as soon as possible is the best thing you can do - let them know what they are doing and how it is affecting you/how it makes you feel - it should be possible to do that without coming across as too negative or harsh in most cases - it comes down to communication and misunderstanding and any misunderstanding is I think it is best taken care as soon as possible before it can grow from a molehill to a mountain.

    I also agree that Fe sees actions/feelings and the person themselves as two separable entities, because the person has the power to control their actions. If we were attacking something that really was the essence of who they were, that would be different. Because I see my behavior and feelings as something that is reflective of me, but not one and the same as me (unlike my thoughts or ideas), it just doesn't feel like a personal attack. Similarly, when Te users challenge my ideas in a ways, pick them apart, ask questions about them and so on in an effort to understand them (but which can sound intimidating or rejecting to my ears), I think I react in the same way that a Fi user does about their feelings.
    That is a perspective I never considered. I look at it more the opposite, to me, words and actions are an extension and expression of who we are, but external influences also affect who we are at any given moment - negative words, actions and behaviors are to me something to be seen as part of a whole, but it is important to judge those in context to the whole of the person as well as what conditions cause those negative traits to manifest, how often and what I think the intent behind them is (never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to ignorance).

    When I ask questions about how Fi users feel or process information, it truly is because I think it would help me to understand their perspective better and not just because I want to expose, belittle or invalidate them. I've learned through interactions here that it can feel that way though. I'm not sure yet unfortunately how to go about it in a better way that still feels like I am being me and not talking therapist speak. I find I want to know because it will help me better decide on an appropriate course of action that better takes the other person's needs into account or which will reduce the prejudices that I am feeling.
    I feel the same way about this from the other side. When we have a better understanding of the values, motivations and thought process of the other person, better communications should be a natural result of that, and better communications lead to more harmonious relationships. When we go on trying to speak two similar but different languages, it becomes very easy for each person to think the other person meant something completely different by their words/actions and those misunderstandings can turn into false assumptions that can cause a lot of serious damage to a relationship (something I've learned the hard way).

    Quote Originally Posted by SubtleFighter
    This is key. Again, I appreciate where these situations seem cruel to Fi-users, but the other perspective of this is that interrupting an Fe-user in the middle of their preliminary venting to disagree with them feels . . . hurtful. I kind of just know instinctively if another Fe-user is venting at me that this process is crucial to them and that what they need right now is for me to emphasize the parts where I sympathize with them. They’re in kind of a delicate place in that moment, even if it may not seem like it. The only time I’d interrupt this initial venting to disagree would be if it was something truly heinous that they were stating (this would risk a major rift in our relationship and probably at that point I wouldn’t care) or if I already didn’t like them and didn’t care if I hurt them or pissed them off. I’ve known a couple ESFJs over the past couple years who vented at me a lot and who I didn’t agree with a lot of the time. But even though I didn’t hold these people in high esteem anyway, I still never disagreed with them while in the first stage of venting—it’s just that this is a crucial process that Fe-users need to go through to figure out their own emotions. If I’m venting to someone like this and they immediately start telling me I’m wrong . . . it can be frustrating if the person is only kind of close to me, but it can be very painful is I’m really close to this person and trust them a lot.

    After this initial venting process is over, like Fidelia said, we’re normally open to someone disagreeing with us. We normally want other people’s opinions, in fact, which is part of why we brought up this subject. Just not in the heat of the venting.
    I'd like to know how I am doing (or have done) in regard to that. When I listen to someoen venting, I do not interupt, but when they are done (when I feel like a response is exppected from me), I offer my assessment of the situation. which can (and often is) in the form of one of the statements I listed earlier...
    "I know ____ is being a jerk, but he means well and his heart is in the right place, hes just too emotionally clueless to realize what impact his approach has on others"
    "You know _____ is under a lot of stress at work and she is not treated with respect there, so she is taking it out on you and others"
    Are those the kind of statements/evaluations that would drive an Fe user crazy, or is that in line with with the feedback loop you would want about the situation?
    (keys2cognition) Fi (47.6), Ne (36.8), Fe (36.8), Si (31.6), Ti (29.7), Ni (27.4), Te (17.2) Se (12.5) - subject to change - last updated 11JAN2012
    * Making consicious effort to improve my Fe...
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  10. #10
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    There's so much here to respond to, so I'll do it in chunks, rather in one post.

    I liked Subtle Fighter's elaboration on what I said, as it reflects well how I feel. I think your last statements, Tenebrous don't seem bad at all, but context will matter. You may need to ensure that they have completely emptied themselves of what's bothering them and have initiated shifting the energy to problem solving before offering something. Otherwise it may still be felt as unwanted advice or lack of supportiveness even if it what you are saying isn't at all bad.

    You do a huge service by asking questions about what we've said (which in Fi land would be rude because you'd offer that information if you wanted to talk about it and appreciate people not going there if you didn't.). Sometimes to process things, Fe users really need to know that it is safe and that you are interested. Stuff like, "So what happened then?" "Why do you think he was doing that?" etc will help you to be sure you understand the situation completely and also relieve the Fe users agitated emotions. They will be deeply grateful for you being willing to perform that service and not rush them through the initial stage of talking things through.

    It may seem ridiculous, but I really need that sort of thing to sort out what I think and feel. Otherwise it feels overwhelmingly difficult to deal with, and yet I can't will resent someone coming in uninvited to take over solving the problem for me or telling me that I am incorrect in my perception.

    re Your perspective being felt by other Fe users as unsupportive - I think I get that way too. I've decided that it usually happens when I feel that the other person has not taken time to completely understand the situation and are trying to rush to the problem-solving too fast, or when they try to play the devil's advocate, not understanding that what may look like frustration or anger can be hurt or unsureness. Waiting for the non-verbal invitation to offer other perspectives seems to work much better. You can usually tell when it's time because the person will start thinking about how their ranting may be perceived or they may add qualifiers that show they are beginning to modify the strength of feeling in their initial outburst.

    On an unrelated note, something SF wrote, made me realize I should have clarified that I think I do take into account other people's intentions. They just don't seem to carry the same weight as they do for a lot of Fi users. I used to see their explanation of their intentions as excuse making, but I realize after a number of conversations on here, that they assign much different weight than I do to them. Another person's intentions can affect how I perceive the situation, but it doesn't completely excuse or overshadow behaviour that causes problems or hurt, even if it was not intended. I really noticed this a lot when I first became a mod. After someone brought something up that sounded accusatory, inflammatory and like a blanket statement about the mods' behind the scenes deception or sneakiness, many little fires would be started that we would spend days putting out. Meanwhile the original person felt they had gotten it all into the open, hadn't intended any harm, and hadn't meant anything personal towards the majority of the mods they weren't referring to (but didn't mention that they weren't) and went on their way. It made me even more upset when they said that they hadn't made any of those statements with the intention of bringing about a particular outcome, it was more a way of keeping things on the up and up and expressing their feelings at that time! This made it seem even more thoughtless or capricious to me than if they had been trying to enact change for something they felt was wrong. I would have preferred them privately to check the facts and then deal with it publicly only if it couldn't be dealt with privately because it wouldn't impact the rest of the forum to the same extent. Some of them felt that that would have seemed kind of shady and not on the up and up. Further talks have helped me at least to have some more understanding of their reasoning, even if I stil feel frustrated in the moment by our very different approaches to problem solving.

    For me, people's intent goes into the pot with other information like their background, age, experience, usual way of interacting and so on to provide context. To me there are occasions where the right behaviours need to take precedence over one's feelings and as long as they are not morally reprehensible/require one to go against their values, I don't think that it is being asked to behave inauthentically just because it isn't one's first inclination.

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