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  1. #271
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msg_v2 View Post
    I think so. Whenever I think about Feely stuff, I always think about the consequences of what I will say, and how it will make people feel. I've been in too many situations where someone will go,

    "It's ok, you can share whatever is on your mind here. No judgement. Sharing things brings people closer together. You can trust me."

    "**************"

    [paraphrased] "Well, that's a fucking weird thing to say. Why are you telling me that? That's so off from the way I experience the world, you're kind of a weirdo. " [/paraphrased]

    My internal monologue after the fact: "Well, so much for a judgement free zone."
    The end result is that I come to the conclusion that was right not to be reluctant to say anything. I take experiences like that, and I build on them. Like I've learned to not take people's claims of being open-minded at face value. If I don't think that the person in question is realizing that "whatever is on my mind" can include icky stuff like insecurities they might not have personally experienced, I'm going to just try and find some way around the demand for openness.


    I hate saying things like "you can share anything with me" because I know that's a promise I might not be able to keep. And I'd rather not hurt the other person by breaking promises.

    And I find it baffling how Introverted Feeling doesn't seem to think of things in this way, how it seems to have a really hard time seeing how this sort of stuff reverberates. (Because I do get the sense that Introverted Feeling has a hard time with that.)
    What you're saying is perfectly reasonable to me in theory, but things don't really work like that for me in practice. I read the signs differently and don't pick up where I'm overstepping my bounds. Being supportive to the people I care about matters a lot to me, but the value doesn't always translate to an appropriately demonstrated format. Basically you have to assume we're idiots when it comes to recognising and adhering the social protocol and expectations. And I really mean that. Even if we look like we know what we're doing, we're just trying to fudge it.

    But, what happened in your hypothetical is pretty shitty by my standards too. I would never do that.
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

    I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;
    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte

  2. #272
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I'm not sure about what to do with that, as I know Fi users don't like Fe "nudges" and they also don't want to be told a prescribed thing to do, as it would be inauthentic, yet I've heard many express that it seems like there is a handbook somewhere that they failed to receive and they would like to be told what is expected. Is it more the method of doing this that needs tweaking, or the information itself? I know that I don't like feeling frustrated or disappointed and try to do whatever I can to avoid it. I'm well aware of the negative Fe tendencies I have and would like to minimize them as much as possible. I think, Southern Kross, that perhaps you might be able to verbalize it in a way that could be helpful for me.

  3. #273
    Riva
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    I have a question to both fps and fjs.

    When witnessing a statement/comment by someone you know/friend/acquaintance that you believe is offensive:

    How do you react?
    Do you judge that person by the comment that person made? Or
    By the history of experiences you've had with that person?
    Would you give that person time to explain themselves? Or
    Do you get further offended when that person tries to defend themselves?
    Is a sincere apology accepted? Or
    Does it allow you to further feel as though the horse you ride get taller?
    Do you feel good about yourselves when you judge another?
    And do you consider yourself tolerant? (Tolerance plays a major role in kindness/harmony/acceptance I believe.)

  4. #274
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riva View Post
    I have a question to both fps and fjs.

    When witnessing a statement/comment by someone you know/friend/acquaintance that you believe is offensive:
    FP answer:

    How do you react?

    That depends on the situation. Am I in a big group or alone with the person? How close am I to them? How well do I know them? And how offensive is the matter at hand to my Fi?

    You see, I'll always be more careful in group situations, and if someone is a close friend and I know them well, I'm a lot more capable of gauging *where* that statement would come from and what context to view it in. Often people say something in frustration that they don't particularly men in such a vicious way sheerly due to the issues they are dealing with and coz they are tired. If I know the person, I can read which triggers have been touched to cause such a reaction and depending on their situation and the repetition of this 'offensive' pattern, I'll adjust my reaction to letting it go, or to make a point of not enabling the behavior.

    On top of that, and this is especially true if I don't know the person that well yet, I'll check what they actually *meant* to say. I'll ask for clarifications - to check if I missed an inside joke, if perhaps the word they used doesnt have the same meaning it does to me, etc - and then I'll check that for patterns and Fi-fallacies to see how much bullshit they are trying to get away with or if there is a genuine authentic reason for going there.

    Also, if they hit one of my insecurities - especially when I was younger- it was at times hard to pull back my Te in a kneejerk reaction. These days I try to avoid that, unless a pattern of being deliberately offensive and the reason why they are being offensive to me is very clear. Otherwise, Ill always try to first check where it is coming from.

    Lastly, with people that know me very well, I do have one expectation: if you know me well, then you know how I work, as I do with you and you can be blunter about the things that bother you and vice versa. Those things can sometimes be construed as hard truths or hard povs and therefore offensive. It is like fencing between friends: it keeps you on your toes, reveals your weaknesses, makes you aware of them and sometimes you end up bleeding a little; however, since you know for sure that they are your friends for a reason and are fond of you *despite* those issues, you know that it is a safe place to do such fencing in.


    Do you judge that person by the comment that person made? Or

    Depends. I don't...judge per se, but I file what they said away to their personality map folder, as such, to fit it in with how they work and what they believe and perceive.

    By the history of experiences you've had with that person?

    All those experiences are registered in that map, so they all get seen in context with each other

    Would you give that person time to explain themselves? Or

    Always. I usually prompt people for that information, coz I want the entire picture. Granted, if it was particularly painful, I might need some time to lick my wounds first before having that part of the conversation.

    Do you get further offended when that person tries to defend themselves?

    Ha. That depends very much on what he says and *how* he says it. The thing with defending is...especially if you re talking about something that *was* already offensive, that you often get to see the way the person thinks, states things, his belief etc all just from how he puts his sentences together and what type of logic he uses to defend himself. Granted, you have to correct for FeTi and FiTe differences coz those are two very distinctive languages to use for 'defending'. The thing is that you those extra sentences can either reveal that the person in question does not see the sentence he said as offense due to the way he or she perceives that statement themselves. But often you can also tell by the way they defend themselves *why* it is that they would make an offensive comment about the other person in the first place. It often reveals anxieties, insecurities, an inability to - and man this is ironic to say as an NF - detach from themselves, go beyond what *they* feel is right and how they *perceive* reality and imagine what other peoples povs are and how they are equally valid. That in and of itself is not a problem, UNLESS they so sure of themselves that the way they view the world is the only correct way and therefore feel that they get to push that onto others without even a second to doubt themselves. Aka a butt load of unfounded arrogance and judgement. And those I might just show how offensive I find it, just to shake them up and see if I can at least make them a little curious about why their pov isnt the only one that is acceptable in the world.

    Is a sincere apology accepted? Or

    Yup. However, it also depends on if they can demonstrate that they understand the reason to apologise. Usually, with a sincere apology, there are 3 reasons:

    They apologise because they dont want the head ache of discussing this further
    They apologise because they like you too much to let this thing blow up
    They apologise because they truly understand why it would be offensive and therefore validate my pov and my response as essentially equal to their own.

    Honestly, the last one is more of an explanation (something you see often in Fi users btw and seems to bug Fe users as apparently seems like an excuse instead of an apology). And, honestly, that one is the one that carries the most weight.

    I appreciate all three, but the first one - when I notice that that is the reason - is for me a reason to distance myself from that person and the topics we discuss, so we can maintain that peace. But it saddens me to have to close that door of interaction and enrichment from each others povs.

    The second one is very much appreciated as I too value our bond, but saddens me for the same reason as before. It also implies that I have to watch out with you, because you don't know why what you did was offensive. It means you are - through no fault of your own - likely to mis step again, so that means there will be a glass ceiling wrt how close a friends we can be and how much we trust. I usually try to turn this into the third kind *because* I absolutely abhor this kind of miscommunication and emotional distance between two people who are fond of each other.

    Does it allow you to further feel as though the horse you ride get taller?

    Im...not sure what you mean but Im going to presume you are referring to 'sitting on your high horse'.

    I'd like to think I don't do that. Or rather, I work very hard to try and be aware of doing that. I don't like that being done to me either so I try not to do that to others. I only get to that point wrt my personal space. I don't stand for others putting expectations or claims on me they have not had permission for. If it is for the greater good, I'll glance over that kind of demand and flex - once. If it becomes a pattern, I have no problem sitting on my high horse till they find a proper way to address me and apologise for expecting me to cater to their needs without even as much as a request or often a thank you afterwards. This is also the only time I actually won't budge without a full blown apology and a clear show of awareness of why I don't appreciate this. This also extends to exploiting people who happen to be a weaker position and taking advantage of that.

    Normally though, I dont even need an apology, I just need an explanation as to why you thought like that and where it came from, so I can factor that in with how you work. It might get you classified as someone less compatible with me though and therefore we might ever become bbfs if you will, but that is it. As I said, everyone has a different pov on life and it is just a matter of navigating this in a productive way.

    Do you feel good about yourselves when you judge another?

    Quite the contrary, I actively feel guilty about it.

    Otoh, I do feel righteous anger when it pertains to someone who was actively and knowingly harming others, or myself and who has had plenty of opportunities to realise that what he was doing wasnt exactly productive.

    Also, as much as I dont find gossip to be productive, I do recognize that I too sometimes need to vent and can sound incredibly judgemental while doing so. But when i do that, I also try to make sure I keep in mind the traits I like about the person and try to see what I do very much appreciate in them. It is a way of working through the frustration of the situation.

    And do you consider yourself tolerant? (Tolerance plays a major role in kindness/harmony/acceptance I believe.)

    I strive to be
    ★ڿڰۣ✿ℒoѵℯ✿ڿڰۣ★





    "Harm none, do as ye will”

  5. #275
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    sorry for the delay - the jewish holiday season is now over so it's going to take more time to answer posts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    My sister doesn't give a damn about getting a free drink. She does get upset that she has a friend who has no qualms about endlessly treating her like a doormat.
    see but i identify with that: that is exactly why i would even care about reciprocation in the first place - because i wouldn't want to feel resentful or feel like a doormat in the future. from the above it seems @fidelia identifies with it too...

    now, this is interesting because you are actually describing the very miss communication we are having right now:

    i am focusing on the external state of things, and externally, those two are identical.
    - Fi state A: one person gives...
    - Fi state B: to later want in return
    - Fe alternative: while another person gives expecting something in return
    so externally speaking, the only difference is that Fe person predicted how they are going to feel.

    but you see a great difference, because you are focused on the internal state within each point of the process:
    - Fi state A:: one person gives because they feel generosity and altruistic
    - Fi state B:: but is savoring their dignity and doesn't want to feel used and exploited
    - Fe alternative: gives with the alter motive of later getting what they want

    for me, while standing in the shoes of the reciprocation point of view, the later is immensely disingenuine - if your giving something only to later feel the person you gave too should do the same, you aren't genuinely giving without expecting anything in return. for me the fact that the person felt they are being generous at that moment means little to nothing for me when it isn't applicable to the larger scheme of things.

    now since then my ideals have mutated - i believe in putting my ago aside and taking responsibility for it, which leads to the dynamic of doing something for someone else without expecting in return and reasoning that it was my own choice to do something for someone and it's my responsibility to live with that choice & nobody else's, which pretty much leaves me resentment free to the extent that i can practice it (which is easier when the subject is someone i care about, thus the focus on "the group")... so from this point of view, i would probably see it as a lack of personal responsibility.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    And for the record, I don't mean to say that Fi never gives without having ulterior motive. I just meant that the ideal is giving without ulterior motives. Of course, it doesn't always work out like that.
    i am really not convinced Fe/Fi is going to determine which ideals people believe in... it's going to influence our attitude towards our ideals and how we judge things relatively to them as well as how we judge ourselves, but i don't see how it's going to determine which ideals we identify with. as i've noted before, there was at least one INFJ with that same ideal. it didn't work out behaviorally in accordance to that ideal, in fact reality almost never does, but she did believe in it.


    Quote Originally Posted by pinkgraffiti View Post
    wait. it was more or less this, but you didn't get (or i didn't explain well enough) something about this story: the INFP was not in a bad mood by herself and thus being "winny"; she had had a big argument with the ENFJ. when I arrived, the ENFJ was pretending that the argument had not existed, whilst the INFP could not move past it before her feelings were addressed and the problem "sorted".

    it's what we've been discussing before: after an argument, an Fe-user will want to go past the feelings to solve the problem, and may discuss left-over feelings later, but not necessarily; in contrast, the Fi-user will want to solve the argument by first going through the feelings, discussing them, and will not go into action (in my friends case, on a trip) without first establish a harmony of feelings.

    huh, i misunderstood that the first round.

    what do you mean in going "past" the feelings? solving the external cause for them? if so then i identify with that... if something seems to me to be an emotional reaction to a problem in reality, i want to change the external reality.

    if you mean ignoring the problem and shoving it under a rug, then no i don't, and if anything, TPs are actually known for having a lot of difficulty in letting go of conflicts & arguments, it's a well established character flaw that i heart many other TPs describe (and many non-TPs complain about TPs) which i do identify with, so the reverse of shoving things under the rug.

  6. #276
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I'm not sure about what to do with that, as I know Fi users don't like Fe "nudges" and they also don't want to be told a prescribed thing to do, as it would be inauthentic, yet I've heard many express that it seems like there is a handbook somewhere that they failed to receive and they would like to be told what is expected. Is it more the method of doing this that needs tweaking, or the information itself? I know that I don't like feeling frustrated or disappointed and try to do whatever I can to avoid it. I'm well aware of the negative Fe tendencies I have and would like to minimize them as much as possible. I think, Southern Kross, that perhaps you might be able to verbalize it in a way that could be helpful for me.
    I don't think there's a single solution for it. In some instances the Fe user might just have to take a step back and rethink their response. Much like what I mentioned about earlier the Fi tendency to hear judgement of their values where there may be none, Fe users biases they have in how they receive information and we both need to learn about how to counteract that. Sometimes we just have to stop and get others to clarify things before leaping to a conclusion. In other cases you might just need to talk things out a little more with the people around you, and learn about how they use language.

    I remember hearing about a book on male and female communication and I read a sample of it on Amazon. An example was used that was very revealing to me, as it seemed representative of Fe and Fi in conversation:

    ... I presented a conversation that had taken place between a couple in their car. The woman had asked, "Would you like to stop for a drink?". Her husband had answered truthfully, "No", and they hadn't stopped. He was later frustrated to learn that his wife was annoyed because she had wanted to stop for a drink. He wondered, "Why didn't she just say what she wanted? Why did she play games with me?". The wife, I explained, was annoyed not because she had not gotten her way, but because her preference had not been considered. From her point of view, she had shown concern for her husband's wishes, but he had shown no concern for hers.

    My analysis emphasised that the husband and wife in this example had different but equally valid styles. [...] In understanding what went wrong, the man must realise that when she asks what he would like, she is not asking an information question but rather starting a negotiation about what both would like. For her part, however, she must realise that[...] when he answers 'yes' or 'no' he is not making a non-negotiable demand.
    To me, the way the author described the male thinking sounded like Fi and the female thinking sounded like Fe. Now I certainly don't mean to make a literal comparison; of course, males and females can use either function. But I do think it shows how one person can imply more than they say and how another can be miss that, and that we both interpret what others say, by what it would mean if we had said it ourselves. We measure others by our own yardstick. I also think her analysis is useful because it shows that both have to learn more about each other's communication styles.
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

    I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;
    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte

  7. #277
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Now this is getting interesting

    Quote Originally Posted by Mane View Post
    see but i identify with that: that is exactly why i would even care about reciprocation in the first place - because i wouldn't want to feel resentful or feel like a doormat in the future. from the above it seems fidelia identifies with it too...

    now, this is interesting because you are actually describing the very miss communication we are having right now:

    i am focusing on the external state of things, and externally, those two are identical.
    - Fi state A: one person gives...
    - Fi state B: to later want in return
    - Fe alternative: while another person gives expecting something in return
    so externally speaking, the only difference is that Fe person predicted how they are going to feel.

    but you see a great difference, because you are focused on the internal state within each point of the process:
    - Fi state A:: one person gives because they feel generosity and altruistic
    - Fi state B:: but is savoring their dignity and doesn't want to feel used and exploited
    - Fe alternative: gives with the alter motive of later getting what they want
    Ah, I get what you're getting at. But for me the internal state is everything in the process. I mean, I never confuse the Fe style of reciprocity with the Fi style in everyday life - they seem entirely different to me. Are they to Fe? Or is it simply a matter of effective vs. ineffective usage of it to you guys?

    for me, while standing in the shoes of the reciprocation point of view, the later is immensely disingenuine - if your giving something only to later feel the person you gave too should do the same, you aren't genuinely giving without expecting anything in return. for me the fact that the person felt they are being generous at that moment means little to nothing for me when it isn't applicable to the larger scheme of things.
    OK, this makes more sense now. Fe might be smarter about these things and more effective in this area. I certainly see the point of it, but I just can't think like that. I can see why you would see it as disingenuous, but in my reasoning framework (and in my knowledge of my sister), it's not.

    To me, to be disingenuous requires intent. You could be blamed for being naive or ignorant about what the likely outcome will be, but not for being disingenuous. The Fi perspective is that the internal state at the time matters more than anything. And I'm not just talking about conscious intent either - we take the unconscious into account too. Here's an alternative version of the same scenario: if at the time my sister bought the drinks, she believed she was just being nice, but deep down she actually expected a return, then this would be disingenuous to me. It's disingenuous not so much because of the contrast of this thinking with external behaviour; it's about the internal inconsistency. She can't pat herself on the back for a selfless act and underneath really be wanting something out of it. In terms of the external action, it doesn't necessarily undermine the worthiness of the act. She still meant well and did a nice thing with a nice outcome (ie. her friends got a free drink), and I can fully acknowledge that. But it's not the ideal mindset, because she's being disingenuous with herself.

    I suppose it comes back to what you were saying about whether you take into account future outcomes or not. Fi believes a 'mental state of innocence' at the time of an action is important; a sort of ignorance about the what might happen. This also comes back to what I said about Fi holding seemingly contradictory views about something*. In a sense, in the above hypothetical I see my sister as being both blameworthy and praiseworthy at the same time. This is why Fi is so uneasy about hard and fast distinctions about right and wrong, or about ascribing blame, because we're seeing 2 (or 3, or 4, or even more) sides of the story, just within one person. Of course this is complicated even further when the reaction of the other person adds more sides to the story.

    I realise this is rather convoluted but believe it or not that stuff goes through my head. I hope it makes sense and that other Fi users actually identify with this thinking, and it's not just me! I hope I haven't overstepped the mark.

    *see! I did manage to get back to what you were saying earlier.

    now since then my ideals have mutated - i believe in putting my ago aside and taking responsibility for it, which leads to the dynamic of doing something for someone else without expecting in return and reasoning that it was my own choice to do something for someone and it's my responsibility to live with that choice & nobody else's, which pretty much leaves me resentment free to the extent that i can practice it (which is easier when the subject is someone i care about, thus the focus on "the group")... so from this point of view, i would probably see it as a lack of personal responsibility.
    These are wise words.

    i am really not convinced Fe/Fi is going to determine which ideals people believe in... it's going to influence our attitude towards our ideals and how we judge things relatively to them as well as how we judge ourselves, but i don't see how it's going to determine which ideals we identify with. as i've noted before, there was at least one INFJ with that same ideal. it didn't work out behaviorally in accordance to that ideal, in fact reality almost never does, but she did believe in it.
    I totally agree
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

    I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;
    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte

  8. #278
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    Here's an alternative version of the same scenario: if at the time my sister bought the drinks, she believed she was just being nice, but deep down she actually expected a return, then this would be disingenuous to me.
    actually depending on the situation, this would be exactly how i'd interpret it: if it was a one time thing, then she just wasn't being honest with herself. but if it is a consistent thing - she keeps buying drinks to her friend despite resenting him for not buying her drinks in the past - then it seems ridicules to think that she isn't aware of it on at least some level.

  9. #279
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riva View Post
    I have a question to both fps and fjs.

    When witnessing a statement/comment by someone you know/friend/acquaintance that you believe is offensive:
    This depends a great deal on context. Also, I'm labeled as a "Fe" user here, but my sense is that the way I think and feel socially and emotionally is quite different from the norm, so this might not help to establish Fe vs Fi definitions.

    How do you react? I don't typically have an initial reaction. If the statement is much different from their norm, then I'm confused by it. If I've already calibrated to their communication it can amuse me, if I expect negative statements of them, then it can just cause a grey feeling.

    Do you judge that person by the comment that person made? Or
    By the history of experiences you've had with that person?

    I judge it by the history of experiences with the person. The ideal of how I process subjective information is to create an inner construct, a hypothesis for every plausible framework that can explain an individual. The more information I receive, the more various of these inner constructs are built. Over time some constructs are built into skyscrapers while others are still just pouring the foundation. If I get conflicting information I go back and look over all the original constructs to figure out which ones it could fit into. If none of these can make sense of the new information, then I'll start building even more. The more important the person is to me the more I will do this. It will appear like I'm obsessing over conflicts and behaviors because this process takes a great deal of effort. I even have multiple inner constructs to explain the behavior of my mother, my romantic partner, my sister, etc. I never reach a point of 100% certitude about who another human being is.

    Would you give that person time to explain themselves? Or
    Do you get further offended when that person tries to defend themselves?

    Definitely would give opportunity to explain because it is more information to help me understand what is happening. There are probably scenarios where a person could further offend, but it is far more likely it would help.

    Is a sincere apology accepted? Or
    Does it allow you to further feel as though the horse you ride get taller?

    If the comment was directed at me personally and my reaction personal and lacking objectivity, then the height of my proverbial horse is the perfect inverse of how small I feel. When I am hurt or rejected by someone close to me I feel like a failure. I would prefer if I never expressed any superiority for it, but just recently I did and it was because my self-esteem completely deflated.

    Do you feel good about yourselves when you judge another?
    Not at all. I hate being confronted with conflict, rejection, anger, pain, etc. within myself or others. I wish there was perfect understanding. The best philosophy I have found that matches my desire for truth, objectivity, as well as peace and harmony is that we are all exactly the product of our experiences. When I see someone be offensive I believe that I would do exactly the same if I had lived their life. By considering that we are exactly cause-and-effect beings, it provides hope that there is a rational explanation for every harm as well as not placing blame on the individual.

    And do you consider yourself tolerant? (Tolerance plays a major role in kindness/harmony/acceptance I believe.)
    I believe myself to be tolerant. I work hard at being tolerant. To focus on this discussion of Fe/Fi, I think Fe can achieve tolerance by viewing behavior as contextual and so being less likely to blame the individual. I try to see how a person's beliefs and behaviors affect their own self. Often when someone harms others, they are also harming themselves. I reject the concept of punishment because it has been so harmful for my own self. I think that rejecting punishment is a big part of tolerance.

    One thing I've been thinking about when comparing Ni and Ne is that Ni focuses on the core components while Ne is more contextual and focuses on the interaction of details. I was wondering if this is also true of Fi and Fe. If Fi looks for core, universal principles, while Fe looks at the details of interaction in real time. This is something like comparing the "i" aspect of a function to be like viewing the trunk of a tree, the foundation, those components that affect all else while the "e" aspect of a function looks at the branches and leaves and how those patterns interact when interacting with the wind, rain, snow, and the elements.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  10. #280
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mane View Post
    actually depending on the situation, this would be exactly how i'd interpret it: if it was a one time thing, then she just wasn't being honest with herself. but if it is a consistent thing - she keeps buying drinks to her friend despite resenting him for not buying her drinks in the past - then it seems ridicules to think that she isn't aware of it on at least some level.
    You're missing the point. We're not called "idealists" for nothing, eh? An ESTJ can feel the pang of it too.

    Here's the deal - even if we feel some resentment from time to time, we strive to rise above that. To imagine never feeling it seems impossible. So why try to avoid it? It's pretty natural in the course of any human transaction. It's about doing what one feels is the 'right' thing to do, with a sense of consistency, and in spite of what others do and sometimes despite challenging consequences.

    Now, of course, even with these ideals, we are still human. So yes, even the most altruistic givers sometimes have moments where they can feel keenly a lack of (or perceived lack of) reciprocation and can feel sad or angry or even bitter about it. That doesn't in and of itself diminish the value of what's been given, if one can process it and own one's inner state and grow from that. For Fi dom at least, it's not so much about heading off the situation before it arises, it's about a healthy processing of any associated emotions and transcending them or making them into something better.

    Now, that being said, that's a best case scenario. As I said, we're all just human here.

    So, to say this another way, we do the thing we feel is 'right' despite what other people choose to do. Even if we feel some disappointment from time to time, it's not going to change what we feel is the 'right' thing to do. If we do change, it's more about an inner decision dictated by values. It's about living by them, not arbitrarily. I mean, why have values at all if you don't abide by them?

    A simplistic example: I like to send Christmas cards. I've decided it's the 'right' thing for me to do over the holidays to try to be in touch with relatives and friends. I can be inconsistent sometimes with other communications but at least at Xmas, I send a card and letter to the whole list, whether or not we got one back that Christmas or the Xmas before. Now, my MIL and Mom both tally the cards, who sent this year vs last, and if you miss a couple of times with them, you'll drop off the list (exceptions are older relations or people who are known to be ill or struggling in some way.) I make note of who sent cards too, but if you miss a couple of times it does not necessarily mean you drop off the list. I want you to know I'm thinking of you - after all, we have some sort of connection. (It's not like I'm sending these to people out of the phone book - I don't have enough cash for that!) And, naturally, I drop names off too, but it's not from lack of reciprocation. It isn't for that.

    I know my Mom's and MIL's way is more pragmatic. And, I know it doesn't mean that they don't like that person any more - to my eyes, it means they've dropped in importance a bit but they're not out, and some actions from the other party could elevate their status again. But I don't like transacting that way. You are important to me period, whether or not you send a card back. So I send them. This does not mean I don't ever feel disappointment from lack of reciprocation. It doesn't make me better than anyone else in the universe. It just means I am willing to own that little bit of disappointment in exchange for my reaching out with a card.

    If you want to say I am taking some sort of moral high ground here, I'll concede that. I know it sounds like it and that's how my inner world is governed so there's no sense in pretending otherwise. I decided in my twenties that I simply would not let other people's actions dictate my own. I've seen how much hurt and misunderstanding gets communicated that way.

    Another example - My parents didn't verbally tell me they loved me when I was a kid - and around 23, I decided, f* that, I don't need to wait to hear it, I can deliver it myself. I love them. So, I started ending phone calls with "I love you's" and that action has permeated our lives where the words are now freely and genuinely exchanged on a near daily basis. I helped foster that. I'm glad I did that. It's helped us all be closer.
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
    Eleanor Roosevelt


    "When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad."
    Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

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