with that said, when we react and get equally hooked on ONLY MEANING MATTERS, we often lose sight of that other way of putting the situation in context and just paraphrasing, "WUR sounds a bit angry" (ie it's about the other person too, so i don't need to take this personally). that attempt at committing to my own objective context, some Ti story sense, is the primary resource i have for steadying out what is happening. when i do my best, i actually go back and review the interaction more closely, instead of just allowing myself to jump to conclusions without really examining the flow. doing the Fi thing is even more challenging, bc it's both against the grain, like Ti, but also then flipping the script, focusing on internal history. definitely not a strength. my best way of listening is getting myself really steadied physically and then allowing myself to use the meaning as clues to finally test things internally with my own kind of model of emotions/needs. it wasn't until a couple of years ago, however, where needs became part of my vocabulary. and i really couldn't get thru the first couple of superficial layers with myself to really offer empathy. i mean, hell, we start out using ideas outside in the world that we test emotionally based on what we think the best world would be like (would this be good for me to be/be part of?). going backwards against the grain to learn what our deepest needs are, and to be able to offer a way of listening from that place, is a huge challenge. i really truly feel like the only reason i have any sense of it at all is that i was explicitly TAUGHT it by nfps. the ongoing presence of my infp 9w1 mom probably helps, but i also have tons of empathy fails, precipitated quite frequently based on how shitty i can be at actually empathizing with myself, cleaning myself off on the inside from emotional reactions, and staying focused on how to proceed.