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Thread: Fi vs Fe

  1. #1
    Musician Forever's Avatar
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    Question Fi vs Fe

    So I don't know if something was posted like this before but what would you say is the difference between Fi and Fe when it comes to morality?

    I also heard people tie Fi to sympathy and Fe to empathy, and then another was like they're both empathetic in different ways.

    Also I know as an INFJ I would theoretically have strong Fe, but there are sometimes where I know what I'm feeling because of a certain thing bugged me very much, for example a personal attack on an experience I much shared about with a close friend on my experiences with people and then to mess it all up and it gets me infuriated and I don't need public opinion to tell me that's not something to get upset for.

    But yet, there are days where I'll feel others pain without noticing anything like I'll get headache like from a customer having a hard time and actually the part of my head will be pointing or reflecting that where the person is being frustrated with something. Like she will be northwest of me, and the northwestern part of my head will hurt when I'm facing North.

    I think I have Ti because I always loved the theory more than the actual process or result of something like for example, Chemistry. I found the theory way more fascinating than seeing the results like in a experiment for a class.

    I don't think I have a strong moral compass but I do tend to value women more than men, (I'm a guy) and I have things I would never ever want to do and that is to manipulate others even for selling purposes, I strongly value knowledge that people should always (or most of the time) be fully informed of something before making a decision. I'm highly sensitive to physical touch and I can get hurt by personal attacks.

    Although recently, I have been way more easy to put up with people's scoff's or murmurings for little things which I know I have no fault of, rather than the past I used to think almost everything was my fault. But now I also perceive that sometimes I may not care when I should about others, I always remember specific people who put their efforts on me even if I deem them fake and insincere. For example, I bought a pair of expensive noise-cancelling headphones and this lady I could see that she kept stumbling on her words and trying to encourage me to buy it and I could detect lies in it that weren't true about her just trying to connect with me. I came specifically to that store to get the model and my mind was made up, so I didn't care about her persuasion, just wanted to buy the headphones.

    Later, she comes to my workplace wearing her store's work shirt and almost gave me an expectant look like I needed to recognize her, but I didn't. I came off cold, and just a few months afterwards this thought came in my head, and I wonder if it really would've mattered to recognize her.

    I think I go in and out of these stages of *maybe* Fi and Fe. I never really thought I had to exactly conform myself, except in certain situations just to preserve the peace but never really changing what really were my ideas about things.

    For most of all what I feel is anxiousness and tenseness and nothingness so I can't really say I have Fi, but I also really like when people have manners and say hello and smile. I do like a bit of small talk and that can annoy some of my thinking friends, I like short small talk and then transition to deep things. It's kind of weird.

  2. #2
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forever View Post
    I also heard people tie Fi to sympathy and Fe to empathy, and then another was like they're both empathetic in different ways.
    It's the other way round: Fi=empathy (ie. understand) and Fe=sympathy (ie. emulate). Of course this is totally oversimplifying it and all types use empathy, yada yada yada.

    You sort of hit on it to near the beginning: Fe relates more through shared experience and mirroring - "I see that you are in pain or hear that you have experienced painful things and this is reflected in me". It's not necessarily anything to do with conformity. Fe users just like to be on the same page as others, communication-wise, and prefer to use a common yardstick of human behaviour to measure and figure people out (eg. if they're lying or not).

    Fi relates by inferring and sensing the internal state of another person; evaluating people on a case-by-case basis, using a different yardstick for each person. Fi-users have to get inside another person's head to grasp their emotional experience and way of thinking. They are interested in the way outward displays of feeling and internal states compare and contrast, and feed into and undermine one another. Fi can fail miserably in the mirroring and establishing rapport part of interaction because it tends to look straight past this stuff - it's not directed towards creating solid communication channels.
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    It's the other way round: Fi=empathy (ie. understand) and Fe=sympathy (ie. emulate). Of course this is totally oversimplifying it and all types use empathy, yada yada yada.

    You sort of hit on it to near the beginning: Fe relates more through shared experience and mirroring - "I see that you are in pain or hear that you have experienced painful things and this is reflected in me". It's not necessarily anything to do with conformity. Fe users just like to be on the same page as others, communication-wise, and prefer to use a common yardstick of human behaviour to measure and figure people out (eg. if they're lying or not).

    Fi relates by inferring and sensing the internal state of another person; evaluating people on a case-by-case basis, using a different yardstick for each person. Fi-users have to get inside another person's head to grasp their emotional experience and way of thinking. They are interested in the way outward displays of feeling and internal states compare and contrast, and feed into and undermine one another. Fi can fail miserably in the mirroring and establishing rapport part of interaction because it tends to look straight past this stuff - it's not directed towards creating solid communication channels.
    Thank you @Southern Kross!
    I understand a little bit better now, but not really to know if I am really using Fe or Fi. I don't think I give empathy to everyone and some times sympathy to others. I really do like hearing minority groups or that some deem taboo and hearing their stories and some of them when hearing their stories or way quite way I actually begin to respect them even though my parents will think their nuts for thinking to be like that. So that could give an Fi vibe. I don't think I am an expert into connecting with everyone smoothly and effortlessly since I don't know about people's lives as much especially just first time ever meeting the person, being the cashier I am.

    Thanks for not judging.

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    Supreme High Commander Andy's Avatar
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    The difference between Fi and Fe is nothing to do with empathy or sympathy. User of both can display either or neither. The difference is in how they react to these feelings.

    Fi is the urge to create opinions based upon ideas of moral, emotional or social worth or value. Fe is the urge to act upon social, moral or emotional needs or opportunities. Fi is introverted and focused inwards, towards the world of contemplation or thought. Fe is extroverted and focused outwards into the world around us. Fi leads to thought, Fe to action.
    Don't make whine out of sour grapes.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy View Post
    The difference between Fi and Fe is nothing to do with empathy or sympathy. User of both can display either or neither. The difference is in how they react to these feelings.

    Fi is the urge to create opinions based upon ideas of moral, emotional or social worth or value. Fe is the urge to act upon social, moral or emotional needs or opportunities. Fi is introverted and focused inwards, towards the world of contemplation or thought. Fe is extroverted and focused outwards into the world around us. Fi leads to thought, Fe to action.
    Are you sure about that @Andy? They're both judging functions, I could see action regardless and maybe Fi could be more towards the self than others or on selective groups. I would think both would produce thought and action.

    Unless now I could see it as Fi's process for doing needs to be Te? as Ti's process for Fe?

  6. #6
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forever View Post
    Thank you @Southern Kross!
    I understand a little bit better now, but not really to know if I am really using Fe or Fi. I don't think I give empathy to everyone and some times sympathy to others. I really do like hearing minority groups or that some deem taboo and hearing their stories and some of them when hearing their stories or way quite way I actually begin to respect them even though my parents will think their nuts for thinking to be like that. So that could give an Fi vibe. I don't think I am an expert into connecting with everyone smoothly and effortlessly since I don't know about people's lives as much especially just first time ever meeting the person, being the cashier I am.

    Thanks for not judging.
    You're getting hung up on the concept and not focussing enough on the process itself. Both Fe and Fi can result in behaviour that is outwardly very similar (if not identical), however they use very different routes to get to that same point. The empathy vs sympathy dichotomy is more analogous to the way each go about relating to other people. Fe is more outside-in and Fi is more inside-out. Fe focuses on external data and Fi focuses on internal data. Fe evaluates with broad strokes and Fi evaluates with greater depth. Fe has more immediacy and is action-oriented (because it is broad) and Fi is more questioning, probing, and analytical (because it is deep).

    The important thing is not to confuse these qualities with your Perceiving functions. If you are a INFJ then you lead with Ni, which seeks a convergence of ideas and unpacks and explores reality to a great depth. This at first glance seem like Fi, which also is focused on depth, but it isn't the same thing at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Forever View Post
    Are you sure about that @Andy? They're both judging functions, I could see action regardless and maybe Fi could be more towards the self than others or on selective groups. I would think both would produce thought and action.

    Unless now I could see it as Fi's process for doing needs to be Te? as Ti's process for Fe?
    Fe is action-oriented in a way Fi is not. Look at the Keirsey's descriptors for NF types: he says NFJs are mentors and NFPs are advocates. This reflects the difference between Fe-dom/aux and Fi-dom/aux in terms of how they demonstrate their skills in interpersonal matters. NFJs seek more direct impact on the world and people around them though guiding and assisting others to be the best they can be. NFPs however, aren't as driven to affect the world (and people) that directly - they seek to be more supportive of and defensive about values and ideas to create an environment that is best for others.
    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
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    You're getting hung up on the concept and not focussing enough on the process itself. Both Fe and Fi can result in behaviour that is outwardly very similar (if not identical), however they use very different routes to get to that same point. The empathy vs sympathy dichotomy is more analogous to the way each go about relating to other people. Fe is more outside-in and Fi is more inside-out. Fe focuses on external data and Fi focuses on internal data. Fe evaluates with broad strokes and Fi evaluates with greater depth. Fe has more immediacy and is action-oriented (because it is broad) and Fi is more questioning, probing, and analytical (because it is deep).

    The important thing is not to confuse these qualities with your Perceiving functions. If you are a INFJ then you lead with Ni, which seeks a convergence of ideas and unpacks and explores reality to a great depth. This at first glance seem like Fi, which also is focused on depth, but it isn't the same thing at all.


    Fe is action-oriented in a way Fi is not. Look at the Keirsey's descriptors for NF types: he says NFJs are mentors and NFPs are advocates. This reflects the difference between Fe-dom/aux and Fi-dom/aux in terms of how they demonstrate their skills in interpersonal matters. NFJs seek more direct impact on the world and people around them though guiding and assisting others to be the best they can be. NFPs however, aren't as driven to affect the world (and people) that directly - they seek to be more supportive of and defensive about values and ideas to create an environment that is best for others.
    I see then by that description, I am very much more an Fe user. Thanks @Southern Kross again.

  8. #8
    Supreme High Commander Andy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forever View Post
    Are you sure about that @Andy? They're both judging functions, I could see action regardless and maybe Fi could be more towards the self than others or on selective groups. I would think both would produce thought and action.

    Unless now I could see it as Fi's process for doing needs to be Te? as Ti's process for Fe?
    Yes, I'm sure about that. Fi acts mostly through Pe, which is the urge to explore, experiment and act spontaneously. Fi acts as a filter for Pe, sorting desirable options from the near endless possibilities. Fi relegates Te to the inferior possition because Fi is based in jugements of value and worth, whereas Te is about practical or logistical need or opportunity. It is difficult to both seek higher values while being completely pragmatic at the same time. Fi relegates Fe to the shadow functions because they are fundamentally exculsive - both concern social matters, but do so from opposite ends of the spectrum, one pragmatic, the other value based. Te manages to occupy a place amongst the concious functions because while it is pragmatic, it is not directly concerned with social issues, allowing it to squeeze into the inferior position.

    Fe mostly thinks through Pi, the urge to contemplate the way things work and to plan ahead. The contemplations of Pi shape how Fe judges what is necessary.

    Through these considerations it is possible to see why Pe acts as the auxillary for dominant Fi and Pi acts as the auxillary for dominant Fe. To achieve balance within the mind there must be a mixture of urges pushing towards both action and contemplation. If only introverted urges exist, as in an IFP stuck in the tertiory temptation, only the urge to contemplation is exists and the person thinks, worries and dithers but never actually does anything. A double extroversion leads to endless action without learning learning from past mistakes or sitting down to think of a better way of doing things. However for Fi, this balance can only come from Pe, because Je is incompatible with Fi. For Fe it was to be Pi because Fiis incompatible.
    Don't make whine out of sour grapes.

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