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Thread: Are Fi and selfishness related?

  1. #91
    Paragon Gone Wrong Array OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    4w5 sp/sx
    IEI Ni


    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren Ashley View Post
    Gladly. The thought is that the person is pushing their own needs on you, with the expectation that you will accomodate them. They feel they are entitled to have their needs met. Not only that, but they are impinging on your freedom to your own thoughts and decisions; basic rights as an individual.

    Example: "I need you to buy me candies and flowers on Valentine's Day. And call me after work every day to make sure I am okay. And..." To you, would this just amount to being clear about needs/expectations? Or is it going a bit beyond that?

    I think that is an issue of directing and informing communication styles. Demanding something might not go over well. Informing could work well. Instead of saying, "I need you to do....", you could say, "I love when my friends buy me candies & flowers on V day". That may seem like hinting, but I think it's direct enough to communicate your needs without being pushy.

    I have a friend who told me she was big on giving/getting gifts, so I made it a point to buy her a housewarming gift & things for other occasions. Then I discovered she really only liked to get, not give :steam: .
    "Charlotte sometimes dreams a wall around herself. But it's always with love - So much love it looks like everything else. Charlotte Sometimes - So far away, glass sealed and pretty." - The Cure

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx - 451| RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive

  2. #92
    Senior Member Array rainoneventide's Avatar
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    Jun 2009


    I don't even know why we're debating anymore, lol.
    Look. Friends are friends. If you're my friend, that means I know you, and you know me. You're not a stranger. You're my friend. We already have some mutual caring going on.
    Because I know you, you do not have to prove that you're my friend. I trust you already.
    People are different.
    If you doubt a friendship based on a phone call, then that's an insecure friendship.
    If I knew you wouldn't call, and I knew I'd be upset if I didn't talk to you, I'd call you myself, not lay there debating whether you're a good friend or not.
    If you are normally one that will call and check up on me, and you don't, then I'll call you and ask what the hell is going on and why didn't you call me.
    That's how my friendships are, anyway.

    Edit: I'm sorry if I sound offensive, I don't mean to be. Some topics get me really... flustered.
    "So I say, live and let live. Thats my motto. Live and let live.
    Anyone who cant go along with that, take him outside and shoot the motherfucker."
    - George Carlin

  3. #93


    Look. Friends are friends. If you're my friend, that means I know you, and you know me. You're not a stranger. You're my friend. We already have some mutual caring going on.
    Because I know you, you do not have to prove that you're my friend. I trust you already.

    This is exactly how I see it, but that's not how everyone sees it. "Mutual caring" is not a tangible thing to everyone. I can care for someone in my heart and feel intensely toward them even if we go months without speaking. Within moments I can pick right up with them, because the heart connection is always there. The "activities" of "true friendship" are as foreign to me as all the other social expectations and roles.

    I'm a little disturbed by any implication that there is a way to be a friend. There is a way to be a friend to that individual who is your friend, and nothing more. The quote from Wikipedia means nothing to me. The kind of friend I am is dictated by the person I have befriended and our relationship to each other. I am not the same kind of "friend" to all of my "friends" because they are all different.

    To my friends I offer kindness, a cheerleader, an advocate, acceptance of them as a whole person (I don't try to change people), no holding grudges, willingness to compromise and see other points of view, adaptability to their style of communication and way of existence, willingness to apologize, a sounding board for ideas, my wisdom and deep appreciation of theirs, respect, and true love for who they are at their essence. I always accept and love them for who they are.

    I do not have in my capacity to always offer conformity to their or anyone else's expectations (this could be framed as I don't adapt to the tangible needs of others), visits when they are physically ill (it's rare the occasion when I visited or called someone in the hospital), regular contact, "pitching in and working together" to do anything, the purchasing of physical gifts, etc.

    I may give you the shirt off my back or anything physical I have to give, but those are not the defining moments of friendship, not for me. I'd give those same things to someone I didn't really care about. I could visit someone in the hospital or call to check on them if they're physically ill, but I wouldn't want to tax their energies. I'm much more likely to call someone who has suffered an emotional or mental setback of some kind (like when a friend was forced to cut off contact with someone he loved, I was right there with him and calling him). I don't usually write anniversary cards or get well cards, but when I do write cards I pour my heart into them. I'm more likely to write you a song or poem for a gift than figure out that "perfect thing you need" because I don't think in terms of physical things.

    So my friends either accept what I have to offer or they're not my friends, and that's okay with me. I don't know if this is selfish, and honestly I don't care!

  4. #94
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    May 2009
    1w2 so/sx


    LA and Heart, I'm with you on this one. I do think there are some basic premises that come with close friendship. The trick is figuring out what will be felt as kindness by the other person and also to recognize what the other person is giving that they perceive as being kind.

    However, if things are getting too one-sided, it is time to think about how things could be changed. For INFJs, (I don't have enough INFP experience to say anything equivocally) I think we have a really hard time not giving, even if we see that it is not reciprocal. However over time it does cause resentment if the other person does not give us some consideration or feeling that the relationship is important to them. This is especially true in a romantic relationship.

    No one wants to feel that they are being told what they are required to give, yet they also don't want to disappoint unknowingly if it is easily remedied. We've established that stating what we are longing for outright is seen as grabby and demanding, but being chronically disappointed leaves the other person unaware of our needs. For those of you that don't see things in these terms, do you have any thoughts for how to reconcile the two in a relationship or close friendship?

    I will give an example myself: in times of extreme stress when there was absolutely no one else to call on and I was working flat out and needed help, my boyfriend chose to stay at home and watch TV, despite knowing how desperately I needed him. My best girl friend on the other hand set aside her marking one night and came to help me even though she did not really have extra time. I expressed appreciation for her help to my boyfriend (not as a reproach) and his response was that he had not been asked directly. However, he was very aware that I needed his help and that I didn't have anyone else to ask. It's hard not to see that as selfish behaviour since I frequently went out of my way for him, even though I realize he was not obligated to help me. What should I have done?

  5. #95
    Senior Member Array wildcat's Avatar
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    Jun 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by Lightyear View Post
    I have an INFP friend and though I really like her as a person she is quite a bad friend for the simple reason that she is very selfish. I am wondering if that is related to her having Fi as a dominant function and her using it in an unhealthy way.

    I'll try to put her behaviour into words. My friend often goes by how she feels about things on the inside, for example if she feels like she needs to be around people she will be happy to spend time with you, if she wants her own space she will make it clear to you and not spend time with you even if you as a friend might need her company. I in contrast would spend time with a friend in need whatever my mood is simply because this person is my friend and I believe in sometimes sacrificing your own needs for someone else. My friend doesn't seem to get the concept of sacrifice at all, her own wellbeing and "inner feeling compass" determine how she acts, other people's feelings don't really become part of the equation.

    She also doesn't seem to get simple rules of friendship that are to me clear as day. For example I broke my foot last year and had to spend a lot of time at home and though I told her about my accident via email pretty soon and she lived just twenty minutes walk from my flat it didn't occur to her at all to pay me a visit during these weeks. I know that if my good friend had an accident and was homebound I would be over there in a flash to cheer her up. And I think it's much to easy to blame it on me being an extroverted feeler and her being an introverted feeler, I do think a lot of IxFPs would visit a sick person too, is her use of Fi just very unhealthy? (And no, her behaviour has nothing to do with her not liking me or trying to avoid me, the simple self-sacrificial rules of friendship just don't seem to occur to her.) She is also the kind of person that I wouldn't ask for help if I really needed it because I would be too scared that she "just wouldn't feel like helping me", hiding that sentiment rather badly underneath a thin coat of superficial empathy to quieten her conscience.

    Any thoughts on that? (And if anyone wonders (since I am an INFJ) I haven't doorslammed her yet (she probably wouldn't even notice since I haven't heard from her since I moved away from my home country seven months ago and I am just tired of always making the first step), she used to be one of my best friends at high school so I am more cautious about just cutting every contact completely off but she is working her way straight into the "I just couldn't be arsed to spend any more time and effort on you, you are invisible to me." INFJ zone)
    Object does not subject.

    Is there judgement beyond self?
    No. Self is the only judge.

    Extraverted judgement is field dependent.
    Introverted judgement is field independent.

    Does self divide?
    Not self.

    What divides?

  6. #96


    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    I think that is an issue of directing and informing communication styles. Demanding something might not go over well. Informing could work well. Instead of saying, "I need you to do....", you could say, "I love when my friends buy me candies & flowers on V day". That may seem like hinting, but I think it's direct enough to communicate your needs without being pushy.
    That's why I sent her an email first, telling her about my accident but didn't say "Please, please visit me!!", I didn't want to make her feel unnecessarily pressured. When it didn't even occur to her to visit me it just made it clear to me where she stands with me, as I said I can't change her, I simply made a mental note: "This friendship obviously doesn't mean a lot to her. Should look for new friends."

    That wasn't the only occasion she displayed selfish behaviour, it has occured again and again. For example as I've said I lived for nine months really close to her, it took her half a year to visit me (and she is not a superbusy person and doesn't have a family that could occupy her) and I realized later the main reason for her visiting me was that she had been sick and by herself for a week, felt lonely and suddenly thought: "Oh let's visit [insert my name] to make myself feel better!" That's fair enough, if it makes her feel better to be around me when she is sick please visit me but I also got this nagging feeling that she would only spent time with me if it served her in some way and that makes me feel like an object and not like a valued friend.

    However I must also say that this thread has made me understand Fi-users a bit better, thanks for the insights.

    One thing I have a problem with (from my Fe point of view) is that this Fi desire of keeping it real can get in the way of actually truly practically helping people. One example: A girl from my home group in church hurt her back pretty badly and is supposed to move house on Saturday. She sent around emails to the people in my home group asking if they are free on Sat and can help her move her stuff since she obviously is just in too much pain to do so. She isn't a close friend at all but I agreed to help her (and I am not saying this to blow my own trumpet, honestly not), when it comes to helping people I just have this very rational equation in my head:

    Person is in obvious need + I have the resources/time to help her + I don't feel like this person is just constantly milking everyone for favours/ emotionally manipulative but is in genuine need = I help her

    It's as simple as that and I don't wait for some inner peace/enlightenment or whatever to come over me, if there is a need that I can meet I meet it unless I feel the other person is a manipulator. If someone is in some real, genuine practical need what use is it to them if I go on about how helping them just doesn't feel right to me/ is against my inner values? Is that going to magically move her suitcases to her new flat? No. Is my strong inner conviction going to help her in any way with her back? No.

    That's one thing I really like about Si users, they can be too set in their ways sometimes but they have a feeling of responsibility, even if they don't feel like it they will help simply because that is the right thing to do. If everyone just waited until they FEEL like helping the sick and needy this world would be a very sad place indeed where not very much practical help would be given to the less fortunate.

    Again I am painting Fi in quite a negative light here, so please don't feel offended, it's just to make a point and not because I don't value this function.

  7. #97


    When I read the thread: Uh oh...

    I do think Fi users are more self-oriented/self-aware of their own values than other users. However like others mentioned, their level of focus on other people depends on what sort of values they have adopted. My one personal experience of an ISFP, she constantly mentioned that our feelings are important. She got the whole 'Be Yourself' vibe going for her and she encourages this within others too, it's all sincerity.

    Personal values have to be self-oriented, they come from within after all, but whether they are selfish is a matter of interpretation. Then there's the additional problem: Everything (including Fe etc) would come from within so it's all a little moot point.

    Quote Originally Posted by IDK123 View Post
    She probably thinks all those things are superficial.

  8. #98
    So tired... Array Amargith's Avatar
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    ^I would do the same as you, I would probably help the person, unless I saw that plenty of people who knew her better than me already volunteered. She asked for help, therefore I would be there.

    However, by all your standards, I would make a lousy friend. I can live 2 streets away from you, but if you don't engage me yourself, I won't come over on my own. I won't keep in touch, and I will probably forget your birthday. Why? Not coz I don't care, but coz my concept of time is just warped. I know when your birthday is, but that doesn't help if I don't even know which day we are at the moment, now does it? And although I'm sure you have a lovely home, I'd feel like I was barging in if I just dropped by. As for initiating...I get lived. I don't really plan my life, I take it as it comes. If you contact me on the day itself and I have nothing to do, I'll instantly meet up with you and be happy to see you. If not, I'll find something else to preoccupy myself with. On the other hand, when we do meet up, I'll be genuinly happy to see you and catch up with you for hours.

    However, if I can tell by a single word, tone in your voice or bodylanguage that you are emotionally hurting, I will be there without you even asking. I'll clear my schedule, take a rain check on whatever I can get out of, and go without sleep. I'll walk you through it all, till I feel you can handle yourself again. And even then, my door will be open to you, day and night. Just ask. This also means that if you are in the hospital with your leg broken and you sound distraught, I'll come over instantly. If you sound like you have everything under control, I won't. There's no point imo. As my friend, I expect you to be able to ask for help if you need it, and know that I will gladly drop everything for you if you need me to. And yes, I will actually say this during my friendship with you and no, they aren't empty words or polite gestures.

    Stupid example: one of my friends cats escaped and was on the roof. There was no getting her down. Since I'm the resident cat expert in the group and she looks to me when it comes to her cats, she called me at 11pm. I dropped what I was doing, went over there and stood with her, for2 hours calling the cats name. There wasn't anything else I could do. But my presence made her feel like she was in fact doing everything she could. Eventually we were able to get kitty off the roof, I checked if she was physically ok and saw that her husband was up to the task of comforting his wife and the cat, so I left. Crisis averted. She could've called me at 3 am if she thought there was something wrong with her cat, no matter how small, I would've been there, coz I know how important those cats are to her.

    On the other hand, she knows that if she needs me to plan something, remember something, or be routinely nice and go through the pleasantries, it aint going to happen. And not coz I don't want to (I grew up with a Fe-using mom). I *just* seem to not be able to remember this stuff. It costs me an incredible amount of energy and effort to keep track of all of this. And I'm bound to fumble up and stress bout it. I'll make an effort for things I know are very important to others (visiting a new baby, going to a funeral, stuff like that). But the daily stuff...I'm sorry, I just cannot seem to do that stuff without fumbling up. Does it really matter though? Is it more important to send you a birthday card in time, visit you coz you live closeby etc? Or actually be there in your hour of need, whenever or whatever it may be? Coz that's real friendship imo. I'll pick the latter

    So look at your history with this friend. Has she been there for you when it mattered? Has she rearranged her schedule just to do you a favor or be there in your hour of need? And for that matter, if you have known her that long, what does she hold as true? What are her core values? You should be able to see if you are a trusted friend according to her definition of friendship

  9. #99


    Quote Originally Posted by dotdalidot View Post
    I've actually wondered this myself many times before. I'm consistently being scolded by my parents about how selfish and or inconsiderate I am. They believe that I don't follow social norms and that I don't do enough to please people. They say that I should follow the rules established by the social order and that I should find my place and or "role" in society. Basically, that I should have more Fe.
    That's not entirely what Fe is about. It's just that following social norms and pleasing other people can lead to what is good from an Fe perspective, which is to create harmony or reduce conflict within people.

    If your behaviour creates harmony in another way. I think from the Fe perspective it would be doing good, but if you are just lazing around doing your own thing then there's problems. I get the same stick from my ESFJ father because I'm not action-oriented enough. I think he's right though, I probably could be alot more caring if I matched my actions with what I actually believed.

    This offends me though, because I really don't see myself as selfish, I actually find myself doing people an injustice if I fake who I am and don't do things with true sincerity.
    What do they think of the idea of being fake?

    Also they believe in rankings and such, and that those with higher status should never be disrespected no matter what they do. I on the other hand do not look at the status of a person, I believe we are all human beings. I mean seriously, we all materialize the same way, and decompose the same way etc etc. If I'm disrespected, by the president himself, then I will retaliate, especially if it's important to me.

    My mother finds this very selfish and wrong. But then what is it when someone does things only because that is the "way it's supposed to be"? Isn't that worse than selfishness? You're not TRULY caring for the person if you only do them a service because its your "duty". Why not do something for them because you KNOW what it feels like, because you truly understand what they are going through, rather than you think you understand, or you're supposed to understand?
    Uhhh... Time to slap them with the whole moral relativism arguments. I think you are right though, I'd rather prefer someone love me out of their own will than some idea that they have to do so.

  10. #100


    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post

    So look at your history with this friend. Has she been there for you when it mattered? Has she rearranged her schedule just to do you a favor or be there in your hour of need? And for that matter, if you have known her that long, what does she hold as true? according to her definition of friendship
    Nope, not really. I have another good friend whom I used to go to school with who is an ISFP and though she is just as bad about staying in contact as my INFP friend and sometimes pretty scatterbrained I would contact her if I was in genuine need because from her I get the vibe that she would actually care and go out of her way to help me.

    With the INFP friend there is just this underlying vibe of: "Don't bother me, don't infringe on my personal space, I'll comfortingly pat you on the head if you feel ill to make myself feel better but just don't expect some REAL sacrifice of my time and energy."

    Amargith I guess I am fine if people don't really fit into my mould of how a friend should be as long as I feel they are genuinely concerned at the core, I don't need you to send me a birthday card as long as I know you would be there for me at a real time of need, that's much, much more valuable.

    I guess it's about the basic vibe I get from people.

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