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  1. #11
    HAHHAHHAH! INTJ123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SurlyAdam View Post
    I think saying that INFPs avoid conflict is an oversimplification. The reason INFPs avoid conflict is that experience has taught us it rarely turns out as we'd hoped, which is utterly frustrating. What we're feeling so strongly just does not come across verbally.

    Strong Fi and messy Ti make it nearly impossible to express what we want at the moment it's happening, especially if we get too emotional. You feel so strongly about something, so much so that it's too important to let it go and also so critical that you must convey yourself concisely, yet the words always come out wrong.

    I've used Ti in arguments, and it's been very biting, but I've also regretted what was said because it's what I though was appropriate at the moment, and even truthful, but wasn't necessarily how I felt about the situation.

    I think the most effective way for an INFP to confront someone is to calming tell them where you're coming from (what you see) and how you're affected (feel). If you do this calmly and confidently, people tend to see this as simply who you are and understand that they'll need to accept it.

    I also suggest you avoid heatedly arguing with an INTP. Avoid this if at all possible. They're REALLY good at it!

    I think the root of it comes down to fear of confrontation, instead of avoiding.

    I dunno why but I'm not really afraid of confrontation with any type, but I do not enjoy confrontation, who does? Arguing can be done objectively, attacking the ideas not the person.

  2. #12
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    I share jewel's problems. If the confrontation is more of a professional and T one in nature, then I can handle it. If it's charged with emotion, then I'm powerless and just stick it out.

  3. #13
    Senior Member statuesquechica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SurlyAdam View Post
    I think saying that INFPs avoid conflict is an oversimplification. The reason INFPs avoid conflict is that experience has taught us it rarely turns out as we'd hoped, which is utterly frustrating. What we're feeling so strongly just does not come across verbally.

    Strong Fi and messy Ti make it nearly impossible to express what we want at the moment it's happening, especially if we get too emotional. You feel so strongly about something, so much so that it's too important to let it go and also so critical that you must convey yourself concisely, yet the words always come out wrong.
    Spot on with the above
    I've looked at life from both sides now
    From up and down and still somehow
    It's life's illusions I recall
    I really don't know life at all

    Joni Mitchell

  4. #14
    Senior Member Clonester's Avatar
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    Since you're pretty and said please, I suppose I can help...

    I wouldn't be offended by a letter, but it would seem like a bit of a cop out to me and I wouldn't think very highly of it. I'm ok with people who are direct with me, as long as it's not harsh or critical. And I think you would spend a lot of time making sure whatever you say would not be harsh or critical, probably even stressing over it. I express myself better in written form too, but face to face communication seems to me as better at solving a problem.
    ENFP Male: E-74% N-95% F-58% P-84% 3w2
    "I feel there are two people inside me - me and my intuition. If I go against her, she'll screw me every time, and if I follow her, we get along quite nicely." -Kim Basinger

  5. #15
    Freshman Member simulatedworld's Avatar
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    Writing letters is MUCH MUCH MUCH better than doing nothing and letting anger fester until you explode.

    Remember that most people are not nearly as good at emotion-reading as you are.

    That said, direct conversation is preferable, but if you really can't manage that then I'd say the letters are okay. The best you can do is explain to your family/friends that you're not good at putting your complaints into verbal words and that letters are the only way you can organize your thoughts.

    This may be difficult for them to accept at first, but it's definitely far preferable to just never saying anything. Many an INFP has randomly exploded on someone for things s/he didn't even have any idea were a mounting problem.
    If you could be anything you want, I bet you'd be disappointed--am I right?

  6. #16
    Senior Member Clonester's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    That said, direct conversation is preferable, but if you really can't manage that then I'd say the letters are okay. The best you can do is explain to your family/friends that you're not good at putting your complaints into verbal words and that letters are the only way you can organize your thoughts.
    Sounds like a potentially good compromise. Combination of letter and direct communication. Another possibility is to write down the ideas you have on paper for what to say and then use that as an outline of sorts when talking with them.
    ENFP Male: E-74% N-95% F-58% P-84% 3w2
    "I feel there are two people inside me - me and my intuition. If I go against her, she'll screw me every time, and if I follow her, we get along quite nicely." -Kim Basinger

  7. #17
    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udog View Post
    Jewelchild, you offer a wonderful description. I wish that everyone that struggled with an "irrational" INFP would read your post, as you pretty much explain what goes inside our mind during such moments, and why we can freak out the way we do.

    1) A letter is better than nothing. However, try to use it as a sort of training wheel to verbal confrontation.

    2) Realize there are many ways to go about confrontation. A couple of quick ideas for you:

    - Confront as soon as possible. As soon as you feel the 'tinge' of something amiss, say something. Just blurt it out. After two or three successes (and perhaps a failure), it'll get easier.

    - Ask questions. This is a personal favorite. When someone starts upsetting me, my first reaction is to ask questions. Not only am I gathering more information to understand where the other person is coming from (and possibly realizing I just misunderstood), but I'm buying myself time to cool a bit before confronting them. Finally, I'm "hearing them out", which helps to disarm some people and make them willing to hear you out in turn.

    - Don't take it personally. This is very, very difficult for an INFP. You won't be able to stop the initial blunt trauma, but with work you'll learn how to quickly get back up, separate your values, and go into 'ask question' mode. Let Te shield you.

    - Reframe your views on argumentation. I know it's a long thread, but I think you could learn alot about how ENTPs view discussion. Notice how it's pretty much never personal for them at all. http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...ion-entps.html
    Soooo many good tips! Yes, a little hint along the way is much better than a blowup on paper later. And the other person will always have the letter as "evidence" and can nitpick it to death if he/she doesn't take it well.

    Quote Originally Posted by JAVO View Post
    Excellent advice from Udog.

    I don't like confrontation either, but I've learned that it's necessary to take care of a small problem before it becomes a big problem.

    In many cases, I would enjoy a letter over a verbal discussion. But, since there's already some type of disagreement or misunderstanding, a letter sometimes goes into too much depth about one person's perspective. This can be frustrating if the problem is misunderstanding in the first place. It just depends on the situation. Usually, an immediate discussion (but at an appropriate time and setting) is the best communication.
    This is important to remember. And lots of times, a letter about a grievance can sound too much like, "This is how you are making me feel, and something must be done about it," which is much more self-centered than an actual conversation would be. Try not to focus too much on feeling language if you're talking to a T, as well. Remember that sometimes you may be building up the importance of the issue in your head, assuming that the other person means you ill will, when they might not be aware they're doing anything wrong at all. It's possible that a very casual, lighthearted, comment in the spirit of, "Hey, knock it off, will you?" will do the trick.

    I have a couple of friends with whom I "argue" best via text. It's casual, it's quick, and doesn't feel like an Important Argument Wherein One Sits Down and Evaluates One's Relationships, etc. I wouldn't have thought, "Hmm! I think I'll confront this person via text now!" I just needed to mention something to them, and it seemed less confrontational than calling them just to say something negative. This wouldn't work for everyone, but some relationships lend themselves to that medium. My roommate and I discuss important things much better in text than face-to-face, because we do care about each others' feelings, and we feel weird discussing things like that one-on-one. I don't know why. We're weird. It works.

    Quote Originally Posted by JAVO
    I think making "owning" statements of your thoughts and feelings is a good start in verbal discussion. Such as:

    "I feel rejected when you don't talk to me in the morning."
    "I think we might both be happier if we spent less time on the Internet. What do you think?"
    Yes, but even better than that is to wait for an opportunity when the conversation is leading there anyway, and slip it in. Those "I feel" statements don't always hit me right when they're out of the blue--sometimes they just come off as needy. I'd be more receptive if I was talking about feeling like I don't have as much time in the day as I'd like, and THEN my friend could suggest that maybe spending less time on the internet might make me feel like I had more time. My mother makes statements like, "Why don't WE," when she means, "Why don't YOU," and it doesn't usually work on me.

    Quote Originally Posted by stigmatica View Post
    Yes, I suppose a letter is better than nothing, but taking the time to put it in writing for someone tends to amplify the level of affront taken by the second party. It also doesn't allow for immediate feedback, nor are either party able to observe facial/body expressions as ques to the feelings behind the words. A simple example - Tell somebody they need a bath on paper, and it will always come off as condescending and rude. In person, and your vocal inflections/tones combined with your body language can make the same exact words come across a hundred different ways.

    That said, if two people are in an irrational state of mind, they should stay as far away from each other as possible. Perhaps it depends on who your confronting?
    Sooo true. If you've taken the time to write me a LETTER about something you don't like that I'm doing? It's going to make me think you've been sitting and stewing on this for ages. It's much better (for my personality, anyway) if you try to make it a more casual suggestion. Or jokingly let me know that it bugs you when I do x.

    Quote Originally Posted by simulatedworld View Post
    Writing letters is MUCH MUCH MUCH better than doing nothing and letting anger fester until you explode.

    Remember that most people are not nearly as good at emotion-reading as you are.

    That said, direct conversation is preferable, but if you really can't manage that then I'd say the letters are okay. The best you can do is explain to your family/friends that you're not good at putting your complaints into verbal words and that letters are the only way you can organize your thoughts.

    This may be difficult for them to accept at first, but it's definitely far preferable to just never saying anything. Many an INFP has randomly exploded on someone for things s/he didn't even have any idea were a mounting problem
    .
    Yeah, I would definitely preface it with the reason why you're writing instead of talking. And writing is definitely better than exploding out of nowhere. BUUUUUUUT. I wouldn't want to get a letter every single time my INFP friend had a problem with me. Use it sparingly, if you do.

    One more thought: If you are in a situation where you have to let someone go at work or you're breaking up with someone, you owe it to that person to say it to them face to face, or at least over the phone. Writing a letter/email would definitely be the cowardly way out in those scenarios, IMO.
    Something Witty

  8. #18
    Allergic to Mornings ergophobe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jewelchild View Post
    1) Are you of the opinion that writing letters is a cowardly cop out? Would a letter vs. a face to face conversation offend you?

    2) Do you have any advice or strategies to work toward improvement in this area of confrontation? Is it something I just have to learn to get over myself and do, or are there ways I can build up to being better at it?
    Jewelchild, I have a family member who is an INFP and has very similar complaints about conflict in her life. I'm working with her a little (she called me conflict-savvy, little does she know ) to overcome some of the fears associated with confrontation. From listening to her, I have new appreciation for how difficult this process can be for you guys. We extroverts don't appreciate how much you internalize this stuff and how toxic it can become.

    1. Letters are not a cop out if they are written honestly and with kindness. Remember, things written down are open to interpretation so you want to write things down as precisely as possible, leaving little room for interpretation. I assume if you are this worried about the confrontation, it is with someone who matters and with whom you want a better relationship. Make sure you mention that in the letter. Lastly, please write the letter, put it aside for a day and then revise and send. We say things in the heat of the moment because we're feeling the urge to purge but that's probably not always the best way to express ourselves. So take the time to reread the draft and then send it out.

    2. Always include in the letter, if this is an important relationship where you want a deeper connection and want to be able to share your feelings, an opportunity to talk in person. So, you can say, I wanted to start the conversation in writing so I had my thoughts down in one place and that they were coherent but I'd really like to be able to continue this conversation in person.

    Strategies/general things to keep in mind:
    a. Don't wait until the problem or problematic behavior is built up to ulcer levels.
    b. People are not mind readers - they need help with seeing some of their behaviors as hurtful as much as you do.
    c. Be prepared to hear the other person's part because the hurt/misunderstanding is likely on both sides
    d. Listen patiently and carefully to them as you would want them to listen to you
    e. Often, the conflict/behavior isn't about you at all. The person could just be having a bad day. Notice how they are with other people - every person's bad day should not be internalized by you. You are not responsible for everyone's feelings, just your own. Keep Fi in check.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by ergophobe; 07-15-2009 at 10:02 AM.
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  9. #19
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    Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and suggestions. They are very helpful.
    I-71%, N-80%, F-74%, P-96%

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SurlyAdam View Post
    I think the most effective way for an INFP to confront someone is to calming tell them where you're coming from (what you see) and how you're affected (feel). If you do this calmly and confidently, people tend to see this as simply who you are and understand that they'll need to accept it.
    I agree with this. I wasn't sure what to say as I was reading the thread (because this is a SERIOUS issue with me), but when I came across this I knew that it was right. Doing this has been the best way for me to feel like I've got my point across without getting overly emotional and out of hand.

    When you do this, you're making it about how its your problem and not necessarily their problem. People (especially Fs) will often respond by wanting to help and accomodate. Now to be honest, it doesn't always come out as calmly as you'd like, but even then it's easier to recover and move on if you have expressed your perceptions and feelings with confidence.

    I recently had a confrontation with my best friend. We were on a trip and the whole time I felt like she'd been making all the decisions as far as where we would go and what we would do. For the most part I was genuinely fine with that, since I'm mainly concerned with the company and not the activity, and I was in good company. However, this one time I felt like it was enough. It had been a long day, she'd just gotten into a dispute with someone else over doing this activity so there were bad vibes, and I was just tired (probably because everyone wasn't happy).

    So I stewed for a while, then I just started verbally vomiting all the issues I had about doing this activity, and finally said "I don't want to do it." It ALL came out wrong and more upset than calm, but I made sure to frame it as my perceptions and the effects on my state of mind and body. I didn't make it about her flaws, I really stressed the effect on me and how I was seeing things. We had a few tense hours but then we apologized to each other and she completely altered her approach.

    She appreciated that I was upfront with her for once since I usually hide how I'm feeling and just avoid her for long periods of time. She appreciated the insight into me because she cares about me. We didn't have the problem again and it was by far the best trip I ever took with her (and one of the best trips of my life).

    Ever since then I've tried to be more upfront with people when I'm not feeling things are right, and it hasn't always ended up well but I am also recognizing that some people have their own issues and that's why things go wrong. It is SO worth it for me to express my feelings and stand up for what I need and value.

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