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  1. #1
    Controlled Mischief StephMC's Avatar
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    Default ENFPs, Se, and Exes.

    Ah, where to start. Disclaimer: Skip to the end if you don't want to read all of this An ENFP friend that I care very much for is going through a difficult time. I went to visit him and some other friends in Austin this past weekend and we spent a lot of time catching up. To give a bit of background on his issues... he broke up with a very long term girlfriend about a year and a half ago and has had trouble letting go of it ever since (even though -he- broke up with -her-). In addition to that, he just started grad school after having been out of undergrad for two years and it's been a struggle to deal with that much change and being so structured. In May, he took a trip to southeast Asia and Australia for 2.5 months before he began school again, so I didn't see him for a while.

    This past weekend, he finally confided in me a little more then he had been since he got back. He told me he had been looking into Buddhism these past few months, and it was really incredible. Anyways, from what he's told me, Buddhism seems to have very “live in the moment” and enjoy life for what it is kind of ideas. He talked to me about it excitedly and started probing me because he felt that I seemed to be a living example of these beliefs... or at least the way I thought and viewed things (Note: I am not Buddhist, but have always agreed with what I hear about it). All in all, it was a great trip because we spent the entire weekend together and he came downtown with me and my primary group of friends in Austin...even though he's only briefly met them and he doesn't drink anymore (mostly due to he feels he is unstable at the moment). In the previous weekends since that I've seen him since he's been back, he always made a point to come out anyways even though he appeared to be very uncomfortable with the situation. He almost looked INFJish (not in a bad way... just looked like how an ENFP might look if trying to act like an INFJ). But this past weekend, he was very friendly with everyone, and looked less uncomfortable. So everything was wonderful till Saturday night. I was staying at his place and we were having a good ol' time [Discard TMI here ] when all that anxiety came flooding out. For the majority of the two years I've known him, he always calls and confides in me when he's struggling with something. And a recurring theme is that ex of his. He claimed there are other things going on in his head this time, but I couldn't help but zero in on that as the issue. In May, he went to lunch with her just before his trip in attempt to find closure again... he hadn't talked to her for some time. So anyways, he felt that the lunch went well, and he had successfully found his closure when she admitted she was finally seeing someone. It crushed him. That night he started drinking to help himself sleep and guess who he called to try to figure out what was in his head? (The things I do for him...despite it not being easy for me =/) I stayed up pretty late talking him down. The next day he called me up to go to dinner. He looked very, very happy... he expressed appreciation for me being his friend, and he finally felt like “himself” for the first time in a long time. I was very inclined to believe him, but I have an ENFP sister and I've kinda learned how to spot the “permanent” life-changing moments. But I still went with it. Fast forward to Saturday night again. Nope, he's still haunted by this girl. He has very frequent dreams about her... that either involves them making love or some kind of apology. We talked for several hours before we went to sleep. Although I tried to encourage him and give him advice as best as I could, much to my feeling helpless, I didn't feel like he came to any kind of conclusion. It's devastating to see him so confused and feel hopeless.

    So I have a tendency to ramble so that I can include a lot of details (or I'm just inappropriately venting). Sorry about that. :P I guess I'm just looking for ENFP advice to give an ENFP. For as long as I've known him, he's been struggling with something, but he's expressed this past month has been the hardest for him in a long time. So what is everyone's ideas about what could happen to an ENFP that tries to live in the moment and in reality (increase Se)? From the ideas he's expressed, it's like he wants to live entirely in this Se and give up on Ne and Fi. That can't be good, right? How in the world do I communicate this to him? And what's more... have any of you struggled with an ex that -you- ended it with? How in the world do you get past that? It seems that she constantly contaminates his mind, and he's constantly trying to weigh whether he loves her or not.
    I have an inner monologue that sounds strikingly similar to something off Animal Planet.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Moiety's Avatar
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    I don't have much advice to give but all I can say is that I definitely have that "Se goal" in mind quite frequently. Probably what brings him down is Ne+Fi's ability to look into the future and paint a very grim picture of what could be in store for him.

    In theory I'd say everyone would benefit from being more Se-ish, but I reckon what he needs is to just realize what he really wants and give it a shot. Internal turmoil for me as an ENFP often comes when I don't want to take any risks. I often know exactly what I need to do, I just need to be more bold about it. And focus, really. With this he might need some help, that's where friends could enter the picture I think.

  3. #3
    Nickle Iron Silicone Charmed Justice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephMC939 View Post
    So what is everyone's ideas about what could happen to an ENFP that tries to live in the moment and in reality (increase Se)? From the ideas he's expressed, it's like he wants to live entirely in this Se and give up on Ne and Fi. That can't be good, right? How in the world do I communicate this to him? And what's more... have any of you struggled with an ex that -you- ended it with? How in the world do you get past that? It seems that she constantly contaminates his mind, and he's constantly trying to weigh whether he loves her or not.
    It's impossible for him to live entirely in the moment, so it seems like he's once again getting carried away by his imagination. And no, imo, it wont be good if he tries to go completely against what comes natural to him, that being Ne+Fi. Stressing to him that you appreciate who he is may come in handy as far as communicating to him the importance of not attempting to give up Ne and Fi for Se(which again, is largely impossible, if you ask me). ENFPs desire to be real to themselves and others--authentic. You could play on that theme a little bit, but we are also stubborn and idealistic, so it doesn't mean he wont make real attempts to change himself in any case. I know quite a number of Buddhist NFPs, and Buddhism has had some appeal for me as well. Getting involved may be calming for him, as NFs typically have a real "spiritual" side, even if they are not religious or "believers" in the traditional sense.

    I broke up with an ex of mine over a decade ago. We were very close, best friends, but we were young and immature, and unprepared for a lot of the things we ended up going through. There are still times that I feel guilty about breaking up with him, or the way I did it, as if there's a perfect way. Sometimes I wonder if there was something I could've or should've done differently. I questioned for years rather or not I moved on too immediately, and for years, got on myself. ENFPs, I don't know. We can be really hard on ourselves sometimes, especially in regards to our relationships with other people. Being around you, and other SPs, might help him if you guys can convince him to stay himself. And by that I mean, continue to be yourselves: do things with him, because he will talk and think himself in circles.

    My saving grace from a nasty depression was two SP friends of mine that helped me to get out of my head by showing me the other side through their example.
    There is a thinking stuff from which all things are made, and which, in its original state, permeates, penetrates, and fills the interspaces of the universe.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Clonester's Avatar
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    Intuitive ethical extrovert - Wikisocion

    In socionics, Se is the ENFP's role function. When an ENFP is using his leading function, extroverted intuition, his Se is "turned off", and vice versa. Since people use their leading functions often, the role function gets suppressed. The result:

    "People are generally somewhat aware of this suppression and perceive it as a personal weakness that needs to be "worked on" in order to meet other people's expectations and achieve something in society. It is typical for people to periodically work on their role function in order to correct imbalances in their life and improve their weak areas. However, these attempts are generally sporadic and are forgotten as soon as the perceived problem begins to go away and the person once again becomes carried away with their usual lifestyle which is dominated by their base function. As the role function is a conscious-contact function, a person must stray away from his natural state of mind when external reality opposes it. Thus, development of the role function is more like patching up leaks than building a complete, self-sufficient structure. Often individuals wish they could build up their role function and become "supermen", but an excessive focus on this unreachable goal brings disappointment, because the base function always wins anyways."

    It sounds like your ENFP friend is in self examination mode and so he's working on is Se as a means of self improvement. Once he's confident again he'll be back to his normal self.
    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. #5
    Controlled Mischief StephMC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sytpg View Post
    I don't have much advice to give but all I can say is that I definitely have that "Se goal" in mind quite frequently. Probably what brings him down is Ne+Fi's ability to look into the future and paint a very grim picture of what could be in store for him.
    Yeah... that sounds like exactly what all his concerns are. He wants to focus his attentions and goals on one thing because he feels that if he hones all his ability in one thing instead of many (as he usually does), it would be very satisfying. But that Ne+Fi doesn't seem to work as well at the same time as Se (as Clonester said) and definitely paints a grim picture for him, bringing him down...

    Quote Originally Posted by EnFpFer View Post
    It's impossible for him to live entirely in the moment, so it seems like he's once again getting carried away by his imagination. And no, imo, it wont be good if he tries to go completely against what comes natural to him, that being Ne+Fi. Stressing to him that you appreciate who he is may come in handy as far as communicating to him the importance of not attempting to give up Ne and Fi for Se(which again, is largely impossible, if you ask me). ENFPs desire to be real to themselves and others--authentic. You could play on that theme a little bit, but we are also stubborn and idealistic, so it doesn't mean he wont make real attempts to change himself in any case.
    Yes, I've tried that a few times... but it's hard for an ISTP to do this in quantity, so I try to do it in quality. But, if it's still not enough, I'll attempt a little harder
    ..I questioned for years rather or not I moved on too immediately, and for years, got on myself. ENFPs, I don't know. We can be really hard on ourselves sometimes, especially in regards to our relationships with other people. Being around you, and other SPs, might help him if you guys can convince him to stay himself. And by that I mean, continue to be yourselves: do things with him, because he will talk and think himself in circles.

    My saving grace from a nasty depression was two SP friends of mine that helped me to get out of my head by showing me the other side through their example.
    Goodness... years, huh? Well I'm glad you're doing well now Hopefully at least the brunt of it for him gets closure soon... He just seems so miserable. And yeah... I guess I kind of don't give going out and just doing things with him enough credit... I always suppress it and just sit and listen to him when he wants to talk (or wait until he wants to talk... which doesn't always work), just because I want to know what's going on in his head. Again, it's a struggle for me not to be able to "fix" things.... but I guess I can help him out the most by draggin him out places and just letting him talk when he wants to, huh? :P I can definitely do that. My aspiring Fe is always worried about his comfort level, though, which is a weird thing to say about an ENFP (and coming from an ISTP, for that matter ). I guess that duality aspect does very bizarre things to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Clonester View Post
    In socionics, Se is the ENFP's role function. When an ENFP is using his leading function, extroverted intuition, his Se is "turned off", and vice versa. Since people use their leading functions often, the role function gets suppressed. The result:

    ...It sounds like your ENFP friend is in self examination mode and so he's working on is Se as a means of self improvement. Once he's confident again he'll be back to his normal self.
    Thanks! That was extremely helpful... I keep forgetting how much insight socionics profiles brings to me. That Se sections sounds EXACTLY like how he's acting right now (and certain behaviors he's always seemed to have), and I never knew that it was the role function that people perceive as a weakness to work on. That's why he's thrown himself into his graduate program... because he wants to hone his interests on completing one thing to the best of his ability, with no distractions... pretty much what I told Sytpg.

    Thanks for the insight so far guys... ENFPs can be a head scratcher for me sometimes, even though I've lived with many throughout my entire life I guess I'm addicted
    I have an inner monologue that sounds strikingly similar to something off Animal Planet.

  6. #6
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    What the--?

    ENFPs don't have Se. Whatever you're calling his Se is something else.

    So, there's this ENFP, he broke up with some chick, it haunts him... why? Closure? Bah. Closure for an ENFP is knowing that he did the right thing, the thing that promotes most good in this world. If he thinks he did harm or hurt and can't rectify it... or if he can't find the balance between his feeling and his knowledge.

    Fi questions are needed. Like, "You still love the girl?" Then listen to the evasive confused rant and pick out another Fi question, but one related to action. Like, "Well, if you still love her, you should..."

    Se, my ass. Fi with a Te shot in the arm, and maybe a spoonful of Si to compare what's real with what he thinks. Alternatively he could just go on Ne rampage looking for new pretty things to make him feel better.


    Clarify feeling. Choosing this "Se" is escape.
    Bellison uncorked a flood of horrible profanity, which, translated, meant, "This is extremely unusual."

    Boy meets Grr

  7. #7
    12 and a half weeks BerberElla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StephMC939 View Post

    Goodness... years, huh? Well I'm glad you're doing well now Hopefully at least the brunt of it for him gets closure soon...

    It took me about 4 yrs to really get over my ex, to stop looking for closure even though I was the one who walked away, because I felt like I had been forced to give up my hopes and dreams for us and that really haunted me.

    The only thing that will work for your friend is time, when people told me I would get over it in time, and not to judge myself for the amount of time it was taking, I truly didn't believe them. I thought my dreams would always be plagued by him, that I would always catch myself thinking of him and what could have been if he had just been who I thought he was inside (huge Fi projection lol).

    Time and a good friend, which it sounds like you are. My ISFJ friend rode the emotional storm out with me for the time it took to heal, never judged me for failing to live in the moment on those few times I felt today was the day I was ready to move on.

    There were times I tried to live for the now, to be more Se, to experience life as it was rather than what I thought it could have been, or what my fears were telling me was my future. Staying grounded to the now though, it didn't work, if anything those failures to connect with real life actually set me further back because I judged myself so negatively when I did fail.

    Carpe Diem, sounds like the cure sometimes, there are books dedicated to it, therapists try to advocate it, all the while not recognising that for some people, it just can't work. There is only so long we can bury our preferences for.

    You are being a great friend from the sound of it, and that's all you ned to carry on being. Time, patience and support.
    Echo - "So are you trying to say she is Evil"

    DeWitt - "Something far worse, she's an Idealist"

    Berb's Johari Berb's Nohari

  8. #8
    Senior Member INTP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalach View Post
    ENFPs don't have Se. Whatever you're calling his Se is something else.
    No but they have Ni as first shadow function. So when they go to shadow they see that they could be different, for some reason unknown Se is the change he wants. However Se should be the weakest function with enfp(unless trained), so he most likely will fail with that or atleast it will be very hard, unless he knows how to get Se better.

    Makes eny sense?
    "Where wisdom reigns, there is no conflict between thinking and feeling."
    — C.G. Jung

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  9. #9
    Controlled Mischief StephMC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalach View Post
    Bah. Closure for an ENFP is knowing that he did the right thing, the thing that promotes most good in this world. If he thinks he did harm or hurt and can't rectify it... or if he can't find the balance between his feeling and his knowledge.
    I like this.... It's a foreign concept to me, but it makes a whole lot of sense when applied to him. I think it's this point that I have trouble understanding and/or keep forgetting.

    Fi questions are needed. Like, "You still love the girl?" Then listen to the evasive confused rant and pick out another Fi question, but one related to action. Like, "Well, if you still love her, you should..."
    Argh... yeah... I've resorted to this on occasion, but it's like picking shrapnel out of my ass. Oh, well. I can keep trying.

    Se, my ass. Fi with a Te shot in the arm, and maybe a spoonful of Si to compare what's real with what he thinks. Alternatively he could just go on Ne rampage looking for new pretty things to make him feel better.
    I agree with a lot of what you say about functions, but I do believe everyone uses all 8 functions sometimes... In addition, they're most likely going suck hardcore at their 8th, and almost always use it in a negative way. What I'm trying to say is that he's been studying a lot of teachings that seem to encourage Se, and he's -trying- to be more Se. I feel it's this attempt to be more Se that is bringing him down so much... because Se is by no means a strength, and he's supposed to be Ne. Pretty much what EnFpFer and Clonester said... -trying- (not necessarily being successful) to be Se can't be good for an ENFP in the long run... and Se blocks Ne.


    Quote Originally Posted by BerberElla View Post
    The only thing that will work for your friend is time, when people told me I would get over it in time, and not to judge myself for the amount of time it was taking, I truly didn't believe them. I thought my dreams would always be plagued by him, that I would always catch myself thinking of him and what could have been if he had just been who I thought he was inside (huge Fi projection lol).
    If you don't mind my asking, and not to bring up any bad memories, but what sorts of dreams? Pleasant, memories, nightmares...?

    There were times I tried to live for the now, to be more Se, to experience life as it was rather than what I thought it could have been, or what my fears were telling me was my future. Staying grounded to the now though, it didn't work, if anything those failures to connect with real life actually set me further back because I judged myself so negatively when I did fail.
    That's a great way to put it... I need to try to figure out how to communicate that without referring to MBTI. I don't think he's in the right frame of mind for me to go off on all that stuff :P

    You are being a great friend from the sound of it, and that's all you ned to carry on being. Time, patience and support.
    Thanks BerberElla
    I have an inner monologue that sounds strikingly similar to something off Animal Planet.

  10. #10
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    Seeking to live in the moment for a guaranteed typologically typical ENFP is not the same as werkin on ma Se. It is however the same as wishing to avoid my Si. More particularly, wishing to avoid the feelings that re-appear when particular memory is revisited. Whatever those feeling are, they haven't been packaged into a properly digestable Fi acknowledged sadness from which moving on is possible. Ergo, party at Ne's house! Find something today that'll make me feel new and vital and fabulous because I see the wonder and the joy!

    But ENFPs have that cursed Si. They have to go back into the past sometimes and find out what was really there. Sometimes. Not all the time. Just sometimes.
    Bellison uncorked a flood of horrible profanity, which, translated, meant, "This is extremely unusual."

    Boy meets Grr

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