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  1. #11
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    I would like to comment about this. It's not really a paradox, just something I noticed and I'm curious about.

    Necessary disclaimer: I'm not trying to hurt any ENFP feelings, just get a little understanding.


    I was reading one of FineLine's post, someone I think is very wise and knowledgeable, and he commented about how he and his INFP wife tend to the play the "wounded INFP" game on each other and this got me thinking.

    I have noticed that all throughout the Hate an ENFP thread, (and this observation could be completely off base but I'm going to say it anyway) ENFPs seem to use the heart on the sleeve also as a bloody heart grenade that will be launched at people when the ENFP doesn't really want to recognize the consequences of their actions. Even right now, I'm hesitant to finish writing this post for fear it might set off dangerous ENFP broken heart spasms throughout the galaxy.

    That thread is interesting to me because it seems that any genuine criticism that might be aimed at ENFPs was completely deflected and tempered by, "but you guys are so lovable that I can't really hold anything against you!" Could this possibly be a unique ENFP game? I'm not doubting the overall sincerity of the thread, it just seemed very weird to me. I mean honestly, the ENFPs have admitted to some behaviors that while aren't bad, do seem somewhat inconsiderate and capricious. Contrast the Hate an ENFP thread with any of the various Rants on NTs threads, or even the INTJ Intimidation thread. Maybe any Hate an NF thread would turn out like the Hate an ENFP thread. It seems to me that certain NFs cause stronger negative reactions than other NFs. I don't know.

    This may be an ENFJ difference, but I really don't feel the need to be constantly checking my popularity barometer. It's not that I don't worry about it, but I use different methods to get the information I want. Could the ENFP Paradox possibly include a little guilt because the ENFP may know they're using their heart grenade against people, suspect other people know it as well but for fear of hurting the ENFP's feelings go resentfully along with it, hence causing the ENFP to doubt if they're really liked or not? I'm thinking that it wouldn't be that difficult for an ENFP to detect if they disliked or not.

    Just some thoughts.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

  2. #12
    The elder Holmes Mycroft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shen View Post
    people wouldnt say things they dont mean
    ...are you serious?

  3. #13

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    Interesting thoughts proteeanmix.
    I honestly do look for helpful criticism but rarely do I get any. I've learned the past month that I am much too emotional in relationships, unfortunately I learned that through experience rather than hearing it but it's something I now can work on.
    Not sure what you meant by bleeding heart grenade, I certainly don't intend to garner sympathy from others on a regular basis!

  4. #14
    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Well, proteanmix is right on the spot about ENFP on this forum exposing their hurtful feelings about not being loved, leading to assurances of them being loved. I think it comes from ENFP actually being lovable and themselves loving so much, but then there's the realization that they ask about it so much, and use the love -issue so much as to make it wonder what they're getting at it.

    An insecure (or self-confident, for that matter) test of love once in a while is a whole lot different than asking about it ever so often. I am also testing some things very often, and it's a whole lot different from testing them less frequently (or not at all).

    I think that ENFP loveableness (is that a word?) does come better off in real person. This is not ment in the way as to dismiss the ENFP in here. ENFP in here, I feel, are regular people, and seem like that, in the realm of love. In the realm of real life, ENFP seem to "trade" love more. This is an issue of real life versus online, not an issue with ENFP per se.

    ENFP shortcomings still apply after getting their assurance of love. After I would tell my love for an ENFP:ish person, I would probably still think they are what they are. Sadly, I am unable to tell true criticism in here. The love in my world was with ENFP, when I scored as ENFP that year. However, some ENFP may show negative attributes. Read this at will.

    ENFP negative attributes:
    -may come off as too self-knowledgeable about their popular image
    -may not contribute to the community/to the group
    -disregarding the issues beoyond fun/love in a relationship or in a group
    -so tender as to not elicit criticism upon them
    -using interpersonal strategies to work out things in the real world

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    I was reading one of FineLine's post, someone I think is very wise and knowledgeable, and he commented about how he and his INFP wife tend to the play the "wounded INFP" game on each other and this got me thinking.
    Thanks! It doesn't happen often. But once in a while it comes up, and we're both guilty of it in our own way.

    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    That thread is interesting to me because it seems that any genuine criticism that might be aimed at ENFPs was completely deflected and tempered by, "but you guys are so lovable that I can't really hold anything against you!" Could this possibly be a unique ENFP game? I'm not doubting the overall sincerity of the thread, it just seemed very weird to me. I mean honestly, the ENFPs have admitted to some behaviors that while aren't bad, do seem somewhat inconsiderate and capricious. Contrast the Hate an ENFP thread with any of the various Rants on NTs threads, or even the INTJ Intimidation thread. Maybe any Hate an NF thread would turn out like the Hate an ENFP thread. It seems to me that certain NFs cause stronger negative reactions than other NFs. I don't know.
    Well, one has to take into consideration the fact that ENFPs are genuinely charming. They put themselves out there, for better or worse, and that earns them some respect. Introverts types in particular are inevitably going to be a little awed by a personality type that can somehow be that open, vulnerable, and good-natured all at the same time.

    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    This may be an ENFJ difference, but I really don't feel the need to be constantly checking my popularity barometer. It's not that I don't worry about it, but I use different methods to get the information I want. Could the ENFP Paradox possibly include a little guilt because the ENFP may know they're using their heart grenade against people, suspect other people know it as well but for fear of hurting the ENFP's feelings go resentfully along with it, hence causing the ENFP to doubt if they're really liked or not? I'm thinking that it wouldn't be that difficult for an ENFP to detect if they disliked or not.
    I hadn't thought of it that way, but I think you have a good point. Along similar lines:

    Most of the ENFPs that I've known have been pretty flakey by most normal measures. Not stupid by any means, but scatterbrained. I blame it on their Dominant Ne. It's got them going in 10 different directions at once.

    If you try to chide ENFPs about their flakiness, they'll just blow you off. And if you really come down on them hard and tell them to get their shit straight and quit being so damned flakey, then they just get tremendously hurt (the "bloody heart grenade"). So in the end there isn't much one can do about the situation. Most people just learn to put up with the ENFPs in kind of an appreciative but at the same time dismissive manner. People like ENFPs for their good qualities but don't trust them with anything important or touchy.

    ENFPs tend to register that dismissive attitude. They know that they are well-liked, but they fear that they're not respected. I've seen that gnaw at some ENFPs that I've known in the past. They settle for being well-liked, but underneath they seem kind of disappointed that people dismiss them, or they become a little bitter about the fact that people will always undervalue their considerable brains and talents.

    Just my own opinion, of course, based on my own experience with ENFP acquaintances.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    Most of the ENFPs that I've known have been pretty flakey by most normal measures. Not stupid by any means, but scatterbrained. I blame it on their Dominant Ne. It's got them going in 10 different directions at once.

    If you try to chide ENFPs about their flakiness, they'll just blow you off. And if you really come down on them hard and tell them to get their shit straight and quit being so damned flakey, then they just get tremendously hurt (the "bloody heart grenade"). So in the end there isn't much one can do about the situation. Most people just learn to put up with the ENFPs in kind of an appreciative but at the same time dismissive manner. People like ENFPs for their good qualities but don't trust them with anything important or touchy.

    ENFPs tend to register that dismissive attitude. They know that they are well-liked, but they fear that they're not respected. I've seen that gnaw at some ENFPs that I've known in the past. They settle for being well-liked, but underneath they seem kind of disappointed that people dismiss them, or they become a little bitter about the fact that people will always undervalue their considerable brains and talents.
    Just to give an example of what I described above:

    One of the most brilliant people I've ever known in my life is an ENFP who is currently one of my bosses at work. His academic credentials are amazing, and he probably knows a good half-dozen languages conversationally and many more haltingly. But he can be frustrating because he gets distracted by details and tangents. If I bring a problem to him and decribe a scenario to him, his Ne wants to incorporate all the elements of the scenario into an interconnected web for analysis. So he tends to consider all the elements to be of equal importance. And when I finish my presentation and wait for his evaluation, he'll just seize on any of the elements at random and start pontificating. So it'll be up to me to interrupt him a couple times and spell out the crux of the situation for him until he finally focuses on the right part of the scenario.

    But once he's focused on the correct part, he's just brilliant. He can parse the entire situation, rip it apart, put it back together, and come out with a great solution, all in the space of a couple seconds. Once he finally gets on the right track, it's amazing to see.

    However, that initial floundering around gets him in trouble. I've seen his own subordinates get openly irritated and scornful of him at staff meetings when he couldn't seem to focus on what they were talking about. They just want to dump a problem in his lap and have him resolve it for them, and they take it as disrespect or evasiveness on his part when he keeps fussing about tangents and won't address the heart of the problem that concerns them.

    Meanwhile, those of us who work with him in a more collaborative manner know his capabilities. You have to keep on pounding away at the main point until he finally focuses in and sees it. But once he gets focused on the right thing, he just tears it to shreds. It's like a secret weapon.

    So those of us who know his true capabilities sometimes run interference for him at staff meetings. If we see him floundering miserably when dealing with the staff, we'll jump in and kind of speak on his behalf and get the ball rolling.

    I sometimes jump in at meetings and give him a hand. And we don't even really like each other that much. We clashed once many years ago before he became my boss, and we've been a bit wary of each other ever since. But we respect each other's capabilities and I hate to see him floundering publicly over some minor problem just because his Ne is tripping him up. Similarly, his ISFJ deputy and he used to hate each other before they became the chief and deputy together. But once they had to work together, they both came to have a tremendous respect for each other's capabilities. So the deputy steps in and helps the ENFP during rough patches too.

    Still, I know it bugs the ENFP that the rest of the staff don't really respect him, and he has become increasingly distant from the staff since becoming boss. The staff like him, but they're quick to show their scorn when they see him fumbling a simple problem.

    Meanwhile, he doesn't really like his deputy and me. Having clashed with both of us in the past, he remains a little wary. (Office politics at the executive level can get pretty cutthroat. ) But at least we all know and respect each other's capabilities and we come to each other's rescue if things get bad enough.

    Oh well, you work with what you've got.

  7. #17
    To the top of the world arcticangel02's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    Most of the ENFPs that I've known have been pretty flakey by most normal measures. Not stupid by any means, but scatterbrained. I blame it on their Dominant Ne. It's got them going in 10 different directions at once.

    ENFPs tend to register that dismissive attitude. They know that they are well-liked, but they fear that they're not respected. I've seen that gnaw at some ENFPs that I've known in the past. They settle for being well-liked, but underneath they seem kind of disappointed that people dismiss them, or they become a little bitter about the fact that people will always undervalue their considerable brains and talents.
    That echoes with me. I know that I'm generally liked, but I feel like it's mostly a passive sort of thing, eg they like me only because I haven't annoyed them. But outside of my friends, I don't feel like they nessecarily regard me as one of their favourite people, or even as a person they might otherwise consider spending time with / inviting somewhere, etc. So I suppose that is probably a respect issue. Even at work, I wonder sometimes why other people who started the same time as me are given more responsibility/taught more about the business (I've only really worked in retail/shop assistant sort of thing so far, so it's in that sort of capacity). And yes, if I objectively look at it, the others are more responsible and motivated than I am, so it's only fair, but still, it'd be nice to be valued.

    Maybe we feel like our best traits (whatever we feel they are) are not really seen and appreciated by the world at large? And the things people generally like us for are things are either we don't see as particularly good or strong traits in ourselves (like our ability to adapt to every situation and be totally dependant on pleasing other people seems to be a love-hate thing with ourselves) or things we take for granted, and thus aren't sure why people like us? And consequently are insecure that they do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by arcticangel02 View Post
    That echoes with me. I know that I'm generally liked, but I feel like it's mostly a passive sort of thing, eg they like me only because I haven't annoyed them. But outside of my friends, I don't feel like they nessecarily regard me as one of their favourite people, or even as a person they might otherwise consider spending time with / inviting somewhere, etc. So I suppose that is probably a respect issue. Even at work, I wonder sometimes why other people who started the same time as me are given more responsibility/taught more about the business (I've only really worked in retail/shop assistant sort of thing so far, so it's in that sort of capacity). And yes, if I objectively look at it, the others are more responsible and motivated than I am, so it's only fair, but still, it'd be nice to be valued.
    Good input.

    FWIW, there are ways to address this. The information on ENFPs at Personalitypage.com discusses ways that ENFPs can develop their auxiliary function (Fi) in order to become more discriminating and "cut to the chase" quicker.

    http://www.personalitypage.com/ENFP_per.html

    Just to follow up on what I was saying about my boss:

    My ENFP boss has had all the requisite leadership training and is aware that there are plenty of tools at his disposal for being a more effective boss. He could depend more on policy, procedure, and institutional memory to deal with routine matters rather than reinventing the wheel and trying a playful new approach each time to make old problems fresh and fun again. He could delegate more and put other people in charge of issues or scenarios that are problematic for him for various reasons. He could swallow his ego a bit, quit being such a one-man show, and build a formal support team that will take the lead when breaking ground on a new issue, meanwhile keeping himself out of the fray until it's time to make the important judgment calls. (As opposed to the example of my boss keeping me and his deputy at arm's length and putting us in the rather awkward position of publicly coming to his rescue as he's going down for the third time.)

    ENFPs seem to want treat each new problem as a crime scene, rope it off and isolate it from outside interference, then play about with all the "clues" or variables, and tease out a solution based on their quick wits, innovativeness, and sensitivity to fine details. But in a workplace setting that kind of playful, innovative thinking can drive everyone nuts. Most problems are routine and just need someone to sign off and take responsibility for a routine solution. If the boss gets innovative and starts turning everything on its head and experimenting with the variables and sending subordinates on wild goose chases "just to see what will happen," he's going to have a mutiny on his hands pretty quick.

    My ENFP boss knows all this, and on most days he keeps his Ne in check, stays focused, cuts to the chase, and keeps the work flowing properly. But some days he's tired or stressed or whatever, he falls back into old habits, gets sidetracked, and starts playing around with tangents and insignificant problems while everyone's on hold and waiting for him to deal with an important issue. That's when it becomes necessary to keep interrupting him and steer his focus back to the heart of the matter.

    I think it's mostly ego on my boss's part. He has always earned lots of respect and plaudits for his powerful Ne, so he likes to put it on display. But being in a senior management position is new to him, he doesn't know how to pace himself, and he burns out. Mainly he just needs to develop some self-discipline, pace himself better, and put more trust in the traditional leadership techniques to carry more of the burden.

    Quote Originally Posted by arcticangel02 View Post
    Maybe we feel like our best traits (whatever we feel they are) are not really seen and appreciated by the world at large? And the things people generally like us for are things are either we don't see as particularly good or strong traits in ourselves (like our ability to adapt to every situation and be totally dependant on pleasing other people seems to be a love-hate thing with ourselves) or things we take for granted, and thus aren't sure why people like us? And consequently are insecure that they do.
    I think that all types can be in this situation. We all have strengths and can be the hero in the right setting. But in the wrong setting our strengths may be squandered; our strengths may come across as sterile or even counterproductive.

    ENFPs have a playful, holistic approach to problem-solving. ENFPs can really shine when a situation is novel, touchy, and involves a lot of sensitive variables. But if a problem is routine or requires a critical rather than holistic approach, then the ENFP's talents may be wasted. The ENFP may have nothing more to contribute than mere playfulness. And even if that's welcomed by the others around them, it's not really what the ENFP wants to be valued for.

    Similarly, INFPs have a talent for reconciliation and harmonizing. In a team-building environment, for example, INFPs can serve as the glue keeping the team together under stress and bring out the best in all the team members. But once routine sets in or a more critical approach is required, the INFP may have nothing more to contribute than mere sappiness and feel-good gestures. And even if that's welcomed by the others around them, it's not really what the INFP wants to be valued for.

    And so on for the rest of the personality types.

    The answer is that everyone needs to develop their auxiliary and other functions, and gain some confidence operating outside their comfort zone. (See the link to Personalitypage.com, above). We can't just sit around waiting for fate to drop a situation into our lap that will highlight our strengths and allow us to play the hero. Better to look at the environment we're in and develop the particular strengths we need in order to operate more effectively in that environment.

    Also, a lot of honor and respect is accorded to people who are willing to tackle new skills and practice them until proficient at them. It's the well-rounded practical leader who gets ahead these days, not the narrowly-focused technician who is excellent only in certain environments.

  9. #19
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by autumn View Post
    I have seen it mentioned in some of the recent ENFP discussions that ENFPs are in general well-liked, but may not feel that they are as popular or as well-liked as they actually are. I as an ENFP have had this very experience. Does anyone have any theory as to why this could be?
    I'm sorry if this has been discussed elsewhere (my time is limited right now)... but is this really even just an ENFP thing?

    [I know I'm nowhere close to an ENFP (well, definitely not an E or F, although I have that NP thing down pat)... and I know it's the same way with me. I've even had the discussion about it, where people tell me how well-liked I am, and while intellectually I follow it, emotionally, it's like ? Because the heartstrings aren't up to speed with the head knowledge. I usually "feel" like more of a pest or someone who overstays their welcome, and not popular or well-liked.]

    We might have to broaden the categories for this sort of experience.

    Could it be more NP? (I can see how taking nothing for granted -- the P thing -- along with envisioning many possibilities for peoples' reactions -- the N thing -- could contribute to this feeling.) Or maybe it goes even more broad than that...?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  10. #20
    Senior Member Roger Mexico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    I would like to comment about this. It's not really a paradox, just something I noticed and I'm curious about.

    Necessary disclaimer: I'm not trying to hurt any ENFP feelings, just get a little understanding.


    I was reading one of FineLine's post, someone I think is very wise and knowledgeable, and he commented about how he and his INFP wife tend to the play the "wounded INFP" game on each other and this got me thinking.

    I have noticed that all throughout the Hate an ENFP thread, (and this observation could be completely off base but I'm going to say it anyway) ENFPs seem to use the heart on the sleeve also as a bloody heart grenade that will be launched at people when the ENFP doesn't really want to recognize the consequences of their actions. Even right now, I'm hesitant to finish writing this post for fear it might set off dangerous ENFP broken heart spasms throughout the galaxy.

    That thread is interesting to me because it seems that any genuine criticism that might be aimed at ENFPs was completely deflected and tempered by, "but you guys are so lovable that I can't really hold anything against you!" Could this possibly be a unique ENFP game? I'm not doubting the overall sincerity of the thread, it just seemed very weird to me. I mean honestly, the ENFPs have admitted to some behaviors that while aren't bad, do seem somewhat inconsiderate and capricious. Contrast the Hate an ENFP thread with any of the various Rants on NTs threads, or even the INTJ Intimidation thread. Maybe any Hate an NF thread would turn out like the Hate an ENFP thread. It seems to me that certain NFs cause stronger negative reactions than other NFs. I don't know.

    This may be an ENFJ difference, but I really don't feel the need to be constantly checking my popularity barometer. It's not that I don't worry about it, but I use different methods to get the information I want. Could the ENFP Paradox possibly include a little guilt because the ENFP may know they're using their heart grenade against people, suspect other people know it as well but for fear of hurting the ENFP's feelings go resentfully along with it, hence causing the ENFP to doubt if they're really liked or not? I'm thinking that it wouldn't be that difficult for an ENFP to detect if they disliked or not.

    Just some thoughts.

    I think you might be onto something. I know some very intellectual gifted ENFP's, (I guess I still feel the need to add "probable" when I type people) which elicits my NT respect, but when they do something that bothers me, particularly if it bothers me on an emotional level, some of them have this ability to blunt my heavily logical criticism before I can even express it. Ne picks up that "oh, god, don't be disappointed with me" expression and I rationalize away my complaint just to avoid causing pain. They know they screwed up, but they don't want to hear it. Since I don't approach these conversations in terms of my emotions, it just seems cruel to inflict pain on them with my "cold logic."

    Thing is, I know they're (well, she is) smart enough to understand how this works, but it's the perfect defense mechanism to insulate against the repercussions of your own misbehavior. I end up tolerating shit that to me is obviously inappropriate, sometimes extremely so.

    Given that Fe is my immature "shadow" function, being ignored, shrugged off, or deliberately misled just tears me up inside, and I can explain clearly why people shouldn't treat each other like that, (good intentions or not) but I just swallow it until it festers and grows to unhealthy intensity. If you're doing this intentionally, or even if you're aware of it, from my perspective it's a form of manipulation. It created mistrust and makes me want to keep somebody at arm's length even if I otherwise like them as a person.

    Relationships with STs and NT's, and even some FJ's are easy for me because we all know we can deal with problems by just bringing up the issue and systematically laying out our respective cases. That ENFP insecurity thing just throws up a wall, and I have to compensate by not giving them the chance to hurt me even a little if I can't comfortably bring a problem to their attention. So it's not that I don't like you, it's that I have to keep my guard up further into the relationship than I would with another type.

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