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  1. #31
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Default Another ENFP POV

    You know I never thought I throw 'heart grenades' at people -- though I do yell a lot at my ISTJ friend for being so harsh in general but since we're long time friends it's partly in jest and we both purposely poke at each other sometimes. I don't beat around the bush or plead with people either, if I don't like the way you are coming at me with your criticism, I'll let you know pretty directly and probably suggest a more CzeCze conducive mode of speaking with me.

    Overall, I don't think I make people walk on eggshells around me. In fact, I make an effort to be the opposite and my friends and acquaintances and people I date or otherwise "am involved with" (ahem) tell me I'm quite honest and in a refreshing way. Even my humor is somewhat shocking, because I guess ENFPs are somewhat exhibitionist. In terms of criticism, I couple my honesty with consideration and tact and I really think that's the most efficient and effective way to run things. Be honest but think about the other person and the situation when you present your case.

    As for 'dont' hurt me, I can't take it' I don't think this is the image I project nor do I care to. I found out long ago that this has the opposite or NO effect and you will be eaten alive (remember highschool people??? and at work telling people to be nice to you doesn't work, it gets you fired). Acquaintances, friends, and family have told me the opposite and that I put out the impression that I'm tough and independent and specifically (importat distinction) I want the world to know that I'm tough.

    Also, I'm somewhat of a raging lesbian feminist, so this kind of "I'm weak, don't hurt me" image really runs completely counter to the very fiber of my political and personal beliefs. Even if I were to get all yogic hippie metaphysical on you I'd say "I am strong because I acknowledge my humanity and weakness" is the closest thing to "don't give me the truth, I can't handle it" that I will ever openly admit. Don't infantalize me or humor me, I can take it.

    Sometimes, can I seriously NOT handle criticism? For sure. When I feel I have no choice but to swallow someone else's critique et. al. with no clue how to 'improve' or have a chance to defend myself. Case in point: my last corporate boss who never had enough time for me and basically just seemed PISSED and disappointed or extremely short when she critiqued me but never gave me any tips or ways to improve.

    And I just want to add, there IS a difference between criticism and fighting words and hurtful intent. So sometimes if someone is balking at criticism, it's not that they are and total wuss with no hope in hell, but that they really are accurately pointing out someone's true agenda which is not very nice or constructive. And if you can't tell the difference or understand WHY someone is trying to critique you, I can see how a sensitive person would not want to hear it.

    Just like it's possible for someone to use "don't hurt me, I'm fragile" to avoid dealing with reality (because honestly, I know we're talking about "criticism" here, but we're really talking about life et. al.) it's quite common for people to use "I'm just telling the rational truth or giving you my opinion (so stop being a fucking wuss and take it like a man!)" as a shield for being jerks. Sure there may be some TRUTH or 'rational thought' behind the criticism but if the intent is practically or totally to hurt someone or 'get payback' for an imagined sleight, you can't really fault the other person for not wanting to accept your thoughtful gift.

  2. #32
    ~*taaa raaa raaa boom*~ targobelle's Avatar
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    see I have been everyones door mat for so long and now I just can't take it any longer, I am sick and tired of people treating me like crap and brushing off my feelings as something comparable to she's just over reacting.

    yet when I ask another (regardless of type) if they would go through or put up with what i do they think I am crazy as I know no one else who would allow that.
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  3. #33
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    Overall, I don't think I make people walk on eggshells around me. ... In terms of criticism, I couple my honesty with consideration and tact and I really think that's the most efficient and effective way to run things. Be honest but think about the other person and the situation when you present your case.

    ... Don't infantalize me or humor me, I can take it.
    Obviously I don't know you personally so there's no way I can dispute what you say about yourself. But I have heard quite a few people say those words, or something similar, but all they in fact describe is that person's self-image - and quite often, it's somewhat at odds with reality or the image other people have of them. But because they have this self-image of a really reasonable person, you simply cannot tell them how you see them or get them to listen or take it on board, because they'll point blank deny any validity in anything you say: "I wouldn't do that, you're wrong - I'm a reasonable person" - "But I'm trying to tell you that you just did!" - "No, you've got me wrong, I wouldn't do that"... etc

    Just like it's possible for someone to use "don't hurt me, I'm fragile" to avoid dealing with reality ... it's quite common for people to use "I'm just telling the rational truth or giving you my opinion ... as a shield for being jerks.
    Yes, I've come across that one a lot... it's like when people introduce a sentence with a disclaimer ("I'm not racist, but...") then you can bet that whatever it is they denied at the start, that's what they really are, and they're looking for validation.

    And by the same token, I've often come across the "tell me the truth, I want to know and I can take it" - "You're not going to like it..." - "It doesn't matter, I want to know" - "Okay then..." (an hour later) "Why are you being so mean? You're completely wrong! After all I've done for you and all you do is criticize me! When have I ever spoken to you like that?...."

    Quote Originally Posted by targo View Post
    see I have been everyones door mat for so long and now I just can't take it any longer, I am sick and tired of people treating me like crap and brushing off my feelings as something comparable to she's just over reacting.
    FWIW, Thinkers can get that too - from Feelers, it can go both ways. If I ever try to express myself to my mother or brother, both of whom are Feelers, by showing that they've upset me, their first response is always to insist that if I don't 'calm down' then they won't listen to me at all - it's like they're saying that now they've upset me and I'm trying to stand up for myself, I'm not allowed to use my own voice to do that, because they don't like people shouting. And they say I'm overreacting - every time.

    But just like you, when I ask anyone else for their perspective on what happened, they always say they think they were out of order and nobody would really put up with that.

    -----

    My personal experience with many ENFx's is that they just often have this very fixed self-righteous image, where they really do seem to think that because they 'do their best', they always 'do the best thing'. I know they only mean well, but quite often they're doing something that totally violates me and makes me feel very disrespected and judged, but when I try to tell them this, they deny any validity in my feelings because they didn't mean to cause them. They simply won't say sorry - the closest thing I can get is "I'm sorry my method of dealing with you offended you [but it's your fault if it did and I'm not going to change my method]". They believe they know how best to deal with "people", and they have a method that works with most or some, but when you try to suggest that this method needs a bit of alteration where you're concerned, they'll make out it's because there's something wrong with you ("Nobody else has said anything, nobody else has a problem"), and you need to adjust yourself to their method, rather than vice versa.

    That can be quite frustrating.
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  4. #34
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    It seems to me that there are two tangential ideas being discussed in this thread.

    1) There's the OP, that asks "If we're well-liked, then how come we often don't feel well-liked?

    2) Partly as an answer to the OP, Proteanmix raised the issue that ENFPs may be overly sympathy-seeking and cause others to handle them with kid gloves (and then subsequently register the resentment of the people around them, who may feel manipulated).

    So far, my posts in the thread have mostly been in answer to the OP and the more general issue of how ENFPs may sabotage their own standing with their friends by being overly flakey (a consequence of their Ne). I haven't specifically addressed the sympathy-seeking aspect of ENFPs. But this post is about the sympathy-seeking aspect in particular.

    (Long message ahead!)

    I have one female ENFP acquaintance who is constantly stressed-out, strung-out, exhausted, mostly a shut-in, subject to endless nervous complaints, can't stay focused on anything for more than a few minutes, gets freaked out by any change or unexpected factor in her day (hot weather, more traffic on the road than expected, bad news on the radio even when it doesn't affect her), can't go to a restaurant without changing tables five or six times because this one is too bright, that one is too dark, the other one is too loud, etc.

    Obviously this is extreme behavior. And it seems to be sympathy-seeking behavior in that everyone is expected to put up with her whims and mood swings and changes in plans. But I blame it mostly on her undisciplined Ne. Her extraverted Intuition latches onto any and all stimuli coming at her and tries to weaves patterns of meaning. And her Ne is "undisciplined" in that it doesn't distinguish between small meaningless stimuli and more important meaningful communications or signs. For example if she is having a conversation with someone, she can get distracted and upset by a fly buzzing in the room or window curtains rustling; her hypersensitive Ne registers the minor stimuli of the fly or the curtain and it analyzes, sorts, and parses them to see if they connect in any way with the major stimuli of the conversation.

    As a result, my acquaintance is constantly bombarded with nervous/mental stimuli and is permanently overexcited, exhausted, and strung out. The solution to her problem is provided at the Personalitypage.com website that I linked earlier. She needs to develop her Fi and use it as a filtering device. She could learn to recognize some stimuli as important and other stimuli as inconsequential and ignorable, thereby reducing the activity of her Intuition and the burden on her nervous system.

    Anyway, the point is that my female acquaintance acts whiny, needy, attention- and sympathy-seeking, and a hypochondriac. But her problems don't spring from a desire to attach herself to others by bonds of dependency or curry pity by being a hypochondriac. Rather, her Ne is out of control and she gets overstimulated. IOW, it's a problem related to her internal make-up and it has nothing to do with the people around her or her relations with them. (It only involves other people to the extent that the people around her get sucked up into her dramas because she is such an extreme Extravert and can't help broadcasting her troubles to the world.)

    I've seen something similar in another female ENFP acquaintance. This second female ENFP is much tougher and much more independent. She is quick to criticize others and quick to make enemies. She doesn't seek sympathy or dependence on others at all; in fact she can be quite the little terror. Nonetheless, she suffers from many of the same chronic health and nervous problems as my other female ENFP acquaintance: Stress, exhaustion, jumpiness at the slightest stimuli, etc.

    Again, the point is that the behavior in each case is not specifically intended to curry sympathy and pity. Rather, it's genuine nervous overstimulation and exhaustion due to runaway Ne.

    As for male ENFPs:

    In my experience, there tends to be a gender divide for ENFPs (as Substitute suggested). Male ENFPs are traditionally expected to tough it out and cope better with the world. So they often seem to have their Ne under control when it comes to dealing with random environmental stimuli. But runaway Ne may still manifest itself as flakiness and difficulty distinguishing between real problems and minor tangents, as I described in the case of my ENFP boss.

    Also, runaway Ne may manifest itself as paranoia and misinterpretation of the motives of others, in the manner described in the Keirsey passage that I quoted in message #25 of this thread. Again, I just interpret this as runaway Ne. ENFPs don't distinguish between important and trivial signals or communications when dealing with people, so they may end up misinterpreting people around them despite their excellent intrapersonal skills. In the case of my ENFP boss, his relations with the people around him can be problematic. I mentioned how he keeps me and his deputy at arm's length because of old grudges. Having clashed with him in the past, we loom large on his radar and he can't every really let down his guard around us even though we've all worked well together since then. He is permanently on heightened Ne alert around us for any minute signal of dissatisfaction coming from us.

    But again, the main point here is the same as before: The key to dealing with my ENFP boss is that he has strong Ne and sometimes gets into trouble when his Ne gets out of hand. Sympathy-seeking behavior really isn't an issue in his case.

    So anyway, that's the main point that I want to raise about ENFPs and the issue of sympathy-seeking behavior. ENFPs may indeed overextend themselves, end up dependent on others, and require sympathy and gentle handling. But I think that this is a consequence of nervous overload from runaway Ne rather than some kind of neurotic need to seek approval or curry sympathy by feigning dependence and weakness.

    (Just as a side-note: Extreme ENFPs often turn into shut-ins and recluses in their old age. If they're unable to tame their Ne as they get older, the world may simply be too much for them. Environmental stimuli and paranoia around people may make socializing too difficult for them over time.)

    I think a similar misunderstanding occurs with INFPs. A lot of people see INFP behavior as ingratiating, and draw the conclusion that INFPs are all about approval-seeking behavior. But once you get to know INFPs you learn that Fi is, in fact, very much the opposite of ingratiating. It can be solipsist, self-involved, and selfish. INFPs aren't driven to seek the approval of others. If INFPs are sometimes ingratiating, it's more likely a side effect of Fi: Their ingratiation is a mere avoidance tool for dealing with the world and keeping it at arm's length while still trying to maintain harmony.

    (Many extreme INFPs act timid and ingratiating; but if you ask them about it they'll admit that inwardly they despise their own timidity and ingratiating ways. But they are too solipsist and self-involved to tame their Fi, develop their Ne, and make the effort to develop more sophisticated and effective ways of dealing with the outside world.)

    IOW, INFPs may in fact act ingratiating. But that's not what's driving them. What's driving them is Fi, which can in fact be very selfish. And if you look around a bit, it's not difficult to find brusque, irritable, negative INFPs who are the very opposite of ingratiating or approval-seeking.

    So, to sum up: ENFPs aren't necessarily seeking sympathy; they often just suffer from runaway Ne. INFPs aren't ingratiating and approval-seeking at their core; they're just too self-involved with their Fi to develop more sophisticated and effective ways of dealing with the outside world.



    Just my own observations and opinions, of course.

  5. #35
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    On the same subject as my post above ^^^^:

    In another thread I offered my own thoughts on how ENFPs can get a handle on their Ne and moderate it by developing their Auxiliary function (Fi). I also described how INFPs can tame their Fi and round themselves out by developing their Auxiliary function (Ne).

    That other thread might be useful and help fill out the picture I described in the post above. Here's the link:

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...developed.html

  6. #36
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    thanks for the link fineline I agree with your views.

    actually, i'm aware of a lurking shadow sympathy button ...but, at the same time, i really despise being patted on the head....go figure.....and I keep it down most times, unless completley overwhelmed and traumatized and then I need patting faster than Benny Hill could ever wish for

  7. #37
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    On the same subject as my post above ^^^^:

    In another thread I offered my own thoughts on how ENFPs can get a handle on their Ne and moderate it by developing their Auxiliary function (Fi). I also described how INFPs can tame their Fi and round themselves out by developing their Auxiliary function (Ne).

    That other thread might be useful and help fill out the picture I described in the post above. Here's the link:

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...developed.html
    sweet. INTJs next
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    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
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  8. #38
    Senior Member Roger Mexico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post

    -----

    My personal experience with many ENFx's is that they just often have this very fixed self-righteous image, where they really do seem to think that because they 'do their best', they always 'do the best thing'. I know they only mean well, but quite often they're doing something that totally violates me and makes me feel very disrespected and judged, but when I try to tell them this, they deny any validity in my feelings because they didn't mean to cause them. They simply won't say sorry - the closest thing I can get is "I'm sorry my method of dealing with you offended you [but it's your fault if it did and I'm not going to change my method]". They believe they know how best to deal with "people", and they have a method that works with most or some, but when you try to suggest that this method needs a bit of alteration where you're concerned, they'll make out it's because there's something wrong with you ("Nobody else has said anything, nobody else has a problem"), and you need to adjust yourself to their method, rather than vice versa.

    That can be quite frustrating.

    Man, that brings back memories. That was my mother's thing (not sure what type she is, but NF for sure):

    --"You know you can talk to me about anything; I'd rather hear the truth."

    --"OK, I'm a little upset with the way you negate me all the time and dismiss my opinions without considering them."

    --"No. You're wrong. I don't do that."

    --"You just did."

    --"Well, now you're just being an asshole. After all I've done for you,..."

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    sweet. INTJs next
    What...discuss how Dominant Ni works? Dominant Ni comes with a double whammy when looked at from the outside: it's introverted, and the Auxiliary J function (Te or Fe) tends to keep outsiders at a distance. So it's difficult to access and analyze from the outside by non-INxJ people.

    I wouldn't mind comparing notes. It's tempting to play with the concept. There are work-related functions that I do that seem to involve Ni: That is, engaging in pattern-building and trying to mesh and balance inputs from multiple disciplines, so that once I arrive at an answer it can be difficult to justify to someone else how put I everything together (and/or to incorporate advice or instructions from someone else who wants to change up the mix of inputs). At least, that's how it seems to me.

    Is there a particularly useful existing thread describing the Ni process from the point of view of INTJs and/or INFJs?
    Last edited by RDF; 11-05-2007 at 07:33 AM.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    sweet. INTJs next
    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    I wouldn't mind comparing notes. It's tempting to play with the concept. There are work-related functions that I do that seem to involve Ni...
    I was thinking about this today, and it seems to me there probably isn't any reason to go into a big investigation of how Ni works. We can see from the Ne of ENFPs how N works in principle.

    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    For example if she is having a conversation with someone, she can get distracted and upset by a fly buzzing in the room or window curtains rustling; her hypersensitive Ne registers the minor stimuli of the fly or the curtain and it analyzes, sorts, and parses them to see if they connect in any way with the major stimuli of the conversation.
    The basic principle of N is assigning meaning to elements (stimuli, ideas) and then finding associations between disparate elements and weaving them together into patterns.

    There is a related phenomenon in childhood, called "magical thinking." Young children basically have poor boundaries. They notice that if they dislike someone, sometimes bad things happen to that person. They draw the conclusion that their thoughts had something to do with what happened to the other person, and they assume that their thoughts have magical powers. (Of course they don't know that they are just playing the odds and working the "Forer effect.") They can come to believe in a connectedness running through the most unconnected things: "Step on a crack, break your mother's back." This tends to be the reason kids get so traumatized by a divorce or a death in the family--they fear that they might have caused it with their bad behavior or thoughts.

    Similarly, Intuition is a non-judging (and therefore boundaryless) function. It seeks to establish connections and build associations between seemingly unrelated things. It's not hard to imagine that Intuition has its origins in this universal childhood developmental stage of "magical thinking."

    To the degree that it can be used as an analysis tool, Intuition is highly effective. But since it's boundaryless, it can get overwhelming.

    ENFPs can use extraverted intuition in a positive manner to read people; but if it gets out of control it can lead to the ENFP feeling bombarded and burnt out by trying to juggle an endless flow of external stimuli. By the same token INTJs can use introverted intuition in a positive manner to cast wide analytical nets and efficiently process disparate ideas simultaneously; but the process of churning their way through their ever-expanding internal reservoir of ideas can occupy more and more of their attention and isolate them from the world around them.

    Anyway, I don't think it's necessary to pick apart the workings of INTJs and their Ni in detail. If more detail is needed, Personalitypage.com provides descriptions of how Ni works in INTJs and INFJs, its benefits, and its drawbacks.

    I think it's probably more useful to make use of the material from Personalitypage.com and see how the INTJ's Dominant function and Auxiliary function interact, and then contrast that to other similar interactions in other personality types; similar to the way I contrasted ENFPs and INFPs in message #34 of this thread. I think that'll be more meaningful.

    I'll write up something later (tomorrow or the next day) and post it here. I'll try to tie it in with ENFPs so that it won't represent a derailing of this ENFP thread.

    ***********

    Link to Personalitypage.com--scroll to the bottom of the page, and click on the link for your personality type:

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