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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udog View Post
    Ah, the Fi loop Many an INFPs undoing. It allows us to hold onto unhealthy, damaging ideas and emotions long after they have reached their expiration date and have lost their nutritive value. After going through one recently, I did my best to pick it apart and analyze it. Any thoughts, insight, or observations are welcome.

    First, what is the Fi-Si loop? With me, it gets invoked when something happens that causes the world to become morally or emotionally inconsistent. It creates a dissonance that I am compelled to explore. After my Fi based views of the world fail to create understanding, I retreat into Si mode and analyze the situation and relive my old emotions in the hopes of uncovering something new. Those Si-based emotions and memories then get fed into Fi, and the Fi-Si loop is born.

    External Input -> Fi -> Si -> Fi -> Si.... etc etc.

    What are additional components of the Fi-Si loop?
    First: emotion. The more powerful the emotion, the more powerful the loop. Without the emotion, why even bother?

    Second: some sort of deficiency. Either I am missing key information, or my internal model is outdated.

    The problems of the Fi-Si loop:
    Problem number 1 with the Fi-Si loop is that it requires less energy to enter and maintain the loop than it does to break it. This isn't readily apparent to others, but this is why INFPs can get stuck in these loops for 10 years at a time.

    Problem number 2 is that each iteration of the loop causes a slight corruption of information. Each recollection of emotion is based on whatever Fi generated, and that emotion becomes the stimulus for the new Fi loop. Can you see how this could cause an INFP to become more and more divorced from reality over time?

    So how does one fix it?

    Ultimately, I believe the Fi-Si loop is a lowest-possible-energy-expenditure attempt to heal a wounded dominate function. In English, that means my moral or emotional views of the world have been betrayed, and I can't rest easy until I can understand it again. I can handle all sorts of emotions, as long as I have understanding. That's how I cauterize the wound.

    So to get out of it, I have to expend energy. Damn.

    One solution is Deus-Ex-Ne. That is, Ne swoops in at the last minute, and in a sudden flash with a choir of angels singing, comes up with a new way of looking at things, which leads to new potential answers. Aha! Epiphany! There is my answer!

    Sadly, that rarely happens.

    The harder solution is chipping away at the loop with things like 'getting out there', 'doing stuff, and 'researching information'. Thats Te, and its not very fun compared to the Fi-Si loop. It's slow and laborious for me. However, my most recent Fi-Si loop was cured when I stumbled upon a piece of information that allowed everything else to click into place. With that understanding, I no longer saw any point in investing emotional energy into the situation (Fi making a judgment call), and I was able to break free.

    Barring that sudden flash of information, it's chipping away at the Fi-Si loop rut until I am finally able to get out of the track and break free. In some areas of my life, Im still working on that.

    So, anyone make it through that? If so, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the topic.
    I've done this but didn't know it had a name. Maybe this means I'm INFP? However I don't understand how Si "relives old emotions" when S concerns sensory based impressions--I assumed this function involves the material world-- rather than feelings and such? Nevertheless the experience described, the neverending cycle that leads to a rut, is a familiar problem for me. Each time I manage to make it through these ruts though and look upon them with an attitude of wonder that something so insignificant could have caused me such a headache or heartache at the time. Iow I have managed somehow to become much more objective at some point in the process of this Fi-Si loop if that is what it is. Was my breakthrough the result of action in the real world that depended on using my extraverted function? I'm not sure, to be honest. Fantasy breakers, reality checkers, at any rate.

  2. #12
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    I don't see it that way. Maybe I am talking about something different, but to me the problems of this kind cannot stay unsolved.
    From your post, it sounds like Ne saves the day before the Fi Si loop starts (which is the healthy scenario). Si certainly can be a "reality check", but it can also blow past experiences and feelings associated with it out of proportion. Then it's no longer a reality check, but a paranoia of sorts that leads to withdrawal.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

  3. #13
    Head Pigeon Mad Hatter's Avatar
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    Do I get it right that the Fi-Si loop is about digging out old experiences and the emotions you associate with them, and if they are painful, re-living this emotional pain over and over again while trying to find an explanation even in the most silly and unimportant details? And that solving the problem consists in finding a different perspective that makes it clear all of a sudden why it doesn't make sense and where you got it wrong?
    Sorry if I ask, but I too would like to have an example, maybe wrapped up in a nice story

    Following OA's precedent, I apologize if this question is superflous or lacking in clarity. I already had five beers tonight - what else do you expect on Friday ?.
    IN SERIO FATVITAS.

    -τὸ γὰρ γράμμα ἀποκτέννει, τὸ δὲ πνεῦμα ζῳοποιεῖ-

  4. #14
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Thanks for the article, Udog. Very interesting to hear it laid out like that. I've been stuck in a pretty major Fi-Si loop for 5+ years now. I've tried the Te exit a number of times and with great vigour, so now I'm waiting for the aptly-named Deus Ex Ne.

    And imo anyone who doesn't think the Fi-Si loop is a bad thing has never fully experienced it. Maybe once around was all it took them, I dunno. Maybe their Fi just needed a little more time than usual to figure it out (ie it was never properly a loop).

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    From your post, it sounds like Ne saves the day before the Fi Si loop starts (which is the healthy scenario). Si certainly can be a "reality check", but it can also blow past experiences and feelings associated with it out of proportion. Then it's no longer a reality check, but a paranoia of sorts that leads to withdrawal.
    Sounds familiar. Yeah, I think I've had that kind of paranoia: I'm not good enough --> See, this is the past, they never liked me --> That is because I'm not good and interesting. And so on...

    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    And imo anyone who doesn't think the Fi-Si loop is a bad thing has never fully experienced it.
    Well, if what I described is Fi-Si loop, then I must disagree with you. My life was shit before it but I didn't realize it. The loop made me see that there is something wrong. Sure it took some years, but if I had never woke up in hell I wouldn't been able to climb out.

    It's too bad that it takes so strong message before we start making changes...

  6. #16
    Seriously Delirious Udog's Avatar
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    Since I've been asked a few times, I'll post an example or two up a bit later.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    Can you give an example [feel free to make one up if you like], because I'm not following this.

    I think I have a lot more problem solving" training background in me. Along the lines of
    1) identify tyhe problem
    2) explore/understand the problem
    3) identify [potential] solution(s)
    4) implement solution(s) until probably is adequately resolved

    Such an approach works great for practical issues [I need ot drive to stores such and such and buy such and such, or this highway is closed how else can I get to my final destination], but may not be well suited for emotional inter/intra/personal ones
    The Fi-Si loop doesn't get invoked when I can't get a website to properly connect to my database.

    I think it's alot harder with personal situations, because then it becomes an issue of recalling Te instead of Fi when I am emotionally invested and in a stressed state. THAT's when it takes energy to drop Fi to do some Ne-Te exploration, at a time when I don't have alot of energy to spare.

    Quote Originally Posted by nolla View Post
    I think it works the other way around, if I understood what you are talking about. It doesn't want you to stop thinking about your wrong behavior until you have defined it and got rid of it. The loop is a good thing, but not very pleasant.

    For me the loop is born when my view of the world is either wrong or incompatible with the reality. It might be some ideal that just doesn't work with my actual life or something like that. The world is not inconsistent, I am. So, I need to find better form of the ideal or change my behavior.
    I like this view. It seems like you've learned to leverage something that has ruined the lives of INFPs and use it as a tool to push yourself back up.

    Very empowering. There is value to this view point - I need to think on it a bit.

    Has the loop ever been so powerful for you that it's sapped your will to fight it?

    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    And to state the obvious, I think it's the path of least resistance because it relies on the introverted functions, which don't suck energy out of the introvert.
    Exactly. Thank you for saying it so succinctly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pitseleh View Post
    If any of this rings true, then the INFP would need to have a catalyst or something that helps to rekindle the idealism to regain any sort of a healthy state. Along w/ that the INFP would need to find some strength within himself or herself to get out of the "woe is me" thinking and really WANT to get out of it for any of this to have a lasting effect. I really LIKE INFPs but they tend to be the type to get the most stuck on the "woe is me" attitude which seems like a death sentence for them to be stuck in the loop.
    Yes, that could work. Discovering something new that invokes a healthier sort of emotion. There's danger down that path though, because if the 'new' thing disappears, the old source of pain returns with a vengeance. I'd probably only recommend it when the situation is one that truly has no answers.

    I can't relate to the INFPs that can lose their lives to the Fi-Si loop, though. I relate to the ones that fight, even if it's in between periods of succumbing to it.

    Quote Originally Posted by wren View Post
    I've done this but didn't know it had a name. Maybe this means I'm INFP? However I don't understand how Si "relives old emotions" when S concerns sensory based impressions--I assumed this function involves the material world-- rather than feelings and such?
    One of the functions of Si is nostalgia. INFPs intertwine old events with emotion, so when we 'relive the past', usually that involves the emotion as well.

    Remember, Fi is not emotion. In this case, Si is invoking emotion.

    Nevertheless the experience described, the neverending cycle that leads to a rut, is a familiar problem for me.
    I think all the types can get into a primary-tertiary cycle that leads to a spinning of wheels. INFJs can have the Ni-Ti rut, where they search for meaning within their own heads, forget about their emotional state, and detach from the people around them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Avis View Post
    Do I get it right that the Fi-Si loop is about digging out old experiences and the emotions you associate with them, and if they are painful, re-living this emotional pain over and over again while trying to find an explanation even in the most silly and unimportant details? And that solving the problem consists in finding a different perspective that makes it clear all of a sudden why it doesn't make sense and where you got it wrong?
    Sorry if I ask, but I too would like to have an example, maybe wrapped up in a nice story
    Pretty much. Si doesn't always mean silly and unimportant details, but it can! And one form of problem solving is engaging in Ne until an answer is discovered. However, it's not the only tool at our disposal - don't forget about digging yourself out of the hole via Te with perhaps an Ne assist.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udog View Post
    I like this view. It seems like you've learned to leverage something that has ruined the lives of INFPs and use it as a tool to push yourself back up.

    Very empowering. There is value to this view point - I need to think on it a bit.

    Has the loop ever been so powerful for you that it's sapped your will to fight it?
    No, it hasn't. I'd actually say that if it is weak, then it is more likely I don't fight it, since it is not such a pain it the butt. Except that I do fight (or rather work with) even those little annoyances, since I see that there is everything to gain here. As far as I can tell it is the main thing (if not the only thing) that makes me develop into a better person, because it is the harshest critique I will ever get from anyone. It shapes my life philosophy into a functional one.

  8. #18
    Senior Member souffle's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for describing this, it's going to prove very helpful for me.

    This is just a dodgy idea that is helping me deal with my Fi-Si loop of unresolved romantic feelings, which I thought I'd share: How about counteracting your Si with your Ne? Si desires to rekindle the past, but Ne desires new exciting possibilities from an uncertain future. Realise this situation your Si keeps wanting to rekindle would sell you short of the many amazing alternatives your Ne can imagine. So whenever the Fi-Si duo rear their ugly, inconventient heads, I strike them down - no! Future! Exciting! Better possibilities! Don't get in my way!
    Of course it doesn't stop me from experiencing the strong emotions, it just acts as a comfort, and keeps me in touch with the future, which I find a better subsitute for reality than the past.

  9. #19
    Seriously Delirious Udog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by souffle View Post
    Thanks so much for describing this, it's going to prove very helpful for me.

    This is just a dodgy idea that is helping me deal with my Fi-Si loop of unresolved romantic feelings, which I thought I'd share: How about counteracting your Si with your Ne? Si desires to rekindle the past, but Ne desires new exciting possibilities from an uncertain future. Realise this situation your Si keeps wanting to rekindle would sell you short of the many amazing alternatives your Ne can imagine. So whenever the Fi-Si duo rear their ugly, inconventient heads, I strike them down - no! Future! Exciting! Better possibilities! Don't get in my way!
    Of course it doesn't stop me from experiencing the strong emotions, it just acts as a comfort, and keeps me in touch with the future, which I find a better subsitute for reality than the past.
    Hey - not a problem. I'm glad others are finding this useful.

    I agree that Ne is the key out. It's usually less taxing and more fun for us INFPs. The hard part is letting go of the past so that we can properly use it.

    I sometimes do something I like to call "fake Ne". That is, I'm going through the motions of connecting new ideas and coming up with possibilities, but in reality, I'm not doing that at all. Instead, I'm coming up with the same ideas I came up with last time (and the time before that), and then telling myself I'm doing my best.

    For Ne to work for me, it has to be a genuine attempt to look at the situation in a new light, no matter how uncomfortable it may be.

  10. #20
    Senior Member souffle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udog View Post
    Hey - not a problem. I'm glad others are finding this useful.

    I agree that Ne is the key out. It's usually less taxing and more fun for us INFPs. The hard part is letting go of the past so that we can properly use it.

    I sometimes do something I like to call "fake Ne". That is, I'm going through the motions of connecting new ideas and coming up with possibilities, but in reality, I'm not doing that at all. Instead, I'm coming up with the same ideas I came up with last time (and the time before that), and then telling myself I'm doing my best.

    For Ne to work for me, it has to be a genuine attempt to look at the situation in a new light, no matter how uncomfortable it may be.
    Thats interesting. I have found that the Fi-Si loop continues to bug me despite having looked at it in a new light and made a definite and final judgement about it - I simply go back to before I made that decision and remember the thoughts and feelings before that, and then when I've had my fun reminiscing, remind myself of the decision I made. Which means going through the whole reasoning process all over again to convince myself that my final decision was right.

    Does this mean I haven't truly resolved my problem? Or is this a bit different to the Fi-Si loop you had in mind - does yours only apply to feelings that have never been resolved in any way?

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