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  1. #1
    Seriously Delirious Udog's Avatar
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    Default Dissecting the INFP Fi-Si Loop

    Ah, the Fi loop… Many an INFP’s 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 Either I am missing key information, or my internal model is outdated.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'. That’s Te, and it’s 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, I’m still working on that.

    So, anyone make it through that? If so, I'd love to hear your thoughts on the topic.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    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

  3. #3
    Senor Membrane
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udog View Post
    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.
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Udog View Post
    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.
    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by Udog View Post
    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?
    I don't see the first as a problem since I see the loop coming in for a reason. Compare to the scenario that the loop doesn't start at all, you would spend your life not realizing that your thoughts and actions tell a different story. I've never had the loop take more time than the false conceptions before the loop was activated.

    Problem number two. I think the loop might emphasize the incompatibility of the situation by making it a bigger deal than it is. Again, this is to motivate me to do something about it than just dwell on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Udog View Post
    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'. That’s Te, and it’s 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.
    I've come up with some little victories by writing the thoughts down and then later on kind of going back into the loop consciously, in a more objective manner. The loop can help you find the reason behind it, and that way you might find some nearly indestructible ideal-like concepts pointing to the right direction.

    I think the loop is basically your conscience fighting with your other instincts. Sometimes you'll need to change the way you think, in other words remodel your conscience, or you need to change the way you behave. So, in the long run the conscience is becoming more and more effective and accurate and your thoughts and actions are becoming more alike.

  4. #4
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Eloquent and articulate as usual Udog.

    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.

    I think, Scott, that what you describe is precisely what keeps one from entering the Fi Si loop, although I imagine it's heavier on Ne exploration than Te logic. It sounds like you have an exceptionally good handle on Te, but most INFPs distrust impersonal, ordered methods unless it is an impersonal, ordered process. And Udog is referring to emotional and moral upsets, as he mentioned. It's never quite as black and white to solve.
    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

  5. #5
    Shaman BlackCat's Avatar
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    Well with any tertiary temptation, the only way you get out of it is by using the auxillary. So do some Ne, do some exercises with it or something, and that ought to help. And also with whatever is bothering you, just apply Ne to it. Like, for example, with a past experience with someone that didn't go too well that's torturing you- "Well, it will be different next time. Next time I'll make a new impression, and there will be nothing to worry about. *cue thinking of what you could do different*"

    Or maybe that's just Se. Crap. I dunno, but you get what I mean.
    () 9w8-3w4-7w6 tritype.

    sCueI (primary Inquisition)

  6. #6
    Glycerine
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    Shouldn't the INFP just try to step back and engage in Ne and Te to gain a different perspective and/or possible plan of action? For example, finding some sort of inspiration outside of themselves. That might re-frame the thought structure to be processed by Fi-Si and break the cycle.

    I always was under the impression after an INFP has more hardships than he or she can handle, the INFP's precious, unique idealism gets crushed. As a result, they go inside themselves to protect themselves from getting hurt even more and get stuck in the Fi-Si loop.

    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.

    This probably is complete bunk.

    It's just a really sad thing to see.....

    Update: For many problems, people need to acknowledge the problem and figure out the root of it in order to change. I know a couple of INFP that just don't care and don't see the Fi-Si as a problem. I guess you have to define it as problem to actually fix it. Whatever floats their boats.

    Also, I bet much of this Fi-Si loop stuff w/ INFPs is because many of them have rather difficult pasts/lives. However, there are still going to be some that are just more prone to super introversion, depression, melancholy (due to genetics) no matter how good they have it.

  7. #7
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pitseleh View Post
    Shouldn't the INFP just try to step back and engage in Ne and Te to gain a different perspective and/or possible plan of action? For example, finding some sort of inspiration outside of themselves. That might re-frame thought structure to be processed by Fi-Si and break the cycle.

    I always was under the impression after an INFP has more hardships than he or she can handle, the INFP's precious, unique idealism gets crushed. As a result, they go inside themselves to protect themselves from getting hurt even more and get stuck in the Fi-Si loop.

    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 for any of this to have a lasting effect.

    This probably is complete bunk.

    It's just a really sad thing to see.....
    That's pretty much what Udog said. Maybe I just get his INFP speak.
    Anyway, the problem is gaining perspective is not so simple, because as Udog said, the Fi Si loop is easy and even comforting. It's like a warm bath after a hard day...until the razor blade shows up. Ne & Te need to step in before it gets destructive.

    I've had an awful lot of champagne and a few tequila shots, so I hope this makes a shred of sense...
    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

  8. #8
    Glycerine
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    oh sorry. I just skimmed the OP. haha, he and I also had a couple discussions about this a LONG time ago. I understand you, OA. I actually think we pretty much have the same exact opinion on this. ( I edited that post like 4 times after you quoted me, haha). I think it is partly will and partly that they need something outside of themselves to get out.

  9. #9
    Senor Membrane
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    Anyway, the problem is gaining perspective is not so simple, because as Udog said, the Fi Si loop is easy and even comforting.
    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.

  10. #10
    man-made neptunesnet's Avatar
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    Great Post, Udog!
    It definitely explains a lot.

    Lately within the last couple of years, I've been utilizing my Ne to break the Fi-Si loop, although I didn't realize that was what I was doing. Like nolla said, the loop can be beneficial if you and your morals are inconsistent with reality but for the most part Fi has a way of noticing truths that aren't easily picked up on, imo. Those "judgment calls" may actually be pretty accurate, so entering into the Fi-Si loop can be fine with the assistance of other functions (Te, Ne, etc.).

    Also in the Fi-Si loop, my knee-jerk reaction after a strong emotional reaction to something is to harp on how "wrong" I've been about it. Fortunately, Ne "swoops in," as you say, and gives me a window where a door was shut. That or my Ti will work out how I was right in the first place . Te doesn't work too much for me. Can't figure that one out yet...

    Anyway, the Fi-Si Loop theory is very interesting and something I'll have to keep thinking on. You should go ahead and write your book already .

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