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  1. #41
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    I can't agree that Fi "projects". I just don't project or pretend to I know what other people are feeling and I've never met a Fi-dom who does. I don't think that is a Fi inherent trait, and I will continue to reject that assertion. It is in complete opposition to what empathy actually is, which is understanding other's expression of their feelings, even if foreign to your experience or if "wrong". You're not really empathizing if you only consider how you personally would feel.

    Taking things personally is not the same as projecting. One has to do with your own feelings, the other has to do with the feelings of others.
    I concur with OA here. I think Fi "receives" and asks the question, "what emotional state gives rise to this [other persons] internal experience?"

  2. #42
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    I concur with OA here. I think Fi "receives" and asks the question, "what emotional state gives rise to this [other persons] internal experience?"
    I'd say more interprets the other person's small body movements by comparing them with the Fi-user's state of mind which evokes those movements.

  3. #43
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemoretime View Post
    I'd say more interprets the other person's small body movements by comparing them with the Fi-user's state of mind which evokes those movements.
    I would not say that, but I am Fi dom. Many times I've sensed how others are feeling and I know its not my feelings in part because I've never had the kind of feelings that person was experiencing. I'd say its like seeing what color a persons shirt is, if your eyes are open, you will see their shirt.

  4. #44
    Geolectric teslashock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    Can someone please answer why Fi users (actually NFPs because SFPs aren't claiming this) want to claim so badly the Empathy Prize. Fi does not have a monopoly on empathy, Fi is not more predisposed towards empathy. These are character traits, these are learned traits, the are developable traits, not traits inherent to a cognitive function. Sometimes when people describe Fi it's like they just touch a person and this searing emotional pain just overwhelms them and they pass out on the floor from the power of it. It's comical! It doesn't even align with real life at all.

    I feel like I just had a breakthrough of understanding about Fi a couple of days ago and then it gets completely ruined when I see the progression of this thread and it just reconfirms things that I was trying to see beyond in the first place. I tried that once and the only person who responded to me evenly was Happy Puppy and I think we had a good round of PMs going back and forth about this.

    Can we have a discussion about functions without people getting all defensive and teary-eyed? What good does it do to only discuss the positives of a function and never the negatives? If someone says something negative about a function, detach yourself from it. See if you do or don't do what's being described. Think of the situations where you could've possibly reacted the same way. Would you like to be called a wholly immature person for a situational event?

    I noticed this thread went unanswered for a couple of days and I was interested in hearing from what people had to say, I thought it had the potential to be an enlightening thread. When responses do finally start coming in within 30 posts it descends into mudslinging. Typical.

    One thing I must say about this forum is I've become much more self-aware of the negative aspects of Fe within in myself and others. I know that I've done some of the shady shit people describe about Fe and quite frankly will probably do so again in the future. Some stuff I just brush off, but some stuff has opened my eyes to my behavior more instead of me just shrugging it off and saying "That's not me! That's not Fe!" I think yeah, I can see that happening.
    Very nicely put. This thread is like the tactful version of my "Pretentious Fi" thread (read: tactful because it was started by an NFP rather than an NTP), yet the mudslinging still ensues. I seriously don't believe it's possible to criticize Fi on this forum without getting bashed for it. I criticize Ti on a fairly regular basis, but I don't end up with a bunch of INTPs nipping at my ass. It's an interesting contrast.

    I definitely agree that it's useful to criticize any and all functions, but it seems like many Fi users just don't want to hear it. Their loss, I suppose.

    And as far as Fi laying a claim on empathy, I think that's pretty much bullshit too (read: pretentious). Any strong F types are going to be decent at empathizing. Hell, I'm an ENTP, and I still find myself feeling empathy for the downtrodden and melancholy, particularly the ones that are close to me. You don't have to use Fi to feel the emotional pains of others, so I definitely agree with you that empathy is not an inherent Fi trait; it's merely a skill that many Fi users care to develop because they put such a strong investment in any emotions whatsoever.

  5. #45
    Dreaming the life onemoretime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    I would not say that, but I am Fi dom. Many times I've sensed how others are feeling and I know its not my feelings in part because I've never had the kind of feelings that person was experiencing. I'd say its like seeing what color a persons shirt is, if your eyes are open, you will see their shirt.
    Makes sense - if you were a Pe dom, you'd be more inclined to interpret it by what's going on externally (even as that is the ultimate source).

  6. #46
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    I think we are good at putting ourselves into other people's shoes, but it is still ourselves we are putting there. We can be good at building up a mental model of the other person's emotional state, but it's only as good as the data we have to draw upon (both about the individual and with other similar individuals). Our biggest pool of data is ourselves, and that's what we use to fill in the blanks. Of course projection is going to happen! Over time, projection gets tempered with actual experience and our model of the other person (and other people in general) becomes more accurate.

    When I read your initial response, I did glance at who it was coming from. If an INFP had been that blunt, I probably would have thought they were upset. I work with lots of NTs, though, so I looked for actual emotional content in your post and there was none.

    I think Fi does predispose one towards empathy (although it's not the only source for it), but it's imperfect and it's not magical. In the absence of information, projection can and will occur.

    Ideally, being more type aware should make INFPs more aware NT-style bluntness, and make NTs more aware of INFP's tendency towards emotional projection. We INFPs can help by carefully looking for explicit emotional content when we think we detect some, and keeping in mind who is doing the speaking.

    NTs can help by not choosing emotionally laden language unless they mean it (as simulatedworld did by using neutral language). If they want to bend over backwards, they can provide some emotional content so it won't be a blank screen for projecting upon. However, I think that's an unreasonable and unfair demand to place on NTs in general.

    Anyway, I think a bit of patience of understanding go a long way. Seems like part of the point of a forum like this is to have to place to work through some of these misunderstandings and figure out how to deal with them.
    Seymour I'm with you on the bulk of what you're saying, but I do not agree with Fi predisposing someone towards empathy or having a great ability to positively identify with another person. This is what I asked before...why do NFPs want to be seen as some kind of great empaths?

    When I see someone making a claim like this I personally begin to discount what they say. Knowing how to separate the wheat from the chaff is a big deal to me, but I can't help but think their perceptual filters are off. Do you realize how big a claim that is to make? Maybe this is just different typology philosophies that I see functions are more tabula rasas that get filled with life experiences and can go in any direction. This is why I personally wouldn't discount someone as being a certain type because a function can manifest itself in a myriad of ways.

    But I'll play along if you all want to claim that Fi is predisposed to greater empathy. Someone posted a quote a while ago on the forum about the connection between empathy and torture. I don't remember exactly what is said, but the gist of it was highly empathetic people make the best torturers. I don't remember the the supporting statements of this statement but at the time I find it very interesting.

    Let's say that a negative byproduct of being naturally high on empathy is also being capable of being a highly sadistic person. Would (N)FPs be willing to claim that aspect of Fi without whitewashing it into something positive? Would (N)FPs be willing to claim this as being inherent to Fi without caveats coming in and out the ying yang of those who do this being atypical or dysfunctional in some way? Because there's a light and dark to everything and if we can come up with valid negative traits to being empathetic would you all own up to those as well? If Fi users want to make the claim that Fi house the depths of human emotion why should a Fi user be more likely to swing on the happier sunnier side of that emotion than the negative? When people make claims or believe such things it's just as easy to find the less savory parts. If you're standing in the light, you're casting a shadow somewhere.

    I feel like there would be a rush to disassociate from this vein of conversation about empathy and Fi because it's not very flattering.
    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.
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  7. #47
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teslashock View Post
    And as far as Fi laying a claim on empathy, I think that's pretty much bullshit too (read: pretentious). Any strong F types are going to be decent at empathizing. Hell, I'm an ENTP, and I still find myself feeling empathy for the downtrodden and melancholy, particularly the ones that are close to me. You don't have to use Fi to feel the emotional pains of others, so I definitely agree with you that empathy is not an inherent Fi trait; it's merely a skill that many Fi users care to develop because they put such a strong investment in any emotions whatsoever.
    No to Ti all over you, but something can be inherent to without being unique to. I think Fi is associated with a tendency towards empathy, but so is Fe. I'm open for there being other functional routes to get there, too.

    I don't see a problem with Fi "laying a claim" on empathy, so long as it allows for there to be other claims. I haven't seen anyone claim that Fe users can't be empathetic, for example. Have you?

    And to answer proteanmix: I definitely think that an Fi-dom going for the throat is a VERY dangerous thing. When I was younger I knew exactly how to torture my brothers and push their buttons. I could make my twin brother go from calm to enraged in about two words if I felt like it. I could also manipulate my brothers shamelessly (in an Fi-based kind of way). I'm not proud of that, but it was a phase I went through. When I do get really angry now, I keep myself from going for the throat, because I know it results in long-term emotional scars and resentment.

    However, that same Fi that pushed me towards emotional insight also made me aware of the costs of manipulation and button pushing. Fi lends itself to self-criticism. I think it's a hard place for an Fi-dom to live without quickly falling into self-hatred. And yes, I think an Fi-dom could make a great torturer, but I wouldn't say he or she would function for long. Don't really know, though.

  8. #48
    Geolectric teslashock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    No to Ti all over you, but I something can be inherent to without being unique to. I think Fi is associated with a tendency towards empathy, but so is Fe. I'm open for there being other functional routes to get there, too.

    I don't see a problem with Fi "laying a claim" on empathy, so long as it allows for there to be other claims. I haven't seen anyone claim that Fe user's can't be empathetic, for example. Have you?
    Sure, something can be inherent without exclusively laying a claim. I don't think empathy is inherent in Fi though. I don't think Fi is a function defined by empathy; most Fi users simply care about developing their empathetic skills. I was simply trying to agree with proteanmix's statement that Fi users do not have a monopoly on empathy but rather that it's a learned skill.

    I wasn't trying to make the argument that says "I see empathy in non-Fi users, so empathy cannot be inherent in Fi." Obviously B does not logically follow A in that case, but I can see how my post might have had that vibe. It was more of just a rant than anything else, not a linear way of reasoning through an argument. Sorry if that's how it came across though.

  9. #49
    man-made neptunesnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    Would (N)FPs be willing to claim that aspect of Fi without whitewashing it into something positive? Would (N)FPs be willing to claim this as being inherent to Fi without caveats coming in and out the ying yang of those who do this being atypical or dysfunctional in some way? Because there's a light and dark to everything and if we can come up with valid negative traits to being empathetic would you all own up to those as well?
    Actually, I recall making a comment on this a long time ago about how INFPs need both light and dark.

    The big problem I have with many of the profile descriptions is that it only highlights the good aspects (as many INFPs have said in other threads). INFPs are capable of great harm, too. That's why it's so important to nurture and channel Fi properly (as anyone would with their dominant function).

    And if I'm not mistaken, OA commented on the INFP darkness, too.
    INFPs need both the good and bad to feel balanced.
    We're not trying to put Fi on some ridiculous pedestal to be romanticized.
    We just don't want to be stepped all over.
    Fi is not a bad, pathetic, or useless function, and I'll go to any means to advocate that.


    *I wasn't going to come back, but that comment bugged the hell out of me.

  10. #50
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    I've never heard anyone make these claims, especially your ridiculous description of how a Fi user feels empathy. No one is saying only Fi empathizes anyway. I disagree that certain functions are not predisposed to certain strengths though. Everyone can develop empathy, yes, but MBTI profiles note patterns in types, and that's why NFPs get tagged as being empathetic. There is a predisposition for certain traits in certain types, whether it is true of every individual of that type or not. How else would you type people?
    Yes that claim has been made several times. I just quoted a person who made the claim. I don't think to myself hmmm, this person is tightwad jerkface with a small asshole...they must be ESTJ! I don't type by character traits. My dispute in this thread is the nature of the character traits people ascribe to types NOT patterns of behavior. Do you see what I'm saying?

    Why the insistence on denying every positive attribute ascribed to Fi? Do you have anything positive to say about it? I think that's more of a challenge for some people here. Say something positive about NFPs directly related to their Fi usage - I dare you.
    Do you want me to slather some happy sauce on you or something? You're already claiming the apex of emotional intelligence: empathy. Any student of psychology or casual self-help book puts empathy at the top of the emotional food chain and evidently NFPs are naturally predisposed towards that than any other type. I can't do anything better than that! You have the golden ticket!
    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

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