I realize there is a huge gap in our understanding. Like I've said somewhere before, I feel that INFPs are like a mirror image of myself. I can recognize myself in you, and we can see that we are so similar, but my right is your left, my left is your right. This makes the dance much harder than it looks in the first place.
So as not to stray too far from the topic, I will stick to what Fe (at least for INFJs) does and why Fe relationships end. The basic thing is: Fe needs that constant exchanging of emotional energy, or it shrivels and dies.
Because of its merging nature, Fe needs constant communication. Like a river, it comes from somewhere, and it goes somewhere. Everyone's feelings are connected. Also like a river, when it goes to dry land, it tries to work its way through, to moisten it. Its perfect vision is to bring life to it, and little by little the grass grows, and a forest grows, and the dry land is not dry anymore. Finally, with a forest there, it rains. The rain fills the river and the river can continue to flow more to the land. On the other hand, if the river perceives that there is no hope for the land, meaning that the grass won't grow, and whatever effort it puts in seem to go through the cracks in the ground and disappears, it gets disheartened. If this persists for a long time it dries up for good.
Fi is like a deep well. We truly admire the fact that your feelings are pure and true and, at least compared to ours, unaffected by the environment. We truly admire that Fi love can hang on for years and years and years even when there is no hope. There doesn't have to be rainfall to replenish it. However, coming from our perspective, we don't know what is there in your deep well. In the end, we don't even know if there is water in there. This, together with the changing nature of Fi -- you want one thing one moment and another thing the next -- scares us. We have no idea what you are thinking about, what you want, what you are really like inside. Sometimes we feel like we don't really know you. Who is it that comes out once in a while with all those wonderful qualities, deep, caring, sensitive? Is it the same person as the one who shuts us out without warning and leaves us in the dark? When we perceive no consistency, we cannot be sure that what we have is really good. We can't even be sure about what we have at all. This scares us to the core and as time goes on we are convinced that it will not work.
Going back to the light analogy, if we cannot keep the 'us beam' blue, or whatever color we both have decided is good for us (which, with INFPs, most of the time we have not even decided on the color we want in the first place -- and most likely we will decide for you, because we cannot NOT focus on a color, and which you might not like), we get confused, we panic, we feel like we are doing something wrong. We feel like a failure and that it's our fault that we cannot make you happy. Then we despair. Over all this time, with all the effort, all the caring, we feel unappreciated, unloved.
This is why good communication is the key. Give us something. We need a sense of direction. Sometimes it helps to be able to tell us objectively what it is all about. Let us know there is water in the well even when we cannot see it, and that it will not dry overnight. A river flows constantly. The only time it doesn't is when it gives up. For us, when we don't feel the water, we think you have given up, and we try to figure out what we have done wrong to make you withdraw your love so easily.
The thing is, we need the very thing that might feel intrusive to you. We are reassured when you let us in on your problems, when you tell us what you want from us. Explaining to us how you don't need for something to be a certain way helps a lot more than you think. When you feel we are intruding, tell us.
The difference between J and P is that being a J, we want at least one color on the wall that we can work towards. You, on the other hand, don't mind if it keeps changing. We feel that the changing colors are too confusing, because we orient ourselves to the color we see on the wall. Too much change and we feel like we are constantly being tossed around in a whirlwind and we feel very uneasy and restless. For you, one color seems too constricting. You feel trapped, caged. The whole thing feels forced. At the very core, I think the only way for an Fe/Fi relationship to work out is to be able to find that balance, that middle-ground between stillness and movement. Find a range of shades you can both live with and within that range let the colors shift.
So, you need a whole lot of adjustments on both sides. Communication is everything. So far, in this relationship, sometimes the only way I can get through to him is to drop all my defenses and lay bare my soul for him to see. It takes a lot of courage, as I become completely vulnerable. But that's my leap of faith -- faith that he will catch me and not let me fall.
Thread: Common INFJ issues
07-21-2010, 04:21 AM #211
07-21-2010, 06:08 AM #212
OK, this thread is completely overwhelming me right now. Posts that I need to respond to are being made so fast… far faster than my ability to emotionally process them.
So I ask for everyone’s patience. But in the interim, it seems like a good time to call a (hopefully brief) time out. I wanted to point out a couple of things that are deliberately off topic… in part to help me (and perhaps others) regroup so we can return with a fresh, better perspective re: this thread.
I think it’s so easy to forget that people on this forum are more than avatars and user names. They have jobs and kids and pets. So I decided to find out more about Fidelia.
Fidelia is obviously a very special person. Seriously. And, I don’t say this lightly. I’ve spent a little time getting to know Fidelia over the past hour by checking out her previous posts. (Yep, I woke up in the middle of the night due to aforementioned processing.) This was no small task because she has over 4,000 of them at the time of this posting. I would characterize her posts as thoughtful, earnest, and intelligent. Oh yeah… and voluminous, but that’s OK. I write voluminously, too.
And, I’ve been checking out her pictures, too. I loved looking at her pictures. For the record, I wanted to say that Fidelia is a very beautiful woman with stunning, highly communicative eyes.
Also, I respect her commitment to “live her life in service.” (This is an old Southernism that you still hear in my neck of the woods.) She’s a moderator on this forum. (I have no idea how this works, but my guess is that this is a formal time commitment.) And, she is a French teacher. Helping others is an important value to me, too, which is why I try to serve my community through volunteer work.
So in keeping with this sentiment, I’m temporarily changing my avatar picture to my real picture. So you guys can also see what I look like. Note that I used Photoshop to remove the horns and pitchfork.
I absolutely hate confrontation and it stresses me out. But I’ve also learned that confrontation can be a positive thing. (Thank you INTJ mother and ENTP father… from whence I got my k*ickass Te.)
So while I find any sort of confrontational overtones on this thread personally distressing, it’s also true that I’ve learned a lot from the confrontation on this thread… and judging from the amount of processing I still have to do, I’m going to learn a lot more.
A lot of talk on this thread has been about the differences between Fe and Fi. But my intuition tells me that's only a small part of the story. I’ve never seen it thoroughly discussed on this forum, but I think that ENFPs with strong Te and INFJs with strong Ti tend to rub each other the wrong way. I’m not sure exactly what’s going on here, but my gut tells me that these INFJ/ENFP tertiary functions are feeding this miscommunication…. Because it is obvious to me that we have a whole bunch of good, smart, well-intentioned people on this thread talking right past each other.
ENFP — Ne > Fi > Te > Si
INFJ — Ni > Fe > Ti > Se
Seems like both INFJs and ENFPs use their tertiary Thinking function to protect themselves when they perceive their auxiliary Feeling function is threatened. But the form of this “protection” is very different in all the ways that Te and Ti are different. Look at these two descriptions from CognitiveProcesses.com:
Extraverted Thinking (Te) – ENFP’s Tertiary Function
Contingency planning, scheduling, and quantifying utilize the process of extraverted Thinking. Extraverted Thinking helps us organize our environment and ideas through charts, tables, graphs, flow charts, outlines, and so on. At its most sophisticated, this process is about organizing and monitoring people and things to work efficiently and productively. Empirical thinking is at the core of extraverted Thinking when we challenge someone’s ideas based on the logic of the facts in front of us or lay out reasonable explanations for decisions or conclusions made, often trying to establish order in someone else’s thought process. In written or verbal communication, extraverted Thinking helps us easily follow someone else’s logic, sequence, or organization. It also helps us notice when something is missing, like when someone says he or she is going to talk about four topics and talks about only three. In general, it allows us to compartmentalize many aspects of our lives so we can do what is necessary to accomplish our objectives.Introverted Thinking (Ti) – INFJ’s Tertiary Function
Using introverted Thinking is like having an internal sense of the essential qualities of something, noticing the fine distinctions that make it what it is and then naming it. It also involves an internal reasoning process of deriving subcategories of classes and sub-principles of general principles. These can then be used in problem solving, analysis, and refining of a product or an idea. This process is evidenced in behaviors like taking things or ideas apart to figure out how they work. The analysis involves looking at different sides of an issue and seeing where there is inconsistency. In so doing, we search for a “leverage point” that will fix problems with the least amount of effort or damage to the system. We engage in this process when we notice logical inconsistencies between statements and frameworks, using a model to evaluate the likely accuracy of what’s observed.
OK, I’ve got to get back to my IRL activities. But before I go, I wanted to share one of my favorite quotes that I hope Fidelia will appreciate. (Because it is a renowned French quote. I first learned French when I lived in France for several years in my youth.) I think it speaks to my worldview, and somehow applies to this thread. Maybe it explains in ways that I am unable, my shameless, forthright style of writing:
"Il faut toujours jouer AVEC et non pas SELON les règles parce qu'une vie sans danger ce n'est pas une vie." (One must always play WITH the rules and not BY the rules, because a life without danger is not a life at all.) – Nancy Huston from Lignes de FailleENFP with kick*ss Te | 7w8 so | ♀
07-21-2010, 06:25 AM #213
- Join Date
- Nov 2009
Is Esoteric Wench really in trouble? I guess it's possible she is with you.
Have you considered that this is something more personal?
I myself, have never seen you so short and frustrated with anyone.
Also I know because you have told me, that Fi can "trip you up" that I am now wondering if you are reaching a point prejudice towards it?
I see you struggle with Fi from time to time. But It does not seem to be a common issue with most other Fe users.
These are not accusations but maybe just points to ponder.
07-21-2010, 06:45 AM #214
23 ) INFJs always write bad things about themselves, they could be more badass and accept more often that noone gets perfect, if he's not badass sometimes
07-21-2010, 09:18 AM #215
Think of ENFPs as being the middle management of Fi-we are the ESTJs of how to deal with Fi problems. Our rules are to provide simple, efficient, Te style solutions to reach an emotional resolution quickly to resolve the pain of those around us.
Fi seeks an affirmation that it is okay to have a feeling, then seeks a Te solution. Your frustration could be you really want to explore the Fe subtleties of the problem-which may sound like you are repeating the same issue again and again to the Fe-blind. I would think "Hmmm, yes, I know you feel this way..okay what Te action items can we implement to prevent this from happening again?" We dont need to keep rehashing the emo over and over again.
Fi is exceptionally reactive in ENFPs. It should be so and is part of what we are. We learn to use that internal reactivity productively as part of maturity. Other Fi users seems to have some level of Fi reactivity but process through different perceiving functions.
My ENTP keeps asking me (looking for insight on her ISTJ husband) "Tell me what it is you will need emotionally on Thusrday, in two weeks, in a month..." I just stare at her confused. How do I know what I will be feeling then? Fi is, perhaps like Ti, in the moment.
The only way to develop a function is to use it. Perhaps for the Tert F users, part of the first steps in using it is to have some other person fan the flame a bit...I dunno.
Do INFJs really protect the aux function? ENFPs most certainly do protect Fi. But Fe is how they interact with the world-like we use Te or Ne.
INFJs are you really more protective of Ni perhaps? This is a question, not an assertion.
Based on my invasive, endless dissection of the poor ENTPs last year, I think you are seeing a clash between Te and Fe some in this thread via tone. We cannot see the unspoken Fe, and they read in unspoken things to our Te. The core disagreement may stem from Fi:Fe misunderstandings though.
I actually get along fine with the INFJs I know-as I only have Te:Ti interactions with them. I never invite them into my Fi world. I seem to nullify the Fe for some reason. Same thing with ISFJs.
07-21-2010, 09:32 AM #216
moving on to Te...it seems as though you are using Fe to provide consistency to your world. I use Te to provide consistency to my world. Its funny as Fi is totally inconsistent from hour to hour-yet as you also said-it loves steadfastly forever.
From a jungian perspective I'd suggest you are seeing those long term memories-the love forever-are due to Fi being used with Si. The endless fluctations and flutters are Fi being used with Ne. I try and tell my ENTP friend, that I may look terribly erratically emo at times, but my core is exceptionally solid and grounded. The Si is a concrete fixture even in times of great Ne chaos. Once the storm passes the Si foundation has held true. So I can be venomously angry at someone, yet understand underneath that I will love them greatly once the storm is passed.
Hope that helps a little. You and archlight are both such beautiful people inside. I learn a lot about emo, just by reading your posts.
07-21-2010, 10:02 AM #217
Until we feel heard and understood, it's really hard to move onto the solution because we don't believe that she has any idea what the actual problem is. It's as if, because she has a hammer, everything looks like a nail to her.“There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
~ John Rogers
07-21-2010, 10:34 AM #218
What can often happen is that both sides are waiting for (their version of) being heard and understood by the other person, don't receive said confirmation, and thus keep talking past each other. The way past the "loop" is to improve one's own understanding and demonstrate that understanding to the other person. Then the other person feels understood, so one has a real chance of being heard and understood, in turn.
07-21-2010, 10:38 AM #219“There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
~ John Rogers
07-21-2010, 10:39 AM #220
Hey Orobas and Esoteric,
I think now we're getting somewhere! I need to mull over all the new ideas that you presented about the different functions being used, but I'm glad that you took the time to write them. Both of you had a lot of useful points to make that I think I buy. Now it's just a matter of deciding what to do with them in varying types of circumstances.
Esoteric - I'm sorry for the personal distress that I may have caused you. Things are okay from my end. I guess normally my response would be to just back off and not say anything. However, because this thread was about why these kind of clashes happen, I felt like it was worth investigating further. I am aware of what I did that strengthened the hurt you felt at being misunderstood and I'm sorry for that. It's not so much that I was even all that emotionally invested (which probably seems worse!), but it felt like I wasn't being heard or acknowledged, which is the first step to getting an INFJ to respond positively. With each subsequent time it came up, I got shorter and shorter to be sure that the point wasn't missed. You were seeing the point, but were trying to work on a solution. For me, it would require discussing what exactly the problem was first (making sure that we both were seeing the same thing and that nothing important had been missed - it appeared to me like you were missing information but wanting to get on with the solution prematurely). Anyway, as uncomfortable as that probably was for you, I am glad that it happened. Interestingly enough, as I read your post today, I didn't find myself digging in my heels in the same way. Your approach was somewhat different and therefore your message was something I became more interested in hearing.
I'm guessing that if there were to be a problem in reverse, it would mostly stem from those occasions where the ENFP felt the INFJ was not accepting them for who they are. Until that feeling was in place, they similarly would not feel much progress being made in a discussion. Is this right? (Hence our talk yesterday of INFJs needing to change their perception).
21% - You've expressed much of what I've seen going on between INFPs and INFJs but have never put into words. Thanks for letting us all benefit from your first-hand experience.
Arclight - No, I don't think it was a personal thing and EW is most certainly not in trouble. I understand why Fi is an essential and valuable function, so it's not that I have it in for those who use it extensively! You are not likely to experience any ricocheting bullets if you come out! On occasion, I just don't see the thought process that takes a Fi user somewhere and so do better if they can help describe it to me so that I don't step on their toes at times. What confuses me is that it's only a very small handful of Fi users that I seem to run into troubles with and even that is not all the time. In this case, I believe that Te probably is a plausible explanation. Cafe expressed in an extreme way a bit of how I was feeling last night. Not personally angry, but surprised that EW was not seeing where the approach was preventing her from being heard. (While she of course needed to feel that I wasn't ascribing the worst of motives to her or expecting her to be a certain way on my terms).
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