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Thread: Common INFJ issues

  1. #301
    Senior Member Array Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    I want to get back to something posted earlier in this thread- I was taken out of commission for a few days. A *lot* of the stuff that’s being said in this thread (and probably actually more so in the sister thread “common ENFP issues”, but I’m posting here because this is more about INFJs) about Fe seems to be at least loosely based on the premise that Fe is about mindless conformity and necessarily less authentic than Fi. I’m not sure exactly where this notion comes from, but it’s kind of like saying Te ‘users’ necessarily have less authentic thoughts because they adhere to external paradigms more than the self-made critical reflection of Ti; which is obviously bullshit.

    Introverted function = depth
    Extraverted function = breadth

    Not

    Introverted function = authentic
    Extraverted function = fake

    Having more Fe than Fi doesn’t mean I cling to mindless ‘formal’ social rules of etiquette; in fact, I loathe mindless social rules of etiquette and question them at every turn. I just recognize where people need them to feel respected, and my priority happens to be on making other people feel respected (that's where the 'breadth' comes in). People do the best they can. There are some relatively good people who just never felt the need to question ‘formal’ rules: I adhere to the rules around them and get away from them the first chance I get, because it’s exhausting to me.

    Scott Denver brought up (in sister thread) the example of how- in some situations- the behaviors he deemed more trademark of Fi were actually more thoughtful to adhere to than typical societal rules of etiquette. My point here is that someone with more Fe than Fi is just as likely to pick that up (maybe even more so): because it’s about having one’s focus on the feelings of others in any particular environment. Sure, there are Fe ‘users’ who will judge such environments for not being ‘polite’: but they don’t do it because they are Fe ‘users’, they do it because they are close-minded individuals who don’t want to do the work of adapting.
    About the bolded part, I'm pretty darned sure I said no such thing. I barely even mentioned Fi in that post from early this morning. I *may* have said such things in some much earlier post form long ago, but not from my recent one. The recent one was, more or less, about T-based values/attitudes taking precedence over Fe in certain specific cultures, and served to illustrate the idea that Fe is not always somehow the default or "best" social interaction function. I don't believe that anyone here ever claimed that Fe was always the best or default social interaction function however.

    I follow Thompson's description of Fe, which btw I consider to be FAR more complimentary than anything from Jung or Myers. As I understand, and if this is wrong take it up with Thomson I guess, is that Fe understands and follows the accepted standard social mores of a given culture, and is highly proficient in using them. It is a "within the system" function so to speak. Fi is extremely individual, and instead of asking the question "what does my culture say the social norm is here?" instead asks "what is the universal value at play in this situation?" Fi is an "outside the system" function. It often leads to some of the most universal and humanitarian perspectives.

    Whether the assessment is valid or fair, I think that the perception that Fi is deep and Fe is shallow comes from 1) Fi sees beyond the culture of which its owner is a part and seeks universal truths and values, while 2) Fe takes the current social values of its culture as being somehow "correct", or at least the collectively understood and accepted social starting point.

  2. #302
    wants Mifune clone minion Array Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    Why does Fe seem to consider itself the social uberfunction, and the default norm/expectation of social interaction? As stated above, it can often be very effective socially, but why does that grant it norm/expectation status, and apparently such a dim view of other functions and their social style?

    I would like to point out that no group that I've ever been a part of has been Fe dom, and a number of groups that I've been a part of/around [military, taoism, tantrik yoga, maybe zen buddhism?, maybe some martial arts?] actively look down on a number of aspects about Fe and its social mores.
    Ok, so on to Fidelia's points

    1) A lot of me finds this completely naive, stupid, and self-centered. There are 6 billion+ people in this world. Lots of people suffer intense agony or pain every day, and how many people die every day? What on earth makes you think people should take time out of their busy lives to, more or less, socially kiss your butt, especially if these people don't even know you? Of the 6 billion+ people in this world, most of them don't give one whit about you, your feelings, insecurities, joys, tribulations, etc. Most people is the US, and I presume elsewhere as well, are quite busy and may not even have time to catch up with their friends, why should they spend time chit chatting with people they don't even know or only have ?little? relationships with, for example coworkers? It's my understanding that in the military, and elsewhere, it is often considered rude to ask people about their problems, or to probe them further, unless they specifically ask you to do so. I've had plenty of friends who when I ask them questions about personal stuff, even if they've mentioned it before, tell me to "mind my own business" and that "they don't want to talk about it." Fe is not the function default, or even the social default of all groups. I've seen Fe-like attitudes extremely mocked by some groups, and seen as very wimpy by others. Whether we agree with such attitudes or not, clearly Fe is not everyone's social default.

    Most people are busy/enmeshed enough with their own problems, that unless your a close friend, they probably aren't interested in hearing about your problems. Does Fe expect the world to stop spinning and other people to put their own lives on hold so that they can try to help comfort your problems?


    2) In the military and elsewhere there is a lot of "do this, because you were told to", and it doesn't matter what you think about it, or whatever the group dynamics may or may not be. Some people are oblivious to group dynamics, others don't care, others realize that "they aren't high enough on the totem pole to be able to change anything."

    4) Come on, people are more complex than just "I will help you out" vs "I don't care one iota." Further, not all help is wanted. People are busy, there isn't time to do everything, not everything to be done requires a group effort to get there.

    Whether it is a fair assessment of Fe or not, it feels to me like the groups I've mentioned above basically see Fe as "polite social butt-kissing" and perhaps frequently insincere about it to. These groups consider themselves much more "honest" and "truthful", and see Fe as somewhere between well-intentioned farce, disingenuous, and outright lying. Also, I think there is a tendency to see Fe expression as people "whining and expecting social support/approval/validation for being insecure/wimpy/pathetic etc." As in "I can't take care of myself or solve my own problems, so I'm going to interrupt or force myself upon you to help me out. Now validate my feelings!!!"

    For example:
    Fe: I've had SUCH a bad today!
    military: "shut up and run 5 miles, just like everybody else here!"
    martial arts: "shut up and train, just like everybody else here!"
    zen buddhism: "shut up and go meditate"
    taoism: "the world is red dust and the social world is insecure and farce, your emotional worry is scattering your mind. relax your mind and settle your chi"
    tantric yoga: "the world is illusory and filled with suffering. Social interactions will not take you to liberation, but will only further tangle you in this world of suffering. Still your wandering mind and focus on the Absolute."

    See how none of those examples involve any sort of emotional validation? Admittedly, those are all warrior and/or monkish cultures though.

    So clearly not all social groups are Fe-based, or even F-based. I think the harshest attitudes I've seen towards Fe have come not from Fi, but from Ti and Te.
    Okay, my bad- I missed the underlined statement. I read the bolded parts and assumed that you were referring to Fi- because that's what popped up in my head as the other alternative.

    I still think your post is filled with misconceptions about Fe, though. I didn't mean to single you out- your post is just the one that came to mind while writing my comment. There have been a lot of people going on about it lately, without putting much thought into it (or what that argument is consequently saying about their Te).



    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    Whether the assessment is valid or fair, I think that the perception that Fi is deep and Fe is shallow comes from 1) Fi sees beyond the culture of which its owner is a part and seeks universal truths and values, while 2) Fe takes the current social values of its culture as being somehow "correct", or at least the collectively understood and accepted social starting point.
    I just think that whoever wants to refer to Fe ^this way ought to be willing to refer to their Te the same way- shallow, not likely to seek universal truths and accepts generally recognized paradigms as being somehow "correct".
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  3. #303
    Senior Member Array Tiltyred's Avatar
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    It is a little disconcerting how people characterize Fe this way -- I don't think it's that we believe the current social values (what are they, anyway?) are correct, so much as that you have to understand who you're talking to in order to be effective in talking to them. We're just as interested in change as Fi and just as iconoclast and just as authentic and individual. That's just not the flag we come out of the tent waiving. We try to come at other people speaking their language and doing their thing the way they do it and then introduce change within the system. It's not at all that we think the system is right. Cultural norms and such are a tool we can use to infiltrate, that's all.

  4. #304
    Magical Array BlackCat's Avatar
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    This thread and the ENFP issues one should be stickied. Putting it here because this is fidelia's thread and she's a mod. =)
    () 9w8-3w2-7w6 tritype.

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    Proud Otherkin Snowflake Array Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    That's an interesting thought. It would help explain why some misunderstandings that happen here don't happen in the same way for me in real life. How would seeing someone's expression of discomfort redirect your strategy for dealing with us? Would you instinctively back off on Te?
    Yes. Very much so, unless you've pushed us too far and have shown the intent to restrain our freedom with unreasonable social expectations and no regard for who we are. And even then, when I break free, I'll feel immensily guilty for Te-hammering you in order to regain my freedom.



    My definition for love:


    Seeing the beauty and marvel in another person. Loving them for who they are, all of it. Not rejecting any part of them, accepting them fully as a perfect system, knowing every wart is there for a reason, which in turn, makes them even more unique, and understanding that through and through. For that matter, taking the time to thoroughly understand them so you can reach this state of being with them and share it...sync up.
    ★ڿڰۣ✿ℒoѵℯ✿ڿڰۣ★

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    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    That's funny - my definition of love would also include caring enough about someone to hold them accountable or to kindly open their eyes to blind spots and having them do the same for me. Inspiring each other to be better than either of us would be on our own. Iron sharpening iron and all that.

    So different.

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    Proud Otherkin Snowflake Array Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    That's funny - my definition of love would also include caring enough about someone to hold them accountable or to kindly open their eyes to blind spots and having them do the same for me. So different.
    That's one of the main differences Ithink. Though I too am all for encouraging someone to develop themselves, I do not hold that expectation. I chose to love them for who they are, and to me, their flaws make them extra precious. Holding them accountable for those flaws would mean they'd change them out of guilt for me or leave me because I didn't accept them for who they are. That to me, is pretty much the biggest violation of my principles, of my Fi. I will however encourage them to search their own soul, self-reflect, make them talk about what they themselves woudl like to change. If it happens to be the flaw I had in mind, great, we'll work at it together, when they're ready. If it's something else, that's great as well, and i'll gladly help them mold themselves into the person THEY want to become. That process to me, is beautiful. If they express the desire to work at it but don't know how to proceed or do not feel ready for it, we'll figure out a way or give the person the amount of time they need to prep for it. I will sometimes tough love it during the process to give them the courage they need to jump into the unknown but *only* if I *know* they can handle it, and if I know THEY *want* it, but just feel daunted at that point.
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  8. #308
    Magical Array BlackCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    That's funny - my definition of love would also include caring enough about someone to hold them accountable or to kindly open their eyes to blind spots and having them do the same for me. Inspiring each other to be better than either of us would be on our own. Iron sharpening iron and all that.

    So different.
    I really think that this is a P/J difference; and this along with some other things regarding how P's and J's interact make it the most important letter to share with pretty much any interaction if you want it to go smoothly.
    () 9w8-3w2-7w6 tritype.

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    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    You're probably right about that.

  10. #310
    Immanentize the Eschaton Array Starry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    That's funny - my definition of love would also include caring enough about someone to hold them accountable or to kindly open their eyes to blind spots and having them do the same for me. Inspiring each other to be better than either of us would be on our own. Iron sharpening iron and all that.

    So different.
    Or maybe not so different???


    Okay ~ Am I the only person that wasn't able to log-in yesterday and the first part of today?

    Am I the only one that has become a tad bit confused with regards to the differences between ENFPs and INFJs?

    I sure am.

    Like fidelia's passage above...this sounds a bit ENFPie to me...and actually contrasts my real life relationship experiences with INFJs.

    With regards to ENFPs:

    Actually the 'holding one accountable' part in fidelia's description of a love relationship may not apply to many ENFPs - or at least it wouldn't for me. Whether it is due to an issue with 'follow through' or a desire to suspend judgment on an ongoing basis, etc. I don't really see an ENFP 'holding one accountable' (perhaps because for me it somehow sets-up an unequal positioning within a relationship if only for that particular issue). But as for openning another's eyes to blind-spots...areas where a loved one may be selling themselves short or what have you...
    I actually feel this is an area where the ENFP excells. I am in no way saying an ENFP will automatically use that ablility in a relationship...as I am sure any loved one of mine can attest. But from what I have witnessed...ENFPs are called the Inspirers for a reason. I know for me - if I am in a good place mentally...and I remain mindful of how I am presenting something and the other individual's mood...I can do quite well saying something how I want it to be taken. In the spirit of - You and I are equals. And my love for you it unchanging.

    I have never had an INFJ friend or SO (not that I have had many but still...) do this for me. Now I know what you guys are thinking - it was because the INFJ thought I was perfect right? HA!

    Actually, from what I read on forums...I get the feeling that many (and I mean many)...individuals are completely shocked and surprised once doorslammed by an INFJ...and are left wondering what went wrong - what did they do to cause this reaction by someone they loved so very much. And without a word from the source...end up here.

    I generally see a couple of different answers from other INFJs to these poor sods. 1.) The doorslam is not something an INFJ takes lightly - and is only done after an extraordinary amount of contemplation. The doorslammed must have been provided several warnings by the slammie...but did not change their ways (or something along those lines). OR 2.) The INFJ did not take the relationship as seriously as the person that was shut out.

    The INFJ I reference on this forum...well...truth be told...I don't know if I have experienced a doorslam or merely a withdrawl...but I had no warning...nor do I believe my feelings are the stronger. And he would never say word 1 to me with regards to blind-spots.

    The other two INFJs...the male will point out things to me...long after they are relevant. I am always left with...why didn't you say anything???? And the female...she can be quite bold at times...but it is never in direct reference to me.


    I believe Z Buck wisely pointed out that enneagram should probably be taken into account. I am also aware that while ENFPs & INFJs are the people that make up most of my relationships...my experiences are just that - only mine and not a microcosm for the populations at large. But yup...I am very confused as to what traits generally match up with what type here...and the questions abound.

    Nevertheless, I welcome the confusuion. Thank you all so much.

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