I think it may be a Te thing honestly...I may meet someone and recognize immediately that I will not be close friends with them as I know they would not understand me and find me strange (Fi). I dont dislike them or like them. I am neutral. Polite but neutral and not trusting with emotions-which means they see very little emotion at all displayed externally.
However I will listen and assume they have the best intent and are not going to cheat me or try and hurt me in our interactions. Sometimes I will find people I really DO dislike. An ISTJ springs to mind. I find him to very controlling and he plays a bit politically. Yet I recognize he intends well by the people he manages. So I dislike him-but I still trust his intent overall.
ENFPs are pretty well known for being too accepting and too forgiving. I find I can forgive pretty much anything done without intent. The person messed up. I explain how they messed up, then explain why it hurts, the request they not repeat the offense. This works really well for Te users-who mostly hurt due to theur inherent nature as you point out above-they are seeking to structure and control their world and dont recognize the harm that can result. They respond exceptionally well to very direct confrontation and explanation. They then remold their Te rules to include not repeating a behavior-especially if you can explain how hurting another interferes with their desired objective they are trying to accomplish.
But typically you dont dwell on the emotional hurt-you move directly to a list of things they should not do again...Te boundaries. Do this, dont do this...
I have a harder time understand people who deliberately hurt others. Who make a choice to say or do something cruel or hurtful, knowing it will hurt/cut/wound the other person. If I have explained a behavior to a Te user for instance-then they repeat the behavior-they are now hurting others intentionally. That does not get easily forgiven, but oddly I dont see it very often unless they are under a lot of stress or in pain.
with respect to hurt I suspect an Fe user will spend far more time explaining and elaborating on the description of hurt and emotional pain-hoping to prompt the internal Ti logical rationalization and thought process in another pperson as onemoretime suggested earlier. Please let me know if I have misunderstood this though.... I will briefly mention hurt, but immediately jump to Te boundary settings. "You really hurt me when you did this, This is why it hurt, please do/dont do X, Y, and Z...."
Please correct if I have misunderstood or misphrased as I much appreciate hearing how others view situations.
Thread: Common INFJ issues
08-01-2010, 10:09 AM #371
08-01-2010, 11:07 AM #372
My goal in interacting with people is to exchange ideas- a give and take process, to build something new out of what both or all people contribute. At the very least, if something new isn’t built, then at least both sides feels understood. And that’s how I know the outcome has been achieved: both people feel understood. I’m going to guess this^ is true for a lot of INFJs- as far as what our goal is for interacting with people- but I know it’s true for me.
These are great questions, Orobas- maybe there should be a thread asking everyone these questions (to compare different types’ responses).
Do you find you ever get in a situation where you are trying to figure out if you should interact with a person or not...but cant really see far enough forward on the future path to be certain...so you freeze up and get sorta stuck, or choose not to take any path?
Maybe that's a IJ/EP difference? I'm more comfortable with non-movement than I am with movement.
Did you find that when younger you were less likely or more likely to trust/distrust your mental post it notes? Did you learn over time to be more careful about post it note entries or is this a very natural, instinctual process?
Would you say people provide the context for situations you are in? If you were presented a people problem, but the people were not specific people, but rather abstract people, would it be harder for you to decide what the right or wrong decision was? For instance "person A and person B walk into a room. Person A does this...Was that wrong/right?"
Do you find that while behavioral inconsistency in others does bother you, once you understand the root, you can rationalize and/or establish an Ni context and accept the person?
(This is huge in my EXTP interactions. The ENFP behavioral (emo-moody) inconsistency sends up red flags to their tert Fe. Only those I am very, very close are okay with it, as they have established a meta Ti map for Fi emotional fluctuation in me , treating me as a Ti system. With the others I have to careful to never let them see what I feel, or they lose trust. I wasnt sure how flexible NiFe is in this regard.)
edit: and thanks mochajava and Immaculate Cloud! I only just now saw your comments.
08-01-2010, 11:57 AM #373
If I haven’t already posted this somewhere within this thread: this thread has become a sort of physical manifestation of Ni. There are some many things going on at once, all over the place, it’s hard to keep track of the different trails of thought. For me at least, there’s constant backtracking, then getting distracted by a new trail, then backtracking, then getting distracted by new trail…
08-01-2010, 12:38 PM #374
You are watching to see what I will be like in order to gauge what you will be like, and what I want is the real you from the get-go. It's almost counter-productive.
Bear in mind I do a similar thing; I adapt and change according to circumstance and people. But there's a fulcrum at the core; my behaviour can only modify so much until I start to violate my sense of who I am, and I feel like I start to lose my sense of identity."Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
― Eleanor Roosevelt
"When people see some things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad."
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
08-01-2010, 04:06 PM #375
I can appreciate what you're saying - that you can sense the observations, making you feel on pins and needles, unsure of what to do or be.
To the bolded - I have written on here before, in various ways, that I don't really feel like my external behaviors (communication style, whether I'm serious or jokey or playful or restrained or whatnot) ARE me. They're all elements of myself, none really defines me conclusively. So I absolutely gauge based on the person I'm interacting with, how I'll respond in turn. I think my driver is wanting to interact with them on *their* level -- because, again, it's not a huge deal for me *how* I interact, as it's not something I tie super closely to my essence/identity/core. In a sense, I see the modulation itself as an important element of who I am - that ability to adjust and respond based on what the other person is giving me.
I recognize 100% what you're saying, though - that from your perspective you don't feel you're really getting to know 'Me'. But in complete honesty there's no deception on my part (and I know you're not implying this, either). I've always viewed it as various layers/levels/components of who I am -- and some people, by the nature of who they are, I already know aren't going to jive well with many of my layers; so I keep the other layers/elements at bay. Whereas with others, I know to speak/'connect' with them in another way. And again, it's not with the intent of playing a part or something. I've simply always felt I have numerous sides and methods of engagement - and never viewed those varying methods as being 'me' or 'not me' - they're all me. My ultimate aim is to 'connect' somehow with the other person, and to do so means I'll observe first, see how they are, and then connect with them in the way that I see opening to me. The closer I am to you, the more various sides you'll see of me, but I suppose the 'Spirit' of the interaction ends up ultimately being fairly unique from one person to the other; as the spirit depends on the individual characteristics of that other person, combined with myself. The nature of my interaction with one close friend might differ in significant ways from the nature of my interaction with another close friend. Both are close relationships, and both are Me. And if I can be nearly every single aspect of myself around another, then that's the closest possible relationship. [I think this last bit is more of a human thing, not an infj thing.]
As always, some/much of the above may just be me; not intending to speak on behalf of all infj's. And..there's stuff I'm not covering. I might come back later and edit/add to it."...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce
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08-01-2010, 04:38 PM #376
So I am sort of carrying across the diffs to see the contrasts once all four functions are opposite.
08-01-2010, 04:41 PM #377
I can bend and mold to an extraordinary sense and never feel like I went anywhere....I still feel totally myself, but the outwards display just fits the need of that person..
08-01-2010, 05:35 PM #378
Firstly, yes to all of cascadeco's post. What we're doing is 100% authentic. I think that all of those different ways of being are just different methods of relating. I also agree with cascadeco that people close to me probably get to see more sides of me (but all those sides are really me). I think this is sometimes why I feel self-conscious when introducing different sets of friends to each other though. It's possible that I relate to them in slightly different ways and it's hard then to pick something in the middle that is going to feel right to both groups. I don't like inconsistant behaviour in other people, but in this case I feel that it is only very surfacey things that change: how jokey, how outgoing, what kinds of discussions we have etc. I never would change what I would say about something or someone, alter my basic values and behaviour that stems from those values or be inconsistent about the things that make up what I'm all about.
I do think sometimes Fi people would like to get to the layers that only my inner circle sees, but to do it right off the bat. It's just sort of like not choosing to strip naked for someone in the first 5 minutes of meeting them. That's what I sometimes feel like Fi people are expecting or they think we are being inauthentic. Similarly, I would feel surprised if they chose to strip emotionally for me without enough previous acquaintance. If it's done in public especially, it seems selfish or rude to me. If it's done privately, I won't be terribly affected by it, but I might question your judgement in doing so. I'm not saying that all Fi users either expect this or do it themselves, but I think there's more of a tendancy to see our different ways of interacting with others to fit the situation (Fe) as being fake and inauthentic.
I liked what cascadeco said about realizing from certain interactions which layers are or aren't going to jive with yours. Couldn't have said it better!
To Orobas re INFJ questions:
A dead end for me in interacting with someone is when it appears to be causing too much needless frustration without any redeeming value gained in either common ground or understanding where the other person is coming from. When I understand what makes them behave in certain ways or what their thought process is, it helps me to attribute better motives to them or to come up with better tools to address the problem at hand. When I can't get that, I become extremely frustrated and tend to close off all the parts of myself that we end up coming to an impasse on. In some cases, this means everything (beyond basic polite exchanges) and in that case I may choose to abandon the friendship or relationship because I don't feel understood and I can't be authentic or express anything for them in a way that works for both of us.
A good interaction is one where we exchange ideas and both are of mutual benefit to each other in some way. Someone who inspires me to be better than I am is someone whose friendship I want!
Regarding getting stuck because you can't see far enough ahead to decide whether you want interaction:
No, I wouldn't really see myself as freezing up. It's more like I've made a decision not to move forward until I have enough information to work with. Kind of like waiting till the results of a car inspection come in before seriously considering owning it. (Imperfect example, but you get the gist of what I mean). I like knowing what to expect from other people.
As I've gotten older I trust my mental post-it notes more. This has been borne out from experience, and also from realizing that when other people are evaluating things, sometimes they are not working from a system of post-it notes at all. While they may have a feeling one way or another, they often haven't thought about why, and I don't feel like that's reliable enough to make major decisions on. However, usually I would also choose people I trust to compare my post-it notes to theirs (or at least to their gut feelings). If I get a mismatch, then I investigate why that is and where it is.
You were asking about behavioural consistency:
I also need to see the full range of behaviour, observe it and understand where it is coming from before I take down the red flags that normally pop up. It always needs some kind of larger structure to explain it.
08-01-2010, 08:19 PM #379
I don't mean to be facetious - it just reminds me of a conversation I had with an older female friend about taste (as in style) and my saying that I actually like almost every style you can name. She said "Then your taste is for change," and finally it clicked.
I'm hoping to turn the same light on for you.
The point of interaction is not for you to see who I am or for me to see who you are. It's to see who WE are, who we might be together.
08-01-2010, 08:23 PM #380
Thank you for so clearly revealing your methods of communicating. It's a wonderful and illuminative post; I appreciate the detail and it is mind-expanding to read and ponder. I am still engaging with it on a number of different levels.
I want to share some more on this topic, and as an INFP to an INFJ. In case it didn't appear clear, I adapt to the people I am interacting with as well, in a similar manner you describe - except if I diverge too far from a certain locus, or am around a great number of people, the chameleon-like nature of my interactions starts to seem false to me, as though I am losing my core self in there somehow. (That I am merging too far and will lose the essence of me, to all these people who need / enjoy different aspects of me.) The core is what I want to stress here though. The way I choose to interact in the world IS an expression of who I am. I don't view it as layers, I see it more as a set of concentric circles, where the closer you get to know me the closer to the core you get. But the core is always ... there. Does that illustrate any difference between how I see myself and how you view yourself?
And to add some extra nuance to this, if I am "reading" you and also adjusting my interaction to connect with you, but you are ... staying neutral, remaining uncommitted to a path of interaction, I will likely not pursue a relationship with you. It won't be overnight, and I will try again to connect, but if I sense you reading more than you are giving I will simply emotionally block you and not permit any exploration of my psyche, nor will I feel willing to lay down a pattern you can piece together over time. I will block you before you block me (generally speaking). Which saddens me, because I don't meet many INF's in the "real world" ... but, I just can't chameleon around someone trying to get a bead on me at the same time and taking notes.
As you rightly concluded, cascadeco, I am not judging the authenticity of Fe / intent at all, but - and here's the big but - the price of really connecting with you will feel too ... insecure to me. If our time communicating is like water, then I need to know where the shore is located. Also, the sense I generally receive - that you are storing a library of our past "moments" to use in the present - can feel disingenuous to the reality of NOW. I don't know how else to explain that at the moment, so forgive that. I will expand on this and try to clarify later.
I know only a few ENFJ's / INFJ's IRL. The ENFJ is a charismatic helper, out there in the world doing what he sees at the greater good, and he is a fabulous man in many ways. The issue with him is when he confuses his own agenda and vision with what is best for the group. In other words, his agenda takes over without his full awareness that he is failing to see all of the group's POV, or even caring about the division he is inadvertently fostering.
One INFJ is my age (40+) - she feels secretive one moment, warm the next. I continually feel watched and it makes me uncomfortable. So my reaction to her (because I sense her depth) is to open a little wider so she can see more of me and in return I hope to see more of her. But she again connects one moment and pulls away the next and stays private, and never really shares with me what I am hoping to be able to share back. And she is uncomfortable to know that I "see" things that almost no one would ever pick up on (I had to tell her not to worry, that she is far from an open book to 99.9% of the world.) But I know that it just makes her wary in general so we don't talk about this type of stuff at present. She's very intelligent and accomplished and I really admire her, but I can't continue to put myself out there and receive only monitored and measured interactions in return forever.
The other INFJ I know is 20 years my senior. He is quite open and candid and has a wealth of experience that gives him a shape to me. I feel his scanning of me and I permit it, because he does not stay in that space. He goes back to his own core, and shares from that, and we have a lovely Fe dance with each other that is both humorous and enjoyable. I tease him a little in a dry, sarcastic way ... I would say we have a medium-level interaction, where I let him know about certain parts of me and he in return does the same. It's a comfortable relationship.
I guess what I am saying is that ... if you are trying to watch me all the time, I will just block you out. Then you will likely drop trying to read me (thus place me in whatever category you wish on the Fe rate-o-meter) without me having to do the dirty work of avoiding you."Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
― Eleanor Roosevelt
"When people see some things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad."
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
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