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  1. #371
    lab rat extraordinaire CrystalViolet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallulah View Post
    Okay, somewhere in the past few pages I started having flashbacks about experiences I've had with a couple of Fi doms. I have had a few friendships go south because an Fi dom felt like I was suppressing emotions that they could "sense" that they felt like I was ignoring. Where I might have felt some basic frustration at some situation I couldn't control, the Fi dom read it as anger, and reacted as if it must go much deeper than I care to admit. On occasion, they would accuse me of having anger towards them, when 1) in my experience it wasn't anger, just frustration that would easily pass once I ranted a little and 2) it wasn't directed at them at all. And I gotta tell you, the more someone insists I'm feeling something I'm not and insisting I deal with it, the more I realize that person doesn't know me. And that we might have a problem in the friendship.

    I think Fi doms think they want us to be straight and open, but an Fe user's version of straight and open will look quite different, and feel quite different. If we really never censored ourselves, Fi users would stay permanently hidden. We just don't seem to speak the same language. Y'all would really think we were mean, even though we'd see ourselves as just shooting straight. Because we would dispense with the need to affirm feelings or validate. We'd just tell you how we read the situation. And we wouldn't mean to be hurtful, but it would probably feel that way, because we've abandoned the agreed-upon niceties we generally try to employ. We generally don't do that with people until we've established a friendship and the friend knows that we would never attack them personally. Even though Fi thinks it would like everyone to be open and above board, it generally gets its feelings hurt when we do. I have been called "relentless" by a Fi-dom before, when that was certainly the last thing I was intending.

    I do think PB has a point about her examples being largely dismissed. I don't think that she had a right to expect validation for her actions at work, because everyone will have an opinion on that of their own, and this isn't a discussion of whether that was the correct course of action. But I do think it's not too much to ask for people to acknowledge the positive contribution of an example to a largely abstract discussion. That's a helpful thing, as is trying to put into words what Fi looks and feels like. I think Fe generally likes to make people feel welcomed in the group, right?

    PB, I do think it would help for you to be interested in understanding Fe, too, and cutting fidelia and others some slack for their approach as well, rather than solely being here to be the Fi teacher. This needs to go both ways. I can definitely understand why some folks are getting their hackles raised when you talk about people being ready to hear you or not, or leading them down a path. It's just a discussion. A two way one.

    skylights is a good example here of someone who's providing an Fi perspective AND trying to understand the Fe one.

    Another point that occurred to me during the last two pages is this. Sometimes a Fe user has absolutely no problem with you at all, but then gets their hackles raised about the way you (general Fi you) phrase something or approach something. Something that would lead an Fe user to believe that you feel like you are taking some sort of moral high road, or that you feel like you are above using the usual social roads to get there. Or maybe that you feel like you actively want to stir up some stuff to get down to the "real" us. So then we get frustrated with you and try to tell you why. And then you accuse us of having some deep seated anger issue or some sort of underlying problem with you. And 99.9% of the time--trust me on this--we DON'T. But if you keep acting like we do, you can bet it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. I didn't have a problem before--I only had a problem with a little piece of the conversation, or didn't understand your intent--but if you accuse me of feeling and suppressing something I'm not and attribute it to the wrong thing, hoo, boy, I will almost certainly get angry THEN.
    I think you captured the essence there. It can feel like Fe people are deliberately missing the point when they are giving Fi peeps a grilling. It does feel like personal attacks. So we push back in defense, and then that's when all hell breaks lose. And truth be told, I never figured out how to get past that. Because that moment when clarification is asked for , I answer but it seems bring more questions, and all of a sudden it feels like people are trying to open up your head with a can opener, and I will clamp down and batton the hatches, and get the guns out, because you ain't touching ma inner thought processes.
    Currently submerged under an avalanche of books and paper work. I may come back up for air from time to time.
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  2. #372
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    LOL@opening your head up with a can opener. I like that.

    So what I'm getting from people is that you don't have to make specific "thank you for your contribution" statements at every point, but rather when things start getting tenser in the conversation or it is obvious the person has spent a lot of effort working on what they said?

    In theory I can see this. The place where that seems to usually break down is when I read the other person as being patronizing, usually after I've just told them where one of the hot buttons are that would be better avoided and they go there anyhow. I've run into this more than once now and so I do understand that I need to deal with it differently.

    However, I can't see that just saying "Thanks for all of the work you've put into this" and then going on to say what I normally would is going to go over a lot better. I find myself having a hard time really believing that the Fi person in question can't see that they are using inflammatory language, especially after they've been informed that they have. That's usually the point at which I quit trying to make them feel comfortable because it seems like there's been no sense of trying to put themselves in my shoes (which I'm trying to do with them), yet they are giving me no direction for how to do better with them and they also are assuming that they know how I feel and are going to tell me.

    In the last thread where this happened, it wasn't until a sample conversation was requested and presented that the other person went, "Oh! That's what you were talking about?". I thought it was obvious that I had already said it over and over again (in fact I hear from Fi users that Fe tends to beat them over the head with the same thing again and again, which I'm sure is frustrating. It's just that without saying you've heard it and reacting in some way, we think you haven't.)

    I can see where it is that we all reach the impasse. I'm just struggling with how to avoid it from a Fi perspective. While I believe acknowledging their contribution is a start, I really don't know how to proceed from there. If I am even tactfully honest about my disagreement, it is read as a personal attack. If I say nothing, I think I'm being disrespectful to them or choosing not to engage, which negates the point in trying to hash it all out in the first place. If I just repeat what they said in my own words, I don't see how that helps, especially if they stated it clearly.

    I'm sure this is just as frustrating to you people as it is to me, and this is not well-expressed. For sure, getting the can opener treatment is not pleasant. It is done with good intent though. In an effort to not think poorly of your motives, we are trying to delve for more information about what we don't understand. I'm realizing though that this is not obvious to the other person and feels very uncomfortable.

    Suggestions?

  3. #373
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Efficient post before bedtime:

    I think the status quo accepted way of having relationships (of all kinds) is Fe. This makes Fi users adapt to speak a second social language, if you will. A cultural divide. Like we're ESL in your land.

    I think most of us are very happy to be here on your turf, and the old-timers know how much I Fe skills for what they do, but dammit sometimes it sucks and makes me feel unacknowledged, unheard and unseen when those from the normed Fe culture don't realize that the alternate ways of relating have value and it'd be nice to speak my own language with you sometimes.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  4. #374
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I agree. I'm trying to understand how to do that.

  5. #375
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiltyred View Post
    For me, the truth is something discoverable, and generally, it rings when I strike it, so I keep moving in the direction of the ping. But it has zero to do with my identity. It feels good when I'm in the truth because it's a wholesome alignment. But this personal self there's so much emphasis on to me does not exist. There's nothing I've ever experienced that has not also been experienced by other human beings, including feelings of alienation from other human beings. I have a sense of oneness with other people whether I like them or not, whether I disagree with them or not. My personal identity and personal feelings are so insignificant in the grand scheme of things...
    i agree with you on most of those accounts. but there's a you that's a completely different combination of things than anyone who has ever been or will ever be, so that's certainly a personal self. and you cannot see through anyone's lens but your own, ultimately, no matter how hard you try, because you are always influenced by the chemicals in your own body, etc...

    i guess i feel that it's hard to know an objective impersonal truth because everything is distorted by my own perception. if someone else is different from me in so many ways, what if they sense something that is truthful to them but is not to me? obviously that happens often, given so many religions in the world. ultimately it is up to each of us to decide what is truth.

    and even if we are ultimately insignificant... well, that does not mean my feelings do not serve a useful purpose. they're a survival mechanism and can be used to tell me so much information about the way i am right now. i can't imagine living out of harmony with my emotions because it would be an endless fight. something would always feel off. maybe that's why Fi dom/aux (and ITJs to an extent) have to deal with their emotions - Fi is an internal consistency mechanism, and we'd be going batshit insane all the time if there was this huge part of our internal self that wasn't in correlation with our thoughts. Ti doesn't have that need because emotions are illogical.

    this is not to say that it is better to always be so concerned with your feelings - certainly i am cultivating learning how to put them aside when i would prefer to. i guess i am simply trying to explain why they are tied up in my judging process.

    This thing of feeling like you're walking on eggs around INFJs makes me want to cry, it's so discouraging because there's almost nothing I can do about it and I hear it in my own life -- people are intimidated by me.
    i'm sorry! :sad: i know there is something to be done about it, though, and i don't think it's something you should need to deal with alone. i think it's on the other person's end too. and like i said, my mom and i have gotten past that point, and i think my Fe dom bff and i are starting to approach it, so i know it's not hopeless. let's work on addressing it together?

    But I have zero power over anyone, and I can't imagine that my approval means that much to anyone. I think my orientation is not that personal.
    haha, yeah, actually... i dunno, people have always told me i'm too concerned about what others think. i probably am. but i really care about everyone, and i want everyone to be happy, and so i want me and everyone to be on harmonious terms. but at the same time i know conflict is totally inevitable... so if someone and i say to one another, okay, i know things are going to get rough between us at some point or another, but i love you and care about you enough that i am going to trust you to, deep down, ultimately want good between us even when you're being an asshole temporarily. and maybe i'll yell at you too, but i'll give you another chance if your intentions are good. that's the security i feel with Fi people... that they'll give me another chance if i really want one. so that's all it takes, really, on my end. knowing you promise to give me a second chance even if i'm an asshole for a bit. i don't mean it to come off as giving me explicit permission to be a jerk, but to just have a little extra wiggle room of being willing to judge me on the basis of my value/intentions in addition to my actions. and that's what i think intimidates me about Fe sometimes. that every single action of mine is being watched and weighed, when i'm really more focused on what's going on inside of me. (and it's especially ENFJs cause they have tert Se to watch me with )

    oh, so that might be a significant thought, i think. Fe is external action. thus Fe users tend to judge others on their external actions. Fi is internal standards. thus Fi users tend to judge others on their internal standards? and we are annoyed with each other because the thing we have worked hard on cultivating is not the one we are getting primarily judged on?

    And I hear from INFPs that this is a shortcoming in some way, that I'm not experiencing the richness of me, honest to god? I'm just not that fascinating. And how I feel could be because of anything. So I really have to give things time. And 99.9 percent of the time, I am GLAD and everyone else should be too that I kept my mouth shut. So when I hear that I'm hiding my feelings and making myself hard to read, I want to tear my hair out.
    ugh, i'm sorry. that sounds frustrating to hear. well first of all you're an I, so you guys are a little harder for everyone to read. and we all know the N makes people a little aloof. it's not just you. but i don't think you're not experiencing the richness of you. i think you're experiencing a different richness. i wish i could see what my dad and brother see. they are amazing. i wish i could see how my mom sees. her vision of the world is beautiful. Ni sounds pretty freaking awesome itself. i think we can always try to extend what we experience (or in MBTI speak, developing all our functions, i suppose), but i don't think it's a fair implication that you are hollow at all. no one is. we just experience things differently. and on that note i've been learning about keeping my own mouth shut when i'm crazy emotional, but i've got a while to go before i get somewhere good.

    It seems crazy to me to tell someone else, in effect, you can do whatever you want and it's always ok with me. I can't provide unconditional approval. I suspect it, anyway. I think it means you're not paying attention.
    yeah, i understand. i mean, if my mom suddenly was really mean to me all the time, god forbid, then i'm sure i couldn't sustain that same type of bond. i think it's a bond formed on trusting intentions, though. i'm thinking that's why i don't really feel it with Fe users as much, because you guys in general seem to not give as much weight to intention as i do.

    so, i wonder if we can figure out some way of meeting in the middle? i would like to not feel like i'm walking on glass all the time and it sounds like you would like to feel less intimidating... maybe you (and any other Fe dom/aux/terts of course) could share any thoughts on this and we can talk about a way to get there? on my end it sounds like i need to be more attentive of my actions/speech not hurting the other person regardless of how i am feeling inside. and to pay more attention to Fe actions and try to read into emotions less. maybe on the Fe end it could involve giving a little more extra flexibility in being willing to consider Fi inner values as well as our behavior? (just me brainstorming out loud, revise at will)



    @ everyone - is it good to hear my thought process or would it be more useful if i condensed my blabbery?

  6. #376
    lab rat extraordinaire CrystalViolet's Avatar
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    First of all, I think if you see the Fi person getting visiably distressed, it's time to take break, so they can rearrange thoughts into a linear pattern again. When we get all patronising, I guess it's our way of trying to drive home the message...I've been told many a time I get this way. It's maybe a way of trying to control of the situation, and we put on our teacher voice to do it. It's our backoff voice, I guess, or listen I'll only say this once voice. I'm thinking when you start hearing that tone, that's when it's time to have a breather. We can be pretty stubborn when we reach that point.
    And so long as they aren't mulling over hurts and perceived insults, they be open to trying again when they are calmer. We are pretty stressed when we get to that point, so our thoughts and feelings are in chaos, and almost certainly we are in territory we haven't anticpated. We have to press a reset button to get our head in order.
    Currently submerged under an avalanche of books and paper work. I may come back up for air from time to time.
    Real life awaits and she is a demanding mistress.

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  7. #377
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    No skylights! This is exactly the kind of stuff that I find useful and would like more of. It helps me better understand how you see the world. I think particularly that last point is important. We are judging each other based on different things, and those things happen to be our respective weak points. Therefore both sides feel can feel consistently let down by the other because they aren't providing what the other values most.

    The bonds I form with people are usually based on them having consistent behaviour that shows some form of predictability. If it's predictably bad behaviour but I feel they are good people at heart or have characteristics that outweigh their shortcomings to me, it may be a judgement call for me, but even at that, I'll may well choose to allow some bond, knowing that I can expect bad behaviour and how I can work around it.

    I find it more difficult to bond with Fi people because it seems very unpredictable. Fi values are hidden, so it's tougher to evaluate what we have in common. Fi users don't tell me what they think about me the way I do about them (which feels then like it's one-sided like or that they prefer to retain the power in the relationship). They want me to accept their good intentions, but can't promise what result it might have. If they feel strongly about something, no matter how good of friends we are, they may well publicly bring up something negative without any warning. It makes me feel uneasy. Almost never is the gushy good stuff brought up publicly, which leaves others to not see our bond or that in the other times I am valued by them. They don't check in on me when I'm not doing well (I do understand why), they don't probe for more when I've expressed that I'm anything but okay, which is difficult for me to admit (I understand why here too), they need processing time when I share something that matters (which makes it seem like even my problems are all about them and their feelings) and sometimes even react weirdly because it makes them uncomfortable. They have long lapses in communication or just disappear for long periods, leaving me to feel like I did something wrong (I understand it better now so don't feel it personally, but also don't feel like they'll be there for me when I need them most). I feel like I have to walk on eggshells because I never know when something is going to flare up, but I don't even know what I'm looking for. I like definable patterns that tell me where trouble lies. I need to know who close the person sees me as.

    So it's not that I don't want to be close, but rather that I feel very lost as to how to be. All of the ways that I habitually express my affection, appreciation and care are felt as intrusive, put them on the spot as to how to respond, or seem like I am calling our relationship into question because I express where I'm at.

    I understand that similarly, what I do doesn't meet your needs and the ways you may habitually show appreciation are not always ones I value as highly.

    I think this can be bridged and all of these negatives are not present in every Fe-Fi relationship. It's just not surprising that sometimes it is difficult to establish a secure feeling bond in the first place.

  8. #378
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Thanks Firey. That was also useful. I'm wondering, on the boards here, should everyone push pause on the thread, especially if there's primarily one Fi user fielding the questions and they are getting visibly stressed? If not, what seems like a respectful way to proceed while the other person has time to collect themselves?

  9. #379
    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post

    so, i wonder if we can figure out some way of meeting in the middle? i would like to not feel like i'm walking on glass all the time and it sounds like you would like to feel less intimidating... maybe you (and any other Fe dom/aux/terts of course) could share any thoughts on this and we can talk about a way to get there? on my end it sounds like i need to be more attentive of my actions/speech not hurting the other person regardless of how i am feeling inside. maybe on the Fe end it could involve giving a little more extra flexibility in being willing to consider our inner values as well as our behavior? (just a thought; could be really off.)
    I think that's really the key. If I know that someone is making an effort to consider how their actions affect others, and they're trying their best, but still inadvertently cause a disruption or hurt my feelings, then intentions become important. I can also learn to speak their language and meet them halfway. If it feels like a person's own emotional comfort is the only consideration they've made, and they haven't considered how they might affect others, I'm less concerned about their intentions. Especially if it happens over and over.

    @ everyone - is it good to hear my thought process or would it be more useful if i condensed my blabbery?
    I like the explanations. It helps me understand where you're coming from.

    I forgot to address the active listening thing, because I think that's where PB and the Fe users had a breakdown. (Hee, that's going to be my new band: PB and Fe Users!) PB, the reason why fidelia and others had an issue with your suggestion to use active listening was not because they had a problem with the technique or were reluctant to use it. It's because they do use it from time to time, and they felt you were implying they didn't know about it at all, and should really try it sometime. I personally feel like fidelia's been using a form of active listening throughout this whole thread, but she does it more in the form of asking more questions to show she's trying to understand deeply, rather than repeating what the person said.

    I definitely see where active listening can help someone feel heard, but it doesn't feel like a natural conversation to me. It feels like a self-help book, and it gums up the flow of interaction. I've heard it recommended as a marriage counseling technique, and all I can think is, if every convo with my husband involved him saying, "I think you just said x. Am I understanding you right?" I would want to hurt myself and him. It would feel like a relationship with one of those automated voice thingies the phone company uses. I think it can be helpful to some, but to others, it becomes irritating.

    One phrase a lot of Fi users seem to use a lot is, "Can you expand on that a bit, please?" I think I'd rather be asked a direct question about what a person's not getting, rather than be asked in a more generalized way for more thoughts. That may be why the Fe style can feel like an interrogation. To us, we're showing interest by showing you we're engaged enough that our Ti wants to know more, specifically, based upon our understanding of what you said already. (that was a convoluted sentence, sorry)
    Something Witty

  10. #380
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    I didn't go to bed, but I have one more quick thought before I do:

    Sometimes it's not necessarily that I want my Fi heard, it's that I want non-Fe heard. Not because I don't respect it. But sort of like Te gets bulldozerish in an effort to accomplish, get to the goal, etc., Fe is always in action.

    And I'd like to hear where people are, in an ephemeral moment, just to touch base, check in, give space, breathe, etc. Sometimes great things come of it. I feel like Fe is so action-focused sometimes it misses opportunities for healthy relationship moments.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

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