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  1. #421
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    First of all, Peacebaby: I read your description a while back and didn’t respond right away because I was trying to see if I could figure out what I was missing on my own (especially after I read that you felt Fidelia was being dismissive, my reaction was *somewhat* similar to hers: I had trouble understanding how it was an Introverted Feeling issue over and above being an Introverted issue). Then I got ridiculously behind with the thread. But anyway, in regard to your description (about 100 posts back), I’m pretty close to having a response: which I will come back and post. I haven’t seen anyone else mention what’s been bouncing around in my head about it, I may have fresh insight.

    But there’s some stuff I want to respond to now while I’m [almost] caught up (some of which may have already been addressed on this last page, which I haven't read, but doggone it I'm posting now before I wake up and find another 5 pages).

    Quote Originally Posted by FireyPheonix View Post
    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.
    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    I do want to say that what's been shared about Fe is appreciated. My appreciation usually comes in the form of statements, like this one. What I'm getting back from Fe users is that if I don't ask questions, Fe may feel I haven't been appreciating or paying attention either. If that's right, I will try to ask more questions (as they are relevant to the conversation.) So if Fe asks a lot of questions, Fe is trying to pin down the specific answers of what to do in situation X or situation Y. It doesn't necessarily mean they haven't heard what's been said.
    Yeah, actually, lots of questions (the more specific, the better) is what makes me feel like someone is listening. I mean, the value in ‘active listening’- as you’ve described it- is that it helps clear up misunderstandings. But very specific questions are exactly how I usually gauge how well someone understands me in the first place. I’d much rather deal with someone who asks lots of very specific questions than someone following ‘active listening’ protocol, because- not only does it mean the person already understands- it’s how I gauge how interested they are in what I’m saying as well.

    It was surprising actually, in reading this thread, that asking questions doesn’t make others feel that way. It’s good to know.


    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    2.) That when Fe users jump in to share opinions all in a big pile, it's to verify what each other is seeing. Poster A: "Those pants are blue". Poster B: "Yes, they are"! Poster C: "Oh yes, that seems right to me." This does have the effect of feeling ganged up on, but, I can appreciate that's not necessarily the intent. One can more effectively validate what is agreed upon. It helps when other Fe users see what they think they see too.
    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    (earlier in thread, but in regard to same analogy) OK I'll accept that. But, it's not as innocuous as that though, is it really?
    Actually, it truly is. Voicing what I’m feeling in any given moment doesn’t even begin to be a priority to me. Feelings are so transient that they just don’t matter much to me, not unless I’ve noticed an ongoing pattern and it seems clear it’s going to be an ongoing problem.

    5.) Fe users generally feel emotions are not to be trusted or relied upon in the moment. Correct me on that if I've got it wrong.
    This:
    Quote Originally Posted by Tallulah View Post
    Very true. It's pretty easy for Fe/Ti to zone in as a third party, because it's like we can observe the dynamic almost like a system, and identify the breakdown. And that's what we trust as Fe users, and why we ask others for their opinions, so we can make sure we're getting an accurate read, and not just reacting emotionally. For Fe users, as others have said, most of us have realized that if we personally act in the moment based on the emotional intel we have, we will usually have missed some piece of the puzzle, causing hurt feelings and tension and fallout we'll have to deal with later. So we call on a third party to tell us if we're reading the situation correctly, if we're personally involved.
    I just really hate emo rollercoasters, emotional surprises- and I hate causing them. I doubt my ability to discern how reasonable my anger or negative feelings are while I am in the throes of feeling it- so I want to be sure before I stir anything up by saying something.

    Another aspect of it: I don’t like chipping away at my own credibility. I'm guessing this is because Js tend to remember events for longer- and how our reactions towards people are largely based on past experience of them, rather than present moment experience of them. If they cry wolf often enough (getting openly upset, only to retract it later), then I’m going to be inclined to pay less heed to when they get upset. Perhaps this has to do with being so introverted- but I really need people to listen and believe me when I tell them I am upset with them about something. I know the best way to go about this is to reserve such accusations or sentiments until I know they’re founded (so I get feedback from others about whether or not I’m being reasonable).
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  2. #422
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Yes, yes, yes! All of what Z Buck wrote!

    I am different than say, a T type about my emotions, in that I am very aware of what they are. I have a hard time identifying with some of them who say that they have to remind themselves to think about what they feel about something. I think it's a way of them keeping that part of themselves safe by intellectualizing it or compartmentalizing it, particularly if they are not sure what to do about them. Or maybe they just fall lower on the priority list. Not sure about that.

    I just don't place a whole lot of creedence in my feelings because they are too fickle. I wake up in the morning and I feel completely different. Only when they keep reoccurring or are reinforced by someone else's similar ones do I really take a second look at how they should be factored into my actions.

    I also feel very similarly to Z Buck. If I raise a false alarm and then seem to get over it all quickly, then I feel like the boy who cried wolf. When I appear to deal with some people impatiently or with very little flex, it usually is a result of past experiences with them or watching them interact with other people.

    EDIT: PB, this is another reason why I tend to check in with other people to decide what course of action to take. It's not so much checking to see if they have the same feelings all the time, but when I am in the middle of feeling strongly, I doubt my ability to remain fair or objective. I don't want to unreasonably cause hurt feelings or a mess down the road that was completely avoidable, especially if I may not continue to feel so strongly later on.
    Last edited by fidelia; 09-25-2010 at 04:19 PM.

  3. #423
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    well, NFPs don't react solely based on emotions either. i think perhaps it's easy to perceive it that way because our emotions and valuation are inextricably linked, but we are not bossed around by our emotions nor do we always react without thinking. instead, we try to utilize our emotions for the information that they are providing us with. though, that is not to say that a sudden tidal wave of emotion cannot seriously throw off our ability to process objectively.

    and, before i proceed, the standard Fi disclaimer applies - apologies if i sound overly emotional and pushy or self-absorbed in my writing. i'm still working on learning how best to communicate to Fe without totally losing the ability to emphasize (which i otherwise do through emotional language).

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    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.
    wow, fidelia, that's fascinating. and humbling. it's never even occurred to me that half of those things could be confusing or upsetting in a relationship. i guess it's part of being a P that external instability is not an inherently uncomfortable place. i mean, not to say that i enjoy friends who are completely insane (okay only sometimes), but it's less of a concern to me. hearing all of this makes it seem that my very close friendship with a Fe dom is kind of amazing, given all of these potential misunderstandings! and it's why i feel like i'm bending over backwards for her sometimes - i could not see it before but it's clear to me now that she probably is, too. but i suppose it goes to show that if you care enough about a person you will make an effort that is stronger than these divides. is it too cheezy to say that love conquers all?

    and, what can i do to show NFJs that i do care about them - that good stuff you're talking about showing externally? do you guys really want gushy good stuff brought up in public? that seems so private :blushing: also, what do you mean by reacted weirdly? lol

    i'll make a counter-list to yours for the sake of understanding.

    • i find it more difficult to bond with Fe people because it seems very unpredictable. Fe values are kept somewhere in the external collective, where i don't have personal access to them without asking, so it's tougher to evaluate where i stand with you.

    • Fe users seem to rebuke me often for behaviors they don't like, which feels like they prefer to retain the power in the relationship. (holy crap thinking of myself retaining power in a relationship is really weird). they want me to focus on how everyone acts, and often will judge my actions but not care to hear my explanation of intention.

    • if they feel strongly about something, no matter how good of friends we are, they may completely shut me off from themself without any warning. that makes me feel uneasy.

    • almost never will they spontaneously open themselves up to me, which leaves me wondering if we even have a bond or if i'm valued by them.

    • they often try to direct me when i'm not doing well, instead of helping me figure out what's gone wrong. if i ask for explanation they seem frustrated with me.

    • they don't stop to affirm me when i've expressed i'm anything but okay

    • they won't give me processing time when they share something that matters (you guys want questions immediately! i don't even know what to ask about cause i'm still working on figuring out my opinion of the info) which makes it seem like you don't actually care what my opinion really is

    • sometimes they get freaked out when i act a little weird in public. i am weird. so are they.

    • they have a constant need for communication and contact, but then will randomly shut me off or put the ball in my court, which is really confusing, and makes me wonder if they will be there for me when i need it most. (and admittedly, once i was sobbing in my room while my Fe dom friend sat in her room next door with her door locked and her headphones on because i had pissed her off. it wasn't a pretty moment for me - kind of embarrassing, i was having the second-to-worst existential breakdown i've ever had - but she wasn't there for me despite being right next door because she had shut me off completely. later she said she had no idea i was so upset. of course she had no idea... she made her judgment based on an action and didn't even put thought to the possibility i had acted like that because i was hurt and terrified inside.)

    • i wish i could read down the patterns better to see where i'm going to mess up, but maybe that's where you can really help me instead of judging me. i kind of have a vague idea of what's happened in the past thanks to Si but i really usually don't see when i'm heading straight for a train wreck. the key is that i would love for you to explain it to me instead of telling me. telling makes me feel like you're looking down on me. it also really doesn't give me a reason to trust what you're saying. trying to explain - and i do know that's really hard if Ni is anything like Fi - helps me see that you're still by my side, not pitting yourself against me.

    • i need to know how close you are to me too so i know you still care about me even when you act without accounting for how i feel.


    i think what really strikes me as so funny is that you see me as dropping off the face of the earth and being inconsistent (and i do understand that), but i have the underlying assumption that you know that i'll be there for you if you want me to be there, even if everything is breaking down for you and you're lashing out. whereas i see you as needing my attention all the time, yet with no guarantee that you won't be shutting me out when i'm at my most vulnerable and want you the most. both sides are totally contradictory, i know. i'm glad to get to this point to be able to understand this and express it without freaking out. the other side still feels weird to me, but i understand the logic. and that's a really good starting point.

    here's a question - how do i get through to help you if you shut me out? do you even want me to try to get through, or is that kind of the point of shutting me out? because i lash out, in trying to protect myself, but what i really want is the person to just hug me, or at least give me the word equivalent of a hug. i'm just lashing out because they seem like they would rather hurt me than give me a hug, even though evidently that is not always true. so i wonder if maybe you guys really are doing a parallel thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tallulah View Post
    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.
    yeah, exactly. that's a good way of putting it. that's what i was getting at with figuring out when Fi is needed and figuring out when Fe is needed.

    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.
    haha yeah me too. i would go insane.

    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)
    ah, that's good to know. yeah, i think the reason i ask broad stuff is because i want you to tell me what you think is important. you asking me pointed questions about something different than what i was getting at without acknowledging my point makes me think you didn't get my point at all - or, worse, you got it, and really just don't care. is it better if it's phrased "so what struck you the most about that situation?", or something similar?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    No one here is saying fidelia doesn't try. I guess I feel like the questions keep coming without any evidence that what was said before was heard or understood.

    That feels overwhelming, you know?

    I need some evidence or feedback to answer new questions. Otherwise I feel like I'm just building a house of cards.
    yeah, exactly. and i think it should be pretty obvious to any Fi or Fe user that fidelia is trying.

    anyway i don't know if you're on the same page with me or not - and i also don't know if you really want to keep hearing me or not. Fi users are really interested in not imposing on one another - it's kind of like we give one another space by default - and if i don't hear any confirmation back from you then one, i don't know whether you have understood what i'm communicating, and two, i don't know if you want to keep hearing it. with another Fi user, they usually relate back a similar something about themself and then nudge the conversation in a slightly different direction. that shows me that they understood my point and also care to keep our exchange going. i'm not saying that this is what everyone should do, but it's kind of my assumption of how things should normally operate. i talk about me; you see a connection with me and talk about you; i see a connection with you and talk about me...

    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    Fe is, after all, what we culturally see and interact with every day. Sometimes here on the forum, I want to "let my hair down" and just express a question in a natural way for me. But it's naive of me to think that interacting on the forum is different than the real world.
    yeah. i feel this too. i understand wonka's frustration in the ENFP thread because he was looking for affirmation and trying to help others (and yes, he was defensive and lashing out, there's no denying that), but that was not at all what he got. in the NF forum - much less an ENFP thread - i expect that i will at least have others around who understand what i am going through and who are immediately willing to affirm me for me (not necessarily how i'm behaving, but my thoughts) and relate. that was the last thing wonka got and i felt my frustration build alongside his. for all the font size he used, he was still not being heard. there seemed to be little effort to understand and a lot more condemnation.

    and i'm not saying he shouldn't have gotten a message to chill out - he needed to chill out - but there was no affirmation of hey you and what you're saying are valuable. and, because there was a consensus of people not saying it, he left. and it's not just about being personally valued - it's about whether or not everyone else wants you here too. why stay if you're not personally benefitting and no one really wants you around anyway? PB, tell me if i am misinterpreting here, but i thought i understood a similar (if much more tame) pattern with you in this thread. there felt like there was an unspoken consensus that no one cared to understand what you were trying to communicate, and there was a tangible undercurrent of frustration towards you from multiple people, thus the feeling that maybe you should just leave.

    and i don't mean to imply that the ENFP thread blew up as it did because of NFJs - not at all, there was a huge mix of bad type interaction going on in there, with some plain old bad interpersonal interaction too - but i see now patterns that are related to Fi and Fe miscommunication. and i am quite sure that i have done my share in frustrating and letting down some NFJs by seeming not to try to understand them either. and not that saying sorry here can repair that, but for what it's worth, i am sorry that i may have hurt you, especially realizing now how much i could have changed to better to meet you where you were.

    so anyway, do Fe users really feel the same way about Fi? it's really weird to me because i, too, feel like Fe is default interaction, if only because Fi tends to do its own thing unless it feels infringed on, whereas Fe is all up in the social sphere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Wow, post edits are going nuts in this thread! Getting this stuff right/accurate/authentic seems to be really important to people.
    dude, i'm sorry, you admins must see about a thousand post edits from me a day. i nitpick and re-edit like no other.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    So again, here's the "I'd come across as meaner without filters" and a kind of implication of "you wouldn't be able to handle my emotions if I expressed them all." Those statements may well be true, but that represents a very different assumption than the one I tend toward.
    haha yeah... well and, really, if you ever do have huge emotional torrents that you need to get out and would prefer to have someone around, it's probably not a bad bet to find a Fi dom/aux(/tert). we're kinda used to it.

    This is great, too! I usually feel like adults aren't pavlovian (even though we all are in some ways), and to orient things around "reinforcing good behavior and negatively reinforcing bad behavior" is likely to backfire. If carried out on a surface level, it can be like those "motivational" posters, which never fail to make me feel first oppressed and then subversive.
    yeah, honestly, it's a little creepy to me. my Fe dom bff is the master at this and it's weird because i'm sure she uses it on me. i mean, and that's kind of okay, she's up front about it and i find it kind of funny, but it's weird too. and sometimes i feel like you think you're doing me a favor by training me without my consent - that somehow you've figured out what's best for me and you're going to go ahead and act on that, regardless of whether i'm interested. with my friend, i'm not too uncomfortable about it, because i really trust her. but it's scary to me if i don't trust you and you're doing that to me.

    my Fe dom mom - ESFJ - doesn't really do this, though she still is more action than intention oriented. i just feel like she judges more based on how i've acted before and comparing that to how i am now (which is consistent with Si), and that gives her more insight into what my current intentions may be, based off what they generally have been in the past. i feel more comfortable with this because it's more of a basis for judging that i can look at too and agree or disagree. Ni is in the future, so it's not like there's anything i can look at or talk about unless you explain it to me. i have to just blindly trust that you are doing what is good for me, and that's a bit scary.

    That's an important part of my identity, so being told "it doesn't matter" is hard to hear. My natural inclination is to believe that "with good intent, understanding and perseverance a good result is assured." (Makes me roll my eyes to state it like that, have to admit.) Sometimes I think INFPs are so interior that we feel like once we've got things aligned internally, we're mostly done and the external action is just an niggling detail.
    and ENFPs, geez, we're masters of external chaos. have you ever seen an ENFP in a crisis situation (as in, something external going wrong)? we're ON POINT. i see everything outside of me as fairly chaotic all the time so crises are no big deal. it's like everyone else is freaking out and to me it's just a slightly more intense version of normal. ESFPs too. and i think it's part of why ENTPs can make really amazing lawyers. the downside of this, of course, is that we downplay the importance of our own actions and how they can play a part in leading to consequences.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia
    PB what you did up there is one way that I think you can make a Fe user feel listened to. Summarize what you are taking away from it and ask more questions!
    this is good info. and actually! interestingly i think this is how it goes with one of my Fe dom friends on chat all the time. she'll tell me a mini-story, i'll probe for info, and that leads us to the core of the problem. the questioning is a little awkward for me but it's become an automatic thing because even though i think that i would get tired of all those questions she doesn't seem to mind. that's cool. i guess they're validating for her, even if they seem kind of straying from the point for me.

    In return, would you say that thanking the person for putting themselves out there and then not bombarding with more questions is what works best for you? What form of listening actively would allow us to carry on the conversation without making you feel grilled? (Aw crap, I'm doing it again!)
    i really don't mind if you ask a few questions. if it's a really emotionally charged/ revealing conversation, then some kind of affirmation of me or my contribution or of the Fi core of what i said (how i felt, basically) is reallyyy appreciated, and then go ahead and ask away. but maybe not in that like fire 1, fire 2, fire 3 style? interspersing them a bit with explanations of how you see things would be really helpful. it helps me understand your question better (like, explain to me why you are asking that?) and gives me something to bounce off of.

    sorry you lost a whole post written out too, fidelia. that really sucks.
    Last edited by skylights; 09-25-2010 at 03:38 AM. Reason: trying to make this readable, sorry for the buttload of edits

  4. #424
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I just don't place a whole lot of creedence in my feelings because they are too fickle. I wake up in the morning and I feel completely different. Only when they keep reoccurring or are reinforced by someone else's similar ones do I really take a second look at how they should be factored into my actions.
    That's interesting, a very clear outward orientation on the judgment aspect of feeling, and a distinction between feelings of the moment and judgment. (Or did I read into it wrong?)

    I wonder what Fi people do. They don't (necessarily) have someone else inside themselves to reinforce feeling of the moment and move it toward being a judgment.
    Bellison uncorked a flood of horrible profanity, which, translated, meant, "This is extremely unusual."

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  5. #425
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Wow skylights, that was awesome! I'll need some time to read and re-read!

    Yeah, I think you described it Kalach. I mean, my feelings in the moment may be very strongly negative or positive. However, usually I don't feel comfortable unless I've figured out why I feel the way I do. As more information gets factored in, sometimes my feelings about the situation change.

    I have a hard time deciding at what point it is best to disclose how I am feeling. Sometimes I tend to wait too long, but like Z Buck said, I don't want to chip away at my own credibility or raise false alarms.

  6. #426
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    First of all, I definitely agree with much of skylight's counter-list above. It's funny how both sides feel the other is unpredictable and difficult to trust. I do want to stress that it feels like (to an Fi-dom) that we're held accountable to Fe rules that we either don't know, or when we do know them they seem to make little sense and are impossible to keep track of—much less carry out consistently!

    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    well, NFPs don't react solely based on emotions either. i think perhaps it's easy to perceive it that way because our emotions and valuation are inextricably linked, but we are not bossed around by our emotions nor do we always react without thinking. instead, we try to utilize our emotions for the information that they are providing us with. though, that is not to say that a sudden tidal wave of emotion cannot seriously throw off our ability to process objectively.
    Exactly! (More on this below.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kalach View Post
    That's interesting, a very clear outward orientation on the judgment aspect of feeling, and a distinction between feelings of the moment and judgment. (Or did I read into it wrong?)

    I wonder what Fi people do. They don't (necessarily) have someone else inside themselves to reinforce feeling of the moment and move it toward being a judgment.
    (Just a brief disclaimer... below I'm trying to capture some of the subjective Fi experience. I'm over-empahasizing some things to try to capture the subjective truth.)

    So, it's clear we Fi doms (or NFPs) have a different relationship with our emotions. In another thread I compared our relationship to emotions as being a little like going through the day with a relatively well-behaved pet by your side. You know your pet well, and you know it reacts to things that you may not consciously perceive. It's entirely possible for your pet to become unruly or distracted ("Squirrel!"), but mostly it functions as a second set of eyes and ears. In a way, I feel a certain amount of affection for my emotional state, because it does almost feel like having a companion throughout the day.

    So our emotions function as a constant barometer that is always providing some feedback. Our feelings are often the result of all kinds of subconscious judgment. Our emotions aren't always "right"— for example, just because I feel irritated at someone doesn't necessarily mean anything about that other person. Maybe that person has similar mannerisms to someone else, and the association is triggering the feeling. Still, one never feels things "for no reason." There's always a trigger, an association or a subtle judgment that sets them off. Fi helps you monitor your emotional state, so when that state changes it's a reason (for an INFP, anyway) to ask "why?" Over time, you get to know what causes changes in your emotional state, and then you can react accordingly. In fact, you eventually use that self-knowledge to manage your own emotional state.

    So, perhaps some of the above helps explain why NFPs sometime tell others "I'm perceiving you are feeling X." There's (from our perspective) likely important information somewhere in that feeling. Your not managing it is a bit like having to sit next to someone who is ignoring their barking dog or crying baby. It muddies our own emotional awareness, because we're distracted by data from you that we have to try to ignore. When you say, "I'm not feeling X" (which we have to trust, because we can't really know your emotional state), it means we have to go forward having to consciously keep ignoring that ongoing perception.

    Oddly, it seems like the flip side of the NFJ "I'm upset with you because you are ignoring how your actions are affecting others and you are cruising for disaster." It can be on the order of "You are failing to manage your internal emotions, and that unacknowledged emotion is going to eventually hurt you and the people around you."

    Now, before people get upset, let me say I totally agree that Fi perceptions of other people's emotional state can be way off base. It's not emotional telepathy, and it depends on reading lots of subtle cues correctly on a subconscious level. We can be (and often are) wrong. I think we are wrong more often about the target of other's emotions. While I may be right that someone is irritated, I can easily be wrong about the target of their irritation, mistakenly thinking they are irritated at me.

    And, even when we are correct about the emotion, it's unhelpful to try to force others to deal with emotions they are working hard to ignore. To an NFPs, ignoring emotions seems like a very foolish strategy... like choosing to wear a blindfold so you don't have to look at your messy house. Other people don't see it that way, and we have to learn to respect that.


    So, to finish answering Kalach's question, I think that over time we build up a model of what is true and what is not in Feeling terms (just like a Ti-user does in Thinking terms). We refine our Feeling model as new data comes in. Our values arise by adjusting our model of values as we attempt to live them. I think Fi development is particularly difficult, because it's much harder to validate Fi externally. The Je functions judge externally and can be verified externally. Ti can use theoretical models, express them and have them double-checked logically. Fi, though, cannot generally be detached from its context or validated independently. The end result is that we end up having to do things the hard way individually as we learn. External validation is more on the order of emotional support, because the other person can't really validate or invalidate one's own Fi judgment.

    In the Fe sense, every Fi person is his or her own culture with its own internal consistency. The most others can validate it to say "given the limited amount I can know of a foreign culture I can never visit, that seems reasonable to me." Given the inability to judge specifics, about the only thing you can judge is intent.

    (Additional disclaimer: in the real world, clearly good intent is not enough and it's appropriate to judge things other than intent... but that's a hard won lesson for NFPs)
    Last edited by Seymour; 09-27-2010 at 02:09 PM.

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    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Thank you! This is the kind of thing I've been looking for. Your analogy helps me better understand what you are talking about. I especially liked the part about someone else ignoring their emotions muddying up your own ability to monitor your own. The description of it being akin to the distraction caused by someone ignoring their barking dog or crying baby was very helpful in explaining to me WHY it mucks up the ability to pay attention to what you are feeling, which is what really didn't make sense to me before.

    Lots more to think about here. Will be back...

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    Senior Member the state i am in's Avatar
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    i'll have to read the thread to catch up on the threads being discussed, but with regards to one thing i saw posted in this thread, i think it's important to note that the sense that you never understand the Fi of Fi users so therefore have trouble being close to them is highly contingent on what your relationship quality is, how much your values actually do intersect, and how long you've known each other.

    with most of my infp friends, i know where many of their passions lie bc many of them intersect. those passions are there for reasons that may be somewhat different, but which prompt the building of trust, further inquiry, reasons to share your viewpoints and how you relate. a lot of times it's based on art/culture representations that allow us to find and discover and articulate our values in artifacts in the world. trying to interpret them, share why we find them meaningful, etc. they don't as often explicitly link specific works to their own story for us, but they're providing so many pieces that give you a sense of the outline of their interior. sure, it's partial, but to act like ours isn't is kind of a misnomer. we will disclose for a purpose, but then we will not disclose other things when they would get in the way of our purposes. tossing out all of their inner messiness doesn't seem to help Fi users organize themselves, nor does it help them seem to feel understood in most cases. instead, it usually seems to make them feel more misunderstood, because their experiences are so implicitly organized, complex, and difficult to grasp in the way that they shape themselves into gradients, values, prioritizations, and a kind of tentative dance with overlaid embodied ideas that give expression to their chaos, but which are extremely difficult to define/narrow down into more strict correspondences.

    worse yet is the sense that Fi is being judged when the context, the story, and the personal significance that contributed to the overall kind of complex aren't really understood. i think the non Fi interpretation can feel like a kind of empty behaviorism to Fi, which also needs to realize that holistic fuzzy overall reading system snapshots aren't really the only guiding motivational factor for action, decision, motivation, and the murky territory of the term "authenticity." if integrity means a state of constant wholeness, discernment of values from the absolute top to the absolute bottom of the food chain, then Fi can be the only authentic function. but the limits to that project should show that there are other ways for systemic integrity (vs Fi integrity) that don't rely on impossibly big decisions/judgments at all times/wrestling with EVERYTHING all at once. the Fi project can learn to not only accept inner conflict between competing values and Fi understandings, but to generously offer their own form of faith to others to help support them in all of their own conflictedness/dissonance, which is a kind of confidence that results from advanced Fi coming into its own by working in conjunction with a wider range of cognitive supports.

    i think the way Fi users learn to mediate their own Fi chaos and handle the demands of Fe users/non-Fi types has a lot to do with their overall systemic health, how Ne expands their recognition of possibilities that might provide a better long-term, overall result (and that generally produce a more open person). and it seems that Si helps add more precision to the Fi reasoning process so that more specific details can be linked in order to create tighter expressions of Fi via Ne's embodied ideas, which helps them take a more active role in the communication process and more proactively create understanding/redundancy of their experiences in others (when they want to and when they have a good reason to do it).

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    I've been rereading through this thread a bit more. I realized that there is one thing that I need to articulate. I can see during the heated part of our discussion, PeaceBaby, that you really felt that I not only did not trust you, but that I didn't like you either. That is not the case, and I didn't want for you to go on with any question in your mind about that.

    I think for me, people are let in to my world by degrees. The more closely our values, interests and communication styles intersect, the more that process is expedited. Sometimes I express something and it is mirrored back to me very differently that the message I thought I was sending out. That sometimes makes me feel like the other person didn't get me or that I do not adequately understand them. Therefore, sometimes it takes some time of repeatedly seeing how I interact with someone, developing some history with each other, seeing how they interact with others and getting a more well-rounded picture of the person before I feel close to them.

    Whether or not I feel close to someone though, I usually start at the default position of liking them and having basic respect for them. Implicit trust comes with more time. It is only if something happens that really makes me question what kind of person they are (no integrity, violent etc) that I would move from that default position of being favourably disposed towards them. Even at the worst of times, I could see that you truly did want to help. I could also see that you were investing huge amounts of personal emotional energy into explaining and I appreciated that.

    What I am beginning to understand is that when there is frustration (I was trying to get tools to better communicate with you, but didn't feel like we were getting anywhere) on a Fe user's part, it is more likely to be felt as being more personally directed to the Fi user than it in fact is intended or felt.

    I don't know if that makes sense, but for what it's worth, I thought I would try to clear that up...

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    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    So, it's clear we Fi doms (or NFPs) have a different relationship with our emotions. In another thread I compared our relationship to emotions as being a little like going through the day with a relatively well-behaved pet by side. You know your pet well, and you know it reacts to things that you may not consciously perceive. It's entirely possible for your pet to become unruly or distracted ("Squirrel!"), but mostly it functions as a second set of eyes and ears. In a way, I feel a certain amount of affection for my emotional state, because it does almost feel like having a companion throughout the day.
    YES. A thousand times yes. I would add that there's affection, and there's also exasperation at the pet's constant companionship. It can be exhausting and inconvenient. I can make a conscious decision to leash the pet for a time, but I do so at my peril. It's going to be back there whining the whole time. And for me, if there are going to be tears, there are going to be tears, and there's simply nothing I can do about it. This has not served me well in academic and professional zones.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    So our emotions function as a constant barometer that is always providing some feedback. Our feelings are often the result of all kinds of subconscious judgment. Our emotions aren't always "right"— for example, just because I feel irritated at someone doesn't necessarily mean anything about that other person. Maybe that person has similar mannerisms to someone else, and the association is triggering the feeling. Still, one never feels things "for no reason." There's always a trigger, an association or a subtle judgment that sets them off. Fi helps you monitor your emotional state, so when that state changes it's a reason (for an INFP, anyway) to ask "why?" Over time, you get to know what causes changes in your emotional state, and then you can react accordingly. In fact, you eventually use that self-knowledge to manage your own emotional state.
    True. I have learned over time not to disregard the guts. I don't always give them top billing, and I may come to a conclusion that they are mistaken by using outside evidence, but I never just shut them out them anymore. Inconvenient and overwhelming though they may be at times.

    Have you read Gavin DeBecker's "The Gift of Fear"? It's a wonderful book about protecting yourself and teaching your children to protect themselves from violence by using their intuition. He says that people often become victims of violent crime after ignoring their gut feelings about someone. When you get a gut feeling about someone, we tend to want to reason our way out of it- "I'm not being fair, he hasn't done anything wrong yet," etc. I'm wondering if what he calls intuition is really Fi. I've spent a lot of time reasoning with Fi, but in my 30s I've come to simply regard it as information coming in. Granted, sometimes it does really lead me down the wrong path, but other times, that gut feeling has really served me well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    So, perhaps some of the above helps explain why NFPs sometime tell others "I'm perceiving you are feeling X." There's (from our perspective) likely important information somewhere in that feeling. Your not managing it is a bit like having to sit next to someone who is ignoring their barking dog or crying baby. It muddies our own emotional awareness, because we're distracted by data from you that we have to try to ignore. When you say, "I'm not feeling X" (which we have to trust, because we can't really know your emotional state), it means we have to go forward having to consciously keep ignoring that ongoing perception.

    Oddly, it seems like the flip side of the NFJ "I'm upset with you because you are ignoring how your actions are affecting others and you are cruising for disaster." It can be on the order of "You are failing to manage your internal emotions, and that unacknowledged emotion is going to eventually hurt you and the people around you."
    YES. Oh my goodness Seymour. Can I just hire you to be my personal translator? I have said those very words before, I'm pretty sure.
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