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  1. #821
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallulah View Post
    How does Fi get anything done if it's rejected the idea of group dynamics?
    I can't stress enough how far off the mark this is for me. No offence intended Tallulah, but I don't understand how this is a logical conclusion - who is rejecting group dynamics?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tallulah View Post
    Here's how I would handle a situation in which we're all trying to come to a compromise. I would listen to all perspectives, trying to figure out which would suit the needs of the most people, or failing that, the intended purposes of the group. I would realize that this means I myself might not get exactly what I need from the compromise, but that it might be better for the group overall. I will make a suggestion as to the best solution, and if that goes over well, I'll work on making everyone happy and refining the solution, possibly including a plan to accommodate other members more fully the next time. If someone pipes up with a better alternative solution, I'm absolutely open to that. Fe, for me, is not about excluding good alternative ideas. It IS, however, about making the majority of people happy, or at least being fair.
    Sounds like a fine approach to me. But, the last time I felt really heard by Fe ... ?

    I'll share a personal story, NOT with the intent for you all to tell me what I could have done better.

    A couple of years ago we went on an extended family vakay, including my family, my ENFJ sister-in-law (we'll call her 'N') and her husband & kids, and my MIL. As usual, I do the research, finding out what everyone wants to do and where we can best meet all those needs and wants, and then plan & book the trip; my MIL has confidence (I suppose) that I can sort out all the details plus take care of all the people issues in the process. Fair enough, and true that. Plus it can be fun looking at all the possibilities! (And I know I could just say NO at this point because I know what kind of issues to expect and I could avoid having to get saddled with the tasks, but I don't. OK? I try to be a help.)

    Anyways, I find this great deal early on in my research, but to do due diligence, I check out some additional resorts, compare prices, wheel & deal to get us the best price. Everyone is happy, MIL approves, but just before booking the trip, I mean, same day I am about to PAY and less than two weeks before we leave, the sis-in-law decides she wants to change countries we are looking at. Countries! And my MIL doesn't say no, she says, "Well, if that's what 'N' wants ..." Because, no one wants to pi** off 'N'!

    So, OK fine, to keep everyone happy, I look at the new country, and behold - I see this great deal where we could all be in a 5 bedroom 4000 sq ft beachside villa, same cost - the most unique and best value of everything I have found so far! So, I get excited about that! But, sis-in-law doesn't like it because there's not unlimited drinks, so OF COURSE we are not going to choose that, and I feel annoyed to have my time thusly wasted, and my previous and present rational analyses discarded on a whim. (We ended up going to the first option I recommended anyway btw, and it was a great resort, so I had back-up plans crafted to suit these kinds of last-minute problems.)

    But, I was annoyed with sis-in-law being over-represented, and at this point in my life I am not prepared to just swallow all my feelings on the matter. So, after I gather the courage to face her Fe fire and say I hadn't felt equally heard by her, that my opinion seemed to somehow matter less, you know what she said to me? "This was a democracy PB, and I didn't think your idea was what we wanted to do, so I guess YOU LOST." So, I am heard, but dismissed; majority rules, and my feelings don't matter either, apparently. I lost. Nice.

    Fe does work like this AT TIMES, believing it knows what is best for all but really it's just best for the Fe user (not all the time of course, but sometimes.)

    This is an extreme example to illustrate that point.

    I would not say this is expecting some "special snowflake treatment" on my part, it's just the decency to treat someone on an even & equal level. My SIL would even believe she was being open and fair, which compounds the issue because she doesn't see how her own preferences already bias finding a fair solution for all! She has already made up her mind on several key factors and will not budge. So who is really making everyone happy, who is forced to flex? Usually I don't mind, because broaching the subject is hardly worth the trouble. But sometimes ... you know, I matter. I am important too. I have opinions, even if I am not as vocal about them. Don't pretend we live in a democracy when we really don't.

    But let's imagine a work scenario instead now, where the construct of the environment lends itself to clearer examination than situations with baggage attached (with family, etc.) Fe-er holds a meeting, asks for input. Often this is ALL that happens ... it can appear as lip service to the task to see what's "good" for everyone; it's a different matter to actually create an environment where even the introverts comfortably share, where you are really tapped into everyone on a personal level. Where you sense the inner dissension and probe further to find where you are losing people along the way. I know that's not always practical, but it sure can be affirming and provide a team that's behind you as the leader 100%.

    -----

    Is it genuinely difficult to accept not getting your ideal desired outcome?
    No. If I am not asked, or am asked but dismissed, I will feel annoyed though.

    Does compromise of any sort lead you to feel this way?
    No. I try for win-win, but it's not always practical. Unless it is a clear moral matter. Then, compromise is not acceptable.

    What would you consider to be a good outcome with a Fe user? One where you felt valued. Are you okay with a compromise outcome if the Fe user heard you out and explored the possibilities, but ultimately felt that it wouldn't best suit the needs of the group?
    Yes, generally, unless it is a clear moral matter. Then again, compromise is not acceptable.

    I think what's hard for me to understand is that I can't imagine there ever being a situation in which each and every member of the group felt like every shade and nuance of their opinion was validated and a solution emerged in which everyone was 100% happy.
    It takes a lot of work, yes. It's not about making everyone 100% happy, so much as making people feeling validated, like they matter too even if the decision is not their favored outcome.

    We just haven't cared about you MORE than the other person.
    We know.
    "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

  2. #822
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    Fe people will take more time to nurture you and give you exactly what you need if they favor you. In fact, it is part of their MO to know how to give other people exactly what they want or need...when they want to. Otherwise it can very well look like button pushing, manipulation, or just more neutral compromise for the sake of the group.

    I don't have as much problem with Fe as some Fi users do (in fact I score pretty high on Fe on functions tests, and have questioned being an INFJ in the past) especially in IxFJ types. In fact, I think the only time I really HATE Fe is when I really clash with the individual and the particular way they are weilding Fe, and often times that's been with other women, often older women, or women in positions of authority, though I wouldn't apply it at all to my ENFJ bff from high school, nor to my ESFJ close friend who was once my neighbor.

    So it really comes down to individual.

  3. #823
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    ^ Thanks Tallulah. I don't have anything to add to what you've said, but I do think I understand the nuances you are emphasizing here.

    I was just finishing dinner and contemplating that if the result is all that matters in the end, what purpose then is introverted feeling after all?

    Somehow, intentions must matter. A person's interior state has some bearing. If you act from a place of insincerity and it can be detected ..... ahh, I don't know. Just rambling a bit.

    Some of this discussion is difficult to unwind for me because I am an SO dominant. I work hard to help people get along, and I can see how important outcomes are; in some ways I undoubtedly look like Fe IRL. The overlap makes it tough to be completely objective and discerning.
    It's called "yeah yeah yeah-ing" people and it's actually an extremely effective tool if you don't have the time or the energy to fight with people and don't want to hurt people's feelings. It's really more practical to do this in some relationships, and actually I think this is frequently adopted by Fi/Te or Te/Fi users as "pseudo-Fe" just to get annoying or draining people to shut up or go away.

    It's the idea that what matters in the end is how you are treating people, even if inside you are bored or annoyed.

  4. #824
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallulah View Post
    In my band, for instance, we often disagree about what places we want to play, what songs we want to play, how often we want to gig, etc. In order for us to function well, we have to realize a) what's good for the band as a whole might not be good for one or more of us individually at the time, but b) we might get our way the next time, on a different issue, because we care about each other and want everyone to ultimately be happy/heard. One of my friends in the band sometimes wants me to stick up for her so she'll have more leverage and get what she wants. But in doing so, she's negating the fact that I also have a perspective that needs consideration.

    I guess I don't understand not caring about other people's needs. Paying attention only to one's internal state and not caring about the group at all seems counterproductive, to me. How does Fi get anything done if it's rejected the idea of group dynamics?
    I think you'll find an INFP won't necessarily will create dissent in group situations nor are we unable to get past our own needs. We don't think in terms of the group as a whole but as a group of individuals. We respect that others have different needs than us and seek to create harmony by giving each person an opportunity to express their different perspectives and finding a common ground we can move forward from. However we also recognize that what one individual believes to be for the good of the group can differ greatly from what another deems to be best. And just because everyone else agrees on something doesn't necessarily mean that its for the good of the group. I have been in creative group situations where I have tried express myself only to be continually shot down. It can be a very lonely and overwhelming position to be told with annoyance, "no one else wants to do that", especially when my ideas have some worth.

    I do agree with you that rocking the boat for the selfish reasons isn't usually appropriate. However, this can be merely a false perception: what can seem to be selfish and unnecessary dissent can in fact be the great idea that you refuse to hear. Not that I'm saying that your bandmate is an Fi user or that this is simply a case of misunderstanding (she might just be a naggy bitch ).
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

    I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;
    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte

  5. #825
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallulah View Post
    This is meant as a serious question, because it strikes at the heart of the breakdown in Fe/Fi interaction in many cases. Many Fe users see the above reaction as sort of a "special snowflake syndrome." Is it genuinely difficult to accept not getting your ideal desired outcome? Does compromise of any sort lead you to feel this way? This is what Fe doesn't understand. We're generally fine with not getting our ultimate desired outcome if the compromise is fair. To us, not being willing to accept any perspective but your own seems, for lack of a better word, immature. I know that's not where you're coming from, but that's what it seems like to an Fe user, so I realize there's a disconnect thing happening here. What would you consider to be a good outcome with a Fe user? One where you felt valued. Are you okay with a compromise outcome if the Fe user heard you out and explored the possibilities, but ultimately felt that it wouldn't best suit the needs of the group?
    This turned out a little long and rambly. Therefore, headings will fix everything.

    Parallel with Te/Ti

    I find a parallel with the Te/Ti divide is sometimes illuminating.

    Suppose you work for an organization (say a software company) and there is a policy in place which is the "standard" for the organization. Now, suppose there is a particular area (say a software project) in which you are an INTP expert with tons of depth-knowledge. Further, you see that the policy makes no sense in this particular case. In fact, it's actively bad in this particular case and will tromp all over the what clarity and precision you've worked hard to build up. Perhaps your project has been "flying under the radar," and management only recently became aware that you weren't following the company policy.

    Now, the INTP's I work with are unlikely to say "it's consistent with what management generally does, so my project being mangled is an acceptable trade-off." Instead, I hear things like "foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds..." and complaints about "stupid management" that lacks anything but the most shallow of understandings of the issues in question.

    The underlying complaint is usually about the imprecision and bluntness of Te (especially as wielded by people removed from the specifics) and how inefficient and just plain wrong it can be given the specifics of the situation. It's even worse if the INTPs must personally implement the "stupidity" themselves. Their Ti-based judgments tell them how wrong and non-optimal the policy is every step of the way... so it's like fingernails on a chalkboard to them.

    So, that's the kind of subjective reaction an INFP may have in an equivalent Fe/Fi scenario. Plus, we tend to be tuned into the ways the needs of others that may be trampled upon by the group... so we tend to speak up not only for our own sakes, but for the sake of others.

    That isn't to say than we can't be selfish, or that Fe-folk can't be sensitive, obliging and creative in finding ways to get everyone's needs met and maximize the common good. It's just that Fi-users tends to experience social expectations as arbitrary and oppressive, whereas Fe tends to see non-conforming individuals as arbitrary and selfish. A full appreciation of the other's perspective is lacking on both sides.

    Groups and me

    (Some of this may be influenced by the intersection of my enneagram type and not being an SO instinctual type... so not claiming any INFP universality)

    I personally find that groups tend to be not terribly real or important for me on the whole—only individuals are. It's odd, because as someone who is fairly Ne-oriented I'm all about abstraction and generalization. Somehow that intuitive tendency to generalize flies out the window when it come to people. It's almost as though each person is their own self-contained theoretical universe and the group has little reality or worth by comparison. So, for me it can take an active effort to remind myself that the group, itself, may have value and represent something of worth.

    Meanwhile, I do find value in my relationships with individuals, having positive interactions with others, and trying to contribute to a positive emotional environment. I value getting along when possible (as long as my ethics are uncompromised) and usually am very easy going. I will, however, opt out of things that don't meet my needs if I feel like my contribution won't add much.

    I think, ironically, that the sometimes utilitarian nature of Fe combined with my externally easygoing nature means that my needs often get ignored by Fe users. There's not much utility in seeing to my needs, since I'm okay with most reasonable outcomes in many situations. This can sometimes leads to a pattern in which the only times I get Fe attention is when I do finally balk and draw a line. I think this dynamic can add to a negative perception of Fe, since some of us get more personal experience of the stick than the carrot.

  6. #826
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    Plus, it can be apparent when Fe-ers are "going through the motions" believing their actions a sufficient concealment of their true feelings or intent. I have observed Fe-ers in conversation, displaying the finest, most congenial smiles, head nods and eye contact, coming across like the following to me: "I will look like I am interested in what 'Joe' has to say because that's what I am supposed to do here, BUT I THINK HE'S AN IDIOT AND JUST WISH HE WOULD SHUT UP." As an FYI, the caps is what an Fi-er is likely hearing you "say" too, and this data has meaning to us. Thus, Fe actions can appear contrived well beyond the necessity of social convention. Fi, at times like this, feels like a kind of sincerity filter. Believe me, 'Joe' may very well be a tool, and I probably wish 'Joe' would shut up too, and I could easily see myself getting trapped in a conversation with him, but just looking like you care about what someone has to say is not enough to convince the whole audience. Sometimes I don't think Fe-ers "get" that fact. It's the root I suppose of why some people can accuse Fe of being "fake", even though in Fe hearts I know, there often reside wonderful, pure feelings and motives.

    Yes, and this is how Fe is thus deceived; I can play the role and do good works or what's socially expected of me, even if my heart is contrary. Fe doesn't seem to know or care otherwise sometimes, assuming more often that because I am being good my actions are coming from a good place in my heart.
    Well, it is good to be kind to people. There is something to be said for someone who thinks in the end of the consequence of their actions toward others. There is a definite goodness in it, though it may not comprise the entirety of what "goodness" is.

    Also, I can tell you that if you're intimate or very close friends with someone with a lot of Fe, they'll sit and tell you what they really think, or admit people or situations where they are just going through the motions, and tell you what they really feel. Sometimes I think they just reserve this for people they know well.

    I can understand that and relate to it in some cases, actually. With some situations and some people there's just no freakin' common sense in being totally honest, or compromising the way you treat people for the sake of internal feelings.

  7. #827
    Senior Member Adasta's Avatar
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    I'm going to try and tackle some of the problems that have cropped up with Fe/Fi. The major caveat is that I'm going to be speaking from an INFP perspective since it is also my own perspective; therefore, it is the one which I feel most capable of describing. You will have to extract the "Fi-ness" from the "INFPness" yourselves!

    Group Dynamics

    As an INFP, I have no problem with being in a group. As has been previously pointed out, people are often mistaken in thinking that, because I am not screaming and shouting my ideas up front, like an E-type may do, I am obviously shy/scared/lacking in confidence. Far from it. In fact, I'm quite confident in what I believe, to the extent that I don't need to show other people that I believe what I believe through outward display. If I'm really confident about something then, through my silence, I am actually exuding my confidence. Although a man, I identify with former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's ideological retort: "You turn if you want to; the lady's not for turning." This is perhaps how one should view an INFP within a group situation: completely at ease and a genial member of the team until s/he is transgressed, or his/her ideals are transgressed. For an INFP, an ideological transgression is tantamount to a personal attack.

    With regards to others in a group: I do not prioritise harmony in the same way I do "rightness", or moral fortitude. This is often where INFP "arrogance" or "self-righteous" creeps in. I do not reject group dynamics, but I see it as expendable in the face of another's ideological duplicity. I can tolerate those who views differ from my own - indeed, I have many friends with whom I do not agree on some subjects - but it is when a person contravenes an "integral quality" (honesty, for example) that group dynamics becomes meaningless. At that point, loyalty to my own beliefs is paramount; I wouldn't care if a crowd of people at a party saw as I launched into a verbal attack on someone who was lying to me or trying to deceive me. To me, the primary of ideological fastidiousness (i.e. I am an honest man; lying is deceitful) takes precedence above all. I would not seek to accommodate this person any longer; having shown themselves to be completely other to me in this way, s/he no longer warrants my attention.

    Personality

    INFPs can work well in groups, but hate being considered part of a group. This is paradoxical to others, but makes perfect sense to us. Even if there were to be a group of INFPs working together, I'm sure we would feel as if we were a collection of individuals working towards a shared goal; "group mentality" would not apply in the same way as to others, who would form a "team". Anyone who watches programmes like The Apprentice would notice that those (Extroverts) who want to win will form a "team" to achieve that goal. INFPs would probably try to assign the most applicable role to each person, and then all be off on their merry way carrying out their tasks. I am not saying this would make it a successful group per se, but rather use this example to illustrate how the INFP personality could work.

    Now, Fe are here presented as "group managers". This is all well and good until you get a tricky INFP to deal with! While Fe likes to hear everyone's side of the story and attempt to aggregate a solution that benefits all, INFPs lose interest once they feel slighted in some way. The ways in which this may occur are multifarious: someone could consider what we feel to be important as banal; someone could be unjust; someone could be cruel; someone could be a brat. Once this occurs, it's hard to bring an INFP round because the overriding feeling becomes one of pointlessness and, eventually, of withdrawal. INFPs are usually aware that they could be excellent contributors and offer something genuinely unique/different, but if they feel as if this won't be appreciated, they will not try: it seems pointless to do so.

    People can easily look at an INFP and see them as a whiny child who wants special attention. But in these situations, you reap what you sow. If you treat INFPs in a cursory fashion, expect that to be returned to you. If Fe is trying to make sure everyone's happy and, for whatever reason, the INFP is not, unless you recognise this the INFP will you treat as s/he will treat the others: as a member of a group to which s/he feels no affiliation. This is not a case of throwing one's toys out of the pram, but rather a case of treating the INFP as individual in a collection of people and not as a "group member". In a group of 12, an INFP would not be content with simply being "No. 7", for example. It's not that the INFP desperately wants to stand out; it's more that we don't want to blend in.
    That girls are raped, that two boys knife a third,
    Were axioms to him, who'd never heard
    Of any world where promises were kept,
    Or one could weep because another wept.

  8. #828
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adasta View Post
    I'm going to try and tackle some of the problems that have cropped up with Fe/Fi. The major caveat is that I'm going to be speaking from an INFP perspective since it is also my own perspective; therefore, it is the one which I feel most capable of describing. You will have to extract the "Fi-ness" from the "INFPness" yourselves!

    Group Dynamics

    As an INFP, I have no problem with being in a group. As has been previously pointed out, people are often mistaken in thinking that, because I am not screaming and shouting my ideas up front, like an E-type may do, I am obviously shy/scared/lacking in confidence. Far from it. In fact, I'm quite confident in what I believe, to the extent that I don't need to show other people that I believe what I believe through outward display. If I'm really confident about something then, through my silence, I am actually exuding my confidence. Although a man, I identify with former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's ideological retort: "You turn if you want to; the lady's not for turning." This is perhaps how one should view an INFP within a group situation: completely at ease and a genial member of the team until s/he is transgressed, or his/her ideals are transgressed. For an INFP, an ideological transgression is tantamount to a personal attack.

    With regards to others in a group: I do not prioritise harmony in the same way I do "rightness", or moral fortitude. This is often where INFP "arrogance" or "self-righteous" creeps in. I do not reject group dynamics, but I see it as expendable in the face of another's ideological duplicity. I can tolerate those who views differ from my own - indeed, I have many friends with whom I do not agree on some subjects - but it is when a person contravenes an "integral quality" (honesty, for example) that group dynamics becomes meaningless. At that point, loyalty to my own beliefs is paramount; I wouldn't care if a crowd of people at a party saw as I launched into a verbal attack on someone who was lying to me or trying to deceive me. To me, the primary of ideological fastidiousness (i.e. I am an honest man; lying is deceitful) takes precedence above all. I would not seek to accommodate this person any longer; having shown themselves to be completely other to me in this way, s/he no longer warrants my attention.

    Personality

    INFPs can work well in groups, but hate being considered part of a group. This is paradoxical to others, but makes perfect sense to us. Even if there were to be a group of INFPs working together, I'm sure we would feel as if we were a collection of individuals working towards a shared goal; "group mentality" would not apply in the same way as to others, who would form a "team". Anyone who watches programmes like The Apprentice would notice that those (Extroverts) who want to win will form a "team" to achieve that goal. INFPs would probably try to assign the most applicable role to each person, and then all be off on their merry way carrying out their tasks. I am not saying this would make it a successful group per se, but rather use this example to illustrate how the INFP personality could work.

    Now, Fe are here presented as "group managers". This is all well and good until you get a tricky INFP to deal with! While Fe likes to hear everyone's side of the story and attempt to aggregate a solution that benefits all, INFPs lose interest once they feel slighted in some way. The ways in which this may occur are multifarious: someone could consider what we feel to be important as banal; someone could be unjust; someone could be cruel; someone could be a brat. Once this occurs, it's hard to bring an INFP round because the overriding feeling becomes one of pointlessness and, eventually, of withdrawal. INFPs are usually aware that they could be excellent contributors and offer something genuinely unique/different, but if they feel as if this won't be appreciated, they will not try: it seems pointless to do so.

    People can easily look at an INFP and see them as a whiny child who wants special attention. But in these situations, you reap what you sow. If you treat INFPs in a cursory fashion, expect that to be returned to you. If Fe is trying to make sure everyone's happy and, for whatever reason, the INFP is not, unless you recognise this the INFP will you treat as s/he will treat the others: as a member of a group to which s/he feels no affiliation. This is not a case of throwing one's toys out of the pram, but rather a case of treating the INFP as individual in a collection of people and not as a "group member". In a group of 12, an INFP would not be content with simply being "No. 7", for example. It's not that the INFP desperately wants to stand out; it's more that we don't want to blend in.
    Ok. Thanks for this. I'm definitely not an INFP. Moving along.

  9. #829
    Senior Member Adasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    Ok. Thanks for this. I'm definitely not an INFP. Moving along.
    Yeah and I'm definitely not Fe.
    That girls are raped, that two boys knife a third,
    Were axioms to him, who'd never heard
    Of any world where promises were kept,
    Or one could weep because another wept.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adasta View Post
    Yeah and I'm definitely not Fe.
    Well, I was considering INFP because of the strength of my Si and also because I test INFP or INFJ quite a bit, and also because apparently INFPs *should* have a stronger grasp of Fe according to shadow function theory, but there's just no way. I love being part of a group or accepted by a group, and a lot of times when I read some of these descriptions of INFP needs I have that little tinge of annoyance that other people report, what you were referencing to as children throwing toys out the pram, that's how it strikes me.

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