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  1. #1
    Professional Trickster Esoteric Wench's Avatar
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    Arrow When Fe & Fi Go Awry: The Definitive NF guide to F-ness (Let the Antics Ensue)

    In the six months or so that I’ve been active on this forum, I’ve seen Fe and Fi clash literally hundreds of times. And thus, the discussion on many a thread has been diverted to discussion of the differences between Fe and Fi… and their mutual distaste for each other.

    This thread approaches the Fe/Fi discussion from a different tack. When does Fe run amuck? When does Fi go bat shit crazy? I hear a lot of talk about how Fi users are bugged by Fe. And, how Fe users can’t stand Fi. But what seems to be missing from the conversation is Fe/Fi users taking ownership of their respective function's excesses. ‘Cause I’ve gotta tell you, both Fe and Fi are u-g-l-y when not held in check.

    Format. I anticipate a heated discussion with lots of, “This is why I hate (Fe/Fi)” comments. By conforming your comments to the below format, hopefully a more thoughtful discussion of the facts will ensue.
    1. When [Fe/Fi] Went Awry: Explain situation you personally experienced when Fe or Fi caused problems. It can be your F function, or someone else’s.
    2. Why Did [Fe/Fi] Do That?: What was [Fe/Fi]’s justification for doing what it did?
    3. How Were Others Inconvenienced? : How did this display of [Fe/Fi] affect the other parties involved? It’s easy to explain why we felt motivated to use our Fe/Fi in a certain way. It’s much more difficult to articulate how your actions inconvenienced others.
    4. Comments: Any additional comments you might have go here.

    Just a refresher, or for those of you who don’t know about Fe and Fi, here’s a brief recap*:

    Extraverted Feeling (Fe) - The extraverted feeling function concerns itself with other people’s emotions - especially those that lie on or near the surface and are easy to sympathize with. Placing a value on people’s feeling, extraverted feeling relates to them with discrimination, empathy, and tact. At its best, it tends to appreciate the strengths of people, but it also seeks concrete gratitude and validation. In its shadow aspect, extraverted feeling tends to discriminate against feelings that are less easy to identify with, and therefore less socially acceptable. The result is that extraverted feeling tends to ignore or harshly judge emotional needs that do not validate collective norms. This kind of response can lead to forms of bullying and prejudice, as majority values are emphasized at the expense of other, more individual values. INFJs and ENFJs are Fe users.
    INFJ - Ni > Fe > Ti > Se
    ENFJ - Fe > Ni > Se > Ti

    Introverted Feeling (Fi) - The introverted feeling function concerns itself with the values expressed in the archetypal aspect of situations, often relating to the actual situation by measuring it against an ideal. When the actual is found wanting, introverted feeling can become intensely disappointed. Although it often finds it hard to articulate its judgments, or simply prefers to keep them to itself, introverted feeling also tends to ignore social limits regarding the communication of critical responses, to the point of appearing to depreciate others. It may withhold positive feelings as insincere and fail to offer healing gestures to smooth over difficult situations. In its shadow aspect, introverted feeling becomes rageful, anxious, and sullen. It may withdraw all support for attitudes it has decided are simply wrong, even at the risk of rupturing relationship and agreed-upon standards of fellow-feeling. INFPs and ENFPs are Fi users.
    ENFP - Ne > Fi > Te > Si
    INFP - Fi > Ne > Si > Te
    *I picked these definitions of Fe and Fi because I think they do a great job of discussing how these functions can go wrong. From Vicky Jo Varner’s Dolphin Dive Website.

    =======================
    Note: Several people asked me to explain my suggested format. I had a very specific reason for choosing these questions that I explain more thoroughly in post #601. (Click here to read.)
    Last edited by Esoteric Wench; 09-28-2010 at 07:54 AM.
    ENFP with kick*ss Te | 7w8 so | ♀

  2. #2
    Professional Trickster Esoteric Wench's Avatar
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    OK, I’ll go first.
    1. When Fi Went Awry: I was corresponding with a new friend that I liked very, very much. I made myself very open and vulnerable to this person... We'll call her 'Anita'. In other words, I exposed my Fi to Anita through self-disclosure. This is how Fi makes itself vulnerable... by letting itself be revealed. Anita and I subsequently had a falling out during which she told me not to write to her ever again. My Fi was very, very, very hurt. Probably more hurt than it’s been in years. I reflected for a couple of days, then responded with a much justified Te bitchslap. But afterwards, even after Anita wrote me again, I refused to read her emails. I kept them on my computer, but wouldn’t open them.
    2. Why Did Fi Do That?: I’ve come to appreciate how powerful Fi’s emotions feel. Since I made myself so open with an offering of my innermost Fi, the pain was all the greater. I think I didn’t read Anita's emails because I didn’t want to get hurt again. My Fi couldn’t bear it. Also, the Te bitchslap was because I thought what Anita had done was wrong. Fi feels like a very strong internal moral compass. When Fi's hackles are raised, there are no shades of gray. Things are clearly either right or wrong. My Fi had judged Anita was Wrong (with a capital W). Then I proceeded to use my tertiary Te to right this wrong by sending Anita an email in which I told her in lurid detail exactly why I thought what she did was wrong. Te became a filter by which I poignantly and effectively expressed my Fi judgment.
    3. How Were Others Inconvenienced?: Even though Anita totally overreacted, it was unfair to not read her emails. Maybe she wrote me to apologize. Maybe not. But by shutting her out, I was not even giving her the opportunity to express herself which wasn't fair to her. As for the Te bitchslap... well... Was I correct in what I said during my Te bitchslap? Yes. But sometimes when you speak the truth, a whisper is more effective than a howl. The more true it was, the more hurtful to hear. When push came to shove, I didn't give a damn about breaking social niceties, because all that mattered to me was speaking the truth. This must have caused this person much distress and anxiety.
    4. Comments: It’s taken a lot of humble pie for me to admit that this was my Fi wreaking havoc. As I’ve become more aware of my Fi, I’ve also become aware of the trouble it can cause. I do have choices other than letting my Fi drive my behavior in this manner. For example, I might have given my Fi a chance to heal a bit and then gone and talked to this person or read their emails. Instead, I protected my Fi. And that became the driving force behind my behavior. This served my Fi’s agenda, but I don’t think this was the best for Esoteric Wench in the long run.
    ENFP with kick*ss Te | 7w8 so | ♀

  3. #3
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    That was an interesting example. I'll have to think more about this before responding further. However, I do think it's important before we begin that people understand this:

    Fe is not about social niceties. It's about understanding how each person's individual actions impact the group. This information can be wielded in positive or negative ways, depending on the maturity and inclination of the individual.

    When going against social norms, the Fe user may be more inclined to stop and consider how they can do so while ruffling the least amount of feathers, or at least understand what kind of reaction their actions may end up provoking and weigh the consequences. Doesn't mean that someone shouldn't go ahead and do it, it's just that they should understand what the cost is and if it is aiding or detracting from their ultimate goal (from a Fe perspective). Therefore the method in which the message is conveyed is just as important as the message itself if it is going to be well-received and acted upon.
    Likes Empyrean liked this post

  4. #4
    Professional Trickster Esoteric Wench's Avatar
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    Fidelia, apparently you and I are the only ones who don't have more exciting plans on this Saturday afternoon. It's certainly been quiet on the boards today.

    Seriously though.... I appreciate your Fe comments. I'm still trying to get my head around Fe... and you have been a real helper in my process.

    Last week I ran into an ENFJ with whom I had been struggling to find some common ground. He accidentally bumped into me in the door of a restaurant. In response, he grabbed my elbow, and said, "I'm sorry, I hope you're OK." I looked at him and smiled.

    Yes, he and I have had problems in the past. But rather than interpreting his actions as fake and insincere, I saw that he was using his Fe. And this made me smile and think of you and my other TypoC contacts who have helped me gain this new understanding of Fe. Thank you.

    I'm looking forward to hearing other people's stories of Fe & Fi going awry.
    ENFP with kick*ss Te | 7w8 so | ♀

  5. #5
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Well you can count me in. +1 for team nothing-better-to-do-on-Saturday-afternoon.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Fe is not about social niceties. It's about understanding how each person's individual actions impact the group. This information can be wielded in positive or negative ways, depending on the maturity and inclination of the individual.

    When going against social norms, the Fe user may be more inclined to stop and consider how they can do so while ruffling the least amount of feathers, or at least understand what kind of reaction their actions may end up provoking and weigh the consequences. Doesn't mean that someone shouldn't go ahead and do it, it's just that they should understand what the cost is and if it is aiding or detracting from their ultimate goal (from a Fe perspective). Therefore the method in which the message is conveyed is just as important as the message itself if it is going to be well-received and acted upon.
    I have to think about it before getting to the point in the op myself. But briefly, I just also want to add to what Fid said- I’ve been thinking about this since the Fi bias thread- I think this tendency (the bolded) is often misconstrued as existing soley for the sake of maintaining group well-being. Fe users necessarily are also Ti users (in theory, anyway). And, at least for myself- and it does seem to me to be true for many others as well- the tendency to avoid ruffling feathers is means to avoid arguments. I don’t dislike arguments strictly because they are ‘rude’ or go against group dynamics. I avoid arguments because it’s difficult for me to explain my position. It’s really taxing. I’m only willing to do the work of explaining my position where and when I believe it’s conducive to improving social harmony (thereby ultimately resulting in fewer arguments down the road) or defending myself or another person in situation which seems unfair (to avoid hurt feelings or out of empathy with another’s hurt feelings). It does not come easily to me, and that’s my primary motivation for seeking group harmony- it isn’t because it’s simply what I’m “supposed” to do.

    I think it’s important to point out (as was Fidelia’s point), because it seems to me that Te users don’t realize how absolutely exhausting they can be to deal with; and then the Fe backlash (“you shouldn’t ruffle feathers”, “you should stop and consider the other person’s feelings”, “calm listening is important”, etc) gets misunderstood as mindlessly enforcing social mores and, in turn, apparently feels oppressive to the Te user’s Fi. And I’m not saying the conflict always starts with Te, nor am I saying all Fe users are mindful (some of them really are just adhering to and trying to enforce mindless social norms). I’m just trying to describe how Fe ‘rules’ are sometimes more about self-preservation (creating an environment where Ti won’t get drowned out) than many Fi (Te) types seem to understand.

    I’ve noticed I really don’t run into much conflict with Fi itself- because Fi doms aren't anywhere near as taxing for me (as Te is their least function) as other Fi types. In fact, irl, I have a few Fi dom friends and they aren't taxing to me at all.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

    5w4 sx/sp Johari / Nohari

  6. #6
    Professional Trickster Esoteric Wench's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    Well you can count me in. +1 for team nothing-better-to-do-on-Saturday-afternoon.
    Ha ha!
    ENFP with kick*ss Te | 7w8 so | ♀

  7. #7
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Yes! Z Buck is onto something. I only invest in conflicts with people whose mind I think I can change, or for whom more information would make a difference (ensuring smoother working together in the future), people whose opinion doesn't affect me in any way (very distant people from me), people whom I'm very close to (because the issue cannot be ignored). I don't seek out conflict at all if I can help it, even though as I've gotten older I've come to see that not everyone feels the way I do when it occurs, and that there are also situations where dealing with something now saves everyone a lot of trouble in the future. I prefer to look for the places where we agree and then diverge to understand where our differences lie, rather than going the opposite way and starting at our points of difference and converge to where our sameness lies. Starting with our differences feels confrontational, puts me on the spot, and I feel at a disadvantage and rushed when trying to explain my point of view.

    I'm also just more cautious and want to understand how my actions/words will be received and who is allied with who before I go out on a limb and say it all. Not knowing that makes me feel terribly uncomfortable and insecure. That's why when someone doesn't give any encouraging signs or respond when I'm saying something, I tend to back way off or withdraw somewhat. I assume it means that I am treading on dangerous (or important) ground (to them) and I do what I would want others to in that case.

    Because the Fi users in questions are also Te users, they are not going to be as upset by differences. Te is practical and sometimes a little ruthless (I don't mean that Te users are ruthless, but Te as a function is). Fi feels strongly and tends to be very black and white (especially when it is intense). Therefore on neither count does it make sense to hold back if there is something important to say. Getting the message out, not the method used to do so is the first priority. This is the reason why Fe users sometimes find it abrasive, while Fe users find the need for couching things a certain way is stifling and they are concerned that by insisting on a prescribed way to share the message, it will actually obscure it.

    I'm not sure about this, but do you think it's possible that Fe-Ti people see things in many shades of grey, rather than black and white (kind of like Fi-Te is about emotions). Therefore it is important to be precise about expressing your ideas/feelings (hence the emphasis on the message) and it feels wrong to insist that things ARE a certain way, as Fi-Te may feel more comfortable doing (Te generalizes a little more, Fi feels very very strongly)? Just kind of thinking aloud. I haven't really tested all of that out yet against all the real life situations I could to see if it holds true.

    I'm not sure what to think about it all, as I know that INFPs are very non-confrontational by nature, although when a value gets stepped on, most of that goes out the door. It seems like it's kind of all or nothing with them.

  8. #8
    Professional Trickster Esoteric Wench's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    When going against social norms, the Fe user may be more inclined to stop and consider how they can do so while ruffling the least amount of feathers, or at least understand what kind of reaction their actions may end up provoking and weigh the consequences. Doesn't mean that someone shouldn't go ahead and do it, it's just that they should understand what the cost is and if it is aiding or detracting from their ultimate goal (from a Fe perspective). Therefore the method in which the message is conveyed is just as important as the message itself if it is going to be well-received and acted upon.
    I think something I've become aware of is that I sometimes pay a price for my Fi. There is a social cost to ignoring the group dynamics. And, sometimes this is worth it. But one should consciously make the decision to rock the boat and not just do it on Fi instinct.

    I've worked in PR off and on for years. And, one of the reasons I got out of PR is that I just find it too exhausting to let go of me being "right" and do what will make everyone happy. I feel like I'm running a popularity contest. And, this is distasteful for me.

    Now sometimes Fi has it all over Fe, but I think that I'm at the point in my personal growth that I'm learning to appreciate the limits of Fi.

    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    [T]he tendency to avoid ruffling feathers is means to avoid arguments. I don’t dislike arguments strictly because they are ‘rude’ or go against group dynamics. I avoid arguments because it’s difficult for me to explain my position. It’s really taxing. I’m only willing to do the work of explaining my position where and when I believe it’s conducive to improving social harmony (thereby ultimately resulting in fewer arguments down the road) or defending myself or another person in situation which seems unfair (to avoid hurt feelings or out of empathy with another’s hurt feelings). It does not come easily to me, and that’s my primary motivation for seeking group harmony- it isn’t because it’s simply what I’m “supposed” to do.

    I think it’s important to point out (as was Fidelia’s point), because it seems to me that Te users don’t realize how absolutely exhausting they can be to deal with; and then the Fe backlash (“you shouldn’t ruffle feathers”, “you should stop and consider the other person’s feelings”, “calm listening is important”, etc) gets misunderstood as mindlessly enforcing social mores and, in turn, apparently feels oppressive to the Te user’s Fi. And I’m not saying the conflict always starts with Te, nor am I saying all Fe users are mindful (some of them really are just adhering to and trying to enforce mindless social norms). I’m just trying to describe how Fe ‘rules’ are sometimes more about self-preservation (creating an environment where Ti won’t get drowned out) than many Fi (Te) types seem to understand.

    I’ve noticed I really don’t run into much conflict with Fi itself- because Fi doms aren't anywhere near as taxing for me (as Te is their least function) as other Fi types. In fact, irl, I have a few Fi dom friends and they aren't taxing to me at all.
    ^^^^
    This is fascinating. And I think you've hit on some real truth here, Z Buck McFate.

    I'm still undecided on exactly what is going on here, but it seems to me that Te and Ti are huge players in this matter. And, when you said, "[Fe] gets misunderstood as mindlessly enforcing social mores and, in turn, apparently feels oppressive to the Te user’s Fi" my mouth literally fell open. That is EXACTLY what it feels like.

    I'm thinking back to problems I've had with Fe users in the past. I think you used the right term. I think my Te exhausted them. This certainly wasn't intentional on my part. In fact, I consciously use my Te more around Fe users because it seems like the best way for me to avoid misunderstandings. In other words, if I let the needs of the situation dictate my behavior, I reason that surely this will avoid subjectivity, bias, and misunderstanding.... At least that is my sincere intention.... <Sigh.>

    But alas.... as with much of Esoteric Wench's life... she displays her flagrant idiocy every day.

    Maybe I can get a glimmer of understanding if I imagine that Fi must have some commonalities with Ti. I'm a pretty strongly extraverted extravert. So not being able to articulate myself is not something I'm used to. But I've come to realize that articulating and revealing my Fi is exhausting. And, I'm very guarded about it. And, I find it very taxing. So if this is what it feels like to use your Ti when dealing with my Te, I can completely relate to your exhaustion.
    ENFP with kick*ss Te | 7w8 so | ♀

  9. #9
    Retired Member Wonkavision's Avatar
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    LOL

    Another EsotericWench/Orobas/Fidelia/Satine epic!

    I look forward to the massive walls of text and all the 's.
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  10. #10
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Yes! I think that's exactly the issue, EW. Thank you for explaining it in that way. I've heard Fi users talk about how difficult it is to explain their Fi to others and it makes them feel put on the spot. I think that how Ti feels in the face of Te is very analagous. I wouldn't have put it together myself (even though I understand that various introverted functions vs various extroverted functions have some parallels to each other.

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