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Thread: Dichotomous Functions in an ENFJ?

  1. #11
    Plumage and Moult Array proteanmix's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by username666 View Post
    You know, its like you stole the thoughts right out of my head.

    Its whats been running through my mind as an ENFJ I dont really relate to this Fe harmonious loving overly friendly type.. I mean those are idealistic qualities I strive for..but I relate more to the calculating Ni..Like, Fe its very much suited for an Si user.. ESFJ. Were both Fe doms but in my experience we're worlds apart. Im more inclined to enjoy NTs ideas and thoughts than SFs who quickly irritate me in a way I cant describe.
    I'm a Fe dominant (ExFJ) and the only part of Fe that I truly truly identify with, enough so for me to believe it's my dominant function is that I have a very strong inclination towards interpersonal intelligence which I contrast with intrapersonal intelligence.
    I guess the question remains, how do I genuinely keep up the act of Fe comeraderie, the sense of "life is perfect" like most ESFJs, with the other me who prefers my own distance and melancholic privacy and skepticism of the status quo. Im waiting on Jung specialists to define this polarization of Fe and Ni cause I dont have a clue as to what is the answer to this.

    Thing is, if my Thinking function were anywhere as strong as my Intuition function, I think i'd be happy being a bonafide IxTx type. I'm jealous of how detached they can be and in their own world.. Fe always pulls me back so I have to keep up as soon as I fall deep into my intuitive state.
    What do you mean the "act" of Fe camaraderie? My Fe is more about being neutral or at the very least projecting neutrality than camaraderie. I don't think ESFJs project the life is perfect thing, or maybe it depends on what kind of ESFJs you've run across. I've actually found that to be more of a problem with ENFJs than ESFJs. I wonder if ESFJs are more confrontational (less smooth) than ENFJs. A huge complaint that I resisted for a long time about ENFJs was conflict avoidance even when something needs to be addressed, questioned, and hashed out but once I saw it happening IRL with two ENFJs I was like oh, it's real. Being conflict avoidant is not a predominantly Fe trait, but the way someone goes about being conflict avoidant indicates type/function preference I think. I found the smoothness, greasiness, the appeasing attitude to be eye-opening in dealing with ENFJs and seeing it in them made me wonder about it in myself. I ask myself to what ends and for what purpose is this beneficial?

    I don't necessarily see that with ESFJs...there's a staunchness, earnestness, and transparency there that minimizes the feeling like you're being like they're holding back on you. ESFJs are rawer and more exposed than ENFJs. I feel like ESFJs will get real with you faster and with ENFJs you're more likely to encounter a walled garden that blocks off access. Maybe the walled garden is the melancholic privacy you're referring to, you realize you need that space but it conflicts with Fe wanting to have open borders.

    As an ExFJ I feel that need as well so I don't know if it's particularly ESFJ or ENFJ, but I don't feel bad about it or find it irreconcilable with Fe. In fact, I think that time to analyze and chomp on whatever I'm chomping on as time well spent and deepen my understanding of interpersonal relationships. It helps get past the surface.

    One of the big things I noticed especially within the last two years is people's tendency to be blindly sympathetic to someone. Here's a simple example.

    You have a person who recently broke up with their SO. You know both of the people in the relationship, but aren't particularly close with either of them. One day, one of them invites you out to a movie or something and you guys get to talking and they tell you all about What Went Wrong. They tell you the other person was jealous, insecure, controlling, manipulative, didn't keep their promises, etc. etc. You may be oh I'm so sorry, how could they do that, what is their problem, yeah you dodged a bullet, thank goodness you're out of that relationship.

    It's so many repercussions to that experience. Since the person you went out with got to your "first" you may begin to develop a dislike towards their SO. They did nothing to you, you don't even know them that well but you feel the seeds of dislike within yourself. How would that situation change if that person were a close friend of yours? Their ex would be doubly damned.

    Those times of introspection help me think around and beyond and sift out what information I receive. During those times, I may think hey what about the other person's side of the story? Did the person I talk to keep unflattering information from me to boost themselves? Maybe their SO saw a side of them I don't see? Maybe there are things that have gone down I don't know about. Since I've done that enough within myself I don't even necessarily have to go back into a cave to have those thoughts spring in my mind, they come automatically. Which is why I rather be neutral and project neutrality than camaraderie...the neutrality is a product of trying to think and be healthily skeptical of how people present themselves, what they say to me and not trying to take either "side" or opinions that I can't verify. For me, it's a check on an aspect of Fe that I find irritating. Converse of this is it can get you into trouble when you don't automatically assume the best (personal experience!) so at that point it's up to you to decide how you want to go forward.

    I think that when these thoughts penetrate through for Fe doms, natural instinct is to beat them back. It's not viewed as something good or something to be encouraged...that's there's something worthy in allowing those those to continue. The only advice I can give is there's nothing wrong with feeling those things and having those thoughts. There are insights in there. Welcome them, go have a margarita with them, sit down and chat. The more comfortable you become with those thoughts, the less you will feel like it's some ugly thing you have to hide or steal away from people in order to indulge in. I guess it's about being receptive to them and maybe that walled garden will disappear.

    For me, I have a walled garden. I don't know if I'll ever be able to get rid of it, but I do think it should be transparent. I'd rather feel like I have nothing to hide, even if there are boundaries.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
    Interpersonal Communication Theories and Concepts
    Social Penetration Theory 1
    Social Penetration Theory 2
    Social Penetration Theory 3

  2. #12


    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    ^ so do you feel that Fe and Ni pull you in opposite directions? not just in and out, i mean, that dichotomy is a given, but towards/away from people? ... it sounds like you're kind of irritated with the "duties" of Fe - that it's just an act... so what if you just stopped acting?
    Well after thinking it through I would say pretty much, yea it does.. To give you an example, I remember being this fun-loving happy go lucky type of kid who enjoyed the company of any and every person and to have a good time..very extroverted.

    Then when I hit 19-20 all that seemed to change right away. I no longer was good at keeping up appearances with good buddies, drifted more and more into privacy, becoming more of a skeptic etc.. Basically the popular kid I knew myself to be vanished. Ni took over completely that the Fe lifestyle started becoming more.. umm.. I dont know how to put it.. meaningless? fake? Might not be the right words to use, but the point I was trying to make was that I had no fulfillment: my inner life lacked any substance.

    After thinking this over, and you're right, I was indeed over thinking, I simply attribute it to growing up; growing into my secondary function.. Its not that I am against Fe now, its just that I need to make things right within myself (fixing my problem was to start introverting my feelings and develop more Fi )to go back to behaving the Fe way I enjoyed, but this time more authentically, like I really mean it.

    So then when friends see me again its like I've changed. I seem more distant and cynical, but it's not because I'm too alone, but because I dont want to seem all happy and bubbly when I'm really not. That wouldn't solve anything for me, you know what i mean? Its easy to showoff and banter and make random jokes for the humor of it, but I'm taking a timeout from all that to find out meaningful things for me first.

    I think this is just natural and everybody goes through things like that in their life, so I'm keeping a good mood about it. I find myself more humble, thoughtful, and enjoying the simple funny things to myself more and more. I don't talk to people about my problems or go to them with my issues coz I feel its a personal thing thats irrelevant to another. I'm telling you here because we all here understand theory of personality which has always really intrigued me and helped me with tremendous insights.

    So, going back to sum up the answer to your question, yes Fe and Ni are very dichotomous in moving me away/towards people. One of the most surprising dichotomies I find is Fe-Ni..But I think once I master both in bringing them to function together in a healthy way I'll feel more complete as a whole.

  3. #13


    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post

    I don't necessarily see that with ESFJs...there's a staunchness, earnestness, and transparency there that minimizes the feeling like you're being like they're holding back on you. ESFJs are rawer and more exposed than ENFJs. I feel like ESFJs will get real with you faster and with ENFJs you're more likely to encounter a walled garden that blocks off access. Maybe the walled garden is the melancholic privacy you're referring to, you realize you need that space but it conflicts with Fe wanting to have open borders.
    Yes, PM. You hit it right on the nose with that last sentence. What I meant is the dichotomy of Fe-Si is really all that not as compicated, at least how I see it, compared to the Fe-Ni. Hence what I meant by Fe being suited for an S type.

    I'll have you know, I'm quite jealous of S types. How easy things go for the SFs compared to the NFs; but I can't speak for all in this context, this is just my view. And if I'm wrong, well, Im still waiting for the Jung specialists to correct me. : )

  4. #14
    That's my name biotch! Array JoSunshine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009


    I'm not a Jung specialist, but my sister and bf are both ESFJ's and I have to say I wouldn't trade with either of them. I would say their bounce-back abilities are stunning. They don't sit around and analyze a situation, try to figure out how to handle things "properly" or think to terribly much about the effects of their words. They just get what is ever bothering them off their chest (often times in an epic fashion) and move on. However, there seem to be some real down sides. They are mad about something all the time. If someone missteps, in their minds it is because that person doesn't give a damn, because if s/he did they wouldn't have done xyz. Since it is hard for them to step back and say,"hummm, this is out of character for this person, maybe there is something going on that I don't know about." I guess my point is they tend to take things much more personally. In identical situations they are much more likely to feel attacked than I do. I think it is possible that this might be a result of Fe-Si vs Fe-Ni.

    The visible result is that they have lots of lows that they easily recover from by nipping whatever the "problem" is in the bud by saying or doing whatever they feel is necessary to fix the problem and then moving on. But there are oh so many problems to be had. I have far fewer "problems" and seem to effected less by the world at large, but when a problem arises I have to lament over it for days at a time, trying to figure out the best solution and considering all sides of an issue (there is also a lot of future thinking involved, how will the decision I make effect the future)...then I try to fix it.

    It's funny, because like I said, I am really close to these two so obviously we have conflicts at times. If we have an argument, they will unload and say exactly what they are thinking. I invariably come back a day or two later and to talk to them about it...and they say, "are you still thinking about that?" I then explain that I needed time to consider their side and my side and I am now ready to talk calmly about it...which we do (usually).

    But all and all, I actually think things are much easier for me because there are far fewer ups and downs in my life and I seem generally less effected by other people. Like I said, I am not an expert and this could just be the case with this particular ENFJ and those particular ESFJ's. You guys can tell me if you notice the same thing.
    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. " - Dr. Seuss
    I can't spell...get over it

    Slightly ENFJ, totally JoSunshine
    Extroverted (E) 52.5%........Introverted (I) 47.5%
    Intuitive (N) 65.63%..........Sensing (S) 34.38%
    Feeling (F) 55.56%............Thinking (T) 44.44%
    Judging (J) 51.43%............Perceiving (P) 48.57%

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