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Thread: Presumptuous Fe

  1. #1
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Default Presumptuous Fe

    So first-I would like to set the tone of this thread. This is an exploratory thread, not an attack, not even a complaint. I would request the thread remain civil and polite, if it is to be productive.

    ************************************************** *********

    Last year Tesla started a thread that went on for a long time called presumptuous Fi. One of the main complaints was that Fi users think they understand how other people feel and will insist others MUST feel this way, based on Fi observations.

    "You look sad, so you MUST be sad". This works on other Fi users-dom to inf-but is FAIL on Fe/Ti users and is also pretty offensive.

    ************************************************** ***********

    Symmetrically, Fe seems to presume to understand the motives of others around them.

    "You acted this way, thus you MUST have been thinking this"
    "You made a big public ordeal of the issue, thus you MUST be an attention whore."
    "You were being very friendly and sweet and laughing, thus you MUST have been intending to flirt"
    "You exhibit this behavior as an adult and it MUST because of the relationship with your mom as a child"

    I suspect this may work well on other Fe/Ti users, but is a total FAIL on Fi/Te users. Perhaps this is the Fe/Ti combo working together, I am uncertain.

    This most striking last year in some of the threads where ENTPs insisted that ENFPs had underlying conscious manipulative agendas.

    On the receiving end, often the proposed motives seem incomprehensible. Sometimes, if phased as questions, suggestions or poised as potential possibilities, there can be great value in the Fe correlations. They are great starting points and external observations. But often are incorrect.

    ************************************************** ***********

    The other aspect of Presumptuous Fe, is the presumption that Fe behaviors are "Obvious", "innate", "everybody does this" and the presumption that if you do not do them, you are broken and need to be quiet and simply conform.

    Fe seems to assume that the individuals Fe values are the same values that the rest of society holds. Given half of society doesnt use Fe, this is false. But when the Fe user comments, they seem to think they are speaking for what everybody does...not what Fe users do. They speak in terms of "known" social truisms, which are not actually true. There is a very marked tendency to not want to analyze behavior in a way that segregates the group-Te categorization aka MBTI, but instead insist that the whole group conforms to the same set of motivators in the same way-Fe assumes we are all in the Fe group, and will be motivated using the same tools that motivate others in our group.

    Forgetting that half the group doesnt use Fe.

    I notice this the most in NTPs as I suspect it is almost subconscious at times given tert/inf placement.

    ************************************************** **********
    Again, I really seek feedback and communication, not to hurt other people or to work through a bunch of defensive Fi/Fe functional butthurt. I suspect that Fe users almost always have the best intent, and are not always aware of how this comes across and I would like a productive meta discussion not fighting or name calling.

    Also, please! please! correct my above understanding if I have described things in ways that could be better described in other ways from the Fe perspective. I can only with work with the way I see the world-thus be default my descriptions will not suffice.
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  2. #2
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I believe that Fe users are not so much ascribing motives to you because they are upset with you, but rather because your actions seem incomprehensible to them. Remember how Te sounds quite sure of the assertions being made, but is actually much more flexy than Ti? I think Fe users are trying to get you to clarify or offer more information than what appears to be visible at the time. Just as Te feels challenging and tyrantish to us, Fe feels the same to Fi. In the absence of further information, Fe users project what their motives would be given the same situation and call it as they see it.

    In addition, it is often not apparent to either Fe or Fi users that they have completely different reasons or motives for communicating information. Therefore their actions and style of communication are misunderstood by each other. One type's course of action seems inefficient and strange because it is being applied to the wrong goal or purpose. The Fi mode of communication is generally not very action based. The Fe mode of communication generally is used to confirm facts or to communicate what is felt as needing to be done. Therefore, it seems like Fe communication is doing a poor job, when really their reason for sharing information is very different. It's well suited to their objective, but not to the Fi users.

    From my vantage point, Fe users mostly communicate information to be translated into some kind of action, often outside of what they can do on their own. Fi users do it to share their experience of the world and to gather others' viewpoints and experiences so that they can process information.
    Last edited by fidelia; 12-13-2010 at 04:54 PM. Reason: Thanks, Zara!
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  3. #3
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    Symmetrically, Fe seems to presume to understand the motives of others around them.

    On the receiving end, often the proposed motives seem incomprehensible. Sometimes, if phased as questions, suggestions or poised as potential possibilities, there can be great value in the Fe correlations. They are great starting points and external observations. But often are incorrect.

    I think I know what Orobas is talking about with the motives/intentions. I have noticed in a few Fe’ers I know- and I’m pretty sure this is a result of having introverted perception- when a person stops paying attention to what their own motives and intentions are, they start to dogmatically project their own motives and intentions on to everyone else. I mean I agree with Fid- that often it’s because we’re waiting for more information, and we’re just going with what we know until we’re told more. But sometimes a Fe’er will be the sort who absolutely resists. A little while back, Highlander commented in another thread about Te doms doing something very similar (he spoke specifically in regard to ENTJs, I’m not sure if his comment extends to ESTJs or not): they have to tendency to jump to conclusions and stick to whatever conclusion they jumped to- even getting offended if someone questions it. I’ve seen the same thing in Fe’ers. I think this is the stuff Fe horror stories are made of.

    Firstly- and I can’t stress this enough- it’s not in all Fe’ers, it isn’t even in most, imo. I think it’s so heinous to deal with that people associate it with Fe, and the majority of thoughtful Fe doms kind of fade unnoticed in the background (in other words, the squeaky wheels get noticed...). Having this kind of behavior so strongly associated with Fe- as if: where there’s Fe, there’s the urge to control and tell other people how they should think and feel about everything- is exactly why so many of us Fe’ers get so nonplussed.

    Secondly, about this unsavory Fe behavior:
    I think they notice certain motives and intentions and attach them to certain behaviors (because perception is directed inward- it’s what we see), and it just becomes an auto-pilot type of assumption that they go together. Then they fail to notice that the motives and intentions they ‘perceive’ are their own because they haven’t spent time reflecting on/taking responsibility for their own motives, personal reactions and/or perceptions (they haven’t spent time separating their own motives, personal reactions and perceptions from the simple condition of being human- and so assume the motives, etc, are universal and inherent). The connection is ‘so clear’ to them, they feel like someone is treating them like they are stupid for insisting it isn’t true.

    Unfortunately, I’ve got to take off for some errands right now- but I’ll be back in a while.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

    5w4 sx/sp Johari / Nohari

  4. #4
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    my suspicion is that introverted functions in general lead to presumptuousness when we stop paying attention to external information - like an NFP on a Fi binge. so Fe presumptuousness really is less about Fe and more about Ni or Si, but because Fe is the more "active" function, being Judging, it manifests in Fe-mediated actions.

    like my mom when she thinks she's doing what will be best for me but she either doesn't ask me, or, more usually, will listen to me but doesn't actually consider my input. she'll decide a different option is better for me, and pursue that, when in reality it turns out to be a hindrance.

  5. #5
    Professional Trickster Esoteric Wench's Avatar
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    Wow! This thread only has three responses so far, but already five stars. After reading the OP and responses I now know why. I feel like I need to smoke a cigarette after reading what Orobas, Fidelia, Z Buck McFate, and Skylights wrote.

    There are so many wonderful things written about Fe that it's hard to pick one or two things to comment on... but that's never stopped me before...

    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    [Some though not most Fe users] have to tendency to jump to conclusions and stick to whatever conclusion they jumped to - even getting offended if someone questions it....I think this is the stuff Fe horror stories are made of...

    [A]bout this unsavory Fe behavior: I think [some Fe users] notice certain motives and intentions and attach them to certain behaviors (because perception is directed inward- it’s what we see), and it just becomes an auto-pilot type of assumption that they go together. Then they fail to notice that the motives and intentions they ‘perceive’ are their own because they haven’t spent time reflecting on/taking responsibility for their own motives, personal reactions and/or perceptions (they haven’t spent time separating their own motives, personal reactions and perceptions from the simple condition of being human- and so assume the motives, etc, are universal and inherent). The connection is ‘so clear’ to them, they feel like someone is treating them like they are stupid for insisting it isn’t true.
    Z Buck McFate, this blew me away. I think it really helped me understand Fe run amuck. And, I want you to know that I agree with you completely that most Fe users don't do what you are describing above... or at least don't do it often. Most Fe users I know are very thoughtful and kind people.

    But I have noticed... and would love to hear some Fe user comments on this... that Fe users who don't have an important Fi user relationship in their life will tend more in the direction that Z Buck McFate so aptly described above. In other words, Fe unchecked by Fi input is more want to go on Fe auto-pilot.

    (And, just to make sure it's clear to everyone who reads this, I am not trying to be critical of Fe or Fe users. I'm just trying to understand Fe better so I can be a better friend / attribute motive better to the Fe users in my life.)

    So back to my question / observation... it seems to me that some Fe users have a tendency to create a safe little world that's filled with other Fe users; and in which no one challenges the Fe assumptions all the people in this little world share among themselves. I can get along famously with such Fe users UNTIL my Fi has the audacity to challenge some of the Fe core assumptions going on. And, boy howdy... when I do... I am cast in one of a very predictable set of roles:
    • She's well-intentioned but misguided. Poor thing!
    • She's crazy so it's best to ignore her.
    • She's misinformed and must be educated on the "right" response.
    • She's rude and stirring up trouble needlessly.

    I'll give you an example:

    I'm involved in a lot of committee / volunteer work. The mover and shaker set is a very finite / known set in my medium-sized city. Some of the Fe users that I interact with keep choosing the same people over and over and over and over for [insert committee role / nomination / performance / etc. here]. When I have suggested that perhaps we don't pick the known quantities and try to find some fresh talent for [insert committee role / nomination / performance / etc. here].... Well all hell breaks loose. I make the suggestion with the skill of an experienced politician... and yet, this particular set of the Fe-users (who are all friends in private life and run in the same social circle) are appalled that I would even hint at not supporting the known-quantity.

    This baffles me because these particular Fe-users seem to cling to their position beyond reason. The other day, I said exasperatedly to my Fi-user friend, "Jeez Louise. Those people are in serious need of some Fi. It feels to me like their Fe has been unchecked by any Fi for so long that they have forgotten that what seems normal to them is just their Fe assumptions... unchallenged for so long that they mistakenly believe them to be immutable truths. Yuck!"

    I'd love to hear thoughts on this... and how to reach an Fe user who is in this place.
    ENFP with kick*ss Te | 7w8 so | ♀

  6. #6
    Post-Humorously stalemate's Avatar
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    I have to say, Z Buck McFate's post really blew me away as well. I kept thinking about it this morning but I couldn't find which thread I had seen it in.

    It is really great for me to read that because I have trouble understanding introverted perception even as a concept.

  7. #7
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    I'm wondering if what I wrote isn't exactly what Orobas meant with her op. I know she brings up xNTPs in the op- which doesn’t especially apply to what I wrote, since they’re Pe dom/aux. I’ve been slowly catching up with reading that Fe/Fi antics thread, and some of the things said in that thread have triggered thoughts about xNFJs that seemed relevant to the op. I have noticed that xNFJs can sometimes cross over into the dark side- and start taking the first intuitive leap that pops into their head as some end-all truth, no matter how ridiculously off it is. I think all people are capable of projecting their own motivations and intentions, obviously, but xNFJs tend to do it with a special maddening NFJ panache.

    I was focusing on a sort of extreme, though. I think her op might have been more focused on run-of-the-mill occurrences.

    Under more general circumstances, I agree with what Fid wrote. I can’t help but instantly connect certain motivations/intentions to other’s behaviors/words- and if it isn’t available to find out from the person if my assumptions are correct, then I’ll just loosely categorize them according to my own assumptions. As far as positing motives and intentions- in lieu of the Fi tendency described to posit basic feelings- I’ll agree that this is something I (and many fellow Fe’ers) do. I think because it’s what I notice- which I assume is due to perception being directed inward, as I mentioned in previous post- but that doesn’t explain why NTPs would do it. It might have something to do with Ti, and instantly wondering ‘why?’ when noticing someone else’s behavior.

    I need the information I perceive from another person to make sense- so if the person tells me something that doesn’t seem plausible, I’ll weigh all the mental post-it notes I’ve made about the person since knowing them. If they’ve always been honest with me, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt; but, of course, I’ll also make a new post-it note about giving them the benefit of the doubt for an implausible claim. If the individual is someone I’m not familiar enough with to make such a call, then I remain on the fence about it until I’ve accrued enough experience of the person to know how much credit I can give their judgment.

    I’m always wholly aware that my own experience of the world isn’t the extent of everyone else’s experience, and that it’s entirely possible for someone else to have motivations/intentions that aren’t going to make sense to me. I also know that people, in general, aren’t always honest with others (or even themselves) when it comes to expressing motivations/intentions- and it’s often the case that people shape their motivations/intentions in such a way to get something from me they wouldn’t otherwise get (cooperation, resources, esteem/respect, whatever). I always take both of these precepts into account (as well as my previous experience of them) when evaluating whether or not to believe someone else when their explanation of their own motivation/intention doesn’t make sense to me.

    This^ last paragraph sort of addresses the extreme I mentioned- it’s like some Fe’ers don’t take into account that their own experience of the world isn’t so complete, and so they stick with ‘what makes sense’ according to their own experience of the world. I don’t know why this happens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post

    "You look sad, so you MUST be sad". This works on other Fi users-dom to inf-but is FAIL on Fe/Ti users and is also pretty offensive.

    ************************************************** ***********

    Symmetrically, Fe seems to presume to understand the motives of others around them.

    "You acted this way, thus you MUST have been thinking this"
    "You made a big public ordeal of the issue, thus you MUST be an attention whore."
    "You were being very friendly and sweet and laughing, thus you MUST have been intending to flirt"
    "You exhibit this behavior as an adult and it MUST because of the relationship with your mom as a child"

    I suspect this may work well on other Fe/Ti users, but is a total FAIL on Fi/Te users. Perhaps this is the Fe/Ti combo working together, I am uncertain.
    As for dealing with someone who ascribes motivations/intentions on my actions which I disagree with- it if happens regularly with that particular individual, then I tend to see it as a flaw with that individual’s judgment and only get wound up about it if it significantly inconveniences me (if their opinion of me effects my position at work or in some social arena). If it’s someone whose judgment I’ve grown to trust, then I’ll consider what they’re saying. Either way, once again, it only ‘works’ on me if it makes sense to me- if the motivation/intention template someone is trying to place on me doesn’t make as much sense to me as my own understanding of my motivation/intention, then I reject it. In the end, it’s just someone else’s opinion.

    It is interesting that I do find it a bit less grating than having someone try to posit some specific feeling in me that I’m pretty sure I’m not actually feeling- especially after I claim I’m not feeling. I’m not sure why that is- I guess the latter just doesn’t make much sense to me, and even seems oafish at times.


    @esoteric: I just noticed your post and have a response but I wanted to post this^ now.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

    5w4 sx/sp Johari / Nohari

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    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Esoteric Wench View Post
    Well all hell breaks loose. I make the suggestion with the skill of an experienced politician... and yet, this particular set of the Fe-users (who are all friends in private life and run in the same social circle) are appalled that I would even hint at not supporting the known-quantity.
    ...
    I'd love to hear thoughts on this... and how to reach an Fe user who is in this place.
    Campaign on your newbie's behalf on the grounds that you like her (him, whoever). Maintain that you and the newbie are (have become) friends, and you think she would be such an excellent addition to the group, and that it would be good to give the regulars a break from their long, hard service and let them serve more in an advisory capacity -- after all, it's good to train up new people, and this newbie would so appreciate the opportunity.

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    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stalemate View Post
    I have to say, Z Buck McFate's post really blew me away as well.
    +3. Makes so much sense.
    Great thread!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  10. #10
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Zbuck-it may be that the sort of like ENFPs have baby ESTJs inside of them due to tert Te and inf Si, the ENTPs have a baby ESFJ and the INTPs have a baby ISFJ. The things the NTPs say can be so very knee-jerk and very much embody the "mistaken universality of the individual's Fe" that I would suspect perhaps they are almost unaware that it is that more undeveloped FeSi combo that yields the resultant judgment? It just feels right to them and obvious, since it bubbles up from the inf/tert position? "Doesnt everybody do this?" sort of thoughts.

    I must admit I personally, was taken aback at how badly I can be influenced by NFJ critique, especially the first time I found myself on the receiving end. It was heartbreaking and at that moment was part of a game being played by another. It felt totally incorrect, yet everything I said kept getting twisted around and pointed back at me. Once I figured out the pattern-mostly by watching the NFJs at INTJf, it doesnt bother me anymore. I think because so much of Fi is authenticity-to be ascribed motives that are not mine is terrible painful if I like you and fairly offensive if I dont know you or am neutral towards you.

    I asked my entp about motives as well-She said very much what Fid and you are saying-that Fi and Te users will do something that seems to make no sense. She projects her Ti onto the situation (since the gut assumption/projection would be that everybody uses Ti) and then since it makes no sense tries to use Fe to identify a motive-which ends up incorrect. (I could have introduced error in what she was trying to convey) She said it was much more terryifing once she understood we just have NO Ti. She says we just DO things-meaning FPs and TJs across the board. She says this is very scary to her. Hehehe..

    I also second estoteric's experience-if I disagree with the universality of the Fe judgment or even point out that I personally differ....then I am broken or weird or unhealthy. I know myself very, very well and I work very hard to own my own shit, so to have someone pass judgment who does not know me, simply because I disagree..... Very often the discussion of an objective idea turns into a personal attack. If I wasnt so messed up, I wouldn't have had that idea??? seems to be the message.

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