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  1. #91
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    I haven't read all the posts so my comments may be redundant but this is how this Fi user would react to such a situation (read: no offence intended to ISTPs or Fe-users in general):

    Regardless of the ISTPs intentions, I must say there a few things I find more infuriating than conversations such as that (and I do have them regularly with my ISFJ mother). Its just full of my least favourite conversational elements: circular arguments, character assassination, self-righteousness, judgementalism, guilt trips, presumptiveness, playing the martyr and strawman arguments - these offend my Te as much as my Fi. Orobas, I really identify with your thought process and I doubt I would have remained as tactful as you did. It bothers me so much to see people punished over and over for mistakes (many of them probably unintentional) they are attempting to change and overcome them.

    In fact, it seems to have rather irritated me just by reading it...

    I think I would have actually preferred to hear the ISTP say outright (and here, I will channel my ESTJ sister): "I know its terrible to say but that woman and her children really disgust and irritate me. Yes, they've been through all these terrible troubles but can't she get her sh*t together and feed, clothe and take care of her kids properly. I can't wait till they leave." At least then she's acknowledging that she's being bitchy and unreasonable rather than trying to justify the harsh criticism through BS arguments.
    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

  2. #92
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    accurate. and the opposite can be aggravating, obviously. why bother to act on something you don't believe in? what's the point? who can ever trust you if your actions are not always in line with your beliefs?
    It isn’t that the church woman didn’t believe in helping, it’s that she didn’t understand why the mother wasn’t acting in a way which would normally indicate (to the church woman’s perspective) gratitude, motivation and/or whatever else. The church woman is projecting her own intentions/motivations into the mother according to her own experience and the interpersonal dynamics she’s accustomed to. And really, I think the people who see her behavior as venomous and spiteful are projecting something too (according to your own experience and what it would take to make you personally behave that way):

    it's better to not help than make a show of helping while secretly spreading hateful speech.
    I don’t actually agree that someone shouldn’t help if they feel a trace of doubt in whether or not they should be helping. That’s really impractical. My only point is- playing devil’s advocate- it’s possible for the ‘help’ to cause more harm. The first part of the paragraph quoted (to which skylight's quote above is a response) states: that it is possible to do harm by 'helping', *if* the church woman wasn't hiding her criticism very well. We all do the best we can with what we know. This applies to the church woman as much as it applies to the mother. The mistake is to see observable behavior and make negative final judgments about what the other person’s motivations/intentions are.

    Now, since we’re only going off of a short story, there’s no way for us to possibly know what the church woman’s motivations/intentions are. There’s really no way of knowing- in this particular instance- if the ‘help’ is doing more harm because we don’t know how much has trickled down to the mother. It all depends on the need of the material help being given and the extent of the criticism trickling down. The people who can relate to her see her as just venting, working through what her impressions are aloud. The people who don’t relate to this need are assuming the motivations/intentions are venomous: “spreading hateful speech.” We’re all filling in blanks with our own experience.

    Something tells me that if we had access to a more thorough purview of all sides to this event, all the little details would add up in such a way that there would be far more agreement about what would be best. But since it’s vague, we’re filling in blanks and arguing our own purviews which are largely self created at this point. It's like two different extremes are being argued here as if we're all talking about the same thing.

    As always, sorry if this doesn’t make sense, I’m having a hard time articulating. It's just that this is something I've seen happen in threads before.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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  3. #93
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    It isn’t that the church woman didn’t believe in helping, it’s that she didn’t understand why the mother wasn’t acting in a way which would normally indicate (to the church woman’s perspective) gratitude, motivation and/or whatever else. The church woman is projecting her own intentions/motivations into the mother according to her own experience and the interpersonal dynamics she’s accustomed to.
    ...
    I don’t actually agree that someone shouldn’t help if they feel a trace of doubt in whether or not they should be helping. That’s really impractical. My only point is- playing devil’s advocate- it’s possible for the ‘help’ to cause more harm. The first part of the paragraph quoted (to which skylight's quote above is a response) states: that it is possible to do harm by 'helping', *if* the church woman wasn't hiding her criticism very well. We all do the best we can with what we know. This applies to the church woman as much as it applies to the mother. The mistake is to see observable behavior and make negative final judgments about what the other person’s motivations/intentions are.
    I agree that she probably did wish to help. There's plenty of times people do tasks they find unpleasant but endure them in order to contribute. Fi-users may do this too if their values tell them it is the right thing to do regardless of how they feel about it.

    Slightly OT: This (and what Tallulah said above) makes me think of Maimonides's 8 levels of charity, where different types of charity are ranked by how upright they are.

    -Investing in a poor person in a manner that they can become self-sufficient.
    -Giving to the poor without knowledge of the recipient and without allowing the recipient to know your identity.
    -Giving to the poor with knowledge of the recipient but without allowing the recipient to know your identity (anonymous giving).
    -Giving to the poor without knowledge of the recipient but allowing the recipient to know your identity.
    -Giving to the poor without or before being asked.
    -Giving to the poor after being asked.
    -Giving to the poor happily but inadequately.
    -Giving to the poor unwillingly.


    And really, I think the people who see her behavior as venomous and spiteful are projecting something too (according to your own experience and what it would take to make you personally behave that way):
    I'm sure she was just venting but I always find excessive criticism, especially when there is an reasonable explanation for the fault/mistake, to be very judgmental and lacking in the basic empathy needed to see the other side of the situation.

    My main issue (and this is probably central to the Fe/Fi divide over how to read her behaviour) is that she isn't indicating that she's merely having trouble with this woman. She's stating that the homeless woman's behaviour is objectively wrong and unjustifiable. Its an assumption that her view (ie. she's lazy and a bad mother) is an absolute truth when it is merely an opinion (based on things that can mostly be explained by miscommunication at that); ie. "The reason I'm annoyed is that she is difficult and backwards" instead of "The reason I'm annoyed is that I find her difficult and backwards". I read the former as spiteful because its not really about her annoyance at all, its an attack on the other woman.

    But then as you say, we can't speculate her real intentions. She may not have been effectively conveying what she wished to say. But I still don't blame Orobas for reading her words as I and others here have.
    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

  4. #94
    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    Yeah, this is why I think it's probably better for Fi-ers to talk to their Fi friends when upset, and Fe-ers talk to their Fe friends when upset. I can always tell when a friend is just venting and when they're really making a judgment call that could affect other people in a negative way. If someone wants to blow off some steam, I will listen and take it for what it is. I don't need them to tell me it's their opinion--I'll just take it as such. Usually, I'll ask a few questions to see if they really have an accurate picture of the situation, or if I have knowledge of the situation myself, I'll say, "Oh, that's not how I read the situation at all..." and then give them a different perspective. I have an Fe dom friend who tends to want to demonize certain people when she feels upset and powerless, and I have to pull her down from the ceiling, because she just goes into "off with their heads!" mode. I do think there are moments when someone realizes they're being unreasonable, but they are frustrated and need a place to let it out, and don't need anyone to tell them how unreasonable or unkind they're being.

    I do sort of think back and wonder now if I've had a bunch of Fi friends think I'm a horrible person when I've vented in their presence. I do know of one instance where that happened--where I was venting about a third party (and really, if I vent around you, it's kind of a compliment, because I consider you a friend), and she told a mutual friend later that I was just so angry, and she didn't know what I expected her to do about it, etc. And I wasn't really angry, just frustrated. And I didn't want her to do anything but listen. I learned very quickly not to vent around her. We never really moved past a superficial friendship--we couldn't seem to accurately read each other.
    Something Witty

  5. #95
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallulah View Post
    Yeah, this is why I think it's probably better for Fi-ers to talk to their Fi friends when upset, and Fe-ers talk to their Fe friends when upset. I can always tell when a friend is just venting and when they're really making a judgment call that could affect other people in a negative way. If someone wants to blow off some steam, I will listen and take it for what it is. I don't need them to tell me it's their opinion--I'll just take it as such. Usually, I'll ask a few questions to see if they really have an accurate picture of the situation, or if I have knowledge of the situation myself, I'll say, "Oh, that's not how I read the situation at all..." and then give them a different perspective. I have an Fe dom friend who tends to want to demonize certain people when she feels upset and powerless, and I have to pull her down from the ceiling, because she just goes into "off with their heads!" mode. I do think there are moments when someone realizes they're being unreasonable, but they are frustrated and need a place to let it out, and don't need anyone to tell them how unreasonable or unkind they're being.

    I do sort of think back and wonder now if I've had a bunch of Fi friends think I'm a horrible person when I've vented in their presence. I do know of one instance where that happened--where I was venting about a third party (and really, if I vent around you, it's kind of a compliment, because I consider you a friend), and she told a mutual friend later that I was just so angry, and she didn't know what I expected her to do about it, etc. And I wasn't really angry, just frustrated. And I didn't want her to do anything but listen. I learned very quickly not to vent around her. We never really moved past a superficial friendship--we couldn't seem to accurately read each other.
    Yes, I'm guilty of playing the devil's advocate too much when the venting sounds overly harsh to my ears. Its very hard for me to maintain sympathy (and empathy for that matter) for someone if I think they are being cruel.

    However, I'm like this with both Fi and Fe users.
    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

  6. #96
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate
    And really, I think the people who see her behavior as venomous and spiteful are projecting something too (according to your own experience and what it would take to make you personally behave that way):
    i see what you mean. and understand, that myself and other Fi users who have sympathized with the ISFP are relating to the ISFP because we're hearing a biased view of the story (no offense orobas, i just mean biased in the sense that any account is biased). if we were to talk to the ISTP herself, it probably would be different. we might see more of what was going on. all we have right now is the information we've been given.

    I don’t actually agree that someone shouldn’t help if they feel a trace of doubt in whether or not they should be helping.
    well, me neither, really. i mean, helping is never easy. even giving $2 to a guy on the street kind of sucks because there goes your two dollars. i'm just saying that it's better if her primary motivation is to willingly help. if it's not, maybe she should be helping in a different way, you know? one that's less likely to engender spite.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tallulah
    I have an Fe dom friend who tends to want to demonize certain people when she feels upset and powerless, and I have to pull her down from the ceiling, because she just goes into "off with their heads!" mode. I do think there are moments when someone realizes they're being unreasonable, but they are frustrated and need a place to let it out, and don't need anyone to tell them how unreasonable or unkind they're being.
    yeah. my best friend is a Fe dom, and our friendship was really essentially started by venting to one another, actually. we thought it was funny... our "complaining club". what i've found that i think was good for both of us, is that we both tend to overdramatize when we vent, and once we're done expressing that, we get down to the nitty gritty of figuring out what to do about the situation. maybe it's that my mom is ESFJ and so i am used to having a Fe dom to bounce things off of, but i actually prefer having a Fe friend to speak with because she offers me a new perspective on things. we get into the Fi/Fe differences sometimes, but it doesn't often turn into the shitshow it becomes so readily on the boards... instead it's like "hey well maybe if you look at it this way" "oh good point". but before that happens, we have this period of time where we're just totally ridiculous and exaggerate and complain. i think it helps clear out the Feeling-charged loads that build. as long as we both know we're doing that... then it's ok. i don't know if this is true for other Fs as well, but i find it interesting.

    a thought... it might also be that ISTP thought she had a different relationship with orobas than orobas thought she did. perhaps the ISTP thought she had a safe confidante in orobas, and did not realize that she was speaking to someone who might be looking more neutrally at the situation, instead of immediately giving her the benefit of the doubt. i know that i am a skeptic by nature and, except for with a few very close people, i have a very hard time suspending personal judgment...

    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross
    Yes, I'm guilty of playing the devil's advocate too much when the venting sounds overly harsh to my ears. Its very hard for me to maintain sympathy (and empathy for that matter) for someone if I think they are being cruel.

    However, I'm like this with both Fi and Fe users.
    me too.

    but anyway, if someone very close to me were to say things like that, my immediate response would probably be to side with them, because i know their values and trust them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross
    Maimonides' 8 levels of charity
    that's interesting.

  7. #97
    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    a thought... it might also be that ISTP thought she had a different relationship with orobas than orobas thought she did. perhaps the ISTP thought she had a safe confidante in orobas, and did not realize that she was speaking to someone who might be looking more neutrally at the situation, instead of immediately giving her the benefit of the doubt. i know that i am a skeptic by nature and, except for with a few very close people, i have a very hard time suspending personal judgment - but if someone very close to me were to say things like that, my immediate response would probably be to side with them, because i know their values and trust them.
    This could definitely be the case. When we vent to someone, there's usually an unspoken expectation that the person is "on our side," because we have some estimation of the relationship, and feel close enough to the person that we feel like they know where we're coming from. We don't have to say, "I know I'm being a real bitch right now, but I just have to vent..." because we feel like the other person knows we're not trying to be nasty, knows what kind of person we are. BUT if we feel that way about the person we're venting to, and they don't feel like they know us as well, or are as close to us as we think we are to them, it all goes off the rails. And can be really potentially damaging/embarrassing for the venter, because they wouldn't have opened their mouths if they didn't think the ventee would take it in the spirit in which it was intended. And therefore it becomes kind of obvious you'd misread the nature of the relationship.

    I know it would be deeply embarrassing for me to vent to a friend and find out later that they were horrified by what I'd said, and that it possibly changed how they saw me as a person. Especially if they used words like "cruel." Because I know I'm not a cruel person, and it would just indicate that they really, really didn't know me. I don't know if I'd be able to carry on a friendship in that kind of situation. Partly because I know they'd be thinking that about me, and partly because I'd be thinking, well, if you can't handle that, we're probably not going to relate well to each other.
    Something Witty

  8. #98
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tallulah View Post
    This could definitely be the case. When we vent to someone, there's usually an unspoken expectation that the person is "on our side," because we have some estimation of the relationship, and feel close enough to the person that we feel like they know where we're coming from. We don't have to say, "I know I'm being a real bitch right now, but I just have to vent..." because we feel like the other person knows we're not trying to be nasty, knows what kind of person we are. BUT if we feel that way about the person we're venting to, and they don't feel like they know us as well, or are as close to us as we think we are to them, it all goes off the rails. And can be really potentially damaging/embarrassing for the venter, because they wouldn't have opened their mouths if they didn't think the ventee would take it in the spirit in which it was intended. And therefore it becomes kind of obvious you'd misread the nature of the relationship.
    I have encountered this with my entp best friend. When she vents it can sound very mean and when I vent she says it sounds whiny and self centered. (We fight like an old married couple about this stuff.) Because I have spent so much time around the ISTP ex husband and ISTP MIL, I actually have a really high tolerance for Ti ranting typically-I know it sounds really mean but I also know it is venting. In this case it left me very torn though, due to the dissonance between the professed goal-helping the person, and the potential effect of the words-which seemed cruel towards the person. The Fe layers also REALLY hit me the wrong way as well. Ti can be heard as Te. But Ti/Fe well, that hits Fi.

    Once Fidelia got really upset at me about a post I made. Highlander pointed out "It wasnt what she said but how she said it that seems to have upset you". This ties into Athenian and Cascadeco's points about how the language may being altered during the venting to emphasize certain aspects due to the ISTPs feelings of unfair treatment. It is likely that I dont disagree or fault with her frustration or even her more objective observations of the family, but the way she innately packages and delivers the information liguistically and cognitively puts a spin on the information being conveyed, with the result being my sense of offense. However if this is her native and innate mode of communication it is unfair of me to fault her for that. I cannot expect her to think or respond or speak the way I would-thus her venting becomes exempt form my Fi judgments and she is no longer "cruel" but simply frustrated and trying to cope.

    Another insight provided in the thread-you guys really can feel internally one way, yet act externally a very different way towards a person in need. That is weird. Likely this was what was the most offensive aspect for me, not the ranting, but the split between professed goal of kindness towards another combined with harsh judgment of another. But again, if this is how your minds work, if this is how you guys function cognitively, I cant call that a moral failing, just because it isnt what I feel, even if it seems very odd to me.


    • I can learn to re-encode her commentary, seek the message and look past the way the words sound. I suppose we all do this naturally anyways to get along, but is it reasonable to expect that other types will do me and other Fi users the same favor? I note the INFJs try very hard...
    • Also The harshest things I think are typically the things I say (or type). Inside I often care deeply, but dont express this in words. I dont think mean things about people to be honest. (Not because I am jesu-like, but because it hurts me cognitively to be mean to others, thus via negative reinforcement, I dont do it.) Fe users often may behave in a very nice way towards another but seem to feel dislike or perhaps even contempt of the other person. I often note that Fe users will see my initial harsh or blunt statement-then assume there must be a much, much harsher judgment underneath. Is it reasonable to expect that others can learn to only hear what we say and not assume anything past that?


    I suppose the question is really-will I always have to be the one to bend? In the real world I expect so.

  9. #99
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    One last thing to note-often I see Fe users say they dont encounter any Fe-Fi issues in real life. Fi users then try and explain that the issues extend into real life.

    But note how few Fi judgments I verbalized in the OP. In my head I felt very offended, but I didnt speak up at all. If pushed very, very hard by an Fe user, I dont say anything but instead just walk away and avoid them. Very rarely would I speak up in return-it feels really rude to do so, as they have a right to feel what they feel...

    So I do wonder if perhaps these issues do extend into the real world-but the Fi users around you guys just dont say much about it??

  10. #100
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    I suppose the question is really-will I always have to be the one to bend? In the real world I expect so.
    I think if someone is uncomfortable with a situation, it's their responsibility to do something about it - whether that be "bending", asking for change, demanding, avoiding the situation, etc. Most people won't try to change their whole personality and ways of expression because someone else interprets it in a negative way (unless it's a serious problem).

    Thanks for explaining more, though. It puts things in more perspective.
    -end of thread-

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