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  1. #11
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Sometimes for Fe-Ti, a fresh set of eyes on a situation will result in asking certain questions that we didn't consider or sometimes it points out places where we make assumptions that something is obvious and therefore can figure out what information that's important the third party in question may be missing to resolve a situation. Also because Fe tends to check it's reactions with others, even if it comes off as us saying something conclusive, we really are looking to see how other people react when we tell them something. From there, it helps us decide whether we are being reasonable or not. When the reaction seems dismissive, but the person has not asked any questions to clarify, we take it as one of these possibilities

    1) Our problems seem insignificant to the person we are telling them to and they are trivializing something that is causing us deep pain (especially if we don't easily talk about unresolved stuff in the first place)
    2) They think we are being whiny and therefore not worthy of time or thought being put into what is going on.
    3) They don't care as much as we thought they did, or suddenly the balance of our willingness to listen and care seems out of proportion with theirs.
    4) They don't feel that we have made enough "deposits" in the relationship to warrant the "withdrawal" of being negativity. We are too much for them.
    5) They have misunderstood who we are 99% of the time and are basing their reactions off of this one time when we can't hold things together. What's more they are not even interested in hearing "our side" of things to see why we would behave so uncharacteristically.

    I'm not saying that this is all reasonable, but I think it helps to explain why you end up getting such a surprisingly emotional reaction from Fe-Ti when all you were doing was trying to be supportive.

    I've found that I cannot make negative emotions disappear until I have either tempered them with other emotions or with context that puts the situation/behaviour in perspective or until I have processed what happened, what my part was in it, what I can do about it now, how I will prevent that from ever happening quite that way again. That requires a lot of narrowing down, considering things from several points of view, looking for patterns, and extrapolating future possibilities. Sometimes you want someone to bounce those things off of or get a second opinion.

    To a much lesser extent, I think people tend to do this kind of thing in small real life decisions. Kind of like deciding how much of something to buy and asking a friend, "What do you think? Should 3 of these do the trick?" If they aren't even interested in what you need the stuff for or why you would have any doubts about how much to get, it might just seem to them like you are neurotic, indecisive or they don't really care what you have in your pantry one way or the other. Usually they'll discuss those details and then either agree or say, "But what about this?" They may suggest another product, or they might think of circumstances that would change your decision about how much of something to get. To me, it's kind of the same thing here, just on a bigger scale. If someone said, "Well, do what you want", it just isn't helpful, nor is them deciding that 4 is the magic number, without knowing what you need the product for.

  2. #12
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I love my ENTJ uncle dearly and for some things, he is a great go to person. He is very good at handling people and has countless contacts, is very business savvy, and usually ends up making people feel good. At the same time, he is entirely uninterested in anything that hasn't been well proven, and he is allergic to anything negative. If there is a funeral or sickness or hard time in the family, he tends to stay away. His byword with everyone is "Positive and appreciative". While it is important to get into the habit of looking at the world that way, it is also impossible for me to feel close to someone that I cannot be vulnerable with and who never is vulnerable with me. Not all feelings are going to be positive and appreciative, and if they are undealt with, Fe-Ti tends to just fester away and get infected. For him, it seems to be a form of self-protectiveness and he doesn't dream that it feels as dismissive and insensitive as it does. I think it's also his way of dealing with problems that he cannot solve - you resolve them within yourself. Unfortunately, that is not something I am able to do without outside help, and so that kind of lack of closure is horribly frustrating and causes feelings of resentment and discombobulation.

    With the ESTJ, this was also a big issue. I found myself increasingly walling off parts of my life to him, simply because he seemed dismissive of things that were very important to me and I did not want to feel even more sad or frustrated. At the same time, I can't have a close relationship with someone if I cannot be honest and vulnerable with them and if they do not want to understand who I really am. I think he had some problems with insecurities himself which made vulnerability hard, but our fundamentally different approaches meant that we ended up inadvertantly hurting each other sometimes too.

    Understanding these issues better is helpful now, but I think it does come down to very different perspectives on the world. With Te doms, their Te is not especially tempered by Fi, so it probably increases that problem. I think people with Fi further up on their function list probably recognize the distress signals better and feel more comfort with them. They would like to respond to them sensitively if they knew what that was for the other person. They probably are not quite as uncomfortable with negativity from time to time (less helpless feeling themselves in those situations), but I think it still is very important to explain how your thought process works and what you need.

  3. #13
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    is it fiish to not really talk about things that bother you emotionally? i mean...i know i really don't but i don't know if it's fi ish...i think i only do if it's because i have to explain why i want or don't want to do something or if i'm trying to help someone deal with something they're going through...anyway like skylights said...it's a given that your emotions are valid...of course they are...but in our fill in the blanks sorta way we probably assume if you're talking with us about it...you need validation that you did the right thing...that there wasn't more you could do...because what we do..without meaning to apparently is build you up...make you feel better...we are trying to be supportive and loving...but doing it in the way we would appreciate if it were us...obviously that's all anybody does...we project and assume but it likely does not mean that we think your feelings are invalid.
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

  4. #14
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Any Fi users I have been close to tend to deal with their emotions quite internally. Even when a value is stepped on and they speak out, it doesn't seem to be so much to rouse other people into action that is beyond the Fi users personal realm of influence, but rather to express something important, almost for conscience sake or to be true to oneself (I mean, I don't know what it looks like internally, but from my perspective, that's what it is looks like they are doing). This seems really foreign to extroverted feeling which needs more outside input to be able to find resolution. I notice my INFP friend's biggest struggle with her problems is working through them within herself, but once that has been done, nothing in her outward world needs to change for her to feel closure. For me, I need information that helps make things make sense or a chance to resolve something with someone. With that kind of closure, I can quickly get over problems, even if the outcome wasn't ideal. Without it, it takes me a lot longer to work through and I have to let it get so old that the intensity of my feelings have subsided. This is especially true with people I have been close to or dated. Straightforward agreement of the issues and decision to part ways is fine. Unaccounted for or unexplained behaviour with no way to get further perspective or information is crippling to me.

  5. #15
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    I doubt it's type related. Actually, I'll tell you that's bullshit. And you should let me feel that. I say it a lot, I think. I'm not really big on quotes, but there was always one I liked from Jim Morrison.

    Friends can help each other. A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself - and especially to feel. Or, not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at the moment is fine with them. That's what real love amounts to - letting a person be what he really is.

  6. #16
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I think that ultimately, yes that's true, but for most people it takes awhile to get to that point. In the meantime, I think it's useful to understand where you might go off the rails with each other and that there is no bad intent.

  7. #17
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    I'm not ENFP, but my functions are the same and I relate a lot to the ENFP in the OP, so here we go. (So much to address! I'll do my best to organize my thoughts.)

    To the OP: Yes, I think it's type-related. Fidelia and I have had many conversations on the Ask an ESTJ thread (to which you can find a link in my signature ) that relate to Te vs. Fe comforting styles. And just like skylights said, I think the ENFP would be horrified if she knew that she came across to you as invalidating your feelings. Te folks are people too, and just like anyone else, we hate it when people appear to be trying to invalidate our feelings. (I've been in that exact situation. You're not alone.)

    You mentioned wanting "gentle suggestions" in the OP, and that's exactly what the ENFP was trying to give you. It's just that Te and Fi types don't really know how to sugarcoat it. We don't always know how to put empathetic language into our comforting words. Like LadyX's comment (which fidelia agreed with), our feelings, the stronger they are, the more we keep them inside - so, ironically, the more we empathize with a friend, or the more we worry or care about them, the less we will show it. I know it doesn't make sense, but think of it like this: the closer you get to someone, the less of a "mask" they will have with you. Which means: with a Te/Fi or Fi/Te friend, they'll stop wearing an Fe mask, presuming that you understand, since you're close friends now, that you won't take offense by the lack of Fe, and you'll know that they still care very deeply about you.

    But to be a little more on topic... here's the Te comfort style, summarized. (Sorry if this doesn't apply to ENFPs I hope it does. I don't know enough of you irl to know the difference.)

    A friend comes up to me and tells me about this terrible situation she was in. Just like fidelia said (sorry i keep repeating her! she's very thorough and very right), I want to comfort her the way I would want to be comforted - you know, the golden rule and all that. And the Te way of approaching a really frustrating problem is to want to fix it as soon as possible. Bad feelings are bad, and something to be avoided, so it's a self-protection mechanism: "I'm feeling terrible, and I want this terrible feeling to go away, so I'll find the source of the feeling and get rid of it." Therefore, I hear my friend's problem, and because I care, my first instinct is to want to help her deal with the issue - because, in my mind, that's what's most important. Superficial comforting and patting on the back can only get you so far; it's dealing with the symptom and not the problem. So, I start trying to gather information - "Did you try this? What was the response? How about this?" - etc. I can see how this would be very frustrating if you just wanted to be comforted in the traditional fashion, but for Te/Fi people (or at least, for me), we don't relate as well to venting, and we don't vent as often, and therefore we don't expect people to vent as much as they do.

    So, one thing that an INFJ I know has started doing with me (and with others), is prefacing her horror-stories with "I'm just venting here, and I'm not looking for advice, so just hear me out." And that works well with me And one thing that I, as a Te/Fi person, very much appreciate, is when the person who's venting ends the venting story with exactly what they plan to do to solve the problem. Maybe it's just that this was what I was trained to do, as the daughter of an INTP who is also very problem-solving oriented, but it always makes me feel better about the stories that people vent at me. Otherwise, I feel like they're completely stuck, and have no idea what to do, and are trying to look to their friends for help.

    In other words:
    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I think what they're doing is what it would take for themselves to feel better. They need to either be able to solve the problem, or minimize it in their own heads (it looks like) so that it is more manageable and no longer bothers them in the same way. They are trying to help you do that for yours. They assume you wouldn't voice the problem unless you need something outside of your own capability to provide, as that's how they tend to do things. Your venting is a call to action for them.
    ... yeah. Now for more detailed responding:
    Fe users are action/outcome-oriented and it feels to them like we're trying to impose a foreign solution without really understanding the nuances of what is going on.
    This makes me sad My first instinct is to say "But we're just working with the information you give us! It's not our fault that you don't give us complete information!"

    As a Te dom with TONS AND FRIGGIN TONS of INFJ friends (seriously, you have no idea), that's always been my biggest communication issue with them. They'll tell me about a problem, and they'll tell the minimum amount of information at the beginning (even if they were looking for advice, for the record), so we get interactions like this:
    Them: (insert story here)
    Me: Sounds rough. You should try this.
    Them: I already did - didn't work.
    Me: How about this other thing?
    Them: Nope, didn't work. This is such a horrible situation.
    Me: (now wanting to help them even more because they don't come across as having any sort of battle plan) Well how about this or this or maybe this other thing??
    Them: None of those would work, because of this really huge thing that I didn't tell you about before.
    Me (internally): God, you're making it hard for me to help you!


    Anyhoo, the point of that anecdote was to show you that those differences are common, and it's not really the fault of either one. All that you need is mutual understanding of differences/etc, and there won't be a communication problem anymore. Or at least, the problem will be minimized.
    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    it is a bit draining though, after a while, to listen to a lot of negative things without apparent solutions. i guess this is probably a Fi symptom... i get fidgety and frustrated.
    Yes. Exactly. Very well put.
    I remember a time when I was maybe eleven or twelve, and my mom (INFJ) was venting to me about her job, and I asked her (in a very genuine and worried fashion) why she continued in her job when she obviously hated it so much. My mom was shocked, and told me (as if she thought it was obvious) that she really loved her job, more than almost anything in the world, but that she just didn't talk to me about the good things. Ah, type differences from a young age.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    When the reaction seems dismissive, but the person has not asked any questions to clarify, we take it as one of these possibilities

    1) Our problems seem insignificant to the person we are telling them to and they are trivializing something that is causing us deep pain (especially if we don't easily talk about unresolved stuff in the first place)
    2) They think we are being whiny and therefore not worthy of time or thought being put into what is going on.
    3) They don't care as much as we thought they did, or suddenly the balance of our willingness to listen and care seems out of proportion with theirs.
    4) They don't feel that we have made enough "deposits" in the relationship to warrant the "withdrawal" of being negativity. We are too much for them.
    5) They have misunderstood who we are 99% of the time and are basing their reactions off of this one time when we can't hold things together. What's more they are not even interested in hearing "our side" of things to see why we would behave so uncharacteristically.
    This is also very sad. What would be the best thing for a Te type to do, to combat this? Should we just stop assuming that you'll tell us all the information up front? (That's always my problem; again, an issue because I usually try to be very in depth when I need problem solving help.) Should we ask you tons and tons of questions?
    I've found that I cannot make negative emotions disappear until I have either tempered them with other emotions or with context that puts the situation/behaviour in perspective or until I have processed what happened, what my part was in it, what I can do about it now, how I will prevent that from ever happening quite that way again. That requires a lot of narrowing down, considering things from several points of view, looking for patterns, and extrapolating future possibilities. Sometimes you want someone to bounce those things off of or get a second opinion.
    And this is what we're good at! And there's another thing that will make it easier for Te/Fi types to get the message - if you make it clear when you're asking for a second opinion.

    Also, since I'm being such a Te voice right now, I might as well add that, on the opposite side of the venting miscommunication - as the Fe type is leaving the interchange feeling like they've been invalidated, sometimes the Te type will leave that same interchange feeling like they've been used. I find myself in those situations surprisingly often, where I'm oblivious to the fact that people are venting at me, and I spend all this time trying to help them, only for the person to figure out a solution on their own and then leave without acknowledging all of the energy I put into trying to be helpful and supportive. I'll end up feeling like I've been picked up, used as a sounding board, and thrown away without any acknowledgment.

    But yeah - hope that helped a little I'm sorry you had that experience; it sucks, and I know from frequently being on the other side.
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



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  8. #18
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    i agree with pretty much everything you said, EJCC, i think that's all very true for ENFPs too.

    and our Te, because not so refined and mature, could come off as kind of blunt and stupid, so that's a consideration too, lol...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lady X
    because what we do..without meaning to apparently is build you up...make you feel better...we are trying to be supportive and loving...but doing it in the way we would appreciate if it were us...obviously that's all anybody does...we project and assume but it likely does not mean that we think your feelings are invalid.


    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC
    Like LadyX's comment (which fidelia agreed with), our feelings, the stronger they are, the more we keep them inside - so, ironically, the more we empathize with a friend, or the more we worry or care about them, the less we will show it. I know it doesn't make sense, but think of it like this: the closer you get to someone, the less of a "mask" they will have with you.
    exactly... i think the feeling sort of is, the closer we are, the less i need to be so careful and proper around you, and the more we can simply feel together. you will know that i am thinking about you, because i'll spend all day feeling your feelings and coming up with solutions to try to help you. i'll try to lift you out of your mood, not echo it, because if i echo it, that will just make two sad friends!

    i think maybe using some more Fi and less Te could have been a solution for the ENFP in this case, but my concern would be that the Fi user would end up introverting Feeling too much, and getting hurt themselves... you know how FJs use Fe to protect their inner selves? perhaps Fi users utilize Te in a similar way... if we dwell on the Feeling too much, we would introvert it more and more and just ending up being so hurt inside that we could not help the other person... but if we use Te to help us run along a logical path and aim for solutions, we don't end up getting mired in counterproductivity.

    and well hey, maybe that's why it seems like wallowing/ruminating to ENFPs and ESTJs when it's healing to FJs. because if we were going to do that, we would just keep introverting Feeling, and we would eventually totally shut down... it's why we feel drained at the end of exchanges like this... but a Fe user doesn't.

    Which means: with a Te/Fi or Fi/Te friend, they'll stop wearing an Fe mask, presuming that you understand, since you're close friends now, that you won't take offense by the lack of Fe, and you'll know that they still care very deeply about you.
    yeah. we adapt to Fe because it's social currency, but when we are together and close, it feels to a Fi user like there's not a need for interpersonal protocol anymore. i know i've voiced this in other places, sorry if it seems repetitive, but one-on-one Fe interactions always make me feel like i'm dancing... i have to move the right ways at the right times if i want to keep going and not bump into anyone... it can be beautiful and fascinating but sometimes i just wish the walls would go ahead and drop, and there wouldn't be any "space" between us anymore...

    This makes me sad My first instinct is to say "But we're just working with the information you give us! It's not our fault that you don't give us complete information!"
    yeah, same here.

    i think there's kind of an assumption that the person is going to tell us the full story as much as they can, not expect us to question them for more details along the way. i understand that this is how Fe-Ti communication works, but it really confuses me. i've been practicing and getting better at this, but i still i get all befuddled trying to come up with the right questions to ask. i'm not sure how i'm supposed to know which parts don't have enough information...?

    sometimes the Te type will leave that same interchange feeling like they've been used. [...] I'll end up feeling like I've been picked up, used as a sounding board, and thrown away without any acknowledgment.
    yeah. it's a big emotional energy drain to deal with this kind of stuff. and i'm more than happy and very willing to do it for a friend, but it would be really really helpful if there's some preface as to what part in the process i'm supposed to play, so i can put some Fi/Te blinders on and not throw my whole self into it when that's not going to be helpful anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia
    1) Our problems seem insignificant to the person we are telling them to and they are trivializing something that is causing us deep pain (especially if we don't easily talk about unresolved stuff in the first place)
    2) They think we are being whiny and therefore not worthy of time or thought being put into what is going on.
    3) They don't care as much as we thought they did, or suddenly the balance of our willingness to listen and care seems out of proportion with theirs.
    4) They don't feel that we have made enough "deposits" in the relationship to warrant the "withdrawal" of being negativity. We are too much for them.
    5) They have misunderstood who we are 99% of the time and are basing their reactions off of this one time when we can't hold things together. What's more they are not even interested in hearing "our side" of things to see why we would behave so uncharacteristically.
    thank you, fidelia, this is very illuminating. i have the same response to this as EJCC... so what can we do to help prevent these feelings for you guys? ask lots of questions - i think it would be very helpful if you or anyone could point towards the right kind of questions to be asking, because i get kind of stuck there. it's very strange, a cognitive impasse sort of... i'm even feeling it here, i think this is all very interesting but i'm not quite sure how to respond to get you to talk more about what you think is important. actually i think that's kind of why Fi users don't tend to ask questions, because the question is almost always the same - "what do you think is important, will you talk about that?"

    i feel like because ENFPs especially lead with quick-moving Ne and Te as opposed to deep-delving Ti or reflective Si or Ni, and boundary-effacing Fi as opposed to more mindful Fe, we tend to ride at the crest of the wave, expecting that others also want close, fast, forward and upward movement. perhaps it is part of our needed growth to learn to be more gentle, distant, steady, and still. which begs my other question - what is it that you guys - FJs, and probably to a lesser extent TPs - are doing when you're in this kind of a place? like what is going through your head? from the outside, what i hear is cyclic information being brought up again and again, but i know there must be a kind of progress that is going on in there, otherwise the process wouldn't be worth it...

    anyway, like i alluded to before, i'm going through all of this with my NFJ friend who is at a stressful point in her life right now, and this is really a great discussion to have for me, because i'm learning why some of our interactions are feeling so weird, and i think kind of dissatisfactory for both of us. it's excellent to be learning more so that we can figure out how to work together best

  9. #19
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    true yeah...the closer we are the more unnecessary it feels to verbalize that we empathize with you...it's like the emotional part is just understood...i feel for you. you know that now lets figure out how to fix it.
    There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first.
    -Jim Morrison

  10. #20
    Emerging Tallulah's Avatar
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    These are the times when the Fe user needs to hear that emotional support, though. It's a very confusing time, and those emotions and the situation need to be figured out before they can be dismissed. A Fe user might know that a guy is bad for her or not worth her time, but she has to reconcile that with the fact that she does feel something for him; it might not even make sense to her, but she has to work through it. Sometimes several times, IME, just to really get a clear read on the situation. She's working towards a solution, but a solution presented too soon makes her feel like she shouldn't have those feelings to begin with, and is just being silly or foolish. Which delays the process of getting over it. She might have to mourn the idea of his potential, rather than who he actually was, which isn't a straightforward thing to come to terms with. She has to figure out whether she was lying to herself to make it work. Etc., etc. Emotional support helps here, as does helping her to confirm an accurate read of the situation, and confirming to her that she did all she could do to make it work on her end.

    At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I do think it's easiest to do this stuff with folks who process things in a similar way. It's just easier not to have to bridge communication gaps on top of working through the problem at hand.
    Something Witty

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