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  1. #51
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, as far as silence, it can mean that it just needs invitation to express the negative, or it can be their way of trying to recalibrate when there is hurt. It can also mean that they are in a bad state emotionally. A Fe user that's doing okay will usually be kind of noisier than most Fi-ers about what is going on, but it's actually a good sign. A Fe user that's not doing so good will tend to talk less. That's when you should worry about them and start asking questions to find out where the problem lies.

  2. #52
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReflecttcelfeR View Post
    How do you react if someone tells you that the emotion you're feeling is irrational and you find they're right? Would you want them to alert you to this fact, or even still let you continue with it?
    I think you would want to be very careful and very, very tactful with making a point like this. Actually, considering the INFJ responses to this post so far, I'm inclined to say that you probably shouldn't ever call an Fe type's feelings "irrational". But Te and Ti types, on the other hand, it might work better with. I know that the xNTPs I'm friends with would find that comforting, regardless of how it was phrased, and it would make me feel better in some situations, and only when phrased correctly. But this would be more likely (and I dunno how other ESTJs or ENFPs or whoever would react to this):

    Reflect (trying to be helpful): Your emotions are irrational, right now. I don't know if you can go about this objectively.
    Me (angrily): I know that already! I wish I was being objective, but I can't be! What am I supposed to do about it???

    Also, it might come across as presumptuous? But again, it totally depends on the phrasing. And for the record, sometimes I comfort myself by reminding myself that I'm being irrational and talking my emotions down. So I relate.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lady X View Post
    it doesn't frustrate me really. i think i just misunderstand it. it comes off like here's the problem and i've thought it to death and it has no solution....
    YES. I used to get really upset to the point of crying when my INFJ mom vented at me, for that exact reason. Now, my coping mechanism when my INFJ friends (and mom) do that, is to make myself cynical and detached, and not trusting them entirely. I don't think that's a good way to go about things at all, but it's the only thing I've been able to think of to do. (If any INFJs here have better ideas, let me know )
    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    Thanks so much for the input and the different perspective, much appreciated. I found the above really interesting and it gives me hope. I guess from where I stand at least, the INFJ approach with a close friend (at least one where genuine trust exists – if the trust is somewhat in doubt, it is far more complex) is to be more direct than I otherwise would, but to preface it with lots (sometimes too much!!) of “I’m sorry if this hurts your feelings, but I need to be direct” or “I must warn you, you may not like all of this, but I really need to say it”, etc. Kind of tiptoeing around, maybe a bit too much But I do find that most people will be softened up and more ready to hear me out, particularly if they’re going to get a bit of a lecture, which I’m afraid does happen sometimes!
    Many of the INFJs in my life do this. And some of the ENFJs, too. When it's overly cautious of them, it's cute and funny, and when it's appropriate, it does lessen the impact. So it makes sense to me - better to be safe than sorry, right?
    Yeah, to be fair, the ENFP definitely wanted to lift my mood and let me know she was thinking of me. And she suggested some practical things we might want to do together when she’s in town later this year, which would be fun/uplifting. It wasn’t quite what I needed to hear just then. But I want to believe that the thought and the good motive were there.
    WANT to believe? Dude, believe 100%. That ENFP was doing EXACTLY what would have made her day and boosted her mood, even if it didn't suit your particular needs. In fact, that's just so incredibly Te/Fi that I want to be her friend, because I would have absolutely loved that

    Proof of what everyone's been saying all along, I suppose
    ~ 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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  3. #53
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    YES. I used to get really upset to the point of crying when my INFJ mom vented at me, for that exact reason. Now, my coping mechanism when my INFJ friends (and mom) do that, is to make myself cynical and detached, and not trusting them entirely. I don't think that's a good way to go about things at all, but it's the only thing I've been able to think of to do. (If any INFJs here have better ideas, let me know )

    I'm so sorry! I think we just really have no idea how it feels to you because people venting to us doesn't remotely invoke that kind of reaction. We can acknowledge the feelings as legitimate and very real and very distressing, but somehow still go about our own lives at the same time after we feel that we've done everything within our power to help. Even if I care about the other person a lot, I don't really merge feelings with them, other than in a sympathetic manner.

    We can feel that cynicism (kind of just that you think we're being whiners) when you adopt that approach, but I can see that if it is quite personally distressing how that might be hard to do much else.

    I expect you already know that nothing is expected from you other than a sympathetic ear and an expression that you are on their team somehow. It's a bonus if you are willing to ask questions (and I think it might be a relieve fro you because it gives you something concrete to do that actually really makes a difference.

    You know how you ruminate about ideas out loud? We ruminate about feelings out loud. Neither are the final product, but rather are the raw materials to start building from. If there are better things available to also use, we will adopt them if you make us aware of them. I'm sure it's quite frustrating that we don't adopt the solutions offered very easily.

    I guess I'd liken it to this - a contractor would find it most useful to be aware of any alternate materials out there that will solve some of the problems he regularly encounters or that he is experiencing with a particular project, but he does not want you to take over the building project itself. He also is not going to listen to any old person walk in off the street who knows nothing about construction make suggestions that he use a certain product. He wants to be sure that the person actually understands what the reoccurring problem is and has taken the time to look at it before he considers any solutions. If the contracter himself does not have that figured out, he may appreciate someone he trusts asking questions or commenting on what he sees to help narrow down where the problem lies and possible ways of addressing it.

    House cannot solve his cases without his team, and yet he doesn't often take their advice, nor does he need another doctor to definitively tell him what medication he should be prescribing. They somehow serve as a catalyst for his thought process. He can't do without them, and yet sometimes his energies are even taken up with showing them why they may be mistaken. Extremely frustrating, I'm sure!

    The only thing I can say is that the emotions being vented are extremely real and you truly are performing a valuable function that we don't trust just anyone to do. I try to keep in mind how Te users feel though and keep my venting to a minimum with them because they start to feel like I am the boy that cried wolf, or they suspect me of irrationality and incompetence at a time when I am struggling hardest to see myself in an accurate light. You probably are seeing an INFJ at one of their more vulnerable times and they need you to see it as that, rather than that this is revealing who they truly are or that they are just a hopeless case who is stubborn to boot.

    I do find that the less you do the devil's advocate thing, the less I try to prove why the situation is so dire. I run out of steam faster and shift my energies to focussing on the solution more quickly if I feel like you believe in me and you feel I wouldn't speak out about it unless some of my concerns were legitimate. Otherwise, I'm wading through the extra emotional muck created by now feeling fearful about how the people whose opinion I value most view me.

  4. #54
    Senior Member mochajava's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vasilisa View Post
    I'm in this crazy cult of people who believe that feelings are never wrong. Feelings, not behaviors or attitudes, not thoughts or reflexes, but the actual essential feelings a person has. They may be brought on by that which is unhealthy or irrational, but emotions remain, to each of us, our real and personal truth.

    So, if someone is concerned about me and the results of my feelings and tells me that my emotion is irrational, its probably going to sting. The idea of someone "letting" me continue feeling something sounds quite sinister. I like someone who cares to offer different perspectives, insight, their own particular feelings (which I don't want to invalidate either) and support with tact. By doing this, when they turn out to be right about how to best to handle situations, the value of their wisdom quickly becomes apparent to me. This is a way to help me transform what may be unhealthy or negative. Its a fundamental belief that I have that you can't help people if you don't accept that feelings are never wrong. This is how I operate to try to reach people.
    This is exactly right. Feelings don't have to be rational to be valid.

  5. #55
    Senior Member mochajava's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bamboo View Post
    True: the OP was directed more toward validating feelings first and moving from there. The second part of my post ("the cycle") was presented to show that I have familiarity and experience with the topic from which I am drawing my opinions. I understand that it is important to direct your comments toward other people in ways they will understand. But the person on the receiving end must adjust to the other person and their comments.

    It's frustrating to see useful or productive advice go to waste when the person on the receiving end seemingly refuses to process it because it didn't follow the format that they wanted. It's especially frustrating when there are claims that the person who is giving the advice is cast as preventing the other person from having their emotions - as if that having a different viewpoint means that the other person can't have theirs.

    Could this be explained or addressed?
    Sincere question: why is it so important to have your advice acknowledged and followed in a way that you can see it? Would it be okay if the advice was followed long after it was visible to you? Or perhaps not at all? I think, with feelings and INFJs, sometimes you just want insight and to understand a situation. The course-of-action/advice part will take care of itself on its own. That's how I work -- the "J" provides the practical solutions when I've worked through the emotions well enough to see clearly (possibly the cycle Bamboo mentioned)

  6. #56
    ReflecTcelfeR
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vasilisa View Post
    I'm in this crazy cult of people who believe that feelings are never wrong. Feelings, not behaviors or attitudes, not thoughts or reflexes, but the actual essential feelings a person has. They may be brought on by that which is unhealthy or irrational, but emotions remain, to each of us, our real and personal truth.

    So, if someone is concerned about me and the results of my feelings and tells me that my emotion is irrational, its probably going to sting. The idea of someone "letting" me continue feeling something sounds quite sinister. I like someone who cares to offer different perspectives, insight, their own particular feelings (which I don't want to invalidate either) and support with tact. By doing this, when they turn out to be right about how to best to handle situations, the value of their wisdom quickly becomes apparent to me. This is a way to help me transform what may be unhealthy or negative. Its a fundamental belief that I have that you can't help people if you don't accept that feelings are never wrong. This is how I operate to try to reach people.
    That is a part of independence and so I can see the importance of allowing yourself to feel what you feel. This brought up another question. Do you try to remove feelings that bring you pain? Or would that be a crime to rid yourself of the ability to feel those emotions? As humans we do our best to evade physically debilitating injuries, do you try to figure out how to cut those 'bad' feelings out of your life (That's just a different way to say the first question)?

  7. #57
    ReflecTcelfeR
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    I think you would want to be very careful and very, very tactful with making a point like this. Actually, considering the INFJ responses to this post so far, I'm inclined to say that you probably shouldn't ever call an Fe type's feelings "irrational". But Te and Ti types, on the other hand, it might work better with. I know that the xNTPs I'm friends with would find that comforting, regardless of how it was phrased, and it would make me feel better in some situations, and only when phrased correctly. But this would be more likely (and I dunno how other ESTJs or ENFPs or whoever would react to this):

    Reflect (trying to be helpful): Your emotions are irrational, right now. I don't know if you can go about this objectively.
    Me (angrily): I know that already! I wish I was being objective, but I can't be! What am I supposed to do about it???

    Also, it might come across as presumptuous? But again, it totally depends on the phrasing. And for the record, sometimes I comfort myself by reminding myself that I'm being irrational and talking my emotions down. So I relate.
    Hm, not to be combative, but it brought up the thought, that when this appears in real-life who is supposed to compromise? I understand both do, but which compromises more, or is it simply the one who isn't experiencing the feeling? That's always a big problem for me. Understanding when I should get off my horse and let them go with it, or tell them what I think because the cold truth is what's needed sometimes.

  8. #58
    Senior Member mochajava's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReflecttcelfeR View Post
    That is a part of independence and so I can see the importance of allowing yourself to feel what you feel. This brought up another question. Do you try to remove feelings that bring you pain? Or would that be a crime to rid yourself of the ability to feel those emotions? As humans we do our best to evade physically debilitating injuries, do you try to figure out how to cut those 'bad' feelings out of your life (That's just a different way to say the first question)?
    The same way you prevent physical injury by avoiding certain types of situations, or preparing with the right gear (helmets, learning the proper knots for rock climbing ropes, etc.) you can do the same thing emotionally. Some examples might be just prepping yourself that you're dealing with someone difficult, avoiding environments that don't agree with you and seeking ones you like better, etc. I like this parallel. I suppose that the "dealing with it once it happens" parallel is that once you're physically injured, you don't deny you're injured and sit at home. You take the appropriate action, whether that's a band-aid or a 911 call. Similarly with emotions, when you've got a big bad one, it's festering like a wound. You have to do the right treatment to it.

    Also - have you noticed how sick/injured people love sympathy, delivered correctly? Flowers, food, help with things around the house, words, empathy? I think that the same is true with emotions. People will (eventually) arrive at the right solution of what to do if you just ask them the right questions. Most people are pretty smart / resourceful about their lives, but seek to make sense of the world around them. And making sense of the world around you is a huge, messy process with tons of feelings in it (e.g., this forum!)

  9. #59
    Senior Member mochajava's Avatar
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    And just a piece of officiousness -- don't berate yourself for "irrational emotions" or other people for them. Sometimes there's a deeper lesson in there. And sometimes there isn't, but that strong feeling sure goes away faster if you don't tie it down with criticism! Let it go

  10. #60
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReflecttcelfeR View Post
    Hm, not to be combative, but it brought up the thought, that when this appears in real-life who is supposed to compromise? I understand both do, but which compromises more, or is it simply the one who isn't experiencing the feeling? That's always a big problem for me. Understanding when I should get off my horse and let them go with it, or tell them what I think because the cold truth is what's needed sometimes.
    Hmmm... Well, firstly, don't worry - you aren't being combative. Secondly, though - I don't think it's really a matter of "compromise". I mean, I guess it is, if you're thinking about it broadly, i.e. if you're thinking that both parties are trying to problem-solve, and make the best decision they can considering any possible disagreements. But if problem-solving and getting things accomplished is your goal, you have to wonder - what's going to be accomplished if you tell someone that they're being irrational? Keeping in mind that, from my experience, people aren't generally hyper-rational enough to respond to that by saying "Oh, I didn't realize that, I apologize, I'll put my emotions away and we'll deal with this logically". My approach would be getting to the root of their emotions, seeing what it is that offends them, and dealing with the cause of the emotions. Just like I said earlier in the thread, I see emotions as being a symptom, and (despite how inconvenient they are) they are not the REAL problem; they're a warning sign and shouldn't be dismissed until you figure out what's causing them.

    So I guess, to answer your question... in an ideal situation, both sides, regardless of emotion, would still care enough about getting the problem solved that they would be able to consider the causes of their emotions in the process of problem-solving. However, if the emotional party isn't wanting to back down - and keep in mind that I'm a Te type so my priorities are probably different from yours - then if you care about finding a solution, you'll be the one to compromise. Whatever needs to get done to find a solution, should get done.

    Hope that helped
    ~ 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?"



    ESTJ - LSE - ESTj (mbti/socionics)
    1w2/7w6/3w4 so/sx (enneagram)
    want to ask me something? go for it!

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