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  1. #11
    Senior Member Lightyear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    To my ear, compliments starting with the word “I” usually ring truer than compliments starting with the word “you.” For example, let’s say we dance a salsa together and you’re pleasantly surprised to find that I’m a good dancer. So you could compliment me two different ways: “You’re a great dancer!” vs. “I really enjoyed that dance!”

    Actually, nowadays I would be pleased by either compliment. But if I were a young, prickly Fi-dom, then I would probably be more pleased by the second compliment. The first one would almost make me want to argue: You’re judging me, and I really may not feel that I’m objectively a great dancer. But it’s hard to argue with the second statement: You’re just giving me a read-out on your feelings, and since they’re your feelings I really can’t argue with them. If I try to argue, you have every reason to argue back and explain at more length why you liked that dance. “No really! That was the best dance I’ve had all night! Can we dance another?”

    To sum up: Rather than you telling me something about me, I would rather hear you tell me something about you: Give me a read-out on how you experienced something that we did together. Then I’ll connect the dots and take credit for the experience to the extent that I contributed to it.

    It's a minor distinction. But if you use an "I" compliment, then you don't have to get defensive if the Fi-dom doesn't like it, because you're just giving her/him an honest read-out of your experience. Nothing wrong with that.
    I like that a lot. How about instead of saying: "You are beautiful." I say: "I think you are beautiful." Does that work, since you can't exactly argue with my perception of beauty? I know that's a bit general but am just wondering.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    I may not be Fi dom, i really love compliments! But I can sense when its forced or not. I think instead of saying something like "that drawing is really cool" you might want to say something like "the way you did this or that or mixed the colors is brilliant!" Throw in some details that show you are really looking and thinking about it, not being general.

    I don't think this is exclusive to INFP's, I notice that many other types really appreciate compliments with thought.

    Edit: One exception is if you are entirely in the moment. If someone is entireley in the moment, and a compliment just falls out without any pre meditated thought.. then i can tell its genuine and its just as good.
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  3. #13
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    I appreciate any compliment that is given sincerely and stems from a genuine desire to either express thoughts and feelings to me, or to simply try and help perk my day up.

    However, I notice that with Fe users (primarily Dom and Aux)... that there is then an expectation attached with a string onto these compliments like a balloon threatening to pop in my ear.

    Example:
    ENFJ friend: You're so awesome! Thanks for helping me out today!
    Me: *smile* You're welcome.
    ENFJ: No really! I couldn't have done today without you!!!!!!
    Me: *smile begins to fade* Ah, no problem, what are friends for!
    ENFJ: You're just such an awesome friend! I am so glad to have you!!!
    Me: *thinking to self, are we both speaking English right now?* Ok, got it... so... moving on...
    ENFJ: Can I just hug you? *hugs me while speaking*
    Me: Uh, yeah, hugs are nice.


    I guess with me some general guidelines would be:

    1- Keep it simple.
    2- Keep it relevent.
    3- Keep it short (if I want to hear more I will strongly hint at it).
    4- Keep it genuine.

    Step 5 - profit from a happy, affectionate INFP who will run out and start baking you cookies or something.

  4. #14
    Senior Member the state i am in's Avatar
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    ya know, i'm not an ifp and maybe they have a lot of particular sensitivities to deal with, but personally, the sense of a compliment just seems to work if the person can grasp your context somewhat. then it pretty much always works. their own level of interest and enthusiasm also provides not really just reinforcement but substance to the acceptance and personal connection that can come from such a shared valuation.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lightyear View Post
    I like that a lot. How about instead of saying: "You are beautiful." I say: "I think you are beautiful." Does that work, since you can't exactly argue with my perception of beauty? I know that's a bit general but am just wondering.
    Um, in this case I think the compliment doesn't work because it's too vague. To illustrate my point: If you turn it into an insult, I think the problem will be more obvious: You say to me, "I think you suck." I'm not really hurt by that, because I don't give you the right to judge me. It's the same with a vague compliment; it misses the mark because I'm not really sure you're really in a position to judge me and find me truly and objectively "beautiful." Frankly, it sounds like feel-good fluff.

    Compliments and insults both miss the mark when they're vague, and they hit the mark when they're specific.

    Try taking your compliments and rooting them in the actual experience you've had with that person. Try putting the word "because" on the end. Try saying to someone ""I think you are beautiful because..." and fill in the blank. Example: "I think you're beautiful because you were so generous and helped me with my homework." Or if you're talking about actual physical beauty: "I think you're beautiful because you always make an effort to look your best and you do it with good taste."

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Thanks for the practical advice, FineLine - this is something I haven't come across before and I think it will be useful to me. It's really hard when as a Fe aux, I really value compliments and knowing what other people appreciate about me. It's hard for me to keep from doing what seems natural to me as a pleasant thing and it is very genuine. It feels like a rejection of me when the person gets all prickly and I also hate to make them feel all awkward. This seems like a solution that could work well.
    It seems funny to me that INFJs would need to be tutored on these points, with their hypersensitivity to social cues. But maybe it goes to the heart of Fi vs. Fe or something. (Or maybe other types just don't care so much how an Fi-dom is affected by a compliment.) Anyway, glad I could help.

  6. #16
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post
    I appreciate any compliment that is given sincerely and stems from a genuine desire to either express thoughts and feelings to me, or to simply try and help perk my day up.

    However, I notice that with Fe users (primarily Dom and Aux)... that there is then an expectation attached with a string onto these compliments like a balloon threatening to pop in my ear.

    Example:
    ENFJ friend: You're so awesome! Thanks for helping me out today!
    Me: *smile* You're welcome.
    ENFJ: No really! I couldn't have done today without you!!!!!!
    Me: *smile begins to fade* Ah, no problem, what are friends for!
    ENFJ: You're just such an awesome friend! I am so glad to have you!!!
    Me: *thinking to self, are we both speaking English right now?* Ok, got it... so... moving on...
    ENFJ: Can I just hug you? *hugs me while speaking*
    Me: Uh, yeah, hugs are nice.


    I guess with me some general guidelines would be:

    1- Keep it simple.
    2- Keep it relevent.
    3- Keep it short (if I want to hear more I will strongly hint at it).
    4- Keep it genuine.

    Step 5 - profit from a happy, affectionate INFP who will run out and start baking you cookies or something.
    Fi just seems like such a different world. You people tend to be much less needful of other people's validation of yourself or your feelings, whereas Fe uses other people to mirror back who they are so they can make adjustments (or decide things are fine as is). Because it's an extraverted function, we truly can't do that alone.

    It's not that I expect someone to compliment me back when I compliment them. It's just that somehow the kind of conversation you describe is like putting yourself out there and declaring your love for someone and then them just saying, "Thanks" and turning away. It's not that you say I love you for an expression of their undying love, but rather that the response (to Fe) is the only way we get a good sense of the temperature. If we were to respond in the sort of manner you describe, we are refraining from saying something negative by saying nothing at all or very little or we feel terribly uncomfortable/distressed. Therefore, what sounds to you Saturn like your friend fishing for compliments, is just them looking for reassurance that it was okay with you for them to be that vulnerable. When you say very little back, it is perceived as us having messed up. By asking further, I would guess your friend is trying to figure out if that is truly the case or not and if so, where they went wrong by trying to get further response.

    This was an issue of contention with an ESTJ and I. If I ever stated something that I appreciated about him, he'd make a big joke of it, or just say smugly, "I know". I finally told him (after two years!) that I felt stupid for even expressing anything to him. Because I don't compliment or appreciate someone insincerely and because it takes some vulnerability, it felt like a rejection of me every time he said "I know" or made it into a joke. Similarly, there was NEVER any spontaneous expression of "I really like this about you" or "I like it when you do this for me", leaving me feeling unsure if I was even a necessary part of the relationship or not. He just said he'd let me know if something was wrong. To me, it is already too late by then. I want to know BEFORE I've failed, not after.

    I realize now that he just didn't know what to say back and that he also didn't have the need for mirroring back in that sense, as I did. Similarly, I missed that his Te statements of what he was going to do were actually requests for me to mirror back what I thought about it. Because I never voice anything until I'm pretty sure about what I think, I assumed he was the same. He thought it was obvious that he was looking for some feedback, while I thought he was just informing me of the course of action he had chosen.

    I think I could have avoided a lot of problems if I had understood some of these basic differences in our personalities before. On the other hand, I don't know if I could deal with not getting that kind of feedback on a regular basis, nor being allowed to give it.

  7. #17
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    @Fineline - I think sometimes INFJ Ni gets in the way and we miss the forest for the trees. Fi is also just a whole nother kettle of fish to me. I've learned a lot from you kind folks here, but it isn't intuitive to me.
    Likes lulabelle liked this post

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    @Fineline - I think sometimes INFJ Ni gets in the way and we miss the forest for the trees. Fi is also just a whole nother kettle of fish to me. I've learned a lot from you kind folks here, but it isn't intuitive to me.
    I understand. And I was kidding when I implied that INFJs should intuit this stuff--I deliberately put the smiley face there. Seriously, though, it goes to the credit of INFJs that you guys care enough to ask how you can compliment/communicate better with a given type.

    [Edit:] BTW, I was interested in what you said to Saturned about using compliments as a way of mirroring and taking the temperature of a relationship. That's of interest to me in understanding Fe better.

  9. #19
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Oh, I know - I didn't take it as some kind of criticism, but rather as a sort of compliment.

    Honestly, this has been the most help though I've found that I think I can work with. Most have said that doing something thoughtful (although only when it's wanted and doesn't seem intrusive, which I find hard to judge because it's kind of like bizarro world from how I do things) and preferably homemade is appreciated by Fi users. I'm not a cookie baker or a crafty person, although I am a good cook, but you can't cook for just anyone. You know?

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    [...]but you can't cook for just anyone. You know?
    Yeah, I'm trying to lose weight, myself. Personally, I would prefer a well-crafted compliment.

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