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  1. #1
    Senior Member Uytuun's Avatar
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    Default the tyranny of the ideal aka help me out please NFPs

    So...lately I've noticed how strongly Fi "shoulds" determine my interpersonal relationsips, especially romantic situations. I can't seem to integrate them with the bits and pieces of "reality" that enter my line of sight. I'm stuck between intellectually and experientially realising that for example there are certain distinct differences between men and women (say that I'm confronted with a couple of my male friends commenting on the looks of an attractive female (without taking into account who she *is* as a whole) which invokes the "men are visual creatures" idea) and having no way of truly accepting that because I have such a strong Fi reaction to it and I feel that it just "shouldn't" be that way. This is just one example, but I notice that I react particularly strongly to Fe(Si)-flavoured gender stereotypes (ah yes, they are often everything I believe I'm not), they seem crude, cynical, merely pragmatic and just not thought through much in the same way that I assume Ti can despise Te. And can get TPs to turn away from society altogether. And I get the impression that I focus on these "breaches" of my Fi a lot.

    The problem is that I sense I'm missing something, I'm being too monolithical in my approach of these things, I'm not letting things breathe. Even with all that Fi swooshing around, I'm not actually being fair or honest or generous and nuanced in my approach of people here - not really giving the grey and messiness of "reality" a chance. How does one deal with reality when the irrational ideal weighs on you so heavily, with the feeling of disappointment, of not belonging in a world that seems interpresonally ruthless, of not getting and fitting (a certain subset of) the expectations of society? I don't get the impression I'm navigating this stuff productively or honestly (and I know in part because of the contrast with how my Te works in other areas. I see Ti users struggling in those areas and I know now how debilitating it can be, that sometimes it just feels like you "can't", you're blocked from the inside). Perhaps it's that even though I don't feel like I need to learn to accept these Fe/Si currents in society by default, I do feel like I need to at least be able to consider them in a more or less objective way. And whatever else is going on around me.

    I thought you (other (Fi) users welcome too of course) might have some ideas or stories to share.

  2. #2
    Junior Member sqnh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uytuun View Post
    Perhaps it's that even though I don't feel like I need to learn to accept these Fe/Si currents in society by default, I do feel like I need to at least be able to consider them in a more or less objective way.
    This sounds quite TJ of you, in my opinion. While an FP might realize they aren't being objective, at some point they tell themselves, well hell - emotions are both subjective and hardly able to be explained rationally much of the time, and we accept it for what it is. It does bother us when we don't jive with others because of it - but at a certain point we stop feeling like we need to be objective. So we might not be able to answer your question in the way you want.

    In other words, if you are asking us to help you understand how to be more objective about your emotions, you might be asking the wrong group. I think many of us really are idealists, and we don't deal so great with reality. Dealing with the harshness of reality is a real struggle for us. At least it is for me. We just have to grin and bear it most of the time, and realize if we cut out everything we don't want to deal with or like, than we will be alone for our entire lives. We decide how much we're willing to bear, and then try to smile and pick our battles carefully. We draw our lines in the sand and try to let people know what our lines are in hopes they won't cross them.

    I am an Fe, and I also strongly react to the notion that these men have introduced. Strongly. Over a lot of time and a lot of debate with the men I am closest to in my life, the only concession I am able to make is that I believe men and women genuinely have different life experiences. I mean I studied psych, I know the differences in male and female brains, and I still can only say - yes,men and women think differently, but it really is impossible to quantify and/or qualify "how".

    Assuming it is true that males are more visual than women (I actually wanted to measure pupil dilation differences between women and men in undergrad psych class), my boundary is that I will never be in a relationship with a man who thinks it's ok to check out other women in my presence. I find that disrespectful to me. I could care less about my male friends. I might judge them passively in my mind, but not so much that it would break our friendship.

  3. #3
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sqnh View Post
    This sounds quite TJ of you, in my opinion. While an FP might realize they aren't being objective, at some point they tell themselves, well hell - emotions are both subjective and hardly able to be explained rationally much of the time, and we accept it for what it is. It does bother us when we don't jive with others because of it - but at a certain point we stop feeling like we need to be objective. So we might not be able to answer your question in the way you want.
    I agree to accept irrationality of feelings. Instead of making perfect sense of them, just determine their main message & then toss the rest as noise. You can also redefine the emotion in a way that makes sense in that it becomes less about a mood, but pinpoints the value it stems from: "I'm not simply annoyed by others, I'm disappointed because my need is not being met." Now you have a reason to work with. Really funnel that reason down. "Society expects X to achieve Y, but I'm N. Why do I care about society & get frustrated with it? Because I need Y. The real frustration is that I don't have Y. I don't need to & probably cannot change society, so I need to figure out how to get Y in MY own way, which I can do." The frustration will ease as you figure out a way to work around the roadblock.

    To the OP, it seems you've already identified what's bugging you, but instead of turning a judgment outward & not doing anything (which is showing weak Te), create a viable solution that supports your personal needs (strong Te with healthy Fi support, and certainly Ni ingenuity).

    Quote Originally Posted by Uytuun View Post
    How does one deal with reality when the irrational ideal weighs on you so heavily, with the feeling of disappointment, of not belonging in a world that seems interpresonally ruthless, of not getting and fitting (a certain subset of) the expectations of society?
    What's funny about the tert/inferior functions is we often end up thinking in ways with them that irritate us to see in others. Strangely, it sounds like your annoyance with people making generalized, somewhat irrational rules or standards about things is leading you to make generalized, irrational rules & standards. You're defining the world one way, yourself another way, and insisting they cannot be harmonized.

    Those people (the Fe & Si ones aggravating you) need to try different perspectives, adjust their views according to specific contexts, and be open to many different ways of fulfilling a value. And this is what you need to do also. Ideals then become less rigid & less impossibly high when you shift contexts & meaning around until you make them workable in reality.

    Happily, both Ne & Ni are great for this. As a Fi-dom, I try & stay flexible in my ideals. I try & keep them as general concepts, but with no rule about how to meet them attached. That way, they are violated less, they are attainable in small ways that do bring satisfaction, and they don't leave me constantly disappointed.

    But I still have those feelings too. It's constant balancing act. Sometimes I just accept that having high standards means I must be more patient to fulfill my needs/wants, and sometimes I see it as a blessing as it weeds out a lot of crap others would accept. Ultimately, it spurs me to be creative, to look for hope, opportunity & fulfillment in places others might not see it.

    I'm not sure if I understood you fully & addressed the actual problem, but I hope it helps some.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Uytuun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    What's funny about the tert/inferior functions is we often end up thinking in ways with them that irritate us to see in others. Strangely, it sounds like your annoyance with people making generalized, somewhat irrational rules or standards about things is leading you to make generalized, irrational rules & standards. You're defining the world one way, yourself another way, and insisting they cannot be harmonized.
    Yes, exactly. I think there are a number of frustrations at work here (among which the not getting Y). But this one was what the second paragraph was about I think. I sense I'm doing this and it grates on certain other values I hold. I got the feeling of being stuck there and not being open to different perspectives or input. More than wanting to get an objective grasp on my emotions, I think I sensed a failure in my Fi apparatus to evoke what to me seems like "the wole of Fi" or healthy Fi (although healthy Fi and objectivity probably go hand in hand). Felt like I was harshly structuring a world that I perceived too harshly structured (compared to all the various ways in which the world *can* be seen) to begin with. It's traumatising to an INTJ! We're usually so nimble about "reality".

    You've been super helpful! Also in reminding me of things I know, but somehow was too overwhelmed to put into practice the past couple of days, such as the methods/mindsets below:

    I agree to accept irrationality of feelings. Instead of making perfect sense of them, just determine their main message & then toss the rest as noise. You can also redefine the emotion in a way that makes sense in that it becomes less about a mood, but pinpoints the value it stems from: "I'm not simply annoyed by others, I'm disappointed because my need is not being met." Now you have a reason to work with. Really funnel that reason down. "Society expects X to achieve Y, but I'm N. Why do I care about society & get frustrated with it? Because I need Y. The real frustration is that I don't have Y. I don't need to & probably cannot change society, so I need to figure out how to get Y in MY own way, which I can do."
    To the OP, it seems you've already identified what's bugging you, but instead of turning a judgment outward & not doing anything (which is showing weak Te), create a viable solution that supports your personal needs (strong Te with healthy Fi support, and certainly Ni ingenuity).
    Was wondering if you could give an example of how this works for you:

    I try & keep them as general concepts, but with no rule about how to meet them attached. That way, they are violated less, they are attainable in small ways that do bring satisfaction, and they don't leave me constantly disappointed.

  5. #5
    Filthy Apes! Kalach's Avatar
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    It's getting near the time when you change things rather than get changed by them?

    I was talking with an ENFP friend the other day and she was saying about teaching and story telling that the key is the right details. With the right scene or collection of facts you can have the central idea be present and be presented. I was struck by this because it seemed to me that I do the opposite: I'll seek out the big picture first and use it to dictate what details come next. (This is "opposite" because we were talking about presenting to others.)

    Mah point being... em... dunno. Construct the future, experience the result, alter the ideal? Accept that you are the boot stomping on the human face forever future and start ordering people about? Which is to say, accept the two sides of judgment: that it is restrictive yet necessary for movement?
    Bellison uncorked a flood of horrible profanity, which, translated, meant, "This is extremely unusual."

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  6. #6
    Senior Member BAJ's Avatar
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    I took the OP into a word processor and made it into tiny bits with lots of white space...trying to understand it. I'm still not sure.

    This is my own attempt is not meant to represent everyone or speak in a general way.

    I once had the occasion to involve myself with a group of guys who met outside of a mega bookstore at a mall. I stumbled upon this group because I knew some of the people, and I love mega bookstores.

    I felt good to be near this guys, since I admired a couple of them. Generally, I feel alienation or shame, so this group is like coming to the surface for social congress.

    They were talking about who they would date coming out of the parking lot.

    One girl coming up was dressed like a Princess of Fashion. She was like some geisha except her clothes were green.

    My friend said, "I can't afford that type. It takes about $400 per week just to feed them, and if they change styles you have to buy them a whole new wardrobe." Comments like that.

    I thought, "Wow, this guy knows his stuff. I just knew in general that I could afford to date her. But he took care of a similar girl, and knew specifics."

    I got a bunch of books on art, and I was finished sorting, so I drank my coffee and left.

    On another side, I had been watching a guy who apparently had tattooed his arms blue. I was watching him, wondering why. Eventually out came "Smurfette" who was also tattooed blue. I thought, "Ah ha! he's tattooed blue so he can date blue girls."

    I felt envy, alienation, and more shame...inside. Yet, I felt I was making sorties into progress since this was a regular group that met every week. I think they broke up after a few weeks meeting.

    Another time, I got involved with a group of INTP and INFPs. This was like the only group I hung out with who actually knew their MBTI types. They'd go out the gazebo at the monastery and smoke cigars.

    Again, I was isolated, alienated. I'm a misfit. They were discusssing all sorts of things, including relationships. They were discussing things like, "I don't think it's going to work out where I fuck this one."

    I was creating something of a disturbance in the group. They had sort of an INTP leader, and it was like I was trying to cleave him off as my private pet...gathering all his attention to myself by mysterious means. I don't even understand how it was happening, or what was happening or why.

    Yet, I had a falling out with that group.

    It was also VERY strange because I wanted to go behind the scenes and see the cloistered parts of the monastery...the FORBIDDEN parts. Everyone in that small group knew this.

    Well, it so happened that the next day one of the monks died, and everyone...all guests...staying at the monastery at that time were invited behind the scenes to dine with the cloistered monks.

    This group...in part jokingly...accused me of killing the monk to engineer all this to happen. I had not killed the monk, but I felt somewhat guilty anyway...since I'd wanted to go behind the scenes so bad.

    At the time, I was also completely and totally infatuated with some girl...I mean completely infatuated...in physical sense. I could not make it stop. You know those commercials...If you experience a...you know...for more than four hours....go see a doctor?

    In addition to this I was obsessed with the idea that my car was unsafe. Actually, I believe I may have two separate trips to the monastery confused, but at one I was worried about my car.

    In addition to this, I was exprimenting with mixing my food all together...like making a salad out of everything. Why? Because St. Francis of Assissi did similar in the Little Flowers.

    Of course, these are just small excerpts of general overlays on the stream of consciousness. If I did the whole, it would be a book.

    Edit: One of the monks spoke to us say about life: "Mile by mile, life's a trial...inch by inch, life's a cinch." Maybe...narrow your life to bitty inches. I have a tendancy or ability to do all kinds of mystical things. I can slice it to a 1/2 inch if I need to do it to deal with pain.

  7. #7
    Senior Member BAJ's Avatar
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    Hah, ha...my sausage just exploded in the microwave with a loud pop.

    I thought of a different way to answer you. I believe, in essence, that the universe is composed of small particles (that I call patiwan). You may call it quarks or kalapas or dust.

    I believe these drift and congeal into forms, but these forms have impermanence. In my case, there are perhaps monoliths or even ideals, but these are composed of aggregates of kalapas and patterns of electrons charges that are a temporary structure, which is in flux even in the microsecond.

    I observe this impermanence in the orgination and decay of thought forms and also physical forms. The general pattern of life is to attempt to gain permanence to such things in order to gratify the ego, and provide stability. A great deal of emotion is invested in this.

    I'm not immune to this nature. However, one can use the realization of impermance to mitigate the predominance of positive or negative feelings or thoughts.

    Indeed, no matter the strength of memes or the contribution to the physical structure, it is likely that everything we aggregated into a sense of pride will be recycled into dust and recongealed many times over in the next million years. Indeed, it is likely in 100 years that you will be in decay, and food for worms.

    Myself, I see much is in flux now. The kalapas dance with form, but in a transient way. It's like the heart sutra, which says something like: form is nothingness. I think what that means is that all is in flux.

    So I observe the kalapas in me in response to the aggregates I encounter. My soul is like a density of seeds tossled in the wind. I don't try to control it so much. The water in the waterfall falls.

    There is diaspora and recollection...diaspora and reconstitutions of selves. Who am I? What am I? I seek bliss in more and more complete internal diaspora. This an attempt to align with reality rather than a model. The emotions are allowed to flow.

  8. #8
    Senior Member BAJ's Avatar
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    So, continued, the ultimate diaspora is death, where we rejoin the star dust that made us as we decay and are made back into dust which is eventually consumed in the expansion of our star.

    Before this, while we are still alive, we have many small or large diasporas, which we experience as numerous small griefs. Then we process these until, we may or may not, reach some acceptance and cyclic process.

    I think there is a way to embrace the erosion and accretion of aggragates in real time without becoming fatalistic. It's a matter of perspective since small deaths will occur no matter what.

  9. #9
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    For me, the discovery of beauty in reality that didn't exist in my 'ideal Fi-world' was what caused me to re-examine my 'Fi-world' and add to it..in essence merging reality and ideology.

    For instance: yes, people are flawed, but in their flaws, they are also unique..beautiful. It's often those flaws and quirks that add character and make a person essentially who they are. Humans are exceptional in that they are flawed. They make mistakes. That is human in its own. But we also get up and learn from them. To fall again. And again. Till eventually, we get where we want to be. If people were perfect..much like in that ideal you uphold, the world would be static. And boring. And ironically, would lose meaning and beauty, and the reason for dividing right from wrong, the very things Fi holds dear and minds itself with.

    Reality, in its own paradoxal complexity, is more beautiful, complex and original than your ideal ever could be, as it requires to find solutions to its imperfections..which causes us to need to be ingenious while utterly flawed...each in their own way

    And the kicker is..you're part of that reality. You *are* human. And flawed. And a nuisance to others as well, as you try your best to be ingenius about navigating your imperfect person and that imperfect world. You yourself don't live up to your own standard. How could anyone else ever live up to it? And thank god they/you don't. You wouldn't be half as interesting
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Uytuun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kalach View Post
    It's getting near the time when you change things rather than get changed by them?
    Sounds good. I think I understand what you mean about the "presenting" bit...it's extraverted perceiving time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vala Faye View Post
    For me, the discovery of beauty in reality that didn't exist in my 'ideal Fi-world' was what caused me to re-examine my 'Fi-world' and add to it..in essence merging reality and ideology.

    For instance: yes, people are flawed, but in their flaws, they are also unique..beautiful. It's often those flaws and quirks that add character and make a person essentially who they are. Humans are exceptional in that they are flawed. They make mistakes. That is human in its own. But we also get up and learn from them. To fall again. And again. Till eventually, we get where we want to be. If people were perfect..much like in that ideal you uphold, the world would be static. And boring. And ironically, would lose meaning and beauty, and the reason for dividing right from wrong, the very things Fi holds dear and minds itself with.

    Reality, in its own paradoxal complexity, is more beautiful, complex and original than your ideal ever could be, as it requires to find solutions to its imperfections..which causes us to need to be ingenious while utterly flawed...each in their own way

    And the kicker is..you're part of that reality. You *are* human. And flawed. And a nuisance to others as well, as you try your best to be ingenius about navigating your imperfect person and that imperfect world. You yourself don't live up to your own standard. How could anyone else ever live up to it? And thank god they/you don't. You wouldn't be half as interesting
    :nods:

    I needed that post!

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