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  1. #1
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Default Fe(and maybe Te?) Question: Groups and your relationship to them

    So I encountered a situation in a facebook discussion which I have seen pop up from time to time in real life or in watching others.

    The specific convo was:

    Person 1-screw Obama!!!
    Person 2-That is uncivil and is an attack on our commander in chief and thus an attack on our soldiers, thus you dont care about our soldiers and I will let the soldiers I work with tommorrow know about your attitude.
    Person 1-Huh??

    Aside from Person 1 ranting and being obnoxious and uncouth, and putting aside the actual politics, I dont see a clear connection from how the comment on an individual (obama) relates back to a comment upon an entire organization (the US army). In my mind, and I assume the mind of person 1, each individual is an isolated entity worthy or praise or critique. A figurehead is not representative of a group.

    Another convo I once had with a close INFJ friend as I was leaving a job and starting a new job:

    INFJ: You know you owe all of your sucess to the company. They promoted you and gave you the chance to move upwards.

    (Odd as the company is incredibly disfunctional)

    Me: Actually I owe those opportunities to Bob, Sam and John. Each gave picked me at specific times in my career and gave me the chance to move into their groups and move upwards. Without each recognizing what I could offer and giving me freedom and resources to deliver, I would have gone nowhere.

    INFJ: Sure, but they wouldnt have their jobs without the company, so you owe your success to the company still.

    **************************************************

    Convos like this (and my seeming confusion at the rationale) make me think I am seeing this issues from a Ji perpsective perhaps and missing a Je aspect of the situation. I assumed Fe at first, given the two convos had a Fe-ish flavor to them, but this could be a Te thing as well.

    **********************************************

    Questions:

    How do you relate your own individuality to the groups you interact with?

    Do you ever seem to sacrifice individuality to the group?

    Do you take critique of the group as critique of yourself?

    Do you take critique of the figurehead as critique of yourself or others?

    Do you note individuals or groups as having a stronger effect upon your successes?

    (These are all pretty random, so please feel free to add your own thoughts, feelings or observations.)

    (Also, this isnt an Fe-bashing thread-At the moment, the above comments seem "irrational" to me, meaning I cannot see or understand the reasoning behind them. It doesnt mean they ARE irrational, thus I am hoping to gain insight on what I dont understand, in order to be certain that I can provide flexibility in my interactions with others, to make room for their worldviews that differ from mine)

    ************************************************** *****************
    EDIT-Another interesting scenario

    so another example:

    My friend and I worked on a very large project together. At the end of the project, I wanted to give awards to the top 5% team members- a few folks who had given up everything to make the project a go. The above and beyond folks.

    She felt, instead that a much larger percentage of folks should get awards-like 40% or so, and that was split into functional groups, like the QA group or the chemistry R&D group for heroic team effort.

    However another person, who was working on preparing the awards, ended up giving everyone-a full 183 people-an award and did not call out any specific individuals or groups.

    What would you have felt was the best way to reward a group of this sort? (No wrong answers at all ) (I'll also odd to the OP)

    (Also, I realize I am using typology as a handle of sorts, a label, but I am very much enjoying reading how responses are quite varied, thus I am not at all tied to a notion of typology at all, rather just exploring the inter-relationships for each individual)
    Last edited by sculpting; 01-09-2012 at 01:15 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member SubtleFighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post

    Person 1-screw Obama!!!
    Person 2-That is uncivil and is an attack on our commander in chief and thus an attack on our soldiers, thus you dont care about our soldiers and I will let the soldiers I work with tommorrow know about your attitude.
    Person 1-Huh??
    My gut reaction to this is that it most likely has more to do with Ni (or possibly Si) than Fe. There's some definite Fe going on there too, but this sounds like it's some kind of Ni 'insight' based on previous interactions with other people and the conclusions that this person has come to about them. I've had conversations in the past where the person will say something, and then I'll come out of nowhere and make these connections and leaps as to what I think is 'really' going on, and the person becomes (understandably) confused, lol. But what I'm doing is applying an Ni algorithm that I've formed over the years based on other people or based on this particular person to the current situation at hand. And since my normal way of conversation if I'm not thinking about it is to blurt out these conclusions rather than immediately going through the process of explaining my reasoning behind it, it can seem like I just pulled it out of my ass. (I'm working on this since it can really be confusing or plain offensive to others.) Of course, I can be horribly wrong, but sometimes I have something there

    That being said, I really don't understand the connection person 2 is making either. But my guess is that the person is either is showing the faults in his/her algorithm based on previous interactions with others, or that these conclusions are based on other interactions with person 1 that you're not aware of.

    And speaking of Fe in this example, I find it incredibly rude that this person would go around telling their co-workers these scandalous things based on only speculation.

    Your second example I agree that it's an example of an Fe-user looking through the lens of seeing the group as an entity rather than as individuals.


    (Also, this isnt an Fe-bashing thread-At the moment, the above comments seem "irrational" to me, meaning I cannot see or understand the reasoning behind them. It doesnt mean they ARE irrational, thus I am hoping to gain insight on what I dont understand, in order to be certain that I can provide flexibility in my interactions with others, to make room for their worldviews that differ from mine)
    That's awesome that you have this attitude

    I don't have time to answer the questions right now, but I will come back to them later.
    Last edited by SubtleFighter; 01-08-2012 at 11:30 PM. Reason: wording fail
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."--Ambrose Redmoon

    . . . metamorphosing . . .

  3. #3
    Senior Member SubtleFighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    Questions:

    How do you relate your own individuality to the groups you interact with?

    Do you ever seem to sacrifice individuality to the group?

    Do you take critique of the group as critique of yourself?

    Do you take critique of the figurehead as critique of yourself or others?

    Do you note individuals or groups as having a stronger effect upon your successes?

    (These are all pretty random, so please feel free to add your own thoughts, feelings or observations.)

    The way that Fe-users* see themselves and others is that I'm an entity, everyone else in the group are individual entities, the group itself is an entity, and there are subgroups within the major group that are entities as well. These are different perspectives to see groups of people from, and they're all valid. Fe has a tendency to reinforce a process of merging between people in a group, but not because it doesn't see people as individuals, but because they also see the group as an entity as well. This can be seen even on a basis between an Fe-user and one person they want to form a relationship with. This is actually something that I use to judge whether a person is an Fe or Fi-user--if they totally miss my cues in trying to "merge" as a two-person 'friendship entity' (this sounds really weird, but I'm trying to be consistent with the terms I'm using), then they're probably an Fi-user.

    I want to say this again in case anyone gets the idea that I'm saying Fe-users mostly see themselves as part of a group and not individuals: they see themselves as both individuals and parts of groups.

    So because of all this, Fe-users will tend to feel like if someone's talking about a group they're in, they're also talking about them. It's not as strong as if the person actually mentioned they themselves by name, but since someone talking about the group is talking about the 'group entity' that they belong to, they have some stake/involvement in it. For instance, I, up until very recently, used to belong to a religious group that gets a fair share of criticism thrown at it. At one workplace, people found out I was a member of this religion, and the questions became endless. Questions were fine, but eventually it turned into criticism. They weren't talking about me personally, in fact they said a couple times that I seemed to be one of the 'good ones' of the group who didn't do what they were talking about, but I still felt personally attacked by talking them bad about my religious group. Being part of that group was part of my identity.

    With sacrificing individuality for the group . . . this is tricky. Based on all my experiences around Fi-users, I think Fi-users would probably feel like what Fe-users do is a sacrifice of individuality, but I don't think Fe-users feel this way. At least, I don't. I feel like Fi-users will see even the "merging" that I was talking about before as sacrificing individuality since (from what I understand) they only see themselves as individual entities. But honestly, the idea of sacrificing my individuality really rubs against my value system. If I felt like I couldn't be an individual while being part of a group, that would be too much of a sacrifice. For instance, when I used to work in fast food places and retail stores, we'd have to wear matching uniforms, and I'd always have to find something that I could wear to make me stand out as unique, like a necklace or something. And I have to feel free to have a dissenting voice within the group and criticize it or else that also would be too much of a sacrifice.

    With the question of the figurehead, I think it would depend on if I thought the person was using the figurehead as a symbol for the entire group or if I thought they were only critiquing the individual. I would have no problem with them questioning the individual, but the entire group? Then I'd have a problem since I'm also a part of the group.

    With viewing individuals or group as having a stronger effect on my successes, it would depend on what perspective I'm looking through at the moment. I'm thinking about my academic successes and whether or not I'd be more likely to credit individual teachers or the institution itself. There are individual professors who have been awesome, and others who have not. And I don't like the way the place is run sometimes. But I could see myself saying it either way, naming the individual professors who helped me a lot, or saying that "______ University" has helped me a lot. It depends on whether I'm looking through the perspective of everyone being individuals or looking at the "group entity," which would include the individual professors, so I'd feel truthful in saying that the university itself helped me. As a further note, I'd only be likely to say the group/university helped me when talking to people outside of the group itself, whereas if I was talking to people inside the group, I'd be more likely to name individuals.



    *usual disclaimer that this is my experience and what I observe in other Fe-users and that there may be exceptions to this
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."--Ambrose Redmoon

    . . . metamorphosing . . .

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    A figurehead is not representative of a group.
    I'm going to nitpick you here, but you are confusing ideally with actually. I also don't think that is the source of conflict in this scenario. It is about people disagreeing on what group Obama is a figurehead of. Obviously Person 2 thinks Obama strictly represents military (action), which I disagree with. That sounds like the sort of reasoning that supports fascism, though Person 2 may not realize it.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  5. #5
    Senior Member SubtleFighter's Avatar
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    Other Fe-users, does what I wrote about Fe and groups resonate with your experience? I wrote it based on my own experience and how I see all the other Fe-users around me acting, but I'm really interested if it reflects everyone else's. Do you pretty much agree with it, disagree with it, or maybe mostly agree with it but some parts are different from how you think of it?
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."--Ambrose Redmoon

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  6. #6
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SubtleFighter View Post
    The way that Fe-users* see themselves and others is that I'm an entity, everyone else in the group are individual entities, the group itself is an entity, and there are subgroups within the major group that are entities as well. These are different perspectives to see groups of people from, and they're all valid. Fe has a tendency to reinforce a process of merging between people in a group, but not because it doesn't see people as individuals, but because they also see the group as an entity as well. This can be seen even on a basis between an Fe-user and one person they want to form a relationship with. This is actually something that I use to judge whether a person is an Fe or Fi-user--if they totally miss my cues in trying to "merge" as a two-person 'friendship entity' (this sounds really weird, but I'm trying to be consistent with the terms I'm using), then they're probably an Fi-user.

    I want to say this again in case anyone gets the idea that I'm saying Fe-users mostly see themselves as part of a group and not individuals: they see themselves as both individuals and parts of groups.
    This is really interesting. Great description/clarification.

    Answers to the questions:

    How do you relate your own individuality to the groups you interact with?

    I'm not sure I understand this question. I guess I have pretty strong individual perspectives but I don't voice them as strongly as I would prefer. I have a hard time if the values and culture of the group is not in alignment with my personal beliefs. I may like/accept 80% of it, but the 20% that rubs me the wrong way can be quite bothersome.

    Do you ever seem to sacrifice individuality to the group?

    Of course. You have to in order to fit in.

    Do you take critique of the group as critique of yourself?

    Yes because I'm part of that group.

    Do you take critique of the figurehead as critique of yourself or others?

    Figureheads are meaningless and so no - I perceive it as just critique of the one person.

    Do you note individuals or groups as having a stronger effect upon your successes?

    Absolutely individuals. No question. In the second example in the OP - I would have not even thought of the owing success to the company.

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  7. #7
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    ^ I don't know, but generally, if I feel I have to sacrifice my individuality to be part of a 'group', then I'm in the wrong group and I need to look elsewhere. But I also define my individuality/sense of self differently from many others, probably, and I'm not one who needs to externalize all of my thoughts and feelings wherever I am to feel like I am being myself. Part of being myself is being nuanced in when it is necessary to externalize certain things, and when it is not.

    I don't really relate to the supposed-Fe-ers in the OP.

    How do you relate your own individuality to the groups you interact with?
    If I can provide my skills and the group provides what I need out of it (say, a job and my needing the paycheck), and can be myself and interact well and relatively easily with everyone in the group, then that's a win. If I absolutely don't get along with the group or with the overall vibe of a place, then it's the wrong place for me and I need to find a new place/group.

    But sidenote: I don't associate myself with any groups, really, and don't think I have strong ties to any particular group. I usually/always find a group too 'extreme'/one-sided/tunnel-visioned in one way or another, and I am unable to devote myself wholly to any one group. It's too restrictive and I'm just not a group person. I'm pretty solitary / 1:1.

    Do you ever seem to sacrifice individuality to the group?
    I might be viewed as sacrificing individuality if I weigh another persons' choice/preference over mine due to the end result being what I agree with, but that very decision process is my being myself.

    Do you take critique of the group as critique of yourself?
    Don't know. I don't think so. It's fair and reasonable for anyone to critique a group - that's their right. Some of their critique might then apply to me, whereby they're unknowingly slighting me at the same time. I'll note that and might smile inwardly, and I'd then know more about the nature of our relationship and how they'd then feel about me. But what they say about the group might have little to do with where I stand/my own beliefs, so in that case I might agree with parts of what they say.

    I mean, my company. I'm thankful for the job, and overall the company seems to be a decent fit so far - as far as how those things go. But if someone wanted to critique my workplace? By all means, go at it. I could easily do it too, just as I could (and do) critique certain members of my team, certain upper management people, certain groups in the organization. An organization of the corporate sort - a large impersonal Thing - is far too nuanced for me to be offended or take personally any critique of a sole individual or team. There's too much variance within, and while corporations like to try to toot the 'we all have common values/purpose' horn, the reality is that that's not the case, and everyone is in there for a different reason, some finding their entire Life Purpose within the organization and their role in it (thus they'd be offended if the Figurehead was critiqued, as a critique of the Figurehead would be a critique of them), others not, and everyone in between. I think the same applies to any Group.

    Do you take critique of the figurehead as critique of yourself or others?
    This is very situational. Initially, my thought is no. But if 'figurehead' could be any 'leader' of any sort of group -- let's say, the extrovert who kind of holds a group of friends together and orchestrates a lot of the things all of the friends do -- then if someone critiqued my friend, then by association they might be critiquing aspects of me (again, they wouldn't know this), seeing as there's a reason I'm friends with the person. I don't really think I'd be offended or upset, but it's something I'd note and consider. But most 'figureheads' I could care less about; they don't extend to me. And there's often validity to any critique anyway - depending on how you look at things.

    Do you note individuals or groups as having a stronger effect upon your successes?
    sure, I note those who I respect moreso than others, and those who might impact my success more profoundly. And there are definitely those I view as more of a 'mentor' type and take their opinions very much into consideration. And a slew of others who I wouldn't weigh as strongly or at all.

    Mostly, though.. I don't think I get offended if people critique my 'group'. It's just a learning and I then know where they stand/what they think. They have that right to think what they think, and I will then adjust my concept of them / our relationship accordingly.
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  8. #8
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    How do you relate your own individuality to the groups you interact with?
    I have never felt connected to a group. I came close once when sitting at a concert with some fellow teachers from a school where I teach and felt like they were my peeps, but I feel alienated from groups 99+% of the time. I may be more to one extreme this way based on my experiences and socialization, but the only "belonging" I have ever felt is with a rare individual, animals, and in solitude in nature.

    Do you ever seem to sacrifice individuality to the group?
    Yes, for the requirements of interacting. I generally am slow to speak and take a lot of time to understand what is going on. I see groups as overwhelmingly complex systems of multiple, distorted perceptions colliding. When egos enter the picture my desire is to run away fast, but I make the effort to create diplomacy. I see interacting in groups as great diplomatic effort for which I do not always have the energy to expend.

    Do you take critique of the group as critique of yourself?
    No, but I try to evaluate if the critique is fair just as I would for an individual and if it isn't then that is a problem. Also there are different dynamics in critiquing a group - on the one hand it is easier to do it because it is not individual, so it may be prone to more exaggeration. I'm not sure.

    Do you take critique of the figurehead as critique of yourself or others?
    No, but I do feel loyalty to people I admire, but only within reason. I can usually see the strengths and weaknesses.

    Do you note individuals or groups as having a stronger effect upon your successes? I can see that groups are necessary for certain kinds of successes. I try to avoid the extreme individualism that takes personal credit for everything. Even if I don't feel emotionally connected to groups, I can see that everything I am or have achieved exists within systems that extend beyond me and to which I am beholden. My sources of personal strength and inspiration have only come from a few individuals who were both brilliantly gifted and reasoned, fair, and motivated to be helpful in the world.
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  9. #9
    From the Undertow CuriousFeeling's Avatar
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    Questions:

    How do you relate your own individuality to the groups you interact with?
    Sidelines observer of the conversation at hand, there may be some people I agree with, others not. I hold my own individual values of the topic being discussed, but tend not to voice it, until I notice inaccurate information being presented in the group interaction. I've often had a struggling point in the past with having my own individual ideas that wouldn't be readily accepted by a group I'm working with.

    Do you ever seem to sacrifice individuality to the group?
    Reluctantly I do at times. I hate to seem disagreeable. Even though I would love to pursue my individual visions, I have to compromise for the sake of getting the job done. There may be times someone else in the group may be more competent than I am in getting a job accomplished.

    Do you take critique of the group as critique of yourself?
    Depends on what group it is. If it's something I feel strongly for, then yes. Otherwise, no. I tend to feel it unfair when the group gets critiqued when I haven't done anything wrong.

    Do you take critique of the figurehead as critique of yourself or others?
    No, I take it as a critique of the figurehead.

    Do you note individuals or groups as having a stronger effect upon your successes?
    Depends on the project at hand. Some projects requiring group effort, obviously the credit goes to the group, no individual is greater than the whole. Regarding successes as a result of family support, the credit goes to them to helping me along the way. But ultimately it is the individual responsibility to execute such suggestions that the group or individuals suggest.
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  10. #10
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    How do you relate your own individuality to the groups you interact with?

    There have only been fleeting moments here and there where I’ve even begun to understand what it felt like to be ‘part’ of a group.

    Do you ever seem to sacrifice individuality to the group?

    I suppose I do- for the sake of getting along- but the extent to which I feel like I’m sacrificing individuality is directly proportional to the extent which I feel smothered and compelled to have as little to do with the group as possible/ to physically separate myself whenever possible.

    Do you take critique of the group as critique of yourself?

    It depends on whether or not I’ve contributed much of my own elbow grease towards the specific group. For example- if someone were to critique a project I was heavily involved in, then I’d assume the critique applied to me, at least in part…..but then I’d probably seek more specific feedback about how much actually applied to me. Really I don’t feel like an essential enough part of any group to feel like its critique would apply indubitably to me, but I always tend to entertain the possibility that it might for the sake of self-awareness.

    Do you take critique of the figurehead as critique of yourself or others?

    Eh, I suppose I might. If someone has espoused ideals which coincide with my own, I might feel like the ideals are being critiqued (i.e. hearing “[this figurehead] is stupid” might register, in my head, as “your ideals are stupid”). But that’s only if that figurehead represents ideas that resonate strongly with me. And it’s quickly cleared up if the critique specifically mentions some detail that I don’t particularly agree with myself.

    Do you note individuals or groups as having a stronger effect upon your successes?

    Definitely individuals. Unless it was because their judgment was influenced by some kind of group think, then I might perceive it as being the ‘group’ rather than the individual. But at that level, I’d describe it more as a social force which benefitted me (or was detrimental) than the actual ‘group’, since the specific individuals that make up the group are almost arbitrary.

    (These are all pretty random, so please feel free to add your own thoughts, feelings or observations.)

    I suspect this has more to do with instinct variant than it does mbti.

    Quote Originally Posted by SubtleFighter View Post
    With the question of the figurehead, I think it would depend on if I thought the person was using the figurehead as a symbol for the entire group or if I thought they were only critiquing the individual. I would have no problem with them questioning the individual, but the entire group? Then I'd have a problem since I'm also a part of the group.
    This might be saying something similar to what I was saying above- it really depends on the extent to which the critique is of some shared ideal vs. something about the individual which is incidental/concomitant to the shared ideal.
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