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  1. #1
    Senior Member sculpting's Avatar
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    Default Suggestive Fe communication: How to recognize?

    I LOVE Fe!! (No really, I do actually do adore you guys)

    (I am mostly Fe stupid/blind, so I dont understand what exactly you guys need-thus my endless questioning and inquiery. If someone can explain (ie tell me explicitly) what I need to so, then I can pretty easily adapt to other people's needs-otherwise I just stand around slack-jawed and hugglily going "huh?, why did you did you just do that? Hugs?" (Also, just by typing this out it sort of allows me to understand the situation a bit better)

    So the question for the day:

    Can you give hints to recognize what Fe requests to do things look like? For example I have been working with an ENTP guy and he kept noting that we would need to work together to finish a fairly minor, mundane task. But he didnt say when, where, how or why and didnt note that he had a deadline to meet.

    My brain took his "we'll need to work on this at some point" and translated it to "hey some day when you have a few months of free time and you arent doing anything important or even at all, maybe we might want to consider perhaps, thinking about mybe doing this things togeheter, but only if you want to..." and then placed the task at the very bottom of my list of things to do-because it didnt seem pressing or important. I suppose I look for either emotional intensity or very direct intenstity as a marker on communication to indicate importance from others...thus I seem to be miscategorizing the more subtle Fe guiding..?

    Given I have very direct requests to "do A, B, C now by X deadline" from my FP and TJ collegues, it was very easy to miss that his less direct "suggestions" were actually a request to complete the task.

    Finally he was like "I just finished doing it all". When I thanked him, he was kinda entp sarcastic and have me the alligator eyes and then I felt bad as I realized I had dropped the ball.

    Can you guys give guidance on how I can recognize more subtle communication cues? How can I know what you want me to do, if you dont directly tell me what you want me to do?

    Normally I think if it isnt stated directly (as in crazy ass direct), my brain just treats it as suggestive, thus dismissable or optional, so it is my own perceptive mode I'd like to modify if possible. Often, after thinking about where situations went wrong for a few days I go "OHHHH, they wanted me to DO something, ah, no wonder that didnt go well, I totally ignored them." But I'd like to be able to pick up on the hints in the moment if possible.

  2. #2
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Hmm... If it was a work situation, and I needed to get someone to do something, or work with me on something, I would probably be quite direct. But excessively polite and thankful. "Er, Nancy, can I ask you to do x for me? Sorry about this, but I really need you to get it done for me by the end of the week. I really hope it's not a problem, but I definitely need it then. Sorry!"

    It actually seems to work quite well, so there you go.

    I think I have a harder time being direct in interpersonal relationships, with friends etc. I'm afraid that's where I'm more likely to want people to pick up hints or read my mind, though I think I am getting better at expressing my needs there, too.
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  3. #3
    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    Seems more like ENP flakiness than Fe-anything to me.



  4. #4
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    It probably looks like this:

    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fy3rjQGc6lA"].[/YOUTUBE]

    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

    A discussion is two people sharing their understanding, even when they disagree.

  5. #5
    Senior Member ExAstrisSpes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JocktheMotie View Post
    Seems more like ENP flakiness than Fe-anything to me.
    I agree with this assessment.

    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    It probably looks like this:

    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fy3rjQGc6lA"].[/YOUTUBE]

    Ha!

    And even as a strong Fe user, I often miss subtle cues (I "get" them much later, after the knowledge is not much use to me), especially in the dating realm. "What, you mean you were trying to ask me out? Why are you being so vague then? And you expect women to be direct?!?!?"

  6. #6
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I think if a Fe user expresses one of their needs to you, either work wise or personally, you can take that as something much more directive or urgent than a Fi user doing so. I've realized that with (at least my brand of) Fe, it tends to put feelers out there and extrapolate from there what to expect from the other person. If you seem disinterested or dismissive, the message may be misinterpreted as being much stronger disinterest than you may actually feel.

    For example, I'd be less likely to ask directly for a ride from someone if I didn't know them really well and didn't think I'd be inconveniencing them, even if I were really stuck. Instead I might say something about my circumstances. If they offer to help or seem open I'd pursue it, but if I find out that they have a busy day and it would be rather inconvenient, I wouldn't. I think the problem is that to me, it feels like I am being pretty obvious, but I understand now that to the other person, it may not be at all obvious and they wouldn't hear it as a non-awkward, easier to refuse for the other person way of requesting assistance.

    Because Fe users (at their best) tend to be thinking of how their part affects the other people around them, they are more likely to feel resentful if you don't naturally do that in return, and chalk it up to thoughtlessness, flakiness or selfishness, which I realize isn't fair. Hence the alligator eyes thing. They don't want to have to tell you what to do, but feel that they are treating you like an adult by expressing the need but leaving it up to you to figure out when and how.

    I shouldn't say that's true across the board though. I've found that ENFJs under stress tend to micro-manage or take other people's responsibilities onto their personal to do list (lots of nudges, then reminders and finally demands!). On the other hand, ENFJs also are very reluctant to explicity express their needs when it is something personal.

    INFJs are more likely to tell you what they need, as long as they feel that they can predict what the reaction will be. I think this is part of the reason why they are not as explicit as they should be with a work team of people - they have to get familiar with each individual and learn to predict their reaction, plus they need time to figure out the group dynamic. Until that happens, they are less likely to wade in and be very directive. On the other hand, they still have a mental deadline and way they want things done, and it's unfortunate that the less well they know/trust someone, the less likely they are to verbalize it! I don't know about other flavours of Fe.

    I find that I do pretty well with INTPs and ENTPs. I have less experience with the SJ and ST varieties of Fe.

    Oh yeah - I also realize that I tend to soften up commands with something like "When you have time, could you look into..." rather than saying, "I need a reply by such and such a time". "We need to work on this at some point" means "Please keep this on your radar. We've got to get it taken care of sometime soon". After some time of thinking about these issues, I think I have gotten a lot better in a business sense at being more direct and giving harder deadlines. Some of that came from living in a culture where things were habitually very late, unpredictable and lax, so if you wanted good results, you had to take the bull by the horns, set early deadlines and keep checking in with people.

    I recognize that I need to do the same in personal/social situations if it is something that matters a lot to me. I'm pretty good if it's someone I only know casually (relationship doesn't matter too much) or someone that I'm really close to (can let it all hang out a lot more without worries about damaging the relationship or annoying the other person), but not so much if it's someone I am friends with.

    One of the nice things about Fe is that if you actually solicit feedback, it does convey that you are interested and are showing consideration (which gives you lots of points) and I've found most NFJ and NTP types usually will tell you what they really think then. They generally are reluctant to offer something negative if you don't seem open, but if you ask, it can be a great way of diffusing their frustration before it builds and also getting useful feedback.

    I can't speak for other Fe-ers, but I really hate inconveniencing other people and usually would rather suck up the worst of it than upset people around me. At the same time, I am not a total go with the flow, see what happens person either. Those two are at odds and sometimes a lot of little incidents happen and resentment builds without me realizing that it is present, until it's a BIG DEAL. Then I feel embarrassed at getting upset or seeming unreasonable and try to stuff it back down. Unless the other person starts to notice there is an imbalance (which seems obvious to me, because I am hypersensitive to that if I'm the one being accommodated), then I find it hard to decide at what point I should express that we need to change things around. I find getting upset publicly very embarrassing, and yet sometimes if I don't pay attention to what's going on along the way, I can get surprised by the strength of my emotion when I don't expect it. As a result, I am learning to take on less and realize that I actually am creating more problems for other people by doing bending too much. I think the forum here has also helped me to understand how some conflict can be healthy and usually a bit of disagreement results in a better outcome ultimately. In practice, I am not that smooth at making it happen yet though, even if I understand the problem theoretically.

  7. #7
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    So the question for the day:

    Can you give hints to recognize what Fe requests to do things look like? For example I have been working with an ENTP guy and he kept noting that we would need to work together to finish a fairly minor, mundane task. But he didnt say when, where, how or why and didnt note that he had a deadline to meet.

    My brain took his "we'll need to work on this at some point" and translated it to "hey some day when you have a few months of free time and you arent doing anything important or even at all, maybe we might want to consider perhaps, thinking about mybe doing this things togeheter, but only if you want to..." and then placed the task at the very bottom of my list of things to do-because it didnt seem pressing or important. I suppose I look for either emotional intensity or very direct intenstity as a marker on communication to indicate importance from others...thus I seem to be miscategorizing the more subtle Fe guiding..?

    Given I have very direct requests to "do A, B, C now by X deadline" from my FP and TJ collegues, it was very easy to miss that his less direct "suggestions" were actually a request to complete the task.

    Finally he was like "I just finished doing it all". When I thanked him, he was kinda entp sarcastic and have me the alligator eyes and then I felt bad as I realized I had dropped the ball.

    Can you guys give guidance on how I can recognize more subtle communication cues? How can I know what you want me to do, if you dont directly tell me what you want me to do?

    Normally I think if it isnt stated directly (as in crazy ass direct), my brain just treats it as suggestive, thus dismissable or optional, so it is my own perceptive mode I'd like to modify if possible. Often, after thinking about where situations went wrong for a few days I go "OHHHH, they wanted me to DO something, ah, no wonder that didnt go well, I totally ignored them." But I'd like to be able to pick up on the hints in the moment if possible.
    Sorry I don't have any good suggestions. I am an Fe 'user' but Fe is in the inferior position for me so I have missed alot of the more subtle Fe hints that something should be done. As I've gotten older, I've missed less of these subtle hints just from experience and recognizing the Fe pattern of communication. I wonder if other IXTPs also have this problem.

    I do better with a more direct approach but I also don't like too direct as that just comes off as overly bossy and demanding. If something needs to be get done urgently, just say so but do it in a polite way.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member UniqueMixture's Avatar
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    I think ef types (which I see as having a lot of overlap in terms of communication style) tend to speak in terms of open questions, asking about feelings/experiences,and tend to listen well continuing the conversation based off of what the person just said. This is opposed to asking informational questions, yes/no questions, thinking about what you're going to say in response as the person is talking, and asking questions that provoke 1 word answers. Examples of the former:

    What are you passionate about?
    What makes you feel happy?
    What's the most special thing you've done in the last two weeks/over a holiday?

    The later:

    Where were you born?
    What do you do for work?
    How old are you?

    Usually exfx are the best at drawing others out into meaningful conversation so I tend to use that approach. (Except w intps lol)
    For all that we have done, as a civilization, as individuals, the universe is not stable, and nor is any single thing within it. Stars consume themselves, the universe itself rushes apart, and we ourselves are composed of matter in constant flux. Colonies of cells in temporary alliance, replicating and decaying and housed within, an incandescent cloud of electrical impulses. This is reality, this is self knowledge, and the perception of it will, of course, make you dizzy.

  9. #9
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    Lots of good points here. I just wanted to add that especially if I feel I've been a bit directive or demanding (fairly unusual for me), I will express a lot of appreciation. Hopefully not in an OTT way. I feel like I get the balance more or less right, but then some people get embarassed by lots of thanks and appreciation, so you never know...

    But to me this is all sort of "do to others what you would have them do to you," Golden Rule stuff. I feel hurt if I do a good job for someone or (especially) go out of my way for them and get little or no thanks. So I try to show appreciation in a way that I would like to get appreciation myself.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orobas View Post
    Can you give hints to recognize what Fe requests to do things look like? For example I have been working with an ENTP guy and he kept noting that we would need to work together to finish a fairly minor, mundane task. But he didnt say when, where, how or why and didnt note that he had a deadline to meet.

    My brain took his "we'll need to work on this at some point" and translated it to "hey some day when you have a few months of free time and you arent doing anything important or even at all, maybe we might want to consider perhaps, thinking about mybe doing this things togeheter, but only if you want to..." and then placed the task at the very bottom of my list of things to do-because it didnt seem pressing or important. I suppose I look for either emotional intensity or very direct intenstity as a marker on communication to indicate importance from others...thus I seem to be miscategorizing the more subtle Fe guiding..?
    Oh, man. If that guy was expecting you to do something soon, he should have told you. You're not necessarily the one who dropped the ball; he didn't communicate his expectations properly. He screwed up. As @fidelia hints, "we need to work on this at some point" pretty much means "keep this task in mind, as we should talk about this together soon; I'll take the lead on it."

    You can search for hints from him all day long, yeah, and those hints can be useful and can help bridge the gap. But another way to bridge the gap is to ask questions such as, "Do you have a timeframe in mind?" or "OK, can you come get me when you need me?" That will at least let him know that you'll need something resembling some specifics if he wants you to help him. Let him learn some 'Te' lessons.

    How do you know when to ask those questions? At any time where something seems unclear to you or when you have to do a decent amount of mental translation to 'make sense' out of something. "At some point" is pretty unclear, for example, and could use some elucidation.

    If it's a continuing problem and if you can trust him, you can directly talk to him and ask him what his general expectations are.

    Hopefully, he learned something from this experience as well and doesn't just regard you as unreliable (after all, you're obviously trying to understand where he's coming from). If he does--his loss.


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