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  1. #441
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Spent my last hour Googling the answer to my question since it was poorly received by a member here. For those who didn't see it, this is what I posted:

    NFJs sometimes seem to say things to encourage action out of others, but what they say may be a specific distortion of information aimed with getting the other person to fulfill what the INFJ wants, as opposed to what the other person may want if they knew more information.

    It's just really confusing to me that NFJs are concerned with consequence in external reality, but it also seems like NFJs feel like it's okay to manipulate others in external reality. So it's like external reality is what counts, but then it's okay to trick people into messing up, and then hold that against them?
    Got my answer from pleasant INFJs elsewhere. (No offense to other INFJs here who have been very pleasant as well).

    INFJs, I understand my mistake, and sorry for assuming that withholding information was generally malintentioned, because I understand now that it isn't. It's hard for a Ne dom to see that because we operate on assumption that "the more information, the better" and share information very openly as a general rule.

    @Lexicon, thank you for your explanation too, because that last paragraph in particular was helpful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lexicon
    The individual may hold back certain things by nature, for privacy reasons, or simply think it's innocuous & of little consequence, with regard to other parties. I've seen this in NJ's, frequently, and it can easily be mistaken for some kind of conscious [and even malevolent] deception.
    I agree that this occurs in almost all people, and certainly more the more unhealthy they are, but I do contend that INFJs in particular demonstrate the combination of external influence with holding back certain information than other types. As far as I have experienced, most SFJs are generally more forthright, for better or for worse, and NFJs are generally a little more harsh on their close friends/family/coworkers when we create discord - I assume because you guys can generally "see it coming".

    Following up my earlier posts and in response to OP, I figure it might be useful for INFJs to understand that sometimes another can feel "played" when an INFJ has presented information in one way, and then the other person finds out more information and realizes that would have acted otherwise in a situation if they had understood more about it. (Not that I necessarily think full information disclosure is always the best way to go about things, but just so you understand where I was coming from.)

  2. #442
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    Fair enough, but us INFP's are supposed to be trying to remember all our stuff about INFJ's too, those little details ...

    Works best both ways.

    I think what's tricky for each of us is not immediately jumping to our default mode.
    @bold, Where did that crop up?

  3. #443
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    Last edited by Tiltyred; 01-14-2013 at 03:12 PM.

  4. #444
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiltyred View Post
    I still don't understand, I don't think, what you're talking about. That we tell lies of omission in a story designed to crank someone else up and set them about doing mischief, is what I get. That's horrible. The more positive spin might be that we give information as we understand it, to a person who we think will then be able to influence the course of events better than we might, for the common good. I think it's possible for anyone to leave out pieces of information just because their memory is faulty, they perceived events differently etc. It's certainly possible INFJs do this, because of our Ni, which sees big pictures and may omit detail either inadvertently or because we don't adequately consider detail in the first place, but it seems very odd that it would be seen as characteristic of INFJ to do this. On purpose. I'm not saying we don't, but if we do in large enough numbers that it's a thing, I'd like to hear more about it.
    Just Google "INFJ manipulation".

    I'm sorry that I don't really want to share more than that but you make me feel guilty for interpreting INFJs in a negative light. If the INFJs in my life hadn't had agendas for me - agendas that I never asked for, nor was I ever consulted in regards to - we wouldn't have this problem to begin with: I don't like feeling like a pawn in a game of chess, even if I'm succeeding as a result. And I don't feel like I should have to be made to feel guilty for explaining something INFJs do that drives me nuts in a thread asking what what do INFJs do that drives you nuts.

    Obviously I don't hold this trend, assuming it is one, against you personally. However, I have seen it described by numerous people in numerous places, and I have a really hard time understanding why it's so repulsive to even consider that its existence is a possibility. There are some trends I don't particularly appreciate about ENFPs as an ENFP myself... flakiness, for example. I'm an enneagram 6 and that makes me a slightly different kind of ENFP - I might be indecisive and I might be anxious; however, it is extremely rare that I am flaky. But I can't deny that flakiness is a problem for ENFPs in general. Lots of people point out ENFP manipulation, and ENFPs always have to explain that it's almost always inadvertent (we're not Js, we don't even usually have an agenda, unless we're pissed). A lot of times people just think we like them way more than we actually do because of god-knows-what signals that we're accidentally sending. It's accidental but it still happens. That's what I'm saying here. It's not like I'm trying to character-assassinate INFJs. I just want to know why this keeps happening.

  5. #445
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Lol, no need to duck, my friend! You hit the nail on the head. I didn't believe that she truly wanted discourse because to me it seemed
    1) She had already made up her mind and anything that disagreed with her hypothesis wasn't going to be considered.
    2) I offered an alternative list of what I perceived to be more my issues to compare my perceptions with hers. So did cascadeco. It wasn't that we were disagreeing that INFJs have shortcomings. It was that we simply couldn't identify with some of the behaviours she mentioned.
    3) I tried on two occasions offering examples of remorse. The first was negated as not being remorse because it was too insignificant. The second was not commented on. As cafe has said, I have to explicitly attempt to emote, as it is very much my goal not to impose my emotional state on other people (feels like talking on a cell phone loudly about personal things in a public place). Maybe what I said didn't appear to be emotional enough to be perceived as another story to add to the picture. Maybe it didn't seem like remorse because it was looking at cause and effect (see umlauu's post) and that seemed to negate any remorse that I expressed. I don't know.
    4) She did not explicitly state what she wanted. If it was trying to understand, I attempted to explain why that approach was not going to yield the desired outcome from us. If it was trying to warn others, I didn't understand why she would continue engaging discussion with people that she already appeared to dislike and didn't seemingly see any hope for change in.
    5) Despite saying that she was wanting discourse, little snarky phrases and comments were thrown in there that said the opposite much louder to me.
    I am more than happy to consider my blindspots. However, if I don't know someone well, then they are going to need to look for commonalities and then explain where we diverge in behaviour or opinion and inquire why. Stating negatives as fact when they are not familiar with me personally just makes me assume that they are not interested in bringing about change in a constructive way and I don't want to play the game.
    Ahh, I see. So I was on the right track. It's interesting to see your thought process and how you read the situation.

    It seemed that the initial discussion of OA's points was rather congenial but I wonder now if the INFJs were biting their lips in annoyance and attempting to discuss the issue as best they could. The thread seemed to explode a few pages later, when I imagine, the patience eventually ran out. It's a pity the INFPs didn't spot that at the time, and that the INFJs didn't grasp what the INFPs implied - that way the escalation could have been avoided. Unfortunately, neither are good at picking up each other's esoteric signals.

    So in approaching that situation over again, what do you see as an effective opener to better understand intent or know what to do? I certainly am not negating that either Mane or OA had abyssmal experiences that have coloured their perceptions of INFJs. They have every right to feel that way. What I need is to understand my role in the discourse that follows. Would it be more useful to say, "Could you tell me more about why you feel that way?" I kind of thought that they had told us why they felt that way though. They had experiences with INFJs that were really negative.

    Any ideas you have would be greatly appreciated.
    It's tough to come up with an approach that feels counter intuitive to yourself. I find keeping in mind small clarified points, like the ones @uumlau gives, is useful when communicating - it's like a translation short hand. I've actually used some of the stuff that has come up in discussions on this site in the past. One about FJs has been useful with my mum: the idea that FJs want to affect others and assume others want to affect them - consequently innocent statements can sound like judgements. A common example:

    Me: Have you done [insert some chore]?
    My Mum: No, I haven't, but I've been very busy lately! I had to do [insert other chore or errand] all morning and then I got tired and went for a lie down after lunch, so I ran out of time! I can't be expect to do everything around here and your father certainly never helps. He's always working late as well as Saturday mornings! I asked him to do [insert task] weeks ago and he hasn't still hasn't done it yet!
    Me:

    The pure and honest truth is that I usually only ask in the first place in order to gain information. If the chore wasn't done, I would do it myself - I just needed to know if she had done it or not. But to her I seemed to be saying, "WHY HAVEN'T YOU DONE THIS CHORE?!". Keeping in mind the "assumption of judgement" in FJs has helped me to phrase things a little better (I sometimes need to explain why I need to know, not just what I need to know) or to placate her when I mess up. Anyway, I digress...

    I guess what I'm getting at is to sit back and take a breath first and fore most and remember those little short hand points - eg. "INFPs can sound rude and blunt but don't always realise or intend it", and, "INFPs need their feelings to be validated (or at least to not be invalidated)", and "INFPs don't often pick up subtle Fe signals and need me to be more explicit at times" etc. If it seems like these rules particularly apply to the situation, stop and try to rethink the INFP's responses. TBH you don't need that much help because you're usually pretty good about doing this - the misunderstandings tend to be relatively minor with you.

    As for your role in the discourse specifically, that's a tough one. Perhaps if you had said outright, "I'm having trouble understanding where you're coming from. Can you give some examples?" it might have gone down better. If you're confused, say that you are. We can't see the same inconsistencies that you do in what we're saying, so we assume it's clear unless people say otherwise. A little (sensitive) Te style directness can help us to understand what you're feeling. I noticed some of the INFJs did this, but once things got terse, it seemed to stop.

    I wouldn't say, "could you tell me more about why you feel that way?" - that could be misinterpreted. It might be easier to appeal to our Si if you need more information - like asking for examples or to clarify a particular point further. That way you effectively ask about the subjective experience while dodging the potential minefield of the Judging functions. If you have to address Fi style impressions it's probably better to avoid "why" questions (eg. why do you feel that way?"). It can sound like implied demand for justification or that there's something wrong with that feeling/belief/impression. "How" or "what" might be more effective - eg. "how did you feel when that happened?" or "what was your reaction?". This suggests that the feeling just "is what it is" - that it simply exists, removed from questions of whether it's right or wrong, because that is secondary to us. And if you feel that emotion or reaction is incongruent in relation to the situation (ie. the cause and effect don't match to you), don't address (or correct/attack/undermine) the emotion. Instead, address the cause from your perspective. Explain or reframe the situation as you see it or have experienced it, and it's quite possible the incongruent effect (ie. the emotional response) will change as a indirect result. INFPs actually believe that the right frame of understanding has the capacity to change an emotion. To quote Lenore Thomson:

    Developed Fi naturally leads people to favor mercy or forgiveness for people who have done heinous acts--anything from theft to murder to genocide--acts that, under the ordinary laws that make a society manageable (see Extraverted Thinking), would usually merit their imprisonment or execution. From a developed Fi perspective, the criminal is still a living soul, still unique and precious despite whatever he may have done. If we walked in his moccasins for a while, maybe we could see it his way. Without condoning his crimes, maybe we could see how we ourselves could have done the same things under similar circumstances. This use of empathy as one's ultimate anchor of orientation leads to a resolute non-judgementalness. First empathize--find something in your own heart that lets you see how someone could feel and act the way he did--and then you will probably find that you no longer feel hatred or a desire for retribution.

    But I don't want to make it seem like the onus is all on you. I also think many of the INFJs (you included) did a lot of these things in this thread, but perhaps the response you received wasn't put in your language and you were left feeling frustrated and dissatisfied.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I think that for each of us, we don't always understand that what we see isn't that obvious to other people and it is not at all insulting to describe it. We might not even think to describe it, because as you say, it's like explaining the colour of the sky and it seems so obvious that it would be kind of mean-spirited to actually verbalize it as if the other person were stupid or something.
    I know what you mean. I'm totally questioning whether I sound condescending in my above suggestions.

    Understanding the why and how is the only way that I can actually see what you are seeing. If you (general kind of you) won't explain the why and how part, I feel like I'm being penalized for being seeing impaired (when it's more just that you don't know that I don't have the same kind of vision as you, so you assume I'm purposefully acting obtuse or avoiding something that is right in front of us). I couldn't explain why it bothered me before, but saying that it's just that INFJs are insisting everyone communicates in their way or they won't play is only partly true. Of course, we all prefer our own communication style, but deeper than that, I can't give the other person what they need if I don't know what it is that they see right in front of them that I don't.
    Makes sense. I've never seen myself as someone who's deliberately evasive but I suppose it can seem like a refusal to explain oneself.

    Sorry for the wall of text
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

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    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte

  6. #446
    Vulnerability Eilonwy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eilonwy View Post
    ETA: This same kind of thing happened from the other side of the coin, when I posted the Special Snowflake crown and stated that it was a joke. People doubted my intentions, even though I did say it was a joke, because they saw what the image represented as inconsistent with my stated intention. I tried explaining, but finally realized that I had unintentionally hurt some feelings and apologized rather than restating my intention again, since, to me, restating would seem like I was denying that I hurt some feelings and was just defending myself instead. In other words, I took it seriously that I had hurt some feelings and I needed to acknowledge that and try to make amends.
    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    OA says, in not so many words, "I want to understand why INFJs do this" or "I want to hear what you have to say". This signals (to varying degrees) that she is: prepared to defer, open, not fully decided, willing to listen, respects others views, willing to re-examine things etc. However, perhaps in light of her abrasive statements, fidelia doesn't feel that the state of mind OA was in (when she said "I want to understand") has been established and as result, she questions her motives. To OA, this is basically fidelia not believing her when she said "I want to understand", which seems like an accusation of affectation, or, is at least evidence that fidelia chooses to ignore what she says - which she finds insulting and frustrating. It's like being asked to prove that you mean well over and over again. It's also frustrating because it feels like, if someone won't even give you the benefit of the doubt in terms of your motives, how can you possibly ever convince them to believe in any of your points/ideas - they appear too closed off to properly listen.
    So, if I had continued to insist that I had only been joking, feeling like I wasn't being given the benefit of the doubt about my motives when I stated up front that I was joking, ignoring that people had told me that I had done something inappropriate to them because I felt they were just being too closed off to listen, and other INFJs came into the thread to also explain that I had only been joking, then any INFP who had been offended and hurt by my post would have taken all of that at face value and not been hurt or offended anymore? They would see that I was just pushing back and defending my inner POV? Or, would the more realistic scenario have been that I would have been called out over and over again on my insensitivity and lack of remorse (as I think I should have been if I had continued to ignore that I had hurt some people's feelings)?
    Johari / Nohari

    “That we are capable only of being what we are remains our unforgivable sin.” ― Gene Wolfe

    reminder to self: "That YOU that you are so proud of is a story woven together by your interpreter module to account for as much of your behavior as it can incorporate, and it denies or rationalizes the rest." "Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain" by Michael S. Gazzaniga

  7. #447
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eilonwy View Post
    So, if I had continued to insist that I had only been joking, feeling like I wasn't being given the benefit of the doubt about my motives when I stated up front that I was joking, ignoring that people had told me that I had done something inappropriate to them because I felt they were just being too closed off to listen, and other INFJs came into the thread to also explain that I had only been joking, then any INFP who had been offended and hurt by my post would have taken all of that at face value and not been hurt or offended anymore? They would see that I was just pushing back and defending my inner POV? Or, would the more realistic scenario have been that I would have been called out over and over again on my insensitivity and lack of remorse (as I think I should have been if I had continued to ignore that I had hurt some people's feelings)?
    FWIW, my Mom was an INFJ. She really didn't do sarcasm well. Or rather, she did it too well. She would say something completely ridiculous/impossible with a tone that said, "I'm totally serious." Instead of people getting the joke, people would believe her.
    An argument is two people sharing their ignorance.

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

  8. #448
    Vulnerability Eilonwy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uumlau View Post
    FWIW, my Mom was an INFJ. She really didn't do sarcasm well. Or rather, she did it too well. She would say something completely ridiculous/impossible with a tone that said, "I'm totally serious." Instead of people getting the joke, people would believe her.
    Yes, but this was on the internet and everyone is leveled to providing their own *tone* to the posts, since they have no body language to go by. And I stated up front that it was a joke. And it was. I knew what the symbol meant, but didn't realize that it would be in such bad taste to some people. If I dismissed their feelings and them as "can't take a joke", or "aren't taking me at my word", I'm sure my outcome wouldn't have been any different than OA's.
    Johari / Nohari

    “That we are capable only of being what we are remains our unforgivable sin.” ― Gene Wolfe

    reminder to self: "That YOU that you are so proud of is a story woven together by your interpreter module to account for as much of your behavior as it can incorporate, and it denies or rationalizes the rest." "Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain" by Michael S. Gazzaniga

  9. #449
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    I am rather curious- this is a question for other INFJs here- for you, did this thing with OA start before this thread? Because for me it’s mostly about having read bitter comments for a long time now and what seems like that bitterness slowly being directed towards INFJs here. There’s something about seeing that, and also noticing that in all this time the bitter comments haven’t seemed to lighten up at all. It’s one thing when someone is bitter and gradually the bitterness in their voice fades, because that indicates it’s a problem that will go away on it’s own. But it hasn’t seemed to get any better, which makes it harder to keep ignoring. But no one else is really saying this, and it’s sorta being treated as if it started with this thread- so, is it just me?

    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post

    Where's the mystery in looking at OA's post? It's as clear as day she's had some negative experiences and they color the post with emotion and a lack of objectivity. It's also clear she needs to process that and restore some balance - who would want to go around for the rest of their lives thinking INFJ's are best avoided? It seems unbalanced and thus feels wrong so she's trying to get the clarity that hearing alternate perspectives bring.
    There’s a difference between someone presenting a theory with some attachment to the discussion going a certain direction in order to heal personal wounds (there’s something they need to hear in order to heal some wound) and someone presenting a theory from the detached position of simply wondering if they understand it correctly (with no personal attachment beyond maybe that of wanting to appear smarter or something). Of course no one is 100%OMGOMG objective- but as someone said earlier in the thread (fia?) there are degrees. The more ‘objective’ someone can be, then the less emotionally attached they are to (or dependent on) a certain outcome.

    I believe that INFJs are particularly sensitive to those degrees of objectivity: the worst thing a person can do in the heat of conflict is make an emotional plea and claim to be speaking ‘the facts’. It comes across as incredibly manipulative, and like a person carrying too many bags it will not fit through the ‘door’….we do not actively look for how to make sure it doesn’t fit- it seriously just shows up that way on it’s own and we have to separate ‘person’ from ‘bags’ before we can allow it in and follow the story. And it has nothing to do with doubting someone’s sincerity- it can and has happened with people I love and trust….though I do tend to not be able to get close to people who can’t effectively separate those things in the first place, no matter how sincere they are, because it’s honest to god truly just too confusing to me.

    One of the reasons I buy into function theory with Fi/Ti/Fe/Te is because I have noticed this consistent theme: Fi’ers are okay with smudging ‘facts’ so long as some underlying truth about Feeling isn’t getting corrupt, but doing that looks dishonest to Ti’ers (and likewise, it seems as though sticking to definitions and trying to present things in a way which removes the emo seems ‘dishonest’ to Fi’ers?). Even INTJs, I’ve noticed, will use terms like “It’s the ultimate sin to corrupt information”…..whereas I personally cringe at the word ‘sin’ being used in that context; to me- there is no ‘ultimate sin’, there’s only ‘most likely to be considered ultimate sin across widest span of cultures’ AND I still need to put scare quotes around it (to indicate a “so called” qualifier). There really does seem to be an unconscious priority on either keeping T pure (logistical?) or F pure (I don’t even…), and getting it ‘wrong’ is agitating (and dishonest?) to the other side.

    Also: I noticed in the doorslam thread, we are pretty big on needing people to be clear about whether they are venting OR putting forth theories for consideration. We said so over and over again. If you say ‘venting’, then fine, we understand it’s about purging excess emotion and we can put aside our urge to ‘correct’ that which seems off to us…..but damnit don’t say ‘putting forth theories for examination’ and then start venting. It is not possible to ‘invalidate your experience’ if it’s about putting forth a theory for examination! When those get convoluted, it’s hard to shake the feeling people are trying to be manipulative or something, there’s just *something* extra going on and it creates white noise. We will keep pointing out again and again that it looks more like purging excess emotion- not to ‘discredit’ but because we need that presented upfront since it’s polluting the conversation with emotional attachments to a specific ‘healing’ outcome and it’s throwing furniture in our path so we won’t be able to follow. [So for the love of all things holy Fi’ers- if you’re talking to us and you’re venting then JUST OWN UP TO VENTING SO WE CAN ALL MOVE FORWARD. Admit you have a specific attachment to a certain outcome, because not doing so is dishonest to us. We’re not trying to “discredit” anyone by pointing out that it’s there- we’re pointing out that it’s there because IT’S THERE, it’s totally there and we can’t ignore it.]

    Until that is brought into the light, it just looks like this to us:



    A person asking for one thing but almost ‘clearly’ wanting another. That^, right there, sums up the entire doorslam thread, imo. I like to *hope* there’s at least a little bit of Dave Foley’s character in all of us laughing the whole time (at how the internet is srs bsns).

    That’s kinda how OA’s posts have come to feel to me too - only there really wasn’t any ‘white noise’ feeling until she actually starting making presumptions about our response and/or lack of response (because then it directly involved us and there’s been no indication this will go away on its own- and the more something is starting to look like an unattended-to powder keg in our environment the harder it is for us to ignore, it creates louder and louder ‘white noise’). At first it was just confusing because it was hard to understand what she was looking for- and frankly I let go of that first post without much thought (in the common issues thread) as venting. Then when it came up again (and again)- I know I either sent her another rep or left a VM saying something like “I’ve seen some of this, I discuss this in my blog” <-that was intended to be an invitation to more specific questions if she wanted to ask (maybe I should have been more clear, I don’t know, when she didn’t respond I figured maybe she just didn’t like me or something- but I did try).

    I know it must look like we had a strong reaction that came from nowhere (and so it looks like it’s ‘clearly’ about not liking criticism), but I know at least for me it was a slow accumulation. And anyway PB, that's the hang up with subjective/objective.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

    5w4 sx/sp Johari / Nohari

  10. #450
    Vulnerability Eilonwy's Avatar
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    I guess my point is that, despite the communication differences, both sides would like to be treated with some respect. So, when someone says "my feelings were hurt", which of the following would be the better answer to keep the lines of communication open?

    A) You shouldn't feel that way because (it wasn't my intent) (that's just my communication style) (you're just twisting reality and trying to get out of taking responsibility) (insert reason here)
    B) I'm sorry I hurt your feelings, (it wasn't my intent) (that's just my communication style, but I'll try to work with you so that I don't come across so harshly) (insert reason here)

    I would think that acknowledging/validating that someone's feelings were hurt, whether that was the intent or not, is a better choice to keep communication open than continuing to defend ones' self by saying that it's the other person's fault for not getting it (even if they AREN'T getting it). I think this is true for almost all human beings, not just INFX's. I realize that none of us (humans) are perfect (me included) and we will all slip up on this at one time or another. And after acknowledging that the other person's feelings were hurt and that an effort will be made to try to accommodate their feelings, then you can still try to make your point, if there is still a point to be made.

    ETA: Also, the person being apologized to would need to take into account any explanation that required some accommodation on their part, so that it's not all one-sided. So, if the explanation of communication style is offered, then BOTH people involved need to compromise and work towards a comfortable middle-ground. If either side turns out to not be sincere in their desire to communicate, then the whole process will fall apart eventually anyway.
    Johari / Nohari

    “That we are capable only of being what we are remains our unforgivable sin.” ― Gene Wolfe

    reminder to self: "That YOU that you are so proud of is a story woven together by your interpreter module to account for as much of your behavior as it can incorporate, and it denies or rationalizes the rest." "Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain" by Michael S. Gazzaniga

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