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  1. #581
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    Ah, I see. ENFP to the core, I am horribly unobservant, and unsurprisingly I have not noted that! Props to you for being an observant ENFP.

    I did my homework - now I understand what you meant before - and I see what you mean. I agree that it is a longstanding pattern and the issue is definitely more personal than typological - but there is still some kind of hangup where type is concerned. Also - all of us here know N and F both really struggle to process well where there is divisiveness and conflict, so we can safely assume that at some instinctive level, OA hates them too, and would prefer to eradicate their existence. It is something all NFs share.

    The fascinating thing about this thread to me is that I can begin to understand OA's perspective from the post content (at least, to the extent that I have been able to keep up!) INFJs approach matters so differently from the native Ne-Fi approach that it can feel like refusal to interact. NFP Ne-Te processes are expansive, inclusive, categorical; NFJ Ni-Ti processes are distilling, honing, analytical. NFP Fi process is concerned with feeling within; NFJ Fe is concerned with feeling between. The NFJ approach can feel like a Fe fence around a Ni-Ti tower. It seemed that INFJs were unwilling to even consider that OA's feelings were legitimate: I assume now this is because they do not Ni-Ti agree with her premise of what INFJs are doing to create those feelings - in addition to all the unpleasantness of her tone, which would be repelling to anyone, of course. From that Ni-Ti perspective, assuming I grasp it well enough, I can understand why there could be no point in engaging. Nothing useful can come of exploring a premise that we know to be incorrect in its definition, particularly if the language it's couched in suggests further disharmony to come.

    Regardless, from the perspective that INFJs are just refusing to consider that someone else might be right, I can begin to understand OA's tone. If she kept posting this idea, and INFJs being INFJs, continued responding to it in essentially similar ways, then it would simply reinforce her conclusion, escalating her negative feelings even more. The gist of her post, as I see it, is that INFJs see themselves as always right/good/correct. And that's really funny to me, because a longstanding joke between myself and my ENFJ best friend is that she's always right. We laugh about it now, but it took me years to understand that she didn't actually think that: her communications and behavior seemed to support it. Thankfully, she's going into psychology, so we've broken each other's psyches (and egos!) down many times over our years of friendship.

    I took the time today to "answer" OA's list with trying to explain to myself why these feelings may have arisen, mostly based on my interactions with my ENFJ friend. It might be generally irrelevant, but I wanted to post it because I think something like this may have been what some of us were expecting - at least, the reason why OA came to have these feelings is the question I have been searching for an answer for throughout this whole thread.

    1. General paranoia.

    Ni is a forecasting mechanism in many ways; all NJs harbor some gift of "seeing into the future". Inescapably, some of that future is going to be harmful and painful - and it's human nature to protect against that. I understand this deeply as an enneagram 6 and share this with Ni users: the future is coming, and all we can do is try to identify the dangers before it's too late to protect ourselves. Others who see this and do not have that same danger-seeking tendency may think that we are unreasonably paranoid, but to us they seem blissfully ignorant.

    2. Selfishness and denial; playing tyrant/victim.

    All any of us can do is give in the way we understand best, since the only place we have to start is ourselves - our understanding of "good", our understanding of "help", everything that is the foundation of our existence in this world plays into that. None of us can ever escape our perspective. What I have experienced with my NFJ friend is that she will tend to guide me in certain directions that she also travels in not because she wants to benefit personally from it, but because she genuinely believes that her chosen direction is the singular best to go towards. It would be wrong/cruel to guide me in any other way than what she believes to be best.

    What I have learned as an NFP is this often means waiting until I have a filled out picture of my idea that is different from hers before presenting it, and then demonstrating it to her and letting her see how it is good. Often, when she sees that final picture, she'll acknowledge that it is good, too - she might even get really excited about it, or change her own mind, as well. But she needs that filled out picture from me to do that - this seems consistent with the ideas of cake and spaghetti that have been presented in this thread. Up until that point, however, if she can't see how something is beneficial, she can't in good conscience support it. (The "spaghetti dinner", it turns out, is an unconventional spaghetti lasagna. You let an NFP be in charge of the kitchen, what do you expect?)

    3. They will not take personal responsibility* for any problem in their life.

    I think @SilkRoad explained this well at some point in the thread. Honestly, INFJs probably don't usually cause a lot of problems in their lives, at least not direct causation, not an action that directly precipitated the current circumstance. Ni doms look so far ahead all the time and Fe users are so aware of external effect that it's very unlikely for them to unwittingly create an obstacle.

    That said, I have experienced a situation where my ENFJ friend refused to accept any blame for an issue that she played a part in, and the way I see it, she was just one more chain in a link of people that caused the problem - but to her, because she wasn't the final link, she wasn't part of the real problem. I say that her interaction played into the problem as a whole; she says that if the final person hadn't done what they did, it wouldn't be a problem. Both of us are right, I figure. I think her precise meaning of "responsibility" is different than mine - I think hers is more about direct precipitation of external effect. She expressed remorse for the process in its entirety.

    4. General delusion*.

    Ni is focused differently than Ne; it discards what it doesn't see as important. Ne drags along everything for the ride regardless of whether it is true or real or not. Which one is more delusional?

    5. They are not simply sensitive to criticism; they refuse to acknowledge they have flaws at all.

    What I have learned with my ENFJ friend is that she seems icy on the surface sometimes but is in fact very deeply sensitive to criticism, but will not display it outwardly - I don't think she really sees any point in engaging the external world in it. She carries a lot of anxiety, hurt, upset, and unease deep down inside... she spends a huge amount of time worrying about whether she's living up to her mother's expectations, for instance. NFPs present their flaws to the world for everyone to see; NFJs contain them. NFPs hide other things. The two types just put different things in different mental places.

    Also, let me grab that Van der Hoop quote:



    The thing with Ni is that their agenda is the "best" agenda (as seen through the Ni lens). So of course everything is going to be tailored to benefit that agenda; nothing else would make sense. Fi does the same thing. We create an "ideal" version of the world, too, and we too are led by egotism to apply those values to everyone. But just because we make demands doesn't mean we always live up to our ideals, either.

    6. They make promises or state intentions they either cannot keep or don't intend to keep.

    This item is the one I understand least and do not think I have ever experienced, short of my own understanding of "manipulation" that I brought up earlier, wherein something is framed in a specific way seemingly to encourage specific behavior. I do know that my ENFJ friend will do this purposefully at times when she is trying to create a good behavior in someone's life who is resistant to that behavior. I do that in some respects, too, though: I try to discourage my alcoholic friend from drinking, etc. That is all I can really say about this one.

    7. INSANE double standards.

    A misperception created by flipped functions and the Ni-Fe nature of strict behavioral control outside accompanied by containing personal worries and shortcomings inside.

    Answered my own lingering questions - maybe inaccurately, but as best as I could. If anyone wants to correct my understanding, they're more that welcome. At least maybe something in there can help to open some doors to mutual understanding. It's worth a shot.

    I just hope I don't offend anyone accidentally with anything! I apologize in advance!












    This is the worst mental picture I have had all day.

    Trust an ENFP to take the time to actually gather enough evidence and read through threads to do this. This is one of the things I truly admire about you people. I'm inherently lazy about that sort of thing!

    Skylights, I think you have done an excellent job of addressing the points on that list. One of the problems I think we have is that it is very hard to see what our behaviour looks like to other types based on their functions and what those behaviours would then indicate to them. Therefore it's hard to explain the differences if we don't know quite where they lie or what is preventing them from being understood accurately. In every case here though, I would agree with the possibilities you have presented.

    Regarding number 6, I've thought of one context where I do this. There is something in me that really hates making decisions until I have to, yet often people want an answer one way or the other. I've found that sometimes when people are planning to go out and do something, I may sound as if I am planning to go. It's not that I'm lying at the time. It's more that I feel like I haven't had time to consider all the factors involved. When the actual time comes, I'm more likely to weigh out a variety of factors (Would I be inconveniencing anyone or letting them down by not going? Do I want to socialize tonight? Does the majority of the group want to do something that I don't want to? - In which case I'm not likely to ask them to change their plans, but I might decide not to go if they don't really need me there, Am I just being my usual change avoidant self and should just go anyway? etc). One of my friends once called me on this, as he very much likes and needs to know ahead of time what to expect and it was throwing him off. I hadn't realized that it was affecting him or anyone else negatively (there was already a decent sized group of people that already knew each other well and often hung out together), or else that would have factored into my decision making.

    As far as promises I can't keep - well, I know that I did a lot of that, especially when I first started teaching. I think it comes from a mix of truly wanting to accommodate and please other people, to the point of losing track of whether I can actually deliver or not. I'm not sure how it is for the people on the other side of the fence, but I guess I'd compare it to the way some people are about time. To me it is hard to imagine not having a sense of time flowing by and so being late seems like a selfish disregard for others. After having a couple of friends like this, I've realized this is an honest problem for them. They truly believe they can start out late, fit in a few extra things and try a new route on the way there and still make it in decent time! For me, I really do think at the time that I can do all of the things I'm promising, but lose track of what is actually reasonable and will realistically happen, accounting for life getting in the way sometimes too. I've learned that it works better to promise less and deliver more, but especially as a new teacher, that was a big problem for me.

    I think there are probably other areas where I do this, but I can't think of examples at the moment that would illustrate them. Not sure if this is the kind of thing that OA is thinking of, or if it's more on a bigger scale that she is indicating.

    Oh! The other reason I think that I may appear to do this is that I really, really hate disappointing other people. Therefore, if I suspect there's something that's going to be a problem down the road with us, I may have a gut feeling that something is awry, but until I can define and articulate it (which may take awhile), I'm not likely to verbalize it and I just continue on as normal. I think this probably feels misleading and results in deeper disappointment and blame (something I also hated even as a very small child, as the drive to please other people I care about is really hard-wired in for me) that would have happened if I had just presented it in a more batter-y form.

    There's a little more here too, but I have to get it figured out in my own head better before I can verbalize it properly. Generally though, I think if pressured to make a decision sooner than I really should to feel good about it, I hear myself saying yes, even as my brain is saying, "Noooooooooooooooo!!!!". Then I have to work out what to do afterwards, based on how much upset it would cause if I changed the plan or on how I can make my own feelings come around or what other factors are involved that I haven't yet had time to consider. The default position is usually to accommodate by saying yes.

  2. #582
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    Ah, I see. ENFP to the core, I am horribly unobservant, and unsurprisingly I have not noted that! Props to you for being an observant ENFP.

    I did my homework - now I understand what you meant before - and I see what you mean. I agree that it is a longstanding pattern and the issue is definitely more personal than typological - but there is still some kind of hangup where type is concerned. Also - all of us here know N and F both really struggle to process well where there is divisiveness and conflict, so we can safely assume that at some instinctive level, OA hates them too, and would prefer to eradicate their existence. It is something all NFs share.

    The fascinating thing about this thread to me is that I can begin to understand OA's perspective from the post content (at least, to the extent that I have been able to keep up!) INFJs approach matters so differently from the native Ne-Fi approach that it can feel like refusal to interact. NFP Ne-Te processes are expansive, inclusive, categorical; NFJ Ni-Ti processes are distilling, honing, analytical. NFP Fi process is concerned with feeling within; NFJ Fe is concerned with feeling between. The NFJ approach can feel like a Fe fence around a Ni-Ti tower. It seemed that INFJs were unwilling to even consider that OA's feelings were legitimate: I assume now this is because they do not Ni-Ti agree with her premise of what INFJs are doing to create those feelings - in addition to all the unpleasantness of her tone, which would be repelling to anyone, of course. From that Ni-Ti perspective, assuming I grasp it well enough, I can understand why there could be no point in engaging. Nothing useful can come of exploring a premise that we know to be incorrect in its definition, particularly if the language it's couched in suggests further disharmony to come.

    Regardless, from the perspective that INFJs are just refusing to consider that someone else might be right, I can begin to understand OA's tone. If she kept posting this idea, and INFJs being INFJs, continued responding to it in essentially similar ways, then it would simply reinforce her conclusion, escalating her negative feelings even more. The gist of her post, as I see it, is that INFJs see themselves as always right/good/correct. And that's really funny to me, because a longstanding joke between myself and my ENFJ best friend is that she's always right. We laugh about it now, but it took me years to understand that she didn't actually think that: her communications and behavior seemed to support it. Thankfully, she's going into psychology, so we've broken each other's psyches (and egos!) down many times over our years of friendship.

    I took the time today to "answer" OA's list with trying to explain to myself why these feelings may have arisen, mostly based on my interactions with my ENFJ friend. It might be generally irrelevant, but I wanted to post it because I think something like this may have been what some of us were expecting - at least, the reason why OA came to have these feelings is the question I have been searching for an answer for throughout this whole thread.

    1. General paranoia.

    Ni is a forecasting mechanism in many ways; all NJs harbor some gift of "seeing into the future". Inescapably, some of that future is going to be harmful and painful - and it's human nature to protect against that. I understand this deeply as an enneagram 6 and share this with Ni users: the future is coming, and all we can do is try to identify the dangers before it's too late to protect ourselves. Others who see this and do not have that same danger-seeking tendency may think that we are unreasonably paranoid, but to us they seem blissfully ignorant.

    2. Selfishness and denial; playing tyrant/victim.

    All any of us can do is give in the way we understand best, since the only place we have to start is ourselves - our understanding of "good", our understanding of "help", everything that is the foundation of our existence in this world plays into that. None of us can ever escape our perspective. What I have experienced with my NFJ friend is that she will tend to guide me in certain directions that she also travels in not because she wants to benefit personally from it, but because she genuinely believes that her chosen direction is the singular best to go towards. It would be wrong/cruel to guide me in any other way than what she believes to be best.

    What I have learned as an NFP is this often means waiting until I have a filled out picture of my idea that is different from hers before presenting it, and then demonstrating it to her and letting her see how it is good. Often, when she sees that final picture, she'll acknowledge that it is good, too - she might even get really excited about it, or change her own mind, as well. But she needs that filled out picture from me to do that - this seems consistent with the ideas of cake and spaghetti that have been presented in this thread. Up until that point, however, if she can't see how something is beneficial, she can't in good conscience support it. (The "spaghetti dinner", it turns out, is an unconventional spaghetti lasagna. You let an NFP be in charge of the kitchen, what do you expect?)

    3. They will not take personal responsibility* for any problem in their life.

    I think @SilkRoad explained this well at some point in the thread. Honestly, INFJs probably don't usually cause a lot of problems in their lives, at least not direct causation, not an action that directly precipitated the current circumstance. Ni doms look so far ahead all the time and Fe users are so aware of external effect that it's very unlikely for them to unwittingly create an obstacle.

    That said, I have experienced a situation where my ENFJ friend refused to accept any blame for an issue that she played a part in, and the way I see it, she was just one more chain in a link of people that caused the problem - but to her, because she wasn't the final link, she wasn't part of the real problem. I say that her interaction played into the problem as a whole; she says that if the final person hadn't done what they did, it wouldn't be a problem. Both of us are right, I figure. I think her precise meaning of "responsibility" is different than mine - I think hers is more about direct precipitation of external effect. She expressed remorse for the process in its entirety.

    4. General delusion*.

    Ni is focused differently than Ne; it discards what it doesn't see as important. Ne drags along everything for the ride regardless of whether it is true or real or not. Which one is more delusional?

    5. They are not simply sensitive to criticism; they refuse to acknowledge they have flaws at all.

    What I have learned with my ENFJ friend is that she seems icy on the surface sometimes but is in fact very deeply sensitive to criticism, but will not display it outwardly - I don't think she really sees any point in engaging the external world in it. She carries a lot of anxiety, hurt, upset, and unease deep down inside... she spends a huge amount of time worrying about whether she's living up to her mother's expectations, for instance. NFPs present their flaws to the world for everyone to see; NFJs contain them. NFPs hide other things. The two types just put different things in different mental places.

    Also, let me grab that Van der Hoop quote:



    The thing with Ni is that their agenda is the "best" agenda (as seen through the Ni lens). So of course everything is going to be tailored to benefit that agenda; nothing else would make sense. Fi does the same thing. We create an "ideal" version of the world, too, and we too are led by egotism to apply those values to everyone. But just because we make demands doesn't mean we always live up to our ideals, either.

    6. They make promises or state intentions they either cannot keep or don't intend to keep.

    This item is the one I understand least and do not think I have ever experienced, short of my own understanding of "manipulation" that I brought up earlier, wherein something is framed in a specific way seemingly to encourage specific behavior. I do know that my ENFJ friend will do this purposefully at times when she is trying to create a good behavior in someone's life who is resistant to that behavior. I do that in some respects, too, though: I try to discourage my alcoholic friend from drinking, etc. That is all I can really say about this one.

    7. INSANE double standards.

    A misperception created by flipped functions and the Ni-Fe nature of strict behavioral control outside accompanied by containing personal worries and shortcomings inside.

    Answered my own lingering questions - maybe inaccurately, but as best as I could. If anyone wants to correct my understanding, they're more that welcome. At least maybe something in there can help to open some doors to mutual understanding. It's worth a shot.

    I just hope I don't offend anyone accidentally with anything! I apologize in advance!












    This is the worst mental picture I have had all day.

    I appreciate your contribution. But like I've already mentioned to you, my best friend is also an ENFJ. Not just one of my best friends, but my BEST friend for the last ten years. I know her very well, obviously and she definitely knows me better than anyone else. Although I can see great similarities between ENFJs and INFJs because they obviously share NFJ, there are still tremendous differences. In other words, in describing points about INFJs, I'm not sure how far using examples from ENFJs can be carried. They are, after all, listed as two different types for a reason. And my real life experiences with them indicate that the differences may be greater in reality than in theory. So my reality is that the greatest friendship of my life has been with an ENFJ and INFJs I've met do seem to match OrangeAppled's description. I have a choice of believing my own reality or believing other people's interpretation of my reality. Needless to say, I'll take the former. However, I can't see that anything you've said would be offensive to anyone, whether they agree with you or not. I'm sure what I've said will offend some since I've said I agree with OrangeAppled. But that isn't done intentionally, either. What she was describing was her reality and it's my reality, too, as I've already indicated. I did enjoy reading what you wrote, however. But it's mostly because it made me think of my ENFJ friend. As for INFJs, I'm pretty sure they'll dislike me even more after this post. I wish people would realize this isn't so much about liking or disliking, though, but more about compatibility and incompatibility. I don't actually dislike any of the INFJs I know. One is an aunt I've obviously known all my life. Others are friends I've shared really important things with through the years. But is there a radical incompatibility involved? Unfortunately, yes, there is. To use one simple example to illustrate my point. I once had to go on a very long trip with someone. We didn't much like each other at all. But the trip was a great success because we were so compatible. Based on what I know about the INFJs I know IRL, if I had to go on another trip like that, I realize that it would probably make more sense to take it again with the person I didn't like but was compatible with than INFJs I like but I'm incompatible with. Because I'm talking about a trip that lasted months and involved foreign countries. It makes sense for the people involved to have minds which somewhat think the same whether they personally like each other or not. As for INFPs and INFJs, it's obvious there is a total difference in approach which will go on into infinity. At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, we're dealing with minds which seem to come from different universes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AffirmitiveAnxiety View Post
    realising that I needn't be so up-tight about my mistakes or how I appear to others.
    bingo!

    the question is, what's behind the process?

    the problematic account of destructive behaviors suggested throughout this thread and others, and in some cases here - displayed - is that some ways for at least a few INFJs to do this is through external judging and villainizing - "if the other person believes something bad about me or anything i've done, they are delusional/toxic/etc". in other words, their path of not taking how others perceive them so seriously is by devaluing others, maintaining and protecting the ego through ad hominems in what i can only imagine to demand a constant shushing of their own Ti as it shout "fallacy fallacy will robinson", basically digging their heels into a spiral of cognitive dissonance.

    somehow, you seem to have found an altogether different non destructive psychological path of reaching the same tool - to not be so uptight about your mistakes how others judge you, without devaluing everyone around you for judging you. i want to know what it is.

  4. #584
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mane View Post
    bingo!

    the question is, what's behind the process?

    the problematic account of destructive behaviors suggested throughout this thread and others, and in some cases here - displayed - is that some ways for at least a few INFJs to do this is through external judging and villainizing - "if the other person believes something bad about me or anything i've done, they are delusional/toxic/etc". in other words, their path of not taking how others perceive them so seriously is by devaluing others, maintaining and protecting the ego through ad hominems in what i can only imagine to demand a constant shushing of their own Ti as it shout "fallacy fallacy will robinson", basically digging their heels into a spiral of cognitive dissonance.

    somehow, you seem to have found an altogether different non destructive psychological path of reaching the same tool - to not be so uptight about your mistakes how others judge you, without devaluing everyone around you for judging you. i want to know what it is.
    Ah you've asked the key question here.

    It's something I don't quite know how to put my finger on at the moment. It involves a willing enough nature to engage with it in the first place. Which for Ni doms of both the T and F variety can be hard, since both can be convinced of the certainty of what they are perceiving.
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

    Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
    "Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
    Piglet was comforted by this.
    - A.A. Milne.

  5. #585
    Vulnerability Eilonwy's Avatar
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    The following question is relevant to this thread topic, even though it might not seem to be. Has anyone in this thread seen the movie "Fireproof"?
    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

  6. #586
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    I just cued it up on Netflix, so I'll have seen it in a bit...

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    Quote Originally Posted by AffirmitiveAnxiety View Post
    Ah you've asked the key question here.

    It's something I don't quite know how to put my finger on at the moment. It involves a willing enough nature to engage with it in the first place. Which for Ni doms of both the T and F variety can be hard, since both can be convinced of the certainty of what they are perceiving.
    ok, let's leave that question to cook for awhile.


    here's something else that interests me - how do you relate - if at all, to this:
    Look -- lack of self-esteem kind of comes with the territory, unless you've really been privileged in your upbringing. Our process looks weird to outsiders and we don't fit in. It takes a lot to overcome the constant reminders in dealing with the world that you're a square peg in a round hole.
    and if so, how have you dealt with it?

  8. #588
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    Ok, Eilonwy, credits are rolling, I've watched it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    Ah, I see. ENFP to the core, I am horribly unobservant, and unsurprisingly I have not noted that! Props to you for being an observant ENFP.

    I did my homework - now I understand what you meant before - and I see what you mean. I agree that it is a longstanding pattern and the issue is definitely more personal than typological - but there is still some kind of hangup where type is concerned. Also - all of us here know N and F both really struggle to process well where there is divisiveness and conflict, so we can safely assume that at some instinctive level, OA hates them too, and would prefer to eradicate their existence. It is something all NFs share.

    The fascinating thing about this thread to me is that I can begin to understand OA's perspective from the post content (at least, to the extent that I have been able to keep up!) INFJs approach matters so differently from the native Ne-Fi approach that it can feel like refusal to interact. NFP Ne-Te processes are expansive, inclusive, categorical; NFJ Ni-Ti processes are distilling, honing, analytical. NFP Fi process is concerned with feeling within; NFJ Fe is concerned with feeling between. The NFJ approach can feel like a Fe fence around a Ni-Ti tower. It seemed that INFJs were unwilling to even consider that OA's feelings were legitimate: I assume now this is because they do not Ni-Ti agree with her premise of what INFJs are doing to create those feelings - in addition to all the unpleasantness of her tone, which would be repelling to anyone, of course. From that Ni-Ti perspective, assuming I grasp it well enough, I can understand why there could be no point in engaging. Nothing useful can come of exploring a premise that we know to be incorrect in its definition, particularly if the language it's couched in suggests further disharmony to come.

    Regardless, from the perspective that INFJs are just refusing to consider that someone else might be right, I can begin to understand OA's tone. If she kept posting this idea, and INFJs being INFJs, continued responding to it in essentially similar ways, then it would simply reinforce her conclusion, escalating her negative feelings even more. The gist of her post, as I see it, is that INFJs see themselves as always right/good/correct. And that's really funny to me, because a longstanding joke between myself and my ENFJ best friend is that she's always right. We laugh about it now, but it took me years to understand that she didn't actually think that: her communications and behavior seemed to support it. Thankfully, she's going into psychology, so we've broken each other's psyches (and egos!) down many times over our years of friendship.

    I took the time today to "answer" OA's list with trying to explain to myself why these feelings may have arisen, mostly based on my interactions with my ENFJ friend. It might be generally irrelevant, but I wanted to post it because I think something like this may have been what some of us were expecting - at least, the reason why OA came to have these feelings is the question I have been searching for an answer for throughout this whole thread.

    1. General paranoia.

    Ni is a forecasting mechanism in many ways; all NJs harbor some gift of "seeing into the future". Inescapably, some of that future is going to be harmful and painful - and it's human nature to protect against that. I understand this deeply as an enneagram 6 and share this with Ni users: the future is coming, and all we can do is try to identify the dangers before it's too late to protect ourselves. Others who see this and do not have that same danger-seeking tendency may think that we are unreasonably paranoid, but to us they seem blissfully ignorant.

    2. Selfishness and denial; playing tyrant/victim.

    All any of us can do is give in the way we understand best, since the only place we have to start is ourselves - our understanding of "good", our understanding of "help", everything that is the foundation of our existence in this world plays into that. None of us can ever escape our perspective. What I have experienced with my NFJ friend is that she will tend to guide me in certain directions that she also travels in not because she wants to benefit personally from it, but because she genuinely believes that her chosen direction is the singular best to go towards. It would be wrong/cruel to guide me in any other way than what she believes to be best.

    What I have learned as an NFP is this often means waiting until I have a filled out picture of my idea that is different from hers before presenting it, and then demonstrating it to her and letting her see how it is good. Often, when she sees that final picture, she'll acknowledge that it is good, too - she might even get really excited about it, or change her own mind, as well. But she needs that filled out picture from me to do that - this seems consistent with the ideas of cake and spaghetti that have been presented in this thread. Up until that point, however, if she can't see how something is beneficial, she can't in good conscience support it. (The "spaghetti dinner", it turns out, is an unconventional spaghetti lasagna. You let an NFP be in charge of the kitchen, what do you expect?)

    3. They will not take personal responsibility* for any problem in their life.

    I think @SilkRoad explained this well at some point in the thread. Honestly, INFJs probably don't usually cause a lot of problems in their lives, at least not direct causation, not an action that directly precipitated the current circumstance. Ni doms look so far ahead all the time and Fe users are so aware of external effect that it's very unlikely for them to unwittingly create an obstacle.

    That said, I have experienced a situation where my ENFJ friend refused to accept any blame for an issue that she played a part in, and the way I see it, she was just one more chain in a link of people that caused the problem - but to her, because she wasn't the final link, she wasn't part of the real problem. I say that her interaction played into the problem as a whole; she says that if the final person hadn't done what they did, it wouldn't be a problem. Both of us are right, I figure. I think her precise meaning of "responsibility" is different than mine - I think hers is more about direct precipitation of external effect. She expressed remorse for the process in its entirety.

    4. General delusion*.

    Ni is focused differently than Ne; it discards what it doesn't see as important. Ne drags along everything for the ride regardless of whether it is true or real or not. Which one is more delusional?

    5. They are not simply sensitive to criticism; they refuse to acknowledge they have flaws at all.

    What I have learned with my ENFJ friend is that she seems icy on the surface sometimes but is in fact very deeply sensitive to criticism, but will not display it outwardly - I don't think she really sees any point in engaging the external world in it. She carries a lot of anxiety, hurt, upset, and unease deep down inside... she spends a huge amount of time worrying about whether she's living up to her mother's expectations, for instance. NFPs present their flaws to the world for everyone to see; NFJs contain them. NFPs hide other things. The two types just put different things in different mental places.

    Also, let me grab that Van der Hoop quote:



    The thing with Ni is that their agenda is the "best" agenda (as seen through the Ni lens). So of course everything is going to be tailored to benefit that agenda; nothing else would make sense. Fi does the same thing. We create an "ideal" version of the world, too, and we too are led by egotism to apply those values to everyone. But just because we make demands doesn't mean we always live up to our ideals, either.

    6. They make promises or state intentions they either cannot keep or don't intend to keep.

    This item is the one I understand least and do not think I have ever experienced, short of my own understanding of "manipulation" that I brought up earlier, wherein something is framed in a specific way seemingly to encourage specific behavior. I do know that my ENFJ friend will do this purposefully at times when she is trying to create a good behavior in someone's life who is resistant to that behavior. I do that in some respects, too, though: I try to discourage my alcoholic friend from drinking, etc. That is all I can really say about this one.

    7. INSANE double standards.

    A misperception created by flipped functions and the Ni-Fe nature of strict behavioral control outside accompanied by containing personal worries and shortcomings inside.

    Answered my own lingering questions - maybe inaccurately, but as best as I could. If anyone wants to correct my understanding, they're more that welcome. At least maybe something in there can help to open some doors to mutual understanding. It's worth a shot.

    I just hope I don't offend anyone accidentally with anything! I apologize in advance!
    +10000. That was awesome.
    Since Skylights was so gracious to provide use with the insights on the lists and most people seem convinced that I am INFJ anyways, I wanted to share my take on it. Bear with me, I am trying to put a more negative spin it....

    General paranoia & Delusional: I see Ni as perspective bending and seeing different angles of an object (idea, what have you) so NJs have the ability to distort perception to a certain goal. NJs can generally be good at seeing the nuances of things picking the aspect or course of action that seems the most viable. However once they get stuck in tunnel vision, there is a higher chance of being delusional and paranoid. NFJ begin to overate what they think is best for everyone while NTJs become overconfident that they know the "objective truth".

    Selfishness and denial: Playing tyrant/Victim & Not Taking Responsibility: I view this as a generalized human flaw. When there is a lot of pride connected to the ego, people have a tendency to play the victim and get on the defensive of anything that opposes it. They are just as likely as any other type to engage in this behavior especially when pride gets in the way.

    Not Sensitive to Criticism: I might get on the defensive and may argue the point but I will tend to process in the background. I have to find evidence to support it and see it fits into my general self conception (how it compares with what others say about me, how I view myself, how relevant the person is to me/our history, what the person's motives are). If it does fit, I will tend to acknowledge later on but if it doesn't fit, it will be in the back of my mind (it remains valid but I am not going to accept it until I can make sense of it). On the other hand, if the person isn't willing to put in that much effort, they might just dismiss it completely.

    Not Keeplng Promises: In general, people can be flaky... it might be a difference in values. However, I have seen FJs do this because they overextended themselves, forgot/misunderstood, wanted to appear a certain way, or didn't want to hurt feelings.

    Insane double standards: When we get into tunnel vision and stopping checking in with Fe and Se, there can be a disparity it how we are perceiving things vs. objective reality. Also, with the tunnel vision, Ni can be the master of perspective bending and so we can get really warped views of reality. However, this can also be because people can get so attached to their own worldview and ego that they aren't really seeing reality for what it is.

    One of my rare walls of text!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiltyred View Post

    ^This. More often than not, my "general paranoia" is prophetic. I have come off more than once as Chicken Little, issuing warnings to friends for example that they are going down the wrong road, they laughed me off, and ended up in deep trouble exactly as I saw it coming. I'm wrong every once in awhile and very glad to be wrong, but for the most part, if I'm getting strong No signals with regard to something a friend is doing, it's for a good reason; ditto if I get them for myself. Where we go wrong with this is making up stories to explain the strong No signals. Something may indeed be wrong, the road may well be the wrong road, but since we're always called upon to explain our reasoning, or because we want to verbalize the signals to ourselves, we make up stories to explain the signals, and end up sounding batty. It's very stressful to watch a friend headed pellmell down a wrong road, try to suggest turning back or changing direction, seeing the friend laugh you off and proceed, and then having to listen and console after the damage is done. Over time, I've become more philosophical about it. Maybe their road necessarily includes some pain. Maybe their soul needs this lesson and it would have been wrong to try to prevent it -- the lesson would have occurred no matter whether they'd chosen this avenue to let it in or some other in the future. It's not my business to guide, but only to be there, maybe as witness and support. Or who the hell knows.
    I am having one of those moments now and I somehow got roped in the middle of it. I can usually pick on things pretty quickly but I tend to rationalize it away. My problem has always been never trusting it because I am waiting for evidence to unfold in order to confirm it (trying to keep an open mind) and wanting really bad to believe in the best in people but it has continually screwed me over so I am trusting my gut this time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glycerine View Post
    My problem has always been never trusting it because I am waiting for evidence to unfold in order to confirm it (trying to keep an open mind) and wanting really bad to believe in the best in people but it has continually screwed me over so I am trusting my gut this time.
    That's good to hear. We're constantly prodded to deconstruct it and prove it to other people and question it and otherwise flood it with what amounts to white noise that drowns out the signals. The more you trust it and see it work, the faster, better, and easier you can use it, and the better your life becomes, the more you become strong and confident and able.

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