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Thread: Need Guidance: Giving Affirmation in an Fe way

  1. #1

    Default Need Guidance: Giving Affirmation in an Fe way


    I wanted to seek communication advice on affirmation or letting people know that you heard what they just said.

    I spent the holidays hanging out with an older enfj. We got along really well (thanks to the many Fe lessons I have learned from FJs), but she made an indirect comment toward the end of the visit about someone else not being very good at letting other people know what they had been heard, which I took as an indirect suggestion that I needed to be better at this.

    Here, the occasional ENFJ and some INFJs also comment on not feeling they were acknowledged or affirmed during threads on the forum.

    It seems it might be the part of active listening where you restate what the person just said back to them in thier own words?? But there also seems to be an element of praise to it sometimes? Occasionally, even praise that is a bit exaggerated, relative to the other person's actual accomplishments?? Sort of an odd ego-stroking?

    Any guidance on this topic would be appreciated,as if this helps my FJ/TP friends feel more comfortable, I'd like to understand how to do a better job meeting thier needs if possible.

    (I note this as Fe affirmation as I think Fi has it's own flavor of affirmation which does different things altogether-I suspect most folks can use both tools to some extenet of course.)

  2. #2
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    1w2 so/sx


    To clarify, I don't like false praise and I feel weird about someone repeating back what I said in their own words - kind of like I am going to a therapist's office or something.

    For me, probably what makes me feel most open to someone is if they appear to be genuinely interested in what I am saying (evidenced by asking follow up questions, clarifying, remembering something from our previous interactions, etc), and also in some way indicating that they enjoy my company. That doesn't mean a bunch of ego stroking. Just enough to affirm that they are enjoying the interaction - either through facial expression, being just a little warmer than basic politeness would require, trying to do the give and take thing in conversation, remembering something from a previous conversation we had, etc. Expressing appreciation (when it is genuine) either in person or in writing would probably be another form of Fe affirmation, but further down the road.

    Probably the other thing that helps to put me at ease is someone starting from areas of agreement before branching off to areas of disagreement. They might try introducing a differing point of view about something little and insignificant to test the waters first. If things seem okay, then over time, it's alright to become more and more forthright. If the previous stuff hasn't happened yet though to establish goodwill, sometimes I misinterpret disagreement as dislike, disdain, enjoying drama, unpleasantness, etc. If I know where the person is coming from, it rules out those possibilities so that I can then focus on the actual argument itself without taking it as some kind of personal comment.

    I wouldn't necessarily assume that your friend was hinting that you ought to be a better listener. In fact, if you weren't a decent listener, it would be unlikely that they would bring it up.

    I would be interested in knowing too what the Fi version of affirmation would look like (or is it very type dependent?). It seems to me generally that Fe has a lot more graduated stages of interaction, whereas from how Fi users have described it, things are more all or nothing with them.

    Not sure if any of that is useful to you. Feel free to ask specific questions if you'd like more specific feedback.

  3. #3
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    1w2 so/sx


    It occurred to me that what you may see as exaggerated praise may just be someone else's ordinary praise. Can you give an example of what you see as being exaggerated praise or ego-stroking? I mean, that really doesn't sound like something I would do consciously. However, maybe what I consider to be genuine would be considered by an onlooker to be too effusive if viewed through the lens of what it would mean if it were them.

  4. #4
    Mr. Blue Array entropie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    3w2 so


    Fe means to honestly tell people what you feel in the moment you do. For that you need to:

    1. Know what you feel
    2. Be able to talk about quickly

    If you improve on 1 and 2 you have all it takes.
    Johari / Nohari

    "How dreadful!" cried Lord Henry. "I can stand brute force, but brute reason is quite unbearable. There is something unfair about its use. It is hitting below the intellect."
    ~ Oscar Wilde - The picture of Dorian Gray

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