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  1. #1
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Default NF types, why do you think aloud/share information?

    I just realized today that I often say things just to unclog my head. It's the same reason I write lists. It's like there are all these unruly busy thoughts moving around in there and by verbalizing them, I somehow feel like I am nailing them down into one place so that I can see what I have to work with. Without doing that, it is like trying to count a group of kids that are constantly running around. My ENFJ mother is buffaloed by this way of doing things (I think), as she often will then prescribe an action after I say something. When I explain that that's not why I was saying something, then she gets frustrated and says, "Well, don't do that then!". It's not that I'm trying to be difficult or even that I think either decision is a bad one, but I'm not bringing it up because I'm deciding what to do, so much as that it somehow needs to be expressed before I can get on with taking action. It's like things need to be orderly and tidy in my head before I can move along.

    I sometimes do say things to check for other people's reactions, again, not because I'm asking them what to do, but because I need more information (or to know if I am missing something) before I can feel like things I have a good handle on things and can complete my decision-making.

    I sometimes vent when I am feeling most emotionally distressed or know I feel unreasonable, not because I need help solving the problem right then, but because the excess emotional noise is jumbling things up and making it hard to sort out the stuff I need to in my head. Sometimes expressing the feeling can reveal why I am feeling it, so I don't have to spend more time sorting that out and can get going on what I want to do about it. At that time, I am also paying attention to reactions, but also just need someone to listen and ask questions, because in the process of verbalizing what is going on, it becomes much more clear to me, or the person's questions might touch off a useful chain of thinking.

    I'm realizing that

    1) This makes me appear stubborn and unwilling to take advice. I've thought it over and I don't think I am unwilling to take more perspectives into account, but I actually need to do some work to declutter or else get some more information to work with before I can take action. I am unlikely to consider prescriptive action from other sources unless that work has been done first, and even then I do find that I am inclined to think that it might be the best solution for them in that particular situation, but it might not match my particular needs (unless I'm very sure they really understand the particulars of the situation and know me well). Is this overly close-minded? In a general way, I am quite open to considering advice and new principles and other's ideas. It's more when it comes to specific situations that that I dig in my heels and don't want to be rushed through the process.

    2) I need to find a clearer way of expressing what I need from the other person, if I don't want to feel misunderstood or frustrated with them (which then creates more mental mess to clean up). I'm not sure exactly how to do this.

    The main reason I am asking is that I am curious to know is what purpose verbalizing something has for the other three NF types (as well as other INFJs - am I an anomaly, or is this a common experience?). It didn't really occur to me that ENFJs may have a different reason for expressing things aloud, and if so, I am curious as to what that is. Right now, I would like to gather information so that I have some more concrete information with which to understand the situation, so any anecdotes or trends you see in yourself would be useful. Also, I am wondering if enneagram or instinctual stacking plays any role in this.

  2. #2
    Senior Member hazelsees's Avatar
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    Can you give an example--first paragraph.

    Right now, I'm dealing with the fact that I rarely ask for help or support--and when I need it, people do not know what to do with me. They're so used to me going and going and going. I don't ask for comfort often, so when I need a soft place to land for short while, they do not know how to deal with it. I don't know how to ask for help or to tell others what I need. When I get to the point of trying to ask for help, it turns ugly somehow. In my mind, I say things that I hope they will "pick up" on--that will lead them to see that I'm struggling. Then it all turns bad somehow. ugh.

  3. #3
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    Thinking aloud--almost never. Sharing information--when it's part of a strategy.

    I usually think internally and then spit out pretty unambiguous conclusions/questions. That's just how I roll. People then tend to know what I'm asking for or what I'm saying.

    I understand why people think aloud, though; and I don't presume that every thought that's ever spoken needs a response. Conversely, some people rush to try to identify a problem (even from non-problems) and mash it with a hammer.

  4. #4
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    I rarely think aloud. Most of the time I mull things around in my mind and then write about my conclusions in my journal. I have a very dfficult time asking for advice or help. Sometimes I will talk about an idea or solution to a problem I'm having with a close confidante, just to make it a real option outside of my mind. I really don't like to listen to advice from others - I've always been stubborn this way.

  5. #5
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    It's not that I'm trying to be difficult or even that I think either decision is a bad one, but I'm not bringing it up because I'm deciding what to do, so much as that it somehow needs to be expressed before I can get on with taking action. It's like things need to be orderly and tidy in my head before I can move along.

    I sometimes do say things to check for other people's reactions, again, not because I'm asking them what to do, but because I need more information (or to know if I am missing something) before I can feel like things I have a good handle on things and can complete my decision-making.

    I sometimes vent when I am feeling most emotionally distressed or know I feel unreasonable, not because I need help solving the problem right then, but because the excess emotional noise is jumbling things up and making it hard to sort out the stuff I need to in my head. Sometimes expressing the feeling can reveal why I am feeling it, so I don't have to spend more time sorting that out and can get going on what I want to do about it. At that time, I am also paying attention to reactions, but also just need someone to listen and ask questions, because in the process of verbalizing what is going on, it becomes much more clear to me, or the person's questions might touch off a useful chain of thinking.
    Amen, to all this^.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post

    I'm realizing that

    1) This makes me appear stubborn and unwilling to take advice. I've thought it over and I don't think I am unwilling to take more perspectives into account, but I actually need to do some work to declutter or else get some more information to work with before I can take action. I am unlikely to consider prescriptive action from other sources unless that work has been done first, and even then I do find that I am inclined to think that it might be the best solution for them in that particular situation, but it might not match my particular needs (unless I'm very sure they really understand the particulars of the situation and know me well). Is this overly close-minded? In a general way, I am quite open to considering advice and new principles and other's ideas. It's more when it comes to specific situations that that I dig in my heels and don't want to be rushed through the process.
    This can really get frustrating to me. I'm careful about who I vent to because it's relatively easy to make me feel like there's something wrong with me for not being able to 'let something go'.....but almost invariably, if I'm stuck on some detail then that detail is somehow important. So if I frustrate someone by 'not listening', I generally don't use them as a sounding board anymore because it ultimately only creates more clutter rather than helping me clean the mess that's already there.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

    5w4 sx/sp Johari / Nohari

  6. #6
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bologna View Post
    Thinking aloud--almost never. Sharing information--when it's part of a strategy.

    I usually think internally and then spit out pretty unambiguous conclusions/questions. That's just how I roll. People then tend to know what I'm asking for or what I'm saying.

    I understand why people think aloud, though; and I don't presume that every thought that's ever spoken needs a response. Conversely, some people rush to try to identify a problem (even from non-problems) and mash it with a hammer.
    This is interesting to me. So being a Fe dom, how does that work? I'd like to understand it better. Do you just feel more sure in your conclusions right away, or do a couple of functions work in tandem to allow you to feel that clarity right away without the need to houseclean first? I would say your response is typical of both my mother and my ENFJ good friend and it's strange because as similarly as we think, I am seeing that there are also some large differences in our processing.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    I talk to myself in the car. By the time I get to or from work, I've figured it out.

  8. #8
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hazelsees View Post
    Can you give an example--first paragraph.

    Right now, I'm dealing with the fact that I rarely ask for help or support--and when I need it, people do not know what to do with me. They're so used to me going and going and going. I don't ask for comfort often, so when I need a soft place to land for short while, they do not know how to deal with it. I don't know how to ask for help or to tell others what I need. When I get to the point of trying to ask for help, it turns ugly somehow. In my mind, I say things that I hope they will "pick up" on--that will lead them to see that I'm struggling. Then it all turns bad somehow. ugh.
    I wish I could give a better example. I might state some plan I'm thinking about (that I'm already semi-committed to in my head) mostly as way to share news or an idea I had. Then my mother will ask some question or make a statement that indirectly implies it is a bad idea. I will explain my reasoning to her. She counter-argues it, but then says, "Well, do such and such then" (the polar opposite of what she is suggesting). To me this implies a judgement as well, that perhaps she doesn't really feel. The message I get is that I am being unreasonable and foolish, but since I am an adult, it is my prerogative to do what I think is best. This bothers me, as I do value her opinion, but just feel that she doesn't totally know the situation yet or what is leading me to think along the lines that I do and I want to explain it, even to double check that it makes sense in my own head and to others and I'm not missing considering something important before charging ahead.

  9. #9
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiltyred View Post
    I talk to myself in the car. By the time I get to or from work, I've figured it out.
    I wish that worked for me. Sometimes it does, but usually it doesn't.

  10. #10
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    Amen, to all this^.



    This can really get frustrating to me. I'm careful about who I vent to because it's relatively easy to make me feel like there's something wrong with me for not being able to 'let something go'.....but almost invariably, if I'm stuck on some detail then that detail is somehow important. So if I frustrate someone by 'not listening', I generally don't use them as a sounding board anymore because it ultimately only creates more clutter rather than helping me clean the mess that's already there.

    What if you need a broader range of opinions to gather information? For example, I may want to understand how someone would see a situation and demonstrate using an example from my life. Rather than providing the information I am seeking though, they assume that I am distressed about the situation cited, which then becomes frustrating to me, because then I have to deal with how to interact with them, as well as still not having the answer to my question so that I can proceed.

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