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Thread: Why Do NFs Apologize So Much?

  1. #201
    Yeah, I can fly. Array Aleksei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Petra Pan View Post
    Because hqrmony in relationships to NFs is like order to SJs
    Oversimplistic. In both counts. Tsk tsk.

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  2. #202
    Senior Member Array Sparrow's Avatar
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    Oh yea I forgot to mention that if I don't say sorry, then it means I think you suck and you deserved it . Lol

  3. #203
    Aquaria Array mrcockburn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mochajava View Post
    No, I would say this is reasonable, rather than drunken rambling. This is why it's important to assert yourself early and often, I suppose. And just get good at doing it in a way you're comfortable with. I find that I have a lot of pushback (as mrcockburn describes) whenever I try to assert myself, because I've usually been angry for a very long time before I say anything. It's typically diplomatic, but still. Maybe this is why the INFJ doorslam is something common enough to get its own phrase describing it!
    Reactions tend to be bad if people automatically assume and expect you to be submissive.

    I'm working on a group project right now for Accounting (which makes no sense - I mean, this is Accounting here. The most anti-social profession on earth!) - I'm the only female. And the other 3 guys are all really good friends with each other.

    I had clearly, concisely and politely laid out the agenda from Day 1. One member agreed to my plan, the others I hadn't heard back from. Anyway, so it turned out that they totally fucked up the project that they turned in.

    Well, when I reviewed what went wrong, I politely and calmly asked what happened, stated what I thought may have happened, my suggestions to remedy the current situation, and my suggestions to avoid similar problems in the future.

    One member flipped his freaking lid - "Stop causing drama, don't act like a martyr, it's not a big deal, you have issues!"

    Presumably, they didn't like that a woman, and an "outsider" had the nerve to address any inefficiencies that were taking place.

    I responded, and I didn't apologize, because I did nothing wrong. I simply reiterated what we needed to do.

    I can see how unreasonable hostility could wear on an NF though.

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  4. #204


    I agree to a good extent with mrcockburn and mochajava: It's a tough world out there, and you have to choose: Fight or flight. Either push back, or back down.

    A lot of people in the world believe the old saying that "the squeaky wheel gets the grease." That is, they believe that if they *can* get a little extra, then it means that they probably *deserved* that extra. So they push, test, etc. to see if they can obtain that little extra something.

    As an older NF, I've learned to walk around with a scowl on my face as protective coloring. People who don't know me are genuinely surprised when I turn out to be friendly and amenable. And if I apologize for something, it's usually as part of a refusal: "I wish I could help you out, but I'm sorry, there's nothing I can do for you." In other words, I generally use "I'm sorry" as a euphemism for "no" rather than as a means of yielding or backpedaling.

    If it turns out that I'm dead wrong on something, I'll apologize. Nothing wrong with that--that's just normal courtesy. But I don't do the scared bunny rabbit thing and apologize and scamper away just because someone is testing me. I think there's a point where even the most submissive NF should outgrow that.

    This is maybe a tangent, but:

    Also, some environments are more conducive to one type of attitude or another. When I was in the military, the environment there was all about trash talk and getting in each other's faces and working your way up the pecking order. It took some getting used to for an NF. OTOH later as a translator in a foreign-service type bureaucracy, the atmosphere and language were so hyper-genteel and flowery and apologetic that I had trouble with it even as an NF. In that environment you had to apologize profusely for any perceived inconvenience you might cause to others. I had to study books on diplomatic correspondence in order to get the language down.

    So you have to look at environment too--how people were raised, where they work, etc. Some environments/households are more rough-and-tumble and make a game out of mutual challenge and testing. Others are about enforcing harmony at all costs and they regard any discord or dissent as positively dangerous.

    As an adult in the working world, I've seen some genteel NTs and some rough-and-tumble NFs. So to some extent it depends on what kind of environment you're used to.

  5. #205
    Emperor/Dictator Array kyuuei's Avatar
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    1. Many things can simply be smoothed over with apologies.. I don't find apologies shameful, or demoralizing, or anything like that.. so if "I'm sorry" works WAY better than trying to explain why I did what I did, or what goes on in my stupid head, I'll usually go with the easier option. (The exception being when it won't be convenient to do so every time in the future.. then I'll press the subject until we iron something out.)
    2. Other people find emotionally charged things shameful and worth apologizing for.. you can only hear so many jokes about NFs being illogical, emotionally-instable people until you start to think maybe people really do feel that way.. and then everything you do feels like you play into those things. On a lesser scale, I don't know about males, but females are sometimes socially pressured into being quick to apologize, either from other female interactions or from hard-headed male interactions or a mix of the two.
    3. I overthink things.

    Combine all of these. They apply to nearly all situations to life in one way, shape, or form. Thus, apologies are widely dispersed.
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  6. #206
    Senior Member Array mochajava's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyuuei View Post
    1. Many things can simply be smoothed over with apologies..
    So true. What I dislike the most is when I've finally worked up the nerve to confront someone about something (and politely!) and instead of acting like I'm bringing up something that is bugging me, they start defending, rationalizing and explaining why they did what they did. If you care about the relationship more than you care about being right, or if you care about the other persons' feelings, than an apology is a kind way to move forward. If you would rather be right ("I didn't do anything wrong - why should I apologize?") then you can't use this one method of reaching out.

  7. #207
    Senior Member Array animenagai's Avatar
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    Sorry I didn't read over everything (see what I did there? :O), but this is what I have to say on the matter:

    We dislike conflict in general, so we play it safe. One of the worse things that could happen in my opinion is for someone I really care about to have a full blown fight with me. I don't mind a debate, don't get me wrong, but when feelings are actually hurt... I hate it. So in practice we can be over-apolagetic. I just really don't want to step on any toes, that is, at least with people I care about. This becomes a habit and so the word 'sorry' gets used more than it needs to, even when we know, right at that moment, that we don't need to say it.
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  8. #208
    Senior Member Array Rebe's Avatar
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    I hardly ever apologize. To me, an apology is rather useless. I rather just store the information in my brain and not do it again the next time than apologize about what I have said or done. I only apologize when I have been really bad and even then, it's more of a formality. We are not naturally blunt/brutal people so if you'd like a conversation of such, you will have to encourage us or steer us that way. We will only pick fights that matters to us, if it accomplishes something. For me, my Ne makes it hard to be firm/assertive on a position because even as I am arguing, I am thinking of other possibilities. Unless it is truly important and I have but one opinion, and then I do put up a really good fight. I am not sure specifically what situations you are talking about. I am naturally very polite and in-tuned to others' potential sensitivity, but I am not apologetic about what I say and what I do.

  9. #209


    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Sigh. The one thing I see in common in literally every NF I talk to online or in real life is that, as soon as they come out with a strong reaction to something, as soon as I push back on it (in a nice but firm way), they back-pedal and just seem to fold on me.

    (I think Toonie is the only NF I can think of off the top of my head who does not consistently do this... but she always had to be different, you know. )

    Sometimes NFs apologize to me just for expressing their viewpoint. My one RL friend apologizes to me for "getting angry" or "raising his voice" -- and somehow I missed his entire debacle. Even his worst outrages don't even equal half of the normal human being's slight glimmer of irritation.

    I love y'all to death, NFs are some of my favorite people! Definitely more sufferable than some of the NTJ stuff that goes on.

    But I don't understand. Why? I mean, I even love how sensitive NFs are to people in general... but sometimes it gets frustrating, when I want to talk about something or a discussion really needs to be had, or would be beneficial, so I "push" a little bit or just plunge into the conversation -- and instead of matching the push, the NFs just melt away.

    Just... Oh, I don't know.
    So now... you want them to apologize for apologizing?

  10. #210


    I rarely apologise because in my mind, I did/said what I did after much thought.

    However, when I do apologise it's almost always to assuage my guilt. I don't think I even do it because of the other person, unless they are very close to me. But that might just mean that I feel even more guilt so I have to apologise more profusely.

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