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  1. #1
    Senior Member Cypocalypse's Avatar
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    Default Ti and Fi as a coping/defense mechanism

    When I started taking up MBTI tests years ago, my results usually end up ending either INTP or INFP.

    Consciously or subconsciously, I felt that the type I had was a phase to something else (I would develop later on to be more ENTP-ish). Reflecting on those earlier years, I was thinking...

    Did my Ti and Fi went into full throttle because I feel a need to have a form of inner vindication because of the pressures of a very SJ biased external environment?

    When I was much younger (i.e., when I was a teenager. I'm now 28), there are probably early signs of a dominating Ne/Ti cognitive processes in my psyche, which I didn't put into full use until I got the gist of things that are MBTI related (in early 20s).

    There was a phase of individualistic Ti and Fi obsession, until I came to a realization that....

    An INFPish phase - I'm usually more depressed more than I'm willing to admit.
    An INTPish phase - It's more of a feelings neutralizer that puts my Fi in check, whenever it goes to a "wallowing" mode.

    ______________

    There was a conscious desire on my part to be on a generally 'happier' state, and I don't see it happening on a protective Fi/Ti shell that I've accustomed myself with.

    The explorer side of me (possibly Ne driven and a more conscious desire to connect to people (Fe?)) manifested later, and I have to say that the 'happier' state I was looking for was more realized. It's not that I read something about the perceived ENTP 'coolness' and all, and decided later that it's cool to be that type. I just need the need of being 'proactive' by doing a sense of 'exploring' (in the literal and the cerebral sense).

    I don't wanna necessarily imply that I'm less susceptible now to lonely moments, nor I've gotten to be a better people-oriented person, but there are obvious feelings of being 'happier'.

    I don't know. Maybe when you give your Ne some leeway, it's easy to look for the most humorous, or optimistic aspect of the situation, even if it may not be the most rational of important perspective. And an Fi that's better restrained can give some room for growth on Fe.

    ____________________

    A good example of looking at this 'development' would be how I currently treat one of my closest friends--a female ESFP (that's a lot of irony, when you think about it).

    3 years ago, we just end up clashing with each other's opinion (Ti and Fi just wants to disregard her 'lack of logic'), but now, I can actually tolerate, even enjoy around half of what she's saying.

    My Fe can now fine-tune the nature of our conversation, and then start talking about topics we can actually talk together.

    As a 'stereotypical' ESFP, where she has been in a lot of messed up relationships, she knows a lot of permutations of various character achetypes (without knowing MBTI, she's able to put me in an accurate descriptive box that no other 'sensor' can do). She has great understanding of the various permutations/aspects of someone of feelings.

    That, plus me talking about social dynamics, is a very healthy and informative form of interaction that just wasn't around when my Fi and Ti are so over the top, and my rhethoric is overly articulate, with lesser intent of meeting things halfway.

    I was wondering of ENTPs here have 'developed' in a similar manner. Did any of you feel something similar to this before?

    _________________

    I have a gay INFP friend. His INFP values (which I think is his 'shell') is not helping his innate gay nature since he doesn't want to come out of the closet as much as he wants to. His values think of only a male/female duality, but his sensual desires says another.

    As an ENTP, sometimes, I would persuade him to just go out of the closet, and see where he belongs in the spectrum of things. For one, I don't see him happy. There's a part of me that wants to say that there's a sense of fulfillment in going out of the shell, whatever form it may be.

    _________________

    I do see myself as the 'happy' archetype that wants to sincerely help my more 'lonely' eccentric friends, but sometimes I feel that I'm just needlessly forcing Ne/Fe on them.

  2. #2
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Interesting. I was raised in a very SJ environment (ESFJ/ESTJ). INTJ father was in a different state. All of my "cool ideas" and "outside the box" thinking and pondering were always seen as a disruption to our normal, routine, life. I didn't like the way that the ESTJ parental figure treated people (demeaning and chauvinist), and so my "T" was somewhat supressed. I think I appeared to be INFP. But, inside of myself, I knew I was a different person than what people saw. If I was really pushed to the limit by someone or painted into a corner, my T would show, but I mostly came off as more "feely" I think. People probably thought that my feelings could be easily bruised.

    It wasn't until I had been out on my own for several years and figured out who I was and what worked for me, that I began to discover that Ti is my strongest function. It was just suppressed before, which was very frustrating. Anytime Ti said something as a child, the parental figure ESTJ's Te would "override" or over rule my Ti. I kind of became convinced that it was useless and I tucked it away. Far away. I would spend time alone and use it then, but I was always gun shy with it around other people. To stand up to people, put them in their place when necessary, etc. When I would use Ti, I would sometimes hurt people's feelings/make them upset because my Ti was so unrefined. And I would feel bad. I would feel like I was treating people badly like my ESTJ parent. And I didn't want to be like that, so I would be more "feely" to compensate. As a child, I saw "T" type behavior as "bad" and "F" type behavior as "much nicer". I took to women more than I did to men. It took a number of years to rediscover my Ti.

    So, yeah, as it pertains to your opening paragraph, I think life experiences have a way of shaping our interactions with others. The longer we live and the more we learn about ourselves and others, the more that our true self will come to the surface. We'll be more comfortable in our own skin because we'll realize which behaviors are defense mechanisms and which are our true selves.
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


    There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. --William Barclay

  3. #3
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    I was just thinking about this these days. There were times when I was more INTP and times when I was more INFP. The INFP years definitely were the unhappier ones. I feel stronger and healthier when I act and live INTP. My ENTP mum taught me at an early age that nobody likes a smartass and that "a person´s value does not depend on how intelligent they are, or how pretty or how successful they are but only on how they treat their fellow human beings". Add to that an eagerness to please my INFJ dad during the angsty years of teenage rebelion (not much of a rebelion, more a frustrated withdrawel from the world) and you get yourself a very messed up teen INXP. Among other things this disorientation and the lack of identity (who the f*ck am I anyway?) caused such a low self esteem that I recently decided to get professional help. The wonderful thing is that as I get stronger and healthier I seem to slowly return to my INTP self. I am still working on that epic inner battle of Ti vs Fe and Fi (measuring my self worth in terms of competency or perceived incompetence vs eagerness to be nice, bond more and be hyper ethical in order to be a worthy human being) that caused the frustration. My F is my super-ego and it took me a lot of work to accept that Fe and being a good person was not all about blind people-pleasing, self-denial and assuming responsibility for the perceived emotions of other adults. I´m still trying to get a grip on the right balance because I am definitely not a nihilistic ice queen either.

    So I can see how you can be thrown between the two sides and take some time to figure it all out.
    Is your INFP friend familiar with the seven step model of sexual orientation (hetero, more hetero than bi, more bi than hetero, bi, more bi than homo, more homo than bi, homo)? Besides, nothing unmanly about being gay... Maybe he just needs a little more time.
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Cypocalypse's Avatar
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    My friend hates labels per se. At this point, he'd rather have a 'floating' status with less sense of clarity, than have some sort of descriptive box to put him in, even if he'll just use it as a flexible framework.

  5. #5
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    I think the whole point of that model was to offer a more floating, flexible approach and show that we are all somewhere on that scale, that it´s not black or white. That´s why I suggested it. He could just say: Right now, I am moving in that or that direction on this scale instead of being in one box or the other.
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Cypocalypse's Avatar
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    I'm having trouble empathizing with the person because I'm not gay, and I can only picture out his dilemma from a hypothetical perspective. His Fi/Ne has a Born Again Christian leaning, which has a huge gay prejudice. He tells me that he should be 'right', and be with a girl. My Ti says that it's obvious denial. I want to tell him out loud that it's ok for him to s*ck d*cks if he wants to, for the heck of it, but I think my sarcasm is counterproductive.

  7. #7
    Superwoman Red Herring's Avatar
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    Thanks for the additional information, I imagined as much though. Sarcasm will indeed be counterproductive, I guess you can trust your intuition there. I completely agree with your Ti interpretation. Now the question is: how can you effectively use that information to support him while he´s going through that phase? I still have problems understanding the essence of Fi, but if his inner self is at conflict with his values, shouldn´t he gently adjust these values to be more in line with his true self, you know, self realization, inner harmony, being true to the real you, etc. He´s not gonna be happy as long as his values contradict his nature or while he does not want to accept who he is. Shouldn´t that be extremely important for an INFP?
    The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Neither love without knowledge, nor knowledge without love can produce a good life. - Bertrand Russell
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Cypocalypse's Avatar
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    For the infp friends I know, they treat their values seriously. Religion can be quite a big deal. As an ENTP, I treat religion as something that feeds my Ne. Something that I sometimes ridicule, scrutinize, deconstruct. I remember pissing off another INFP friend once because of this.
    An ENTP would seem to value character over anything. With NFPs, its their values. INTPs would be more like an internal sense of order.

    My transition from INXP to ENTP is roughly 5 years in the making. My more introverted friends are somewhat stuck. Not that i necessarily find that a bad thing.

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