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  1. #1
    Senior Member SubtleFighter's Avatar
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    Default An INTJ I know is in an Ni-Fi loop--can I help?

    An INTJ I know is in a serious Ni-Fi loop. I was looking over this thread and it fits him perfectly. He's a conspiracy theorist who's always bringing up these ideas that frankly sound crazy to me, and he is paranoid. When he does this, I'll ask him straight out: "What evidence do you have for this?", and he'll normally just say things like, "I've read a lot, and I see the patterns throughout history. If you read a lot too, you'll see it." I also point out to him when I see a logical fallacy in what he's saying. But he just starts feeling hurt and says things like "Why do you never believe me about anything?"

    Also, he just doesn't seem to see that his theories aren't panning out. He said to me the other day that things he's predicted for 20 years have always come true and (jokingly) said he must be psychic. I have known him this long, and I KNOW this isn't true by a long shot, and I'm shocked he can't see it.

    My motivations for asking about this are that 1) honestly, I have to see him since he's family and he's driving me crazy. And 2) I see that he's alienating everyone around him because he never allows the possibility that someone else might have a point in disagreeing with him, and then he gets hurt that people don't agree with what he's saying and when people don't want to be around him. I don't like to see him hurt.

    So I want to help him, but I don't know how. From what I know about loops, it would help him to use his Te more often. I'm wondering if there's a way that I could encourage him to develop it? Or is there anything else that I could do to help him?
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear."--Ambrose Redmoon

    . . . metamorphosing . . .

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    I don't know. I see this A LOT on personality cafe. You have to show him facts. You can't stimulate his Te by saying I don't know I have read a lot. You have to actually name things that are wrong with what his is saying...if he still won't listen then, I don't know...what kinds of theories does he have, is it constant, and are you sure he has never been right?

  3. #3
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmotini View Post
    I don't know. I see this A LOT on personality cafe. You have to show him facts. You can't stimulate his Te by saying I don't know I have read a lot. You have to actually name things that are wrong with what his is saying...if he still won't listen then, I don't know...what kinds of theories does he have, is it constant, and are you sure he has never been right?
    From what I gather, it is him using that excuse, not her.




    Engaging his Te is good, most definitely, but you need to make him feel safe and not judged first (tertiary Fi demands that kind of security). Right now, he knows that everyone considers him a nut and he is rebelling against their rejection of him by doing the 'Ivory Tower' thing. If you can muster the time, energy and effort, encourage him to share his theories with you. Do not dismiss them, or take them logically apart/shut them down. Ask him to show you the patterns he's noticed - treat it as giving him the benefit of the doubt, see it as a draft he's presenting to be discussed. And I realise you aint Ne, but what Ido at that point is point out other possibilities for those patterns occurring and innocently asking if that could possibly also be a factor. Once they say no, I ask them to substantiate that claim with logical facts, parameters, objective measures etc. From my side, I'll argue the merits of the other possibilities.

    It's a way to get them talking about what they see, feel validated that someone sees their theories as having potential, while still giving them critical feedback - Te-style. Remember, for an FiTe person, it is important that their feelings aren't invalidated, but ideas are up for grabs. That means that you cannot invalidate him feeling this way about something, about a pattern, but you can certainly discuss what other options there are, how it would fit into the real world, etc. Don't tell him he should feel differently, tell him which factors he might be missing. Be on his team while fleshing this out - iow, use language like 'what about? Do you think this could also factor in? How about? and not 'That cannot be due to this and this, how would that even make sense' etc- not the cop on the other side of the table who is interrogating him coz he aint telling the truth. Humor his claim, and take them apart without taking apart his person. And if you can, make it clear that however much you may disagree with him on these things, or not be convinced, it does not in any way affect your level of respect for him as a person and friend/family member. Try not to roll your eyes at him for his quirks and just gently let him be and try to include him where you can. And for the love of god, don't let him know that you re just indulging him - be genuine in your efforts. Otherwise you're better of just keeping your distance and letting him be - it'll be less intrusive and painful for him.
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    Ok, my bad, I still think you have to force feed them facts and if they don't accept facts, then you may need to get him professional help. I mean what Amar described is how a therapist would talk to a delusional person, she is probably right since she has lived with an INTJ for ten years.

    I really think you should check out personality cafe though. Over there we have a man who is denying the LAX shooting was real and was staged by the CIA, a man who says his town council is personally oppressing him because they agreed upon bicycle lanes, and of course the repeat tin foil hat business of one Robyn C who calls herself ENTJ but is probably INTJ.

    I have theories too some times, and facts are the only way to shake me out of it. Maybe INTJs place more of their identity in their conspiracy because of being Ni dominant.

    It's frustrating for me because these guys often talk to other people like they are stupid assholes, but get butthurt when you give it right back.

    I don't think INTJs are for me.

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    failed poetry slam career chubber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post
    From what I gather, it is him using that excuse, not her.




    Engaging his Te is good, most definitely, but you need to make him feel safe and not judged first (tertiary Fi demands that kind of security). Right now, he knows that everyone considers him a nut and he is rebelling against their rejection of him by doing the 'Ivory Tower' thing. If you can muster the time, energy and effort, encourage him to share his theories with you. Do not dismiss them, or take them logically apart/shut them down. Ask him to show you the patterns he's noticed - treat it as giving him the benefit of the doubt, see it as a draft he's presenting to be discussed. And I realise you aint Ne, but what Ido at that point is point out other possibilities for those patterns occurring and innocently asking if that could possibly also be a factor. Once they say no, I ask them to substantiate that claim with logical facts, parameters, objective measures etc. From my side, I'll argue the merits of the other possibilities.

    It's a way to get them talking about what they see, feel validated that someone sees their theories as having potential, while still giving them critical feedback - Te-style. Remember, for an FiTe person, it is important that their feelings aren't invalidated, but ideas are up for grabs. That means that you cannot invalidate him feeling this way about something, about a pattern, but you can certainly discuss what other options there are, how it would fit into the real world, etc. Don't tell him he should feel differently, tell him which factors he might be missing. Be on his team while fleshing this out - iow, use language like 'what about? Do you think this could also factor in? How about? and not 'That cannot be due to this and this, how would that even make sense' etc- not the cop on the other side of the table who is interrogating him coz he aint telling the truth. Humor his claim, and take them apart without taking apart his person. And if you can, make it clear that however much you may disagree with him on these things, or not be convinced, it does not in any way affect your level of respect for him as a person and friend/family member. Try not to roll your eyes at him for his quirks and just gently let him be and try to include him where you can. And for the love of god, don't let him know that you re just indulging him - be genuine in your efforts. Otherwise you're better of just keeping your distance and letting him be - it'll be less intrusive and painful for him.
    I wish somebody was like this to me.
    My dad always invalidates my feelings. This Ni does seem like a curse sometimes.

  6. #6
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmotini View Post
    I have theories too some times, and facts are the only way to shake me out of it. Maybe INTJs place more of their identity in their conspiracy because of being Ni dominant.
    I don't think INTJs use facts much in predicting the future. The truth is though that looking at what happened in the past does help you to predict what will happen in the future. It's why history is so important and why Si doms are pretty good at predicting what will happen in the short term. I guess those are facts in a way.

    The way out of an Ni-Fi loop is through Te. It is kind of hard to say, "I want to get out of this loop and I'm going to exercise my Te now". What will likely work is getting out there and spending more time interacting with people and working. The world of work is often very Te oriented and so if your job encourages you to exercise that and you spend more time doing that and less time alone and in your head, the Te naturally comes out and gets exercised.

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    @chubber

    Yes but people may invalidate your beliefs, no matter what. I think that is the difference between INTJs and most FPs. It's like they think when they are using Ni Fi that they are still speaking objective fact, which tends to piss most people off unless they just find it wacky. It is the attitude that one's theories and beliefs are objectively correct that puts other people off.

    Maybe FPs get more sympathy because while we exhibit this attitude too, we do it considerably less due to function order.

    I am used to people mocking me for my belief in the supernatural. I think some INTJ never adjust to being told every single thought they have is not necessarily objective.

    I know a massive conspiracy theorist in my personal life, but I just humor him, because he is like eighty two. He is smart and interesting, but a lot of his family invalidate him. I usually just listen and nod and question a few things if it sounds dangerously crazy for him to think that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    I don't think INTJs use facts much in predicting the future. The truth is though that looking at what happened in the past does help you to predict what will happen in the future. It's why history is so important and why Si doms are pretty good at predicting what will happen in the short term. I guess those are facts in a way.

    The way out of an Ni-Fi loop is through Te. It is kind of hard to say, "I want to get out of this loop and I'm going to exercise my Te now". What will likely work is getting out there and spending more time interacting with people and working. The world of work is often very Te oriented and so if your job encourages you to exercise that and you spend more time doing that and less time alone and in your head, the Te naturally comes out and gets exercised.
    Yeah it certainly helped some one I know to get out of an Si Fi loop, so I imagine it helps Ni Fi too.

    I know when I get too wacky it helps me to go do something physical or new. That is probably Se.

  9. #9
    failed poetry slam career chubber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmotini View Post
    @chubber

    Yes but people may invalidate your beliefs, no matter what. I think that is the difference between INTJs and most FPs. It's like they think when they are using Ni Fi that they are still speaking objective fact, which tends to piss most people off unless they just find it wacky. It is the attitude that one's theories and beliefs are objectively correct that puts other people off.

    Maybe FPs get more sympathy because while we exhibit this attitude too, we do it considerably less due to function order.

    I am used to people mocking me for my belief in the supernatural. I think some INTJ never adjust to being told every single thought they have is not necessarily objective.

    I know a massive conspiracy theorist in my personal life, but I just humor him, because he is like eighty two. He is smart and interesting, but a lot of his family invalidate him. I usually just listen and nod and question a few things if it sounds dangerously crazy for him to think that.
    In my own personal case, I would think of a theory and then I let it go, have my say and leave it unless someone else comes back and talk about it. I do get stuck sometimes, it is still there. I just try to keep it to myself, most of the times.

    What @highlander said made sense to me, since I do that often at work. Sometimes my MBTI results do return with INTP, also when I spent a lot of time with an ESFJ, they remind to look at the facts first.

  10. #10
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Coming back to this thread, and with the OP being a J, this might help as well.

    Ask yourself what your goal is. I know J's like their goals.

    Is it to prove him wrong? Or is it to draw him out of his isolation and give him a chance to get out of this loop?

    Be honest with yourself.

    Coz if it is the first, you're better off giving up right now and walking away as you'll only frustrate yourself and cause him to recoil more from reality. You'll never succeed.

    If it is the second, then don't worry about defending the truth. Worry about this man who needs to find a way out of the maze that is his head, and give him the soundboard and light at the end of the tunnel he so desperately craves. Let him rant and make sense of his own thoughts. It's how Fi works itself out. It may not make sense to you or be rational and it'll likely grate on you wrt to what you know to be true, but it is seriously *less* important than him having the freedom, safe space and drive to figure this thing out. Encourage him with questions to create Te-benchmarks for his own Ni-hunches, and honestly help him pursue them, even when you know them to be false already. Make it a point to also compliment and reassure him when he does get something right Ni-wise, however small. He needs to be able to flesh out how to properly wield his dominant function. Right now, all this invalidation is just making him paranoid of the rest of the world (perhaps out to get him) and of himself, that he cannot trust his own perspective on the world. And that is a paralysing, terrifying place to be in.

    You're also a fellow Ni-user, and a Ti-user (which works similarly to Fi). You yourself probably understand better than anyone the kind of time and introverting it takes for Ni to re-adjust its perspective, to build a new framework with the information gathered by Xe, as well as the Truth-seeking that Xi(in your case Ti) does and how painfully slow, nitpicky and circular that can be. Give him that time. Be patient. Don't expect this to be fixed easily, and don't hold your breath for tangible results. It is a process. A slow, painful and necessary one.

    Do not feel like you need to take this task on. As Marm suggested, this may be more suited for someone who is willing and educated to provide that kind of help. Instead, use your connection to help him understand that there is nothing wrong, shameful or inherently ridiculous about talking to such a person as his happiness should come first. Then slap him on the shoulder, and take him out to have some fun (engage that Se together )
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