I'm wanting to find out what obstacles are preventing me from building more successful relationships. As I talk to other people more, almost everyone has suggested that I need to go into Fi more, and recognize my own personal individuality. I'm trying to figure out how to recognize Fi, build on it and incorporate it into my life. My problem with this is that I have put a lot of conscious effort into avoiding emotionally charged situations if possible, ignoring my own personal feelings on subjects, and deferring to logic as often as possible.
I've had a few Fi moments recently that I elaborated on in the Fe thread:
It's just so confusing figuring out where Si and Te ends, and Fi begins. Through my experiences, I've taught myself that the best decision is one that takes everything into account, and comes to a conclusion objectively. I can't just go too much toward one area when making a decision because I have to take every factor into account.For instance, my first one was last night at work. This woman came in to buy a tie for her boss's birthday at work. He was a legislator, and she worked under him. I looked at the tie and I instantly thought to myself, "man, that is boring, and a tie is such an easy present. I hate how people take the easy way out like that." So, she asked me for my opinion of the tie, and without thinking, I started telling her:
"Well, a tie is a really easy choice. I personally don't like it. It makes it seem like you didn't want to put much effort into it. The thing about birthdays at work is that once you start looking for a gift for a birthday, you've entered the personal realm and it's no longer professional. At that point, I want a gift from a person that shows me that they appreciate the value I bring to them as a human being, rather than a coworker." I went into a little more detail, but she seemed ok about it. Si and Te kept blaring away telling me, "You have broken so many rules. You have overstepped so many boundaries. If you had the option, you should just walk away because you have gotten too personal."
Next, I started thinking about giving my own help to people. The problem with that lately, especially in the last 6 months, is that I don't like someone only forming a relationship with me to take advantage of my skills when they have the opportunity to be more personal. It feels like an attack on my worth as a person and I end up turning down requests for help because of it. It's situational, I know. 5 years ago, I would've just offered my help to anyone that asked because it made me feel useful, but suddenly Fi is telling me that people have hidden motives and they should be considered.
Last, I had an Fi blow up with my mother earlier today. It was mostly over religion that I wasn't agreeing with the family views anymore. I hadn't told them, even though I had come to the conclusion personally about 9 months ago. I just kept up with the family traditions because I felt they should be respected and my opinion didn't have enough of an effect to warrant disrupting my day to day life with my family. However, today, during a conversation with my mother, I blew up, going off on her about how I had a personal obligation to my own beliefs and that I should stand up for them. It ended semi-ok. Right before I blew up on it, I had this massive internal argument, with many sides going after each other. At one point, I couldn't take it anymore and I just told myself, "I can't think straight. I can't figure out what to feel. This is fucking insane. I'm letting it out and I don't care what they think." It was like I hit a boiling point.
As I spoke to Murkrow last night, I'm thinking that I've learned how to train the Te on myself, but in the process, I made it the center of my world and depended on it for my self-esteem, self-image and relation to others. Looking back on myself, I've been thinking about which experiences in my life have caused me to act like this. The problem is, for example, when someone helps me do something, one of my first reactions internally is, "Are they helping me to make me feel incompetent? If they didn't help me, where would I be? How much effort should I put into making sure this specific situation doesn't happen again?"
I've realized that this train of thought has occured mostly from my experiences on the internet playing computer games, interacting with other computer geeks, and focusing on competence aimed projects. I had it ingrained in my head that the proper course of action everytime is the one that is void of personal feelings and most logical. It was also ingrained in me that the only thing stopping me from being capable of doing anything is myself. In any activity, I am capable of anything, and the only thing that might be preventing me from doing better is my own personal setbacks, such as laziness or ignorance.
Another example was last night at work. This is more of an STJ executive type example. A customer came in, and while I was helping them, they started talking about another one of our stores and their experiences with that store's associates. They said those associates were mean and not very helpful. My first response internally was, "Oh crap. This places favoritism over a certain store. This is a personal opinion. How do I respond to this? I can't agree with them. I'm not allowed. If I disagree, they might think I'm just disregarding their conversation. Okay, I need to find a way to justify the other store's actions that sets a happy medium between all 3 parties." I've just assumed as part of any job, to expect that your management expects you to be objective all of the time.
The problem is mostly that I just...have a hard time coming to grips with the fact that I have personal feelings regarding situations that are relevant. I never viewed it as a necessity to delve into before so I didn't. I honestly thought to myself, "If I figure out my own feelings, will they even be that impressive compared to other people's feelings?" It's just trying to do something because it feels right is so foreign to me. It's made me more emotional recently and it makes me feel like crying to delve into.
Te has just put so much of an emphasis on not placing favoritism in a situation that involves other people. I don't know how to turn it off. Part of the problem also is learning to use Fi to turn off Te in terms of caring what other people think about me. Te moves me to be concerned if other people view me as competent. I evidently need to delve into Fi also in order to learn how to turn that concern off at times, as it's preventing me from having a personal identity. The problem with that is that I need to figure out how to tell myself that my personal identity is more important than how other people view me.
I started thinking about what relationships in the past I have had that were meaningful to me. The ones that came to mind were the ones where I had an intense connection to the other person that it allowed us to think more as one person, but act as two. That's what meant the most to me, the connection.
I'm just posting this for now to start gathering some ideas. I'll elaborate more later on with my experiences. What are other ISTJ's experiences with Fi? How you recognize your own personal identity? How do you find the difference between your Si and Te identity and your personal identity? Do you find yourself avoiding favoritism, plunging into your feelings, acknowleding them? Any advice from anyone else as to specific things I could do to try helping me utilize my feelings more?