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  1. #1
    darkened dreams Ravenetta's Avatar
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    Default INFJs describing Fe

    I don't remember a thread like this, but it would be interesting if the people who have longstanding typed as INFJs describe for themselves how they understand and relate to the concept of Fe.

    I don't know how to tag even though I tried. Also, if I didn't @ you as an INFJ know that I wanted to, but just couldn't find you.

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  2. #2
    darkened dreams Ravenetta's Avatar
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    INFJ and ISFP are the two types I've ever settled on and I tend to feel like I'm strangely half-way between, but I do think there is a long-term misunderstanding about INFJs and Fe, so the thread has utility outside of my own wonderings and meanderings. I don't relate to standard descriptions very well, but other INFJ have started describing unique ways they relate to Fe, but I don't remember it being focused into a single thread, but more scattered about in the generalized Fi/Fe type discussions.
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  3. #3
    AKA Nunki Polaris's Avatar
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    In myself, some examples of what I consider Fe are:

    -Being in tune with the social atmosphere and overriding mood
    -Placing considerable importance on making other people feel good, even at the cost of my personal feelings
    -A focus on supporting interpersonal harmony
    -Being sensitive to other people's feelings toward me
    -Consideration of how I come across to other people
    -Concern for the well-being of others
    [ Ni > Ti > Fe > Fi > Ne > Te > Si > Se ][ 4w5 sp/sx ][ RLOAI ][ IEI-Ni ]
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  4. #4
    Somber and irritated cascadeco's Avatar
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    I can't post here without also posting some of my overarching thoughts on mbti and how it's used - I think a lot of confusion can happen because everyone has some element of each of the abstractions known as 'functions', and so when I write here, I'm writing more in the context of viewing myself as NFJ, and not as NFP or SFP or SFJ. Also I think confusion can arise between FP/FJ because it can be difficult to discern whether something is a personal value (Fi) or not -- ie any 'opinion' could be argued to be a personal value, if you really think about it. (Plus - everyone has personal values. There's also the converse of this - Fi users can have values tied to how people are treated/ tied to externals - so both can mirror each other in some ways / or everyone has both imo.)

    I am externally on top of things, externally aware of social dynamics/ interactions, and tend to find it offensive when people don't account for other people. Very straightforward example: A table of old men/regulars who come into our coffee shop every day don't like our new furniture and yesterday took it upon themselves to move a table to where their old table had been - in doing so, they absconded with a bunch of chairs and thus stole all of the seating from everyone else -- leaving a long bench with little tables and no little chairs opposite the bench since they took all of them for their private little Round Table session. This really aggravated me as I find it really rude and entitled and inconsiderate of everyone else. Things like this probably cross my mind every single day. I also at the end of the day must embrace the fact that I'm not a 'live and let live' sort of person -- I actually think there are universally positive and negative things and I am very bothered by large-scale societal things and so on. I tend to focus quite a lot on observing everyone else and thinking / getting angry about how such and such behaviors cause such and such effect, and on a large scale it causes x, which leads to y, and so on. Edit: I think what is typically viewed as 'Fe' comes into play with this because though I have lots of soap-boxy societal/'people opinions', I tend not to vocalize as a) I don't want to hurt peoples' feelings, which I will inevitably do if I voice said opinions (and if I'm honest: additionally make me seem like a big meanie, a role which I don't take pleasure in taking, even if it is what I actually think); b)I may view keeping thoughts to myself as more beneficial, as voicing them won't accomplish or change anything; or similar sorts of 'what will the outcome be' reasons.

    For a long while I have worked to be more 'live and let live' (hence my Fi-ish alter-ego / ability to come across this way), but the reality is I've never been that lax or mellow. I can be in general much more soap-boxy. Over the years, though, I really have and do try to curb these things and keep things in check -- as I know precisely how irritating it can be (dom-Fe can irritate me to no end, as can aux-Fe) - probably because I see these tendencies in myself but try to keep them at bay.

    I also historically have bent over backwards at times trying to accommodate people, and some of this is due to my own uncertainty / lack of definition in having Super Solid This is How And Who I Am and It Won't Be Changing (I highly, highly envy strong Fi folks for this, in some ways) ---- and I'd say in terms of romantic relationships a real issue for me has in fact been my NOT having super solid core values -- there are/ have been many things that I have not necessarily been sure of and the result is I can be highly malleable to a potentially self-damaging way, not to mention belatedly confusing to the other person when I suddenly reverse course when I finally realize I personally am not actually ok with something -- something I can / have been taken advantage of in the past (not necessarily maliciously) - a lack of solid values means one can be far too drifting and uncertain -- which leads to a very unique set of disadvantages and amorphousness. This is markedly different from 'live and let live', I'd add -- it's a different sort of mushiness in a very different way.

    Also historically I would tend to build upon commonalities and not focus on things lacking; I still do this, however as I grow older I either become more 'lazy' or just realize it's not worth it, so I don't 'build' as much and am simply diplomatic.

    There's probably a lot more I could say. And as usual.... I never speak for all NFJ's or Fe.
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  5. #5
    H Y P E R B E A M Earl Grey's Avatar
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    Holy hell. Not Fe, but some of the things @cascadeco posted sound like how my ISFJ and 2 INFJ friends describe the differences between themselves and I.

    A part of the strength of Fe I think, is to be able to not only 'scope out' what is important/required/etc in a certain social group, but to take it up and fulfill those things- usually, emotional needs (and even if they are not immediately emotional, the core is emotional accommodation).



    TLDR; huge commonality I've seen in Fe-users that I've come to even expect at this point:
    - obligates themselves to others / external structures
    - are much more amenable to being corrected, especially if they agree with their surroundings
    - gauge themselves based off the end result of what they do, that involves other people, and derives their sense of accomplishment and self-value from it
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  6. #6
    Fe this! Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    I've kind of blathered about this at length, so I'll just post a link to a thread I'd started (about how I perceive Fe) instead of posting everything I posted there. Historically I've been pretty vocal about how messed up Fe descriptions are (and how they lead a lot of people who are FJs or TPs to identify as FPs or TJs, amongst other consequences).

    This is maybe a succinct enough chunk to repost here:

    This thing people have about Fe users giving up personal values for harmony - I don't get where that notion comes from. I can sorta walk through an interaction where someone doesn't (or others don't) share my values without feeling inauthentic if I don't stop everything to state how my values are different - I don't see that as giving up my values though, not even remotely. My values are still very much intact inside me. I've started to think that FPs maybe can't understand compartmentalizing like that - like they're afraid their values will actually change or something if they don't state something immediately, and they assume others have an equally tenuous hold on the 'space within'. I don't know how else to make sense of it.

    My tenuous hold is on the external/interpersonal world - I see 'small fires' in the external/interpersonal world as 'potential big fires' (and tend to react according to what I anticipate they'll become, rather than what they immediately are) precisely because paying attention to the space between people is so exhausting - and superfluous work in that direction is a big deal that I avoid when/where I can.

    Using the example casc posted: "A table of old men/regulars who come into our coffee shop every day don't like our new furniture and yesterday took it upon themselves to move a table to where their old table had been - in doing so, they absconded with a bunch of chairs and thus stole all of the seating from everyone else -- leaving a long bench with little tables and no little chairs opposite the bench since they took all of them for their private little Round Table session." I don't just 'see' people moving chairs and tables around so they can sit the way they want, I also 'see' the work they are creating for other people. Exposure to people being like this - doing stuff that 'takes' from others seemingly without a second thought - tends to make me nihilistic and resentful. This could be avoided if they first laid down some disclaimers (to employees) about how they want to move stuff around, and they'll move it back when finished, and/or they'll break it up early if others come in and there's a lack of seating area (but they'd also have to be open to hearing something like "we usually have a rush of people in an hour, so it'd be helpful if you could put stuff back by then").

    I think that introverted perceiving is kind of like a Rube Goldberg contraption; incoming information tends to present itself along with potential consequences of the thing/event itself. Instant connections are made about the path a thing/event is going to take. We don't look for it, it actually just happens simultaneously. We 'see' that if someone drops a marble down Hole A, then it will (probably) knock over four dominoes and do down Tunnel J before ending up popping the balloon at the end. But if someone drops a marble down Hole B, it will set a different set of events in motion. For FJs, the 'potential consequences' usually involve interpersonal events. (For TJs, the 'potential consequences' are objective events. I don't know, insert something here about knowing that some certain behavior will destroy a carburetor.)


    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post

    I also historically have bent over backwards at times trying to accommodate people, and some of this is due to my own uncertainty / lack of definition in having Super Solid This is How And Who I Am and It Won't Be Changing (I highly, highly envy strong Fi folks for this, in some ways) ---- and I'd say in terms of romantic relationships a real issue for me has in fact been my NOT having super solid core values -- there are/ have been many things that I have not necessarily been sure of and the result is I can be highly malleable to a potentially self-damaging way, not to mention belatedly confusing to the other person when I suddenly reverse course when I finally realize I personally am not actually ok with something -- something I can / have been taken advantage of in the past (not necessarily maliciously) - a lack of solid values means one can be far too drifting and uncertain -- which leads to a very unique set of disadvantages and amorphousness. This is markedly different from 'live and let live', I'd add -- it's a different sort of mushiness in a very different way.
    I can relate a lot to this, and I can remember reading something along these lines in an INFJ description - I think it's in Lenore Thomson's book. There's something about how INFJs can tend to 'go along' with something at first, just for lack of having a strong immediate position.
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  7. #7
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    I am externally on top of things, externally aware of social dynamics/ interactions, and tend to find it offensive when people don't account for other people.
    This!

    I think this captures the heart of it. It's like everyone has an aura exuding out of them, and all the auras combine into a 'public aura'. As an Fe user, I have a firm stance on what color the 'public aura' should be at any given moment. For example, 'right now it's appropriate for everyone to be friendly and try to get everyone involved in conversations', or 'right now this particular person isn't feeling well, so everyone should be attentive and make sure they don't feel worse', etc. I'm highly aware of who is contributing what to the 'public aura', which means I'm also very aware who is not contributing. Of course, the appropriate public aura is always changing, depending on the situation, and can change. For example, 'this friend has spent the past hour venting about work and everyone has spent so long consoling her, and now she appears to be feeling better, so maybe it's time for everyone else to have a chance to vent or tell the group about their lives, too' And then if it's in my power, I will try to 'steer' the interactions that way.

    Fi might sense exactly the same thing, but is more focused on individual auras and pay less attention to the public aura, and tends to be much less inclined to try to manipulate the hue of the public aura.
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  8. #8
    darkened dreams Ravenetta's Avatar
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    I hope people will continue describing in general terms. I do have a specific question I'm curious about - how do you feel in social environments that are structured for people to move and behave together? This could include church services where people are to stand, sit, sing, kneel, and move in unison, it could include performances like musicals involving dance or instruments coordinated together, possibly the military, or any of the social environments that require coordination of behavior and movement?

    Do these provide a kind of settled or peaceful sense or an unsettled sense? Does it depend on context? Are there some positive examples that feel good?
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  9. #9
    Somber and irritated cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenetta View Post
    I hope people will continue describing in general terms. I do have a specific question I'm curious about - how do you feel in social environments that are structured for people to move and behave together? This could include church services where people are to stand, sit, sing, kneel, and move in unison, it could include performances like musicals involving dance or instruments coordinated together, possibly the military, or any of the social environments that require coordination of behavior and movement?

    Do these provide a kind of settled or peaceful sense or an unsettled sense? Does it depend on context? Are there some positive examples that feel good?
    I think I am highly sensitive to what I see as group manipulation, so I often don't do well in organized environments or want to be a part of them. This could be tied to my instincts, or could just be awareness of group dynamics and finding it loathsome if I disagree. (Refer to my recent rant - I'm pretty counterphobic to many group expectations, marketing to the masses, social group scary behavior.) I guess it depends on context and whether I see it is nefarious (lol) or good, whether I agree with it, whether I don't and find it fitting to state that, or whether I don't and find it utterly futile to state that.

    It's a weird dichotomy, being aware of it and able to not ruffle feathers too much, but also despise much of it. I think this element can be why a lot of NFJ's in particular can relate more to Fi descriptions.
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  10. #10
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravenetta View Post
    I hope people will continue describing in general terms. I do have a specific question I'm curious about - how do you feel in social environments that are structured for people to move and behave together? This could include church services where people are to stand, sit, sing, kneel, and move in unison, it could include performances like musicals involving dance or instruments coordinated together, possibly the military, or any of the social environments that require coordination of behavior and movement?

    Do these provide a kind of settled or peaceful sense or an unsettled sense? Does it depend on context? Are there some positive examples that feel good?
    Personally, I feel they can be a bit silly/pointless, especially ones that have become soulless rituals. However -- and this is big however, I'm often really moved if the people involved are really into it. If the participants really believe in it, are a hundred percent in the moment, and share a sense of unity, I can completely be swept up in it too and find it a positive and powerful experience.

    My INFP hubby is strongly against these things, though.

    Edited to add: so the conclusion is, what I appreciate is not the 'structure' itself, but people's reaction to it, and I think it can be a beautiful thing.
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