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  1. #141
    Senior Member Ene's Avatar
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    I think my cortical node is malfunctioning. I must regenerate now. But I will return.
    A student said to his master: "You teach me fighting, but you talk about peace. How do you reconcile the two?" The master replied: "It is better to be a warrior in a garden than to be a gardener in a war." - unknown/Chinese

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...=61024&page=14

  2. #142
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    At least for me, when I am talking about making adjustments, I'm primarily thinking in terms of close working relationships, family members, spouses etc. Clearly, no one can turn themselves inside out to be all things to all people. In most cases, differences in communication are not that serious unless they are unavoidable. Even then, it's hard to make any generalizations because factoring in individuals, type of relationship, age, maturity, life experiences, environment, history, situation and culture make for endless permutations.

    For me, the issue is not whether or not I should bend to accommodate others and to stretch my own comfort zone to encompass more people and communication styles. It's got more to do with how to use the functions I have in the most healthy and productive way possible, making the most of their inherent strengths, rather than becoming restricted or enslaved by the inherent weaknesses of that function set (and hurting or inconveniencing others in the process).

    In practical terms, what does that look like, and how does one get there?

  3. #143
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Just read your post, @SouthernKross. You do an excellent job of summarizing points and asking questions, in a way that is really helpful.

    There are all kinds of rabbit trails your thoughtful responses have sparked! ( As an aside - one of the biggest, but good problems in my correspondence with INFP friends is that each idea discussed sparks several more conversations. On paper, this can become extremely daunting to get it all down, as the response to that is also exponential in nature!)

    Re disagreement: I think it might also have to do with the seriousness of the disagreement, as well as how emotionally charged it is. I find conflict much less uncomfortable than I once did. However, the degree to which I will delve into it often has to do with what I project the outcome to be. Maybe it's about efficiency for me. If we agree on a lot of the foundational aspects of something but disagree about the details or implementation, then it seems possible that the discussion will yield something useful. If not, then the whole effort seems like a losing proposition before it even starts and I'll withdraw. Just as I feel personally attacked if the sense of being in the same side isn't established, I also am uncomfortable with disagreeing with someone about foundational aspects of their idea/argument/plan, as it feels like I am personally attacking them and I'm not sure that I want to deal with all the projected fallout of that. Similarly, if both parties are not overly emotional and more analytical, it feels more comfortable to express disagreement and to accept it without reading it as a personal thing. Emotion makes disagreement feel a lot more personal to me and I become less comfortable with it.

    So I may withdraw from contact in a thread with someone I know I will not be able to productively discuss something with, yet engage with others. In my mind, I am respecting their space and protecting the future potential of our interactions, while to them it may look like a marked effort to devalue their ideas and promote others' or silence them by ignoring their presence. I am sensitive to especially public embarrassment or singling out. I'm treating them as I'd wish to be treated by someone who disagrees with me fundamentally. In short, I am doing precisely what I was attempting to avoid, thinking that I am being kind.

    On the other hand, engaging in conflict that doesn't have a clear objective or a productive foreseeable outcome is exhausting and unnecessary to me. Is there a middle ground that can work for both parties?

    I realize now that it is very constricting to some people to have to know what the point of the discussion is before it has taken shape. For me, if it is negative, I want to know what is going to right the boat that has been capsized and get the people out if the water as quickly as possible (to use Seymour's metaphor). It's not an effort to squelch or to sweep problems under the rug, although I think that it very much can appear that way. Rather, in my mind, I'm just making sure there are no casualties and that things will be okay in the end. The future outcome is planned for at the expense of the present! Until coming here, I honestly didn't realize that this was a thing. Now, I'm guessing it's like when people want to rush is into decision making without properly understanding the particulars of the situation, as uncomfortable as that might be in the moment.

    Lots more food for thought, but will post this before it gets too monstrous!

  4. #144
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YUI View Post
    I would give the same answer as before. Your top four functions are my bottom four functions. Therefore, it's going to be a question of bridging differences rather than "using the functions you have in the most healthy and productive way possible and making the most of their inherent strengths."
    So, going at it from that angle, what bridging options do you propose? Mine tend to be:
    1. Look for areas we can agree or can enjoy interaction.
    2. Withdraw if it looks like that cannot happen/only become as close as is functionally workable for both parties without too much effort.
    3. Try to find out where our areas of difference lie and understand why.

    That's clearly not enough of a solution to be completely satisfactory, as the other party is still going to feel I am dictating the interaction by my needs.

    So if we have opposite functions and shoring up weaknesses/optimizing strengths is not the solution, then what do you think might work better? From your previous response, I had assumed it wasn't that dissimilar to what I suggested above (in the case of the INFJ and ENFJ).

  5. #145
    Vulnerability Eilonwy's Avatar
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    I think some of the problem is in trying to compare Fi and Fe directly. I think INFJs might get a better feel for Fi by comparing it to our Ti, except it is deciding/judging based on a different set of criteria than Ti. Same for Fe/Te. They operate the same way, but use different criteria. I'm guessing that if I can personally view my Fe as more Te-ish, that will take some of the emotional sting out of certain interactions. I just haven't taken the time to learn enough about Te so that I can do this to see if it works or not. I also hope that doing this would help me use Fe in a less personal way when called for.

    Here are some random thoughts about a way to look at how INFPs/INFJs work based on Pi vs Ji (could be total BS):
    It's always going to be perception then judgement--you can't base decisions on data that essentially doesn't exist yet. The difference in Pi-dom vs Ji-dom isn't that one perceives first and one judges first. The difference is that Pi-dom relies on introverted perceiving--a subjective, not-based-in-reality perception function--on which to base it's decisions, so it takes its time gathering perceptions, building up perceptions. But Pi-dom doesn't always take it's time in making decisions/judgments. It figures that it's spent all of this time building up perception (supposedly accurate) that it can make quick judgments based on that wealth of knowledge.

    
Ji-dom, on the other hand, still perceives before it judges, but its first perceptive function is an in-the-moment, reality-based one, followed immediately by the gathering/storing/building up perceptive function. Their weakest reality-based function is a decision-making function, so they're screwed when they need to make quick decisions/judgments and so tend to hold those open and rely on their dom function to slowly come to some conclusion.

    
Pi-dom only sees the bouncy, outer perception part of Ji-dom and judges that as unreliable, comparing it to its own weak outer perception.

    
Ji-dom only sees the rigid, outer judgment part of Pi-dom and perceives it as too unyielding, comparing it to its own weak outer judgment.
    Johari / Nohari

    “That we are capable only of being what we are remains our unforgivable sin.” ― Gene Wolfe

    reminder to self: "That YOU that you are so proud of is a story woven together by your interpreter module to account for as much of your behavior as it can incorporate, and it denies or rationalizes the rest." "Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain" by Michael S. Gazzaniga

  6. #146
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Definitely this is true and I remember when umlauu first pointed out to me the similarities between extroverted functions and introverted functions respectively and what a revelation that was! In practical terms though, I still can't see how to use that information, other than in garnering some respect and understanding for the other party, seeing their way of functioning and their needs as valid as well, and allowing us to recognize where snags may occur. Ultimately though, I see YUI's solution as the best working one yet - interaction that is pleasant for both parties, but remains distant enough that it isn't going to be a big problem. If that is felt by others though as rejecting and unfair, I'm not sure where to go from there.

  7. #147
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I agree with you. In the context of this forum, that works for the most part as well.

  8. #148
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Seymour, I think in many ways your analogy about boats on the sea is very apt. I'm not suggesting that just because that is the way I initially react to the people around me that that is immovable or even the right way. Over the last while, I have been wrestling with how to bend, while still recognizing that the function set that was dealt is still the only one I have, but that it can be optimized. However, it is true that stability and a sense of emotional predictability is probably more needful to me than to many other types of people. Similarly, the freedom to splash and enjoy the storm without restriction is needful to other people and the trick is finding the balance between the two, especially when trying to work together.

    I think perhaps for me, consensus and a group result isn't so important as some writing about Fe seems to indicate, but awareness of everyone's landscape and needs probably is important to me in the process of decision-making.

    I want to make the distinction - the list I wrote was in response to highlander's question about how INFJs will best open themselves up to vulnerability and trust others. It is not and was not meant as a list of requirements for people to successfully interact with INFJs!
    That's a helpful clarification... and a relief to hear. I was mis-hearing a requirement for near-absolute consistency and steadiness. I do understand how consistency can be comforting; my partner is kind of ISTJ-ish, and him being more steady and consistent than I am is a help in many ways.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I of course don't represent all INFJs. I also don't expect intense closeness and intimacy with very many people at all. I recognize that even the closest of people to me are not going to be able to be everything I wish, or even that I need at times, which is why it's important to have a variety of people in my support system. It would be impossible and unrealistic for one person to be able to deliver everything. Similarly, they also need a variety of people in their's as I could not provide everything they need. On the other hand, I do believe that those factors (for someone who is seeking to become closer and who wants to see the more vulnerable side of an INFJ) are ones that might be useful to have on their radar.

    I can see from many of the INFP/INFJ discussions that we approach the world very differently. For me, I would be most grateful to any type if they would give me a cheat sheet of what their priorities are, what they value most, and to give me some specific words for how best to relate to them. In short, I guess I would like scripting!!! Not in the sense of governing all interactions and outcomes, but in lighting the way for how to avoid potholes and how to make the other person feel cared for. I suppose that is why I tend to do that in my communications on this subject. It's not so much a matter of me suggesting, "You can only approach me if..." but rather, "These are hot buttons for me, which will likely result in misunderstandings and messes. Asking me specific questions that in your world would be intrusive, would be welcomed and make me feel your care. Here are some examples". I would appreciate the same from INFPs, but I sense that that simply isn't how it works and so my stating how it is for me comes off as bossy, rigid, and expecting everyone to come to me.

    What I wrote was not with the intention of discouraging or judging other people, so much as opening a window to what makes me tick in the hopes that it might be of some use to someone.

    I'm doing what is most natural, which is trying to clarify my reasoning or motivations and am stuck again, because I sense that that is not what is useful to the other parties, but I'm not sure how to deliver what is.
    Again, thanks for that clarification. That's very helpful to hear. I certainly am drama averse, so I can understand how unnecessary upset is something to be avoided. Still, I like a certain amount of the unexpected, and sometimes look forward to when things go off the rails a little bit... because that's when things are most interesting and when you get to see a different side of people.

    I think it might be harder to come up with a good list for INFPs generally. It might include things like (and I'm sure other NFPs can step in and correct me or give their own versions):

    • Once you know us, (at least tend to initially) trust our intent over the outward form. We tend to view social forms as mutable or disposable. While social forms tend to be viewed as how one communicates (as the agreed upon language) to FJs, they are individually evaluated by FPs, and may be discarded as meaningless or contrary to one's own values.
    • Stay aware that our perception of time and momentum differs. If we aren't in touch for a while, it doesn't mean you are unimportant, or that we don't value the relationship. We tend to assume that relationships persist at the last known point, whereas others may assume a kind of decay over time. This, perhaps unfairly, places the onus of initiating on others.
    • Don't make every interaction about a goal. We tend to prefer for interactions to be worthwhile for their own sake, and benefits to arise spontaneously over time. Feeling like we are just being enlisted because we are useful is a turn off.
    • Keep in mind that Fi is very much about tuning/adjusting according to the present circumstance or focus of attention. This means we may find things like milestones and regular check-ins difficult to track, since we tend to be focused on what seems optimal to attend to right now. We may also be bad at cutting off a currently fruitful focus in order to attend to something else (even something that's more important in long term).


    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I definitely relate, Seymour, to what you say about INFJs being good with future and across time patterns, but poorer with moment to moment. My weakness in that area is probably one of the reasons why at least this INFJ feels the need for more control, more predictibility in the people I am closest to, and less emotional surprises, as I am not very good at coming up with either an accurate interpretation of the situation, or a plan for how to deal with it in real time. It's a huge problem. I don't think it is fair for others to have to accommodate that need, but at the same time, without another effective coping system in place, it is a need, not just a preference. So I guess the question is, what works most effectively to make the need for minimal turbulence less important?
    As I said before, we all have to deal with things we didn't choose. I think part of being an adult is having to deal with the fallout anyway... as I've slowly learned over time. Even if I have a strong Perceiving preference, that doesn't let me opt out of aspects of life which are drearily routine and regimented. It does help me a lot to hear that the difficulties of related aren't all about the deficiencies of INFPs (because we certainly have our deficiencies). Seeing it as a mismatch makes it much more approachable for me, and makes me much more sympathetic to adjust behavior to meet half-way.

    I'm not INFP spokesbeing, but I did find that post very helpful subjectively. Thanks for responding so thoughtfully and openly... definitely a big help to my understanding.

  9. #149
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Re disagreement: I think it might also have to do with the seriousness of the disagreement, as well as how emotionally charged it is. I find conflict much less uncomfortable than I once did. However, the degree to which I will delve into it often has to do with what I project the outcome to be. Maybe it's about efficiency for me. If we agree on a lot of the foundational aspects of something but disagree about the details or implementation, then it seems possible that the discussion will yield something useful. If not, then the whole effort seems like a losing proposition before it even starts and I'll withdraw. Just as I feel personally attacked if the sense of being in the same side isn't established, I also am uncomfortable with disagreeing with someone about foundational aspects of their idea/argument/plan, as it feels like I am personally attacking them and I'm not sure that I want to deal with all the projected fallout of that.
    That makes sense, but realistically, you're going to really struggle to get that out of a FP because we take this part as a given. In fact, it's something that seems highly inefficient to us. Like it's the boring, obligatory, ceremonial part you have to trudge through before you get to the good stuff. I guess in the long run it could save a lot of trouble and prevent needless arguing and tangential debates, but it's hard to convince us of that ahead of time. To us it's like doing business negotiations in certain Asian countries where the first 3 days are spent engaging in activities and talking about things that are totally irrelevant to the deal. Of course the whole point of that is to establish trust, good will, mutual respect and co-operation, but it can make Westerners want to tear their hair out in frustration.

    I wish I knew an expedient way to serve this, without feeling like I'm saying, "yada, yada, yada...". I want to feel like I'm doing something productive and significant not just condescendingly patting someone on the head in appeasement. I need for such a process to be meaningful to me for it to make sense to me and to be an effective tool.

    Similarly, if both parties are not overly emotional and more analytical, it feels more comfortable to express disagreement and to accept it without reading it as a personal thing. Emotion makes disagreement feel a lot more personal to me and I become less comfortable with it.
    This also makes perfect sense, and it makes me wonder how it works for me. I think Fi just makes everything personal: both emotional and analytical content. Not necessarily as an affront but in that I'm very invested in it, or else what's the point of talking about it?

    So basically, INFJs must be a lot better at compartmentalizing.

    So I may withdraw from contact in a thread with someone I know I will not be able to productively discuss something with, yet engage with others. In my mind, I am respecting their space and protecting the future potential of our interactions, while to them it may look like a marked effort to devalue their ideas and promote others' or silence them by ignoring their presence.
    Really? That is rather strange to me. Although, I guess I do a vaguely similar thing but would never describe it in such a way. Mostly I just shut my mouth and walk away before I say something I'm going to ultimately regret. I would never ignore that person; I just see it as having to protect the both of us from myself.

    On the other hand, engaging in conflict that doesn't have a clear objective or a productive foreseeable outcome is exhausting and unnecessary to me. Is there a middle ground that can work for both parties?
    There must be.

    I think one thing is, NFPs (and NTPs too I guess) are often better sifting at through useful and useless ideas/information and generating a resulting response than Ni-users realise. By this I mean that when Ni users seek to limit the scope and outline the terms in the way that they need, they can go overboard and more prescriptive than they really need to be with us. Perhaps if the topic is aimed more at Ni-users, the higher the level of prescription, the higher the clarity, which in turn allows them to generate a better response. But with NFPs this create the exact opposite response; it stifles free thought and creates resentment. I'm actually OK about having some goals set beforehand in broad terms but not when there are controls on how to achieve them or if I feel as though I'm required to reach a specific conclusion. Perhaps if a INFJ is creating a topic of discussion or making a statement with an end in mind, they should be slightly more vague than they ordinarily would be. Creating a little bit of room to move to move within some boundaries can be really seized upon with glee by NFPs. It's like the difference between putting a kid in a straight jacket and telling them to go play, and letting them run loose inside a hall; allowing them to explore and discover the space themselves. This creates the relative focus and the establishment of the terms you need, but gives the NFP the sense of freedom that allows them to think freely within that. I guess we just need to be humoured a little more than you'd expect when it comes to figuring things out.

    This makes me think back to what I was saying about how common ground is implied to FPs - I guess goals are implied for FJs in the same way. If you want to achieve a certain goal maybe you need to communicate that more clearly in order to keep us on track, but without outlining too many rules about how to get to that place. And I guess there must be a way for me to do the same thing for you guys but in reverse (however that would work).

    I don't know, what do you think? Is this off-base or impractical to you?
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

    I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;
    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte

  10. #150
    Senior Member Ene's Avatar
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    @Southern Kross
    So basically, INFJs must be a lot better at compartmentalizing.
    Yes, I would say that we compartmentalize, at least I know I do.

    The reverse? Hm...I think I really don't want my INFP friend to change the way she communicates with me. I mean now that I know where she's coming from, even if it's a foreign way of getting there, I can adapt. The biggest help for me has just been learning what the differences are and where they lie.

    I will say that I've made some major blunders in the past in trying to learn communicate.
    A student said to his master: "You teach me fighting, but you talk about peace. How do you reconcile the two?" The master replied: "It is better to be a warrior in a garden than to be a gardener in a war." - unknown/Chinese

    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...=61024&page=14

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