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  1. #1

    Unhappy Please help me understand Fi? (a little bit of type confusion)

    I'm posting it here because my question has a bit more to do with self-identification than defining Fi in general.

    I just looked at the thread for descriptions of my own thought process in action as described by others who might share it (since it would be cool to be able to articulate this sort of thing to myself ), and I realized that I am actually not sure if I have some of these abilities/characteristics (particularly the recurring examples) in common after all. At first I chalked it up to the whole 'remember that I am my own person and I don't expect to be just like anyone else' thing, but it happened frequently enough to give me pause. So now I have to wonder...Might I be unaware of how I even use Fi? Maybe I use it in an immature way? I rely on it to an extent that it's become unhealthy? Or... maybe I am not Fi-dom after all?

    I am a little bothered by the thought. I've attempted to figure this out for some time, and I'd like to believe that I've reached a level of introspective ability that I can accurately tell what I think or feel about something such that I'd be able to tell with what functions I identify best. Oh well...

    These are the quotes from the thread that stuck out the most to me- I'll put what I thought of in response beneath each one. I hope nobody is bothered that I am quoting them for such a purpose! Please tell me and I'll try to edit it out (I admit to still being new at this ).

    Quote Originally Posted by Adoamros View Post
    being Fi dominant usually causes for extra sifting through standpoints on various things. The problem is trying to vocalize your Fi sometimes. You know what you mean but it is hard communicating it because Fi doesn't need a reason.

    Also, I believe Fi is the function that enables one to see through falsehood and bullshit. Someone who is Fi dom will likely ponder the sincerity of others a bit more than what is average. But the Fi dom (or someone who has developed Fi) will also be able to detect the sincerity truly.
    I wonder what is meant by 'various standpoints'. I thought it might be something like deciding if any definitions one finds of a given idea or situation are acceptable to use for that framework. Like, if I didn't have an opinion on something already, what is my immediate reaction to it? Based on that, what other viewpoints are there that sound good enough to clarify my reaction and help me flesh it out? Does it mean something like that? If so, then I would agree. I also agree with not being able to verbally express my opinions or impressions of things (most of the time because they sound perfectly understandable and right in my head and I can't find the words I want to make them sound just like that outwardly).

    The 'seeing though falsehood' thing confuses me a little. I can't remember the last time I felt like I could see through somebody's motive (in real life, anyway. I don't seem to have trouble with this when I read stories.), so I wonder if I have done so at all. Maybe... At the same time, however, I do get annoyed when I feel like somebody is taking me for a fool or treating me like I should just follow them blindly. would I know if I was right about that? I just get a feeling at times...would that (use of the actual word 'feeling' aside ) really be an Fi thing?

    Quote Originally Posted by bighairything View Post
    I would imagine that Fi-doms are much much tougher and more resilient than people commonly suppose. It comes with instinctively being able to regulate emotional energy flows. Other types may not be such slaves to their emotions/values, but life eventually throws up emotional challenges to even the most stolid TJ-types, and when that happens those types often just fall to pieces.
    What does 'instinctively regulate emotional flows' mean? When I have an emotional response to something, it just happens. Depending on the cause of the emotion,I might think/talk myself through it, but is that regulation? On the other hand, though, I feel like I'm in an emotional pool and I'm floating. When I feel strongly about something, that's like a wave that I'll ride out, but most of the time I am just floating along in a calm. Yea, I'm mostly calm.

    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post advantage of Fi could be simply interpersonal dynamics - by knowing your values/emotions so well, it could provide a 'bridge' towards connecting to others with obviously the ability to empathize/relate to others on this level. The ability to navigate relationships in a positive way and build upon those relationships that are valued (of course with Fi-dom's that would have to be coupled with Ne/Se to be really effective), which is always an asset when it comes to the working world, as well as personal life/friendships.

    And, as others have mentioned...Fi is ultimately about having that certitude about what your values are, and prioritizing those values and having them lead your decision-making/etc...that certitude could easily lead to more confidence in pursuing what you want or believe in, 100%...something that dominant-perceivers (Ni/Si) tend to lack......
    This post started to worry me a little. I don't know if I have a value system-primarily because, if asked, I wouldn't have an answer. There aren't really any sort of guidelines or rules I generally call upon for wisdom (except certain advice from people I respect and admire), but I also don't think I have strict internal rules about stuff in general. Maybe the word is principles? I don't think I have principles (what I think are rules of conduct that one applies to every situation) because I think that most situations/circumstances are pretty different. If the value system is something like wanting not to get in a fight about something because I don't like conflict, then I guess I have that. But I don't think I know my values or emotions well. At least, I am not actively aware of them all the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    IxFPs are cool with staying true to their values and not giving a shit when they shouldn't care.
    Yea, I wish that I didn't care. But really, if there's somebody that I have to live with or interact with on a regular basis (not random people that just happen to be in the same place as me, but family, friends and acquaintances), then I would actually pay attention to what their responses to the things I say are. Now, if it was a matter of not letting them change my mind (too) easily, then yea, I'm like that. But, I am not able to just let stuff roll off my back, either.

    Quote Originally Posted by noigmn View Post
    I think grounded values and the freedom they bring. By being grounded in your values you don't need to give yourself morals and meaning from elsewhere as much. Most people in society have something they have to chase or follow, an order or appearance to uphold, a need for rewards and achievement, social ladder climbing, a name, a position, an image. You get to define yourself outside this. The search can be for what you want to do and why. In a way Fi is liberating.
    ...Freedom? Like I said before, I don't tend to get my perspective from nearby existing frameworks (except also maybe agreeing with an idea that was better articulated than my impression of the idea until that point), but is that the same thing as described here? I wish I could define myself, but I still don't know who I am or what I really want or what I'm after in life. It's not a very freeing state of mind.

    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    I think Fi is a wonderful tool for self-preservation. Fi can keep a person from allowing others to treat him or her badly, it can also serve as a barrier against blindly going along with what mainstream society dictates.

    Fi seems like a valuable thing to have in a strongly individualistic society, it would be a plus not a minus. Having a strong sense of self-hood is something that can actually lead to contentment in adult life instead of falling prey to keeping up with the Joneses or thinking that exterior validation is the key to happiness.

    Fi also can probably help some individuals succeed in creative fields where there is a lot of competition, like writing or art, because the Fi-dom would be so dedicated to his or her "mission" that they might be more likely to make it through sheer tenacity.

    We live in a very psychoanalytic society currently, too, and Fi doms are great at psychoanalyzing themselves. I think healthy Fi could help someone to become extremely self-actualized and successful in life.

    These are all just possibilities. I'm not saying that this is what Fi does for all Fi users, but these are possible benefits that I see.
    I definitely see myself in the first mini-paragraph to a degree. It's just that, I don't think I have a sense of self, or at least one that I can easily point to. So, while I don't really seek external validation, I don't really feel internal validation either. Sometimes it's like not having a self at all...

    The second paragraph would be very encouraging, if it weren't for that insidious perfectionism that rears it's head from time to time. I thought that I'd cured myself of perfectionism in the past , but it turns out that I still find myself feeling inadequate in regards to personal writings and art in general. It makes me not want to try stuff, particularly artistic pursuits, because of the (inevitably) bad beginning.

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Linguist View Post
    ^^^^ This. Combine this with Te, and you can actually know what you want, have less competition, and actually get shit done. Which means, while other people are wondering if it's such a great idea doing something new, or going against the norm, or doing something that does not fit the system, or doing something that requires work, and blah blah blah, the Fi dom/aux with developed Te says:

    1. I want this.
    2. I can do this in that way.
    3. Let's do this shit.

    And they are on step 3 while everyone else is still trying to figure out 1.
    I really like this. I don't know if I do this sort of thing with bigger objectives than mundane stuff (trying to get out of doing something I want to put off until later is the only example that comes to mind right now.), so I don't really know if I could claim it. It's a cool way of looking at tying pieces of type together, though.


    I really admire the things that everyone in that thread said in regards to the strengths of Fi, and I did think that my perspective was shaped by some of those traits. I wonder if I am still trying to identify as many positive aspects of the type ISFP as possible. I've had to step back and force myself to not look for complete identification with type descriptions or function use descriptions, so please tell me if you think that that might also be the issue.

  2. #2
    Shaman BlackCat's Avatar
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    Nov 2008
    9w8 sx/sp
    SEE Fi


    It's fine to not relate to others of your type in certain areas. I would say check out what Eric B wrote here, check out the sections on Fi-

    What people are saying in there are some common side effects of being Fi, and not what being an Fi dom actually is. If you're curious about that, read the link.
    () 9w8-3w4-7w6 tritype.

    sCueI (primary Inquisition)

  3. #3
    Intriguing.... Quinlan's Avatar
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    Apr 2008


    I wish I knew the answer too.

    I consider my "sense of self" to be pretty fluid.
    Act your age not your enneagram number.

    Quinlan's Creations

  4. #4


    Not one that you quoted is from an ISFP. All the NFPs will be quite different in their approach to things. And the other types will be guessing from an external point of view.

    The knowing who you are part is separate from knowing what you want to do. I have no clues about the meaning of life, what I am after out of it, etc. either. But on personal things, I'll often know what feels right for me or doesn't, I'll know my views on an issue, what I think is best in a situation, etc. Actually take that back. On most issues I just know the options. When someone might get harmed I know my views on the issue.
    Freude, schöner Götterfunken Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum! Deine Zauber binden wieder Was die Mode streng geteilt; Alle Menschen werden Brüder, Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

  5. #5


    Yeah, ISFP and INFP express it differently.

    Fi="what is important"
    Fi: EVALUATE The experience

    Se="what is"
    Se: EXPERIENCE The experience

    Ne="what could be"
    Ne: CONCEIVE FROM The experience

    So INFP would tend toward universal values and ISFP, personal values.

  6. #6


    BlackCat: Thanks! I'll definitely check it out.

    Quinlan: I see what you did there. Thanks.

    noigmn: I certainly should've taken that into account too.

    I guess I'm over thinking it a bit, huh?
    I kinda... temporarily forgot how much the auxiliary function informs how one uses the dominate one.

  7. #7
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    5w4 sx/so


    Quote Originally Posted by wolfy View Post
    Yeah, ISFP and INFP express it differently.

    Fi="what is important"
    Fi: EVALUATE The experience

    Se="what is"
    Se: EXPERIENCE The experience

    Ne="what could be"
    Ne: CONCEIVE FROM The experience

    So INFP would tend toward universal values and ISFP, personal values.
    I'm not sure I agree with that. I would say that INFP is about seeing the possibilities for the external world to be more in alignment with internal values (or how that fails to happen), while ISFP is more about the physical expression of values (art, music, crafting) and experiencing how those values are reflected in the outer world (or how there is a mismatch).

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