Is this a good example of Fi vs. Fe?

Is this a good example of Fi vs. Fe?

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This is a discussion on Is this a good example of Fi vs. Fe? within the Cognitive Functions forums, part of the Personality Type Forums category; I'm an ISFJ (so I use Fe) and I have an INFP friend (who uses Fi). Before we even knew ...

  1. #1
    ISFJ - The Nurturers

    Is this a good example of Fi vs. Fe?

    I'm an ISFJ (so I use Fe) and I have an INFP friend (who uses Fi). Before we even knew anything about type or functions, we had this conversation, and in retrospect, it seems like to me a really good example of the differences between Fi and Fe, and I just wanted to get others' thoughts on it.


    I was telling him about one of my friends from college. I was extremely close to this friend and I loved being around her...we were very close.

    However, not only did she herself not cuss, she preferred others around her not to cuss when in her company. Now, she wasn't pushy about this...it's not like she treated anyone who cussed around her differently. But, if the topic came up, she expressed that she would prefer it if those around her did not cuss.


    In that situation, my Fe took over. Even though I cuss whenever I feel like it and it was sometimes my natural urge to do so around her, I refrained from doing it because I valued our friendship. I put her preference above mine because I didn't think it was that big of a deal to be careful not to cuss around her. She never pushed me into it, but I felt that because we were friends, part of me being her friend was to honor her wishes by not doing something she didn't like me to do. It wasn't that big of a deal to me...I put our friendship over my own small natural inclination.


    When I told my INFP friend about it, this sounded preposterous to him. In his mind, he felt that she was being completely unreasonable and uptight. He felt that if she was truly my friend, she shouldn't care at all about whether or not I cussed. He said that I should be free to do whatever I wanted and it was up to her to decide if that was worth still being my friend. His point was that if the friendship hinged on me cussing or not, then it wasn't worth having. For his friends, if anyone ever mentioned that to him, he would have ignored it because he found it unreasonable...he felt no need to change what was true for him and if someone else didn't like it, there was no point in even being friends.


    Looking back on it now, to me this seems like a perfect illustration of Fe vs. Fi. My Fe believes that in a friendship, both friends should make personal sacrifices in order to keep harmony between the two friends. His Fi believes that if the friendship is truly valuable, both friends shouldn't ever have to feel like they have to sacrifice anything...they should be free to do whatever they want and the other should be ok with it because they're friends.



    Now, this isn't to say that both he and I don't agree to a degree with both of these perspectives. I'm sure there are times where he sacrifices things for friends, and there are times when I won't back down from who I am. But, I still think this conversation kind of illustrates how an Fe user and an Fi user might view a friendship. I know from my experience talking with some INTJs that they tend to feel pretty similar to how my INFP friend does.


    Any thoughts on this?
    MoonLight, lirulin, Nymma and 2 others thanked this post.



  2. #2
    INFP - The Idealists

    I would guess your Fi friend is more put-off by her giving orders to people to not cuss than anything. It's not that a Fi type would not respect the feelings of a friend & adjust their behavior to do so (In fact, I'd venture to say we EASILY do that as much as any Fe type, especially as generally our feelings are not in accordance with those around us; we often adjust & adapt & accommodate in ways others have no idea we even do because to them such ways are "normal". Fi adjusts to Fe waaay more than vice versa, IMO). Instead, it's a matter of feeling forced or judged negatively by someone else's personal standards. Do you see the distinction?

    Plus, Fi types often know a person doesn't even need to give orders to have their feelings accommodated. A quiet example goes a long way. I don't cuss a lot & prefer to not hear a lot of it (although I am not totally uptight). I never say anything to anyone about it though. Many co-workers & friends would comment on how I almost never cuss & then they'd clean up their language around me, but it was with no request from me, no mention of the topic at all. They simply noted my behavior & took it as a guide for my preferences & feelings. People can gauge what is appropriate & respectful themselves; they don't need some mandate. To me, it is treating friends like children to give them such rules.
    Morpheus83, faeriegal713, Paradigm and 12 others thanked this post.

  3. #3
    INFP - The Idealists

    As long as the request is a legitimate emotional boundary, I do everything I can not to cross it. I believe we are all responsible for not intentionally hurting each other. I take that responsibility seriously.

    However, If I consider the other person's request evil, or believe it is based on something invalid, I likely won't follow it.

    For example, if a friend said she didn't like cussing, I wouldn't cuss around her. I don't like making people feel uncomfortable without a good reason. Cussing, while probably morally neutral, isn't something I do for an important purpose, and if there were something I didn't like her saying around me, I would expect her to show the same courtesy.

    However, if a friend said "shave your legs when you go out in public with me" that would feel like a violation, and would be a matter of her imposing unrealistic, socially harmful restrictions on me. I feel that shaving my legs would set a bad example, and would validate other people's superficiality. Rather than succumbing to inappropriate social pressures, I choose to live my life as a statement against the kinds of people who would require such things. This is because I consider superficiality seriously evil, and I am opposed to meaningless conformity. I would probably tell her to go fuck herself (unless she didn't like cussing, in which case I would tell her to stop promoting oppression.)

    I hope that clarifies how my Fi processes the situation. It is all according to what I value. I value other people's sensitivity about the words I say, and I go out of my way to be gentle with their feelings, as I expect them to do for me, but I don't believe others have the right to impose certain kinds of unreasonable restrictions on me, if those restrictions sabotage something meaningful I am trying to accomplish.
    Morpheus83, Paradigm, MoonLight and 5 others thanked this post.

  4. #4
    ISFJ - The Nurturers

    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    I would guess your Fi friend is more put-off by her giving orders to people to not cuss than anything. It's not that a Fi type would not respect the feelings of a friend & adjust their behavior to do so (In fact, I'd venture to say we EASILY do that as much as any Fe type, especially as generally our feelings are not in accordance with those around us; we often adjust & adapt & accommodate in ways others have no idea we even do because to them such ways are "normal". Fi adjusts to Fe waaay more than vice versa, IMO). Instead, it's a matter of feeling forced or judged negatively by someone else's personal standards. Do you see the distinction?
    See, here's the thing though...I didn't view her as "giving orders". For me, she was just stating what made her uncomfortable. It's not like she told me "I don't want you to cuss around me." She wasn't telling me what I could and could not do in her presence. Like I said, if I had completely ignored how she felt and cussed whenever I felt like it, she wouldn't have treated me any differently. To me, it was more of a matter for her standing up for herself and saying what made her uncomfortable...it wasn't dogmatic.

    So I don't know if Fi and Fe perceive a situation like this differently, or if you're picturing the situation I'm describing differently than it actually happened. It's possible that what's "giving orders" to you is not "giving orders" to me. It's hard to say.




    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled
    Plus, Fi types often know a person doesn't even need to give orders to have their feelings accommodated. A quiet example goes a long way. I don't cuss a lot & prefer to not hear a lot of it (although I am not totally uptight). I never say anything to anyone about it though. Many co-workers & friends would comment on how I almost never cuss & then they'd clean up their language around me, but it was with no request from me, no mention of the topic at all. They simply noted my behavior & took it as a guide for my preferences & feelings. People can gauge what is appropriate & respectful themselves; they don't need some mandate. To me, it is treating friends like children to give them such rules.
    I might be wrong because I don't know as much about Fi as you do, but part of this sounds like an N vs. S thing to me. Being an N, you seem to want to express your preferences implicitly rather than explicitly and you would want others to pick up on that because that's the way you communicate.

    Perhaps not; maybe your S friends pick up on your preferences through your actions just as much as your N friends do.

    For me, I would not be able to make the jump that if another person prefers not to cuss, then they aren't comfortable with others cussing. I don't really connect the two. I may not even notice that one person never cusses. For me, I would want them to tell me that they have an issue with it so I would know and so I could adjust my behavior.

    To me, that's laying everything out on the table so I we can establish clear communication. I don't find people sharing their preferences to be pushy or overbearing.

    Of course, I'm an SJ, and you're and NP. How we view these situations can be quite different.
    lirulin thanked this post.

  5. #5
    INFP - The Idealists

    I don't think it's an NP vs SJ thing, in this case, because I am definitely an NP, but I also prefer knowing how others are feeling, so I can act accordingly. Likewise, I express my feelings openly and clearly because I expect others to take them seriously and alter their behaviors accordingly. I don't expect people to just be able to tell how I am feeling unless I give some kind of indication.

    If someone else isn't direct about their own feelings, I might not even notice that something is bothering them until it is too late. I rarely look at people when I am talking to them, and I'm bad at catching subtle clues. However, if someone is showing signs of obvious distress, I react appropriately by avoiding the behavior that causes it, unless I believe that altering my behavior in the required manner would be a greater evil.
    teddy564339 thanked this post.

  6. #6
    ISFJ - The Nurturers

    Quote Originally Posted by snail View Post
    I don't think it's an NP vs SJ thing, in this case, because I am definitely an NP, but I also prefer knowing how others are feeling, so I can act accordingly. Likewise, I express my feelings openly and clearly because I expect others to take them seriously and alter their behaviors accordingly. I don't expect people to just be able to tell how I am feeling unless I give some kind of indication.

    If someone else isn't direct about their own feelings, I might not even notice that something is bothering them until it is too late. I rarely look at people when I am talking to them, and I'm bad at catching subtle clues. However, if someone is showing signs of obvious distress, I react appropriately by avoiding the behavior that causes it, unless I believe that altering my behavior in the required manner would be a greater evil.

    If this is the case, then perhaps the situation is more complicated and can't be summed up by type or cognitive functions. Two different INFPs have given two answers that are quite different.

    It's possible Fe and Fi aren't quite as different as I may have been initially picturing them; in all fairness, most of my discussions about Fi have been with INTJs, who use it as their tertiary function. Their use of it is quite different than INFPs, and I've seen some of that pop up in some of the conflicts between INFPs and INTJs.

    I guess what tends to confuse me sometimes is how auxiliary and tertiary functions are always opposites. I can see how Te is the opposite of Fi (and Ti being the opposite of Fe), and that tends to make more sense to me rather than viewing Fi and Fe as opposites. I also understand how they can be at odds when one function is dominant and the other is inferior (and I understand that relationship for my Si and Ne very well). I guess I just don't see how it works in auxiliary and tertiary situations.



    I guess the main difference that I can see between my Fe and the Fi in Fi users is that I don't think I feel nearly as passionate about of a lot of the societal issues that you've mentioned. Part of this is N vs S, too, I would imagine....but I guess I don't see as much that violates my values in a social relationship. I guess for me this pops up more with my Ti, because there are certain things that bother me when they they mess up my logical values.


    I don't know, now I'm starting to confuse myself a bit...I guess I just see a lot of overlap in Fe and Fi, despite there being differences as well. I think it's mainly that I don't see my Fe as valuing pointless social rules like some descriptions of Fe seem to describe. For me, it's more of a desire to establish harmony between people in a group.
    JungyesMBTIno thanked this post.

  7. #7
    ENFP - The Inspirers

    Quote Originally Posted by teddy564339 View Post
    Like I said, if I had completely ignored how she felt and cussed whenever I felt like it, she wouldn't have treated me any differently. To me, it was more of a matter for her standing up for herself and saying what made her uncomfortable...
    So much Fe. :D

    The behavior you expect from your friend is based on what you yourself would do, and how you yourself would feel in her shoes. Your friend stating her own interests so forthrightly is Fi, a function that seems kinda rude to you, but is worth using to stand up for oneself when needs must.

    One of my closest friends is an ESFJ and I just. I become a different person around her. What @OrangeAppled said about "Fi adjusting to Fe waaay more than vice versa" holds true there. She doesn't demand anything from me verbally, so it's up to me figure out what she needs. And that's what she usually needs! My respecting her needs no matter what. Which is Fe. :) But while for her it seems like this should cost hardly anything, Fe being perfectly comfortable and right for her, for me Fe costs a lot to give. It takes energy for me not to say outright, "Stop wasting time and tell me what you're beating around!" haha, and it takes energy for me to feel one way, but convince everybody I am feeling a different way. Whereas to my ESFJ friend Fi seems mean and cruel where to me it seems clean and honest.

    Regarding the OP, it's a really great example of the exact sort of tuff my friend and I get into.

    Quote Originally Posted by teddy564339 View Post
    She never pushed me into it, but I felt that because we were friends, part of me being her friend was to honor her wishes by not doing something she didn't like me to do.
    Fe

    Quote Originally Posted by teddy564339 View Post
    He said that I should be free to do whatever I wanted and it was up to her to decide if that was worth still being my friend.
    Fi

    Lol in fact that above is more or less the exact wording I've used to soothe that same ESFJ friend whenever she felt like she was only giving thanklessly and others were only taking advantage of how much she gave without returning the Fe for her.

  8. #8
    INTJ - The Scientists


    I tried explaining it all through text, but it didn't come out right, so I made a simple chart.



    Explanation
    In regards to how it's brought up, I'm much more willing to consider it if the person is reasonable. If they come to me with guns blazing with the intent of "changing" me, then no.

    Level of adjustment: If the issue is something as minor as swearing or not bringing up a certain topic around them, I'm usually fine with yielding, and I'd be glad that the person mentioned it because it's better than passive-aggression and resentment. If it's something hat requires me to drastically change my behavior or personality, then I'd have to think hard about it. If it's really important to me, no. Of course, this would probably have me contemplating about the relationship and whether the hassle is worth it and the person is really a friend if they refuse to accept me as is.


    This also depends on how close I am to the person, but that's a given.

  9. #9
    ISFJ - The Nurturers

    Quote Originally Posted by ozu View Post
    So much Fe. :D

    The behavior you expect from your friend is based on what you yourself would do, and how you yourself would feel in her shoes. Your friend stating her own interests so forthrightly is Fi, a function that seems kinda rude to you, but is worth using to stand up for oneself when needs must.

    One of my closest friends is an ESFJ and I just. I become a different person around her. What @OrangeAppled said about "Fi adjusting to Fe waaay more than vice versa" holds true there. She doesn't demand anything from me verbally, so it's up to me figure out what she needs. And that's what she usually needs! My respecting her needs no matter what. Which is Fe. :) But while for her it seems like this should cost hardly anything, Fe being perfectly comfortable and right for her, for me Fe costs a lot to give. It takes energy for me not to say outright, "Stop wasting time and tell me what you're beating around!" haha, and it takes energy for me to feel one way, but convince everybody I am feeling a different way. Whereas to my ESFJ friend Fi seems mean and cruel where to me it seems clean and honest.

    Regarding the OP, it's a really great example of the exact sort of tuff my friend and I get into.



    Fe



    Fi

    Lol in fact that above is more or less the exact wording I've used to soothe that same ESFJ friend whenever she felt like she was only giving thanklessly and others were only taking advantage of how much she gave without returning the Fe for her.


    Ok, if I'm understanding what you're saying correctly, here's what I'm gathering that I don't think I thought of before making this post.


    And this the idea that Fi users don't care much about social conflict or agreement. What I'm gathering is that Fi users don't really care if they're on the same page with people...in fact, maybe they would prefer not to be on the same page with people. What you're saying is that to an Fi user, if two friends have things that are different about each other, neither one should make an effort to adapt to the other one's desires. Instead of focusing on what they have in common, they should just do whatever they feel, and if the other person doesn't like it, then doesn't matter. They should just keep doing whatever it is they want because that's being true to themselves. What matters more is that the two people are being straight up with what they like and what they don't, and that there's no need to agree on things...they should just let the other do whatever, even if that creates conflicts.

    So in that regard, friendships are more individualistic...the two friends don't necessarily need to connect. They can be friends even if they aren't on the same page a lot of the times.

    I've heard INTJs mention this idea before, but I thought this was more of a T thing rather than an Fi thing.


    If this is the case, then it would explain a lot, because to be honest, this idea is completely foreign to me.


    For me, friendship is based on those connections. Even though I can value and appreciate the differences between my friends and myself, my biggest desire in a friendship is to connect and relate with someone. I center around the common ground. I want to be able to be with someone where we're enjoying the same thing. When we go out to eat somewhere or go out to do something, I want us both to like what we're doing. If one of my friends wants to do something, I want to like the same thing. I want us to have this in common because I feel like we're connecting. So, sometimes, I'll put aside my own personal interests in order to do what they want to do in order to get that connection.

    I would rather put aside my own personal wants in order to establish that connection, because for me that connection outweighs my own interests. I would rather go out to eat with a friend at a restaurant they like (but that I can't stand) so we can enjoy it together instead of me saying that I can't stand it, because if we go somewhere else the whole time I'm going to be thinking that they didn't get what they wanted and that I'm keeping us from having that harmony and connection.


    So it sounds like you're saying that an Fi user wouldn't want me to do this? You're saying that an Fi user would want me to just say what I want every time, and if we happen to disagree on it, that the conflict that results is better than me caving in? Basically, an Fi user wants the Fe user to be completely open and clear about all of their own personal desires, no matter how much disconnect it creates?


    If that's the case, it would really explain a whole lot (though it would also seem to go against a lot of what snail was saying, which makes this even more confusing to me). I guess it just feels so...bitchy for me to do this. It feels so petty. I guess I just feel like it's causing unnecessary waves and friction.

    But it would also explain where a lot of my confidence issues come from. Because I'm always looking for that connection, I guess I just feel so lonely when it's not there. I feel like the only way to get that connection is to put aside my own interests, and sometimes it feels like this makes my own interests inferior (particularly if the other person is an Fi user and doesn't back down).


    In addition, it would also explain why both Fi and Fe users feel like they're sacrificing more in the relationship. I honestly don't think it can be said who's sacrificing more because neither side knows what it feels like to be on the other side. For example, I read your description of what an Fi user is sacrificing, and I have a hard time understanding it exactly. Likewise, you may have a hard time understanding what I described about my feeling to connect, and how if that connection isn't there, it doesn't even feel like there's a friendship...how I can't even enjoy it at all. Maybe that's just as foreign of a concept to you as the Fi user's sacrifice is to me.

    It's funny, because I've had this same conversation with INTJs before, but I honestly didn't know the same thing held true for ENFPs and INFPs.


    It's very complicated.
    lirulin and ozu thanked this post.

  10. #10
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Having Fe, wouldn't you want people to be straight forward with what they want just as a Fi user would? Doesn't it make it easier to connect and make sure there is harmony? I'm confused because it seems to me Fi and Fe think similarly.


 
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