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Hey!
I'll cut straight to the point! I'm an ISFP, and I'm not very assertive at all, unless it's towards something I'm really passionate about. Take for example these scenarios:

I'm not keen on parties. I hate being surrounded by drunk people. BUT! If a friend asked me to join them at a party, I have a very hard time saying no. I usually come out with all these "Ummmms" and "Uhhhs" until eventually giving in and saying okay, even though I don't really want to go.

Whereas, if I had a planned trip with a friend to visit a Safari Park (I love animals), and they changed their mind and wanted to go elsewhere instead, I'd become suddenly dominant and tell them I'd much rather go to the Safari Park.

Why is this? I know ISFPs tend to be pretty stubborn when it comes to their passions and goals in life, maybe it's something to do with that?

Or maybe it's just me being weird!

Was curious about other people's opinions, so I thought I'd post here.


Thanks guys!
 

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Hm... This is weird. It's like these topics come in waves. It seems there are a few threads discussing the whole idea of ISFP assertiveness, and the seeming contradiction between what ISFPs are _supposed_ to be, and what the reality is. I've got a couple thoughts here...

1. The whole idea of Fi is waay misunderstood by people who are not Fi dom. Just because we are sensitive to external encroachments on our values/space, this does not mean that we never feel the need to assert ourselves. In fact, in the past year that I've been paying attention to these things, I've noticed that the few Fi people I know, Fi is very protective of its values. Compromise is one thing that Fi does not do well at. Fe, on the other hand, I've noticed, seems to be quite willing to compromise inner values for the sake of harmony (I have an Fe-dom friend who believes lying is a horrible thing--yet he will tell little white lies, or allow untruths to continue to be perpetuated just for the sake of harmony or peace.) I would rather surrender harmony for the sake of truth any and every day. If I have to come out of my shell to do it, I am more likely to do that than stay in my shell. On the other hand, though, I will never assert myself for myself alone. I will assert myself for others, though, in a heartbeat.

2. I have a sneaking suspicion that, were I to ask other people, they would say that I'm quite non-assertive, and deny my assertiveness, even if I were to give examples of assertiveness, from their perspective, they wouldn't call that assertiveness. Let me put it in other words, from our point of view, we frequently feel our assertiveness--and feel it strongly, but in the real world, to those outside of ourselves, it's more like a little squeak. ;-) I'm reminded of a movie, Ant Bully. There is a huge explosion in the ant hill, but in the movie, it shows it from a normal, human perspective, and it's a tiny "puff" that nobody would ever notice. We think we are roaring loudly and assertively, but everybody else hears a "meow." ;-)

In such cases, though, I think there are also times when we do actually "roar", and people feel our wrath, and they are left bewildered, wondering what just happened. I saw this happen to one ISFP friend of mine--twice--he really blew up, but nobody understood why. He only left everybody else confused. I understood him, and tried to explain to them what happened, but these people (Fe, all of them), just couldn't get it. I say this now, looking back on the situations, and now understanding these things better. At the time, however, I could only grasp the events intuitively, or instinctually, as he is very much like me, only far less assertive (read living in constant stress) than I was/am.

So, in any case, between the two points above, I suspect the false ideas, and also the confusion--especially in our own minds... feeling both assertive and non-assertive together. ;-)
 

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I'm assertive, but I don't think I'm dominant. If I feel threatened in any way, I'm not shy at saying 'no'.
 
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I can be. In fact, I can scare the holy moly out of people when I have good reason. I make biting remarks at times, and have no patience with social hierarchies; and I often refuse to be sympathetic. I will be assertive by completely ignoring or leaving them, the social hierarchies, or disgusting showy expectations of sympathy and runny-nosed action, or popular opinions that make people feel good, when they are built up around me. I also have no problem leaving when I disagree with stupidity, and though I may no state why, I would have no problem being honest if asked. However, I never leave so that I will be asked. I've known people like that, I think it's ridiculous as the rest.

I am more likely to be assertive for something I believe, think or notice than something I feel I deserve.

Sometimes if it's "too crowded" I won't be assertive. I can't trust my mind when I'm overwhelmed. Then I clam up.

I can be quite obtuse and quite caustic: I rarely feel regret for this. I rarely do it unless I have a greater reason behind it.

Subsequently, I am not afraid to dominate around those I am most comfortable with. I am more likely to dominate those who try my patience or are indecisive or vulnerable*. I have a bit of a "kill or be killed" streak. When I see something or predict it's clamping down, I will either escape it, smooth talk it, or downright confront it. Youngest of 4 intense siblings, I know a sort of self-defense. I am particularly good at defending individuality. People think I'm hypocritical when I criticize someone and then go on to defend individuality, but that's because they think I am making a value judgment, placing numbers of worth or prize when I say the critical things. People don't realize when I say the intensely critical thing it in no way damages the worth of someone to me. I hate to have that attitude forced on me. I can see and criticize negative thigs without it changing my feelings or expectations toward someone. I don't think of someone as "below me" when I am criticizing them. I think of them as equals when I do it. It actually helps me connect to them. Thus I can appear "assertive" when I'm just being balanced. Whatever.

*I am extremely wary of vulnerable people. They are the last kind of person I trust. Backstabbers, manipulative and usually selfish.
 

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I like to think so yes. Otherwise I'm just plain agressive :\ and that sux.

o3o also kittehh!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for your replies, guys.

Subsequently, I am not afraid to dominate around those I am most comfortable with. I am more likely to dominate those who try my patience or are indecisive or vulnerable*. I have a bit of a "kill or be killed" streak.
I know what you mean, I can snap, if pushed too far, but for the most part, with things that I know won't harm me I can't say no easily.

If someone was to offer me hard drugs or something and try to convince me to take them, I'd be assertive and say no. I think it's because safety is a big thing with me, I feel incredibly uncomfortable in situations where I could end up physically hurt or affected in any way. So it's not so much of a problem then.

But if someone I like asked me to go to a restaurant I didn't particularly want to go to, I'd have a hard time saying no. I have no real reason to say no, other than the fact I don't want to go. So I worry that they might think I'm just being miserable, or something. *Shrug*
 
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