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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I made this comment speaking for myself in another thread. It discussed how ISFJ's feel when having IRL discussions, particularly with NT's:

teddy564339 said:
This is certainly very true for me. I only like to have many kinds of intellectual conversations if I think that the feel of the conversation will go well. This is because I've had many conversations where I have been intimidated or where I've gotten hurt, bothered, or embarrassed. The problem is that those conversations will resonate with me for days and it will make me miserable, and when I finally get over it I feel like I wasted days of happiness in my life by getting involved in the conversation at all.

It's tough to do this face to face because I think ISFJ's get so much comfort out of sticking to their known values. An ISFJ can change their views and values, but it takes time. They have to sit back, reflect on something, and re-evaluate how they feel in order to see if they feel the need to make a change. As a result, it's very hard for an ISFJ to respond quickly in a heated debate without getting flustered. It only goes well for us if we have already heard similar arguments before and can rely on our old information. If we do here something new that is convincing to us, it's very hard for us to admit it on the spot because we need to go back and reflect on it personally before we can make the decision to change our view.

This means when someone makes a good point, then we're kind of caught in a state of confusion. Now, if the other person goes about it correctly for us, this can be a good thing...if they calmly present their points and show support in us considering the new idea, then we're more likely to take it on and the conversation is fine. However, if the person is trying to "win" the argument and is pushing their point of view down our throats (and forgive me for saying so, but I think this is most likely to occur with NT's), we're going to end up feeling stupid and embarrassed, leading to the situation I described earlier. This is not only dangerous in that our hurt feelings will make us more likely to rebel against the new idea (even if we're inclined to agree with it), but it will dissuade us from wanting to engage in new conversations as well.

In some ways, I think this is where a lot of unhealthy ISFJ behavior comes from, especially in older people. If an ISFJ has been burned and hurt so many times by people trying to force new ideas upon them, then they are more likely to shut themselves away in their own worlds with their own values, ignoring logic, reason, and the consideration of new ideas.


Of course, I really can only speak for myself, and I'm speculating when I talk about ISFJ's in general. But it appears to fit in with what I know about ISFJ's in general.

As I mentioned there, I was speaking for all ISFJ's but can really only truly speak for myself. So to all of the other ISFJ's, do you feel the same way I do, or is it quite different? I'm curious to see how on point I am about our type in regards to this.
 

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If we do here something new that is convincing to us, it's very hard for us to admit it on the spot because we need to go back and reflect on it personally before we can make the decision to change our view ... However, if the person is trying to "win" the argument and is pushing their point of view down our throats, we're going to end up feeling stupid and embarrassed.
Interesting topic, Teddy. I'm really bad for this type of behaviour especially if it's on a topic I have been arguing really passionately or one that is close to my core values. If I hear something that could change my mind in a debate/argument, even if it's said in a purely impersonal way, I will often stubbornly refuse to accept it and argue my side even harder, even if what I'm saying is illogical. In a real life debate I'm unlikely to back down and admit the other person has a point (this is much easier online where I can back away and do the thinking required before having to answer), but I have got to a point where I won't be quite so stubborn in clinging to my original idea. I'm more likely to neutrally say 'that's interesting, I'll have to think about that some more' then if they drop it I'll generally come to it in my own time. However, if they push it and try to force me in the moment I do get my stubborn on and will generally still reject the idea - at least publicly.

The silly thing is I really enjoy debating in real life. When I was at university I used to stay up late into the night discussing things with other people and finding it really stimulating. Even then, though, I enjoyed it most if I knew I had a rock solid argument and could then pick the holes in the other person's argument. I could be quite ruthless about it actually (though I never let it get personal - if the other person was getting personally upset by the discussion I would back away), but the bad thing was that while I enjoyed taking someone else's argument apart I found it quite hard to cope when someone did it to me. Yeah, hypocritical. I have grown up a bit since then and don't tend to do this as much anymore - I am more capable of dealing with it when someone deconstructs my arguments and I'm less likely to be so thorough in taking apart someone else's.
 

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Debates etc.

I consider it pointless to have a debate with someone who's not open to modify their views or reflect on new information. My ex-husband was one of those people. He'd go off on a rant about the 2nd Amendment (gun ownership), illegal immigration, liberal judges, etc. Same argument, over and over.

I'm not very strong in logic, and I feel confused and humiliated when someone points out an inconsistency or fallacy in my position. I feel more confident in a discussion when I can draw on facts or on my experiences. Theoretical discussions really bore me -- I call that "mental masturbation." That seems consistent with the ISFJ profile.
 

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This is because I've had many conversations where I have been intimidated or where I've gotten hurt, bothered, or embarrassed. The problem is that those conversations will resonate with me for days and it will make me miserable, and when I finally get over it I feel like I wasted days of happiness in my life by getting involved in the conversation at all.
I'll dwell on it heavily, yes, particularly if I feel I have offended the person, or become less in their eyes for attempting such a conversation.
 

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i get really mean in arguments to cover up the fact that i am not very well-educated on most things. i get very angry and sarcastic and biting, it is not an attractive quality. if i am with someone i trust such as my wife or my mate and we end up in some kind of debate or argument i can remember a couple of times i usually just broke down crying and became very self-deprecating. not my most shining moment.
 

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I hate arguments for all these reasons. I am certainly an ISFJ haha...
 
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I made this comment speaking for myself in another thread. It discussed how ISFJ's feel when having IRL discussions, particularly with NT's:
This is a really excellent observation you've made! It explains exactly what happens when my ISFJ friend and I get into an arguement!

I'm not very strong in logic, and I feel confused and humiliated when someone points out an inconsistency or fallacy in my position. I feel more confident in a discussion when I can draw on facts or on my experiences. Theoretical discussions really bore me -- I call that "mental masturbation." That seems consistent with the ISFJ profile.
This is exactly true! Arguements with ISFJ friend often start because I am strong on theoretical interests and she is strong on details. So she is bored by my theoretical discussion of a topic (and would agree with you about the "mental masturbation" thing) and on the flip side I can be bored (or sometimes easily overwhelmed ) by too many details. Generally speaking it's more when I start talking about abstract nerdy stuff though because I recognise that her discussion of facts is important to her even if I am not sure how. She has told me she can't follow what I am talking about that easily so she feels stupid, or bored. It does make it a bit tricky sometimes to know how to share things I am excited about with her without making her feel that way! (The irony she is not stupid at all!) :wink:
 

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I hate arguments for all these reasons. I am certainly an ISFJ haha...
I hate getting into a debate where the other person refuses to see my point of view.It always ends up in a heated argument.I will usually back down and go off and dwell on it,and get angry with myself for giving in.
 

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Teddy, just so you know, I registered just to speak in this topic.

What I've found is that I have a lot of trouble in arguments or explinations. I'll give an example. I just bought a house and my bf, I don't know what personality he is, but he knows a lot more about construction then I do. We found a frozen pipe in the wall in our downstairs bathroom so he knocked a whole in the wall and since we were planning on redecorating it anyways he turns and says to me.."hey, since we have to fix these pipes we can actually push the wall back about 8 more inches and spin the toilet into that spot so we have more room for the tub." Even standing in front of the demolish site I have no clue what he is on about. He explains it about 3 times, but until he drew it on paper I did not get it. And then I said, "wasn't the original plan good enough!" Starting an unnecessary barade of explinations that I got frustrated with and ended up walking upstairs.

In terms of arguments, another example from yesterday. I am driving and my bf is in the passanger seat. I know we have to turn around to get to the location, so he suggests turning into a driveway to turn around. He doesn't say which one so I picked the closest one and then he was like..."No, I didn't mean that one." Meanwhile he didn'te tell me which one, which got me even more frustrated and annoyed.

Is that just me, or is this common in ISFJ? It is almost like I will start an argument as a defensive mechanism or when I do not hear all/understand the directions given.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Teddy, just so you know, I registered just to speak in this topic.

What I've found is that I have a lot of trouble in arguments or explinations. I'll give an example. I just bought a house and my bf, I don't know what personality he is, but he knows a lot more about construction then I do. We found a frozen pipe in the wall in our downstairs bathroom so he knocked a whole in the wall and since we were planning on redecorating it anyways he turns and says to me.."hey, since we have to fix these pipes we can actually push the wall back about 8 more inches and spin the toilet into that spot so we have more room for the tub." Even standing in front of the demolish site I have no clue what he is on about. He explains it about 3 times, but until he drew it on paper I did not get it. And then I said, "wasn't the original plan good enough!" Starting an unnecessary barade of explinations that I got frustrated with and ended up walking upstairs.

In terms of arguments, another example from yesterday. I am driving and my bf is in the passanger seat. I know we have to turn around to get to the location, so he suggests turning into a driveway to turn around. He doesn't say which one so I picked the closest one and then he was like..."No, I didn't mean that one." Meanwhile he didn'te tell me which one, which got me even more frustrated and annoyed.

Is that just me, or is this common in ISFJ? It is almost like I will start an argument as a defensive mechanism or when I do not hear all/understand the directions given.
Hmmm....I can't say for sure, but this sounds like an S/N miscommunication situation. Usually N's are able to piece things together quickly and don't need details...they see it all in their head and find it tiresome to point out the details. S's, probably particularly SJ's, like having things spelled out very clearly and like to have all of the details organized.
 
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That might be it, ie S/N miscommunication.

And the SJ detailed orientation also hits very close to home for me. Especially when it comes to work! I spend most of my time being annoyed at people for not telling me everything that needs to be done and then assuming that I know what to do/have it done already (mind you, I'm still new to the job I currently have and it is unfair to ask me to already know everything). It boggles my mind and I thought that it was just me being easily frustrated....hmm...I'll have to look into this aspect of SJ's personality more to see how to deal with these common frustrations before I give myself a heart attack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
That might be it, ie S/N miscommunication.

And the SJ detailed orientation also hits very close to home for me. Especially when it comes to work! I spend most of my time being annoyed at people for not telling me everything that needs to be done and then assuming that I know what to do/have it done already (mind you, I'm still new to the job I currently have and it is unfair to ask me to already know everything). It boggles my mind and I thought that it was just me being easily frustrated....hmm...I'll have to look into this aspect of SJ's personality more to see how to deal with these common frustrations before I give myself a heart attack.
Yep, that sounds like not only a typical SJ thing, but a typical ISFJ thing. I think we're the best types when it comes to following a clear set of instructions...well, us along with ISTJ's. But I think we like to please people more than ISTJ's do, who probably do it more for the sake of just completing the job.

This is both a huge positive and a huge negative, and a lot of it depends on the situation. On one hand, when a job needs to be done, we're really good at following the directions and doing what we're supposed to....this makes things easier for everyone and keeps things running smoothly. On the other hand, we're not very good at improvising or coming up with new ideas (or figuring things out on our own), so when these things are called for, we're weaker than other types and can get into trouble.

Of course, I'm speaking generally, and there's going to be variance among ISFJ's in this area, and a lot of it depends on the exact task that we're talking about. But generally it's how we operate.
 

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I agree with every single thing you said in the first post : o . I would elaborate, but I have a stomach ache right now = X . But yeah. I'd much rather avoid conflict in any way possible, including debates. So I'm not put in this situation much at all. I actually once had this kind of 'debate' with this 'friend' I had. I thought we got along quite well. But we only knew each other really for a couple of days. Then I found out he was very much against religion. Of course, I respected that. I'm Christian myself, but I believe religion is between an individual and that person's God.

Long story short he attacked my religious beliefs, I stopped interacting with him actually. He apologized to me eventually for his "HARSHNESS AS CLEARLY [HADN']T DEBATED THAT BEFORE". I really wish he apologized for ATTACKING MY BELIEFS instead. Sorry for the caps, I feel pretty emphatic about this. I actually resolved to not talk to him until he does so... It's been over a month. We haven't said a WORD to each other yet >_>

So yup, that is the type of situation I always yearn to avoid. Believe me, I was flustered even though it was through MSN >_>

Actually now that I think of it, I usually lose logic and just go with my feelings when I get flustered. Cue said person above trying to trump my beliefs even more >_> D = I don't need to defend my beliefs >_>
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Long story short he attacked my religious beliefs, I stopped interacting with him actually. He apologized to me eventually for his "HARSHNESS AS CLEARLY [HADN']T DEBATED THAT BEFORE". I really wish he apologized for ATTACKING MY BELIEFS instead. Sorry for the caps, I feel pretty emphatic about this. I actually resolved to not talk to him until he does so... It's been over a month. We haven't said a WORD to each other yet >_>


You never know for sure, but my guess is that he was a thinker, possibly an NT. I say this because after having many conversations with NT's over the years, I've learned that their brains operate completely different than ours.

NT's (and maybe thinkers in general) do not hold personal, emotional attachment to their beliefs in the same way feelers do. They feel that beliefs of any kind are subject to be attacked because they're just beliefs...they're just ideas, they're not attached to any person. They don't equate attacking someone's beliefs with attacking that person. Feelers generally feel attacked when their beliefs are attacked....they have a personal bond with their beliefs.

So assuming this person is an NT, he probably didn't apologize for attacking your beliefs because he didn't think he should be sorry for that. Thinkers usually aren't out to hurt anybody, but they place their understanding of truth above the feelings of others. Their objectivity to every situation and issue is what they live for, their purpose in living.


Learning about this has really helped keeping me from getting angry at other people and getting into emotional fights with them. I usually do one of three things: (1) Tell the person that it is a sensitive subject to me and I would like them to keep my feelings in mind when discussing it, (2) Not tell them this, but resign myself not to get hurt by their statements and to talk completely rationally about it (difficult to do, but does lead to some personal growth opportunities), or (3) not enter the discussion at all.
 
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Oh... I just searched him up on facebook, cause I remember that he put his type on there. He's ENFJ... I dunno if that's a thinker or not >_>. I would have avoided the debate if I could have >_< And I kept telling him I didn't want to talk about it. No matter what type he is, he is quite emphatically against religion, and puts up lots of photos as his profile pic on facebook which are anti-religion. It's fine though... I don't really want a friend who attacks my beliefs and doesn't respect them. I'll respect his beliefs, but I'm gonna keep my distance until he apologizes for the offensive assault >_>
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
ENFJ's are definitely feelers. I don't know much about ENFJ's, so it's hard to say what's going on there...it's possible that there's something about religion that has hurt him at some point to make him feel so passionately against it. ENFJ's have dominant Fe, which would seem to make them want people to get along a lot, so it seems a little weird that he would strongly attack someone's beliefs...but like I said, I don't know tons about ENFJ's.
 
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