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I live with an ENFP who occasionally vents her life and work troubles to me - in other words she just expresses very strong personal emotions in conversations we have. While I can give her some long-term perspective using my Ni I feel that I come off as a bit 'cold' to her using my FeTi judging of situations. So I am wondering what kind of emotional support are ENFPs seeking when they are venting about their troubles to other people? What sort of things should I say that I am apparently not saying? I am just so used to using my Fe that expression of any Fi is really foreign to me. Welp >.<
 

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We were actually having a discussion about this last night on LiveChat...

When something is wrong, whatever you do, don't try to rationalize it. Rational thinking = unhelpful, if we are just venting. If we ask for advice, feel free to rationalize away. When venting, most of what we want is someone to sympathize and empathize with what we're going through... so don't fix our problems for us, just listen. Nod sympathetically and let us talk. When we're done, say something to the effect of "that sucks, people really shouldn't treat other people like that, I'm so sorry you had a bad day. Is there anything I can do to cheer you up?" Because that's mostly what ~I~, personally, want when I'm venting: to get it off my chest, and then to be cheered up.
 

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Agreed. The last thing we want to hear is a rational attempt at fixing the problem. I know that when I vent, if someone--no matter how well-meaning--responds to my venting by offering reasoned, logical solutions, I will immediately feel like this person believes that I'm so stupid as to have not come up with those solutions on my own.

"My work situation is impossible!"

"Have you tried writing a letter of grievance to management--"

"No, because management is the problem, and they stonewall the plebes and fire the boat-rockers." Resentful glare. "...Never effin' mind!"

All we seek is acknowledgment (like Maggie says above), recognition of our grievances. I find that if I'm venting and someone goes straight to the cheer-up phase, I get really angry because I think my complaints are being trivialized. So I emphasize recognition/acknowledgment before any attempts at comfort.
 

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I agree with the sentiment of just wanting someone to pour out your feelings to, just for the sake of getting them out.

I like to vent so that I can get all of that negative energy out and not be tempted to hate or dislike the person I'm mad about, because I let out all of the negativeness already. There's one or two people it hasn't worked with, but it tends to be pretty effective, haha. This is how we (or at least I) maintain being a generally positive person. If it holds true for others, I'd like to know.

But yeah, if we wanted advice, we'd probably say something, so sympathizing or switching the subject to something you guys have in common or is "exciting" afterwards or something would probably be a pretty good bet after letting your friend let out their feelings.
 
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I just want someone to listen to me. Rarely do people concern themselves with what's going on with me, and I don't normally force that upon people. If I'm venting to you, then you're special to me in some way. Like Maggie said, I do not want life advice, I just need a listener.
 
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I vent on occasion because I hate keeping my anger bottled up inside. It feels very unhealthy. I usually discuss my problems with people who are insightful/wise and who will tell me straight up what I need to hear. Not what I want to hear.
 

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Let me get it all out, offer a sympathetic ear, and then maybe make me laugh when I'm done.
 

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When venting, most of what we want is someone to sympathize and empathize with what we're going through... so don't fix our problems for us, just listen.
Totally, I couldn't have put it more eloquently myself. To be honest this does seem like the typically female way of dealing with issues, but then again I do fall to the 25% of males who are "F"s so...It is what it is.
 

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We were actually having a discussion about this last night on LiveChat...

When something is wrong, whatever you do, don't try to rationalize it. Rational thinking = unhelpful, if we are just venting. If we ask for advice, feel free to rationalize away. When venting, most of what we want is someone to sympathize and empathize with what we're going through... so don't fix our problems for us, just listen. Nod sympathetically and let us talk. When we're done, say something to the effect of "that sucks, people really shouldn't treat other people like that, I'm so sorry you had a bad day. Is there anything I can do to cheer you up?" Because that's mostly what ~I~, personally, want when I'm venting: to get it off my chest, and then to be cheered up.
I totally agree with this statement.

When I'm venting to someone, I want them to validate my concerns and feelings, not give me advice (unless I directly ask for advice). Seconding another poster, empathy and hugs are good too.
 

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Love the responses here.

If I want advice, I'll ask for it. Simple as that.

I had a bad day one day in which I walked away from a former group of friends and went home. When I got home, I kind of told my roommate, and she responded with cold, hard logic of what I should do. Did not make me feel any better.

The thing is: I already know what I should do! I know I'll get right on it once I feel better. What I sought was acknowledgment, validation, empathy; someone to listen. Someone to care.

I'll get over my bad mood eventually. I always know I will. I'll know everything I should do, but before the point I should carry those things out, what I want is a moment to just feel, to bitch, to release. I'm not extending my burdens onto you. I'm not handing a problem for you to solve. Hey, if I need help, I will ask. Just be a friend.

But, yeah, great responses everyone.
 
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I live with an ENFP who occasionally vents her life and work troubles to me - in other words she just expresses very strong personal emotions in conversations we have. While I can give her some long-term perspective using my Ni I feel that I come off as a bit 'cold' to her using my FeTi judging of situations. So I am wondering what kind of emotional support are ENFPs seeking when they are venting about their troubles to other people? What sort of things should I say that I am apparently not saying? I am just so used to using my Fe that expression of any Fi is really foreign to me. Welp >.<
I want empathy. I want you to validate my struggle and the way I"m feeling. I don't want you to blame my feelings on others-that's not objective. But I would like you to just listen and say "that must suck". Pay attention to how I feel rather than "what a bastard that other person is for doing that to me." I don't like that. And I notice my INFJ friends tend to do that. I am uncomfortable tearing down others.

Don't try to solve the problem or offer advice before you show some understanding of the way I feel. Let me know it's okay to feel that way. Remind me that I'm strong for dealing with whatever situation. Keep telling me others would have given up by now. I usually don't "vent" unless I am seriously overwhelmed. It takes A LOT for me to vent in front of someone. So honestly, as weird as this my sound, consider yourself lucky and a trusted friend.

By all means DON'T try to show me the "brighter side". I am master of always seeing the brighter side. If I'm venting I need to know it's okay to not be on the "brighter side" of things for once. Don't be quick to take my feelings away. Usually INFJs are not guilty of this. Usually INFJs are happy that I'm finally angry. Lol.

Anyway. You can help by just listening to me, validating my feelings, don't give me suggestions on how to handle a person-my values are probably different than yours so the way I choose to do things will be different. But just listen and validate. That is all.

Nice topic, btw. I think I just vented. Lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Agreed. The last thing we want to hear is a rational attempt at fixing the problem. I know that when I vent, if someone--no matter how well-meaning--responds to my venting by offering reasoned, logical solutions, I will immediately feel like this person believes that I'm so stupid as to have not come up with those solutions on my own.

"My work situation is impossible!"

"Have you tried writing a letter of grievance to management--"

"No, because management is the problem, and they stonewall the plebes and fire the boat-rockers." Resentful glare. "...Never effin' mind!"
That sounds like expression of Te. I don't really do Te very well. I have noticed that when she vents to her INTJ boyfriend he sometimes makes things worse, probably because he is trying to offer her some Te advice and she would comment "like I don't know that myself".

If I offer suggestions it is usually Ti - it is a sort of selfish logic that cuts corners, doesn't abide by what is commonly acceptable, it aims to manipulate existing rules and other people to achieve one own's goal. How do ENFPs react to expressions of Ti?

I want empathy. I want you to validate my struggle and the way I"m feeling. I don't want you to blame my feelings on others-that's not objective. But I would like you to just listen and say "that must suck". Pay attention to how I feel rather than "what a bastard that other person is for doing that to me."
....
By all means DON'T try to show me the "brighter side". I am master of always seeing the brighter side. If I'm venting I need to know it's okay to not be on the "brighter side" of things for once. Don't be quick to take my feelings away. Usually INFJs are not guilty of this. Usually INFJs are happy that I'm finally angry. Lol.
Lol I'm guessing she likes venting to me exactly because of this last sentence. I am not good at expressing sympathy verbally, but I do kind of zone in on her and convey my emotions with facial expressions and body language, nodding, wincing, frowning, smiling, etc. as she is talking. When I feel Fi somewhere it's like my mind starts acquiring a target lock on it lol. Then once lock has been established I can feel together with that person. Probably why the INFJs you know become happy that you're angry. They can finally feel angry too!

When two Fe people come together they can never quite establish an emotional lock on each other. It is a never ending cycle of "well how do you feel?" "I'm fine, what about you?" "oh i'm fine too, are you sure you feel fine?" "oh yes perfectly, how about you, still feeling good?" "oh yes, I'm great ..." and so on and so forth.
 

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Hope this isn't TMI, but I'm so tired of how bad my PMS is. I literally get thrown so out of wake the week befre my cycle. Last night I was crying all night and yelling at people for no reason and I just couldn't figure out why. Then, this morning it made sense :dry:

Other people, even women (especially women, in fact), see to think I'm over-exaggerating, but I'm really not. I swear it is PMDD, but my psychiatrist seems to ignore me every time I bring it up. But what else could it be that makes me suicidal/homicidal for the week before my period starts and then fine after EVERY MONTH???!?
 

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Maybe I'm a dick but I hate it when the ENFP I know vents to me. I have to sit there and listen to complaining and drama that I don't care about or even agree with for like 20 minutes. I'm just wanting to hang out and have a good time. I don't want your drama.

She works at McDonald's and is ALWAYS mad and overemotional about everything that happens there to the point that she stresses herself out. I'm like dude, chill. It's just hamburgers. She doesn't like that very much.

In reading what other ENFPs have said in this thread, next time she feels she needs to stress me out with her drama I need to listen and then not offer any advice? I just accept the venting and say "I'm sorry you're always stressed out about work."? I tend to normally offer my advice and tell her that she stresses out about work too much and needs to calm down. She doesn't seem to appreciate this. Just thinking about her venting to me makes me exhausted.
 

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In reading what other ENFPs have said in this thread, next time she feels she needs to stress me out with her drama I need to listen and then not offer any advice? I just accept the venting and say "I'm sorry you're always stressed out about work."? I tend to normally offer my advice and tell her that she stresses out about work too much and needs to calm down. She doesn't seem to appreciate this. Just thinking about her venting to me makes me exhausted.
Yes. Just acknowledge her anger. No advice whatsoever. Venting is purely emotional, there's no logic to it. As others have said, if an ENFP is seeking logistical assistance, we'll ask for advice.

My best suggestion for your particular case is to let the vent happen (don't interrupt, it'll prolong it and possibly make it more bitter), and then say something like the following. "I'm sorry things are so bad at work, and that you have to put up with these things. But work is over for now, and we're hanging out, so don't let 'em get you down when you're not even at the restaurant! Let's [insert whatever it was you were going to do here: going out to eat, watching a movie, etc].

This approach has worked with me, mainly because there's a tangential insinuation that continuing to be upset about the subject of venting is giving that subject a modicum of control over me. And that kicks in my independent, self-sufficient streak and realigns me into a better mood.

For ENFPs, the release of emotion is just as vital as a metabolic process, and it's over just as quickly if allowed to happen without interruption.
 
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This approach has worked with me, mainly because there's a tangential insinuation that continuing to be upset about the subject of venting is giving that subject a modicum of control over me. And that kicks in my independent, self-sufficient streak and realigns me into a better mood.
that's a good tip - thanks :laughing:
 

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Glad to be of service. :laughing:
 
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IDK, for me, venting is just venting. I'm not looking for advice, I'm just looking to get it all out so it gets out of my head. ONce I speak it into the universe, I can stop rolling it around in my brain over and over and getting more frustrated.
 
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