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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This thread is inspired by something I see over and over again on websites, forum threads, etc that the idea of Fe = harmony, specifically external harmony, and that by extension, INFJs (as Fe users) also seek harmony and therefore are avoidant of conflict. I personally don't agree that this is always the case (at least as an INFJ) and think the idea of wanting harmony is essentially more of a Enneagram Type 9 concern.

Riso-Hudson on 9s:

Key Motivations: Want to create harmony in their environment, to avoid conflicts and tension, to preserve things as they are, to resist whatever would upset or disturb them.
Jung does mention harmony once in his Fe profile here, but even mentions it in his Fi profile! :shocked:

Fe

This kind of feeling is very largely responsible for the fact that so many people flock to the theatre, to concerts, or to Church, and what is more, with correctly adjusted positive feelings. Fashions, too, owe their existence to it, and, what is far more valuable, the whole positive and wide-spread support of social, philanthropic, and such like cultural enterprises. In such matters, extraverted feeling proves itself a creative factor. Without this feeling, for instance, a beautiful and harmonious sociability would be unthinkable.
Fi

Although there is a constant readiness for a peaceful and harmonious co-existence, strangers are shown no touch of amiability, no gleam of responding warmth, but are met with apparent indifference or a repelling coldness. Often they are made to feel entirely superfluousness.
So, I'm willing to say harmony may be desired in ExFJs, and likely ISFJ, (and those types can speak to this if they like), even in IxFPs (according to Jung), but I would say an INFJ is not mainly interested in keeping the peace, or seeking for everyone to get along. They are far more likely to be intellectual/artistic rebels or harsh critics of prevailing social norms rather than the ones holding hands with everyone around the campfire singing Kum Ba Yah promoting "social harmony". INFJs, perhaps unlike other FJ types, are prepared to go it alone holding their lantern of truth (Ni) on the darkness of the world. See Nietszche's Parable of the Madman, for an example of this character. https://sourcebooks.fordham.edu/mod/nietzsche-madman.asp

Sure, they will want others to see the value in their ideas and join their side, and can do so by utilizing Fe, but this is not their priority, since Ni > Fe. INFJs are first and foremost individualists, as are all introverted types who value their subjective opinion over the objective situation. Jung talks about the shift to Fe in his Ni profile, but this is not the default setting of a Ni-dom, and he also does not mention "harmony":

Although it is not altogether in the line of the introverted intuitive type to make of perception a moral problem, since a certain reinforcement of the rational functions is required for this, yet even a relatively slight differentiation of judgment would suffice to transfer intuitive perception from the purely æsthetic into the moral sphere. A variety of this type is thus produced which differs essentially from its æsthetic form, although none the less characteristic of the introverted intuitive. The moral problem comes into being when the intuitive tries to relate himself to his vision, when he is no longer satisfied with mere perception and its æsthetic shaping and estimation, but confronts the question: What does this mean for me and for the world? What emerges from this vision in the way of a duty or task, either for me or for the world? The pure intuitive who represses judgment or possesses it only under the spell of perception never meets this question fundamentally, since his only problem is the How of perception. He, therefore, finds the moral problem unintelligible, even absurd, and as far as possible forbids his thoughts to dwell upon the disconcerting vision. It is different with the morally orientated intuitive. He concerns himself with the meaning of his vision; he troubles less about its further æsthetic possibilities than about the possible moral effects which emerge from its intrinsic significance. His judgment allows him to discern, though often only darkly, that he, as a man and as a totality, is in some way inter-related with his vision, that it is something which cannot just be perceived but which also would fain become the life of the subject. Through this realization he feels bound to transform his vision into his own life. But, since he tends to rely exclusively upon his vision, his moral effort becomes one-sided; he makes himself and his life symbolic, adapted, it is true, to the inner and eternal meaning of events, but unadapted to the actual present-day reality. Therewith he also deprives himself of any influence upon it, because he remains unintelligible. His language is not that which is commonly spoken -- it becomes too subjective. His argument lacks convincing reason. He can only confess or pronounce. His is the 'voice of one crying in the wilderness'.
The voice of one crying in the wilderness (i.e. Nietzsche's madman)...

How does that have anything to do with creating harmony in the world or in one's immediate environment?

INFJs can definitely be, and as seen throughout history have been, very controversial figures who have no problem upsetting people or overturning the status quo if it stands in the way of their personal idea of truth and the future they envision (Ni). I've already mentioned Nietzsche in this regard, and this idea on forums that INFJs won't create conflict, will always seek harmony, or would value the group's views over the individual (as if that is an argument for his tertiary Fi, when it's actually just the Jungian distinction between introversion vs extroversion) is partly why he's always mistyped as INTJ. Jordan Peterson is another INFJ in this past year who shows this pattern of unyielding stubbornness in his position amid all opposition (i.e. lone voice), and has gained many followers as a result. Bernie Sanders may be one too, calling out other candidates on their hypocrisy throughout his campaign trail, while gaining a massive following in the process. In fiction, one thinks of Atticus Finch who stood up alone against his community's racial prejudices. V from "V for Vendetta" is perhaps the archetypal example of an INFJ of this kind, who also looks to be mistyped at various places on the internet as an INTJ over and over again. It's clear that they (if you agree they're INFJ, or at least some of them) are not merely seeking harmony, or harmonious relationships with others, as we hear about INFJs, but I would say a higher way of living (as they envision it), with even the potential for radical change.

Of course, I don't mean to say INFJs are all going to be world-altering revolutionaries or philosophers, and their influence can be felt on a smaller scale as I think Lenore Thomson in "Personality Type" speaks to very well here:

They are more likely than INTJs to personalize their skills--as teachers, psychologists, consultants, ministers, and family doctors. They're particularly sensitive to others' feelings of exclusion, and they may address or try to rectify inequities of status or opportunity within the context of their profession.

Such types can be quite tenacious in pointing out the discrepancies between stated beliefs and actual behavior. This is the arena in which their Intuition is most evident. INFJs wrestle all their lives with the conflict they perceive between maintaining harmonious relationships and expressing emotional truth, and it is a central issue in the books, novels, plays and psychological articles that INFJs write. Their 1 percent representation in the population belies the tremendous influence theses types have in shaping cultural ideas about identity and being true to oneself.
I can understand that INFJs can be deeply affected by conflict in their surroundings, being very sensitive people, and may seek to prevent disharmony for this reason, but I don't believe this also means we won't create it ourselves at times too, if it's in service of the larger desired Ni goal/outcome that ultimately seeks to benefit people. I think that's the true meaning of Fe here: Our Ni is aimed towards a human purpose rather than "harmony".

I also wonder how much this is influenced by Ti, as a sort of undermining of Fe that occurs, so that this pattern emerges at a later stage in an INFJ, granting even more independence of thought. Nietzsche again was actually very religious at a young age due to his upbringing (Fe), even considered becoming a priest like his father, but started to considerably veer away from this path (as he is most known for) towards the end of his teens/early 20s, possibly coinciding with later Ti development in INFJ.

In June 1865, at the age of 20, Nietzsche wrote to his sister Elisabeth, who was deeply religious, a letter regarding his loss of faith. This letter contains the following sentence:

"Hence the ways of men part: if you wish to strive for peace of soul and pleasure, then believe; if you wish to be a devotee of truth, then inquire..."
Socionics makes this idea clear too about INFJ's (IEI) use of Fe, and that it isn't necessarily seeking harmony:

They may exhibit a propensity for good-natured, friendly, lighthearted banter and try to promote good will and inclusiveness. On the other hand, IEIs can also direct their emotional influence through a mode of expression that limits their affable levity; they may take on a formal, toxic, serious, or even shock-jock emphasis as situations require.

IEIs may feel the need to express the nature of their inimitable mental landscape and insights, and may feel a greater calling to make a difference in the lives of others. This is often manifest by championing intellectual, moral, social, or personal causes. IEIs may feel strongly about these types of causes and some may expend considerable effort towards expressing their avidity towards them, even posing toxic criticism to those that do not share these deep moral callings. However, many other IEIs may lack the impulse or motivation to take this type of action at all.
What do you think? Do you believe Fe has to do with harmony, especially as seen in yourselves as INFJs? Do you seek harmony at all? Are you adverse to creating conflict? What do we even mean by "harmony" in this context?



 

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Fe results in a sharp awareness of the feelings of people around you. What you choose to do with that awareness is up to you, and can vary according to many factors. In many cases, it makes people uncomfortable with conflict, but many FJs are clearly comfortable with conflict, so it depends on the person and their agenda.
 

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The way I have perceived it is my Fi users are more inclined to allow things to happen without speaking out against the wrong doings. While, the Fe users ( especially, when paired with higher Ni ) already sees the need for speaking out and the end result for doing so. Just like V did. He already just knew the solution and what had to be done for the greater of the society. He did what he did even if it meant his death. I think Fi users are more self protecting and less self sacrificing. - That's just from my own experience with Fe and Fi users. ( I am not criticizing anyone here. I'm very fond of my Fi users. ) Fe users feel everyone's feelings and channel it.
 

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Going by me: We hate squabbles we deem to be unimportant ("Don't waste my time!"); like Stoics, we want a world in harmony with itself, beginning with ourselves, a world in conscious and voluntary accord with what we've determined to be universal principles (don't just do the right thing--understand what the right thing is, then do it); unlike Stoics, we happily take to conflict if we determine that conflict has a reasonable chance of bringing change or enlightenment and thus through shared enlightenment promoting a world of harmony. (Yes, that's "conflict to make harmony." That's so INFJ, it hurts.) We want the harmony to be "authentic," genuine from top to bottom, not ill-principled people only pretending (whether they realize it or not) to get along with each other. (And, as I'm editing this, I see INForJoking's posting comes up, with which I'm in full accord.)
 

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Fe guides two different responses for me in creating harmony. The first is to make everyone feel comfortable and safe , and to foster group cohesion. The second is to detect the intentions of those who would disrupt this harmony. I am not averse to conflict when group harmony is at risk, but I'm less inclined to intervene when a situation doesn't affect me or my cohorts directly. I'm not a crusader who will put himself at risk for every infraction, and I'm not willing to be a martyr of some broad cause. I'm keenly aware of what I can affect, and what I cannot.

I've accepted that conflict will be a part of life as long as man is a physical being. Violence is the tool of a weak mind, and mental midgets fill my environment. The speed at which I intervene depends on how quickly my Fe reads the aggressor. It may be an immediate response entered into with reckless abandon, or a slow build that starts with passive aggressive behavior while I read their responses and develop a course of action. I am perpetually conflict ready with many tools at my disposal, most of which I hope to never need or use; I am essentially peaceful and empathetic at my core. This drives me to sometimes concede and let the aggressor save face when a compromise can restore harmony. On the rare occasion the conflict continues, the aggressor normally concedes when they contemplate the coruption of their position against my unwavering resolve.
 

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Hello @mistakenforstranger
Nice to see you're up to more theories and brilliant assertions! I've always found the Fe=harmony thing rather vague (mind, neither Jung nor Isabel Myers-Briggs named Fe "harmony"), as much as vague as Ti=accuracy. So I praise your criticism.

In FJ types, feelings are formulated around the object. If I were to translate it into my own terms: it is the judgement exercised upon the external world that dictates the outcome of feelings [in Extraverted Feeling types]. What Jung calls 'the object' could be translated perhaps into a "external world data", or something like that. Jung does tell us:
Feeling in the extraverted attitude is orientated by objective data, i.e. the object is the indispensable determinant of the kind of feeling. It agrees with objective values.
Then, Jung says the following of the Extraverted Feeling (mind, he's not speaking of the person with FJ, but only of the function, this is important):
If one has always known feeling as a subjective fact, the nature of extraverted feeling will not immediately be understood, since it has freed itself as fully as possible from the subjective factor, and has, instead, become wholly subordinated to the influence of the object. Even where it seems to show a certain independence of the quality of the concrete object, it is none the less under the spell of. traditional or generally valid standards of some sort. I may feel constrained, for instance, to use the predicate 'beautiful' or 'good', not because I find the object 'beautiful' or 'good' from my own subjective feeling, but because it is fitting and politic so to do; and fitting it certainly is, inasmuch as a contrary opinion would disturb the general feeling situation. A feeling-judgment such as this is in no way a simulation or a lie -- it is merely an act of accommodation
By that reasoning, the FJ function is often based on something behind "an act of accomodation" or "generally valid standards of some sort". While Jung is rather vague there, he does indeed speak of something very close to the concept of harmony.
But he also does tell us something else: we should distinguish from what the function seeks and what the individual seeks. The function taken alone may very well be ascribed to a form of collective harmony (looking for acts of accomodations) and it fact it may feel disturbed when we engage in conflict. But that, by no mean, is the globality of the individual.
While the FJ is based on building a value-system based on positive feeling tones, other parts of the individual may oppose said function. To remain in the MBTI theory: in INFJs, it might be the Ni or Ti functions, which can undermine the FJ's basis for accomodation according to internal values and principles. But basically a lot of other stuff may come into play, such as a very negative relationship with the objects of our feelings etc.

TLDR. I think you are right that INFJ don't have to be the guys craving for social harmony. But the moment they refuse to please their FJ, they will clearly experience a conflict with the function - which means, a conflict with a part of their values.
If I were to dissent with your reasoning, I think that (a): while your merit is to point at the whole of the individual and not just the FJ function, you risk overbalancing in favor of other functions and remove the relevance of FJ - an auxiliary function is still likely to manifest in other forms, even if not as blatant as adhering to everyday social norms
(b) you make assertions that I don't think belong to the MBTI field, they are a bit too rigid and deterministic. MBTI hasn't reached these levels and most likely can't,
(c) I don't think Nietzsche is an INFJ and given the controversial nature of his type on the forums, he's not the best role model to bring forward your point in the thread.
 

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It dawned on me that all people and MBTI types probably resonate with the risk vs reward aspect of harmony and conflict. Every type seems willing to enter conflict under the anonymity of the internet, but few will do this in real life for fear of making a scene or disrupting overall harmony. I see INFJs and INFPs more willing to produce harmony through conflict, but for slightly different reasons.

My social circle is basically 6-8 couples who congregate at concerts and social gatherings. Crowd dynamics have become a complete shit show in our entitled society, so three of us typically set up a perimeter and become the enforcers who deal with space invaders and gropers; me, an INFP female, and an INTP male. Me and the INTP are big, physical guys. He's much bigger than me, and rarely needs to say a word. He is very amicable, and regulates merely by his presence. I'm generally quiet and observant, regulating with a chilly disposition and the occasional hard stare. The INFP female is the enforcer of the group, and she will absolutely be in your shit at the slightest provocation. She takes every transgression personally. "Hey, you are blocking MY view", "touching MY ass", "your smoke is in MY face". She thinks I'm a bit of a pussy because I will put up with this behavior when it is directed only at me. However, I come unhinged when someone is "blocking other people's views", "touching a married woman's ass", or "blowing smoke in a designated no-smoking zone". This is the subtle difference between Fi and Fe, and showcases the motives behind acting on them.
 

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I've started to consider the idea that it's not so much that I hate conflict; it's that I hate not feeling in control.

Because, honestly, I'm kind of a junkie for conflict if I'm the one who instigated it, or it doesn't really affect me or anyone else negatively. As my ENFJ friend once said, "Sometimes you get bored and have to start stoking fires." I like watching interesting arguments/debates, or seeing a situation I don't like coming to a head -- if I anticipated and/or caused it in some way.

If it's some nonsense that I didn't anticipate or cause, or I don't know how to deal with it, that's when I hate it.
 

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Interesting topic!

I think social harmony can be difficult to pin down to a type or function(other than Enneagram 9). I think there are a lot of aspects of harmony that are subjective, so it’s going to be difficult to really fit social harmony to a one-size-fits-all definition for all types. Harmony can look very different to different types of people, even if they equally strive for it.

I think the biggest difference would come in the way people try to achieve and maintain harmony. In that way, I can see high Fe being good at this by understanding the atmosphere and naturally working towards harmony. I think High Te users can strive for social harmony as well, but the method would be different from Fe.

There are also multiple ways to maintain harmony, and they can conflict with each other, with two people trying to maintain harmony in conflicting ways, to a point where it’s the difference in methods that can disrupt harmony, even if both people equally desire it.

There’s the more passive, conflict avoidant method of holding back in order to preserve harmony.

There’s the more passive-aggressive, conflict avoidant method of resenting the idea of holding back, but holding back anyway.

There’s the more direct approach of engaging in or even initiating conflict with others seen as detrimental to harmony in order to fix the problem and preserve harmony.

And the more direct approach of being incredibly open, telling others things perceived as hard truths or being overly blunt in order to preserve harmony, the idea that if everyone knows where everyone stands, there will be no conflict and harmony is preserved. This line of thought may see conflict avoidance as detrimental to harmony, while the conflict avoidant person may see this line of thought as detrimental to harmony. There would be many more methods too, I would think.

I think both high Fe and Te users may be more likely to try to actively create harmony in their environment, while lower Fe and Te users may be more likely to passively preserve harmony, all with varying methods. The desire can be equal between types(but this would probably fluctuate also).
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Fe results in a sharp awareness of the feelings of people around you. What you choose to do with that awareness is up to you, and can vary according to many factors. In many cases, it makes people uncomfortable with conflict, but many FJs are clearly comfortable with conflict, so it depends on the person and their agenda.
True, but don't you think other types are aware of the feelings of other people too, especially Feelers in general, not merely Fe? I don't think Fi users (i.e. FPs) are oblivious to others' feelings, quite the opposite, but they tend to prioritize their own over the responses of others, and I'm not even sure if that's always the case. I also don't think Fe is necessarily "feelings" only, but also the views/attitudes/opinions of other people too, as Jung says:

Even where it seems to show a certain independence of the quality of the concrete object, it is none the less under the spell of traditional or generally valid standards of some sort.
The personality appears to be adjusted in relation to objective conditions. Her feelings correspond with objective situations and general values.
He is talking about a Fe-dom here, though, which is important to note.

The way I have perceived it is my Fi users are more inclined to allow things to happen without speaking out against the wrong doings. While, the Fe users ( especially, when paired with higher Ni ) already sees the need for speaking out and the end result for doing so. Just like V did. He already just knew the solution and what had to be done for the greater of the society. He did what he did even if it meant his death.
Yes, I think Fi tends to be "Live, and let live" for the most part, but perhaps not when a certain value they hold dear is compromised, as Jung says:

The feeling of harmony, therefore, lasts only so long as the object goes its own moderate way and makes no attempt to cross the other's path.
For the example of "Live and let live," see Ellen (ENFP) give a very Fi answer at 11:00: "Unless it really impacts me or the planet, I don't really care what anybody does..." Katie Couric is a Fe user, as a comparison, and you can tell because she tends to reference the group's views in her questions. Actually, a lot of the idea for this thread came about from another thread I was on with @fresh ;), where others saw Ellen as a Fe user because she promotes harmony, togetherness, saying "Be kind to one another" at the end of every show, so I don't think the lines are as clear as people think in terms of who desires harmony, because it's not exclusively a concern of Fe users. Again, I believe this may have more to do with being a 9, and I think Ellen is likely a 9 too.

 


However, what do we think of this woman who stands up in the face of wrongdoing? Is this Fe or Fi? It sounds like Fe on the train with, "We're all in this together," but when you hear her motivations on Ellen's show for doing so at 2:30, she says she knows what it's like to be bullied, and that your religion is your "identity" and how "That's who you are" it seems as if it actually comes from Fi... :confused: I'd actually argue that the woman causing the argument, making the "us" (vs them) distinction is more likely the Fe user, but I'll admit this is a lot of speculation based on very limited evidence.

 

This is similar to Buoyant's point about motivations, but assuming she is Fi, then again, Fi can stand up to defend others too. I've definitely seen it in my ExFP friend, if someone isn't acting "right," according to her values. It's not merely my vs yours, is it? It can be, but I see exceptions to this too.

The INFP female is the enforcer of the group, and she will absolutely be in your shit at the slightest provocation. She takes every transgression personally. "Hey, you are blocking MY view", "touching MY ass", "your smoke is in MY face". She thinks I'm a bit of a pussy because I will put up with this behavior when it is directed only at me. However, I come unhinged when someone is "blocking other people's views", "touching a married woman's ass", or "blowing smoke in a designated no-smoking zone". This is the subtle difference between Fi and Fe, and showcases the motives behind acting on them.
I think Fi users are more self protecting and less self sacrificing. - That's just from my own experience with Fe and Fi users. ( I am not criticizing anyone here. I'm very fond of my Fi users. ) Fe users feel everyone's feelings and channel it.
 

:tongue:

Interesting, and I do tend to be quite self-sacrificing, and see this in every FJ I know. How do you see this channeling occur?

Going by me: We hate squabbles we deem to be unimportant ("Don't waste my time!"); like Stoics, we want a world in harmony with itself, beginning with ourselves, a world in conscious and voluntary accord with what we've determined to be universal principles (don't just do the right thing--understand what the right thing is, then do it); unlike Stoics, we happily take to conflict if we determine that conflict has a reasonable chance of bringing change or enlightenment and thus through shared enlightenment promoting a world of harmony. (Yes, that's "conflict to make harmony." That's so INFJ, it hurts.) We want the harmony to be "authentic," genuine from top to bottom, not ill-principled people only pretending (whether they realize it or not) to get along with each other. (And, as I'm editing this, I see INForJoking's posting comes up, with which I'm in full accord.)
Yeah, well said, this is why I say we will start conflict "at times," because I think INFJs know when to pick and choose their battles with careful planning (as V did), owing to Ni, unlike say a certain ESTP who doesn't...:bored:

 
Trump

And yet, he's an Fe user. What of that? Again, Fe is harmony!? Though, he's not a healthy ESTP, and tertiary Fe (coupled with dominant Se + E-8) is completely different from dominant Fe.


Our battles tend to be more often, as James Joyce (INFJ) says, "not the obvious material battles but those that were fought and won behind your forehead." :crazy:

Great posts from everyone so far! I'll be back to reply more.
 

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@mistakenforstranger Thank you for your carefully considered thoughts on this subject, I enjoyed reading your post. I know for myself that I want to be in 'harmonious' environments, where people get along and like each other. Conflict causes me a great deal of stress and discomfort, which I don't think is true of all types, and I think this is partly due to Fe. But I'm sure it is not exclusive to Fe users.

I think the reason Fe is associated with harmony is because Fe will notice even the subtlest signs of disharmony, whereas other types may be oblivious to the same, despite disliking disharmony equally (leading to hurt and confusion when they are reprimanded for not having been more 'sensitive' to whatever the situation was).

However, I think/agree that, as Fe is subservient to our Ni, we will always compromise on harmony for the sake of whatever our Ni visions and core values are. Save for Enneagram 9s, because peaceful relations itself is a core motivation for them, irrespective of MBTI type.

For myself (enneagram 1), I value Truth above almost anything else, so I will risk conflict and disharmony rather than face my core fear which is 'corruption'. INFJs with other enneagram types will have other values and fears which will determine what they will risk disharmony for.
 

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we want a world in harmony with itself, beginning with ourselves, a world in conscious and voluntary accord with what we've determined to be universal principles (don't just do the right thing--understand what the right thing is, then do it); unlike Stoics, we happily take to conflict if we determine that conflict has a reasonable chance of bringing change or enlightenment and thus through shared enlightenment promoting a world of harmony. (Yes, that's "conflict to make harmony." That's so INFJ, it hurts.) We want the harmony to be "authentic," genuine from top to bottom, not ill-principled people only pretending (whether they realize it or not) to get along with each other.


Soooooooooo this (especially bolded part).

I will engage in whatever knock down, filthy angry fight that I have to on the slim chance of helping make a minor change socially which helps right an imbalance amongst those afflicted with that dread disease silence.

I don't mind looking like an ass in these situations, provided the cause be somehow related to helpless or undefended people. I consider that everyone else should be willing to do the same, sadly they do not, to my great ire.

In all other circumstances, wherein people are handling themselves just fine and/or everyone is being kind... then I'm quiet, affable, and regard others opinions/ect to an excess (I loose track of mine, if I ever had any).


This is to say ~ this is a good topic, and very true. I've considered extensively that Fe definitely has it's own way of being assertive, and well... LOUD... when such is called for. Some of the other Fe types (Si) tend only to show it when they are at their emotional breaking point, in which case it is very personal and looses intentionality within the storm of feelings.
For Ni types, I believe that it (normally) remains a focused, purposeful pushing to get something constructive accomplished socially (whether successful is another matter).


I think it's a timely thread for me too... with all that I have felt/thought/said in regards to the political situation since the start of it all, I thought eventually I would reach the pinnacle of self-expression and having gotten it all out, I would be fine again.
Instead I find myself increasingly distraught and incensed that I have absolutely zero vehicle of social change within a group that I have always felt myself to be a heart & soul part of and now find them ALLLL drifting over to that horrible mindset of conservatism and all that it currently entails. Not a thing I say is even being registered no matter how carefully I craft it for their particular ears, so I find myself to be standing on a bluff shouting at a wind that doesn't hear while it whistles by. Somehow, likely illogicaly, I feel as if they have all betrayed and abandoned me by turning their backs on any true morality when it comes to the treatment of others. Instead it's all fake smiles and pleas for an end to divisiveness (but to who's side?). As someone very wise once said ~ whitewashed sepulchres. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to get this all out unless I write a book or something...
 

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I've been diving into Dario Nardi's work and I've noticed that one of the things that seems to indicate Fe is the tendency to shut off emotional infuences when thinking about social issues. There's a brain pattern that does exactly this and Fe-users seem to use it to analyze social situations as objective things, uncoupled from any personal infuences.

I'm still trying to find more information on the topic, but this might be the defining difference between Fe and Fi. (so it's not definitive, but at least a factor te keep in consideration)
 

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What do you think? Do you believe Fe has to do with harmony, especially as seen in yourselves as INFJs? Do you seek harmony at all?
I hardly think Fe = playing nice all the time. Ideally, I do like coming to a consensus or when I'm on the same page with people - I just try to be realistic about it. Not everyone is going to agree on everything because we see things in different ways. I think getting several different perspectives is important too though since that provides balance. However, it's best when there is cooperation so you can eventually get on the same page in order to implement your vision but that's more so within the context of a compatible team or relationship which I believe should be chosen with care.


That being said, it very much depends on the context I'm in. I can play bridge builder or mediator in certain scenarios if I feel like what I say might make a difference and depending on what my agreed upon role is with the people in question. So yes, I do seek harmony, I just wouldn't say it's my top priority because I believe that learning is more important for an individual's well being than some superficial form of harmony. For instance, I very much relate to this:

"Such types can be quite tenacious in pointing out the discrepancies between stated beliefs and actual behavior. This is the arena in which their Intuition is most evident. INFJs wrestle all their lives with the conflict they perceive between maintaining harmonious relationships and expressing emotional truth,"


I see inconsistencies in myself and others and I prefer consistency. In other words, I hate hypocrisy. I'm not going to enable someone who is delusional about themselves because they have an ego problem. At the same time though, once I've said my piece, I try not to beat a dead horse over the head because that's pretty pointless too if the person isn't receptive to hearing the truth about themselves. I mean, what happens when a person doesn't acknowledge what you see so clearly? You can't control other people. So I say my piece and then I try to let it be and at the very least not allow them to manipulate me. I've had to deal with this with family members so that's been my experience. This obviously doesn't create harmony because when you threaten a person's false self-image, it's a big deal. But I don't think it's beneficial for them (or me) to lie, so I don't. I really hate pretense with all my heart. I can see through people's BS anyway so I can't really pretend not to see things anyway.



What do we even mean by "harmony" in this context?
Cooperation. I also think that all FJ's are aware of how to be socially graceful. Whether they choose to be or not is up to them.

Are you adverse to creating conflict?
No, see above. A. It's not in anyone's best interest (for both me and the other person) to allow a person to mistreat me all for the sake of some superficial harmony. And B. Up keeping an intimate relationship requires that you meet uncomfortable/intially conflicting issues head on otherwise it will lead to degradation rather than growth. If the relationship is not meant to continue then best deal with the issues head on so you can make a decision about it one way or the other (gain a sense of closure) rather than turning a blind eye to it out of fear (of course, sometimes that is easier said than done).


My INFJ hubby is someone who very much believes in being able to be open and real with his intimates since he always has to wear a mask for everyone else in the world. He says he can do it when it's not important, it doesn't matter. But once he deeply values someone, he becomes more open, more direct/blunt but Fe is still present in considering the other person and what not. I'd say it's mostly the same for myself. I think a relationship built on pretense is not one worth having. You should be able to let your hair down around the other person and for them to know you on a deep level.


So I'd say my top priority is growth for everyone involved. Also, I don't mean creating conflict = creating senseless drama (though it's not like I've never been immature and done that before) because that's another thing entirely.
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So, I'm willing to say harmony may be desired in ExFJs, and likely ISFJ, (and those types can speak to this if they like), even in IxFPs (according to Jung), but I would say an INFJ is not mainly interested in keeping the peace, or seeking for everyone to get along. They are far more likely to be intellectual/artistic rebels or harsh critics of prevailing social norms rather than the ones holding hands with everyone around the campfire singing Kum Ba Yah promoting "social harmony". INFJs, perhaps unlike other FJ types, are prepared to go it alone holding their lantern of truth (Ni) on the darkness of the world.
I would agree though I wonder if ENFJ's ever feel a similar way when it comes to pushing a social cause they believe in (I don't know any ENFJ's personally so I wouldn't know). I'd think they'd probably be less willing to go it alone though.

At their worst, the ESFJ's I know (mom, sister, a few sis-in-laws) can throw temper tantrums (temporarily stirring up chaos that way), be vindictive (obviously this creates conflict) but when all is said and done, I think they all still have this expectation or desire for us to all be on good terms some how which is odd to me (especially when some serious damage has been done and not restored). I'll also have less of a hard time cutting people out of my life. I ask myself why a relationship is working or not working...in a colder Ni/Fe/Ti way, I guess. I'm very goal-oriented when it comes to this. I ask myself what is the point? What is the goal of this relationship? Whereas, I think ESFJ's have a harder time letting relationships go or they worry about hurting other's feelings. For instance, my ESFJ sister would have a hard time removing people from her friend list on FB even if she's not that close to them on the possibility of their feelings getting hurt. I don't do that. I can remove no problem. Another example, my ESFJ mom seems to have this expectation for people to play nice even when someone is being mistreated (even though she won't do this herself if she feels personally threatened). At a family meeting (wasn't going well/conflict), when everyone had a chance to say their piece my sister tried closing things up by saying "I know we're not all going to sing kum-ba-yah or anything but [insert words to smooth things over]." My mother-in-law was an ISFJ and she would always admit to the things she did wrong in order to smooth things over with those she loved (even if they were severely mistreating her). The thing is, she'd get taken advantage of this way when the other party didn't follow suit and apologize for their own wrong doings. So that was true for her as well.

As for xNFP's, I would think they're more idealistic when it comes to harmony (like wanting world peace). I think INFP's would also be pretty focused on or concerned with internal harmony or maintaining a sense of homeostasis. The environment may cause them stress depending on their personal triggers. Conflict does stress me out but what stresses me out more is chewing on the problem in my head ad-nauseum and not being able to act on it or make a decision, do anything about the problem or the very real lack of harmony that already exists (whether the other person realizes it or not). I really need that sense of closure so I can move forward. That can be achieved in different ways.

As for SP's, they'd have a different flavor and be in another category, I would think.


And as ever, a person's enneagram/instinctual stackings will always make a difference :)
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INFJs can definitely be, and as seen throughout history have been, very controversial figures who have no problem upsetting people or overturning the status quo if it stands in the way of their personal idea of truth and the future they envision (Ni).
Something Jesus said came to my mind here:


"Luke 12
49 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! 51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”


But some think he's INFP, others INFJ. I think he's INFJ. But whatever the case, I could see an INFJ saying this.

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I agree about V being an INFJ. Ender from Ender's Game is another character who I feel gets mistyped as INTP or INTJ by some (I think he's INFJ) because I guess they find some of his behaviors too harsh for him to be considered an Fe user. But this is something I actually can relate to as an Fe user (especially the first part):


Ender: "In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it's impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them -"
"You beat them." For a moment she was not afraid of his understanding.
"No, you don't understand. I destroy them. I make it impossible for them to ever hurt me again. I grind them and grind them until they don't exist."


Just another version of the INFJ doorslam :p lol I'll occasionally have rage (night) dreams like that where a person is mistreating me and I attempt to threaten/scare them so much to insure they never mistreat me ever again.

(Though maybe he's not the best example since he's a fictional character)
 
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