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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Lately I've been noticing that my decisions are usually based on what I think others want or expect of me. I already knew that in general, but what I think to notice now is that when I have a dilemma or have trouble deciding I usually try to let other another person decide for me. I think it is best analyzed as follows: My judging function steer me to do stuff as 'it should' be done, meaning the way I think generally people are expected to behave in specific circumstances. My extraverted feeling (strong desire for harmony) steers me to take decisions that will make most/the important people happy, me not necessarily being one of them. This easily goes as far as me doing stuff I don't really feel like in order to prevent another person being disappointed in me. When I really don't want to do what I think a person expects of me, I sometimes even explain what I think they want me to do and why I don't want to do that, while not saying what my decision is going to be. That way I think I hope others will solve my dilemma for me, thus preserving harmony.

I've noticed that not all INFJ's are like this and that an ENFJ (Fe dominant) colleague does not resemble this at all. So my question is: what does extraverted feeling mean to you? Have does it influence your behaviour? And do you have any idea how much of that behaviour is (partly) because of past experiences? In my case, there may be a strong influence of past experiences. That's why I'm very curious to see what others think of this.
 

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My extraverted feeling (strong desire for harmony) steers me to take decisions that will make most/the important people happy, me not necessarily being one of them. This easily goes as far as me doing stuff I don't really feel like in order to prevent another person being disappointed in me. When I really don't want to do what I think a person expects of me, I sometimes even explain what I think they want me to do and why I don't want to do that, while not saying what my decision is going to be. That way I think I hope others will solve my dilemma for me, thus preserving harmony.
Sounds a lot like me :) For me, Fe translates into "I feel what others feel, but I don't have a clue what I'm feeling". This often leads to me behaving as you described: I let others decide for me, partly because I have this huge need for harmony and partly because in many situations I don't even know how I feel.
 

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I try to fit into others "expectations" of me and change how I act around certain people, I'm not afraid of making decisions, quite the opposite, I won't force my will on people if someone else has already made a decision, but if no one wants to do it, I'm not afraid of stepping up to the plate and enforcing what is good/right/what will make everyone happy
 

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My s.o. is an INFJ.

Her Fe is completely separate from her actual emotions and personal value system. If she contradicts her Fe to act on behalf of her feelings or values she experiences dissonance because the result is a disruption of harmony. Her personal value system even, seems partially linked to creating and maintaining harmony in her social sphere, even if it's at the expense of herself.
 

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It influences me in both good and bad ways.

Good ways: I always managed to instinctively know how a person feels, and I always instinctively know what to do or say to make a person feel better. My friends told me I am good at giving advice and good at comforting people, I wonder if it's because of my Fe??

Bad ways: I absorbed people's emotions too much. Whenever my friends vent to me about their problems, they automatically feel better after venting, whereas I ended up feeling really down.
I also let my self-esteem get defined by other people's opinions of me. Whenever people dislike or misunderstood me, my self-esteem immediately gets affected and I immediately start blaming/doubting/hating myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks all for the reactions. I'm looking for a way to counteract this behaviour. Sometimes with a lot of meditation I will know what I actually want, rather what I feel I 'should' do for whatever reason. Any thoughts on this? How do you deal with this? I do not want to lose the asset of being able to read other people, but at the same time I'm trying to not let them influence me so much. So far, I can either put a hard barrier between them and me (try to disconnect from them) or be really influenced by them...
 

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Thanks all for the reactions. I'm looking for a way to counteract this behaviour. Sometimes with a lot of meditation I will know what I actually want, rather what I feel I 'should' do for whatever reason. Any thoughts on this? How do you deal with this? I do not want to lose the asset of being able to read other people, but at the same time I'm trying to not let them influence me so much. So far, I can either put a hard barrier between them and me (try to disconnect from them) or be really influenced by them...
Your ability to read people would be primarily due to Ni.

When you hyper engage through Fe, you force yourself into modes of thinking and behavior that lock your dominant function into perceptual patterns. A textbook of mine defined Company Culture as: The social heritage of a group that outlines the correct way to perceive, feel, think, and act.

Ni has to have perceptual freedom, which it is not allowed when you super impose Fe over it. In such a case you begin forcibly conforming your dominant function, your dominant mode of being, and sense of self, to your primary tool. It's like a carpenter being asked to explain his personality and he talks about the hammer he's holding.

Something I told my INFJ a long time ago, you have to realize that you are not your Fe.

Once you understand the relationship between your dominant and auxiliary (INFJ - Ni-Fe) you'll figure out how to use your Fe to support and compliment your Ni, and you'll be able to notice when you're Fe is attempting to hi-jack the functional stack.

http://personalitycafe.com/infj-articles/129800-lenore-thomsons-infj.html#post3278602

http://personalitycafe.com/cognitive-functions/129792-lenore-thomsons-introverted-intuition.html
 

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It's like a carpenter being asked to explain his personality and he talks about the hammer he's holding.
That's hilarious :)

Something I told my INFJ a long time ago, you have to realize that you are not your Fe.
Very profound. I have never looked at it that way! In fact, I think I've constructed a lot of my identity around my Fe...! Up to the point where I would compromise my own need for quiet time just to please others. @Scorpio: Meditation works quite well for me, I also like to take walks on my own or to go for a run. Being in nature is vital to me to reconnect with myself. I'm still figuring it out though and it seems that I actually need A LOT of time to myself to live a balanced life. This is where the Fe comes in and I tend to feel guilty for claiming so much time for myself... too much time, as I see it.
 

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I use it to direct the environment, quietly....

Or at least, make sure it doesn't collapse on me. It is just a defense mechanism. Some idiot strikes up a conversation, I Fe them off. I use Fe to keep people at a distance. It is a facade. People can attack it, and it doesn't matter. Cuz I have never been touched. It is my wetsuit. I said that I see every environment as like an ocean, that can drown me. I put on Fe, and can come out the other side without getting wet. Whereas my INFP buddy, goes through no such hunkering down process. He has no wetsuit, so he is always getting wet. We both know we are generally behind enemy lines in society, but I act like I am behind enemy lines. He doesn't. I am treating the environment like a constant, changing threat, that I must keep my eye on. And Fe is the wedge, between me and it. The environment never actually touches me.

But it also forms my philosophy. Of collective transcendence. As a shared value system. I don't want to find a path for each individual, but for all of humanity. I am interested in the One, not the many.
 
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Very profound. I have never looked at it that way! In fact, I think I've constructed a lot of my identity around my Fe...!
Far too many INTJs do the same. Even myself once upon a time.
 

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I sometimes care too much about how other people view me, though I would never openly admit it.

Also, I can care too much about people. A person can treat me like shit and I'll find a way to empathize with them and "hang around." This is actually happening to me a little bit with an ex right now.

With all of that being said, I tend to keep my social group as small as possible. Too many friends is too exhausting for me. I have my small tight-knit group that has been with me for almost 20 years, then I have friends that are "good friends" for a while, but whether it be difference in philosophy, something gone wrong, or just distance, they end up getting removed. Sometimes, no hard feelings, sometimes, people are left butt-hurt. It is what it is.

My Fe is "wonderful" (relative term) when I'm with my tight-knit group of friends. They tell me I'm too excitable and can even be somewhat metrosexual (which is funny because they also say that I'm a man's man at times -- eating the most wings at wing night, pounding the most beers, outlifting friends when I go to the gym, that sort of thing), but I've been told that I'm the one that's "easiest to talk to and be honest with." One of my better friends (distance has separated us) is, we are pretty sure, closeted. I think he was THIS close to coming out to me. He told me that I'm the one friend that he could actually be honest with and knew that I wouldn't place judgment upon him.

Fe has its negatives too. Perhaps it's my not being fully mature yet, but at times, I can make bigger deals about things than necessary, and I go in "manipulate the situation" mode. Gather as much information as possible, build a defensive wall around me, and if necessary, strike fast and strike hard (not physically, but with action).

I can be cold and aloof, but sometimes, I wish I could control when I'm cold and aloof. It seems that when the situation calls for such behavior, I can't be, but when there is no reason to be cold and aloof, I come off that way.

I also find, I don't know if this is type-relative, but some people take what I say WAY too personally. I could be very upset at you one day and let you know, give it a few days, and I probably would have already dropped it.

Unless, of course, you're a consistent jerk to me. I'm the kind of person that will take the hits, store them inside of me, and when I reach my tipping point, other people's feelings can get hurt, and I'll feel bad about it, but will also feel as if it was justified. Probably not so healthy on my end, but some people do need to learn what's appropriate and what's crossing the line.

My ISFP mom even calls me out for "hitting people's emotions" to get what I want. I don't think this is necessarily manipulation as much as it is finding the right words to get someone to be on my team and see my point of view and act accordingly by emotional persuasion.
An example is this:
I'm somewhat of a health nut. I don't believe in eating too much red meat in a week. My mom made beef 3 nights in a row. I told her that she shouldn't do that, she really didn't pay attention citing "it was only this once." I told her "Mom, Dad has high blood pressure and cholesterol. As his wife, don't you think his health is of the utmost importance? I want my dad to be around for at least another 20 years. If something were to happen to him that could have been avoided, imagine how guilty you'll feel."

I do really feel awful about it after I consider what I just said, but yes, part of me thinks "hey, it's a justified concern."

Ah well.

When it comes from others, lest it be tertiary or inferior, I find it too much (though for whatever reason, I seem to like it more when it comes from an ENFJ. It's as if they have a better hold on it and know when to express it and when to just let things be without smothering). I find Fi too much, period.
 

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Fe makes my needs and desires subservient to the bigger picture. I cannot feel anything but guilt when I can foresee how my actions and behavior will affect other people negatively and still decide to do it anyways because I feel like it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@Octavian Tnx for the links! I'm probably getting the book.
After reading the replies I'm not entirely sure my initial question was completely related to Fe. How does one conceptualize a very strong urge, compelling need or whatever to do what other people ask of you? Sometimes it seems another person's wish actually is my command. As I don't understand why I'm trying to, as a first step, conceptualize and/or analyze the behavior. The thoughts I have so far, partly based on the replies, are that Ni will allow me to analyze what people want. I'm still guessing that Fe urges to me look for harmony. If I'm feeling compelled to do something, is that related to my judging function (because I believe it to make decisions for me)?
 

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After reading the replies I'm not entirely sure my initial question was completely related to Fe. How does one conceptualize a very strong urge, compelling need or whatever to do what other people ask of you? Sometimes it seems another person's wish actually is my command. As I don't understand why I'm trying to, as a first step, conceptualize and/or analyze the behavior. The thoughts I have so far, partly based on the replies, are that Ni will allow me to analyze what people want. I'm still guessing that Fe urges to me look for harmony. If I'm feeling compelled to do something, is that related to my judging function (because I believe it to make decisions for me)?
INFJ: Ni-Fe-Ti-Se

The type is introverted possessing a stack that ends with Se. That creates a "subconscious" fear of the concrete external world. To create balance, the type is likely to rely on Fe to keep their environment in order and safe (harmony.)

Interestingly enough INTJ does the same: Ni-Te-Fi-Se but through Te, which is why a type that is primarily intuitive and rather original in their thinking, seems robotic and systematic.

It's a defense mechanism. Ni is always hidden from view, and the world is met through the judging function.

The judging function is supposed to do two things when Ni is ahead of it:

1. Act as a line of defense, stopping the concrete world from tainting the internal intuitive world.
2. Actualize the intuitive inclinations of the type.

Ni, dealing in prophetic foresight, combined with Fe establishes a reputation for transformational change among INFJs. Look at your celebrity list. You're not supposed to overindulge your collective or do lots of ass kissing. You're supposed to improve the collective, encourage it to grow when it doesn't want to, and ultimately transform it into something better, your Ni guiding it and telling your Fe what to do.

When Fe hi-jacks the stack, I'm pretty sure harmony will be maintained, but there will be no progress. Your intuition will stagnate and you'll begin to resemble a watered down ENFJ.

I'm being blunt, but that's necessary. Get to know your own intuition. Lenore Thomson and Carl Jung discuss Ni in depth. As you study them, you'll notice it at work within yourself and develop more conscious use of it. That's when the judging function starts to learn it's place and begins to actually compliment the dominant.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
@Octavian Actually, you don't sound blunt to me so much as interesting/intriguing. I definitely recognize a lot in your post (and btw, I've gotten the book; waiting for it now). Maybe I have the misconception that I associate feelings with my judging function per se (it's called feeling, right?). I know things are more complicated than that, but don't know enough yet to sort it out.

So do I understand you correctly that when you speak of Fe hijacking the stack, you mean that Fe takes over from Ni, which means that an INFJ only makes decisions based on harmony as a survival tactic?
 

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Maybe I have the misconception that I associate feelings with my judging function per se (it's called feeling, right?). I know things are more complicated than that, but don't know enough yet to sort it out.
There are 4 preferences: Thinking, Feeling, Sensing, Intuition.

Each preference can be introverted or extraverted. Introverted functions look inward. Extraverted functions look outward.

The feeling function equates to values. Combine that with extraversion and you get Fe, which concerns itself with the collective (extraversion) and the values that govern it (Feeling.)

Without a doubt certain people are prone to getting emotional over their values, or reacting emotionally to violations of their value set. Correlation does not imply causation however.

(If every cancer patient in a hospital chews a specific brand of gum, does that indicate that gum causes cancer? No. That's an interesting correlation, and certainly a call for investigation. But not every correlation implies a causation.)

To understand the feeling function we have to set aside human emotions and merely note the context in which they flare up, as context may indicate if you've violated collective values (Fe) or personal values (Fi.) Emotions themselves however, do not constitute the Feeling function.

I guess they're more like a symptom.

But there are emotional feelers, and unemotional feelers because feeling = values, not likelihood to cry during disney movies.

So do I understand you correctly that when you speak of Fe hijacking the stack, you mean that Fe takes over from Ni, which means that an INFJ only makes decisions based on harmony as a survival tactic?
Basically yeah. Ni is subordinated to the judging function. The best way to learn that is to look at ENTJ and ENFJ: Te-Ni and Fe-Ni. ENTJ will conquer a system, ENFJ will sit at the top of a collective and influence it. They are within the system and collective playing an active role, with Ni watching the shortcomings of their judging function.

Ni in the dominant position encourages you to get outside of it so that you can get new options for interpretation and action that will allow to change or transform the system/collective to your intuitive vision, without getting entrenched in the system / collective.

Does that make sense?

INFJ is not supposed to do what ENFJ does. They can do it, and sometimes very well, but their Ni-Fe has a different agenda / mission.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Does that make sense?
It does, thanks! I will chew on this for a bit to what insight pops out of all this... :wink:
One thing I do now already though. Legal sciences are much easier for me to visualize then psychology! :tongue:
 
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