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This is a question about growing to emotional maturity within friendships for the INTJ personality type. I'm really interested in developing my shadow aspects such as feelings and values. I often find friendships with iNtuitive Feelers NF both intense and rewarding and also challenging, because they make me grow.

So, what does an emotionally mature INTJ personality look like in practice in a friendship, folks?

If you consider yourself to be an INTJ who is emotionally mature in friendships then what helped you to grow up into the INTJ you are today? If you want to become more emotionally mature and balanced with your shadow functions then is there a friendship situation which is challenging for you and that you would like advice on. If you are not INTJ but know INTJ weaknesses in friendships, then please be... gentle... with your friendly advice.

And to all, many thanks. I'm grateful to all of you.
 

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I'd like to answer, but first what do you consider as emotional maturity within friendships OP? This question confuses me for some reason......
 

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I'd like to answer, but first what do you consider as emotional maturity within friendships OP? This question confuses me for some reason......
Well, I'd like to rule out active suppression or repression or denial of emotions. I know we INTJs can be seen as dispassionate, or as extremely intense. I'd like to know how mature INTJs express their emotions, how they manage them internally... Maybe Fi and Fe if anyone wants to use that language and explain it. I'm quite pragmatic and empirical, so I'm looking for internal or external methods which mature INTJs use to handle and express emotions.

That may not make it any clearer. Does that help or would some examples be useful?
 

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Actually it really wasn't confusing, I'm just stuck on how to formulate my response. I'll try a broken list hopefully it's helpful even in the slightest.

- I developed Fi quite early in my life because of my upbringing (to consider everyone elses condition physically, mentally, spiritually, and etc before your own because you never know what situation their in)
- In a way I resonate with another persons feelings through simulating their various emotional circumstances while fishing (safe questioning, paying attention to body language, contrasts with past observations)
-After gathering that data I usually take an action afterwards to address their concerns without using words (using body language, using simple uplifting techniques like just grabbing them a drink, simulation of similar emotions)
-Most emotions that I have are expressed through action

Am I going anywhere with this?
 

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Bump.. a valid and worthwhile question

If you are not INTJ but know INTJ weaknesses in friendships, then please be... gentle... with your friendly advice.

And to all, many thanks. I'm grateful to all of you.
Not INTJ, and I'm not answering your question, but I ^

First of all, try to show emotions
and
Be responsive to the emotions of others.

An INTJ friend recently told me, upon my questioning of them "the only people who I feel I need to meet the emotional needs of is my girlfriend and my mom"

That doesn't let us get very close as friends. Granted, I understand what they are getting at.... but sometimes the lack attentiveness makes me feel as if I am bothering them or not appreciated. I am not some sort of needy person but I value in friendships empathy and gratitude expressed from time to time.

So in my view what is emotional maturity for an INTJ? It probably involves being more comfortable with the sharing of emotions (which seem to be guarded so closely) and not making assumptions that people know how you feel in your mind. Don't be scared... verbalize! Or at least make obvious gestures which can be interpreted as such.

Speaking of "emotions in friendship", OP, it may help to define or give examples exactly what "emotions" you feel are involved in friendship.
 

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Actually it really wasn't confusing, I'm just stuck on how to formulate my response. I'll try a broken list hopefully it's helpful even in the slightest.

- I developed Fi quite early in my life because of my upbringing (to consider everyone elses condition physically, mentally, spiritually, and etc before your own because you never know what situation their in)
- In a way I resonate with another persons feelings through simulating their various emotional circumstances while fishing (safe questioning, paying attention to body language, contrasts with past observations)
-After gathering that data I usually take an action afterwards to address their concerns without using words (using body language, using simple uplifting techniques like just grabbing them a drink, simulation of similar emotions)
-Most emotions that I have are expressed through action

Am I going anywhere with this?
Yes, and I would think I'm fairly similar in approach...but considering and watching others is Fe, I think, correct me if I'm wrong. And that can be a bit of a handicap when I'm wondering what I myself actually feel.

Seems to me that friendship thrives on stuff like 'I like you' and mutual similar statements, often repeated. Faced with a request for emotional personal intimacy (How do you feel about me? Do you need me? Why do you like me? Will you be my friend?) my brain gets totally scrambled as I try not to hurt their feelings, and I get stuck wondering how I am supposed to feel! or how I actually feel.

To put it another way, as INTJ I prefer a calm non emotional internal state. This isn't hugely compatible with how other people seem to feel about me, different friends expressing their care in different ways. I prefer to spend time with people and perhaps to give them gifts, but the emotional highs and lows defeat me. Should I fake it till I make it? How do I make myself feel that I like someone? By and large I feel passive towards my friends and I steer away from people who I respond strongly to or who provoke me. Recently having realised this I am developing a couple of new friendships where I respond a bit more to them as people but this is new ground for me.
 
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Bump.. a valid and worthwhile question



Not INTJ, and I'm not answering your question, but I ^

First of all, try to show emotions
and
Be responsive to the emotions of others.

An INTJ friend recently told me, upon my questioning of them "the only people who I feel I need to meet the emotional needs of is my girlfriend and my mom"

That doesn't let us get very close as friends. Granted, I understand what they are getting at.... but sometimes the lack attentiveness makes me feel as if I am bothering them or not appreciated. I am not some sort of needy person but I value in friendships empathy and gratitude expressed from time to time.

So in my view what is emotional maturity for an INTJ? It probably involves being more comfortable with the sharing of emotions (which seem to be guarded so closely) and not making assumptions that people know how you feel in your mind. Don't be scared... verbalize! Or at least make obvious gestures which can be interpreted as such.

Speaking of "emotions in friendship", OP, it may help to define or give examples exactly what "emotions" you feel are involved in friendship.
One thing I do like is when people bother me or initiate things like events or start a text conversation. Yes, I think this sharing of emotions thing is the key thing I am asking about. I find it difficult to put words to how I feel. Usually I like a calm state internally where I feel calm - not nothingness. But saying 'you don't make me feel anything which is why I like you' is difficult to put across as a compliment and indeed I do wonder if I am missing out somewhere? I like being the opposite of an emotional roller coaster and I am genuinely happy much of the time, so I don't have much to offload.

Well, I don't know that I know what emotions are involved in friendship. I probably don't 'feel' many emotions much, although I can discuss them pretty exactly analytically in a different context, when it's not up close and personal.

I can feel hurt, by someone's actions more than words usually, and I can usually nerve up the courage to explain what and why.
I often feel bewildered by their assumptions, behaviour, statements or actions, but I usually assume they have good reasons for these that I just don't know about. Asking WHY too much is something people get upset by.
I can feel reassured someone wants me around when they arrange an event or suggest an activity. Conversely I can feel ignored even though I know rationally that they are busy.
I can laugh at their jokes, or think they are funny or cute or honest or...I can enjoy watching and learning about other people.
I can feel bored when it's Sensing stuff about the real world or minutiae of life.
I can try to tell them what I think they are good at because they like to know this kind of thing, but it comes out stilted, and I hate it when they do this to me because I dislike both criticism and praise, since I remove the carrying emotion and receive the facts, and this can take time and energy to separate and process for me.
I like being hugged and hugging people I know well but for me that's quite intense and I feel like if I let go into that feeling then I might burst into tears on their shoulder for hours for no reason I could explain, so that's quite challenging and I therefore keep it quite formulaic.
I worry a bit about whether I am giving them enough of whatever it is they want. Hence this thread.
I never ever think that I would stop being someone's friend or stop feeling how I feel about them (however that might be).
I get cross when I think I am being used to do more giving in a friendship than I am taking, and I see that as codependency, I would draw back from that kind of friendship and try to be clear about why. Actually, that didn't go down too well, when I did that.

On the flip side of this, my dad is INTJ and also I have an INTJ female friend, when I am around them I do kind of feel like something is missing, but I can't quite pin down exactly what. It remains quite predictable and perhaps shallow emotionally with them. But I like the security of knowing that it will be that way, and we can talk passionately about various topics.

I guess where I'm at is that I have zero data on how other people behave in one to one situations in friendships, because all my friendships involve me the INTJ.

I know my friends love and value me and I don't have a current crisis to navigate, but I do wonder how to get better at 'feeling the feelings' or whatever that is....and I'm interested more in the internal feelings, Fi. For example I have sometimes written down how I have felt when something happens, but usually that is for processing negative feelings.

Once I have figured out a feeling, I'm not usually scared to admit it. It's locating and describing them which is the primary problem for me.

The crisis moment is when a friend says something like 'I really like you, you make me feel great and I love it that you make me think' I just flounder helplessly wondering what the real truthful honest answer is, weighing up that elusive feeling, wondering what. It is, why I feel it, what it's name is and what percentage of me actually feels it when I'm not in crisis mode....mega processing starts, while my Fe goes into overdrive watching their vulnerable open honest truthful face crumble as it looks like I just can't even muster up a simple 'I like you too', and on reflection that makes me feel like I let them down. But the answer 'let me think about that' while truthful wouldn't save the situation either, even though a week later I could perhaps manage a written sentence on the topic. So I preempt this by often including 'I like you' in my texts or emails, even if I don't feel it at the time, just to avoid a big moment which I would probably fluff as described. And if I don't feel it at the time, then is that fake?

I need some help, somewhere!
 

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Yes, and I would think I'm fairly similar in approach...but considering and watching others is Fe, I think, correct me if I'm wrong. And that can be a bit of a handicap when I'm wondering what I myself actually feel.
I'm pretty sure I use Fi because I simulate their situation based on my own morality/values/views, it just seems Fe because of the way I twist it. This might help with the distiction http://personalitycafe.com/articles/63173-fi-vs-fe-101-a.html.

In my case I never make/acknowledge friendship with anyone who I'm not completely genuine to. If I have to suppress certain parts of myself to appeal to their ego I don't consider them friends. That being said I attain friendship by throwing bits and pieces of myself out in the open and who ever bites and stays are worthy for my attention. I never recall my best friendships ever having the "I like you you like me" deal, it's more like an unspoken acceptance of each others character.
 

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One thing I do like is when people bother me or initiate things like events or start a text conversation. Yes, I think this sharing of emotions thing is the key thing I am asking about. I find it difficult to put words to how I feel. Usually I like a calm state internally where I feel calm - not nothingness. But saying 'you don't make me feel anything which is why I like you' is difficult to put across as a compliment and indeed I do wonder if I am missing out somewhere? I like being the opposite of an emotional roller coaster and I am genuinely happy much of the time, so I don't have much to offload.

Well, I don't know that I know what emotions are involved in friendship. I probably don't 'feel' many emotions much, although I can discuss them pretty exactly analytically in a different context, when it's not up close and personal.

I can feel hurt, by someone's actions more than words usually, and I can usually nerve up the courage to explain what and why.
I often feel bewildered by their assumptions, behaviour, statements or actions, but I usually assume they have good reasons for these that I just don't know about. Asking WHY too much is something people get upset by.
I can feel reassured someone wants me around when they arrange an event or suggest an activity. Conversely I can feel ignored even though I know rationally that they are busy.
I can laugh at their jokes, or think they are funny or cute or honest or...I can enjoy watching and learning about other people.
I can feel bored when it's Sensing stuff about the real world or minutiae of life.
I can try to tell them what I think they are good at because they like to know this kind of thing, but it comes out stilted, and I hate it when they do this to me because I dislike both criticism and praise, since I remove the carrying emotion and receive the facts, and this can take time and energy to separate and process for me.
I like being hugged and hugging people I know well but for me that's quite intense and I feel like if I let go into that feeling then I might burst into tears on their shoulder for hours for no reason I could explain, so that's quite challenging and I therefore keep it quite formulaic.
I worry a bit about whether I am giving them enough of whatever it is they want. Hence this thread.
I never ever think that I would stop being someone's friend or stop feeling how I feel about them (however that might be).
I get cross when I think I am being used to do more giving in a friendship than I am taking, and I see that as codependency, I would draw back from that kind of friendship and try to be clear about why. Actually, that didn't go down too well, when I did that.

On the flip side of this, my dad is INTJ and also I have an INTJ female friend, when I am around them I do kind of feel like something is missing, but I can't quite pin down exactly what. It remains quite predictable and perhaps shallow emotionally with them. But I like the security of knowing that it will be that way, and we can talk passionately about various topics.

I guess where I'm at is that I have zero data on how other people behave in one to one situations in friendships, because all my friendships involve me the INTJ.

I know my friends love and value me and I don't have a current crisis to navigate, but I do wonder how to get better at 'feeling the feelings' or whatever that is....and I'm interested more in the internal feelings, Fi. For example I have sometimes written down how I have felt when something happens, but usually that is for processing negative feelings.

Once I have figured out a feeling, I'm not usually scared to admit it. It's locating and describing them which is the primary problem for me.

The crisis moment is when a friend says something like 'I really like you, you make me feel great and I love it that you make me think' I just flounder helplessly wondering what the real truthful honest answer is, weighing up that elusive feeling, wondering what. It is, why I feel it, what it's name is and what percentage of me actually feels it when I'm not in crisis mode....mega processing starts, while my Fe goes into overdrive watching their vulnerable open honest truthful face crumble as it looks like I just can't even muster up a simple 'I like you too', and on reflection that makes me feel like I let them down. But the answer 'let me think about that' while truthful wouldn't save the situation either, even though a week later I could perhaps manage a written sentence on the topic. So I preempt this by often including 'I like you' in my texts or emails, even if I don't feel it at the time, just to avoid a big moment which I would probably fluff as described. And if I don't feel it at the time, then is that fake?

I need some help, somewhere!
I'm starting to see what your current issue is here... I was in a similar situation a few years back and I considered it my first and last identity crisis. To keep it short I essentially was being burdened by juggling my own views and those of others and I suffered from the contradictions born from them. As an Fi user that really messed me up. Having that inner world cultivated first is extremely important as an INTJ. We tend to require the complete understanding of a subject before we can make a informed decision. If you don't understand who you are and what drives you, how can you jump to throw yourself into another's? I'm not saying you don't understand yourself right now, but be sure to make a clear distinction of what is originating from you and what isn't. If anythings unclear I apologize I've been making constant ER runs here at work and sleep is somewhat lacking....-_-
 

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Once I have figured out a feeling, I'm not usually scared to admit it. It's locating and describing them which is the primary problem for me.
that sure sounds familiar.

Usually I like a calm state internally where I feel calm - not nothingness. But saying 'you don't make me feel anything which is why I like you' is difficult to put across as a compliment


hah. one of the people i know - not exactly a friend since there's almost nothing i can think of that i'd want to tell her about me - surprised me once by saying 'one thing i really like about you and <someone else> is you're comfortable with silence. most people aren't.'


when a friend says something like 'I really like you,
hee. also this. i get a lot of the internal thought 'i like you too, but do we have to talk about it?'

i'm going to have to think about this.
 
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I'm starting to see what your current issue is here... I was in a similar situation a few years back and I considered it my first and last identity crisis. To keep it short I essentially was being burdened by juggling my own views and those of others and I suffered from the contradictions born from them. As an Fi user that really messed me up. Having that inner world cultivated first is extremely important as an INTJ. We tend to require the complete understanding of a subject before we can make a informed decision. If you don't understand who you are and what drives you, how can you jump to throw yourself into another's? I'm not saying you don't understand yourself right now, but be sure to make a clear distinction of what is originating from you and what isn't. If anythings unclear I apologize I've been making constant ER runs here at work and sleep is somewhat lacking....-_-
This is really helpful, thanks. I'm going to have to think about it a bit more but I think maybe my journey is from Fe to Fi, otherwise similar.

What does Fi feel like then? Any INTJ friendly language preferred, nothing vague or woolly. Examples of situations if that would be helpful, but I have realised that my inner reaction (remove emotions, analyse data, consider all possible actions, discard some, react in controlled manner) is so far removed from that of another person, that expecting me to second guess your inner feelings from a story is a tricky one.

Thanks so far though.
 

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that sure sounds familiar.



hah. one of the people i know - not exactly a friend since there's almost nothing i can think of that i'd want to tell her about me - surprised me once by saying 'one thing i really like about you and <someone else> is you're comfortable with silence. most people aren't.'[/COLOR]



hee. also this. i get a lot of the internal thought 'i like you too, but do we have to talk about it?'

i'm going to have to think about this.
I'm glad to find someone else on the planet with the same reactions inwardly! :)
 

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What does Fi feel like then? Any INTJ friendly language preferred, nothing vague or woolly. Examples of situations if that would be helpful, but I have realised that my inner reaction (remove emotions, analyse data, consider all possible actions, discard some, react in controlled manner) is so far removed from that of another person, that expecting me to second guess your inner feelings from a story is a tricky one.
For me when I was younger, Fi was this childish knee-jerk reaction to things that went against my internal value system. Internally, it came across as "how dare you tell me how I feel or how to live my life, or how dare you accuse me of something I didn't do, or how dare you hold me to unrealistic expectations and then be disappointed" also a lot of "that's not fair". As I've gotten older, it's less knee-jerky, and it seems to help me to empathize with others somewhat. I can slip into someone else's shoes and consider how I would feel if I were in their situation. Keep in mind that how I might feel in any give situation could be quite different than what they are feeling, but I'm able to "try on" their situation to some degree. I too, was confused by not feeling the same way as the other person. It made me think I was really bad at empathizing. Turns out that isn't the case, I'm just a terrible proxy for a large portion of the population. When I am able to slip into a situation, if it does evoke an emotional response, it's often quick and intense. It could be something as simple as listening to a song. I think I've always had those quick, intense feelings, but because I was unable to handle them, and they made no sense to me at the time, I learned to ignore them. As I've gotten older, I've learned to better understand and regulate those intense feelings without completely turning them off. I've learned to accept that I feel something, and rather than automatically say "I shouldn't feel that way", I've learned to ask the question "why do I feel this way?" Once I can understand the "why" usually the intensity drops off. The thing about having an internal value system (Fi), similar to introverted intuition, is that it's hard to understand and explain because it's internal. It just does its thing, and kicks out a result. I don't do what's "right" based on my internal value system because everyone else says it's "right", I do what's "right" because I couldn't live with myself otherwise. And what's "right" is completely subjective. What's "right" for me, might not be what's "right" for someone else, and that's perfectly fine. Not sure if that helps or makes things more confusing...
 

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I'm currently undergoing the process myself, so I'm not there yet in terms of emotional maturity, but I'll share what little I've picked up from my personal experience:

1. Learn to be comfortable with the idea that you may not ever truly empathize with others in the sense that you actually feel what they feel. However, even if you don't have the ~magical~, direct Feeling connection, you can implement your strengths and apply a combination of Intuition and Thinking to make sense of their feelings in a more symbolic and structured form.

2. The other thing is just sucking it up and discussing emotions with your friends instead of following the habitual INTJ "I will not talk about emotions with you, and do not talk about emotions with me, or else" mindset. Maybe you can leverage that knowledge of their feelings to make your interactions with your friends more streamlined, or maybe you can't do much with it, but either way, people tend to feel better when you make that gesture of asking because it shows that you care about them on a personal level. Like someone else said, verbalizing your own feelings also helps create solidarity.
 

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So, what does an emotionally mature INTJ personality look like in practice in a friendship, folks?
hah. the more i think about it, the more deeply i doubt that i'm 'mature' in anything, friendships especially.

I often find friendships with iNtuitive Feelers NF both intense and rewarding and also challenging, because they make me grow.


i'm very curious about what you meant by this. the two friends i have who i know to be 'feelers' are both infp, although the guy says he's sometimes come up as isfp instead. i'm not sure if i'd say they've helped me grow, exactly. feels more like being stretched, actually ;-) it's interesting, but i'm not sure if it's automatically beneficial. and when it comes to the expressing of feelings, i often feel they're even more cagey than me. i related to some of the things that you said, but i find even putting the identification of which things difficult to put into words.

what i notice wrt my infp friends is: they definitely disturb my standard gene pool. i have one other good friend who says she's intp turning j in her cranky old age, and one who says that she's never been typed but she's a programmer so i'm inclined to expect she's a thinker at least. with those two it's all very straightforward. we 'do' emo stuff, but the doing of it is straightforward in its own right. i get them, they get me, interaction around most emotional things is pretty direct and simple. i'd actually say that when i have something emotional of my own to get my head around, they're better people for me to talk to because the figuring-out can take place without having to go through the internal interpreter first.

my feelers are . . . different. they tend to stir me up in directions i often find i don't have the right words for, or even the clear perception myself that would lead me to putting words onto things. and since they operate all emo-wise (compared, supposedly, with me) they don't even register that there's anything 'odd' about it. definitely give me a sense of having been towed out of my depth, but at the same time going meh, well. don't know the names of anything here but it all seems like it's working okay.
 
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For me when I was younger, Fi was this childish knee-jerk reaction to things that went against my internal value system. Internally, it came across as "how dare you tell me how I feel or how to live my life, or how dare you accuse me of something I didn't do, or how dare you hold me to unrealistic expectations and then be disappointed" also a lot of "that's not fair". As I've gotten older, it's less knee-jerky, and it seems to help me to empathize with others somewhat. I can slip into someone else's shoes and consider how I would feel if I were in their situation. Keep in mind that how I might feel in any give situation could be quite different than what they are feeling, but I'm able to "try on" their situation to some degree. I too, was confused by not feeling the same way as the other person. It made me think I was really bad at empathizing. Turns out that isn't the case, I'm just a terrible proxy for a large portion of the population. When I am able to slip into a situation, if it does evoke an emotional response, it's often quick and intense. It could be something as simple as listening to a song. I think I've always had those quick, intense feelings, but because I was unable to handle them, and they made no sense to me at the time, I learned to ignore them. As I've gotten older, I've learned to better understand and regulate those intense feelings without completely turning them off. I've learned to accept that I feel something, and rather than automatically say "I shouldn't feel that way", I've learned to ask the question "why do I feel this way?" Once I can understand the "why" usually the intensity drops off. The thing about having an internal value system (Fi), similar to introverted intuition, is that it's hard to understand and explain because it's internal. It just does its thing, and kicks out a result. I don't do what's "right" based on my internal value system because everyone else says it's "right", I do what's "right" because I couldn't live with myself otherwise. And what's "right" is completely subjective. What's "right" for me, might not be what's "right" for someone else, and that's perfectly fine. Not sure if that helps or makes things more confusing...
Pretty much that. ^

Also;

I look for anti-competitive friendships. I am genuinely happy for people who have good things happen and try to be as supportive as I can when bad things happen. If I feel that somehow I am left wanting then I distance myself. I don't value acquaintances where it's all about small talk, trying to understand how I could possibly offend, or doing a dance of social etiquette just to fit in. I'm too old for that shit now.
 

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This is really helpful, thanks. I'm going to have to think about it a bit more but I think maybe my journey is from Fe to Fi, otherwise similar.

What does Fi feel like then? Any INTJ friendly language preferred, nothing vague or woolly. Examples of situations if that would be helpful, but I have realised that my inner reaction (remove emotions, analyse data, consider all possible actions, discard some, react in controlled manner) is so far removed from that of another person, that expecting me to second guess your inner feelings from a story is a tricky one.

Thanks so far though.
Tripped described it quite well. It really tends to feel like an automatic reaction at times because it uses my past experiences, understandings, and value systems which have constantly been fortified over time as a basis for action.

Here's a few examples in my case.
-If I see a child in trouble/danger/distressed I automatically help them out because I understand very well how it is to be abandoned while in conflict and I don't want the kid to go through what I had to. (Goes back to the simulation thing I was talking about....empathy)
-(Used to do this,found balance) Every time I meet a new male I instantly feel the need to fight or challenge him because I believe that a true test of a man occurs when he is in conflict with another (Projection of my belief onto the other man to see if I truly deserve to hold onto belief. To test my self to achieve higher levels of personal growth.)
-(Used to do this as well, found a balance) Treat females too nicely when they don't deserve it because of my values of chivalry
 

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Discussion Starter #18
For me when I was younger, Fi was this childish knee-jerk reaction to things that went against my internal value system. Internally, it came across as "how dare you tell me how I feel or how to live my life, or how dare you accuse me of something I didn't do, or how dare you hold me to unrealistic expectations and then be disappointed" also a lot of "that's not fair". As I've gotten older, it's less knee-jerky, and it seems to help me to empathize with others somewhat. I can slip into someone else's shoes and consider how I would feel if I were in their situation. Keep in mind that how I might feel in any give situation could be quite different than what they are feeling, but I'm able to "try on" their situation to some degree. I too, was confused by not feeling the same way as the other person. It made me think I was really bad at empathizing. Turns out that isn't the case, I'm just a terrible proxy for a large portion of the population. When I am able to slip into a situation, if it does evoke an emotional response, it's often quick and intense. It could be something as simple as listening to a song. I think I've always had those quick, intense feelings, but because I was unable to handle them, and they made no sense to me at the time, I learned to ignore them. As I've gotten older, I've learned to better understand and regulate those intense feelings without completely turning them off. I've learned to accept that I feel something, and rather than automatically say "I shouldn't feel that way", I've learned to ask the question "why do I feel this way?" Once I can understand the "why" usually the intensity drops off. The thing about having an internal value system (Fi), similar to introverted intuition, is that it's hard to understand and explain because it's internal. It just does its thing, and kicks out a result. I don't do what's "right" based on my internal value system because everyone else says it's "right", I do what's "right" because I couldn't live with myself otherwise. And what's "right" is completely subjective. What's "right" for me, might not be what's "right" for someone else, and that's perfectly fine. Not sure if that helps or makes things more confusing...
This is really clear, thank you very much @TrippedOnReality . So it's sort of a journey into imagining how is feel if that were me in that situation. I really like the bit you say about being a terrible proxy for most of the population. That's exactly how I feel. I'm just not a good stand in for the way other people react. But (maybe this is Fi?) I like who I am and how I react, so I have no intention of changing...

Also ignoring quick intense feelings, and now learning to regulate them and wonder what they are about. Making use of them. That's what I am asking about, really.

It bothers me that you (or me, or anyone) can just decide subjectively what's right, but I am reassured a bit by the idea that it is only what's right for you...perhaps you mean subjective stuff like who you want to be friends with?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I'm currently undergoing the process myself, so I'm not there yet in terms of emotional maturity, but I'll share what little I've picked up from my personal experience:

1. Learn to be comfortable with the idea that you may not ever truly empathize with others in the sense that you actually feel what they feel. However, even if you don't have the ~magical~, direct Feeling connection, you can implement your strengths and apply a combination of Intuition and Thinking to make sense of their feelings in a more symbolic and structured form.

2. The other thing is just sucking it up and discussing emotions with your friends instead of following the habitual INTJ "I will not talk about emotions with you, and do not talk about emotions with me, or else" mindset. Maybe you can leverage that knowledge of their feelings to make your interactions with your friends more streamlined, or maybe you can't do much with it, but either way, people tend to feel better when you make that gesture of asking because it shows that you care about them on a personal level. Like someone else said, verbalizing your own feelings also helps create solidarity.
Yes. This. This is pretty much where I am at. I can get by, indeed I would say in many ways I do better than get by, but I do essentially rely on Te as you describe to express feelings where I need to and to produce empathetic behaviour.

I have a sense but I don't know how this will work out, that if I could develop my shadow side better, I could use the 'normal' process which everyone else uses normally, and life in this way would become easier....I have described this as emotional maturity.

Also, I do try to let feelings flow through me a little bit more, rather than blocking them off totally at the source.
 

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This is really clear, thank you very much @TrippedOnReality . So it's sort of a journey into imagining how is feel if that were me in that situation. I really like the bit you say about being a terrible proxy for most of the population. That's exactly how I feel. I'm just not a good stand in for the way other people react. But (maybe this is Fi?) I like who I am and how I react, so I have no intention of changing...

Also ignoring quick intense feelings, and now learning to regulate them and wonder what they are about. Making use of them. That's what I am asking about, really.

It bothers me that you (or me, or anyone) can just decide subjectively what's right, but I am reassured a bit by the idea that it is only what's right for you...perhaps you mean subjective stuff like who you want to be friends with?
As for being a terrible proxy, I wouldn't worry about it too much. As you get to know someone, you can synthesize something close to how the other person likely feels based on what you know of that particular person and what you know about people in general. Just because it's not how you feel, doesn't make it wrong or right, it just is. As long as you're aware that comparing other people to you will likely not give you the results you are looking for, you're a step ahead. And even if you can't directly empathize with someone in a specific situation, I think most people have felt hurt, scared, happy, sad, angry or whatnot, and you can try to empathize directly with the feeling rather than the situation. It seems to mostly work for me.

As for subjective morality, it could be choosing who I want to be friends with (if they are doing something I don't agree with); or choosing to eat meat, not eat meat, or only eat free range meat and eggs; or deciding that I want to give money to a certain charity, not give money to a certain charity, or not give money to any charity. Right and wrong are entirely human created standards. I am curious, why does it bother you that anyone can decide subjectively what's right? I think I'm pretty good at being able to subjectively decide what's right for me. I wouldn't want to be treated like crap; therefore, I won't treat others like crap. I wouldn't want others to dictate what I can and can't do in the privacy of my own home if I'm not hurting anyone; therefore, I won't dictate to others what they can and can't do in the privacy of their own home if they aren't hurting anyone. I don't need someone else to tell me that torturing people is wrong, I know it's wrong because I wouldn't want to be tortured, so I'm not going to torture someone else. I don't need someone else to tell me that murder is wrong, because I wouldn't want to be murdered; so I'm not going to intentionally kill someone. Even in a self defense situation, I'm not sure I could take a life. That's fine for me, and I wouldn't judge anyone else harshly if they did take a life in self defense. Life is not nearly as black and white as "right" and "wrong". There are a lot of shades of grey, and I'd rather be able to consider those shades of grey on a situation by situation basis than to have some "rule" about something always being right, or always being wrong. But that's just my 2 cents, and you, of course, are free to decide what works for you. :)
 
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