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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple years ago, a friend of mine started seeing a guy. She was really into him and told him she wanted to date, but he told her he was looking for a break from the dating scene and just wanted to be friends. She said she was okay with it, but continued to hang around him hoping he would come around and start dating her.

Long story short, he ended up dating another girl. She was a little hurt, but continued to stick around as friends hoping he would look at her. This went on for about a year.

Finally, one of her friends told her she was never going to find someone if she kept her feelings tied up in a guy who was 1) already dating someone else and 2) had clearly shown he was not interested in dating HER.

She got upset at this and told me about it. I agreed with the friend and said that although I understood she liked him, if she wanted to start dating, she had to let go of the guy emotionally and work towards making room for others (for the past year she hadn't so much as looked at anyone else because she was still hoping the guy would dump his new girlfriend and move past the friend-zone with her).

She got upset with me about this and was in a bad mood for several days.

After this period passed, I went to her and said that I valued our friendship and did not want to cause complications between us because of my opinion about her relationship (or non-relationship) with a guy. I asked that she not bring him up again when we talked, because we clearly had different ideas about how to deal with the situation, and talking about them would only continue to upset her and frustrate me.

She complied and stopped bringing him up in conversation.


Fast forward to today. We got on the subject of him by chance, and she told me that she had been incredibly hurt when I asked for the guy to stop being a part of our conversations. She said I had "set up a wall" between us and that she felt my request was "unloving."

I was surprised and responded that I thought my request was absolutely loving; I respected she could make her own decisions and had removed him from our conversations in order to preserve the friendship we had, which I valued more than seeing her taking my advice.

She said she didn't understand my way of thinking, and that she felt the loving response would have been to stay involved in order to help influence her to make the best decision. I replied that from my perspective, I believed her decision was a ultimately a private matter, and that by I was displaying love by giving her space rather than trying to influence her to see things how I saw them.

As a side note, I noticed that while she used the word "loving," I used the word "respect." For her, continuing to get involved in her issue = loving behavior. For me, choosing to stay out of her issue and let her decide for herself = respect for her.


She doesn't believe the MBTI has value, and I've had very little luck typing her. But this, to me, seems like Fe more than anything else. Or maybe I say that only because I responded with Fi.


Is this a Fe / Fi thing? Are misunderstandings like these common between Fe/Fi users?

If it's not Fe / Fi, which functions play a role in this sort of decision making?
 
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This seems like Te-Fi clashing with Fe. No matter how I couch my constructive concerns, I sometimes get into hot water with Fe-users who believe I am shutting them down when I am only establishing a healthy boundary to preserve stability. I do also think this is a common misunderstanding.

As an Fi-user I need space to process my feelings but I've come to learn and respect that many Fe-users need to talk their feelings out; it's their way of processing and it's every bit as valid as Fi-processing. I just lend a listening ear, nod and reassure them when necessary.

I hope that helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This seems like Te-Fi clashing with Fe. No matter how I couch my constructive concerns, I sometimes get into hot water with Fe-users who believe I am shutting them down when I am only establishing a healthy boundary to preserve stability. I do also think this is a common misunderstanding.
Would you say that Fe-users tend to not believe in boundaries when it comes to issues that deal with value judgements? Are they more inclined to think they need to be involved? Even with situations that are really not their own?

As an Fi-user I need space to process my feelings but I've come to learn and respect that many Fe-users need to talk their feelings out; it's their way of processing and it's every bit as valid as Fi-processing. I just lend a listening ear, nod and reassure them when necessary.

I hope that helps!
I can understand that. Unfortunately for me, perhaps it's due to being Fi-inferior, I have a difficult time listening to someone list their complaints about a situation after I've been been indirectly told I can't influence it for the better.

It's part of the reason why I use boundaries. :p
 
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I just read that situation and thought it sounded silly. Of course I haven't really dated and I'm asexual, so it's a bit different, but... If a guy is closed off and in a relationship, he's closed off and in a relationship.

It doesn't mean I don't still have feelings for him, but it recognize those feelings will never amount to anything.

I think of my childhood crush. We met in seventh grade. He asked me out but I didn't respond because I knew it would break the heart of my best friend at the time to see me with another guy. To this day, almost 19 years old now, I still hold that crush on him. I joke and say if he called me up and asked me to marry him today I would go and run away and do something, anything, to be with him... But it's all a joke. His life has moved on. We'll say hi at reunions and laugh about old times, but he will find a wife someday. I used to be jealous of his girlfriends, but I've even gotten past that. I want him to be happy, and it understand that won't be with me.

Now, there are some boys... I would love to be with them, and sometimes it's odd because I can only see myself being with them even though it's clear we could never be together.

But I know they won't like me. I don't try to sway them otherwise. I respect their wishes.

Now, about the involvement... definitely disagree with you there, ha. I would never drop one of my friends (unless they dropped me first). If they make a stupid decision, I want to be right there with them to help them through the pain, to be their shoulder to cry on, and to influence them however I can in the right direction. You can't do that when you abandon them. .

With relationship things with friends, I try to trust in fate or something I guess. I can't make them see that he's a Loser and they should ditch him, but I can help them along the way through their inevitable heartbreak and give guidance later. I don't know if I would respect her decisions... I would respect her as a person, but we can be blinded by love and lust and matters of the heart. I would wait for her heart to return to my guidance and then try to guide her gently in the right direction.

That could be an Fe vs Te thing, though. Makes sense.
 

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I would be frustrated too when people repeatedly don't take my advice yet still complain to me. You already told her what you thought (and she got upset at you for that) so you don't want to talk again. Now she is upset that you don't "influence" her? So what does she want you to do anyway? I don't think it's an issue of Fe/Fi, more like her being stupid that's all, no offence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Now, about the involvement... definitely disagree with you there, ha. I would never drop one of my friends (unless they dropped me first). If they make a stupid decision, I want to be right there with them to help them through the pain, to be their shoulder to cry on, and to influence them however I can in the right direction. You can't do that when you abandon them.
Do you equate being asked not to discuss a particular subject with being "dropped" or "abandoned" as a friend?

Are there shades of abandonment? Or is it pretty much one and the same, from being asked not to bring up a subject to being dropped completely (as in no contact whatsoever)?

With relationship things with friends, I try to trust in fate or something I guess. I can't make them see that he's a Loser and they should ditch him, but I can help them along the way through their inevitable heartbreak and give guidance later. I don't know if I would respect her decisions...
I would respect her as a person, but we can be blinded by love and lust and matters of the heart. I would wait for her heart to return to my guidance and then try to guide her gently in the right direction.

That could be an Fe vs Te thing, though. Makes sense.
So you would not consider it a breach of respect for a person to continue to try and influence them even after they've clearly expressed they disagree with you.
 
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Do you equate being asked not to discuss a particular subject with being "dropped" or "abandoned" as a friend?

Are there shades of abandonment? Or is it pretty much one and the same, from being asked not to bring up a subject to being dropped completely (as in no contact whatsoever)?
Hmm... No, I definitely don't think so. One of my friends doesn't like discussing the literature I read, and she is very bothered by things like my trauma, and she hates talking about politics... but that's not her abandoning me, you know? That's just her handling what she can handle.

I'm sorry if I misread your post; I think I must have. Not discussing a certain subject would certainly not qualify as abandonment in almost any form (assuming you're still kind to her and don't make rude snark comments about it). I can understand how it would make her feel abandoned, but it's... not, you know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I would be frustrated too when people repeatedly don't take my advice yet still complain to me.
Would you say that if you have shared your opinion with someone on an issue they're having, and they disagree with you, it's a closed matter? As in, they've already made their decision, so it's a moot point?

Or would you say you agree more along the lines of "yes they don't want my advice or agree with my approach, but that can always change if I keep doing X or Y."

You already told her what you thought (and she got upset at you for that) so you don't want to talk again. Now she is upset that you don't "influence" her? So what does she want you to do anyway?
My understanding was that she believed the right was response was to keep "sticking around"...most likely in the hope that I could continue to talk to her and change things for the better over time?

It's a very foreign concept to me, since my understanding is that if you rejected my advice the first time, why would you want more of it?
 

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Yeah, if the person doesn't take my advice I would shut up, because it is not wanted, and if they keep complaining I would just lend a listening ear without talking. But in this case this girl wants you to "influence" her or whatever, so apparently she wants your advice, but when you gave it the first time she got upset? :rolleyes:

My understanding was that she believed the right was response was to keep "sticking around"...most likely in the hope that I could continue to talk to her and change things for the better over time?

It's a very foreign concept to me, since my understanding is that if you rejected my advice the first time, why would you want more of it?
I think she wants your advice but only the one she wanted (to encourage her to keep pursuing). Or else she gets upset. But you didn't want to lie, so you tried to avoid the topic.



edit: Sorry about getting a little emotional here lol, the same thing happened to me many times too, but the person in question was ISFP, so I thought it was not an issue of Fe/Fi.
 

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Giving advice is not the same thing as empathizing. Advice is not worth much if the person is not susceptible to it.
I rarely give advice but try to let the person I talk to come the conclusion themselves. Then I know they won't be put off by me and they will find what is true for them and that might not be the same I think they ought to do.

So perhaps that's what she was looking for. She wanted you to open your ears and listen. Then again, I agree with your advice, it was sound, but perhaps you need to work on your execution.
 

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I don't know that it's a clash of functions at all, really. There's one universal thing that can make anyone and everyone go absolutely batshit crazy about: Love. It's the one thing that can make the most sensible person completely lose their senses, the most rational person forget their rationale, and the most grounded person lose their head in the clouds.

Whenever someone is talking about a person they love/think they love, I just "Uh-huh. Mmm-Hmmm. Yep."

If you feel something needs to be said for their good, such as gently suggesting she move on so she too can find happiness, that's okay. But if they don't get on board, you can either continue to be willing to listen about it or be prepared for some level of hurt feelings because love is an idea that everyone gets attached to.
 

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I don't know what type she is, but bottom line... sounds like she has some major issues with speaking her mind (and it's probably why she has so much trouble with the whole friend/romance thing).

Ultimately, I think it's a clash of her not being upfront with you and you being upfront with her. Functions aside, she sounds needy and passive. I say this as someone who grew up being needy and passive, and had to grow out of it... and I've encountered it in some of its most annoying forms in other people, as well.

Sure, you have some differences in what you see as "loving" - that part is undeniable - but ultimately, this sounds like it boils down to "insecure person wants a particular kind of support and gets upset when person with boundaries doesn't provide it." People who are insecure/needy are usually manipulative on some level - it's how they get by in the world. Be wary of her trying to manipulate you into fulfilling her needs, especially by "guilt tripping" you into it.

Oh and sorry if it comes across like I'm insulting your friend. I obviously don't know her the way you do. This is just how it's coming across to me at the moment. Do with it what you will.
 

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This seems like Te-Fi clashing with Fe. No matter how I couch my constructive concerns, I sometimes get into hot water with Fe-users who believe I am shutting them down when I am only establishing a healthy boundary to preserve stability. I do also think this is a common misunderstanding.
Makes sense.

A lot of Fe users I know get the feeling I abandoned them since I have the tendency of letting them figure out their problems on their own while offering them my own insight only if asked. I don't like telling people how to feel and I'm also very reserved (something that bothers Te-Se/Se-Te too, "speak up immediately") so I won't intrude unless someone decides they want to talk to me. But if asked, I'll be blunt.

I can get extremely nitpicky too, all while respecting their right to make their own decisions.
I'm not going to agree with something that makes no sense to me but I'll try to see their point of view.
 

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Would you say that Fe-users tend to not believe in boundaries when it comes to issues that deal with value judgements? Are they more inclined to think they need to be involved? Even with situations that are really not their own?
I think this may be a maturity issue. I noticed my unhealthy Fe-user acquaintances are more likely to impose possibly because they do see allowing someone to handle something on their own as abandonment — or because they see their Fe-laden values not being respected, such as when they see someone is acting in a way that dismantles group harmony. My healthy Fe-user friends know that butting in tends to exacerbate the problem and they do respect boundaries as a way of respecting the person who needs them.

I can understand that. Unfortunately for me, perhaps it's due to being Fi-inferior, I have a difficult time listening to someone list their complaints about a situation after I've been been indirectly told I can't influence it for the better.

It's part of the reason why I use boundaries. :p
I can understand that too, haha. I am Fi-tertiary an even then it can be a large chore. I agree with the other posters here in that asking you to re-instate him as a conversation topic when she apparently doesn't want to directly fix it is really frustrating. It somewhat reminds me of this humor video:

 

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I'm not entirely sure what I think about your questions yet, but it did strike me that I (ENTP...or at least some kind of TP) did something sort of similar to a friend of mine who's an ISFJ. The context was different, but the essence of it was that, at the time, I felt like neither of us was in a good place emotionally and that we were as such toxic to one another, so I suggested that we try to limit our interaction for a period of time and find other friends to interact with and help us out so that we wouldn't continue to damage our friendship. I can't quite remember if she explicitly told me her feelings about that, but I could tell that she felt like I was in some sense abandoning her, actively trying to distance myself from her.

I think if I were in your situation, I'd do the same thing you did only if that kind of conversation happened several times, with high frequency, and only if I had exhausted every other option. That's what happened with my friend; she often talks about her problems with me, but she is usually pretty resistant to any advice I try to give her. At the time I was in no place to try to comfort her or whatnot, and trying to do so would make me increasingly frustrated and harsh.

I've since learned how to better handle those conversations with her (slow progress though), but there are still some times when I have to stop the conversation or otherwise make the conversation several times worse. Essentially, I've been trying to adapt to who she is and how she would best be helped, which I suppose is an Fe-oriented style of dealing with it. It might be because I'm an Fe-user that I see it as the decent thing to do, though - recognize exactly what the other person is looking for when wanting help or support and try to give them that. If for whatever reason that's not possible, then communicate that. In the case of a clash between them saying what they want and what they seem to want - in your case, you say she wanted you to "stay involved in order to help influence her to make the best decision," but reacted negatively when you tried to give her advice - I'd try to gently point out the discrepancy and ask her what she really wants from the conversation. If that doesn't work, then I'd just try to gauge her mood whenever the issue comes up to tell whether she wants empathy or advice or whatever. Hopefully, in time, she becomes more open to advice and comes to the solution to her problem, in a sense, on her own, but with support from friends when needed. That's the most you can do for now - help her feel better and nudge her along. Or draw boundaries if you feel you can't do that; she isn't entitled to your attention and energy.

Anyway, that's one Fe-user's perspective on the situation. I think you handled it decently (without knowing much about your execution, anyway).

Is this a Fe / Fi thing? Are misunderstandings like these common between Fe/Fi users?

If it's not Fe / Fi, which functions play a role in this sort of decision making?
I do think certain aspects of it can be chalked up to a difference between Fe and Fi(/Te?). This in particular:

I replied that from my perspective, I believed her decision was a ultimately a private matter, and that by I was displaying love by giving her space rather than trying to influence her to see things how I saw them.
I'm of a similar opinion (re:the first half), but I will work with someone if they express any interest in receiving help on a decision, even if something about it is also making them resistant to other perspectives. Like I said earlier, I'd only do what you did if it seemed like nothing else would work or I thought I just didn't have the capacity to handle it.

Her reasoning sounds like it could be influenced by Fe, but not in a very..."healthy" way. Like she's seeking affirmation without being open to other people's perspectives and such, making use of the external (people) without being fully aware of them. I've been like that before and I still get like that sometimes, where I just have this expectation that people will do things for me and being blind to (or willfully ignoring) what exactly that expectation asks of them. If I were in that state, I would probably feel a little "abandoned" if someone asked me not to talk about a particular subject that's important to me. But I'd get over it and just find someone else to talk to about it. It only becomes a real problem if there's no one I can talk to about something.
 
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