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Hi everyone!
I have a friend, a male friend, who is very-very dear to me, and who I think is an ISFP (for many-many reasons). He's really not a talkative person and does not explain or expose his inner workings normally - so I could not ask him in person what I am about to ask you guys, in hope of an answer.
When he is upset he isolates himself and becomes rather unresponsive - does not want to talk to me or anyone, does not want to see people. I feel him and his emotions and feel an urge to help him deal with things and help him feel better but he just says he will get to feel better on his own, at some point - I'm guessing this is just Fi working in him and Fe working in me. But he also says something that intrigues me - he says that he does not have enough energy to talk or just accept my company, especially if I'm all emotional, and especially if my emotions are more or less negative ones. He does not want to talk to me about emotions and feelings in general and even less about our issues, the burning problems that I feel I must discuss so that we may restore peace and harmony - he once said the same thing, that he does not have the energy for it. I have observed that he tends to avoid situations that are very emotionally charged, specially if the emotions are negative - he flees or tries to avoid them or confronting my negative emotions at all costs. I don't know if I'm very coherent here.
Moreover, I have a quirk and I just love to stare at him while he does stuff, trying to interpret his expressions, trying to perceive what he appears to be feeling, trying to participate in it even - he usually lets me do that and I feed on it and the connection I feel with his emotions. But he has said to me, one day, as he was working, that it was really draining his energy, me doing this as he was trying to work. He does not stare like I do but seems to be quite aware of my own emotions, that's one of the things that I liked about him in the first place.
So what I want to ask is this - does this sound like an ISFP thing? How do you guys feel others' emotions, negative ones especially, what's it like in there? And why is it so hard or draining to manage or even be around others' negative emotions? Why is it so hard for you to talk about your own or others' emotions or about topics charged with (negative) emotion? How's this linked to your energy?
Oh, and one last question - is there really no way that I can help him when he feels bad? Nothing I can do for him? Should I just let him do his inner work, all on his own? I just wish I could do for him what I do for others that are dear to me - find out what his problems are, try to understand them and what and how and why he feels what he feels, try to find some solutions or work with him so that he achieves a useful change of perspective, support him...I would just do anything to help him manage his feelings and his problems, I feel such a deep need to do it, it's just who I am.
I'm really eager to understand how you guys work so I really hope someone will answer my many questions - or some of them. And I thank you in advance. :)
 

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So what I want to ask is this - does this sound like an ISFP thing? How do you guys feel others' emotions, negative ones especially, what's it like in there? And why is it so hard or draining to manage or even be around others' negative emotions? Why is it so hard for you to talk about your own or others' emotions or about topics charged with (negative) emotion? How's this linked to your energy?
Oh, and one last question - is there really no way that I can help him when he feels bad? Nothing I can do for him? Should I just let him do his inner work, all on his own? I just wish I could do for him what I do for others that are dear to me - find out what his problems are, try to understand them and what and how and why he feels what he feels, try to find some solutions or work with him so that he achieves a useful change of perspective, support him...I would just do anything to help him manage his feelings and his problems, I feel such a deep need to do it, it's just who I am.
I'm really eager to understand how you guys work so I really hope someone will answer my many questions - or some of them. And I thank you in advance. :)
Imagine that your Fe is a faucet pouring out water. Now, imagine that his Fi is a sponge. Your feelings (the water) is absorbed into him. Now, his feelings are also water. But rather than pouring them out, he absorbs them. So he has to absorb not only his own feelings, but now yours. He can't contain it all, and saturation is reached. It's not a perfect illustration, but think of it. Fe extraverts its feelings, but Fi absorbs feelings. The more you try to extravert onto, or rather, into him, the greater the effort he has to give to absorb it. Fi can absorb feelings quickly, but since it's an introverted function, it doesn't release it as fast. It takes a while for the pressure to slowly release.

Here's the thing, to answer your question. The more you try to help in these situations, the worse you make it, which, I know, is difficult to understand or accept, but that's how it is for us. The best thing you can do is not add to it by trying to help by asking questions or talking. The best thing you can do for him is to give him his space. If he's an ISFP, then, theoretically, Se activities are a good way to help disburse the pressure buildup of feelings. But how to do that for someone else who's under pressure--I don't know, and I'm not sure I recommend it...
 

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What you say makes sense. The ISFP, or this ISFP, is a feeling-being. My natural way to deal with it is very tao, letting the emotions come and go. Or you could imagine Cesar Millan silently taking in all the hostile/fearful energy of dogs until they calm down and things get harmonious. Our path is quite religious, working with emotions until the bad emotions are gone and the heart fall silent is natural, to us. Unfortunately my design do not match up with the modern way of life.

Look up Human Design Manifestors. Society is cruel to us from the beginning, we learn to keep things inside and be secretive so that we can be free and do what we want/need. We do not trust society, society and people only gave us problems. Because things are as they are there is nothing to do, or thats what we think so we are really not inclined to give anything away. Many ISFPs become very avoidant some flee from society.

My guess is your ISFP friend is a manifestor. Or an enneagram gut type. If you really wish to understand, though its gonna be a very difficult read, then I recommend Gurdjieffs explanation of the Hackney Carriage. The horse represent the manifestor/gut type, they are probably the same thing. Many ISFP are like this.

Basically we keep things inside. We were never allowed to be ourselves in the first place. And we must be ourselves, we are free spirits that do not allow ourselves to be controlled and so we keep a low profile so that we can do what we want to and be free. The ISFP, the 9, to me these are low-key feeling based masculine energy. The softest masculine energy. But firm. We want everyone to be free, live and let live.

This has probably introduced to you much information you did not know of. If you only want to look one thing up Id nevertheless recommend human design although the manifestor type is geared somewhat to the more ruthless masculine energies.
 

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Fi can absorb feelings quickly, but since it's an introverted function, it doesn't release it as fast. It takes a while for the pressure to slowly release.
If you absorb it, it's gotta to come out some day right?

Sounds alot like my ex, just absorbs everything and just suddenly explodes in your face! I don't even see it coming :(
 

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I would say give him him space but also be close by if he wants to do something and wants you to join in that will show him you care the unspoken bond has a meaning to someone who doesn't like to talk about their feelings.Acting on your feelings for him may have more meaning to him than trying to talk about it.

I talk about something when I'm ready (if I do) if it comes out under pressure it's not pretty. It's hard to explain but you can basically know how you feel but verbalizing it takes a kind of energy we don't come by as easily. I feel better knowing someone I care about is just there for me and maybe we talk about something else or do something I would enjoy and in it's own way that's helpful.
 

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>>"I could not ask him in person what I am about to ask you guys"

I think you could try asking him in person. (I'm an ISFP and I'm fine with anybody asking me about anything.) But if he senses that there is more than just asking about something involved (such as an attempt to deal with emotions) he may need to resist the emotional interaction.

>>"he says that he does not have enough energy to talk or just accept my company, especially if I'm all emotional, and especially if my emotions are more or less negative ones."

That's how I am too.

>>"the burning problems that I feel I must discuss so that we may restore peace and harmony"

Sometimes peace and harmony can come from NOT discussing burning questions (especially not in an emotion draining way).

Staring too directly could be draining, maybe try to "go more with the flow." Somehow fit your staring and questioning in with harmony and flow; get a sense of the "winds" and where they travel and especially how your friend drifts on, with, and through them. That is where the energy comes from. Blocking the flow is blocking the energy. Sometimes negative emotions can drift along, but that is a bit tricky.

>>"Why is it so hard for you to talk about your own or others' emotions or about topics charged with (negative) emotion?"

I actually really love talking about such things, so long as it is not done in an emotionally draining way; I love stories and hypotheticals that can be intensely negative, but I don't want to be stuck or imprisoned in them. If there is first freedom and forward movement, all kinds of things (even the occasionally slightly disconnected negative emotion) will be welcomed alongside that.

>>"is there really no way that I can help him when he feels bad?"

Change the topic, do something motivating and inspiring, do something entirely new, eat something entirely new, let him create something new, learn a new skill... but all in genuine and not condescending or enslaving ways.
 

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If you absorb it, it's gotta to come out some day right?

Sounds a lot like my ex, just absorbs everything and just suddenly explodes in your face! I don't even see it coming :(
If given time, it dissipates on its own. That's the key. Most people, though, tend to want to push things, and that makes it hard. But if you think of a storage capacitor (like in camera flashes), where they load up with a charge that is capable of putting out thousands of volts. It's great for the lamp in the flash, but if you turn the flash off, the capacitor will slowly discharge or dissipate the stored energy. Fi is like that. But yes, it does take time. IMO Ti is a bit like this too. It isn't an "instant" function. It takes time to work things through and give answers. I think, though, that it is more connected to language than Fi, so it doesn't seem like it to everybody.

Fi doesn't operate very well in the realm of language. It is a non-verbal function. If you push an Fi dom to express his or her feelings, you are short-circuiting the process, and like that storage capacitor, you will get a huge discharge of emotions.

IPs struggle, IMO, with communicating because our primary function is introverted. Our first extraverted function is our perceiving function, whether Se or Ne. Se tends to be physical. Ne tends to be more verbal, but non-decisive--very noncommittal and decision-avoidant. (as an aside, Ne-aux types don't like the physicality of Se, and Se doesn't like the verbal indecision of Ne--this is one of the problem areas for INXP-ISXP relationship). Our weakest function, however is our extraverted judging function. When forced to extraverting in this way, it tends to be a black & white, on or off, over-the-top response.

Let me give you a recent example from my own life: I was making coffee, and somehow, spilled my entire cup of freshly-poured coffee all over the kitchen counter, burning myself. So, I shout out in pain and frustration, and proceed to start wiping up the mess. It is, as you can imagine, a stressful, frustrating moment. I am having to deal with both the cleaning of the mess, and dealing through the pain with my frustration with myself for allowing this to happen, and especially with the loss of my cup of coffee--do I make another half-pot of coffee? So, while trying to take that all in, my wife calls from the other room, "What happened?" Now, in such a stressful situation, the very last thing I want to do is to have to explain myself. All it does is add to the stress. And because such a question requires words (and why she couldn't get up and walk in to see for herself is a bit beyond me--Se weakness? Ne?) that would force me into my weakest function, which means that, except with great effort, whatever I say will come across harshly. The effort it would require to _not_ do that is already taken trying to deal with my own emotions, frustration, etc. I just don't have it in me to reply, so I stay silent. Now, my wife knows me enough that if I don't answer after one or two askings, to drop it.

I don't know why, but people have this need to ask questions... to want to know.. about things...
 

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Try been an ENTJ and dealing with issues with your gf, what's type for conflicting interests!
I don't know. I'm married to an INTP myself--and that is it's own ball of challenges, but supposedly, according to Socionics, ENTJs are supposed to be the ISFP's dual--or best match. I've had two friends who were ENTJs, and I can say that 1. I never felt like I had to fake being myself or hold myself back or worry, in any way that they would do something to "hurt" me or overly judge me. On the other hand, 2. they were rather volatile friendships, in the sense that we could argue and really go at it, hammer and tong, but it was never destructive or personal in any way. There's something about the Fi-Te flip and the Ni-Se flip that keeps things on an impersonal level. Sure, one's feelings could get hurt momentarily, on occasion, and one might snap back at the other, but under it all, there was a sense that the other never meant it personally, so it was easy to get past it. Now, these were friends, so that may be a difference, but if both people are mature people (age-wise, in particular), then while volatile, it should be a relatively mutually-rewarding relationship, I'd think.

On the other hand, if she were, in reality, and ISFJ, then hoooo boy! ISFJs often come across as very similar to ISFPs, especially to others, but they are really, at the core--how they approach life, and how they view thing--exact opposites. For instance, ISFJs hold to accepted ways of doing things much more strongly, and the idea, for instance, of using a tool for a non-intended purpose--that's bad. It's not just dumb, but bad--as in wrong. They are much more concerned with how others perceive them, and how they perceive others than ISFPs are, who only care for themselves how they are perceived--hard to explain this difference, but we are conflict-adverse, not because we don't want to kill the atmosphere, but because it is a huge burden to us emotionally (the slow dissipation above), while ISFJs identify very closely with how others feel, so want to avoid conflict for the sake of that overall atmosphere. And not only conflict. If someone else is sad, they will work hard to either make them feel better, or, barring that, try to get them to at least _pretend_ they feel better, for the sake of the whole atmosphere in the group. (blech) In any case, function-wise, we are opposites:
Fi-Se-Ni-Te for ISFP and
Si-Fe-Ti-Ne for ISFJ. And since ENTJ is
Te-Ni-Se-Fi The potential for conflict is very great between ENTJ and ISFJ. In fact, it's possible that the least compatible type for ENTJ is the ISFJ--odd that only one letter makes that huge of a difference, but there ya go. ;-)

Don't know that that helps in any way, but thought I'd toss it out there...
 

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Let me give you a recent example from my own life: I was making coffee, and somehow, spilled my entire cup of freshly-poured coffee all over the kitchen counter, burning myself. So, I shout out in pain and frustration, and proceed to start wiping up the mess. It is, as you can imagine, a stressful, frustrating moment. I am having to deal with both the cleaning of the mess, and dealing through the pain with my frustration with myself for allowing this to happen, and especially with the loss of my cup of coffee--do I make another half-pot of coffee? So, while trying to take that all in, my wife calls from the other room, "What happened?" Now, in such a stressful situation, the very last thing I want to do is to have to explain myself. All it does is add to the stress. And because such a question requires words (and why she couldn't get up and walk in to see for herself is a bit beyond me--Se weakness? Ne?) that would force me into my weakest function, which means that, except with great effort, whatever I say will come across harshly. The effort it would require to _not_ do that is already taken trying to deal with my own emotions, frustration, etc. I just don't have it in me to reply, so I stay silent. Now, my wife knows me enough that if I don't answer after one or two askings, to drop it.

I don't know why, but people have this need to ask questions... to want to know.. about things...
This reminded me of a very similar situation between me and my boyfriend (also an INTP) who asks questions all the time. The other day I was stressed and dropped my food in the sink, what made me even more stressed, and he goes and also asks "what happened?" and I say "I dropped my food" and then he goes and says "you dropped it because you were stressed and not paying attention to what you were doing" I was like "well, thanks for stating the obvious". He thinks he helps trying to explain situations to me or asking questions to try to understand the situation and provide a solution, but the effect is the opposite. When I'm stressed the last thing I want is to answer questions or to have to explain myself. I want people to either be quiet or be gone.
 

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I don't know. I'm married to an INTP myself--and that is it's own ball of challenges, but supposedly, according to Socionics, ENTJs are supposed to be the ISFP's dual--or best match. I've had two friends who were ENTJs, and I can say that 1. I never felt like I had to fake being myself or hold myself back or worry, in any way that they would do something to "hurt" me or overly judge me. On the other hand, 2. they were rather volatile friendships, in the sense that we could argue and really go at it, hammer and tong, but it was never destructive or personal in any way. There's something about the Fi-Te flip and the Ni-Se flip that keeps things on an impersonal level. Sure, one's feelings could get hurt momentarily, on occasion, and one might snap back at the other, but under it all, there was a sense that the other never meant it personally, so it was easy to get past it. Now, these were friends, so that may be a difference, but if both people are mature people (age-wise, in particular), then while volatile, it should be a relatively mutually-rewarding relationship, I'd think.

On the other hand, if she were, in reality, and ISFJ, then hoooo boy! ISFJs often come across as very similar to ISFPs, especially to others, but they are really, at the core--how they approach life, and how they view thing--exact opposites. For instance, ISFJs hold to accepted ways of doing things much more strongly, and the idea, for instance, of using a tool for a non-intended purpose--that's bad. It's not just dumb, but bad--as in wrong. They are much more concerned with how others perceive them, and how they perceive others than ISFPs are, who only care for themselves how they are perceived--hard to explain this difference, but we are conflict-adverse, not because we don't want to kill the atmosphere, but because it is a huge burden to us emotionally (the slow dissipation above), while ISFJs identify very closely with how others feel, so want to avoid conflict for the sake of that overall atmosphere. And not only conflict. If someone else is sad, they will work hard to either make them feel better, or, barring that, try to get them to at least _pretend_ they feel better, for the sake of the whole atmosphere in the group. (blech) In any case, function-wise, we are opposites:
Fi-Se-Ni-Te for ISFP and
Si-Fe-Ti-Ne for ISFJ. And since ENTJ is
Te-Ni-Se-Fi The potential for conflict is very great between ENTJ and ISFJ. In fact, it's possible that the least compatible type for ENTJ is the ISFJ--odd that only one letter makes that huge of a difference, but there ya go. ;-)

Don't know that that helps in any way, but thought I'd toss it out there...
Look at the way we type our messages, there's already a big difference :)

I'm pretty sure she's a ISFP, just reading the ISFP forums sounds too much like my ex. The do's and don'ts in your comments just like her!

The main challenge I find with ISFP with respect from a ENTJ point of view is:

1. They take discussion way too personally - they feel like it's a personal attack on them!

2. They like to be agreeable or harmony when dealing with people! While ENTJ tend to be upfront and brutally to the point with no sugar coating. another way to pierce the fragile armour of a ISFP!

3. When it come to problem resolution, ENTJ takes the lead and attack upfront to get the problem solve, and ISFP just hide and avoid and absorb everything. Kind of like running away from the problem!

4. All the things ISFP absorb can either be nothing or sudden explosion in your face! The poker face and lack of emotions makes it extremely hard to detect what's going on!
 

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This is my situation as well. Are there any good threads (or other resources) you found helpful in seeing what that ball of challenges entails and helpful solutions?
Most important is understanding the INTP. I think one of the best things I've read to understand how they approach things is this article:

INTP - Chapter 3: Tonight's Main Event--Romantic Relationships Versus the Evil Twins of the INTP Psyche

It's kind of scary, but those are the sorts of pitfalls we face.

Another thing to realize that our Se and our Ne tend to mutually extinguish each other. Lots of problems you two will have will likely revolve around that, but it won't be obvious. The other issue will be your inferior Te and her inferior Fe. Learning to recognize that, and when it happens. The best advice I could offer is to suggest that rather than trying to "talk through" differences, to withdraw when you realize you are in a vicious cycle. It may be possible to talk things through later, but in some things, it's best to just let go. That's my opinion...
 

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Another thing to realize that our Se and our Ne tend to mutually extinguish each other. Lots of problems you two will have will likely revolve around that, but it won't be obvious. The other issue will be your inferior Te and her inferior Fe. Learning to recognize that, and when it happens. The best advice I could offer is to suggest that rather than trying to "talk through" differences, to withdraw when you realize you are in a vicious cycle. It may be possible to talk things through later, but in some things, it's best to just let go. That's my opinion...
LOL, yeah...
Do you know the term "complementary schismogenesis"? It is from Sociolinguistics, and pretty much is the root of all of our disagreements. "The effect causes two well-meaning individuals having a conversation to ramp up different styles, resulting in a disagreement that does not stem from actual difference of opinion." (from wikipedia)

Se and Ne mutually extinguishing each other:
Like I'll be enjoying the moment, and then be pulled away from it from her big picture analysis of the moment?

inferior Te:
Like how I'm bad at explaining the problems. Even when I get that we're falling into complementary schismogenesis, I can't always explain it right?

One of the problems is our disagreement about how much we should "talk through" differences. I tend to get sucked in and talk a lot about disagreements, but I'm not sure how helpful that is. By the end, I'm like that was a lot of work and difficulty, but now we have this one small piece of insight, and she is like I told you that insight right away like a few hours ago.
 

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Have you not seen V for Vendetta or are you screwing with me? :p
Letting it all out.
Don't remember the scene.. what was it about?

she is like I told you that insight right away like a few hours ago.
ENTJ say that alot and it piss everyone off, because we're always some how right! My ex should get really upset when I say that!
 
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