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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm trying to make sense of things that happened to me yesterday and I'm still processing, but I thought it would be useful to process some of it "externally" here.

We use Ne to find hidden patterns and connections, and see possibilities/potentials. We engage it through observation and experimentation and our trans-contextual thinking is quite impressive. Because we get things so well and somehow miraculously see how everything is connected, it makes us confident to operate in a social context.

Our Fi powers a rich innerworld of magical creatures, strong convictions/values/principles and a lot of depth. Over time we learn that not everyone has an inner world as rich as ours and it can be disappointing (because we might feel incapable of connecting deeply with these people) or it can be stimulating (making us want to share our inner world with these people who don't have it and sort of open their eyes/enrich their life through that experience). We can also lose ourselves in this world of ours, live in our heads a lot, attached to our ideals. Our imagination is extraordinary! E.g. when we look at a simple thing like a road, our imagination can pull towards us vivid images of events that (might have) happened there and a very strong awareness of all the people that once walked that road and will walk it far in the future, long after we are gone. I love that about myself. :) It feels like one of the greatest superpowers one could have. I'm very grateful for it.

Fi makes us assign meaning to everything. When combined with Ne, through which we see connections, paterns and possibilities, it can intensify everything, making certain things or people stand out and look significant very quickly. Once Fi engages more and we process the situation better, we make better judgements about what we actually feel and what is our best way forward. But often (especially when we're young) that initial significant feeling overwhelms us and we sink in it, without processing it. We fall in love (or we think we did) and we float in our inner world in a sweet dream-like state.

When like that, if we allow it, Te can be our protector function and ground us. It can push us towards action (so that we aren't just floating) or it can make us more cautious (and not so naive/spontaneous). Normally we would engage Te after Fi has done its lenghty process. However under short deadlines, we can engage Te earlier to speed up the decision making process. I actually often express through Te and some people (particularly at work) could sometimes think I'm a thinker and not a feeler. Even my best friend has told me I don't radiate warmth to her (which would be more of a feeling expression). I think I do radiate warmth but when I'm discussing something I'm rather Te oriented. It might be because I intentionally worked on strengthening my Te in the past few years to the point where I'd sometimes wonder where my Fi went. :) Sometimes I don't feel like I'm in touch with my feelings at all and people around me react emotionally to something, while I'm sort of numb and process it logically.

So back to what happened to me yesterday. I had a gut feeling about someone that turned out to be wrong and it made me bitter and doubtful in my Ne+Fi abilities.

A man from my environment in the past year had started standing out for me recently. I did feel an initial pull already when I met him, but never registered it that deeply and didn't feel like I wanted to do anything about it. Until about a month ago when we had 1on1 (previously we only ever hung out in a group). Chemistry when 1on1 was pretty extraordinary, so it quickly became significant for me. Now, I'm much more self-aware than I was before, so I knew what I was feeling wasn't completely justified, because it was too new. It felt deep but it couldn't have been deep, because depth requires time. But anyway I developed a crush and I yearned for more. So yesterday we did another 1on1, spending the afternoon and evening together. It was a very enjoyable time, but I did register a few moments from getting to know him better that didn't quite align with me (things I learned about him that didn't quite seem like we would be such a good match). I disregarded them, because my Fi can't process that quickly and since I'm moving to another city at the other end of the country in a few days, I felt time pressure and so I didn't want to waste time analysing things. I just wanted to go with the flow and enjoy what I can.

I was pretty convinced he was feeling the same. You see, when I feel a special connection with someone, it only makes sense to me it's because it's on both sides. Otherwise how can the connection feel so strong? In my mind, if it's one-sided, it cannot reach that strength.

I wanted to kiss him the whole time. Imagine spending 8 hours with someone you desperately want to kiss. I thought I wasn't a patient person, but I must have improved, because boy, the younger me would have jumped him already in the first hour! :laughing:

We are standing there, it's damn cold and we're saying our goodbyes. The time pressure of me moving in a few days is making me anxious. My Fi isn't sure about the whole thing, but it's now or never! Instead of just going for it and kissing him, I express through my Te (What the hell happened to me in these years in the North?!). :shocked: So I inform him I like him, etc., and since he is completely inadequate (he is not quite himself for a while now, as he's going through a lot of stuff), I become even more Te and try to think together with him about the whole thing, which he as a strong Fe resists. I have to ask a lot of questions to understand his thoughts, only to find out his thoughts are too messed up to feed me with valid information. What is sort of clear, though, is that he is very attracted to me sexually and likes me as a person, but it's not romantic. Ouch, that stings! How could I have felt such a strong (romantic) connection if it was one-sided?! It doesn't make sense to me. It makes me wonder if I should trust my gut ever again.

Can we trust our gut? When can we trust it?
 

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Is there much of a difference in feeling here? Is it a case of you both just having different definitions to feelings? Was it on the border of love? Did he explicitly say that he likes you, wants to have sex with you but not a relationship? I mean come on, isn't that how most relationships start? With interest and sexual chemistry? I don't understand this guy unless he was just saying "You're very attractive just not my type".

I think when it comes to love/romance/sex there is no 'gut' feeling that you can trust other than what your own wants and desires are. Don't lose hope altogether, but we are often a little blind at this point. Te has fortunately been able to talk me out of some of my sexual/romantic mistakes but none of that was gut, that was all just stress triggered and even then Te normally has a hard time cutting down all the hopes the Fi has built up just to get heard. I kind of wish Te was more natural to use and didn't just show up once there's stress.
 
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He probably just doesn't want a relationship right now. Makes sense since you're saying he's not at his best right now. He could be lying to you or lying to himself. -I know what you mean about the gut feeling thing, I don't think I've ever been wrong about a potential connection.. Especially since if you have chemistry with someone you have an enhanced read on how they are thinking/feeling.

You know there's a difference between having gone for the kiss and having discussed it though right- by trying to discuss it you engaged a different part of his psychology, the more cautious one that tries to plan things out and structure things, and is maybe more driven by fears. If you'd kissed him the version of him that would have reacted would have been his go-with-the-flow live-in-the-moment side, which would have been much more likely to give you what you were looking for.

I'm not saying it would necessarily have been a good idea- I'm just saying..
 

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I wonder how well-developed you would consider your Si.

Your Ne+Fi is certainly a powerful weapon, though not without blind spots. You may create an elaborate patchwork of patterns and connections that self-reinforce your "gut-feeling" but doesn't contribute to the truthy-ness of that feeling.

External regulating agents (checklists, calendars, close confidants, a large database of deep experiences) are all Si tools that can help measure the validity of your actions and conclusions.
 

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Dennitsa your description of how Ne-Fii is experienced for us was enchanting. The writing was just wonderful— loved it. I usually feel my gut instincts on love might have a limitation— I leave some cracks of doubt in most of my Ne-Fi world that allow for new info to shine through. You did the right thing by talking about your feelings and if he had been thinking about getting involved with you then he would have had the opportunity to let you know. No regrets is important. Usually I can figure out what kind of signals the other person is giving and trust my gut. Sometimes people are a bafflement. They have baggage holding them back or they have some piece of information that we just couldn’t get without laying our hearts on the line. I have had this same kind of thing happen before to me.
 
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Unrequited love can be insanely strong, I can account for that. Sometimes the affection you feel for a person before you get together with them might even feel stronger than after..
So I don't find that part unusual... I did impulsively confess my feelings to someone a while back under slightly similar circumstances, your seemed however more grounded and reasonable than mine. (ugh it still stings..)

I would say I lost a bit of trust in it. or rather belief in my own abilities to assume wether someone liked me or not after that..
I would however, still keep trusting my gut for better or worse.. I mean, what good will it do doubting yourself. Won't it also hurt on the mere thought of the possibility of it not being unrequited when you'd choose not to confess?

I wouldn't rely on it to the degree as, assuming the other person like me. Though I would still take the risk of confessing (or possibly kissing..) if I was in a similar situation to yours.. which I kind of was with my ex as well when I think about it..
Though that kiss was kinda taboo since she had a bf, the bf was however toxic so I considered it justifiable at the time
love is a rather unpredictable tricky thing..

Sent fra min SM-G930F via Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks a lot, guys, for your perspective!

Is there much of a difference in feeling here? Is it a case of you both just having different definitions to feelings? Was it on the border of love? Did he explicitly say that he likes you, wants to have sex with you but not a relationship? I mean come on, isn't that how most relationships start? With interest and sexual chemistry? I don't understand this guy unless he was just saying "You're very attractive just not my type".
I've been asking myself the same questions! He was suffering too much under my Te, so I eventually gave up probing for information. I'm not in love with him, I just like him. Already just liking someone is a big deal for me, though, since it rarely happens to me, so when it does, I want to explore it, see where it goes. Which is why it was important to me to be honest.

The guy is my INFJ friend in stress mode I mentioned in a few other comments here. He is in a very unhealthy place and has been in it for a while now. However I have seen him in his element and I do sometimes still catch him there, which was the actual pull for me. In his unhealthy mode, though, he is really hard to handle. He is definitely not in any state to start a relationship. I'd even doubt his capacity to feel the potential of a relationship right now, but I wouldn't completely underestimate him like that, so that's just a guess and not a belief. He did actually give me an example of a girl he spoke on the phone with, that he felt something more romantic for (he's currently acting out in Fe-Se mode and being casual with a lot of women). I didn't get any details about that - when this was, what it led to, etc. But his point was that his current state is a huge reason for his feelings for me (or lack of), but not the only reason. He seemed confident enough about it, which made me back off completely. And about his feelings for me: he thinks I'm great (as a person) and he is very attracted to me sexually to the extent that he contemplated a lot whether he should approach me in that way, but he stopped himself because he knew it wasn't what I was looking for, and also because we're friends having common friends, so he didn't want to mess around with me. Then he went on talking about some of the things he's dealing with, revealing also something he probably hasn't shared with anyone or maybe just with very close friends. That thing he shared was making him doubt himself in a very scary (to him) way. I think he sort of said that to also make me see he cannot give me his best right now anyway, or maybe even ever. I could feel the darkness he's fighting against so deeply, that part of it somehow stayed with me and contributed to my bitterness that inspired this thread.

He probably just doesn't want a relationship right now. Makes sense since you're saying he's not at his best right now. He could be lying to you or lying to himself. -I know what you mean about the gut feeling thing, I don't think I've ever been wrong about a potential connection.. Especially since if you have chemistry with someone you have an enhanced read on how they are thinking/feeling.
I really can't recall another occasion on which my gut feeling about a connection was so wrong. I'm not saying it's never happened before, because I'm aware we sometimes suppress memories, I just really can't remember. Normally misinterpretation was happening on my side - thinking I'm deeply in love with someone when actually my Fi wasn't at all in it (just yet). I was in a relationship with an unhealthy INFJ four years ago and when he was acting out and hurting me in the process (by being emotionally abusive), I started doubting my gut feeling again about the connection I felt between us. Every time he'd sober up, though (literally and metaphorically), he'd correct himself and admit he only acted like that because he couldn't handle his feelings for me. We did have a great connection and now and then he sends me a line to tell me he'll never forget me and what we had, and so on. It's tempting to think this other unhealthy INFJ is also just uncomfortable with his feelings right now, which doesn't mean he doesn't have any. But I don't want to assume things, I'd rather move on. I just need to be able to count on my gut feeling again.

You know there's a difference between having gone for the kiss and having discussed it though right- by trying to discuss it you engaged a different part of his psychology, the more cautious one that tries to plan things out and structure things, and is maybe more driven by fears. If you'd kissed him the version of him that would have reacted would have been his go-with-the-flow live-in-the-moment side, which would have been much more likely to give you what you were looking for. I'm not saying it would necessarily have been a good idea- I'm just saying..
That's a great point! I didn't realize it that clearly, but I had a feeling about it towards the end of the evening that if I had just kissed him, he would have reacted differently. After all, a kiss is also a way to understand how we feel about someone. Obviously we won't go around kissing everyone to figure out how we feel about them, but I had enough information to want to try it out. However, after his reaction I somehow woke up from my dreamy state and didn't feel like kissing him anymore. I wanted to be physically, emotionally and mentally away from him. I'm a grown up and obviously I can still be friends with him, but not immediately after. So I'll stay away for now.

I wonder how well-developed you would consider your Si. (...) External regulating agents (checklists, calendars, close confidants, a large database of deep experiences) are all Si tools that can help measure the validity of your actions and conclusions.
Well, the 4th function is the trickiest for us all. :) I did develop a bit my Si thanks to my Te overdose (thanks, burnout!), but implementing routines in my life is still my greatest challenge. I just can't do the same thing at the same time, disregarding the mood I'm in. It feels too unnatural. But I do get the need to take care of my body/physical wellbeing on a regular basis, so there are certain things I'm keeping track of on a somewhat regular basis. How would a developed Si help in a romantic situation, though?

Dennitsa your description of how Ne-Fii is experienced for us was enchanting. The writing was just wonderful— loved it. I usually feel my gut instincts on love might have a limitation— I leave some cracks of doubt in most of my Ne-Fi world that allow for new info to shine through. You did the right thing by talking about your feelings and if he had been thinking about getting involved with you then he would have had the opportunity to let you know. No regrets is important. Usually I can figure out what kind of signals the other person is giving and trust my gut. Sometimes people are a bafflement. They have baggage holding them back or they have some piece of information that we just couldn’t get without laying our hearts on the line. I have had this same kind of thing happen before to me.
Thanks a lot, Alesha! No regrets indeed. I feel sort of light and free now to start my new life in Munich. Nothing to hold me back, no unsaid things, no missed opportunities. And I'm proud of myself for trying and allowing myself to be vulnerable like that - if I'm ever going down, I don't want it to be because I chickened out. No regrets.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I would say I lost a bit of trust in it. or rather belief in my own abilities to assume wether someone liked me or not after that..
I would however, still keep trusting my gut for better or worse.. I mean, what good will it do doubting yourself. Won't it also hurt on the mere thought of the possibility of it not being unrequited when you'd choose not to confess?
Thank you, @Kaizoku!

That's it, I guess - accepting we can't be right every time, but when we're wrong that doesn't invalidate our abilities to read people/our gut feeling or whatever we want to call it. Exceptions don't invalidate the rule, because the rule still applies to most of the cases. If I try to imagine life without a gut feeling, that would be a very confusing experience. I'd rather keep trusting in it, even if it fails me sometimes. And yeah, I'd also rather take the risk and fail, than not try at all and miss out on something great. Nothing makes me as sad as a wasted opportunity.
 
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