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Discussion Starter #1
background:
i live in india. as you may be aware, the last time around (2004) that there was such a massive earthquake in indonesia, the southern part of the country was slammed by a tsunami. having seen the appalling destruction, and the sheer inexplicable randomness of such a scale of disaster, this time's tsunami warning had me sitting tensely and monitoring all the news sites for updates.

events:
as soon as we got to know the news, these were the reactions:
me (Fi): called family and very close friends to check if they were ok. then went away to be by myself, sat and remembered how many people died last time and how many survivors' lives were wrecked and hoped frantically that we wouldnt have to experience that again. pulled out all the relief work contact numbers and prepared to fly to the south to volunteer should the worst happen. i think i also wept a bit because i was feeling very upset and helpless.

2 INFJ colleagues: i asked them if they had family in any of the areas where the tremors had been felt and if they were all ok. they said no family and carried on talking. one cracked a 'joke' about the possible tsunami saying 'finally...some excitement!'

an INTP friend outside work: said yes, she'd heard about the earthquakes, said probably family was fine, we just couldnt get through because all the lines were jammed, and then carried on to class.

now days later i'm looking back at our reactions and i'm pretty surprised. i thought Fi was reputedly callous about people, while Fe was reputedly all about the community.

my new theory: Fe only cares about people it can put a face to. it doesn't care about the community as a whole, really.
Fi cares much more for the community as a whole, and doesn't discriminate as much in bias of people it can put a face to.

would you agree?
 

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I'm not sure!
I (ISFP, Fi dom) have big reactions to disasters (in my film class we were asked about 9/11 and I knew no one involved but was still really upset by the topic and couldn't think straight).
My mum doesn't seem to (ENFJ, Fe dom), she worries about family and friends more.
My sister (INFJ, Fe user) has reactions, but doesn't let them control her.
So me V ENFJ = Huge reaction (that's so horrible, can't think about it) V Small reaction (what a nasty thing to happen)
Me V INFJ = Huge reaction V Controlled reaction (Horrible, but people will move on)
 

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Interesting question! just a few thoughts:

wouldn't it depend on whether those who use fi can relate this to their own experiences?

and wouldn't a fe need to be near the person who is suffering? they absorb people's emotions, which sort of needs to be stronger than hearing about someone who is suffering. they need to see them.

I also think most feelers learn to put a lid on their emotions as they are so strong. so I wouldn't expect a cry-fest just because there is a catastrophy somewhere (because there's always a good few catastrophies going around in the world).
 

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Discussion Starter #4
i've been chewing on the matter further, and i remember the extraverted Fe users around me were feeling bad that i was upset, while the introverted Fe users were indifferent to all of it. i would buy @Runa's theory of control over what tends to be strong reactions if it weren't for the absolute lack of concern - nobody was checking if even families of people they knew were there were ok. to me that's hugely significant indifference. now that plus the cluelessness/thoughtlessness of joking about a possible tsunami as 'excitement' is quite in contradiction to Fe's general reputation of being people-centric and making the person Feeler-ish to some extent.

so my modified theory is: extraverted people who are Fe users care if their emotional equilibrium is disturbed by even indirect events (eg my being upset prompted them to use Fe and try to comfort or reassure me) while introverted Fe is unconcerned about events no matter how huge, if they cannot see the affected parties' faces (eg the people who would be hit by a tsunami).

i think it is only introverted Fi that really empathises in the abstract: it can generate and experience deep emotion for even abstracts that it has not directly been affected by.
 

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^^; I'm supposed to be dominant Fi :\ and I know I'd be scared for the people I know, bot other then that I don't think I'd ever cry. Similar thing when the Japanese disaster happened...I felt nothing really. Think its too far away.

Times like those I tend to think kinda logically to be honest. I checked and rechecked o.o but I really don't tend to feel much for people I don't know. If it happens to friends or family, then yes I care very strongly, but even then I tend to approach it logically, making sure everything that can be done has been done by me to help.

<.<...I don't understand how someone can be emotionally affected by events on the news. I'd need to be there, to see the suffering and everything. I'd definitely be affected then, but it would manifest in a more controlled action response to help, then in me crying. I don't cry :p I get pissed and do something about it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
@Rim: my point exactly - you may not have an emotional expression, but you empathise enough to use your strength (ie logical practical thinking) to help them.

to all: please let me clarify, i don't mean if you don't cry you're not sensitive or empathetic or whatever! :)
 

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^^; I'm supposed to be dominant Fi :\ and I know I'd be scared for the people I know, bot other then that I don't think I'd ever cry. Similar thing when the Japanese disaster happened...I felt nothing really. Think its too far away.

Times like those I tend to think kinda logically to be honest. I checked and rechecked o.o but I really don't tend to feel much for people I don't know. If it happens to friends or family, then yes I care very strongly, but even then I tend to approach it logically, making sure everything that can be done has been done by me to help.
I think Fi in a dominant or auxiliary role will appear pretty different from Fi in a tertiary or inferior role. Te doms and auxes experience a more unconscious Fi, so that anything that does manage to trigger its expression in them will make it take on an exaggerated quality.

You're so used to dealing with this analog emotive data that it's old hat for you, so I'd bet it can take quite a lot to move you, if it's not tickling your memory banks or cascading your imagination. It's like being desensitized to a drug. But when you encounter a Te type, they're just not as practiced with dealing with the Fi, so it comes out in this raw, sensitive, super-emotive variety that we see here.
 

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I think Fi in a dominant or auxiliary role will appear pretty different from Fi in a tertiary or inferior role. Te doms and auxes experience a more unconscious Fi, so that anything that does manage to trigger its expression in them will make it take on an exaggerated quality.

You're so used to dealing with this analog emotive data that it's old hat for you, so I'd bet it can take quite a lot to move you, if it's not tickling your memory banks or cascading your imagination. It's like being desensitized to a drug. But when you encounter a Te type, they're just not as practiced with dealing with the Fi, so it comes out in this raw, sensitive, super-emotive variety that we see here.
Fi isn't expressed. Fi in fact comes off cold and unexpressed. It isn't visible on the outside.

From Jung's description:

Since this type appears rather cold and reserved, it might seem on a superficial view that such women have no feelings at all. Such a view, however, would be quite false; the truth is, their feelings are intensive rather than extensive. They develop in depth. While an extensive feeling of sympathy can express itself in appropriate words and deeds, and thus quickly gets back to normal again, an intensive sympathy, being shut off from every means of expression, gains a passionate depth that comprises a whole world of misery and is simply benumbed. It may, perhaps, break out in some extravagant form, leading to some astounding act of an almost heroic character, quite unrelated to either the subject herself or to the object that provoked the outburst. To the outside world, or to the blind eyes of the extravert, this intensive sympathy looks like coldness, because it usually does nothing visible, and an extraverted consciousness is unable to believe in invisible forces.
I also said that I am "supposed" to be INFP according to many many tests, but I'm not sure if it is the real me or just the stressed unhappy me. Tests can be wrong and I don't know what my real type is.

I blame this inability to find it mostly on me being type 6 and a doubtful compulsive thinker, with to much "crap" behind him to even know how it feels like to be truly healthy and balanced. I got to a point early on in life where I contemplated why I can't feel happy around Christmas time...:\ and realized that I'm never happy which was kind of a scary moment. (times have changed :) I'm much better now)

Imo we should either post how functions manifest under different health stages in the types ^^ or just stop determining type based on behavior. The functions require introspection. Fi is especially problematic, because without the other functions it remains internal and the individual who prefers it can not express it, despite feeling things strongly on the inside.

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To answer OP's question.

I disagree with both statements about Fe and Fi. imo Fe cares about the object, so they may express concern for others, hug, comfort, say the right words etc. , while Fi will concern itself with how the subject feels about it, while the actual external manifestation of this is expressed through other means, usually action which doesn't involve expressive connection with the other individuals or expressed emotions.

Fi is private while Fe shares, but both may end up with the same conclusion resulting in the same action expressed in different ways.

Imo we distance ourselves from things that don't directly affect us because if everything would affect us strongly, then we'd go insane. People dieing in a far away land are just statistics in our heads. Add to this today's desensitized culture and you get what you get. People tend to feel differently when it affects them or someone they know and care about.

I tend to think it is unfair but have very little to no emotional connection with it.

^^ well either that or I'm just talking bs here haha. I could still be a T or some other xxxP, however I do understand the functions regardless of my inability to see which one I use personally.

O.O wow...holy mental masturbation :\....damn it.
 

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Fi isn't expressed. Fi in fact comes off cold and unexpressed. It isn't visible on the outside.
It may be Te or the extraverted perception function that lends to the actual expression of emotion in Fi users (after all, from a physiological perspective, facial responses to changes of expression border on reflexive, so are probably closely wired to perception). I've noticed that heavy Te-users are often quite expressive, but maybe in more particular ways. I've seen ENTJs absolutely light up when discussing ideas and trying to solve problems in real-time, for example. But it's a very different thing from Fe-style mirroring and social stroke-giving behaviour.

I also said that I am "supposed" to be INFP according to many many tests, but I'm not sure if it is the real me or just the stressed unhappy me. Tests can be wrong and I don't know what my real type is.

I blame this inability to find it mostly on me being type 6 and a doubtful compulsive thinker, with to much "crap" behind him to even know how it feels like to be truly healthy and balanced. I got to a point early on in life where I contemplated why I can't feel happy around Christmas time...:\ and realized that I'm never happy which was kind of a scary moment. (times have changed :) I'm much better now)
That sounds miserable - anxiety and compulsive thinking can be a real pain to deal with. Glad you're feeling a bit better now.

I know what a struggle it can be to get to the heart of your own identity. If it's any consolation, your posting style has always looked very INFP to me. You have a pretty consistent posting history as well - if you're hiding your true type from yourself, you're doing an awfully good job, methinks :wink:

Imo we should either post how functions manifest under different health stages in the types ^^ or just stop determining type based on behavior. The functions require introspection. Fi is especially problematic, because without the other functions it remains internal and the individual who prefers it can not express it, despite feeling things strongly on the inside.
And yet, that very lack of expression is such a strong indicator to the strength of Fi. I agree that we shouldn't be typing based on behaviour, but from the outside, Fi dominance is often very observable, even as its exact nature remains hidden from the observer.

On a positive side, I think that very same poignancy of the internal struggle between feeling and expressing emotions is one of the qualities that makes Fi-dom art so noteworthy and special.

To bring it back around to Fe versus Fi responses, I think you're right that Fi will be so personal and inwardly-directed that it won't be consistent in its appearance. And Fe will be more concerned with what behaviour is appropriate for the situation, which may mean consolation or attentiveness, or it may mean downplaying emotions or cracking jokes if that's deemed more helpful in the circumstances, which to an Fi user could appear as callous.

To the OP's question:

It's not that Fe users don't care about the community, it's that they are focused on their own community; to them, the community is real and tangible people, not some abstract ideal. But to Fi users, the community is more the abstract concept and less the people it encompasses.

Speaking personally, I see very little that I can do in situations like this, and so I feel badly and a bit guilty for a moment and then move on. I'm more interested in how other people are responding to the situation. If they're having emotional difficulties themselves, then I'm happy to go in to emotional management mode. If they're not having emotional difficulties, then my expressing inappropriate angst can only make things worse. And while I might have an immediate uncontrolled emotional reaction to the situation, it's more likely to be expressed in ways that are more group-oriented, like making a statement everyone can relate to (even if it sounds fake to some people), or making a joke to divert tension. That's the way Fe works, not by commanding people to feel a certain way about things, but by expressing and working with the local consensus.
 

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From another perspective: Fe and Fi are both valuation functions, but consider information at different speeds. As an externally-oriented function, Fe is very responsive to its environment, and doesn't build up a large internal store, so its expressions tend to be short-period and shallow. As an internally-oriented function, Fi is minimally responsive to its environment but with great internal complexity. Because of this complexity, its expressions are usually long-period and deep (and rarely obvious on the surface).

This difference in duration means that by the time Fi users are really getting to the heart of an emotion, Fe users may be long past it. So Fi and Fe users are rarely in emotional sync; just as you're getting worked up, they're winding down. Which may explain why they seem to not care - unless there's feedback to keep it going, the feeling consensus will dissipate rapidly and the emotion will have slipped past in the moment.
 

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Personally, I always feel utterly helpless in natural disaster situations. Given the opportunity, I'd willingly drop everything and get out there to help find survivors, tend to the wounded, help rebuild, etc; it is a genuine frustration of mine that I can never hope to achieve this (I am not in a position where I could just 'up and leave' everything). When the news of such events hits me, I suddenly feel somehow deeply connected to the victims. It's things like natural disasters that really make me think "Hey, we're all human and we're all in this together - we need to care for one another".

Fe is my auxiliary function.
 

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Whenever me and my mum talk about this kind of stuff (I think she's an xNFJ) she always tells me how it's not my responsibility to empathize with the victims and that there are already people there to help them. Yet I can't help but feel somewhat bad for them. This is interesting.
 

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I don't think my INFJ mother and I even discussed the Japanese earthquake, never mind the recent Indonesian one.

I did discuss the issue with friends, most of which are Ts. We followed the news reports and just sorta passed around information as it came up, just because it was the big news, and while we talked about how it was awful we didn't get emotional about it- I mean, we're a bunch of manly manly men who aren't allowed to get emotional :)proud:) but I genuinely didn't get a sense that people were that passionate about it.

I felt very close to the Japanese people at the time because of my hobbies, so I did take it somewhat personally. I was quite moved to read some of the inspiring stories about how people helped each other out during the crisis, and impressed (as ever) by how rapidly they have been recovering.

I can tell you for certain that I just wouldn't be as interested if something like this happened to another country. It has to be something close to home for me to feel passionate about it. It kinda sounds mean but I always tend to focus most on what's in front of me and what relates to that.
 

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background:
i live in india. as you may be aware, the last time around (2004) that there was such a massive earthquake in indonesia, the southern part of the country was slammed by a tsunami. having seen the appalling destruction, and the sheer inexplicable randomness of such a scale of disaster, this time's tsunami warning had me sitting tensely and monitoring all the news sites for updates.
First of all, my condolences.

events:
as soon as we got to know the news, these were the reactions:
me (Fi): called family and very close friends to check if they were ok. then went away to be by myself, sat and remembered how many people died last time and how many survivors' lives were wrecked and hoped frantically that we wouldnt have to experience that again. pulled out all the relief work contact numbers and prepared to fly to the south to volunteer should the worst happen. i think i also wept a bit because i was feeling very upset and helpless.

2 INFJ colleagues: i asked them if they had family in any of the areas where the tremors had been felt and if they were all ok. they said no family and carried on talking. one cracked a 'joke' about the possible tsunami saying 'finally...some excitement!'

an INTP friend outside work: said yes, she'd heard about the earthquakes, said probably family was fine, we just couldnt get through because all the lines were jammed, and then carried on to class.
People react differently to stressful events. Some lose it, while some grow numb as a defense mechanism. Not sure if this is really function related or not. However, I will say that the joke cracked by one of the INFJs was in bad taste. Yet some people cope by using humor. That doesn't mean they don't care. For reference, a tornado hit my town about a little over a month ago. Communication was mostly cut off, but through radio my neighbors found out that the courthouse had been hit. Since it was rather late when the tornado touched down, I assumed there was no one inside. Nor did I know the full extent of the damage to the town at the time. In addition, the courthouse had recently had extensions built, which I felt was a poor use of money that could be used for better things. Therefore, I remarked that it was "divine justice." Yet I would later find out that several people had taken shelter in there and were injured (yet thankfully no deaths). If I had known that, I would have never made that joke. I felt a bit guilty after that.

I've found that I have an odd ability to numb myself or feel largely unaffected by tragedy. Some would say that is a strength, but sometimes I feel inhuman because of that...as if there is something wrong with me. Yet I've been reassured that people deal with things differently. And I'm quite sure I'm a feeler over a thinker, since I'm more oriented toward people than logical analysis.

my new theory: Fe only cares about people it can put a face to.
That's humanity in general, not Fe. Ever heard of "A million is a statistic"? Be honest: If this had not happened in your country, would your emotions be as intense? (I hope I didn't offend you with that comment. I don't want to upset you after what had happened to you. I'm just pointing out something.) Furthermore, Fi is your tertiary if you are indeed an INTJ. Your response would be less controlled because of that.
 

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Dominant Fi... The news of natural disasters is always upsetting to me. I tend to put myself in the shoes of those who are suffering. Perhaps that's Fi coupled with Ne, and I start to feel somewhat grief-stricken and aware that this kind of thing could happen to me or my loved ones. I feel broken-hearted for all of the losses suffered. I don't express it outright, though.

Really, it may have something to do with the secondary function, as well.
 

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I could be totally wrong (I probably am, and I certainly am projecting) but it has occurred to me (just lately) that Fi people really FEEL things and are probably more emotional or "feely" than any Fe user. I mean... I can think of counter-examples and am surely wrong in many respects, but it feels (to me, probably because I am Fe inferior) that Fe is more about wanting to preserve social harmony out of some sort of fear or anxiety. My emotional (social) experience is that I want to be polite and not hurt anyone so that they don't hate me (but also because for some other unknown reason I am just really afraid of hurting people, I think I would just feel plain old badly if I did--but then again sometimes I don't care or hurt people knowingly and feel powerful for it, but that is sort of rare). I for a while believed that Fi users were more narcissistic, but the INFPs I know (and an ISFP) are some of the most considerate, sweet, gentle, caring people I know. Like... I almost feel teary-eyed thinking about how... sweet they are. With Fe users it feels more like they are being super nice to get along socially. If they offend someone, they'll be really distraught over it, and complain and worry out loud to people about it, but it seems it's more about what THEY did, how THEY are perceived, over how the other person feels. Then again... Sometimes all this crap makes me feel that personality theory is too limiting and we're all who we are and that lots of this crap cannot be defined, delineated, whatever... But maybe that's just because I am mentally lazy or limited.

I've known Fe users (a few ISTPs I'm thinking of in particular) who really seem to care deeply about people (on a large and small scale) remarkably so. And then I know Fi users who seem callous. And then I know Fi and Fe users who are opposite of that.

Aaaahh... It seems that there are so many variables (upbringing and shaping via traumatic experience are two things I think of) that this question can go on and on without any definitive answers...

I don't know...

But... I guess it's about propensity and not ability.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
@Rim and @zenity said these related things about Fi which made a truckload of sense to me - about Fi needing to process more slowly and deeply, and therefore, more intensely. this was absolutely true for me: at about 15 i had this near- nervous breakdown after being abused. i've always known that it wasn't my experience that troubled me so deeply, it was knowing that this was a world where such a thing was common, where violence is a given. i could've handled knowing something exceptional/abnormal had happened to me: what i couldn't handle was the scale on which injustice happened. so again, in a sense, i was deeply empathising with a bunch of faceless people, another abstraction.

after that incident and some others, i got thinking about life very differently, and have since adulthood, been passionate about human rights. (typically, i am more interested in advocacy than activism!)

at this point, @Angelic Gardevoir's point comes in... i am not a cross dresser. yet, in my work in sexuality counselling, i sought information about the struggles of marginalised communities and integrated that in my world view, because of which 'theoretical' acceptance, i was able to later live with a cross dresser and not just be supportive, but actually 'get' what the person was dealing with. in my understanding this would work the other way around with Fe: it needs to meet a person it likes and get to know the struggles of the community through the known individual. so to address your point (and no i'm not at all offended), i find it really strange that people can confine their world view to strictly their own experiences! that may be partly because i am predominantly an observer than a participant in life.

(sidetrack: huh, tell me about intense feelings that suddenly come bubbling up - i haz the happiness of Fi, 8w7 and sx :D)
 

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so to address your point (and no i'm not at all offended), i find it really strange that people can confine their world view to strictly their own experiences! that may be partly because i am predominantly an observer than a participant in life.
You'd be surprised.

And also...

@Rim and @zenity said these related things about Fi which made a truckload of sense to me - about Fi needing to process more slowly and deeply, and therefore, more intensely. this was absolutely true for me: at about 15 i had this near- nervous breakdown after being abused. i've always known that it wasn't my experience that troubled me so deeply, it was knowing that this was a world where such a thing was common, where violence is a given. i could've handled knowing something exceptional/abnormal had happened to me: what i couldn't handle was the scale on which injustice happened. so again, in a sense, i was deeply empathising with a bunch of faceless people, another abstraction.
This seems to contradict what you said to a degree. Would this have happened if you had not experienced the abuse yourself? It's still an abstraction since you're extrapolating your own feelings onto faceless people, but it's still based on your own experience. It may be an expansion of that experience, but the basis seems to be something of your own, not theirs.

at this point, @Angelic Gardevoir's point comes in... i am not a cross dresser. yet, in my work in sexuality counselling, i sought information about the struggles of marginalised communities and integrated that in my world view, because of which 'theoretical' acceptance, i was able to later live with a cross dresser and not just be supportive, but actually 'get' what the person was dealing with. in my understanding this would work the other way around with Fe: it needs to meet a person it likes and get to know the struggles of the community through the known individual.
I don't think it's a like/dislike thing with me. (At least not always.) I think it's just that I need external input (i.e. seeing or reading about something) to provoke a reaction out of me.

BTW, is 5 your head fix? :wink: They're the observers, after all...
 

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See..this doesen't make sense to me, because I find it illogical to donate money to one suffering person and not to 2 or more in stead. It is simply riddiculously retarded ^^;. Regardless of what I might feel, the many>the few. o.o...the findings make no sense to me :\...(exceptions to this would be family and friends)

I completely understand the other parts thou.
 
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