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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Do people with the same type tend to deal with sadness (and possibly other emotions) using similar methods? I realize Fi and Fe users can make decisions based on their emotions, but how does that affect how they deal with their emotions internally?

Please note I'm not asking if people with the same type all perform the same actions when they're sad, I'm asking if the way people internally "rebalance" sadness and happiness is affected by their preferred functions.
 

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Fi is my inferior function, and I'd say I handle sadness very different than most. Actually, I wouldn't really say that I actually get sad. I can feel defeated for a while, but then I just reason out the circumstances. (eg, if someone dies, I just tell myself it had to happen eventually)

One thing I don't do is try to ask people for help or cry on their shoulder. Its not a pride thing, it really just doesn't help me at all.

While I guess not getting sad is nice for me, it kinda kills my social interactions. Whenever someone is crying I just sit there at pitch options at them or just pat their shoulder awkwardly and then leave. I'm not a very helpful person in an emotional crisis.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Fi is my inferior function, and I'd say I handle sadness very different than most.
I find it interesting that you would say that. Fi is my tertiary function, yet the way you handle sadness is very similar to how I handle sadness. Especially the part about external influences not helping.

In fact, not being able to help during another person's emotional crisis is why I'm trying to understand how other types with Fi/Fe as their dominant function handle sadness.
 

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Fe is my tertiary function. When I'm sad, I tend to take a step back and reflect on what went wrong and how I can do better or handle it better next time. This is a problem when it was a fluke and there's jackshit I could have done about it. That can cause a funk and a feeling of helplessness. That's harder to come out of and I usually need a little help.
 

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When my dad passed away i was a mess, but those on the outside couldn't see how messed up i really was. I'm not comfortable expressing myself externally, and i don't feel as if there is anything they could do to ease my pain. Of course i was emotional, but not in the same way others in my family were. My Mom and sister are both ENFP also, we comforted one another, although members of my family that use Fe were visually upset, where we keep that part of ourselves more when alone. Don't get me wrong, we cried, just not among other people, only when were were alone together.

I don't reach out to other people when i'm upset in general, i work it out internally. I wish sometimes i could be needy in that respect because Fi can be quite painful and lonely. If i don't process the emotion myself first ( and this can take a few days, depending ) i can't express to anyone what, or why of anything emotionally. I have to understand it myself first, then i have a better chance at trying to make the other understand. Usually it's just easier to keep it to myself, sort it, file it and move on. Now if my Fi is ruffled or poked, especially on the spot, everything comes out messy because i haven't had a chance to process , it could sound anywhere from ugly to alien, ha!
 

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Typically for me, sadness is caused by a perceived failure on my part. The feeling of sadness makes me step back and analyze everything about the situation and what contributed to it.

If I find that my sadness was caused by something utterly out of my control (say, a death) then I will figure out a way to 1) reduce the feeling of sadness, and 2) change my thinking so that if this situation ever occurs again, I will be more prepared and the feeling won't be as strong. I don't tend to go to other people to cry on their shoulder. To me, it feels like that sort of behavior will only make the sadness worse, not better. Eg: I might not feel like crying until I share and see sadness on the other person's face.

If I find that my sadness is caused by something that I could possibly control, (typically failure) then I will pretty much do whatever I can in order to do better in the future. One of the reasons I became interested in Myers-Briggs was because I experienced a series of failures in being able to understand other people. The sadness those failures caused in me was my incentive to find anything that would give me greater insight. Even though I was able to make it up to the people I failed, a restored relationship was not enough for me. I had to figure out the root cause of the problem (not being able to understand and react appropriately to T/F, S/N, J/P type conflicts) and know ways to prevent such conflicts from happening so much in the future. Conflict still happens, of course, but the response I might give to a ESTJ would now be much different in tone than the response I might give to a INFJ.
 

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I find it interesting that you would say that. Fi is my tertiary function, yet the way you handle sadness is very similar to how I handle sadness. Especially the part about external influences not helping.

In fact, not being able to help during another person's emotional crisis is why I'm trying to understand how other types with Fi/Fe as their dominant function handle sadness.
I've been working on it. I put myself in a lot of emotional situations, and little by little I'm becoming less awkward!

From what I can tell, people handle sadness in countless ways. One reason I'm glad that I'm Fi inferior is that my Fe dom aunt and Fe auxiliary father both handle sadness the same way: booze. For the life of my I can't figure out why they don't just fix their problems, but nothing I say can ever helps. Both seem very determined to drown themselves.

I've noticed that normal people rely on each other a lot more than I do when they're upset. This makes me a little hopeful that even when I can't help someone much, that maybe just being there is some consolation. I would ask them if I'm helping, but I've realized that the less I talk the better.
 

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I tend to revel in sadness a bit... I'm kind of masochistic like that. I don't think I express it much to others, because I've been deemed indifferent and untouched many times in my life when I may have cared the most. I certainly go inward with it, and I often wait to feel it until I can be alone.

I get loads of creativity from it - poems, drawings, short stories. I would purposely upset myself when younger, just to see "how it feels". I'd imagine tragic things or watch very sad movies or listen to melancholy music. It gave me a sense of being ALIVE to tunnel to the depths of human despair and then resurface with something beautiful, in the form of an insight or even a tangible creation. Just the process itself was sort of exhilarating even if painful, like climbing a mountain.

Doing this has probably led to me being very resilient. I can handle a lot emotionally as far as FULLY feeling it and processing it and not being beyond repair. It makes me less risk averse because I feel there's less & less that could ever break me emotionally. And it obviously helps you grasp other people better, to be more compassionate & able to deal with their upset without being uncomfortable in the slightest.

These days, I am less in love with sadness, but I know it so very well it does not frighten me. It's kind of like an old friend at times. There's a strange, comforting familiarity in it. I try not to take refuge there, because I know the cost and am not sure I can get much more out of it anymore.

This probably is not most people's idea of handling sadness. To me it looks like they don't handle it much at all though, but gingerly pick it up with tongs & drop it in a box to be shoved onto some dark shelf in the garage. Then they get to this point where they can't go in the garage anymore; too much sadness threatening to jump out at them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Fe is my tertiary function. ...
What exactly do you mean by "help"? Because you have ESTP tendencies, I presume help means your friends actively trying to surround you with positive stimuli?

Do you ever find yourself having a "funk relapse" or do you generally stay happy or neutral after a significant amount of time surrounded by positive stimuli?

When my dad passed away i was a mess ...
To clarify, you mean it didn't seem like your relatives (Fe users) could ease your pain, yet your mother and sister (Fi users) were able to console you? To me that suggests consolations between two Fi users or two Fe users would be more effective than consolations between an Fi user and an Fe user. That might sound obvious to you, but a concept like that would be a huge breakthrough for me.

I know what you mean by raw Fi sounding ugly and/or alien. Once I was in a conversation with multiple people and someone said something that bridged a gap between two concepts I was having trouble connecting. I got so excited I tried to express my raw Ni.

"OH! You mean the thing goes with the other thing to make a thing with properties x, y, z, which counteracts the tendency for the other thing to do that thing and then... uh... yeah."

Typically for me, sadness is caused by a perceived failure on my part. ...
Would crying not act as a sort of emotional release and lessen the feeling of sadness afterwards? Not that I think that's bad, only that that's the first counter-evidence I've seen of the contrary.

Learning which types prefer which responses (if people of the same type generally prefer the same response) is the end goal of all my focus on how different people handle sadness. Have you noticed your actions having a greater positive effect on people when you change your behaviour depending on their type?

I've been working on it. ...
It's reassuring to hear that another NT has gone before me and achieved success.

No offence intended, but it's people who act like your father and aunt that I'm trying to understand. I have multiple theories, but without new data (which I'll get from this thread, hopefully) it's hard to draw solid conclusions.

As usual with such questions, I suspect this isn't primarily type related ...
I realize there may not be direct, significant correlations between getting over negative emotions and a person's type, however my current understanding of it is so terrible that any new information would be helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
OrangeAppled

I have no way to express exactly what your post looks like to me, so I'll give you an analogy: All this time I've been studying reciprocating engines. How they work, what can go wrong, how to fix them, etc. You've just given me a pistonless rotary engine to take apart and examine. It's so very different from everything else I've looked at so far, yet the basic concepts are intact. I've examined it closely three times already, and each time I came up with new questions.

Thank you.
 

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What exactly do you mean by "help"? Because you have ESTP tendencies, I presume help means your friends actively trying to surround you with positive stimuli?

Do you ever find yourself having a "funk relapse" or do you generally stay happy or neutral after a significant amount of time surrounded by positive stimuli?
When I was younger and my sadness was caused by something I couldn't control, I'd typically go do something destructive. That didn't solve anything and made things worse at times. Plus, I'd pushed the problem down and had no resolution and each time this happened, it was added to the pile. Eventually, things got pretty messy and I had to deal with my shit. I just find it really hard to cope when it's something I can't do anything about. If I can find something that I can do to improve things, it's not so bad. If it gets bad enough that I need help, in the past my cousins would talk to me. Now, usually it's my husband.

I don't need friends to provide positive stimuli. I do that on my own. That doesn't bring a solution. Usually, I'll have a couple of beers and talk it over.

If I don't deal with it, inevitably there will be a relapse. Which I consider a pita, so I'd rather just deal with it and get it out of the way as soon as possible. I haven't had a lot of problems with sadness. I've learned to examine my sadness, look at my issues/problems, look for solutions and deal with it. Sometimes there isn't a solution. Sometimes, I've learned I just have to accept it and make my peace with it.
 
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It's reassuring to hear that another NT has gone before me and achieved success.

No offence intended, but it's people who act like your father and aunt that I'm trying to understand. I have multiple theories, but without new data (which I'll get from this thread, hopefully) it's hard to draw solid conclusions.
I wouldn't say I'm successful, but I sure as hell try. At one point i was so successful that my friend thought I was a feeler! Though after one look at the F/T difference she realized that it was absolutely incorrect.

None taken, they're a mystery to me as well. I'd love to hear your theories! Might provide me with a bit of insight into their ways.
 

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I've been relating my inability to express sadness appropriately to inferior Fe. I'm not really so good at recognizing in the moment how I feel in general, and then it builds up until it explodes almost on a time delay, leading people to wonder what happened--it seems so random. The last time I identified that I felt really and truly sad about something was a couple of years ago after a breakup... which had taken place 4 years before that. I just kept going over and over in my mind what went wrong and how I could have fixed it, and the more I thought about it, the sadder I got (also probably has something to do with this strong sense of social incompetency I have that makes me extra sensitive in that area).
 

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I've been relating my inability to express sadness appropriately to inferior Fe. I'm not really so good at recognizing in the moment how I feel in general, and then it builds up until it explodes almost on a time delay, leading people to wonder what happened--it seems so random. The last time I identified that I felt really and truly sad about something was a couple of years ago after a breakup... which had taken place 4 years before that. I just kept going over and over in my mind what went wrong and how I could have fixed it, and the more I thought about it, the sadder I got (also probably has something to do with this strong sense of social incompetency I have that makes me extra sensitive in that area).
I used to really struggle figuring out what I was feeling. I actually found parenthood helped with that. Trying to relate to little kids with really simple feelings and trying to help them learn to use their words and name their feelings. As I was working with them, I started to find it easier to identify my own feelings. There is power in names. When you can name a feeling, it gives you a degree of power over it. It's the first step in dealing with it. I really wish I'd learned that as a kid and not as an adult.
 

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When I'm sad I really withdraw. I do this because I need to figure out why I'm feeling sad. Sometimes the action or interaction that led to the sad feelings is very obvious and sometimes it's not. Either way I need to get to the root of it before I can attempt to fix it. I can't just know that something made me feel sad, I need to know why. This often leads to statements like "I didn't feel as though I was valued" or "It doesn't seem fair that xyz is the way things work because that means I have no control, which is uncomfortable." After this realization comes I can usually let it go.

When I'm feeling sad, I usually sit in my bed and listen to music or read. I also like to go for long walks. I am especially irritable when interacting with others because I have an urgent need to obsess. Reading this, it seems like I rely on Ti way too much.
 

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When I'm sad I really withdraw. I do this because I need to figure out why I'm feeling sad. Sometimes the action or interaction that led to the sad feelings is very obvious and sometimes it's not. Either way I need to get to the root of it before I can attempt to fix it. I can't just know that something made me feel sad, I need to know why. This often leads to statements like "I didn't feel as though I was valued" or "It doesn't seem fair that xyz is the way things work because that means I have no control, which is uncomfortable." After this realization comes I can usually let it go.

When I'm feeling sad, I usually sit in my bed and listen to music or read. I also like to go for long walks. I am especially irritable when interacting with others because I have an urgent need to obsess. Reading this, it seems like I rely on Ti way too much.
Basically this. Last time I was sad was this year from February until July after I was dumped. I withdrew to the extent of losing my voice at times. I would speak up, and my speech would be slow and in short sentences. It was just a time of building a database of queries, experiments, theories, and coping mechanisms. In the end I don't think I fully grasped the whole of it, but it was overall a good experience from which I learned a lot. Sadness is kind of a puzzle challenge that I absolutely must solve. ... Here are some things I learned from while in my contemplative sad states: 1. You can't change anyone, and neither should you try. 2. respect everyone and their needs and wishes 3. take care of yourself ....wait, these suggestions are probably specific to my own problems. never mind. But uh, if you run into a person who is sad, you should just leave them alone, they are probably very busy inside.
 

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I am not good at dealing with it. I am certainly in the sadness, feeling it, but I usually just let it be there and die at some point. When it's small, it's okay. I don't care. It dies quick, or I forget about it soon. When it come to great sadness, I can't control how I feel. For some people they can stop feeling sad quickly after they figure out why and what they should do and not do, but that doesn't quite work for me. A lot of time I know the reasons, but I still feel crap. Maybe I am not doing what I should do, IDK.

Usually I try to busy myself, do things, watch TV, whatever, to distract myself, but once I have free time I can start to feel sad again if it has not gone away. It can also affect my life in general and make me lose interest and energy in doing things.

Most of the time my mood is stable, tranquil, indifferent, not excited, maybe a little bit blue, and sometimes sadness strikes me like a headache. But I have grown more and more resilient/ tolerant against sadness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I wish I had the time tonight to analyse all of your posts the way I normally do, but I have a social function to attend early tomorrow. I would like to say that all of your responses have contained invaluable insight and I am grateful that you all took the time to type out a description of how you act in those situations. I look forward to performing my usual analysis tomorrow, if I can.
 

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Would crying not act as a sort of emotional release and lessen the feeling of sadness afterwards? Not that I think that's bad, only that that's the first counter-evidence I've seen of the contrary.

Learning which types prefer which responses (if people of the same type generally prefer the same response) is the end goal of all my focus on how different people handle sadness. Have you noticed your actions having a greater positive effect on people when you change your behaviour depending on their type?
I've only cried a couple times in my adult life, and each time it was when I was alone. It did act as an emotional release, which was good, but only because in those instances, my problem was my emotions. Something happened that needed to happen, but I didn't like it and the only outlet left for my feelings was to cry.

I really prefer not to cry with other people, but it's not because I like to keep up an appearance of strength. It's more because some people will pick up on my sadness and seem to reflect it back to me like a mirror. When I am faced with emotions like sadness in another person, I find it harder to process anything. Perhaps when another person is involved, then my Fe is activated, which causes Ti to shut down. As a Ti dom, I don't function well when Ti is not working :)

I have definitely noticed a greater positive effect when I tailor my responses based on type. As an example, I was recently in a situation of potential conflict with an ESTJ in which I was perceived to have caused water damage in the bathroom due to carelessness.
When he confronted me with the issue, I took instant action in the conversation to: 1) Admit that the problem exists and that I may have caused it. 2) I offered a practical solution to prevent the problem from happening in the future. The ESTJ almost instantly turned his attention away from blaming me, and on to co-operatively solving the problem. My INFJ friend was present for the exchange and she was totally shocked that it went so well. She wanted to know my secret :) If it had been an ENFJ confronting me, I would have had to make my response much differently.
 
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