Feelings That Made Me Feel & Thoughts That Made Me Think
"ENFJ's and INFP's Do you think we would get along?": Not on this thread, anyway!
by, 03-07-2012 at 02:13 PM (500 Views)
-----I found Flora's posts to be incredibly insightful on a personal level, and on a more general level as well.
-----Flora's posts were insightful on a personal level, since I understand and strongly agree with her perspective. On just about every personality test I've ever taken, I've tested as an INFP. However, just about every time I take one of the cognitive function tests, I test as an ENFJ, with the comment that close behind are INFJ and ENFP. No mention of INFP. However, the appropriate differential diagnosis (as it were), between Fi and Fe seems to be that Fi values personal autonomy (internal harmony) before social compliance (external harmony) whereas Fe values social compliance (external harmony) before personal autonomy (internal harmony) (especially your personal autonomy--"shape up, mister!"). While values are shared by Fi and Fe users, the order makes for a pretty bit of communicational incompatibility.
-----Flora's posts were insightful on a more general level, as well. It seems as though the communication of a personal opinion that is not shared by everyone in the group is taken as an affront, as rude, and as insensitive. In fact, the Fe user says, you are selfish for expressing (and for even having) a personal opinion that is separate from the group. The Fi user experiences this chastisement as not only oppressive, unfair, intolerant, disrespectful, and manipulative, but as an unforgivable all out assault on the Fi user's core being (internal harmony). "You have no business trying to get inside me to rearrange who I am according to what you perceive to be proper social behavior. Get out (of me)!" Fe feels to Fi users as the Fe users' psychological projection along with a lack of empathy.
-----From the perspective of Fe users, they are trying to get people to act kindly to each other. A Fe user wants (or demands) other people to act in accordance with an internal set of expectations of social behavior. It appears to me that a Fe user would probably not agree that the set of expectations is internal, but would probably claim instead that the set of expectations are external, objective and/or agreed-upon (social contract) (collective), and according to a set standard. However, from my admittedly Fi user perspective, it took subjective internal perceptions and judgments to arrive at a definition of what those supposedly objective external set of expectations were, so that set of expectations is, in reality, subjective and enforced (rather than agreed-upon), and internal. So, when a Fi user expresses a personal opinion that is not in accordance with that set of expectations of social behavior, it is perceived (and judged) as an audacious and inconsiderate act, and an unforgivable all out assault against the group (external harmony). "You have no business being in a group and trying to rearrange it according to what you perceive to be proper behavior from your personal perspective. Get out (of the group)!" Perhaps this also explains why ENFJs are sometimes (unfairly and reductively) called shallow. After all, if you can't talk about anything that disturbs group harmony, then how can you ever talk about anything substantive? Well, you can't, in public, anyway. Such conversations are supposed to take place in private, probably one-on-one, conversations.
-----Fi users want to live in the external world in accordance with internal values. Fe users want others' internal world to conform to their external (social) values. So, both Fi and Fe users are peacekeepers, but in extraordinarily different ways. Fi users maintain the internal peace of others, by validating multiple perspectives and loving people as individuals--for who they are (without demanding change). Fe users maintain external peace by validating a single social perspective (demanding the suppression of disharmonious (individual--i.e., different from other members of the group) elements) and loving people for how they act (by constantly demanding and enforcing change).
-----I am not sure how INFJs fit into this. I get along quite well with INFJs, though sometimes I clash with male INFJs (but that's also true of male INFPs). But perhaps because their Fe is auxiliary, I don't feel judged or forced into compliance by INFJs. As I understand it, while INFJs want external harmony as much as ENFJs, INFJs achieve this by modeling (self-judging) harmonious interactions through polite, considerate, and appropriate behavior. This I love them for. INFJs seem to have intraverted Fe (extraverted feeling). That's probably technically incorrect, but you get the idea.
-----Lest I attract wrath, please understand that I get along quite well with the ENFJs I know in real life--but I now realize that is because my interactions with them take place in one-on-one environments. Those same insights that are valued in private would be devalued (or at least the expression of those insights would be devalued) in public. I value their insights.
-----However, as a Fi user, I not only do not have the same need for external harmony, but I believe that strict adherence to external standards, even for the noble goal of external harmony, results in the most selfish, sociopathic, meanest, and biggest bully controlling the group, and also controlling the thoughts, feelings, and opinions of the individuals who make up that group. Fi sees Fe as the bully. Fe sees Fi as the bully. In short, our Fi user identity is an individual identity--not a group identity. And if someone expects to be accepted for who they are, individually, isn't it hypocritical to not accept others for who they are individually because of who they also are, socially? I see it as hypocritical, but I realize that many people, maybe most, would not. Perhaps most other people equate social identity with individual identity. INFPs do not. We are always our individual identity, which we carry with us in both individual and social situations.
-----Lastly, and I shouldn't have to say this every time I post, but stating my opinion is not me judging you; it is me perceiving and exploring possibilities. I don't equate the expression of different ideas with disagreement/disharmony. To me, disharmony is refusing to validate (and certainly enforcing the suppression of) individual feelings, thoughts, and opinions. I'm sorry if the expression of my opinion offends you; but I'm not sorry for expressing my opinion--that is an essential part of my core being (as well as a human right and my legal right--speaking of social contract). If I have to suppress my being--who I am--to gain your acceptance, I'm sorry, but I don't want your acceptance at that price. There are plenty of people who do accept me for being me. If you can't love me for being me, then why should I love you for being you? If you truly love, trust, and/or respect someone, why would ask them to change? If you feel the need to control (tell them what to do, feel, and/or think) or to change someone, then you don't really love, trust, or respect that person--you love your ability to control and change that person--and that is selfish. If you want to be accepted (and not judged), which is something I (and most other INFPs, along with other NFs) offer, then I require your acceptance (without judgment). Is that something you (can) offer?
Original thread: ENFJ's and INFP's Do you think we would get along?