The obscure side of Fe (debate about Fi/Fe bitterness) Jul 6, 2017 19:14:50 GMT -5 by Hrafn
Post by Hrafn on Jul 6, 2017 19:14:50 GMT -5
In cognitive science, there are two competing: ideas simulation theory and theory theory. I tend to suspect that we may, in fact, have TOM from both. It may not be one or the other. I also wonder if maybe Te-Fi uses one and Fe-Ti the other. As far I can tell, I can kind of turn it on and off, but when it's on, I seem to be more moved by empathy than the average person. I suspect being able to turn it off is to guard against compassion fatigue. I don't think I could turn it off when I was younger, and it was very draining. I willfully ignored social cues, but I definitely experienced people's internal worlds strongly. I feel like it's a bit of both simulation theory and theory theory.
Oh, interesting! I have never heard of this theory before, but I actually don't know anything much about cognitive science. I don’t have any sense about whether I’m more or less moved by empathy than the average person. But I feel like empathetic reactions can work in not-so-obvious ways, at least for me.
I have a bit of an anecdote about this. On September 11, I was a senior in high school. My mom woke me up at like 6:15 that morning and told me what had happened, although the story was still developing at that point. I don’t even think the 2nd tower had collapsed yet. The first several hours, I had an emotional reaction, but it wasn’t one I was altogether comfortable with. All I’d heard about September 11 was the very coarse, general information: planes crashing into buildings, chaos, videos of buildings collapsing. My reaction was somewhat mixed, but at the back of my mind I felt almost sort of a thrill. A sense that this was dramatic and exciting. I felt sort of guilty for having this reaction and I plumbed my consciousness to try & find other ways of reacting to the events, but to some extent that was the way I felt at the moment. I knew, abstractly, that a lot of people had died, and I was sympathetic, but it was more of an intellectual, internally-verbalized sympathy without strong emotion attached.
A few hours later I was in class, and I overheard some other students describing how people had been leaping from windows to avoid being burned alive. That instantly filled me with a sense of horror & dread in a way that the broader narrative (big towers collapsing) hadn’t. I guess because it far was more personal: I imagined that if I were in that situation, I too would leap from the window. With the image of big buildings collapsing, I knew that there was death involved, but it was more distant & abstract. I doubt this sort of experience would be at all unique to a Fi-Te user. But I imagine with an Fe-Ti user, at least with strong Fe, they might feel a stronger, more immediate sense of emotional connection with the cultural meaning of the event itself. Insofar as the loss of life had been internalized by the culture up to that point, they might have a stronger connection to that. (I also think some of the thrill-like reaction I had was just because at that time I had a much more naive & immature worldview).
'm unsure of my type (I did make a crappy video at 5:30am once with my husband while we both had colds, but I couldn't email it to Erifrail for some reason), so I can't answer the second question. I identified with NeFi a lot in my early 20s (in mid-30 now), but I there were things that didn't line up. I noticed the "pained" expression of Fi mentioned by CT, and I didn't identify with that.
What I verrrrry much identified with, however, were compass and worldview functions. Also Ne.
What I verrrrry much identified with, however, were compass and worldview functions. Also Ne.
It seems like what's hard about sorting out the oscillations--Fi-Te vs. Ti-Fe and Si-Ne vs. Ni-Se--is that they can seem to converge toward each other. Te/Fi’s can be quite well-adapted socially and develop a sense of responsibility to society; Fe/Ti’s can be individualists with a well-developed personal ethos. And vice-versa--they can both suck at those things if poorly developed. It seems like it can be hard to get a sense of what's going on by trying to read the tea leaves through self-reflection on behavioral tendencies. I guess that’s one strength of the vultology-based approach. The difference in the subjective experience of function pairings (Ni-Se vs. Ne-Si, Ti-Fe vs. Te-Fi) seems like it has to do with the particular way in which the thoughts bounce around in the mind and take form. I guess I always knew I was an Ne-Si type because both of those functions are relatively conscious, and I could pretty easily recognize them in my own mind. In fact, that's a lot of what kept me from throwing out the MBTI baby with the bathwater: Ne and Si seemed quite a lot like how I actually perceive the world. By contrast, Ni always seemed confusing and mysterious: not because it was “magical” or “mystical” but more because I didn’t actually experience it so I never could connect with descriptions of it.
However, I could never completely make sense of the judgment functions under the MBTI system, partly because I suspect it sort of conflates Fi with Fe and Ti with Te. CT has done a really good job of disentangling that, in my opinion. In the CT system, one of the biggest clues that made me think I actually had Fi (rather than Ti as I originally thought) was the experience I actually felt during moments of the specific signal "eyes disengage down." For a Ti type, I understand it corresponds to a sort of logical clarity and relative dispassion, or at least an absence of bias toward one's own emotions. (I still can't quite picture it much beyond that--I sort of imagine an empty space into which bits of information are fed and meticulously parsed out using specific, personalized tools & procedures). But for me, "eyes disengage down" means something more like sifting through whatever emotion-like sensations (it seems like I experience them mostly in my spine & torso) are evoked by whatever I'm considering (or, perhaps, are otherwise present), probing these reactions to figure out which ones contain good information. (Emotional reactions contain “information” because of all their meanings associated with my previous experiences with them). It can mean digging around to try and understand why I feel a particular way about a particular topic. The process itself is nonverbal and not even necessarily visual, although my experience of it is heavily influenced by Ne visuals. The Te unpacks the selected reactions by elaborating them into words. And then, of course, the explanations are bounced off the Fi for checking and revision--to see if they feel about right. I’m sure it bounces back & forth between Te & Fi a number of times whenever I make a significant decision.
I still think it's always a possibility that I actually have Ti, but if so I would say it's intertwined with Fe to the point where I have no conscious sense of where one ends and the other begins. In other words, neither one would be consciously differentiated from the other. For me, any sort of Ti would have a much more ‘colored,’ emotionally deliberative quality than what I’ve seen described. With Fi and Te, I can get a much clearer picture in my head of how they work individually, even though I don't think my Te has consciously come into its own yet.
I don't know if this is accurate, but my impression of Fe is that like Te it's a fairly verbal process ("articulator"). But unlike with Te, I imagine that in Fe, the emotions are loaded more onto the language itself. (With Te, I would say the language has to resonate against Fi to get any emotional significance). Words and sentences, of course, are cultural--their meanings are collectively negotiated between all the people who use them. So I imagine that Fe is more of a direct negotiation between an Fe user's emotional sensations and their cultural context: is this emotion the best one to express in this situation? The Ti might ask something like, is this verbalized expression consistent with my positions on what's true about the world? I imagine an Fe user—at least one with directive Fe--could proactively engage the social/emotional/cultural currents floating around in a social setting. With Te, gauging social situations seems like it can be more like a process of trial-and-error or feeling things out (“can I get away with saying this? I guess there’s only one way to find out!”). I think directive Fe users tend to be better at actively participating in spontaneous group conversations because they can nonverbally position themselves within the emotional flow & wavelength of the conversation--sort of like a kite catching a draught of air. From there, it's not hard for them to actively participate and help to sculpt the interaction. A strong Te user, by contrast, might be more likely to muscle their way in without the same finesse or grace, and possibly flatline the whole interaction.
What you said about Dostoevsky was very much me. I gave up what I loved to do because I felt pursuing it was selfish, and I served others for a living. But it was deeply motivated by a conviction of how things "ought" to be, and I was very angry that society as a whole was so selfish. Very angry and judgmental. But also deeply compassionate.
I've learned to let some ideals go. I was really crippled by them, like you said about Dostoevsky, "He's either unable or unwilling to develop his Je and actually live his life." I'm getting better, but I could kick myself for being so being unrealistic for so many years. I kind of use that to justify my present selfishness, but I'm also sort of genuinely burned out and don't care.
I definitely also have a stubborn/idealistic/unrealistic streak. The post on Qualities of the Compass indicated it's a trait of both Ji functions. I don't think stubbornness & idealism are always a bad thing. In fact, I feel like some of the bad decisions I made in my youth (e.g. I was quite reckless at times) were more from having too little of it than too much of it. But when it becomes too overbearing & heavy, I get more like that Dostoevsky character--sucked up into my own head, less effective at actually functioning, and at worst, judging myself by my ideals and other people by their actions. A lot of times I think it happens when I'm mentally overstimulated and physically understimulated. So it seems to me like there's a balance, and a need to form linkages between internal ideals & outward behaviors.