Hi Charity as you are an ENFP I wanted to ask you how to do you see Si and Te in you? How was it clear for you that you were Ne dom and Fi aux and not the contrary? You said in the past that you cinsidered yourself socially introvert or shy, which I think is my case and I'm not sure about INFP or ENFP for me. Thanks a lot
My main way of recognizing my status as an extrovert, beyond my need for external stimulation all the time (NOTHING HAS HAPPENED IN TEN MINUTES, MY LIFE SUCKS) is that I am not a Fi-dom. So excuse me, while I once again travel into the land of indecisive Ne to illustrate my point; then I will return to your initial question.
If you compare the INFPs on this blog to the ENFPs, you will notice that the INFP’s Fi is often very prominent and “runs the show.” This is also true with real life INFPs, who as judging dominants, have and express very strong opinions. Since they are in contact with their inner self most of the time, they often know what they like and dislike, what they want to do or refuse to do, and how they FEEL about most things. There is rarely indecision on that point, especially when it comes to the strength of their inner moral focus.
While I have extremely strong opinions in a few areas, in the broader scope of reality, I am far more indecisive and disconnected from my feelings, to the point where half the time, I rationalize them out with Te, or question my “right” to feel this way at all, rather than just use them. Something I admire about INFPs is they tend to be more decisive than I am, especially in their likes and dislikes. As a Ne-dom, my likes and dislikes can change from day to day.
An INFP I know had a fight with her friends once and door-slammed all of them. She knew how she felt, that they were dissing her opinions and not respecting her true self, and after she had enough, she was done. And she did not waffle on that decision. She just quit. She made up with them much later on, but only after her temper cooled, and she had space and time to mature in her own way (and they matured also). She knew what she wanted: them gone. For now.
I complained the other day to my mother about Elizabeth of York in Philippa Gregory’s novel / miniseries, The White Princess. She is so indecisive. She changes her mind from one chapter to the next about who she is, what she wants, and answers “I don’t know” to half the questions posed to her. Some days she likes her husband, some days she doesn’t; she intends to give up on him, then turns around and falls for him again. It’s seriously annoying.
Once I got done with my rant, my mother smiled and said, “So she’s basically you, in literary form.”
Gee, thanks mom.
My mouth hung open for a couple of seconds, while my Fi had a little tantrum, and then my Te immediately snapped in and I went: “I guess. But I’d make a BAD heroine. Heroines need to be decisive! Books need plots! Heroines need to know what they want, or at least figure it out, and get there, not be lost in indecision! The plot must move forward!”
Unlike me. =P
Ne-dom makes me changeable. And it annoys me. One day, I might want this. The next day, I might not. One day, I might decide that this friend sucks. The next day, I might think I was wrong and they’re awesome. They did not change. My Ne flipped the situation around for a different perspective. It runs right over my Fi and what it wants, all the time. This means that I either do not KNOW what I want or cannot ADMIT to myself what I want, nor give myself permission to want it. It annoys me, it annoys my parents, it annoys my friends, and it annoys my cat. But that’s how it is.
I WISH I had some Fi to haul Ne’s ass into a chair and decide: NOPE. But no, instead Ne hauls me around with Fi going “Um… I don’t know how I feel yet?”
But anyway, rant aside: back to your question.
How do I see Si and Te in me?
I see Te a lot when I ‘temporarily loop’ in order to avoid dealing with my feelings. I do not LIKE my feelings. I consider them a major pain in the butt. When my grandpa died, I was a wreck before it happened. I didn’t even know him that well, but it took him a long time to die. His organs slowly shut down. I was so immersed in the pain of what was happening to my loved ones, that I cried way more than any of them. But after his death, my Te immediately kicked in. Mom wanted to clear out his house. Like, immediately. That’s how she copes.
So we did. I put aside my emotions, went into that house, and went through all my grandparents’ stuff. We filled a dumpster. I organized everything we decided to keep in piles for the family to choose from after the funeral. A lot of my decisions were people-motivated – my cousins loved playing these games with Grandma. Shall we keep them? I’ll make sure they have all the pieces and put them in nice piles. I did the funeral video. Everyone needs a Ne-dom for that. It wasn’t just about Grandpa, it was about his life. His dreams. His parents. The culture he grew up in. I managed the voice-over, without falling to pieces.
And then, I moved on.
My Si is very poor. I may be adverse to CHANGE when people announce it (and I have to deal with it a lot, my parents literally cannot live six months without changing their house around, the yard, etc) but I am not stuck in the past. Half the time it never comes to my mind. The past flows beyond me. A day can seem a week ago, and three years ago can seem like yesterday. I gaped when a friend showed me a picture recently with 2014 stamped on the bottom. That was that long ago!? My grasp on time sucks. My awareness of time sucks. My own carelessness with time… sucks. A Si-friend recently said, “You should take more pictures with your cat. You will want them when she’s eventually gone.”
I stared at her. “I will?”
See, I don’t think like that. When people, places, things, are gone, I miss them. I love them. I still think about them sometimes, but they are gone. I do not pour over pictures. I do not sit and endlessly talk about the past. I do not want to think about the past. I moved on.
Sometimes, people tell me I should slow down, or take more time with that, since they do not want me to “look back one day, and regret this moment.”
Thing is, that probably won’t happen. I rarely go back.
Unless I hurt someone badly, and never received their forgiveness, or am beating myself up about something I should have done to stop something bad from happening, I don’t look back and regret. You cannot drive a car staring into your rear view mirror. In that way, I am careless. But I don’t know how to NOT be careless. Things matter right now, and then they’re gone. I loved that show, but it’s canceled. There’s new stuff to watch. I take in so much of it (as a Ne-dom), only a few things stick longer than six months.
And sometimes, I desperately want them to stick. I sit with someone or something loving it, immersed in its beauty, and think, “How can I hold onto it? I already feel it slipping away! WHY CAN’T I APPRECIATE THIS MORE?”
This is going to sound weird, because it is weird. But, under stress… I start obsessively tinkering with sensory elements. I’ve been editing and rewriting a book for what seems like forever (forever to me is four months, but I don’t want to talk about how this is the eighth draft of the fourth version of this book in two years) which is very tedious, Si-driven work. My Te is happy to help out with deadlines, and charts, and word counts, and I have a nice little sheet of paper with things marked on it, where I enter my progress each day to keep myself motivated. But I swear on my soul, yesterday when I opened the file, my Si went nuts and said: I don’t like this font. It curls funny. Change it.
So I did.
And then I sat there for at least ten minutes, changing the font, again and again, then the sizing several times. I printed out a page to see how it will look in book form, then promptly forgot which configuration I used (poor Si!) and had to print several more sheets in different sizes. I never did figure out which was the font and what size I used for that first sheet. (Shame, I like it the best.) Then I resized the file across my screen, to try and get the font to ‘curl’ how I like it, so I could read it. I cannot read it, unless it’s the right size. And font. And I must edit so there are no paragraphs that end with one word on the next line.
(Are you laughing yet? Is that not pathetic? Welcome to my life.)
Screw inferior Si. It’s bullshit.
I never know how to say this without hurting feelings but… Fi-doms are sensitive and since INFPs have higher Si, they do not forgive you fast.
Think about two terrific insults against NFPs (from future husbands) in literature and compare them to how you process things.
Gilbert Blythe pulls Anne Shirley’s braid and calls her carrots. The little INFP smashes her slate against his head and screams at him in class. She then tells Diana “the iron has entered my soul: I shall never forgive him,” and proceeds to ignore him, compete with him, and refuse to speak to him. For years. Gibert has to grovel to get on her good side, many times. She is super sensitive and her emotions flare up immediately. “You hurt me EXCRUCIATINGLY,” she says. She means it. He DID.
Mr. Darcy insults Lizzie’s appearance (she is not handsome enough to tempt me into a dance – ie, she’s not that pretty) in Pride & Prejudice. ENFP Lizzie gapes at him, then promptly turns it into a joke. She never brings it up again. She’s mad, but more mad about what he does to Jane than his insult. She finally confronts him when he proposes, but not about that. No, it was not the insult that hit her; it was the impression she formed of his character, based on it. And when he writes her a letter that basically calls out her family for being loud, obnoxious, inappropriate trash, she is pissed but has enough high Te to realize: he has every right to feel that way about us, based on what he saw. Once she realizes WHY he thinks how he does, her anger cools. And her mind changes about him. The anger dissipates.
Did he hurt her? Sure. Deeply? Not so much.
Someone walked up to my INFP the other day and insulted her appearance. It hurt. A lot. She will probably never speak to him again.
A person insulted me to my face at dinner a few years ago. He basically implied the people I work with and the caliber of their work is poor, and I should do a better job selecting the material we work on together. (IE: Wow, you suck.) I bitch-slapped him good with a Te-snarl comeback and … promptly moved on. I was mildly annoyed by it, and it certainly colored our interactions from that point on, but I wasn’t hurt by it so much as annoyed. We stayed “friends.”
I can count the number of times people have actually hurt my feelings on one hand. My Te is strong.
How do I know this?
I’m one of the first people to come up with a rational, non-emotional “fix it” to problems. I often discount my own feelings or put them aside entirely, to get a job done. I remember one time, a friend PM’d me after I wrote a movie review and said, “But did you LIKE it?? You wrote an excellent review, but it was so non-emotional I don’t even know what YOU thought of it.” I criticized the poor elements and talked about the good ones, but there was none of “me” there.
I admit, I was a little more emotionally reactive as a child / young teeanger, but Fi still wasn’t running the show. Most Fi-dom children are very sensitive. When asked what I was like, various family members (without consulting one another) have laughed and said, “Your focus was on being a comedian. You wanted to make people laugh. But you were not especially emotional.”
I’m not. It’s true. Sometimes to my own determent.
- ENFP Mod
PS: If you get to the end of this certain you are an NFP, but you don’t know what you do in a situation in order to compare it to Lizzie or Anne’s emotional reactions, congrats: that’s shitastic inferior Si. You are an indecisive Ne-dom.