[Fi-lead/Aux] What is your relationship with emotions/empathy vs logic/strategy?

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  • LadyNerdsky
    Participant
    • Type: FiNe
    • Development: ll-l
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    I want to start a free-form discussion space about the nature of Seelie/Unseelie Fi in lead or auxiliary position, inspired by our recent conversation in Fi-tower on Discord plus the things I started to detail as my experience as an Unseelie Fi-lead in this thread https://cognitivetype.com/forums/topic/seelie-adaptive-vs-unseelie-directive-is-it-related-to-conflict-avoidance/

    Now that we have a few Unseelie Fi-leads here, myself @rioshayne, @allegrabaxter (and @nemo, @septimus-chalier?), I want to invite them and the other Fi lead/aux people to elaborate on how they experience Fi, general personality traits, their relationship with emotions, empathy, feelings, logic, pragmatics, and strategy.

    To explore how Unseelie Fi-lead might contrast or deviate from the experiences that Seelie Fi-leads, or even Unseelie Fi-auxiliary users have.

    So the comments that I’ve been making so far are:

    Emotions and Feelings: Seelie vs Unseelie Fi

    Generally, I don’t relate to how Seelie Fi-leads think or react to the point where I almost feel like I’m using a different function entirely, rather than being a darker or sassier version of Seelie Fi. I wrote on the forum and on Discord that it’s very easy for me to make feeling/value judgments (e.g. moral/amoral, right/wrong, good/bad, quality/trash) in the absence of emotion. And maybe this relates to Unseelie shutting-down awareness of these body-level reactions.

    I was trying to delineate emotions versus feelings on the server. It’s my understanding that emotions are somewhat “body-level”, they are pre-cortical in origin, and they are universal across humans, cultures and even species (e.g. even a dog is “happy” or “sad”). Emotions like fear, surprise and anger don’t need “thinking” about, because they aren’t cognitive states.

    Feelings, however, are “mind-level”, and cognitive. We “think” about how we “feel”, usually prompted by experience of an emotion. (For a concrete example, I might read a news article about religion and polyamory and my knee-jerk emotional reaction is anger. Once I experience anger, I might also start to think about and examine why I feel angry. Do I feel that polyamory is wrong or amoral? Or is that just my own learned biases? Is morality relative? What if the individuals in polyamorous relationships are incredibly happy? Is it wrong of me, and therefore society, to demand prosecution or punishment? I might personally hold the feeling that polyamory is wrong/immoral/evil whatever value judgement I’ve made, and simultaneously accept that other individuals might not see it that way, and that’s also okay by me.)

    I’ve done more reading since the Fi-tower discussions last night, where I tried to claim that disgust is a feeling that’s culturally learned. I’m wrong, disgust is a universal pre-cognitive emotion, and therefore a precursor to “feelings”. So yeah, it’s not really true of me to say I make Fi-value judgements without emotion, because disgust and repulsion seem to be key pre-cognitive emotional players, especially in Fi. Plus, I heavily display disgust in my I— video! 😀

    BUT, subjectively, I do not actually register disgust happening in my body. I would tell you that I don’t experience emotions very often and that my Fi-value judgements are made without strong emotions. So maybe being Unseelie is deeply reigning-in the emotionality, sensitivity, empathy, and reactivity that Seelie Fi users (lead/aux) were reporting.

    Thinking Functions: Seelie vs Unseelie Fi

    The other comments both Rio and I made in the past were about our relationship with T and how that seems to deviate from Seelie Fi-leads. It seems like Unseelie Fi and the shutting-down of the emotional register means something else needs to rush in to fill the data-void. Almost like if I’m not conscious of the emotions I need to “feel” to make Fi-judgments, I’m going to consciously chase after the information from opposite-axis: Te, the abiotic, external, if-then, causality data, and use that as an emotional substitute.

    I’ve mentioned that prior to CT I identified as being Te-aux, and Rio thought she had Ti. On the discord server someone mentioned I seem Te-heavy, but also that I seem closer to the TiNe crew behaviourally/psychologically, but my signals are clearly FiNe on the video. Neither Rio nor I have conscious Te, or have Ti, but we’re both loathe to identify with INF temperament.

    I find it quite easy to make unemotional, pragmatic decisions, and handle external logistics and strategy. Before I quit my job, I was in the first cohort of 15 employees out of 1500+ nationwide selected to be trained as future business leaders in a leadership development programme. I’ve managed medical clinics dealing with targets, KPI, budgets, marketing strategy etc, and was headhunted by medical device companies needing sales reps to build and maintain client and stakeholder relationships and generate revenue. But I also quit the industry because their practices finally crossed my ethical boundaries.

    So, how would you describe your relationship to emotions, feelings, values, empathy (Fi-stuff) and logic, strategy, pragmatism (Te-stuff). What are your experiences?

    • This topic was modified 1 year, 7 months ago by LadyNerdsky. Reason: Fixed tags
    Faex
    Participant
    • Type: NeFi
    • Development: ll--
    • Attitude: Seelie

    I feel all the time. For me, peace is detachment from the emotional whirlwind. I aspire to be like that tarrot card: Temperance. Or strength.

    Keso
    Participant
    • Type: NeFi
    • Development: lll-
    • Attitude: Seelie

    All I can say is that I’m in touch with my feelings, but it takes a long time. When I first broke up with my boyfriend, my first reaction was to see his perspective and to understand his viewpoint. It took me 2 weeks to research, ask questions, get facts and interview the victim of my curiousness (ex boyfriend). I even categorize and analyze this new perspective quite actively every time I have intense experiences. My first reaction to exoernal stimuli is to randomize and generalize it and honestly, I need a long time to get in touch with my actual feelings. He said: “Let’s stay friends, I don’t want to lose you!” And my reaction was “wait a sec, I need to research” and it took me 2 weeks to actually FEEL something about that, because I was busy analyzing and categorizing, rationalizing and generalizing this decision. While doing this, we were normally talking and laughing, meeting and chatting, like nothing happened.

    Later on, when I finally made a decision after reading people’s stories, analyzing possible outcomes and perspectives in the future, I agreed on staying friends but then I suddenly felt bad.

    I realized I was deeply hurt. I suddenly started crying, after 2 weeks of our break up and I cried unstoppably for 48 hours. But then I accepted and freed him from me.

    My feelings are very underrated by me. Yes, I’m expressive, yes, sometimes I can’t hold on crying and yes, I’m very sensitive, an emotional tube. But only when I actually FEEL. So, my feelings are very unpredictable and I can cry suddenly without explanation, after 2 weeks of the incident or not cry at all. However, I can forget and move on with my stuff very easily once I decide to let go of the feelings of pain. Unpleasant feelings. In the process of feeling, I can control them quite easily but I know I don’t have to control them because I naturally understand that you should express and share them, free them from yourself and I don’t rush in this process. I accept my feelings.

    Now, I have an unpopular opinion about love. I don’t think that love is a feeling. I think it’s an action and a choice. An investment. I don’t like to view the connection between two people as a byproduct of fleeting and flighty feelings. I know that, because I myself experience a lot of feelings daily and those feelings are very unreliable. I don’t rely on my feelings when making a decision. I try to unite logic and reason along with feelings. I’m very pragmatic in that sense (and that’s why my FeSi ex run from me, lol).

    So yeah, I think I’m a quite sensitive and unpredictable in that sense. But once I’m in touch with my feelings and emotions, I accept them without hesitation and I don’t think that I should not feel that way. I want to distinguish fear and gratitude when in love, I’m a big fan of analyzing my own emotional and pragmatic experiences.

    I’ve noticed that the unseelie Fi people have a hard time accepting their own feelings. It’s just my observation.

    Nyx
    Participant
    • Type: TiNe
    • Development: ll--
    • Attitude: Directive

    This is a great question. Emotions and feelings are always an afterthought for me, and they tend to drain me, whereas ideas/facts/theories invigorate me. Certain things can spark empathy in me more easily than others, but it usually feels quite distant/detached from my normal way of thinking. Anger makes me want to take action and I often use it to motivate myself or I have to find a release. Sometimes I’ll feel sad out of nowhere and just cry for seemingly no reason, but I feel better after having done so. Like you @ladynerdsky, I find it easy to make logical decisions based on objective facts and strategy. I often butt heads with my partner who seems to be more in touch with his feelings and is more readily empathetic than I am. He easily considers the emotions of others and their point of view, whereas I have to put in effort to do so, or I don’t realize how detached I am, and I learn about how I was insensitive or too harsh/blunt and hurt someone’s feelings after the fact. I do think emotional intelligence is just as important to develop as intellectual intelligence, but I have to work harder at being more in touch with emotions/feelings, and it has been a struggle, but I know I have achieved growth in this area compared to my younger days. I do value using objective facts when making decisions over emotions, but if something is really important to me, I can go off on a tangent and still involve ethics. When something happens that would incite an emotional response in most people, for me it feels like the emotions are tucked away, out of sight, hidden, or kept securely in a box. I’m sure being enneagram 5w6 influences how I process emotions, in a detached and objective manner. People have often told me they clearly see me as INTP because of the clear priority for logic/rational thinking over feeling. I do find certain things will set me off, perhaps inciting an Fe and social dom response.

    Looking back at painful experiences, when my partner and I were having a rough patch and almost broke up, I had to reevaluate my values and what I wanted in life. He had said it felt like we were on different paths, but I didn’t like that. I wanted us to be on the same path. My first response was to take action and show him that he was the most important person in my life. I also reflected on the mistakes I’d made and realized how my actions were affecting him and our relationship. So I took action to make the appropriate changes needed. I cried a lot and was incredibly stressed out. I became physically ill. We’d been through so much together, how could I just throw it away over my own stupidity and neglect. I realized that love was the meaning of life. And I loved him more than anything. Long story short, it ended up strengthening our bond. It made us both realize that love takes effort and never to take it for granted. It is a choice, just like happiness, and our perception of things makes a difference. It made me strive for balance and be more mindful of the consequences of my actions and how they affect someone emotionally.

    I’ve always struggled to get along with my mom, who is ruled completely by her emotions and feelings with no apologies. She uses her feelings to validate terrible behavior and my dad enables her. She constantly seeks pity and sympathy and doesn’t care one bit how much of an emotional and energetic burden she places on those around her. Growing up she would often throw temper tantrums (she still does but I don’t live there anymore), and I couldn’t for the life of me understand how much rage she had. She was like a walking tornado, wreaking havoc on everything, throwing and breaking things. She acted like a spoiled child. But it was justified because her feelings were valid? I’ve always been of the mindset that you don’t have to act on your feelings. How you choose to react defines you, because you still have a choice and you still have control in you respond. This goes over her head. When she was upset but still approachable I naturally try to give advice, because that’s what I would want, a solution to the problem that was making me upset. But this would make her angrier and cry more, telling me how I should feel and what I should say. I learned that it was easier to just tell her what she wanted and appeal to her emotions, rather than come from a logical and rational place. She only wanted sympathy, even if it wasn’t genuine. Not sure what that does. I naturally take a logical and objective stance/approach to most things.

     

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Nyx.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Nyx.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Nyx.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by Nyx.
    • This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by Nyx.
    • This reply was modified 10 months, 2 weeks ago by Nyx.
    • Type: FiNe
    • Development: l---
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    Good topic!

    In my experience, unseelie Fi feels like a strange mixture of (let’s formulate it that way) “T” and “F”. At first, I usually have a strong feeling about something, a feeling that calls for a more in-depth study. Then, when I start diving into the topic, factual evidences often show me that the truth is more complex, that there are some inconsistencies or shady parts I can’t be satisfied with. So, I put this feeling on hold – so to speak – and force myself to “dig the truth out”. It’s a painful process (this “epoche” is not a peaceful one), and going through that, I can experience a physical discomfort, in the form of contracted chest and stomach. (Some other times, i will start reasoning and a feeling will rise, informing me that “something is drying off”, that I’m losing touch with my visceral being…)

    I think that’s important to point out that what I originally felt is never really dumped off, but is refined in a way that can release the physical (and mental) tension, finding its right unfolding, its right conclusion.

    In other words, I think my gut reaction has to be shaped by reasoning to reach some kind of truth in the universal realm. Abstraction is necessary to reach that broader view and then go back to the original feeling, now “purified” or “shaped”.

    The forging of a sword could be used as a metaphor to describe this refinement process. At the beginning, you have the raw material, a feeling about something. This is a basis. Not the sword itself, but its essential component. And this raw material has to be melted down and hammered to acquire a shape. That’s the mental processing, that comes with a search for factual evidence, for more occurrences (to reach a broader point of view), and logical reasoning to get a solid theoretical structure.

    I’ve said at the beginning that unseelie Fi seemed like a mixture of “T”+”F”. But i meant “T” as it is usually described in the mbti circles. In fact, the said “T” qualities of my Fi, are seemingly Ji qualities, according to CT theory.

    Fi, at its core, is supposed to be an “architectural” (Ji) function, like Ti. If the difference really is a connection to the emotional register, then I would describe emotion, from the point of view of (unseelie) Fi, as a visceral information that needs to be peeled or shaped to get to what could be considered as a ‘truth’ (yeah, I mean… I won’t talk about dialectic here…).

    Without this refinement process, the conclusions feel incomplete or erroneous – “misplaced”, I’d say – even if never completely wrong…

    The difference between Fi seelie and Fi unseelie, could be the trust (seelie)/distrust (unseelie) of the primary visceral reaction/emotion (at an epistemic level) as well as a receptive (seelie) or a prescriptive (unseelie) attitude towards things and people (at an ethical, interpersonal level), and a opened (seelie) / shielded (unseelie) dichotomy concerning the general attitude towards the world.

    Described in a “Positive/Negative” form, maybe it could be sum up as openness/defenselessness, faith/gullibility, kindness/deference on one side (seelie), VS self-protectiveness/guardedness, caution/distrust, and spirit of protest/antagonism on the other side (unseelie).

    It seems seelie people have trouble setting boundaries and unseelie people have trouble opening the fence.

    Seelie people have a tendency to merge with/ lose themselves in/ the outer world, whereas unseelie people have a tendency to block their sensitivity to/ alienate themselves from/ the outer world. Both strategies are useful, depending on the situation. Both ends of the spectrum are destructive in their own way too.

    It’s a matter of control over the valve separating the inner and outer world. When and where do you need to set boundaries? When and where do you need to let the door open?

    Unseelie people shut the valve down quickly, sometimes right after the first input and the first repulsive reaction, being on their guard, pushing away easily. Sometimes too soon, often judging too harshly, sometimes rightfully so. Seelie people let the valve open, sometimes for too long, often judging too kindly, sometimes rightfully so…

    At an epistemic level, what is felt by unseelie Fi is probably less taken for granted, I guess, but also too readily redirected to (and extinguished by) the mind.

    Unseelie Fis may have a tendency to lost the raw material, to block their feelings instead of refining them (therefore losing the truth enclosed in them), whereas seelie Fis may have a tendency to blindly trust their feelings and not refining them enough (because they are frightened to lose the truth enclosed in them during that process).

    That said, some of the hypothetical qualities and processes I’m loosely describing in this post could be “axis attributes”, and therefore not be solely related to Fi’s attitudes…

    I may have drifted away from the initial topic at some point…

    Alice
    Participant
    • Type: FiSe
    • Development: ll--
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    Early on in my life, I was very deeply affected by most experiences. I usually kept this feelings inside, though, and only really showed how I felt if I became so overwhelmed with emotion that I broke down, which was rare. I was a generally happy child.

    I’ve always been pretty sensitive to other peoples emotions too, I think! When I was younger I was much more attuned than I am now, and I let every other person’s emotional state around me influence how I felt too. I eventually learned how to put up some barriers between me and others, but I still really love talking people through their emotions, even though I may not be as empathic as I used to be. I think it was a balance that needed to be struck. I spent a lot of time, too, really distrusting most people and closing myself off completely.

    I see emotion and empathy as almost a type of logic. It can be disassembled, analysed, and even seen for what it is: a strategy for survival, for connection, or even for the manipulation of the people around you. You can even manipulate yourself with it by allowing yourself to be too affected by them. You can make yourself believe things that aren’t true about yourself or others!

    The process of therapy, really, is recognizing emotion and experience as completely intertwined with the logic and strategy of everyday life. Paradoxically, though, we also must take those two things apart if we wish to get any use out of either. We have to be honest with ourselves about our logical or emotional intentions, whether they are conscious or not.

    TLDR –
    All that is a really long way to just say that really, I don’t see these two groups of action or perception as very different in the grand scheme of what they accomplish for us as human animals.

    fayest42
    Participant
    • Type: FiNe
    • Development: ll--
    • Attitude: Unseelie

    Regarding the difference between seelie and unseelie in general, I posted some thoughts about that recently on this thread: https://cognitivetype.com/forums/topic/seelie-adaptive-vs-unseelie-directive-is-it-related-to-conflict-avoidance/page/3/

    I am quite curious about the relationship between unseeliness and feeling like a “thinker” because it isn’t obvious to me why there should be a connection between those things, but it seems like many people do have that experience (including me).

    I am somewhat skeptical (though not entirely dismissive) of the idea that being unseelie means a shutting off of the emotional register. When I was younger I pretty emotional, and I cried very easily. That has changed as I’ve gotten older though. I don’t often cry anymore. And I’ve noticed that whenever I start to feel an emotion, I immediately switch to logically analyzing it. I’ve been trying to work with my therapist on letting myself sit with the emotion for a while instead of immediately moving to analyzation. It’s a bit hard to track the relationship between emotions and unseeliness within myself because I’m not sure exactly when that change in level of emotion happened, and I’m not sure when I started being unseelie (though I think I probably would have identified as being a “thinker” from quite a young age, even during the time when I cried easily, because I didn’t really identify the crying as being a part of me – it felt more like my body betraying me).

    The idea @septimus-chalier had about seelie’s trusting their feelings more readily and unseelie’s feeling like their feelings need to be scrutinized seems like a strong possible explanation. It seems to make sense that seelie’s would be more trusting overall, and I can imagine that that might extend to trusting their own feelings. This explanation does match up with my personal experience in that I don’t immediately trust my feelings. As I said on the other thread, “I don’t respect feelings as being a good reason for something (at least not by default – I am in the process of trying to work on this for my husband’s sake). I don’t see feelings as worthless, by any means, but I just see them as like a flag signaling you to explore something further. I would not trust a feeling without figuring out why I felt that way. A feeling by itself is not a good reason to do something.”

    I would be curious to hear from some seelie folks if they more readily trust their feelings or if they also go through this process that @septimus-chalier describes.

    It also seems worth mentioning on this thread that there does seem to be some statistical correlation between having high Te or conscious Te and being unseelie (also a possible correlation between being unseelie and being on the Se/Ni axis, though I haven’t calculated that out). I would be curious to hear any thoughts people have about why that might be the case.

    Amy Marie
    Participant
    • Type: FiSe
    • Development: l-l-
    • Attitude: Seelie

    I like to think of my emotional state as being like a little internal choir or flame, flickering independently of the external social/emotional environment.  There are somewhat distinct types of emotions, such as certain shade of irritation (caused by something like being talked down to), which differs from the anger I might feel in reaction to unfairness.  It’s similar with happiness.  The bubbly bliss I might feel from writing secret poems differs from the more muted and soft contentment I feel talking to close family members, for example. 🙂

    I can also be nostalgic and want to revisit places from my Childhood (yes, that’s with a capital “C” :)).  In fact, once when I was visiting home in Pennsylvania, I walked from my house to my old house I lived in until I was almost 10!  The walk was probably over an hour!

    As for empathy, I tend to relate to others by imagining how I would feel in their situations.

    I love personification and have been told I even have a way of giving life to objects in my writing.

    Starshade
    Participant
    • Type: NeFi
    • Development: ll-l
    • Attitude: Seelie

    I’ve been searching for an answer to this since I were 18 or so, and never truly got it. Empathy, and, my understanding of it. But here is my experience:

    Basics is, my lived experience is being described as a bit chill as a person, placid. There is two experiences I need to explain, to get my experience across, though.

     

    First is my experience of etherealness, it is not something one can explain, only live it, I have randomly felt a bit open, but this is subordinating my feelings for others’, and when this happen, it basically slowly, saps energy and emotional power, until I looses some of my judgement of thought. It can be fun, since it goes other way too, loosing yourself in others (literally), and that can be quite fun. If it goes on long enough, in bad environments, my exterior ability to emote slowly evaporate and vanish, leaving me without energy. In worst case I more or less looses some ability to emote and show expressions.

    The thing is, I never truly loose my feelings in those cases. But, my true empathy is not the empathy of being abused, hurt, or maimed by others. And I got no clue to the origin of this, in my case.

    It is the empathy of caring for others. I know, I do not seem a deep feeler, when this happens, but this is when I can say “no”, claim someone is foolish, or be logical. Be strict. It’s a deep feeling, but also quite rigid, and truly empathic. It’s the part of me which never quits, never give in, have all the patience in the world, if there is a purpose, a hope, I can keep on. I always assumed this was an introverted “Function”, but, I think it is a mix, but really shows itself, if I talk to people.

    Starshade
    Participant
    • Type: NeFi
    • Development: ll-l
    • Attitude: Seelie

    How do I put it, this I think is a bit unusual… It’s as if you got, some less energetic Jean Luc Picard, with the etherealness of full Fi, and the ability to feel, cry and be permeable. This, actually appear so strange to me, I looked, searching, and tried finding a match in CT. But the only matches I find for how it feels, are Directive girls. Several. It’s making me somehow vulnerable, but no less a man.

    Cedar
    Participant
    • Type: FiNe
    • Development: lll-
    • Attitude: Seelie

    Honestly, my feelings aren’t a consideration when weighing options of how to proceed with an action. For me, I look at the big picture and work back from that. What are the overall needs of the group? What resources are available? What is the likelihood that the resources will meet those needs?  Who’s in charge? If me, how do I get everyone aligned in working towards a goal…how do I reach each different person and get them to buy in? Etc. My feelings don’t really matter…and not in an upset way…more that they aren’t the point. Putting my feelings to the side comes more easily during the active part of planning or strategizing goals for a group. During and afterwards, a feeling may pop up from time to time, but it is secondary in the process. I lean towards being as objective as I can be in that I will not allow my opinions or preferences to override the group…oftentimes I won’t even bring them up unless they add value.

    As for empathy, I don’t have to actively engage, or even imagine myself in another’s position…I just slip into feeling their exact feelings with them. If they are crying, depending on my relationship with them, I will cry along picking up on their outward feeling. I think a lot of discussion around empathy needs to be looked at in the context of healthy boundaries as well as how someone experiences empathy. There is a lot of overlap when boundaries are blurred or someone is prone to anxiety, depression, etc. This is a tricky area from my vantage point. Additionally, nearly everyone has empathy and usually use it a few different ways (cerebral, relational, mirror, etc.)  The Fi entry talks a lot about this type having extreme empathy, but I don’t think that’s true. Also, it is usually attached to the Fi leads/aux person’s feelings and experiences, which create an unintentional bias.

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