Ordering vs Aligning: the Te/Fi vs Ti/Fe difference in my experience and self-help teaching
Here I can put together some examples of the new function tandem names (https://erictb.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/finally-official-tandem-group-names) that I had been adding to the comments of other articles (where they were sort of tangents).
First, the functional perspective I got into in this post: https://erictb.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/why-im-critical-of-christian-self-help-teaching-part-2
Seeing this article: 31 Days of Self-Love – Beliefnet.com; it reminded me a lot of the advice I used to get from my STJ (Sensing-Thinking Judging) immediate family. Now looking at it typologically, it’s clearly a heavy introverted Feeling (Fi) perspective (“personal” rational decisions drawn from within, enacted without and returning within. Preferred tandem function extraverted Thinking ⦅Te⦆ covers a lot of the outer action as well).
Not so much an FP’s Fi, as much as I’ve read about FP’s (Feeling-Perceiving; don’t know very many in real life). Though these “self first” statements have colored descriptions of the function in general.
I believe it is more the TJ’s tertiary or inferior version of the function, which the types turn to more later in life, and tend to find “relief” (particularly for the tertiary position, and for inferior, it in theory becomes like about the very essence of “life” itself).
For FP’s, where the function is more prominent, it also comes out more others-focused as well. Sometimes, they get caught in “weighing” between self and others. But clearly, for the “task” (rather than “people”)-focused TJ’s, it’s clearly more about “self”. (Though the FP’s will readily accept the counsel of TJ’s as how to use their Fi for self more).
To me, Fi is tied up with emotions that represent the fear of the death of the ego. Life must make logical sense, including the rules or circumstances that lead to me getting things I want —or not. [Edit: what I internally deem “good” or “bad” must be based on what I internally deem “true” or “false”]. Possibilities must be open rather than closed (i.e. “that’s the way life is”, and all the stuff about “laws” discussed in self-help teaching, etc.)
Such closed concrete facts are only used to set what must be guarded against, fixed, good stuff relived, etc. When dealing in things “personal”, the focus is external, and from an “inferior” perspective.
So when things don’t go right (according to ego’s internal logic), to just tell me, basically (according to an internal valuation system), “if you love yourself it won’t matter”, “just forgive”, “don’t hold onto things”, “your reaction is only hurting yourself” (i.e. which feels like a cruel double-bind), etc., I feel like my whole humanity is being totally dismissed, and I’d become a walked-on nothing! (Inasmuch as they almost paradoxically claim this is the way to becoming a powerful “somebody”).
[Edit: it’s basically telling me “this is what’s good/bad for you according to nature (i.e. internally), so just forget about whether it’s true or false to you”. Putting the internal/universalistic “good/bad” first like that and making decisions based on it feels like it obliterates ego’s dominant perspective. So if nothing else, I would try to at least put the good/bad assessment on others, through expecting some form of validation, but then the self-help philosophies often say that’s no good either].
And this is from both secular self-help as well as religion (which often mixes this up with concepts such as “regeneration”, and usually substitute “God/Christ/Spirit” for “self” [and often tries to do away with reason in favor of “higher purpose”]. But it’s really the same process everyone else is describing, even though they claim it is “supernatural” and exclusive to believers).
And those exercises! Ugh! Looking in a mirror and expressing love and other stuff to yourself, hugging yourself, writing stuff to yourself, and all the other “rules” and “steps”. Seems totally illogical and like almost crazy.
Again, my family insisted this was “universal truth”. The ST perspective insists “this is the way it is” and allows no “excuses” or other reasoning. NTJ’s will focus on a more theoretical angle, such as a “[universal] Law of Attraction”.
They (especially the religious teachers) often present it as so “simple”, and always stress “choice”, but then it’s really a lifelong process.
(Even with Interaction Styles, “Behind the Scenes” is “outcome” oriented, meaning I want to see results, rather than struggle through a “process”. This even affects me in things like paying bills).
What most bothered me, is that they essentially tell you how to feel. Like when they start talking about “attitude”, dealing with frustrations, difficulty is good, “take heart; God is in control”; all these memes you see daily on the social media wall. (Again, both secular and religious). One person talking to me goes as far as to even mimicking the “process” he was telling me to embark on (self-forgiveness), by sighing, breathing in, lightly beating the chest, and saying whatever you’re supposed to say to yourself.
All of this just drives me up the wall. It’s like, damn; you should just put a puppet or robot in my place, and pull the string or program it how to respond to life!
I realized this was a reaction to Fi (when I’ve always preferred affirmation from others via Fe. Not knowing about type years ago, I went to them, and only got the Te/Fi method, proclaimed as THE way).
I should mention, it’s not that we can never “countenance” shadow functions in others, as it’s sometimes been made to seem. It’s just that in certain situations like that (I imagine, especially when in a very vulnerable “inferior grip” due to some stressful state), where the function is itself coming at you in a more “primitive” form to begin with, and it’s going SO against ego’s perspective, that it just has such a toxic feeling.
Fi is ultimately about “personal(F) identification(i)”. [Edit: what’s “good” according to what one has learned individually, through nature]. In a more “mature” state, it says “If that were me, I would feel this way. So let me respond to the person’s needs as I would want to be responded to“ [assuming this indicates universal need].
Hence, the more compassionate stance FP’s are more known for (and thus the [pure] Supine’s “service” and Sanguine’s “friendliness”).
In a less mature position, especially where it’s supporting a preferred Te; it becomes “If that were me, I would feel [and respond] this way. So then you should feel this way, and respond this way too“. [Again, presumed to be universal, and then the person not ‘getting with the program’ is deemed ignorant for rejecting this “help”]. Hence, the “directive”, “structure-focused” posture of TJ’s, aka [pure] Cholerics and Melancholies.
This is what happens with all this motivational speaking and counsel often given, generally through the Fi in those lower positions.
Fe on the other hand, is “he says he feels this way, or I can see that he feels this way, so let me address his needs”. [Edit: what’s “good” according to what one has learned directly from the environment or culture].
Both Feeling attitudes then become equally “empathetic”. (Immature tertiary or inferior Fe is similar, but not as proactive in addressing the needs, or tries to do it through an internal logical method which may or may not help the person).
So you can see right there where one pair of functions (regardless of which is preferred of the two) tends to “order” (the situation, or even your thinking and feeling itself), while the other one will “align” the situation.
Next, there was what I was addressing here: https://erictb.wordpress.com/2014/06/06/backlash-against-the-nice-guy-in-light-of-virgin-rampage/#comment-1772
Reviewing the article:
A Gentleman’s Guide to Rape Culture
The stuff he’s saying is for the most part true, but what struck me is where he mentions approaching a female writer he respected, asking her to write an article with him, where she would explain rape culture to him and to male readers and then she stopped returning his emails. He was annoyed and then mad.
He eventually comes to a realization:
If rape culture is so important to me I needed to find out for my self what it is. No woman owes me her time just because I want to know about something she inherently understands. No woman should feel she has to explain rape culture to me just because I want to know what it is. No woman owes me shit. I saw how my desire for a woman to satisfy me ran deep. Even my curiosity, a trait that always made me proud, was marred with the same sort of male-centric presumption that fuels rape culture. I expected to be satisfied. That attitude is the problem.
So a person expects him to understand something he admits not understanding, and she [seems to me] rudely cuts off contact, he takes the blame, and “owns” thinking she “owed” him something, and “desiring a woman to satisfy me”.
I didn’t respond, because maybe it’s true in his case. Only he knows what’s inside him.
He’s using the “tough talk” on himself (however, this point being implied toward all other men as an example of how ALL men “contribute to ‘the rape culture'”).
So I find this too, typical of an extremely “directive” TJ (Thinking Judging) type approach, where someone suffers an act of rudeness by someone else, and yet leveling the blame at the disappointed person, they cast things in terms of “owe” and “satisfy” (extraverted Thinking; external impersonal assessment of relationships between objects, including exchanges between people [Edit: expressed in terms of “true/false”, learned from culture]), and then even “using the other person to satisfy you” (this, plus the reason for the other person’s avoidant behavior inferred through introverted Feeling; internal assessment of relationships between people [“good/bad”, again, learned individually through nature]).
I as a TP operate on the opposite judgment tandem: It “makes sense” (introverted Thinking; internal assessment of impersonal relationships such as the symmetry of interactions [sense of “true/false” learned individually through nature]) that she should understand and have grace towards his lack of knowledge, or (especially), at least, inform him if she was offended (extraverted Feeling; external assessment of interpersonal relationships [sense of “good/bad” gained directly from the environment]).
Yet, having grown up with TJ parents and other authority figures; they generally tear into you (complete with strong “choice words” as we see above) with their Te/Fi perspective like this, expecting you to “know“.
Te and Fi are “shadow” functions for me; Fi being the most naturally unconscious (though it will come up if the dominant Ti becomes too one sided and runs out of options), and sometimes connected with fear of the ego’s destruction.
I hear “You’re a BAD PERSON, because you’re just ‘using’ this other person, and thinking she ‘owes’ you”. It’s an Fi judgment that really calls into question my Fe perspective, which is immature and tied with feelings of inferiority as it is; and that feels like an attack from the fiery pit of Hell itself.
The TJ types don’t understand why this has the affect it does. It’s “just constructive criticism” they insist.
(They recognize that they’re saying it one way, and the other person is hearing it another way, but many will tend to think their way is the right one, and the other person is just being “too sensitive” or something, and not realize there is a cognitive difference based on type).
Meanwhile, my preferred extraverted iNtuition (awareness of emergent mobile [intangibly interconnected, and “filling in” experience] relationships) sees the silence of people as indicating possibly anything. This is backed up by the stored data of tertiary introverted Sensing (internal sense of static [tangible] “facts” [based on actual experience of what exists]), which remembers many different instances where silence meant different things. Some were upset, some simply had nothing to say, or had to go and think about it.
Like Te/Fi and Fi/Te, Ne and Si work in tandem like that. (So if the person you’re having the misunderstanding with is an NTJ or SFP, using an Ni/Se tandem; now being dubbed “Realizing awareness”; there too, they may expect you to just “know” apart from any sensory clues beyond the reaction itself; the way they often perceive things. Ne/Si on the other hand is “Inquiring Awareness”, which needs to gather more information rather than “just knowing”).
So both the author, and the female writer seem like TJ types. Or perhaps the female was an FP where Fi is the preferred function, and she just retreated, in anger masked as hurt feelings, as [purer] Supines are described as doing. Fi is described as suddenly and silently cutting off people like that. He really could even be an FP, who is normally gentle, but based on his realization, has turned toward a sharp Te judgment of his outer “impersonal” behavior, for not being “congruent” with what he knows is good. [Edit: externally “false/incorrect” by virtue of being internally “bad”]. He was using it to blame himself, not [directly] others, after all. (Though he infers/implies it to others, through his “universalistic” Feeling judgment).
A Supine or Phlegmatic or Sanguine can get “tough” like that, when others lead them to.
So he basically is “thinking like her”, and thus can infer her emotional state, and willingly take blame for it. His Fi self-evaluation says that he has not lived up to his inner values and sense of ethical treatment of others.
Another good example of all this is in a LinkedIn blog article about why the person won’t accept your invitation to hook up on that site. Most of the points were pretty understandable, such as not knowing who you are. But the two that stuck out to me were:
“Incomplete or sparse profile. If you can’t take the time to list your work history, educational background, and other information that helps me learn who you really are and what you are all about, why do I need you in my network? If I know nothing about you, I certainly can’t do anything for you, nor you for me.”
“Your invitation reads, ‘I’d like to add you to my professional network on Linkedin.’ If you can’t take 2 minutes to write, ‘Hey Mike, I know we don’t know each other, but I think we have some mutual interests (or connections) and I would value you in my network’, then I won’t take 1 second to click ‘accept’.”
As I said, this involves the natural aversion to people you don’t know. (On Facebook, I generally only accept people for whom if I don’t know them; I have to at least know the “connection”; like a friend of a friend or relative, at least, or some common interest like another page or board we’re both on. I had a bunch of people with my last name try to friend me, and I kept asking which branch of the family they were from, and no one ever answered. But then, they started asking for phone numbers, and to contribute to something, and then I stopped accepting their friendships until someone gave me some more information, which no one ever did).
But what strikes me about this guy is that in both cases, he basically takes it upon himself to in essence, order your time, even down to the minute; backed up with making it an Fi-like issue of “value”.
I used to get this a lot from my TJ parents, but I don’t usually think of it this way. It’s like some sort of “perfectionism”, or that whole “self-love” sense of “[I believe in myself so much that] my time and attention is ‘important’, and you have to ‘follow the [strict] “rules”‘ in order to gain my response; if it’s not important enough to you, it’s not important enough to me” attitude, that they tell us we’re “supposed” to have.
(Now you can get a sense of why the powerful corporate world is as directive and often dismissive of the less fortunate as they are). I don’t have this lofty TeFi attitude. Just give me some sense of why you’re connecting; however much time or effort it takes you or not.
So, again, we can see the usefulness of the new names for these tandem preferences being developed, which make it much easier to denote the type groups with. We can see “Ordering Assessment” is a very fitting name for this way of thinking.
I on the other hand have an “Aligning Awareness” mind.
On the other hand, the whole point of the “individuation” process type is based on is for others to become aware of these processes normally unconscious to them. So I can see where I need to find a way to integrate some of that, at least.
Still, it seems people for whom it comes more naturally just blast this whole deal at you, again, not recognizing typological difference; thinking this is THE universal way, point-blank, and that’s it.