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Thread: Emotional expressiveness in IEIs (INFps)

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    Default Emotional expressiveness in IEIs (INFps)

    A couple months ago I came to realize that many INFps are not particularly emotionally expressiveness. This was a bit of a surprise to me, because I had equated Fe with over the top (from my perspective) emotional expressiveness that I'd associated with Fe because of the... well, over the top (from my perspective) emotional expressiveness of Fe dominants and the seeming "I'm going to be cheery cheery cheery because everyone needs to be happy" or mindset of ISFps. (I admittedly do not have many good examples of ISFps though.)

    I'd go as far as to say that many ExFps are more "emotionally expressive" than INFps, especially ESFps (from the perspective of the English language). Their emotional expression is different than that of Fe dominants, but it's more apparent than that of many INFps, regardless. There are also a lot of INFps who don't seem particularly warm. They just seem to very much dislike situations which are charged with negative emotion (such as people being pissed off at them, for example). When this type of situation arises, they may just try to excuse themselves from it, and they may incite the help of "stronger" people through emotional leverage (read that however you'd like to).

    I recently read this description of Fe as the creative function, and it seems to fit with my observations.

    The person is sensitive to the emotional atmosphere around him, either from an individual, or a group, or even from inanimate objects such as the landscape, the state of the physical environment he happens to be in, or his own emotional associations with the place or people around him. A positive emotional atmophere is essential for his sense of well being and inner peace, and he either tries to promote it himself by directly influencing it around him, or by simply moving away from the environment or the people causing a negative emotional environment in his view. For the SEI, this takes an on-the-spot aspect and is reflected in cracking jokes, trying to make people laugh, or simply moving away from people he perceives as affecting him negatively. For the IEI, this takes a longer-term perspective; so the focus, rather than being on the immediate emotional environment, is on the perceived longer-term emotional state of others towards the individual, and is reflected in trying to be on good terms with those he interacts with or seeking distance or protection from, or "preventively" attacking, those he sees as irremediably hostile emotionally.
    http://wikisocion.org/en/index.php?t...nd.29_function
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    I think there are a lot of INFps that come across as being "dark", too, or very solemn unless they're in a situation that they're very comfortable in.
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    Default Re: emotional expressiveness in INFps

    Disclaimer: this is a negative portrayal and only represents a few INFps I've known. By no means do I intend to say that ALL INFps ARE this way, to this degree. This only represents INFp potential. Everyone is different.

    In the moment, INFps might appear withdrawn from others, but the vibe I get is of snobbish rejection or punitive shunning rather than being aloof. I don't know if INFps can be aloof (ie, indifferent).

    (INFps can also withdraw for long periods of time from people they care about in order to recharge, as many introverts do. That need not imply rejection.)

    Some INFps "act" dark. Like wear nothing but black for years and mope all the time (sprinkled with intermittent periods of sporadic goofyness). Some people around them think that their apparent brooding is a ploy to get attention. I find that hard to believe. If someone gets upset or depressed, it's not always easy to snap out of, depending on the person and situation. Emotional pain can be hard to shake off as it is. So the claim of INTENTIONAL indulgence in negative emotions is so foreign to me, this seems like a myth. More likely: one gets stuck in them and wants to climb out.

    I think INFps DO get overly emotionally expressive, especially when they get pissed and go off on one of their irrational rants. It's like they don't know how to turn it off, cool down and think logically for a moment, consider ANOTHER'S perspective as also potentially valid. They make spectacles of themselves, almost as though it were their duty? Usually those around them have no clue what even set them off. Their inner standards and expectations of others, when the INFp "goes wrong," have stuck me as being: 1) completely uncommunicated, 2) arbitrary, 3) inconsiderate, 4) unfair. The unhealthy ones may even make arbitrary demands in order for you to "prove" your affections for them in ways which are painful to you (and others), not normal, and completely uncalled for (emotional blackmail).

    Even at a positive level, their emotional natures remain incongruent with my own. When they express their affection (and they act very shy when doing so), it seems sappy in character, even childlike to me. But this may only be because we have different emotional natures, and so, different styles. Not that there is anything actually WRONG with how they express themselves, simply because it doesn't suit me (heaven forbid!). INFps, like any type, need to be themselves ... A few times, their style of sentimental expressions versus the actual nature of our relationship has made me uncomfortable.

    This is speculation, but at an inner psychic level INFps appear to be inherently nihlistic. It's like their "inner source" is absolute oblivion. So in effort to get in touch with SOMEthing from that great sense of "the void," they cling to tight ontological definitions as their starting point (Ni) and throw them around as their emotions direct them. They may sometimes appear to have a hard time validating much beyond them.

    These observations of real life INFps I've known and are obviously filtered through my own type's perspective.

    Don't consider this normative, rather, extreme cases which may more boldly highlight the type's inner ticking. I want to give the INFps at large the benefit of the doubt, here.

    EDIT: On a positive note - when they ARE better functioning - INFps can also be excellent listeners and emotionally supportive of people they care about. They really ARE interested in where others are going in their emotional lives. Some INFps can act very tolerant, sympathetic, and understanding (which is more likely to be observed if the matter being discussed doesn't directly involved them). These qualities can help make them attractive and treasured friends.

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    I originally typed my sister in law as IxFj because she was obviously IxFx but lacked anything near what I thought to be Fe expressiveness, but it's become clear that she is indeed INFp. I don't want to talk about it much because she's not healthy and I don't want to paint a negative picture, but the combination of that and also realizing that a Home Inspector I know is INFp made me realize that I was mistaken about what Fe is. (I think part of the reason I was mistaken is because I thought Kelly was INFp for so long, and because I'm most familiar with ESFj-style Fe.)
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    from toronto with love ScarlettLux's Avatar
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    I am sad for INFps. People keep insisting I am INFp Fe now. I guess I used to have a time when I would brood and wallow in my misery.. that was a form of emotional expression for me. However, being "dark" was not me at all. I know one INFp male who is definitely your definition of "dark" -- gothic, dresses all in black, etc... and yet he is a very sweet guy underneath it all and almost way too sappy with his expressions of affection. In person, this does come through but he hides it behind this really fake seeking mask, trying to act all rahrah tough and shit. I think that does have something to do with not enough in your life, so you start trying to provide it on your own, and it does not work... it's just like a really bad version of the function.

    I don't know what to say about astralsilky's post ... meh. I myself don't have the greatest impression of INFps either, it seems they or (we) have a tendency to dramatize all life's proceedings and even create drama where there is none because we can't live without it. Or maybe that's just me... the creating drama part... I don't like being "dark", is all I'm saying and I know that you guys aren't addressing ALL INFps... I totally understand... just my input here. Most of the female INFps I know tend to be very girly and shy compared to me... not that I am not girly, but I'm definitely not shy. They *do* seem to hide their emotions better than I do and use a lot more subtle ways to poke and prod for attention. Meanwhile I will be very blunt about it.

    I dunno, I still think the Fe in INFps is very easy to notice. Even when they try to hide it, it's just easily brought out.


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    Some INFps are more Fe-soft and cuddly than others, I think. Ones that have been received well and encouraged to be like that. Some are more emotionally expressive, too. I don't think that's a defining characteristic though.

    By "dark" I don't mean goth or anything like that, btw. I just mean... cold, I guess? More like an IxTp or IxFj.
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    from toronto with love ScarlettLux's Avatar
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    Actually you are totally right.. a lot of the INFps I know turn that coldness on like a switch when around people they are not comfortable with. It's really disconcerting but only a defense mechanism.


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    Quote Originally Posted by ScarlettLux
    Actually you are totally right.. a lot of the INFps I know turn that coldness on like a switch when around people they are not comfortable with. It's really disconcerting but only a defense mechanism.
    I know ones who seem to be like that by default and then stop being like that only when they're very comfortable. I think it depends on their level of health?
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    from toronto with love ScarlettLux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joy
    Quote Originally Posted by ScarlettLux
    Actually you are totally right.. a lot of the INFps I know turn that coldness on like a switch when around people they are not comfortable with. It's really disconcerting but only a defense mechanism.
    I know ones who seem to be like that by default and then stop being like that only when they're very comfortable. I think it depends on their level of health?
    Yes, definitely. I think the more self-conscious and loner-ish an INFp feels, the more withdrawn and cold they get to protect themselves.. who isn't like that though?? I used to be reallllly self-conscious... I was not very friendly back then.


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    Yes, I relate to some of this. I used to be seen (in high school and college) as quite cold and snobbish. Rather unfriendly, a quality I regret now because I realize I lost out on meeting and knowing a lot of great people. I just didn't have the self confidence I do now and would only come out of my shell with good friends. But once I am comfortable I definitely can be emotionally expressive (usually not negative emotions). It's not immediately apparent with strangers though or even with people who only know me on the surface. I feel almost like I become an ESFp with very good friends. It's as if a switch is turned on and I am suddenly focused more on the here and now and I'm way more talkative, I can talk for hours (maybe it just depends on who I'm with). Oh and with two glasses of wine it's even worse because I get giggly and can't stop laughing. Or some coffee.

    I am girly and shy. And I have used subtle ways to get attention when I want it. I have also, in the past, (okay, maybe a bit in the present too) created drama where there was none. I don't know why--I don't like that about myself. It might be because I feel things deeply and therefore when there's nothing going on to feel deeply about, I feel kind of blah.

    All the disclaimers made me laugh.
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    Quote Originally Posted by redbaron
    All the disclaimers made me laugh.
    Really?

    Oh.

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    Quote Originally Posted by astralsilky
    Quote Originally Posted by redbaron
    All the disclaimers made me laugh.
    Really?

    Oh.
    No, I thought it was nice. Thoughtful, just funny that you seemed worried that people would get all upset. I'm an INFp and I know how crazy they/we can be.
    IEI-Fe 4w3

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    have fun with your 8th function
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    Default Re: emotional expressiveness in INFps

    Quote Originally Posted by Joy
    A couple months ago I came to realize that many INFps are not particularly emotionally expressiveness.
    What do you mean INFps aren't emotionally expressiveness? I think INFps are greatly emotionally expressiveness. Indeed, I see INFps emotionally expressivenessing themselves all over the place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Khamelion
    have fun with your 8th function
    LOL
    ENTp

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    Whenever you see INFps in a "dark, emotionally distant" mode, it's usually because of one or a combination of three things:
    1) inherent need for solitude and reflection
    2) depression
    3) fear of rejection

    INFps are incredibly sensitive souls, and we value our relationships greatly. When others devalue or reject our attempts to get closer to them, it hurts deeply, and as a defensive measure we withdraw into ourselves. I know at the last college I attended, despite being small and isolated, people were incredibly distant and unfriendly. It seemed like every time I said hello to someone on the path, they disregarded or ignored me (this happened to lots of other people, as well). So as a protective measure I adopted a stoic, stern facade so that others wouldn't know how I was feeling inside, and would be intimidated by me more than anything else. Others can't reject you if you reject them first, and I wasn't about to put myself on the line for people who didn't care.
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