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Thread: INFjs and ENFps giving and receiving compliments

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    Default INFjs and ENFps giving and receiving compliments

    I wonder how they would handle this, because it's something in myself that I'm not sure what to do with.

    It has to do with assessing my personal performance. Whether a presentation or commenting on my GPA or a project or anything else.... I tend to always think about how things are different from what I'd prefer or how I'd want things to be ; which is synonymous with my evaluation of what could be done, sort of. I'm a tougher judge of my own performance than others, sort of, unless it's time to push people, then I can be a real hardass.

    But the point of the matter here is the awkwardness that comes up when someone says "great job", and I know that there are things that i did that do not at all feel like a great job. I simply cannot get those things out of my mind, and I feel a great internal struggle between saying "yeah, thanks" or "yeah we sure did!" vs my real reaction of "No, I messed up here, and was off the mark there, I don't like how that turned out at all, this part was ok, that part was good, etc". Even if the positives far outweigh the negatives, the negatives still come to mind.

    So it's sort of a problem with accepting compliments.

    I wonder what EIIs, and maybe IEEs or other delta people in general, feel about that. I tend to feel the least pressure from delta people when they give compliments, because I don't feel like they are trying to illicit a response from me.

    delta NFs seem to be the sweetest or most pleasing compliment givers, to me. I hardly feel any 'pressure' or forced-ness to change my response with them. But I still feel awkward about it, especially towards other people . . .


    What do you think?
    Pre-2013 post are written with incomplete understanding.

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    Let's go to fairyland Minde's Avatar
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    @ Minde
    not exactly, but sort of.

    It's more like, what I wrote is a part of how I think and operate. And I wonder how that whole way of thinking gels with EIIs.

    Like, if I went and expressed to you what I just said - how would you feel or react? Would you think I was weird? Would it not bother you?


    Like, lets' say that you (delta NF) and I are together, and someone comes up to me and gives me a compliment - "oh I think that turned out well, good job", etc - and you see me sort of hesitate and say "well, I guess it was ok. (I know I didn't like how this turned out, and that could have been better) yeah, thanks."
    -- The part in parenthesis either said completely out loud, or sort of visibly seen in my facial expressions / mindset, etc.

    ...how would you interpret or react to that?
    Pre-2013 post are written with incomplete understanding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maritsa33 View Post
    Thank you for opening this thread...let me think for a minute.

    What you are expressing about yourself seems like what a perfectionist would. You are your own harshest critic and anyone else's comments, compliments, or advice regarding your performance, seems to somehow seems redundant because being a Te type you are already evaluating your effectiveness and efficiency, or perfection in task completion and other things about yourself constantly and don't really need that from the outside environment.
    Perfectionism, maybe, maybe not. I don't particularly feel I'm a perfectionist, but more like there is a certain standard or level of quality that should be met, particularly by myself, in assessment of what I am capable of. I know that a certain level of quality can be met, and I expect it to be met. I see perfectionism as kind of a default pursuit towards things being perfect, which is not at all what I'm trying to do.

    My situation is more because I know that I can do something, and when I don't do it, it is displeasing to me. It is not dependent on perfection, it's dependent on my assessment of what my output can be and should be.
    Pre-2013 post are written with incomplete understanding.

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    Let's go to fairyland Minde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryu View Post
    @ Minde
    not exactly, but sort of.

    It's more like, what I wrote is a part of how I think and operate. And I wonder how that whole way of thinking gels with EIIs.

    Like, if I went and expressed to you what I just said - how would you feel or react? Would you think I was weird? Would it not bother you?


    Like, lets' say that you (delta NF) and I are together, and someone comes up to me and gives me a compliment - "oh I think that turned out well, good job", etc - and you see me sort of hesitate and say "well, I guess it was ok. (I know I didn't like how this turned out, and that could have been better) yeah, thanks."
    -- The part in parenthesis either said completely out loud, or sort of visibly seen in my facial expressions / mindset, etc.

    ...how would you interpret or react to that?
    It seems a normal enough reaction on your part. Although most likely the person complimenting doesn't really need a run-down on exactly what went well and what didn't. After all, a compliment isn't a request for info or assessment - it's an expression of appreciation and encouragement to do more good things. If there is a request in a compliment, it's usually just for a simple return of those positive feelings.

    Is that closer?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minde View Post
    It seems a normal enough reaction on your part. Although most likely the person complimenting doesn't really need a run-down on exactly what went well and what didn't. After all, a compliment isn't a request for info or assessment - it's an expression of appreciation and encouragement to do more good things. If there is a request in a compliment, it's usually just for a simple return of those positive feelings.

    Is that closer?
    Yeah, thanks

    It's just hard for me to..... 'remember' or, override, that urge/inclination to not see it as just 'an expression of appreciation'


    PS: I see it more as a fact "you did a great job", no, i didn't do a great job, because a great job would be... etc.
    (so it's about correcting an erroneous statement)
    Pre-2013 post are written with incomplete understanding.

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    Things may look different from an outside prospective, as in, flaws that you see may be nonexistent or unrecognized by others. In other words, your own evaluation of your faults may just be subjective.
    Though even if the person complimenting sees the same flaws as you do they may view them as less significant than the whole of what you did

    I also agree with what Minde posted about compliments not necessarily being about an entire evaluation of something, often they're just commentary on a fraction of something that stood out to someone
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marie84 View Post
    Things may look different from an outside prospective, as in, flaws that you see may be nonexistent or unrecognized by others. In other words, your own evaluation of your faults may just be subjective.
    Though even if the person complimenting sees the same flaws as you do they may view them as less significant than the whole of what you did

    I also agree with what Minde posted about compliments not necessarily being about an entire evaluation of something, often they're just commentary on a fraction of something that stood out to someone
    Yep, yep. You basically said the rest of what I thought but didn't say.


    To add to what I said before, I think your (Ryu's) response is natural. I've seen it in various people, including those I've typed as ESTj - perhaps especially in them. They'll go, "Yeah, well..." and then launch into a description of how things actually went, for better or worse. I even do that myself, though to a smaller and less thorough extent, and usually not aloud. Generally, though, I don't like dwelling on the negative so I'm more likely to just let it go and let the compliment just happen.
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    "Have courage and be kind." - Cinderella's mom

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    Ryu, interestingly I identify with a lot of your sentiments. I feel the same way when people start praising me. If it's like over the top, I question whether they are being sincere because I usually have not lived up to my standard and I also constantly feel pretty insecure about my Te.

    I do think that deltas tend to be a bit more detached when praising, so that's why it feels more deserved. My current boss (i've finally arrived at a typing of EII for him--mirrors makes a lot of sense with us), even though he makes me feel like a VIP and admires my work a lot more than I do, does give me a healthy dose of useful feedback. He usually does start out by saying "wow, this is GREAT!" or "it's so BEAUTIFUL!" probably because he's used to people getting offended by criticism. Whenever he does that i'm thinking to myself, ok lets cut through the BS I know it's not all that. . .and then I ask what he thought of this and that, and does he think it's too ___ or not ____ enough. And that's when the real feedback starts coming out. And it's usually very valuable feedback that I find very good advice.

    Bringing in an example with SLI guy again (just for illustrative purposes--I really am becoming more ambivalent about him these days), after that initial block of 3 weeks working together (I was in charge of him) this was our delta parting conversation:

    Context--It was a slow day, nothing was going on, we were just chilling, both really exhausted from our month. He'd laid his head onto the table and was taking a nap. I knew he was planning on driving out of town as soon as he got out from his last day with me because it was the beginning of a week of vacation for him. I was sitting next to him, busily writing an email on my blackberry while he was napping, and then he wakes up, lifts his head from the table.


    Me: You can go.
    SLI: Really? are you sure? No, i'll stay one more hour and then I'll go.
    Me: How long is the drive to ____?
    SLI: like 5 hours. . .
    Me: so if you leave now, you can make it by 10-11pm. Thanks for all your hard work this month.
    SLI: but what if another patient comes?
    Me: I can handle it
    SLI: [gets up to go] Well thanks, I thought things went very smoothly.
    Me: [nod] We had a lot of good team work going on.
    SLI: bye
    Me: bye



    I actually felt a little bad after that conversation because I felt that I understated my appreciation of him. I was also distracted by the email that I was writing, which also made me sound a little disinterested. But on the other hand, I dont know what else I would have said in the moment. I ended up writing him a note later really detailing what I appreciated in his work, etc.

    I guess that's delta-style!
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    The OP and Anon's response ring true for me. Seemingly random compliments are nice, but there is a sense of awkwardness when you get/give too many compliments. I especially don't like getting ones I don't deserve, like if I'm having a bad hair day and someone compliments, it's more like a "WTF? Okay..." But I'm told that's a bad habit, so I'm working on just taking compliments

    Either way, when it comes to giving praise or whatever, I do it in two (seemingly opposite ways); First, my way of noting that you are skilled at something is to go to you for this skill with complete trust and not think twice of it, it would be an off-handed "Obviously you're good at this, so why would I go elsewhere/think otherwise?" Or I'll go with related questions and such, pretty much just hand trust to that person. The other way is almost in a diagnostic manner, when someone asks about something, I'll go into critique mode and say what I really feel, and it just so happens that I can notice good qualities that critics tend to overlook often (I'm thinking of fiction workshop classes where people mostly just want to rip into a story and say how bad it was) and have enough experience with giving constructive criticism.

    At least with SiTe, I think the way they enjoy praise is when something catches my eye and I offhandedly really like it. I also have to be very forward, saying something like "I'm not saying this to flatter you, this is amazing" and make sure that I give critique along with it so it doesn't seem like a hand-out. The SiTe friend I have now likes people without bias, and I remember that around when I first met him, I influenced a poster he was making simply because I was a fresh perspective without bias and had genuine interest in its development. Usually a certain detail will catch my eye and I'll ask for more

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akra View Post
    I also feel discomfort receiving compliments, particularly in regards to my appearance, because I never notice things like new haircuts/new clothing/makeup etc. in others in time to reciprocate a compliment on-the-spot. I feel a sort of awkward obligation that if someone compliments me, I'm supposed to have an equivalent compliment ready to reply with (if they compliment me, they deserve one from me in return.) That's the way it's supposed to work for social pleasantries, right?
    This is something that perplexes me as well. I'm always wondering what the persons intentions are and if they're expecting me to give them a particular response, like are they saying this because they want me to notice something about them? Do they than want a response about that something? Are they saying this to be polite or because they think I require it? etc
    Usually I just reply with a "thank you" but there's always that continuous questioning in the back of my mind...
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    If someone passes by you and compliments, maybe they just think you are hot, why stress over it? I think you guys might be overanalyzing the whole compliment thing .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobo View Post
    If someone passes by you and compliments, maybe they just think you are hot, why stress over it? I think you guys might be overanalyzing the whole compliment thing .
    pfft MEN!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marie84 View Post
    pfft MEN!
    lol, this is when I don't understand women. Really, what's wrong with getting a compliment about the way you look?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobo View Post
    lol, this is when I don't understand women. Really, what's wrong with getting a compliment about the way you look?
    You are sexy beast (re avatar, at least anyway).

    Hmm, re thread, i'm not sure if I see issue either too much.

    I'm not particularly great with receiving compliments, but at same time it can be nice to get them. I notice IEE's are really good at seeing exact thing to compliment a person on (well that's how it seems from my perspective).

    I remember an LSE boss, we had individual projects to do, and i'd done far better than everyone else. At the end of it the guy took me aside to congratulate me, and he told me i'd done it because i'd worked harder than everyone else. I found that quite a flattering compliment, because a) I suppose I was too busy to notice he was noticing and b) knowing he was a hard worker himself, I felt that this meant something fairly important coming from him. So guess it can concern whom it's coming from and what it's about.

    Eh, if someone said well done for something that I think I could have done better at, I generally not take it too seriously, suppose i'm more inclined to judge myself by my own standards, well sometimes, who can say for sure.

    In regards to looks, are N types generally meant to be a bit less confident of their appearance, or is that a stereotype to a degree? Well, I suppose anyone can be unconfident about such matters for other reasons too an' all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobo View Post
    lol, this is when I don't understand women. Really, what's wrong with getting a compliment about the way you look?
    It makes us feel like a piece of meat. . .in particular coming from a random guy passing by.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akra View Post
    It's not that I mind getting a compliment about my looks--it can be embarassing, but still appreciated. It's the social expectations afterwards which trip me up.

    I'm wondering if this may very well be gender related. Do guys have an unsaid expectation that if one compliments the other, the other should reciprocate similarly? (Probably doesn't come up with looks terribly often, given the prevalence of homophobia in society.)

    Below quote:

    Actually, that's a good point. I generally go around everywhere with my iPod on so I don't deal with random appearance compliments often, but when they do happen it can be pretty uncomfortable...
    If I compliment someone for their looks it's completely "giving," in that I don't expect them to reciprocate. Beauty should be appreciated outwardly imo. If someone looks good, has on a nice shirt, why keep that to yourself? You could be making their day, and it doesn't cost anything to make a compliment.

    Quote Originally Posted by WorkaholicsAnon View Post
    It makes us feel like a piece of meat. . .in particular coming from a random guy passing by.
    I can see that if you get a random guy telling you "nice ass," but what if they are just commenting on how good your hair looks? I guess what I don't understand is why not being open to compliments to your physical attractiveness, unless you guys are talking about not being able to assess if that's true or not. If that's the case though, everyone is into a lot of different things .

    The most I've felt like a piece of meat is when I was in crowd in highschool and this girl pinched me in the butt and walked away really quickly so I couldn't see who she was. I did find it funny though.

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    well the other thing is that if someone says something like "nice hair" or "hey gorgeous" my first thought is are they making fun of me? Is my hair like sticking up in some awkward way? Or is there something on my nose? Or am I that fat?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclops View Post
    In regards to looks, are N types generally meant to be a bit less confident of their appearance, or is that a stereotype to a degree? Well, I suppose anyone can be unconfident about such matters for other reasons too an' all.
    I can't speak for S types but I must say I tend to be pretty unconfident about my looks as well as my body position and movements, because I'm not too good at assessing those through feeling my body (I have to look in the mirror). Also I'm not very good with doing my hair and using makeup. I've picked up the bare minimum as i've gone along in life, because I like looking nice, but it's still a big deal for me especially the hair.

    that said, most of the time, I forget totally about looks, except when i want to impress someone And then i'm REAAAAALLLY self conscious.
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