The ninth circle of cool bros
Fi can be so beautiful. For instance it is the medium of joy. When you feel happiness expanding in your chest like a balloon, when you reach a point where physically you cannot hide it, that is Fi. Fi is earnest. Sometimes Fi shows up on your face before it even shows up on your brain, escaping too quickly to be scaled back with the usual countermeasures. Did you just make a loud squealing sound at the sight of Joan and Roger having a conversation on the Mad Men TV show? Surprise, bro.
But that’s ok. Actually it’s more than ok. I too am an ever-honest, over-earnest creature. Let’s share out our built-in capacity for love and joy. Everyone was born with it, but we know how to wrangle it and we alone know where it runs complex and deep, like a good hamburger or evidence of god. Combined with Ne when at its best, Fi gives NFPs that chemically contagious aura of solar power. To us Ne+Fi is analogous to being quantifiably alive.
Of course there would be downsides. An inward-oriented feeling-compass makes it hard at times to notice other stuff. Like stuff that is potentially important, like someone whom you have outright offended with your inattention. Combined with Ne when at its most self-involved, Fi turns NFPs into aggravating company. Especially to those who feel steadily and live concretely and find abrupt Ne/Fi fickleness/enthusiasm unnatural, analogous to MDMA.
So here’s a fun cheat code. It’s intended first and foremost for SJ-types and Fe-types, though at heart it is a cheat code for anyone who’s ever wanted to hit Fi in the face; just a little.
I am going to explain to you today how to use Fe for evil.
Let’s take a look at the average xNFP. Not the sort to demand instant notice, this person much prefers an attitude of optimum chillness and an environment of optimum dopeness. Unless of course they really set their mind to getting instant notice, in which case you will find yourself unable to not notice them. In your sleep you will dream of them. Smiling, cheeky, opinionated. They invite you to fly with them over the arch of a perfect double-rainbow. Their eyes are of startling color and size, like the Mediterranean.
xNFPs come in two varieties. The Extrovert variety is distinguished by its seeming denseness and a certain audacity of thought and gesture. Do not be fooled; both varieties are on average of decent and equal intelligence. Anything to the contrary is merely a ploy to discourage outside expectations so that xNFPs may carry on doing whatever they like always. The Introvert variety is subtler and apparently owns fewer things, having forgotten most of its belongings in coffee shops, buses, the Louvre, etc. This variety is more elusive, and may altogether fail to register your existence.
It has been posited following extensive European research that the best way to secure an xNFP’s attention, however briefly, is to invite them out to have some food. ENFPs are especially susceptible, eager to observe the dining styles of other humans and discover any person’s interests, background, favorite sex dreams, etc. This should not be construed as a gesture of special affection. ENFPs are merely incapable of eating without talking or talking without prying, regardless of audience; when food is brought and set before them they may even appear surprised, having altogether forgotten the eating portion of the program. In fact all xNFPs will from time to time forget to eat due to writing dragon books, painting, bohemian sleep schedules, etc. As such most of them should be almost physically unable to resist an invitation to assuage their malnutrition; especially if you offer to pay.
And you should offer, as there’s like a 30-35% chance your generosity will go untested. Fi hates making people pay for things. To wit, here is a good example of Fe-use certain to upset an xNFP:
This is probably the point where they’ll give in, though you will defs sense the combative manner of it. It’s not that NFPs dislike freebies, it’s that you have established a binding obligation to pay (Fe), as opposed to any direct, independent, happy desire to do so (Fi). Enough of this stuff and the xNFP is certain to flip their pancakes, internally or otherwise. They hate to put anyone out to the point of sacrifice; the idea of friendship as business repulses them. They much prefer organic symbols of affection which accord certain, equivalent pleasure to all involved. By xNFP ethics, all parties should come and go as they please, order exactly what they want, and pay no more or less than their fair share — unless they really actually don’t mind it.
Or unless they wouldn’t miss the money, but that is not part of this story.
More on Fi and felony in another post.
Baby xNFPs are all but blind to Fe. They are by turns sweet and callow, like warm little chicks in the sinewy palm of the world, liable to leap inquisitively to their deaths. They speak before they trust and trust before they think. This is a period where Fe-types dominate xNFPs whenever possible, because baby xNFPs annoy the crap out of everything that is alive and making sport of them is profitable and easy.
At least some good does come of this. In time, Fe galvanizes in each xNFP a newfound Fe-ability, along with a number of defense mechanisms against further manipulation by peoples who is just jelly. The baby chicks who do reach maturity will have become a little less fuzzy and notably more cynical, having learned to fight fire with fire and tell people how not fat they look in things. They will do Fe-type things politely, adeptly, and seemingly without effort. Fe is after all an essential social skill; where Fi is joy, Fe is kindness. You have to have both and give both. Except it actually takes quite a lot of effort for Fi types to use Fe. It’s like they are fire mages but the world is making them cast ice spells over and over; their MP just runs out crazy fast man.
Because that shirt does look fat on you.
That’s what friends are really for sometimes. Aren’t they?
Ok so now let’s look at every xNFP’s top facebook pictures or whatever.
Best bros. Blockers of Te-attacks, helpful allies against Se-attacks. Rarely will they let their xNFP best buddy down, because rarely does their xNFP buddy ask for their help. Because with Ne+Fi everything is basically always fine, right? Or always terrible, but in an interesting and self-contained manner. Chillness + dopeness. Bros appreciate having best bros who are this undemanding. However!
If even one of these people is an ESTJ, cut your losses. You cannot win this day. In case of ISTJ you may proceed, albeit with caution. In some cases it might prove difficult to figure out which of the two you’re dealing with, as both types really love waking up early to go to jobs and retiring at reasonable hours, being thus rarely disposed to party in a classically extroverted caliber of heartiness. To get a sure fix on ISTJ vs. E, show this person an episode of Scrubs. (In case it is no longer 2002, substitute Adventure Time.) If your subject is not completely engrossed within five minutes, abort.
Conscious or not, there tends to be a sort of rivalry going on here for the xNFP’s mercurial attention. The bros are thus almost always having weirdness at and about each-other. They want the xNFP to take sides, except the xNFP doesn’t know how to take sides. The xNFP just wants to go play Jurassic Park for the SNES. Sometimes the bros are fairly close; sometimes it’s just balls-to-the-wall competition for dominance in there. The thing being that xNFPs will befriend anyone; it doesn’t matter if this new friend really likes Scrubs or whatever. The xNFP will watch Scrubs with them, if that’s what it takes. Because what the xNFP really cares about are interesting counterpoints to their Ne and/or complements to their Fi. In a sort of mixed chocolate assortment manner.
So go ahead and add into the mix that these semirival cool bros are often of fundamentally opposing types: NF+SJ, NT+EF, TJ and FJ, etc. If it’s more than two, prepare for TJ, FJ, and an STP in there to skydive onto everyone relentlessly. I’m not even really kidding man xNFPs have basically the best friends on the planet somehow. One of these people will own a motorcycle and/or airplane and/or catamaran sea boat. At least one of these people probably knows how to use Fe for evil. At least one of these people is also an ex or current significant other — if it’s two, you’re looking at one of each, mosdefs — and sometimes not all of these people know each-other. The sexual politics of this situation you can imagine for yourself.
Point being Te is out. Like you can’t just phone the xNFP and try to trick them into feeling bad about themselves. And you just won’t get them to do stuff for you in Te-direct type manner, i.e. “Hit yourself.” Their Fi will be like NO!! BITCH and their friends will be like why are you even worrying, let’s go use this sea catamaran.
And just in case you’re still hoping to go all Se:
xNFPs have lots of acquaintances. This is true of INFPs too, bound as they are to touch many people via the inspiring beauty of their polaroid experiments or fanfiction comics or whatever. They have admirers and colleagues in all sorts of weird places, and they correspond with them with surprising regularity.
Like even physically you can’t get through these combined individuals to the soft, creamy center. Even though normally you could just like walk up to the center and punch that center in the face super easily. They’re usually not like the most threatening or athletic person you’ll ever meet. I think the center would just go cry in the bathroom. But by these powers combined they will just tell everyone you were mean to them baselessly and everyone will stop hanging out with you. And ‘everyone’ may well be the whole world, if your xNFP target is really famous, like maybe if for example they are Hans Christian Andersen.
There is only one way.
Make your company worth an xNFP’s while, then subtly force them to Fe. This will go right past the radar of even their closest chums, because from the xNFP perspective Fe is a culturally valuable and morally necessary activity. If they sense you need Fe, they will try to Fe at you as much as possible.
Fe as the day is long and ice mages are cold.
Remember the restaurant scenario where you make them let you pay? Here are some more like that. I’m serious, save this arsenal in a word doc. It’s solid gold man: