Understanding Amy

amy1

This week, a conversation with an ENTP strayed into his lack of understanding of the reasons ENFPs shut people out and refuse to talk their feelings out. As a Fe-user, he is comfortable talking about his feelings. He pointed to Amy Pond’s near-divorce of Rory Williams as an example. He, rightfully, thought that was a stupid decision for her to make, to think that her inability to have children was a “deal-breaker” for Rory, after all he’d gone through for her. Within 24 hours, someone else commented to me their inability to understand why an ENFP just shut them out, and would not talk to them about what was happening in their life. That made me think that maybe it is time to look at how ENFPs handle emotions a little more closely. I won’t pretend to speak for all ENFPs, but this is how it is with Amy, and maybe it is more common than I think.

Amy and Rory’s story is a classic Fi-Fi dynamic, of never talking about feelings, but instead acting on them. Rory cut off his ponytail for Amy. Amy gave up her love of adventure for a “dull life” in a little village for Rory. Rory spent a thousand years guarding Amy while she sat in a box. Amy let an angel throw her back in time so she could be with Rory. On, and on, it goes. Hardly ever an I Love You exchanged verbally, but it is spelled out a thousand times in their actions. And because it is a silent love story, frequently they underestimate one another’s true feelings. Rory thinks he loves Amy more than she loves him; and she thinks she loves him more, because she is willing to give him up. If they would ever talk about their internal anguish, that problem wouldn’t arise, but alas, that isn’t how they roll.

amy2

I have always “understood” Amy, because in some ways we’re similar: creative, imaginative, enthusiastic, easily bored, and somewhat unable to articulate our emotions. We turn things into jokes so that it doesn’t reveal too much of our heart. She “gave up” Rory for awhile, even though it made her miserable, because she thought he would be happier without her. Amy made a decision with her heart, based on her own insecurities, not with her head. She loved him enough to think that she could give him up so he could find happiness with another person, but that isn’t what either of them wanted. For all her false bravado, she can be immature when it comes to expressing and understanding her emotions. She finds it very hard to talk about the things that she is feeling. Instead, she acts on them… and sadly, that means pushing people out of her life that she really cares about, because she cares about them enough not to want them to get hurt further; or because she’s so afraid to talk about how she feels, it is easier to push someone away than risk rejection. It is sometimes easier to do the rejecting, and deal with their anger, than to face their disappointment.

amy3

Rationality doesn’t really weigh in to these emotional decisions, and since she isn’t a Fe-types, she doesn’t have the luxury of just being up front with her emotions and letting them spill out. Her joy is her own. Her sadness is her own. Her misery is her own. Her grief is her own. If it sneaks out, if other people see it, she feels vulnerable and even ashamed. Amy was willing to let Rory go because she loved him, and as another silent suffering Fi-user, he was going to let her. Thanks to the Doctor, their story has a happy ending.

The ENFP in your life may not be able to tell you what they are feeling, but they show you every day, in a thousand ways. If they push you away, don’t assume it’s because they don’t love you. The opposite may be true, and if you care about them, don’t let them go.

7 Replies to “Understanding Amy”

  1. I thought I was an INFJ, but this is making me doubt it. I act this way, too–I prefer to express my feelings through actions, not to talk through them or share them. My emotions are intensely my own, I don’t like to share them much, and I feel vulnerable expressing them verbally–does this mean I don’t use Fe?

      1. I think perhaps what you mean is that Fe/Ti likes to discuss values in order to understand them better–Fe and Fi are value-driven, not emotion-driven. A Fe user will probably extrovert emotions more in order to alter the social atmosphere–i.e. create a greater feeling of well-being and harmony, make sure everybody’s happy about a decision–while a Fi user is more interested in personal harmony than social harmony, and will feel less drive to “fix” societal problems. But a Fe user would actually extrovert values, not emotions (would feel the need to discuss view points and reach some sort of consensus). I enjoy discussing my values and ideas (not emotions), and dissecting them, in order to understand them better and get a bigger picture (make sure I’m not limiting my options, or dismissing other values–since my values are impacted by others), which I have always perceived as Fe. A Fi user, on the other hand, would be more uncomfortable discussing values, since they would see values as completely subjective and personal.

        1. High up feelers of both types prefer to keep the peace / social harmony in general, but yes, Fe is more likely to show outwardly, both in expression, ease of complimenting other people, and in discussion of its own feelings.

          In many cases, INFJs do not know fully understand the nature of an Ni insight until given the opportunity to verbalize it. They may have a hunch or a gut feeling, but the content of the intuition can remain somewhat nebulous until it is expressed via their Fe. Assuming they have not been severely censored in their upbringing, INFJs are generally happy to share their feelings and perspectives. In fact, given the right opportunity, INFJs will often talk at length about their feelings and intuitions. Unlike FP types, who generally prefer a more dialogical format, INFJs are inclined toward monologues, which allow them to fully flesh out their ideas on a certain topic.
          On INFJ’s Fe, by an INFJ

          The true test of Fe vs Fi is how you handle conflict and/or emotional pain. Fe will typically turn to others for comfort, in the need and desire for reassurances, whereas Fi will internally process it and may never mention the incident to anyone, because it is confident in dealing with loss, pain, and anguish on its own.

  2. It’s kind of interesting how you mentioned how ENFPs will show you their feelings in a thousand ways. Because of their expressiveness, ENFPs might be the most Fe-like xxFPs in myers-briggs. My Dad is one and it’s hard to see the Fi in him at times, simply because of how open and inclusive he is. But it usually surfaces when someone offends him.

    1. I think that is true, about ENFPs looking the most like Fe-types. It’s probably the Ne picking up details in its environment and adapting to it. ENFPs are good mimics, but most of what you see isn’t what’s truly there. The older the ENFP gets, the more their Te comes into play, so an older ENFP is much more comfortable articulating emotions than a younger one… unless something hurt them, and they internalize everything even more intensely.

Share Your Thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s