INFP or INFJ: The Grind

INFP or INFJ: The Grind

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This is a discussion on INFP or INFJ: The Grind within the What's my personality type? forums, part of the Personality Cafe category; Can someone help me figure out if I'm INFP or INFJ? I've completely given up hope on external behavior and ...

  1. #1
    Unknown Personality

    INFP or INFJ: The Grind

    Can someone help me figure out if I'm INFP or INFJ? I've completely given up hope on external behavior and stereotyping, and I'm trying to figure out which of the thought processes I use more.

    When I read all of the processes, Ni, Ne, Fe, and Fi, seemed most important to me, and when I read the functions with the supposed "order" in mind, the INFJ reflected how I feel and assume my mind works.

    Another suggestion, infporinfj.com hasn't been helping me either. I have both INFJ and INFP tendencies. I'm not a highly "J" or "P" acting person, although I apparently conceptualize time the same way an INFP does (as an observer rather than participant), but all of the blogposts about thought and feeling seemed to make me lean towards INFJ, except when they asked me how I like to solve problems. I rarely solve problems or have complex interactions.

    Can someone with good knowledge ask me key INFP vs INFJ questions and run the numbers for me? I would greatly appreciate it.

    If you're wondering my Enneagram; it's 4w5.
    Last edited by Modesty; 10-22-2011 at 10:00 PM.



  2. #2
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Well as I'm sure you know INFP and INFJ have no common functions. So while on the surface their temperaments and behaviors may seem similar when you peel back the cloth they are very different, INFJ can come across more like an empathic NT. (some of them often type themselves as NTPs by accidents). INFJ can also be mistyped as an extravert because of aux-Fe's need to interact with the external world (Fe is literally energized by interaction with people so this sometimes causes confusion for INFJ's on tests).

    The biggest differences are going to be INFP's FI vs INFJ's Fe. Generally speaking, are you someone who identifies with the values of those around you or someone who marches to your own beat? Are you someone who's internal constitution is consistent regardless of whether or not anyone is watching or if you have anyone to answer to, or are you more willing to mold yourself to the group you're in? One of my NFJ friends complains about being trapped by other's expectations of who she should be, she has a hyperawareness and feels pushed around from group to group like a toy but can't find a way to express her individuality (the more I read these type-me tests the more I hear heavy-Fe-influenced types say stuff like this. Like they don't have any power of individuality and its a constant battle for them to both be there for people but express themselves.)

    Ni in INFJ might manifest itself as an ability to 'see' the bigger picture (this is a gross simplification) or to have an instinct about how a situation is going to turn out without having empirical data to back up your claim. Ni takes in everything, even things that seem paradoxical or antithetical and tries to make sense and draw conclusions. Problem is Ni can be very stubborn at first with its conclusions (it thinks its examined all the evidence and therefore must be right in its conclusions -- not taking into consideration that it may being drawing conclusions from incomplete or subjective evidence). So Ni-preferenced people might come across as pretentious know-it-all's (or worse possessing some sort of metaphysical or spiritual ability) if they're not self-aware enough to know that their conclusions are based more off their intuitions than actual empirical data. In contrast Ne in INFP is ever expanding, discovering new possibilities, peering around corners, like a puppy sniffing out ideas. Using Ne is kinda like spending hours on wikipedia, starting with one topic and then branching out all over the place to see what you can find with no real agenda other than exploration.

    Inferior Se in NJ's in theory might make them feel materialistic, superficial, inferior or envious of people who are maybe better looking or make them crave physical experiences that their higher order functions may not approve of. For instance if Se wants to branch out and explore the physical world, much like Ne, but your group values (Fe) don't approve of this (like sex, drinking, drugs, etc) it can be a cause of a lot of stress and contradiction. A lot of people who are inf-Se often say things like "sometimes I wish I could just let my wild side come out," or when they get pushed over the edge they might react in very physically expressive ways. (ISFJ's might conclude a similar thing but for vastly different reasons). iNFP might not be as interested (or even outright reject) the dispositions of their peer group finding this kind of judgment shallow. INFP with inf-Te might react by becoming judgmental with biting specificity.

    Hope that helps.
    bluefaerie and Sandpaper thanked this post.

  3. #3
    Unknown Personality

    Quote Originally Posted by LiquidLight View Post
    Hope that helps.
    >The biggest differences are going to be INFP's FI vs INFJ's Fe. Generally speaking, are you someone who identifies with the values of those around you or someone who marches to your own beat?

    I guess I'm not entirely marching to my own beat. I think that having individuality and molding yourself to fit the society are you in are both important. Where would you be without a balance? I mold my superficial self according to what's around me (it seems essential to getting along), and the same thing goes for interacting with others. When it comes to personal values and morals... I'm lacking compared to most, I don't like moralizing everything and I see everything as invaluable (in the good sense.)

    >Ni in INFJ might manifest itself as an ability to 'see' the bigger picture (this is a gross simplification) or to have an instinct about how a situation is going to turn out without having empirical data to back up your claim.

    When it comes to being able to predict the outcome of situations - who doesn't have the ability to do this? It seems like everyone is always coming up with a hunch on how someone will react or what will happen. I guess that's just too vague for me to understand, but I certainly care to.

    >Inferior Se in NJ's in theory might make them feel materialistic, superficial, inferior or envious of people who are maybe better looking or make them crave physical experiences that their higher order functions may not approve of. For instance if Se wants to branch out and explore the physical world, much like Ne, but your group values (Fe) don't approve of this (like sex, drinking, drugs, etc) it can be a cause of a lot of stress and contradiction. A lot of people who are inf-Se often say things like "sometimes I wish I could just let my wild side come out," or when they get pushed over the edge they might react in very physically expressive ways. (ISFJ's might conclude a similar thing but for vastly different reasons). iNFP might not be as interested (or even outright reject) the dispositions of their peer group finding this kind of judgment shallow. INFP with inf-Te might react by becoming judgmental with biting specificity.


    About "Se making NJ's feeel materialistic, superficial, inferior, or envious"--this happens to me all of the time. I also have a wild side but it's more like an inside that never gets to come out. I don't consider this "shallow," because many people are just born to think and act superficially or shallow. I don't hold what people do against them. Bad nature is in everybody, and it comes out when it's allowed to exist. However, I don't consider superficiality bad nature anyway. Care about what you want to care about, just try not to create a problem out of it. Of course this is too much to ask out of an individual.

  4. #4
    INFJ - The Protectors

    When it comes to being able to predict the outcome of situations - who doesn't have the ability to do this?
    This kinda gives you away as INFJ. When something comes so naturally to you that you think its normal and that anyone can do it. Some people are in fact really bad at this (like a lot of ESxPs). Dominant Ni in you is so transparent you use it without even being aware of it.

    I also have a wild side but it's more like an inside that never gets to come out. I don't consider this "shallow," because many people are just born to think and act superficially or shallow. I don't hold what people do against them. Bad nature is in everybody
    But this is the crux of the argument. How do you define 'bad nature?' By what criteria do you define what is 'superficial' or shallow, your own personal opinions or the opinions of society or your group as a whole? I'm INFJ and your dilemma is one that resonates especially well with me, having a wild side but having a huge hesitancy to let it be seen.
    Last edited by LiquidLight; 10-22-2011 at 09:40 PM.

  5. #5
    Unknown Personality

    Quote Originally Posted by LiquidLight View Post
    But this is the crux of the argument. How do you define 'bad nature?'
    Bad nature is basically nature that is too drastically harmful to other's well-being. I can't tell if I've adopted this or just came up with it myself. Seems completely adopted aside from the common sense of "treating others how you wish to be treated."

    Quote Originally Posted by LiquidLight View Post
    But what criteria do you define what is 'superficial' or shallow, your own personal opinions or the opinions of society or your group as a whole?
    My morals always seem to take me to specific situations in great detail. Obviously, if people in another country are not allowed to own land or are being enslaved, that's a violation of human rights: one of the greatest injustices (adopted?). But sometimes it's situational stuff. Hypothetically: Wow, those degenerates are always stealing and mugging people on campus. The students are trying to learn and get a degree so that they can find a place in life, and they just come and take from them to support their ignorant lifestyles. But is stealing from the more fortunate necessarily wrong? I'm not sure about that one.

    So what does being shallow have to do with my morals? Well I just notice how shallowness is blaring at us constantly, while deeper more introspective thinking is quietly waiting in the shadows to be found. I think that it's a shame for those who are introverted feeling or simply too unfortunate to make any superficial connection. This is situationally wrong and a violation of many people's basic needs at the same time. It makes for people to do awful things in rebellion, just to be misread and misrepresented to protect the system.

    It's everywhere though! There's a girl in a wheelchair and she's singled out and screwed over by her special treatment, not to mention the fact that nobody wants to talk to someone in my school who can't fuck, play sports, or contribute to your Facebook rep.

    (Yeah I have antisocial outlooks, shallowness being one of my grievances.)

    Someone reads this and will think "Look how he's considerate of the misfortune of others," but that doesn't necessarily make me INFJ does it? One day I want to actualize my ideal self, but that doesn't make me a sure INFP either, because apparently you can't be two types. You just have to ask the right questions and you'll get any type-esque answer. I guess just I'm well-rounded when it comes to "How Does it Make You Feel?" type questions, that's why I've resorted to trying to understand function, to not much avail.

  6. #6
    INFJ - The Protectors

    I know how you feel. But the depth to which you went to defend how you feel about these things makes me think maybe you have a Fi-preference. (It's so hard to tell because a Fe person who grew up around a lot of NFP's might look very similar -- Fe isn't about adopting every value that comes your way, it gravitates toward the most significant influences in your life). And what I think of as you showing Ni (knowing how something will end up in the end) could be a Ne+Si balance -- similar conclusions via different processes. A stereotype of Fi is considering the 'everyday world' shallow, the belief that people should pursue a depth of self that goes beyond basic social expectation. You have some very strong value judgments (ignorant lifestyles, people who do harmful things to be a part of the system) -- this all sounds kinda like Fi to me, so you might in fact be an xNFP, maybe even ISFP.

    Something I find beneficial on my sojurn has been to try to discover the gulf between my real self and ideal self, and try to ascertain what holds me back from being my ideal self. Outside influences, my own perceptions, etc. When I first started this stuff I kept getting typed as INFP. i couldn't even make myself be anything else on any test no matter how hard I tried, but I realized after a while my ideal self was more of an ENFJ, I resonated with it but I realized it was more of an aspiration. But when I got typed as INFJ I didn't believe it it came out of left field. The more learned about myself though and function theory and typing other people (which is a treasure trove for figuring yourself out -- listening to other people) the more I began to realize I couldn't be anything but INFJ, and then all of a sudden my aspiration made sense. The gulf between who I am and who I want to be basically came down to behavioral extraversion and being more confident in the physical world (learning to overcome my insecurity regarding Inferior Se and to begin to turn it into a well functioning part of my cognition -- I think this is what Jung meant by individuation).

  7. #7
    Unknown Personality

    Quote Originally Posted by LiquidLight View Post
    I know how you feel. But the depth to which you went to defend how you feel about these things makes me think maybe you have a Fi-preference. (It's so hard to tell because a Fe person who grew up around a lot of NFP's might look very similar -- Fe isn't about adopting every value that come your way its gravitates toward the most significant influences in your life). And what I think of as you showing Ni (knowing how something will end up in the end) could be a Ne+Si balance -- similar conclusions different processes. A stereotype of Fi is considering the 'everyday world' shallow, the belief that people should pursue a depth of self that goes beyond basic social expectation. You have some very strong value judgments (ignorant lifestyles, people who do harmful things to be a part of the system) -- this all sounds kinda like Fi to me, so you might in fact be an xNFP.
    I can get extremely in-depth about why I like coffee but that doesn't make it an important part of my life. I never said that the world is too superficial, just that it clearly doesn't work for everybody. I feel like you misunderstood my meaning. I think "depth of self" is hugely exaggerated, and that the knowledge and intelligence to express it is equally important. I kind of get disappointed when I feel something profound and can only express the reason and not the way I feel. Does that make it profound? Who is to say. I think expression in general falls short of feeling, especially with someone like me.

    Your assessment is now confusing me, do I seem INFP or INFJ? Do I seem both? This is when I start feeling like giving up and that MBTI is horoscope-tier.

    Quote Originally Posted by LiquidLight View Post
    Something I find beneficial on my sojurn has been to try to discover the gulf between my real self and ideal self, and try to ascertain what holds me back from being my ideal self. Outside influences, my own perceptions, etc. When I first started this stuff I kept getting typed as INFP. i couldn't even make myself be anything else on any test no matter how hard I tried, but I realized after a while my ideal self was more of an ENFJ, I resonated with it but I realized it was more of an aspiration. But when I got typed as INFJ I didn't believe it it came out of left field. The more learned about myself though and function theory and typing other people (which is a treasure trove for figuring yourself out -- listening to other people) the more I began to realize I couldn't be anything but INFJ, and then all of a sudden my aspiration made sense. The gulf between who I am and who I want to be basically came down to behavioral extraversion and being more confident in the physical world (learning to overcome my insecurity regarding Inferior Se and to begin to turn it into a well functioning part of my cognition -- I think this is what Jung meant by individuation).

    This editing game, I hope we can keep up with each other. I can relate to how you feel like the wrong type and keep getting it at the same time. I do the same thing with my ideal self, by the way. "Our types are so different" yet we do the same things.

    >Have people take a test
    >Box them into getting 16 answers, similar people getting relatively similar types
    >Invent a pseudo-science to go behind it
    >Genius work

  8. #8
    INFJ - The Protectors

    See my private message.

    >Have people take a test
    >Box them into getting 16 answers, similar people getting relatively similar types
    >Invent a pseudo-science to go behind it
    >Genius work
    Well you just touched on the problem with MBTI and its limitations. Its a self-reported test, so that assumes you know enough about yourself to answer correctly. And it basically splits a bell curve in half forcing people either be E or I, T or F, S or N, etc. When reality is much more complex. That's why I'm of the mind that the type codes don't really mean much. If you're going to accept Jungian psychology as having some validity, learning the functions is far more beneficial than the box you get put in.

    So many people come on here with ridiculous notions like (am I S or N). We all sense and we all have intuition. We all think and we all feel. But knowing that your dominant cognitive preference is going to be one of immediate sensory experiences for example, or that your values are driven more by external influences is, to me, far more beneficial than belonging to a type group. If I become more sociable does that turn me into an ENFJ? Does it matter? But it is nice to know that my preference for logic isn't inferior to my friends' ability to organize and be systematic and I dont stress so much about trying to adapt myself to something that may not come naturally (not that its not good to learn, but you cant change what you can't accept). That's what I get out of all this stuff.
    JungyesMBTIno thanked this post.

  9. #9
    Unknown Personality

    Quote Originally Posted by LiquidLight View Post
    See my private message.
    So what's the validity of this stuff anyway? Little to none? What PM?

  10. #10
    INFJ - The Protectors

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandpaper View Post
    So what's the validity of this stuff anyway? Little to none? What PM?
    Man there are some really robust discussions on this topic on some other sites. I'm of the mind that there is some validity to it, especially Jung's theories. To me it seems too consequential that modern 'scientific' personality and temperament theory would have so much in common with what Plato and Hippocrates discovered 2500 years ago. It might be self-fulfilling (that for 2,500 years we've been trying to pin everyone down into four Hippocratic and Platonic basic temperaments) or it might be more than coincidence and that Jung and those who followed were actually onto something. A lot of people identify with this stuff over a very long period of time, decades now, and it has been very beneficial to a lot of people's self-discovery and rehabilitation. (So what if there's really no such thing as ENFP -- if you think ENFP and ISTJ are the reason you are attracted to your spouse for example, well that's better than chocking it up to magic or fate. At least you have some framework by which to base your perceptions and decisions and to provide some context for frustrations).

    Personality is like vapor, its very hard to define in tangible ways, and everyone is some amalgamation of different influences, biological, cultural and individual. Add to that there is a drive to be individual and MBTI (and personality science in general even Big-5 and Enneagram) runs counter to that notion, asserting that we are all, in some way, quantifiable and I think this produces a natural conflict. The problem with all social sciences is that they are basically impossible to prove empirically and in a Te/Si-style society like the USA (and much of the West) that wants to trust experience and physical proof this fundamental problem is hard to surmount.


 

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