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Thread: Why is everyone an INFJ nowadays?

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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    I don't understand this idea of people who identify as INFJ being INFPs. They couldn't be more different to me. Introverted intuition is very different than extraverted intuition and introverted feeling is very different from extraverted feeling. One is a dominant perceiver and one is a dominant judger. I can see INFJ getting mixed up with ISFJ or ENFJ but not INFP. INFJs act a hell of a lot more like ISFJs than INFPs.
    Gifts differing makes this point. From all their data, people share traits with those they share some letters, so a INFJ shares traits with all Is, all INs, all INFs, all Ns, all NFs, all NFJs, all INJs, all NJs and all Fs. The more letters in common, the more the person will seem similar.

    JCF is not official MBTI stuff, not because they lack data on it, but because they don't want to go there. But Naomi Quenk wrote for the official MBTI for years and had access to their data, which she used in part in her book, Was that Really Me? Quenk is fully supportive of JCF and the normally used stacking model.

    So, I can easily say that I and my INFJ sis think very similarly, except I am much quicker to process while she is a much deeper and more systematic thinker.

    Likewise, I have discussed this topic in depth with my ENFP friend that is well versed in JCF. We cleanly are very similar in outcome and such, but we arrive at our destinations by two very different paths.

    To those unfamiliar with JCF, a INFP and a INFJ seem very similar. Add in that many are 4s and it becomes harder to separate.

    Too many people lack self awareness. They can't see how they really are and what they do. Defensive ego constructs are very real.

    Plus, many people looking at MBTI seriously are struggling in life, trying to figure themself out. A lot are depressed.

    NJs are pretty rare (less than 10% of the total population) while SJs are very common (almost 50%).

    So many misunderstand Ni and Si, Fe and Fi.

    And so many think if they introverted, that means they are I. Social introversion is not cognitive introversion.

    So, many mistyped INFJs could be ENFJs or ENTPs or ISFJs, as much as INFPs, or even ENFP. Life experience blinds too many.

    In my own typing quest, I first did ISTP 20+ years ago, but I pretty different from ISTPs. I just didn't want anything to do with N or F, not matter I clearly live like one. It was a long hard path to accept my Jness, because I didn't understand what that meant....and most J questions are Te oriented. Likewise, I refused to accept my Eness because I saw extroverts as Pe types and I was not as extroverted as the ESFPs and ENTPs and ENFPs I knew.

    But, ENFJ really fits and accepting that seems to reduce some cognitive dissonance.....
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  3. #553
    wants Mifune clone minion Array Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    INFJs act a hell of a lot more like ISFJs than INFPs.
    Just out of curiosity, what sort of differences do you perceive between INTJs/yourself and ISTJs? Do you find communication with SPs easier than with ISTJs?

    Coming at this same comparison from a different angle (INTJs/ISTJs), I would agree that INTJs look/act like ISTJs more than INTPs- and yet, to me, I feel like I understand and feel more understood by SPs than any kind of SJ. And I think there's some merit to this "SFJ = 'the people's NFP'" theory: especially light-hearted SFJs do typically look more like NFPs than NFJs. I think similarly, ISPs = "the people's INFJ" because the thinking/reasoning is similar enough, yet they are WAY more easy going. Black Cat and @cascadeco are both examples of people who easily passed as INFJ until they eventually settled on ISP feeling more accurate.

    I'm wondering if that^ is your experience as well, if you outwardly resemble ISTJ but internally relate more to ISTPs. I even get systematically frustrated with trying to communicate to ISFJs, do you have that problem with ISTJs?
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    Moving to the BVI Array highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    Just out of curiosity, what sort of differences do you perceive between INTJs/yourself and ISTJs? Do you find communication with SPs easier than with ISTJs?

    Coming at this same comparison from a different angle (INTJs/ISTJs), I would agree that INTJs look/act like ISTJs more than INTPs- and yet, to me, I feel like I understand and feel more understood by SPs than any kind of SJ. And I think there's some merit to this "SFJ = 'the people's NFP'" theory: especially light-hearted SFJs do typically look more like NFPs than NFJs. I think similarly, ISPs = "the people's INFJ" because the thinking/reasoning is similar enough, yet they are WAY more easy going. Black Cat and @cascadeco are both examples of people who easily passed as INFJ until they eventually settled on ISP feeling more accurate.

    I'm wondering if that^ is your experience as well, if you outwardly resemble ISTJ but internally relate more to ISTPs. I even get systematically frustrated with trying to communicate to ISFJs, do you have that problem with ISTJs?
    I get along with most ISTJs very well. They tend to be detail oriented, organized and pretty grounded for the most part. If there are some I don't get along with it's because they are overly controlling or too focused on minutia though I think that's a minority of them. I get along with INTPs too though usually unless they are the types that are too theoretical which some are. I think INTPs are more likely to get annoyed with me than the ISTJs. I probably don't get along as well with SPs - chemistry wise - though I think we compliment each other because they tend to be action oriented and I can analyze things too much before doing stuff.

    As to difference between me an ISTJs, generally I would say they are more focused on what has worked before whereas I am more focused on what's going to happen in the future and wanting to do things I've never done before. Again I gel well with ISTJs because they tend to get stuff done that I might lose interest in.

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    Moving to the BVI Array highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    The problem with MBTI is the social introversion/extroversion is the only mutually exclusive dichotomy. With the other functions it seems possible to possess both or neither in behavior. Having a strong internal sense of intuition, morality, or analysis does not preclude the ability to extend the principle onto the external world. The most extremely dominant functions often behave as both - correct me if I'm wrong.

    Noam Chomsky is a good example of a person who appears to be a Ti-dom, at least in my perception of him. He has connected the internal dots and thinks far outside the establishment, but also reads voraciously and annotates everything, which requires the use of Te. I've known other extreme T-doms that have such a singular focus on logic and analysis that they appear to exhibit both Ti and Te.

    It has been proven by the National Academy of Sciences that the MBTI functions do not remain consistent when tested over time in various environments for an individual. They determined that only the E/I parameter met the standards for consistency. The theory is interesting, but not consistent, and the individual polls are incorrectly assumed to be mutually exclusive. We talk of Fi or Fe users like each person uses one or the other. What if some people use both, or neither? To disagree with that requires a chosen assumption which is not proven, and actually disproven according to some.
    I feel it's roughly accurate though. MBTI and cognitive functions are all about preferences - not absolutes. I prefer Te over Ti. Knowing what I do about Ti heavy thinkers, there is no question they think differently than I do. People who prefer Fe over Fi tend to think differently. As an example, after a very long thread about it, I summarized the difference between Fe and Fi as follows:

    Fe
    • seek to understand others behaviors, motivations, desires and beliefs
    • are ruled by objective and more broadly accepted values
    • express emotion with intentionality and forethought for optimal effect
    • seek to objectively understand the feelings of others
    • have a harder time confronting others; are more diplomatic
    • seek harmony with others
    • are more practical; willing to make compromises
    • focus on understanding how the group works, connects, gets along (or doesn’t) and all of their views, decides what course of action is most amenable to the intended goal while accommodating the most people
    • assess consistency of behavior of individuals and behavior with social protocols
    • focus on observable patterns of behaviors and motivations that others seem have
    • are focused on the dynamics of how people relate to each other
    • focus on how decisions, actions, or expressed opinions are going to be reacted to, countered or felt by others and weighing benefits and costs of the course of action


    Fi
    • seek to understand their own behaviors, motivations, desires and beliefs
    • are ruled by their own subjective and personal values
    • express emotions they feel strongly about without as much intentionality and forethought about optimal effect
    • project their experience with feelings onto the other person to understand them
    • have an easier time confronting others; are more brash
    • seek harmony with self
    • are more idealistic; less willing to make compromises
    • focus on understanding how they feel, decides what course of action is most amenable to the intended goal while maintaining their own sense of personal integrity
    • assess incongruities of behavior of individuals with self (i.e. are they authentic)
    • focus on how behaviors and motivations of others are the same or different than their own
    • focus on being true to who they are
    • focus on how decisions, actions or expressed opinions are going to be consistent with their own beliefs, values, and personal convictions


    You can poke holes in specific words like "ruled" or "focus" which reflect my Te laden bias. The thing is those two poles represent very different perspectives or ways of thinking. For a given function, my sense is the theory is you are 1) towards one side or the other (extraverted or introverted) and 2) that cognitive function is in a particular place in the stack or priorities in how you think. Do I do things on the Fe list as well as the Fi list? Sure. One of those lists much more closely reflects how my brain works than the others though and that's the Fi side, even if that is not close to being a dominant function for me.

    It doesn't have to be perfect or without flaws. It just has to be good enough. That good enough helps us to understand a little more about people who think differently than we do.

    I seem to recall you thinking you had characteristics of both Fe and Fi. How do those lists relate to how you think? Do you habitually prefer one set of things over the other?

    As an aside, I don't know if I believe in the specific cognitive function order for all 8 functions for each of the types. It seems too prescriptive to me. I could believe in a general ranking for the top 4 but even there I question as to whether or not it is always precisely accurate. The MBTI really just is just based on the top 2 when it comes down to it.

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    Parody Parrot Array meowington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    I don't understand this idea of people who identify as INFJ being INFPs. They couldn't be more different to me. Introverted intuition is very different than extraverted intuition and introverted feeling is very different from extraverted feeling. One is a dominant perceiver and one is a dominant judger.
    Exactly. Quoted for truth.

    On a sidenote : I'm more likely to be confused with an INTJ than ISFJ though. It's hard to miss my Ni-dom *fixates eyes in empty space*.
    “Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.“ ~ Schopenhauer

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    darkened dreams Array labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
    Fe
    • seek to understand others behaviors, motivations, desires and beliefs
    • are ruled by objective and more broadly accepted values
    • express emotion with intentionality and forethought for optimal effect
    • seek to objectively understand the feelings of others
    • have a harder time confronting others; are more diplomatic
    • seek harmony with others
    • are more practical; willing to make compromises
    • focus on understanding how the group works, connects, gets along (or doesn’t) and all of their views, decides what course of action is most amenable to the intended goal while accommodating the most people
    • assess consistency of behavior of individuals and behavior with social protocols
    • focus on observable patterns of behaviors and motivations that others seem have
    • are focused on the dynamics of how people relate to each other
    • focus on how decisions, actions, or expressed opinions are going to be reacted to, countered or felt by others and weighing benefits and costs of the course of action


    Fi
    • seek to understand their own behaviors, motivations, desires and beliefs
    • are ruled by their own subjective and personal values
    • express emotions they feel strongly about without as much intentionality and forethought about optimal effect
    • project their experience with feelings onto the other person to understand them
    • have an easier time confronting others; are more brash
    • seek harmony with self
    • are more idealistic; less willing to make compromises
    • focus on understanding how they feel, decides what course of action is most amenable to the intended goal while maintaining their own sense of personal integrity
    • assess incongruities of behavior of individuals with self (i.e. are they authentic)
    • focus on how behaviors and motivations of others are the same or different than their own
    • focus on being true to who they are
    • focus on how decisions, actions or expressed opinions are going to be consistent with their own beliefs, values, and personal convictions

    I seem to recall you thinking you had characteristics of both Fe and Fi. How do those lists relate to how you think? Do you habitually prefer one set of things over the other?
    You have created effective lists and I respect that people use MBTI as a tool. I do not dismiss it entirely, but I don't see it mapping to reality as clearly and simply as others see it. Also, remembering I am an E4, an artist, and possibly a little neuro-atypical, I have a specific way of relating to Fe.

    What I understand as Fe for myself is experienced as an involuntary mass of perceptual, subjective data. In the same way Te remembers facts, which buttons effect outcomes on a machine, and other information, I remember details about every word, action, and emotional expression of the people I interact with. I cannot remember what movie I watched last week, but can remember details about a person I haven't seen in years. This perception cannot be blocked out, which is why I often long to be alone in the forest. It is also why I cannot work in competitive environments. I become physically ill with constant headaches and even vomiting when I see constant ego-centered conflict. When required to be a such social functions, it feels like being in a closet filled with over-inflated balloons pressing in on each other. I do well with this overwhelm of subjective data when working one-on-one. I feel I have a strength to understand people on their own terms, based on their own thought patterns and ideals. I am extremely uncomfortable trying to impose my own values onto others or to control them in any way. This is a flaw of mine when in role of teacher. What I can do is really listen, observe and understand individuals and to help them find their authentic, creative core. When younger with more energy, I was able to inspire audiences with some intensity on a couple of occasions.

    What I cannot relate to with Fe are group dynamics and social convention, and I'll be completely honest here. Both make me feel trapped and nauseated. I think it is wonderful whatever makes others happy, but neither are for me. I cannot find the rhythm to speak in a group, I cannot lead a group as a teacher without discipline chaos, and I have never even participated in a group of friends. Most of my life I didn't make friends, but spent my time alone at the piano, sitting in nature, and sitting alone in public or with a social outcast who needed a friend.

    Social convention is repulsive to me. Common conversations that go like this "Fred and Louise just had the baby, Oh, and Eric graduated law school. Penny and Tim are moving to Texas, and did you know that George is still having trouble with his colon?" make me feel like I just lost the last 30 minutes of my life. I see no relevance to knowing the concrete details of people just because they live on the same street or they are a fourth cousin twice removed. Then when people reach into their pocket to get out the wedding/graduation/baby/vacation pictures, I get this uneasy feeling I'm about to lose the next 60 minutes of my life. I want other people to feel happy sharing these things with each other, but I feel no personal value in these activities. People also conventionally focus on imposing their intent onto the world with decorating and construction plans. This agonizes my brain. I long to see miles of nature unaffected by humans. I long to see a forest that hasn't been all chopped up to make cookie-cutter homes. Even the fact that every house is decorated the same with the same furniture in every conventional room is disturbing to me. I don't want a house everyone can see and admire for its perfection of convention. I long for a simple, rough cabin that is half buried in the dirt so the rare passer-by doesn't even notice.

    I also genuinely don't care much what people think of me. It is why I never participate in competitive speech. I always let the other person win. I don't care about gaining their respect. There are only a few things I care about in social exchange. Firstly, I value taking time to relieve genuine pain the person experiences, I value helping people find their own authenticity of thoughts, feelings, and expression, and the third is to listen to people who possess interesting knowledge that I can learn from. I do enjoy neuro-atypical and bizarre people. I'll have a conversation with someone bizarre out of genuine interest. If they whip out their pics of Big Foot on their last camping trip, or tell me about the scifi novel they're writing about how the reptilians of the past and the Greys of the future are having a temporal war in our reality, I'll stick around to see and hear that.

    To summarize, I am influenced by what could be Fe as a continual onslaught of external data that enters awareness involuntarily, but it doesn't feel like a judging function to me. I feel zero connection to group dynamics or social convention. I am rigorously analytical about others and myself to understand as accurately as possible these subjective realms. I work to maintain internal coherency even at great cost, and have the life-long focus on achieving authenticity of thought, feeling, expression, and action.
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  8. #558
    wants Mifune clone minion Array Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    I do not dismiss it entirely, but I don't see it mapping to reality as clearly and simply as others see it.
    I completely agree with this, it doesn't effectively map the reality of what/who people are. I can find almost as much to relate to in any given Fi description as any Ni description (and usually far more than in any Fe description). I can understand the utility of using imperfect concepts to facilitate discussion about a topic (which is what I understand Te to be), but it gets to the point sometimes where overusing them impedes knowledge/actual learning rather than facilitating it. eta: It gets to the point where it feels like we're deciding what truth is, instead of discerning it.

    It's my opinion (I've stated this before, and it's still very much my opinion) that anyone nearly as 'other' focused as Fe descriptions tend to be is not a healthy person. We can't understand other people until we understand ourselves.
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    reborn Array PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    It is always best to withhold judgment and not reason along the lines of "this person has a hurt ex that is XXXX type. Therefore, all people of the XXXX type are hurtful".
    As you may remember, I have been witness and participant to a few of the "an INFJ hurt me" threads, and I have not seen anyone make this argument. I've seen INFJs ASSUME this is the argument being made, and pivot from that point. The argument actually presented is that IF in a neutral examination of a thinking pattern, stepping outside of one's own shoes, how would one interpret the behaviour in question and what to do about that moving forward. INFJs are being asked to put themselves into the INFJ in question's position and extrapolate from that to help foster understanding. This request is met with skepticism, reactions such as, "not an INFJ", "unhealthy individual", "unhealthy people can be all types" etc types of deflection and a high resistance to offering any compassion. I find the rejection fascinating. It's a very clear forum pattern.

    Of course there are hideously hurtful people of every type. Of course there are abusive INFJs, just as there are abusive people of all types. I do not think there is anything inherent to the type that makes them more hurtful. Human beings are hurtful, largely because they stereotype, categorize, and dehumanize.
    And yes, of course there are. However, just because someone comes to the forum to discuss a hurtful INFJ in their life does not mean possessing an INFJ thinking pattern has less relevance than other personal traits since they are have now been deemed "unhealthy". Being an INFJ is a pattern despite wide diversity in both positive and negative external behaviour, and as such, examination of the thinking pattern through this various expression of emotional and mental function still has merit and value, imo.

    Lots of people are mistyped. However, I also disagree with statements such as, "I stand by my comment that people tend to type those they do not understand as INFJs." There's no evidence for this.
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
    Eleanor Roosevelt


    "When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad."
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    darkened dreams Array labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    I completely agree with this, it doesn't effectively map the reality of what/who people are. I can find almost as much to relate to in any given Fi description as any Ni description (and usually far more than in any Fe description). I can understand the utility of using imperfect concepts to facilitate discussion about a topic (which is what I understand Te to be), but it gets to the point sometimes where overusing them impedes knowledge/actual learning rather than facilitating it. eta: It gets to the point where it feels like we're deciding what truth is, instead of discerning it.

    It's my opinion (I've stated this before, and it's still very much my opinion) that anyone nearly as 'other' focused as Fe descriptions tend to be is not a healthy person. We can't understand other people until we understand ourselves.
    Great post! The Fi and Fe descriptions also sound a lot like Intrapersonal and Interpersonal intelligence, which everyone possesses some degree of both.

    Quote Originally Posted by Howard Gardner
    Interpersonal (Social) intelligence - refers to the capacity to appropriately and effectively communicate with and respond to other people. The ability to work cooperatively with others and understand their feelings (Examples: sales people, politicians, religious leaders,talk show hosts, etc.

    Intrapersonal intelligence - refers to the capacity to accurately know one's self, including knowledge of one's own strengths, motivations, goals, and feelings. To be capable of self-reflection and to be introverted and contemplative are also traits held by persons with Intrapersonal intelligence. (Examples: entrepreneurs, therapists,philosophers, etc.
    Multiple Intelligences / An Overview of Gardner's Eight Intelligences
    @PeaceBaby, that statement I made about individuals being hurt by XXXX types and projecting that onto the entire type I've seen happen the most for ESFJs, ESTJs, sometimes INFJs. It happens possibly thousands of times online. I used all X's to indicate I wasn't referring to INFJs only. There is no use arguing our difference in perception unless we both want to take the time to dig up numerous threads from the past. I do not wish to change your perspective in the slightest. When dealing with broad statements, it is likely that both things have occurred to validate conflicting perspectives. It is worth noting that some of the INFJ antogonists of the past ended up being so harassing to everyone that they got banned, and their threads and comments were extremely dysfunctional, so I will continue to question the credibility of statements by people like that.
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