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Thread: Kurt Cobain

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by gretch View Post
    INFP. with out a doubt.
    That would've been my initial guess but I admit I don't really know types that well. I don't really know their music. I hadn't read too many articles where he spoke besides memory already being shoddy.

    I would think the drugs and depression would really throw off typing someone. While we're here, I don't know if anyone has asked, what type is Courtney? ENFJ? How would her dynamic change how he comes off? Like when we're stressed or worried don't we operate out of our opposite functions?

  2. #12
    Senior Member gretch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    That description probably fits ISFP more than INFP. Also while botn IxFP types are pretty intense inwardly it's easier to see outwardly on an ISFP. You could easily see Cobain's intensity. He could never be confused with someone wearing rose colored glasses.
    I disagree
    ISFP= rebellious in an audacious sort of way. INFP= rebellious and edgy. Kurt never did it to shock people. ISFP's would care more about their appearance. Also they are more artistic with actual physical art. INFP are abstract lyricists. His guitarist, Krist Novoselic, was either an ISTP or an ISFP. You can see the difference between them. Trust me I would love to agree with you on this one. There is insubordination ingrained in INFP's especially. I really believe that Kurt Cobain is the poster child for INFP. If he's not an INFP who is? Actually I'd be really curious as to what kinds of people you believe are INFP's, just to more clearly see your point.

    From these lyrics, I feel you can see his abstracted lyrics, insubordination, disdain for normal society, romanticism etc.
    "I wish I was like you
    Easily amused
    Find my nest of salt
    Everything is my fault
    I'll take all the blame
    Aqua seafoam shame
    Sunburn with freezer burn
    Choking on the ashes of her enemy"

    As for Courtney I have no idea, my best guess is ESFP? She might have been an N tho.
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  3. #13
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gretch View Post
    I disagree
    ISFP= rebellious in an audacious sort of way. INFP= rebellious and edgy. Kurt never did it to shock people. ISFP's would care more about their appearance. Also they are more artistic with actual physical art. INFP are abstract lyricists. His guitarist, Krist Novoselic, was either an ISTP or an ISFP. You can see the difference between them. Trust me I would love to agree with you on this one. There is insubordination ingrained in INFP's especially. I really believe that Kurt Cobain is the poster child for INFP. If he's not an INFP who is? Actually I'd be really curious as to what kinds of people you believe are INFP's, just to more clearly see your point.
    He may be an INFP, but he's an unusual one. There is no way I'd say he is the poster child. I don't think INFP = rebellious and edgy. That describes an ISFP more than an INFP. INFP's tend to avoid confrontation more than any other type. If an INFP is rebellious they tend to do it in a more indirect way in order to avoid confrontation. INFP's are not the "in your face" type, quite the opposite in fact.

    Kurt Cobain, on the other hand, is an "in your face" type of person. He writes songs like "Rape Me", and has music videos with dead fetuses hanging from trees. There is nothing subtle about that. It's edgy and in your face. Even when I watch footage of him that dates before he is famous he comes off as more of an SP. I'm thinking of a video where he walks into Sonic Youth's room where they are standing around talking and then sprays beer/champagne all over them. That's certainly not beyond an INFP, but it's more like SP behavior and he does this sort of thing in a lot of different clips you see him in.

    For examples of INFP's off the top of my head I'd say Johnny Depp is INFP. Charles Shultz (and Charlie Brown) I'd say are INFP's as well. I'd also say Shakespeare and Tolkien are INFP but you're probably looking for modern celebrities (can't think of many at the moment, sorry about that).
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  4. #14
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    He may be an INFP, but he's an unusual one. There is no way I'd say he is the poster child. I don't think INFP = rebellious and edgy. That describes an ISFP more than an INFP. INFP's tend to avoid confrontation more than any other type. If an INFP is rebellious they tend to do it in a more indirect way in order to avoid confrontation. INFP's are not the "in your face" type, quite the opposite in fact.

    Kurt Cobain, on the other hand, is an "in your face" type of person. He writes songs like "Rape Me", and has music videos with dead fetuses hanging from trees. There is nothing subtle about that. It's edgy and in your face. Even when I watch footage of him that dates before he is famous he comes off as more of an SP. I'm thinking of a video where he walks into Sonic Youth's room where they are standing around talking and then sprays beer/champagne all over them. That's certainly not beyond an INFP, but it's more like SP behavior and he does this sort of thing in a lot of different clips you see him in.
    1. You have clearly not met a) a bitter INFP b) an INFP in despair c) an INFP on drugs d) an INFP on crusade or e) a confident INFP.

    2. INFPs are not at all anti-confrontational in the realm of ideas and self-expression. They generally avoid confrontation for the sake of confrontation, or when they feel that it serves no worthwhile purpose. They will frequently also avoid face-to-face confrontations because there are so many ways around it, and because they feel that a face-to-face confrontation involves a failure on their part in reading the person they are talking to accurately. However, if "being true to themselves" requires confrontation, or the delivery of a confrontational message, or the living of a confrontational lifestyle, they are more than capable of doing that. (Note: generally, INFPs choose radical honesty as their preferred method of confrontation). Writing confronting songs is something an INFP songwriter wouldn't have much trouble doing, because it's self-expression (in this case, probably self-hatred, an INFP specialty). When it comes to types likely to avoid confrontation at all costs, ISFJ springs much more readily to mind in my experience.

    In summary, if you do actually know any non-caricatured INFPs, I suspect that you probably have them down as another type, especially if you know them well.

    Edit: also, don't forget that the shadow of the INFP (which emerges under stress) is the ESTJ, not the world's least confrontational type.

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    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JivinJeffJones View Post
    1. You have clearly not met a) a bitter INFP b) an INFP in despair c) an INFP on drugs d) an INFP on crusade or e) a confident INFP.
    Heh, actually I have seen INFP's in a variety of ways. Probably the most important way that I haven't seen one though, is that I haven't seen an INFP doing heroin and depressed to the point of suicide. Curt Kobain may be INFP, but I would never say he's the poster child for INFP. This is the point I am trying to get across.

    2. INFPs are not at all anti-confrontational in the realm of ideas and self-expression. They generally avoid confrontation for the sake of confrontation, or when they feel that it serves no worthwhile purpose. They will frequently also avoid face-to-face confrontations because there are so many ways around it, and because they feel that a face-to-face confrontation involves a failure on their part in reading the person they are talking to accurately. However, if "being true to themselves" requires confrontation, or the delivery of a confrontational message, or the living of a confrontational lifestyle, they are more than capable of doing that. (Note: generally, INFPs choose radical honesty as their preferred method of confrontation). Writing confronting songs is something an INFP songwriter wouldn't have much trouble doing, because it's self-expression (in this case, probably self-hatred, an INFP specialty). When it comes to types likely to avoid confrontation at all costs, ISFJ springs much more readily to mind in my experience.

    In summary, if you do actually know any non-caricatured INFPs, I suspect that you probably have them down as another type, especially if you know them well.

    Edit: also, don't forget that the shadow of the INFP (which emerges under stress) is the ESTJ, not the world's least confrontational type.
    You have to remember that all of the things I've said about INFP are in comparison to ISFP. In truth the two types are quite similar. If my post seemed like an exaggeration of INFP it's because I am trying to point out differences that are often slight between the two types.

    Everything that you've said in your post that applies to INFP applies even more so to ISFP. Can INFP's be confrontational? Sure, but ISFP's are more so. Do INFP's feel a need to express themselves? Certainly that desire is strong, but it's also just as strong in the ISFP. Generally INFP's and ISFP's express themselves in different mediums, but music is one medium where they can seem fairly similar.

    Heh, I'm not trying to portray an INFP as a caricature. I'm simply comparing two similar types and in doing so it may sound like I'm turning small differences into large ones.
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  6. #16
    Senior Member JivinJeffJones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Heh, actually I have seen INFP's in a variety of ways. Probably the most important way that I haven't seen one though, is that I haven't seen an INFP doing heroin and depressed to the point of suicide. Curt Kobain may be INFP, but I would never say he's the poster child for INFP. This is the point I am trying to get across.
    Even a depressed/bitter INFP is quite different from any you seem to have met. Normally, INFPs filter their Fi in communication to avoid giving unnecessary offense. Otherwise it can come across as quite extreme and usually judgemental, just as an INTP not filtering their Ti tends to come across as cold and critical. When an INFP is depressed/bitter, or if (for some reason) they just don't care about the opinion or feelings of the person they are talking to, they won't bother to filter their Fi pronouncements. This generally comes across as very confrontational, especially since they tend to ignore as dishonest the usual courtesies.

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    You have to remember that all of the things I've said about INFP are in comparison to ISFP. In truth the two types are quite similar. If my post seemed like an exaggeration of INFP it's because I am trying to point out differences that are often slight between the two types.

    Everything that you've said in your post that applies to INFP applies even more so to ISFP. Can INFP's be confrontational? Sure, but ISFP's are more so. Do INFP's feel a need to express themselves? Certainly that desire is strong, but it's also just as strong in the ISFP. Generally INFP's and ISFP's express themselves in different mediums, but music is one medium where they can seem fairly similar.
    Any sources on these, or were you just hoping to slip them by me like the sly ENTP you are?

    Anyway, it may be true. I have no idea where you get it from, since I've read many profiles on both types and have seen nothing to support your assertions. I can't say for sure from experience, since I only know one confirmed ISFP -- my sister. However, she is very rarely openly confrontational, opting instead for the passive-aggressive route. She is also not especially inclined towards creativity - preferring performance.

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    Heh, I'm not trying to portray an INFP as a caricature. I'm simply comparing two similar types and in doing so it may sound like I'm turning small differences into large ones.
    "He could never be confused with someone wearing rose colored glasses."
    [Mini-rant]Cambridge dictionary definition of look at sth through rose-coloured glasses: "to see only the pleasant things about a situation and not notice the things that are unpleasant"

    That's the one that gets my goat. Depressed/bitter INFPs do not look like they are wearing rose colored glasses. If anything, they swing the other way. Many normal INFPs do not wear rose-colored glasses (or at least, not always). Not all INFPs are optimists, even though they are idealists. You can't be strongly idealistic for very long at all before life shows you in no uncertain terms that the world does not work like that. Which is not to say that INFPs abandon their ideals -- they are just very aware that the world can be an extremely sucky place which is highly incompatible with their ideals. Indeed, the loftier the idealism, the more uncomfortable the shortfall.

    It's hard to argue from my position. It's all relative, and I am an INFP, after all. If I say "We INFPs are not that nice and sweet and fluffy", you can just say "Yes you are, you just can't see it." What can I say to that?[/mini-rant]

    It's a moot point anyway, since I can mirror your argument and say "If INFPs are avoidant of conflict and idealistic in nature, so too are ISFPs." INFPs are far more likely to write a song about it, though. INFPs are frequently described in all profiles as inclined towards lyricism, poetry and philosophical pursuits. ISFPs far less so. In fact, many profiles make a special point of saying that ISFPs are particularly averse to those pursuits. Here's what one profile says comparing the two types: "ISFPs are less fantasy-oriented than INFPs. These types are often confused, however, INFPs lean strongly to daydreams, poetry, prose and more philosophical pursuits; ISFPs often live out 'id' experiences rather than writing or even talking about them [Italics mine]."1 Here is what another site has to say in comparing the two types: "ISFPs also resemble INFPs in needing to achieve intensity of feeling. The focus, however, with the ISFPs seems to be more on the sensuous side than the meaningful side. The ISFP is orgastic, in the sense, demanding of life that it provide the excitement and pleasure of drinking deeply at the Dionysian well. Not revelry (that is the forte of the ESFP) but experience is what attracts the ISFP to these kinds of activities.'"2 imo, Cobain's lyrics and music were far more driven by a "the meaningful side" (or the lack of meaning) than "the sensuous side". Interestingly, that site also has this to say about ISFPs: "ISFPs are not articulate. They communicate through action. They do not verbalize their meanings, but, for example, offer a lovely flower and a smile. Their actions speak of the pastoral and the bucolic." Does that sound like it's describing a lyricist? Not to me.

    In short, I'm not at all sure on what basis you are making the distinctions you make between ISFPs and INFPs, or even how you characterize either. If you have any links that would be useful to me in understanding where you are coming from, I would be most grateful. Or are you talking from personal experiences with both types? If so, are they confirmed (by self-test, at least) representatives of these types, and are they a sample large enough that you feel reasonably confident in adjudging them representative?

    1- ISFP Profile
    2- ISFP - The Aesthete

  7. #17
    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    JJJ, I'm not sure why you are arguing at this point. Do you think Curt Kobain is INFP or are you crusading for INFP's in general? If I have said something to offend you then I apologize.

    I still think Curt Kobain was an ISFP though. First, he tends to remind me a lot of my ISFP brother. Additionally, (if you want sources) ISFP's are often drawn to music. (These quotes come from the links provided in your previous post.)
    ISFPs will practice playing an instrument or honing a favored skill for hours on end, not so much as practice as for the joy of the experience.
    As do most SPs, ISFPs keenly sense color, sound, texture, and movement. It is not unusual for ISFPs to excel in sensory, motor, or kinesthetic abilities.
    Music, like wine, is incorporated and internalized, and the introverted nature of the ISFP requires this internalization.
    ISFP's tend to be more sensual in nature, and consequently tend to focus more on the melody of music than the lyrics. INFP's are more likely to express themselves through words and therefore focus more on the lyrics. The problem with Curt Kobain is that he wrote both the music and the lyrics for his songs, and he did a good job with both in my opinion. Is he an INFP with a talent for melody or an ISFP with a talent for lyrics? I can't distinguish whether he is S or N from his music. (On the other hand Jim Morrison was probably an INFP, since he tended to focus a lot more on lyrics than music in my opinion, and I'd say John Fogerty is an ISFP for the opposite reason.)

    Their talents may be easy to overlook because they shun the spotlight and do not have a strong need to demonstrate their strengths to others.
    In one interview I saw, Curt Kobain said that he originally wanted to be the drummer, because he just wanted to be part of the band and not the star. Also in the clips I've seen him in, he tends to be a person of few words which is more common for an ISFP.

    I can certainly see why someone would say he is INFP though. ISFP and INFP are very similar. Also he is talented both in writing melodies and lyrics so the S/N divide can be hard to tell from his music.
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    Senior Member gretch's Avatar
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    I think that the main difference between an INFP and an ISFP is motive. SP's have much different motivations than NF's. NF's strive for authenticity above all else, and usually have a lot of disdain for fakeness and following the crowd. Almost every song Cobain ever wrote was along those lines. Cobain is the one of the most famous lyricists there is, which makes me postulate based on what you said
    ISFP's tend to be more sensual in nature, and consequently tend to focus more on the melody of music than the lyrics. INFP's are more likely to express themselves through words and therefore focus more on the lyrics. The problem with Curt Kobain is that he wrote both the music and the lyrics for his songs, and he did a good job with both in my opinion. Is he an INFP with a talent for melody or an ISFP with a talent for lyrics? I can't distinguish whether he is S or N from his music. (On the other hand Jim Morrison was probably an INFP, since he tended to focus a lot more on lyrics than music in my opinion, and I'd say John Fogerty is an ISFP for the opposite reason.)


    Krist Novoselić is definitely a ISP and shows the difference between Cobain and him.

    Also being the front man is MUCH more of an SP thing as they strive for virtuosity more than anything else, also more of an E thing. I understand where you are coming from with the edginess, but I really believe that it's a question of motive. I think that when an NF's ideals are squished.

    # Paul McCartney and
    # Johnny Cash are great examples of ISFP musicians.

    #John Lennon was most likely an INFP-in the prime of the Idealist 'Peace' era. It's really easy to compare his solo career with Paul's. I mean compare watching the wheels with Hello goodbye. Paul is more catchy and his lyrics, though image evocative and poetic don't really point to much deeper. Watching the wheels is perhaps more 'obvious' but portrayed a strong set of ideals, and distaste for 'shoulds'.




    Johnny Cash was most definitely edgy, and audacious a classic ISFP trait. Though he is much more aesthetic than Cobain.

    If it is not obvious in his music to you you should look at their albums- covers and such. Home photographs and not really all that catchy... favoring more originality and off beatness than aesthetically pleasing- and extreme disturbing off the wall imagery -highly abstract- medly of broken baby doll parts and raw meat... even an ISFP if he were trying to be original would be more aesthetic about it. But if an ISFP isn't perceived as original it doesn't crush them the same way it does idealists.
    Funny you should talk about the song Rape me. It's not about rape. It's about the tabloid exposure over his daughter. Unlike Polly, which is about rape.

    Few words= I not just ISFP.
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    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    wait how is there any controversy here? INFP seems almost unquestionable.

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    *bump*

    I think Cobain was an INFP reacting against a Guardian dominated environment (his parents were very likely both Guardians). I have an INFP friend and he reminds me quite a bit of him (self-hating, very willing to be a martyr, hates the mainstream and focuses on a small group willing to sacrifice anything for them, etc.) Kurt was clearly an intellect, so I think N is more likely.

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