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  1. #1
    Cat Wench ReadingRainbows's Avatar
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    Default Do INFJs just follow the leader?

    I mean...if they like someone..they just follow their leads and their cues? If they don't you don't talk, if they don't seem into you, you don't act interested either? For some reason..I like to argue with the people I really like early on...I think it may be a way of testing boundaries....do ya'll know any other INFJ's who do this? I mean I argue, but I follow at the same time.....any thoughts?
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    Senior Member StoryOfMyLife's Avatar
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    Hmm...that's a good question, really. Sometimes, I can be kind of dense or clueless to 'cues' given by another person. Though at times I almost prefer it that way. Knowing there are cues or signals make me get too nervous and I can't relax any more than I would be otherwise.

    However, the arguing thing- I can kind of follow. When I like somebody, I hear what they have to say and then 'challenge' it. I might engage them with a sarcastic quip, a verbal ribbing, or- depending on what they are talking about- I'll offer some alternative of what they came up with and see how they respond. Maybe it is a way of testing boundaries, or of getting a feel for how well I and that other person react off of one another?

    I don't do this strictly by 'romantic' feelings for somebody, either. People I am interested in getting to know better in general are 'victims' to this as well. I think it's how I've come about most of my friends and kept them...
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  3. #3
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Hmmm, this is related to my INFJ thread. Perhaps the social cue following thing that you mention is the reason that the INFJ I know sometimes fails to interact with me on occasions (usually after we haven't been around each other for a while). I initiate no cues to be followed, so no interaction occurs. Weird.
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    Revelation Lauren Ashley's Avatar
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    No, can't say I follow the leader, but my personality is somewhat fluid so I can adjust to different kinds of people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rainbows View Post
    I mean...if they like someone..they just follow their leads and their cues? If they don't you don't talk, if they don't seem into you, you don't act interested either? For some reason..I like to argue with the people I really like early on...I think it may be a way of testing boundaries....do ya'll know any other INFJ's who do this? I mean I argue, but I follow at the same time.....any thoughts?
    Na, I don't follow. My usual style is to get out of my introverted shell when I really like someone. Or sometimes, it does not have much to do with liking but more to do with being intrigued by someone and wanting to find out more. Call it inquisitiveness, but not in a bad gossipy way.

    More often than not, I have taken far more risks in trying to connect with the other person than I feel the other person has. I always have this feeling that I am putting in more effort than the other person. I was even told once during a conflict-charged period of my life that 'whether or not we remain friends will always depend on you'... and concluded that if I withdrew permanently, I would not be sought after.

    I used to feel very sorry about it but time is a good healer and lately, during 'off-times' I have been filling those times with DIY projects to occupy my mind and my hands and to prevent me from obsessing over the hurts and disappointments. I find that the finished projects give me a sense of satisfaction that I am in charge. Not in charge of other's feelings for me, certainly not, but at least a modicum of control - in changing my physical environment, I change my perspective a bit.

    Also I try now to connect with others not just on the plane of ideas but also on the realm of 'things' and a bit less on 'ideas'. That opens up interactions with personality types I would not normally relate with THAT frequently before. They are less complicated interactions because I am 'hiding behind things'. I just state my preferences (matte over gloss, cotton over acrylic, etc) and don't take it personally if these preferences over THINGS are not shared. I tended to interact more with brainy types and yes, those interactions can and do degenerate into fierce arguments and finger-pointing and criticisms going both ways.

    I don't know which function I am developing here. But there is a feeling of having gone beyond counting the times when I follow others' cues or they follow mine or what not and simply BE ... and if things develop and a new friend is gained, good. If not, maybe later but I don't sweat over it...Not any more.

  6. #6
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    Hmmm, this is related to my INFJ thread. Perhaps the social cue following thing that you mention is the reason that the INFJ I know sometimes fails to interact with me on occasions (usually after we haven't been around each other for a while). I initiate no cues to be followed, so no interaction occurs. Weird.
    Well, I can't speak for all INFJ's, but I think this definitely applies to me. If someone doesn't give me any noticeable cues to follow, there's little interaction. I think it boils down to my needing to know on some level that said person really IS interested in talking, or interacting, or whatever...if they don't demonstrate that on some level, I guess I assume they're not that interested, or at the very least are apathetic. Or I might assume they just don't want to talk, so I keep it so no one talks. Don't get me wrong, I ask questions, and I really try to get to know people...but really, it takes two. If the other person doesn't ask questions or doesn't give any sort of clear signal as to whether they even want be in the conversation or not, then there's nothing more I can really do, so I don't try anymore.

    This is probably why I can be much more at ease, and comfortable, talking with Fe-users and extroverts. They give cues, and they initiate to an extent, just like I do, and the back-and-forth flows a lot more readily.

    My level of talkativeness has a direct relation to WHO I'm talking to. With some people, the conversation seems to be dead before it even begins..it's kind of weird. And I believe that's tied to the lack of social cues or demonstrated interest. With others, it just flows, and I can be a lot more talkative.

    Regarding the OP, I don't have many comments. I don't think I argue, although if the vibes are flirtatious I might go for jesting and teasing and sarcasm and stuff like that. I might playfully argue, but I don't consider that 'true' arguing. ;-) For 'Follow the Leader' -- in social contexts, maybe I do. It just goes back to the whole social cue thing. In general I let the other person set the tone for what sort of interaction they want.
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  7. #7
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Immaculate Cloud View Post
    More often than not, I have taken far more risks in trying to connect with the other person than I feel the other person has. I always have this feeling that I am putting in more effort than the other person. I was even told once during a conflict-charged period of my life that 'whether or not we remain friends will always depend on you'... and concluded that if I withdrew permanently, I would not be sought after.
    The INFJ I was referring to WAS initially the one that reached out to connect with me. If it weren't for her determination in getting to know me a little, then I doubt we would've spoken to each other very much at all. Unfortunately, this only encourages my tendency to let the other person do all the relationship work, and I think she just gets sick of it and wants some reciprocation now and again, like you described. I am really terrible at doing that for her, though, and it has partially to do with a fear of rejection, an unwillingness to be invasive, and a lack of trust. I consider it a big accomplishment in that direction, for instance, to even invite her over for dinner.

    Quote Originally Posted by Immaculate Cloud View Post
    Also I try now to connect with others not just on the plane of ideas but also on the realm of 'things' and a bit less on 'ideas'. That opens up interactions with personality types I would not normally relate with THAT frequently before. They are less complicated interactions because I am 'hiding behind things'. I just state my preferences (matte over gloss, cotton over acrylic, etc) and don't take it personally if these preferences over THINGS are not shared. I tended to interact more with brainy types and yes, those interactions can and do degenerate into fierce arguments and finger-pointing and criticisms going both ways.
    This is useful for me to know because, as I mention in my thread, the INFJ I know gets offended if jokes or arguments aimed against the ideas that she holds dear go too far (and I am just the person to take them too far). I initially thought that she would (or should, rather) just get over it and understand that my disagreement with her ideas is entirely separate from my view or estimation of her personally. In fact, I don't think I even initially understood the concept of becoming personally attached to ideas at all.

    Now I see that the separation between self and ideas that comes so naturally to me is quite the opposite for her (or so it seems, and so your post seems to corroborate). I guess I will need to keep this in mind in my future interactions with her, though it is always tempting to rib someone who has such strong feelings about any certain thing or idea, especially if that certain thing or idea is easily mocked.

    Quote Originally Posted by cascademn View Post
    My level of talkativeness has a direct relation to WHO I'm talking to. With some people, the conversation seems to be dead before it even begins..it's kind of weird. And I believe that's tied to the lack of social cues or demonstrated interest. With others, it just flows, and I can be a lot more talkative.
    This is interesting to hear as well, because in my experience with this particular INFJ, sometimes even if I actually do initiate conversation with her, she won't be responsive. I decided that it was probably due to her thinking that I was just talking to her out of perfunctory courtesy. Unfortunately her lack of response made me discontinue communication in these instances, which probably further confirmed her belief that I was just talking to her perfunctorily and not as a good faith attempt to interact.
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  8. #8
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    This is interesting to hear as well, because in my experience with this particular INFJ, sometimes even if I actually do initiate conversation with her, she won't be responsive. I decided that it was probably due to her thinking that I was just talking to her out of perfunctory courtesy. Unfortunately her lack of response made me discontinue communication in these instances, which probably further confirmed her belief that I was just talking to her perfunctorily and not as a good faith attempt to interact.
    Hmm...that's certainly a good possibility, but it could be any number of other things too - would depend on her, you, your history of interactions, etc.

    I think INFJ's do tend to view a persons' actions as part of a whole. I, at least, don't really look at things in an isolated context - I look at personalities and behaviors in more of an extended form. This might be why my friendships, and level of trust, take more time to develop than they would for others. Is the person consistent? (which would lead to an impression that the person is being more genuine, and their actions are coming from their own being/inclinations, and own desires, rather than being forced or out of a sense of obligation)

    It can be a quandary. There are obviously certain people, and certain dynamics, who/that I click with almost instantaneously, and a lot of it is how I interpret that persons' intentions and sincerity. And like I said before, that they actually DO have a desire and interest to get to know me. Their 'Realness' and trueness to themselves, yet wanting to know me too - which would be an action/initiation on their part. It's not my intent to ever change a persons' natural inclinations. So when they're not *naturally inclined* to jive with me or connect with me, it's not something I want to change (because I don't want to change them!), but I'll step back or might need to assess the whole relationship - I might be a lot more hesitant or confused as to how to 'proceed', or whether I even want to proceed. And that's something that sometimes will take time for me to sort out. hmm.
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  9. #9
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Only if alternate action is not required.

    That is if the leader is taking things in the right direction (or when direction doesn't matter) then why rock the boat and make it awkward? Otherwise, I'm sure most INFJs will speak up.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Ene's Avatar
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    I haven't read all of the replies and am replying only to the intial question, Do INFJs just follow the leader?

    No. Absolutely not. I will come back later and read more and answer more thoroughly.

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