Great job, Blackcat., I think you did a great writeup that hopefully will provide a bit more insight on the mind of us INFPs.
Even though I made several comments, consider them tweaks and addition opinions more than anything. The only thing I disagree with you on is Te. But, I’ll get to that.
Perhaps substitute ‘inner life’ with ‘inner values’. I can definitely agree that my values are connected and interweave in a way that resembles a net, though, and this is a clever way of putting it. But, my inner life seems to be a separate entity to me. It’s where my mind goes to wonder, play, or lose itself in contemplation.INFPs are driven by their inner life, which is a net of emotions and attachments (negative and positive), this net is constantly being added to over time and starts developing at a very young age.
I can’t really claim to have a deep personal value towards spinach, or any food.An INFP will generally avoid bad feelings, and with use of the net they naturally remember how to avoid them. A value is formed when a bad or good emotion is felt over and over by a common event, an example would be if the INFP really disliked spinach then they would make it a value to avoid spinach and try to not eat it again.
Yes x 1,000!An INFP's idealism is often inspired by a vision that they have as to how the world could be improved, the way the world SHOULD be. This will generally moderate an INFP's attitude, inspiring them to act on what would be best for a "greater good" in the situations they find themselves in. This may include curing ignorance, helping someone, or setting up for a good future. This view of how the world should be will either make them optimistic or pessimistic in their attitude. The pessimists will generally hope for the best but expect the worst, the optimists will hope for the best and expect the best. This is purely relative to the person.
Another element: When an optimistic INFP’s ideals get shattered by the real world or by other people, they can become extremely cynical. Their ability to see the best in situations get misused to determine how the real world fails to measure up. This can lead to some very dark places for an INFP, and be the key for them to justify some very rotten behavior.
My favorite part is bolded. The problem with Fi is that, since it comes from within, it is limited to the experiences of the INFP. A type 9, which is known to always strive for emotionally integrating new people into our ‘web’, are especially strong in using their Fi to relate to many types of people. The price being that we can lose our own sense of Fi in the process. Type 4s use their strength to understand, feel, and live their emotions and values. They are almost like specialists. Their level of empathy is encompassing on a level us 9s don’t match. The down side is they are quicker to attribute their own motives to another person, as they are drawing their data and potentials from a smaller, but deeper, data pool.Dominant- Introverted Feeling/Fi: Introverted Feeling is the bread and butter of an INFP. As explained above it grants a net of emotions. It also grants them empathy toward others, in a sense that they feel what the other person is feeling unconsciously, and also allows them to see through other's eyes. Fi makes things have meaning for an INFP, this can be a good or bad, real or symbolic meaning to them. Fi allows an INFP to see right through others, showing their true intentions to them. However this can sometimes fail them, and they see a false intention.
INFPs tend to have a ‘bank’ of sorts. We fairly freely let people we like make withdrawals from it, in the way of listening, comforting, supporting, and doing favors. However, it’s important for the other person to make deposits, too. We need people to listen to us, do us favors, etc. It’s not a 1:1 ratio, but we are not very good at freely giving and giving unconditionally, either. If the withdrawal/deposit ratio gets too skewed, we eventually drop the person from our life.Introverted Feeling basically drives the INFP's yearning for positive emotions in life. INFPs like feeling positive emotions, they thrive on them. If their emotional state is a good one they will do everything better while in that state. It's like mental adrenaline. If someone treats them well, they will generally return the favor since the person has done them well. If the person has wronged an INFP without trying to make it up to them then the INFP may shut them out of their life until the negative emotions cool down. It's all relative to the individual as to how sensitive they are, some INFPs may purely go by the person's intent and feel good about that, disregarding if something simply sounded negative. Some may take the words they say personally if they are perceived as a threat. It varies as to how sensitive an INFP is, you can't just pinpoint it in a profile. That's for you to figure out on your own with your interactions with INFPs. So basically an INFP's emotional state and what makes it good is all relative to the individual.
Agreed. Ne is the method in which we execute our Fi, generally. Our values get pushed out into the world in the form of potential and greater connections.Auxillary- Extroverted Intuition/Ne: The Extroverted Intuition of an INFP will be used to make connections between things and to read in between the lines. Ne allows an INFP to see the possibilities of information coming in, allowing them to see how it could change and vary. Fi and Ne will naturally work together, going hand in hand for the most part. A decent example of this is how an INFP could predict with no logical or concrete base what may make them feel good, and for the most part having that be true. Ne also is a great people reading function, with it's use to possibly predict the actions or thoughts of others. Ne is also an INFP's advise function, meaning that they will primarily use Ne to give advice to people or to make suggestions. This makes INFPs and INTPs give off an impression of eccentricy when they are giving advice, since they are thinking of possibilities out of thin air with no real base besides a theory. Even though this is completely natural for them, it will appear that they have a "think outside of the box" attitude to others.
Si works as a rewind tape for me. I’ll replay situations and conversations in my head in great detail, and analyze them for things I may have missed. Oftentimes, that’s when I figure out what was REALLY going on in a conversation, as I’m quite oblivious in the moment.Tertiary- Introverted Sensing/Si: Introverted Sensing is a staple for INFPs. Even though it's tertiary it's usually being put into good use by remembering specific details, and also remembering how things were. When an INFP takes in information, they will process it through their Fi, Ne, and Si. The Si part of an INFP will remember the details about an experience or thing, and relate it to how it was before and will check for changes or inconsistencies. Ne is the fuzzy part of an INFP's perception of the world, and Si is the concrete part of an INFP's perception of the world. An INFP will remember the details of something, and this is put into use especially when making decisions for leisure. How did this make me feel before? What about it made me feel this way? Questions like that will be asked and answered in their heads. If Fi and Ne fail them in a situation then Si will take command, checking for details and linking them to past experiences. Si is the INFP's relief function, meaning that use of this function is generally used for relief and reassurance. With this in mind ISFJs and ISTJs make excellent people to be in an INFP's life, due to their dominant Si.
I love your part about Si being our concrete link to the world, because that’s exactly true. When I come up with a crazy theory or value, I’ll also make sure it ‘fits’ in the realm of society. It keeps my Fi/Ne from becoming agents of chaos. However, it’s a fine tuning mechanism, oft applied after Fi/Ne has done it's work, or a subtle guiding hand.
It’s like, in order of importance:
Does idea fit with values? Check.
Does this idea open up interesting and good possibilities? Check.
Will this idea cause social anarchy? Check…. Oh, perhaps I ought to modify it so it’s a bit more socially palatable.
This is the one area where I disagree with. I think you are idealizing the role that Te plays in INFPs. Your examples are pretty good, actually, but they are greatly idealized and don’t reflect the reality I’ve seen in myself and other INFPs. However, I think us INFPs get overly defensive with our shadow Te, because we fall under the false assumption that making decisions with logic = intelligence. (Not surprisingly, it’s usually logical creatures that perpetuate this stereotype.)Inferior- Extroverted Thinking/Te: Extroverted Thinking is a very good tool for INFPs. It allows them to rationalize a situation or a problem of theirs, more often than not resolving the problem whether it's personal or emotional. When everything else fails for an INFP they will resort to Te (if they don't already resort to Te), and they will rationalize their feelings and try to make sense of everything. It's a tool for closure, for inner harmony. Extroverted thinking allows INFPs to see the logical boundries of things and the logical reasons behind why things happen, so if they turn to this then they can eliminate a source of negative feelings from the picture. This can mean asserting your problem toward someone onto the causer of the negative feelings etc. Te in INFPs is also a tool for debate, for applying logical reasoning to a situation rather than how you feel. If INFPs find a nice balance of this then they will do very well in life. You also must factor in the basics of Te, which are organization, categorizing things in your mind, and seeing the logical consequences of your actions. You also must understand that as an inferior function that the other functions will drown out Te's voice unless you try to hear it, and at times INFPs may be very disorganized and not realize right off the bat the logical consequences of their actions. Inferior functions are typically very protected to the individual, and an INFP may be reluctant to start their Te up due to this and also a fear of screwing up or a fear of failure, and inferior functions are usually difficult to use for people which is where this fear would come from with Te being inferior.
As a shadow function, Te reflects itself as an ‘all or nothing’ response. By the time many INFPs resort to Te, they are almost in the throes of it. Te builds a metaphorical brick wall, which then is used to protect Fi no matter the costs. The problem is that the brick wall indiscriminately blocks everything, both the good and the bad. Sure, reasoning is applied, numbers are crunched, logical arguments are developed, comparisons and options are weighed - very possibly with expert 'Te'chnique. (Hah.) But… how confident can you be that Te didn’t cherry pick the data to help reach a conclusion that justifies a hurt and angered Fi?
However, in the INFP Te can also become extremely powerful. Many online profiles claim that INFPs can be expert money managers, and it’s because of how Te can be used to feed Fi / Ne. I also agree that Te can be used to temper Fi. Combine that with Ne, and many INFPs are able to come up with both logical, objective, and efficient solutions to a problem, as well as solutions that best match our values.
For me, it’s hours to weeks. It depends on the atmosphere and if the things that are causing the negative emotions to surface are still an on-going problem.INFPs have this state of mind that I will call "the mood." This "mood" occurs when all of the negativity the INFP pushes back in their psyche comes creeping out to get them. In this state of mind the INFP will feel majorly depressed for any amount of time, varying from person to person. They will remember random negative emotions from decades ago and will feel them vividly. This is all a process where the mind is releasing negativity. It can last any amount of time (it's absolutely relative to the individual), and after that mood is over they will feel fine. This is often confused with INFPs being bipolar.