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  1. #1
    Seriously Delirious Udog's Avatar
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    Default INFJs: Does this metaphor resonate with you?

    I was recently talking to someone about the differences between INFJs and INFPs, and accidentally stumbled upon ingeniously crafted a metaphor while trying to visually illustrate the difference.

    However, I may have gotten carried away. So, INFJs, does this resonate with you at all?

    .....
    INFJs are like the earth. At the very surface you have the crust. Almost everything is visible. And much like how the earth has oceans, deserts, and mountains, the variety, complexity, and openness of the surface leads most people to stop there. How can there possibly be more?

    However, to stop at the surface is to miss an entirely different world underneath. For starters, below the many layers of the crust is the mantle. Unlike the crust, the mantle is much hotter, and has a slight viscosity that allows for slow currents and shifting. The movements of the mantle affect the structure of the surface, but not in obvious ways. The deeper you get into the mantle, the hotter it gets.

    After digging past the mantle, you get to the core. Earth's core is a molten hot, tumultuous mixture of fiery hot metals that are constantly shifting. It is nothing like the crust, and it much more turbulent than the mantle. Activity in the core isn't noticed on the surface, but eventually works it's way to the surface in the way of earthquakes and magnetic polarization. Oh... and all that stuff about the core? That's the OUTER CORE. There is also an INNER CORE which is yet again different from the outer core.

    The inner core is made of the same materials as the outer core, but the pressure finally forces the metals to solidify and become rock hard. Very little is actually known about the inner core, though. From the surface, the inner core is nearly invisible.
    ...

    This isn't meant to be taken 100% literally, but I think it offers a good overview of the complexity within the INFJ. So:

    1) How much do you guys agree with this?

    2) When it comes to meaningful relationships, how important is it that someone is able to understand OR appreciate the deeper layers?

  2. #2
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udog View Post
    I was recently talking to someone about the differences between INFJs and INFPs, and accidentally stumbled upon ingeniously crafted a metaphor while trying to visually illustrate the difference.

    However, I may have gotten carried away. So, INFJs, does this resonate with you at all?

    .....
    INFJs are like the earth. At the very surface you have the crust. Almost everything is visible. And much like how the earth has oceans, deserts, and mountains, the variety, complexity, and openness of the surface leads most people to stop there. How can there possibly be more?

    However, to stop at the surface is to miss an entirely different world underneath. For starters, below the many layers of the crust is the mantle. Unlike the crust, the mantle is much hotter, and has a slight viscosity that allows for slow currents and shifting. The movements of the mantle affect the structure of the surface, but not in obvious ways. The deeper you get into the mantle, the hotter it gets.

    After digging past the mantel, you get to the core. Earth's core is a molten hot, tumultuous mixture of fiery hot metals that are constantly shifting. It is nothing like the crust, and it much more turbulent than the mantle. Activity in the core isn't noticed on the surface, but eventually works it's way to the surface in the way of earthquakes and magnetic polarization. Oh... and all that stuff about the core? That's the OUTER CORE. There is also an INNER CORE which is yet again different from the outer core.

    The inner core is made of the same materials as the outer core, but the pressure finally forces the metals to solidify and become rock hard. Very little is actually known about the inner core, though. From the surface, the inner core is nearly invisible.
    ...

    This isn't meant to be taken 100% literally, but I think it offers a good overview of the complexity within the INFJ. So:

    1) How much do you guys agree with this?

    2) When it comes to meaningful relationships, how important is it that someone is able to understand OR appreciate the deeper layers?

    1) I agree with this 110%.

    2) Appreciation and understanding go hand in hand for me. And the two are both deciding factors regarding how meaningful a relationship is. And my relationships need to have meaning. If I needed to choose between acceptance vs understanding, or, being with someone (friend or otherwise) & being accepted vs. alone & understood (yet unacceptable somehow), I'd pick being understood everytime. Luckily, with understanding comes acceptance, and appreciation, more often than not..

    "Understanding" is sort of general.. I mean, regarding that core inside the core..
    hell.. pieces of that are mysterious even for us..
    03/23 06:06:58 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:06:59 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:21:34 Nancynobullets: LEXXX *sacrifices a first born*
    03/23 06:21:53 Nancynobullets: We summon yooouuu
    03/23 06:29:07 Lexicon: I was sleeping!



    04/25 04:20:35 Patches: Don't listen to lex. She wants to birth a litter of kittens. She doesnt get to decide whats creepy

    02/16 23:49:38 ygolo: Lex is afk
    02/16 23:49:45 Cimarron: she's doing drugs with Jack

    03/05 19:27:41 Time: You can't make chat morbid. Lex does it naturally.

  3. #3
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Udog's findings are indeed a valuable insight for sensotard ESTPs like me.

    Knowing how to better appreciate someone in a way that is meaningful to them helps alot in maintaining any friendship, romantic or platonic.

    I've been through this first hand, my wife is INFJ, I am ESTP, and for many years I did not get it. I bought her a LOADED Dell Insprion (Pink, her favorite color!) laptop (the small girl size one!) and a color coordinated cool chic laptop case, and she was barely impressed. The next year I bought her a .5 carat diamond solitaire pendant (platinum) with a nice snake chain; response was "That's nice." But if I sit and listen to her when she wants to talk, or if I give her a hug when she's feeling down and tell her I love her, that means the world to her. <SIGH> At least I'm trying!

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    Udog's findings are indeed a valuable insight for sensotard ESTPs like me.

    Knowing how to better appreciate someone in a way that is meaningful to them helps alot in maintaining any friendship, romantic or platonic.

    I've been through this first hand, my wife is INFJ, I am ESTP, and for many years I did not get it. I bought her a LOADED Dell Insprion (Pink, her favorite color!) laptop (the small girl size one!) and a color coordinated cool chic laptop case, and she was barely impressed. The next year I bought her a .5 carat diamond solitaire pendant (platinum) with a nice snake chain; response was "That's nice." But if I sit and listen to her when she wants to talk, or if I give her a hug when she's feeling down and tell her I love her, that means the world to her. <SIGH> At least I'm trying!
    She's a lucky lady.

    +Udog, I think it's a successful metaphor. Did you come up with one for INFPs?
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  5. #5
    Seriously Delirious Udog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    I've been through this first hand, my wife is INFJ, I am ESTP, and for many years I did not get it. I bought her a LOADED Dell Insprion (Pink, her favorite color!) laptop (the small girl size one!) and a color coordinated cool chic laptop case, and she was barely impressed. The next year I bought her a .5 carat diamond solitaire pendant (platinum) with a nice snake chain; response was "That's nice." But if I sit and listen to her when she wants to talk, or if I give her a hug when she's feeling down and tell her I love her, that means the world to her. <SIGH> At least I'm trying!
    Hah! That's not the first time I've heard stories like that.

    One trick to bolster a present is to try and explain WHY you chose that gift for her, and what you did to personalize it. Most likely, she doesn't care about the difference between a 2.66GH Core 2 Duo with 4GB of RAM and a Celeron with 512MB. That's irrelevant. However, I bet she could appreciate some of the touches you made to make it personal to her. Like buying the best laptop you can get because you feel that she deserves the best. She'll probably roll her eyes at you, but you'll know deep down she is slightly touched.

    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    +Udog, I think it's a successful metaphor. Did you come up with one for INFPs?
    Yup. We are like whoopie cushions. Full of air until you apply pressure, then we make a funny sound.

    Okay...

    INFPs have Introverted Feeling as their dominate function. We define ourselves by our values, but are usually veeery reluctant to share and express them, sometimes even to those we trust. (INFPs usually get better at this as we get older.) However, even if we don't tell you our values, we live our life according to them, so everything you see is essentially our core Fi percolating to the surface in one way or another.

    INFPs reveal themselves in degrees. We are a picture that slowly gets revealed piece by piece. Don't think about it as a puzzle being put together though, but a covered picture that is slowly revealed, working from the outside in.

  6. #6
    Seriously Delirious Udog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lexicon View Post
    2) Appreciation and understanding go hand in hand for me. And the two are both deciding factors regarding how meaningful a relationship is. And my relationships need to have meaning. If I needed to choose between acceptance vs understanding, or, being with someone (friend or otherwise) & being accepted vs. alone & understood (yet unacceptable somehow), I'd pick being understood everytime. Luckily, with understanding comes acceptance, and appreciation, more often than not..

    "Understanding" is sort of general.. I mean, regarding that core inside the core..
    hell.. pieces of that are mysterious even for us..

    That's why I liked that metaphor so much. There's so little we understand about the earth, and what goes on deep reflects itself on the surface in sometimes hard to explain ways.

    So how does someone understand you in a valuable way? Do they need to simply understand your (for example) need for honesty in intention and positive emotion? Or does that understanding need to go deeper?

  7. #7
    Senior Member whimsical's Avatar
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    that is an absolutely great metaphor
    in a relationship understanding and appreciation of these layers under the crust is very important because it tells me that the person is tolerant of others differences and that they can accept me for me

  8. #8
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    I've been through this first hand, my wife is INFJ, I am ESTP, and for many years I did not get it. I bought her a LOADED Dell Insprion (Pink, her favorite color!) laptop (the small girl size one!) and a color coordinated cool chic laptop case, and she was barely impressed. The next year I bought her a .5 carat diamond solitaire pendant (platinum) with a nice snake chain; response was "That's nice." But if I sit and listen to her when she wants to talk, or if I give her a hug when she's feeling down and tell her I love her, that means the world to her. <SIGH> At least I'm trying!
    Oh dear...the laptop gift made me cringe. :-) But you're learning what is most important to her, so that's really all that matters! And yes...trying is so important! And the act of trying will be evident to her I'm sure.

    Udog - I like the metaphor! I agree 100% that what is visible on the surface isn't the half of it.

    Regarding this question -- 2) When it comes to meaningful relationships, how important is it that someone is able to understand OR appreciate the deeper layers? and this one

    So how does someone understand you in a valuable way? Do they need to simply understand your (for example) need for honesty in intention and positive emotion? Or does that understanding need to go deeper?
    -- I must say I'm not certain how to answer. I mean, it's pretty self-evident to me that I want to be understood and appreciated -- as does pretty much any human being, regardless of personality type. Short answer: With some people all of it can be rather a non-issue. We are able to click/communicate/understand each other almost instantaneously, and I feel immediately at ease. Perhaps it IS summed up with what you write as purity/honesty in intention. Openness.

    As for the layers - To be honest..this is maybe just me...but Ni/Ti combo doesn't lead to the 'nicest' conclusions about humanity or people. A lot of my actual thoughts and beliefs aren't inherently 'Nice' to humankind. But due to my Fe and my not wanting to cause conflict or be misunderstood or to cause others distress when I see no 'point' in causing them distress, I don't talk about most things that go on in my head or that I think. Because frankly many of my thoughts might be more harsh. I also don't think a lot of thoughts are necessarily relevant or need to be brought up -- will any good come out of my expressing them? If so, I probably would - if not, I probably wouldn't.

    Also, I've found there aren't many people who have..shall I say...the patience to really allow what I'm saying to come out in its own time. Most people interrupt, or don't actually allow for my thoughts to come out. (And I can *totally* tell when someone's just sitting there not really wanting to hear what I have to say, or are impatient - it's just in their body language - and then I'll just use that as my cue to not say a whole lot.) Because my thoughts aren't going to be linear necessarily, I might double back, pause, have to sit for a few seconds to figure out what I'm trying to say, if I'm really trying to dig deeply out of my brain I very well will totally lose my train of thought .... (this notably happens when I'm talking with another INFJ: we'll be in a deep discussion, I'll have a sudden insight, then as I'm talking it'll vanish, and I'll have to go: 'Uh..I've totally lost what I was going to say'..then I'll sit there for 10 seconds and then it might come back to me and I'll continue on. And half the time it doesn't come back, I just shrug, and then 15 minutes later I'll go: 'Oh! Now I know what I was going to say!' Therefore I may not be intentionally holding things back, it's just how the conversation/dynamics unfold. I often go off of cues of others.

    And - I find many of my thoughts can contradict themselves, and/or I have many possible strings of thoughts and haven't figured out yet which one I really think is 'right', or they all might be 'right' in their own way, depending on the perspective you want to look at. So that also leads to the many-layered effect, which is a complicated thing to convey in conversation. And it also means I can see multiple perspectives at the same time, and thus might be non-committal to any one. Depending.

    In summary: Patience, proactively demonstrating they want to get to know me by asking questions or the like, being an ACTIVE listener, demonstration that they are open enough to not be easily offended at what I might say and will take it in stride.

    All of this really only applies with 1:1 personal conversations, though. On the job -- I'm a pretty great communicator. Clear, to the point, sure of myself...but then I guess on the job I have such a specific role and the subject matter is a given and you just stick to that without deviation. :-)
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

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  9. #9
    Temporal Mechanic. Lexicon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udog View Post
    That's why I liked that metaphor so much. There's so little we understand about the earth, and what goes on deep reflects itself on the surface in sometimes hard to explain ways.

    So how does someone understand you in a valuable way? Do they need to simply understand your (for example) need for honesty in intention and positive emotion? Or does that understanding need to go deeper?
    They need to understand my need for honesty in intention. Even if they aren't necessarily the healthiest of motivations. All emotions and needs ought to be openly expressed if not simply discussed. Somewhat hypocritical of me, as it's difficult for me to offer at times. I need them to understand that, and have patience. Peeling back the layers is difficult for the outsider as well as the one within. I need mutual emotional and intellectual understanding, and a mutual desire for constant growth, even in the face of fear or pain. It's hard to find that sincerity and/or determination in another person, let alone have them admit it. It's that openness, though.. that penetrates deeper.
    ...If that makes sense.
    03/23 06:06:58 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:06:59 EcK: lex
    03/23 06:21:34 Nancynobullets: LEXXX *sacrifices a first born*
    03/23 06:21:53 Nancynobullets: We summon yooouuu
    03/23 06:29:07 Lexicon: I was sleeping!



    04/25 04:20:35 Patches: Don't listen to lex. She wants to birth a litter of kittens. She doesnt get to decide whats creepy

    02/16 23:49:38 ygolo: Lex is afk
    02/16 23:49:45 Cimarron: she's doing drugs with Jack

    03/05 19:27:41 Time: You can't make chat morbid. Lex does it naturally.

  10. #10
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Instead of falling in love with a person, I'm starting to fall in love with a personality type. Shame on you, Udog.

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