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Thread: INFP and Negative Work Environments

  1. #51


    this thread is olldddd... and denial is long gone (probably didn't like everyone confronting him/her) but i'm still going to post. other people might read my post, who knows? :shifty eyes:

    Are you sure all your presumptions are correct?

    As an INFP I know I would never want to spread poison into the ears of strangers, perhaps if i worked in a negative environment I would compain heartily to my friends? But a stranger- certainly not, unless I felt that the situation I was in was so bad that I wouldn't want others to be in as much pain as I was in. I'm the type of person who will smile as the ship begins to sink and maybe this is a character trait shared by other INFPs. I'm not sure but from what I hear we are 'idealistic' and 'caring'. Caring people don't spread poison, they may be harsh and cruel, they may give out warnings, but only if they are 'trying' to help.

    Now maybe I can show you the INFPs side of the story:
    I had an art teacher who used to pick on me in front of the whole class, who used to call my art crap. Art is a subject where I lay my insides, all my feelings and personal experiences out and I genuinely try to compose art that reflects my take on life, so to hear that all this was crap- to be told to tear up my art pieces and collage them so that they 'look like they have meaning' was sooo increadibly hurtful it is probably beyond empathy.
    Luckily my other art teacher was increadibly supportive and told me I was amazing and that I did indead have artistic skills- I'm not sure what would have happened but I wouldn't sat their suffering in silence if I didn't know of my secret support.

    Now, if I didn't have any support at all and I was being bullied* like that I know I would have either began skipping classes (the only things stopping me were the fact that I didn't want to upset my parents) or I would have done something else self-destructive.

    *or felt llike I was bullied, even now i know she didn't really mean to hurt my feelings- it was just that she didn't know about how deeply I was connected to my art and how deeply I felt about it all and when I tried to tell her she didn't understand. My trouble didn't stem from cruelty but from ignorance.

    I don't think your co-worker is spreading poison.
    I believe INFP's blow-up from the inside out. We destroy our inner world before we spread poison to the outter world- we have to have NO refuge, we have to feel so totally utterly alone and incapable of supporting ourself before we spread those awful feelings onto others.

    If your co-worker is indeed an INFP, which people have pointed out is unlikely, then you should approach them tentatively and try to see what is wrong with them, before you remedy how this is effecting their behaviour.
    Don't be abrasive or cruel, be kind and supporting and calm.
    Everyone needs to be looked after and if this person's inner negativity is effecting your peace of mind then try and ease their mind, in an inabrasive, supporting manner.

    Kill 'em with kindness!

    I think most INFPs would leave a situation where they were uphappy- if they could. I would definately value my happiness over my future. I figure that I can always get a new job/ go down a new path and as long as I am alive I'm pretty much good. It seems unlikely that an 'INFP' would stay at a job they hate just so they could make money... but then again we have to remember people are people, not personality types. Everyone is different and your not going to behave in a certain manner just because your one type.

    Also, you mentioned that they push the boundaries by being late? Well I don't really view lateness as something bad, I just can't help being late. I'm either ridiculously early or slightly late and you have no idea how much effort I put into being on time now that I'm in uni. I plan for hours just so I can be on time!
    It takes alot of work... time that would be better off spent studying...

    Maybe it's your perseption of the situation that is giving it a negative slant?
    Your responses to other peoples comments seem really defensive, which is understandable because you feel that they aren't correctly evaluating what you are saying, but you need to evaluate and judge your own actions from the other persons perspective and see if your hindering/ helping the situations.
    Sometimes good intentions can be viewed distustfully, particularly if it is by someone who lives their life on two planes- the internal and external. For an INFP with an inner world that has somehow been poisoned by external living circumstances (and i'm going to venture a guess and say this is really hard to do) then the are going to view anything even slightly confrontational badly.

    an INFP will flower.
    Or admit that you are wrong and it isn't the 'INFP' personality type that is the problem :P

  2. #52
    lab rat extraordinaire Array CrystalViolet's Avatar
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    It cracks me up every time this thread gets resurrected. I love the replies to the OP. They are all true, and applicable.
    Currently submerged under an avalanche of books and paper work. I may come back up for air from time to time.
    Real life awaits and she is a demanding mistress.

  3. #53


    I think there are larger questions at work here. Yes I am an INFP. The kind of behaviour you describe is NOT how I behave in the workplace. Not to generalize, but I have found some ESTJs really crazy to work with. Completely different styles and not a fit generally. As an INFP toxic environments are deadly to me and having just left a position where I had to deal with a scrambled, frazzled and incompetent ESTJ boss who could never make any kind of coherent decision and then wanted his staff to deal with all his problems and cover up his mistakes, I would say the problem certainly isn't INFPs.

    I know there are workplaces where they do test and put together similiar types in teams and I've heard at least one place where a group of ESTJs all worked together very well. It seems unfortunate that this isn't used more by HR departments.

    Many workplaces are structured within outdated hierarchical models of disorganization and communicative disconnects. For an INFP consistency, truth and clarity are critical. I venture to speculate that this may be part of the problem.

  4. #54
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    I relate to this post. My former boss was an ESTJ and after several months of working with him, I had had enough and resigned form a very well paying job. To be fair/clear, he was under extreme stress (as was I) and to his mind, we got along wonderfully well. He continually complimented me while taking credit for my accomplishments and failing to support our team in the most fundamental ways. No matter my daily, gently and then not so gentle reminders to keep his promises, protect his staff rather than just talk about doing so, women are not "girls", tell the truth, please, etc. What an exhausting man, and such a powerful personality. I could see his leadership potential, but his seemingly absent self awareness and lack of behavioral control, and finally, ethics, were alienating and impossible to respect.

    Another INFP has taken my place and she is already commenting on the "headaches" she is experiencing. I considered staying to advocate, but after almost a year and a half, I felt I had done enough.

    INFPs in any toxic environment should face this reality, assume it will eventually signficantly alter your ability to work and help others and make plans to change jobs. I usually hesitate to give directives, but for our type, a TJ approach would be useful to assume if you suspect this is what is going on.

    Many charismatic, determined people reach positions of responsibility that give them power over others. Reaching that position in no way determines how it will be handled and when others are abused or neglected by these folks, it is important not to enable and go along with it in any way.

    To close, I at first thought that my traditional aversion to ES types would be proven wrong by this person and heartily enjoyed some of our differences. But as always, character made all of the difference, and a self referencing ESTJ who is irresponsible but convinced himself he is responsible may not have the equipment to change, or may need another ETJ to show them who they are. I look forward to working with another ESTJ in a productive dynamic manner but know this one would be toxic to any INFP.

    As to the original post, I offer this perspective. A strong J placement may not work wth an INFP, esp a strong P. The INF similarities will pale in comparison to the "fight" between a strongly expressing J and a strongly expressing P.

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