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  1. #1
    Junior Member denial's Avatar
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    Default INFP and Negative Work Environments

    Hello. I'm new here, but not new to MBTI. I'm saying this right off the top so that what follows doesn't seem like a glib attempt to find a 'unifying theory' that oversimplifies. I'm just looking for some plain, old fashioned help and, hopefully, some richer perspectives that will allow me to abandon the unsatisfying ones that I currently hold (or that hold me).

    This is about INFPs, but of course, all types are warmly invited to reply. With this being said, I would be particularly grateful to any INFPs who share an opinion that comes from inside the situation that I'm talking about here.

    This situation is really about INFPs who appear to contribute to, develop and ultimately champion toxic work environments.

    What I've seen -- from the outide, though (if I may say so) like most INFJs I do tend to introject with unintentional clarity -- is the following formula:

    1. An INFP becomes unhappy with how they are being engaged by their workplace. Specifically, an INFP feels that they aren't being appreciated for their unique talents and potential. This can express itself personally, in the INFP not being able to 'do' what they want to do, or it can express itself more abstractly, in the INFP not being able to 'be' what they want to be.

    2. This INFP starts to 'test workplace boundaries.' This starts out small and pedestrian, such as being a few minutes late for work, and if unmet by some entity that the INFP considers an authority (maybe a manager, maybe not), grows into overt, stark insubordination.

    3. This INFP, unhappy with the quality of feedback they're getting from #2 (this can range from neglect to a continued unwillingness by others to see the INFP as unique/special), starts to *actively convert other people* into a General State of Misery (GSOM). This is especially noticed when new people enter the work environment; they are swiftly recruited by the INFP and told, in absolute terms, that life in that work environment is living hell.

    4. This INFP becomes the "anti-INFP" -- maybe like a very, very, very unhealthy ISTP. The only word I have for this is 'toxic', and it fits: whatever they attach themselves to becomes corrupted, polluted, destructive and unhealthy.

    I realize that the INFPs reading this may be growing angrier by the sentence. I apologize for this. Please understand that I'm hyper-sensitive (as I think most INFs are) to 'bullshit questions' -- questions that are simply vulgar, cowardly attempts to make statements (i.e. asking "why can't people be nicer" really means: "people aren't as nice as me.").

    My question is authentic and based on a great deal of painful interaction with INFPs who have (if I may say so, empathetically), "gone bad." INFPs who have...reacted to what they perceive is a negative, trapped situation.

    My question, ultimately, is this: can one, many or ALL of you tell me what's happening here? What is going on inside this situation? Obviously, there has to be an interiour depth that I can't access, regardless of my intent, motivation, or whatever. I have my own baggage and obstacles.

    I'm not claiming -- though it may seem so, because of the way in which an internet forum is structures -- that all INFPs do what I've described above.

    I'm simply saying that I've experienced this several times -- more than I would consider typical -- and I'd like to know, as much as can be conveyed in words in a forum -- what's happening inside.

    Ultimately ultimately, my meta-motive is selfish. I'm hoping that someone will say something, and an understanding within me will shift and open up, so that I can STOP HATING THESE INFPs. I want to let go the resentment, and dealing directly with the INFPs who have inspired this post isn't possible at this time.

    I would appreciate any help and insights; particularly (though not exclusively) from INFPs who can sense that they've been on the "inside" of this kind of situation. If so, I'm betting that how you saw things, and how I saw things, were dramatically different. I want to know how you saw it.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by denial; 09-03-2007 at 12:56 PM. Reason: Spelling error -- what else :)

  2. #2
    Member Prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by denial View Post
    Hello. I'm new here, but not new to MBTI. I'm saying this right off the top so that what follows doesn't seem like a glib attempt to find a 'unifying theory' that oversimplifies. I'm just looking for some plain, old fashioned help and, hopefully, some richer perspectives that will allow me to abandon the unsatisfying ones that I currently hold (or that hold me).

    This is about INFPs, but of course, all types are warmly invited to reply. With this being said, I would be particularly grateful to any INFPs who share an opinion that comes from inside the situation that I'm talking about here.

    This situation is really about INFPs who appear to contribute to, develop and ultimately champion toxic work environments.

    What I've seen -- from the outide, though (if I may say so) like most INFJs I do tend to introject with unintentional clarity -- is the following formula:

    1. An INFP becomes unhappy with how they are being engaged by their workplace. Specifically, an INFP feels that they aren't being appreciated for their unique talents and potential. This can express itself personally, in the INFP not being able to 'do' what they want to do, or it can express itself more abstractly, in the INFP not being able to 'be' what they want to be.

    2. This INFP starts to 'test workplace boundaries.' This starts out small and pedestrian, such as being a few minutes late for work, and if unmet by some entity that the INFP considers an authority (maybe a manager, maybe not), grows into overt, stark insubordination.

    3. This INFP, unhappy with the quality of feedback they're getting from #2 (this can range from neglect to a continued unwillingness by others to see the INFP as unique/special), starts to *actively convert other people* into a General State of Misery (GSOM). This is especially noticed when new people enter the work environment; they are swiftly recruited by the INFP and told, in absolute terms, that life in that work environment is living hell.

    4. This INFP becomes the "anti-INFP" -- maybe like a very, very, very unhealthy ISTP. The only word I have for this is 'toxic', and it fits: whatever they attach themselves to becomes corrupted, polluted, destructive and unhealthy.

    I realize that the INFPs reading this may be growing angrier by the sentence. I apologize for this. Please understand that I'm hyper-sensitive (as I think most INFs are) to 'bullshit questions' -- questions that are simply vulgar, cowardly attempts to make statements (i.e. asking "why can't people be nicer" really means: "people aren't as nice as me.").

    My question is authentic and based on a great deal of painful interaction with INFPs who have (if I may say so, empathetically), "gone bad." INFPs who have...reacted to what they perceive is a negative, trapped situation.

    My question, ultimately, is this: can one, many or ALL of you tell me what's happening here? What is going on inside this situation? Obviously, there has to be an interiour depth that I can't access, regardless of my intent, motivation, or whatever. I have my own baggage and obstacles.

    I'm not claiming -- though it may seem so, because of the way in which an internet forum is structures -- that all INFPs do what I've described above.

    I'm simply saying that I've experienced this several times -- more than I would consider typical -- and I'd like to know, as much as can be conveyed in words in a forum -- what's happening inside.

    Ultimately ultimately, my meta-motive is selfish. I'm hoping that someone will say something, and an understanding within me will shift and open up, so that I can STOP HATING THESE INFPs. I want to let go the resentment, and dealing directly with the INFPs who have inspired this post isn't possible at this time.

    I would appreciate any help and insights; particularly (though not exclusively) from INFPs who can sense that they've been on the "inside" of this kind of situation. If so, I'm betting that how you saw things, and how I saw things, were dramatically different. I want to know how you saw it.

    Thanks.
    So you hate infp because they can act pessimistic?
    If you feel the urge to control 'toxic' infp feelings or you feel threating because the infp are controling the feelings of people you used to control, just cut off the first step. Give the infp a better work enviroment.

  3. #3
    Junior Member denial's Avatar
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    If you can reduce my post to "you hate INFP because they can act pessimistic", you have a future in bad copywriting (you'd be surprised how much this pays).

    Also - I'm wasn't in control of these environments, formally or informally. If I was, yes, I would have done something early on (whether that would have made things better or worse, I don't know).

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by denial View Post
    ...Also - I'm wasn't in control of these environments, formally or informally. If I was, yes, I would have done something early on (whether that would have made things better or worse, I don't know).
    What he said was
    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus View Post
    feel threating because the infp are controling the feelings of people you used to control.
    Control feelings, not people

  5. #5
    Junior Member denial's Avatar
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    Is this thing on?

  6. #6
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    If I understand well the whole situations:
    -Some people on your job use to come late for work
    -Then they receive negative comments for that
    -They get pissed off and start to believe their workplace is a hell
    -They voice this opinion to other people.

    I fail to understand how that produces any negative environment which affects you. Does that affect your work or productivity? Do these people act against you on some way? You could simply do what you have to do and not mind them, or not?
    I am not being negative, I simply cannot really understand the problem

  7. #7
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    One question first - have these INFPs been formally tested?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    One question first - have these INFPs been formally tested?
    Has anyone here been formally tested? I thought most of us were just trying to type ourselves

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by denial View Post
    This situation is really about INFPs who appear to contribute to, develop and ultimately champion toxic work environments.
    I sympathize with what you're saying here. As a boss, I've had this kind of disgruntled INFP employee: moping, rolling their eyes, sighing, enervated, listless, whining about any new task given to them, making passive-aggressive comments, etc. Hell, I've probably been that employee back in my younger days.

    On the other hand, I consider it typically INFJ of you to get so worked up about it and want to control it. So you have a grumpy, complaining worker or coworker. Big deal. Like it's a novelty to encounter a worker who doesn't enjoy their workday.

    If you're working alone with a grumpy INFP, then I agree that the INFP can get on your nerves real fast. But if you're working in a small shop with a couple other employees (say a fast food joint), then it shouldn't be such a big deal; the INFP will likely grumble a bit and then keep mostly to himself anyway. If you have a bigger shop with lots of employees, then the INFP should be the least of your worries. The INFP practically disappears into the woodwork compared to other personality types and their workplace issues.

    If you're the boss at your workplace, then manage the problem the way bosses are supposed to: sit down with the INFP in a formal counseling session, set performance targets to address any slippage in work performance, have a talk about proper attitude and being a team player, etc.

    If you're not the boss, then the INFP is not your problem. Complain to the boss about morale issues in the work environment if you must, and then drop it. It's the boss' call, not yours.

    Like I said, I've had grumpy INFP employees. It's not the most pleasant thing, but it's also not the worst thing that can happen to a boss or a workplace. Even at their worst, INFPs are fairly benign overall. I would certainly prefer a grumpy, whiny INFP over a cranky INTJ, a passive-aggressive ESFJ, an insubordinate ENTJ, or a rebellious ESTP any day of the week.

    Meanwhile, I would advise that you simply quit worrying about it. Whether you're the boss or coworker, you're not responsible for people's moods. If you're the boss and you want to declare an official office-wide "morale problem" or officially counsel an individual worker about attitude, then that's fine--handle the issue through official channels according to the usual official formats. Beyond that, don't try to get into people's heads and do mood control. Observe proper personal boundaries and all that. Learn how to control your own anal retentiveness. Be more willing to accept people as they are, even when they're having a bad day or a bad year.

    Just my own opinion, of course. But I'll shut up at this point. I'm interested in hearing from other board members and other personality types whether they think disgruntled INFPs are noticeably and consistently more toxic in the workplace than disgruntled workers of other types.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lastrailway View Post
    Has anyone here been formally tested? I thought most of us were just trying to type ourselves
    Quite a few have. Many work environments use it for their employees, which is why I'm asking. There is a considerable bias towards mistyping people relative to the formal testing.

    Also, since INFPs are vastly unrepresented in the workforce, being able to build a pattern seems highly suspect right off the bat - doubly so with another NF saying so. In a company that had about 120 odd employees tested, there were 0 INFPs... and this was not statistically unusual (the bias here, however, was that the departments tested were technical and operational, which is even less likely to have INFPs. But even in the areas where Fs are more present, like teaching, nursing and training, INFPs are very rare).

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