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  1. #1
    /X\(:: :: )/X\ BlueSprout's Avatar
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    Default Specific IxFP Concerns: Advice Wanted

    Hi,

    I'm a sometime lurker here. I've had some trouble with my type (INFP), which seems to fit me well generally. I have been working up the courage to post, but am always afraid I will type the wrong thing. I also feel bad asking for feedback when I haven't really contributed anything to the board. Sometimes I look at threads and think of commenting, but I never know how to jump in without seeming awkward. The problem is, I'm not sure I possess or relate to many of the positive traits of my type, but have nearly all of the negative traits (and how). I guess I'll kind of throw some info out there and maybe some posters could let me know a) if I should reevaluate my type (sometimes I think I might be ISFP) b) how to develop maybe one positive trait of IXFP (or any positive trait in general) c) how to deal with Ti when I encounter it or d) how to view or develop Fi or Ne as assets.

    a,b) I test INFP, but have obviously not been professionally evaluated. My Fi is extremely strong and, while I sometimes act more ISFJ when caring for people (I can never verbalize it well; I always do caring), I really cannot see any other function as my dominant one. However, I lack curiosity and a broader view of humanity; I have lost interest in wondering or exploring anything without a practical application. I have done very well in philosophy classes, but treat philosophy as a mental exercise rather than as a tool to use to find truth or understand existence. I have a defeatist view about my ability to know anything (about human nature and destiny, God, truth, etc.) certainly and do not trust myself to weigh the merits of any opinions regarding these issues. Frankly, it would take a lifetime to explore them all – and I still would not have certainty. As a default, I don't have any real beliefs whatsoever. I don't feel a connection to any god or belief system per se – if I did, I might be willing to accept my gut belief as truth. Neither feeling a connection to faith nor having the intelligence or time to develop a philosophical perspective, I have come to no conclusion about life. This is very painful for me as everything, including suffering, individual growth, and human progress, seems meaningless. This is a pain I cannot manage well. /Feeling/ I freeze up when I hear sirens and tear up watching Christian Children's Fund commercials. I even pray (yes PRAY) for others – including when I hear sirens, etc. – for no logical reason. It's not that it makes me feel better (I don't actually think Fi gets any relief from it – just more discomfort). It's probably a superstition that I carry from childhood. My family was never really religious, but we went to church and I was always convinced that I needed to concentrate on the masses of people we ritually prayed for in order for the prayers to affect their lives. Empty prayers produced no relief for the suffering, but if I focused on their needs, then they would get the help they needed. I still feel obligated to pray, despite being an agnostic or atheist of 6 years. /Feeling/ (In case there was any doubt that feeling was my dominant function). :redface:

    I also lack creativity of any sort – intuitive or sensing. I cannot imagine alternative worlds or existences easily. I cannot write creatively or cleverly. I can't hear new songs or see new images (other than composites of things I know I have seen) when I close my eyes. I'm not well coordinated or dexterous and do not play an instrument, sculpt or dance. I may have an ear for music (and I certainly enjoy listening to it), but it's nothing amazing. I agree with the classification INFP mostly because I can retrieve an abstract or general idea more quickly than an image or concrete detail. Also, I am a complete klutz.

    What should I work on and how should I go about developing it? I can't imagine where to begin because these things don't come 'naturally' to me. More than just developing IXFP strengths, I would like to develop a backbone, as I say “yes” way too much and end up in an ISFJ cycle sometimes. Sometimes I hope a dutiful and subservient ISFJ (which I can sometimes muster up) will be more appreciated than an INFP with no wonder or substance or an ISFP with no charm or grace.

    c) Very strong Ti, even when tempered with some Fe, seems threatening to me. Even though I know it is (by definition) reasonable, it often *feels* confrontational and pedantic and it often hurts me deeply to be corrected. My inferior thinking makes me very defensive and Fi just punishes me when I fail to use it effectively. I don't know why INTPs or ISTPs bother talking to, much less befriending, me. INTPs often seem open to friendship, but I withdraw. I avoid them because I don't know what either of us would have to gain from a friendship – they certainly need more intellectually curious and rational friends. Frankly, they could do better and I could do without being just a sympathetic ear or a person off whom to bounce ideas. Most often, I have no way of giving the INTP (or less frequently ISTP) any real feedback about their ideas as I lack their knowledge base and ability to reason. However, I feel awkward just being talked *at* and end up (unwisely) entering discussions for which I am not prepared. This is a consequence of not fully shutting down contact, which *feels* like the better choice most of the time. I would much rather avoid Ti if I can – but I don't want to hurt Ti-users whom I generally like. Somehow I am exposed to extremely few feelers on a regular basis – though this is likely because I limit my contact with anyone, period. There is not one INTP (or person of any other type) that I know who is as reclusive as I am – and I know some pretty reclusive people.

    d) Whether I'm INFP or ISFP, I eat, sleep, drink and breathe Fi. I don't know how to manage it or how to exploit its strengths. I don't know how much I use Ne, but I certainly don't use enough to balance out the Fi. How should I deal with this? Are there exercises for Ne? Skills for Fi?

    Thanks for your patience reading this post. Any feedback would be great, especially from other IXFPs, ISTPs and INTPs.

  2. #2
    rawr Costrin's Avatar
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    You definitely sound INFP.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jane View Post
    c) Very strong Ti, even when tempered with some Fe, seems threatening to me. Even though I know it is (by definition) reasonable, it often *feels* confrontational and pedantic and it often hurts me deeply to be corrected. My inferior thinking makes me very defensive and Fi just punishes me when I fail to use it effectively. I don't know why INTPs or ISTPs bother talking to, much less befriending, me. INTPs often seem open to friendship, but I withdraw. I avoid them because I don't know what either of us would have to gain from a friendship – they certainly need more intellectually curious and rational friends. Frankly, they could do better and I could do without being just a sympathetic ear or a person off whom to bounce ideas. Most often, I have no way of giving the INTP (or less frequently ISTP) any real feedback about their ideas as I lack their knowledge base and ability to reason. However, I feel awkward just being talked *at* and end up (unwisely) entering discussions for which I am not prepared. This is a consequence of not fully shutting down contact, which *feels* like the better choice most of the time. I would much rather avoid Ti if I can – but I don't want to hurt Ti-users whom I generally like. Somehow I am exposed to extremely few feelers on a regular basis – though this is likely because I limit my contact with anyone, period. There is not one INTP (or person of any other type) that I know who is as reclusive as I am – and I know some pretty reclusive people.
    Nuu. I wub you INFPs. Trust me, you guys are great for bouncing ideas off of, and your different perspective is interesting and valuable. You help draw out my F, and I can aid your T. Your input is valuable if only you'd let yourself give it. It may not appear that you can contribute much to us, but you really do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jane View Post
    What should I work on and how should I go about developing it? I can't imagine where to begin because these things don't come 'naturally' to me. More than just developing INxP strengths, I would like to develop a backbone, as I say “yes” way too much and end up in an ISFJ cycle sometimes. Sometimes I hope a dutiful and subservient ISFJ (which I can sometimes muster up) will be more appreciated than an INFP with no wonder or substance or an ISFP with no charm or grace.
    Well, my best advice is to just hold your breath, and dive right in. Follow your impulses more. You just need to get more comfortable extraverting. The more you do it, the less inhibitions you'll have about it. You just need to work up the will to do it. Speak whatever random thoughts and connections you come up. Try whatever new ideas pop up. If you see something interesting, try it.

    You sound like you may have fallen to tertiary temptation:

    Tertiary Si (INxP): "I can't possibly go along with this, I don't have any reliable concepts or map to anchor myself with: it's all arbitrary and untrustworthy and meaningless. I'd be diving in without any orientation; I'd be tripped up or harmed from any random direction, and my efforts wouldn't be cumulative. I just won't budge. I'll build myself some barricades and wait for the storm to blow over." The Secondary Function (Ne) would say: "Look around, shake up the pot, see what new arises, and deal with it imaginatively; there must be better alternatives available than being stuck here." (My secondary Ne says something more in the lines of "Pay attention to your surroundings and do the thing that will have the most interesting results. Don't be dumb just because you don't have any experience.")
    But just making this post is a good first step.
    "All humour has a foundation of truth."
    - Costrin

  3. #3

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    Glad to see you posting now.
    About the ability to say no, maybe this would help The Power of a Positive No
    Here are some videos with the author.
    It's by William Ury, a famous negotiator.

    Also, about the Fi. Depending on what type you are you need to develop the secondary function.
    ISFP Personal Growth
    INFP Personal Growth

    Hope you enjoy it here.

  4. #4
    Shaman BlackCat's Avatar
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    I can tell you're an INFP. You didn't really specify why exactly you doubted it, you just posted a lot of stuff about yourself. I can act a certain way when dealing with people as well (like you said you acted like an ISFJ), it's not really acting like another type, it's just being human. Being a social chameleon to get along in life.

    I can relate to you as well, I can't relate to much in the INFP profiles. The way I set my type in stone was by reading the function descriptions and realizing that it was totally me.

    A reason that I'm an odd INFP is that I'm enneagram 8w9, there are hardly any INFPs that are type 8 anywhere. A lot of descriptions are about type 4 INFPs (the most common), and that's why I can't relate much. I have an over active Te as well, I am good with it, and I can control it. I use an NeTe face when posting a lot of the time. I handle impersonal affairs with pure logic, and hardly any feelings attached. This doesn't seem to be typical of INFPs.

    You see where I'm going with this. We're all different, we're individuals.

    I think you're just paranoid of your type because you can't exactly put yourself in a box, you can't truly relate. I was like that, so I wrote an INFP profile that I could relate to myself. I tried to make it as open to interpretation as possible, so plenty of INFPs could relate to it. Here is the link if you're interested in that. http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...e-s-mouth.html

    Also you mentioned being interested in how to exercise the functions. I get the feeling you use Ne unconsciously and can't really pinpoint it for yourself where you use it. I do that too, no worries dude. Here is a link for how to experience different functions: How to Experience Different Function-Attitudes

    You're an INFP. It seems universal for INFPs to deny that they are an INFP. My denial period was with asking myself if I were an INTP. I'm borderline on all preferences, so this caused confusion with that. I regularly score as INTP, but I'm definitely an F. On the best tests I've taken I'm right at the border. 51% or 52% everything. But there is just no way that I'm anything but that. Don't deny it.
    () 9w8-3w4-7w6 tritype.

    sCueI (primary Inquisition)

  5. #5
    /X\(:: :: )/X\ BlueSprout's Avatar
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    Thanks Costrin. It's just difficult to see what my contribution is. I really relate to the passage about Tertiary Temptation - thank you for that. I will have to look at it more closely.

    Wolfy, I've looked at Personality Page and found it somewhat helpful. I just (despite the disclaimer) get overwhelmed by the negatives because I possess so few of the positives. The suggestions are somewhat helpful as well, but I wish there were more exercises. The handful there I do already or couldn't do if my life depended on it (thinking of how others would act in a situation without judging myself - harshly - is nearly impossible).

    BlackCat: I do think I'm INFP, but I guess I don't think of myself as very abstract at all and, as you mentioned, I cannot locate Ne. I'm glad I'm not alone in feeling unconnected with the profiles. I like your profile and have looked at it before. I think I've been in "the mood" for about a decade now. I really don't know how I feel about having everything so focused on what makes me feel good. I would hope that the ability to make myself feel good is something I can develop. I do a crappy job of it generally. I can definitely relate to the way you describe Si (maybe my Tertiary is taking over, not my Fi) . The extroverted intuition exercises in the link look interesting and not at all how I would have pictured them. I'm not sure I could do them competently at all (as they require some creativity). I will give them a go though.

    I really appreciate the feedback guys.

  6. #6
    Shaman BlackCat's Avatar
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    You're pretty much going through tertiary temptation. If you're depressed I'd recommend getting some help with that, or at least try to help yourself with it. Tertiary temptation seems to be fueled by depression, it wrecks people when it fully takes it's toll. I have no real basis for this besides observation, but I think if you are depressed or going through anything stressful in your life etc (anything causing psychological havoc) then you should take care of that. It may be fueling the temptation.

    As for NTs, we do in fact contribute. I don't quite understand how yet (I think it's something you have to experience, and not just learn). With my ENTJ friends I don't feel like I contribute much, but they beg to differ greatly. It's odd, I know the feeling.
    () 9w8-3w4-7w6 tritype.

    sCueI (primary Inquisition)

  7. #7
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    I'm not sure what type you are, but it seems like you have low self-esteem. I can relate to that, I've had that myself.

    Your thinking isn't as bad as you think. You seem very articulate and capable of making connections and inferences. There was actually a certain irony in your strong awareness of implication and the way things relate to each other... in your complaints about your weaknesses in those things.

    You're very hard on yourself, and seem to be a victim of your own high standards for creativity and intelligence. If you hadn't told me about your experiences with INTPs, I probably would have thought you were one. Although on reflection, I'm actually seeing ISTJ more.

    I hope that you feel better soon. You don't seem happy or comfortable with yourself at all.

  8. #8
    Senior Member SpottingTrains's Avatar
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    Nice first post, a lot of self insight crammed in there

    While I don't have much specific knowledge on the INFP I whill echo BlackCat in saying that you should definitely look at the functions as those form up what your type is made up of.

    Also when reading your post it made me actually really sad I felt that I just wanted to show you something and have you fall in love with it, experience how amazing something could be.

    Best of luck figuring this all out!
    "That's the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty, even if they're not much to look at, or even if they're sort of stupid, you fall half in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are. Girls. Jesus Christ. They can drive you crazy. They really can."

  9. #9
    /X\(:: :: )/X\ BlueSprout's Avatar
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    BlackCat: I'm aware that depression might be mucking things up, but even without it, I would still need to develop some positive attributes. I thought I would come here for help on that, since I've noticed so many bright and talented posters on this forum. I know NTs, but no ENTs. I'm kind of curious about what an ENTJ would get out of us too. I'm sure that, as a very thinking feeler, you have a lot of deep insight to contribute.

    Athenian: You're definitely right that I have very little self esteem. I'm very flattered that you saw thinking in my post - I was certainly trying to be restrained at least (though I definitely failed in the /feeling/ section). ISTJ is something I have never considered - mostly because I'm so very F and P. But I like healthy and balanced (not dogmatic and rigid) SJs: the world really does need them and it's a comfort to know they're out there, holding down the fort and preserving our traditions. I wouldn't mind being more organized, either. On second thought, can I has ISTJ?

    SpottingTrains: Don't be sad. I'm just here venting; it was more emotional than I had intended. I appreciate your support and will update here if I do "fall in love" with an idea.

  10. #10
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    Just my two cents. Many people love to contribute in the form of advice. You need not fear the suspicion of your worries to be troubling to others.

    At most, fear the advice given is tough to receive.

    On a more personal note, stay your sweet INFP self. I have had enough of ISTJ's.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

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