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  1. #1
    lurking.... Wyst's Avatar
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    Default INFJ weaknesses are character defects(?)

    Other types - feel free to hang out, but my purpose in this thread is to get INFJs' input on this topic.

    So, INFJs - these things which make us uniquely 'INFJ', I'm curious how you look at them.

    For example: (and granted, these are generalizations - not blanket statements)
    • We tend to shun direct confrontation
    • We usually don’t have tons of friends – rather we have a few chosen comrades
    • We often live in a fantasy world – the fantasy world allows us to explore possibilities but often, we’re disappointed with reality, leaving us troubled in relationships
    • We hate talking on the phone and would rather text

    I could list off more but I guess what I’m getting it as that the typical poorly-developed INFJ really seems to be a hider. Not a hermit, because a hermit has chosen his lifestyle because he’s often a crotchety old grump.

    INFJs, I think, deep down want to get out, but our ‘weaknesses’ trip us up along the way and we grow content with the status quo, content with our books and music, content with ‘this is just the way I am, and why the hell should I have to change? I’m an INFJ dammit!’.

    So do you think our tendency to hold back is what makes us who we are or do you think it’s just one area in our INFJ-ness that needs to be developed, a character defect, if you will…

    I’ve got my opinions but I’ll pull them out later.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyst View Post
    Other types - feel free to hang out, but my purpose in this thread is to get INFJs' input on this topic.
    I- Oh.

  3. #3
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    I think it is okay to be introverted and such. Internalizing negativity is a problem that interferes with my goals. That is a weakness and I am working to overcome it. I do want to explain that it isn't simply like taking things personally, although that can happen. When I started grad school, it was a cut-throat, competitive, back-biting environment. I habitually saw people act nice in each other's company and then trash talk the moment they left. Professors apparently screamed and yelled at each other in the halls, stereotypes prevailed, etc. I stayed out of it, but it still made me sick. I knew that any involvement would produce the same dynamics for myself. In this way my involvement/non-involvement was irrelevant to its negative impact. When there are that many conflicting feelings and perspectives, it is emotionally overwhelming like being on a spinning platform surrounded by strobe-lights, loud crashing noises, spotlights, yelling, etc. My mind jumps between all the vantage points and so it has a cumulative effect. It is a combination of extreme detachment and intimacy with what is going on. My tolerance for conflict might actually be similar to many other people, but my input is an order of magnitude higher because it tends to involve so many perspectives. I can't just do the dismissal "talk to the hand", "stupid people" type routine. My reaction is more like, "wow it would be difficult to live with that level of ego or agitation and to be constantly placed in a state of insecurity". Or sometimes my reaction can't be put into words, it is just a diffuse impression of another state of mind.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  4. #4
    lurking.... Wyst's Avatar
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    Here's another example:

    Male INFJ. Wants to join conversation at the party. Decides not to partially because he can't feel the flow of the conversation and find a spot to jump in and thinks even if he did jump in, what he had to say wouldn't be received as he hopes. So he writes it off saying, "Meh... I'm in INFJ.. this isn't my cup of tea anyway" and so he ends up staying quiet, not joining in the conversation, despite that being the VERY thing he wants to do.

    Is this an example of a true INFJ, or an INFJ that's blaming his weakness on being an INFJ?

  5. #5
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    Hmm, for me at least, I do find that hanging out with extreme extroverts tend to make me feel exhausted. For instance, my extroverted mother came to see me this weekend and from the minute she came in till she went out, she was talking non-stop about her life, jumping from one topic to another and hardly a minute of silence in between. It was a rambling monologue that left my ears feeling like they've had too much to process...I admit that I enjoyed the company, the funny stories about the toddlers in the family. But then she will go off at a tangent about this and that and it was hard to follow, even with a shared NF.

    Perhaps the defect, if defect there is, is the INFJ's inability to filter all this information, turn DOWN the attention when the talk is all fluff and turn UP the attention when the talk is more interesting??? I know some people who can do that. I find it impossible to do that. I will listen to a loved one with ears FULLY open. I admit I also extend the same courtesy to strangers. So if the world is predominantly extroverted, is it any wonder the INFJ chooses to limit going out and limit interacting with people?

    This being said, my job requires that I do interact. But then, it is a more structured setting. The communication format is of course different from chit chat and small talk. It is more structured and there is time in between for each party to process the information. Not so when the communication is impromptu, as in a crowd, a party or like my mom's visit or over the phone. There, the communication is more rambling and that is where it can get draining, exhausting.

    Part of it might also be because for the INFJ, promises made to someone even over the phone, are promises that need to be kept. People for whom words are cheap often forget what it is they said they would do. If the INFJ says he will do something that means he WILL do it. So, an economy of words is important also in remembering what has been promised and following through.

    My friends react with surprise when I can quote verbatim what it is they said in some conversation years back. They find it scary. They also find it scary how I can remember word for word how they felt at a particular period of their life and what they had shared back then. In fact, that is what helps me see how they develop as persons. And sometimes the self-defeating patterns in their lives long before they themselves realize it. I've learned to keep that trait somewhat under wraps now...LOL.

    The downside of that trait is that once someone is doorslammed, the doorslam is pretty permanent because there is a whole archive of conversations, happenings, etc that has been processed, the good as well as the bad. Think of it as chapters and annotations! You might call that the dark side of the extensive recall abiity of the INFJ.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyst View Post
    Here's another example:

    Male INFJ. Wants to join conversation at the party. Decides not to partially because he can't feel the flow of the conversation and find a spot to jump in and thinks even if he did jump in, what he had to say wouldn't be received as he hopes. So he writes it off saying, "Meh... I'm in INFJ.. this isn't my cup of tea anyway" and so he ends up staying quiet, not joining in the conversation, despite that being the VERY thing he wants to do.

    Is this an example of a true INFJ, or an INFJ that's blaming his weakness on being an INFJ?
    For me at least, the LEVEL of the conversation is very important. Would I want to jump into every conversation? No? I'd listen to gauge the level and whether what I would have to say would be relevant, and new input. I don't say to myself, 'bah, I am an INFJ, that is not my cup of tea'.

  7. #7
    lurking.... Wyst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Immaculate Cloud View Post
    For me at least, the LEVEL of the conversation is very important. Would I want to jump into every conversation? No? I'd listen to gauge the level and whether what I would have to say would be relevant, and new input. I don't say to myself, 'bah, I am an INFJ, that is not my cup of tea'.
    The assumption in the example below is that said INFJ does want to participate.

    Also "I'm an INFJ and ___ isn't my cup of tea" was meant as a hyperbole. I doubt any INFJ actually says it - but at the core of who they are, change is hard for everyone - and people that resist change of the personal development kind, often opt for the route that excuses them from a situation because "that's the way that I am". I simply use "I'm INFJ so..." because people here interpret things through the spectacles of MBTI.

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    LOL, that is why we all need to take a break from the MBTI from time to time! Or set targets and observe ourselves push our own boundaries and do things 'out of type' occasionally till we are comfortable with that and we are no longer afraid of growth. In a sense, how to SCHEDULE time for growth.

  9. #9
    lurking.... Wyst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Immaculate Cloud View Post
    LOL, that is why we all need to take a break from the MBTI from time to time! Or set targets and observe ourselves push our own boundaries and do things 'out of type' occasionally till we are comfortable with that and we are no longer afraid of growth. In a sense, how to SCHEDULE time for growth.

    Aaaaaa haaah. But what if INFJs here think, "I'm fine the way that I am - I don't need to work on that part of me"... don't you think they might be using the presupposition of what an INFJ is as their excuse NOT to schedule time for growth? Thinking, "Well ofcourse I'm not going to be good at that. I'm an INFJ. Probably won't ever get better since I'm an INFJ so I might as well not even try".

  10. #10
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    I believe everybody, regardless of type, will find a crutch to rely on. Staying within our comfort zones may be an INFJ characteristic moreso than others, but we all do it from time to time. INFJs might be better at realizing why we are doing what we are doing. Growth to me is important and the only way that'll I grow will be to through away the crutch and face my fears. What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger.

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