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Thread: INFJ childhood

  1. #11
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    Yes, I think how one is raised and ones experiences as a child and teenager greatly impacts the 'flavor' of INFJ (or any personality type) one ends up being. Nature vs. Nurture - both play a role.
    *nods* I believe in this fully. I grew up in an ISJ environment. Overtime I found myself become withdrawn. Turning inwards because I have difficulties expressing myself to others.



    I've written this before on here, but I think the discrepancy is that there are a million things within me that I am unable to verbalize on-the-spot, or explain in a way that I am satisfied with, so what I DO say is a very condensed version of everything else that I'm not saying. So what I do say, while it might be eloquent, or succinct (while sometimes vague), is a shadow of everything else -- which is frustrating. Like, verbally I might say only a handful of sentences to describe this post, whereas obviously when I'm actually sitting here, without pressure or time limitations, I can dig through my thoughts a lot more and be a lot more thorough.
    I relate to this... my inability to express myself to the extend I wish to continually frustrates me. An even to a large extent, the same is found in written communications. It's better in that I have more time to dig out a better word or two. But it still comes out as vague and thus unsatisfactory when people do not understand the nuisance of what I meant. I have less difficulties in free verse/poetry... but only because I'm unrestrained by form. And one expects the use of non-standard meaning behind each term. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that I'm not a native english speaker despite that fact that it's the primary language I use.

    But my childhood... I believe I was a blend of NF and NT. I wasn't quite sensitive as imaginative. I spent a lot of time creating stories and adventures in my mind. This plus building things... lego, wooden blocks, train sets. I've been told I dislike dolls. I had a total of one doll... Stuff animals are a different issue... And of course my reading. I engulfed chapter books.
    My stuff (design & other junk) lives here: http://nnbox.ca

  2. #12
    triple nerd score poppy's Avatar
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    According to this: http://www.personalitypage.com/INJ.html INFJ and INTJ children develop similarly while still sorting out the Fe/Te/Fi/Ti thing. It's interesting because I can relate to a lot of these postings, especially on communication (I was convinced for a long time that I was really awkward at communicating in conversation, but apparently my friends think I'm very good at it). I also loved building and creating things and hated showing my parents and peers what I had made I grew up with an INTJ (I think) father and an ISFJ (I think) mother so I was exposed to both Te+Fi and Fe+Ti. Interesting stuff!

  3. #13
    Member Jaded Idealist's Avatar
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    I was a very creative child, and I specifically remember an instance where one of my friends was constantly praised for being creative because he could draw things well (by looking at them, not from memory). I think that was a point where I realized that all that was my imagination had gone unappreciated. I was always creating something in my spare time, and I hardly ever showed people what I had made (I built some fucking awesome lego masterpieces; I always mixed the pieces that came in different kits, haha).
    Yes, if there was one thing I was told since the earliest years, it's that I was a creative child. Drawing with paper and pencil was something I liked to do very much, mostly from imagination.

    Then I remember being about 8 or 9 years old and sort of discovering on my own that I liked rock music. I remember then telling the other kids in my neighbourhood (all of whom were hip-hop fans) about my newfound musical preference, only to have them tell me there was something "satanic" or "bad" about the music. I went ahead and believed it even though this was utterly confusing to me. I mean, these were some of the delinquent hoodlums that liked to bully me, and they couldn't even explain to my satisfaction why their taste in misogynistic faux-gangster rhymes was somehow wholesome compared to guitar and drumkit music.

    My home was very strict, and my parents were quite protective of me, which made me vulnerable to almost any sort of "bad" thing because it was new to me and I was curious, and, again, the SJ adults could never understand why I wanted to explore or try new things. *sigh* I only see it more now, really, which is why I'll seldom share my intuition with anyone.
    My home was "strict" in a different sense. My parents were not very religious. They mostly valued hard work and family cohesion, and I was the child that just did not want to be a team player. An INFJ child obviously falls short of such standards in many ways (as a child I thought about far-out metaphysical sorts of stuff that would scare off any typical Sensing adult). Suffice it to say that my parents did not spare the rod.

    i was depressed throughout most of high school and it took me most of college to become a halfway decent person.
    This is very true for myself, also. In high school, I was at the furthest fringes. I had no cohesive identity whatsoever until recent years. Literally everything around me appeared so false, so tainted with human narcissism and excess that I couldn't conceive of where to begin for my own sake. I was so afraid of who I could offend by developing an identity that I didn't take care of myself. I didn't even begin to develop things like a musical taste or a social life until college...and I'm still in college now. And it hurt very much when I finally came to terms with all this.

    But my childhood... I believe I was a blend of NF and NT.
    I think I was somewhat the same way. Overwhelmingly, I had an interest in how things "worked", although I wasn't necessarily good with the particulars. Math was a weak subject.

  4. #14
    Member Jaded Idealist's Avatar
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    poppy,

    That page was very informative. Thanks for the link.

    It describes the kind of child I was down to the letter. I had such problems concentrating on pedestrian subjects in class that didn't interest me that I spaced out constantly! It peaked around fifth grade, where the teacher was constantly telling me "Earth to Andrew!" and even assigning the student sitting next to me the task of keeping my head out of the clouds! Parties and large gatherings caused my to suffer atrocious anxiety, where other children were acting like reckless animals and I just never managed to see the point. I had very bossy tendencies, too.

  5. #15
    Senior Member statuesquechica's Avatar
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    I agree that the link that Poppy provided is very informative and accurate to a great extent.

    Overall, my childhood was a very happy time in my life with lots of time spent outdoors camping and hiking. I would often put on magic shows for my family or create performances for them, but in public I was extremely withdrawn. I really relate to the need for solitude as a child and living in a family of six brothers and sisters required that I find a special place to just "be." I can recall lots of time just sitting on the haystack out by the barn and just hanging out there for hours. I think because there were so many kids in my family I was left to my own devices and it was never an issue. I would also just spend hours engrossed in books (mainly fiction) or hanging out with the livestock.

    I was always considered very creative and would create 3-D miniatures, or very complex "worlds" out of all sorts of things, but I was very wary of any praise, I didn't want any attention drawn to me. School really wasn't a challenge but I do recall wanting to do well in Science because it piqued my interest, along with my other favorite subject of studying literature. I hated school for the most part because of the incessant teasing because I was skinny and tall, and the cruelty I saw dircted toward other kids also effected me deeply. Surprisingly I was also friends with some of the more popular kids which looking back is kind of strange, because I clearly didn't feel like I fit in.

    Looking at the makeup of my family, I would guess that my father has the traits of an ENTJ (electrical engineer) and I think my use of NT is due to his influence of sharing his love of science and why things do what they do. That would also fit into the article explaining that INJ children need time to develop their dominant traits, whether NT or NF.
    Very interesting topic to see the similarities and differences within the INFJ classification.
    I've looked at life from both sides now
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    It's life's illusions I recall
    I really don't know life at all

    Joni Mitchell

  6. #16
    Senior Member the state i am in's Avatar
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    that is a good way of thinking about function development. Ni dom = inj, Fi dom = ifp, etc. i can FEEL Fe kick in in 6th grade. and Ti at 19.

  7. #17
    Junior Member StormySunshine's Avatar
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    That was a fascinating article. Does anyone else feel like they are still working out their Thinking vs. Feeling preferences? Or that there is a struggle between the two in their lives? I scored INTJ in college, but recently have received INFJ, which fits much better where I am currently in my life.

    I grew up in a family of SJ's and early on discovered that I viewed the world much differently than they did, or most of the other people I came into contact with for that matter. I think I was forced away by them from my F leanings, since I was constantly being told not to be sensitive, and to be more of a man, especially being the oldest child. It's only been in the last several years where I've been more comfortable allowing myself explore and express my F side. Still, I find myself constantly struggling in my approach to others and situations, whether it's with systematic logic, or spontaneous intuition. Oftentimes, I find myself coming to a conclusion spontaneously, and later backtracking and questioning the conclusion by systematically going over it, looking for flaws.

    I'm not sure how much of this internal struggle has to do with my childhood, although I'm sure it certainly played its role.

  8. #18
    Rubber Nipple Salesperson ladypinkington's Avatar
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    I am severely in arrested development in a lot of ways socially.

    I have moved 28 times in my life and I am almost 27 years old.
    Just me and my mother who is an ISFP for my most of life until she married when I was 11.
    She was looking for geographical happiness and is an extreme introvert and an extreme feeler.

    Always being the new kid, always being the weirdo that doesn't fit in- doesn't help in learning social skills. I always had one friend that was like a soul mate everywhere I went though. Like a cosmic bond- I still think about them and wonder where they are now and just think to myself how they saved my life. I always had that one friend that I did everything with and had a one soul sharing two bodies.

    My mother was also my best friend and I was very loved and we had our own little world. It was very ruled by feelings and by artistic expressions. Very free-eating watermelon at 2 a.m and watching Joan Crawford and Doris Day movies on a school night. I was encouraged to be whatever I wanted to be and was just very embraced and encouraged to be an individual so it was very hard to deal with trying to fit into any kind of social conformity- any kind of status quo way of doing things. I was so used to being loved for who I was and so protected from the world that I didn't know what to do when I wasn't loved for being me and was vulnerable. I couldn't understand that because it was so divorced from my reality at home.

    I came from a life with no structure and very move to the beat of your own drum and very lacking in thinking development. My mother is all feeling! I wore mismatched socks on purpose and was made fun of everywhere I went because I was very different- very much my own person- which I realize now how intimidating and snobbish that seems to be for people. I realize now looking back that moving to the beat of my own drum was misconstrued as rejection of people around me because they played by the rules and I didn't and who am I that I get to do that. Also I think that watching old movies influenced me in ways like style, speech and attitudes towards life. That made me feel very alien to people and made people feel very alien to me. Even to this day I feel like I was meant to have lived in a different era.

    I desperately wanted to be liked though but I would never play by the rules to be liked. I am still like that,lol. I am in constant conflict with my Ni and my Fe. I am also a meloncholy sanguine. I want to love people and be loved by people but on my terms,lol.

    I only have an 8th grade education and went to work to support my mother after my step dad died so that further has arrested my development in a social context. I got my GED but I don't count that as real education or schooling.

    Rejection and being treated like a dog by my peers really taught me to fear people and keep more to myself. I am just now starting to get over that and be more proactive with people.

    I regress so easily when rejected.

    I am just now starting to develop my thinking- being married to an ENTP has helped me so much into seeing that logic exists and what that looks like and am enjoying reading philosophy mainly the complete works of plato right now. I am so arrested in development when it comes to the thinking functiona nd feel so empowered the more I feel I am developing it. I have high scores of both kinds of intuition and feelings functions but barely any thinking. I am also a very low key J in a lot of ways- very P influenced.

    developing my thinking functions are so exciting for me. I am thirsty for learning and growing as a person.
    Last edited by ladypinkington; 07-30-2009 at 02:16 PM.
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  9. #19
    Member Jaded Idealist's Avatar
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    That was a fascinating article. Does anyone else feel like they are still working out their Thinking vs. Feeling preferences? Or that there is a struggle between the two in their lives? I scored INTJ in college, but recently have received INFJ, which fits much better where I am currently in my life.
    It's been my experience that INFJ is what I am, yet I've found myself envying INTJ. I've always been a person that wants to be verifiably right about things, and since that is so, what are my subjective feelings except barriers in the way of legitimate (T) thought processes? Unfortunately, that's how I used to feel about it. I've sometimes gone overboard to stretch out my Ti and be super rational and above it all and had it backfire very badly on myself, and it's still something I try to watch out for now.

    I grew up in a family of SJ's and early on discovered that I viewed the world much differently than they did, or most of the other people I came into contact with for that matter. I think I was forced away by them from my F leanings, since I was constantly being told not to be sensitive, and to be more of a man, especially being the oldest child. It's only been in the last several years where I've been more comfortable allowing myself explore and express my F side. Still, I find myself constantly struggling in my approach to others and situations, whether it's with systematic logic, or spontaneous intuition. Oftentimes, I find myself coming to a conclusion spontaneously, and later backtracking and questioning the conclusion by systematically going over it, looking for flaws.
    Both my parents are extroverted SJs, so this is all familiar to me. My one sibling, my younger sister, is a sort of lukewarm conundrum, testing as ExFP but very weakly in each category (and she shrugs off MBTI and without a moment's regret let me know she thinks the test is dumb and pointless...seems very S :P) I am the oldest child, and a male, and I never hear the end of it from my dad. And though I am convinced that the burden of understanding and responsibility rests more with him than with me, I wish he knew just how much I continue to care about our parent-child relationship and how much I care about him in general, even though we are so different from one another.

    I would say that my F side is really the big kink in the system. There's no getting rid of it, and trying to overuse my T is the worst thing I could try. It's as if my feelings are always being questioned for their objective merit. I find that the only thing to do is to go with the flow, to rely on my values, to give myself up to who I really am.

    Backtracking and questioning your own conclusions seems to come naturally with INFJ perfectionism and the need to establish an identity that is genuine as opposed to conventional or instinctive.

    EDIT: Ladypinkington,

    I haven't mentioned yet that I wasn't born in this country. My parents came to the United States when I was four years old, working unceasingly in the first couple of years just to keep the roof over the head. Interestingly, my first "school" type experiences were when I was at three years of age, back in my home country of Armenia, but I retain vivid memories of being teased and rejected by the other children. Perhaps I was the odd one out because I had virtually no contact with other children outside the home until the age of 3, I mainly spoke Russian and they spoke Armenian, and I had a lazy eye that was only corrected after I started wearing corrective glasses...

    Going into Kindergarten, everything seemed fine socially, mainly because I didn't know enough English to interact, so I always remained silent. All this changed as soon as I learned the language, which was first and second grade. My awkwardness and naivete was just overwhelming, even though I was one of the most gifted students in the class. Kids outside my class (or new kids) often asked me: "why does everyone hate you?" And it was maddening to me that I had no way of answering...I didn't know why! An INJ child among SJs is like a sheep among wolves. Everything I thought I knew seemed wrong. I never really wanted to be different to the extent that it hurt relationships with others; it just sort of ended up that way. And it was even drilled into my head by my own parents that I was some weird recluse that hated the world and didn't like anything...except videogames (also false: I rather enjoyed videogames and it was a primary hobby because I experienced another world, got to interact meaningfully with interesting challenges, and they didn't judge me like kids on the playground. And now I play them rarely, and I'm more privy to artistic and musical pursuits).

    And don't even get me started about high school. :rolli:

  10. #20
    violaine
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    The INJ profile is spot on for me. I was very curious, sensitive, contemplative and conscientious. (Lol, that was on every report card.) I was very much an observer, fascinated and absorbed by working people and things out. As an older child I also loved playing little jokes and being privately goofy to make my family laugh. I was very supported and nurtured during childhood, so I could explore every nook and cranny of any subject I cared to. I read voraciously too and was always pondering in a philosophical way. I felt like I could see into people (especially when their actions didn't match their words - *inconsistency alert*, something I seize on to this day). Never liked being the center of attention. It would take me out of whatever I was doing which I found annoying. I remember becoming quite belligerent if the spotlight were ever forced on me.

    I was also raised in a very social religion. It stood me in good stead now that I am older. I feel at ease in any social setting. I also think it had much to do with the development of my baseline regard for others (Fe?) and the initial trust that I tend to have in people. (Until they set off an inconsistency alert, )

    Anyway, it was a lovely childhood in a very strong, close-knit family unit. My parents were both highly principled and resilient. (I am a little loathe to bring MBT into it but Dad is definitely ESTP and Mom ENFP at best guess.) My Mom was very nurturing and quietly strong and my Dad bold, maverick-al and big-hearted when it came to his family, so I think I got the best of both worlds. It wasn't completely without issue, my shyness and sensitivity made me feel like I had no skin most of the time and I was very controlled and perfectionistic which manifested in self-consciousness and being very hard on myself during my teenage years.

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