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  1. #1
    Aspiring Troens Ridder KLessard's Avatar
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    Post The self-effacing INFJ

    I remember reading an article about INFJ Gaelic singer and activist Mary Jane Lamond once, and the journalist described her as a "self-effacing and austere" woman. I think this self-effacing thing is pretty true about INFJs in general.
    I know I often wish I were invisible so I could observe and take mental notes about human beings and learn more about them to get a better understanding of the people I care about. When I am forced or asked to interact when I'd rather be watching or listening, I sort of get annoyed. I rarely like being in the spotlight. I love the spotlight once in a while if I can stand there with other people I respect, but never on my own.

    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    I think something fidelia said in the "INFJ Rage" thread applies here.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    In discussing this with other people, I also realized that one of the reasons we both get mad at seemingly odd times (as well as appreciative at other seemingly odd times) is the time that INFJs need to process events and feelings which creates a delayed reaction.

    It takes time to process events, what was said, conversations and decide how it fits into our world. There may be an initial positive or negative feeling about it, but it takes some days or hours before the INFJ may have comfortably determined why they feel that way and then decided on a course of action to take.

    They don't want to be hasty, oversensitive, or misunderstand the situation, particularly if their reaction is going to affect others around them. This can be very difficult for extroverted, take action, decisive T types to understand and to adjust to having things up in the air. It may look like tentative decision making, or arbitrary sensitivity, but it has to do more with wanting all the information to predict foreseeable consequences before taking action.

    I know that it's definitely true about me. Usually the only time I feel comfortable participating in conversation is if the topic is one that I've already put some thought into, so I already know what my opinions are. Otherwise, I'm more comfortable as a sort of invisible observer, just listening; then I process everything I've listened to once I am alone.

    EDIT: I should probably mention that I know the op isn't about anger; I just wanted to use fidelia's comment because she expressed the aspect- of needing time to know what [my] opinions are- so well.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

    5w4 sx/sp Johari / Nohari

  3. #3
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Yes, I don't like weighing in on anything unless I've thought about it quite a bit first. I didn't understand that when ESTJ man and I started dating. He was having to decide what he was going to do with his inheritance and kept posing possible scenarios. I thought he was just telling me about some of his ideas and so I was being supportive and listening. I also didn't feel like an expert on investments, rental properties, portfolios etc. What I didn't realize till much later was that he was actually asking for advice by sharing it. Similarly, we had problems the other way around with him offering solutions when I was only venting.

    Re OP: I'm a behind the scenes person for the most part. I like to make sure something goes off smoothly, but I often don't want to be the one in the limelight. The main exception is something where I am entirely in my element and am an obvious choice of person because I do have expertise that others do not share.

    I don't like large group conversations with people I don't know well partly because I feel like there is too much information to take in all at once and the processing time for it takes too long for the rhythm of regular conversation. When I have just jumped in, the inner editor that normally gets to filter my speech starts berating me for all the faux pas I made or presents relevant new information that I had not previously had time to consider.

    I did discover though that I really enjoyed the spotlight while I was busking. It was something unique I was able to offer other people to make their holiday memorable and it afforded lots of people watching and observation while doing something I enjoyed. I even could conduct human experiments while playing and it was endlessly fascinating and entertaining.

  4. #4
    Senior Member MonkeyGrass's Avatar
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    I tend to be very aware of the feelings/insecurities of others, to the point that I'm afraid my concern/empathy is showing up too obviously on my face. Same goes for reciprocating affection or enthusiasm in the moment. I need time to figure out the appropriate response. I think this comes from about 10 years of reacting to what I felt from the other person in the moment, only to figure out later that the individual wasn't really meaning to reveal what I was commenting on. Sometimes, in effort to respect other's emotional boundaries, I need time to decipher how in-depth they really meant to discuss something, so I don't stick my foot in my mouth.
    I think I think more than you think I think.

  5. #5
    Aspiring Troens Ridder KLessard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyGrass View Post
    Sometimes, in effort to respect other's emotional boundaries, I need time to decipher how in-depth they really meant to discuss something, so I don't stick my foot in my mouth.
    Oh true! NFs have to be careful with this! We like to be deep right away, and people are rarely ready for it! So awkward. I suppose it's wiser to let them come and open up when they need to talk.

  6. #6
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    On the flip side, sometimes it's good because some types have real difficulty voluntarily opening up unless prodded...a little bit.
    ~luck favors the ready~


    Shameless Self-Promotion:MDP2525's Den and the Start of Motorcycle Maintenance

  7. #7
    Senior Member the state i am in's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KLessard View Post
    I remember reading an article about INFJ Gaelic singer and activist Mary Jane Lamond once, and the journalist described her as a "self-effacing and austere" woman. I think this self-effacing thing is pretty true about INFJs in general.
    I know I often wish I were invisible so I could observe and take mental notes about human beings and learn more about them to get a better understanding of the people I care about. When I am forced or asked to interact when I'd rather be watching or listening, I sort of get annoyed. I rarely like being in the spotlight. I love the spotlight once in a while if I can stand there with other people I respect, but never on my own.

    Any thoughts?
    i think this is probably an sp/sx infj. which is probably the most common infj enneagram stacking. esp for 9s and maybe for some 4s and possibly 6s.

    as both a 5 and as an sx/sp, i would never ever be described by the noun humility. when i was younger i gave off a vibe of arrogance and at times extreme distaste of others. nor austere, i am too open and un-focused to continually assert one specific direction, to iron out my wrinkles w iron fist, etc. i care about awareness and centering, it fits my worldview far better than CONTROL over any specific variable.

    yet i do awkwardly recognize the tentative relationship between the development of awareness and disciplinary practices, re-figuring that is a current struggle of mine (virtually no self-discipline whatsoever, very little PRACTICAL consideration, etc).

  8. #8
    Aspiring Troens Ridder KLessard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the state i am in View Post
    i think this is probably an sp/sx infj.
    Forgive my stupidity. What is an sp/sx infj?

  9. #9
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    I have this copied in my journal from this Enneagram test site:

    Your main type is which ever behavior you utilize most and/or prefer. Your variant reflects your scoring profile on all nine types: so = social variant (compliant, friendly), sx = sexual variant (assertive, intense), sp = self preservation variant (withdrawn, security seeking).
    I suspect state's right about most INFJs being sp/sx (which I believe means sp > sx). It wouldn't surprise me, anyway.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

    5w4 sx/sp Johari / Nohari

  10. #10
    Aspiring Troens Ridder KLessard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    I suspect state's right about most INFJs being sp/sx (which I believe means sp > sx). It wouldn't surprise me, anyway.

    I just passed this test and I am sp/so. Sx comes way after. Type One to Type Two.

    About Mary Jane Lamond, she is single and around fifty, lives by herself in a small village in Cape Breton. She is very invovled in her community and cares about old people and new generations' needs (N needs, obviously). I think she might have a strong So because of how busy she is helping around. But she is a somehow cold person. I would also say she is humble. Humble as being honest about her limitations and flaws, but very hard on herself to the point of self-depreciation. But I think this is common in INFJs.

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