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  1. #1
    Badoom~ Skyward's Avatar
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    Default Working the INFJ Function Yo-Yo

    I have found in the last few weeks that it takes a certain kind of sociality to break from the 'Ni feedback loop.' This loop is close to a minor depression and closes me off from a lot; almost like my Fe function is chained down somewhere. It's basically a run-of-the-mill situation where the main function dominates the psyche so that no other function works.

    At first I thought it was a normal thing - because I never really knew about how it felt to be out of the loop, I just always was in it. what bugs me about it, though, is the feeling that I'm losing a lot of chances because I am only vaguely connected with the real world. When something from outside finds its way it, it causes a chain reaction in my head that finds all the vague connections with what was said; it doesn't stay on topic, and it alienates people. Where Fe would reign it into the current social situation... There's none of that now. My mind is a pudding on the floor with no real structure to follow.*

    The situation is worse when even being 'social' doesn't do anything, all that happens is that I'm an amoeba in the social circle and spit out random connections my Ni makes from the conversation - or out of it. The non sequiturs get very outlandish.

    I'm sorry that I don't have any solid examples, but in my current mental state, I do not have any real rote memory of even the things that happened even an hour ago that got me on this train of thought.

    Does any other INFJ go through this as often as I do? Is it just a normal introvert reaction to fall off the face of the earth for a while to let the dominant function run its course? Do any other typed-people have an example of this in their own type?

    The situation is both fascinating in the information I can get, and annoying because of how socially crippling it is. I think I'll post this in one of the more open MBTI sections, too.

    *Offtopic: This is a difference between Ti and Ni: Ni has no real solid structure. Ti does.
    'Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and its better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.' - Marilyn Monroe

    This is who I am, escapist, paradise-seeker.
    -Nightwish

    Anthropology Major out of Hamline University. St. Paul, Minnesota.

  2. #2
    Member Tycho's Avatar
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    It sounds very familiar. When Ni takes control of everything, I enter a phase that can last up to a couple of months, in which I alienate completely from my surroundings. In those periods I'm not social at all, I'm not outgoing and I don't study very well.

    I'm in a constant state of "epiphany", always thinking that I'm becoming aware of something really important. But if you'd ask me what it is, I'd have a hard time to explain it; because Ni is not about having concrete thoughts, but a way of perceiving the world.

    I do appreciate it, because it ultimately makes my inner world more rich. But I'm worried what will happen if I enter such a period when I'll have a family and a job to take care of..

  3. #3
    Badoom~ Skyward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
    It sounds very familiar. When Ni takes control of everything, I enter a phase that can last up to a couple of months, in which I alienate completely from my surroundings. In those periods I'm not social at all, I'm not outgoing and I don't study very well.

    I'm in a constant state of "epiphany", always thinking that I'm becoming aware of something really important. But if you'd ask me what it is, I'd have a hard time to explain it; because Ni is not about having concrete thoughts, but a way of perceiving the world.

    I do appreciate it, because it ultimately makes my inner world more rich. But I'm worried what will happen if I enter such a period when I'll have a family and a job to take care of..
    Yeah, that's the thought I'm having now. I guess the trick would be to find a way to compensate for it or a way to pull out of it.

    One thing I have been thinking is that these phases are when the mind takes time to cultivate the new input I have been shoving into it. Or it could be the inverse; my mind wants to add new things to it and make new connections before it moves forward in reality.

    Do ENFJs experience this in a way? Do xNTJs?
    'Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and its better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.' - Marilyn Monroe

    This is who I am, escapist, paradise-seeker.
    -Nightwish

    Anthropology Major out of Hamline University. St. Paul, Minnesota.

  4. #4
    Kraken down on piracy Lux's Avatar
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    This sounds familiar. I'm actually sort of going through this now, hehe. When this happens to me and I find I cannot really be around people. So I remove myself as much as I can. I do what I have to do regarding society, but not much, if anything else. I do have a family and they help to bring more out of me. When people are counting on me I cannot solely live in my head. It has gotten better as I have gotten older, it still happens when I get down but it's not as intense and lasting. Whether that is because of my family, or just growth in general, I cannot be sure.
    "It is not length of life, but depth of life." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

    "Thought breeds thought." ~ Henry David Thoreau

  5. #5
    Badoom~ Skyward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lux View Post
    This sounds familiar. I'm actually sort of going through this now, hehe. When this happens to me and I find I cannot really be around people. So I remove myself as much as I can. I do what I have to do regarding society, but not much, if anything else. I do have a family and they help to bring more out of me. When people are counting on me I cannot solely live in my head. It has gotten better as I have gotten older, it still happens when I get down but it's not as intense and lasting. Whether that is because of my family, or just growth in general, I cannot be sure.
    It seems like an involuntary turn in thought-pattern. It's frustrating when I can watch it change but only wonder how I can turn it back. On the flipside, my curiosity is boosted and my mind finds interesting connections. Maybe not pragmatic ones, but interesting ones.

    If I can find an effective way to turn on/off this mindset, it could be a useful way of increasing understanding without losing focus on things.
    'Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and its better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.' - Marilyn Monroe

    This is who I am, escapist, paradise-seeker.
    -Nightwish

    Anthropology Major out of Hamline University. St. Paul, Minnesota.

  6. #6
    Member Tycho's Avatar
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    Having this kind of 'mystic fantasies' may be the only thing I'm sincerely passionate about; that explains how I can get so absorbed in it. Jung talked about Ni-dominants as people that are "chasing after fruitless fantasies" until they start to form a judgement; once they start seeing the bigger picture, the mystic side, the potential beauty of things, they can derive a sense of duty from it; thereby making their vision an ethical problem.

    I feel like I'm about to leave such a Ni-dominated period for now (that lasted over 3 months and was triggered by following an intensive master class with an INFJ writer) and I start to have an active desire to contribute things to the world and be a part of it; actually, stronger than ever before, as I'm more aware of what my role in the world can be.

    Do you know about Jane Loevinger's scale of ego-development? It recently caught my attention. She talks about developing from a self-centered person into a comformist, then as we become more aware, into individualists; as we become again more aware, we begin to tolerate more ambiguity, and ultimately, we should be able to integrate our vision and the different roles we want to have in our lifes. Once I achieved this, I think I'll be a more stable person.

    The relation that I have to the world, right now, and the activities that I do just to give my life some form, don't really mean anything for me; but I foresee this can change.

    My true passion will become to channel people's energy into a certain way of perceiving the world that will make them happier and more aligned with themselves. If I can advise you anything, that would also be an advise to myself: it's not bad to hold a connection with the world, if you know that it's only for the form of it; go out, do things, don't forget your need for thrills.

  7. #7
    Badoom~ Skyward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tycho View Post
    My true passion will become to channel people's energy into a certain way of perceiving the world that will make them happier and more aligned with themselves. If I can advise you anything, that would also be an advise to myself: it's not bad to hold a connection with the world, if you know that it's only for the form of it; go out, do things, don't forget your need for thrills.
    Currently with SJ hostparents, I wont be able to forget. It just makes this Ni-consciousness feel like a guilty pleasure that I should hide under the mattress . It wouldn't be so tough if I could put it into words they would understand.

    Let's see how far the rabbit hole goes.
    'Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and its better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.' - Marilyn Monroe

    This is who I am, escapist, paradise-seeker.
    -Nightwish

    Anthropology Major out of Hamline University. St. Paul, Minnesota.

  8. #8
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    This is from Lenore Thompson’s book, from the INJ description. It’s long- the parts I thought were relevant are bolded- I kind of had to post all of it to put the bolded statements in context.

    Developing Extraverted Judgment

    When INJs are defending themselves against unconscious Sensate motives, they start out by resisting others’ conceptual boundaries. Gradually, however, their inferior Extraversion becomes apparent. The more their behaviors are colored by unconscious Sensate aims, the more they’re aware of themselves as different from others. Such types want people to see them as special, but they often feel insecure and unappreciated.

    Their unconscious Sensate impulses fill them with a yearning for credit and recognition, but they may be increasingly critical of their opportunities to make a contribution or [*4*] so dissatisfied with their efforts that they don’t share them with others. This is generally the point at which the type’s tertiary function, Introverted Thinking or Introverted Feeling, steps in.

    As discussed in other chapters, our tertiary function is helpful and enriching when our secondary function is well developed. It provides an outlet for the ‘other side’ of our personality. For example, it prompts INJs to recognize that truth can be appropriated experientially as well as conceptually as a way of being, one that they feel in their senses and their bones.

    As a last-ditch defense against unconscious Sensate impulses, however, [*1*] Introverted Judgment simply convinces INJs that they have no need to establish an investment in their outer situation. The real truth is the complicated inner stuff that can’t be put into words because it’s connected to everything else that matters to them.

    The more INJs try to protect their inner world, the more they lose the Intuitive perspective they’re trying to maintain. They lose their capacity to shift perspectives. They have the sense that the truth is a core experience, archetypal, impossible to express in a way that captures its full significance. Their vision becomes a psychological castle and they stand in the highest parapet, warning people that they aren’t worthy to come in.

    It should be emphasized that INJs who feel like this aren’t hiding from the outer world. If anything, unconscious Sensate impulses are generating undue interest in how they look to others. The problem is the type’s inability to deliver what’s gestating inside. It’s too large, too unformed; it won’t survive in the world if it’s cut off from the INJ’s Intuitive nourishment. The only way they know how to witness to it is to point out the poverty of others’ positions, showing how they fall short of understanding. Such types may become so adept at this that people see them as oracles and prophets. But they don’t really have a positive vision of their own.

    When INJs develop Extraverted Judgment and train it on themselves, [*5*] they begin to see life differently. They recognize their need to be understood, to make genuine connection with others, to be a contributing part of something outside themselves. This recognition short circuits the INJ’s focus on conceptual boundaries. Such types try to reach people instead, to formulate their ideas in light of what others believe and think and cherish. In the process, they find a way to bring their insights into the larger community.

    INJs don’t find it easy to make this effort. But developing secondary skills is always difficult; it forces compromises we don’t want to make. For INTJs, saying things in a way that people can support and accept feels like selling out or watering down something important. [*2*] For INFJs, it feels like being inauthentic and hypocritical. Extreme types may even believe they still need to figure out who they are and shouldn’t be influenced by others’ expectations.

    The irony is that INJs figure out who they are by way of Extraverted Judgment. [*3*] It’s the attempt to give their insights outward form that ultimately shapes their social identity. Unless INJs find a way to honor their Intuitions in the public arena, they won’t recognize themselves in the feedback they get from others. Even if they’ve been highly successful in their outward pursuits or spent many happy hours in solitary pastimes, they’re likely to feel unfulfilled.

    So anyway, Skyward, I think that Ni feels like a pile of runny pudding (Thompson says ‘unformed’) when it’s starving for outside information. I think what Thompson is explaining here is that we (INJs) get so used to turning inward for ‘new’ information- because using innie judgment on innie perception feels like the truest, most authentic means of processing information- that we forget the importance of occasionally importing outside information relating to the outside world. (edit: ) And by 'importing outside information', because it's Fe, I guess that means incorporating some social expectations into my own judgment. I think(?)

    [*1*] We (or at least it’s true for me) get addicted to the authenticity of it, and build up reservations about importing outside information that might corrupt everything we put so much thought into building. Ni starts to feel like runny pudding because we’ve depleted its resources. It’s starving for outside information. Ti/Fi has been giving it the same ol’ same old, and it’s starving for some new ingredients to throw in the pot.

    [*2*] It’s like Ti/Fi is arguing Ni doesn’t need external ingredients to create ‘new’ information, it just needs to figure out the perfect combination of existing ingredients- and what’s more, Ti/Fi is afraid that Fe is gonna throw something in to sour the whole batch. [*3*] But actually, Ti/Fi is only able to create ‘new’ information of its own by allowing Extraverted Judgment to contribute.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skyward View Post
    The situation is worse when even being 'social' doesn't do anything, all that happens is that I'm an amoeba in the social circle and spit out random connections my Ni makes from the conversation - or out of it. The non sequiturs get very outlandish.
    I’m just gonna throw this out there: maybe it doesn’t feel like it’s helping because [*4*] it feels like Fe is broken or something. I suggest this because I think I can relate to your statement, and I sometimes leave social situations myself feeling like I hadn’t communicated a shred of the meaning I’d intended to express, like every word fell on deaf ears. If communication doesn’t actually connect me somehow to other people, it feels like my Fe is broken. And I totally see myself having the reaction Thompson describes sometimes [*4*] - I get so frustrated that I end up telling myself I don’t need Fe to work anyway- ignoring the unconscious Sensate impulses, for which they invariably come back and bite me in the ass (I call this the Se bitch-slap).

    This way of looking at developing Fe helped me (a thread about “cultivating shallowness”). It may feel heinous, because of [*2*], but the heinous feeling subsides because [*5*] sooner or later it *does* somehow bring in more outside information for Ni/Ti/Fi to gobble up (congealing the runny pudding consistency).

    Quote Originally Posted by Skyward View Post
    The situation is both fascinating in the information I can get, and annoying because of how socially crippling it is.
    Yeah. I mean it is, of course, also completely possible that I’ve entirely missed the mark here (which would be an example of *me* throwing out a non sequitur, another day in the life of Z). But I *think* I understood your op. If not: sorry for this ridiculously, ridiculously long post.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

    5w4 sx/sp Johari / Nohari

  9. #9
    Badoom~ Skyward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    Yeah. I mean it is, of course, also completely possible that I’ve entirely missed the mark here (which would be an example of *me* throwing out a non sequitur, another day in the life of Z). But I *think* I understood your op. If not: sorry for this ridiculously, ridiculously long post.
    The positive I said was based on that when Ni and Ti work together, things I already know connect together in a feverish rush of ideas. Similar to a Foamy the Squirrel rant or Ask a Ninja episode in speed. This usually occurs when I'm writing. Maybe it is a 'ghetto' use of Fe to focus Ni?

    I found the post useful, don't worry.

    It seems that also an INJ is so worried about truth and the overall encompassing truth of some subject that they ignore the simple real things in life. When they lose this, they lose a connection with people. In order to learn this connection is to interact with people and have it become part of a natural action. If the natural 'groove' is lost, we use Ni to come up with something we think of as the truth to react to that situation, which might be wrong because we've lost the focus on the reality of thing. Like, you want to show a person that you care, Fe would say just be nice and smile, use soft words and help them when they're stuck. Ni would maybe dismiss this as shallow (especially if we do not like the person) and decide to use subtle approaches that the person doesn't notice. Ni knows it is being nice without having to deal with the person directly, but Fe knows its being nice and the person KNOWS you're being nice.

    I GET it now!

    Though the post was useful because it put into better language things that I have been noticing. I felt much more myself for a while after a period of time where I was forced to be social almost constantly. The 'well put together' feeling disappeared after a few days of barely any social activity.

    So it could just be that Fe naturally develops when I'm forced in a long (multiple days) situation of social activity. I backslide when I'm alone for too long for more than one day in a row. I need me another good long party.
    'Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and its better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.' - Marilyn Monroe

    This is who I am, escapist, paradise-seeker.
    -Nightwish

    Anthropology Major out of Hamline University. St. Paul, Minnesota.

  10. #10
    Junior Member a24kar's Avatar
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    Wink

    I can for sure tell you that ENFJ's will normally not have this kind of purpose or meaning seeking thought pattern that us INFJ's tend to naturally do all of the time. ENFJ's, from my very close relations with a few of them, tend to rely a lot on their Fe function in their lives. They do not get hung up on tangential symbolic meanings like we do.

    In my experiences the ENFJ has difficulties even imagining this type of thought process for longer than about 4 seconds.

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