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  1. #1
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Default INFJs: Describe Yourself

    I've never found a good example of an INFJ to get a sense of what you are like IRL. I have got dozens and dozens of people to take the test for me, plus a workplace I worked at did it as a staff day, etc.

    There were only 2 people who tested as INFJ. One was my grandmother. She is very full of paranoias and is very unhealthy if she's an INFJ. (She probably is an INFJ. I just cannot use her to compare to a healthy person.) The other was a 20-something widow with 2 kids who was working full time (at a great job) while going to school to advance her education. She was overtired and powering through life b/c she had to. She also grew up all over the world, moving every year, and can speak a dozen different languages. She is not a normal person to compare with, either.

    What characterizes you IRL? How do you behave in social situations/educational situations/family gatherings/where will i find you/where will i never find you/how much do you share about your personal lives, etc.

    Please help me figure out how to spot them more.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  2. #2
    Wild Card Atomic Fiend's Avatar
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    I had half the mind to write "You don't find us. We find you."

    It depends on the social situation, If in a party with a friend I probably won't stray too far from that friend, If the friend suddenly decides he was to do something alone, I would probably try to look busy or not too out of place.

    I'm usually the person who looks removed from the situation, at least until someone starts speaking with me, if I care to speak with them I will actually be quite friendly, and seem pretty boring, as I will more often than not be following the other persons words more then they'll be following mine.

    If someone tried to get to know me at a party, you wouldn't. Simple as that. Any questions that you don't need to know the answer to, you wouldn't receive answers to. This isn't done in a cold manner at all, but more for self preservation.

    Those who know me personally IRL usually like me, In fact I don't believe I've ever had anyone hate me, sure I've met my share of jerks that tried to make life hell, but no one who legitimately hated me with a good reason. My closest friends love me, and I will use that term. We spend time unloading our personal crazy on each other. Thank God for it. I don't know how we'd cope if we didn't.

  3. #3
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    What characterizes you IRL? How do you behave in social situations/educational situations/family gatherings/where will i find you/where will i never find you/how much do you share about your personal lives, etc.

    Please help me figure out how to spot them more.
    I've never really thought about what characterizes me in life. I've always been much more interested in what makes other tick. How would I describe myself?

    I'm very reserved around new people, but can become over talkative with people with whom I'm comfortable and familiar. Sometimes a person will first find me cold and standoffish to talk to, but as the conversation progresses, I become more and more animated to the point of seeming like an entirely different person.

    If you were to walk up to me when I was engrossed in some activity, I would sputter if you talked to me or I would say something stupid, because I am terrible at shifting from one frame of thought to another.

    In social situations I'll keep as far away from the center of attention as possible. I don't like to speak up too much in groups unless I know a great deal or have strong opinions about what is being discussed. I like to ask a lot of questions, even if I already know the answers, because I want to know how much others know, or how they will react when they don't. I may occasionally share a contrary opinion that doesn't make sense just to see how others will react.

    Typically, you would probably find me talking one on one with someone, and then leaving as more people joined the conversation. But when I am in a one on one, it will probably be about some topic of great interest to me and one that I could talk endlessly about.

    I like to sit close to front and center in class. I want to be familiar with the instructor and be able to converse with him or her as naturally as I would an old friend. I am very hesitant to ask questions unless it is something I really don't know or I've had a thought that really intrigues me. Most of the time I will hold my questions until the end of class and you can see me rushing to the professor to ask him half a dozen things. I never take notes because I remember everything that is said in class. If it is a class where the instructor follows the book, then I may not even show up.

    I'm very comfortable and talkative with my family and will say things to them in public that outsiders may consider very harsh. That isn't to say I'm a harsh person. If somebody is publicly berating me, you would see me just sit there and take it. I might speak up with great conviction if somebody was very wrong about something and I was defending an idea, belief, or value very important to me. In real life, I could never bring myself to say something hurtful to another person who is outside my family. That isn't to say that if there was a juicy bit of gossip that I wouldn't say mean and hurtful things about people to other people. I THIRVE on conspiracy and speculating about what others are doing. If there was a water cooler at work, I would be there most of the day hearing everyone's thoughts on everyone. But that also makes me incredibly skeptical about conspiracies and the sources of rumors. If you were to come to me about some grand scheme the government had, I would probably make fun of you lack of critical thinking skills and start a thread about it on an internet forum.

    Typically I like to stay at home because I'm almost always tired. I'll occasionally go to a social function if my friends will be there. I don't like big crowds at all, and I can only open up in relatively small groups of people. The best way to spot me is I'm usually the guy who is always working or surfing the internet. Sometimes I may just be walking around, completely lost in thought and oblivious to the world around me.

    One place you would never find me is at bars and clubs. Too noisy, too big of crowds, too much going on at one time, and the conversation holds no depth.

    I've found that if someone takes a general interest in me, and I trust them, then there is very little I won't share about my personal life. I love telling stories and hearing stories, and nothing gives me greater pleasure than telling a story that helps someone through a tough time in their life. And if you can't tell, very little is taboo about my life on the internet where I have good ol' safe anonymity.

    See, what did I tell ya? You get me talking about myself and I'll never shut up.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silently Honest View Post
    I had half the mind to write "You don't find us. We find you."
    I like that; it sounds accurate.

    I'm the girl sitting alone with a book. I'm not lonely or sad or feeling left out; I'm enjoying my book. If you (a stranger or mere acquaintance) sit down and interrupt my reading, I'll be polite and cool and stifle a sigh of frustration that people can't leave people alone to do their own thing.

    I'm the girl who finds lonely people and makes them happy. Being one of the alone-but-not-lonely ones, I can usually spot the true-lonely-ones. I'll smile at them and quietly encourage them to trust me. After a while, they will. Then they're not quite so lonely any more, and I have the pleasure of a cool person to talk to.



    I'm the one on a mission, walking quickly down the hall, focused on what must be done and how to do it. I rarely amble anywhere. Stopping to chat with friends who happen across my path isn't usually my style. I love my friends, and I have a bright smile for them, but I'd rather plan a meal together when we have time to sit and talk.

    I'm the one in the corner noticing people--little things about how they sit and talk and move and think. They way she turns her head and glances left as she smiles to the guy on her right; the way he freezes for a fraction of a second before he returns her smile. After a while you begin to overlook me because I'm quiet, and that's fine by me because it leaves me free to watch and learn some more.

    At large family gatherings, I talk with one or two beloved relatives, or else I sit quietly and enjoy watching everyone. Chit-chat is a struggle and a bore. With people I love and trust, I'm expressive and open. I can converse happily for hours.

    You will never find me at a frat party or a sorority house or a noisy bar. Too many loud people together doing stuff I don't understand or value. You'll rarely find me at a bowling alley because the atmosphere isn't conducive to intimate chats.

    You'll find me at a coffee house or a quaint pub or a book store. Or alone with my animals in my woodland cabin. Or anywhere with a dear friend, discussing ideas and lives and relationships.

    I choose my friends carefully because I expect them to last a lifetime. If I don't trust you, you'll never know me. If you want to know me, you'll have to be honest and real and very patient.

  5. #5
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Usehername View Post
    What characterizes you IRL? How do you behave in social situations/educational situations/family gatherings/where will i find you/where will i never find you/how much do you share about your personal lives, etc.

    Please help me figure out how to spot them more.
    I really don't think there's a pattern to it; if anything, being on this board has shown me how varied INFJ's can be, in terms of jobs, values, interests...and a lot might also depend on the INFJ's own personal life experiences, how they've integrated those things into their life, and how they then adjust and perceive the world around them. For example, in high school, I was a loner. But one of my INFJ friends was quite opposite - in fact she was well-liked. We were just at different..stages...or it had to do with our upbringing....or a lot of stuff *outside* of mbti!! :-)

    In social settings, I think you could easily see one INFJ react to it in a much different manner from another INFJ -- so whereas one might decide not to be terribly talkative, and will be quiet, another might be in 'On' mode that night and might appear extremely extroverted. I'd be really hesitant to pinpoint traits that all INFJ's will display in social situations. It often depends on context. I would say INFJ's tend to be quiet and in the background in large groups, and aren't really at ease in them, but I have one INFJ friend who counters this, as she can be extremely talkative (because of how she was raised, she learned those skills) to strangers, MUCH more so than I. But it depends on the context for her.

    In general, most everything about the INFJ will stay inside the INFJ for a while, until trust is built. But I don't really see how this would be evident to the outsider, other than you might sense the INFJ is being cautious or deliberate in what they say, and how they say it, or you might sense there are a lot of layers. You might sense a lot more is being unsaid than said, but again, I wouldn't know. ;-) For me personally, it all depends on how I 'connect' with the other person, and what I sense the other persons' motivations are in wanting to know me - bottom line, if I don't trust the persons' sincerity and genuineness and openness, I'm not going to be open to them. I'll play it very safe and keep things very factual. Nothing deeper, nothing explanatory. To be completely honest, there are certain people I just instantaneously 'click with/connect with' (meaning I don't have to put forth much effort in the interaction, and we just feed off of each others sentences and it's very fluid) and they're always NF's. :-) -- so with people I just immediately connect with and feel we're speaking on the same wavelength, I'll be much more inclined to be open myself. But that happens rarely. So with everyone else, it's a very slow process.

    The 'where will I find you'/'where will I never find you' thing can't be used with INFJ's I don't think. [actually wouldn't this be the same for ALL personality types? It's dependent on interests?] It depends on the particular INFJ's interests and values - it's not across the board.

    For example, one of my good INFJ friends is a Christian. You'll find her at Bible studies and church. But in addition she's very passionate about environmental stewardship, and her work and much of her volunteering is related to that. You'll also find her out hiking, or taking spanish classes. And you might find her in Kenya or Costa Rica. ;-P

    Another INFJ friend you'll NEVER find at church, because she's very much not into that. You'll find her in running clubs, or in coffee shops, or at book clubs, or at yoga classes. Prior to this, when she was in college, you would have found her in electrical engineering courses and she would have been in Goth attire and she would have been at the clubs, dancing a lot; but she's no longer into that. Prior to that, she was raised Jehovah's witness, so she would have been part of that circle.

    A male INFJ coworker...I don't know where you'd find him, because he's really introverted and he's not really interested in any club-type activity. He has his S.O., and likes to travel, but outside of that, you're not going to 'find' him anywhere.

    And myself...I've written about myself all over the boards. ;-) I direct you to those threads.
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

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  6. #6
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    This is helpful information.

    Question: My INTP friend was dating another friend of ours. He thought she was INFJ. I thought she was ISFJ. He doesn't know MBTI in practice very well at all, so I'm disinclined to trust his judgment. (He only knows his type and my type and two friends' types and then he gave up on it. After reading all of PUMII, of course. He knows it in theory


    What distinguishes you from an ISFJ in behavior?
    This particular (who I think is) ISFJ has, in her intimate circle of four friends, an ISFJ, ExFP and ESTP and ISFx.

    I'm also sorta close-ish with her, and have never picked up on any Ni at all. We've always seemed to have "missed" each other in our points until in a larger group discussion where I join their circle of friends and it's all S talk.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
    C.S. Lewis

  7. #7
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    ISFJs are evil incarnate. Well probably not, but the one I have known was. The difference is simply philosophy. ISFJs are orators and sophists; they are masters of rhetoric. They laugh at the idea of bothering to examine the metaphysical or ethical. In short, they find philosophy to be a waste of time. INFJs by contrast are always trying to understand the elements of the world around them and the thinking of others.

  8. #8
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    The difference between myself and my ISFJ sister-in-law (and dear friend) is that she is a nurturer of the body and the moral fiber and I am a nurturer of the emotions and the mind. She is more conscious of rules and how things look to other people than I am. She is more organized and diligent than I am. She is actually more big picture when it comes to caring for others in that she considers how to meet the needs of others and she schedules accordingly and she is very inclined to stick to her schedule because she cares about people and meeting her obligations to them.

    I, OTOH, have only tentative schedules and I perceive that someone I care about is in need, I pretty much forget about everyone and everything else. I focus on them and on helping them the best I can. When I feel like the situation is mostly under control, I will either move onto the next need or go back to my very loose routine.

    In other areas, I am more big picture. I want my husband to invest in his 401K, even if it means we take a little longer to get out of debt. She wants to get all the current bills paid now and worry about retirement later. I've always concentrated on helping my kids become more independent while it is more of a recent thing for her with her kids (though she is much better at the follow-through and consistency once she commits to the idea).

    Both of us are very loyal and protective. Both of us are devoted to our families. Both of us have a strong moral code.

    When you meet her, you see that she is very attractively and appropriately put together. She has an assurance about her that she is doing things properly and she is polite, but she is committed to her agenda. Sometimes you know she is thinking something that may not be terribly flattering, but you can't quite put your finger on what it might be. She is always aware of how her children are behaving and they had better be behaving well.

    When you meet me, I will probably not be perfectly put together, even when I'm looking my best. I have an aloof, distracted air until I actively engage someone conversationally. When I engage a person conversationally, I'm aware of little else. I am self-deprecating and disorganized and people say I use big words or that I'm smart. Sometimes I don't notice what my kids are doing until they start to get a little out of hand.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  9. #9
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Shoot, cafe, I might have to throw a little wrench in your INFJ/ISFJ comparison!!

    I was actually going to say one of the things my INFJ friends and I have in common is that we are externally well put-together, and I'd say there's an element of poise and control in how we present ourselves. My ISFJ coworker is equally put-together, but I'd agree the difference is she's more 'proper', whereas my friends and I are more...poised? I think there's a difference.

    This ISFJ told me I come across this way - i.e. poised and controlled, and that I present only part of myself to others, and others probably have no idea half of what I'm about - so I think she views me differently in this way than she views herself. And getting beyond behaviors and just visible stuff, it's in actual interactions and WHAT we talk about, that the differences really start becoming apparent. She is envious of my Ni; she thinks it's a huge strength of mine that I can 'connect the dots' (as she puts it) and come to a conclusion from a myriad of details that she'd never even put together. Whereas she is much more detail-oriented, and more meticulous with more of a tendency to get bogged down with pieces of the whole picture.

    I would actually describe her as more warm than me, and I agree w/ you on focusing more on physical needs in terms of nurturing, and being more in touch with schedules, and assisting in more *tangible* ways, whereas I assist in much more intangible, 'help you to help yourself' ways. Perhaps I am more thought-driven in my ways of helping, and she is more action driven?? Maybe?? I'm not sure.

    I also wanted to add a thought to my initial post; just that I think with INFJ's, you would be hard-pressed to be able to 'type' one at any one instantaneous moment. It's more something you'd learn over time..patterns emerge over time, or different sides emerge over time. A simple snapshot based on one interaction, or one social engagement, could yield very little, and you could easily just see one part. It's only over time that I can see all of the similarities between my friends and I. And then over the longterm a really big pattern emerges. Well, that's what I think.
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

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  10. #10
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Shoot, cafe, I might have to throw a little wrench in your INFJ/ISFJ comparison!!

    I was actually going to say one of the things my INFJ friends and I have in common is that we are externally well put-together, and I'd say there's an element of poise and control in how we present ourselves. My ISFJ coworker is equally put-together, but I'd agree the difference is she's more 'proper', whereas my friends and I are more...poised? I think there's a difference.

    This ISFJ told me I come across this way - i.e. poised and controlled, and that I present only part of myself to others, and others probably have no idea half of what I'm about - so I think she views me differently in this way than she views herself. And getting beyond behaviors and just visible stuff, it's in actual interactions and WHAT we talk about, that the differences really start becoming apparent. She is envious of my Ni; she thinks it's a huge strength of mine that I can 'connect the dots' (as she puts it) and come to a conclusion from a myriad of details that she'd never even put together. Whereas she is much more detail-oriented, and more meticulous with more of a tendency to get bogged down with pieces of the whole picture.

    I would actually describe her as more warm than me, and I agree w/ you on focusing more on physical needs in terms of nurturing, and being more in touch with schedules, and assisting in more *tangible* ways, whereas I assist in much more intangible, 'help you to help yourself' ways. Perhaps I am more thought-driven in my ways of helping, and she is more action driven?? Maybe?? I'm not sure.

    I also wanted to add a thought to my initial post; just that I think with INFJ's, you would be hard-pressed to be able to 'type' one at any one instantaneous moment. It's more something you'd learn over time..patterns emerge over time, or different sides emerge over time. A simple snapshot based on one interaction, or one social engagement, could yield very little, and you could easily just see one part. It's only over time that I can see all of the similarities between my friends and I. And then over the longterm a really big pattern emerges, and that would be the Ni Fe, and basically, we *approach* life and process events pretty much the same. Well, that's what I think.
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

    My Photography and Watercolor Fine Art Prints!!! Cascade Colors Fine Art Prints
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