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Thread: Common INFJ issues

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    Yes to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 22

    No to 21


  2. #32
    facettes de la petite mor Array Words of Ivory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sky is BLUE! View Post
    Yes to 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 22

    No to 21

    For some reason I find this comment hilarious yet oh so apt. *laughs*

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    2) Need for resolution - What may look to some like being nitpicky or unforgiving or even holding onto the past often has more to do with their need to get everything put away in its proper place before closing the chapter on it. Without doing so, it keeps coming up again and again.
    ^ This. This one thing right here is one that has haunted me my entire adult life, and would make my current problems oh so much easier if I didn't possess.

    Meh.
    Last edited by fidelia; 07-16-2010 at 12:37 AM. Reason: I always screw up it's and its when I'm in a hurry. Fixed quote.



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  3. #33
    Senior Member Array Keps Mnemnosyne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    However, I will buy your point that INFJs have a very definite view of there being a Right way to deal with all kinds of things that may seem rigid and stifling to some other types.
    Quote Originally Posted by Arclight View Post
    I called them "Character flaws" because that is what they are, They can not be fixed or altered because they are not seen as such. The 1st step to change and growth is admitting it is needed.

    There is nothing wrong with being flawed, because it is a universal truth of the human condition.
    To Arclight: Isn't this also a rigid and definite view of the right way? That we need to be fixed?

    I would possibly argue that Fe, Fi, Te, and Ti are rigid in their own way and judge what is right. After all they are judging functions. Our strongest points (any type) taken to an extreme can become our weakest.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I've been thinking over some of the threads I've read, the discussions I've had with others about INFJs, and my own experiences. I thought it would be interesting to summarize what I've found to be the most common sources of misunderstanding, as well as some of the most frustrating (perhaps type related?) issues that seem to have come up in my relationships/close friendships. I'd be interested in your own thoughts on this as well.
    Interesting topic, fidelia!

    I think it's a bit confusing if I just list the numbers I agree with. So I'm going to keep the numbers and the points and add my thoughts on them.

    1) Delayed processing time
    Yes, for complicated situations it takes me a while before I know what I think or feel about it. Usually my response will be non-committal, and it might appear like lack of interest or enthusiasm, but I just need time to process my thoughts and feelings or find more complete information about it from many different viewpoints. Once I make up my mind, I tend to stick with it. I've noticed that Ti and Fi make 'snap judgments' about things that can change very quickly later once new information has been added. I cannot do this. I need all the information before I judge, but once I do, it's pretty final. (Unless, of course, I realize that some vital information was excluded and I go through the whole process again)

    2) Need for resolution
    This is true. I like how you worded it, especially the part about the "need to get everything put away in it's proper place before closing the chapter on it". I'd just like to add that once it's put away, INFJs really move on. When something is over, it's really over. In real life, we can be unsure whether it's over or not, but we strive towards getting closure. Leaving things hanging is stressful. For me, it feels like the roof is leaking and I just have to do something about it.

    3) Considering every hobby, person or idea expressed as an extension of themselves
    I'm not sure if this is type-specific, because I feel that all feeling types tend to get threatened when their hobbies or ideas are under attack. Thinking types are better at viewing criticism objectively.

    4) Dislike of emotional surprises - this leads INFJs to sometimes inconvenience others in their effort to know what to expect.
    This is very, very, very, true. I know I'm no fun and I can unashamedly say that I don't like surprises. Try to give me a surprise birthday present and I'll get stressed out about not liking it and hurting your feelings in the process, and I'll try to act surprised and happy, which might make both of us feel bad afterward.

    5) Hold those close to them to a higher degree of accountability than those that are less important to them - This may seem judgemental and unfair, but because those close to them are an extension of their own self, integrity is paramount to them and they choose to invest heavily in a few close relationships, they expect more of those people than they do of casual acquaintance friends. When they feel you are worth risking conflict with and you start hearing the negatives as well as the positives, you're in!
    Again, I totally agree. If I don't care about someone they can do whatever they like and if they mess up their lives completely it wouldn't bother me so much. When an Fe user cares about you, they start going about trying to "fix" things that are wrong in your life. If you do not want it, just look them in the eye and say "Thanks for caring about me. I can handle this and will come to you if I really need help, ok? Don't worry, I've got it under control" and I'll gladly back off (and feel relieved that you're already taking care of it).

    6) Easily embarrassed and quite private - May mean that they take awhile before talking about something that is painful to them. This doesn't mean they don't care about the support you could give them. It's just that they need to get it thought out in a framework and untangled before they are ready to be more open. I tend to talk about it more after I think I'm going to be alright.
    I hate doing this, too. Sometimes I wish I could be more open and let people see me be devastated and in a complete mess. I've always thought it's a sp tendency, though -- being self-sufficient.

    7) Long gaps in correspondance or putting off a job that matters a lot
    I'm ashamed to say that this usually results in me never getting around to do it. Sometimes I appreciate it when people actually make me do something and say that they don't care if I do a crappy job of it and that they just want it NOW. That takes off a lot of pressure.


    Tendancies:
    8) Not creating clear enough boundaries for people around them
    9) Find it difficult to assess when is the time to make a Big Deal out of something
    10) Hate being not in control of their emotions, yet sometimes underestimate how strong those emotions are till they are swamped by them
    11) Get less receptive to advice if the other person tries to skip over the venting that they need to do in order to bleed off excess emotion or when they feel the person hasn't taken enough time to understand the situation. Often their solutions are gained primarily from discussion with someone, not from getting the answers from someone
    12) Sometimes have a hard time recognizing when they need to pull back or give less so that they can continue doing so cheerfully. This seems to be the case especially with Ts.


    Of these, I can only identify with 12. I'm sp/sx, though, so I think my sp has already shut off a lot of people in the first place. I've got more problems with setting up too much boundaries between me and other people to the extent that at times I feel too alone and disconnected from everyone else.


    13) Tendancy to be poor with paperwork, locating items quickly under pressure - I've largely solved this by having a big lanyard for my keys, carrying a decent sized purse and having a file folder that things go into immediately.
    14) Am a responder more than an initiator - as a result I've missed out on many good friendships. I've learned that people respond much more warmly when you go out on a limb and make the first move. I've been working to actively improve this.
    15) Not good at paying attention to detail (in my environment, and in instructions) - This is why I try to stock a lot of sensors in my life. They are happy to fill in my gaps and give me reminders when needed. They also tend to think in terms of smaller practical details that must be attented to.
    16) My intimidation by Te, and some oversensitivity leads me to sometimes not express my opinions when I should - working on this one. Thinking it out ahead of time helps.
    17) Over-indulgent when under stress - eat bad food and buy make-up/magazines that I don't need - Am working to replace these responses with exercise, drinking water etc.
    18) Put off jobs that are unpleasant or that I am not sure how to do - I'm sure this isn't totally type related, but I think avoidance is a greater tendancy with INFJs than Te driven people. Sometimes Ni and Ti create a loop that doesn't work well.
    19) Stubborn - I tend to need a lot of convincing with a new idea before I will adopt it, because it involves changing the whole structure over again.
    20) Promising more than I can actually deliver - I want so badly to take care of everything that sometimes I overestimate what I am able to do. I've learned as a teacher to promise less and make sure I actually do it every time.
    21) Lazy about figuring out technological stuff or leave it to others - This one probably isn't INFJ related. I usually wish that some nice ENTP or ESTP is around to give me the Cliff's Notes on something new. While I am very curious about some things, I am not interested in discovering something for myself because I enjoy the process.
    22) Sometimes my very closest friends may feel that I disagree with them but don't express it. That is occasionally true, but if it is not a huge issue of integrity, I'm not sure how expressing it would be helpful. And yet, I don't think that I have to change my mind about it either, as long as I still like and respect them and am not being passive-aggressive. I think INFPs are much better friends in this respect.
    Parts I identify with are bolded. I misplace documents all the time and I have no idea how to connect a dvd player to the tv. These are probably not type-related, though.

    Fidelia, you seem a lot more people-oriented than I am, and your posts always have this 'level-headed' feel to them, which is probably the influence of being a 1w2. I think Enneagram types and instincts have a part to play. But since certain MBTI types tend to be certain Enneagram types, the characteristics listed in type profiles are often mixed up. It would be really interesting to see a discussion about INFJ traits from INFJs with different Enneagram types!

  5. #35
    Lay the coin on my tongue Array SilkRoad's Avatar
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    My goodness, your list is me almost down to a T. I'm not sure there's anything much there that I haven't observed in myself at least occasionally, and sometimes consistently. Thanks for that

    Quote Originally Posted by Arclight View Post
    I would prefer if you did not paraphrase me here. I called them "Character flaws" because that is what they are, They can not be fixed or altered because they are not seen as such. The 1st step to change and growth is admitting it is needed.

    There is nothing wrong with being flawed, because it is a universal truth of the human condition.
    I will say it again.. It's a one way insight into humanity. " I see into you, I see into me, I see you better than you can see yourself, and you can't see into me at all."
    I don't think that Fidelia was claiming that INFJs exclusively have a different way of seeing things, but are perfect within that, while everyone else has character flaws. I didn't get that at all from her list. She acknowledged that there were things she was working on.

    Every type has weaknesses and strengths. The value of MBTI, in my opinion, is FINDING OUT WHAT WE HAVE TO WORK WITH, and working to improve the weaknesses and heighten the strengths.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    I don't think that Fidelia was claiming that INFJs exclusively have a different way of seeing things, but are perfect within that, while everyone else has character flaws. I didn't get that at all from her list. She acknowledged that there were things she was working on.

    Every type has weaknesses and strengths. The value of MBTI, in my opinion, is FINDING OUT WHAT WE HAVE TO WORK WITH, and working to improve the weaknesses and heighten the strengths.
    Yeah, personally I'd like to see similar lists written by different types so we can get a glimpse into their inner workings. It would be really interesting to see what each type thinks their issues or potential problematic areas are.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Misunderstandings:
    1)Delayed processing time - INFJs often seem to be basing their responses to the person in question on the last interaction they had with them, more often than the current one. They prefer to have time to think things over, which is why it's not a great idea to try to push an INFJ into making a decision before they feel they have had enough time to mull everything that has been brought up.
    Yeah, and with the few I know irl it’s practicably obvious when it's happening- at least if the difference between past behavior and present behavior is confusing enough. It’s a sort of glazed over, completely distracted look often accompanied by pauses and short answers.

    2) Need for resolution - What may look to some like being nitpicky or unforgiving or even holding onto the past often has more to do with their need to get everything put away in it's proper place before closing the chapter on it. Without doing so, it keeps coming up again and again.
    Yeah. Seriously, it’ll just keep coming up again and again.

    3) Considering every hobby, person or idea expressed as an extension of themselves - INFJs tend to be very self-protective, and rarely bring something up unless they have already implemented it into their main framework of thought or affection. Therefore when any of these things are dismissed or mocked, they will feel it as a personal rejection, unlike someone who tends to verbalize new ideas out loud. Similarly, INFJs will sometimes be confused by someone who seemed committed to a thought or a plan, only to abandon it later.
    I can see this. I get cheezed when someone who’s been around me for a while doesn’t give me credit for having thought something through; especially when it’s still dismissed after having brought it up a couple of times. And about getting confused by someone else doing the opposite: I think that only happens when I expected more from the person because I’d gotten somewhat close to them.

    4) Dislike of emotional surprises - this leads INFJs to sometimes inconvenience others in their effort to know what to expect. I'm fine with a change of plans, but find it harder to quickly adjust to someone's sudden annoyance, to a change in something I had really been hoping for/counting on etc. Makes me more likely to try to be the one to take on any inconvenience because that is more predictable. I also tend to need to watch a situation for awhile (either social or skillwise) before I am comfortable jumping in. I think with maturity we can become less focused on their own reactions and feelings and also realize that someone else being upset is not the very worst that can happen. Sometimes avoiding that happening actually creates more conflict.
    This is huge for me. And I also take on extra work because it’s less stressful in the long run than balancing all the variables: how hard is it for the other person to accommodate my schedule? Does asking them to adhere more rigidly to a schedule dampen their focus the way asking me to be more flexible would? Is there some practical reason I want something done ‘my’ way, which would justify my expectation of it? If I can’t think of a practical reason, is my expectation justified at all? Where’s the fair middle ground? It just goes on and on like that. It’s just a lot easier to do things myself. And it’s *kinda* about not wanting to upset others, I guess. But a lot of it- for me- is just avoiding those looping thoughts of trying to work out what’s fair.

    5) Hold those close to them to a higher degree of accountability than those that are less important to them - This may seem judgemental and unfair, but because those close to them are an extension of their own self, integrity is paramount to them and they choose to invest heavily in a few close relationships, they expect more of those people than they do of casual acquaintance friends. When they feel you are worth risking conflict with and you start hearing the negatives as well as the positives, you're in!
    It should maybe be added: when you start hearing the negatives about yourself, your in. It’s my experience that INFJs are just as willing to share negatives about others as any other type.

    And yes- to the “higher degree of accountability”.

    6) Easily embarrassed and quite private - May mean that they take awhile before talking about something that is painful to them. This doesn't mean they don't care about the support you could give them. It's just that they need to get it thought out in a framework and untangled before they are ready to be more open. I tend to talk about it more after I think I'm going to be alright.
    It’s frustrating when people think I’m not willing to talk about something; more often than not (with people close to me) it’s this^. I just haven’t untangled it yet.

    7) Long gaps in correspondance or putting off a job that matters a lot - This seems to be linked to wanting to do an excellent job of it and feeling overwhelmed by the amount of time or effort or organization required. The longer it is put off, the worse we feel. As a result, it is usually my most valued friends that I correspond with least. Usually I try to overcome this by phoning them, catching up on the bulk of it, and then writing the rest.
    Kinda. Maybe. I might have to think about this one.

    Tendancies:
    8) Not creating clear enough boundaries for people around them - there's a tendency to respond to those who are most actively demanding attention, especially when younger. Also the need to be sure that they've looked at everything from all angles, made a correct assessment of all possible motivations and exhausted what they can do to impact the situation before really drawing a hard and fast line. I think this improves with age.
    I just wrote practically this same thing above, before seeing you already wrote it here^ (about the looping thoughts). And yeah, boundaries can be really blurry.

    9 through 12 get a big honkin’ yes.

    I more or less agree with the bottom ones #13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, and 21.
    Not so much with #17, 20 and 22.
    I may get a chance to come back and expound on those, but I thought I'd post this much now.


    (Oh, and clearly +1 to the long-windedness.)
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    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    #5 amended - absolutely on the words "about yourself"! I forget sometimes that most people (other than folks like yourself) don't live inside my head!

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    This is very interesting! I can see a trend emerging among the sp instinct types - they tend to draw their boundaries more naturally, I think.

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    I can relate to a number of the ideas listed in the OP.

    I struggle with a strong dichotomy of being intensely private, but also capable of unabashed honesty. I think that is what I like about the creative arts. It requires complete honesty, but yet it is somewhat hidden in personal code that can resonates deeply with someone else, but they have to somehow relate to the code as well.

    Related to the former one, but from the opposite perspective I also have a dichotomy of distance and empathy in what I take in from others. I have had feelings of intense isolation from humanity especially when younger where I felt like I was trapped in a block of ice. Sometimes I would feel connected to someone at a distance. Sometimes empathy is a problem when I internalize another person's negative state, but it tends to make me more sympathetic towards them. Because it can be intense I also have a way of distancing myself very far away like an observer of both myself and others. Every relationship I've had, my SO noted that I am rationalistic during conflict. It's like operating on two levels at the same time.

    I think because of those potential internal ironies, I am also driven to be coherent internally. I don't want to have conflicting beliefs about the world or people, or to be completely rational up to a point where I become completely unreasonable. Being internally inconsistent in my thinking is not something I can live with. Having ideas inconsistent with what reality proves otherwise is also something I am unable to willingly entertain. I work to let go of anything I hold on to that doesn't stand up under reason. I tend to prefer closeness with people who are also consistent. My SO described me as having a deliberate dedication to reason, but that I should rely more on my intuitive insights.

    Paperwork and remembering lists of arbitrary details could give me a nervous breakdown. My head gets jammed up and it makes me sick. It's a real problem especially if there is something I am thinking about that is important and I'm trying to work out an idea.
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