Repost - let me know where to send you the jam, Udog ...
PB: INFP 9w1 so/sp
Sharing my thoughts on this - it will be a wall of text. Apologies in advance.
Hunker down, get a can of pop or something if you like.
In all honesty I have to share what I feel about all these threads - although I do find redeeming information in each, they lack the unique perspective of age and experience. Some of what's here reflects the challenges of INFP's in their teens, twenties, some in their thirties, and I would posit that since each person matures at different rates and times, and the components of what constitutes each of us matures at different times dependent upon our circumstances, this concept of genericizing "Common INFP Issues" is tricky to pin down.
I am facing patently different challenges as I travel through my 40's than I did in the decades previous.
No doubt, my perspectives will continue to change ... my accumulated experiences and what I think of as wisdom will transform again ... and as I look back then, I will only recognize the shadow of where I am now.
And I don't feel like a "typical" INFP (I doubt any of us do) and cannot claim to speak for all, only myself. So take all my responses with that disclaimer attached. I will just talk about ... me. See what fits you and doesn't.
I am debating whether I should treat my response as a snapshot in time, or try to show some kind of progression decade by decade. Maybe I will do that later, if inspired.
For now, I will respond in the "here and now".
I'll share my perspective on Seymour's List first:
Hypersensitivity - Yes, negative feedback does "smart" in that place close to my heart ... despite years of perspective to guide me, if you tell me that my work is poorly done it is near-impossible for me to initially distance myself and feel that this is not a criticism of who I am. What I do in the world is a reflection of how I try to live my life; I try to always do my best, and to do poorly is to be ... substandard. That initial "pang" of pain does ebb off and I can create an objective space to hear what has been expressed and not personalize it. But the first reaction is to do so. This all happens "inside", unless very wounded I internalize this entire process.
Tendency to procrastinate - Oh yes too - any of you twenty-something INFP's take note ... this tendency is still alive and well in my 40's. I like what Seymour said, "the reality is always less than we'd like it to be" true that ... but I don't hold the world to the perfect ideals I used to. I still hold myself to them mind you; perhaps that is the next challenge. I would even say it's sometimes difficult to move forward to new career challenges or experiences in the "real world" because I do think back to all the experiential pros and cons under my belt at this point, and know that there are always pros and cons. Always. And there is no perfect. (Ah, it even hurts to type it like that, so definitively.) SO, in light of all that, I just decide to start. Now. Act. Do. Just do.
Social Disregard and/or Cluelessness - In my early twenties, I used to write down what I wanted to say to someone, either on the phone or in person, to try to ensure I could say what I needed to say and not get stuck in some faux pas or conversational dead zone. Those days are thankfully behind me, and I feel I conduct myself with very polished manners and feel mostly at ease doing so - I am certainly not "clueless", not at all. In fact, I sometimes feel I am better at "Fe" than my Feeling compatriots, so well I have learned the "Fe" lessons. It doesn't always come natural to me of course, but learning Fe is watching Fe, so you can perceive how to "be" in the world by watching, evaluating and monitoring social conditioning. I only felt "lost" in my teens and early twenties ... then I worked in sales, forcing me out of my head and comfort zone, forcing me to learn all these great skills working with people. That helped me a great deal. I do find it tiring still ... using my "social graces" has a price tag, and I need a recharge after lots of extroverting in this way. And I do genuinely care about the group, so I can't say I disregard group needs either.
Idealism/Absolutism - Yes, I do still have rose-colored glasses, the glass is half-full, I look for the beauty of the world and am distressed to find so much pain. I don't think it has made me cynical. So that's good. But experience has led me to lead a more balanced life, try to be a more realistic kind of person. I used to think I could save the world. I realized in my thirties I could only try to be myself and basically save myself, and be the best person I could be, and not expect everyone else to feel as I feel or want what I want or prioritize what I do.
Fi values internal consonance and harmony - Yes, and at this point in my life, I am loathe to really let myself stew in ruminating continually over problems. I want to solve them, and solve them now. I let out the Ne / Te and work through my internal turmoil til I have found some inner peace on the topic. Then, when I know I have found the answer, I experience a feeling of "knowing" that everything is once again harmonious and will be OK now. I work hard to get out of that kind of pain. That being said too though, it can take hours or days to happen. SO my "percolation" is full-on and very surface, not so much behind the scenes.
Some of my own summaries, from my own thoughts and amalgamated from other posts.
My "Retreats" - I am going to summarize a few of the already expressed needs to withdraw and process. When I am not in an acute state of discomfort requiring the attention above, I can procrastinate on action with fantasy, movies, reading, forums, anything that allows me to stay in the "head" space and not really require me to act. I can make myself lots of nice lists on getting started with a new project, then the list just expands, as my mind prefers to focus on the new and not the "in-process". Similar to the ENFP, I like the bright shiny new things too ... they are way more fun than sitting with the to-do list! If I am feeling emotionally tapped out, after a very charged experience, or one that requires me to focus on the needs of a group for an extended period of time, I need require that down-time ... I need to just totally blank-out and stop thinking. So I paint, or write, or watch a favorite movie, anything that provides time to recharge the emotional batteries. Make me feel like myself again, and not drained out.
My "Flexiness" - I try to be accommodating, and helpful to the best of my ability. I can sense what others feel, want and expect of me, and ME - I try to meet those needs. I think some INFP's get those same messages and deal with them differently than me. But me - your unexpressed wish is my command! (Sort of ... I want to make you happy, and I like to see you happy, so I do the things to make you happy.) Sometimes, that works great, other times, I can seriously over-extend myself. Still. I am comfortable with many different lifestyles, beliefs, opinions ... sometimes my stance on issues can be interpreted though as ...
My "Wishy-washiness" - Yes, what a gift to be so accommodating, but sometimes one needs a strong opinion to stand solid with their own beliefs and choosing what is best for their own life. I have historically placed probably too much importance of what other people think rather than my own perspective or desires ... I try to find that balance point, that internal mediation of desire. I can often see both sides of an issue, and both have valid viewpoints. So I can occasionally be accused of not making a choice, trying to please everyone and not having a mind of my own. I mean, everyone else seems to know what they want. Why don't I? And if people are close by I cannot help but feel their wants and needs so how to balance theirs with my own? A challenge point still, but improving.
This would tie into Cze Cze's assertion of bad boundary setting. Heck I didn't even know how to create any kind of boundary for myself when younger - I just tried to help everyone and make them all happy. And I attracted lots of "needy" people, who were energy-drainers, and who ultimately I could not save because they needed to save themselves.
My "Fire" - If however, you break an Fi tenet: I most definitely have an opinion about that. I will stand and lead and fight for what I think is right. Example: 10 years ago, when they were going to close rural schools in our area based on very speculative enrollment data, I started a community group that grew to involve a large geographical region. And all those little schools (exception of 1) are still open to this day. When impassioned, I can be a force of nature.
Finally I guess I'll mention what I think of as:
My "Depth" - It is hard to convey all of what Fi is. Words don't do it justice. In fact, words seldom convey the nuances I wish they could; I cannot translate the wealth of my feelings into a few sentences; there aren't enough words even invented to do that with. So few people engage the world feelings first, and it is exciting and scary too, and I cannot express the depth of that to my own satisfaction even here.
My "Gut-feelings and Assumptive-ness" - Pretty much the whole environment, animate and inanimate, around me evokes these continual streams of feelings, and when I meet people, and people in context with others, I feel them and can get a read on them and the group quickly. It's wise however, not to regard such a thing as 100% accurate. BUT, that being said, many people I respected poo-pooed my intuitions and feelings on people and my read on situations, which started me to doubt as well. After all, when you feel that someone is upset, and then they deny it, and no one else around you gets that "read", why wouldn't you start to question this "ability"? History bears witness though ... almost all of these situations have proven to be accurate in the dynamics I picked up. So, especially at this point in my life, I honor that ability by paying close attention to it. Often when I "know" I am right, I am.
I guess I mention this for two reasons: 1.) not to get too assumptive and cocky about this ability to feel and to intuitively "know" empathize BUT 2.) to listen to it, pay attention to it, and don't just let the world mash it down and make you doubt yourself all the time.
There are many wonderful posts in this thread, but I must head to bed and shall perhaps process some of them in another post.
In the meantime, these are my thoughts.
Thread: Common INFP Issues
07-30-2010, 02:53 PM #91"Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
― Eleanor Roosevelt
"When people see some things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad."
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
07-30-2010, 05:23 PM #92
We INFPs build up our important values and our internal model of the world (much like INTPs do with their logic-based models). Still, compared to Fe-doms I think we are less fixed externally where Ne has more influence. We certainly have fewer social expectations, on the whole.
So, if I am a 5w4 I don't think I'm highly cantankerous. Still, I don't mind debating points for fun (and I've certainly argued with people on the forums), and will disagree with people about intellectual matters if I think they are way off base.
It did take some negative experiences for me to learn to actively set limits with people. I feel that I was so emotionally open as a kid, that the needs of others (as I perceived them) seemed imperative to meet. After some bad experiences (like being engaged to a woman with Borderline Personality disorder), I think I learned to set limits better and be more leery of the needs of others.
Some other tidbits I thought added a lot (outside of the flexiness/wishy-washy-ness):
07-30-2010, 11:18 PM #93
^ bear in mind that my accommodation has a gender component and a role-based component to it as well ... I am a wife, a mother with now grown children, and this has necessitated the prioritization assigned them. I could not just think of me, or retreat, when I had to step up and be involved with my children's growth and development, or when my husband's job changed physical locations. It's not an option, you just have to do, and adapt.
For much of what we learn in life is what we learn to do, despite any natural tendency for or against it."Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
― Eleanor Roosevelt
"When people see some things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad."
― Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
08-01-2010, 02:22 AM #94
It was a little in jest, the cantankerous statement....if anything INFP 5's are more detached from the group for the most part (if I can reference myself like that). We are the "silent" observers, speaking up only when some thing moves us too. We're very aloof and quite intense (?one track minded) I won't let go of a concept until I have it fully worked out. More so than other INFP's.(it's a relative statement however) I think we have a lot more trouble processing our emotions too, as we struggle more with them, I think.
I read some where in the ennegramm section about how INFP 5 could come about...those magic little letter derivations. In my case sx, so (or was it the other way round? can't remember,) so you could be. I think we tend be slightly blunter than other INFP's. I think it's common in those who are borderline T/F.Currently submerged under an avalanche of books and paper work. I may come back up for air from time to time.
Real life awaits and she is a demanding mistress.
08-01-2010, 05:37 AM #95
08-01-2010, 12:15 PM #96
Wow. I was gone for five days and was overjoyed to see this thread come into existence. I'll go read everything from the beginning.
08-01-2010, 02:03 PM #97
First, thanks for all the great input and discussion. It seems like it's a challenge to come up with "typical" issues since we INFPs are such quirky critters.
So, here I'm trying to sum up a bit, and trying to address some areas that might be more enneagram specific. If I lost your important point when trying to group things up, let me know! (Rep comment, PM, or a post here are all fine.) I'm making a lot of guesses here, so feel free to correct me. I certainly don't claim any special insight, just trying to group things in a list others may find useful later on. I'll try to move these up to the first post if there's any consensus about them.
Additional General issues:
Indecisive/Inconsistent - because we extravert Ne, we can be very open to other ideas/perspectives where they do not intersect with one of our central values. This may mean we come across as inconsistent/wishy-washy/indecisive. In some cases, we may find ourselves agreeing with a perspective that is not our own, since we can completely see how someone could think/feel that way. (This trait may be more pronounced in enneagram type 9 INFPs)
Trusting our perceptions of others too much/little - because of our combination of Fi and Ne, we often perceive things about the emotional states of others (often noticed because of a corresponding change in our own emotional state or mood). It can be tempting to see those perceptions as directly perceived truth, when they are, in fact, fallible. On the other hand, we can also be tempted to discount them entirely, which means we can discard often valuable insight. Finding a balance can difficult for many INFPs.
Relationship Issues - INFPs have their fair share of relationship issues. They can include:
- Issues caused by our tendency to disappear without notice. Like most introverts, we need time alone to recharge. Being Fi-doms, we may not give proper consideration to how this appears to others and what it communicates.
- Issues caused by over-idealizing others and our relationships with them. The combination of Fi and Ne can lead us towards building idealized models of people and relationships. This can make dealing with the every day mundanity and disappointments of actual relationships difficult. (This idealized view may be more extreme in enneagram type 4 INFPs).
- Some (but certainly not all) INFPs may have issues with keeping and setting interpersonal boundaries. For these INFPs, their awareness of and compulsion to meet needs of others may interfere with attending to their own needs and commitments. (This may be more common for enneagram type 9 INFPs, but is not limited to the enneatype.)
- Like most introverts, we may have difficulties meeting others and forming friendships because we tend to spend time alone and may be quiet and self-contained when in more social settings.
- Tend to suddenly become externally motivated, stubborn and/or passionate when a core value comes into play. The generally easygoing INFP may suddenly become anything but easygoing. This can cause relationship issues when suddenly a previously hidden side comes to the fore. A friend, coworker or significant other who expected your flexibility may feel upset or betrayed when that flexibility is suddenly nowhere to be found.
Communication Issues - Fi self-awareness tends to be complex and varied. This can make it difficult for INFPs to communicate clearly or feel understood. Specific problems can include:
- Like our ENFP cousins, we can be moody and inconsistent. This can lead to communication problems or negative evaluations from others, since we may come across as dishonest or undependable rather than merely mercurial. In particular, like all introverts we tend to need to withdraw periodically to recharge. This may mean we are warm and engaging one day and appear cool and aloof the next. We may also tend to disappear without warning periodically.
- Our inner intensity can be difficult to convey. We may tend to hold back and tend toward understatement. We often feel more more warmly towards people than we convey. Others of us may vacillate between saying nothing and saying too much. We sometimes fear expressing our inner idealism directly for fear of it coming across of naive or insincere.
- We may have a harder time communicating orally than we do in writing. Some INFPs may have a visual medium as their best medium of communication (although this may be more common for an ISFP).
- May have a particularly hard time communicating in socially expected ways. In some cases, the expectation of a compliment/gift/appearance may make it difficult to express genuine feeling.
Enneagram types and INFPs:
Type 4 INFPs - Many INFPs may be enneagram type 4s. INFP type 4s may tend to:
- Appear more idiosyncratic/quirky than INFPs of other types. The Type 4 need to be true to oneself combines well with the type 4 need to be unique.
- Have more issues with over-idealizing in relationships, especially romantic ones. Fi can tend toward idealism inherently, and the type 4 yearning for the perfect (and unattainable) relationship meshes well with that.
- Spend more time stuck processing an emotional issue, just running in circles and experiencing the associated intensely (the Fi/Si loop) as a result of the type 4 love of emotional intensity. The ability of Fi to regulate emotional state is used here to intensify emotions.
Type 9 INFPs - The next most likely enneatype for INFPs is type 9. INFP type 9s may tend to:
- Be more flexible and willing to meet the needs of others. The emotional awareness of Fi may be turned towards meeting the needs of others, sometimes to the point of not meeting one's own needs. This may also cause INFP 9s to appear particularly wishy-washy about subjects that don't intersect with core values.
- Have difficulties setting/keeping boundaries, especially when young. The wish to meet the need of others may result in others taking advantage of one's willingness to be flexible, sometimes to the detriment of other relationships in our life.
- May "fall asleep" to their own needs and keep busy instead. For INFP type 5s, fantasizing is likely included in the ways of keeping "busy".
Type 5 INFPs - Some INFPs identify as Type 5s. These may be INFPs who test close to the F/T border. INFP type 5s may tend to:
- Fall easily into being a detached observer, rather than a participant. While many INFPs have this quality (as it is common for all introverts), it is often more pronounced in type 5 INFPs.
- Feel torn between engagement and withdrawing. Fi tends to concern itself with people and harmonizing values, while type 5s fear being overwhelmed by others. This can leads to type 5 INFPs feeling particularly torn when trying to begin or maintain relationships with others.
- Like type 4 INFPs, come across as weird/crazy.
- Appear to be more even keeled/flatter emotionally than other INFPs. The ability of Fi to regulate emotional state is used here to moderate emotional intensity. May have a hard time dealing with intense emotions when they arise (may attempt to flee into rationalizing and intellectualizing).
Type 1 INFPs - A few INFPs identify as type 1s. Their input would be welcome here.
(Any other semi-common INFP enneagram types?)
As I said above, feel free to correct me, add things or fill in gaps.
08-01-2010, 04:47 PM #98
When untainted, they get excited when their master comes home and are on them every step of the way, jumping and practically knocking them over. Otherwise, they'll pant and trip up anyone else who is willing to pet them. It's very self-sacrificing.
Even our type can relate to needing some damage under the belt to resort to self-preservation. It's really about experiences and awareness. It can be overcome, but the self-preservation adverse is difficult to handle too.
Just keep communicating. The lack of Fe dominance means they don't read into us like we read into others. I was discussing it with Mystic Tater last night- Fi needs informative tools to grasp people. Explain your side thoroughly- the feeling, the theory, the mechanics of it, and see if it gets picked up on.
The ones who don't are in need of some fire under their ass
Hang on traveling woman - Don't sacrifice your plan
Cause it will come back to you - Before you lose it on the man
.:: DWTWD ::.
There is this thing keeping everyone's lungs and lips locked - It is called fear and it's seeing a great renaissance
08-01-2010, 04:49 PM #99
Seymour, thanks so much for summarizing it like that. Very helpful!
08-01-2010, 06:53 PM #100Dreams are best served manifest and tangible.
INFP, 6w7, IEI
I accept no responsibility, what so ever, for the fact that I exist; I do, however, accept full responsibility for what I do while I exist.
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