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.