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Thread: Common INFP Issues

  1. #31
    RETIRED Array CzeCze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    As requested, a thread. We'll see if it does better than the "someone start a thread" thread.

    Some common INFP issues include:

    1. Hypersensitivity - We often interpret negative feedback as a personal attack. In fact, we sometimes project negativity onto factual, neutral statements. This problem extends to critiques of our values, since as Fi-doms we see our values as fundamental parts of ourselves. Our hypersensitivity can cause us to avoid seeking feedback or evaluation out of fear of it being negative.
    2. Tendency to procrastinate - Like other perceiving types, we have a tendency to procrastinate. In our case, an avoidance of conflict tends to be a contributing factor. Our Fi-based idealism combined with our Ne-inspired ability to see possibilities sometimes makes moving from the possible to the actual demotivating: the reality is always less than we'd like it to be. This can even extend to career paralysis, in which we fear moving forward because no option is perfectly inline with our inner selves and values. Also, attempting something Important™ and failing can trigger our hypersensitivity (see above). We can also tend to wait for internal transformation to provide motivation, even when external action is all that's needed to start the ball rolling.
    3. Social Cluelessness - Our lack of Fe and reliance on Fi tends to make us, at times, blissfully (and not so blissfully) unaware of societal expectations. Even when we are aware of them, we may see such expectations as an attack on our individual expression and autonomy. Our Fi focus may also cause us to appear quirky or dress inappropriately for a given situation. Also, we may experience unnecessary conflict with Fe-users because we are unaware of the message we are sending by opting out of important rituals and traditions. We tend to be bad at initiating contact with others, which may send a message that we are selfishly disinterested in other people.
    4. Idealism/Absolutism - While at its best our Fi can lead us towards having worthwhile values and not compromising them, at our worst we tend towards an intolerant, blinkered impracticality. We can tend to dismiss information that doesn't fit with our preconceived ideals and becomes angry when people point out how distorted our internal model of the world may be. This can extend to relationships, causing us to over-idealize those we love, leading to communication problems and/or disappointment.


    And, to include stringstheory's procrastination example:


    I'm sure people have other perspectives to add.
    I wanna add!

    I'd like to add:

    X) Horrible Poor communication - basically expecting people to read your mind and then punishing them for not doing so. Or always 'forgetting' what was said (by yourself or others) before and then changing your story or taking a different course of action from discussed and agreed upon. Or speaking in a way that is so circuituous and buried in layers of meaning that the other person has no idea what your actual intent was and take you on your face value. Having dated a few INFPs this was a problem with each of them and their ages ranged from early to late 20s.

    Y) Bad boundary making and keeping. Moreso that INFPs let undesirable/unwanted advances continue and allow people to latch on to them. This is bad for them but also a source of vexation for the INFPs actual friends, family, and SO.

    Sorry if these have already been brought up, I'm coming onto all these threads late!
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  2. #32
    That's my name biotch! Array JoSunshine's Avatar
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    I've been dating an INFP for a few months now. Everything was great at first but find that this is becoming a big issue:

    "Bad boundary making and keeping. Moreso that INFPs let undesirable/unwanted advances continue and allow people to latch on to them. This is bad for them but also a source of vexation for the INFPs actual friends, family, and SO."

    I call it "squeeky wheel syndrome". I find that he has a tendancy to rush to satisfy whoever screams the loudest regardless of the significance of that person or how good/bad that person treats him. I find myself feeling like I am left out in the cold a lot of times. So then I get upset which results in him bending over backwards to make me happy. Then I get comfy and he runs off to put out the next fire and the next one and the next one - then I get upset again. Then he comes back around. It's difficult for me to relate to becuase I treat the people who are consistantly the nicest and most considerate of me the best and the idots and asses can go straight to hell. It seems to be the other way around with him.

    I'm exhausted! I've tried talking about it with him. He drives himself (not just me) crazy. Any advice short of me jumping up and down raising hell everyday?

    BTW, I adore him. He just drives me kind of bananas.
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  3. #33
    にゃん Array runvardh's Avatar
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    It's called priority management, some need to learn it more than others. I've been burnt out significantly enough when I was growing up that some fires can fucking stay burning till they run out of fuel themselves. Some people don't like that attitude for some reason, though...
    Dreams are best served manifest and tangible.

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  4. #34
    Senior Member Array Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    As requested, a thread. We'll see if it does better than the "someone start a thread" thread.

    Some common INFP issues include:

    1. Hypersensitivity - We often interpret negative feedback as a personal attack. In fact, we sometimes project negativity onto factual, neutral statements. This problem extends to critiques of our values, since as Fi-doms we see our values as fundamental parts of ourselves. Our hypersensitivity can cause us to avoid seeking feedback or evaluation out of fear of it being negative.
    2. Tendency to procrastinate - Like other perceiving types, we have a tendency to procrastinate. In our case, an avoidance of conflict tends to be a contributing factor. Our Fi-based idealism combined with our Ne-inspired ability to see possibilities sometimes makes moving from the possible to the actual demotivating: the reality is always less than we'd like it to be. This can even extend to career paralysis, in which we fear moving forward because no option is perfectly inline with our inner selves and values. Also, attempting something Important™ and failing can trigger our hypersensitivity (see above). We can also tend to wait for internal transformation to provide motivation, even when external action is all that's needed to start the ball rolling.
    3. Social Disregard and/or Cluelessness - Our lack of Fe and reliance on Fi tends to make us, at times, blissfully (and not so blissfully) unaware of societal expectations. Even when we are aware of them, we may see such expectations as an attack on our individual expression and autonomy. Our Fi focus may also cause us to appear quirky or dress inappropriately for a given situation. Also, we may experience unnecessary conflict with Fe-users because we are unaware of the message we are sending by opting out of important rituals and traditions. We tend to be bad at initiating contact with others, which may send a message that we are selfishly disinterested in other people.
    4. Idealism/Absolutism - While at its best our Fi can lead us towards having worthwhile values and not compromising them, at our worst we tend towards an intolerant, blinkered impracticality. We can tend to dismiss information that doesn't fit with our preconceived ideals and becomes angry when people point out how distorted our internal model of the world may be. This can extend to relationships, causing us to over-idealize those we love, leading to communication problems and/or disappointment.


    And, to include stringstheory's procrastination example:


    I'm sure people have other perspectives to add.
    Thank you Seymour for writing. I requested some [two] others to do so , but they all declined and I don't feel knowledgeable to write it myself. I thought about expanding my request beyond just those two, but you've clearly already gotten to the punch.

    Things I might add

    1) Meeting us. We can be pretty reclusive, and even if in the same space as you may still not interact, you know we don't want to intrude on your privacy and stuff.

    2) Getting us to talk. Your golden or your screwed here basically.

    3) Being pouncy idealistic lovey fluffy teddy bears, alternating with extreme aloneness/aloofness. We genuinely like you so much that we just wan tot jump on you and hug you and snuggle with you you and be like "I Love you1" , but man when we need to be alone its like there is this wall 1 inch outside our skin and stuff don't really go in or out of that wall. And we don't get to pick when we experience these moods.

    4) I have all these deep feelings about stuff, but it would take forever to explain, or your not liekly to believe me or take it seriously, or I can't find the words to adequately describe how I feel and all of the words that are coming to me have other, undesirable, connotations.

    5) If anyone else said or did what we did people would instantly call them an asshole, liar, too good to be true, etc, and so we might feel a certain way but won't express it cuz we know that you think if other people did these things you wouldn't believe them. Basically "we are too good to be true, and therefore people think were lying/fake/otherwise"

    Ok, thats all for now.

  5. #35
    にゃん Array runvardh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    3) Being pouncy idealistic lovey fluffy teddy bears, alternating with extreme aloneness/aloofness. We genuinely like you so much that we just wan tot jump on you and hug you and snuggle with you you and be like "I Love you1" , but man when we need to be alone its like there is this wall 1 inch outside our skin and stuff don't really go in or out of that wall. And we don't get to pick when we experience these moods.
    This is why I prefer SO to initiate the cuddles that way I'm not having to worry about them feeling stifled. ^_^
    Dreams are best served manifest and tangible.

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    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.


  6. #36
    Senior Member Array Rebe's Avatar
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    Default So much I want to say.

    How do you express love to others most commonly? How would you express anger towards others most commonly? Does that change depending on how close you are to someone?
    I express love by being there, by keeping in regular contact, by offering advice and cheering them up when they need it, by buying presents for special holidays and just showing them that I am here and I care deeply. I am a bit maternal in that I feel very protective over my loved ones and if I see one of them heading toward a cliff or dangling from one metaphorically of course, I won't hesitate to speak up and offer advice. I am blunt when I need to but also know when to soften up my tone/advice and let them make whatever mistakes they need and experience whatever they need. I am very sensitive to their needs when we are hanging out, not that I will offer the jacket off my back if I am myself cold, but if they don't want to do something, I usually won't pressure them. And if they are unhappy or uncomfortable, I will make sure they feel better.

    I have a very hard time expressing angry with my friends. With my family, I have no problem blowing up. It's weird. I guess I am very conscious of the fact that anger is quite ugly and I do not want to be seen like some monster by my friends ... ever. So even while I feel great anger and want to bite their head off, I usually calm myself down. I reason anger away and if it's a persistent issue, it will be bought up and I might get snappy but I have never yelled at my friend so far. My anger is extreme so if I still want to keep the friendship, I keep the monster locked up. I am learning how to show anger without going overboard though. This is something Fe can do easily. I would boil for some time by myself and I usually won't be able to talk to the person. I need space to sort out my feelings and thoughts and once I have dealt with it on my own, I can present it to the other person in a more calm way without blowing up. Oh, the method I use the most is passive aggression. I give people the silent treatment while I sort stuff out. And if I emerge from it, I have already forgiven them without them even saying anything. If I do not emerge from it, our friendship/relationship is over.

    I agree with Seymour's points about hypersensitivity, procrastination and idealism/absolutism. Regarding social disregard/clueless-ness, it's not blatant clueless-ness like the NTs. We are hypersensitive to others' cues and communication signals and expressions but sometimes ... we just don't have a proper, natural Fe filter so we say things in a crass way because it stems from our values and our reasoning, which is different from Fe expectations. It's more foreign and subjective to the average person and it is intense, sometimes an inappropriate outburst, so we need to keep our thoughts tightly under control with people who do not know us well.

    I have a tendency to express my Fi through Te, not pure Fi so it can come out cold and slightly pretentious instead of 'vulnerable and endearing'. Sometimes, I am regarded as "sensitive" but other times, people perceive me to be a stuck up.

    I'd like to add a few issues:

    1) Needs time to recharge - to think, to not think, to not feel like I have to put on a show or be aware of if my eyeliner is smudged, to 'feel' emotions that I stuffed up for the past couple of days, to forget about all the expectations and errands

    2) Indecisive/Inconsistent

    I am indecisive and inconsistent with anything toward which I do not have a strong moral stand point. This is because I am always open to and aware of alternative possibilities, options and mishaps. At the same time that I'd like to guard myself against possible disappointment when events and people do not turn out the way I expect, I also do not want to tie myself down too tightly. I like to see what happens tomorrow, what new things I will learn that will change what I want and who I am. I see so many possible options - it takes me half an hour to order from a menu always.

    3) Weird-ness Factor

    All my friends have mentioned that I am weird and crazy. I do not know why. I take it as a compliment, but I still do not know why.

    4) Tend to Personalize Everything

    I have learned not to do this since my isfj friend mentioned it to me. I sort of fit every piece I am given into my self-identity and self-perception puzzle. But...not everything is about me or relates to me. That couple in that movie has nothing to do with me, their pain has nothing to do with me, my situation was nothing like that, my person is nothing like that, there is very little correlation, their pain is not mine. This took me a while. Empathy. I thought everyone did this and wondered why I am the only one upset.


    One of my personal issues was assuming that every person has strong Fi. I thought Fi was dominant and innate in every human being but that's not true. I realized it after a couple of years of observing that not everyone takes in information like I do and let it affect them like I do. This is important in not viewing people and life in black and white terms of good vs evil. Some good people make bad decisions but they are still mostly good; very few people are pure evil. It helps me understand and accept human flaws better. It helps me process everything better knowing that they are not purposely trying to be cruel but that we function differently and whatever issues I care about the most, they are not so concerned and that is okay. I have learned to look at events using other functions and perspectives and know that life and people are generally very messy and I can't just separate everything so neatly.

    "Bad boundary making and keeping. Moreso that INFPs let undesirable/unwanted advances continue and allow people to latch on to them. This is bad for them but also a source of vexation for the INFPs actual friends, family, and SO."
    I do not have that problem at all. I do not let assholes near me. I am very aware and protective of my boundaries. People who let assholes near them, people who do more for others than they are given back and is upset by this but do not know where they are going wrong frustrates me. I am very friendly when given the chance and I am nice and considerate but I wouldn't go further than polite courtesy unless s/he is a valued loved one.

  7. #37
    Vaguely Precise Array Seymour's Avatar
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    So I have two best friends from college: one INFP and on INFJ. So I find the comparison of INFPs and INFJs to be particularly interesting personally. It's ironic that my INFP college friend is a more extreme INFP than I am, so I've gotten to experience some of the frustrations others experience when dealing with INFPs.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I've found that usually it's been opposite. Of my close INFP friends, I can usually get them to talk even when they aren't in the habit of doing so. However, they don't usually ask about me. I finally realized this year that it just meant they were trying not to intrude, not that they didn't care and weren't interested in knowing anything about me.
    I like having in-depth personal conversations, but I think as an INFP one often feels that each person is truly autonomous and responsible for himself/herself; one doesn't want to disrupt another's well tended internal garden without invitation. This means we are often respectful of the boundaries of others, but also means we tend to be reluctant to initiate activity or make demands of others (even when we need help). It seems ridiculous, but I'm often happy to help or respond to others, even though in the reverse situation I'd fear I was imposing.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    For INFJs, I think the biggest compliment you can give them is wanting to understand them completely and really know who they are at their core. Not asking seems like a rejection or lack of interest, particularly if they have invested a lot of time trying to get to know and understand you. Also not expressing something in my world usually means that I'm either neutral or holding back something negative (which I would probably only say if asked).
    In general, I find my INFJ friends to be more direct about their value judgments than my INFP friends, although less so than many extraverted types. In a way, it feels to me like INFJs want to spread their enthusiasms/interests (ENFJs even more so) so their friends can share in it, while INFPs want to discover if you already share an enthusiasm. I know you've talked about INFJs also withholding their opinions, but as an INFP I often hold back my value judgments and opinions (good and bad) for fear of either offending others, or for fear of being judged in return. I may be unusually paranoid about being judged for an INFP.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Conversely, I think that probing questions can sometimes be seen as intrusive by INFPs (although I think in person I have a pretty good sense usually of where that line is in relationship to how close we are). INFJs would see it as a compliment that they are interested enough to try to figure out how you work best. The big difference between us is that nothing is seen as totally neutral behaviour. Fe users tend to usually nothing=negative. Therefore if you don't tell an INFJ your positive feelings about them, they will assume there aren't any or that you even are beginning to feel quite negatively towards them. They'll try to ask about it sometimes and that seems even more annoying, I'm sure. I kind of think that INFPs like maintaining some sense of mystery too. If someone were to know everything about them, I think maybe it would engender some feeling of loss or being too exposed even if they really like that person.
    I don't feel like I have to be mysterious, but I don't necessary feel compelled to spell everything out. It can be painful to try to make oneself understood and be met with incomprehension. Sometimes going into more detail just highlights the gulf between oneself and the other person.

    As far as seeing negativity in neutral behavior: it took years for my closest INFJ friend from college to understand that I could be out of touch for many months, but I considered him as close a friend as ever. My closest INFP friend is ever worse about staying in touch than I am, but we have no problem picking up our friendship when circumstances allow. I feel that Fe, in general, expects relationships to be accompanied by actions or words that periodically reaffirm that the relationship is important.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    So, how would you know if an INFPs feelings towards you are cooling off?
    I think that's a particularly tough call to make with an INFP. We can be conflict avoidant, bad an initiating activities and need time to ourselves, all of which can make it difficult to tell. I know personally that I find it painful to be dishonest and if asked directly I tend to answer directly. I also hope my inner warmth and enjoyment of others communicates itself, even if I am not good about spelling it out verbally.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    We don't like emotional surprises. Therefore if you assume the worst, you're ready for anything. I'm not sure if that's why completely, but it's definitely a factor. Also every action, or inaction affects someone else, so I guess it's partly Fe perspective too. Also, we're unlikely to say something negative unless invited to, so our silence often can mean that there is something negative there that either hasn't been completely processed yet or that we don't consider big enough to make a deal of and risk conflict over (or our relationship isn't close enough to do so)..
    I think it's more difficult for Fi-doms to understand that staying nothing or opting out of social events can send a negative message. In Fi-ese, skipping a graduation, for example, is just as likely to mean "I find graduations a mostly meaningless waste of time and would rather spend one-on-one time with you at a later date" as it is to mean "you are unimportant to me."

    I also think we INFPs underestimate the influence we have on others and have a hard time understanding the significance people ascribe to our actions and non-actions. This social understanding seems much more second nature to Fe doms and auxs.

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    Probably the biggest issue that I hear coming up is that INFPs find that others often underestimate how much thought they've given to a certain problem. By offering obvious or unworkable solutions and then getting frustrated when the INFP doesn't leap at them, it insults their intelligence and also makes them feel even more pressured on top of being judged. I know that's a big INFJ/INFP pitfall.
    So very, very true. I do have to work very hard not to become angry when someone offers advice that seems incomprehensibly insulting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    For me its not so much cluelessness. I am keenly aware of what is expected of me in a social sense but I lack the ability to easily translate what I know and feel internally to an external expression of it. Also I often resent the social expectations (as you said) and tend to resist them. This is certainly not me being stubbornly contrary for the sake of being contrary (that would be pathetic ) but rather a stubborn refusal to change myself. I just want to dress and behave how I want and consider anything else to be a demand to perform.
    I can understand that. I changed the point to "Social disregard and/or cluelessness" to better capture that point. In some cases I think we can be clueless about the message we are sending in Fe-speak (by opting out of social expectations of various kinds), but in most cases I think you are right that we know what's expected, we just don't find it sufficiently compelling to override other concerns.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled
    There is also fantasy escapism as a part of this withdrawing, and in a weird, non-direct way it can help you deal with emotions, so that you become clear-headed again to deal with the real issue. [...] It's also a recharge from being around people.
    Absolutely. Fantasy and daydreaming is such a part of the refueling process. Its the best way for me to relax my mind.
    Definitely. I find at the end of the day I have to think about things unconnected with real life in order for my mind to wind down.

    My apologies for the length of this... I'll try to add people's additional items (like CzeCze's, Scott N Denver's, etc) to the initial post in the next day or two.

  8. #38
    Senior Member Array Rebe's Avatar
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    I think it's more difficult for Fi-doms to understand that staying nothing or opting out of social events can send a negative message. In Fi-ese, skipping a graduation, for example, is just as likely to mean "I find graduations a mostly meaningless waste of time and would rather spend one-on-one time with you at a later date" as it is to mean "you are unimportant to me.
    Haha - My Fe dom friend almost torn my ear off trying to get me to go to my brother's high school graduation. I decided to give my brother $50 instead, to show my love. He was very happy.

  9. #39
    Paragon Gone Wrong Array OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    I wanna add!

    I'd like to add:

    X) Horrible Poor communication - basically expecting people to read your mind and then punishing them for not doing so. Or always 'forgetting' what was said (by yourself or others) before and then changing your story or taking a different course of action from discussed and agreed upon. Or speaking in a way that is so circuituous and buried in layers of meaning that the other person has no idea what your actual intent was and take you on your face value. Having dated a few INFPs this was a problem with each of them and their ages ranged from early to late 20s.

    Y) Bad boundary making and keeping. Moreso that INFPs let undesirable/unwanted advances continue and allow people to latch on to them. This is bad for them but also a source of vexation for the INFPs actual friends, family, and SO.

    Sorry if these have already been brought up, I'm coming onto all these threads late!
    I think you've dealt with some REALLY unhealthy INFPs. I don't relate to these at all anyway.... Quite honestly, I consider myself a pretty good communicator. I can be a bit random & non-linear, but articulation is very important to me, and I wouldn't even WANT someone to read my mind.

    The boundary thing, at an outset, could be when I have pity-dated in the past, but it has never been at the expense of other people in my life. I'm accused of being too guarded more than having poor boundaries.

    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    INFPs are probably really fucking exhausted from how awesome they are.

    That's got to be a real bitch to live with.

    I salute y'all!

    Seriously, I've never had a bad moment with any of my INFP friends.

    Very cool, easy going, and genuinely nice and loving people, from what I have experienced. Thumbs up to INFPs!
    It's so hard to be brilliant, amazing, kind, beautiful, intelligent, and of course humble. Feel my pain! :smiley_violin:



    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    For me its not so much cluelessness. I am keenly aware of what is expected of me in a social sense but I lack the ability to easily translate what I know and feel internally to an external expression of it. Also I often resent the social expectations (as you said) and tend to resist them. This is certainly not me being stubbornly contrary for the sake of being contrary (that would be pathetic ) but rather a stubborn refusal to change myself. I just want to dress and behave how I want and consider anything else to be a demand to perform.
    I'm something inbetween. At this age, it is more of a cluelessness of how to translate what I feel/think into appropriate behavior, and then sometimes I just plain don't care to. When I was younger though, I was more unaware, and in some ways, that suited me better. The self-consciousness can be inhibiting and counter-productive.


    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross
    I find the best way is to ask specific, constructive, and intelligent questions to draw out what that person really wants to achieve.
    Absolutely - and this is true also of when I vent to someone. If they want to say something, just ask questions to jog my own thinking.
    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    All interesting. This site has been very helpful in the past for helping me come to some of these conclusions, but it's interesting to know the thought process.

    INFJs use venting to others to calm their emotions and clarify their thoughts. They get very frustrated if people start offering solutions before they have had a chance to get rid of the extra emotions. Even then, they'll usually prefer to ask specific questions or be allowed to talk to find the solutions, rather than actually getting a plan of action from elsewhere. It sounds like INFPs also need a way to calm their emotions but they do it differently. If INFJs start cocooning for extended lengths or disappearing into fantasy like realms (or Se comforts) usually it is a very bad sign, especially if it is prolonged. I believe what INFJs often do is assume that INFPs process similarly to them and become alarmed when they are neither the recipient of the INFP's excess emotions (so they know what's going on and so they know they are important still in the INFP's world), when they see INFPs cocooning without any seeming end in sight, and when they don't have enough information to work with. They mistake your withdrawal for distress that calls for active help or concern because comfort and outside input is what they'd hope for in those circumstances.

    By checking in, they are looking for more information (what's going on, is it likely we will see you come back sometime, are you okay, do you feel cared for) and they are trying to find an active way of helping you. I believe just by explaining what you are doing, it makes it much easier to leave you alone to do it. If you can offer even a tiny bit of information, it also helps them not imagine the worst (usually I go to those I care about most for comfort. Fi users don't tend to want to burden the people they care about and it's more of an independent process in finding the solution. Sometimes they will mistakenly assume you don't care or don't think they are trustworthy during the hardest times).

    Probably the biggest issue that I hear coming up is that INFPs find that others often underestimate how much thought they've given to a certain problem. By offering obvious or unworkable solutions and then getting frustrated when the INFP doesn't leap at them, it insults their intelligence and also makes them feel even more pressured on top of being judged. I know that's a big INFJ/INFP pitfall.

    Does anyone want to talk a little about Fi-Si loops and what allows them to break out of them? I think Udog discussed this a bit in his blog and found that Ne was useful in that way. (I struggle with Ni-Ti loops).
    I appreciate the way you reiterate what you've read/heard in your own words. This is a great way of communicating with an INFP, or me anyway, because I like to see I've been understood correctly. It's usually not an issue with NFJs, but occasionally with others, they misinterpret what I say, as I'm not always very linear or literal (and less articulate in speech than writing).

    I would like to say that I don't really have an issue with the way FJs operate as far as "checking in" with someone who has withdrawn a bit. As long as they pick up the pattern at some point....my ISFJ used to ask me what was wrong everyday when I'd get home from school because of my body language, and often nothing was wrong, I was just tired and needed to be alone. After 18 years, you think she would've grasped that....

    In another post you mention that to INFJs, no news is bad news, but to INFPs, no news is often good news (not always - I still want to hear from people I care about). I think INFPs have to remember to communicate positive feeling more, and FJs may need to recognize that the INFP is a bit more subtle about positive feeling because of the vulnerability attached to it. It often asks for reciprocation, where negative feeling may not (by feeling, I mean both emotion & feeling-thought).

    Jung on Fi: It is a feeling which seems to devalue the object, and it therefore manifests itself for the most part negatively. The existence of positive feeling can be inferred only indirectly.

    I think we can add that to the list then (although this applies to ISFPs also, and I see it in them....):
    Negative feeling is expressed much more easily than positive feeling for the Fi-dom, which can make an INFP seem, well, negative.

    And yeah, the Fi-Si loop requires new perspective, new ideas, new information to offer new hope. The idealism needs to make a comeback. I'm always in better spirits when I focus on the future. Reviewing anything from the past makes me anxious, and I inevitably take a negative, critical eye, especially to myself. Then it's just constant dwelling on negative feeling, and that's obviously not healthy. Si is at its worst then.

    The tendency to withdraw & wallow in emotions via fantasy can go on for too long when nothing satisfying has been gleaned from the feeling. I notice that when I come to some satisfactory conclusion regarding an emotion, when I find something of value to learn from it, then I move on. If I can't do that, then I get stuck in a loop, which amounts to the Fi-Si loop, as you review some emotion or feeling related to something that happened in the past (recent or long gone) over & over to make some sense of it on a larger scale. When you fail to fit it into your idealistic model of the world, then you get depressed & it further fuels the loop.

    EDIT: Nice post Rebe! I relate to it almost entirely
    "Charlotte sometimes dreams a wall around herself. But it's always with love - So much love it looks like everything else. Charlotte Sometimes - So far away, glass sealed and pretty." - The Cure

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx - 451| RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive

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    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    Wow, all of you! Thanks so much. This is exactly the kind of discussion I was hoping would happen!

    Interesting what you said about negativity vs positivity, OA. That matches up with my experience and I think is the reason some INFPs can be perceived as bitter or emo when that is not necessarily the case. I never thought about vulnerability being attached to expressing positive emotions towards someone, but of course there is. I also wondered if there's a possibility that INFPs feel like they are obliging the other person to respond in kind rather than offer those feelings spontaneously if they were to express their own appreciation or love more openly? How do you feel when others express love or appreciation verbally towards you? My ESTJ used to feel very awkward and not even acknowledge when I thanked him via email or card for who he was, or for something he done or I told him how I appreciated and felt about him. He didn't even acknowledge it because he wasn't sure what to say. When I asked the other ESTJs about this, they all agreed that they would prefer not to officially be thanked like that, even though they would like to know that their efforts are valued.

    For me, I need that kind of thing at regular intervals. I respond best to praise or to understanding what things about me someone else appreciates (so I can be more like that for them or so that I know what I do that matters most to them). If I get even a 50-50 ratio of negative to positive, I get kind of wilty. I probably would also get resentful over time because I tend to try hard to express those feelings regularly to someone, so I would start feeling like a sucker for keeping on when they don't reciprocate. (Quit then, you say? I can't! And then I feel even worse!).

    How can a person close to an INFP help to keep them from falling into depression (via Fi-Si loop or preoccupation with negative thoughts/feelings)? Or do they just need to give them space to work through it?

    On a daily basis, what kind of recharging time do you think you need? I find myself annoyed if there are never any mental breaks in a conversation and the other person just yatters on and on and on, but I don't need tons of alone time. I enjoy some HAT time from time to time, but still want to have 10 min bits of access to people when I need it. I know that many other INFJs are not like that. I think this may have to do with being a social first and also not being an E4 or E5.

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