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  1. #1
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    Default The Differences Between INFP's and INFJ's

    Sorry if there has already been a topic like this.

    But, I blog about typology stuff (mostly being an INFP, though...) And I was wondering, what exactly is the difference between an INFP and an INFJ?

    To someone observing an INFP and an INFJ together, we may seem almost exactly alike. I mean, after all, we're both pretty reserved (until we get to know you.), imagiantive and sensitive. So, on the exterior, yes, we probably do appear to be very much alike.

    But, on the interior, we're really not that similar at all. Our minds work differently.

    I'm not really an expert on INFJ's (should work on that.) So, can anyone help me out? What are some of the difference between INFP's and INFJ's? How we think and act and so on...

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    INFJ's are a lot J'ayier.
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  3. #3
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by musicnerd93 View Post
    Sorry if there has already been a topic like this.

    But, I blog about typology stuff (mostly being an INFP, though...) And I was wondering, what exactly is the difference between an INFP and an INFJ?

    To someone observing an INFP and an INFJ together, we may seem almost exactly alike. I mean, after all, we're both pretty reserved (until we get to know you.), imagiantive and sensitive. So, on the exterior, yes, we probably do appear to be very much alike.

    But, on the interior, we're really not that similar at all. Our minds work differently.

    I'm not really an expert on INFJ's (should work on that.) So, can anyone help me out? What are some of the difference between INFP's and INFJ's? How we think and act and so on...

    Thanks!
    There are threads on this... and it can be tough. NFJs are the least stereotypically J of the Js (so to speak). Here's my summation of differences:


    INFPs:
    • Generally accepting yet a little distant when relating to others
    • Have a tendency to disappear without warning socially, even from friends
    • Extremely flexible, until you hit something of importance, then watch it!
    • Tend to not initiate social activities
    • With someone in a crisis, good at just being there for that person and accepting them
    • Tend toward very limited self-disclosure, and are cautious about expressing judgments
    • May have a negative reaction to unsolicited advice
    • Tend to be a target for the projections of others, since may not express a lot of emotion and opinions in public
    • Tend to generally be aware of their own emotional state
    • Tend to adopt relatively few import beliefs and causes, and stick with them (although not necessarily be effective about acting on them)
    • More rigid about beliefs and judgments internally


    INFJs:
    • More externally judging
    • Can come of as harsh or critical, even though they are warm internally and mean well
    • Tend to give advice (often can't resist, if they think it will help someone)
    • Believe more in stages or levels of relationship, with attendant responsibilities
    • With someone in a crisis, good at understanding and making suggestions for how the situation can be improved
    • May get impatient when friends wallow or act helpless in negative situations, since the INFJs can see how the situation could be fixed or improved
    • Tend toward greater self disclosure, and don't mind expressing judgments
    • May polarize others, since opinions and enthusiasms are often expressed
    • Better at getting things done externally. May wage quiet campaigns in organizations, gently but relentlessly pushing and nudging for that they believe in.
    • May occasionally be unaware of their own emotional state. May be surprised when others say (correctly) they were angry in a situation.
    • Tend to adopt beliefs and causes, yet remain open to changing them over time. Over time, this may lead to a large collection of beliefs and causes, or a serial exploration of them.
    • More flexible about beliefs and judgements internally, while sounding more absolute externally.



    Thirdly, I also recommend the site: INFJ or INFP? a closer look. I think Vicky Jo is a bit of a loon (sorry, Vicky Jo!), but there's some helpful material on there. When she interviews people and they start talking about auras and energy fields, that's when I kind of lose it.

    Fourthly, there's an existing thread INFP vs INFJ thread here. Also the topic pops up on a number of Fi vs Fe threads.
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  4. #4
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    INFPs:
    • Tend to be a target for the projections of others, since may not express a lot of emotion and opinions in public
    This is interesting. Can you explain this a little more?
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    I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;
    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte

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    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    This is interesting. Can you explain this a little more?
    I think it's just a side effect of being less direct and showing fewer judgments externally. The lack of strong external judgment/reaction leaves one a bit more of a blank screen for projection.

    The most common case is when an INFP gets ascribed various qualities; often INFPs are described as "aloof," "arrogant," "innocent," "sweet," "cool" or "intimidating."
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  6. #6
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    I think it's just a side effect of being less direct and showing fewer judgments externally. The lack of strong external judgment/reaction leaves one a bit more of a blank screen for projection.

    The most common case is when an INFP gets ascribed various qualities; often INFPs are described as "aloof," "arrogant," "innocent," "sweet," "cool" or "intimidating."
    Great point!

    I think INFPs do come off rather 'blank' or neutral at first, whereas INFJs seem to exude a friendly, quiet warmth. And I think this really comes through in facial expressions (although INFPs' expressions are less muted when in familiar surroundings/company). Come to think of it, when I'm trying to decide whether someone I just met is a INFJ or INFP, I unconsciously decide based on whether they are smiling or not . INFJs just seem to glow...
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

    I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;
    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seymour View Post
    There are threads on this... and it can be tough. NFJs are the least stereotypically J of the Js (so to speak). Here's my summation of differences:


    INFPs:
    • Generally accepting yet a little distant when relating to others
    • Have a tendency to disappear without warning socially, even from friends
    • Extremely flexible, until you hit something of importance, then watch it!
    • Tend to not initiate social activities
    • With someone in a crisis, good at just being there for that person and accepting them
    • Tend toward very limited self-disclosure, and are cautious about expressing judgments
    • May have a negative reaction to unsolicited advice
    • Tend to be a target for the projections of others, since may not express a lot of emotion and opinions in public
    • Tend to generally be aware of their own emotional state
    • Tend to adopt relatively few import beliefs and causes, and stick with them (although not necessarily be effective about acting on them)
    • More rigid about beliefs and judgments internally


    INFJs:
    • More externally judging
    • Can come of as harsh or critical, even though they are warm internally and mean well
    • Tend to give advice (often can't resist, if they think it will help someone)
    • Believe more in stages or levels of relationship, with attendant responsibilities
    • With someone in a crisis, good at understanding and making suggestions for how the situation can be improved
    • May get impatient when friends wallow or act helpless in negative situations, since the INFJs can see how the situation could be fixed or improved
    • Tend toward greater self disclosure, and don't mind expressing judgments
    • May polarize others, since opinions and enthusiasms are often expressed
    • Better at getting things done externally. May wage quiet campaigns in organizations, gently but relentlessly pushing and nudging for that they believe in.
    • May occasionally be unaware of their own emotional state. May be surprised when others say (correctly) they were angry in a situation.
    • Tend to adopt beliefs and causes, yet remain open to changing them over time. Over time, this may lead to a large collection of beliefs and causes, or a serial exploration of them.
    • More flexible about beliefs and judgements internally, while sounding more absolute externally.



    Thirdly, I also recommend the site: INFJ or INFP? a closer look. I think Vicky Jo is a bit of a loon (sorry, Vicky Jo!), but there's some helpful material on there. When she interviews people and they start talking about auras and energy fields, that's when I kind of lose it.

    Fourthly, there's an existing thread INFP vs INFJ thread here. Also the topic pops up on a number of Fi vs Fe threads.
    Perfect! Thanks a lot! Thanks for the weblinks too. I'll check those out!

  8. #8
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    I also find that FJs are just more reactive to social cues. From my perspective, their responses seem ever-so-slightly exaggerated. So if there's a point where it's socially expected for the other person to agree/laugh/whatever, the FJs tend to slightly over-do it (from my perspective) while FPs tend to slightly under-react. It's like Fe externally mirrors more than Fi (which is more like a still pool that absorbs and only mirrors internally).

    That's not to say the Fe-users are insincere... they just reflect more emotion and give more feedback.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Rebe's Avatar
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    Based on the posts above - I relate more to the INFJ than INFP. I take social cues and do a lot of laughing when appropriate/natural even with complete strangers. Sometimes I exaggerate my facial expressions/tones to 'connect' with the other person and give detached sympathy/support. I totally thought I was INFJ for a while. But it may just be that I am developing more Fe.

    I ...
    Tend to give advice (often can't resist, if they think it will help someone)
    May get impatient when friends wallow or act helpless in negative situations, since the INFJs can see how the situation could be fixed or improved
    # May occasionally be unaware of their own emotional state. May be surprised when others say (correctly) they were angry in a situation.
    # Tend to adopt beliefs and causes, yet remain open to changing them over time. Over time, this may lead to a large collection of beliefs and causes, or a serial exploration of them.
    And somewhat this actually ...
    More flexible about beliefs and judgements internally, while sounding more absolute externally.
    Overall, I related to the INFJ better, not that I am one, but just pointing it out. Anyone else?

  10. #10
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebe View Post
    Based on the posts above - I relate more to the INFJ than INFP. I take social cues and do a lot of laughing when appropriate/natural even with complete strangers. Sometimes I exaggerate my facial expressions/tones to 'connect' with the other person and give detached sympathy/support. I totally thought I was INFJ for a while. But it may just be that I am developing more Fe.
    Interesting. I'm a fairly "active" listener when talking to people, but I think it has a different from an FJ doing the same thing. Still, I definitely agree it's a social skill that can be learned.

    I also find the advice thing to be interesting... what kind of interpersonal advice do you give? I think that INFPs often avoid direct advice (unless someone is doing something that really goes against their values) and spend more time trying to tease out the decision the other person has really already made (on some level). Often we end up telling people to listen to their feelings and values. I think that's why we are sometimes described as "harmonizing clarifiers" (even though that phrase makes me roll my eyes).

    Of course, it's different if giving advice about something technical and something outside the interpersonal/values realm. So what kind of advice do you end up giving?


    The sometimes being unaware of your emotional state is also interesting. For me, my emotional state is like a barometer or sensor that I use to orient myself throughout my day. When it changes, I'm usually aware of it and its additional feedback in a situation. Emotions often represent a whole series of subconscious value judgments; while they may not be correct, they usually aren't meaning-free. When I'm ill, I usually find it throws me off track, because I have to keep ascribing the exhausted/depressed to the right source... it's like my internal compass is out of whack.

    In what situations do you find yourself unaware of your emotional state? I do find if I'm around others it can be hard to know exactly how much your emotions are being affected by the emotional state of others.


    As far as the last item (more flexible internally, less externally)... I think the only way that's true for me is I'll often resist changing my mind in the moment because I want a chance to mull over new data by myself. Still, even though I'm reasonably laid back externally, I'm far more stubborn and judgmental than I come across.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rebe View Post
    Overall, I related to the INFJ better, not that I am one, but just pointing it out. Anyone else?
    I could totally be off base on some of items, although I tried to draw mostly from what INFPs and INFJs have said about themselves (or one another). If other INFPs find themselves identifying with a lot of the INFJ items, then I need to update accordingly.

    Still, any list that includes external behaviors isn't going to work for everyone, since the types are about mental perspectives and preferences.

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