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  1. #11
    Senior Member Eckhart's Avatar
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    If I can help and people want my help, then I usually like to help, it makes me happy mostly. But otherwise I am not too obsessed with helping others. People who don't want my help I won't force myself on, and when it is something I cannot do something about (or don't want to, for whatever reason) then I won't do unreasonable things either. So I don't know if that is really so typical for INFPs.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eckhart View Post
    If I can help and people want my help, then I usually like to help, it makes me happy mostly. But otherwise I am not too obsessed with helping others. People who don't want my help I won't force myself on, and when it is something I cannot do something about (or don't want to, for whatever reason) then I won't do unreasonable things either. So I don't know if that is really so typical for INFPs.
    Yeah, that's something I'm very intuned with... I don't pressure people with help. I offer information and resources. Someone to listen rather than to JUDGE and give advice all the time. I am very aware of peoples boundaries (and my own) so I don't push people to do anything. I think it depends how the op defines "helping people" and what constitutes as an incessant need. If I see a need I act on it (usually in a small way) but I don't go out and create needs in other people or look for holes I have to fill. I don't look down on people as having to need by help; I think every body is strong in their own right, they just need help seeing that. If ever I help a person, its to help them help themselves. Sometimes people just need someone to talk with. I consider listening to someone helping, and I will do that whenever someone approaches me.

    In regards to the Fi. Values are the end product. "Values" = a very simplistic notion of Fi. It goes much beyond 'people' and 'emotions' and 'what I want'. They may be part of the equation, but the mechanism is much more of a complex system.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Adasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Sherlock Holmes View Post
    My INFP friend isn't the typical lovey-dovey INFP, but she stands up for what she believes in and devotes herself to a cause when she has one. She sometimes plants trees to help the environment or goes out of her way to help someone, but in everyday life she is casual, unromantic and cynical.
    I think I'm quite similar in this regard. Sometimes I feel like I can empathise with a person and therefore understand their needs somewhat, but not in a very "lovey-dovey" way. This isn't people-pleasing in the sense that I want to help someone because it looks like they need help; rather, i think "S/he seems like a nice person and I can help them out quite easily. Why don't I just help them and then we'll both be happy?".

    As a mild digression which may offer some insight into your INFP friend:

    I have a sort of reverence for trees. It's mainly because I see them as giving so much and asking so little. I mean, it's not like man has to care for a forest, for example, in an active sense (unless it's endangered by our actions): forests have been around for ages (literally). Yet we keep destroying them, even though we know they are integral to our eco-system. I find it all a bit bizarre and counter-intuitive.

    This sort of view also extends to animals. When people see a spider and try to kill it, it always bothers me, even though I am not the biggest fan of spiders myself. I often say "Leave him alone - he's just trying to get on with his life like we are". This seems bizarre to some people because they think I am anthropomorphising the spider. This is incorrect; it's merely that I see it as something that exists in the same way as I do which is going through its own "life", if you will. I suppose it's a "live and let live" sort of viewpoint.
    That girls are raped, that two boys knife a third,
    Were axioms to him, who'd never heard
    Of any world where promises were kept,
    Or one could weep because another wept.

  4. #14
    Consulting Detective Mr. Sherlock Holmes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adasta View Post
    This sort of view also extends to animals. When people see a spider and try to kill it, it always bothers me, even though I am not the biggest fan of spiders myself. I often say "Leave him alone - he's just trying to get on with his life like we are". This seems bizarre to some people because they think I am anthropomorphising the spider. This is incorrect; it's merely that I see it as something that exists in the same way as I do which is going through its own "life", if you will. I suppose it's a "live and let live" sort of viewpoint.
    I don't want to spark to much of an argument, you can have your view, but I kill spiders if they are in an unnatural environment like my home because firstly they don't have sentience as their brains are very simplistic and poorly developed and also killing them causes little harm to the ecosystem as there's always plenty of spiders to go around, they don't come up in my house too often and they serve little purpose in that environment. Also they can bite you.
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  5. #15
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    I think the OP is largely right. (The only thing I would change is to take "incessant" out of the title.)

    Everyone apparently has some kind of urge to help; look at all the different personality types appearing on this message board and occasionally helping others with advice and encouragement. A lot of what we do here is for our own gratification and entertainment, of course. But I'm occasionally favorably surprised when a supposedly "tough" personality type takes up a cause or contributes on someone else's behalf.

    On the other hand, I suppose it can be said that Fi gives INFPs a certain genius or astuteness about helping. That's not to say that we do in fact help others; just we probably have a talent for it when we decide to do it.

    As for me, I don't consider myself a very helpful or charitable person. But I do occasionally help others. When I help others, I have usually followed one of those flow charts for coming to a decision: Do I have the time for this? Yes. Do I have the resources for this? Yes. Will helping out here negatively affect me and mine by diverting resources unproductively? No. And so on.

    IOW, I see Fi as a deeply layered maze of competing values. And any particular situation requiring charity will go through a testing period to see if the charitable impulse is overridden by some higher or superior consideration. (And it frequently is overridden.)

    I should also mention that the considerations and values embedded in my Fi sometimes surprise even me. For example, I certainly feel empathy on a regular basis, but it's quickly overridden by the thought that I can only give so much to others and that the bulk of my resources must undoubtedly be channeled toward me and mine. On the other hand, empathy with an underdog or with a lone individual not enjoying the same basic benefits or advantages as everyone else can weigh heavily in favor of charity, much more so than many other kinds of charity.

    Also, something that OrangeAppled quoted from Jung struck me: "[...]not without the secret ambition of displaying some superiority over the other person by this means." That's definitely one of the weights in favor of giving charity; frankly, I have to admit that I do like showing (to myself and to others) that I'm in a position (financially or in some other way) to give charity. When I parade my charity in this manner I figure that it's a harmless vice, and I pay for the privilege. If I give a little charity and gain a favorable reputation in the process, everyone wins.

    In other words, INTPs would make no bones about the fact that they like to prove their intellectual superiority over others; frankly, as an INFP, I can be pretty competitive about proving my charitable talents--my ability to "be there" for someone when others can't.

    So in that sense, I agree with the OP. Fi can give me a number of predispositions toward charity, from an ability to empathize and more quickly spot possible targets of charity, to a weird system of values that may encourage charitable giving even when the values may not themselves be particularly admirable values. And then finally there's the nature of Fi that gives us INFPs a bit of a reputation as natural psychologists; it may in fact make us more sophisticated about picking targets in real need and applying our limited charitable resources in an efficient or effective manner. Behind the fluffy exterior may in fact lie a keen-eyed and discerning philanthropist. :-)

  6. #16
    Senior Member Adasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Sherlock Holmes View Post
    I don't want to spark to much of an argument, you can have your view, but I kill spiders if they are in an unnatural environment like my home because firstly they don't have sentience as their brains are very simplistic and poorly developed and also killing them causes little harm to the ecosystem as there's always plenty of spiders to go around, they don't come up in my house too often and they serve little purpose in that environment. Also they can bite you.
    I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords

    NB. I am aware spiders are not insects...
    That girls are raped, that two boys knife a third,
    Were axioms to him, who'd never heard
    Of any world where promises were kept,
    Or one could weep because another wept.

  7. #17
    morose bourgeoisie
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    I think empathy is intrinsic to the INFP type. Any INFP who is cynical, withdrawn, angry, etc, has probably exerienced something that makes them suppress it. Shyness and fear of embarrassment can get in the way too.
    I agree that INFP's can see farther into others than most, and when combined with an empathetic nature, this a formula for someone who helps others. It's the little traumas and fears from the past that hold us up from being more open about it.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Synapse's Avatar
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    The insistent need to be incessant in helping others sounds so draining...

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Synapse View Post
    The insistent need to be incessant in helping others sounds so draining...
    ^Indeed. Twisted how my mind wants to spin it into fantasy positive, positively...

  10. #20
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Sherlock Holmes View Post
    I think I used the wrong word. I mean to more like empathise, to feel the need to please others in a general context. Hm... explaining awfully... like sometimes an Fi user will be very uncooperative and selfish seeming because they are followig their own personal values, rather than externally validated ones. This is normally an unhealthy trait to have, where they will put no importance on others feelings and only their own. And on a different level I also meant it in a situational context, where Fi users aren't necessarily going to be all perfectly gregarious and loving around other people. Not to say that they were necessarily mean or anything. just that they aren't all like this.
    daww. cute picture. i agree with you on all this. sorry about the misinterpretation

    Quote Originally Posted by Adasta View Post
    I have a sort of reverence for trees.
    me too

    i like spiders well enough and try to save them when i can. especially because, around here, they eat mosquitoes, and that's really nice. on the other hand, if it looks like one of the especially poisonous species, i stomp that motherfucker out.

    sorry spidies. my life comes before yours

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