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  1. #1
    Consulting Detective Mr. Sherlock Holmes's Avatar
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    Default INFPs incessant need to help others

    I hope you don't mind this (if you do get a moderator to delete or merge the thread) but I really wanted to give some input on this discussion, but it's in a private section. I have a friend who I think is an INFP and I think I've noticed how this works in her.

    I don't think INFPs necessarily have this trait, which is traditionally more Fe, but it all depends. I think if one of an INFPs main values is the peace and the happiness of others (which it often is), this can lead them to behave in a manner similar to Fe, where they try to achieve their values by helping people and if they fail to create happiness, they have failed in this value and often feel guilty about it. I have noticed this in her attitude, but a major difference is that I think INFPs tend to be less situation based in their pleasing of others. They are likely to have a desire to create happiness and harmony, but will sometimes go against this when it contradicts their other values, and look in a more big-picture sort of way to achieve this rather than in individual situations.

    This is my take on this from experience, but please correct me if you find it different.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Onceajoan's Avatar
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    Good idea to expand this beyond the NF private forum. Hope you get a bunch of responses. I'll check back later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Sherlock Holmes View Post
    I hope you don't mind this (if you do get a moderator to delete or merge the thread) but I really wanted to give some input on this discussion, but it's in a private section. I have a friend who I think is an INFP and I think I've noticed how this works in her.

    I don't think INFPs necessarily have this trait, which is traditionally more Fe, but it all depends. I think if one of an INFPs main values is the peace and the happiness of others (which it often is), this can lead them to behave in a manner similar to Fe, where they try to achieve their values by helping people and if they fail to create happiness, they have failed in this value and often feel guilty about it. I have noticed this in her attitude, but a major difference is that I think INFPs tend to be less situation based in their pleasing of others. They are likely to have a desire to create happiness and harmony, but will sometimes go against this when it contradicts their other values, and look in a more big-picture sort of way to achieve this rather than in individual situations.

    This is my take on this from experience, but please correct me if you find it different.
    I find it unnecessary to channel all "accommodating" behaviour into Fe. A lot of infp fours and perhaps some nines will probably come in and say that don't attempt to help people out that much. I see many infps' of these enneagram types on forums such as this say they don't like the infp "nice, loving person" stereotype. You can't really extend attitudes into the realm of behaviour. You can look at probable scenarios and liklihoods (especially based on external trends) but if you got a large enough sample size here, you'd probably get a whole range of motivations as to why some infps' are prone to being incredibly "helpful" or less inclined to do this.

    I have problems with people pleasing, and that is just my own personal experience. I don't have a martyr complex, and I expect nothing back but respect for what I do for people. I don't just look out for me. I can definitely go past my own self preservation to help people. My values aren't do or die/black or white. Of course I care about other people and wish to help them through things. I think what is noticable with Fi-doms, is that the warmth really comes through when they really care about you.

    I don't care because I -should-, I care because of empathy, because I- choose- to care. I care because I imagine your pain, I relate to your pain, and I draw on my own experiences and what I know, to help solve problems. To help relate. I'm a high empath, and I cannot stand around not helping when I see a need.

  4. #4
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Seems like an e9 INFP, if anything (they have a need to keep peace, which might become proactive). I don't relate to it. I can be helpful to people, but in less direct ways. I tend to help people with emotional problems, or to help them in figuring out their internal state & how to deal with feelings. They have to come to me though, or be open about wanting input. I don't like to stick my nose in people's business, to the point where I've been accused of disinterest or not caring (which is not true either).

    I tend to feel that happiness is very individual, and it cannot be created for someone. You can maybe help them realize how to create their own happiness & support their steps towards it. So in short, yes, I think it's a Fe thing, and if it's manifested in INFPs ever, it's not something I can really relate to enough to explain. Not in the way I'm understanding it anyway.

    Jung basically said that Fi resists affecting & being affected. In a way, it's much more reactive than proactive, responding more to violations than going on the offense. The implementation of Fi ideals tends to be done though example & expression in indirect forms (ie. art, spirituality), more so than trying to affect other people's individual states.

    Their outward demeanor is harmonious and inconspicuous, giving an impression of pleasing repose, or of sympathetic response, with no desire to affect others, to impress, influence, or change them in any way.

    But the underlying, real object of this feeling is only dimly divined by the normal type herself. It may express itself in a secret religiosity anxiously shielded from profane eyes, or in intimate poetic forms that are kept equally safeguarded from profane eyes, not without the secret ambition of displaying some superiority over the other person by this means.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

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  5. #5
    Consulting Detective Mr. Sherlock Holmes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopelandic View Post
    I find it unnecessary to channel all "accommodating" behaviour into Fe. A lot of infp fours and perhaps some nines will probably come in and say that don't attempt to help people out that much. I see many infps' of these enneagram types on forums such as this say they don't like the infp "nice, loving person" stereotype. You can't really extend attitudes into the realm of behaviour. You can look at probable scenarios and liklihoods (especially based on external trends) but if you got a large enough sample size here, you'd probably get a whole range of motivations as to why some infps' are prone to being incredibly "helpful" or less inclined to do this.
    Yeah, I don't trust the stereotype either, because there isn't actually anything in Fi that says you have to sympsthise or anything. Like I said, it's possible for an INFP to be sympathetic and need to help others, but not necessarily the case. 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.
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    Consulting Detective Mr. Sherlock Holmes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    Jung basically said that Fi resists affecting & being affected. In a way, it's much more reactive than proactive, responding more to violations than going on the offense. The implementation of Fi ideals tends to be done though example & expression in indirect forms (ie. art, spirituality), more so than trying to affect other people's individual states.
    Could you please link me to the Jung function definitions? I have been unable to find them.
    JiNe
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    "It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    Seems like an e9 INFP, if anything (they have a need to keep peace, which might become proactive). I don't relate to it. I can be helpful to people, but in less direct ways. I tend to help people with emotional problems, or to help them in figuring out their internal state & how to deal with feelings. They have to come to me though, or be open about wanting input. I don't like to stick my nose in people's business, to the point where I've been accused of disinterest or not caring (which is not true either).

    I tend to feel that happiness is very individual, and it cannot be created for someone. You can maybe help them realize how to create their own happiness & support their steps towards it. So in short, yes, I think it's a Fe thing, and if it's manifested in INFPs ever, it's not something I can really relate to enough to explain. Not in the way I'm understanding it anyway.

    Jung basically said that Fi resists affecting & being affected. In a way, it's much more reactive than proactive, responding more to violations than going on the offense. The implementation of Fi ideals tends to be done though example & expression in indirect forms (ie. art, spirituality), more so than trying to affect other people's individual states.
    I would say it's more of a compliant thing (karen horney's compliant types i.e. 2 and 6) rather than four or nine. Four's, fives and nine's tend to be conscious of boundaries and being overwhelmed. They are the 'withdrawn' types who do not want to be influenced. I think infp six's or two's add a spanner into the works (more likely to desire to be helpful), as opposed to the 4's, 5's and 9's. Although 9's can definitely be self effacing in their helping of others and sacrifice a lot.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/24795883/O...s-Karen-Horney

    To be honest in regards to 'people pleasing', I think there will be some infps' out there like me who do like to help people and actively do so (although I don't do it excessively). Then there are others who aren't inclined to 'reach out' in this manner. Part of this comes from experience and personal history.

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    grr, double post.

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    Yeah, I don't trust the stereotype either, because there isn't actually anything in Fi that says you have to sympsthise or anything.
    hm, i'm not sure that's true. given the nature of Fi as a people-oriented function, i would say that it's very likely that to see suffering in the world causes your friend a great deal of internal suffering, even though she may maintain a cynical exterior persona.

    like you were getting at, much of what may be happening is that she may tend to conceptualize that suffering on a much broader level due to Ne-Fi interaction, which causes it to be a more diffuse issue in her mind, and less about a single person - thus transforming into a broad cause instead of a one-on-one case that merits much individual attention. plus, Fe users tend to act given people issues, just like Te users given logical issues - whereas Fi and Ti users tend to reflect and question. i think Fi users have the same desire to help as Fe users, but we often are less active about helping because we don't want to impose upon the other person - we don't want to hurt them by accident by trying to help them in a way that isn't what they really want or need.

    that isn't to say, though, that someone couldn't have a truly bizarre Fi "internal compass" and believe in something odd - like physical suffering being part of a spiritual life journey and therefore a good thing and not something that people should try to run from - though in that case it would probably hurt them to see others trying to run from suffering. i do think that Fi by nature empathizes, because the way it checks internal consistency is to run everything through oneself. i'm not sure Fi could work at all if it couldn't empathize. that doesn't mean one agrees with the issue, necessarily, or wants to do anything about it, but one still does run that situation through their mind and recreates that place of pain to understand it.

    to be honest, i think "incessant need to help others" is simply an F trait, and on many levels a simply human trait.

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    Consulting Detective Mr. Sherlock Holmes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    hm, i'm not sure that's true. given the nature of Fi as a people-oriented function, i would say that it's very likely that to see suffering in the world causes your friend a great deal of internal suffering, even though she may maintain a cynical exterior persona.

    like you were getting at, much of what may be happening is that she may tend to conceptualize that suffering on a much broader level due to Ne-Fi interaction, which causes it to be a more diffuse issue in her mind, and less about a single person - thus transforming into a broad cause instead of a one-on-one case that merits much individual attention. plus, Fe users tend to act given people issues, just like Te users given logical issues - whereas Fi and Ti users tend to reflect and question. i think Fi users have the same desire to help as Fe users, but we often are less active about helping because we don't want to impose upon the other person - we don't want to hurt them by accident by trying to help them in a way that isn't what they really want or need.

    that isn't to say, though, that someone couldn't have a truly bizarre Fi "internal compass" and believe in something odd - like physical suffering being part of a spiritual life journey and therefore a good thing and not something that people should try to run from - though in that case it would probably hurt them to see others trying to run from suffering. i do think that Fi by nature empathizes, because the way it checks internal consistency is to run everything through oneself. i'm not sure Fi could work at all if it couldn't empathize. that doesn't mean one agrees with the issue, necessarily, or wants to do anything about it, but one still does run that situation through their mind and recreates that place of pain to understand it.

    to be honest, i think "incessant need to help others" is simply an F trait, and on many levels a simply human trait.
    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.



    And yes, most humans like to help others to at least some degree.
    JiNe
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    "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

    "It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts."

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