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  1. #21
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    INFJs are curious to me because i feel like there is a lot of "open space" in their personalities - that there is a lot of distance between the persona people interact with and the core person. not distance in terms of difference or contradiction, but distance in terms of unfilled space.
    Interesting post. I would definitely not characterize it as "unfilled space". The opposite is closer to the truth for me.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
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  2. #22
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I think skylights is referring to the distance between the persona people see vs who you really are at the centre. I think there's plenty of stuff there if people would like to see it, but I do agree that because we don't fill in a lot of the blanks for people, they assume that there's empty space there that fill in with their own (sometimes erroneous) information.

    Somebody said something about feeling a little bit badly that others don't place the same important on accurately understanding us as we place on trying to accurately understand them. I've often felt the same way. I'll ask questions to people out of genuine interest and with the intent to get to know who they really are and what they stand for. Often, that interest is not reciprocated in the same way. There are a variety of reasons for this (including that Fi and Fe interact with people and show care in distinctly different ways). However, I never realized this particular variable for the longest time - it came as news to me that it is not everyone's dearest wish to be intimately and correctly understood. I always assumed this was sort of a human longing. Some people actually find it invasive, or simply irrelevant, or the incorrectness doesn't really bother them, which is why they don't place emphasis on doing it with other people.

    Some types reside near the surface of themselves (I don't mean they're shallow. I just think that you see the real essence of who they are more immediately). What you see is what you get. They state things directly and frankly and prefer others to do so as well. INFJs are a bit more like gobstoppers - lots of different colour and flavours and layers that are all part of us but quite distinct. Most people are at different stages of experiencing each of those layers and therefore have varying impressions. I think we tend to always assume that there is a lot of subtext with people, even sometimes seeing subtext that is not there. This makes us hesitant in approaching others until we're more sure that we're welcome and we know better what to expect after observing from a distance. I think that observing period can be unsettling to other people, or because we have not really engaged the more involved and animated aspects of our personality with them, they assume that what they see is all there is.

    I'm not suggesting that INFJs are more complex. I just think that in some regards we are constructed differently, which accounts for why people come away with very diverse impressions of who we are.

  3. #23
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annwn View Post
    Interesting post. I would definitely not characterize it as "unfilled space". The opposite is closer to the truth for me.
    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I think skylights is referring to the distance between the persona people see vs who you really are at the centre. I think there's plenty of stuff there if people would like to see it, but I do agree that because we don't fill in a lot of the blanks for people, they assume that there's empty space there that fill in with their own (sometimes erroneous) information.

    Somebody said something about feeling a little bit badly that others don't place the same important on accurately understanding us as we place on trying to accurately understand them. [...]

    Some types reside near the surface of themselves (I don't mean they're shallow. I just think that you see the real essence of who they are more immediately).
    yes, yes, this is exactly what i meant. not that there's not interesting stuff about you there, but that it takes a lot more effort for an outsider to get to your core. i didn't mean to come off as offensive or negative. it's just that my perception, as an outsider, is that there is a lot of "territory" for me to cross before i really know you - to me it seems "unfilled" because i have to fill it in for myself or it's just totally unknown. but i suppose it's less "unfilled space" and more "uncharted terrain". it's just hard to get to really know you. and for many people, instead of making the effort to do so, they assume things - and to some extent we all need to assume a little bit because we have to make certain decisions about how to treat you when we interact. we have to try to make guesses. and some people assume that what they see is what they get... even when they're hardly even seeing your first layer. i'm sorry if i came off negatively, annwn, that wasn't my intention. i figured it would be interesting to hear an outsider's perspective.

    i actually relate in some ways because even though ENFPs are very up front about who we are in some ways, there are a lot, lot, lot of facets to ourselves. so people think they know us, but they only really know one side of us. it can be frustrating. but like in the example of the OP, i think it can be rather fascinating too. i don't know as many INFJs as ENFJs IRL - only a few i am REALLY certain of - but i am really drawn to NFJs precisely because of this perceived distance. forbidden fruit syndrome, i guess. it makes me really curious to know the real you. but i also tend to mess up around you a lot because i don't really know how to behave... i just find out after i mess up lol


    but as for the OP's questions, yes, i feel like INFJs are different because of this perception on my part, and i do react to INFJs a little differently than to most (but that's really only based off those few people i know IRL). personally, i feel like am more cautious and more approval-seeking. i think it's easy and very pleasant to make acquaintance with an NFJ but much more goes into being their friend, INFJ in particular.

  4. #24
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    It's weird because ENFJs are more upfront about speaking their minds, yet I find it harder to get to know them as individuals because they sometimes seem to feel that an undilluted version of themselves would be too much for most to handle.

    INFJs are pretty easy to get to know if you take the initiative and if you just start asking quesitons (well, this one, anyway). Unless there's a real reason to for me to pull back or you try to jump over all the normal getting to know you steps in one fell swoop, I'm pretty open. I think NFJs tend to do this "orbiting around one another" thing where they get more and more in the pathway of those they are interested in getting to know and sidle up in their own way. If you are a non-INFJ, mostly you just need to show enough that they have an idea of what to expect from you and you need to make sure they know they're welcome with you. After that, it's just a matter of being respectful (ie not betraying private confidences, mocking them etc) and you should be fine. I guess I can't really speak for everyone though as there are a lot of INFJs who need more downtime, advance notice or privacy than I do.

  5. #25
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Oh yeah - I also agree with you about ENFPs, skylights. I think because they seem so open and friendly, people assume that they are seeing who they are at their core. I've found they are much more complex than that. Despite an outward openness, I've sometimes experienced an inward reserve that I'm not quite sure what to do with and that makes me unsure of how they feel about me.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annwn View Post
    Mostly I have felt that people are surprisingly unaware of me except for a few unexpected moments like an admirer letter from a pharmacist who saw me sing in a choir years ago and just random weird stuff like that.

    My sense is that there is an unassuming ordinariness about me in the eyes of most people, but every now and then I capture someone's imagination. People I had never met used to think they recognized me on a strangely regular basis, so I think I gave off a personal, familiar vibe. I had one girl run up and give me a hug and say she was so happy I returned to school that year. It wasn't my school and there was an awkward exchange the ended the interaction. I didn't try to explain how often people made that mistake. Socially I have had an issue with being the most and least approachable person at the same time. I don't think it is for straight up flattering reasons, but something about being expressive and withdrawn at the same time that when noticed, certain people might connect to it more than they expect, but more often it is a vague image blending into the more striking floral wallpaper.
    This rings true for the most part for me as well and I hadn't really thought about this until the OP's question. I've joked with a good friend that (I say this tongue and cheek--I don't think I'm extraordinarily attractive) with a few certain men it's as if they're so drawn to me and can't express it that I end up inadertently sending them to someone else. There are plenty of men who don't feel this way about me at all and who, I think, feel I'm just quirky. But there have been a few men who recognize and appreciate what I've come to feel is an air of mystery and eroticism, the part of me that speaks through body language and eye contact. It's entirely natural for me to be this way and I'm not conscious of it at all. If I like someone, I focus in on them. I'm very clear, honest, and present. Then, I may tease and joke around, change the subject unexpectedly, and then become quiet. If someone recognizes and appreciates this in me and is drawn to it, I think it throws them off balance. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's a sense that I'm drawing them into unexplored waters, and that can be unsettling at the same time that it's very sexy and appealing.

    Edit: I think that unsettled feeling from some men might also stem from my desire for intimacy with someone I care for and like. I enjoy talking about some surface things but what satisfies me is a deeper connection, to bare my soul, my feelings, to someone. To let them see me. If they do the same in return, I'm in deep.

    I also feel many people feel an "unassuming ordinariness," about me, as you say. I'm very easy to talk with but every once in a while, there's someone that sees that something else.

  7. #27
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by violaine View Post
    I was pretty reserved growing up and whenever I got to know someone better I would hear, "I used to think you were such a snob but you're nice." :-( If you are quiet or detached people just fill in the blanks. Introversion looks like stand-offishness to those who aren't introverted.
    Yes, this is all too familiar to me as well. Suck....
    Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.

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  8. #28
    Peaced Quay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    I’ve always had this problem too. My ex speculated the reason (he noticed it too) was because I’m so expressionless/stoic around people I don’t know very well that they tend to fill in the blanks with their own insecurities/ project their own faults, self-criticism or personal demons into what I must be thinking. There might be some of that going on, but I also think- in my case- the additional element of social ineptitude convolutes it and throws some people off.
    yeah this...


    lulz. I'm shocked by some of the things people think I'm up to and I should be used to it by now.

  9. #29
    Senor Membrane
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    Hmm... I relate to a lot of this thread, even though I'm not an INFJ and not female. The most open / most closed sounds true too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren View Post
    This rings true for the most part for me as well and I hadn't really thought about this until the OP's question. I've joked with a good friend that (I say this tongue and cheek--I don't think I'm extraordinarily attractive) with a few certain men it's as if they're so drawn to me and can't express it that I end up inadertently sending them to someone else. There are plenty of men who don't feel this way about me at all and who, I think, feel I'm just quirky. But there have been a few men who recognize and appreciate what I've come to feel is an air of mystery and eroticism, the part of me that speaks through body language and eye contact. It's entirely natural for me to be this way and I'm not conscious of it at all. If I like someone, I focus in on them. I'm very clear, honest, and present. Then, I may tease and joke around, change the subject unexpectedly, and then become quiet. If someone recognizes and appreciates this in me and is drawn to it, I think it throws them off balance. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's a sense that I'm drawing them into unexplored waters, and that can be unsettling at the same time that it's very sexy and appealing.
    Funny thing that happened some time ago. A female friend and me were in a bar with some other people, and someone was joking about hooking me up with some friend's friend. Some time went by and this friend of mine turned to me and said "You know, you could have any of these women" which I found quite strange coming from her since it would have been a lot more straightforward to see me either as asexual, gay or not too interesting otherwise (and these are ways in which some people see me). And, it's not like I've ever had anything going on with this friend. So, I am quite puzzled about these perceptions. I don't know what it is, some vibe or something, it's not like I try to fool anyone, but there are just so many interpretations of who I am. I mean, it can even be with the same person that first they are a little cautious of me, then they love me, then they get intimidated by me, and then they repeat the pattern. And all this time I was just doing the things I normally do.

  10. #30
    Member Evi's Avatar
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    What Phantonym said sounds familiar. People can be a little odd around me, although I'm a little odd around people. Often asked for directions and other things, never asked out. I've always assumed that men don't view me as attractive romantically; I've never had a romantic relationship. Although I do know guys like me sometimes. A few years ago as a waitress I had the odd experience of the entire male kitchen staff defending me against a very rude patron, which they never did for the other waitress, even though there were plenty of nasty customers. Generally I think I'm viewed as safe, nice and not very opinionated, until I actually start talking, which seems to startle people, which in turn bothers me. The idea of open space that isn't really open also sounds right to me. It is easy to surprise others, if I choose to reveal something about me.

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