One of my best friends has tested INFJ in the past. While in some ways I think it is very possible, I have also tended to wonder if she might be INFP (I doubt she is any other type than one of those). There are some pretty key differences between us and given that I’m convinced I’m INFJ and have no reason to think otherwise, I thought I might get you guys to give your opinion based partly on the differences between us.
I think another distinct possibility is that we are just differently flavoured INFJs. She is a textbook e4. I have no doubt at all that she’s a 4. For myself I have very little doubt that I’m NOT a 4. I am pretty sure I’m a 6, though 9 has also seemed like a possibility.
She’s one of the closest friends I’ve ever had, if not the closest, so we’ve gone through some ups and downs together and have a fair idea of each other’s emotional states. We have VERY different backgrounds: I come from a stable and slightly repressed family, while she comes from a crazy unstable background (by her own admission) and has an emotional and volatile family. She’s suffered a good deal of emotional trauma of various sorts and may be bipolar.
We’ve had so many discussions about friendships/human relations, and men/relationships, that the differences between us are above all apparent there. In some respects I look at her and think “compared to her I’m a robot”. She will get terribly upset about perceived slights and declare that she can’t be friends with that person any more, but a few weeks or months later she’ll be back on good terms with them. With people she really likes less she can get dramatic and say “oh, she HATES me.” I’m much less likely to get offended, but when I do start talking about cutting someone out, I am at the point where I’m extremely upset and hurt because of a lot of things, and I’m not likely to want them back in my life ever. I’m much more likely to do the bottling up/letting things go thing and then eventually explode. She’s more likely to let it out and get into arguments with people, but then it will blow over. In general she’s more likely to make very strong statements but change her mind soon, at least about people. I’m more consistent but I can be like stone if I really set against someone.
Generally, it seems as though her emotions are extremely intense, but more transient than mine. She is much more mercurial. She is more obviously dramatic – I tend to look very calm, but I am pretty sure that internally I’m more wound up than she is. She has a lot more relationship experience than I do but has had a great many which were volatile, destructive, passionate and unhealthy. She has an obsession with Arab men and thinks they’re the only ones worth pursuing, while Western men are all emasculated pansies. She’s pursued and been pursued by several since I’ve known her and is prone to making statements like “I’ve never known a love like this before”, but then she’ll make similar statements about the next one. (Previous ones have been rationalized as “a fling” or “a crush”.) She tends to get swept up by guys who declare their love from the second they meet. There has also been a lot of drama and tragedy. She was on-off with one guy for well over a year and in an off period he was killed in a motorcycle crash. She was beyond devastated and swore up and down that she would never, ever love again, that it was impossible. However, less than a year later she ran off and married another Arab guy who she didn’t know that well. I really fear she’s not over the other guy, who she still loved. When she married this new guy there was a bit too much “he’s just like the previous guy, but better!” It’s all rather messy. I have, er, lectured her about pursuing drama, but I think she is fatally drawn to it. She’s also a million times more impulsive than I am – it is the LAST thing that I am.
On the flip side, although her romantic life tends to be the stuff of movies, she gives me very sane and lucid advice about relationships. Completely unlike her, I tend to fall in love with guys I’m friends with, who usually turn out not to be interested. She’s much better at shutting off and losing interest if someone doesn’t immediately respond and pursue her. I hang around reading into things and hoping the guy is just being hesitant. And it takes me a LONG time to get over failed relationships or even being let down by relationships which never happened. I can be very logical about why it wouldn’t have worked or even why I can now see that the guy was probably never interested, but I’ll still be emotionally wound up for ages, not sleeping, not eating, obsessing about details, etc. She’s said to me a bit impatiently “why get so upset about someone you weren’t even in a relationship with?” I can’t really argue with that but I still wind up very emotional and hurt. But while she thinks I fall in love with people where I’m just grasping at straws and reading into things and maybe they’re even using me, I think she falls in love too quickly because guys pursue her, without her thinking through the future difficulties or asking herself if they’re really sincere. She also thinks it should be possible to be friends with exes or people she’s had feelings for, whereas I am very bad at that and tend to want to avoid the person forever.
We’re both pretty introverted though we take an interest in people and can be outgoing. We’re both drawn to deep reflection and emotions, beautiful art and music etc, though I am far more drawn to literature than she is. She’s more into “emo” stuff like roses dripping blood, than I am…
What do you think? Are we both INFJ? Are these enneagram differences and/or differences in our backgrounds?