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  1. #1
    Resident Snot-Nose GZA's Avatar
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    Default Completing the Square: How to Spot an INFP

    All the other NF's have a "how to spot" thread, so now I want to show some of my fellow INFP's some love.

    How are we spotted?


    I'm not really sure, actually... I'll give my own ideas as soon as possible.

    Hopefully this thread will give us all greater insight into how the INFP mind works, just as the ENFJ and ENFP threads did.

  2. #2
    heart on fire
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    Tie Dye, flip-flops and hippy hairdos...okay I am just kidding.

  3. #3
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    The quiet one... rarely voice self convictions... unless directly asked... Even then, you noticed they held back. However if you need someone for comfort... they're always there.

  4. #4
    Resident Snot-Nose GZA's Avatar
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    I don't toally agree with that one, Nighting, just because I myself am not that quiet and can speak out often. One of my INFP friends is the same way. I don't know, I guess I just don't relate introverted and talking that much myself, because just because you are living in your mind doesn't mean you can't speak, its just tiring and requires breaks. I wouldn't rely on that quality alone.

    I definitely agree with the part about helping you if you are in need though

  5. #5
    heart on fire
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    I was quiet on my convictions until about my mid 30s. Now it just depends on who I am with and what my energy is like on that day. Some of it is not being quick with logic, if I say something I feel and know to be true it is not always so easy to organize a defense of it on the spot, my mind can but cannot easily translate to lips. Online is much different. You see a different side of me here than if we were at a party or such.

  6. #6
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heart View Post
    Tie Dye, flip-flops and hippy hairdos...okay I am just kidding.
    Hahahaha, honestly this image popped in my head as well.

    As far as INFP males, I think they are easier to spot than INFP females because it's so non-stereotypical or expected male behavior and more than behavior, energy.

    I get the impression that INFP guys are similar in their solitary 'island' status to their INTP cousins but less standoffish. INTP seems like they are sizing things up or "thinking about something" whereas INFP gives the impression they are contemplating, daydreaming, or just kinda 'tuning in' to the vibes in the environment.

    INTP gives you the distinct impression they are keeping you at arms distance while they size you and come to an opinion of you. Maybe INFP is similar in taking time to warm up to you, but their intentions (i.e. sizing you up) seem less...blunt? Has kinda a soft energy with ideals, very much like an archetypal poet...or English major at a granola liberal arts school. Hahahaa. I get this 'dreamy' romantic somewhat serious vibe from INFP and similar to Nightning you get an impression and INFP is a sympaethic character and couln't hurt a fly. Gentle and friendly but shy?

    Gawd, bunch of hippies.

    Hahahahaha. I'm partially kidding. ISFPs are the hippies.

    Speaking of ISFP, I think the difference between the two from my limited experience is that INFP may seem more 'outgoing' in terms of social pleasantries and wanting to give emotional support. INFP gives more the impression they both need and enjoy other people whereas ISFP gives more of a lone wolf vibe. ISFP is more out there and literal (even in their 'out there' ness) and I kinda think of them more as a hiking trails in Appalachia by themselves and INFP more likely to curl up in the cabin reading and looking at the mountains or maybe painting it or otherwise 'taking it in'.

    Does this make any sense? Maybe these are just horribly stereotypical.

    I'd be curious to hear what others who have more RL interaction with INFP has to say.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

    "I'm outtie 5000" ― Romulux

    Johari/Nohari

  7. #7
    Senior Member tovlo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GZA
    How are we spotted?
    I am generally not very good at, nor inclined to attempt, encapsulating linguistically the essense of a type, but I'll try to share a few of my impressions of INFPs based on my time at INFPgc and relationships developed there.

    For full disclosure, I am in love with a man who types as INFP and I find his expression utterly beautiful and worthy of awe. My observations are certainly in part based on my real life experience of his expression, but are also based in consideration of the broad range of INFP expression I've been exposed to.

    For me, in guessing whether I'm in the presence of an INFP, I primarily tend to key off of a combination of introversion and hints of Fi judgement communicated in a particular way.

    INFPs seem to express as perfectly capable of and willing to keep their own company, but also seem to have an empty space of longing for deep and intimate connection with the right long-term companionship. By my observation, INFP's choose their company carefully and would rather keep their own company than engage with unsatisfying company.

    I usually observe the hints of Fi as an agitation with some expression in the external world that is violating an internal value. To my observation, INFPs are very adept at both a subtle and crafty calling out of people as well as direct expression of reprimand when there has been a violation of their values.

    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    I get this 'dreamy' romantic somewhat serious vibe from INFP and similar to Nightning you get an impression and INFP is a sympaethic character and couln't hurt a fly. Gentle and friendly but shy?
    Most INFPs I know I would consider as having a romantic heart, but I've seen it exhibited both without reserve and alternatively masked with a resigned romantic cynicism.

    My experience of INFPs is quite often one of clever playfulness rather than seriousness.

    I do see a "dreaminess" in many INFPs, but I don't exclusively experience them as lounging languidly on a cloud, contemplating the internal experience of life. Often I experience them as bounding with intellectual agility from cloud to cloud creating clever artistry. I've observed what seems a playful toying with the intellectual assumptions people hold, seeing what happens and how people react when everything is turned.

    The emotional experience of others seems to penetrate deeply into an INFPs experience. I've seen this manifest in some of the most insightful and supportive caring I've ever witnessed or experienced. Though I've also seen more than one frustrated INFP accuse those around them of infecting their emotional environment with negative energy.

    Most INFPs I have experienced do express as very gentle, yet I am also well aware they have sharp claws. Taking that gentle expression for granted might leave one suprised at the experience of finding them shredding something to bits.

    I guess overall I experience someone as a possible INFP who generally keeps their own company, expresses desire for deep emotional connection, is intellectually playful and creative, takes strong (sometimes surprisingly strong) stands to defend their values, and acts on a deep sensitivity to both other's emotional experience and their own.
    "We don't see things as they are,
    we see things as we are."
    ...Anais Nin

  8. #8
    Lallygag Moderator Geoff's Avatar
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    Spotting an INFP. Hmm.

    Quietly emotional, "deep", reclusive, probably quite keen on eco-issues... witchcraft....anything new-age that isn't obviously wacky. Detest seeing others trodden on, and will quietly champion causes. Likely to give time to good causes, even if it not too obvious. Often intelligent and powerful in their beliefs and efforts.

    At their worst, self critical, even paralysed, by lack of self confidence, or over analysing own performance. They may appear almost bipolar in ups and downs. They tend to have a shadow that they can wallow in, in a self destructive "I'm worthless" or "humanity is worthless" mode.

  9. #9
    actinomycetes raindancing's Avatar
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    tovlo,

    nice post

    Quote Originally Posted by tovlo View Post
    My experience of INFPs is quite often one of clever playfulness rather than seriousness.
    I especially liked what you said about playfulness. It's not something that I normally see in the INFP profiles, but playfulness is a big part of who I am.

    The playfulness/insane craziness (albeit in a clever way ) would be from Ne, right? I've only recently started learning about the functions (very fascinating).
    “Can a man of perception respect himself at all?”
    ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

  10. #10
    will make your day Carebear's Avatar
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    Yes, both tovlo and CzeCze have spotted important traits to look for I think. Very insightful. And GZA's right. We might be introverted, but a lot of INFPs I know are very chatty and talkative and love socializing, partying etc (me included, but I'm rather close to the I/E border.) Still, even when socializing, talking, partying etc. we do prefer to find smaller groups (pref 1-3 ppl) to talk with and seek deeper connections. And afterwards we do need a quite a lot of time alone to recharge and process.

    Edit: And yes, raindancing, the playfulness/crazyness is from Ne. When extroverting we use our strongest extroverted function, and many an INFP seem very crazy and playful when socializing and not so much when alone.
    I have arms for a fucking reaosn, so come hold me. Then we'll fuvk! Whoooooh! - GZA

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