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Thread: What is the (Practical) Purpose of INFPs?

  1. #41
    RETIRED Array CzeCze's Avatar
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    Sep 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post
    Edit: I use the word "actually" WAY TOO MUCH.
    Me too. :P I got in trouble for it at work because I used it too much with clients. "It's not ACTUALLY like anything! Just say it plainly" is what my boss told me. I guess spraying "C-level executives" with "actually" was making our company look bad, like it was run by a small army of sorority girls.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

    "I'm outtie 5000" ― Romulux


  2. #42
    Anew Leaf


    Quote Originally Posted by Rasofy View Post


    I laughed so hard when I first saw this episode.... I cried with tears and actually collapsed on the floor beside my chair.

    I Sheldon.

    One of my INFJ friends has a son who is Sheldon...

    *goes off to sort out carbon atoms*

    @CzeCze: Lol! One of the girls that I work with... we have moments where we talk "valley girl" and say "Ack-shuh-leeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Life.... Iz.... Hard...." It was funny at first, but now it's slowly mutating our DNA until one day we will say it one time too many and then BAM! We are Valley Girls.

  3. #43
    lurking Array Rasofy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    5w6 sp/sx


    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post
    I laughed so hard when I first saw this episode.... I cried with tears and actually collapsed on the floor beside my chair.

    I Sheldon.
    hahaha this episode is actually priceless! Did you actually managed to fall off the chair? (Luckily I was watching on my bed )

    A man builds. A parasite asks 'Where is my share?'
    A man creates. A parasite says, 'What will the neighbors think?'
    A man invents. A parasite says, 'Watch out, or you might tread on the toes of God... '


  4. #44
    Diabolical Array Kasper's Avatar
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    May 2008
    9w8 so/sx


    Quote Originally Posted by Saturned View Post
    I texted his wife today asking what he meant by the comment. Apparently he was trying to give me a compliment on that he thinks I am awesome, but then halfway through it wanted to give his ESTJ wife a compliment at the same time and pretty much botched the entire episode. We've suggested that he needs to just stick to physics.
    Hehe, kay that I get, I would do the same thing

  5. #45
    Paragon Gone Wrong Array OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
    4w5 sp/sx
    IEI Ni


    I think practicality is overrated. But I can pay my bills & clean my apartment just fine. As far as work goes, I don't feel limited by my ability. I feel limited by my strengths; I feel like they'd be wasted in just any job. I also don't want a 9-5 drudgery. I'd rather pursue something impractical that I care about & suffer the consequences than become complacent with something mundane. It's this feeling that impedes me (when I am impeded...not always), not my ability to be practical.

    Personally, I am a good worker in that I am honest, get work done efficiently, am very creative in finding solutions for all kinds of things, easy to get along with (no drama at the office for me), don't waste time yacking to co-workers, can be good with interesting details (ie. artwork), have very high standards, learn very fast (everyone says this, but let's not deny the exceptional powers of Ne ), and I take responsibility seriously (which is why I avoid it sometimes ; but I also don't call in sick to go to the beach or whatever). A lot of what I am good at is not what employers look for though, and I see this as a cultural bias, one which fails to note the strengths of a type like INFP. It's not a failing of the INFP to be capable at an occupation though. I've been appreciated over time at every job I've had, oftten becoming indispensable (and disappointing them when I leave); first impressions are the hurdle. I guess my point here is, a main problem is other people's perceptions of what you can do, not what you actually can do.

    I also consider these "Fi traits" quite practical:
    Van Der Hoop on Fi (paraphrased a bit by moi) - Whether they become artists or scientists....they take great care & precision in their work (or "cause"), in these situations showing the persistence & devotion associated with & used as evidence of Feeling
    Even this: -Strength of will....comes to light [in the] strong sense of [moral] duty characteristic of these people, and in their faithful discharge of their duties
    - Prove a quiet force that keep respect for morals alive in the world

    Van Der Hoop on Ne (stuff I'd see applying to Ne-aux also)- Sudden possibilities become compelling motives which the intuitive mind cannot disregard, and for which it may sacrifice everything else.
    - Readily able to grasp the views of others
    - the Ne type shows much spontaneous activity and independence
    - Have the art of bringing other people out of themselves
    - They will discover fresh possibilities where others have failed
    - Take pride in seeing the possibilities of accomplishing something which others regard as impossible

    And that above is likely why personalitypage says INFPs with developed Ne can pretty much be good at whatever they set their minds provides that ingenuity to find "appropriate outlets" for Fi ideals.

    Personality Page on INFP growth:
    INFPs who have developed their Extraverted iNtuition to the extent that they can perceive the world about them objectively and quickly will find that they enjoy these very special gifts:

    -They will have a great deal of insight into people's characters......These well-developed INFP individuals make outstanding psychologists and counselors. They might also be great fiction writers...
    -They will quickly understand different situations, and quickly grasp new concepts. They will find that they're able to do anything that they put their mind to, although they may not find it personally satisfying. Things may seem to come easily to these INFPs. Although they're able to conquer many different kinds of tasks and situations, these INFPs will be happiest doing something that seems truly important to them. Although they may find that they can achieve the "mainstream" type of success with relative ease, they are not likely to find happiness along that path, unless they are living their lives with authenticity and depth.
    -The INFP who augments their strong, internal value system (Fi) with a well-developed intuitive way of perceiving the world (Ne) can be a powerful force for social change....

    I think the bolded above explains the other main problem, which is not ability, but desire.

    Quote Originally Posted by INTPness View Post
    Sometimes it's not about a 'specific career path'. Look outside of 'career' when considering what things an INFP can offer the world. I personally think that many INTP's and INFP's have a gift for teaching, instructing, informing, offering fresh insight and perspective into the problems/situation of life - and insight/perspective into life itself. When I mention these things - like teaching for instance - I don't "necessarily" mean in a classroom or even in a group setting. Think about the 1-on-1 discussions you have with your friends and family members.

    By understanding who you are and what traits you possess that are unique to this world, only then can you begin to look at careers that will enable you to use those traits. What career will enable you (or give you an avenue) to teach, instruct, inform, offer insight, offer perspective, etc? Writers are able to do those things through their writing. Counselors are able to do those things. Therapists. Speakers. Aquarium/shark tank tour guides can teach, educate, and inform people about the shark kingdom. These are all very real, practical, and tangible careers. People do these things every day and you too have access to these careers. Also remember, however, that your career - no matter which one you choose - will never FULLY encompass who you are. When you go home on the weekends or when you are with friends and family and even encounters with strangers - you are still able to teach, instruct, offer insight/perspective, etc.

    Purpose = 24/7/365
    Career = 9-to-5 or some other limited amount of hours.

    Try to line up career with purpose so that they blend in nicely with who you are and what you enjoy doing.
    In terms of career, the talent for one-on-one "teaching" can come in handy too. I at least make a little extra cash doing private tutoring, and I'm pretty good at it, if I do say so myself . I can see many INPs as good teachers for a classroom also, as long as they tap into their Ne "charisma" & have enough down-time to balance the group setting. Academics seems a good area for the INFP who is inclined that way, IMO.

    I agree that you can't make your career your identity either; at best, you may get to do something you enjoy and care about in some capacity. But sometimes a job is just a job, and you have to find fulfillment elsewhere. Again, I think need for personal fulfillment is the real issue for the INFP, and why practicality is avoided, not because we're incapable of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lily flower View Post
    INFP's make great parents because they are so in touch with their children's feelings.
    True, the propensity is there.

    Vam Der Hoop: - Emanate calm & security without doing much, expressed in indefinite forms, & having a great but indirect influence on the environment, especially as parents over their children
    - A parent of this type can have a greater influence on their child than the devoted & radiant Fe parent, by quietly implanting & fostering their own ideals in them
    "Charlotte sometimes dreams a wall around herself. But it's always with love - So much love it looks like everything else. Charlotte Sometimes - So far away, glass sealed and pretty." - The Cure

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx - 451| RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive

  6. #46
    Senior Member Array Adasta's Avatar
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    Oct 2010


    I have been told countless times in my life that I make people feel secure. I do absolutely nothing to engender this belief in others, they just have it. Something about me (us?) is calming to others. Perhaps ironic because some of the times I've been told I appear calm are the times when I am absolutely bricking it.

    Our role in life is often overlooked because it's hard to quantify. We are free-spirited and sage-like and we like that. We enjoy the fact that not everyone sees our wonderful gifts; it makes them more special and more useful to those that do see them.

    As someone said previously, INFPs exist to teach. We do it all the time. The problem is that we don't realise it because we are not focused on the exterior world; therefore, our "actions" or "states" are of little worth to us. They are, however, what everyone else perceives. Our role is one of passive strength. People come to us for their own reasons and we do not judge them. That's the difference, I think, between us and many other types. Once someone has made the effort to connect with us, it is rarely overlooked.

    I often hear people say I am unconcerned with the practicality of life. Somtimes it gets me down; other times, I know these people just don't know what they're missing.
    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. #47
    Senior Member Array NegativeZero's Avatar
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    Mar 2011


    I think almost all of this applies to INTPs as well. INxPs want desperately to be known for their ideas, thus an author or speaker would be the ideal career (that is, if you introverts are willing to learn how to speak in front of people). Unfortunately, it is hard to make a living as an author, and nearly impossible to be a successful one. I can't tell any INxP what to do for a living because that is for him/her to discover, but unless you're a genius or a brilliant writer, find an alternative.

    Someone mentioned that teacher would be a good fit. Another good match would be a doctor of some sort, especially for INTPs; I feel like they would make ideal specialist doctors, e.g., opthamologists, neurologists, optometrists, and so on. What do doctors and teachers have in common? They will always be in demand somewhere, meaning they are very practical career paths. I feel especially bad for the INTPs that are not mathematically inclined and the INFPs that are not talented within creative writing. These types tend to be philosophical and genuinely curious, but very impractical.

    Number one piece of advice to any INxP? If you're allergic to math, get over it. Your math allergy will screw you over, I promise you. Get it out of the way NOW. I don't care if you have to spend an hour everyday with a tutor during a study hall; it sure beats having to pay for it in college when you're older!
    MBTI: INxP
    Enneagram: 5w4
    Multiple Intelligence: Linguistic/verbal, intrapersonal.

  8. #48
    morose bourgeoisie Array
    Join Date
    Mar 2009


    Fuck practicality. I just want to express my ideas, think and mostly, FEEL. What's wrong with that? I don't owe society anything. I pay my bills. My car is paid for. Only in this time and place are some abilities frowned on and others exalted as superior.
    My advice: be your sensitive, awesome selves. Artist, dreamers and poets are very important to the world, whatever the dominant paradigm would have you believe.

    EDIT: Any INFP who needs a pep talk can PM me. I'll set you straight.

  9. #49
    Junior Member Array
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    Jun 2007


    Their purpose is obvious. They make the other types feel better about themselves.

  10. #50
    lab rat extraordinaire Array CrystalViolet's Avatar
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    Oct 2008
    5w4 sx/sp


    I don't know what we are for.
    Apparently I have a healing vibe.
    Currently submerged under an avalanche of books and paper work. I may come back up for air from time to time.
    Real life awaits and she is a demanding mistress.

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