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  1. #1
    Anew Leaf
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    Question What is the (Practical) Purpose of INFPs?

    I cringe at the emoness of the title and the following paragraph(s), but I am being quite serious.

    One reason for my inquiry is because I have been looking into different career ideas for myself, and I feel bombarded with a sense of "nothing practical applies to me."

    Another reason is a "compliment" I got from an ENTP friend of mine recently who said "Saturned, you would make an awesome girlfriend because you are lots of fun.... but a terrible wife because you wouldn't do the iron my shirts and home cooked breakfast deal." I didn't even know how to reply other than to look like this:



    But it did get me thinking about how practical am I, really? (For it is true, I loathe ironing, and while I love cooking, I am not confident that I can whip out 3 meals a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, and 60 years of a marriage without needing a lobotomy.)

    Disclaimer: I don't ask this in that I seek external validation for who I am because I am pretty happy with how I have turned out so far. I just sincerely want to know what others think about INFPs, and INFPs themselves, and if there is a practical application to our glittery, pegasus riding selves.

    TL;DR:
    Please share your opinions, both good and bad, about INFPs or glitter or unicorns or something.

  2. #2
    You have a choice! 21%'s Avatar
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    Nope, INFPs are NOT practical. Period

    I suspect that somewhere in their forties, their Te will start to kick in and then they will eventually become productive members of the society -- but before that, forget it.


    On a more serious note, I think INFPs can become very practical about things they care about. So when someone comes along that you love, you'll be taking care of them far better than you expect, especially once you have kids. It might not be stellar-quality home-cooked dinner every day, but you'll be able to give all the love and care that matters way more than three perfect daily meals. You might not be the perfect employee who makes millions for the company, but your honesty and kindness will win over people and help the workplace become better for everybody. Fi draws its strength from a magic, ever-flowing inner well of love, and when its power is harnessed properly it can achieve many great things
    4w5 sp/sx EII

  3. #3
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    Very caring, accepting, laid back and loving. (Well, not the angsty ones, but you in particular, along with a lot of other INFP's.) Something not involving a lot of detail. Do you like animals? Well, yes, I know you like animals, but do you love animals, even if not your cute fuzzy avatars or your own? Maybe try working for an ASPCA or another shelter, or anything related to that field? Are you going back to school?
    06/13 10:51:03 five sounds: you!!!
    06/13 10:51:08 shortnsweet: no you!!
    06/13 10:51:12 shortnsweet: go do your things and my things too!
    06/13 10:51:23 five sounds: oh hell naw
    06/13 10:51:55 shortnsweet: !!!!
    06/13 10:51:57 shortnsweet: (cries)
    06/13 10:52:19 RiftsWRX: You two are like furbies stuck in a shoe box

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  4. #4
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    They make good trophies. Only the upper class can afford to own and maintain such an impractical thing as an INFP.

  5. #5
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    They make good trophies. Only the upper class can afford to own and maintain such an impractical thing as an INFP.
    I know it. I was hoping they would award me with one when I purchase my very first Roth IRA... or at a discount with the purchase of a Porsche.

    (Turns nose up) "Ahhhh yes, I had a lovely weekend out on the yacht with the President and my INFP."
    06/13 10:51:03 five sounds: you!!!
    06/13 10:51:08 shortnsweet: no you!!
    06/13 10:51:12 shortnsweet: go do your things and my things too!
    06/13 10:51:23 five sounds: oh hell naw
    06/13 10:51:55 shortnsweet: !!!!
    06/13 10:51:57 shortnsweet: (cries)
    06/13 10:52:19 RiftsWRX: You two are like furbies stuck in a shoe box

    My Nohari
    My Johari
    by sns.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    I think INFP's can and do become more practical when needed. I don't know how far out of ones element that might take them, how hard or stressful it would be, but I suspect that it would be highly individual.

    I was the most undomesticated person ever for most of my 20's. Friends of mine started to become "homey" in their early to mid twenties.. I was still burning holes in my pans trying to cook mac n' cheese at 26. I never had enough focus or patience for cooking, was really bad at laundry (at times, I'd just go buy a new outfit instead of deal with my laundry monster) My friend gave me a cactus because I couldn't keep a plant alive no matter what.

    But then I got tired of living in apartments, and so my guy and I started renting out houses. And then we ended up letting friends that needed a place rent a room. And then I ended up letting my school age brother move in. So all the sudden, I'm in a house with all these wouldn't know a casserole from their ass kinda guys, and I just picked up the slack. And it was kinda fun! We'd have people over and all experiment in rolling sushi together. I'd find neat, creative recipes, and it would be an experiment for me. I did get a little nazi-ish from times.. I had to get a big white board and write down who's chores were who's.. and if they didn't do it.. they did get seriously bitched at by me. I worked during the day and went to school in the afternoons, so by the time I got home I'd expect shit to be kept up. And usually it was. I'm way too domesticated and practical now. You'd be surprised just how practical you can become when it's either pay your bills or see your internet get shut off. Set aside money for food or don't eat. Put money into an account to travel, or don't go anywhere fun. NFP's may not be the most practical but we learn quick when we lose our freedom and fun time.

    Chores do suck. I have personally come to accept that I don't want to live in a house, I don't need that much space, I hate yardwork and every other maintenance type task. When and if we can ever sell our house, I totally plan to buy a condo closer to the city. Doing chores is a drag.. I'd always rather be reading or online or watching movies or socializing, working out, etc. So I know that for me, it is a wise choice to set aside extra money to have someone come to my place and straighten things up every other day. Getting into raw foodism has helped tremendously to not have to worry about indepth recipes, etc.. but I do still cook a few times a week for fun, when I'm up for it.

    I know two INFP's IRL, both are or have been married, and both have children and do very well at it. I think INFP's are at their best in that role. I'd imagine that once you have a child, only then could you understand how much of your own selfish interests are unimportant in comparison. I think NFP's in general are great in supporting, loving roles.. good partners, parents, and do very well in any kind of service type industry or artistic pursuits. I decided some time ago that I just can't realistically survivie on any of my hobbies for now.. so I have to have a stable job to make those other things happen.
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  7. #7
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shortnsweet View Post
    I know it. I was hoping they would award me with one when I purchase my very first Roth IRA... or at a discount with the purchase of a Porsche.
    I know, right? FYI, if you ever find yourself in a position of getting one, make sure they have their papers. You don't want to get an undocumented one and end up with an ENFP or something like that

    .....

    Saturned, I dunno what INFPs are like IRL. I know that if I ever get in a really serious relationship again, it'll be with somebody interesting. I can already cook and clean for myself, as everybody should. INFPs are definitely interesting.

  8. #8
    Senior Member King sns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    I know, right? FYI, if you ever find yourself in a position of getting one, make sure they have their papers. You don't want to get an undocumented one and end up with an ENFP or something like that

    .....

    Saturned, I dunno what INFPs are like IRL. I know that if I ever get in a really serious relationship again, it'll be with somebody interesting. I can already cook and clean for myself, as everybody should. INFPs are definitely interesting.
    Oh my Gosh, No kidding. I heard in the news once, nice wealthy fellow bought a brand new Lamborghini- Took whatever extra INFP that came with it, without looking further into the situation, woke up the next morning, and found out that the Lamborghini (and add-on) were gone, and the dealership had given him an ENFP!!!!! What a nightmare.
    True story.
    06/13 10:51:03 five sounds: you!!!
    06/13 10:51:08 shortnsweet: no you!!
    06/13 10:51:12 shortnsweet: go do your things and my things too!
    06/13 10:51:23 five sounds: oh hell naw
    06/13 10:51:55 shortnsweet: !!!!
    06/13 10:51:57 shortnsweet: (cries)
    06/13 10:52:19 RiftsWRX: You two are like furbies stuck in a shoe box

    My Nohari
    My Johari
    by sns.

  9. #9
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    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. Undoubtedly, without even realizing it, you have offered them very helpful insights and perspectives throughout your relationships with them - you have taught them. Because of the curious nature of INxP's - always questioning, always digging, always turning over the next rock to see what might be underneath it, always observing, always considering, contemplating, pondering, etc, we are many times able to offer a unique perspective that many others would not have considered.

    Think about ESxx types - they love being part of the "action" of life. It's been my experience that they can teach us many things about being practical and productive, and even about interacting with people. But, it's also been my experience that we can teach them by offering our unique perspective, things that they may have never even considered before. We are the ones standing back, away from the action and observing. That approach to life automatically gives a different perspective, a different world-view if you will, from the person who is action oriented. So, we can help them, they can help us. I think INTP's can teach, instruct, inform, and offer insight/perspective to others in regards to "things", "stuff", systems, how to think through problems, etc. But, INFP's can do all those same things as it pertains to people, humanity, compassion, forgiveness (!!), etc. The non-logic side of things. While the INTP is more geared toward justice and truth, the INFP is more geared towards mercy and the subjective side of life. Both have their place. To embrace one and reject the other would be to sacrifice something. Both viewpoints are necessary in this world.

    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.
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


    There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. --William Barclay

  10. #10
    Senior Member INTPness's Avatar
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    Also, sometimes easier said than done, but try to approach it from other people's perspective as well. Instead of viewing it only from the perspective of "what job will make ME happy", view it from the perspective of "what does the world need me to do? What can I offer?" Who do you think would do a better job:

    (a) the Congressman who gets into politics because he knows he has the ability and the drive and the knowledge to make a positive impact on the nation, the state, and his constituants, the people he serves and represents.
    (b) the Congressman who gets into politics because it'd be cool, he'd have lots of power, prestige, and a good pension, and be well known.

    I'd argue that some of the problems you see in politics today (world, national, state, local, university, etc.) are because too many people approached their career with perspective (b). If you can realize your unique talents and skills and then parlay those things into something that focuses on benefitting the world around you and the people living in it, then I think things fall into place quite nicely. Not only are you benefitting the world and people in it, you'll end up happy yourself.
    NTJ's are the only types that have ever made me feel emo.
    ENP's are the only types that have ever made me feel like a sensor.


    There are two great days in a person's life - the day we are born and the day we discover why. --William Barclay

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