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  1. #1
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    Default non-"artsy" INFP's

    someone on this forum wrote a comment to the effect of "pity the INTP who isn't good at math/science and the INFP who isn't artsy" to something close to that.

    As a clearly not-artsy INFP I am curious about other people thoughts on this matter, and their experiences with non-artsy INFP's.

    I think non-artsy INFP are much more likely to be not seen as INFP's by others, and to "camouflage" as perhaps INTP, ISFP, maybe ISTP, or whatever else.


    I personally qualify as what Lenore Thomson describes as "zenlike or otherworldly", and I can't be the only one.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Eckhart's Avatar
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    No, I can relate to that too. I don't feel really artsy either. I always hated drawing and painting, I never tried to make something in music (although I sometimes play with the thought to try myself out here, but I didn't learn an instrument) , I am not very keen on poetry. I don't try to fulfill myself in creative writing either, although I used to really like to write short stories when I was younger, and when I "had to" be a bit creative in writing later at school, I never had a problem with it, even though I didn't really like doing it, I just did what I had to do. My writing style is maybe not everyones taste either though.

    On the other hand I think creativity can show in many ways, and I think I have the potential for finding creative ideas in certain areas. Just maybe not in the typical artsy fields. Or I just never really tried to fulfill myself in those ways Or I am just boring ^^

    My studying field is a bit uncommon for that reason for an INFP as well. While apparently you find INFPs mostly studying psychology, literature or philosophy etc., I study business informatics and had also at least for some while some affinity to mathematics. But I developed also a like for philosophy (which was also my alternative thought for studying) and social sciences.

  3. #3
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    I relate somewhat to this—although I'd call myself more calm, rather than generally zenlike. I've often felt on the border between technical/aesthetic and mainstream/alternative in a number of ways.

    When I was younger I often wished I had a distinct overriding talent that would make my path clear, rather than being "pretty good" in several areas. Nowadays, I feel like I've found a reasonable niche for myself, although with some compromises made along the way. I suspect I would benefit from a better means of creative self-expression, but my perfectionism makes that difficult.

    I work with some other technically oriented INFPs, and I think they do the same camouflaging thing you describe to some degree. I think I come across as somewhere between INTP and INFP, but I think my affection for people leaks out in subtle ways.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    ^About "zen" and "calm"

    It's funny, yeah I think zen is "intense" [seriously, have you seen zen monks?] but most people seem to associate "zen " with tranquility/meditation/insight, and lots of spas and stuff use zen in their name. At work one lady had her "den of "zen, where you weren't supposed to frown.

    I have practiced zen, quite a bit, and clearly it is "intense", and plenty of people have said I should "smile more."

    Scott is like the INFP's who are like "I want to move to India and practice yoga." Most INFP's aren't that extreme, but some clearly feel that calling.

    I was always good at math, and by extension science when it involved math, but had a lot of the eastern philosophy and the martial arts angle going on. People have called said I'm like a "zen warrior" and a "warrior monk", and plenty of people also called me a "scholar and a gentleman."

    I'm nowhere near "artistic" or "fashionable/hip/trendy" or "fancy clothes" or "attitude" enough to ever show up on the Bravo channel.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    What exactly do you mean by non-artsy?

    I am not an artist in the traditional sense, I never spent tremendous time drawing, painting, sculpting, and I've never had anything published. But I don't see artsy as being an artist, more like one who appreciates art, tremendously. And I do fall into that camp. It doesn't matter if it is film, music, photography, theatre, art exhibits or body paint festivals, I usually dig it. I mean, this is really opening up a big can of "what is art?" and then eveyone argues and bickers, nitpicks semantics, and eventually all meaning is lost. But the way that I perceive art, I would be hard pressed to find an INFP that doesn't appreciate some angle of it more than your average-joe.
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  6. #6
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    I always thought that artsy INFPs were more likely to be confused with ISFPs. I've heard people make comments which seem to imply that any sense of aesthetics implies you're an ISFP & not INFP (which I entirely do not agree with). I've related more to the INTP attitude than the ISFP one as presented in type profiles, when it comes to what "kind" of INFP I am. I'm more inclined to have a pedantic know-it-all NT side emerge than any SP hedonistic side. I can be an empath, but it's hidden under a crusty exterior in person.

    I've known one older INFP woman who I'd not classify as artsy, but to me she fits the empath role. I might call her "otherworldly"; she has a strongly evident spiritual bent and seems, er, "spacey". I notice these types are more frequently enneagram 9s.

    I have a feeling some INFP 5s may not consider themselves artsy either, but I imagine there is a philosophical side that has its roots in Fi, not Ti. I do wonder what means these people "express" with; maybe it's more directly communicating their feelings via theory or something.

    Personally, I think I'd classify as artsy though, and it's partly why INTP profiles never quite fit. I am pretty good at math, and my math & science teachers in school made it a point to let me know I was "special" for a girl in that way (gotta love that "for a girl" tag). I also do like some math & people-related science, but I've never had an affinity for it the way I do the arts & language/culture, and it's because of the feeling aspect, no doubt. My need to express feelings indirectly is more definitive of my personality than my actual abilities. I find the arts to be a more personal outlet, hence my draw to it. I did find in art school that I had an advantage over others (many of whom seemed ISFP-ish), as many were talented artists but lacked the book smarts I had. Outside of school however, I think these people have street smarts I could sorely use.

    I admit, I tend to associate INFPs with being more bookish/academic & analytical than our ISFP sensory brethren. Any thoughts on that? I know there are INFPs out there who do not like literature or reading at all, & also ones who identify more with being personable/warm than analytical/cerebral.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

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  7. #7
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    Going with @OrangeAppled's post, I think there's a third category, the cold INFPs who are more likely to be mistyped as INTPs.

  8. #8
    Level 8 Propaganda Bot SpankyMcFly's Avatar
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    I am an INFP. I'm not artsy at all. I only know one other INFP, he is artsy.
    "The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... Some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age. " - H.P. Lovecraft

  9. #9
    Vaguely Precise Seymour's Avatar
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    Slightly a derail, but:

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    ^About "zen" and "calm"

    It's funny, yeah I think zen is "intense" [seriously, have you seen zen monks?] but most people seem to associate "zen " with tranquility/meditation/insight, and lots of spas and stuff use zen in their name. At work one lady had her "den of "zen, where you weren't supposed to frown.

    I have practiced zen, quite a bit, and clearly it is "intense", and plenty of people have said I should "smile more."

    Scott is like the INFP's who are like "I want to move to India and practice yoga." Most INFP's aren't that extreme, but some clearly feel that calling.
    That's interesting. I was initially turned off by things Zen and Buddhist because the first few practicing people I met were either very anxious, or self-centered jerks, or both. Since then, after meeting a doctrinaire Unitarian and extremely persnickety pagan/faerie, I've come to believe that many people gravitate toward a faith/practice/religion/philosophy because it offers something they are desperately lacking.

    Consequently, I've only recently dipped my toes into meditation; what I know could fit in a thimble. I can see the Zen could have great intensity of focus and perception... it does seem like non-identification with emotion should lead to a kind of detachment (if near full perception of emotions as they arise). In what other ways is Zen intense? (pardon my ignorance)

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    I was always good at math, and by extension science when it involved math, but had a lot of the eastern philosophy and the martial arts angle going on. People have called said I'm like a "zen warrior" and a "warrior monk", and plenty of people also called me a "scholar and a gentleman."

    I'm nowhere near "artistic" or "fashionable/hip/trendy" or "fancy clothes" or "attitude" enough to ever show up on the Bravo channel.
    Even for being, gay, I'm totally not Bravo worthy. My trainer teased me the other day by painting a picture of me on an interior decorating show. His script was on the order of "Me (walking into a room and taking it in calmly): Umm... (long pause, standing there like a lump) why is that chair there?" I'm fabulous challenged and not nearly emotive enough for that kind of thing.

  10. #10
    Uniqueorn William K's Avatar
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    I think this has been quoted or posted somewhere before
    http://personalityjunkie.com/2009/12...obs-interests/

    Artistic and Social is where a large number of INFPs would fall I guess, but I'm clearly in the Investigative and on the outside probably would be INTP-ish. That said, I do have a need for a creative outlet despite my horrible art/drawing skills. When I was in school my humans always end up looking like robots

    When I think of artsy though, the thing that comes to mind are people who go to art galleries or hang out at the Sundance movie festivals
    4w5, Fi>Ne>Ti>Si>Ni>Fe>Te>Se, sp > so > sx

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