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  1. #1
    Senior Member Santosha's Avatar
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    Default Help me understand my INFJ boss.

    My boss says she is an INFJ.

    She knows this because her mother is a psychologist (PHD) and did all the tests on her growing up. Yet she seems to be incapable of theorizing to even moderate degrees. Every time her and I meet to discuss things about work she comments on how I love theoretical examples but she must have hard data. I often have to drag out a notepad and illustrate, what seems to me very basic concepts, by diagram. Timelines and various factors that are changing the process through this and that, how policies are ineffective at this point but would later be effective at this point, how certain reports she is pulling to demonstrate production are not true numbers because they don't take x or y into account, etc. I just don't get it. And to be clear, I work with another intuitive who I can easily convey my thoughts with only a few brief words. Neither of us have worked in this position as long as my boss, so i know its not matter of being unfamiliar with the material.

    She finds psychology boring. Initially, I had chalked this up to the possibility that mom inundated her with her with it.. but she recently told me that when she went to stay at her moms house for 2 weeks she almost died of boredom because the only thing she had to entertain herself was shelves lined with dense books. She prefers to be physically engaged, outdoors, gambling or partying. She does read, but it's typically things like Hunger Games, Harry Potter and self-help books for interpersonal relations and managerial style.

    She is definitely Fe. We were talking about her 20 yr old daughter and my 19 yo brother.. both of them going through that 'I'm going to exert my independence by making ridiculously stupid life choices that you can't do shit about' phase, and she revealed a whole plethora of emotionally manipulative tactics she is executing via Facebook, her daughters friends and even professors. I was both fascinated and horrified by her desire to meddle in other peoples affairs with such entitlement and determination. She has also cut her daughters college funding off because she doesn't approve of the guy her daughter is dating! All I could contribute was that my brother irritates me as well, but I figure he will hang himself a few times and learn as i did. (I would never, EVER deter my brother from going to college).

    She does seem to be introverted, but it's through no social deficiency. She doesn't answer phone calls and becomes very flustered by people dropping in unexpectedly. She processes before response always, even common knowledge.

    She is very different than any other confirmed INFJ's I know irl. I realize this doesn't rule it out, but I want to get others input. It's really the difficulty with theory that I find so off-beat. Is this typical for INFJ's? For a while a considered that she was just reserving direction or decision on intangible concepts because she puts so much weight on these things as a manager.. but after enough observation I am certain she just doesn't follow.

    What do you think?
    Man suffers only because he takes seriously what the gods made for fun - Watts

  2. #2
    insert random title here Randomnity's Avatar
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    Sounds like it might be a Ne vs. Ni clash? Maybe it's not so much that it's "theory" but that it's "Ne theory"? Is your other intuitive coworker Ne?

    It also might be that she is just not that bright, or not that good at whatever it is that you do. Unfortunately N is no real predictor of competence, or people would just be screened for N/S in the interview.

    She doesn't sound that atypical for an INFJ with higher than "usual" Se, although it's entirely possible that she could be ISTP (same functions, different order) or ISFJ (sharing Fe).
    -end of thread-

  3. #3
    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    she revealed a whole plethora of emotionally manipulative tactics she is executing via Facebook, her daughters friends and even professors. I was both fascinated and horrified by her desire to meddle in other peoples affairs with such entitlement and determination. She has also cut her daughters college funding off because she doesn't approve of the guy her daughter is dating!
    While there's quite a bit of stuff up there that I don't relate to at all (not interested in psychology, prefers to be physically engaged with environment), I wouldn't consider it particularly antithetical to INFJness per se. The bolded, above, though- one thing I think is rather common to INFJ is being somewhat keen to directing the behavior of others according to the other's rules (or if they don't understand that 'other' well enough, at least the 'direction' is somewhat customized to the best of the INFJ's ability) and even finding people who try to do it according to generic paradigms largely oafish and counterproductive (not to mention, offensive). Unless there's something specific about the daughter which makes that seem like a good idea, it does seem like too much of a 'one size fits all' approach for an INFJ to take. Then again, people really do kinda turn into their parents a little bit, and maybe this boss has a heavy Te/Si influence in one of her parents.

    So..... I agree that what you've listed does not sound like stereotypical INFJ behavior to me. Maybe, like Randomnity says, she's just not very bright. Dunno. The only thing that comes across in your description is that she does sound J'ish (very directive, however oafishly).
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    Kind of sounds like an extremely open ISFJ.
    A Fox isn't sly. He just can't think any slower.

  5. #5
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Huxley3112 View Post
    My boss says she is an INFJ.

    She knows this because her mother is a psychologist (PHD) and did all the tests on her growing up. Yet she seems to be incapable of theorizing to even moderate degrees. Every time her and I meet to discuss things about work she comments on how I love theoretical examples but she must have hard data. I often have to drag out a notepad and illustrate, what seems to me very basic concepts, by diagram. Timelines and various factors that are changing the process through this and that, how policies are ineffective at this point but would later be effective at this point, how certain reports she is pulling to demonstrate production are not true numbers because they don't take x or y into account, etc. I just don't get it. And to be clear, I work with another intuitive who I can easily convey my thoughts with only a few brief words. Neither of us have worked in this position as long as my boss, so i know its not matter of being unfamiliar with the material.
    This doesn't surprise me. I am a big-picture thinker, but I need hard data/facts/examples, too. Maybe she leans toward the T side? I'm only a slight NF, and I find myself exhibiting a lot stereotypically of ST traits sometimes. Also, we did the MBTI Step II test at work, and I tested as a "reasonable, questioning" INFJ. The traits in quotes are called "outliers," in that they are not typically associated with this personality type, but that they are important parts of my personality. It could just be the case that she has some "outliers."

    She is definitely Fe. We were talking about her 20 yr old daughter and my 19 yo brother.. both of them going through that 'I'm going to exert my independence by making ridiculously stupid life choices that you can't do shit about' phase, and she revealed a whole plethora of emotionally manipulative tactics she is executing via Facebook, her daughters friends and even professors. I was both fascinated and horrified by her desire to meddle in other peoples affairs with such entitlement and determination. She has also cut her daughters college funding off because she doesn't approve of the guy her daughter is dating! All I could contribute was that my brother irritates me as well, but I figure he will hang himself a few times and learn as i did. (I would never, EVER deter my brother from going to college).
    Unhealthy INFJs can be manipulative.

    She does seem to be introverted, but it's through no social deficiency. She doesn't answer phone calls and becomes very flustered by people dropping in unexpectedly. She processes before response always, even common knowledge.
    Introversion isn't usually through a social "deficiency".... ? I'm not quite sure what you mean by that. I don't answer phone calls either-- I turned off my ringer on my phone at work, and I let everything go to voicemail so that I can process/think before responding. Whenever possible, I use email or chat over the phone. I also hate being dropped in on. It interrupts my flow/concentration. I don't get flustered or freak out (unless it's a really busy/stressful time) but it is not my preference.

    I think she could be INFJ. Maybe a bit "unhealthy," exhibiting some shadow traits. Plus, our "work personality" can be quite different from our "true" self, as the work world often requires us to do things or behave ways that don't come naturally. Or, if her mother gave her the test when she was quite a bit younger, she may have changed.
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  6. #6
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    Honestly some of the stuff you said made me think ISFP or ISFJ. ISFP because she has a 20 year old daughter but was dying of boredom because she can't party or gamble? ISFPs also mistake themselves for INFJs because of tertiary Ni.

    However, her intent in XTREME MEDDLING and cutting a daughter of financially because of hating her boyfriend does sound more like Fe to me.

    It would also make sense that an ISFJ would frustrate you because she's an Si dom with inferior Ne, and you're an Ne dom with inferior Si.

    So I'm going ISFJ.

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    P.S. I think her psychology Ph.D. mother probably WANTED her daughter to be INFJ and "special" or some garbage like that, so yeah I wouldn't hang too much on that either.

  8. #8
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    My gut reaction is ISFJ or ESFJ, but I am really not too good at typing others, whether IRL or from others' descriptions.

    Marm might have a point. It does seem sometimes like everyone thinks they are INFJ, which occasionally makes me question whether that's really what I am. One of the things that reassures me that I probably am is that I tested that way, and self-identified with descriptions, well before I realised how SPESHUL it was supposed to be to be INFJ - so I had nothing invested in it.

    A bit off topic, but along those lines I'm just thinking of the occasional times someone on my Facebook friends list has posted about their MBTI type. A guy I know posted about being ENFJ, which I think suits him very well, but later he seemed to be reconsidering and thinking INFJ, which I think is...possible, but quite a bit less likely than ENFJ. But when he posted about being INFJ, several mutual acquaintances were like "oh yeah! I'm an INFJ too!" And really, with a couple of them I was like...huh? I could have seen ESFP, ESFJ, ISFJ, maybe ENFP for them, but never in a million years INFJ. So it just made me wonder if it was a bit of a SPESHUL thing, again.

    But then, what do I really know? These were not people I really knew, and they were part of a social group where everyone seemed to want to act as ESFP as possible...so maybe they were INFJs with a desperate desire to fit in...but I'm not quite sure how that works...
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  9. #9
    Shaman BlackCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    P.S. I think her psychology Ph.D. mother probably WANTED her daughter to be INFJ and "special" or some garbage like that, so yeah I wouldn't hang too much on that either.
    I totally agree... doesn't sound Ni dom whatsoever. ISFJ. Honestly anyone who thinks that it's right to cut off funding for college, which indirectly fucks with their future, because of a guy, is a pretty terrible person. None of the mom's business at all what her daughter's love life is like... and making decisions based on that? No.
    () 9w8-3w4-7w6 tritype.

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  10. #10
    Senior Member Snow Turtle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmie Dearest View Post
    P.S. I think her psychology Ph.D. mother probably WANTED her daughter to be INFJ and "special" or some garbage like that, so yeah I wouldn't hang too much on that either.
    She knows this because her mother is a psychologist (PHD) and did all the tests on her growing up.
    I wouldn't put too much stock on people's evaluation of their MBTI type and all that, since frankly most people studying psychology don't really put that much stock into the theory.

    Not to mention, it's always based on the most basic idea of MBTI. The sort of thing you see when a new person is discovering their type on this website, only to have it change like 3-4 times over the year as they learn more about the system and get rid of stereotypes.

    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    A bit off topic, but along those lines I'm just thinking of the occasional times someone on my Facebook friends list has posted about their MBTI type. A guy I know posted about being ENFJ, which I think suits him very well, but later he seemed to be reconsidering and thinking INFJ, which I think is...possible, but quite a bit less likely than ENFJ. But when he posted about being INFJ, several mutual acquaintances were like "oh yeah! I'm an INFJ too!" And really, with a couple of them I was like...huh? I could have seen ESFP, ESFJ, ISFJ, maybe ENFP for them, but never in a million years INFJ. So it just made me wonder if it was a bit of a SPESHUL thing, again.
    It's probably just a testing problem. The N questions tend to sound better than the S questions at times "Big picture... and so fourth"
    Then there's the addition problem where most of these people probably haven't even really bothered to read the actual profiles of these types. They probably just did an online personality quiz, got the result and left it at that rather than most of us here who actually decided to look further into everything. :/

    Kinda sucks. I gave up trying to get my friends into MBTI even though I believe it's such a fantastic tool for personal development.

    PS. I find it really weird that an ISFJ would be bored by psychology... I just can't comprehend it. I can understand if they feel that there's more important things to do besides psychology, but we're talking about understanding other people, Fe. Unless her mum has painted her this picture that psychology is purely neuroscience or something like that. In fact I should find out now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Her type?
    I don't know... A lot of the stuff listed up with regards to work sound a lot more like Te response but it might just be work related reason.
    Also, I don't particularly see why the whole manipulation aspect is definitely considered as Fe since many types are capable of doing what she has just done.

    In fact, it's going to surround ridiculous here, but there's always the possibility that she's actually Te-dominant. You should ask her what her functions are like (as a way to get her to profile her MBTI type again - haha does this count as Fe manipulation?) if she's hell bent on her type being INFJ (It sounds like she is)... I wouldn't throw ESTJ out of the question. Eitherway, she's sounds like a controller type of person. Not healthy.

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