When I look at that list I suspect not many of us would have a problem with it if the approach were different. <Insert OA mocking that it needs to be said ‘the right way’.>
We aren’t looking for something to pick at “so that we don’t have to take responsibility”- any more than Fi’ers are actively looking for something to pick at when Fe wants to assimilate everyone’s values- there are just things that stand out as problematic and they can’t be ignored. There’s no clear surface story that we “twist” in order to come out smelling like roses…it takes *a lot* of effort sometimes to shave off the possibilities to try to gleam what the surface story ‘probably’ is. As state perfectly articulated earlier in this thread- it is not self evident to us. I spend more time than anyone would believe (outside of fellow Ni’ers, probably) shaving off those possibilities. And as I said earlier on, things really do need to go through a system of filters like a Rube Goldberg contraption; there’s no shortcut and it’s not a choice. Sometimes (the hope is) it picks up insight along the way- things that other people miss. But it can and does go horribly wrong sometimes too, picking up something that isn’t actually there. Either I’m just really lucky with the INFJs I happen to know (bar the few exceptions I’ve mentioned) and it really is more common for things to go ‘horribly wrong’ than I realize, or most INFJs really are SO concerned with the ‘horribly wrong’ that we err on the side of giving people credit when we shouldn’t…..because it is SO hard for us to know when we have reasonable cause to be angry. I guess I really can’t say what ‘average’ is because I don’t have a clue, I’m basing this on the INFJs I know.
The reasonable INFJs I know- if and when we feel paranoia, it centers around whether or not something we’re picking up is actually there…..that’s what I mean by “shaving off the extra possibilities” and we rely on others for a reality check. Worst case scenario- there isn’t anyone directly around us who can help us make sense of it- we become confused, feel kinda insecure in our environment because we can’t invest much energy in any one story until something starts making sense, and we just keep withdrawing until the influence (the source of the mixed signals) is no longer a threat. The batshit NFJs who go ahead and believe the ‘out there’ stuff that pops into their head and can actually aggressively argue it without needing that reality check? I have no idea why that happens. I’ve witnessed it, I agree that it’s breath taking and that NFJs do it with special unprecedented panache. But it’s not “denial”, I honestly do not understand. I really can’t shake the feeling that OA is projecting some Fi dom proficiency into this that we just don’t have- it isn’t that we ‘aren’t willing’ to give an answer, it’s that we probably can’t.
And honestly, I *think* a lot of the bad reaction to her is that she’s just being mean, and taking on the exact “I’m not being mean, that’s just something you need to believe to protect your ego” position that she’s actually accusing INFJs of being so inclined to do. She’s a steaming pile of mixed signals- she’s actually doing a lot of the things she’s accusing us of doing in this thread- and that’s like kryptonite to us. We can’t think when that’s going on. It’s like being expected to follow someone in a conversation- having them constantly throw furniture down on the floor in front of you so that you CAN’T follow them and then having them mock you for not being able to follow them. It’s MEAN. That ‘white noise’ gets so intense sometimes I can’t take in another single word no matter how hard I try. I don’t think she’s doing it on purpose, but it becomes more and more clear in interaction with her why an INFJ would become avoidant towards her. Same goes for mane- I haven’t even read his comments in this read, because I remember the deafening white noise I experienced last time I tried “communication” with him.
We have tried pointing these things out- the specific problematics that surface and prevent us from following the conversation- and she keeps interpreting this as “trying to discredit her so that we don’t have to listen”….again, sounds like projecting a Fi mindset maybe. We don’t go looking for it, any more than Fi’ers go looking for things to get angry at Fe’ers about. It’s just like having furniture thrown in our path and we can not follow when that’s happening.
I know this was directed at SilkRoad, but since she’s taking a break- there’s something here I want to point out. INFPs may corner the market on “exceptional humility” (I have no idea if that’s true, but I realize that just because I don’t see it doesn’t mean there isn’t something to it) and being able to discern the surface of events around them well enough to react much faster than we can…..but if there’s one single thing that drives me crazy about NFPs (and NOT ALL, damnit, just some) it’s the red hot alarm that goes off in my head when they are inconsistent in this regard; they can blatantly declare something without putting any thought first into whether they’d still feel the same way if the tables were turned. It’s a Ni thing to recognize “if there was another thread that said <reversed equivalent>”…that is totally a Ni thing. It is the very first thought I have when anything annoys me- I don’t explore how I feel about the thing that annoys me, I immediately focus on considering what the reversed equivalent would be. And incidentally, this is precisely the thing that seems ‘broken’ in the NFJs I know who fit the criteria on OA’s list: they don’t consider that, it’s bizarre. But every other single INFJ I know seems to do this and we do it so much that we don’t even know how we feel about a lot of things ourselves.It seems your sense of self is very much tied to this view of yourself – as a positive influence on others. It’s interesting when viewed in relation to the last point. I wonder what would happen if there was another thread that said one of Te user’s weakness is they are incapable of remorse.
And sometimes the hardest part of reading many of these posts is feeling stunned, thinking “Are you even listening to yourself- are you seriously saying that aloud to another person without realizing how it sounds??” <- That feeling in itself gives me an idea of how frustrated people must get with our delayed processing, because it is SO hard for me to believe sometimes that NFPs aren’t *playing stupid*. So I can totally, totally understand how it *seems* like we (INFJs) are just being irresponsibly avoidant. When there’s some kind of vision or clarity we (as humans, of any type) can take for granted, it really makes that shortcoming in others look like they aren’t putting much effort into it.
And @Tiltyred’s post- it resonates a lot. She’s not kidding or exaggerating: when the white noise gets to be too much, we can’t take in another word. It’s not a choice. [And Tilty: as chance has it, I finally found a letter from my ex last month that I'd been looking for too- to see if I could finally *read* it when I'm reading it. The answer to that is: getting closer, but not quite yet. Lol.]