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  1. #41
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    Not since Simulated World posted on Personality Nation that Jon Stewart is probably an INFP.

    It made me realize that a lot of the people who self-type as INFP might just be depressed teenagers.

    The Internet paints this really weird image of all of the personality types, they actually deviate from actual records of the original personality theory. Including more simplified ones like Keirsey.

    All INFP males are suicidal, incidentally tragically beautiful rock stars, or pathetic whiny self-centered guys who can't get a date. NO.

    NO NO NO NO NO.


  2. #42
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    I dont think that ENFP's and INFP's are of different overall worth. I do think that, in what I've seen of them [which again is virtually all in my adult life], that ENFP's are generally more socially accepted and well-recieved, particularly by strong-E's and by groups [as opposed to one-on-one's]. EP provides a very "in the moment" approach to life. Fi is basically an "invisible" cognitive/jungian function. Ne, often, gets people to see things in new ways, or at the very least gives off this very interesting/quirky/"fresh" vibe. Its much easier to see and "do something with" than is Fi. In terms of how externally visible our cognitive functions are, INFP's end up being very much like INTP's. At least ISFP's have that secondary Se [physical engagement, aestheticness] going for them.
    I agree, it makes sense that an INxP would tend to have a more invisible, harder-to-externally-engage-with process. Still, from experience, being an ENFP is not socially easy, though perhaps it appears that way. Just like we can't see your internal process, I don't think you guys really get to see the extent to which we are written off and underestimated when interacting. My point being, you asked in the OP if non-INFPs see INFPs as inadequate compared to ENFPs, so I've tried to answer that with a clear "no", both because of ENFP's weaknesses and INFP's strengths.

    If the question is really, do INFPs seem generally less well-received immediately socially than ENFPs, then my answer would be yes. In response to which, what my hopefully-useful comment is, is that generally, the more information an INFP can put out into the external realm, the better socially received by extraverts they will be. I really think the reason revolves around a lack of easy social engagement more than anything else. It's not that INFPs aren't likable by nature. Both INTPs and INFPs are, to me, quite pleasant people to be around.

    Quoting form skylights in the "ENFP's in friendship and love" thread: "I definitely tend to shy away from spending 1-on-1 time with people... who are very, very quiet, so that I always have to initiate." Now, personally I've been called a "chatty kathy" more times than I can count, but realistically I think in many many cases INFP's are seen as, fairly or not, those very very quiet people skylights was talking about. It seems like ENFP's generally don't have that "problem."
    Well and it's actually kind of interesting because that speaks to my own personal degree of ambiversion, because it really drains me to always have to initiate. I think what I remember reading in an old ENFP thread is that most ENFPs tend towards the supine (I think) trait of not preferring to initiate as much as preferring to respond. I'm not sure of INFP preferences in those terms, and I assume that it varies from INFP to INFP based on things like Enneagram and subtype.

    I'm not sure if ENFP's are more known for being either 1) super creative all-over-the-place idea brainstormers or 2) also having a warm accepting easygoing and possibly nurturing social presence. I've seen plenty of ENFP's do both of those things pretty well, and jump between them pretty easily.
    I'm just getting into Socionics and I think this might be one of those examples of the difference between ENFP-Ne and ENFP-Fi. I'm definitely ENFP-Fi, with much less usefulness in terms of creativity and brainstorming and much more usefulness in terms of acceptance and atmospheric manipulation. I have an ENFP 7w6 so/sx friend who is ENFP-Ne and not particularly useful at #2 but an excellent idea-generator. I figure INFP-Ne might have an easier go of it socially than INFP-Fi.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver
    I dont know if others would ultimately concur or not, but I would describe the difference between a well-developed ENFP and a well-developed INFP as the difference between a flashlight and a laser. IME as a laser, its often too intense for many people to deal with, whereas a flashlight is more relatable and less ?intimidating?
    Perhaps, though I tend to associate "laser" and Ni. Maybe the difference between daytime-running lights and high beams, or those golden ambient lights versus the clear bright white lights. I don't think people are so much put off by INFP's intensity in and of itself as much as it's surprising when intensity is suddenly externally demonstrated after not much external engagement.

  3. #43
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marmotini View Post
    It made me realize that a lot of the people who self-type as INFP might just be depressed teenagers.
    Yeah, the first time I ever took an MBTI test, I was depressed and in drug rehab. Not typical conditions. I kind of just took the typing for granted, and moved on. When I got into it again, I wasn't as bad off, but deflating from a lot of bullshit.

    In any case, I think INFPs are defined more by positive traits, not negative ones.

  4. #44
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    I agree, it makes sense that an INxP would tend to have a more invisible, harder-to-externally-engage-with process. Still, from experience, being an ENFP is not socially easy, though perhaps it appears that way. Just like we can't see your internal process, I don't think you guys really get to see the extent to which we are written off and underestimated when interacting. My point being, you asked in the OP if non-INFPs see INFPs as inadequate compared to ENFPs, so I've tried to answer that with a clear "no", both because of ENFP's weaknesses and INFP's strengths.

    If the question is really, do INFPs seem generally less well-received immediately socially than ENFPs, then my answer would be yes. In response to which, what my hopefully-useful comment is, is that generally, the more information an INFP can put out into the external realm, the better socially received by extraverts they will be. I really think the reason revolves around a lack of easy social engagement more than anything else. It's not that INFPs aren't likable by nature. Both INTPs and INFPs are, to me, quite pleasant people to be around.
    I think the point Scott is making, is that how well things are socially received almost always takes precedence over intrinsic value. If you're good at something and don't now how to 'package' and 'sell' that trait, then effectively it's useless. It's like being a genius, full of potential, but never being able to do anything significant with that ability - in effect, it renders that intelligence worthless.

    Trust me, I've been going through a whole lot of this. I feel like most of my virtues and aptitudes are rendered worthless because I can't deal with people or express myself well. After that happens enough, you start to feel much like you are a member of the superfluous type: thoughtful, perceptive, and kind but essentially redundant to society.

    I don't doubt that ENFPs have their flaws and that there are benefits to being an INFP but this is not really the point. I appreciate your praise of INFPs and I don't deny other people also think well of me - I just think it's such hard work, or at least takes a long time, for them to reap the rewards from being around me or to even begin to see any real value in me. I have to hang my hopes on finding people who can look past the surface and are willing to put in the work to get to know me.

    God, I sound like such a whiner. I'm not looking for sympathy, comfort or to try to claim a monopoly on suffering. I try my best to get over it and find ways around it - but it just sucks sometimes, you know? It's frustrating to have something to contribute but having to constantly struggle to find a way to make people see that, let alone actually achieve/contribute something of meaning. So in that sense, I do envy the skills of ENFPs; even if you may have less to contribute, you are able to effectively contribute more of what you do have - if that makes sense.

    And I want to emphasise again, I always take ENFPs seriously - anyone that doesn't is an idiot. Lightness of spirit doesn't correlate to emptiness of mind.
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

    I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;
    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte

  5. #45
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    I think the point Scott is making, is that how well things are socially received almost always takes precedence over intrinsic value. If you're good at something and don't now how to 'package' and 'sell' that trait, then effectively it's useless. It's like being a genius, full of potential, but never being able to do anything significant with that ability - in effect, it renders that intelligence worthless.
    Thank you for your whole post, but in particular clarifying this. Maybe it was just me personally that missed it, but I didn't understand that this was the point of what he was saying. The usage of "inadequate" and the contrast with ENFPs made me feel like it was a comparison thing.

    So you guys are basically just venting frustration of feeling sort of like your talents and depth are "locked in" by social superficiality, using the social ease of ENFPs as an example. I completely understand that feeling, actually. I share it in regards to feeling like I have a lot of talent but I can never settle on one place to devote it. If only I could settle, the talent could shine. If only the social barriers were broken down, INFPs could shine.

    Eh, sorry, I guess I didn't and maybe still don't understand the intention of the thread. At first I thought it was seeking reassurance. Then I thought it was seeking solution. Now I'm just not sure.

  6. #46
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Many IxxPs struggle with finding an outlet or productive way of expression. It's in Jung. And it's in many MBTI descriptions.

  7. #47
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    This is where you tag-team, people.

    From what I recall, ENFPs are often good mediators and particularly excel at explaining and translating information for a greater audience (hence the journalist career suggestions etc), whereas, as @skylights said, we suck at actually buckling down and really refining our craft. INFPs have no problem with buckling down and actually refining, polishing and generally making the product exquisite, and that is something we can use some guidance in. We often have the idea of what would be cool, but lack the skills to truly bring it about, getting frustrated in the process that the thing doesnt look half as good in reality as it did in our heads. This is personally where I always fail and I seriously feel incompetent. As it is so hard to explain how I *want* things, it is also hard to ask for help. An INFP with their more developed Fi though would get *why* it is feeling off to me, without explanation.

    Afterwards, delivering that treasure to the masses should be a breeze for the ENFP

    Iow, have the INFP sing its beautiful song (aka the exquisite product) and let the ENFP put on an entire show around it for mass-effect (to wrap a really big bow around it and make it go down easier). We'll take the world by storm
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  8. #48
    Uniqueorn William K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    I think the point Scott is making, is that how well things are socially received almost always takes precedence over intrinsic value. If you're good at something and don't now how to 'package' and 'sell' that trait, then effectively it's useless. It's like being a genius, full of potential, but never being able to do anything significant with that ability - in effect, it renders that intelligence worthless.
    I'd like to echo this sentiment as well. Being in R&D, my boss keeps harping on why the team (mainly introverts) has trouble 'selling' our ideas. It's not like the idea is bad or not innovative. It's just that we aren't able to explain things in a way that the customer would value.

    The other thing I envy about Es in general is their ability to not just stand being in the limelight but to truly enjoy basking in it. I would never feel comfortable being the centre of attention for long, even if it's for something I deserve. It's not about being unconfident or meek. It's hard to describe, but it's a feeling like being too near the sun. The fact that I have a pale complexion and blush easily for a guy doesn't help at all with the awkwardness.
    4w5, Fi>Ne>Ti>Si>Ni>Fe>Te>Se, sp > so > sx

    appreciates being appreciated, conflicted over conflicts, afraid of being afraid, bad at being bad, predictably unpredictable, consistently inconsistent, remarkably unremarkable...

    I may not agree with what you are feeling, but I will defend to death your right to have a good cry over it

    The whole problem with the world is that fools & fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts. ~ Bertrand Russell

  9. #49
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    Thank you for your whole post, but in particular clarifying this. Maybe it was just me personally that missed it, but I didn't understand that this was the point of what he was saying. The usage of "inadequate" and the contrast with ENFPs made me feel like it was a comparison thing.
    No worries.

    Hmmm, I'm wondering if perhaps I have misinterpreted him now. That was just how I read it.

    So you guys are basically just venting frustration of feeling sort of like your talents and depth are "locked in" by social superficiality, using the social ease of ENFPs as an example. I completely understand that feeling, actually. I share it in regards to feeling like I have a lot of talent but I can never settle on one place to devote it. If only I could settle, the talent could shine. If only the social barriers were broken down, INFPs could shine.
    That's basically what I meant, anyway.

    Eh, sorry, I guess I didn't and maybe still don't understand the intention of the thread. At first I thought it was seeking reassurance. Then I thought it was seeking solution. Now I'm just not sure.
    I think it's partly sharing admiration for ENFPs and a desire to be more like them, as well as venting frustration and seeing if others feel similarly. It's also asking if other non-NFPs sense a disparity between the two, in terms of whom they respond better to, in order to gauge whether or not it's merely the subjective experience of a few INFPs.

    As a larger goal maybe he means to ask, what is the point of INFPs if they are merely a ineffective version of ENFPs? What happens when skills are constrained and untapped because of communication skills? How (like the point KDude raises) does a IXXP navigate a world where the means of expression is valued more than the content?

    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    Many IxxPs struggle with finding an outlet or productive way of expression. It's in Jung. And it's in many MBTI descriptions.
    True. It just seems worse as a INFP because we have less to fall back on; our skills are often more intangible and immeasurable. ISTPs for example have their adaptable practicality to express themselves with, which is a marketable tool and therefore is something others can respond to. But if you're a INFP without, say, a particular creative talent, there's no external outlet - there's no way to externalise, and for others gain understanding of, that highly subjective, internal experience - so it ends up feeling wasted.

    I do remember reading something Jung said on the subject, like you mentioned, but I can't recall the details. What was it exactly?

    Quote Originally Posted by William K View Post
    I'd like to echo this sentiment as well. Being in R&D, my boss keeps harping on why the team (mainly introverts) has trouble 'selling' our ideas. It's not like the idea is bad or not innovative. It's just that we aren't able to explain things in a way that the customer would value.

    The other thing I envy about Es in general is their ability to not just stand being in the limelight but to truly enjoy basking in it. I would never feel comfortable being the centre of attention for long, even if it's for something I deserve. It's not about being unconfident or meek. It's hard to describe, but it's a feeling like being too near the sun. The fact that I have a pale complexion and blush easily for a guy doesn't help at all with the awkwardness.
    The thing is I think INFPs great at explaining things - I've even read it in a description of the type before. We're great at breaking down something complex or unfamiliar to others into language they can understand. If it's in a quiet, informal, low pressure situation, one on one or just writing down on paper, we can do that well.

    But 'selling' something as an extrovert might: being put on the spot, getting up in front of people, being eloquent, direct and succinct, using motivating language, winning people over and doing the whole "big sell", we're hopeless at that. I think that's part of the problem; the extrovert definition of the means doing such things is often the only one that counts. Perhaps it just comes back to the stuff Susan Cain writes about.

    Regardless, none of that really helps with the social awkwardness, though.
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

    I've dreamt in my life dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;
    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte

  10. #50
    Uniqueorn William K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    The thing is I think INFPs great at explaining things - I've even read it in a description of the type before. We're great at breaking down something complex or unfamiliar to others into language they can understand. If it's in a quiet, informal, low pressure situation, one on one or just writing down on paper, we can do that well.
    I believe that's through the use of analogies and metaphors that help relate something unfamiliar from domain X into a familiar domain Y
    4w5, Fi>Ne>Ti>Si>Ni>Fe>Te>Se, sp > so > sx

    appreciates being appreciated, conflicted over conflicts, afraid of being afraid, bad at being bad, predictably unpredictable, consistently inconsistent, remarkably unremarkable...

    I may not agree with what you are feeling, but I will defend to death your right to have a good cry over it

    The whole problem with the world is that fools & fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts. ~ Bertrand Russell

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