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  1. #51
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    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.
    Fair enough. FWIW, I envy INFP's sense of creativity in a vacuum.. i.e. the imagination. And the better facility of writing (language). The writing bit might be a stereotype to some extent, but I'd like nothing more than to make a living at home and be a novelist.

    I do remember reading something Jung said on the subject, like you mentioned, but I can't recall the details. What was it exactly?
    Too much to count. I was going to post most here, but Jung already opens up his section on introverted Thinking by relating it to introverts in general.

    Like every introverted type, he is almost completely lacking in that which distinguishes his counter type, namely, the intensive relatedness to the object. In the case of a human object, the man has a distinct feeling that he matters only in a negative way, i.e., in milder instances he is merely conscious of being superfluous, but with a more extreme type he feels himself warded off as something definitely disturbing. This negative relation to the object-indifference, and even aversion-characterizes every introvert; it also makes a description of the introverted type in general extremely difficult.

  2. #52
    i love skylights's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    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.
    Well, that's flattering, in that case. Thanks

    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?
    Yes, I think the first question is what I caught a whiff of. Leave it to Ne to get only the broad implication and nothing else! But I guess I'm trying to add two positives, which is that, one, skill at navigating the social world is not directly related to happiness or personal success, and two, extraversion alone isn't a guarantor of social skill - both of which mean INFPs have ample opportunity to be happy and successful without being extraverted and to become socially skillful without being extraverted. I think I'm also trying to press the point that I don't think many people consciously choose communication skill over content quality, which has positive implications for introverts, too. The nature of the external world, at least where I live, tends to be a bit harried, so efficiency over substance is chosen out of necessity rather than preference. I think the world would benefit from an introverted push into the social realm, a slowing down and a deepening.

    In answer to the earlier question, I think an IxxP could begin to navigate the extraverted world by working on communicating information about their value and their communication style to others. The problem outsiders experience with IxxPs is that there are not always many immediate external indicators of internal depth and quality, nor many indicators that there is a desire to share.

    Quote Originally Posted by KDude
    Quote Originally Posted by Jung
    Like every introverted type, he is almost completely lacking in that which distinguishes his counter type, namely, the intensive relatedness to the object. In the case of a human object, the man has a distinct feeling that he matters only in a negative way, i.e., in milder instances he is merely conscious of being superfluous, but with a more extreme type he feels himself warded off as something definitely disturbing. This negative relation to the object-indifference, and even aversion-characterizes every introvert; it also makes a description of the introverted type in general extremely difficult.
    Really interesting... nice quote, KDude.

  3. #53
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    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.
    I don't think INFP's need be defined as "hopeless" at this. To me, it's like learning anything - you need to desire to achieve a level of mastery, learn what's involved in attaining these skills then practice, practice, practice. Why can't an effective communicator or salesperson or public speaker be an INFP? If that's the case, I'd better change my type right now!
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
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    "When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad."
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    thanks everyone for the clarifications regarding my earlier question. makes sense.

  5. #55
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    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.
    All these things remind me of the characteristics of one of my absolute favorite Introverts, Ray Bradbury. He spent most of his childhood hounding silver screen stars for their autographs, and his adult life trying to get his stories made into movies. He wrote them all as movies in his head.

    Hah, reading his autobiography gave me the impression that he was kind of brusque and awkward, but he was unrelenting, persuasive and lovable.

  6. #56
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott N Denver View Post
    I wonder if one of the things that can go wrong is INFP's coming across to "intellectual" or "my emotions are not as important as my deep thoughts." I feel like some ISTJ's have, understandably, seen me this way, and that lots of INTJ's were "bad influences" and "contributed" to me sometimes coming across that way??? ENFP's, or at least the ones I've seen, don't seem to have the issue of "appearing disconnected from their emotions" or "being too intellectual." Perhaps ENFP's are often seen as "not intellectual enough", but I haven't traveled enough in whatever circles to have personally experienced that. For the record, I met very few ENFP's in my life until well into my adult years.
    As Fi descriptions say.... many will question whether the Fi-dom has any feeling at all. And when someone has STRONG feelings but emotes little except in the company of close friends & family, then they just like a critical, self-righteous ass.

    Jung talks about Fi-dom putting something of a spell on those around them. This is the SUFFOCATING presence I spoke of earlier. I never understood why I don't have to say or do anything & people feel PRESSURE from my mere presence to be "better", and they resent this. They'll say they feel like they need to seem smarter, or be "good" (like goody-good), or be very careful around me. INFPs may inadvertently make people walk on eggshells by doing nothing at all. When you're acting with integrity to your feelings, it's guilt-inducing to others & when you're a blank page, they'll project onto you also. Just as we project our self-criticisms onto others, they project their paranoias onto us too, which is easy to do when we're quiet & appear to have high standards in moral/ethical/aesthetic areas.

    The vulnerability & energy of emoting is very hard for me, but it has greatly increased the positive responses to me socially & personally. I still have a long way to go.... didn't check your instincts Scott, but I suspect you're so-dom instinct in egram. I see why you & @Southern Kross have more of frustration here.

    I'm more likely to make a thread whining about being less romantically attractive than, well, everyone. I only took note of my so blind spot when it dawned on me it was interfering with attracting people romantically.

    In either case, people get a sense we think we're too good for them or anything really, takes ourselves too seriously, etc, and they reject us to take us down a notch. Internally we have the opposite dialogue going, which is why we hold back. But then it's that self-fulfilling prophecy.


    In general, in my opinion, of the ENFP's I've seen and met, ENFP's do a much better job of "putting themself out there" than do INFP's. I spoke elsewhere before, and OA concurred, that one thing I sorta envy about ENFP's is that us INFP's will say something, perhaps somewhat odd or out there, and people seem to see us as "prickly" or something and act likes its a big deal and undesirable. Then we see an ENFP say the same thing, or something similar, or something even stronger than what we said, and its like people all smile and take them gently and are like "your so creative and interesting and enthusiastic" or whatnot.
    It's true... I got called "weird" a lot also growing up, but with ENFPs, it's energetic weird, like OUT THERE. With INFPs, it's intense weird, which registers as creepy to people. I was the girl people were like, "that girl is so weird" and sometimes people would say I was a lesbian because to kids weird=gay. Being so last, I had a way of dealing with it that reminds me of Andy Warhol's way of dealing with critics - I'd agree with a lot of it. "You're so weird!" - "Yes I am". "You're such a loser!" - "Yes, that's true." I didn't make apologies. I'm not saying to be defensive like this (because it's a defensive reaction), but sometimes just OWN your undesirability & devalue the judgement. YOU decide what's valuable. Since extroverts tend to adapt their gauge of value to the external, they may just be swayed.

    I've always dressed kind of offbeat, inappropriately at times, and people like it because I'm unapologetic. I get like 99% positive feedback. I think the biggest issue can be not liking yourself & apologizing through your demeanor for existing. Then people are swayed by this in their judgment of you.

    I would actually say I envy my e9 INFP friends more because they come off less intense & creepy. I have an INFP e9 friend I've gotten quite close to that past few years & I feel like I literally watch her "merge" with people before my eyes. Her resentment seems to be going unnoticed in a different way. I don't think she feels "off putting" the way I do. Instead of feeling invisible, I really feel like I'm repelling or driving people away with some force field I'm unaware is there. I look "untouchable". I've had to & still need to work on being approachable & appearing as if I can be "moved".

    When you appear to be resistant to being moved, people resist being moved by you. It's like they don't want to give that satisfaction.
    Conversely, if you come across as apologetic (which my e9 friend has trouble with), then people believe what you're saying is not valuable.
    ENFPs are communicating more clearly with non-verbal signals, even if they can sometimes be less articulate in their actual words & phrasing.

    Look, I just heard an appropriate song lyric coming from an ISFP - Julian Casablanca of the Strokes: "I say the right thing, but act the wrong way".

    I think it's Van Der Hoop who says Ji-dom are contrasted with an inner security but outward appearance of insecurity. Jung basically describes this as a chip in the shoulder. This creates the pendulum swinging between appearing dismissive of others or apologetic for existing. You can appear confident AND receptive to others without copping an ENFP demeanor.

    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.
    Yes...

    Quote Originally Posted by Marmotini View Post
    Not since Simulated World posted on Personality Nation that Jon Stewart is probably an INFP.
    I'd say he's ENFP....but he's a performer, so....

    It made me realize that a lot of the people who self-type as INFP might just be depressed teenagers.
    But this is true. Something to consider - from my observations anyway, more people initially type INFP & change to something else than vice versa. And there are stats out there which very much suggest depressed people type INFP, for whatever reason.

    It's funny to me, because when depressed, I type INTP (and probably seem a bit like a disgruntled STJ). When I'm feeling good, liking who I am, being what I see as me (which is my ego, right?), then I'm more likely to test INFP & appear as one.

    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.
    The internet gives very narrow & often contradicting ideas of how types appear. There is a LITTLE truth in their caricatures though.

    The main difference between those two is fame & looks - outward ways to measure value. The difference between Johnny Depp & an INFP e4 male is just that. Both are equally creepy, but it looks mysteriously sexy & creative when packaged by cheekbones & smoldering eyes & a lot of critical acclaim & success as an actor. (The nice, gentle, eager guy who is a people-pleasing doormat is an ISFJ stereotype often misapplied to INFP...don't get me started on people confusing Si & Fi).

    Some of the comments here are basically saying INFP strengths are often not measured in Te ways (fitting some quantifiable measurement) or Se ways (tangible). The strengths have to manifest in those ways or they're overlooked & devalued, even if they are contributing significantly. The most obvious thing is "does it make money?", which is why a lot of INFPs hate money so much. You get a stubbornness to not translate a strength into money making because there are often compromises in integrity. I've seen ISFPs get stuck there also though.

    The feeling that I'd need to be extraordinary to have significance has been discouraging. This is some e4 stuff also though... I resent people who get to be ordinary and still seen as significant & having something of worth to contribute.

    I think a question here is, what are the unique strengths of the ordinary INFP, not the extraordinary ones. We know extraordinary INFPs are cream of the crop (William Shakespeare, Kurt Cobain, Audrey Hepburn, Van Gogh, etc), but most of us are just regular people.

    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    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.
    This is what I was getting at with the being taken seriously thing (and the resentment some ENFPs had towards me over it). But I think some of the INFPs in this thread feel they have not been taken seriously either.... and online, the type is not, even if individuals are (I feel taken seriously!).

    the more information an INFP can put out into the external realm, the better socially received by extraverts they will be.
    Yes, it reduces the misunderstandings which can lead to dismissal or outright rejection that I elaborated on above.

    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.
    The intensity is there without direct expression (the suffocating air). As I mentioned above, this might be some 4 vs 9 stuff too. I imagine 6 & 5 INFPs may have the 5s being creepier & 6s being more palatable over all.

    People are put-off by the intensity too.... witness the "what drives INFPs crazy about INFJs thread". It's too raw & it hits people's nerves. They focus on their own discomfort over any message. ENFPs may not interpret INFPs this way though; this is likely why I usually get along with them.

    I think it's Van Der Hoop who says the feeling of the Fi-dom is often very refined & correct, but the manner it's conveyed is often inappropriate & offensive even, & so one of the biggest problems for the type is constant misunderstanding with others over it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post
    I do remember reading something Jung said on the subject, like you mentioned, but I can't recall the details. What was it exactly?
    Jung also said that while Fi is harder to express than Ti (oooh yeah, we're the most subjective), it's possible because of the great inner similarities of humans, much like their great outer similarities (ie. the physical body). I think recognizing that what we feel is HUMAN, a part of a human experience that goes beyond ourselves as individuals, allows us to see our own value clearer & then we're more confident to express the feeling. Because we understand & identify meaning in these human experiences like no other type. When we highlight this meaning, it clarifies for others what is truly important to their human experience also. So Jung says in order to do this, we have to hit others' feelings in a way that they experience the feeling we feel. Obviously, emotion is a tool for this. But direct expression is hard for Fi-dom, which is why we channel it into creative things which affect others. Ne for us is useful to explore avenues of expression, ways we bring the meaning to light so that others can see it & we get to experience it outside of our heads. It's not about a Ne demeanor... it's the thinking applied to finding outlets for Fi, IMO. Profiles mention INFPs being "quiet forces". We're not telling so much as showing, and when we do tell, we have to show a bit of emotion to strike others with the significance in a way that's not self-righteous or apologetic. Fe types know how emotion is a communication tool, it adds clarity, not noise. Fe types know their emotion adds WEIGHT to their argument; it doesn't detract. I think I've learned more from them than ENFPs.

    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.
    Then we have to seek out contexts to communicate in our preferred style or do what we really don't want to do - prepare & practice ahead of time. ENFPs have trouble with the latter but find it easier to improvise as you note. I'm pretty good at BS improvising if the environment is small & I'm not feeling shy. I don't think I've always been that way.

    I'd work on identifying what is your real personality & what is social anxiety. I'm still quite shy, but it has lessened with age & so stuff like improvising in communication is easier. The confidence problems we have can stem from past experiences of being told we're weird, we're losers, we make no sense, we have no feelings (when we feel a LOT) - general invalidation. And we internalize it a lot deeper than ENFPs, IMO, because they use Ne to reframe in the delightfully delusional way N-doms do. It could do us good to "re-frame" more.

    I know what you mean though. I do GREAT with one-on-one teaching, but couldn't see myself translating that energy to a classroom. When I was sub-teaching, I had more of a calming influence on kids & improvised well as far as adapting, but I was not engaging in the way I can be in a one-on-one setting.
    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)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

  7. #57
    Senior Member pinkgraffiti's Avatar
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    can i play devil's advocate here: why do you care? why do you (INFP's) want to express those things you have internally to the world outside you? why do you care about external confirmation of your value? why isn't knowing your valuable good enough?

    i'm asking you these questions because i'm really playing devil's advocate here: it's months that i try to convince my INFP gf that she has something to give to the world and that she should do something with her talent, while she seems to be half lazy and replies with "why should i care? i just want to have a simple life with the people i love around me".

    PS: I'm loving the discussion here, especially the last segment between skylights and southernkross, you guys make me feel understood...

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    You know a particularly annoying trait I've noticed among ENFPs (twice in the last two days)?

    Complaining that their social skills are/were awful, how awkward they are/were, how they were outcasts, etc.

    It's like listening to every supermodel complain about how they were such awkward and gangly teens.

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    ENFPs are at the pinnacle of greatness. INFPs are at rock-bottom. I'm not biased either, because no way in hell am I an xNFP! A lot of people have called me an xSTP, which is the exact functional opposite, so ya, if I say ENFP is at a much higher plane of being than INFP, thy will I hold inside be done.

  10. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    The writing bit might be a stereotype to some extent, but I'd like nothing more than to make a living at home and be a novelist.
    you too, huh?

    I've come to the reality that I don't know if I have the discipline to write a novel, I don't know what that's about. I can write every day, all day long, and I got burnt out pretty fast in college writing papers of what other people wanted me to write about what they wanted me to see in someone else's work, but it's almost like I'm intimidated by the idea of actually filling in all the details of the novel.

    I think this is a self-imposed issue, I don't know what it's about, but I really should address it. Or maybe I should just try to write a collection of short stories with all of my ideas, characters, and experiences, but short stories are actually harder to sell, you have to make a real impact with short stories.


    I don't think INFPs have better writing skills than me, and there are plenty of SP writers. I do however wonder if they have more discipline in finishing all the details because of tertiary Si.

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