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Thread: INFP vs INFJ

  1. #151
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttanzkel View Post
    When I read the thread title i imagined the two types against each other in a boxing ring. that's just an imagination tho
    i've being told that actually happens here like 3 times a year or so.

    you'd think it would be sexier

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mane View Post
    i've being told that actually happens here like 3 times a year or so.

    you'd think it would be sexier
    I guess neither type likes to be pigeon-holed by the other. I'll be curious to see whether any INFJs agree with my characterization of them, in my post above.

    As for "sexy," I can't really help you there.

  3. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    As for "sexy," I can't really help you there.
    sure you can - just be the first to grab a pillow or jump into the mud tub.

  4. #154
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    I think what you say here makes a lot of sense. Noticing just how many INFJs and INFPs experience confusion about type, I've been noticing a number of conflicting descriptions for both the Ni-Fe dynamics and the Fi-Ne. The concept of singularity of vision or values has been used to describe both and seeing values and ideas from multiple perspectives has been used to describe both.

    Is it possible that there is a continuum between multiple perspectives/flexibility and singularity of vision or values that can apply to both, but are nuanced a little differently? Both Ni and Fi in particular seem to have conflicting descriptions which causes a lot of confusion. For example, Ni is definitely described as singularity of vision and core concepts, etc. in many descriptions, but in others it is this extremely abstract, inexplicable, experiential, almost transcendental concept that is based on broad, flexible, and multiple perspectives.

    Based on observations there are INFJs with a unique, singular vision that impose their ideas and expectations into the concrete world. There are also INFJs that are broad, flexible, and almost transcendental in their relationship to reality. Also there are INFPs that have certain values that are expressed as quite fixed, and others that have that lightness and adaptability. It makes me wonder if there is a lot of misunderstanding and mistyping, or if there are significant subcategories of both INFJ and INFP that are not addressed in these theories?
    It's similar until you get down to the details. Example:

    I think Ni seeks multiple perspectives but plays each, individually, all the way through with the big picture in mind. It's choosing between different completely outlined alternative theories. It's sort of like the different theories cosmologists have of the universe - like string theory or the theory of the 'multiverse' etc. If you accept a theory as true, you can't really accept others, as it dramatically repositions everything else in relation to it. It's like choosing between several different pathways that lead in very different directions.

    The Ne version of multiple perspectives aren't played out to their ends at all. It goes detail by detail and really doesn't consider what each choice could mean in the larger scheme in the same way Ni does. It's more like a mindmap with endless sprawling options, which may have many different combinations or permutations involved without any incongruence. It's more about acknowledging and going over the different possibilities, and eliminating the less likely ones. Ne tends to believe that the big picture (and the pathway) will naturally fall into place if you get each individual step right.

    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    Ni-doms are always plotting the path to Nirvana, but they’re often not really clear on what Nirvana actually looks like. As a perceiving function, Ni is a churning, strategizing process, so it’s more about figuring out ways for getting from point A to point B. Ni-doms know that Nirvana is a good place to reach, but they’re more focused on finding just the right path(s) to get there and haven’t really thought as much about what the final destination actually looks like. As a result, Ni-doms tend to be the victims of the “law of unintended consequences.” They achieve their goal brilliantly, but it may bring down on their heads a host of consequences that they didn’t intend (and/or are contrary to their goal).

    Fi-doms, on the other hand, can clearly see Nirvana but are a little fuzzy about how to actually get there. As a judging function, Fi is a model-making process. Fi-doms come up with ideal models for living life; they may even implement those ideals in their own lives. But they often have trouble explaining their ideal models to others. If they try, they may come off as patronizing or simply nonsensical. They can explain how they live, but often in a straightjacket fashion: If you want to *be* like me, then you have to *do* like me.” They put a lot of thought into creating a coherent model or ideal for living life, but they often haven’t put much thought into how to get from point A to point B, i.e., how to make the journey sensible to others around them.
    Excellent summary. The basics are: Ni-doms are focussed on the journey and Fi-doms are focussed on the destination.

    This comes back to previous threads where it became clear that INFJs like to see the cause and effect. They like to draw a line between two points to see where we started and where we are meant to end up. These can be based around ideas, choices, modes of communication etc, but regardless, they are consciously decided ahead of time with the intention of 'closing the circles' they start. In this sense, in their eyes there are no accidents or mistakes; only poor choice of start or end points. INFPs OTOH find the insistence on doing this to be bizarre, boring, if not annoying. To us it's the "blah, blah, blah" bit you skim over in the middle of things that you really don't want to have to explain or go into - either because it's 'readily apparent' (to us) and dull to go over, or because it's not yet certain and it's not that central to the overall gist of things (in our opinion). INFPs just follow the ideas down the rabbit hole and invite others to contribute and explore with them, rather than seeking and sticking to deliberate goals. To INFJs, however it's crucial to see how things fit together, the start and end point, in order to get the gist of things. From what I gather, they see INFPs as fuzzy on the details, neglectful in their 'choices' (I put it like that because INFPs don't always see it as choice ) and carelessly/recklessly/obnoxiously/stupidly oblivious of the things they set in motion.

    INFPs instead have a clear intuitive sense of how things are, or could/should be (as Fineline put it, an internal model). We find the destination by playing the hot/cold game - we wander back and forth, reviewing and distilling the signs we receive in attempt discern which direction to go; moving closer to the end goal one step at a time. This means they can be very blunt and adamant about something being "wrong"; not because they are passing judgement of the person who said it, but because they are responding to the internal 'sense of direction' which tells them the trail is simply colder in that direction. INFJs on the OTOH see all this as aimless wandering about and struggle to figure out what they point of all of that is. They want things to get moving and don't understand why INFPs are busy nitpicking over seemingly indiscernible differences. They think the INFPs are too quick to judge things as simply "wrong", especially when they fail to fully explain why or provide useful alternatives. Besides the fact that it is seen as rude that INFPs appear to force their judgements on others and expect they should just agree with them; INFJs prefer to discuss and explore the options with others before making a decision. However, the INFPs find the little differences very significant and enlightening - they need to wander a bit to find the trail that leads them where they want to go. They don't see themselves as being rigid, evasive or rude either - they only think they are following the call in their hearts to something great and don't realise how it might impact others.

    Feel free to correct me if any of this seems inaccurate.
    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. #155
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttanzkel View Post
    When I read the thread title i imagined the two types against each other in a boxing ring. that's just an imagination tho
    It goes something like this...
    INFJ: (wallops INFP)
    INFP: Ouch! That kinda hurt
    INFJ: Oh dear, I'm really sorry.
    INFP: (Boofs INFJ on the nose)
    INFJ: Hey, why did you do that?
    INFP: So sorry, did that actually hurt?
    Etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    Sorry, I’m coming in late on this debate as usual, and I’ve only read the last couple pages.

    Ni-doms are always plotting the path to Nirvana, but they’re often not really clear on what Nirvana actually looks like. As a perceiving function, Ni is a churning, strategizing process, so it’s more about figuring out ways for getting from point A to point B. Ni-doms know that Nirvana is a good place to reach, but they’re more focused on finding just the right path(s) to get there and haven’t really thought as much about what the final destination actually looks like. As a result, Ni-doms tend to be the victims of the “law of unintended consequences.” They achieve their goal brilliantly, but it may bring down on their heads a host of consequences that they didn’t intend (and/or are contrary to their goal). As they say, "The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry." ...

    To me, Ni and Fi are worlds apart. Ni-dom makes INFJs cousin of INTJs, with that same intensity of strategizing and planning/plotting; whereas Fi-dom makes INFPs cousins of ISFPs, with their individuality of self-expression.
    This could be right. Pairing the types with their cousins is helpful, and I know for myself INTJs have at times said they think I'm one of them. I hung out on the INTJ forum for a while and liked how they approached relationship discussions, but found the approach to politics to have more tunnel vision and focusing on first order effects moreso than I expected.

    My impression of applied MBTI theory is that Ni is either multifaceted in expressing itself very differently between individuals, or possibly that many INTJs and INFJs are actually ISTJs and ISFJs. It just seems like there are not that many people, even online, that really go for the abstract, intangible ideas. I know "idea space" well and there are not really all that many people who hang out there compared to what I'm familiar with - but my impression might be way off. Probably the most accurate way to say it is that there are Ni-doms who are only a little abstract (something between Si and Ni, like Sni-doms), but only a few that are waaaaay off in abstract land.

    I think INJs do plan out their paths carefully, and the actual Ni-doms I know tend to have contingency plans. I always have several. I don't know what "Nirvana" looks like, but I personally care about what it looks like, and have spent long hours in nature letting go of self and feeling that oneness with everything. I've done that since age 13. One aspect I notice with Ni is this desire to go outside of Self. I *think* Ni-doms are drawn to philosophy and concepts of "everything". Astronomy appeals to me because of its enormity and that self of losing Self into the vast expanse. Even though I don't know what "Nirvana" looks like or even what exists, there is a sense still that it is home. I feel like my plans tend to be related to the outside world and are pragmatic in nature, while my sense of "Nirvana" and the path there is more fluid. I don't know how others would relate to what you have said.

    My impression of INFPs is that their sense of the internal would be based on going deep inside "Self" as opposed to going outside and letting go of the boundary of Self.

    Edit: I mentioned my plans tend to be externally pragmatic in terms of dealing with people, but my career plans have been as extremely lacking in pragmatism. I choose between music composition, astronomy, and philosophy - cool ideas, almost zero money or chance at a stable career.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  6. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    I think INJs do plan out their paths carefully, and the actual Ni-doms I know tend to have contingency plans. I always have several.
    That sounds very Ni-dom.

    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    I don't know what "Nirvana" looks like, but I personally care about what it looks like, and have spent long hours in nature letting go of self and feeling that oneness with everything. I've done that since age 13. One aspect I notice with Ni is this desire to go outside of Self. [...]
    At this point, I think you’re misunderstanding me. I probably shouldn’t have used the term “Nirvana.” By “Nirvana” I simply meant one’s own particular goal or personal ideal. I didn’t mean the literal philosophical/religious concept of Nirvana. Also, I wasn’t really talking about “oneness” or going outside of/inside of Self.

    Let me put it this way. In a recent post, you said:

    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    Thinking clearly is the primary motivation for me because without that, there is nothing else that I feel has any certainty.

    Having a pure empathy for other creatures is a strong one as well, but I see it as related to the first because it also requires clarity about an aspect of reality. I wouldn't want to mistake personal projection for empathy, or another warped set of assumptions. My desire is fundamentally to think clearly, or rather to see clearly from the vantage point of another, so that I can be connected and show meaningful compassion. There is no connection without comprehension.

    I long to grow and to help others grow to reach their potential and attain a pure sense of self and a sense of meaning in their accomplishment.

    Inner peace is something I long for, but I have more trouble knowing how to work towards reaching that state. I wouldn't want to feel peace as the result of a warped sense of self or my environment. I'd rather have fear and anxiety if it is accurate thinking, but would ideally like to reach a state of inner peace as a result of clarity.

    I think that sums it up pretty well for me.
    My response is: Why? What is gained by clarity of thought? Exactly where will you be or what will you have gained when you achieve these things? I don’t deny that these are worthy things to work on. Any kind of increased mental acuity is great. But what specific goal or “Nirvana” will you have achieved once you develop these particular traits? What will it cost you? What will you sacrifice along the way? What trade-offs are you making along the way?

    These questions all feed into my main concern as an INFP: What will the model look like at the end? Exactly what "Nirvana" have you reached, and what did it cost you?

    When an INFJ posits a theme or a strategy, I guess it’s supposed to be self-evident that this is “a good thing.” But as an INFP, I’m left scratching my head. Why that particular goal and not some other equally noble-sounding goal?

    Contrast how INFPs tackle problems and set goals:

    As Southern Kross pointed out, INFPs flail about aimlessly until our Ne notices an interesting paradigm in the world around us that *works* or *brings about an interesting result*.

    For example, we start with a problem in our head, and let it percolate in the back of our minds while we randomly look at paradigms. Suddenly we recognize a paradigm in the outer world that seems a good fit for our problem.

    The emphasis is on figuring out what *works*. Ne operates in the outer world, so the *result* of any particular paradigm is right in front of us in real time. If it’s a good or interesting result, we can then incorporate it into our Fi models.

    I’m sure you’ve read some of my posts offering advice: “So you’re having a problem with shyness? No problem! There are lots of self-help books on overcoming shyness! Here let me walk you through a simple exercise...”

    That’s the INFP way: Lot of various Fi models or “Nirvanas” in our heads: Fi models for overcoming shyness, Fi models for having more self-confidence, Fi models for gaining self-esteem, Fi models for being more empathetic, Fi models for being whimsical, etc. Give me a problem, and I’ll give you an Fi “Nirvana” (solution) that will bring your life to a whole new level.

    Fi is all very model-oriented, and results are very describable. If someone questions whether the goal is a good one, then I’ll tend to fight for it: I believe in my Fi models.

    The problem is clarifying the process by which I created or adopted the model, so that others can adopt the model too.

    ******

    The above post may be a little incoherent; I typed quickly. Also, I may be putting you on the spot by using an old post of yours to make my point. If so, I apologize.

    If you want, I can dig up an INFJ-sounding essay from an outside source and show how the strategy is laid out in great detail, but there’s little or no spelling-out of what exactly is to be the end result of this journey or even why that particular goal is to be desired.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    If you want, I can dig up an INFJ-sounding essay from an outside source and show how the strategy is laid out in great detail, but there’s little or no spelling-out of what exactly is to be the end result of this journey or even why that particular goal is to be desired.
    Oh well, I went ahead and dug up that essay.

    Here is a college commencement speech that has been making the rounds lately. It’s pretty long, but it’s brilliant writing. It was by David Foster Wallace. I don’t believe that his type is known, but the INFJs at PersC claim him as their own, and I would agree with them:

    http://moreintelligentlife.com/story...-his-own-words

    In the speech, DFW argues very persuasively for a kind of universal empathy, to the point of self-abnegation. Fine so far. But he never really spells out why it’s good or where it takes you; to me, he just seems to treat it as a self-evident truth that it’s a good thing. I can only see one paragraph that might describe the end result:

    “The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.”

    Frankly, it’s not much of a Nirvana. Like most proponents of paradise and perfection, DFW finds it hard to say what’s at the end. All he knows how to do is describe the negatives of the world around him and maybe steer others on the path of self-denial that he himself has chosen.

    Furthermore, I have to ask if he has really calculated all the consequences of his philosophy. Self-denial is good up to a point, but I believe in balance in all things. There are also times to be a little greedy and self-centered, if only for one’s own emotional health. You can’t always be about the other guy. You need balance.

    So again, I find myself scratching my head. DFW's speech sounds great, and it’s put together masterfully. But I still have trouble seeing the end result, and in fact I find the one-sidedness of it a little scary. Again, I'm just reflecting my INFP way of seeing things: I'm looking for the Fi model at the end, and I'm not seeing it...

  8. #158
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    I’m sure you’ve read some of my posts offering advice: “So you’re having a problem with shyness? Easily solved! Read a self-help book on overcoming shyness! Here let me demonstrate how it works...”

    That’s the INFP way: Lot of various Fi models or “Nirvanas” in our heads: Fi models for overcoming shyness, Fi models for having more self-confidence, Fi models for gaining self-esteem, Fi models for being more empathetic, Fi models for being whimsical, etc. Give me a problem, and I’ll give you an Fi “Nirvana” (solution) that will bring your life to a whole new level.

    Fi is all very model-oriented, and results are very describable. If someone questions whether the goal is a good one, then I’ll tend to fight for it: I believe in my Fi models.
    @ purple: And I've got a lot of self-help books!

    The fundament is this need to assimilate as much data on the topic and then apply it to see what works and what doesn't work. The models you speak of I think. Our INFP issue is in where the rubber meets the road - in the actual doing of the stuff that constitutes these ideal models of the mind and heart.

    @bold: Your posts do align with stuff percolating in my mind on the topic of differences between the types.

    Fi-Ne is about many truths leading to a coherent desination. We see plenty of individual truths along the way, and recognize there may be ultimately one truth, and that this truth itself might be that there is no truth at all. (As an aside, what resonates most with me is that there is one truth but many paths that can lead to this ultimate destination.)

    Ni-Fe is about finding the one truth I think. Synthesizing every diverse person-thing into one model, one wholeness, one giant system where everything just fits and it works. This desire and need to create a cogent, workable and harmonious vision where everything flows. eta: the essence of god, of how the cogs all turn in sequence to provide ultimate meaning to the entire workings.

    eta: To me, not everything needs to fit. Some stray things here and there don't bother me much. In fact, it seems normal and feels ok that not everything fits. Maybe that's what makes it fit. I can be comfortable with not knowing why.

    This seems to explain why, when it comes to data, that INFP is too accepting at times and INFJ too selective - INFP's don't want to prematurely weed anything out, thus entertaining fools, and INFJ's can seem too quick to discard what inconveniently messes with the model, thus appearing prematurely dismissive.
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
    Eleanor Roosevelt


    "When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad."
    Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

  9. #159
    Junior Member ttanzkel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    It goes something like this...
    INFJ: (wallops INFP)
    INFP: Ouch! That kinda hurt
    INFJ: Oh dear, I'm really sorry.
    INFP: (Boofs INFJ on the nose)
    INFJ: Hey, why did you do that?
    INFP: So sorry, did that actually hurt?
    Etc.
    lol

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    Maybe that's what gets under Fi skin - this Ni need to make everything fit in the model. Maybe it doesn't all fit. Who's truth is the ultimate trump card?
    "Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one."
    Eleanor Roosevelt


    "When people see some things as beautiful,
    other things become ugly.
    When people see some things as good,
    other things become bad."
    Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

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