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Thread: INFP vs INFJ

  1. #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by the state i am in View Post
    well, both types are introverted, so we're both working from memory a lot.

    when we try to get back into the moment, j types exert a great deal of effort in making good predictions about what will happen. p types invest harder in getting a feel for what has just happened. obviously we both have to do both processes, but we privilege one aspect over the other. we see one process way better than the other, reshaping the other through our own privileged orientation/habits.

    i think standuble mentioned that he doesn't feel like he knows what is objectively best, so he presumably operates with another set of subjective ethics about how to properly act given that, say, you don't think it's right for anyone to just assume they objectively know best. you don't get to direct. you must be willing to respond to whatever arises.

    j types, by contrast, are trying to make predictions in order to prioritize values, offering a much more active kind of troubleshooting. they look to consider, and expect others to also assume a high degree of consideration of what an action might mean after it has been transmitted through layers of interpretative filters.

    p types can get stuck in naive realism, j types can get stuck in the vicious circularities of tautological thinking. and our shadow sides are flip-flopped. again, either type can fixate quite easily, and we're both already outdated all the damn time because we're so memory-driven.

    the worst thing is that sometimes we construct such elaborate ways to emulate the other experience, rather than just feeling it out in its own terms. that takes so much damn practice to first notice our own habits, and then create space for something else to happen. staying with experience, with consequences, is not easy for me. it's a kind of submission to my own experience and to the fact that my experience is not entirely under my control. given that i have also not mastered focusing my experience and guiding my own attention in the most productive ways i can, this seems like letting go of almost all control. including the desire for emotional harmony, positivity, and good feeling, the embodied ends of value as we experience it, and the desire to change whatever is happening to reach a higher level of this essentialized goal. and letting go control is certainly letting go of all precedent, given that the precedents i have practiced, the highest learning i have constructed, exists primarily in an intentional system, a prediction system, a verification attempt of what is expected when i guess the meaning that will best affect the situation. we identify with what circulates between the characters rather than the characters themselves. when we identify with a person, we identify with what circulates within them rather than the substance of them as a separate thing, and with what it is like to be a separate thing. our experience is less central, our sensory separateness is less central.

    both types benefit from slowing down their emotional interpretations and working on neutrally describing the sensations of emotion first, so they take ownership of their own experience and allow that to work its way into their awareness of the moment, what is happening both internally and externally.
    Good post with a lot of good points. I think a lot of it is explained by the interaction between the Dominant function and the Auxiliary function.

    Let me contrast how it works in INFPs and INFJs separately. INFPs first:

    As you pointed out, the Dominant function of INFPs (Fi-Dom judging/model-making) operates internally, in isolation, away from the world. Meantime, the Auxiliary function of INFPs (Ne-Aux perceiving/churning) serves as the bridge running between the isolated, inner world of Fi-Dom and the outside real world.

    Traffic on Ne-Aux bridge can run in two directions: Both inward from the real world to the isolated Fi-Dom, and also outward from the isolated Fi-Dom out to the real world. Most INFPs are fairly good at using the outward direction. That is, Fi-Dom is the INFP’s most powerful function, so Fi-Dom commandeers the Ne-Aux bridge and uses it to project Fi-Dom outward into the world. What does that mean? It means that Fi-Dom uses the Ne-Aux bridge to look for examples and paradigms in the outer world to supplement the pre-existing internal models of Fi-Dom and/or to act in the outside world according to internal Fi-Dom models (act whimsical, be empathetic, be quirky, etc.)

    The above paragraph concerns the *outward” direction of the Ne-Aux bridge. By contrast, many INFPs don’t use the *inward* direction of the Ne-Aux bridge as much as they should. That is, they don’t take in raw information about the world around them. The INFP's internal Fi-Dom models are sometimes so powerful that the Fi-Dom function blocks out any info that might conflict with the models. The INFP acts oblivious or disdainful of the world around him and only uses the Ne-Aux bridge in the manner described in the previous paragraph, that is, *outwardly* to confirm his pre-existing prejudices. As a result, the isolated Fi-Dom doesn’t get any inflow of new info. Fi-Dom becomes a stagnant pool, cut off from new flows of fresh info.

    The solution to the latter problem, of course, is to open up to new info from the surrounding world: To look around with an open mind and consider new ways of doing things. But that can feel threatening to the INFP; there’s the risk that the existing internal inventory of Fi-Dom models might be trashed by the new info, resulting in the need to build new Fi-Dom models in their place. That’s a lot of work.

    But if the INFP wants to stay in tune with the world around him, he has to remain open to new ideas and test out his old Fi-Dom models against new ideas from the outside world and update the old Fi-Dom models as necessary. He has to work to open up the *inward* direction of the Ne-Aux perceiving/churning bridge and let the traffic come barreling in from the outside world at full speed. No more blocking out the world around him.

    Here’s a website that describes this process in more detail: http://www.personalitypage.com/html/INFP_per.html

    INFJs work similarly, but with some additional twists.

    The Dominant function of INFJs (Ni-Dom perceiving/churning) operates internally, in isolation, away from the world. Meantime, the Auxiliary function of INFJs (Fe-Aux judging/model-making) serves as a gate between the isolated, inner world of Ni-Dom and the outside real world.

    Information can flow past the Fe-Aux function of INFJs in two directions: Both inward from the real world to the isolated Ni-Dom, and also outward from the isolated Ni-Dom out to the real world. Meantime, Fe-Aux works kind of like a guard at a gate, checking to see if incoming info is suitable for churning, and then packaging up outgoing info into appropriate Fe models for use in the outside world.

    Most INFJs are fairly good at using the *outward* direction. That is, Ni-Dom is their most powerful function, so Ni-Dom commandeers the Fe-Aux gatekeeper and uses it to project Ni-Dom outward into the world. What does that mean? It means that Ni-Dom uses Fe-Aux to look for examples and paradigms in the outer world to supplement the pre-existing material that Ni-Dom is currently churning and/or to act in the outside world according to what’s being churned by Ni-Dom.

    Unfortunately, many INFJs don’t use the *inward* direction of the Fe-Aux gatekeeper function as much as they should. That is, they don’t take in raw information about the world around them. The Ni-Dom churning is such a labor-intensive function that an unrestricted flow of new information would disrupt its operation. I have heard Ni-Dom compared to a matrix or spider’s web. Elements that are being churned are put into a pattern, examined, then rearranged into new patterns. To disturb one item is to disturb the matrix or web as a whole. So the process can seem rather delicate or fragile.

    So the Fe-Aux gatekeeper is used to block out any info that might disrupt the ongoing churning process. The INFJ acts oblivious or disdainful of the world around him and only uses the Fe-Aux gatekeeper to check info for suitability, IOW, to confirm what is already being churned. As a result, the isolated Ni-Dom may be cut off from inflow of new info. Ni-Dom becomes a trash-compactor, churning the same old decaying material endlessly, cut off from new inflows of fresh info.

    The solution to the latter problem, of course, is to open up to new info from the surrounding world: To open up the Fe-Aux gate and consider new ways of doing things. But that can feel threatening; there’s the risk that the existing churning mechanism will be overwhelmed by the new info, resulting in the need to work out new ways to process info. That’s a lot of work.

    But if the INFJ wants to stay in tune with the world around him, he has to remain open to new ideas and test out his old Ni-Dom churning mechanisms against new ideas from the outside world and update the old Ni-Dom processing systems as necessary. He has to open up the *inward* direction of the Fe-Aux judging/model-making gatekeeper and let the info come crashing through at full speed. No more blocking out the world around him. (I think this is applicable to what you said in your post about letting go of control and connecting directly to the world around you.)

    Here’s a website that describes this process in more detail: http://www.personalitypage.com/html/INFJ_per.html

  2. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia View Post
    This is a clear description. All of your posts are fantastic in this thread, so it was hard to pick one, but just because I made a number of comments and questions about Ni, I'll have to say thanks for this clarification.
    Great! For whatever reason, I kind of see you as a "quintessential INFJ." So I'm interested in your feedback on my posts.

  3. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by decrescendo View Post
    Thanks for the concise explanation. I hadn't associated judging with model-making before, although of course it makes perfect sense.
    Good! Thanks for the feedback.

    Quote Originally Posted by decrescendo View Post
    Probably because empathy is what sets everything else into motion. First you have to care about the 200+ noble causes. That's essentially the point of most graduation speeches, right?
    Your reponse kind of confirms my point.

    In a nutshell, here’s our exchange:

    INFP says: ”I register DFW’s speech as Ni-Dom and perceiver-ish. One of the hallmarks of Ni-dom thinking is the idea that certain things are self-evident. The Ni-dom function churns so deeply and powerfully that Ni-Doms figure it's redundant to spell out all the steps they used to work out their theories. So DFW presents his thoughts on empathy in a loosey-goosey fashion, just the high points, and he acts like everything else should be self-evident.

    INFJ responds: Well, isn’t the rest of it self-evident?

    INFP says: That’s a typical Ni-Dom response. You’re making my point for me!

    Just for contrast, if you want an example of how an INFP might package up an emotional Fi-Dom “model” for presentation in the outside world, see my post on emotional bonds here: http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...=1#post2083650

    Some say that an Fi-Dom model looks similar to Ti. But it’s not really about logic; it’s about parsing how emotion works and how people interact.

  4. #184
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    The obvious thing is crazy-making for me sometimes because not only is stuff that is obvious to me sometimes not obvious to other people, but often stuff that is blindingly obvious to most people is not obvious to me. Age has helped with it some because I've had time to trip over a lot of common obvious things that everybody knows. There are still a lot more times when I get to be stupidly oblivious than times I get to be profound. Having one's sensing function on backwards is inconvenient.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    Great! For whatever reason, I kind of see you as a "quintessential INFJ." So I'm interested in your feedback on my posts.
    no - that has being discussed to death, and that sit is currently reserved to @Vasilisa with @the state i am in being a close second. i would say @fia is within the first 10 (in terms of proximity to the quintessential INFJ). while still a new runner, i have a guess that @LittleV might very well give them all a run for their money though.

  6. #186
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    DFW was INFJ? It was electrifying to me to read his books, because it seemed exactly to the tee the way my brain works. I loved that he was able to capture it on paper.

  7. #187
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    Quote Originally Posted by FineLine View Post
    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
    Thanks for posting this. I have a hard time grasping the differences between the types when people ramble on about cognitive functions but if I can see it in action I get it. I was on the same page with DFW (and I really like his writing, too) until he started going on and on about how 'you will all be working at these jobs and you will all have to drive to the grocery store, etc,' and then I paused and thought, "Why? Why must all of these people graduating live lives such as this? I highly doubt they will. Maybe some of them will have jobs where they work from home. Maybe some of them will live close to a little market that they can walk or bike to and maybe they will bring their own bags and they won't be using the plastic ones, and so on."

    And so it is like this-

    Fi- You can't tell me or anyone how they will live their lives. Everyone is different and has their own thing going on. Why must you include me in your little life lesson? And I already know that this lady who is yelling at her kid might have had a tough day. I mean, no shit. Doesn't everyone know this? How can other people not get that already? Why must you tell people that? How do people not live life with that sort of understanding?

    Ne- Things could be like this, or this, or this. The possibilities are more than you could ever imagine.


    It's been my experience that INFJs really like some external spirituality or feel like everyone needs this external sort of value system. I guess that's how extroverted judgment tends to be. I have a hard time getting this because my judgment, my values are so intrinsic to my being. I have had a hard time realizing/understanding that this isn't the case for everyone. It's taken me a long time to get why anyone would ever need or want religion or atheism or AA or whatever you have it, but it does seem to benefit some people, or at least they feel like they need it. And I guess that's why. I'm not saying this as a criticism of Fe (I know Fi can sound more harsh than is the intent at times), it's just a foreign cognitive function to me. I feel like I get Ni in a lot of ways, but I find Fe completely baffling.

  8. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by brainheart View Post
    Thanks for posting this. [...]
    Thanks for your feedback, brainheart. And I pretty much agree with your impression of DFW’s speech.

    By the way, I want to pick out one thing you said and nitpick on it a bit:

    Quote Originally Posted by brainheart View Post
    [...] I'm not saying this as a criticism of Fe (I know Fi can sound more harsh than is the intent at times), it's just a foreign cognitive function to me. I feel like I get Ni in a lot of ways, but I find Fe completely baffling.
    In the quote, you mention comparing Fi to Fe. But this thread is about comparing INFPs to INFJs, which means we’re comparing Fi-Doms to Ni-Doms. It’s kind of like comparing apples to oranges.

    If people really want to make Fi/Fe comparisons, then ideally one should do that in a thread comparing Fi-Doms to Fe-Doms: IOW there should be a thread comparing INFPs to ENFJs or comparing ISFPs to ESFJs.

    Getting back to INFJs, *theoretically* one could try to ignore the Ni-Dom influence and isolate and study their Fe-Aux in order to make Fi/Fe comparisons. But *in practice* I think it’s very difficult to filter out and ignore that intense Ni-Dom polemical factor that’s so prominent in INFJs.

    I know I’m being nitpickey here, but I wanted to take this opportunity to reiterate a point I made in an earlier post about INFJs being predominantly Ni. You said that you’re not really into the cognitive functions, but I think this is an example of where it really makes a difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mane View Post
    no - that has being discussed to death, and that sit is currently reserved to @Vasilisa with @the state i am in being a close second. i would say @fia is within the first 10 (in terms of proximity to the quintessential INFJ). while still a new runner, i have a guess that @LittleV might very well give them all a run for their money though.
    Lol. You have a good point about Vasilisa. As for the others, I don't know them that well--I've been taking a lot of breaks recently.

  10. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mane View Post
    no - that has being discussed to death, and that sit is currently reserved to @Vasilisa with @the state i am in being a close second. i would say @fia is within the first 10 (in terms of proximity to the quintessential INFJ). while still a new runner, i have a guess that @LittleV might very well give them all a run for their money though.
    lol
    Suddenly I feel like a horse in a race. I've considered other types and score high on both Fi and Ne, so it's okay if I'm not in the top 10. I'm not very quintessential "J".
    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)

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