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Thread: Ask an INFP

  1. #31
    Member unsomething's Avatar
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    First of all @answers thanks so much, sorry I have been a little busy but I didn't miss them! Will get to others.

    Quote Originally Posted by skylights View Post
    (Well, first a disclaimer: I might not be the best example of INFP versus ENFP. I am fairly ambiverted - INFPs are more commonly e4 and with a lower ranking for the Social variant - and while INFP was my first identification and I have returned to it, I also identified as ENFP for a while in between.)

    I'm glad if my answers are helpful, though.

    Anyway, I suspect just out of general experience that most INFx tend to go quickly from distant to close. I don't know exactly why... maybe something to do with instinct variant correlation... or maybe something to do with being reserved plus idealistic NF having a tendency to identify resonance in others and opening accordingly. I do agree with that pattern for INFPs oscillating between far and close.

    Regarding distance and rupture, I actually do think most people do care about me, or at the very least do not wish me harm. I don't think I've ever felt like anyone is intentionally out to get me. I would certainly believe someone who said they truly care about me and would never want to hurt me, and I would appreciate that sentiment very much. But, at the same time, I wouldn't just open myself up to them because they said that. If anything, it might put me a little on guard, because I think that we all unintentionally hurt others, and someone encouraging me to open up quickly again after being hurt would make me feel especially vulnerable.

    Actually... I am surprised that you seem to feel discomfort that they seem distant after being hurt - isn't that a rather natural response, to avoid what hurt you, and to be wary of whether it will hurt you again? At least personally, when I have felt hurt by others, it has often been because they treated me in a way that communicated a devaluation of me or the things important to me. As far as I understand it, I think they just decided other things were more important... which is fine in their personal sphere, but not okay if we're in a close relationship, because it means they're going to be willing to sacrifice my wellbeing for their preferences. So I won't get close with them again until it's established that they understand how they hurt me and until I trust them not to treat me like that again. Just telling me that they care doesn't demonstrate to me that they understand how and why they hurt me, though. A deep breakdown of what happened, what we both felt, and how we can prevent it in the future would go much farther with me - that, or time, yes. If they can show over time that they won't hurt me like that again, that can encourage me to get close again, too.

    Does that answer your questions adequately?

    PS I love love love your avatar!
    Thank you and thank you. This makes a lot of sense. I know what you mean about distant to close, definitely. It seems like when I do get close with INFPs it's like a switch is flipped and we both just relax.

    About being hurt... absolutely, I understand why I have hurt those people and respect the way they behaved in light of that... I just get sad that usually they were hurt by thinking I meant something that I didn't at all, and just immediately dropped whatever and pulled away. But it's always been because of me fumbling the wording and sounding like, exactly like you said, I was devaluing them, or something important to them. I have learned to abandon any stupid pride and just make the effort to talk it out, because I find that you guys are very forgiving as long as you realize I didn't mean what it sounded like.

    About genuinely thinking people care about you... gotcha. That is what I was trying to figure out earlier, that good nature, or whatever you would call it, but obviously was off the mark.

    I guess one major reason I struggle with this dynamic is that, honestly, I'm kind of needy. When we lose that harmony I get overwhelmed with insecurity. When I like someone pretty much the only thing that can make me dislike them is being told or shown that I'm not wanted, because go figure, I would feel intrusive caring excessively about someone who didn't want it, lol. So it's like I inadvertently hurt them... then they express being hurt in a way that hurts me... gah. I wish I could go back and save these friendships. It seems so petty in retrospect. But now I am in the habit of doing exactly what you said, realizing why I hurt them and expressing as quickly as possible that I didn't mean to/am sorry and talking it out. I only mentioned just flat out saying how much I care because I wish they already knew that when this stuff happens! *pouts*

    So yes that was very helpful. About the avatar, source is gemi @ pixiv
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  2. #32
    Member unsomething's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    No. None of it rings true, except a few vague spots which I'd heavily edit and clarify. I'm not a security-oriented person. I don't fear being "let down". My brain is somewhere else totally. I'm slightly misanthropic at times too, so I wouldn't say I "feel good about all people" in a personal way. However, I care about humankind.

    As a child, I had a repulsion to new people, disliking them almost immediately, but it was an annoyance at social expectations to adjust my state to others; as an adult, I experience it more as indifference. I push past that as I rationally know I should be polite, and sometimes I do desire to expand my social circle. I do like people more as I get closer to them; my affection certainly grows, as it generally starts with polite indifference.

    I generally always know how I feel about everything and am not caught by surprise with my own feelings. If I don't have a clear cut feeling, then I have a great indifference, so that I wouldn't care enough to be hurt/let down. I am not above being duped or shocked by someone else (those who claim they read others well are prime for duping), and I do prefer to give the benefit of the doubt, but personal taste (ie. "liking") is not the same to me as a moral evaluation of their character. Because of this, I am not usually caught by surprise that much if someone transgresses, but I also don't worry about it happening. In friendships/relationships, most hurt/betrayal was not a sudden shock so much as a slower process where my perceptions of them gradually changed as things became clearer.
    Okay, so would you say that the ultimate deal breaker with people is values or their character being too different/unacceptable to you?

    ...and/or that depends on their relation to you?

    Like, maybe you can like someone from afar, but you'd never want anything to do with them?

    In general, it looks like the biggest difference to what I posted is that it's not that people betray your trust, it's that they have to prove they are even worthy of it in the first place. Like, people can mistake your kindness for trusting them but that's just the standard treatment until you have real reasons to feel closer to someone.

    Because I am pretty clear on how I feel, my concerns tends to focus on how others are seeing me. My assumptions are heavily negative, thinking people dislike me, find me boring, etc. My problem is being interpreted poorly and judged negatively for it, and then I become paranoid about avoiding those misconceptions so that I become inhibited/unsure/awkward - and then I am judged negatively for it.
    I identify with this a lot, actually. If it's an intuition thing then I suspect the only difference is that I'm more certain (whether i'm actually right or not) of the awfulness of what i'm avoiding and what it is, so it's almost more like an OCD thing for me than a mild paranoia. There are some things with other people I just dig my heels in and refuse to do because I'm certain it won't look right. It's nice (well and not nice) to know that you can feel this type of thing too though... (sometimes Ji doms just seem so bulletproof to me with my own weaknesses, but I do know we're all human)

    It's partially because I am read so poorly so often that I extend benefit of the doubt to others. I don't tend towards final judgments unless someone really, really, really crosses a boundary, so instead I sort of have an impression of someone which is not static, and it adjusts over time, getting clearer and more detailed the more I am exposed to them. I think I deal with people in Ne terms (as evolving patterns with potential) over Fi valuations, as Fi is more about creating/refining value-concepts than applying judgment. Few people are counted as real friends to me, because they have to attain a level of significance to me as well as meeting certain ideals, and if they do that, then I am definitely clear cut on liking them.
    Very cool! So do you find that you get that Ne curiosity about people/imagine what they are like? Obviously NFPs are known for sometimes having a nosy streak. Ne thing?

    Thanks so much for sharing!!

  3. #33
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unsomething View Post
    Okay, so would you say that the ultimate deal breaker with people is values or their character being too different/unacceptable to you?

    ...and/or that depends on their relation to you?
    I think the issue here is that an INFP doesn't approach judgment like Je+Pi types do (ExxJ and IxxJ types). Ji is not judgment like Je. It's more about creating, exploring, and refining concepts of value (for Fi types), not applying value judgments that lead to action. I notice it's hard for J types to wrap their heads around this. If I were to make a comparison, then I'd say Fi is more like a compass and you go exploring in the general direction it points to, whereas Je reminds me of those maps which say "If Y, then proceed to X, but if N, then proceed to M".

    The few times I've ever cut someone off, it was because they disrespected me. I don't ask for agreement, just respect, and that's what I am willing to offer. If I cannot respect someone, then it's an issue of integrity for me to be friends with them; it's not sincere.

    I'm more tolerant than most people, and that's saying a lot, as I have high standards and am serious about keeping integrity. So most people will decide I am too different from their preferences long before I would ever decide that. I'm really comfortable with not agreeing, and I rather enjoy exploring different perspectives. I like intellectual debate and am not weirded out easily. Of course, respect is still in order.

    Like, maybe you can like someone from afar, but you'd never want anything to do with them?
    I rarely make this decision consciously. I tend to respond to things as they arise.
    If someone makes effort with me, then I respond to it or I ignore it. I don't experience it as making a decision, so it's hard for me to say I'd ever think in the way you're describing it.

    I will say that I don't feel compelled to invest a lot of emotional energy into most people, and so I may seem to hold them at arm's length, and I guess I am making some judgment that they don't have any potential to mean a lot to me. Some of this may be a matter of values, lifestyles, interests, etc.

    In general, it looks like the biggest difference to what I posted is that it's not that people betray your trust, it's that they have to prove they are even worthy of it in the first place. Like, people can mistake your kindness for trusting them but that's just the standard treatment until you have real reasons to feel closer to someone.
    I really don't like the phrasing "worthy of it", because as I think I noted before, I don't really apply a value judgment to someone and make a conscious decision regarding them. I can even feel like people always choose me and I simply respond to it, as if I don't ever actively choose someone and am not even able to. Over time, I may grow closer to someone through a natural response to who they are as it is revealed to me. Again, I don't experience it as a decision, but as a picture emerging, becoming clearer to me.

    At no point do I decide to be friends with someone or not - it feels like it just "happens" (I thought most people were this way...). It's very exploratory. With dating, I can have the problem of allowing myself to just "see what happens" and finding myself carried along by this curiosity and strange desire to be "fair", when another part of me knows this person likely will never suit me. But I don't like to rule things out too quickly. The reason for that is while I have strong ideals, they are not in solid form. So I stay open to the different forms an ideal could take. When I see someone not only has potential, but that they are actually manifesting it, then I suppose I respond very positively to them. FYI, ideals are sort of how I imagine value-concepts are able to be met in the best way for me. When I was younger, I had more specific ideals, then I grew up and realized I didn't know anything, that life is not very controllable, and so I may as well just go with it and see what surprises come along.

    Anyhow, in any relationship, a major thing that I respond to is sensing I am understood properly and appreciated for who I am. This is a slow process in person, as it obviously requires me to open up a bit.

    My INFP e9 friend is one who may be mistaken for being trusting when she is being kind, but not me. Perhaps due to being e4w5 or another reason altogether, I have a cooler demeanor and am more likely to be misinterpreted as snotty and aloof when I do have friendly feelings. In romance, at first, men complain they cannot tell how I feel about them, although I do get called "sweet" and "kind", but yes, that may just be my basic decency and a laid-back demeanor (on the surface).

    Very cool! So do you find that you get that Ne curiosity about people/imagine what they are like? Obviously NFPs are known for sometimes having a nosy streak. Ne thing?
    Hm, this was not obvious to me at all. I've never found NFPs nosy, nor did I think they held that reputation. I find most INFPs very respectful of privacy and not prone to prying for information about people. My family would say that I don't have patience for "20 questions", and so I don't take an interview approach with others either.

    I admit I tend to see SFJs as "nosy" in the way the word is usually meant. Myself, I have very little interest in factual details about people, their comings and goings, etc. I loathe gossip, even the innocuous kind that just shows pleasant interest in others. I get accused by my ISFJ mom of being cooly disinterested in others, but I DO have an interest in people, it's just not an interest in the details of their everyday lives. If someone is close to me, then I may take some interest there, but for most people, I don't even think about it.

    What I'm interested in is what makes people tick and uncovering their essential nature. I generally determine this through quiet observation and active listening, which is my primary mode socially. I only ask questions for clarification or to subtly guide a conversation. I really just let people talk about whatever they want to talk about, and when alone with me, they often choose to confide in me, even if our acquaintance has been brief. At most, I may toss out a small bit about myself which disarms them and makes them more comfortable being vulnerable with me. But it's not a strategy, just something that happens. I get tired of being a "free therapist" honestly, and I sometimes wish that instead of going all emotionally heavy on me, that people would enjoy discussing ideas and theories, analyzing stuff, being more imaginative and speculative - but that tends to annoy most people as much as the discussion of everyday happenings annoys me. So the common ground becomes how they feel, their hopes, their fears, what's important to them, etc. I'm very comfortable with strong and messy emotion, not writing people off as dramatic or too intense, and I suppose people sense that.

    The negatives of this is while I may have a good grasp of who someone is at core, relying on intuitive vibes can result in a blurry portrait. Factual details can show some significant things that might change my estimation of the big picture if I bothered to learn those details, but that can be a blind spot for me. In retrospect, it can seem I glossed over certain facts because potential I glimpsed in the overview excited me. I am also aware of wishful thinking when I find someone attractive, so I don't trust myself much then, haha.

    As for imagining people - I don't imagine who someone is now so much as who they could/will become. I especially think about how they could/will be in relation to myself - how they could/will affect things now that they're in the picture. As I noted, sometimes this is wishful thinking and amounts to fantasy, and other times it's real insight into their potential or what is likely to develop with them. I have to be careful with this also, because it can lead to disappointment, but I also sort of pride myself on accepting people for who they are, not who I want them to be or think they should be, so that brings balance.
    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
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  4. #34
    Honeyed Water thoughtlost's Avatar
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    Cool, I like this post. I kind of wanted to throw in my thoughts to serve as a constrast ...mainly for myself since it is easier to see it written out for comparison.

    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post

    The few times I've ever cut someone off, it was because they disrespected me. I don't ask for agreement, just respect, and that's what I am willing to offer. If I cannot respect someone, then it's an issue of integrity for me to be friends with them; it's not sincere.

    I'm more tolerant than most people, and that's saying a lot, as I have high standards and am serious about keeping integrity. So most people will decide I am too different from their preferences long before I would ever decide that. I'm really comfortable with not agreeing, and I rather enjoy exploring different perspectives. I like intellectual debate and am not weirded out easily. Of course, respect is still in order.
    The words I'd use to describe when I'd 'cut someone off' is if I feel my perspectives/thoughts/feelings seemed to be ignored and I didn't feel like person was taking me as seriously as they would take themselves as seriously. The Fi response (OA's) sounds more neutral, while mine sounds more "me me me" ...or maybe not THAT extreme, but maybe like "please be really observant and pay attention to me" but yeah it sounds me selfish than OA's response. But of course, I do want mutual respect too ...it's just that I am also accepting of other people's ideas/who they are (at least I hope I am...) that I end up focusing more on ME being understood than vice-versa.



    I rarely make this decision consciously. I tend to respond to things as they arise.
    If someone makes effort with me, then I respond to it or I ignore it. I don't experience it as making a decision, so it's hard for me to say I'd ever think in the way you're describing it.
    ...I am not a conscious person to begin with... haha. I don't feel as if I am making a conscious decision either


    I really don't like the phrasing "worthy of it", because as I think I noted before, I don't really apply a value judgment to someone and make a conscious decision regarding them. I can even feel like people always choose me and I simply respond to it, as if I don't ever actively choose someone and am not even able to. Over time, I may grow closer to someone through a natural response to who they are as it is revealed to me. Again, I don't experience it as a decision, but as a picture emerging, becoming clearer to me.
    ...the "worthy of it" phrase feels icky. I would never apply that phrase to my approach to people at all (it sounds so mean!!) But I know an E2 who TOTALLY SAYS THAT AND I WANT TO MURDER HER (....jkjk I am in love with her). I'd definitely say that things usually just evolve and whoever sticks... sticks, but people don't stick (mainly b/c I don't see things evolving ...things just get boring). And it's no one's fault, for the most part. But when they do stick it's ...almost-ish as OA describes ...but maybe different. Those who stick are like a beautiful painting that I enjoy hanging right above my night stand or something xD



    Anyhow, in any relationship, a major thing that I respond to is sensing I am understood properly and appreciated for who I am. This is a slow process in person, as it obviously requires me to open up a bit.
    For me, it's not a process, but more of a mess. I have no clear cut thing that I "respond" to, and I don't feel like I have to "open up more". It's funny b/c people assume that I click well with others. I can "reveal" a lot, but that doesn't mean that I have decided to trust you as a bff or anything like that. Sometimes I "reveal" a little ....and I am attached to the person b/c of the hope that I would be just as "understood" as I "understand" them.

    ...I put reveal in quotations... b/c I have no idea what I am actually doing when I am revealing my thoughts and ....myself as a human (...I am showing you my belly button xD).


    I admit I tend to see SFJs as "nosy" in the way the word is usually meant. Myself, I have very little interest in factual details about people, their comings and goings, etc. I loathe gossip, even the innocuous kind that just shows pleasant interest in others. I get accused by my ISFJ mom of being cooly disinterested in others, but I DO have an interest in people, it's just not an interest in the details of their everyday lives. If someone is close to me, then I may take some interest there, but for most people, I don't even think about it.

    What I'm interested in is what makes people tick and uncovering their essential nature. I generally determine this through quiet observation and active listening, which is my primary mode socially. I only ask questions for clarification or to subtly guide a conversation. I really just let people talk about whatever they want to talk about, and when alone with me, they often choose to confide in me, even if our acquaintance has been brief. At most, I may toss out a small bit about myself which disarms them and makes them more comfortable being vulnerable with me. But it's not a strategy, just something that happens. I get tired of being a "free therapist" honestly, and I sometimes wish that instead of going all emotionally heavy on me, that people would enjoy discussing ideas and theories, analyzing stuff, being more imaginative and speculative - but that tends to annoy most people as much as the discussion of everyday happenings annoys me. So the common ground becomes how they feel, their hopes, their fears, what's important to them, etc. I'm very comfortable with strong and messy emotion, not writing people off as dramatic or too intense, and I suppose people sense that.
    I think I like to ask questions! It can give off the wrong impression, I guess at times. I like the "how they feel, hopes, fears ...any question that pops into my head at the moment." I can sort of surprise people with my questions b/c ...it's not the typical questions... it's more exploratory of someone's thought process (ex: why do you feel this way? Why did you decide to do this? How does it feel to try things this way?" ....idk

    What I hate is activities in which we're just doing stuff... like playing a card game or focusing on shopping or something like that. It's gonna put me to sleep.


    The negatives of this is while I may have a good grasp of who someone is at core, relying on intuitive vibes can result in a blurry portrait. Factual details can show some significant things that might change my estimation of the big picture if I bothered to learn those details, but that can be a blind spot for me. In retrospect, it can seem I glossed over certain facts because potential I glimpsed in the overview excited me. I am also aware of wishful thinking when I find someone attractive, so I don't trust myself much then, haha.
    ...I am crap at understanding people (a horrible F I am ^_^). I spend more time reacting than I spend building an understanding of a person. I am like a bug in that sense... I'm just drawn to light and repelled by ...something bugs don't like xDDD ...I mean I do go to bed questioning why I like so and so and I can spend so much time trying to figure out what is the "picture" that looks so nice and what it means and such).
    Oh and sometimes I am just neutral and the other person is just a blank wall that I can color on when I feel like it xDDDD


    I am going to take a shower now
    You are so arbitrary.

  5. #35
    Member unsomething's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    I think the issue here is that an INFP doesn't approach judgment like Je+Pi types do (ExxJ and IxxJ types). Ji is not judgment like Je. It's more about creating, exploring, and refining concepts of value (for Fi types), not applying value judgments that lead to action. I notice it's hard for J types to wrap their heads around this. If I were to make a comparison, then I'd say Fi is more like a compass and you go exploring in the general direction it points to, whereas Je reminds me of those maps which say "If Y, then proceed to X, but if N, then proceed to M".
    Thanks, that's an interesting take on it. I think I get what you mean. I don't know if I experience Je exactly like this but it's close enough and it's true that I do take it for granted too often that it's just the same thing oriented differently, which obviously can't be true since it's expansive vs intensive. Ji, especially Fi is fascinating to me. Because it is so different from what I'm used to and yet something about it feels so familiar, there's something about it that I really do, in a personal way, wish I could experience.

    The few times I've ever cut someone off, it was because they disrespected me. I don't ask for agreement, just respect, and that's what I am willing to offer. If I cannot respect someone, then it's an issue of integrity for me to be friends with them; it's not sincere.

    I'm more tolerant than most people, and that's saying a lot, as I have high standards and am serious about keeping integrity. So most people will decide I am too different from their preferences long before I would ever decide that. I'm really comfortable with not agreeing, and I rather enjoy exploring different perspectives. I like intellectual debate and am not weirded out easily. Of course, respect is still in order.
    I rarely make this decision consciously. I tend to respond to things as they arise.
    If someone makes effort with me, then I respond to it or I ignore it. I don't experience it as making a decision, so it's hard for me to say I'd ever think in the way you're describing it.
    I will say that I don't feel compelled to invest a lot of emotional energy into most people, and so I may seem to hold them at arm's length, and I guess I am making some judgment that they don't have any potential to mean a lot to me. Some of this may be a matter of values, lifestyles, interests, etc.
    I hope it's okay to be totally honest with you here, (I'll take it for granted that you would appreciate that anyway) but I can see why people would sometimes get that sense.. I think the impression you give could easily be overlooked by people as coldness or aloofness when to me it seems to come more from a place of being, in some way, fundamentally secure in yourself. I guess that's the compass thing. You're not exactly really searching for anything, you're just sort of... on a journey that is how it is? Whereas for me, I am searching for something, I know what it is, I'll know when I have or haven't found it. I know where people fall on my map.

    Admittedly I do get a little anxious (or I guess, careful) around people who are so secure in themselves because I'm aware I don't really matter to them, not yet, I mean not in a personal way. Whereas I kind of throw myself at people upfront. But the other side of that coin is it's limiting in the long run, my relationships will never have that much of a feeling of being stories unfolding, and their ultimate depth will probably not be as profound. They're just... states of being. Which can still be profound... just, in a different way.

    I also have this almost visceral feeling of how turned off INFPs especially can be to ... hrmmm... attitudes (involving relationships) of already knowing how something will happen before it does? Acting like I know things about people without having to ask, etc? I think they take it for arrogance. I think they're very uncomfortable having people assume things about them, and I can imagine it feels invasive and reductive. The compass example helps me understand that better.

    But OTOH, and this is the part that makes me roll my eyes sometimes... INFPs and in my experience all Fi users like and appreciate when I am sensitive and attuned to things I already sorta kinda know about them without asking. They just get the wrong idea if I actually say I know them, because they think I am actually reducing them as a person, their unique story, to some preconception. It's not that I don't respect and appreciate the story--and I am sad when that is misunderstood--It's just also important to me to have a sense of how to accommodate people even before we have become close. I never really assume that I 100% know people, but then that's not really the goal for me, since I don't need to know them to know how I feel with them. I guess what is most important to me is our story, which is a collaborative experience involving and even transforming parts of both of us, rather than a knowing. Knowing to me is more a tool that can deepen that experience.

    Does any of that resonate with you? Would you say I'm getting the wrong idea on some of this?


    I really don't like the phrasing "worthy of it", because as I think I noted before, I don't really apply a value judgment to someone and make a conscious decision regarding them. I can even feel like people always choose me and I simply respond to it, as if I don't ever actively choose someone and am not even able to. Over time, I may grow closer to someone through a natural response to who they are as it is revealed to me. Again, I don't experience it as a decision, but as a picture emerging, becoming clearer to me.

    At no point do I decide to be friends with someone or not - it feels like it just "happens" (I thought most people were this way...). It's very exploratory. With dating, I can have the problem of allowing myself to just "see what happens" and finding myself carried along by this curiosity and strange desire to be "fair", when another part of me knows this person likely will never suit me. But I don't like to rule things out too quickly. The reason for that is while I have strong ideals, they are not in solid form. So I stay open to the different forms an ideal could take. When I see someone not only has potential, but that they are actually manifesting it, then I suppose I respond very positively to them. FYI, ideals are sort of how I imagine value-concepts are able to be met in the best way for me. When I was younger, I had more specific ideals, then I grew up and realized I didn't know anything, that life is not very controllable, and so I may as well just go with it and see what surprises come along.

    Anyhow, in any relationship, a major thing that I respond to is sensing I am understood properly and appreciated for who I am. This is a slow process in person, as it obviously requires me to open up a bit.
    I can see how important it is to you. I wonder, in the most ideal sense, what do you think it would mean to understand and appreciate you? Obviously I have my own definitions of those, but I suspect that there is a Fi-Ne vs Ni-Fe gap playing into that too.

    Hm, this was not obvious to me at all. I've never found NFPs nosy, nor did I think they held that reputation. I find most INFPs very respectful of privacy and not prone to prying for information about people. My family would say that I don't have patience for "20 questions", and so I don't take an interview approach with others either.

    I admit I tend to see SFJs as "nosy" in the way the word is usually meant. Myself, I have very little interest in factual details about people, their comings and goings, etc. I loathe gossip, even the innocuous kind that just shows pleasant interest in others. I get accused by my ISFJ mom of being cooly disinterested in others, but I DO have an interest in people, it's just not an interest in the details of their everyday lives. If someone is close to me, then I may take some interest there, but for most people, I don't even think about it.
    Sorry, my clumsy wording here again I think. I guess I should have said curious. I didn't mean that it's in a way that is seeking to judge or evaluate someone. More that I feel like NFPs sort of follow trails of imagination about other people, in a completely innocent way. And I think sometimes can kind of get excited to know strange or interesting facts about someone they like. It just seems like a very Ne sort of thing to me.

    What I'm interested in is what makes people tick and uncovering their essential nature. I generally determine this through quiet observation and active listening, which is my primary mode socially. I only ask questions for clarification or to subtly guide a conversation. I really just let people talk about whatever they want to talk about, and when alone with me, they often choose to confide in me, even if our acquaintance has been brief. At most, I may toss out a small bit about myself which disarms them and makes them more comfortable being vulnerable with me. But it's not a strategy, just something that happens. I get tired of being a "free therapist" honestly, and I sometimes wish that instead of going all emotionally heavy on me, that people would enjoy discussing ideas and theories, analyzing stuff, being more imaginative and speculative - but that tends to annoy most people as much as the discussion of everyday happenings annoys me. So the common ground becomes how they feel, their hopes, their fears, what's important to them, etc. I'm very comfortable with strong and messy emotion, not writing people off as dramatic or too intense, and I suppose people sense that.
    I definitely feel yah on the free therapist thing, my goodness that happens all the time. I think that may even be an NF thing in general, people just sense that we care and are people-oriented. In my case of course it's because I literally express verbally and non-verbally that I care.

    The negatives of this is while I may have a good grasp of who someone is at core, relying on intuitive vibes can result in a blurry portrait. Factual details can show some significant things that might change my estimation of the big picture if I bothered to learn those details, but that can be a blind spot for me. In retrospect, it can seem I glossed over certain facts because potential I glimpsed in the overview excited me. I am also aware of wishful thinking when I find someone attractive, so I don't trust myself much then, haha.

    As for imagining people - I don't imagine who someone is now so much as who they could/will become. I especially think about how they could/will be in relation to myself - how they could/will affect things now that they're in the picture. As I noted, sometimes this is wishful thinking and amounts to fantasy, and other times it's real insight into their potential or what is likely to develop with them. I have to be careful with this also, because it can lead to disappointment, but I also sort of pride myself on accepting people for who they are, not who I want them to be or think they should be, so that brings balance.
    Okay, see, that answers my question anyway! c:

    I think it's really awesome how deeply NFPs respect and honor other people. I do know and really feel that they ultimately value who I am and don't sweat the small stuff, and it is something that I really appreciate.

  6. #36
    failed poetry slam career chubber's Avatar
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    INFPs, how do you react around ENFJs? Do you argue but then also understand each other at the same time. Maybe even dare to say, put up with each other's nonsense (depending from who's view you are looking at).

  7. #37
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unsomething View Post
    I hope it's okay to be totally honest with you here, (I'll take it for granted that you would appreciate that anyway) but I can see why people would sometimes get that sense.. I think the impression you give could easily be overlooked by people as coldness or aloofness when to me it seems to come more from a place of being, in some way, fundamentally secure in yourself. I guess that's the compass thing. You're not exactly really searching for anything, you're just sort of... on a journey that is how it is? Whereas for me, I am searching for something, I know what it is, I'll know when I have or haven't found it. I know where people fall on my map.
    Well, it's always interesting to learn how people see you, but no, it does not come from a place of being fundamentally secure, or I should say that I have many insecurities. I know that IxxPs can seem that way though - it's combination of being laid-back in manner and reserved (ie. too cool to care). I think Van Der Hoop notes that both Ji doms have a peculiar mix of inner security contrasted with an outer insecurity. Jung describes this as a kind of inferiority complex. I'd say it's due to being sure about our introverted reasoning, but insecure as to how it will be received (assuming it will be taken negatively in a Je run world).

    I suppose FJs may jump through the hoops to please when insecure, looking to gain security by getting their foot in the door with people. It is true that Fi-dom turn inward for security, withdrawing into their shell and resisting outside influence; and I suppose this could seem like we are secure in ourselves. But we're not secure with other people necessarily....

    Again, I don't really experience reality in terms of security, which seems a Si mentality to me.

    Personally speaking, I most certainly am searching for something. I am not on a journey, and I wish I had such "faith" or patience. It's just that these ideals have no specific form; I know they can take many shapes. I will recognize it when I see it, and the compass is just the vague direction I'm stumbling in with hopes that I wll come across it. The weak point is not being able to plan out steps to reach it, and this is partly resisted for fear of pursuing a mirage. You think X is the ideal, and then it turn out it was not the manifestation of it after all. There is a lot of frustration in this method, but it has its merits too.

    Admittedly I do get a little anxious (or I guess, careful) around people who are so secure in themselves because I'm aware I don't really matter to them, not yet, I mean not in a personal way. Whereas I kind of throw myself at people upfront. But the other side of that coin is it's limiting in the long run, my relationships will never have that much of a feeling of being stories unfolding, and their ultimate depth will probably not be as profound. They're just... states of being. Which can still be profound... just, in a different way.
    Yeah, I don't really experience this, but it's interesting. I don't think there's anything less "deep" about other people's ways of forming connections though. IxFPs generally balk at "roles", which we can see as limiting, but I understand that others need to organize reality that way to navigate it.

    I also have this almost visceral feeling of how turned off INFPs especially can be to ... hrmmm... attitudes (involving relationships) of already knowing how something will happen before it does? Acting like I know things about people without having to ask, etc? I think they take it for arrogance. I think they're very uncomfortable having people assume things about them, and I can imagine it feels invasive and reductive. The compass example helps me understand that better.
    Well, we're iNtuitives, so we do a fair amount of hypothesizing on the future ourselves. I certainly experience knowing things that I have no solid proof of. As I noted before, I focus more on grasping people's potential and essence than learning any facts about them; I suppose this is reductive in some ways. But Ne is more about possibilities of what could be, especially if you choose to foster them, so there is a balking at the idea that there is ONE inevitable outcome, unless of course you are nurturing such an outcome (whether consciously or not; and people often make self-fulfilling prophecies). People also frame things a certain way so as to confirm their beliefs, and I think Ne is seeking to be aware that there are always several angles, often simultaneously valid. This doesn't negate truth, but how you can go about adhering to it. Grossest saying ever - but there are more ways than one to skin a cat.

    So I don't like if people act on assumptions without checking in with me to see if it is accurate as far as truly meeting a need. This stems from experience of people being dead wrong. I'm rarely read correctly, and when people make decisions based on these inaccuracies, it can affect me negatively. It's less that I find it arrogant than I find it hurtful, as it can damage my reputation, reduce my choices, and limit my movement. I would say, yes, it's invasive - in a controlling way. They have a right to their interpretations, and I benefit from seeing things from their perspective at times, but this ends when it tries to assign me feelings or motives I don't have, or if it invalidates my expressed needs or values. Basically, that X must indicate Y thing, as if there is one possible cause for the result (ie. one explanation for my behavior, words, etc), or one possible result from the limited info they have.

    I find myself consistent in many regards, but I tend to surprise people a lot. Many of my major life decisions had people saying they'd never expect it of me. People interpret others according their preconceptions of how others act or are supposed to, and Fi doesn't follow the social script very well. It's consistent with the inner ideals, not the social protocol. In needing to be understood to build rapport, I don't mean some in-depth understanding, like knowing my "soul" (how cheesy). Just someone who can put the script aside and not interpret from so many preconceptions.


    But OTOH, and this is the part that makes me roll my eyes sometimes... INFPs and in my experience all Fi users like and appreciate when I am sensitive and attuned to things I already sorta kinda know about them without asking. They just get the wrong idea if I actually say I know them, because they think I am actually reducing them as a person, their unique story, to some preconception. It's not that I don't respect and appreciate the story--and I am sad when that is misunderstood--It's just also important to me to have a sense of how to accommodate people even before we have become close. I never really assume that I 100% know people, but then that's not really the goal for me, since I don't need to know them to know how I feel with them. I guess what is most important to me is our story, which is a collaborative experience involving and even transforming parts of both of us, rather than a knowing. Knowing to me is more a tool that can deepen that experience.
    I don't like people to fuss over me either. The idea of someone accommodating me is odd, because much of the time I don't care, and yet, when I do care and speak up, then people are unwilling to accommodate. I would appreciate someone going out of their way for me, but I don't often find it tailored to me (nor do I expect it), as far as addressing what is really important to me in life. It's more about their idea of being nice, and I appreciate it for the intention.

    I have no issue with someone saying they know me either. I don't have a "story" because I don't define myself in concrete terms like that. I do have an "identity", and it's more about my essence and potential, as that's how I experience people, including myself. I don't like if someone tries to "accommodate" in a way that suggests I am high maintenance, picky, touchy, etc. People bending over backwards for me don't make me feel good, because it makes me feel like a pain in the butt. Then there is the unspoken obligation to return something; I don't want to be indebted for what I didn't ask for. It feels emotionally manipulative. Someone trying to influence me by "helping" is not pleasant to me either. I don't want to be shaped according to someone else's vision; I have my own for myself.

    I understand interpreting people in terms of dynamic over their general nature, and this is why I suppose J types use "roles" so much. Perhaps they don't realize that a person man be responding to them more than trying to affect them by taking on a role, so that what is consistent for the person (in this case, more likely an IxxP) is the inner principle they respond with, not the external manner of how they respond, as that will vary in relation to the stimuli. To Je eyes, this doesn't look consistent, and in trying to quickly surmise someone so as to see how to proceed, they can end up pigeon-holing. They put someone in a role, which stunts the dynamic. This makes the dynamic based off of these preconceptions and not who people really are, which renders them sort of meaningless. It's like a big show, not genuine interaction anymore.

    Does any of that resonate with you? Would you say I'm getting the wrong idea on some of this?
    You're not terribly far off, but I'm picky about defining things. I'm a pretty specific brand of INFP too.
    Most INFPs in the wild are enneagram 9, although I find enough in common with them to be a Fi representative at times.
    I appreciate people taking the time to clarify things, as that's what most people do not do, and how misinterpretation happens.

    I can see how important it is to you. I wonder, in the most ideal sense, what do you think it would mean to understand and appreciate you? Obviously I have my own definitions of those, but I suspect that there is a Fi-Ne vs Ni-Fe gap playing into that too.
    As noted above...
    Understand = interpret my words and actions positively, not projecting junk onto me and using the social script to determine what I am getting at; making an effort to be an active listener, seek clarification, and wrap your head around things that may have never occurred to you before.
    Appreciate - demonstrate and express a value of my present qualities, not criticizing a lot or trying to change me or always suggesting what I could do differently, show you value things connected to my strengths. Demonstrate and express some enjoyment of my personality - that you find me likable. A combination of admiration, respect and liking.

    I know that e9s seem to like people who "let them be", who don't ask them to adjust, as they can resent "over-adjusting" to maintain harmony (or something like that).

    Personally, I go off on Bukowski-esque Fi rants, Shakespearean navel-gazing, and general whimsical speculation, and someone taking this seriously is good, as this is how I see "myself". My identity is in these, not really in my emotions or actions so much. If someone dismisses this, then I will feel they could never really appreciate me, beyond something shallow that is.

    Sorry for the long-windedness... I have a bad head cold and am not inclined to editing :P.
    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)

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  8. #38
    Away with the fairies Southern Kross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chubber View Post
    INFPs, how do you react around ENFJs? Do you argue but then also understand each other at the same time. Maybe even dare to say, put up with each other's nonsense (depending from who's view you are looking at).
    Believe it or not, even with all these Fi-Fe wars online, most of the time I naturally jive with Fe doms. There's something to be said for being dominant Feelers, particularly with ENFJs - there's some sort of immediate click. With ENFJs I feel like we both care about the free-flowing, informed, positive, evaluation-driven conversation. Conversation wise, it's like we're both people who like to leave the door wide open for others and I appreciate that. While overseas I ended up friends with a ENFJ couple and we got on like a house on fire. They had passionate, intelligent, curious minds, and I could talk for hours with them about the things about the world that interest me and that most people never want to discuss. I don't think I've ever had an argument with an ENFJ.

    OTOH there is this weird disconnect that happens with ENFJs. It's a subtle thing, but I personally find it quite noticeable. The conversation is going brilliantly and you're the centre of their attention, and then suddenly something shifts and they seem to switch off. Within a few moments, enthusiastic responses stop and they stop vibing off me as much. They're still listening but now they're looking elsewhere - as if mentally moving on to the next interaction before it's happened. Sometimes they literally move on the the next interaction: abruptly and with blithe unawareness of the sort of disconcerting social paradox it is. I suddenly feel like an imposition and that perhaps the connection we had minutes before wasn't real; that it was just them being friendly and me reading too much into it. Then I start replay the last few minutes and wondering if something I said instigated it. I tell myself it probably wasn't personal and they were just looking to switch things up and talk to someone different, but regardless I can't reconcile how quickly it happens. It seems like they must have been politely feigning their degree of interest and then it got to the point where they couldn't any more. And round and round my head it goes.

    That's the only problem I've had with ENFJs: I don't know where I stand with them. I have trouble interpreting what their thoughts are when there's these mixed messages. And it's hard for me to really properly invest in someone when I never feel secure in my connection with them. Consequently, I end up actively holding back parts of myself.

    The same thing happens with ESFJs it's usually only when I get too conceptual and I can see they're losing interest.
    Last edited by Southern Kross; 10-19-2014 at 02:28 AM.
    INFP 4w5 so/sp

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    they've gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the colour of my mind.

    - Emily Bronte
    Likes OrangeAppled liked this post

  9. #39
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    I'm a pretty specific brand of INFP too.
    Most INFPs in the wild are enneagram 9, although I find enough in common with them to be a Fi representative at times.
    I find myself annoyed that you poke at this aspect of difference quite frequently, because although it makes a difference in how our outward demeanor or behaviour may manifest, it does not affect how your words resonate with me as an INFP.

    What makes the most difference to me, in terms of outward demeanor, is the orientation of the instinctual subtype rather than core e-type. The e9 sp types I know are very withdrawn and effacing. The e4 sp types I know seem finicky and aloof. (iow, both seem a bit "cooler"). I only know one other e9 so dom like myself, and we are outward-facing and attempt to draw other Fi types "out" because we can sense what's inside there, waiting to get out. It was great actually to understand the enneagram because it lent a system to explain how these outer differences still made "sense".

    I know that e9s seem to like people who "let them be", who don't ask them to adjust, as they can resent "over-adjusting" to maintain harmony (or something like that).
    No, this isn't quite right. I like people who appreciate the adjustments I make to maintain harmony, realizing that this adjustment is to our mutual benefit and is not something taken for granted. But yes, if I'm always adjusting and the other person is oblivious, I can be annoyed.
    "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 good,
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  10. #40
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    I find myself annoyed that you poke at this aspect of difference quite frequently, because although it makes a difference in how our outward demeanor or behaviour may manifest, it does not affect how your words resonate with me as an INFP.

    What makes the most difference to me, in terms of outward demeanor, is the orientation of the instinctual subtype rather than core e-type. The e9 sp types I know are very withdrawn and effacing. The e4 sp types I know seem finicky and aloof. (iow, both seem a bit "cooler"). I only know one other e9 so dom like myself, and we are outward-facing and attempt to draw other Fi types "out" because we can sense what's inside there, waiting to get out. It was great actually to understand the enneagram because it lent a system to explain how these outer differences still made "sense".
    I "poke at this aspect" because we're discussing outer differences, which you note exist and seem to require some explanation beyond "we're all individuals".... When I say I am a specific brand of INFP, I don't mean a rarer brand or anything silly like that. You are a specific brand of INFP too. The point is that some of what I say may not be correctly attributed to being INFP, but perhaps, e4, or 4w5, or my instinctual stack, or something that has nothing to do with typology at all.

    It's just the standard disclaimer that I'm discussing myself here, and it's not necessarily all applicable to INFPs in general.
    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)

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