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Thread: Questions for INFJ's

  1. #251
    came back haunted Array EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z Buck McFate View Post
    Not to be a jerk, but do you see how this seems like you're expecting others to adhere to your own inherent priorities? Even when things go on and on for half an hour and it turns out there was actually total agreement- it's not wasted, that information gets saved and used for future reference. It's okay if you don't see that as important/significant information yourself, but it's problematic to come from a place of asserting it shouldn't be important to anyone else either. (This is something that's true regardless of which 'type' is doing it.)



    It isn't entirely about being misunderstood. Te isn't called the steamrolling function for nothing. That directness comes with a cost. It's okay to not really see the value in being more careful oneself, to think it just isn't worth the effort/time- so long as one accepts the consequences of it. But typically I think INFJs will have a pretty bad reaction to having someone breathe down their neck (with angry undertone) about how they shouldn't be careful either. I'm not trying to chide you here, I'm just trying to point out likely consequences/present a helpful reminder.

    I'm not being very careful right now in how I'm phrasing all this (which, as hard as it might be to believe, is a sign that I give you credit)- I might totally regret not saying this more diplomatically if you have a bad reaction. But basically: you're poking INFJs with a mighty sharp stick here, yo.
    1) This is a good reminder that my INFJ friends IRL have had a lot to get used to, when dealing with me. I hesitated to post in here, because I got a similar reaction the last time I asked a question here -- even though I prefaced it then, as I preface it now, with a note that I'm an ESTJ and you're INFJs and obviously I'm going to have biases (not sure why that didn't make a difference either time). So I'm realizing that perhaps initially, before my INFJ friends got to know me, that they were also rubbed the wrong way by my Te.

    2) I think some assumptions are being made here, that I don't know that I don't see the reason behind people acting differently from me. When in fact, that's 100% of the reason why I asked that question to begin with! Yes, I know that I project my priorities onto people. Yes, I know that my way is not always the best. My perspective was 100% just that that was what I had seen, and it didn't mesh with my priorities, so I was wondering why someone would do it. So your having answered my question has helped me understand why INFJs operate that way, and why it is valuable to operate that way. End of story, we're all done, we can go home, this has been very productive and helpful to me.

    3) I'm fine with my Te "pushiness". I'm also fine with how INFJs do things. That way is completely necessary, and very important. But I'm not wired for it, and sometimes it confuses me. So it's not about value judgments. That's not what I was doing. I think perhaps the way I phrase things confuses some INFJs in this thread and makes them think I don't value it. But where my phrasing is coming from is: I know the value of it, but I also know that it's impossible for me to even approximate it, so I personally can't value it in how I personally behave -- so the way I talk about it will always be, "this is foreign and confusing to me, and something that I can only ever observe from the sidelines". (Perhaps I was making some assumptions, too, that all this background on INFJs and how I appreciate them would also go unsaid.)

    4) I appreciate your forthrightness on this. Thank you for not saying it more diplomatically.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nørrsken impersonating EJCC
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  2. #252
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    I supervise an INFJ. I want to be able to mentor her. But whenever feelings things come up, e.g. me trying to reassure her about something that went wrong, or make her feel appreciated, I immediately feel the Fe shield come up, as if she's focusing all her energy on my emotional state and not the fact that I'M trying to help HER emotional state. (She takes pride in being a calming presence for people, and has told me as much.)

    So... how can I be there for her in a mentorish way? Or rather, how do INFJs prefer to be mentored? I can't control what she's decided our relationship will be like on an Fe level, but I CAN do what I can to make her feel appreciated and reassure her when things go wrong. I'm good at making her feel appreciated, but the calming her down part is what I'm bad at.

    I know @Hard is an ENFJ but I'm interested in his input as well, because in the criticism thread, a big part of his criticism of me was basically my weakness in this regard: my tendency to avoid emotions and stick to the facts. If that vibes to an ENFJ as an Fe weakness that is confusing and bothersome, then I suspect it would vibe the same to INFJs.

    So... what do you prefer? How do you prefer to be related to by a boss/mentor? Especially a Te-user boss/mentor?
    Quote Originally Posted by Nørrsken impersonating EJCC
    It's strange. I keep banning morons, but they keep signing up? What is this?
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  3. #253
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    I like knowing what is expected of me and getting feedback. I usually will think over whatever someone says that is negative, but probably will not verbalize a lot of it. It's almost like I need the spotlight off of me while I'm doing that, because it feels quite vulnerable. I think INFJs care a lot about being able to please their superiors as long as their superiors seem to know why they are asking for what they are asking for. If an INFJ is upset, it's very helpful to let them talk the emotional part out without offering much solution-oriented advice. However, if it is too raw, they will need some time to distance themselves from it and think. There is usually a bit of a time lag, so if you see the Fe shield go up, that's more likely what's going on (assuming they're healthy). It's embarrassing to cry or get over emotional or upset in front of even a mentor. Just tell them that you'll be available if they feel like they want to talk anything through after the fact - doesn't have to be right away. NFJs are often so hard on themselves, that it can look like they are resisting criticism, when it's more that they're protecting a very vulnerable part of themselves. By taking the pressure off to react or respond in the moment, they are more likely to be able to look at it better and also open up bit by bit than if it feels like that is an expectation. Similarly, I think a lot of INFJs are very aware of what the other person feels comfortable with or not, so sometimes you may have to overtly state that you are open to talking over whatever - basically assuming that it would be normal. Don't try to rush them to solutions or positivity, and don't take their despondency, negativity or lack of immediate response as not being open. It sometimes takes me awhile to be convinced about something. Also, I sometimes don't act when I'm not sure how to get from where I am to where I need to be. It's not usually the action itself that's the issue, but sometimes it's tied to something emotional (a fear or vulnerability) that is much more threatening, so recognizing that the person is not being lazy or stubborn goes a long way to get them to be more open to you making suggestions after their initial emotion has subsided. What people think of me has a huge impact on how much I will trust them with me less Fe self.
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  4. #254
    my floof is luxury Array Wind Up Rex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    I supervise an INFJ. I want to be able to mentor her. But whenever feelings things come up, e.g. me trying to reassure her about something that went wrong, or make her feel appreciated, I immediately feel the Fe shield come up, as if she's focusing all her energy on my emotional state and not the fact that I'M trying to help HER emotional state. (She takes pride in being a calming presence for people, and has told me as much.)

    So... how can I be there for her in a mentorish way? Or rather, how do INFJs prefer to be mentored? I can't control what she's decided our relationship will be like on an Fe level, but I CAN do what I can to make her feel appreciated and reassure her when things go wrong. I'm good at making her feel appreciated, but the calming her down part is what I'm bad at.

    I know @Hard is an ENFJ but I'm interested in his input as well, because in the criticism thread, a big part of his criticism of me was basically my weakness in this regard: my tendency to avoid emotions and stick to the facts. If that vibes to an ENFJ as an Fe weakness that is confusing and bothersome, then I suspect it would vibe the same to INFJs.

    So... what do you prefer? How do you prefer to be related to by a boss/mentor? Especially a Te-user boss/mentor?
    $.02 from the Te side.

    My SO doesn't like what he perceives to be excessive praise. He feels it puts pressure on him to live up to something that he doesn't necessarily feel he can, and the fear of not living up to that standard and disappointing someone he cares about stresses him out.

    I've actually found that applying Te in these situations is unexpectedly effective. If I tell him what exactly it was he did that was positive, the positive impact that I feel it had, and what I appreciated about it, it seems to make him very happy. Especially because INFJs seem to invest a lot of their Ni in very carefully thinking through things like that. Having that care recognized and reassuring them of the way that it's tangibly making the lives of those around them better goes along way. Doubly so because they have some anxiety around their real world effectiveness, especially relative to Te-users.
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  5. #255
    came back haunted Array EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wind Up Rex View Post
    $.02 from the Te side.

    My SO doesn't like what he perceives to be excessive praise. He feels it puts pressure on him to live up to something that he doesn't necessarily feel he can, and the fear of not living up to that standard and disappointing someone he cares about stresses him out.

    I've actually found that applying Te in these situations is unexpectedly effective. If I tell him what exactly it was he did that was positive, the positive impact that I feel it had, and what I appreciated about it, it seems to make him very happy. Especially because INFJs seem to invest a lot of their Ni in very carefully thinking through things like that. Having that care recognized and reassuring them of the way that it's tangibly making the lives of those around them better goes along way. Doubly so because they have some anxiety around their real world effectiveness, especially relative to Te-users.
    This is very reassuring. Thank you!

    Always good to hear that the answer to my problem is to Just Be Me.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nørrsken impersonating EJCC
    It's strange. I keep banning morons, but they keep signing up? What is this?
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  6. #256
    my floof is luxury Array Wind Up Rex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    This is very reassuring. Thank you!

    Always good to hear that the answer to my problem is to Just Be Me.
    Not at all. It's very much a learning process, but not an impossible one. I wanted to highlight something @fidelia said that I think is also pretty crucial:

    Quote Originally Posted by fidelia View Post
    I like knowing what is expected of me and getting feedback. I usually will think over whatever someone says that is negative, but probably will not verbalize a lot of it. It's almost like I need the spotlight off of me while I'm doing that, because it feels quite vulnerable. I think INFJs care a lot about being able to please their superiors as long as their superiors seem to know why they are asking for what they are asking for. If an INFJ is upset, it's very helpful to let them talk the emotional part out without offering much solution-oriented advice. However, if it is too raw, they will need some time to distance themselves from it and think. There is usually a bit of a time lag, so if you see the Fe shield go up, that's more likely what's going on (assuming they're healthy). It's embarrassing to cry or get over emotional or upset in front of even a mentor. Just tell them that you'll be available if they feel like they want to talk anything through after the fact - doesn't have to be right away. NFJs are often so hard on themselves, that it can look like they are resisting criticism, when it's more that they're protecting a very vulnerable part of themselves. By taking the pressure off to react or respond in the moment, they are more likely to be able to look at it better and also open up bit by bit than if it feels like that is an expectation. Similarly, I think a lot of INFJs are very aware of what the other person feels comfortable with or not, so sometimes you may have to overtly state that you are open to talking over whatever - basically assuming that it would be normal. Don't try to rush them to solutions or positivity, and don't take their despondency, negativity or lack of immediate response as not being open. It sometimes takes me awhile to be convinced about something. Also, I sometimes don't act when I'm not sure how to get from where I am to where I need to be. It's not usually the action itself that's the issue, but sometimes it's tied to something emotional (a fear or vulnerability) that is much more threatening, so recognizing that the person is not being lazy or stubborn goes a long way to get them to be more open to you making suggestions after their initial emotion has subsided. What people think of me has a huge impact on how much I will trust them with me less Fe self.
    From my experience, INFJ emotional processing seems to include mini-"dark nights of the soul" baked into the overall problem-solution arc. Those moments don't seem to be like our Fi-grip. I don't think it's pleasant, but they seem to be eliminating the "worst case" from their probable outcomes in a way that makes sense for them.

    Our natural impulse when we see someone we care about is distressed is to try to fix the problem so that they aren't distressed anymore. It's not appropriate here for the reasons fidelia described. The most reassuring thing seems to be to provide feedback that's objective but non-critical as they sort things out, and to try to stick to doing those things when prompted.
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  7. #257
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    Absolutely! I feel like you have a pretty good handle on INFJs, @Wind Up Rex, due to you having known more than one quite closely.

    In fact, I find that usually I can find the solution myself if given the chance to talk, a couple little tweaks in perspective or additional information and some processing time. I will say that Te directness and in charginess (though not bluntness) is reassuring. It feels like someone's got the main bases covered. I do care about knowing how my work is perceived though and where there are gaps. Also if I'm taking too long to get something done, usually understanding why it matters or who it affects is a huge motivating factor for me. I prefer doing stuff with either a committee of my choosing or being given responsibility for a chunk to do independently, rather than accomplishing something together with a lot of disparate people.
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  8. #258
    The Evil Twin Array Nørrsken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    I supervise an INFJ. I want to be able to mentor her. But whenever feelings things come up, e.g. me trying to reassure her about something that went wrong, or make her feel appreciated, I immediately feel the Fe shield come up, as if she's focusing all her energy on my emotional state and not the fact that I'M trying to help HER emotional state. (She takes pride in being a calming presence for people, and has told me as much.)
    She probably is seeking out your approval of her, to be seen as a sea of wisdom, a shelter from the storm, and focuses on other people and their emotional states rather than her own. Fe users are definitely guilty of this, as is why I always seek others' inputs about my own emotions rather than seek them from within, which feels difficult and frustrating at worst.

    I have a feeling she admires you a lot.

    So... how can I be there for her in a mentorish way? Or rather, how do INFJs prefer to be mentored? I can't control what she's decided our relationship will be like on an Fe level, but I CAN do what I can to make her feel appreciated and reassure her when things go wrong. I'm good at making her feel appreciated, but the calming her down part is what I'm bad at.
    We speak Fe, so this is going to feel unnatural for you, but that's the only way we can understand it. Some examples can include the following:
    "Someone from Accounting told me what you did recently, and I felt so proud of what you did. It must've felt difficult to make that decision, but you did it anyway, and it relieved us of having to work that weekend to correct the mistakes. How does that make you feel?"

    "I have to ask: Do you feel unappreciated? Why?"

    "You're doing a fantastic job. The problem that happened earlier has nothing to do with your competence and everything to do with the fact that life is imperfect sometimes. I understand that you felt you could've done better, but you truly did what you could. Do you think that as well?

    Basically, Fe reaches out towards the other person/other people. Listen to her vent. Don't immediately hand her 'sound and sensible' advice. Nod and add some "I completely understand" here and there. Make her feel like she's not crazy for what she's feeling at that moment.

    I know Hard is an ENFJ but I'm interested in his input as well, because in the criticism thread, a big part of his criticism of me was basically my weakness in this regard: my tendency to avoid emotions and stick to the facts. If that vibes to an ENFJ as an Fe weakness that is confusing and bothersome, then I suspect it would vibe the same to INFJs.
    It is, to a degree. We can enjoy logic and facts, but our emotions can run deep and it can tip over the bucket. Some of the worst moments of my life was feeling too alien and then exploding in a fit of tears because nobody couldn't just listen to me and not judge the sometimes extreme thoughts I can sprout during my weak events, and I want to be reassured and told gently that I am loved and that yes, sometimes life isn't fair for me, and that I have every right to feel how I feel.

    So... what do you prefer? How do you prefer to be related to by a boss/mentor? Especially a Te-user boss/mentor?
    In a snapshot: Listen, reassure us that we've done what we can, upholster us in areas where we shine, give us examples of how good of a worker we are, and then ask us questions on how to do better next time.

    I think you are a wonderful boss to ask us this. I have a feeling most companies just adopt a one-size-fit-all mantra when it comes to different temperaments.
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  9. #259
    Seal Down Array Hard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    I supervise an INFJ. I want to be able to mentor her. But whenever feelings things come up, e.g. me trying to reassure her about something that went wrong, or make her feel appreciated, I immediately feel the Fe shield come up, as if she's focusing all her energy on my emotional state and not the fact that I'M trying to help HER emotional state. (She takes pride in being a calming presence for people, and has told me as much.)

    So... how can I be there for her in a mentorish way? Or rather, how do INFJs prefer to be mentored? I can't control what she's decided our relationship will be like on an Fe level, but I CAN do what I can to make her feel appreciated and reassure her when things go wrong. I'm good at making her feel appreciated, but the calming her down part is what I'm bad at.

    I know @Hard is an ENFJ but I'm interested in his input as well, because in the criticism thread, a big part of his criticism of me was basically my weakness in this regard: my tendency to avoid emotions and stick to the facts. If that vibes to an ENFJ as an Fe weakness that is confusing and bothersome, then I suspect it would vibe the same to INFJs.

    So... what do you prefer? How do you prefer to be related to by a boss/mentor? Especially a Te-user boss/mentor?
    IMO, she's going to have to lift some weight. If I've learned anything about myself, and what I have noticed in INFJ's, is that they have to learn to deal with their own mind, compartmentalize it when needed, and be mature in the face of lacking emotional support. And most importantly learn to understand that it's not about them. Further, sometimes the situation at hand lends it to be impossible to feel ok and reassured about something. You've seen this come up in my blog recently. I would hope that she's doing this, but in your position it's important to keep in mind that you won't be able to bring her to a state that you want her to be at every single time. She's got to sort it out in her head.

    Now, as far as what you can do for the part about making her understand it's not all about her is to actually tell her how YOU feel. My adviser does this with me and it helps a ton, and that sort of thing helps my mother (INFJ 9w8) a crapton. It eleminats the feeling of "they hate me they are angry at me I am in trouble", which stems from Ni trying to fill a void. Granted, my adviser is ENFJ so it's easy for him, but I think you can do it too. The first step is to point out the practicality of the situation, which is easy for you. By doing this first, she'll get the uncomfortable stuff out of the way first. Doing it second makes it feel jarring. Do it in as warm of a manner as you can. Once that is out of the way, tell her how you feel. Point out that you understand, aren't mad at her (assuming you aren't), and that if you are upset, you're upset at the situation and not her. This will take some adjusting for her to accept. Ni/Fe reads between the lines with everything even when told not to, and for an INFJ I'd imagine it's even harder to do than it is for me. This is very similar to what @Wind Up Rex said is a good tactic.

    You're really not going to make her perfectly calm down. Making an INFJ calm down isn't really possible unless the situation is made to be what they think it should be in their head, and that their assumptions were correct. You need to understand that being a Mentor is about helping, it's not about making sure they feel comfortable all the time. They won't, that is how learning works. Unfortunately it sounds like she's particularly sensitive to that sort of stuff.

    If what she seems to be worried about the most is how you feel, or if she feels compelled to make sure you feel ok, then you need to point out how you do feel about things. This will take practice because the delivery is going to be hard for you, and you'll need to be somewhat selective on what feelings to give. For example, if she fucks up and you're mad at her, be careful with expressing that. I think it's important, but be something like "Yes, I am mad because you did not follow through on your responsibilities after I already told you what to do. I will expect you to not make this a pattern, but I have faith you will learn and improve". Basically, if you need to deliver a bad feeling, then explain how it's bad, but that something can be done.

    Hopefully that helps!
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  10. #260
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    This is very true. Eliminating the guesswork about YOUR feelings is tremendously helpful for Ni-Fe folks, both for not arriving at incorrect conclusions due to lack of info, and also in reducing the emotional noise so they can properly focus on the situation at hand. I teach a lot of adults and find that their emotional noise level is especially high when around new people or when learning something where they can screw up and look bad. It really messes with their ability to take in information, or accurately assess their own performance.

    INFJs do tend to try to skirt these vulnerable feelings by trying to control their environment and other people's approach to them, but like Hard said, the world is not always ideal. Protecting and moving forward with growth can't happen at the same time. Sometimes the first is temporarily needful, but it is not a good longterm strategy and INFJs need help trusting that they have other tools in their kit that could be more effective.

    Hard also makes an excellent point that it is important that you do not emphasize the BLAME part of things for the INFJ. That's like turning the volume up to 200 and leaving the room. So to be most helpful, be straight up, but help them even if everything is not okay at the moment, it will be and you can help with a path to getting there if they get stuck figuring out what to do.
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