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  1. #1
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    Default INFJ and INFP, with a focus on our dominant functions (Ni and Fi)

    It seems to me that discussions about differences in INFJ and INFP cognitive functions tend to drift toward dialogue about "Fi versus Fe" or (less often, sems to me, but still sometimes) "Ni versus Ne." While useful, these comparisons are limited because they're about dominant function versus aux function.

    So I figured I'd start a thread for INFP-INFJ discussion that takes as its centerpoint our respective dominant functions: Ni versus Fi, or Fi versus Ni.

    I want to leave the specific topics relatively open and invite musings, examples, reflections etc on our respective Fi-dom-ness and Ni-dom-ness as they relate (or don't relate) to each other.

    So I'm going to offer an example just to add some specific substance as a contribution, but will do it behind a spoiler so as not to overly direct the possible experiences and topics that might come up the thread discussion. Here's my example - Fi and Ni as organic landscapes:



    So anyway - what are your perspectives and experiences, INFPs and INFJs? How do Fi and Ni as different dominant functions affect your experiences, ways of moving in the world, interactions, communications, our relationships with each other?

  2. #2
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Very interesting thoughts. That explains a lot. More after additional mulling...

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    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    That is really interesting. I'm curious to learn how other INFPs feel about it. It sounds like a very nice thing.

    I always find myself wandering around and stopping to spin in place so I can feel like I really understand my landscape. I feel like that's the only way to truly know it. It leaves me kind of drifty. My partner is Ti dominant and he feels very solid to me. It is like I am a kite and he stands on the ground holding my string so I don't blow away. Sometimes he has to get me out of trees, though.
    “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 cafe View Post
    I always find myself wandering around and stopping to spin in place so I can feel like I really understand my landscape. I feel like that's the only way to truly know it. It leaves me kind of drifty. My partner is Ti dominant and he feels very solid to me. It is like I am a kite and he stands on the ground holding my string so I don't blow away. Sometimes he has to get me out of trees, though.
    So interesting! We've used a metaphor something like this in trying to see a way for us to move together, but from the different vantage points. In our case, it's more like, How can we move together without me having to be located in her world in order to be with her. I don't know if we've talked about me as a kite, but he image of me flying above and her below (in her case, flowing on a river) has come up when we try to see how we might move together in our different landscapes. We haven't quite figured this out in practice, though. And also: yeah, in our case too, there's a solidity to my INFP's location - for me, a sort of "grounding" feel to her. Not a bad thing.

    I'm curious: Your Ti dom partner holds your string so you don't blow away and sometimes has to get you out of the trees. On the flip side, what does your kite-ness do for him?




    And @fidelia, glad you find this interesting and am looking forward to your comments after mulling!

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    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Werebudgie View Post
    I'm curious: Your Ti dom partner holds your string so you don't blow away and sometimes has to get you out of the trees. On the flip side, what does your kite-ness do for him?
    I was wondering that myself. I often do. I don't know. Maybe lighten him up?

    Seriously, though, I don't know that he sees us that way. I think I am his audience and his soft place to land. I'm not really good at active, concrete nurturing like I've seen SFs be, but I think I'm maybe a sanctuary for him. Getting a dude, especially a Ti dominant one to talk about these things is more of a challenge than I usually find profitable. They just didn't socialize boys for that in Kansas in the seventies. He can do it in a pinch, but it's very uncomfortable and stressful for him. Generally, he says that I'm nice and a good person and I laugh at his jokes. He seems to find my facial expressions highly entertaining. So whatever that means.

    We are very gentle to and respectful of one another's inner child. We both had moderately traumatic childhoods (though probably no worse than most kids) and sometimes it feels like we have made our own secret hideout where we can read and play and no bad things can come in. Not entirely functional, probably, but pretty happy.
    “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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    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    I think, Werebudgie, that you have a unique perspective because you have a partner who is INFP. I found fia and your observations maybe at the tip of explaining some of the disconnects I've seen or felt between me and INFPs, at the same time as really appreciating them and finding them interesting people to be around. So at this point, I guess I am still formulating questions and seeing what people have to say. But I have some vague questions that are hovering there in the background. More in a bit...

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    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    When it was first proposed to me that I was an INFP and not an INFJ, one of the things that clinched it (one of many things) was the description on PersonalityPage that says INFPs deal with things according to how they feel about them. That's me in a nutshell, and there's nothing really more to be said. I deal with things according to how I feel about them. This is why cognitive therapy feels like bullshit to me, too -- my feelings are faster than my thoughts -- I can't override what's so immediate and so powerful. And that makes me, by definition, an irrational creature. Finally everything fell into place. What that's worth for purposes of this discussion, I don't know, but I put it out there in case it might be of use.

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    can't handcuff the wind Z Buck McFate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Kross View Post

    This is like la-la land, crazy-weird to me, but it is fascinating. The metaphor of layered landscape helps but it's something so totally different to me that I don't think it entirely translates.

    One thing it is making me think of are the different, interconnected levels of reality in The Matrix and Inception - as well as the strange seepage between the worlds and the deceptiveness of the immediate reality. Do you think these relate well to the concept of Ni or are they different? If so, how does that work?
    This stuck out to me- and I’m bringing it over to this thread because I’m avoiding that other one. Plus, it's more germaine to this op anyway. (I hope you don't mind that I've brought your quote over here, SK.)

    I have used this analogy before though- that sometimes I do feel like I’m looking at the falling number screen (matrix) instead of seeing what everyone else sees. That’s what Ni feels like to me. And that's why it can take me so long to make sense of new information, why I'm not as mercurial in situations where I'm not familiar with the 'code' (aka: not sure what to expect).

    I've said before- I actually totally see this (a post lady x made) being an accurate description of INFJ behavior- except instead of "IF ONE MORE PERSON SAYS THE WRONG THING TO ME", it's more accurate to say it feels (to me) like "IF ONE MORE UNEXPECTED THING GETS SAID TO ME"...though I can see how it would look like the former to anyone who doesn't have to translate every single piece of information (I can see how it would look like judgment about the content instead of just overwhelm at TOO MUCH STUFF NEEDS MY ATTENTION).

    Even my own feelings-if it's a relatively foreign experience- are just like the falling numbers screen to me and I have to slowly let it slide into perspective before I understand. I'll know there's *something* that needs paying attention to because, like, the numbers are flashing neon or something. Something will grab my attention and I can't ignore it (in that crying baby sort of way) until it makes sense- and having too much in too little time can be infuriating because it rarely makes sense right away. The numbers might *look* like anger, but until I figure out what all that stuff going on around it is I'm reluctant to label the feeling.

    This might have something to do with being e5 too, though.
    Reality is a collective hunch. -Lily Tomlin

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiltyred View Post
    When it was first proposed to me that I was an INFP and not an INFJ, one of the things that clinched it (one of many things) was the description on PersonalityPage that says INFPs deal with things according to how they feel about them. That's me in a nutshell, and there's nothing really more to be said. I deal with things according to how I feel about them. This is why cognitive therapy feels like bullshit to me, too -- my feelings are faster than my thoughts -- I can't override what's so immediate and so powerful. And that makes me, by definition, an irrational creature. Finally everything fell into place. What that's worth for purposes of this discussion, I don't know, but I put it out there in case it might be of use.
    I loved cognitive therapy and found it extremely helpful. I've found I can change my feelings by altering my thoughts. I get very pissed and suspicious when someone attempts to bypass my mind to get at my emotions. It feels like dirty pool.
    “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 Werebudgie View Post
    [...]As a Ni-dom, I am inside a landscape that I have not created but that I perceive ... I am one little bit moving within this huge landscape, perceiving from my specific vantage point.

    In contrast, as a Fi-dom, my INFP partner IS her own organic landscape. It wouldn't exist without her because it is created by her. She is her own home.

    I can be pulled out my organic landscape. In order for me to get centered again in that situation, I have to move myself back into that landscape, re-position myself - move myself from alien landscapes back into my organic Ni landscape. She would never need to do that because she is never NOT in her organic landscape. She is in her organic landscape by definition, all the time, because she IS her own organic landscape.[…]
    I know you said in the OP that you don't want to deal with the Auxiliaries, especially with regard to comparisons of Fi vs Fe and Ni vs Ne. And I won't hold it against you if you cry "foul" on what follows. But in comparing Fi and Ni, you're comparing a judging vs perceiving function. So I'm just wondering how you experience your own judging function (Fe), in order to compare it with your description of how your SO experiences her judging function (Fi).

    Example:

    As an INFP, I identify personally with my Dom Fi (my judging function, my internal landscape), and I'm kind of stuck permanently in it. Meanwhile, my Aux Ne (my perceiving function, the external landscape that I riff on for new ideas) is a landscape that I move in and out of. It can be tough to turn off my Aux Ne at times, but I can turn it off and cease to interact with it. It exists without me being in it.

    You say that INFJs experience Dom Ni (their perceiving function, their internal landscape) but don't necessarily identify with it; they can be pulled out of it. So what about Aux Fe (their judging function, their external landscape): Do they identify with it? Are they stuck permanently in it?

    Key point I'm trying to bring out: Basically I'm just curious about the idea of identifying with a function to the point of being stuck permanently in it; is that a quality of all the judging functions, and does it work the same way for INFJs and their Aux judging function (Fe)?

    Just to anticipate your response a bit: It seems to me (as an INFP) that INFJs identify strongly with their Fe. And in fact I find INFJs and their strong identification with Fe to be very grounding for me (as in the sense of the kite metaphor in the previous posts--my Ne leaves me floating and unsure of how I should interact with people at times). Dealing with people in the world around me can be problematic for me, and Fe is such an important function in interacting with the real world (networking, teamwork, basic daily courtesies, etc.). I appreciate the Fe-Dom and Fe-Aux types and their strong grasp of social interaction principles, and I observe them in order to learn more about Fe for my own use.

    BTW, I would also be curious to hear more about your Dom Ni as the thread progresses. You seem to have a strong impression of it and how it works, or at least a strong ability to describe your experience of it.

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