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Thread: Hello, having trouble determining my type, the usual

  1. #1
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    Default Hello, having trouble determining my type, the usual

    Hi everyone. I'm new here. I think I entered my type as "INFP." However, I've really given up on really determining my type without outside help, at least beyond "introversion" and "intuition" which I'm sure about. I was wondering if someone might have the benevolence and patience to help me.

    First, I should say that I am *sure* that I am an enneagram 4w5. The description for type 4 resonates with me a lot more than any of the MBTI ones did. When i read it, I felt just like "that's me, exactly". Moody, self-conscious, cultivating a hidden self that one hopes will be appreciated by others, feeling that one can't be understood by anyone else when this fails to happen, envious, aesthetic, feeling defective or like one is missing something, etc.

    Now, as for the latter two axes.

    F vs. T
    ok, so I read this website ( and I identify *much* more with the NF temperament than with the NT temperament. Specifically:

    "The Catalysts' core needs are for the meaning and significance that come from having a sense of purpose...Catalysts need to have a sense of unique identity. They value unity, self-actualization, and authenticity..."

    vs. :

    "The Theorists' core needs are for mastery of concepts, knowledge, and competence. Theorists want to understand the operating principles of the universe and to learn or even develop theories for everything. They value expertise, logical consistency, concepts and ideas..."

    As would make sense for a type 4. In fact, I'm not quite sure I understand how an NF can be a 5, or an NT a 4 (which I see claimed every so often).

    Besides this, I am very sensitive to criticism etc., I find it hard to be very ruthless towards other people because I imagine they are as sensitive as I am and I do not want to hurt their feelings (unless I have it out for them for some personal reason). Being in INTx groups (especially INTJ groups) feels alien to me because the people tend to be so cold and detached and uncomforting. I don't want to discuss anything personal there because I won't get any understanding there. The description for INTJ online says : "only instead of expecting inexhaustible affection and empathy from a romantic relationship, the INTJ will expect inexhaustible reasonability and directness." But I value affection and empathy much more than reasonableness and directness, in a romantic relationship (although the latter are nice too).

    So why might I be a thinker at all? Well, I more often than not get "T" on online tests. Also, most people who know me think I am a T. I do not like to talk about my or others' feelings that much, it makes me feel awkward (even though my own feelings are important to me and even though I do not want to hurt others' feelings). I'm not very affectionate, in fact my ENTP (!) friend said the other day he gets a bit hurt at my lack of affection. (He thinks I'm INTJ.) My therapist thought I was INTP.

    J vs P

    On the one hand, I am very punctual, and I get distressed if other people are not punctual. (This is the main reason my always-late ENTP friend thinks I'm a J, I think.) I like to know what is going to happen ahead of time. I don't like to get into things I don't know. When there is a set list of assignments and readings, I often work ahead to obviate the possibility of having to work at the last minute (I often worry, eg, about: what if I leave it to the last minute and catch cold?). I like the feeling of being done with something (even in leisure, eg I like having done with a book I read for leisure and then being able to discuss it). I like having all the expectations for a task known up front, rather than for the expectations to change during the task's completion (this especially annoyed me about working under an INTP).

    On the other hand, I'm extremely indecisive. Faced with a decision, I keep hemming and hawing, thinking of what might happen in the one case and then what might happen in the other case. I work ahead when there is a structure, but I am horrible at providing a structure for my own time. I also don't usually plan what I'm going to do ahead of time (eg, I might decide to go hang out somewhere on a whim on Sunday afternoon).

    In her site about INFJ vs. INFP (there is no link to the particular page I'm talking about), Vicky Jo discusses two things that tend to distinguish judgers from perceivers. One is that judgers tend to 'chop' with their hands and perceivers tend to feel more comfortable 'sheaving'. I'm pretty sure I feel more comfortable 'chopping', and I do this in everyday life in fact. She also said perceivers tend to inform (eg., "We're out of milk"), whereas judgers tend to direct (eg, "Get some milk."). I think I tend to direct nicely and mix it with informing if possible, because otherwise it seems rude. But I don't like the lack of clarity of just informing, whether on the giving or receiving end. (So I might say "I was wondering if you could get some milk, because we're out", or "We're out of milk, so I was wondering if you could get some.").

    Finally, I'll just discuss two pairs of cognitive functions.

    Fi vs. Fe
    This seems to be the most important one in determining between INFJ and INFP. And, if you've noticed, I seem to come to the conclusion on my own that I'm an INFJ, just using the letters. But then I find I identify much more with Fi than with Fe.

    For example, Vicky Jo says that Fe-users tend to like to celebrate traditional holidays in traditional ways. They like hallmark cliches. So, for example, they like ideas like being proposed to in the Eiffel Tower, or buying the right gift at Valentine's Day or at Christmas for exactly the right person, etc. She said Fi-users tend to rebel against these cliches, and that's me. For one thing (this is getting tangential, but whatever), I don't like the gender roles that have been ascribed to people in Western society, so I wouldn't value proposing full stop, much less in the Eiffel Tower. I usually don't pay attention to Christmas and just get people stuff when something they might like occurs to me.

    Or again, Vicky Jo says that Fe-users, even INFJs, tend to be much more comfortable with self-disclosure than Fi-users. Whereas I'm *very* private, even for an introverted person. It's very hard to get me out of my shell.

    Just in general, I focus a lot more on my feelings than on others'. Although, like I said, I do tend to be sensitive to other people's feelings and I try not to hurt them by saying blunt things (like an INTJ might).

    Vicky Jo and a few other websites made Fe (even in an INFJ) seem very communal, very group-conformist, very...superficial, it seemed to me. I don't care where the fork and the spoon goes or that you're supposed to get somebody flowers on Valentine's Day etc. Perhaps this very judgement on my part is a clue (or perhaps you think they mischaracterised it or I misunderstood it).

    On the other hand--maybe this is Fe?--I absorb the emotions of those around me. When I sense someone around me is upset, I get very anxious and troubled.

    Ni vs. Ne
    Vicky Jo (again, there is no link to the particular page) discusses the differences between Ni and Ne, and here I identify more with Ni. Maybe I misunderstand it though. It seems like Ne is a brainstorming function, thinking of different ways that reality can unfold or that things can be done. She lists some examples of Ne exercises : "Think of at least ten different solutions to a problem. For example, how can you avoid spilling coffee while you drive?" ; "Find what's good about discovering at the last minute that you are missing an ingredient for the dinner you are cooking." ; "Take an idea you have about where you would like to go on vacation and another idea about what you would do "someday" and combine them." ; etc. In general I was terrible at these exercises when we actually did them in school. This is in some ways a more 'creative', think-outside-the-box type of function than Ni, and I'm notoriously unable to do this.

    On the other hand, Ni seems like a kind of way of arriving at ideas internally by means of a process that isn't actually conscious. It also seems to have to do with symbols and archetypes. All this sounds much more like me. When I write or am working on a project, it seems like I am often stuck until an idea or a clarification kind of just comes to me. On the other hand, I do not have presentiments of the future, and I am not psychic.

    Finally, Vicky Jo suggested that one way one might be able to determine one's superior function is by asking:

    "Were such a thing imaginable [I'm paraphrasing what she said now], would you rather lose your intuition or your feeling?"

    I would right away answer "my feeling". I would also prefer to lose my thinking rather than my intuition (as far as INTP vs. INxJ is concerned).

    So...basically, I feel like an INFJ whose top two functions are Ni-Fi. A lot of people have told me "oh, you're an INTJ with a reeeally strong Fi", but after a while that has just seemed to ring false, especially after being in INTJ groups. I know INTJs have feelings and all, but they seem fundamentally more caught up on impersonal matters than I am. But my feelings do not dominate me as they seem to dominate INFPs, I am not overly concerned with taking care of others' feelings as INFJs seem to be, and again I am not a detached NT as INTPs seem to be. So what do you think I am, if anything?

    Thanks all! I hope I have not bored you.

  2. #2
    ... Array Tyrinth's Avatar
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    I'd guess INFJ for you rather than INFP, but don't take my opinion too seriously.
    (Your wall of text had a lot to do with my forming this opinion.)

    That last thing about "Would you rather lose your intuition or feeling." thing was interesting, I would have gone with intuition.

    Well anyways, welcome to the forum.

  3. #3
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    hm, thanks Tyrinth I guess I should look at how some perceivers tend to write.

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