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  1. #1
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Default Going straight for the jugular - INFP vs ENFP

    Hello all - I am new here, so you have no posts to reference, but the question is driving me nuts!

    The Main Question: A familiar one I see (from previous posts in this section) - am I a "socially-oriented" INFP or a shy ENFP?

    Background: I have taken the MBTI in the past (10 years ago). I scored as INFP. I have taken the test two times since - typed as INFP. Generally, the I vs E is 55% / 45%. I totally agree with the NFP part. (At one point, I was enamoured with being a J, but ... I am not a J. I got over it.) In enneagram testing, I am 9w1, the Peacemaker. Agree with that too.

    The Initiating Event for the Question: I recently took another online quiz that scored me as ENFP. That's not as important though as the fact that it actually prompted me to read the descriptions for ENFP for the very first time. And subsequently I read this: INFJ or INFP? a closer look.

    Previously, I never questioned the introvert part until I realized there's a distinction between being an Introvert and being very SHY (or having lower self-esteem.) So I retook the MBTI, framing any relevant question with the following: "How would I answer this if I did not feel shy?" I scored as ENFP.

    So - because I understand this is not an uncommon dilemma, and one with no quick answer (darn), I ask: how can I find out? What are some signposts to watch for? What is the difference between being an Fi dom (INFP) or an Ne dom (ENFP)? How does that express itself in daily life?

    A little bit about me: I feel impressions from people all the time. I am always conscious of what they are doing and I get feelings and draw conclusions about them & their lives. I see that as intuitiveness, but how does that differ from simply picking up feelings? I never like big crowds, but feel left out when I'm not doing something with people. I enjoy time by myself, and do feel that people can suck energy away from me, but that's because I sense they want more energy than they are willing to give back. I am not gregarious, or boisterous, or any huge stereotypical E traits. I do have strong feelings, but they can overwhelm me and I have some anxiety responses around that.

    Summary: The prospect of surrounding myself for all these years with an inaccurate paradigm is astounding! I have barely scratched the surface of this, but if anyone has some inspired sentiments to share on the topic - tell me!

    Thanks!
    Last edited by PeaceBaby; 01-09-2009 at 07:52 PM. Reason: sp

  2. #2
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    i wasn't sure when i joined either. it is tricky because there are so many similarities and if you just read one you take what fits and discard the rest but everyone here helped me figure out that i was an enfp because i really do come alive when i'm with other people. they give me energy and i feel motivated to do things...when i'm alone i'm seriously lazy.

    another helpful point that a member by the name of heart helped me with...she asked how i do with dark emotions...and supposedly infp's are much more comfortable with them then enfp's...i very much try to be happy all the time and create that kind of environment around me....anther thing was that...i don't really think before i speak or write...it kind of all happens at once...and i'm ridiculously expressive...everyone always knows what i'm feeling...good or bad...it's pretty embarrassing actually...she described it as what's suppose to be on the inside is on the outside...and it's totally true.

  3. #3
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Thanks erinavery for your response.

    Quote Originally Posted by erinavery View Post
    i really do come alive when i'm with other people. they give me energy and i feel motivated to do things...
    I do feel alive, but I get tired; I so much want to keep going, but the interaction makes feel start to feel like I'm out of control, and I rein myself back.

    Quote Originally Posted by erinavery View Post
    ...i don't really think before i speak or write...it kind of all happens at once...
    I do think about what I say, and I do craft responses. Historically, when I just blurt out my thoughts, I have unintentionally hurt or annoyed others. I learned at a young age it was better to generally shut up.

    Quote Originally Posted by erinavery View Post
    ...and i'm ridiculously expressive...everyone always knows what i'm feeling...good or bad...it's pretty embarrassing actually...she described it as what's suppose to be on the inside is on the outside...and it's totally true.
    Negatory on that. I keep my feelings to myself, and choose when to let them out. It would have to be something pretty powerful for me to let my guard down and not control myself.

    I am not opposed to being INFP btw - I am just having so much trouble seeing the difference between the two in my mind. I can generally guess others, ironic I am a bit muddied myself.

    Does it make a difference at the end of the day? I have to say Yes because I realize I have come more and more to guard myself against others, even though I always want people to like me. And part of my rationalization for that is "I am an Introvert; of course I need a recharge / I need to get away from this person who is sucking my energy." But being alone, or in my own head for too long doesn't make me happy either. *sigh*

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    A little bit about me: I feel impressions from people all the time. I am always conscious of what they are doing and I get feelings and draw conclusions about them & their lives.
    Do you say anything to them about it, if you aren't good friends with them already?

    If so, E, if not, I. It's common for ENFPs to pick up on a mood, and try to do something about it.

    I see that that as intuitiveness, but how does that differ from simply picking up feelings? I never like big crowds, but feel left out when I'm not doing something with people. I enjoy time by myself, and do feel that people can suck energy away from me, but that's because I sense they want more energy than they are willing to give back. I am not gregarious, or boisterous, or any huge stereotypical E traits. I do have strong feelings, but they can overwhelm me and I have some anxiety responses around that.
    You sound more ENFP to me.

  5. #5
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    it IS confusing...i know....and i will say that i'd rather be alone then with people that i can't "talk" to...i don't do surface interaction very well and prefer the company of people who can jump around and go deep or abstract...i can do surface if we're DOING something fun...or if they're funny...but mindless surface chit chat bores me to tears and i'd rather be alone...so... i'm a selective extrovert i guess.

    but in any case...sounds like you may be a bit more introverted...hopefully someone more knowledgeable will come along to help.

  6. #6
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Thanks Jack Flak for your post.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flak View Post
    Do you say anything to them about it, if you aren't good friends with them already?
    If so, E, if not, I.
    Historically, I would share my impressions only with people I knew, even if I wanted to tell other people what I sensed about them. Why? I am aware that these are intuitions and not based on any tangible, concrete facts. Thus they could be unwelcome, and I never wanted to a) hurt anyone's feelings or freak them out b) make them think I'm a freak or c) influence their decision-making with "hunches".

    I was always concerned with people "liking" me and fitting in - I was happy to be included in stuff, never mind drawing too much attention to myself for my crazy ideas!

    I grew up in an "SJ" household, and I learned that decisions were supposed to be based on facts and logic. Opinions were to be expressed concisely. (In fact, opinions were not generally solicited at all LOL!) So I didn't develop a ... trust ... in my intuitions, and even now I try to be balanced on that front.

    I hadn't thought of myself as an Extrovert since I just learned that my ideas were best left in my own head, where they wouldn't be picked apart, ridiculed or dismissed. To me, living in my head and feeling shy around people = Introvert.

    Woooo, letting the cap off of all that feels dangerous ...

    But, hey, these days I don't worry about it so much. I sing at work whenever I want to. I joke around with people and talk to who I like. I still have trouble escaping from those who just want to use an ear, but I know people like my silly side. Even while feeling really shy, I have sung in a band, done musical theatre, been in public speaking roles. Everyone says I look so relaxed and comfortable, even though I can be a bundle of nerves inside! And strangely, I seem to NEED to do this kind of stuff, even though it feels stressful (tons of stage fright) sometimes.

    Well that's enough of me blabbing for now. I realize this is likely a journey, not a quick answer, and your time to provide insights is very much appreciated.

  7. #7
    mod love baby... Lady_X's Avatar
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    hmmm...well jack knows what he's talking about he typed me with my first 2 sentence post.

  8. #8
    reborn PeaceBaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erinavery View Post
    hmmm...well jack knows what he's talking about he typed me with my first 2 sentence post.
    You're adorable! I find I am drawn to people who feel authentic, no matter what their type. (Sidebar: I almost seem to adapt to their style, take on some of their mannerisms.)

    And I sense you are honest and forthright with your posts, and it's great!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceBaby View Post
    Thanks Jack Flak for your post.
    You better knock that crap off if you want any more of my help.

    Btw, ENFP.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flak View Post
    Btw, ENFP.
    Yeh, agreed. Welcome also.
    Freude, schöner Götterfunken Tochter aus Elysium, Wir betreten feuertrunken, Himmlische, dein Heiligtum! Deine Zauber binden wieder Was die Mode streng geteilt; Alle Menschen werden Brüder, Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt.

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