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  1. #11
    Senior Member tovlo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabe View Post
    well, here's a perfect time to mention this website.

    INFJ or INFP? a closer look

    (the author of this site is MBTI qualified)

    To be honest I'm already leaning towards _NFP (there's a blank there, because many, many ENFPS start off assuming they are introverts)
    That site was an interesting source of information for me, but for me inconclusive and a source of additional confusion. I've heard similar feedback from many people who seem close on the INFJ/INFP border. Those who are solidly typed either INFJ or INFP seem to recommend this site with the most confidence it will help someone sort out their type, but those I've encountered who are close to the border and searching seem to experience going from page to page feeling more INFJ on one page and more INFP on the next and ending up overloaded and more confused than when they started. Informative, but confusing.

    All the same, thanks much for the recommendation. Perhaps if someone else is looking it will be the source that will help them decide.
    "We don't see things as they are,
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  2. #12
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tovlo View Post
    I have some sense of the vibe you're refering to. I think I have felt something similar.

    I do know my sense is that in some fundamental way I'm different from INFP's. I feel different from INFJ's too, but it's odd because it feels like more superficial differences. When INFP's start to describe their inner process or it is revealed in their approach to a topic, I find myself often getting confused and feeling lost. When INFJ's start to describe their inner process, I usually feel grounded and safe and have an excited feeling of "yes! yes! I see what you see!"
    Oh, I completely concur with the bold part...
    I feel positive self-growth in exploring unfamiliar INFP perspectives, though I do also often feel a tension of instability and insecurity in the presence of these perspectives. I generally feel comforted and at ease in the familiarity of INFJ perspectives.
    That's one difference between us... When I try to deal with IxFP's, I feel like their values are mutable and confusing, and as if nothing I do is good enough for them. They usually don't like me because I'm too "logical."

    But then they turn around and get along fine with INTP's, so go figure. I keep trying to understand INFP's, but I can't see anything I can relate to in their values.


    Quote Originally Posted by TenebrousReflection View Post
    Which of those categories would you put me in?
    Well, I'd have to get to know you better first... but you don't seem like an INFP (or at least the sort of people I've pegged as INFP's). You might be an INTP, an INFJ, or less likely an INTJ. (sometimes they can be hard to tell apart at first online, if they're well rounded enough.)

    Anyway, I have a question for you... and maybe tovlo. Can you decide to simply believe some thing is true because you want it to be, or do you have to have some kind of carefully considered reason for believing it? A lot of times INFP's can just believe in something in a way I can't. I don't know if all of them are like that, but they seem to tend in that direction. INFJ's still seem idealistic, but more... aware. Does that make sense?

  3. #13
    Senior Member tovlo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TenebrousReflection View Post
    This does not sound quite like what I do (parts of it, but not all of it). What I do is more along the lines of rapidly starting mental scenarios and playing through them and "flagging" them as I go, then exploring the more appealing ideas in greater depth trying to find one that "feels right" and also might have a chance to reach the solution I want.
    I agree there seems to be some subtle difference. My sense of INFP's is that the process for them is more about fitting external information into an already existing framework until the information that "fits" is found. My experience is more like building a framework that makes sense around the information I've been able to gather.

    One of my beliefs is "the anwers we need are usually already in each of us, but sometimes we need someone else to help us see where to look and/or to help show us what we are overlooking".
    Here again, I do think there's perhaps a slight and very subtle difference. (maybe...not sure) My sense is that many INFP's I have encountered actually have a tendency toward a bit more of an active disposition in terms of believing people need their insight in order to see the answer clearly. They seem to believe the answer is in the other person, but the other person is in need of their enlightenment in order to find what the INFP knows already is the answer. I admit that I've felt this tendency as invasive and disempowering. But I know my tendency is toward much more passive engagement. I'm only there to offer information and perspective and once offered, I pretty much walk away from engagement with what the receiver decides to do with that information. I have a sense of ease generally that they'll know better than I would how much to value the perspective and insights I can offer and my sense of unease would come from feeling I may have imposed my view too strongly into their experience and in that imposition may have potentially misled them away from finding the true answer resting within.

    I don't know if my approach is actually common to INFJ's though, I just know it seems different from what I sense in many INFP's.
    "We don't see things as they are,
    we see things as we are."
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  4. #14
    Senior Member tovlo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    Anyway, I have a question for you... and maybe tovlo. Can you decide to simply believe some thing is true because you want it to be, or do you have to have some kind of carefully considered reason for believing it? A lot of times INFP's can just believe in something in a way I can't. I don't know if all of them are like that, but they seem to tend in that direction. INFJ's still seem idealistic, but more... aware. Does that make sense?
    I can't just belive something is true because I want it to be. I must have some kind of carefully considered reason for believing in it. Now I may expend great effort creating a framework of reason that feels acceptable to me so that I can believe in something I want to believe in, but if I can't make that framework work out in a way that makes sense to me, I can't just toss the framework aside and say I believe in it anyway. It has to make sense or I feel ungrounded.
    "We don't see things as they are,
    we see things as we are."
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  5. #15
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tovlo View Post
    I agree there seems to be some subtle difference. My sense of INFP's is that the process for them is more about fitting external information into an already existing framework until the information that "fits" is found. My experience is more like building a framework that makes sense around the information I've been able to gather.
    Yes, Fi is an internal framework. Ni is perspectives. That's similar to what I was conveying, only I think you did a better job. The idea you convey in your signature "Just because they're not on the road you're on..." is something I don't think an INFP could "get".

    Here again, I do think there's perhaps a slight and very subtle difference. (maybe...not sure) My sense is that many INFP's I have encountered actually have a tendency toward a bit more of an active disposition in terms of believing people need their insight in order to see the answer clearly. They seem to believe the answer is in the other person, but the other person is in need of their enlightenment in order to find what the INFP knows already is the answer. I admit that I've felt this tendency as invasive and disempowering. But I know my tendency is toward much more passive engagement. I'm only there to offer information and perspective and once offered, I pretty much walk away from engagement with what the receiver decides to do with that information. I have a sense of ease generally that they'll know better than I would how much to value the perspective and insights I can offer and my sense of unease would come from feeling I may have imposed my view too strongly into their experience and in that imposition may have potentially misled them away from finding the true answer resting within.
    Yes... I do experience that. Sometimes in certain situations, if I feel that something is really unfair, I might keep trying very hard to justify/explain my view, but that's only if I can't fit their view into what I understand, in any way. And I don't really care for the attention it draws, or the feeling of imposing so much...


    Quote Originally Posted by tovlo View Post
    I can't just belive something is true because I want it to be. I must have some kind of carefully considered reason for believing in it. Now I may expend great effort creating a framework of reason that feels acceptable to me so that I can believe in something I want to believe in, but if I can't make that framework work out in a way that makes sense to me, I can't just toss the framework aside and say I believe in it anyway. It has to make sense or I feel ungrounded.
    Yes! Exactly. There have been times I wanted to/tried to just believe in something anyway... but I couldn't. Well, tovlo, I'd say you're an INFJ.

  6. #16
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tovlo View Post
    My sense is that many INFP's I have encountered actually have a tendency toward a bit more of an active disposition in terms of believing people need their insight in order to see the answer clearly. They seem to believe the answer is in the other person, but the other person is in need of their enlightenment in order to find what the INFP knows already is the answer. I admit that I've felt this tendency as invasive and disempowering. But I know my tendency is toward much more passive engagement. I'm only there to offer information and perspective and once offered, I pretty much walk away from engagement with what the receiver decides to do with that information. I have a sense of ease generally that they'll know better than I would how much to value the perspective and insights I can offer and my sense of unease would come from feeling I may have imposed my view too strongly into their experience and in that imposition may have potentially misled them away from finding the true answer resting within.
    Thank you for sharing this, Tovlo. That actually seems to fit my experiences with INFP and INFJ very well. And it's rather ironic, because INFPs seem more relaxed and open on the surface, whereas INFJ seems more "closed" or sure of themselves... but in an actual interaction, in terms of decisions I make, I end up feeling that the INFJ actually empowers me more to make my own decisions and find what is right for me in my situation, whereas INFP usually is encouraging me towards a particular value or reminding me of what values are important in the situation (in their perspective).

    In terms of this entire discussion, I think one of the confusing areas is that we all still use all eight functions. No one is exclusively Ni or Ne. So sometimes it becomes difficult to 'tease out' the particular impact of a particular function or be able to recognize when it is being used. Just because one is INFJ doesn't mean they aren't mingling in some Ne use, and vice versa.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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  7. #17
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    Tovlo: I feel for you... I think both of us are on the same boat. I'm also borderline when it comes to J/P. I'm fairly certain I am Ni dominant, however I seem to also like using Ne... more than Fe which is surprising, however Fi is low. People I interact with say I give the outward appearance of a J, however I personally feel I am very reluctant in making decisions and prefer openness.
    nightning - I was very busy and my mind was elsewhere for most of the weekend, so I didn't really focus in on your words as much as I could have, the first read-through!

    I also think I'm Ni dominant (simply put, I'm in my head quite a lot!), but Ne is right up there too. As for me personally, my Fi is quite high, which I don't think is typical of an INFJ. But all things considered, I think my cognitive behavior towards others is rather Fe.

    One thing I struggled with myself is determining to what extent is my intuition Ne. Some signs are obvious. For example, I am rather visually orientated. Often times I noticed patterns in the things I see and I immediately think of how that can be applied in something else usually in art and design.
    I am very visually/pattern-oriented as well.

    Sometimes I wonder whether a very insecure INFJ might act like an INFP... (inability to chose despite wanting closure) or if it's just what happens when you fall on the J/P cusp. Then there's another part of my mind that asks does it truly matter whether you are an INFJ or an INFP. The label should only be there to help you understand yourself. It shouldn't dictate who you are. MBTI is afterall only a theory.
    A curious thought; I don't know! But this whole paragraph resonates with me - just the questions, the thoughts, the comments on label and how it shouldn't dictate who you are..yeah.

    I don't know if that's Ne Fi or just Ni working by itself. What do I mean by that? Well the nature of Ni provides multiple perspective. INFJs tend to pursuit an ideal world where everybody can self-actualize. However for that to happen, you must let the other person decide for themselves what is it that they wanted.
    Yes!

    ------------------------------
    I also wonder myself whether INFP in general is more comfortable just being who they are without abandon, and not caring so much what others think of them - i.e. more comfortable in taking things as they are, 'rolling with it', not pushing things, letting things happen of their own accord, very conscious of their own vision....whereas INFJ is maybe more concerned of others' perceptions of them, and have a stronger external need for acceptance and validation from others? But also INFJ's want to find that closure and find that 'path' to take in the moment - and really want things settled out and are more uncomfortable just letting things happen of their own accord. I also wonder whether INFJ's in general tend to *analyze* situations more so than INFP's; and get caught up in the details maybe? I might just be speaking of the difference in myself and an INFP I know, though. It may not be universal.

    I have an affinity for INFJ's in real life...somehow we find each other. ;-) I have a hard time articulating how we're all quite similar - but I think it has to do with our thought processes, and our openness to ideas and openness to possibilities, and seeing multiple perspectives and not being caught in just one mindset, or just one way of viewing a person, a situation, an external event....having a more fluid internal process, I suppose...we may not have all the same specific beliefs, but HOW we think and communicate and interact with others and perceive the world/people is VERY much the same. Another thing myself and my INFJ friends have in common is that we're intensely idealistic, but we also are practical and are aware of 'reality'. So we to some extent battle the two, and it's sometimes hard to reconcile/balance the two and stay true to ourselves. Or we are constantly refining it throughout life. We also have a strong need for purpose and 'meaning' and not just going through the motions - but that's perhaps an NF thing, not specific to INFJ.

    And finally, we can 'blend' pretty easily into a system, and figure out how it works and how everyone interacts and thus what we need to do to mesh into it. One of my friends I'm referring to is much more of a solid INFJ than I think I am - there's no question about it - and in her words: 'I think my greatest talent is to be whoever someone wants me to be.' I think this is tied to both being very intuitive to other peoples' personalities/needs, and being Fe - the acceptance/fitting in/pleasing others thing - and now I'm rambling all sorts of things, but I know in my personal past, I've fallen into that pattern - being who I knew the person I was with wanted me to be. :-) It's something I haven't done recently, and I don't intend to do it anymore in the future, as I don't think it's really a good/real/true thing and it basically negates the self, but there you have it. My INFJ friends and I are also very honest - but there is a time and place for everything, if that makes sense...it's rather person-specific in terms of how to deliver the message, or whether not to deliver it at all (and typically we will only express our true thoughts/opinions if our opinion is asked for. My other INFJ friend take the route of asking someone: 'Do you want to know my opinion?', before delivering it). An INFP told my INFJ friend that she was "Absurdly honest." I have gotten similar comments regarding myself - being honest and open, to the point of it on occasion being received harshly if the party doesn't like the message. Of course it's a very delicate balance - knowing how to present the message in a loving/constructive manner, when to, if it's appropriate/necessary, etc.....

    Done babbling.

    I wish I knew more INFP's in real life to have a better comparison between the two.
    "...On and on and on and on he strode, far out over the sands, singing wildly to the sea, crying to greet the advent of the life that had cried to him." - James Joyce

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  8. #18
    Senior Member Gabe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tovlo View Post
    That site was an interesting source of information for me, but for me inconclusive and a source of additional confusion. I've heard similar feedback from many people who seem close on the INFJ/INFP border. Those who are solidly typed either INFJ or INFP seem to recommend this site with the most confidence it will help someone sort out their type, but those I've encountered who are close to the border and searching seem to experience going from page to page feeling more INFJ on one page and more INFP on the next and ending up overloaded and more confused than when they started. Informative, but confusing.

    All the same, thanks much for the recommendation. Perhaps if someone else is looking it will be the source that will help them decide.
    O.K, maybe try reading the blog comments.

    And now I'll try to do the websites routine:
    Fe vs. Fi: Fe often has an 'amen chorus' nature about it. Think of that Sienfeld episode- Jerry is complaining about how his girlfriend refused to finish his meal when they went out, without even giving a reason. Now we all complain and consult, but Jerry (Fe preferring) leans over and asks a total stranger if they agree with him about the situation. "but you wouldn't just refuse, right", "Yes, I'm not a psycho". If someone has a complaint, a Fe-preferring listener will also go as far as they can in *agreeing* with the person to make them feel better. People who prefer Fe constantly concern themselves with what is socially correct. With that, Fe contains a big portion of what people call 'social skills' and things like gifts/compliments are in the domain of extraverted feeling.

    Fi has a much more "right or wrong" focus, where "right or wrong" has nothing to do with what's socially correct. In the world of Fi, ettiquete only means anything if the person sees it as having any worth/value. It is common for people who prefer Fi to rebel against common values that seem to reflect poor value judgement for them: Manners, Holiday obligations, etc... (I notice myself that I feel annoyed every time I have to adress one of my uncles as Uncle___) When someone who prefers Fi hears someone who prefers Fe getting on thier soapbox about some collective moral, the Fi person often thinks "Who cares? ___ never did any harm!" Fi is about defining one's own values and living by them.

    (I just blabbered about that one, because I think it's the easiest preference to decide)

    To be honest, by now I'm pretty sure you're an _NFP

  9. #19
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tovlo View Post
    I do know my sense is that in some fundamental way I'm different from INFP's. I feel different from INFJ's too, but it's odd because it feels like more superficial differences. When INFP's start to describe their inner process or it is revealed in their approach to a topic, I find myself often getting confused and feeling lost. When INFJ's start to describe their inner process, I usually feel grounded and safe and have an excited feeling of "yes! yes! I see what you see!"

    I feel positive self-growth in exploring unfamiliar INFP perspectives, though I do also often feel a tension of instability and insecurity in the presence of these perspectives. I generally feel comforted and at ease in the familiarity of INFJ perspectives.
    I wouldn't be surprised if you're both and neither INFJ and INFP. My take on INFJs is that they are very sure of their reads on people and issues, but when it comes to understanding themselves, they often become puzzled. The INFPs are the reverse. Self concept is particularly strong... when interacting with the external world though, they always keep it at the back of their minds that other people are different and don't try to read the situation as is. Hmmmm need to work on my wording some more.

    My feel of you is that you're even less of a J then me... but you don't like feel INFP either. More like a melting pot of the two. Again, I have to question the validity that a person must be of one type. But it's not a bad thing to be in the middle... it simply indicates that you're a well rounded person. And it shows in the way Athenian and Gabe identify you. You get the best of both worlds.

    If I were you... I wouldn't worry so much about trying to define exactly what you are. It's much more productive to explore what you can do... expanding the abilities of your functions. Best of luck in finding yourself.

    However, that doesn't mean the label is unimportant to me. It's not. The label is a superficial description of what exists underneath and so feeling some confidence in the accuracy of the label is an indicator to me of a more solid sense of self-understanding. To simply say the label is unimportant indicates to me on some level that I've given up the attempt at greater self-understanding. Trying to dig as deeply into understanding of what each label attempts to describe and how closely each potential label matches or doesn't match what I know of myself helps me make sense of where my self-awareness might need to grow and also possibly where the labels simply aren't accurately descriptive.
    *nods* I can see that. Again, instead of trying to separate and isolate the two. Perhaps you should instead see the similarities between INFJ and INFP before comparing the differences. Putting the two together in a continual scale. Maybe then you'll be able to plot yourself somewhere on that scale.

    Quote Originally Posted by tovlo View Post
    I agree there seems to be some subtle difference. My sense of INFP's is that the process for them is more about fitting external information into an already existing framework until the information that "fits" is found. My experience is more like building a framework that makes sense around the information I've been able to gather.
    The framework points to Ni in INFJ... for the INFPs I feel they just know.


    I'm only there to offer information and perspective and once offered, I pretty much walk away from engagement with what the receiver decides to do with that information. I have a sense of ease generally that they'll know better than I would how much to value the perspective and insights I can offer and my sense of unease would come from feeling I may have imposed my view too strongly into their experience and in that imposition may have potentially misled them away from finding the true answer resting within.

    I don't know if my approach is actually common to INFJ's though, I just know it seems different from what I sense in many INFP's.
    That is my approach as well. I often view myself as the catalyst. (a friend of mine coined the term... bless her. It fits so well ) I'm there to point out the possibilities and help the person achieve their goals. But what that goal might be, only they can decide. Much like platinum in a chemical reactions... It doesn't matter what the reactants are or what the products will be... it just makes things happen faster. I'm such a science nerd!

  10. #20
    4x9 cascadeco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    I'm there to point out the possibilities and help the person achieve their goals. But what that goal might be, only they can decide.
    Yes, I fully agree with this. I rarely offer 'advice' to people, other than helping them sort through THEIR thoughts. I also don't believe *I* am in any position to give specific advice to others -- only general advice -- and so general as to be not much help, but I don't think I am in any position to plot someone elses' path/life out for them...only they can do that. I am usually just an active listener and encourager and supporter. :-) But I will try to dig deep and ask questions to get more to the heart of what's going on with someone, and their feelings. But I won't articulate conclusions - more just guide things I suppose.

    I never tell people what they 'should' do, because only they know what's best for THEM. But if asked my opinion, I may give it, but I'll be careful to note it's only MY opinion, and it doesn't necessarily mean it fits them. Hmm.
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