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  1. #1
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    Default INXX ??? (any help appreciated)

    [OK, so I posted this in the welcome forum and got one response. I figured I might get more responses here. Or maybe it's too long? Sorry ^^ Thanks to anyone who does take the trouble. Incidentally there are a few small additions I thought of in the intervening time ^^]

    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 (http://www.infj.com/INFJ_Temperament.htm) 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 clichés. 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 clichés, 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). But I don't feel any compulsion to take care of others' needs, I don't put on a happy face in order not to trouble others (I've heard several INFJs say they do this), and I'd rather be loved (Fi) than love (Fe--a distinction made by Aleksey Bashtavenko).

    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. I tend (to my chagrin) to reach out to others when I have a personal/emotional problem, rather than dealing with it on my own. Also, I listen to music that reflects my feelings rather than that might change my feelings (I read on Paul James's INTP description that those with Fi listen to music that changes their feelings : http://www.intp.org/intprofile.html). Finally, I don't like talking about my emotions, partly because I don't feel like I am in very good touch with them, and partly because I am afraid of/embarrassed by them. Maybe that's Fe, I don't know.

    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.

    Ti vs. Te, Si vs. Se
    I didn't cover these (and this is already too long), partly because I don't understand these as well, but I tend prima facie to identify more with Ti and Si than with Te and Se, which helps nothing. Feel free to ask me more questions about these if you think it will help.

    ***
    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.
    Last edited by SoftRains; 01-18-2012 at 07:23 PM. Reason: added some nice underlines :)

  2. #2
    Controlled Mischief StephMC's Avatar
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    My thin-slice says INFP. You sound like an introverted version of my ENFP sister.
    I have an inner monologue that sounds strikingly similar to something off Animal Planet.

  3. #3
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    I'll preface this with saying I am not a VickyJo fan...

    I think the problem here is you are focusing on behavior & rather shallow preferences (ie. Holidays - please don't type yourself based on such silly things). This is a common approach when people get into MBTI. Notice how MBTI questions don't usually ask you if you leave things open, but rather if you PREFER to leave things open? This is because it's seeking to type your mindset, not your actual behavior (although it doesn't necessarily do this successfully). People can adopt behavior for a variety of reasons. For instance, your preference on punctuality & working ahead is not something I relate to, but that doesn't mean you're not INFP.

    A lot of these simplistic ways of differentiating functions are based on rather unfounded stereotypes. A lot of the Fe/Fi stuff especially becomes irrelevant once you factor in enneagram (a typical e4 will not be the "Fe hostess").

    This is also a VERY poor description of Ne thinking, IMO, so much so it sounds more like an SJ with decent inferior Ne, not an xNxP type. It even resembles Se a bit....

    Many NPs will tell you they do not enjoy school style brainstorming because they tend to jump to the bottom line. To have to connect one idea to the next in a linear manner is tiresome because it's obvious.

    When I was young, my mom would review my school reports and tell me I didn't connect my ideas, that they just jumped from one to another to a conclusion with little explanation. That's because the connections were so clear to me that articulating them would feel redundant. Now, I feel redundant constantly because I carefully spell stuff out for people so as not to be misunderstood...

    But I digress. The supposed Ne that VJ describes is far too focused on concrete, tangible things to reflect the thinking of an NP.

    Ne in an NP is a focus on intangible relationships & patterns. The NP sees "invisible" connections between seemingly unrelated things in the external world. "Things" is less physical objects than existing concepts & ideas.

    These connections they see may not even exist; instead their mind sees how they COULD exist & it CREATES patterns. These relationships they form between things come from seeing their conceptual essence, of how they relate to one another on a level beyond the physical. This is why NPs are associated with innovation; this thinking allows them to manipulate reality's hidden possibilities and even create new ones by seeing things with their physical facade removed, so to speak. That's also why it's associated with "outside" the box thinking. It tears down the current structures of how things are seen to work and relate to one another to see how else they could work & relate, but it does this in the intangible realm most - via ideas.

    This is largely an unconscious process as well (Ne is distinctly the extroverted function most connected to the unconscious mind). The NP has sudden bursts of ideas, where they mentally see ideas & possibilities out of seemingly "nowhere". Even a study of NP's brains show a "christmas tree" effect, where it goes from rather low activity to all lit up with a lot of activity at once. The NPs may feel a flood of many ideas all at once, and this is what can cause them to stall decision making, as they want to explore all of these to see where each could lead.

    IMO, NPs operate "outside of time", which is something like a future, because it's always "what could be" but not in a practical sense. It's not "what will be" in regards to a literal future. You can see how this could affect their time management, in regards to being less aware of it.

    The NJ's intuition (Ni) works differently. Instead of lots of brain activity and mental excitement, the person goes into a mediative state, where they concentrate on something until some vision of how the future will develop or what the core essence of something is emerges. They often think of these things in terms of symbols and visual metaphors.

    IMO, NJs are mentally within the stream time, focused on a likely, almost inevitable future, and this goes along with understanding the nature of the past and present in a conceptual way (not a factual one). You can also see how this could affect their time management, in regards to being more aware of it.

    The difference between E/I functions tends to focus more on breadth vs. depth, and Ne & Ni are no different. However, as an introvert, you will have a tendency to relate to introverted functions more. This is very typical, and that's why picking two functions you relate to best is not a good way to type yourself. Whether you're FiNe or NiFe. Ni & Fi might just sound best because they're both introverted.

    I suggest picking ONE function that best encapsulates your mindset. Let's say you choose Ni. Now you only have to choose between Te/Fe for your preferred form of judgment. Fi is no longer an option for your preferred mindset. It simplifies things & prevents people from over-rating their supposed tertiary (which IMO, can result in mistyping). I suggest doing this after reading Jung's descriptions of each "pure type" here (scroll down for each type): http://psychclassics.yorku.ca/Jung/types.htm


    I will ask you this also:
    Do you see yourself as thinking in mostly a rational manner where you form lines of reasoning to assign some kind of judgment on things? Do you find it important for things to have a "reason"? Or do you trust ideas you have about things as being almost objective, so that a line of reasoning is not even necessary to support it (it's akin to arguing the sky is blue; you just sew it is obviously blue)?

    Jung described feeling as rational, along with thinking, but he called both sensing & intuition irrational. This does not mean S or N thinking is inferior; it's a matter of preferring to form lines of reasoning to support or deny that something is true/good vs being "aware" mentally of apparent truths.

    The former is a J-dom (which is an INFP, since Fi is a judging function). The latter is a P-dom (INFJ in this case, as NI is a perceiving function). Now, this is just to aid in self-examination, it's no foolproof way to type yourself either (there is none, IMO).

    I think considering which you'd rather give up(N or F) is a poor method because people often form their identity in relation to the external world. The INFP, thus, may see him/herself as a creative, idea-oriented person. The INFJ may see themselves as an empath who forges some moral vision. They may not see themselves this way either, but that's just to illustrate how it's a poor typing method.

    Hope some of that helps.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

  4. #4
    Controlled Mischief StephMC's Avatar
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    ... I change my mind. INFJ.
    I have an inner monologue that sounds strikingly similar to something off Animal Planet.

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    @ StephMC, thanks, that's interesting. I've gotten two INFJ impressions now. I'd be curious to know why you changed your mind, if you're aware, which you might not be. (And why the horrified smiley? Heh...)

    @ OrangeAppled, thanks for taking the time to make such an informative response. I recognise much of what you say about Ne in my ENTP friend. If I'm understanding correctly, I think I think more like an NJ. If I stall some decisions, it's not because I have so many ideas or see so many possibilities (usually), but rather because I'm still struggling to arrive at the essence of something through thinking about it. And (when I'm thinking well), I do tend to think a lot in terms of metaphors and symbols. (When I'm not thinking well, I'm just stumped and frustrated, and that's when I tend to be indecisive and lose a bit of my time-management skills.)

    So, about your point about the enneagram, are you saying that someone might legitimately be an INFJ but that the enneagram-4 description would be of more relevance to determining the nature of their feeling than the Fe description? Because (and I do not think I am as informed on these things as you are), it seems like e-4 seems a lot more like Fi, in particular, than like Fe. And yet INFJs as well as INFPs seem to tend to cluster around 4 and a couple other enneagram types--if I were an INFJ and a 4, I would be far from the first (unlike when I thought I was an INTJ and a 4).

    Anyway, thanks again for the response. I shall look at the link you gave.

    Oh, about the question you asked near the end, my first instinct was to go with the first response. However, I trust my ideas about things as almost objective, I just feel the need to form (rather meticulous) lines of reasoning about them for the benefit of other people, I suppose.

  6. #6
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoftRains View Post
    OrangeAppled, thanks for taking the time to make such an informative response. I recognise much of what you say about Ne in my ENTP friend. If I'm understanding correctly, I think I think more like an NJ. If I stall some decisions, it's not because I have so many ideas or see so many possibilities (usually), but rather because I'm still struggling to arrive at the essence of something through thinking about it. And (when I'm thinking well), I do tend to think a lot in terms of metaphors and symbols. (When I'm not thinking well, I'm just stumped and frustrated, and that's when I tend to be indecisive and lose a bit of my time-management skills.)
    Well, I don't mean to imply NPs don't think in terms of metaphors/symbols either (that can just be an N tendency). However, I think you get the gist.

    So, about your point about the enneagram, are you saying that someone might legitimately be an INFJ but that the enneagram-4 description would be of more relevance to determining the nature of their feeling than the Fe description? Because (and I do not think I am as informed on these things as you are), it seems like e-4 seems a lot more like Fi, in particular, than like Fe. And yet INFJs as well as INFPs seem to tend to cluster around 4 and a couple other enneagram types--if I were an INFJ and a 4, I would be far from the first (unlike when I thought I was an INTJ and a 4).
    Something like that, yeah.

    Oh, about the question you asked near the end, my first instinct was to go with the first response. However, I trust my ideas about things as almost objective, I just feel the need to form (rather meticulous) lines of reasoning about them for the benefit of other people, I suppose.
    I would say that I look to prove things to myself; I play devil's advocate in my head all the time. Hence, in forming arguments in my school reports to convince others, I used to fail at making connections (leaps of logic). But like I said, I wouldn't use this as any foolproof method to type oneself.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

    INFP | 4w5 sp/sx | RLUEI - Primary Inquisitive | Tritype is tripe

  7. #7
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Why do you think you have to have only one MBTI type?
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

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    Can you clarify, mal12345? My understanding was that according to MB type theory, each person has one type although various of their functions might be developed abnormally.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoftRains View Post
    Can you clarify, mal12345? My understanding was that according to MB type theory, each person has one type although various of their functions might be developed abnormally.
    The only way to know for sure is to create a test that directly tests for MBTI type, instead of zeroing in on individual letters or functions and then assuming they add up to a particular type. The single biggest flaw in the MBTI is the possible test result that ends up in a tie on one or two letters. (There are other flaws but they don't apply here.) This leaves people guessing as to which type-description is the best fit, especially when the descriptions are vague.

    I want to see a test that just gives me a type by testing for type-descriptions and not dichotomized letters or dichotomized functions. And then if the result is a tie on two or more of the 16 scales, so be it. At least then I know for sure.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

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    Oh, I see. Like an enneagram test maybe.

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