On helping people and serving others (as well as some other INF vs. INT issues), here's a substantial slab of recycled reckful from
In your last post, you said, "All feelers have something in common, but an introverted feeler doesn't use his feelings the same way as extroverted feeler does." As you know, I have my doubts about whether Fe vs. Fi (at least as they're slotted in the most popular functions model) is the best way to frame this issue, but I couldn't agree more that some types of F's are "feelers" in a way that others definitely aren't.
You've said that one of the reasons you've wondered about whether INFP really fits you is "I have a hard time to relate to how caring and nice and sensitive natures xNFPs seem to be. I don't see myself like that at all. I am sensitive, but I don't know if in the way of being a feeler. I can't imagine myself being in some caring position, or nurture others."
Well... first of all, it's important not to lose sight of the fact that at least half the population is made up of F's. [According to this source,
] the official MBTI folks are apparently now estimating that, whereas 43.4% of men are F's, only 24.4% of women are T's — which suggests that something like 60% of the population may be F's. But in any case, even if you just assume that around half of people are F's, has it been your experience that around half of the population is made up of people who are notably "caring and nice and sensitive" and prone to "nurture others"? No? I didn't think so.
I've been participating in type-me threads for four years now (mostly at INTJforum) and, in my experience, it's not uncommon for INFs to test as INTs. ...
In particular, it seems to be pretty common for INFs (female or
male) to question their F preference because of what they see as their relative lack (compared to some of the other F types) in terms of things like outwardly-directed emotional warmth and active helping/service behavior. And I think introversion and an N preference can each make some contribution to what an INF may view as that kind of "lack of F." I think an N preference tends to be associated with a significant degree of what you might call emotional detachment
. Myers referred to SFs — rather than the F's in general — as the "sympathetic and friendly types." And Jung went on and on about introverts' fraught relationship with their emotional side. "Both [extraverts and introverts] are capable of enthusiasm
," he explained. "What fills the extravert's heart flows out of his mouth, but the enthusiasm of the introvert is the very thing that seals his lips."
I'd say all the INs (INFs and INTs both) share at least some significant potential to be the kind of people who will more often feel deeply and meaningfully stirred by aesthetic experiences than by their day-to-day interactions with others. And I think it's reasonably characteristic of an INFP for their F preference to be more prone to take the form of a drive to somehow "serve humanity" or "make the world a better place" than a service-to-others streak directed at the people they're interacting with on a day-to-day basis. I'd say passionate involvement in, e.g., environmental or other progressive causes is pretty characteristic of INFPs. And an INFP artist's desire for self-expression is reasonably likely to include at least some sense that the people who read her novels or poetry or whatever and are exposed to her perspective will be enlightened or otherwise have their lives improved.
And I'd also say that there's no question that an INFP — and especially an INFP with no family responsibilities — can end up being a fairly self-absorbed
person (and you've described yourself as "more self-absorbed than sacrificing"). Not selfish
in the sense of being unfair to others or wanting more than her share or otherwise violating the golden rule, but self-absorbed in the sense that, consistent with some of the NF descriptions in my last post, her goals of self-discovery, self-improvement, self-expansion, experiencing life "in the full," etc. are her central focus, rather than any kind of service-to-others drive.
It's also not uncommon to find INFs questioning their F (as you have) because they see themselves as more logical and analytical than they think "feelers" tend to be. (You said, " I am too ... rational to be a feeling type.") But the notion that F's are people who just let their emotions (or some non
-logical "feeling function") make their decisions for them is one that doesn't even apply that well to ESFs, and certainly doesn't fit INFs well. All four of the IN types (INTs and INFs both) tend to be notably analytical (including a significant degree of analytical detachment from their emotions), and to bring logic into play when they're making important decisions. All other things being equal, an INF is more likely than an INT to feel like her emotions are significant and may have something important to tell her
, but the devoted scrutiny an INF gives to her emotions is likely to include a healthy dose of critical analysis, rather than just blind acceptance.
In a couple of posts, you've mentioned that you "relate well to Ti" — but, notwithstanding the most popular cognitive functions model, the fact is that most INs, partly for the reasons I've just described (their highly analytical
natures), tend to feel like they relate pretty well to substantial parts of typical Ti descriptions. As one collection of evidence, and as further discussed in [the spoiler in this post,
] INTJs are supposed to be Te types but there's a 350-post thread at INTJforum that shows that, when INTJs take Nardi's keys2cognition functions test, they get high Te scores and high Ti scores
— and Te really isn't substantially favored over Ti.