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  1. #21
    darkened dreams Ravenetta's Avatar
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    FWIW the site that types people's cognitive functions based on facial expression places Joan Baez as a Fi-dom. If you know your popular/folk music history, then you know she is basically the queen of activism back in the 1960's and 1970's.

    Edit: I guess I'm a bit obsessed with this question because it hits home for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I have the perspective of being an extreme Ni-dom INFJ with an extreme Fi-dom sister who is about the same age, same culture, and both in the creative arts. We are both idealistic, but have also had to reconcile a lot of darkness in reality. I think she is overall the more idealistic. We both express into reality primarily through creative expression, so she enacts her idealism onto the world continuously through her visual art. That is more personal and private than social activism which is far more the domain of any extrovert than either the INFJ or INFP. We both struggle with issues of the darkness of reality.

    I think there is this complex dichotomy for many idealists to struggle with desire goodness, kindness, and peace in the world, but to feel obliterated by the cruelty, falseness, and darkness. My view of reality is quite dark and every time I encounter information about suffering I want to change it - sometimes through kindness and sometimes by wishing I could be a terminator and take out the cruel people of the past. For example, I was recently reading about the neuro-psychiatrist who developed the electro-shock therapy. After I heard what he did to animals, I really wish I could go back in time and kill him. Is that idealism? Most sensitive NFs can get quite flooded by the hideousness of reality and have to cope by blocking it out in favor of viewing through rose-colored glasses, or acting upon it to try to fix things. Sometimes internal reconciliation of peace is the place to start.

    In a way I'm an idealist and when younger I would influence larger groups of people by having leaderships roles in high school and college, but now my idealism mostly makes me dream of living in isolation with another hermit and just trying to survive. I think the world is hideously dark, and I try to take in reality just as it is in order to be most skilled at choosing how to make it better within the realistic limits of my person. Because the external world affects me I have to retreat far too often to be a true activist. This is a core component of the INFJ descriptions - that need to suddenly retreat. I think it's the Fe-doms and Te-doms (based on Jung's descriptions) that are far more likely to act their internal ideas onto the world.
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  2. #22
    darkened dreams Ravenetta's Avatar
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    It's also worth noting the relationship between activism and idealism/realism.

    Over the years I have seen some of the most effective social activists are the realists. It doesn't take much idealism to see there are problems in the world and the majority of those problems have simple, concrete, direct solutions. Most suffering in the world could be fixed with a healthy bowl of soup, clothes, shelter, counseling, proper medical care, etc. ESFJs with their realism and strong connection to the concrete world are absolutely amazingly effective when they are activists.

    It's a misnomer to assume that INFJ and INFP, or even the ISFJ and ISFP are the core of activism. No, the sensitive, analytical, introverted, poetic types are all capable of idealism that is quite separate from the rigors and pragmaticism of activism. Also fwiw, the INFP is labeled as the "Idealist" according to MBTI.
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  3. #23
    Member Evastover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandomINTP View Post
    Having a bunch of ideas in your head isn't idealism. I have a bunch of ideas im my head, too. According to what @Southern Kross said, I would be just as idealistic. The difference is: I know I can't accomplish my ideals and I don't have the desire to do so (except for becoming a lawyer). An INFJ, on the other hand, DOES. They don't care if they can't accomplish their ideals. They do all in their power to do it anyway, because they have the desire to do so.
    If desire was irrelevant, everybody would be an idealist for every little thing they want. For example, if there's a kid that considers getting an ice cream for whatever reason, he would be an idealist just because he wants an ice cream, or? NO. This kid's not an idealist.
    I, uh, think you may have missed my point? I was just stating (in a whole bunch of unnecessary words, sorry bout that) that it's not a type-related matter (or rather, not directly type-related).

  4. #24
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    Both INFPs and INFJs are idealistic, but their idealsm is experienced differently by the types. INFJs are idealistic because of their Ni, they percieve the world subjectivly based on their subcioncius connections and expectations from the reality, that can be puerly internal and torn out from reality.
    INFPs are idealistic, because of their Fi. Even though their percieving of the external world is rather objective, they deeply held internal value system make them idealistic when it comes to dealing with the external enviroment.
    "I never felt oppressed because of my gender. When I'm writing a poem or drawing, I'm not a female; I'm an artist." - Patti Smith

  5. #25
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    I think the biggest difference between INFP and INFJ when it comes to idealism is Fi vs. Fe. I, as an INFP, am idealistic mostly in the sense of how I want my own life to be, and the few that I care about. I certianly have fantasies of a wider utopia, but I have to admit to myself that at the end of the day, my ideals are very closely tied to the personal / individual level. My adoptive father, an INFJ, values the simple and peaceful life as well. However, his ideals focus a lot more on doing good for the world and for humanity. He wants to engage the world, while I just want away from it all. He's a lot more direct, expressive, and assertive when it comes to his moral code, whereas I'm more reserved and harder to figure out. Sometimes he is frustrated by my indirectness, because he thinks I'm a bit hard to figure out. This might also be cultural as he comes from a NW European background and I come from an East Asian background. Cultural DNA at work? I seem to guard my beliefs a lot more tightly, while he's a lot more open about sharing them. He also seems to be a bit more 'harmony seeking' in relationships than I am. For example, if I am repeatedly hurt / abused, I will not hesitate to sever all ties with that person. On the other hand, he may choose to retain some sort of relationship, even if it is a distant one. I can be more all-or-nothing in some instances than him. He's much more comfortable with 'I don't know', while I like certainty when it comes to the things I view as important. This is interesting because INFP, as a Perceiving type, actually leads with a dominant judging function, while for INFJs it's the opposite. Despite our differences, he holds my morals in high regard and we can agree on most issues.

    A key issue we don't agree on is age of marriage. I am pro-early marriage because I believe it's the right thing to do in terms of timing and other considerations. I want to be a young grandparent and even great grandparent, perhaps. 男大当婚,女大当嫁。My adoptive father, on the other hand, married in his late 30s and is much more comfortable with the idea of marrying later in life. To him, there is no 'ideal age' while to me I'd like to have it sorted it out by 25-26 (I am currently 21). I think he may be a bit more forgiving of the 'leftover women', while I might be less because I clearly see issues with how they over-inflate themselves. My dad has, on numerous occasions, commented on politeness and courtesy. While I do appreciate it as well, I prefer to not dwell on it and dive straight into deeper conversation.

    We are both deep thinkers / feelers, but he's more of a 'hard' intellectual while I am a 'soft' one. By 'hard', he's into philosophers, literature, film critiques, etc. I'm all over the place, and lean more towards a general life philosophy, and my mind jumps a lot often between totally unrelated topics. I guess this is where P and J are distinguished from each other, or at least one aspect. Returning to the Fi vs Fe dichotomy, I will give him an example of a situation: Say if we both did the same kind of business, and our money lenders were absolute crooks. Evil, greedy people. He would still pay back the money after the business succeeds because he thinks it's common practice and it's ethical. I would not give a bat shit about paying it back because I don't think such evil people deserve it. As long as I am not doing anything immoral (according to my own values) with the money, I don't give a damn about the fact that it was not mine to begin with.

    Our views on money: Neither of us care about money for the sake of it, and we both view it as evil. However, it's much easier for him as an INFJ to come to grips with the reality of needing money, while for me, it's hard to accept it though I am aware of it. INFPs are often said to be poets, but from what I have experienced so far, my dad tends to be a bit more poetic and eloquent in his language than I am. It's often him that needs clarifying on what I am trying to say, because I expect people to just 'get' me.

    The other day we were having a conversation about how to change the world for the better, how to get rid of 'The System' as it currently is. He's 100% for non-violence, and admires Mahatma Gandhi. I said: "That's also what I would prefer, however, we must be prepared for people who do use violent means to bring about change. Sometimes, they simply have no other choice. Also, purely passive resistance may not be effective enough. There may need to be a mix of both hard and soft methods." He's into Gandhi for his passive resistance, but here's a Gandhi quote that I've remembered after seeing it (paraphrased): "Non-violence is above violence, but violence is preferable to cowardice."

    Both him and I are individualists at heart, though not of the selfish / overly domineering kind. Both of us believe that people should follow their own path. However, our definitions are slightly different. For him, it's more of a true open-mindedness. If he believes that things should be a certain way, he is reflecting from more of a common / universal point-of-view. For me, though I like to believe the same, I find that sometimes I do subtly / indirectly judge people's lives based on my own beliefs of what is right and what is not. I'm going to be perfectly honest with myself: I want my friends and people close to be to follow similar paths and share more or less the same beliefs on the things I care about, as well as in a more general sense. My dad finds very different viewpoints fascinating, though he may not agree with them at all. I find them...... frustrating, but I'm usually less likely to engage in debate and state my own beliefs unless really pushed.

    I'm much more comfortable with the idea of 'doing nothing', and less likely to say that I'm bored. My father, on the other hand, believes in finding that greater purpose in life and directing more energy to external matters.

  6. #26
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    He's calmer under stress, while I tend to get emotional. He has less difficulty speaking in a stronger tone of voice, while I am more restrained. I've noticed that I tend to listen more than speak, but if I really want to tell the full story, I will.

    Fe: The means and ends are equally important, and adherence to a strict code of ethics must be undertaken.

    Fi: The ends justify the means, as long as deeply held personal moral values are not compromised.

    Sometimes when I express a strong statement / belief, he remarks with 'what makes you say that?' When someone expresses a strong belief to me, and I can at least somewhat or completely agree with it, I tend to respect it and not question further. NOTE: I have to personally find truth in it.

    We're both introverts at heart, but I have to admit he's much better at coordinating social interactions than I am. We both like to travel, but he's more comfortable with actually moving from place to place, while I feel more of an urgent need to lay down roots in one place. If there's a wanderlust-to-homebody ratio, I'd say its 35:65 for me, and 55:45 for him, perhaps even 60:40. There are many Western expats in the non-Western world, but the opposite, as understood in the Western sense, is still quite rare.

    He's a mild-mannered guy for the most part, but more into some traditional ideals of masculinity than I am. He was raised by abusive parents. I was raised by an abusive and manipulative mum, and grew up almost entirely around women. I don't view it as anything bad (except for those individuals and their deranged world), because it makes me understand women (at least in certain ways) more than the average guy. At least I try to. I'm not exactly afraid of what you'd call 'girl talk.'

    On religious beliefs, he's more of a humanist. I don't view myself as conventionally religious and especially hate being forced into a particular 'brand' of religious beliefs, but I still consider myself a Christian with a personal faith in God. It's ironic, when our cultural / ethnic backgrounds are taken into account. It's still hard for me to live and believe that everything's completely within our control, that we can fully shape our destinies. It's enticing to me, but something still holds me back from fully accepting it. I'd say I am sometimes torn between opportunism and fatalism. I'm certainly not a fan of religious fanatics and 'organized' religion, because when you look deep inside their souls they are more motivated by greed and power / prestige than anything else. It's utterly inauthentic to me.

    Sometimes he gets annoyed by my 'doom-and-gloom' narratives, and ends calls early when we talk over the phone. On the other hand, I can be overwhelmed, in a way, by his enthusiasm when talking about ethics and 'greater purpose.' He wants to try to leave a mark on the world, I just want to hide in the shadows, relatively speaking.

    Overall, my dad and I have a good relationship and he's one of the few people that have come anywhere close to deciphering me.

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