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Am I really an INFP or something else?


New member
Jun 25, 2021
Instinctual Variant

I know I only wrote a thread like this concerning subtypes about a month ago but since it really helped me gaining more perspective (and I am fairly sure about my type now) I thought I might ask you for your help concerning something that has been bothering me for quite awhile: my mbti. I've always felt like the system couldn't really explain my own experiences with my mind in a satisfying manner. And while I was telling myself that I will just settle with the type that describes me best (INFP) I still keep going back to it and question myself. I typed myself as INFJ in the past and quickly went back to INFP but now the option of being Si dominant (especially ISFJ) came up...

Now you might probably ask yourself how I could even be unsure about being INFP or ISFJ as those two are vastly different. I feel like alot of this confusion comes from me being a 9w1 and 962 tritype (though I am at times not so sure about the 2 part). I typed myself as INFP for many many years now and people for the most part don't question this typing though in groups where I was quite active people kept pointing out how strong my Si is. In fact, if not relying on what I explain about myself, most people would point it out as the function they are sure of. While I myself am pretty sure that I have Si and Ne in my stack I am not that confident whether I use Fi-Te or Fe-Ti. It mostly comes from the way that I relate to people and seem to show my sympathy to them. While I have my own bias towards this I can be wrong. Maybe if I show you where I get tripped up in my typing process you can help me to make things more clear. If you have suggestions that go beyond those types I am also willing to hear and consider! Thanks in advance!

Instant referencing to my own person
This is a huge part of how I interact with people and bothers me to no end as I know it is not exactly well received by most people. Whenever I communicate with others I tend to bring in my own perspective and especially experiences to the table. Whenever someone tells about something that bothers them or happened to them I am instantly comparing this to myself. Do I relate? What experience that I went through is it most like? It helps me to connect with people. I also use this as a way of bonding by saying "hey, I understand, here is my experience with it". It's an overwhelming feeling of "OMG ME TOO!" and it's almost impossible not to share for me. However, I often tend to project and assume things based on how they would feel to me. People tell me a story and I automatically fill in all the gaps assuming I know everything despite there being many more things I could have asked. In fact, I don't even understand how people come up with follow-up questions in the first place. I have to put in actual effort into thinking about what I could ask and what I don't know. Because of that the way I interact can be very self-focused even though I got the feedback from others that it doesn't really come across this way. I still notice that I am not 100% there in the experience of the person and am comparing, contrasting. This is one of the big reasons I went for Fi instead of Fe in the past but lately I ask myself if it could be strong Si as well?

Own opinions and morals
This one could be important. As a 9, I have a struggle to identify what exactly my values are and opinions are even harder. The way I experience morals is more of a "what am I SUPPOSED to do?" "what is the RIGHT thing to do?" though I am not sure if this purely comes from myself or not. To give an example: recently I saw two abandoned turtles (not from here) on a tree trunk in the water. While being confused by it first after talking with other people we came to the conclusion that they would not survive the winter outside. Everyone told me I would have to call a certain institution tough they themselves didn't bother doing it so I was left alone at the lake. I was thrown into a loop of anxious thought whether to call and switching between "I don't want to bother them, what if they jump into the water and disappear while I am here" and "I am doing a bad thing if I don't call right now and let those turtles die in the winter". I was also hoping for my mother (who I rely on too much for those kind of decisions despite me being a grown adult) to tell me that it's important or fine to call so I would be more in tune with my decision. This decision was taken away from me by the turtles jumping in the water and swimming away, leaving me the option of saying "it wouldn't have worked anyway". And this happens alot. I am very preoccupied by what I am supposed to do that would be "overall right and good" but I base those things often by what other people value. For example I didn't have a strong opinion about the covid vaccination until people kept talking about it and listing all the reasons why people who don't do it are immoral so I adapted the same view. I don't have an opinion on politics and listen to all the opinions of others first before I form my own and even then I can always understand why people would think another way. There are some things that I can't compromise on though though I wouldn't go out of my way to fight people about it. What I also noticed is that I am more likely to show strong responses and act accordingly if I happen to SEE something unfolding right infront of my eyes. I will not get very upset if people tell me about a story or a situation that is happening somewhere. I need to see the impact and the situation itself to get that kind of "sting" that would let me to having a strong opinion. Someone telling about a terrible story would often get a "oh wow, that sucks" reaction out of me even if I try to act up my emotions a bit to not seem rude. But seeing it unfold would most probably be a different story - though that would depend on what the situation is and whether I feel personally attacked by it or not. However, I am not sure if I base all my decisions off of values rather than thinking how other people would react to what I did. Though it's less about "I don't want this person to be affected by what I do" and rather "I don't want to deal with the emotional turmoil that it will occur if they are not happy / agree with my decision. So I am not sure if my Fi just considers alot of Fe values and that is how you could explain the tendencies...?

I always stick with social norms in interaction and think that being polite is more important than being honest most of the time. Though it doesn't change the fact that I feel like a fraud or like dying a bit inside if I say things like "I am so happy for you!" despite actually being very jealous on the inside. I see how I have to do those things in order to be accepted but at times I am overly aware of how different I can be when I can't "keep up" the act. I am bad at showing love and care, at telling people I really appreciating them unless I really feel it and especially with overly emotional responses. Though, I have to admit, I easily pick up "energies" from around me. So when deadling with a super emotional, loud, warm person, I will become one myself and be more likely to express in a similar way. On the other hand, when talking to a more quiet, logical type I will adapt myself to their energy as well. It is very hard to imagine myself having something "seperate" from the person next to me that I could bring to the table that are NOT my own experiences. It would feel very wrong to be super warm and loud with a person who is very quiet. At times I find myself having an existential crisis about not knowing who I really am and trying to fill that void with putting labels on myself (mbti, enneagram...) or identify with the things I like maybe a bit too much. Also very important to note: I don't feel as if my emotions are valid. I tend to wallow in them alot but at the end of the day I always approach myself as a "okay, you might have this feeling but it is not valid since it is not rational". So unless I see an "objective reason" to be upset about something I will push my emotions inside deep down and blame myself for having them in the first place.

Te vs Ti
I think when it comes to the thinking functions I relate way more to the Te approach. When working on a project I get slightly frustrated when people don't work in an efficent way and are still at the first task despite the time being almost over. To me it's always important to finish everything within the specific time given and using the time accordingly. While I am very bad at long term planning (a deadline that is in 2 months doesn't exist to me yet...) I notice this alot when doing tasks with a tight schedule. Another example is me being highly frustrated with mbti as a system. The reason being that every person seems to use different definitions of the functions. Some mix it with socionics terms, others advice not to, a person I know even reworked the system and rearranged function stacks. This makes me very angry for some reason. Because no matter how much I read and watch and discuss there will be never a "right" answer or a basis for discussion that is universal. We will not be able to have conversation if we don't know what system exactly we are referring to. A part of me just screams "just give me the right answer" "just tell me what type I am so I have my peace!". I am a person that wants closure in a way though I am also the same person who keeps digging this topic up whenever she settles for a type.

When it comes to Ti I always say that it is hilarious. I often even joke "where is my Ti???". Interestingly enough with my friends I am known as the very detail-oriented and logical person even though I don't really feel that way. I rely on other people to point out logical flaws in things (even my own speech and that HIGHLY triggers me), I rely on others for opinions and I learn most things by interaction with people or letting them explain things for me (videos also count) instead of doing the research myself. Also, as I already mentioned - I don't easily see what I DON'T know in a conversation and gloss over it. I only realise that my understanding is not complete when asked specific questions. I am pretty good with coming up with "educated guesses" though and giving a "it would only make logical sense if it would be that way" answers. Without actually knowing if that is the case. At times I also remember things that I heard or read somewhere but I don't quite know where I got this from. So spreading outdated / misinformation is definitely a danger to me. I think the way in which Ti could potentially show for me is probably the reason why my friends call me "logical" in the first place. When people come to me instead of only giving emotional support (which I can be bad and awkward with) I help them to figure out their situation and why it likely occured so they understand it. Also when things really interest me I can go hours and hours into "information absorbtion". When purchasing something big I will make sure to read EVERYTHING about that thing to not only make sure I get the best thing but also to get myself in the "mood". At the end I have specific topics am I VERY knowledgable about and if someone would ask me for advice about for example keyboards, monitors or microphones I could give them a 2 hour essay and guide to find the perfect fit for them. I can also easily integrate new knowledge into this system and in that way change my understanding of the thing and by that for example also my opinion on it. In general I think my opinions can be pretty flexible in the way that if someone comes up with a better explanation that makes sense to me I will readily adopt it. Though if something REALLY makes sense to me and I see the person infront of me making illogical claims I can get defensive about my point. Though that thankfully is not something that happens often. Overall I don't feel like Ti is VERY strong in me though I could also be wrong about that. When hearing Ti doms talk about needing to understand every single detail of something and it's workings to understand the concept I can't really relate. I am more of a big picture thinker.

Caring for people
As already stated the way I care for people is mostly through being generous with my times and offering advice / my own perspective on things. In the past I gave alot of emotional support in the way that I tried to talk peole through their mental health issues. This however made me feel terrible myself after awhile so now I prefer a more distanced approach. Though to be honest, I think compared to some people my approach was very distanced from the start. When it comes to the ISFJ I don't relate to the "nurse" and "nurturer" stereotype. I don't feel like I must do stuff for people - in fact, I am kidn of annoyed if people ask me for favours (unless they are very close friends and it's something I care about). I also watched a video awhile back when a person went heathily into the "treasure your ISFJ if they plan a party" and I just couldn't relate at all. While I like to communicate with people and feel better while doing it I don't feel the need to go out of my way alot of times (I am sp dom after all and not so). Either I get invited in something or I don't bother. However, when I am healthy I noticed I can go above and beyond to offer my help to people who are struggling. Though it is often out of a feeling of "doing the right thing" too. So yeah, while I DO help people I don't relate with the motherly warm stereotype at all. Which is what made me reconsider being ISFJ every single time.

Ne usage
I will list some things that I think could be my Ne (not) showing up. Also kinda in combination with Si. (Please note that many people told me I could possible have ADHD (though I am not very sure if I do have it? But keep it in mind...?)) Maybe it will help to figure out the position it will be in:
- I am always generating future possibilities with decisions I do. How will people react when I do this? How will that play out? How would that go with this option instead? The images are pretty vivid and I tend to jump around alot, often unable to make a decision (I once stood for 4 hours infront of a shelf because I wasn't sure which cookies to buy......)
- I have random bursts of energy when thinking about trying a specific thing but dropping it once it doesn't feel new anymore. Though things I actually enjoy I can put into a routine and keep at them for a long time.
- When planning out how to approach a new task I usually take a sheet of paper and start to write down whatever comes to my mind first. Collecting ideas - and I sort through them later using methods that I know worked in the past.
- Negative "what if" scenarios that keep coming up whenever I think about trying something or something is approaching. I often think 20 steps ahead instead of focusing on one step at the time. This often keeps me from actually doing things in the first place
- I am in general not the most open person when it comes to new experiences or things that I could try. Some things just seem dangerous or unpredictable so I avoid it.
- While I go through different interests they all stay under the same umbrella. I love anime and everything to do with it. So streaming, drawing, singing and gaming all fall under the same sort of thing. Even mbti for me is often connected to trying to type characters. I rarely go out of my way to try something more "out there".

And lastly, some random things that could be helpful
- When I am angry or struggle I heavily rely on talking it out with other people. I often tend to understand myself more through that process. But I dislike showing strong emotions infront of others. Especially if those are bad emotions. When I try I do my best not to let others see it, I push anger away, in the past I also used to hide the fact that I laughed. It feels like emotions are an internal thing to me yet I can't really grasp them either
- As a child and teen I definitely had the typical "I am not like others" "I am special" "Nobody understands me" attitude. This slowly went away after awhile though parts of it are still present.
- I was always the good kid in school, following all the rules, trying not to cause trouble. Quiet, passive, doormat.
- At the same time I was overly emotional when my feelings were hurt or if I couldn't take the anger I built inside anymore (enneagram 9 says hello)
- I always felt uneasy when people didn't follow the rules or set outside structures
- I didn't have a "who am I" phase when I was growing up. I didn't ask myself many questions. I do now in my 20s though.
- I NEED schedules to function and I am good at setting them up but not always at following them. When nothing external is planned I tend to go insane because I can't at a good structure myself and be productive but I need it to be healthy.
- I am very good at keeping up with deadlines. I will never get things done without them. I will also never work consistently on a project if I still have time left but keep procrastinating until I rush through things.
- While I was doing creative writing I was never using emotional or artistic language. I also don't use metaphors. My language is very straight forward and honestly very dry. People told me my stories sound like a scientific paper
- People describe me as kind, shy, diligent, hardworking and easy to be around. When I originally tried to ask people what annoyed them about me when trying to find out my type most people couldn't really name things. The only things that came up from time to time were "you care too much about what others think" and "I can't always tell what you are thinking or if I annoyed you or not".

I think I will end this here. This was VEEEEEEEEEEERY long. If you read through this all: respect and thanks for your patience. Feel free to leave your impressions if you want!