Same here. When it comes to everyday conversation about things, either because of my demeanor or because of my looks (I think all the introvert types have their own version of the INTJ "death stare"). So in that sense, I'm also taken too seriously--as are a lot of the introverts. But when it comes to my ideas-I believe mostly due to my initial indecisiveness and ambiguous nature-I'm often dismissed, or at least I interpret people's perception of my thoughts/ideas that way.In short, Im taken seriously as a character, but sometimes my ideas/thoughts/feelings are dismissed as too "out there".
INFPs face feeling misunderstood because no one could possibly ever know them as well as they know themselves.
The Authenticity [the author here actually calls Fi - Authenticity] process is a deep pool of nuanced self-awareness, and it’s truly impossible to communicate all the variety within themselves to another person.
If you peel back the layers, however, it’s not that INFPs have a challenge in being fully misunderstood. If anyone else ever actually ‘fully’ understood them that would actually be a bad sign – it would mean that the INFP had lost some of their individuality or that they’re dangerously close to being too similar to other people.
There may be some pride around being inscrutable. At the very least it’s a sign that they’ve not lost their uniqueness.
So, if it’s not full understanding an INFP wants, what is it that they’re seeking?
Imagine that the criteria you use to make all of your decision is perpetually questioned by nearly every person you encounter. And now add to that the phenomenon that you usually don’t know the best decision to make until after you’ve already made it. To put a cherry on top, it’s based on something you can’t possibly explain to another person (because it has no language) AND you once you know the right decision, you know it with such certainty that you would die for it.
But you still can’t quite explain it beyond, “It just FEELS right.”
It’s extremely easy for people of other types to marginalize this process, and nothing is more maddening to have your mental wiring – one of the primary sources of ‘identity’ – marginalized.
When an INFP feels “misunderstood,” it could be more accurately stated that they feel marginalized, discounted and believe others are questioning their motives.
The antidote to this isn’t ‘understanding’ them better. Most INFPs would say no one could ever truly understand them, anyway. The real antidote is validating their process of making decisions.
As in: “I don’t have to agree with you, I don’t have to know why you believe or feel the way you do, but when I tell you that you have every right to feel the way you do, make decisions based on those feelings and I trust that you have positive intent.”
If you can sincerely communicate that to an INFP they will love you forever.
I have also experienced this side of the coin. I recently had an experience at work - as an example - where a new colleague was just getting to know me during a period when I was working with others to figure out a new solution to a problem - so, lots of that verbal exploration going on. I later overheard her gossiping to another colleague about me saying, "She thinks she knows everything." (Ouch, sure, but I understood why she thought that and had some sense of how her own motivations and perceptions were fueling her view of me, and why she was saying those things to that particular colleague.) And that is hilarious because I probably give more disclaimers, I-don't-knows and I'm-not-sures than anyone. But I know that people still sometimes view me as projecting an authoritative air when I am just giving expression to my thought process and everything is unsettled to my mind.I think its common for people to mistake INxP verbal exploration of ideas as concrete opinions.