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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone,
I've studied MBTI in my free time for about 7 years now, and I got really confused by the cognitive functions, which lead me down a whole thought process where I typed myself as INFJ but it never felt right. I don't want to tell you a whole long story, my main reason for this post is that I am really considering that I'm actually INFP (largely because I had heavy Fi when I was a kid, I was so focused on being an individual) who mistyped as INFJ because my values are based around treating people with love and respect. A lot of descriptions of Fi out there that I've read online seem like they're written by someone who's either biased against this function, or they just don't know as much as they should to be writing about it and teach Fi as a selfish function (and while it's centered on the self, I've seen it talked about very negatively and that makes me sad). I've been reading books on cognitive functions and those descriptions I can actually see myself in. I've been studying the INFP cognitive functions and trying to understand as best as I can to really make sure that this is my type, and as I do this I keep returning to my question. Really quickly, the basis for this question is I have a friend who I have grown very close to who I totally see as INFP (and she told me she tested as INFP when we first met). She lives by her values, and she relates everything back to how she feels, and I think the last few years she's been in an Fi-Si loop. She's not interested in MBTI, but she does study psychology at university. Anyways, she's the first person I've really connected to (possibly ever). The problem is, I tend to make room for everyone but myself in a conversation unless I have something important to say, and it seems like she processes a lot of her thoughts and feelings out loud so most of our conversations are 80% her and 20% me. I'm pretty used to this dynamic- I always end up being people's unofficial therapist- but it gets frustrating sometimes. Especially when I try to say something about my own life, most of the time she'll let me talk and we'll talk about my situation for maybe 10 minutes, but then the conversation turns back to her life and something she realized. I respect her and honestly love hanging out with her, but it confuses me that we could be the same type and she's so focused on her self while I'm so focused on also myself, but largely my understanding of other people and trying to help them to make a difference in their life (thereby helping myself I guess).

So here's the question: I ask if any of you (or if any of you know any INFPs who you can see this in) also have been in my position, or relate to being maybe emotionally piled onto? It's not that I don't stand up for myself when I see fit, I just find what she's saying interesting and I really appreciate that she lets me into her thoughts process. I know it takes a lot to trust someone enough to do this. And I don't think she's doing it on purpose, and I don't want to hurt her feelings or make her feel like she's being judged or she did something wrong. Another thing I notice is she can only see things from her perspective, whereas it's natural for me to jump into other people's perspectives and what feelings they had that could have lead them to say what they said or treating her like they treated her. I do this with everything, always shifting perspective and trying to understand, and I can see it annoys her when I do this so I try to hold it back sometimes. I'm always aware of the larger picture, and she sometimes mentions things that confirm she's like this as well, but from everything she's communicated she's very tied into her personal experience and it almost seems like she's trapped within it. Like I said, she's an awesome friend and I can tell she really cares for me as well, and we have really fun philosophical conversations and analyzing human behavior, but I was wondering if there are many INFPs who could relate to the position I've found myself in this situation. I'm honestly not even that healthy emotionally, I'm still trying to figure myself out and I see so many places I need to improve in, so I'm not even sure if it relates back to healthy or unhealthy. I have had issues with insecurity and feeling like I don't have much value, so my position could definitely be related to that.

What are your thoughts on this?

Sorry if the first read of this was confusing, I had a glass of wine before I wrote this :) I think I fixed all the errors. Basically, I'm people-focused with strongly held values that come from within, and she's self-focused with strong values that come from within.
 

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Yup, I relate to this 110%, except my friend is an ENFP. I’m similar to you in that I use my insights to understand others...I think she does this too, but her ultimate focus is on herself and the extent of her problems.

The only thing I have to contribute from my own experience (heh) is that it might be a good idea to proceed with caution when it comes to being everyone’s therapist. I put myself in that position all the time and often find myself giving to others without getting the kind of insight I need back. The impulse to play that role is that it’s interesting to focus on other people’s problems, and it’s sometimes a nice distraction from our own problems. It also feels good to be useful and help others, making us feel as if we are connected to them. Sometimes it leads to understanding my own issues too.

But for me, playing therapist with friends often leaves me feeling unfulfilled as time goes on. With my relationship with my ENFP, I eventually figured out that there are some light codependent elements at play...a result of her always turning to me for her problems,and me not allowing myself to be completely vulnerable with her (for other reasons). Whenever I try to tell her how I feel, I have to cope with her feelings about my feelings. It’s so exhausting!

Most likely your relationship is much healthier than this, but having this type of friendship really helped me realize why it’s important to share parts of myself with others, even when my natural instinct is to be cautious. I think that can be a loathsome lesson to learn for INFPs, but it’s so important.

I’m glad to know that there is someone else in this boat I have vented about this on this forum before, but it’s interesting to come across another INFP with the same situation!

As for your title questions...I personally attribute differences like these to different perspectives on growth. I’m curious...in what ways do you see her as having a Fi-Si loop? And how does this plays a role in her tendency to keep bringing the convo back to her do you think?


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If I'm in a conversation with most people, it's virtually always 80% them, 10% me. I am incredibly private (except in writing online sometimes). I very rarely feel comfortable talking that much about myself...unless I really...really like you.

I do emphasize by relating how I have felt back to how the other person feels, so maybe I might talk a lot about myself when I am trying to demonstrate that I can relate to some degree as to how they might be feeling?
 
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
@fresh Thank you for phrasing this just right! This is what I've been struggling with- being so involved and putting energy towards other people's problems and not having any of it reciprocated. I'm trying to understand where this comes from. I love reading and watching TV because I can get absorbed into the characters and plot as it's unfolding, and I value humans much more so maybe my level of attention to their struggles is intensified, thereby taking me away from my life and sort of implanting me in theirs for a little while. It is nice while it's happening, but if it goes on for anymore than 3 hours I start getting seriously drained emotionally and yawning a lot (which is rude but I can't help it sometimes).
Edited to say: the times when she does put energy forward to help me with my problems, I don't like her approach. It's like, well did you try this? What about this? I can see how that would be difficult. That must have hurt a lot. It feels very much like she's read a script on how to respond, and less like she's actually interacting with me. This is another reason why I think she might be stuck in her own Fi-Si loop inner world that I described in the 2nd to last paragraph, and that makes it hard for her to relate or really care about someone else's life if she doesn't see a direct correlation to her own.

What you said about having to listen to her feelings about your feelings- that's something that's also prevalent in this relationship! Something else that happens a lot is she'll tell me about a personal issue- and this always has to do with her other friends, something they said or did that she can't understand- and I'll listen for a while. After I try to give her a little perspective by telling her what I imagine drove their behavior, and then she'll usually shrug it off and go on saying whatever she was thinking while I was talking, and once I interpret from her body language that she's done talking about this specific situation, I'll share an idea I have about a trend I've seen in similar situations, and come up with a hypothesis about why this might happen so often. For example, just off the top of my head, she complained about a friend who didn't value her opinion. She kept telling him her thoughts on why his girlfriend wasn't talking to him, and he kept passively disregarding it. When she confronted him, he said he knew what he's supposed to do and if he wants her guidance, he'll ask for it. She interpreted some other things he said as being slights toward her and her relationship with dating, and I tried to explain how he probably was just thinking of himself and his girlfriend and when people have something going on in their life, unless you're directly related to the problem you're probably not at the forefront of their mind; they're distracted. She went on about it more and when she was done I mentioned something about how most people don't serve attention to what's going on in the here and now and are caught up in their heads and maybe our emotional reaction to what happens in front of us isn't related at all to the external world, but it's our unconscious emotions coming to life. I didn't mean to take up a whole chunk of space here, I just wanted to give an example of how our conversations go.

Thank you so much for replying! I'm also glad to know there are others on here who can relate. It does feel incredibly lonely sometimes, trying to understand others so much and having no one around who puts the same energy towards you. I think that's why I related to the 'alien' description so often given to the INFJ.

I think she's been in an Fi-Si loop because, as a supposed INFP, I recognize the same circular thinking and of being stuck in the past emotionally and having it play through your head constantly. I went through maybe 5 years of this back when I was a teenager, and it's something that caused me to really pull away from my peers and box myself in. She's also alienated herself in the time she's been in this loop. The only thing I can think of is because she's older than I was back then and more developed mentally and has the support of her religion, she's facing it much better than I did when I was 15. My idea that her consistently bringing the conversation back to her having to do with the Fi-Si loop was just a theory, but I think it makes sense that the loop between defining her values and holding to them rigidly, as well as seeing that very few people outside of her meet her standards, and then falling into emotional memories about the past and trying to face the same people who hurt her today to understand why the things happened the way they did, could put her in a sort of time warp and self-warp where she is so focused on herself and past hurts that looking outside of herself is difficult and maybe she thinks it's not even worth her time. The Fi-Si loop as I described it in that last sentence is just what I see going on in her personally, and like I said I did go through something similar before.

I'd really like to confirm my INFPness honestly, haha that's partly why I made this thread, because when I started learning cognitive functions and I was learning about the INFP all I could see was my friend, and it's hard to see myself in it now because I related her to it so strongly. Is it common for INFPs to have one-sided friendships? I have a quiet voice, too, and am really laid back, so I imagine that contributes when someone's looking at me and they decide "yeah I can cut this person off and speak over them". I definitely do assert myself, it's just hard to do it in a way where they don't come away thinking I'm a jerk- but maybe that just goes back to a woman standing up for herself even in a considerate way being thought of as out of line? I've actually run into that problem a lot, lightly but firmly drawing a boundary and then being told I'm very 'disagreeable' (that's one of the kinder words used to describe me). Mostly though, people who respect me like that I'm standing up for myself and appreciate it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
@AshOrLey I actually really like telling stories as long as I feel like the person would be interested to hear them. I totally relate to not sharing personal stuff though, most people I call 'friends' don't even know me that well. It's not that I think I have anything special I'm hiding away, like I'm Smeagol with a beautiful jewel or something, but I think for me it's more like I'm developing a relationship with someone, and over time I'll give little pieces of the big pieces of me I keep hidden, and if it's received negatively or without much attention or interest, I take it personally and wish I could take it back. This happens really often for me. Is this something you can relate to? Like it hurts to have intimate feelings or thoughts I share with people to be misunderstood or glazed over.

That's interesting you talk about yourself to show the other person you relate or understand. I'll do a bit of that (that's Fi, right?) but I keep it short because I want to avoid making it about me, and once I get the whole "this happened to me too" thing I'll go into how she could fix the problem or deal with it in a way that doesn't cause so much pain and stress. It does make me happy to feel like I'm helping her, even if it feels like she's not really paying attention to what I'm saying sometimes.
 

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@fresh Thank you for phrasing this just right! This is what I've been struggling with- being so involved and putting energy towards other people's problems and not having any of it reciprocated. I'm trying to understand where this comes from. I love reading and watching TV because I can get absorbed into the characters and plot as it's unfolding, and I value humans much more so maybe my level of attention to their struggles is intensified, thereby taking me away from my life and sort of implanting me in theirs for a little while. It is nice while it's happening, but if it goes on for anymore than 3 hours I start getting seriously drained emotionally and yawning a lot (which is rude but I can't help it sometimes).
Edited to say: the times when she does put energy forward to help me with my problems, I don't like her approach. It's like, well did you try this? What about this? I can see how that would be difficult. That must have hurt a lot. It feels very much like she's read a script on how to respond, and less like she's actually interacting with me. This is another reason why I think she might be stuck in her own Fi-Si loop inner world that I described in the 2nd to last paragraph, and that makes it hard for her to relate or really care about someone else's life if she doesn't see a direct correlation to her own.
Interesting, as I also don't always care for my ENFP's responses to my problems either, and that contributes to my tendency not to share things with her. But here, I'm not sure if it's just me being overly sensitive in that she says what I don't want to hear...in a way, I think that is more likely the case. She also sometimes gives me really standard, "scripted" answers to things which gives me the impression she doesn't really care because more than likely she doesn't lol, but I can recognize that she is at least trying to show her support in someway, even if it's not true engagement.

Do you think you're friend genuinely cares and is genuinely trying to help? Or do you think she is just saying what she must in order for the conversation to go back to herself or her problems?

What you said about having to listen to her feelings about your feelings- that's something that's also prevalent in this relationship! Something else that happens a lot is she'll tell me about a personal issue- and this always has to do with her other friends, something they said or did that she can't understand- and I'll listen for a while. After I try to give her a little perspective by telling her what I imagine drove their behavior, and then she'll usually shrug it off and go on saying whatever she was thinking while I was talking, and once I interpret from her body language that she's done talking about this specific situation, I'll share an idea I have about a trend I've seen in similar situations, and come up with a hypothesis about why this might happen so often. For example, just off the top of my head, she complained about a friend who didn't value her opinion. She kept telling him her thoughts on why his girlfriend wasn't talking to him, and he kept passively disregarding it. When she confronted him, he said he knew what he's supposed to do and if he wants her guidance, he'll ask for it. She interpreted some other things he said as being slights toward her and her relationship with dating, and I tried to explain how he probably was just thinking of himself and his girlfriend and when people have something going on in their life, unless you're directly related to the problem you're probably not at the forefront of their mind; they're distracted. She went on about it more and when she was done I mentioned something about how most people don't serve attention to what's going on in the here and now and are caught up in their heads and maybe our emotional reaction to what happens in front of us isn't related at all to the external world, but it's our unconscious emotions coming to life. I didn't mean to take up a whole chunk of space here, I just wanted to give an example of how our conversations go.
Sounds like she possibly wanted to just vent about the situation and didn't really need or want input, which is fair, we all need that from time to time. Perhaps she will reflect on what you said and glean things from that? Or just got the release she needed from saying it all aloud, especially if you leant her support for her perspective.

Thank you so much for replying! I'm also glad to know there are others on here who can relate. It does feel incredibly lonely sometimes, trying to understand others so much and having no one around who puts the same energy towards you. I think that's why I related to the 'alien' description so often given to the INFJ.
No problem! It's pretty common for empaths to find themselves in situation such as this, so NFs find themselves in this position quite often, especially INFxs since we aren't always the best at sharing how we feel.

I think she's been in an Fi-Si loop because, as a supposed INFP, I recognize the same circular thinking and of being stuck in the past emotionally and having it play through your head constantly. I went through maybe 5 years of this back when I was a teenager, and it's something that caused me to really pull away from my peers and box myself in. She's also alienated herself in the time she's been in this loop. The only thing I can think of is because she's older than I was back then and more developed mentally and has the support of her religion, she's facing it much better than I did when I was 15. My idea that her consistently bringing the conversation back to her having to do with the Fi-Si loop was just a theory, but I think it makes sense that the loop between defining her values and holding to them rigidly, as well as seeing that very few people outside of her meet her standards, and then falling into emotional memories about the past and trying to face the same people who hurt her today to understand why the things happened the way they did, could put her in a sort of time warp and self-warp where she is so focused on herself and past hurts that looking outside of herself is difficult and maybe she thinks it's not even worth her time. The Fi-Si loop as I described it in that last sentence is just what I see going on in her personally, and like I said I did go through something similar before.
Hmmm, well I think it's important to understand that Fi is self-referential by nature, so it is always going to connect information to itself by impulse without always realizing it. Even for me, my primary form of empathy is using my experiences as the foundation for understanding what someone else is going through, and sometimes I do use them as literal examples to try and relate to them, explaining what I think is potentially going on.

Perhaps she is so excited to have found someone who is similar to her that she has unleashed a lot of her mental processing onto you...and maybe she couldn't do that before with anyone, so it's like a waterfall. If she only talks so in-depth about these issues with you, that means she trusts you and is just trying to make sense of her situation. She could be looping, it seems like Fi-Si loops can imitate depression or anxiety, involving intense isolation and listlessness in perspective. It's usually accompanied by a lot of pent-up emotion. So if you want to help her out of the loop, you can try to gently nudge her into using her Ne, pursuing creative ventures or trying new things, stuff like that.

It's also possible she is just really into herself and just doesn't realize the extent of it *shrugs*

My tactic so far with my friend has been trying to push her to find her own therapist, because I can't mentally handle all of her emotions all the time. I've also been asserting my boundaries with her by telling her this, and thankfully she has done amazingly to respect them. For me, that has been the biggest lesson so far with my friendships...if I'm going to give a lot of myself by helping them, then I need to assert when it's hurting me and when I now need them: that's on me to communicate, they can't psychically read my mind (sadly). So far, it's been working really well.

I'd really like to confirm my INFPness honestly, haha that's partly why I made this thread, because when I started learning cognitive functions and I was learning about the INFP all I could see was my friend, and it's hard to see myself in it now because I related her to it so strongly. Is it common for INFPs to have one-sided friendships? I have a quiet voice, too, and am really laid back, so I imagine that contributes when someone's looking at me and they decide "yeah I can cut this person off and speak over them". I definitely do assert myself, it's just hard to do it in a way where they don't come away thinking I'm a jerk- but maybe that just goes back to a woman standing up for herself even in a considerate way being thought of as out of line? I've actually run into that problem a lot, lightly but firmly drawing a boundary and then being told I'm very 'disagreeable' (that's one of the kinder words used to describe me). Mostly though, people who respect me like that I'm standing up for myself and appreciate it.
How in-depth have you read about the functions? Have you taken functions tests? Are you 100% sure she is INFP? There are a lot of stereotypes about INFP and Fi being self-centered and lacking empathy. While that is true sometimes, it's definitely not true most of the time, haha. We are extremely empathetic and have a deep desire to help those that we cherish, hence why we can sometimes find ourselves in one-sided relationships, especially when we are young. We also can be quite disagreeable, which often shocks people to find out :wink: So it is definitely possible you are an INFP :) We are quite a diverse bunch, and we're not all the same, but judging from what you described above about your Fi-Si loop when you were younger, seems likely you are one of us! Welcome to da club :cool::tongue::kitteh:
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Hi again,
I know this is a late response- I didn't want to drag a relatively old thread up but I did want to say thank you for your reply. I learned about MBTI over the same period of time that I've been trying to understand who I am. I think my environment had such a great impact on me that I was confused about the truth behind it, and behind my soul and what I'm supposed to be doing here. I've been learning more about the cognitive functions and how they show up in different types, and the more I learn the more I think I'm an INFP.

The reason I want to thank you is for confirming my INFPness! Like I mentioned earlier, it's been quite a journey to accepting myself and I'm still open to being another type, but I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me and let me know that what I experienced in my teen years could be an INFP negative loop. I do think my friend cares about me. She's just been through a lot and the way it's impacted her has impacted the way she communicates.

It's interesting because I'm very expressive and open, and she is incredibly closed, but when it comes to personal walls she'll tell anyone what she's feeling and why, and I'm the one who's actually closed off. I got to the bottom of why that wall stands within me earlier tonight, but I wanted to ask: is having a hard wall between you and everyone else something you can relate to? I was honestly unaware of it for a long time, but I kept having the same situation happen where I'd be friends with someone for a couple years and they'd leave or fade away, and I finally asked someone and they told me I never let them in. They said I seem really open to everyone, but when we were friends they figured out I'm hiding a lot away from people. I never understood this until this past year, when I learned that I was hiding it all from myself too. Are there things about you that you've learned over time, things you've hidden even from yourself? It's weird because I'm into dream interpretation, and for the past few years I've been having these dreams of secret rooms and other stuff that means I'm hiding something, and I was clueless as to what this could be until recently.

I'm sorry if any of that last paragraph was invasive! You totally don't have to respond if you don't want to (obviously ahah). That was just a major piece of confusion for me and I was wondering if it was relatable, as everyone I've mentioned it to did not know what I was talking about, although they could have just been lying :p
 

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Hi again,
I know this is a late response- I didn't want to drag a relatively old thread up but I did want to say thank you for your reply. I learned about MBTI over the same period of time that I've been trying to understand who I am. I think my environment had such a great impact on me that I was confused about the truth behind it, and behind my soul and what I'm supposed to be doing here. I've been learning more about the cognitive functions and how they show up in different types, and the more I learn the more I think I'm an INFP.

The reason I want to thank you is for confirming my INFPness! Like I mentioned earlier, it's been quite a journey to accepting myself and I'm still open to being another type, but I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me and let me know that what I experienced in my teen years could be an INFP negative loop. I do think my friend cares about me. She's just been through a lot and the way it's impacted her has impacted the way she communicates.

It's interesting because I'm very expressive and open, and she is incredibly closed, but when it comes to personal walls she'll tell anyone what she's feeling and why, and I'm the one who's actually closed off. I got to the bottom of why that wall stands within me earlier tonight, but I wanted to ask: is having a hard wall between you and everyone else something you can relate to? I was honestly unaware of it for a long time, but I kept having the same situation happen where I'd be friends with someone for a couple years and they'd leave or fade away, and I finally asked someone and they told me I never let them in. They said I seem really open to everyone, but when we were friends they figured out I'm hiding a lot away from people. I never understood this until this past year, when I learned that I was hiding it all from myself too. Are there things about you that you've learned over time, things you've hidden even from yourself? It's weird because I'm into dream interpretation, and for the past few years I've been having these dreams of secret rooms and other stuff that means I'm hiding something, and I was clueless as to what this could be until recently.

I'm sorry if any of that last paragraph was invasive! You totally don't have to respond if you don't want to (obviously ahah). That was just a major piece of confusion for me and I was wondering if it was relatable, as everyone I've mentioned it to did not know what I was talking about, although they could have just been lying :p
Nope, not invasive at all! I totally understand.

Yes, I do relate to having a wall and not letting people in, although for me, I'd say it tends to manifest the strongest in romantic situations and the people who comment on it the most often are men. I'm definitely more open in friendship scenarios, and it does somewhat depend on the vibes I get from someone, which I'm guessing could apply to you as well?

I actually learned how this plays out in my friendships through my ENFP friend, funny enough. She is quite strategic when it comes to opening up, as she will do so as a way to push the other person to open up to her, since she loves getting to know the raw versions of people, just like I do. She also is very inquisitive (sometimes too inquisitive, lol) and dares to ask a ton of personal questions that I would be more cautious about, timing-wise. Through her, I've learned so much about how important it is to share aspects of yourself with others as a means to connect, predominantly because it signifies trust. We are both quite selective in terms of what we are willing to share and when, so it's not like she is a completely open book, nor would I ever be, but I think she has an acute, intuitive sense as to who is worth trusting and who is not.

For me, I think this intuitive sense of mine is askew. I've had a lot of trouble with trust in the past, so it can be hard to discern whether I am holding back because of what I have experienced before, or if I am holding back because I genuinely shouldn't trust someone. I can be hard on myself when I make the mistake of opening up about something and don't receive the reaction I expected, which is another thing that is tough for me since I am *so* sensitive sometimes. It makes it hard to learn how to trust others again when this is my own internal reaction to trying to be trusting.

If any of that resonates with you, I think it's worth acknowledging that there is a reason for that lack of trust, which is important to recognize as we unpack our issues since we have that tendency to blame ourselves. It's interesting that you asked if there are things I've hidden from myself because I have made quite a big discovery regarding this topic recently, although idk if I was deliberately hiding it...that is harder for me to pinpoint.

Another way of looking at this symbolism with the secret rooms appearing in your dreams is that perhaps there is a reason you were meant to connect these things at this point in your life? Just a thought. I don't really have concrete advice on how to remedy this besides just jumping in, but I adore this video, as I think she lays out the motivation to be open and vulnerable SO perfectly. It's worth listening to the whole thing if you haven't seen it:


Also, I just happened to watch this video today, which might be helpful in the event you were still questioning your type:

 

Hope that helped with your questions, and good luck dealing with all of this stuff :kitteh:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
This is so interesting! My friend is very strategic, too, always coming up with a plan on how to get people to tell her their secrets. Perhaps she's ENFP instead of INFP. I did read that 'loops' and things aren't based within Jung's original theory, and are considered by a lot of people in this community as not being real. So that's something I'll have to think about because a part of my confirmation in typing her INFP was the idea of the Fi-Si loop. And I completely relate to your mention of how the wall comes up in romantic relationships- this has been a major problem for me that I only very recently (like within the last year) realized. It's definitely something I'm working on. And I painfully relate to the whole misjudging a person and a conversation, and telling something private and sacred and them giving me an unexpected reaction, though in my case it's more like I'm so expressive and I try to be understanding, and I've met very few people that give as much emotional feedback as I do when someone's sharing a personal story/feeling. Sorry for all these rambles about myself haha- it's been wonderful hearing your experience with these things! Good luck to you as well! Btw, I watched that video this morning when I woke up haha, it was definitely confirmation that I'm not INFP. I actually think I'm ISFP, which is still confusing to me because people always comment my conversations with them are the some of the deepest they've had. That lead me to believing I'm a lead intuitive, but my function stack definitely seems to be lead Fi and then Ni instead of Ne, because I recently learned that the traits I see in myself that I thought were Ne are actually Se, and Ne is pretty much nonexistent in my functioning. Anyway, I was wondering if you're subscribed to DaveSuperPowers? He's come back from his (5 year?) hiatus and he's been working on his own typing system for MBTI and his new videos are interesting. Maybe you already know the stuff he's saying haha, but the way he says it is pretty great too :)
 

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This is so interesting! My friend is very strategic, too, always coming up with a plan on how to get people to tell her their secrets. Perhaps she's ENFP instead of INFP. I did read that 'loops' and things aren't based within Jung's original theory, and are considered by a lot of people in this community as not being real. So that's something I'll have to think about because a part of my confirmation in typing her INFP was the idea of the Fi-Si loop. And I completely relate to your mention of how the wall comes up in romantic relationships- this has been a major problem for me that I only very recently (like within the last year) realized. It's definitely something I'm working on. And I painfully relate to the whole misjudging a person and a conversation, and telling something private and sacred and them giving me an unexpected reaction, though in my case it's more like I'm so expressive and I try to be understanding, and I've met very few people that give as much emotional feedback as I do when someone's sharing a personal story/feeling. Sorry for all these rambles about myself haha- it's been wonderful hearing your experience with these things! Good luck to you as well! Btw, I watched that video this morning when I woke up haha, it was definitely confirmation that I'm not INFP. I actually think I'm ISFP, which is still confusing to me because people always comment my conversations with them are the some of the deepest they've had. That lead me to believing I'm a lead intuitive, but my function stack definitely seems to be lead Fi and then Ni instead of Ne, because I recently learned that the traits I see in myself that I thought were Ne are actually Se, and Ne is pretty much nonexistent in my functioning. Anyway, I was wondering if you're subscribed to DaveSuperPowers? He's come back from his (5 year?) hiatus and he's been working on his own typing system for MBTI and his new videos are interesting. Maybe you already know the stuff he's saying haha, but the way he says it is pretty great too :)
Jung's original theory never even got close to consider looping, so I wouldn't say that just because he didn't come up with it, it doesn't have validity. As far as I know, a lot has been added to typology since he first wrote "Psychological Types". Of course, one can pick and choose what they believe in. Personally, I think it's worth exploring, but that's just me. I think it's an interesting way to conceptualize experiences such as depression and anxiety.

That's interesting that you ended up being an ISFP...do you know much about how the shadow functions work? It's not something I'm particularly well-versed in but it might be worth exploring...perhaps it explains why you thought you were in a Fi-Si loop? Now I'm curious what that's about. As for Dave, yes, haha, I've been watching his new videos, and they do touch on some ideas that I've had as well, but I haven't really fully digested his take on the functions yet to have much of an opinion. He's an interesting one though...I wonder if he still thinks Lady Gaga is an INFP :p (she's not btw, at least, not in my opinion haha).
 

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I haven't studied the shadow functions yet for the ISFP but I think I'll do that next! About the looping thing, I can see how it could be real and I don't really doubt that it is, it's just that I'm trying to separate each idea and take each one on its own for a while. Something I think is interesting is an idea I heard in a YouTube video by an ISFJ woman- she brought up that a person's ideal relationship is their exact opposite, but in a different way than I've seen it done. I'm not sure where she learned it, and I'm going to feel pretty silly for mentioning this here if it's a commonly known version of it haha, but she says that your ideal match would be all of your functions in reverse. This wasn't a new idea to me but the way she did it was what was interesting- she says it has to be the exact functions, including your shadow, and so the ISFJ's perfect partner would not be the ENTP, but the ENTJ because both of their stacks are Te Ni Se Fi Ti Ne Si Fe mirrored.

The reason this is so interesting to me is that, according to this theory, if I am ISFP then I would be best matched to an ENTP, and ENTPs are actually my favorite type. They're the reason I got into MBTI in the first place, because I kept coming across the personality in my real life and in my favorite TV shows and I was so attracted to them, that when I really started researching MBTI on a day I was bored, I realized the attraction was always first due to this personality. One minor reason I thought I was INFJ for so long is the few ENTPs I've known were just as attracted to me as I was to them (at least at first), and INFJs and ENTPs are said to experience a similar pull to each other. The reason I bring this up (sorry it's gone on so long) is I'm wondering what you think of these theories. I know that anyone can be attracted to anyone, but honestly while I respect the ENTJs and ESTJs I've known for their strengths and resolve, a fun ENTP could steal my heart anytime haha. ESTPs too, actually, but with them it's more of a platonic vibe. What's your experience with type relations? Do you think they hold much truth in reality?

Here's the video I'm talking about if you're interested:
 

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I haven't studied the shadow functions yet for the ISFP but I think I'll do that next! About the looping thing, I can see how it could be real and I don't really doubt that it is, it's just that I'm trying to separate each idea and take each one on its own for a while. Something I think is interesting is an idea I heard in a YouTube video by an ISFJ woman- she brought up that a person's ideal relationship is their exact opposite, but in a different way than I've seen it done. I'm not sure where she learned it, and I'm going to feel pretty silly for mentioning this here if it's a commonly known version of it haha, but she says that your ideal match would be all of your functions in reverse. This wasn't a new idea to me but the way she did it was what was interesting- she says it has to be the exact functions, including your shadow, and so the ISFJ's perfect partner would not be the ENTP, but the ENTJ because both of their stacks are Te Ni Se Fi Ti Ne Si Fe mirrored.

The reason this is so interesting to me is that, according to this theory, if I am ISFP then I would be best matched to an ENTP, and ENTPs are actually my favorite type. They're the reason I got into MBTI in the first place, because I kept coming across the personality in my real life and in my favorite TV shows and I was so attracted to them, that when I really started researching MBTI on a day I was bored, I realized the attraction was always first due to this personality. One minor reason I thought I was INFJ for so long is the few ENTPs I've known were just as attracted to me as I was to them (at least at first), and INFJs and ENTPs are said to experience a similar pull to each other. The reason I bring this up (sorry it's gone on so long) is I'm wondering what you think of these theories. I know that anyone can be attracted to anyone, but honestly while I respect the ENTJs and ESTJs I've known for their strengths and resolve, a fun ENTP could steal my heart anytime haha. ESTPs too, actually, but with them it's more of a platonic vibe. What's your experience with type relations? Do you think they hold much truth in reality?

Here's the video I'm talking about if you're interested:

Yes, I believe she is talking about relationships of duality within the "Model A" Socionics theory, there are probably better links, but that's explained here and here. The Socionics forum is likely the perfect place for talking about it, if you're interested in people's experiences, particularly those who are highly knowledgeable about Socionics. I'm not one of those people (yet) haha.

That's interesting that you feel a pull to ENTPs. They are pretty magnetic! So I get it :p As for myself, I don't really have a ton of relationship experience, so I really can't contribute much on that either, sorry! On the whole, I wouldn't say that the theories have much substance when it comes to compatibility and attraction, and that's really only because attraction is so complex. It relies on much more than personality, there are so many other factors that go into it, like upbringing, past relationships, values, obviously the physical component, as well as the physiological one (i.e., pheromones + genetic compatiblity), etc.

Personally, I can't see myself with an ESTP, which would be my dual, though I have been attracted to one. Realistically, I think we'd drive each other crazy, haha, and not in a good way. They can be really abrasive, which doesn't really mesh well with an INFPs sensitivity. It would really depend on the person though. It's not impossible and I would never completely count it out!

As for the other theories, I have yet to find them to be true. The types I tend to be attracted to vary from the different phases I've been in in my life, so it's not very consistent, although I do have a tendency to be attracted to IxxJ types and ENxP types. I have noticed that the types that express the most interest in me tend to be Te-Fi types (mostly INTJs lol).

You might find a non-MBTI theory interesting though. Dr. Helen Fisher had some interesting insight into this idea of relationship compatibility, and her theory makes the most sense to me. She has her own personality system themed by neurotransmitters, which also correlates with Keirsey's division of MBTI, so...

Explorer (Dopamine/Norepinephrine): SPs
Builders (Serotonin): SJs
Directors (Testosterone): NTs
Negotiators (Estrogen/Oxytocin): NFs

You have one main type and a subtype, example: negotiator/explorer. Her research is based on data that she gained from MRI scans of couples and people matching on an online dating site. With her model, she says that explorers tend to be the most compatible with other explorers, builders tend to be the most compatible with other builders, but directors and negotiators tend to be most compatible with one another because they balance each other out.

She wrote a book about it, and she's discussed it as well:


So, more food for thought! Is there any particular reason why you don't think you use Fe, out of curiousity?
 

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Thank you for those socionics links! I've tried to understand that theory and each time I do I'm overwhelmed by the complexity of it- the symbols (like triangles) and the model G and A and the alpha/beta/quadra whatever is all a lot to learn. I'm sure I'll delve into it whenever I get my next urge to explore personality theory haha. From what you explained, Dr. Helen Fisher's theory sounds like one I'll be happily exploring as well :)

I also don't have much romantic experience, but I also don't experience much attraction to people outside of my basic level of interest in them (which is quite a bit honestly, probably just because I'm a writer and am also into spirituality, so I want to know people and help them in whatever their journey is as much as I can). The few times I've experienced instant, inexplicable attraction when there was no physical/aesthetic draw is because of the energy the person had. I just had to get to know them. I actually don't experience much physical attraction in my life, and this has lead me to considering I might be asexual or somewhere in the demisexual spectrum, because I can think someone has a great personality and even that they're aesthetically attractive, but that's all it is. Anyway, not sure if that's relevant but I thought I'd throw it in because I find it interesting- I can't find many people who relate to that experience.

I thought I had Fe for a while because the way the functions are often explained, Fe is caring and puts everyone else before themselves and is highly empathetic. But Fi can be all of those things, too, if it's part of the Fi user's values. I'm still not completely decided on this, but I believe I'm an Fi-user because I always had my own beliefs about things, and I stuck to them no matter what (and still do). There have been times when one of my values is challenged- for example, when someone is teased or talked down to because of their way of interpreting things, or because they 'feel' too much- and I'll stand up for something, and I can feel a rift- a divide- growing between me and the other people in the room because I know they're looking down on my speaking up, or maybe it's the way that I speak up that bothers them. Whatever it is, I know that my demeanor or what I'm saying is having a negative effect on their views toward me, but I can't let myself be quiet because I have to get it out, and I have to make sure that the person who's being condescended to knows that they are great just the way they are, and that everyone has their own way of doing things and if anyone looks down on it or tells them they're wrong, that's when you know those people aren't your people. This is just an example, and I don't go around telling people off or going on tangents like this, but these are some of the defining moments in my life- speaking up for people when I can tell they've lost their voice, and trying to comfort and bring it back to them. It's because of this, and my bluntness and blunt humor (which I think is Te coming through), that I think I'm Fi, but also because I was always an outsider and I chose it, because I genuinely did not want to be like the other kids growing up because they didn't align with my values of how to treat people (with respect and love and understanding). I've always had seasons of my life when I had a tight small group of friends, and then longer stretches of being a loner. The last thing I can think of right now that seems Fi to me is I've always done my own thing, just whatever I felt like, and this sounds like a negative thing to a lot of people who value the group harmony and peace (and btw, I'm enneagram 9 because damn I am so peace focused, like I hate fighting and I think this has a lot to do with growing up in a house where there was always animosity and I was a little ball of stress when I was a kid because of it). Anyone who grew up with me or knew me for a while knows I'll just step to my own beat, I'll respect social norms because I know this is how the world operates and I'll try to do it to get along, but as soon as I'm tired of it or forget about it (which is pretty quick haha) I'll become my own person again. If I'm asked to dance I won't do the normal moves, because I don't know the normal moves haha and also because I think it's funner to just see where the rhythm takes you and to try new things. So while everyone else is like moving their hips and being sexy I'm just moving my arms around like a clock and like jerking my shoulders around hahaha.

Anyway, sorry if this was long but it was kind of off the top of my head and I'm also just having a good time talking to you :)

How did you know you preferred Fi over Fe? Do I sound like an Fi-user to you? Part of why I thought I was INFP is my imagination and my love of talking theory, but I only like talking theory if it's related to my life or my friend's lives, and my imagination is so based in the physical world (like Se, object based) and not so much about tying connections based on ideas (Ne). Like when I have to describe thinking I'll just think of a physical way to describe it, which ends up being similes and metaphors, like my mother pointed out that the frozen lake outside our street looks mottled and I thought "yeah it looks like a frogs belly". Those physical connections happen constantly, and I'm happy for them because I enjoy putting them into my stories and it's the most natural way for me to express myself and what my characters are 'seeing'.


Oh also! I learned from Kalysta and the INTJ's vid about INFPs that INFPs actually have Fe (something? I forget what position they specifically said) and that that's why INFPs are very careful with other people's feelings and don't want to hurt anyone and just want everyone to be free to live their lives and not feel like they're imposing on anyone, and that the idea of being extremely kind to people and of being totally self involved isn't related to MBTI as much as it's related to the scale between complete narcissism on one end to the other end of having almost no boundaries and being too nice. I think it's because of those unhealthy low boundaries when I was a child that I believed I had Fe, but when people talk about me and who I was in the past they always say "oh you always just did your own thing" and that I didn't believe anyone's false faces, Fi finding truth following your own compass kind of stuff. Just thought I'd mention that because I found the INFP and INFJ coffee's recent Fi vs Fe vid a good listen.


I just remembered another thing that convinced me I could be Fi- I know Fe users who are kind of always welcoming to people. I'm welcoming, too, but I've been told times I'm tired or have other things to do that when I'm at a social thing, I can seem like I really don't want to be there and like I'm kind of stewing in the corner? Haha, this was weird to me because obviously if I didn't want to be somewhere, I wouldn't be. Like me making the commitment to exist around other people is my step in trying to build a relationship with them or just spend time together, but apparently I am not as friendly and warm as I thought I seemed. I am incredibly facially expressive, like in conversation people can read my feelings based on my face perfectly (though they never interpret what caused that feeling because they think it's something in the immediate environment that made me angry/sad/happy when it's usually just one of those physical Se connections I mentioned before, or someone does something endearing that reminds me of someone I love, etc.). Anyway, that's another thing where I was like, am I really an Fe user? I've heard Fe users will really think about how to phrase something or do something so a person will spill their secrets or that events will unfold in a way the Fe user wants, and I just have never done this. Like I only want someone to tell me something or go through something with me if that's what they want to do.

Sorry this is so long!! I guess I have a lot to say about Fi or Fe haha
 

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I also don't have much romantic experience, but I also don't experience much attraction to people outside of my basic level of interest in them (which is quite a bit honestly, probably just because I'm a writer and am also into spirituality, so I want to know people and help them in whatever their journey is as much as I can). The few times I've experienced instant, inexplicable attraction when there was no physical/aesthetic draw is because of the energy the person had. I just had to get to know them. I actually don't experience much physical attraction in my life, and this has lead me to considering I might be asexual or somewhere in the demisexual spectrum, because I can think someone has a great personality and even that they're aesthetically attractive, but that's all it is. Anyway, not sure if that's relevant but I thought I'd throw it in because I find it interesting- I can't find many people who relate to that experience.
I can relate to the bolded...in a few situations, I didn't start off being attracted to someone whatsoever, but they grow on me haha. It's nice when that happens. Perhaps I'm a bit of the opposite...I can objectively see someone as physically attractive, but it doesn't really develop into anything if their personality is meh. I've had a number of times where I can recognize someone's potential and see them as amazing in every way, but the spark just isn't there. It happens. There have been times where I wished I could be more into someone when I'm not. Sadly feelings don't work that way, lol.

I thought I had Fe for a while because the way the functions are often explained, Fe is caring and puts everyone else before themselves and is highly empathetic. But Fi can be all of those things, too, if it's part of the Fi user's values. I'm still not completely decided on this, but I believe I'm an Fi-user because I always had my own beliefs about things, and I stuck to them no matter what (and still do). There have been times when one of my values is challenged- for example, when someone is teased or talked down to because of their way of interpreting things, or because they 'feel' too much- and I'll stand up for something, and I can feel a rift- a divide- growing between me and the other people in the room because I know they're looking down on my speaking up, or maybe it's the way that I speak up that bothers them. Whatever it is, I know that my demeanor or what I'm saying is having a negative effect on their views toward me, but I can't let myself be quiet because I have to get it out, and I have to make sure that the person who's being condescended to knows that they are great just the way they are, and that everyone has their own way of doing things and if anyone looks down on it or tells them they're wrong, that's when you know those people aren't your people. This is just an example, and I don't go around telling people off or going on tangents like this, but these are some of the defining moments in my life- speaking up for people when I can tell they've lost their voice, and trying to comfort and bring it back to them. It's because of this, and my bluntness and blunt humor (which I think is Te coming through), that I think I'm Fi, but also because I was always an outsider and I chose it, because I genuinely did not want to be like the other kids growing up because they didn't align with my values of how to treat people (with respect and love and understanding). I've always had seasons of my life when I had a tight small group of friends, and then longer stretches of being a loner. The last thing I can think of right now that seems Fi to me is I've always done my own thing, just whatever I felt like, and this sounds like a negative thing to a lot of people who value the group harmony and peace (and btw, I'm enneagram 9 because damn I am so peace focused, like I hate fighting and I think this has a lot to do with growing up in a house where there was always animosity and I was a little ball of stress when I was a kid because of it). Anyone who grew up with me or knew me for a while knows I'll just step to my own beat, I'll respect social norms because I know this is how the world operates and I'll try to do it to get along, but as soon as I'm tired of it or forget about it (which is pretty quick haha) I'll become my own person again. If I'm asked to dance I won't do the normal moves, because I don't know the normal moves haha and also because I think it's funner to just see where the rhythm takes you and to try new things. So while everyone else is like moving their hips and being sexy I'm just moving my arms around like a clock and like jerking my shoulders around hahaha.
Oh yeah, you sound like an Fi user, and it's funny because once I read the first few bits I was like "I wonder if she is type 9"...low and behold, you are! haha. I was just wondering how someone went from Fe to Fi is all, hence why I asked!

How did you know you preferred Fi over Fe? Do I sound like an Fi-user to you? Part of why I thought I was INFP is my imagination and my love of talking theory, but I only like talking theory if it's related to my life or my friend's lives, and my imagination is so based in the physical world (like Se, object based) and not so much about tying connections based on ideas (Ne). Like when I have to describe thinking I'll just think of a physical way to describe it, which ends up being similes and metaphors, like my mother pointed out that the frozen lake outside our street looks mottled and I thought "yeah it looks like a frogs belly". Those physical connections happen constantly, and I'm happy for them because I enjoy putting them into my stories and it's the most natural way for me to express myself and what my characters are 'seeing'.
I just knew I valued Fi over Fe. I kind of have a resentment towards having to be "Fe" and I can be opinionated in a way that surprises people...I tend to be stuck in my head analyzing the feels, I dwell on my emotions a lot, I am very sensitive. I tick all the boxes, lol.

I would actually say that the way you chose to make that metaphor sounds INFP-ish...it's very common for Ne/Si users to say something like that, as per Ne making the connection to something familiar (Si). That isn't to say that Se/Ni doesn't make metaphors, but on the whole, I see that tendency to be more Ne/Si. I also wouldn't say that there's a rule that the theory must relate to something other than oneself :p Or that sensors aren't interested in theories. They most definitely can be! I'm assuming you relate more to Ni than Ne? Have you seen this site before? The Principles of Cognitive Function Theory @MBTI

Oh also! I learned from Kalysta and the INTJ's vid about INFPs that INFPs actually have Fe (something? I forget what position they specifically said) and that that's why INFPs are very careful with other people's feelings and don't want to hurt anyone and just want everyone to be free to live their lives and not feel like they're imposing on anyone, and that the idea of being extremely kind to people and of being totally self involved isn't related to MBTI as much as it's related to the scale between complete narcissism on one end to the other end of having almost no boundaries and being too nice. I think it's because of those unhealthy low boundaries when I was a child that I believed I had Fe, but when people talk about me and who I was in the past they always say "oh you always just did your own thing" and that I didn't believe anyone's false faces, Fi finding truth following your own compass kind of stuff. Just thought I'd mention that because I found the INFP and INFJ coffee's recent Fi vs Fe vid a good listen.
Yes with Beebe's shadow function model, Fe = the 5th function, since ENFJ is our "shadow" type. Fe would be in the same position as well for ISFPs, except their shadow type is ESFJ. Similar applies in Socionics too, but it's a lot more nuanced and complicated...I have been told by a friend on this site that Fe is the "ignored" function for both ISFPs and INFPs, so that explains the tension we tend to feel with that function. I know I always tend to score pretty high for Fe on cognitive functions tests, but I kind of have a love/hate relationship with that function overall, haha.

I just remembered another thing that convinced me I could be Fi- I know Fe users who are kind of always welcoming to people. I'm welcoming, too, but I've been told times I'm tired or have other things to do that when I'm at a social thing, I can seem like I really don't want to be there and like I'm kind of stewing in the corner? Haha, this was weird to me because obviously if I didn't want to be somewhere, I wouldn't be. Like me making the commitment to exist around other people is my step in trying to build a relationship with them or just spend time together, but apparently I am not as friendly and warm as I thought I seemed. I am incredibly facially expressive, like in conversation people can read my feelings based on my face perfectly (though they never interpret what caused that feeling because they think it's something in the immediate environment that made me angry/sad/happy when it's usually just one of those physical Se connections I mentioned before, or someone does something endearing that reminds me of someone I love, etc.). Anyway, that's another thing where I was like, am I really an Fe user? I've heard Fe users will really think about how to phrase something or do something so a person will spill their secrets or that events will unfold in a way the Fe user wants, and I just have never done this. Like I only want someone to tell me something or go through something with me if that's what they want to do.
Yes, Fe is a lot better at making people feel a certain way, especially a positive way. I often think of Fe as a good "hosting" function in that they are just naturally more considerate, more charming, and they tend to be really good at knowing exactly what do when comforting someone. For me, I have to reflect on that more...I'm a lot better with my words than my actions in that department. Plus I'm just awkward AF, though I like to think I have my endearing qualities with that, haha. And yes, Fe can be super manipulative, but so can Fi, lol. We have our ways :angry: If you've met an ENFP, you'll know what I mean. They are sometimes accidentally manipulative...or at least that's how they play it off, haha!
 
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