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Hello,

I've wondered how other INFJs would describe their Ni as a child and if/how it's changed.

Personally sometimes I've wondered about my Ni as a child and if it was actually Ne or somewhere in between.

It's hard for me to really understand how my functions were as a child. I'm pretty sure I've always been NF though

I think I have changed in some ways since I was a child. Or maybe other factors like environment played a role. Thoughts?

Were you always a "holistic system builder?" did you always think of the future?
 

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My childhood was filled with symbolism and hidden meanings, and I was very big picture-oriented. I had a vivid imagination, and was a bit withdrawn much of the time, often preferring to dwell in my little fantasy world than in the real world. I was rather sensitive as a child, and more than a little socially awkward. I eventually blossomed into a socially awkward preteen and the teen.

I was very much fascinated by systems, both building and following, and would spend much of my time fashioning alternate worlds and even entire universes in my mind, often outlining them in great detail. I was often engaged in trying to find easier methods of performing various tasks. Both my inner and outer world were quite organized, everything had its place. I recall enjoying toys and games that required putting things together, such as Legos, an erector set, and this Rube Goldberg-inspired game that required a bunch of steps to launch this little cardboard guy into a net or something similar. I was always very independent and keen on following the directions to the letter and figuring things out for myself (and detested assistance). For example, I would attempt to build the most complicated devices in the Lego instruction book. I also enjoyed those games in which you could create a scene or story using a cardboard background and stickers. I was very much a planner, organizer and a story teller when I was a child.

I recall in first grade, many of games I played with a friend, during class, involved a newspaper, circling similar words or words we did not know. I cannot recall the particulars. I remember during my initial language training in the Air Force, toward the end, when I was burned out, I would sit at the back of the class with a marine friend and we would do crossword puzzles. It reminded me of that time in my youth a bit.

I was very future-oriented, not so much in regards to planning for my future, but more in the ability to intuit how a given set of factors would play themselves out, and to prepare for that eventuality. For quite some time when I was very young, I did not want to grow up, because I realized all the responsibility that would be required of me. I was very much able to see multiple possibilities in anything, and, consequently, was a bit of a worrier.

I think a great may factors served to make me a bit more grounded, and less dreamy, though I think I have always been Ni-dominant, for as far back as I can remember.
 

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Hello,

I've wondered how other INFJs would describe their Ni as a child and if/how it's changed.

Personally sometimes I've wondered about my Ni as a child and if it was actually Ne or somewhere in between.

It's hard for me to really understand how my functions were as a child. I'm pretty sure I've always been NF though

I think I have changed in some ways since I was a child. Or maybe other factors like environment played a role. Thoughts?

Were you always a "holistic system builder?" did you always think of the future?
I don't know enough about how Ni Ne or even MBTI really works to be able to describe accurately how I used each function as a child, so here is some crazy things I did/acted like as a child.

I liked order and routine a lot as a child, I formed 'secret' clubs with the other kids on my street and made up rules and codewords to use ways to address one another secret handshakes even a secret code language to write messages to one another in lol, I was a control freak really. I think eventually we were going to overthrow adults and take over the world. lol

Tidying my room was one of my favourite past times for some reason as was rearranging the furniture on a weekly basis!!! my parents hated that :laughing:

I had a strange obsession for kitchen appliances, watching the washing machine spin for example, as well as breaking the washing machine of course. My parents hated that too.

I was very quiet in school but hanged around with the other kids who where a bit odd, most kids started to play sports at break time, whilst we spent it in an imaginary land. I had an amazing imagination anyway, still do. I was great at making up new games to play as well.

I was very artistic, not just in art but I was really good at writing stories, for my age anyway. I liked writing poetry as well, which I was actually pretty good at. I wouldn't know how to write a poem today.

I was very interested in the world around me I loved learning pretty much anything, I was smarter than most kids, but not at maths.

I was interested in other kids too although I had few friends. I was easily able to work out other people's personality and values. I was extremely friendly towards everyone, quiet but more confident in a sense because I maybe wasn't as scarred as embarrassing myself as I might be today.

Had a huge sense of right and wrong.

Said things which adults said, bettered adults sometimes. Asked a lot of questions.

I acted the leader a lot of the time.

I didn't think too much about the future though. When I did it was just fantasising about flying cars and the like rather than my own personal future.

I also got hyperactive quite easily and when I did I was a nightmare!!! I think a hyperactive NF child is the last thing any parent wants lol
 

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Shy, quiet, dreamy, stubborn, thoughtful; all the stereotypes. I read all the time and lived in my own little fantasy world. I liked to pretend the characters were my imaginary friends and would go play with them, eg I would give Laura Ingalls from Little House on the Prairie tours of my house and explain very patiently that this was a washing machine, this is how it works, and laughed at her shock... I also pretended I was the fifth sister in Little Women. I think this made it hard for me to be friends with other kids; I often didn't even hear them when they talked to me or would walk right by a group of people talking to myself so most of them ended up thinking I was just weird.

Being an Ni I think made me more independent and made it hard for me to follow rules, though I wasn't a bad kid. I decided I didn't believe in God when I was 8, the whole Jesus thing obviously being another work of fiction (though I spent a great deal of my time in my fantasy world I never really believed it, I was always quite skeptical when it came to "real life.") I didn't like doing things like chores or homework unless someone could explain to me rationally why I had to do them; I could be reading books, after all!

Though I was perceptive I don't think I really "built systems" or understood things on a more explicit level than what I perceived; that came much later.

Today...I think I am a bit more well-balanced. My Se is definitely more developed. I still need enough Ni time though or I get cranky and feel like I'm distanced from myself, but overall I am trying to tone it down in order to develop some of my other functions and become less self-absorbed.
 

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Were you always a "holistic system builder?" did you always think of the future?
Yes, for the most part. While other children had imaginary friends, I had imaginary worlds. I lived inside my head a lot, and was actually a very withdrawn child, not to mention oversensitive. I was always expecting more to every situation, to the point where figurative language was often lost on me. Not because I didn't understand the common meaning, just I kept expecting there to be more to it than that. So most idioms would be taken literally by me simply because I didn't believe that anyone actually meant the very obvious figurative meaning.

I spent a lot of time reading and had quite a library for a child of my age. I wasn't necessarily ahead with my reading, but I did read all the time (I'd get grounded for staying up late reading). And I seem to remember my imagination constantly trying to make the world bigger than it was. Every excursion down the street became some journey into a different world. I was very rarely fully present and accounted for, though I was strangely not...scatterbrained or "dreamy".

I, too, loved Legos, erector sets, Kinex sets, anything that allowed me to build things. I loved building original things out of Legos--houses, castles, cars... And then I'd play "house" with my Lego minions. During recess at elementary school, I'd act as the "urban planner/architect" for the villages my classmates and I would construct. I was very adept at making tiny grass and stone villages, over which one of my friends would preside as mayor. Then we'd go "mine" the runoff area of the playground for mica to act as currency. I remember I loved exploring the woods, because I'd hope that I'd turn a corner on a path and wind up in one of the places that existed inside my head. In a way, I was obsessed with exploring the woods behind my best friend's house because of this. I was like Jake in Dark Tower when he was obsessed with doors that might lead to Mid-World.

This obsessive trend has followed me throughout my life. I've found that ever since I was a child, I tend to not have a lot of varied interests at one time. Instead, I tend to obsess over a handful of things at a time. When I'd get interested in something, that's ALL I would think, talk, write, draw about for weeks on end. Eventually, that interest would fade into the background and a new thing would come along. As I got into my preteen and teenage years, this quality actually worsened, to the point where it's quite possible that I was addicted to whatever I was interested in (I would often forget to eat or sleep in pursuit of this thing/person). I was very much a child/teenager who was easily in love with the idea of things, and that's what I think drove that obsessive tendency. I was in the midst of recreating this interest inside my head, so I guess Ni would keep screaming for more information. More detail. More material to work with. More, more, more...always more. The more information, the more real the imagined recreation would become.

I also spent a lot of time in my teenage years writing and carefully crafting a world with this ridiculous level of detail. I was on the verge of creating a fully functional new language, alphabets, and history for this world. I think I still have my folder full of notes in a box somewhere... At some point, I began teaching my friends the new alphabet so we could all write in it together. Sadly, I was the only one who actually mastered it.

As I've gotten older, most of these tendencies have become more...balanced. I feel less need to become obsessive over interests, as I find I'm more able to simply enjoy the interest and quit trying to recreate it in my head. I can still become in love with the idea of something/someone, but I'm better able to recognize when this happens and take that fascination less seriously. I spend less time in my head and more time in reality, though many days I must make a conscious effort to do this and it's rarely easy to do. But I believe it is more healthy for me to work on becoming more balanced. I still have my inner world, but the nature of it has changed. I believe it is more fragmented now...like a broken mirror where each piece is reflecting something back at a different angle. It's like the Pangaea separation.
 

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I'm pretty sure I looked like the typical INFx child. My mom is also introvert and so naturally, it would be me and her in our room a lot.. which I didn't mind. My Ni showed up in me being preoccupied with tea parties with god knows who filling in the empty spaces, making elaborate stories with my barbies, reading, watching The Lion King 100000x, painting, writing in my diary, etc. I remember seeing some old home videos where my dad's side of the family went on outings and whoever was recording would catch me in the near distance by myself, walking around, in my own head, moving things back and forth, Idk. I pointed out a lot of things to people two or three times my age. Saw lots of meanings behind people's motives and words, which kept me quieter as how would a kid really articulate those things, right? I felt a lot of people's emotions and liked shifting the angles for them. I would imagine quite a lot about my mom's eventual death, often crying to myself at night. I just had a whole lot of future thinking in general. Even as a child, I would feel really misunderstood.
 

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I used to create imaginary worlds to play in, especially at school (I'd mostly break sticks up so they looked like little people and play with those, as they could be anything I wanted). At home, I tended to play with toys more and my twin sister and I played with them for hours every day, making up weird stories about hunting an item (very LOTR, lol) with lots of peril and possibly some dying.
My sis and my friend also played at acting out small plays in front of our parents - I'd always have to be the hero, the friend the villain and my sis the sidekick (we actually chose those roles, lol).

I also liked to write stories and illustrate them - I folded paper up to make books and wrote serials of stories about dragons (I really liked dragons) and squirrels. I also did (and still do) draw a lot all over my work to help me concentrate.

I liked routine a lot and liked technical things like machines (I liked watching them work and figuring them out). I also had set places for everything and always read books on top of a pile of teddies or an armchair and nowhere else (and I read a lot of books). I was very shy and quiet and tried to behave well. But I also had a strong awareness that I wasn't aware (from when I was about 6) and that I would eventually be able to become more aware of things (I guess I met my Ni consciously for the first time then).
 

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I love reading this thread! Our childhoods have so many similarities.

I was a system-builder in some ways. For eksample, every color I could name was put in a specific order that I still remember today, starting with red, yellow, green, blue etc. I also invented new games with intricate rules. Some were only for me to play and didn't even exist outside my head. My parents would see me walk from room to room with a book full of pictures, but in my head so much more was going on! I loved entertaining myself, but I wasn't shy of making other people play my games either. I played a game with my brother where one of us would be listening to a song in headphones, and the other would ask random questions that would be answered with quotes from the song.

I also read books even before I could read (I just memorized them and "read" them to everyone willing to listen. I knew whole books of poetry by heart at the age of two). To me the stories never stopped with the book, but carried on in my head, and I'd make up a myriad of alternative story-lines to every book.

I'm also told I was very stubborn. My catch-phrase was apparently "I can do it myself!", never wanting people to help me. I also remember times when i refused to help people that reason. If I was able to do it myself, why shouldn't they?
 

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My mom said I was very creative and if I didn't have a certain toy I would just use another in it's place. I loved playing with my dolls by myself. I had a lot of internal anger because I would tie them up and beat them and then feel so guilty afterwards that I felt like crying. I was very stubborn and strong-willed (both me and my INFP younger brother were) and any time my dad got angry it would just make me more resistant. I was a daddy's girl when I was little but I grew to hate him. As an adult I am able to forgive and love him now because I realize he is human just like me and everyone else but back then, me and my brother hated him. My ESFJ older sister was probably the only one who tried to honor our parents...even now when she should have already stated her independence. I believe it's important to honor them though but that doesn't mean you have to do everything they say, only take it into consideration. She is a people pleaser. But I digress. I remember reading that INFJ children are very good children and loving kids. Well I don't think I was that way : / I was spoiled. My mom spoiled me. I would like doing things for people when I felt like it though.

Before I knew how to read I wanted to impress everyone so I thought reading was just looking at a page for a long time then turning it. So I was determined to "read" through this really long book and then tell everyone I did it. I guess I got bored of that because I never "finished" it.

When I was five, my mom gave me my first diary which I loved the idea of. I started writing in it immediately even though I didn't know how to write.

In elementary school I LOVED writing in my journal to my teacher. I was probably the only kid who wrote in there on weekends and holidays, telling her all about everything that was happening and she pretty much said as much. I also had multiple personal journals that I kept to write random imaginary stories in. I'd always write a story and never know how to finish it. I'm much better at writing poetry. I'd always come up with the idea but not know where to go from there.

My best friend also got me into spying so I had a spy journal where I would spy on people and write down everything they were doing in there.

I LOVED having pen pals in school or between my cousin and my friend.

I loved coming up with different games. One of them was a spy game but you could write secret messages on the computer and form alliances. I don't really know what the point was. That needed to be tweaked as pretty much everyone just wanted to type on the computer lol so it was stupid. I would get inspired by other games and sort of put them all together. One of them was inspired by that village game.

I liked playing school or house with my little INFP brother. I was always the teacher and the mother. When he got older, we'd like to play power rangers outside and pretend the swings were our vehicles.

When I was five, me and my best friend made up this game where each toy had a special power and we'd use them against each other. I loved that game. Don't know what her personality type was :)

I was also extremely sensitive and insecure and would cry very easily but I wasn't very confident.

In kindergarten I would just swing on the swing every day while the other kids would play on the boat. Later on, I joined in on imaginary games when I had more friends.

I'd worry about things - about my mom not picking me up and me being stranded at the school. I always feared that would happen because I was an early bird so I thought that meant I was never allowed to stay late lol but it was just a group (in kidergarten).

I'd draw rainbows every day in my journal (I love them) and the kids would always ask me why and it never ceased to annoy me.

I was also a neat freak but I am an sp type 1 so I think it has more to do with that.

As far as the future goes, my mom tells me that I'd always wanted to know about how to do things in the future. My INFP brother would always ask a ton of questions. He'd also talk a lot and never shut up as a kid. My mom thought he was an ENFP lol but he is quieter now (except when he wants to joke around). He liked to explore and pretty much put every kind of disgusting thing in his mouth. He was also extremely sensitive but getting him to tell you what was wrong was impossible, still is. Just to tell you the difference there. I might be hesitant to share at first but EVENTUALLY I feel too guilty not to say SOMETHING because people care about me even if they might not understand.
 

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When I was a child, my Ni and Se were both readily exercised and worked more in tandem now that I think about it; nowadays, I have to remind myself NOT to neglect Se. I was very physically active and industrious as a child, playing outside by myself, with my sis, or a friend or two. But my Ni never left me because while I was catching roly-polies with my friends (I know, gross, right?), picking flowers, jumping rope, bicycling, etc., I'd imbue all those activities and interactions with fantasy. I distinctly remember playing this game with my next-door neighbor, Steve, when we were probably no more than 5 or 6: we'd pretend we could morph into superheroes by pressing a button on a machine (it was a plastic kid-swimming pool we put upright and it had a 'pretend' button on it); we'd play this game all afternoon, concocting new storylines as we ran, skipped, and hopped.
 

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I was shy too, very carefull not to hurt anybody's feelings and very caring for the animals. I remember one time my brother brought home a snake and 2 lizards ( male and female) . He had to put them in some sort of liquid for his biology class . They would have died but still maintain shape for a long time. I found out what he was doing too late so i can save the snake but i managed to grab the 2 lizards and run with them in the garden so i can save them. I remember i was running from my brother with the lizards in my hands , my palms were geting sweaty and the poor lizards were getting some sort of a "wasp waist" from me holding them so tight, but if i'd let them go there, he would have caught them again. He chased me and demanded that i give them back. It was dead end. No more garden and i was pretty much cornered. He tried to scare me saying that they bite . The male was bigger and kinda scary so i threw him in the grass and it eascaped ,which made my brother very upset. He was threatening to kick my ass and scaring me that i'm gonna get bitten . I remember i told him that i'm not gonna get bitten because i love them and they love me back and my next instinct was to kiss the lizard. Very bad move. The lizard bit me by the lip, escaped and i got a very cold "I told u so!!! " from my brother.
 
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I remember that I was very imaginative when I was younger. I used to lock my self in my room and pretend to live in an imaginary world. Needless to say, I did role plays by myself. Like @SillaSY, I was as well a rather active INFJ child. I loved playing with my kid playmates; I used to play with two neighbors, they were all girls and we always played within stories and worlds that we made up. We used rocks, twigs, branches and leaves that we could randomly find in our neighborhood as props.
I also remember that I easily was able to learn things. I mostly observed and then I have that sudden "click" inside my head.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I want to get a few of your opinions, because it's hard for me to understand my functions as a child. It may also have to do with my enneagram, which I believe is type 4. I am not asking to try to type me. But these are overall descriptions of myself as a child and if you think you can identify some functions or how they work then let me know. Or if you relate to them. Thanks. Anyone else's opinion is welcome too.

@HorribleAesthete
@Vivid Melody
@Jawz
@SillaSY
@unico
@emerald sea

First I want to tell you the things I was known for growing up:

1. Having a funny way of talking and behaving
2. Being very funny, just acting kind of goofy and random
3. Being very quiet (most of the time)
4. Being very unique
5. Being extremely creative, musically/drawing/ideas, sometimes people would tell me "How did you even think of that?"
6. Popular/social, sometimes outgoing and influencial
7. Being smart
9. Being very talented at certain skills, kind of like a jack of all trades situation. For instance I was really good at gymnastics as a kid, and skateboarding, breakdancing, doing flips and stuff.
10. In some ways nonchalant or not caring about things that others thought were important, sometimes mischievous or rude. Also being kind of zoned out sometimes.

Also I'm very good at music and composing. When I first started hearing music as a kid I was more interested in the way all the instruments worked together rather than the feeling it gave me. I'm still like that, analytical of music.



In high school I started to change a little though. I just became quieter and nicer and this is when I believe my Ni truly started to dominate and my Se came down a lot. Prior to this, I wasn't sure if I even was using Fi or Fe, Ni or Ne, maybe way more Se than now though.

I relate to some of these posts, but not all. As a kid I had a very active imagination as well, but above anything else I wanted to interact with friends. I don't know if my way of thinking or values has to do with upbringing, but my parents let me outside all the time and I would spend most of my free time as a child playing with the kids in my neighborhood. I hardly spent any time inside. I also explored the neighborhood by myself. I may have been using Ni because I had a mental map of the entire neighborhood and I used my intuition to guide me. I did use my imagination with my friends though, but only some of them. I tend to have all kinds of friends anyway. As early as 5 years old I would call my friends houses and ask their parents if they could play. In 2nd grade people started to notice that I was very different in the fact that I was kind of monotone and I also had weird ways of expressing myself. I mostly embraced my weirdness and tried to be weirder to make people laugh. I was also extremely creative and just had ideas come to me out of nowhere.

In 3rd and 4th grade my class had the same teacher, so I got to know the other students pretty well over 2 years and became more confident and comfortable around them. I was usually a leader amongst this group of friends I had of 4 of us.

Sometimes I was outgoing or kind of class clown. I made friends with one of my best friends now, who I strongly believe is an ENXP. I used to have deep conversations with him back then. I was always known for my weirdness or uniqueness and doing things differently, and being funny.

before high school I don't really know how to interpret my functions. I was NF though. In high school though I became more holistic in my way of thinking. I became interested in subjects like sociology, anthropology, statistics. There were some other experiences I had that changed my way of thinking around the time I started college. I almost doubt sometimes that when I was younger I was an INFJ. It's hard for me to know. But My way of thinking changed a lot.

Now I am known for being
1. Intellectual
2. Creative
3. moralistic/idealistic
4. Funny
5. Very nice and friendly/good person
6. Thoughtful
7. Quiet
8. Unique

So any thoughts, opinions, questions, or if you can relate etc. are welcomed
 

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I want to get a few of your opinions, because it's hard for me to understand my functions as a child. It may also have to do with my enneagram, which I believe is type 4. I am not asking to try to type me. But these are overall descriptions of myself as a child and if you think you can identify some functions or how they work then let me know. Or if you relate to them. Thanks. Anyone else's opinion is welcome too.

@HorribleAesthete
@Vivid Melody
@Jawz
@SillaSY
@unico
@emerald sea

First I want to tell you the things I was known for growing up:

1. Having a funny way of talking and behaving
2. Being very funny, just acting kind of goofy and random
3. Being very quiet (most of the time)
4. Being very unique
5. Being extremely creative, musically/drawing/ideas, sometimes people would tell me "How did you even think of that?"
6. Popular/social, sometimes outgoing and influencial
7. Being smart
9. Being very talented at certain skills, kind of like a jack of all trades situation. For instance I was really good at gymnastics as a kid, and skateboarding, breakdancing, doing flips and stuff.
10. In some ways nonchalant or not caring about things that others thought were important, sometimes mischievous or rude. Also being kind of zoned out sometimes.



In high school I started to change a little though. I just became quieter and nicer and this is when I believe my Ni truly started to dominate and my Se came down a lot. Prior to this, I wasn't sure if I even was using Fi or Fe, Ni or Ne, maybe way more Se than now though.

I relate to some of these posts, but not all. As a kid I had a very active imagination as well, but above anything else I wanted to interact with friends. I don't know if my way of thinking or values has to do with upbringing, but my parents let me outside all the time and I would spend most of my free time as a child playing with the kids in my neighborhood. I hardly spent any time inside. I also explored the neighborhood by myself. I may have been using Ni because I had a mental map of the entire neighborhood and I used my intuition to guide me. I did use my imagination with my friends though, but only some of them. I tend to have all kinds of friends anyway. As early as 5 years old I would call my friends houses and ask their parents if they could play. In 2nd grade people started to notice that I was very different in the fact that I was kind of monotone and I also had weird ways of expressing myself. I mostly embraced my weirdness and tried to be weirder to make people laugh. I was also extremely creative and just had ideas come to me out of nowhere.

In 3rd and 4th grade my class had the same teacher, so I got to know the other students pretty well over 2 years and became more confident and comfortable around them. I was usually a leader amongst this group of friends I had of 4 of us.

Sometimes I was outgoing or kind of class clown. I made friends with one of my best friends now, who I strongly believe is an ENXP. I used to have deep conversations with him back then. I was always known for my weirdness or uniqueness and doing things differently, and being funny.

before high school I don't really know how to interpret my functions. I was NF though. In high school though I became more holistic in my way of thinking. I became interested in subjects like sociology, anthropology, statistics. There were some other experiences I had that changed my way of thinking around the time I started college. I almost doubt sometimes that when I was younger I was an INFJ. It's hard for me to know. But My way of thinking changed a lot.

Now I am known for being
1. Intellectual
2. Creative
3. moralistic/idealistic
4. Funny
5. Very nice and friendly/good person
6. Thoughtful
7. Quiet
8. Unique

So any thoughts, opinions, questions, or if you can relate etc. are welcomed
Being a jack of all trades and leader speak about me too. I think it's the Ni taking action. I guess arguably many INFJs tend to be good at doing a variety of things. INFJs are very likely to be dual-brained - that is, it's hard to classify us as left-/right-brained because we naturally make use of both strengths. So we are rational, logical and intellectual yet at the same time sensitive, vulnerable creatures. Ni-Ti combination makes us creative.

Calling up your friends' parents, eh? Organiser? Such a J you are. :p

I can relate to the list of things you described about yourself. Though, I guess I'm probably colder (unusually strong Ti - I'm Type 5), and more rebellious (wing 6).



As for being a leader, it's the collaboration of Ni-Fe. We almost always know how to sway people. I remember during high school a lot of my peers verbally opened up to me about how they highly respected me as a student leader. However, I must admit that a price to pay was feeling so isolated; people didn't really want to hang out with me because I reportedly intimidated them. :/
 

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It would have been cool to had been more like this:



I know I have ruined a serious thread, but I wanted to... at least once.
---
I remembered my parents and lots of others thought I really had my head in the clouds, but at the same time, anything before the mid-upper teens is best forgotten in my life... or so it's the way I see it.
I didn't even develop a real sense of humor for awhile. I was often an angry kid.
As for being imaginative, I remembered pretending like I was playing in video games or the like if I didn't have anyone to talk to in class during the very early years of school, and I got rightly accused of daydreaming lol. Ni is much easier to remember for me in older years, although I don't know why that is.
 

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1. Having a funny way of talking and behaving
Nothing too crazy, though I did begin working on getting rid of my rather thick Texas accent when I was in junior high, because I detested it. Now I have no accent. The only unusual quirks I can think of (these were in elementary), were the fact that I chewed on my pencils until they fell apart (nervous habit), and I used to write so tiny that the teachers forced me to write larger. I suppose I was generally a bit awkward. I often played by myself out of choice.

I went through an OCD phase when I was about nine or so, out of nervousness due to my father, during which I would constantly clean, dust and rearrange things, and continuously tell my mother I loved her, to the point I think it started to get on her nerves.

Not funny or unusual behavior, but I always had a crush on some girl or other, sometimes on girls in high school, when I was in elementary.

2. Being very funny, just acting kind of goofy and random
This was true, the acting goofy/random part, until about middle junior high, though not consistently. I began to become more self-conscious as I grew older and was exposed to negative judgments from certain peers (and my alcoholic bi-polar father), and then those raging hormones.

I was always rather witty, more of a dry, sarcastic sense of humor, though more passive than active. I recall a teacher in fourth grade praising my dry sense of humor to the class. I, being rather shy and not wanting to attract attention, jealousy, and attacks, began making fun of her on the spot. I was already not enormously popular, I didn’t need her help to become less so. Not my most shining moment, but this was self-preservation. This same teacher once encouraged me to act up, because I was too well behaved (man, that was a personal bit of sharing…).

3. Being very quiet (most of the time)
In general, I was a rather quiet person. Apparently, however, I was rather talkative when I was very young. My grandmother told me that I talked so much and asked so many questions when I was very young that it was difficult to get me shut up long enough to do anything else (eat, get dressed, etc). It gradually grew less, until late junior high, when I became rather quiet and sometimes used to wonder if it was possible to go so long without talking that I might forget how to speak. Now, I hardly speak at all. Maybe I said everything I need to say when I was young.

4. Being very unique
I think most who knew me growing up would attest to this, though not always, or even often, positively. I was, and perhaps am, something of an odd duck. I always walked the line between various groups, never quite fit in. Something of an awkward chameleon how cannot quite get the color right but enough to sort of blend in.

5. Being extremely creative, musically/drawing/ideas, sometimes people would tell me "How did you even think of that?"
Yes, very much. I was drawing and creating almost as soon as I could hold a pencil. When I was five or six, I used to create my own comic books (Cosmic Ant was my flagship effort, if memory serves, lot of gratuitous stick-figure death) and short stories. I churned out drawing after drawing, mostly fantasy and medieval stuff. Then I discovered Dungeons and Dragons when I was like seven or eight, and began creating my own (very simple) pen and paper role-playing games. I continued to draw a bit in high school, mostly portraits of women, but eventually gave it up (like so many things).

In high school I wrote and directed a play, a parody of Jeopardy. All of the more popular kids (mostly ‘jocks,’ and ‘cheerleaders‘) were engaged in a play for UIL (I was light guy...too shy to act), and there was a whole other portion of the class, mostly my ’misfits’ friends (‘metal heads,’ ‘hippies,’ ‘punk-rockers‘ ‘punk rock-hippies‘ ‘children of hippies,’ ‘nerds‘…including me in all categories…and an exchange student from Australia), who were taking the class to get out of other classes, had little desire to act, or else were not able as all the roles were taken, and so were studying theater for an hour each day. My teacher let me recruit them to perform the play (on the condition that I not neglect my duties on the lights). It was a hard sell for a few of them, but I finally got a caste together (some who were not even in theater). My teacher allowed me to open for a couple of private parent showings of the UIL play after the competition was over. It was a great success, and a lot of fun.

Please note that I use the term ‘misfit’ affectionately, and happily include myself under than banner. The vast majority of students in my school were engaged in agriculture and sports. A tiny minority us did not fit this mold.

6. Popular/social, sometimes outgoing and influential
I was never terribly social or popular growing up, until maybe my junior and senior year. I was still not terribly social, but became a bit more so, and achieved a measure of popularity, I suppose, in certain circles. I was definitely not in with the in crowd (and did not want to be, except for this one cheerleader…), more with my peeps, the aforementioned ‘misfits‘…

7. Being smart
Yes (not bragging). I was generally the most academically adept person in my class, beginning with kindergarten, and always did well on those tests They administered. Much of the credit for this is due to my mother teaching me how to read and various other things before I ever started school. My place was usurped from about second to fifth grade by my (only) friend (probably INTP), but then he left to attend another school. I graduated valedictorian of my high school class (though there were only sixteen students).

9. Being very talented at certain skills, kind of like a jack of all trades situation. For instance I was really good at gymnastics as a kid, and skateboarding, breakdancing, doing flips and stuff.
Not really. I was good at a few things that I enjoyed, mostly nonphysical stuff. I was moderately good at water skiing and knee-boarding, I suppose, in the sense that I could do it without falling down (much) or breaking my arm.

10. In some ways nonchalant or not caring about things that others thought were important, sometimes mischievous or rude. Also being kind of zoned out sometimes.
I was sometimes mischievous, but rarely, if ever, rude. I was (am) often zoned out. I was extremely nonchalant about many things, most notably religion and church attendance. Now, I am even more often zoned out, and wholly unconcerned with the vast majority of things that others consider important (religion, traditions, holidays, politics), except to ridicule them (the things, not the people). I was, and am, very much an iconoclast living in Plato‘s Cave.

Also I'm very good at music and composing. When I first started hearing music as a kid I was more interested in the way all the instruments worked together rather than the feeling it gave me. I'm still like that, analytical of music.
I was not terribly good a playing or composing music, though I loved listening to it, especially the Beatles. I remember dancing to ’I Want to Hold Your Hand’ and ’I Saw Her Standing There’ so much with my sister and cousins that we wore the record out. It was the best thing I had ever heard in my entire life up to that point (like four or so). Actually, it still is. I dabbled in the guitar in high school, but was never fantastic at it. I am still not great, but better than I was.

My talents, if I possess any, are more in the field of writing. I was very much into satire from an early age, and in high school worked on the school paper, where I wrote scathing articles and drew the weekly cartoon, offering up satirical commentary on a number of social issues plaguing the school (some of which I may or may not have invented). The school mascot was a pirate, so I drew a parrot in pirate garb and christened the comic, The Ruffled Parrot (actually, I think my fantastically witty friend, came up with the name).

As far as friends, I generally had one, or perhaps two, close friends at an given time. My first friend was my cousin, also a male INFJ (I recently tested him).

I would say that, although I lead with Ni, and had a fairly well-developed Ti, that my Fe was much more powerful during my elementary and early junior high years. I think an abusive father and a lot of stress caused me to somewhat mask my Fe, bury underneath a wall of Ni/Ti. Like you, I would say that my Se was much more developed when I was very young. I spent equal time inside and outside, though I began to gravitate more toward inside activities as I grew older. I was fascinated by insects, especially ants, and with climbing trees.

Like you, I would range far and wide. I moved to a house on seventeen acres in the country when I was about eight, and I spent a considerable time exploring the surrounding forests and pastures, and those of our neighbors, slaying ogres and other beasties. My parents probably would have freaked if they knew how far I went. I remember I would often make my way through forests and swamps, some of them spooky and seemingly haunted (at least in my over active imagination) to a particular highway bridge. It was like my personal quest. It was never just a forest, never just a trail. It is a wonder I was never bitten by a snake (I saw many).

In high school I broadened my circle of friends a bit, though all told it was probably never more than four or five close friends. I did have quite a few less meaningful friendships, however. Ninth and tenth grades were rather awkward, as I did not really fit in, but after that I started to come into my own a bit more.

Okay...that was a somewhat intensely personal post...yeah...
 

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@HorribleAesthete Thank you for this. I'd been curious these days as to how INFJs were when they were younger, mainly just because I feel like personality was so dynamic at different parts in my life to where I questioned if I'm extraverted or not, and also since I feel like I changed from when I was younger. A lot of people might say I'm the same, but I feel different. Maybe that has just come with growing up. It's just that when people here have mentioned that functions don't change, it made me wonder since I feel like I've had so many sides to my personality as a kid that didn't seem consistent up until 6-7 years ago when I felt the most INFJish.
 

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@Ntuitive To be honest, I had a hard time relating to most of the things you mentioned but that's just me. Do you think it's possible that you are an ISFP and you feel more like an INFJ now because of the development of tertiary Ni and inferior Te? I also wouldn't discount INFP or ENFP but I know you have considered those before. Just a lot of what you mentioned sounded like Ne or Se to me. Reminded me more of my INFP brother than myself. I will go through the things you said. Hope this is helpful:


1. Having a funny way of talking and behaving Not particularly! I usually adapt my way of behaving to those I'm surrounded by so if my sister was acting goofy (and she often does even now), then I might also feel free to act the same though I have to be in the right mood for it. But in general, I would say there was nothing all that unusual about the way I spoke as I hate drawing attention to myself or being misunderstood (unless I'm EXTREMELY comfortable with someone).
2. Being very funny, just acting kind of goofy and random I'm far from random. Also, people have different definitions of the word, "random" so I realize how some of these answers could be misleading. I generally like to stay on point even when joking around - it has to make sense and be witty. I could be funny but it's usually in a sarcastic way. I generally don't feel comfortable with being "random." But, that could be a type 7 thing (the randomness) but also Ne/Se.
3. Being very quiet (most of the time) This is true of me but could just be a sign of introversion. Would you say people agree that you are quiet or do you just think you are quiet? For example, my ENTJ dad used to think he was introverted but he's far from introverted. He's constantly talking and seeking out the company of others.
4. Being very unique This could just be a type 4 thing like you said - you feel unique. I personally don't like standing out ...I might feel the need to be original but maybe that's just dom Ni. I don't have 4 in my tri-type though.
5. Being extremely creative, musically/drawing/ideas, sometimes people would tell me "How did you even think of that?" This kind of thing could be associated with multiple types and I see it could definitely fit with ENFP, INFP or ISFP/ESFP as well. I know my INFP brother is much more musically talented than I am. He taught himself how to play the piano. When he was 2 he stood up in his height chair and randomly just started singing, "I saw a spider walking down the street. I saw it. I saw it." But...obviously this is also a very individual thing :)
6. Popular/social, sometimes outgoing and influencial There's nothing outgoing about me but I'm a very introverted INFJ. I know there are other INFJ's who appear more extroverted. The only way in which I am influential is when I am talking one on one with a person. I have no desire to inspire a whole group...well perhaps I do but I don't feel like I'm capable of that. Once again, other INFJ's may feel differently depending on multiple factors.
7. Being smart Well anyone can be smart so can't really associate that with any one cognitive function :)
9. Being very talented at certain skills, kind of like a jack of all trades situation. For instance I was really good at gymnastics as a kid, and skateboarding, breakdancing, doing flips and stuff. Yeesh, I wish I was good at all that stuff! I did gymnastics/ballet when I was little but was scared of doing back flips etc. although I always dreamed that I could. Also when I was in ballet I looked at the girl next to me the whole time because I couldn't memorize the moves myself (so embarrassing!) lol. I was good at hand stands and that was it. I fail at cartwheels too. I guess my talents lie more in writing.
10. In some ways nonchalant or not caring about things that others thought were important, sometimes mischievous or rude. I would never be rude to anyone other than my parents/siblings. I could be a defiant little thing at home but with someone I did not know, I was a sweet, polite girl. I didn't want to get in trouble or hurt someone's feelings. Once, again I hate drawing attention to myself so that might also have something to do with it. I wasn't interested in causing trouble. I always wanted to follow the rules in school and do the best I could to please my teachers (type 1 thing?).

Also being kind of zoned out sometimes. Ni or Ne?


That's all I got! And I'm obviously no expert but those are my thoughts :)
 

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@Vivid Melody Yes, haha. I had a hard time relating to most of the posts here. Thank you for your input. I have wondered about ISFP, INFP, and ENFP and ESFP. I think I've acted/felt like all of those when I was younger and that's why I've been kind of confused about which I should be if all of that has to be taken into consideration. Another thing is that I have met very artistic people who I think are ISFPs who I have a lot in common with, while other non-artistic artistic ISFPs who I hardly have anything in common, though we get along pretty well. Another thing is that I tend to get a long with people who I believe are ESFPs and other SF types. I seem to get along with almost anyone so I'm not sure how much that matters.

What you said about ISFP and introverted intuition is interesting and could be possible. If there is any reason why I might have started to change, I've often thought that it would be because starting in 8th grade my parents put me in honors courses where I started to adopt the values and mindsets of the students around me. I've always felt like I started to become different after that and viewed myself differently, like less spontaneous and more future oriented and serious. Sometimes I think that that's what it has to do with, but other times I think that maybe that's just how I would have become anyway. I had a lot of expectations and responsibilities put on me.

At any rate though, if my current functions have been that of an INFJ for a while does it even matter how I was as a kid, in theory? That's what's weird about how I view myself now and why I gravitate towards believing that my functions may have changed. It's either that, or perhaps the functions that I originally have, have just been supressed this whole time. I really relate to Ni though. The one function I haven't been so confident about is the Fi, Fe because I feel like I'm both in many ways, but considering the difference between types then that's the main factor. But I'm going to take all of this into consideration and do more research on it. Thanks for your point of view.
 
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