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Despite being the exact stereotype of the fluffy, emotional, cute, dreamy INFP, and despite being the type of person that goes out of her way to be self-deprecatingly funny and make other people feel comfortable and better about themselves, I have discovered that various, unrelated people have found me to be "intimidating."

First of all, I'm not sure what they mean by this. I'm certainly not physically intimidating. I dress in a benign, non-threatening way. My body language is fairly self-effacing. I'm awkward, clumsy, goofy, eccentric, etc. I suppose I could be intellectually intimidating (to some people), although I'm certainly not trying to be. I'm not uber-successful, professional, authoritative, or demanding. So I'm not sure what to make of this.

Have any other INFPs been called intimidating? If so, is there something that I'm missing about my personality that might lead to this perception? Is this even possible for an INFP?!
 

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I'm of the opinion that INFPs can be intimidating at times, because, you know, as I was reading your post I could really see myself in it and picture people being intimidated by something in me.
Funny thing, I remember my English teacher once said that I always had this blank, expresionless face that kind of scared her.I felt really awkward when she said that, but I don't know if it is an INFP thing.Since then, I've always tried to put a smile on my face even when I shouldn't.
I also noticed that sometimes, without warning, people kind of can't make eye contact with me, I don't know why, because near relatives and close friends I'm very laid-back, warm and always say remarks that make people laugh.
One guy asked my best friend once why were I so quiet.When I heard it, I was like "I'm not quiet, fuck him!"And lately I've been really thinking that the thing that intimidates people most is my shyness towards not-so-well-known acquaintances.I don't know if that's your case, but anyway...:) I'll keep an eye on this thread to hear other people's opinions.Cheers!
 

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Funny thing, I remember my English teacher once said that I always had this blank, expresionless face that kind of scared her.I felt really awkward when she said that, but I don't know if it is an INFP thing.Since then, I've always tried to put a smile on my face even when I shouldn't.
I also noticed that sometimes, without warning, people kind of can't make eye contact with me, I don't know why, because near relatives and close friends I'm very laid-back, warm and always say remarks that make people laugh.
One guy asked my best friend once why were I so quiet.When I heard it, I was like "I'm not quiet, fuck him!"And lately I've been really thinking that the thing that intimidates people most is my shyness towards not-so-well-known acquaintances.I don't know if that's your case, but anyway...:)
I think the English teacher thing is so funny, because I had an English teacher tell me the opposite...that she could read me like a book by my facial expressions! The thing is, I often do zone out and get that dead, faraway look on my face, so maybe that's a factor.

I can be really shy, too, but over the past few years I've made an effort to be friendly and funny around people I don't know very well, and most people now laugh at me when I tell them that I'm shy. So I don't know if the shy thing is a part of how these people are perceiving me or not (maybe they can sense my hidden self-consciousness?).
 

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I also noticed that sometimes, without warning, people kind of can't make eye contact with me, I don't know why, because near relatives and close friends I'm very laid-back, warm and always say remarks that make people laugh.
That happens to me more than I would like; doesn't tend to make you feel very good about yourself.

I think there's an intensity about infp's that could be seen as intimidating, whether it's expressed through joy or anger, or even from a totally neutral place. When I encounter someone who seems fully alive and full of spirit (for lack of a better term) it can be disarming, and I imagine, intimidating.
 

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Despite being the exact stereotype of the fluffy, emotional, cute, dreamy INFP,
You said it right there, cute INFP's are the intimidating part, and dam it are they ever dreamy!
 

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I've noticed this too, I always feel like people who don't know me are afraid of me for some reason. And I haven't done anything! Is it just the aura we give off or something??? I've been told that my face can look stern sometimes, even when I don't mean for it too, maybe that's it?..
 

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I can be really shy, too, but over the past few years I've made an effort to be friendly and funny around people I don't know very well, and most people now laugh at me when I tell them that I'm shy. So I don't know if the shy thing is a part of how these people are perceiving me or not (maybe they can sense my hidden self-consciousness?).
That's good to hear, I should really try it too.
I've remembered something that might be related to this...I've read on this forum about people perceiving INFPs not as daydreamers, but as people you should fear because God knows what they're thinking about when they're zoning out.It's also something along the lines "they go into their own world to think of plans involving crime, killing and what not.When I read that, at first I thought it was so funny because what I do is exactly the opposite.When I daydream I think of a beautiful world which I could travel to, or imagining people's reactions to certain events/things I'd say to them.But not crime, lol!
 

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That happens to me more than I would like; doesn't tend to make you feel very good about yourself.

I think there's an intensity about infp's that could be seen as intimidating, whether it's expressed through joy or anger, or even from a totally neutral place. When I encounter someone who seems fully alive and full of spirit (for lack of a better term) it can be disarming, and I imagine, intimidating.
Yes, I think you have a point here.I don't know if it applies to you as well, but I've been told words like "Stop looking at me like that!" and I then say "Like what?That's how I look at you everytime!".My best friend and one of my cousins even said I could see through their souls and that I always give this deep, mysterious stare.After I heard this all I could do was look in the mirror and analyze my eyes, but even now I don't see anything wrong with them.I don't know really.What do you think?Ever happened to you?
 

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I really really really don't like the stereotype that INFPs are these bumbling, soft little benign fairies. I think that INFPs can be one the most sexually charged, profound, dark types, overflowing with wisdom and electricity. INFPs have the capability of taking a person by the hand and dragging them under the surface into the realm of their dreams and desires. I think we may be unaware of how our appearance subtly suggests our inner state, for those who know how to look.
 

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Despite being the exact stereotype of the fluffy, emotional, cute, dreamy INFP, and despite being the type of person that goes out of her way to be self-deprecatingly funny and make other people feel comfortable and better about themselves, I have discovered that various, unrelated people have found me to be "intimidating."

First of all, I'm not sure what they mean by this. I'm certainly not physically intimidating. I dress in a benign, non-threatening way. My body language is fairly self-effacing. I'm awkward, clumsy, goofy, eccentric, etc. I suppose I could be intellectually intimidating (to some people), although I'm certainly not trying to be. I'm not uber-successful, professional, authoritative, or demanding. So I'm not sure what to make of this.

Have any other INFPs been called intimidating? If so, is there something that I'm missing about my personality that might lead to this perception? Is this even possible for an INFP?!
I find that even with people that I'm close with, I can come off intimidating. People seem to get so uncomfortable around me. They often cannot maintain eye contact with me, stumble over their words, etc.

I think it's either because I come off very strange, or judgmental. I remember this friend that was sort of hinting that I'm arrogant, and my other friend jumped out of his chair and exclaimed "YES HE IS!"
 

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I think it's mostly because I'm quiet. People don't know what I'm thinking so they worry I'm judging them. I've often noticed that people can't look me in the eye. If I'm in a three way conversation, it always ends with the other two people talking together. And a lot of the time I'm just zoning out.
 

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Yes, I think you have a point here.I don't know if it applies to you as well, but I've been told words like "Stop looking at me like that!" and I then say "Like what?That's how I look at you everytime!".My best friend and one of my cousins even said I could see through their souls and that I always give this deep, mysterious stare.After I heard this all I could do was look in the mirror and analyze my eyes, but even now I don't see anything wrong with them.I don't know really.What do you think?Ever happened to you?
I've been told that I'm intense by more than one person. I love to laugh as much or more than anybody but I can even weird people out doing that. I've resolved to not care about it so much but in the past I've spent many hours wondering "What??? What did I do?"

I have sometimes looked in the mirror and thought that there's some presence there that's a bit otherworldly but there's no proving that. :)
 

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I think it's mostly because I'm quiet. People don't know what I'm thinking so they worry I'm judging them. I've often noticed that people can't look me in the eye. If I'm in a three way conversation, it always ends with the other two people talking together. And a lot of the time I'm just zoning out.
There are times I've gone to the trouble of starting a conversation with someone only for them to almost turn around and address their answer to someone else.
 

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I think we can be mentally intimidating...
like "oh shiz this person is willing to go places in their mind maybe I'm not always so willing to go...open to thoughts and possibilities maybe I am not so comfortable with..."

Also, it can be intimidating approaching other introverts sometimes. What do you say to someone who hasn't said much yet?
 

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I have two modes which I operate in. One is a quirky friendly and vulnerable girl. The other is the moody, stone faced quiet girl. And most of the time I'm not even aware which mode I'm in, it just happens that if I'm thinking or don't feel like talking I become the second.

This doesn't happen so much now as it did in my teens, probably because people are more secure in my age group now, but a lot of people used to say they thought I hated them and really try to suck up to me like my approval mattered. Not that I treat people badly but unless I know somebody well or have a specific interest in them, I don't really register them all that much, without even meaning to.
 

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I see a lot of you in here are Enneagram Fours. If you know anything about the Four, you should know they are very emotionally expressive - even if the Four him/herself is unconscious to the fact. This in tandem with the fact that, as the original poster described of herself, fours tend more toward self-deprecating humor, self-effacing body language, intensity and eccentricity: all things the majority of people do not wish to incorporate into their own selves because they think these things would make them weak. Yet, here is this INFP "bitch" who thinks they can act however they please, who thinks they can be whoever and still get by in the world. That pretentious elitist "bullshit" is unacceptable! The irony is that we're only doing this (as Fours), because we're actually overwhelmingly uncomfortable with our self images - so much that we feel the only way to get attention is to be different. Anyway, that is how I see this, but I know I'm probably wrong. I've just been spending way too much time recently studying the Enneagram and didn't even make it to bed last night because of it. Forgive me lord and other innocent bystanders for my foul mouth. I just love profanity too, too much!
 

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Yes. I have been known to intimidate people.

I don't know. I think maybe it is because I am so stubborn about my values. I'm shy and softspoken in real life unless I am already REALLY comfortable with someone. Even when I am fighting, I am usually crying and shaking the whole time.
 

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I've resolved to not care about it so much
Good for you! We're hard enough on ourselves without worrying about anyone else judging. :)


I have two modes which I operate in. One is a quirky friendly and vulnerable girl. The other is the moody, stone faced quiet girl. And most of the time I'm not even aware which mode I'm in, it just happens that if I'm thinking or don't feel like talking I become the second..
God, you just nailed it for me! That was kind of spooky actually. Must be a bit hard on the people I know, but I can't control when I'm feeling self-reflective.

I do think it's expression related though. I always look distant, and when something's worrying me I think I look cold and scowl-y. (I caught myself looking like that in a mirror once) :p Normally though, I look sad/ lost! (according to the people who come up to me and ask if I need help, as though I'm a little girl!)​
 
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