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I was thinking about this while going looking at a debate about Bruce Lee's type, and the most convincing arguments I kept seeing were either for ISTP or INFJ, and I've seen this before with others like Leonard Cohen and George Harrison, and it got me to thinking about how our types can be hard to tell apart sometimes. In a way, this makes sense, we share all the same cognitive functions, and we don't repress the other's dominant function; and yet, according to traditional MBTI thought, we're meant to be very different. So I wondered if we might come up with a list of similarities and differences between us.

Similar:
  • Can be very aloof with other people. Though the reason for this is different–ISTPs don't really seem all that interested in other people outside of their circle, whereas INFJs have this weirdo complex where we don't feel as though we fit in with others.
  • Prone to overthinking things.
  • Both tend to have a melancholic and/or contemplative air about them.
  • While not as much as our extroverted cousins, we both can be charming with people we're comfortable with.

Different:
  • ISTPs tend to be more blunt, or brutally honest; whereas INFJs tend to be more diplomatic in what they say to avoid offending others.
  • ISTPs have a direct, concise way of speaking. INFJs deal much more heavily in abstractions.
  • INFJs like to discuss their feelings with others and "vent." ISTPs just "deal with it."
 

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INFJ have more energy and are more extroverted. They are both detached, but INFJ is warmer. I was joking with an ISTP that they look like vampires, and their skin is clammy. I think INFJ are more nimble and plotting. They put more thought into what they are going to say, and are better at playing to the crowd. Lee and Nimoy are two perfect examples of INFJ who are too warm and receptive to be ISTP.

Good example of Nimoy's warmth and disarming nature:


Lee has too much Fe to be an ISTP imo. I think many people who argue that he is an ISTP, would admit he at least has strong tertiary Ni too.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
INFJ have more energy and are more extroverted. They are both detached, but INFJ is warmer. I was joking with an ISTP that they look like vampires, and their skin is clammy.
I don't know if I'd say we're more extroverted, more socially extroverted maybe, but not in general. Emily Dickinson was an INFJ and she almost never left her room!
 

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ISTPs and INFJs are really nothing alike at all. Same functions I guess but completely different ways of using them and acting in general. My best friend and my mother are both INFJs and we share nothing in common cognition or personality wise.

Lee has too much Fe to be an ISTP imo. I think many people who argue that he is an ISTP, would admit he at least has strong tertiary Ni too.

Bruce Lee quotes are like the epitome of ISTP wisdom and arrogance tho. He could just be an Ennea 6, which would appear Fe-ish. I don't think he is anything else from what I can tell. Hes certainly a lot calmer than most ISTPs are in terms of temperament tho.
 

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ISTPs and INFJs are really nothing alike at all. Same functions I guess but completely different ways of using them and acting in general. My best friend and my mother are both INFJs and we share nothing in common cognition or personality wise.



Bruce Lee quotes are like the epitome of ISTP wisdom and arrogance tho. He could just be an Ennea 6, which would appear Fe-ish. I don't think he is anything else from what I can tell. Hes certainly a lot calmer than most ISTPs are in terms of temperament tho.
What wisdom and arrogance? Ni-Fe can be as arrogant as anybody. I think Lee judges with Fe. He is a visionary. A counselor/teacher more than an athlete. Almost like a religious figure. I said he focused more on the Fe aspect of martial arts than the Se.

He talks a lot about perception and feeling. I think he is an extroverted judger and perceiving dominant.
 

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What wisdom and arrogance? Ni-Fe can be as arrogant as anybody. I think Lee judges with Fe. He is a visionary. A counselor/teacher more than an athlete. Almost like a religious figure. I said he focused more on the Fe aspect of martial arts than the Se.

He talks a lot about perception and feeling. I think he is an extroverted judger and perceiving dominant.
So ISTPs are incapable of being visionaries, counselors and teachers? I guess Socrates and Diogenes didn't exist then.
 

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So ISTPs are incapable of being visionaries, counselors and teachers? I guess Socrates and Diogenes didn't exist then.
You really think Diogenes would make a good counselor? Or teacher? The people you mentioned are not people orientated. Lee is people orientated.

And the whole water thing is Fe. Adjusting to the object. Becoming the object.

“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves."

He said himself that perception is superior to thought, and feeling to thought. And the unification of opposites over a false division. That is Ni, not Ti. Ti is a rational function. That divides. That judges. That creates a ratio. Ni is more oneness. Ti is "an action of assertion".

Wu-wei is creative intuition. - The principle of wu-wei is entirely an action of creative intuition, which opens the well-springs WITHIN man. While the action of assertion, man's common tendency, is preconceptual and rational, it cannot penetrate the hidden recesses of creativity. The action of assertion is viewed from the externals of intellection, while the action of non-assertion is activated by the inner light. The former action is limited and finite, the latter free and limitless.

Choiceless awareness is total comprehension. - Choiceless awareness: non-duality and reconciliation = TOTAL understanding. The choiceless awareness of a single and undivided mind.
 

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INFJ have more energy and are more extroverted. They are both detached, but INFJ is warmer. I was joking with an ISTP that they look like vampires, and their skin is clammy. I think INFJ are more nimble and plotting. They put more thought into what they are going to say, and are better at playing to the crowd. Lee and Nimoy are two perfect examples of INFJ who are too warm and receptive to be ISTP.

Good example of Nimoy's warmth and disarming nature:


Lee has too much Fe to be an ISTP imo. I think many people who argue that he is an ISTP, would admit he at least has strong tertiary Ni too.

I'm going to have to support FearAndTrembling on this one and say that Lee is not an ISTP. The amount of motion and feeling he conveys while speaking cannot possibly be the work of inferior Fe. He is very dramatic in his way of speaking.

However, I'm not sure that he is a Ni-dom. I see ISFJ as a possibility as well.
 

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ISTP vs INFJ

Vigilante vs Prophet

ISTP given circumstances is the classic vigilante, not for the glory or the accolades but usually for the principal if it comes to it.
INFJ given circumstances is a classic prophet they will not do something for the glory or accolade but for what they see as the common good of a people.

Polarized examples of extraverted cousins
Malcom X-typed as ESTP-Extreme Vigilante
MLK-typed as ENFJ-Inspirational Leader

I would argue that often times ISTP do not feel apart of a group either we often feel removed just as you described INFJ. Both types are kind of sigmas vs betas, or alphas so to speak socially, not really, counter culture, herd or mainstream. As far as putting analogies or references on it.

I would say theres probably a distinct difference with most that test higher on either end. But anyone who tests more to the line on N/S or T/F probably can look more complex. And have characteristics of both in stereotype.
 

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You really think Diogenes would make a good counselor? Or teacher? The people you mentioned are not people orientated. Lee is people orientated.

And the whole water thing is Fe. Adjusting to the object. Becoming the object.

“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves."

He said himself that perception is superior to thought, and feeling to thought. And the unification of opposites over a false division. That is Ni, not Ti. Ti is a rational function. That divides. That judges. That creates a ratio. Ni is more oneness. Ti is "an action of assertion".

Wu-wei is creative intuition. - The principle of wu-wei is entirely an action of creative intuition, which opens the well-springs WITHIN man. While the action of assertion, man's common tendency, is preconceptual and rational, it cannot penetrate the hidden recesses of creativity. The action of assertion is viewed from the externals of intellection, while the action of non-assertion is activated by the inner light. The former action is limited and finite, the latter free and limitless.

Choiceless awareness is total comprehension. - Choiceless awareness: non-duality and reconciliation = TOTAL understanding. The choiceless awareness of a single and undivided mind.
Just tertiary Introverted Intuition developing with age.
With no disrespect to your opinion, I don't see how Bruce Lee could be typed anything other than ISTP.
I certainly agree that Lee used the Ni-Se axis and Fe-Ti axis. No questions there.
However, I would argue that Bruce used Ti and Se before Ni and Fe.
In his earlier days, Bruce Lee was often involved in street fights and gang rivalries despite being born into a high class family. When he was 13, his parents RELOCATED him to San Francisco so that he would stop getting into fights.
This is strong evidence for higher order Se, as opposed to inferior Se. This isn't to say that INFJs don't use Se, but in one's earlier years, your top two functions are going to be what motivate you before you develop your tertiary and inferior.
Bruce Lee's tertiary Ni was developed later on because of his time at the University of Washington were he studied philosophy.
Bruce Lee's Fe, I think, was developed as the result of his time studying drama and of course his time as an actor.

Bruce Lee's ideas on martial arts reek of Ti-Se pragmatism.

"Discard what is not useful." "
"To me, the extraordinary aspect of martial arts lies in its simplicity. The easy way is also the right way, and martial arts is nothing at all special; the closer to the true way of martial arts, the less wastage of expression there is."
"Simplicity is the key to brilliance."
"Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, We must do."

How can you not see high order Se in the following clip? There's no way that Se is his inferior. xD
 

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He is a visionary. A counselor/teacher more than an athlete. Almost like a religious figure. I said he focused more on the Fe aspect of martial arts than the Se.
Fe aspect of martial arts?
We're gonna beat the crap outta each other and then we're gonna sing Kumbaya over a campfire while holding hands.
 

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I'm going to have to support FearAndTrembling on this one and say that Lee is not an ISTP. The amount of motion and feeling he conveys while speaking cannot possibly be the work of inferior Fe. He is very dramatic in his way of speaking.

However, I'm not sure that he is a Ni-dom. I see ISFJ as a possibility as well.
He has so much Fe, it is ridiculous. He is all Fe. It is just an unorthodox version of Fe, which is what Ni-Fe is. Especially in males.

He is way too intense to be using Si.
 

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Just tertiary Introverted Intuition developing with age.
With no disrespect to your opinion, I don't see how Bruce Lee could be typed anything other than ISTP.
I certainly agree that Lee used the Ni-Se axis and Fe-Ti axis. No questions there.
However, I would argue that Bruce used Ti and Se before Ni and Fe.
In his earlier days, Bruce Lee was often involved in street fights and gang rivalries despite being born into a high class family. When he was 13, his parents RELOCATED him to San Francisco so that he would stop getting into fights.
This is strong evidence for higher order Se, as opposed to inferior Se. This isn't to say that INFJs don't use Se, but in one's earlier years, your top two functions are going to be what motivate you before you develop your tertiary and inferior.
Bruce Lee's tertiary Ni was developed later on because of his time at the University of Washington were he studied philosophy.
Bruce Lee's Fe, I think, was developed as the result of his time studying drama and of course his time as an actor.

Bruce Lee's ideas on martial arts reek of Ti-Se pragmatism.

"Discard what is not useful." "
"To me, the extraordinary aspect of martial arts lies in its simplicity. The easy way is also the right way, and martial arts is nothing at all special; the closer to the true way of martial arts, the less wastage of expression there is."
"Simplicity is the key to brilliance."
"Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, We must do."

How can you not see high order Se in the following clip? There's no way that Se is his inferior. xD
Anybody can get in fights. And honestly, INFJ is one of the most proud and extreme types. They are in it for the cause. Lee was protecting his tribe. Like Bin Laden was. Bin Laden could have have lived out the life of a rich playboy, but headed to the mountains of Afghanistan to fight the Soviets, and was still attacking the last superpower 30 years later. Bin Laden has to be there. His conscience does not allow him to be in any other place.

INFJ are practical dreamers. Theory means nothing if it cannot be applied. INFJ and INTJ want results in the environment. Hitler is a great example of this:


The knights of the pen and the literary snobs of to-day should be made to realize that the great transformations which have taken place in this world were never conducted by a goosequill. No. The task of the pen must always be that of presenting the theoretical concepts which motivate such changes. The force which has ever and always set in motion great historical avalanches of religious and political movements is the magic power of the spoken word.


The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force. All great movements are popular movements. They are the volcanic eruptions of human passions and emotions, stirred into activity by the ruthless Goddess of Distress or by the torch of the spoken word cast into the midst of the people. In no case have great movements been set afoot by the syrupy effusions of æsthetic littérateurs and drawing-room heroes.
 

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Anybody can get in fights. And honestly, INFJ is one of the most proud and extreme types. They are in it for the cause. Lee was protecting his tribe. Like Bin Laden was. Bin Laden could have have lived out the life of a rich playboy, but headed to the mountains of Afghanistan to fight the Soviets, and was still attacking the last superpower 30 years later. Bin Laden has to be there. His conscience does not allow him to be in any other place.

INFJ are practical dreamers. Theory means nothing if it cannot be applied. INFJ and INTJ want results in the environment.
I see no difference between this and an ISTP. Even more so for the bolded part.
 

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I see no difference between this and an ISTP. Even more so for the bolded part.
An ISTP can have that view, but so can an INFJ. He basically said ISTP are results orientated, I am saying so are INFJ.

INFJ are also two people. At minimum.

Here you see another side of Lee. The guy is a feeler:

 

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An ISTP can have that view, but so can an INFJ. He basically said ISTP are results orientated, I am saying so are INFJ.

INFJ are also two people. At minimum.

Here you see another side of Lee. The guy is a feeler:

I don't think that's enough to justify Lee being INFJ, I do similar things whenever I submit someone when grappling or land a visibly painful hit while sparring. Also about being two people at a minimum, the same could be said about an ISTP.
 

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Anybody can get in fights. And honestly, INFJ is one of the most proud and extreme types. They are in it for the cause. Lee was protecting his tribe. Like Bin Laden was. Bin Laden could have have lived out the life of a rich playboy, but headed to the mountains of Afghanistan to fight the Soviets, and was still attacking the last superpower 30 years later. Bin Laden has to be there. His conscience does not allow him to be in any other place.

INFJ are practical dreamers. Theory means nothing if it cannot be applied. INFJ and INTJ want results in the environment. Hitler is a great example of this:


The knights of the pen and the literary snobs of to-day should be made to realize that the great transformations which have taken place in this world were never conducted by a goosequill. No. The task of the pen must always be that of presenting the theoretical concepts which motivate such changes. The force which has ever and always set in motion great historical avalanches of religious and political movements is the magic power of the spoken word.


The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force. All great movements are popular movements. They are the volcanic eruptions of human passions and emotions, stirred into activity by the ruthless Goddess of Distress or by the torch of the spoken word cast into the midst of the people. In no case have great movements been set afoot by the syrupy effusions of æsthetic littérateurs and drawing-room heroes.
I don't see your point to he honest. Almost everything you just described sounded like an ISTP description.
I already qualified that anyone could get into fights. My point wasn't that it was because Lee was getting into fights that he is an ISTP, my point was that he was DRIVEN towards fights. Sure, one could argue the environment had an impact on Lee. But when a guy is so attuned to his surroundings and living in the moment like Bruce Lee is, it's hard not to see high order Se.

Bruce Lee never fought for his "tribe" or any specific cause when he was younger. He was just an explorer of his own physicality and very much motivated by practicality as well. Heck, the only reason he got into martial arts in the first place was because he got beat up by a rival gang and he wanted to beat them up as retribution.

He most certainly had Ni and most certainly had Fe but it was in the service of his Ti and Se, not the other way around.

I know a lot of people are arguing that he's INFJ because of the Fe warmth that he exudes at times. But the thing is, Bruce Lee's inferior Fe was all over the place especially when he was younger. One could argue he was even perhaps cold in his approach. He practically rejected hundreds of years of martial arts to form his own art, which is more indicative of high order Ti rather than Fe.

His Fe warmth isn't anything that isn't uncommon to an ISTP per se. Take for instance the 14th Dalai Lama who is a well known ISTP but also known for an incredible warmth and presence.
 

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I don't think that's enough to justify Lee being INFJ, I do similar things whenever I submit someone when grappling or land a visibly painful hit while sparring. Also about being two people at a minimum, the same could be said about an ISTP.
Agreed. I feel like checking on someone that you nailed in the eye with an escrima stick is something any decent person would do. xD
 

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I don't see your point to he honest. Almost everything you just described sounded like an ISTP description.
I already qualified that anyone could get into fights. My point wasn't that it was because Lee was getting into fights that he is an ISTP, my point was that he was DRIVEN towards fights. Sure, one could argue the environment had an impact on Lee. But when a guy is so attuned to his surroundings and living in the moment like Bruce Lee is, it's hard not to see high order Se.

Bruce Lee never fought for his "tribe" or any specific cause when he was younger. He was just an explorer of his own physicality and very much motivated by practicality as well. Heck, the only reason he got into martial arts in the first place was because he got beat up by a rival gang and he wanted to beat them up as retribution.

He most certainly had Ni and most certainly had Fe but it was in the service of his Ti and Se, not the other way around.

I know a lot of people are arguing that he's INFJ because of the Fe warmth that he exudes at times. But the thing is, Bruce Lee's inferior Fe was all over the place especially when he was younger. One could argue he was even perhaps cold in his approach. He practically rejected hundreds of years of martial arts to form his own art, which is more indicative of high order Ti rather than Fe.

His Fe warmth isn't anything that isn't uncommon to an ISTP per se. Take for instance the 14th Dalai Lama who is a well known ISTP but also known for an incredible warmth and presence.
Lee's country was occupied by the British. He fought them too.

He was a child actor. He was an entertainer more than an athlete. No clip of any kind of athletics you show would add anything to your argument. I have assessed Lee's skill as an athlete. His contribution to martial arts was not of any technique. What did he build? An ideology. A guide for others. Which is what I meant when I said he was focused on the Fe aspect of martial arts, and not the Se. He is a patron saint of martial arts. A religious figure more than an athlete.
 

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Lee's country was occupied by the British. He fought them too.

He was a child actor. He was an entertainer more than an athlete. No clip of any kind of athletics you show would add anything to your argument. I have assessed Lee's skill as an athlete. His contribution to martial arts was not of any technique. What did he build? An ideology. A guide for others. Which is what I meant when I said he was focused on the Fe aspect of martial arts, and not the Se. He is a patron saint of martial arts. A religious figure more than an athlete.
He was entertaining BECAUSE he was an athlete. True, he was a child actor. But that was only because his parents put him into acting because they were already heavily involved in the Hong Kong entertainment industry.
His guide/idealogy is classic tertiary Ni which forms a system based off of an ISTP's experience from Ti and Se.
Lee never fought any British to my knowledge.
He was very technique oriented. He dedicated his life to studying different martial arts disciplines and derived only the techniques which worked personally for him. He took the foot movements of fencing, paired it with the punches of boxing, with the center line techniques of wing chun, etc. etc. etc.
 
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