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Discussion Starter #1
I'm still not sure if I'm an INTP or an INFP, so here's the question: what makes INFPs different from INTPs?

Are there any consistent patterns/behaviors you can identify? Try to describe the way you think (and not just say "introverted" or "extroverted!")

Thanks :)
 

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Well, the main differences lie in the functions.

An INTP has Introverted Thinking (Ti) as the dominant function.
Introverted Thinking (Ti) is likely the reason INTPs seem to come off like stoned, slightly-cuckoo Vulcans, or malfunctioning yet slightly evil robots.

An INFP has Introverted Feeling (Fi) as the dominant function
Introverted Feeling (Fi) is likely the reason INFPs seem to take everything personally and as such seem to come across as 'Emo', 'away with the fairies' or 'crybabies'

As a result the likely biggest weakness for any given INTP is their counter-opposing inferior function Extroverted Feeling (Fe) meaning they aren't necessarily good with their own feelings, or other people's and dealing with various social rules and mores-an INTP with out of control extroverted feeling may go from 0-berserk in several seconds.
The likely biggest weakness for any given INFP is their counter-opposing inferior function Extroverted Thinking (Te) meaning they aren't necessarily good at getting shit done, finishing tasks or taking decisive action- an INFP with out of control extroverted thinking may go from 0-control freak in several seconds

Chances are INFPs reading this are going to take it personally and respond accordingly, proving my point, even though chances are their intent was ironically to disprove it

Of course because of the introverted nature of the dominant functions, it is difficult to tell the two apart on first glance as both types will likely tend to hold back, especially with strangers.
I hope I helped explaining things for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
As a result the likely biggest weakness for any given INTP is their counter-opposing inferior function Extroverted Feeling (Fe) meaning they aren't necessarily good with their own feelings, or other people's and dealing with various social rules and mores-an INTP with out of control extroverted feeling may go from 0-berserk in several seconds.

The likely biggest weakness for any given INFP is their counter-opposing inferior function Extroverted Thinking (Te) meaning they aren't necessarily good at getting shit done, finishing tasks or taking decisive action- an INFP with out of control extroverted thinking may go from 0-control freak in several seconds
That kind of helps, but I honestly feel caught dead between the two...can you think of a common social situation to point to that might help me determine, based on my natural response, what thought process I predominantly use?
 

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My bestest buddy is an intp. Differences.. hmm, something was mentioned lately about her hugging awkwardly. But I'm that way too. XD We connect well. Yeah, I'm more likely to take things more personally than her. Her natural face looks more sad or serious than mine (don't know if mine looks sad, hope not), so much so that people ask 'are you okay?' and she's gotten annoyed with it. She has as much a procrastination/unorganized/not neat problem as I do. I feel like we connect well. Though sometimes, there's silence between us. Not that it's bad, it just doesn't happen as often with other people. The way we are, I guess. We have a similar sense of humor. Or hers is more serious. But, we laugh a lot together. As justintroverted indicates in his post, like her, she seems to be a bit of a 'know it all' sometimes. I'm not insulting you. You're just saying it's this way and other people will say it's another, but it's this way. XD She's more matter of fact and again serious about things. I bet she'd be able to detach from her feelings more. She cares more about being on time and is not as spontaneous as me. She likes having a plan of where we're going and heads off there. We usually end up sticking together in the group, sometimes it's like we're observing or holding them together, towards the back. Often times I'll just find myself near her naturally. Problems we've had could include her annoyance with my being late or not having a good plan (annoyance both ways XD) and my feeling sensitive about things. At times she's been hard for me to read, the way she feels.
 

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Both I think tend to live inside their heads more than most.

I imagine Ti to be more focused on concepts looking for logical consistency. Analyzing the hell out of something until their understanding is bulletproof in their mind.

Fi being more focused on human based values, so would spend time in their heads understanding situations concerning ethics and morality. I don't know about other INFP's but I certainly am heavily concerned with 'What's the right thing to do?'. Thinking through moral dilemmas for what the best outcome might be is entertaining to me. I don't have a vivid view of what my inner values are, but I certainly am aware when someone's broken them and done something wrong that I can't tolerate it.
An interesting contradiction where on the surface INFP's seem very laid back and accommodating but happen to snag one of their Fi judgements, they flare up a bit.

Both seek to perfect their understanding of things internally, but what they're after generally is very different.
 

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@justintroverted - slightly cuckoo Vulcans or malfunctioning yet slightly evil robots? haha! that made me laugh

My husband is an INTP, and as you can see, I am INFP, so I have some observations to add here based solely on me and him. If it doesn't sound like other INTPs or INFPs, then I am sorry, but I am just using us as examples because that is what I know best! here we go:

He is a ton more laid back than me. He RARELY gets visually or audibly upset. I, on the other hand, can explode into sobs at any minute because something cute just happened or I thought of something sad.

If left up to his own devices, he would sit up in a room all day and read books or master a skill of some kind, such as piano or guitar, and probably just eat crackers and drink water, not noticing what time it is. Then, let's say he has just finished reading an entire encyclopedia about plate tectonics and become a near expert on it and you ask him what he did today and he will just say, "I did some reading". You would never ever know he was an expert on plate tectonics unless, by some weird coincidence, the subject came up.

Me, on the other hand, I would rather spend my day expressing myself in some way. Like writing. I write a LOT. I talk to myself a lot too. I also like to sing and could sing for many hours on end. I like to go off on drives aimlessly and listen to music. Some INFPs might also like to get lost in a book all day, but not me. I would rather listen to music or write all day. I do like to play guitar, but it is not so that I can master a skill, which seems to be more what my husband likes to do. I like to play guitar because it expressing something in me. It releases an emotion I have. I think he would rather learn a new technique or play with the sounds instead of writing or playing a song expressing how he feels.

In the face of conflict, we both shy away but I am better at vocalizing when it comes down to it. I can take charge of a situation when necessary, whereas he fumbles a little more. To a large extent, he cares about saying everything correctly, with no mistakes. This slows him down considerably. He is always starting and stopping his sentences to make them 100% accurate. I don't care as much about making mistakes, because what is important to me is getting my emotion expressed. Who cares if I got a little detail wrong? That's not the point. But to him, that makes the point more or less valid.

I make more of an effort to keep in contact with friends and family than he does. He is happy to hear from people, but he NEVER contacts them unless absolutely necessary. Whereas, with me, if we have a free evening and we're kinda bored, I'll text a friend and ask them if they wanna hang out. Sometimes he will actually suggest to me to call someone, but he won't do it himself.

He has this insatiable urge to know everything. If he is in a conversation with someone, and a question comes up that he doesn't know the answer to, or a topic comes up that he only knows a little bit about, he will most definitely go look it up to find out more. It's not so that he can talk about it later with someone, but just so that HE KNOWS. Whereas with me, if something comes up and I am clueless about it, I would rather just shrug it off or listen to someone else tell me what they know. I don't really care either way. I only look things up that are exceptionally interesting to me. He will look up anything, no matter how boring it is, just so he knows. And he retains information like a sponge. I don't. I retain emotions and feelings, but not information.

I could go on and on. Let me know if you want me to keep going. I'll stop for now though. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Her natural face looks more sad or serious than mine...so much so that people ask 'are you okay?' and she's gotten annoyed with it. She has as much a procrastination/unorganized/not neat problem as I do. I feel like we connect well. Though sometimes, there's silence between us. Not that it's bad, it just doesn't happen as often with other people.
Yep, I can relate a lot with your friend here...

She cares more about being on time and is not as spontaneous as me. She likes having a plan of where we're going and heads off there. We usually end up sticking together in the group, sometimes it's like we're observing or holding them together, towards the back.
Here as well, but I'm still pretty spontaneous...at least I think I am! I think I'm leaning towards INTP, the result I always receive on personality tests. I suppose I am doubtful because I am pretty good at (at least verbally) communicating my feelings to others...I mean it feels natural. I don't feel like there is a "block" for me, as many other INTPs describe...
 

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Yep, I can relate a lot with your friend here...



Here as well, but I'm still pretty spontaneous...at least I think I am! I think I'm leaning towards INTP, the result I always receive on personality tests. I suppose I am doubtful because I am pretty good at (at least verbally) communicating my feelings to others...I mean it feels natural.
You look a bit like her. :D It's actually kind of scary-the similarity of your facial expressions. So, I'll stick with intp for you. I see about the feelings... She's cried in my company or told me about being emotional. I know she's emotional sometimes. I feel like I can be a lot of types too. You can lean on one side more than the other or almost balanced.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Both I think tend to live inside their heads more than most.

Fi being more focused on human based values, so would spend time in their heads understanding situations concerning ethics and morality. I don't know about other INFP's but I certainly am heavily concerned with 'What's the right thing to do?'. Thinking through moral dilemmas for what the best outcome might be is entertaining to me. I don't have a vivid view of what my inner values are, but I certainly am aware when someone's broken them and done something wrong that I can't tolerate it.
An interesting contradiction where on the surface INFP's seem very laid back and accommodating but happen to snag one of their Fi judgements, they flare up a bit.

Both seek to perfect their understanding of things internally, but what they're after generally is very different.
Based on this, I feel I am more like an INFP...but that might just be because of my Christian beliefs? I mean, my motives are a logical reflection of my beliefs...if you believe the Bible is true, your awareness of right and wrong and of the part you play in everything kind of transforms you--or at least your motives--into an INFP. Intriguing thought.

...and now I'm confused again.
 

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@ethylester Interesting thoughts...I can relate with both of you, but maybe I only feel like I can relate with you because you are a woman? I love to write...it is almost compulsive, and I love to listen to music...but I also am obsessed with reading and have spent days researching something to death to perfectly understand it. I think I am an INTP.
 

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@suigeneris, you could try my approach. Go for a walk around these forums here, just wander aimlessly. See how much you can (or if you want to) contribute to most topics. Pay attention how easy for you it is. Focus on what seems to be most natural to you: to talk (openly) about feelings or discuss ideas, concepts, etc. (I'm not suggesting INFs do not discuss ideas). Maybe you want to reach a tangible conclusion, maybe you prefer to debate things for the sake of debating it. After a few hours (or maybe days) you should feel "at home" somewhere within this site.

This is how I "chose" INTP section (and my type in consequence). I am definitely introverted (no question about that), (even here) I have a hard time expressing my feelings or talking about them (although I am impressed by the ability of most INFPs and INFJs here to talk about feelings... yes guys, I can definitely be considered an official INFs forums stalker ;)), although I don't have any trouble acknowledging I have emotions; most of the time I like to jump from an idea to another. Other INTPs' sense of humour attracts me a lot, though I can't complain about other INs jokes.

So yeah, I guess that's all I wanted to share. Just one method of determining the type towards which you naturally gravitate.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
You look a bit like her. :D It's actually kind of scary-the similarity of your facial expressions. So, I'll stick with intp for you. I see about the feelings... She's cried in my company or told me about being emotional. I know she's emotional sometimes. I feel like I can be a lot of types too. You can lean on one side more than the other or almost balanced.
Thanks :) I think you are right...I have leanings, but I am mostly an INTP. Your friend and I seem to have a lot in common!
 

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That kind of helps, but I honestly feel caught dead between the two...can you think of a common social situation to point to that might help me determine, based on my natural response, what thought process I predominantly use?
I'm an INFP that some times come of as an INTP because I'm more inclined to reflect over and discuss objective aspects of reality than feelings and emotions. And most of the INTP:s I know IRL can come of as INFP:s because they are sensitive and artistic.

Hmm... does it frustrate you if a person isn't thinking straight, being irrational, illogical etc? Even though I think it's important to be rational it doesn't really irritate me when other people aren't. That might be because I'm INFP rather than INTP. Perhaps INTP:s are less inclined to get upset over people being disrespectful in some regards, which I'm sensitive towards.


Fi and Ti is similar in many ways because both's about creating an inner system of ideas around certain core principles that guides us in life and that we are not willing to dismiss. We don't change what we believe in just beause we are presented with some external evidence or other reasons for doing so. We would rather find a way to interpret the facts so that they are compatible to our core principles, or simply dismiss the facts. But while we won't dismiss our core ideas, we do modify them so that they better express what they are about.
The difference between Fi and Ti is that the core ideas of Fi are values, often existential values. The core ideas of Ti are rather impersonal, objective principles. That doesn't mean that the introverted feeler can't build a system of objective ideas to legitimize and support his/her core principles, or that an introverted thinker can't be convinced that his/her principles gives the best foundation to how we should live our lives as ethical beings.
Or perhaps I'm getting it all wrong. I'm just speculating.
 

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That kind of helps, but I honestly feel caught dead between the two...can you think of a common social situation to point to that might help me determine, based on my natural response, what thought process I predominantly use?
Okay... Imagine you and some friends have gone to see a movie. After the film's over, you and your mates talk about the film. You personally enjoyed the movie, but after you have all seen it, your friends say they did not like the movie, going so far as to say it sucked.

A Possible INTP's Likely Perspective
Introverted Thinking (Ti) may likely go 'that is their opinion' or more likely start wondering why they didn't like it, and what specifically they didn't like about it, and your mind is likely to take apart the film itself, looking at the way it was put together, who directed it, the story, the art direction, editing, etc. These are all impersonal things, not directly related to people. Introverted Thinking will likely look at impersonal reasons as to why your mates didn't like the film, not really considering your own opinion (or theirs ironically) on the film.

You may also wonder whether or not your mates are idiots because they didn't 'get' the film, or are getting pissy over details that you did not notice or give a fuck about (that will be the result of INTPs second function Extroverted Intuition (Ne) which is all about big picture possibilities and does not care so much about details. That would more likely happen as Extroverted Intuition takes in information and feeds it to Introverted Thinking to analyse.

That's because Introverted Thinking is likely largely about asking why and understanding why almost above all else. It is the seeming detached nature of Introverted Thinking. This is why INTPs and ISTPs which are dominant Introverted Thinkers sometimes tend to come across as caustic and critical.
Of course, Extroverted Feeling, an INTP's inferior function may stop you from saying any and all this out loud for fear of hurting your friends feelings. That same inferior extroverted feeling may cause you to think they are idiots because their dislike of the film hurt your feelings

Do not quote me on the following. INTPs do not have Introverted Feeling (except maybe as a shadow function) so this is all speculation; an on-the-fly hypothesis.

A Possible INFP's Likely Perspective
Introverted Feeling (Fi) on the other hand may likely go 'that is your opinion' but chances are on the inside they you may be wondering that because you liked it and they didn't, they likely think less of you as a person, that maybe you are somehow bad or dumb or some kind of negative description. You may wonder that the film-makers put a lot of heart and soul in to the film and the film spoke to you on personal level, you could easily relate to it and that is why you liked it so. However, you know you liked the film and it made you feel good on the inside. You may refuse to listen to the criticism your friends make of the film. You may say heartfelt things to defend the film, with conviction you are right.
Because like the robotic INTP you have Extroverted Intuition (Ne) you may wonder about your friends personal circumstances, wondering if they had a bad day, their spirit animal was asleep or drunk, they were in a bad mood or if their soul hurts or their chakras were out of alignment. You may feel sorry for them, empathise with them, and think it's okay, they were probably feeling bad and that's why they didn't like the film and you forgive them, because you love them and their shiny rainbow-coloured souls shimmering in harmony with all of creation in the vast sparkling musical connectedness of everyone.
Of course, because Introverted Feeling is about not showing your feelings to the outside world, you may not say anything to your friends.

Any INFPs reading this, how would you react in such a situation?
@suigeneris Which are you more likely to do in your own opinion?
 

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In my experience, the everyday INTP cares a lot more about "fitting in" with their social group (i.e. imitating the acceptable social actions and appearances of others) whereas the INFP desires a social group to fit the values which they're personally living by, and will often feel a bit adrift without those people. This could be way off, but sometimes I think that the INFP really needs friends that want to understand them in order to stay grounded, and the INTP wants friends for more impersonal reasons like the benefit of said friend or some sort of tool that the friend possesses.
 

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In response to @justintroverted's movie scenario. ..To be honest, if I went to a movie with a group of friends and I loved the movie and they all bashed it at the end, I might actually be mad at them for it. It know, it doesn't make sense, but I would probably be mad at them because they didn't see how obviously great it was. I would try, however, to tell myself that they just have their particular tastes and no everyone has the same taste as me. Try as I may, though, I would imagine the rest of the night I might feel more distanced from my friends and more isolated in general. I would be wondering why they didn't see how good it was and then lamenting the fact that I apparently have weird taste. I would then be wondering what other kinds of movies these friends actually do like, and if I would also like them. I might assume that the movies these friends like, would then be movies I would not like. If one of them said a certain movie that they liked, which I did not like, I may attempt to tell them why that movie isn't any good and why this new movie is better. I think if I were to tell them that I did not like a movie that they liked, I would probably feel vindicated and then be able to move on.

Writing this out feels really childish of me! haha. I shouldn't care so much what other people think.
 

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You know I actually tested INTP consistently in the past before I became a Christian. Ever since, I've tested consistently INFP. TBH I was probably an INFP that just shunned the Feeling part about myself. Cynicism, numbness and a superiority complex would be the best way to characterize it.

The part that makes me feel more like an INFP is my natural tendency to relate to someone and my sense of idealism. If I had to give criticism or anything like that I would carefully word everything just to make sure they receive it properly.

However, my advice is to not fall into the trappings of these stereotypes. There are all sorts of different INFPs and INTPs. No matter how much some people would like, sometimes we just don't fit into nice column of As and Bs..
 

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In response to @justintroverted's movie scenario. ..To be honest, if I went to a movie with a group of friends and I loved the movie and they all bashed it at the end, I might actually be mad at them for it. It know, it doesn't make sense, but I would probably be mad at them because they didn't see how obviously great it was. I would try, however, to tell myself that they just have their particular tastes and no everyone has the same taste as me. Try as I may, though, I would imagine the rest of the night I might feel more distanced from my friends and more isolated in general. I would be wondering why they didn't see how good it was and then lamenting the fact that I apparently have weird taste. I would then be wondering what other kinds of movies these friends actually do like, and if I would also like them. I might assume that the movies these friends like, would then be movies I would not like. If one of them said a certain movie that they liked, which I did not like, I may attempt to tell them why that movie isn't any good and why this new movie is better. I think if I were to tell them that I did not like a movie that they liked, I would probably feel vindicated and then be able to move on.

Writing this out feels really childish of me! haha. I shouldn't care so much what other people think.
That's happened to me so many times! with music, parties, people, movies, everything! haha It was like reading my own life... however childish it may be haha.
 

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@ethylester Interesting thoughts...I can relate with both of you, but maybe I only feel like I can relate with you because you are a woman? I love to write...it is almost compulsive, and I love to listen to music...but I also am obsessed with reading and have spent days researching something to death to perfectly understand it. I think I am an INTP.
My husband likes to write, too, but his writing is more poetic, whereas mine is pretty much mind-spew. He keeps these tiny notepads around, in his backpack or by his books. I think he writes little phrases or verses in them when he is inspired. If you'll notice, though, these are tiny notepads, pocket sized. So he's not writing great paragraphs or long journal entries. For me, though, I have a large number of full sized notebooks full of long entries about my feelings and experiences. I'm less likely to be succinct in my writing, like he is. He loves poetry for this reason, I think. He likes to see how much meaning you can fit into only a few words.

I have spent entire days researching one topic, too. But it's because it interests me or pertains directly to me and my life. For example, I just had a baby. So I will spend countless hours reading about babies. I want to know as much as I can about babies!! I have a dozen books about babies laying around the house, as well as many websites I go to. My husband, on the other hand, just had a baby too, obviously, but he doesn't read anything about babies. I am not sure why, but it seems to me that he would rather learn as he goes? Or maybe he isn't worried about doing everything right and seeing how our baby is developing every month compared to other babies...? I don't know. He currently is reading a book about the history of our state, so obviously not about babies.

So I guess you could say I read things that apply to my life. He reads things to learn about various subjects, which may or may not have anything to do with his life. Also, he reads poetry, and I do not. But that's not necessarily an INFP thing, I know a lot of INFPs who do read poetry.
 
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