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I think it's safe to say INFPs are one of the most shat-on types. Be it in relationships, or in the workplace. Doesn't seem to be a lot of good things said.

What I wonder is, is there any particular use we can have in society, or should we just all get in a rocket and go off to mars?
 

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@agwood We mostly shit on ourselves. There is a lot of love out there for the average INFP. We are very useful. We are the ones who care, the healers, the idealists, the listeners, the friends who wrap their arms around the shoulder of their loved ones. We are the creative minds, the painters, the poets, the brainstormers. We are the nurses, the teachers, the therapists, the social workers and the volunteers. We care for the world, we give color to the world. I wouldn't want to live in a world without INFPs, so please don't book the tickets to Mars just yet.

INFPs are awesome. We just need to convince ourselves that we are. The world already knows.
 

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Of course INFPs have a place in society, it's to the detriment of society that it isn't properly recognised.

I just saw an article on the forum where marriage strategies are being discussed as if you can pick them and the people you marry off a shelf, as if life changing choices need as much thought and effort as picking your cereal. That is an extreme but most people are still very misguided as to what contitutes healthy interaction between people.

If the depth of feeling and internal clarity shown by INFPs was more familiar to the average person I doubt there would be such pandemic relationship confusion.


Not only that but the business world, the working world, which could be compared to Te or described as the manifestation of Te energy, is not balanced by the appropriate amount of Fi.
The ethical consequences of our societies progression is taken into account only after the fact, wether that be the environmental destruction left in the wake our of demand for resources or the total lack of fullfillment or in our workers.

If the world was in the right shape then you would feel the INFP influence in every official form you fill out and every professinal endeavor you undertake would be graced with ethical stepping stones, work and education would be enjoyable for everyone.
 
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@agwood We mostly shit on ourselves. There is a lot of love out there for the average INFP. We are very useful. We are the ones who care, the healers, the idealists, the listeners, the friends who wrap their arms around the shoulder of their loved ones. We are the creative minds, the painters, the poets, the brainstormers. We are the nurses, the teachers, the therapists, the social workers and the volunteers. We care for the world, we give color to the world. I wouldn't want to live in a world without INFPs, so please don't book the tickets to Mars just yet.

INFPs are awesome. We just need to convince ourselves that we are. The world already knows.
I'm convinced that we're awesome, but I'm not convinced the world knows :/
 

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I think if more INFPs put themselves out there more they would be shocked to find that they can be exceptionally well at things they might have never imagined being good at. A confident self aware INFP to me is a force not to be taken lightly.
 

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in society.... of course.

there is countless things to do in society.

we are like someone said before the writers....... but of course not only the writers ........ we are so much more!!!!!

i don't know exactly but there is so much other things our types excel at that can benefit society.
 

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Of course we have a place in society, the biggest impediment to that I think is the tendency of many INFPs to self loathing and sabotage. I see this frequently among the younger INFPs, most of the older ones like myself see, to tend towards being happy, well adjusted and successful by their own standards.
I don't feel shat upon in my professional or my personal life at all, quite the opposite. My employers and coworkers value my skills and personality highly, my creativity and empathy apparently make me a good leader(or so I'm told) able to forge a bunch of fractious, anti authoritarian individualists into a cohesive and productive team. When theres a conflict that need resolution I'm their go to guy, and my resilience and mental flexibility enables me to deal with major changes in a show setup and operation far better than many of my peers.
In my personal life I find myself often in the role of confessor/advisor to many people who know me, even those with more years and life experience than myself. I seem to be everyones uncle in a way, and many come to me for a sympathetic ear and honest advice. In romantic relationships everyone gets hurt from time to time, love is a contact sport and if you don't get the occasional bloody nose than you aren't really playing. Many of the women I've had relationships with over the years really appreciated the qualities I display that most jibe with the INFP stereotype.
So yes, I very much think we have a role in society, not everyone appreciates our gift, but many do. The biggest impediment to our impacting the world around us in a positive way is usually ourselves.
 

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When we say "use in society" it usually has a real pragmatic connotation, like what we can bring to our place of work, or a corporation or of monetary value. Not that INFPs can't succeed at these things but our focus is on work, money and the traditional role of success. That's only a small slice if life and if we open ourselves to the full spectrum of all the things that make life worth living, INFPs are often the people who bring meaning and color to life. It's like saying art has no value in society bc you can't use it to do anything but art often stands to symbolize the underlying meaning which drives us to do anything in the first place.

in short, yes, we're very useful.
 

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As many people above stated - we are fully functional in this society and our role is firm.
It's just the self-confidence and self-esteem that is low and that gets in the way.

I was taught this world doesn't need people like me since I was a child, therefore I felt broken and unfitting. Now to love myself is the hardest thing.
I think a healthy INFP can be anyone, as long as they stay true to themselves and their values. Although, it's harder for us, because empathy is a thing that comes with age (Sadly, I haven't mastered this art even half properly yet), and it's crucial if you want to keep good terms with people.

In one sentence: INFPs are people who are like wine - get better with age.

This is an actual tendention I noticed in this type over the course of several years while being a MBTI/Jung enthusiast.
 

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INFPs are awesome. We just need to convince ourselves that we are. The world already knows.
I'm convinced that we're awesome, but I'm not convinced the world knows :/
Is it contradictory if I agree with both of you? XD

Part of it is the company you choose to keep. I've experienced both sides - being ridiculed for who I am, and being loved and appreciated for it. It's true that some cultures/subcultures/personalities do not value what we have to give and will try to beat it out of us, perhaps even believing it is for our own good. But it's also true that there are environments in which we can flourish, and no it's not only with other INFP's, although it certainly helps to connect with others of our kind. :)

In one sentence: INFPs are people who are like wine - get better with age.
I'm not quite 30 yet but this reflects my experience too. In fact, I think I've looked forward to being in my 30's/40's for a long time. Never understood my friends and acquaintances who would moan over turning 20; I was glad to get that shitty part of my life over and done with!
 

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one way, window side please ! I wouldn't change my type for any other though :3 maybe just add a little Te

To add more I think we can be good at anything we put our mind to, I was raised by an ESTP mom who never told me that I have limits, so I do have a sick feeling of I will adapt pretty good and sure I have insecurities but it is more personal, otherwise I usually see flaws in the system and I don't necessarily think that I am worthless but I think the system favors people with little to no moral codes, people who can use tons of Fe to network. I refuse all of this, I refuse to work on my social ties and play along when I believe I should do something in a specific way. I am very stubborn too. Say I know what is efficient for a workplace and what is not. People expect me to obey subjective rules, unnecessarily tight and unfair authority and imposing positions on you just because, not for the better of the job and I feel like walking away a lot.

I think the main problem is I don't aspire to a role in society like many others do. I know that no 9-5 work will make me happy. I honestly think Se as a relief function makes people -successful- in this society. ENTJs love to win and what they win is measurable in their relief function Se, so they get more wind up and they work more and they get more. Things they achieve are tangible, measurable. I lack this and I am highly aware. To have very abstract things that society does not value as ideals is really not helping me to keep on track.

Apart from these yes, there are very valuable INFPs in society. All the sincere lyrics, the good actors that blend in the characters, the people who will point out the wrong even when the whole society is wrong, successful directors, best of the authors along with INFJs perhaps. And maybe more importantly, mind you, we don't have a black list as many types. I think that is not something to take lightly. I also think that INFP politicians are highly needed in this world. And many others, with their specific causes that made an impact in the world we live in. Perhaps this will happen in time, notice the change of military style to more humane leadership both in government and profit organizations.

Also we are only a bunch of INFPs living in an ESTJ rules world so..

But I think the main problem is no outside measurement will equal to the intensity and the clarity and the mental imagery we have in our minds. I do think it is a gift but there just is no way for people to understand it. So there will be never a society role as defined as ENTJs have although like Keirsey says INFPs are kind of reverse ENTJs but how do you reflect something that is inwards? You simply can't so we are bound to not pass that quality measurements unless it is something that we can put our Fi and Ne as a signature in the work. Being in a field of INTPs I do face problems, I could perhaps excel at something that fits better for sure although I do have a grasp of my major, just not excellence and I seem to do okay but it is not the excellence I aimed for. It just takes a lot of work and doesn't come naturally but it is achievable.

And yes as mentioned above we second guess ourselves a lot when the people who should don't and society buys in confidence whether it is just or not. I wish everyone had a moment to self-doubt but I do admit sometimes being too sensitive puts too many obstacles for my own good. I trip and fall if my mood is low and there is just no way to ignore it at times, it just takes over.
 

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We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams;—
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

- Arthur O'Shaughnessy
 

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I don't know. Probably? But I'm not confident yet as I'm still in that "I'm about to enter 'the real world'" stage of life.

I'd like to think INFPs are the ones who mop up the broken, emotional fallout of the currently Te-dominated society. We're not janitors though, we aren't removing trash—we're caretakers. We all have different careers and jobs, alright, sure. But that's very limited when you consider just society in general. In terms of just people existing around people, in such a grand scope as that, I like to think INFPs are the ones who take in those who've fallen by the wayside. That's our purpose, or if not something so fate-like, it's our natural tendency.

However, how does society notice what's fallen behind it, when it's too concerned with pushing ever onwards?

Again, though, I haven't been on this rolling train for even two decades yet. I could be wrong.
 

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We have a very important part to play in life, but we have to find it for ourselves. The vast majority of given situations are not conducive at all to our self-actualization. We need to recognize where we serve a purpose and not try to "fit in" where we deny our unique contributions. For instance, many of us our writers, artists, or musicians. To truly pursue such things, you have to believe in yourself, and it is highly unlikely that anyone else will. But we usually don't, and instead sabotage ourselves and think we are "useless". For instance, I am a writer/artist/musician. To be such, particularly the INFP version of such things, you have to be okay with everyone thinking you are a "loser" or are "useless" at first. How to be okay with that? By being honest with yourself and with what you are doing. For me anyway, whether or not I am doing what I am "supposed" to be doing, in regards to work anyway, I know. I've been busking(playing music on the street) for years without a real job. I couldn't describe how well this has worked out for me. People tell me all the time how I inspire them and how they appreciate what I am doing. Most importantly for me though, it allows me time to be an artist and write. To be an artist of any kind, you need time to develop your craft. Busking allows me time to do that, I've met almost all my friends busking, the money is great, it allows me to fulfill my need to perform and make people happy, and my desire to help other people. People come and talk to me all the time not afraid of being judged, tell me their problems and their sufferings, and I love listening and helping where I can. If I were to do something else in life, it would be a counselor of some kind. But I already do that unofficially. I don't need a registered employer to pay me for it to be "real". Overall, I think my point is that the INFP suffers in letting the "official" systems in place dictate what they do because those systems will always be insufficient for the INFP's unique self-actualization.

Still though, even when I worked "real" jobs, my fellow employees, though at first thinking I was weird or that there was something wrong with me, soon enough came to appreciate me for who I am and what I can contribute as a personality. Customers also preferred me to many others because I wouldn't talk down to them in any way, wouldn't assume a guise of robotic "professionalism" and just treated them like a human being. Management saw some of my ways about things as threatening at first but enough customers made note of how they appreciated me, and it ended up being accepted that I was allowed different rules than other employees when it came to certain things ha. In a corporate store. This is all to say that INFPs need to resolve themselves to themselves instead of turning against themselves for not fitting into the status quo. We see why the status quo sucks where many others don't. That is our role ha. To stand up for what we believe in in a world that is generally unsure of what it believes in.
 

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What is usefulness? It depends a great deal on your ideological stance.

What is the purpose of life? What does it mean to lead a good life? What does it mean to be useful and who are we accountable to? Who decides?

To me, usefulness should be defined not so much by the output of a person's day to day efforts, nor by their contribution to the economic wellbeing of the state or their community, unless of course that is how they place value on what they do.

INFPs in my experience are those who draw attention to the beauty of the world, they are repositories of knowledge of the past, generators of ideas, seekers of wisdom. They inspire change that is based on ethical considerations in a world addicted to progress that seeks to strip us of sentiment. They are the wordsmiths and deep thinkers who challenge the orthodoxy and power structures of the status quo. Without such people, social change would be non-existent or devoid of feeling.

The betterment of society is the work of the INFP.

Are we useful? Of course we are.
 
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