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I have been married to an INFJ for 7 years and he is by far the most complex human being I have ever met. I'm an Entp and I try to figure everything out an he's been quite a challenge. I have been researching the Enneagram type 4w3 and I think it fits his profile well. My question is are you guys very competitive? I noticed that every time I get recognized for something my husband tries to out do me or turn it back to him. When the kids are praising me he gets so envious. It is very confusing to me because I thought INFJ's were meant to be well-intentioned individuals. Any thoughts?
 

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My two cents on your situation. I can really only speak from my experiences but I would not say I am competitive but I do seem competitive from time to time. I don't really care if I win but sometimes I do feel that I have to be the best in order to prove my worth. Sometimes it feels like I am constantly just trying to catch up to everyone else and I can do weird things like you are describing. Can you give a few other examples? It sounds like to me judging by your personality type that he might be having issues with gender roles and is trying to affirm his masculinity. But I could also be talking out of my butt as I tend to do
 

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My two cents on your situation. I can really only speak from my experiences but I would not say I am competitive but I do seem competitive from time to time. I don't really care if I win but sometimes I do feel that I have to be the best in order to prove my worth. Sometimes it feels like I am constantly just trying to catch up to everyone else and I can do weird things like you are describing. Can you give a few other examples? It sounds like to me judging by your personality type that he might be having issues with gender roles and is trying to affirm his masculinity. But I could also be talking out of my butt as I tend to do
I conquer, I think is has to do with gender issues. I had an INFP as a dad and he has been the person who I have gotten along with the most. I guess Freud was right in the sense that you end up marrying your mom or dad. I had a hard time coming to terms with who I was as well. I had to put on a mask to fit more with the feminine roles and I think he probably struggles with being his true self. He's in the service and I think his uniform is like an alter ego. He had an macho Hispanic man as a father that probably ridicule his sensitivity. I have been studying typology for a while since I suffered from "neurosis" since I was a child. I read this powerful quote from Horney "the neurotic process is the process of rejecting our true selves for an idealized one". I believe most human beings struggle with that. Ever since I started studying the MBTI I have come to terms with myself. I'm trying to introduce him to it but as an idealist he does not believe putting people into boxes. Thank you for the insight.
 

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Are you sure he's not a 3w4?
He's very ambitious and very concern about his appearance. I have a feeling he is a four because the core passion of the four is Envy. No matter what he has accomplished he's always looking at others thinking they have it better than him. He is also into zombies, The Walking Dead, American Asylum, interior decorating, etc. I will give you an example the kids have a train set and I came up with the idea of getting some wood panels we had and using them as a foundation for the tracks. He just called me from work saying he's bringing a table for the tracks. I have a hard time understanding him. He might be a sexual four.
 

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He's very ambitious and very concern about his appearance. I have a feeling he is a four because the core passion of the four is Envy. No matter what he has accomplished he's always looking at others thinking they have it better than him. He is also into zombies, The Walking Dead, American Asylum, interior decorating, etc. I will give you an example the kids have a train set and I came up with the idea of getting some wood panels we had and using them as a foundation for the tracks. He just called me from work saying he's bringing a table for the tracks. I have a hard time understanding him. He might be a sexual four.
Obviously you know him better than I do, but consider this from Enneagram 3:

Want to impress others with their superiority: constantly promoting themselves, making themselves sound better than they really are. Narcissistic, with grandiose, inflated notions about themselves and their talents. Exhibitionistic and seductive, as if saying "Look at me!" Arrogance and contempt for others is a defense against feeling jealous of others and their success.
It's hard to tell the extent to which his self-worth is based on being better than you (3w4) or being loved more for being special/different (4w3).
 

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Obviously you know him better than I do, but consider this from Enneagram 3:



It's hard to tell the extent to which his self-worth is based on being better than you (3w4) or being loved more for being special/different (4w3).


If he's a 3 I will be very disappointed. I don't like to judge but I personally dislike this type.
 

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While I can't really shed light on why your husband seems to try to out do you or turn things back to him (Personally I feel I encouraged/supported my other half's achievements) I can say that I have always very competitive and ambitious. The competitiveness however is with me, trying to better myself and surpass my own (perhaps unrealistic at times) goals and targets. It's just coincidence (or unfortunate) that most of the time when I am competing with myself there is often someone else involved (in the case of sports for example).
 
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If he's a 3 I will be very disappointed. I don't like to judge but I personally dislike this type.
Um...what?

Types aren't identity. It's healthier for you to leave this forum and stop researching MBTI/enneagram altogether if you're going to form your basis of somebody based on their type.
 

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Um...what?

Types aren't identity. It's healthier for you to leave this forum and stop researching MBTI/enneagram altogether if you're going to form your basis of somebody based on their type.

You are taking it way too seriously. I was referring to the comment the other guy posted about the enneagram type 3. Narcissitic, grandiose, etc. are not traits that sound appealing to anyone healthy.
 

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What about 4s?

Level 7: When dreams fail, become self-inhibiting and angry at self, depressed and alienated from self and others, blocked and emotionally paralyzed. Ashamed of self, fatigued and unable to function.
Level 8: Tormented by delusional self-contempt, self-reproaches, self-hatred, and morbid thoughts: everything is a source of torment. Blaming others, they drive away anyone who tries to help them.
Level 9: Despairing, feel hopeless and become self-destructive, possibly abusing alcohol or drugs to escape. In the extreme: emotional breakdown or suicide is likely. Generally corresponds to the Avoidant, Depressive, and Narcissistic personality disorders.
3 source: 3 - Enneagram Type Three: The Achiever

4 source: 4 - Enneagram Type Four: The Individualist

Don't take things at face value.
 

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You are taking it way too seriously. I was referring to the comment the other guy posted about the enneagram type 3. Narcissitic, grandiose, etc. are not traits that sound appealing to anyone healthy.
Nor is constant paranoia (6), being antisocial (5), forcing help on people who don't want it as a way of stroking their own ego (2), being wishy-washy and avoidant (9), and the list goes on...the point is, every type has their flaw. Enneagram does something that MBTI doesn't and studies the unhealthy side of types, but it's important to know that it's a spectrum rather than a prediction. Just because he's a 3 doesn't mean HE is grandiose or a narcissist--it's just an example of what people with the 3 personality COULD become if unhealthy enough. Healthy 3's are great people.

Though, that you would react so strongly to it suggests it might be hitting close to home somehow...do you think there's more to it than generally disliking the character flaw of narcissism?
 

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Nor is constant paranoia (6), being antisocial (5), forcing help on people who don't want it as a way of stroking their own ego (2), being wishy-washy and avoidant (9), and the list goes on...the point is, every type has their flaw. Enneagram does something that MBTI doesn't and studies the unhealthy side of types, but it's important to know that it's a spectrum rather than a prediction. Just because he's a 3 doesn't mean HE is grandiose or a narcissist--it's just an example of what people with the 3 personality COULD become if unhealthy enough. Healthy 3's are great people.

Though, that you would react so strongly to it suggests it might be hitting close to home somehow...do you think there's more to it than generally disliking the character flaw of narcissism?
Thanks I guess we all have a hidden ego agenda. I have always being absolutely fascinated by Idealists. It's actually my favorite temperament for friendships and relationships. Narcissism hits close to home since I had a very cold narcissitic mom. At a young age I was determined to be everything she was not.
 

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INFJs just tend to be more "well-intentioned" than other types. It could be that your husband is an unhealthy INFJ.

INFJs also tend to be perfectionists, and if it's not gender-related in his case, if he doesn't feel like he's up to par with his own standards then he may have self-esteem issues. Perhaps he had a bad experience with not meeting others' expectations when he was younger?

Do your kids compliment your husband, or only you? If it's the latter, he might also be hurt if he feels his kids love him less.

You may want to talk to him and discuss how you feel about it, and ask if there's anything bothering him. Communication is key in any relationship.

As for myself, I'm somewhat competitive and I do need to keep that and my arrogance in check. I don't go around trying to make myself look better compared to other people, though.

On a side note, are you sure he's INFJ in the first place? lol

edit: speaking of 3s, my boyfriend is one, and he's one of the most patient and understanding people I know. So there you go. lol
 
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he sounds insecure that he is not loved as much as others are. a 4 seeing someone else fulfilled (in a way they long for) will feel, through that, their own personal lack of fulfillment even more intensely. the 4's native state is one of longing, which can often lead to comparative jealousy and discontent (natural weaknesses of the type).

it sounds to me as if praise is a way that others you all know show their love and approval, that maybe they have to approve of someone in some way before they dole out affection to them (that is, they make people earn their love). my interpretation of the situation is that he wants their love, and feels somehow as if you are favored/loved more than him (this may not be reality, but he's viewing reality through the prism of not having what he longs for, so he is going to notice the tiniest incongruities and read his insecurity into them).

apparently, he is trying to earn their love in order to assuage his own feelings that he is unlovable or eventually will lose their love and be abandoned by them, or that he isn't successful enough to win their love. he will feel that way in any scenario where he feels less loved than the others. that would most likely be the root of this sort of behavior in a 4w3.

the 3 wing would make him crave people's approval/praise as well as their love, feeling as if he has to measure up to people's standards to gain their approval or else he loses their love (since they show demonstrations of love as a reward for certain behaviors). and the 4 core would give him a deep-seated sense of being fatally flawed and unlovable as he is, yet experiencing an internal battle with his 3ishness to be true to self anyway.

in essence, he likely feels unworthy of love - and an expectation that those who love him now are going to stop loving him at some point. 4s often have a history of abandonment in personal relationships, which leads them to develop an insecurity that there is something defective about them that will eventually make anyone who loves them now eventually abandon them. 4w3 is insecurity, compounded (since all heart types have a core of insecurity related to their sense of self, and 3 and 4 are both heart types). the competition results from that insecurity, and a 4w3 is competing for security in your love.

if you can somehow demonstrate to him (in ways different than you already do and have, in the past) that you're not going anywhere ~ that your love is immovable ~ that can relax him somewhat. you 6s tend to be so strong in terms of loyalty ~ he's lucky he has you. :) it also sounds like he needs some more people in his life who unconditionally love him.

and i think also, if you give him as much or more praise/approval as you get, and try to encourage others to do so, this problem is likely to go away. i doubt he actually resents the fact that you are getting praise; he resents that he (apparently) can't get the love he so wants, and others can. he may feel like it is unfair and he is doomed to not being loved.

it would be best to find things you genuinely love about him and praise them, without him having to do something or perform successfully in some way first - praise him for who he is - the core of who he is, that you sense is the "real" him. that's what he's most insecure about - he thinks the "real him" - unrevised and unimproved - is unlovable and will eventually drive you away. the more you can make him feel that the person he naturally is, is someone you adore, the more that insecurity will be assuaged. just be completely honest: 4s can sense when something isn't genuine, are often painfully aware of their own flaws (therefore if you tell them they're better than they are, they'll know you either don't see them as they actually are, or that it's fake). even if they don't react strongly or favorably, honest compliments can really help in their internal healing.

i'm a 4w5 rather than 4w3, but i can identify with some of what he's feeling. if i see someone's love as conditional, i get insecure like that ~ and it's spurred by seeing inequalities in how much affection is shown to others as opposed to me. 4s, above all, need to know they can be loved, and - more specifically - ARE loved for exactly who they are...in "as is" condition.

whatever you want to change in a 4 is only likely to change at all when that insecurity about the loyalty of your love is assuaged...criticizing them or trying to "behaviorially condition" them (through rewarding them with or depriving them of an emotional need for which they crave fulfillment) into changing is a good way to increase their insecurity - which is the source of the negative behaviors - and thus ensure they won't fundamentally change.

the more discouraged we 4s get about ourselves (since we already start out feeling more defective than anyone else around us), the harder it is for us to change in any positive way. it's like trying to get someone screaming with pain to do the laundry. they're perfectly capable of doing the laundry, but just getting on their case about lying on the floor "doing nothing" or trying to motivate them to get up and do it is not going to change the fact that they are essentially "paralyzed in place" by their pain. no matter how much they want to do the laundry for you, the pain takes precedence, because it is all-consuming, and hampers them from being able to do what life requires of them. get the person a pain reliever, or somehow otherwise take the pain away, and then they'll be able to do the laundry.

4s tend to be emotionally "paralyzed in place" when feeling unloved - because that feeling brings back all the traumatic insecurity and grief of abandonment (or fear of it). feeling unloved - which can be prompted by feeling less loved than someone else, if they are getting more attention or demonstrated affection than the 4 is - is severely painful for the 4. until you relieve that pain, they're not going to feel ABLE to get up and be productive with their life. neutralize what's paralyzing them - the pain of insecurity - and then they can get up and do the "laundry"...or whatever it is you wish they would do/change/be.

all that said, i agree with others that there is a possibility he is 3w4. but he also could just be a highly insecure 4w3. if statistics are accurate (which is doubtful, since so little of the world's population has been enneagram-tested), type 4 occurs in INFJs far more often than type 3. if he resembles a 7w6, yet is "in touch with" his emotions (the more sorrowful ones), he's probably 4w3.
 
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