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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am evaluating myself compared to other INFP's and all of the profiles I read. Some things just don't add up for me. There are similarities and many of you have said I sound INFP, but I'm just not sure. I have to be honest about this with myself because there is no point in trying to force myself into a certain group. I am putting pressure on myself for several reasons:

1) I am 30 and need to find a good career match
2) I have been basically wandering since college and have not accomplshed much career-wise
3) My marriage is riding on me getting my act together soon


Here are some things I feel aren't jiving with me:

1) INFP's seem to be very introverted and docile. By docile I mean not rocking the boat and not taking charge very much. I have no problem speaking my mind and at times could be considered overly opinionated. I will also take charge in a situation if need be, but I don't want to do it everyday. My take charge style is more of the improvising kind if I feel like no one is stepping up or if the person in charge is obviously going in the wrong direction.

2) I can be both introverted and extroverted. I am not a hermit by any means. I believe being alone to much is unhealthy because I spent about 5 years being depressed and avoiding social situations. I finally forced myself to get out there again and felt better as time went on. It seems like many INFP's and introverts in general are okay with extended periods of alone time. I get bored with too much alone time.

3) I am really athletic. Some of you have already read my posts on athletics. I enjoy sports and the competition. I grew up in a very athletic household so that is a big part of who I am.

4) I am passionate/emotional, but not to the point of being obnoxious. I rarely cry. I feel for people and situations in certain cases, but in others I can be very cold. It's kinda like I have an on /off switch.

5) I appreciate aesthetic beauty and some art, but I am not artistic at all. I really have no desire to learn artsy stuff either.

6) I am a dreamer in the sense of wanting the world to be a better place and all, but I also realize stuff doesn't always happen the way you want it to. I have learned the older I get to just accept some things that aren't perfect. Life is short and I don't want to be depressed my whole life because the world can be a shitty place sometimes. You need to have a filter as a defense mechanism.

7) I love exploring options and possibilities, but it also brings me great anxiety when i wallow in my thoughts for too long. Just going around and around in your head sucks sometimes.

8) I notice little details, I like tasting good food and smelling things and looking at beautiful scenery. I like to sweat and push myself when I am motivated. With that said, I am capable of seeing the big picture and looking at things in ways that others don't.

9) Ideas and possibilities don't always just pop in my head 100x per day. For some reason I envision both INFP and ENFP as like cartoon characters with a new idea. They get this huge smile and a lightbulb goes off over their heads (we have all seen cartoons like this). I have good ideas from time to time, but I'm not sure I would consider myself this idea genius or anything.

10) I have always felt different in some ways from others, but I can blend in pretty well. I'm not 100% oddball. For instance, I can relate to the macho guys on a sports level. I like talking crap with my friends. I talk about women in ways that most guys do (ladies you talk about us in your women ways too, I know because I have heard you)) and I curse pretty often (bad habit I know). I have always been more in touch with my sensitive side than most guys, but I'm not an Emo type or feminine by any means. I can hold conversations very easily with both guys and girls. Now, I do not care for the type A macho guy very much, but I have been around plenty and I realize that they only respect people like them. I am able to mold myself in situations like this so I don't appear weak minded and get taken advantage of.

What do you think?
 

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I think that you are not 100% I, 100% N, 100% F, or 100% P.

I'm athletic. I can act extroverted and take charge. I don't cry. That does not mean that I am not INFP, it means that I am unique, just like everyone else.
 

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It's an end of the day kind of thing.
While you might be energized by people and activities, at the end of the day you will be most energized by your ideas and thoughts. It's fine to not be 100%, but just enough for you to say "I'm an INFP"
You're passionate over things that some/most INFPs can't be passionate about. I am glad though that you can stick up for yourself. Not all INFPs will be the exactly the same. You follow this. What are you sure of? Like, what letters in your personality type are you sure that you are?
 

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I can't really comment on your type. However, be aware that most people on this forum are teenagers. It sounds to me it could be just as much a difference in maturity as it could be type. Not all INFPs are made from the same mold anyway. :)
 

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To me, it's just what feels natural in your character. You may be able to take charge and become social, but does it feel natural? Does it come out unconsciously, or do you have to conjure up some type of strategy, a plan, a persona, first? The fact that you're into sports doesn't really have much to do with MBTI type. Yeah, you read a lot that INFPs are really artsy, but I think of it as just kind of a really accurate stereotype. You may see the "art" in sports that no ones else notices so that, in my opinion, also makes it an art for you.

Not all INFPs are these little, weak minded, sensitive, ultra-loving, poetic, uncharismatic, loners who are just sad all the time. We can vary quite a bit, but at our core we all fall back on the same techniques and foundations that create reality, the way we experience it.
 

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Committing to being INFP 100%? The mbti is only one way of viewing people and personalities, not an exhaustive definition of everything. It's a tool to help you gain some perspective on your life, not the thing you need to base it on. You probably know this though, and having read your post I've found a lot of similarities to myself. I think you are still an INFP, just a moderate and somewhat mature one,I don't think there is anybody that is '100% INFP', and a lot of the stereotypes we encounter (often perpetuated by ourselves in communities like this) of meek, overly emotional cartoonish figures in love with ideas are no more than those very ideas that we have. Let's face it, a large amount of the INFP population of these forums are younger than you; teenagers or adults in their early twenties. The overly fey INFP we tend to think of is also one of these younger people, and you are not. You've grown up somewhat and discovered I hope that we have identities outside of what is written in the 'you know you are an INFP when...' threads. The reason you can't 'force yourself into a certain group' is because there isn't one, and there shouldn't be; the idealised INFP that we all seem to worship is a myth.

So from your description yes I do think you are still an INFP, but you are primarily a person.
 

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I am evaluating myself compared to other INFP's and all of the profiles I read. Some things just don't add up for me. There are similarities and many of you have said I sound INFP, but I'm just not sure. I have to be honest about this with myself because there is no point in trying to force myself into a certain group. I am putting pressure on myself for several reasons:

1) I am 30 and need to find a good career match
2) I have been basically wandering since college and have not accomplshed much career-wise
3) My marriage is riding on me getting my act together soon


Here are some things I feel aren't jiving with me:

1) INFP's seem to be very introverted and docile. By docile I mean not rocking the boat and not taking charge very much. I have no problem speaking my mind and at times could be considered overly opinionated. I will also take charge in a situation if need be, but I don't want to do it everyday. My take charge style is more of the improvising kind if I feel like no one is stepping up or if the person in charge is obviously going in the wrong direction.

2) I can be both introverted and extroverted. I am not a hermit by any means. I believe being alone to much is unhealthy because I spent about 5 years being depressed and avoiding social situations. I finally forced myself to get out there again and felt better as time went on. It seems like many INFP's and introverts in general are okay with extended periods of alone time. I get bored with too much alone time.

3) I am really athletic. Some of you have already read my posts on athletics. I enjoy sports and the competition. I grew up in a very athletic household so that is a big part of who I am.

4) I am passionate/emotional, but not to the point of being obnoxious. I rarely cry. I feel for people and situations in certain cases, but in others I can be very cold. It's kinda like I have an on /off switch.

5) I appreciate aesthetic beauty and some art, but I am not artistic at all. I really have no desire to learn artsy stuff either.

6) I am a dreamer in the sense of wanting the world to be a better place and all, but I also realize stuff doesn't always happen the way you want it to. I have learned the older I get to just accept some things that aren't perfect. Life is short and I don't want to be depressed my whole life because the world can be a shitty place sometimes. You need to have a filter as a defense mechanism.

7) I love exploring options and possibilities, but it also brings me great anxiety when i wallow in my thoughts for too long. Just going around and around in your head sucks sometimes.

8) I notice little details, I like tasting good food and smelling things and looking at beautiful scenery. I like to sweat and push myself when I am motivated. With that said, I am capable of seeing the big picture and looking at things in ways that others don't.

9) Ideas and possibilities don't always just pop in my head 100x per day. For some reason I envision both INFP and ENFP as like cartoon characters with a new idea. They get this huge smile and a lightbulb goes off over their heads (we have all seen cartoons like this). I have good ideas from time to time, but I'm not sure I would consider myself this idea genius or anything.

10) I have always felt different in some ways from others, but I can blend in pretty well. I'm not 100% oddball. For instance, I can relate to the macho guys on a sports level. I like talking crap with my friends. I talk about women in ways that most guys do (ladies you talk about us in your women ways too, I know because I have heard you)) and I curse pretty often (bad habit I know). I have always been more in touch with my sensitive side than most guys, but I'm not an Emo type or feminine by any means. I can hold conversations very easily with both guys and girls. Now, I do not care for the type A macho guy very much, but I have been around plenty and I realize that they only respect people like them. I am able to mold myself in situations like this so I don't appear weak minded and get taken advantage of.

What do you think?
I will respond to two of the statements you wrote: 1) You said you can sound overly opinionated - that could be you acting more extrovert or defending something you believe in. You also said you can take charge when the need arises - that sounds like your inferior extraverted thinking. 2) What you wrote in number two sounds like you don't like to be extreme in your introversion; you see benefits in social interaction. That sounds like healthy introversion to me.

The rest of what you wrote makes me think you are a pretty healthy, well-balanced individual, but none of it sticks out as un-INFP to me, at least.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all of your responses. You guys are right about no one fitting the mold perfectly and that's what makes typing yourself so difficult. I took an assessment very recently with my university's career counseling center and I typed as an ENFJ or ENTJ, if I remember right. I said to the counselor that I don't feel those results are accurate and he said that sometimes the tests are wrong. After our lengthy discussion, he said he was 100% certain I was an INFP. I guess I am pulling an INFP right now with analyzing and doubting and questioning. If that is the case then that is kinda funny! I also read somewhere that INFP's have a very difficult time typing themselves due to their inherent traits of questioning everything. It's a catch 22 really. Man, I wish I was one of those types that takes these assessments, gets the results and says have a nice day. Sigh...


ConnieCulkins...ESFP??? Really? I have never gotten ESFP on any assessment before. If I remember correctly, they are the performers, as in center of attention people, and I sure as hell don't like the spotlight on me 24/7. Occasionally I do when I'm comfortable, but you would never mistake me for an attention whore.
 

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I think you are relying too heavily on an INFP stereotype and forgetting that the members of this forum are really more of a microcosm of the INFP world. I mean, there are a lot of INFPs out there, and I'm thinking a certain type of INFP is more likely to spend lots and lots of time on an MBTI internet forum.

I don't think any of the points you mentioned were necessarily INFP deal-breakers. I'm not saying you definitely are an INFP; I don't think I have enough information to ascertain something like that about you. However, being 30, you are more likely to have developed your tertiary and inferior cognitive functions quite a bit, which would cause you to behave and function as a more well-rounded individual. Besides, I relate to most of your points to an extent, and I am definitely an INFP.
 

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your doubting yourself thus proving your INFP:tongue:
an extravert likely wouldn't read nito themselves so much-the fact that your questioning yourself is NFishand you don't seem J to me so you're likely INFP.
 
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your doubting yourself thus proving your INFP:tongue:
an extravert likely wouldn't read nito themselves so much-the fact that your questioning yourself is NFishand you don't seem J to me so you're likely INFP.
Wow, I have paradoxical thoughts like that all the time. I'll say something to myself like "What if i'm not an infp? Maybe i'm trying to convince myself that i'm an infp because I don't want to be something boring" and then that thought is followed by something like "Well, just the fact that i'm having thoughts like that would make me an INFP wouldn't it?"

I'm always having these kinds of thoughts.

.____.
 

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Don't commit yourself to something that isn't you. I stopped typing myself and others because of this. A 4 letter acronym can't describe myself as an individual. I am just thrown into the pile of 16. I am the 1 of 6 billion or however many people are here.

Don't force anything on yourself if it isn't right. Go with the gut feeling. Maybe your closest type is INFP but you have other characteristics too, and some are false that apply to that type.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
When I was younger and well into my teens, I would likely have been 100% INFP. I was quiet, didn't rock the boat at all, timid, very sensitive, wanted the perfect relationship, a big time dreamer, always felt like I was a little different than most guys (hard to explain, but if you are an INFP then you know about that feeling), wanted to be loved and tried hard for acceptance. From my basic knowledge of MBTI, that is a pretty strong INFP.

I will try to expand on why I am having difficulties typing myself. As some of you have likely already read in other posts, I have experienced 2 head injuries at age 3 and age 17. I am deaf in my right ear from the first injury. I grew up taking a lot of verbal abuse from my school mates for being deaf. Many kids would call me stupid because I couldn't hear well in the cafeteria or if they shouted at me from a distance. At some point I let it get to me so bad that I would come home and cry all the time. I didn't want to go back to school many days. Some of me being quiet was probably due to not wanting to come across as stupid to others.

My dad is an ex college football player who went on to coach high school and teach. IN 7th grade my parents moved me to my dad's school. He was offered the Disciplinarian job so not only was I dealing with the deaf thing, but I now had to deal with my class mates shunning me because some of them didn't like my dad. My dad was well-liked by his players, but the reception was so-so towards my dad outside of football. What I am trying to say is my dad was big, strict and scary to 90% of 12-18 year old kids, shit rolls downhill as they say and I took all of the shit. The football kids are a bit different than your average school population as most of us know. The real players are usually type-A personalities who respond to coach speak (my dad). They relish in the challenge that type-A coaches (my dad) present them. I often hated dealing with the type-A coach (my dad). I found this type to usually be straight up a-holes. Obviously, the older I get and the more I learn about myself through MBTI, it makes more sense why me and my dad struggled. Thinking back to my teen years though, I didn't know jack about MBTI and all of the other stuff. All I knew was I better not f-up or I would feel the wrath of my dad. Deep down I knew we didn't think the same about life and this made our situation that much harder because all i wanted was for me and dad to understand each other. I am not trying to paint my dad as an awful guy because he most definitely was not. In fact he is the opposite. He was in his 30's-40's at the time, had that fire that it takes to coach and win and was a very confident guy. He came across as abrasive and authoritarian at times, but he is a take charge kind of person. I now know this is his type. We have reconciled our differences and thankfully have a much better relationship now. Age helps to see things a little differently. :)

My second injury happened during my senior year in a high school football game. I was hit on the same side as the original injury and my brain swelled. I was able to make it off the field under my own power, but shortly after I couldn't see anything, I was dizzy and slurring. They took me to the ambulance, put me on a stretcher and taped my head to the board. I started hyper-ventilating at the hospital and the entire time I was in la la land. Eventually I came around and went home, but the problems from that injury started almost immediately and some are with me even today. My career was over that day and I carried that feeling of letting my team mates down (I was 17-18, we were all this age at one point and know that our thinking wasn't always the most rational). I became irritable, impatient, moody, difficult, dazed and confused, zombie-ish. To put it plainly, I became a totally different person. I also started having serious problems with my girlfriend around this time and eventually we split causing more mood swings. I also got tired of being the butt of jokes and started standing up for myself. Over time I became more comfortable in this role and decided I was never gonna go back to be that shy, submissive kid so I became more argumentative.

I could get into my college years and after, but I will sum it up to say 18-30 has been a total roller coaster. MY college years were 90% awesome! Great time, memories, friends and I met my wife there. After college I fell into a 5 years long depression and major anxiety about life in general. I literally shut down for awhile. I am making it back to my old self, but I am not 100% there yet. Problem is now my marriage is questionable because my wife hasn't exactly lived with the happiest guy for 7 years. I have put her through a lot. MY sense of urgency on this board is due to my desire to find my place in the world. I need to start moving forward, instead of this neutral phase that I have been in.

After writing this, I went back to read it over and I noticed one glaring thing: My life has been a series of stops and starts, highs and lows. I know everyone has highs and lows, but it appears to me that I have had very little emotional consistency in my life. It is very frustrating and exhausting. Whether my marriage survives or not, I need to do this for me. Typing myself accurately, as silly as it may sound, will be a huge step forward. I will be able to relax a bit and feel that I am making progress in life. Thanks to you all for listening to me. I hope some of you feel comfortable enough to share your life story's if you ever desire.
 

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Tigerman11,

I decided I would add some thoughts, as I can relate to your frustrations here. First off, don't take all the content in type descriptions that you read as absolute truth. There are a lot of flawed write-ups out there, and true MBTI experts are somewhat few and far between. As for your list, I can relate to some of that, too. I am satisfied that I am most surely an INFP, but I also am a competitive athlete, and I have mercurial extraversion and introversion as well. I relate to a couple other points on the list, too. Part of it is your age, absolutely. As you emerge from the teenage years and into the twenties the secondary and tertiary cognitive functions begin to grow and so does the approach to and understanding of life. Your environment has helped to shape you, and you've expanded your approaches to life.

Part of being an INFP includes the functional adaptability to any kind of surrounding. In teenage years some INFPs develop a habit of retracting from and avoiding unpleasant situations, but there is an innate ability when teamed with will power to become harmonious in a wide variety of situations. An example is the INFP ability to determine the best behavioral approach with different individuals. You may carry a certain tone and affect with one person to achieve harmony, and then strike another with a different individual. In early years this may often be due to self-consciousness and an attempt to hide traits that are feared to be aversive to the other individual, but in time there can be a strong motive to empathize and achieve harmony with all individuals that are contacted. Thus, a formerly shy and quiet INFP may eventually observe the habits and demeanors of model leaders, and while combining those with his or her own individual talents and values, the INFP may rise to the role of a group leader, enthusiastically stating ideas and assigning tasks. This might not have happen in grade school, or even in high school, but in time as the other cognitive functions grow in functionality, and observation and comprehension of life continues, the INFP finds courage to utilize these stored potentials.

My best advice is to read about the cognitive processes. Read the INFP functions: Introverted Feeling (dominant), Extraverted Intuition (auxilary), and Introverted Sensing (tertiary), and see if you recognize these as being the functions you utilize. If not, read through the rest of the 8 functions, and find the one that you recognize as your dominant function and see which of the 16 types has it as the dominant function, and whittle it down. Chances are that you will see yourself at least a little bit in every one of the 8 functions, so don't get stuck on the details, just look for what summarizes your own experience the best.

About your career...do you fear picking something you only have temporary motivation for, later realizing that you wish you'd chosen something else, and then you'd have to backtrack? I have this problem, and it leads to me being very non-commital in every area of life. I suggest that you write down a few of the dominant interests and hobbies you've had in your life; ones that never seem to fade, and then look into their aspects, and see if you find a steady thread of what motivates you. Also, think of types of work and activities that you've experienced that you disliked and had no motivation for and take down the reasons. Look for the steady threads. Then take down a list of possible career choices and outline their aspects, and see which career contains the most connections with your Positive list, and the least of your negative list. Then when you've whittled it down to several, or a few, let your intuition and gut instinct take effect. You can't choose a career, or a mate, or anything this serious, just by calculations. If you are one who seeks through prayer, do so. Through this process, you are sure to find some good possibilities. Also good to consider are the possible variables of the career choices. Will the career require me to travel or be away from home often? How much will the work-load increase over time? How much room is there to rise?

Well, I hope some of these thoughts are useful to you. Even if most aren't, but a few are, then any good is good! I will pray for a blessing in your pursuit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Matchbook, this describes my current situation to a T! My wife used to joke that I don't like committment. She still ribs me to this day. I know it sounds stupid, but I don't even want to commit to buying a house or having kids right now. I always am exploring my options and thinkig something else is out there and I just need to find it. I feel like buying a home will only box me in even more. More commitment! Ughh. Having kids. MAJOR LIFE COMMITMENT! I don't even know myself right now so I sure as hell don't need to be bringing a kid into this world with the way that I am! Man, it feels so good to know that I am not off my rocker about life.


About your career...do you fear picking something you only have temporary motivation for, later realizing that you wish you'd chosen something else, and then you'd have to backtrack? I have this problem, and it leads to me being very non-commital in every area of life. I suggest that you write down a few of the dominant interests and hobbies you've had in your life; ones that never seem to fade, and then look into their aspects, and see if you find a steady thread of what motivates you. Also, think of types of work and activities that you've experienced that you disliked and had no motivation for and take down the reasons. Look for the steady threads. Then take down a list of possible career choices and outline their aspects, and see which career contains the most connections with your Positive list, and the least of your negative list. Then when you've whittled it down to several, or a few, let your intuition and gut instinct take effect. You can't choose a career, or a mate, or anything this serious, just by calculations. If you are one who seeks through prayer, do so. Through this process, you are sure to find some good possibilities. Also good to consider are the possible variables of the career choices. Will the career require me to travel or be away from home often? How much will the work-load increase over time? How much room is there to rise?
 

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It's pretty hard to be committed to one personality type. There's times if you met me you might think I'd be an ESTP or something. But when it comes down it I just have way more common with the posts in the INFP form than anything else. (That's not the only thing making me think I'm INFP, but it's a big indicator.)
 
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