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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve been having a life crisis for awhile, I feel like the last five years of my life have been spent staring at a fork in the road. I can’t decide on career paths, relationships or anything else in my life really – I get a lot of internal “What do I want to do versus what should I do”. I feel most of this stems from my INTJ / INFP personality disorder. I always get mixed results when I take personality tests. My Introverted and Intuition percentages are always over 80%, but my Thinking vs Feeling and Judging vs Perceiving are always in flux. As a child and still deep down I’m a true INFP, but with the way I was brought up and the world I was exposed to didn’t allow this type of person to thrive. So I feel like over time I’ve developed more of an INTJ personality to shield myself from getting hurt and it’s worked very well through my teen years and my adult life – INTJ is kind of like a safe place for me. However when it come to making big choices or developing relationships I’m paralyzed. I can't relate to logical types because I feel like I can't keep up or they're robots and I can't relate with emotional types because I was trained so heavily to repress and ignore emotional queues and then I go into my INTJ mode. Even typing this out I keep saying to myself “Why are you so weak and pathetic? Stop it! This is irrational b.s.”

Do any of you feel like this? In so many ways INFPs are set up for failure in society. Have any of you guys developed secondary personality traits to make it out there? How has it affected your life -- good or bad?

Am I making any sense? :crazy:
 

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You are making a lot of sense.

I do believe it's hard for any type to survive in the world if they are just stuck in their own type's viewpoints, and do not expand their minds to the viewpoints of other types. Basically, in some cases it's good to be an INTJ, in other cases, it's better to be an INFP.

Now, the question is, what kind of society are you talking about? If it's the work/career society, then I would say, yes, it is better to be more logical and practical.

However, in the realm of dealing with people/relationships, it's definitely essential to be in touch with your emotions and open-minded. Everywhere you go, you're going to have to deal with people and start relationships with them, so I do believe that this is just as important as any rationality or practicality you trained yourself to have.
 

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Do any of you feel like this? In so many ways INFPs are set up for failure in society. Have any of you guys developed secondary personality traits to make it out there? How has it affected your life -- good or bad?

Am I making any sense? :crazy:
I kind of feel like I've been doing the opposite. I'm an INTJ yet, for various reasons, I think I've "softened" a lot over the past few years. I want my "bite" back! (well, technically, I want a better blend of INTJ and xNFP)

When I was younger, my dad apparently thought I was an extrovert. I was opinionated, sarcastic, and supposedly gave the impression that I was very confident and didn't care what anyone else thought of me. As far as I can tell, my thoughts haven't changed drastically, only my actions. The difference being, some people now think I have low confidence, poor self-esteem, "too nice", shy, etc. My presentation has drastically altered and I need to find a more balanced alternative.

I get a lot of internal “What do I want to do versus what should I do”. I feel most of this stems from my INTJ / INFP personality disorder. I always get mixed results when I take personality tests. My Introverted and Intuition percentages are always over 80%, but my Thinking vs Feeling and Judging vs Perceiving are always in flux. As a child and still deep down I’m a true INFP, but with the way I was brought up and the world I was exposed to didn’t allow this type of person to thrive. So I feel like over time I’ve developed more of an INTJ personality to shield myself from getting hurt and it’s worked very well through my teen years and my adult life – INTJ is kind of like a safe place for me. However when it come to making big choices or developing relationships I’m paralyzed. I can't relate to logical types because I feel like I can't keep up or they're robots and I can't relate with emotional types because I was trained so heavily to repress and ignore emotional queues and then I go into my INTJ mode. Even typing this out I keep saying to myself “Why are you so weak and pathetic? Stop it! This is irrational b.s.”
Conflicted priorities/perspectives. If you take that same problem from the opposite direction: Start with someone that speaks their mind and doesn't back down, doesn't give jerks the reaction they seek, but unintentionally steps on toes. Learning from a few too many mistakes, and overcompensating for them, can lead to being less willing to share thoughts, less willing to talk back to assholes, and less likely to find oneself amidst emotional drama. I'd say both sides of that problem are far from ideal. What you and I should both be aiming for is a nicely well-rounded version of our "REAL" self. For me that's a mature INTJ. Willing to speak my mind while knowing when to keep it in my head. For you it might be to develop a thicker skin but still feel comfortable showing emotion.
 
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You sound like a male INFP alright. AND you're having a rather good day too I see.

My brother fooled me into believing he was an INFP, meeh wrong, he was an INTJ. And I fooled myself into believing I was an INTJ, meeh wrong, I was an INFP. I thought my brother was an INFP mainly because I typed him after his daughter was born. He softened up and became more calm. He's not a clown anymore, and a bit more of a pushover. And now he thinks he's batshit crazy. He's always thinking thinking thinking, and now he notices the thinking part too, something he normally didn't do. I mean, he turned into a bonafide INFP when he got his daughter. Just, a total nutcase really. I feel fucking bad for him because being in INFP-mode as an INTJ is rough, lol). We're freakin' doomed I tell ya.
 
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Yeah, reverting to a more logical persona can help with dealing with the world and your emotions. Now I'm more balanced, but when I was a kid I was so insecure about how overly sensitive I was, that I tried so hard to be the cold rational logical type. When I realized I wasn't that person at all, it was a huge weight off my back, but it was still tough to transition and stuff.

Thankfully I'm able to use some of those old traits for good now, if I really need to mechanically do something that needs to be done, knowing technical details, debate a point on something, and stuff like that.
 

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Creo, you seem INFP to me, so if this teeter-tottering is concerning you, don't let it, as far as typing yourself goes. The main concern is for you to be able to feel comfortable and free with the experiencing and expressing of your emotions. I go into INTJ mode from time to time, and can pull it off quite reasonably, but I am still no less of an INFP even in those moments. My functions are still operating as an INFP, but my actions and persona simply externalize with INTJ characteristics. Think about it: When you go into a mode that feels less emotional and more logical, it is still your Introverted Feeling that is dictating it, you see? - because if the mode switch is out of self-protection, the motivation comes from your Fi. Also, being able to switch from one state to the other often involves the improvisational characteristics of the P, Perception.

So when you are going into a less emotional state, you may experience it as less emotional, and therefore more your thoughts and actions appear more logical, but your emotions and Introverted Feeling is operating from a less conscious level, like a bunker that was dug into the earth of your mind that houses your emotions and Fi in difficult times. But they are still on walkie-talkies, calling out the war strategies, even though the war general on the surface may appear INTJ...he's still answering to the commander-in-chief, Fi.

That's how I have experienced it, though. I don't know you well enough to say, "This is exactly what is happening with you!" but it's feasible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you guys for all of your feedback this really helped.

Matchbook, WOW! I think you totally hit the nail on the head. I wasa bit shocked at how much everything made sense after I read your post. Thank you for your insight this gave me a lot of clarity.

"This is exactly what is happening with you!"
Indeed
 

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I don't understand why some of you seem to think that you go into INTJ mode. It seems more likely that if you are an INFP you will go into ESTJ mode according to this.

http://personalitycafe.com/myers-briggs-forum/2615-shadow-functions.html

INTJ use different functions to INFP.....even when in shadow the functions are different.
I think it's a shift in which functions are relied on more, Fi or Te. Both types have both functions, only in a different order. Although that would probably still be described better with a different type combo... /shrug
 
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INFP converting into INTJ

Bethdeth,

As I alluded to in my previous post, I don't see this INTJ kind of transformation as being a true functional switch. I see it as more of an adaptation that causes a shift in the type of externalization the INFP makes, as well as a shift in consciousness.

Because the "FP" is often what increases an INFP's vulnerability in many situations, the F self-protectively operates more unconsciously, resulting in a demeanor and output that may appear like that of a T's.

The unpredictible nature of the P sometimes calls attention to the INFP and gets us in trouble, so the external visibility of the P is blunted, resulting in a more J-like externalization in appearance, but not in true function. However, the INFP is still treating information and decisions with Fi, and Ne which is a P, perceiving, function. The adaptability of this behavior is in itself a manifestation of Ne perceiving ability. The fact is, with Fi and Ne operating together, an INFP can pretty well take on the appearance of any type, depending on what the situation calls for.

I have an INTJ friend who I respect a lot. When I'm around him, I tend to appear as an INTJ myself on the outside, and in behavior. He is somewhat familiar with MBTI, and he has wondered if I might be an INTP or INTJ, but I realize this is simply because I adjust my behavior around him. I've learned that being a free INFP around him makes him critical, therefore I sometimes try to out-INTJ him. I recognize his strong behaviors unconsciously, and try to supercede them. It's not necessarily healthy.
INFP converting into ESTJ

You mentioned the shadow functions and going into an ESTJ mode. The occasion where an INFP might do this would likely be when a situation calls for a true functional switch, not just a switch in demeanor. This may be a particularly stressful situation, or a situation where the INFP feels uncomfortable or insufficient. An example would be an INFP that is working in a group on a project that requires a lot of concrete thinking and organization...Te. Because the dominant function Fi is undervalued in such a situation, and Ne is not needed as much, the INFP may do a functional switch and reverse the order of the Dominant, Auxiliary, Tertiary, and Inferior functions. When Fi, Ne, Si, Te are reversed to Te, Si, Ne, Fi, you now have the order of the ESTJs functions.

While the INFP may be able to pull this off without problems, usually it is stressful and may result in negative exhibition. Why? When looking at the Jungian Archetypes, we can see that it is the inferior function (Te) that we develop an inferiority complex around. Thus, when we try to operate in a situation with a dominant Te, we may try to overcompensate and become critical. If stress becomes too great, the whole operation may collapse, increasing the complex the INFP has around their Te, which may lead to them reenforcing their negative self-beliefs. However, doing this successfully can be a great boost to the self-esteem and lead the INFP to feel more complete as the inferior function gains ground in the psyche.
 

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INFP converting into INTJ

Bethdeth,

As I alluded to in my previous post, I don't see this INTJ kind of transformation as being a true functional switch. I see it as more of an adaptation that causes a shift in the type of externalization the INFP makes, as well as a shift in consciousness.

Because the "FP" is often what increases an INFP's vulnerability in many situations, the F self-protectively operates more unconsciously, resulting in a demeanor and output that may appear like that of a T's.

The unpredictible nature of the P sometimes calls attention to the INFP and gets us in trouble, so the external visibility of the P is blunted, resulting in a more J-like externalization in appearance, but not in true function. However, the INFP is still treating information and decisions with Fi, and Ne which is a P, perceiving, function. The adaptability of this behavior is in itself a manifestation of Ne perceiving ability. The fact is, with Fi and Ne operating together, an INFP can pretty well take on the appearance of any type, depending on what the situation calls for.

I have an INTJ friend who I respect a lot. When I'm around him, I tend to appear as an INTJ myself on the outside, and in behavior. He is somewhat familiar with MBTI, and he has wondered if I might be an INTP or INTJ, but I realize this is simply because I adjust my behavior around him. I've learned that being a free INFP around him makes him critical, therefore I sometimes try to out-INTJ him. I recognize his strong behaviors unconsciously, and try to supercede them. It's not necessarily healthy.
INFP converting into ESTJ

You mentioned the shadow functions and going into an ESTJ mode. The occasion where an INFP might do this would likely be when a situation calls for a true functional switch, not just a switch in demeanor. This may be a particularly stressful situation, or a situation where the INFP feels uncomfortable or insufficient. An example would be an INFP that is working in a group on a project that requires a lot of concrete thinking and organization...Te. Because the dominant function Fi is undervalued in such a situation, and Ne is not needed as much, the INFP may do a functional switch and reverse the order of the Dominant, Auxiliary, Tertiary, and Inferior functions. When Fi, Ne, Si, Te are reversed to Te, Si, Ne, Fi, you now have the order of the ESTJs functions.

While the INFP may be able to pull this off without problems, usually it is stressful and may result in negative exhibition. Why? When looking at the Jungian Archetypes, we can see that it is the inferior function (Te) that we develop an inferiority complex around. Thus, when we try to operate in a situation with a dominant Te, we may try to overcompensate and become critical. If stress becomes too great, the whole operation may collapse, increasing the complex the INFP has around their Te, which may lead to them reenforcing their negative self-beliefs. However, doing this successfully can be a great boost to the self-esteem and lead the INFP to feel more complete as the inferior function gains ground in the psyche.
The FP aspect. I get that. The need to be taken seriously (of a dominant function of Fi) might drive an INFP to re-evaluate everything and feel as if there is something wrong with them and try and compensate by hardening their exterior and trying to tone down their dominant function. This does not make them INTJ. There is no magical force that makes the functions switch into INTJ, perhaps only an appearance (to the INFP) of such.

INTJs dominant function is Ni. It is pretty much the way that an INTJ will recognise another INTJ. It is the ability to cut through all extraneous factors and look to the core of the issue. To see it as a whole. INTJs live in their imagination. Their imagination is fairy land combined with hell.....they come across as neutral and critical but indeed are not. INTJs are the most misunderstood type IMO. They will be seen as cold and uncaring and critical when they simply are not. They see things from the aspect of "does it work" and filter out all the extraneous matter. We will recognise that INFPs do not use the dominant Ni by the simple fact that they are not seeing things the way in which we see things. As the whole. There simply isn't any switching back and forth just adjustments and giving the appearance of. Only to the F types eyes does this switch seem possible. Details of explanation as to how this may occur don't make sense for the simple fact that we are Ni dominant and it is how we recognise each other.
 

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Well, Im dating an INTJ so sometimes he rubs off on me. Some of its beneficial because it helps strengthen me, some of it causes me to lose touch with myself, and stifle my opinions. I think the best thing you can do (which Im learning) is to trust yourself. Be around people who support and trust you as you are. Never be someone you arent. It is very good to learn from other types and draw from thier strengths, but as long as it doesnt effect your core values and what you prioritize in life. If your unsure what your priorities are that is a very good place to start. Being yourself will give you the most direction and satisfaction youll need.
Also, I have really benefitted from being around other INFPS/ENFPs and loved ones. That has brought me back to the journey to myself. Its worth it and youll be happiest once you have your priorities, ideals, and self straight. The more Im trusting to do this the happier and less confused I am becoming.
 

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The FP aspect. I get that. The need to be taken seriously (of a dominant function of Fi) might drive an INFP to re-evaluate everything and feel as if there is something wrong with them and try and compensate by hardening their exterior and trying to tone down their dominant function. This does not make them INTJ. There is no magical force that makes the functions switch into INTJ, perhaps only an appearance (to the INFP) of such.

INTJs dominant function is Ni. It is pretty much the way that an INTJ will recognise another INTJ. It is the ability to cut through all extraneous factors and look to the core of the issue. To see it as a whole. INTJs live in their imagination. Their imagination is fairy land combined with hell.....they come across as neutral and critical but indeed are not. INTJs are the most misunderstood type IMO. They will be seen as cold and uncaring and critical when they simply are not. They see things from the aspect of "does it work" and filter out all the extraneous matter. We will recognise that INFPs do not use the dominant Ni by the simple fact that they are not seeing things the way in which we see things. As the whole. There simply isn't any switching back and forth just adjustments and giving the appearance of. Only to the F types eyes does this switch seem possible. Details of explanation as to how this may occur don't make sense for the simple fact that we are Ni dominant and it is how we recognise each other.
I'm not sure you understood me, bethdeth. I fully agree with you that INFPs do not become functional INTJs at certain times. I said it is just in appearance and behavior, not in changes of cognitive function. The heading I wrote, "INFP converting into INTJ" was there so that what I wrote would debunk that idea. Like I wrote in my first post, no matter what type the INFP emulates, Fi is still the dominant function, choosing the appropriate emulations for the appropriate moments. However, like you said about the ESTJ, sometimes an INFP can functionally shift into ESTJ mode because we share the same cognitive functions, but in a different order.
 

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I'm not sure you understood me, bethdeth. I fully agree with you that INFPs do not become functional INTJs at certain times. I said it is just in appearance and behavior, not in changes of cognitive function. The heading I wrote, "INFP converting into INTJ" was there so that what I wrote would debunk that idea. Like I wrote in my first post, no matter what type the INFP emulates, Fi is still the dominant function, choosing the appropriate emulations for the appropriate moments. However, like you said about the ESTJ, sometimes an INFP can functionally shift into ESTJ mode because we share the same cognitive functions, but in a different order.
I did understand what you said. I am saying that the appearance of what an INFP will think an INTJ is does not match with what an INTJ actually is.....our behaviour makes sense to us but is misinterpreted by others.

INTJs know the difference between others thinking what our behaviour is and what our actual behaviour is. It lies within our imagination and acknowledgement of others with the same thought processes. Someone pretending to act like us does indeed not act like us....because we are intrinsically living inside our own heads.

It would equate to me acting like a person who is emotional.....crying, happy, whimisical, depressed and saying I am acting like an INFP. It would sound silly to you if I were to say I am emotional therefore acting like an INFP. You would say....you are an INTJ who is just being emotional......no?
 

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With bethdeth. If you are acting like an INFP perceives an INTJ, then you are not acting like an INTJ. Your INFP filters already distort the behaviour in your perception so the resulting way you behave is not the same. Any INTJ would know in a second, as well as a number of other types. Some INFPs who know us may even pick up on it, particularly as they may be more attuned to unhealthy INFP behaviours. For instance, if you see INTJs as being cold and harsh, you will act that way - but INTJs are rarely genuinely cold and harsh so the insults that you make will tend to be not only deliberate when ours are not but, for instance, more personal in nature - there will be a qualitative difference that people can pick up on so long as they don't label all forms of disagreement as personal attacks. And chances are, if you are making this switch, you will have distorted views anyway of other types, so there will be some unhealthy projections. Usually "switches" like this involve a narrow, disorted stereotype of the type you claim to be switching into when what you are really doing is becoming a lessed and unhealthy version of yourself and your type. And then, the cherry on top, there's the danger of projecting this unhealthy picture on the type you are supposedly morphing into and judging them in a silly way.

Besides, if the way you are acting helps you avoid criticism, then it is really not INTJ.
 

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I co-sign with lirulin and bethdeth, I use to talk to an NF who I thought was an NT (so I understand where you NF's come from when you say you act like an NT), but you really don't. Perhaps it's something you guys (NF's) wish to become? The more I started talking to this person, the more things started to expose themselves, then I got confused and I my intuition told me something was off, so what does an INTJ do when they are lost? They start researching obsessively on what/why/where the problem is and that's what I did, come to find out this person was not an NT, but an NF, then I threw the so called "evidence/information" in front of them. Personality is something you cannot fake because it's ingrained, from an early onset, from the very first moment you are born and the way you develop. As lirulin said, other kinds will know their own, typically speaking. When people say they act some bizarre personality that contradicts their real personality, that is a red flag and it usually results in an unhealthy person.
 

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I co-sign with lirulin and bethdeth, I use to talk to an NF who I thought was an NT (so I understand where you NF's come from when you say you act like an NT), but you really don't. Perhaps it's something you guys (NF's) wish to become? The more I started talking to this person, the more things started to expose themselves, then I got confused and I my intuition told me something was off, so what does an INTJ do when they are lost? They start researching obsessively on what/why/where the problem is and that's what I did, come to find out this person was not an NT, but an NF, then I threw the so called "evidence/information" in front of them. Personality is something you cannot fake because it's ingrained, from an early onset, from the very first moment you are born and the way you develop. As lirulin said, other kinds will know their own, typically speaking. When people say they act some bizarre personality that contradicts their real personality, that is a red flag and it usually results in an unhealthy person.
I don't disagree with any of you! I think we are just thinking along different wavelengths, and I recognize that now. I am not trying to say that an INFP can mimic the appearance and behaviors of an INTJ so well that they can convince other INTJs (my friend I cited is only slightly familiar with MBTI). All I was saying was that for self-protective or other reasons the INFP can blunt the externalization of F and P, giving what could be seen as an impression of T and J to some, but the functions remain the same. That's why I now understand what you INTJs are saying, that an INFP that takes on TJ characteristics wouldn't be INTJ because an INFP can't just mimic dominant Ni. I see what your drive is now, and I didn't before.

Now, if I'd said, "INFPs are able to convert their FP behavior into TJ behavior so well that no one can tell the difference," that would be a completely different argument. But I'm not saying anything like that.

So, a question. Can you INTJs watch a movie that has a lead actor or actress that you've never seen before, and is an INTJ, and know they are INTJ, even if their role is an ENFP? I ask because you all seem very sure that you can see through any acting or posing to spot a true or false INTJ.

Also, just to put your claims in the focal point, how can you be so sure that a very good mimic could not cause you to believe they are INTJ? You might be surprised how keenly some people can spot the particular thought processes of an INTJ that lead to particular wordings, ideas, perceptions, and demeanor. I'm not claiming I could pull it off, but then again, who knows? I'd like to see what kind of pillars support your claims.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I think some things are getting lost in translation. A lot of this doesn't really have anything to do with the INTJ profile as a whole, just the TJ characteristics that anyone can pick up regardless of MBTI profile and how it affects INFPs. I don't think anyone is saying that an INFP can truly manifest an INTJ personality along with all of it's subconscious nuances, but it is entirely possible to outwardly appear as one to others without even trying -- an accidental imposter INTJ if you will

My apologies for not being more concise in my first post. I think the point I was getting at originally was that taking on TJ qualities can (at least for me) cause inner chaos probably from getting in the habit of suppressing the FP that comes naturally for INFPs . In my life experience, I had to develop TJ characteristics to get by and it comes naturally to me now – with side effects. I’m not consciously saying to myself “I’m going to act like an INTJ today” that’s nonsense. The majority of the time I test as an INTJ, I would say many of the people in my life would call me an INTJ if they knew what that was, that’s where much of the confusion lies "if I’ve developed TJ tendancies does that make me an INTJ?"<-- (rhetorical question)

Really though the debate over personality type shifting and whether or not it's authentic is just silly, the human psyche is too complex to categorize even though it's fun to.



Just my opinions. Hugs and kisses all around :wink:
 

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My secondary off traits are Ti and additional N. (Ni + Ne, unite!)

I think it's awesome, but it really does nothing to address the whole "getting paid" thing. Unless I can get paid for simply thinking about things - don't say writer, that takes writing things, which is an action, and I am allergic to actions of pretty much every sort.

If money or social success are what you're after, I believe S is the ticket. And J to a lesser extent. So now all you have to do is go back in time and respecialize yourself. Easy!


PS. Things INTJs say are often only as they see them, not absolute fact, even if worded to sound that way. Exercise caution :p

Edit 2, to add a bit more: Though you INTJ may have a good point, I think you underestimate just how well some other people can capture the essences of other people. My sister doesn't even believe in N at all, she thinks it's all hogwash
(she says you can't know how something feels without feeling it, or know something without seeing it first hand, she is extreme about it). As a result, she thinks everyone is like her in that regard. It seems you guys are in danger of a similar thing. While people may never truly know another person completely, I think you would be surprised at the degree to which some can. I have nothing to say on the little debate, just wanted to point this out.
 
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