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Discussion Starter #1
By chance I encounter all sort of great and not so great descriptions of INFPs. I notice how some INFPs read a few of the not so good ones, and they start feeling either bad about themselves, or confused, because they "do not fit" the description. The truth is that regardless how we are often portrayed online or in a book, your INFPness isn't determined by a universal stereotype, and sometimes not even the best general descriptions can accurately convey the complexities of many an INFP.

For instance, take this webpage: INFP personality: TheMindBehind.Net

Even though they admit one should seek more "professional" information if one would be more interested in the subject, a few individuals may read this and either not relate, and other individuals may feel even sad about themselves, because although there are many general accurate descriptions, others are way off (I can tell that these descriptions were not written with the most wisdom, and probably were not made from a neutral point of view-much less an INFP's.)

They say (with my comments):

"INFPs are sensitive, caring, creative, private, smart and original. (Perhaps many of us are! Some are not all of these, of course.) Their actions are driven by their value system, and they have a hard time doing things they don’t feel right about. (True for most.) They usually have some kind of artistic or writing interest and usually have a lot of talent for that. (Often, but not always-some INFPs feel lost when they can't relate to this, but they are still INFPs; also, not all INFPs are "masters" of their craft or otherwise must have amazing "natural talent", but they love so much what they do that they often still do well.) They do the best work when they work slowly at their own pace on their own projects. (True for the most part.)

They take almost everything personally and are very easily hurt, yet they usually won’t show this because of their very private nature. (Bias-somebody rubbed the writer the wrong way? :p Or either this is self-projecting. Anyway, I don't find this to be a rule with INFPs.) They are usually open minded and very tolerant to people with different lifestyles because they value originality and authenticity. (True, although some are more "close-minded" than others, according to their own set of values.)








Special INFP personality traits:
  • Not very realistic and practical (utter garbage "fact", and the reason I made this post.)
  • Original dressing style (I can relate, but many INFPs feel more authentic by not caring as much for what they wear)
  • Nurturing and supportive (Many, yes-there are exceptions again, according to backgrounds and values)
  • Hate conflict and criticism (I do, as I don't like to get into arguments, and don't care to win these, especially if it means hurting somebody's feelings-some INFPs love to debate, though. I can take criticism well, others don't, but I don't find this to be that tied to INFPness. Sometimes we may appear sensitive to others, but even though it may be true, it might be but a mis-perception as many people are not used to deal with our tendencies.)
  • Very flexible (Very often.)
  • They find day to day activities unfulfilling (Unless they find deep value in these-I motivated, INFP musician, for instance won't necessarily find daily practice that much of a chore, and ditto for any other profession/career/leanings.)"
So the above makes INFPs seem nice individuals who love harmony, are authentic, but are also afraid, overtly sensitive, and cannot live a "practical" life, according to some unknown criteria (or perhaps, common society's criteria.) So much of it is true, and also so much of it is sheer, biased generalizations-idealists are very much fit to live in this world, even if it means swimming upstream, so don't let anybody make you believe you are too much of a dreamer and/or idealist, and won't ever "get anything done", because you'll eventually "get it done" indeed: your OWN way.

INFPs tend to be romantic but not all seek "the one" (I personally believe in "many ones" who can become "the one" for us, and some don't even care for this.) I only date one at a time, but other INFPs don't care, as their values are different. Most of us do care about a meaningful relationship, but do go about it in many different ways (obviously enough.)

As for the "matches" they came up with, I would generally ignore them. I don't even see how they came up with these, save that Ns do theoretically match well together. There are no F-F pairings at all, indicating a bias against F (as in "too much F-needs a balance!") But it also offers ISTJ, which although wonderful individuals, I cannot see how they would be a "better match", in THEORY than, say, an ENFJ. In the end, individuals are more important than their types (although Ns tend to see/"understand" things more similarly than Ss usually would.)

Finally, I just wanted to point out that not all that is written (or said) about "you" is REALLY you. The above was not meant as an attack to the above webpage-some of their descriptions are actually nice and accurate. But, we are not supposed to be INFPs as written in a book or webpage article-we are supposed to be the individuals we are, who happen to have INFP preferences. There are some VERY good INFP articles online and offline, but even these won't necessarily be "you." The point is understanding who you are, as well as who others are-not to be biased against ourselves or others. Any description that makes you feel as if "you are wrong" to be yourself, is generally a bad description (either that, or you are still not seeing the potential and beauty of your personality, biased by your background, society's claims, or other people's negative comments.) Being very different than many other individuals will never mean that you are any better or worse-just different, which as a minority means that you'll be misunderstood at times, but this is expected, as not everybody is aware of INFP's preferences. Your value is not determined by any given societal criteria-you are valuable just because you are. Learn to differentiate between fact and bias (there are samples of both in the above article, for instance), and accept that being INFP is more than meeting some specific criteria written by any author, good or bad. We are beautiful, diverse people who happen to be INFPs-love and embrace who you all are, not minding that much about who you are "supposed to be" as INFPs, as "normal people", or as any other criteria that's not who you really are.

Addendum: I just became "the Devil's Advocate" after posting my tenth thread (this one), so take anything I stated with a grain of salt. :{PPP But seriously, I just know that INFPs live MUCH more happily when they are in tune with who they really are, and would love to see you all fulfilled in such fashion.
 

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Hey I agree :D. It's impossible to type all of humanity into 16 types and I think all of this is just pseudo-science anyways. Nevertheless, it is a good tool to help critically analyze yourself and others to create a healthier self and healthier relationships. Good post my friend!
 

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Stereotypes are so, SO dumb, and their existence perpetuates these kinds of threads.

When will people ever realize that MBTI types themselves are a relatively vague generalization of people's actual individuality?

There is so much variance within each of the eight letters that even within this INFP subforum is a vastly differing gamut of personality and preference.

Furthermore, it is not a combination of MBTI letters that predicates what a person will do in any given situation.

I may be a feeler, but my logic is hardly undeveloped. I'm better at math and puzzles than most "thinkers"
 

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I honestly don't believe that the descriptions do a very job in distinguishing the types. I just got done skimming through a thread about the differences between Fi and Fe and realized that the functions do a better job at determining type than the profiles do. INFPs, I feel, get a bad reputation for being overly emotional, when feelers in general are emotional. It's the functions below the main letter that better help define what that letter means for each individual.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey I agree :D. It's impossible to type all of humanity into 16 types and I think all of this is just pseudo-science anyways. Nevertheless, it is a good tool to help critically analyze yourself and others to create a healthier self and healthier relationships. Good post my friend!
I do not think and feel it must be pseudo-science, but much written about it is. :p IMHO, it's better than a few older personality tools that we have access to. Science is always evolving, so perhaps the MBTI is just another advancing science, that needs further development and research. But as you said, I believe that it would be impossible to completely decipher individuals based on any sort of personality type too-humans are just so complex! Nevertheless, one cannot deny how useful this tool can be, when properly utilized, to have a better general understanding of ourselves and others (I find that it's not that the MBTI/Keirsey types are bad, but that many people often fail to properly use them.)
 

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Thank you so much for posting this, @IcarusDreams, I KNOW that this needs to be said for a lot of INFPs who are still not completely familiar with Jung's functions and looking to descriptions to try to figure out their own types. Even though who are familiar with those functions can get seriously lost in the stereotype of those or try to force reason and justify what seem like actions of Fi, Ne, etc...

Many of us already know that there are simply no two INFPs here; and no one description can simply encompass the greater half of us all, especially not with enneagram types factored in with all of this. INFPs need to know that a description of unique is not applied to every INFP statically, but unique enough to be nothing like the description it's giving! Wonderful, wonderful post, Dreams! Thank you again!
 

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Quote from a conversation between me and my friend (who just happens to be a very famous online walkthrough gamer comedian on youtube...not saying who..ever.)
"Throw me in a box, and I'll light that shit on fire!"
"Throw me in a box, and I'll pretend I'm Snake"
"Snake's ultimate enemy...Waste Management"
this has no relevance whatsoever.
other than typing is typing behavior, not your mind.
not to say it isn't a little bit accurate.
 

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I agree. And since you picked apart the description, I want to echo your disdain for the "Not realistic or practical" comment. I never understood why the INFP descriptions are often littered with these words. I think I am quite realistic and practical. And I would say that most of the people on here are too. I can't understand why this keeps sneaking its way into the INFP description. Maybe they could say "non-conformist" instead?? Is that what they mean? We don't do things the same as everyone else? But that doesn't mean we aren't realistic or practical, it just means we do things how we see fit. There's nothing fake about that, fake being the opposite of real. .... I just don't get it.
 

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It took me a long time to realize that I'm an INFP... and these descriptions like you describe didn't help. I value truth and honesty so much that much of that can be thought of as thinking. I love to discover and know the reasons and learn about the subjects that I'm interested in, and that fits right in with the T... but Its the motivation behind it all that is the key to understand that makes me a F... and makes it so hard to type yourself based on these descriptions.

I'm compelled to make sense of this world on some cosmic level... I'm not that much of a feeler on day to day small matters with people (which is about how far these descriptions take it)... but on a larger level I'm always using an F function... in regards to institutions and the problems of the world.
 

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Dumb question and slightly off topic:

Is there a general order for functions for a person that can be forecast via MBTI?

For example, people say Fi is the primary function of the INFP but for me, it's Ne then Fi then Si, and I don't have issues with ordering things and using logic despite the descriptions and their presumed propensity towards feeling
 
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