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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Whenever I've lurked on INFP forums I inevitably read posts that I can easily relate to. Sometimes I am almost amazed because the viewpoints can be so similar to my own it's almost as if I could have written it myself. There is an openness on these forums with respect to our feelings, impressions and disappointments. Now this is also the way I tend to be with friends in one on one situations, pretty open and self-revealing (to a point of course). But when thinking about other INFPs I've known IRL, and there have only been a couple I knew actually tested as such, they seemed very closed, not very intuitive about much, not too many interesting insights like I'd expect. I know every INFP is slightly different, but these INFPs didn't strike me as INFPs as I've come to know them on internet forums. Both of these INFP women had strong interests in education, were open minded, kind to animals and children, but sort of judgmental. They made me wonder if I was really an INTJ, INTP or ENFP.
 

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well i can say that i am not near as open in real life as i am on the forum.
it partially comes from a distrust for people and the fact that i'm always doing the listening part of the conversation.
in real life i don't like sharing my insight on most things cause i don't want people to shoot them down like i know they will.
so these people are likely INFPs, maybe just more introverted.
i'm extremely introverted in real life, its easier to breath here cause i'm basically anonymous
 

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in general INFPs are better at written communication, and the way you described them is pretty INFPish in my view. INFPs are generally pretty closed about thing unless they trust you enough, plus alot of INFPs have a social mask they wear most of the time.
 

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I think we tend to hide who we are irl. I know I do. I NEVER share anything of myself irl, except with my special one - but not nearly as much with her as I do on this forum. If I met you irl, I'd probably treat you the same way as I do everyone else. I don't reach out, I don't initiate anything. I listen, but don't talk. But if you ask me a question about one of my specialty subjects (or I think you are), I will talk about that subject - I have been known to go into lecture-mode when someone asks me a question. But once the topic of conversation changes, I go back to silence. I don't talk about people.

I keep my opinions and insights to myself. Most people really aren't interested. Most people really don't understand. I have wondered who was the first INFP to actually trust this forum with his/her insights. To me, they are very private. But when I saw the openness (and anonymity) of this forum, I opened myself, also. But only here.

I think I come across as judgmental when someone tells me I'm wrong on something I feel strongly about. Most of the time, I'm very easy-going, and accept people for who they are - beliefs and all. If someone tells me how wonderful their child's school is, and how happy they are that their child has such a great school experience, I will smile and agree that it is wonderful. But if they tell me I should put my kids in school (homeschooling is something I feel very strongly about), I will become defensive - and somewhat judgmental, I suppose. The stronger they express their opinion, the stronger I will express mine. And I probably come across as T and J at those times.

Are all INFPs in favor of homeschooling? No. Do I care. Not really. Same with any opinion, philosophy, religion, idea, political ideals, etc., etc.
 

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I know one other INFP, and I've known her for quite some time. I had her pegged as an ISFJ, she took the test and came out as an INFP. I disagreed. Asked her to read different descriptions of an INFP and tell me what she thought.
She said that the description for INFP's was 100% her.

I alway perceived her as a bit boring, lacking personality.

So I took the time to get to know her better, and she really did open up. I can definitely see she's an INFP now. I think the problem is just this with INFP's: openness. We have difficulty being "self-revealing" as you said. She wanted to play it safe, make sure she didn't offend anyone. Kept her opinions and thoughts as neutral as possible. She had known me for years and even acted this way around me.

Once I was able to break through that barrier I found this depth and intelligence I had completely missed before. She had some neat quirks that she kept hidden in trying to blend in and please everyone.

It really made me feel bad, actually. I'm pretty comfortable with myself so my INFP-ishness comes out more. I know I used to be a lot like her... Trying to box up everything. Maybe that's an attitude we tend to carry? I wondered how many people have overlooked me the way I did to her because we want to be seen as "normal" or whatever.
 

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INFPs can also come across as not very INFPish in real life as well, deep insight and intuitive exploration of feelings aren't really very suitable for small talk situations. I have been able to masquerade as an E/ISFJ and E/ISFP in the past (and maybe even an INTP once!) and I heard its common to help fit in so you don't feel alone.

As said previously, its much easier to express your feelings in writing on here as awkwardness in the immediate mood IRL could have thrown them a bit and made them appear in a way which isn't accurate of their actual beliefs. In my experience revealing the depth of my feelings and thoughts when I don't know how to openly express them is hard. Being on here allows a form of openess because it allows you time to reflect and think as you write which isn't always possible in real life.
 

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It might depend on their age, too. I'm still young, so I don't mean to come off as sounding sager than I am, but I recall 7-8 years ago how self-righteous and ridiculous I could be about a lot of things. Maybe it's having that strong Fi before the Ne fully develops. Damn, I was just insufferable! Especially in my feelings of how others ought to behave and interact, 'honor,' and 'depth' and blahblahblah. It's a wonder I had any friends at all...

But it could not be a matter of openness so much as... being slightly overwhelmed with the outside world. Like a lot of us, I feel like there's ME and then there's me-attempting-to-sync - which is still genuinely me... just not as... um, pure? What I'm trying to say is that sometimes the process of interacting with others is so attention-absorbing that I almost feel like I'm not all the way there, as if parts of me get lost in the translation.
 

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I'm defiantly better in opening up in writing unless caught in a really relaxed mood.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well as an INFP I pick up on judgmental 'vibes'..I can just feel it from people and even if this is a defense mechanism it feels very nasty. And then I think, "here is an INFP and we should be able to relate on some level (at least better than with those ESTJs) and then it seems like they don't even like me very much." There is a certain enneagram 4-ish kind of attitude that while I could see myself having the potential to have it, I make sure not to because it rubs me the wrong way when others do. These are the people who do put themselves on a certain pedestal, feeling different and more 'cultured' than the rest. They like good art and never pop music and make sure to read the 'classics'. One of them liked the art on my walls and asked me where I bought them. I told her I did them myself and suddenly she changed her tune, I guess because I'm not a big art snob so I couldn't possibly be a good enough artist.
 

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Well as an INFP I pick up on judgmental 'vibes'..I can just feel it from people and even if this is a defense mechanism it feels very nasty. And then I think, "here is an INFP and we should be able to relate on some level (at least better than with those ESTJs) and then it seems like they don't even like me very much." There is a certain enneagram 4-ish kind of attitude that while I could see myself having the potential to have it, I make sure not to because it rubs me the wrong way when others do. These are the people who do put themselves on a certain pedestal, feeling different and more 'cultured' than the rest. Maybe I don't like this enneagram 4 attitude. As an INFP I know that I am different and that just comes with the territory of having a less common type, but I'm not going to be a big snob and associate only with those who seem elitist enough.
type 4 isn't about being anit-conformist. it's about wanting to be"real"to not have to ut up any masks or lie about thing-to become what we re on the inside. but of course type 2 and 9s are in general easier to get along with
 

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Well, I'm 100% introverted apparently. I will never show my true personality in real life, due to a lack of trust. And I won't trust until after around, say, 5-10 years after being close friends. And only if I know they won't hurt me, or ignore my thoughts.
 

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I'm one of those INFP's that on the outside I hardly can seem that way AT ALL.
I can be really obnoxious,I'm loud ,I laugh loud.
I can purposely in real life act idiotic and watered-down
I don't know why sometimes I do it, depends on the type of person
I'm with which way I open-up and which way I act.
When I'm around more girlier girls that care more about
celebrities and obsessing over dumb little things and talk
like paris hilton I guess in a way I can emulate that.
especially because I do really enjoy pop culture but not in a
superficial sense.
It's really hard for me to show how I really am with some people.
 

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in real life you'd likely mistake me for an ENFP. if i get to know you, and i find you're willing to listen, i'll talk and tlak and i generally don't hold anything back. like even things i'd consider private if you asked me three times i'd likely tell you. i either say whats on my mind or i'm very quiet.
 

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Yup, sounds about right. Other than S, people have thought me every letter and most people call me a TJ. As many have said, we wear masks so to speak. We don't typically reveal much and are quite reserved.

Sometimes I feel like I just want people to pick up on little details -like a sketch I left out in the middle of the clutter on my desk or a blog entry I left up on my computer when I left the room- that seem so apparent to me about me that they just wouldn't notice, and from that an entire journey of discovery takes place. -Anyone else feel/do this?

I want people to get to know me without me telling them everything directly basically.
 

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Well as an INFP I pick up on judgmental 'vibes'..I can just feel it from people and even if this is a defense mechanism it feels very nasty. And then I think, "here is an INFP and we should be able to relate on some level (at least better than with those ESTJs) and then it seems like they don't even like me very much." There is a certain enneagram 4-ish kind of attitude that while I could see myself having the potential to have it, I make sure not to because it rubs me the wrong way when others do. These are the people who do put themselves on a certain pedestal, feeling different and more 'cultured' than the rest. They like good art and never pop music and make sure to read the 'classics'. One of them liked the art on my walls and asked me where I bought them. I told her I did them myself and suddenly she changed her tune, I guess because I'm not a big art snob so I couldn't possibly be a good enough artist.
I'm going to guess that maybe by "changing her tune" you mean that she became quiet or seemed not to know what to say? Or perhaps even seemed negative in some way.

I'm also going to guess that this reaction may have been out of awe - maybe she thought you were really talented and couldn't express it, either because she was not used to expressing genuine approval to someone she didn't know well, or because she was insecure in some way that you were a better artist than she was or that she wasn't good enough to hang out with you, or maybe she even felt embarrassed that she sized you up wrong once she saw your art and realized you were awesome...?

I think the aloofness is a mask for not wanting to appear vulnerable. Not wanting to be easily read. Being a feeling type, especially an introverted one, can often translate into being an easily manipulated person, or someone who is written off or misunderstood because of their sensitivity. Fi-doms wish to avoid those things, and so reveal themselves slowly as trust and sincerity are felt on the part of the other person. If those things are not in place, the cool, self-absorbed face will stay intact. Enneagram fours tend to build up these walls more than nines, because genuineness and self-honesty are paramount. Nines want calm and harmony and so tend to have a breezier, more "open", other-focused vibe.

4s with a 5 wing tend to be very well-read on certain topics of interest, and could come across as nerdy elitists when their passion for knowledge and speculation is seen as an expression of pride or arrogance. The truth is often that these types only feel confident enough to speak about that they know well enough, and those topics may often seem more "obscure" to others. The tendency to over-analyze can also seem intentional so as to appear "smart", but this is the natural inclination of the type - many seem sullen because they live in their minds and over analyse everything, I think (and here I am analysing over-analysis!) They might come off as bragging about how much they know about a weird author or field, when really they're awkwardly trying to share something personally interesting with someone as a friendly gesture.

4s with a 3 wing value making achievements, often of the creative variety. They pride themselves on what they do and might come off as competitive, headstrong, and self-absorbed because of this. In reality, they're very hard on themselves and may internally feel defective and not good enough to meet their lofty goals, but outwardly they compensate by appearing astute and on top of things. They want to inspire everyone to be as passionate and dedicated as they are, but often struggle with feeling good enough about themselves to express full appreciation of others' achievements. Their focus on performing well can seem like egotism, even though beneath that there is real self-doubt and a need for encouragement and approval.

I guess what I'm saying is that fours tend to seem a lot more self-assured and judgmental than they are. They are the harshest critics of themselves, and their self-assuredness if often feigned to get through the day. I bet most fours are just waiting for someone who understands where they're coming from to open up to. They wouldn't want to "waste" their time sharing with someone who wouldn't be a real friend.

I want people to get to know me without me telling them everything directly basically.
I feel the same way. Though, this can often be misinterpreted as thinking of oneself as "better" than others who more openly share, and making others "work for" their friendship.

I see it as being careful and discriminate, but that's not always what everyone else sees.
 

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If you knew me in rl you probably didnt think I am an INPF, however I score infpness consistently in every test and people that know me well agree I am a textbook INPF. This is because sometimes I can make a MASSIVE effort to be social to the point that I have argued with friends that no, I am NOT an extroverted person, it's all a front. What they dont know is that it doesnt come naturally to me, it exhausts me, and afterwards I need a nice period of isolation to recharge. Then they think I am "rude" for not intitiating contact very often (if at all) and leaving big periods between being social and being a hermit. I also refuse to go out with people I dont know well cos I am really actually quite shy and some people think it's laziness or even being stuck up, because if i want to, I dont come across as shy at all, but inside I am wobbling!
 
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