Personality Cafe banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, I am a Vietnamese-American, female, currently 24. I got into Myer-Briggs a few years ago, and became fascinated with how it let me understand people in a way I had not thought of before. A little about my background, I was born in Ho Chi Minh City but came to the US at about the age of 3. My mother's a native Vietnamese, but my father could be considered a Vietnamese-American (Viet Kieu) as well, due to the fact that he spent his elementary school years in America, returned to Viet Nam for his secondary school education, and returned to America for college. However, he's never felt comfortable in the West, and identifies himself as solely Vietnamese, despite speaking basically non-accented English. He's currently 53, and had a difficult life during his youth. His parents divorced when he was 7, and he grew up under his mother's emotional abuse, as well as that from the other relatives on his mother's side. He met my mother when he returned to Viet Nam for a few months after graduation. They weren't really passionate, but the loving bond they developed was simple yet lasting, typical of many Asian couples (though this is changing). Being a few years older than my father, my mother provided him with the love and affection that he desired so deeply. My father soon cut off all ties with his mom and her side of his so-called family. He had tried to get to know his biological father as an adult, but ended up breaking off contact with him due to his disdain for his father's materialistic and success-oriented world view. His father had already remarried for four years at the time, and had a stepdaughter. This was in America.
When I was born, my parents disagreed over whether to have me remain in Viet Nam, or go to the United States. The rigid and highly stressful education system in Viet Nam, which emphasizes rote learning, was a great concern for both of my parents. Eventually, they came to a compromise. They'd raise me in America, and when I'm old enough, they'd return to Viet Nam for retirement (my father's idea of retirement was, and still is, in the late 40s to early 50s). My father was extremely nervous about returning to America, as he perceived (and perceives) it as a soulless, cultureless, God forsaken place with emphasis on the almighty dollar, positive psychology, detestable social graces such as 'How are you?', and a nation more destructive to the world than anyone they claimed to be harmful. He never really integrated himself, sticking to the Asian community, Asian food, and never did much traveling. He worked a few jobs here and there, but the corporate world made him depressed. My mother made most of the family income.
When I was 19, five years ago, a great tragedy occurred. My mother died in a car accident. In court, my father threatened to kill the driver responsible for causing the accident and burn down his house. I had never seen that side of him. It was found that the driver was driving with influence from alcohol, but the judge ended up giving him a light sentence. I believe there was a degree of racism behind the decision. My mother was the only person in his life, apart from me, that gave him any happiness. As you can imagine, he was absolutely devastated.
When I was 20, he finally packed his bags and moved back to Viet Nam, where he currently resides in a town called Dong Thap. He's already retired, and enjoys the simple village life that he's always longed for, though my mother will always be an irreplaceable loss for him. He doesn't smoke, doesn't drink, and in fact, has some hang ups about alcohol. Though he's only 53, he looks 60+. Almost a quarter of his hair is not grey, but almost white.

Now, onto Myer-Briggs. When I got into it, I also told my dad about it, and got him to take the Human Metrics Myer-Briggs test. He came out as an INFP. Both of us did some reading, with him on INFP and also myself. Relating it to my upbringing, I've found my dad to be quite typically INFP in many ways, but feel free to disagree:

-He was usually a very soft-spoken man that had difficulty speaking loudly / yelling, and didn't like it when other were loud in his presence or even yelled at him. However, if you really got him angry, there were a few instances where he got really nasty and launched an 'incapacitating strike' on the other person's character / self-esteem.

-As a student, he was never into the technical subjects (math, science) and barely passed Physical Education.

-He tended to be very indirect in expressing himself, often holding things to himself. Growing up, this made his more outgoing and extroverted relatives extremely confused and frustrated at times. His way of thinking is: "If i know you can't comprehend me, then why must I bother telling you anything?" or "leave me alone to do my own thing."

-He wasn't exactly a bohemian or very artistic type, but he told me how growing up he was, on a number of occasions, praised for his creative skills. He enjoyed music and art. Literature, not so much, certainly not those classics with lots of flowery language.

-People around him, including his mom and relatives while he was growing up, often remarked on how he was 'strange' and 'off inside his own world.' One of his mother's friends told his mom that she thought he was 'disconnected from this human world.'

-He was never really bullied at school, but he didn't bond with any of his classmates as he always thought they were 'childish, immature, and superficial.'

-During his college years, he often went to see counselors on campus. One of them remarked on how the way he articulated himself and his experiences was 'somewhat above the average individual of his age.'

-Extremely suspicious of any positive psychology, overly outgoing / outward-oriented people and situations, corporate success, and materialism. He often told me how he's an anarchist at heart, that his ideal world would be without money, without states. He said he'd rather the world be less exciting and dynamic, that he'd much prefer serenity, simplicity, and traditional values such as getting married early (he married when he was 25).

-Knowledgeable in a variety of topics, but hated the formal education system and never got particularly good grades. Quite disorganized, tended to drift all over the place. He'd literally be the last person to stick to a schedule or time table.

-Deeply loving and caring, kind and compassionate at heart, which resulted in him being scammed / taken advantage of on a few occasions. I don't mean to use 'feminine' in a negative way, but my father had an unusual eye for women's clothes. He didn't hesitate going out with my mother to do 'women's shopping', and even did quite a bit for me. When it comes to his own appearance and buying clothes for himself, he could give less of a darn. Believe it or not, he's into cute animals. He's a decent singer, but has more difficulty singing many men's songs.

-He has long hair, and likes it. He's not afraid of 'girl talk' either. He wears glasses, is around 5 foot 9 1/2, somewhat plump but not fat, with pretty pale skin. Upright nose with a high nose bridge. Some of his ancestors may have been nomads from Central Asia that intermarried with his Chinese ancestors.


Growing up, neither of my parents fit the stereotypical 'high expectations' image of immigrant parents. It was, strange to say, like having two mothers due to my father's unusual receptivity towards the feminine. We had a very close relationship. He was (is) my best friend, one that deeply cared about how I was feeling. Whenever I felt bad, he was always on my side. However, when I shared something happy with him, he rarely had any significant outward expression of joy. He would smile, then lapse back into the deep and melancholic mood that was his norm. However, I knew that he was really happy for me. When he went to see me perform on stage, he didn't applaud loudly and certainly didn't holler like the parents of many of my peers. He gave a somewhat restrained applause, but the look from his eyes, and his gentle smile, made me know how proud he was of me.

I inherited a general thirst for knowledge from him, and we had (have) many great conversations together on a variety of topics. They are definitely meaningful and intellectually stimulating. My father's hobbies include food and drink, traveling, spirituality, nature (especially the ocean), video games (yes, that's true), music, and a bunch of others that he has dabbled into. However, if asked to pinpoint, he will tell you he's all over the place.

When I was a teenager, I didn't have a 'falling out' with him nor my mother like the common portrayal of teens. I felt like I had a friend in him as he often told me about his own teenage years with an emphasis on the emotions he felt and the troubles he went through. He made me feel safe. However, that was also the time when I began noticing a subtle desire for control in him, masqueraded as being caring. At the ripe age of 15, he began telling me that I should start making preliminary preparations for marriage. He wouldn't allow me to go out for too long with my friends, didn't allow me to goof off. When I said I was going to a party, he would often reply with: 'Why not go to a cafe, the bookstore, or just stay with dad?' He didn't allow me to date because 'American kids aren't serious about commitment at young ages, and I want you to save yourself for the right one early in life. What if you meet the right one at 18? Can't you just wait a bit longer? If back in Viet Nam I would have tried to find you someone good at this age, but unfortunately, love, this is America. We don't want to play by their rules.' No smoking, certainly no drugs, 9:30 PM curfew. Sure, we still had a great relationship overall, and I'm mostly grateful towards him for keeping me on the right path, but I still feel that I missed out on a significant part of my adolescent years due to my father's somewhat 'Puritan' ways when it came to these 'rites of passage'. He's not literally a Puritan, but he is a Christian. Whenever I expressed what he saw as too much interest in fashion, celebrities, or group activities, he told me "they are a waste of time. Be yourself and stop trying to live someone else's life. They are not even worth looking up to."

Two weeks into my first week of college, he told me that he hopes I can find success and happiness in America, but if I'm struggling, I should return to Viet Nam with him and my mother and live the quite life. I protested and told him that it's only his opinion of America, and that I wish to find my own path in a career of some sort. To that, my father responded by saying that my opinion may change when I'm older, and reminded me to never prioritize anything above lasting bonds and true self. In his exact words: "There is only one you. Only a few people will ever truly like you and understand you. Dad hopes you will find happiness, but if things in this country don't work out, I'd rather you drop all illusions of a future that won't exist, and return to the true meaning of life, which is simplicity and contentment. It also pleases God (he's never forced his religion on me, but I feel that he'd be happy if I chose to become a Christian. He's very skeptical of the mainstream church, because he thinks that he doesn't want to be influenced by any particular 'brand')."

I excelled in college, and now I'm about to apply for a position at none other than JP Morgan. It is exciting to me that I will finally be able to take steps towards success and achievement. I have a boyfriend who's white, and we are very close to each other. I don't know his type yet, but he's a very fun and exciting yet dependable person who always inspires the best in me. I'm still close to my father and we still have great conversations together, though I can only see him about once a year. My father, however, has grown more serious and grumpy over the past few years, and is now directly expressing his disapproval towards my life. I almost feel that he somewhat resents me for choosing the corporate, 'mainstream' path that he devoted so much energy to escaping. His wish is for me to return either return to Viet Nam, live in a small town, and marry a good Vietnamese guy in the next two or three years, or if I choose to stick to my boyfriend, bring him to live in Viet Nam, which he obviously isn't interested in doing. I love my father very much, and I worry about his health and happiness, but I feel that he's become very overbearing, though not in an overly nasty / critical way.

I wonder if he's typical for an INFP, or is it just him? I know that INFP's dominant function is Fi. Does it manifest in him strongly? Sorry for my long post. I would appreciate honest and sincere answers!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Another thing that I find cute about my dad. When he was young, he slept with me and held me tight like how a mother holds her child. He gently stroked my hair as I fell asleep. He's a Cancer. Cancer+INFP in a man.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
First of all, you're story is very interesting and so touching! I hope you don't mind me saying! If you wrote a book, written so casually like this, about your life I'd read it, seriously. You painted a concise but detailed image of your family, especially your father. I felt myself rooting for only good things towards you and your father while reading the post. I'm glad to hear you're benefiting from your schooling! I'm sure you mean the world to your father, from the sounds of it.

I almost feel weird bringing typology into it, even though it's the subject of the post. But, I'm close with an INFP so I'll give you what little insight I can, since I don't know so much about the actual functions. Anyway, my younger sister is an INFP. I'd imagine my white Canadian sister who is only now a young adult has probably had much different life circumstances than your father. But, I do see some comparisons!

My sister is also not into smoking, or drinking, and we really treat her like she's a child sometimes in my family! I hold back from swearing or talking about social events where I've gotten drunk. I know it makes her uncomfortable. She is shy to a fault, and very sensitive! She is an empath, so I know that when I'm upset if I display it outwardly she'll become upset too. With that being said, she is not social at all. She cares about people, sure, but she hasn't had many close friends throughout her life despite how well liked she is by others. At family events, she hardly engages, and I get the feeling that people don't know her as well as they think they might. If that makes sense.

Your father does not sound like he'd make a good bureaucrat, I respect that since I'm the same way! But, my sister even more so. I wouldn't say she's disorganized though. She's kind of a worrier and people pleaser (although this may have to do more with anxiety) so she can be a hardworker when she wants, but she doesn't have much she's passionate about besides her alone time and her family. She has an artsy side, but like your father so doesn't seem to express it much.

Her and I are very close but I initiate most conversations. I talk and she listens. She is one of the people I want to turn to first when I'm happy and when I'm sad. She's emotional but stoic too! Like, most days she can be hard to read, even for me. She doesn't want to bother people and she doesn't want people to bother her. She's too authentic for social niceties. She doesn't say 'how are you?' because it's too formal and for a lot of people there's no real meaning behind it. I know she hates a lot of aspects of American culture, but from my perspective, America and Canada are not much different. She might have a disdain for her "own culture" too, I'm not sure.

She's better with animals than with people. She plays a great supportive role. Does she get mad sometimes though? Hell ya. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. There is nothing I could compare to what your family had to go through. Your father's anger was understandable, of course. I actually respect heavily that he said what he was feeling out loud like that. I'll say that my sister can have her hot streaks. As much as I love her, I'd say she's more "whiny" than anything though. But, she has both a strong sense of mercy and justice! If she hears someone in her class making offensive comments, like racist or homophobic remarks, it will bother her all week. She'll vent to me for hours sometimes about it.

My sister herself is into travelling and into music. I know most people are into travelling, but she really is! I'm actually not that into travelling myself. Anyway, I can see similarities from what I've read. I feel for INFPs because they have such a deep well of feelings and they are easily stressed it seems. Capitalism, hierarchies, formalities. Most societies, especially societies that put so much emphasis on hardwork and socializing, don't seem to cater to INFPs. Where as, my ISFJ mom for example, is more involved in her work and other people, despite her introverted feeling nature.

The cancer men I know are my father and a friend of mine. My father and I aren't close and we argue a lot, so I can't say much about him. But, my cancer friend, he cares about his friends so much that it hurts him a lot when he feels betrayed. He's the type of person that thinks once somebody is their friend, then they'll always be their friend. A friend for life. He can be surprisingly affectionate. I think that's one of the major reasons I developed a massive crush on him. I wouldn't say he's "feminine", but he's not concerned with his image or with appealing tough, or unemotional, or intelligent like other men. That's not to say he isn't those things! But, he just has so much love to give and he lets people know that. He's an ESFP, by the way.

Your father, I'd imagine, would be much more mature than my friend though! So I don't mean to compare them. All cancer men seem unconcerned with how they're seen by others and they want others to know that they care for them. Even if it means making themselves vulnerable once in awhile.


I'm not sure if any of what I've typed is helpful or anything! But, your post was so heartwarming! It made me want to take about my own family and friends!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
That's a very touching story, thank you for sharing it!
Most INFP have values they hold dearly, and I'm guessing your dad's just the same! And we can be pretty stubborn when it comes to these values.
Personnally, I need the people I love to respect and understand my values. It can be a big source of tension when someone close to me expresses something that goes against what I believe, and I generally try to convince them of my point of view. However, at the end of the day, they're someone I care about, so I'll still love them and try to understand their point of view.
I think that's probably why he expresses disapproval towards the 'american' way of life, and wants you to "follow" his values. I'm not one for rules but I can see why he'd be.
I'm not a father, but I think I might be a bit over protective if I ever have children.
Also I think (and i'm just assuming here) that loneliness and being away from you might be what makes him 'grumpy'.
I hope I was helpful and thanks again for sharing your story :).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thank you for your responses! I really appreciate it. Yes, I guess it's because he misses being by my side so much, but he won't consider returning to America again. From some other posts that I've read, many INFPs like him (I guess INFJs too) have trouble fitting into the hyperactive and extremely extroverted ideal that modern American and Western (but also some Asian nations like Singapore and the Philippines) culture promotes. I guess I've meant even more to him after the loss of my mother. I forgot to mention, his Enneagram is 4 with a 5 wing.
He has a hard time dealing with people who disagree with him on many things. He isn't exactly an argumentative person unless really pushed, he's more likely to withdraw from that person or group.
I mentioned that he doesn't smoke. He doesn't drive either. He knew he'd not make a good driver due to his slow reflexes, below average situational awareness, his tendency to be lost in his mind, and his lack of physical coordination since he was a child. It's also one of his way of rejecting modernity. He always knew he'd like to end up in a place / country with no need for driving, so he never bothered to learn. He actually calls it "sensory overload." I guess my type is more suited to our world, due to me being an ESFJ. However, I wouldn't be surprised if you guys think my writing style is a bit more NF / Fi-ish compared to your average SF / SJ. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
It's no surprise the States are so overwhelming for him! I'm typed as an INFJ 4w3 and even Canadian culture can seem so busy and stressful once in awhile. I'm not sure of my sister's ennagram, I'm guessing 9w1. I think I'd rather live on a farm somewhere outside of modern day society, as long as it was stimulating enough.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Growing up, he never really felt understood. The way his mother and her relatives treated him, he felt it was a betrayal of one of the deepest kinds. Many of his thoughts and ideas were written off as immaturity and because he was "spoiled rotten." I feel it's partially due to these negative experiences that he tends to think Sensor ideas are immature. He's extremely suspicious of the idea of money, working for a living, having a career (unless he thinks there's genuine passion and talent involved AND it agrees with his values). He's not very technology savvy by today's standards. He can play games, surf the web, download things, use some Word and Power Point, and that's pretty much it. He'd be the last candidate for a "bureaucratic" or many office jobs, because he can't use Excel. Not at all.

He's never really had any dreams or aspirations, other than a simple life with a loving life companion and a small family of his own. He wants to live out the rest of his days in peace, and not sure about remarrying, though it isn't completely out of question. It's sad to say this, but over the past two years, there were a few times where I had to set a firm boundary with him by reducing communication with him, because sometimes our great conversations can go in the direction of him launching a tirade against the modern world, and then challenging my decisions, which drags me down.

Oh, don't talk about self-help and self-improvement to him, especially when he's in a bad mood. I like an enriching life, but he's very much against the idea of "enrichment" for the sake of it. Once again, in his exact words: "Wendy, I see so many young women these days signing up for all kinds of activities from yoga to whatever. However, I feel that many, if not most of them, don't have any real passion for what they do. They just sign up for this and that because it's the so-called correct thing to do, which is keeping yourself busy for the sake of it. It also shows that they are insecure, because they constantly need something going on. If they were truly safe in their own skin, they wouldn't need to be doing anything to feel a sense of existence. (he might as well have added, "just like me")

Him: "If only people would focus more on their inner lives, how they TRULY feel about the world, rather than how they are CONDITIONED to feel about it, things would be better. I'd rather we stop progressing in many of the ways that we call progress, I'd rather have much less excitement and unknowns. Let's hope for a return to living in small, autonomous communities, where youth would get together young, fall in love, and start families. No money, no countries with borders, just national cultures. Let's not strive to overcome nature and assert dominance over it, but to appreciate it. Fuck (sorry) the American Dream, Vietnamese Dream, Chinese Dream, whatever. They are all centered on endless materialistic pursuits. Having a car, having a house. I'm also extremely skeptical of these methods used to measure quality of life, such as the HDI. I'm not saying none of those things matter, but they fail to take many deeper things into account. Graduating from an Ivy League school or MIT doesn't make someone intelligent. In fact, my dear, many of the dumbest people I've talked to had PhDs, with my own father being one of them. He thought he deserved better, he wanted to make money and prove himself to the world, because he equated having an advanced degree with intelligence. Emotionally and spiritually, he was (and still is, I assume) a damn cretin. "

I could write a book full of his quotes lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Yeah INFP (and 4s as well I suppose) can feel ostracized by western society. As both an INFP and a 4w5 I do feel like an outcast and isolated at times so I can understand where he's coming from.
I'm not exactly sure how I'd handle your situation the only thing I can say is, communication can only be good even if it's hard (and talking about feelings can be really hard for INFP hehe :kitteh: ).
Haha my brother and I (both INFPs) do not drive for the same reasons, I wonder if it's a NF thing? :tongue:
My sister is an ESFJ, and as you say she 's much more suited to society and I don't think she could live outside of it haha. All the ESFJs I've met are so lovely and kind. I'm sure you'll make it work with your dad, remember communication is key :).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
:) He often turns people off with the intensity of his feelings and views, and he's nonplussed when people, including me, can't feel what he's feeling or just not to the same extent.

I think one of the INFP's greatest fears is having their character, their values, and their struggles "invalidated" by the "majority forces" in society. For example, if my dad is expressing his worry of how materialistic and harsh the world has become, of how he was emotionally abused, the last thing he'd want to hear from someone is something like: "You are saying this because you've had it too easy. Can you imagine putting yourself in the shoes of someone who constantly has to worry about their next meal? Many have had it a lot worse than you." I'd see the other person's words as having a degree of wisdom, and take them into consideration, but my dad would probably say something like: "Just because I've had a different set of struggles than them doesn't make my struggles any less important or valid. If those people actually became more well-off some day, perhaps they would eventually come to see the futility of materialistic pursuits. It's just a matter of timing."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,248 Posts
Yep, sounds bonafide INFP. You said 4w5? Maybe some 9w8 in him too...

The bad news is we can be stubborn as hell.

The good news is he obviously loves you very much and he'll adapt to your values when he sees you truly blossoming as yourself. Right now he is probably mostly scared for you. INFPs spend a LOT of time in our heads observing and contemplating and seeing the "hollowness" in the world - he doesn't want to watch you fall into the same trap so many people have and do and will. As an American INFP myself I can understand a lot of what your father is saying. I don't really disagree with his assessment - I would simply say that there are also some very good and beautiful things about culture here, especially our "mixing pot", and the opportunity to try many, many things.

WendyNguyen said:
However, that was also the time when I began noticing a subtle desire for control in him, masqueraded as being caring.
I can tell you almost 100% that it is caring. Maybe a suffocating/controlling way of caring. But caring nevertheless. INFPs have basically zero desire to actually control people in a "neutral" situation - but impulse to control might kick in when we see someone we love making decisions we believe will harm them.

WendyNguyen said:
I almost feel that he somewhat resents me for choosing the corporate, 'mainstream' path that he devoted so much energy to escaping.
Eh, at least me personally, the only thing I really resent people for is not loving and/or hurting other people or themselves. Obviously you love your father and it doesn't sound like you're hurting yourself or anyone else. I doubt your father resents you (you're his child!), but he might be feeling a lot of fear and frustration over your decisions since they're so far from his ideals. He probably feels a lot of pain from you being so "far away" from him both in mind/emotion and in physical distance. I'm sure that is very much amplified by the loss of your mother (I am so sorry for that).

WendyNguyen said:
I think one of the INFP's greatest fears is having their character, their values, and their struggles "invalidated" by the "majority forces" in society.
Yes, this is true. INFPs seem to inherently function on a sort of different plane of thought and feeling than many others and sometimes our lives can feel like a fight just to successfully be. It is both a trait that can be treasured and one that creates hardship.

My suggestion would be to try to help your father see some of the good sides of American culture and your new life. Try to get close to his values when you can - be sneaky about it. INFPs are very stubborn but we want to see the good side of things and people. So ultimately as long as you are happy he will be happy; it just may take him a while to come around to it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: L P

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Deep down, he is a very kind, caring, and compassionate man who has always believed the best in me. Who knows? Maybe I will understand a bit more of his thinking once I'm a bit older, maybe when I'm 35 or 40. He wishes to see his grandchildren sooner. He loves kids, and really has a soft spot for them. I heard INFPs are among the types most likely to become stay-at-home moms and dads. In a sense, my father has never really entered nor embraced the "adult world" in a number of ways that people often talk about. To him, there's no such thing as "making the best" out of what he already perceives to be mostly a lost cause that is our world. He sucks at managing money, that's the truth both my mother and I realized / realize.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,957 Posts
Rule of thumb, it’s just your dad and others of the INFP preference may relate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
I relate a lot to how your father is. I'm intense about the same ideals. Instead, the way I speak is more focused on humanity. I'm scared for what will become of our world due to pollution, greed. When I get on my soapbox, I will talk about how people are dying, living on the street, because we are conditioned by the government and culturally ingrained propaganda to focus on ourselves, to join and appreciate the "rat race" that has consumed our world and has slowly striped us of the more 'simple' things in life. I think he makes a great point when he says that 'progress', is it really 'progress'? Do all these new technologies and systems make us happier? Do they make our lives more worthwhile? While we work until we exhaust ourselves, while we stress about bills? Feeling this way can be alienating because at work, I can get depressed thinking about how I'm wasting my limited time on Earth doing something I hate for an inadequate amount of money, I think about it constantly and it makes socializing hard, INFXs have the tendency to see injustice and shallowness everywhere. The rich get richer, and the poor are dying. The sick struggle to pay for their health coverage. Things like that can make the world seem very dark and cruel.

I'm not sure if your father usually goes into tirades like that. When I talk like that though, my INFP sister usually fully agrees. She sees bureaucracy and what she sees as shallow, as 'fake' or 'inauthentic'. Where as I see it as more 'harmful' and 'dehumanizing'. With that being said, you of course should not be made to feel guilty about the path you've chosen for yourself. If you're happy, if you're the type of person that likes yoga and a more fast pace approach to life then good on you for making that work for yourself!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for your encouragement! I'm glad that you guys here on the forum are helping me understand him even better. I don't think his disapproval of some of my choices is meant to be guilt tripping, it just feels that way sometimes. He's simply worried that I may be getting too carried away with illusions of future success in a cold and harsh world that's geared towards survival of the fittest, where he thinks few will make it. He's worried that if I fail to achieve the goals I'm pursuing, I will end up depressed and disillusioned later in life, so in his view the best way is to forgo the world altogether and just be content with a relatively simple lifestyle. Again, I'm open to the possibility of seeing more wisdom in his world view as I get older. However, it makes me sad that he's getting older. Ten years from now, he will be 63. He already has some problems with his neck and bones, and high blood pressure due to the stress and depression he's suffered over the years since his youth.

As for going on tirades, he does complain about many of the same things that @Faithealing you have described about yourself, especially the part about the rat race, endless materialistic greed, exploitation, and vanity. He can range from being very outspoken about it to keeping it to the few that are close to him, depending on his mood. Oh, and of course, he hates bureaucracy because 'it prevents so many good things from happening. These bureaucrats may be loud, may be giants in their power and influence, but dwarfs in their morals, values, and intelligence.'

When it comes to dealing with people who have very different perspectives on the things he believes in, I can see his discomfort or even anger manifest physically. This doesn't happen that often, but I've seen it before. He won't get argumentative unless really pushed (I think INFJs may be a bit less averse to direct confrontation), but he will make a mental note about that person, viewing that person almost as an emotional / intellectual infidel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts
@WendyNguyen

My INFP sister is timid. She is unable to call somebody out on their racist beliefs, for instance. But, you described it well, she takes mental notes and basically 'bans' that person from her life. She'll talk about their behavior privately with the people she trusts, which is not many. When I worked in fast food, if I felt like someone was being unreasonable or very rude to me, I'd speak up. I think conflict, or heated discussions, can be cathartic. More than anything though, I need someone to know when I think they're being bigoted, or ignorant. It's a gut reaction, where my disapproval becomes apparent. My sister is worried that I'll get myself into (more) trouble by being a loose cannon like that. But, really, it only ever happens when somebody is doing something that I perceive as immoral. Like, swearing loudly in a restaurant with kids. Or, a group of kids picking on another, younger kid.

I'm disenfranchised with 'The System' but my sister is more cynical about life in general. She's much more quiet, but also more forgiving. I think it's because she is so conflict averse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for your insights. My dad also has this general cynicism towards life, except for a few things such as love and a couple others. I think he may be somewhere between you and your sister. I think my mother was likely an INFJ. She was more outspoken than my dad and tended to wear her heart on her sleeve, she was more explicit about her feelings and thoughts. When it comes to forgiveness, my dad tends to be forgiving, he thinks he's even a bit too forgiving. However, if he is repeatedly hurt by someone, he WILL close the door, and when he really does that, it's likely forever. He just gets to the point that he's so repulsed beyond words by that person. If that person is adamant on maintaining the tie, and attempts to re-establish contact even in a 'friendly' way, my dad would still tell him / her to piss off or ignore that person altogether. As much of a heart he has, he is afraid that re-establishing the relationship will mean re-entering that cycle of misery and abuse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,106 Posts
@WendyNguyen

My INFP sister is timid. She is unable to call somebody out on their racist beliefs, for instance. But, you described it well, she takes mental notes and basically 'bans' that person from her life.
That is very Fi. It goes for me as well, though I am not an INFP. I don't see the point of confronting someone as most of the time, it is unlikely they will change their mind on their vile beliefs. At the same time, I don't want anything to do with a person with such beliefs, so for most purposes, they are "banned" from my life (which doesn't even mean much).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
486 Posts

That is very Fi. It goes for me as well, though I am not an INFP. I don't see the point of confronting someone as most of the time, it is unlikely they will change their mind on their vile beliefs. At the same time, I don't want anything to do with a person with such beliefs, so for most purposes, they are "banned" from my life (which doesn't even mean much).
I agree with you, in theory. I'm doubtful that I'll change anybody's mind when I argue openly, but I feel like it's my responsibility to others to let this person know that they are out of line. Will they still act that way afterwards, will I only make matters worse? Yes, those a real possibilities but I do it almost instinctively.

I know my sister feels similarly to how you feel, so how 'intense' I can be is confusing for her. Because she sees it as useless. She wants to bring change by being true to her strong values and by caring about other people, even if she does this more subconsciously. To me that way of thinking used to seem ineffective on a large scale, but realistically, I think knowing my sister (it may be her, it may be most INFPs in general) can make somebody a "better" person because she's so genuine, and 'innocent'.

When she 'bans' someone it doesn't mean much to her either. When I cut someone off it can linger with me, but I do it suddenly, and sometimes dramatically, like ripping off a band-aid. I think INFPs get painted as 'childish' too often for a type, from what I've seen, that can manage their space and boundaries so well. And, who are self-aware in a lot of ways, especially when it comes to their own emotions and limitations. She brings creativity to life, in both her work and in her actions.


I have an close INTJ friend. He's even better at cutting people out than my sister is. He knows what he expects from others and himself. I have respect for how diligent he seems to be, but I'm not sure if he sees himself that way. Sometimes I wish he'd let me 'pick his brain' more, but I've slowly come to realize that he needs a lot of space. Which works for me too. Despite our differences, I can relate to my friend and sister, I can understand where they're coming from, where as other types can seem alien to me (except maybe INTP too).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
My father's exactly the same. "If he / she most likely won't even understand, why bother trying to convince them?" That's how he can still feel okay after cutting someone off. He doesn't do it suddenly, but with a 'warning period' that's characterized by reduced contact, and eventually none. However, when he finally cuts the ties, the other person often has no idea whatsoever, believing it to only be the result of the most recent upset or some other reason.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top