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(an essay on something I've been thinking about lately)

INFPs don’t make very much money. A number of MBTI-And-Income surveys have us ranking dead last among the 16 types, this one from Business Insider has us ranking a bit higher, 4th from the bottom, but still low and also 4th from the bottom in job satisfaction. It seems safe to say we’re either at or near the economic floor, often mired in poverty and disliking our jobs.

Why is this so? Partially it’s because in my experience, INFPs are rarely materialistic, few of us are motivated by money, just as people who have no interest in chess don’t win chess tournaments. Even without a desire to be rich though, we should be capable of providing for a family and living comfortably, yet some of us aren’t making enough money to even do that.

I want to explain one cause of this that is rarely mentioned: to summarize, it has to do with an idea that exists inside religion, which proliferated in areas of Western Europe and then thrived upon arriving in America: the idea is iconoclasm.

Christianity traditionally has placed great importance on the veneration of Icons as a form of devotion. In the same way we kiss our loved ones, or photographs of them, Christians since the earliest times have kissed blessed illustrations of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, the Saints and the Angelic Powers. Icons are seen as “windows into another world”, transporting the viewer into another dimension with their sublime beauty, hence fulfilling the Lord’s Prayer: “on Earth as it is in Heaven.” Icons depict famous scenes from the history of the Faith for people’s education; on a personal level, Icons show Christians their Friends and Allies, letting them know that their presence is always, eternally, near.


Orthodox Icon of Creation

In the 8th century A.D., iconoclastic attitudes were growing among Christians. Some of them thought that these images were improper and deserving of destruction. In response, the Christian Church at the Second Council Of Nicea decreed that the creation and veneration of icons for Christian purposes is right, proper and holy. The Council was heavily inspired by the writings of Saint John Of Damascus, according to whom: “those who refuse to venerate an Icon also refuse to worship God's Son…anyone who seeks to destroy the Icons is the enemy of Christ and is the defender of the Devil and his demons.”

Iconography came under attack again with the rise of the Protestant Reformation in 16th century Western Europe. Under the influence of the Reformed Theology of John Calvin, a dour legalist if there ever was one, creation and veneration of icons was dismissed as “idolatry”, a violation of the Commandment against “graven images”, and the idea that the visual arts has no place in religion was promoted.

Calvinist converts in Geneva and elsewhere mobilized to put his beliefs into practice. Susan Hardman Moore says: "From the beginning, Protestant preaching had the potential to stir up iconoclasm. In Zurich, the severity of iconoclastic riots pressed the city council to set up an orderly process for the removal of images. Over a memorable fortnight in 1523, a team of carpenters, masons and painters, supervised by magistrates and ministers, stripped Zurich’s churches of statues and paintings, and whitewashed the walls. A Catholic passing through the town entered the Great Minster and found nothing inside: ‘it was hideous’.

It is often said that Reformed Protestantism saw a shift from the visual to the verbal. One writer has suggested ‘visual anorexia’ took hold in England from the 1580s...The English Geneva Bible of 1560 had a few woodcuts, and some maps; then there were only maps; the Authorized Version of 1611 had no pictures, apart from an exceptionally elaborate title-page in deference to its patron, James VI. A Bible with pictures, printed in Edinburgh to mark Charles I’s visit in 1633, caused a furore. Since producing new images for books carried high costs, perhaps the print trade found it a happy coincidence that pictures were less in demand.”



Looting Of The Churches Of Lyon By The Calvinists, painted by Antoine Caron, 1562.

As a result of this new wave of iconoclasm: “large scale works of Biblical art were no longer commissioned by Protestant church bodies. There was a huge reduction in the amount of religious art produced in Protestant countries. This fall in ecclesiastical patronage forced many Old Masters to diversify into secular types of art, such as history painting, portraiture, genre painting and still lifes.” Of course, secular art can exist with or without iconoclasm, so what would be more accurate is to claim that the market for illustrations experienced not so much diversification as it did profound shrinkage.

It makes sense that INFPs, often naturally talented as artists, highly valuing the aesthetic, fantastic and otherworldly aspects of existence, would be one of the most common MBTI types among iconographers, possibly the most common type of all. I can see much of the INFP low income trend originating with this Protestant iconoclasm. I don’t think it’s the sole contributor, far from it. I do think it’s one of the biggest contributors, though. I’d also suspect that witnessing the de-adorning and razing of so many Catholic parishes caused a decrease in the religiosity of INFPs, and probably ISFPs also.

Unfortunately for INFPs, the dominant influences that formed American culture starting in its colonial period were Calvinist. 19th century historian George Bancroft referred to John Calvin as “the virtual founder of America”. The New England Puritans and Congregationalists were Calvinists, as were a lot of other immigrant groups like the Dutch Reformed and the Scots-Irish Presbyterians. Calvinist sects founded many of America’s oldest colleges (Harvard, Yale, Princeton, William And Mary) and have produced roughly ¼ of America’s presidents. Even the democratic-republican structure of the American government owes much to the structure of Reformed Church government. Calvinism and the United States are so deeply synonymous that in Britain, the American Revolution of 1776 was sometimes referred to as “the Presbyterian Rebellion”. Hence, iconoclasm was front-and-center in America’s religious convictions for centuries, and supply and demand tells us that if demand is depressed, those who wish to supply will simply be out of luck. It’s safe to say the situation is similar in other countries where the assertions of the Reformation were highly accepted.

Some Christians still claim that the Reformation was right, that icons really are inherently detrimental and idolatrous. Considering that Jesus created an Icon of Himself during His earthly life, yet is repeatedly affirmed by the New Testament to be sinless, (Hebrews 4: 15, 1 Peter 2:22, 1 John 3: 5), how could the Reformers ever be right about that issue? They couldn’t be.

Reversing Iconoclasm is not as easy as simply avoiding Reformed Churches, however. Protestant churches inspired more by Martin Luther (Lutheran and Anglican) or John Wesley (roughly speaking, most non-denominational evangelical, Methodist, Baptist and Pentecostal) don’t share Calvin’s absolute condemnation of icons, but they’re still usually at least skeptical of them and their churches generally don’t contain any. Catholic Churches are doctrinally and historically pro-Icon but recently, possibly in response to Protestant peer pressure to “modernize” or “Americanize”, many have been purged of their Icons. Orthodox Churches remain staunchly and robustly pro-Icon but only about 0.5% of American Christians are Orthodox. Looming larger than anything however is the sharp decline in American religiosity in recent decades, particularly among Millennials and Gen Z. As a Millennial who was raised in highly contemporary churches and grew deeply disillusioned with them, I have a lot of sympathy with those who’ve fallen away from what “conventional” religion has come to consist of.

The Catholic author Hilaire Belloc wrote in “The Great Heresies” (1937): “It is often said that all heresies die. This may be true in the very long run but it is not necessarily true within any given period of time. There is not one man of a hundred in Geneva today who accepts Calvin's highly defined theology. The doctrine is dead; its effects on society survive.” German sociologist Max Weber famously pointed out that Calvin’s theology was what created the Protestant Work Ethic, which has resulted in the United States having some of the worst Work-Life Balance of any first-world nation. Calvinism has also frequently been hostile to monarchies, so America rejected that institution (Woodrow Wilson, who dragged America into the apocalyptic First World War to “make the world safe for democracy” was a Presbyterian). Whether we are Calvinists, Non-Calvinist Christians, members of Non-Christian religions or irreligious, we are all connected to one another by the impact the Reformation has had on our civilization. So then, might another of Calvin’s legacies be the “starving artist” trope? Are the artists starving because the Protestants have thrown them out of the church?

This 2011 article in the Baltimore Sun profiles the career of an iconographer. I suspect many here will find it interesting. It reads: “Only a handful of people practice iconography as a fulltime profession in the U.S.” A handful. In a nation of over 300 million people. However, the few that exist here certainly do get paid. One couple I know in real life, converts to Eastern Orthodoxy told me: “We have two custom-made icons in our house. They were expensive but it was worth every penny.”

What if it were more than a handful?

According to one census, there were roughly 400,000 churches in the United States in 2010. What if the vast majority of them affirmed Icon veneration as a proper form of worship? Even only considering the fiscal aspect, that’s thousands of people involved in illustrating Icons, thousands more involved in restoring Icons as time passes and decay increases, etc. The vast majority of Apostolic believers also have Icons in their homes, providing an additional outlet for this work to be carried out. Achieving this state of affairs would require a sea change definitely, but at the same time, it’s definitely possible to achieve; the picture of what it looks like is clear and beautiful.


Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Francisco, California

Sometimes in life, circumstances work against you. Circumstances can and do change though, and we can make them change. Things don’t have to be this way nor should we passively accept things being this way, they can improve greatly from what they are. I’m dismayed by some of the put-downs I see regarding INFPs, “the worst type to be”, “the most useless type”, etc. Sometimes INFPs themselves feel this way. To this I respond, let’s do everything we can to reverse iconoclasm and then see if people write us off like that. We live in the world John Calvin made...up until the point where we decide to create our own world and live in that one instead.

Obviously, much of this rests on the convictions of active religious believers, or at least openminded spiritual seekers. If what I’ve written here makes sense to you, especially if you’re already Christian or you’re in a Protestant area of the world, I’d strongly recommend investigating an Eastern Orthodox Church. They welcome the sincere and curious and their icons are superb. I’ve also noticed support coming from unexpected places. Camille Paglia, herself an agnostic-atheist, has described the art world as being in crisis, and unhesitatingly described the role of saving it, revitalizing it, as belonging to religion. She laments America’s status as a “practical, commercial nation where the arts have often been dismissed as wasteful, frivolous or unmanly”, and describes the society that forgets art as “at risk of losing its soul”. Is that what has already come to pass? Can that soul still be saved?

I wrote this essay hoping that I could provide a map detailing where we are, how we got there, and what we can do about it, to explain a career path that’s nearly unheard of in some areas, though I myself don’t intend to venture down it, I’m more musical and literary than illustrative. If this can save even one artist from starving though, if I can open up a new world to people, or a new way of seeing, writing this will have been worth it to me.
 

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Society and the world today is more or less designed with the needs of other types first and foremost coupled with social change over the past two centuries most of the creative types lost their place in society. It doesn't help that this world is business focused where the god of the age is profit above almost all else. The social aspects are soul crushing as everything has to be immediate, loud, and entirely earth bound.
 

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Meh, I suspect in part it has at least do with easy global access (almost) to art, as it seems to be fairly large prevalence of INFP type. Meaning you aren't just competing with other artists on local scale, you're competing with artists on global scale as people across the globe can access it (granted in some types of art language and/or culture is/are a barrier, reducing it to a national scale). What I'm saying there is a little middle ground, you either make it to a upper class and make a lot of money or your work remain mostly unnoticed. Nowhere near enough to make considerable amount of profit.Other areas for INFP probably are humanities that in first place aren't that useful and well-paid.

Thanks for that, many institutions and icons needed to be challenged because basis of their reverence and justifications for their existence were often nonsense that did far more harm than it was necessary. Fiction and art doesn't have to revolve among religious icons to be good.I really would say "crisis" in various forms of art comes a lot from mass commercialization of art and art being produced for masses, shallow political and ideological views that are prevalent (if not outright enforced) among "elite" artists that arrived in part where they are because they were commercially viable. I would say many form of art would be more "Fe", as it's either produced satisfaction for mass population or produced to fit ideological view of "societies" that dominate in industry of certain art, rather than authentic expressions of individual making them. They could be "Fi", but only as long individual expression matched range that mass populous or artistic community approves.Then there is "Te" mastermind behind it, mega corps running after profits and playing it safe to minimize risk and maximize profit.Hence lack of originality in industries like movies and obsession with reviving franchises by making sequels, prequels, remakes.They know large franchise will have recognition and will attract a lot of audience, creating high quality work and original ideas are optional and rarely delivered.Now granted, good thing is that artists still have freedom to produce many forms of art, even if as hobby. So, if you seek hard enough, you're most likely find some obscure art to your tastes. It's just most resources go to the people that either can appease large crowds and/or have connections in the industry.
 

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Meh, I suspect in part it has at least do with easy global access (almost) to art, as it seems to be fairly large prevalence of INFP type. Meaning you aren't just competing with other artists on local scale, you're competing with artists on global scale as people across the globe can access it (granted in some types of art language and/or culture is/are a barrier, reducing it to a national scale). What I'm saying there is a little middle ground, you either make it to a upper class and make a lot of money or your work remain mostly unnoticed. Nowhere near enough to make considerable amount of profit.Other areas for INFP probably are humanities that in first place aren't that useful and well-paid.

Thanks for that, many institutions and icons needed to be challenged because basis of their reverence and justifications for their existence were often nonsense that did far more harm than it was necessary. Fiction and art doesn't have to revolve among religious icons to be good.I really would say "crisis" in various forms of art comes a lot from mass commercialization of art and art being produced for masses, shallow political and ideological views that are prevalent (if not outright enforced) among "elite" artists that arrived in part where they are because they were commercially viable. I would say many form of art would be more "Fe", as it's either produced satisfaction for mass population or produced to fit ideological view of "societies" that dominate in industry of certain art, rather than authentic expressions of individual making them. They could be "Fi", but only as long individual expression matched range that mass populous or artistic community approves.Then there is "Te" mastermind behind it, mega corps running after profits and playing it safe to minimize risk and maximize profit.Hence lack of originality in industries like movies and obsession with reviving franchises by making sequels, prequels, remakes.They know large franchise will have recognition and will attract a lot of audience, creating high quality work and original ideas are optional and rarely delivered.Now granted, good thing is that artists still have freedom to produce many forms of art, even if as hobby. So, if you seek hard enough, you're most likely find some obscure art to your tastes. It's just most resources go to the people that either can appease large crowds and/or have connections in the industry.
I think he's saying the opposite, that returning to religious icons is a good idea for INFPs and society as a whole. I live in an Orthodox Christian country and don't think that's the case at all, it's just as un-NF as in any place in the west, not to mention that religious painting is very uncreative, at least not in an N way. Christianity seems quite SF to me as a whole, anyways.

I think INFP artists need to trust their intuition and create all the nice and weird stuff they want to and not worry about the success of commercial, pop stuff, especially in their area. The good thing nowadays is that with the internet you can find people who'll like your stuff all around the world.
 

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I think he's saying the opposite, that returning to religious icons is a good idea for INFPs and society as a whole. I live in an Orthodox Christian country and don't think that's the case at all, it's just as un-NF as in any place in the west, not to mention that religious painting is very uncreative, at least not in an N way. Christianity seems quite SF to me as a whole, anyways.

I think INFP artists need to trust their intuition and create all the nice and weird stuff they want to and not worry about the success of commercial, pop stuff, especially in their area. The good thing nowadays is that with the internet you can find people who'll like your stuff all around the world.
I realize that, that's why I said it was a good thing that institutions and icons of the past were challenged as those institutions and icons were very flawed and it's good thing they vastly decreased in influence.Yeah, highly religious societies (small or large) tend to be restrictive as they filter what is acceptable through lenses of their religions and hence nonsense as moral panic about D&D being satanic and making you into a serial killer.Alas after bit of a vacuum and freedom it seems "progressive" ideology filled their place in what ought to be restricted, I guess moral busybodies had to go somewhere after decrease of Christianity's influence.

It really depends whether you do art as a hobby/additional income or as method of obtaining living.If former then sure there is no incentive to deviate from work you want to create.However, in case of the latter it's highly probable you won't make a living out of it, as if you do so as you will likely fail when it comes to competing for attention of an audience on global/national scale. It's good certainly for consumers as they've huge access to variety of art and artists to their taste to chose from, at the same time it's bad for vast majority of professional artists, or those who would like to be. Only small number of creators will receive amount of attention necessary to make a living out of it (what is good for that small number of people), while rest will either receive none attention or insufficient to make a living out of it. Accessibility of art and artists devalued work of most for most artists in a society, as you easily could find a replacement for a product that artists is offering you.

Not to mention it's has yet to be seen for how long this amount of artistic freedom will be maintained. Large websites for content creators apply vague and arbitrary rules that limit your ability to step outside of ideological box, offending someone or crossing in path of power that be.In addition push for commercialization of site like youtube that is becoming less and less about individual creators and more and more about corporations and pushed by them celebrities that seem to operate outside of rules for lowly mortals.Then there is whole FTC affair that further jeopardizes creators and restricts content they can make, at least on youtube. It would be nice and dandy if you could operate outside of those major sides and to an extent you can, however alternatives can be easily nuked or severely limited in growth by a massive third party service providers (such as banks , website hosting and payment/donating services) and media, conveniently refusing to do business with competitors or generating massive amount of negative coverage.
 

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Red Panda said:
I think he's saying the opposite, that returning to religious icons is a good idea for INFPs and society as a whole. I live in an Orthodox Christian country and don't think that's the case at all, it's just as un-NF as in any place in the west
Yeah but are you an actively believing Orthodox Christian who attends liturgy, receives the sacraments and goes to confession regularly? Because if you're not then I can understand why you said that but I've been to many Orthodox Churches in the U.S. and they are a very NF-friendly environment on average.

not to mention that religious painting is very uncreative, at least not in an N way.
Maybe to you. I find alot of Icons creative. Maybe there would be alot more "creative-style" Icons if it were a more popular career in the West.

Christianity seems quite SF to me as a whole, anyways.
The further we deviate from Apostolic Christianity, the more and more the churches take on the personality styles of their all-too-human creators. The churches I grew up in were very contemporary, but they could roughly be traced back to John Wesley more than Calvin or Luther. XSFX dominant sounds right to me, it was alot of warm, friendly enthusiasm centered around a salesman-entertainer pastor, not very intellectual and sometimes overly emotional. I think their ideal types were probably ESFX, that was the personality style that they served best. Hence all the anti-religious INTPs.

Calvinist churches are a very different beast. I’d type John Calvin as INTJ Type 1 with a whole lot of depression and anxiety. His theology appeals mostly to Dom/Aux Te types, and immature/unhealthy Dom/Te types at that. So if you can stomach the idea of Creation being God’s cold, deterministic, flawlessly procedural, logical machine where anything outside “the system” is automatically dismissed and you MIGHT be lucky enough for God to extend his grace to you, you’ll enjoy it. And I can prove it, at one Calvinist forum, “Puritan Board”, going through the MBTI threads and tallying everything, 62% of the forum is XXTJ. ESTJs actually outnumber INFPs there, not many forums you can say that about.
 

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Yeah but are you an actively believing Orthodox Christian who attends liturgy, receives the sacraments and goes to confession regularly? Because if you're not then I can understand why you said that but I've been to many Orthodox Churches in the U.S. and they are a very NF-friendly environment on average.
Not since I was 12, at least not willingly. Here we learned christian ethics at school and had to go to church with school and all that jazz. I had a teacher spit-yell at my face whether I'm the antichrist for not wanting to go to church with the rest of class. Fortunately things have been changing since I was in school but the church still has a lot of social power here, even to the point of convicting people of blasphemy, until this summer that the law was removed. Maybe Orthodox is more N than others but I still see it as largely S-appealing.

Maybe to you. I find alot of Icons creative. Maybe there would be alot more "creative-style" Icons if it were a more popular career in the West.
There are very specific rules to creating those paintings, you can't just do whatever you like, so it's prob more appealing to F+S.

The further we deviate from Apostolic Christianity, the more and more the churches take on the personality styles of their all-too-human creators. The churches I grew up in were very contemporary, but they could roughly be traced back to John Wesley more than Calvin or Luther. XSFX dominant sounds right to me, it was alot of warm, friendly enthusiasm centered around a salesman-entertainer pastor, not very intellectual and sometimes overly emotional. I think their ideal types were probably ESFX, that was the personality style that they served best. Hence all the anti-religious INTPs.

Calvinist churches are a very different beast. I’d type John Calvin as INTJ Type 1 with a whole lot of depression and anxiety. His theology appeals mostly to Dom/Aux Te types, and immature/unhealthy Dom/Te types at that. So if you can stomach the idea of Creation being God’s cold, deterministic, flawlessly procedural, logical machine where anything outside “the system” is automatically dismissed and you MIGHT be lucky enough for God to extend his grace to you, you’ll enjoy it. And I can prove it, at one Calvinist forum, “Puritan Board”, going through the MBTI threads and tallying everything, 62% of the forum is XXTJ. ESTJs actually outnumber INFPs there, not many forums you can say that about.
fair enough, I was thinking more about all the stuff I grew up with, which were largely emotional-based and not much N. Some priests will present a more T viewpoint though
 

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Not since I was 12, at least not willingly. Here we learned christian ethics at school and had to go to church with school and all that jazz. I had a teacher spit-yell at my face whether I'm the antichrist for not wanting to go to church with the rest of class. Fortunately things have been changing since I was in school but the church still has a lot of social power here, even to the point of convicting people of blasphemy, until this summer that the law was removed. Maybe Orthodox is more N than others but I still see it as largely S-appealing. all the stuff I grew up with, which were largely emotional-based and not much N. Some priests will present a more T viewpoint though
If it's any indicator, the MBTI thread on the English-language Orthodox Christianity forum was plurality INFP, no surprises there. Though it was only 41 people who took it, I'd like to see what it'd look after 100. Maybe it works differently in a country where it's a small little everyone-knows-everyone community vs. where it's the official religion. I just know that the EOC in the U.S. does a splendid job of incorporating and nurturing a spiritual life in the more...exotic people, those who wouldn't be caught dead in a megachurch.

Also, has forced church attendance ever resulted in a single sincere convert? I wonder...

There are very specific rules to creating those paintings, you can't just do whatever you like, so it's prob more appealing to F+S.
Well I agree with those rules. Such as how, the Father and the Holy Spirit are not to be portrayed in Icons, only the Son, because only the Son took visible human form. But we have pretty much the whole Bible as inspiration, and then after that the Synaxarion and other Saints, that's not a small playground to play in, that's a big one IMO.
 

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If it's any indicator, the MBTI thread on the English-language Orthodox Christianity forum was plurality INFP, no surprises there. Though it was only 41 people who took it, I'd like to see what it'd look after 100. Maybe it works differently in a country where it's a small little everyone-knows-everyone community vs. where it's the official religion. I just know that the EOC in the U.S. does a splendid job of incorporating and nurturing a spiritual life in the more...exotic people, those who wouldn't be caught dead in a megachurch.

Also, has forced church attendance ever resulted in a single sincere convert? I wonder...


Well I agree with those rules. Such as how, the Father and the Holy Spirit are not to be portrayed in Icons, only the Son, because only the Son took visible human form. But we have pretty much the whole Bible as inspiration, and then after that the Synaxarion and other Saints, that's not a small playground to play in, that's a big one IMO.
Sample is tiny, not to mention from what I saw intuitive introverts, especially people typed INFP's in spirutuality and religion surveys tend to be over-represented by significant margin online as reflected by their numbers in polling.

According to this survey https://www.16personalities.com/articles/religion-and-personality-type, assuming it's reliably accurate (what I can't vouch for, as I don't have access to full data and exact knowledge of the method) , INFPs out of all types (except INTP and ENTP) are least likely to define themselves as very religious (I think it's poorly formulated question and it consists of specific community, not random people across the population).Not exactly answers question of what types specific religion consists but overall at least somewhat indicative trend of types regarding religiosity of people that.

In my not, why bother limiting to earth only when one can explore entire universe? Such silly limitations are pointless and unnecessary, unless perhaps we are talking about enforcing and maintaining dogma, that in first place is has no substantial ground to stand on.
 

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Yeah. I've always thought that the reason our income is low is because of things like art is not as "needed" anymore. I.E, people have cameras and don't really need (a) painting anymore. Hence it seems to be a useless skill, in the grander scale of things.

Also, due to not wanting to work at a company if they have shitty values etc.
 

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Well, I think overall this is true. I think part of it also has to do with the direction U.S. culture in general headed over the last 100 years or so. Materialism itself has in a way become the icon. It's all about "getting more". INFPs and some similar types(INTPs usually fall into this) don't follow the larger values of "society" as much on average. Therefore we actually are the iconoclasts in that way, one definition: a person who attacks cherished beliefs or institutions.

I've been called an iconoclast because I don't just go along with society's values. I have questioned "why". Now my religious values don't necessarily mold with the modern. I'm more of a traditionalist than many ways in those beliefs. Of course traditionalism can be different depending on how far back you want to go, and your interpretation of the source for your reasoning.

But, yeah, after realization of who I really am, I've turned down jobs that would have multiplied my income, but also my time and misery spent in the work. So, it's a choice. With most choices there's benefits and sacrifices.
 

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Yeah. I've always thought that the reason our income is low is because of things like art is not as "needed" anymore. I.E, people have cameras and don't really need (a) painting anymore. Hence it seems to be a useless skill, in the grander scale of things.

Also, due to not wanting to work at a company if they have shitty values etc.


I don't see it as black and think the opposite is true. For me, photography is itself art. Just think of Helmut Newton, Robert Doisneau and Peter Lindbergh. Art is needed more than ever. In addition to highly abstract thinking, it is the only area that cannot only be replaced by machines! Both are absolute INFP strengths. This is a good thing, because in the coming digital age, routine activities are the first to be left out. Painting is a niche, but and if you are good at it you can make a living from it, i.e. google Sebastian Krüger or Gottfried Helnwein. In addition to painting, there are many new professions where we can work creatively (i.e. graphic designer, fashion designer, typography, animation, film...). The second argument is true (shitty values).
 

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Oh! I'm always broke because Im an INFP! Phew, I thought I just sucked at money lmao. JK but I totally understand the disillusionment with money. I always hated money because I thought it controlled people. It does control people. But you have to understand the money itself is just a tool. A tool we can use to help people. We are quick to give it. That's all the more reason we should strive towards money goals. How can we help the people we love if we can't even feed them or buy them a present or provide them with necessities? How can we help the rest of the world that is unaware they too, are trapped in a mindset!

That being said. money is hard to make though! Even harder to keep it! We usually can't hang through college because we don't believe in it and we can see it's just a scam at this point. The next option is sales! But we don't believe in sales either because if we are selling someone else's products that we know suck, how can we take pride in what we do, when we are fucking others over? So what I suggest, is starting your own business instead!

I know, isn't that just the same as sales? No! it's not! When you start a business, YOU are in charge of setting the STANDARDS of service, and ensuring that you are providing great services or products to people. When you can believe in what you are doing, you can go far. It takes money to start a business though. And it takes a lot of knowledge too. Both are hard to acquire. But if you can find the strength to plan just enough, maybe it's a lot, maybe it's not, but if you plan something out that you believe in, and you take action towards it, I believe all of us are capable of changing the world that way.

Te is our weakness. That means controlling the external world is the hardest thing we can do. That is why, controlling the external world, is the greatest battle we should take head on. We are INFP's dammit, we know the truth of man's heart, so who else is better fit for changing the world for the best? I know that sounds extremist and in a way it is and maybe we shouldn't be changing the world at all, but I love people and I can't stand to continue to see the sadness and willing blindness and do nothing any more.
 

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I don't see it as black and think the opposite is true. For me, photography is itself art. Just think of Helmut Newton, Robert Doisneau and Peter Lindbergh. Art is needed more than ever. In addition to highly abstract thinking, it is the only area that cannot only be replaced by machines! Both are absolute INFP strengths. This is a good thing, because in the coming digital age, routine activities are the first to be left out. Painting is a niche, but and if you are good at it you can make a living from it, i.e. google Sebastian Krüger or Gottfried Helnwein. In addition to painting, there are many new professions where we can work creatively (i.e. graphic designer, fashion designer, typography, animation, film...). The second argument is true (shitty values).
I did graphic design in high school. Its not what people think it is.
Animation? Hmm not so prevalent in Australia, unless I moved to Japan.

Both career paths highly competitive and you really have to be the best of the best to get hired. My cousin used to be a graphic designer, he didn't like it. Heard about another guy who did it, he said it was competitive, boring and didn't have the greatest pay. I personally didn't like graphic design. Fashion Designer? Yeah I don't think there's too many jobs out there in they field unless you make your own clothes by hand.

I'm more of a drawer than a painter. I think out of all those animation would be alright, because you get to draw cool characters and backgrounds. But it's really tedious.

I don't like my creativity being limited, and drawing for passion and being forced to draw something is entirely different.


And yes photography is an art within itself, but I'm just saying that any Tom, Dick or Harry can take photos. But I guess you still need professionals to catch awesome shots such as close up pictures of insects that you couldn't really see with the naked eye.

Yes you could be one of those lucky people making a living out of painting of you were really determined to do so. But a lot of artists don't make it big, and like someone else was saying, it's not just local competition anymore, it's global. And personally,most people don't be the money to pay for $500+ paintings. Well rich people obviously do, but most people... can't afford it.
 

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I did graphic design in high school. Its not what people think it is.
Animation? Hmm not so prevalent in Australia, unless I moved to Japan.

Both career paths highly competitive and you really have to be the best of the best to get hired. My cousin used to be a graphic designer, he didn't like it. Heard about another guy who did it, he said it was competitive, boring and didn't have the greatest pay. I personally didn't like graphic design. Fashion Designer? Yeah I don't think there's too many jobs out there in they field unless you make your own clothes by hand.

I'm more of a drawer than a painter. I think out of all those animation would be alright, because you get to draw cool characters and backgrounds. But it's really tedious.

I don't like my creativity being limited, and drawing for passion and being forced to draw something is entirely different.


And yes photography is an art within itself, but I'm just saying that any Tom, Dick or Harry can take photos. But I guess you still need professionals to catch awesome shots such as close up pictures of insects that you couldn't really see with the naked eye.

Yes you could be one of those lucky people making a living out of painting of you were really determined to do so. But a lot of artists don't make it big, and like someone else was saying, it's not just local competition anymore, it's global. And personally,most people don't be the money to pay for $500+ paintings. Well rich people obviously do, but most people... can't afford it.
Surprisingly, competition doesn't bother me that much. If I really believe in something, I would do almost anything in the world to get it. For most great things you must be willing to take risks. If you don't want to take big risks, start with small steps. Start with your favorite activity as a hobby, make connections with people who work in this field and see from there where it takes you. The sad thing today is: The most important thing isn't what you know but whom you know. Yes, everyone can take photos but that doesn't make you a good photographer. The most important thing about photography is perhaps the idea. You need something really outstanding that catches the attention of the masses. I admit that I'm not too much into paintings or drawing but I love to play with words and I enjoy every form of art that can evoke strong emotions in the audience. You're Australian? You're so lucky! :p
 

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Surprisingly, competition doesn't bother me that much. If I really believe in something, I would do almost anything in the world to get it. For most great things you must be willing to take risks. Yes, everyone can take photos but that doesn't make you a good photographer. The most important thing about photography is perhaps the idea. You need something really outstanding that catches the attention of the masses. I admit that I'm not too much into painting but I love to play with words and I enjoy every form of art that can evoke strong emotions in the audience. You're Australian? You're so lucky! :p
Haha, I didn't mean to be so negative, I was just trying to be realistic about it. I mean if I wanted to study art I could, but... hmmm... I don't have a strong will. So my determination and motivation doesn't last long... and if I really wanted something I'd do almost anything... so it must not be important enough to me anymore.
I'm weak in the sense that I'm lazy, procanstinating, and as I mentioned a low will and only have occasional bouts of motivation... :/


Well. That's something I need to work on


Oh, what I really wanted to say was, once I find out something has an ulterior meaning... for example I wanted to work in media when I was younger, but now I know the media is just a propaganda tool for the 1%, it totally put me off. That ties in with the values thing.

I couldn't live with myself if I was knowingly manipulating and lying to people for work to get paid. I mean, I might still do it, but there would be guilt.
 

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My career is over. I am retired. I thought I did *okay* with income. I do love having money, but I neither, married for money, or picked a career, for money. I hooked up with husband, because I didn't want to punch him in the face and I signed up for my job, because I liked the work. Those two reasons (for my marriage and my career) took precedence over money, money, money. What I mean is, I placed greater value, on those two reasons, rather than monetary gains I could receive, from husband or job.

I have a VERY hard time selling myself. I JUST DON'T CARE. It takes skills and energy, I just do not have. It also takes an interest in the person standing before me, to care enough, to sell myself. I also have a very hard time faking interest in what I do not believe in. Needed money to pay the bills in my 20s, I sold SHOES for one day. Then was fired after an 8 hour shift. What a stupid job, selling shoes. I could not even fake an interest in order to have money for rent.

So anyways........................... I steal this quote from Lloyd Dobbler (John Cusack) in the movie Say Anything:

I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that.
I'll tell you what I did do right, if I didn't have riches from a large income -- I was and am currently loaded with benefits till the day I die. Really something to consider, if you are looking toward the future and making it to your 80s and 90s.
 

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Haha, I didn't mean to be so negative, I was just trying to be realistic about it. I mean if I wanted to study art I could, but... hmmm... I don't have a strong will. So my determination and motivation doesn't last long... and if I really wanted something I'd do almost anything... so it must not be important enough to me anymore.
I'm weak in the sense that I'm lazy, procanstinating, and as I mentioned a low will and only have occasional bouts of motivation... :/


Well. That's something I need to work on


Oh, what I really wanted to say was, once I find out something has an ulterior meaning... for example I wanted to work in media when I was younger, but now I know the media is just a propaganda tool for the 1%, it totally put me off. That ties in with the values thing.

I couldn't live with myself if I was knowingly manipulating and lying to people for work to get paid. I mean, I might still do it, but there would be guilt.
We should team up :) I have the motivation but a restless mind which makes it hard to decide in which direction I should go. Another user has already written that the professional world is predominantly based on the needs of other types. I believe that's true. Unfortunately, it's not only the professional world. I grew up in a family that was very critical. Therefore I didn't have the greatest self-confidence when it comes to my abilities and started to daydream. I was an imaginative kid. After German reunification, the Western school system was adopted, which is based on the old Prussian school system (STJ). In my school days, the natural sciences and mathematics were strongly promoted, but not my strengths (languages and creative subjects). In fact, I was not enrolled in the first grade until a year later because the school physician thought I was too stupid and diagnosed me with a learning difficulty. Today I know wrong she was: Albert Einstein.jpg

"Since iNtuitive Perceivers are only about 10% of the population, many of them grow up in an environment in which the vast majority is different and acts on the iNtuitive Perceiver in a constricting way, always repressing their need for free exploration and communication of ideas. Apart from being a place for iNtuitive Perceivers to be among themselves and for self-discovery, the main purpose of this group is to be a place where discussion, of the unrestricted and explorative kind that iNtuitive Perceivers need, can take place". [This is perhaps the reason why many INFP's are shy to speak their mind but are excellent observers and become experts in human nature.]

https://www.meetup.com/de-DE/MBTI-iNtuitive-Perceivers-Mitteldeutschland/pages/28751220/WHAT_ARE_INTUITIVE_PERCEIVERS/


What do we learn from that? Especially INFPs, who often have very low self-esteem and place very high demands on themselves, do not need more criticism, but encouragement and an open environment that is supportive of us. Unfortunately, that's usually not the case. What we need to know later in life is that professional success sometimes comes after countless defeats. Dealing with defeats is difficult for us. Fellow INFP's does not give up! Sometimes you get 100 refusals before number 101 will give you a commitment.

I also saw early on that more extroverted and louder types are more popular and successful than me. Therefore I tried to be like them. My advice to other INFPs is today: No matter how good you mimic others, you will never be as good at it as they are. Rely on your own strengths and build on them both in professional and private life.

Since we INFP's value authenticity so much and see everything as an expression of who we are we are not willing to put up with fakeness ("shitty values") or decisions that feel wrong. I worked in finance. Can you imagine how disillusioning that was? Being not willing to sacrifice our strong moral values limits our professional pool. Other personality types compromise. I have seen many people who would do just about anything for money. Many people also do not question themselves and their actions as thoroughly as we do. (It's no coincidence that the INFP Meyers-Briggs head contains the words "complex", "deep" and "selective").

510b105154e8bc3fc8bbea04ca6434fb.jpg


Karl Lagerfeld, who certainly was not superficial, described it nicely: "Thinking is exactly what I avoid. I want a comfortable life without problems".

I firmly do believe that an INFP can have a successful career and earn as much money as other types but we often need to find a niche that harmonizes with our values and learn to not give up in times of difficulties. We can do everything if we find meaning in it ("ulterior meaning"). Many INFP's (myself included) are late bloomers: We first ask ourselves the big questions of life before we go out into the world and become successful.

"What beautiful blossoms we have this year. But look! This one's late. I'll bet that when it blooms it will be the most beautiful of all."

 

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Well, I think overall this is true. I think part of it also has to do with the direction U.S. culture in general headed over the last 100 years or so. Materialism itself has in a way become the icon. It's all about "getting more". INFPs and some similar types(INTPs usually fall into this) don't follow the larger values of "society" as much on average. Therefore we actually are the iconoclasts in that way, one definition: a person who attacks cherished beliefs or institutions.

I've been called an iconoclast because I don't just go along with society's values. I have questioned "why". Now my religious values don't necessarily mold with the modern. I'm more of a traditionalist than many ways in those beliefs. Of course traditionalism can be different depending on how far back you want to go, and your interpretation of the source for your reasoning.

But, yeah, after realization of who I really am, I've turned down jobs that would have multiplied my income, but also my time and misery spent in the work. So, it's a choice. With most choices there's benefits and sacrifices.
Wow. Especially Western Germany is unfortunately just like the USA when it comes to materialism as new icon. [The eastern part of Germany is still different. Socialism took everything away from the East Germans and they had to concentrate on other things. We still feel the aftermath of the division today and are only a reunified country on paper.] Sometimes I wonder what these people would do if everything was taken away from them tomorrow? I mean, they have built their whole self-confidence on goods.
 
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