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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hiya. I'm new to all this so please forgive any errors.

I was just wondering if any other INFP shared this dilemma. I love people, find them fascinating. Even ones who don't like me! And if they liked me back or gave me the positive, friendly response I desire, believe me I would be a social butterfly. My introversion, I think, has come about due to negative social experiences, like it has been forced upon me as a consequence. So given my caring thoughtfulness towards others, and genuine delight in their company, am I not really an extrovert?

I know I fit the INFP profile very well. I am strong and resilient inside, soft and feminine on the outside. Very friendly and gentle with people, which many view as an invitation to attack or berate. Is it some form of natural selection behaviour by way of ridding society of the weak ones? I suspect back in the early days of man, I'd simply have been clobbered to death by now xx
 

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I have the same problem - that is I assume myself to be an extrovert rather than an introvert. Supposedly introverts are out of touch to a degree with external reality, the introvert mind not knowing enough of the external extrovert world and the belief in extroversion is a mere error in judgment. However I think its also possible that if I am an introvert, I don't understand the extrovert world as much as I like, thus the belief that I am one of them. One of my theories regarding this issue is that introverts also get energy from others, though the cup fills up so much quicker than extroverts. I think we require so much less social stimulation for our minds to be satisfied which leads our minds to become so much more over-burdened by excessive social stimulation where extroverts would be unaffected. My theory vies the situation as the introverts having a mug whilst the extroverts have a jug and both are being filled with an equal amount of liquid. The mug will overflow far sooner than the jug will, leading to the need to be alone for the hassle of the overflow to calm down. Perhaps its possible for an introvert to be just like an extrovert for a desire of social interaction (through a desire for belonging or a desire to end loneliness) though the cut off point is a lot lower (and not easy to explore if you shun social interaction through fear.) Maybe thats why introverts tend to seek far smaller, more tight knit groups for enjoyment. But that was a what if of mine, I can't say for sure. What would you think?
 

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I think the question you should ask whenever you answer those questions is what would you prefer to be? What does your heart say?
If for instance they ask if you like large gatherings of people and you answer 'no', do you wonder why you gave that answer? Is it that you would like to be able to go to such events but your fears are withholding you?
Or is it that you really would rather sit down with one or two friends, or with a book all by yourself.

For me the answer is that I never cared for groups. My social anxiety is there, but it does not play a role in my preferences.
 

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I think if you get energy from socializing, you're an extravert. If you need time to recharge after prolonged contact with others, you're an introvert.

Being an introvert doesn't mean that you love being alone, or dislike being around people. It just means that you some time on your own to be happiest. At least, that's my understanding.
 

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Welll--the way I see things, Introversion and Extroversion also derive where you receive energy from. Do you gain energy from interacting with people, or does interacting make you feel tired? It's a matter of whichever one you prefer more I think.

INFP's can be social butterfly's, no doubt about it, but say...ENFP's can appear to be introverted IF they're shy.

Also...people tend to berate those who are gentle and caring because, to some, they appear to be weak on the outside, and people fail to realize that those with gentle and sympathetic personalities may bear tons of inner strength--which they most likely do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys, very insightful :happy:

Yes I'm probably delusional in thinking I'm an extravert at heart, just because that's what I'd rather be. And I'm easily satisfied with the smallest amount of stimulation, that's true. Extraverts seem to have such a happy life, without the inner turmoil that I have always suffered. Although, perhaps their happiness is volatile because it is dependent on others' behaviour?

In reality, I gain more happiness being alone, and after that in a small group of close friends. I would like to be with people all the time but their treatment of me is so often hurtful that I'm forced to seek my own company.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Have to apologise. It would appear from taking another mbti test that I am predominantly INFJ over INFP. Sorry for posting in wrong section!

I've researched this idea further and it seems that if I stop to internalise matters and think on things frequently instead of just acting out, then I am inclined to be introvert rather than extravert. That'll do for me! Anyway, I can't really imagine an extravert agonising over everything the way I do. They seem so straight forward and "together". I want to be an extravert so much, just to fit in with the majority. Hate being regarded as an oddbod x
 

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You know, this really causes me to think... If I had the social grace and have friends that I really enjoy spending time with, I would think that perhaps I'm not so introverted after all... I guess because of negative experiences (losing friends, people bullying me, etc.) that is somewhat taking me to draw into my shell... I mean, yes, I love to talk to people, socialize, make new friends and keep up with my old ones, but I also take time for myself... But only for a while. It's weird.

Maybe if things were simple... I'd be an ENFP for sure. :crazy: My ENFP friend from here also told me that out of all the other extraverted personality type, that the ENFPs are the least outgoing ones of them all... So who knows! :happy:
 

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I used to have this confusion too. The paradox can be stated as: I like being alone, but I hate being lonely.

But after further reflection, I can see the difference. Everyone needs social interaction, introverts are no different. I was confused because introversion seemed to imply something similar to *hating* social interaction!!

But that's not the case at all. It's just that prolonged social interaction drains us and we need some time alone to recharge. We're also a bit more reserved; we don't share much of ourselves with random strangers.
 

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Hiya. I'm new to all this so please forgive any errors.

I was just wondering if any other INFP shared this dilemma. I love people, find them fascinating. Even ones who don't like me! And if they liked me back or gave me the positive, friendly response I desire, believe me I would be a social butterfly. My introversion, I think, has come about due to negative social experiences, like it has been forced upon me as a consequence. So given my caring thoughtfulness towards others, and genuine delight in their company, am I not really an extrovert?

I know I fit the INFP profile very well. I am strong and resilient inside, soft and feminine on the outside. Very friendly and gentle with people, which many view as an invitation to attack or berate. Is it some form of natural selection behaviour by way of ridding society of the weak ones? I suspect back in the early days of man, I'd simply have been clobbered to death by now xx
You just described me in detail. People treat me the same way. No matter how tough I try to act some people just want to attack for no reason. This too has made me an extreme introvert. Some days it is very difficult to go out the door because of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I suppose the MBTI tests are based upon your actions and thought processes without delving into what caused you to feel/behave in that way. Perhaps an extravert who suffered many traumatic early experiences could begin to internalise to such an extent that they may beccome introvert. Or maybe it really is just down to dopamine responses in the brain and introverts can only take so much before they are satiated lol.

Just for one day, could I please enter the brain of an extravert to know if they feel a sense of inner peace x
 

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I'm probably being really crazy but I think introversion is kinda like you got a social battery... kinda like a cell phone battery... it charges when you get alone time. Some peoples' batteries last longer than others, and some last shorter; then there's how fast your battery charges when you're alone; then how willing you are to use up the energy or if you would rather just withhold it and know you have it. With me I feel like I got a pretty large battery that charges fully in about 2 days of alone time, and if I don't spend the energy I start to get sorta frustrated and antsy, but once it runs out alone time sounds like heaven again.
 

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You know what's weird? That lately, I've been receiving less time to myself these days... I mean, I really cannot remember when was the last time I had a nice time for myself... By myself, I mean. :confused: The last time I was alone for perhaps... 20 minutes? And then I had to go home and spend time with my family. :crazy:
 

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Hmm

I think I know the reason I am introverted, however I am only slightly introverted, almost on the border of I/E really. I thought about this a lot (who would have guessed, an INFP being a deep thinker?:proud:) and the reason people drain me is because if they display any sort of negative behaviour (i.e. narcassism, bad language, selfishness etc.) that is draining for me because it causes a negative reaction inside of me in that what this person is expressing towards me, completely goes against my moral code and I don't like it, however being the people pleaser that I am, I am not going to object and pull the person up on it, particularly if I don't know them that well. Further to this if someone displays too many negative characteristics, I am not going to want to get to know that person well enough to feel comfortable enough to correct their behaviour...hence the draining. I also find that the more negative traits someone possesses, the more drained I get. For example, I had a co-worker who displayed almost all of the qualities of a true narcassist and I could only interact with her for a good...oh...10 mins? Before I became completely drained and had to be alone.:frustrating: Whereas I could spend days with my best friend (also an INFP) and not be drained. I think further to this, we are deep, highly intelligent thinkers who like to think about the world, about people and how to create a harmonious and peaceful environment around us, and often there is no-one as intelligent or moral enough to create that world with or bounce ideas off, so we internalise it all and try to figure it out for ourselves, which is why after being with a negative person for an extended period of time takes its toll because of the need for constant alone time a) to get away from the person and b) to figure out by ourselves how to deal with their behaviour which is causing us stress. Thoughts?
 

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Introversion is a focus on the inner world. The personality type is the ego - or the lens you view yourself & the world through. The reason introverts are drained by interaction/the outer world is because it's overstimulating. Reality for them is the inner world, so the outer world can seem "hyper-real" (this is probably more true of INxx types, but sorry, that's my lens for the world! :p). The extrovert is often either under-stimulated by the inner world or overwhelmed with its concentrated feelings & thoughts. But the point is, where you get your energy from is more of a clue to introversion/extroversion than a definition of it. All humans will want & enjoy interaction at times & all will want & enjoy some downtime too.

The OP sounds shy & lacking in self-esteem maybe, but not necessarily introverted. However, I think this may be more of a matter of where feeling is directed - internally or externally. The feeling expressed sounds Fe-ish to me. What do you think about the ISFJ descriptions? ISFJs often mistype as INFPs.

I also suggest looking a Fi & Fe descriptions, in addition to Si & Ne, especially Jung's (there are numerous sources here & other places online).
 
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