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Discussion Starter #1
This is more aimed at self-exploration and discrepancy in type explanation.
I've always tested as a STRONG INFP.

Science/Math Back Story
I have always loved science and math, they were my favorite classes during school, especially in high school. Within any science or math class--biology, physics, geometry, and trig being my favorite--I was that kid staring wide eyed at the board and finishing homework before class ended. In fact most people came to me for answers over the teacher, often at my dismay. I'm going to go to college in under two weeks planning on majoring in geology and double minoring in physics and chemistry. The general end goal is a phd in planetary science (i'm really interested in habitation-being involved with taking mankind to the next level( I realize this is still a little ways off)). The only setbacks I can see for myself is wildly changing majors to some other area and being discouraged in such a rigid profession as science. The first increasingly seeming unlikely and the second being an oh-well.

My main question is for different types, mostly xxTJ with experience with INFP's; what are some techniques to better structure myself without feeling soulless and empty? Also, what are some tips/experiences other spacey (pun intended) people have with being in a science tract.
 

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Never lose sight of the big picture. When you study science, it's the overarching narratives you encounter that are most sexy. Don't forget them when you are getting familiar with the little stuff. Science never made me soulless and empty, but as an INTJ, some may argue I came packaged that way, haha!

For organization and structure I always used checklists to keep myself from forgetting what I needed to do that day before allowing myself to sleep. Also, don't forget to allow yourself time for leisure, but not an excessive amount.
 

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Believe it or not, I think geology fits with being an INFP if you like the other aspects that come with the job. You explore the way the earth works over time. It can involve a lot of trekking through wilderness, taking samples to analyze. Which actually suits no other type better than the INFP, I would wager.

I mean, you might not be in your element when you're in an office against other NT-types, but if you're already confident enough in that area, no reason not to try it.
 

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I think Geology is a fantastic field for an INFP. As soon as my kids are a bit more involved in school, I intend to go back to school myself and I waver between whether I'm going to pursue Aerospace Engineering or Archeology. Aerospace Engineering the more likely of the two for me, but Archeology...the study of ancient cultures and the ruins they left behind...run a close second. I don't think Science is a field left only to NT's, I'm sure you'll find plenty of science minded NF's in the mix too. =)
 

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INFP's and INFJ's score the highest on intelligence tests of all types (from Gifts Differing). INFP's with strong T auxiliary process are powerful thinkers. Science is good although there is a higher need for creativity than say INTP's all other things equal. So only some science then.
 

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Blocklos
It makes me giggle every time I find the fluffy kindness deep in an INTJ, I love your type. Thanks, as cliche as it is, the idea of checklists to organize my life never entered my mind.

Razare
I agree, but I genuinely love being around NT's.

Whynd
I hope I do run into science minded NF's, and good luck with your kids and going to school.

Mooncutter
Did not know that about INFP's and INFJ's in general, but it makes sense. I will keep in mind to have a creative outlet as well.
 

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Blocklos
It makes me giggle every time I find the fluffy kindness deep in an INTJ, I love your type. Thanks, as cliche as it is, the idea of checklists to organize my life never entered my mind.

Razare
I agree, but I genuinely love being around NT's.

Whynd
I hope I do run into science minded NF's, and good luck with your kids and going to school.

Mooncutter
Did not know that about INFP's and INFJ's in general, but it makes sense. I will keep in mind to have a creative outlet as well.
It's important to nurture that side as well. My goals are

a) cultivate mind

b) cultivate body

c) pursure career & money

d) Improve & maintain existing relationships


Cheers!!
 

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I'm an INFP who got into Berkeley with full scholarship and ended with a Master's degree. I majored in physics all the way. I didn't realize I was an INFP until much, much later and I think you are at a great advantage with having such knowledge about yourself and the people around you in any given situation.

What I have found, surrounded by soooo many NT's who (in just my opinion) are a bit more confident that they know what they know. For us, however, we tend to see beauty in the patterns. I remember I was with an INTJ friend and we were studying Real Analysis beginning with the topology of the real number line. I knew I was seeing things different than my friend. I said, "I didn't realize the real number line had a topology. But it does in such a profound way! The way there are two types of infinities--countable and uncountable, one being "more" infinite than the other." My friend was on mildly impressed. "Yeah, I guess that's cool. The machinery in the proofs of all of the theorems are more interesting to me." To me math and physics are so beautiful. Like nature's poetry. When I took my first physics class at Berkeley (in which I ranked #2 out of 200 students) it was life-changing, which I can only describe as Being able to see the whole world in color for the first time, never having known I was colorblind before. My INTP friends (and be ready to be completely surrounded by INTP's if you go into a hard science). So yes, INFP's can flourish in the hard sciences. The hardest part for me came when it was time to graduate and go to work. I ended up teaching physics at a community college so that I wouldn't have to have the constant stress of spewing out paper after paper about things that to be honest, I found boring. I don't care about the vibration of the Cesium atom! This stuff is easy for INTP's, but for NF's it's so removed from beauty or meaning or from being of service to humans and animals that I couldn't force myself to do that! And I'm sorry to say that most careers involving physics are just like that. Academia or Engineering or Teaching. May be a simplification of the career opportunities of someone coming out with a physics degree but is a reasonable generalization. The only one I could stand was the one that dealt with teaching others. I don't make a lot of money because I need so much time to myself, that I just wouldn't do well with a full time job. But I teach a couple of classes at a CC and have a private tutoring business online. Of those two, I enjoy the private tutoring sooooo much more than teaching classes. But overall, anything that helps students first realize they were colorblind and helping them see a rainbow, as if for the first time, yes, I guess that must be my INFP "passionate cause". Maybe you too.
 

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I am the same way. Deep science, deep math. 100% INFP. Raised Southern Baptist, strengthening J and then went in military operating nuclear reactors, strengthening T. This created the strong "INTJ" mask by which I work in engineering based fields.
 

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from another INFP scientists...

I ended up teaching physics at a community college so that I wouldn't have to have the constant stress of spewing out paper after paper about things that to be honest, I found boring. I don't care about the vibration of the Cesium atom! This stuff is easy for INTP's, but for NF's it's so removed from beauty or meaning or from being of service to humans and animals that I couldn't force myself to do that! And I'm sorry to say that most careers involving physics are just like that. Academia or Engineering or Teaching. May be a simplification of the career opportunities of someone coming out with a physics degree but is a reasonable generalization. The only one I could stand was the one that dealt with teaching others. I don't make a lot of money because I need so much time to myself, that I just wouldn't do well with a full time job. But I teach a couple of classes at a CC and have a private tutoring business online. Of those two, I enjoy the private tutoring sooooo much more than teaching classes. But overall, anything that helps students first realize they were colorblind and helping them see a rainbow, as if for the first time, yes, I guess that must be my INFP "passionate cause". Maybe you too.
I feel the same way bro....
 

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I also have this story of being a math/physics student who realizes that research just isn't his thing. Understanding the world we live in, especially through science, is one of the most fulfilling endeavors imaginable, but when you go away from the big picture and fumble with the tedious and gritty details the magic goes away and the I-am-an-INFP-I-must-do-something-amazing-to-live feeling kicks you in the face. That besides, it is time-consuming to the point where it's the only thing you do in your life. Research is despite it always being seen as this amazing international cooperation a field teeming with competition. Basically I had to leave to stay sane.
But science is still a wonderful study in which I guess it is easy to keep up the spirit as long as you're not too behind and find most of the courses inspiring. Your brain will feel all the knowledge coming in. It's a great feeling.
 

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To me math and physics are so beautiful. Like nature's poetry.... I don't care about the vibration of the Cesium atom! This stuff is easy for INTP's, but for NF's it's so removed from beauty or meaning or from being of service to humans and animals that I couldn't force myself to do that!
Wow, that was beautiful. I am also an INFP with a hard science background in microbiology. Like you, my interest is also more of a poetic fascination. Whereas most of my friends were concerned with methodology, I saw the subject as an amazing philosophy. There's a certain humbleness that comes with realizing that such small organisms essentially rule the world.

The hardest part about pursuing science as an INFP is that the jobs are not always rewarding. In fact, they're basically boring. I handled lab work for a while, but being stuck indoors and handling data all day really got to me. Till this day I still don't understand how someone could be satisfied with such a mundane job.
 

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I love science as well, although I am going into an applied field with a big human component (nursing). But I already have a science degree in another field that threw me into plenty of physics, biology, chemistry (3 freaking years worth), and other theoretical classes.

I think as an INFP you have a HUGE strength going into the sciences. You are different from so many of the typical people drawn to those fields, so you can come in and offer a different perspective. In science, it so often takes just a different perspective to make headway in research and to paint things in a whole different light. My advice for structuring yourself is this:

Find things that call to your soul and lower your stress. DO THOSE THINGS. Regularly. Often. If you force yourself to forego those to be "responsible" and become better at "time management", you will find yourself falling apart at some point and not functioning/performing as well in your classes. Make these things a reward for doing little chunks of work, and soon you will find yourself doing little bits of work just so you can reward yourself with what you love.

For instance, if you have a big paper due a month from now, start working on it immediately, but just half an hour at a time. Do half an hour of research and then go do something you love as a reward. Like taking a long walk through the woods, or having coffee with friends. Eventually your brain will learn to look forward to doing work and not procrastinating, because it never takes too long (just half an hour) so it isn't exhausting, and it's followed by something you really want to do. It's hard for me, as a P, to keep to that religiously, but just doing it somewhat regularly helps keep the work load under control, somewhat organized, and helps me keep a positive attitude with it.

If you get disorganized or fall behind, don't beat yourself up over it. Remember your natural strengths are many and congratulate yourself over developing your weaker skill-set (organization, etc.) because that's something that many people never get around to doing! You are making yourself a more well-rounded person and that's awesome and will take you far, but there will be bumps along the way. That's okay! No big :) You'll get there! Treat mistakes as opportunities to learn and evidence you are challenging yourself and growing, not as signs of failure.

I can't speak as to whether a job in the hard sciences is going to be perfect for you long-term. Please don't keep to yourself too much in college. Talk to everyone you can to get the scoop on what kind of job you will really be setting yourself up for. Take a chance and contact people with those jobs. Ask them about them. Talk to professors and get an idea for what it will be like. If you can find a way to connect your job to your values, you will find it meaningful and will be fulfilled. EVERY job out there, even the ones that seem perfect, have things that aren't enjoyable about them. It doesn't mean it's a job you won't be able to be happy in. Only you can tell that, and college is the perfect time to make connections with others and really try to figure out what a career is like. I did so much research about careers on my own, too shy to reach out to as many people in real life as I could have, and it didn't do me any favors.
 

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It's important to know the different uses of functions for the sciences; it will help against being disillusioned at the scientific community.

The wow factor, I believe, is Ne + Fi. This is how life works behind the scenes??? Coollll. But you have to understand that Fi, which provides most of the thrill, is an understanding function that derives from self value. As long as the science means something to me, then it is fascinating. Understanding how the theorem applies to our real life experiences is what we value.

Contrast that to Ti, which provides value based on how logically correct it is (I think). For Ti, understanding the theorem in the context of its own logical correctness is what they value.

The cruel reality of science for INFPs is that it is mostly a Ti world. It has to be; Ti applied to science can dig much deeper than Fi. The unfortunate consequence is that the world of science at higher levels becomes a museum of logical systems on display, and Fi derives little value from that. The pervading fascination in many scientific communities is about theory itself rather than the application of theory to real world.

It doesn't mean that you can't be a scientist; I firmly believe that doing science is related to how strong your Ne is + how fascinated/addicted you are to it. But INFPs can't get excited about science that is not relatable (read: too theoretical). Most of us can't stand the environment and go do something else that feels more meaningful (including myself. :p).

Meaningful for Fi means applied science, either in the form of teaching (causing others to see the world in the same sense of beauty and understanding that it has been revealed to you), using science to tackle human problems (some engineering fields)... or just keeping it as a hobby.

BTW, I'm only familiar with my realm of science, which is computer science and EE (and physics and math). Apply my comments on science to other majors (geology, biology, chemistry, etc) with a grain of salt.
 

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I find that I study and learn best when I have a question that I seriously want to understand and possibly answer, or when I have a meaningful goal that I want to attain. When these motivate me and I am not at the same time being strongly motivated by other conflicting goals then mostly I can easily figure out suitable techniques with which to structure my activity and progress towards solving the question or reaching the goal.

Being a science minded INFP is not a discrepancy in type. My idealism and quest for meaning and understanding strongly motivate me to explore and to attempt to make some sense of the world and they drive me to find some of the self-discipline needed to make progress.

I have never felt soulless and empty but am no stranger to feeling frustrated, discouraged, guilty, inadequate, unworthy, in need of escape, and alone.

It is the conflicting and varying motivations bubbling inside me that give me the most problems in research and life. When I try to focus on a question or goal I find that the summation of my motivations is not always pushing in that direction. My efficacy in research and life varies with how well my activities can be aligned with the varying summations of my motivations, and how well I can keep my motivations focused on my activities. Overall my efforts and researches are reasonably aligned with the prevailing directions that my motivations push me and I continue to make enough progress for some self-respect and satisfaction.
 

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As an INFP who just got my associates degree. I find that I thrive in places with social science, and writing/philosophy helps me understand/structure my craziness. Often times I used to use geology to do this as a child by turning it into metaphors and such.

Honestly, it can be tough in things with a lot of structure or math. I might be 50 kinds of intelligent, or dumb depending on how you see it, but only when my "gut" will let me. I may know that I know that friggin answer and the ability to remember complicated math things. Sometimes I just can't though, and I know deep in my "cogs" I have a giant middle finger to myself telling me I shouldn't be there.

With things like Geology and Physics, and other things I have to transform them into deep understands of the mind/heart, and also the "psychophsyics" of others in order to learn anything about these subjects. I find that once I have them grounded in some sort of "people poetry" that jives with me I can understand them quite well and retain them easily. It is hard work though because I'd rather be doing something else that gives me more "connection".
 

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The general end goal is a phd in planetary science (i'm really interested in habitation-being involved with taking mankind to the next level( I realize this is still a little ways off)). The only setbacks I can see for myself is wildly changing majors to some other area and being discouraged in such a rigid profession as science. The first increasingly seeming unlikely and the second being an oh-well.

My main question is for different types, mostly xxTJ with experience with INFP's; what are some techniques to better structure myself without feeling soulless and empty? Also, what are some tips/experiences other spacey (pun intended) people have with being in a science tract.
It all comes down to perspective and confidence.

Hi! I'm an INFP studying my Master's in Computer Science. I formerly received my Bachelor's in Public Health because I was too scared of pursuing programming thinking that being a female, I couldn't make it in a male-dominated field that relies heavily on mathematics and computational theory.

If I had been able to do my education all over again and overcome my fears, I would have pursued a PhD in Computer Science.

I really, really do encourage you to not let your fears of your ideas of society and stereotypes in the industry, major and any other fields you are pursuing get to you. Instead, try to displace those fears and use it as motivation to help you succeed and pursue your dreams. :)

And I've gone through the many major switches. From Chemistry to Biology, not qualifying for Pharmaceutical Science and ending up in Public Health as a dead end. I was drained and didn't have a passion for health science, but through all of that, I realized that I wouldn't feel fulfilled unless I pursued what I wanted to. So I ended up just going head first into the major that I wanted. I've had no regrets.

As for being able to survive in the science tract, I'm doing okay. Understanding the theory and science/math stuff is really easy for me, but I can be pretty iffy with following up with studying, which is my downfall. :p It takes a lot of work for me to just buckle down and study, but I just learned that it was a necessary evil.

And other tips, confidence will really help you. It took 4 years of college to have the courage to chase my dreams, but it was all a learning and self-development experience that I don't regret.

I could go on probably for a very long time.. If you have any questions, feel free to ask so I can better help you. :)

Good luck!!
 

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Find things that call to your soul and lower your stress. DO THOSE THINGS. Regularly. Often. If you force yourself to forego those to be "responsible" and become better at "time management", you will find yourself falling apart at some point and not functioning/performing as well in your classes. It's hard for me, as a P, to keep to that religiously [time management], but just doing it somewhat regularly helps keep the work load under control, somewhat organized, and helps me keep a positive attitude with it.
Sound, sound advice. Being a P in such an organized field is very difficult. I think I faired better than most because I'm an A-type personality by default, but I still struggled with procrastination. I had a gifted INTJ friend who could procrastinate until the last minute, not feel stressed, and still deliver an above-average result. Asshole.

Procrastination is different for us INFPs because we feel it: it's negativity, the burdensome, straining weight. I can attest that if you don't adopt some J habits, then you will become greatly discouraged with the work load and possibly even quit pursuing your dream because you feel so smothered.

If you get disorganized or fall behind, don't beat yourself up over it. You are making yourself a more well-rounded person and that's awesome and will take you far, but there will be bumps along the way.
Don't ever, ever beat yourself up. We INFPs are super efficient at doing that. With lots of practice at suppressing your Fi and strengthening your analytical side, you really will become a more balanced person.

"Oh my god, suppressing your Fi?! But that's what makes you human!"

Shhhh. I didn't say that I got rid of it. But let's be honest: processing via philosophically and morally debating it's truth and meaning for every single bit of information can be pretty exhausting. And unnecessary. I still do that, but afterwards when I am all alone and I can mull it over. That's when I have the supersonic Fi explosion in my head.
 
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