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Similarities and Differences between INTP's and INFP's

42477 Views 33 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  narawithherthought
This year I had a wild experience of rooming in college with a fellow INFP. When I first met her I thought we had crazy similarities, we loved the same music, enjoyed the same classes, shared the same major, both liked photography, and were into writing. However, I soon found that our the way we perceived things was completely different. She based her opinions and made decisions solely on feelings (Strong Feeler) and everything I did was revolved around my thinking analysis of things (Strong Thinker). Although these differences caused a cross in communication and understanding at some points, after some time we came to know and understand how the other functioned and became quite the dynamic duo. We became best friends and did everything together, the only time spent apart was when we had to go to classes. With this being said, we would have the same exact day which would lead to us ultimately thinking about the same things, so much sometimes it was almost creepy. One of us would bring up something on their mind that had occurred and the other would confess to thinking about the same thing.. the only difference was the way we interpreted those thoughts. It's as if we were on parallel train tracks, the only difference being the energy fueling our trains.

..I thought it would be interesting to get some feedback from other INFP's who have been friends with INTP's or vice versa. Input would be lovely! :)
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I love infps <333333 I've been friends with three infps in the past four years, we're all similar in that we're quiet, introspective, literary, observers of human behaviour, social retards, tendency to procrastinate, at times overly sensitive to other people's actions.

Infp #1
When I first met him he was in shy reserved mode, and I was in excited hyper mode, so I just totally sprang on him with an endless flurry of chatter, not minding that I wasn't getting much response. We both eventually realized, and talked about, how we thought we were really similar to each other -- that was way before we'd discovered mbti. But I don't think either of us ever completely opened up to each other. In the sense that neither of us talked about our feelings to each other, though we talked about everything else under the sun like random things we'd observed in school and all that. May have been due by the fact that we once got into this... godawful long... fight about religion. I wasn't too affected by it afterwards, but following that incident he probably couldn't trust me not to violate his values or something, hence his withdrawing. We prioritized different things -- his defense of his religion was value-based, while my criticism of it was logic-based. (though this was three years ago and I have since learnt to be more considerate of other's views)

Infp #2
The only female infp I've met. At first ours was a friendship of convenience -- we were in a class of 15 guys and 3 girls -- but we soon realized that there was more to our friendship than convenience. We were both in the debating society, and obsessed over argumentation techniques and amusing turns of logic. We both brought two books with us wherever we went, so if we got bored of one book we could read another. We hung out everyday after school.

I couldn't understand her on an emotional level though. I tried to sympathize and be considerate of what I knew were her sensitive issues, but I couldn't completely empathize. Also at that time I didn't have any awareness of exactly how sensitive infps are, and I didn't have a clue as to the depth of feeling she harboured -- I just assumed she was like me, and the only difference was our life experiences. (which is why mbti is such an amazing thing!!!) So it came as a surprise when in a fit of anger I said something to her that I myself wouldn't have taken literally, and she ended up withdrawing into herself... well the friendship kind of spiralled down from there. T vs. F, gah.

Infp #3
The most recent infp I've met is the one I'm the least similar to. (and possibly hence the most attracted to) The other two infps were equally if not more reserved than me, but this one is more loud, jokey, extroverted and Ne-ish. Possibly his relative extroversion arises as a result of needing to people-please, but this is just a theory. He seems to be a people-pleaser to some extent, actively seeking out activities that involve helping people, and getting terribly guilty when he thinks he's imposed on others. Personally I could never devote that much energy into helping others >< He's also not as into intellectual pursuits as me or the other two infps are - people/experiences, rather than ideas alone, are his thing. For him, ideas and philosophy seem to be a byproduct of life, rather than ends in themselves. (all this is half speculation though)

Weirdly he also seems to be more guarded about his private life than the other two were. He seems to be addicted to using humor and light-heartedness as a way to deflect me, throw me off his scent so to speak. Or he just doesn't directly talk about his own thoughts/feelings much. I get access to all his outward charm and humor, which is intoxicating, but his innermost self remains sealed off. I am kind of amazed at how he can hang out with a person regularly for months, be nice and charming and friendly, but still keep them at a distance. For me to even hang out with a person that much and exchange regular text messages and everything, I'd first have to consider that person extremely close to my heart.

okay I shall stop before this turns into an autobiography detailing all my experiences with infps :laughing:
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I quite enjoy my debates – maybe a source of the claimed belligerence. I use debate as a tool to learn, somewhat. It's not my main method, but it's definitely the only way I really learned to get to the "heart" of an argument and figure out why people think about things the way they do. This quest for understanding unfortunately gets me into a lot of trouble.

People often (falsely) believe me to be a dimwit upon an initial encounter. I don't say much with new people, and what comes out isn't exactly what you would expect of a smart person. Strangely enough, without being cocky (I'm not, except on this issue), everyone I've ever gotten to know holds me in a high regard as far as intelligence and usually comes to me first on anything relating to knowledge or logic. That feels good, a sense of accomplishment, if you will.

It seems as if the average INFP is quite a bit different than... all of that. They could be insanely smart and no one would ever know because they tend to keep that kind of thing to themselves and focus more on the emotions or what have you. Just my opinion.
Wow. I debate for the same reasons as you do, too. Arguing, providing alternative views, asking questions to find out why someone thinks a certain way -- it's all kinda automatic. I don't even see it as 'challenging' or 'disrespecting', because that isn't my intention at all, but I can see how it would come across that way.

random small example (kind of dumb, but it sort of puts the point across)

Infp friend: I don't know why you think that girl in our class is pretty. I think she's far from it.
Me: But she is! She has big round eyes, proportionate features... (this is basically me trying to set the table for a discussion & to invite her to present her evidence~)
Infp friend: See, this is why I don't argue with you. You always do this.
Me: o_o (at that time having no idea what 'this' means)

Intps, like all nts, take pride in their intelligence, competence, mastery etc. I don't flaunt it, but it'd be lying to say I didn't derive pride and a certain amount of self-esteem from it. The infps I know / have known... they get their self-esteem elsewhere. Although one did value intelligence very much - she seemed to have constructed her sense of self around it or something.
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maybe you should have asked why she thought that first, and then said something like "I see what you mean, but I think....

I'm still learning about this too, but I think with alot of feelers, if theiir point-of-view is just dismissed out of hand like that, they get upset. I guess they want it to at least be acknowledged
Mm yeah that makes sense. My first thought was that 'maybe she doesn't like having her beliefs picked apart so technically/nit-picky-ish... she wants me to accept them without question'. So I was a bit :dry: But your explanation makes more sense.

I wasn't dismissing her POV, I was honestly expecting her to respond to my first statement with a counter statement of her own, so we could start a friendly debate... but I notice that with NF's, or just anyone in general, wording makes a lot of difference. So I should've said what you suggested, instead of just 'But she is!'

lol this is so interesting... this scientific study of infps. It's like I'm embarking on an intellectual theoretical study of infps, analyzing their nature and the appropriate methodology of dealing with them... Okay I'm sorry if that sounded offensive or objectifying. I just honestly like you guys :wink:
lol I feel like I'm a lab rat that you secretly harbor feelings for. xD But it didn't sound offensive..... maybe a little objectifying xD.
feelings? nah, intps don't feel. it's all a plot to get infps to trust me so i can harvest the Fi-essence of you guys to provide me with the emotional warmth i so desperately crave:bored:
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