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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Do INFPs have a strong presence in general? Or even a strong personality?

Because I get told all the time (family and friends) that I've got a very strong presence; even strangers are taken aback by me when they are in close proximity. The VP of my company stops dead when he sees me, and he's got a super strong personality and presence; he just reeks of importance. I've seen him around others and he really dominates the atmosphere, but it's strange when he's around me. It's almost like he takes a back seat to me.

My boss also has a strong presence and personality. And even she said I have a strong personality! What the heck? I just feel so harmless! I work with a bunch of scientists and most of them are no nonsense with everybody! And yet I see and feel them get uneasy and even a bit unhinged around me.

And frankly, this makes me very uncomfortable. I feel bad that I've caused them to be in such a state.

I don't know any other INFPs, but from what I've gathered from here, INFPs seem to come off as rather soft and yielding (except for when ideals are violated, of course).

I've read that INFJs can come off as rather intimidating (I get told I'm intimidating all the time too, ugh). But I am not an INFJ, their cognitive functions as a whole make little sense to me. I definitely do Fi...so can this come off as intimidating? I know when I start talking about some interesting topic, I come off as very passionate and intense, but I'm not loud. I've also been told my eyes are piercing. Fi stare? I don't think I wear a scowl, haha, but I could be wrong.

Yes, this bothers me. I wish I were more approachable.

Any other INFPs have similar experiences? (Or maybe I'm not even a INFP...gosh, I'd really dislike figuring out my type again.)
 

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Do INFPs have a strong presence in general? Or even a strong personality?
Ummm..... that would be a no in my experience. I certainly have a very squishable, ignorable, 'please trod all over me' Presence or perhaps non-presence.... and I'd say the other INFPs I personally know are the same. I feel like we've all got signs that say 'Prey' and 'Easy Target' over our heads. It always feels to me like we're on the bottom of the social pecking order.

Now... I will add that I do look eccentric, so people will notice my clothes or my hair, but that has never translated into a 'strong presence' as far as I know. Certainly people don't make way for me, or give in to me, or look to me as any kind of leader or directive force. I usually get talked right over when I try to speak up, and even if people hear what I have to say it gets brushed aside like I don't count - unless they're actually close friends/family. I have the most terrible time whenever I'm placed in authority over anyone, even kids, because they just don't listen and respect me automatically AT ALL. I have like.... zero dominance ability even when I'm trying.... I tend to just get laughed at and talked down to or ignored. No one seems to take me as a force to be reckoned with. I have had people be afraid of eliciting an emotional response from me because they're not good at dealing with emotions themselves and I can sometimes be a bit dramatic in my expressions, but.... I don't really direct emotional eruptions at anyone in particular, it's rare that I'd turn aggressive except on rare occasions when it's somebody else being hurt and I feel like I have to stick up for them because no-one else will, but even so.... I feel like I always come off as pretty flimsy and lame, like a tiny dog yapping it's head off. Not very intimidating.

INFPs in my experience tend to at least appear to be accommodating to others even when they don't want to be (though they often genuinely are flexible and willing to make others happy), they will just break off and do whatever they want on their own rather than push back against someone who is trying to push them around. They usually seem allergic to directing others because they tend to see directiveness as bossy and rude, they go for mutual cooperation or just going our separate ways, not really pushing for others to agree with them.

. . . I don't know any other INFPs, but from what I've gathered from here, INFPs seem to come off as rather soft and yielding (except for when ideals are violated, of course).
yes, that's definitely how INFPs come off in my experience

I've read that INFJs can come off as rather intimidating (I get told I'm intimidating all the time too, ugh). But I am not an INFJ, their cognitive functions as a whole make little sense to me. I definitely do Fi...so can this come off as intimidating? I know when I start talking about some interesting topic, I come off as very passionate and intense, but I'm not loud. I've also been told my eyes are piercing. Fi stare? I don't think I wear a scowl, haha, but I could be wrong.
INFPs can look very serious while lost in thought even when they're not unhappy.... I've not noticed any that look like they're piercing or glaring though.... usually when one of my fiends or I try glaring people tell us we're cute.... it totally doesn't work.

INFJs can come off as intimidating to me though, yes. Not always, but sometimes.

Maybe there are some intimidating INFPs out there, I don't know... but that's definitely not been my experience.
 

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Although my friends and family and I do not see myself that way, I have been told exactly as you have in the workplace many times for many years. I think it is that when I am confronted with something my Fi and my conscience tells me is wrong I do have a history of making a stand. I couldn't bear myself if I didn't stand up for what's right, whether it's an injustice to a co-worker or myself or a poorly considered bad idea. I'll say it and I suppose I say it with some passion and conviction.

I really feel like I'm more like @Aelthwyn in that I am submissive and alpha to no one. My appearance is different, not so much for the clothes I wear but for the way I go about living seems to make people uncomfortable. So one is the intensity that comes out when my values are threatened and the other is just being different. I prefer to be alone. I walk and ride the bus. That actually freaks people out wherever I work. Why they find it so strange is beyond my comprehension, but they do and at every job I've ever had. I don't join well in extracurricular group activities. Though I am a runner, I have zero interest in running the Boulder Bolder with a team from our company. I know a lot of people don't understand why. Me? Run in an event with 50,000 other people? 50,000??? I DON'T THINK SO! And there comes that intensity again.

So I guess I can see where people think that in my case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ummm..... that would be a no in my experience. I certainly have a very squishable, ignorable, 'please trod all over me' Presence or perhaps non-presence.... and I'd say the other INFPs I personally know are the same. I feel like we've all got signs that say 'Prey' and 'Easy Target' over our heads. It always feels to me like we're on the bottom of the social pecking order.
This is the exact opposite of me. People don't even try to feed me their BS. The few that attempt it quickly abandon the idea.

. Now... I will add that I do look eccentric, so people will notice my clothes or my hair, but that has never translated into a 'strong presence' as far as I know. Certainly people don't make way for me, or give in to me, or look to me as any kind of leader or directive force. I usually get talked right over when I try to speak up, and even if people hear what I have to say it gets brushed aside like I don't count - unless they're actually close friends/family. I have the most terrible time whenever I'm placed in authority over anyone, even kids, because they just don't listen and respect me automatically AT ALL. I have like.... zero dominance ability even when I'm trying.... I tend to just get laughed at and talked down to or ignored. No one seems to take me as a force to be reckoned with. I have had people be afraid of eliciting an emotional response from me because they're not good at dealing with emotions themselves and I can sometimes be a bit dramatic in my expressions, but.... I don't really direct emotional eruptions at anyone in particular, it's rare that I'd turn aggressive except on rare occasions when it's somebody else being hurt and I feel like I have to stick up for them because no-one else will, but even so.... I feel like I always come off as pretty flimsy and lame, like a tiny dog yapping it's head off. Not very intimidating.
We are on different ends of the spectrum yet again :unsure: My fashion sense is rather clean cut with a bit of an edge to it. It is not bohemian or even zany, to say the least.

And people always listen to what I have to say, if I choose to speak at all. And they try to put me in that position as well. That being said, I abhor being in a position of authority. I find it taxing, and frankly, I cannot stand managing others. And I especially hate it when I have to micromanage someone (no one likes to be micromanaged, but some need it.)

And I have to try to tone down my intensity/dominance, what have you. My family scold me about this sometimes, but especially my INTJ cousin.

INFPs in my experience tend to at least appear to be accommodating to others even when they don't want to be (though they often genuinely are flexible and willing to make others happy), they will just break off and do whatever they want on their own rather than push back against someone who is trying to push them around. They usually seem allergic to directing others because they tend to see directiveness as bossy and rude, they go for mutual cooperation or just going our separate ways, not really pushing for others to agree with them.
This is definitely me! Verbatim. But it seems I'm the only one who knows this. I am flexible and will pretty much go along with what others have proposed (unless it isn't congruent with my character) but for some odd reason others always tread very lightly around me and get my OK before proceeding with their plans. And yes, I believe it can be bossy and rude to be giving orders, and that's the last thing I want to come off as, because I feel otherwise. I really don't care what others are doing as long as they don't affect anyone else in a negative manner or push their values onto me, because I will stand my ground. Honestly, I just crave understanding.


INFPs can look very serious while lost in thought even when they're not unhappy.... I've not noticed any that look like they're piercing or glaring though.... usually when one of my fiends or I try glaring people tell us we're cute.... it totally doesn't work.
I have the death stare. If looks could kill...yeah. Even when I've flown off with my meanderings in silence, I've been told I look intense (always that word!) and always ask what I'm thinking, with trepidation in their voices. That's when I smile and tell them nothing in particular. Then I see them relax. On the flip side, I've also been told that I've got the softest eyes when I smile, like all the harshness before has evaporated. It's strange! So naturally, I try to smile more often to look softer and less intimidating (but who can smile all the time?!)

I've given thought that perhaps I hop into our shadow persona, the ESTJ, when I'm at work. My occupation requires the thinking function as I'm in the biotech field. But I find that this also bleeds into life outside of work as well. Strangers acknowledge my presence and give me a wide berth. I'm actually very easy-going and laid back, and many are surprised when they discover this trait about me.

Deep down, I am a romantic. But I find that the general public have no real understanding of love (this is worthy of its own thread, so i will not carry on too much about it here). I also see that most people don't even really know or understand themselves (again, another topic).

Thank you for sharing your insights and experiences, by the way. I really appreciate it
 
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Well I think it may actually be impossible for an INFP to have a strong presence like one a CEO or angry school teacher would have (you know what I mean)

However it isn't impossible for an INFP to have an intimidating presence. The kind of presence where everyone is scared you're about to snap at them and theyre afraid to tell jokes to you incase you react badly, basically it makes them uncomfortable. I used to get told I had this presence when I was younger, but only when I was nervous, bored or uncomfortable. So I know how you feel it's very annoying as people would feel intimidated by me and I wasn't sure why.

So here's some advice based on my experience:
-Learn to relax and be more comfortable
-Make free movements, don't worry about looking awkward physically, just don't look like a robot lol
-Smile if someone makes eye contact or talks to you (even if its a shy or ugly smile don't worry)
-Initiate conversation sometimes (eg say hi when you see people)
-Dont speak in monotone
-Make a joke sometimes
-Don't furrow you're brow
-Try to look friendly generally (don't worry about looking stupid)

Hope that helps you :)
 

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I have been told I have a lot of charisma, which surprised me. (I'm a stage performer, but I feel like the minute I'm off the stage, I'm really not that exciting anymore. The person who told me that had never seen me on stage) I don't think people are intimidated by me, but then, I don't go around telling the people I find intimidating that they have that effect on me.
 
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However it isn't impossible for an INFP to have an intimidating presence. The kind of presence where everyone is scared you're about to snap at them and theyre afraid to tell jokes to you incase you react badly, basically it makes them uncomfortable. I used to get told I had this presence when I was younger, but only when I was nervous, bored or uncomfortable. So I know how you feel it's very annoying as people would feel intimidated by me and I wasn't sure why.

So here's some advice based on my experience:
-Learn to relax and be more comfortable
-Make free movements, don't worry about looking awkward physically, just don't look like a robot lol
-Smile if someone makes eye contact or talks to you (even if its a shy or ugly smile don't worry)
-Initiate conversation sometimes (eg say hi when you see people)
-Dont speak in monotone
-Make a joke sometimes
-Don't furrow you're brow
-Try to look friendly generally (don't worry about looking stupid)

Hope that helps you :)
This is really interesting.

I have noticed vaguely that some people act very strangely in my presence before they get to know me well. It's almost as if they are scared or something, and I spot them checking my face for reactions to the things they say. When those people have got to know me better, they tend to realize that I'm really easy going, and usually comment about this quite a lot, as if it's a surprise. :D It's funny, because they are usually people who I would type as ENxxs, so I would have thought that they'd have too much confidence to care about my reactions.

The thing is, I really don't mean to make people feel uncomfortable, and I don't want people to be scared of me. :( It's just that I usually am uncomfortable myself, especially when in defense mode, and it can create some very confusing body language. Perhaps ENxxs are very focused on body language, and so I confuse them severely. I'm not really knowledgeable enough about MBTI to comment on that though.
 

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Yes, actually. My friends and family say I'm bossy and controlling which made me consider being and eight or three in enneagram but in reality I'm a five, so I come off as detached and rather quiet very quickly.
I think I come off as bossy and controlling because things aren't usually rolling the way I want them to roll and at the end of the day it's just me that can do that, so I see it like that.
But that's just my two cents; what do you act like without the MBTI bias?
 

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I'm certainly not very intimidating... I often feel like I have that "easy target" sign over my head, like @Aelthwyn said. Although I've been told a couple of times that I look very confident when I talk in front of people or do a presentation, but that's just me acting and trying to appear that way on purpose. I've observed what confident people look like when they're performing and copied their body language so that I wouldn't look like a nervous wreck. I was quite surprised it worked so well, a teacher actually told me once that I should become a leader of some sort, because I came across so powerful when I was doing my speech. I was laughing on the inside, because that's just so not me. But yeah, that's as intimidating as I get!
 

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Interesting. I am bossy with my friends and family and kind of cold. But with strangers I am the opposite and so warm. I am still not sure about my Aux.
IxFP
 

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I get told often by people who don't know me that I'm too intense. I find that people also seem a little bit intimidated by me and that I have to sort of lay things on thick with them in order to ease things up. I've chalked it up to a few things.

I have a real dead set look most of the time. I'll often smile or start laughing out of the blue, but if I'm thinking about something or I have some sort of mission then it's total serious face. Pair this with the fact that I don't talk too much to people I don't know because I'm generally awkward. I don't want to appear as weak or dumb, because in the trades that's not a good thing. I keep things short, clear and concise even tho that's the complete opposite of my thinking processes.

Also, when I was a kid, I had terrible posture and in my teens I started walking with my head up and back straight, making purposeful strides. When I walk, it feels like I can demolish a brick wall without changing my pace. It made me feel a lot better about myself, forced me to be more present but others started perceiving me differently. My stepbrother always commented that I seemed to walk taller than I actually was and he would puff himself up and bow out his arms to imitate me. Not what I was going for, but I guess that's the trade off.

I don't feel like there's any reason to be intimidated by me, but all these tricks that I've had to teach myself contribute to that image that I supposedly put out there. A few minutes of honest and relaxed conversation usually puts others at ease, tho. My professional life is made a lot easier if I don't appear "soft", so I probably won't stop putting myself out there in that fashion. Plus I feel like I look more confident and that ends up making me feel more confident when dealing with the world.

I really don't know if I can chalk any of that up to being an INFP. At best I can only say that I do these things because my natural way of being screams "Kick Me".
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Although my friends and family and I do not see myself that way, I have been told exactly as you have in the workplace many times for many years. I think it is that when I am confronted with something my Fi and my conscience tells me is wrong I do have a history of making a stand. I couldn't bear myself if I didn't stand up for what's right, whether it's an injustice to a co-worker or myself or a poorly considered bad idea. I'll say it and I suppose I say it with some passion and conviction.
I'll speak up about an injustice too, but behind closed doors. I'll ask to speak to my boss in private, or pull the offender aside and have a small chat, and definitely hold my ground. It's not that I'm afraid of public confrontation, it's just that I don't want to resort to that unless I absolutely have to.

I really feel like I'm more like @Aelthwyn in that I am submissive and alpha to no one.
I am most definitely not submissive, and I don't think I've ever been, even as a child. I'm not the type to just bend over and let someone spank me for any reason. But I'm also not the type to exert my dominance either. I just kind of go about my day, lost in my thoughts most of the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
My friends and family say I'm bossy and controlling ...

...what do you act like without the MBTI bias?
I'm only bossy and controlling when someone has proven that they're incompetent at a task they're given. At that point, I will literally spoon feed them directions on how things ought to be done, much to my dismay and frustration. I honestly believe that if I can accomplish a task, then anybody can, because truth be told, I don't find myself that intelligent.

Without the MBTI bias...I am opinionated and forthright. But I only speak my mind if someone asks for my opinion. The only time I offer my two cents without an invitation is when I am speaking out against an injustice. But this is behind closed doors, I'm a private person and would rather keep a low profile. I also don't like fanfare. I keep quiet if I've done more than my fair share, and I don't like others knowing that I've rescued them, if they needed rescuing. I will only claim credit if some glory hog tries to steal it from me when they've done nothing. I go out of my way to accommodate and get along with everyone and will give everyone the benefit of the doubt (unless someone just totally blasts me with creep vibes, then I avoid them at all costs). But once you've crossed the line I've drawn in the sand by committing a grave mistake (and it takes a lot for me to get to this point), then I will strike you off my list. You no longer exist to me. However, I will forgive if you are sincere and have changed. I believe that people are capable of change, but only they can decide for themselves if they want to or not.

I do very well one on one, or in a very small group setting where people finally get to know me. I am also told quite often that I am very reflective when folks finally talk to me one on one. In bigger gatherings, depending on the crowd and what we're doing, I am jovial and talkative if we are playing group games/activities. In group discussions, I will initially observe first and then finally speak after I have gathered my thoughts...afraid of coming off as stupid if I speak too prematurely.

Are any of you INFPs like this? I relate to quite a few folks in this sub forum actually. I understand your perspectives and I feel the same way often. But when it comes to being meek (and I mean no offense) and submissive, I am rather confused.

I grew up with an INTJ and she did toughen my skin quite a bit. But I also taught her how to speak up for herself when others are picking on her. In other words, we have made each other stronger. She is the only person who truly understands me.
 

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I have never noticed that. I do however weirdly attract strangers to come and talk to me, but otherwise, I think I'm regular. I've gotten comments though that I have a strong stage presence and can capture the attention when on stage, either acting, singing or dancing. It's where I thrive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I get told often by people who don't know me that I'm too intense. I find that people also seem a little bit intimidated by me and that I have to sort of lay things on thick with them in order to ease things up.
This is precisely how it is with me! But how I go about it is, I'll say what they really want to say but are afraid to say it to me. In other words, I will pluck their truths from their thoughts and show them that it is ok to relax around me, and to speak their thoughts and just be them. I want for people to just be themselves but to also recognize their foibles. To understand that they are not infallible and that there is always room for improvement. I value honesty and authenticity, and would rather hear the truth then a sugary lie. Needless to say, criticisms therefore don't bother me. I actually welcome it because to me, it is something that I can improve on, I always feel like there is something I need to work on about myself. I am only very sensitive about a few things, such as witnessing any form of injustice.

I have a real dead set look most of the time. I'll often smile or start laughing out of the blue, but if I'm thinking about something or I have some sort of mission then it's total serious face. Pair this with the fact that I don't talk too much to people I don't know because I'm generally awkward. I don't want to appear as weak or dumb, because in the trades that's not a good thing. I keep things short, clear and concise even tho that's the complete opposite of my thinking processes.
Nodding my head vigorously to everything! Except for the bolded part. I try to appear, not exactly weaker per se, but less strong so that I seem more approachable. Because I absolutely hate it when someone feels intimidated by me! Seriously, I'm a pile of mush inside, lol. I kick myself when I feel I've slighted someone, even after years I will remember my slight and feel terrible as if I've just done it two seconds ago. And I can be awkward when it comes to small talk, especially if the other is inquiring about me. I'll turn the conversation into them. Again, I am very private and will only share to those very close to me.

Also, when I was a kid, I had terrible posture and in my teens I started walking with my head up and back straight, making purposeful strides. When I walk, it feels like I can demolish a brick wall without changing my pace. It made me feel a lot better about myself, forced me to be more present but others started perceiving me differently. My stepbrother always commented that I seemed to walk taller than I actually was and he would puff himself up and bow out his arms to imitate me. Not what I was going for, but I guess that's the trade off.

I don't feel like there's any reason to be intimidated by me, but all these tricks that I've had to teach myself contribute to that image that I supposedly put out there. A few minutes of honest and relaxed conversation usually puts others at ease, tho. My professional life is made a lot easier if I don't appear "soft", so I probably won't stop putting myself out there in that fashion. Plus I feel like I look more confident and that ends up making me feel more confident when dealing with the world.

I really don't know if I can chalk any of that up to being an INFP. At best I can only say that I do these things because my natural way of being screams "Kick Me".
Opposite of you here. I actually was told by my family to tone my body language down. Oh dear, I might now consider wearing a sign that reads, "I won't kick you, I promise" (but maybe with fine printing that says unless you need to be kicked).
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well I think it may actually be impossible for an INFP to have a strong presence like one a CEO or angry school teacher would have (you know what I mean)

However it isn't impossible for an INFP to have an intimidating presence. The kind of presence where everyone is scared you're about to snap at them and theyre afraid to tell jokes to you incase you react badly, basically it makes them uncomfortable. I used to get told I had this presence when I was younger, but only when I was nervous, bored or uncomfortable. So I know how you feel it's very annoying as people would feel intimidated by me and I wasn't sure why.

So here's some advice based on my experience:
-Learn to relax and be more comfortable
-Make free movements, don't worry about looking awkward physically, just don't look like a robot lol
-Smile if someone makes eye contact or talks to you (even if its a shy or ugly smile don't worry)
-Initiate conversation sometimes (eg say hi when you see people)
-Dont speak in monotone
-Make a joke sometimes
-Don't furrow you're brow
-Try to look friendly generally (don't worry about looking stupid)

Hope that helps you :)
Haha, I actually do everything that you've listed! I don't mind looking stupid so long as people don't actually think I'm stupid. I am going to attribute this to Te inferior. Again, I don't think I wear a scowl on face. If people ever comment about my expression, it is always "are you ok? You look so tired!"

I used to be very forceful and deliberate with my gait, but I've had to learn to soften it.
 
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