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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What does an INFJ look like at their best? I am ENFP so I would be interested in what ways we are similar and how our differences manifest themselves.

What are your best attributes?

Your INFJ heros and role models?

At our best, ENFPs are a bit like overshook champange... we froth happiness onto other people;-)
 

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I wouldn't say personality types are trading cards that evolve with stature over time. A personality type is like the type/shape of a baking pan one uses for the cake--while the cake itself is the unique blend of character. A type is very limited in explaining who someone it is, but it does give a fairly accurate frame of mind for where to start looking.

Thus, my answer is that there is no "best" INFJ or "worst" INFJ. They are just INFJ. It's up to them to make their cake tasty or sour.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There aren't traits that you can share more generally? Obviously, there would always be exceptions, but--for instance, all NFs quantifiably share certain traits--high emotional intelligence, low tactical intelligence, preference for the color blue... j/k about the color blue.

And, generally speaking, we could say that mature people share certain tendencies--embracing their uniqueness, making the most of their potential, committing themselves to the good...in short, becoming the best version of themselves.

So a well-rounded ENFP is going to look a bit like a puppy, sniffing the ground for interesting smells and then barking at everyone else when we find something.

Or over-shook champagne--you pop our top and we froth with exuberance and tiny, effervescent golden bubbles that tingle your nose and intoxicate.

We splash our NF all over the walls of the auditorium, cracking jokes, making music...

We get high off of other people...no substance required. I used to do hand-less back bends at college frat parties to pick up a shot of water with my teeth. I used to challenge 6 foot 6 basketball players to a game of pool that I knew I would certainly lose. Why? I was high off of them. No idea!

Anyway, I was wondering if there was anything INFJs discovered over and over again as they embraced the INFJ-ness of themselves--recurring themes, revelations, awareness of what it means to be INFJ?

Imagery would be more than welcome. I've only scratched at the surface of your forum so far, and I've seen plenty of that!
 

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My INFJ hero is Merlin from the British tv series :) His life purpose, or "destiny," is to serve and protect his best friend, King Arthur. He never seeks any credit and is always there for Arthur and that really speaks to me as an INFJ...at my best I'd say I just want to pour love into people's lives, always be there for them, and most of all protect them. Thanks isn't necessary. But at my worst, if I'm bitter from being rejected/lonely, I withdraw and become selfish.
 

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I wouldn't say personality types are trading cards that evolve with stature over time. A personality type is like the type/shape of a baking pan one uses for the cake--while the cake itself is the unique blend of character. A type is very limited in explaining who someone it is, but it does give a fairly accurate frame of mind for where to start looking.

Thus, my answer is that there is no "best" INFJ or "worst" INFJ. They are just INFJ. It's up to them to make their cake tasty or sour.
We can be observed but not defined. We are varied and highly variable.
Actually, that is a fair statement for all people.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
We can be observed but not defined. We are varied and highly variable.
Actually, that is a fair statement for all people.
This is funny to me. I love defining people/social realities. I don't mean putting them in a box, but more connecting the dots between one and the other to draw bigger conclusions about their relationship. I've noticed NTPs approach their T in sort of the same way--exploring the spectrum of elements, seeing how they relate. Maybe it's a *N*P thing?

I've encountered this sort of resistance to being labeled from other INFJs. One INFJ friend in particular resists the entire personality theory. He bristles at the thought that you can paint the world in four primary colors of humanity, and gets very annoyed with me when I observe someone on the street and conclude something ridiculous, like "That person is definitely EP."

I can see his point, but I've found the personality theory pretty useful as a heurisitical device for character creation. I am an author and I use Keirsey's Please Understand Me II book/theory to develop my characters in a variety of realistic ways.

One of my characters is a young INFJ, age 11-14 or so, and I am trying to better understand her;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My INFJ hero is Merlin from the British tv series :) His life purpose, or "destiny," is to serve and protect his best friend, King Arthur. He never seeks any credit and is always there for Arthur and that really speaks to me as an INFJ...at my best I'd say I just want to pour love into people's lives, always be there for them, and most of all protect them. Thanks isn't necessary. But at my worst, if I'm bitter from being rejected/lonely, I withdraw and become selfish.
That's really beautiful. Thanks.

BTW, I think all NFs have that darker potential--even ENFPs. We laugh and joke even when we're broken inside. I remember the moment I finally started to come to terms with the emotional abuse I suffered growing up. A lot of my friends didn't even believe me...up until the point that I came clean about my crippling depression and self-doubt, I had seemed like the happiest person in the world to them. My revelations came around the time I started dating the guy who later became my husband and a lot of them thought I was just being stupid and weak--that he was controlling me and causing all these problems that didn't actually exist.

It was a sucky time. I lost a lot of friends. But it was good ultimately, because I made peace with myself, and now, when I laugh and joke, I'm not trying to hide anything.

Maybe I will have to watch Merlin...
 

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What are your best attributes?
I've certainly got all kinds of attributes ranging from good to awful but what I like about myself is an ability to inspire people to work for something special and meaningful together and help people's relationships with each other be more positive in groups etc. by providing insight into the members' personality and motivations. I also like that I'm a survivor and have managed to turn out ok. despite really negative experiences and have developed some really solid lasting friendships and a relationship that is very positive.
My favourite thing about myself is my imagination and creativity and my specific POV into life and situations which I've been told makes everyday life seem a bit more magical and meaningful. I also liked being told by young females I'd inspired them to get into making music when I was performing in a very male dominant music scene. It made me feel really good that they felt they could do it despite the general attitudes to the contrary. I've been similarly inspired by some really amazing ladies and it felt like I was in my small way a part of that passing down the flame.

Your INFJ heros and role models?
Tori Amos, Kate Bush, Leonard Cohen and Trent Reznor.

At our best, ENFPs are a bit like overshook champange... we froth happiness onto other people;-)
That's why I just love you wonderful ENFPs. I've been so blessed with having a special ENFP friend and a husband who have both been very instrumental in bettering my quality of life by instilling a sense of optimism and playfulness with their presence.
 

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This is funny to me. I love defining people/social realities. I don't mean putting them in a box, but more connecting the dots between one and the other to draw bigger conclusions about their relationship. I've noticed NTPs approach their T in sort of the same way--exploring the spectrum of elements, seeing how they relate. Maybe it's a *N*P thing?

I've encountered this sort of resistance to being labeled from other INFJs. One INFJ friend in particular resists the entire personality theory. He bristles at the thought that you can paint the world in four primary colors of humanity, and gets very annoyed with me when I observe someone on the street and conclude something ridiculous, like "That person is definitely EP."

I can see his point, but I've found the personality theory pretty useful as a heurisitical device for character creation. I am an author and I use Keirsey's Please Understand Me II book/theory to develop my characters in a variety of realistic ways.

One of my characters is a young INFJ, age 11-14 or so, and I am trying to better understand her;-)
It is fine to label characters in a game, a book. I have written for pleasure but published only a few stort stories. I just reach back and pick out people I have crossed paths with, andelaborate a bit, and the character becomes unique to the story -

The MBTI test was never meant to define a person. Label people? that is cruel. Someone might believe you. I's not real life and it is demeaning to do so. Enablement means casting off assigned roles, not embracing them.
 

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I don't see anything wrong with this as a thought exercise, and not an exercise in labelling/stereotyping.

Also, I speak only for myself, and not as a representative of "type." But, having recently contributed to a thread on my worst traits, maybe for the sake of balance I'll set forth some things I like about myself:

- good at seeing all sides of an issue, especially an emotional issue, and gently pointing this out to people who are struggling. I think this fosters interpersonal understanding and empathy, and I'm a good mediator.

- good at smoothing over edges in a room, making people feel comfortable. As an introvert, parties aren't my natural space, but I find when I'm hosting one, I'm very attentive to my guests, making introductions, directing people to people I know they would like speaking with, and subtly fostering social connections and comfort, even among strangers.

- good at anticipating needs. Not psychic (though sometimes it seems that way), but I can pick up on people's emotions and thoughts, and either respond to them or articulate them before they do.

- human lie detector, though I often try hard to give people the benefit of the doubt even in the face of evidence or my intuition because I don't want to believe they would lie to me.

- self-aware, other-aware, polite, considerate, helpful both to strangers and friends, good listener, conscientious, diligent, intelligent, emotionally intelligent.

This I'm not sure how to articulate, quite, but I'm not snobby in a material/status-oriented way. I can be intellectually snobby, sometimes, but I will talk to anyone, no matter who they are. I find it easy to relate to people and find common ground with them, even if they won't necessarily be best friends.

The first time it struck me that not everyone was like this was when I was young, and I remember being at a restaurant with a relative who is well-moneyed and really snobby, and this man was trying to talk to us who was a mechanic or had a similar blue-collar job. My relative literally looked down her nose, looked away, and wouldn't talk to this guy. But I ended up talking to him for a long time. I chat with homeless people, street kids, anyone... Why not? everybody has an interesting story and a lot to offer. Life lessons come from surprising places.

The flip side of this is the INFJ "dark side": If I meet someone who I judge to be that sort of materialistic, shallow, narcissistic, opinionated, d-bag type, and they engage me, then I will F* with them mercilessly. There's a real vindictiveness there. Sometimes it's just teasing, but if I smell "bad/toxic people", I have intent and desire to mess with their heads, their values, make them question themselves, and sometimes even insult them (though usually quite subtly, and politely, if that makes sense). [I'm also aware of the inherent hypocrisy of imposing my judgments on other people, hence the underlined text above.]

But if said toxic person is a family member or friend of friend, I probably will just let it go for the sake of keeping the peace.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It is fine to label characters in a game, a book. I have written for pleasure but published only a few stort stories. I just reach back and pick out people I have crossed paths with, and elaborate a bit, and the character becomes unique to the story -

The MBTI test was never meant to define a person. Label people? that is cruel. Someone might believe you. I's not real life and it is demeaning to do so. Enablement means casting off assigned roles, not embracing them.
I'm sorry if I touched a nerve. I would never use the theory to demean someone or treat them cruelly. I'm not sure what I said to make you think that of me.

But as for labeling people, the MBTI is just that--one big system of categorizing people according to how they tend to navigate life. As you are here, calling yourself an INFJ, I imagine that you see the value of the theory at some level.

I see a lot of bad applications of the theory here on this forum--type bashing and insulting each other's type out of ignorance or prejudice. I think it is appalling.

I'm not trying to label anyone into a box that says, "They are only good at this; they are always bad at this..." I don't see the theory like that. I see it more the way @Antipode describes, types being a variety of baking molds in which the person alone determines how well their cake will come out.

Personally, I think the more mature a person becomes, the better they embrace their own type's potential--and the better they embrace other types--learning from other types skills that don't come as naturally to their own type. To fit it into the analogy, they would become a fabulous cake--one that everyone can taste and appreciate and agree on is well-made.

To respond to what you said, maturing would be freeing oneself from being typecasted--AND embracing the fullness one's own potential--simultaneously.

Anyway, I am looking for some primary source insight on how INFJs view themselves. I find the method of basing characters off of people I know extremely helpful (thank you!), but inadequate to the task of fully fleshing out characters for a character-driven novel. My young INFJ girl is not my protagonist, but her subplot is important to me, and I want to maintain the integrity of her character throughout.

Also, I hate conflict and being at odds with someone--I hope we can make peace!
 

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I'm sorry if I touched a nerve. I would never use the theory to demean someone or treat them cruelly. I'm not sure what I said to make you think that of me.

But as for labeling people, the MBTI is just that--one big system of categorizing people according to how they tend to navigate life. As you are here, calling yourself an INFJ, I imagine that you see the value of the theory at some level.

I see a lot of bad applications of the theory here on this forum--type bashing and insulting each other's type out of ignorance or prejudice. I think it is appalling.

I'm not trying to label anyone into a box that says, "They are only good at this; they are always bad at this..." I don't see the theory like that. I see it more the way @Antipode describes, types being a variety of baking molds in which the person alone determines how well their cake will come out.

Personally, I think the more mature a person becomes, the better they embrace their own type's potential--and the better they embrace other types--learning from other types skills that don't come as naturally to their own type. To fit it into the analogy, they would become a fabulous cake--one that everyone can taste and appreciate and agree on is well-made.

To respond to what you said, maturing would be freeing oneself from being typecasted--AND embracing the fullness one's own potential--simultaneously.

Anyway, I am looking for some primary source insight on how INFJs view themselves. I find the method of basing characters off of people I know extremely helpful (thank you!), but inadequate to the task of fully fleshing out characters for a character-driven novel. My young INFJ girl is not my protagonist, but her subplot is important to me, and I want to maintain the integrity of her character throughout.

Also, I hate conflict and being at odds with someone--I hope we can make peace!
Peace forever between us! Old men get cranky and I have run into a bunch of strange gamers. And some people post their great sorrow over their type. We humans tear each other up over nothing -and sometimes over petty misunderstandings (like this instance) You know, we hear and read what we want too sometimes.
I apologise. Thank you for this peace offering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I've certainly got all kinds of attributes ranging from good to awful but what I like about myself is an ability to inspire people to work for something special and meaningful together and help people's relationships with each other be more positive in groups etc. by providing insight into the members' personality and motivations. I also like that I'm a survivor and have managed to turn out ok. despite really negative experiences and have developed some really solid lasting friendships and a relationship that is very positive.
My favourite thing about myself is my imagination and creativity and my specific POV into life and situations which I've been told makes everyday life seem a bit more magical and meaningful. I also liked being told by young females I'd inspired them to get into making music when I was performing in a very male dominant music scene. It made me feel really good that they felt they could do it despite the general attitudes to the contrary. I've been similarly inspired by some really amazing ladies and it felt like I was in my small way a part of that passing down the flame.


Tori Amos, Kate Bush, Leonard Cohen and Trent Reznor.


That's why I just love you wonderful ENFPs. I've been so blessed with having a special ENFP friend and a husband who have both been very instrumental in bettering my quality of life by instilling a sense of optimism and playfulness with their presence.
You sound pretty inspiring to me too! Thanks for your input!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The first time it struck me that not everyone was like this was when I was young, and I remember being at a restaurant with a relative who is well-moneyed and really snobby, and this man was trying to talk to us who was a mechanic or had a similar blue-collar job. My relative literally looked down her nose, looked away, and wouldn't talk to this guy. But I ended up talking to him for a long time. I chat with homeless people, street kids, anyone... Why not? everybody has an interesting story and a lot to offer. Life lessons come from surprising places.
Love this. Thanks for sharing.
 
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