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Fu Dominant
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Hey there, crazy kids! :proud:

So it occurred to me earlier today that the INFJ in general is likely the most stoic and "serious" of the NF types. This is exemplified by the occasional perceived need for a "happy" or otherwise "less than serious" thread here on our forum. And this is even more so the case irl than online, I would imagine. It's something of a feat, considering NFs in general aren't exactly well known for their serious stoicism. :wink:

What are your thoughts? Pros & Cons if you agree?

Feel free to branch off into related tangents as may be necessary. All types input welcome, of course. I realize this isn't some new revelation around here. But I thought it'd make for some good discussion. What makes an INFJ more likely to be serious and stoic than the other NFs? Is it a good or not-so-good thing? What makes other NFs less likely to be so by comparison? Etc, etc.

Oh, and on an interesting side-note: I've also realized that I am more serious and stoic by my own POV than those around me would consider. I'm not sure if this is due to Fe "softening" of rough edges, or something else, but this also might explain why others find us so ... saintly... when we don't really see it the same way.
 

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Hi!

I think I very well understand where you're coming from!

Although I can act silly and fun, I still often feel like inside I'm pretty serious compared to my friends. I think inside we have a very strong moral code that is present in our minds no matter what the situation. This also makes me easily triggered to any kind of "wronging" which can sometimes change my mood drastically.

For example a while ago I was visiting a friend of mine. Turns out she (or her friends more specifically) are growing cannabis in her home. I was veery bother by it while all my other friends were all lols. Meanwhile I think my face looked something like this: :shocked:
In fact I'm still troubled about it lol.

But maybe that's not quite what you meant. I guess what I'm saying is that often there are situations in which people are generally enjoying themselves and the moment, while I am too, but on the inside it's sort of like stoic calmness. But yeah it's pretty hard to describe...


I actually think it's a J thing (Although I'm pretty sure some Mbti genius will come correct, someone always does. :laughing:) The biggest difference between me and an INFP friend of mine is probably the air of seriousness that I have.

 

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The seriousness I get. The stoicism, I am not sure about for me. Stoicism is too unfeeling and repressive of emotion for me. It is the opposite extreme of overly emotional IMO. My brother is stoic. It works for him just fine, but I couldnt do it.

I know on forums and in writing I come across as a lot more rigid and serious than I want. I like being serious, that I can tackle a topic with gravity and tact, but at the same time, I am that guy that tries to tightrope walk parking space lines. I like the not-so serious part of me as much as the serious. I want to be that guy you know you can cut up with, but still also talk about something serious. I like being open and available, able to accomodate anyones particular mood.
 

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When I was a kid my silly side came out easily. Very easily. It still does. When something funny happens I'm the first and last one laughing. I love my ENFP friends: they come up with the ideas and I play along. I just don't amuse myself that much. Myself, I'm sometimes light-hearted, sometimes brooding, but never funny, at least not to me. I need someone else to make me laugh, or laugh at me. ;)

In general, I just tend to adapt to other people. An old ESFP friend thought I was the most fun person in the world. He didn't know it was him who brought it out of me. (I just love ExFPs. I really, really do.) And an ESTP friend thought I was daring and cool girl. I just have a hard time with certain SJ types. Not all of them, but the ones who take themselves too seriously. Then, maybe I'm not so serious after all.

When I was younger I did put up a good stoic front. I thought stoic meant strong, and I wanted to be that. But anymore I think it takes more strength to show some of what you have, let others sort of really know you, and engage. Live life. Really live it. I don't know if it's true for all INFJs but it seems to me that the few of us I know in real life have everything it takes to be excellent people and live extraordinary lives, which we do in some ways, but for some reason we doubt ourselves and hold back.
 

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Yeah, I agree haha. I tend to kill conversation by turning it into either a debate or taking a conversation "too deep" for my friends. Not saying they're not deep, it's just that most people like to have light conversation until they're loosened up.

On a sort of related side note... I honestly get annoyed around people who are bubbly (unless it's a girl, I'm attracted to ESFP/ESTP type of girls as friends.)

Maybe it's because for some reason I become really goofy around bubbly people and regret it later. People actually like that side of me, but god it's so annoying. I guess that's how Fe works though in social situations though.
 

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On a sort of related side note... I honestly get annoyed around people who are bubbly (unless it's a girl, I'm attracted to ESFP/ESTP type of girls as friends.)

Maybe it's because for some reason I become really goofy around bubbly people and regret it later. People actually like that side of me, but god it's so annoying. I guess that's how Fe works though in social situations though.
Happens to me all the time as well. Even to the point that I'll avoid bubbly people because they make me act so silly I'll regret it later. :unsure:
 

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It's something I've noticed about all IXXJ types.

On the 'inner' world, the vast majority of the time I do feel stoic/serious. I think it might be the 'long term planning' aspect we share with INTJs and ISTJs. We're serious and deliberate about our lives, and like other NFs, the lives of those around us. I think that Fe kind of helps us out in that respect. I could be reading incorrectly, but when a person has Fe, the emotions are determined by what is in the outside world. On the inside, we have Ni-Ti, which combined gives a very logical attitude (especially for those with a well developed Ti.) And for those with a well developed Ti, they can more easily suppress their Fe and just let the internal dialogue ensue "how SHOULD I feel about this? Is what I'm feeling logical?" We stonewall until we decide whether or not our feelings are justified.

I only ever get silly around those I like AND trust. Then it's sort of like a happy feed-back loop, they are happy and silly, so I am happy and silly, ad infinitum. I only ever really show the 'softer' side to those who know me, yet I think even if we feel 'disconnected' from Fe, I think it's always there in the foreground, giving us a more pliable/easygoing attitude even with strangers, just a natural reaction.

I am EXTREMELY self-concious of my ability to be emotionally 'rewired' around people, so I have tried really hard for almost my whole life to suppress it. (Whether people find that healthy or not, I have found it to be a strength in a lot of situations.)
 

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Seriously talking about seriousness? I guess that is a good thing to talk about, but will it change the behavior on this forum? Not to long ago, during a time period, there was a group of INFJs participating on this forum that did cut up, as well as be serious. What a blast that was! Way back when in Jr. High (8th grade), I had a teacher that used lightness and fun in her lessons... I learned more and more quickly in that class than in any other. So, why don't we loosen up? Who says that we can't tap our inner child...
Do you remember playing jacks, hopscotch, squirting each other with a hose on a hot summers day, climbing a tree, going to a beach? Think about what is fun or funny... relax!

***Notice my signature***
 

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I believe that INFJs are paradoxes that can do extreme opposites of a spectrum and switch at a moment's notice. I can be very happy and funny one moment and swing to gloomy and serious the next moment. INFJs tend to be inward and serious about the future possibilities and we focus more on our deep, inner world, but at the same time, we can have fun. Yay for contradicting behaviors? haha

I don't like small talk and I tend to talk about deep topics, which are typically very serious because I like connecting to others on a deeper level by sharing our opinions on a serious topic. Maybe INFJs tend to talk deeply and search beneath the surface of superficial conversations in order to find the inner truth and motivations behind people.

...Or maybe that's just me! :p

I personally have a bit of a serious and calm temperament most of the time. I tend to have a sad/serious expression when I'm thinking and many people think I'm sad when I'm just thinking about plans for the weekend! :)

I do tend to be stoic around people I don't know, but I have been told by my friends and family I have a very expressive face. (I think this kind of expression of emotions is very common; stoic towards strangers and expressive towards loved ones)

Once I accidentally sat in someone else's seat in class, and when I realized I did that my friend commented that I looked really sad, like I just ran over the person's dog. (I offered the seat back to him, but he let me sit there for that day.) My friends kept laughing about how sad and guilty I looked. I don't know maybe I just get really emotional over stupid things.

I tend to go stoic and poker faced when people yell at me. It has only happened only a couple of times and all of the instances were stupid customers at work. (I work at Michael's; an art and craft store in America)
 

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Having a silly (fun) conversation is small talk period? One would be surprised what depth can be found in silly (fun) conversation. What about bantering? The things that can be learned about people can be found there to. A balance of both seriousness and silliness... yes, wonderful indeed! So, offline one can have fun and be silly but not online? Sorry, guys, I just seriously believe lack of silliness can be a serious thing, as well.
 

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Yeaaaaaah, I am a prime example of this or at least I think I am. I am pretty serious and stoic to the point of wondering if it is responsible for my relative solitary existence and other things.

In terms of cog functions, this could possibly due to a lack of Fe in INFJs and an over abundance of Ni/Ti. This is just one possibility.

Ni in INFJs is a very strange thing.
 

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ummm.. I think INFJs are easily the most intellectual NF.
But the Fe doesn't really foster stoicness.
Maybe INFJs are stoic inwardly but I doubt it.
I think INFPs are the most stoic and serious NFs. (although stoic outwardly, inwardly were on fire and crazy)
But we are almost always serious.
You guys goof around (well, I think moreso than INFPs) and can get all "people relationist" when feeling well.
I hope this doesn't offend anyone...
(i'm being paranoid right now)

Edit: I think it depends on what you guys are trying to portray.
 

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From what I can gather, INFJs are less inclined to be exuberant or silly or idiosyncratic in public for fear of what others might think/say about them. They also tend to consider themselves deeply uncool, therefore ascribing frivolity to "the cool kids".

INFPs are far more contemptuous of people. If we're in the right mood, no-one is going to stop us from playing around. I mean, everyone else is just a square or a plebian anyway; who cares what they think?

I like being deliberately "socially polemical" around INFJs. I just want to them to show their fun side and not their worrisome side.
 

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I definitely remember people telling me that I look serious back in high school and it somehow really bothered me - probably because they made it seem like a bad thing, and I wasn't emotionally stable enough back then. That actually could be one of the reasons why I got extremely social and more energetic my freshman year of college as though I wanted to prove myself of my own worth, losing sight of my goals and sense of self in the process.

Now that I look back at it all, the time when I was more relaxed and stoic seemed to have attracted more attention from others around me, in a good way. People always used to rely on me for help and advice.
 

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...can't speak for all INFJs but i'm extremely goofy and silly. i take seriously the things about life that are serious, whether they involve others or myself - matters of life and death, emotional pain, truth, justice, responsibility, health, and suffering.

but i also realize that a deficit of laughter - as well as harbored negativity - is dangerous to the health...there is no medical authority that denies the damage of negatively stressful emotions on physical health, or the protective and healing effects of joy and heartfelt laughter.

but laughter also can be a cloak for deep pain, or a relief valve to release stress when it becomes too much; and broken people may outwardly appear happy. we can't charm ourselves out of states of pain and create joy where it does not exist, or silliness where we feel sickened; but it is good for our health if we can find release for our negative emotions so they aren't harbored and built up to intolerable levels inside, and take steps for stress relief.

it is significant that the comedians Jerry Seinfeld and Adam Sandler are officially classified as INFJs. so there isn't anything inherently INFJ about seriousness, nor biologically un-INFJ about silliness.

how stoic or non-revelatory we are has a lot to do with our enneagram type, as does our sense of humor and the expression thereof. my enneagram type is 4w5 7w6 9w1. type 4 is overtly emotional rather than stoic, and may express its creativity through humor, and it is a common type among INFJs. type 7 is a type that enjoys entertaining others through humor.

our life experiences and family/cultural backgrounds, and how they have shaped us, also have a lot to do with the perspective we adopt towards life. there are families and cultures that train/expect their people to be stoic in expression. there are experiences that have such a sobering effect that those involved can only view their world through more serious eyes thereafter. there are events so damaging that their victims remain grieved or cynical over the long-term.

we INFJs aren't a homogenous group, therefore, in this regard. we share the same cognitive functions ~ but not the same enneagram types, backgrounds, emotional/psychological degree of health, and formative life experiences. therefore there is no one single "INFJ" answer to this question. :)
 

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Yep, I've always been extremely serious by nature. I had to consciously strive to loosen up when I was younger, at least to the point of allowing myself the ability to switch between eternal srs business mode and jovial nonsense. Still though, my default mood by nature is serious, which I'm actually glad about because it's ultimately where I'm most comfortable. It makes sense to me to make baseline no nonsense and dabble in a bunch of laughter spikes throughout the day.

I used to be fairly stoic as well, but that was mostly because of how I was raised rather than because it makes sense to me or because it occurred naturally (it does neither for me). It actually conflicts with my burning impatience and judging qualities, so I stay away from that ideologically.

Incidentally, I had to go to a funeral the other day and my social preparation for that was basically nothing. Everyone was all anxious and I was just like "yeah, I got this, np, ezpz." Weddings on the other hand... :shocked:
 

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I think that I certainly have a strange balance of being light-hearted and serious.

In some situations, I've been told that I seem "air-headed" or "bubbly," when in fact, I am feeling very serious and analytical inside. Many times these actions come from an overcompensation, I think. I don't like to be the downer who makes the conversation deep when everyone is perfectly happy keeping it light.

And then, on the flip-side, I've also been told (or heard via the grapevine...) that I'm "dry," "boring," or "serious," and that I have no sense of humor. And usually this comes out of a situation in which I am feeling extremely overstimulated and nervous, and have emotionally "shut down," so-to-speak. For instance, in a situation with people that I feel disapprove of me or are intimidating to me, I'll tend to be extremely quiet and "stoic."

It's like there's this weird juxtaposition within me, and each person sees a different aspect of who I am depending on who they are and what they know about me.
I'm serious, but childlike. I'm wise, but gullible. I'm analytical, but emotional. I'm passive, but stubborn. I'm quiet, but opinionated. I'm sensitive, but strong. I'm reserved, but warm. I'm complex, but love simplicity.

Before I delved deeply into personality theory, I used to bang my head into the wall (usually theoretically) trying to figure myself out. People would ask me to describe myself in a few words, and the best description I ever came up with was "intense and complex."
 

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I'm rather outwardly outgoing at work and I have a humorous demeanor to those I work closely with. I only really get serious when I need to at work. I'm very protective of people who work in kitchen with me almost to the point of being zealous. However, I'll get an "Oh you're too damn nice for that." from an older lady I work with every now and then to keep me in check. Those I don't like at work or unruly customers see me as upfront, blunt and opinionated.

Being as outgoing as I appear at work, it is tough and rather draining but I feel it's worth it, I like who I work with. However, I'm much more laid back and open at home. I'm still very sarcastic but I'm much more supportive at home. However, I share the house with four other people who all like to fight. I try to defuse what I can and run damage control. I appear somewhat "stoic" at home for those reasons as I try to remain impartial in most situations. Still, I'm pretty lighthearted at home but that can change fast if it needs to.

Things might get bad, but they can always get worse so I try to remain optimistic. Life is too short to be serious all the time in my opinion. A good balance is the way to go.
 
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