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I find one common complaint by INFPs is that they often feel misunderstood by others. That they feel like nobody really knows them. I want to know what that is and why that is? What don't others understand about the INFPs? Why can't the INFPs just explain themselves, especially in real life instead of in an online forum? I feel like reading these online forums have really given me a view into INFPs. I don't find them so mysterious here, so why do that in real life?

FiNe’s can find inspiration in almost anything, because their Fi finds meaning in everything. As far as inspiration goes, learning interestings things, reading interesting books, taking a walk, or having a good conversation are all common stimuli. For the ideas that have had some time to percolate, they need to have places for output. Whether it’s writing, speaking, teaching, building, designing, or something else, it’s important to have a space to string together their ideas in a unique way. This can also help them to refine and perfect the expression of their ideas. While they may feel like they understand something fully in their head, and they often make great teachers, they may not be as adept at explaining things to others without previous practice.


FiNe’s value vastly different 'traditions' or rituals from most people, and demonstrate them in less obvious ways. To put it another way, their traditions are often not very ‘traditional’.


Their internal world is pretty ‘set’ and solid-feeling as they enter adulthood. A lot of their basic values have been decided fairly early on, and they fall back on these until new experiences, ideas, or realizations cause them to reevaluate certain values. They may consider themselves to be pretty open-minded. However, when faced with a new principle that they have no experience with, they will need a lot of time to themselves to evaluate their stance on the subject.


While FiNe’s prefer to take their time on decision making, it isn’t always possible or practical. In these situations, it’s useful to have Te so that they can make quick, in-the-moment decisions. Because they are relying on their ‘gut instinct’ Fi internal compass in the background, they can feel comfortable with their decision even if they can’t articulate a solid reason for it at the time. For example, if they have the sense that someone they see walking down the street could be harmful to them in some way, they don’t have time to untangle why they have that feeling. They just know they don’t feel safe next to this person, and the best solution is the cross the street or take a detour in order to avoid them.

Put all of this together... especially with younger, less experienced INFPs and it is apparent why so many feel misunderstood: Sometimes it is because INFPs have a unique way of perceiving reality or expressing idealistic possibilities; sometimes it is because other types don't get where they're coming from, i.e. 'where is the logic' or 'where is the common ground, including (for some types) recognizable traditions and traditional ways or even popular ways of thinking, speaking and behaving.

See this link for more INFP description:

FiNe (INFP) — Type in Mind

As for me, at my age, I don't seek to be understood by most anyone any longer so I don't think in terms of 'being misunderstood.'

Also, I've been taking apart words and what words and phrases and ideas and values mean to different people from a variety of cultures--since I was a kid, so I realize that what I say is not necessarily what another person hears or remembers, or even repeats to others, so again, I've given up on being understood except by my husband, and in specific situations, so being misunderstood isn't on my mind very often.

One exception is my meditation practice.

I don't talk about it with anyone in person but my husband because he knows enough about Buddhism and how sectarian various religions are, and how Buddhism is seen by some as religious, by others as spiritual, and still more as a philosophy, and he's read some Buddhist literature, so we have a bridge on which to meet.

For others, however, in this small, red/Christian town?

I'd be causing myself problems and discord with others if I brought it up, so I don't--and I don't feel the need to do so.

With age, 'sometimes' a little wisdom is sought out and found within.

I've found enough to keep me hunting for more, and part of wisdom is accepting that how each of us was raised, by whom, how open or closed the environment, and much more affects our ability, desire, and skill level with listening as well as talking, e.g. how well two people or more can skillfully communicate the most basic concepts, which I've found, over all, isn't too high in America) differs.

I cannot speak for the rest of the world, or even parts of America outside my personal experience.

ADDITION: When I say I've given up on being understood and that being misunderstood isn't on my mind very often, I am not referring to an exchange of facts or quick banter: I'm good at communicating and what I say is received well. I once was give the job of Director of Communication by an ENTJ, which he wouldn't have done if I was easily misunderstood--he was the founder of the first Nativity Prep in San Diego: David Rivera--what a go-getter! And he respected as well as understood me just fine.
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