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You don’t want to be a J.
-----When I first found MBTI and tested INFP, which was back in January (2012), it was a revelation. I had finally found something that explained why I am so different from everybody I’ve ever met. When I found PersonalityCafe, I felt like I had finally come home. Finally, I had found my place.
-----I had been guided to MBTI by my therapist (Psy.D.). She didn't tell me my type at the time--indeed, I thought she couldn't know without having my test results. After I took the test, I told her I was an INFP. It turns out she is an ENFJ.
-----I read everything I could to help me understand this theory that seemed to explain people so well. I had no doubts about my type until I started reading about personality types under stress and/or in the grip. Having been under incredible stress for quite some time, I was hoping to find type-specific stress-reduction methods. But almost nothing about the INFP stress/grip response sounded like what I was going through. I branched out, but neither the ENFP or ENFJ descriptions fit, either (and I knew I wasn’t an E, anyway). And then I read the INFJ description. Not only did what I read resonate, but the story of an INFJ named Angie, entitled “Let Me Help You Diagnose My Illness,” is essentially my same exact story. My wife said one could scratch out “Angie” and replace it with my name. I couldn’t deny the similarity, but I thought it could be coincidence. However, I did begin to doubt my type for the first time since January.
-----I had already begun studying cognitive functions and function order, but I found most of the vague descriptions left me with little sense of how to differentiate between specific functions. In many descriptions, there is little tangible difference between Ni and Ne or Fi and Fe. However, in speaking with other NFs, I came to understand some of the differences between Ni and Ne and Fi and Fe. But I was still reluctant to admit I am an INFJ.
-----A few weeks ago, I asked my therapist to type me, but she (politely) evaded my answer. But I had noticed in the prior weeks that she kept making little comments about how I was organized. Of course, I don't see myself as organized, so I wrote it off (you know, I wrote off the opinion of the professional whose opinion I was paying for).
-----Finally, last week, my therapist typed me as an INFJ. She explained the J about three times, but I rejected the notion on the spot. It went like this:
-----“You’re very organized.”
-----“I don’t think I’m very organized.”
-----“Well, will you at least admit that you are not the most spontaneous guy?”
-----“I can be spontaneous.”
-----“You are an INFJ. There’s a ‘J’ at the end.”
-----“I usually test ‘P.’”
-----“You’re stubborn! But in a good way.”
I can already laugh about that. I have never thought of myself as stubborn, but I am. I need to understand something for myself, and if I don’t, then I reject it (it's alien, and if you've seen Aliens, I think you know what humans do to Aliens—and vice-versa). I can never settle for merely adopting someone else’s understanding (without understanding it myself, and modifying it appropriately). To me, that’s absurd. I reject people’s conclusions if they do not “show their work.” People who say, “This is the way it is,” and expect me to agree with them annoy me to no end. When they get angry in response to my asking them to explain their reasoning, I think they’re absurd. But more to the point, I am only open to considering alternative opinions/options during the learning process—when I haven’t yet fully developed my own personal understanding of an idea. After I have developed my own understanding, I am closed off to going back and reexamining the choices that got me there—that would mean reexamining my whole understanding (which I resist, even when it would be wise). At the time of the therapist’s communication, I was not ready to accept the “J.” In other words, I literally refused to believe that I am a “J.” That was incompatible with my personal understanding of myself at that time. The idea of learning something about yourself from someone else still seems off-putting to me, but now I've experienced it.
-----Upon reflection, I realized that I had focused so fully on what I was like now and had been like over the past few years, that I had failed to consider what I had been like before that. As a teenager, I had planned my whole life out, and through pure willpower, I accomplished incredible things (completing novels, losing 100 pounds, and numerous academic achievements). But there were setbacks, and an especially major setback involving a chronic medical condition. My life wasn’t (isn’t) going the way I planned, and my reaction has been exactly that of a perfectionistic INFJ.
-----My personal future is uncertain/unpredictable, and my past attempts to follow the path I charted have not come to fruition, so I haven’t wanted to chart a new course (and haven’t been healthy enough to do so, either). Ni failed me (or so I perceived), so I drifted from Fe (seeking help), to Ti (trying to figure it out myself), to Se—giving up and trying to live in the moment. But the problem is that that’s not who I am. I had recognized my intuitive framework (Ni) and conflated it with my unhealthy “live in the moment” stress/grip response (Se), which made me see Ne.
-----I am not asking for sympathy or help; I am just sharing my understanding of how I came to discover I am an INFJ.

Possible Reasons Explaining Why an INFJ Can Mistype as an INFP
-----In addition to the reasons applicable in my own case, I’ve read about quite a few other reasons this can happen:
  • Chronic illness/medical condition. In my case, the condition makes me uncharacteristically scattered and unenergetic—unlike how I used to be.
  • Traumatic childhood. This can dramatically affect INFJ (and any type’s) variability.
  • Anti-Fe bias. In my case, my mother, an unhealthy ESFJ, used Fe to tyrannize. I tend to view extraverted judging functions (Te and Fe) and extraverted judgmentalism (Fe, Fi, Te, Ti can all do this) as tyrannical—in other words, any attempt to exert control over me—but that has everything to do with the particular person, and not personality type.
  • Ni-Ti (or Fe-Se) loops. Apparently Ni-Ti loops are often running in academically-oriented INFJs.
  • Chronic stress and/or being in the grip of the inferior function. An excellent understanding can be developed by reading Naomi Quenk’s Was That Really Me?: How Everyday Stress Brings Out Our Hidden Personality.
  • Unusual Enneagram type. I’m a Type-9, and I think that has also played a large role in my confusion.
  • Looking at the present or short-term past instead of reflecting on one’s entire life.
  • Holding oneself to an unreasonably high standard. In my case, my wife is an ISTJ who is super-organized, so even though I am fairly organized, I did not recognize that trait at first (since relative to her (and only her), I am not organized).
  • Aspiring to and/or working on developing traits; developing tertiary, inferior, or shadow functions.
A Few Interesting Things I Learned
-----Here are a few questions one can ask oneself if one has doubts (each is just one piece of information—not definitive):
  1. Would you feel comfortable going on a vacation where no hotel reservations or other reservations have been made in advance, and no research has been done on what to do? Y=P; N=J.
  2. Assume you are given a problem in an area of interest. Would you feel satisfied (and be able to not return to or dwell on the problem) after not being able to come up with a best/right answer—but only having learned a little bit about the subject? Y=P; N=J.
  3. Assume you have a minor medical issue. If you knew there would probably be appointments available at your doctor's office next Tuesday, would you feel less stress A. after calling the office and scheduling an appointment, anyway, just to be safe, or B. just waiting until Tuesday and walking in (without experiencing anxiety about the visit between now and next Tuesday)? A=J; B=P.
-----I've also found that another difference is in the way MBTI is perceived (and this idea is originally from a website, but I see that it is true). INFJs are apparently fine with being categorized, as from the INFJ perspective MBTI helps us find our place in the organic web of humanity. There tends to be a right (or best) answer for us (at least so far as is applicable to our own personal understanding)—one cannot be ISxP for example. One is either ISFP os ISTP. INFPs, on the other hand, do not (seem to) like categories at all. I think this is because Ti, which is the function responsible for categorizing, is 8th in the INFP stack. Ti is the devil, and so totally untrustworthy. Thus, INFPs will put much less stock into categories/tags in general, and emphasize that the whole of their being cannot be categorized. Categorization is wrong and limiting. INFPs will often advocate that one can choose one's type or change one's type at will—that there is no right and permanent answer. Or else they will say that type doesn’t matter at all. They will also tend to take issue with any INFP stereotypes, emphasizing variability. So you can see that's why I am probably annoying some people on the INFP forum by trying to 1. categorize (by identifying differences), and 2. organize according to opposing traits. That's how I appreciate difference—by recognizing and understanding it. INFPs appear to be more likely to say, "Why categorize at all? It's so limiting. Just enjoy the experience." I am able to see the difference, so I can appreciate it. : ) For INFPs, it’s all about what the INFP can get out of an idea—understanding the whole idea is not necessary, as what the INFP got out of the idea is valued in and of itself—as something separate (the ideas generated by the INFP in response to being exposed to the idea) from the original idea. From a complete understanding (and also while I am forming that understanding), I synthesize elements of what I know with what I am learning to come up with a new understanding/model personal to me.
-----An excellent resource:
Thank You INFPs ~ I Will Always Appreciate You
-----I will always appreciate your gentleness, acceptance, kindness, and flexibility. Had I begun in any other forum, I’m not sure I would have stayed on PerC or put so much time into it. In the other forums, I've felt like a target—attacked or rejected out-of-hand (based on my type label)—and certainly not accepted. Within the INFP forum, I was accepted—and that has been a profound experience. Before January, I had never met or communicated with another NF. This place is magic—I was like Harry Potter receiving his owl-carried Hogwarts letter. You may think that’s hyperbole, but it isn’t. I know that the vast majority of you will have no problem with me still posting here, but I still want to express my gratitude to you. You just being you has helped me to begin healing. Thank you allowing me the space in which to find myself. I’m not sure you realize what a special gift the space you provide is to others. INFPs truly are Healers of Souls.
 

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@Geoffrey, you will be missed <3 This subforum has benefited so much from your kindness and insight. I'm glad you have found your real type, although you better stop by from time to time :)

Also, according to this, I am such a J..
 

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NOOOOOOOO

lol j/k.

Thank you for your posts - they have been truly inspiring and have helped explain a lot... You will be missed, but you shall remain in good hands
 

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-----I've also found that another difference is in the way MBTI is perceived (and this idea is originally from a website, but I see that it is true). INFJs are apparently fine with being categorized, as from the INFJ perspective MBTI helps us find our place in the organic web of humanity. There tends to be a right (or best) answer for us (at least so far as is applicable to our own personal understanding)—one cannot be ISxP for example. One is either ISFP os ISTP. INFPs, on the other hand, do not (seem to) like categories at all. I think this is because Ti, which is the function responsible for categorizing, is 8th in the INFP stack. Ti is the devil, and so totally untrustworthy. Thus, INFPs will put much less stock into categories/tags in general, and emphasize that the whole of their being cannot be categorized. Categorization is wrong and limiting. INFPs will often advocate that one can choose one's type or change one's type at will—that there is no right and permanent answer. Or else they will say that type doesn’t matter at all. They will also tend to take issue with any INFP stereotypes, emphasizing variability. So you can see that's why I am probably annoying some people on the INFP forum by trying to 1. categorize (by identifying differences), and 2. organize according to opposing traits. That's how I appreciate difference—by recognizing and understanding it. INFPs appear to be more likely to say, "Why categorize at all? It's so limiting. Just enjoy the experience." I am able to see the difference, so I can appreciate it. : ) For INFPs, it’s all about what the INFP can get out of an idea—understanding the whole idea is not necessary, as what the INFP got out of the idea is valued in and of itself—as something separate (the ideas generated by the INFP in response to being exposed to the idea) from the original idea. From a complete understanding (and also while I am forming that understanding), I synthesize elements of what I know with what I am learning to come up with a new understanding/model personal to me.

Thank You INFPs ~ I Will Always Appreciate You
-----I will always appreciate your gentleness, acceptance, kindness, and flexibility. Had I begun in any other forum, I’m not sure I would have stayed on PerC or put so much time into it. In the other forums, I've felt like a target—attacked or rejected out-of-hand (based on my type label)—and certainly not accepted. Within the INFP forum, I was accepted—and that has been a profound experience. Before January, I had never met or communicated with another NF. This place is magic—I was like Harry Potter receiving his owl-carried Hogwarts letter. You may think that’s hyperbole, but it isn’t. I know that the vast majority of you will have no problem with me still posting here, but I still want to express my gratitude to you. You just being you has helped me to begin healing. Thank you allowing me the space in which to find myself. I’m not sure you realize what a special gift the space you provide is to others. INFPs truly are Healers of Souls.
Well, what can I say, if you say so I guess it is. Darn, @eyenexepee and @OrangeSoda also about to move to the 'other side' and who knows how many typivalents will follow. Personally it doesn't matter for me as I see you as a person in the first place and MBTI is for me just a set of preferences through which information is processed.

I think I disagree with you on categorization. That is, I see a lot of categorization on this forum. Perhaps more based on values and attributions (or semantical) than a classical systematical taxonomy. But it's impossible to grasp anything without (mental) schemas. And differentiation is a key part of personal development. I think. Also in my personal view I don't see Ni/Ne Si/Se Ti/Te Fi/Fe so independent from eachother. (and you need to develop them all) They are just mental separations, constructs, needed to grasp and make sense of the world around us and ourselves. We see what we believe and we believe what we see.

I'll show you a very wicked example, called the McGurk effect.


Anyway, it's off course a bit sad you are now differentiating yourself from us/me! But for some reason I don't have the feeling I'm done with you yet Geoffrey. I'll be seeing ya. =)
 

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I'll be honest....I think you'll come back to this forum, and I think your therapist is stuck on J/P stereotypes. My INFJ aunt thinks I'm INFJ too, and this is because some Js have very warped ideas of what it means to be P. They think it means being flaky, easy-going to the point of being comatose, an unmotivated slacker, not being able to make decisions, etc. This is not what preferring Pe means at all. Many P types, including INFPs, are stubborn, can accomplish a lot, and are able to be organized when it's important enough to them. These traits are heavily associated with INFPs when it comes to things that matter to them.

It is also MASSIVE falsehood & stereotype that INFPs resist categorization. Look around - what is the most populous type here? What type gravitates towards MBTI almost more than any other? It's the INFP. There is no foundation for the assertion that we resist being typed & put into a clearly defined category.

Personally....

Would you feel comfortable going on a vacation where no hotel reservations or other reservations have been made in advance, and no research has been done on what to do? Y=P; N=J.
Nope. I would not want to risk it that much, and I know few people who would, regardless of J/P. INFPs also have tertiary Si, which leads to a tendency to familiarize yourself with facts about unfamiliar sensory stuff so as to determine what is the most sure way of dealing with it.

Assume you are given a problem in an area of interest. Would you feel satisfied (and be able to not return to or dwell on the problem) after not being able to come up with a best/right answer—but only having learned a little bit about the subject? Y=P; N=J.
What in the world does this have to do with Pe/Je? Many would interpret it as the opposite - that the Pe type would prefer to reopen a problem by seeking new info on it & would be more likely to suspend judgment until they felt the had enough info. Je is more associated with jumping to conclusions based on whatever info is available (because of Pi, really), and then calling it an open/shut case.

Assume you have a minor medical issue. If you knew there would probably be appointments available at your doctor's office next Tuesday, would you feel less stress A. after calling the office and scheduling an appointment, anyway, just to be safe, or B. just waiting until Tuesday and walking in (without experiencing anxiety about the visit between now and next Tuesday)? A=J; B=P.
You bet your butt I'm going to schedule it. I would not experience anxiety because it's scheduled... Pe types may not like to plan in advance in order to keep their options open as long as possible, but this is less true when they don't see a need for any other option. INFPs are also Fi-doms, and approaching things in terms of importance is the typical attitude; a doctor's appointment is probably deemed important enough to plan ahead of time, whereas minor things like running to the store for milk may be done spontaneously.

Honestly, these are such silly questions.... if you want more ridiculous ways to distinguish between INFPs & INFJs, then visit Vicky Jo's site.

I hope I'm not insulting, it just frustrates me when these false stereotypes are perpetuated...
 

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I agree! OrangeAppled, your reference to the third Si is definitely apparent for me. I would be very excited to go on a vacation randomly without reservations/hotel if it were with a mate or best friend with whom i could work everything out in a fun manner together in the moment, HOWEVER as I believe you state as well, it's much more comforting to have mental images and ideas of a scene unfamiliar. i LOVE being INFP as it's a clear window of understanding into my understandably complex infinite ways of working as a being. my INFJ friend actually hates the evaluation and type and finds to be quite restrictive and unmetaphorical which is how I and my intP friend see it.

Orange, do you mind explaining the Pe/Pi more... if I'm reading that correctly
 

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...and this is because some Js have very warped ideas of what it means to be P. They think it means being flaky, easy-going to the point of being comatose, an unmotivated slacker, not being able to make decisions, etc. This is not what preferring Pe means at all. Many P types, including INFPs, are stubborn, can accomplish a lot, and are able to be organized when it's important enough to them. These traits are heavily associated with INFPs when it comes to things that matter to them.
lol. I actually came on this forum to learn more about J/P and I found the stickies 'You know you are P/J when...' which is incredibly funny to read.
 

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Nope. I would not want to risk it that much, and I know few people who would, regardless of J/P. INFPs also have tertiary Si, which leads to a tendency to familiarize yourself with facts about unfamiliar sensory stuff so as to determine what is the most sure way of dealing with it.
Errh...just one time ever I made a reservation before going on a holiday, and we ended up staying a couple of nights in a different hotel on a different neighbouring island.
 

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Heavens, @Geoffrey, you're the best. :3

I know where you're coming from... It's good to see you write this post. Beyond words. :)

As I've mentioned to you before: I don't have much 'faith' in the J/P (Je/Pe) thing for reasons that @OrangeAppled has mentioned, but I'd like to offer my own perspective.

I think that an INFJ's stubbornness and and INFP's stubbornness are slightly different. INFJ's stubbornness is more of an Ni+Ti thing (a system thing), whereas INFP's stubbornness is more of a persistence thing (a value worth chasing).

INFJ's may seem more comfortable with categorization (because of "hey, look at that, a system!"), but INFP's can be comfortable with it as well, if it vibes with their Fi. But I think INFP's will be the first to rage against the system or the label, if it takes away the freedom to 'think (go/grow) outside the box'.

I too am not sold on the question about scheduling an appointment with the doctor. First: it depends a lot on the medical nature of your needing to visit the doctor (leaving out medical emergencies). Second: going to see a doctor is not something one does nonchalantly, like buying milk on a whim - I don't think that's a matter of being organized or having your options open or not. The goal of the question is to 'prove' whether or not you're comfortable with planning (or how much, or the lack of) - I think the form of the question is... Well, not the greatest form.

Basically, I think that INFP's can answer those questions like INFJ's would - so we'd get similar behavior. But the drives, motivations and cognition that underlie the behavior, that's what we really have to look at in order to discern INFP from INFJ.



Nonetheless, from what you've told me and going by our interactions, I too think your type is INFJ. We could list all the behavior that seems INFJ-ish and INFP-ish (woohoo inf Se much), but yeah... The vibe I get for the things behind or masked by your behavior seem pretty INFJ-ish to me.

Anyways, I know I'll be seeing you around; if not here, then perhaps on the INFJ forums, but surely in our PM's. Right? ;)

Eye
 

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I agree! OrangeAppled, your reference to the third Si is definitely apparent for me. I would be very excited to go on a vacation randomly without reservations/hotel if it were with a mate or best friend with whom i could work everything out in a fun manner together in the moment, HOWEVER as I believe you state as well, it's much more comforting to have mental images and ideas of a scene unfamiliar. i LOVE being INFP as it's a clear window of understanding into my understandably complex infinite ways of working as a being. my INFJ friend actually hates the evaluation and type and finds to be quite restrictive and unmetaphorical which is how I and my intP friend see it.

Orange, do you mind explaining the Pe/Pi more... if I'm reading that correctly
I don't know what you want explained...? I'm always happy to discuss theory. If you don't want hi-jack the thread, then feel free to PM me or drop me a VM on my profile.


-----


And I hope I haven't offended you Geoffrey.... but even your writing style in the OP makes me still see you as a fellow INFP.... and I confess I hate to tell people their type, but I can't hold back in this case...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
you will be missed <3 This subforum has benefited so much from your kindness and insight. I'm glad you have found your real type, although you better stop by from time to time :)
Also, according to this, I am such a J..
-----Thank you so much, kaleidoscope! I have no plans to abandon the INFP forum.
NOOOOOOOO
lol j/k.
Thank you for your posts - they have been truly inspiring and have helped explain a lot... You will be missed, but you shall remain in good hands
-----Thank you, snowbell!
Well, what can I say, if you say so I guess it is. Darn, eyenexepee and OrangeSodaalso about to move to the 'other side' and who knows how many typivalents will follow. Personally it doesn't matter for me as I see you as a person in the first place and MBTI is for me just a set of preferences through which information is processed.
I think I disagree with you on categorization. That is, I see a lot of categorization on this forum. Perhaps more based on values and attributions (or semantical) than a classical systematical taxonomy. But it's impossible to grasp anything without (mental) schemas. And differentiation is a key part of personal development. I think. Also in my personal view I don't see Ni/Ne Si/Se Ti/Te Fi/Fe so independent from eachother. (and you need to develop them all) They are just mental separations, constructs, needed to grasp and make sense of the world around us and ourselves. We see what we believe and we believe what we see.
I'll show you a very wicked example, called the McGurk effect.
Anyway, it's off course a bit sad you are now differentiating yourself from us/me! But for some reason I don't have the feeling I'm done with you yet Geoffrey. I'll be seeing ya. =)
-----What I have apparently failed to capture in my questions (and which cannot really be captured in questions) is this lovely flexibility: "[. . .] if you say so I guess it is. [. . .] Personally it doesn't matter for me as I see you as a person in the first place and MBTI is for me just a set of preferences through which information is processed." Thank you for your kind words, mimesis. I really enjoy our conversations. I agree that there is a lot of categorization going on, but I was more speaking of the resistance some people have about being categorized (by others) in any way. As far as differentiating myself from INFPs, I am not (in my mind, anyway). As you may know, I am the Organizer of an NF Meetup group. The major category of importance (as far as identity and common relationship with the world) to me is iNtuitive Feeler. I believe there is a right answer (and though I may ultimately be wrong, for the time being I have closure), but should I learn differently, I will proudly wear any xNFx label.
I dont care what type you are, i will still read your posts with interest!
-----Thank you, Flora! That means a lot.
You've been a lot of help to the INFP subforum too. You had some really helpful insight and went into details to really make sure the person knew what you meant. Were great reads for me.
Glad you found your type :)
i'm sure you'll prosper even more now as you realised your stronger two functions.
-----Thank you, Wellsy!
I'll be honest....I think you'll come back to this forum, and I think your therapist is stuck on J/P stereotypes. My INFJ aunt thinks I'm INFJ too, and this is because some Js have very warped ideas of what it means to be P. They think it means being flaky, easy-going to the point of being comatose, an unmotivated slacker, not being able to make decisions, etc. This is not what preferring Pe means at all. Many P types, including INFPs, are stubborn, can accomplish a lot, and are able to be organized when it's important enough to them. These traits are heavily associated with INFPs when it comes to things that matter to them.
It is also MASSIVE falsehood & stereotype that INFPs resist categorization. Look around - what is the most populous type here? What type gravitates towards MBTI almost more than any other? It's the INFP. There is no foundation for the assertion that we resist being typed & put into a clearly defined category.
-----I have to raise a guilty hand and admit that most of the above is my understanding. My therapist is usually not at all interested in discussing MBTI, unless it's particularly relevant (in her opinion). So, if you detect any stereotypes above, then I'm afraid that's my fault. My therapist was frank about the J because, frankly, I wouldn't have (eventually) heard her if she wasn't. It was important for me to acknowledge the J as part of the process of recovery/healing. Furthermore, there are some issues that come up more often with certain types than others, and the issues I am dealing with are xNFJ issues. So trying to apply xNFP stress-reduction techniques might have actually done harm (which may be part of why she told me).
-----All I was trying to get at is the high anxiety level increase present in an xNFJ when faced with sudden change or unpredictable circumstances. I planned our last trip overseas. I mapped and scheduled what we would see, including making sure we were hitting things at times they were open (as far as day and time of day). I had our tickets ahead of time. Consequently, the trip went well--almost totally according to plan. I did that because not to do so--to leave things to chance, would have been extraordinarily stressful for me (and at the time I would have assumed it would be stressful for anyone). I'm sure xNFPs can do the same, but I'm not sure xNFPs would feel stress or anxiety when things changed. Isn't change more of a natural state for xNFPs?
-----I certainly don't see INFPs as "flaky, easy-going to the point of being comatose, an unmotivated slacker, not being able to make decisions, etc." On the contrary, I think an INFP faced with what I've been faced with would have been able to adapt, reinvent, improvise, and all-together survive much, much better than me. In the face of significant change and broken plans, I panicked. It would have been nice to have an INFP with me during those crises.
Personally....
Nope. I would not want to risk it that much, and I know few people who would, regardless of J/P. INFPs also have tertiary Si, which leads to a tendency to familiarize yourself with facts about unfamiliar sensory stuff so as to determine what is the most sure way of dealing with it.
What in the world does this have to do with Pe/Je? Many would interpret it as the opposite - that the Pe type would prefer to reopen a problem by seeking new info on it & would be more likely to suspend judgment until they felt the had enough info. Je is more associated with jumping to conclusions based on whatever info is available (because of Pi, really), and then calling it an open/shut case.
You bet your butt I'm going to schedule it. I would not experience anxiety because it's scheduled... Pe types may not like to plan in advance in order to keep their options open as long as possible, but this is less true when they don't see a need for any other option. INFPs are also Fi-doms, and approaching things in terms of importance is the typical attitude; a doctor's appointment is probably deemed important enough to plan ahead of time, whereas minor things like running to the store for milk may be done spontaneously.
Honestly, these are such silly questions.... if you want more ridiculous ways to distinguish between INFPs & INFJs, then visit Vicky Jo's site.
I hope I'm not insulting, it just frustrates me when these false stereotypes are perpetuated...
-----Insulting, no. Anticipated, actually (in my OP). I appreciate your input, as always. What I shared are just some working models that work for me, personally. They may add nothing to anyone else's personal understanding. They may be flat out wrong.
-----You said, "I would not experience anxiety [as a result of an appointment being scheduled]." Would you experience anxiety if it weren't scheduled? That's the question I was trying to get at.
I agree! OrangeAppled, your reference to the third Si is definitely apparent for me. I would be very excited to go on a vacation randomly without reservations/hotel if it were with a mate or best friend with whom i could work everything out in a fun manner together in the moment, HOWEVER as I believe you state as well, it's much more comforting to have mental images and ideas of a scene unfamiliar. i LOVE being INFP as it's a clear window of understanding into my understandably complex infinite ways of working as a being. my INFJ friend actually hates the evaluation and type and finds to be quite restrictive and unmetaphorical which is how I and my intP friend see it.
Orange, do you mind explaining the Pe/Pi more... if I'm reading that correctly
-----I think it's awesome that you could do that, as I would absolutely freak out in that situation. I think it's awesome that you would be able to do that. For instance, the idea of just backpacking around randomly is not at all appealing to me.
lol. I actually came on this forum to learn more about J/P and I found the stickies 'You know you are P/J when...' which is incredibly funny to read.
-----I'll have to go read it.
Errh...just one time ever I made a reservation before going on a holiday, and we ended up staying a couple of nights in a different hotel on a different neighbouring island.
-----OMG.
Heavens, you're the best. :3
I know where you're coming from... It's good to see you write this post. Beyond words. :)
As I've mentioned to you before: I don't have much 'faith' in the J/P (Je/Pe) thing for reasons that OrangeAppled has mentioned, but I'd like to offer my own perspective.
I think that an INFJ's stubbornness and and INFP's stubbornness are slightly different. INFJ's stubbornness is more of an Ni+Ti thing (a system thing), whereas INFP's stubbornness is more of a persistence thing (a value worth chasing).
INFJ's may seem more comfortable with categorization (because of "hey, look at that, a system!"), but INFP's can be comfortable with it as well, if it vibes with their Fi. But I think INFP's will be the first to rage against the system or the label, if it takes away the freedom to 'think (go/grow) outside the box'.
I too am not sold on the question about scheduling an appointment with the doctor. First: it depends a lot on the medical nature of your needing to visit the doctor (leaving out medical emergencies). Second: going to see a doctor is not something one does nonchalantly, like buying milk on a whim - I don't think that's a matter of being organized or having your options open or not. The goal of the question is to 'prove' whether or not you're comfortable with planning (or how much, or the lack of) - I think the form of the question is... Well, not the greatest form.
Basically, I think that INFP's can answer those questions like INFJ's would - so we'd get similar behavior. But the drives, motivations and cognition that underlie the behavior, that's what we really have to look at in order to discern INFP from INFJ.
Nonetheless, from what you've told me and going by our interactions, I too think your type is INFJ. We could list all the behavior that seems INFJ-ish and INFP-ish (woohoo inf Se much), but yeah... The vibe I get for the things behind or masked by your behavior seem pretty INFJ-ish to me.
Anyways, I know I'll be seeing you around; if not here, then perhaps on the INFJ forums, but surely in our PM's. Right? ;)
Eye
-----Thanks Eye! Thanks for the distinction on stubbornness; I found it very helpful.
-----Yeah, the doctor's office question is not a best seller. I'm not sure the running out for milk question is, either. I have a grocery list, and when there's enough stuff on it or something I know I am going to really need, I go to the store during the next errands run. I do plan those errand runs so I don't have to go back again anytime soon (not running in circles). I could not live the Parisian life of buying what I'm going to eat that day on that day. But maybe INFPs would say the same. I don't know.
-----I'll definitely be seeing you around, too!
I don't know what you want explained...? I'm always happy to discuss theory. If you don't want hi-jack the thread, then feel free to PM me or drop me a VM on my profile.
And I hope I haven't offended you Geoffrey.... but even your writing style in the OP makes me still see you as a fellow INFP.... and I confess I hate to tell people their type, but I can't hold back in this case...
-----It's coming from a good place, OrangeAppled, so I'm not offended at all. Maybe you'll ultimately be proven right. However, I am admittedly certain at this point. It took a while for me to relinquish my grasp on INFP, not because I thought it was correct, but because of what it means to me and means in terms of PerC and IRL, too. But my stress/grip response is exactly INFJ. Unfortunately. And since I am using type-specific stress-reduction/grip-escape techniques, I have to have the right type. I am pretty sure that's why the therapist intervened in my MBTI mindset, since she's usually insisted that I undertake that journey on my own.
-----This does not need to be an "all about me" thread, but I appreciate the PerC anti-threadjacking etiquette. So, if you want to talk theory with arsenal92, please go ahead. Theory is interesting--way more interesting than what I usually deal with, so go for it if you want! And if you PM, the rest of us won't get the benefit of your conversation. I know I want to eavesdrop!
 

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-----What I have apparently failed to capture in my questions (and which cannot really be captured in questions) is this lovely flexibility: "[. . .] if you say so I guess it is. [. . .] Personally it doesn't matter for me as I see you as a person in the first place and MBTI is for me just a set of preferences through which information is processed." Thank you for your kind words, mimesis. I really enjoy our conversations. I agree that there is a lot of categorization going on, but I was more speaking of the resistance some people have about being categorized (by others) in any way. As far as differentiating myself from INFPs, I am not (in my mind, anyway). As you may know, I am the Organizer of an NF Meetup group. The major category of importance (as far as identity and common relationship with the world) to me is iNtuitive Feeler. I believe there is a right answer (and though I may ultimately be wrong, for the time being I have closure), but should I learn differently, I will proudly wear any xNFx label.
Well, it probably depends on the situation. I have the idea that a substantial group of INFPs seem to identify with the type, as being 'who' they are. So any criticism on INFP-'functioning' is quickly being taken as (self-) 'hatred', typism, or 'they hate us' or 'they don't understand us', us vs them etc. So I would say INFPs can even tend to go a step further than merely categorizing, and if you ask me, a step too far.

I think it's more like a computergame where you can 'buy' superpowers or attributes or weapons/equipment, and consequently have certain strengths but also certain vulnerabilities and weaknesses compared to other 'superpowers' etc and in certain situations.

You still need to play the game and develop skills, learn how to use the powers and be aware of and how to best deal with certain vulnerabilities or weaknesses and pitfalls (or 'cryptonite' lol!). And try to lift the game to the 'next level'.

Anyway, it's a very normal phenomenon in social psychology, that people tend to see the out-group as homogenic and in-group as diverse or heterogenic. But I could agree with you that INFPs may express an averse against categorization (of themselves), as this doesn't rule out that they nevertheless categorize themselves and others (or situations), without even being aware of it (perhaps due to Ti's place in the stack), and of course 'identity' is very much related to F(i/e) (and all NFs are according to Keirsey's temperaments 'identity seekers').

One thing I am sure off, you don't become a different person for me when you change type. =)

I haven't checked the meeting groups yet myself. It doesn't surprise me you have taken this upon you as I think you have the set of qualities that brings people together, and probably as a teacher you are also familiar with organizing a group. Is your group all from SoCal or a wider area?
 

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-----I have to raise a guilty hand and admit that most of the above is my understanding. My therapist is usually not at all interested in discussing MBTI, unless it's particularly relevant (in her opinion). So, if you detect any stereotypes above, then I'm afraid that's my fault. My therapist was frank about the J because, frankly, I wouldn't have (eventually) heard her if she wasn't. It was important for me to acknowledge the J as part of the process of recovery/healing. Furthermore, there are some issues that come up more often with certain types than others, and the issues I am dealing with are xNFJ issues. So trying to apply xNFP stress-reduction techniques might have actually done harm (which may be part of why she told me).
-----All I was trying to get at is the high anxiety level increase present in an xNFJ when faced with sudden change or unpredictable circumstances. I planned our last trip overseas. I mapped and scheduled what we would see, including making sure we were hitting things at times they were open (as far as day and time of day). I had our tickets ahead of time. Consequently, the trip went well--almost totally according to plan. I did that because not to do so--to leave things to chance, would have been extraordinarily stressful for me (and at the time I would have assumed it would be stressful for anyone). I'm sure xNFPs can do the same, but I'm not sure xNFPs would feel stress or anxiety when things changed. Isn't change more of a natural state for xNFPs?
-----I certainly don't see INFPs as "flaky, easy-going to the point of being comatose, an unmotivated slacker, not being able to make decisions, etc." On the contrary, I think an INFP faced with what I've been faced with would have been able to adapt, reinvent, improvise, and all-together survive much, much better than me. In the face of significant change and broken plans, I panicked. It would have been nice to have an INFP with me during those crises.
I think I understand where you're getting at. The difference probably is a J should learn to 'let go' (control, anticipation) where perhaps P should kick the habit of 'avoidance', and change behaviour through action and desensitisation. (a quick assessment).
 

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You made me wonder, what am I, suddenly. :)) But I agree with some, that your examples are not exactly the best way to difference between those types. To go on vacation blindly? With all the things that can go wrong that my Ne is sending to my head? :))

And I think you can hardly tell, that INFPs are spontanous creatures while INFJs are organized, at least from my experience. Even if I agree I like idea of being spontanous, I am not. I am to shy and to scared to express myself, that I control my behavior to the extrem to not make anything stupid.

Not that it helped me a lot. :))

So I might be INFJ, but you might still be INFP.

Common, be one of us. We are the best.

You know, you want it. :))))
 

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Mr. @mimesis,

INFP IS who we are. And there's nothing wrong with that. We might not be a "race", but we have common preferences. Therefore, it is justified to feel wronged when somebody attributes silly things to these preferences, especially knowing they are untrue and/or typist, or just simple-minded generalizations. Being proud of what it means to be INFP (as EVERY type should be happy to be who they are-I don't think we are inferior or superior to anyone), I will always stand up for their rights and that of any other type, when they are being misunderstood (because even ESTJs are misunderstood, my friend.)

INFPs should all grow and develop themselves, as much as any other type, but this doesn't mean they are particularly weak, or in need of "more growth" vs other types. We are imperfect, but our personality type isn't the "imperfection." We should develop our own individual personal needs (in some, assertiveness, in others, working with groups, in a few others, not taking things personally, etc.) but that doesn't mean INFPs should accept typist or simple-minded comments against themselves for the sakes of supposed "personal development"-not everybody means well with their comments, and it is true that we are misunderstood on ocassion, as do other types.
 

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Mr. @mimesis,

INFP IS who we are. And there's nothing wrong with that. We might not be a "race", but we have common preferences. Therefore, it is justified to feel wronged when somebody attributes silly things to these preferences, especially knowing they are untrue and/or typist, or just simple-minded generalizations. Being proud of what it means to be INFP (as EVERY type should be happy to be who they are-I don't think we are inferior or superior to anyone), I will always stand up for their rights and that of any other type, when they are being misunderstood (because even ESTJs are misunderstood, my friend.)

INFPs should all grow and develop themselves, as much as any other type, but this doesn't mean they are particularly weak, or in need of "more growth" vs other types. We are imperfect, but our personality type isn't the "imperfection." We should develop our own individual personal needs (in some, assertiveness, in others, working with groups, in a few others, not taking things personally, etc.) but that doesn't mean INFPs should accept typist or simple-minded comments against themselves for the sakes of supposed "personal development"-not everybody means well with their comments, and it is true that we are misunderstood on ocassion, as do other types.
Haven't you and I discussed this yet? Repeating yourself almost literary to me I find offensive, wouldn't you? You may repeat yourself countless times to every new living soul who likes to hear it, but please don't make me feel I don't have any brains in my head, or even existed here before. And when you say 'my friend' you're not making it any better, because this way I don't feel the respect at all you talk so highly of.
 

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Haven't you and I discussed this yet? Repeating yourself almost literary to me I find offensive, wouldn't you? You may repeat yourself countless times to every new living soul who likes to hear it, but please don't make me feel I don't have any brains in my head, or even existed here before. And when you say 'my friend' you're not making it any better, because this way I don't feel the respect at all you talk so highly of.
Ok, then I am not your friend, but don't blame it on me, because I have never meant you any harm, nor was I intending to cause enmity between ourselves.

It wasn't personal. I don't like when INFPs or other types are attacked for being themselves. I was standing up for "us" and other types, not combating you. You were also repeating yourself, and thus I did myself, once more, as I usually do. You took it personally, ironically enough, which is your usual complaint against INFPs.

I don't want to be respected. I just express myself. Take care.
 
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