The Age Old Question; am I an INFP or an INFJ?

The Age Old Question; am I an INFP or an INFJ?

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This is a discussion on The Age Old Question; am I an INFP or an INFJ? within the What's my personality type? forums, part of the Personality Cafe category; ...

  1. #1

    The Age Old Question; am I an INFP or an INFJ?

    Iím not expecting any professional responses, or for someone to have the exact answer. This is just something thatís been troubling me for a while, and I thought Iíd throw my thoughts out there and see what others think.

    So Iíve been reading numerous articles on the differences between the types for the past week or so, (Yes I have an obsessive personality) and I have it narrowed down to these two types. I relate enormously to things about both personalities, but I just canít decide on either one for various reasons. I have a hard time understanding myself or my own motivations, and I think itís hard for members of my family to help me because theyíre around me all the time and I canít really get an objective opinion.

    I know itís a stereotype that INFPs are peaceful bunnies who cry a lot and donít like to say critical things, but itís a common stereotype, and from what Iíve read about this personality, it has some roots in reality. Iím not generally very peaceful. If someone (aka my dad, whoís an ESTP) so much as looks at me wrong, Iíll flare up and say things like ďwhat? Why are you looking at me like that?Ē In a rather hostile manner, that heís now used to, but I know comes off as somewhat abrasive. In other words I tend to be very defensive, always taking criticism where none was intended and thinking that people are saying awful things about me when theyíre not. I do cry a lot...usually in private. Over stupid things like ďi just canít anymore everything makes my head hurt Iíll never become the person I want to be I feel so trappedí (the usual existential angst).

    But I do say very critical things... about people all the time. If I think someone is wearing an ugly hat, Iíll say so. If someone behaves towards me in a way that I perceive as ill-mannered, I often turn cold, even if they were just having a bad day, or their irritation isnít directed towards me.

    I know that INFJs are more likely to be combative and critical than INFPs, but I donít relate to their desire to save the world. (Iím idealistic about my future but not idealistic about the state of the world, if that makes any sense) I also have difficulty seeing the bigger picture. I do often counsel people, often without even meaning to, and will give them hours of advice. But I often turn the topic to myself and my own experiences to try and further understand myself even as I seek to therapize them. Iím very self-centered, and from what Iíve seen of INFJ patterns, they seem to reach out beyond their selves, and focus more on the people around them rather than on their own emotions, while I stew in my emotions and overthink things. I can relate to the door-slam though. I tend to hold grudges for years, and will bring those things up at seemingly random times because Iím apparently incapable of Ďforgive and forget.í I also cut people out of my life, both figuratively and emotionally, if they do that Ďone wrong thing.í

    Another thing, I have difficulty processing information, and so didnít do great in school. (I was homeschooled) However, when I am truly excited about a subject, (Like Meyers Briggs) I absorb information like a sponge. Itís still difficult for me to understand everything Iím reading, and sometimes I lose interest halfway through, but I actually stick with it. Unlike...mathematics. I also leap from one interest to another, rarely sticking with any single thing. Writing fiction is one of the only things that I can actually stick with. Outside of that, my life and brain often feels like a disorganized mess.

    My mom thinks Iím an INFP, my dad thinks Iím an INFJ. They see two different sides of me. With my mom Iím more relaxed, (though I still say critical things about people and can be somewhat combative) while around my dad Iím more analytical and guarded. Iím actually much friendlier and open around people I donít know than I am with close family members, which probably is indicative of my personality all on its own. Iím extremely self-conscious, much more focused than either of my parents on how the general public perceives me, and I am always struggling with my fear of being judged or disliked.

    Sorry this was long-winded...I have a hard time keeping things brief. 😅 Iíd really appreciate any advice/thoughts/commentary from anybody out there.
    Sour Roses thanked this post.



  2. #2

    I would exclude INFJ. They are combative about their ideals, yes, but not in the sense you described yourself above.

  3. #3
    ENTP

    You sound more INFP than INFJ to me as well.
    ElectricSnow thanked this post.

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  5. #4

    Welcome!

    Well, both types, just like any type, can be combative or argumentative if the circumstances call for it. This sort of thing really comes down to the nuances of what made you behave that way.
    It sounds like you have some issues at home which are clouding the waters... I would turn your focus away from them and onto a sphere of your life where you feel the most "yourself". When you're with friends you are long since done trying to impress, or how you interact with strangers, and especially how you think when you're sitting alone doing whatever you like to do.

    Have you read up on the differences between Fi & Fe? Te vs Ti? Ne vs Ni? Si vs Se? Are any of those difficult to understand the difference between? (there are resources here on PerC to help).
    Can you recognize any of your thoughts as leaning more towards certain functions?

    When you remember something that happened in the past... are you just mining the memory for information, or is it almost like you are experiencing the moment all over again?

    When you have good ideas... do they start as a small thread, and then when you pull the field of related possibilities gets wider and wider? Or do you start with some related ideas and then try to combine them into one single, perfect, thing?

  6. #5

    Your self-description seems INFPish; however, you might be having problems that make you critical and defensive and that mask your true personality.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sour Roses View Post
    When you remember something that happened in the past... are you just mining the memory for information, or is it almost like you are experiencing the moment all over again?
    I'm curious about what aspect of typology this question pertains to.

  7. #6

    Quote Originally Posted by Caleph Calesandres View Post
    I'm curious about what aspect of typology this question pertains to.

    I'll share that info after OP has had a chance to answer it :)

  8. #7
    INFJ

    Quote Originally Posted by ElectricSnow View Post
    I’m not expecting any professional responses, or for someone to have the exact answer. This is just something that’s been troubling me for a while, and I thought I’d throw my thoughts out there and see what others think.

    So I’ve been reading numerous articles on the differences between the types for the past week or so, (Yes I have an obsessive personality) and I have it narrowed down to these two types. I relate enormously to things about both personalities, but I just can’t decide on either one for various reasons. I have a hard time understanding myself or my own motivations, and I think it’s hard for members of my family to help me because they’re around me all the time and I can’t really get an objective opinion.

    I know it’s a stereotype that INFPs are peaceful bunnies who cry a lot and don’t like to say critical things, but it’s a common stereotype, and from what I’ve read about this personality, it has some roots in reality. I’m not generally very peaceful. If someone (aka my dad, who’s an ESTP) so much as looks at me wrong, I’ll flare up and say things like “what? Why are you looking at me like that?” In a rather hostile manner, that he’s now used to, but I know comes off as somewhat abrasive. In other words I tend to be very defensive, always taking criticism where none was intended and thinking that people are saying awful things about me when they’re not. I do cry a lot...usually in private. Over stupid things like “i just can’t anymore everything makes my head hurt I’ll never become the person I want to be I feel so trapped’ (the usual existential angst).

    But I do say very critical things... about people all the time. If I think someone is wearing an ugly hat, I’ll say so. If someone behaves towards me in a way that I perceive as ill-mannered, I often turn cold, even if they were just having a bad day, or their irritation isn’t directed towards me.

    I know that INFJs are more likely to be combative and critical than INFPs, but I don’t relate to their desire to save the world. (I’m idealistic about my future but not idealistic about the state of the world, if that makes any sense) I also have difficulty seeing the bigger picture. I do often counsel people, often without even meaning to, and will give them hours of advice. But I often turn the topic to myself and my own experiences to try and further understand myself even as I seek to therapize them. I’m very self-centered, and from what I’ve seen of INFJ patterns, they seem to reach out beyond their selves, and focus more on the people around them rather than on their own emotions, while I stew in my emotions and overthink things. I can relate to the door-slam though. I tend to hold grudges for years, and will bring those things up at seemingly random times because I’m apparently incapable of ‘forgive and forget.’ I also cut people out of my life, both figuratively and emotionally, if they do that ‘one wrong thing.’

    Another thing, I have difficulty processing information, and so didn’t do great in school. (I was homeschooled) However, when I am truly excited about a subject, (Like Meyers Briggs) I absorb information like a sponge. It’s still difficult for me to understand everything I’m reading, and sometimes I lose interest halfway through, but I actually stick with it. Unlike...mathematics. I also leap from one interest to another, rarely sticking with any single thing. Writing fiction is one of the only things that I can actually stick with. Outside of that, my life and brain often feels like a disorganized mess.

    My mom thinks I’m an INFP, my dad thinks I’m an INFJ. They see two different sides of me. With my mom I’m more relaxed, (though I still say critical things about people and can be somewhat combative) while around my dad I’m more analytical and guarded. I’m actually much friendlier and open around people I don’t know than I am with close family members, which probably is indicative of my personality all on its own. I’m extremely self-conscious, much more focused than either of my parents on how the general public perceives me, and I am always struggling with my fear of being judged or disliked.

    Sorry this was long-winded...I have a hard time keeping things brief. 😅 I’d really appreciate any advice/thoughts/commentary from anybody out there.
    From some things you said i got INFJ vibes but having some infj traits doesnt mean that you are an INFJ
    I think you are infp mostly because you self-center yourself even when you counsel people. Also you refused some of the biggest infj traits

  9. #8
    INFP

    Actually, youíre displaying a lot of Fi, so Iíd say youíre an infp. Infps, with Dominant Fi, feel a lot. They relate, understand, work out how people feel what they feel while Fe just feels whatever the other party is feeling.

    Fi values identity, uniqueness and authenticity, focusing on oneself.
    Fe is more likely to follow social norms and can catch onto otherís feelings more easily, and whatever they feel depends quite heavily on the mood of the people around them.
    ElectricSnow thanked this post.

  10. #9

    I know it’s a stereotype that INFPs are peaceful bunnies who cry a lot and don’t like to say critical things, but it’s a common stereotype, and from what I’ve read about this personality, it has some roots in reality.
    I agree with most of the others in that you sound like an INFP. I don't feel the need to repeat anything that was said but I wanted to address this point. INFPs are Fi doms which means that they are judging dominants. I grew up with an INFP. She could be very critical at home, especially when her values were tripped over and even over small stupid things like you described. Before I understood the functions, I wanted to make her an INFJ due to this rigidity. However, now knowing what I know, she is a classic, almost stereotypical INFP. This rigid behavior shows up mostly at home with close family members. The peaceful bunnies junk is a very bad stereotype that confuses the type. The ISFP that I know is also similar in the sense that she's very "peaceful" in public, but then at home, she'll display a sudden rigidity and seem very judgemental when you do something that she's in disagreement with.

    I also know an INFJ as well. What she does is.... different. INFJs are more likely to be keepers of the peace than INFPs. With aux Fe, I've noticed alot of passive aggressive behavior which is not something you described. Fi/Te is very black and white.

    I’ll flare up and say things like “what? Why are you looking at me like that?” In a rather hostile manner, that he’s now used to, but I know comes off as somewhat abrasive. In other words I tend to be very defensive, always taking criticism where none was intended and thinking that people are saying awful things about me when they’re not
    I know at least two INFPs who were exactly like this especially in their teen years. This is not somehting explained in the descriptions due to lack of intimate knowledge or desiring to only describe the positives. Fi doms draw everything back to self so assuming that everyone is talking about you when they're not is a negative Fi tendency along with being overly sensitive to criticism about self. Fe users tend to feel invisible and forgotten.
    Last edited by Hunter1611; 07-02-2019 at 01:34 AM.
    ElectricSnow and Sour Roses thanked this post.

  11. #10

    Quote Originally Posted by Hunter1611 View Post
    I agree with most of the others in that you sound like an INFP. I don't feel the need to repeat anything that was said but I wanted to address this point. INFPs are Fi doms which means that they are judging dominants. I grew up with an INFP. She could be very critical at home, especially when her values were tripped over and even over small stupid things like you described. Before I understood the functions, I wanted to make her an INFJ due to this rigidity. However, now knowing what I know, she is a classic, almost stereotypical INFP. This rigid behavior shows up mostly at home with close family members. The peaceful bunnies junk is a very bad stereotype that confuses the type. The ISFP that I know is also similar in the sense that she's very "peaceful" in public, but then at home, she'll display a sudden rigidity and seem very judgemental when you do something that she's in disagreement with.

    I also know an INFJ as well. What she does is.... different. INFJs are more likely to be keepers of the peace than INFPs. With aux Fe, I've noticed alot of passive aggressive behavior which is not something you described. Fi/Te is very black and white.



    I know at least two INFPs who were exactly like this especially in their teen years. This is not somehting explained in the descriptions due to lack of intimate knowledge or desiring to only describe the positives. Fi doms draw everything back to self so assuming that everyone is talking about you when they're not is a negative Fi tendency along with being overly sensitive to criticism about self. Fe users tend to feel invisible and forgotten.

    This is extremely helpful, thank you. I believe, having researched the cognitive functions more, and having seen the feedback of various people on here, that I am definitely NOT an INFJ. I’m pretty sure I’m an INFP. I know that INFPs very often mistype themselves as INFJs, partly because they’re overestimating their intuiting abilities and partly because of the stereotypes surrounding INFPs. Looking at the cognitive functions really helped, like you were saying, I’m very much exhibiting Fi behavior tendencies. I’m not Fe at all. My mom, who’s an ENTP, exhibits more Fe behaviors than I do.
    Hunter1611 thanked this post.


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