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.