So I am yet another person on a quest to determine whether Iím an INFJ or INFP on the MBTI. Iíve tested as both, and I find most online comparisons of Ni/Ne and Fi/Fe to be very vague and ambiguous, so that hasnít been determinative either. So, as a sort of ďlast resort,Ē Iím going to lay out the way in which my intuiting and feeling functions seem to manifest in the real world, and let you judge my type.
Intuition: Unless Iím totally exhausted or totally absorbed in an experience (which can be a difficult but satisfying state to attain for me), my mind is constantly running. I view everything as interconnected, as parts of one integrated whole. My vision of this whole is a constant work in progress, which Iím always revising. As I take in new information, Iím constantly (and often unconsciously) comparing it to the information I already have, looking for connections and places where I can fit the new information in. As a result, I have these sudden flashes of insight where Iíll make connections between pieces of information that might initially appear unrelated. I have a tendency to keep these insights to myself at first, although I will sometimes share them with the people Iím comfortable with. When I do, these friends are often amazed at my insights. I do enjoy a good intellectual discussion, though, and occasionally, when Iím comfortable enough with certain intellectual conversation partners, I can get deep enough into the conversation where Iíll have these insights in the midst of discussion. Usually, they tend to come more within the realm of my own thoughts, however. I can spend hours lost in thought mentally exploring a given topic. I can also think quite analytically, evaluating the logical coherence of my ideas. My mind is perhaps best compared to a giant workshop, where Iím constantly tinkering with ideas.
Feeling: This is where things get messy. I would generally characterize myself as sensitive and empathetic in my relationships with others. I tend to be very sensitive to othersí emotional expressions, and to experience these emotions as my own. If I see someone crying, chances are Iíll cry. Times when Iíve seen others in suffering can haunt me for years. In general, I tend to feel emotions strongly, and have difficulty hiding my emotions from others. In the past, this has created a perverse paradox where Iíll have an emotional outburst thatís disruptive to othersí emotions, and then feel a profound sense of guilt for doing so because of the same sensitivity. Iíve had to learn a lot of self-control in restraining my emotions over the years.
At the same time, I consider myself to be very much a person of strongly held ethics, and very much a perfectionist. I have a vision of how the world should be, and work to implement it, though I usually do so through diplomacy and influence, choosing my battles carefully. At times, I feel that I can compromise too much for the sake of diplomacy. I do have certain hot-button ethical issues, however, which can trigger intense emotional reactions. Iíve come to realize that these emotions are mostly linked to seeing either my self or others suffering in the past. The anger or sadness I feel because of the perceived ethical violation in front of me actually comes from the experience of seeing someone hurt by the same behavior months or years ago.
As a result of all this, I tend to be perceived as very caring and nurturing of others, and I often naturally gravitate toward one-on-one mentorship roles in the lives of people who are my age or younger. Iíve even been described as ďfatherlyĒ by people only a few years younger than me. I tend to try to keep a balance between listening and giving advice in such relationships. The secret, ďdark sideĒ of this is that I have a strong desire to control othersí behavior, which Iíll often have to either suppress for the sake of best caring for the other person or reconcile with the fact that ultimately people make their decisions. Itís an odd combination of wanting whatís best for people and wanting to hold them to high standards while realizing that often a light touch is what they need the most.
Well, that was an essay of a post. So, what do you think?