Is my INFP/INFJ personality too conflicting with the military? | INFJ Forum

Is my INFP/INFJ personality too conflicting with the military?

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by MarcusMorley, May 6, 2010.

More threads by MarcusMorley
  1. I am currently in the military and am having trouble adjusting to the lifestyle. I decided to join the military on a whim with the objection of bettering my life. I flip flopped on the decision for 9 months until my DEP date and after which I had immediate regrets, despite the benefits from the decision. I am currently stationed in Korea with a little over 3 years left on my contract. I excel in Physical Training and have a well above average GT and coinciding line scores, but it seems despite such presumed advantages, I can not adjust adequately. It's a world dominated by monotony and extroverted reward systems, neither of which have a positive impact on my daily life. Does anyone have a suggestion(s) on how to co-exist in this structured, rigid environment with considerations for my natural tendencies?

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  2. You just have to grit your teeth and get through it.

    What might help: focus on the big-picture:
    How would you restructure your division?
    How would you re-strategise the training?

    Even in the midst of the most demanding activities, intuition can help keep you calm and content.

    Religion/spirituality also helps.
  3. I'm sorry but I don't have any advice, just have to get through it, the good thing though is that you now know exactly what you don't want, so with that in mind start thinking of things that you would want to do based on that list. Look at this as a kind of life stepping stone, something you had to go through to know what you need to look for in life to be happy :)

    I know for a fact I wouldn't last 10 seconds in the military, having a guy yell at my face and not saying please at the end would result of me politely correcting him with a "I think you mean, 'get our asses back in there and fix it NOW!'...please" would pretty much be the last of any possible free time I would be given lol, plus I don't think linearly and hate routine so a military environment would bring me a great deal of stress to try to adapt to which, I would assume from reading what you've said is kind of the case with you.

    INFJ's seem to be bound in search of growth and meaning in some way usually person or self orientated, so to think of your time spent so far as a waste would only be another source of stress not only that but technically it would be incorrect, like I said, you've grown from this experience and maybe it has taken a little longer than you may have wished it, but there are also a lot of positive aspects to your choice making it anything but meaningless. Maybe look at this as your platform or foundation to build up from, look into where you can go from where you are now, I know that time in the military is really seen as a good thing on a CV so you definitely have that going for you. Look into other aspects of yourself that you can improve on and what branches of the military you can transfer to, to obtain them if you have that flexibility.

    In answer to your question which I've only just realized I haven't really touched upon:


    The military wouldn't really seem like a great place for an INFJ, Ni seems to be quite slow, something that would appease it would be dealing with possible outcomes and ideas, Fe is more to do with connecting and considering others in a group, Ti is analyzing, categorizing and evaluating data....I think it's usually focused on doing this to the persons principles and Se is experiencing and acting upon the immediate context, more than likely your day to day tasks in the military cause you to develop your Se more.

    I wonder if it would be possible to move into something that is strategy orientated which focuses on people, maybe a position in which you can look at ways to improve things? no doubt the constant structure and routine will drive you crazy but by choosing something that doesn't really focus on that and plays to your strengths it might make it far easier to live with. Looking for improvements in the laid out structures to better the other soldiers or what have you seems like a reasonable way to do this, maybe a maintenance position of some kind might be good for you and as I said earlier something thats tactical might be a good suggestion also since it they will play to your more dominant processes and require less energy, and ultimately be more rewarding for you if it helps others.....but thats just a couple of ideas. As I kind of implied I really don't have much of a clue about the military and internal workings so I'm kind of limited as to what to suggest in regards to that.

    but good luck, hope it goes well for you : )
    #3 DimensionX, May 6, 2010
    Last edited: May 6, 2010
  4. This is a pretty old thread, but having personal experience being in the military as an INFJ I may be able to contribute some insight.

    First off, I imagine you probably joined for similar reasons that I did. Most importantly, you saw an opportunity for growth and development and growth in personality aspects that you subconsciously knew you may be lacking in. The military is an ESTJ's world, and you also find some ISTJs and ENTJs. As an INFJ/P you can intuitively see that the traits that ESTJ types have usually have societal advantages, particularly in terms of money, security and sometimes relationships (not trying to over-stereotype, just my observation).

    Don’t discredit yourself for seeking growth in areas you’re lacking. You’re going to grow from it, guaranteed. At the very least, you’re going to learn more about yourself from constantly being around people so decidedly different. You’ll learn to masquerade around in your ESTJ business suit (uniform), it sucks, but like I said, hopefully you can absorb some measure of the benefits that type naturally has. We’ve got the advantageous chameleon trait. Observe and utilize.

    Nothing against your DimensionX, but when you have no clue about the military culture don’t give advice; you should acknowledge your own blind na
  6. An INFJ (and/or INFP for that matter) serving in the military would be the almost the same as an ENTP serving as a nurse.
    It could work, but its an odd choice of career considering the preferences of the personality. I'm struggling to get my head around it.

    I'm not too sure what advice I could offer because I have never served in the military (I don't even think my application would be accepted with my track record).
    Any other INFJ's here that have served or are currently serving?
    #6 Matariki, Oct 24, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2010
  7. Lack of tact is preferable to the unnecessary spread of ignorant advice I think.

    I'm an officer so my tolerance for poor advice giving is about ZERO. Purporting bad gouge gets young men killed, so yeah I probably see things a little less gray than most on the forum. Even if DimensionX's advice can be seen objectively as somewhat trivial, you can never know the full implication of anecdotal or speculative (and inherently ignorant) advice.

    You're right about him trying to retain his identity as much as possible. Once you get settled in after all the initial training, individuality tends to resurface. Sometimes even more fiercely than before you joined. I think looking at how ESTJs are successful and adopting some of those traits will in turn help insure your own success, and who knows the opportunities that are dependent on MM doing a good job (college, letters of recc, job opportunities afterwards). But most absolutely, you are right that he should be true to himself not feign insincerity or parade around a facade. The camaraderie and sense of belonging in the military is great, but it can get slightly suffocating.

    Yes, the effects of the human condition are usually neglected (or seen as a variable of trivial value) in everywhere from the battlefield to the office. But, while the ESTJ's frustratingly scratch their heads like retarded monkeys trying to figure out the human variable, we inwardly smile, because we can see motives and social dynamics with a clarity that ESTJs are all but totally blind to. Cheers for being different.
    #7 MarineLaw, Oct 24, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2010
    jdftx and acd like this.

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