Could you stop being an INFJ? How much does can your personality change? | INFJ Forum

Could you stop being an INFJ? How much does can your personality change?

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by EFabricio, May 10, 2014.

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  1. EFabricio

    EFabricio Newbie

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    I was reading the other day that some people get different results in their personality tests and get different personalities. This may be due to a change in personality, so how much do you think your personality change? What are the causes? Or do you remain basically the same person?

    (Sorry about the grammatical mistake "does can")


     
  2. Elis

    Elis Permanent Fixture

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    Don't read too much into the tests. While some are straight out bad, they are generally just guidelines.

    Regarding change in MBTI, that depends on whom you're asking. It's pseudoscience and there are different interpretations of it.

    If you want to understand your MBTI, I'd suggest reading about the underlying functions if you haven't already. I think you'll get more out of understanding how the functions interact and how you relate to them than answering questions like whether you prefer logic or compassion.
     
    #2 Elis, May 10, 2014
    Last edited: May 10, 2014
  3. Cornerstone

    Cornerstone Well-known member

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    Between the ages of 19 and 21 I went through a period of masking my true feelings and self to fit in.
    I had just started university and instead of using that opportunity to reinvent myself authentically, I adopted new masks.
    In hindsight, it was pretty dumb. However, I met good friends in the long run that perhaps I wouldn't have otherwise.
    Most of my social interaction involved alcohol or other substances at that point so I believed I was that person.
    I was deeply unhappy when I was on my own and yet still cherished that time and, I feel, eventually used it wisely.
    I used to test as ENTP and that was giving 'honest' answers. My honesty was based on something of a delusion but it was my 'personality'.
     
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  4. LucyJr

    LucyJr Well-known member

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    I think any type can change somehow, even to 50%. Even in one type, there are many variaties that can not be followed by typologists.

    Let's take for example the Irrational types, or the Inductive/Involutionary types. They are the Sensors and the Intuitives.
    The main characteristics of these types is their involutionistic tendency in cognition, in the way they approach the world and the enviroment. Their whole 'program' of implementation is inductive, and thus, to a certain amount, many times it can be lacking in consistency, in opposition with the Rational types, or the Deductive/Evolutionary types.

    The Irrational types explore the world firstly by personal impressions fueled by their experience, and only after that, their second function would sort their inductive impressions into a deductive system of thinking and behaviour.

    So it is clearly that the irrational types are into a disadvantage when it comes to stability, consistency, and a puposeful drive.

    But often I personaly saw many Irrational types who come to the point of equating the importance of their rational functions.

    Speaking of INFJs, they are, in my opinion, the most varied and contradictory of all types, along with ENFJs. You can find INFJs in the most unusual places, with the most unusual interests and approaches to life.
    Ni is worldview, and its aim is to see reality in a global perspective, of how things fit in the big piture. That's why you can find INFJs with the most crazy philosophies, of all kinds.
    If we are talking about INFJs, the Ni is in a perpetual change, very suggestive to impressions of reality. Its often the immature INFJ on this phase. Then they are the INFJs who are using strongly their Fe and their Ti, and they are much more balanced and non-contradictory in their behaviour.

    I don't know if a type can be completly changed fundamentaly, so as to be a completly different type. But I can certailny tell you that a type can be changed to some healthy degrees, and I think that is a very good thing, not only for INFJs, but for all types.
     
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  5. sprinkles

    sprinkles Well-known member

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    According to the tests that rate development of individual functions, all of mine are fairly close, so a test that is not exact science can't really produce exact results.

    The first test I had pegged me as INTJ and that's what I thought I was until I took a lot more tests and basically averaged out my predominant trend and paired it with what makes the most sense.

    I've found that many different tests usually come out as INFJ for me. Any kind of test has an error margin, unless what you're testing is incredibly trivial.
     
  6. OP
    EFabricio

    EFabricio Newbie

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    Thanks for the suggestion, I will do so. Can you imagine what it would take to make the social studies and turn them into harcore science? Like make variables and predictions for human behavior, it's doable but our knowledge is far too limited to do such a thing. So we're stuck with many pseudosciences I suppose...

    So, what other things do you think could alter or change a personality using MBTI as a referrence on personalities?
     
  7. OP
    EFabricio

    EFabricio Newbie

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    I'm sorry about what happened to you, I guess we all go through some very rough times.

    Do you think your personality would have been different if you had made some better choices? Or maybe worse choices... Do you think that maybe you've changed from a ENTP to a INFJ? It'd make sense that life has changed you... What do you think?
     
  8. OP
    EFabricio

    EFabricio Newbie

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    I pretty much understand what you are saying.

    I am not so sure if you mean that the changes in a personality will range somewhere within its own type or it could change to a different type. For example, someone used to be an extravert but suffered a very traumatic experience and then he/she became an introvert. Do you think this could be a perpetual change?

    Or say, someone was a a very logical person who at some point realized what by having a very cold approach, he was hurting people and this in turn hurt him badly... So he tried to change and started to use his Feeling part more than his Thinking part. Do you think such dramatic changes are possible?
     
  9. Cornerstone

    Cornerstone Well-known member

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    Thanks. It wasn't all bad and I was extremely fortunate to not be in a position of hitting destitution.
    Not due to my background, just receiving some money right before the downward spiral began.

    I am sure it would have been sturdier but perhaps shallower had I made 'better' choices. I began living for other people, being who they seemed to want me to be, for a quiet life and maybe some acceptance, quite early on. I am not sure I had the capacity to make better choices. I don't remember it being an issue of courage, though that was certainly lacking. I had nothing to have conviction about and felt I was just being awkward and making the lives of others more difficult by being me.

    There are so many factors that lead to me being in a position where, with some money for the first time, I chose to self-destruct rather than self-create. I don't think I was an ENTP. I think I thought I was the life-and-soul where, whilst I am sociable naturally, I was more likely drunk and more than a bit abrasive. Whilst I spent time as an ENTP, my actual inner life was completely and utterly at odds with the words that were coming out of my mouth. It took a while for me to realise this. I was, due to alcohol and for a little while MCAT and speed, quite convinced that this is how I am because there were some positive results. It was on a deeper level that I was unhappy but if I let anyone in during that time it would have become quickly apparant what a shambles I was unless they were too. I attracted those people.

    This being said, it was some friends I made by acting this way that led me to smoking cannabis more than the dabbling I had done before. I chilled out around these people because of that and they saw a different side of me and it was a good side. But we were a minority in the house which was my main social group at the time and I still got drunk a lot and said and did stupid things. When I went back to my room after smoking, the cannabis forced me to confront the way I was acting and speaking. This took a while. I left that house on not great terms with a lot of people and the real transformation back toward some kind of sensitivity to my own experience took place about half a year later.

    I think because I felt different, it took a long time to act authentically in any way. I was angry with many things and so even my idealism, genuinely good-natured, was tainted by this and left a bitter taste. While I reconnected to how I actually felt about things, rather than how my character felt about them, I opted out of life really. I'm still only partway to being a participant in rather than a spectator on life but now, I appreciate what is and figure I've got time to fix the things that aren't working and enjoy the things that are...until I don't.

    I retain the rights to the biography :p
     
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    #9 Cornerstone, May 10, 2014
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  10. LucyJr

    LucyJr Well-known member

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    I don't really know how to respond.
    I doubt very much about the introversion - extroversion dichotomy. It is highly subjective.
    Yes, I would agree that the "extroverted" person can become more "introverted", and then again swith it ot "extroverted". The same thing I observed many times among "introverts". But this is probably because of the subjective nature of introversion and extroversion.

    This again can be very interesting, because often logical types can be more moral and ethical than feelings types.
    The only difference is that logical types often lack emotivity and feelings, at least on the surface.

    If we look at ESTJs for example, their feeling function is the last, Fi. Outside they are very rough and eadged, and so people who are naive and judge like childrens can think of them as "bad men", or something like that.

    Yet usualy ESTJs don't like, and probably can not, to express feelings outwardly, and can not sort their feelings, and handle them.
    But they are often much more ethical and responsable then Feelings types, which is very paradoxical.
    So in your example, a Thinking type can hurt people, but unintentionaly, because of the direct and bluntness of his thinking. But on the other side, like a ESTJ, intentionaly, he can be much more careful and mature on the whole in their approach to people.

    Whereas a Feeling type can tell you the most sweet words, and never say something hurtful, but his behaviour toward people say something else, and there can be a underlying superficiality in his realation with people, but on the surface he might appear as more careful and responsable, when in fact, he is not.

    But i definately saw Thinking types who perfected their outward approach, so as to appear more soft and pleasant.
    One very good example are the Thinking females, which have a manner of communication which is not traditionaly asociated with feminine behaviour.
    Or the Feeling males, who try to make themself more "tough and edged", to appear as more masculine.
     
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  11. sassafras

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    Well, theoretically, your MBTI type does not change over the course of your life time. You just get better at balancing your dominant functions with your less conscious functions. Total personality change is very, very rare and is usually brought on by extreme situations rather than conscious effort.

    Of course, it's not to say that personality change is impossible by conscious effort either but it is vastly more difficult without a powerful enough impetus... think of how hard it is to change one or two deeply ingrained habits; then try to imagine trying to change a whole system of habitual thinking all in one go.

    I think that personality change would also be dependent on the strengths and weaknesses that you start out with; some people would be more adept at changing their ways than others because they're more adept at employing the strategies required for lasting change, whereas others might flounder.

    So really, this is just my long winded way of saying: it's not impossible to change your personality but how difficult it is entirely depends on the situation and the personal strengths you have to begin with.
     
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  12. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    Yes, the right situation could precipitate such a change.
     
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  13. sassafras

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    MBTI-wise, extroverted and introverted are not 'shy' and 'outgoing.' Introvert and extrovert refer to habits of perception. Are you primarily internalizing your dominant cognitive processes or are you externalizing them? These primary attitudes are the result of complicated subconscious processes, so flipping your type from 'extrovert' to 'introvert' or vice versa would require a re-ordering of all your functions that would require either an extreme trigger of some kind--- physical or psychological trauma or some heavy duty drug use. Basically, something that would require you to re-wire the way you think from the bottom (subconscious) up (conscious). And that rarely happens.

    However, if you mean extroverted and introverted in terms of social attitudes, those flip-flop all the time.

    You can change your attitudes (the way you approach life and what you pay attention to) very easily but your personality (the way you process your thoughts and feelings, your subconscious needs, beliefs motivations, the psychological strengths and weaknesses you've cultivated over a significant time) mostly sticks with you for life fully intact after a certain age. Nobody agrees on what age it is exactly, but 18-25 is the typically cited window.



    What you described here is the inferior function at work. A lot of T types, especially the types with Ti or Te as a dominant function, have Fe or Fi as their inferior and thus, the phenomenon that you describe is not odd at all. The journey of the personality type is finding a way to balance the conscious and subconscious pulls of your dominant-function pair. For ESTJ, that's Te-Fi. They act out their subconscious need for moral rigor and order informed by their Fi via their dominant extroverted T that is, of course, is often expressed as harder than the typical dominant F function.
     
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    #13 sassafras, May 11, 2014
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  14. LucyJr

    LucyJr Well-known member

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    I am aware that we are discussing typology, who is based on the conscius and unconscious, and on the introverted and extroverted functions..
    Hovewer, the thing with the unconscious is a concept which has no scientific validation whatsoever.
    It is invented by psychologists. Some would argue that there are some strong psychologicl arguments for the existence of the unconscious mind. Bu then there are also some pretty strong arguments that the unconscious mind is a inexistent thing.
    I take the second stance. I don't think there is such a thing as the unconscious.

    And it would also be that I, as a religious person, and many other religious psychologists, see this very importantly tied to morality and ethics. Secular psychologists exclude the moral factor in a objective sense, making it as a sort of subjective psychological approach. Thus, if morality plays a very important part in shaping the psyche of a person, most of the psychological theories are fundamentaly flawed.

    I didn't said this phenomenon, which is that the logical types are often more responsable and mature in their ethical behaviour, is something odd.
    It can appear paradoxical because Feeling types tend to come of as more caring, understanding, ethical.
    While logical types can appear as cold, whithout understanding, and to some people even unethical.

    For example, INTJs are described many times as having "death stares", or having traits associated with sociopathy, or being overly cold and unemotional. Which is completly not true. Is that kind of silly thinking that give raise to untruthful stereotypes.

    Now let's take for example Hitler. He was a INFJ. I know there are so many saying that he actualy was a ENFJ, or a ENTJ, but I don't think its true. People have described him as being "compassionate", "gentle", "kind", "understanding", "like a father" having a "warmth" and all these good attributes. And there was standing one of the greatest dictators of all times...

    The issue is this: feelings /=/ ethics.
    But feelings = empathy.
    But then empathy /=/ ethics.

    So a moral/ethical person can be either logical, either intuitive, either sensor, or a feeling type of person.
    That's why I think paradoxical, ESTJs are one of the most responsable types, if not the most responsable, yet they are primarely a logical type.
     
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  15. sassafras

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    In the context of MBTI theory, I don't think morality and cognitive function are mutually exclusive factors in determining personality. The cognitive functions themselves are just a means of contextualizing information. That is, Fi/Fe are not functions that are solely responsible for ethics. They deal with ethics because it appeals to their holistic processing, but morals themselves are not solely determined by which function is where in the cognitive stack. An INTJ who has a moral revelation, for example, is still going to continue processing things under the hood as an INTJ but their motivations driving their actions and behavior will be different. Morals, I think, are entirely independent of processing, though they strongly color their expression.

    And on a side note, you're the first religious person I've met who doesn't believe in the subconscious mind ('unconscious' mind is the incorrect term, by the way; I point it out because I sometimes slip up on this too). Most religious people I know would argue that that's how God connects with them.

    I'm personally firmly in the first camp about the existence of the subconscious. The fact that I'm drawing breath right now, that my heart is working, that I'm relaying this information to you without consciously trying to retrieve it, it's just flowing because my mind knows where to tap into the information, that I have observable habits of thinking and feelings and believing, is plenty of proof to me that I'm not entirely processing on 100% consciousness.

    Agreed. I just pointed out that it's a form of the push pull of dominant-inferior pair. As T-types get older, they show an emphasis on ethics as they move toward.

    Again, this is MBTI-wise.
     
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    #15 sassafras, May 11, 2014
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  16. Sriracha

    Sriracha Not here.
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    Consider: mental health, mental state of mind, maturity, developing new coping skills to the world around you and sociology. All these factors and more can make one test differently. Honestly, it doesn't really matter. What matters is the journey to discovering who you are and how you can better yourself by understanding how you fit in your environment.
     
  17. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    I think significant variation in personality testing may be more indicative of self-deception and wishful thinking than anything else.


    There's nothing more embarrassing than an INFJ trying to sound convincing about being outgoing, socially gregarious, tough and the like.
     
  18. j654dgj7

    j654dgj7 Please delete this account.

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    Everyone can stop being their personality types by dying. In fact, we're all going to die. It's fine.

    While we're alive - I don't believe that a person can "grow out of" a personality type. You can develop your auxiliary functions, but I don't see anyone going from an INFJ to anything else.
     
  19. LucyJr

    LucyJr Well-known member

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    That is religious mysiticism. The standard christian stance on this is that God connects with us in the spirit, the deepest place of man.

    Do you think J.F Kennedy is a "ex-INFJ" of some sort? Or Jimmy Carter?
     
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  20. sassafras

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    Interesting.



    Uh, what?
     
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