Do INFJ's somehow appear to be cold? | INFJ Forum

Do INFJ's somehow appear to be cold?

Discussion in 'The INFJ Typology' started by sumone, Jun 7, 2008.

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  1. sumone

    sumone down the rabbit hole

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    When reading the INFJ descriptions I often see that INFJ women are considered to be cold or come across that way anyhow. On one hand it says we are warm, compassionate blah blah people but on the other they seem to think we are cold and heartless. I don't get it. Do we come across as a split personality or something? If anyone has any ideas I'd like to hear them. What is it that we do that gets us the 'cold' reputation. If I really am appearing cold I had better work on that. It's not something I'd like to have been known as.

    In this forum, although I guess I'm not exactly objective, I honestly don't feel any coldness from the INFJ's here.
     
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  2. Elizabeth

    Elizabeth Regular Poster

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    Could be. A former boss of mine, who is also into typology, was certain that he had identified my type after observing me for a few weeks. His guess: ISTJ!

    I'm told that I often seem very focused, formal, and serious. People regularly guess that I'm several years older than I really am. At high school events, visiting parents often thought that I was one of the teachers!

    I must have some "commanding" aspect to my personality, which fits into the INFJ type. INFJs prefer the Directing style of communication. That means that we're more likely to tell people directly what to do, ie "Put those files over there," rather than "Those files belong over there," which is the Informing style.
     
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  3. OP
    sumone

    sumone down the rabbit hole

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    Yes that is true and because that's the way we operate we may not appear too warm or open. I would often get called bossy as a kid and it would really sting because I wasn't seeing myself that way. If I appeared bossy it was never intentional. I might have just been trying to expediate a situation with few words, thinking it was for the benefit of all. I felt gyped out of practicing taking charge as a kid because every time I did I'd get called bossy! I figured a follower role was more suited to me or convinced myself of it anyway and stayed comfortably in that coccoon(surely that can't be the right spelling) for a long time. I like leadership roles now though and succeed or fail I always learn loads about myself and others.
     
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  4. Motor Jax

    Motor Jax randomness included
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    i always assume more leadership roles than anyone, and ready to tackle any challenges. i've been taken as bossy, just never told that face-to-face, but i can see it in the actions and reactions of others

    i have been called 'cold', 'heartless', among other things. it's not something that i do intentional

    my 2 ex always called me a 'cold, heartless asshole'... she said that it would just seem to her that i just don't have any emotions. wtf? :shock:

    she never took the time to consider that i just internalized everything. and when it was time for a job to get done, i was just too focused for anything else

    i have tried to change myself, but even afterwards, i still turn out the same way
     
  5. Kwistalline

    Kwistalline Permanent Fixture

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    Elizabeth, I SOOO relate!! When I was about fifteen I went shopping with my lil' sis, and the registrar (an older guy) thought I was her mother. She is only five years younger than!! And my patients rate my age mostly between 28 and 42. I've been told that it isn't because I look old. People are always saying "oh, you seem so mature for your age . . . I really thought . . ."

    And the whole "old soul" bit, or wiser than your years cliche's.

    Cold? Sometimes. My BFF once told me I wasn't "good with people" (the first time I ever got that remark!!). I think my mistake was that when I'm comfy with someone, I behave "normally", and she didn't think I was really that critical of others (which I can be, very badly. Inkling, stop laughing, or I will call you Inkblot for the next two months)!!
     
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  6. Silently Honest

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    I've been told I look either lethargic, angry, or bored. Funny thing is whenever I've been told I was one of these things I was at the time, or I would be after the person told me.

    I've also been told that I have a scary glare, and have been in confrontations because of it. Staring off into space while appearing to be staring someone down. Never fun, as I never see it coming.
     
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  7. Uberfuhrer

    Uberfuhrer Community Member

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    I share N dominance with you guys, and I can say that I am much like the way Silently Honest has described. People often comment on how I appear angry and lethargic. And in fact, I have considered the possibility of being an INFJ, because I tend to avoid conflict for fear of damaging relations with family. So while I will follow family traditions on the outside, inside, I'm elsewhere, dreaming of a seemingly far-off freedom.

    I read, too, that INFJs tend to put up a front against other people to protect their inner self. INxJs seem to be the types who do this sort of thing; they try to look intimidating because they know that their inferior Se that would enable them to act more spontaneously and without restraint is so underdeveloped. Ni dominants generally lack the confidence to use their Se.
     
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  8. sriv

    sriv Community Member

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    Good points. I have also been told I look angry and lethargic. The latter is often true and the former is almost never true. The intimidation comes from other's impressions of me and how they feel uncomfortable around my perceived genius (wtf?), my insensitivity, and my lack of body motions, and my constantly calculating demeanor.
    I suck at Se. If it was better, I would use it, but it's completely inept.
     
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  9. CokeNut

    CokeNut Community Member

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    The only INFJ i know is a sweet, caring and loving man. Does he appear cold? Hell yes! Sorry baby ... you know I love you desperately, but ....

    Example ... I sent him a picture, but I got absolutely no reply. So a few days later we are on the phone ...

    Me: did you get the picture?
    him: yeah
    Me: then why didn't you reply to the email?
    him: I wanted to tell you in person (this means over the phone to us) how much i liked it and how great you look.

    moral of the story ... for three days I felt like crap thinking that he must have hated it soooo much he didn't even want to comment on it. When in fact he loved it - the feeling and thought were there but just weren't transmitted to me until three days later!

    I won't even go into the birthday card he sent me ... suffice to say that I had a severe emotional breakdown when I opened it. :cry:

    I find you all have beautiful thoughts and feelings, and kind and generous souls, but very little emotion .... that's why crazies like me percieve you as cold.
     
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  10. sriv

    sriv Community Member

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    :eek: [anal] Feeling is emotion. [/anal]
     
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  11. CokeNut

    CokeNut Community Member

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    You may be right, I don't read the dictionary for fun you know ...

    Anyway I've always thought of emotion as a "deeper feeling" in as much as you can hide a feeling but not an emotion. Does that make sense? Oh well my point was that INFJs are harder to read because they internalize their feelings (as in not showing emotion) and the rest of us are left to wonder if they are feeling anything at all. Then again, maybe its better that way because when they finally do give the rest of us a glimpse its always that much better - fear is more frightful, joy is brighter, passion is hotter, sadness is more profound, etc.
     
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  12. OP
    sumone

    sumone down the rabbit hole

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    wow cokenut you've given me a lot to think about.
     
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  13. sriv

    sriv Community Member

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    Lol, I hide all my emotion/feeling except in situations where conformity is imperative.
    Very true, INFJs are harder to read. Their Fe is masked by I.
    In contrast, I would say it is better to have a moderation of emotion. It's more comfortable and consistent. Depends on personal preference.
     
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  14. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    I'm a 4w3 enneagram, which translates to much more sociable and giddy than your average INFJ. However, I'm still far more conservative than most of my friends.
     
  15. OP
    sumone

    sumone down the rabbit hole

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    Thinking about appearing cold. When I worked at an old folks home I was very aware of what I was giving off; vibes, facial expressions, warmth etc. I made it a point to be careful in those areas because those people are highly tuned to it, live off it really seeing as how their vision, hearing and memory in most cases are impaired. I was very successful there and definitely had a calming affect on them. The literature says we are good in service areas so maybe that is why, we're more keenly aware of how we appear to others when we 'come out' on their behalf.
     
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  16. wormheart

    wormheart Newbie

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    In unfamiliar environments, especially the high school I've been attending for the past three and a half years, I usually project a “too” serious, unapproachable, occasionally cranky presence depending on how uncomfortable I'm feeling, in an awkward rather than intimidating way ("because I'm tired... ;)"). Yup, I too can relate to droopy-eyed, absent-lifed lethargy! Ironically my dream for the near future is to become the most inspiring counsellor I can be. :S

    I worry about only being open and warm towards people I know well and trust, and I'd really like to work on letting go of all this mutually exclusive anxious tension. The problem is that whenever I feel emotionally unsafe I will internalise more touchy and on edge inclinations to manifest.

    My ENFJ friend said I needed to "better myself" for being too aloof. Expressive concern and socially gracious accommodation for others is avoidant behind my own insecure mute withdrawal, which I hide with instead of clarify to those who possibly tiptoe around the impression that I hate them. :p

    Over the years I've somehow associated overt public displays of Fe with selling myself out, (not applicable to anyone else) because since childhood it has increasingly become so personally out of character. Hm, cognitive dissonance with integrity.

    Why can't we come across dreamy like the INFPs?!


    I like to think INFJs are there for others in a different way; lacking the energy to reach out extensively like domFes, yet we're loyal to confidants who approach us and are willing to stick by them for however long they need a soft spot to be, comfortably.


    ...NO to everybody else's fussy perceptions! :D
     
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  17. sciski

    sciski Regular Poster

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    Hmm...

    :? Maybe I'm E/INFP after all!

    I know I am reserved and I feel cold and distant at times, but that's simply because I know the exact measure of the disparity between what I feel (burn burn BURN) and what I am comfortable expressing. However, people see me as warm (and on occasion, sweet)- but reserved. Very reserved. In a "oh look, sciski's disappeared again to be a hermit" kind of way. :?
     
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  18. sEth

    sEth Newbie

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    OH my! These EXACT conversations and interactions have happened with my gf and myself. She is an ISFJ... The birthday card went a little different though.. we were talking about her then upcoming birthday... well she said I dont want anything just as I do.. I mean I just want a hug and a kiss.. nothing more than that.. just some awesome moment between us.. weell anyway.. I took her word for it.. and well didnt even get her a card..

    OOPS!
    she meant nothing big.. nothing did not mean nothing. I should have known.. Well in some twilight zone way of know I knew she didnt mean it. But for some INFJ reason or another I decided to take her word for it instead of what I intuitively knew. Lets just say I was wrong. hehe

    I have learned that textmessages.. must be responded to and read asap. pictures most likely should have some comment asap :) etc...

    ON TOPIc..
    I know I can appear cold and emotionless.. It has taken many years to learn how to block the empathy I feel for others.. Ive been asked... "why dont you open up?" etc.. I dont have the heart to tell them that if I did I would be in tears. (the world is full of pain) I just cant open up a little its all or none. I have to.. I can open up in a dark calm room with one person whom which I trust. Anything more than that and I am bombarded with emotions that seek to teach me what its like to feel like someone else. INFJs will understand what I mean here Im sure. The cold others read off us is IMO blocking. Empathy is a curse sometimes.
     
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  19. Kwistalline

    Kwistalline Permanent Fixture

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    I totally agree with you!! BTW, I don't remember seeing you on the introductions page. I only say that 'cause you're new, and we don't want newbies to be overlooked accidentally and then go away disinterested b/c nobody paid attention . . .

    So, Welcome!
     
  20. HenRick

    HenRick Community Member

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    Beautifully written seth I understood it completely.

    I think I appear cold just because I'm not aware of my face. My mom and dad constantly ask why I'm mad and I tell them I'm not. I guess it might be the lack of Extravert and Sensing the INFJ's might not have.

    Personally I lack sensing I always score high intuition on the tests and barely make it to being a feeling type. I wish I had more feeling. I only feel like a feeling type when I'm by myself or after I go through tough times and become reeaallyy feeling.
     
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