How does an extroverted INFJ operate? | INFJ Forum

How does an extroverted INFJ operate?

Discussion in 'The INFJ Typology' started by Billy, Oct 12, 2009.

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  1. Billy

    Billy Contents Under Pressure
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    Here is a story

    So as far as I can figure it, most INFJs go through a sort of "keep to myself" thing for msot of thier lives. In my case I was extremely private and I don't let many people into my inner world. As a result of this I had always been a really loner type, very stand offish, quiet, gentle but not a pushover. I also grew up kind of tough in some rough areas and that toughness is how you learn to survive without getting hurt. As a result of this I had very very few friends growing up. As I go into my 20s I basically cut out all of my friends and went completely isolated. Because of that I ended up relying heavily on my family for social interactions. It turns out that my family isnt exactly the best thing for me, as some of them tend to sabotage me out of jealousy or a need to control things.

    So I have been rebuilding my social life the past year or so, once I broke away from my family, its like I am an entirely differnt person. My ENFP friend says I am projecting like an ENFJ or an ENTJ at times when I do things.

    But its more than that I still feel very very introverted. But somehow I am able to now get over that and push myself into a situation I would have normally walked away from. Meeting new girls, or friends and making connections and putting myself out there. And I have been finding that people love me and want to be around me and it makes me feel good like I have something to offer. But still there is more to it than just that. Its like I dont just see my friend or a person anymore, I see a network of connections and opporitunities behind people. And I am not doing this intentionally somehow my mind is just picking this stuff up and storing it in my subconcious then making concious connections to it. Its like my Intuition is really working over the relationships I am building and its not being dominated so much by emotion so much as curiosity at this point. And I am planning social interactions to depths I never did before and I can make predictions on how people will react to things and its coming true. I feel like I am standing on a ladder above a crowd and I am the only person with any overview of the situation.

    Is this normal for an INFJ who is trying to be outgoing and extroverted? Are there any other INFJs who have gone from extreme isolation to extreme social butterfly status quickly?

    I am having all these new wierd feelings and I am trying to organize everything into some sort of system so I can manage it better but its just new to me.
     
  2. bs98r3kjf

    bs98r3kjf Well-known member

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    will return and comment on this later, interesting.
     
  3. Entyqua

    Entyqua Forgotten
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    In certain social situations, with the right group of people, I can often assume extroverted status. Even when first meeting this group, I get an uncanny sense that these people will some how understand me. In these situations, I would be considered a social butterfly. However, in most social situations, I cannot even bring myself to jump into conversations about cats...Saying something like I have a cat too, sounds lame, so I keep it to myself.
     
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  4. rainrise

    rainrise Community Member

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    i guess it'd be easiest to extrovert yourself simply by emphasizing your second function as an introvert. so as an INFJ, it'd be likely that you'd be acting more like an ENFJ in this case, though that's just my opinion.
     
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  5. OP
    Billy

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    I totally get that, thats how it used to be for me, if it was a group I felt safe with I would be very outgoing for sure... however now this is differnt, because the whole thing is that I am going out and mingling with a huge number of people I dont even know and or havent met or just met a few times. And its like I am going out and the old "shut down frown" as I call it isnt happening, can it be that I have matured past that or that my confidence has grown enough that I am able to ignore it? Its completely out of character for me considering the past.

    I am not complaining though, because things are working well for me, I am meeting a lot of people and my friendships are growing, growing, growing and I never have to sit home alone anymore if I dont want to. Its very cool.
     
  6. testing

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    Sounds like you are you are simply learning new skills. Like an actor learning to play a new role almost.

    I am both saddened and happy to read that you are "finding that people love me and want to be around me and it makes me feel good like I have something to offer." Of course! And too bad you were ever around people who felt otherwise! That's not acceptable.

    As an INFJ I can say seeing patterns and connections in the way people act and behave seems to be normal. (These patterns can sometimes be overwhelming, so that you see the pattern more clearly than the people who make them.) Must be very INFJ, I suppose.

    And it is interesting/curious, and you can make predictions sometimes, not necessarily in a "look at me I have ESP!" kind of way. It's more like because everyone reminds you of something or someone else, you start to make so many connections you just know what people are going to do... most of the time.

    I hope you have fun with it!
     
  7. VH

    VH Variable Hybrid

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    Yes, this is perfectly normal.

    Our primary function, introverted intuition, is one of the most introverted functions. However, our secondary function, extroverted feeling, is one of if not the most extroverted function of all the functions.

    As people age and develop, they develop more and more capability with their functions. According to the theory, everyone is constantly developing capacity with their dominant function. However, when their dominant function cannot solve an issue, they must then attempt to solve it with their secondary function. If that doesn't work, they must solve it with thtier tertiary function, and so on. What happens in each of these instances is a little more development of those lesser functions. By the time someone is in their 20s, they've usually developed their secondary function to a very solid point that can rival their dominant function. By the time someone is in their 30s, they've usually developed their tertiary function to a very solid point that can rival their secondary function.

    It seems very clear to me that you're coming into the phase in your life where you're mastering your secondary function, which for INFJs is extroverted feeling. This is natural, and happens to all of us eventually. We begin to seem more like ENFJs, (and sometimes ENTJs because our Fe and Ti can work in tandem to create a psuedo Te). Not only do I think you're normal, but I think this means you are extremely healthy mentally.
     
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  8. OP
    Billy

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    'Fe and Ti can work in tandem to create a psuedo Te)"

    tell me more about this, because it seems true to me, a lot of these social interactions I feel like I am going from Ni directly to Te with things with some Ti in it too. Because I dont seem to be feeling my way through these scenarios, I study them and they make me curious and I want to work them with deliberate aim using the things I know. But its the fact that I can do that that gives me a good feeling internally... so I have no idea how my cognitive functions are working here but its confusing because its not so normal for me.
     
  9. myself

    myself Permanent Fixture

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    I don't understand all the Ni Te Ti Fe talk...

    but I feel like what you are describing is that special thing I am trying to realize in my life.

    solitude sculpts our spirit like a glacier, perhaps.

    you have withstood tons of pressure and abundant shit storms. surviving that and coming out the other side a better person is what positive growth is all about.

    congrats buddy.

    very inspiring message you bring.
     
  10. VH

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    Cognitive functions are rather basic and broad.

    The mind normally uses cognitive functions in tandem, most often a Perceiving function and a Judging function. For example, INFJs normally use Ni and Fe in tandem to create the overall INFJ personality effect.

    However, using Ni and Fe in tandem can spawn what some psychologists refer to as 'shadow functions' of Ne and or Fi, as Ni and Fe overlap. The important thing to note is that in this configuration, each of these shadow functions is the result of two primary functions pairing to produce an imitation of the actual function. Therefore, as INFJs, our Ne and Fi are not going to be nearly as effective as someone who uses them natively.

    To go deeper into tandem functions, when we INFJs introvert heavily, we pair Ni with Ti. This is what causes our inner geeky effect. When INFJs extrovert heavily, we pair Fe with Se. This is what causes our momentary 'take the lead and over achieve' effect.

    In the case of Fe and Ti working in tandem to produce a pseudo Te, the principle is the same. Fe knows how things should be and is outwardly focused, creating a dominantly macro picture. Ti understands how things work and is inwardly focused, creating a micro picture. Allowing these two functions to work in tandem creates a situation where both conditions exist at the same time and we have an outwardly focused macro picture that understands how things work on a micro level. This looks very much like Te's understanding of how things relate on a macro level... but not quite. It takes a lot more effort for us to do this than a native Te user who will do it inherently, and we will still miss a lot of the relationships between things that do not involve people, or have workings far beyond the scope of Ti's micro picture. To anyone who is not Te dominant or secondary, this shadow function can appear to be genuine. But, to native Te users, it will seem like a larger version of Ti with a fair amount of insistance from Fe.

    I hope that explains things. I can go more in depth if you need me to.
     
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  11. bs98r3kjf

    bs98r3kjf Well-known member

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    I was also naturally very quiet and very private as a child, and being picked on in school just made me an even more private person and made it even harder for me to let people into my inner world (but I was a pushover, unlike you). In fact, I cannot remember one good friend that I had in elementary school and I can only remember one or two good friends that I had in middle school. By high school, things were better and I became somewhat outgoing. I think part of why I felt confident enough to be somewhat outgoing in high school was because I was being picked on a lot less. I wasn't very outgoing but managed to make a good amount of friends that I felt comfortable around and some that I could even share some deeper things with. In around my senior year of high school I became somewhat popular, and people would come and ask me for advice and want to become friends with me. I was still very introverted. I still had a very rich inner world at that time that I didn't really share with anyone, but I guess I was projecting otherwise. Not sure. Now, I'm in college and basically all or most of my friends at college see me as a bubbly, happy, fun, very outgoing social butterfly who's always smiling and talking to people. I still don't really share my inner life with any of them, a few have gotten a glimpse.

    Now I'm not sure if its quite similar to your situation but people who knew me in elementary school and junior high school would definitely see a huge change in me. From total introvert to social butterfly. And I'm not denying that I'm some form of a social butterfly but I am still an introvert.

    I do plan social interactions (something I never even thought of as a child and in my early teen years). Like I usually tend to be a leader and not a follower when it comes to social gatherings and stuff like that. I'm not sure why and I'm not sure what type this makes me appear as. Ok now I'm wondering if anything I said is relevant to this thread. I hope at least some of it is.
     
    #11 bs98r3kjf, Oct 13, 2009
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2009
  12. Top cat

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    I always read INFJs were people persons..

    When I was a kid, I'd be very comfortable with strangers if I had family or a close friend with me. I'd keep to myself if I was completely alone. But when I moved out to go to college, I was always around strangers..so naturally I adapted and I'm comfortable around anyone now.

    There's a video on this page with a INFJ woman and her INTJ husband. It's so interesting the woman gives off E vibes. I think for myself, as an introvert I regenerate not only by doing your usual solitary things like walks and painting, but also being around certain people.
     
  13. bs98r3kjf

    bs98r3kjf Well-known member

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    That woman in the video actually reminds me of myself. I have a similar kind of energy sometimes, including similar body language. Now I see why so many people think INFJs are extroverts.
     
  14. Sam

    Sam Regular Poster

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    Interesting. This is kind of like the case of my infj friend.

    I think it's extremely healthy for infjs to project the Fe - getting caught up in NiTi is like a vicious cycle. It's something I'm also working on and am feeling happier developing it. It feels like having to establish whole new synapses to my brain and develop new ways - a system, like you described. I'm betting it getting easier and easier and more natural as time goes by. It feels good, but sometimes scary - but in my case I've been caught up in that loop for years and it takes a while to learn again. :)

    Someone once stated something I found very insightful that the difference between a healthy and an unhealthy infj might actually be how much we let ourselves be dominated by our fears and anxieties and protecting "ourselves". By being able of letting go of them and "putting ourselves out there" in that light seems like a very healthy thing for infjs.
     
  15. Julia

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    I'm more extroverted in certain work environments. I tend to need a bit more structure to be extroverted. When I perform on stage I can project an extroverted character, but it is rehearsed. Afterward I crave recuperation time. When teaching, the communication is more structured and focused as well, and so I can be friendly and probably seem more outgoing sometimes than I am. Other than that, there isn't much extroversion to me.
     
  16. gloomy-optimist

    gloomy-optimist Used to live here

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    I have a tendency to extrovert myself as soon as I have a base. I'll assess my situation for a while, find some people I feel comfortable with, and then begin broadening as soon as I feel I have some good roots. So, I'd say going from introverted to very extroverted is almost becoming a natural thing for me.

    It's a nice feeling, when you've found some ground you can really branch out from. I'm happy for you, Billy :)
     
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  17. Bored Now

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    If I'm in the right mood, I'm quite the extrovert. I have to find the people around me interesting enough though. So its pretty rare. But it happens. Hee, I'm such a freaking snob sometimes.
     
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  18. Top cat

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    I get the impression she almost feeds off her husband's energy :p Or symbiotic relationship...

    I also get a bit of a bad rep as elitist, just by how easy it is for me to talk to some people and not others.. I'm a lot louder and bubbly when it's someone interesting and then I turn 180 to very flat and mute with another person.
     
  19. bs98r3kjf

    bs98r3kjf Well-known member

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    I can so relate to that.
     
  20. Orion

    Orion Strength through understanding
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    I always thought I was, with age and experience, getting better at being extroverted. Being less introverted. Which is a great thing and something I looked forward to. However, I have become heavily introverted as of late and my Fe is non existent. This really depresses me because it feels like I'm going backwards. All the work I have done thus far is unravelling itself.
     
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