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If you're not sure you are an INFJ

Discussion in 'The INFJ Typology' started by VH, Nov 30, 2009.

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  1. VH

    VH Variable Hybrid

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    I've noticed that more than a few people here are uncertain about whether or not they're INFJs. Even I was uncertain at more than one point. So, I thought I'd post some tips that I've learned to help those of you who are in the same situation.

    INFJs have a strange need to split hairs with respect to defining things. If you're having trouble deciding between INFJ and another type because they are both close, you're likely an INFJ. Here are some tips for the types INFJs most commonly consider.

    INFPs would prefer not to be labeled, and would not put so much effort into deciding which it is.

    ENFJs tend to make decisions and stick with them, as well as not being especially concerned with the details.

    INTJs tend to think in terms of the big picture and seldom get so engrossed into something like the results of a self assessment test.

    ENFPs tend to share the INFP resistance to labels to some degree, but tend to just give up on trying to pin down a type.

    INFJs are J types. We like to label things with our Fe (which is a very accepting function), but tend to label ourselves with Ti (which is a very exacting function). INFJs dominant function is Ni, a perception process that focuses primarily on finding the one most applicable answer. If figuring out an answer or solution often becomes a quest in self discovery, you're likely driven by your dominant function (Ni) to find your social role with your secondary function (Fe), but have to use your tertiary function to make self inventory (Ti) because it is our introverted reasoning function. Our primary reasoning function (Fe) is extroverted and not as well suited to make internal assessments as our tertiary function (Ti).

    INFJs have Ni as a dominant function and Se as an inferior function, with Fe and Ti as the middle pair, according to the model. For INFJs, the range between N and S will be much greater than the range between F and T. What this means is INFJs will almost always have a higher N score than their F score on MBTI type tests because there is a greater difference between our N and S than there is between F and T in our preference model. If you have a higher N than F, but scored ENFJ or INFP, you're likely an INFJ or an ENFP, and if you feel driven to figure out which it is you're much more likely an INFJ.

    INFJs dominant function is actually a P function. Some of us have ambiguous J and P axis results. INFJs tend to have rather low J preferences. If you have slightly P results, but a clear introverted score, with a higher N than F, this is likely your Ni being clearly dominant, and you are an INFJ, not an INFP.

    When we are in our shadow mode preferences, INFJs are prone to testing as ENFPs. When we do this, our E preference is usually still close to the middle, as is our P preference. We still usually retain our N over F preference. If you sometimes get an ENFP result, especially when you're in your adaptive mode, you're likely an INFJ.

    Sometimes INFJs test as INTJs because they're in an emotionally subdued phase in their lives, such as being immersed in an intensive academic program. This is not uncommon because our T and F preferences are usually very close to begin with. It doesn't take more than a few questions to switch the two in our preferences. When INFJs test as INTJs, the T preference is usually not especially strong, and almost never stronger than the N preference. However, if the cause of the T preference switch is especially stressful, it might also cause a slight E preference, which is how some INFJs test as ENTJs in rare moments. Again, these preferences are usually slight when they appear.

    When INFJs test as INTPs, it is usually because they're deep into an introverted mode, amplifying their Ni and Ti. The Ni dominance causes the I and P preferences. The I preference will tend to be strong, while the P preference will tend to be slight. The T preference will tend to be less than the N preference, even if it is somewhat strong.

    When INFJs test as ENFJs, it is usually because we're in an extroverted phase. We usually retain our N over F preferences, while our E stays slight, but our J can become more elevated. We may actually switch our preferences around a little, and our N and F start to become much closer, and F can even overtake our N. Our N may even start to scale down from our normal averages.

    If you're an INFJ and you're experiencing any of these issues in your quest to correctly identify your type, this is perfectly normal.

    If you go back and take a look at any test results where you've gotten one of the types mentioned above, take a look and see if the other factors also appear, such as when you test ENFJ, is your E slight, while your F and J are higher than normal? If you're falling into these patterns when mistyping, then you're very likely an INFJ, and you're simply following the normal pattern for the dymanic adaptive capacity of the human mind to move through preference ranges. Everything I've mentioned above is perfectly normal and no cause for alarm, nor cause for doubting that you're an INFJ.
     
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    #1 VH, Nov 30, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009
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  2. bs98r3kjf

    bs98r3kjf Well-known member

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    Excellent post! And very much needed.

    Can you please go into this a bit more?
     
  3. AUM

    AUM The Romantic Scientist

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    Nice thread once again VH. Funny thing is that in some point in my life I thought I was an INFP, ENFP and INTJ.
     
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  4. anica

    anica dark dreamer
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    If you're not sure you're an INFJ

    Great explanation, Thanks so much.
     
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  5. Quinlan

    Quinlan Right the First Time!

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    If you're ISFP and think you're INFJ then you're a fool. :D
     
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  6. OP
    VH

    VH Variable Hybrid

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    I think most of us have. It's part of being an INFJ.

    Thanks! This might help.

    INFJs are J types. We like to label things with our Fe (which is a very accepting function), but tend to label ourselves with Ti (which is a very exacting function). INFJs dominant function is Ni, a perception process that focuses primarily on finding the one most applicable answer. If figuring out an answer or solution often becomes a quest in self discovery, you're likely driven by your dominant function (Ni) to find your social role with your secondary function (Fe), but have to use your tertiary function to make self inventory (Ti) because it is our introverted reasoning function. Our primary reasoning function (Fe) is extroverted and not as well suited to make internal assessments as our tertiary function (Ti).

    Normally, when assessing everyone and everything else, we use Fe to back up our Ni. Fe is a very accepting function and doesn't need things to be especially exact. It is happy with basic labels, and doesn't need to split hairs when assessing others. This is part of why we don't go to the same degree of effort to perfectly clarify other people's types. Fe is happy to accept a correct answer without exacting proof, so long as it seems to be the correct answer. But, Fe is not at all good for internal assessment, and forces us to use both of our introverted functions. When we are performing self assessment, we have to use Ti more than Fe because we are performing an act of introspection. This is what causes the Ni and Ti pairing that sometimes also makes us seem like non-argumentative INTPs, or confuse ourselves with INTJs. As our tertiary function, we're generally not as fluent with Ti, and this is part of what is causing our confusion, as well as our need to split hairs. Ti wants exact measurements. This is why we keep chasing our tails when self assessing. Our minds are fluid and constantly in a state of flux as immesurable as the dimensions of liquid, yet Ti wants to pin down measurements as if they were solid and static. Because the measurements keep changing, our tertiary Ti keeps wanting to recalibrate our assessments of ourselves - because our dominant Ni wants the correct answer so we can understand our social role and make our secondary Fe happy - which is motivating our Ti to keep at it. Hence, this is why we go through this cycle.
     
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    #6 VH, Nov 30, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2009
  7. OP
    VH

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    Hehe, true.

    I can't come up with an explanation that would cause this otherwise.
     
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  8. bs98r3kjf

    bs98r3kjf Well-known member

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    Thank you so much for explaining.

    So Ti is my 7th function as per my last test, and it always comes in near the end somehow. How would that all work with this? And how would it work with Ni if my Ni is much stronger than my Ti? How can one develop their Ti more?
     
  9. Raccoon Love

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    Wow this thread is very insightful..great post Von Hase..you make excellent points and explanations, I have been experiencing many of this scenarios, where I would test INTP,INFP,INTJ etc..but this has clear up so much!Thank you!
     
  10. OP
    VH

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    You're welcome. You're a lot of the reason I posted this. Watching you go through these issues helped me realize what was causing them for many of us who share them.

    According to the theory behind cognitive function preferences, INFJs are Ni > Fe > Ti > Se. The other functions that appear in there are actually midpoints of other functions. For example, INFJs don't actually have Te. We use our Fe and Ti in tandem to create a pseudo Te - which causes us to make those kinds of preference choices on self assessment tests. Get to know an INTJ, and you'll likely see just how little Te use you actually have, and that you really are using Fe and Ti in tandem. If you take a look at your Ne, Fi, Te, and Si results, they're likely close to a midpoint between your base functions of Ni, Fe, Ti, and Se. I've seen this time and again with my own results and the results of others. Apparently, the theory is correct.
     
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  11. AUM

    AUM The Romantic Scientist

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    I agree VH. If you're an INFJ who thinks you're an INTJ, just go to INTJ forum and you'll figure it out how different we are.
     
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  12. OP
    VH

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    Boy howdy.

    My INTJ friend loves it over there, and I've made a joke that every thread on the INTJ forums (barring any non-INTJ interference) follows a simple flowchart.

    Original post makes a statement or asks a question. If question, someone will post an answer in the form of a statement. Other members either agree, disagree, or clarify the statement. Once a consensus opinion is achieved, the thread dies. End of discussion. Logical and efficient.

    We don't have that here. Not at all.
     
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  13. bs98r3kjf

    bs98r3kjf Well-known member

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    thank you, this makes a lot of sense.
     
  14. Morgain

    Morgain defective wisdom
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    So, I just took the test again, as I would answer it when I am in my "work modus" and I tested ISFP or ESFP

    normal modus:
    Ni - 26
    Fi - 24
    Fe - 24
    Si - 18
    Ne - 17
    Te - 10
    Ti
     
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  15. Ria

    Ria Snow White over the ocean

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    yay, another lifesaver thread by Von Hase ;)

    It's so good to have u on this site because yr a wealth of information on the details of MBTI. There have been times I have tested as INFP, but in actual fact, what I was answering to those questions, were how I had been forced to be living and thinking in the dynamics at that time, but now I find myself being more true to myself, and being able to live as an INFJ.

    (I hope that made sense) :)
     
  16. rainrise

    rainrise Community Member

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    this is great Von Hase.

    this makes so much sense. it explains why INFJs tend to be so hard on themselves while going out of their way to accept other people, even when it poses as a challenge.
     
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  17. bs98r3kjf

    bs98r3kjf Well-known member

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    yeah it makes a lot of sense now...
     
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