INFJ Introversion and Extroversion | INFJ Forum

INFJ Introversion and Extroversion


Variable Hybrid
Feb 12, 2009
I've had more than a few conversations with people about the different types of INFJs, and the most common point of contention is the 'extroverted' INFJ. This concept seems very much like an oxymoron to a lot of people, so I thought I would explain it, along with the theory behind it.

Okay, the standard INFJ cognitive function pattern is Ni > Fe > Ti > Se. No surprises here, and a lot of us fit it quite well.

However, when we lean toward introversion, the following happens... Our Ni gets stronger, our Fe starts to lean toward Fi (we get less concerned with others and more concerned with conceptual ideals) and may even cross over, our Ti gets stronger (we get more 'geeky') and our Se starts to lean toward Si (we start to become more concerned with traditions and rituals, and / or doing things the same way). It doesn't make a lot of sense according to the standard model, but it makes perfect sense when applied to reality. We still go N > F > T > S, but we start to seem more like Ni > Fe/Fi > Ti > Se/Si.

Now, here's the interesting part. While we all understand that an introvert can have 'especially introverted' moments, what's difficult to grasp is that an introvert can have extroverted moments.

As an INFJ leans toward extroversion, which is usually prompted by our Fe being needed for a situation, we start to go the opposite way with our leaning. Ni starts to lean more toward Ne (and we start finding interesting possibilities, and embrace our quirky sense of humor), Fe becomes much stronger (and more easily seen by others in us, such as how chatty we can be), Ti starts to lean more toward Te (and starts to see the bigger picture a little better), and Se becomes much stronger (we become much more aware of our surroundings, and may even enthusiastically engage in physical activities). We still go N > F > T > S, but we start to seem more like Ni/Ne > Fe > Ti/Te > Se.

Now, here's the important part to note about this process - it is the result of leaning on either your Ni or your Fe. The more you lean on Ni, the more your other functions will lean toward introversion. The more you lean on your Fe, the more your other functions will lean toward extroversion. I really think a lot of shadow function theory is based on this concept. This is also a really good explanation for how INFJs can seem like INFPs when deeply introverted (leaning into Fi) or even INTPs (when we geek out on Ti), like ENFJs when extroverted (leaning on Fe) or even ENFPs if we go far enough into extroversion (as we start to lean on Ne). This means that INFJs are capable of the following cascade, with psuedo types in gray...


I would assume that this pattern is consistent with other types as well. I am very certain that when my INTJ best friend goes more introverted, she slides into an Ni > Te/Ti > Fi > Se/Si mode, and starts to seem like an INFP. When she extroverts at parties, she goes into an Ni/Ne > Te > Fi/Fe > Se mode - and seems much more like an ENTJ/ENTP. If the model holds, then the INTJ pattern would look like this...

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INFJs can also stretch their T function into Te territory and temporary become INTJ. Though it's probably harder to do than fooling around with Fe :)
I wonder..could this be the reason why INFJ is considered the rarest MBTI type? (since we can behave like other types, is possible that most INFJs are mistyped)
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that is a really sound explanation. I can aply this on my own life...

the fact that I'm getting out of my INFP zone makes me believe I'm INFJ after all. I only don't understand why it makes me feel like I'm losing something important...
Yep, I can go with this. My need to use Fe almost constantly at my school has really made me seem more extroverted in all they ways you've said.

My question is "do INFJs actually become extroverts or do they simply behave more extrovertedly?"

I think that depends I've noticed I've got a lot of E tendencies just from coping but I feel better when I'm being my introvert self.

And yes we can get chatty ahem.... :m190: