INFJ vs ENFJ (vs INTJ)... commonly confused? | INFJ Forum

INFJ vs ENFJ (vs INTJ)... commonly confused?

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by lifeisamaze, Oct 5, 2009.

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  1. lifeisamaze

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    hi everyone,
    i'm new to posting on the forum, though a long-time reader!

    i thought you might be able to help me discern my type. i test as an INFJ (mbti) and INFj (socionics), however have a couple of queries with it.

    on the INFJ vs ENFJ front - a couple of my friends are determined (absolutely determined!) that i am an ENFJ, not an INFJ. this confuses me no-end, and i wonder if it is possible that they think this because i am good at putting on an extraverted front with them (ESTP and ESFP), but they don't see the need to recharge afterwards. have others experienced this?

    also, on the INFJ vs INTJ front - i can be extremely critical. and able to communicate quite easily with INTJs who usually don't like F people. i can switch quite easily into the T space. can others do that?

    keen to hear what others think about the comparisons between these types..... thank you!
     
  2. VH

    VH Variable Hybrid

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    Welcome!

    Sounds a lot like me.
     
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  3. Soulful

    Soulful life is good

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    Hi, welcome to the forum :yo:!

    I can think of a few members on this board who might be able to answer yes to the ENFJ and INTJ questions.

    I think the mark of I vs. E is if you do need time alone to recharge after interacting with people. I'm sure introverts aren't alone in this, I/E runs along a scale after all, but generally, introverts require more alone time to recharge and feel that need quite distinctively. Sometimes this can be missed by the people around them if someone is outgoing and seems rather social. At the end of the day, where does your energy come from - socializing or recharging afterwards.

    Similarly, there are a number of Fs who have a well developed T function - or a balanced F and T function, and are able to use both quite well. F vs T is about what you take into consideration to make decisions and to base your responses on. From what you wrote - "switch quite easily into the T space" - it sounds as though you naturally respond to the world as an F, but are able to use your T processes as well, if I am not mistaken.

    I guess the question is - what comes most naturally to you? Who are you when you're just being yourself in every day circumstances with people in general? And then by yourself?

    I hope this helps.
     
  4. Goatman455

    Goatman455 Community Member

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    Well I will give my response to Von's post about INFJ/ENFJ confusion. I had some positive responses to it (and some negative ones on another board from ENFJs who didn't like their weaknesses pointed out).


    I am going to try my best to put this into words, I am sorry if I don't quite hit the mark, I will try my best. Keep in mind in order to express these views I really have to boil things down and stereotype a bit more than I like to do. Forgive me if I do this too much, it is going to be hard to express this without putting people in boxes that I don't feel they should necessarily go in.

    Ok, well I find that introverted ENFJs tend to take on much of the traits of EJs. They tend to be pretty judgmental (though open minded as well), and very quickly make judgments about people. They also tend to really emphasize politeness and positive relationships with people. This doesn't mean an extroverted INFJ won't do these things but I find this is crucial to ENFJs. Just in general from my experience ENFJs have a more formulated outer world, where INFJs in the outer world come across as 'feeling things out.'

    I also notice that ENFJs (EJs in general) are more likely to have a hidden motive sometimes when they speak. They kind of get to the point in a roundabout way sometimes, usually to feel the person out, or perhaps they feel their idea will be misunderstood if stated directly. I don't see this as much in INFJ. When INFJ (or IJ in general) communicates it seems more direct. Actually on a side note, Soconics describes EPs/IJs as "static" personalities and EJs/IPs as 'dynamic', and this is kind of what they mean in a really abstract way.

    I also think when they express their thoughts ENFJs tend to be pretty solid about them. They commit to their idea, and prefer to have it set, as opposed to INFJs who tend to walk the fence or be in the gray a lot with their views. I also find that ENFJs are more likely to take criticism to heart, often getting very defensive and emotional when personally 'attacked', or just shutting down completely. INFJs when criticized tend to start going into P mode as I call it where they just keep searching for more info about the criticism in an attempt perhaps to make sense of it in their heads, in essence assimilating the information before judging it.


    Really the quickness and solidity of outer judgments I think is a good indicator. To INFJ the outer world is a dreamier place so to speak. Also, an introverted ENFJ may find it upsetting that they have trouble with making close friends, where extroverted INFJ wouldn't so much mind it preferring to keep only close friends and not worrying as much about it.


    For me though the big thing is how open does the person come across in discussion. In my experience ENFJs really have made up their minds when they speak, whereas INFJs just seem more 'movable' in their position. Perhaps we could explain it as the Primary Judging/Secondary Perception vs. Primary Perception/Secondary Judging.


    Another good way to find out is ask those you are close to. They know you well, how do they see you? Do your friends and family see someone who is extroverted or introverted. Their judgment would probably be more sound than a stranger's from the internet because they have so much more information to go off of.


    I have some more ideas but when I wrote them they didn't quite come out right. I will add more later if you are interested.
     
  5. OP
    lifeisamaze

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    von hase - I just caught up on the thread you started. it does seem we are thinking through similar things! have you reached any conclusions yet?

    soulful - thanks for the welcome! as far as i am concerned on the I/E question, I'd class myself as an I - no questions - due to the recharge time required. having said that, i think i do a mean impression of an E when I need to :)

    another thing i have been thinking about it that the E and T functions come out more when i am stressed. if i am relaxed/on my own/at home (like now), i am very much more in the INFJ state.... which I suppose you would class as what comes naturally to me.

    with people - i am articulate when i need to be/when i care passionately about something/when i am with people i trust. if it wasn't for what i feel people's expectations of me are, i would be a lot quieter and more subdued than i am. having said that, i'm not a wallflower for the most part in that i have been told i have a 'presence'.

    i think what i am most frustrated by in all this are my friends who insist they know me better than i know myself! and i wish they would be open-minded enough to accept me for where i am at in my self-discovery...
     
  6. VH

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    Well, each MBTI type is made up of four cognitive functions. I had to narrow down which functions I had in which order. This was difficult to do because I've got some very balanced functions, and when people are under stress, they will change the order in which they use their functions.

    The functions I realized I have are introverted Intuition (Ni), extroverted Feeling (Fe), introverted Thinking (Ti), and extroverted Sensing (Se), which are used by INFJ, ENFJ, ISTP, and ESTP. However, I'm pretty sure I'm an INFJ at my core. I can switch into ENFJ mode when need be, and even have ESTP and ISTP modes I can use for very brief situations. Also, when I need to turn off my emotions, I have a mode that seems a lot like an INTJ, but that appears to be what Fe and Ti form into when emotion is removed from the reasoning process of them.

    I am more like my INFJ friends than my ENFJ friends. The deciding factor for me was the fact that I have never been able to turn off my introverted intuition, the dominant function for INFJs and INTJs. It's always running. However, the dominant function for ENFJs is extroverted Feeling, and I have frequently turned it off due to stress or fatigue. And the reasoning functions for INTJs are extroverted Thinking, which is something I'm not especially good at, and introverted Feeling, something that I can have a lot of trouble understanding. Therefore, I have concluded that of all the MBTI types, the one that I am closest to and has the fewest objections is INFJ, and therefore it is likely the case that I'm an extroverted INFJ due to a strong extroverted Feeling secondary function.

    You're the one who has to decide for yourself though. No one can decide who you are but you.

    However, if you haven't taken this test yet, I would highly suggest it to help point you in the right direction.
     
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  7. Goatman455

    Goatman455 Community Member

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    I'm curious, what confuses you about introverted feeling? I myself am super confused by it as well and it would be nice to have some insights from another individual.
     
  8. OP
    lifeisamaze

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    thanks so much for pointing me towards that test. i hadn't done it previously, and just completed it then. I got INFJ... but i had to laugh at the totality of the result:

    By focusing on the strongest configuration of cognitive processes, your pattern of responses most closely matches individuals of this type: INFJ
    Lead (Dominant) Process
    Introverted Intuiting (Ni): Transforming with a meta-perspective. Withdrawing from the world and focusing your mind to receive an insight or realization. Checking if synergy results. Trying out a realization to transform things.

    Support (Auxilliary) Process
    Extraverted Feeling (Fe): Building trust through giving relationships. Empathically responding to others' needs and take on their needs and values as your own. Checking for respect and trust. Giving and receiving support to grow closer to people.

    If these cognitive processes don't fit well then consider these types: ENFJ, or INTJ

    Seems to back up the reasoning behind some of my confusion between types... and why i might be perceived as other types. INFJ sits well with the 'true me' though.
     
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