INFJ vs. INTP | INFJ Forum

INFJ vs. INTP

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Futurus, Mar 14, 2010.

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  1. Futurus

    Futurus Newbie

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    Hello everyone,



    I've typed myself as an INTP ever since I first encountered MBTI.

    Of my close friends who are advocates of the system, both believe that I'm an INFJ. (One is an INTJ, and the other: INFP.) I've always sort of regarded INFJs with complete awe and admiration, so it's inevitably difficult for me to find truth in their [my friends'] words. . . unless I view myself inaccurately. It's strange, because I felt a certain sureness about my self concept when I considered myself to be an INTP, and now. . . Now, with the doubt of my companions, the illusion of certainty has come tumbling down.

    And the cognitive functions. . . I do, in fact, recognize the Ne and Ti when processing information, but, as I've learned: many are not conscious of their dominant function as it is their 'standard,' so overestimating the use of non-dominant or auxiliary functions is very common.

    Rambling aside, I was wondering if any of you INFJs ever considered yourselves to be INTPs, or vice versa. If so. . . which type characteristics made you lean firmly in either direction?

    Thank you. :)
     
    #1 Futurus, Mar 14, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2010
  2. Raccoon Love

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    I used to question if I was an INTP or not as I have always overestimated the strength of both my Ti and Ne. INFJ's can easily be confused as INTP's specially when we are in stressed more or in heavy introverted states as we use Ti as our third process, meaning that when the extroverted process is ignored, we tend to behave quite coldly, more so than an INTP as we are using Ni+Ti instead of Ti+Ne. The types can be also confused as many INFJ's have T/F and J/P scores that are very closed, but now I know that I have always overestimated the value of my Ti and when I am not really in stressed mode I go back to my usual Ni+Fe pattern, also I realized that my Fe was very strong as I do indeed tend to care a lt for other, INTP's have this too though it usually takes a lot of maturity and development for this to happen, it is not something you would call natural to the,( for the most part) Also I misunderstood Ne, Ne tends to be a very random process, always looking for possibilities and ideas, my intuition does not work that way, it wants one direct answer, and well it is a more personal inner process.
     
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  3. Sparky

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    That's the first time I've heard people confusing INFJ with INTP, because a P and J are pretty different and once you know someone, it's fairly easy to tell. Regardless, a person who's INFJ will unlikely identify as INTP, and I don't think INTP would regard himself as INFJ. That said, I don't think the people you mentioned have ever befriended INFJ, so they wouldn't know. I would recommend using your own judgement and stick with INTP.

    People have confused INFJ with ENFJ and INFP, but first time I've heard of INTP confusion.
     
    #3 Sparky, Mar 15, 2010
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  4. Ecton

    Ecton Community Member

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    So here's a question for you:

    When you are working with a group, what do you do to help the group arrive at the right decision?
    What things do group members do that leads a group in the wrong direction?

    Answer those question for yourself before you read my ramblings below.

    I have a lot of INFJ tendencies and I work with an INTP. We both work in software engineering (although I'm trying to change careers)

    Here's how I would describe our main differences:

    1) My INTP co-worker gets along with everyone and feels everyone gets along with him. Everyone loves working with him because he is highly effective, calm, reliable, practical, and quick to adapt. People like to do things like go out to lunch with me, but I'm more abrasive under various conditions.

    2)My co-worker also secretly wants to be a theoretical physicist/mathematician. I studied those things when I was younger but wanted something with a more emotional aesthetic in my work. We are both excellent at mathematics, but he was a dreamer and scattered when younger and learned on his own, or got side tracked. I was a classic goody-two-shoes teacher's pet and wanted to perform well. My use of mathematics is inherently slow and based on taking my mental model and fiddling with it to achieve the outcome that I then represent through mathematics. His model is more rapid and able to quickly piece together a chain of consequences and results. He's more talented, but I had more long-term focus. We both like theory and possibilities. But for me its an aesthetic. For him its a search.

    3) My INTP co-worker is essentially oblivious to the mood in our office or the kinds of events that are coming down the pike. If a superior tells him what is going to happen, he believes it even if their body languages is screaming "NO". He's aware of the possibilities, but doesn't see much point trying to predict what will happen in the office. I'll sense what the person is feeling right away and I get a lot of discomfort from the disconnect between words and their feelings. He will feel secure with their reassuring words.

    4) Now, in his software, he is obsessed with understanding how it will behave and tests for all possibilities. Thus his products are of a high quality. I'm a lousy tester. I want to get what matches my internal compass, and then I feel done. I often forget that the product owner doesn't get my mental model, they get the product.

    5) On the other hand, I will spend an hour editing and re-crafting this message. My co-worker sees no point in doing that. He'll write something once, keep it short, and why bother making a message more than a note? The unspoken message of a note, how it is perceived and utilized, doesn't matter to him. But if there is a factual error, a typo, etc, he becomes very irritated and cannot help but point it out. You can almost see him holding himself back physically. (Well, not almost, you CAN see him hold himself back physically.)

    6) My INTP co-worker seems to have no problem knowing what he feels. He knows what food he wants to eat. He knows when he is starting to stress out. In order to keep his feelings varied, he purposefully seeks new senses. He hates to eat food that he remembers from recently. He'll visit all the restaurants in an area and not repeat any visits until he exhausts a space. Me, I tend to be the last person to know how I feel. Sometimes I start to get angry and I'll blow up. Or I'll build up muscle tension and end up needing physical therapy. I never have an opinion on restaurants. I just want to go some place where we can talk.

    7) He can tune out sounds to the point where you have to wave at him. If I hear my name, I tend to notice, even with headphones on and listening to music. (This is good for eaves dropping, which I constantly do so that I can get input to measure against what I feel people feel.)

    8) We can both focus on tasks, but I tend to want to make a big plan and then move forward and see where it goes. He tends to want to dice in and see where he ends up. He's more 'agile' by nature.

    9) Finally, all of my colleagues love to think out loud about complex ideas and quickly. I try, but I usually fall short. I'm too slow! I create complex systems with sound ideas, but I have to hammer at them for a long time, and they tend to come from intuition and internal aesthetic preferences that I have built up to box in Te conclusions I am too slow to reprocess. On the other hand, I can often predict what is going to happen around us, but I usually can't convince them of why, which leaves them annoyed.

    According to Keirseyish thinking, INTP and INFJ share both an Introspecetive approach as opposed to an Observant approach. An INTP and INFJs largest difference is that an INFJ is a Cooperative decider, while an INTP is a Pragmatic decider.

    Do you tend to fall in one of these camps?
     
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    #4 Ecton, Mar 15, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2010
  5. Ria

    Ria Snow White over the ocean

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    I believe NeverAmI was typed as INFJ when he first joined the forum last year. We all love NAI here, and offered him help when after a while, he began to question his type. He turned out to be INTP. It might be helpful to contact him and discuss your questions and concerns. He would definitely be an excellent source of information.
     
    #5 Ria, Mar 15, 2010
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  6. NeverAmI

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    I cycled through quite a few types.

    Some believe I am ISTP and some believe I am INFP, but I am still sticking to INTP so far.

    MBTI doesn't matter too much these days, I was primarily looking for a good reference/foothold to really dig in and start analyzing myself and MBTI has most certainly provided that.

    What you said about not recognizing your primary function does make sense to me. When I first joined this site I was MUCH more emotional than usual due being rejected in a romantic interest after being single for 8 years and also potentially losing my job.

    That isn't to say I am unemotional, but I am an incredibly solitary creature and I don't tend to reach out to others often. It's not really that I dislike other people, but rather that I am so precoccupied with other things that it slips my mind.

    Determining Fi from Ti can be difficult for me, but over my life I can certainly see a more objective, albeit amiable, nature to myself. I have no problem hurting someone if it will help them in the long term. Then again, I am generally not confident enough in my abilities to really take a risk like that.

    I live in a town seemingly dominated by Se and when I first moved here I really stuck out like a sore thumb. However, I have adapted and picked up quite a bit of the personality here which has definitely helped me to grow.

    I have premonition VERY rarely, if ever. I work in IT but I have always been highly interested in physics, mathematics, psychology, philosophy, etc.

    I scored in the 99th percentile in the state (ITBS) on math in Jr High but I ran into some major depression/insomnia/dietary issues in High School and thus didn't take my education as far as I would have liked.

    My room is generally a mess, especially when I get motivated to get something done, or I am on a learning binge. I used to be quite unkempt when I was younger but I have realized the many benefits to looking/feeling healthy.

    When I first learned about MBTI INTP was defintely the type I despised most. I just don't like the egotistical victims that seem to flood the type. Every once in a while I catch a few really good ones, though.
     
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  7. Norton

    Norton XXXX

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    Some INTP's can, indeed, be puerile and obnoxious because they are inept socially and generally oblivious to social cues. I'm an older INTP, so I've learned over the years, and with much coaching from my INFJ wife, how to be more socially adept. My office is a mess as is my dresser and most other places that receive my piles. My wife has, after a long time, come to understand that I really don't see things in my environment that are no longer of immediate interest. I'm truly oblivious, which is good and bad. Good, because I don't get distracted by the outside world when I'm engaged in an interesting problem. Bad, because other people get annoyed by the mess and, also, because I lose things. Now, I scan all my papers and documents so they are always available to me by random access. I'm slowly working toward a paperless existence. My wife sometimes would really like help in making decisions about our home. I just care about function, so when the roof leaks, I'm right on it. But, when choosing tile for the bathroom, I have no interest whatsoever. I avoid conflict because I don't feel competent or confident in dealing with the heated emotions. I'm always afraid I'm going to blow up. My INFJ wife is a master at dealing with and, indeed, defusing conflict. I always prefer to deal with things in writing than in person. I'm a much better writer than speaker. In groups, I'm shy and quiet unless there is some issue that comes up that needs correcting, further elucidation and, particularly, better precision. Mathematics and physics come easily to me and, as an engineer, I love to work on very hard, complex problems that everyone else has given up on. There is nothing like finding the solution to such a problem and seeing, finally, how everything fits together. It is extremely satisfying. I have many interests that I pursue but I don't talk much about them unless I find someone else of like mind. I'm not very good with a verbal argument but I can do very well in writing a persuasive essay. Were I a lawyer, I'd be good at writing briefs but bad in front of a jury. I think that mature INTP's can get along well with INFJ's and this has been my personal experience with my wife. However, while the two types can be very complementary, they are certainly different. But, my wife and I are both strong intuitives and we have the same values and principles. I've learned the importance of feelings, even though this doesn't come naturally. Finally, I'd say that, for both INTP's and INFJ's, the male and female versions can appear to be quite different. However, for all I know, this may be true of all types.
     
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  8. Jasmine85

    Jasmine85 Regular Poster

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    If I can jump in here Ecton. Much of what you wrote I can relate to, but I feel I'm typed somewhere inbetween you and your co-worker. If I were to write the passage about myself I'd select these words:

    1) I get along with everyone and feel everyone gets along with me. Everyone loves working with me because I am highly effective, calm, reliable, practical, and quick to adapt.

    2)I'm excellent at mathematics, but I was and still am a bit of a dreamer. I was was a classic goody-two-shoes teacher's pet and wanted to perform well. My use of mathematics is quite rapid and able to quickly piece together a chain of consequences and results. I have moderate degree of talent and long-term focus. I like theory and possibilities, and it is both aesthetic and a search.

    3) In terms of office mood, I'll sense what a person is feeling right away. I tend not to feel secured with reassuring words, but I don't feel discomfort from an office mood either. I am often curious to see how it will evolve, as for me it is something to understand, and to see whose intuition/feeling is right and wrong. So I'll often delve as deep as I can into the group psyche and really understand what the mood is all about.

    If my group is worried or uncomfortable I'll often become more extravert, assume some kind of morale leadership in guiding everyone through it, and project some optimism.

    4) In terms of software, I would prefer to test how something behaves in many possibilities, but I have my limits. For example, I despise security, but that's just my software philosophy. I believe my products are of moderately high quality, even if they're not particularly secure, nor are they stable if deliberately abused.

    5) On the other hand, I will spend time editing and re-crafting this message. I'm not obsessed with typos, but I will sometimes correct them if I notice. Often when I've edited text and I read it back, I'll realise that I've either duplicated word or missed missed a word out. [<-- typical examples here deliberately :)]

    6) I have no problem knowing what I feel. I know my own emotions, and can pinpoint exactly what that feeling is and what it means effortlessly. I don't always know food I want to eat since I tend to pick and choose as I consider my options and take time imagining each of them comparing my feelings about each one. But I am happy to limit myself to just one or two familiar restaurants in an area. I do enjoy variety but not just for the sake of it -- only when I tire of something, or when something feels like it has become routine.

    7) I tend not to tune out to the point where you have to wave at me. I'm usually very much aware of what is going on in the world around me, even when I'm concentrating. I can be distracted, but I'd say I'm slightly above average at blocking out unwelcome distractions, or tuning into a particular sound/conversation, but I don't feel I am in any way exceptional at doing so.

    8) When I focus on tasks, I do tend to want to make a big plan but I also have my little maxim: "If you want to plant a forest, some people will overwhelm themselves sitting staring at the enormity of the thing in their imaginations, trying to plan it all out. Realistically, if you want to plant a forest, then just start planting trees... you'll get there. Do stop every once in a while to look at the bigger picture, but don't hang about there too long."
     
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  9. NeverAmI

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    1) I get along with everyone but I don't like people randomly coming up to me "to chat." There are certain people that I simply don't like to talk to, but I am still amiable to them, that is part of my job. I tend to present a rather aloof or distant self to someone if I am not in the mood to talk, which is most of the time. If they don't get the hint I can turn to being abrasive. In our meetings and discussions I tend to bust out a lot of witty jokes and I can make a lot of people crack up. I tend to have a dark sense of humor but I can tone it WAY down for work/family.

    2) I want to know everything. I love watching documentaries. Evolution, religion, psychology, philosophy, physics, astronomy, mathematics, engineering (to an extent), biology, neuroscience, etc, etc, etc.

    3) I can sense the atmosphere based on what people say in comparison to their normal reactions. As for believing things, I am VERY gullible, because that is how I work, I am typically willing to consider anything. I can sense the emotions of others, but I rarely do anything about it. My mom used to constantly guilt trip me about hurting my dad's feelings in the past, so maybe that plays into it.

    4) Ugh, testing. If there is a bug, I wouldn't mind finding the cause, but if it were a program I had been programming myself, bleh. Of course, I am not a programmer. I wouldn't mind working with the logic behind the program, the overall flow, but when it comes to syntax, I could do it, but it certainly wouldn't be something I look forward to.

    5) I can usually think of 101 different ways of how what I write will be interpreted and I make sure that I cater to as many of those different ways as possible. I even tend to re-read emails after the fact, if they are significant. I am well known for sending multiple emails, one after another, for new things that I considered that might be relevant. As for food, I tend to eat the same thing every day, and often do, because it is a chore and I have better things to do a lot of the time. I prefer to bring my lunch to work. Some days I do like to go out and do something different though.

    6) Sometimes I understand why I feel a certain way, sometimes I don't. Some days I am stressed or anxious and I don't know why. If there is beaurocracy or drama to deal with, leave me out of it. I have absolutely no interest in dealing with that BS. When there is a decision that goes against the wishes of a user and I have to relay that back to them, I used to have a really hard time, because I don't like dealing with their irrationality. However, it really doesn't bother me anymore. If there are other options or it is simply retarded, I can usually tell them in a way that doesn't make them more irate.

    7) I make it a point not to tune others out to the point of not being attentive at work. If there is a conversation going on next to me, I can tune it out unless their voices are projected directly at me, then I tend to get pissed.

    8) I can focus on tasks, because I make myself. I always want to be that guy working on the new stuff, learning the new things. I also like taking problems that others have been working on for a few days and solving them within 30 minutes. That doesn't happen TOO often, mind you, but it is certainly a nice feeling. Networking and topology layouts can be fun. Documenting the details isn't very engaging, though. Sometimes I will offer to do mundane jobs though, such as doing tapes, because I don't have to think about it which leaves me free to think about other things.

    9) People at work LOVE to bounce ideas off of me. I tend to poke holes in their plans and it helps them to revise and strengthen their implementations. Unfortunately, I don't get much credit for that. I can create a strategic plan or some new framework, but typically I bore easily if I can't accomplish it within a few days. If I have to make a script or installer that will be distributed on a large scale, I make it as complex as it needs to be, but as simple as possible.
     
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    #9 NeverAmI, Mar 16, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2010
  10. Ecton

    Ecton Community Member

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    Cool, thanks. I guess a lot of my co-workers external traits are just his personal way of being.
     
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  11. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    infjs are dreamy and mellow. intps are pedantic and boring :p
     
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  12. Tulip

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    Not everyone can fit exactly into one of the 16 MBTI types. I have previously tested as INfj, INtp, INfp and INtj by different MBTI tests. Honestly, I do not put too much weight into any of those test results as they mostly try to find the closest MBTI type based on your cognitive function order:

    INTP - Ti Ne
    INFP - Fi Ne
    INTJ - Ni Te
    INFJ - Ni Fe

    My dominant function is Ni and the next is Ne. I pretty much use Ti and Fi equally.
    (Ni>Ne>Fi=Ti>Te=Fe>Si>Se)

    There is no doubt that I am IN.
    Based on my dominant function, I should be either INfj or INtj, but the thing is I don't use Te or Fe much.

    I use Ne more than either Fi or Ti, so INtp or INfp do not fit perfectly either.

    When comparing with the other people of the different types, I would say I am closer to INfj and INtp, then INfp. INtj being the last.

    :ranger:
     
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    #12 Tulip, Mar 18, 2010
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  13. NeverAmI

    NeverAmI Satisclassifaction
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    HAHA, I figured INTJs were the pedantic ones!

    J/K
     
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  14. OP
    Futurus

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    I appreciate all the replies. I'm going to spend some time reflecting on them.

    1) I tend to be the one who takes charge; I either throw out one idea after another or critique everyones' suggestions (constructively).

    2) Lack organization skills and not plan ahead properly.

    ------------

    1) I don't get along with everyone, not in the slightest. I'm usually the spectator, watching from the sidelines. I'm still a student, but in the classroom environment I can be abravise, as I usually take the subject at hand very seriously. I am always quick to speak up if I wish to challenge another's opinion (not in an accusatory way, of course). I love debating as long as the interlocutor enjoys the sport as well - I am intensely driven to reach some form of truth in any endeavor.

    2) I have always been the goody-two-shoes teacher's pet. As far as math goes: I don't have a terrible interest in it, and I haven't taken a course since high school. I was always very skilled once I understood the general, underlying concept, but I never put much effort in the field. If my comprehension of a particular subject is at all obscure, there is no end to my irritation.

    3) This is where much of my confusion comes in. I'm generally very aware of the unacknowledged meanings in all my interactions, especially the implications. Whenever others ask my advice before acting, I automatically and instantaneously know how it will result. Therefore, I invariably make sure that none of my actions will directly or indirectly hurt someone in the future - I am very sensitive to this. Oftentimes, I do put heavy reliance in the words people communicate, rather than their nonverbal cues (although I feel a bit distrustful whilst doing so). I feel this trait has more to do with gender, though. I'm a male, but I can better identify with the female sex (I'm gay).
    I can easily sense another's unspoken qualms, and will attempt to soothe them with much subtlety. I dislike any conflict as it escalates too quickly, and I want to reflect on all my views before sharing them. In addition, I possess the strange ability to merge with anyone I spend a good deal of time with, rendering me unable to separate my own 'identity' from theirs. This can make me feel uneasy, nevertheless, and I often retreat into isolation after.

    4) "I'm a lousy tester. I want to get what matches my internal compass, and then I feel done." <--Ditto.

    5) I don't spend too much time crafting. I like to use the least amount of words, and make sure the reader can clearly and distinctly understand the message. I don't like beating around the bush, and am quite meticulous about spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors.

    6) Like you, I'm seldom aware of how I feel. I'll read a book, completely oblivious to any stirrings of emotion, and suddenly feel tears dripping down my face! I am very disconnected from my feelings, and take on those of others subconsciously.
    In addition, I've noticed I begin to feel slight hints of depression when I don't connect with a friend for too long a time. I may not realize that disconnection is the sole reason behind my melancholy, interestingly enough. I'm not an insecure person by any means, but gain a sort of 'self-justification' from interactions - I hope this makes sense.

    7) I can tune anything out; it is quite uncanny. A friend of mine once began slapping my shoulder several times before I snapped back into reality.

    8) I dislike making plans too far ahead - they trigger feelings of imprisonment for me. I am an improviser by nature; this is the fundamental reason I doubt being a Judger. (I'm certain I'm not an INFP, as well. Fi utterly bewilders me.)

    9) I'm always shooting out ideas in group discussions, or critiquing them.


    If you don't mind me meddling, based on the fact that INTJ is the last of your considerations, it is most probable you are an INXP. :yo:
     
  15. Ecton

    Ecton Community Member

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    Lol, mellow. More like Dreamy and Bitchy in my case. I'm still working on maturity. Its been difficult because I generally have had to hide my thinking preferences from my career associates and strangers, and

    This was really interesting to me, because I think the "seeing, finally, how everything fits together" is something all of us INs take a lot of pleasure from. I know I can relate to that statement. In my case, though, I have a really strong attraction to theory.
    I tend to run with it until someone points out its flaws.

    Jasmine85's take really pointed out to me how type is more about preference than ability. If I understood correctly, she feels exactly what is going on, but doesn't have the same forced attachment to it I seem to have. Its something she can observe and derive from, not in a detached way, but in a reasoned way. And NeverAmI made it really clear that life events can change what happens in what skills we end up developing regardless of preferences.

    Both Jasmine85 and NeverAmI have more useful philosophies for accomplishing goals than I do. I've been trying to adopt their way of doing things, but only with limited success so far.

    Futurus, I definitely relate to your property of 'merging with another person and loosing track of identity'. That used to happen to me when I was younger. It caused me a great deal of stress in High School. On a more superficial level, usually, within a week or two of working with someone closely, I've adopted their mannerisms to the point where I need alone time just to remember what MY mannerisms are. I still do that. On the other hand, I don't think I've ever enjoyed debate for sport. (We just had a debate/discussion (lol) about that on another thread.).

    So I can see where you get some confusion. Maybe you'd be better off with an expert interviewing you by video.

    Tulip might have a really important point for you. If understanding your place in the model is important to you, maybe you would do better going through all of the function descriptions, understand them, own them and then rank them over time, and see what you come up with. That might take some time cause you have to catch yourself in a natural state.
     
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    #15 Ecton, Mar 18, 2010
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  16. Jasmine85

    Jasmine85 Regular Poster

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    This is a nice summary :) One of the reasons I'm tempted to group with INFJ is because of the counsellor label that comes with it. The kind of mental process you've summarised for me above is imo very counsellor like. Empathy to me is more about understanding the mood of others than it is about becoming or taking on that mood myself.

    I can't imagine a counsellor would be much help if they took on the mood of the troubled soul they were supposed to be helping. It requires a level of detachment, and that's how I've always interpreted INFJ. I may be wrong. :eek:hwell:
     
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    #16 Jasmine85, Mar 18, 2010
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  17. Norton

    Norton XXXX

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    I've thought about this recently. It seems to me that a person would exercise his or her preferences often and, thereby, achieve a higher level of ability. That is to say, for example, INTP's prefer Ti and do it a lot, so maybe they get particularly good at it through repeated practice. Just a theory. What do you think?
     
  18. Jasmine85

    Jasmine85 Regular Poster

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    Some of that I can relate to. I'd go as far as generalising it for all N-types: Intuition dominates, but I train that intuition through use of F and T functions.

    Sometimes I make decision without seeing where the decision came from. It's just obvious somehow. As I gloss over the process in my mind it feels comfortable, and this comfortable feeling is how I feel confident about the decision. I trust my intuition has supplied the appropriate answer.

    Had the decision not come, I'd gloss over the process in my mind and there would be some kind of discontinuity where my intuition had not been trained. That would feel uncomfortable, and I'd have to revert to a more methodological approach through T or F, rather than N.
     
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  19. myst

    myst Community Member

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    Futurus's #1's and #9 made me wonder if you're an E? I'm really not sure and not confident in my typing ability, but have you considered that?
     
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  20. OP
    Futurus

    Futurus Newbie

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    Perspicacious suggestion.

    I have considered being an ENTP, certainly, because it would properly explain my rather high use of Fe. . . although, I am very much introverted. I might just be an extrovert in need of overcoming extreme antisocial behavior. Or. . . I might just not fit properly under one type. Who knows? :noidea:

    Seeing as most who find themselves to be interested in MBTI can ascertain which type they are, and usually with comfortable ease. . . I suppose it can be a bit questionable, not being able to have your own personal acronym. Maybe I am insecure after all. ;)
     
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