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INFJs and agreeableness

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by lynchman, Sep 18, 2010.

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  1. lynchman

    lynchman Newbie

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    "Agreeableness is a tendency to be pleasant and accommodating in social situations. In contemporary personality psychology, agreeableness is one of the five major dimensions of personality structure, reflecting individual differences in concern for cooperation and social harmony.[1] People who score high on this dimension are empathetic, considerate, friendly, generous, and helpful. They also have an optimistic view of human nature. They tend to believe that most people are honest, decent, and trustworthy. People scoring low on agreeableness place self-interest above getting along with others. They are usually more cautious about other's agendas; they may feel that others are out to better their own self-interest. People scoring low on the agreeableness chart are generally less concerned with others' well-being, report less empathy, and are therefore less likely to go out of their way to help others. Their skepticism about other people's motives may cause them to be suspicious and unfriendly. People very low on agreeableness have a tendency to be manipulative in their social relationships. They are more likely to compete than to cooperate."


    Here's what I want to know. It seems I score low on agreeableness. I have a life history of disagreeing with people despite that fighting leaves me very upset. This I probably could have predicted anyhow, and yet I have to disagree with some aspects of it. (Typical, ha!)


    If anything, I feel too much, and have to keep a distance from things. I can totally see things from other people's point of view, but I just choose to ignore it believing that I know best. (My girlfriend tells me I am not good at seeing other people's point of view if I believe I am smarter than them.)



    Also, my INFJ insight makes me feel that I don't take an optimistic view of human nature. I am suspicous of a lot of people because I see through a lot of nonsense. I am self-interested but I am very helpful to my close family and friends. I am concerned very very much about their well-being but keep this limited to a small amount of people. It is as if I do not have the emotional energy for anybody else. I am friendly and usually easy going but only when my extroverted energies are up. Otherwise I sometimes feel I have to force it...



    I'm sure my low agreeablenses is a specific trait related to me. But I do believe some of it is informed by my being an INFJ. I wonder are there other INFJs who have low agreeableness?
     
  2. Bird

    Bird Happy Go Lucky

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    I am very agreeable.


    I would go so far as to say I am too agreeable.
     
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  3. Wyst

    Wyst Are you there?

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    I tend to agree with the OP (hah).

    I don't trust people outside of my fold.
    "There's got to be some other reason behind their intentions" is how I feel. Not being able to recognize/accept genuineness sucks.
     
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  4. bagelriffic

    bagelriffic Community Member

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    well the way i see it, its a fine line. too much agreeableness can defeat the purpose of a conversation. if you don't ask questions and challenge assumptions, how are you really going to know these people you've never talked to before? the ability to be agreeable is a useful tool, but in moderation, i guess it really depends on what your goal going into the situation is. if you're just looking to get out alive without ruffling feathers agreeableness is great, but if you're invested in the people involved and conversation itself, unchecked passiveness can be counter productive.
     
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  5. magister343

    magister343 Permanent Fixture

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    When I first took the quiz on Facebook's My Personality app, I had the highest agreeableness score (79%) of any of my friends who took it except for my confirmed INFJ friend (81%). However, almost every friend who has taken it since then scored higher than both of us. She hasn't taken the MyType Big 5 quiz. I got 72% aggreable there, whereas the only friend who took that (whom I suspect might be INFJ, although she tested ISFJ) got 96%.
     
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  6. Gaze

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    I appreciate the value and importance of being agreeable but sometimes it can be draining, especially if there's an expectation of being nice or agreeable all the time. Sometimes, you have to be you, even if it means being critical sometimes. It's tiring to have to be accommodating all the time.
     
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    #6 Gaze, Sep 18, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2010
  7. IndigoSensor

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    As far as actual testing goes, I usually test high on agreeableness (+70%). I am very agreeable with people for the most part. What it comes down to with me, is not wanting to disrupt the social flow. I strongly dislike doing anything that throws a rock into the social mix and flow of everyone involved with that. In those cases I will accomidate people to a certain degree to retain that. If that means streching or silencing my views/feelings I will do it. I definintely put the needs of others ahead of my own and I am not all that self-preserving either. Because of this it pushes my agreeableness up.

    However I can be outspoken in some cases. If I see or sense someone preforming a fault of some kind, and the context allows me to do it or allows me to feel confortable, I will point it out to the person. It's more I have a drive to improve everyone and get them thinking beyond what they normally do. My intention for this is largely for the others, but this is sort of counter to agreeableness despite the intention behind it.

    I actually do tend to think people are opitimistic or have good or no intentions behind their actions. It's rare for me to see someone with ill intentions. When I do see that, that is when my "non-agreeableness" side kicks in, but as it is for the idea of keeping social order, and in effect making others agreeable, it is just a slight damper.
     
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  8. KazeCraven

    KazeCraven Graduated from Typology : May 2011
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    I think agreeableness is more or less independent of actual MBTI type, but that agreeable people will tend to (mis)type as F, and vice-versa for T.
     
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  9. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    so you'd disagree that you're just agreeable enough? ;)
     
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  10. DefectiveCreative

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    FWIW there was a study done a while back comparing the MBTI to the Big 5, their findings were that the Feeling/Thinking dichotomy correlated "Moderately" to Agreeableness.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myers-Briggs_Type_Indicator#Big_Five
     
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  11. Bird

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    Precisely. If I don't necessarily agree and they have a cut-throat opinion I just nod my head and smile.
     
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  12. Nixie

    Nixie Resurrected

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    I just don't give my opinion. I am not sure that falls into being agreeable. I usually form a definate opinion (no matter the topic) and then will evaluate whether the given company should/needs/values my opinion and act accordingly. I guess it is agreeableness by default. I just let the others assume that I have no conflict or other opinion. This has been a learned habit though. When I was younger I was much more vocal about my beliefs and opinions. Now I realize that these things are more important to me and that others don't really care or need to know, so why waste the effort--not in a bad "screw the world way" but more of a "there is a time to fight and a time to just let it go" kinda way. As I got older I learned that I only have so much effort and energy and that it didn't make sense to funnel energy into efforts that didn't have a positive benefit for me.
     
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  13. petra

    petra Newbie

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    does word 'agreeableness' refer to being nice and friendly, or is it about (not)saying and (not)discussing opinions out of consideration? i think that these are two different things and can be connected, but not necessary. maybe (most likely :)) i got a wrong picture (english is not my mother tongue), but still i wanted to say that people can be too nice and friendly because they are insecure, like me. when i'm having the worst day, and i'm so sad, or upset, i would always smile to my old lady neighbor, or be polite to saleswomen. that's not a good thing. so i envy you a little:) it doesn't have to be a bad thing if you don't act the way you are with your closest friends and family, at least you're honest.



    do you have brothers or sisters? i noticed that persons who are only child can have difficulties with considering others points of view. not that they are mean, or can't imagine it, or they don't know it, but exactly what you said, they oversee it or ignore it.
     
  14. Nixie

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    Not sure if you are speaking to me or not Petra but I will answer.

    My post was trying to say that I am "agreeable" by default. I take that to mean that I will not "disagree" with someone or create potential conflict. If someone expresses an opinion or does something that I don't share/like, then I will evaluate/think about whether it is important for me to share my viewpoint. I usually choose not to tells someone I disagree because there isn't really a need for me to have my opinions shared or convince others to change.

    I am vastly different on this forum because I feel that it is a place where people visit to express their views. I have really enjoyed reading and posting because I value hearing the exchange of ideas without all the drama. Additionally it is a place where I feel a higher degree of kinship because many of the traits of Ni individuals shine through.

    When it comes to being polite, I am usually exceedingly polite but can be firm. Tribal culture and beliefs are very centered on harmony among people. It does me no harm to be nice. Sometimes I fail miserably but then who doesn't.
     
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  15. petra

    petra Newbie

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    Sonyab, i was responding to the first post. but i like everything you said and feel the same (except the thing about being polite and firm). so nicely said.
     
    #15 petra, Sep 25, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2010
  16. Honey

    Honey Regular Poster

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    I am all of these except I would not describe myself as friendly. I do however respond to others attempts to be friendly towards me.


    I do not know of any INFJs whose type I am sure of who has that view, INFPs seem to have it though. I tend to appraise people in a detached way with not much personal feelings involved, which Fi types do not understand well. I am not sure yet what my overall view of human nature is but I think I easily understand how you could have a less than optimistic view of it, I am leaning that way slightly myself but every time I am about to conclude that human nature sucks I get some evidence from my environment that causes me to rethink. Also, I am surrounded by people who are far more generous and selfless than me in practical terms and that has a certain effect on my views.


    I am helpful and try to be fair to everyone in more or less equal measure not just family and friends. My energy is naturally low but if it is something involving aiding others I tend to become more energetic.

    I think that you are not an INFP as I understand them, they all seem to have a optimistic view of human nature and can become very angry with people who are suspicious of other people and consider it almost unethical to do so and IMO it is almost a litmus test for INFP-ness to have that atitude.


    You most likely are not low in agreeableness by all definitions and understanding of that term... just by the one you posted. I think it is great to have an acute, on the ball bullshit detection system in this life, I cannot imagine an INFJ without such a thing and that certainly does not mean that you are globally disagreeable.
     
  17. DefectiveCreative

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    I'd say it depends a lot on how hurt the INFP in question has been by others. Obviously the more they've been hurt the more suspicious of other people they're going to be, and the more pessimistic their view will be of human nature.

    Personally, my current view is that some people are jerks, some are saints, and most of the rest are well-meaning but self-absorbed idiots. >=]
     
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  18. OP
    lynchman

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    I hear what you are saying, Honey. And I think that makes a lot of sense.

    The more i think about this, I am convinced I am quite agreeable as I really don't fight with 97% of people. And though I can be fairly argumentative (there's a part of me that is secretly an INTJ), and often quite provocative (titter), it rarely lead to actual rows.

    But what I have noticed is that there is a small percentage of people that I just DO NOT get along with. And so, every couple of months or so, there is somebody who, in my wider social group, I just lose control with, due to a huge friction of personalities. I've often wondered if this is because of how I am wired as an INFJ - some people just do not get us. I know my very strong introverted intuition makes me see things most people just never see and my certainty in this regard can really annoy some people.

    Agreeable to most, very disagreeable to a few. I'll settle for that.
     
  19. OP
    lynchman

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    Re: Petra
    I have two younger siblings, an esfj and an enfj. Interestingly, the person who I'm trying to avoid socially these days, the person that makes me most certainly disagreeable, is a single child - a female ISTJ (I reckon). Dear oh dear, what a nightmare to talk to.
     
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