Intuitive Feelings About People | INFJ Forum

Intuitive Feelings About People

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Julia, May 13, 2009.

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  1. Julia

    Julia Community Member

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    Having intuitive responses to people is rather fundamental for INFJs, so this thread is an opportunity to explore this a bit.

    I have a continual sense of inner conflict over how much to rely on my instincts about people. I realize that I have been conditioned with various prejudices like anyone and so these can influence my gut reactions. However, i still do tend to look beneath the surface when interacting with people. Part of this results from my natural tendency to amass a great deal of detailed information about a person. Behavioral cues in their words and non-verbal responses stick in my head naturally. My mind natural forms these into patterns in a continual, fluid process. Because I continually take in more details, the pattern is always shifting. It is like watching a river pass.

    When interacting with a person, I tend to get impressions about what feels like their inner impulses that are restrained by civilized etiquette. Like a woman I saw slam her fist on a table and got a certain look in her eye when a friend didn't show up to a lunch date, and then later seeing that same look in her eye directed at me. I felt in my core that she had a desire to slap me, but society's rules held her at bay. I can often feel when someone wants to cross a boundary, but doesn't. Overall people "feel" quite primitive to me when I interact. This makes them somewhat threatening. I have trouble trusting in the conventions of society because I have a continual sense that given the right opportunity the person would cross the boundary - that it is a thin, fragile line that holds them at bay.
     
  2. Puck

    Puck Perilous Pixie
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    Oh I know what you mean. I'm just like that. I recognise my preconditioned responses to certain people. I'm quite ashamed of some of them. Yet when face to face with people all prejudices go out the window. I'm glad of it. I think I'd be quite horrible otherwise.


    I don't have anything to add to that. I just thought it was particularly beautiful, the way you put it.


    Oh I know. It's quite scary isn't it? I can become quite reclusive at times when I see too much of this. I have to keep affirming to myself to love rather than fear, and I make it through such encounters. It is nerve wracking though. I worked for a boss for three and a half years who was restraining violence the whole time. The atmosphere was thick repressed intentions. I was in a constant state of fight or flight from this, whilst other people remained quite oblivious to what was going on. Intuition is a mixed blessing.

    To end on a positive note, the flip side of this is, that you also see the best side of people - when they similarly feel restricted by society and unable to express it. I can feel a hug that is not forthcoming, hear the word 'love' when it remains unspoken, and I have always known when a girl wants to be kissed. That's the upside.
     
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    #2 Puck, May 13, 2009
    Last edited: May 13, 2009
  3. Lucifer

    Lucifer Registered User #666

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    INFJs can look into people, but they are influenced by there hopes dreams and prejudices just like anyone else.

    But sometimes I swear my INFJ friends can read minds.
     
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  4. dneecey

    dneecey I am who I am.

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    I particularly like the way you expressed the atmosphere as being thick... When I'm around a lot of people I tend to feel overwhelmed because I can often sense the emotions of those around me.

    I also understand when you, Julia, say that it's quite primitive. I often feel for other people when they are saying or doing things that influence other people to be uncomfortable around them without the doer/sayer being aware of this. I want so badly to take these people aside and explain, to help, but don't know how to come off without being, or sounding, rude. It's so difficult to watch and I usually need to get away just for a moment to breathe.

    I've also learned that I tend to have a calming effect on people especially on a one on one basis, which is nice because being around highly emotional people is extremely draining.
     
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  5. Eniko

    Eniko May snark if provoked
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    Can't really disagree with any particular point. My capacity for reading people is something I pride myself on and very few people evade my intuition in that respect. The few people I just cannot read I usually get obsessed with until I get close enough to figure them out too.

    Unfortunately yes, the whole intuitive feelings about people thing is murky at best at times. The more emotionally involved I am the quicker I am to introduce my own bias into how I read people, which means that when I really need it to work it usually doesn't.

    I find in those cases that supplementing with a rigorous dose of Ti and analyzing my intuitions and reality checking them helps though, but it's still really damn hard. I'm lucky that I'm a programmer so I think my Ti is a bit better developed than it otherwise would have been, too.
     
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  6. Wyote

    Wyote Xenoi
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    I understand you all more than you realize. We are all animals and I feel it on and off the computer.
     
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  7. IndigoSensor

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    Yup, I do and feel the exact same things.

    I am very good at reading people (on a few occasions I legitimatly freaked some people out, haha :tongue1:). The biggest issue I have is with trying to squelsh my intution a bit. I have had occasions where my impressions on people were wrong, or were skewed, and it limited to who and how I interacted with people. It can be very limiting and I am trying to prevent that in the future. That being said, my inuitition is instrumental when dealing with people, so I will never get rid of it.
     
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  8. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    I envy your ability to do this, if you really can read people. I always end up totally shocked at the outcome of a situation because I trust people right away.. I'm getting better at picking up on certain behaviors that may be indicative of certain things.. (as a result of my job.)

    So, I'm not good at predicting people's characters.. Only once I know someone for a long time can I predict their actions and emotions with some accuracy..
     
  9. Silently Honest

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    I can read men like a book, even woman to an extent, attractive woman, or rather woman I'm attracted too is a no go however.

    It seems my personal feelings tend to cloud my judgments in those cases, what I want them to be and what they actually are.
     
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  10. Creon

    Creon Community Member

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    Actually, what destroys my intuition is anxiety. In fact, stress has taken away all my intuitive abilities in the past 2 years. So I can't say I'm an INFJ anymore.
     
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  11. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    What you say reminds me of what someone (INTJ) once said about my intuitive abilities:

    When you're at a distance from a situation - when the subject is 'behind glass' - you're vision/insight is like that of a microscope; but when things/people are close up, you are as blind as a bat.
     
  12. rainrise

    rainrise Community Member

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    oh my, get out of my head! this is very true.
    when it's with someone i am very attracted to, my Ni tends to run into overdrive all the while trying to gain insight between it being ungraciously marred by Fe and scattered by Ne. this doesn't happen often, but when it does happen...
     
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  13. sumone

    sumone down the rabbit hole

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    Taz, you still have it but you're probably blocking it. I fell into that void for a while myself after a particularily bad emotional overload. I found it again eventually.
     
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  14. Lune Froide

    Lune Froide Community Member

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    I thought of your post this afternoon, Julia! I was waiting for a friend in her optometrist's office and behind the large main desk were four young ladies. The one of them approached the two seated from behind and asked if they remembered to toss the files in the respective folders outside each room's door.

    Now, I could see everyone's faces clearly at this point since they were facing forward. One of the girls sitting murmured, "Of course, haven't missed a beat today." The tones were cheery but while my gaze flashed from her, to the girl next to her and then up to the superior -- I nearly dropped my jaw in that next moment! I certainly hadn't noticed myself observing these sub-context behaviors until you pointed it out (and worded it so elegantly) but sure enough as the standing woman leaned over them and picked up the folders that actually HAD been forgotten, I felt like a brawl should've broken out.

    To top the moment off the fourth missus stood behind all of them at the shelves and for a fleeting moment while she was smiling away at the banter, I got this feeling (for lack of better words) that the three secretaries were pretty lucky not to get a stack of folders hurled at the back of their heads. But everyone remains all smiles despite the smugness in one employee versus the discontentment in the other three.

    Anyway, that was long-winded but I hope you find it relevant because I've started to notice my intuition and its role more and more. Today I found it made a waiting room experience less dreary! :mhula:
     
  15. efromm

    efromm Hiding In My Shell...
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    I understand how you feel. And the older I get the less I trust others. Been burned too many times. People will surprise ya though. I have learned that lesson again lately. But for the most part I trust no one. It seems like they have a hidden agenda that you always have to get thru. So now I just look for the b.s. and if I smell it I walk away as quickly and politely as possible. And I also seem to pick up on peoples anger and I can feel angry emotions in a room. It makes me feel either angry myself or uncomfortable. I like the way it feels when your around people you like and trust...
     
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  16. OP
    Julia

    Julia Community Member

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    I wrestle with the idea of it alot and have made mistakes. I also work at it quite hard in terms of remembering a lot of details about a person. I try to avoid hard conclusions, but view everything as having various likelihoods of being true. When i meet someone i don't trust them and I don't assume distrust. I leave it open and gradually fill in the details like someone drawing a sketch on paper. First the general outlines, some of which need to be erased and further adjusted, then details are added as they come in and in a constant state of evolution. Even if I've known someone for decades I don't have 100 percent conclusions on their behaviors, but it can get up into the 90 something percent of certainty - if that makes sense.

    Other people might approach it with more certainty than I described.
     
  17. Jana

    Jana Searching...

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    Yes, panic or bad mood can take me in the wrong way in reading people.
     
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  18. arbygil

    arbygil Passing through

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    *Dropping out of warp*

    What just struck me (in my own arrogance) was that I felt myself going "well, 'duh' " to some of the Ni bits...mostly because I didn't realize how often I did this. It's so natural to me that I don't even mention it. It happens so fast when I'm observing human behavior that I don't have the chance to analyze it. It's like I'm Neo at the end of the Matrix, picking out random bits of code and using it for my own aims.

    But I'm always gaging people. It's how I can help them while I'm advising them at my job. But the older I've become the less likely I am to speak what I know out loud. I usually keep it to myself and use the other person's reactions to tell if I should create an analogy to their situation or not. I rarely say something when my intuition is working; I keep my thoughts to myself until it's safe to speak, or until I'm asked.

    'Course, there's always those times when I flake out: Relationships, Extreme emotional situations, etc. Then Fe comes roaring forward and anxiety takes over. Taz, believe me, you're not alone! If our Ni fails us, we can often use one of our other processes as a fall back. And since Fe is next door...

    Yeah. Uh, huh.
     
  19. Milon

    Milon Director of Glomps
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    Very illuminative, very informative. Great thread Julia!

    I think, somehow, somewhere along the lines, I surpressed my Ni. I turned very inward, forgetting to focus on others. I still have Ni, I just don't use it naturally to analyze others. Has anyone else done that? I want to grow out of this; it's not healthy to only look at myself.
     
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  20. Eniko

    Eniko May snark if provoked
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    In an interesting twist my INFP friend linked me to their version of this thread and I noticed some subtle differences even though at first glance it seems the same. For instance we're talking about "reading people" and they're talking about "seeing into people".

    After discussing with my friend if there really was a difference, and if so what it was, we came to the conclusion that it's like this: INFJs are more in tune with the why, and INFPs are more in tune with the what.

    So while an INFP's intuition will tell them if someone is interested in someone else, an INFJ's intuition will tell them why what someone is doing indicates interest in someone else. To put it more simply it's the difference between "I know what they are feeling" (INFP) and "I know why they are doing". (INFJ)

    Does anyone agree/disagree with this?
     
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