My Quest to Understand the INFJ | INFJ Forum

My Quest to Understand the INFJ

Discussion in 'The INFJ Typology' started by Duty, Apr 29, 2009.

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  1. Duty

    Duty Permanent Fixture

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    I had a flash of insight and wrote this in an IM, critique is welcome:

    Me:
    I understand why INFJs can be so intrigued by INTPs now.
    it's because INFJs really really don't have a psychic sense at all.
    Fe is just the picking up of feeling by pitting it against the information received by another function
    As the thing you sent me said: Fe is a measure of social rituals, dress, etc based on the circumstances presented
    Any oddity in those rituals, to an Fe strong personality, is represented an expression of emotion
    If I start dressing for work by wearing ripped up jeans and a tight tshirt and a punk hairdo...i'm supposedly expressing discontentment and belligerence
    If I never show up to social functions that a specific friend invites me to, I'm showing that I don't want to be around that friend.
    That's how an Fe strong personality takes these things.
    Now, this judgment function of Fe is fed by an INFJ's Ni.
    Ni sees patterns.
    INFJs have a particularly strong sense of the social patterns that are expected to happen in association with a given emotion.
    They recognize more of those patterns then do the average person.
    So it may seem an INFJ is "psychic" to a personality type that is effected by these rituals and symbols in our society.
    Because an INFJ can seemingly predict how they feel or will respond to these rituals and symbols.
    Friend:
    I can see that.
    Me:
    Add in familiarity with the person's normal responses to these rituals and symbols and they get more accurate.
    Me:
    Now, an INTP, compared to other personalities, is extremely unmoved by social expectations.
    Often, they just don't know what the expectation is in the first place.
    Let alone make an emotional connection to the ritual or expectation.
    INTPs are far more disconnected from being provoked to emotional response to social rituals, expectations, and symbols. They may recognize them, even recognize they have an emotional impact on others, but they don't have this reaction themselves.
    To an INFJ, this is extremely puzzling I imagine, as they feel "challenged."
    Well, the thing is, my earlier hypothesis would be supported by this...that INFJs aren't "psychic" at all.
    They just have a developed sense of how people react to certain symbols, patterns, and the like in society.
    Which, is not to diminish their gifts, but perhaps to bring down this notion that INFJs think they have some connection to the supernatural world of emotion.
    There is nothing supernatural about it, but it is no less remarkable.
    INFJs just tend to understand people much better then others because they understand the implications of the social patterns that have a subconscious effect on the majority of people...and because it is subconscious, understanding it seems to somehow be a "psychic" sense.
     
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  2. alcyone

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    Define what you consider to be 'psychic'.
     
  3. Blind Bandit

    Blind Bandit Blind Man Being Lead to Nowhere
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    I don't disagree with you to a huge extent.

    But your trying to understand another personality the wrong way.

    Your looking at INFJ from a INT standpoint. You will never understand infj unless you try to get past that and look things in the way an INFJ would.

    From the posts of I've seen you make the same error. Your try and force INFJ into your sense of understanding. So my recommendation is to take INFJs from who we are and not who you think we are.

    I hope that helps.

    And no I don't think INFJ are physic. But that this is not the thread for that derailment.
     
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    #3 Blind Bandit, Apr 30, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2009
  4. IndigoSensor

    IndigoSensor Product Obtained
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    I have been telling him this for a while :)

    Give him credit though, Duty is trying, and has made alot of strides at "pegging" us; no small feat!
     
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  5. Blind Bandit

    Blind Bandit Blind Man Being Lead to Nowhere
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    I agree I'm just pointing out what I'm seeing. :m177:
     
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  6. Wyote

    Wyote Xenoi
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    All of this is very accurate I believe. I would take it a step further than just social patterns, but to what end I am not certain. As a side note; I don't think very many INFJs will claim to be psychic, it's somewhat of a misconception I guess. Like INTJs being robots.
     
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  7. OP
    Duty

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    Well, part of the conversation was debunking this myth that INFJs have "psychic sense." My argument was basically that they see patterns subconsciously, often seeing patterns that others perform subconsciously themselves. Because so much of this happens on a subconscious level, and the fact it is normally quite accurate, many (including INFJs themselves) have described it as a psychic thing.
     
  8. slant

    slant Sedated slanty

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    Nobody is psychic and INFJ is no exception.

    I do have a canny ability to pick up on social patterns. It used to be unconciously, I still do some of it unconciously, but now I am able to look objectively at it and understand why I think what I think. Certain facial expressions mean certain things; you can tell someone's relation to a person by how close they are standing together. Of course, this is just a guessing game. It's all based on assumptions, which I've lately been reluctant to use as much.

    The reason I think that this is possible is because I've scored extremely high on social IQ; that's my intellegence, social, despite my lacking of wanting to be around them. I quickly can guess a person's motives and be a certain percent accurate; however, I don't do this anymore because I don't think it's very helpful. You could always be wrong, and thinking you are always right and that there is some universal force of emotional -something- guiding you is just...ridiculous.
     
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  9. OP
    Duty

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    I don't see a reason to divide this into an "INT" standpoint and an "INFJ" standpoint. Although I have the power of perspective and seeing things through a way of my choosing, I only have my past experiences, knowledge, and partial point of view to view things in. We try to make sense of things through the framework we are dealt. It's nice to have so many interchangeable parts at my disposal, but I have to recognize my own limitations of experience.

    So don't dismiss what I say because it comes off as an "INT" point of view. That INT point of view thing is exceptionally powerful and a tool that has rarely failed me my whole life. My particular brand of it doesn't skip to the end so fast, but builds slowly, reliably, and comes to a conclusion when the possibilities have been presented and weighed. It does contrast with the INFJ way, but I see no reason to dismiss it so quickly.

    Please, if you're going to dismiss it, then explain why it's not adequate. To just say that I'll never understand with this method didn't help much, plus it draws a line in the sand.
     
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  10. Wyote

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    This is probably due to a lack of vocabulary for the phenomenon and also because "psychics" exploit this ability.
     
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  11. Blind Bandit

    Blind Bandit Blind Man Being Lead to Nowhere
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    I dissmied what you had to say because you think you understand INFJ but you don't. Your not making an effort to detach from your eccentricity to know to see things from a less biased nature.

    No we can't not escape our bias but we can minimize its influence so that we can understand something we are not familiar with. Or at least slow it down so we can grasp the ideas and think them through fairly and with a wiliness to learn.

    So until you can do that you will not understand the INFJ mindset. You can understand what an INFJ personality means but you won't understand what it is like to be one.


    If you want to understand another personality you have to get int other shoes. Try to think how they would or at least work to understand what we are and why we are.

    Yet you pretty much chose to see things through an INT standpoint you refused to look at it from a different view.

    I don't think your necessary making bad or wrong assumptions but your going about it from your way of doing things.

    You need try and understand the INFJ point of view is what I"m saying.

    From you interruption we sound like a variant of a T type. Thats not in sense who we are.
     
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    #11 Blind Bandit, Apr 30, 2009
    Last edited: May 1, 2009
  12. Quinlan

    Quinlan Right the First Time!

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    The picture you've painted of INFJs scares me, social expectations? looking for meaning in my behavioural patterns? *shudder*
     
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  13. J. Cardigan

    J. Cardigan Community Member

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    Blind Bandit is right. You're trying to peg a personality type based on your thought patterns and observations. There's nothing wrong with this, but trying to place a concrete, logical framework around the way INFJ's work is kind of missing the point, in my opinion.

    I mostly agree with you in that INFJ's are not psychic in the sense that we just "know" things. Most of the time, I'm very conscious of picking apart someone's behavior and trying to analyze why they're doing what they do. Other times I just get a feeling and have to go with it. That looks cheesy as I'm typing it out, and it doesn't at all fly with my INTP friend, but that's just how it is.

    I'm completely open to the possibility that we're subconsciously picking up on behavioral or social cues, but if this is the case then it is completely transparent to me. To me, there is a very distinct difference between getting a gut feeling and consciously analyzing a person or situation. The first one usually ends well for me, and the second I usually wind up over-doing and missing the point of opportunity.
     
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  14. OP
    Duty

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    Then what is your suggestion? Every time I get to this point and ask for suggestions I get answers that say it's impossible to just experience what it's like to be INFJ, no one understands INFJs so don't try, or "you just have to step inside our shoes." I need something concrete to try here. I get the abstract concept: step into your house and view it from the inside instead of viewing it through the window of my own house, but I need ways to go about doing this. I need you all to bridge the gap between such an abstraction and give me some concrete exercises to do.

    Until that point, I can only mold statues out of the marble I have.
     
  15. arbygil

    arbygil Passing through

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    Duty, it could be the *way* you're asking the questions and the way you're expecting the answers. You're dealing with two different communication styles - yours, and the INFJ. If you come out using both logic barrels not only will we dismiss you, but we'll probably be a little offended as well. It's not your fault, it's just who you are. But I know some of the things you've said - albeit with best intentions - have come across as abrasive, or condescending. Whether you meant it, or not.

    Try a different way of asking, and you might get an answer for your questions. Never assume. Hypothesize, yes. But don't pigeonhole because no one is exactly alike. Not all INTPs are like you, are they? So why should all INFJs be like you?

    But I have a bigger question for you: Why is it so important for you to understand and "get" us? What purpose does it serve?
     
  16. Wyote

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    The problem is, suggestions we give will mostly likely seem pointless and futile in learning anything. And it takes time before such practices come into fruition. Meditating/absorbing your environment subconciously, contemplation of abstract scenarios, visualizing the way other people feel, determining probable future outcomes, these are things we do almost instinctively and help train our brain to work the way it does.
     
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  17. OP
    Duty

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    It's a project I'm working on to help me understand the paradigms of other people. The more paradigms I can understand, the more I have at my disposal if I would so choose to use them for a purpose.
     
  18. OP
    Duty

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    Why do you say it will seem pointless? Am I just not smart enough to understand? Is it impossible to understand? Are you just embarrassed or otherwise reluctant to suggest things? I'm willing to try suggestions here.

    How do you do the things you've mentioned? What procedures should I use for meditating/absorbing the environment subconsciously? How should I visualize how other people feel? I'm looking for concreteness here (I know it's tough for us as intuitives to think this way, but I'm asking for help here).
     
  19. arbygil

    arbygil Passing through

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    Ok. What purpose and/or outcome are you trying to achieve? Is it personal, or are you completing a project for publication or studies?

    Knowing this might help, actually.
     
  20. OP
    Duty

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    It's just a personal project...a curiosity. It's for personal growth as well, as development of this way of thinking will really contrast with my current way of thinking.
     
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