Why don't INFJs fit into society | INFJ Forum

Why don't INFJs fit into society

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by grapefruit, Aug 21, 2015.

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  1. grapefruit

    grapefruit Community Member

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    I keep reading articles all over the Internet saying that INFJs are known for being outsiders and not fitting into society. However, I can't figure out why. I believe I accurately match the type description, but I don't understand how any of the qualities in the description could make me not fit in. So, using the basic description, could someone please post exact reasons why we don't fit in to society, provide concrete examples involving real-world situations to better explain each reason, and provide some solutions for what we can do to the long better. I am tired of reading these doom and gloom articles that only give a pronouncement with no reasons and no solutions. I do believe the pronouncement is true, but I can't understand why.
     
  2. MrSquared

    MrSquared Well-known member

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    OK. So much to be said here.

    It could be that we as a personality type are more inclined to feel abnormal in this society, because of how our functions play out. I suspect as much because our particular combination of functions results in a lot of internal thought, reflection, preparation, etc. Think about it, our dominant function is Introverted Intuition and our secondary is Extraverted Feeling. These two functions together can cause all kinds of trouble before a social event or even within a social setting (if not understood, acknowledged, and kept in check). We have these strong extroverted feelings towards others and yet we process everything internally, generally holding and organizing all sorts of thoughts, emotions, reactions, possibilities, etc.

    That's just my take on it however. It really depends on the INFJ, their upbringing, experience, enneagram type, enneagram wings, etc. My guess is that most of the writers you are running into have a very strong memory of what it's like to be outside of a social group. And I agree and can understand completely. I rarely ever feel understood when I'm being sociable in my external world. Possibly because my dominant function is introverted and thus my extroverted functions will always drain me to a certain degree.

    From a social standpoint - I also have a theory about INFJ nature Vs. nurture. And it states that if you were raised among extraverts, and were often forced to develop your extraverted functions (for Fe and Se) at a young age, then chances are you will be one of three things will happen. Either you'll be more comfortable with extraversion due to the practice, extremely uncomfortable with extraversion due the forcefulness of your family in your youth, or somewhere in between in a neutral camp. That's my theory. Personally, my family forced me to be more extraverted at times, but they also game me space to be introverted when I need it. Thus I suspect that I am in a neutral (take it or leave it) camp. Thoughts?

    TL;DR - Our functions stack in a certain way that makes internalizing things more natural to us. Thus, we perceive, view, and feel about things differently, and yet we're also aware of our own process which brings everything into perspective (and makes it difficult to explain ourselves to others).
     
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  3. Solongo

    Solongo Well-known member

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    Most infj's are mature or old souls in a world dominated by young and infant souls. Also most infjs tend to have mystic qualities; being able to exist within the physical and spiritual realms. Most western society is based on material and competitive and scientific perspectives that devalue what infj's can bring to the table; favoring extraversion and ego manifestations over spiritual and intuitive aspects of human psyche. Hence; most infjs fit better into nature surroundings and cultures where individual spiritual journeys are valued.
     
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  4. Y0u

    Y0u Community Member

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    They're nice, sweet, and worst of all, free thinkers.
     
  5. ShadowWarrior

    ShadowWarrior Regular Poster

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    I can only answer based on my personal experience as I have only started to read more into the articles on INFJ's.

    My own personal experience is that I am a very honest person, when I share this honestly with someone else, it scares them. The thing is I believe that the world is not used to people letting down their guard, when they do so they suspect there is more. In other words if I share my well thought out flaws with someone, they than think that there must be much more flaws in me because of the fact that I so easily displayed them. Honesty I think in this culture and day makes people suspicious, its a great attribute but I think its also as rare as we INFJ's are.
     
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  6. rawr

    rawr ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    that statement reeks of selection bias, seeing as the large part of INFJs probably give self-testimonials, and, to an extent, probably help to alienate themselves.

    I would offer that they are no more or less likely to than another type - people are people; people don't fit in or do fit in based on behaviour and actions of the individual.
     
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  7. OP
    grapefruit

    grapefruit Community Member

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    I sort of understand what you were saying, but it doesn't completely make sense. Could you provide an actual example? How about someone named Lisa or Bob? Those are just random names I made up, but I was trying to make the point that I am looking for an example that involves an actual person. They don't have to be real and the example can be made up, but it is easier to understand that way. Everyone around me expects me to be extroverted. If I am not, they call me antisocial and withdrawn. Instead of making me want to conform, It just makes me mad. However, at the same time as being mad, I also feel resentful that I am not the same as other people in society and that I don't know why. It is not just my imagination. Other people say they think I am odd and some people say that this puts them It is not just my imagination. Other people say they think I am odd and some people say that this puts them off. They won't tell me why though. Even my boyfriend thinks I am odd. He agrees that I fit the INF J Description very well. He says that he does not dislike my oddness, but he can't tell me why either. I have been odd from a young age, And my family said it would get better as I got older, but they are wrong. I am just getting more and more different than everyone else. I want to socialize and connect with people, but I can't because it is too stressful and it reminds me how I am not the same as they are and how I can never relate to them. I just thought that if I could know why the INF J doesn't fit in, it could be a starting point for me.
     
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  8. Scientia

    Scientia A true lady

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    This is probably the best answer. I do fit in rather well. I do not, however, always feel that way because I am extremely choosy about the people I like and it takes a lot for me to connect with people. I know myself and don't care if I come across as antisocial. If I appear hard to know, it's because the person at issue isn't worthy of knowing me. It sounds arrogant but the truth is that after a life of feeling different, I figured out that I am special because I am different and I know and like who I am. Antisocial just means that I associate with those I deem worthy and am polite and standoffish to those I deem unworthy. Add reasonable attractiveness and intelligence to that and I went from being different to being sought after because I am confident in being myself. Introverts can appear extroverted when they want to. The difference is that extroverts are energized by social interaction and introverts can be exhausted by it.

    If your boyfriend says you are odd but that he likes it, what is the problem if you are different? "Normal people" seem to have it all but, do they? I would argue that most "normal people" have feelings they don't understand and wander through life rudderless. I would rather be me.
     
  9. Solongo

    Solongo Well-known member

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    If you study how society is structured to categorize people; most fall into the outer edges of odd and different because society likes to find one size fits all solution to variety which is nature's best offering. So if you do not fit into the selected categories; society will do a very nice job of reminding you why you are this and that; further wounding the originality of individuals, fostering low self esteem and pressure them to comform. It may help to study how conformity affects people in general and this would apply to people of all races and genders and typology and so forth. Intro- types exhibit qualities that unsettle the conformist agenda and thus seen as a negative by the majority.
     
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  10. invisible

    On Holiday

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    i vote, pay taxes, become more educated, stand up for less mobile passengers on the bus, spend my earnings in the economy, love and care for my friends and family, recycle my garbage, tip service people and give change to the homeless, eat a vegetarian diet, refrain from enacting violence... am i supposed to be doing more?
     
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  11. Kgal

    Kgal Magic Star Dust
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    Firstly - INFJs are considered change agents and catalysts. People are never happy whenever their world is changed by us and they tend to shy away making us feeling on the outside.
    Secondly - the Introverts think differently than the majority of people in western societies. It has been shown using brain imaging equipment the INxx's use more areas of the brain than the other types.
    Let's face it - we are different than most. I'm not saying better....just different.

    I've lived a pretty long and amazing life. All throughout those years I have felt different and like I didn't "fit in". But I haven't let that stop me from finding aspects of people to love and admire. I focus on those qualities when I'm with them and it becomes easy to hang out with them. These days everyone I meet is glad they ran in to me. Everyone I know wants to talk with me.

    I focus on the fact we all want to be free to express out innate creative selves....we want to be able to love who we want to love in freedom and joy....we all want to feel safe to live our lives and enjoy our loved ones.

    Don't despair about being the odd one out. Seek new and different experiences to expand the functions. Put your self in awkward situations. Notice what happens and store it for future reference. You are developing all of your abilities.

    I firmly believe All types are needed and are treasured in this teeming mass of humanity.
    Namaste'
     
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  12. Kgal

    Kgal Magic Star Dust
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    This too! :love:
     
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  13. La Sagna

    La Sagna Trying to become a butterfly

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    Introverts in general are on the sidelines and have a harder time infiltrating most groups or social situations but many of them don't care and are comfortable with that. I think where INFJs are different is because in a way we do want to fit in because of our Fe. We want to contribute to social harmony and the well-being of others and it's hard to do that when you are an outsider. Combine that with Ni which makes us analyse everything and see when things aren't right or when people are fake and you end up with people who feel like they are awake and everyone else is asleep. What I mean by that is that most people are unconscious, unaware and very reactive, and for INFJs who prize truth, fairness and genuineness, these people leave us feeling like we are living in a different world than they are, a world where all that fake unconscious stuff doesn't belong.

    I hope that makes sense.
     
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  14. INFJ16

    INFJ16 Well-known member

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    Yes, there are many articles on the topic. Stop reading them. If you don't want to feel like an outsider stop reading articles that say you are.

    [​IMG]

    : Moody, stubborn, suck at initiating conversation, mistrusting, too private (If you don't open up why would you expect others to? If you refuse to open up, you won't make connections very easily which will make you feel like an 'outsider'), etc. This is all stereotyping. A lot of the isolation you feel is probably largely caused by you with the collection of isolating decisions you make without even realizing it. Anyway, this is all stereotyping and everyone is different. You aren't going to 'fit the INFJ mold' exactly. You are unique, and you have the power to make changes.

    I am an INFJ, but I wouldn't label myself as an 'outsider' or as one who doesn't fit into society. I wouldn't label myself that way for two reasons: 1) People often become the labels they embrace whether or not they initially fit them and 2) I don't believe I am either of those things. Do I sometimes feel like that, or have I felt like that? Yes, but pretty much everyone feels like that (like an outsider or like they don't fit in) at some point in their life. Feeling does not equal being. You may feel like you are an outsider, but that doesn't mean you are one. You may feel like you don't fit into society, but that doesn't mean you don't. Just because you don't feel like you fit in socially, doesn't mean other people think the same. Your perception of you is not the same as other people's perceptions of you.

    That said, INFJs (and introverts in general) make a lot of choices which can cause them to feel and be isolated. Attending less social events, not being more open, and choosing to sit on the sidelines of the action instead of participating.

    Awhile ago I read a thread in a forum (personality cafe?) about something similar. Someone commented something that stuck with me. They said something like, "My goal is not to fit in, it is to find a place. I am a thermostat, my friend, not a thermometer." You don't have to be like everyone else to fit in. Everyone is different. Perhaps being so aware of all these differences is one of the reasons why you feel the way you do. Society is made up of introverts and extroverts. You are among the introverted part of society; you have a place. If you don't like your place then try to get out there more. Try to be more extroverted, but you'll probably end up feeling burnt out and frustrated. It's best to accept who you are... be okay with you. You do have a place. Don't get caught up in the terminology; your place in society and the world is right where you are. Don't get swept up in some vague journey of "finding your place." You are already there. Enjoy it.
     
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  15. drummergirlbk

    drummergirlbk Community Member

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    9753812583110b44ff40c04a2b30aedaOrdinaryPeople_ZoomImage.png
    [​IMG]
     
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  16. ShadowWarrior

    ShadowWarrior Regular Poster

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    Valid point, but my question for you would be where do you find people that are honest with who they are and their weaknesses? Its very rare in my life and perhaps I am not seeking it or seeing through a rose colored glass so to say... but I find that there are a lot of people out there which are afraid of intimacy and most of the reason is because its hard to see the truth in other people. Perhaps this is a biased mind set but I prefer to see it as the ideals I have learned through my own experiences. Now of course this is about opening up my world to others mindsets that could change this perspective which of course is my goal :)
     
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  17. ChristianBunny

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    As an INFJ, I feel like an outsider mainly because I have low self worth. I often convince myself that other people don't want to talk to me. I don't have a lot of friends because it is hard for me to find someone with the same values. A lot of other people I meet are all about social media and the latest trends, but I am not interested in such secular ideas at all. Additionally, small talk doesn't really interest me either. Questions like "how was your weekend?" don't really mean anything to me. I would rather develop a very close relationship with someone and be able to ask "why do you think the world is the way it is?" It would be a bit bizarre to ask a stranger that question. Also, I never know what to say to other people. I always come off as awkward.

    The way I wrote that paragraph just shows my Ti. Sorry for having an underdeveloped Te. ☹️
     
  18. ruji

    ruji Well-known weirdo

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    I find that fitting in and being liked are not the same. I never fitted in, but I am usually liked. For the longest time I worried about the former, and as a result, it would override the latter.
     
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  19. JJJA

    JJJA Permanent Fixture

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    I am liked by a few select group of people, as I am generally very selective of who I make available to myself to generate a mutual respect and understanding. It's all down to the individuals in-question, with only a slight emphasis on type.
     
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  20. PintoBean

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    I think there is some special snowflake syndrome going on probably. However, as with all I's, there is a higher degree of neuroticism and lower degree of openness (unfortunate fact), so that could contribute to not fitting in, though I am not sure if this is more so with INFJs than with other I types.
     
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