Anna's Unicorns

INFJ or INFP? The deal-breaker

For the last time, are you an INFJ or INFP?

I know that before coming here, you probably have read a lot of related articles regarding this and to no avail, still end up confused, more frustrated and this is why you are here.

I have written a similar post previously but I wasn’t able to simplify things enough. I will use a different approach this time. Hopefully, I will show the light and lead you to the end of the tunnel of confusion.

Did you test INFJ many times then at one time got a different result which is INFP or vice versa? Do not fret, I have experience the same thing. You are not alone. There are many of us.

Let me tell you one thing. We are similar.

Both are so similar enough on the surface that many of us confuse one from the other. Seemingly appearing like twins on the personality spectrum but when you try harder to peek on what is inside of each of them – they are entirely two different worlds made up of entirely different elements and their drives are moving completely into opposing directions.

Do not judge a book by its cover.

It doesn’t mean we can live here on Earth, we also can with the other planets. They may all look the same. BUT there are so many things that comes to play (like liquid water or a life-friendly atmosphere). It is the same thing when it comes to personality types.

How we understand and connect to others are opposite internally. Our mental or thought process works in opposing directions but surprisingly on the surface: the two can look similar. Similar in many aspects.

SIMILARITIES OF INFJ AND INFP

Both has an innate drive to understand people, help others and strives to better or improve themselves. Psychology, arts, music and writing are the main passions we shared. We delve into the psyche of the human mind and behavior.

We can be both extremely imaginative, dreamy, creative, can be both warm and fuzzy inside, also cold and flighty. Fiery and passionate with what we believe in and with what we value like protecting the people we love.

We want to make a difference, to make the world a better place. We are idealists. We also tend to be misunderstood easily because of our unfailing ideals. We are misconstrued but we aren’t deterred. We always felt different which may sadden us (or not).

We both know that this life we have is not just to live. We are here to make it worth it. We have a sense of purpose. The “what” is just sometimes lost in the translation of our thoughts. But we know it’s there. Maybe when we are ready (and tremendously have improved ourselves)?

Out of all the introverts, we are the types that deeply care for others. We may want to live in seclusion because of the need for solitude but we also crave for relationships and company. It’s like the play of tug and war.

Both are also extremely sensitive, we feel and love deeply decidedly as if it’s between life and death. This is also why we have a great enthusiasm with life but our intense feelings can also be the death of us. I hope not… and thus depression is common into these two feeling types. 

Our being idealists takes the cake of why we are so seemingly similar. We act and behave outwardly like twins in the society and especially in movies they fail to clearly separate the two. The thick line has been blurred.

ARE WE REALLY THAT SIMILAR? 

NO. 

Definitely No.

But in a good way.

When we are born in this world with many varying personalities and behaviors.

I am keen to believe, we are made to be different from each other because of a purpose. Each of the personality type has its own role in the society. Someone who can be a guardian, a counselor, a teacher, a nurse, an artist, an event planner, a leader and so on.

We are meant to do something individually that contributes to the whole. Each of us are special and unique not in a snowflake kind of way but more of, we are all meant to stand-out and blend in. This is for the survival and good of the community.. for humanity to persist, for each of us to reach our highest potential and when we do, a domino effect will happen to our society. We may be different but we are one.

WE ARE ONE.

WHAT SETS INFJ AND INFP APART

There are many ways to tell them apart. Look at the “why”, try to listen to their inner voice and especially their drive. Discover what makes them tick and makes them who they are internally. Do not just justify the whole but try to delve into the smaller pieces.

MBTI  P or J PREFERENCE 

JUDGING vs PERCEIVING

Although, recently I have been studying cognitive functions to really know about my true type. I want to include this for the simplicity of it.

Are you more spontaneous or do you want everything planned and stick to it as much as possible? Do you like to organize your things or anything works and the disorganization doesn’t bother you? Are you flexible especially when making goals and dreams or when choosing career paths? Are you that type of person who when making a decision are overly stressed before or after making one? Do you like closure or are you happier being in between and not making any decisions and even trying to avoid it at all cost.

MBTI P stands for “Perceiving” which means you are naturally flexible and more open to many options and possibilities.

MBTI J stands for “Judging” which means you naturally follows a structured lifestyle and planning, organizing and preparing are part of your repertoire.

MBTI may be has a lot of holes because of its concept of dichotomies which means how about those people in between, who can be both depending on the situation right? They are people like that. We are as simple as we are as complex. BUT using this dichotomy of P or J, we can already actually see the huge difference between these two feeling types.

INFP: THE FREE SPIRIT 

INFPs are most likely to be the spontaneous ones, there mind is more flighty and jumps from one thing to another. There decisions are more flexible and sometimes they don’t really know what they want because why not have it all or try as many as you can until you find it which just sometimes leads them for not settling. They are actually happier with not making any final decision.

They are more stressed out after making a decision. They want something which is more flexible… they prefer having no final word. No finality.

There mind works like fireworks. Always wanting to explode and spread-out. Always aiming for more and don’t want to settle for one way or one thing. They want to be in the position of being in the open with many possibilities and options as much as possible.

They can be more flighty with their choices and tastes than their INFJ counterparts. They enjoy the unpredictability of life, the changes that normally unfolds, they celebrate the randomness, the spontaneity of living and gets frustrated deeply when they are confined by the unbending rules and schedules the society imposed.

They enjoy the life where they are free letting their sparks fly.

They are very creative in a way that their freedom of mind can make any projects unconventional or revolutionary because their ability to see many things and million ways to do it is so powerful and they act upon it, they make it happen. Dreamers and also doers. The possibilities is endless, this is in fact their way of life and they breathe it.

Haha- funny while writing this now. This song is playing and ironically I think it very much suits the INFP description.

So like INFPs do you approach life in a more open, spontaneous, and flexible way (Perceivers)?

Or do you like to plan carefully, have a sense of routine or schedule like INFJs do (Judgers)?

INFJs AND THE NEED TO PLAN

INFJs however are cautious, careful planners, we take our sweet time making decisions, it is a very stressful time for us but once we made up our mind, we stick to it. We feel very happy once we made a conclusion or after we made a decision. We don’t like to be in between’s. We seem to delight in extremes. The black and white is our solemn haven. Grays is the territory of INFPs.

We are highly organized individuals. Preparing for the unknown and the future is what we instinctively do. We think that the more we prepare the better the outcome or the better we can handle the situation. Planning comes naturally to us like breathing we don’t have to continuously remind ourselves to do it. It’s our default. We like to manage our time, make schedules for what we are supposed to be doing. Fiercely and foolishly trying to manage our lives (and many others?)

It is as if everything is under our control.

Take note, we can be messy too and when we do, ironically there is still an organization in it. Which in the eyes of the outsiders there is none but for the intuitive eyes of the INFJ, she carefully laid it out subconsciously with an intricate arrangement and connection that she can only see amidst the chaos she herself created.

If our INFP counterparts think like fireworks, we on the other hand, likes to think as if we are trudging restlessly in a narrowing road. We want to put an end to things. 

A healthy fat peaceful closure if you please…

This organization, a love for schedule and routine and making decisions is just one of the major differences between INFP and INFJ.

Being place in the position of many uncertainties can drive us wild and as if crazy. It sure does to me. We always like to know what’s out there instead of it just surprising us and bite our toes.

INFJs like routines so we appear as if we are obedient and conforming in the society at times. BUT then it also gets tricky right here because we are non-conforming by nature. Our very being speaks and sings a gentle rebellion.

Gentle rebels that’s who we are. If we feel something is not right that is when hell breaks loose especially when we are the only one who says otherwise. Others typically misunderstood this level of certainty that sometimes we got as if it just struck us… like a eureka of lightning…the popular “aha” moments. It comes in different forms. It could be an inner voice nagging at us or silently whispering, a vision that slowly seeps into your dreams at night – telling you what to do. A gut feeling or let’s just call it intuition.

So we aren’t really the obedient types. We just do it because it pleases us to please them. We like structure, the order, routine as long as it feels right then we go with it. If it doesn’t feel right – we go left.

“I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.”

― Robert A. Heinlein

We pretend and tries to be everyone else’s then gets wiser by age, time and maturity and realizes it cannot be so and never will.

INFJs tries to blend in and fails miserably while INFPs have embrace their uniqueness and celebrates it.

This is another big distinction between the two.

INFPs tend to embrace who they are, their uniqueness and individuality. They don’t seem to care about what other people think because they know they have always been different and why not? What makes us different makes us special. They stop trying to blend in and instead focus their strength and energy to themselves or the better term for it is self-improvement and does this continuously because this is natural for them. They have a high level of self-awareness and seems to be the master of it. Something that I think every personality type should learn.

INFJs wants to be more like everyone else. We know we are different and this makes us feel alienated. We can understand others and help them in every way we can but when it comes to us, they couldn’t figure us out which tremendously saddens us. It is always this wanting to blend in and be more like them makes us who we are and differentiates the INFJ from INFP.

It doesn’t mean that INFJs cannot embrace who they are, their differences and uniqueness. It just takes a lot more effort for us to do this than INFPs because this happens naturally for them. INFPs aren’t shy to express themselves more with their outward appearance even though it may not be that common because of certain social norms. INFJs tend to dress more appropriately because we care with how people react or how they see us and especially of what they think.

So do you tries hard to blend-in and be more like others, appearing like a social chameleon then it saddens you that you can’t be like them no matter how hard you try?

Or are you naturally inclined towards embracing your uniqueness, reveals it to the world, proud and happy about it?

If I can only pick one song to describe INFJs. It would be the LOST STARS by Keira Knightley from the movie “Begin Again.”

INFJ AND INFP IN A SITUATION:  

Let’s say an INFJ and INFP friends decided to watch a movie together. They are both looking at the screen with movie listings. The INFJ typically already knows what she wants to watch at that moment let’s say it’s the Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Instead of blurting it out to her INFP friend. She waits patiently to know what her friend would like to watch so they can both decide which one later.

It is important for an INFJ to consider the decision of her friend. Since she can just watch it alone next time. For her this is more about them especially to her friend to have fun who is recently stressed at school.

The INFP scrutinizes the screen and a little confused because there are so many good options. Asks her friend: “Is it okay I can have a little more time? I am dying to watch this and that one is also really good.” Her friend told her it’s okay. We got a lot of time.

The INFJ knew it will take longer for her friend to choose so she just decided to get snacks for the both of them. Asks her friend what she will like to eat. INFP answered “oh, I don’t know.”

The INFJ responded: “How about I will get you french fries since the last time you enjoyed eating them and we can share the popcorn?”

The INFP is really glad not having to decide and someone did it for her.

When her friend is back she instinctively expressed her opinion. Let’s see, Jumanji, Last Jedi, Wonder or Lady Bird. Those are my top picks. But Lady Bird looks interesting, I think I can relate more to this character. I checked online, read the outline it has a depth to it and it has a very high rating. What do you think? What movie do you think is fun to watch today?

INFJ told her friend they can just watch Lady Bird because it is interesting and that her friend can relate with it.

The INFP responded “But I think Wonder is also very intriguing. We don’t see that concept in a movie that much these days. I don’t think we should just let that one go easily. I am fine with Wonder. “

Okay, Wonder or Lady Bird? You have to make up your mind now because we are running out of time.

They went to the counter to buy tickets for the Wonder but the INFP suddenly realizes that she has a project yet to finish and the deadline is tomorrow morning.  One of her classmates just posted online with her finished project and because she was so stressed recently she have completely forgotten about it.

The INFJ asked her friend how come she forgot about it. Didn’t you write it down? The INFP told her. She thinks she did but she lost the piece of paper where she wrote it down a week ago.

INFJ told her friend. Okay, let’s just forget watching a movie today. Good thing, we haven’t purchased the tickets yet. No harm done. Let’s just sort this out and get the things you need instead for the project.

The two went to the bookstore instead to look for the reading materials they need.

The Ni-Fe combo makes the INFJ considers what her friend wants to watch instead of her own. The Ni (Introverted Intuition) helps the INFJ to make a decision. Ni absorbs and gathers information, by the first glance the INFJ already knows she loves Star Wars so she picked it immediately but didn’t express her decision knowing her friend would love to pick a movie for them to watch.

The Fe (Extroverted Feeling) makes the INFJ just go along with whatever decision her friend made. Her friend picked the Lady Bird after a long inner deliberation and thinking her friend is stressed she needs this relaxation or fun more than her.

Fi-Ne combination makes the INFP have a hard time making only one and final decision since there are many good choices being presented. Fi makes the INFP have this inner deliberation within herself. Fi is principles or values-driven. They ask themselves what do they care most to watch if it adheres to their values and principles then they would be intrigued with it. The Ne (Extroverted Intuition) makes it easy for them to express their opinions and thoughts on the subject and wanting to discuss her ideas to her friend to explore more possibilities and maybe more options. Ne is for exploring ideas.

INFPs can be very good at debating and exploring ideas that are out of the box although they can be extremely introverted. INFJs can find themselves more awkward and not really able to express themselves when it comes to discussions especially to the people they aren’t really comfortable to be with.

They can blabber alright and can sound more like having a monologue when they are passionate about something but INFPs are the ones who are most likely to engage in discussions or in a dialogue with someone or in a group. They enjoy conversations more and are good listeners. Since it is easier for them to express their thoughts and so they can easily sound more opinionated especially when they are fighting passionately about what they believe in. They have also a very strong sense of right and wrong.

Marianne Dashwood is a classic example of INFP from Jane Austen’s novel Sense and Sensibility

When they do, you cannot most of the time win them over or convince them. The beliefs are as strong as a bamboo waving during the thunderstorm. You can never bend it. When they already set their beliefs into stone, you will be blown into shreds if you try. Fi makes sure of that. It is a very judging function. They make up their minds when it comes to their self-beliefs and principles. Ne is only for exploring ideas and their auxiliary function which I guess balances them out.

INFJs however can have a hard time truly knowing what they want or feel because their decision making can be clouded into what others think or feel instead of their own. They can be swayed if they let them. Fe is a gift but also can be a curse to strong Fe users. This function likes to please people and disappointments crushes an INFJ soul. This is why for INFJs, it is important to tap into the 3rd/tertiary function which is Ti (Introverted Thinking) to balance the Ni and Fe. To help make everything sense to them as day and night.

Lisa Simpson for me is a classic example of an INFJ from The Simpsons.

INFPs choose to please themselves more than INFJs who are more likely the ones struggling to follow their own true selves dreams and wants between what other people want and think for them.

DOOR-SLAMMING 

Do you do it in INFJ or the INFP WAY?

It is just so weird that when I learned that I’m an INFJ, my experiences from the past just came rushing to me and they all clicked and finally made sense. I’ve always thought there was just something wrong to me, plain and simple. Knowing your true personality type makes wonders. It is comforting to know I am not alone. Why I did what I did especially in the door-slamming department.

I did this so many times in the past that I just didn’t care about it. I didn’t really given it a lot of thought. I just kinda do them. It is amazing to discover there is a certain INFJ signature and even termed as the INFJ door-slamming.

Door-slamming the INFJ way means when you finally break our trust, you will never gain our trust again. It is close to you, the opportunity you wasted and like in a Pandora box you wouldn’t dare to open it because it will be a big mistake that and there is just no way of going back in.

When we do the door-slamming typically it means we have gone cold, will still listen to the person and maybe talk but this time we knew better. There’s not even a single bad or hurt feelings involved. There is just nothing in there anymore. Just nothing… empty. No tears or cries. We just typically move on with our lives without that person being in our lives.

It is different from being brokenhearted which our hearts are shattered and starry eyed souls are crushed. This one is just purely door-slamming quietly as possible to that person who isn’t worth it anymore. It could be because of different reasons that our Ni have collected, information we have absorbed but breaking the trust is one of the key factors. A huge one you wouldn’t dare touch. The Ti made it logically possible: “Case Closed.”

I couldn’t really speak personally for INFPs when it comes tho their door-slamming but their way is typically has emotions/hurt feelings involved and crying when they do it to someone. When an INFJ door-slammed a person, we didn’t cry at all and personally there is no twinge in our hearts, we happily moved on with our lives. As if nothing happened. It’s not like we are mean or bad people. It’s just how it is.

I did this with a classmate in high school. We were close, he did something to me that I will never put my trust with him again and so I door-slammed him it only take a moment, that’s it. Right there and then, I made a decision. I didn’t cause a havoc, I just started not talking to him or listening to him. I just removed him from my life quietly without any ruckus and there was no drama.

He kept trying to still be there for me actually kinda forced himself to me the first few weeks but I just clammed up until he finally gave up and still I didn’t care. INFJs usually became cold to that person, you will witness a whole different person like the dark side of the moon showing to you. It is different but that’s still a part of us of who we are.

So be careful not to be door-slammed because when the door is locked, we typically loses the key afterwards and throws the key immediately to the unknown. To all the people I door-slammed, there is no one of them who got back again into my circle or life. I removed them by choice. Now, there are just gone to me forever. I don’t hate them maybe they hate me because of what I did. The absurdity of it is that it didn’t really hurt me or there absence haven’t affected me at all. It is as natural as breathing or sleeping to me.

I just don’t want them into my life anymore and I made it happen as simple as that. It’s the Ni-Ti in works here. So INFJs can be as cold-hearted as they can be. INFPs however, can still be open partially to the person they door-slammed after a period of time in many different reasons like them being in the same circle again. The only fact I know is that when they do the door-slamming, it is very emotionally tasking or devastating for them. They are so badly hurt in the process and it’s a complete opposite when it comes to INFJs and when you’re out, the door is shut to you forever well- at least in my case.

I am also not speaking for every INFJ. We are different from each other as well although we may have the same personality type. Your opinions will be highly valuable to me so don’t forget to comment if you have any more questions. I will get back as soon as I can.

I felt the need to share what I have learned so far. There is so much to learn with this subject and personally I am far from being an expert. Like you, I am also learning as much as I can and I am grateful to have a help from my husband.

It is my wish for you to know your true type and have helped you on your way. 

We are all in the same journey we call LIFE no matter what our differences may be- it doesn’t really matter. Each of us have our own special gifts and abilities no matter what type. The world need us as who we are, diversity ensures our survival. The only way you can be truly happy is being honest with yourself, knowing yourself, improving yourself and loving yourself. Start from within and you will radiate love, happiness and sparks of sunshine to wherever you may go and to all the people you will encounter.

I am with you comrade.

-Anna

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Renee
    August 13, 2018 at 4:20 am

    Thank you! The door slamming part really hit home for me! I too experience emptiness when I close someone off from me. And it does stem from them breaking my trust. I realized for me there are different levels of the door slamming. If it comes to an emotional trust issue that the other person didn’t realize they did. I will slam the door, but then open it back up a crack. So then I give them a second chance, but the whole time I’m on guard, ready to just push the door closed again. This time forever. I think the second chance part stems from wanting to always believe in the good of humanity.

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