“Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” – Carl Gustav Jung
Reading this, only means you have the desire to explore and know more about yourself. MBTI should not make you feel isolated, I hope it will make you feel – you belong. That there is someone like you in the vastness of this world.
Remember, even if we want to feel included. We are not exactly 100 percent copies of each other. We should also not be “boxed” to limit ourselves. It should not by any means invalidate that you are YOU. There is no one exactly like you in this world. You are made up of your own experiences and that you are in control of your life.
Like just any other tool, please use it with care. Please use it to improve yourself and understand others better. It is my wish, for you to learn it on your own, form your own thoughts and opinions and to dig deeper. In the hopes of understanding yourself, it will help you on your journey of becoming the best version of yourself.
Are you INFP or INFJ?
These two types are one of the most mistaken types with each other. Idealistic, emphatic, imaginative, creative, kind and have a deep-seated need to help or understand others. They look at “humans” and the society in a profound level. Also feels misunderstood and are mostly highly sensitive.
They have different approaches, no matter how they may look and seem to act similar. That will be our focus.
KNOW YOUR FIRST TWO FUNCTIONS
As you have learned with the first part of my post, the first two functions makes up 90 percent of your personality. Both are well-developed around our mid-20s. Hooray for this, it will make our job easy.
INFP ( Fi Ne )
INFJ ( Ni Fe )
INFP THE INDIVIDUALIST
Introverted Feelings (Fi) + Extroverted Intuition (Ne)
Their unique combinations or as a “pair” makes these two types approach a situation in their lives differently. Fi (Introverted Feeling) works internally because of it being an introverted function. It is a feeling and a judging function (although the P in INFP stands for Perceiving). Judging because it involves in decision making process. It makes the INFP asks herself first, how do I feel about this?
What is my view on this? Oh, for me this is right and that is wrong. They will fight for their beliefs and have strong convictions.
Being an Fi-dominant is centered and focused to protect their individuality, self-image or identity, authenticity and have formed their core values from them. So being original is important for an INFP. Their idea of “originality” also differs from one INFP to another. Failure of preserving their sense of self means they are worthless. A healthy Fi makes a healthy INFP because it contributes to self-awareness which is huge and important in aiming self-actualization (or realizing our fullest potentials.)
Fi have a need to “feel validated” that they are staying true and honest to themselves.
The society needs a healthy INFP who can remind us to be genuine, embrace our true selves and not be superficial, blindly following trends just because they are “in”. That what makes us different makes us special.
Fi helps the INFP connect with others in a way that she puts herself on that person’s shoes (then see it for herself.) What will I feel when what happened to him happened to me? This is what we call a “mirroring approach”. Like looking at yourself in the mirror and seeing through your reflection. The Fi is their lens (for judging), internally filters information and results to an INFP having a strong and remarkable empathy. They have made a connection to others by this approach (looking for answers within themselves). Then helping people in need by how they made her feel.
Then add the Ne to the mix. It makes the INFP see things in a different light. Ne (Extroverted Intuition), it is external and directed to its environment. Ne sees possibilities. INFP are known for being highly creative and are very fond and naturally drawn to arts since their mind are just good at it. This is a reason, INFP can look flighty to other people. Or even appear and sound weird.
Their ideas might even bounce from one thing to another.
Ne works so well with any form of art. The INFP creativity flows like a wind. Their mind is carefree and happy go lucky. They need a flexible environment that can embrace them with wide open arms.
Fi and Ne pairing also makes the INFP have a hard time making final or big decisions. They are not happy after they made one. They desire to be in the open or with many options as possible, the freedom to switch or change their minds (hopefully) with no consequences. They feel the most comfortable, where they don’t have to choose one.
Restrictions are anathema for an INFP. Strict people plus a rigid system is a source of stress for them. Same thing with making preparations, they are not very fond of making lists. Maybe the idea is why limit yourself when you can have more fun by being spontaneous? Their out of the box ideas normally happens when they are just winging it. Fi plus Ne makes them imaginative, dreamy yet highly creative people.
Ne is not all glitters. It also causes an INFP not finishing any projects they have started. When there are many ideas popping and flashes into their eyes? You just keep chasing the rabbit that also keeps entering a rabbit hole.
They are also big in procrastination because a voice inside their head would whisper “this is not what you should be doing.” They would go to their happy place instead (or sleep) and end up not doing anything.
INFJ THE MYSTIC
Introverted Intuition (Ni) + Extroverted Feeling (Fe)
INFJs are known in the personality spectrum as Mystics or the Counselors. This equates to the INFJ being Ni-dominant. Ni has that mysterious quality feel into it especially for those who haven’t truly experience it. I think it is one of the most misunderstood cognition function. Maybe even the reason why, there is mistyping among Sensors being Intuitive and vice versa. Or between two Intuitive types like INFJ and INFP.
Ni is a blurry concept and may appear subjective (although it’s not), like when there are raindrops on a window. Distorted view for those who have not encounter it and don’t really know what it’s like. The only ones who can fully grasp and comprehend are those who use it as their first preference and happens naturally for them. It’s not surprising that INTJs and INFJs are the rarest types or have the smallest number in the current population because they are the Ni-dominants.
It is also hard to decipher Ni because it happens internally for the person who uses it – being an introverted function. INFJ with J that stands for Judging but Ni is a Perceiving function. It acts by absorbing information from the outside then it is digested, analyzed and processed. One thing you can notice with an Ni-dominant is how they pick up cues so well without efforts although being Intuitive also makes them “live inside their minds.” The Ni-dominants don’t also appear physically present.
The Ni is also centered and focused mainly on the future instead of being in the now. One of the funny things of being an INFJ is that there is an intense feeling of disconnection with our mind to our body. Like we don’t act as one. So we can be extremely clumsy. It is as if we don’t notice we are a physical form – corporeal.
I know it may not even make sense. Ni seems to give that impression to most people. When an INFJ explains something that her Ni processed and analyzed for her. When it’s time to explain and tell that to other people. It just doesn’t translate right. In her mind’s eye, she can fully see it. But the translation seemed to have been lost on the bridge.
Our Ni also serves as our inner compass, internally we have a remarkable sense of direction. It is the opposite of course in real life. We are terrible of being in the present that we get lost in the physical world. What I mean by this is… Ni gives us access to insights. Being that intuition has a metaphorical essence. We know what we want and we can be quick in making decisions. When we feel this is it. We go for it. We do this with finality and are 101 percent sure. No one can change our minds. Although, to others it may sound idiotic or naive why we follow these gut instincts. To us, it made a whole lot of sense. We can’t just fully explain it to outsiders. But hey, we usually turn out right.
Ni gives off a cloud of calmness to an INFJ from a feeling of “I just know”.
Composed, focused, determined and behaving like they know what’s best for everyone or what’s lurking around the corner. Nothing to worry mentality, a vision with certainty or known for that stubborn visionary vibe. It summed up as the infamous “The Royal We” attitude.
Ni unlike Ne delights with going only into one direction. A narrowing road. It doesn’t see many possibilities like Ne does. It is close to what we know as a process of deduction or elimination then finding the best one that works in a certain situation and sticking to it with finality.
Ni is seeing the big picture. What it does best is absorb and add our auxiliary function Extroverted Feeling or Fe then you are a human sponge. It absorbs information in any form, it could be energies and vibes.
Interestingly enough, through Fe the INFJ can channel these energies back. Meaning also uplift the mood of the person, the whole room or the environment the INFJ is in by giving off certain energies to make everyone feel good or if the INFJ is stressed, emotionally drained and volcanic inner eruption is on the way: make everyone feel bad, worse and miserable. It works both ways.
It is why they need their proper solitude for this. A much needed alone time. They need to fill up their energy again and everyone can benefit from that. It is not easy to be a human sponge and at the same time are human crystals who can give off certain energies.
This is also the reason why INFJs can appear like extroverts in some social interactions and especially can be ENFPish who are enthusiastic, friendly and wanting to cheer up everyone.
They can be bubbly and talkative to the right person or a chosen few. Then be aloof to a lot of people except maybe on one on one social interactions (when they can gauge you better or get your vibes). Fe helps the INFJ make someone they talk to feel comfortable (and open up) in a way that they are picking up certain behaviors and patterns, so if that person is cheerful… they may subconsciously find themselves copying that person’s tone, facial expressions, hand and subtle body movements.
Matching up that person’s behavior and energy. Being on the same wavelength, so they can be both relaxed, finding the same interests and as if speak the same language and many others. The INFJ may think she have multiple personalities. But this is just Fe crafty handiwork taking control with a hefty guidance of Ni.
Fe can also be used to lift up the energy of a friend in crisis OR a room of people in a desperate situation like in a middle of drama. INFJ seemingly appearing like an ENFPish cheering everyone up especially when something needs to be done aka save the people maneuvers and interventions. Lead them out of the tunnel and into the light. They will take the rein in a heartbeat to do just that.
Ni and Fe working harmoniously together is a beautiful yet deadly combination that makes an INFJ know what’s up with the person and her environment. Ni works in the background of an INFJ’s mind. Like a spy or a covert/private investigator. This is a natural and innate ability for an INFJ. It doesn’t mean she can be a spy. That would be a lot of work considering we are a clumsy bunch.
A healthy use of Ni plus Fe combo makes the INFJ wants to save the world. Find that one big purpose in life. Go fight for a cause or save the humankind. “Saving the World” also differs from one INFJ to another. It is not surprising that a charming INFJ with an ideology and passion can also be dangerous. An example of this is Adolf Hitler. Hey, cheer up… we still have Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Jesus.
Ni being a “misunderstood” or a blurry kind of cognitive function and makes an INFJ feel isolated and therefore… wants to be understood (and feel belong).
INFJs have that tendency to try to fit in and will even try harder to forget who they truly are or their true selves. Fe is a function that is centered and focused on “THEM” or the people, the crowd or the others. In retrospect, INFJs can appear as social chameleons or even a borderline extroverts.
The Fe makes the INFJ question herself, “how are they feeling?” Oh, they made me feel this way. We connect by knowing what the other person feel and we eventually feel it on our own. Ni absorbs the energies and soaks in the information. Fe can be very draining and Ti (tertiary function of INFJs) is there to balance out the Ni and Fe.
INFJs can be very frustrated and feel isolated. They can understand others but they feel no one can understand them. They are drawn into books instead for this feeling that maybe, just maybe someone out there in the world can understand them or the words in the pages are so comforting, it can give them the escape they need.
An overworking Fe will make the INFJ run and hide. They need an alone time and they may not even fully understand their own feelings because of soaking in and mixed feelings of others. They need to process it on their own until then “they can face the world.” Save the world once again. On their own little, quiet and sneaky ways.
An Ni-dominant with Fe user are the ones you don’t want to be enemies with. Since they can “see through you”. They can be brutally honest in ways that you can never imagine. They will mention your deepest demons and force you to face them with no where to run.
But are also the kindest person you’ll ever meet and will do a great length of helping you out. Their Ni-Fe combo makes them a natural counselors where their small circle of friends can benefit so much. They have a gentle heart and a sensitive soul who are usually drawn to the library or a bookstore.
Ni plus Fe is also what drives the INFJs to connect profoundly to another human being. We are not fond of small talks and avoids it like a plague. Will try to hide our true feelings or thoughts though because well, we don’t want to offend someone.
INTJs who are also Ni-dominants however are different. They are known to be rude and blunt because they they don’t have the Fe. They are highly logical with Te (Extroverted Thinking) and feeling is a weak function for them.
Fe also has the tendency to make an INFJ become a people pleaser, losing what she really wants for the sake of others. Which is something an INFP wouldn’t naturally do because that’s not who they are – as simple as that. It’s the archenemy of their being or their authentic self.
LAST BASIC RULE
There are eight cognitive functions according to Carl Gustav Jung. The first two in each type comprises 90 percent of our personality. It is recommended to approach and develop well the tertiary and inferior for optimal self-growth. But there are also “learned behaviors” or cognitive functions we have learned because of our environment or the element of “nurture”.
So it is possible that even if you are INFJ, you can also develop a strong Fi or (Introverted Feeling). Even though, it’s not on your first four preferences. This play of dynamics in our personality is normal. It is our unique individual experiences that made us who we are today.
I have a strong Fi due to my upbringing and culture that I was born in. So maybe you also have that strong other cognitive functions and the reason why you can’t be that sure with your type. Remember your first two or your main cognitive functions are very important in determining your true type. They act “naturally” and happens when you are not stressed.
You will know if it’s a learned behavior or a learned cognitive function when – it doesn’t work well with you. As an INFJ, Fi doesn’t work well with me, the way it works very well with Fi-dominants like INFP for example. You can read more about this by researching John Beebe’s model which is a life saver.
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” – Carl Gustav Jung
- If the INFP is an individualist and the emphasis is always heavily implied on “THIS IS ME”. Their authenticity or to stay true to themselves is synonymous to their value or worth. That is not the same with INFJs.
- INFP understands and connects to the other person by mirroring. INFJ understands and connects to the person by absorbing.
- INFJ are fond of planning and preparations and INFP are not so much.
- INFP wants validation for their authenticity. INFJ wants to be understood from feeling of isolation or no one can get them.
- INFP are generally a shy, quiet bunch of people but can stand and fight for what they believe in – once challenged. INFJ has no problem changing their minds and may even be interested with conspiracies thinking there is no one truth. There are many truths hiding in the background.
- INFP is not happy after making a decision and will do everything to avoid making one or delay it (Ne). INFJ are happy after making a decision since the hunch is always right (Ni).
- Ni is seeing a bigger picture . Ne sees many possibilities.
INFP ( Fi Ne Si Te)
= Understanding others by knowing own self – I see many possibilities – I know what made me who I am today and what worked in the past – Thinking of ways to help the humankind (saving the society) through self-expression and staying true to myself, sharing my ideas, managing or working with people and by seeing their true potentials helping them improve themselves
= Self Awareness and Self-Expression can equal and result to Saving the Society
INFJ ( Ni Fe Ti Se)
= See the big picture – Save the World (for the love of good and bad of humanity) – Think logically on how to make it happen – Put it into action
= Life Purpose is Saving the World
To end this post, let me quote him once again.
“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” – Carl Gustav Jung