The NFs (and the INTJ)

It’s perplexing how most of the INFJs and ENFPs I’ve met lack an understanding and acceptance of the many different ways people function. And yet, they remain popular, well-liked, and regarded as wise.

They live in their NF bubble and try to mould others to become more NF in their ways, like Pygmalion. When their efforts are for naught and the other person remains unreceptive to their sculpting attempts, they become passive-aggressive and make jabs behind the person’s back. Other times, they spurt lava aggressively on the other person in retaliation to attacks, real or perceived. If it gets really bad, the volcano in them erupts. I’ve not hung around long enough to experience a full-fledged eruption and I can only imagine the damage it’d cause. I still have a fondness and admiration for these two types though, at least theoretically.

As for the INFPs, it’s like walking on eggshells. They remain distant and hard to reach. I seem to offend them with my assertiveness and use of Te (extroverted thinking). And I’ve not knowingly met any ENFJs.

On a side note, I think I’ve finally met a fellow INTJ, and a female one at that! It’s kind of odd to see a mirror image of myself in someone else. She’s much more accomplished and well-adapted than I am, and significantly older, but we’ve gotten along pretty well thus far. I can see past her “cold” and logical exterior into her gooey insides easily, and perhaps she can see mine too. This is one opportunity I must seize and not let slip past.

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16 thoughts on “The NFs (and the INTJ)

  1. I am a fellow, well technically a “gal” ENFP
    at times may seem shallow,but that could not be farther from the truth. I long for deep, meaningful relationships. Especially from my S.O.(significant other) to be best friends, lovers, partners in crime, to communicate like no body’s business but the one thing I crave is depth, which unfortunately being an ESTJ or because he’s a “guy” (I do not mean to offend anyone here) but communication is at the bottom of our relationship but at least we have one thing going for us. But it’s makes for kinda lonely partnership. But I aim to please and I do not expect him to make me happy but it would be nice if he were like the INFJ or INTJ and wanted more,growth in a more rewarding and funner( I love that non-word!) relationship that would so totally rock.
    I hope you find THE type that drives you wildly mad and passionately insane, in all of the most wonderful ways of course. I really appreciate the follow.
    Best always,
    Autumn

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It seems a common theme amongst the ENFPs to think/worry that they come across as shallow. ENFPs are deep; all the Ns are. But we can be deep and still live in a bubble. I met an ENFP recently who isn’t in a bubble and the two times that we’ve met up one-on-one so far, we spent hours talking to each other (5 and 6 hours, specifically). I love the ENFPs so!

      I hope you’ll be able to work the kinks out with your partner, that you’ll ignite the flame you once had for him, and that you’ll remember the reasons why you fell for him.

      Autumn is a lovely name, by the way!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for the very lovely comment and that you like my name also is a plus😉
        I get can make anything work, as I truly “love” everyone in the sense I see the good in people (where as my S.O. does not! Lol) I do long however, for real communication, simple adventures truly living in the moment together, and nothing is too goofy or silly or too sweet to be said or done! Nothing embarrassing or spiteful ever. I’m a dork, but now that I’m older & wiser, I am not sensitive to many hurtful things. I’m simple, as in I like sunsets, moon gazing, dancing, reading, encouraging & helping others
        But i crave depth in being with someone that wants more to everyday companionship, exploring each other and new things together. I would have to venture to say that my desires of this type of relationship I envision are mostly fantasy based. I do honestly try to keep my marriage going, being grateful for many things concerning my S.O. but it has been quite lonely over the last couple of years, even though I’m always home when he is. But I enjoy my life loving others, taking care of my family, working hard and always smiling but I think,…
        There’s so much more to me I want to share and do (that he does not) together, with,……!?!! I just stay on the bright side and not think about the future so much and just embrace my blessings & just to be super thankful for each day, that day
        Not tomorrow or yesterday

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I really understand this feeling. My wife is esfj and just not deep. We can’t get lost in conversation the way I crave. I mean she’s wonderful, but like you I feel lonely a lot of the time. I want someone to go deep with.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I sincerely apologize for the ginormous comment, so what about you? Relationship wise or your dreams, no pressure. Whatever you’d like to share really, I’d love to hear!
    My #1 compatability to date or marry personality type I read, is INFJ
    How much do you know, and feel on the mbti personality tests & info? I’m kinda just exploring and it is quite exhilarating, enlightening & fun. I really would like to meet
    a guy infj and intj knowing that they are in fact an infj and an intj! But glad to have met you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I easily see the good in everyone too. That’s one thing I like about myself. But others tend to perceive me as judgemental, so perhaps some of that aspect may be at play with your husband as well.

      I understand the craving for depth, and I’m sorry you’ve been feeling this way for so long. As iNtuitives, we are future-oriented so living purely day to day can be stifling in the long run, though it can be useful for the short term to help get out of a rut. Reminding yourself of all the reasons why you fell in love with him in the first place may help put things into perspective for you.

      I am quite familiar with and well-read in the MBTI. It is pretty accurate and eye-opening. It’s one of my main interests so it’s frequently on my mind and I tend to make a lot of connections to it, and I enjoy talking about / discussing it at length. I do like the ENFP and INFJ types as well — we are a rare bunch!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m an INTJ, but fell madly in love with an INFJ. I never saw the lava you speak of. She did teach me quite a lot but I think I taught her much as well. It was so interesting to be with her. Mentally we would each take small steps forward and keep waiting for the other person to step backward. Because that is how EVERY OTHER relationship happens. But it never did. We just kept slowly walking forward together. Getting closer and closer. It was the most magical relationship I’ve ever had. For once someone who understood me. Too bad I am married to someone else.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Well I’m a male INFJ and hope that’s not the same for me 🙄 I think speaking in our personalities defense that when we are less developed and more immature we kind of hold onto our initial Ni vision about someone without taking the time to check if it’s actually true… A way for an INTJ to understand this is how they might do the same but instead of it revolving around people they instead hold onto these closed off technical concepts which their intuition fools them into believing to be absolutely true but which they have never checked out the facts on… I know an INTJ female (I know right… rare) who blindly insists that the world is flat 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “As for the INFPs, it’s like walking on eggshells. They remain distant and hard to reach. I seem to offend them with my assertiveness and use of Te (extroverted thinking).”

    I love this description. Even though I’m INFP, I test strongly in Te and have tried to become more extroverted, perhaps to my detriment. But I have another INFP friend who fits this description perfectly. OMG the frustration of trying to connect!!!! It’s so endlessly debilitating! But when you succeed…then it all seems worthwhile.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It depends. I had a coworker who I learned was also an INFP. I worried that we might be too alike. We weren’t. He had enough T to balance my high F and we were able to call each other on each other’s “stuff.” The fact that we were both educated in Myers Briggs made a big difference, along with our profession being one that required us to face relationship issues and discuss them.

        When people talk about their MBTI type, I find myself wondering if they have studied MBTI in any depth, the combination of personality types and how they interact with one another. To imply that INFPs, INFJs or any type might be described with one picture is concerning.

        I would encourage people interested in MBTI to read more on the topic, even find a certified test provider who can explain results. One of the most helpful events for me came in the form of a workshop where SJs, NFs, NTs and SPs separated into groups where they all were asked the same question. The difference in answers were amazing and at the same time unsurprising. NFs answered with a list of feeling referenced ideas, NTs were more concise and to the point, SJs … well you get my point I think.

        To say that an INFP is an INFP is an INFP is erroneous. INTJargon I hope you didn’t mean that.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. To imply that I have not studied the MBTI in depth is insulting. (You’re saying that to an INTJ? Unless perhaps you think I’m mistyped. If so, then by all means, please elaborate. I’m always curious as to how I come across to others.)

          I’ve spent years studying the MBTI and feel I have a good grasp of it so I’ve since moved on to reading up on the Enneagram, which will take me another few years to master. It is my goal to integrate the two to have a more in-depth and intricate understanding of people and their personalities.

          Ps and the NFs—the NFPs in particular—tend to have the most trouble and hesitation with categorisations. (The NFJs make Fe categorisations but still state and hold on to the belief that people are too complex and unique to categorise, which makes for an interesting push-pull dynamic within them.) Categorising is the way our minds work and have evolved to do so. There are advantages and disadvantages to this, but overall, it’s more good than not. To escape from using it totally is to severely disable oneself. All things can be described and represented by one picture. The name—the noun we’ve ascribed to it—is in of itself a picture of it. Earthlings are the creatures living on earth. Dogs are furry animals that pant and wag their tails. Tables are inanimate objects with four legs and a flat surface on top. By you using the terms ‘INFPs’ and ‘INFJs’, you are already describing certain groups of people with one picture, with one acronym, with one mental representation of who they are and what they’re like as people. Of course, these are very broad representations and aren’t all-encompassing. It’s much more complex and complicated than that, but there are enough similarities between them for us to group them together under one heading, one noun, one name, one acronym, one category, one picture.

          Regarding your ‘INFPs in a box’ point in your other comment, the INFPs make up one of the sixteen (unequal) slices of the MBTI pie. This doesn’t mean that all INFPs are an exact replica of one another, but that there are certain factors, trends, and functions that link them all to the INFP type descriptions. Different levels of development, maturity, and mental health, as well as the different Enneagram types, life experiences, and such, would further shape each INFP into their own unique person. But, this is still just dividing that same slice of the pie into smaller pieces.

          Having said all that, however, in my main post, I was referring only to one specific characteristic of the NFs that I’ve personally met. To fully describe any one type in the broad sense and in general would require at least the length of a substantial book each. There’s so much to say, so much ground to cover.

          I am certified, but the certificate is a joke, really. When I realised that the trainer wasn’t that much of an expert on the topic and that I knew more than he did, I lost my respect for him. Funnily though, when he admitted it to me one-on-one, that was when I gained respect for him. Most, if not all, of the others in my cohort had barely read up on the MBTI before the course and had little to no knowledge about it. To place us all on the same level of expertise is worrisome. The certificate becomes merely a material possession to show that one had attended such a training and has no relevance to the amount of knowledge, understanding or expertise that one possesses. I’ve come across a few certified MBTI practitioners online and the grave mistakes they make are appalling.

          By the way, NTJs are concise, but not NTPs. ENTPs in particular are often terribly verbose.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I too have studied the MBTI for years, without certification, and you and I have corresponded in the past where there seemed to be a connection. I was surprised to read about your view of the NF “bubble” and how you experience being in the company of INFPs as an eggshell walking experience. I notice now in rereading your piece that three types have been described and of course I took your writing as all INFP related. “Feelings….”

            I reacted to your piece as a Feeler, obviously and did not mean to imply a lack of understanding of the MBTI. Obviously you know more than I do about it (no sarcasm) with a fresher knowledge than I. However, your description of your experiences with INFJs, ENFPs and later INFPs took me aback. How many people of these types do you know? I reacted, I suppose in part because over a year ago you and I connected through our blogs and again, as an NF I felt personally attacked. OF COURSE, you were not attacking me, and yet it felt that way. Is it possible that in not understanding how NFs relate (or do not) that your F (Fe?), no matter how slight was saying, “I’m here too!”? I heard pain and frustration.

            I do react with surprise to “It’s perplexing how most of the INFJs and ENFPs I’ve met lack an understanding and acceptance of the many different ways people function. And yet, they remain popular, well-liked, and regarded as wise.” And then, “They live in their NF bubble and try to mould others to become more NF in their ways, like Pygmalion. When their efforts are for naught and the other person remains unreceptive to their sculpting attempts, they become passive-aggressive and make jabs behind the person’s back. Other times, they spurt lava aggressively on the other person in retaliation to attacks, real or perceived. If it gets really bad, the volcano in them erupts. I’ve not hung around long enough to experience a full-fledged eruption and I can only imagine the damage it’d cause. I still have a fondness and admiration for these two types though, at least theoretically.”

            At least theoretically….. now there’s an NT statement! :~) I don’t think I even know how to have fondness theoretically! I agree about Pygmalion. I can be a social butterfly one day and a hermit the next. I DO feel strongly about many things and often forget that not everyone will want to suffer through my persuasive efforts.

            Wow. While I have spurted lava a time or two, I would say that quite often it has been because I did not feel understood or heard. My eruption was certainly not the best way to handle such particular situations and yet for all of my MBTI experience, at the moment I could not tone down my emotion. One coworker higher up the food chain, when using the word “emotion” would pause and then turn to me, saying my name. I had tried to get our team to do the MBTI and now realize that my feeling related explanations fell on deaf and/or defensive ears. Wow… you have really brought up some STUFF in me!

            I would say that most of the INFPs I know are well versed in the MBTI and have found it to be a welcome and even an AHA experience. For me my first experience was one of acceptance and permission to “think” as I do, with intuition and gut feelings. it was one of the most profound experiences of my life! For a while I had INFP on my license plate.

            And yet, even though I find your descriptions of NFs and their types a bit offensive, there is also much truth in your words. I would ask what you think might be the reason(s) INFPs might be distant and hard to reach. Could it be as a response to assertiveness and Te (a concept I am not fully acquainted). As an NF the need to be nice and harmony seeking often does result in a withdrawal from challenging words. UNTIL the big blowup! ENFJs in my experience have more of a handle on their emotions and can delineate issues verbally better than I.

            One of my dearest friends is an ENTP and we get along marvelously. She uses our relationship in presentations on personality. Since we know each other well, and know our types we are able to speak personality type when working together. I can tell her that I need her feeling response, or simply a listening ear and she can help me understand a logical perspective.

            Questions for INTJargon:
            -Are the NFs in your world aware of MBTI and their type?
            -Would you say that NTs feel as deeply as NFs (a silly question perhaps, and yet I perceive a feeling struggle in your writing at times.)
            -Is it possible that in writing about relationships you use your NT or Te, with little F saying, “Hey! What’s going on?” Or am I totally off base?

            Comment:
            I can’t help but find myself thinking of times when a borderline personality or dysfunctional situation is part of the picture. Does MBTI help or hinder in these situations? Can it help or is the situation without hope?

            I certainly do not think you need to be retyped! I hear your F screaming a bit though! Now if my T could voice herself more…

            Thanks.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Yes, there was a connection, so I was puzzled as to why (I felt like) you were attacking me. It seems like both of us felt personally attacked.

              I only know/knew a small handful of NFPs, but dozens of INFJs. I attract (and spot) them like crazy. However, as the post was written a year ago, I knew probably about a dozen or so INFJs then, with perhaps half of them in mind when writing it. I’ve since come to realise that I’d wrongfully grouped the INFJs and ENFPs together in this post, that they weren’t ENFPs but rather ENFJs. It’s the Fe-Fi clash. I don’t believe that the ENFPs would react that way.

              INTJs have tertiary Fi, not Fe. I’m not sure what you mean by my Fi saying “I’m here too”?

              I’m sure you’ve felt fondness theoretically, just perhaps not phrased that way. It’s the fondness for an ideal, an idea, a prince charming from a storybook; a fondness that you know may not be quite the same when you encounter it in reality.

              The INFPs spurt lava differently from the NFJs (who have Fe) and only when under a great deal of stress and pushed to the limits due to their/your inferior Te. Biting remarks that attack the other’s logic would be made, and then after, you’d be consumed by a wave of guilt and bewilderment at the monster that you had transformed into.

              Some of the reasons why INFPs are distant and hard to reach are due to their shy, quiet, soft-spoken, and sensitive nature. My assertiveness and Te make me more direct and straightforward in my communication. INFPs also tend not to mention when they get hurt, so the hurt builds up and the relationship fades away. An INFP and ISFP (both dominant-Fi types) I met during the course understood and agreed wholeheartedly with the ‘walking on eggshells’ description.

              In answer to your questions:

              1) Are the NFs in your world aware of MBTI and their type?
              – Only some are. I don’t know anyone in person who’s as well-versed or interested in the MBTI, which is unfortunate as I feel I could discuss the MBTI for hours on end.

              2) Would you say that NTs feel as deeply as NFs? (a silly question perhaps, and yet I perceive a feeling struggle in your writing at times.)
              – Rather than writing a long essay to answer this question, I’ll focus only on the INTJs (because NTPs have Fe, and while ENTJs have Fi, it’s an inferior function for them which transpires differently). I would say yes, just that we keep it hidden and we focus more on and communicate with logic. Just like how you, as an INFP, communicate through ideas (Ne) and logic (Te) although you feel emotions deeply and immensely. It’s typical for INFPs—and INTJs—to find it difficult to communicate, describe, or explain their emotions because it’s an inward process (Fi). It’s common for us INFPs and INTJs to (try to) express them through writing, poetry, music, and/or art. Young INTJs tend to experience intense emotions and not know how to adequately manage or deal with them yet. The number of times that I got angry as a child and teenager, I felt like I wanted to annihilate the world. But, just like with the INFPs, you don’t really see the intensity of emotions externally. We implode, not explode like the Fe types. What do you mean by “a feeling struggle”, by the way?

              3) Is it possible that in writing about relationships you use your NT or Te, with little F saying, “Hey! What’s going on?” Or am I totally off base?
              – I’m not sure what you mean. Do you mean with a little bit of F or with very little F? And what do you mean by me asking “what’s going on”? Just like how you communicate through ideas (Ne) and logic (Te), I communicate through logic (Te) and observations (Se).

              4) I can’t help but find myself thinking of times when a borderline personality or dysfunctional situation is part of the picture. Does MBTI help or hinder in these situations? Can it help or is the situation without hope?
              – The MBTI does not work with the typing of unhealthy individuals as it would skew the results. In instances like this, the MBTI does not help. However, the MBTI helps in understanding how unhealthy states would manifest in oneself or someone else, how and why one would react or appear (or is reacting and appearing) when in an unhealthy state, and how best to help them/oneself. The MBTI can be extremely helpful.

              “I hear your F screaming a bit though! Now if my T could voice herself more…”
              – My tertiary Fi screams through my writing here because I intentionally do so. I use this space as an outlet. You’d have a little more difficulty harnessing your Te because it is your inferior function.

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    1. I’m an INFP and sometimes slip into ENFP behavior. In the past people told me I was hard to reach, thought I was a snob when in fact I was scared to death! I was in nursing school and just trying to hold on. I don’t have much T and am excited when I discover a bit of logic within me.

      I don’t recognize myself as someone who is difficult to connect with. I tend to be open and willing to share my vulnerability if it fits the situation. Could it be that there are many levels of INFP-ness and there is no way to put us all in one box? I don’t think that is what INTJargon was trying to do with her description of an INFP,

      I connect deeply with people and yet if someone isn’t “worth” the emotional effort I won’t go there. Sometimes I feel I don’t have the emotional energy to get into a relationship that is more effort and drama than I can handle. I see that as self preservation more than anything.

      Liked by 2 people

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