Which other types are you most curious about?

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Which other types are you most curious about?

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Ago 14, 2007, 4:27 pm

Hi, I started this group because I am really interested in how people think.I have been studying the MBTI for a few months and, while I don't think the MBTI covers everything, I do find the descriptions, etc., fascinating. I am an INTJ, a rational, and I analyze about as much as I breathe. I am really curious about INFJs because they are the rarest types. I am also interested in ISFPs because they seem a little elusive and hard to describe. Anybody else?

Editado: Ago 14, 2007, 4:44 pm

I've been interested to some degree in the MBTI for years. My wife was typed as an INFP and I am an ENTP. Although I do a lot analytical work for my living, I am very much more of an intuitive type. We are both fairly extreme P's. I am only mildly extrovert.

Ago 14, 2007, 5:02 pm

vpfluke, does that mean that you're the quick-thinking witty type and that she is the deeply sensitive dreamer? Also, how does it feel to be an extreme P? (I wish I could relate.) How does it show itself?

Ago 14, 2007, 7:31 pm

Finally someone creates a group for this (I had thought of creating it myself). Thanks!

I took the test a couple of years ago as part of a joint effort at work to improve cooperation within our workgroup of seven (we do computer system administration at a university department). It was the authorized Myers-Briggs test, supervised by our human resources counsellor. I turned out ISTJ, or "inspector", and so did one of my colleagues (the members of our group were fairly evenly distributed along all four vectors, though).

Reading the Typelogic description, I think it suits me nicely; I'm genuinely concerned with facts and laws, and I do have a collection of encyclopedic books. I don't read much fiction. The university I work for is a state-owned establishment more than 500 years old, and I like it. Tradition rules!

Editado: Ago 14, 2007, 10:24 pm


I appreciate being called witty. In reality, I don't know. I like your description of my wife. I'll have to tell her that!

Extreme P is the type of person who doesn't bring closure (ever). In LT terms, it means reading a multitude of books at the same time, and not necessarily finishing them. Another LT "for instance": I've started a group called "Bestsellers Over the Years". I take each year that I somewhat sweepingly choose and list the top 10 bestselling fiction books of the U.S. for that year, and how many LT people own the book and the # of reviews. This project can go on forever. No closure. I don't recommend books, but only suggest some things about some books, i.e no judgment -- hence, I am no "J." Also, not getting rid of books -- we've got around 4,500 surely 45 more won't upset the applecart.

Ago 14, 2007, 11:13 pm

I had never heard of this before reading about it here. Very interesting.I took what is supposed to be a Myers-Briggs based test at HumanMetrics. It said I am an INTJ. Not sure I understand what that means too clearly. I'm trying to figure out what it implies about the books I like.

7allanr Primeira Mensagem
Ago 15, 2007, 1:37 am

INFP here, and FWIW I'm most interested in INFPs (one of my best friends in California is an INFP and we get along so well). FYI, I've been typed several times and it's always come out the same, and my scores are almost always very to the extreme of the scale. Most recently, a little over two years ago, an outplacement consultant looked at my profile and its extreme weight into each preference and clucked his tongue and almost rolled his eyes.

Editado: Ago 16, 2007, 9:28 am

We need to stick some books in here for people who might want to read about the MBTI. The books most oftern tagged with MBTI are:

Type talk, or, How to determine your personality type by Otto Kroeger.
Gifts differing : understanding personality type by Isabel Briggs Myers.
"Please understand me : character & temperament types" by David Keirsey.

The two books I have in my library tagged with MBTI are:

Four Spiritualities: Expressions of Self, Expression of Spirit by Peter T. Richardson.
Psychetypes: A new way of exploring personality by Michael Malone.

Another interesting book I found via tagmash is:
Beside ourselves : our hidden personality in everyday life.

Ago 15, 2007, 12:53 pm

Hi, everyone! I'm so glad we're all here.

#6 Phlox, you can get lots of info on INTJ on the web. If you start at Wikipedia & find the INTJ article, it'll provide a couple of links to other sites and you'll be off and running. I am assuming that you are a woman (correct me if I'm wrong) & you might be interested to know that less than 1% of women are INTJs (I am one myself); in fact, it is the rarest type for women. A few things starting to fall into place?

#5 vpfluke - I've heard that it's a good thing for personal development to try to move a bit towards the letters you are not and so I do try to. I have the hardest time trying to move my J towards a P, so I envy your openness and (presumed) spontaneity.

Editado: Ago 15, 2007, 1:06 pm

Unlike ones Enneagram, ones psychological type in the MBTI can change.

The Touchstones weren't working very well because I think both the server and browser at my end are real slow, as well as certain slowness at LT as one goes through the U.S. daylight hours. I will fix them late tonight or early tomorrow.

Ago 16, 2007, 12:42 am

citygirl: thank you for the invitation to participate in your group. I am an INFP. Like allanr, I am on the extreme end of the scale. I came to the typing through an excellent book by David Keirsey called Please Understand Me II. The book was given to me by my colleague at work, who is an INTP. I am interested in all the types. I'm a writer, and this concept has helped me to understand and to shape my characters better.

Ago 16, 2007, 5:25 pm

#11, TheresaW,

How has the typing helped you to shape your characters better? As you know, I also write and one of my fears is that all of my main characters are going to end up with a type similar to mine. I fear that I am such a Rational that I have trouble showing thought processes of different sorts. The question that guides most of my decisions is: is this going to get me the intended result (and there is ALWAYS an intended result)? I'd really like to understand those guided by different motivations.

Ago 16, 2007, 7:56 pm

Gosh, I really appreciate the responses my little message generated. Another time when I took MBTI inventory, administered by a women who was very well versed in Jungian psychology, she told that my extreme scores were an indication that I was very comfortable in my own type.

I discovered MBTI through one of Otto Kroeger's books and not through Kiersey. In turn I loaned the book to some very close friends who completely naive to MBT and they found the book very enlightening and in some ways helpful.

One thing that frustrates me about talking about MBT to those who are a little naive (FWIW, this includes people who have been typed by taking one of the instruments) to the system, is the constant conflation of I vs E scale to equate to outgoing personality vs. social shyness. There can be very outgoing Is and very socially shy Es.

Ago 16, 2007, 10:45 pm

#13 allanr

Yeah, when trying to figure out someone's type (without asking what it is), I often get confused about I v. E. I have trouble with than one and S v. N. I can figure out T v. F & P v. J pretty easily. But when you only see someone in a limited environment, i.e., the office, it's hard to figure out if they re-energize externally or internally. I'm having a better time starting from the 4 temperament combos (NFs, NTs, SPs and SJs). Any pointers, anyone?

Ago 16, 2007, 10:50 pm

With people in my office, the E keeps you apprised as they go along their work, but the I keeps their own counsel. The I in this place is actually more gregarious in a surface way.

The S wants facts and to see them laid out. The N sees the other side of the data, and maybe is more interpretive.

Ago 16, 2007, 10:54 pm

#14 I don't know if you read SF but The Wreck of the River of Stars by Michael Flynn is a Myers-Briggs laden novel. Miscommunication and misunderstanding between the types leads to tragedy.

Ago 17, 2007, 4:25 am

citygirl: One of the great aspects of PLEASE UNDERSTAND ME II is that Keirsey talks a bit about literary characters. Keirsey's writing is so enjoyable and full of information, that I couldn't help but take a great deal from it. One of the things he talked about was how the Wizard of Oz is about the four types: Dorothy/Guardian/Home; Tin Man/Idealist/ Heart; Scarecrow/Rational/Brain; and Lion/Artisan/Courage.

Before Keirsey, my characters did all tend to be like me, which was not very exciting. Now I understand better what motivates people and I look at my past and think, "Oh, mom was a Guardian; that's why she loved to collect dishes and make big meals!"

Of course the types can be just a foundation; other factors make characters what they are. But the types do make a great foundation.

Ago 17, 2007, 5:22 pm

Thank you, vpfluke, for the pointers. Quite clever. I'm going to watch my co-workers with those ideas in mind.

Thanks, VisibleGhost and Theresa W, for book recommendations. I'm not usually a scifigirl, but I don't rule it out, so I'll check out Wreck. Please Understand Me is in my shopping cart.

Ago 17, 2007, 6:13 pm

I've looked at Kiersey's book... I should pick it up sometime. I write too, but it's interesting in general because I'm analytical enough that the differences in personalities are generally fascinating, and omnivorous enough in my fascination that all of them are equally so :)

I took a real test once but I can't remember what I ended up with. INTJ, I think, but I'm right on the border with the T and J. The online things will give me any of the four combos, depending on my mood and their algorithm... my actual response to the either-or questions in a lot of cases is 'both', which radio buttons don't much care for.

Ago 18, 2007, 10:13 am

I seem to switch between I and E, and F and T, with most (online) tests I take. I'm universally consistent in N and J, though. I'd love to know more about "true" INFJs and ENFJs, just because I feel more affinity with INTJ or ENTJ as a personal type. Just to see where the differences lie, I guess. ;)

(And I really am a mix of I and E; sometimes I need to re-charge at home, and sometimes a large gathering of people leaves me feeling energised. Maybe I have a dual personality). :P

Ago 19, 2007, 10:59 pm

Thanks for the invitation to your group, citygirl! It's a pleasure to meet another female INTJ. In fact, come to think of it, you may be the very first other one I've ever "met" (a sobering thought).

Quick question for vpfluke (message #4), please. You mentioned Four Spiritualities: Expressions of Self, Expression of Spirit by Peter T. Richardson. What did you think of it? Is it worth tracking down to buy? The only book I've ever read on MBTI and spiritual expression is Knowing Me-Knowing You: Exploring Personality Type and Temperament by Malcolm Goldsmith - which, while it's both insightful and witty, is somewhat limited in scope as it's essentially an Anglican publication. As a Buddhist I would enjoy reading something that examines the question across many religious/spiritual traditions.

P.S. About seesawing between types... I've always consistently tested as INTJ. The I-aspect is especially pronounced. I sometimes joke that if I were any more introverted, I'd be dead.

Ago 20, 2007, 12:00 am

On a quick look, I couldn't find Four Spiritualities: Expressions of Self, Expression of Spirit by Peter T. Richardson, in my library -- the problem with having over 4,000 books. I have tried pulling all my Enneagram books together, but haven't gotten to do that with all my Jungian oriented books. I did look it up on worldcat to find out what size it is (23 cm) to help me find it, and I tried to place/remember the cover shown, both to no avail

I didn't rate the book, which usually means I didn't read it through.

So, I took a look at amazon.com, and found out that the author is Unitarian. The book looks at different religions, so it is not for Christians only. He looks at the two middle letters in the MBTI, and ascribes NT to the Way of Unity (Buddha, Buckminster Fuller, Thomas Merton), SF to the way of Devotion (Mohammed, St. Francis, Nicodemus), ST to the way of Works (Moses, George Washington, Confucius) and NF to the way of Harmony (Jesus, Wiliam Blake, Rilke, Tagore).

So, you might find this interesting.

Ago 20, 2007, 3:16 am

And indeed as an NF, I am very drawn to Jesus, Blake, Rilke, and TAgore. That was really neat. Thanks for that.

Ago 20, 2007, 10:36 am

I am an NT, but I don't necessarily feel a draw to the Buddha, but I did like Buckminster Fuller and his geodesic domes (The American pavilion at Expo 67 in Montreal was built as a geodesic dome).

Amazon reprints the index of "Four Spiritualities", and that is where I got the list of names. Also, Amazon lets you read the first chapter if you want to get a feel for the book. Unless you are "building" a Jungian collection of books, I think one should handle a book, if possible, before buying it.

I am writing some things now as my wife felt that writing stuff after midnight from our bedroom's computer was not the thing to do.

I did read a book once on prayer types based on these four types, based on four major Catholic religious orders. I think they were Franciscan, Carmelite, Benedictine, and Jesuit. But I think I looked through this book at a retreat house, because I don't remember cataloging it.

Although there are lots of books on Google books, Four Spiritualities is not there yet. This can give an alternate look into a book if it has a "limited view" allowance ("snippet view" is almost worthless)

Editado: Ago 20, 2007, 12:45 pm

#21 chamekke.

Welcome! I don't think I know any female INTJ's either. (Well, I have suspicions about my best friend, but I'm not sure.) Also, I find that my "I" drifts around depending on my general environment. Right now, I do most of my work alone. At first I liked it but now it's driving me crazy! I have to make a conscious effort to be more extroverted (which I think is a healthy thing for me to do). I am seeking another position that puts me more in contact with people. When that happens, I'll probably find myself expressing more extroverted traits easily.

Four Spiritualities sounds interesting. I have been wondering about the connection between type and religion/spirituality. Obviously, people of all types can be found in all faiths and in no faith, but it would be interesting to see if some types are more prevalent in certain religious activities. For example, perhaps NFs can be found easily in the clergy, because of their ability to connect with people. And no doubt NTs do a lot of studying.

Ago 27, 2007, 10:23 am

I never realized that few women were INTJ. I've scored INTJ consistantly every time tested regardless of mood lol.

I've often wondered about the variances in having someone do a Myers-Briggs on someone else.

The difference in how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us.

Ago 27, 2007, 11:05 am

There is a difference between having a professional help develope your MBTI vs. the more causal typecasting we ourselves do on other people to understand them better. My wife and I were given the MBTI as a kind of wedding present by a friend who worked with it professionally, so I don't think there was a bias. In some sense, any of the 16 types is "good." The problems are more in how do you deal with the shadow side of your personality. And if you look at dreams, the influence of your anima or animus on your life can be interesting.

Ago 27, 2007, 1:00 pm

#27 vpfluke: And if you look at dreams, the influence of your anima or animus on your life can be interesting.

Would you elaborate, please? The animus the type with completely different preferences, right? Mine would be ESFP, yours would be ISFJ. . . . But then what?

Ago 27, 2007, 3:25 pm

I'm an INTJ, but people perceive me as highly extrovert. Most of my friends that have taken the test are ENFPs or INTJs (many female INTJs there).

(I have an ex who makes all of his flirts/dates take the test. He refuses to date anyone who's not an INTJ.)

Ago 27, 2007, 4:13 pm

#28 citygirl
I was thinking more directly Jungian than MBTI when I made the comment on anima/animus. I am an ENTP, according to http://typelogic.com , my anima would be ISFP. So, 3/4 of the types are oppposite. I previously hadn't thought of anima as another MBTI type, but I can see I do have a mode that erupts at work where I function aginst type. It usually only happens one week in each of the four seasons of the year. I actually think I go to ISFJ, which typelogic describes as "novelty". And I had thought of it more in terms of "positive shadow". I don't have clear answers on this stuff.

Ago 27, 2007, 7:41 pm

#30 vpfluke, How do we discern the influence of the anima in our life? I don't remember where I read it (of course) that under periods of great stress we begin acting like our anima. Is that what happens to you one week out the year?

#29 desideo.

Is your ex also an INTJ? Also, if you don't mind (and I understand if you do), are all of these INTJ females that you know in a certain type of career path or in an environment where a group of them might collect, i.e., engineering school, architecture school? Because I think that sounds pretty awesome. What do you guys talk about?

BTW, I love it that this group is collecting all these INTJ girls. I had pretty much resigned myself to being the only one in the room. LT rocks.

Ago 27, 2007, 7:55 pm


Yeah, he's an INTJ, too. I have another INTJ ex, as well, who is ALSO currently dating an INTJ girl who could be my long-lost twin when it comes to likes, dislikes, quirks, &c. Completely surrounded by my kind, it seems!

No, (Why would I mind? Perfectly valid question!) my INTJ girlfriends are all very diverse - geographically as well as academically/professionally. Sweden, Canada, US, Spain. Bartender, investment banker, lawyer, designer, &c.

What we talk about? Haha, well, books is a pretty common topic, I must say. ;)

Ago 27, 2007, 8:47 pm

I do change my personality under stress. And it happens just before I need to deliver bus schedules for the new season. These require Union review and approval, after having gone through management approval and worrying about the budget and all that. Because the dates are absolute, I become less affable (more I) (abouut 20 years ago I notice looking cautious when passing me when I'm in this other mode); I focus on actual details and accuracy instead of the relative big pciture (more S); I have to keep my feelings focused on the output for the public and for the drivers (the mental work of proving what needs to be done has been done) (more F); and I have to absolutely conform to a deadline and make quick sharp final judgments on a lot of little issues (more J). So maybe that's my anima coming into play.

Of course, none of this has anything to do with books. Scheduling is a craft about which relatively little is written. The best guide to big city bus scheduling (produced in the U.S.) was done in the late 1940's by the public transport system of New Orleans, of all places. This guide will help detrmine whether you should use quarte minutes for your schedules, and how often running time periods should change throughout the day, and how to make your driver's work days come out more efficiently, etc.

Ago 28, 2007, 11:44 am

On #5:

Extreme P is the type of person who doesn't bring closure (ever). In LT terms, it means reading a multitude of books at the same time, and not necessarily finishing them.

I never, ever thought of my multiple-book issue as a personality thing. That's really interesting. I had a friend in high school, who was probably either an ESTJ or an ISTJ, not sure which, and he used to pick on me horribly for reading multiple books at a time. But it's always worked for me. I've got my upstairs book, my downstairs book, my bedtime book, my comic relief, my dinnertable book, my bathroom book, the emergency copy of Dubliners in the glove compartment... not to mention the book I'm currently reading.

But maybe it's because I'm an INFP that I can do that - carry all these characters and plots around and never get confused. Maybe my friend teased me because it was a talent he didn't have. But there was definitely something fundamentally different about us, because he couldn't read more than one book at a time, and me, I get really nervous if I don't have another book to turn to when I finish the one I'm working on.

Ago 28, 2007, 11:56 am

#34 ambushed. I'm guessing, but E/ISTJs probably tend toward more linear thinking (applying new information to issue at hand in a straightforward manner) and Ns more heuristic (applying new information to anything it connects to in knowledge base, a more scattered approach). I bet that shows up in number of books read at a time and number of projects going at one time.

Ago 28, 2007, 12:14 pm

My wife and I have over 20 books checked out of the library as I write. We won't really read every one of them.

Ago 28, 2007, 7:51 pm

#35 citygirl; I'm ISTJ and while I prefer to keep the number of "unfinished" books low, I'm not disciplined enough to actually get through them within reasonable time, and eventually I may decide to abandon a book and perhaps start over with it another time. Since I don't read that much fiction anyway I don't consider this issue an important aspect of my habits; non-fiction is often accessed for reference rather than read from cover to cover (though I happen to do that too, as I don't want to miss any important information).

I do have a number of "projects" as well, though most of them I haven't really started with, just anticipated. I'm not comfortable with leaving them unfinished either, but sometimes I simply don't have time to carry them through.

As for picking on somebody else for reading multiple books simultaneously, I consider that a narrowminded and rude thing to do. While I may not enjoy it myself, I don't see why others shouldn't be able to. I guess the "picker" was an ESTJ then. :-)

And, I find the idea of keeping different books for different contexts quite reasonable and practical; thereby you avoid having to carry each book around with you. I like the systematic approach.

Which book I'm currently reading? The instruction booklet for my new camera, and I carry it along in my bag almost wherever I go...

Set 2, 2007, 5:02 pm

#37 sm5por As for picking on somebody else for reading multiple books simultaneously, I consider that a narrowminded and rude thing to do. While I may not enjoy it myself, I don't see why others shouldn't be able to.

That's exactly the reason why I think people should be taught about MBTI. I think that people sometimes expect everyone to think like they do and have the same responses, etc., and it's such a wonderful thing to able to appreciate people who are different. If everyone were the same, the world would be really boring.

Set 2, 2007, 5:52 pm

Yeah, I agree. The whole 'Oh, people can actually think/function like THIS?!' epiphany came pretty late in life for me - imagine all the frustration it would have saved me (and others), had it come sooner!

Editado: Set 25, 2007, 10:11 pm

If you're curious about the INTP type, I've compiled a list of pertinent links at my website: here.

Any link that says "Profile" is what you're looking for. Unless you're an INTP yourself; then you'd probably want to browse through all of them.

Set 26, 2007, 11:20 am

Thanks for the links. Love the clouds.

Set 26, 2007, 8:18 pm

I hope it helps - personally, the only types I can begin to understand are the ones closest to mine, INTJ and INFP.

Set 27, 2007, 11:16 am

I know what you mean, chainedwind. Earlier in my life, I couldn't figure out if I was the alien or if it was everyone else. But as I've grown I've really come to appreciate the differences. In the school environment in which I grew up my differences didn't really serve me, so I was resentful of the people who didn't understand what I had to offer, who tried to put me in their little boxes (insert refrain from song "Little Boxes"). But then I found out about the wide world and that there's space for everybody. As I grew more secure I began to see that sometimes people are truly emotionally affected by circumstances that don't touch me at all and that if you're nice to them, your world gets bigger. Sorry if I'm not making total sense. I haven't had my coffee yet. I think I'd better go get it. I'll try again later.

Set 27, 2007, 1:13 pm

citygirl: I'd really enjoy some examples/anecdotes. I've always been a complete and utter social chameleon, completely unaffected socially by my INTJ status, so I'd really love some insights into your experiences. (That goes for everyone, of course!)

Set 27, 2007, 2:17 pm

It's funny you say that about being a chameleon. I'm like that, too, & so is my INTJ husband. In both cases, I'd say it became a survival tool. You have a choice: chameleon or hermit. Have you heard this: people who belong nowhere belong everywhere?

Anyway, examples & anecdotes, hmm lessee:

---As a child I was teased mercilessly by the other children. I went to a small religious school that did not have a gifted or honors program and advocated groupthink. I think I was a little too different for them and I had not yet learned tact. It doesn't help when some teachers treat you like a prize poodle and others as if you're some kind of leprous freak because you can outhink them and aren't afraid to show it. (Bitter, party of one.) As I approached adolescence, I learned to blend in (which meant "dumb down" in many cases) and exercise tact. I learned to pair up with more extroverted, fun-loving kids, so their friends became mine and I got invited to do fun things. In return I offered my insights, witty ;) observations and willingness to do others' homework for profit. (I was also really good at thinking up revenge scenarios for my friends when they'd been slighted.) I also lent credibility to shady enterprises because parents & teachers could never envision that I could get into trouble and I was a good liar. That continued through adulthood (well, not the homework for profit part and now I'm almost too honest). So I guess I learned to use my INTJ traits to social advantage rather than alienation. But it was always hard to find people with whom I could truly be myself. I was usually faking something.

Does that answer the question?

Set 27, 2007, 2:28 pm

Absolutely - very interesting read, too!

Set 27, 2007, 5:51 pm

See, this is why I'm trying to conduct a survey of the students in my year. I'm quite sure that the science/tech magnet school environment has a different mix of types than a typical high school - despite the MBTI's faults and flaws, it certainly shows /something/.

(Of course, it's entirely likely that I'll graduate before I can get to everyone. I'm not exactly hurrying it.)

Set 27, 2007, 6:02 pm

45: citygirl, reading your story (especially the part about pairing up with extroverted kids) made me think of Lisa Simpson in one particular episode of the TV series. I then took the Humanmetrics test, answering the questions as I think Lisa Simpson would have done. My ("her") type then came out as INTJ (preference strength percentages 56-38-38-89, respectively). Surprised? I'm not...

Editado: Set 27, 2007, 6:10 pm

47 - chainedwind. That makes sense. I was wondering how you knew so many Rationals.
48 - sm5por. I think you're right about Lisa. I've always identified with that character, strongly. She tugs at my heart.

Dez 4, 2007, 3:58 pm

I'm most curious about my own type - I have trouble recognizing other INTJs. However, it's easy to recognize the people who aren't, LOL!

Dez 6, 2007, 5:33 pm

Jose, maybe INTJs are hard to recognize because they're hard to find, lol. Just look for the person in the room who doesn't give a damn what anyone else thinks and has know-it-all tendencies. But as discussed in one thread or another, some INTJs are chameleon-like, so that makes it tricky.

52Bibliophiliacattack Primeira Mensagem
Editado: Dez 6, 2007, 7:42 pm

I am most curious about INFJ's for many reasons: 1) they are the rarest of types 2) Keirsey states INFJ's have the greatest access to archetypal material (this fascinates me) 3) and despite being feelers they outperform other types in business according to a graph in the MBTI manual. Outperforming TJ's in business goes against what type theory predicts. Also, the INFJ's I have worked with are exceptionally verbal and especially skillful in how they deal with others. Note: I will have to review the manual again. The graph I am speaking of may specifically refer to entrepreneurs.

Editado: Jan 5, 2008, 9:20 pm

I'm a male INFJ (very strong scores for all four too) and I think I'm most interested in types close to my own, particularly the INTJ and INFP. I suspect that this is because I think that it will help me not only to understand them but to understand myself.

citygirl's experiences in messages 43 and 45 rang true for me too. I've usually had to adapt my behaviour in order to 'fit in' or suffer for being 'different'. For most of my life I've been surrounded by people who don't seem to think or feel about things in the ways that I do; perhaps most importantly, they don't CARE like I do and that's often been a very heavy burden to bear.

So I too am a social chameleon and like most INFJs I have few REAL friends. Those I have are always very close and tend to be female. I'm not really interested in traditionally 'male' topics like sports, fast cars, or beer (I am interested in girls though so there is some common ground). I find my female friends less threatening, more sympathetic, and more willing to discuss art, music, history, and their and my emotions (these last two are, of course, topics of considerable interest to an INFJ).

In my experience INFJs are readily able to behave as a T, particularly if they are members of a T orientated profession. I'm not sure whether or not they find it easier than other F types. I do know however, that much of what the manual says about INTJs chimes with my own view of myself, even though I'm actually VERY strongly F. I would never claim to understand INTJs better than they do themselves, but I find our similarities and differences intriguing. I would also never claim to be truly 'rational' as over-analyzing every decision makes me ill.

I'd agree that INFJs are 'exceptionally verbal and especially skillful in how they deal with others'. That's certainly true of me IF I am not paralyzed by extreme introversion (which sometimes I am). I've always been 'arty' as well as 'sciencey'. So as well as being a doctor with a BSc in Immunology I'm also an amateur actor, an unpublished poet*, a self-taught singer-songwriter, and have a Masters in Medieval History (Which explains 'historydoctor').

* My ENFJ father and brother are both published poets but I've always been too shy to submit any of my own work - it's far too personal to risk it being rejected.

With all this going on in my head you'll appreciate that people struggle to understand me in my entirety. But I got lucky - I married another INFJ last year and she understands me just as I understand her: without even having to try. It simply works and we're both so grateful that it does; at last, no more pretending so as to avoid being hurt by others.

Of course I write as a male INFJ and I know that there are a few female INFJs out there who might have a different perspective on all this. However, I showed my wife this posting and she agreed that it pretty much describes her as well.

I got a bit carried away here but you DID ask. I hope you found that helpful. No, really, I'm an INFJ: I like helping people, it's what we're for.:-)

(Seriously, the idea of 'homework for profit' shocks me: at Uni I always helped people for free. How could I watch a friend struggle with something, knowing that I could help and yet not offer to do so?)

Jan 6, 2008, 1:36 pm

Aaah, thus the difference between the INFJ and INTJ. I have no problem leaving others to their own devices or being left to mine. Not that I'm hard-hearted, but someone who has fallen behind in his homework is not quite the same as someone who is sick or lost a loved one or something of that nature. You make your bed, I make mine. See?

Jan 6, 2008, 1:54 pm

Well, they always claimed that they needed help understanding it, rather than simply being lazy; I only helped my friends (small group for an INFJ of course) and didn't help the obviously lazy. But I take your point. I think all introverts like being left to their own devices and actually I agree about the bed-making, but when a friend asks for help...

Are INFJs a 'soft touch'? I fear that if you pull the right strings the answer is yes. Of course finding the right strings may be tricky.

Editado: Jan 6, 2008, 11:59 pm

Oh, I forgot to mention that when I typed 'shocks me' earlier I was being rhetorical; 'doesn't surprise me' would have been more accurate. I can imagine an INTJ doing homework for profit more readily than an INFJ would. I'd be interested to know if you made some form of contractual agreement beforehand? In my case if someone offered to cook dinner, or gave me a small box of chocolates a few days later (this happened more than once), I'd be touched but I wouldn't expect or solicit such a gift.

Incidentally this made me wonder whether someone who receives a 'psychological reward' for doing supposed 'good deeds', as an INFJ does, can really be said to be 'altruistic' or 'selfless'? Perhaps it depends upon your definition of 'altruism'?

57fearlessphoenix Primeira Mensagem
Jan 9, 2008, 11:58 pm

#56 That would be an Ayn Randian debate if I ever saw one. I am the anamoly Female INTJ . . .

Jan 10, 2008, 11:14 am

>57 fearlessphoenix:

There are at least two other female INTJs here. Our fearless leader citygirl is one, and I am another. There are probably scads more that I'm forgetting... my apologies!

Jan 10, 2008, 11:39 am

Oh, historydoc, in response to your question re contracts, it was usually, "You're smart, right? If I give you $50 (or whatever), will you do this stuff for me so I can graduate (or whatever)?"

"Okay. I like money and I'd hate for you not to graduate." And being an INTJ I finish whatever I start, so it was all good.

As for altruism, try this: if you feel good about yourself you're more likely to make positive contributions to the people around you, your community, etc. If doing good deeds makes you feel good, everybody wins.

Jan 10, 2008, 12:02 pm

That's fair enough then, it'd be pretty weird to turn down the offer of $50.

'Everybody wins' sounds good to me.

Jan 10, 2008, 12:19 pm

Well, I suppose I could have said, "Oh no! That's not ethical. You must do your own work." But in high school you gotta fight the Man, right? Heck, you always gotta fight the Man. Unless you are the Man, I suppose it would not be in your self-interest. I digress. (A little sleep-deprived.)

I know the "everybody wins" is a little simplistic, but the alternative is kind of navel-gazing, and lord knows I've done enough navel-gazing. I'm on to other things now.

Jan 10, 2008, 11:03 pm

They'd just have found some other way of cheating and you'd have been down $50. That seems to be the way the world works.

My navel has also been pretty well gazed at, especially lately!

Jan 11, 2008, 12:00 am

> 56 Incidentally this made me wonder whether someone who receives a 'psychological reward' for doing supposed 'good deeds', as an INFJ does, can really be said to be 'altruistic' or 'selfless'? Perhaps it depends upon your definition of 'altruism'?

H.H. the Dalai Lama refers to altruism as being "wisely selfish", because you're rewarded by the happiness that comes from helping others.

Whether it's "truly" altruistic... who cares? The glow that comes from helping make someone else happy isn't necessarily why I do it, but it's an awfully nice by-product, isn't it :-)

Jan 11, 2008, 7:24 am

Yes it is. I was just ruminating.