View Full Version : INFP profile
11-18-2007, 06:24 AM
“What is a poet? An unhappy man who hides deep anguish in his heart, but whose lips are so formed that when the sigh and cry pass through them, it sounds like lovely music. …Of course, a critic resembles a poet to a hair, except he has no anguish in his heart, no music on his lips.So I tell you, I would rather be a swineherd at Amagebro and be understood by the swine than a poet and misunderstood by people.” Soren Kierkegaard.
This essay has been initially inspired by Paul James’ INTP profile. I deem for the INFP to the type that is most like the INTP. The salient common factor is introverted judgment. As Jung himself mentioned in the Psychological Types that everything we have noted in regards to the Introverted Thinking type will be true for the Introverted Feeling type after we have replaced the Thinking for Feeling. Introverted Judgment is the mechanism that is instilled in both of them, and Thinking/Feeling is the fuel they operate on.
Before we begin, I should however claim that my task is very different from that of Paul James. He wished to depict the way people with the INTP unconscious tendencies, or temperament tend to behave. I consider for such experiments in thought to be dangerous because they tend to lead to a confusion between temperament and personality, as we know that the deleterious consequence of this is pigeonholing. Our temperament is no more than our unconscious tendencies. It manifests primarily in the mind, our concrete actions are an entailment of this. Because temperament manifests primarily in the mind, Jung studied philosophy. As there he could examine the way the minds of a variety of thinkers worked. At first, certainly, he observed these tendencies through concrete actions, but then when he discovered where the actions derived from. He took his inquiry a step further and proceeded to explore the root. In this profile I will merely attempt to depict how the mind of the INFP tends to work. How this will manifest in your personal life is for you to figure out, as that will be contingent upon your personal choices. Thus, in order to avoid the problem of pigeonholing, I will only write about what you do not have control over and shall pass what you do have control over in silence.
For clarity’s sake it would be prudent for us to define our terms before we begin.
Temperament-An unconscious tendency immanent within our mind.
Type-The way temperament manifests in our conscious mind through personality.
When we talk about an INFP, we merely talk about unconscious tendencies or temperament. When we talk about an INFP person, or what INFPs tend to be like or what they tend to, a Keirseyan exegesis, we are referring to a type. Tendencies of type tend not to be fundamental to our nature or our unconscious mind, as temperaments do indeed tend to manifest themselves in a myriad of fashions. Type tends to be profoundly influenced by external circumstances. As for instance, an INFP in Greenland would be radically different from an INFP in India, despite them both having the same temperament.
Introversion-An attitude that defines the world in relation to the self
Extroversion-An attitude that defines the self in relation to the world.
Judging function-Our decision making faculties
Perceiving function-Information collecting faculties.
Thinking-Decision making faculties that abide by an impersonal standard.
Feeling-Decision making faculties abiding by a person-centered standard.
Introverted Feeling- A decision making faculty that defines the self from within, based on an internal criteria and defines the rest of the world in relation to the elected criteria.
Extroverted Intuition-An information collecting faculty that assesses information for quality based on external agenda. Generally based on how well ideas depict external phenomena.
Introverted Sensing-An information collecting faculty that assess concrete information for quality based on an internal agenda. Memories and concrete facts are seen as an end in themselves and do not need to depict the external world in order to be considered satisfactory.
Extroverted Thinking-An externally focused impersonal decision making faculty that relies on an external standard for legitimation.
Primary Axis: Introverted Thinking - Extraverted Intuition
The INFP is governed primarily by Introverted Feeling. This is a rational function and therefore strives to create internal order. Extroverted Intuition tends to be used in service of this faculty. Experiences are to be assessed based on the personal values elected by the INFP. Unlike the dominant Introverted Thinking temperament—the INTP who seeks to derive an understanding of external experiences, the INFP seeks to derive a sense of personal meaning. An INTP asks what is the most accurate model to depict the observed phenomenon, yet the INFP would ask—what personal lesson could be derived from this particular experience? And how this is conducive to an establishment of sound personal values. In short, whilst the INTP tends to ask—what is true, the INFP asks what is humane? As Soren Kierkegaard, famously wrote
11-18-2007, 06:27 AM
There is something missing in my life, and it has to do with my need to understand what I must do, what I must know-except, of course, that a certain amount of knowledge is presupposed in every action. I need to understand my purpose in life, to see what God wants me to do, and this means that I must find a truth which is true for me, that I must find that Idea for which I can live and die. For what would it profit me if I found the so-called ‘objective truth’, if I worked through all the systems of philosophy and were able to analyze them and expose their inconsistencies; what would it profit me to develop a political theory and combine all the intricate details of politics into a complete whole, and so construct a world for the exhibition of others but in which I did not live; what would it profit me if I develop the correct interpretation of Christianity in which I resolved all the internal problems, if it had no deeper significance for me and for my life; what would it profit me if truth stood before me cold and naked; indifferent to whether I recognized her or not, creating in me paroxysms of anxiety rather than confident devotion?’’.
This suffices to depict the discrepancy between the INTP’s search for truth and the INFP’s search for authenticity. However, we should take note that despite the striking contrast in attitudes of these two types, the similarities seem to be more prominent as they both find it paramount to discover a higher purpose and devote their lives to this archetypal notion. Much like for the INTP, the experience tends to take a ‘back-seat’ role for the INFP, as they too tend to be highly theoretical. Paul James writes in regards to the INTP “what is not yet understood is a very powerful force in the life of an INTP.” As powerful of a driving force for the INFP would be the need to come to benign terms with their external environment. Introverted Feeling can be characterized by the will and need to love to the same extent as Introverted Thinking by the need to understand all. Therefore the INFP seeks to find harmony with all things in an analogous fashion to the INTP attempting to find an objective understanding of all things. The INFP seeks a subjective understanding of all things, or personal sympathy, in a fashion much akin to the INTP seeking an objective understanding of all things. John Milton’s search for paradise is a glaring example of the INFP’s longing for harmony, as well as Virgil’s beuatification of Rome. John Milton was an avid reader of Virgil’s work and greatly admired his style of poetry. He too, deeply sympathized with the need to romanticize due to the irrepressible drive for harmony that permeated his being. And he once asked himself, Virgil glorified Rome, but why glorify a nation when you can glorify God? Isn’t God the most deserving entity of adulation there could be? The Romans can certainly disappoint you, though God, given that he truly is as magnanimous as he is in the scripture must love you back. This, somewhat portentous essence of character is perhaps the most prominent in the INFP psyche. This shows that unlike an Extroverted Feeler whose primary goal in life tends to be ‘to love’, the INFP finds it more important ‘to be loved’. An Extroverted Feeler would wish to make an emotional attachment under all circumstances, whilst the Introverted Feeler would experience intense reservations unless they thought that what they have inputted would truly be appreciated.
11-18-2007, 06:28 AM
This seems to evince that the function of Introverted Feeling gives one a more direct access to the essence of pure feeling than extroverted. For this reason the INFP tends to be more aware of whether or not their input has been appreciated on the level it deserved to be. Their longing for harmony first and foremost leads them to make intense emotional attachments to ideas that they are compelled by from a person-centered perspective. And since they are unable to remove themselves from the situations that their minds place them in, they very much envision themselves as having the basic emotional human needs. Due to their inability to detach, they always envision themselves as protagonists in their reveries. Fi gives them a direct view of their personality, from a person-centered perspective. Whatever they do, they always engage in vicariously. Introverted Feeling, much like Introverted Thinking possesses the ability to focus intensely. The INFP, unlike the INTP focuses intensely on the human element. Hence, the INFP will devote their whole might to whatever catches their sympathies. For this reason, one can get the impression that they feel through whatever is important to them with all of their being. As aforementioned, Introverted Feeling is a direct representation of their personality in action. Thus, due to the intense focus and an intensely personal approach to life the INFPs, much like INTPs often get lost in their thoughts. The salient difference between an INTP and an INFP is that the latter takes a person-centered approach, and may feel charged from contemplation, as an introvert, though likely will be emotionally drained afterwards, had the experience had a negative emotional tone. An INTP, on the other hand is always sheltered from this due to detachment. In this respect, INFPs are absent-minded professors to nearly the same extent as the INTPs. Though their intense ability to focus comes in at a time when their feeling-sensibilities, as opposed to analytical faculties are engaged. As we have defined earlier, introversion is an attitude that defines the external world in relation to itself. Therefore, the INFP defines the external world in relation to its feeling-based assessments. For an Extroverted Feeler, Feelings likely would be means to the end of an external endeavor. Yet, for an INFP, feelings are always an end in itself. They do not require any external signal for legitimation, as they can be legitimated by virtue of themselves. For this reason, an INFP is least likely of all types to downplay their feelings. There dwells an immensely powerful unconscious drive within them which insists on their feelings being treated as valid, not only their feelings, but the notion of the human sentiment in general. Hence, the essence of pure feeling for the INFP is analogous to pure logic for the INTP. For this reason, the INFP will likely be very stubborn to comply with a stipulation, much like the INTP, before having had a chance to think it through for themselves. Unlike the INTP from whom we are likely to receive stubborn resistance, the INFP will silently reject the stipulation tainting their attitude towards the person, yet will conceal their rejection until their values are violated to a great extent. In such a scenarion, they likely would have no choice but to treat the person in an effusive fashion. Both INTPs and INFPs tend to be conflict-avoidant. Both are due to their need to conserve energy, as being intensely internally focused they tend to have little external energy, as well as they have an intense need to protect the integrity of their inner world. The INFP, however, will be even more conflict-avoidant because of their intense need for harmony with all things, that is the driving force behind nearly all of their thought and action. Thus conflict resolution can be highly problematic for INFPs, the less developed the Te, the more likely this problem is to abound. Earlier, we have mentioned that the primary drive of an Extroverted Feeler is to direct passions to the outside, and by these merits their whole being will be fulfilled. The Introverted Feeler, however, does not need to direct passions to the outside in order to be fulfilled, because he/she can accomplish this internally. The Extroverted Feeler, is the go-getter, one who likely will do all that is necessary in order to achieve the goal of being loved, ostensibly by attempting to 'love others'. Yet the INFP needs to be engaged first. This is much akin to how INTPs tend to be excellent self-starters when engaged by a task, though non-starters when not-engaged. This is a property of Extroverted Intuition for both types, as we can only be informed of the task through our perceiving function. Since the perceiving function for INPs is extroverted, it must derive from the outside. They may remain stagnant for long periods of time due to their internsely internally focused nature, much unlike ENPs who would pursue the external tasks in a highly energetic fashion. For this reason, the INFP, as beforementioned is highly likely to retreat to the inner world for intense emotional experiences. Introverted Feeling, as a dominant function, always needs to be making decisions, as we see that it is an end in itself and therefore internally fueled. Hence, so long as the inner being is in operational mode for the INFP, Introverted Feeling will be in session. This is much analogous to the INTP's need to be consistently challenged. Thus, the INFP consistently needs to be in a state of harmony. For this reason, as for many mentioned above, the INFP is more likely to withdraw into the inner world of reveries than other types. Harmony is a must accomplish objective, and if it cannot be found in the outer world, the INFP will doubtlessly turn to where it could be found. Very often, when the external world does not comport to the vision of an INFP, the INFP is forced to seek a place where their vision could be thought of as a reality. This stresses their very strong introverted nature, or primacy of the inner world over the outer. Much like Hegel, an INTP philosopher once said, 'If the facts do not comport to my system, so much worse for the facts'. Much like the INFP will disregard not only concrete facts or empirical observations of the outer world, but also ideas that do not comport to their intricate feeling-based system of values.
11-18-2007, 06:32 AM
INFPs seek out intense emotional experiences, that is due to the sheer depth and intensity of Introverted Feeling. Depth of emotional experience for an INFP is analogous to depth of dispassionate thought for the INTP. For this reason, the INFP poets like Virgil, Shakespeare and Kierkegaard were the ones who shed most light on the profundity of 'human spirit'. No more effervescent intensity and profundity of passion could be found in a few other works, likely those of other dominant Introverted Feeling types.
Therefore they not only wish to affirm others, but tend to find the reciprocation of this to be necessary. For this reason, Milton was not satisfied with just glorifying a nation, as something akin to the nation (this does not need to be interpreted literally, we can think of a nation as a metaphor for an entity of this world, as opposed to the ‘world to come’.) could potentially have taken his feelings lightly, yet an omni-benevolent being would not. Though perhaps the salient reason why the Introverted Feeler differs from an Extrovert in this regard is that the Introverted judging function tends to set abstract goals, those that cannot be assessed in terms of concrete benchmarks that Judgers tend to employ. Thus, such an unconscious tendency within the INFP psyche suffices to explain John Milton's fascination with grand universal themes, such as the origin of Evil. The INFP, much like the INTP shall seek out the grand principles which could be established as paradigmatic for the ebb and flow of the entire universe. The Rationalist philosophers thought that if they found the axioms on which the design of the universe hinged on, the formula outlining the way the entire world works shall follow as a logical entailment. An INFP parallel to this would be that if we were to find the true essence of human nature and learn to love it, we would come to harmony with the entire world. Hence, John Milton identified this axiom as the origin of evil. Satan as the pereptrator of evil, and romanticized him. He even learned to love his Satan. Thus, based on this one can say if we learned to love even Satan, nothing should stop us from coming to full harmony with all things that are. Much like the younger brother Kamaramazov, who was doubtlessly an INFP was known to love the person almost to the extent that he was wicked. Or the more wicked a person was, the more he loved him. Hence, the more difficult an object is to harmonize for an INFP, the more resolute they will be on coming to harmony with the subject. Much like the more difficult an idea is to understand for an INTP, the more resolute he will be on putting a grasp over the idea. Thus, the INFP's drive to harmonize what we are out of harmony with parallels the INTP's drive to understand what has not yet been understood.
11-18-2007, 06:33 AM
The INFP must first understand that their mindset is comprehended and accepted by others before they could move themselves out to the open. This, as aforementioned tends to lead to major reservations. For that reason also, they tend to cling to their idealistic visions of ‘kindness and understanding’, that is, simply because they are unable to find a place that is fitting for their high ideals. An INTP can claim to having undergone similar experiences whereas their thoughts are not comprehended because their decision-making faculty is too abstract to be of use to practically minded individuals. As Leanor Thomson once pointed out, that even INTPs with highly developed communication skills struggle to express their thoughts in a way that Extroverted Thinkers could understand, because their ideas tend to have little meaning to them because no clear-cut application to the real world is observable. The INTP however, can explain the essence of their ideas to the Judgers on the theoretical level, as they tend to be objective communicators. Judgers will not be at ease dealing with such ways of thinking, but their affinity with logic will lead them to find common ground with the INTP. However, for the INFP, the dilemma is more difficult. Being more subjectively inclined, INFPs are unable to explain their ideas to Extroverted Feelers from whom they may often look for sympathy. The more the INFP is misunderstood, the more reservations they shall experience. Emotional comfort will derive almost entirely from within. This means that they are not directly influenced by the emotions of others much like Extroverted Feelers, but at first retreat and then process it through in their solitary meditations. For this reason, INFPs can be mistaken for being cold, on the notion that they dont feel at all, as they do not demonstrate emotion on the spot as EFJs tend to. Yet, no notion could have been any more foolhardy, INFPs process their passions more intensely and more profoundly than all other types due to their dominant Introverted Feeling nature. Unlike the Extroverted Feeler who may need ritual-like consistent reassurance of being appreciated, the INFP merely needs to know that they are appreciated. Much like the Extroverted Thinker needs to be solving problems consistently in order to feel competent, the Introverted Thinker only needs to know that he can solve a problem if necessary. Since Introverted Feeling requires more authenticity than Extroverted, due to the factor of introversion which demands more depth, the INFP, despite the lack of a need for constant reassurance will require to be appreciated more in order to be in their own element. The INFP is most influenced of all types by their emotional environment due to the fact that their feeling preferrence is stronger than that of other types. It should be noted, however, that extroversion almost by property of itself implies a more scattered attunement with many entities at the same time, whilst introversion implies an intense attunement with a few entities. Based on this, one could speculate that the INFP is only intensely attuned with the few things that are held in high esteem by their values, and has little regard for things that are not honored by their value system. This may be true, however, almost irrespectively of the situation they are facing, an INFP will find a few entities in their environment to be intensely emotionally attuned with. For this reason, the INFP will be more influenced by their external environment more than the Extroverted Feeling type.
11-18-2007, 06:34 AM
Moreover, we should notice that the INFP as an introverted judger, does not rely on external symbols for communication. This quality stands in sharp contrast with the Extroverted Judger. An example of this distinction is as follows. If we show EJ a table, and say that we ought to call this a table, they will become attached to such a symbol and will not wish to call the object as anything other than a table. An IP, an INFP in this case, crafts symbols internally. Therefore they could express almost any notion because they can craft any kind of a symbol that their mind shall conjure. The idea of boundless expression is clearly more germane to the INFP than any other type. The ideas may not be easily understood by others, however, this would change as soon as the readers understood the INFP's symbols. A parallel to this with the INTP would be the work of Hegel and Heidegger who invented words of their own to convey their ideas. Their justification was that the conventional symbols do not allow for them to depict their ideas faithfully to what they have in mind, thus they need to invent symbols of their own. This is a hallmark of a highly individualistic mind. As well as an entailment of the following: with Jung we have learned that introverts are closer in tune with their unconscious. That is because the unconscious mind is the true essence of mind, the conscious is merely an external manifestation of the unconscious. Therefore the deeper the person is in his thought, the closer he is to the unconscious. And the more his external perceptions are influenced by his unconscious mind. The perceptions are often altered to fit the flavor of the person's inner being. Thus, INPs, for this reason often have difficulty collecting information in a truly objective fashion. However, the bright side of this notion is that the INPs are least influenced by the external environment, thus they are most closely in tune with their inner being. The search for higher purpose is without a doubt at the primacy of the agenda of an INP. Thus, because of such a radically individualistic approach to life, the INPs tend to see everything as means to the end of being as close in tune with their inner being. That is their purpose which underlies all of their external agendas. We also could infer from Jungian inquiry that the Extroverted Mentality tends to accept the world for what it is, but the Introverted tends to accept the mind for what it is. The Introverted mentality, accordingly will seek the essence that underlies the external world. For this reason, IN philosophers have been fascinated by ontological idealism--or the notion that the utlimate reality is not in matter, but in the mind.
11-18-2007, 06:35 AM
This is no doubt a property of introversion. INPs, being the most internally focused, gravitate towards ontological idealism more than other types. Whilst INTP philosophers like Hegel and Spinoza equated logic with metaphysics, believing that every occurence obeys the pre-existing law of logic, INFPs would equate feeling with ultimate reality or metaphysics. INFPs tend to see the world as an environment where not a single action is devoid of personal meaning. For every occurence, in the world of an INFP, there is a personal reason. Thus, contrary to Albert Einstein saying that God does not play dice, as every event is bound by the laws of logic. For the INFP no event is bound by any law, but only by one's personal motives. Here we should allude to the Hegel/Kierkegaard discrepancy, as Kierkegaard argues that Hegel's equation of logic with ultimate reality makes it impossible for one to be a human being.
Unlike the INTP who seeks to understand principles of the real world, the INFP will be more than happy removing their grasp from the external world. Possibly even be content with finding harmony in the world they have created. So long, as of course they have found harmony of some kind. Such a retreat will advance the INFP further towards the position John Milton was in, where they would be longing for the perfect world that has no place in the external reality. Much like Jung noted about the Introverted Thinking type, that the more he retreats into his inner world, the more he rejects ideas that are oriented around empirical evidence. Therefore his thoughts become mythological because they have little grounding in the external world and because of this they will be unintelligible to others. The INTP’s logic may be impeccable, but the problems he solved flawlessly were mythological problems and therefore his solutions can not be accepted as solutions to the problems of the real world. Analogously, the INFP may have retained a high degree of integrity in the inner world, but may have made serious blunders in the external world due to a lack of awareness of the external situation. A poignant example of this would be an INFP who highly values sensitivity, as most tend to, misunderstanding the situation she/he is dealing with and attempting to be as sensitive as possible in accordance to the situation that they are dealing with. Yet, when they come out to deal with the external world, the other person may perceive them as insensitive, despite their earnest effort and sincerity. That is because the person that they tended to was not dealing with the situation that the INFP has envisaged. This is a consequence of an Introverted Judgment eclipsing the INFP’s Extroverted Intuition. Intuition is a perceiving faculty. A function that we collect information with. If this faculty is lacking, we will not be able to solve problems that befall us properly because we will not be aware of what the problems are. We should also note that the Extroverted Intuition of the INFP is often aimed inwards due to the primacy of an Introverted Function-Introverted Feeling. Fi-Introverted Feeling, bends the Extroverted Intuition inwards and therefore creates the effect germane to Introverted Intuition. This leads the INFP, unlike most perceiving types to merely collect information that is fitting with the goals set by Introverted Feeling, instead of collecting all information as their extroverted cousin ENFP would be more likely to. This also leads the INFP to be able to derive profound meaning from complex ideas much like the INFJs do with their Introverted Intuition. This phenomenon is best depicted in Dostoevsky’s Intuitive psychological insights in outstandings novels like Brothers Karamazov , The Idiot, and Notes from Underground. In those writings, it was clear that Dostoevsky discovered those notions not from careful analysis, or even examinations of Feelings, but rather purely intuitively. As he made connections that he did swiftly and projected them onto a variety of other entities, and his ability to do this with hardly any hesitation seems to suggest that this was not a conscious process for him. The INFPs also have this gift, they in fact may be better than the INFJ in deriving profound meaning in complex ideas. INFJ, as a dominant Introverted Intuiting type, is likely the most Intuitive type.
11-18-2007, 06:36 AM
However, one does not need as much Intuitive power in order to derive profound insights. INFJs often have more intuitions than they can consciously process. INFPs, on the other hand, are often able to consciously process-or apply feeling-oriented judgments to nearly all of their Intuitions. Their raw intuitions in themselves may not link them to direct insights as they would with the INFJs, but this certainly happens after they have applied Introverted Judgment to the contemplated idea.
Thus, despite the Intuitions lacking depth (Extroverted Intuition, and not Introverted, auxiliary and not primary), INFPs are able to derive more depth than the INFJs due to the profundity of their conscious assessment. (Introverted Feeling). Thus, whilst INFJs examine all of their Intuitions with a less than profound apparatus (Extroverted Feeling), INFPs examine only small portions of their Intuitions, but examine them thoroughly. So hence, we notice that Dostoevksy, an INFJ, had a variety of insights on a myriad of topics. Yet, as a critic of his work, one can argue that they were not as profound as the insights of Shakespeare and Kierkegaard, both of whom were INFPs. As Walter Kaufman once noted, it seems like moving from Kierkegaard to Dostoevsky is much like being blown out of a tiny room on a sailboat into a seemingly boundless ocean. This is a striking picture of the discrepancy between a Judging function and an Intuitive, and INPs who have made a conscious effort to cultivate their auxiliary Extroverted Intuition could likely attest to having experiences that they’d depict as such. It almost seems like Dostoevsky’s work was concocted to the strict end of ridiculing Kierkegaard’s. Such a remark of course seems to miss the notion that the works of Kierkegaard and Shakespeare emphasized the few explored topics in great depth. Whilst Dostoevsky’s work, asides from several profound insights, seemed to have lacked focus and profundity by comparison. As we notice that Kierkegaard was intensely focused on the phenomenon of becoming and living a Christian, yet Dostoevsky did not have one clear-cut theme to underlie all of his thought experiments, they seemed to be scattered through a myriad of subjects. It appeared to be the case that whilst Kierkegaard had a clearly defined internal focus, Dostoevsky was aimlessly exploring ideas, only hoping to be able to show that they at least tangentially relate to one another.
11-18-2007, 06:37 AM
Much like the INTPs, INFPs are drawn to complexities, as this factor tends to be common and prominent among Introverted-Intuitive types. INFPs tend to be highly proficient decision-makers in the realm of the human element. This does not merely address the province of interpersonal relationships, but also the field of arts and literature. Literature especially tends to be an area where INFPs tend to excel. In this respect it is analogous to science and philosophy for INTPs, as the most influential literary artists and poets were INFPs. Homer, Shakespeare, Virgil, and Kierkegaard are cases in point. The companionship of Extroverted Intuition with Introverted Feeling makes the INFP gravitate towards experiences that require improvisation. We know that Extroverted Perceiving functions tend to be adept at image manipulation. For this reason, NPs, especially ENPs tend to be the most competent persona builders. An example of this would be Soren Kierkegaard's active use of pseudonyms in expression of his ideas. Though unlike an ENP, he maintained a clear focus on the inner being of his characters and the purpose he pursued in his writings. It often seemed like the essence that underlied such characters was the same, though utilized differently for the sake of different purpose. Whilst an ENP may have tried to be a different person altogether, had they carried out a task germane to Kierkegaard's, yet Kierkegaard was able to see the distinction between persona and essence of the individual and used personas as means to the end of expressing the essence of one individual that he had in mind. INFPs, are able to understand the subjective thought processes (feelings) of others due to their Fi factor of empathy. Extroverted Intuition accommodates in this regard as it allows for them to see the situation clearly from the perspective of another person. As Bertrand Russell once made a remark that bears a semblance on how an INTP’s mind shall see the world in the best case scenario.
‘The free intellect will see as God might see, without here and now, without hopes and fears, without the trammels of customary beliefs and traditional prejudices, calmly, dispassionately, in the sole and exclusive desire of knowledge—knowledge as impersonal, as purely contemplative, as it is possible for man to attain.’
One could say that since INFPs first need to harmonize before they could understand, their understanding is undermined. As their feelings would cloud their judgments. Yet, this is not true as understanding follows as an entailment of harmonizing. Much like Milton harmonized himself with Satan, therefore pacified his passions by coming to terms or harmony with them, and at that point nothing prevented him from gaining as accurate of an understanding into the characters of individuals his inquiry embarked on. Thus, what we have here is the Ti attaining a profound impersonal understanding of phenomena it embarks on and Ne provides the ‘tower view’. The Fi-Ne axis works in a similar way. If the INTP strives to concoct a mathematical equation that maps out the ebb and flow of the entire world, the INFP does the same to understand the true essence of human nature and all of our motivations. INFPs are often able to discern the smallest aspects of the human element and understand them thoroughly, as well as INTPs are often able to understand the smallest aspects of complex, impersonal theories. Accordingly, INFPs tend to construct a worldview based on their personal values through careful thought as analogously to how INTPs tend to construct their world-view based on dispassionate reasoning. Thus, the INTP may have a view of the impersonal laws of nature in a fashion much akin to how God may see them, the INFP would have the same relationship to the person-centered situations. Attaining a profound understanding of the inner motives of individuals and human nature by and large, as well as avoiding being ‘stuck in a rut’ and hence having the ability to have a view that is as extensive as it is profound. Though we should take note that because of the INTP’s objective approach to ideas, they wish to understand the world no matter what. However, an INFP must first attain harmony with the external environment in order to attempt to understand it. For this reason, the INFP often tends to focus more on the people and atmospheres that they are most closely in tune with.
11-18-2007, 06:38 AM
This is especially pertinent to the people they tend to deal with, as they invest most of their energy in those they have bonded close with and seek to attain as much understanding of them as possible. They tend to devote little energy to those that they have not reconciled to on as profound of a level. Needless to say that INFPs, due to their person-centered approach to life find it most important to come to a point of emotional reconciliation with others before they could go further. This is analogous to the INTP attaining as objective and impartial of an attitude as possible before further inquiry takes place. In regards to John Milton’s quest for paradise, it should be noted that it was more than a mere attempt to harmonize. It does well to symbolize the search for a higher purpose on behalf of the Introverted Judgers. Such a quest is pertinent in the mindset of an INFP. The search for paradise represents the highest possible person-centered (Feeling) objective one can attain, which shall keep the INFP centered. The notion ‘higher’ implies one that does not relate to goals of this world (Extroverted Judgment) but goals that are to be set internally and transcend this world through one’s inner consciousness. In Spinoza’s philosophy we find a rather portentous doctrine of Intellectual Love of God. God, for Spinoza, is equated with the infinite essence, so we need not assume anthropomorphic entailments to this term. What he means by the term of intellectual love of God is attunement with the highest possible and infinite essence through depth of thought, or the intellect. This shall transform us from within and the vision of this higher purpose will be a perennial guiding light. Similar mindset tends to befall INFPs as well. Unlike through the depth of Thought do they wish to attain authenticity, but rather through the depth of Feeling. Schopenhauer’s philosophy can vouch for the notion of salvation through depth of Feeling.
He thought that through intense contemplation of art, our egocentric nature shall surrender to the power of compassion and we escape the perennial state of strife that we are embedded in because our minds will be mollified. Inner peace is central to the agenda of an Introverted Judging mindset, and follows as an entailment of acquisition of a higher purpose. We should note that the Introverted Judging mindset is highly individualistic and therefore entails propensities towards self-absorption. A discovery of a higher purpose is the only sound panacea for this problem. INFPs are more likely to succumb to the problem of self-absorption than INTPs because, the former, being detached tend to have their conscious self play a smaller role in their inner world. INFPs, on the other hand can hardly imagine having a flight of fantasy without including themselves in it. INPs have natural tendencies towards the pursuit of a higher purpose. However, they should ensure that they truly have found something greater than themselves, as otherwise they would be mistaken mere self-apotheosis for the higher purpose they seem to have envisaged. If a higher purpose has indeed been found, the INFP will likely devote all of their energy towards being in closer affinity with their vision and likely castigating themselves in dire pangs of conscience in the event of a slight failure.
“So I muddied in the stream of friendship with the filth of lewdness and clouded its clear waters with hell’s black river of lust. And yet, despite such putrid depravity, I was in vain enough to harbor an ambition to succeed in the world. I also fell in love, which was a trap of my own making. My God, God of mercy, how good you were to me, for you mixed much bitterness in that cup of pleasure. My love was returned, and I became chained in the shackles of its consummation. Even in the midst of my joys I was embroiled in tribulation, lashed by the cruel rods of jealousy, suspicion, fear, anger and bitter argument ” St.Augustine
11-18-2007, 06:41 AM
As the last word on the interplay of Introverted Feeling and Extroverted Intuition, the following should be noted in regards to the latter.
Extroverted Intuition is a perceiving function, as aforementioned. Jung seems to have inherited Hegel’s master-slave dialect. Whereas, we notice in our typology that when we have not developed our lesser functions, they merely act as serfs of our dominant functions. Accordingly, an INFP who has not developed the Extroverted Intuition will merely collect information and make Intuitive connections for the sake of satisfying the agenda set by Introverted Feeling. Unlike the INTP who tends to take an impersonal approach to the circumstances and therefore retain objectivity, stands a greater chance of avoiding one-sidedness than the INFP. The INTP could be persuaded through logically rigorous argument, yet the INFP can only be persuaded through the Feeling-oriented aspect. As mentioned before, this is more difficult than in the case of the INTP, as the former’s agenda tends to be easier to understand because it is objective. For this reason, the INTP may be able to avoid being one-sided by obtaining, a theoretical, objective understanding of the idea that has been presented to them. The INFP may be frozen in only their own perspective. This ossification in their prejudices also precludes them from furthering their quest for a higher purpose, as in that case their Intuition, on which they rely for exploration of ideas becomes unavailable. And moreover, their longing for affirmation of their value systems will preclude them from entertaining new ideas for the purposes of emendation of their current value system. In such cases of neurosis, the INFP will not be able to surrender their current value system, even if it be pernicious because their intense sensitivity will compel them to equate rejection of their values with a denigration of their character. Moreover, they likely will be unreceptive to whatever information contraposes with their Feelings, and therefore exhibit unusual truculence towards all notions that they disagree with. As then, not only must the idea that they embrace derive from the inside, as is the case for the Introverted Thinker, but also it must be in tune with their personal sensibilities. This often leads to INFP becoming very dogmatic in their opinions. However this could be rectified if the presenter makes it clear that they do not wish to contravene the Feelings of the INFP, and despite the disagreement, very much supports the INFP’s value system. This, furthermore outlines the notion that the INFP can only be persuaded through attunement with the Feeling element, as analogously to how an INTP must be persuaded through attunement with the Thinking element. I.E, logically sound argument. The problem that both of these types incur in regards to diminution of Extroverted Intuition, is that they will tend to make decisions before they have managed to collect sufficient information. And as before mentioned, will not be able to collect information with a truly open-mind as their thoughts are influenced almost solely by the Introverted Feeling to which Extroverted Intuition is a servile lackey. Development of Extroverted Intuition liquidates the dilemma of potential one-sidedness as the auxiliary function becomes emancipated from the serfdom of the superior. Intuition, by property of itself, processes ideas. Thus, in such an event, the INFP will not be afflicted with the malady of collecting only information that is desired by the Introverted Judgment. INPs, as aforementioned tend to explore subjects in great depth with intense focus, whilst the Intuition oriented thinkers (hence, the Dostoevsky example), explore more ideas, yet with less of an intense of a focus. Extroverted Intuition is the most extensive function of all. An INP who has mastered Extroverted Intuition will be able to concoct a worldview that is almost as broad as it is deep. Aristotle and Shakespeare the case in point. Ivory tower academics are examples of INTPs who have not accomplished this task, and Kierkegaard to whose work we can refer to as being stuck in a dimly lit room, is an example of an INFP who has not accomplished the task.
11-18-2007, 06:46 AM
Introverted Sensing is the tertiary function of the INFP. Commonly referred to as the ‘child-like function’. It is often strong enough to have a say consistently throughout the life of the mind of an INFP, unlike the inferior Extroverted Thinking. However, not strong enough to profoundly influence the Introverted Feeling and Extroverted Intuition. It is more difficult to emancipate Introverted Sensing from the grips of Introverted Feeling than Extroverted Intuition. Introverted Sensing is primarily oriented towards concrete information, which is to be acquired through mere recollection-or memory. Unlike Extroverted Sensing, Introverted Sensing primarily focuses on information needed by the individual, and not information needed for the group. As well as the individual’s most cherished memories, as opposed to those to be most cherished by the group. (For this latter reason Extroverted Sensors (ESPs) tend to be more fraternal than other types. They focus primarily on group activities which will lead to memories to be cherished.) Introverted Sensing is the most nostalgic of all functions. As its primary focus is memories that were important to the individual. Being a serf of Introverted Feeling, first and foremost, as well as Extroverted Intuition—the Introverted Sensing will pinpoint only the facts that the Introverted Feeling deems important, and those that Extroverted Intuition decides are worthy of speculation. Thus, the INFP with a low self-esteem often easily invokes memories that are unfavorable, and with the high, those that are favorable. As we see that the Introverted Sensing is often entirely at the disposal of the Introverted Feeling. A healthy Introverted Sensing will lead the INFP to make another step towards attunement with Extroverted Thinking, as Introverted Sensing is the function closest to their inferior. Thus, when an INFP with a highly developed Introverted Sensing attempts to reminisce or think about concrete facts and procedures, the invokation of their Thinking faculty follows as an entailment. Memories are often a reliable path towards connection with the Inferior Extroverted Thinking for the INFP. Introverted Sensing is not merely a perceiving, or information collecting faculty, but is also a function that makes us in tune with the concrete world. Individuals with a strong Sensing function tend to be highly pragmatic. For this reason, we notice as David Keirsey has, that Sensing-Judging individuals, or those with a dominant or auxiliary Introverted Sensing tend to be the supreme logisticians. This is because of their close attunement with the concrete world. Hence, ISTJs tend to be keenly aware of how the practical world works. Sensing and Intuition are perceiving functions, ones that focus not on a specific problem like Judging functions do, but the environment by and large. Introversion is an attitude most concerned with what is needed for the subject. Sensing is most concerned with the concrete environment. Therefore Introverted Sensing is most keenly aware of our concrete environment and the knowledge that we need to interact therewith. An INFP with a highly developed Introverted Sensing will make a big step forward towards accepting the world for what it is. As at that point they will also have developed the Extroverted Intuition. Hence, the two sound perceiving functions will allow for them to overcome one of the most significant problems INPs tend to be faced with. Or that of collecting only the kind of information the Introverted Judgment deems fit. Hence, if an INFP can collect information in a truly objective fashion, they will overcome the dilemma of being disconnected from the world and being locked in the museum of their own reveries. After this has been accomplished, the INFP should be in the position to progress towards development of Extroverted Thinking. At this point the INFP will be ready to not only perceive the world for what it is, but also make judicious impersonal assessments of the external environment.
Moreover, this will lead to a decline in inner conflict within the mind of an INFP, as the discrepancy between what the INFP grudgingly accepts as the truth, and what they feel should be true will decline. Introverted Sensing will give the INFP more grounding in the real world, one that they truly wish to harmonize themselves with, not the one that their minds have concocted to replace. As implied before, this happens by virtue of Introverted Sensing being in close tune with the concrete world. If the Extroverted Thinking has developed as an entailment of cultivation of Introverted Sensing, the INFP will likely be able to view the world with a sober eye. Though clearly, Introverted Sensing is more than half of the battle, as there the INFP will be in the position to avoid being stuck in the museum of their own reveries which only push them further from the external world. Extroverted Thinking is only necessary to cement their efforts of getting out of the position where they were 'stuck in their own head'. At that point they will likely be able to harmonize themselves with the world as it truly is, and at this point they will be devoid of much inner conflict. The inner conflict follows as a consequence of an INFP having disregarded the external realities in favor of bending the picture to the extent where it would be easier to harmonize with, and the INFP eventually discovering that their attempts to harmonize can not be thought of as legitimate for this reason. Because they only think they have harmonized themselves with the world, but only harmonized themselves with their illusory vision of the world. In order to find true harmony, the INFP must obtain a realistic view of the world, and there is no better way to start this than by attempting to cultivate Introverted Sensing. The most down to Earth and common-sensical function one can encounter. Only this, and not many of their sentimental illusions will pave their way for inner peace. The only true goal in life of an Introverted Judger.
11-18-2007, 06:53 AM
Inferior Function: Extroverted Thinking
Thinking, as is well known tends to be the least developed function of the INFP. It is appropriately referred to as the shadow of the INFP. For this reason, we notice that the INFP has difficulty performing Thinking oriented functions. They often struggle to assess the situation from an impersonal, rather than personal standpoint. See what needs improvement, as opposed to what is most desirable. INFPs tend to find mechanistical views of the world to be particularly loathsome, exactly the kind that Hegel was fascinated with and Kierkegaard repulsed by. Thus, INFPs often have difficulty delivering criticism because they are unable to see things from the standpoint where events simply need to take place because they are part of the system. Where they are guided by an impersonal design, rather than personal will. The INFP will also have difficulty making tough-minded decisions as they tend to equate this with sabboutaging their own feelings, and when forced to make a decision that will likely hurt someone else, they, believing that everything that happens in the world as a result of personal will, will tend to think that not the decision itself hurt the other person, but they personally have because they were involved in it. They would have difficulty seeing the situation in any other fashion, as beforementioned, in every activity they engage in, they prefer to be involved in with 'all their might', with all of their passions intact.
Their behavior often displays itself as the maladjusted Extroverted Thinking, which is what this is in mere essence. The most notorious dilemma the INFP tends to be afflicted with in regards to the malfunctioning Extroverted Thinking is one outlined by the Hegel’s master-slave dialect. We know that Introverted Feeling is the strongest function of the INFP. Extroverted Thinking, the weakest, respectively. Thus, the Extroverted Thinking will be most obedient to the functions ranked higher, and primarily to Introverted Feeling. The INFP primarily relies on Introverted Feeling for the construction of their worldview. Thus, when a notion contravenes their value system, as previously mentioned, INFPs tend to get irate. That is to be attributed to their inferior Thinking faculty. They cannot separate the criticism of their idea from their personal identity because it accesses their feelings directly. Thinkers tend to be able to separate attacks upon themselves into those that are descriptive of their character, and those that are not. They accomplish this in virtue of their impersonal approach to life, as they treat the matters they think about as mere objects to make discoveries in regards to. INFPs are unable to do this because they are unable to separate their feelings from their objective perceptions. Due to this inability, and their unconscious use of the Thinking faculty, they often wish to see the world conform to the way they feel it should be. Intellectually, they hear a dim voice from the background of their psyche pointing out the logical essence of their situation, yet it is often overwhelmed by the despotic tone of their superior Introverted Feeling faculty. The master-slave relationship between the Introverted Feeling and Extroverted Thinking is analogous to that of Introverted Feeling and Extroverted Intuition. The Introverted Feeling only accepts logical explanations that are favorable to itself, and those that are not favorable are either disregarded completely or adjusted to whatever extent necessary to satisfy the agenda of Introverted Feeling. Or in other words, here the INFP will befool him/herself into believing that reality is either something they need not take interest in, or it is exactly the way they want for it to be. Thus, after the INFP has become dogmatic in their opinions, Extroverted Thinking, the most servile lackey of Introverted Feeling will be utilized to pass off what the INFP feels to be the truth as a logically sound argument, which they shall impose on others in a very common-place TJ fashion. Until the INFP has gained conscious control of their inferior function, the self-imposed delirium will not cease. When highly stressed their much neglected impersonal thoughts will haunt them in a form of their unconscious impulses that they neither wish to deal with nor understand. Moreover, it should be noted that INFPs, despite their intellectually adaptable mindset (NP) tend to be rigid in explorations of impersonal ideas because Extroverted Thinking is a J-oriented faculty. For this reason, they may experience difficulties in rapidly subject-changing NTP oriented discussions of ideas, and if their impersonal views are to be changed at all, they must be changed gradually, as characteristically of a typical Judging mindset. For this reason also, INFPs prefer structure when dealing with impersonal matters, as unlike the Introverted Thinkers, they are unable to improvise. Many of the problems above can be rectified through conscious use of Extroverted Thinking. At that point the INFP will be able to recognize impersonal ideas for what they truly are, uninfluenced by their feelings and act in accordance to what is most sound. Not in accordance to what they, or anyone else may feel is desirable. Until then, they will have to rely on the Fi-Te axis(going merely by their feelings that ‘feel logical’), the unreliable reasoning that they have. Or the Ne-Te axis, which is to be preferred, as when the INFP extroverts, their Intuitions connect them to logic. Or finally, the storage of concrete information having derived from Introverted Sensing. With that procedure, the INFP will merely memorize how impersonal decisions are to be made. As an NP, the INFP finds this one the least desirable of the three. The most favorable way is likely the second, that of the Ne-Te axis, as this is the most intuitive approach and requires the least conscious attunement with their inferior function. However, the ‘Si method’ is likely more conducive to the overall growth of the INFP. Introverted Sensing links the INFP to their Inferior function because it is adjacent to it. Thus an INFP who has mastered Introverted Sensing will be more comfortable with their Extroverted Thinking as the two are intimately intertwined. The INFP shall not make a conscious effort to this, but merely will be successful at this as soon as their Introverted Sensing has developed naturally. At that point, they will also feel their Extroverted Thinking enter the sphere of conscious use. Naturally, the INFP will be most comfortable with ‘the feels logical’ Fi-Te method. However, the most sound approach to the matter would be the Intuitive. First, cultivating Extroverted Intuition, and afterwards the INFP will feel in closer affinity with Extroverted Thinking than with their primary Introverted Feeling.
11-21-2007, 01:01 PM
Still waiting on your INTJ description solitary walker. I have read your posts here and on intpc and you do seem to possess an incredible amount of knowledge on mbti so i am very interested to see your take on this.
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