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INFP Community v2: Lovers, Dreamers, and Me

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[Aug. 18th, 2008|05:53 am]
INFP Community v2: Lovers, Dreamers, and Me


Are any of you INFPs who act more like a different type when you're at work?

I'm a journalist and I am extremely good at talking with people I've never met, being outgoing and just generally very extroverted, despite being a happy introvert at home on my own time.

Also, bringing up a discussion a friend and I had not long ago, do you think that there are "healthy" and "unhealthy" types of INFPs, or of any MBTI type, the way there are healthy or unhealthy levels along the enneagram?

[User Picture]From: reasonjo
2008-08-18 11:07 am (UTC)

I don't act differently so much because I'm at work, but when I'm comfortable in a situation my extraverted traits are much more obvious. People that know me well are often surprised to learn that I'm an introvert.

When I'm in a completely unfamiliar situation I'm usually fine too.. just like I am around people I know.


As soon as I'm in an unfamiliar or uncomfortable situation with people that I know a little bit, but don't know well I retreat into my shell. I've just started a new job and because the people I'm working with are still very unfamiliar I'm very quiet and keep to myself. In a few months when I feel more comfortable I'll start to behave more like "me" and I think that people will be shocked that I can actually talk! :)

I definitely think there are healthy and unhealthy variations of every type. I learned the term 'in the grip' in a course that I did - which basically means when a person is under a pressure or stressed out they don't 'function' as they should for their type and use their inferior function, which is immature, underdevloped and basically an unhealthy state to be in.
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[User Picture]From: godspoodle
2008-08-18 08:05 pm (UTC)
I don't think it's so simple as 'healthy' and 'unhealthy' because each type is composed of functions (INFP = Fi, Ne, Si, Te), and each function can have an unhealthy/underdeveloped manifestation or way of interacting with the others. Si particularly (our Tertiary function) presents specific problems (withdrawing from the world, being stubborn/set in our ways, resisting change, etc). This relates to less use of our Ne (iNtuition) by the dominant introverted Feeling. Still, it's something tailored to the individual in terms of their function use and the specific history they had developing them or even relying on non-native functions. With the Enneagram, things are much more streamlined.

Something else to note: the idea that introverts have to be shy or even antisocial is a myth at best, a prejudice at worst. Just because you can be social doesn't mean you're acting like another type, though in fact anyone has the capacity to act in any way they want, should they choose to; the point is that the type is our preferred method of functioning, not the straightjacket that determines our actions. An introvert is merely going to be more energized/refreshed by alone time than by the company of others-- that's as far as it goes. It has nothing to do with how well you get along with others, how likely you are to talk with others, or how well you can cope with situations that supposedly 'demand' extraversion (which... they don't). Nothing demands extraversion, really. It's just that a lot of inroverts don't develop certain social skills because they don't put themselves out there as much as extraverts do by preference-- so you hear a lot of stories of introverts who do end up in work situations where they have to put themselves out there and realize it's not so hard.

Of course it's not hard. It's a skill-set just like any other skill-set, and just because one's an introvert doesn't mean one's socially disabled, haha. Just because there are certain extravert-propagated myths about those scary introverts that are unable to come out of their caves without flinching.... I mean... that's their problem, right :>
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